10 Kanye West And AIDS
No one can say rapper Kanye West lacks self-esteem or is reluctant to court controversy, but surprisingly, his views on the AIDS epidemic are not widely known. During the 2005 Live 8 concert tour to raise awareness for AIDS, Kanye shocked the crowd by announcing that AIDS was a “man-made disease . . . placed in Africa just like crack was placed in the black community to break up the Black Panthers.”
These views were also reflected in the lyrics of his single “Heard ‘Em Say”:
Before you ask me to get a job today,
Can I at least get a raise on a minimum wage?
And I know the government administered AIDS,
So I guess we just pray like the minister say,
Allah o Akbar and throw em some hot cars,
Things we see on the screen are not ours.
He reinforced those views when receiving the Million Man March Image Award later that year:
I brought up in a song about [how] the government administers AIDS. I think the figure I learned at Live 8 was that there was over 6,000 people in Africa dying every day from AIDS. [ . . . ] There’s a people that are strong people, a people that are warriors, in order to get to their resources you’ve got to weaken them. What else has the strongest people you know in more of a fetal position than the AIDS epidemic? [ . . . ] The best medicine goes to people that’s paid. [ . . . ] Magic Johnson got a cure for AIDS and all the broke mothers passed away. So that means a cure for AIDS. So who has a cure? Maybe the same people that administer it that want to get to the diamonds.
9 Many Celebrities And 9/11 Trutherism
Given the track records of loony behavior for some celebrities—such as Charlie Sheen, Willie Nelson, and Mos Def—it’s not surprising that they believe 9/11 was a hoax or an inside job. But it is startling just how many usually levelheaded celebrities adhere to the notion that George W. Bush murdered thousands of Americans to justify war in the Middle East.
As quoted on pajiba.com, Woody Harrelson made historical allusions:
I am reading a book now called The New Pearl Harbor by David Ray Griffin. I’ve been stuck in the position of ignoring my gut—knowing things don’t stack up. Even though our government obviously took advantage of 9/11 by making it their “Reichstag,” I told myself, “Surely they weren’t involved.” After reading this book I can’t doubt that our government was at least complicit in allowing 9/11 to happen. Get a copy and pass it to all your friends, the evidence is irrefutable.
Harrelson was set to appear alongside Martin Sheen, another truther, in a documentary on the 9/11 attacks entitled September Morn. According to truther websites, the film deal collapsed over casting and script disputes.
As shown in the video above, Mark Ruffalo wants to see more inquiries into the fateful events:
I saw the way [all three buildings] came down and I’m baffled. My first reaction was that buildings don’t fall down like that. You know, I’ve done quite a bit of my own research. [ . . . ] The fact that the 9/11 investigation went from the moment the planes hit to the moment that the buildings fell, and nothing before and nothing after, I think, makes that investigation completely illegitimate. You know, if you’re going to do a crime investigation, you have to find motive. [ . . . ] We didn’t follow that. It was quickly pushed away, obviously. There was no evidence at the biggest crime scene. [ . . . ] None of us know what happened but I’m totally and completely behind reopening that [investigation]. Where is the money? Follow the money, guys!
He hasn’t been reluctant to give his views on the matter to any interviewer willing to ask him about it. Meanwhile, actor Janeane Garofalo is even blunter in her quote on pajiba.com:
9/11 was an inside job! I have come to this conclusion about that. [ . . . ] I think all Air America phone-in callers should open by saying, “9/11 was an inside job. We can all agree on that,” then get on with their specific question or comment. We should re-condition the listening audience to accept the Truth about 9/11 as the gospel.
8 Prince And Chemtrails
On PBS in 2009, Prince gave a rare interview to talk about misunderstood lyrics from his songs. In the video above, he was asked by the interviewer about the song “Dreamer,” which has the following lyrics:
Praying that the police sirens
Pass you by at night?
While the helicopter circles
And the theory’s getting deep
Think they’re spraying chemicals over the city
While we sleep?
From now on I’m staying awake
So you can call me a dreamer to
Wake up wake up.
Then Prince talked about what inspired him to write the song—words from black activist Dick Gregory at the annual State of the Black Union:
He said something that really hit home about this phenomena of chem trails and when I was a kid, I used to see these trails in the sky all the time and I’d say, “Oh, that’s cool—a jet just went over.” And then you started to see a whole bunch of them and the next thing you know, everybody in your neighborhood was fighting and arguing and you didn’t know why, okay? And you really didn’t know why. I mean, everybody was fighting.
Then Prince continued talking in a slightly different vein: “We’re all indentured servants. When I found out there were eight presidents before George Washington, I wanted to smack somebody. I wanted to know why I was taught otherwise.” On then–newly elected President Barack Obama, he said: “President Obama is a very smart individual and he seems like he means well. Prophecy is what we all have to go by now.”
7 Dan Aykroyd And UFOs
Dan Aykroyd, the star of Ghostbusters, is currently the “Hollywood consultant” for Mutual UFO Network. He has shown particular interest in the famous abduction of Betty and Barney Hill as well as the Tinley Park UFO sightings in Illinois. During an interview on ABC6 in Providence, Rhode Island, Aykroyd explained:
This is where the big black triangles park over people’s barbecues for about ten minutes and let them take pictures, and then they move on very slowly across the suburbs. Thousands of people saw these in Tinley Park, Illinois, over the last two years starting in ’05 to ’07. When you get that many people seeing the same thing, and it’s not Venus, it’s not a helicopter, it’s not a plane, it’s not the crescent moon, it’s not a meteoric bolide, what is it? Well, it’s unknown. Until they come and shake my hand, I really can’t tell you. But it’s entertaining at the very least.
Aykroyd has also revealed his own sighting of two UFOs, which he estimated to be flying at 30,000 meters (100,000 ft) overhead and 32,000 kilometers per hour (20,000 mph) over Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. He also claims to have seen two more UFOs earlier, which he described on The HuffPost Show as “definitely aerial constructs of some kind. One of them with a light, and one of them dull gray, and they were structures—one of them going very slow, one of them hovering over me.”
The actor believes that there are probably multiple alien species paying regular visits to Earth, but while the US Air Force is extremely interested, they refuse to admit the truth about UFOs. As for why they’re coming to Earth, Aykroyd told The Independent that it is based on our art and culture: “This is the planet that produced Picasso, the atom bomb, penicillin. [ . . . ] [The aliens] didn’t paint like Renoir, they don’t dance like Mick Jagger.” In the 2005 documentary Dan Aykroyd Unplugged on UFOs, the actor discussed his beliefs and experiences in detail with UFOlogist David Serada.
6 Fran Drescher And Alien Abduction
The Nanny star Fran Drescher is convinced that she was abducted by aliens. In fact, she explains in an interview on The Huffington Post that she met her then-husband Peter Marc Jacobson because of aliens:
You know, it’s funny because Peter (Fran’s ex-husband) and I both saw [aliens] before we knew each other, doing the same thing, driving on the road with our dads. We were both in junior high. A few years later, we met, and we realized that we had the same experience. I think that somehow we were programmed to meet. We both have this scar. It’s the exact same scar on the exact same spot.
Her husband was less convinced, believing that her scar was more likely from an accident with a drill bit or from burning herself with hot coffee. But she was insistent when talking to HuffPost: “I said to him, that’s what the aliens programmed us to think. But really, that’s where the chip is.”
Drescher isn’t the only celebrity with alien abduction claims. Rocker Sammy Hagar said in a 2011 MTV interview:
It was real. [Aliens] were plugged into me. It was a download situation. This was long before computers or any kind of wireless. There weren’t even wireless telephones. Looking back now, it was like, “F—k, they downloaded something into me!” Or they uploaded something from my brain, like an experiment. “See what this guy knows.” [ . . . ] Another thing happened when I was about four that I didn’t put into the book. One time I saw what I considered to be, well, at the time I thought it was a car with no wheels. We lived out in the country and I saw this thing floating across a field, creating this big dust storm. I threw rocks at it and s—t. And I don’t know what happened after that.
5 Ke$ha’s Vaginal Exorcism
Singer-songwriter Ke$ha is said to have a number of odd beliefs. But it’s often hard to gauge exactly how much she believes them as she will also joke about being the leader of the Illuminati and being able to speak “Dinosaur.” However, she has been reasonably consistent with her belief in ghosts and the supernatural.
In a 2012 interview with Ryan Seacrest, she admitted to having had sex with a ghost (though she never found out his name) and to going on regular spirit journeys. “I went on a spirit journey by myself. No security guard. No managers. I just went around the world and lived on a boat. [ . . . ] I was in Africa rehabilitating baby lions. I went diving with great white sharks, and just went on this crazy spirit quest.”
The following year, Ke$ha claimed to both Jimmy Kimmel and Rolling Stone that a sexual dry spell was caused by a ghost inhabiting her vagina. Her hypnotherapist allegedly told her that she had been targeted because she exudes light and energy, causing dead entities to cling to her. Fortunately, she was able to track the ghost to her vagina using a “ghost meter.”
Her vaginal infestation was eventually cleared out by an exorcism, which she described in an interview with Rolling Stone:
There’s a lot of screaming and grabbing energies and [my healer] was talking in tongues. She was speaking Latin or something, I’m not really sure. It was definitely another language, and she was making all sorts of crazy noises. At one point she started choking. [ . . . ] Like she couldn’t breathe. It was super intense. I know you don’t believe me. [ . . . ] I’m not 100% sure it was just in my vagina. [ . . . ] It was like . . . in my body, you know? So why not assume it’s in my vagina because that’s funnier.
4 Naomi Wolf’s Facebook Paranoia
Naomi Wolf, former Democratic political consultant and author of The Beauty Myth, has come under increasing fire over the last few years for her adherence to wild conspiracy theories. In 2010, she raised eyebrows in feminist circles with her response to the rape accusations against Julian Assange, founder and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks. She claimed that Assange had been set up by women working for the CIA and that they had used feminist rhetoric to tar his name.
Many feminist writers were disturbed that Wolf would be so quick to deride the women’s claims and argue against their anonymity, especially when the serious allegations of sexual molestation, unlawful coercion, and rape had not been addressed by courts because Assange had refused to go to Sweden to stand trial.
In 2014, things got stranger when Wolf implied in Facebook posts that two Americans and two Britons beheaded by ISIS were paid actors. She appeared to question whether ISIS and everything related to it was made up by the US government. She also posted that she was “very sorry to report that Obama has put together a coalition of nine moneygrubbing War Inc oligarchs, sorry, allied nations, to hunt ISIS creating pretext for all kinds of metanational heavy breathing mayhem.”
Furthermore, she claimed that Edward Snowden was probably a government plant as he was “too well-spoken,” that the Scottish independence referendum had been rigged by the British government, and that American troops had only been sent to West Africa during the Ebola epidemic to bring the disease back to the United States to justify a military takeover.
Wolf challenged her characterization as a “conspiracy theorist,” posting on Facebook that “people who assume the dominant narrative MUST BE TRUE and the dominant reasons MUST BE REAL are not experienced in how that world works.”
Sarah Ditum wrote in the New Statesman that Wolf’s decline into paranoid thinking doesn’t detract from the power of her previous work on the influence of the patriarchy on society. Ditum explained, “Naomi Wolf is not a feminist who became [a] conspiracy theorist—she’s a conspiracist who was once right.”
3 Ariana Grande’s Demonic Encounter
After fielding a number of daft questions in a 2013 interview with Complex Magazine, singer Ariana Grande told her slightly condescending interviewer of her experience with a ghost or demon. Grande described a trip to Stull Cemetery in Kansas, supposedly one of the seven gates to hell on Earth over which the Pope refuses to fly:
I felt this sick, overwhelming feeling of negativity over the whole car and we smelled sulfur, which is the sign of a demon, and there was a fly in the car randomly, which is another sign of a demon. I was like, “This is scary, let’s leave.” I rolled down the window before we left and said, “We apologize. We didn’t mean to disrupt your peace.” Then I took a picture and there are three super distinct faces in the picture—they’re faces of textbook demons.
When she tried to send the photo to her manager, it came out as 666 megabytes and could not be sent. She later deleted the picture because she allegedly began to hear loud rumbles and whispers and see red shapes when she closed her eyes at night. When she received a visitation from a large, black blob, she told the Complex interviewer that she called a friend in panic:
It was like a cloud of something black right next to me. I started crying. I was on the phone like, “What do I do, what do I do?” and they said, “Tell it to eff off.” I thought, I’m not going to do that. It’s going to upset it, so I’m just going to chill and not feed into it because all it wants is fear. It feeds on fear. I watched it move to the front of my bed and then I fell asleep on the phone. I woke up and it was gone.
Her interviewer then segued smoothly into a discussion of her kiss with Mac Miller in the video for the song “My Way” and whether or not his breath had been bad.
2 Charlie Sheen’s Cryptid Expeditions
A lot has been said about Charlie Sheen’s decline into riotous insanity, but one of his strangest topics was his apparent obsession with cryptids. In 2013, he announced an expedition to Scotland in search of the mysterious Loch Ness monster with a tweet featuring a photo of himself wearing an antique bronze battle helmet. Hotel manager Willie Cameron reported receiving a phone call from an American asking for a “an old-style wooden rowing boat, a traditional Tilley lamp, a boat hook, a thick chain . . . and a leg of lamb.”
Sheen apparently hoped to ensnare “Nessie” with a plan inspired by a scene from the movie Jaws. He ended up having to buy a wooden boat for £2,500. Then he spent an evening on the loch with two buddies and a bottle of whiskey. While the leg of lamb disappeared, there was no sign of the Loch Ness monster. More serious Nessie hunters blamed Sheen for scaring away the reclusive lake monster with his antics.
Later that year, Sheen went to Alaska to search for the mysterious Kushtaka of Tlinglit legend—a half-man, half-otter trickster spirit that supposedly inhabits southeastern Alaska and lures fishermen with sounds that seem like whistles and a baby’s cries.
In a TMZ interview, Sheen said, “It lures one away from the campsite with the mimicked sounds of a crying baby, then kills you, takes on your form, and returns to the scene for more suckers or prey.” After flying with a group of friends to Sitka, Alaska, to hunt for the beast, the group failed to stumble across it. Sheen racked that up to his own intimidating demeanor: “It obviously knew our group was far too skilled to be snowed in this fashion so it stayed hidden like a sissy.”
1 Jaden And Willow Smith And The Orgonite Society
Actor Will Smith’s loopy son Jaden is well-known for his strange tweets, such as the baffling “How Can Mirrors Be Real If Our Eyes Aren’t Real,” the paranoid “There Is No Nutrients In Our Food Anymore Or In Our Soil OR IN OUR WATER,” and the ominous “The Head Of The Sphinx Will Fall Off In The Near Future.” In an interview with T: The New York Times Style Magazine, his sister, Willow, also said some bizarre things, even claiming to control time: “I mean, time for me, I can make it go slow or fast, however I please. That’s how I know it doesn’t exist.”
In 2014, it became apparent that the siblings and Jaden’s then-girlfriend Kylie Jenner had set up a mini-cult for themselves (called the “Orgonite Society”) to “distribute vibe-cleansing pyramids, hockey pucks, and rectangles in order to ‘Balance Gaia’s Energies.’ ” Willow posted a number of pictures of their orgonite party, where she used muffin trays to make orgonite pyramids.
According to believers, the orgonite pyramids turn positive orgone into negative orgone, and they repel demons and aliens. Derived from the word “orgasm,” the term “orgone” was coined by William Reich in the 1930s to describe universal cosmic energy. Practitioners place or bury orgonite pyramids near sites of supposed negative energy, like cell phone towers and power plants. The pyramids are also said to help unlock psychic powers.
Willow Smith has also been linked to the works of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, also known as “Osho,” who ran a sex cult in Oregon in the 1980s that committed acts of bioterrorism, illegal wiretapping, and immigration fraud.
David Tormsen hopes this is the closest he comes to writing celebrity copy. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.