Neon Revolt, one of the most prominent QAnon influencers who has spread conspiracy theories and fomented violence among his hundreds of thousands of loyal followers on far-right social network Gab, has been unmasked as a failed Hollywood screenwriter.
Robert Cornero Jr. from Neptune City, New Jersey, has been identified by researchers working for fact-checking group Logically, who found that the company used to publish a book by Neon Revolt about QAnon was registered in Cornero’s name and to his family’s home address.
Cornero moved from New Jersey to Studio City in California over a decade ago to pursue a career as a scriptwriter. And even though he had never had any success producing a script of his own, he set up a website called Hacking Hollywood, where he offered to coach aspiring screenwriters.
But his experience in California was not a success, and it soured his view of Hollywood.
“BURN IT!” he wrote on his now-deleted Twitter account in 2018. “BURN THE WHOLE DEGENERATE TOWN DOWN! GLASS THE ENTIRE WEST COAST IF YOU HAVE TO.”
It was around this time that Cornero became interested in QAnon, which at the time was just a month-old movement with a very small following on fringe websites like 4chan.
Soon, Cornero returned to his family home and set up his alter ego Neon Revolt, launching a blog, and quickly establishing himself as one of the leading voices within the QAnon cult.
“Neon is one of the most prominent QAnon influencers in that community, writing extremely long screeds on his blog that tie together countless elements of various plots and conspiracy theories that have nothing to do with each other,” Mike Rothschild, a conspiracy theory researcher who is currently writing a book about QAnon, told VICE News.
“His persona is that of a paranoid and xenophobic embittered screenwriter flying the flag of traditional conservative values in the liberal cesspool of Hollywood.”
In 2019, Cornero leveraged his position of trust among his followers when he launched a crowdfunding campaign to write a QAnon book. He raised $150,000 and ultimately produced the 660-page “Revolution Q: The Story of QAnon and the 2nd American Revolution,” which has become one of the most influential texts among the QAnon community.
But rather than giving copies to the people who had donated money toward the book’s production, Cornero turned around and sold the book back to the same followers who had already given him money.
The book is still available to buy on Amazon.
This grift led some in the QAnon community to label Cornero a “paytriot” — a term used to criticize those who seek to exploit the QAnon movement for financial gain.
But these criticisms seemed to have little impact on Cornero’s influence. While he never had a presence on Twitter, his blog continued to be influential and he has established a following of over 635,000 on the far-right social network Gab.
Cornero’s influential position within the QAnon world was highlighted once again last month when a hacker obtained a copy of an email server used by the owners of 8kun, the website where the anonymous creator of QAnon posts updates.
An analysis of the email communications by investigative reporters at Bellingcat found that Cornero was in frequent contact with the site’s owner Jim Watkins — though the content of the emails is unknown.
On the morning of the Capitol riots, Cornero published a series of three blog posts that claimed to finally prove the claims of election fraud that President Donald Trump had been making for months.
In fact, the “evidence” produced was little more than a rehash of previously disproven conspiracies that Cornero had been fed by Jim Watkin’s son Ron, who himself is a major influencer within the QAnon community.
“[Cornero] was a big part of it,” Rothschild said. “Ron Watkins used a three-part blog that Neon wrote as an ‘earth-shattering bombshell’ that would deliver the election to Trump. His blog and Gab account are like a journey through madness.”
Cornero did not respond to a request for comment.