Now, to be clear, we aren’t talking about hunters in hip waders going after our fine-feathered friends with a loyal hound by their side. These “duck hunters” are “soldiers” of Romana Didulo—a Canadian woman who has convinced thousands of QAnon adherents that she’s the secret ruler of Canada—targeting healthcare workers administering COVID-19 vaccines to children, politicians, journalists, and others who make up the cabal at the heart of the QAnon conspiracy.
In a post on Sunday to her over 70,000 followers on Telegram, Didulo issued an order to the soldiers of her “Kingdom of Canada’s Military.” She demanded the mass arrests of those they consider opposition, and wanted her soldiers to take control of newspapers and seize the border.
“Shoot to kill anyone who tries to inject Children under the age of 19 years old with Coronavirus19 vaccines/ bioweapons or any other Vaccines,” she wrote. “This order is effective immediately.”
A follow-up post on Tuesday changed the wording from “shoot to kill” to “arrest.”
“Please, use airports, hospitals, schools, stadiums, and other public venues to hold and detain all traitors,” the post said. “They will stay there until Military Tribunal is held for each one of them until the day they are executed via firing squad or hanging.”
Didulo doesn’t have a passive audience; over the summer, the British Columbian woman mobilized her audience into sending out thousands of cease-and-desist letters across North America (some have recently popped up in Europe) demanding businesses, governments, and police forces stop all activities related to combating the pandemic.
One of the screenshots from Didulo's main Telegram page. Photo via screenshot.
Didulo implies that her duck hunters are secretive military veterans she’s bringing in from the U.S. But on Telegram (a chat app known for lax rules), over 6,000 of her online supporters have signed up to be a part of “Canada Military 2.0”—a separate but inactive Telegram page where followers pledge to be part of Didulo’s fighting force. “I have offered my life for humanity and joined our Canadian duck hunters,” one of her followers wrote.
Didulo has made separate pages to vet prospective members of her Canadian and U.S. duck-hunting teams to help with her mission. The Canadian group currently has just over 100 members, including the man who posted the images of the firearms. Inside the chatroom, one of the duck hunters shared information about a specific vaccine pop-up in an Ontario mall “specifically targeting young children.”
“It’s time to react now,” replied one person. “Hurry up and wait is no longer the thing to say.”
Her followers are pledging their support to their Queen’s initiative. “A few duck hunters coming in can stay with me… I’m ready… all my hunting gear is ready… let’s roll,” wrote one in the public chat and posted a picture of firearms strewn across a table.
Decrees Romana made to her followers. Photo via Telegram.
“I myself can’t contribute much, other than myself and my Duck hunting gear,” wrote another. “I am ready and willing to help our Allies in cleaning up the Bad Actors in my small town of Lamont Alberta.”
Threats and violence against healthcare workers have been constant since COVID-19 vaccinations started rolling out earlier this year, and have ramped up after jurisdictions greenlit the vaccine for children (Canada just approved the Pfizer vaccine for 5-11-year-olds last week). For many of Didulo’s followers, the vaccine is a death sentence, so vaccinating children is akin to murder.
It’s unknown how many followers take Didulo and her tactics seriously, or just consider them a part of the LARP (Live Action Role Playing) and gamification that makes the QAnon conspiracy community so appealing, but experts say there’s cause for concern. Many QAnon adherents have been involved in violent acts like murders and kidnappings, and the FBI has warned the violence may only increase with time.
In an already confounding ecosystem where people will make their way en masse to Texas in anticipation of JFK coming back from the dead, Didulo and her followers somehow manage to be more bizarre than their contemporaries. To her followers, Queen Romana is the true leader of Canada who, alongside Donald Trump, is waging a war against a pedophilic cabal that runs the world. In a few short weeks this spring, Didulo went from a relatively unknown online conspiracy theorist to having a large following after she was “confirmed” by some large QAnon accounts. In some sense, she fills the void left by the titular Q, who hasn’t posted in almost a year.
Didulo administers her decrees on her large Telegram page, a confusing collection of militarist statements, modern-day spirituality, and postings about intergalactic beings. She typically addresses her followers through either simple messages (littered with emojis) or videos featuring her sitting on a brown couch in front of a nondescript wall.
“I call her the ‘hardest LARP in the movement.’ Probably even greater than Q themself,” Alex Mendela, a researcher who works on The Q Origins Project, told VICE World News. “She’s unique in the sense that she’s sort of filled the role of an absent Q but has taken on an independently authoritative role all her own.”
Mandela added that while Didulo has yet to order her audience to violence directly, and mostly skirts around it, he’s concerned about “one of her followers actually taking it seriously, getting riled up by all the urgent rhetoric and frustrated that he/she/they are not receiving clear directives, and taking matters into their own hands with self-directed violence.”
A collection of flags that followers of Romana Didulo have hung outside their home to show their support. Photos via Telegram.
Peter Smith, a journalist with the Canadian Anti-Hate Network who recently penned a story on Didulo, told VICE World News that her “real power has always been the ability to mobilize (her) following into types of real-world action.”
“In the time we have spent monitoring her numerous channels, that following has more than tripled and the rhetoric from Didulo has only grown more severe, culminating in calls for armed action to be taken by people from both the U.S. and Canada,” said Smith. “We do not know how many, if any, of her audience have decided to heed the call to go ‘duck hunting’ in Canada, but with such a large and engaged base of supporters, it is extremely worrying.”
The duck hunters are a massive hit with her audience. Some of her fans have requested the duck hunters attend specific events such as local school board meetings, or target specific people like Sarnia city councillors, environmentalist David Suzuki, or even one follower’s ex-girlfriend. Other fans, upon Didulo’s request, are offering their homes to the “duck hunters” as lodging.
“I am more than happy to be able to house a couple of duck hunters!” wrote one. “I only have a one-bedroom apartment but would happily give up my bedroom.”
If they can’t find lodging with her followers, Didulo instructs her duck hunters to stay at a motel and “file the invoice to the Department of Finance/Treasury Department of Canada.”
Not all her followers are celebrating the future deaths of healthcare workers and members of the cabal. One follower, seemingly convinced these extrajudicial killings were taking place, begged Didulo to spare the life of her son, a teacher.
“Please don’t hurt the innocent in this,” they pleaded. “People here are brainwashed. It’s not their fault. My whole family took the shot believing it was the right thing to do but were falsely led. They are good people. Please.”
Follow Mack Lamoureux on Twitter.