The mother of one of the children murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary has written a book about healing and recovery. Problem? A group known as the Sandy Hook truthers are using the Amazon reviews to trash author Scarlett Lewis—and to push their belief that the shooting was a hoax orchestrated by the government to get tougher gun laws, reports the Seattle Times. It's nasty stuff: “Scarlett Lewis is a fraud and a sellout to all of humanity,” writes one. “‘Scarlett’ should be put in jail! Zero Stars!! This book should be labled ((FICTION)) The Sandy Hook Event is *PROVEN* to have been a ‘drill,'" writes another. They're giving Lewis' Nurturing Healing Love: A Mother’s Journey of Hope and Forgiveness one-star ratings in an attempt to discredit it, which the newspaper says is an increasingly common tactic made possible by Amazon's policy of allowing reviews of products by people who haven't actually made a purchase.
Raw Story notes that the hoax theory is the most common of several conspiracy theories floating around about Sandy Hook, and it's getting a high-profile push from the likes of conservative radio host Alex Jones. In fact, after the recent shooting at a community college in Oregon, the local sheriff got into hot water when it emerged that he'd shared a video spreading the idea. Lewis herself seems unfazed, telling the Times, “Once you’ve had a child murdered, shot in the forehead, there’s not a lot that can ruffle your feathers." So who on earth would believe such crackpot theories? Researchers once thought that conspiracy believers were generally people "primed to see patterns everywhere," in the words of Live Science, which reports a first-of-its kind Swiss study casts doubt on that. While it doesn't explain why theories such as the one about Sandy Hook gain traction, researchers say it debunks a commonly held explanation. (Another Sandy Hook parent found solace in music.)