A Newtown, Connecticut resident who sheltered six children following the deadly attack on the nearby Sandy Hook Elementary School is having his Jewish religion used against him by conspiracy theorists.
Gene Rosen, a retired psychologist whose home sits next to the school, has granted several emotional interviews to news outlets since the massacre.
In an article on Salon.com he says that his high profile has made him the prime target of “truther” conspiracy theorists who believe that the horrific shootings never actually happened.
Among all the online attacks against him, he is referred to as the “emotional Jewish guy” by people who attempt to tie that into their conspiracy theories, according to the Daily Mail.
A friend shields him from most of the online material being posted about him by doing daily sweeps of the Web. His wife is worried for their safety. He’s logged every email and every call, and consulted with a retired state police officer, who said police probably can’t do anything at the moment; he plans to speak to the FBI as well. “The quantity of the material is overwhelming,” he said of what was being posted online.
“I don’t know what to do,” he told Salon. “I’m getting hang-up calls, I’m getting some calls, I’m getting emails with, not direct threats, but accusations that I’m lying, that I’m a crisis actor, ‘how much am I being paid?'”
The harassment has made Rosen’s life difficult–and different. “I was sitting in a restaurant the other night and these guys who were part of a car club came up to me and shook my hand and said, ‘You know, you’re a hero to me.’ He had seen me on TV. So I said thank you. Then I’m sitting there and I hear this other guy, ‘Oh yeah, it was a conspiracy.’ He was a big guy,” he told Salon.
“I tell you what, I had evil thoughts. I wanted to go over to the first guy, and he had about 15 big guys with him, and say, ‘I’m going to go talk to this other guy — just watch my back.’ And then I wanted to go over to the other guy and get up in his face and say, ‘See those guys over there, just know they’re keeping an eye out for me.’ And then I wanted to say, ‘I want to see what you look like. I want to see what a person who generates this kind of evil shit looks like. I want to look at your face and tell you you’re an a**hole,'” he told Salon.