Other examples of radicalization via conspiracy theorizing are Lana Lokteff and Henrik Palmgren, the proprietors of the alt-media platform Red Ice. The married couple started out broadcasting shows about UFOs and secret societies, before going full white supremacist. They now peddle conspiracy theories such as “white genocide,” which asserts that enemies of the white race are trying to eradicate it, and feature guests who tell racist lies, including a shock jock who said that Dylann Roof’s massacre of Black church parishioners in Charleston, South Carolina bore the “telltale signs of stagecraft.” Some of the conspiratorial ideas that Red Ice has been promoting since at least 2014 found their way into the conservative mainstream during the Trump era, propagated by Republican lawmakers and highlighted on Fox News.
Lokteff is well aware of how people wind up on Red Ice. “They search around online,” she told me. “They’ll find some of the bait and some of the memes out there and kind of go down this little rabbit hole, and they find us.” Those who go down the rabbit hole might begin by wondering why there are a growing number of Spanish-language TV channels, why public schools let Muslim students wear hijabs, or why white women are having so few children—and then ask themselves if something bigger is going on, something nefarious, something that people in positions of power don’t want everyone else to see. Red Ice gives them the answers they crave.