In a December livestream to his QAnon fanbase, conspiracy theorist Phil Godlewski laid out what he described as the important to their economical futures: acquiring silver.
The important steel, Godlewski insisted, would shortly explode in price soon after the passage of laws some QAnon believers think will deliver on a utopia. Revenue taxes would be removed, financial debt would be abolished, and anyone holding silver would grow to be fabulously wealthy.
But Godlewski didn’t want his followers to purchase silver from just any firm. Rather, he informed them to acquire by 7k Metals, a multi-stage marketing business enterprise and metals supplier.
Godlewski and other foremost QAnon conspiracy theorists have observed a new way to make revenue from their supporters: directing them to purchase and provide solutions for multi-amount advertising organizations.
MLMs, which count on new members recruiting subordinate salespeople, with the unique “upline” creating money from their “downline” recruit’s income, have earlier been the domain of leggings and crucial oils providers. But now QAnon leaders want in on the action.
Although quite a few MLMs are legal, some have been as opposed to unlawful pyramid techniques, in which new customers pay out in funds to join devoid of any risk of earning their dollars back. Disillusioned Network marketing customers have complained that they’ve been still left poorly in financial debt when their profits unsuccessful to materialize.
Promoting silver via 7k Metals marked the latest enterprise shift from Godlewski, who served time in jail final 12 months just after bouncing a poor look at for more than $21,000, then falsifying lender data to stay clear of being caught. In an unrelated 2010 situation, Godlewski was indicted over carrying on an alleged sexual romance with a 15-year-outdated. He later on pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor cost of corrupting a minimal.
Godlewski is not on your own. Additional QAnon promoters have turned to endorsing multi-stage advertising and marketing firms as techniques 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 significant concept: 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 together,” Potcner reported, encouraging his followers to put their retirement resources into silver.
Even though the enterprise relationships between the QAnon promoters and the Network marketing firms are unclear, the two Godlewski and Potcner could stand to income substantially if they’re counted as the “uplines” for followers who join 7k Metals.
Godlewski, Potcner, and 7k Metals did not answer to requests for remark.
QAnon leaders are not just providing silver. Scott McKay, a Q-backer who wields a tomahawk on stage and openly fantasizes about the murder of Democrats in his video clips, seems at QAnon rallies across the state underneath the identify “Patriot Streetfighter.”
In posts on the messaging app Telegram in March, McKay urged his followers to prepare for the launch of a mysterious challenge termed “Operation Tomahawk.” Revealing tiny about the venture, he promised that he was launching an “economic warfare platform” that would choose on liberal businesses and “choke them out.”
“We are heading to have tens of millions and then tens of tens of millions of individuals participating in this,” McKay declared in a video.
McKay’s Operation Tomahawk turned out to be Patriot Switch, an additional direct-offering company dependent on multi-level advertising and marketing. This time, QAnon followers are staying urged to invest in their goods via Patriot Swap, thus “supporting firms that promote independence.” In a online video to his followers, McKay promised that they would receive commissions by recruiting new persons to sell by the organization.
McKay did not reply to a request for comment.
Marketing the MLMs has not generally absent efficiently for the QAnon figures. In 2021, Godlewski’s attempts to pitch his followers ran afoul of Jeanette Geary, a conservative activist and Godlewski detractor. Geary instructed 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 linked to the silver income).
Very last year, Godlewski sued Geary for defamation in a Pennsylvania federal courtroom about her allegations. Geary has claimed that Godlewski encouraged his followers to vacant their 401(k) retirement accounts and transform them into silver bought by 7k Metals, in accordance to his lawsuit.