On the campaign trail, congressional candidate Nick Begich III has gone to great lengths to portray himself as a reliable, practical conservative, and a more staid alternative to his notoriously volatile Republican opponent, Sarah Palin. But campaign filings and public documents reveal that Begich III co-owns and has long held multiple leadership positions at Earthpulse Press, Inc., a lucrative Alaska-based publishing house that creates and promotes crackpot conspiracy theories–including the bizarre claim that the University of Alaska Fairbanks operates a massive mind control device that can manipulate populations, create earthquakes, and remotely alter the climate by beaming energy into the atmosphere.
For years, now-candidate Nick Begich III has held an ownership stake in Earthpulse and served in an official capacity as the company’s vice president, secretary, and treasurer. Begich III declared between $115,002 and $1,050,000 in recent income from the organization on candidate financial disclosure forms.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Earthpulse also applied for and received tens of thousands of dollars in federal and state Covid-19 emergency relief money–at approximately the same time that Begich III was donating $650,000 to his own congressional campaign.
“Mind Control: The Ultimate Brave New World”
Earthpulse Press, Inc is an Alaska-based business that produces and distributes media promoting conspiracy theories and what might be described as new-age spiritual beliefs. The company’s website is rife with dubious medical advice and cryptic pseudoscientific claims about mind control, energy, telepathy, and futuristic “Star Trek” weapons. A banner on the website exhorts visitors to join “the Hidden Monks Masterclass.” The website contains content promoting the antisemitic New World Order conspiracy theory, which posits that a cabal of global elites–typically Jewish–are engaged in a vast effort to enslave humanity.
Much of the work on the website is attributed to candidate Nick Begich III’s father, Dr. Nick Begich, who co-owns Earthpulse along with his son and an individual named William Love III.
Though the content on Earthpulse ranges over many topics, the company is most focused on a constellation of conspiracy theories related to the HAARP research facility in Gakona, Alaska. The facility was built starting in 1993 with the support of Senator Ted Stevens, and is currently operated by the University of Alaska, Fairbanks (UAF).
According to UAF, “the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program, or HAARP, is a scientific endeavor aimed at studying the properties and behavior of the ionosphere.” But according to Dr. Begich, the HAARP facility is part of a far more sinister operation. Dr. Begich and his co-authors argue that the HAARP facility can remotely manipulate people’s minds, change the weather, serve as a weapon of mass destruction, cause earthquakes, destroy the ionosphere, and profoundly modify or even destroy the global climate.
Individuals and organizations conducting work at the facility dismiss these claims as fraudulent and bogus. HAARP holds public open houses and representatives say that the scientific work conducted there is public.
Despite the outlandish nature of Dr. Begich’s ideas, the HAARP conspiracy theory has taken hold–with Dr. Begich at its center. The website Conspiracy Watch describes Dr. Nick Beigch as “arguably the most famous anti-HAARP activist.” A 2017 Vice article claims that “no man has done more to propagate the conspiratorial view of HAARP than Nick Begich.” Begich’s book “Angels Don’t Play This Haarp: Advances in Tesla Technology 1st Edition” is available on Amazon, where it has hundreds of ratings and over a hundred reviews.
The HAARP conspiracy theory has spread with particular virulence in Central and South America, where the facility is regularly blamed for a variety of weather and seismic events. In 2010, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez blamed a magnitude 5.6 earthquake on American “earthquake weapon.” Venezuelan media suggested that Chavez was referring to HAARP.
Dr. Begich’s conspiracy theories have also found an audience in North America. In 2016, two Georgia men were arrested on accusations of domestic terrorism for planning an armed assault on the HAARP facility. Michael Mancil, then 30, and James Kenneth Dryden, then 21, were detained by a SWAT team while loading thousands of rounds of ammunition, firearms, bulletproof vests, and communication equipment into a vehicle. According to investigators, the men had created an elaborate plan to travel to Alaska and storm the HAARP facility, which they believed could alter the weather, control minds, and was “storing people’s souls”. The men planned to take hostages and “blow up” parts of the facility.
Mancil was sentenced to fifteen years, including five years in prison, for his role in the planned attack. It is unclear what sentence Dryden received.
Begich III co-owns, serves as a Director, Secretary, Treasurer of Earthpulse
Corporate filings show that now-Congressional candidate Begich III joined the corporate board of Earthpulse in 2011, acquiring a 16.66% ownership share of the company and stepping up to serve as its Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Director.
Earthpulse’s 2022 filings–the most recent available–state that Begich III holds a 16.33% share and serves as a director, secretary, shareholder, and treasurer of the company. Bizarrely, Earthpulse is categorized in the 2022 filing under NAICS Code 454210: “Vending Machine Operators.”
Alaska statute delegates specific responsibilities to corporate officers, and the positions that Begich III holds at Earthpulse are among the most important. Though these responsibilities can be modified by a corporation’s bylaws, Alaska law by default requires the secretary, treasurer, and director of a corporation to participate in virtually all tasks critical to corporate governance.
On a February 17, 2022 financial disclosure report required as part of his run for Congress, Begich III valued his stake in Earthpulse Press, Inc. between $500,000 and $1 million. Begich III claimed between $100,001 and $1 million of income from Earthpulse in 2022 to date, and $15,001-$50,000 of income from Earthpulse the prior year.
In Begich III’s disclosure, Earthpulse is described as a “Publishing and Manufacturing” company.
In response to questions from the Landmine, Begich campaign manager Truman Reed stated that Earthpulse was founded and run by Begich III’s father, and that Begich III invested in the company to keep it operational in the mid-2000s. According to Reed,
Nick Begich III does not hold an active day-to-day management role in the company and any views or opinions reflected by the work published by Earthpulse are not, nor have they at any point been reflective of Nick Begich III’s views. Nick Begich III is not now, nor has he in the past been, an employee of the organization and is not compensated by the company beyond his long standing equity interest.
The Alaska Landmine followed up asking whether Begich III believes that HAARP can perform any functions other than those stated by the University of Alaska, and what Begich III would do with his share of and leadership positions at Earthpulse if elected to the U.S. Congress.
Earthpulse applied for, received over $26,000 in public Covid emergency relief funding from state, federal governments
According to ProPublica’s PPP database, Earthpulse Press, Inc. applied for a $17,000 PPP loan, which was approved on April 11, 2020. In the application, Earthpulse is categorized in the “All Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services” category.
According to the database, the loan was forgiven in its entirety, along with accrued interest.
Earthpulse also applied for grants from the State of Alaska Small Business Relief Program, which came from CARES Act money to the state. According to state records, Earthpulse received a grant of $9,748.
It is unclear why Earthpulse applied for public assistance during the pandemic, but it certainly was not because the Begich family could not afford to keep the operation solvent. In June 2022, Begich reported loaning himself $650,000 to run his Congressional campaign. Questions to the Begich campaign about whether Begich III had been involved in Earthpulse’s requests for public pandemic relief money or had ultimately received any of the money himself were not answered.
Earthpulse did not respond to questions about the company’s use of Covid relief money or Begich III’s role there.