A once-close-knit group of 2020 election skeptics and former Donald Trump confidants has disintegrated into a whirlwind of backstabbing, increasingly outlandish claims, infighting, and high school-grade melodrama in recent weeks. Lin Wood, a pro-Trump attorney and conspiracy theorist, has been the major mover of this internal war inside this organization, which supported then-President Trump’s attempts to overturn Joe Biden’s landslide 2020 win. Recently, the lawyer has begun publicly releasing details of private discussions, as well as, predictably, hurling bogus claims of Satanism and pedophilia.
But one breakup among this group of prominent, conspiracy-theory-peddling Trumpists that hasn’t gotten much attention is the severing of ties between Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, and Sidney Powell, a lawyer who represented Flynn and also attempted to sway the 2020 presidential election results on Trump’s behalf.
Powell was a hero to Flynn and his family not long ago, and the two buddies collaborated closely in their united quest to maintain Trump in power against the will of American people. According to two individuals familiar with the situation, the former Trump national security staffer and Powell are no longer on speaking terms.
The feud, which both Flynn and Powell have refused to discuss publicly, started in April, only three months into Biden’s administration. According to reliable sources, tensions between the two started to boil over substantial quantities of money, particularly funds gathered for Powell’s nonprofit, Defending the Republic. The group’s claimed objective, as presented to conservative grassroots supporters, was to bankroll Powell’s infamous “Kraken” litigation targeting the 2020 election result, and its board originally included Flynn, his brother Joe, and Wood, according to Defending the Republic’s papers.
It was during the early months of Biden’s presidency that claims surfaced that Powell was draining Defending the Republic’s war chest—not to further the organization’s pro-Trump goal, but to cover Powell’s ever-increasing legal fees.
According to the individuals, the claims intensified the erosion of Powell’s personal connections with numerous of her friends on the extreme Trumpist right, including Flynn himself, who privately voiced concern about how the money were being utilized.
Nonetheless, shattered friendships may be the least of Powell’s problems right now. Powell and Defending the Republic have lately drawn the attention of federal authorities who are looking into the far-right organization’s funding.
On Tuesday, Powell and a Flynn representative did not reply to calls for comment on this story.
Flynn may not be in QAnon anymore, but the other organizations he’s involved with, the other beliefs he believes in, are not to be laughed at.
Due of the former Trump adviser’s conflict with Wood, as well as the revelation of text conversations and audio recordings in which he refers to QAnon as complete rubbish and a CIA psy-op. He previously advocated for a single religion in the United States. Prior to that, QAnon members accused him of being a Satanist for delivering a sermon in a church based on the writings of a previous New Age apocalyptic leader.
It may be for the worse the next time. In any event, everything Flynn has done implies that, whether he is a member of QAnon or not, his audience, rhetoric, and ambitions are considerably more concrete and menacing than the laughing media coverage suggests. Let us begin in September.
Michael Flynn attended the “Opening the Heavens” Conference at the Lord of Hosts Church in Omaha, Nebraska on September 17. That event advertised itself as “an annual, multi-day event where the prophetic heart of God and the manifestation of His supernatural power are demonstrated to those in attendance and [those] viewing online around the world!!”
Flynn appeared with a number of “prophetic” pastors, including Gene Bailey, executive director of Kenneth Copeland Ministries, whose spiritual warfare preaching was heavily criticized last year.
The response of QAnon after Flynn’s speech made headlines. It was believed to be Satanic, which was hilarious considering QAnon’s similarities to the 1980s Satanic Panic.
Flynn’s address was reminiscent of Elizabeth Clare Prophet’s 1984 sermon, the founder of the Church Universal and Triumphant, a New Age apocalyptic cult most known for its 1990 migration to bunkers in Montana to await a predicted nuclear catastrophe.
Not only was it a failed doomsday cult, but it was also a theosophical movement, which its 18th-century founder identified with Lucifer.
Flynn said that he was drawn to St. Michael, the archangel who bears his name. While the connection between Prophet and Flynn is intriguing, the wording of Flynn’s “Archangel Prayer” isn’t that amazing on its own:
We are your instrument
Of those sevenfold rays
And all your archangels, all of them
We will not retreat, we will not retreat
We will stand our ground
We will not fear to speak
We will be the instrument of your will
Whatever it is
In your name, and in the names of your legions
We are freeborn, and shall remain freeborn
And we shall not be enslaved by any foe
Within or without
So help me God.
The notion of “seven rays” is employed in theosophy and at the Summit Lighthouse. The Prophet’s prayer to Archangel Michael, to which Flynn’s sermon has been linked, is not only part of the theosophical movement, but also a fiercely anti-Communist speech, concluding:
Archangel Michael, Stand with me!
Save my child!
Save my household!
Save my nation and bind those Communist hordes!
Others may assess the I AM movement and its concerns, but the use of militant religious terminology and the link to an aggressively apocalyptic, anti-Communist doomsday cult is enough to be considered offensive.
Then, in early November, Flynn and Wood had a series of discussions – many have focused on the audio recording of Flynn calling QAnon a CIA disinformation campaign — but more concerning was the fact that, on November 3, he ordered Wood to study an essay demonstrating QAnon is a fake.
Why be more concerned? Because it was created by Hal Turner, a neo-Nazi radio personality who propagated several QAnon claims and did time for threatening public officials – he constantly supported murder. The article is quite frightening. It had the following passage:
The Trump Anon believers want SOMEBODY ELSE to do it for them. Well, I’ve said this before and I will say it again now: Nobody is coming to save them/us. Nobody is coming to save the country. If you want something done, you gotta do it yourself. And until someone (but not me) decides that it is finally time to throw away all the comforts of this life, and brutally slaughter the people who are doing all these things, (and by “slaughter” I mean exactly that) then all these things will continue, unabated, to the destruction of our country and our oh-so-comfy lives.
This is standard Turner fare: in order to maintain white nationalist power, people must murder others, including elected officials; however, having someone with Flynn’s background and elite status within the QAnon conspiracy and other movements promoting it is far more terrifying than the entertainment value of seeing him bashing QAnon.
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