Neo Nazis, far right conspiracy theories and our responsibility as Christians to check our sources and our allies

Throughout COVID, Christians have taken quite strong and at times opposing views on issues such as lockdowns. This is understandable because those views probably mirror the attitudes within society.  Sometimes I’ve been concerned about some of the sources of evidence or rationale for positions on all sides. 

Recently I picked up on a video being shared from a site called Bitchute in order to support arguments against lockdowns and also against vaccines.  This caught my eye because the name of the site is clearly intended to be a little provocative! This was unlikely to be either a mainstream media outlet or a scientific journal.  There’s of course nothing wrong with being a bit edgy though.

However, when I looked a bit further, my eyebrows began to rise.  The first thing I spotted was that whilst the video frontpage proudly proclaims that we are about to hear concerns about mRNA technology vaccines from their very inventor, the host immediately backtracks from that claim and instead introduces his guest as someone claiming to be the inventor of the vaccines.  A further google search suggests that this claim is disputed. Indeed, it seems that the only real source of the claim is the person’s own website.

So, I search to find out a bit more about the website. What do I find? Well, first of all, I find that under the category searches one option is QAnon, the prominent conspiracy theory linked to President Trump with serious antisemitic overtones.  If you check this section of their site, you will not find videos challenging QAnon but you will find plenty of content suggesting that the charge of antisemitism is one deliberately used by the Global Zionist Conspiracy and you’ll even find a video claiming all about how the New Zealand Prime Minister is a secret Rothschild.[1]

A further search offers the following articles and reports identifying how Bitchute has become a platform heavily, if not primarily used by alt-right and Neo Nazi propagandists.

Free speech website criticised as recruiting ground for neo-Nazis | News | The Times (paywall)

BitChute: Inside the UK-based site that’s become the far-right’s YouTube | The Independent | The Independent

The UK social media platform where neo-Nazis can view terror atrocities | Far right | The Guardian

All of this information was readily available to me within about 5 or 10 minutes of beginning to dig. 

At the same time, you will remember from this previous review that I’ve raised concerns in the past about other aspects of Christian evidence sourcing.  The particular issue I highlighted here was with the reference to “Cultural Marxism” and the so called “Frankfurt School.”  Those terms, especially when employed together are widely understood to indicate another specifically antisemitic conspiracy theory. This one is that a Jewish academic elite has sought to influence cultural life in order to bring about Marxist revolutionary change through literature, education, academia, the arts etc as well as through political and military means.

Now, the term does still seem to be employed by a reasonable number of people without awareness of its connotations. However, I have noted that others have persisted in using it insisting that it can have other usages. I find this a little ironic because often the same people who insist that they can use this label despite its common understanding will also vigorously argue that we must not use the slogan #BlackLivesMatter or symbolically take the knee because despite these being commonly understood as simple protests against racism, there are a specific group of people using these symbols to promote Marxism.

So, I wanted to push our thinking a bit more.  The risk here is that Christians, unintentionally will find themselves associated with some pretty unsavoury conspiracy theories. How does this happen? It is of course possible that we are seeing wolves in sheep’s clothing entering our midst to deliberately use the church as a vehicle for neo-nazi hate. However I don’t think this is what we are seeing.  Those using terms like Cultural Marxism or talking about the Frankfurt School would be genuinely horrified at the possibility that they might be giving succour to extremist views. So how do we find ourselves here?

Well I think that the problem starts with a lot of people becoming increasingly frustrated with life and society as it is. There are genuine frustrations with the main-stream media, academia and politicians. People are looking for hope, looking for truth and straight answers and so into that void step a number of provocative disrupters, if this is represented on the right by Bitchute then on the extreme left you have the likes of The Canary and Squawk Box.  From the hard left and hard right alike we are being offered a critique of life and culture as we know it.

Christians too are dissatisfied with what this world offers. We see idolatry and opposition to Christ in so much of our culture. Yet we need to remember two things. The first is that if these extreme idolatries are offering counterfeit gospels, then they will also offer counterfeit critiques of life today. Just as we need to keep an eye on their counterfeit Gospels because these will ape and mimic the true Gospel, so too will the counterfeit critiques mimic the genuine concerns we have.

The second thing to watch is this, extreme disrupters know that they are unlikely to get a hearing on their own and so they piggy back on more acceptable views.  In other words they are parasites.  I mean, how could hard right neo Nazis have anything to do with Libertarianism or Marxists with liberals?  This puzzled me for a bit. After all, opposition to COVID restrictions tends to be anti-authoritarian and Nazis have traditionally been quite fond of a bit of despotic authoritarianism.  Then it struck me. They may prefer authoritarianism but there is an end goal, the purification of society in favour of the powerful.  So, if you are a Nazi disrupter you would quite like to see a virus used to cull the weakest, oldest and most vulnerable in society. If it just happens to also disproportionately affect ethnic minorities then that is a bonus for you.

Does this mean that anti-authoritarian arguments are not valid? Of course not. It simply means that you need to be careful when making them that you don’t give cover for those who in fact have a very different agenda to you. They may appear to be co-belligerents but they are not.

[1] A specific antisemitic conspiracy theory is that the world’s finance and governments are controlled by two or three powerful and wealthy Jewish families, the Rothschilds being one.

Update note January 6th 2022

Another example I’ve picked up on has been Christian leaders citing articles from The Epoch Times. This is a publication primarily associated with Faolun Gong. Its association with a questionable religious cult should probably be enough to encourage us to give it a bit of a wide berth. Additionally, its reporting of studies associated with vaccinations looks IMHO ropey to say the least. It has significant association with support for Donald Trump and has included articles seeking to suggest that the January 2020 Capitol Hill riots were false flag/misreported.

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