- Diamond and Silk threaten bloggers with legal action.
- Santa Claus fanatics calling themselves “elves” tear QAnon apart.
- The Iraqi dinar gets a rival scam.
Diamond and Silk threaten bloggers
Pro-Trump vlogger duo Diamond and Silk are on a legal campaign this week, threatening to sue two bloggers unless they take down unflattering mentions of them.
So far, though, the letters from the unnamed members of the “Diamond and Silk Legal Team”—which come with stern warnings not to share them publicly—have not worked as intended.
The pair’s anonymous lawyer have sent at least two cease-and-desist aimed at stories that mention Diamond and Silk in connection with racist groups.
One of the targeted blog posts, published on Wonkette, accused the African-American duo of helping to “prop up the most vile white supremacy.” Diamond and Silk’s mystery legal team wrote that the article “deliberately and maliciously slandered and defamed Diamond and Silk and the Diamond and Silk brand by deliberately and maliciously attaching their name to racist context.”
The letter also includes a warning for Wonkette not to post about the letter: "This notice is not to be made public via online sources or any other sources in any manner.”
Wonkette just made fun of the letter, published it in full anyway, and refused to take their story down.
Most cease-and-desist notices are meant to flex the sender’s legal muscle, and come with law firm letterheads or at least the name of a single lawyer. But the only name attached to the Diamond and Silk letter is “robert,” with no last name or capital first initial.
The “Diamond and Silk Legal Team,” which signed the letter, didn’t respond to Right Richter’s request for comment.
The duo also sent a letter to Grant Stern, an author and investigative reporter who mentioned in a blog post that the duo had appeared on a neo-Nazi show. The letter Stern received is nearly identical to the one received by Wonkette, and it also demands that Stern take down his story or face legal action.
Stern, who has no plans to take down the mention of Diamond and Silk in his story, pointed out the irony of the free speech activists, who once appeared at a House hearing to complain about tech censorship, threatening him over his post.
“They’re free speech advocates, so of course they don’t want me to say anything about them,” Stern joked.
Things are even more confusing than usual in QAnon land, where the shuttering of 8Chan in the wake of the El Paso shooting means QAnon believers have lost the one forum where they know “Q” posts his clues.
Without Q to keep them united, QAnon world has become obsessed, inexplicably, with a Santa Claus. As QAnon-watcher Mike Rothschild noted on Thursday, QAnon Twitter has been overwhelmed with tweets about Santa, “Mrs. Claus,” Santa emojis, and believers bragging about belonging to a “permanent nice list.”
The whole thing has turned into a QAnon civil war, with Santa believers tweeting “#IStandWithSanta” and pushing to overturn the old hierarchy of previous QAnon hucksters.
As it turns out, the whole feud has a lot to do with—you guessed it—John F. Kennedy Jr.
In the past, silence from Q has been a boon to rival hucksters. When Q disappeared for a period sometime in early 2018, a mysterious character named “R”—the letter after Q in the alphabet—showed and convinced a chunk of believers that JFK Jr. was not only still alive, but was playing Q in a complicated scheme with Donald Trump to take down the pedophiles of the deep state.
Now, with Q lost somewhere in the ether once again, many QAnon followers are flocking to a QAnon-adjacent Twitter user calling himself “Santa Claus of the United States.”
The Santa account bears a lot of stylistic similarities to whoever’s behind Q. He posts cryptic messages, and is constantly hinting that the world will change dramatically on certain dates (also like Q, none of this has actually come true). He’s also constantly dropping hints that he’s JFK Jr. himself in disguise—a claim that has, naturally, made him a star in the QAnon faction that buys into the JFK Jr. angle.
All of this is accompanied by an avalanche of .gifs from Santa-themed movies, including The Santa Clause and Kurt Russell’s The Christmas Chronicles.
QAnon has always had an element of wish-fulfillment to it, with believers begging Trump on Twitter to make their dreams come true by abrogating the Constitution and throwing Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama into Guantanamo Bay. But this mysterious Santa Twitter person makes that almost childlike aspect of the conspiracy theory even more explicit: fans of the account say things like “Dear Santa,Can we please get just 1 hi profile, DEEP STATE arrest this Christmas?”
Maybe more disturbingly, Santa keeps all his minions in line with a thing called “#PermanentNiceList,” which appears to just be the list of people he follows on Twitter. Fans that Santa follows rejoice that they’re on the list, which they appear to think means they’re being followed on Twitter by JFK Jr.
QAnon believers who back Santa in his various feuds—who call themselves “elves”—ask which other QAnon personalities they should block in order to stay on the list.
“Is there a list we can view the people we are advised not to follow?” one fan tweeted. “I definitely want to stay on the #PermanentNiceList.”
Santa has mobilized his growing army of elves in an attempt to twist around who’s who in QAnon land, urging his fans to abandon prominent QAnon personalities like Michael Flynn in favor of his Santa-themed coterie.
This has provoked a big backlash from some of the more prominent QAnon pushers, who have long seen the JFK Jr. thing as an embarrassing distraction from their otherwise very serious efforts to decode Trump’s hand signs and investigate pizzerias. “Joe M,” a top QAnon guy whose videos explaining the conspiracy theory have been picked up by people as prominent as former pitcher Curt Schilling, has denounced Santa as the leader of a “street gang” and a “thug.”
Naturally, there is also merch to be sold. Whoever’s behind the Santa account sells all kinds of gear with “#PermanentNiceList” on it. For $48, you can get a “Permanent Nice List” sweatshirt. For $20, you can have a cellphone declaring yourself a “Permanent Elf.”
Incredibly, people are actually buying these clothes, then posting about their hauls on Twitter. One Twitter user even claimed to have bought a whole set for her family:
There are truly an infinite number of ways to grift from QAnon.
I wrote last year about Iraqi dinars, a long-running scam involving buying the near-worthless Iraqi currency and hoping that, somehow, it gets a magical revaluation that turns all the people smart enough to buy it into millionaires. The scheme had been going on for decades, but in its latest iteration, it was being picked up by Donald Trump supporters convinced that Trump was going to pump billions into the Iraqi currency—and make them fabulously wealthy in the process.
Dinar holders in the United States are still hoping that Trump will bail them out, but now there’s a new funny money scheme that has much better connections to the Trump administration. Bloomberg reported Thursday that holders of worthless, pre-revolutionary Chinese debt have been trying to convince the White House to force the current Chinese government to honor the ancient loans.
The holders of the old Chinese debt, like dinar holders, are unlikely to get any relief from Trump. But someone is still making money off the scheme—Bloomberg reports that the SEC has charged a Texas pastor with hawking the debt to the elderly.