Mark Steele (conspiracy theorist)

Mark Steele (born 1960)[1] is a British conspiracy theorist, best known for his videos alleging that 5G, WiFi and other communication networks are part of a distributed weapon system.[2][3] He lives in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, England, which is the focus of much of his activism. Steele describes himself as a "Weapons Expert", claiming to have worked on undisclosed projects for the Ministry of Defence.[4] According to his Facebook profile, Steele has a degree in psychology and social sciences from The Open University.[5]

Mark Steele
Mark Steele at Trafalgar Sqare 1.jpg
Mark Steele addressing a crowd at Trafalgar Square in London on 19 September 2020
Born1960[1]
NationalityBritish
OccupationConspiracy theorist
Political partySave Us Now
MovementConspiracism
Criminal charge(s)Unlawful wounding, Possession of a firearm with an intent to endanger life, Illegal possession of ammunition
Criminal penalty8 years
Criminal statusreleased
Websitehttps://www.saveusnow.org.uk/

Promotion of conspiracy theoriesEdit

5G conspiracy theoryEdit

Steele claims that 5G networks are a deadly technology which have killed over 400 people.[1] According to Steele, the 5G telephone network is part of a distributed "Kill Grid" which includes other street-furniture such as lamp-posts.[6] He has repeated claims first disseminated by David Icke, that 5G networks are the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2018, Steele addressed the Democrats and Veterans Party, on the subject of 5G Networks. The video of his speech was widely shared on YouTube[7][8]. In 2019, he spoke at the "5G Apocalypse event", organised by "Bali-based New Age influencer Sacha Stone".[9] BuzzFeed News and Vice News have reported that Steele and Stone used such events as well as legal defence funds to make money from their followers.[9][1]

According to Steele, children are being “microwaved in their beds“ by 5G.[10]

Gateshead council trialEdit

Steele's activism has focused on Gateshead council,[11] who he claims are "secretly trialling the technology, causing cancer and microwaving babies in their beds".[12] Steele has also described Gateshead councillors as “baby killers”.[13]

In 2016, Steele began investigating newly installed street-lighting when a neighbour complained that it was causing nosebleeds. Steele became convinced that the street-lights contained 5g technology.[14] Steele claims that the installation of 5G equipment in Gateshead has destroyed the local sparrow population.[5]

Gateshead council issued a statement that, contrary to Steele's claims, street-lighting does not cause cancer.[15][9] Steele's claims were publicised by the Daily Mail, causing the story to go viral online.[8]

In October of 2018, Steele won a court case overturning a July 2018 "gagging order", which had previously prevented him from blogging his claims on his personal website,[16][17] but was placed under an injunction to stop him harassing council staff and councillors.[18][9][16] However, later in October, Steele was convicted of having made threats against members of Gateshead council in April.[12][19]

COVID 19 denialismEdit

Steel has promoted conspiracy theories and misinformation linking the launch of 5G Networks in Wuhan, China to the COVID-19 pandemic. Steele describes 5G as "genocide" carried by "the deep state".[20] When asked about links between 5G and coronavirus, Steele told The New York Times: "It's looking a bit suspicious, don't you think?"[21]

In May 2020, Twitter began labelling his posts about 5G and the pandemic as "misinformation".[22]

In September 2020, he spoke at an anti-lockdown rally in Glasgow.[23][24]

On 19 September, Steele claimed that he has “raised tens of thousands” for the anti-mask and anti-lockdown causes, without any evidence to support his claim.[25]

Steele and fellow anti-vaccine campaigner and conspiracy theorist Kate Shemirani have been described as "controlled opposition" by supporters of David Icke and Piers Corbyn, both of whom have distanced themselves from a 19 September 2020 protest.[26]

Shooting convictionEdit

In 1993, Steele was convicted of the accidental shooting of a teenage girl, who had been hit by a shot from a hand-gun fired by Steele during an argument outside the Redskins Pub, Washington, Tyne and Wear. Steele, who was working as a bouncer at the pub, claimed that he was concerned about his safety and brandished the weapon out of "bravado". In court, Steele admitted to unlawful wounding, possession of a firearm with an intent to endanger life and illegal possession of ammunition.[27][28] Steele was sentenced to a prison sentence of 8 years. The victim survived with significant paralysis.[29]

Personal lifeEdit

Steele is known to associate with far-right individuals. In 2019, he was photographed with a member of the far-right Islamophobic English Defence League (EDL).[30]

See alsoEdit

Protests over responses to the COVID-19 pandemic#United Kingdom

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Large, Megan Lily (8 April 2020). "My Dad Got Hoaxed By the Anti-5G Conspiracy Movement". VICE. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  2. ^ Sofie Jackson (20 December 2019). "Authorities 'have no idea who is behind 5G and what its true power is'". The Star.
  3. ^ Cellan-Jones, Rory (15 May 2020). "Glastonbury 5G report 'hijacked by conspiracy theorists'". BBC News. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  4. ^ Brady, Jon (8 June 2020). "INVESTIGATION: A burning phone mast in Dundee and the 5G conspiracy theory groups on Facebook". The Courier. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  5. ^ a b Mance, Henry (14 April 2018). "Why conspiracy theories are everywhere". Financial Times.
  6. ^ Isobel Cockrell (20 March 2020). "Coronavirus has conspiracy theorists and anti-5G campaigners working overtime". Coda.
  7. ^ Ryan Broderick (3 April 2020). "A Conspiracy Theory That 5G Is Causing The Coronavirus Is Spreading Alongside The Pandemic". Buzzfeed News.
  8. ^ a b Pope, Maria (29 April 2020). "Why Do People Think 5G Causes Coronavirus?". VICE. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  9. ^ a b c d Broderick, Ryan (7 April 2020). "5G Conspiracy Theorists Use Coronavirus Fears To Make Money". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  10. ^ "Children are being 'microwaved in their beds' by 5G transmitters, campaigner tells court". Evening Chronicle. 1 September 2018.
  11. ^ Burgess, Kaya (10 April 2018). "'The street lights will not give you cancer': Gateshead council tells conspiracy theorist to lighten up - News". The Times. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  12. ^ a b Kathryn Riddell (24 September 2018). "5G campaigner on trial RECAP: All updates as Mark Steele convicted of threatening Gateshead councillors". Chronicle Live.
  13. ^ "Man who thinks street lights cause cancer called Gateshead councillors 'baby killers'". Evening Chronicle. 23 October 2018.
  14. ^ Pope, Maria (29 April 2020). "How Britain Fell for the 5G Conspiracy Theory". Vice.
  15. ^ Knight, Chris (9 April 2018). "Council responds to 'Government' conspiracy fears". Chronicle Live.
  16. ^ a b Johnson, Ian (12 October 2018). "WW1 soldiers and 'baby killers': 5G row makes it to court". Chronicle Live. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  17. ^ Johnson, Ian (8 October 2018). "Man who thinks street lights cause cancer called Gateshead councillors 'baby killers'". Chronicle Live.
  18. ^ "Injunction obtained against Gateshead resident". Gateshead Council. 12 October 2018. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  19. ^ Doughty, Sophie (1 January 2019). "Five courtroom dramas that had readers gripped in 2018". Chronicle Live. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  20. ^ Lytvynenko, Jane; Broderick, Ryan; Silverman, Craig (21 May 2020). "These Are The Fake Experts Pushing Pseudoscience And Conspiracy Theories About The Coronavirus Pandemic". Buzzfeed News.
  21. ^ Satariano, Adam; Alba, Davey (10 April 2020). "Burning Cell Towers, Out of Baseless Fear They Spread the Virus". The New York Times.
  22. ^ "Coronavirus: MPs demand answers on misinformation". BBC News. 21 May 2020. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  23. ^ Hebditch, Jon (6 September 2020). "Anti-lockdown protesters gather in Glasgow Green over Covid-19 restrictions". Daily Record. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  24. ^ "Glasgow coronavirus: Anti-lockdown protesters take to Glasgow Green". Evening Glasgow Times. 6 September 2020.
  25. ^ "Anti-lockdown leaders want you to think they're leading a spontaneous people's movement – it's anything but that". The Independent. 23 September 2020.
  26. ^ Kennedy, Dominic; Ellis, Rosa (11 September 2020). "Piers Corbyn blamed for split among coronavirus deniers". The Times. Retrieved 21 September 2020. (subscription required)
  27. ^ Hillary Clixby (22 February 1994). "Doorman jailed for shooting girl in head". Newcastle Journal – via British Newspaper Archive.
  28. ^ Hall, Peter (21 September 1993). "Bystander hurt in pub row shooting". The Times – via Archive.org.
  29. ^ Natasha, Wheale (15 January 2006). "REAL LIVES: I was shot in the head, paralysed, in a wheelchair and 6st overweight ..but now I'm a walking miracle; EXCLUSIVE". Sunday Mail – via The Free Library.
  30. ^ "Anti-lockdown leaders want you to think they're leading a spontaneous people's movement – it's anything but that". The Independent. 24 September 2020.