A surf school owner admitted to kidnapping and killing his two children after being brainwashed by the far-right QAnon conspiracy theories.
Matthew Taylor Coleman, who owns the Lovewater Surf School in Santa Barbra, California, was detained Tuesday when he attempted to re-enter the United States after the remains of his children were discovered at a ranch in Baja California, Mexico. In a criminal affidavit filed Wednesday in a California district court, Coleman told FBI agents that he believed his “children were going to grow into monsters so he had to kill them.”
Coleman further explained that he was “enlightened” by QAnon and Illuminati conspiracy theories and was receiving “visions and signs” revealing that his wife possessed “serpent DNA” and had passed it onto his children. When asked by FBI agents whether Coleman knew what he did was wrong, he stated that he knew it was wrong but that it was the “only course of action that would save the world.”
The surf instructor used a spearfishing gun to stab his children—aged 1 and 3—to death. He was charged with foreign murder of U.S. nationals and remains in federal custody, according to the New York Times.
Lovewater Surf School’s website features images of Coleman with his wife Abby, as well as their two deceased children. Apart from teaching surfing to children of all ages, Coleman’s school had partnered with nonprofits Hope Refuge and 4 Kids 2 Kids to heal victims of human trafficking using “surf therapy.”
The tragic news caught the California surf community by surprise. A local surfer told The Daily Beast that he once trusted Coleman enough that he “would have handed him my own kids in a second, to take them surfing. I’ve never heard of one parent complain about his program. So…it just doesn’t make any sense.”
QAnon adherents believe in myriad far-right conspiracy theories, including the false belief that a cabal of Satanic pedophiles comprised of global elites, Hollywood actors, and Democratic politicians operate a global child sex-trafficking ring, and that former president Donald Trump was working to bring down the cabal. In the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, which led to the election of Democratic nominee Joe Biden, QAnon adherents began spreading disproven election fraud narratives while also contributing to the spread of COVID-19 disinformation and anti-vaccine conspiracy theories.
The QAnon conspiracy theories have consumed relationships and marriages across the United States, with thousands of people sharing their stories on support groups such as Reddit’s r/QAnonCasualties subreddit. Countless spouses and family members shared stories about their “losing” their loved ones to QAnon. Recently, a student who survived the Parkland shooting in 2018 revealed in the subreddit that QAnon convinced his own father that the tragic shooting was nothing more than a hoax
“Back in January he saw the video of Marjorie Taylor Greene harassing [fellow high school student] David Hogg about the shooting being a false-flag operation, and while my dad was already into Q, he’d never gone down that particular rabbit hole and now he’s convinced everything was a hoax and it breaks my f***ing heart,” the survivor wrote on Reddit.