QAnon is an illogical conspiracy theory started on the controversial imageboard 4chan claiming that President Donald Trump is secretly working with special counsel Bob Mueller to arrest high-profile Democrats and celebrities that the conspiracy theory claims are involved in a child trafficking ring. The conspiracy theory is based around messages posted by an anonymous person who goes by “Q” and claims to have access to classified information.
Bennett, who represents a district in the Charleston area, has been posting about the conspiracy theory since last year, helping her followers “decode” the QAnon “clues.”
“They’re legit,” Bennett wrote in another post. “And they haven’t been wrong.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Lin Bennett Is Pushing QAnon Propaganda Online
Bennett’s Facebook posts are no longer visible to the public but The Daily Beast reported that she has been posting message helping to “decode” QAnon “clues” on her page since last year.
Bennett posted a guide to the conspiracy theory in April, calling it a “gem.”
She later posted a number of QAnon tweets on the page in September.
“To say they are ‘interesting’ is an understatement,” she wrote. “Wow! Just wow!”
“I really think there is PANIC in DC!” she wrote in another post, referencing a QAnon slogan.
“Is this legit?” one of her Facebook friends asked in a comment. “Cause everything seems pretty grandiose and out there.”
“They’re legit,” she replied. “And they haven’t been wrong.”
2. Bennett Previously Came Under Fire Over Video About ‘God’s Will’
Bennett previously made headlines in 2012 when she was the chairwoman of the Charleston County Republican Party. In a video posted to YouTube, Bennett was seen trying to dissuade a young Republican from running for a seat in the state House.
“I have been praying a lot, and I will be running for the House of Representatives,” Peter vonLehe Ruegner tells Bennett in the video.
“You haven’t been praying well. You’ve been following your heart,” Bennett replied. “Can I talk to you about this before you do this?”
“I do believe that this is what God’s will is for me,” he insisted.
“I don’t,” she replied.
“I’ve talked to a lot of people about this. I’ve prayed about it,” he said.
“I have too,” she replied. “So you’re saying God’s not going to answer my prayers, and He’s going to answer yours? And I’m sure the other people have prayed.”
3. Bennett Joins California Councilwoman in Pushing QAnon
Bennett is not the first elected official to publicly endorse the QAnon conspiracy theory.
In December, Pam Patterson, a city councilwoman in California, endorsed the conspiracy theory on the council floor as she made farewell remarks after her single four-year term expired.
“To quote Q, number 2436,” Patterson said. “For far too long, we have been silent and allowed our bands of strength that we once formed to defend freedom and liberty to deteriorate. We became divided. We became weak. We elected traitors to govern us.”
“Where we go one, we go all. Q,” she added. “Corruption starts at the local level and we, the patriot residents of San Juan Capistrano, must rise again. I am sounding the call for the patriot residents to come together and protect our community. God bless America. God bless Q and God bless San Juan Capistrano.”
4. More Politicians Embrace Bizarre QAnon Nonsense
Patterson and Bennett are just two of the elected lawmakers who have espoused pro-QAnon views.
In Montana, a Lewis and Clark County elected justice of the peace chastized a Washington Post reporter earlier this year for being critical of the nonsensical conspiracy theory.
“Whether Q is real or otherwise, there is a movement started by the hypothesis of a Q and somebody behind the scenes standing up for the average American citizen,” Judge Michael Swingley wrote from his official government email account to WaPo reporter Avi Selk. “Patriots are uniting against people just like you. Your world of fake news and liberal agendas that give away our country to foreigners and protect the Clintons and Obamas is coming to an end. Wait for it……….. you pathetic, snobby ass.”
He later issued an apology for the email, The Helena Independent Record reported.
“I fully admit that my decision to utilize my work email was inappropriate and was not the best decision, professionally or personally. Frustrated, and overwhelmed I lashed out at a reporter who, once again wants to focus on the symptom of a problem, and not admit it is time to fix our differences,” he said.
5. QAnon is Even More Illogical Than It Sounds
Even on its face, the QAnon conspiracy theory is based in easily disprovable claims. Started by an anonymous 4chan poster who goes by “Q” and claims to have access to classified intelligence, the conspiracy theory claims Trump is working with special counsel Bob Mueller to ensnare well-known politicians and celebrities that it purports are part of a child sex trafficking ring. The ring, according to the conspiracy theory, involves former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and billionaire Democratic donor George Soros.
But the conspiracy theory has raged online for years now and has grown yet even more nonsensical.
“Many Q fans believe that President Kennedy was set to reveal the existence of the secret government when he was assassinated,” CBS News reported. “They also believe President Reagan was shot on the deep state’s orders, and that all the presidents since he left office — with the exception of Mr. Trump — have been deep state agents.”
“The military, eager to see the deep state overthrown, recruited Mr. Trump to run for president,” the report said. “Despite the deep state’s best efforts, however, Mr. Trump is winning. Q is releasing sanctioned leaks to the public in order to galvanize them ahead of ‘The Storm,’ which is the moment when the deep state’s leaders are arrested and sent to Guantanamo Bay. Q’s adherents have called this process ‘the great awakening.'”