1. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-zIq4NvP4k

    Jon is a YouTube conspiracy theorist with a fairly sizable following of 220,000 followers. He's been putting out a lot of videos about prepping for an imminent global catastrophe. He recently came across Metabunk while researching the Deagle claims, and then contacted me and asked if I'd like to be on his show.

    I agreed, and mentioned my book, Escaping the Rabbit hole. Jon immediately ordered a copy of the ebook and read most of it before the show. He really liked it, describing it as a "jewel," and "a valuable tool for the conspiracy theory community", even giving it a five-star review on Amazon:

    Metabunk 2019-01-23 13-40-15.

    Jon's embrace of my book (and simply having me on his show) alarmed some of his followers. Some of them even though he had been bought out and had "flipped sides." But I think he's simply recognized from reading Metabunk (and later the book) that he'd been focussing too much on one side of the argument and only looking for information that supported his beliefs. Now he's planning on taking a more balanced approach.

    The comments section is very interesting, with a wide range of opinions on display. I was actually a bit surprised that the main objection people had to me was that I'd been debunking the "chemtrail" theory. Probably this is indicative as to where most of his audience draw their demarcation lines on the conspiracy spectrum.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
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  2. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    Fantasic interview! A brave, intelligent, honest conspiracy theorist with principles?; very impressive.

    I hope debunkers (and liberals :) ) will see that not all conspiracy theorists are trolls or just stupid.
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  3. benthamitemetric

    benthamitemetric Active Member

    This was a really great interview. Kudos to you and JonExArmy for making it happen. It was very heartening to hear that Jon seems to basically have had an epiphany from reading your book and exploring the forums here. The comments from his (now former?) supporters to the video on youtube are mostly disheartening, but hopefully it causes some to actually step back and reexamine some of their assumptions and beliefs.

    To those JonExArmy supporters who are coming to Metabunk for the first time--welcome and please be sure to take your time to explore through the many threads.
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  4. Radapox

    Radapox Member

    A conspiracist who advocates looking at both sides; very brave and commendable!

    (Just a heads up: his username is JonXArmy, without the E.)
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  5. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    He uses both versions. JonXArmy is the name of his YouTube channel, JonExArmy is his Twitter, Web Site, and Email - and also how he introduced himself to me.
  6. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    The vocal are always a minority. I doubt he lost many followers, and his total followers have actually continued to rise (from 220K to nearly 222K)
  7. Radapox

    Radapox Member

    Ah, sorry, didn't see that!
  8. jarlrmai

    jarlrmai Member

    Strikes me as someone who is into it for the views rather than any idealistic reasons, controversy generates views.
  9. Jason Bush

    Jason Bush New Member

    Great interview!

    While it's apparent a lot of his supporters are expressing disappointment (via comments on youtube), I'm sure a fair portion of his 220K+ subscribers took his challenge to be more open to opposing evidence. That's a win for the skeptics...but more importantly a win for them.

    I hope he has you on again. Maybe he could challenge you with the concerns and comments of his most die hard fans.

    JasonExArmy :)
  10. Svartbjørn

    Svartbjørn Senior Member

    It may be a start but I dont think it had too much of an impact really.. even as excited as he was. Jon posted a video on the 28th of an interview he had with DW, less than a week after yours. He showed almost exactly the same kind of enthusiasm and excitement. I know he's still got a LONG way to go until he's completely out of the rabbit hole, but given his Youtube personality.. that which made him popular... that he makes a living or at least supplements his living via ad/merch revenue, I'm not sure he's going to stay on the unbias train very long.. if at all.

    Im not suggesting he's doing it for the money... at least not in a negative AJ kind of way... I'm just saying that given that Youtube is either his full or supplemental income, losing a massive fan base by continuing to climb out of the rabbit hole will put a huge damper on his ability to provide for his family. Its a strong motivator to keep putting out content that keeps people coming back. Again... not a sleight on Jon or entirely on his motivations, this is just a fact of life with Youtube and the way the system works.

    *Edited for syntax and link correction.
  11. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    I wouldn't say that exactly. But i agree that money may be a deciding factor in the long run, he got alot more views off Dane Wigington then Mick. Rationality doesn't sell well on TV, people prefer fiction in their entertainment.
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  12. Svartbjørn

    Svartbjørn Senior Member

    Jon seems like a really decent guy. Definitely not one out to get rich doing this stuff, but someone who genuinely believes what he's saying.. which is why I was trying to be so careful about how I described him. Money is a touchy subject, even at the best of times with the easiest of subjects.

    All that said, as an honest critique, I enjoy his presentation.. not necessarily the style in which he delivers it... he's definitely learned how to tick the hype train boxes for the YT Algorithms... but rather the way he conducts the interviews, how he introduces his guests and takes actual interest in the conversation rather than having (what usually feels like) a preset idea of how its going to go and an agenda he wanted to get across.

    On a side note, going back to the OP.. I DID get a little jealous (in a good/funny way) at the fact that Mick sold off his company like 20 years ago with enough money to retire lol. I knew he did the Tony Hawk stuff, just didnt know he owned the company that did the programming etc.
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  13. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    yea you probably get richer playing video games and recording them. There are channels with millions of views and all they do is play Minecraft or something and film it. and apparently alot of people like to watch!
  14. Svartbjørn

    Svartbjørn Senior Member

    Yep.. Yogscast is a perfect example lol
  15. mudr0

    mudr0 New Member

    I watched the interview and was likewise surprised and impressed that JohnEX was willing to look at all sides and not just get information from his community’s bubble. As it has been pointed out, it wasn’t too many days later that he was rubber stamping the words Dan Wigington. I’m not familiar with Wigington, as I’m still very new to the conspiracy scene. Wigington claims that with the current extinction rate of wildlife, we will soon have no wild invertebrates left ….”by 2026 game over - no habitat, no humans”; that seems like an excessively dire prediction… but what do I know?

    Can only see directly on youtube
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  16. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    he's parroting a group of climate change alarmists that say that. (just in case you want to research it a bit)

  17. mudr0

    mudr0 New Member

    Ah yes, I see. Thanks. :)
  18. mudr0

    mudr0 New Member

    Thanks friend. It seems a common thread with all these conspiracy promoters is the use of deception, which of course, is then picked up and regurgitated by their (well meaning) followers. I debate someone (who I consider a friend) that always makes hay about lies told by the media, but never questions all the bs that comes out of his community... especially the deceptive memes (that he never takes the time to verify) he loves to spam all over facebook.