Multiple members of the Leek family confirmed that their relative, who left her husband and children behind in Delaware to follow a fringe QAnon cult leader to Dallas last month, has been drinking a chemical cocktail containing chlorine dioxide, an industrial disinfectant, among other substances.
Their relative has been drinking this cocktail alongside her fellow cult members and has been the one to mix it up and distribute it amongst the group as well, says family, who have declined to reveal the name of their relative in the group.
"She was proud to tell us that she was the one mixing it up and giving it to everybody," a family member said.
Chlorine dioxide is a chemical similar to bleach. It is dangerous to ingest in significant quantities. In April 2020, barely a month after the pandemic hit the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration issued a press release warning people against using chlorine dioxide-based products to fight COVID-19.
Still, people posing as medical professionals continue to sell chlorine dioxide-based products online. They found an especially eager consumer base amongst QAnon followers, who think that the COVID-19 vaccine is part of a malicious government conspiracy.
It's unclear why the group is drinking the chemical potion, as many believe the coronavirus, which has killed over 800,000 people in the U.S. and millions worldwide so far, is a government fabrication.
"A group of people in a cult drinking a communal substance is definitely not something to mess around with and is extremely concerning." - Michael Rothschild
Michael Brian Protzman, the leader of the Dallas cult, couldn't be reached for comment.
News of the chemical punch bowl comes as the cult appears to be building towards another predicted climactic and apocalyptic moment.
They first came to Dallas over a month ago, following Protzman's prediction that President John F. Kennedy would reappear at the exact spot in Downtown Dallas where he was assassinated in 1963. From there, Kennedy would set in motion the execution of QAnon's supposed underground network of liberal, satan-worshipping child sex-traffickers and reinstate Donald Trump as president.
After Kennedy no-showed at two predicted appearances in November, dozens of Protzman's followers remained in Dallas. It's unclear what they're waiting for or what Protzman has planned next.
The chemical cocktail is a bad sign.
"This feels like a progression," said Mike Rothschild, whose book The Storm is Upon Us documents the rise of the QAnon movement. "It immediately evokes images of Jonestown and Heaven's Gate." (More than 900 people, many of them children, died in a mass murder suicide at the Jonestown commune in Guyana in 1978. Thirty-nine followers of the Heaven's Gate cult died in a mass suicide outside San Diego in 1997.)
Neither the Dallas Police Department nor the FBI Field office in Dallas could be reached for comment. Dallas PD has previously said they have had limited contact with the group.
"A group of people in a cult drinking a communal substance is definitely not something to mess around with and is extremely concerning," Rothschild said.