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QAnon supporters gather in Las Vegas and politely embrace conspiracy theories

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The Patriot Double Down convention brought supporters of the shadowy QAnon group to Las Vegas this weekend, but people looking for a rowdy MAGA rally were disappointed.

The conference, put on by the group The Patriot Voice, attracted about 200 to the off-Strip Ahern Hotel.

“They had Make America Great Again flags and a lot of anti-Democrat flags as well, but it was rather calm,” said State of Nevada producer Christopher Alvarez. “They said good morning to us with a big smile.”

Attendees heard from some of the nation’s biggest conspiracy theorists, including the father-and-son team of Ron and Jim Watkins. Ron Watkins is believed to be “Q,” the mysterious person behind QAnon. The group says the nation is threatened by a cabal of Satanic, cannibalistic pedophiles who operate a global child sex trafficking ring, with former President Donald Trump standing opposed.

Topics ranged from claims that last year’s election was stolen from Trump to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks being an inside job.

“There really seemed to be an interest in ideas,” said Dave Berns, another State of Nevada producer. “Whether or not our listeners may agree with those ideas, it doesn’t take away from the sincerity that was there. You could really sense it in the room.”

Christopher Alvarez, producer, Nevada Public Radio; Dave Berns, producer, Nevada Public Radio.

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Dave Berns, now a producer for State of Nevada, recently returned to KNPR after having previously worked for the station from 2005 to 2009.
Christopher Alvarez is a news producer and podcast audio editor at Nevada Public Radio for the State of Nevada program, and has been with them for over a year.