St. Louis, MO – On a walk Saturday night, Taylor Sprehe noticed something odd on the sidewalk in front of his house at Southampton.
A baggie full of what looked like small pebbles weighed down two pieces of paper. Sprehe thought it was garbage. But when Sprehe picked the items up, he noticed they were far less benign.
Instead, the piece of paper was a flier with antisemitic and anti-LGBTQ+ messages written on it. The bag of pebbles was a bag of lentil beans.
“Every single aspect of the Jewish Talmud is Satanic,” one flier read in large letters across the top.
The other flier included photos of queer Jewish activists with blue Stars of David placed on their foreheads. At the top, rainbow lettering said “every single aspect of the LGBTQ+ movement is Jewish.” A figure with devil horns at the top held a poster saying “I bet hell is fabulous.”
“It took me a minute to comprehend it, because it’s kinda gibberish,” Sprehe says. “Then I realized what it was, and it was an obvious hate message.”
A website at the bottom of each flier contains more fliers with directions on how to distribute them. “Prowling around at late hours will immediately make you appear suspicious if spotted,” the website reads. It advised “paperboys” to distribute fliers during the afternoon or early evening to “camouflage activism activities.”
Other fliers promoted conspiracy theories, such as “every single aspect of the COVID agenda is Jewish” and “every single aspect of Disney child grooming is Jewish.”
Similar fliers have been found in cities across the country, including Detroit and Atlanta, where local officials launched investigations into the matter. A St. Louis Metropolitan Police spokesperson says police have yet to receive reports of any local distribution.
As far as Sprehe could tell, the fliers in front of his Southampton home were the only ones nearby. He’s unsure whether their placement was targeted toward his household. His wife is a Syrian immigrant and his neighbors are from Afghanistan.
Even though text on the fliers said they were distributed “without malicious intent,” their messages and placement didn’t feel so innocent.
“It was disheartening to find that in my neighborhood, but finding that anywhere is a bummer,” Sprehe says.