This has been a weird election season by any standard. But of all the falsehoods perpetuated to get votes, clicks, and dollars, it's hard to top one that got mercifully little attention: that the Getty Center houses "100,000 child sex slaves" and is tied to "a ring of international satanic pedophiles." Wait a minute—doesn't that sound like Pizzagate?
For some tinfoil hatters, #Pizzagate is old (fake) news, and the new hashtag is #OccupytheGetty (or #Ocuppy—spelling isn't an alt-right thing).
The Getty conspiracy theory is promoted by Truth Cat, a streaming radio station dealing pretty much exclusively in conspiracy-theory talk. The Getty got quite a bit of play in the lead-up to the election and afterward, with hosts devoting special shows to the Brentwood institution.
In a Nov. 30 show, Truth Cat's Orelia Light Helias promised to share "what she saw upon going deep underground beneath the Getty Center Museum in Los Angeles." Wait, an eye-witness account??? Well that's the thing. Helias claims to be a psychic "remote viewer" who can see distant places without actually going there.
Then on Dec 1: "The Steven D Kelley Show will expose the Getty Center as the entrance to a demonic under world of Satanic Pedophilia, and human sacrifice. This show will explain the connection of #pizzagate to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, with its underground tunnels, secret elevators, and subterranean dungeons. We can't hear the children scream when they are underground."
(This being the Internet, a disclaimer: THIS IS ALL MADE-UP. THE PEOPLE WHO MADE IT UP KNOW IT'S UNTRUE AND THINK ANYONE WHO BELIEVES IT IS AN IGNORAMUS.)
Since then Truth Cat's Facebook page has been pushing Getty falsehoods regularly. If there's a bright spot, it's that Truth Cat's calls to drain the Getty swamp haven't gotten so much as a retweet from the PEOTUS.
Just today, posters mentioning the Getty rumor turned up in Cheltenham, England, confusing elderly residents.
Why the Getty? Why Cheltenham?
Truth Cat seems to be based in Orange County. The call-in number has area code 714. The station website has a tab for donations—perhaps the fake news business isn't the lazy man's road to riches after all—and the mailing address is in La Puente, Calif.
Steven D. Kelley has apparently long held the view that the Getty Center is a veritable Area 51 of covert activity. His 2014 Kindle book, Cities Under the Plain, has a photo of the Getty Center on the cover. The description reads,
"A normal guy, wife and kids, finds a normal life spiraling in to the surreal world of CIA agents, UFOs, and secret underground bunkers. This true story shows the author slowly go from early exposure to CIA/NSA, to aliens and UFOs. From inventing laser weapon systems, to becoming an energy healer and Reiki master. Templars and Bildebergers, to healing the world with human energy. Many stunning secrets revealed guaranteed to wake you up."
He does know the Getty is also an art museum, right?