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What is QAnon? What You Need to Know About the Conspiracy in 2021 (PART 7)

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PART 7 (to be continued from Part 6 CLICK HERE)

 Written by Jeff Williams | Published on July 24, 2021

 

 

Alex Jones

The far-right media personality has made a career out of exploiting loathsome conspiracy for personal and financial gain. Most notoriously, Jones has repeatedly claimed that two school shootings in 2018 in which 20 children and 14 teenagers were murdered were a political set up. Jones also claimed nobody had died in the shootings.

 

Alex Jones has been an enthusiastic supporter of QAnon from its earliest days. In 2018, he claimed to be in personal contact with Q.

 

In 2020, Jones made a speech claiming that ‘establishment perverts and pedophiles’ are running society and encouraged his supporters to ‘kill as many of them as possible.’

 

In January 2021, Jones appeared to break with Qanon and lose patience with the constant disappointments.

 

Gina Carano

The former UFC fighter and supporting star of Disney’s The Mandalorian has come under increasing scrutiny for sharing and amplifying numerous Cov-19 and election fraud conspiracy theories in 2020.

 

Many of her social media posts include explicit references to QAnon tropes about government control, missing children, Pizzagate, and more.

 

Jenna Jameson

The former pornstar has been outspoken about real abuses in the porn industry for years. Since 2019, however, Jameson has started amplifying QAnon conspiracy theories, using her own real-life experiences and the Jeffrey Epstein scandal to legitimize extreme claims about child sex trafficking by ‘elites.’

 

This has included tweeting: “If you think Epstein is somehow unique, you’re sadly mistaken . . . there are MANY Epstein’s that make him look like an amateur. Child hunting games, sacrifice, torture of children as young as 2. The elite.”

 

Jameson also claimed to overhear conversations between guests at a popular upscale French hotel, discussing child hunting ‘parties.’

 

Tito Ortiz

Jenna Jameson’s ex-husband, another UFC fighter, has repeatedly promoted QAnon in interviews and on social media. In the summer of 2020, he started selling QAnon apparel on his website.

 
Joe Rogan

Probably the biggest podcast host in the world, Joe Rogan hasn’t commented much on QAnon. However, he is a well-known conspiracy theorist and frequently promotes and shares debunked conspiracy theories, lies, and falsehoods on his show.

 

He also gives a massive platform to fellow conspiracy theorists he considers friends. In 2020, he welcomed Alex Jones and Joey Diaz on to his show (Diaz appeared twice) and let them discuss the merits of QAnon with almost no pushback.

 

Rogan is also a popular UFC commentator.

 

QAnon-Related Incidents

Most people only became aware of QAnon in 2019 and 2020. Many also still think it’s just another weird internet cult.

 

However, QAnon has been inspiring acts of violence, harassment, and terror since early 2018. And not just online.

 

Violent Incidents Inspired by QAnon

The following are the most notable acts of violence committed or planned by QAnon supporters between 2018 and 2021.

 

This list is not a complete record. It’s simply a demonstration of QAnon’s growing influence in increasingly violent acts.

 

2018

  1. June: A gunman uses an armed truck to block traffic on Hoover Dam for 90 minutes. In a video message, he claims to be on a mission from QAnon.
  2. October: A man is arrested for starting a wildfire in California that burned 20,000 acres of land. He appears to have been inspired by QAnon and Pizzagate.
  3. December: Police arrest a man found with bomb-making material in Illinois. He planned to  “blow up a satanic temple monument” to raise awareness of Pizzagate, the New World Order, and QAnon.

2019

4-March: Anthony Carmello murders Gambino crime family underboss Frank Cali outside his home in Staten Island, New York. Carmello appears in court with QAnon symbols and MAGA phrases written on his hands. His defense lawyers use Carmello’s obsession with QAnon as evidence of mental unfitness.

5-[May: An internal FBI memo identifies QAnon as a domestic terror threat due to the increasing number of violent acts it’s inspiring.]

6-September: A QAnon supporter smashes and desecrates the Chapel of the Holy Hill in Sedona, Arizona, while shouting that the Catholic Church supports child trafficking.

7-December: Police in Montana arrest a woman for conspiring to kidnap her children from their foster care. Cynthia Abcug had planned a ‘QAnon kidnapping raid’ to rescue her children in Colorado from the Satan worshippers and pedophiles imprisoning them (the foster family). After the plot failed, she traveled across the US, evading police with help from a network of QAnon supporters.

This is the first known QAnon-inspired kidnapping case, but many more have followed.

2020

8-April: A man intentionally derails a train in Los Angeles. He admits to targeting a nearby navy hospital ship, the Mercy, due to ‘suspicious activities involving the coronavirus’ and hoping to ‘wake people up.’

9-June: A man live streams a 20-mile car chase from the police, talking about Qanon and shouting ‘QAnon help me!” His five children are also in the car during the chase.

10-July: A Canadian Rangers reservist allegedly rams a truck through the gates of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s residence in Ottawa. Shortly before doing so, he shared numerous posts promoting QAnon.

11-October: The FBI arrests 13 men for plotting to kidnap Governor of Michigan Gretchen Whitmer. Evidence suggests at least 7 of the men involved have previously shown support for QAnon.

12-November: Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old boy who shot three unarmed Black Lives Matter protestors in Kenosha, Wisconsin, hired a QAnon supporter, L. Lin Wood, as his defense attorney.

2021

13-January: At a rally on January 6th, Donald Trump and his associates encouraged thousands of supporters to storm the US Capitol building while Joe Biden’s victory was being ratified.The subsequent attack by a mob of armed Trump supporters, in which 5 people died, has since been declared an insurrection, attempted coup, and one of the darkest days in American history.QAnon followers were at the forefront of the attack, believing it was the start of The Storm and Great Awakening

Online Harassment

While not all QAnon followers resort to physical violence, harassment and intimidation are fundamental to the movement.

 

QAnon followers believe God has chosen them to defeat their enemies, persecute the Satanic, child-eating elites, and rise up against the Deep State.

 QAnon followers believe God has chosen them to defeat their enemies, persecute the Satanic, child-eating elites, and rise up against the Deep State.

45.Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 10.22.16

For most, that means constantly bullying and abusing people online.

 

When QAnon chooses a target – most often a celebrity or politician, but sometimes regular people and business owners unwittingly linked to the latest QAnon ‘scandal’ – followers are encouraged to find them on social media, publish their contact details, locate their homes and workplaces, and bombard them with threats and intimidation.

 

Death threats and accusations of pedophilia are common.

 

Model Chrissy Teigen has become QAnon’s most well-known celebrity target. While they have bigger targets (Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, etc.), the abuse Teigen experiences shows the impact QAnon can have on an innocent person’s life.

 

In 2017, a Twitter user accused Chrissy Teigen of being connected to Pizzagate in some vague way. Teigen became an immediate target for mass harassment online, worsening every time she tried to publicly counter her abusers on Twitter.

 In 2017, a Twitter user accused Chrissy Teigen of being connected to Pizzagate in some vague way.

46.Chrissy TTwitter

After QAnon falsely accused Teigen and her husband, John Legend, of traveling on Jeffrey Epstein’s plane, the harassment escalated to the point that Teigen blocked over 1 million Twitter accounts from her profile, deleted 10,000s of Tweets, and sought legal advice to force Twitter to intervene.

 Teigen blocked over 1 million Twitter accounts from her profile, deleted 10,000s of Tweets, and sought legal advice to force Twitter to intervene.

47.Screen Shot 2020-12-29 at 14.12.13

However, the harassment continued and intensified.

 

In October 2020, Chrissy Teigen announced on social media that she had miscarried and lost her baby. She was attacked mercilessly across Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by 1,000s of QAnon followers, claiming the miscarriage was karma for all the children she’s eaten, and no one should feel sympathy for a pedophile.

 Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by 1,000s of QAnon followers, claiming the miscarriage was karma for all the children she’s eaten, and no one should feel sympathy for a pedophile.

48.Chrissy Teigen on Instagram

Chrissy Teigen’s case may seem extreme, but it’s not. She is just one victim of relentless online abuse from QAnon followers.

 

Thousands of people like her have been attacked online in far worse ways. They’ve had their workplace and home addresses exposed, putting them in physical danger, causing them to lose their jobs, and ruining their lives.

 

How You Can Support QAnon Believers

As QAnon has grown and consumed 100,000s of peoples’ lives, communities have also grown in response to support people affected by the conspiracy.

 

If a friend or family member has become consumed by QAnon and you’re worried about their wellbeing, there are steps you can take to help them.

 

Deprogramming someone who has fallen victim to a conspiracy cult like QAnon isn’t easy. It takes time and patience, but it can be done.

 

Before approaching them, consider the following.
 

1. Understand the history and context

Understanding where QAnon came from and why it appeals to people is crucial. You’ll have context for any claims the person makes and be able to counter them more effectively. The QAnon believer will also see that you’ve made an effort to understand them instead of dismissing their ideas outright.

 

2. Don’t be insulting or mocking

Laughing or making them feel stupid is the worst thing you can do when talking to someone who believes in a conspiracy or cult. Their beliefs are deeply tied to their sense of identity. Laughing at them will only create tension and harden those beliefs even more. They’ll also dismiss anything you say.

 

3. Listen, ask, and empathize

Fact-checking a QAnon believer and pointing out all the reasons they’re wrong isn’t going to achieve anything. They’ve invested in an entire belief system and alternate reality with a complex web of ‘alternative facts.’

 

If you want to break someone out of QAnon, engage them by listening to their concerns. Ask them questions about how they found QAnon, why it appealed to them, and any fulfillment or value it provides.

 

If you can, show genuine interest and curiosity. Build a common bond and highlight the values and interests you share. Tell them you also want to end child sex trafficking.

 

Then, slowly, start to introduce ideas and suggestions that may create some doubt. For example, is abusing celebrities on Twitter actually going to end sex trafficking? Maybe there’s a more productive (non-violent) way to spend your time?

 
4. Acknowledge that conspiracies do exist

Unfortunately, some of QAnon’s conspiracy theories are based on factual events. Conspiracies do happen. Jeffrey Epstein was guilty of running a child sex trafficking ring for wealthy men; the Catholic church has spent decades covering up abuses by its clergy; the CIA, FBI, and US government have a long history of spying and experimenting on US citizens;

 

If you acknowledge examples of real-life scandals and conspiracies that inspired QAnon’s wildest, most troubling claims, a QAnon believer may be more open to hearing your opinions and being challenged.

 

5. Don’t approach them alone

If you know someone who promotes and believes in QAnon, reach out to their friends and family and see if you can coordinate approaching them.

 

Treat the situation like supporting someone in a toxic relationship. Gather a small group of peers and intervene together. It takes the pressure off you, and they’ll be more likely to listen to your collective concerns.

 

6. Take the conversation private

Commenting on someone’s public posts isn’t going to change their mind. We all know this by now.

 

Instead, if someone you know posts something troubling, send them a private message. They’ll be less defensive and argumentative, more likely to let their guard down, and more open to having a thoughtful conversation.

 

7. Be patient

Nobody changes their mind on a belief system as complex as QAnon overnight.

 

Like escaping a cult, breaking free of QAnon can take a long time. Helping someone leave it behind requires fortitude and patience. You may face weeks (or even months) of insults and disappointments before you start to see progress.

 

8. Don’t be afraid to walk away

At the end of the day, if your wellbeing and mental health are is compromised by engaging with a QAnon believer, it’s okay to walk away.

 

Some people are too far gone, and you might not be the right person to help them. If the conversation is too stressful, antagonistic, or unproductive, you can stop and move on.

 

If you need inspiration or help, check out r/QAnoncasualties and r/reQovery. They’re two Reddit communities started to help people leave QAnon and support those who have been hurt by the conspiracy.

 Some people are too far gone, and you might not be the right person to help them. If the conversation is too stressful, antagonistic, or unproductive, you can stop and move on.

49.Q Casualites50.Q casualties 2


Final Thoughts

In early 2021, QAnon was a little over 3 years old – and facing a major crisis.

 

Donald Trump was kicked out of office, failing to fulfill Q’s prophecies; the attempted insurrection failed to overthrow the US government; and after months of silence, it appeared Q had abandoned his followers altogether.

 

So, what happens next?

 

Nobody knows for sure, but one thing is guaranteed: the grievances, anger, and conspiracies that inspired QAnon’s meteoric rise from fringe internet forums to global cultural force are stronger than ever.

 

While the QAnon brand may fade back into internet obscurity, the lies and false beliefs it created will continue to spread unless drastic action is taken.

 

QAnon – and all its craziness – has laid bare the divisions and social ills that have been plaguing society for years. We can continue to ignore them and wait for the next QAnon to emerge, more violent and better organized – or we can start to address these complex but urgent issues.

 
Our futures may very well depend on which course of action we choose.

 


Jeff Williams

Jeff is an all-things-psychic enthusiast: whether it's a tarot reading, clairaudience or eastern forms of psychic reading, he loves knowing what the other realms have to say. His hobbies include discovering new psychic reading sites and forms of psychic readings, walking his dogs and reading.

 
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