QAnon’s biggest celebrities threw a three-day conference in Dallas over the weekend—and it didn’t disappoint.
Whether you wanted to hear a former U.S. Army general calling for a military coup or Roger Stone’s social media adviser calling for Hillary Clinton’s execution, there was something for everyone.
There were auctions selling $1,000 blankets and $8,000 baseball bats. A sitting Congressman appeared on stage and literally embraced QAnon influencers. Dozens of members of a shadowy militia provided protection—some with their own pugs in tow. And then there was Kraken-lawyer Sidney Powell trying to sing the national anthem.
And, of course, journalists were kicked out, to standing ovations from the crowd.
The “For God & Country: Patriot Roundup” event took place over Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in downtown Dallas with thousands of QAnon supporters each paying at least $500 for a ticket to the event.
The event took place in the city-owned Omni Hotel despite opposition from local residents whose petition was signed by more than 20,000 people.
The organizer of the event, John Sabal (known online as QAnon John), claimed prior to the event that it wasn’t a QAnon conference, despite multiple high-profile QAnon figures speaking there.
The event was a coming-out party for many well-known figures in the QAnon world, but it also highlighted just how far the conspiracy movement is bleeding into mainstream Republican politics, with one sitting Congressman, Rep. Louie Gohmert, speaking on stage, along with the chairman of the Texas GOP, Allen West.
The event continues on Monday morning with more speakers addressing the crowd, but here are the wildest moments so far from the Dallas event:
Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn called for a coup
Flynn, the disgraced former national security advisor during the Trump administration, has long been viewed as a godlike figure within the QAnon community. For his part, Flynn has attempted to distance himself from QAnon, but that’s hard when you post a video of yourself and your whole family reciting the QAnon oath or, you know, headlining a QAnon conference.
And on Sunday, Flynn delivered the goods.
While speaking on stage, Flynn was asked by an audience member who said he’d been in the military: “I want to know why what happened in Myanmar can’t happen here?”
After cheers from the crowd died down, Flynn responded: “No reason. I mean, it should happen here.”
As a reminder, the military coup in Myanmar in February has already cost 800 civilians their lives. Ever since the coup took place, QAnon supporters have been obsessing over it and questioning why it could happen in a Third World country and not in the U.S.
Sidney Powell turned up in a biker vest
Sporting a biker vest dotted with badges saying everything from MAGA to “No God, No Peace” and “Ride free, take risks,” Sidney Powell spoke on Saturday night in a question-and-answer session with right-wing talk show host Doug Billings.
The conversation quickly turned to what Powell sees as her area of expertise: election fraud. And Powell had a surprising revelation to make when asked about the possibility of Trump returning to office.
"He can simply be reinstated,” Powell told a cheering audience, adding that a new inauguration date will be set “and Biden is told to move out of the White House.”
Sadly for Trump, however, Powell revealed that he won’t get credit for time lost.
Now, there are no provisions in the Constitution to just reinstate Trump, but remember: This is Powell’s area of expertise, and she and her fellow members of Trump’s “elite strike force” legal team did file 62 lawsuits in the wake of the election.
The fact that all but one were laughed out of court is probably just bad luck.
Roger Stone’s social media advisor calls for Hillary Clinton to be hanged
Jason Sullivan, who is Roger Stone’s social media advisor and calls himself “The Wizard of Twitter,” was among the first speakers on stage Saturday, and he definitely made an impact.
Having spoken about QAnon’s “80 million followers” (a recent survey suggests the figure in the U.S. is closer to 30 million) and spreading some anti-vax content, Sullivan got around to speaking about Hilary Clinton.
Referring to her as that “god-awful woman,” Sullivan then made a noose gesture around his neck, which was greeted with wild applause by the audience.
Q dropped in—sort of
In the middle of Saturday’s speeches, QAnon John posted a message to his Telegram account that Q, the anonymous leader of QAnon, had posted a new message—though without the secure tripcode Q normally uses, and signing it with the letter B rather than Q.
As expected, this sent the entire QAnon world into a frenzy, prompting a deluge of messages on Telegram and Gab channels.
Except…, it turns out it wasn’t Q but rather someone who had access to a board on 8kun that only Q supposedly had access to. Jim Watkins, the owner of 8kun, posted a video on Sunday explaining what had happened, revealing that a volunteer moderator of the board had actually posted the message.
Still that didn’t stop some QAnon followers, who have been starved of new Q drops for months, of coming up with new theories about the message—including one suggestion that the B stood for Barron Trump.
Journalists were not welcome
QAnon is not a big fan of the media, particularly if you don’t work for a right-wing outlet that doesn’t indulge QAnon’s conspiracies, support the election fraud narrative, or otherwise views Donald Trump as some sort of god-like figure.
So it was no surprise that several journalists were kicked out of the event this weekend. On Sunday, VICE News reporter Vegas Tenold had his conference pass “yanked” off him by the organizer before being kicked out.
But that turned out to be a pretty tame expulsion. Hours later QAnon John posted a video of himself and his partner Amy informing police that Daily Beast reporter Will Sommer was illegally trespassing at the conference.
The video showed the police escort Sommer from the building—while the crowd cheers. But the video continues to follow Sommer all the way to his car, where he is surrounded by people videoing him, including QAnon influencer Jordan Sather—and a topless man holding a microphone.
The QAnon militia—and their pugs
In addition to ubiquitous police at the event, there was additional protection provided by a shadowy group of ex-US military personnel known as the 1st Amendment Praetorians.
The Praetorians are a group who claim to provide protection for “patriotic and religious events” across the U.S. They were founded by Robert Patrick Lewis, an ex-Green Beret who tweeted a picture of himself with Flynn and West during the weekend:
There were at least a couple of dozen members of this group in attendance at the event over the weekend, but according to one source on the ground in Dallas this weekend, the 1st Amendment Praetorians had a secret weapon to keep the crowds under control—their pugs.
Several members of the group had pugs on leashes with them while they patrolled the event, though it was unclear whether or not they were killer pugs.
Rep. Louie Gohmert said January 6 riots no big deal
Then there was Rep. Gohmert, an actual sitting member of the United States Congress, appearing on stage at the largest-ever QAnon convention.
While Gohmert is no stranger to embracing the worst sort of people, his appearance in Dallas gives significant weight to the entire QAnon movement and the people who promote it.
Gohemrt didn’t specifically address QAnon while on stage, spending his time instead attacking Nancy Pelosi and trying to claim that the Jan. 6 riots were not that big a deal when compared to things like 9/11 and Pearl Harbor.
“I would submit that weaponizing the FBI and the Department of Justice against one administration was an attack on democracy,” Gohmert added.
Off-stage Gohmert mixed freely with the QAnon crowd, including Zak Paine, known online as RedPill78, who took part in the Jan. 6 riots.
An $8,000 baseball bat
After calling for a military coup, Flynn found time to take part in an auction during the conference party on Saturday night..
Among the items up for auction was some 1776-themed fan art, and a blanket with a Q logo on it, which was signed by Flynn as well as pro-Trump lawyer Lin Wood and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell. It sold for thousands.
Also sold on the night was a baseball bat, again signed by the disgraced former national security adviser. Flynn told the audience that he and his wife call the bat "the Department of Just Us." It sold for $8,000.
Sidney Powell singalong
No conference would be complete without a singalong and at an event called Patriot Roundup, there was only ever going to be one song to end day two of the event: the national anthem.
In a video posted to his Telegram account, QAnon John showed that as well as losing lawsuits, Sidney Powell was adept at taking part in a group singalong—though it’s unclear if she knew all the words.