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QAnon - Don't call it a conspiracy theory

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We know a lot more about QAnon today as a result of some fantastic work by investigative journalists and a variety of experts across several disciplines becoming alarmed and getting involved.

Wikipedia defines QAnon as "a far-right conspiracy theory" that "alleges that a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles is running a global child sex-trafficking ring and plotting against US President Donald Trump, who is battling against the cabal." But this is doing a disservice to simply refer to the movement as a "conspiracy theory." If you take nothing else away from this article, please note the following points:

  • QAnon is not a "conspiracy theory" -- it is a destructive, authoritarian cult.
  • QAnon is not left or right. It is mobilizing people for power, for power's sake to the benefit of malignant narcissists at the top of the power pyramid.
  • QAnon is not helping the fight against human trafficking. Human trafficking is a real problem and one of the best ways to learn more and to learn how you can help is the Polaris Project.

QAnon is a destructive, authoritarian cult

It's not a "crazy conspiracy theory" and despite a large number of followers being MAGA zealots, it is not "far-right" in that it has no ideology. It is a PSYOPs (Psychological operations) mind-control cult scheme. Its only objective is to exert power over people for power's sake. The media needs to get educated and start using appropriate language.

Unmasking Q

QAnon followers believe a shadowy persona of "Q" is at the center of cryptic clues and predictions posted online. In The men behind QAnon (ABCNews):
a consensus of leading researchers and critics who study and debunk QAnon disinformation told ABC News that a key to identifying "Q" has been hiding in plain sight for years -- on a pig farm south of Manila in the Philippines -- at least until recently.
... The two Americans most clearly associated with the author of thousands of "Q drops" dating back to October 2017 are James Arthur Watkins, 56, who gained control in 2015 of the controversial anonymous message board 8chan, and his son, Ronald Watkins, former 8chan administrator and current administrator of its successor, the Watkins-owned 8kun.

While the Watkins' are certainly major players, they may still not be the top of the pyramid. Likewise, Jason Gelinas, who was fired by Citibank, after being identified as the person behind the site

Another player, as reported by is Thomas Schoenberger, identified as one of the original developers of the QAnon movement.

“By March of 2017, Schoenberger’s crew linked up with Robert David Steele (former CIA) and William Binney (former NSA), members of VIPS (Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity), a group of disaffected former intelligence officers and government officials who worked together writing editorials and sharing information. These groups came together and recruited the network that became Qanon,” the investigator told Heavy.

The deepest roots of QAnon appear to be earlier projects that became the prototype or "beta test" for QAnon, such as "Cicada 3301" known as an ARG "Alternate Reality Game" that recruited codebreakers through very difficult online puzzles, as well as other similar predecessors to QAnon such as FBIAnon and CIAAnon.

Hashtag #IGotOut

QAnon has all the trademarks of a cult. It breaks people down, then feeds them new information, replacing their thoughts and beliefs with new thoughts and beliefs, essentially making them a new person, and making them abandon the person they really are. It uses various PSYOPs techniques to insert phobias and disassociate victims. Cult expert Steven Hassan has started a movement with hashtag #IGotOut to encourage all people who have experienced authoritarian abuse: religious, political, commercial (trafficking, MLMs), cults of all shapes and sizes -- to end the stigma as the #MeToo movement did for sexual abuse of women. The idea is if even a small percentage of the millions of former cult members start sharing their stories, it will provide more of an off ramp for others.

Mind-control by malignant narcissists

While there are still mysteries in some of the details, such as the identities of all the players, QAnon as a whole is not a mystery anymore. It is an unethical ARG for the purpose of manipulating people. It is destroying lives and creating great harm.

Check out the terrific 90-minute TEDxMidAtlantic presentation Dismantling QAnon
to get a much more thorough picture.
Startling revelations reported by the Financial Times include indications that QAnon has its roots in the internet puzzle “Cicada 3301”; that a network of former disgruntled military and intelligence professionals has collaborated to lend the scheme legitimacy; that various people involved are connected to a 1930’s cult called “I AM”; and that many people involved with QAnon were also involved with “Occupy,” NODAPL protests at Standing Rock — and even connected to the people behind the disinformation film “Plandemic.”

Also see additional coverage from Financial Times and

QAnon is not helping the fight against human trafficking

One of the mind-control tricks of QAnon, common among cults, is to give its adherents a grand purpose, that they are part of a special club, in the case of QAnon, saving the world and bringing to justice an international cabal of satanic child traffickers. Unfortunately, it's all fake and very destructive to those actually fighting human trafficking.

Human trafficking is a real problem and one of the best ways to learn more and to learn how you can help is the Polaris Project.

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