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owedtojoy

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QAnon is a conspiracy theory based around an anonymous online poster known as “Q” — a pseudonym that comes from the Q-level security clearance, the Department of Energy equivalent of “Top Secret.” Beginning on October 28, 2017, Q began posting on the 4chan message board /pol/ about Hillary Clinton’s imminent arrest. Followers of Q became known as QAnon, and they began awaiting “The Storm,” during which all of Trump’s enemies, including Rep. Adam Schiff and others, would be arrested and executed for being murderous child-eating pedophiles.
QAnon grew out of Pizzagate (see below) and the Mueller Investigation into links between the 2016 Trump Campaign and Russia. But it has deeper roots, and a cult of this type may have been gestating for some time before this:
  1. The child-stealing Satanic cult panic of the 1980s
  2. The X-files TV-series popularised deep state elite conspiracies
  3. 9/11 "Truthing", which itself had roots in the multitide of JFK assassination conspiracy theories
  4. Conspiracy theories grow in times of eocnomic dislocation and uncertainty. They offer a simple (and wrong) explanation to complexity
  5. An anti-science, anti-evidence, pro-"magical thinking" trend in popular media and politics, arising from rejection of vaccination, of evolution and of climate change.
  6. The Birther conspiracy theory that President Barack Obama was not a legitimate American citizen.
  7. The "fake news" stories spread by Russian Internet Trolls in 2016, especially the Pizzagate incident where an innocent pizza parlour was named as a place where Democrats conducted child abuse orgies in the basement. This led to a tragi-comic "rescue" effort by a man with a shotgun. The pizza place did not even have a basement.
Numbers 6) and 7) are the most important because these carried bizarre conspiracy theories into the main stream of a political party. And also because they both were connected with Donald Trump, a central (active) figure in the Birther conspiracy and a passive one in QAnon. Now, at least two, some reports say 11, Republican candidates for the 2020 Congress apparently subscribe to QAnon, and Trump has given it a blessing.

In 2017 polls, between 31% and 45% still believed the Birther fable, and Trump never fully disowned it. Other polls showed approximately 50% of Republicans believed the Clinton hacked e-mails contained code words for pedophilia and ritual satanic abuse.

Clearly, this has way passed any amusement a bizarre of beliefs may provide. Trump should disown QAnon, but he will not. It is not harmless. Trump's disgraced former National Security Adviser apparently took a QAnon oath. The cult has attracted violent ultra-libertarian members. Russian Trolls are spreading its messages. The imagery of chid abuse evokes the medieval "blood libel" that Jews used Christian children in ritual sacrifice. There are reports that it has spread internationally through Facebook, which has only belatedly (as usual) begun to ban its content.

But QAnon will never be eliminated. It is not a conspiracy theory any more, it has grown to the status of cult or a religion, with a special mission, a revelatory narrative, rituals and arcane knowledge. This gives it a powerful social bonding for people who join, and such social bonding is nearly impossible to break.

Movements like this have always existed, but have generally been small. This is possibly the first one using the medium of the Internet. It may be the first many, and what comes after may be worse.

At this stage it can only be contained. A very negative outcome would be for it to gain a grip on the Republican Party, and win the ability to influence its caucus. A major political party espousing irrational and self-harming beliefs, setting Americans violently against each other, would be almost as bad as Margaret Atwood's fictional Gilead in The Handmaid's Tale.

A major party in a functioning democracy cannot allow irrational fringe beliefs to flourish within it. Those who think they they manipulate the believers are liable to be consumed by them. The Republican Party must take a hard look at itself.





[Trump's] latest remarks were greeted with jubilation within QAnon communities online, including remaining Facebook groups that are scrambling to deal with a crackdown announced by the platform on Wednesday. QAnon followers have long awaited acknowledgment from Trump and will probably view it as confirmation of their worldview.

 

LISTOWEL MAN

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why would politically connected millionaires e mail each other about cheap food like pizza?
 

Ardillaun

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I didn't hear Trump explicitly endorsing QAnon yesterday. Not quite. He first claimed he knew little about the Q crowd, obviating any need to discuss satanism and pedophilia in detail, but did know they liked him and that they were concerned about Portland etc. The closest he got to specifics was asserting in his half in jest all in earnest way that saving the world mightn't be a bad idea. Thus the raving crazies know he's on their side while other Republicans can pretend he didn't go over some wobbly ethical line they cling to. Of course, the clear obligation here was to condemn QAnon in unambiguous language but he's not going to do that.

Outbreaks of mass hysteria about satanic ritual ritual abuse are a recurrent phenomenon.


I remember the McMartin trial and how flimsy the allegations seemed. The Internet seems to consolidate and potentiate this type of collective delusion. It's not going to subside like it usually does.
 

O'Sullivan Bere

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The GOP backing and even mainstreaming 9.11 Trutherism....FFS, I'd have once imagined Pope Paisley occurring before that but alas....
 

owedtojoy

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I didn't hear Trump explicitly endorsing QAnon yesterday. Not quite. He first claimed he knew little about the Q crowd, obviating any need to discuss satanism and pedophilia in detail, but did know they liked him and that they were concerned about Portland etc. The closest he got to specifics was asserting in his half in jest all in earnest way that saving the world mightn't be a bad idea. Thus the raving crazies know he's on their side while other Republicans can pretend he didn't go over some wobbly ethical line they cling to. Of course, the clear obligation here was to condemn QAnon in unambiguous language but he's not going to do that.

Outbreaks of mass hysteria about satanic ritual ritual abuse are a recurrent phenomenon.


I remember the McMartin trial and how flimsy the allegations seemed. The Internet seems to consolidate and potentiate this type of collective delusion. It's not going to subside like it usually does.
The history of the Satanic child abuse cult goes all the way back to the MIddle Ages, when Jews were reputed to sacrifice Christian children.

Ritualmord-Legende.jpg


In times of strife, these libels were used to justify savage pogroms - even right down to early 20th century Russia.


It is scary to see a similar libel arising in the 21st century against a target population, and for a President of the United States to airly commend the people pushing it, solely because it is to his short-term political advantage.

I have seen reports that some Republicans are concerned about QAnon - just like they must have been concerned about Birtherism. But will they make a stand this time, when then they failed on Birtherism? Short term advantage has been a powerful spur to Republicans, and is a drug they cannot refuse.
 

silverharp

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meh, its not the President's job to police the thoughts of citizens. If the Satanists of America come out in favour of Joe, its not his Job to dismantle their belief system.
 

owedtojoy

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meh, its not the President's job to police the thoughts of citizens. If the Satanists of America come out in favour of Joe, its not his Job to dismantle their belief system.
I do not mind Trump competing for the Satanist vote, but endorsing what is a creepy cult is another matter altogether.
 

silverharp

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I do not mind Trump competing for the Satanist vote, but endorsing what is a creepy cult is another matter altogether.
I saw the bit where the reporter asked him , he didnt "endorse" them , he gave a brilliant answer to a gotcha question
 

owedtojoy

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I saw the bit where the reporter asked him , he didnt "endorse" them , he gave a brilliant answer to a gotcha question
Why is asking the President about a creepy religious cult, who believe that Americans are murdering children in Satanic rituals, a "gotcha" question?

Implicitly, you are agreeing that Trump has to keep the political support of this lunatic fringe element, who are joining the mainstream. Are things so bad and so desperate that he has to do that?

If he stopped after "I don't know much about them" that might just have been good enough. But today Americans are reading about Trump's praise for the movement, and they are jubilant.

 

offalypat

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I do not mind Trump competing for the Satanist vote, but endorsing what is a creepy cult is another matter altogether.
Qanon are not satanist they are anti satanist do you not understand that? the creepy cult are the ones in high places that are involved in the cult of child and adult human sacrafice.
 

Jack Walsh

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why would politically connected millionaires e mail each other about cheap food like pizza?
I saw Denis O' Brien and a few of his wealthy pals ordering pizza in a modest enough restaurant in Portugal a few years ago.
Do you think I should report my suspicions to the Gardai and Interpol?
 

The OD

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meh, its not the President's job to police the thoughts of citizens. If the Satanists of America come out in favour of Joe, its not his Job to dismantle their belief system.
When I look at modern Satanists, they seem to be far more pleasant people than Evangelical Christians.
 

raetsel

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The GOP backing and even mainstreaming 9.11 Trutherism....FFS, I'd have once imagined Pope Paisley occurring before that but alas....
Leitrim will pick up their first Sam Maguire Cup at Windsor Park in the same year I expect.........................:)
 

raetsel

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A major party in a functioning democracy cannot allow irrational fringe beliefs to flourish within it. Those who think they they manipulate the believers are liable to be consumed by them. The Republican Party must take a hard look at itself.
America has all the look of a bitterly fractured society about to implode into a full scale internal campaign of terrorism. It has the intense hatred, it has the unhinged mythologies, it has huge numbers who put their faith in such nonsense, it has unscrupulous, manipulative leadership in plenty, and it already has the militias and the guns.
 

raetsel

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. . . after Kilkenny wins the Senior football championship.
How dare you mock the mighty Kilkenny Gaelic football team! Many years ago my late father once proudly boasted of representing Kilkenny in Gaelic football. :LOL:
 

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