Alex Sheppard’s Swamp of Lies, COVID Misinformation, and Baseless Election Conspiracies
Alex Sheppard (NOT the same Alex Sheppard who runs the company called Vatic) is your typical info grifter, riding the new wave of right-wing flavored misinformation regarding COVID, the 2020 Presidential Election, and more. He previously posted on Twitter (where he had a following in the tens of thousands) under the @NotAlexSheppard handle before being banned, most likely for posting COVID misinformation. He now peddles that same misinformation in the intellectual dark zones that are Gettr (where he currently has ~18,300 followers), Telegram (where he has ~38,700 followers), and Truth Social.
Frankly, I know little about Sheppard’s background and it’s difficult to uncover more about him on the open net. He appears to be a relative nobody who was catapulted into popularity amongst the COVID denier/election truther crowd in late 2020/early 2021, the same time period many others like him found success by aggressively promoting conspiracy theories about the 2020 Presidential Election in the U.S. and pushing COVID vaccine misinformation. Regardless of who he is or what his origins are, he is a somewhat notable personality in the space and actively parrots lies to his tens of thousands of followers. One recent example is his sharing of an article by Zach Heilman written for Red Voice Media, wherein notable COVID conspiracy theorist Naomi Wolf is cited as an authority on the COVID vaccine.
Embedded in the article are two videos with Naomi Wolf speaking about some information supposedly uncovered by a “whistleblower” with access to Department of Defense data regarding female soldiers. It would appear this claim regarding the whistleblower originated with an attorney named Thomas Renz of Renz Law, another personality who took to grifting off of misinformation and conspiracy theories to boost his profile. No documentation is presented in the videos or the article itself to back Wolf’s claims regarding adverse effects found in the offspring of pregnant women who received one of the COVID vaccines. As no evidence for her claims is presented (even though she claims it exists and “the documents” have been released), her claims may be readily dismissed. Additionally, Wolf is deceptively referred to as “Dr. Wolf” in the article, which in context might lead the reader to believe she holds a PhD relating to the medical field. She does not. The PhD Naomi Wolf holds is in English Literature, an entirely unrelated field which does not suffice at all as an official qualification to mark her as an authority on medical subjects.
Sheppard’s Gettr post about this article received 55 Likes and 43 Reposts within a day of it being posted, meaning it likely reached a number of people somewhere in the low thousands (when accounting for typical social media engagement rates) via Sheppard’s account alone. Accounting for reposts and shares on other media outlets, that number may reach the tens of thousands.
Alex Sheppard also features in the wider web of low and mid tier right-wing misinformation grifters, such as “The Jeff Dornik show” – hosted on Rumble – where he and Jeff Dornik spent about 45 minutes pushing baseless election fraud claims which I will not detail here. The particular episode he featured on received over 63,000 views and 26 “Rumbles”, Rumble’s equivalent of re-sharing.
On the topic of election fraud claims, Sheppard has promoted the “documentary” film 2000 Mules by Dinesh D’Souza and claimed that the organization True the Vote found 2000 “paid ballot harvesters” or “mules” to help the Democrat party “steal the election.” This claim is patently false and has been addressed in detail by various media outlets. Dinesh himself could hardly defend the film in a detailed conversation with the Washington Post’s Phillip Bump, which should tell you all you need to know about the legitimacy of D’Souza’s claims and those parroting him.
Sheppard has also shared unsourced quotes, namely one purportedly by Henry Kissinger. The quote is “Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.” It does not appear that Kissinger ever said this in any form of recorded media, as multiple extensive searches for its origin initially turned up nothing except an article by Kingsley Dennis – a peddler of pseudoscience books about “vibratory evolution” and such – from a news site called Truthout dating from 2012. Going a little further however, I was able to find an article by the Daily Squib – a self described “satirical parody newspaper” – which posted a satire article with the exact same quote in 2011. Searches of Google Trends for the quote’s search history reveal that Google does not possess enough data to show any trends, which means the quote has hardly ever been searched for. In other words, the quote appears to be fake, something that took me nothing more than some Google searches to deduce.
Further, in the wake of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Sheppard made baseless claims that some school shootings are the result of “MK-Ultra mind control” and that they’re often false flags or outright hoaxes.
Sheppard provides no evidence of any kind for this claim. Meanwhile, there is absolutely no evidence that the Uvalde shooting was a false flag or a hoax. Alex Jones was sued for defamation over similar claims regarding the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting, wherein Jones claimed without evidence that some parents of slain children at Sandy Hook Elementary School were crisis actors. Jones has been fined, missed depositions, and taken default judgments in the lawsuits against him over these claims. While it doesn’t appear (in my non-exhaustive search of his postings) that Sheppard has made any such claims regarding the parents of slain children at Uvalde, his words plainly echo the same hollow conspiracies about school shootings promoted by the likes of Jones and other conspiracy peddlers.
Bottom line – while Alex Sheppard is a relatively small fish in the ocean of people grifting off of emotionally stimulating misinformation, he remains a vocal and pernicious part of the right-wing sector of the conspiracist web, with an audience in the tens of thousands. What I intended to illustrate with this article is that Sheppard is a highly unreliable source who is willing to distort the truth and leverage even outright falsehoods for personal gain. As is the case for all others like him, checking his lies and efforts to undermine social confidence are necessary to promote healthy dialogue and to dampen the harmful effects of misinformation.
For more, you can follow me on Twitter @SocialActuality or subscribe to the site’s email list. Unlike Sheppard, I won’t bombard you with baseless conspiracy theories.