A high-flying PR executive who claims she was ‘groomed’ by QAnon says her ‘entire world view collapsed’ after stumbling across the online conspiracy theory group on yoga and wellness pages. 

Melissa Rein Lively, 35-year-old from Arizona, made headlines last year when she destroyed a display of masks and then told police she was a spokesperson for the White House, QAnon, and other organizations.

She had been indoctrinated into QAnon – a conspiracy movement who believe Donald Trump was waging war against a cabal of Satanic, cannibalistic pedophiles who make up a ‘deep state’, pulling the strings of governments around the world.  

Melissa was locked in a cell and found the content of the group while she was browsing’spirituality. wellness.health and yoga groups’ on Instagram. She quickly fell into a dangerous rabbithole. 

She spoke on Finding Q, a podcast about the shadowy figure behind the movement hosted by Nicky Woolf. She said she was suicidal after joining the group, and that the experience took 20 years off her life.

‘It’s easy to look at these people in the face and think “These people are stupid”, but I can tell you that this is one of the most well-produced, well-written things that was very plausible. I also realize there is a lot of conspiracy theories. 

Melissa Rein Lively, 35, from Arizona (pictured) claims she was 'groomed' by QAnon after stumbling across the online conspiracy theory group on yoga and wellness pages

Melissa Rein Lively, 35, from Arizona (pictured) claims she was ‘groomed’ by QAnon after stumbling across the online conspiracy theory group on yoga and wellness pages

She said, “I call it a religion in every way,” It destroyed me completely, collared my world view and landed it in a mental evaluation facility. 

“I was a successful person in my past, but I didn’t think I would find myself in this situation. It was rock bottom.”

Melissa first heard about Covid-19 when her brother called from China in January. He panicked and warned her that a new virus was rapidly spreading around the country. 

Melissa was a self-confessed germophobe and was terrified. She took her brother’s advice to bulk-buy masks and gloves. However, Melissa later changed her mind after joining the conspiracy group. 

Isolated during lockdown, Melissa first came across the group's content while browsing 'spirituality, wellness, health and yoga groups' on social media

Melissa found the content of the group while locked down. She first discovered it when she was browsing’spirituality and wellness, health, and yoga groups’ on Facebook.

Melissa confessed that she was ‘lonely’ during lockdown and was spending a lot time online. Soon, she found seemingly innocuous posts on conspiracy pages related to her interests from the conspiracy movement.

She explained that the rabbit hole is a term used to describe a system that begins at the top of the pyramid with innocuous information. As you click and click, the algorithm does its thing. 

“Over time, it becomes more extreme and the confirmation bias that you’re experiencing changes your thinking and prepares you for a different set of beliefs than you had previously. 

‘If only I could have seen Hilary from the bat. [Clinton]I would have been like, “Okay no”, if I were a baby-eating paedophile. 

She claims that the link between conspiracy theories and users is one way they are indoctrinated. It tells browsers that if one believes one, the other should also. 

She said, “It’s amazing and mind-blowing how effectively QAnon managed to create an umbrella about all conspiracy theories imaginable.” That’s how the thinking is transformed and groomed.

‘If I view the venn diagram like a puzzle, there is an area in the middle that all these interests and beliefs meet. QAnon was a way that people were attracted to it. I discovered that the entry point for QAnon’s “vaccines, are dangerous” was one of the ways they were attracted to it. 

Melissa began to believe everything she was seeing on her feed, as she was being fed content from the group. 

“You stop looking at things through a critical lens, “is that true?” Particularly in times of crisis. You begin to see everything from the perspective of “What other lies are they telling about ?”.’?” 

Internet users who are browsing QAnon content are often shown posts asking them whether they want to ‘take the red pill’ – a reference to the 1999 film The Matrix, taking the red pill means being willing to learn a potentially unsettling or life-changing truth. 

“We don’t want this anymore”: Melissa was hospitalized after a commotion.  

The video was uploaded to Melissa Rein Lively’s Instagram account. She ran a Scottsdale, Arizona public relations firm. It was retweeted on Twitter on June 4, 2020. 

‘Finally, the end of the road. I’ve been looking forward to this s*** all my f***ing life,’ she said as she films a rack selling various face masks inside a Target store.

Then, she proceeds to aggressively rip off the masks and throw them on the floor.

‘This s***’s over, this s***’s over, this s****’s over. Woo! I don’t need this s***. We don’t want any of this anymore, this s***’s over,’ she’s heard saying as she spreads the masks across the ground.

Two Target employees then approach her as she makes her mess and say,’ Ma’am can you please stop’.

“Why?” You let everyone else do it. Why? I can’t do it cause I’m a blonde, white woman? Wearing a f***ing $40,000 Rolex? I don’t have the right to f*** s*** up?’ She sighs. 

Another video, which was filmed on Instagram Live and posted on the profile of The Brand Consortium (the marketing brand Lively is CEO of), shows her being taken into custody at her home after the Target incident.

In the clip Lively claims she’s a spokesperson for QAnon and the White House.

‘I was hired to be the QAnon spokesperson,’ she said in the clip adding police can ‘call Donald Trump and ask him’ claiming she can’t share any ‘classified information’.


She said that she doesn’t recall the exact moment she took the red pill. “I saw those graphics, which were screengrabs from the movie, and I thought, “Of course, I’m going to get the red pill because it’s the truth.”  

Melissa fell in love with the group’s core beliefs after taking the “red pill”.  

‘I believed there was a mechanism that that shadow government could perform a genocide upon the global population through implementing a health crisis, which would be a man-made bioweapon like Covid-19. 

“I believed there was an enormous pedophilia ring that politicians, business elite, and others participated in with human trafficking. 

Her perception of Covid changed as well, with the PR executive admitting that she was lured in by the “completely alternate view” of the pandemic. She claimed that the crisis was a political hoax.  

As Melissa’s relationship with her husband worsened, so did her health, and by July 4th she was living at a hotel, was experiencing panic attacks and was spending as many as 20 hours a day online. 

She stated that she was alone in a hotel room. ‘Without my family, without my dogs, without my husband, I just felt so much rage and anger towards everything that had happened,  everything in my life piled up on that day, watching my life in shambles.’ 

Melissa uploaded an Instagram video on that day in which she was seen throwing masks on the ground and shouting at two Scottsdale Target employees while bragging about her $40,000 Rolex. 

Lively filmed another video of police arriving at her house after her husband alerted authorities. She told officers that she was a spokesperson for QAnon as well as the White House, and that she had been talking to Donald Trump ‘all day’. 

When she was asked about her memories of the incident, she replied: “It was a complete blurred out.” It was far beyond my character to do and say the things I was doing. 

“It was absolutely hard and I needed help. I couldn’t do it on my own.”

She says ‘breaking point’ came when her husband sat her down and gave her an  ultimatum – forcing her to choose between the conspiracy group and her family. 

She stated, “At that moment I felt I had stepped into a mission and if it was ending and they were going to take us all out to concentration camps then then I was going fight tooth and nail for people to be saved, especially children.” 

“No,” I said to my husband. I will definitely choose my mission, because I know what it is that I must do. I’m sure judgment day is any minute now.  

After her husband staged an intervention, Melissa was admitted to hospital where she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and spent weeks in therapy. 

Now, eight months on from the incident, Lively (above) has spoken out to reveal how her actions were the result of being 'pretty effectively radicalized' by QAnon which ultimately left her 'robbed of my life'

Eight months after the incident, Lively (above), has spoken out to explain how her actions were caused by being ‘pretty effectively radicized’ by QAnon, which ultimately left her a ‘robbed’ of her life.

Melissa states that she wants to know who or what the group behind the cryptic messages sent by a character called Q in October 2017 on anonymous user site 4chan. 

She stated that she believed the entire story, that it was someone with Q-level clearance close to the president of government with access to classified information.

She said, “I am certain that this has probably taken 20 year of my life.” The amount of stress, humiliation, and financial cost of this experience, as well as the mental and physical toll it had on me personally, led me to consider suicide at one point.