Even in the bizarre world of QAnon conspiracy theorists, self-proclaimed deep state whistleblower Ryan Dark White has some crazy ideas.
Like other QAnon promoters, White, who goes by the alias “John Here to Help” on Twitter, says a cabal of Satanic government bureaucrats is out to get Donald Trump.
But he also claims those same nefarious actors have broken through to another dimension, where they discovered a sort of elemental spirit that is essentially the spirit of God, then packaged it into a machine named “Project Deep Space 9.”
“It’s the voice of God,” White, 52, said in a 2019 appearance on a QAnon podcast. “It’s the original word, the first word, that was spoken to start us to start the universe.”
The interdimensional machine can be used to trick people like Pope Francis into thinking they’re receiving spiritual messages, according to White, or it can cure physical illnesses. White claims that he himself was healed by the device after being tortured by deep state agents, but with a surprising consequence: a permanent change to the color of his eyes, from blue to gray.
“There were actually people who were very put off by it, initially,” he said on the podcast. “I had to wear sunglasses.”
Despite his outlandish ideas, or because of them, White has amassed a following in the world of pro-Trump conspiracy theorists. He’s earned more than 115,000 followers on Twitter, and become a key source for Lin Wood, the noted defamation attorney who has descended into the world of conspiracy theories as he pursues long-shot attempts to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s win.
White appears to be the basis for at least some of the bizarre claims Wood has made on Twitter about Chief Justice John Roberts, suggesting that Roberts is involved in a child trafficking ring and the tool of a sinister cabal. Those tweets, along with Wood’s call for Vice President Mike Pence to face a firing squad, have prompted the Trump campaign and prominent Republicans to distance themselves from Wood.
Still, the Georgia attorney has continued to promote White’s conspiracy theories.
“John is a truth-giver,” Wood tweeted on Dec. 26, referring his followers to White’s account. “Go to his account and read carefully. You will learn some shocking and chilling truths. Many high-ranking officials must go to prison. Including [Chief Justice] John Roberts. Level of evil in our government officials is frightening.”
In the waning days of the Trump administration, Wood has seized on White’s criminal record, which includes a 2015 federal charge in Maryland, as proof of some deep state plot. In a Dec. 28 tweet, Wood urged supporters of former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to comb through White’s court cases, alleging that hidden transcripts in the case proved unspecified conspiracy theories.
“I bet the Digital Soldiers of @GenFlynn can a (sic) have a field day with the records in these cases,” Wood wrote, posting an image from White’s court record.
On Monday, Wood claimed that the long-awaited "kraken" revelations could be found in White's criminal case, even claiming Trump should use soldiers to seize court files.
"Documents must be seized before they are destroyed," Wood tweeted. "Time is now of the essence if this part of the Kraken is to be successful."
Wood’s claims have fueled calls for Trump to pardon White, a campaign that White has also embraced. A White House petition for Trump to pardon White for his work as a “Patriot Whistleblower” and providing proof of “the Coup attempt against both President Trump and General Flynn” has earned 7,000 signatures.
Outside of the fevered imaginations of QAnon fans, however, White isn’t a whistleblower standing up to the deep state. Instead, he earned his conviction in a much more mundane way: illegally owning guns and fraudulent scoring huge amounts of opioids.
In the summer of 2015, DEA agents in Rosedale, Maryland, surveilled White as he went about his opioid rounds.
White had drawn the DEA’s attention because he had been prescribed enormous amounts of the opioid Zohydro, purportedly because he was suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease.
But as the agents followed White, they noticed he was inconsistent with how often he used a cane and appeared to be in pain. When he went into a pharmacy to pick up pills or drop off a prescription, White appeared to be moving unsteadily with a cane, as though he was suffering from the disease and needed heavy-duty painkillers. But when White went into gas stations, walked around his apartment or even walked for exercise in mall parking lots, he didn’t use a cane and appeared to be in fine health.
White’s act had helped him score 80,160 doses of Zohydro—an opioid so potent that the state of Massachusetts tried to ban it—paid for with $142,911 from Medicare. White had complained to pharmacists that the pills seemed to no longer work for him—something that had only become a problem for White, pharmacists posited to the DEA, because the drug’s formula had been changed so drug users could no longer snort it for a faster high. White had already been convicted in 2010 of intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, raising agents’ suspicions further.
A raid on White’s apartment confirmed agents’ suspicions, turning up hundreds of rounds of ammunition, 14,000 Zohydro and Oxycodone pills, a pistol, and several other firearms. White eventually pleaded guilty to prohibited ammunition possession and health-care fraud, admitting in his plea that he had “unlawfully obtained prescriptions for oxycodone and hydrocodone” by pretending to suffer from ALS symptoms.
White was sentenced to 27 months in prison under his deal, but he soon turned to conspiracy theories, writing letters to the court claiming, without evidence, that prosecutors had spied on his conversations with his attorneys. Judges tossed White’s allegations.
White emerged from prison in March 2017, an ex-prisoner with an uncertain future and a more than $100,000 court-ordered debt to Medicare.
He began to tweet under the “John Here to Help” handle in Feb. 2018. Seizing on the QAnon-style conspiracy theories that were then rising on the right, White began to fashion a new identity for himself under his alias, going from a run-of-the-mill opioid scorer who had afoul of the law to a heroic foe of the anti-Trump deep state.
In this new telling, White claimed that he had discovered an interdimensional deep state coup aimed at toppling Trump from power — and QAnon believers ate it up. White’s persona has also been embraced by Terpsichore Maras-Lindeman, a fellow pseudo-whistleblower who serves as a star witness for pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell’s election legal efforts.
White appears to be a source for many of Wood’s most outlandish claims about Roberts. According to a lawsuit Wood’s former legal partners filed against him in September, Wood allegedly believes that he will be selected to replace Roberts as chief justice.
Wood has seized on a number of anti-Roberts theories that White has promoted. While Wood didn’t respond to requests for comment, he has echoed specific claims made by White, alleging deceased billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein arranged for Roberts to adopt children, that Roberts suffered a suspicious injury at a country club, and that he somehow had advance knowledge of late Justice Antonin Scalia’s death.
White manages to turn even mundane interactions into grist for his conspiracy-filled worldview. Last Wednesday, a reporter for The Daily Beast called a number White has used in the past to register web domains. After a woman answered the phone, the reporter asked to speak with White about his pardon request.
A man’s voice could be heard in the background asking who had called. Then the line went dead.
Two minutes later, “John Here to Help” posted on Twitter that the deep state was targeting his wife.
“They are coming after my wife now,” the account’s owner tweeted. “Phone calls, threats. Trying to find her location. You’re making a mistake…”
As White’s profile has grown in the fringe right, he’s becoming increasingly vocal about his requests for a Trump pardon, even revealing his actual identity in December in a bid to gain support for his pardon. Any pardon could potentially get White out from under his six-figure debt to Medicare. An August 2020 filing in White’s case noted that he still owed restitution money, though it didn’t specify how much.
“Please consider extending your Pardon powers a bit more to include me!” White wrote in a tweet addressed to Trump on Dec. 23, garnering nearly 1,000 retweets.
Despite White’s history of fabrication about his conviction and supposed insights into conspiracy theories, Wood might not be done with him yet. On Monday, White tweeted that Wood was “helping to get my information out.”