The Washington COMpost needs BE fired for EDUCATIONAL CRIMES !
And VICE doesn’t seen too FAR behind them !
NEVER MESS with an ENEMY when they are DESTROYING THEMSELVES [LOL]
How the Trump campaign came to court QAnon, the online conspiracy movement identified by the FBI as a violent threat
At the time a spokeswoman for Trump’s reelection campaign, McEnany nodded as the supporter said the shout-out was most meaningful because of the words on the shirt he was wearing, which he read aloud: “Where we go one, we go all,” the motto of QAnon conspiracy theorists who believe Trump is battling a cabal of deep-state saboteurs who worship Satan and traffic children for sex.
McEnany, who has since become the White House press secretary, continued, asking the supporter, “If you could say one thing to the president, what would you say?”
“Who is Q?” he replied, inquiring about the mysterious online figure behind the baseless theory. McEnany smiled and said, “Okay, well, I will pass all of this along.”
The little-noticed exchange — captured in a video posted to YouTube — illustrates how Trump and his campaign have courted and legitimized QAnon adherents.
The viral online movement, which took root on Internet message boards in the fall of 2017 with posts from a self-proclaimed government insider identified as “Q,” has triggered violent acts and occasional criminal cases. Its effects were catalogued last year in an FBI intelligence bulletin listing QAnon among the “anti-government, identity-based, and fringe political conspiracy theories” that “very likely motivate some domestic extremists to commit criminal, sometimes violent activity.”
As the worldview took shape online, its followers flocked to Trump rallies with QAnon apparel and placards. Recently, as the election has drawn closer, actions by the president and his associates have brought them more directly into the fold.
The Trump campaign’s director of press communications, for example, went on a QAnon program and urged listeners to “sign up and attend a Trump Victory Leadership Initiative training.” QAnon iconography has appeared in official campaign advertisements targeting battleground states. And the White House’s director of social media and deputy chief of staff for communications, Dan Scavino, has gone from endorsing praise from QAnon accounts to posting their memes himself.
The president has repeatedly elevated its digital foot soldiers, sharing their tweets more than a dozen times on the Fourth of July alone. His middle son, Eric, who is 36 and a campaign surrogate, recently posted, and then deleted, an image drumming up support for his father’s Tulsa rally that included a giant “Q” and the text, “Where we go one, we go all.”
The apparent convergence of Trump’s inner circle with an ever-widening cohort of QAnon believers is alarming to scholars of extremism and digital communications, some of whom characterize the theory’s adherents as a cult. What most troubles analysts, however, is not that McEnany and others responsible for carrying out Trump’s agenda are amplifying QAnon, which has permeated right-wing politics and inspired a cadre of congressional candidates who could soon bring the philosophy to Capitol Hill. Even more worrisome, these observers say, is that the president’s messaging is increasingly indistinguishable from some key elements of the conspiracy theory.
The erroneous ideas defining QAnon — that Trump is a messianic figure fighting the so-called deep state, that he alone can be trusted, that his opponents include both Democrats and Republicans complicit in years of wrongdoing and that his rivals are not just misguided but criminal and illegitimate — represent core tenets of the president’s reelection campaign, especially as his poll numbers slump.
Meanwhile, the salvation envisioned by QAnon believers, including a military takeover and mass arrests of Democrats, rhymes with the president’s vow to use the armed forces to “dominate.” They back his endorsement of hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug that has not been proved to prevent coronavirus infection, and cast skeptics, including Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s leading expert on infectious diseases, as a deep-state plant.
“We’re seeing the Trump campaign tack closely to an almost explicitly QAnon narrative,” said Ethan Zuckerman, director of the Center for Civic Media at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “I don’t expect to hear the president talking about pedophilia or Satanism, but I expect to hear almost everything else.”
McEnany did not respond to a request for comment, but White House spokeswoman Sarah Matthews sent a written statement saying: “The premise of your article is ridiculous. While the Trump administration is working tirelessly for the American people, the Washington Post peddles in conspiracy theories.”
The Trump campaign also did not respond to emailed questions.
The oft-mutating QAnon philosophy has captured the imagination of a new corps of pro-Trump congressional candidates, about a dozen of whom have already secured spots on the ballot in November, according to a tally by Media Matters for America, a liberal research organization. Among them is Angela Stanton-King, a Republican House candidate in Georgia who served two years in prison for her role in a car-theft ring but whose sentence was commuted by Trump in February. A month later, she posted a popular QAnon video on Instagram, writing of the president, “This would explain why they tried so hard to make us hate him.” She has since posted repeatedly about the scourge of pedophilia, a fixation of the QAnon movement.
In an interview, she said, “People have a right to look into information and do their own research.” Her research has led her to misguided beliefs about the coronavirus, including that the pandemic represents a “political game, to make it seem like the economy has crashed.”
Similar language is employed by QAnon believers, who scrawl their accusations across social media. They rally around the hashtag #WWG1WGA — shorthand for “Where we go one, we go all” — and swarm perceived enemies. “These people are not only sick but evil too!” one combatant in the Q “army” on Facebook wrote in March, referring to the Democratic mayor of Minneapolis, whom Trump has attacked as a “very weak radical left mayor.”
Individuals who had posted in support of QAnon or otherwise expressed their devotion to it, according to police, have been arrested in at least 10 incidents, including two murders, a kidnapping, vandalism of a church and a heavily armed standoff near the Hoover Dam.
Twitter recently took action against the conspiracy theory, including by eliminating more than 7,000 accounts. Facebook is also weighing new action, a spokesperson confirmed, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing deliberations.
The largest Facebook groups devoted to the theory boast hundreds of thousands of members, but the size of its following is difficult to measure, experts say. Only about a quarter of American adults say they have heard of QAnon, according to polling by the Pew Research Center.
Americans may be oblivious to QAnon but still shaped by its doctrine, Zuckerman said, arguing, “It’s actually more dangerous if people don’t know what Q is but hold these beliefs.” Because of the overlap between QAnon communities and far-right circles, he said, aspects of the conspiracy theory are filtering up to conservative websites, as well as to the pro-Trump One America News and Fox News.
The coronavirus pandemic, by bringing into sharp focus anti-scientific beliefs among a broad segment of the president’s supporters, offers a preview of the clashing worldviews that QAnon could portend, Zuckerman added. The November election, if Trump were to refuse to accept the legitimacy of the results because of widespread mail-in voting, would represent the clash’s climax, testing the “parallel universe that he and some of his supporters live in,” he said.
Such an outcome would mark the culmination of Trump’s “use of conspiracy theories for the past five years,” said Joseph Uscinski, a political scientist at the University of Miami and co-author of “American Conspiracy Theories.”
QAnon, however, is a new frontier for Republicans, and for the party’s most prominent purveyor of conspiracy theories.
Recent ads from Trump’s reelection campaign have included shots of supporters with QAnon paraphernalia, including a spot in Nevada that briefly showed a woman in a crowd with a “Q” shirt. A spot in Arizona showed a still of a man in a similar shirt carrying a World War II veteran into an arena. The man posed for a photo with Donald Trump Jr. at a recent event, according to material later uploaded to Facebook. A spokesperson for Trump Jr. did not respond to a request for comment.
The inclusion of QAnon symbols in official campaign media, previously unreported, sent shock waves through the QAnon community, whose primary aim is to be noticed by Trump. The ads racked up thousands of comments on YouTube, where users with QAnon references in their accounts seized on the fleeting visuals to declare victory. “Well done,” one wrote.
Sometimes, the signaling from the campaign is less subtle. Last fall, Erin Perrine, director of press communications for Trump’s reelection campaign, went on Patriots’ Soapbox, a show on YouTube and other platforms devoted to QAnon coverage. Before she called in, one of the hosts — whose Twitter account features QAnon references and a photo with Brad Parscale, Trump’s recently deposed campaign manager — gushed about speaking to her for an hour before a recent Trump rally. He said the segment with Perrine, which was unearthed by Media Matters, could be the “tip of the iceberg” for connections with the Trump campaign.
During the interview, Perrine was asked to “send a direct message” to the “group of very, very smart activists here,” keen to be Trump’s “soldiers on the ground.” She encouraged them to sign up for a campaign training event and to “talk to their local GOP party, their state party, come online and ask us.”
Neither Perrine nor her hosts mentioned QAnon directly during the interview, but their discussion was studded with references to the conspiracy theory, including mention of the “insurgency from within” and remarks about Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser, who is central to the QAnon worldview. Emails and a call to Perrine went unanswered, as did an email to the show.
Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his communications with a Russian diplomat in late 2016, recently recorded a video of himself repeating an oath originating on 8kun, a message board where Q, who claims high-level security clearance, posts esoteric references and half-baked ideas that followers call “bread crumbs.”
“Where we go one, we go all,” intoned Flynn, his right hand raised, at the end of the oath, which otherwise follows a generic script administered to new members of Congress. Flynn did not respond to a text message seeking comment. His attorney, Sidney Powell, another luminary for QAnon conspiracy theorists who has also appeared on Patriots’ Soapbox, also did not respond to a request for comment. The program’s other guests have included Chanel Rion, chief White House correspondent for One America News, who said the conspiracy theory’s central figure is “anonymous for a reason, for a very good reason, and I think that people need to respect that.” Rion did not respond to a request for comment.
Praise for the anonymous figure, whose posts have been linked to multiple violent episodes, has also flowed on Fox News. During a conversation this month with Eric Trump, one of the channel’s hosts, Jesse Watters, credited Q with having “uncovered a lot of great stuff,” saying later in a statement he does not “support or believe in” the conspiracy theory. In a pitch to potential guests, shared with The Washington Post by someone who received it, Fox characterized the segment this way: “Inside Twitter’s crackdown on QAnon — How the social media giant is engaging in election interference and shutting down free speech.” A Fox spokesperson declined to comment beyond Watters’ statement.
The congressional candidates who put stock in the theory say its proximity to Trump makes it appealing. Flynn’s apparent endorsement — his move to swear his allegiance to QAnon — was decisive for some who had once only flirted with the theory. Theresa Raborn, a Republican House candidate in Illinois, said she had been on the fence, unable to “definitively debunk or definitively confirm.”
“But when General Flynn posted that video, he’s a highly respected general and has been for decades, and he is very close to President Trump,” she said. “So I don’t think he would do that for a conspiracy theory, or at least logically that’s where I’m at. I don’t know if he has information about whether it’s a conspiracy theory or whether it’s real, but it seemed to give a lot of validity to people who support me who also happen to follow Q.”
Raborn, who ran unopposed in her March primary and so will appear on the ballot in November, faces near-certain defeat in the heavily Democratic district in the suburbs of Chicago.
Flynn’s role is just as important to the supporter interviewed by McEnany in February. He described himself as “one of the digital soldiers General Flynn talks about.”
“That’s why I don’t sleep,” he told the soon-to-be White House press secretary. “That’s why all I do is share information.”
QAnon Conspiracy Theorist Agent Margaritaville on the Run From Cops
The squat man with hair as white as snow slowly lifts his hooded head to the camera. His eyes full of fear dart back and forth before he quickly pulls down his hood.
“Hi,” he says, his face suddenly brightening. “I hear I’m wanted.”
This is Agent Margaritaville. He’s a YouTuber, a QAnon conspiracy theorist, and, since May, a wanted man. The 57-year-old, whose real name is Gerald Brummell, is wanted on two charges of engaging “in conduct to impede performance of justice duties.”
Toronto police told VICE that Brummell has yet to be arrested or turn himself in and they are “actively looking for him.”
Wasting away again in Margaritaville
Brummell has been a bit player in Canada’s conspiracy world for a long time—well before QAnon was on the scene. He’s been active since at least 2013 when he started a website about the murderer Russell Williams, a colonel with the Royal Canadian Air Force who was found guilty of killing two women, and how he believes police officers covered for him. He’s also spoken out repeatedly out against children’s services that he believes kidnap children.
This isn’t the first time Brummell has dealt with the law. Court documents confirm Brummell has been convicted of numerous types of fraud and has pretended to be a lawyer. In a 2015 lawsuit, he alleged there was a conspiracy against him and sued his neighbours for $7 million. The judge described him as a “recreational litigant who appears to enjoy playing the part of a lawyer to the point of holding himself out as such for the purpose of committing criminal fraud.”
“I am of the view that his determination to bend the evidence and the law to his particular view is only limited by his imagination,” reads the decision that went in favour of his neighbours.
VICE reached out to Brummell through several emails connected to his social media profiles but did not receive a response.
But Brummell has addressed the charges several times on his YouTube channel and has even posted a video focusing on an officer he believes is hunting him. In the video he shows photos of a police officer and his family (which include young children). Brummell also includes links to social media pages of the officer and his family. Near the end of the video, the officer’s mother appears with a target over her head and text that says she and her husband “are fucked.”
A Toronto police spokesperson told VICE that “due to the nature of the charges, we are unable to provide more detail at this time as we would not want to potentially identify any victims.” Typically the charge means threatening or intimidating a witness, a justice system worker, or journalist and is punishable with up to 14 years in prison.
In a rambling video about the charges, Brummell says police are sending swat teams and canine units after him. He says he was charged after calling a judge about a conspiracy he believes he found regarding a number of other judges. Brummell has often targeted judges and lawyers, saying in one of his most popular videos that the majority of them should be “hung.” Brummell also uploaded what could be called a diss track against those looking for him featuring him reading rhyming couplets over a hip-hop beat.
Like many other theorists, Brummell, who isn’t the most prolific or interesting theorist, seized upon the massive, ever-changing conspiracy of QAnon. His YouTube channel has posted 284 videos since June 2019 that have garnered over a million views in total. On other social media channels, such as bitchute, he’s uploaded popular QAnon “documentaries” for his followers.
Brummell was able to parlay these views and an aggressive, and frequently suspended, Twitter persona into a small following which he calls “the Children’s Army.” Brummell and his team are “investigating” into a pizzagate-type conspiracy in Canada, purporting that the justice system is made up of a cabal of pedophiles. The members all take codenames: there’s Agent Sputnik, Agent Sky High, and Agent Monkey Wrench. One of his followers even has “Special Agent at The Children’s Army” listed on a LinkedIn page they made.
“This isn’t a social club; you’re going to be going out and finding out information about bad people,” Brummell says in a recruitment video for the Children’s Army posted on YouTube. “You’re going to be staking out bad people’s homes. You’re going to be staking out cannibal restaurants.”
Some people say there’s a Trudeau to blame
Brummell picked a good time to begin recruiting as there has been an explosion in conspiracy believers during the pandemic. “People feel that they’ve lost control and the moment that happens some people turn to conspiracy theories,” Stephen Lewandowsky, the chair of cognitive psychology at the University of Bristol, told VICE previously. “It provides psychological comfort to think that there’s this cabal of bad people out there who are responsible for this.”
Do you have information about far-right extremists or conspiracy theorists? We’d love to hear from you. You can contact Mack Lamoureux securely on Signal on 1 780-504-8369 on Wire at @mlamoureux, or by email at email@example.com
Earlier in the year, Brummell became known outside of his niche Canadian conspiracy circle after claiming he had proof of a $68 billion money transfer Jeffery Epstein made to a Canadian bank. Despite the pleas of many of his followers and co-conspiracy theorists, Brummell did not make his evidence known. His most popular video lists celebrities who have visited Epstein Island. His second most popular video shows him standing in front of a green shipping container that he claims was used to traffic children. In the video, he says the name on the container, Evergreen, is a reference to Hilary Clinton and that the pandemic is a cover as “marines are now rescuing millions of children from the underground.”
Canadian conspiracy players tend to intermingle. Brummell frequently amplified Norman Traversy, a conspiracy theorist who has raised over $140,000 in his mission to oust Prime Minister Justin Trudeau from office. After Traversy handed over documents to the U.S. embassy, which he promised would lead to the conviction of Trudeau, Brummell made him a congratulations video. Frequently Brummell has said Traversy and a former People’s Party of Canada candidate were members of the “Children’s Army.”
Two videos on his channel showcase 24 Sussex Drive, the home of the prime minister and his family. In the first video, posted in February, Brummell and a collaborator (who is wearing a shirt that implies the Trudeau Foundation has the same logo as a pedophile group) go to the home’s gates. Brummell starts shaking the gates and a guard tells him to stop over an intercom. In the second video, taken on July 1, the man with the Trudeau shirt—referred to only as Agent A1—goes back to the gates.
“A1 quietly returned to the #Pizzagate and reminded Justin what we promised him in February,” reads the video’s description.
The next day, a different man, this one heavily armed, rammed down the gates of Rideau Hall (where the prime minister and his family currently live). The man, Corey Hurren, had previously posted QAnon and far-right memes on social media. Hurren allegedly had a note on him that outlined several grievances he had with Trudeau, including how Canada was “becoming communist.” Hurren was arrested after a two-hour standoff with the RCMP and currently faces 22 charges.
According to police and the agent himself, Margaritaville remains at large.
Follow Mack Lamoureux on Twitter.