Fact check: Sculpture is evidence of antisemitic ‘blood libel,’ not false QAnon theory – USA TODAY

Posted By on February 3, 2022

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Some on social media claim a centuries-old sculpture is further evidence of a debunkedmodern-day conspiracy theory.

"Nothing has changed," reads text on anAug. 29, 2021, Facebook post, overlaid on the image of a sculpture depicting a child being stabbed by a group of men."Adrenochrome: A habbit (sic) set in stone."

Numerous duplicates of the claimexist online, one of whichreceived more than 300 likes and almost 200shares before being deleted after USA TODAY reached out for comment.

But the claim is based on false premises. The artwork shows Simon of Trent, whose death was falsely blamed on the town's Jewish population.It's an example of long-running "blood libel" against Jews. The QAnonclaim that Hollywood and political elites harvest adrenochrome from children's bloodis baseless.

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USA TODAY reached out to Facebook pages that shared theclaim for comment.

Adrenochrome is a chemical produced by the oxidation of adrenaline,according toa descriptionfrom PubChem, a database of chemical molecules maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Manyadherents to the false QAnon conspiracy theory that claims there is a satanic cabal of powerful people in government, media and Hollywood that participate in an international child sex trafficking ring say the elite harvest adrenochrome from the blood of children to take as a psychedelic or life-extendingdrug.

The baseless claim has been debunked by USA TODAY and other outlets numerous times.

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While the sculpture shown in the post doeshave a similarbackground, its premises are equally false.

The sculpture is a plaque in Italy that depicts the alleged ritual murder of Simon of Trent, or Simonino diTrento, a 2-year-old Italian boy.

After disappearing in March 1475, Simon's body was found drowned in a river, according to Harvard's Center for the History of Medicine at Countway Library. The town laid blame on a group of Jewish residents, with no evidenceexcept a prediction that a Christian child would be killed during Passover, made months priorduring an inflammatory sermon decrying the town's Jewish population.

Jewish residents in Trent were accused of a ritual killing,then jailed and tortured into giving false confessions beforeultimatelybeing executed, according to the British Museum.

A century later, Simon was canonized by the Catholic Church and deemed a martyr. But Pope Paul VI annulled Simon's status as a saint in 1965, decreeing that the Jewish residents in the town had nothing to do with his death and the whole episode was a fraud, according to Harvard's records and theBritish Museum.

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The story is an example of "blood libel," false claims that Jews murder Christian children and use their blood to make matzah, according to the Anti-Defamation League.The claimsdate back to at least 1144, when the murder of an English boy namedWilliam of Norwich was blamed on Jews by a local monk.

Nazis used blood libel in their propaganda against Jewish people, according to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

While falseQAnonclaims thatthe elite harvest adrenochrome from children don't singularly revolve around Jewish people, prominent Jewish figures like George Soros and the Rothschild familyare often targets.

Based on our research, we rate FALSEthe claim that a historical sculpture shows adrenochrome being harvested from a child.The artwork shows a young Simon of Trent, whose death was falsely deemeda ritual killing at the hands of the town's Jewish population.It's an example of long-lasting "blood libel" against Jews. The QAnonclaim that the elite harvest adrenochrome from children's bloodis baseless.

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Fact check: Sculpture is evidence of antisemitic 'blood libel,' not false QAnon theory - USA TODAY

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