The next day, the 22nd of December, Ben Collins of NBC News publishes a report entitled “As Trump Meets with QAnon Influencers, the Conspiracy's Adherents Beg for Dictatorship”:
On Friday, President Donald Trump met with current and former advisers in the Oval Office, including retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, and a person familiar with the meeting said Flynn advocated an extreme way to overturn the November election: declare martial law.
The idea is hardly limited to Flynn, Trump's disgraced former national security adviser. It has also been embraced by the QAnon movement and some members of the Republican Party.
With Trump's days in office dwindling, QAnon influencers have become increasingly restless and militant, urging him to #crosstherubicon, a reference to Julius Caesar's crossing the Rubicon river after the Roman Senate explicitly told him not to, effectively kick-starting the Roman civil war and Caesar's dictatorship.
Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward tweeted the hashtag Sunday.
"Mr. President @realDonaldTrump - we are with you in #Arizona. We are working every avenue to stop this coup & to stop our Republic from crumbing [sic]," she tweeted. "Patriots are united. Those who are against us are exposing themselves. #Liberty & #freedom are on the line. #CrossTheRubicon @GenFlynn."
Trump tweeted Sunday that reports of a discussion about martial law were "knowingly bad reporting."
"Martial law = Fake news," he wrote.
But that hasn't dampened the enthusiasm for military rule from the QAnon community, which sees hope in the fact that some of their central influencers are close to Trump.
Sidney Powell, a lawyer who has filed a series of suits she dubbed "the Kraken," which have failed to overturn the results of the election in several states, was part of the meeting. She has repeatedly pushed QAnon theories, and she has used the hashtag #TheStormIsComing, a QAnon phrase that refers to the extrajudicial roundup of Democrats at the heart of the theory.
Flynn, a hero in the mythology of the QAnon conspiracy theory who once took a QAnon "oath" on video, has said in appearances on the conservative media channel Newsmax that Trump should use the military to "rerun" the election.1
Just in case there’s anyone alive on planet Earth who’s still unclear about Trump’s true loyalties, the same day the previous article appears, President Kek pardons four Blackwater guards responsible for massacring fourteen innocent Iraqi civilians back in 2007. Blackwater, a private military company now known as Academi, is owned by Erik Prince, the brother of Trump’s education secretary, Betsy DeVos.
Laurel Wamsley of NPR News reports:
Among the pardons made by President Trump this week, the pardon of four former guards for Blackwater was regarded by some as particularly galling.
Nicholas Slatten, Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard were convicted six years ago of killing 14 Iraqi civilians and wounding 17 others. Witnesses described how the American men ambushed the civilians unprovoked, firing on Baghdad's Nisour Square with heavy gunfire and grenade launchers.
The massacre took place in 2007, when the four were working as guards for Blackwater, a private military contractor, on an assignment in Baghdad. They claimed they were fired on, but prosecutors said the Blackwater guards opened fire first. Slatten, whom prosecutors said started the shooting, was sentenced to life in prison.
Hassan Salman is among the Iraqis shot during the ambush. He told NPR on Wednesday that he was shocked by Trump's pardons — he himself had made trips to the U.S. to give testimony in the proceedings against the four.
"Today we were surprised that the American president issued a decision to pardon these criminals, murderers and thugs," Salman said, speaking from Baghdad. "I'm really shocked . . . The American judiciary is fair and equitable. I had never imagined that Trump or any other politician would affect American justice."2
One might argue that “American justice” is exactly what Trump meted out when he decided to pardon four bloodthirsty mercenaries hired to enforce George W. Bush’s neocon Iraqi war—a war that Trump once claimed was based on a “lie.”3
On Christmas morning, three days following these pardons, which “violate U.S. obligations under international law and more broadly undermine humanitarian law and human rights at a global level”4 (according to Jelena Aparac, chair of the United States working group on the use of mercenaries), a sixty-three-year-old computer tech named Anthony Quinn Warner parks his RV outside the AT&T building in Nashville, Tennessee and blows himself up, injuring three people and destroying a large section of the city’s downtown area, including “a key AT&T transmission facility.” According to The Verge, this act “brought down wireless and wired networks across parts of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Alabama — disrupting cell service, some 911 networks, and communications at the Nashville International Airport, which briefly grounded flights as a result.”5
The second I hear about the bombing, I think, “Okay, just sit back and wait for the QAnon connection.” Within a couple of days, Ben Ashford of the Daily Mail reports:
Nashville bomber Anthony Quinn Warner hoped he would be “hailed a hero” for targeting AT&T because he believed 5G cellular technology was killing people, DailyMail.com can exclusively reveal.
The 63-year-old computer tech—who died in the suspected suicide blast but was identified Sunday from DNA found in his mangled RV—was “heavily into conspiracy theories,” according to a source close to the investigation.
Various baseless theories have circulated since the lightning-fast 5G network was introduced, some claiming it’s a tool to spy on Americans, others speculating that it has fueled the spread of COVID-19.6
The latter theory, of course, has circulated most prominently through the internet among QAnon acolytes since the beginning of the national lockdown in March.
The High Weirdness amps up in Rick’s studio on January 2, 2021, when Gene arrives to explain the “true” story behind Anthony Quinn Warner’s explosive death:
Gene: “They [Trump’s white hats] took the Dominion machines and the [CIA] server hardware and software from these raids in Madrid, Nice, and Frankfurt, and they downloaded everything . . . They had it all gone out of [Nashville] two days before the Cabal operation. So Trump’s sitting there laughing in the White House at them with their bomb trying to blow up and create . . . a crater where Nashville was. That’s why it was a no-fly zone. The [Alliance] came in with a TR7 while the Cabal put a graphite bomb in the basement and [told an] expert from the [CIA to] go in there and start the timer. He’d learned from the Oklahoma City situation. He rebuilt the timer, so he thought he could get out of there. So the Cabal then [used] a laser, ‘cause they don’t even have good weapons anymore. They’re down to the low stuff. They hit the device with a laser instead to do the detonation that would float that gas . . . which is eighty percent as powerful as a nuclear blast. That’s what we also saw in Beirut, Lebanon, which turned the Marine barracks into a crater. They wanted to do that to say if we don’t put Biden in, they’re gonna do something—a 9/11 event that makes that look pale. ‘We’re gonna make Nashville a crater!’ It’s hitting at the heart of the music. It’s literally hitting at the frequency of God! That’s what they wanted to show.”
Rick: “So we were able to keep away from a disaster then?”
Gene: “A horrific disaster. I mean, imagine all of Nashville gone. A crater. Let alone the earthquake that would, you know, go across the country. The devastation would have been massive.”
Rick: “So . . . we had a TR3B come in and save us?”
Gene: “A TR7. What they did is, they flew in and once that gas had started to expand outward they did a reverse compression particle wave that caused it to ignite and feedback on itself and compress itself. A compression explosion . . . took out the RV that [the CIA agent] came in, along with the RV that shot the laser. So that’s why you had two RV’s there. It took out both of them! And of course that guy [the CIA agent] was trying to get into his RV and leave, so he was taken out too. All of that was completely empty. All that was there was just a bunch of empty servers [that were used to switch votes from Trump to Biden] that had already been downloaded, and Trump’s watching the whole thing in the White House laughing at the Cabal. These people are stupid! Just like they did to us, tapped all our phones and everything . . . the NSA has it all. They tapped all the Cabal stuff! So they have military members in all their organizations. They infiltrated us, so we did the same thing. We infiltrated them!”
Gene also regales the faithful with this most peculiar State of the Union speech:
“The entire U.S. military is on high alert. Trump has called back massive amounts of military assets and stationed three carrier groups off the West Coast and two off the East Coast. One of these groups just took out two D.U.M.B.s—the first in Canada on the border of Michigan and the second on the border of Maine where fifty thousand Chinese troops were poised to invade the U.S. and all were destroyed with 50k ton yield bunker buster bombs! The 82nd Airborne is poised for an operation. This is the group that General Flynn and AG [Richard] Donoghue were from. [Trump] has defunded the CIA. He just removed Kissinger and Albright from the National Security Advisory Board and replaced them with men loyal to him. These positions were created as part of the treaty when the U.S. lost and surrendered to the Nazis after the battle of Antarctica/Operation High Jump. This means that POTUS has removed not only the ancient satanic control over the U.S. but also that of the Nazis! All the pieces are in place and POTUS has it all! He is just waiting for the timing. He knows he won and they committed treason. Nothing can stop what’s coming!”
You would think the above would be enough excitement for one night, but Gene’s not done yet. In fact, he’s just getting warmed up. You see, for an extra fee, one can purchase a “backstage pass” that enables the elite members of the audience to communicate with Rick and Gene via Zoom before, during, and after the show. All throughout Gene’s monologue, we can see on his screen a handful of Rick and Gene’s most devout followers. All of them appear to be elderly white people, many of them with red, white, and blue Trump campaign signs hanging on the walls behind them. When Gene reveals that Trump was laughing at the Cabal for screwing up their “stupid” attempt to turn Nashville into a crater, an elderly man pumps both fists in the air in triumph. An old woman claps her hands together like a giddy child at a birthday party . . .
. . . despite the fact that Gene has presented the audience with zero evidence that any of this has occurred. When I was a child, my parents presented me with more convincing evidence for the existence of Santa Claus than these full-grown adults have been given for the entirety of the QAnon scenario (much less the thwarted extinction of Nashville), and yet they choose to swallow it all without a moment of doubt.
Double fist pump.
Tiny hand clap.
A spotlight from the rafters shines down on a beautiful young woman wearing a sequined one-piece who sashays across the stage while holding above her head a large red, white, and blue cardboard sign that reads:
“The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity.”
The spotlight shuts off abruptly, casting the stage in darkness.
A brief moment of silence follows.
Gene then expounds on the significance of January 6th to the thousands of Christians hanging on his every word.
Gene: “They’ve been doing this same thing [election fraud] all over the world for almost a century. We haven’t been getting—unless they wanted that person—the person we vote for for over a century, anywhere on Earth. So, you know, January 6th is not about the political future of Trump. It’s about the future of the human race and the Earth. We have been given to us by God inalienable rights, and that’s the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that when we vote we get our vote the way we put our vote, not what they want! It’s not about what they want. It’s about what we want! Sheep no more! We’re the lions. And as the Bible reads, at this time, on this timeline, the lion shall lay [sic] down with the wolf. This is the wolf in sheep’s clothing: the Cabal. If you’re going to behave yourself, and be kind and considerate and respectful and do the law of God, the God of all Creation, the only God of all Creation, and the law of the country you’re in, as per the people that put that law in, not your elite, but the people themselves—[if] you’re going to uphold that, we will lay [sic] down with you. But if you don’t want to do that, then you’re either gonna need to surrender or we’ll take you to a military tribunal or a court system, and if you won’t do that, and you’re doing things to children and all these other things, we’ll arrange a meeting for you with the God of all Creation and the highest court in existence, the court of God! So, that being said, January 6th is extremely important.”
Then Gene tells his audience to relax if they happen to see tank armadas rolling down their city streets on the 6th of January: “If you’re getting freaked out, don’t. Faith, not fear. If you’re in a lockdown, stay inside and stay out of the way. Let the military do what they need to do . . . We know Trump won the popular vote, as well as over 410 Electoral College votes. We knew he won, and we’ll see him elected on the 20th of January, 2021.”7
Why is Gene so confident when relating these stories? Is it because he’s a master class actor? Somehow I doubt it. It sounds to me like he believes all of these things, that these tall tales originate from a source well outside Gene’s limited imagination. I suspect he implicitly trusts the word of the people whose job it is to feed him these scenarios. Who could such people be? Are they the “spies” he mentioned before, the ones who fortuitously “showed up” in his life around the same time that Q started posting on 4chan?
The next day (Sunday, January 3, 2021), The Washington Post publishes an exclusive report about President Trump desperately attempting to coerce Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state, to “find” new votes for the express purpose of flipping the election in Trump’s favor. This “flagrant abuse of power” (a description used by legal scholars quoted by the Post) occurs during an hour-long phone conversation, the entire recording of which is made available on the Post’s website. There’s little doubt that this is a criminal act on Trump’s part.
The following is from Amy Gardner's January 3, 2021 Washington Post article entitled "'I Just Want to Find 11,780 Votes': In Extraordinary Hour-long Call, Trump Pressures Georgia Secretary of State to Recalculate the Vote in His Favor":
The Washington Post obtained a recording of the conversation in which Trump alternately berated Raffensperger, tried to flatter him, begged him to act and threatened him with vague criminal consequences if the secretary of state refused to pursue his false claims, at one point warning that Raffensperger was taking “a big risk.”
Throughout the call, Raffensperger and his office’s general counsel rejected Trump’s assertions, explaining that the president is relying on debunked conspiracy theories and that President-elect Joe Biden’s 11,779-vote victory in Georgia was fair and accurate.
Trump dismissed their arguments.
“The people of Georgia are angry, the people of the country are angry,” he said. “And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, that you’ve recalculated.”
Raffensperger responded: “Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is, the data you have is wrong.”8
While listening to this extremely weird phone conversation, and hearing the tone of Trump’s voice, it occurs to me that Trump sincerely believes the 2020 presidential election was rigged. It’s not just an act on his part. Based on this phone call, it’s clear that Trump has been listening to the very same QAnon conspiracy theorists he and his reelection team probably subsidized and/or encouraged in the first place. The implications are mindboggling. Does this mean that Trump listens to Rick and Gene on The B2T Show and thinks, “Is that what I’m up to? Did I really save thousands of kids from underground gulags? I guess I did do that, and I just don’t remember it. Man, I’m such a good guy. Am I really the Anointed One? Who would want to vote against the Anointed One? No one! So the election results must be faked!”
Here’s a crucial excerpt from the transcript:
Trump: I won this election by hundreds of thousands of votes. There’s no way I lost Georgia. There’s no way. We won by hundreds of thousands of votes. I’m just going by small numbers, when you add them up, they’re many times the 11,000. But I won that state by hundreds of thousands of votes. Do you think it’s possible that they shredded ballots in Fulton County? Because that’s what the rumor is. And also that Dominion took out machines. That Dominion is really moving fast to get rid of their, uh, machinery. Do you know anything about that? Because that’s illegal, right?
Germany: This is Ryan Germany [Raffensperger’s lawyer]. No, Dominion has not moved any machinery out of Fulton County.
Trump: But have they moved the inner parts of the machines and replaced them with other parts?
Trump: Are you sure, Ryan?
Germany: I’m sure. I’m sure, Mr. President.
Trump: What about, what about the ballots? The shredding of the ballots. Have they been shredding ballots?
Germany: The only investigation that we have into that — they have not been shredding any ballots. There was an issue in Cobb County where they were doing normal office shredding, getting rid of old stuff, and we investigated that. But this stuff from—you know, from, you know, past elections.
Trump: It doesn’t pass the smell test because we hear they’re shredding thousands and thousands of ballots, and now what they’re saying, “Oh, we’re just cleaning up the office.” You know.
Raffensperger: Mr. President, the problem you have with social media, they—people can say anything.
Trump: Oh this isn’t social media . . . this is Trump media!9
Bingo. Abracadabra Alakazam. There it is. Trump media. With the utterance of those two magical words, all known boundaries of rationality dissolve. The ultimate post-postmodern moment. The Omega Point, as predicted by Catholic priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin in the 1950s. The immanentizing of the Eschaton, as predicted by the Principia Discordia in the 1960s. The Timewave Zero singularity, as predicted by Terence McKenna in the 1970s. The moment when Ouroboros collapses in upon itself and vanishes into another plane of existence.
Not social media. Trump media. Not disinformation. Truth. Not evil. Good. Not “Where We Go One, We Go All.” Trump, representing himself and no one else. A mythological serpent with Trump’s head consumes its own tail as it sits coiled in the front row of a packed carnival tent eagerly awaiting the next act in Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium QAnon Show. A dog drops its tail, spins around, bows its head, and awaits the tail’s commands. A ventriloquist takes a break from his own roadshow attraction and watches the limp puppet sitting there on the stage, waiting for it to move, wondering why it refuses to get up on its wooden feet and do a little dance. Who is the master and who is the puppet?
Is it possible that Trump understood the QAnon phenomenon was a strategically created disinformation campaign and then somehow forgot it? Is it possible that Trump’s Operation Mindfuck has boomeranged back on him and screwed up his own mind? Is it possible that Trump popped a little blue pill he himself manufactured?
Is Donald Trump just the latest dupe in his own psychological warfare campaign?
If so, he wouldn’t be the first politician to swallow his own lies.
Or perhaps this is just another act of flamboyant public theater to lay the groundwork for the reality TV show that is sure to follow Trump’s eviction from the White House.
The day after Trump’s phone call with Raffensperger, all ten living secretaries of defense publish an op-ed piece in the Washington Post in which they warn, “Efforts to involve the U.S. armed forces in resolving election disputes would take us into dangerous, unlawful and unconstitutional territory. Civilian and military officials who direct or carry out such measures would be accountable, including potentially facing criminal penalties, for the grave consequences of their actions on our republic.”10
One of the authors of the piece is William Cohen, who served as Secretary of Defense in the Clinton administration from 1997 to 2001. In a January 4, 2021 NPR article entitled "In Op-Ed, 10 Ex-Defense Secretaries Say Military Has No Role In Election Dispute,” reporter Jaclyn Diaz writes:
[William] Cohen, who represented Maine as a Republican U.S. senator for almost 20 years, said he is concerned Trump is attempting to promote civil unrest as justification to deploy military forces in the streets.
"There are things taking place which pose, I think, a threat to our domestic tranquility and security, and that is the president encouraging some of the more right-wing extremists to march on Washington and to protest," Cohen said. "And the indication is he's urging them to—it's going to be wild."11
Two days later, Congress meets to certify Joe Biden as President-elect. In the middle of this process, at Trump’s urging, an angry mob composed of hundreds of his supporters attack the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., resulting in the death of five people and over four hundred arrests.
Ted Barrett, Manu Raju, and Peter Nickeas of CNN report:
The stunning display of insurrection was the first time the US Capitol had been overrun since the British attacked and burned the building in August of 1814, during the War of 1812, according to Samuel Holliday, director of scholarship and operations with the US Capitol Historical Society.
The shocking scene was met with less police force than many of the Black Lives Matter protests that rolled across the country in the wake of George Floyd's killing at the hands of Minneapolis police officers last year. While federal police attacked peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square outside the White House over the summer, clearing the way for Trump to take a photo in front of a nearby church at the time, protesters on Wednesday were able to overrun Capitol police and infiltrate the country's legislative chambers.12
Some suggest the Washington D.C. police were ordered not to engage with the protestors simply to prevent handing Trump an excuse to declare martial law and thus delay the inauguration of Joe Biden—perhaps the entire reason Trump urged the insurrection in the first place.
Among the rioters are numerous QAnon acolytes. In his January 6, 2021 Daily Dot article entitled “Major QAnon Figure Stands Atop House Chamber in Fur Costume,” David Covucci reports:
As supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol today—ending this nation’s boast of two consecutive centuries of a peaceful transition of power—a QAnon supporter stood atop the dais of the House of Representatives, a symbol of a movement that has been at war with American democracy since Trump came to power.
Jake Angeli, known in Q circles as the Shaman for his face paint and furs, was part of the crowd that attempted to seize the U.S Capitol.
Throughout the day numerous Q supporters were spotted in the movement that stormed the U.S. Capitol […].13
As the events of January 6th unfold, news commentators are baffled by the paradoxical images of pro-Trump rioters wearing “BLUE LIVES MATTER” t-shirts going out of their way to clash with police officers. If you know the way QAnon followers think, however, this isn’t confusing at all. QAnon followers support police officers in an abstract sense only. What they support is their own twisted view of law enforcement. If a police officer attempts to stop a QAnon acolyte from delaying the confirmation of Joe Biden, that officer is no longer a blue “LIFE” at all. It’s a literal demon in human form or a human being who supports the rape and torture of innocent children. The officer forsakes any human attributes the second it refuses to lend its authority to the goal of keeping Trump in the White House in perpetuity.
All across the country, as horrified Americans watch enraged insurrectionists break into the Capitol Building and pursue a lone black police officer up the stairs, people ask themselves, “Why would anyone behave in this way?”
Imagine: If you sincerely believed that you would be tossed into a concentration camp and your children raped by Democrats and fed to demons in the event of Biden being certified President-elect, what might you do?
The most logically structured argument in the history of the world will not break these people out of the alternate reality they’ve chosen to inhabit for the past four years.
At this stage perhaps only deprogramming, the kind sometimes administered to survivors of Scientology and other forms of cult brainwashing, could lift the veil of nonsense permanently wrapped around these people’s minds.
It’s now January 7th and Rick takes to his microphone to reveal that all the violent rioters in D.C. were Black Lives Matter/Antifa instigators disguised as QAnon/Trump supporters.
(I wrote the previous sentence before I even listened to Rick’s November 7th broadcast. Yes, that’s how predictable these people tend to be.)
The 1-6-21 insurrection, Rick insists within the first few minutes of the broadcast, was nothing more than a “False Flag” operation enacted by BLM and Antifa. He tells his audience to prepare for “civil unrest” and a military operation that will pave the way for “the Trump Administration 2.0.”
“The Media will be eliminated!” he declares, grinning. “Trump’s gonna work with the military and say, ‘Okay, take over, here you go! I’m doing a peaceful transition of power to you!’” [Laughs maniacally.] “Oh, man, amazing stuff’s goin’ on!”
He takes a brief break to pitch his special line of B2T “survival” supplies, then swings right back into his ode to martial law.
“The military is the only way,” Rick says, insisting that January 19, 2021, will be the day the U.S. military wrests control of America from the Cabal. “I don’t believe they’ll wait until after the 19th!”14
More dates. More commercials.
More prophecies. More promises.
Meanwhile, as Rick tries to convince his audience to invest in gold once more, a decorated Air Force veteran named Ashli Babbitt lies dead in Washington, D.C. after being shot by police for trying to storm the Capitol Building at Trump’s orders. The same day Rick takes to the air to cover his ass with lies, journalists Brandy Zadrozny and Mosheh Gains of NBC report that Babbitt “was an ardent supporter of President Donald Trump and a follower and promoter of many well-known radical conservative activists as well as leaders of the QAnon conspiracy theory movement.”15
As a reward for this military veteran’s devout service to the ideals of Q and Trump, Ashli’s fellow traveler, Rick Rene (who claims to be so “blessed to serve” his flock), a prominent “leader” of the QAnon movement, a man Babbitt probably respected, can’t wait to scurry back into his little home studio in Texas and declare her senseless death a “False Flag.”
Perhaps Q’s prophecies were correct after all. QAnon’s revelations did indeed shine a light on the demons lurking in the middle of a festering, morally corrupt swampland.
When the final hermetic seal is pulled aside, and the most bloated monster of them all is revealed to the masses, we will see none other than good ol’ Rick squatting in the center of a fetid quagmire called “America,” hypocritically sucking off the drained corpses of his loyal listeners while denying they ever existed in the first place.
“What, this inconsequential little bullet-ridden corpse?” says Rick as he sinks a pair of yellowing, elongated fangs into the pale neck of a thirty-five-year-old woman. “Oh, this lifeless thing isn’t real. This is just a ‘False Flag.’ What your eyes tell you you’re seeing, you’re not actually seeing at all. Understand? Move on. There’s nothing important happening here, my fellow Christian Patriots. You must be witnessing a wholly manufactured timeline, one the Illuminati has beamed into your head with their satanic technology.” Ashli’s head bobs limply as Rick digs into her bloody chest wounds with a plastic fork he picked up from Chick-fil-A.
I wonder if Ashli invested in Rick’s special “survival” supplies before she chose to suck up a fusillade of bullets just so Rick wouldn’t have to dirty his hands by engaging in the very course of action he and Gene have been blatantly promoting for the past three years. As Gene himself said on Rick’s show only four days before the insurrection: “You’re either gonna need to surrender or we’ll take you to a military tribunal or a court system, and if you won’t do that, and you’re doing things to children and all these other things, we’ll arrange a meeting for you with the God of all Creation and the highest court in existence, the court of God!”
If that’s not a threat and a call to arms, I don’t know what is.
“Where We Go One, We Go All,” as Rick and his Q-heads love to say . . . except when one of your comrades-in-arms is shot by a cop while committing a crime in your name, potentially sullying your ever-expanding podcast empire, and you turn your back on your fallen soldier and pretend she never even existed in the first place.
Over the course of the one hour, eight minutes, and forty seconds of words words words that Rick vomits into the air one night after the death of his fellow patriot, he never feels the need to mention her name even once.
According to his LinkedIn account, Rick Rene lives in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, has a cushy tech job at IBM, and describes himself as a “Video & Podcast Host” and a “High-Performance Coach/Consultant.” His specialties include “Public Speaking” and “Activating Christian Patriots.”16
It’s now January 10 and Rick is livestreaming with a back-to-basics approach in an apparent attempt to attract new recruits. He begins the show by warning us that the “silent civil war” is “going public soon.” The “silent civil war” Rick is referring to sounds suspiciously like what Charles Manson and his Family called “Helter Skelter.” He then proceeds to give us a primer about Q’s noble attempts to “take down” the Deep State, during which he makes the following statement: “[Q gives us] great insight to wake us up, but he also uses disinformation to confuse the Cabal. Very early posts were talking about arresting Hillary Clinton and [John] Podesta. Everybody’s focus was here in the United States. In the meantime, there was a huge operation going on in Saudi Arabia and we took out the Cabal in Saudi Arabia!”
Rick then presents his audience with reams of evidence to support this last statement, right?
Rick tells his audience to “think for yourselves” while continuously demanding that they take everything Q (and, by extension, Rick) says on pure faith alone. The fact that Rick has just acknowledged that Q “uses disinformation” should ring warning bells in the minds of every member of his audience.
In October of 2002 I attended the eightieth anniversary of the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles. To help celebrate this gala event, the American Cinematheque decided to add a little esoteric flair to the proceedings. At exactly midnight, a famous medium presided over a séance with the purpose of contacting the numerous spirits that were said to haunt the legendary theater, built in October 1922. Forrest J Ackerman, the late editor of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine, took part in the séance. He grew quite emotional and teary-eyed as the medium contacted (or appeared to contact) Ackerman’s wife, Wendayne, who had passed away in 1990.
Just before the séance, the medium stood in the theater’s center aisle and announced that he would attempt to contact the legions of ghosts rumored to still roam the Egyptian. The medium made a great show of placing his hands on his head and concentrating very hard as he attempted to penetrate the thin barrier between this world and the next. He claimed to have contacted—just recently, during other séances—several movie stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age: Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, James Dean, John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe, and . . .
Fay Wray, the iconic star of King Kong and so many other classic horror films of the 1930s: Doctor X, The Most Dangerous Game, The Vampire Bat, The Mystery of the Wax Museum, Black Moon, etc.
Now, keep in mind that this was 2002. I remember blinking in confusion. I glanced over at my friend sitting beside me. He stared at me in bemusement.
I thought for sure I had seen Fay Wray at the Academy Awards only a few years before. I recalled Billy Crystal introducing a tribute to her film career.
I thought, Did Fay Wray die between then and now and somehow I hadn’t heard about it?
Of course, the medium hadn’t bothered to take something very crucial into account before accepting this gig. This was The Egyptian Theater. In Los Angeles. At midnight. On a Friday night/Saturday morning. The only people who would be there at that time would be hardcore movie nerds. He wasn’t going to be able to get anything past these people.
Way off in the back row, I suddenly hear someone say, “Uh, Fay Wray’s still alive.”
From up in the balcony: “Yeah, Fay Wray’s still alive!”
From the front row: “Oh, Fay Wray. Yeah, she’s still alive! I just saw her take out her trash this morning!”
From somewhere in the middle of the theater: “Fay Wray’s not dead! In fact, she’s scheduled to speak here next month!”
The medium went silent for several seconds. I could see the wheels turning in his head. As a few titters of laughter began to burble through the crowd, the medium straightened up, held his palms out in front of him like Dr. Strange confronting an oncoming horde of Mindless Ones, and proclaimed, “Oh, of course. This is a very common phenomenon! You see, sometimes demons will come through the séance and pretend to be deceased humans! This must be what happened in this particular case, obviously.”
He continued his presentation with great aplomb, not seeming flustered at all.
One side of my brain thought: Good save, dude.
The other side of my brain thought: What the holy hell? So doesn’t that throw your entire worldview into question? You think you’re talking to your dead Aunt Tilly, but it might not be your dead Aunt Tilly at all. It could be a freakin’ demon you’re talking to. So what’s the point of the exercise? If a demon can pretend to be the ghost of Fay Wray while Fay Wray’s still alive, they can do any damn thing they want, can’t they? You could never know who or what you’re actually communicating with.
So . . . back to Rick: Here he is, finally admitting that QAnon incorporates a good deal of “disinformation” into his drops. Rick has to do this to explain away the numerous inconsistencies in Q’s ludicrous predictions. But the explanation brings up further problems. If you’ve acknowledged that QAnon knowingly spreads disinformation to his followers, why on Earth would you base every important decision in your life on what Q says?
Every other post could be a lie.
Every post could be a lie.
How would you ever know?
Fay Wray is DEAD.
Fay Wray is ALIVE.
Q is TRUTH.
Q is LIES.
During the first few hours after the insurrection, most people are quick to assume that the Trump supporters who broke into the Capitol are mere thugs and rednecks, lower-class clowns who forced their way into the building with no clear intent beyond stealing an envelope or lugging away Nancy Pelosi’s podium or defecating and urinating in the halls.
As more and more firsthand details and video footage pours out from the Capitol, however, it becomes quite clear that among this surly mob of loutish fools were armed military men with a very clear, very serious intent.
What follows is a passage from Ronan Farrow’s January 9, 2021 New Yorker article entitled “An Air Force Combat Veteran Breached the Senate”:
As insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol this week, a few figures stood out. One man, clad in a combat helmet, body armor, and other tactical gear, was among the group that made it to the inner reaches of the building. Carrying zip-tie handcuffs, he was captured in photographs and videos on the Senate floor and with a group that descended on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office suite. In a video shot by ITV News, he is seen standing against a wall adjacent to Pelosi’s office, his face covered by a bandana. At another point, he appears to exit the suite, face exposed, pushing his way through the crowds of demonstrators.
A day after the riots, John Scott-Railton, a senior researcher at Citizen Lab, at the University of Toronto’s Munk School, notified the F.B.I. that he suspected the man was retired Lieutenant Colonel Larry Rendall Brock, Jr., a Texas-based Air Force Academy graduate and combat veteran . . .
Brock denied that he had entered Pelosi’s office suite, saying that he “stopped five to ten feet ahead of the sign” bearing her title that insurrectionists later tore down and brandished. However, in the ITV video, he appears to emerge from the suite. Brock said that he had worn tactical gear because “I didn’t want to get stabbed or hurt,” citing “B.L.M. and Antifa” as potential aggressors. He claimed that he had found the zip-tie handcuffs on the floor. “I wish I had not picked those up,” he told me. “My thought process there was I would pick them up and give them to an officer when I see one . . . I didn’t do that because I had put them in my coat, and I honestly forgot about them.”17
[Insert sarcastic, incredulous comment here.—RG]
Now read this excerpt from Nick Visser's January 10, 2021 Huffington Post article entitled “FBI Arrests 2 Men Seen With Zip Tie Restraints During U.S. Capitol Riot”:
Federal investigators arrested two men for entering the Senate chamber while carrying zip ties during the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
The FBI on Sunday said it arrested Eric Munchel, a 30-year-old from Nashville, Tennessee, who appeared to be the man photographed in military-style gear holding plastic restraints during the riot. Officials also arrested Larry Brock, who lives in Texas, saying he appeared to be holding “a white flex cuff, which is used by law enforcement to restrain and/or detain subjects.”
The New York Times, citing officials involved in the case, said authorities recovered several weapons during Munchel’s arrest. The FBI also said the photos of him appeared to show “an item in a holster on his right hip, and a cell phone mounted on his chest with the camera facing outward, ostensibly to record events that day.”18
It should be obvious by now that these soldiers in Trump’s army had a special mission that day: to truss up Nancy Pelosi, Mike Pence, and Chuck Schumer (and no doubt any other Congressman not onboard the Trump Train) and either hold them for hostage until their authoritarian demands were met or execute them on camera for the entire world to see, in full-on al Qaeda mode. If the insurrectionists had been able to breach the Senate floor only a few minutes earlier, this is undoubtedly what would have happened.
From Claire Lampen’s January 10, 2021 Cut article entitled “Terrifying Details About the Capitol Hill Riots Keep Coming Out”:
The insurrectionists also constructed a gallows, complete with a noose, outside the Capitol—a detail that becomes all the more chilling in light of reports from witnesses who heard rioters calling for executions. Jim Bourg—Reuters News pictures editor in charge of Washington— says he “heard at least three different rioters at the Capitol say that they hoped to find Vice-President Mike Pence,” and to hang “him from a Capitol Hill tree as a traitor.”19
And the second these assassinations occurred, the President of the United States would have been justified in declaring martial law (for the safety of “The People,” of course) and thus delaying the certification of Joe Biden as the President-elect.
Who had the means (the bully pulpit), the opportunity (he organized the protest), and the motive (preventing Biden’s certification) to see this bloody scenario enacted?
Who lied to his followers for months about rampant election rigging?
Who branded his protest with the battle cry “STOP THE STEAL” (which sounds far more like a command than an appeal)?
Who delivered a fiery speech in which he pumped up a crowd of Q-heads with declarations to march on the Capitol, ordered them to “fight like hell,” promised to stand beside them, wound them up like toy wooden soldiers, then hightailed it right back to the White House where he tweeted out further lies about what Mike Pence could do—constitutionally—to “STOP THE STEAL”?
Whose attorney screamed at the seething crowd, “Let’s have trial by combat!” (like a far more nattily dressed version of one of the deranged marauders from Escape from New York)?
Whose loyal Republican colleague, Mo Brooks of Alabama, told the hordes that it was now time to “start taking down names and kicking ass”?
Whose convicted partner in crime, Roger Stone (the same jailbird who urged Trump back in September to “declare martial law” in case he lost the election20), addressed the masses the night before the insurrection to proselytize that they were fighting a holy war against the “godless” and the “evil”?
A well-educated elementary schooler, unclouded by ideology, shouldn’t have any problem figuring out the basic answers to these basic questions.
Anyone who thinks it’s impossible that Trump had full knowledge of what those “Zip Tie Guys” intended to do that day is not only dangerously naive but lacking essential knowledge regarding the sordid history of military coups in Latin American countries (and elsewhere) from the end of World War II to the present day.
It should be painfully obvious by this point that the entire purpose of the QAnon narrative—a complex psychological warfare campaign intended to inculcate the American rightwing with not only a religious yearning for martial law but also a perverse hunger for an outright military coup in the U.S.—was a buildup to the insurrection of January 6 in case Trump lost what his 2016 campaign advisor Roger Stone characterized as “an already corrupt election.”21 Only a few quirks of fate prevented the plan from reaching full fruition. Unfortunately for Trump, his coup ended as successfully as the Bay of Pigs.
From Dan Koiss’s January 8, 2021 Slate article entitled “They Were Out for Blood”:
They went into the Capitol, as Congress was counting electoral votes, equipped to take hostages—to physically seize officials, and presumably to take lives. The prospect is terrifying. But just because it seems unthinkable doesn’t mean we shouldn’t think hard about what almost happened. Don’t dismiss the zip-tie guys as “LARPers” or “weekend warriors.” First of all, given the well-documented overlap between ex-military, law enforcement, and right-wing militias, it’s entirely possible these guys were weekday warriors using their training in service of extracurricular interests . . . More importantly, the long awful course of history reminds us how slippery the slope is from playacting as a strike force to actually behaving as a strike force. Once the zip ties go on, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a “real” terrorist or not . . .
But it could have been much, much worse. If the rioters had been a little quicker through the doors; if senators and representatives hadn’t just moved from their joint session into separate chambers to debate the Arizona challenge and had instead still been packed into one harder-to-evacuate room; if any number of things had happened differently, the three people next in the line of succession for the presidency might have been face to face with those zip-tie guys. And then: Who knows.22
As with the Bay of Pigs, the people who orchestrated this blunder aren’t going to just give up in passive despair. They almost succeeded once. Why not keep the chaos boiling and try again in the near future?
Maybe Trump won’t even be involved in the scenario next time. It shouldn’t be difficult to find another scarecrow to take his place. If you can convince thousands of full-grown adults to accept an oafish boor like Donald J. Trump as God’s “Anointed One,” you can get these rubes to accept almost anything or anyone.
As philosopher and Christian anarchist Jacques Ellul wrote in his 1965 book, Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes:
[P]ropaganda offers release on a grand scale. For example, propaganda will permit what so far was prohibited, such as hatred, which is a dangerous and destructive feeling and fought by society. But man always has a certain need to hate, just as he hides in his heart the urge to kill. Propaganda offers him an object of hatred, for all propaganda is aimed at any enemy. And the hatred it offers him is not shameful, evil hatred that he must hide, but a legitimate hatred, which he can justly feel. Moreover, propaganda points out enemies that must be slain, transforming crime into a praiseworthy act. Almost every man feels a desire to kill his neighbor, but this is forbidden, and in most cases the individual will refrain from it for fear of the consequences. But propaganda opens the door and allows him to kill the Jews, the bourgeois, the Communists, and so on, and such murder even becomes an achievement . . . In such cases the individual attaches himself passionately to the source of such propaganda, which, for him, provides liberation. Where transgression becomes virtue, the lifter of the ban becomes a hero, a demi-god, and we consecrate ourselves to serve him because he has liberated our repressed passions.23
For the past few years, the “lifter of the ban” has, of course, been Trump—and, by extension, Team QAnon.
The Great Liberators of Sublimated Hate.
The Great Awakening.
1 Ben Collins, “As Trump Meets With QAnon Influencers, the Conspiracy’s Adherents Beg for Dictatorship,” NBC News, Dec. 22, 2020 (accessed Jan. 10, 2021). Available at: https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/internet/trump-meets-qanon-influencers-conspiracy-theory-s-adherents-beg-dictatorship-n1252144.
2 Laura Wamsley, “Shock and Dismay After Trump Pardons Blackwater Guards Who Killed 14 Iraqi Civilians,” NPR, Dec. 23, 2020 (accessed Jan. 10, 2021). Available at: https://www.npr.org/2020/12/23/949679837/shock-and-dismay-after-trump-pardons-blackwater-guards-who-killed-14-iraqi-civil.
3 Jacob Heilbrunn, “The Neocons vs. Donald Trump,” The New York Times, Mar. 10, 2016 (accessed Jan. 24, 2021). Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/13/opinion/sunday/the-neocons-vs-donald-trump.html.
4 John Bowden, “UN Says Trump Blackwater Pardons Violate International Law,” The Hill, Dec. 30, 2020 (accessed Jan. 10, 2021). Available at: https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/532065-un-says-trump-blackwater-pardons-violate-international-law.
5 Adi Robertson, “AT&T Recovers from Multi-state Outage After Nashville Bombing,” The Verge, Dec. 28, 2020 (accessed Jan. 10, 2021). Available at: https://www.theverge.com/2020/12/28/22202822/att-outage-nashville-christmas-bombing.
6 Ben Ashford, “Nashville Bomber Anthony Warner ‘Targeted AT&T After His Father Who Worked for Subsidiary Died of Dementia—Fueling His Conspiracy Theory That 5G Is Killing People,’” Daily Mail, Dec. 27, 2020 (accessed Jan. 10, 2021). Available at: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9091781/Death-Nashville-Christmas-bombers-father-fueled-5G-conspiracy-theory.html.
7 Gene Decode’s Insights on Jan 6. B2T Show Jan 2, 2021,” YouTube.com, Jan. 2, 2021 (accessed Jan. 10, 2021). Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGDLrXwP5pQ.
8 Amy Gardner, “’I Just Want to Find 11,780 Votes’: In Extraordinary Hour-long Call, Trump Pressures Georgia Secretary of State to Recalculate the Vote in His Favor,” The Washington Post, Jan. 3, 2021 (accessed Jan. 10, 2021). Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-raffensperger-call-georgia-vote/2021/01/03/d45acb92-4dc4-11eb-bda4-615aaefd0555_story.html.
9 Amy Gardner and Paulina Frozi, “Here’s the Full Transcript and Audio of the Call Between Trump and Raffensperger,” The Washington Post, Jan. 5, 2021 (accessed Jan. 10, 2021). Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-raffensperger-call-transcript-georgia-vote/2021/01/03/2768e0cc-4ddd-11eb-83e3-322644d82356_story.html.
10 All 10 Living Former Defense Secretaries: Involving the Military in Election Disputes Would Cross Into Dangerous Territory,” The Washington Post, Jan. 3, 2021 (accessed Jan. 10, 2021). Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/10-former-defense-secretaries-military-peaceful-transfer-of-power/2021/01/03/2a23d52e-4c4d-11eb-a9f4-0e668b9772ba_story.html.
11 Jaclyn Diaz, “In Op-Ed, 10 Ex-Defense Secretaries Say Military Has No Role in Election Dispute,” NPR, Jan. 4, 2021 (accessed Jan. 10, 2021). Available at: https://www.npr.org/2021/01/04/953119935/in-op-ed-10-ex-defense-secretaries-say-military-has-no-role-in-election-dispute.
12 Ted Barrett, Peter Nickeas, and Manu Raju, “US Capitol Secured, 4 Dead After Rioters Stormed the Halls of Congress to Block Biden’s Win,” CNN, Jan. 7, 2021 (accessed Jan. 10, 2021). Available at: https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/06/politics/us-capitol-lockdown/index.html.
13 David Covucci, “Major QAnon Figure Stands Atop House Chamber in Fur Costume,” Daily Dot, Jan. 6, 2021 (accessed Jan. 10, 2021). Available at: https://www.dailydot.com/debug/qanon-shaman-house-chamber-jake-angeli/.
14 Cabal Chooses Treason. Pick Your Side. B2T Show Jan 7, 2021,” Blessed2Teach.com, Jan. 7, 2021 (accessed Jan. 10, 2021). Available at: https://blessed2teach.com/cabal-chooses-treason-pick-your-side-b2t-show-jan-7-2021-is-2/.
15 Mosheh Gains and Brandy Zadrozny, “Woman Killed in Capitol Was Trump Supporter Who Embraced Conspiracy Theories,” NBC News, Jan. 7, 2021 (accessed Jan. 10, 2021). Available at: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/woman-killed-capitol-was-trump-supporter-who-embraced-conspiracy-theories-n1253285.
16 “Rick Rene (B2T),” LinkedIn.com (accessed Jan. 10, 2021). Available at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rickrene.
17 Ronan Farrow, “An Air Force Combat Veteran Breached the Senate,” New Yorker, Jan. 9, 2021 (accessed Jan. 12, 2021). Available at: https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/an-air-force-combat-veteran-breached-the-senate.
18 Nick Visser, “FBI Arrests 2 Men Seen With Zip Tie Restraints During U.S. Capitol Riot,” Huffington Post, Jan. 10, 2021 (accessed Jan. 12, 2021). Available at: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/fbi-arrests-zip-tie-capitol-rioters_n_5ffb8e6fc5b63642b6fce5dd.
19 Claire Lampen, “Terrifying Details About the Capitol Hill Riots Keep Coming Out,” The Cut, Jan. 10, 2021 (accessed Jan. 12, 2021). Available at: https://www.thecut.com/2021/01/capitol-riots-lawmakers-and-journalists-chilling-accounts.html.
20 Mary Papenfuss, “Roger Stone Calls for Trump to ‘Declare Martial Law’ to Seize Power If He Loses,” Huffington Post, Sep. 12, 2021 (accessed Jan. 11, 2021). Available at: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/roger-stone-martial-law-donald-trump-election_n_5f5d3e28c5b62874bc1dd6d2.
22 Dan Koiss, “They Were Out for Blood,” Slate, Jan. 8, 2021 (accessed Jan. 12, 2021). Available at: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2021/01/was-there-a-plan-for-hostages-or-killings-at-the-capitol.html
23 Jacques Ellul, Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes (New York: Vintage, 1973 ), pp.151-152.
Robert Guffey is a lecturer in the Department of English at California State University – Long Beach. Among other books, he is author of Until the Last Dog Dies (Night Shade/Skyhorse), a darkly satirical novel, and Chameleo: A Strange but True Story of Invisible Spies, Heroin Addiction and Homeland Security (OR Books), which Flavorwire called “by many miles the [year’s] weirdest and funniest book.”
Ken Weaver is an artist living and working in Brooklyn, New York. His paintings, drawings and photography focus on trauma in all of its manifestations. Weaver’s Dreamweapon series is an attempt to pull back the flesh, exposing the brutal underbelly of today's psychotic/neurotic parts of American culture: the artist’s own American exorcism.