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Nestled within the redwood forests of Monte Rio, northern California, sits Bohemian Grove, a 2,700-acre retreat owned by the exclusive gentlemen’s San Francisco Bohemian Club, founded in 1872.
Every summer, the retreat is frequented by the political and business elite of the US. Shrouded in secrecy, the activities at the grove have become the subject of countless conspiracy theories and rumours.
In 2000, Alex Jones, the founder of infowars, broke into the encampment in an attempt to ‘expose the new world order’ and filmed the Cremation of Care, a theatrical ceremony in which an effigy of the members’ 'worldly cares' is burnt.
Beyond inspiring a bizarre attack on Bohemian Grove by a masked vigilante calling himself the Phantom Patriot in 2002, the release of the video footage, set within an alarmist context, was instrumental in increasing Jones’ profile as a far-right activist and subsequently springboarded infowars to become an influential outlet of fake news in recent US politics.
In 'Parliament of Owls', Jack Latham investigates the effects that a vacuum of information can cause.