Many of you know vaguely what the QAnon conspiracy theory is about—its followers believe that a group of Satan-worshipping Democrats, Hollywood celebrities and billionaires run the world while engaging in paedophilia, human trafficking and the harvesting of a supposedly life-extending chemical from the blood of abused children. And there’s way more to it. If you’d like to discover more about the absolutely unhinged world of conspiracy theories, fake news and misinformation, feel free to have a browse through.
What few people are aware of, however, is that QAnon (along with numerous other conspiracy theories) is completely founded on an old form of antisemitism—only repackaged for our digital age. And now, its awful foundations are finally getting exposed. So, what’s happening among the ranks of QAnon believers, and why are the community’s antisemitic views coming out just now?
“There’s a war brewing within the QAnon community,” writes VICE. An anonymous QAnon account called GhostEzra has amassed a massive following in the space of a few months by spreading wild claims about President Joe Biden being a ‘fake’ played by Hollywood actor James Woods in a mask. Don’t ask where this came from. In recent weeks, the ‘on-the-rise’ account has become more and more extreme, spreading Holocaust denial and neo-Nazi content.
By doing so, GhostEzra has seriously pissed off some old school QAnon followers who’ve spent years promoting the conspiracy theory’s misinformation by pretending—and pretending is the key word here—that it isn’t intrinsically antisemitic. Unfortunately for these QAnon ‘influencers’, they have a smaller combined following than the mysterious GhostEzra. But the real problem lies in the fact that they aren’t actually worried about the antisemitic content itself; they’re just worried that the extremist language being used to express that antisemitism is damaging the QAnon brand. Which party is worse? I’ll let you decide for yourself…
“Do you see how disinformation accounts hurt our movement?” CJTruth, part of the establishment QAnon influencer group, wrote on Telegram last week, according to VICE. You’ll notice that the message doesn’t go as far as to try and debunk the Holocaust denial content or antisemitic posts.
With Q gone MIA since December 2020, and President Trump out of office (and therefore unfit to save the world from ‘Satan-worshipping Democrats’), QAnon’s followers seem closer and closer to embracing more extremist views. Obviously, experts see this as a very dangerous trend. “They point out that GhostEzra’s account has become ‘a hub for radicalisation’, where more extreme groups can recruit QAnon followers,” continues VICE.
Yes, QAnon had always promoted antisemitic views, only it never did it so blatantly. The type of content being shared in the GhostEzra channel has taken very extreme turns. In no time, the anonymous account became the leading channel for QAnon content on Telegram. No one knows who is behind the account exactly, but their rise to power within the QAnon community has been extraordinarily fast.
A Twitter account using the same name was set up in December 2020, and within weeks gained over 18,000 followers. After it went down as part of Twitter’s major QAnon purge in the wake of the Capitol riots, it quickly reemerged on Telegram. There, freed from any sort of moderation, the account quickly became a massive hit with QAnon followers.
Besides the standard QAnon conspiracies and the Holocaust denial content, GhostEzra has also promoted some truly wild claims. From some of the wildest flat Earth theories I’ve ever heard to the good old Biden is in fact Woods in a mask idea, one thing is for sure, GhostEzra doesn’t lack imagination.
But last week, the underlying antisemitic content that GhostEzra had always been pushing came to the fore in a series of posts on their Telegram channel that left no doubt about just how extreme the account was. It first promoted the neo-Nazi film Europa—the Last Battle, a ten-part film that claims Jews created communism, and deliberately started both World Wars as part of a plot to found Israel by provoking the ‘innocent’ Nazis, who were only trying to defend themselves.
“Almost all the 4,000 comments responding to the post on Telegram are positive, with very few pushing back against the openly racist message,” reports VICE. On Tuesday 25 May, the account posted more antisemitic content. Here again, the post attracted radicalised comments from other QAnon followers.
Meanwhile, other QAnon followers have only criticised GhostEzra for exposing those views, not promoting them in the first place. Why would they? They’ve been posting that same content for years. As of now, their complaints about GhostEzra seem to have fallen on deaf ears, with hundreds of thousands still interacting with his posts every day. As GhostEzra’s channel on Telegram continues to grow, many worry that it’s already too late to stop him on a platform known for its undisguised lack of rules.