In Germany, opponents of conspiracy theories have held an award ceremony celebrating the wackiest, most conspiratorial claims which have come to public attention; among the winners was journalist Martin Lejeune, who has accused a conspiratorial cabal of “abusing Turkey” with “sick weather manipulations.”
The “Golden Alahut,” an award ceremony celebrating the most outlandish claims which were popularized over the past year, took place in Berlin on Sunday evening. The word “Alahut” in German means “tinfoil hat” and is used to describe supporters of conspiracy theories.
It followed an internet poll last month, which nominated politicians, bloggers and purveyors of alternative medicines for awards as a result of claims they have made, unsupported by evidence.
There were seven nominations in the politics category, which was won by Beatrix von Storch, deputy head of Alternative for Germany (AfD) in the German Bundestag. Von Storch was nominated “for her statements on climate change, her ideologically conspiratorial views and her work as a member of the AfD.”
Von Storch’s most memorable claim came when she was a guest on Germany’s popular Anne Will talk show in January last year. An outspoken critic of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s migration policy, the politician claimed to have heard a “rumor” that Merkel was soon to resign her position and “go to Chile or South America” on security grounds.
Other nominees included US President Donald Trump “for climate change denial and his political messages,” AfD politician Carsten Haerle “for ideologically conspiratorial content on his Facebook page” and Freedom Party of Austria leader Norbert Hofer.
Hofer was nominated for his questions in the Austrian parliament about “chemtrails,” an idea that high-flying aircraft deliberately spray chemical or biological agents into the sky.
The organizers also allege that Hofer “considers the state of Austria to be a “historical fiction.'” Last year, the Austrian press reported that Hofer is a member of the “Marko-Germania” fraternity, an organization which refers to “the German homeland, independent of existing state borders,” and “rejects the historically fictitious ‘Austrian nation’ which has been planted in the brains of Austrians since 1945.
In the “media and blogs” category, the winner was journalist and political activist Martin Lejeune, the only recipient to actually turn up to receive his award.
Among other things, Lejeune was nominated for “antisemitism from every pore,” his belief that electromagnetic fields emitted by iPhones present a threat to public health, his unstinting support for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his belief that Turkey is being used as an experimental field laboratory by “the powers” who are manipulating weather conditions there.
“The powers are abusing #Turkey as a laboratory of experimentation for their sickly weather manipulations, in order to harm the Turkish people,” Lejeune tweeted.
Accepting his award, Lejeune said that “conspiracies are reality” and that he wanted to use the opportunity to stimulate discussion of his work.
“The whole capitalist world economy is a conspiracy,” Lejeune maintained in an interview with Sputnik Deutschland.
“The poor are getting poorer, the richer are getting richer, that is the biggest conspiracy which is brought to reality by conspirators like the Rothschilds or the Rockefellers and other well-known names,” he claimed.
The ceremony also featured lectures about popular conspiracy theories, some of which are harmful to health. For example, a doctor warned about the dangers of believing in quack therapies such as the “Miracle Mineral Supplement,” (MMM) which has been falsely promoted as a cure for a range of serious illnesses including Alzheimer’s, cancer and HIV.
In the “medicine and sciences” category, nominees included a promoter of MMM and other alternative therapies, the German Homeopathic Union and the Keshe Foundation. The winner was Michael Leitner, an opponent of vaccination who also claims that condoms don’t prevent HIV transmission, AIDS drugs deliberately kill people, and the Ebola and swine flu epidemics were media inventions.