Major news outlets are finally starting to notice that Jake Angeli (Jacob Chansley), the horned QAnon "shaman" who infiltrated the Capitol last Wednesday, is kind of weird. News reports said that Angeli claimed that Pres. Trump had invited him to attack the Capitol, and a judge ruled that Angeli was entitled to special organic food in jail because QAnon shamanism is his religion, and organic food is his sacred diet. Also, there were the rants about QAnon conspiracies of every stripe. So far, mainstream media haven't reported on his since-deleted YouTube videos claiming to be a government psychic space warrior battling Lovecraftian abominations from another dimension.
Meanwhile, NBC News published an important piece today outlining the anti-Semitic and Theosophical origins of the QAnon Reptilian conspiracy theory. Cultural historian Lynn Stuart Parramore pulled no punches in identifying the ways David Icke and QAnon have used anti-Semitic tropes in creating imaginary lizard Jews who secretly run the world, and Parramore also correctly notes the longstanding intersection between these conspiracy theories and pop culture, citing the appearance of QAnon/Icke lizards in The Umbrella Academy on Netflix:
History shows that when panic is rising, institutions seem to be failing and the masses feel betrayed by wealthy elites, finding scapegoats can seem alluring. If charismatic influencers are able to channel the grievances toward secret cabals, immigrants and religious groups, eventually, something terrible is likely to happen.
It is not exactly a groundbreaking for those of us who have been following History Channel / QAnon / InfoWars conspiracy theories for years, but it is heartening to see that mainstream media outlets are tentatively starting to understand that these ideas are not simply fun and games. It's a shame that it took an attempt to violently overthrow the United States government for them to do so.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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