Former PA politician featured in conspiracy ads claiming 300 million Americans will die in attack on power grid

Teddy Daniels, a Republican candidate for Pennsylvania lieutenant governor, enters the Wayne County Courthouse in Honesdale, Pa., on Friday, May 6, 2022, for a hearing on a protection from abuse order. (AP Photo/Michael Rubinkam)

By Sean Kitchen

November 29, 2023

Teddy Daniels is prominently featured in Facebook ads spreading conspiracy theories of an attack on the American power grid, which the ads say will claim the lives of 300 million Americans.

Teddy Daniels, a former candidate for Pennsylvania lieutenant governor and ally of State Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Franklin), is heavily featured in a series of doomsday deep fake ads on Facebook claiming that 300 million Americans will perish from an impending attack on America’s energy grid by Russia and China.

Kyle Tharp of the FWIW News newsletter (which is also owned by Keystone’s owner Courier Newsroom) originally reported that two right-wing conspiracy pages on Facebook, “The Patriot’s Digest” and “Patriot’s Digest,” have spent $75,000 on ads featuring Daniels in fake, AI-made videos promoting false claims of an imminent attack on the US power grid.

In one of the deep fakes, a simulated voice of former president Donald Trump can be heard thanking Daniels for making a documentary exposing a supposed attack on the power grid.

“Listen, folks, America is under a very serious threat from Russia and China right now. Meanwhile, the media and Sleepy Joe are doing nothing to inform and prepare the great American people for what’s about to happen any day now,” the simulated Trump voice said. “Our food and water supply along with our entire power grid are at a great risk. My trusted military experts tell me that 300 million Americans will perish during the first few weeks of this attack.”

The ad then goes on to thank Daniels for making a “documentary” exposing this supposed attack.

Another deep fake ad features a simulated video of podcaster Joe Rogan talking about the impending attack and also goes on to praise Daniels for releasing a “documentary” on the made-up conspiracy theories.

The documentary in question is a little over 50 minutes long, is narrated by Daniels, and runs through the doomsday scenarios of an electromagnetic pulse attack on the power grid carried out by the two superpowers and what the impending aftermath may look like.

“If you ignore this message and do nothing, there is a 90% chance you and your family will die,” Daniels says in the documentary.

Daniels then pitches his products on camera in order to help Americans “prepare” for the supposed 365-day blackout, including a “hemp-proof source of energy,” which he described as a “magic five inch device you can install on your breaker box that will instantly turn your entire home into a hemp shield.”

Despite the blatantly conspiratorial and reckless nature of the ads, Facebook is allowing them to run on their social-media platform, and Tharp warns that “for those who care about the spread of misinformation ahead of the 2024 elections, this should sound major alarm bells.”

Keystone could not confirm that Daniels himself is responsible for the ads, but he appears to be capitalizing off these deep fakes by promoting a doomsday survival guide named “Operation Blackout: How to Survive 365 Days of Darkness.” The online guide—which he also repeatedly promotes in the “documentary”—costs $67 and comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee.

While running for lieutenant governor during the 2022 primary, Daniels was removed from his home by police after a local court issued a protection-from-abuse order requested by his wife, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The Associated Press reported at the time that Daniels’ wife claimed the former candidate stalked her at work and verbally abused and threatened to throw her out of their home.

Daniels is currently residing in South Carolina and is the leader of the Veterans for America First’s state chapter according to social media posts on X, formerly known as Twitter.

 

Author

  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

CATEGORIES: GOP ACCOUNTABILITY

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