A new book by Tea Krulos sheds a light on the craziness that has descended on discussion of the elite Bohemian Grove encampment since Alex Jones made his infamous entry into the grove, carrying tales of child sacrifice and other mayhem going on there. BGAN has been trying to beat down that narrative since even before Donald Trump helped make people believe anything that made them mad.
In 2002 a man dressed in a homemade superhero outfit calling himself the Phantom Patriot, carrying a Samurai sword and AR-15 assault rifle, invaded Bohemian Grove. He believed Alex Jones’s claims that the Bohemians kept sex slaves and children for sacrifice in an underground bunker at the grove, and went to save them. Apparently not knowing the encampment was held in the summer he went in January to the deserted tree grove.
He walked around a bit, broke in to a couple of the camp lodges and set a fire but he never found an underground chamber of horrors. The Monte Rio fire chief went out to check on the smoke coming out of the grove and found the Phantom Patriot in the road, skull mask, sword and rifle- musta been a sight! He called for back-up and police soon arrived and took him in to custody without incident. He ended up doing 6 years in prison.
Krulos, an investigative journalist from Milwaukee whose forte is writing on strange phenomena (I can’t wait to read his Apocalypse Any Day Now about the end-of-the-worlders community) wrote a book about the Phantom Patriot, Richard McKaslin. American Madness tells McKaslin’s story as an illustration of the conspiracy theories rabbit holes people fall in to, and how, if not why, it can happen. It tells of McKaslin’s fall in to conspiracy beliefs after getting disoriented from leaving the Marines and the death of his mother, which he took very hard. Like a detective might follow leads to find the murderer, McKaslin was followed through the JFK assassination, past 911 Truthers, Birthers, Pizzagate, Reptiles, Sandy Hook denial and straight to Alex Jones (“Alex Fucking Jones” is the chapter title), who, indeed, has blood on his hands.
The tour ends with McKaslin’s suicide near the DC headquarters of the Freemasons, responsible, in McKaslin’s view, for many of the conspiracies holding power over unsuspecting Americans. It’s a sad end to a complex story about one man’s struggle to understand the world, but trusting all the wrong messages and messengers. I’m not sure it ever explained why people seem to grow so willing to hold fantastic beliefs that don’t stand up to logic, but the explanation of how it can happen leads an interesting tour and is well worth the read.