Loads of UoB societies are getting a weird anti-Semitic conspiracy email and none of them know why
One group described it as ‘entirely bizarre’
Numerous University of Birmingham societies have been getting a strange email, recounting a wild and offensive anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.
The email was sent at approximately 1pm Monday, and was received by a vast array of societies, including Valefest, who say they're "shocked and disgusted" to receive it.
The Birmingham Tab has confirmed the societies receiving the email include VegSoc, UoB Liberal Democrats, Vinyl Soc, Gin Society, MMA, Pole Fitness, BEDSOC, DLC, Disney Soc, Valefest, STAR, BUDS, Tea Soc and BadFilm Soc, and Robyn Macpherson, the current AEO.
Sent from what The Birmingham Tab has identified as a Swiss anonymous, no cost email address unable to receive email, the message details incredible anti-Semitic conspiracy theories involving Hillary Clinton, Angela Merkel, and Hungarian billionaire George Soros.
It also includes pizza-themed homo-eroticism and satanism.
The email makes preposterous claims, suggesting Soros, a target of a deluge of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, is part of the so-called "Pizza-Gate" conspiracy – a theory that originated amongst far-right fringe groups and Trump supporters in late 2016.
The Pizza-Gate theory suggests that a paedophilia ring is operating out of a Washington pizza restaurant, with senior members of the American Democratic Party, in addition to Soros himself, complicit.
Although this is batshit, the email seems adamant that "the new German Foreign Minister is a puppet of the Jewish billionaire George Soros", that "Hillary Clinton supports child traffickers", and that "George Soros and his friends want to […] enslave the European population".
It also further crazily suggests "that George Soros himself along with other celebrities would torture and murder children at [sic] several occasions".
The subject of the conspiracy theory, George Soros, is a Hungarian-American investor and philanthropist, with a net worth of over $7 billion. He has been at the centre of a diverse range of conspiracy theories, and is widely vilified by the far right, with an unsuccessful assassination attempt in October 2018.
Although the variety of conspiracy theories (including those detailed in the emails) have been proven false, and inherently anti-Semitic, this incident is further testament to the enduring tenacity of the extremist accusations.
The email includes a selection of bizarre and graphic images, seemingly used as proof of the claims; many allude to paedophilia, human sacrifice, satanism, in addition to pizza-themed homo-eroticism.
This incident follows another conspiracy email sent to multiple societies, on Sunday 10th March.
Although sent from a different address, it is riddled with similarly anti-Semitic tropes, detailing the "Criminal habits of German Social Democrats", and further wildly condemns Soros and other Jewish individuals of conspiring to "create a totalitarian European central state", conspiring to commit genocide, and of being "brutal sex offenders".
It also further accuses "the Clintons and members of the English royal family and Prince Andrew" as being guests on a "sex slave island", accusations with no grounding in fact.
A 24 page, German letter, addressed to the "Federal Minister of Justice", was also attached to the email. The document accuses Angela Merkel, and various other German officials, of "constitutional treason, murder and other offenses", and accuses them of profound "sexual misconduct".
Both the document and the emails were signed "Sonja Walter". The Birmingham Tab have discovered that someone by Walter's name has been linked to mass, vitriolic, political emails, dating back to 2015. However, this is seemingly the first time she has targeted British individuals and institutions.
It seems likely that this incident is the latest in a long legacy of spam emails, particularly as the messaged were both sent via "mail.ch" – a Swiss, "no cost, highly anonymous" email service. The Birmingham Tab attempted to reach out to the initial sender, but got an error message in reply.
It is currently unclear as to how this conspiracy theory relates to the University of Birmingham Student Groups, and how 'Sonja Walters' came to target the University of Birmingham societies.
Jo Henderson, Chair of Valefest, told The Birmingham Tab: "We were shocked and disgusted to receive this email, and hope that the Guild are doing all they can to find out why society emails were targeted."
Robyn Macpherson released a statement to the Guild of Students Society Committee Members Facebook group today, apologising "for the hurt that this has caused". She reiterated that "the Guild does not tolerate any anti-semitic behaviour, as per our Zero-tolerance and Antisemitism policy". The incident has also been 'reported to IT services, to see if there is anything that can be done to prevent this in the future'.
The incident has been reported to the Guild by multiple societies.