While many of us have never encountered the name QAnon in the daily news, in conversation, or in our social media feeds, the chances are very high that most of us have been exposed to, or even shared, some aspect of its very broad ranging conspiratorial rhetoric. Rhetoric that when examined closely, researched for “verification” online and pursued beyond the second or third suggested video on YouTube, will likely lead one right into the heart of QAnon: a strange dark realm full of ugly tales of pervasive coordinated child abuse syndicates and a grand global tyranny that it claims the heroic Donald Trump is secretly working to expose and gallantly tear down.
QAnon is not the mother of all conspiracy theories, but rather their exuberant overgrown offspring. It is a “big tent” or umbrella conspiracy that seems to welcome and harbor most other current and historical conspiracy theories- and most importantly their adherents- into its fold. From the JFK assassination to 9/11, to alien ‘lizard people’ among us, to 5G towers spreading Covid19, to space stations on Mars, to eugenic vaccination schemes. It’s all part of it and it’s all welcome here!
By blending its DNA with that of other preexisting conspiracy theory constructs of secret underworld machinations, treachery and cover-ups, QAnon promoters can enlist a broader range of individuals to get the word out via social media posting and sharing. They can very effectively lure denizens of the online Anti-Vax communities, alien enthusiasts, climate change deniers, holocaust deniers, Covid19 doubters, etc., into sharing and promoting Qanon and Trump campaign material among themselves and out into the broader world often without realizing the full nature of what they are disseminating. Whatever is trending currently in the conspiracy world (as of this writing: Covid-19 denial, 5G, and Bill Gates’ mandatory nanotechnology vaccine schemes) is most likely to be harnessed, combined and enlivened with a morsel or two of QAnon elements that hint at something bigger and direct those who might be intrigued to pursue the QAnon narrative deeper into what is by now a seemingly endless trail of “evidence” and wild, yet passionately delivered, assertions. QAnon’s assertions at first introduction might seem comically absurd and without basis, but when repeated enough and heard told from multiple angles and sources a person naturally can begin to experience a suspension of doubt. Studies have suggested that the primary factor helpful in predicting if an individual is likely to believe a new conspiracy theory is if they already believe in and follow an existing one.
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