Alan Truelove, whose son was charged last week with stealing two memorial signs from a playground dedicated to the memory of Sandy Hook shooting victims, has a long career as a racist internet troll, litigant, and researcher for right wing ‘think tanks.’ Mental illness and deranged worldviews appear to run in the Truelove family. As journalist Chez Pazienza reported on Friday,
(Herndon, VA police) tracked the geotags to the home seen in the photos we posted last week, which was actually a small unit rented by someone named Alan J. Truelove. They obtained a warrant and this morning arrested Truelove, the father of the man suspected of being the actual sign thief, Andrew David Truelove. While the elder Truelove hasn’t been charged with anything yet, since he denies knowing the signs in his home were stolen, while being arrested he apparently asked the police how they could be sure the Sandy Hook shooting had really happened. So, yes, it looks like he’s a Sandy Hook truther just like his son.
Surprisingly, the elder Truelove has a scientific background working with hard data. While working for the Rand Corporation in 1964, he wrote an in-flight maintenance manual for the Apollo program. A mathematician with dual British citizenship, his name also appears on this 1971 study of antisubmarine warfare.
But Truelove became less empirical and more ideological with time: in 2001, he provided “statistical oversight” on a paper by Numbers USA, an organization linked to white supremacists that opposes immigration reform with alarmist messages about population growth. Five years later, Truelove was a plaintiff in a lawsuit by right wing organization Judicial Watch against the city of Herndon, which had set up an assembly point for day laborers.
By that time, Truelove (Facebook here) had already become very familiar with torts. In the 1970s, he sued Mensa, the international organization for people with high intelligence, beginning more than two decades of personal drama with the group. In 1993, Truelove was suspended from the Mensa internet forums over his constant legal threats and racist trolling — habits that continued afterwards on Usenet and Google Groups. His issues with the organization ended in permanent expulsion after Mensa held a judicial hearing in 2000.
Far from a random event, Andrew Truelove’s theft of the Sandy Hook memorial signs and his disturbing personal history may be the natural outcome of life in his father’s paranoid right wing world of white resentment.