Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself: ‘Weaponized Suicide’ as a Full Spectrum Conspiracy Theory

There seems to be good evidence that pro-Russian conspiracy theorists  often utilize what I call “weaponized suicide”. As I think of it in ‘information warfare’, it is not like someone who walks into a crowded market with a bomb vest and detonates it. It is rather how actual suicides of controversial figures associated with sex crimes can be turned into populist conspiracy narratives which undermine the political establishment (in this case, the US government).

I think these kinds of conspiracies have interesting features to discuss because the ones I’ve observed affect both ‘left’ and ‘right’ political conspiracism. This is the kind of ‘divide and conquer’ or ‘schizowarfare‘ approach to conspiracy I often observe with Russia and their useful idiots.

Although I suppose this theoretical tactic of weaponized suicide would not be limited to an association with sex crimes (such as the case of Vince Foster, which would be more associated with financial conspiracy), perhaps in a Freudian sense in the modern day, the sex-linked conspiracies have better potential for mainstream virality and mass-appeal.

Here, I’ll touch on three examples, two of which I have previously written on. 1.) The case of Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the so-called DC Madame, 2.) the case of Anthony Bourdain, and 3.) the case of Jeffrey Epstein.

The Epstein and Bourdain conspiracies are bleeding together in the semiotic memespace

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Russian Deputy Defense Minister: ‘The American Intelligence Agencies Implement[ed] Metal Gear’

The Konami game company’s Metal Gear games are awesome. They’re kind of the reason I was thinking of impractical doomsday weapons the other day which Russia might create to terrorize earth. The name ‘Metal Gear’ is referential to a nuclear-powered walking battle tank which forms a core story element in the games. The games are notable for their visionary takes on the information age, weaponized genetics, and military technology; built on a foundation of great gameplay, visuals, and music. But they are also rife with crazy conspiracy theories. 

By the time you complete playing a Metal Gear game, you probably: 1. feel like a badass, but 2. may be convinced that series creator Hideo Kojima is something of a mad genius. Maybe you might even go a little crazy. 

Image result for hideo kojima"
Hideo Kojima: Super Genius Game Designer

After giving up on trying to integrate some Metal Gear music into the blog yesterday, this morning I coincidentally Googled ‘metal gear russia‘  and was surprised to see that the top results referenced June 2019 stories about Russian Deputy Defense Minister Andrei Kartapolov who told a Duma panel that [translation]:

The American intelligence agencies are widely implementing projects on the Internet, such as Graphics, Metal Gear, Echo of the Runet, aimed at directly manipulating the public consciousness and above all young people… A number of programs are being implemented aimed at creating active protest activity and dissatisfaction among the authorities of the country among young people“.

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Russian ‘Great Patriotic Shark Atomic Bomb Cannon’ Weapons Leak

This is a bit of a silly post, and I guess it would be foolish to underestimate the bounds of human poor judgement when applied to weapons system design. That being said, to me, all the Russian weapons like hypersonic nuclear cruise missiles, megabombs, pollution-causing tsunami torpedoes, and earthquake weapons seem like something a little boy in the 5th grade would dream up. So I do have it on good authority that the next major innovative weapons system chosen for development as the result of the national Russia Weapon Design Bureau Competition is the:

Great Patriotic Shark Atomic Bomb Cannon
Entering Service 2028
Designed by Alexei, Age 11, Krasnoyarsk

It is a shark with tank treads and an atomic bomb and cannon strapped on. Enough said.

Runners up (which may still be considered for future development) were announced as:

  • Giant Robot Dinosaur (with Laser)
  • AIDS Gas Cloud Printer
  • Nuclear Bomb Teleporter
  • Asteroid Tractor Beam

On some level I have a hard time believing this stuff even exists; and even if it does you’re better off pretending it doesn’t.

Visualizations of how Online Nostradamus Conspiracies may Interact with Catholic and Papal Issues

I couldn’t use the first two graphics on this page in a recent paper I completed due to space limitations. However, I think they are useful for highlighting the correspondence between Nostradamus conspiracies and Papal issues and how they may be perceived in primarily Catholic countries. Each of these was made from a 5 day average of CSV files downloaded from Google Trends. (Although there tends to be quite a good amount of variability in the reported proportions of day to day samples, the ranks don’t change so much, so I just stuck with those. )



Compare with the first 9 months of 2019. There is no ‘aftershock’ in Nostradamus interest corresponding to a second event (the naming of a new Pope in the prior 2005 and 2013 examples). Also note specifically how North Macedonia corresponded to an apparent disinformation operation directed at the Pope which may coincide with Russian Orthodox Nationalist ideas (and how that attack may have been launched from Serbia).

Unlike in 2005 and 2013 when almost all of the interest was in Catholic countries, it is interesting to note Muslim and Orthodox Christian countries trending in the top 10 so far this year, but the primary spike being due to the Notre Dame fire which is arguably a “Catholic” occurrence symbolic of the West which Russia is at information warfare with. (Note the Iranian interest also seems unconnected to Notre Dame and may relate to fears of a war with the US – however it is notable that Ayatollah Khamenei did name a book about Nostradamus among his favorites this year.)


There may not be a connection but I think it is worth noting that the “shape” of the 2019 spike is more similar to the 2010 spike related to the Polish government crash at Smolensk than the 2005 or 2013 spikes related to the Papal issues. This may be significant to the Catholic theme in as much that Russian Nationalists may have hostile feelings towards Poland as the result of perceived historical trespasses and its status as a Catholic Slavic nation which is counter to ideas of ‘pan-Slavic’ Orthodoxy.


Note this image from a prior paper was not taken from a moving average like the other images on this page. I would recommend the use of a multi-day average when presenting Google Trends data although I have never seen a scenario where Poland was not returned as #1 Nostradamus interest for 2010. However, the #2 and #3 ranked regions may vary.

A Photo of Banksy?

Steve Lazarides, my top suspect for the true identity of Banksy – who ironically has made a fortune through a capitalist commodification of a communist propaganda aesthetic (and populist political sentiment) – has been in the news again.

Lazarides recently quit his gallery business as well as released some new photos of his time with Banksy in a lead up to a new book being published called ‘Banksy Captured’. Personally, I still think this is a weak hoax which appeals to people’s (Marvel) superhero fantasies and has no other common sense explanation for the finances of the whole matter except that Lazarides is actually Banksy himself.

May be nothing – but it does seem that the most prominent skin defects on the claimed picture of Banksy and pictures of Steve Lazarides over the year are semi-consistent in terms of shape and location.

Nostradamus Disinformation in North Macedonia fits a (Russian) Orthodox Fundamentalist Modus Operandi

In the course of writing a conference paper, I accidentally found another surprising example of Nostradamus disinformation. In this case, I was reviewing 2019 Google Trends data (looking for Nostradamus interest related to the Notre Dame fire – or expecting to find that anyway) and found that North Macedonia was one of the highest areas for Nostradamus interest in 2019.

The biggest worldwide spike in Nostradamus interest since November 2016 (any guesses on Russian active measures centered on November 2016?) occurred following the Notre Dame fire on April 15, 2019. However, unlike most other regions which spiked in interest in mid-April, the North Macedonian spike occurred in early May. It seems to have been directly tied to Pope Francis’ visit to North Macedonia and Bulgaria and included an implicit assassination ‘threat’.

Worldwide 4/1/2019 – 7/1/2019:

North Macedonia  4/1/2019 – 7/1/2019:

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Russian Apocalyptic Conspiracism and Chernobyl

Once again, my self-imposed moratorium on Nostradamus conspiracy writing has failed, and on that note, I am back with another post touching on Nostradamus conspiracies as they relate to Russian active measures and Third Rome-style apocalypticism.

As a bit of an update to my prior posts (1 , 2), the Nostradamus conspiracies which circulated in the wake of the Notre Dame fire reeked of Russian conspiracism, and as it turns out, writers at the Financial Times have henceforth made a direct connection with Notre Dame (if not Nostradamus) conspiracism to that of Moscow, the Third Rome.

Today however, moving away from the Notre Dame fire, I am going to write a bit about the conspiracy theories which surrounded the April 26, 1986 nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, which also occur within the context of Third Rome. I was intrigued to see that in an article about the new HBO-Sky Atlantic show: Chernobyl, that one of the actors (a Brit) recalled a conspiracy theory about Nostradamus predicting the disaster that had circulated in 1986.

“There was a weird conspiracy theory about Nostradamus. Something to do with ‘Wormwood’. Apparently it translated into Russian somehow and [Nostradamus] predicted it. People come up with all sorts of crazy things when things like that happen.” – Jared Harris, Actor

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What can disinformation and anti-American conspiracy theories tell us about TWA flight 800?

There are many conspiracy theories which surround the TWA flight 800 disaster of July 17, 1996. Chief among these narratives seems to be the notions that the plane was shot down by a missile – and then covered up by the US national security apparatus; or that even the missile itself came from a US Navy training exercise gone awry.

Today, with the accumulation of quality investigative research about the crash, and the similar patterns which have emerged in internet-based conspiracy theory since 1996, it seems fairly easy to connect the TWA flight 800 conspiracy theories as emerging from similar strategic disinformation networks responsible for September 11 2001, Syrian Civil War/ISIS, and 2016 ‘election hacking’ conspiracy theories (among others).

From RT, to Veterans Today, to Infowars, to GlobalResearch, to UNZ, to the network of Mark Lane-connected L. Fletcher Prouty, and no doubt many lesser known outlets for conspiracism – there is a clear trend which emerges of information warfare around TWA Flight 800 that is connected to an Iranian and Russian/Soviet disinformation legacy. Despite their variations, in all cases, these narratives seem to be calculated to diminish faith and trust in the US government.

Perhaps the best place to start to explain this rationale is by demonstrating Russian proxy Iran’s semi-transparent motivations for creating a controversy around the TWA flight 800 disaster, which can be most plausibly found in reciprocation for the 1988 shootdown of Iran Air flight 655 on July 3, 1988 by the USS Vincennes cruiser. The US Navy ship mistakenly shot down an Iranian civilian Airbus A300 airliner from within Iran’s territorial waters in a case of mistaken identity, resulting in the deaths of 290 passengers – a majority of them Iranian. In Iran, this action had significant propaganda value and it has been generally portrayed as an intentional act by Americans, although there is little rational evidence to support this perspective.

Iranian stamp commemorating Iran Air flight 655 as state propaganda

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Google Trends Spike in Nostradamus Related to Notre Dame Fire

A very brief update to complement my prior post of 4/20/2019.

My research has often relied on the use of webometric data like Google Trends in order to show quantifiable evidence that Nostradamus interest ‘spikes’ during periods of probable Russian Active Measures. (See my most recent and comprehensive report on the subject here.) There have been such spikes during the 9/11 terror attacks (2001), during the April 2010 crisis surrounding the crash of the Polish executive government in Smolensk Russia, during the February-March 2014 Russian invasion of the Ukrainian Crimea, and during the ISIS-fueled Syrian migrant crisis of August-September 2015 in Hungary. All of  these events could be correlated to Russian Active Measures operations.

As you can see from the following representation, we are currently in the midst (of a likely subsiding) worldwide spike in Nostradamus interest related to the Notre Dame fire.

In the past 5 years, there have been similar spikes only in the case of the November 2015 Paris terror attacks (which were correlated to searches for ISIS (2) ), and in the November 2016 US Presidential election.

Based on what I’ve studied, I’d feel fairly confident to ascertain that Russia is also most likely behind this spike in Nostradamus interest as well. The question is: is Russia just opportunistically capitalizing on the Notre Dame fire?

The Notre Dame Fire and Nostradamus Conspiracism: Don’t Forget the Name or Russia

So my self-imposed ban on Nostradamus writing hasn’t lasted a single posting cycle. (If you haven’t read my recent peer-reviewed report, check it out here.)

In the past week, the tragic fire which severely damaged Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was linked to numerous instances of conspiracy theorizing; especially that it had been a deliberate arson or some kind of Islamist plot. Given France’s recent history of terrorism, such claims had surface plausibility. However, it seems at this time that those rumors are not true; or at least that those who continue to believe they are true will result in having themselves labeled conspiracists.

Interestingly however, the inferno happened to spawn another wave of viral Nostradamus hoaxes which can be traced indirectly to Russian influences.

Julian Assange compared to the Salvator Mundi by Nostradamus conspiracists in the aftermath of the Notre Dame fire (perhaps it is actually a picture of Judas Iscariot?)

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