Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has made more than $165 million in sales from his InfoWars store in three years, but he recently told a caller on his radio show, “We can barely pay the bills.”
According to court documents obtained by HuffPost, Jones’ InfoWars store — which mostly sells dietary supplements, survival equipment and various right-wing apparel — made $165 million in sales from September 2015 to the end of 2018.
Jones supplied the financial documents as part of a search request for a defamation court case involving the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. 26 people were killed in the massacre on 14 December 2012, including 20 children aged 6 and 7.
HuffPost found that some of the InfoWars store’s most profitable days happened when Jones put forward false and defamatory theories about the shooting.
The store earned $100,000 on November 18, 2016, when Jones claimed that the people speaking out about the shooting were “actors”. The store earned $90,000 on April 22, 2017, when Jones published an InfoWars video titled “Sandy Hook Vampires Exposed”.
Despite the store carrying cash, Jones told a caller during Thursday’s installment of his radio show, “As much as I beg, we can barely pay the bills.”
He made a statement promoting the show’s online store, “I’m not going to stop development and let them push us backwards. I need your help, Frank. I need your help.”
Jones regularly tells listeners that his show would shut down quickly without their financial backing. His show’s financial documents suggest otherwise.
Soon after the Sandy Hook massacre, Jones claimed that the shooting was a “false flag” hoax held by the government to justify the seizure of people’s firearms. He said the shooting scenes were recreated using a “green screen” and that the children and their parents killed in the shooting were all fake “crisis actors”. The parents soon faced harassment and death threats from Jones’ followers.
In early October 2021, a Texas court found Jones and the InfoWars website liable for defamation against the families. The judge based the decision on Jones’ repeated failure to turn over financial and analytics data, even though he was asked several times by plaintiffs from the Sandy Hook family.
This was the third Sandy Hook defamation case in Texas that Jones lost. On November 15, 2021, a Connecticut court also found Jones and the InfoWars website liable for defamation against the Sandy Hook families for similar circumstances.
The jury in all four cases is currently deciding what harm Jones may face to the families. Jones’ attorneys have promised to file an appeal.
In August 2018, Jones and InfoWars were both banned from YouTube, Apple, Facebook and Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) for repeatedly flouting their policies for forbidding hate speech and glorifying violence. The bar was meant to be violated. Twitter banned him a month later for “abusive behavior”.
Jones said his ban was political censorship because the mainstream fears the “truth”.
Jones claims on InfoWars that the government is controlling the weather; Democratic politician Hillary Clinton runs a child sex ring outside a DC-area pizza restaurant (known as Pizzagate); that the transgender rights movement is a conspiracy to allow people to have sex with their cars; And that millions of undocumented immigrants voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election (echoing an unsubstantiated claim repeated by then-President Donald Trump).