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Just when you thought it was safe to go back on to YouTube…Pizzagate is back. After popping up in the lead-up to the 2016 US elections, the conspiracy trainwreck which ties together Hillary Clinton, pizza parlours and paedophilia (among other things) seemed to have eventually receded back into the murky internet depths it first originated from – although those observing it closely would point out that, in reality, it simply morphed into the even more idiotic QAnon qonspiracy.

But as we enter another presidential election year, the vestigial conspiracy organ of QAnon has burst forth from the belly of the beast to reassert itself, in the form of a 77-minute-long ‘documentary’, Out of Shadows.

For those that still think Pizzagate and QAnon are fringe groups, it’s worth noting that as of this writing – less than a week after the documentary’s release on YouTube – it has over 7 million views, and more than 250,000 likes. I’ve embedded it below for anyone that wants to check it out – or if you want to avoid giving them more views, keep scrolling and you’ll find a quick rundown from me.

0-3:30 mins: Cue suspenseful music, and voiceover: “Why do you believe what you believe?” Cut straight out of the template for every red-pillin’ woke-a-thon video on the YouTubes.

Then it lets the viewer in on the big secret: the media has a hidden agenda, and is controlling us. It’s likely though that most viewers won’t feel the burn of the irony in what the voiceover is saying:

Have you ever stopped for just a second though, and questioned the content? The only thing we consume more than content is air, but we actually think about the quality of the air we breathe. Maybe it’s time to take a closer look at our content…this media that we’re consuming at such a rapid rate, we need to slow down and think about what we’re consuming.

Yes indeed, dear viewers, please stop to think about this content you are consuming in this here video.

3:30-12:00 mins: We are introduced to the documentary’s presenter, Hollywood stuntman Mike Smith. I’m not sure what credentials eight-and-a-half minutes of stuntman life story buys when discussing a global conspiracy, but the film-makers seem to think it’s a lot.

At the end of this segment we find out how Mike got woke: after a stunt accident, his pelvic floor therapist(!) introduced him to the great Hollywood paedophilia conspiracy (while also praying away Mike’s troubles with dark spirits…not a bad two-fer-one).

12:00-21:30: Mike fills us in on his discovery that military and intelligence agencies have been using media companies to influence us for the better part of the last century. He cites the work of ‘CIA whistleblower’ Kevin Shipp.

This section uses the now-infamous “This is extremely dangerous to our democracy” montage of Sinclair broadcast news outlets all repeating the same line to prove its point. I’d imagine most viewers of the documentary shocked by this little segment would be completely unaware that this was actually a pro-Trump campaign by Sinclair (most Pizzagaters are Republican, or at least anti-Clinton and anti-Democrat).

21:30-24:30: We’re introduced to another woke stuntman, Brad Martin. Thankfully, just a few minutes for this stuntman’s bio…but again, not sure what credentials this actually offers on analyzing a conspiracy theory. Worth noting though, that Brad romantically talks about how once all these secrets come out, it will be “the greatest story ever told” – this is a well-known QAnon phrase.

24:30-32:30: The documentary reveals to viewers the mind-blowing history of Operation Paperclip and Operation MK-ULTRA. I’m sure readers of the Grail are well acquainted with both of these, but y’all aren’t the intended audience – this is for all the noobs out there, letting them in on actual historical ‘secrets’ to buy their trust and draw them into the net of the Pizzagate scam.

And while the film-makers play these historical themes fairly straight, there’s still plenty of licence taken – for example, the footage labeled as “MK-ULTRA Clinical LSD Experiments” is actually the well-known mid-1950s LSD experiment conducted by Los Angeles psychiatrist Sidney Cohen.

Here we are treated also to Brad Martin’s deep insights from his time working on the film Zoolander, which he now realises was propaganda:

When they’re showing you that they’re controlling Derek Zoolander’s mind through mind control, you realise they’re trying to desensitize you, and to make you think that what you’re watching is fiction, because it’s in a comedy.

32:30-40:00 – More on the dangers of believing messages pushed on us by media sources, including another complete self-unaware quote from Mike:

We as a population like to hear people confirm our confirmation biases. We like to hear people tell us that we’re right. We don’t like to be wrong. And we believe that the people on the media, and the people that we’re listening to, have our best interests in mind. The problem is, what if they don’t? So if you stop and think about it, they can place any agenda on the population that they choose.

38:00-44:00: Satanism! The occult! A heavy reliance in this section on recounting the strange history of Michael Aquino.

44:00-52:00: Back to LSD and MK-ULTRA, with a segue into movie and pop stars all being in on the grand conspiracy. And finally, after three quarters of an hour of set-up work reeling in the viewer, we reach Pizzagate time: the reveal of “an elite paedophile ring”.

52:00-55:00: We’re introduced to the research of journalist Liz Crokin. Viewers are assured of her credentials, through a history of working for well-known media outlets, and a stint as an intern reporter at the White House during her last college year. Not so much on her recent history of claiming that celebrities are getting coronavirus from a tainted ‘adrenochrome’ supply (in QAnon lore, adrenochrome is a “drug extracted from the pituitary gland of tortured children” (Crokin’s own words).)

55:00-1:13:00: Pizzagate primer for those fortunate enough to have never been exposed to it before. Paedophilia. Clinton. Epstein. (Again, curious that Epstein’s flights are mentioned, but Trump doesn’t get mentioned while Clinton does…).

Although perhaps more accurately, for those not exposed to Pizzagate before, this part is actually the ‘indoctrination’ into Pizzagate belief – via selected out-of-context facts and quotes, insinuation, and assumption – after setting the viewer up with non-Pizzagate content for most of the documentary.

1:13:00-End: The wrap-up. Mike asks “Liz Crokin put herself so far out in front, that she was mocked, she was laughed at, she was called crazy. Well let me ask you a question…does she seem so crazy now?” Well actually Mike, if you look at Liz’s stuff online, and not how she’s portrayed in this documentary, yes she seems bat-shit crazy.

I will say though, that the wrap-up speech from Brad Martin illustrates one of the more painful parts of Pizzagate and QAnon for me – that many followers of these conspiracies seem to be really good people, whose sensitivity to the troubles of the world has pushed them to accept a dumb-as-horseshit conspiracy theory that offers them hope that there is a force for good that is going to overcome all the evil out there – but in the process, they’re simply being weaponised. Whether it’s by pranksters, or an influence operation, I’m still not sure.

But I hope they pay attention to some of their own quotes about being more critical about what we should believe, because I wouldn’t be surprised if Pizzagate is used as a propaganda tool again in the upcoming election.

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