After a year of studying his habits, I've become used to Alex Jones spending a lot of his time on air selling products, basically running an extended telethon. Then, on the December 5, 2017 edition of his show, he did something that threw me for a loop; he introduced a new website to sell his wares called Fortified Supply.
The creation of a superfluous website made me suspicious. This sales purpose of the site overlaps with the already-existing InfoWars Store, so it makes no sense for him to create a duplicate. The first thought that crossed my mind was Alex realized the name InfoWars is no good in the public consciousness. He likely thought that, in order to continue making money, he would have to distance his products from the tainted Infowars brand.
Then, he claimed on air that he was starting Fortified Supply in order to "get around MAP (minimum advertised price) agreements," allegedly so he could offer his listeners the lowest possible prices for everything.
That is mildly plausible. It is in character for Alex to screw over his suppliers by disregarding agreements he'd made about how he would market their products, but something still didn't seem quite right. It would be a big deal, and a real shitty, competition-busting move if this were what he was up to.
I decided to check out Fortified Supply and see if the advertised prices were any lower than they were on the InfoWars Store. I was surprised by what I found. Generally speaking, prices were identical, and in some cases, they were higher than the advertised prices on InfoWars, and higher still than the prices advertised on the suppliers' websites. HarvestRight's Large Freeze Drier for example, was listed as being $3,145.50 (down from $4,995) on Fortified Supply, but on HarvestRight, they were listed as being $2,995 (on sale from $3,495). Across the board, there was little evidence he was undercutting.
This idea about dodging MAP agreements did not make sense. What he was describing on the show was him committing an unethical business practice that he wasn't actually committing. I was very confused, and figured that something fishy was up, but it wasn't clear what it was.
After that Dec. 5th plug, Alex stopped mentioning Fortified Supply on the show, and the whole curious matter slipped from my mind, as I had bigger fish to fry (code for: Alex released a video of himself drunk at his house, yelling).
And then, it was brought to my attention that I should check out the Fortified Supply terms and conditions page (shout out, Policy Wonk John). When I did, I found this interesting nugget:
It struck me as immediately interesting that Alex was having customers make out checks to Free Speech Systems, instead of to Fortified Supply, which appeared to be this business' name. In that clip, and on the Fortified Supply website, he claims they are just a reseller of InfoWars products, which heavily implies that it is a separate business (it is not, there is no filing for Fortified Supply as an LLC, and if it were its own company, there is literally no reason to remit payments to Free Speech Systems). At the bottom of the page, it clearly claims Fortified Supply is copyrighted (no such copyright exists in the US Copyright Office database):
The reason this is important is that Free Speech Systems is the name of the parent company Alex Jones uses to run InfoWars, and the PO Box number 19549 is the exact PO Box that Alex uses for InfoWars-related matters. If you look at the terms and conditions page for the InfoWars Store, you will find the identical PO Box being used for people to send payment to:
Here is where this link becomes very important, and highly problematic. According to Texas law, and the Assumed Business or Professional Name Act, people conducting business under assumed names must file with the Secretary of State and the County Clerk (of the county they are doing business in) attesting that they are filing a Doing Business As (DBA) name. Alex Jones has done this multiple times, for instance, Infowars.com:
Both of these filings with the Secretary of State allow Alex, who operates Free Speech Systems, LLC, to use the names Infowars and PrisonPlanet as business entities of Free Speech Systems for 10 years, at which point he will need to refile.
You find the same thing if you search the databases of the County Clerk for Travis County, where Free Speech Systems is incorporated and Alex does business out of. Here is the assumed name filing for Prison Planet:
And here is InfoWars:
Alex even filed with the County Clerk so he could do business under the name Alex Jones:
(Note: These three preceding snapshots showing Alex's DBA paperwork are cropped because we do not feel it is appropriate for us to post Alex Jones' current or past address. If you need further confirmation about the documents themselves, you can find them by searching on the Travis County Clerk's website).
The interesting thing is that, if you search the databases of the Texas Secretary of State or the Travis County Clerk or Comptroller, you will not find Fortified Supply filed as a DBA name for Free Speech Systems or any other existing LLC in Texas. Here is the result of searching for Fortified in the Travis County Clerk's database:
If you go to the Texas Secretary of State's business filings site, you will find the following if you search for Fortified Supply as an assumed name of a business:
This is not a fluke, as demonstrated by what happens if you search for InfoWars as an assumed name for a business:
It is okay, legally, for Alex to ask people to make out checks for Infowars to Free Speech Systems, because they are the same company doing business under different names. It is not okay for him to do the same with Fortified Supply because, according to the law, Fortified Supply does not exist.
And failing to file this paperwork to operate under an assumed name is no small matter, it is directly against the law. According to the Assumed Business or Professional Name Act, "The corporation, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, limited liability company, or foreign filing entity shall file the certificate in the office of the secretary of state and in the office or offices of each county clerk."
InfoWars has been filed and is a legal name for Alex Jones to be doing business under, and Fortified Supply is not. It is beyond me to explain why this is the case, why Alex never filed the required paperwork to legally do what he's currently doing. One thing I do know, however, is that The Assumed Business and Professional Name Act makes it clear this is a crime.
According to section 71.202:
It is clear that Alex is doing business in Texas under an assumed name. The fact that he has filed assumed name paperwork many times in the past, but hasn't for Fortified Supply, heavily implies that his violation of this chapter is, in fact, intentional.
According to Texas law, Class A misdemeanors are punishable by a fine up to $4,000 and up to a year in prison. While that year in prison seems like it might be a little severe, we feel that this is certainly deserving of an investigation into Alex Jones' finances as it relates to his businesses, and we call on the state of Texas to open such an investigation.