It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Barack Obama engineering a destructive hurricane just in time to rig this year’s election!
Or, perhaps it’s God’s punishment.
Amid the post-storm chaos, several conservative critics, religious fundamentalists and — let’s face it — unhinged conspiracy theorists have a slew of explanations for the destruction caused by Superstorm Sandy.
Right-wing preacher John McTernan warned his online following that God was “systematically destroying America” for failing to heed his wishes on issues such as gay marriage, and that the hurricane was part of His punishment for the two “pro-homosexual” candidates fielded by America’s two main political parties. The Almighty, as McTernan put it, smote the country with a “huge bucket of vomit in America’s face during the election.” (Or, as Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams put it, a giant ‘Frankengaystorm.’)
With power outages continuing to affect up to 7.5 million people on the east coast and with more than 48 people so far killed by the storm, others are saying that if it wasn’t God who ordered the rapturous storm, it may have been the President himself.
Conspiracy websites, including InfoWars.com, The IntelHub and ConsfearacyNewz, have posted stories in the last few days suggesting that the Obama administration has used a covert weather manipulator known as The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) to help engineer Superstorm Sandy, according to U.S. News and World Report.
HAARP is a real government-run research program based in Alaska that studies the ionosphere, or the upper atmosphere, aimed at enhancing “communications and surveillance systems for both civilian and defense purposes.” For years, conspiracy theorists have blamed HAARP for natural disasters, claiming that the government uses the program to “manipulate the weather with the help of electromagnetic waves,” U.S. News and World Report adds.
Indeed there are so many conspiracy theories about the storm that Buzzfeed has compiled a helpful ‘best of’ guide for the uninitiated. One Facebook user opines that New York “rarely experienced these weather effects before gay marriage.” Another post proclaimed that “the liberal smug bastion of NEW YORK CITY will again be receiving a warning from God.” Most of the 25 Best Hurricane Sandy Conspiracy Theories were culled from the Fox Nation and Fox Facebook pages, according to Buzzfeed.