George van Houts – The (un)serious Dutch conspiracy theorist

On Tuesday 3 April 2018, George van Houts was a guest on the late-night talk show Pauw, the most prominent in the Netherlands then.  He was allowed to explain to host Jeroen Pauw why he seriously doubts the official explanations regarding the September 11 attacks in 2001. As a surprise, he had brought with him a gold bar that was part of a prize worth one hundred thousand euros for whoever “knows how to explain 9 out of 11 violations of the laws of nature that occurred during the official reading of the 9/11 events in physical terms.”

How Van Houts transformed from a comedian with a taste for absurd humour, through socially critical plays, into one of the best-known conspiracy theorists in The Netherlands.

The engaged theatre maker

In the previous year, Van Houts had launched a theatre tour in which he covered various conspiracy theories concerning the September 11 attacks in a three-hour show (‘KomPlot‘). It was not entirely clear to what extent the comedian believed everything he told or whether it was also just for the sake of entertainment. It gradually became clear that he was dead serious.
In 2018, he set up the September 11 Foundation, together with Wico Valk, an architect long involved with Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (ae911truth), and Jan van Aken, a consultant in the energy sector. The main objectives of that foundation are “to support initiatives for a broad, international, independent, forensic/scientific investigation into the circumstances of the attacks in the US on 11 September 2001” and “to support initiatives for a legal investigation that will enable criminal prosecution of the real perpetrators.”

Door de bank genomen, de Verleiders (2014). From left to right: Leopold Witte, Pierre Bokma, George van Houts, Tom de Ket, Victor Löw.

Van Houts (b. 1958) is an actor and comedian. In recent years he had become best known as the creator and writer of the theatre collective De Verleiders, a group that turns social issues (real estate fraud, drug scams, money creation by banks) into well-attended cabaret-style theatre. In the wake of the 2014 play Door de bank genomen (*) about the financial system, Van Houts also launched a citizens’ initiative. With more than 40,000 signatures collected, the issue had to be scheduled for deliberation in parliament. In March 2016, Van Houts was therefore also allowed to make a speech in Parliament, during the plenary debate on the issue.
And later that year, he won De Slimste Mens (‘the smartest person’), a very well-watched knowledge quiz on Dutch television. It is safe to say that Van Houts had become somewhat of a household name to everyone in the Netherlands by then.

Van Houts speaks in the Dutch Parliament, 16 March 2016.


By his own account, Van Houts only really fell under the spell of 9/11 in 2014 when he started binging conspiracy documentaries like Loose Change and Zeitgeist. This was the next theme Van Houts had in mind for De Verleiders. But it did not go down well with his fellow actors, among whom we also find top actors like Pierre Bokma, Leopold Witte, Victor Löw and Tom de Ket. Some of them did not want to touch the subject, and so it came about that Van Houts turned ‘his research into 9/11’ into a solo performance.

In 2019, his foundation funded an edition of De Andere Krant. This publication has since become a weekly newspaper, but it started with a couple of themed issues, distributed for free with a circulation of 50,000 copies. The first issue was a pro-Putin piece and included conspiracy theories about flight MH17, the plane that was shot down over Ukraine by Russian-backed insurgents. “The newspaper that tells about the real situation in Russia,” Russian state news agency TASS stated about De Andere Krant. Van Houts was also involved in the second edition dealing with the financial system.

Among the authors who contributed to the third edition, the one about 9/11, we find internationally well-known conspiracists such as Danielle Ganser, Piers Robinson, Kevin Ryan, and Dutchmen Kees van der Pijl and Karel van Wolferen.

The contest Van Houts had boldly announced on television a year earlier was now finally written down in all detail. The terms made it immediately clear that even with the best arguments you would never be able to win the prize; after all, any idea of an objective assessment of the entries by independent parties like a university had been abandoned.

Van Houts in KomploTT (2019), his second show on 9/11 (Screenshot from YouTube)

In the second half of 2019, Van Houts started touring with a sequel to his theatre show under the title KomploTT (the TT here, of course, is a reference to the Twin Towers). In his first show, he still closely followed the line of ae911truth. In the second, he also cites other more bizarre theories, including Heinz Pommer’s far-fetched suggestion that the Twin Towers (and possibly WTC7) were brought down by a nuclear device.
By the way, both shows were ‘dressed up’ with other conspiracy theories about the assassination of JFK, the Titanic, Operation Gladio, and even the moon landing.


Many of the conspiracy theories that have sprung up about 9/11 suggest that Israel had a hand in the attacks. Van Houts also finds this very likely. Although he is careful enough not to fall into anti-Semitic statements, he regularly quotes authors who are overtly anti-Semitic or even Holocaust deniers, for example, Christopher Bollyn and Filip Giraldi.
And his criticisms of Israel’s (alleged) actions are not limited to 9/11. Major events in post-World War II world history are interpreted by Van Houts as orchestrated by a conspiracy of neo-conservatives in the US and right-wing Zionist forces in Israel working closely together politically, financially and militarily.

So too does he characterise the battle between Israel and Hamas that has grown to horrifying proportions in the Gaza Strip since October 7 as a (proxy) war that revolves around control of gas fields off the Gaza coast.  “It is never about good versus evil or religion. It is a dirty game. For energy and resources. For money.” said Van Houts on X. Given that Israel just in June 2023 gave the green light to start exploiting this field which would mean an economic boost for the Palestinian economy, this seems rather far-fetched.

BREAKING: Another reason for the clearing of Gaza beyond the Gaza gas fields in the Levant Basin is the Ben Gurion Canal Plan. Plans in advanced stages.

Just as easily, Van Houts cites the Ben Gurion Canal Project as a reason for Israel to wipe out the Gaza Strip. While that plan has long existed as a vision, implementation is highly unlikely and also not economically feasible. The plan resurfaced in 2021, mostly on Indian websites, and since October 7, 2023, has taken off more widely, starting on Arab websites.
These are conspiracy theories that thrive with those who want to see the arm of Big Capital in everything.

He also effortlessly makes that kind of connection with geopolitically less eye-catching events like the crash of the El-Al Boeing into a flat in Amsterdam on 4 October 1992. And of course, in his eyes, behind Jeffrey Epstein’s perversities was in fact a Mossad conspiracy to obtain blackmail material to control high-ranking officials.
On the other hand, Van Houts explicitly states that he is not anti-Israel. He states that he is in favour of a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine and is more positive about politicians like Peres and Rabin than the current government.

It seems that Van Houts is trying to eat both sides of the argument. In general, he states that portraying criticism of (or conspiracy theories about) Israel as anti-Semitic is a convenient ploy and often just propaganda by Israel. On the other hand, he does not do his utmost to stay away from hoaxes with obvious anti-Semitic undertones and anti-Semitic authors. And he even reacts indignantly when you point out such carelessness in specific cases.

Dealing with criticism

In his performances, Van Houts pretends to be completely open to criticism: the audience is encouraged to come up with questions or criticism during the performance. Usually, however, the audience is completely unaware that what Van Houts tells them is often based on hoaxes that have long since been debunked.
During his first show, I asked if he was aware of the official explanation for the ‘Magic Bullet’ in the JFK assassination case. “We’ll stick with my version, that’s more fun,” was the evasive answer. Moments later, after another critical question, I was already portrayed as “Mr. Debunker over there”. On X, however, Van Houts is sometimes prepared to correct a tweet if you make it clear to him that he is sharing another hoax.

During the corona period, Van Houts did not fail to impress either, revealing himself, especially on X, as a “full-blooded wappie” as he described himself in a recent interview in de Volkskrant.(**) His criticism of the vaccination policy culminated in a post (October 2022) in which he called for the makers of a government video calling on people to take a booster vaccination to be doxxed and killed in gruesome ways. No doubt this again with a humorous, sarcastic undertone, but the Public Prosecutor’s Office saw enough reason to launch an investigation and it is still possible that they will take this to court.

“Would everyone please dox and/or shoot these people asap. Quartering or beheading with skull spears afterwards is also allowed but that might be too grim. Their work is so bad that, in my opinion, this is punishable by death. Sorry. Excuse. #yesthisisaterroristdeaththreat” – (Deleted) tweet over which Van Houts may still face a lawsuit.

Satire as an excuse

George van Houts is the prototype of the autodidact, who distrusts experts almost by definition. When it comes to economics, he does not hesitate to discard all existing textbooks and say it is all nonsense only relying on some ‘alternative experts’. After a few months of studying, he knows much better than the entire academic world which, according to him, is in the service of a corrupt elite that has domesticated the ordinary people.
With the same attitude, he rejects common explanations regarding historical events and even medical science is riddled with pure manipulation and deception, in his view.

If he would share his superior knowledge with us through intelligent and well-thought-out arguments, we might occasionally agree with him. Unfortunately, his evidence mainly consists of a priori casting suspicion and discrediting anyone who does not share his views as a pawn in the hands of the ‘global elite’ that supposedly controls everything and everyone. He makes no serious attempt to have a rational discussion based on facts but instead arrives with all sorts of vague studies by ‘scientists’ who expound their theories in self-produced books, websites or YouTube videos.

How Van Houts sees himself is probably honestly represented in a nutshell in this tweet (2021):

“I am a quiet, highly educated, newspaper-book and website-reading 63-year-old humanist democratic artist and intellectual with a sense of humour. I distrust power. The power above the democracy. That of the 0.001%. They are clever. And we fall in with eyes wide open.

Van Houts is not so easily cornered. He often hides his conspiracy thinking behind satire, but in his case, isn’t that just an excuse, very similar to ‘just asking questions’?

* Door de bank genomen has a double meaning in Dutch, you could translate it as ‘by and large’ as well more literally as ‘swindled by the bank’.

** ‘wappie’ could be translated as ‘covidiot’ in this context.

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