On Monday, The Daily Beast reported that the authors of a popular book for believers in the QAnon conspiracy theory are in a bitter fight over whether or not to release an audiobook version.
QAnon: An Invitation to The Great Awakening came out last year and peaked near the top of the Amazon bestseller list in March. One of the book’s co-authors, Dustin Nemos, is publicly attacking another co-author, who goes by the name of “JoeM,” for his “petty and hostile and paranoid” refusal to help produce an audiobook, and notes that it is necessary because a disproportionate number of QAnon believers are elderly, have bad eyesight, and may not be able to read the book as text. JoeM, for his part, has accused Nemos of being a “grifter” who is trying to make a buck off of true believers.
The book’s 14 co-authors are all picking sides in the feud and conflicted about how to move forward, caught between the worry of not appearing to be grifters and the desire to make their material accessible to key demographics.
QAnon first sprang up in late 2017, from an anonymous internet message board user who claimed to be a high-ranking government official with “Q” level security clearance. Through a series of cryptic messages known as “crumbs,” Q created an elaborate narrative that President Donald Trump and former special counsel Robert Mueller were in fact secretly working together to bust a world-spanning pedophile ring led by the Democrats.
Eventually, huge online communities sprang up around the conspiracy theory, to the point that it started taking a life of its own on the fringes of politics and pop culture. In 2018, ABC sitcom star Roseanne Barr promoted QAnon on Twitter, and a Florida SWAT officer wore a QAnon badge on his uniform while posing with Vice President Mike Pence.