QAnon Leaders Push Followers Into Multi-Level Marketing

Jean J. Sanders

In a December livestream to his QAnon fanbase, conspiracy theorist Phil Godlewski laid out what he described as the important to their fiscal futures: obtaining silver.

The precious metallic, Godlewski insisted, would soon explode in worth following the passage of legislation some QAnon believers assume will deliver on a utopia. Earnings taxes would be eradicated, financial debt would be abolished, and any one keeping silver would develop into fabulously rich.

But Godlewski did not want his followers to buy silver from just any corporation. Alternatively, he informed them to acquire as a result of 7k Metals, a multi-degree promoting small business and metals supplier.

Godlewski and other primary QAnon conspiracy theorists have identified a new way to make income from their supporters: directing them to purchase and offer merchandise for multi-stage internet marketing businesses.

MLMs, which count on new members recruiting subordinate salespeople, with the authentic “upline” making funds from their “downline” recruit’s product sales, have previously been the area of leggings and critical oils companies. But now QAnon leaders want in on the action.

Even though many MLMs are lawful, some have been as opposed to illegal pyramid techniques, in which new customers shell out in income to join without the need of any possibility of making their dollars again. Disillusioned Network marketing users have complained that they’ve been still left terribly in credit card debt when their revenue failed to materialize.

Selling silver through 7k Metals marked the most up-to-date enterprise transfer from Godlewski, who served time in jail previous 12 months just after bouncing a terrible look at for more than $21,000, then falsifying bank data to avoid remaining caught. In an unrelated 2010 situation, Godlewski was indicted more than carrying on an alleged sexual relationship with a 15-year-previous. He later on pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor cost of corrupting a insignificant.

Godlewski isn’t by yourself. A lot more QAnon promoters have turned to marketing multi-amount promoting providers as means to monetize their followings.

QAnon booster Richard Potcner, who goes by the name “Richard Citizen Journalist” online, rose to prominence in conspiracy-theorist circles in 2020 by filming hospitals as “proof” that the pandemic was a hoax.

This spring, Potcner arrived to his followers with a severe information: It was time to purchase silver. Like Godlewski, he experienced teamed up with 7k Metals to pitch his supporters on signing up for the Multilevel marketing.

“Patriots are unstoppable jointly,” Potcner claimed, encouraging his followers to set their retirement cash into silver.

Even though the small business interactions between the QAnon promoters and the Multilevel marketing providers are unclear, each Godlewski and Potcner could stand to earnings substantially if they’re counted as the “uplines” for followers who sign up for 7k Metals.

Godlewski, Potcner, and 7k Metals didn’t reply to requests for remark.

QAnon leaders are not just offering silver. Scott McKay, a Q-backer who wields a tomahawk on stage and openly fantasizes about the murder of Democrats in his video clips, appears at QAnon rallies throughout the nation less than the name “Patriot Streetfighter.”

In posts on the messaging application Telegram in March, McKay urged his fans to get ready for the launch of a mysterious undertaking referred to as “Operation Tomahawk.” Revealing very little about the task, he promised that he was launching an “economic warfare platform” that would acquire on liberal corporations and “choke them out.”

“We are heading to have thousands and thousands and then tens of thousands and thousands of individuals taking part in this,” McKay declared in a online video.

McKay’s Operation Tomahawk turned out to be Patriot Switch, an additional immediate-offering small business based mostly on multi-amount promoting. This time, QAnon followers are remaining urged to get their items as a result of Patriot Swap, thus “supporting businesses that advertise flexibility.” In a movie to his followers, McKay promised that they would make commissions by recruiting new men and women to sell via the corporation.

McKay didn’t respond to a ask for for comment.

Marketing the MLMs hasn’t normally absent smoothly for the QAnon figures. In 2021, Godlewski’s initiatives to pitch his followers ran afoul of Jeanette Geary, a conservative activist and Godlewski detractor. Geary advised The Every day Beast in a December e mail that she experienced contacted the FBI and other regulation enforcement businesses about Godlewski’s silver operation. (Godlewski hasn’t been billed with any crimes linked to the silver sales).

Past yr, Godlewski sued Geary for defamation in a Pennsylvania federal court around her allegations. Geary has claimed that Godlewski encouraged his followers to vacant their 401(k) retirement accounts and transform them into silver offered by 7k Metals, according to his lawsuit.

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