'Child sex camp' conspiracy theories hide truth of homelessness crisis

Makeshift housing in Arizona has spawned an online fever dream. But the real reason for its existence is disturbing enough

In a Facebook video posted last week, an agitated man with a red beard, dark glasses and a crucifix necklace hurries through a makeshift homeless camp in the desert somewhere near Tucson, Arizona. “Authorities don’t want to come out, they don’t want to investigate,” he says, pointing out tarps strung between branches, an underground dugout, a toilet chair in the shade of a tree.

If we are to believe Michael Lewis Arthur Meyer, who heads a group called Veterans on Patrol, and the conspiracy theories now circulating in the more fervid nether parts of the internet, this is a “child sex camp” run by traffickers or drug cartels. Online commenters have linked it to a novelistically tortuous plot in which Hillary Clinton, George Soros, and the Democratic establishment at large are running a global sex-trafficking ring and seeking to undermine the United States. It’s the kind of web-generated fever dream that led, in 2016, to a shooting inside a Washington DC pizzeria that was also said to be implicated in sex trafficking.

Related: Death of Canadian man living in 24-hour coffee shop sparks housing outcry

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

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