Is Falun Gong Behind Seth Holehouse's "The Plot to Steal America"? It looks like it.

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Falun Gong Holehouse Header.jpg
A slickly produced video titled "The Plot to Steal America", which regurgitated many election conspiracy theories and pointed the finger at China, was shared in a tweet by Donald Trump on December 23, 2020.

The video is narrated and ostensibly created by Seth Holehouse and his web site "Man in America." Holehouse is a member of Falun Gong (also called Falun Dafa), a "new religious movement" that many people have described as being a cult. Several people have noted this connection and suggested that the video is simply disinformation, propaganda from Falun Gong. Falun Gong has a long history of attacking the communist government of China, and more recently of strongly supporting Trump.

It appears that attempts have been made by Falun Gong to hide Holehouse's connection. Several google searches lead to mentions of Holehouse's membership, but upon clicking on the article his existence has been edited out. However, the original is still available on Google's cache.

This is from Clearharmony.net, the official site for Falun Gong in Europe. A paragraph about Holehouse has been removed.
2020-12-24_13-49-50.jpg

Google cache version: http://webcache.googleusercontent.c....html+&cd=16&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us#.X-UMtGRKhhE (https://archive.is/wip/nhJJQ)
Current Version: http://www.clearharmony.net/article...ld-in-Minneapolis-Minnesota.html#.X-UMnGRKhhE
The page is not available on archive.org.
Removed material:
In this article from Minghui.org (a Falun Gong site), Holehouse was removed, perhaps in haste as a quote by him remains, incongruously hovering over another practitioner.
2020-12-25_04-21-48.jpg

Cached original: https://webcache.googleusercontent....5/5/22/150689.html+&cd=16&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us (https://archive.is/bWWpQ)
Current Version: https://en.minghui.org/html/articles/2015/5/22/150689.html (https://archive.is/j7ZeF)
Removed material:
Holehouse has worked for the Falun Gong associated media outlet The Epoch Times as a writer, creative director, and photographer since at least 2008, according to his Linkedin Page

2020-12-25_04-04-15.jpg
https://www.linkedin.com/in/seth-holehouse-b972558/ (https://archive.is/r8269)

He was working there as a photographer as recently as July 2020:
2020-12-25_04-06-48.jpg
Source: https://www.theepochtimes.com/small-businesses-picking-up-the-pieces-as-lockdowns-ease_3438939.html (https://archive.is/JmmVL)

He still has an author page which lists 14 articles (seeming mostly innocuous photography). (https://www.theepochtimes.com/author-seth-holehouse - https://archive.is/nVULK )

2020-12-25_04-32-37.jpg

However all the links on that page are broken, and all the articles he contributed to have been removed. It seems like they somehow missed the one from 2020

This deliberate attempt to hide the association of Holehouse with Falun Gong is not because they don't like what he is saying. Quite the opposite, as his video is exactly in line with their anti-China-Communist and Pro-Trump stance. In fact it seems more likely that the video is not simply a production of Seth Holehouse, but it actually a Falun Gong video with Holehouse as the narrator. Possibly as a contributor, but given his lack of experience in such things and the professional nature of the video, it seems more likely to have been created by a team, perhaps from New Tang Dynasty Television, the Falun Gong broadcaster. The "Man in America" persona is simply a creation to make it more palatable to the mainstream American audience.
 
Last edited:

Mendel

Senior Member.
The "Man in America" persona is simply a creation to make it more palatable to the mainstream American audience.
Seth Holehouse is a man in America. What he is not is white anglo-saxon protestant (WASP). I expect that obscuring his Falun Gong affiliation improves his reach in demographics that define themselves as Christian.

Hiding that there may be money and political interests backing his video/website serves the same end. It's probably not a good idea to tell conspiracy theorists that you're affiliated with a "strange" religious organisation: that's already working out badly for freemasons, and they're Christian.
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
Just for the record, since i probably see content other members don't...it doesnt sound any different then most of the conservative and "classical liberal" American youtube channels out there.

A bit more professionally put together but the message points are all the same. It is an impressive video, esp if you dont know which bits are bunk, excessive spin or exaggeration. Maybe a timestamped full video debunk, with direct links to all the clear concise debunks (that normal people could understand) of each point would be a good winter project.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
In a bit of crossover, Seth Holehouse appears to be good friends with Rob Counts, who blocked me back in February:

2020-12-25_17-06-17.jpg
(source)


2020-12-25_16-59-50.jpg

Rob Counts is part of "The Edge of Wonder" (with Ben Chasteen). The EOW page on YouTube seems to have been deleted, but some of the videos are still on Casteen's personal channel, like one titled "Edge of Wonder Special Report #8: Backdoor Biden, A Dominion Story" - it's all election theorizing

2020-12-25_17-04-36.jpg
Before the election it seems to be all ghosts and angels, and one Hong Kong video.

EOW is produced by New Tang Dynasty (NTD), which is a division of Epoch Media Group, and hence affiliated with Falun Gong. It has a web site, https://edgeofwonder.tv/ which is a weird combination of anti-Chinese-government, satirical election rumor mongering, QAnon type theories, and bizarre supernatural/meditation/ascension/aliens/alternative history theories.
2020-12-25_17-22-48.jpg

There's a LOT of this, the above image is about 5% of their videos.

Long story short, I think the EOW team at NTD produced the MIA "Plot to Steal America" video. It's presented as being the work of Holehouse alone in an attempt to reach a large audience than the rather eccentric EOW.
 

Agent K

Active Member
I've been meaning to post this deep dive into the Epoch Times, but kept putting it off for a year.
Article:

Trump, QAnon and an impending judgment day: Behind the Facebook-fueled rise of The Epoch Times​

...
While The Epoch Times usually straddles the line between an ultraconservative news outlet and a conspiracy warehouse, some popular online shows created by Epoch Times employees and produced by NTD cross the line completely, and spread far and wide.
One such show is "Edge of Wonder," a verified YouTube channel that releases new NTD-produced videos twice every week and now has more than 33 million views. In addition to claims that alien abductions are real and the drug epidemic was engineered by the “deep state,” the channel pushes the QAnon conspiracy theory, which falsely posits that the same “Spygate” cabal is a front for a global pedophile ring being taken down by Trump.
One QAnon video, titled “#QANON - 7 facts the MEDIA (MSM) Won’t Admit” has almost 1 million views on YouTube. Other videos in the channel’s QAnon playlist, which include videos about 9/11 conspiracy theories and one titled “13 BLOODLINES & their Diabolical End Game,” gained hundreds of thousands of views each.
(Publisher Stephen) Gregory denied any connection with "Edge of Wonder," writing in a statement that his organization was “aware of the entertainment show,” but “is in no way connected with it.”
But The Epoch Times has itself published several credulous reports on QAnon and for years, the webseries hosts Rob Counts and Benjamin Chasteen were employed as the company’s creative director and chief photo editor, respectively. In August 2018, six months after the creation of "Edge of Wonder," Counts tweeted that he still worked for Epoch Times. Counts and Chasteen did not respond to an email seeking clarification on their roles.
Meanwhile The Epoch Times has promoted "Edge of Wonder" content in dozens of Facebook posts, still visible on its official Facebook page. That page is currently topped with a pinned ad for its Trump coverage that reads, “Where can you get real news that doesn't push any hidden agendas?”
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
At a risk of covering my wall with photos and red string, there are intersting connections that pop up. A google search for "seth holehouse" and "new tang dynasty" now has this page as the top result, which indicates the lack of admitted connection. But the second result is interesting.
2020-12-27_08-22-37.jpg

Matthew Tullar is "Looking for a new position", but until February of this year was the host "The Way it Is For Now" on "The Beauty of Life" (aka "The BL")
Article:
Marketing Director
Company NameThe Beauty Of Life - BL Full-time
Dates EmployedApr 2019 – Feb 2020
Employment Duration11 mos
LocationMiddletown, NY
As the sole host of a program called 'The Way It Is For Now', I developed the ability to research, script, and produce 4 to 40 minute news and opinion videos designed to highlight great thinkers like Thomas Sowell, Roger Scruton, Milton Friedman, Peter Schweizer, Walters Williams, and others to educate Americans about history often relevant to free market capitalism and generally ignored by public schools and mainstream media. Topics and themes included the Mueller Report, gun control, mandated vaccinations, ethanol, presidential impeachment, the private border wall, immigration, American racism, climate change, and government corruption. After 5 months, promoted to Marketing Director with a focus on Facebook and Twitter viewers responding with comments and promoting relevant videos where appropriate.

The basic vision was to introduce this informative news/ opinion format and attract attention on social media to drive click through traffic and bolster revenue via advertisements. While moderate success was achieved early on with most videos quickly averaging over 25,000 views with a robust set of comments within a few days, we discovered first hand, the extent to which social media employs various strategies of censorship that include preventing viewers from sharing our videos, blocking our replies to commenting viewers, and mysteriously limiting the number of our followers our videos were allowed to reach. Most of our followers never saw most of our videos. Meanwhile, I developed a great appreciation for the BL mission to essentially make the world a better place by revealing the truth in such a compromised media environment.


His previous experience was with the Epoch Times.

What's interesting here is that neither of the two search terms ("Seth Holehouse" and "New Tang Dynasty") show up on the current LinkedIn page (and a cached version is not available).

Epoch Times has denied that The BL has any connection to them, but there's an extensive connection by Snopes showing that it does:
epoch-ntd-bl-video.jpg
Article:
Editorially, The BL provides the same fawning coverage of Trump as The Epoch Times, content which serves to amplify White House talking points and proffer (or repost) pro-Trump takes on White House scandals. The BL, for example, has attempted to discredit the Ukraine whistleblower as part of a George Soros conspiracy and has pushed the conspiracy theory that the Clinton family kills their political enemies. At least one BL-owned Facebook page has promoted the pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theory.


concluding:
Article:
We do not know why The BL refuses to acknowledge any connection to the broader Epoch Times media group, nor do we know what they plan to do with the prodigious number of followers they appear to be rapidly accumulating. What we do know, however, is both The Epoch Times and The BL are being less than forthright by categorically denying any connection between their organizations.

In the early 2000s, the Wall Street Journal described one of the major problems facing the perceived legitimacy of The Epoch Times as “their unwillingness to identify themselves as having any association with the [Falun Gong], despite ample evidence to the contrary.” Faced with the same quandary, The BL seems to have a similar aversion to admitting any association with The Epoch Times.

Alex Kasprak
Jordan Liles
Published 11 October 2019


A search for "the beauty of life"+"seth holehouse" returns exactly one result, Tullar's Linkedin page, which apparently once had a connection to Holehouse (perhaps an endorsement). But that connection does not show up. Was it removed? It does not seem like such a connection would be overly suspicious, as they both worked at Epoch Times. But it's gone.

2020-12-27_08-45-36.jpg
 

WollyPogz

New Member
Recently, I stumbled upon Seth's video not from seeing it tweeted by Trump, or debunked by a media outlet, but from Seth's Facebook page... and I could not have been more disgusted with the garbage coming from his mouth. You see, I actually knew Seth quite well for a number of years. We both attended the Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD), and were pretty close friends for a number of years - we'd hang out, party together, have a few drinks, or smoke a little. At that time we were living the open minded lifestyle of young art students, and our conversations would inevitably veer into far flung realms of politics, religion, life, etc.

I can honestly say that at the time, Seth was a kind and genuine person, with an inquisitive mind, asking questions, and in his own way seeking a truth of some kind I suppose. I do tend to remember that his logic was typically flawed, and the connections he made from certain data points were tenuous at best.

Interestingly enough, we stopped hanging out when he attempted to bring me to some sort of pseudo asian energy workshop being held within a small makeshift temple within a house on Ohio State Campus. I'm not sure of its affiliation to Falun Gong, but I'm sure his interest in the practice was formed at this time... I'd say around 2006.
 

WollyPogz

New Member
I've decided to search Seth's FB posts for more connections to Falun Gong, and the search proved fruitful. Here are a few posts. As it turns out, he was involved with Falun Gong as early as 2006.


Screen Shot 2020-12-29 at 3.00.46 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-12-29 at 3.00.19 PM.png

Screen Shot 2020-12-29 at 2.58.39 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-12-29 at 2.58.57 PM.png

Screen Shot 2020-12-29 at 2.59.41 PM.png
 

WollyPogz

New Member
One final FB foray. If you go to his "Check-in" section, it shows that he has visited the Epoch Times on several occasions, followed by trips to China.

Screen Shot 2020-12-29 at 3.11.38 PM.png
 

WollyPogz

New Member
In a bit of crossover, Seth Holehouse appears to be good friends with Rob Counts, who blocked me back in February:

View attachment 42504
(source)


View attachment 42502

Rob Counts is part of "The Edge of Wonder" (with Ben Chasteen). The EOW page on YouTube seems to have been deleted, but some of the videos are still on Casteen's personal channel, like one titled "Edge of Wonder Special Report #8: Backdoor Biden, A Dominion Story" - it's all election theorizing

View attachment 42503
Before the election it seems to be all ghosts and angels, and one Hong Kong video.

EOW is produced by New Tang Dynasty (NTD), which is a division of Epoch Media Group, and hence affiliated with Falun Gong. It has a web site, https://edgeofwonder.tv/ which is a weird combination of anti-Chinese-government, satirical election rumor mongering, QAnon type theories, and bizarre supernatural/meditation/ascension/aliens/alternative history theories.
View attachment 42505

There's a LOT of this, the above image is about 5% of their videos.

Long story short, I think the EOW team at NTD produced the MIA "Plot to Steal America" video. It's presented as being the work of Holehouse alone in an attempt to reach a large audience than the rather eccentric EOW.

I did some digging through Seth's Facebook posts, and located two posts in which Seth and Rob Counts are together hanging out.
Screen Shot 2020-12-29 at 3.19.47 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-12-29 at 3.18.54 PM.png
 

WollyPogz

New Member
At a risk of covering my wall with photos and red string, there are intersting connections that pop up. A google search for "seth holehouse" and "new tang dynasty" now has this page as the top result, which indicates the lack of admitted connection. But the second result is interesting.
View attachment 42513

Matthew Tullar is "Looking for a new position", but until February of this year was the host "The Way it Is For Now" on "The Beauty of Life" (aka "The BL")
Article:
Marketing Director
Company NameThe Beauty Of Life - BL Full-time
Dates EmployedApr 2019 – Feb 2020
Employment Duration11 mos
LocationMiddletown, NY
As the sole host of a program called 'The Way It Is For Now', I developed the ability to research, script, and produce 4 to 40 minute news and opinion videos designed to highlight great thinkers like Thomas Sowell, Roger Scruton, Milton Friedman, Peter Schweizer, Walters Williams, and others to educate Americans about history often relevant to free market capitalism and generally ignored by public schools and mainstream media. Topics and themes included the Mueller Report, gun control, mandated vaccinations, ethanol, presidential impeachment, the private border wall, immigration, American racism, climate change, and government corruption. After 5 months, promoted to Marketing Director with a focus on Facebook and Twitter viewers responding with comments and promoting relevant videos where appropriate.

The basic vision was to introduce this informative news/ opinion format and attract attention on social media to drive click through traffic and bolster revenue via advertisements. While moderate success was achieved early on with most videos quickly averaging over 25,000 views with a robust set of comments within a few days, we discovered first hand, the extent to which social media employs various strategies of censorship that include preventing viewers from sharing our videos, blocking our replies to commenting viewers, and mysteriously limiting the number of our followers our videos were allowed to reach. Most of our followers never saw most of our videos. Meanwhile, I developed a great appreciation for the BL mission to essentially make the world a better place by revealing the truth in such a compromised media environment.


His previous experience was with the Epoch Times.

What's interesting here is that neither of the two search terms ("Seth Holehouse" and "New Tang Dynasty") show up on the current LinkedIn page (and a cached version is not available).

Epoch Times has denied that The BL has any connection to them, but there's an extensive connection by Snopes showing that it does:
View attachment 42515
Article:
Editorially, The BL provides the same fawning coverage of Trump as The Epoch Times, content which serves to amplify White House talking points and proffer (or repost) pro-Trump takes on White House scandals. The BL, for example, has attempted to discredit the Ukraine whistleblower as part of a George Soros conspiracy and has pushed the conspiracy theory that the Clinton family kills their political enemies. At least one BL-owned Facebook page has promoted the pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theory.


concluding:
Article:
We do not know why The BL refuses to acknowledge any connection to the broader Epoch Times media group, nor do we know what they plan to do with the prodigious number of followers they appear to be rapidly accumulating. What we do know, however, is both The Epoch Times and The BL are being less than forthright by categorically denying any connection between their organizations.

In the early 2000s, the Wall Street Journal described one of the major problems facing the perceived legitimacy of The Epoch Times as “their unwillingness to identify themselves as having any association with the [Falun Gong], despite ample evidence to the contrary.” Faced with the same quandary, The BL seems to have a similar aversion to admitting any association with The Epoch Times.

Alex Kasprak
Jordan Liles
Published 11 October 2019


A search for "the beauty of life"+"seth holehouse" returns exactly one result, Tullar's Linkedin page, which apparently once had a connection to Holehouse (perhaps an endorsement). But that connection does not show up. Was it removed? It does not seem like such a connection would be overly suspicious, as they both worked at Epoch Times. But it's gone.

View attachment 42514

Here is a picture of Seth having dinner purportedly with people affiliated with "NTD," which I surmise is "New Tang Dynasty."Screen Shot 2020-12-29 at 3.47.22 PM.png
 
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