The Dark Side of QAnon Part One: Kids in the Lion’s CageTravis LeBlanc
I’ve been thinking about QAnon a lot lately.
When I think of QAnon, I’m mostly just annoyed. From the right angle, the QAnon movement looks like a Ferrari on cinder blocks. A movement as large, as passionate, and with the kind of missionary zeal of QAnon could do some serious damage to the system if they knew what the hell they were doing and if they understood what the hell they were up against.
Another example is the whole GameStop thing. A bunch of chan kids on Reddit bought a ton of GameStop stock with the spare change that they managed to scrape out from underneath their sofa cushions and succeeded in giving some oligarchs a bloody nose. Not bad. But just imagine if those QAnon boomers had taken all that money that they made selling out our country to Jews and dumped it into GameStop. The oligarchs wouldn’t just have a bloody nose. They would be completely fucking decapitated.
Now, I am a pragmatist. I accept that not everyone is cut out to be a radical or a dissident. There is a lot of risk involved, and not everyone can afford those risks. And, to be quite frank, some people are so dumb that I wouldn’t want them on my side. They would only slow us down. We’ve all heard what our ideas sound like when argued poorly, and if someone cannot advocate for these ideas effectively, then it would be best for all parties for them to just stay out of the way.
Sure, in a perfect world, I would like for every white person to be a committed ethnonationalist. But where we are at this particular moment in time and space, we have a lot of work to do before that can become a reality. In the meantime, seeing that some people either can’t be or are not cut out to be white nationalists, I think there is some value in having one or more “Junior Varsity” teams where well-meaning whites can go and make themselves useful while also staying out of our way. Somewhere that is not the Left and not Conservative Inc. We have other issues beyond race. If someone doesn’t want or can’t be a white nationalist, he can argue against internet censorship, government corruption, or one of our other less controversial issues.
QAnon would be ideal to serve that role — their beliefs are a bunch of nonsensical gobbledygook, but their guns are pointed in the right direction. Most of QAnon’s favorite villains are pieces of shit. Even Tom Hanks. He seems like a nice enough guy, and yet, he made Forrest Gump, a crime against art just as egregious as his alleged pedophilia.
But there’s a problem. QAnon may have their guns out, but the fact their beliefs are based on lies means they are only capable of shooting blanks.
If the worst thing wrong with our elites was that they were Satanic pedophiles, we would actually be in a much better position than we are now. Ancient Rome was ruled by a bunch of pedophiles who worshipped Saturn. Hell, they even executed Jesus Christ, which is kind of Satanic. And yet ancient Rome still managed to last a hell of a lot longer than America is going to last on its present trajectory because they were ruled by people who, despite all their flaws, actually loved their country. Despite being Satanic pedophiles.
There were already reasons to feel that our elites (and Tom Hanks) deserve punishment. Our elites deserve it for selling out our country to globalists and foreign invaders, and Tom Hanks made Forrest Gump. Worshipping Satan and having sex with children is a footnote on the list of what is already publicly known about these people.
Still, I was content to take a “live and let live” attitude towards QAnon. Yeah, it’s retarded, but I didn’t see them doing much harm.
That changed after my first encounter with a QAnon devotee. I must confess that I found the experience unsettling.
Far be it from me to chastise anyone for entertaining unorthodox views. I’ve been involved in fringe politics for a while. I’ve been around and I’ve seen and heard a lot of crazy shit. As someone who writes about internet culture, I keep half an eye on several different online political scenes. I’m a big believer that if you are going to argue against something effectively, you first have to understand its appeal.
It’s tempting at times to say “people who believe X are either crazy or evil” or “they only profess their beliefs for the social rewards and/or to avoid social penalties.” That’s true a lot of the time. But I want to understand how a sincere and well-meaning person could be persuaded into things. Sometimes I learn things. Sometimes I find that they may have a good point or a legitimate grievance.
I’m on friendly terms with a few old school Marxists. I know liberals who believe things that are in direct opposition to everything I stand for and everything I hold dear who I would still describe as honorable people. I can think of a couple of people whose intelligence I respect who believe in Flat Earth theory but are otherwise perfectly sensible on every other issue. This isn’t even including all the crazy shit I hear from the mainstream media, which often puts the internet fringe types to shame in terms of sheer lunacy.
It takes a lot to rattle me. And yet I must confess that my encounter with this QAnon fellow left me rattled. The things this QAnon guy was saying were simply jaw-dropping, in the “how the fuck can you possibly believe that?” way. I dare say, Counter-Currents, I was thunderstruck.
This guy told me that Trump losing the election was part of “The Plan.” He told me that the military was still loyal to Trump and would take care of everything. It was always the case that the military would be the ones who would fulfill “The Plan,” but for complex reasons, Trump would have to be out of office before the military because blah, blah, blah. The GameStop stuff? Yeah, that is part of the Q operation too.
This guy did say that he did not rule out the possibility that Q was a hoax, but he didn’t seem to struggle with any doubt. I suspect that is some kind of rhetorical tactic Q people use to lend themselves an air of objectivity.
I’ve heard several people in the Dissident Right, some of whom I freely admit are smarter (but less funny) than I am, talk about how difficult it is to argue with QAnon people. Top-notch debaters struggle to even put a dent in these people’s convictions. I now understand what they were talking about.
The QAnon crowd is motivated purely by faith. Flat Earthers? They don’t have faith that the world is flat. They sincerely believe that the evidence for the earth being flat is compelling, if not conclusive. But QAnon people’s base assumption is that this anonymous shitposter known as Q is not simply blowing smoke up their asses. They have faith that this fellow is being on the level with them. Everything else is built on that one underlying assumption.
There’s the old saying that “you can’t reason someone out of a position that they were not reasoned into.” QAnon types did not arrive at their beliefs by way of reason, and that’s why it is so hard talking to them.
OK, so they have stupid beliefs. I can tolerate that to a point. But then I read this article by David Cole about some MAGA types who came into town and made an annoyance of themselves.
On Jan. 3 they descended upon the Century City mall and a nearby grocery store in an “anti-mask” protest. They harassed shoppers, yelled at employees, got into fights, called everyone a “Nazi,” and basically made themselves a pain in the ass to ordinary folks who were just trying to buy food. No need to take my word for it; the Beverly Hills Courier’s Sam Braslow collected a dozen videos of the day’s events.
And then on the 10th, the protesters were back again at Century City, MAGA hats and all, demanding maskless entry into private businesses. The cops tried to explain the concept of private property, but the MAGAs countered that Lin Wood had assured them that the notion of private property rights is just satanic pedo disinformation. When the protesters were told that the mall could set its own codes of conduct, one MAGA, with that look of cocky pseudo-certainty that’s become the default “resting MAGA face,” replied, “Lin Wood says that’s not true,” while the lead MAGA added, “This is what happened in Nazi Germany.”
The other day, I saw someone tweet “It’s better for people to believe QAnon than CNN.” I guess. That’s technically true, and until recently, that was more or less my position on QAnon: “OK, it’s stupid, but as long as they have their guns pointed in the right direction, I’m not going to stress out about it. It’s an election year. We need solidarity. And the establishment hates them, so they must be doing at least something right.”
The unshakable conviction among QAnon devotees that Trump has everything in the bag has, however, encouraged not just complacency — “I don’t need to do anything because Trump’s got everything in the bag” — but recklessness — “I can be as obnoxious as I want and it won’t matter because Trump’s got everything in the bag.”
Take the storming of the Capitol. A large proportion of the stormers were QAnon people. Whether the occupation was strategically wise is debatable, but the fact that it was beautiful, glorious, and entirely morally justifiable is not. But when I looked at the QAnon people barging in, they seemed to me like a kid who climbed into a lion’s cage at the zoo. It’s a bold thing to do, but they didn’t do it because they are bold.
They just didn’t realize that it was dangerous.
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It sounds like the author had a similar experience to my own:
When you attempt to redpill QTards, you yourself end up getting redpilled (regarding their religiosity/stupidity).
I found it a shock to find a few distant relatives had swallowed this Q pill.
something that widespread has to be shot through with intelligence agency promotion. It’s like an inversion of Color Revolution Internet organization.
I absolutely agree. It’s there just to make conservatives look stupid and take their eyes off the ball. I know a guy of high rank and position, very smart, well read, knowledgeable across a wide range of subjects, and believes Q
I hate flat earthers because they make dissidents and conspiracy theorist like myself look like kooks
Flat Earth was the paradigm for most of humanity up to and including the Columbus discovery. Many of our deep myths, stories, maps and ethics were born from that logic of that paradigm of the world. The map makers had to assume a flat plane for cartographic clarity as well. You won’t get to leave the surface of earth either.
It’s not the same as QAnon. QAnon makes it impossible for victims of actual child abuse to take the system to task for systematically protecting actual predators. QAnon suggests paedophilia is almost universal in the managerial classes.
Flerfers generally make their content about objective evidence and debate on that field, which is why it’s actually pretty boring unless you have a genuine interest in the subject. Lots of arguing about horizons and curvature and so on. Q by contrast is just batshit speculation and a desperate assumption that the Derp State has factions that are working for PATRIOTS. You can’t test or measure for Q in any objective way. The Plan is just a messianic metaphysical proposition that somehow Zion Don isn’t just an arm flailing blowhard.
I viewed it as a sort of mental time travel back to before the 1492 event. Amusing but not truth.
Great read. When you wrote this:
“This guy told me that Trump losing the election was part of “The Plan.” He told me that the military was still loyal to Trump and would take care of everything…”
It instantly reminded me of a guy I was talking to many years ago. It was around the time of the Iraq War. He was saying with total deadpan sincerity that ‘Saddam had to be taken out’. He was ‘about to unleash WMDs’, he was a ‘threat to America’ and so on. He was in the same IQ range as typical Q followers today.
There is a battle ground for the minds of these kinds of people. They are the masses. The masses get into whatever the latest fad or news cycle is. They absorb it. It becomes them. They don’t analyze this latest thing relative to prior similar trends. They don’t see patterns well or at all. Our enemies exploit the masses’ poor memory, processing of prior events and cognitive laziness to push their propaganda.
And yet today the internet has somewhat leveled the playing field about who can also instill big ideas into the masses and who can aim the gun of moral outrage.
Q ‘worked’ generally because there are real things that are very wrong that these people genuinely do sense. There are bad people in charge who hate them. There is significant corruption. The mainstream media does lie to them and opposes their president who spoke their language and inspired a populist following. There are at least some elites into pedo.
Yet Q also ‘worked’ because too many people are, one way or another glued to their computer or phone screens and perhaps in some ways becoming overly conditioned into/by this private virtual world. Q is telling them simple lazy stuff that they want to hear that can fix the dangerous outer real world for them, even though there is zero evidence Q is part of this outer world or has any influence in it, and significant circumstantial evidence that Q itself is a victim of this private virtual world talking to other victims, it doesn’t register with Q’s followers.
But it seems that this stuff has taken on a further dynamic into something religious and cult-like. Q followers are now trapped into an addiction to this material; they can’t easily put it down. And that is a terrible sadness.
I’m only aware of two people in our broad sphere or adjacent to us who got pulled into Q, and it yes it was a regrettable spectacle to see.
That was an excellent comment. These masses as you term them need fantastic and romantic narratives to motivate them. They are not interested in incremental or subtle phenomena and need to be jazzed by lurid scarecrows of blood libels or holocausts, wmds to control them.
For this level of mind, the dems can’t simply be slightly corrupt careerists, they must be satanic pedophiles. Trump must be a holy savior.
How much research has been put into the origins of Q? It would be interesting to examine its origin and growth. Is Q a real person or was the entire thing some psyop of an intelligence agency? It would be good to imitate Q’s traction, but direct it to more logical conclusions and useful ends. We will create our own Q; call him J, or maybe M, or perhaps D?
The FBI has shown zero interest in discovering the IRL identity of Q.
That’s the sag that didn’t bark right there.
Thanks. Here’s my internet ‘law’: Online communities where the majority of people are anon and get to post in an unmoderated way will always spawn posts from anons claiming ‘inside knowledge’; that there is a ‘secret system’, that they are ‘influential’ and ‘know things’, that ‘something big is about to go down’.
Sometimes these anons will post obscure things in what appears to be code. Usually no one pays attention to them, but sometimes they will catch the attention of other anons who will try to analyze them and find some meaning in them. Sounds familiar. This stuff goes back to the early days of the internet as I said in a comment to another article on this.
Why – what would normally be part of internet background noise has grown into this giant thing with Q I don’t know. It seems that this phenomenon has been inadvertently picked up by more and more people along the way and spread by ignorance mixed with hope that this would be true- right up to Trump himself who was retweeting Q-related stuff apparently.
You mentioned creating our own Q…. one thing I can’t explain is that Q first appeared on 4chan /pol apparently. But I assumed 4chan’s politics were to the right of Q’s material. That’s a difficult one to explain.
I guess the Pizzagate thing also set the stage and appetite for Q. It’s all just snowballed out of control.
I agree with everything Greg said at the time about Pizzagate, but I do wonder if PG did derail peoples’ senses into the more lurid and extreme as you say. It created a new appetite for sensationalism and sinister mystery among the grass roots that can never be satisfied. Suddenly we were in a battle of good vs absolute evil and we just needed to unmask all the elite satanic pedos.
The simple retort to the Q people is that it’s a CIA plot and they’re being played, which may as well be true.
Slightly edgier you could say it’s a Mossad sting.
To the true Q believers I say, it’s fake, an internet meme. It’s always been BS foisted upon die-hards as counter intelligence propaganda to ensnare these people in the trap they now find themselves, the first tangible victims in the new war on “white supremacy” and other made up phantoms of the left’s vivid imaginations.
there seems to be this odd connection between the Millenarianism of southern baptists and the Q anon cosmology. I see so much overlap between the two, in many ways Q anon represents an evolution of southern baptist conspiracies of the 1970s-1980s (farm bust period of right wing) which then syncretized with the new age belief systems of the hippy californians into this really distinct Q cosmology. Q is sort of a redpill suppository for boomers who have suddenly woken up in their golden years to the fact that *something* is wrong in society. People are attempting to wake up and shake off all their programming at once, which leads to really REALLY insane ideas. People who suddenly question everything, believe anything. the Q cosmos is safer than skepsis because there is trump as the pantocrat playing the role of christ or mithras as the redeemer of the world. its completely insane. its completely insane but I love it because it has that insane American cowboy energy to it. Its like good old 1830s burnt-over district new york where mormonism exploded like a thunderbolt and created one of the most powerful religious systems in north america. the Q system is of course completely deranged because it is made up of alot of people who are hiding from truth with the trump pantrokratos concept but the Q anon phenomena has alot of energy and gravitas that overtime will become very dangerous to ignore for america. The bright side is that a large number of pseudo-Q followers are easy pickings to wake up to WN and IMO Q represents a last ditch effort by the 20th century zietgeist to hide from political tribalism.
They are race denialist, philosemites who think Paedophiles lurk everywhere in power. It’s just plain fucking wierd.
Makes you wonder if religions start as a half joke, a catchy phrase and a meme image.
Christ was eventually memed into being an other worldly zeus like figure by artists. In early images he was a cocky fresh faced 30year old with a swagger.
I took Flat Earth to be an epistemological question… If such and such a thing were true, how do you explain this or that fact, how do you explain this or that phenomena? If the earth is flat how can you fly around the world? I enjoyed their topographical map example with the Arctic as the centre and the Antarctic as the rim. Problem solved. Lol.
QAnon isn’t that fun idea. It’s a bad thing. When actual kiddie fiddling comes by it’s been sullied by these wild claims. If the world were administered exclusively by paedohiles what would have to true? Paedophilia is universally practiced?
Well said, especially regarding the epistemological angle. Whatever one thinks about Neo-Ptolemaicism, the fact remains that most Copernicans (including a disgustingly high number of academically employed astronomers and physicists) are simply incabable of serious cosmological debate. That is one of the reasons why the “flat earth” movement spread as fast as did in the first place, because many oh-so competent experts of natural science like e. g. Prof. Harald Lesch in Germany produced “evidence” of such bad quality, stated such bad arguments, that even many of the curious and mildly amused onlookers like myself stopped and said “hold on a moment, that doesn’t make any sense at all”.
Q = Pure cope. Trump turned out to be an ineffectual, compromised Con-man. The “Plan” was a self defense mechanism.
I must say that I found this column to be very poor. Dr. Johnson can do better.
You can’t reason someone out of a position that they were not reasoned into.
Truer words have never been spoken.
This speaks to a larger point with which I have only recently started to grapple and accept. People don’t base their views of reality on “facts, reason and evidence” (sorry, Molymeme, they just don’t). People base their view of reality on a narrative which they find compelling and which helps them make sense of the world.
Q provided just such a framework. These people have a strong feeling that something is terribly, terribly wrong with this world. After three generations of brainwashing, they are unable to point their fingers at the true culprits. Hence the light bulb moment of Of course! It’s satanic pedophiles! That’s what’s wrong with the world!.
Quite compelling on the surface, and not entirely off-base.
If we want to reach these people, facts and evidence won’t do the trick. We need to construct a compelling narrative, albeit one based in actual reality.
Clair wolf warned that Q was a psyop early 2017, at that time I hadn’t heard of Q.
By 2019 I had & did recognize that the claims were outlandish at best. One of my coworkers and a few relatives still seem to believe and disturbing as it is there dosen’t seem to be any way to talk sense to them although I have tried to no avail. So now I just humor them by saying I hope whatever they happen to be spouting is true. It’s a religious thing for them.
However there is one thing that is obvious. The election was stolen through fraud made possible by mail in voting.
The actual ballots not the machines.
The other obvious thing, biden is a puppet.
Who is pulling the strings? That question probably has more than one answer.
Where We Go One We Go All (WWG1WGA) is just as central to the Qvians as Q-drops (which, as far as I can tell, have stopped).
Eventually, most of them are going to realize there was no ‘Plan’ but there really is a bunch of people — millions of them — who feel the way they do about ‘patriotism’ and that there is something deeply wrong with this country.
As more and more of them realize that ‘civic nationalism’ is a false god, they will be primed for some other ‘nationalism’, like ‘ethno-nationalism’ or, minimally, identitarianism.
White identitarians, White Nationalists just need to communicate that we are on their side.
To play devil’s advocate for a moment I’d like to point out that the Q psyop has gotten a bunch of normies who would otherwise be immune to being redpilled out of the establishment bubble. Now most of those people have realized that it was a psyop and yet they remain far more open minded they did before. Unfortunately, a lot of them are blackpilled but that’s certainly better than believing in a pysop and I think they’re in a good position to hear the actual truth, we do deal in veritable truth after all.
The schizo Qtards weren’t exactly great stock to begin with, every single eventual Qtard I’ve known was some sort of gnostic, whether they knew it or not, always obsessed with kookspiracies and new age mysticism. Unless I’m mistaken Q has disappeared off the face of the earth and obviously didn’t deliver anything at all so belief in Q is now effectively a dunce cap, lets you know that they’re not to be trusted.
It is dangerous on many different levels though, I admit, the obvious being that it unites a bunch of schizos making them feel invincible. An unexpected one is financial, one Qtard I know has been telling everyone to invest in XRP for example because, apparently, Trump put it in a bill and it’s gonna be the new digital USD and everyone who invests in it is going to be billionaires eventually. It’s funny because he said mail in voting was a non issue because the military would install Trump as emperor, obviously that didn’t happen and Ripple, XRP’s owner, isn’t exactly doing great nowadays. He remains unfazed despite none of his predictions coming true and continues to shill for Q. I don’t know where he got these asinine ideas about XRP specifically, someone is feeding him this stuff. Unfortunately there’s at least a few gullible boomers he knows that have invested significantly in XRP, without any real knowledge of crypto, I doubt that will end well.
This Q thing is an entire ecosystem of schizos and grifters, during times of instability all sorts of crazy rumors and conspiracies become rampant. I think Q becoming so popular, and the capitol riots by extension, is a symptom of our society unraveling. A lot of people are scared of what’s coming, it’s like a cat sensing bad weather, we can all feel something bad is looming overhead and the Q psyop took full advantage of that. I still think it’s a net positive even if it’s cruel to give a false sense of hope to these people only to let reality pull the rug out from under them.
I wonder just how much Trump was aware of this, there’s no chance in hell that he wasn’t at least vaguely aware of it. Whoever Q was he was clearly inside the Trump administration and it’s not like his team hasn’t explicitly used psyops to trick people into voting for him under false pretenses before. It’s stuff like this that makes it very difficult for me to have anything but a dim view of Trump himself, I appreciate the good that he’s done but at the end of the day he is basically the high king of grifters.
Before he became President, Trump was known to troll the media by communicating with them under an assumed (fake) name. Is it just slightly possible that Trump (or one of his sons) was Q? Just throwing it out there. If it wasn’t Trump himself, it was all fake. So was it him? Could it have been? That would explain the demonization of Q and Trump’s utter expulsion from social media.
Chabad Lubavitcher more likely. Deep Throat was just a pissed off Jew 2inC in the FBI for example.
I doubt it was him or his any of his kids, I just don’t see any of them going out of their way to do a psyop nor do I think they’re that self aware. Q existed at least in part to smooth over the fact that Trump constantly said one thing and did another, it was a carrot on a stick for people to stay invested. Like a lot of things I think Trump was aware of it but never was directly involved. Trump probably wanted nothing to do with Q after the election was stolen, if the way he treated Sydney Powell is anything to go by. Q lied until the bitter end and added to the disappointment of the election outcome causing a meltdown on the chans on inauguration day when his predictions didn’t come true.
My encounters with QAnons suggest that they are simply incapable of facing how bad our situation is. They intuit that their country has been taken from them but they don’t have an intellectual framework or political vocabulary to investigate their concerns properly. Instead, they embrace obviously silly explanations because those explanations promise them that our plight is not as desperate as it seems.
The white hats will fix everything. “Trust the plan.” (What could be more a sign of an intentional government psy-op than that slogan?)
Also, a number of them are Christians and seem to require that there be a Savior figure who has done all the hard work for them. Imaging a people without a Savior is beyond their capacity.
Christians do accept the pain and suffering though. But it helps to have some sort of character like Christ. I find CS Lewis apologetics on the subject quite valuable. A literature prof at Magdelen College who authored excellent books himself and edited Lord of the Rings is no slouch on the basics.
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