Lenny Pozner is the father of a 6-year-old boy who was killed during the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. He says he has been harassed constantly since former Florida Atlantic University James Tracy and other conspiracy theorists began popularizing the idea that the shooting was a hoax. Often, harassment comes in the form of “obnoxious” Facebook messages, Pozner says. “Comments like ‘How much money did you make faking all of this?” or ‘Prove your son died by digging up his grave’” — that type of rhetoric.” Even first responders in Newtown get harassed and accused of lying. Little children who look like the ones who died are accused of being the same children, their existence touted as “evidence” of a government conspiracy. Last week, Pozner received death threats, recorded on his voicemail.
“It all comes from this group’s primary agitators,” Pozner says via phone, meaning Tracy (who gets taken seriously because he “has ‘PhD’ after his name) as well as his like-minded conspiracy theorists Wolfgang Halbig and Holocaust denier Jim Fetzer (a retired professor).
Though Tracy has been fired, Pozner can’t believe that Florida Atlantic University administrators let him continue to teach for so long. “I’m relieved that they finally took action, but it’s long overdue,” Pozner says. “Turning a blind eye to Tracy’s indiscretions for so long is unconscionable. They’ve been stepping over dead bodies for three years. I’m disgusted.” He was dismayed that the Schmidt Family Foundation gave the university a $16 million gift in 2014 with Tracy still on staff.