British businessman who flew QAnon flag over hotel shares false Soros claims

John Mappin has denied accusations of intolerance


One of the leading figures in Britain’s QAnon conspiracy movement, who flew the Q flag above his Camelot Castle Hotel in Cornwall last year, has been accused of sharing false claims about the Jewish investor and philanthropist George Soros.

John Mappin — a member the family that founded the Mappin and Webb jewellery firm — shared several conspiracy theories, including a meme which said the “mainstream media” was preventing the “unawake masses” from learning about the “deep state” and Soros.

The QAnon movement has absorbed far-right conspiracy theories suggesting that a small global elite controls the world. The group is alleged to have inspired the riots that erupted on Capitol Hill earlier this month.

A report into the QAnon movement in the UK, published last year by anti-racism charity Hope Not Hate, said antisemitism was “inherent” in the conspiracy and that it could become a recruiting tool for the far right.

Mr Mappin has also been a central figure behind Turning Point UK, the British arm of the pro-Donald Trump student organisation Turning Point USA, whose founder, Charlie Kirk, has been accused of pushing pro-QAnon narratives based on debunked statistics that were produced by some of the movement’s supporters.

Confronted over his repeated sharing of conspiracy theories about Hungarian-born Mr Soros, Mr Mappin told the news website Politico: “I am certainly not in any way shape or form intolerant.

“We appointed an Orthodox Jew to be head of Turning Point UK and I myself had an Islamic wedding and my wife’s family are partly Muslim.

“We work around the clock and fund human rights organizations all over the world that uphold religious freedom and I certainly have never judged somebody because of their race or their religion.”

Mr Mappin’s statement about an “Orthodox Jew” is a reference to Oliver Anisfeld — the son of former Brexit Party MEP Lance Foreman — who was employed to head up Turning Point UK.

The JC also discovered that Mr Mappin had posted messages on his Facebook page claiming that attempts to silence those who supported Mr Trump “may make Hitler, Mao and Stalin look mild”.

He also circulated scare stories about the effects of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, along with claims that the pandemic was actually just the “bad flu.”

A report in The Times last weekend said guests at Mr Mappin’s hotel, which now displays a Q flag, had found conspiracy theory material in their bedrooms.

Mr Mappin hosts an online TV channel to spread the cult-like movement.

Gregory Davis, a researcher for Hope Not Hate, said that despite the absurdity of many of his views, Mr Mappin, who has a Twitter following of more than 160,000, is a “dangerous figure”.

“He himself has shied away from making very explicit statements about bloodshed,” he said.

“But all this ‘never concede’ [the presidential election] business is an avocation of overturning democracy.”

The QAnon hoax is based on thousands of anonymous, cryptic posts on social media message boards 4chan and 8chan.

They claim to be written by a government official and suggest that administrations around the world are hiding a satanic paedophile network that only Mr Trump can foil.

But Gregory Stanton, founder of Genocide Watch, warned:

“QAnon’s conspiracy theory is copied from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the conspiracy theory promoted by Hitler.”

Mr Mappin told The Times that he knew nothing about the QAnon material in guests’ bedrooms. “We raised a flag above Camelot Castle on New Year’s Day of 2020 to highlight emerging freedom-related phenomena that we predicted would become part of the narrative,” he said.

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