Right-wing influencer Chaya Raichik—the mind behind the homophobic conservative social media account "Libs of TikTok"—sparked outrage after telling Fox News personality Tucker Carlson that the LGBTQ+ community is a "cult" that "pulls people in so strongly" as part of its efforts to "groom" and "recruit" children.
Raichik's appearance on Carlson's program offers a further example of the ongoing "groomer" hysteria that has gripped the right-wing, who've accused LGBTQ+ people of building relationships, trust and emotional connections with children so they can manipulate, exploit and abuse them.
Raichik, who has made a name for herself by using "Libs of TikTok" to post hostile, mocking, or derogatory commentary about LGBTQ+ people and promotes harassment against teachers, medical providers and children's hospitals, called the community "extremely poisonous" and received no pushback from Carlson whatsoever.
You can hear what Raichik said in the video below.
Raichik continued to share homophobic conspiracies about LGBTQ+ people when she said:
"I think there's something so unique about the LGBTQ community. It has become this cult and it's so captivating and it pulls people in so strongly unlike anything we've ever seen, and they brainwash people to join and they convince them of all these things and it's really hard to get out of it."
"It's really difficult and there are studies on this. There's been a lot of reporting on this about people, parents who are like, 'You know, my child is starting to say that they're non-binary or transgender or whatever and what do I do? How do I stop this?'"
"And it's really, really difficult. It's unlike anything we've ever seen I think. It's extremely poisonous."
When Carlson asked her if "there is a spiritual component to all of this," Raichik replied:
"It doesn't make any sense. I think they're evil and sometimes we try to break it down a lot, We discuss why this is happening, what's happening and whatever, and sometimes I think the simplest answer is they're just evil."
"They're bad people. They're just evil people and they want to groom kids. They're recruiting."
Raichik's appearance on Carlson's program is not a surprise when you consider that Carlson has hosted the founder of "Gays Against Groomers" on his program before.
Last month, the organization's founder Jamiee Michell claimed in an interview with Carlson that gender-affirming medical care is to blame for last month's mass shooting at Club Q, a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Mitchell ignored the medical consensus on how gender-affirming medical care has successfully lowered lifetime suicidal ideation among transgender people and proceeded to absolve the alleged shooter, saying the LGBTQ+ community will continue to be the target of similar attacks so long as the “evil agenda” of gender-affirming care is allowed to continue.
Many have condemned Raichik's remarks and threw their support behind the LGBTQ+ community.
"Libs of TikTok" has helped set the agenda of right-wing discourse in attacks against LGBTQ+ people, public education and teachers though for a long time the identity of who was behind the account was a mystery.
Earlier this year, conservatives reacted with outrage after Washington Post correspondent Taylor Lorenzidentified the person behind the account as Raichik, who is a Brooklyn Orthodox Jewish real estate agent and created the account in November 2020.
Raichik used the account to share inflammatory content, such as a clip of a woman teaching sexual education to children in Kentucky she branded a "predator," a claim that quickly made its way to Fox News personality Laura Ingraham's program.
The account has also served as a space vital to the spread of conspiracy theories alleging teachers are "grooming" children and proceeding with an "indoctrination" campaign designed to make children more tolerant of the LGBTQ+ community.
Libs of TikTok has proven so popular, garnering a follower base of more than 1.7 million, that it is "basically acting as a wire service for the broader right-wing media ecosystem," according to Ari Drennen, LGBTQ program director for the watchdog group Media Matters.
But the fact Lorenz's story used publicly available information–namely Raichik's real estate license–to identify Raichik prompted conservatives to accuse The Washington Post of engaging in unethical behavior and Lorenz has been a target for right-wing homophobes ever since.