After JFK Jr. failed to materialize in Dallas on Tuesday, Nov. 2, per the abstruse predictions of a numerology-obsessed QAnon sect, some of the followers of the theory have surmised that Keith Richards is, in fact, JFK Jr. in disguise. Oh, also Michael Jackson is impersonating Mick Jagger.
If this sounds completely unhinged, that’s because it is. This latest twist in the labyrinthian belief system comes after dozens of JFK Jr. truthers — who waited for hours at Dealey Plaza for the Camelot scion to appear — went on to attend that night’s Rolling Stones concert at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Handfuls of JFK Jr. truthers wearing Tiffany Blue bandanas were spread throughout the audience but were otherwise swallowed up by the crowded arena.
Dallas resident Mark Wootton, who attended the concert, tells Rolling Stone that he made a joke about not seeing JFK Jr. as he walked out of the Cotton Bowl. Several truthers responded with knowing comments. “I know, right? What’s going on?” Wootton recalled them saying.
During and after the concert, members of a Telegram chat called Occupy Dealey Plaza shared theories linking JFK Jr. and the three surviving Rolling Stones along with numerological predictions and photos from the concert.
When some members questioned why JFK Jr. had failed to show himself, others theorized that they had indeed seen JFK Jr., but that he was in disguise. The lyrics of the song “Sympathy for the Devil” were cited in particular as a reason to believe: “I shouted out, who killed the Kennedys?/ When after all, it was you and me.”
“People are saying that Elvis was in a mask playing the keyboard,” read one message from a user named Mustang Debbie. “Michael Jackson was there maybe playing Mick Jager [sic]…JFK Junior was playing the guitarist Keith Richards in the yellow shirt and they all had masks on…They are saying it wasn’t event [sic] the Rolling Stones doing the concert.” (A representative for the Rolling Stones declined to comment.)
Such outlandish theories could easily be dismissed as the work of internet trolls trying to make QAnon believers look bad in a public Telegram chat. But, unfortunately, these theories align with the believers’ tendency to accept conspiracy theory over truth. At the QAnon gathering in Dealey Plaza, when a local Dallas resident wearing a NASA shirt asked the crowd if they believed we landed on the moon, dozens exclaimed “No!” in unison.
What’s more, multiple attendees at the Dealey Plaza gathering described their beliefs that various dead celebrities were secretly alive, either in a form of witness protection or living out their lives in sophisticated disguises. “Mike Lindell is actually JFK Jr. in a mask,” said a man named Greg, who said he was a military veteran. “They’re extremely sophisticated.”
This isn’t the first time QAnon affiliated JFK Jr. truthers have shifted the goalposts. In 2019, they predicted JFK Jr. would return on July 4. That didn’t happen.
But not all in the Telegram chat were satisfied by the Keith Richards theory. Others thought perhaps that Jagger and Richards had been using “adrenochrome” to stay virile, building on years of conspiratorial speculation about their ability to stay healthy despite their lifetime of libertine antics and hard drug use. In a nutshell, “adrenochrome” is a common chemical compound that forms when the stress hormone adrenaline is oxidized. Adrenochrome has become the focus of a popular QAnon theory that is basically a reformed version of the century-old anti-semitic “blood libel” theory that says political elites torture children to harvest their essential body fluids.
“Mick looked healthy, not like the usual skeletor,” one believer wrote on Telegram. Whether that’s from taking a couple of years off the road, or being replaced by a pop star who died more than a decade ago, we may never know.