Shady Details About Alex Jones

When it comes to talk show hosts who are terrible people, no one comes close to Alex Jones. Let's be clear: It is not possible to fit everything shady about the conspiracy theorist and radio host into a single article. You would be hard-pressed to get it all into a 600-page book. But it's important to know the basics of just how shady this guy is, and how badly his words and actions have impacted the lives of regular people.

Jones began his rise to prominence and infamy where all good conspiracies are born and nurtured: talk radio. Raised in a family that was involved with the conservative conspiracy group The John Birch Society, Jones first took to a local access channel in Austin, Texas, after the 1993 siege at the Branch Davidian compound outside Waco. His open spouting of conspiracies grew worse after the Oklahoma City Bombing, which he has stated was actually carried out by the government and not a domestic terrorist. Then came 9/11 and later the Sandy Hook school shooting, both of which Jones claimed were false-flag events. In between were a hundred other tragic events, all of which Jones turned to his advantage with conspiracy theories.

This career, built around paranoia and conspiracies, made him a rich man. As he continues to make headlines and take to the airwaves, here are some of the shady details about Alex Jones you should be aware of.

He mistreated his family on multiple occasions

Alex Jones and his first wife, Kelly Jones, divorced in 2015. Two years later, Kelly took Alex to court, accusing him of parental alienation — in other words, isolating their children from her and attempting to turn them against her. She also accused him of being a bad influence on their children in general, perhaps best illustrated when Alex had their then-12-year-old son on InfoWars, where the child repeated his father's conspiracy theory talking points. Kelly's lawyer told the jurors (via The Austin-American Statesman), "Mr. Jones is like a cult leader. The children appear to be cult followers, doing what daddy wants them to do." 

Kelly won her case, but in 2022, she released a copy of an email she sent to Alex, accusing him of being behind on child support payments and refusing to assist with paying part of their daughter's orthodontic bills. 

The divorce also involved allegations of several kinds of abuse. In 2023, Kelly released a recording she took in 2009 of Alex screaming at her. And in 2022, text messages showed he had hired a former Blackwater mercenary to spy on both Kelly and his current wife, Erika Wulff Jones. "Alex is obsessed with me, has had me followed for years, has done everything to infringe on my liberties and personal freedom to impose himself into my life," Kelly told Rolling Stone. "My life is a gauntlet of waiting for his next nefarious or disingenuous or overtly threatening move." 

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

His Sandy Hook conspiracies

Alex Jones is probably best known for his Sandy Hook conspiracy theories and the massive civil damages he was ordered to pay as a result of them. But it's difficult to understate just how horrible what he did to these mourning families was. Knowledge Fight, a podcast dedicated to analyzing Alex Jones, did a deep dive into the episodes of InfoWars released after the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting that killed 26 people — 20 of them elementary school-aged children. It found he started throwing around conspiracy theories about the mass shooting the very day it happened, and those conspiracies developed over the following days and weeks.

His words and actions resulted in real-world harm. Over two civil trials, testimony from bereaved family members made it clear that Jones' words caused strangers to accuse them of lying, follow them, confront them, and otherwise threaten their mental and physical safety. Within two days of his daughter dying, one father was getting messages accusing him of being an actor. Another family moved to the other side of the country to get away from the worst of the abuse, and others hired private security to deal with the credible threat that Jones' followers might kill them.

"I can't even describe the last nine and a half years, the living hell that I and others have had to endure because of the recklessness and negligence of Alex Jones," Neil Heslin, father of one of the victims, said on the stand (via the AP).

His treatment of Scarlett Lewis

While Alex Jones' treatment of all Sandy Hook victims and their families was abhorrent, his interactions with Scarlett Lewis deserve their own mention. Scarlett is the mother of Jesse Lewis, one of the young victims of the shooting who was just 6 years old when he was murdered. She and her ex-husband sued Jones over his false claims; despite this, she was far kinder to him than he deserved — something he took full advantage of.

On the stand during the trial, Lewis addressed Jones, saying, "It seems so incredible to me that we have to do this — that we have to implore you, to punish you — to get you to stop lying" (via AP News). When Jones took the stand, he looked at her and tried to deny all responsibility for what she suffered. Then he went on his radio show and claimed Lewis had listened to his show and believed he was innocent. 

This was an outright lie, and he was forced to issue an apology — which he buried on his website rather than delivering it on air. In a separate Sandy Hook trial that Lewis was not involved in, Jones showed just how empty his apologies are, saying on the stand, "Is this a struggle session? Are we in China? I've already said I'm sorry, and I'm done saying I'm sorry" (via The New York Times). Despite this, Lewis has spoken and written at length about the fact she forgives Jones.

He sees conspiracies everywhere

Alex Jones has never met a conspiracy theory he didn't like. While it was by no means his first time going down a conspiracy rabbit hole, the September 11 attacks proved to be something Jones could exploit like never before on his show and beyond. He released several books and "documentaries" about his ideas on the terrorist attacks, including "9-11: Descent Into Tyranny: The New World Order's Dark Plans to Turn Earth Into a Prison Planet" and "Martial Law 9/11: Rise of the Police State." He became so well-known for his positions in the conspiracy theory movement that he was the main subject of a 2009 documentary called "New World Order," which looked at the people who pushed lies about September 11.

But that was just the tip of Jones' conspiracy iceberg. Events he has accused of being false flags (in other words, carried out by the government to get some alleged benefit) include but are by no means limited to: the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, bombs sent to Democratic politicians in 2018, the 2019 Christchurch mass shootings, the 2023 Maui fires, the January 6 coup attempt, COVID-19, and the U.S. Civil War.

Things that are not false flags but still ripe for conspiracy include his famous rant that chemicals in the water "turn the friggin' frogs gay" (via NBC News), the claim politicians were trafficking children out of a Washington, D.C. pizza restaurant (a.k.a. "Pizzagate"), the existence of weather weapons, and even his own DWI arrest.

Avoiding responsibility for his actions

Not only does Alex Jones do shady and horrible things, but once he is called out or receives other consequences for them, he proves to be a coward. Rather than stand by his words and actions, Jones consistently tries to wriggle out of the mess he made for himself. One way he does this is by not officially hiring people to work for Infowars. This came out in multiple depositions, where it was revealed certain longtime contributors to Jones' show were merely contractors, allowing him to say that — technically — they weren't working for him when they acted disgracefully, like antagonizing the families of Sandy Hook victims.

Jones also tried to avoid responsibility for the pain he caused the families by claiming he was a journalist, doing nothing different than what Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein did when they broke the Watergate case. When his absurd defenses didn't work and it came time to pay those families one of the largest defamation verdicts in U.S. history, Jones attempted to get out of it by filing a very dubious bankruptcy petition, although it was eventually rejected. 

When it came to the January 6 insurrection, Jones spoke to the committee investigating it, which he claimed on his show he was excited to do since he had so much evidence. But in reality, once there, he took the Fifth over 100 times. He also said he would only speak to the Justice Department about that day if he got immunity from prosecution.

He promoted dozens of lies about COVID-19

One of Alex Jones' conspiracy obsessions that is worth a closer look involves the COVID-19 pandemic, and the subsequent creation of vaccines to prevent further casualties. Way back when COVID-19 was just a "global public health emergency," Jones was trying to use it to make money. In February and early March of 2020, he claimed on his show that a toothpaste he just so happened to sell could keep users from getting COVID-19 — regulators had to step in to get him to stop.

Once the pandemic was in full swing, his rhetoric got even more dangerous. His conspiracies ranged from it being a hoax to a lab-made bioweapon that specifically targeted white people. On his show, he called mitigation measures "a ChiCom-style panopticon control grid to monitor every citizen under the guise of tracking the coronavirus infection spread." 

Once vaccines were available, Jones claimed everything was wrong with them. Some of the many conspiracies he promoted included that the vaccines would give people meat allergies, that they weaken your immune system, and that they were the cause of the 2023 Monkeypox outbreak. "Because what is AstraZeneca and J&J? They're virus vectors that inject the genome of a chimpanzee into your cells and then orders your cells to replicate under those orders using the virus to deliver the package," he ranted (via The Independent). He was a fan of the conspiracy that Ivermectin could prevent COVID-19, however, even taking what he claimed was the medication live on air.

He was heavily involved in January 6

Alex Jones is a big supporter of Donald Trump, so it's no surprise that he was involved with so-called "Stop the Steal" events both before and on January 6, 2021. In fact, the coup attempt at the Capitol was the culmination of a lot of work on Jones' part to get his listeners mad about the election results. 

Speaking about the "Stop the Steal" rally he bragged about helping to plan, Jones said on his December 19, 2020 show, "This is the most important call to action on domestic soil since Paul Revere and his ride in 1776" (via The New York Times). The night before the coup attempt, Infowars posted a video of Jones in Washington, D.C., telling a crowd, "We have only begun to resist the globalists. We have only begun our fight against their tyranny. They have tried to steal this election in front of everyone. I don't know how this is all going to end, but if they want to fight, they better believe they've got one" (via Frontline).

Jones was at the rally and walked to the Capitol, directing the rioters through a bullhorn (pictured), although he did not go inside and was not charged with any crimes. However, some of his close associates were not so lucky: Infowars employee Owen Shroyer pleaded guilty to unlawfully entering restricted grounds, and Trump lawyer Kenneth Chesebro, who followed Jones around on January 6, later pleaded guilty in the Georgia election interference case.

He repeats Vladimir Putin's talking points

It's well known that Donald Trump admires Vladimir Putin so much, and Alex Jones is also a huge fan of the Russian dictator. This had been apparent for years; in 2017, it was revealed Infowars had plagiarized over 1,000 articles from RT, the Russian state-sponsored broadcaster that spreads Kremlin misinformation. But Jones' support of Putin became even more glaringly evident after Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022.

Jones unquestioningly repeated Putin's claims that it had no choice but to attack Ukraine. Ten days before the invasion, Jones said on his show that "... the West is pumping the weapons in, the West is starting the fight, the West is running this whole operation ... punching the Russians harder and harder every day ... punching the Russians in the face" (via Media Matters). He left no questions in the minds of his listeners whose side he was on in any potential invasion by Russia, repeating his support for the country, even as it became obvious they were about to invade their smaller neighbor. 

Since then, his fawning over Putin and repeating the dictator's talking points has continued unabated. Eight months after the invasion, he claimed on Real America's Voice that liberals have a "fetish" for hating Putin. In 2023, Jones went on Russian state TV where he compared Bill Gates and others to the 9/11 hijackers, saying they were essentially doing to Russia what the terrorists did to the World Trade Center. And in 2024, Jones floated the theory to his listeners that the West had the imprisoned foe of Putin, Alexei Navalny, murdered. 

He scares people to make money

In a 2017 episode of "Last Week Tonight," John Oliver devoted his main story to Alex Jones. While he touched on plenty of the conspiracy theorist's terrible ideas, the thesis of the piece was actually that Jones is a brilliant, oily salesman who uses his outlandish claims to scare his audience before trying to sell them things. 

That same year, the Knowledge Fight podcast did its own dive into the tactics Jones used to monetize fear. They explained, "Alex Jones is indoctrinating and terrorizing his audience on purpose. He is creating a fear of the world in them, willingly and intentionally, in order to sell the bulls*** products, and in doing so, he is ruining their lives." They take fully in-context segments from Jones' radio show as examples of how he transitions seamlessly from ranting about something that he claims is coming to kill his audience and/or end civilization as we know it, to shilling for some tangentially related product that might make that destruction a little less bad, like survival food.

This is very effective. It made Jones a very rich man over the years, and InfoWars was pulling in a ridiculous amount of money per day at its peak. Even more gut-churning, there is evidence that sales spiked when he promoted Sandy Hook conspiracies and that Jones was aware of this fact, giving him a financial incentive to continue to lie about what happened and ruin the lives of those grieving family members.

InfoWars is allegedly a hostile work environment

While you might think anyone willing to work for Alex Jones would understand what they were walking into, some former employees have been shocked to discover Infowars was a hostile work environment. This has led to some spilling of embarrassing stories about what goes on behind the scenes, and to others filing lawsuits.

In a tell-all in The New York Times Magazine, Josh Owens wrote about how crazy working for Jones was, from the boss constantly taking off his shirt in the office, to demanding an employee punch him just so he could punch back harder, to the time Jones almost shot Owens with an AR-15 during a work retreat. Owens also claimed Jones openly drank at work, which was backed up three years later, when an anonymous employee started posting supercuts of the Infowars host caught drinking on security camera footage.

Two former employees, one who was Jewish and one who was Black, filed federal complaints claiming discrimination and harassment, with stories ranging from unwanted sexual touching to enduring racist, antisemitic, and homophobic slurs. One complaint also noted, like Owens would a year later, that Jones was constantly shirtless at work. While Jones denied the allegations and said he wouldn't comment on former employees, he did bash a different former employee live on air. According to a lawsuit filed by Jerome Corsi, who worked as the D.C. bureau chief for Infowars in 2017, Jones told his listeners Corsi had dementia, was an alcoholic, and committed perjury.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).