The QAnon Conspiracy Phenomenon

Kingsize Wombat

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I don't think this has been discussed here - I'm not even sure it deserves a mention. But I find it strangely fascinating.

Wild conspiracy theories have a way of seeping into public discourse these days, thanks in part to the divided nature of U.S. politics, the growth of websites that actively promote them, such as InfoWars, and the capacity for fake news to spread virally on social media without any fact-checking or oversight.

Enter “Q.”

In late October, just days before a different InfoWars-inflated conspiracy—about anti-fascist protesters plotting a civil war—was about to fizzle, a user identified as Q on the imageboard website 4chan started posting vague, portentous messages related to an approaching “storm.” The user claimed to be a high-level government operative, and the folks on /pol/, a subsection of 4chan with a history of spreading fake news, took notice—with some even believing it was President Donald Trump himself who was posting the messages on 4chan and on a similar website, 8chan.

Today, #Qanon (meaning Q, anonymous), also known as #TheStorm, is the web's fastest-spreading and most pervasive right-wing conspiracy theory. The ideas behind it are difficult for outsiders to understand—in part because it has come to be applied to almost anything by those who believe in its veracity—but here’s what you need to know about the biggest fake news story of 2018.

The date was October 5,a Thursday in an exhausting week in the news cycle. The Las Vegas mass shooting had claimed the lives of scores of innocent people days earlier, and no motives had been attached—pumping a whiff of conspiracy into the air. Trump, while speaking to his press pool and surrounded by military leaders for a photo-op, made cryptic remarks that have never been fully explained by the White House.

“Maybe it's the calm before the storm,” he said to the gaggle of reporters. “Could be. The calm before the storm. We have the world's great military people in this room, I will tell you that. And we're going to have a great evening. Thank you all for coming.”

A reporter requested clarification about what Trump said: “What storm, Mr. President?”

“You'll find out. Thank you, everybody,” the president said.

The “Q” internet posts began appearing three weeks after Trump’s cryptic remark about “the storm.” The anonymous user would ask questions referring to the idea that Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and George Soros could potentially be arrested or detained, and would make random claims such as: “This has nothing to do with Russia (yet),” apparently referring to his own internet writings. People started cobbling together the posts and reporting them to one another as clues in what they saw as a larger puzzle. One phrase that gets bandied about a lot on #Qanon threads is “Follow the white rabbit,” referring to the turn of phrase used in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and the 1999 film The Matrix, which has been mined for allusions by Trump supporters since he launched his campaign back in 2015.

If you search the hashtags #TheStorm and #Qanon on Twitter, you will find users connecting the prophesies of “Q” to—well, pretty much anything. Do you incorrectly believe that Clinton aide Huma Abedin was doing tacit work for the Sunni Islamic organization Muslim Brotherhood during Obama’s tenure as president? That will be revealed in the forthcoming "storm" of information, if you want. Do you imagine that the rapper Jay Z, who recently drew Trump’s ire for remarks he made about black unemployment, is in cahoots with Soros, the billionaire philanthropist? “The storm” will exposethat nonexistent plot in time. Are you angry about special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into alleged acts of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election? Then you’re free to imagine that “the storm” will one day reveal that investigation to be a front for the real Russian collusion, which the conspiracists say took place at the behest of perpetual far-right scapegoats like Clinton and Obama. (It did not, for what it’s worth.)

http://www.newsweek.com/how-storm-biggest-fake-news-story-796725

In essence, "Q" tends to predict that the "Deep State" will be unveiled "Soon", "Next Week" or whenever - and he/she/it posts a lot of cryptic stuff that the followers gobble up and spit out as various interpretations. Usually meaning that the Clintons, the "Pizzagate" people and anyone else the alt-right doesn't like will get arrested anytime soon.

And then, nothing happens. And so it starts all over again.

Here's a compilation of the "Q" posts, so you don't have to go to 8chan or whatever:

https://qcodefag.github.io/
 
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EnolaGaia

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It's essentially a meta-conspiracy-frenzy ... In the absence of anything tangible to cite in support of a focused scare story, you rely on the momentum of all the previously-induced confusion and dread to keep the embers of paranoia smoldering. If you've built up enough momentum or 'mass' already, the end effect is obtained via generalized uncertainty without any need to spin much pseudo-detail for each new story.
 

Kingsize Wombat

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You're doing a public service in reading this stuff so the rest of us don't have to.

Great! I'll view it as community service then.

Today he is predicting an imminent "car attack' in the UK.

WARNING_UK_ _LONDON_POSSIBLE_CAR_ATTACK_24 STRIKE_PACKAGE_B-7V WARNING_UK_IMM_CHATTER_ XRAY_7 CHATTER^^^^^^^^ Q, DELTA
 

Kingsize Wombat

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Here's a "Map" to all of Q's ideas. If you can call it ideas... Everything is connected! And I do mean everything...

It's a master piece of paranoid thinking.

Link to remotely hosted image is dead and URL never cited so as to allow for verification.
The image presumably was one of the QAnon "Great Awakening" map shown below.


QAnon-GrtAwakeningMap.jpg
 
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humanoidlord

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Here's a "Map" to all of Q's ideas. If you can call it ideas... Everything is connected! And I do mean everything...
It's a master piece of paranoid thinking.
so someone decided to pick every conspiracy theory ever and draw arbritary connections between them?
 
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Andy X

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That would appear to be the case. Transhumanism, for example should have many more links.
 

Kingsize Wombat

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so someone decided to pick every conspiracy theory ever and draw arbritary connections between them?

Well, Arbitrary or not - that is the question. I am intrigued by the direct connection between Aleister Crowley and Barbara Bush. What's that all about?
 

Kingsize Wombat

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I read a rumour that he was supposed to be her real father.
Yup, that's it.

After digging for a bit, you soon discover that the “Crowley is Barbara Bush’s biological father” rumor comes from a single source: an article on the website Cannonfire, whose author claims to have access to Crowley’s diaries, along with information from a “sixth-level initiate of the Ordo Templi Orientis, the organization Crowley founded in the 1920s. Even in this article, there’s no actual proof that Crowley had sex with Pierce, but apparently she may have been one of four people who helped Crowley explore sex magick, in a ritual called the rite of Eroto-Comotose Lucidity.

https://io9.gizmodo.com/according-to-the-internet-aleister-crowley-was-george-1745967571?IR=T

Which, ah, would prove that, ah, well, I really don't know.
 

Kingsize Wombat

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No - it hasn't gone away - it is still spreading. I met my first flesh and blood disciple this week - and Roseanne Barr of all people has joined the fray.

Update, 3/30: Roseanne’s tweets have drawn new attention to QAnon! Read more at my updated post here.

Barack Obama will be shipped off to Guantanamo Bay any day now.

MS-13 murdered Seth Rich, probably at the DNC’s behest.

Special counsel Robert Mueller isn’t investigating the Donald Trump campaign — he’s actually investigating the Clintons, and Trump’s helping.

And Pizzagate is real, but don’t worry — Trump finally has its perpetrators on the run.

Welcome to the exciting alternative universe of “The Storm,” an increasingly popular mega-theory on the right that has already absorbed gobs of smaller conspiracy theories. In “The Storm,” which also goes by the handle “QAnon,” Trump fans can inhabit a world where their wildest Trump hopes can come true.

Sean Hannity retweeted a tweet citing QAnon on Tuesday, and now I fear we’re only a week away from some Fox guest dropping a cryptic QAnon reference on air.


0*z9obv6AJrVCWlFRJ.png

So, as The Storm’s adherents say, let’s follow the white rabbit.

https://medium.com/@willsommer/meet...king-over-the-pro-trump-internet-3ec94bf7d8a3

And while I haven't found a Power Point version yet, this article links to a 258 page (!) PDF file the explains "everything".
 

Andy X

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Well, Arbitrary or not - that is the question. I am intrigued by the direct connection between Aleister Crowley and Barbara Bush. What's that all about?

Speaking of Crowley - and almost completely off-topic - what's the Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall connection? :eek:

I've always thought he was evil: I once saw him making a salad.

_100586917_6a01cbf6-9e98-47d4-a0d7-38aac142b75c.jpg
 

Vardoger

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QAnon is the alt-right's own superhero working in the deepstate. I find the alt-right's trust in him/her ridiculous. It's probably just a 4Chan'er sitting in his mother's basement having fun.
 

Kingsize Wombat

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It's probably just a 4Chan'er sitting in his mother's basement having fun.

That's what I'm thinking. Success rate of his/her "predictions"? Zero.

Here's the latest - he makes Nostradamus look sharp and to the point:

Apr 8 2018 00:09:53 (EST) !xowAT4Z3VQ Q ID: c96828
946456→
Night [4]
Increase in chatter.
Auth B19-2.
Sparrow Red.
Prevent at all costs.
Good.
Castle_Online.
Q
 

ramonmercado

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More on QAnon, plus Ancient White Colonies in America!

As many readers already know, actress Roseanne Barr became an internet laughingstock recently when she praised Donald Trump for his heroic role in an imaginary effort to free thousands of children from a Democrat-run pedophilia network. This bizarre counterfactual belief is part of the so-called QAnon conspiracy, an internet-driven conspiracy theory which holds that Trump and Special Counsel Robert Muller are working together to take down Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, who are the masterminds of a global child abuse network and terrorism syndicate. Barr removed her tweets referencing QAnon but did not apologize for her belief in the conspiracy.

In a recent examination of the QAnon conspiracy, The Outline highlighted a popular set of rules that believers have been using to try to spread belief in a heroic Donald Trump among mainstream audiences, whom they deride as “normies.” In these rules, take a look at what believers are asked to avoid discussing for fear of turning off audiences:

Avoid 1) Aliens, 2) "Energy" fields, 3) Hollow earth, 4) Metaphysics, 5) Religions pantheons, 6) Moloch / Satan / Saturn, 7) Chemtrails, 8) Crop circles, 9) Detoxing / Cleansing Pineal Gland, 10) Chakras, 11) Reptiloids because normies will take one look at any of those and dismiss you as a nutcase. ...

Meanwhile, I feel like I should say something about the recent Earth Ancients interview with Frank Joseph, the former head of the American Nazi party and a convicted child rapist. Joseph is a rare guest on fringe radio, mostly because of his sordid past, and here host Cliff Dunning whitewashes Joseph by praising him effusively without mentioning his Nazi affiliation or his disturbing history. Joseph made this rare foray into fringe radio to promote his new book, which I reviewed a few months ago.

In the interview, Joseph endorses the controversial claim that evidence for human occupation of America had been discovered in California dating back 100,000 years, and true to his racist heart he differentiates between these presumed people and “the first Asians” to reach America, the ancestors of the Native Americans. As is quite clear, he sees the first Americans as a lost race unrelated to the Native Americans. This is a colonial-era claim invented in the 1700s to justify dispossessing Native peoples. He lingers from time to time on Native Americans’ bloodlust and human sacrifices, another common trope from the colonial era. ...

http://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/e...-to-discuss-ancient-white-colonies-in-america
 

Tribble

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Here's a "Map" to all of Q's ideas. If you can call it ideas... Everything is connected! And I do mean everything...

It's a master piece of paranoid thinking.

So this huge, sprawling, all-controlling network of organisations has the means to eliminate/brainwash/manipulate/silence/disappear anyone on the planet in a thousand different ways, and they're about to be revealed and destroyed by an emotionally-crippled buffoon?
 
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uair01

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That's interesting, but to me it reads like experimental poetry: https://qanonposts.com/
Or something from a Gibson novel!
 
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Kingsize Wombat

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Some more mainstream views on the Qanon thing - one from Harpers, the other from the NYT:

My friend Matthew, who saw combat in Afghanistan and has reported on intelligence issues, believes that Q may be the result of psyops conceived to maintain morale among Trump’s base. The trick, he says, is to fashion a mental filter that will make Trump’s losses look like victories, his missteps like chess moves, his caprices like plans. After all, if most news is fake, as Trump insists, the real news must be hidden out of sight. Q claims to offer glimpses of it, along with warnings about what would happen if we beheld it all at once. To wake in an instant to the Luciferian horrors of the Cabal’s perverted machinations would be like rushing forth from Plato’s cave—blinding, debilitating, maybe deadly. Instead, Q leads us gently toward the light, a patient guide, like Virgil was to Dante.

https://harpers.org/archive/2018/06/the-wizard-of-q/

You don’t create a wild fantasy about your leader being a covert genius unless you understand that to most people, he looks like something quite different. You don’t need an occult story about how your side is secretly winning if it’s actually winning. Publicly, many right-wing politicians and pundits disdain the Mueller investigation and pretend to believe that Trump’s ties to Russia are negligible. But among part of the Trump base, the effort to explain them away appears to be creating psychic strain.

“You cannot possibly imagine the size of this,” said a Q dispatch last month. “Trust the plan. Trust there are more good than bad.” Q almost certainly doesn’t know any state secrets, but he, she, or they understand that some fervent Trump supporters require more reassurance than they’re willing to admit. Their desperate conviction that they will be proven right about Trump betrays a secret fear that they will be proven wrong.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/06/opinion/qanon-trump-conspiracy-theory.html
 

AlchoPwn

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Here's a "Map" to all of Q's ideas. If you can call it ideas... Everything is connected! And I do mean everything...
It's a master piece of paranoid thinking.

This is really quite extraordinary. Thanks for finding and posting this. I have a good mind to contact them and take the Q bunch to task for some of the shaky fact checking they have done here, and also to suggest that they re-arrange the whole thing into a hypertext matrix that delineates their perceived connections.
 
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dr wu

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It seems like the only thing 'Q' is revealing is his own Deep Psychosis and not any Deep State.

;)
 

AlchoPwn

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It seems like the only thing 'Q' is revealing is his own Deep Psychosis and not any Deep State.;)

While I appreciate the sentiment, I am pretty sure that psychopathy can be regarded as a "state", if only a "state of mind". Pardon me while I attend to my horse :dhorse:.
 

Kingsize Wombat

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That whole Q Anon thing is still lurching along - with Trump fans wearing "Q" T-Shirts and the like. And, of course, there's an app for that:

Apple, Google cashed in on Pizzagate-offshoot conspiracy app

An app promoting a conspiracy theory featuring Hillary Clinton and a child sex ring lingered at the top of Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store for months, with both tech giants receiving a cut of the revenue in the process.

The app, called “QDrops,” sends alerts about a conspiracy theory called Qanon, an offshoot of the “pizzagate” fiction that claimed Clinton was running a child sex trafficking ring out of the basement of a Washington pizza shop that didn’t even have a basement. Like many conspiracy theories, Qanon got its start on 4chan, an anonymous posting site that is a seedbed for extreme thought and a large number of online subcultures.

The app peaked not long after it launched in April when it was No. 10 of all paid Apple iOS apps and No. 1 in the “entertainment” section.

Apple removed the QDrops app from its app store on Sunday after inquiries from NBC News.

https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-n...hed-pizzagate-offshoot-conspiracy-app-n891726


It's still on Google Play at the time of writing, and I was tempted to download it - but they wanted $ 1.99 - and there's no way I'm going to pay for that.

But removing it will just stoke the paranoia of the followers.
 

Kingsize Wombat

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I'm still waiting for this to go away - but hey, it isn't. It's getting actually a bit scary:

The QAnon Conspiracy Has Stumbled Into Real Life, And It’s Not Going To End Well

On June 15, when he packed his AR-15 and drove an armored vehicle onto the bridge near Hoover Dam, Matthew Wright had a mission. He’d gleaned it from a berserk conspiracy theory that circulates mainly online, and now here he was, offline, near a very real dam, with a not-at-all-virtual rifle.

As he blocked traffic, he held up a sign. “Release the OIG report,” it read. He wanted the same thing that so many others that subscribe to the all-encompassing QAnon conspiracy theory want: some sort of proof of a “deep state” conspiracy, run by the liberal elite and Hollywood, to commit and then cover up an array of atrocities, from child sex trafficking to false-flag shootings.

The report he was looking for had actually been released the day before, and it didn’t have any of the information he and the rest ofthe QAnon followerssought. Of course, the theory’s adherents believe there’s another inspector general’s report they haven’t seen, one with all the “true” information, and they’ll fight to get it.

On the day he was arrested in Arizona on a variety of federal charges, Wright was acting as a soldier for “Q.” That’s the handle of an anonymous poster on equally anonymous message boards 4chan and 8chan and on Reddit since late last year. In letters Wright wrote from jail, intended for President Donald Trump and various government offices, he signed off with the QAnon motto: “For where we go one, we go all.” He also referred to a “Great Awakening,” another likely allusion to QAnon.

Of course, another real-life QAnon mission brings another arrest. The founder of Veterans on Patrol, Michael Lewis Arthur Meyer, was collared on Sunday after sheriff’s deputies saw a YouTube video in which he was rifling through private property in his hunt for nonexistent pedophiles. He was arrested on suspicion of trespassing, along with a charge of failure to appear in court on July 17 for an unrelated assault charge.


https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/qanon-conspiracy-real-life_us_5b54bbafe4b0b15aba8fe484

https://www.reviewjournal.com/crime...off-writes-trump-cites-conspiracy-in-letters/
 

Kingsize Wombat

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The Guardian is now reporting on Q Anon. And, for whatever reason, Tom Hanks is in the cross hairs of Q followers:

If you happened to be watching YouTube videos on Monday morning and were struck by an urge to check in on one of America’s most beloved movie stars, you were in for a nasty surprise.

“Sarah Ruth Ashcraft says Tom Hanks is a pedophile”, read the title of the top video search result for the actor’s name. “Tom Hanks’ Alleged ‘Sex Slave’ Speaks Out”, read another top search result.

Indeed, the top five results – and eight out of the top 14 – were variations on the pedophilia theme, interspersed with the hashtags #QAnon, #Pizzagate and #Pedogate.

These bizarre results, first spotted by the NBC reporter Ben Collins, are not the result of the latest #MeToo era investigation reporting. Instead, they are the entirely unsubstantiated manifestation of a sprawling rightwing conspiracy theory known as QAnon.

https://www.theguardian.com/technol...n-rightwing-conspiracy-theory-explained-trump
 
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