For the last several months, an online person or persons calling themselves “Q” got an incredible amount of notoriety among people who considered themselves well-informed, hardcore Trump fans. Posting as “QAnon,” Q went around certain places on the internet putting up puzzles and cryptic little snippets of “predictions” about leaks, arrests, and other insider-type intrigue in the Trump administration. Using the Socratic method and general vagueness, he managed to send a lot of people into web-sleuth mode.
Q’s overarching message was that President Trump knows what he’s doing (the “4D chess” thing and all); that ‘we’ are winning, that the dark forces of the deep state are losing in the face of Trump wielding the real-life equivalent of South Park’s Sword of a Thousand Truths.
Jerome Corsi spent a fair amount of time “decoding” the messages on YouTube and other places on the web. A simple DDG search shows just how much– and he was in no way the only one.
This is going to be a long article–but it’s important to understand how big the proverbial Hydra is here, because there’s a deeper issue afoot. The lesson is simple: Sheephood is easy. Thinking is hard.
QAnon, The Pied Piper
A typical Q message looked like this:
Some of us come here to drop crumbs, just crumbs.
POTUS is 100% insulated – any discussion suggesting he’s even a target is false.
POTUS will not be addressing nation on any of these issues as people begin to be indicted and must remain neutral for pure optical reasons. To suggest this is the plan is false and should be common sense.
Focus on Military Intellingence/ State Secrets and why might that be used vs any three letter agency
What SC decision opened the door for a sitting President to activate – what must be showed?
Why is POTUS surrounded by generals ^^
Again, there are a lot more good people than bad so have faith. This was a hostile takeover from an evil corrupt network of players (not just Democrats).
Don’t fool yourself into thinking Obama, Soros, Roth’s, Clinton’s etc have more power present day than POTUS.
Patriots are in control. Sit back and enjoy the show.
People on forums and chan boards (4chan, 8chan, etc.) discussed Q’s missives endlessly for months. They stickied the posts, they picked them apart ad nauseum, they extrapolated every scrap of information into intricate belief systems. If Q would have told people to show up on the Capitol steps dressed like clowns and then flagellate themselves Ashura-style, quite a few people would have done it.
“Who is Q?” the fans breathlessly asked; an administration insider? A spook? Others were certain that they knew. One woman on Facebook, who turned her feed into a near-shrine to all things Q, pontificated about the royal “we,” saying that “we think” Q was Trump’s son Donald Jr., or even Trump himself. Nothing could deter the faithful; to them, Q was the savior of the West–or at least the savior’s personal envoy. His messages were near-gospel.
Through it all, there were some who narrowed their eyes and called BS on the whole thing. Half of Q’s predictions ended up being absolute crap, such as his assertion that “Hillary Clinton will be arrested between 7:45 AM – 8:30 AM EST on Monday – the morning on Oct 30, 2017.”
Q also made claims that Angela Merkel was the daughter of Adolf Hitler. Even those who have proven their willingness to buy into behind-the-scenes baby daddy secrets–such as those who see the uncanny resemblance between Webb Hubbell and Chelsea Clinton, or Justin Trudeau and Fidel Castro–had a hard time getting on board the Merkel-as-baby-Hitler story.
Errors could always be explained, if you asked the QAnon club. There was always a reason if Q ended up being wrong, and the reason was never Q’s fault.
Making the rounds among more mainstream sources this week is the revelation that Q is fake. Perhaps even harder for some to swallow is the knowledge that it wasn’t some basement-dwelling, Cheezy-Poof-eating, chronic-acne-suffering virgin nerd-geek behind it; well, at least not in the way you might think. It was quite possibly the very thing Q’s fans thought they were fighting–the Deep State. Perhaps even more embarrassing is that even though it’s just now getting public traction, the information proving it has been publicly available for four months, leading to a whole lot of “I told you so” on the part of those who have been sounding the BS alarm.
Way back in 2012, the following message appeared on 4chan, in an image depicting white text on a black background:
Hello. We are looking for highly intelligent individuals. To find them, we have devised a test.
There is a message hidden in this image.
Find it, and it will lead you on the road to finding us. We look forward to meeting the few that will make it all the way through.
The message was signed “3301,” and the internet went crazy–or at least, that segment of the internet. If you’ve ever heard of the phrase “weaponized autism,” or watched how a bunch of computer nerds trolled Shia LaBeouf repeatedly, then you understand what happened.
In 2014, a reporter for The Guardian wrote a fairly decent timeline of how all of this went down, and his own experiences in trying to solve the puzzles that kept showing up, from a group calling itself Cicada. Another article outlines what happened when someone actually solved one of the annual puzzles, and yet another discussed an even deeper level of what appeared to be an underground organization that claimed to be all about free speech and privacy but had some highly disturbing elements to it.
Why does Cicada matter in regards to QAnon?
- Because some believe that the Cicada puzzles, like the GCHQ “Can You Crack It?” contest, are a recruitment operation for Deep State agencies. (It’s not that much of a crazy idea; the Navy thought all of it was so cool it made its own, called Project Architeuthis.)
- Because according to information released in January, Cicada was behind QAnon all along.
The Deeper Issue
Those who make a habit of “thinking like the wolf,” whether as part of their profession or as a valued aspect of their mental preps, already see where all of this is going, and it’s not good.
The deeper problem here is that QAnon was able to literally string people along for months based on what some called “hope porn.” (Side note: when even some of the crazier folks think something is BS, you might want to take note of that.)
People need to believe in things; they need heroes and leaders. This phenomenon is near-constant in many movements such as the patriotic or liberty movement. “If __________ told me it was time to take up arms,” one person told me bluntly in 2015, “then I’d be on it in a heartbeat.” People gravitate to personalities, and once that loyalty is established then it clouds all judgment, all critical thinking, all coherent thought and decision-making capability. It’s why even in the face of blatant information showing that Ammon Bundy lied about several things in an effort to get people to join the Malheur refuge takeover people still consider him a near-deity in the liberty cause. It’s why me even mentioning it will result in some pretty visceral comments.
QAnon–and the people/agencies/entities behind “him”–were able to do what they did because of the following things:
- People would rather read the conclusions of someone they already like, than do research and engage in critical thinking to formulate their own conclusions.
- People will automatically accept information from people they like far easier than they will accept information from someone they do not like, or do not know/think they know.
- People will follow the path of least effort when handling information that requires proper analysis.
- People need to feel as though they are not alone; they must feel as though they are part of something, a crowd or group that holds their values and is ‘fighting the good fight.’
- People are often (not always, but frequently) quite content to let those heroes and other people do said fighting.
The above list is Sheephood. Those who fit the above actions or traits are not acting independently or even coherently. They’re ripe for manipulation, control, or co-opting.
There are a lot of people sheepishly eating crow when it comes to QAnon because they’re having to accept that they got played–and they don’t even technically know by whom because no one really knows what or who is behind Cicada (although deduction can probably get you fairly close). Some of them are stepping up, accepting that, and taking the lesson to move forward with better ways of parsing truth in the future. Some, however, are still making excuses, or they’re attacking the people who dared to call it early.
I’ll leave it up to you to figure out which group is worth something.
Originally published at AmericanPartisan.org.