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Sandy Hook 'truthers' harass Newtown man, conspiracy theories go viral

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One person the truthers have zeroed in on is Gene Rosen, a Newtown man who took in six terrified students the morning of the shooting. He gave interviews to various media outlets afterward, and since then, he's been accused of being an actor paid to play a part. Fake Facebook profiles have been created in his name, and footage of the interviews with him has been edited and reposted, purportedly proving that Mr. Rosen is an actor.

“I don’t know what to do,” Rosen, a retired psychologist, told Salon. “I’m getting hang-up calls, I’m getting some calls, I’m getting e-mails with, not direct threats, but accusations that I’m lying, that I’m a crisis actor, ‘How much am I being paid?' ”

The underlying theme in all the theories is that the media, the government, and Obama administration specifically either manipulated or orchestrated the shooting to move political opinion on gun control. In particular, a comprehensive truther video focuses on discrepancies in initial reporting about the number and types of guns used by Adam Lanza.

Conspiracy theories are often used as a way of deflecting blame, Professor Pasley says. “If you’re a gun owner, you don’t want it all blamed on your group. So you adopt a conspiracy theory that blames it on someone else,” he says.

“Naturally people start coming up with different stories that aren’t about how having a house full of weapons is likely to lead to some sort of tragedy,” Pasley adds.

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