QAnon (/ˌkjuːəˈnɒn/), or simply, Q, has claimed to be a high-level government official with Q clearance, (a person) who had access to classified information involving the Trump administration and its opponents in the United States. Q is apparently a person.
A Q Clearance is equivalent to a United States Department of Defense Top Secret clearance. Anyone possessing an active Q clearance is always categorized as holding a National Security Critical-Sensitive position.
QAnon originated in 2017 when the anonymous figure “Q” — a self-proclaimed Trump administration insider — began posting on the notorious 4chan message board.
According to a March 4, 2021 article by Kevin Roose in The New Times, QAnon followers believe that this cabal includes top Democrats like President Joseph R. Biden Jr., Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and George Soros, as well as a number of entertainers and Hollywood celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks and Ellen DeGeneres and religious figures including Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama. Many of them also believe that, in addition to molesting children, members of this group kill and eat their victims to extract a life-extending chemical called adrenochrome.
QAnon is commonly called a cult. A cult is defined by a misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing.
QAnon followers allege that a secret cabal of Satan-worshipping, cannibalistic pedophiles was running a global child sex-trafficking ring and plotted against former U.S. president Donald Trump while he was in office.
A cabal is the contrived schemes of a group of persons secretly united in a plot (as to overturn a government).
According to Wikipedia, QAnon’s first prediction was that Hillary Clinton was about to be arrested and would attempt to flee the country. This prediction failed.
Other predictions that failed include:
- The “Storm” would take place on November 3, 2017. There were no notable events in US politics on that day.
- The “Storm” would take place on January 20, 2021, the day of Biden’s inauguration. No coup took place and Biden was peacefully inaugurated.
- A major event involving the Department of Defense would take place on February 1, 2018.
- People targeted by the president would commit suicide en masse on February 10, 2018. No prominent people committed suicide that day.
- There would be a car bombing in London around February 16, 2018. There was no bombing.
- The Trump military parade would “never be forgotten”. The parade was canceled.
- The Five Eyes “won’t be around much longer”.
- Something major would happen in Chongqing on April 10, 2018. Nothing notable happened in Chongqing that day.
- There would be a “bombshell” revelation about North Korea in May 2018. There were no notable developments.
- A “smoking gun” video of Hillary Clinton would emerge in March 2018. No video appeared.
- Multiple failed predictions that John McCain would resign from the US Senate. McCain remained in the Senate until his death in August 2018.
- Multiple failed predictions that Mark Zuckerberg would leave Facebook and flee the United States. Zuckerberg remains CEO of Facebook as of March 2021.
- Multiple failed predictions that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey would be forced to resign. Dorsey remains CEO of Twitter as of March 2021.
- Multiple failed predictions that Pope Francis would be arrested on felony charges.
- Multiple failed predictions that “something big” would happen or the truth would emerge “next week”.
- Multiple failed predictions that Donald Trump would be re-inaugurated on January 20, 2021 despite losing the election. Joe Biden was inaugurated as planned on January 20.
- Donald Trump would be inaugurated on March 4, 2021, as the 19th president. This claim stems from a conspiracy theory stating that the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871 made the United States into a corporation (a theory developed by the sovereign citizen movement). Therefore, Trump would have been inaugurated as the 19th president (after Ulysses S. Grant) and the country would cease to be a corporation and once again become the country started by the Founding Fathers. March 4 is the inauguration date because the 20th Amendment changed the date to January 20, and no amendments to the U.S. Constitution since 1869 are recognized. Joe Biden remains the incumbent and 46th president of the United States.
- Donald Trump would be inaugurated again on March 20, 2021. After the failed prediction that Trump would be inaugurated on March 4, 2021, QAnon “delayed” the inauguration date to March 20, 2021. Joe Biden remains the President of the United States
- Donald Trump would be inaugurated again on March 20, 2021. After the failed prediction that Trump would be inaugurated on March 4, 2021, QAnon “delayed” the inauguration date to March 20, 2021. Joe Biden remains the President of the United States.
The number of QAnon adherents is unclear, but the group maintains a large online following.
A September 2020 poll by the left-leaning Daily Kos and the online polling company Civiqs found that 56% of Republicans “believed” QAnon. Republicans are roughly one-quarter of American adults. Though Daily Kos may overstate positions it thinks would look bad for Republicans, the 56% of Republicans who “believed” QAnon could amount to about 14% of the United States population.
According to the Pew Research Center, “More than a dozen 2020 U.S. House and Senate candidates have engaged with the collection of conspiracy theories known as QAnon. At least two of those candidates won their races and will be heading to Congress in 2021.
Once such candidate is Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a first-term congresswoman from Georgia,who recently spoke to a group of over 300 people in Vero Beach, FL, has become the most prominent QAnon-affiliated lawmaker in the country. (Ms. Greene, who posted in support of QAnon on social media, has said she regrets her posts, but continues to promote many QAnon-supported conspiracy theories.) Elected Republicans at the state and local levels have also expressed support for QAnon.
What do we do with QAnon Folks? Charles T Clark wrote in the San Diago Tribune on February 2, 2021, that
QAnon is nearing a crossroads, but we in the public need to extend a hand, especially to loved ones, before things get worse
There are no shortages of for the QAnon casualties.
There are parents who’ve excommunicated their children because the kids wouldn’t follow them down the rabbit hole of far-right conspiracy. There are couples who’ve gotten divorces because one spouse became all-consumed by QAnon. There was even a mother who accused her daughter of being a Democrat who takes her children to the park to advertise them to child molesters.
I was a member of a cult. Here’s how to bring QAnon believers back to reality
Opinion by Steven Hassan for CNN Business Perspectives
Updated 4:46 PM ET, Thu February 4, 2021
If you have cut off contact with someone as a result of their radicalization, reach out to them. Start with something neutral, such as, “I’ve missed you,” or, “How are you?” If you were judgmental or harsh, try apologizing and ask for a “redo.” Resist the temptation to argue against their beliefs or explain that they have been duped. This approach is more likely to further entrench someone in their beliefs. Be compassionate, understanding that this person might be feeling confused, scared, betrayed or angry. Be non-judgmental.
Validate any reasonable concerns that may be contained within some of the conspiracy theories. For example, child trafficking is a real and serious issue that QAnon believers are very concerned about. If they bring this up in the context of a conspiracy theory, acknowledge it is a terrible thing and offer information on legitimate organizations that are addressing the issue.
Suggest a break from media
Encourage them to take a break from media and online activity, ideally for a week, but even a day is helpful. Suggest they take a walk, engage in activities they used to enjoy or reconnect with old friends. Share with them the music they used to love. When it becomes safe to share any of these activities in person, offer to do so.
Be willing to listen
If they tell you that they no longer believe in QAnon, let them know you are willing to listen if they would like to talk about it. Help them feel empowered that they are thinking for themselves. If they feel a social vacuum by exiting, you can remind them that many others are exiting, too. There are reputable ex-cult members from many different groups. There is also an effort by former members of cults called Project #IGotOut. I was one of the founders of this project. Most important, remember that the person you knew and cared for before they were influenced by a cult still exists, and with consistent, respectful support they can gain the knowledge and strength to set themselves free.