Toronto Caribbean Newspaper to Host Alex Jones at Second ‘Awakening’ Summit
On March 3 Toronto Caribbean Newspaper, Toronto’s largest Caribbean news outlet, announced a panel of prolific conspiracy theorists and far-right media personalities, including Alex Jones, for an upcoming digital conference.
The conference, titled The Second Coming, is the second event as part of TCN’s Awakening: World Truth Summit. The first speakers’ panel took place on January 2 and featured David Icke, Ontario Member of Provincial Parliament Randy Hillier, and Pastor Henry Hildebrandt among others. Both Icke and Hildebrandt are returning to speak on the March 6 panel. Prior to Wednesday’s announcement, Jones’ upcoming appearance was revealed in a teaser trailer from TCN on Saturday, Feb. 28.
The Awakening website boasts, “Researchers, reporters, authors alike were discredited and labelled conspiracy theorists. Now in the midst of a global pandemic, we see many of these very “theories” being openly discussed by world leaders.”
Alex Jones is known as the face of Infowars, a controversial conspiracy media outlet. In 2016, Jones stated on his show that, “Jews run an evil conspiracy” and made references to a “Jewish Mafia”. He is currently being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations for collaborating part of the January 6 attacks on Capitol Hill with Roger Stone.
The event will be airing four days after leaked video footage of Alex Jones from 2019 surfaced in which he said that he wished he had “never met” Donald Trump and Roger Stone. Jones had previously had both Trump and Stone on Infowars as guests.
Last week, Alex Jones filmed himself circling his ex-wife Kelly Morale’s estate where his daughter resides in a private helicopter. Morales tweeted about the incident: “I feel if a dad can afford a private helicopter, that he could have bought her a Christmas present & a birthday present. But, he didn’t.”
Jones has recently become more involved with the Canadian alt-right. Last week, he featured two appearances with Chris “Sky” Saccoccia, an anti-mask activist known for his organization Moms against Distancing, on his program.
David Icke is a U.K. conspiracy theorist and former BBC football personality. In 1991 he became the subject of ridicule for declaring that he has the son of God, and that the world would end the next year. Icke has been criticized as an anti-semite for writing his own summary of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a fake series of texts that helped spread the conspiracy theory that the Jewish people created Communism as a means of world domination.
During his appearance on TCN’s January 2nd summit, Icke and TCN host Simone Jennifer Smith discussed Icke’s assertion that the slogan Black Lives Matter was created by “the cabal” — a group of secret figures who control world governments — in order to start a “race war”.
The event’s only featured Canadian speaker, Henry Hildebrandt, is a pastor of Aylmer, Ontario’s Church of God in Ontario. Hildebrandt has become an influential figure to Canadian anti-maskers for his defiance of mandatory health and safety measures in Ontario and for his appearances speaking at anti-mask rallies. In December, Hildebrandt, his son Herbert, and several church patrons circled the vehicle of a police officer monitoring his church, preventing the officer from leaving. His son, Herbert, was charged following the incident. Herbert was previously charged for assaulting an 84 year old man.
In 2001 Hildebrandt became the subject of local controversy after seven children were taken from members of his church by child-welfare services. Hildebrandt and his congregation defended the use of physical force being used as discipline for children, which was a contributing factor to the child-welfare case. Hildebrandt was also accused of illegally posting photographs of the children to a Christian Website.
Del Bigtree, another panel speaker, is an anti-vaccine activist best known for his film Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe, a film backing the discredited theory that vaccines cause autism. Prior to his activism, he was a television and short film producer, most notably working on Dr. Phil.
Grant Browning, the founder, owner, and CEO of Toronto Caribbean Newspaper has claimed that the first World Truth Summit was the victim of “cyber attacks”, after most viewers could not access the event’s live stream on January 2.
In a video appearing with hosts Simone Jennifer Smith and Kerry Lee Crawford, the three TCN personalities implied that they saw evidence that web browsers were intentionally sabotaging them. Browning did not respond to a request for proof of this.
For the record: I tried accessing the live stream using Brave, an open-source internet browser, and it didn’t work either.
Recordings of the summit were later released on March 9.
In a January 17 plea for donations, Browning stated that TCN had a team of “8 researchers, medical, science, and news contacts all over the world” and included “Harvard doctors as contributors”.
Browning has spoken out against what he considers censorship several times. On January 18 he revealed that he was suspended from posting to Facebook groups, and aired grievances that Twitter allowed pornography to be shared but did not allow “opinions”from “one side”. He alleged that this included “health information, science, news organizations, journalists, and an acting president”, and called Facebook “socialist media”.
In recent months Twitter has been cracking down on both hate speech and disproven medical information, following a policy change last December.
In 2020 Toronto Caribbean Newspaper shifted their content to echo more popular conspiracy theories. In a Wednesday article, they criticized The Toronto Black Covid Task Force, citing the task force’s reluctance to answer “concerns about Bill Gates… including rumours of eliminating the Negroid race and his financial ties to the vaccine and various organizations including Global Canada.”
Toronto Caribbean Newspaper and The Awakening Summit did not respond to requests for comment.
This article was created on short notice, and as such may not have the levels of petty sarcasm that readers of this blog might expect. I apologize for the inconvenience.
Updated March 6.
This article is part of an ongoing series about the spread of the alt-right in Canada in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Visit dancollen.medium.com for previous entries.
For updates, bylines, and a place to send hate mail follow me on Twitter.