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Jewish Space Lasers, Conspiracy Theories, and Antisemitism
Tue September 19 @ 12:00 pm - 12:45 pm PDT
In 2018 Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene took to social media to share her suspicions that the California wildfires were started by ‘space solar generators’ which were funded by powerful, mysterious backers. Instantly, thousands of people rallied around her, blaming the fires on “Jewish space lasers” and ultimately, the Rothschild family.
AJU’s Mark Oppenheimer will be in conversation with acclaimed journalist and conspiracy theory expert, Mike Rothschild (no relation to the family), as we will explore his meticulously researched book, “Jewish Space Lasers: The Rothschilds and 200 Years of Conspiracy Theories.” Discover the origins of the Rothschild myths, from their groundbreaking impact on the banking industry to the present day, where they remain a target of unfounded accusations. Separate fact from fiction as we unravel the truth behind their alleged control over global finances, the persistent spread of conspiracies, and reasons behind the continued fascination with the Rothschilds and their connection to contemporary antisemitism.
Mike Rothschild is a journalist, author, and the foremost expert in this ever-changing QAnon conspiracy theory. He is a contributing writer for The Daily Dot, where he explores the intersections between internet culture and politics through the lens of conspiracy theories. As a subject matter expert in the field of fringe beliefs, Mike has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and Yahoo – among many others. He is also a frequent speaker, and podcast and radio guest on the topic of conspiracy theories, including NPR’s weekly show “On the Media” and a Vice documentary.
Mark Oppenheimer received his B.A. in history from Yale in 1996 and his Ph.D. in American religious history from Yale in 2003, the year that he published his first book, Knocking on Heaven’s Door: American Religion and the Age of Counterculture.
Since then, Oppenheimer has taught at Stanford, Wellesley, NYU, Boston College (where he was the Corcoran Visiting Professor in Christian-Jewish Relations), and Yale, where for sixteen years he directed the Yale Journalism Initiative. From 2010-2016, he wrote The Beliefs column, About Religion, for The New York Times. He is the author of numerous magazine articles and five books, the most recent of which is Squirrel Hill: The Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting and The Soul of a Neighborhood.
A popular speaker and lecturer, Oppenheimer is the creator of two podcasts: Unorthodox, about Jewish life and culture, which he hosted from 2015-2023 and while had over seven million downloads, and Gatecrashers: The Hidden History of Jews in the Ivy League (2022). He is currently writing biographies of author Judy Blume and newspaper columnist Ann Landers.