QAnon Karen: Who is Melissa Rein Lively?
Melissa Rein Lively is a woman who filmed herself wrecking a display of face masks in Target who has reportedly revealed how she was ‘groomed’ by QAnon, chose the conspiracy theory over her family and is still in therapy following the incident almost a year later.
Lively hit headlines back on July 4 after she tore the face coverings off a display and threw them to the ground while shouting expletives and saying she was wearing a ‘$40,000 Rolex’ in the store in Scottsdale, Arizona.
How old is Melissa Rein Lively?
Melissa Rein Lively is a 35-year-old publicist.
Melissa Rein Lively Footage
The footage, which she streamed live on her Instagram, quickly went viral and earned her the nickname ‘Rolex Karen.’
In a second video, Lively filmed police arriving at her home after her husband alerted the authorities as she told the officers she was a spokesperson for the White House and QAnon and had been on the phone to Donald Trump ‘all the time.’
Melissa Rein Lively Claims To Be Brainwashed by ‘QAnon’
Now, eight months on from the incident, Lively has spoken out to reveal how her actions were the result of being ‘pretty effectively radicalized’ by QAnon which ultimately left her feeling ‘robbed of my life.’
Lively told how she went from being ‘the first person in the grocery store with a mask and gloves on’ in February to going into ‘denial about the pandemic’ and losing trust in everyone including her husband because of ‘digital brainwashing’ by the conspiracy theory.
Melissa Rein Lively Interview
The 35-year-old told Yahoo News, in an interview to coincide with the day – March 11 – the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic, how her indoctrination by QAnon was ‘like hitting rock bottom for alcohol or drugs and that she is still trying to rebuild her life.
Lively said she went from being ‘freaked out’ about the pandemic early on before the extent of the virus became common knowledge across the US to be outraged about being told to wear a mask in just a matter of months after being drawn into videos of the conspiracy theory online.
‘On January 27, I had this terrifying phone call with my brother. He was in China with his wife, who’s Chinese, visiting family for the Chinese New Year,’ she said.
Lively said her brother ‘freaked out’ and headed back to the US fearful the borders would close but life continued to carry on as normal in the US.
‘I went to work the next day, and everything was normal. If I had come into a meeting with clients and been like, “I know we’ve got that big event on March 15, but we’re gonna have to pull the plug on that because there’s a huge pandemic coming,” people would have thought I was crazy,’ she said.
Melissa Rein Lively Conspiracy
Lively said she soon started coming across conspiracies about the pandemic on social media which were disguised as ‘something about prayer or spiritual enlightenment or self-empowerment.’ ‘It started to trickle into my news feed: “Here’s what they’re not telling us about the COVID-19 pandemic.” You click on something about prayer or spiritual enlightenment or self-empowerment,’ she said.
‘And then it would transform into conspiracy theories.’
Melissa Rein Lively ‘QAnon Karen’
Before long, Lively said she found herself in an ‘echo chamber’ where she was in denial about the pandemic and QAnon had emerged as her ‘comfort’.
‘There was QAnon to comfort me and tell me, “Oh, it’s not real. It’s not happening.” It was a digital brainwashing,’ she said.
In just two short months, Lively said she went from being fearful about the pandemic to being ‘pretty effectively radicalized’ by the conspiracy theory.