We’re not sure what to exactly classify this as. Is it troubling, comical, or just bizarre?
As I’m sure you’re aware by now, the DHS put out a bulletin on February 7th which further clarified their stance on “misinformation” and how it relates to terrorist threats. They included language that states even lone actors spreading such misinformation could be considered a type of terrorist threat.
Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee pushed back against the language in the bulletin and said the DHS was “policing speech”.
But DHS official John Cohen defended the position of the DHS at a recent online event hosted by George Washington University.
At the event it was clarified what exactly the DHS is looking out for and how it relates to national security. However, one statement stood out as rather puzzling and perhaps further clarification is needed.
Below is an excerpt from the talk:
“When you start seeing woven into the threads of the planning of these events actual calls for specific violence—referring to the Super Bowl as the ‘Satanic Bowl,’ using calls that coincided with threats against the pharmaceutical industry and government institutions—then it’s something that we have to evaluate and track,”
Of course, we have no issue at all with DHS investigating real threats against people or events. But we assume what the DHS is talking about here is the online conspiracy theory that the half-time show at the Super Bowl is some sort of secret satanic ritual.
Whether or not you find such an idea ludicrous or not, it’s not really new at all. Going back decades, millions of Christians and church-going Americans believed pop music had satanic undertones.
We’re not making any statement as to the validity of such a claim, but it is nothing new at all. It’s been around for decades and a simple search online can turn up any number of church leaders speaking on the topic.
Even more recently, a theory popped up online that the tragedy at the Astroworld music festival was some sort of a satanic event. Once again, a simple Google search on that topic will yield thousands of results on the topic. So are those who posted comments about Astroworld guilty of violence?
I suppose the real question then becomes, what changed that these “theories” involving satanic imagery that have been around for decades in pop culture are now suddenly considered a terror threat?
Whatever the reason, it seemed like a strange example to be sure when clearly they must have been able to come up with a more appropriate and more immediate threat than one that includes perceived supernatural forces.
Perhaps George Washington University will host another online symposium soon and we can get some clarification on this most bizarre turn of events.
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