Jack Kidd is a supremely well-connected businessman, former professional polo player and socialite who found minor celebrity in the 2000s as the dashing older brother of fashion model Jodie.
A great-grandson of publishing tycoon Lord Beaverbrook, and son of a high-profile showjumper, the jet-setting 47-year-old’s immediate family also includes sister Jemma, a high-profile make-up artist presently divorcing the Duke of Wellington’s son and heir, Arthur Mornington.
Thanks to his impeccable breeding and sometimes rackety social life, Kidd’s high-octane lifestyle has for years enlivened gossip columns.
The father of six children, by three rich women, he’s clocked up two starry weddings (one of which filled 16 pages of Hello!) and one quite spectacular divorce, during which his jilted heiress wife branded him as a ‘cad and bounder’ in a round-robin email to 200 friends.
He’s also pursued a host of colourful business ventures, inside the world of polo and out, including a stint as a director of Jemma’s make-up firm, where for reasons we’ll never know, he shared the boardroom with the now-notorious Ghislaine Maxwell, who appears to be an old family friend.
Jodie Kidd’s brother Jack (pictured) is a leading figure in the British offshoot of QAnon, the far-right extremist group of Trump supporters who led the invasion of U.S. Congress this week
And so, Mr Kidd has managed to cut a glamorous and charismatic figure. For decades he’s pursued a champagne lifestyle, rubbing shoulders with some of the world’s wealthiest and most fashionable people.
But those days will soon be gone.
For in dark corners of the internet, Jack Kidd now has a very different sort of celebrity — one unlikely to lead to many more glamorous photo spreads in glossy magazines.
This strapping old Harrovian, who once played polo with Prince Charles and Prince Harry, is — I can reveal — a leading figure in the British offshoot of QAnon, a far-Right extremist group of Donald Trump supporters who led the invasion of U.S. Congress in Washington DC this week.
Calling himself a ‘Digital Soldier and Citizen Journalist’, he now lives in the Scottish Highlands at an 18,000-acre estate belonging to the family of his current wife Rosie Tyser.
From there, in recent months, he has circulated hundreds of social media posts pushing bizarre conspiracy theories from the cult-like organisation — members of which believe the world is secretly controlled by celebrity paedophiles.
Kidd has appeared in QAnon chat shows, watched by millions, in which he rails against a ‘satanic matrix’ of Left-leaning politicians, Hollywood stars, bankers and captains of industry who collaborate to secretly abuse and cannibalise trafficked children.
Kidd repeats the group’s surreal propaganda daily on social media, ranting about everything from vaccines (‘human mental genocide served up as medicine’), to coronavirus (a ‘scamdemic’ invented by ‘the global elite, big pharma, and big tech’), to the white trails that aeroplanes leave in the sky, which he regards as evidence that the Government is trying to ‘secretly spray chemicals on the public’.
Most of all, he shares ‘evidence’ supporting QAnon’s central conspiracy theory: that Donald Trump is a sort of messiah battling to rid the world of ‘satanist paedo overlords’.
Police hold back supporters of Donald Trump as they gather outside the US Capitol’s Rotunda
If you think this all sounds utterly bonkers, you are not alone; and we will explore QAnon’s deranged theology later. But as this week’s events show, Kidd’s beliefs can also prove highly dangerous.
Many of his posts are riddled with vile anti-Semitism (he recently accused the ‘Rothschilds and other bloodline families’ of ‘helping cover up the paedophilia pandemic’) and he has fomented hatred against groups, including Catholics and the ‘black nobility’ who in a recent post are described as the ‘true rats of this world’.
Such appalling rhetoric is why the FBI has long regarded QAnon as a domestic terror threat (even before its members invaded the U.S. Capitol) while sites on which the cult first gained traction, have belatedly attempted to outlaw the ‘militarised social movement’.
Jack Kidd was recently banned from Instagram — where he boasted tens of thousands of followers — for sharing fake news, and was, before Christmas, suspended by Facebook for two months for the same offence.
YouTube routinely deletes his videos (only for them to pop up elsewhere) while he is now also being monitored by anti-extremist group Hope Not Hate.
What makes him uniquely dangerous, they argue, is that unlike the various wingnuts whose excesses filled the airwaves this week, Kidd cuts an outwardly normal figure. And his celebrity status adds to his allure.
‘A guy dressed in a horned hat with tattoos everywhere is unlikely to convince, say, your mum,’ says a Hope Not Hate spokesman
‘But when you get a well-educated, good-looking person advancing the same conspiracy theories, that’s a different matter because they are much more likely to listen to him and believe what he’s saying. It’s what makes someone like Jack Kidd so dangerous.’
An acquaintance of Kidd adds: ‘He’s become quite the celebrity catch in these circles, and keeps getting banned from social media sites only to emerge in wackier and wackier guises.’
Rally: People attend a rally in support of President Donald Trump on Wednesday
Another tells me: ‘At first it was funny, and we all had a good laugh, but now it’s got seriously dark and sinister and we worry about where it will all end.’
To understand what turned this once-glamorous socialite into one of Britain’s ugliest propagandists, we must go back to October 2017, when QAnon began.
It originally took hold via an online message group called 4chan, where users were discussing ‘Pizzagate’, a 2016 scandal which emerged from the publication by Wikileaks of emails from the U.S. Democratic Party that were stolen by Russian hackers.
Far-Right conspiracists who read those emails decided that references to ‘pizza’ and ‘pasta’ were in fact secret paedophilic code for underage girls and boys being abused in a sex-trafficking ring run by Hillary Clinton.
As this odd theory gathered pace, a man armed with a rifle walked into a pizza restaurant in Washington DC and demanded to see the basement, where he believed the victims were being held.
There was no basement there, and the gunman, Edgar Welch, was later arrested.
But that didn’t prevent Pizzagate mutating into an even weirder theory: that a network of politicians and celebrities were torturing and murdering thousands of children to harvest their adrenal glands for compound adrenochrome, which they then used as an elixir of life as well as a recreational drug.
Against this backdrop, an anonymous 4chan user calling himself ‘Q’, who claimed to have high-level U.S. security clearance, began using the message board. His first post, on October 27, claimed that Hillary Clinton was facing arrest for running said paedophile ring.
Rioters clash with police using big ladder to try to enter Capitol building through the front doors. Rioters breached the Capitol building in an attempt to overthrow the results of election
Of course, that was proved untrue. But not before a Right-wing YouTube personality, Tracy Diaz, had shared the message with 250,000 followers, sending it viral.
Over the coming weeks and months, ‘Q’ shared further messages, written in cod-military language and peppered with pro-Trump slogans.
A community dedicated to discussing ‘Q’s’ claims soon sprang up. They christened his messages ‘Q drops’ or ‘breadcrumbs’.
There have since been about 4,800 ‘drops’ and QAnon can lay claim to having grown into possibly the world’s biggest conspiracy theory.
Extremist followers, of which Kidd is one, believe the world is secretly run by a satanic cult composed of paedophiles, cannibals, various ‘progressive’ public figures including a number of Hollywood stars such as actor Tom Hanks, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and chat show queen Oprah Winfrey.
They are supposedly being aided and abetted by governments, the media and big business. The hero of this saga is, meanwhile, Donald Trump. According to ‘Q’, his secret motivation for running for president was to save the world from satanist paedophiles.
QAnon’s wider theology takes in a variety of anti-vaccine, anti-5G mobile technology, and anti-Semitic conspiracies that will lead to an imminent revelation of the truth, or the ‘Great Awakening’, in which Trump and his ‘digital army’ will vanquish the liberal elites and usher in a global utopia.
Jack Kidd buys into it all.
Explosion caused by police munition is seen while Trump supporters gather in front of Capitol
In the days before Christmas, he used Facebook to post endlessly about what he dubbed the imminent ‘Great Awakening of humanity’, posting a link to a statement by ‘Q’ on December 22 and then urging followers to ‘sit back and enjoy the show but always remember that God or Light Wins’.
Kidd continued: ‘Please do not try and make sense of our reality as we are in the final stages of a secret and satanic war against people you did not even know, that controlled your lives. We are about to be set free.’
On the same date, Kidd shared multiple fake news posts about alleged U.S. election fraud, including one claiming that Donald Trump cannot possibly have lost the election because ‘Trump got 74 million votes and there are only 133 million registered voters in the USA.’
In fact, America has a population of 331 million, of which just under 240 million are registered voters.
He also posted a video about the ‘New World Order’, stating: ‘We need to destroy this satanic order that has tortured our reality #greatawakening #whiterabbit #darktolight #QAnon.’
Kidd has previously claimed that his belief in the QAnon conspiracy theory dates back to his professional polo-playing days, when he decided the super-rich were ‘evil and bad people’.
In a video interview with a YouTube personality, Charlie Ward, which has clocked up two million views in various iterations, he claimed he’d therefore carried out ‘research’ into wealthy elites online.
According to ‘Q’, Donald Trump’s motivation for running for president was to save the world from Satanist paedophiles. Trump will vanquish the liberal elites and usher in a global utopia
‘It just blew my mind open with how bad everything was,’ he said. ‘The more I went down the rabbit hole, and the more I realised how terrible it was, and just satanic and evil. It just fried my head.’
He was then recruited to QAnon, so to speak, by a professional bridge player friend called Simon Stocken.
‘He was one of my only friends online that was helping me with this conspiracy world [and] he told me about Q,’ Kidd said.
‘He said that… there’s this military website that’s come on, it’s behind Trump, it’s trying to tell the truth and yeah, what a journey that’s been, getting into Q, understanding what that’s all about…
‘It’s been very confusing at times, very amazing at times, very disheartening at times. It’s been an incredible truth journey and I’m so pleased everyone seems to be waking up.’
During the rambling chat, Kidd variously railed against bankers (‘they don’t worship God, they worship Satan. They sacrifice children’) and described coronavirus as a hoax created by the ‘deep State’ to unseat President Trump.
Kidd further claimed that ultraviolet light can ‘kill the majority of the virus’ and ranted that vaccines were part of a ‘disgusting’ plan to enrich ‘Bill Gates, who is going to hang soon at Guantanamo Bay, and I hope they feed him to the piranhas’.
Mr Ward, who appears to be a family friend (he claimed in their chummy conversation to know Jack’s mother Wendy) nodded sagely throughout.
Which is hardly surprising as the BBC recently named him as one of QAnon’s other key British influencers, boasting 170,000 followers across a variety of social media accounts and 51,000 subscribers to his online videos, which he presents in front of a QAnon logo.
Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington
He and Kidd — who according to Hope Not Hate have both made films about a QAnon activist called Joseph Gregory Hallett — also discussed the imminent ‘great awakening,’ with the former socialite saying, with a straight face, that he believes ‘we are now going into an enlightened period’ under the leadership of Donald Trump who — he further alleged — had arrested Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden and replaced them with lookalikes to stop them ruining his plan.
‘If you look, they’ve got different ears,’ he said. ‘They’ve got different noses. You just have to really study. You can see it as clear as night and day.
‘And that’s such a clever move. They were arrested, the original ones, they were probably sent straight to Guantanamo Bay, but rather than shock the world he put body doubles in their positions.’
To you or I, these sound like the rantings of a complete madman. As are various other QAnon conspiracies Kidd has endorsed via Facebook and Instagram.
During the summer, for example, he circulated an allegation that U.S. furniture retailer Wayfair, whose storage cabinets were all listed with girls’ names, were being sold with young children in them as part of a ‘deep state’ child sex trafficking-ring.
In August, he linked the Beirut explosion to the same trafficking ring, before posting footage from demonstrations in London during which QAnon supporters shouted ‘shame on you’ outside the Disney store on Oxford Street because they seem to believe the firm has inserted hidden messages to paedophiles in its films.
QAnon linked the Beirut explosion last summer (pictured) to a child sex trafficking ring
At about the same time, Kidd linked to a QAnon site claiming that the pop star Katy Perry is a ‘satanist witch’ and posted the surreal claim that Simon Cowell had been arrested for paedophilia in Thailand and that a body double was being used on his TV talent shows.
Amazingly, this kind of nonsense sells: research cited by Hope Not Hate found QAnon conspiracies had generated more than 100 million comments, shares and likes on social media sites last year.
On Facebook, the biggest groups had attracted 44 million comments, shares and likes, seemingly thanks to a rapid growth in popularity during lockdown, leading to fears that the online cult might bring violence to these shores.
That’s why, friends say, Kidd’s nearest and dearest are increasingly concerned about his behaviour.
‘We worry about what he might do next, or what he might encourage others to do next, have tried to have a proper conversation with him about it,’ says a family friend.
‘The problem is, though, that he’s gone all in on this nonsense, and if you try to point out how insane Jack’s being, he just won’t listen to you because it means you are part of the conspiracy.’
Mr Kidd, who did not respond to a request from the Mail for comment, acknowledged in a recent YouTube video that people have attempted to talk him down.
‘People call me insane. People call me crazy, troublemaker, whatever it is.
‘And all I’ve done is that I have this unbelievable calling from deep inside me saying I have to get this message out, I have to help people wake up.’
But as this week’s events surely show, QAnon’s leading British celebrity propagandist is the one who really needs to wake up, fast.