By Stephen Tuttle | July 11, 2020
There is an ongoing conspiracy. Not just any conspiracy but one writ large in capital letters followed by exclamation points.
It seems several hundred, or thousand, government employees — members of the so-called deep state— are involved in a plot to overthrow President Trump. Oh, and they're also Satan-worshipers and participate in an international child sex abuse, torture, and trafficking ring.
That's the basic premise of someone who posts messages in the darkest bowels of social media under the handle QAnon. He, she, or they — no one seems to know who's doing it — claim to be a member of military intelligence or the CIA, somebody definitely in the know about secret cabals.
There are people who actually believe this tripe despite the fact that none of the claims or predictions made have been proven or come true. And there are some spectacular claims being made by the mysterious Qanon.
(There were other anonymous posters making similar claims first, but when QAnon showed up in October 2017, the hopeless and the hapless began to slurp it up.)
It's not easy to pick out highlights from a collection of the truly absurd, nearly all of which require a complete suspension of disbelief to accept.
Let's see ... Robert Mueller's investigation was actually a false flag operation, a distraction. In reality, the claim goes, he was working with Trump to try and expose the sex-trafficking rings in government and to prevent a coup led by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and George Soros. Those three are also the leaders of the sex-trafficking ring, and Hillary will soon be arrested for her role. Many Democrats and Hollywood notables are also involved, according to QAnon.
Jeff Sessions is also said to be secretly working with Trump, which must be quite a surprise to both of them given the president's relentless attacks on his former attorney general.
Here are some good ones: Princess Diana was murdered because she was trying to stop the 9/11 attacks. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is actually the granddaughter of Adolph Hitler. Oh, and JFK faked his own assassination and reappeared in 2017. You'd think somebody would have noticed and mentioned these things.
Then there was the accusation that a pedophile ring, led by Hillary, of course, was operating out of the basement of a pizzeria in Washington, D.C. A preliminary investigation determined the place had no basement.
QAnon also has claimed mass shootings are government operations, or fake, designed to prepare us for gun confiscation. Naturally, there is also the old anti-Semitic trope that the Rothschild family is in control of all of it, everywhere.
There have also been some interesting QAnon predictions, like Republicans would dominate the 2018 midterm elections.
But the granddaddy of these predictions is something called The Storm. That was the day the giant conspiracy would finally be fully exposed, the military would round up all the conspirators, and ship them off to Guantanamo, where they would be tried for treason, not to mention child sex trafficking. The predicted day of The Storm, November 3, 2019, came and went with nary an arrest.
To point out this is all preposterous gets the expected response from QAnon followers: You, my thinking friend, are part of the conspiracy.
The saddest part of this is there are people, apparently summa cum laude graduates of the University of Gullibility, believing it all, despite the fact there isn't a shred of evidence any of it is true. Included in that group are two Republican candidates for the U.S. House and one for the U.S. Senate who have already won their primary races. (To be fair, the national Republican Party has tried to create as much distance as possible between their official party apparatus and the three outlier candidates.)
A little common sense might be in order. There is no conceivable way thousands of government employees could possibly keep such a conspiracy quiet. It would require impeccable planning, meticulous execution, and absolute secrecy ... by the government? And where are the parents of all these allegedly tortured and trafficked children? (They're being paid to keep quiet.) Why has nothing been reported to the police? (Law enforcement is part of the conspiracy.) No reports from doctors or hospitals? (Yup, part of the conspiracy.)
This has the distinct odor of a prank that just keeps going, The Onion of the conspiracy world. One can imagine the perpetrators giggling uncontrollably every time they see their latest bit of insanity whistling around social media. That people follow this, and believe it with cult-like fealty, is a little pathetic not to mention dangerous; acts of violence have already been perpetrated by followers who believe they were doing QAnon's bidding.
This is, to put it in technical terms, nuts. QAnon is a fraud, a prankster, or both.