Mother Who Joined QAnon JFK Cult In Dallas Left Family To “Follow God”
Smith / Gado Collection / Donor
When Patricia left her home in Texas last month to join a QAnon cult that believes John F. Kennedy and JFK Jr. are about to return from the dead, she said she had no intention of to come back.
She thanked her 32-year-old husband and two children for being “one big family” and said she would see them again soon.
Then her daughter Laura found her mother’s diaries filled with page after page of indecipherable nonsense.
“Before going to Dallas, she kept a few newspapers,” Laura told VICE News. “We don’t know if it’s people on Telegram who told her these things, or if she’s just delusional, but these are just books of what she thinks JFK Jr. is telling her directly.”
But even more disturbing were the words written on the front and back covers of the books.
“I will follow God. Thanks for a wonderful life. Look up to the sky, I’ll always be nearby.
To Laura, it sounded ominously like a suicide note. Then those fears seemed to be confirmed last week when the cult leader took part in a video chat in which his supporters discussed the need to “experience this physical death.”
“It wouldn’t be hard to believe at this point if they were suicidal as a group,” Laura said. “I wouldn’t be surprised at all, because initially, after reading his books, we were just waiting for a call, to hear that they had done something like that.”
Patricia and Laura aren’t their real names, but VICE News uses pseudonyms to protect family privacy. VICE News called and texted Patricia several times but did not get a response. Patricia’s account of actions is based on interviews with her daughter and sister.
Laura and her family eventually had to resort to drastic measures to save Patricia from the cult. “We got the guardianship and my mom is now in a behavioral health center following a psychiatric assessment,” Laura said Thursday.
Laura is just one of many whose family members have been sucked into worship this week entering her second month locked up in Dallas, where up to 1,000 people gathered on November 2 to witness the return. of former President John F. Kennedy, his son JFK Jr. and his wife Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
None of this happened, but band frontman Michael Brian Protzman, known to his followers as Negative48, was able to convince up to 100 people to stay in Dallas, claiming JFK Jr. was in appeared on stage at a Rolling Stones concert.
Since then, the group has grown increasingly sectarian, with Protzman declaring himself God’s representative of the earth and the members cutting off communication with their families. They also use apocalyptic language to describe the future.
While some of Protzman’s supporters lost their faith, a core of believers remained in Dallas, staying in hotel rooms and Airbnbs around the city, while Protzman repeatedly predicted that something big was about to happen. produce.
Patricia, who celebrated her 56th birthday with Protzman’s group last week, remained a staunch follower until her family saved her and formed a romantic relationship with another member of the group. She had told acquaintances that she had found her “twin flame”, although she claimed the relationship was not about sex and that they weren’t sleeping together.
“It destroyed my family,” Patricia’s sister told VICE News.
Patricia’s radicalization into QAnon and the QAnon-inspired offshoot of Protzman’s numerology was swift, Laura says.
“Right after the 2020 election, she was buried in her phone and very involved in QAnon’s affairs. She got involved a lot with some people in the area and started to drown in the plots, to the point where that’s all she talked about and stopped talking to her children.
Laura said Patricia has always been interested in politics and been fairly conservative, but never dabbled in conspiracy theories.
But when she stumbled upon Protzman’s Telegram channel, she became convinced that the conspiracy theories he was spreading were true. So she went to Dallas in early November to witness the resurrection of JFK.
When that didn’t happen, she went home, but almost immediately turned around and said she had to go home, Laura said, adding that Patricia had told her husband she didn’t. the choice and that she had to return to Dallas.
Even more worrying, Laura says, is that Patricia also stopped taking her medication.
“She sort of struggled with mental illness in the past, not too badly, but she’s been off her meds for a month now because she thinks the big drug companies are bad. Not the ordinary kind of evil, like Satan’s kind of evil, ”Laura said.
Unlike other members of the group, whose families told VICE News that Protzman supporters donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to help fund the group’s activities, Patricia spent next to nothing. “It doesn’t seem like it is about the money,” her daughter said, adding that Patricia had only taken one change of clothes with her to Dallas.
When asked what he had to say to the families of his supporters who are concerned for their safety, Protzman said, “No one here is talking about death. We are talking about life, how it was and how it should be.
Asked about the video chat he participated in in which the “experience of physical death” was discussed, Protzman said he specifically did not use those words, adding: “Your [sic] not understand what is being said.
Although the group is now entering its second month in Dallas, researchers who follow its activities closely see no signs that it is ending anytime soon. Those close to Protzman tell group members that they still have a lot of work to do.
A few weeks ago, the group discussed setting up a permanent base in or near Dallas where they could all live together.
In an article published last week, Protzman said December 3 is the next date something big will happen.
In Telegram newsgroups where members who are still based in Dallas communicate, group leaders give orders as to where and when to meet.
“EVERYBODY MUST GO TO THE ARCH FOR AN RLE CALL BEFORE 6:00 PM. THE ROLL CALL WILL BEGIN IMMEDIATELY, ”wrote a group administrator earlier this week in comments reviewed by VICE News.
L’Arche is supposed to be a conference room inside the Hyatt hotel, where part of the group is staying. In another post, the group leaders warned members of an upcoming “battle”.
“IF YOU LEFT THE ARK BEFORE NOW YOU MISSED YOUR MISSION !!! YOU MUST BE SERIOUS FROM THIS TIME YOU ARE ASKED TO LEAVE. IT’S TIME TO WORK !!! YOU MUST WATCH THIS VIDEO AND BE READY TO GO TO THE FIGHT !!! “
In recent days, Protzman has made increasingly far-fetched claims, including hinting that it may be the second coming of Christ, and an audio conversation On Tuesday, Protzman said – without any evidence, it should be added – that he was communicating directly with former President Donald Trump.
But no matter what outrageous claims or what predictions fail to come true, his supporters remain steadfast and ready to follow any lead, including Patricia.
Thanks to her family, Patricia is now beyond Protzman’s reach. But before obtaining her guardianship, Patricia’s family had already begun to mourn the loss of a wife and mother.
“It’s hard to count her somehow,” Laura said, speaking just three days before her family finally got guardianship. “She’s been married for 32 years and we’ve always had her with her, so we can’t give up on her, but we feel like we mourn her while she’s still alive. We don’t know what to do because it doesn’t seem like she wants our help. It is a rather tragic situation. It is very desperate. “
This article has been updated to reflect recent developments.
Want the best of VICE News delivered straight to your inbox? Register here.