Saturday, January 08, 2011

Jared Lee Loughner, "fallenasleep"

While new data will surely come in about Jared Lee Loughner, the alleged shooter of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, his YouTube text-videos indicate that he is not a right-wing politico, not a tea party type.  He seems to be a sui generis make-your-own reality psychotic.

Loughner seems to have developed his own formula for taking control of his world and rejecting the world controlled by government officials.  His key terms are currency, grammar/language, sleep/conscience [i.e., consciousness?]and land and law.  The government controls the dominant currency, language, (false) law and land; most people are brainwashed into accepting this reality.

Loughner, like Lewis Carroll's Humpty-Dumpty, asserts that he can create his own language and hence reality -- that is, currency, consciousness (through sleepwalking), and law; he can teach his "listeners" (as he calls readers of his text videos) to do likewise. To create that reality, he uses a syllogism-like structure: 1) an "if-then" statement; 2) an assertion that one part of that statement is true; 3) a conclusion that the second part of the if-then is true. For example:
Every human who is mentally capable is always able to be treasurer of their new currency.

If you create one new currency then you're able to create a second new currency.

If you're able to create a second new currency then you're able to create a third new currency.

You create one new currency.

Thus, you're able to create a third new currency.

Here's a variation of the formula, with an added, open-ended -- and chilling -- conclusion:
If I define sleepwalking then sleepwalking is the act or state of walking, eating or performing other motor acts while asleep, of which one is unaware upon awakening.

I define sleepwalking.

Thus, sleeping is the act or state of walking, eating or performing other motor acts while asleep, of which one is unaware upon awakening

I'm a sleepwalker -- who turns off the alarm clock.

Loughner's screen name in an online community from which he was barred -- I couldn't tell which -- was fallenasleep. It seems that sleepwalking is his personal talisman enabling him to act as a free, unbrainwashed revolutionary (see below).

It's important to note that Loughner rejects not simply current lawmakers and those now in power but the Constitution itself : "The majority of citizens in the United States have never read the United States Constitution.  You don't have to accept the federalist laws. Nonetheless, read the United States of America's Constitution to apprehend all of the current treasonous laws."* (Loughner also rejects God, and says that his religion was marked down as None on his army application.)  So while those now in power are apparently worthy of murder, so that "revolutionaries" can take "control of the land and laws," their illegitimacy comes not from corrupting the Constitution but from executing it. He believes in what Sharron Angle might call "Second Amendment remedies," but he is not acting in the name of the Second Amendment:
If the property owners and government officials are no longer in ownership of their land and laws from a revolution then the revolutionary's from the revolution are in control of the land and laws.

The property owners and government officials are no longer in ownership of their land and laws from a revolution.

Thus the revolutionary's from the revolution are in control of the land and laws.
It appears to me that this unfortunate insane individual is of no party or clique.

* There is some ambiguity in Loughner's judgment regarding the Constitution. "In conclusion," he writes, "reading the second United States Constitution, I can't trust the current government because of the ratifications: the government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar."  Why "second"? There may be some suggestion of a corrupted original; the prior assertion about the Constitution quoted above could be read the same way. Needless to say, the "doctrine" is not exactly coherent.

n.b. Text cannot be captured off the YouTube videos, and they cannot be printed; I've relied above on back-and-forth transcription. There may be minor errors of capitalization or punctuation.

I want to say, too, that while I'm made somewhat uneasy by my impulse toward snap analysis here, I have justified it to myself on the premise that it's not psychoanalysis, just a close reading of Loughner's text and its internal, pardon the expression, logic. What seemed important to highlight quickly is this insane belief system's apparent disconnection from any recognizable political theory -- though this too could prove to be an erroneous first impression.

UPDATE 1/9: Regarding the reference to a "second...Constitution" and other terms with political resonance, please see the next post.


  1. The guy is obviously nuts.

    But it's also true that people with public stature should not casually and routinely call for political violence.

  2. On the other hand if you were planning on killing a politician it might be useful to post stuff like this in the hopes of making an insanity plea.

    I would be curious about anything from before the last few months, as all of this seem pretty recent. I guess this is what happens when the blogosphere tries to do the FBI's work.

  3. I think Loughton does seem to be mentally ill.

    If these are his words, he seems to be someone coming unhinged and desperate need of medical care and sleep.

    While he may not be a tea party member, his belief system seems to be informed by anti-federalist ideas which are also espoused by members of the far right.

    What's more, he may have been influenced by rabid anti-immigration agitators in Tucson such as Mexican-Flag-Burner-Roy Warden (a Youtube page under his name has a video with a flag-burning man on it).

    Warden's premise has been that he is a revolutionary who is helping the Mexicans fight their exploitation by the Mexican government (and U.S. business interests) by having them return to Mexico and stopping immigrations.

    Warden has detailed how he is a descendant of people who took land from Spaniards in bloody conflict who took land from Mexicans.

    In the eyes of White Americans who feel threatened by the immigration of Mexicans and other groups, the dominant group that began the American revolution is no longer in control.

    I think that's what he meant by:

    "If the property owners and government officials are no longer in ownership of their land and laws from a revolution then the revolutionary's from the revolution are in control of the land and laws."

    So he could very well be a right-winger. Or he could be extreme left wing. Maybe it doesn't matter.

    As for currency, it is possible to create it, as countries do, by fiat.

    And he is correct that the government can control language, in the sense that it defines what is seen as "normal" or "deranged" or "political correct" As in the novel 1984 and the current war on terrorism, Big Brother cannot be "ungood."

    I do not condone this man's actions, but I do believe that the rhetoric or the far right and our violent gun loving culture do share some blame as contributing causes to this tragedy.

    As the Rolling Stones once said "who killed the Kennedys? Well after all, it was you and me."


  4. Perhaps all that you say is true. But psychotic folks often take action when there is an environment created that spurs them to such action.

    The environment of hateful and even violent rhetoric of recent years has been created. Those who have done so are partially responsible for these acts.

  5. He seems to me obviously to be practicing applications of modus ponens.

  6. He seems to borrow memes from all major political philosophies. But his foundation is metaphysical: a New Agish 'consciousness creates reality' idea, whose deep roots are in Hindu philosophy. I also imagine it harmonizing with a psychotic mental state.

    I would guess the 'first constitution' would be the Articles of Confederation. There's a libertarian school of thought that the anti-Federalists were right. Murray Rothbard wrote that 'the Constitution was a profoundly statist coup d’etat imposed upon the far more libertarian Articles of Confederation'.

  7. I just watched those videos, too, and I was assuming that he said "second" Constitution because he is consider the "Article of Confederation" the "first" Constitution.

  8. By "second United States Constitution," he may be referring to the Constitution as opposed to the Articles of Confederation.

  9. I have no basis to make any specific judgments about the guy -- I assume people are talking to him now, or trying to, and more informed speculation will become available. My guess is that the "conscience dreaming" is actually something like "conscious dreaming."

  10. Jeralyn at Talk Left has managed to find a number of screen shots with some of the video text. She also has his profile from Myspace, where his ID was "fallenasleep".

    You'll note that in the Myspace profile, his description of "interests" and "books" is in the past tense. "My favorite interest was..." and "I had favorite books..." It suggests one of (at least) two things. Either he edited the profile before he went to shoot the Congresswoman and didn't expect Jared to survive the ordeal. Or he had an identity break or disassociation of some sort and he was now in some sense "fallenasleep" who didn't have the same favorite interest or read the books as Jared, but shared Jared's past in some way.

    At least so far, it looks like you're on to something with the "fallenasleep" ID as some sort of persona for being free of whatever he feared was tryiing to control him/us, etc. and in which he could act.

    Anyhow, first impression is one sick puppy-dog, picking up on all the hyper hysterical claims bouncing around the media and web, and reassembling them to fit his personal anxieties and internal "logic".

  11. nadezhda -

    You're correct. His youtube kept referring to things in past tense.

    I looked right at it several times and didn't even see that!!



    CNN has a spokeperson on from the FBI who says "We done believe he acted alone" and "He had a prior criminal history".

    Weirdo alert! Weirdo alert!

  12. I am struck by the parallels with the Pentagon shooter last year.

    Pot smoker, libertarian-ish, currency BS.

  13. An individual who doesn't want to accept the current state of affairs? Someone who *actually* questions the hand they've been dealt?

    Dear God he must be insane...

  14. I assume he meant "second" in that he was kind of mistakeningly considering the Articles of Confederation as the First, but that was just how I read this particular set of entrails.

  15. yes this guy was nuts, but anti-government, kill-thy-neighbor ideology doesn't just appear out of thin air.

  16. But why this particular politician?

    I don't doubt he's nuts, but Palin and her bulls-eyes quite likely played a role here.

  17. From an article on the Pentagon shooter -

    "Sadly enough, there is a pattern," said Northeastern University criminologist Jack Levin. "He represents a much larger force in our society today. If one individual is paranoid, we call it mental illness. If thousands of people share the same paranoia, we call it ideology. There are thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of Americans who are extremely angry with the federal government."

  18. I think it's important to note, too, that in the "This Student at Pima Community College" video suggests the underlying motivation for all of this -- he got a bad grade in a class at school. He apparently disrupted or threatened someone at school (perhaps the class or instructor who gave him the bad grade) and was likely led off-campus (or booked on some misdemeanor charge).

    Connect that to the typical age of onset for something like schizophrenia, and you have a concoction for the potential of some serious tragedy. In 9999 cases out of 10,000, nothing might've occurred. But this is the one where it did.

  19. Of course if you are going to carry off an assassination, you start planting the seeds of your defense early on. Post a few screwy youtube videos and Facebook updates, and voila! Instant insanity defense if you're caught.

    The right-wing nazi Republicans own this. Their hateful rhetoric was destined to set up ths kind of action. It was predicated, and it happened.

  20. Since his writings are set up in weird patterns, maybe the numbers he stated 987,123,478,961,876,234,671,234,098,601,978,618 and 987,123,478,961,876,234,671,234,098,601,978,619 actually mean something.
    Maybe its a code to decipher the writings. Maybe it has something to do with the word count.

    I did a search for the number sequences and theres nothing about it.
    So then how did he come up with those numbers?

    I'm no mathematician but I can tell that those are not random numbers!

  21. I watched all of the videos purported to be his, and, assuming they are, it's clear he's mentally ill. (But, IMO, anyone who kills another human being, other than in self defense, is mentally ill.) But the combination of elements there are strongly suggestive of a far right wing fantasy. Many of the specifics are touched upon in the following interview with a representative of the Southern Poverty Law Center who tracks hate groups and the like. It already felt heavily inspired by Beck, Palin, et al to me, but there are other key connections I wasn't previously aware of: