Alex Jones may be forced to liquidate InfoWars

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Alex Jones may be forced to liquidate InfoWars

The law and eternal truth

June 17, 2024 -

Right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones speaks to the media as he arrives at the federal courthouse for a hearing in front of a bankruptcy judge Friday, June 14, 2024, in Houston. The judge is expected to rule on whether to liquidate Jones' assets to help pay the $1.5 billion he owes for his false claims that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones speaks to the media as he arrives at the federal courthouse for a hearing in front of a bankruptcy judge Friday, June 14, 2024, in Houston. The judge is expected to rule on whether to liquidate Jones' assets to help pay the $1.5 billion he owes for his false claims that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones speaks to the media as he arrives at the federal courthouse for a hearing in front of a bankruptcy judge Friday, June 14, 2024, in Houston. The judge is expected to rule on whether to liquidate Jones' assets to help pay the $1.5 billion he owes for his false claims that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Alex Jones, host of InfoWars broadcaster and popular conspiracy theorist, appeared in the headlines again last week. As I explained two years ago, Alex Jones was found liable for defamation and fined nearly $1 billion (although that number has since increased to nearly $1.5 billion). 

While the massive defamation case was brought to Jones in 2018, he has not paid anything directly to the families. However, last week, he pivoted from Chapter 11 to filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, meaning the court would oversee the liquidation of his assets, likely including InfoWars. As we’ll see, this story serves as a reminder of the Christian idea that truth is eternal. 

Why was Alex Jones ordered to pay nearly $1.5 billion? 

In 2022, I reviewed the defamation case against Jones brought by the families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Jones has retracted his conspiratorial claims that the shooting was staged by the government as an excuse to restrict Second Amendment rights. 

It feels impossible to put a dollar amount to the effect of Jones’s conspiracies. Leonard Pozner is the father of Noah, one of the children who died in the shooting. He has led the fight against the conspiratorial claims since they first appeared, even publishing his son’s medical records. He is one of the people who sued Jones. He and his family were forced to move several times to avoid harassment from Jones’s listeners. 

How was Alex Jones held accountable? 

It’s unthinkable to grieve the death of one’s child in such a tragedy. It’s even more difficult to imagine facing death threats for faking the death of your very real child. That said, perhaps $1.5 billion still seems too high—if nothing else, because Jones could never pay that much. 

However, it’s important to remember that Jones won’t actually pay that amount. It appears that Jones will likely pay $85 million over ten years to the Sandy Hook families. The court is still actively considering this bankruptcy deal. 

The Sandy Hook families want to limit Jones’s reach and influence so something similar doesn’t happen again. On Friday, the Judge ordered that Jones’s $9 million worth of personal assets be liquidated to start paying the debt. However, the fate of Jone’s companies, Free Speech Systems and InfoWars, remain uncertain. In the end, he may need to liquidate them. The Sandy Hook families are calling for him to sell his social media account as well.

To some families, the most important thing is Jones admitting to his false claims. Testifying in court in 2022, Jones admitted the killings were “100% real.” He even claimed to suffer from a mental psychosis, which made him see conspiracies. He said he “almost had like a form of psychosis back in the past where I basically thought everything was staged…” He blamed this “psychosis” on the government and media’s pervasive lies. Regardless, in 2020, Pozner said, “Alex Jones says that he was wrong, that it was a real tragedy — that is a victory.” 

In the 2022 article, I unpacked the pitfalls of irrational, conspiratorial thinking. Here, I want to consider the due process of law and how it reflects the Christian view that truth is eternal. 

The law and eternal truth 

It took over a decade for the victims of Sandy Hook to receive monetary recompense from Jones. It took many, many years for Jones to publicly admit the tragedy really happened. The truth often takes a long, long time to come out. 

We have the assurance that, with God as the ultimate arbiter and judge, it always will. Jesus said, “I am . . . the truth,” and John wrote Jesus is “full of grace and truth” (John 14:6, 1:14). This allows us to go out, with confidence, that truth is out there to grasp, even if we cannot come to perfect certainty or knowledge of it. We know someone does—namely, God. 

However, on this earth, people must pursue the truth, often at great sacrifice. It doesn’t come easy. (Ironically, this is how Jone’s supporters see his mission.) Lies and confusion easily spread in this fallen world. That’s why Christians are called to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). The US legal system, while deeply flawed, is based on the sound biblical principle of pursuing an unchanging truth and facts to strive for justice.

Pozner and the other Sandy Hook families could have receded into the background, trying to forget. Instead, they chose to stay strong and speak up for the truth, though they knew it would mean more harassment, risky legal fees, and years of hardship. They sacrificed for truth. Jones will pay for lies. 

How can you sacrifice for truth today?

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