Fact Check: Gematria Codes Used By Conspiracy Theories ALWAYS Result In Matches

Fact Check

  • by: Ed Payne
Fact Check: Gematria Codes Used By Conspiracy Theories ALWAYS Result In Matches Not Predictive

Do gematria codes used by conspiracy theories always result in matches? Yes, that's true: Gematria is a form of numerology in which the letters of the alphabet are substituted with corresponding numbers. A single word or phrase can yield several values depending on which alphanumerical cipher is used. Gematria is popular with conspiracy theorists, looking to find hidden connections or to decode messages.

This Facebook post (archived here) published on December 16, 2021, is an example. It says:

Just sharing some interesting "phrases" which came up in the Gematria codes. These are just a small portion. I could potentially be batshit crazy.....or not. Who knows🤷‍♀️
My fellow Americans
The stage is set
A perfect storm
The Kennedys are here
Great things are being prepared
Vaccines cause Autism
Booms enroute tomorrow
Christ has risen
Financial crash now
The fat lady sings
This is it
The destruction of wind
Jesus returns to earth
144,000 chosen by God
7 trumpets
Judgement is coming
Karma by God
The trumpet of the Lord is about to sound ...

This is what the post looked like on Facebook on December 30, 2021:


(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu Dec 30 15:18:42 2021 UTC)

Similar Facebook posts appear here and here.

Gematria is a form of numerology rooted in the ancient Jewish mystical tradition of Kabbalah. Britannica.com describes it this way:

gematria, the substitution of numbers for letters of the Hebrew alphabet, a favourite method of exegesis used by medieval Kabbalists to derive mystical insights into sacred writings or obtain new interpretations of the texts. Some condemned its use as mere toying with numbers, but others considered it a useful tool, especially when difficult or ambiguous texts otherwise failed to yield satisfactory analysis.

The Yale University Library explains how it works:

Gematria is a Jewish form of numerology in which the letters of the Hebrew alphabet are substituted with corresponding numbers. The first ten letters are given number values that increase consecutively from 1 to 10. The next eight letters are given number values that increase by a factor of ten from 20 to 90. The final four letters are given number values that increase by a factor of one hundred from 100 to 400.

There is also English gematria. While the Hebrew alphabet has 22 letters, the English version has 26 and each is assigned a numeric value, too.

There appears to be no standardized system for English gematria. Lead Stories plugged "Lead Stories" into three different calculators and got back three different values:

Gematria is popular with conspiracy theorists, looking to find hidden connections or to decode messages. This involves comparing words, phrases and passages with others that hold the same value. Most entries will generate many matches and conspiracy theorists, or anyone else for that matter, can pick the ones that fit their beliefs or notions. As mentioned previously, in the Gematrix.org calculator, "Lead Stories" equals 762, but so does a long list of other word combinations. These are just a few of them:

Final word tabble.png

(Source: Gematrix.org screenshot taken on Thu Dec 30 19:32:17 2021 UTC. Highlighted by Lead Stories)

If Lead Stories was looking for extra meaning in its name, it might pick "Buckingham Palace," "Born In Heaven" or "Christian God," because they all hold the same value (762). But we could also choose from "Its My Key" or "Info In Order." "Pizza Hut" and "Jack Parsons" were further down on the list but weren't included in the screenshot. Lead Stories could also decide what these phrases mean to us, too, either singularly or in combination with each other. That gives a lot of wiggle room for interpretation

And there's one more thing. Words can be added to the Gematrix "dictionary," meaning it's possible to create your own narrative if you're creative enough with word and phrase values. Gematrix.org asked Lead Stories if we wanted to contribute:

lead stories.png

(Source: Gematrix.org screenshot taken on Thu Dec 30 21:21:57 2021 UTC)

A prominent example of a QAnon influencer who relies heavily on gematria is Michael Brian Protzman, a Federal Way, Washington, demolition company operator. He runs a popular Telegram social media channel devoted to QAnon and gematria. His hometown newspaper has covered his role in the November 2, 2021 gathering at Dealey Plaza in Dallas, where QAnon followers expected the late John F. Kennedy, Jr. would appear, which is one of the prophecies of QAnon that has not come true.

Gematria Man.jpg

(Source: kirklandreporter.com screenshot taken Mon Jan 3 at 18:09:54 2021 UTC)

The unfounded QAnon conspiracy theory, a continuing series of prophecies that don't come true, claims a secret shadow government is running the United States but that Donald Trump is waging a war, or "the storm," against a cabal of evil Democrats, Hollywood elites and Satanists trafficking children worldwide for sex, killing them and eating them. This is not supported by publicly available evidence and has been debunked by Lead Stories and multiple national news outlets.

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  Ed Payne

Ed Payne is a staff writer at Lead Stories. He is an Emmy Award-winning journalist as part of CNN’s coverage of 9/11. Ed worked at CNN for nearly 24 years with the CNN Radio Network and CNN Digital. Most recently, he was a Digital Senior Producer for Gray Television’s Digital Content Center, the company’s digital news hub for 100+ TV stations. Ed also worked as a writer and editor for WebMD. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, Ed is the author of two children’s book series: “The Daily Rounds of a Hound” and “Vail’s Tales.” 

Read more about or contact Ed Payne

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