Qanon As Revealed Religion
No proof? No problem. Do nothing. Trust the plan.
Until recently, I have been an aloof witness to the rise of Qanon. Qanon is a group of people who appear to find solace and an endless source of dopamine hits by posting and researching stories about crimes they haven’t even witnessed. They carry on with their dialogue on anonymous message boards instead of talking to people who have the power to do something about the things they have seen. Seriously, why didn’t the mysterious Q report that he himself reported said crimes to the relevant authorities?
I hear lots of talk about a liberal elite pedophile ring. But I never hear talk about discussing the same with the local authorities about it. Or reporting the same to a well organized, long-lived, and well funded NGO that has a staff that is experienced enough to investigate the alleged crimes and bring them to light. Not a word about using the Sunshine Laws to request government documents that would show evidence of some wrongdoing. No discussion with newspapers. No discussion with government authorities. Do your own research they say.
I hear that a few people in politics that have expressed support for Qanon have won elections and/or primaries. I’m not really afraid of Qanon, and I don’t really believe them to be as great a threat as some of them would like us to believe they are.
If anything, I have more faith in Anonymous than I do in Qanon. I think that Julian Assange is a bigger man than Q. At least Anonymous will dig for information and leak it. Assange is evading extradition for his so-called crime of publishing what was leaked to him. That’s not what’s happening with Qanon. Q is not leaking information that can be verified, for if he did, we’d see the proof.
I find it interesting that there is such a fanatical group like Qanon in the first place. I did the conspiracy theory stuff in the 90s, and I grew out of it. I researched the Federal Reserve, the origins of the 16th Amendment, the Vince Foster suicide, the Whitewater Scandal, and a few others. I still have some of the books I bought back then.
I look back at that time and I see that I could have spent my time making my life better. I spent a lot of time worrying about things that were beyond my sphere of influence. I had no peace.
I have no doubt there are people who do bad things to other people. I just don’t understand how posting those stories in anonymous message boards is any more effective than blowing a whistle at the Inspector General, Attorney General, or somebody else who could do something about it. If you make enough noise to enough agencies, public and private, you will eventually find someone with the power, sincere desire, and the will to help. Why isn’t any of this happening?
I believe I may know the reason why. In Qanon, everyone that is not with you is an enemy. If they don’t believe you, you’re the enemy. If you’re a member of the establishment press, you're the enemy. If you’re in government and you don’t do the secret handshake, and you don’t support Trump, you’re the enemy. If you don’t know the last Q tripcode, you’re compromised. If you don’t believe it, you’re the enemy. 25 years ago, when I was deep into conspiracy theory myself, I held similar attitudes.
No one can save you but you. Don’t trust the police. Don’t trust authority. Don’t trust reporters. Do your own research and only share it with people who think as you do, for everyone else is compromised. Anyone else who doesn’t agree with you might report you to the authorities, so don’t say too much. As Q likes to say, “I have already said too much.”
Q uses a lot of catchy phrases. It’s the quiet before the storm. Do nothing. Trust the plan.
What he doesn’t say is that the plan is authoritarian. The storm is authoritarian. When the time is right, retribution will be swift and sure. Those who betray your faith will be punished. Don’t be like them. The apocalypse is the message.
Q drops clues in every post. He wants you to do your own research. He wants you to convince yourself that he’s right. He wants you to convince yourself that what he says is true and that his predictions will come to pass. And if they don’t come to pass (their accuracy is very low), or their prediction was already known in advance by someone in government, Q wants you to accept his excuses for being wrong. It’s all part of the plan.
All of this is why I agree with Caitlin Johnstone when she says that Qanon is a psyop. So many words, so little substance. She shares her experience as follows:
A year ago I tweeted out that I was thinking of writing an article about QAnon and asked its adherents for their very best links/screenshots proving its legitimacy. Go ahead and have a read of the kinds of responses I got by clicking this hyperlink if you’re curious. No one came remotely close to providing anything like the evidence I’d asked for, with most responses falling along the lines of “You kind of have to just immerse yourself in it over an extended period of time and marinate in it until you believe,” which is the same sort of response you’ll get if you ask a religious proselytizer to prove the legitimacy of their religion. I shared the thread again yesterday and got the same response, with one QAnon promoter with a fairly large following telling me, “No amount of evidence can be seen by one choosing to stay blind.”
Then she goes on to compare that experience with correspondence with 9/11 and JFK conspiracy theorists. Those people will gladly present you with a stack of evidence to support their statements. Qanons will just ask you to believe — you must want to believe or you won’t believe it.
Whatever their claims are, and to the extent that their statements do not incite violence, I disagree with the idea that Qanon should be censored. I disagree that they should be relegated to the backwaters of the internet. I believe that whatever is repressed is obsessed, and whatever is obsessed is expressed. Left unattended and without public scrutiny, this movement can lead to violence that is preventable.
Let’s bring this out into the open so that everyone can see it. Let’s get this on the Congressional Record in hearings that allow us to fully investigate their claims. If they’re right, we find some criminals and bring them to justice. If they’re wrong, we can just note for the record that they were wrong. We might say, “Feel free to come back when you have some actual evidence.”
Qanons like to say that they’re an alternative source of news. If that’s so, then I’d expect to see them using at least some of the same tools that journalists use.
Consider, in this story published by NBC, they found evidence that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin had one on one meetings with each member of the Postal Service Board of Governors to lobby for Luis DeJoy as the new Postmaster General. (The Postal Service Board of Governors is an independent body that oversees the United States Post Office.) How did NBC’s reporters put this story together? They talked to people who worked for the government at the Treasury and the USPS. They filed Freedom Of Information Act requests. They made phone calls. They got interviews on the record. This is what reporters do. I don’t see any of that happening with Qanon.
If Qanon is reporting the news, they have very unorthodox methods. Their information is not verified. Their information is very difficult to verify. Their information is wildly subject to interpretation. You know, like revealed religion.
The thing about the Qanon narrative is that the government is the enemy, so you can never verify it with the government. No source is good enough for them unless it’s Q. Reporters verify their stories with the government, people who are subject matter for their articles, and people who study or who are familiar with the way the government works. I don’t see that with Qanon.
Back in the days when I used to write Freedom Of Information Act requests for my own customers, I didn’t consider the government the enemy. I was only interested in information, regardless of the source. I understood that information is neither good nor bad. It’s just information, and that given enough sources, it can always be confirmed or denied. I don’t see that kind of attitude with the Qanon people.
Since Qanon believers are finding inroads into Congress, then it’s time to bring their theories out into the open. Let’s explore them, let's see if we can find corroborating evidence, let's see if we can find contradictory evidence, or if there is no evidence at all to support their theories. Let’s ask them to either put up the evidence to support their theories or ask them to get back to doing the business of the people.
We don’t have to censor Qanons. We don’t have to support them. We simply need to have a conversation with them on camera and on the record and let them know that they are heard, but that our time is precious. We have a lot of other work to do. If you’re a Qanon and you have a story about a crime, talk about it with the rest of us. Let’s air this out before it does real damage to our country and our people.
This is the point of political dialogue and discourse. Our debates should be out in the open for all to see, for all to research, dig into, and to separate the accurate information from the inaccurate information. Then we can use the best information available to make public policy decisions that benefit all of us. Let’s keep the revealed religion Q out of public policy decisions until it’s been verified. If we can’t verify it, we move on.