PHOENIX — Chief of controversial 2020 Arizona Republicans ‘audit’ the presidential polls were revealed on Saturday as the anonymous star of a new film claiming that the election was stolen, raising questions about the credibility of any forthcoming report from the supposed audit.
Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan’s involvement in conspiracy theory movie revealed The Deep platform came to the film’s premiere at a church on the outskirts of Phoenix, as Arizona Republicans gathered to celebrate the count’s end.
The deep platform, which is based on a book by former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne, features an array of discredited election fraud hunters presenting a mishmash of theories claiming Joe Biden stole the election from Donald Trump. But at the same time Deep platformS’s claims may be marginal, its first garnering support from senior Republican officials in Arizona, with GOP State Senator Sonny Borrelli and Representatives Mark Finchem and Walt Blackman in the audience.
As the head of Cyber Ninjas, Logan was in charge of auditing 2.3 million ballots ordered by the Republican-controlled state Senate. For a large part of The Deep platform, Logan’s identity is obscured by blur and a voice modulator, identified only as “Anon” because he argues that the CIA was behind the “misinformation” around the election.
Towards the end of the film, however, Logan’s identity is revealed. The crowd of a few hundred at the premiere at Phoenix’s Dream City Church exploded to applause when Logan was revealed as the “Anon” conspirator.
While the Deep platform the audience was delighted to see Logan in the film, his participation had long been suspected by journalists following the audit. In a trailer for the film released in early June, Logan’s voice was not changed, meaning “Anon” was quickly identified like Logan himself.
Cyber Ninjas’ audit was criticized by both electoral experts and the Justice Department, with observers noting that audit procedures often changed or were absurd. After the premiere, auditor Bob Hughes told the audience that the audit included procedures to find bamboo fibers, which allegedly revealed that the ballots were made in Asia.
With Logan, The deep platform featured amateur election fraud detectives pushing baseless claims. Another segment of the film centered around activist Joe Oltmann, who claimed to have infiltrated a local “antifa” conference call before the election and discovered them talking about a man named “Eric” rigging the election.
In the aftermath of the vote, Oltmann’s claims were accepted by right-wing media as supposed evidence that Dominion Voting Systems employee Eric Coomer stole the election. This false claim turned out to be completely unfounded, however, with right-wing media Newsmax retract his claims against Coomer in May.
The deep platform was directed by Roger R. Richards, whose UFO conspiracy theory film Above majestic aliens were involved in the September 11 attacks. While mainstream journalists often have struggle to report from the stage where the audit was carried out, the images of Deep platform‘s suggests his team had close access to inspections, filming ballots from the count.
Conspiracy theorists were given prominent roles at the film’s premiere. In the lobby, a group of right-wing activists held a booth with brochures claiming that the United States is in fact a bankrupt company run by London, urging attendees to declare their “true” American citizenship.
The event was hosted by Ann Vandersteel, a prominent QAnon booster. References to QAnon also appeared in the film, with Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn wearing bracelets bearing QAnon’s slogan “Where we go one, we all go” during his interview. in the movie.
But not everyone who believed in the electoral fraud plots depicted in the film was universally welcome at the premiere.. A brief speech at the event by conspiracy theorist QAnon Austin Steinbart, who claimed to be Q himself and is known as “Baby Q” to his supporters, sparked minor controversy.
Steinbart, who helped find the church as a premiere location, is slated to appear in an upcoming Richards film on QAnon. Steinbart addressed to the public before the film aired to promote its QAnon-themed dating series, but did not mention QAnon, later telling The Daily Beast that a member of Byrne’s camp asked him not to bring up the conspiracy theory.
Steinbart, who is controversial even among other QAnon believers, has been ridiculed as a potential cult leader or renowned researcher by more prominent QAnon promoters. Steinbart also has a checkered legal history, having been plead guilty to a felony in April. Steinbart’s legal difficulties with federal prosecutors included being the victim of a synthetic penis, in an apparent attempt to evade drug testing for marijuana while on bail.
Steinbart’s speech, in which he was billed as an “AZ Deep Rig field agent,” infuriated leaders of other QAnon factions who watched the event live at $ 45 per person. Commentators from social media groups QAnon claimed that Byrne and his film were discredited by Steinbart’s involvement in the event.
As the premiere progressed, Byrne’s group attempted to distance themselves from Steinbart in a post on social media app Telegram.
“As live events have so many moving parts, we noticed that Austin Steinbart was kind of put into the lineup at the last minute by an unknown party,” the post read. “To be clear, Patrick Byrne, General Flynn, and The America Project have no affiliation with Austin Steinbart, and he certainly has no role in The Deep Rig movie.”
Despite the QAnon noise, The deep platform appeared to be a hit with much of the public, many of whom had their own conspiracy theories to promote. Local Republican activist Sandy Barrett told the Daily Beast her belief in a conspiracy theory, popular among Arizona Republicans, that a chicken coop fire on a farm owned by the family of a local Republican politician opposed to the The audit was in fact an attempt to get rid of pro-Trump polls.
“I think Trump’s votes have increased! said Barett.
The first doubled as a party for the state’s Republican activists who had pushed lawmakers to organize the audit. While any Cyber Ninjas report is likely to be hotly contested, Republicans have seized a report as the first step in reversing Arizona’s 2020 results, or even sort of putting Trump back in the White House.
Shelby Busch, a Tory activist who was one of the audit’s most vocal supporters, urged members of the public to keep a voter fraud diary to share with their descendants.
“Your great-grandchildren are going to talk about this day and they are going to be able to say, ‘My grandma and my grandfather, guess what? “Busch said.” ‘They made history.’ “