QAnon conspiracy believers have emerged from behind computer screens and are now showing up at President Donald Trump’s rallies. The theorists follow a mysterious online poster simply called Q. The poster got started in October 2017 on 4Chan.
This person claims to be a government agent with access to ultra top-secret information. The mission is to assist President Trump in a mission to take down the so-called “deep state.” And as recent rallies have revealed, the conspiracy theory has made its way from the screen to real life. This video lays out the QAnon theories.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Q Claims to be Sharing Clues About Donald Trump’s Top Secret Missions to Rid the World of Evil
The QAnon conspiracy theory begins with the premise that President Trump is actually an undercover agent working to usher in a new world order and eradicate evil. All other presidents before Trump were criminal, and in league with banking elites and death squads. Trump is leading a final mission against these elites and members of the so-called “deep state.”
Q claims to be giving clues about the undercover operations. This anonymous poster shares what the group calls “breadcrumbs.” They are vague and short, and appear to not make any sense if you are not a part of the QAnon conspiracy.
Last month, The Daily Beast published one of these “breadcrumbs.” It read:
Think SC vote to confirm (coming).
No Name action.
Every dog has its day.
Enjoy the show.
According to the Daily Beast report, “No Name” is Q’s nickname for Senator John McCain. “SC” could refer to the Supreme Court. As for what the message could possibly mean, QAnon followers could spent hours debating that. But that’s part of the appeal within the conspiracy theory community; they believe they’re the only ones who can figure it out.
2. The QAnon Theory is That Trump Opponents Have Actually Already Been Arrested and are Wearing Ankle Monitors
Remember Pizzagate during the 2016 election? The theory was that Hillary Clinton was operating a child sex trafficking ring in the basement of a pizza parlor in Virginia. (The restaurant in question didn’t even have a basement). One believer of the baseless claim even showed up and began shooting into the restaurant. He was later sentenced to 4 years in prison.
To tie this into the QAnon conspiracy: They say Democrats like Hillary Clinton, John Podesta and Huma Abedin, Hollywood actors and vocal Trump detractors like Senator John McCain are running intricate crime rings like Pizzagate. We’re talking murder and child sex trafficking. But why are they walking free? Why hasn’t Trump punished them yet?
Q has an answer for that. They’re actually all wearing ankle monitors. QAnon believers state that President Trump has already arrested all these people. They’re being charged in underground courts and could eventually be sent to Guantanamo Bay.
University of Miami professor Joseph Uscinski has been analyzing the QAnon conspiracy theory. He has said that it’s abnormal to see the “winners” engaging in conspiracy theories. Their guy, Donald Trump, is in the White House.
Uscinski said in an interview with the Guardian that these conspiracy theorists are taking clues from what they’re seeing in real life. “Bill Cosby was America’s dad. Now it turns out he’s a serial rapist. So how much should we be blaming people for thinking ‘Hey, maybe there’s something beneath the surface?’” He also cautioned against getting too worked up over QAnon. Uscinki still thinks followers of Q are still a relatively small number. “Don’t confuse the popularity of this with the popularity of Kennedy assassination theories.”
3. QAnon Claims that Robert Mueller is Actually Working with Donald Trump
Robert Mueller is the Special Counsel in the Russia investigation. His team is looking into allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and determining whether the Trump campaign had anything to do with that. According to Q, this is all a giant smoke screen.
QAnon conspiracy theorists contend that Mueller is actually Trump’s ally in the mission against the “deep state.” As the Washington Post explains, QAnon’s theory is that Trump manufactured the story about possible collusion with Russia. He created the target on his back because he needed a reason to bring in Mueller.
Mueller is a “white hat.” He is actually part of this imaginary undercover team working to expose the Democrats and their massive criminal network. The Russia probe is just a well-planned distraction, and Vladimir Putin is an ally as well. The theory is that in addition to running a criminal enterprise, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and other wealthy liberals are trying to undermine President Trump and stage a coup. Mueller is the “hero” working with Trump to prevent this.
Other crimes the QAnon conspiracy theories accuse Democrats and the “global elite” of perpetrating: Orchestrating the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary and Las Vegas; encouraging North Korea to make nuclear missiles; and helping to disrupt the traditional American family structure by enticing Miley Cyrus to start acting more promiscuous.
4. QAnon Conspiracy Theorists Are Now Targeting Hollywood Actors on YouTube By Accusing Them of Being Pedophiles
QAnon conspiracy theorists have taken aim at Hollywood stars like Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. They did this by hacking into YouTube and altering search results.
When users searched for Tom Hanks on the video platform, the top results were videos accusing him of keeping sex slaves and targeting children. The top result was “Sarah Ruth Ashcraft says Tom Hanks is a pedophile.”
How do we know QAnon was responsible? The videos included the hashtags #QAnon, #Pizzagate and #Pedogate. NBC reporter Ben Collins was the first to report on these altered results. What’s interesting is that Q has reportedly never mentioned Tom Hanks or Steven Spielberg by name in the “breadcrumbs.” YouTube did not comment about how the hack happened.
But that’s how the clues work. They’re vague enough to be open to wide interpretation. And that is why the QAnon conspiracy theories are cause for concern. The ideas themselves are not necessary alarming; it’s when believers decide to take action, like in the case of the Pizzagate shooting referenced above.
5. Influential People Have Reportedly Bought Into the QAnon Conspiracy
The QAnon conspiracy theory is not contained to just people sitting in their mother’s basements seething about why the world is out to get them. Well-known celebrity figures appear to be buying into and promoting these baseless ideas.
One of these examples is actress Roseanne Barr. She has retweeted messages that explain QAnon philosophies. She also has posted several Tweets about child sex abuse and theorized about the existence of pedophile networks in Hollywood. In a tweet from March 31, 2018, which has since been deleted, Barr wrote, ”
President Trump has freed so many children held in bondage to pimps all over this world. Hundreds each month. He has broken up trafficking rings in high places everywhere. notice that. I disagree on some things, but give him benefit of doubt-4 now.
Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling is another apparent believer. In June, The Daily Beast reported that Schilling shared a video on his Facebook page that laid out the QAnon conspiracy, about how Trump was operating a secret mission to fix the world.
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