The Orlando Shooting terror attack at Pulse nightclub, a vicious incident that cost the lives of 49 members of the LGBT community, sparked nationwide debates about gun control and LGBT intolerance. It has also, apparently, galvanized the Internet’s vast community of conspiracy theorists, and their consensus is that the Orlando shooting terror attack was a false flag, perpetuated by crisis actors.
In a nutshell, people have turned to online message boards and social media to call out the Orlando shooting terror attack as nothing more than a government-perpetuated hoax, reports The New York Times. Despite the fact that the horrific shooting has been dubbed by most at the worst mass shooting on U.S. soil in modern history.
So, what exactly is a “false flag?” A false flag is a faux attack, something staged by the U.S. government (or perhaps an unknown shadow government ruled by U.N. puppet masters, depending who you ask), as opposed to something that happens organically at the hands of actual terrorists. Usually, a false flag is believed to take place to manipulate the public into believing or acting a certain way, and is helped along by the “mainstream media.”
According to conspiracy theorists, the victims of the Orlando shooting terror attack weren’t real people at all. Rather, they (along with all of the witnesses) were “crisis actors” hired by the government to brainwash the public into believing something terrible happened in Orlando.
Why would the government go to all this trouble? False flags? Crisis actors? Fake bloody scenes? According to online conspiracy theorists, the Orlando shooting terror attack was a “false flag” perpetuated to allow the government to tweak gun laws by implementing tighter firearms restrictions.
While most people (at least publicly) dismiss the idea of government-perpetuated false flags as nothing more than the paranoid product of conspiracy theorists’ minds, the fact of the matter is that such beliefs seem to be very widely held. It’s impossible to know how many people actually buy into this stuff, but if you search YouTube, you will find over 700,000 video results for “false flag.”
The Orlando shooting terror attack is far from the first recent U.S. tragedy that conspiracy theorists have labeled a false flag. After the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut, the internet was flooded with rumors that the whole incident was a “false flag” staged by government-hired crisis actors. That attack resulted in the shooting deaths of 26 people in 2012, most of them children.
Prior to the Orlando shooting terror attacks, the San Bernardino terror attack in California was called a false flag. Even the Boston Bombing was believed by many conspiracy theorists to have been a false flag carried out by crisis actors.
Perhaps the most infamous pre-Orlando shooting terror attack to be labeled a false flag by conspiracy theorists was the September 11, 2001 terror attack. That attack was the deadliest on U.S. soil in the history of the nation, and cost 2,996 lives. More than 6,000 others were injured, and in the immediate wake of 9/11, many of the same people who are calling the Orlando shooting terror attack a “false flag” were online discussing why 9/11 was a false flag, as well.
Even before the Orlando shooting terror attack, many people spent a lot of time researching the phenomena of the “false flag” mindset. Mike Rothschild has done extensive research and writing about conspiracy theories, and he describes conspiracy theorists who believe in the concept of false flags as a “bank of awakened internet sleuths that has got it all figured out.”
Many of these believers think they have some kind of responsibility to warn non-believers about, “secret elites in government who are plotting against citizens.”
Most conspiracy theorists, such as those currently labeling the Orlando shooting terror attack as being nothing more than a “false flag” carried out by professional “crisis actors” refuse to have their ideologies debunked. Rather, according Chip Berlet, a researcher of radical-right movements, trying to explain away the beliefs of conspiracy theorists only “reinforces their ideas.”
What do you think? Could there be something to these pervasive “false flag” rumors? Do you think the Orlando shooting terror attack could have been staged, or is that kind of belief pure fantasy?
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