Roughly about a month about I was writing about QAnon, a very modern conspiracy claim. Today I’ll turn once more to the topic to highlight some recent developments within this rather popular cesspit of misinformation and utter nonsense.
First, a quick bit of background
QAnon is basically a far-right conspiracy claim that there exists a secret plot by the US “deep state” against U.S. President Donald Trump and his supporters. Actually that’s a tad simplistic, the actual belief is that there is a worldwide cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles who rule the world. Trump is regarded as a messiah, God’s chosen man, to scupper their plans.
Those that believe all of this stuff also seriously think that Donald Trump faked collusion with Russians in order to enlist Robert Mueller to join him in exposing the ring and prevented a coup d’état by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and George Soros.
True believers have terms such as The Storm and The Great Awakening to describe things that they truly believe are just about to happen. “The Storm” is an anticipated event in which thousands of people, the supposed members of the cabal, will be arrested, possibly sent to Guantanamo Bay prison or face military tribunals, and the U.S. military will brutally take over the country. The result will be the supposed salvation and a utopia on earth.
There are several very consistent things here …
- The actual evidence for any of this is exactly zero
- Anything predicted never happens.
- If you ask a true believer for evidence, none will ever be presented. You will face deflection and will be told to “Do your research” (Tip: It’s their claim, so it is their responsibility to cite evidence. Burden of proof is with them)
For lots more details you will find that the Wikipedia page covers it all rather well.
OK, so moving on, what new twists and turns has it all been taking?
QAnon in Congress
It would appear that the election of a QAnon believer to congress who is openly running on a platform of QAnon beliefs is now a very real possibility.
Marjorie Taylor Greene, Pictured above, is a Republican congressional candidate running to represent Georgia’s 14th congressional district. Last Tuesday (June 9, 2020) she dominated a Republican primary and is moving to a runoff with a high likelihood of clinching the House seat.
She loves Trump and vigorously supports him.
Labelling her as a QAnon supporter is not simply a bit of mud slinging, she is openly a QAnon supporter…
There are clips of her promoting QAnon …
If she gets the Republican nomination in the runoff (scheduled for Aug 11), then the seat will most probably be hers when we get to Nov. This is a solid Republican seat.
The point is this.
A conspiracy claim from the lunatic fringe has emerged into the mainstream Republican arena. She is winning support from powerful Republicans such as Reps. Jim Jordan, Matt Gaetz, and other prominent Trump-aligned figures, including Turning Point USA leader Charlie Kirk. She also got money from a PAC tied to White House chief of staff @MarkMeadows
QAnon is not her first disconnect with reality and facts. She has a history of conspiracy thinking – for example she promoted conspiracy theories about the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting, proposing in social-media posts that the shooting was staged or somehow covered up by the FBI to promote gun control.
The Church of QAnon
A completely separate item, but still on the topic of Qanon updates, we have an article published within The Conversation asking this question – The Church of QAnon: Will conspiracy theories form the basis of a new religious movement?
What the author documents is his actual experience within a QAnon church …
I have been studying the growth of the QAnon movement as part of my research into how extremist religious and political organizations create propaganda and recruit new members to ideological causes.
On Feb. 23, I logged onto Zoom to observe the first public service of what is essentially a QAnon church operating out of the Omega Kingdom Ministry (OKM). I’ve spent 12 weeks attending this two-hour Sunday morning service.
What I’ve witnessed is an existing model of neo-charismatic home churches — the neo-charismatic movement is an offshoot of evangelical Protestant Christianity and is made up of thousands of independent organizations — where QAnon conspiracy theories are reinterpreted through the Bible. In turn, QAnon conspiracy theories serve as a lens to interpret the Bible itself.
The resource page of the HCW website only links to QAnon propaganda — including the documentary Fall Cabal by Dutch conspiracy theorist Janet Ossebaard, which is used to formally indoctrinate e-congregants into QAnon. This 10-part YouTube series was the core material for the weekly Bible study during QAnon church sessions I observed.
What goes on is the promotion of some seriously deluded thinking and totally wild claims …
At a service held on April 26, Wagner and Bushey spoke about a QAnon theory, called Project Looking Glass, that the U.S. military has secretly developed a form of time-travel technology. Wagner suggested to e-congregants that time travel can be explained by certain passages in the Bible.
On May 3, the theme of the QAnon portion of the service was about COVID-19. Bushey spoke about a popular QAnon theory that the pandemic was planned.
The key point he is making within this article is this …
we should be concerned about these latest developments. OKM provides formalized religious indoctrination into QAnon, a conspiracy movement that is both a public health threat by spreading false information about the coronavirus pandemic and a national security concern.
Indeed yes, they are tapping into religion and blending it in so that a considerable degree of uncritical thinking can be ramped up and merged with passionate religious fanaticism.
We might indeed laugh at the utter absurdity of it all, but we should also be seriously concerned.
What weapons should we deploy?
The very best; humour and mockery. They have set themselves up for that, so let’s strive to deliver. With their time-travel technology they should see that all coming … right?14
QAnon – Further Reading
- Wikipedia Pages
- Election to Congress …
- The Daily Beast (June 11, 2020) – HISTORY! Congress Poised to Get Its First QAnon Believer
- Business Insider (June 11, 2020) – A Trump-supporting QAnon conspiracist has a strong chance of winning a congressional seat in Georgia
- The Conversation – The Church of QAnon: Will conspiracy theories form the basis of a new religious movement?