Jim Caviezel’s QAnon Guru Wants to Control Elections

·8 min read
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty

Actor Jim Caviezel stepped up his embrace of the QAnon conspiracy theory last weekend, appearing at a casino-themed QAnon convention called the “Patriot Double Down” in Las Vegas to deliver a speech drenched in religious and QAnon references.

In what had been billed to QAnon believers as a historic event, the actor best known for playing Jesus in Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ reenacted a speech from Braveheart, then urged the audience to send “Lucifer and his henchmen straight back to hell.”

"The storm is upon us,” Caviezel said, alluding to a QAnon slogan about an impending fascist takeover led by Donald Trump.

At the end of his speech, Caviezel embraced a man in a suede jacket and cowboy hat who was treated by the audience as just as much a star as Caviezel: a shadowy QAnon promoter who goes by the alias Juan O. Savin.

The QAnon convention served as the coming-out party for Savin, an enigmatic QAnon booster who has operated for years on the fringes of the movement, keeping his face a secret and masking his identity behind the Savin alias.

Despite his hazy background, Savin is emerging as a new power on the conspiracy-theory right. He has cultivated ties as a sort of QAnon guru to right-wing celebrities like Caviezel and Roseanne Barr, while recruiting a growing slate of candidates running to control elections in battleground states in 2024.

Much of Savin’s power on the right derives from a classic QAnon source: Savin’s supporters believe he’s John F. Kennedy Jr. in disguise. During the convention, the Patriot Double Down’s master of ceremonies posted a facial comparison of JFK Jr. and Savin on Facebook, writing “Could it be so?” (In a sign of how widespread the idea that JFK Jr. is alive is among QAnon believers, Savin wasn’t even the only suspected JFK Jr. double on the speaker’s list).

Savin’s beliefs are bizarre even by QAnon standards. In his book, Savin writes that Washington, D.C. is laid out for Masonic devil worship, with the Washington Monument meant to resemble the “missing penis” of an Egyptian god and the State Department’s Foggy Bottom location chosen for its “spells, rituals, and wizardry.” He claims that Dr. Anthony Fauci is making Satanic hand symbols during press conferences, and that the world is run by a cabal descended from the Biblical character Cain. Most importantly to his fans, he insists that the apocalyptic “Storm” promised by QAnon is still coming, even in the face of all evidence to the contrary.

Savin built his following through appearances in livestreams with other QAnon promoters, including Field McConnell, a conspiracy theorist tied to a group accused of plotting to kidnap children. But Savin was always careful to conceal his face, often aiming his camera down at his cowboy boots. The Savin name is an alias that plays on the number “107.”

The Patriot Doubledown was billed as Savin’s first public appearance, and he arrived in rockstar style in a red Aston Martin convertible. As Savin tried to leave the event, he was mobbed by so many fans that members of a “QAnon militia” had to move the crowd out of his way.

Travis View, a host of the QAnon Anonymous podcast, calls Savin “a fringe influencer even within the QAnon community.”

“It shows that the organizers were willing to pander to the fringe of the fringe, despite the fact that the event was attended by GOP state lawmakers and candidates,” View told The Daily Beast.

Savin’s much-anticipated unmasking in Las Vegas was something of a misnomer. In fact, Savin had inadvertently revealed his face several times during livestreams, briefly reversing the camera on his phone to reveal his face.

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Savin’s many rivals within QAnon used those glimpses of his face to uncover what they say is his real identity: Wayne Willott, an insurance investigator in the Seattle area. A 2017 lawsuit filed against some conspiracy theorists tied to Willott alleges that Willott adopted the identity “W the Intelligence Insider,” who issued pronouncements about the state of the world in much the same way that Savin does now. In those radio appearances, “W the Intelligence Insider” sounds identical to Savin.

Willott appears to have been involved in fringe right-wing movements going back decades, with a 1997 article in the conservative American Spectator mentioning Willott as a private investigator involved in anti-Clinton hijinks in Arkansas.

Despite his obscure origins, Savin has managed to establish close ties with at least two conservative celebrities. In an October video with California secretary of state candidate Rachel Hamm, he claimed he was traveling through Texas and Louisiana with Caviezel to raise money to promote Sound of Freedom, an upcoming movie in which Caviezel plays the founder of controversial anti-sex-trafficking group Operation Underground Railroad.

Caviezel already tied the movie to QAnon in a promotional event in April when he made a reference to “adrenochroming”—the false QAnon belief that celebrities terrorize children in Satanic rituals to, essentially, drink their blood. Now, in Savin’s telling, he was on a road trip with Caviezel to raise money for the film, comparing their journey to the one comedians John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd take in The Blues Brothers.

“We’re driving across the country, Jim Caviezel and I, Blues Brothers, trying to get the funding sorted out for the marketing side of the movie,” Savin told Hamm.

The idea that a Hollywood celebrity would team up with Savin seemed unlikely, until Savin introduced Caviezel at the QAnon convention a few days later and sat onstage throughout his speech. A publicist for Caviezel didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Dennis Rice, whose company owns the American distribution rights to Sound of Freedom, insists Savin isn’t raising money for the movie.

“There is no formal affiliation with any political group,” Ross said. “There is no formal affiliation with Juan O. Savin. But if they want to support Sound of Freedom, I’m all for it.”

Rice rejected the idea that Savin is JFK Jr. in disguise.

“I can absolutely, 100 percent tell you that that is not true,” Rice said.

Caviezel isn’t his only Hollywood connection.

Savin frequently makes videos with comedian Roseanne Barr, who blew up her successful sitcom in part by promoting QAnon on Twitter. In their lengthy livestreams, the one-time star comedian listens deferentially as Savin unspools his conspiracy theories.

“I’m calling on you for sanity, because you know we’re all losing our minds,” Barr told Savin in a video recorded a day after the January 6 riot.

Savin’s influence on the right goes beyond celebrities. He played a key role recruiting secretary of state candidates across the country for 2022, according to Nevada secretary of state hopeful and former state representative Jim Marchant.

In a speech at the convention, Marchant claimed he had rented a suite at a luxury Las Vegas hotel to plot out how to contest his defeat in a 2020 congressional race, only to discover Savin at his door.

“Guess who showed up in my suite?” Marchant said, to cheers from the audience. “Blow you away. You saw him Saturday, and you saw him today. Juan O. Savin!”

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According to Marchant, Savin recruited him and several other secretary of state candidates, including Hamm, to run in 2022. While Hamm is unlikely to win in heavily Democratic California, one of Savin’s picks, Arizona state Rep. Mark Finchem (R), has been endorsed by Donald Trump and is shaping up to be a strong primary contender.

Marchant claimed that Savin’s coalition held a meeting with MAGA luminaries like MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, former Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne, and The Gateway Pundit blogger Jim Hoft to plot out the secretary of state bids. In his speech, Marchant made clear the goal of Savin’s push for new candidates: controlling elections in 2024.

“I can’t stress enough how important the secretary of state offices are,” Marchant said. “I think they are the most important election in our country in 2022. And why is that? We control the election system.”

Savin’s name came up again at another panel at the convention, with members of his secretary of state slate praising his claims that top members of the “deep state” will face justice in Guantanamo Bay military tribunals, a key QAnon tenet.

“Remember, Juan told us the other night that if we can’t get justice through our courts, he has built another one—remember he said that the other night?” said Hamm. “He built one in Gitmo, he said.”

“Our plan A: see Juan,” Marchant said.

“Juan has been very good to us,” Hamm said.

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