Another Minnesota Man story

This Minnesota man doesn’t murder any human beings, instead he just slaughters integrity and reason. From corporate America to conspiracy theory promotion: How a Minnesota man made a career out of anonymously amplifying dark plots.

Sean G. Turnbull displays many of the hallmarks of a successful upper-middle-class family man, a former film producer and marketing manager for one of the country’s largest retail corporations who lives in a well-appointed home in this Minneapolis-St. Paul suburb. Former colleagues describe him as smart, affable and family-oriented.

But for more than a decade, the 53-year-old has also pursued a less conventional path: anonymously promoting conspiracy theories about dark forces in American politics on websites and social media accounts in a business he runs out of his home. His audience numbers are respectable and his ad base is resilient, according to corporate records and interviews.

Turnbull has identified himself online for 11 years only as “Sean from SGT Reports.” He has amassed a substantial following while producing videos and podcasts claiming that the 9/11 attacks were a “false flag” event, that a “Zionist banker international cabal” is plotting to destroy Western nations, that coronavirus vaccines are an “experimental, biological kill shot” and that the 2020 election was “rigged” against President Donald Trump, according to a Washington Post review.

I still wouldn’t respect or like him, but I think he’d be a better man if he’d merely tossed someone in a woodchipper, rather than making a lucrative career out of misleading the public.

He quit his former job and is doing this propaganda full time! He just sits there and writes absurd lies and is making good money, too.

For years, Turnbull’s operation has generated revenue through subscriptions and donations and by advertising survival products and precious metals, which Turnbull has recommended as a hedge against an impending U.S. economic collapse, the Post review found. He reported that his business was generating between $50,000 and $250,000 annually in 2019, according to a voluntary business survey he answered and submitted to the Minnesota secretary of state that year.

Jesus. We’re doing everything all wrong. Would you all mind if we started advertising buckets of freeze-dried food and gold ingots here on Freethoughtblogs? After all, how are you going to survive the climate apocalypse and the global pandemic without a handy supply of precious metals in your mattress?

I am really curious about these products. Late night television commercials, far right websites, and televangelist programming all push those same two things: survivalist products and precious metals. Why? Is it because their market is all about fear, and these are the things they want, or is it because there is such a high markup and low inventory demand to tap into these things? Are there alternatives that would be equally profitable without filling such a loony niche, and if so, why isn’t anyone exploiting them?

OK, I guess porn is one such alternative.


  1. jack lecou says

    Are there alternatives that would be equally profitable without filling such a loony niche, and if so, why isn’t anyone exploiting them?

    Don’t forget bullshit dietary supplements. Though that’s just another loony niche, not a true alternative.

  2. James Fehlinger says

    I guess porn is one such alternative.

    There’s a lot of money to be made exploiting nut markets.

    Ha ha. I see what you did there.

  3. unclefrogy says

    the problem is if you do not place money above all things you probably can’t do what these entrepreneurs seem so able to do.

  4. quasar says

    Gold is likely to be useless in an actual apocalypse, but it sells well because of people who can’t tell the difference between reality and fiction.

    They’re caught up in this fiction where paper money becomes less than worthless and the survivors start trading in bottle-caps or bullet shells. Precious metals, though, are rare. They’re rare now, they’ll still be rare after zombies eat most of humanity, and since their rarity is the only thing that makes them precious they assume they’ll still be precious after the end and that the people around them will pay a premium for them.

    Everything about this scenario is fiction. A real world apocalypse wouldn’t be nearly so dramatic: it would be a slow burn, manifesting as a gradual increase in suffering for the poor and disadvantaged as the things they need to survive become harder to obtain. Money won’t become worthless, though it will certainly become worth less. And the rich and powerful will become even more corrupt, insular and autocratic as they put up walls to protect themselves from the people.

    Sound familiar?

  5. Vreejack says

    There is a lot of money in selling bullshit to the uninformed. Look how well Tucker Carlson does. Dinesh D’Sousa also “wastes” his intellectual powers preaching conservative apologetics to the ignorant choir; he’s the master of the bad faith argument.

  6. lochaber says

    I remember reading some survival and similar books back in the 80s or so (who knows when they were initially printed, not likely much later then the 70s), and they recommended stockpiling some of your savings in gold coins (maybe Swiss Francs, although I’m not sure when they were last made with gold…).

    I think it was less about surviving an apocalyptic scenario, and more about not getting completely financially wiped out if there was sudden and massive inflation, or just the collapse/failure of a country/government. And coins seem more reasonable than bullion/ingots. Although I do think they said you could buy a small farm for about ~$30K now, and $30K would get you enough gold to buy a farm in Imperial Roman times. I have no idea if there is any accuracy to those claims, this was long before I had access to the internet, and it’s not something I really care about enough to spend the time/energy fact checking.

    Anyways, I suspect a far better investment for the apocalypse would be to spend your money on training/education. Take a shop, sewing, or cooking class at a community college. Join a foraging club. Take first aid, CPR, EMT classes. Training and education can’t be taken/stolen from you, and not only may it directly increase your chances of survival, but it will make you more appealing to forming/expanding groups. It’s a two-fer – it makes you less of a target for predatory and desperate types, and more of an asset for cooperative types.

  7. wzrd1 says

    Well, if the price is right, a few gallons of AuCN would be doable. It’d be nice to plate my own board connectors. Other than that, I don’t have much use for the metal.

    As for freeze dried food, why not? I’m partial to both potato flakes and sliced in that form, many spices as well and other foods on an individual basis (some are horrible after being freeze dried). After all at peak summer heat and when it’s snowy and icy out, whoinhell wants to go shopping?
    Be warned, I do purchase in 1 – 3 month supply lots. Mostly, to avoid shopping for staples often. Came in handy during the pandemic.

    So, how many of which species of spider for what quantity of consumable?

  8. KG says

    Don’t forget bullshit dietary supplements. – jack lecou@2

    I’ve heard of Hindu pseudo-medical cranks recommending cows’ urine for various ailments, but bulls’ shit??

  9. Alt-X says

    Yeah I think I’ll have to skip your Only Fans account PZ :)

    But yeah, I’ve said this before, you should at least have an Amazon affiliation account so you get something when you link to Amazon books on your site. Your whole site should be setup this way. And yeah, sticking a few ads at the bottom of the page wouldn’t kill you. People will complain, but they still use every other site that has ads on the internet. And it’s not like people are running PC’s from the late 90’s that struggle to load webpages.

  10. blf says

    Are there alternatives that would be equally profitable without filling such a loony niche, and if so, why isn’t anyone exploiting them?

    Freeze-dried gold bars. “Ordinary gold” deteriorates over time, but freeze-drying is effective preservation.

    What about gold jewelry and things in museums from hundreds of years ago?
    What about them? They’re replicas. The real gold jewelry disintegrated years ago. Think about it… You’ve never felt them, held them, personally checked them. Only so-called “experts” surrounded by the armies of the elites have ever, supposedly, checked them. Of course T.H.E.Y. say they’re real! Just like the election — honesy trustworthy people who know can’t do their own verification.

    My Grandma’s gold wedding ring looks in fine shape — is it also a replica?
    Unlikely. But it probably isn’t pure unadulterated gold — adulterating the gold is another preservation, but unlike freeze-drying, contaminates the gold. It’s golden, not pure gold. (And most gold adulterating is done by pedophile gays.)

    My Grandma’s gold wedding ring is a peophile gay?
    No. Gold, even adulterated gold, is safe. But avoid anyone who deals in adulterated gold, like jewelers, bankers, the IRS, scientists, and the Vatican.

    I can freeze-dry food at home, so should I buy some gold bars and freeze-dry them myself?
    Freeze-drying inedibles (things that aren’t food) is a more complicated and slower process than freeze-drying food. The temperatures are much lower, and you’re not just removing water, fluoridation, magnets, graphene oxide, and microchips, but (as a short incomplete list of examples) WiFi, residue from demons and Democrats, Au, AI, Arabic al-‘s, Beta particles, vaccines, the remains of spiders that fell into the melting vats, banker’s grubby fingerprints (most gold bars are completely covered in a disgusting film of greedy-monger’s grease), the various secrets marks the IRS, CIA, FBI, NSA, Nasa, Tiffany, the CCP and Rothschilds, have deliberately added to track the gold and spy on those within a few thousand miles. Dealing with all of this adulteration and contamination and mind-controlling spyware is safely done only with very rare equipment — and if T.H.E.Y. find out you have the equipment, you’re raided and sold as slaves to the Taliban after being mind-erased by UFOs. (After processing, the freeze-dried gold can’t be traced, so you’re completely safe, as well as having a very valuable portable wealth.)

    I already have some ordinary gold! Can I send them to you for freeze-drying?
    Yes. We use a complicated chain of intermediaries and other measures (which must be kept secret to avoid tipping off the bankers) to reliably collect your gold after you supply your bank details (for payment) to our front office in Nigeria. The freeze-dried gold will be sent back to you by the courier of your choice, in plain packaging.

    Can I deliver my ordinary gold in-person? Or pick up the freeze-dried gold in-person?
    Conveying “ordinary gold” is risky. Not only are the bankers and elites after it, so are thieves, atheists, and other criminals, such as the government. Who can all also track your journey and record your conversations using your cell phone, the gold bars themselves, satellites and UFOs, robots, and paid minions. So we don’t recommend delivering your gold to us in-person. Our secure collection facility avoid all these pitfalls.

    But yes, you certainly can collect the freeze-dried gold in-person. The pick-up location will be securely sent to you when your gold has been freeze-dried and is being packaged for collection. In the past we’ve met customers in Paris, Athens, Bethlehem, at the pyramids in Egypt, on Tahiti or in Hawaii. We’ll make the flight arrangements and hotel reservations for you, at a substantial discount over the normal prices. (You can even pay with a grain of the freeze-dried gold!)

  11. jack lecou says

    KG @9:

    I’ve heard of Hindu pseudo-medical cranks recommending cows’ urine for various ailments, but bulls’ shit??


    I do remember reading something somewhere about a round of tests on herbal supplements that found mostly a mixture of dirt/manure/compost instead of the labeled ingredients. Which would literally fit the bill, I think. Not really surprising, either, alas. (Google isn’t helping me with a reference, though. All I can find is this about a little incidental bacterial contamination from fertilizer. The report I’m remembering was a little more…flagrant.)

  12. bodach says

    I think blf @11 has covered most of what I was going to say.
    I have tried sleeping on my stash of gold ingots but found it very uncomfortable what with all the edges. I have moved on to bags of pearls which are much better at conforming to my body.

  13. says

    What use is gold going to be if civilisation collapses? At least notes and coins are easily divided up, even if the person pictured on them is dead and the promise to pay the bearer, on demand, the sum of however many pounds is looking unlikely.

    If I was preparing for a zombie apocalypse-type scenario, I would know the only currency that’s going to be worth anything in that situation is tobacco. So I’d get a 200L metal drum, fill it with cigarettes, flush it out with nitrogen, seal it and forget about it.

    There’s bound to be someone desperate for a smoke at the end of the world …..