There’s very little daylight between the wide-ranging insane conspiracy theories favored by the QAnon cult and a long, historical narrative of anti-Semitism.
Their canards may vary a bit, but the main storyline is cobbled together of the same, tired tropes, given a fresh coat of paint and a little bit of spackle — and bleached just enough so when they’re challenged, the offending jackals can say, “I didn’t say anything about Jews!” in their pearl-clutching defensive.
This is problematic enough in the omnipresent cesspool of social media when crazy Uncle Charlie can share the latest insanity with a few hundred friends and family members. But when Crazy Uncle Charlie aspires to public office — where his constituency numbers into tens or even hundreds of thousands — the stakes become exponentially higher. And the damage he can do becomes exponentially worse.
So here’s the thing, Lynn Gerber (candidate for state Senate in Jefferson County), Lauren Boebert (candidate for 3rd Congressional District), and statehouse candidates Vanessa DeMott and Samantha Koch: We see you. We know this game, we’ve seen it before, and the only people you’re fooling when you promote that QAnonsense are other anti-Semites in your ranks.
Catalyzed out of the insane “pizzagate” nutbaggery during the 2016 election run-up where so-called “alt-right” outlets (such as 8Chan, but we’ll get to that in a moment) propagated the idea that Hillary Clinton was running a child-sex-trafficking ring out of a pizza restaurant in Washington D.C., the QAnon manifesto is so obviously cribbed from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion that it borders on plagiarism.
For historical context: The Protocols was originally published in Russia in 1903. It was a completely fabricated collection of lies that claimed to detail a plan for Jews to take over the world — a cabal of “globalists” who feasted on the blood of Christian children (borrowing from another ancient canard referred to as “blood libel”), and controlled the media and banks, etc. etc. etc… Henry Ford was a big fan, and adapted it into a series of articles he ran in his newspaper, The Dearborn Independent, which later became its own book called The International Jew. And yes, Adolf Hitler was a big fan of that one.
QAnon believes an international cabal of pedophiles runs Hollywood, the media and banking, and harvests the blood of children specifically for a drug called “adrenochrome” which they use to “stay young.” Their vitriolic rhetoric and committed disinformation campaigns have already incited violence and engendered enough credible threats that the FBI has labeled them a domestic terror threat.
In recent weeks, 8Chan site administrator James Watkins has been identified as one of the people most likely to be the man behind the Q-anon cloak, thanks to internet sleuthing. “Until it went offline, (Q-anon’s IP codebase) was hosted by the same content delivery network (CDN) service as 8kun (owned by Watkins and his son). The CDN only hosts two other domains: Watkins’ domains and The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website,” said ABC News in their report.
A Wired Magazine report traced the beginnings of the “adrenochrome” lie to a 4chan thread: “In an anti-Semitic 4chan /pol/ thread an anonymous poster linked a restricted, unsearchable video named ‘Jew Ritual BLOOD LIBEL Sacrifice is #ADRENOCHROME Harvesting.’ Within these same online communities, Pizzagate formalized and grew in 2015–2016 before spreading to more mainstream social media.” From their earliest origins, pizzagate, blood libel and QAnon have been wrapped around anti-Semitism in an unending loop — the ouroboros of hate.
Make no mistake: in a post-truth era where the President of the United States openly flirts with and shares the misinformation and hate pouring out of the QAnon community, anti-Semitism is en vogue again, and it’s surging across the nation. Witness the synagogue shooting attack at the L’Simcha Synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018 or the Poway Synagogue shooting in 2019. And tragedy was narrowly averted here in Colorado last year thanks to the FBI, who foiled a plot by white supremacist and would-be synagogue bomber Richard Holzer, who was arrested shortly before enacting his plan to destroy Colorado’s second-oldest standing synagogue, Temple Emanuel in Pueblo. His trial has been scheduled for February of 2021.
And now, we have no fewer than four contenders for Colorado legislative seats who have embraced some of the insane theories oozing from the QAnon muck. Gerber, Boebert, DeMott and Koch have all revealed themselves to be, at the very least, the most easily manipulated fools running for office — or at worst, openly embracing this shadowy group of anti-Semites hiding in plain sight, spinning new feldgrau from the old yarns of Jew hatred.
[Shomer is Hebrew for “Guardian” or “Watchman”]