Michael Flynn to Headline QAnon-Linked Event As Family Sues CNN Over Conspiracy Claims

Michael Flynn, the ex-national security adviser who has become a hero to conspiracy theorists, is set to headline a QAnon-linked event in Dallas as his family files a $75 million lawsuit against CNN over its reporting on the disgraced former Army general.

Flynn and Sidney Powell—a member of Donald Trump's legal team during the former president's doomed challenge of the 2020 election results—are keynote speakers at the "For God & Country Round Up" in May, according to its organizer the Patriot Voice.

The gathering on Memorial Day weekend is to be split between the Gilley's Dallas complex and the Omni Hotel in the city. A general admission pass for the weekend costs $500, with VIP tickets at $1,000.

"Although this has been a time of uncertainty for many, it is also a time of excitement as we witness political history being made before our eyes," the event website says. "What better time and place to get together to fellowship and celebrate with your Patriot family?!?"

The Patriot Voice group was founded by a man who uses the handle "QAnon John" on Gab, a social media platform popular with conservatives, where he has more than 32,000 followers. Forbes has reported that "QAnon John" is likely an alias for Rich Granville, a QAnon promoter and CEO of the search engine Yippy, who organized a similar event in Atlanta in 2019.

"QAnon John" has written and shared multiple posts on Gab denying that there is a QAnon link to the event in Dallas—and denying that he is Granville.

In one post, he wrote: "Oh, where on my event page does it say that 'QAnon Group' is putting this on?? To my knowledge, there is NO SUCH THING as 'QAnon Group'…Not once on my event page does the word 'QAnon' show up."

The event does, however, have several similarities to the Atlanta gathering, which was marketed as a conference for "digital soldiers"—a QAnon term for online devotees—and used an image of an American flag with a circle of stars forming a "Q." Flynn was scheduled to be a headline speaker in Atlanta, but pulled out before the meeting took place.

The website for the Dallas event says attendees will "have the opportunity to hear from some of your favorite Patriots and Digital Soldiers in both keynote speeches and panel forums."

Speakers include QAnon advocates such as conspiracy theorist Jordan Sather, YouTuber Kate Buckley and far-right activist Jason Frank.

The timing is awkward for Flynn's brother and sister-in-law, who filed a $75 million lawsuit against CNN this week. Jack and Leslie Flynn accuse the network of defamation and invasion of privacy over its reporting on the former general's ties to QAnon.

The suit relates to a report aired in February called: "CNN goes inside a gathering of QAnon followers," which included footage of QAnon supporters as well as a video tweeted by Flynn on July 4 last year. The clip shows Flynn and his family reciting a pledge to the U.S. constitution, ending with the slogan: "Where we go one, we go all."

The lawsuit disputes that the "WWG1WGA" slogan, which is routinely used on QAnon merchandise and by adherents on social media and at rallies, is linked to the conspiracy theory. Flynn's phrase, it said, was inspired by an inscription "engraved on a bell on one of President John F. Kennedy's sailboats, acknowledging the unity of mankind."

"General Flynn intended to encourage people to think about being good citizens, to love country and be good patriots," the lawsuit said. "The video had nothing to do with QAnon or recruiting 'digital soldiers' for an apocalyptic reckoning."

"Plaintiffs are not followers or supporters of any extremist or terrorist groups, including QAnon," the suit said. "CNN falsely attributed to Plaintiffs associations that never existed, actions Plaintiffs never took, including an oath of allegiance to QAnon, and views Plaintiffs never held."

Flynn has become a hero to many QAnon followers, who claim Trump is battling an international cabal of devil-worshipping cannibal pedophiles. However, the former general dismissed their idea of an imminent military takeover as "nonsense" in February.

Despite Trump's election defeat, many QAnon devotees still believe he is fighting the "deep state" and will eventually lead a day of reckoning in which the military seizes power and executes supposed members of the cabal.

After the election last November, Flynn was reportedly at the center of a group of advisers who urged Trump to declare martial law to overturn the result.

Flynn resigned his national security role just weeks into Trump's administration in 2017 after it was revealed he had held secret discussions with Russia's ambassador to the U.S. He was convicted of lying to the FBI, but was pardoned by Trump last year.

Correction 3/26/21, 1:05 p.m. ET: This article has been corrected to note that Michael Flynn was an Army general, not Marine Corps.

QAnon fan pictured at RNC in CHarlotte
A man wearing a red MAGA-style baseball cap and a QAnon T-shirt is pictured near the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, on August 24, 2020. Octavio Jones/Getty Images