Quantcast
Connect with us

QAnon’s true believers devastated as the conspiracy theory goes down in flames — and now they’re at each other’s throats

Published

on

- Commentary

The “QAnon” community is falling apart.

Perhaps no conspiracy theory has thrived more readily in the dark corners of the internet since it was first born last October on the infamous troll message board 4chan following President Donald Trump’s vague remarks last year at a military dinner that it was the “calm before the storm.” An anonymous user claiming to be a high-level government informant and calling himself “Q” after the highest level of security clearance at the Energy Department, began leaving cryptic messages he called “crumbs” which were supposed to be hints as to a wide-scale government operation known as “The Storm” to take down government corruption and the new world order, with Trump at the center. While the messages often had very specific dates, many aspects of them were purposefully vague, allowing believers in “QAnon” to use their imagination and fill in gaps.

ADVERTISEMENT

In time, a gigantic overarching narrative emerged in which Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller were all working together and planning mass arrests of everyone from Hillary Clinton to liberal financier George Soros to members of Congress, for their role in a massive, world-spanning criminal child sex ring enterprise that has included every former U.S. president — and that people should prepare martial law and orchestrated mass riots to protect those marked for arrest. Q’s believers have claimed that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is a CIA plant, that former Democratic staffer Seth Rich was assassinated by MS-13 on the orders of party leadership, and that Republicans intentionally lost the special election for Jeff Sessions’ Senate seat in Alabama to build evidence of voter fraud. At its height, QAnon broke into popular culture, with disgraced TV star Roseanne Barr promoting it on Twitter.

But now, the ongoing failure of Q’s predictions to come true has started to fragment the community, and two major events in particular smashed the credibility of the movement for many believers.

The first event was the result of the midterm elections, where Democrats decisively won control of the House. Q had previously assured supporters that, contrary to the polls, there was a “red wave” coming:

The second event was Trump’s decision to fire Sessions, who in the QAnon narrative Trump was only pretending to hate, and was the mastermind behind all of the impending mass arrests that were supposed to be right around the corner. This was a particular blow, as many supporters were already trying to rationalize losing the House with the fact that, any minute now, Trump was going to declassify huge swathes of intelligence that would result in House Democrats going to jail and a series of special elections that would give it back to Republicans:

ADVERTISEMENT

The end result, according to conspiracy theory debunker Mike Rothschild, is that tons of QAnon believers now realize they have been grifted, while the rest, who have been gathered on the social network Voat after the community was banned from Reddit in September, are at each others’ throats and frantically spinning ever crazier ideas to explain away why nothing Q has said has come true:

ADVERTISEMENT

The notion that some of the remaining QAnon believers might form “citizen militias” is particularly troubling, as far-right conspiracy theories have led to violence – most famously, a man nearly shot up the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington D.C. last year, acting on a hoax that Hillary Clinton and her inner circle were running a sex trafficking ring out of its basement.

Whatever happens, the QAnon conspiracy theory was never fated to end well for its believers. And the whole saga is a cautionary tale about being careful what one believes on the Internet.

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

A teenager didn’t do her online schoolwork — so a judge had her incarcerated

Published

on

PONTIAC, Mich. — One afternoon in mid-June, Charisse* drove up to the checkpoint at the Children’s Village juvenile detention center in suburban Detroit, desperate to be near her daughter. It had been a month since she had last seen her, when a judge found the girl had violated probation and sent her to the facility during the pandemic.

The girl, Grace, hadn’t broken the law again. The 15-year-old wasn’t in trouble for fighting with her mother or stealing, the issues that had gotten her placed on probation in the first place.

She was incarcerated in May for violating her probation by not completing her online coursework when her school in Beverly Hills switched to remote learning.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump’s Bureau chief wants to give authority over federal lands to local law enforcement officials

Published

on

Donald Trump’s acting head of the Bureau of Land Management, says local authorities should have primary law-enforcement authority on federal land.

The director, attorney William Perry Pendley publicly undermined the agency’s rangers, saying they should defer to local law enforcement. He could be putting could be putting rangers in danger with his words.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Well, the good news is Trump hasn’t entirely lost his mind — or so he says

Published

on

Donald Trump, 74, bragged last week during a Sean Hannity interview that he had “aced” a recent cognition test at Walter Reed Hospital.

Trump boasted that doctors witnessing the test “said that’s an unbelievable thing. Rarely does anybody do what you just did.” He then challenged Democrat Joe Biden, 77, to match him.

But haven’t we skipped over something here?

Doctors wanted Trump to take a cognition test? Is that a normal thing for presidents?

Trump said he asked to take the test after criticisms over his inability to walk down a ramp with ease at West Point, needing to hold a glass of water with both hands and multiple occasions of slurring and mispronouncing words.

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image