A Houston doctor who praises and says that face masks aren’t necessary to stop transmission of the highly contagious coronavirus has become a star on the right-wing internet, garnering tens of millions of views on Facebook on Monday alone. Donald Trump Jr. declared the video of Stella Immanuel a “must watch,” while Donald Trump himself the video.
Before Trump and his supporters embrace Immanuel’s medical expertise, though, they should consider other medical claims Immanuel has made—including those about alien DNA and the physical effects of having sex with witches and demons in your dreams.
Immanuel, a pediatrician and a religious minister, has a history of making bizarre claims about medical topics and other issues. She has often claimed that gynecological problems like cysts and endometriosis are in fact caused by people having sex in their dreams with demons and witches.
She alleges alien DNA is currently used in medical treatments, and that scientists are cooking up a vaccine to prevent people from being religious. And, despite appearing in Washington, D.C. to lobby Congress on Monday, she has said that the government is run in part not by humans but by “reptilians” and other aliens.
Immanuel gave her viral speech on the steps of the Supreme Court at the “White Coat Summit,” a gathering of a handful of doctors who call themselves America’s Frontline Doctors and dispute the medical consensus on the novel coronavirus. The event was organized by the right-wing group Tea Party Patriots, which is backed by wealthy Republican donors.
In her speech, Immanuel alleges that she has successfully treated hundreds of patients with hydroxychloroquine, a controversial treatment Trump has promoted and says he has taken himself. Studies that the drug has any benefit in treating COVID-19, and the Food and Drug Administration in June its emergency authorization to use it to treat the deadly virus, saying it hadn’t demonstrated any effect on patients’ mortality prospects.
“Nobody needs to get sick,” Immanuel said. “This virus has a cure.”
Immanuel said in her speech that the supposed potency of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment means that protective face masks aren’t necessary, claiming that she and her staff had avoided contracting COVID-19 despite wearing medical masks instead of the more secure N95 masks.
“Hello, you don’t need a mask. There is a cure,” Immanuel said.
Toward the end of Immanuel’s speech, the event’s organizer and other participants can be seen trying to get her away from the microphone. But footage of the speech captured by Breitbart was a hit online, becoming a top video on Facebook and amassing roughly 13 million views—significantly more than another coronavirus disinformation video that became a viral hit online in May, when it amassed roughly 8 million Facebook views.
“Hydroxychloroquine” trended on Twitter, as Immanuel’s video was embraced by the Trumps, conservative student group Turning Point USA, and pro-Trump personalities like . But both Facebook and Twitter eventually deleted videos of Immanuel’s speech from their sites, citing rules against COVID-19 disinformation. The deletions set off yet another round of complaints by conservatives of bias at the social-media platforms.
Immanuel responded in her own way, declaring that Jesus Christ would destroy Facebook’s servers if her videos weren’t restored to the platform.
“Hello Facebook put back my profile page and videos up or your computers with start crashing till you do,” she tweeted. “You are not bigger that God. I promise you. If my page is not back up face book will be down in Jesus name.”
Immanuel is a registered physician in Texas, according to a Texas Medical Board database, and operates a medical clinic out of a strip mall next to her church, Firepower Ministries.
Immanuel was born in Cameroon and received her medical degree in Nigeria. In , which swelled from just $90 to $1,616 hours after her speech, Immanuel claims without offering any proof that members of a Houston networking group for women physicians are scheming to take her medical license away over her support for hydroxychloroquine.
It’s not clear whether anyone is actually trying to take Immanuel’s license. But many of her earlier medical claims are definitely ludicrous.
In sermons posted on YouTube and articles on her website, Immanuel claims that medical issues like endometriosis, cysts, infertility, and impotence are caused by sex with “spirit husbands” and “spirit wives”—a phenomenon Immanuel describes essentially as witches and demons having sex with people in a dreamworld.
“They are responsible for serious gynecological problems,” Immanuel said. “We call them all kinds of names—endometriosis, we call them molar pregnancies, we call them fibroids, we call them cysts, but most of them are evil deposits from the spirit husband,” Immanuel said of the medical issues in a 2013 sermon. “They are responsible for miscarriages, impotence—men that can’t get it up.”
In her sermon, Immanuel offers a sort of demonology of “nephilim,” the biblical characters she claims exist as demonic spirits and lust after dream sex with humans, causing all matter of real health problems and financial ruin. Immanuel blames real-life ailments such as fibroids and cysts stem from the demonic sperm after demon dream sex, an activity she claims affects “many women.”
“They turn into a woman and then they sleep with the man and collect his sperm,” Immanuel said in her sermon. “Then they turn into the man and they sleep with a man and deposit the sperm and reproduce more of themselves.”
According to Immanuel, people can tell if they have taken an demonic spirit husband or spirit wife if they have a sex dream about someone they know or a celebrity, wake up aroused, stop getting along with their real-world spouse, lose money, or generally experience any hardship.
Alternately, they could just be having dream-sex with a human witch instead of a demon, she posits.
“There are those that are called astral sex,” Immanuel said in the sermon. “That means this person is not really a demon being or a nephilim. It’s just a human being that’s a witch, and they astral project and sleep with people.”
Immanuel’s bizarre medical ideas don’t stop with demon sex in dreams. In a 2015 sermon that laid out a supposed Illuminati plan hatched by “a witch” to destroy the world using abortion, gay marriage, and children’s toys, among other things, Immanuel claimed that DNA from space aliens is currently being used in medicine.
“They’re using all kinds of DNA, even alien DNA, to treat people,” Immanuel said.
Immanuel’s website offers a prayer to remove a generational curse originally received from an ancestor but transmitted, in Immanuel’s telling, through placenta. Immanuel claimed in another 2015 sermon posted that scientists had plans to install microchips in people, and develop a “vaccine” to make it impossible to become religious.
“They found the gene in somebody’s mind that makes you religious, so they can vaccinate against it,” Immanuel said.
Immanuel built on her fascination with witchcraft in her 2015 Illuminati sermon, claiming that witches were intent on seizing control of children.
In her 2015 sermon on the Illuminati’s supposed agenda to bring down the United States, Immanuel argues that a wide variety of toys, books and TV shows, from Pokémon—which she declares “Eastern demons”—to Harry Potter and the Disney Channel shows Wizards of Waverly Place and That’s So Raven were all part of a scheme to introduce children to spirits and witches. Immanuel warned that the Disney Channel show Hannah Montana was a gateway to evil, because its character had an “alter ego.” She has claimed that schools teach children to meditate so they can “meet with demons.”
In the sermon, Immanuel preserved special vitriol for the Magic 8-Ball, a toy that can be shaken up to “reveal” any answer. Immanuel claims the otherwise innocuous Magic 8-Ball was in fact a scheme to get children used to witchcraft.
“The 8-Ball was a psychic,” she said.
Immanuel’s oddball claims about the world extend to politics. She didn’t bring up this allegation publicly in Washington, but Immanuel has claimed that the American government is run in part by non-human reptilians.
“There are people that are ruling this nation that are not even human,” Immanuel said in her 2015 Illuminati sermon, before launching into a conversation she had with a “reptilian spirit” she described as “half-human, half-ET.”
Immanuel has also used her pulpit to preach hatred of LGBT people. Shortly before before the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, Immanuel warned her flock that gay marriage meant that “very soon people are going to be seeking to marry children” and accused gay Americans of practicing “homosexual terrorism.” In the same sermon, she praised a father’s decision to not love his transgender son after a gender transition.
“You know the crazy part?” Immanuel said. “The little girl demands he must love her anyway. Really? You will not get it from me, I’d be like ‘Little girl, when you come back to be a little girl again, but you talk—for now, I’m gone.’”
Unusually for a pediatrician, Immanuel has praised corporal punishment for children. The American Academy of Pediatrics opposes corporal punishment, and claims that the “vast majority” of pediatricians do not recommend it.
“Children need to be whipped,” she declared in a 2015 sermon, before adding that she didn’t think children should be “abused.”
It’s also not clear that Immanuel has abided by her claims that face masks aren’t necessary. In her Washington speech, Immanuel claimed that she and her medical staff had avoided any COVID-19 infections while wearing only medical masks. But in two videos shot at her clinic, Immanuel appears to be wearing an N95 mask, which offers more protection.
Immanuel has also alleged that masks of all kinds are superfluous, because she says COVID-19 can be easily cured with hydroxychloroquine. But in a Facebook video advertising her clinic, Immanuel said anyone seeking treatment should wear a face mask before entering the clinic.
“Wear a mask, or a scarf, or anything to cover your face,” Immanuel said in the video.
Immanuel has seized on her newfound celebrity, tweeting a video demanding that CNN hosts and National Institutes of Health Infectious Diseases chief Anthony Fauci give her jars of their urine so she can test if they’re secretly taking hydroxychloroquine even as they caution against its use.
“I double dog dare y’all give me a urine sample,” Immanuel tweeted in her challenge.
Now Immanuel is angling for the key rite of passage for any budding MAGA-world personality: a visit to the Trump White House. Late Monday night, Immanuel tweeted that she was open to meeting the president.
“Mr President I’m in town and available,” she tweeted. “I will love to meet with you.”