Dr. Malone is not controlled opposition. He does not work for and has no connection to the CIA/DOD or the intelligence community. He is not an operative of any government or organization. He has never orchestrated a “psyop”. Dr. Malone does not and never has supported totalitarian global predators who have been committing mass murder under the guise of COVID-19. He is not dangerous. He is not a supporter of any apologist for political mass murderers. He is not a Hitler apologist and/or a Hitler “excuser”. Dr. Malone has not ever engaged in fraud and is not engaged in deliberate fraud to blind anyone to any “predators”. He is not a “protector” of any “predators”. He does not and never has promoted baseless scientific theories.
The COVID Truther Movement Has Found Its True Enemy—the COVID Truther Movement
Robert Malone during his December 2021 appearance on Joe Rogan. Screenshot via Joe Rogan Experience.
When the pandemic began and a mass of COVID-“skeptical” self-proclaimed experts began appearing on the scene, they had a shared set of goals. Together, they opposed vaccine mandates, fearmongered about the vaccines themselves, promoted unproven or discredited treatments, and, in general, created a tidy little self-sustaining alternate universe. Their mutual support was important: They constantly praised one another as brave, heterodox experts, appeared on each other’s podcasts, hyped each other’s work on Twitter, and linked to each other’s Substacks. Now, though, the cracks are beginning to show, the beefs are increasingly public, and lawsuits are being filed. The COVID truther movement has discovered the true enemy and it is, predictably, within.
The most public and sprawling set of beefs centers around Dr. Robert W. Malone, who claims to have invented mRNA technology and rose to prominence by asserting that mRNA vaccines were unsafe and the process used to roll them out was rushed. (While Malone made important contributions to the development of mRNA, no one else involved agrees that he “invented” that technology singlehandedly; like most scientific advancements, it was the work of many.) Malone has appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show to promote his various talking points and also, of course, on Joe Rogan’s show, where he claimed that people getting vaccinated were suffering from “mass formation psychosis,” a briefly trendy claim in the anti-vax world. Malone has also managed to develop a truly impressive number of feuds with other COVID truthers, which are becoming more acrid by the hour. In October 2022, he filed a defamation lawsuit in federal court in Virginia against a number of other COVID contrarians. They were Dr. Peter Breggin, a psychiatrist who wrote a book alleging that the pandemic was engineered by “global predators” for their own sinister purposes; Ginger Ross Breggin, an author and Dr. Breggin’s wife; Dr. Jane Ruby, a vaccine “skeptic” who is omnipresent on alternative social media sites like Gab and places like the Reawaken America tour; and America Out Loud, an online talk radio website that platforms these folks and others exactly like them. Malone also sued Red Voice Media, which publishes the Stew Peters Show, where Jane Ruby is a frequent guest.
Peters is a talking head and yet another COVID truther, who has stirred frequent controversy even among other truthers with his documentaries Watch the Water and Died Suddenly, both of which advanced complicated and extremely not-true conspiracy theories about the pandemic, vaccines, and whether the whole thing is connected to snake venom.As the Daily Beast reported back in October, Ruby and Peters have previously suggested that Malone is linked to the CIA. Malone denied this to the Beast, telling the outlet: “I have been sustaining just continuous attacks from the conspiracy theorists. Stew is just one of them.” (Red Voice Media didn’t respond to a request for comment from Motherboard.) News of the lawsuit was first shared on Twitter by Mallory Harris, a PhD student at Stanford who studies misinformation. In the suit, Malone accused the defendants of making any number of exotic claims about him, namely that he is “controlled opposition” and working with sinister globalist forces to do something or other. “The Statements are materially false,” Malone’s complain reads. It continues, colorfully and at length:
While this is all a bit too silly to get into at length, the gist is that Malone alleges that Stew Peters called him a “mass murderer” due to his involvement in developing mRNA technologies, and that the other defendants misrepresented various statements he’s made.“Defendants juxtaposed a series of facts so as to imply a defamatory connection between them, including that Dr. Malone had ulterior motives and that he apologized for predators and Hitler,” the complaint reads. “In addition, Defendants left out material facts, including the scientific basis of Dr. Malone’s statements and his true affiliations, in a way that intentionally conveyed a false meaning and that rendered the challenged Statements defamatory.”In a fundraiser they’ve launched to respond to the suit, the Breggins deny defaming Malone, and question why he’s requesting $25 million in damages. “The effect of what he is doing should be obvious,” they write. “It threatens us with financial ruin and ties up our energies. Does he want to make us too afraid and too exhausted to criticize his public policy theories and his numerous highly destructive attacks on leaders of the health freedom movement?” This particular attack — whatever its motives— may not get very far. According to court records, the suit is at risk of being dismissed because Malone and his attorney have not served a summons on any of the named defendants. According to a filing from a court clerk, the suit will be thrown out without prejudice on January 30th if they aren’t served. Meanwhile, though, Malone and the Breggins have all continued the beef on Substack; the Breggins are claiming that Malone is pursuing them legally to silence their critics, and have darkly claimed he’s doing the same to other people as well. “We do not know how many other people have been intimidated into silence,” Ginger Breggin wrote. “But we know it is happening to others. If but a few begin to go public, the power of his unfounded legal threats will evaporate. He will have to stand toe to toe in public debate.” (Malone, the Breggins, Jane Ruby and Stew Peters all did not respond to a request for comment from Motherboard.)
All of this beefing has drawn the attention of Dr. Paul Alexander, a Canadian health researcher turned vaccine “skeptic” who was briefly appointed as a science advisor in the Department of Health and Human Services under Trump. (He is best known for promoting a herd immunity strategy for COVID, recommending that non-high-risk people “open up and flood the zone” and all get infected at once.) Alexander is now, like most of the rest of these characters, a Substack guy; he wrote a florid post calling Malone a “grifter fraud,” adding, “Malone has been firing off lawyer letters to McCullough and everyone he could, anyone he could bully, and his groupies, so he attacked now, so welcome Robert, to my world, lets dance! you fraud!” Alexander also claimed in the same post that Malone was “attacking” Dr. Peter McCullough, yet another name in the fringe COVID “medical expert” world. It’s not precisely clear what’s going on there, but Malone claimed in a tweet that McCullough has blocked him on Twitter and “will not talk to me.” (McCullough also did not respond to a request for comment from Motherboard.) And finally—for now, anyway—Malone is also beefing with ex-journalist turned full-time COVID troll Alex Berenson; Malone has said no one should take Berenson seriously, while Berenson has dismissed Malone and others as “apocalyptic screamers” peddling “Book of Revelations” fantasies about vaccines while he alone tells the truth. Meanwhile, as if this impressive display of dysfunction were not enough, Berenson is also in turn feuding with Steve Kirsch, a tech millionaire who’s been dubbed a “misinformation superspreader.” Berenson criticized Kirsch for claiming that NFL player Damar Hamlin was likely “brain dead” and called on him to apologize. (Kirsch has not yet responded, perhaps because he is, at the moment, too busy vowing to sue the FDA and the CDC for not reading his emails.) This is, of course, not the first time that extremely spicy and very stupid internecine feuds have overtaken the truthers. Most recently, some of its other players were arguing about Died Suddenly, the viral and powerfully under-researched anti-vax documentary made by Stew Peters. Elsewhere, America’s Frontline Doctors founder Simone Gold continues to be sued by the organization; its current director has claimed she’s trying to illegally wrest back control. In all, this is an impressive number of blowups, meltdowns, blood feuds and Substack screeds. And it creates an especially potent degree of awkwardness since Malone, Alexander, and McCullough all sit on the board of a purported health freedom organization named The Unity Project.