Steve Strang is not a respectable person

Ryan Smith for the Chicago Reader: “Former Chicago gossip columnist Liz Crokin is now a star among far-right conspiracy theorists.”

A large percentage of Crokin’s posts, interviews, and conversations are tied to a theory that “one-third of the government” is part of a satanic Illuminati-like cult that sexually enslaves, kills, and even eats children. And to maintain power, they draw on Project MK Ultra, an experimental CIA program from 1953 to 1973 in which the agency used LSD and other drugs for mind control, information gathering, and psychological torture.

… “That’s very hard for the public to process,” Crokin said on Dave Hodges’s The Common Sense Show. “So President Trump and his people understand that they can’t just come out one day and be like, ‘Oh hey, one third of the government is raping children and sacrificing them and drinking their blood and they’re satanists.’ You just can’t drop that bomb on people; people can’t process that information like that, they need it in doses, they need to be conditioned. So what we have going on behind the scenes is that .. the Trump administration is slowly trying to condition the public and try to prepare them for what’s about to go down.”

Well, OK, but Liz Crokin is just a former gossip-columnist on a downward spiral, a fringe figure who — despite her 79,000 followers on social media — isn’t that influential, right?

Crokin seems easy to dismiss because she’s unable to market this nonsense in a sophisticated manner. She tends to say the quiet parts loud and generally doesn’t come across as hinged. But this exact same delirium is being promoted — at great expense — by other people and other groups that still manage to get treated as respectable, stable members of society.

Consider Steve Strang, the media mogul behind Charisma Media. Strang is a pillar of the white evangelical community. His Charisma magazine has a circulation of about 275,000 — more than twice that of Christianity Today. It counts tens of thousands of INC churches among its subscribers, receiving their imprimatur as trustworthy reading for their congregations. Steve Strang is a bona fide evangelical celebrity without any trace of the dreaded “controversial” designation attached to his name.

Not a dime’s worth of difference

And Steve Strang’s Charisma Media is now actively promoting The Storm conspiracy theory. Steve Strang is partnering with 8chan, NewsMax and Alex Jones:

Right-wing media operation Newsmax is using Pentecostal publisher Charisma to promote Jerome Corsi’s latest conspiracy-theory book, “Killing the Deep State: The Fight to Save President Trump,” which was released a few weeks ago. A Newsmax promotional page promises that Corsi “lays it all out — from the alarming evidence for the coup d’état to take out President Trump — to the plan that will allow the president and patriots to destroy this dangerous shadow government for good.”

… A Thursday afternoon email from Newsmax promoting the book was identified as a sponsorship message to subscribers of Charisma Media’s newsletter.

This is the crap Steve Strang is peddling to his gullible flock. He’s a more-cynical, more contemptuously condescending version of P.T. Barnum. He may be slick enough to avoid starting off with the wildest stuff the way Crokin does, but he’s teaching hundreds of thousands of Christians that what she says is true — that most Democrats, and “one third of the government is raping children and sacrificing them and drinking their blood and they’re Satanists.”

Steve Strang is enthusiastically bearing false witness against millions of his neighbors. And he is doing this for profit because he’s confident that the Christians who have made him a spectacularly wealthy man are no different than Liz Crokin. He’s confident that he can make them believe this and then get them to pay him for doing so.

But Steve Strang is still treated as a respectable figure in the church. He’s not that. At all.

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