Meet Alex Backman, Mexico's Very Own Alex Jones (Seriously)
With all the recent scaremongering about immigrants and drug cartels, it's easy to forget how much America and Mexico actually love each other. Mexico is Coca-Cola's #1 client, and Americans love tacos more than Burger King. It's a match made in Heaven, or at least the GI ward. And because Mexico also adores American movies and video games, it was only a matter of time before they got onboard another popular form of fictional entertainment: Alex Jones. Yes, he too now has a non-union Mexican equivalent: Alex Backman.
Backman is a self-proclaimed journalist and scientist and an us-proclaimed conspiracy theorist. Instead of Infowars, his show is called Conciencia Radio ("Awareness Radio"). He has a YouTube channel, and his official website claims he has a very legitimate IQ of 155. He also says that as a child, he was asked by the American government to decipher codes, and elsewhere he's lied about working as a Harvard professor, despite being the sort of person Harvard quietly escorts off their grounds for peeing on statues. Oh, and he claims there's a secret "master binary digital code" in human DNA that Masons will use to open a portal for a demonic invasion from another dimension, like a far lamer version of Doom.
Naturally, these outlandish claims and ramblings have reduced him to ... having over a million YouTube subscribers, routinely getting over a million views on his videos, and often being talked about by the mainstream Mexican media (if only to call him out on his crap).
Now, like all good foreign adaptations, Backman had to make some tweaks to fit his audience. Much like how Taco Bell failed to convince Mexico that their offerings were actually food, Mexicans aren't scared by some of the topics Jones uses to terrify his American viewers. The threat of the government seizing their guns, or mass shooting victims being "crisis actors"? Pfft, whatever. In fact, guns are so unpopular with law-abiding Mexicans that despite having their own constitutional right to bear arms, most simply aren't interested in doing so. There's only one legal gun store in the entire country, and most people aren't even aware of its existence.
But if there's one thing Mexicans fear more than school shootings and terrorist attacks, it's earthquakes. While Americans are still haunted by 9/11, Mexicans have the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, which killed thousands of people and caused over $3 billion in damage. So while "scientists" are wasting their time analyzing plate tectonics, Backman visits some websites that monitor the sun while rambling about how sunspots, solar winds, and the alignment of the planets are causing earthquakes everywhere.
If you're wondering why the government isn't using this revolutionary method of "Google it" to predict earthquakes, that's because the scientific consensus is, of course, that the activities of the sun have absolutely nothing to do with them. But that hasn't stopped Backman from sounding off ... and off, and off, until even the Mexican seismological service felt compelled to refute his nonsense. Backman responded by doubling down, claiming that the Mexican government has always had advance knowledge of earthquakes, but lets people die and buildings be destroyed because ... evil? They love evil?
As ridiculous as this all sounds, his scared and confused victims are very real. He was one of the major sources behind a 2017 hoax that reached millions with a false claim that recent deadly earthquakes (which happened to be on the anniversary of the 1985 disaster) were about to be followed up by a quake so powerful that it would annihilate both Mexico and the United States. It got so bad that the freaking United Nations had to take to Twitter to call for calm, reminding people that such incidents are unfortunately impossible to predict at this time. But false certainty can be more alluring than honest ambiguity, so here we are.
Backman is far from a one-disaster pony. He also peddles good old-fashioned conspiracy theories taken directly from Jones' playbook, like his claim that he's fighting the New World Order. That's the secretive organization of global elites that controls all governments and economies, but can't silence some guy on the internet. He's also a fan of the chemtrail conspiracy theory, which says airplane contrails are secretly evil government chemicals. And if Jones claiming that vaccines cause autism wasn't bad enough for you, Backman takes it a step further by saying that vaccines literally kill children. He dabbles in English-language videos, if you'd like to experience some outrage directly.
The video is a bit long, but you get "Wake up America, before it's too late!" in the first ten seconds, which pretty much sums it up.
Much like how Jones sells massively overpriced water purifiers to cleanse tap water (which he claims is loaded with nefarious chemicals, of course), Backman sells products that he says will protect you from the vaccines and chemtrails he warns you about. He even ships to the States, meaning that a bottle of Desintox, which provides detoxifying "crystals of the activated mineral that have been finely pulverized enter the body as ionically charged crystalline cages," can be yours for just $52.25.
Finally, a conspiracy theorist isn't complete without a dash of xenophobia. But again, he knows how to change the message for his audience. Remember those Central American migrants who were supposedly coming to invade America right up until the 2018 election was over? While Jones looked at a desperate group of people and saw a secret plan backed by the United Nations and George Soros to destabilize America, Backman saw ... well, pretty much the exact same thing, except he said they'd harm Mexico instead. (As of this writing, the migrants have not destroyed either country.) Far-right or just flat-out misguided American websites, calling Backman a journalist, picked up on his wild claims and reported them as fact.
We're telling you all of this because, well, it's hilarious. But we're also telling you this because it's a reminder that Alex Jones isn't some weird one-off aberration created by a specific time and place. People like Jones and Backman can thrive in any environment, because they know how to shape their message to exploit the hopes and fears of their audiences. That nagging feeling that the truth is more complicated than what it seems at the surface, and that it also happens to neatly slot into your worldview, is addicting. And spotting the tricks of another country's charlatan can help keep your guard up against the ones that pop up in your own backyard.
Abraham thinks you are missing out big time if you haven't tried a non-taco bell taco. Seriously try a taco de suadero. Thank him later! You can say hi to him on Twitter here.
For more, check out The Truth Behind Every Internet Conspiracy Theory:
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