In the world of QAnon conspiracy theorists, back issues of the long defunct magazine George are hot commodities and vital maps to unlocking a key mystery.
According to one faction of QAnon believers, George‘s founder, John F. Kennedy Jr., faked his 1999 death in a plane crash to somehow team up with Donald Trump to take on a Satanic cabal. Some have even identified Vincent Fusca, a Trump supporter who often wears a T-shirt with a cover of George printed on it at pro-Trump events, as JFK Jr. in disguise.
These QAnon supporters suspect issues of George might lay out JFK Jr.’s plan, if only they could manage to decode them.
Now one QAnon ally is taking George mania even further and has announced plans to bring the magazine back. Gene Ho, a former photographer for Trump’s 2016 campaign and frequent guest at Q conventions, claimed in a video posted online recently that he’s “the new editor of George”
“Hey friends, it’s Gene Ho here, and I need an introduction,” Ho says in the video. “But there’s someone that you know that doesn’t need an introduction — none other than JFK Jr.! Because he was the first editor of George. And here’s the thing, I am the next editor of George. yes, George is coming back”.
On Wednesday, a Times Square billboard announced the magazine’s supposed return with a cover bearing the George logo and a painting portraying Trump as Paul Revere.
But instead of the likes of model Cindy Crawford and actor Rob Lowe, who graced the cover of George during its 1995 to 2001 run, Ho’s reboot looks set to swap the Hollywood stars for QAnon luminaries.
The cover promises a “sit down” with Scott McKay, a tomahawk-toting QAnon leader known as “Patriot Streetfighter.” The issue also features an interview with “The Commander’s Artist,” a right-wing illustrator known on the far-right for portraying Trump allies like lawyer Sidney Powell and former general Michael Flynn as Revolutionary War heroes. On an email sign-up page, potential George subscribers are asked whether they’re interested in coverage of topics like “Spirituality” and “MAGA / Patriotism.”
It’s not clear whether Ho, who didn’t respond to a request for comment, has any legal right to use the George name or logo. Last September, a Florida company called Retrobrands USA applied for what appears to be the only existing magazine-related “George” trademark, according to a search of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The company, which also didn’t respond to a request for comment, describes its mission on its website as reviving “abandoned consumer iconic brands.”
Whatever remains of the original George‘s assets appear to rest with the Hearst media conglomerate, which purchased George‘s parent company in 2011, 10 years after the magazine ceased publication. Hearst didn’t respond to an email about whether it has any interest in the brand.
the supposed George relaunch is just the latest career reinvention for Ho, who ran an unsuccessful bid last year to become mayor of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Ahead of the election, Ho scrubbed QAnon-related merchandise from his website, including a “Trump/Kennedy 2020” shirt that alluded to the QAnon idea that JFK Jr. would replace Mike Pence on Trump’s reelection ticket.
Despite typing himself to the George brand, Ho is vague about whether he himself believes JFK Jr. is still alive.
“Anything to do with JFK Jr. is a resounding 100 percent ‘no comment,’” Ho said in a May appearance on a right-wing internet show.
JFK Jr.’s unusual position in the QAnon mythos has disturbed his loved ones. After a faction of QAnon believers paraded through Dallas last year, convinced that JFK Jr. would come back to life, one of his friends described the adoration to Town & Country as “terrifying.”