In a December livestream to his QAnon fanbase, conspiracy theorist Phil Godlewski laid out what he explained as the key to their money futures: acquiring silver.
The treasured metal, Godlewski insisted, would before long explode in benefit after the passage of laws some QAnon believers imagine will deliver on a utopia. Cash flow taxes would be removed, personal debt would be abolished, and any individual keeping silver would come to be fabulously rich.
But Godlewski did not want his followers to buy silver from just any firm. Alternatively, he explained to them to invest in by way of 7k Metals, a multi-degree advertising business enterprise and metals supplier.
Godlewski and other major QAnon conspiracy theorists have found a new way to make revenue from their supporters: directing them to obtain and provide goods for multi-level marketing corporations.
MLMs, which rely on new associates recruiting subordinate salespeople, with the original “upline” making revenue from their “downline” recruit’s income, have formerly been the domain of leggings and critical oils corporations. But now QAnon leaders want in on the action.
Even though a lot of MLMs are authorized, some have been when compared to illegal pyramid techniques, in which new members pay in dollars to be part of with no any possibility of producing their revenue back. Disillusioned Mlm customers have complained that they’ve been left poorly in debt when their revenue unsuccessful to materialize.
Providing silver by way of 7k Metals marked the most current business shift from Godlewski, who served time in jail very last 12 months immediately after bouncing a terrible check out for extra than $21,000, then falsifying lender data to prevent staying caught. In an unrelated 2010 circumstance, Godlewski was indicted around carrying on an alleged sexual marriage with a 15-calendar year-old. He afterwards pleaded responsible to a misdemeanor charge of corrupting a slight.
Godlewski is not by itself. A lot more QAnon promoters have turned to promoting multi-stage promoting companies as ways 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 serious information: It was time to obtain silver. Like Godlewski, he had teamed up with 7k Metals to pitch his supporters on signing up for the Multi-level marketing.
“Patriots are unstoppable collectively,” Potcner reported, encouraging his followers to place their retirement resources into silver.
Even though the organization associations between the QAnon promoters and the Mlm businesses are unclear, both of those Godlewski and Potcner could stand to gain considerably if they are counted as the “uplines” for followers who sign up for 7k Metals.
Godlewski, Potcner, and 7k Metals did not reply to requests for remark.
QAnon leaders aren’t just providing silver. Scott McKay, a Q-backer who wields a tomahawk on phase and openly fantasizes about the murder of Democrats in his films, seems at QAnon rallies across the region below the name “Patriot Streetfighter.”
In posts on the messaging app Telegram in March, McKay urged his followers to get ready for the launch of a mysterious undertaking termed “Operation Tomahawk.” Revealing minimal about the project, he promised that he was launching an “economic warfare platform” that would get on liberal corporations and “choke them out.”
“We are heading to have millions and then tens of millions of men and women taking part in this,” McKay declared in a video clip.
McKay’s Operation Tomahawk turned out to be Patriot Swap, another direct-selling business enterprise centered on multi-degree marketing. This time, QAnon followers are being urged to buy their goods as a result of Patriot Change, thereby “supporting firms that endorse liberty.” In a video to his followers, McKay promised that they would generate commissions by recruiting new persons to offer as a result of the organization.
McKay didn’t reply to a request for remark.
Advertising the MLMs has not generally gone effortlessly for the QAnon figures. In 2021, Godlewski’s efforts to pitch his followers ran afoul of Jeanette Geary, a conservative activist and Godlewski detractor. Geary informed The Day by day Beast in a December email that she experienced contacted the FBI and other law enforcement businesses about Godlewski’s silver operation. (Godlewski has not been billed with any crimes related to the silver product sales).
Very last yr, Godlewski sued Geary for defamation in a Pennsylvania federal court about her allegations. Geary has claimed that Godlewski encouraged his followers to vacant their 401(k) retirement accounts and change them into silver offered by 7k Metals, in accordance to his lawsuit.