When Michael Protzman, the leader of the QAnon cult that believes former President John F. Kennedy and his son JFK Jr. are still alive, died in June, people hoped the end was near for the group. The family members of those who joined the cult hoped it would disband so that their loved ones would finally return home.
But instead, a new leader has seemingly emerged: a 13-year-old girl known to her followers only as “Tiny Teflon,” the name of the Telegram channel she uses to communicate with her followers. According to multiple live chats on Telegram reviewed by VICE News, Protzman appears to have groomed the girl as his protege, hosting her on his live chats on Telegram, where he had tens of thousands of followers.
Many of Protzman’s followers have permanently broken family relationships, emptied their bank accounts, and destroyed their lives to follow his wild conspiracy theories. And now it seems they are ready to do the same for a child, whose real identity is not known.
Tiny Teflon has created her own channel, conducted live streams with followers, and most worrying of all, has announced her plan to indoctrinate more children into the cult by teaching them how to decode real word events using the movement’s bastardized form of Jewish numerology, gematria.
“I definitely think I’m gonna have more kids involved in this,” Tiny said during a live chat on her channel on August 6. “Maybe they could share more code, because I don’t want to be talking the entire time when I do this show in the future. So I’ll definitely think of having kids share codes and teach what they know too.”
“It’s worrying to see this young girl be put on a pedestal by a bunch of adults after the passing of Protzman,” an open-source researcher who uses the nickname “Karma” to avoid being targeted by the members of Protzman’s cult, which she has tracked closely since its inception, told VICE News.
When alive, Protzman used gematria to convince his followers that he could see into the future and communicate with everyone from former president Donald Trump to JFK Jr. Before becoming a cult leader, Protzman was a demolition expert in Washington state. He first gained attention in November 2021 when he convinced his followers that JFK and JFK Jr. were going to reappear in Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas. Around a thousand people traveled from across the country to Dallas only to be disappointed by the Kennedys’ failure to appear.
Despite this, many of Protzman’s dedicated followers remained loyal, and followed him across the country for the next 18 months. Many of them destroyed their families and finances in the process. Protzman continued to claim JFK Jr. was alive and continually changed his predictions, at one point claiming Trump was just JFK Jr. in disguise, and finally, shortly before his death, claiming he was in fact the reincarnated JFK Jr.
Protzman died on June 30 in a Rochester hospital as a result of “multiple blunt force injuries” after he “lost control of his dirt bike” according to a report from the Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s Office, which was obtained by VICE News.
While Protzman was the leader of the group, he introduced Tiny Teflon in March 2022 by featuring her on a live chat in his Telegram channels. During the chat, and in subsequent appearances, the pair would use gematria to make links between everything from the 2011 movie The Smurfs and the timing of Trump’s appearance in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York to conclude that Q’s predictions about the mass execution of the child-trafficking cabal is about to come true. It’s not known if there was any familial connection between Protzman or Tiny Teflon, or how they knew each other.
As a sign of her growing position within the group, Tiny Teflon was made an administrator of Protzman’s main Telegram channel, though she posted very little over the last 6 months. However, since his death, the teenager has re-emerged as a leading voice in the group.
In late July, she showed up at a Trump rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, where she was photographed with multiple members of the JFK group.
Then she began to post again in the Negative 48 channel. As well as posting her “decodes,” on August 1 she shared a link to her new channel called ABC 123. The channel’s description says it will contain “Tiny Teflon’s Decodes, Research and Much More!” and in all caps, adds: “CHANNEL MONITORED BY ADULT.”
The description doesn’t mention who the adult is, but it is likely her mother, a Protzman devotee who has an account on Telegram as “Teflon Don.” Using this account she has promoted her daughter’s work as well as celebrating her birthday with a message posted in the main Negative 48 channel last year.
During one live chat, Tiny Teflon went into more detail about how she would use her position to recruit more children into the cult.
“I definitely want help out with kids and teaching gematria, it’d be so much fun,” she said. She added that she plans to create a beginners’ guide for children on how to use gematria to decode real world events.
At the end of the chat some of the listeners effusively praised Tiny Teflon: “I think you inspire many, many adults and children. So thank you so much. We appreciate you. Love you so much,” said one.
Another added, “It was a pleasure listening to you and I hope my little girl can start listening to you and go from there.”
One listener responded to Tiny’s plan about including more children by saying: “I think that’s awesome because my daughter will be watching you so I’m sure we’ll be following you.” Seconds later her daughter also spoke on the live chat: “Thank you, you did so good stuff [sic], and I definitely can’t wait to hear more of you,” the girl said.
A listener identified only as “Beverly” said she thought gematria could help children with their reading and math, adding: “Can I just say great job to your parents. I mean, my gosh, I can’t imagine how proud they must be.”
While there are others who are vying to replace Protzman as leader, close watchers of the group view Tiny Telfon’s assertion that she wants to use her position to bring more children into the fold as deeply worrying.
“I believe it’s too early to see where she will fit into the group dynamics right now, it’s definitely something I will be keeping a close eye on,” “Karma,” the open-source researcher, told VICE News. “For a group who have claimed to be all about ‘saving the children’ using a child to push your own beliefs is disgusting and disturbing.”