Corrections & Clarifications: The location of this event was incorrect in a previous version of the article and its headline.
A crowd of more than 150 people gathered at an event space in Scottsdale Sunday to celebrate the homecoming of Jake Angeli, one of the most prominent figures at the raid on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Angeli opted out of the painted face and shed the fur and horned hat that earned him a national spotlight. Instead, the man who has been nicknamed the "QAnon Shaman" addressed the crowd in a white suit and American flag tie. “Here I am saying hello, a couple years later, in a much more public way than I ever anticipated and it’s really surreal, almost like a dream,” Angeli said to the crowd.
An organizer of the event, Susan Wood of Scottsdale, told The Arizona Republic on Friday that the event would be a chance to reintroduce Angeli to the public.
Wood said she met Angeli at the various protests and marches he participated in during 2019 and 2020. "He was always just so happy and energetic and fun and nice," she said. "We were like, what is he doing in prison? He's not dangerous or anything."
Wood said a room at the church would be rented out for the event.
Angeli was sentenced to 41 months in prison in November 2021 after pleading guilty to a single felony count. He served the last weeks of his sentence in a Phoenix halfway house. He was released on Thursday and wasted no time getting into the getup that made him famous and heading to the Arizona state Capitol by 10 a.m. on Thursday, in full red, white and blue face paint. He brought along a photo and video crew and posed in the mall between the state legislative buildings and the tower that houses the governor's office.
The 35-year-old became an icon of the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol thanks to his eye-catching getup: shirtless, showing off elaborate shamanistic tattoos, painted face and a horned hat with fur tails that lined his face.
Angeli, who was charged under his legal name of Jacob Chansley, wore the same outfit during protests in Phoenix, also carrying a sign that said, "Q Sent Me." He preached the false QAnon conspiracy that imagined a top-level government agent with Q-level security clearance was posting cryptic messages on an online bulletin board. The theory coalesced around a narrative that former President Donald Trump was set to dismantle a global cabal of leaders who had committed crimes against children, including ingesting their blood.
After the nation saw Angeli at the Capitol, he was dubbed the QAnon Shaman and became fodder for late-night comedy shows.
Prosecutors did not accuse Angeli of any act of violence or property damage during his time in the U.S. Capitol. But, prosecutors said he played a key role in goading the crowd through shouts blasted through his megaphone.
Angeli also refused an officer's order to leave the U.S. Senate chamber, briefly taking the dais and leaving a note for then-Vice President Mike Pence. The note said: "It's only a matter of time. Justice is coming!"
He pleaded guilty to a felony count of obstructing a civil proceeding.
At his sentencing, Angeli took responsibility for his actions, saying the time in near solitary confinement, brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, left him a lot of time for soul searching. "I'm a good man who broke the law," he told the judge.
Angeli was also sentenced to three years of supervised probation, which started on Thursday.
While in prison, Angeli told Sunday's crowd that he got closer to God than he possibly could have imaged and “felt God's presence on several occasions” while incarcerated. Angeli told his supporters that both sides of the political spectrum have the ability to agree with one of another and encouraged the crowd to ask questions to the opposition in a “calm and compassionate fashion instead of arguing over talking points.”
“We must not sever our kinship based on divisive propaganda, but instead learn to find what we can agree on and rebuild our nation based on those commonly held values,” Angeli said.
In his hour-and-half speech, followed by a Q&A session, Angeli covered topics from pharmaceutical company conspiracy theories to Nikola Tesla to artificial intelligence to demonic entities in robots. He has plans to be at the Arizona Capitol monthly to film his podcast and directed the crowd to visit his new website forbiddentrueacademy.com.
"It's awesome. There's all sorts of merchandise with my face on it," Angeli said. "We got bumper stickers, we got shirts and all that stuff... we also got coffee mugs, we've got yoga pants, we got yoga mats."
Angeli's website features free online courses described to "increase IQ, expand consciousness, and enhance personal evolution."
The site also features the ability to schedule consultations with Angeli. One-on-one sessions were listed at $500.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Jake Angeli, QAnon shaman, celebrates homecoming at Scottsdale event