Last week, two things happened that were almost genetically engineered to send the QAnon movement, which was veering toward general conspiracy crankitude, back to their mission of bringing the pain against the sex traffickers of the Clinton Deep State.
The first was Q’s return after a 12 day absence, with a single post that was short on information and long on mystery.
The second was the apparent discovery of an abandoned concrete bunker outside Tucson, AZ, that a veterans advocacy group claims was being used as a hub for child sex trafficking.
The admittedly disturbing story broke earlier in the week, as members of Veterans on Patrol, a non-profit that tries to get homeless vets off the streets, were attracted to what they thought was just a homeless encampment, but “may be a holding area for children sold as sex slaves.”
Local news aggregation site Patch claimed that group members found “trees that had restraints on them, a baby crib and stroller, hair dye, an outdoor bathroom and pornographic material.”
Of course, a potential hub for child sex trafficking is not on the same level as the continuation of a fantastical internet puzzle. But the two are connected by the same invisible string that connects pretty much every other conspiracy theory. So what’s going on here?
It’s important to note that so far, it’s only a theory that the site was used for human trafficking. In fact, local police have specifically said that several days of searching by officers and detectives have not turned up any evidence that the camp was used for anything other than temporary squatting.
So why are QAnon believers and patriot groups up in arms over it?
It’s helpful to examine the chain of custody for the rumor. As local news outlet KGUN wrote, Veterans on Patrol claims to have found the bunker and notified not the police, but a different group of veterans – a former Navy SEAL named Craig Sawyer who is the head of “a documentary crew traversing the country to expose the dark side of human trafficking.”
That crew then came onto the site and found what Sawyer described to KGUN as “barbie dolls, clothing, tube of sex lubrication [sic], and suitcases filled with porn magazines.”
Sawyer also claimed he found what he described as a “rape tree” with various straps on it, and a cave that had several dressers in it – large enough to hold a child, apparently.
Shockingly, this evidence has not been turned over to local police, but is being “stored in a private area,” out of the view of both authorities and reporters.
So the veterans groups say the site is a trafficking haven, but won’t turn over the evidence (stolen from private property, and more on that in a minute), and the police say there’s no evidence that the site is a trafficking haven.
Could it be that Sawyer and the others think it’s a trafficking site because their livelihood is based on finding trafficking sites? Is it even possible that this whole thing is just a place where people down on their luck laid their head down for a while, and left random crap behind when they moved on? The random crap that is a hallmark of homeless encampments around the world?
None of those explanations are satisfying to conspiracy theorists. So they immediately connected the whole thing to the constantly expanding mythology they’ve created.
The site is an abandoned concrete plant that appears to be owned by Mexican cement giant Cemex, who were one of over 180 companies to have made a donation to the Clinton Foundation for lobbying purposes. Beyond that, George Soros, the ur-bogeyman of all conspiracies, apparently bought about 400,000 shares of Cemex in 2014 through a hedge fund that holds a large amount of his family wealth.
Anything that has even the most gossamer connection to the Clintons or Soros instantly raises conspiracy theorist eyebrows. But Soros owns stock in countless companies. Hundreds of companies made donations to the Clinton Foundation. These don’t mean anything as far as sex trafficking. They certainly aren’t evidence of a heinous crime.
Moving out from that, #QAnon kept vacuuming up information that had nothing to do with the case at hand.
- The CEO of Cemex was murdered! (He died at age 70 in 2014 of a sudden heart attack)
- Police found mass graves at the site! (they didn’t)
- The Mayor of Tucson is named Jonathan Rothschild! (he is, but lots of people have that last name and aren’t related to the family, INCLUDING ME)
- It’s linked to the murder of JonBenet Ramsey’s therapist and three others in Scottsdale! (there’s no evidence linking these murders to the site, nor any plausible reason why they’d be related – also, the suspect in the murders just killed himself)
And what about the return of #QAnon? Could it be related to the Tucson story?
Maybe. Or maybe it’s about something else. After all, it’s a #QAnon post. It’s designed to mean whatever its readers want it to mean. What are the “booms?” Why is the post written out in a weird slant? What is the “week to remember?” Was it last week? This week? Next week?
That’s for believers to decide. And what they decided, immediately, was that whatever was going on or not going on in Tucson is part of it.
Never mind that whatever is going on is not what they think. They BELIEVE it’s going on – so it is.
6/5/18 update: ICE has also declared that the Tucson site isn’t a sex trafficking camp. That hasn’t stopped the various patriot and militia groups at the site from trying to turn it into a standoff ala Bundy Ranch. So far, authorities don’t seem to be taking the bait.
The other development is that conspiracy theorists are connecting the sudden suicide of designer Kate Spade to the Tucson encampment, due to the heinous crime of going to Arizona State University.
6/6 update: The craziness at the site continues, with the newest claim being that the head of VOP found 60 (or 80) pairs of children’s shoes at the camp. His evidence for this is a video where he speaks straight to the camera for 20 minutes, and declares he found 60 pairs of children’s shoes at the camp.
Snopes also weighed in on the matter, calling the existence of the child trafficking camp false. Not that that will change any believer minds, but it’s good for the rest of us.
For more on what’s really going on at the Tucson camp, read here.