For years, conspiracy theorist and disinformation peddler Alex Jones has told his supporters that the only thing keeping his media empire afloat is their financial backing.
“As much begging as I do, we can barely pay the bills,” Jones told a caller on Thursday during a segment on his radio show promoting the Infowars store. “I’m not going to stop growth and let them push us backwards. I need your help, Frank. I need your help!”
Despite his pleas for money, Infowars’ store ― where Jones sells an amalgamation of dietary supplements and survival gear ― made $165 million in sales from September 2015 to the end of 2018, according to court filings related to a lawsuit Jones recently lost over his lies about the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre. The records, first obtained by HuffPost, give the clearest picture to date of the financial situation of the Infowars website and Jones himself. The records also provide a window into how vast and powerful Jones’ reach is and may provide clues into how he funds his political activities, including his participation in the U.S. Capitol attack on Jan. 6, 2021. HuffPost is publishing the full financial records of the store.
“The enemy wants to cut off our funding to destroy us,” Jones said in a 2018 broadcast. “If you don’t fund us, we’ll be shut down.”
That same year, the Infowars store made more than $56 million in sales.
Lies Pushed, Sales Soar
The new financial records were first submitted by Jones’ legal team as part of a discovery request for a court case he recently lost against the parent of a Sandy Hook victim. For years, Jones has used his platform on Infowars to falsely claim the shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead was a “false flag” filled with “green screen” images and “crisis actors.”
Jones lost every case against him levied by Sandy Hook parents after two separate judges delivered default judgments against Jones over his inability to provide internal company documents and emails related to the cases. Juries will be convened in 2022 to determine how much Jones will ultimately owe the parents.
On Dec. 27, lawyers for several Sandy Hook parents filed court depositions with the Travis County district clerk in Austin, Texas, where Jones’ radio show is based. Tucked away among the more than 500 pages of deposition transcripts were more than 30 pages of spreadsheets detailing how much the Infowars store made every day from Sept. 18, 2015, to Dec. 31, 2018, including the number of orders made and items sold. HuffPost first obtained the documents on Tuesday.
Jones’ lawyer, Bradley Reeves, did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Mark Bankston, a lawyer with Farrar & Ball who represents several Sandy Hook parents suing Jones and who filed the latest motion, told HuffPost that “the public filings speak for themselves” and declined to comment further.
The months of September and October 2015 saw a handful of orders a day — but just one year later, the Infowars store was making an average of about $110,000 a day. And some of Jones’ most profitable days were the ones when he pushed his Sandy Hook lies.
For instance, on Nov. 18, 2016, Jones aired a segment titled “Alex Jones’ Final Statement on Sandy Hook” in which he said he has “watched a lot of soap operas, and I’ve seen actors before. And I know when I’m watching a movie and when I’m watching something real.”
The Infowars store made just over $100,000 that day.
About five months later, on April 22, 2017, Jones published a new video on Infowars titled “Sandy Hook Vampires Exposed.” The store made $90,000.
In a June 2017 segment for NBC’s “Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly,” Sandy Hook parent Neil Heslin painfully described holding his 6-year-old son’s body.
“I lost my son. I buried my son. I held my son with a bullet hole through his head,” Heslin told Kelly in a segment about the harassment he has faced from conspiracy theorists.
That same month, 57-year-old Lucy Richards was sentenced to five months in prison for sending threatening messages to Leonard Pozner, who lost his 6-year-old son, Noah, in the shooting. As part of her sentencing, Richards was ordered not to access Infowars.
The following month, on July 20, Jones questioned whether Heslin did indeed hold his dead son in a segment casting doubt on the shooting.
“Quite frankly, the father needs to clarify, NBC needs to clarify, because the coroner said none of the parents were allowed to touch the kids or see the kids and maybe meaning at the school. I’m sure later maybe the parents saw their children,” Jones said.
The Infowars store sold more than 4,600 products that day, earning more than $180,000.
Jones’ boisterous, carnival-barker persona has made him the perfect mouthpiece to peddle bogus and often overpriced items. Some of the top-selling products on the Infowars store include Brain Force Ultra, a dietary supplement that contains green tea leaves and costs $37. There’s also Winter Sun Plus Vitamin D, another supplement on sale for $19.95. His Brain Force Plus (not to be confused with “Brain Force Ultra”) is also a top-seller.
The store also sells an array of survival gear for those itching for a government collapse, a topic Jones waxes about often. There’s storable food, radios, camping gear and books about “living off the grid.” Jones also sells water and air filtration systems, tapping into the fear he cultivated among his supporters to guide them to his products.
“It’s been proven that the water in the tap is full of dangerous and life threatening toxins,” a fearmongering description of his filtration products reads. “Ranging from Chlorine to Fluoride, the threat against your health is huge. That’s why it’s important that all Infowarriors clean up their water with Water Filtration! The products below are made to make sure that your water is clean, healthy, and toxin free.”
In March of 2020, as the coronavirus began to surge in the U.S., Jones hawked colloidal silver products, including toothpaste, as potential cures for the coronavirus. As Politico reported, Jones falsely claimed his silver products could “boost your immune system” and said that a wound gel and two toothpastes sold on the Infowars store were “on record taking out viruses and bacteria.” The claim was false, leading the Food and Drug Administration to issue a warning to Jones.
Jones interrupts his show multiple times a day to beat the drum that without financial support, Infowars is finished. The same day he lost his fourth and final Sandy Hook case in November, Jones took to his program to rail against the “globalists” while also announcing a new “patriot points” program that would allow top buyers at the Infowars store to collect discounts.
“Wanna trigger the left?” he said on his show in November, the New York Daily News reported. “Exercise your First Amendment, get an Infowars T-shirt, stand up for the info war.”
‘Funding The Second American Revolution’
Despite a recent falling out with the former president, Jones and Donald Trump had been longtime allies, with Trump appearing on Infowars while he was running for president in December 2015.
The gamble of backing Trump appeared to pay off. Of the more than three years of data reviewed by HuffPost, Infowars’ most profitable days happened around the 2016 presidential election. The day of the election, Nov. 8, the Infowars store more than doubled its sales from the previous day, making a total of over $660,000. The next day, after Trump won, more than 8,700 orders were placed on the Infowars website totaling nearly $850,000 in sales.
Jones was a leading proponent of Trump’s false claim that the 2020 presidential election was rigged. (It wasn’t. Trump lost the election because he got fewer votes than Joe Biden.)
“I don’t want Trump to step down,” Jones said during a talk show that streamed on the Infowars site on Dec. 28, 2020, The Washington Post reported. “Either by overturning the election and showing it’s a fraud and getting Congress to act on Jan. 6 to not certify for Biden, or whether we end up impeaching Joe Biden or getting him arrested as a Chi-Com agent, one way or another, he will be removed.”
Jones, who is now being subpoenaed by a House committee over his role in planning the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, urged his followers just days before the riot to purchase items from the Infowars store and to help fund “the second American revolution worldwide.”
“It takes money to put my crew and security in D.C,” Jones said on a Jan. 2, 2021, broadcast captured by Media Matters. “And it takes money to organize this, we put in a lot of money to paying for the event that Trump’s going to be at, for the other events, that we hope millions come, millions are set to come. So visit Infowarsstore.com and get the purest iodine out there, get pollen block for your seasonal distress, now back in stock. Get the activated charcoal toothpaste that my dad and retired dentist designed that’s been sold out for months and months. It’s back in stock, super high quality, no other toothpaste like it, none of the fillers, none of the garbage, none of the fluoride. Infowarsstore.com, you’re funding the second American revolution worldwide.”
Four days later, thousands of Trump supporters swarmed the Capitol and hundreds more attacked. Five people died and 140 officers were injured. Four other officers later died by suicide.
News syndicated from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/infowars-store-alex-jones_n_61d71d8fe4b0bcd2195c6562