Republican Secretary of State nominee Mark Finchem held a fundraiser in California on Sunday that was hosted by a conspiracy theorist who believes 9/11 was orchestrated by the U.S. government and attended by a prominent QAnon influencer.
Nicole Nogrady, who hosted the event, has shared a litany of debunked stories and posts concerning COVID-19, abortion and other falsehoods on her Instagram account.
“They have the public addicted to fetal tissue,” Nogrady said in one post, citing a debunked conspiracy theory that certain foods and drinks are made with aborted fetal tissue. “Cannibalism is addictive, which is why people become addicted to these mainstream corporate products.”
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On Sept. 11, Nogrady also posted on Trump’s Twitter knock-off, Truth Social, about her beliefs that the attack that claimed the lives of 2,977 people 21 years prior was done by the “Deep State.”
“The day (9/11) the Deep State took thousands of lives & changed the course of American history,” Nogrady said. “Since that day, the same people who orchestrated the event have been working hard behind the scenes to create their desired ‘One World Gov’t’ and have made us divided more than EVER before.”
On her website, Nogrady has republished the conspiracy theory film Zeitgeist, which also claims that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated by the United States government, among a litany of other claims.
But Nogrady was far from the only conspiratorial attendee on Sunday.
Also in attendance was Jordan Sather, a prominent QAnon influencer. Sather posted pictures of the event on social media that showed “Let’s Go Brandon” themed red wine at the tables, along with photos of himself with disgraced former Army Gen. Mike Flynn and Steve Bannon, who was one of Donald Trump’s key advisors in 2016.
Sather has long been active in conspiracy theory circles, including appearing in a film called “Above Majestic,” in which he claims that extraterrestrials were behind 9/11, among many other spurious and dubious assertions. In an interview with comedian Jim Jefferies, Sather also alleged that Democratic politicians were using “adrenochrome,” an alleged drug harvested from the blood of children. There is no evidence supporting the claim.
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During the COVID-19 pandemic, Sather also encouraged his followers to drink a solution he called the “Miracle Mineral Solution” that was essentially bleach, to ward off COVID-19. Sather was responsible for a large portion of the trending posts regarding the solution and misinformation, according to reporting by Rolling Stone.
Ingesting MMS can cause vomiting and diarrhea, and researchers also found that it can be fatal. The FDA has warned against its use and the makers of it have been criminally charged for marketing it as a COVID-19 cure.
Flynn has enriched himself by playing into the QAnon conspiracy, selling “digital soldier” merchandise that resonates with the QAnon crowd, who often refer to themselves as such. Flynn has also taken the “Oath of the Digital Soldier” and he often helps fund “citizen journalists” in the QAnon world. He was also instrumental in funding the Arizona “audit” effort.
Finchem did not respond to multiple requests for comment asking if he was aware of the beliefs of some of the speakers or hosts at his fundraiser and if he held any similar beliefs.
Finchem held a similar fundraiser earlier this year for his non-profit that featured election conspiracy theorist Seth Keshel, criminally charged Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters and a disgraced ex-FBI agent who runs an anti-Muslim group who has claimed that “Communists and Islamists” are “working together to destroy America.”
Finchem initially intended to hold his fundraiser in Newport, Calif., but the venue was changed, with conflicting reports of the reason for the change. Sather said the venue change was because of alleged death threats. In a video posted by Nogrady, Flynn said the venue canceled the event, but he made no mention of death threats.
A website set up by the campaign for the event stated that the event was not canceled, but the location would only be revealed once tickets were purchased. Tickets cost between $300 to $5,300 for the event.