There's a 'new boogeyman' freaking out Americans susceptible to conspiracy theories
Man wearing tinfoil hat (Shutterstock)

Following birtherism, PizzaGate, QAnon, Great Replacement, and Donald Trump's delusions about election fraud, there is now a "new boogeyman" gaining traction.

"In late 2020, conspiracy theorists started telling everyone who’d listen about a sinister plot called the 'Great Reset.' The global elites of the World Economic Forum (WEF) had either co-opted or outright concocted the COVID-19 pandemic, they falsely claimed. Then world leaders and technocrats, almost all of whom are supposedly active agents or compromised puppets of the Forum, adopted what conspiracists see as senseless and draconian policies, like lockdowns, ostensibly to curb the spread of the virus—but really to destabilize and traumatize the globe," Mark Hay reported for The Daily Beast.

He reported on a Telegram channel with around 28,500 subscribers.

"But the channel specifically suggested the WEF and its allies’ next big world domination gambit may be a 'cyber pandemic,' an ill-defined but massive false flag cyberattack, or series of attacks, on financial institutions. Or the entire power grid. Or the internet as a whole," he explained. "That’s not an isolated take. There’s been sporadic talk of an incoming, elite-orchestrated 'cyber pandemic' in Great Reset circles for well over a year. But the idea of this digital threat, and its imminence, has seemingly gained traction across the conspiratorial web since around the end of last year—and especially since the start of this March."

In March, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) discussed the "Great Reset" with Alex Jones, who declared bankruptcy after being sued by Sandy Hook families for pushing a conspiracy theory that the mass shooting was a false flag operation.

"The idea of a cyber pandemic is not actually new. Broadly, it’s in keeping with the cybersecurity world’s use of biological disease metaphors to explain digital risks. (Think: computer virus.) As early as 2004, cybersecurity researchers used the term to talk about the risks associated with increasingly interconnected digital ecosystems, in which a novel virus or exploit could hit one weak link, then cascade outwards through wider systems," he reported. "All conspiracy theories evolve, blending with other ideas they come in contact with to adapt to new audiences or changing circumstances. The Great Reset itself, experts explained, appears to just be an update of older conspiracy theories about the dark machinations of global elite cabals that’ve been circulating since at least the 1700s, always identifying new foes and plots."

He noted a post that recently appeared on a Reddit forum linking the conspiracy theory to Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

“This is a fixed war sponsored by WEF [sic]. Putin is as much WEF as the western leaders are, don’t you be fooled,” the user wrote. “If EVENT 201 was the precursor to COVID 19, then last year’s CYBER POLYGON will be the predictive event for the coming CYBER WINTER of total global telecommunications collapse which will be achieved through Russian Nuclear Submarines. We will be fooled once again!”

Read the full report.