American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousness (Paperback)
The mainstream news media struggles to understand the power of social media while conspiracy advocates, malicious political movements, and even foreign governments have long understood how to harness the power of fear and the fear of power into lucrative outlets for outrage and money. But what happens when the harbingers of "inside knowledge" go too far? Author Tea Krulos tells the story of one man, Richard McCaslin, who's fractured thinking made him the ideal consumer of even the most arcane of conspiracy theories. Acting on the daily rants of Alex Jones and his ilk, McCaslin takes matters into his own hands to stop the unseen powers behind the world's disasters who congregate at conspiracy world's Mecca- The Bohemian Grove. It all goes wrong with terrible consequences for the man who styled himself-The Phantom Patriot. McCaslin is not alone, as conspiracy-driven political action has bubbled its way up from the margins of society to the White House. It's no longer a lone deranged kook convinced of getting secret messages from a cereal box, now its slick videos and well-funded outrage campaigns ready to peddle the latest innuendos and lies in hopes of harnessing the chaos for political gain. What is the long term effect on people who believe these barely believable stories? Who benefits, and who pays the price? Krulos investigates and explains the power of conspiracy and the resulting shared madness on the American psyche. Tea Krulos is a Milwaukee-based writer who documents the underground world of fringe sub-cultures. His previous books, Apocalypse Any Day Now-Deep Underground with America's Doomsday Preppers and Heroes in the Night-Inside the Real Life Super Hero Movement explored the driving beliefs and lives of the people who choose to reject accepted reality and substitute their own.
About the Author
Tea Krulos is a freelance writer and author from Milwaukee, WI. He is a regular contributor to publications such as the Riverwest Currents, Milwaukee Record, M magazine, Fortean Times, Alcoholmanac, and the Shepherd Express. He has also been published in a wide variety of other publications including the New York Press, The Guardian, Boston Phoenix, Scandinavian Traveler, Maximumrocknroll, Doctor Who Magazine, The Onion's "A.V. Club" section, and Pop Mythology. His favorite subjects to explore and write about include unique subcultures, people, and places, as well as art, music, and pop culture. Krulos's first book is a non-fiction titled Heroes in the Night: Inside the Real Life Superhero Movement. It was published in October 2013 by Chicago Review Press. Heroes in the Night is a thorough investigation of a movement or subculture of people who call themselves "Real Life Super Heroes" and adopt their own costumed personas and hit the street to fight injustice. His second book, Monster Hunters: On the Trail With Ghost Hunters, Bigfooters, Ufologists, and Other Paranormal Investigators, was published June 2015 by the Chicago Review Press. It was a finalist in the Midwest Book Awards and made several reading lists ranging from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to Cult of Weird. Krulos' third book, Apocalypse Any Day Now: Deep Underground with America's Doomsday Preppers, was published on April 2, 2019 and is about "apocalypse culture," published by Chicago Review Press.