Lenny Pozner http://lennypozner.bcz.com Father and Consultant in Newtown, Connecticut Sun, 09 Jul 2017 08:34:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Innocence Lost: Parents Plead with Americans to Lay Down their Arms http://lennypozner.bcz.com/2017/07/09/innocence-lost-parents-plead-with-americans-to-lay-down-their-arms/ http://lennypozner.bcz.com/2017/07/09/innocence-lost-parents-plead-with-americans-to-lay-down-their-arms/#comments Sun, 09 Jul 2017 08:34:45 +0000 lennypozner http://lennypozner.bcz.com/?p=24 Continue reading ]]> Heaven’s Rocking Chair: A Poem by Ron Tranmer

Are there rocking chairs in Heaven
where little babies go?
Do the angels hold you closely
and rock you to and fro?

 

Do they talk silly baby talk
to get a smile or two,
and sing the sleepy lullabies
I used to sing to you?

My heart is aching for you,
My angel child so dear.
You brought such joy into my life,
the short time you were here.

 

I know you’re in a happy place,
and in God’s loving care.
I dream each night I’m rocking you
in Heaven’s rocking chair.

 

It’s my very favorite place.
I feel closer to you there.
We rock the hours away.
Me and your Teddy Bear.

 

The rocking chair is squeaking,
as rocking chairs will do.
I pretend the one I’m holding
isn’t Teddy Bear, but you.

 

I miss your little chubby cheeks.
They were so fun to kiss.
Cuddling you, and hearing you goo
are among the things I miss.

Precious memories of you linger

My child, I miss you so.

I hope one day my heart will heal.

It’s hard to let you go.

 

When in time God calls me home
to be with you up there;
With joy, I’ll hold you in my arms
instead of Teddy Bear.

 

This Poem was written By Ron Tranmer © The writer of this article does not claim ownership of the poem in any way but has chosen it from the internet for its relevance to the subject manner. This is a beautiful poem Mr. Tranmer. Thank you for sharing it with us.

 

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President Trump Under Pressure to Take Stand Against Sandy Hook Conspiracy Theorists http://lennypozner.bcz.com/2017/05/06/president-trump-under-pressure-to-take-stand-against-sandy-hook-conspiracy-theorists/ http://lennypozner.bcz.com/2017/05/06/president-trump-under-pressure-to-take-stand-against-sandy-hook-conspiracy-theorists/#comments Sat, 06 May 2017 05:08:55 +0000 lennypozner http://lennypozner.bcz.com/?p=23 Continue reading ]]> (HARTFORD, Conn.) — The Board of Education in Newtown, Connecticut, is waiting to hear back from President Donald Trump after asking him to take a stand against conspiracy theorists.

 

A letter it sent to the president asks him to publicly reject those who question facts regarding the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, including the radio host Alex Jones.

 

The White House this week told The Associated Press that Trump has been clear that “we, as a nation, are united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms.”

 

One man whose son was killed at Sandy Hook says he doesn’t think the president would be able to help much because conspiracy theories are rooted in mistrust of government.Leonard Pozner is among the victims’ relatives who have faced harassment from people who claim the shooting was staged.

 

This article is originally published here: http://time.com/4745178/donald-trump-newtown-sandy-hook-conspiracy-theorists/

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Prevent Yourself from Becoming the Victim of A Public Mass Shooting http://lennypozner.bcz.com/2017/05/01/prevent-yourself-from-becoming-the-victim-of-a-public-mass-shooting/ http://lennypozner.bcz.com/2017/05/01/prevent-yourself-from-becoming-the-victim-of-a-public-mass-shooting/#comments Mon, 01 May 2017 05:35:56 +0000 lennypozner http://lennypozner.bcz.com/?p=22 Continue reading ]]> In the aftermath of horrific tragedies such as the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the Orlando Pulse nightclub, Santa Barbara, the Aurora Theater, and even the Boston Marathon bombing, an offensive element of society, known as ‘truthers’ have seized the opportunity to advance their conspiracy theorist mindset upon the masses, by posting a litany of various forms of speculation and disinformation on YouTube and social media sites.

 

It has become apparent that mass public shootings are becoming more and more common in American society. We can no longer go about our daily lives with the belief that we are safe while out in public. Those innocent victims in the Omaha shooting entered that mall with no concerns for their safety because malls are supposed to be safe. In American society we have always had the understanding that public places are rarely the scene of violent crimes. A criminal would much rather find a potential victim who is not in a crowded public place because the odds of getting caught are high much higher.

 

The problem is that with these mass public shootings we are not dealing with a typical criminal who wants to commit his/her crime and then get away. The person planning the mass public shooting has no intentions of getting away because he/she fully intends to commit suicide or be killed by the Police. The mass shooter chooses a public place because it is full of innocent and usually unarmed civilians who are easy victims. The mass shooter wants to kill as many people as quickly as he can which is why the crowded public places are chosen.

 

It does us no good to try and understand why these people decide to murder innocent people before killing themselves or being killed by the Police. The human mind is complex and not fully understood and we may never know what triggers a person to commit mass murder. The important thing is for civilians to understand that the mass public shooting rampage is a real threat and steps need to be taken to protect themselves and their loved ones.

 

Here are ideas by Lenny Pozner (who lost his little son Noah Pozner at the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School) on keeping yourself safer while in public places:

 

1. Obtain a concealed firearms permit

Seriously look into obtaining a concealed firearms permit if your state allows it. More and more criminals are carrying concealed firearms so it only makes sense for you to carry one. Having a concealed firearm permit is a huge responsibility and it is not meant for everyone. Each state has their own rules for who can apply for a concealed firearms permit and the rules are meant to weed out those individuals who have no business carrying concealed firearms. You know yourself better than anyone and if you don’t think you are responsible enough to carry a concealed firearm, then don’t.

 

2. Purchase a firearm that is right for you

Find a local shooting range or shooting club and talk with someone who is an expert in the field of firearms. Tell this person that you are interested in obtaining information on handgun models for concealed carrying. This is an important step because if you intend on carrying a gun concealed in your waist band you don’t want to buy a big bulky gun. Women have it made because they have a lot of options on what type of gun to buy because they can carry the gun in their purse. Men have to conceal a handgun in their waist band, pants pocket, ankle holster, or carry a fanny pack.

 

3. Become proficient with your firearm

Don’t even consider being a candidate for a concealed firearms permit if you don’t have the time or desire to go to the shooting range. If you can’t hit the targets at the shooting range, how can you engage an armed homicidal subject in a crowded public place. When it comes to becoming proficient with a handgun you have to practice, practice, practice, and then practice some more. You don’t have to become an expert marksman but you need to be proficient with your handgun. Think of your handgun as a tool that you have to aide you in staying safe and you need to know how to operate your tool

 

4. Think like an off-duty cop while in public places

Constantly scan your surroundings for signs of danger or suspicious activity. This comes naturally for Police Officers because our job is all about watching and observing people and our surroundings. Look for a person or persons who are acting out of the norm for a law-abiding civilian who is in a public place. A person wearing heavy clothing during warm months or someone looking around frantically can be suspicious. When you start watching people in public you will see that 99.9% of the people go about their business in the same fashion. Scan the area the furthest away from you for signs of distress or danger such as people running, yelling, or a crowd gathering. Think of yourself as a walking human surveillance camera. You are walking around the public place and the whole time you are scanning and analyzing the people around you. Do it long enough and it will become 2nd nature as it is with Police Officers.

 

5. Know the layout of the public place that you are visiting

If you know the layout of the public place that you are visiting you will be better prepared to escape in the event of a life-threatening situation. Know the exit/entrance ways so you wont have to think about an escape route during a dangerous situation. During a life-threatening situation in a public place, avoid using the main exits because those areas could very well be a trap. Someone intent on murder would choose the most crowded areas of a public place which are typically the main entrance points.

 

6. Have a plan in case you find yourself in the middle of a public shooting

Spending time on a tactical team taught me the importance of having a plan. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Have a general plan in your head that you will implement if you find yourself in one of these dangerous situations. A plan could be something like this.

1. Find cover and concealment
2. Call 911 if possible
3. Retreat from source of danger when safe (don’t run blindly)
4. Have handgun ready (if you have a concealed firearms permit) and be prepared to act!

 

Our society is seeing more and more of these mass public shootings and there is no reason to believe that we have seen the last shooting rampage. The least you can do to increase your odds of staying safe is to be cognizant and aware that one of these mass public shootings can happen in any of the public places you frequent. If you choose to explore the possibility of obtaining a concealed firearms permit, contact your local law enforcement headquarters for more information.

Also read: Newtown Shooting Must Be Catalyst for Change

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Sandy Hook Truthers are The Worst http://lennypozner.bcz.com/2017/04/25/sandy-hook-truthers-are-the-worst/ http://lennypozner.bcz.com/2017/04/25/sandy-hook-truthers-are-the-worst/#comments Tue, 25 Apr 2017 12:27:08 +0000 lennypozner http://lennypozner.bcz.com/?p=21 Continue reading ]]> Lenny Pozner’s young son died in the Sandy Hook mass killing. Conspiracy theorists believe the killing was staged. Pozner’s efforts to educate them, to prove that his son died, only resulted in relentless trolling and harassment. Yet he keeps trying: “I’m going to have to protect Noah’s honor for the rest of my life,” he says.

 

To further his cause, Pozner has created an organization, called the HONR Network, whose goal is to “bring awareness to Hoaxer activity” and “prosecute those who wittingly and publicly defame, harass, and emotionally abuse the victims of high profile tragedies.” Since there is no criminal law that protects families like Pozner’s from the darker impulses of the Internet, he and his volunteers — folks he met virtually, when he began debunking — perform a slow and painful task. Whenever a video or a screed appears online attacking the victims of a horrible event, they alert venues like YouTube that their rules have been broken. The victories have been small. Though they’ve removed hundreds of links from the Internet, there are countless more like them.

 

“I know that the more garbage that is out there, the more it ages over time, the more the myth becomes accepted as a disgusting historical fact that tries to dismiss the existence of my child,” says Lenny Pozner. “I mean, damn it, his life had value. He existed. He was real. How dare they.”

 

Pozner occupies a place I know many are becoming familiar with: hoping that conspiracy theorists and other obsessives are arguing in good faith, but knowing, deep down, that it’s not the case. The subject at hand (and whatever human cost comes with it) is just an excuse to lash out and to justify that behavior.

The HONR Network [honr.com]

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Woman Charged in Sending Death Threats to Leonard Pozner, Father of Child Killed at Sandy Hook Pleads Not Guilty http://lennypozner.bcz.com/2017/01/31/woman-charged-in-sending-death-threats-to-leonard-pozner-father-of-child-killed-at-sandy-hook-pleads-not-guilty/ http://lennypozner.bcz.com/2017/01/31/woman-charged-in-sending-death-threats-to-leonard-pozner-father-of-child-killed-at-sandy-hook-pleads-not-guilty/#comments Tue, 31 Jan 2017 10:44:00 +0000 lennypozner http://lennypozner.bcz.com/?p=18 Continue reading ]]> A Florida woman has pleaded not guilty on charges that she sent death threats across state lines to a man whose son was murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012. Prosecutors told the judge that Lucy Richards, 57, told FBI agents after her arrest that she’d been “looking at these sites about government hoaxes” and “got angry,” leading her to threaten Leonard Pozner.

 

Pozner’s son Noah was the youngest Sandy Hook victim, just five years old when he was killed by the gunman. Leonard Pozner has since dedicated himself to fighting truthers who claim that Sandy Hook and other mass casualties are staged events. He also founded the HONR Network, which says it supports families being targeted by what they call “hoaxers.”

 

Pozner has spoken frequently about James F. Tracy, the conspiracy blogger and former professor who demanded certified proof that Noah had ever lived. Richards, according to a Sun-Sentinel account of her arraignment hearing, hasn’t held a job in over a decade, can’t drive, uses a walker, and gets by each month on $900 in disability assistance and SNAP benefits:

 

Richards used a walker and wore furry black house slippers, black pants and a flowery top in court. The former waitress, who said she has been unemployed since 2004, spoke in a soft voice and told the judge she is receiving Social Security disability assistance.

 

Richards is being charged with four felony counts of transmitting threats across state lines. She pleaded not guilty at an arraignment on Monday. She reportedly doesn’t have a computer, but uses her cell phone to access the internet. After perusing those unnamed websites, she’s accused of sending Mr. Leonard Pozner three voicemails (“You gonna die, death is coming to you real soon,” was one of the messages, prosecutors say) and one email, which allegedly contained the words, “Look behind you it is death.” NBC Miami reports that Richards said her only previous arrest was for theft, for stealing “two sandwiches” due to hunger.

 

Richards, who is represented by a federal public defender, remains free on bond. She’s been ordered to seek mental health treatment, stay off conspiracy websites, and avoid contacting any Sandy Hook families. If convicted, she faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.

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The Twisted Cruelty Of Sandy Hook Hoaxers by Lenny Pozner http://lennypozner.bcz.com/2016/12/30/the-twisted-cruelty-of-sandy-hook-hoaxers-by-lenny-pozner/ http://lennypozner.bcz.com/2016/12/30/the-twisted-cruelty-of-sandy-hook-hoaxers-by-lenny-pozner/#comments Fri, 30 Dec 2016 11:37:16 +0000 lennypozner http://lennypozner.bcz.com/?p=16 Continue reading ]]> After Adam Lanza brutally murdered 26 women and children at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, parents and relatives of the victims still relive the terror of that fateful day along with the daily anguish and torment they suffer over the loss of their loved ones. Worse, they have to suffer the onslaught of delusional conspiracy theorists, commonly called hoaxers, who claim Sandy Hook was a “false flag” event concocted by the government as a pretext to gun confiscation.

 

As a parent of one of the murdered students, Noah Pozner, Lenny Pozner has worked to debunk and stop the cruel and hateful hoaxers who use the Internet to spread their lies. Recently, some hoaxers have stepped up the intensity of their twisted campaign in an effort to draw more people into this destructive tale of misinformation and continue to disrupt the lives of victims’ families.

 

In the immediate aftermath of the senseless atrocity, the hoaxers labeled virtually everyone in Newtown as involved in the alleged plot to fake the shootings, including police, medical personnel and — most egregiously — the parents whose young children had just been slaughtered. Bloggers and YouTubers from across the Internet accused these grief-stricken parents of being paid actors and told them that their children never existed. Emergency responders and school staff, whose acts of heroism saved lives and helped mitigate the tragedy, were likewise scoffed at and accused of playing parts in this so-called scripted event.

 

Fortunately, saner minds generally have prevailed in this war of fact over fiction. Diligent researchers pored through mountains of evidence from multiple sources, including the voluminous final report submitted by the state of Connecticut, and thoroughly debunked the multiple false theories and claims proffered by the hoaxer community. As a result, much of the hysteria died down and many former skeptics were relieved to learn that their suspicions were unfounded.

 

Unfortunately, there still exists a small but obsessive faction of hoaxers who are either unable or unwilling to objectively discern the hard facts from among the fleeting hunches and groundless accusations. Others are well aware of the truth but exploit the tragedy for their own aggrandizement. Regardless of their motivation, all have one thing in common: They persist in stalking and harassing the Sandy Hook parents and others intimately connected to the tragedy.

 

Among their most active leaders is Tony Mead, apparently a resident of Florida. For several months, this serial cyber stalker has hosted a Facebook page where he has amassed a cult following of like-minded hoaxers who ravenously feed off each other’s paranoia and hatred for anyone who was affected by the Sandy Hook tragedy.

 

This is not a place where meaningful discussions are held or investigative inquiries are made. This is a place where strategies are plotted against grieving relatives and children’s identities are stolen and exploited to fulfill a twisted fantasy.

Mead’s contempt for the slain children is evidenced by the image that graces his Facebook page: A pale-white little girl with dark rings around her eyes. She is dirty, as if she has just crawled from the grave. A filthy forefinger is pressed against her pursed lips. Her devious grin implying that she is an undead or zombie child who is keeping a deadly secret from the gullible masses

 

The conversations held on this page are a morbid reflection of that image. Anyone stumbling upon this page by accident could easily mistake it as a meeting place for necrophiliacs and child predators. Photographs of the slain children are posted along with derogatory comments, often accusing them of being actors themselves or part of a satanic cult. Parents of these murdered children are regarded with the utmost contempt. Some posters make threats, while others fantasize about putting parents and others they consider conspirators away behind bars.

 

Mead, like his ally and fellow hoaxer Wolfgang Halbig, has expressed his desire to dig up the dead children. Though these hoaxers claim the corpses would serve as proof of the victims’ deaths, their actions tell an entirely different story of complete disregard for the families grieving the tragedy they know to be all too real. Their actions speak to a continued desire to dig through the lives and exhume the pain of all those who have been affected by the brutality displayed at Sandy Hook Elementary School — and who want nothing more than for their lost loved ones to rest in peace.
To know more, please visit: http://www.honr.com/

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HONR Network Legal Fund Created by Lenny Pozner http://lennypozner.bcz.com/2016/11/15/honr-network-legal-fund-created-by-lenny-pozner/ http://lennypozner.bcz.com/2016/11/15/honr-network-legal-fund-created-by-lenny-pozner/#comments Tue, 15 Nov 2016 12:33:34 +0000 lennypozner http://lennypozner.bcz.com/?p=12 Continue reading ]]> The HONR Network believes that decent society should not tolerate those who exploit tragedies and prey on the victims of violent crimes. Americans who’ve lost their loved ones should be allowed to grieve in peace without being harassed, exploited or subjected to online defamation. Unfortunately, the publicity surrounding most high-profile tragedies makes these vulnerable people ideal targets for this kind of persecution.

HONR Network

HONR Network is committed to standing up in defence of victims and their families affected by incidences of mass violence.  With every tragic new incident, conspiracy theorists are renewed in their zeal to unleash torrents of abuse, harassment, defamation and hate towards survivors and their families. Some are driven by pure delusion that such incidences are staged hoaxes, while others simply for profit.  Whatever the reason, HONR Network is dedicated to taking necessary action, within legal parameters, to bring accountability to Abusive Hoaxers; whether social or legal. The viciousness and cruelty visited upon those in trauma, pain, and grief by callous sociopaths cannot go unchallenged. The legions of additional followers the slanderous rhetoric attracts to churn out even more recruits to the mass delusion, and subsequent harassment of innocents, must be abated.

 

HONR Network is currently undertaking the task of financially assisting Sandy Hook parent Leonard Pozner, who’s 6 year old son Noah was killed in his elementary school along with 19 of his classmates and 6 female educators, to civilly prosecute Wolfgang Halbig.

 

As Mr. Pozner and his family grapple to deal with grief and moving on with life without Noah, Wolfgang Halbig spreads slanderous and defamatory propaganda against Mr. Lenny Pozner and his family, as well as that of the other Sandy Hook victims. Mr. Halbig’s campaign of disinformation and hate speech has resulted in the escalation of harassment and death threats toward Mr. Pozner, and continues to recruit new foot soldiers to the Sandy Hook truth movement every day.  Recent history has demonstrated that some of these “truther” types are dangerous to society, and have committed a slew of crimes as a result of their mindset.

 

In the wake of recent mass murders such as the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Boston Marathon bombing, and the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting. Conspiracy theorists have descended upon the bereaved like vultures, accusing them of being actors in elaborately staged government plots to deceive the public.

 

Then there are the emotionally disturbed and mentally ill individuals who are easily provoked by the false information spread by conspiracy theorists. They target the surviving family members and stalk them relentlessly, issuing tangible threats and often telling the victims that their loved ones didn’t die—or worse yet—never existed.

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A Newtown Father’s (Lenny Pozner) Fight against Online ‘Hoaxers’ — and for Noah Pozner’s Memory http://lennypozner.bcz.com/2016/10/05/a-newtown-fathers-lenny-pozner-fight-against-online-hoaxers-and-for-noah-pozners-memory/ http://lennypozner.bcz.com/2016/10/05/a-newtown-fathers-lenny-pozner-fight-against-online-hoaxers-and-for-noah-pozners-memory/#comments Wed, 05 Oct 2016 12:15:18 +0000 lennypozner http://lennypozner.bcz.com/?p=11 Continue reading ]]> On December 14, 2012, six-year-old Noah Pozner was murdered along with 20 other children and six adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

 

I interviewed his mother, Veronique Pozner, six days after her son’s funeral when the family had just finished sitting shiva, the traditional Jewish mourning period. Even as she was in deep grief, she told me that the incident had lit a fire within her to fight for gun control.

 

“This topic has got wings for me,” she said at the time. “It has got to take flight.”

 

Meanwhile, Noah’s father, Lenny Pozner, has been involved in a very different sort of fight, also one without a clear end in sight. He is battling against the horde of conspiracy theorists who have claimed that the Newtown mass shooting was fabricated and that his son didn’t die. Some claim that Noah never existed in the first place.

 

According to a new piece in New York Magazine, the Pozners and other Sandy Hook parents have been inundated with online harassment in the 3-1/2 years since the shooting. Hoaxers claimed that Veronique Pozner wasn’t a Newtown nurse but a Swiss diplomat, and suggested she had been Photoshopped into family photos. One hoaxer wrote a letter to the Pozners demanding they prove they were actually Noah’s parents.

 

The hoaxers also targeted state officials with anonymous telephone calls, showed up at the Newtown Board of Education meetings and filed Freedom of Information Act requests demanding evidence that the shooting actually took place.

 

The Pozners, who have since divorced, left Connecticut after the massacre and relocated to a state that they asked the magazine not to identify “given the threats that conspiracy theorists have leveled against some Sandy Hook families.”

 

According to the story, Lenny Pozner is especially attuned to the world of hoaxers since he used to entertain conspiracy theories himself, at one time questioning whether the moon landing was real and arguing over whether 9/11 was an “inside job.” Given his familiarity with hoaxers, he believes that ignoring them isn’t actually a productive way of fighting them.

 

“People don’t understand what trolls are,” he told journalist Reeves Wiedeman. “If you don’t feed them, they don’t just go away.”

 

Lenny Pozner has become the “de facto leader of the anti-hoaxer movement,” Wiedeman wrote. Lenny Pozner has attacked the trolls from various angles.

 

He started a web site to raise awareness about the issue and call for “legal consequences” against YouTube, Twitter and Facebook for providing a platform to conspiracy theorists. He scours the web for illegal use of his family photographs, notifying web sites of copyright infringement.

 

He also cowrote an op-ed with Veronique Pozner calling for Florida Atlantic University to fire professor James Tracy, who wrote a blog post questioning whether the massacre had taken place. Not long after, Tracy was dismissed but has since sued to get his job back.

 

Pozner also filed suit against one of the most notorious trolls, Wolfgang Halbig, for invasion of privacy.

 

“Suing Halbig is symbolic,” Lenny Pozner said. “If I can show that if you go after a victim, a victim is gonna sue you, that’s real.”

 

Lenny Pozner isn’t the only one to fight back. A group of 18 Newtown men — none of them lost children in the shooting — have taken it upon themselves to “disrupt the hoaxers’ lives” by trolling the trolls. The group covered some of the hoaxers’ cars in rubber duckies, a symbol of hope for Newtown since a Kiwanis club sent a box of 500 to surviving students.

 

Even so, it’s not at all clear that their efforts, or Lenny Pozner’s, will stop the online harassment. And Lenny Pozner believes that there are dire consequences for Noah’s memory if it doesn’t.

 

“Conspiracy theorists erase the human aspect of history,” he told New York Magazine. “My child — who lived, who was a real person — is basically going to be erased.”

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Lenny Pozner used to believe in conspiracy theories. Until his son’s death became one. http://lennypozner.bcz.com/2016/09/09/lenny-pozner-used-to-believe-in-conspiracy-theories-until-his-sons-death-became-one/ http://lennypozner.bcz.com/2016/09/09/lenny-pozner-used-to-believe-in-conspiracy-theories-until-his-sons-death-became-one/#comments Fri, 09 Sep 2016 07:16:19 +0000 lennypozner http://lennypozner.bcz.com/?p=9 Continue reading ]]> On December 14, 2012, Lenny Pozner dropped off his three children, Sophia, Arielle, and Noah, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Noah had recently turned 6, and on the drive over they listened to his favorite song, “Gangnam Style,” for what turned out to be the last time. Half an hour later, while Sophia and Arielle hid nearby, Adam Lanza walked into Noah’s first-grade class with an AR-15 rifle. Noah was the youngest of the 20 children and seven adults killed in one of the deadliest shootings in American history. When the medical examiner found Noah lying face up in a Batman sweatshirt, his jaw had been blown off. Lenny and his wife, Veronique, raced to the school as soon as they heard the news, but had to wait for hours alongside other parents to learn their son’s fate

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It didn’t take much longer for Pozner to find out that many people didn’t believe his son had died or even that he had lived at all. Days after the rampage, a man walked around Newtown filming a video in which he declared that the massacre had been staged by “some sort of New World Order global elitists” intent on taking away our guns and our liberty. A week later, James Tracy, a professor at Florida Atlantic University, wrote a blog post expressing doubts about the massacre. By January, a 30-minute YouTube video, titled “The Sandy Hook Shooting — Fully Exposed,” which asked questions like “Wouldn’t frantic kids be a difficult target to hit?,” had been viewed more than 10 million times.

 

As the families grieved, conspiracy theorists began to press their case in ways that Newtown couldn’t avoid. State officials received anonymous phone calls at their homes, late at night, demanding answers: Why were there no trauma helicopters? What happened to the initial reports of a second shooter? A Virginia man stole playground signs memorializing two of the victims, and then called their parents to say that the burglary shouldn’t affect them, since their children had never existed. At one point, Lenny Pozner was checking into a hotel out of town when the clerk looked up from the address on his driver’s license and said, “Oh, Sandy Hook — the government did that.” Pozner had tried his best to ignore the conspiracies, but eventually they disrupted his grieving process so much that he could no longer turn a blind eye. “Conspiracy theorists erase the human aspect of history,” Pozner said this summer. “My child — who lived, who was a real person — is basically going to be erased.”

 

The Pozners moved to Newtown in 2005, partly to send their kids to better schools, but after Noah’s death they saw no choice but to leave. “What happened just weighed on the town like a Chernobyl-like cloud,” Veronique told me from her home in a state far from Newtown that the Pozners prefer not to identify, given the threats that conspiracy theorists have leveled against some Sandy Hook families. The Pozners’ marriage had been falling apart before the shooting, and though Noah’s death briefly brought them back together, the couple eventually divorced. They still co-parent their daughters, who developed a fear of the dark after the shooting and asked Veronique to find a home in a gated community.

 

Lenny, who has a goatee and a middle-aged paunch, lives by himself a few miles from Veronique. Since relocating, he has moved apartments four times and gets his mail delivered to a P.O. Box on the other side of the state. “It’s part of what I need to do to stay vigilant,” he said. After eight months in his newest home, the living room was sparsely furnished, save for a painting of Noah and a cluttered coffee table topped with his daughters’ Barbie dolls and a book called The Meaning of Life.

 

“I prefer the term hoaxer to truther,” Lenny said, kicking a pair of jeans and Adidas flip-flops onto the footrest of leather Barcalounger. “There’s nothing truthful about it.” There is no universal Sandy Hook hoax narrative, but the theories generally center on the idea that a powerful force (the Obama administration, gun-control groups, the Illuminati) staged the shooting, with the assistance of paid “crisis actors,” including the Pozners, the other Sandy Hook families, and countless Newtown residents, government officials, and media outlets. The children are said to have never existed or to be living in an elaborate witness-­protection program.

 

Conspiracy theories run deep in the American consciousness — 61 percent of Americans believe Lee Harvey Oswald didn’t act alone — but a mass shooting had never drawn the conspiratorial attention that Sandy Hook did. The modern internet is partly to blame, with hours of uploaded cable-news coverage and reams of documents to parse for circumstantial evidence.

 

The internet also made it easier to reach victims, and the Pozners became an early target for hoaxers. Veronique, who is a nurse, joined several parents in channelling her grief into vocal gun-control advocacy. One early conspiracy theory held that she was actually a Swiss diplomat named Veronique Haller, who once attended a United Nations arms-control summit. (Veronique is Swiss, and her maiden name is Haller.) Hoaxers quickly scoured family photos on Veronique’s online accounts and began dissecting them for odd shadows or strange poses, suggesting that she had been inserted into the family via Photoshop.

 

Lenny may have been the first Newtown parent to discover that conspiracy theorists didn’t believe his son had been killed, because he used to be a serious conspiracy theorist himself. “I probably listened to an Alex Jones podcast after I dropped the kids off at school that morning,” Pozner said, referencing the fearmongering proprietor of InfoWars. Lenny Pozner had entertained everything from specific cover-ups (the moon landing was faked) to geopolitical intrigue (the “real” reasons why the price of gold sometimes shifted so dramatically) and saw value in skepticism. But for him, the appeal of conspiracy theories was the same as watching a good science-fiction movie. “I have an imaginative mind,” he said.

 

When he first discovered the theories about Noah, Lenny, who grew up in Brooklyn, made only a halfhearted attempt to respond. “I feel that your type of show created these hateful people,” Pozner wrote in an email to Alex Jones, to which one of Jones’s employees replied that Jones would love to speak to him if “we confirm that you are the real Lenny Pozner.” Pozner declined, in part because he found himself unable to do much of anything.

 

Read full story here at: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/09/the-sandy-hook-hoax.html

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Professor Faces Firing over Belief Sandy Hook Was a Hoax – Lenny Pozner http://lennypozner.bcz.com/2016/07/01/professor-faces-firing-over-belief-sandy-hook-was-a-hoax-lenny-pozner/ http://lennypozner.bcz.com/2016/07/01/professor-faces-firing-over-belief-sandy-hook-was-a-hoax-lenny-pozner/#comments Fri, 01 Jul 2016 07:06:34 +0000 lennypozner http://lennypozner.bcz.com/?p=4 Continue reading ]]> Parents of a victim called for James Tracy’s dismissal after he called the shooting a hoax

 

A university in Florida made efforts Wednesday to fire a professor who upset many by calling the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School a hoax.

 

Florida Atlantic University gave associate professor James Tracy 10 days to file a grievance before facing termination. Tracy wrote that media reports of the shooting in Newton, Conn. were fake, according to the Washington Post.

 

Parents of one of the victims responded in outrage last week. Lenny Pozner and Vernonique Ponzer penned an op-ed in the Sun-Sentinel calling for Tracy’s dismissal. Perhaps no one knows this better than Lenny Pozner, whose life was turned upside down when his son Noah became the youngest child slaughtered at the Sandy Hook Elementary School (SHES).

 

“The heartache of burying a child is a sorrow we would not wish upon anyone. Yet to our horror, we have found that there are some in this society who lack empathy for the suffering of others. Among them are the conspiracy theorists that deny our tragedy was real. They seek us out and accuse us of being government agents who are faking our grief and lying about our loss.”

 

The letter continues, detailing Tracy’s interactions with Lenny Pozner and Vernonique Ponzer.

“Tracy even sent us a certified letter demanding proof that Noah once lived, that we were his parents, and that we were the rightful owner of his photographic image. We found this so outrageous and unsettling that we filed a police report for harassment. Once Tracy realized we would not respond, he subjected us to ridicule and contempt on his blog, boasting to his readers that the “unfulfilled request” was “noteworthy” because we had used copyright claims to “thwart continued research of the Sandy Hook massacre event.”

 

In response Tracy wrote a post on the “Hoax at Sandy Hook” Facebook page defending himself and reasserting that there were no deaths at Sandy Hook. The Post reported that Tracy claims that “local co-conspirators” profited from faking grief and that the Ponzers sought to bully the school into firing him over his extensive research.

 

Tracy, who earned a doctorate at the University of Iowa, “teaches courses examining the relationship between commercial and alternative news media and socio-political issues and events” according to Florida Atlantic’s website

 

Tracy has 10 days to file a grievance to a notice of termination that university officials filed publicly Wednesday.

Also read: Florida’s unhinged ‘truthers’ exacerbate Newtown’s grief

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