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QAnon Sex Trafficking Conspiracies Shut Down Butterfly Centre

by : Shola Lee on :
QAnon Sex Trafficking Conspiracies Shut Down Butterfly Centre
QAnon Sex Trafficking Conspiracies Shut Down Butterfly Centre (Alamy)

The National Butterfly Center in Texas has been shut down after QAnon sex trafficking conspiracies allegedly turned into threats.

A baseless conspiracy theory from controversial group QAnon suggested that the butterfly sanctuary in Mission, Texas, was being used for sex trafficking.

Now, the centre has been forced to close 'due to credible threats' against its staff.

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On Thursday, January 27, the centre announced it would close for the weekend because of a MAGA-style 'We Stand America' conference that was taking place nearby in McAllen, Texas.

National Butterfly Centre (Alamy)
National Butterfly Centre (Alamy)

QAnon believers largely support Trump, and the conspiracy theory's followers were among those who stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

As such, the conference, combined with the conspiracy theories and 'credible threats' has prompted the sanctuary to close.

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In an email, staff from the centre said, 'We are writing to let you know the National Butterfly Center will be closed Friday, Jan. 28 - Sunday, Jan. 30, due to credible threats we have received from a former state official, regarding activities planned by the We Stand America event, taking place in McAllen, TX, this weekend.'

The email continued to explain how the sanctuary's director, Marianna Wright, was told to 'be armed at all times or out of town this weekend because the ‘We Stand America’ events include a ‘Trump Train’-style, 'caravan to the border' and that the National Butterfly Center would likely be a stop on this 'take action tour'.'

The conference is being put on by a number of pro-Trump groups, which include Women Fighting for America, Veterans for America First, and Latinos for Trump, VICE reports.

The event is said to be headlined by Michael Flynn, Trump's disgraced formed national security advisor, and QAnon supporters including Mark Finchem, who's running for secretary of state.

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National Butterfly Centre (Alamy)
National Butterfly Centre (Alamy)
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As stated on the conference website, 'the event will focus on border law enforcement and the direct connection to election integrity from a Biblical worldview'.

The sanctuary has become the focus of QAnon as it sits less than half a mile from the US-Mexico border and refused to make way for Trump's border wall.

Trump's initial plan for the wall called for it to be built through the centre of the sanctuary, but in 2020 a court of appeal in Texas ruled this violated the sanctuary's property rights.

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This refusal led to baseless claims that the sanctuary is involved in supposed child sex trafficking, which many QAnon theories centre on.

Rumours have been inflamed by Brian Kolfage, who is the head of the fundraising effort behind Trump's privately constructed wall.

He has spread rumours about butterflies swarming dead bodies at the centre, as well as directing violent threats to Wright, the sanctuary's director, on social media.

Speaking of the growing threats, the sanctuary's email concluded, 'We still cannot believe we are at the center of this maelstrom of malevolence rising in the United States.'

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Shola Lee

Shola Lee began her journalism career while studying for her undergraduate degree at Queen Mary, University of London and Columbia University in New York. She has written for the Columbia Spectator, QM Global Bloggers, CUB Magazine, UniDays, and Warner Brothers' Wizarding World Digital. Recently, Shola took part in the 2021 BAFTA Crew and BBC New Creatives programme before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news, trending stories, and features.

Topics: News, US News, QAnon