The conspiracy theory film made at the Arizona audit

By: - June 2, 2021 4:18 pm

Ken Bennett featured in a screenshot from “The Deep Rig” trailer

A filmmaker known for a film that claims 9/11 was an alien conspiracy is directing a documentary promoting baseless election fraud claims — a movie that features people working for the Arizona Senate’s election audit, that was filmed at the audit site and is based on a book written by a man who is raising money from Trump supporters to fund the audit. 

Former CEO and Trump ally Patrick Byrne is the main star in a film called “The Deep Rig,” which is based off a book Byrne wrote. Byrne is the founder of a Florida-based 501(c)(4) that is aiming to raise $2.8 million to fund the Arizona audit. 

The trailer for the movie, which is set to be released later this month, portrays the Arizona audit as critical in proving the widely debunked fraud claims, and features several people involved in the Arizona audit. 

The first person on screen is former Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who is sitting in the stands at Veterans Memorial Coliseum, where the audit is taking place.

“This isn’t about right or left,” Bennett, the Senate’s liaison to the auditors, says in the trailer. “This audit is about right and wrong.” 

The trailer also features interviews with Jovan Pulitzer and Bobby Piton, widely known election fraud conspiracy theorists who have been involved in the audit.

“I want you to know, it’s not over and we have not lost,” failed inventor and treasure hunter Pulitzer says. The audit is currently using his unproven technology to look for “counterfeit” ballots. 

Pulitzer, who does not have a background in election work, has claimed his technology can tell if a human or machine marked the ballot, as well as if a ballot is made of the right type of paper. 

Pulitzer’s most well known invention is the CueCat, a barcode reader which placed number five in Time Magazine’s worst inventions of all time just under Agent Orange and beating out subprime mortgages. 

The invention was popular among hackers due to the ease at which they were able to hack the device and use it for whatever purpose they needed. However, CueCat would also later be the subject of a data breach in which 140,000 CueCat users had their personal information exposed. 

Bennett told the Arizona Mirror he did not know if any other members of the audit team were interviewed for the film. 

Marketing for the film indicates that the filmmakers have special access to the auditors and their findings.

“Follow the team of lawyers & ‘cyber ninjas,’ determined to reveal the facts behind the headlines, to backroom scenes and through electronic networks designed to rig any election they conduct,” a Telegram account linked to the film says. 

The Senate hired a Florida-based company, Cyber Ninjas, to lead the auditing team. The company has no background in election administration or auditing, but CEO Doug Logan spread false claims of election fraud and worked to overturn the 2020 election after Donald Trump lost.

Byrne has been a leading voice in 2020 election fraud claims and has railed against the so-called “deep state”. Some of his claims came after it was revealed he had an affair with accused Russian spy Maria Butina, which he claimed the FBI encouraged him to do.  

Byrne was also present at an hour-long meeting at the White House during the final days of Donald Trump’s presidency in which he, Sidney Powell and disgraced retired Gen. Michael Flynn urged the president to overturn the election. Flynn, who recently said at a QAnon convention that a coup should happen in the United States, also appears in the film. 

Bennett and others who control the official Twitter account for the Arizona audit have promoted the Fund The Audit effort. According to reporting by the Washington Post, Bennett was told to promote the fund by Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan. 

The director, Roger R. Richards, has made a number of highly conspiratorial films featuring QAnon-related claims around the “Deep State” as well as the end of the world, as predicted by aliens and the CIA

The trailer also includes Phil Waldron of Allied Security Operations Group, who was almost hired by the Arizona Senate to conduct the audit and testified as an expert for the Trump campaign during an unofficial election integrity hearing in Phoenix. 

Waldron’s company created a report that falsely claimed that the Antrim County, Mich. machines had a 68% error rate, an allegation that Trump repeated on Twitter. Michigan election officials and Dominion have taken issue with other claims from the report, which asserted that Antrim County’s election equipment “is intentionally and purposefully designed with inherent errors to create systemic fraud and influence election results.”

Allied Security Operations Group and Waldron have been widely criticized by election and security officials and have also been known for inaccurate and false claims.   

The trailer also includes interviews with a number of unnamed people who have their faces obscured and their voices changed. 

The Arizona audit has become a hotbed of conspiracy theorists and conspiracy theories with some prominent proponents, such as Oro Valley Republican Mark Finchem, appearing on QAnon talk shows to talk about it. 

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Jerod MacDonald-Evoy
Jerod MacDonald-Evoy

Reporter Jerod MacDonald-Evoy joined the Arizona Mirror from the Arizona Republic, where he spent 4 years covering everything from dark money in politics to Catholic priest sexual abuse scandals. He brings strong watchdog sensibilities and creative storytelling skills to the Arizona Mirror.