QAnon Destroys Lives. Now It’s Coming for Congress.
It’s hard—but possible—to save people from the conspiracy theory’s grip.
A Republican Senate candidate recently declared herself “one of the thousands of digital soldiers” in service of QAnon, a convoluted pro-Trump conspiracy theory about a “deep state” of child-molesting Satanist traitors plotting against the president. A congressional candidate in Colorado who made approving comments about QAnon bested a five-term Republican incumbent in a primary last month.
And then there is Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican who is perhaps the most unabashedly pro-QAnon candidate for Congress and has drawn a positive tweet from President Trump. She recently declared that QAnon was “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take this global cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles out.”
More than two years after QAnon, which the F.B.I. has labeled a potential domestic terrorism threat, emerged from the troll-infested corners of the internet, the movement’s supporters are morphing from keyboard warriors into political candidates. They have been urged on by Mr. Trump, whose own espousal of conspiracy theories and continual railing against the political establishment have cleared a path for QAnon candidates.
Who is Q?
Q is, well, anon. Nobody knows who they are, or why they are posting what they do.
They are, among other things, a user on 4chan. They use that forum to post a whole load of cryptic messages, which make reference to the vast conspiracy theory that has become known as QAnon.
Sometimes, the posts are like puzzles, offerings hints and encouraging the people reading them to get involved. Others are more explicit, making allegations about specific people and in detail.
And they do appear to be a “they”. Q refers to themselves as “we”, apparently at least trying to suggest that it is a group rather than just one person.
The name appears to be a reference to the fact that the person claims to have “Q” clearance, a designation in the US Department of Energy that would allow the holder access to classified material.
For now, the identity or identities behind the conspiracy theory remains secret, and it’s possible it will always remain that way. While there is sometimes a specific focus on certain issues – such as the bureaucracy of the US government, and how it is trying to foil Donald Trump – it’s impossible to know whether the real people behind Q actually have any experience of it.
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