A couple of the conspiracy assholes who come out of the woodwork after every mass shooting were arrested in Sutherland Springs, Texas, yesterday, after they harassed the pastor of the Baptist church where a gunman with a semiautomatic rifle murdered 26 last November. One of the “truthers,” Robert Ussery, runs a conspiracy website called “Side Thorn.” His partner in slime, Jodi Mann, frequently appears in his rambling homemade conspiracy videos as “Conspiracy Granny.” The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office hasn’t yet released details on what they were charged with.
Pastor Frank Pomeroy was sitting in his car, near the church, when he saw the two go up to a poster left outside the church for visitors to sign; Ussery started writing in unusually large, loopy letters, “The truth shall set you free.” Pomeroy said he recognized Ussery immediately — a local community Facebook page has featured frequent discussions about the conspiracy theorists and what might be done to thwart them. When Pomerory saw what Ussery was writing, he got out of his car to talk to him. Pomeroy’s 14-year-old daughter was one of the victims of the shooting — but, naturally, Ussery didn’t believe that, because all of reality is scripted by the New World Order or something. Pomeroy told the San Antonio Express-News,
“He said, ‘Your daughter never even existed. Show me her birth certificate. Show me anything to say she was here,’” Pomeroy said. “I just told him there was enough evidence already visible, so if he chooses not to see that, how would I know he would believe anything else?”
Pomeroy said Ussery didn’t recognize him at first, but once he did, he started yelling at him. Meanwhile, Rod Green, a local resident and member of the congregation, called the police.
“He kept trying to bait us to do something dumb,” Pomeroy said.
While Ussery yelled at the pastor, he wore a camera on his chest; Mann recorded the encounter as well. So they should have some fascinating evidence of their own behavior.
Pomeroy said that until he actually met Ussery, he thought the conspiracy guy “was trying to play some angle.” Now, he told the paper, “I think he’s truly demented. I think he truly believes his own rhetoric. I can’t explain it.”
Ussery’s “Side Thorn” website is the usual collection of conspiracy craziness; the front page claims virtually every mass shooting and terrorist attack of the past couple years — and several bus crashes, too — are false flag attacks by a shadowy government conspiracy:
It has meme warfare, too!
The content is a whole bunch of YouTube videos, some made by Ussery, some by other people. In one, Ussery — face not shown, to preserve operational security, no doubt — explains that every school bus crash in Texas has been faked by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, because the federal government has actually taken over all of your local police, you bet.
Another video, a 13-minute shot of investigators surrounding the church at night, with no narration, and nothing of note happening, is posted with the convincing explanation, “Nothing but a staged drill.” One more is nothing but a drive through the local cemetery (with close-ups of several victims’ graves, including, creepily enough, that of Pomeroy’s daughter) and the legend “Mass graves in Texas? Doesn’t get any faker than that.” Which sure does destroy the claim nobody ever made about all 26 victims being buried in a common grave. Even as conspiracy sites go, this is lazy, stupid, but definitely hateful stuff.
The Express-News notes that Ussery has a fun history of arrests, no doubt because the government’s trying to keep him down:
The conspiracy theorist was arrested during a White Lives Matter rally in Austin two years ago. He has a lengthy arrest history from the 1980s and 1990s for burglary, driving while intoxicated, assault and evading arrest. Online sources describe him as an Austin or Lockhart resident.
Pomeroy was just happy that Ussery and Mann hung around long enough for deputies to arrest them:
“We’ve already had to deal with one person that lived in an alternate reality,” Pomeroy said, referring to Devin Kelley of New Braunfels, the 26-year-old gunman who, after killing the people in the church, killed himself.
“If it takes something happening before you get rid of these guys, then I’m just glad that this ‘something happening’ happened and nobody got hurt,” Pomeroy said. “Now let’s just pray it’s done.”
That would be nice. But sadly, there’s no shortage of idiots, and these two aren’t likely to stop even if they face a fine or a jail sentence. People like them are on a mission to expose the truth, which is that nothing is real except what’s inside their own diseased heads.