All the Best QAnon People Are Going to Trump’s Rally in Arizona

They'll be in the crowd and on stage with the former president.

Jan 12 2022, 1:58pm
Unraveling viral disinformation and explaining where it came from, the harm it's causing, and what we should do about it.

Former President Donald Trump will hold his first rally of 2022 in Arizona on Saturday and it’s set to be packed with QAnon folks, both on stage and in the crowd.

Trump is calling the rally “a continuation” of his “unprecedented effort to advance the MAGA agenda by energizing voters and highlighting America First candidates and causes.” In reality, what Saturday’s rally will do is give yet more credibility to the QAnon conspiracy cult by featuring a known QAnon supporter as a “special guest speaker.”

Advertisement

Mark Finchem, a GOP Arizona state representative whose campaign Secretary of State has already been endorsed by Trump, will address the crowd at the Canyon Moon Ranch in Florence on Saturday evening.

Finchem is an ardent Trump supporter who was present at the Jan. 6 insurrection and was one of the loudest voices supporting the bogus election recount in Maricopa County run by the now-defunct company Cyber Ninjas.

He has also repeatedly shared QAnon conspiracies on social media and on QAnon-friendly podcasts and media platforms, and last year he headlined a major QAnon conference in Las Vegas.  

Advertisement

Joining Finchem on stage will be uber conspiracy theorist and pillow salesman Mike Lindell, who is so deeply enmeshed with the QAnon community at this point that it’s hard to separate his personal conspiracy theories about stolen elections from those spread by QAnon.

Also speaking on Saturday will be Kari Lake, the former TV anchor who is running for Arizona governor in November with Trump’s endorsement. Lake, another major promoter of the former president’s election fraud lies, was pictured last year at a campaign event with Ron Watkins, the QAnon influencer who is also running for office.

Watkins, who is running for Congress in Arizona, told VICE News that he is planning to attend Saturday’s rally “​​with a bunch of volunteers and Ron Watkins supporters.” He has also been promoting it to his hundreds of thousands of followers on Telegram.

One person who is certainly planning to attend is Watkins’ father, Jim Watkins, the owner of 8kun, the fringe message board that allowed QAnon to flourish and grow into a mainstream conspiracy.

The elder Watkins posted a video of himself on the road saying, “I can’t wait to get there. God bless the USA.”

An error occurred while retrieving the Tweet. It might have been deleted.

Also in the crowd at Trump’s rally will be Michael Brian Protzman, the leader of the QAnon cult that has been holed up in Dallas for the last three months predicting the return of John F Kennedy.

Protzman, known to his followers as Negative48, has amassed a huge following online by making predictions based on a bastardized version of a Jewish numerology system known as Gematria. 

Advertisement

He convinced hundreds of people to travel from all across the U.S. to Dallas at the beginning of November to witness the resurrection of JFK and his son. Despite repeated failed predictions, dozens of his followers abandoned their lives and have remained in Dallas for the last three months.

Protzman announced on one of his many live audio chats that his group is traveling to the Arizona rally, and he made vague predictions about what might happen on the day, including yet another possible appearance by JFK.

One of Protzman’s main lieutenants within the group, actor Stephen Tenner, posted a message on Tuesday that he was already on his way to Arizona in his RV. 

Telegram/@TennerTalks

In an audio chat on Tuesday, with over 1,000 people listening, Protzman once again claimed that President Joe Biden was never inaugurated and hasn’t been living and working in the White House but rather is actually part of a movie being filmed on a set in Culver City, California.

In another audio chat on Wednesday morning, however, Protzman fell asleep in the middle of answering his followers' questions. 

An error occurred while retrieving the Tweet. It might have been deleted.

Some of Protzman’s supporters have also spotted that Trump’s official announcement mentions “live entertainment” as part of the rally, and suggested that this will involve a band made up entirely of dead musicians and singers, including Michael Jackson, Prince, Whitney Houston, Janis Joplin, Tupac, and John Lennon.

This prediction follows Protzman’s own claim in November that at a Rolling Stones concert in Dallas that he forced his group to attend, the band members were replaced by Jackson, Prince, and JFK Jr., with Aaliyah providing backup vocals.

Want the best of VICE News straight to your inbox? Sign up here. 

Tagged:

Arizona, trump rally, Jim Watkins, Disinfo Dispatch, Ron Watkins, kari lake, Mark Finchem, Michael Brian Protzman

More
like this
QAnon Candidate Ron Watkins’ Biggest Campaign Donor Is Himself
QAnon Thinks Elon Musk Is Going to Let Them Back on Twitter
QAnon Thinks the Roe v. Wade Leak Is a Deep-State Plot
The Jan. 6 Committee Wants to Speak to Trump’s Social Media Guy About QAnon
How a Hillary Supporter Became One of the Most Prominent QAnon Capitol Rioters
The Right Has Gone Full QAnon on Disney
Trump’s Spokeswoman Calls For Arrests Over 2020 Election at QAnon Rally
Meet the DC-Area Wine Bar Manager Who Started the Ukraine Biolabs Conspiracy Theory