QAnon: How An Anti Semitic Conspiracy Thread Became Linked With Trump Supporters

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On Tuesday evening, the dark recesses of the internet lit up with talk of politics.

“Tampa rally, live coverage,” wrote “Dan,” posting a link to President Donald Trump’s Tampa speech in a thread on 8chan, an anonymous image board also known as Infinitechan or Infinitychan, which might be best described as the unglued twin of better-known 4chan, a message board already untethered from reality.

The thread invited “requests to Q,” an anonymous user claiming to be a government agent with top security clearance, waging war against the so-called deep state in service to the 45th president. “Q” feeds disciples, or “bakers,” scraps of intelligence, or “bread crumbs,” that they scramble to bake into an understanding of the “storm,” the community’s term – drawn from Trump’s cryptic reference in the fall of last year to “the calm before the storm” – for the president’s final conquest over elites, globalists and deep-state saboteurs.

What Tuesday’s rally in Tampa made apparent is that devotees of these falsehoods – some of which are specific to faith in the president, others garden-variety nonsense with racist and anti-Semitic undertones – don’t just exist on digital message boards.

Believers in “QAnon,” as the conspiracy theory is known, were front and center at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall, where Trump came to stump for Republican candidates. As Trump spoke, a sign rose from the audience. “We are Q,” it read. Another poster displayed text arranged in a “Q” pattern: “Where we go one we go all.”

The symbol appeared on clothing, too. A man and a woman wore matching white T-shirts with the YouTube logo encircled in a blue “Q.” The video-sharing website came under criticism this week for unwittingly becoming a platform for baseless claims, first promoted on Twitter and Reddit by QAnon believers, that certain Hollywood celebrities are pedophiles. A search for one of those celebrities’ name on Monday returned videos purporting to show his victims sharing their stories.

The prominence of the “Q” symbol turned parts of the audience into a tableau of delusion and paranoia – and offered stark evidence that QAnon, an outgrowth of the #Pizzagate conspiracy theory that led a gunman to open fire in a D.C. restaurant last year, has leaped from internet message boards to the president’s “Make America Great Again” tour through America.

“Pray Trump mentions Q!” one user wrote on 8chan. He didn’t need to. As hazy corners of the internet buzzed with talk of the president, his appearance became a real-life show of force for the community that has mostly operated behind the veil of anonymity on subreddits.

Trump himself has at times been a purveyor of conspiracy theories, most notably in refusing for years to back down from his lie that Barack Obama was not born in the U.S. He also claimed without evidence that Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower, pedaled the debunked idea that millions of illegal votes cost him the popular vote and associated the father of Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas with the assassin who shot John F. Kennedy.

But viewing their message boards, it’s clear that QAnon crosses a new frontier. In the black hole of conspiracy in which “Q” has plunged its followers, Trump only feigned collusion to create a pretense for the hiring of special counsel Robert Mueller, who is actually working to expose the Democrats. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and George Soros are planning a coup – and traffic children in their spare time. J.P. Morgan, the American financier, sunk the Titanic.

In the world in which QAnon believers live, Trump’s detractors, such as Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, wear ankle monitors that track their whereabouts. Press reports are dismissed as “Operation Mockingbird,” the name given to the alleged mid-century infiltration of the American media by the CIA. The Illuminati looms large in QAnon. As do the Rothschilds, a wealthy Jewish family vilified by the conspiracy theorists as the leaders of a satanic cult. Among the world leaders wise to satanic influences, the theory holds, is Russian President Vladimir Putin.

QAnon flirts with eschatology, fascist philosophy and the filmmaking of Francis Ford Coppola. Adherents believe a “Great Awakening” will precede the final storm foretold by Trump. Once they make sense of the information drip left for them by “Q,” they will usher in a Christian revival presaging total victory.

The implication is that resolving the clues left by “Q” would not just explain Trump’s planned countercoup. It would explain the whole universe.

When “Q” is absent for long stretches of time, followers take note.

“Please tell me where to go,” one wrote last month. “I feel lost without Q.”

Some big names have bought into the fantasy. Roseanne Barr, the disgraced star of the canceled ABC revival that bore her name, has posted messages on Twitter that appear to endorse the QAnon worldview, fixating on child abuse. She has sought to make contact with “Q” on social media and has retweeted messages summarizing the philosophy built around the online persona. QAnon has enjoyed promoters ranging from Curt Schilling, the former Boston Red Sox pitcher, to Cheryl Sullenger, the antiabortion activist.

There is a component of QAnon that can be interpreted as a direct call to action, which has already had real-life consequences.

The Newport Beach Police Department said recently it was looking into the presence of a man outside Michael Avenatti’s law office after a link to the lawyer’s website and images of his office building appeared in QAnon threads. This spring, armed members of Veterans on Patrol stumbled on a homeless camp and demanded that authorities investigate it as a site of child sex-trafficking, later thanking QAnon followers for taking up their cause.

(c) 2018, The Washington Post · Isaac Stanley-Becker

{Matzav.com}

12 COMMENTS

  1. The loonies on the Right & Left are having a grand time slamming each other with conspiracy theories they wish were true. What a pathetic bunch.

    • “Conspiracy theories” is just your excuse because you have no critical thinking skills and are just a programmed zombie trained not to question authority.

      • “Criticlal Thinking Skills” is your poor excuse for being a programmed conspiracy tehories believer. You may believe whatever you want. Jews, specially those who adhere to the Torah and it’s leaders according to our Mesorah from Moshe Rabeinu, believe in G-d and his Toras Emes. Nothing else. PERIOD.

  2. I first became aware of the proliferation of anti-Semitic propaganda in the 70’s when I learned about a magazine called “The Spotlight” that had its headquarters in Washington DC. They had all the conspiracies that you hear of today.

    A few decades ago a co-worker gave me a book about such conspiracies. I don’t recall the name of it. It was quite instructive in that the first part of the book had to explain “how” to view and analyze events etc. In other words you had to “think a certain way” in order to come to those conclusions. After reading That book I notice that is applied by other people and situations.

    After hearing quite a bit about QAnon and its “accurate” revelations I decided to check into it. The same tactics are used in convincing in this case. I didn’t really expect outright antisemitism, but it Is there. It doesn’t end there. Unfortunately there are a good many on the right that hold these same views. It is rather odd those who are so anti-Zionist, Israel and Jew are supporting Trump who is more pro-Israel, pro-Jew and sympathetic. I guess they aren’t the most intelligent of people.

  3. Bottom Line! We need Mashiach now more than ever! We’re doomed by the right – we’re doomed by the left! אנו אין לנו אלא אבינו שבשמים

  4. Amazing how Matzav repeats a Washington Post article which is full of lies. We do not know if “Q” is really US military intelligence or some other Q level clearance person or persons in the government. Q may just be one big hoaxer or Larper as some have suggested. However the information that is being disseminated by Q and the various Q researchers is very real as well as the sentiments of support for President Trump and defending the United States. Operation Mockingbird was not an “alleged” CIA infiltration of the US media, it was investigated by Congress in the 1970s and you can watch those recorded hearings today such as the church committee hearings. Is it anti Semitic to say that our politicians have sold out our country to China and exported our entire industrial base over to the Chinese? Is it anti Semitic to say that the democrats and establishment republicans are pushing the Russian Collusion hoax in order to distract from who the real threat is – China? Is it anti Semitic to point out that the internet monopolies are working hand in hand with the Chinese to push censorship and manipulation on the internet? Is the claim that despite laws being passed to prevent CIA programs like Operation Mockingbird and MK Ultra from being repeated, they are still going on and have been enabled with the latest technological developments with the cooperation of the tech giants. Is it anti Semitic to claim that Barrack Obama and the Europeans sold out both Israel and the United States in order to make the Iran Deal so European companies could profit from doing business with Iran? It should be noted that the WP is owned by Mr Amazon AKA Jeff Bezos – monopolist extraordinaire who has a 600 million dollar cloud computing contract with —- the CIA.

  5. Why on earth is Matzav promoting a leftist propaganda piece?
    Trump was quoting Obama’s own press releases before he ran for president that he was from Kenya.

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