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Janet Ossebaard: From Crop Circles to QAnon

The life of Janet Ossebaard, a Dutch conspiracy theorist, ended tragically a few weeks ago. She was known for her controversial and antisemitic "Fall of the Cabal" series

Janet Ossebaard (illustration by CW ; source: screenshots).

Swedish police discovered Janet Ossebaard’s lifeless body on December 22, 2023, in Lund, in southern Sweden. She had been missing for several weeks and her last Telegram letter indicated suicidal thoughts. Despite assertions from her partner Cyntha Koeter and old friends about her struggles with depression and a traumatic childhood, wild rumors quickly circulated. Her death was blamed on the Cabal, and Hillary Clinton in particular, feeding the myth of the Clinton Body Count that Ossebaard also promoted in her documentaries.

Before 2019, Janet Ossebaard, who was born in 1966, garnered recognition primarily as a crop circle expert in the Netherlands. She was born in Bathmen, a small town in a rural province of the Netherlands. She contributed as a board member of the Dutch Centre for Crop Circle Studies, authored several books on the subject, organized trips to southern England to explore crop circles, and briefly operated a small museum in Deventer in recent years. Her belief that crop circles were a form of communication from extraterrestrial intelligent beings earned her a devoted following on the alternative circuit in the Netherlands.

Ossebaard was also a fervent supporter of psychic Robbert van den Broeke, who had been shown to be a fraud several times. But this didn’t prevent Ossebaard from supporting Van den Broeke, who claimed to receive messages from “the other side”. One of the people he claimed to channel was Pim Fortuyn, the right wing populist who was murdered in 2002.

Her breakthrough to national and international fame occurred during the Covid19 crisis. In 2019, she completed her 10-part "Fall of the Cabal" series, initially shown in small venues and sold on DVD. She worked closely with Cyntha Koeter, a former police officer who claimed to be a victim of Satanic Ritual Abuse (a topic that has gained some attention in the Netherlands in the last couple of years). Early in 2020, she released the entire series on YouTube for free viewing and created a smaller accompanying series focused on the global pandemic, linking it to the introduction of 5G technology. The documentary serves as a gateway to the QAnon conspiracy theory. It was translated to 25 languages.

The message in which Koeter announced Ossebaard's demise was also shared by the prominent US right-wing influencer and conspiracy theorist Dom Lucre, also known as Dominick McGee (he has over a million followers on X). Earlier in 2023, he had already used the ability for verified Twitter accounts to post long videos on Elon Musk's network to upload the complete first series of "The Fall of the Cabal" and it is still there.

Source: Dom Lucre/X, 12/26/2023.

In "The Fall of the Cabal," Ossebaard intertwines one conspiracy theory with another in an incoherent fashion. The series exceeds 10 hours, aiming to overwhelm viewers with information, potentially numbing them into accepting her views. Despite the lack of a factual basis for her ideas, Ossebaard gained a substantial online audience, reaching millions of views. Even some traditional media outlets took notice, however Ossebaard did not tolerate dissent and encouraged her large following to harass critical voices. During one media interview, she became visibly angry and walked away when pressed with questions she deemed excessive. Her authoritarian demeanor and resistance to questioning characterized her public persona.

Among multiple conspiracy theory mongering, her videos included blatantly antisemitic content, incorporating established conspiracies like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, blood libel and myths around the Rothschilds, Khazars, George Soros, and others. The narrative seamlessly aligns with QAnon fantasies, targeting not only Jews but also Freemasons, the Rockefellers, Bill Gates, the Clintons, and the Pope. QAnon's central element involves a myth about a global elite or cabal abusing and torturing children to obtain Adrenochrome, a fictional rejuvenating substance. This concept draws inspiration from the 1980s Satanic Panic and ancient blood libel.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube intervened by removing Ossebaard's content spreading false information. After facing restrictions, she shut down her YouTube channel and migrated to the less regulated platform Bitchute, diminishing her reach. Communication with her followers shifted to Telegram.

The documentary led to an incident on 29 April 2020 when New York police arrested the 37-year-old Jessica Prim in Manhattan. Prim declared she wanted to take out Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and Tony Podesta (brother of John Podesta). Prim said she came to her decision by watching “The Fall of the Cabal.” Several knives were found in her car. She had been live-streaming her trip on Facebook.

In August 2020, during a podcast with Dutch rapper and influencer Frans Frederiks (Lange Frans), Ossebaard declared that then-Prime Minister Mark Rutte deserved to be shot, generating press commotion but no police action.

Ossebaard and Koeter adopted a nomadic lifestyle, expressing discontent with what they called the "dictatorship" of the Netherlands. Spending most of their time in Spain, they worked on a sequel to "The Fall of the Cabal," comprising 28 parts and exhibiting even more explicit antisemitism than the original.

After learning of her death, Van den Broeke claimed to have have already been in contact with Ossebaard and seen that she is very happy in the afterlife. According to the psychic medium, she is moving on with many plans and miraculously there appear to be crop circles in that other world too.

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Pepijn van Erp & Peter Zegers
Pepijn van Erp & Peter Zegers
Pepijn van Erp is a mathematician and long-standing board member of the Dutch Skeptics Foundation Skepsis. His main interests are in the field of conspiracy theories and science fraud. Peter Zegers is a bookseller and publicist living in Amsterdam. He publishes articles on conspiracism and related topics on his blog and in various magazines.
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