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What Is QAnon: An Evil Movement Or A Mere Conspiracy Theory

Much has been speculated since the notion for the first time came out like a genie from the bottle but no one knew it would become a very big phenomenon. Today, the very idea and mention of “QAnon” conjures horror in the hearts and minds of Americans as well as people from other parts of the world who see this as a movement that thrives on destruction.

The very reason that QAnon is being seen as a destructive force rather than a force of positivity and productivity has to do with the fact that it is centered primarily around claims which have been rendered fake by many since the one who was responsible for spreading them remains anonymous.

The person who did germinate the very seed of this idea ( sowing the seed of an idea in your mind just like Leo Di Caprio was doing in the 2010 Sci-fi action movie Inception) remains unknown and his identity remains shrouded in a mist of mystery.

Claims have been that it is a movement that is not only satanist but advocates cannibalism and loves indulging in something as heinous and disgusting as pedophilia through its flourishing involvement in child sex trafficking on a surprisingly global scale.

The far-right political eco-system and spectrum within the US have no qualms about blaming this supposed cult as responsible for the loss of Donald J Trump in the elections which could have led him to a second presidency but instead lead him to a loss against the “hero” of democrats of recent times Joe Biden.

Trump supporters see this group as a conspirator against Trump and what he and his belief system stand for whereas the left-wing of US politics prefer not to be too vociferous about something they deem as either fake or not serious enough to be concerned about or wrap one’s head around.

What is QAnon?

QAnon is a right-wing conspiracy theory and movement from the United States of America. United, bringing together proponents of conspiracy theories that a secret war is taking place between Donald Trump and elites implanted in the government (the deep state or Deep State), the financial community, and the media, who allegedly commit pedophile crimes as cannibals of modern times.

The movement focuses on messages published under the pseudonym Q from October 2017 on the anonymous forum 4chan then on the anonymous forum 8kun. QAnon is commonly considered to be a sect and its foundations are fictitious.

QAnon conspiracy theory: a wild dream for many

Within the corpus of misinformation in QAnon, one of the most sensational theories would be that elites, especially Hollywood stars and Democratic Party personalities, are guilty of abusing children and taking blood from them to extract a substance that they would consider a rejuvenation cure, adrenochrome.

Political events of the US and their relation to QAnon

American political events are being hijacked by QAnon, such as Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into the possibility of collusion of the Trump campaign and/or administration with Russia: According to QAnon, this investigation was allegedly fabricated by Trump, who feigned such collusion to allow Mueller to join him in uncovering a pedophile conspiracy and prevent a coup d’état by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and George Soros.

QAnon as a sectarian movement

Originally QAnon was probably a simple hoax. In a few years, QAnon has become a sectarian movement with messianic figures such as Donald Trump and Boris Johnson.

Poll and QAnon

According to a poll by the Public Religion Research Institute, relayed by the New York Times, in May 2021 “15% of Americans believe that the levers of power are controlled by a cabal of pedophile worshipers of Satan”.

IRA and QAnon

The QAnon quickly won an audience because of the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Russian propaganda and disinformation organization that actively participated in the 2016 US election by favoring candidate Trump. To manipulate public opinion, the IRA has massively relayed QAnon on social networks.

FBI on QAnon

As early as May 2019, an internal FBI note called for monitoring mobility as a potential source of domestic terrorism. After the electoral defeat of Donald Trump in 2020, many supporters of mobility recommend to the president to “cross the Rubicon” and to retain power by invoking martial law but Q’s updates drop sharply.

QAnon’s beliefs become in part attempts to overturn the outcome of the 2020 US presidential elections, culminating in the assault on the Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump, resulting in a new crackdown on QAnon content in social networks.

Paranoia about QAnon

The conspiratorial discourse — broadcast primarily by Trump supporters and many prominent members of the Republican Party  — refers to itself as “The Storm” or “The Great Awakening”. — a vocabulary borrowed from the religious concepts of millennialism and Revelation — which gives it the appearance of an emerging religious movement. This discourse has been described as “a paranoid conception of the world” and its adherents as belonging to a conspiracy sect. An external observer summarises the main thesis:

Satan-worshipping pedophiles

There is a global cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles who control the world. They control politicians, they control the media. They control Hollywood. And they would have continued to control the world had it not been for the election of President Donald Trump. Now, according to this conspiracy speech, Donald Trump is aware of the actions of this cabal. And he was elected to stop their actions. Without Q’s work, we would not know about this behind-the-scenes battle led by Donald Trump.”

Congressman Denver Riggleman on QAnon

According to congressman Denver Riggleman, the fundamental creed of this movement is that democrats are pedophiles. QAnon followers also believe that when the “Storm” arrives, the US military will take control of the country and that thousands of members of the “Cabal” will be arrested and executed for their crimes or sent to Guantanamo, where they will be tried by military tribunals.

Thus, Q would be the communication arm of this US restructuring project, bypassing traditional media to inform insiders directly on 8kun, while Donald Trump informs the general public more slowly and progressively on Twitter.

Slate’s Jordan Weissmann on QAnon

According to journalist Jordan Weissmann of Slate magazine, what is worrying in QAnon is not that a group of Americans believe in a ridiculous plot, but that they expect Donald Trump to have all his opponents arrested.

What does QAnon mean?

Origin of the mysterious name

In the wake of Pizzagate, a conspiracy theory that there is a pedophilia ring around John Podesta, then campaign manager of Hillary Clinton, an anonymous author by the name of Q began, October 28, 2017, to publish messages on the anonymous US forum 4chan.

Switch to 8chan

It then switches to 8chan, and at the forced closure of this last site, is established on the new version, 8kun, where it continues to publish to this day. Its messages are authenticated because a unique code (“tripcode”) is assigned to participants who wish to do so.

Anonymous messages are presented in jpg image format, which gives them a lapidary appearance and makes it difficult to copy words or sentences.

Letter Q

They consist of alerts on a so-called conspiracy organized by the “deep state” against President Trump. These enigmatic statements are signed by a certain Q, a letter supposed to designate a level of empowerment of the US Department of Energy.

Term formation

As for the term QAnon, it is formed by the combination of the letter Q and the abbreviation of the word Anonymous. The word first referred to the author of the prophecies, but by metonymy came to also refer to his conspiracy theory as well as the community that discusses it, although this one is also often referred to as Anons (for “Anonymous”). The real identity and status of Q, who is supposed to be a public servant—or a group of public servants—is not known, but is the subject of speculation among the Anons who want to believe in his authority.

QAnon and cryptic messages

The first message announced the extradition of HRC (Hillary Rodham Clinton) in case she left the country. In another message, Q claims that the President of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, is a puppet installed by the CIA.

Often, Q’s messages are more cryptic and vague, allowing its supporters to rediscover their own beliefs.The messages are often written in the form of series of enigmatic questions, through which Q prompts Anuns to do their own research:

“Who controls the narrative?

Who wrote the singular censorship algorithm?

Who deployed the algorithm?

Who instructed them to deploy the algorithm?

Same embed across multiple platforms.

Why?

Why is the timing relevant?

Where is @Snowden? ”

Walter Kirn on QAnon

Commenting on the endless discussions that such questions have generated among the Anuns, writer Walter Kirn believes that Q has fully understood that “the Internet public does not want to read but to write; it does not want answers but questions; it wants to be sent on a mission”.

QAnon and misinformation

Kirn does not rule out the possibility that Q “be installed in the White House to inform humble geeks about global intrigues [and] create a mental filter that will make them see Trump’s failures as victories, his missteps as chess moves and his whims as plans.” Q aims to erode any possibility of factual verification among its supporters by affirming that the misinformation is real and necessary.

QAnon conspiracy theory: mind-boggling for an average American

The vast majority of Q’s claims and predictions are pure fabrication: for example, claim that Kim Jong-one is under the control of the CIA or that key members of the Democratic Party are under arrest and must wear an electronic surveillance bracelet to the ankle. However, the false predictions did not prevent this conspiracy movement from rallying more and more loyalty.

Tristan Mendès France and QAnon

According to Tristan Mendès France, his supporters often put forward the feeling, the intuition, the felt, which allows them to question any authority and any expertise—since reality in fact corresponds to what one feels—and they create “a sort of alternative universe” in which everything becomes possible.

The movement thus becomes, again according to T. Mendès France, “a kind of sponge to conspiracy”, without the persons who claim of QAnon share for all that the same beliefs — except a small nucleus of fundamental theses, whose plot around a pedophile and satanic network, mentioned in the introduction. There is therefore no real corpus of ideas shared by the QAnonists, and therefore “no limit to the conspiracy theories that can be carried by this mobility”.

Brevity and playfulness of QAnon messages

The brevity and ambiguity of the messages also have a playful dimension, the Anons being invited to solve puzzles and connect these crumbs of information (“crumbs”) Trump speeches and tweets using the usual allegorical interpretation processes of matching a letter (Q) to a number (17), using one word for another—for example, “cheese (is a codeword) for little girl”, coincidence of dates, etc.

Video game creator on QAnon

A video game creator who has followed and analyzed the operation of QAnon, exposes, with a number of examples to support, the playful mechanics that generated the success of this conspiracy movement: give only clues — crumbs — relying on the phenomenon of apophenia to create a discovery effect among members, discredit the “official” media, develop a sense of community, Indoctrinate while insisting that this is not a game and that the dangers are real.

Cicada 3301

Other authors highlighted the playful features of QAnon and some even suggested that the Cicada 3301 group had set up this kind of “alternative reality game” and “live action role game”. Cicada 3301 is a series of challenges organized on the Internet and involving skills in cryptography and computer science as a main element.

A new set of challenges was launched each year around January 5 in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016, with the stated goal of recruiting “very smart people.” The identity of the individuals or organizations organizing these challenges remains unknown.

Religious aspect

According to a video broadcast by a believer, the battle between Trump and the «Cabal» is of biblical proportions and amounts to a fight of good against the mal.

As noted by media and disinformation specialist Renee Diresta, the hierarchical structure and the mystery surrounding Q give this group the characteristics of a sect.

The cult of Trump, seen as a savior, a millenarian will for social reversal and belief in demonic forces testify to the affinities of this movement with primitive Christian sects.

In a book on the subject, Mike Rothshild brings this movement closer to the millennium, which in particular predicted the imminent return of Christ in 1843, and gave birth to the Adventist Church despite the fact that its prophecies had never been fulfilled.

Positive aspect of QAnon

As an analyst notes: QAnon offers the hope of putting order in a seemingly chaotic world. It is also attracted by the sense of belonging it gives to its members, who develop their own cultural landmarks, their language and their insider jokes, as well as common activities. All of these elements reinforce a sense of purpose and group identity.

Radicalization

Q tells new members that they have been “chosen to serve their homeland” on “the digital battlefield.”

The believers (Anons), who often brandish the letter Q as a distinctive symbol — cut from the American flag or displayed on their phones —have the conviction to be engaged in a crusade and to have access to information reserved for the insiders and understandable by them alone.

They reject any criticism from the outside, especially from the media, and set themselves the task of deciphering Q’s messages and spreading their faith. By reinforcing each other’s convictions, some members become radicalized.

To accentuate this radicalization, Q encourages his supporters to “take the digital soldier oath”, a metaphor that risks shifting from rhetoric to violent action.

Children’s Crusade and QAnon

Driven by the warlike messages broadcast by QAnon, several supporters have already acted. Children’s Crusade (“Children’s Crusade”) seeks to release children caught in pedophile networks and encourages parents to kidnap their non-custodial children or to shoot child protection services if they come to their home.

A woman member of the QAnon mobility was arrested in November 2020 for the murder of another member of the group, believing that the latter was conspiring against her, with the government, to deny her custody of her children.

The list of violent acts linked to this movement has continued to grow. The most spectacular was the participation of many of them in the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

These episodes of violence led the FBI to declare QAnon as a potential terrorist threat in its May 30, 2019 report card.

Republican congressman and QAnon

In October 2020, a Republican congressman passed a bipartisan resolution condemning QAnon’s conspiracy theories and encouraging the various security services to strengthen surveillance of these groups to prevent criminal activity.

The danger posed by this movement is not limited to the United States, as shown by two incidents in Canada in 2020, in which followers attempted to attack Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh.

A man from the QAnon mobility killed his two children in August 2021, was convinced that his wife had «snake DNA» that she had passed on to their children.

Political ideology

The majority of the media categorize the theories supported by the movement as being of the right or of the extreme right. Donald Trump, who is often at the center of theories and portrayed as a hero, implicitly supported the movement by sharing tweets of people involved in the movement, and a few Republican Party candidates who support the movement could be elected to Congress in 2020.

Political scientists on QAnon

For political scientists Joseph Uscinski, Casey Klofstad and Justin Stoler, specialists in conspiracy theories and online extremism, the appeal of QAnon’s theories would not be based on traditional left-wing politics-right, but on the intense disdain that some people would feel towards the established political order.

Beliefs in Qanon theories would therefore be better explained by conspiracy visions of the world, which in themselves are not correlated with a political orientation.

Moreover, these beliefs would explain that many followers display online their fantasies of violence and radical systemic change through the use of weapons as well as the military terminology used by American political candidates who support the event.

Nazism and undemocratic nature of QAnon

An observer of the movement characterizes it as a new form of nazism.

Conspiracy and misinformation expert Alex Kaplan says QAnon is “undemocratic by nature”.

Public opinion surveys

According to an August 2019 poll, 5% of American voters believe the movement’s claims, and 22% do not; the rest of voters would not have heard about them or would be uncertain. Among party-affiliated voters, 6% of Democratic supporters and 6% of Republican supporters believe in mobility theories, compared to only 2% of non-partisan Americans.

A March 2020 Knowledge of Theory and Movement survey indicated that 75% of Americans had not heard about it, 20% had heard a little about it, and 3% had heard a lot about it.

The group that had most often heard of it was the ideologically liberal Democrats (39%), and those who had least heard of it were the ideologically moderate or liberal Republicans (12%).

Non-partisan Americans on QAnon

Americans with no partisan or ideological affiliation were in the middle at 23%. The knowledge of the movement and its theses was very related to the sources of information of the respondents, from 59% for those whose main source of information was The New York Times to 8% for those who inquired mainly by watching ABC, and average for those who inquired mainly on social networks (25%).

This latter result would vary depending on the social networks visited, ranging from 20% for Instagram to 47% for Reddit, YouTube in the middle at 32%. Americans who say they follow political news closely are more likely than the average to have heard about it (43%)

Conclusion

Regardless of what left or right-wingers think of this suspicious cult and notion, one cannot deny the fact that it has given all of us some goosebumps. We didn’t want to have it in the first place. When one hears about a group thirsty for not just the blood but also the carnal part of relationships with children, then the only action that gets triggered in the brain is that of spine-chilling horror.

One gets further intrigued into knowing the actual intentions and existence of this group but the more you try to understand and discover the more unveils in front of you and you feel lost in a whirlpool of tense reality.

The dark reality is the inability of federal authorities to clamp down as seriously as they should have on the grave crisis of child sex trafficking as well as the instances of pedophilia or child pornography which are often heard on television if these horrendous instances get vanished then hopefully any other instance of some imaginary blood tasting of children would vanish too.

So there remains a need to first solve the issues at hand and after that fight with any scenarios conjured up in mind no matter how much chance they hold of being real.