As a young man, Hutton Gibson studied for the priesthood, but balked when offered a choice between a parish in New Guinea or another in the Philippines. He briefly delivered telegraphs for Western Union, then worked for decades as a railroad brakeman, until a work injury forced his early retirement. He won $4,680 on the Art Fleming version of Jeopardy in 1968, and spent his winnings relocating his family to Australia, to help his sons avoid the Vietnam war draft.
When he became worried about the heathen ways of the Catholic church, Gibson joined the a splinter group called the Latin Mass Society. He rose to the position of secretary before being booted for being too outspoken in his criticisms of Pope John Paul II. His children all full-grown, the elder Gibson has returned to America, where he has settled in a small town outside Houston. He is now a member of The Alliance for Catholic Traditions, a tiny schismatic sect of old believers who still hold worship services in Latin, and view the revisions of the Second Vatican Council in the early 1960s as a shadowy plot by Jews and Masons to take control of the Catholic church. And the plot worked, they believe, so the Pope isn’t really the Pope — he is an imposter, working covertly to destroy Catholicism.
Gibson is widely reported to be a Holocaust denier, but he bristles at the term. He says he doesn’t “deny” the Holocaust, he just thinks it was “exaggerated”. “They claimed that there were 6.2 million [Jews] in Poland before the war and after the war there were 200,000, therefore [Hitler] must have killed six-million of them.” But Gibson thinks he knows better. “They simply got up and left,” he says. “They were all over the Bronx and Brooklyn and Sydney and Los Angeles.” He believes that it wasn’t al Qaeda that comandeered four jets on September 11, but Jews — using remote control to pilot the planes. He also says evolution is bunk, and believes in the rhythm method of birth control (Gibson has eleven children). The family doesn’t celebrate Christmas with presents, because Gibson views it only as a religious holy day.
Like the character his son played in Conspiracy Theory, Gibson publishes a small-scale newsletter. It is called The War Is Now, and has “several hundred” subscribers, he says. He is also the author of such self-published “non-fiction” titles as Is the Pope Catholic? and The Enemy Is Here!.