#minorsextrafficking | QAnon Incited Her to Kidnap Her Son and Then Hid Her From the Law

Part Two of a Two-Part Series

Cyndie Abcug had a gun, a QAnon conspiracy theorist for a bodyguard, and a conviction that “deep state” cabal agents had abducted her 7-year-old son.

Abcug, 50, also had a plan, according to a police report: an armed assault on a Colorado foster home to “free” her son. Abcug’s 15-year-old daughter had tipped off sheriff’s deputies to the alleged scheme, fearful that people would be hurt in what Abcug purportedly called the “raid.” 

Soon, there would be an arrest warrant with Abcug’s name on it. The motley assortment of conspiracy theorists surrounding Abcug convinced her it was time to flee her suburban Denver home and go on the run. And there was only one man they thought could help them: QAnon YouTube star Field McConnell. And so, in September 2019, Abcug embarked on a months-long, peripatetic journey of more than 5,500 miles through the heart of the American conspiracy-theorist underground.

In Part One of this two-part series, The Daily Beast reported on the clandestine hub of QAnon believers orbiting around McConnell, a former airline pilot who’s reinvented himself as a QAnon YouTuber with an organization called the Children’s Crusade. 

McConnell and his allies in “E-Clause,” a fringe law group that deploys bizarre legal tactics reminiscent of far-right “sovereign citizen” groups, have focused on Abcug and other mothers who have lost custody of their children. In rambling YouTube videos, McConnell and his associates turn these mothers and their children into cause célèbre victims of the supposed deep state—while collecting donations and views along the way.

“It’s kind of this bastard mix of conspiracy theories, sovereign [citizens], and just straight-up scamming people,” said Meko Haze, an independent journalist who has tracked McConnell’s group.

Fans of McConnell and his associates have been charged with a series of bizarre crimes. In March, a Kentucky mother who subscribes to E-Clause’s strange legal theories about child custody laws allegedly abducted her twin daughters. An Illinois woman obsessed with theories about tortured “mole children” promoted by McConnell associate Timothy Charles Holmseth allegedly traveled to New York City with a car full of illegal knives, reportedly talking about a plan to kill former Vice President Joe Biden. 

And in June, a Massachusetts man allegedly led police on a high-speed chase with his five children in a minivan, all the while begging QAnon for help and talking about a Holmseth video about Hillary Clinton eating babies.

Abcug’s long run from the law suggests something even more dangerous about QAnon. According to police and court records, as well as published YouTube interviews with people around McConnell and Abcug, QAnon has inspired the creation of an entire network devoted to abetting fugitive QAnon believers and hiding them from law enforcement.

It’s not clear why Abcug lost custody of her son in January 2019. After she did, though, she turned her lurid beliefs about child sex-trafficking in Colorado’s child welfare system into a budding career as a QAnon star. She became a hit on QAnon YouTube shows. Her story resonated with people who believe the pro-Trump mega-conspiracy’s claims that Trump is poised to execute his opponents and destroy a world-spanning cabal of cannibal-pedophiles.  

Losing custody of her son had plunged Abcug head-first into the world of QAnon YouTube, where a web of QAnon personalities comfort mothers who have lost custody of their children. In this telling, children who are put in the court-ordered custody of relatives or foster parents have in fact been kidnapped so a cabal that controls the Democratic Party and Hollywood can sexually abuse them or drink their blood in Satanic rituals. 

Abcug met with a group of QAnon believers in her state who promised they could help her regain custody of her son and gave her a stack of QAnon awareness bracelets. And then she caught the attention of McConnell and the Children’s Crusade.

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