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What is QAnon? What You Need to Know About the Conspiracy in 2021 (PART 5)

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PART 5 (to be continued FROM Part 4 CLICK HERE)

Written by Jeff Williams | Published on July 24, 2021

Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene, QAnon supporters elected to Congress

Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene, QAnon supporters elected to Congress

 

December: Evidence suggests QAnon has a presence in 70+ countries on every continent but the Antarctic.

 

QAnon slogans, language, and memes have also infiltrated social justice movements like the Movement for Black Lives and genuine anti-trafficking efforts.

 

2021

January: Trump holds a rally in Washington DC on January 6th, spreading lies and conspiracy theories to the audience and encouraging his supporters to march on the US Capitol and stop the certification of Biden’s election victory.

 

Shortly after, thousands of rioters attack the Capitol building while congress is in session, in what is later deemed a violent insurrection and an attempt to topple the US government. Many rioters film themselves as they commit acts of treason.

 

Later, its revealed attackers were armed with guns, explosive, pepper spray, and cable ties – apparently planning to take members of the US government hostage (or execute them on air). Many had openly co-ordinated the attack on social media in advance.

 

QAnon has a large presence in the crowd, with many of its leading influencers featuring prominently in news reports on the attack.

 

Five people die, including outspoken QAnon follower and military veteran Ashli Babbit, and hundreds are eventually arrested.

 

In response to the attack, Twitter purges an additional 70,000s QAnon accounts, Amazon finally starts removing QAnon products from its marketplace, and Google and Apple take action against Parler and Telegram – two apps becoming increasingly popular with QAnon.

 

Donald Trump is impeached a second time for leading the insurrection and finally concedes defeat to Joe Biden.

 

On January 20th, Biden is inaugurated as the 46th President of the USA. Trump quietly leaves office on the same day, taking up residence in his Florida resort Mar-a-Lago.

 

Trump’s failure to fulfil QAnon’s prophecies and the quiet, anticlimactic transition of power create a split in QAnon.

 

Some start to question their loyalty, struggling to understand Biden’s victory, the failure of the January 6th attack, and Q’s many false prophecies. A small minority finally accept they’ve been lied to and made fools of.

  “The best is yet to come”.

30.06_01 where is Q

Message posted on a popular QAnon 8kun board, posted Jan. 6th

 

However, most QAnon followers double down, quoting Trump’s son Eric in his farewell speech: “The best is yet to come”.

 

2020 US General Election

It’s impossible not to discuss the 2020 US General Election without assessing QAnon’s role.

 

US President Donald Trump was an early promoter of the conspiracy, shrewdly exploiting it for his political gain. While he has at times denied knowing anything about QAnon, he’s given it numerous indirect endorsements and frequently elevated QAnon accounts on Twitter.

 

Trump isn’t the only person in rightwing politicals who has seized on QAnon for personal gain.

 

As QAnon infiltrated mainstream political consciousness, it was rejected almost completely by Democrats and their voters, but found a welcoming embrace in the Republican Party. Numerous people running for office within the party or working in its administration have been outspoken in their support for QAnon.

 

Many more have either signaled support or appreciation for QAnon by wearing Q badges, using its hashtags, or co-opting it’s most popular slogans. In August 2020, the Texas Republican Party chose as its new slogan “We Are The Storm” – although it denied this had anything to do with QAnon’s slogan “We Are The Storm.”

 

Aside from Trump, at least 24 QAnon supporters ran for office in the Senate and House in the 2020 General Election, many of them members of the Republican Party. Two were elected: Republicans Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene.

 

The increasing alignment between the Republican Party and QAnon came to a climax on January 6th,2021, when thousands of Trump supporters marched on Washington, led by the President himself, and eventually attacked the US Capitol building.

 
The crowd was full of QAnon supporters, including the two most infamous rioters:

 
  • Jake Angeli – who drew huge attention after storming the Capitol building while topless, wearing a giant horned fur hat, and carrying a 6ft spear – is considered a leading QAnon influencer and calls himself the “QAnon Shaman.” Angeli was arrested after the attack and charged with multiple crimes.

Jake Angeli – who drew huge attention after storming the Capitol building while topless, wearing a giant horned fur hat, and carrying a 6ft spear –


31.Jake_Angeli_(Qanon_Shamon),_seen_holding_a_Qanon_sign_(cropped)

Ashli Babitt, a woman who died after being shot by security protecting the building. The day before the riot, Babitt posted the following on Twitter:  “Nothing will stop us… they can try but the storm is here and it is descending upon DC in less than 24 hours… dark to light.”

After the riot’s chaos, followed by four more reported deaths, Trump eventually caved to pressure and reluctantly condemned the attack. He also conceded defeat and announced he would peacefully transfer power to Joe Biden.

 

QAnon Post-Trump

Now that Trump has lost re-election and left the White House, will QAnon lose its appeal and shrink back to the dark corners from whence it came and fade away?

 

Probably not.

Now that Trump has lost re-election and left the White House, will QAnon lose its appeal and shrink back to the dark corners from whence it came and fade away?

 

32.Q stop bullshitting

A Qanon follower on 8kun grows frustrated

 

Trump’s loss and the lack of a ‘Great Awakening’ has inspired some QAnon followers to openly question their faith and vent their frustrations. Some have vowed to leave the movement behind.

 

Even Ron Watkins – who many believe runs Q’s 8kun account – told followers in January 2021:

 

“We have a new president sworn in and it is our responsibility as citizens to respect the Constitution regardless of whether or not we agree with the specifics… As we enter into the next administration please remember all the friends and happy memories we made together over the past few years.”

 

Meanwhile, Q hasn’t posted anything since 9th December, 2020.

 

Unfortunately, evidence and online chatter suggests QAnon will continue to grow underground throughout 2021 and beyond. Consider the following:

 
  • Trump refuses to accept defeat, despite conceding the election, and continues to claim the vote was rigged. QAnon agrees. In fact, the ‘rigged’ election is simply proof of the cabal’s true power. They may have won this round, but the fight will continue.
  • Two members of the US House of Representatives are outspoken QAnon believers. In total, over 24 candidates in the 2020 general election were known QAnon supporters. QAnon is now part of the US government.
  • QAnon is no longer just an American phenomenon. It has successfully spread across the globe, taking on new shapes and forms to fit in with regional issues everywhere it goes.
  • Most of QAnon’s core conspiracy theories predate the movement itself. Some have survived over 100 years. They’re resilient, and they were already growing in popularity before QAnon. Even if the ‘QAnon’ brand loses value, the anti-Semitic, racist beliefs at its core will remain.
  • Donald Trump plans to run for re-election in 2024. Unless he is successfully impeached, he’ll most likely start campaigning in 2021. If he does, QAnon will be ready and waiting to support him.
  • QAnon continues to infiltrate new online communities, like wellness and natural parenting. More and more people are spreading QAnon ideas without even knowing.

Experts who have studied QAnon since the beginning, along with the conspiracies and cults that inspired it, agree that only a small minority of followers have accepted the truth since Joe Biden’s election.

 Experts who have studied QAnon since the beginning, along with the conspiracies and cults that inspired it, agree that only a small minority of followers have accepted the truth since Joe Biden’s election.

33.QAnon Jan 20th  from TWITTER.COM

Many expect QAnon to shrink and go quiet in the short term, while it’s most ardent followers become even more radicalised. However, unlike before, they probably won’t be so vocal about their plans in future.

 

Meanwhile, QAnon followers fed up with the constant disappointment and lack of action are gravitating towards more militarised far-right groups promising to take matters into their own hands.

 

The best way to approach QAnon post-Trump is to accept that it will survive and thrive even without him in office.

 

Global Spread

Like all great American brands, from Coca Cola to Tesla, QAnon was quickly exported worldwide.

 

While the conspiracy is a quintessentially American phenomenon, QAnon’s ability to shapeshift, transform, and co-opt a wide range of issues (both real and imaginary) has allowed it to spread like wildfire across the globe. From Brazil to the Balkans, Japan to Australia, QAnon and it’s ideas have found audiences and supporters in over 70 countries.

 While the conspiracy is a quintessentially American phenomenon, QAnon’s ability to shapeshift, transform, and co-opt a wide range of issues (both real and imaginary) has allowed it to spread like wildfire across the globe.

34.Countries With the Highest QAnon Presence in 2020

 

While it’s difficult to trace precisely when QAnon reached individual countries for the first time, it’s clear that the 2020 Coronavirus crisis played a huge role. As the virus spread and governments struggled to combat it, entire economies shut down. The world was engulfed with mass fear, panic, and anger.

 

Combined with well established global conspiracy theories around vaccines, 5G internet, and powerful elites, the Coronavirus crisis was fertile ground for QAnon. Q claimed to provide a clear explanation for all the uncertainty and a solution to the fear.

 

And everywhere it goes, QAnon assimilates with local fears and grievances. From EU skepticism in Great Britain to far-right nationalism in Japan, QAnon’s conspiracies give global context to local ‘problems’ and provide easy targets for those who feel left behind in the modern world.

 From EU skepticism in Great Britain to far-right nationalism in Japan, QAnon’s conspiracies give global context to local ‘problems’ and provide easy targets for those who feel left behind in the modern world.

35.QAnon The Queen

QAnon addresses the British royal family

 

QAnon is so successful at assimilating with local conspiracy theories that many people around the world who follow its beliefs have never even heard of QAnon. Great Britain is the best example of this, where QAnon-affiliated ideas have gained mainstream acceptance, despite many people never hearing about QAnon.


 

TO BE CONTINUED ON THIS ARTICLE  PART 6 (CLICK HERE)

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