Recently, NPR reported that about 25 percent of Americans have heard of QAnon, a number that surprised me as quite low, since I’ve known about QAnon for several years. Since that NPR report, QAnon has been in the news a lot, which I think validates the claim that QAnon used to be considered so fringe, that the mainstream media was content to let it remain so but now, as some headlines are proclaiming, the Tea Party was once also considered fringe. Until it wasn’t. These news stories describe a similar move toward the mainstream of QAnon and Q believers. So, in this column I will try to do my part to inform others about QAnon. Because you really should know.
Mainstream media routinely describes QAnon as a conspiracy theory. If you believe the theory, I suppose you don’t consider it a conspiracy theory but still, I will start there. The theory claims that world leaders, Democrats and “Deep State” U.S. Intelligence officers are involved in a global child sex trafficking ring that President Trump and his supporters are working to expose and destroy. Some believers claim than Dr. Anthony Fauci and/or Bill Gates and/or Hillary Clinton are among the leaders of the child sex trafficking ring. Others seem to also believe there is some Satan worshipping involved.
The group’s namesake, known as Q, is supposedly a military official with the highest security clearance (level “Q”) working from the inside to destroy the Deep State. The “Anon” part of the name indicates that Q is anonymous but supposedly provides a steady supply of clues online that reveal aspects of the plot.
The FBI refers to QAnon as a domestic-terror threat.
According to The Week magazine, Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former National Security Advisor, took the Q oath on a YouTube video on July 4 and Eric Trump posted the Q slogan (“Where we go one, we go all,”) on Instagram this summer. At Trump’s pre-pandemic rallies, attendees would sometimes display “Q” on their clothing and rally signs. At least 11 GOP candidates for Congress this year openly supported QAnon. Some of these lost in the primaries but at least one: Georgia’s Marjorie Taylor Greene, won her primary and because she represents a reliably Republican district, is widely expected to make it to Congress. She is quoted as saying QAnon is a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take this global cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles out.” Trump and Ohio’s own Jim Jordan have endorsed her.
It all began in 2017 when someone calling themselves Q posted on 4chan, a sight favored by white supremacists. Q’s prophecies grew from PizzaGate, which as you probably recall, is the debunked 2016 theory that Hillary Clinton was running a child sex dungeon out of a Washington, D.C. pizzeria. In 2016, a man with two loaded guns and a knife went to this pizza place to free the children, but he instead found only pizza.
Q’s new prophecies include one called the Storm, where Trump will send thousands of elites to be imprisoned at Guatanomo Bay. Some Q believers think John F. Kennedy Jr. faked his 1999 death and might emerge as Trump’s running mate this year. Some of Q’s apocalyptic claims are said to resemble evangelical beliefs about End Times. These often describe Trump as a messiah-like figure.
Twitter and Facebook have or are planning to ban thousands of accounts that post QAnon material. The mountain of evidence against QAnon theories do not dissuade believers. Some consider Q their religion and say that their beliefs cannot be falsified because it’s based on their faith that their deity (Q) continues to send signs that reinforce their faith.
So, now you know.