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Like any number of other conspiracy theories, one of the central pillars of QAnon belief is that there is a shadowy organization that secretly rules the world. As QAnon is often a radicalization of theories that came before, it is not enough for the decision-makers to simply be the mega-wealthy: QAnon heightens the peril by teaching that they are also Satanists. The reason for their continued quest for domination of the earth is not the accumulation of money or power, but in service of their master Lucifer (or Baal, or Moloch, depending on which Anon you ask, as they are all interchangeable within QAnon belief). To this end, the Cabal traffics children to use into their sexual orgies and cannibalistic rituals, for the ultimate purpose of extracting adrenochrome from their terrified bodies, a chemical that QAnon believes gives the user a high as potent as heroin but also extends life itself.


But how did they get here? As a syncretic belief system, QAnon’s theories about adrenochrome come from multiple sources, where believers take bits and pieces of science fiction, science fact, and religious traditions and blend them together to construct a mythos that (to them) seems grounded.

 しかし、彼らはどのようにしてここにたどり着いたのか?QAnonの副腎皮質に関する理論は、複数の情報源から構成されており、信奉者はSF、科学的事実、宗教的伝統の断片を組み合わせて、 (彼らにとって) 根拠があるように思える神話を作り上げている。

Some quick facts about adrenochrome


Adrenochrome is a real chemical. It is oxidized adrenaline (or epinephrine), and can be found naturally in the body whenever it processes adrenaline. It can also be synthesized in a lab and is readily available for purchase.


Adrenaline is produced by the adrenal glands that are found atop the kidneys. More specifically, adrenaline is produced by the inner adrenal glands, or the adrenal medulla. Adrenaline is released into the bloodstream during moments of fright or stress (the so-called “fight or flight reflex”) and will increase your heart rate, breathing, and cause vasoconstriction, sending more blood to the major muscle groups. Adrenaline also allows the body to break down more complex sugars to fuel a rush of energy.


Importantly, the pineal gland does not produce adrenaline. The pineal gland produces melatonin, which helps regulate the sleep cycle.


An origin in science


Adrenochrome was studied during the 1950s as being a possible cause of schizophrenia. Because adrenaline and mescaline have similar molecular structures, and because schizophrenics experienced heightened delusions while under stress, scientists in 1952 published a paper theorizing that adrenaline itself might have psychotomimetic qualities, and that oxidized adrenaline (that is, adrenochrome) might have even stronger effects. They theorized that as adrenochrome was a chemical that naturally occurred in the body, a buildup of adrenochrome might be the true cause of schizophrenic delusions. Even more papers followed between 1954 and 1957, examining its impact on epileptics and schizophrenics, often tested alongside known euphorics and hallucinogens like mescaline and LSD.


Osmond, H. and Smythies, J. (1952) “Schizophrenia: a New Approach
Osmond, H. and Smythies, J. (1952)「統合失調症:新しいアプローチ」


Hoffer, A, Osmond, H. and Smythies, J. (1954) “Schizophrenia: a New Approach II, Result of a Year’s Research
Hoffer, A, Osmond, H. and Smythies, J. (1954) 「統合失調症:新しいアプローチII、1年間の研究の結果」


Szatmari, A, Hoffer, A, and Schneider, R (1955) “The Effect of Adrenochrome and Niacin on the Electroencephalogram of Epileptics
Szatmari, A, Hoffer, A, and Schneider, R (1955) 「てんかんの脳波に対するアドレノクロムとナイアシンの影響」


Ment, J (1955) “Adrenochrome as the Cause of Schizophrenia: Investigation of Some Deductions from this Hypothesis
Ment, J (1955) 「統合失調症の原因としてのアドレノクロム:この仮説からのいくつかの推論の調査」


Schwartz, B, Sem-Jacobsen, C, and Petersen, M (1956) “Effects of Mescaline, LSD-25, and Adrenochrome on Depth Electrograms in Man
Schwartz, B, Sem-Jacobsen, C, and Petersen, M (1956) 「人間の深度電位図に対するメスカリン、LSD-25、アドレノクロムの影響」

Because adrenochrome did not produce the results that were predicted, and the results that were recorded were not comparable to that of mescaline or LSD, that specific line of adrenochrome research did not survive into modern scholarship, dying out almost entirely by 1975. But by then, the notion that adrenochrome was a hallucinogen as potent as mescaline was already firmly planted in pop culture.


The jump from science to science fiction


The emergence of adrenochrome’s supposed effects into popular culture began in 1954, when Aldous Huxley first heard about the 1952 paper examining adrenochrome and its “close biochemical relationship between adrenaline and mescaline.” Huxley was already experimenting with mescaline use, and though he never tried adrenochrome, he included a mention of the substance as a powerful hallucinogen and euphoric in The Doors of Perception.



知覚の扉 (平凡社ライブラリー)

The purported similarities between mescaline and adrenochrome were reinforced with the 1962 publication of A Clockwork Orange, when Alex and his droogs visit the Korova Milk Bar, with two of the listed drug-laced options being drencrom and synthemesc.



時計じかけのオレンジ (字幕版)

Perhaps the most impactful use of adrenochrome in fiction was Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, written in 1971 by Hunter S Thompson. Not only did Thompson’s novel introduce the idea that adrenochrome had to be extracted from a living body to retain its hallucinogenic properties, but the 1998 film adaptation repeated the myth for a modern audience.

 アドレノクロムが小説の中で最も衝撃的に使われたのは、1971年にハンター・S・トンプソンが書いた「Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas(邦題:ラスベガスをやっつけろ)」だろう。トンプソンの小説は、アドレノクロムの幻覚作用を維持するためには生体から抽出しなければならないという考えを導入しただけでなく、1998年に映画化された際には、この神話を現代の観客に向けて繰り返し伝えた。


ラスベガスをやっつけろ (字幕版)

The conspiratorial history of adrenochrome


The cultural origin of adrenochrome conspiracy theories is largely twofold.


First, it is a modern retelling of the medieval antisemitic conspiracy theory of blood libel, a belief dating back to the 1100s in England that secret conclaves of Jews abduct and ritually murder Christian children to use their blood for making maztos or to work magic to ensure they would again inherit the Holy Land.



Second, it is an evolution of the common cultural myth of the vampire, a secret aristocracy composed of monsters who rely on drinking the blood of common people (or sometimes more specifically the innocent) to perpetuate their immortality.


These two longstanding myths were largely background elements of the Satanic Panic in the 1980s, when many Americans believed that devil-worshiping cults were operating across the United States and that they were kidnapping and abusing children nationwide. While “blood rituals” involving children were common tropes during the Panic, the children were usually cast as unwilling participants in the rituals, and not the ones being sacrificed. The goal of immortality and the mention of adrenochrome was absent entirely.



During the late 1990s and into the 2000s, the theories of the Satanic Panic saw the incorporation of partisan politics, when longstanding hatred for Hillary Clinton was injected into the mythos and she became a full Satanic priestess. As more and more conspiracy believers gained access to the internet, their theories started to blend together even further, becoming as unfocused as the annual tradition of finding occult meaning in the Superbowl Halftime Show.




By the time Pizzagate reared its head in 2016, the Cabal had already grown to include the near-totality of the Democratic Party and anyone who supported them, which draws in most celebrities and of course the investor and philanthropist George Soros. Pizzagate itself did not introduce much new content to the existing theories, but instead tied all the preexisting elements together with the idea that the Podesta emails leaked by WikiLeaks showed the outlines of the child-murdering sex Cabal operating out of the basement of Comet Pizza.



QAnon’s beliefs about adrenochrome are slightly unusual in that Q has never actually said “adrenochrome” in a Drop (though there is the infamous and now-deleted “walnut sauce” Drop made on August 1st 2018). It arrived in QAnon as a fully-formed belief from Pizzagate, and continues to be spread by Q promoters and followers to this day. In this way, the adrenochrome theory bears a similarity to the JFK Jr theory.


Can the adrenochrome harvesting theory possibly be true?


Simply put, no. Not only is there no scientific basis to support the supposed effects of adrenochrome, the theory itself does not stand up to biology, mathematics and economics.


Basal levels of adrenaline in humans is ~65 pg/ml. In acute stress, levels can raise by as much as 20 times, 1300 pg/ml (or .0013 mg/L). With ~5 liters of blood in an adult, that's .0065 mg circulating in the body. In a child’s body, with only ~2.5 liters of blood, the amount of adrenaline is only .00325 mg.



For reference, a medical dose of epinephrine in an epi-pen is about 50 times the amount a human body produces under acute stress, .3 mg for adults and .15 mg for children.



I probably don’t need to belabor the point, but .15 mg is a tiny amount of a substance. I couldn't even find an image of how little that is to show as an illustration.


One might imagine that adrenochrome must be very valuable if you only get .00325 mg from the ritual sacrifice of a human child. But one would be imagining incorrectly: adrenochrome is available from medical supply houses, and a bottle containing 25 mg costs between $40-$60. That 25 mg bottle represents 7700 child sacrifices' worth of the chemical.



And this is where the whole adrenochrome conspiracy starts to break down.


First, the cabal would spend more on a tank of gas to transport a single victim to the ritual site than just buying a bottle of the stuff. It's a colossal waste of money.


Second, if a dose is ~.3 mg (and it can't be much more, a 2nd dose from an epi-pen is only advised for acute anaphylaxis, and a 3rd dose will likely kill you by cardiac arrest), then the cabal needs to sacrifice 92 kids per ritual per member of the cabal. If a coven has 10 members, they'll need to round up 1000 kids for their ritual sacrifice. Alternatively, they could buy one $60 bottle and still have enough left over for seven more rituals.



Third, according to the theory, adrenochrome is supposedly highly addictive and its effects sadly temporary. Every time Hillary Clinton has a bad hair day, some Anons will say it's because the effects of adrenochrome are wearing off. According to the believers in the theory, addicts need doses every month, or even every week. If so, that's five thousand kids per year per member of the Cabal.


Finally, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children keeps track of an average of 450,000 reports of missing children per year. Putting aside for a moment that the NCMEC list does not account for multiple reports filed about the same child, and does not remove a report from their list if the child returns or is recovered, let’s treat the NCMEC list as though it represented a total number of kids gone missing in a year in America.

 最後に、National Center for Missing and Exploited Childrenは、年間平均450,000件の行方不明児童の報告を記録しています。NCMECのリストでは、同じ子供について複数の報告がなされていることは考慮されておらず、子供が戻ってきたり保護されたりしてもリストから削除されないことは一旦置いておいて、NCMECのリストを、アメリカで1年間に行方不明になった子供の総数を表すかのように扱ってみましょう。


Using the NCMEC’s own numbers, 92% of the 450,000 reports are teenaged runaways. According to the adrenochrome harvesting theory, the cabal does not use teenagers for their ritual, because they are too old. Another 3% of those 450,000 are missing young adults, aged 18-20. Once those two groups are eliminated, only 5% of those 450,000 reports are actual abductions of children. That's 22,000 kids per year.


The Cabal must therefore only be four and a half people.



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