“He used to work out at my gym. Dude is off his rockers.”
That’s the way local artist Joseph Graves summarizes his relationship with Craig Longley, a chiropractor based in Denver who performed spine adjustments and neck-cracking in relatively benign obscurity up until a couple days ago.
On April 28, Vice magazine revealed Longley as a central and outspoken figure in the QAnon-iverse, operating under the pseudonym “InevitableET” or “IET.” Vice identified him as, “one of the most prominent voices in the QAnon community since the very beginning of the conspiracy movement in 2017,” also calling him a “hugely antisemitic voice in the Q community.”
Graves met Longley at Project Rise gym just before Donald Trump announced his candidacy for President in 2015.
“It was mostly just casual conversations,” Graves says. “You know, in between grunting and lifting. We connected on Facebook.” Graves says it wasn’t long before Longley started trying to indoctrinate him.
“He started posting stuff that was questionable. I mean, the weird stuff, you know like conspiracies. And then he started messaging me and trying to get me to believe these weird things. I don’t remember exactly what, but I remember he made an antisemitic comment and I was like, ‘dude, why are you saying that?’ and he was like, ‘I’m just trying to get people to see the light,’ and then I was like, ‘man you’re in the dark.’”
Graves had enough at that point and unfriended Longley on Facebook just prior to Trump’s first impeachment on Jan. 16, 2020.
Longley himself has all but disappeared since Vice broke the story, taking obvious pains to scrub his social media accounts, shut down his local chiropractic practice The Movement Project, and taking his personal bio off of his website.
However, cached versions of the page remain accessible, and this particular line from his “Meet the Doctor” bio page certainly resonates: “He has… ambitions to leave his mark not just in the great state of Colorado but across the nation and eventually internationally.”
And that, he certainly has.
According to the Vice piece, Longley’s reach under his IET moniker is more than significant.
“… Longley built a loyal following of hundreds of thousands of people on Twitter. Unlike some QAnon influencers, Longley has embraced almost all of the conspiracies that have cropped up during the movement’s three years.
“A quick review of an Instagram account he started in August 2020 after being suspended from Twitter, which has 30,000 followers, shows that he has embraced COVID-19 denial, election fraud conspiracies, claims that President Joe Biden is part of the shadowy cabal of elites running a child sex trafficking ring, and lots of antisemitism, including a claim that Jews are attempting to enslave the world.”
That Longley and his disturbing antisemitic beliefs found a home in the QAnon movement is unsurprising. QAnon itself is simply a recasting of age-old antisemitism as it was written in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion — a hoax published in 1903 expressly to create a groundswell of hatred for Jews. In fact, the book itself is something Longley himself professed affinity for, and is likely a contributing factor to his abhorrent beliefs.
“The QAnon-lite stuff that he told me about wasn’t super alarming as this was early on in Q,” says Maria, the woman who spoke to Vice for their article (I agreed to keep her real name a secret as Vice did in order to protect her from backlash by Q-aNuts), “but when I saw the post on Facebook he made (denying the holocaust ever happened), I never returned to his office. He was kicked off/or left FB shortly after I reported the post to FB.”
I’ve made several attempts to get Longley to talk via phone, text, email and through his still-active Instagram account, but he has yet to reply.
Meanwhile, as Vice was doing good work doxxing Nazis, the ADL did a solid job explaining why it’s still so much of an issue. In what should come as a surprise to absolutely no one – especially readers of this column – the Anti Defamation League’s audit of the 2020 Hate Crime data provided by the FBI at the end of 2020 is out and the results are clear: Jews are again the most-targeted ethnic group in the U.S. for hate crime, when adjusted for per-capita representation.
According to their report: “In 2020, ADL tabulated 2,024 reported antisemitic incidents throughout the United States. This is a 4% decrease from the 2,107 incidents recorded in 2019 but is still the third-highest year on record since ADL began tracking antisemitic incidents in 1979.”
A few other key things stand out: 1) Considering the overall shut-down of major metropolitan areas, the fact that there’s only a 4% dip from 2019–2020 in total incidents is alarming.
2) Extremist groups are growing in number and in their attacks. According to the report: “Known extremist groups or individuals inspired by extremist ideology were responsible for 331 incidents in 2020, up from 270 incidents in 2019.” That’s an 18% increase. And most of the incidents recorded were forms of propaganda and recruitment.
3) Colorado stands out for some of the extremist participants. One group, calling themselves the Goyim Defense League received particular attention due to their activities the last few years in Colorado, California, Florida and New York, such as their “name the nose tour” last fall.
4) While incidents at schools predictably plummeted with the shift to home-based learning as a result of the pandemic, there was a 40% surge between 2019 and 2020 in incidents reported at Jewish institutions such as synagogues and community centers.
5) Colorado is 21st in population, but ranked 6th overall in number of reported incidents — in other words, Colorado accounts for 1.74% of the United States population but almost 3% of the total number of reported antisemitic incidents in 2020.
…With bigots like Craig Longley running around, it’s no wonder why.