Lue Elizondo is a former counterintelligence agent for the DOD. He was instrumental in getting some impressive videos of UFOs released to the public as he resigned his position in protest of how the UFO/UAP issue had been handled within the Defense Department. Many within the UFO community regarded him as somewhat heroic. He has a strong following as he does interviews and speaks about his criticisms of the DOD and his thoughts on how we can move toward disclosure.
While I had already seen the videos in question, I was grateful that he helped raise awareness about them and even got the Pentagon to verify their authenticity. However, it didn’t strike me as particularly heroic because there are at least a hundred people to whom I am grateful for speaking up and bringing forth evidence. He didn’t seem particularly special, except he was the only one to get a New York Times article written about him. He’s the only one to gain tremendous notoriety. And the only one to obtain an instant fan base that stinks of astroturf. I affectionately refer to his astroturfers as “Team Elizondo.”
According to Wikipedia: Astroturfing is the practice of masking the sponsors of a message or organization to make it appear as though it originates from and is supported by grassroots participants. Having been in legitimate grassroots movements that have been infiltrated and overtaken by an outside agendas, I have been spotting and dealing with astroturf before I knew it even had a name. Luckily there are some tell-tale signs.
Every movement will have some buzz words or phrases. However, when you see supposedly unassociated individuals suddenly adopting the same repetitive use of certain words and phrases, you can be sure there’s some centralized coordination. Team Elizondo likes to repeat “transparency,” “congressional hearings,” “disclosure,” and, of course, “Elizondo.” It makes me feel like he’s a candidate for president or something.
Hate Hyping is my name for a technique where you talk disparagingly about the magnificent number of haters you have. This approach signals the ‘significant importance’ of the figure you’re publicizing while stifling dissent because nobody wants to look like a hater. While the approach doesn’t belong to astroturf exclusively, the same ability to spot groups and individuals adopting this technique for the same issue applies when identifying astroturf.
In Team Elizondo’s case, the Hate Hyping has been heartbreakingly vivid. They’ve created an environment where just disagreeing with them implies you’re a felon, motivated by hate, and live in your mother’s basement. It’s apparently part of the Elizondo script that his interviews begin (and sometimes last 30 minutes) with him insulting some vague, undefinable army of haters that I cannot find.
Typically if someone is complaining about a real irritant, they will identify it specifically. However, the language pattern Lue uses seems engineered to be exceptionally ambiguous. As someone who is not only skeptical but highly confident in my assessment that Lue is part of a greater unseen agenda, the ambiguity of Team Elizond’s derogatory comments can feel like direct personal attacks. “Is he talking about me?” But, I’m just a skeptic, not a hater, and I can’t find any actual haters. However, I can find an army of social media influences using the same language pattern, that insults skeptics, regarding the mythical bunch of haters.
Because the Hate Hype technique involves being derogatory toward the “haters,” it signals to the audience that hating on haters is okay. A general “I’m not agreeing” attitude gets you labeled a hater and attacked by hundreds of tools angrily anticipating the chance to tell off one of those mythical haters. So if they perceive someone as a Lue Hater, they unleash on them hard. People still get interview questions like “Do you still beat your wife” for things Lue said months ago… yet it’s still unclear whether Lue was referring to that individual, but he’s a skeptic, so it doesn’t matter.
I’ve been called a troll, a tool, dumb, foolish, a douche, etc. (you name it) because people can convince hundreds of people to call you names. Typically, they don’t have this ability because they have a respectable intellect, but because powerful interests market and support them. They’re willing to lie and embellish, and they’ll try to present like they’re the toxicity police when they’re the ones generating most of it.
As unhealthy as all that is, it gets worse. The most immoral coordinated pattern I see within Team Elizondo is the repeated suggestion that the “argument from authority fallacy” is a valid line of thought. I know people get confused about the nature of that fallacy because we regard expert testimony as valuable evidence. However, a common blind spot is forgetting that people who know more than you can easily scam you. The fallacy is in thinking it’s like logic: “because expert, we now know [whatever].” It’s only evidence that needs to be weighed against other evidence. Experts aren’t proof of anything. It’s also fallacious to think you can create an expert by assigning them “authority.”
However, after Lew stops hating his skeptics, he pretends we can assign authority to figures within the state or even that the state has some inherent authority on the UFO topic. They don’t. Comically, the truth is the “authorities” within the state tried to sell us on weather balloons and swamp gas when they knew better, but “non-authority” regular people decided to become experts and prove the government was lying.
It’s precisely because people without “authority” highlighted the relevant evidence that people realized the government was scamming them, and the state lost credibility. But then comes Lue, several New York Times articles, and an astroturf movement suggesting that all we need to do to get disclosure is “trust the process” of the authorities. If you disagree, you’re a hater who it’s okay to hate on.
If you want to know about UFOs, you will have to research them. The alternative, trusting authority, likely makes you one of those who believe the government’s narrative on JFK and 911, ripe to accept the next weather balloon story, and an immature brat.
Ufology is at a critical juncture. We can figure this out, our we can get hopelessly lost in narratives driven by politically motivated intelligence agencies. We need ambitious people seeking the truth, not a zombie crowd shouting “disclosure.” We don’t need new government agencies that don’t know up from down presented as “authority.” We need an environment where it’s okay to speak truth without being attacked by morons who think authority is real. And that’s why Team Elizondo sucks dick.