They used millions of dollars from fossil fuel billionaires to make climate misinformation videos. Google and Facebook helped them reach 100 million people.
Dennis Prager has been working to indoctrinate people for much longer than most analysts recognize. In the late 1970s he was the director of the Brandeis-Bardin Institute, a Jewish organization in Los Angeles. Founded by Shlomo Bardin with a strong focus on jewish identity and the State of Israel, the Institute ran a camp for young Jews interested in Judaism. I was encouraged to attend this camp as a young college graduate and decided to sign up. I had no knowledge of Dennis Prager, who had recently taken over the directorship from the founder.
This was one of the greatest mistakes of my life. Prager is a true fundamentalist who used his position to indoctrinate young people regarding "facts" like: (1) jewish monotheism is the only true faith, (2) that you should kill Nazis if possible (before they kill you), and (3) that it is only white/western traditions that have advanced humanity. He used daily lectures to beat these ideas into his captive audience, brokering no debate and disrespecting all dissenting opinions. The camp's culture was highly controlling and structured, which contributed to breaking down attendees to allow them to be "re-educated."
I escaped this episode mostly unscathed, although painfully wiser, and went on to become an environmental scientist and climate change educator (www.andrewgunther.com). In 2011, I was astonished (although in retrospect I should not have been) to find Prager as a point man in the climate-science denial movement, and an article he wrote was brought to my attention by my family. I did my best to refute his ignorant proclamations in a letter to the LA Jewish Journal (https://jewishjournal.com/letters_to_the_editor/98270/).
For years I've been trying to get in front of conservative audiences to provide a nonpartisan presentation about climate science, but its very difficult unless you are Katharine Hayhoe (a fact I have discussed with her). I was once interviewed by a gentleman who vetted speakers for his conservative group, and he asked me to review a video he had just watched about problems with climate science. As you might have guessed, it was a PragerU video (this one starring William Happer) that was full of slickly-presented misinformation.
Thanks for your work on this topic. II was glad to hear on the Volts Podcast that you are going to be making a video about Prager University. While it may be difficult to influence their operations given the massive private funding and long experience with distributing BS, we must not acquiesce in the face of their deceptive nonsense. Your story about your brother is proof that it is worth the effort.