Former San Juan Capistrano city councilwoman Pam Patterson wasted no time in showing herself to be no stranger to controversy during a single, four-year term. In Sept. 2015, she gave an invocation at the start of a council meeting that urged residents to watch online videos of tendentious right-wing Messianic Jewish rabbi Jonathan Cahn while railing against abortion. This year, Patterson championed a myth-ridden resolution against California’s “Sanctuary State” law that earned her a White House visit with President Donald Trump.
After losing reelection, Patterson saved her strangest bit for last when invoking the pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theory during her farewell speech at Monday’s council meeting.
For those not following all the bat shit loco online, QAnon goes something like this: Last October, an anonymous user on 4Chan named “Q” claimed to have top security clearance in the government and seeded the conspiracy that special counsel Robert Mueller and Trump are actually secretly working in tandem. You see, the Russia probe is a mere ruse for the real swamp draining work happening behind the scenes against corrupt politicians and Hollywood pedophiles.
By summer, QAnon signs started appearing at Trump rallies and high-profile personas like fired TV star Roseanne Barr promoted the conspiracy theory in tweets. And then Q came to San Juan Capistrano.
Patterson’s speech started normal enough. She recalled residents she honored during her appointed tenure as mayor including Roy Byrnes who served on council in the 1970’s before returning for a final council term in 2012. But then, Patterson abruptly invoked the mysterious Q after all the reminiscing and recited an abridged version of Q’s recent November dropping #2436:
For far too long we have been silent and allowed our bands of strength, that we once formed to defend FREEDOM and LIBERTY, to deteriorate. We became divided. We became weak. We elected TRAITORS to govern us. We allowed EVIL to prey on us. Those who claimed to represent us gave us false hope, made false promises. The evil and corruption only grew. WE MUST RISE AGAIN. WE MUST UNITE AGAIN. WE MUST FIGHT AGAIN. FOR GOD & COUNTRY.
Given the communiqué’s caps lock crescendo, Patterson surprisingly delivered the Q quote with all the stirring of a snore, even when sounding the QAnon slogan “Where we go one, we go all.” But it shouldn’t have come as a surprise. The Weekly outed Patterson as a QAnon-lover when spotted at the lobby of the Orange County Registrar of Voters last month. That’s where she took the opportunity to show two young Republicans a Q conspiracy theory explanation video while bragging about meeting Trump.
At council, Patterson tried to bring the Q-flavored message home. “Corruption starts at the local level and we, the patriot residents of San Juan Capistrano, must rise again,” she said. “I am sounding the call for the patriot residents to come together and protect our community. God bless America. God bless Q and God bless San Juan Capistrano.”
Perhaps not knowing what the hell just happened, the audience gave Patterson’s send-off a polite applause. But San Juan Capistrano city council got a little less loco after the speech when new council members arrived to take their oath of office.