It's Nearly Thanksgiving, but the QAnon Group Is Still Waiting for JFK Jr. in Dallas

Jacob Vaughn
After the For God & Country Patriot Roundup event over Memorial Day Weekend, Dallas is having another run in with another Q crowd.
On Monday, the anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s death, an odd sect of QAnon followers gathered yet again in Dallas.

Described by the FBI as a domestic terror threat, QAnon is a conspiracy theory that claims a shadowy cabal of pedophiles, including leading Democratic politicians, controls the world. The way QAnon followers see it, former President Donald Trump was waging a secret war against these supposed pedophile elites.

Negative48, a fringe QAnon personality whose actual name is Michael Protzman, helped draw crowds of conspiracy theorists to Dallas earlier this month.

They believed that JFK, who was assassinated in Dallas in 1963, and his son JFK Jr., who died in a plane crash in 1999, would reveal themselves to the world after all these years. On top of that, JFK Jr. would be Trump’s vice president in the 2024 race.

That obviously didn’t happen, but some are still in the city weeks later.

On Monday, leaders of the group still in Dallas were telling people “it” was going to happen in Dealey Plaza at 1 p.m. But they didn’t explain what “it” was. “It” was just another deadline that ultimately wouldn’t materialize into anything.

Like many times before, the goal post was moved. For some, this meant even longer before seeing their loved ones again.

Katy Garner, a nurse from Arkansas, told Vice News she's essentially lost her sister to the gathering in Dallas. She said her sister, a follower of QAnon (Negative48, more specifically), has been waiting in Dallas for the last few weeks.

Protzman's popularity has soared over the last few months. According to Vice, his Telegram channel only had 1,700 members in March. These days, it has over 100,000. The channel includes anti-Semitic content like Holocaust denial, and promotes the film Europa – The Last Battle, which blames Jewish people for communism and both world wars.

"She needs to know I’m speaking out and this is INSANE!!!" – Katy Garner, nurse

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Garner said it only took her sister a few months to become obsessed with QAnon. Then, she found Negative48. Since then, Garner said her sister has given $200,000 to the group and that she’s being forced to drink a hydrogen peroxide solution and take “bio pellets” to stay healthy and keep her from catching the coronavirus. She also told Vice her sister’s phone calls and messages were being monitored. Garner worries her sister will never return.

Meanwhile, the belief that JFK Jr. is alive has been a contentious one in QAnon circles.

QAnon first took root in on the image board sites like 4chan, 8chan and 8kun, where an anonymous poster claimed to be a high-level government official with “Q clearance.” They claimed the clearance gave them access to classified information regarding Trump and his enemies in the U.S. Their posts were called “Q drops,” where Q would leave a trail of breadcrumbs leading online sleuths to “the truth.”

Later, the theory that JFK Jr., who died in a light plane crash in 1999, was alive began to take hold the in the Q community. Eventually, in December 2018, the poster claiming to be Q wanted to set the record straight on a few things with a Q&A. During the Q&A, someone asked if JFK Jr. was still alive. Q, their leader, said no, but some sects of the conspiracy theory still wait for JFK Jr.’s return.

Negative48 spoke to a few of his followers in a recent video call. One person on the call said, “Ultimately... we have to experience that physical death... let go... come out on the other side.”

It’s uncertain exactly what this was supposed to mean, but the gathering in Dallas and the rhetoric surrounding it has even started to concern other followers of Q.

One Telegram poster wrote: “I’m almost ready to count those people long gone. I thank GOD that I don’t have family or friends there. … Now, I understand how my family feels when I try to explain my theories concerning Trump/Biden. They are worried about me going crazy and now I’m calling people crazy!!!”

Journalist Mike Rothschild has been following QAnon since around 2018, and he recently published the book The Storm Is Upon Us. He said the gathering in Dallas is cult-like.

Though the anniversary may seem like a logical conclusion to the QAnoners staying in Dallas, Rothschild told the Observer he isn’t too sure when everyone will pack up and head home.

“I really hope they do disperse after this, but we know from past prophecy cults that the failure of a prophecy to come true doesn't burn everyone off,” Rothschild said. “Some definitely will leave for various reasons, likely due to Thanksgiving, running out of money, or just being sick of waiting around. But some will definitely stay for the long haul.”

He added, “The longer they're in Dallas, the harder it will be for them to go back to their ‘real lives.’”

Through Twitter, Garner told the Observer she still hasn’t heard from her sister. “I’m sure if she reads [the Vice article] she is not going to be happy with me. … She needs to know I’m speaking out and this is INSANE!!!”

She said the family never thought any of this would go so far. “Not in our wildest dream,” Garner said. “We knew she was doing’ research’ but had no idea how bad this had gotten.” One of the last times the family heard from her, Garner said, her sister insisted she wasn’t coming home and that something big was happening.