August 18, 2012

Truther Taken for Psych Evaluation

By Dave
9/11 Myths

The conspiracy fringe is in a state of extreme agitation over the news that one of their own was taken into custody by the FBI and hospitalized for psychological evaluation based primarily on provocative statements made on his Facebook Page.

Brandon J. Raub is a former marine whose recent Facebook postings included postings about 9/11 conspiracies, chemtrails and general anti-government invective, as well as relatively mild apparent threats of general violence, including “The Revolution is here. And I will lead it, “Sharpen up my axe; I’m here to sever heads”, and “The people responsible for posioning the America people from the sky will be held accountable. And there is going to be justice.”

The threatening statements and photos of Raub posting semi-nude with an antique shotgun are not particularly unusual for young people acting out their dissatisfaction with the increasingly restrictive government in the United States. What may distinguish his page is the combination of revolutionary rhetoric with clearly nutty conspiracy theories and the fact that he has a military background – a triple threat of red flags which may have drawn the attention of law enforcement.

However, his last few posts before he was taken into custody suggest that he may have been involved in deliberately attracting the attention of federal law enforcement and he seems to have been aware that he was going to be taken into custody a day before it happened when he posted “The Revolution will come for me. Men will be at my door soon to pick me up to lead it. ;)” It seems likely that he believed that his arrest would be some sort of catalyst for revolution.

It is significant that Raub was not arrested, but rather put under psychiatric evaluation. This seems like a relatively rational response to his behavior. While it is absolutely unacceptable to have the government monitoring private internet postings and evaluating online behavior as the basis for arresting people, if Raub did deliberately draw attention to himself as being potentially dangerous, putting him on a three-day psychiatric assessment was a more reasonable response than arresting him and treating him as a terrorist.

It has been well established that the irrational belief in conspiracies can be a symptom of a mental disorder called Cognitive Dissonance, which can lead to delusions and violent or self-destructive behavior in its most extreme form. Victims become paranoid and separated from reality and ultimately sociopathic and unable to relate to other people normally. Traditionally this disorder is dismissed as harmless, but it is not surprising that in combination with violent statements and aggressive behavior it might be considered a matter of concern.

If the people around the shooters had watched for warning signs like this then the recent shooting sprees in Colorado and Wisconsin might have been avoided. In both cases the men involved had shown increasingly peculiar behavior and had cut off ties to family and friends. If they had received psychiatric help before their behavior became dangerous many lives might have been saved.

From video made at the time he was taken into custody it appears that Raub had surrounded himself with a community of like-minded people. This cult-like environment, which is not uncommon among “truthers” and other conspiracy obsessives, likely contributed to and encouraged his behavior and his isolation from responsible family members who might have intervened out of concern for his mental health.

I absolutely do not support the misuse of psychiatric holds as a way of bypassing due process or of any kind of forced psychiatric treatment, but treating conspiracy obsession as a mental disorder and taking it seriously as a sign of a condition which may worsen and can be treated is a better response than criminalizing this behavior. It’s certainly better than the alternatives of treating more and more of the general public as if they were potential criminals or ignoring problematic behavior until it leads to acts of violence.

12 Responses to “Truther Taken for Psych Evaluation”

  1. David Johnson Says:
    August 18th, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    When I first heard this story I was angry at the government. But the more I learned about this guy the more I realized he was asking for it. It’s one thing to be a nutty conspiracist, but there is point to the paranoia where you start believing that everyone not on your side is the enemy. Combine that with provocative talk about cutting off heads and starting revolutions, and it’s clear the person has become dangerous.

    I see two possible explanations for his behavior: either he was deliberately trying to provoke this response (“look fellow cultists, the gummit really is out to get us!”), or he was a genuine danger and the FBI may have just defused the next mass shooting.

    Government is like a mean dog on a chain. Sane people make sure the chain is strong, short, and securely fastened. Insane people poke at it with a stick and then act surprised when they get bit.

  2. Bill Nada Says:
    August 18th, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    There is a support group for this guy on FB. The people over there are clealy not interested in talking about the facts. They just want to prop him up as a hero and totally avoid the fact that he was openly making threatening statements.

    Since he was caught before anything happened, he is a hero. But if he actually killed someone and it came out that he was a truther, there would have been screams of MKUltra and related nonsense.

  3. Kris Custer Says:
    August 19th, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    This man posted the same things I do. This country is going to hell and it started on September 11th 2001 and has continued ferociously ever since. We have lost most of our Constitution to laws and acts that are created for “our safety” The revolution has started, and it just got bigger with the arrest of this young former Marine. We have the first amendment right? Fuck the United States government. Their time is up. It’s time to make a stand. Right NOW. From time to time the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

  4. Shaune Murphy Says:
    August 20th, 2012 at 1:25 am

    Anyone that believes that the only 3 buildings in the history of mankind to ever fall at free fall speed into their own footprint due to fire happened on 9/11 because 2 of them were hit by planes is a fool, 1000’s of architechts, engineers and scientist think so. Anyone that believes that a novice pilot that couldn’t handle a light aircraft can fly a commercial aircraft 100 knots above its recommended operational speed, perform a 170 deg stunt manoeuvre and fly it inches off the ground without disturbing a blade of grass straight through the front door of the Pentagon only to leave a tiny hole yet penetrate 6 layers of re-enforced concrete with a fiberglass nose without being captured on even 1 of 180 cameras and leave no trace of a victim is a lunatic, 1000’s of experienced pilots think so. I could go on. Did you know that on 7/7 (london)government terror drills were also being conducted; same day,same time, same subway stations? Did you know the odds to this coincidentally happening within a ten year period would end in 27 0’s, a number beyond coincidence, a number that represents purpose and planning. My point is; the 9/11 movement is full of credible experts and professionals and critical thinking citizens that just want some reasonable questions answered reasonably.You may use this guy as your poster boy for the 9/11 truth movement, but that tells me more about your agenda than anything else..while we just seek the truth via answers to unanswered questions, you ignore the 1000’s of experts and concentrate on 1 fringe-dweller..You are the one with an agenda..and that is no is a sad fact!

  5. Andrew Fernie Says:
    October 6th, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Just to be clear – I’m not American, not a ‘truther’, and have no doubts about Barack Obama’s birthplace (Hawaii). That said, a headline such as the one above “Truther Taken for Psych Evaluation” is deeply disingenuous.

    The implication of the headline is that he was committed because he was a ‘truther’, and not because he was (potentially) violently insane. So there’s damn-all evidence to support the truther brigade – so what? Not much evidence for the usual fringe theories either – but none of this means any of these people are dangerous, evil, or a threat to society. The headline should have read something like ‘crazy guy threatens to behead people’ – that’s why he was committed. If we are judged to be dangerous based on irrational beliefs, I’ll bet 99% of us are guilty (probably including me)

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