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Sunday, February 23, 2020

Mystery: QAnon


I want to take a brief digression from the standard mystery setup that I’ve created to take a more rambling approach. This is because the story I want to discuss today is one that I’ve been trying to write about for well over a year now, but haven’t been able to because researching it is a nightmare. It’s an ever evolving, ever changing story that isn’t likely to stop until after the 2020 United States Presidential Election cycle has ended. Even then, there’s a very good chance it will continue to evolve even after it’s ended regardless of the victor.

The story today is known as QAnon and there are few—if any—few stories that have ever come close to being as fascinating as it. If you’re somehow unfamiliar with the legendary 4chan, 8chan, and 8kun poster, then I encourage you to read this post. While both Q and the movement that surrounds Q are ever changing, my desire has never quite been to debunk or verify/legitimize him (or, more likely, them). Rather, it’s been to figure out exactly who’s behind the moniker. That still remains true with what this write-up will be focusing on. So if you’re looking for confirmation bias, I must say that you’ll be disappointed. One thing I’ve always hated about researching Q is that there’s an obscene amount of bias that goes into every write-up, so I’d rather refrain from contributing to that toxic pile. Why that is is very simple to explain: Q, whether you believe what they say to be legitimate, has changed the face of American politics on both sides of the spectrum. Some see Q as a hero. Others, a villain. What’s the truth though? Well, let’s find out.


Xylophone Cambridge University Zanzibar Autonomous Dresden: The Mystery of QAnon

That’s my attempt at making a QAnon message. Did I do good or should I add a few brackets, question marks, and say that these people are stupid?

Ah whatever. As I said: Q is an ever evolving story and the likelihood of me being able to properly remain up to date on what the latest “happening” is is next to none (especially given just how rapid fire Q can be). As such, rather than go over Q in detail, I'll instead ramble as I did when I talked about the Goatman. So this will be a more personal introspective write-up since Q at one point meant a lot to me.

First up, let's get an extremely important detail out of the way. The reason for QAnon’s name—the Q—is a reference to Q level clearance. It's the highest level of security access one can have in the government; it grants access to top secret intel. I mention this since it'll be important later.

Now then. The first Q post was done back on 4chan’s politics board, /pol/. Q didn't remain there for long though due to the risk of being found out. As such, they (as I'll say from here on out due to the staunch belief that Q isn't a singular person) went to the now defunct 8chan. It's there that Q would make the vast majority of their posts and would interact with some of the users. Once 8chan went under, Q migrated to 8kun, the successor to 8chan and the current place they post on.

The rise of popularity of Q is something I've always been fascinated by. Much like Trump, Q had amassed something of a cult following and a group of extremely loyal fans who see the movement as a sign that America is going back to her roots. A corruption free country that's built upon—and driven by—Christian and family values. Yeah, a lot of Q’s fans are Baby Boomers. Feel free to make jokes in the comments. Moving on though, that’s more or less the idea behind what Q represents and the abridged version of the history. It's a movement driven by an anonymous poster on an image board.

As time has gone on, the Q movement has grown into something that could honestly be considered a subsection of American politics. I've seen a lot of Trump style Republicans refer to it as the “Lion Party” and the two biggest icons in there are Trump and, to a lesser degree, Q.

But why?

Well, evidence of Q’s legitimacy exists. Though whether or not you believe it is something that rests entirely on you since you can take it as either being a subtle wink and nod to those that believe in it or merely a coincidence. Now if you're a follower of Q, you'll know that there are no coincidences. For everyone else, I'm going to personally skip over the “QProofs” for one reason. My focus isn't on verifying the legitimacy of Q, it's on who Q is and as such, I don't want to linger on what Q has said for that long. If you're interested though, visit QProofs.com or follow Praying Medic on Twitter. The latter is a friendly enough person who's been following and researching Q for a long time now. As for the abridged version of QProofs, Q has said various phrases which President Trump has echoed minutes after on Twitter (or in a speech). Some are admittedly fairly convincing and honestly, some still stump me. We'll get to a possible explanation later though.

So, I've said so far that there's more to Q than the vast majority of those who claim to have insider knowledge. It divides most people, but there's obviously something that some see. So what is it that Q is proposing to attract people? Well, that's where one of the biggest hooks to this enigmatic figure comes in. Q calls it the “Great Awakening”, a reference to various times in Christian history where there was a religious boom. In this case though, Q is referring to people waking up and realizing the evil that is the Deep State and justice coming to those that deserve it. That brings us to “The Plan”.

That brings us to the biggest hook of Q. The Plan (which I'll capitalize as there is one—and only one—plan) is a phrase used by Q that relates to Trump being the one to take down the Deep State, Satanic Cabal, and New World Order to give America back to the people. This is honestly one of the weirdest things I'll ever have to describe since the idea behind the Plan is something I've never quite wrapped my head around, even during my days as a believer of Q. However, I trusted Q and therefore, I believed that he was right and patriots were in control. As such, let's go over the contents of the Plan. This is the best I can describe it and some details are likely out of order.

#1: Destroy the Deep State This is the main part of the plan. To do this, we must accomplish the next part.

#2: Drain the swamp This is a reference to Washington DC being built atop a swamp. Though the swamp refers to special interests, dark money, Wall Street, and the aforementioned Deep State.

#3: Rework the intelligence community This part mostly relates to the CIA and FBI. The former is often seen as the Deep State in its purest form and is generally disliked by most due to its interference in foreign affairs. With the latter, the FBI is a complex entity that mostly sees itself deal with domestic affairs and criminological aspects of America and her day-to-day life. However, I'm sure if you follow Trump and right-wing media outlets, you'll see accusations of bias from them. As such, the FBI being either reformed or liquidated makes them a part of the Plan. The NSA, meanwhile, is generally absent. They're likely on there too, but they're seldom mentioned.

#4: Arrest the Clinton's, Obama, and numerous Democrats/RINOs Admittedly, if the United States upheld its constitution and politicians to its highest possible standards, you could arrest nearly all of DC and charge them with an array of felonies. You could've charged Reagan, Clinton, Bush Jr., Obama and Trump with war crimes. Though whatever, this part of the plan is widely known because of the “lock her up” rallying cry. Obama, meanwhile, has been a scapegoat for many things, though there are legitimate reasons to wish he'd been reprimanded (not the least of which being, in my eyes, Operation Fast and Furious).

#5: Make America Great Again The ultimate point of the Plan is the slogan of the 2016 campaign for Trump. To drain the swamp and Make America Great Again. Many of Trump's fans (along with followers of Q) believe that this will be achieved once both parties are gone.

This plan has been extended to include the idea that the Special Council headed by Robert Mueller was in fact investigating the Democratic Party’s corruption, that current FBI director Chris Wray is working with Trump, and that the inaction from former Attorney General Jeff Sessions was him working in the dark.

While many Q followers believe that idea, some have become increasingly impatient and angry. In some cases, they've also resorted to violence. Besides your standard mass shooter who was motivated by an array of reasons (or simply mentally ill), it's evident that some were likely radicalized due to the increased rabid anti-left wing rhetoric from some commentators. You can also see this with how groups like AntiFa, who are typically radicalized by your hyper sensationalistic left-wing commentators, will assault and attempt to kill everyone left of Josef Stalin.

Glorious leader shall rise again, right bros?

Ahem, anyways, Q has definitely planted the seeds of inevitable uproar should the Plan fail. This is apparent in an FBI memo (which some claim to be fake, but I disagree) that referenced the arrest of a California man back on December 19, 2018. The man supposedly had bomb-making materials in his vehicle and had planned on blowing up a Satanic temple monument in the Springfield, Illinois Capitol rotunda. His reasoning was he desired to “make Americans aware of Pizzagate and the New World Order, who were dismantling society”. While this man was stopped, the excessive disdain that Trump fires at the FBI isn't like to help morale there and could embolden any future maniac who wants to take advantage of the negative publicity to paint the Bureau as inept, ineffective, or just outright useless.

While that has thankfully not happened yet, the seeds are there and it isn't doesn't look good on either Q or their followers. To make matters worse, any propagandist on either the left of the right can use such an event to say that they invited this type of behavior in spite of Q having never advocated for violence. It's all the way that Q has gone about it. In many ways, it reminds me of the closure to a song I love.

Do you know

Do you know

Do you know what you have done?

Do you see what you've begun?

'Cause there's nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing

There's nothing you can do There's nothing you can do

Do you see, do you see what you've done?

Genesis is a good band.

Let's move on though since the behavioral aspect of Q’s followers isn't restricted to domestic terrorism. You see, some take the Plan a step further and have opted to include various racist ideas, such as deporting all immigrants. Those people are the extreme minority though and most of the violence is simply as I stated above. As for how many Q followers are willing to go that far is something I can't say. In my experience, most people who follow Q don't strike me as the violent type. However, there are plenty who definitely look to be getting anxious at best and aggressive at the worst.

Whether they are the minority or not, this anger and the actions of those who've been getting hateful and violent has been noticed by the FBI and as it stands, they’ve allegedly begun to view Q as a possible outlet for domestic terrorism. With the 2020 election drawing closer, it's possible that, should inaction continue, some self-proclaimed patriots may attempt to take matters into their own hands.

That is, of course, merely speculation on my own part. My views don't represent anyone but myself, but I'd be lying if I said that when you rule people up and burn them one too many times, they won't react kindly as the supposed zero hour draws closer.

Anyways, with that, and with the grace of a drunk moose that took one too many hits of heroin, the astronomically perplexing story of QAnon… doesn’t come to the close, but that’s the basis of it. It’s one of the most frustrating stories I’ve ever written about because it’s impossible to keep up with. I did my best to create an image out of what’s ultimately a story that can best be described as two cervical cancer cells trying to perform Phantom of the Opera to a crowd of quarreling lovers, so if you’re a Q follower, have mercy on me. I’m but a simple blogger tending to my 5 readers. Now then, onward to the theories!

Theories

1. A military intelligence operation

The most popular theory among those that believe Q to be legitimate, the theory here is that Q is a large-scale military operation that’s being spearheaded by patriots close to the President. Exactly who is a part of this operation is unknown, but the most common number I’ve seen thrown around is 6, so it’s presumably high ranking security or military officials that work within the Pentagon. The purpose for Q in this case is to inform the public of what’s going on and to let them know that, in spite of the political theatrics we see Trump put on (such as luring Democrats into “traps” and making them look foolish), patriots are in control and the good guys are winning.

This theory has, naturally, been disregarded by Democrats (though not all from what I can tell since there are some Democrats out there who support Trump) and some Republicans. The most common rebuttals I see are that the “plan” that we see going on is either way too convoluted and ridiculous to possibly work or that the lack of anything happening, despite being told that the “storm” is coming is blue balls on a national scale. The rebuttal to these rebuttals is usually that all will happen in due time.

I must admit that I didn’t do the greatest job at explaining this theory given that the overall concept for this plan is something that would take an eternity to explain and is extremely complex. If you want to know more, I suggest checking out the folks I mentioned earlier, like Praying Medic, who’ve devoted an extremely large amount of time to explaining Q and discussing the idea behind the movement that surrounds it.

2. An out of control prank

Not all on the right are convinced that QAnon is the real deal. Just as there are some left-wingers who aren’t fond of Social Justice and remain aggressively moderate in their views (qualifying as a hybridization of libertarianism and liberalism—at least in my skewered political compass), there are right-wingers, including some staunch Trump supporters, that see Q as an out and out hoax or a wildly out of control prank. Jack Posobiec, an extremely vocal supporter of Trump, claimed to have been in contact with those who started QAnon. Although he never released their names, he claimed that Q started out as a prank, but when people began to treat it seriously, they had no choice but to continue.

Some have believed that this is ultimately proof that Q is a hoax. Others think that Posobiec got trolled. Whatever the case may be, he’s an interesting fellow and certainly one of Trump’s more colorful followers if you go by his history of pushing various topics I’d love to cover (like Pizzagate).

3. LARPers

Similar to the last theory, some have speculated that Q is nothing more than a group of LARPers who've orchestrated the entire thing. However, they've willingly been going along with it to see how far people will take the whole thing.

4. A disinfo campaign

A simplistic theory, this one posits that Q is a creation of the Deep State to convey misinformation to Trump supporters to fool them into thinking all is going according to plan. However, in reality, Trump is (or has become) a puppet of the Deep State.

5. President Trump and Mike Pence

Q has been speculated to be a ton of different people. I’ve heard claims that it’s Sean Spicer (who actually denied Q’s legitimacy in a Reddit AMA on the controversial r/The_Donald), General James Mattis, Mike Pompeo, Steve Bannon, Jeff Sessions, and I’m almost certain I saw a claim that it was Rex Tillerson. Though my two favorites, and the two I’ll focus on here, are that it’s Trump and Mike “The Electric Fence” Pence.

Indeed, the Twitter icon and Mike “Indiana Buyers Club” Pence are claimed to be Q—or at the very least, Q+ (the general theory behind that poster being that it’s Trump). Could this truly be the case? Well, if nothing else, it’s speculated that either Donald Trump Jr. or Eric Trump posted on 4chan’s /pol/ board some time during the 2016 election cycle due to a photograph of Trump Sr. having been posted there with a young Barron Trump. Though that hardly serves as hard evidence to verify the theory of Q. To some though, it at least shows that the Trump dynasty is aware of the image board and, by association, may have some awareness of Q’s existence (if not being responsible due to the knowledge of anonymity on the site). As for Mike “Deus Volt” Pence, that question remains up in the air and likewise, up for grabs. Just make sure you don’t get electrocuted!

6. The CIA

If you didn't see those three letters coming, I recommend seeking out an eye doctor.

Just as they’ve been claimed to be behind Cicada 3301 (hi, FBI Anon), 9/11, the Oklahoma City Bombing, HAARP, Trump, the Coup, Sandy Hook, and the Las Vegas Massacre, so too is the CIA behind Q. Why exactly? Well, a disinformation campaign is one of the reasons. Others say it's a psychological operation, misdirection, and simply an experiment. Whatever the case, it's the CIA and Lord knows that their funding doesn't go towards central intelligence.

Hey, why'd my WiFi go out?

7. More than one group

This theory posits that Q is something similar to Cicada 3301, if not an offshoot of it. However, rather than being a puzzle game, it's an attempt to sow extreme discord between Democrats and Republicans.

My Take

I won't lie, when I first discovered Q, I myself was a staunch believer. I was adamant that Q was the real deal. So much so that I was tempted to buy a Make America Great Again hat. Q was my bread and butter; I was honestly quite cringey. Even if it wasn’t some great operation/plan to take down the Deep State, I figured that at the very least it was someone close to President Trump’s cabinet that had some sort of inside information. However, after the firing Jeff Sessions, I all but lost hope and faith that there was anything to this so-called plan. Nowadays, I still follow QAnon news to keep up-to-date on what the latest hubbub is. While it seems that Q is hinting that “the storm” is near or finally beginning, I have little (if any) doubt in my mind that there’s an iota of truth to the cryptic words that Q speaks (or types).

Exactly why I believe this is because Q, although there are some instances where I can’t quite explain how or why they “predicted” the things he did, is more often than so vague that you can connect what he says to an array of events. It’s a lot like Nostradamus; it’s prophetic and vague wording that can align to any number of events and as such, you can say “Q predicted this” and get away with it. If I say that it will rain tomorrow for long enough, I’ll eventually get it right. If I say that a tornado will strike Oklahoma for years on end, of course I will get it right. Likewise, Q can claim any number things in relation to Trump, Pence, or Dan Crenshaw (or any other Republican Congressman) and he’ll eventually get it right.

Now does this necessarily mean that Q is a fraud? No, it’s possible that he knows something. After all, we don’t know who he is. He could have some sort of information and therefore, he can make vague allusions to what he thinks will happen. Likewise, I also think that Trump or someone else in his cabinet is aware of Q and therefore, Trump has thrown a bone to the Q crowd to satiate them (this, in my eyes, is perfectly within the realm of who Trump is as a person; he has a history of being a troll, it didn’t just start with his tenure as President). However, until someone asks Trump about Q and the president either outright condemns the person—or persons—responsible for it, my take holds no more water than anyone else’s. Q is likely to keep growing as a group/movement and the repercussions of its existence will ring true for decades to come because of how much it infuriates those on the left-side of the political spectrum and moderate/far right-wingers (like paleoconservatives and the Alt-Right).

Conclusion

I think that the movement QAnon has created is a very interesting insight into how people will latch onto whatever bit of hope they can find when all seems to be lost. I have no doubt that Q had begun to post during an administration helmed by Marco Rubio, John Kasich, or Rand Paul, he would’ve been disregarded by nearly everyone as a LARPer. Though this perspective isn’t the one I want to focus on until there’s undeniable proof that Q is, in fact, a fraud. While I personally think he is, my views hold no water to whatever the irrefutable fact[s] may be. This is one reason I think it’s a bit foolish to fully disregard Q; nobody but those posting under the moniker know what the reality of it is. One can merely speculate, but we can’t verifiably denounce the entire thing. As such, I encourage you to treat Q seriously, whether you like it or not. Given that those behind Q can range from some genuinely friendly people to seeming rather unhinged, I think you’re better off treating it seriously and not callously disregarding it.

As of the time of this writing, we have a little over eight months until the 2020 elections. Should Trump win (which I think many underestimate that possibility), I have no doubt in my mind that Q will continue on until 2024 comes. Should he lose, we may see the end of Q, or the operation will continue in the dark and Q will post sporadically until we end up with President Ron DeSantis in either 2024 or 2028. Long live Florida Man!

On one final and much more serious note: I would like to raise awareness to one serious aspect about QAnon. Given that the movement is what it is, radicals are an inevitability. Heck, as you’ve seen, there already are radicals. There’s no escaping that. As such, I’m of the opinion that if Trump loses in November, the repercussions won’t be anything to scoff at. Q has already made it apparent that what is supposedly coming is something massive. If that fails to come true, I wouldn’t be shocked if more than a few (or rather, a whole dang lot of) people try something drastic as retaliation. So from me to you, whether you’re a liberal or conservative, don’t do anything stupid and please, for the love of God almighty, don’t bomb or shoot up anything.

1 comment:

  1. "Genesis is a good band."

    Uh, no it isn't. It's full of fourty minute keyboard solos nobody can understand and a band leader that packs up midway through the band's life cycle and goes solo. Jokes and run-on sentences aside, this is... admittidly quite disturbing. Yeah, just... um, yeah.

    "...or the operation will continue in the dark and Q will post sporadically until we end up with President Ron DeSantis in either 2024 or 2028. Long live Florida Man!"

    Damn right, then we can infect the nation with our weirdness!

    ReplyDelete