'Sound of Freedom' movie becomes box office hit thanks to QAnon

'Sound of Freedom' movie becomes box office hit thanks to QAnon
Sound of Freedom trailer

Sound of Freedom debuted in theatres earlier this month and has earned more than $41 million at the box office so far, but the film has found itself at the centre of controversies and conspiracy theories.

The film follows Tim Ballard (Jim Caviezel), a former Department of Homeland Security agents who catches child sex traffickers by staging sting operations. It is based on Ballard’s life who left Homeland Security roughly 10 years ago to found the group Operation Underground Railroad. The group catches child sex traffickers in other countries by working with local police.

Former President Trump previously appointed Ballard to a State Department advisory council on human trafficking in 2019.

However, two and half years before the film’s release an investigation by VICEfound that the organisation has often exaggerated its role in the rescues. Multiple law enforcement agencies that partnered with the group said that the group’s support was “insubstantial”.

But that isn’t the only controversy this group, and the film, has found itself in.

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Sound of Freedom has been accused by many of being linked to QAnon as has Ballard and Caviezel, who portrays him in the film. Critics have accused it of playing into the belief of the movement that global elites run a highly organised child sex trafficking network to harvest their blood.

Ballard had previously supported a debunked theory that the furniture retailer Wayfair was using its platform to sell children. And Caviezel has promoted numerous QAnon theories and ‘Q drops’ which refer to posts that are made by Q on sites such as 4chan, 8chan and 8kun. Caviezel has even been reported to have appeared at QAnon events.

Speaking to Charlie Kirk - founder of the right-wing organisation Turning Point USA - Caviezel supported theories about the chemical compound Adrenochrome. QAnon theorists believe that global elites such as Hilary Clinton torture children and harvest the chemical from them.

"Adrenochrome is a chemical compound that's been around since the 1930s. There is a natural form.. which is caused by torturing kids. I brought this up a few years ago and all of a sudden I was attacked by every media group,” Caviezel said in the interview. “The next day I never heard from my agency for 14 months. My lawyers let me go. My agency never called me after that.”

In an interview with right-wing commentator Jordan Peterson, Ballard also affirmed his belief in the adrenochrome blood harvesting theory saying he had seen it himself when in parts of Africa, but that there is no evidence certain celebrities had done it. Ballard also said that he and his group have “condemned the majority of what they see with conspiracy theories.”

In a review of the film, Rolling Stonecriticised the film for “fetishising the torture of its child victims” and said that it may be used as a gateway for the audience to “far-right conspiracy theories”.

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