Did any of the panel have any advice, the female questioner from Houston asked, about buying gold and silver stocks to help protect them from the New World Order?
The setting was a packed hall in Bozeman, Montana, for the inaugural Red Pill Expo, and it was the British hereditary peer, Lord Christopher Monckton, who jumped at the chance to give advice on commodities.
“It’s a good idea to keep silver rather than gold,” said Monckton. “Communists tend to confiscate gold but silver takes more storage, so they don’t confiscate that. So the thing to do is hold silver.”
Contained within that response were the key themes of the conference — communists are everywhere, there’s a conspiracy of some sort to control the world, and only those taking the “red pill” will be able to see the real truth.
For those uninitiated into the lexicon of the “alt right,” a person who accepts the red pill is choosing to avail themselves of the real truth in the world.
The phrase is taken from the 1999 movie The Matrix.
The film’s hero, Neo, is offered a choice. Take the blue pill and return to the fakery of a computer-generated world, or swallow the red pill and have the world’s painful truths, together with the limited acting range of Keanu Reeves, fully revealed.
A Collection of Conspiracy Theories
From the speeches and videos from the “expo” posted online, it seems that in addition to swallowing a fictional red pill, the attendees were also asked to swallow a parade of conspiracy theories about vaccines (dangerous), the United Nations (a global power grab), cancer cures (a cover up of “natural” cures) and the 9/11 terrorist attacks (a controlled explosion).
But a central theme pushed by Monckton and others was that climate change is largely a hoax that slides neatly into the “red pill” narrative: The work of thousands of climate scientists is a ruse to gain control of your lives.
Fox News Montana reported on the expo but gave no indication of the oddball views being expressed inside.
A report in the local Bozeman Daily Chronicle told a different story, quoting a director at the Montana Human Rights Network who saw the event as a recruitment drive for the “alt right.”
Freedom Force International
The Red Pill Expo was organized by Freedom Force International (FFI) — a group founded by another conspiracy theorist, G. Edward Griffin.
FFI has a “creed of freedom” that apparently allows its signatories the “freedom to accept or reject any currency, or other forms of money, based entirely upon my personal judgment of its value.”
Another FFI associate, the GOP activist Dan Happell, introduced the conference and appeared to play a role in moderating it. In early 2016, he was part of Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz’s “Montana Leadership Team” as an “Agenda 21” speaker.
In October 2016, Happell helped organize a tour for Monckton around Montana.
The following month, FFI held a climate science denial conference, again featuring Monckton together with Professor Will Happer, who was being floated as a possible science advisor to President Trump.
The Study That's 'Going to Change Everything' — But Science Journals Won't Touch
At the Red Pill event, Monckton claimed to have found fundamental errors in the way that scientists had been calculating the sensitivity of the planet to rising levels of carbon dioxide.
He had sent the study to Happer, he said, who had checked his numbers.
Happer also dismisses the risks of burning fossil fuels and, against the positions of science academies across the globe, thinks there are only benefits from adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
Monckton has been previewing his wild claims in several interviews in recent weeks.
In early June Monckton told Alex Jones on InfoWars (the home of many a conspiracy theory ) that “this is going to change everything,” but admitted he was having trouble getting a journal to publish his research.
“The real idea of this climate change nonsense is to take America down,” said Monckton. “That’s the objective here — it’s got nothing to do with the climate.”
Infowars sent along reporter Millie Weaver to the event, who spoke on a panel about “fake news.”
'Lunatic Farmer' Meets Climate Science Deniers
But perhaps the highest profile speaker in Montana was not there to talk about climate change, but about farming.
Joel Salatin — the self-styled “Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist lunatic farmer” — has been featured in multiple documentary films and in the pages of Time magazine. Salatin gave his keynote on the opening morning of the conference and later appeared on a panel beside Monckton.
“What a joy to be with you, to visit with you and to share this stage with these luminaries,” said Salatin.
It’s not clear if Salatin stuck around to see those “luminaries” in full flight or if his first impressions lasted across the two-day conference.
DeSmog has emailed Salatin for comment.
Main image: Lord Christopher Monckton gives a presentation at the Red Pill Expo in June 2017. Credit: YouTube/Gone Green