One year ago today, Ron Watkins, Lin Wood and Q-influencer Neon Revolt would collaborate on a hype building exercise ahead of 1/6 with the goal of convincing their 1.6 mil (combined) followers that Mike Pence should be arrested.
Watkins and Wood spent the weeks leading up to 1/6 frequently retweeting one another as they hyped the gathering in DC and Pence's role as the one person that could help keep Trump in office. On 12/22 Ron had even offered to sponsor people to make it out to DC.
Looking at Ron's tweets in late Dec/early Jan are particularly interesting now that we've seen the "Strategic Communications Plan" memo that called for tapping social media influencers (including Ron specifically) to call for Congress to block the certification.
I've personally had a tweet with around 600 likes and 300 RT's hit 500,000 impressions in a couple days.
How many impressions is a tweet with 29k likes and 8k RT's going to get?
Pence hadn't announced that he wouldn't block Biden's win, so he wasn't the enemy yet.
Reminder: Watkins is running for Congress.
It's interesting comparing Ron's strategy to Wood's. Ron tried to woo Pence with support, while Wood was constantly attacking anyone who he perceived as a threat to a 2nd Trump term. He accused John Roberts of being a pedophile, and Mark Meadows of being in bed with big pharma.
Wood, naturally, was considerably more aggressive than Watkins, to the point where he felt the need to address comments about his "insanity"
Wood also wanted Flynn instated as Trump's VP after Pence was arrested.
- Military will be in control
- Flynn as VP
- Deep state is fighting a 2nd Trump term
- Everyone's a pedophile
He starts talking about Isaac Kappy, and starts implying that Pence, too, is a pedophile.
Ron encourages his followers to turn on notifications for Wood and RT's one of his pedo posts
Prior to his death, he started accusing other actors - Tom Hanks, etc - of being pedophiles. Qanon ATE THIS UP, and of course InfoWars helped amplify him
He knew this made him come off as crazy - because frankly, it is - but appearing crazy was worth activating the Qanon crowd.
This is when Watkins and Wood really started to amplify one another.
But to Qanon, this was hope that the storm may finally be coming.
- Wood posts a veiled threat. He KNOWS things. Things that could destroy people. But he won't say what
- Watkins chimes in with an affirmation, and a game component ripped straight from Q: "Anybody have clues?"
I really can't understate how rabid engagement was on these posts.
It was normal to see thousands of likes, RT's and comments within just a few hours of these being posted.
You know who you don't want to piss off? Thousands of armed Qanon adherents that have been waiting 3 years for "the storm"
This is from 1/3
When Wood says "standing in line" - he's referencing a firing squad.
These are both from 1/3
Wood says a storm is coming.
Content warning: the following tweets will include screenshots that may include references to sexual assault of minors.
Again, note the engagement.
(I can't get the embedded pic to load, but it's a bullshit article anyways)
The gist is that he claims that John Roberts was caught on video performing heinous acts, and that the video is being used to blackmail and control Roberts.
He claims that The Lizard Squad - a group known for DDoS'ing gaming services - was able to obtain the content and provide it to Isaac Kappy, and it eventually ended up in his possession
Supposedly this plot was carried out by members of 10 of the worlds most elite intel agencies
It's complete bullshit. And I believe Wood knew this. And of course he knew that people would not resign after he posted this. The goal was to drum up outrage prior to 1/6. Did it work? Let's look at the engagement..
Exactly how you'd expect.
He also encourages his followers to get into DC "ASAP" and says that Assange will be freed in 48 hours (lol). We're at about mid-day on 1/4
I was following this as it was happening (so were a few others, shoutout @2022_Karma). One of the more surreal moments was when Ron interrupted his conspiracy theorizing with a fucking shovel ad. Of course some of his followers thought it was a coded message.
Lin Wood starts referencing another bit of Qanon lore: the DECLASS - when Trump will supposedly declassify a bunch of documents - and continues to taunt Roberts
He also RT's Jan 6 instigator and failed rapper Mike Coudrey
We're at the evening of 1/4
Wood RT's Ron's "I'm just asking questions" style conspiracy about Paul Ryan and Pence conspiring to remove Trump from the ticket less than a month before the 2016 election. And then he starts teasing the "MOAB" I referenced in the original post...
Before we get to the MOAB, a quick note about Neon Revolt. Neon was, for a time, one of Qanon's largest influencers, and had done a pretty good job of staying anonymous until the incredible lads @LogicallyAI unmasked him as a failed screenwriter https://www.logically.ai/articles/exclusive-failed-screenwriter-from-new-jersey-behind-one-of-qanons-most-influential-personas
This, of course, was basically a longform recycled 3 year old Q drop.
We're in the early hours of 1/6.
He also QT'd Patrick Byrne, who claimed he can vouch for Neon Revolts story, which earns him the "truth-giver" award from Lin.
"The time has come"
"Time to take back our country. Time to fight for our freedom."
"Pledge your lives"
"There will not be another chance"
"TODAY IS OUR DAY"
Wood wasn't done with Pence. Here's a post he made, also on 1/6, sometime in the early afternoon. At this point, based off comments on the post, things had already started to deteriorate in the capitol.
He intentionally fanned the flames.
Ron Watkins, for what I can only assume were legal reasons, continued to refer to the insurrection as a "peaceful protest", even as news broke of the Babbitt shooting. He also evaded a ban longer than Wood, and utilized that slack to theorize about what Trump may do before 1/20
And we're gradually discovering that they were just part of a coordinated plan to stage a coup and keep Trump in for a 2nd term.
My entry point into taking election fraud disinfo seriously was following Watkins in the summer of 2020, as he was spreading COVID disinfo. When he pivoted to the election fraud claims, I realized there weren't many people pushing back, so I did what I could, but it wasn't enough
I watched in real time as Ron's reach and influence grew, and before long a network of election fraud disinfo spreaders started to appear. Chief among them were KanekoaTheGreat, we_have_risen, pepesgrandma (to name a few). Pretty much all of them had a Trump at least one Trump RT
I believe 1/6 only happened because of social media and poor media literacy skills. The reach of the internet grew quicker than we could adapt to it. And as a result, people were subjected to a flood of disinformation without having the skills to discern fact from fiction
That's not the fault of the individual, per se. You get your first smart phone so you can FaceTime your grandkids or nieces and nephews. You install Facebook. An old friend posts something that sounds SO crazy that it can't be true...but you also feel compelled to read it.
Then you start getting recommended articles. They seem to back up that crazy post. You see a notification for Facebook groups, and decide to check it out. They helpfully recommend a few groups to join. One's called "#savethechildren"
Why wouldn't you want to save the children? You join it. You see more posts that are too insane, no way they're real. But how can so many posts be written about something that's not real? You watch a few videos. You watch a few more. You start thinking about it when you wake up.
You realize all these weird, minor things that seem insignificant on their own are just pieces of a bigger puzzle
Facebook could give a fuck what you're doing. But they love that you keep coming back. You keep clicking. You keep sharing. You keep liking. You're spending more time on their platform and their stock price is going up. Those are the only two metrics they care about.
It's either tune for engagement, or charge a fee, and people aren't likely to pay for Facebook.
I don't think it's too late, but we're not in the best position to do this right effectively either.
And at this point de-platforming (which could have been effective earlier) is only complicating things. I'm mostly hopeful for the future, but we have a metric. ton. of work. ahead of us.
Ok, I'm done for real this time. This was WAY too long, so sorry about that!
I’m also not the only person to have noticed the Watkins/Wood interplay. I’m just the only asshole to do a 50+ tweet thread about it. If you want to read better takes from smarter people, search Twitter for “ron watkins lin wood” and scroll through the “Top” tab