It should surprise no one that yesterday’s siege of the United States Capitol by a pro-Trump right-wing mob included close connections to right-wing conspiracy theories, and not just the putative election fraud claim Pres. Donald Trump used to incite the violence at a rally yesterday afternoon. Many of the thugs who invaded the Capitol sported QAnon clothing, and at least one brandished a flag printed with a “Trump—JFK Jr.” slogan, a reference to a QAnon conspiracy theory imagining that the late son of John F. Kennedy is both secretly alive and about to become Trump’s second vice president. On Fox News Channel, Tucker Carlson spun a conspiracy theory that Antifa agitators had infiltrated the mob, while actual journalists identified several of its members as known white nationalist and right-wing extremists.
One of the most visually striking of the angry thugs was the shirtless “Viking” or “shaman” dressed in war paint with a horned headdress and tattoos associated with neo-paganism and white nationalism. The so-called “Q-Shaman” has been a regular fixture at pro-Trump rallies across the country, a longtime “Q-influencer,” and yesterday the man news organizations identified as Jake Angeli, 33, seized the dais in the Senate chamber in the name of Donald Trump. He is also a believer in wild conspiracies that are ripped straight out of Ancient Aliens and other similar cable TV programs.
Angeli appears to be the same man who operates a YouTube channel (which YouTube terminated late Thursday) that had posted a series of conspiratorial videos since the November election. The man in the videos has the same look and build and the same set of distinctive tattoos. He also identifies himself by the same name. In the videos, Angeli presents the standard QAnon belief system, including pedophile rings, a “cabal” of evil liberals and globalists, and a quasi-religious infatuation with Donald Trump—many of which were ideas that emerged from the 1980s satanic panic and were packaged as a right-wing mystery religion by Ancient Aliens star David Wilcock and other conspiracy mongers in the months before QAnon adopted them wholesale.
In one video posted two weeks ago, Angeli goes still further, claiming that superhero comic books are “soft disclosure” of secret supernatural government programs and that he had been part of a clandestine military “super-soldier” program to use Eastern occult traditions to create analogs of Captain America. He alleges that he participated in a space war whereby he used his psychic occult powers to manipulate “the timelines” and take out the ships of the mind-parasites trying to destroy this world. (Many of these ideas parallel the “work” of David Wilcock and Corey Goode, the latter also claiming to be a secret space warrior fighting the “cabal.”)
Angeli spoke, too, of the “frequencies of energy” in the Egyptian pyramids, “ley lines,” “star alignments,” “monoatomic gold,” and psychoactive drugs to “expand” consciousness in order to reincarnate. These ideas are straight out of the Ancient Aliens playbook (all have been featured in episodes) and can be found in the work of fringe authors like Graham Hancock (whom his video quotes by name) and David Wilcock, and Angeli describes his self-mythologizing as an effort to find a religious meaning in life. Like Wilcock, Angeli thinks that movies contain secret messages about the true nature of reality. “These were all like breadcrumbs, you guys,” Angeli said. Naturally, his video namechecks not just Lucifer and QAnon, but also H. P. Lovecraft and the gods from outside.
It is evident from the 90-minute video that Angeli has serious issues, and he appears to genuinely believe that he is a psychic warrior fighting the Old Ones in trans-dimensional space for the glory of Donald Trump.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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