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This week:

  • QAnon targets Sebastian Gorka.
  • Jordan Peterson sells crustacean shirts to his fans.
  • Two hot conspiracy theories revving up on the right.
  • Baked Alaska ditches the alt-right.

QAnon turns on Gorka

Former White House adviser Sebastian Gorka is no stranger to conspiracy theories. In January, for example, he suggested that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was secretly dead.

Normally, that would align him with believers in QAnon, the wacko movement that posits that the Democratic Party is run by pedophiles and also think Ginsburg is dead. But now the top figures in QAnon are coming for Gorka.

Gorka has clashed with QAnon believers in the past. As a former White House insider, they expect him to validate that their theory is real. Instead, he frequently tweets that “Q is garbage.”

Screenshot via Facebook

But the feud really stepped up this week. “Q,” the mysterious person or group of people who drop the “clues” that set QAnon believers off, posted a series of links about a super PAC Gorka once worked for. Then Q linked to the FBI tip line, with the implication that Gorka had committed all sorts of crimes.

Of course, QAnon readers thought, this explains it: Gorka only says QAnon is fake because he’s in on the plot. In the usual QAnon style, nothing was actually proven, but believers filled in the rest and started posting menacing tweets towards Gorka.

Patriot’s Soapbox, a 24-hour QAnon livestream on YouTube that’s central to the conspiracy theory’s origin story, posted Gorka’s address and his wife’s name. QAnon followers on Twitter starting posting pictures of his house.

Given that QAnon followers have been tied to two recent murders, the attacks on Gorka have the potential to become more than casual doxxing on the internet. Then a major figure in QAnon world took it further.

Dave Hayes, a religious “healer” and QAnon personality who goes by the handle “Praying Medic,” went on Trump superfan Bill Mitchell’s show this week to threaten Gorka more directly. Hayes has become a powerful figure in QAnon-world by blending evangelical Christianity with an obsession with Q’s mythos.

“You may want to be careful with what you say and what you do,” Hayes said. “Q put somebody on the radar yesterday, and you probably don’t want 10,000 anons from 8chan digging through your personal life.

“Right,” Mitchell said.


Screenshot via Twitter

Hayes added that “the hunter is now the hunted.”

“The people that have been writing hit pieces about us, criticizing us, calling us fools, those people are about to have their corruption exposed,” he said.  “So I’m just letting people know, I think you’re going to see a bit more of an aggressive stance on the side of people who have been taking this crap for a long time, they’re not going to take it anymore.”

Gorka didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The Jordan Peterson fashion line

Canadian professor and Intellectual Dark Web darling Jordan Peterson is fond of comparing human beings to lobsters. Lobsters crave status, Peterson argues — and therefore, so does every lost young man.


Now, in his continued quest to monetize the young men who look to him as a father figure, Peterson is selling all kinds of lobster-themed merch. For more than $30, for example, they can get a Peterson-approved shirt covered in lobsters.


Image via Teespring

Also available: a lobster iPhone case, a lobster pillow, and lobster leggings.

Two conspiracy theories to watch

There are two rising conspiracy theories heating up the right-wing internet.

First up: the idea that Ruth Bader Ginsburg is secretly dead hasn’t gone away, even though Ginsburg has been showing up to oral arguments at the Supreme Court — not exactly the behavior of a dead person! Since audio of the hearings is released, there’s plenty of proof that she’s alive.

Instead, the Ginsburg death truthers have focused on analyzing that audio, claiming that it’s being edited to cover up Ginsburg’s death. Neon Revolt, a popular conspiracy theory blog on the right, posted an “analysis” of the audio waves this week, claiming that Ginsburg’s audio is being cut into the actual recordings.

“Someone is EDITING the oral arguments heard at SCOTUS in a way we’ve never been publicly aware of, before,” the blog’s anonymous author wrote. “They inserted RBG’s audio.”

This next one should only get bigger. Right-wing figures, including Sean Hannity, are claiming that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not a congresswoman, but an “actress.” The implication is that Ocasio-Cortez is a dupe for shadowy, powerful interests — including, of course, George Soros.

The conspiracy theory originates in a video posted earlier this month by an actual actor, YouTube personality “Mr. Reagan,” the stage name of Chris Kohls. In the video, Kohls claims that Ocasio-Cortez is an “actress” because she received campaign help from a progressive group and because her staffers sometimes cite the same statistics that she does.

“She’s not a real congresswoman,” Kohls says in the video. “She’s an actress.”

Screenshot via YouTube

Kohl’s claims echo some of the older claims that Barack Obama was somehow a vessel for shadowy interests.

“The next time you see Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—she’s fake,” Kohls says. “She’s a fraud, she’s not real.”

Kohl’s theory doesn’t make sense for plenty of reasons, including the fact that Ocasio-Cortez definitely is a congresswoman. But that hasn’t stopped it from picking up steam on the right, where his first original on Ocasio-Cortez earned more than 2 million views and a shout-out from Sean Hannity.

Baked Alaska denounces the alt-right

Remember Baked Alaska, the alt-right memelord who got pepper-sprayed in Charlottesville and memorably cried out for milk? Now he tells me he’s ditching the alt-right, which he says has ruined his life.

Alaska — real name Timothy Gionet — called me last week from Phoenix, where he’s living after watching his internet fameball career crash and burn along with the rest of his racist movement.

“It’s been a pretty big disaster, to be honest,” Gionet said. “It’s been terrible for my employment opportunities, my reputation. It’s ruined lifelong friendships, it’s ruined relationships with family. It’s hurt my soul.”

Now Gionet is trying to pivot away from the alt-right, making a video about how the New Zealand shooter was radicalized by right-wing internet memes. And he’s reinventing himself as a fan of Andrew Yang, the Democratic presidential hopeful beloved by 4Chan. He’s even made a rap about it.


Photo via YouTube

Gionet, who claims that he sees “normie-tier conservatives” being radicalized to the far-right on social media, says he wants to warn other people away from being recruited to white supremacist groups through memes and “ironic” racism.

“I really thought this was just fun memes and jokes and edgy 4Chan posting and all this stuff, and then you get to the end of this rabbit hole and you realize these guys are serious,” Gionet said.

Gionet has restyled himself plenty of times before this, going from a novelty rapper to a Buzzfeed employee to the court jester of the white supremacist movement. His claims that he didn’t realize what he was getting into are a stretch — by the time he was marching with neo-Nazis in Charlottesville and posting gas chambers memes on Twitter, Gionet was in his late 20’s.

It’s unclear whether his conversion is genuine, or whether anyone should care about it. In the end, the fact that Gionet is jumping ship on the alt-right may be most interesting for what it says about the alt-right’s declining fortunes.

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