A Ferris State University science professor who was placed on administrative leave after a student paper revealed a series of disturbing tweets released a bizarre three-page letter full of conspiracy theories and a defense of using racist slurs.
In the letter, published on Tuesday, tenured physical sciences professor Thomas Brennan claimed that COVID-19 is a hoax, that the moon landing and atomic bombs are both fake, and defended his use of the n-word and spreading anti-semitic conspiracies on Twitter.
David Eisler, the university’s president, announced Brennan’s leave, saying in a statement that “we strongly reject these statements, condemn them, and will not tolerate them.”
According to Cora Hall, a reporter for the university’s student-run Torch newspaper, all this began when physical sciences professor Thomas Brennan revealed at a full staff meeting he was a COVD-19 denier.
In a Zoom live chat, Brennan wrote that “the pandemic and riots are a leftist stunt to overthrow the United States government and destroy our [civil] liberties.” The Torch reported that Brennan’s comment was condemned in a faculty-wide email as “unprofessional behavior” that “undermined the gravity” of the COVID-19 pandemic, while another faculty member said it was “particularly striking when a science professor pushes conspiracy theories challenging the scientific data.”
The Torch also published an article revealing Brennan’s Twitter account, where he tweeted conspiracy theories about COVID-19, went on antisemitic tirades, and used slurs. “Covid19 is another jewish revolution” reads one tweet. “Covid19 is simply (their) attempt to turn us all into slaves. They’ve failed,” reads another. In another tweet published by the Torch, Brennan uses the n-word three times, directed at other well-known scientists, while calling scientific concepts such as quarks fake.
“I had multiple Jewish students I know reach out to me personally and express their disappointment that the alleged anti-semitism was not immediately addressed and it makes them feel overlooked or not important,” Hall told Motherboard. “Some students who had him in class reached out to confirm that he talks about his conspiracy theories in class, sometimes spending most of class on it.”
In his letter published on Tuesday, he insisted the rumors of his science denialism, racism, and anti-semitism were greatly exaggerated and that he is “none of those things.” He also dismissed the outrage surrounding his Twitter account, which he calls a “hole to shout in” that he uses to “test the boundaries of language and ideas.” He offers his use of racial slurs as one example, insisting that “the ‘n-word’ is a mind-control spell designed to make us hate each other” and so he “uttered the word to try and neutralize its power.”
The unhinged rant that follows his denials makes it hard to take him seriously, to say the very least.
Brennan insists, for example, that “the Covid-19 pandemic is a stunt designed to enslave humanity and strip us of all our rights.” He predicts people will require proof-of-vaccination, eventually in the form of “injectable micro or nanotechnology” that is “a fulfillment of the prophecy of the mark of the beast” from the Book of Revelations.
He goes on to explain his belief that atom bombs are fake by quoting Dune, saying that atomic weapons are fear-inducing and “fear is the mind-killer.” Brennan explains that after watching footage of atomic bomb tests from the 1940s to 1960s, “it appears to me they are just films of explosions of large piles of TNT, made to look much bigger through special effects.” This sort of stuff, he reminds us, was also used to “produce the surprisingly real-looking tornado scene in the 1939 film, the Wizard of Oz.”
He also believes the moon landing was faked, he wrote, because “the inner solar system is a blast furnace” which means the surface of the Moon is over 700 degrees Fahrenheit, “not 250 F as NASA claims.” This, he insists, is why the Moon is red during a lunar eclipse. (The real reason is refraction due to Earth’s atmosphere.)
Brennan (who, remember, called COVID-19 a “Jewish revolution”) dedicates the letter’s final page to proving he is not anti-semitic by almost exclusively repeating anti-semitic theories. Brennan emphasizes that he “supports the existence of the state of Israel” and believes the Holocaust was real, before clarifying that it was done to “hijack their nation and take them hostage” and that “Hitler and the Nazis were the means to this end.”
Brennan also clarifies that he does not believe “middle-class Jews” are involved in an international cabal, but “a small number of their elites are.” He adds that “it shouldn’t be considered ‘antisemitic’ to talk about a Jewish mafia.”
Somehow, to Brennan, none of this is anti-semitic because “the great majority of elites involved in this globalist conspiracy are not Jewish.” He laments that “the entire world has fallen under the spell of a satanic, globalist elite” and he claims that “everyone, Jew and Gentile, will be microchipped and tracked 24/7.”
“I’ve had faculty reach out and tell me they are glad that I wrote the story and calling on the administration to take action,” Hall said. “Faculty also addressed the racial climate in the town hall held last night, some saying the working and leavening environment was toxic in regard to race.”
Michigan Live reported that a disciplinary investigation is underway as Brennan is a tenured faculty member, but his profile on the university’s website has been removed from the physical sciences department.
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