In a December livestream to his QAnon fanbase, conspiracy theorist Phil Godlewski laid out what he described as the critical to their economical futures: acquiring silver.
The treasured steel, Godlewski insisted, would soon explode in worth right after the passage of laws some QAnon believers assume will bring on a utopia. Revenue taxes would be eliminated, financial debt would be abolished, and anybody holding silver would come to be fabulously wealthy.
But Godlewski did not want his followers to purchase silver from just any organization. As an alternative, he explained to them to get via 7k Metals, a multi-stage internet marketing company and metals seller.
Godlewski and other top QAnon conspiracy theorists have located a new way to make dollars from their supporters: directing them to buy and market products and solutions for multi-degree advertising organizations.
MLMs, which count on new members recruiting subordinate salespeople, with the primary “upline” making funds from their “downline” recruit’s sales, have beforehand been the domain of leggings and vital oils companies. But now QAnon leaders want in on the motion.
When numerous MLMs are lawful, some have been in comparison to unlawful pyramid strategies, in which new users fork out in money to join with no any likelihood of earning their revenue back again. Disillusioned Multilevel marketing associates have complained that they’ve been still left terribly in financial debt when their revenue unsuccessful to materialize.
Offering silver by 7k Metals marked the most up-to-date company shift from Godlewski, who served time in jail very last 12 months soon after bouncing a bad look at for a lot more than $21,000, then falsifying bank records to steer clear of becoming caught. In an unrelated 2010 case, Godlewski was indicted over carrying on an alleged sexual marriage with a 15-yr-old. He later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of corrupting a insignificant.
Godlewski isn’t on your own. Much more QAnon promoters have turned to marketing multi-amount marketing firms as strategies to monetize their followings.
QAnon booster Richard Potcner, who goes by the identify “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 came to his followers with a severe message: It was time to obtain silver. Like Godlewski, he experienced teamed up with 7k Metals to pitch his supporters on becoming a member of the Multilevel marketing.
“Patriots are unstoppable with each other,” Potcner claimed, encouraging his followers to place their retirement cash into silver.
While the company associations in between the QAnon promoters and the Multi level marketing corporations are unclear, the two Godlewski and Potcner could stand to revenue significantly if they are counted as the “uplines” for followers who sign up for 7k Metals.
Godlewski, Potcner, and 7k Metals didn’t reply to requests for comment.
QAnon leaders are not just selling silver. Scott McKay, a Q-backer who wields a tomahawk on phase and overtly fantasizes about the murder of Democrats in his movies, appears at QAnon rallies throughout the country under the title “Patriot Streetfighter.”
In posts on the messaging app Telegram in March, McKay urged his supporters to prepare for the start of a mysterious job termed “Operation Tomahawk.” Revealing minor about the task, he promised that he was launching an “economic warfare platform” that would consider on liberal corporations and “choke them out.”
“We are heading to have tens of millions and then tens of hundreds of thousands of persons participating in this,” McKay declared in a video clip.
McKay’s Procedure Tomahawk turned out to be Patriot Switch, a further direct-offering organization dependent on multi-amount internet marketing. This time, QAnon followers are staying urged to get their items via Patriot Switch, thereby “supporting companies that promote independence.” In a movie to his followers, McKay promised that they would earn commissions by recruiting new persons to market through the business.
McKay did not respond to a request for remark.
Promoting the MLMs has not generally absent easily for the QAnon figures. In 2021, Godlewski’s endeavours to pitch his followers ran afoul of Jeanette Geary, a conservative activist and Godlewski detractor. Geary explained to The Daily Beast in a December email that she experienced contacted the FBI and other law enforcement agencies about Godlewski’s silver procedure. (Godlewski hasn’t been charged with any crimes connected to the silver sales).
Final 12 months, Godlewski sued Geary for defamation in a Pennsylvania federal courtroom over her allegations. Geary has claimed that Godlewski encouraged his followers to vacant their 401(k) retirement accounts and convert them into silver marketed by 7k Metals, in accordance to his lawsuit.