The moon landings were fake; either the FBI, KGB, American Mafia or all three were behind the assassination of President J F Kennedy; and airplane contrails are actually biological chemical agents designed to control population, weather and of course, attack enemies.
These are just three outlandish conspiracy theories being spread around the world by a small but devoted group of paranoid individuals society often colloquially calls Tin Hatters.
But now they have a whole new set of buddies. You know, the ones that say Tesla is ran by organized crime. The ones which say that lithium-ion battery packs are carcinogenic. That Tesla is secretly working with Google to spy on its customers in the biggest surveillance operation in the world. That Tesla drivers are responsible for killing innocent pedestrians, and have a higher-than-average inclination towards deviant sexual behavior.
You hadn’t heard them? No. Neither had we, until tech journalist Ryan Block posted a photo on Twitter yesterday afternoon of a flyer someone stuck to the windshield of his Tesla Model S electric car.
— Ryan Block (@ryan) April 30, 2014
Yes, the Tin Foilers are after the darling of the electric car world with some pretty outlandish claims.
The one-pager, which clearly states “CONSUMER ALERT” at the top in red type, lists a whole litany of claims targeted directly at the Californian automaker. In the interests of both brevity and sanity, we’re not going to go into them all here, but of the fifteen allegations, we’re guessing it’s possible to debunk most of them without the aid of Snopes.
Aside from the ones which claim Tesla drivers are at a “higher-than-average[sic] inclination towards drugs, strange sexual behavior and risk,” and that Tesla pays journalists and writers to “only write good things about Tesla,” we’re particularly fond of the wild allegation that Tesla bribed the former head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) David Strickland to award the highest ever safety test rating of any car on record.
Oh, and then there’s the one about anal itching. No, we’re serious. Whomever it is who is making, printing and distributing these flyers around San Francisco wants you to know that driving a Tesla can make your bottom itch.
At the current time, there’s no lead as to where the conspiracy-heavy prose comes from, nor have we heard any more reports of other Tesla Model S owners getting this strange — and frankly deranged — rant left on the windshield of their cars.
It remains to be seen then if Block — a well-known tech journalist who worked at Engadget, then left to found his own company gdgt before it became part of Engadget in a November 2013 merger — was targeted specifically for his public visibility or if it was just a random occurrence.
Obviously, we’ll keep our ears to the ground and let you know if this story, bizarre as it is, develops any further.
In the meantime, if you’re a Tesla Model S owner who finds this unusual leaflet stuck on your car — or you happen to be a San Francisco Bay area resident who catches someone in the process of posting this flyer somewhere — get in touch.
You can also support us directly as a monthly supporting member by visiting Patreon.com.