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Сonspiracy theories How conspiracy theorists explain events in Ukraine and the world: pizzagate

In the previous texts of the section, we explained the theory of the “new world order” and its anti-Semitic influx. Another theory is often associated with the theory of the new world order - pizzagate (in the likeness of the name Watergate - the scandal that led to the resignation of US President Richard Nixon). According to it, the US Democratic Party and “liberal Hollywood” are conspiring to traffic children for the sexual whims of the elite. Despite the fact that the theory was officially debunked by the Washington police, its supporters still believe that several restaurants in the city are unofficial “meeting places” of the elite, where “juvenile victims” are taken for pedophilia.

The theory arose in 2016, when hackers allegedly gained access to the correspondence of one of the leaders of the campaign program of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Like, it contained the names of various high-ranking party officials, the addresses of the aforementioned restaurants and the names of dishes (for example, pizza and hot dogs). According to conspiracy theorists, these are code names that mask the actions of a pedophilic nature and their victims. The theory quickly spread on social media and on image boards such as 4chan and Reddit, and even led to a shooting near one of the Washington restaurants featured in the correspondence. However, it received a new wave of popularity in 2020 after the release of the music video for the Justin Bieber song Yummy, where conspiracy theorists saw hidden meanings associated with the “joys of the rich”.  Fragments of the clip with explanations of these messages became viral on TikTok, and the theory itself became the basis for the creation of QAnon. Now its members associate all members of the Democratic Party with pedophilia. The current president of the state, Joe Biden, is no exception.

Russia also refers to this theory in its propaganda. For example, one can find messages that equate almost every Biden movement or word in children with manifestations of pedophilia. In addition, one can often see panic in the media spreading pro-Russian rhetoric that the Democratic Party is allegedly trying by all means to legalize pedophilia and drags Ukraine into all this. Propagandists and American conservative figures often pin the image of a pedophile on Joe Biden also because of the alleged illegal sexual relations of his son Hunter Biden with minors. In particular, this is due to the “Hunter Biden laptop showers”, when hackers allegedly gained access to the cloud storage of his device and leaked photos and videos to the network in which he allegedly has sex with underage girls. They were tried to be used against his father during the election campaign before the presidential elections in 2020 and were actively distributed in the pro-Russian media. Since Hunter Biden's past is closely connected with Ukraine, these reports did not bypass the reproaches that Ukrainian justice is still allegedly keeping a pedophile at large, because it cannot go against “the will of its overseas masters”.

Propagandists use it in their rhetoric to justify their war against the Western value system. Like, Russia is fighting for true spiritual purity, because America is rotten through and through, and the victims of this are children. In addition, in this way, they want to devalue Biden's help for Ukraine. It seems that with the war he covers up the crimes of himself and his family, and therefore he always helps. It is also important for Russia to use existing methods to destabilize the domestic political situation in the United States in order to persuade the public to support its policies. They want to distrust the “pedophile president” and shift the political balance in favor of the “actor”, which, in their opinion, will be more favorable to Russia.

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, propagandists have begun to explain more and more things using conspiracy theories. As a consequence, even the smartest people can be questioned by conspiracy theories in today's turbulent world. That is why, in this new section, Detector Media will briefly explain the history and essence of individual conspiracy theories. We will tell you how and for what purpose they use them in Russian propaganda.

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