We are living in a time of unprecedented distrust in America...
Faith in the government is at an all-time low, and political groups on both sides of the aisle are able to tout preposterous conspiracy theories as gospel, without much opposition. “Fake news” is the order of the day. This book is about a man to whom all of it points, the greatest conspiracist of this generation and a man you may not have heard of.
A former U.S. naval intelligence worker, Milton William Cooper published his manifesto Behold a Pale Horse in 1991. Since then it has gone on to sell hundreds of thousands of copies, becoming the number-one bestseller in the American prison system. According to Behold a Pale Horse, JFK was assassinated—because he was about to reveal that extraterrestrials were about to take over the earth—by his driver, an alien himself; AIDS is a government conspiracy to decrease the population of blacks, Hispanics, and homosexuals; and the Illuminati are secretly involved with the U.S. government to manage relationships with extraterrestrials. Cooper died in a shootout with Apache County police in 2001, one month after September 11, in the year in which he had predicted catastrophe.
In Pale Horse Rider, journalist Mark Jacobson not only tells the story of Cooper’s fascinating life but also provides the social and political context for American paranoia. Indeed, with the present NSA situation and countless other shadowy government dealings often in the news, aren’t we right to suspect that things may not be as they seem?
A notorious conspiracy theorist searches for the hidden plan behind world events and his own existence in this revealing, claustrophobic biography. Journalist Jacobson (The Lampshade) explores the bumpy life of William Cooper, an influential conspiracist he popularized the term sheeple whose radio show The Hour of the Time and bestselling book Behold a Pale Horse found fans as diverse as Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and rappers the Wu-Tang Clan. Jacobson follows Cooper's convoluted theories about such subjects as UFOs and the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks; his great project was the unmasking of a "Luciferian" conspiracy, involving powerful groups from the Illuminati to the Clinton administration, that he believed was creating systemic shocks such as price hikes and staged terrorist attacks to impose an invisible but totalitarian mind-control regime. In counterpoint to Cooper's grand theory of everything is Jacobson's picaresque account of Cooper's chaotic personal life, full of abusive behavior, familial estrangement, and professional feuding, with a violent ending he was killed in a shoot-out with sheriff's deputies at his Arizona home in 2001 brought on largely by his own paranoia. Jacobson's narrative is poker-faced about Cooper's unorthodox beliefs but sympathetic towards the yearnings behind them and infused with colorful reportage on conspiracists. The result is an enthralling portrait of a dark but potent strain in American culture. Photos.