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What is Adrenochrome?
Adrenochrome is a chemical compound with the molecular formula C9H9NO3 produced by the oxidation of adrenaline (epinephrine). The derivative carbazochrome is a hemostatic medication. Despite a similarity in chemical names, it is unrelated to chrome or chromium.
Where have I heard of Adrenochrome?
Aldous Huxley’s 1954 essay “The Doors of Perception”, written mostly about his experiences with mescaline, discusses the possibility that adrenochrome is a compound with similar effects to the psychedelic cactus. He has not taken it, and doesn’t know how one would obtain it, saying just that it’s spontaneously produced by the human body. He describes it as “a product of the decomposition of adrenaline”, which is, surprisingly, correct.
There’s a brief mention of “drencrom” in the 1962 novel A Clockwork Orange, where it’s an optional addition to the cocktail (glass of milk) Moloko Plus, but probably the most cited use of the compound is in Hunter S Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. It might be a novel, but many assumed it was a real thing that people really did. Thompson did not explain the adrenochrome buzz in great detail, but this probably isn’t too far from his vision.
Why are people talking about it now?
Adrenochrome is a popular topic in conspiracy circles: it’s a drug of the Hollywood elite, it’s addictive, it’s harvested from tortured children in Satanic rituals, they reckon. The current strain of theory is that a huge amount of celebrities have come down with Covid-19 due to a tainted batch of adrenochrome.
Most celebrities classified as “liberal Hollywood elite” are American or British, two nations that have been struggling to manage the Covid-19 outbreak, so it’s not hugely surprising that many have contracted the virus.
Adrenochrome harvesting, according to the conspiracies, is done by: drinking blood, heart surgery, or tapping into the brainstem. The adrenal glands are located above the kidneys, so that’s probably where you really want to look.
Does Adrenochrome have anything to do with Covid-19?
Are the mainstream media lying about Arenochrome?
The Dark Ages were rife with plague, fanaticism, and accusations that Jews secretly fed off the blood of children. In 2020, we too are beset with plague, rampant medical misinformation, and a persistent rumor that “global elites” torture children to harvest the chemical adrenochrome from their blood, which they then inject in order to stay healthy and young.
A favourite topic of interconnected QAnon and Pizzagate conspiracy communities, so-called “adrenochrome harvesting” long predates these groups. It has, however, resurrected during the Covid-19 pandemic. Google Trends shows significant spikes in searches for adrenochrome in March and June of 2020. It’s prevalent on TikTok, Youtube, and Instagram. Reddit removed a dedicated adrenochrome subreddit on July 30. On Friday, July 31, conspiracy theorists plan to hold the first “Child Lives Matter” protest in Hollywood to “expose” child trafficking, advertising the event with references to #adrenochrome.
The most effective conspiracy theories are built around kernels of truth. Adrenochrome is a compound that occurs in the body, but about which little scientific research has been done beyond a few studies in the mid-20th century on whether it could play a role in schizophrenia. The question transfixed the writers Aldous Huxley and Hunter S. Thompson, who were obsessed with mind-altering substances. To them, adrenochrome became a psychotropic, akin to mescaline. In his famous Doors of Perception, written just after the first adrenochrome studies, Huxley described adrenochrome as a clue that was “being systematically followed.” “The sleuths—biochemists, psychiatrists, psychologists—are on the trail,” he wrote. Biologists didn’t find much of interest.
Nearly 20 years later, Thompson cast adrenochrome as a psychedelic that must be violently extracted from human glands in his novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The scene was immortalized in Terry Gilliam’s 1998 film; a YouTube clip of Johnny Depp’s character taking adrenochrome, which to date has more than 1.7 million views, has drawn thousands of comments referencing the conspiracy.
Thompson is explicitly invoked in what seems to be the earliest recorded posts about adrenochrome harvesting on 4Chan’s /x/ and /pol/ boards, in 2013 and 2014 respectively. In an anti-Semitic 4chan /pol/ thread an anonymous poster linked a restricted, unsearchable video named “Jew Ritual BLOOD LIBEL Sacrifice is #ADRENOCHROME Harvesting.” Within these same online communities, Pizzagate formalized and grew in 2015–2016 before spreading to more mainstream social media.
In 2016 this same video was shared in a Pizzagate thread about the artist Marina Abromovich and her “spirit cooking” ceremonies. The next several months saw increasingly outlandish claims online, particularly that the Pixar film Monsters Inc. was a cryptic reference to adrenochrome harvesting. As some Pizzagate adherents entered the burgeoning QAnon community in 2017, they brought the adrenochrome conspiracy with them.
These factions expanded their audiences in 2018, citing new “investigations” and circulating the rumour that a (hoax) website sold adrenochrome in exchange for cryptocurrency. Conspiracy filmmaker Jay Myers released a video, “Adrenochrome The Elite's Secret Super Drug!” While the original video was taken down, it remains live on his backup channel and has been uploaded elsewhere online.
Source: Adrenochrome - Wikipedia
Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information