The Ongoing Influence of QAnon and Its Self-Made Mythologies
Mike Rothschild, writing for Lithub, has a deep dive into conspiracy theories and the creation of QAnon.
In the post-Trump world, the QAnon movement split along two parallel tracks. Sometimes they happened to intersect, but many other times they went their own way. Most believers went down one, a few went down the other. But both are critical to understanding why this movement persisted long after any hope of “The Storm’s” arrival had passed.
One track was a mainstreaming of Q’s core tenets to the point where the basics of QAnon—the drops, the obscure “comms”—were no longer necessary, or even desirable. Q was no longer the cool, secret club that you had speak the jargon to have a chance of getting into. It was just “conservatism” now. The tenuous coalition of MAGA-devoted Q believers and more progressive pandemic truthers that lurched out of Facebook in 2020 had become one unified front in 2021. In countless school board meetings, city council sessions, protests, “health freedom” conferences, and segments on major right-wing media, the same story was being told, and it was a story that even the most casual Q believer would have no problem embracing.
The other track was much farther on the fringe than even most Trumpists were willing to travel. This was where Michael Protzman and his devoted cultists in Negative48 rode, along with other, even more outwardly racist and ant-Semitic new Q promoters. On this track, Q drops were still gospel and the “comms” still were being decoded for all their secrets. And there were a lot of secrets. Trump and JFK Jr. spoke in number codes with Prince and Elvis, quantum medical beds and NESARA would deliver permanent health and prosperity to all, and Trump was still actually the president of a “devolved” military government. Fewer people were in this part of Q’s big tent, but they got a lot of baffled media attention for their bizarre antics—gematria cultists waiting for JFK and drinking industrial bleach out of a communal bowl[iv] to fight COVID will get clicks.
You may not want to, but you should read the whole thing.