QAnon Hoax
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NOTE: This is still a pretty politically-charged topic in the United States. For many months I tried to just avoid the topic here on Arcanawiki, but it's kind of impossible to document current events on the 2021 page without referencing it, and if we're going to talk about this phenomenon I figured it's important to get the details right.

Basic Information

QAnon (pronounced "cue-ah-non") is a hoax, masquerading as a conspiracy theory.

QAnon is driven by online posts called Q-Drops that are supposedly by a secret government insider. These posts originated in 2017 on 4chan. The through-line is essentially the belief that the Democratic party of the United States is a human trafficking for pedophilia, and that Donald Trump was secretly working with Robert Mueller and JFK Jr (who supposedly faked his death) to expose the pedophiles and satanists, arrest most of the leadership of the Democrats (and either imprison them in Guantanomo Bay or execute them), and invalidate all laws and Constitution Ammendments adopted by the US since the 14th Ammendment.

Who is Q?

If this is a hoax, who is the hoaxer? Good question. The answer is: there appear to be at least 3 of them. The true identity of "Q" himself, the person(s) posting the Q-Drops, has been revealed by a good deal of investigative reporting, some of which you'll find in the sources below[1] [2] [3].

In a nutshell: It was allegedly started by a particular conservative activist with a history of hoaxes. They then lost control of their account when it was allegedly stolen by two of the admins of the site where the drops were being posted. Allegedly, those admins then posed as Q for a couple of years. One of their coworkers has even publicly outed them. All these people have since stopped posting as Q, and one has even tepidly encouraged believers of the hoax to try to return to their normal lives and move on. It had largely grown beyond their control at that point, so despite the silence from Q since the 2020 election, the theories continue. One of the most important take-aways from all this is that none of the people allegedly behind Q are government insiders of any sort. Which makes sense, given that Q's accuracy rate is roughly zero percent.

Q-Drop Predictions Proven False

From the beginning, the Q-Drops have been wrong. They have also been intentionally vague, mysterious, and open to interpretation, so that when they make wrong predictions once can just argue that it was the interpretation that was wrong. Here's a few of the many wrong things that the QAnon community has thought were about to happen in the past few years:

  • The very first Q-Drop in 2017 clearly declared that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was about to be arrested. She wasn't.
  • They claimed Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. Election wasn't investigating President Trump's alleged complicity, but rather was secretly working with Trump against the pedos. Supposedly, the Mueller Report's release would coincide with the arrest of hundreds of Democrats. They were wrong on both counts.
  • They claimed that Trump won the 2020 US Presidential election, and was just pretending to lose it so as to lull the enemy before turning the tables on them. Wrong again.
  • They claimed that on January 6 2021 instead of Congress certifying the results of that election, all the Democrats would be rounded up. This didn't happen, despite a riot of Trump backers and QAnon believers storming the capitol in support of the theory.
  • They then claimed the riot was secretly the work of antifa activists merely posing as Trump supporters. The FBI has debunked this claim repeatedly, and arrested over 300 Trump supporters involved in the riot.
  • They claimed that the inauguration of Joe Biden on January 20 was also a smokescreen, and that instead of him being sworn in, he'd be arrested along with all the Dems. This too was wrong.
  • They then moved the date to March 4, based on the logic that that's really when US Presidents are to be sworn in, because every law since the 14th Ammendment is somehow invalid. This would include the 20th Ammendment that moved the inauguration date from March 4 to January 20.
  • They then moved the date of Trump's expected return to power to March 20, due to a misreading of the Presidential Transition Enhancement Act of 2019.

In short, every time reality proves to be radically different from what the QAnon beliefs would have it, they simply move the goal posts and claim the real big reveal is just a little further down the road.

It should be noted that the Q-Drops originated on (and subsequently moved to as they got repeatedly deplatformed) various sites that have historically (and concurrently with the QAnon phenomenon) been very friendly to pedophiles, as well as well known for hoaxers. It's a really strange notion that an anti-pedophile government conspiracy would be based out of an arguably pro-pedophile site. It's also interesting that Trump, who was friends with Jeffrey Epstein, and famously attempted to conceal his affairs with porn stars, would be seen as a crusader for virtues.

Another core paradox of QAnon is the insistence that Trump is battling against the Deep State of the Shadow Government, while simultaneously embracing the large-scale secret Government Conspiracy that would be required to pull off the arrests they are looking forward to. It's a strange notion that you would be morally outraged about what you believe to be the illegal actions of an illegitimate secret government, but feel the ideal solution to support is its violent overthrow by the extrajudicial maneuvers of a different layer of secret government.

Link to other Conspiracy Theories

Technically, the PizzaGate Conspiracy Theory predates QAnon, but has a lot of cross-over. Belief in these two conspiracy theories has led to increasing radicalization of conservatives in America, and numerous violent incidents. It has also exacerbated the dysfunctionality of the US government.

The intentionally vague and mysterious nature of the Q-Drops has made QAnon "sticky", both in the sense that it's hard to get people to step away from it, and in the sense that it's easy to attach any other conspiracy theory to it. While the overall "Trump is secretly going to arrest the enemies of America" scenario is at the core of more or less all QAnon beliefs, not everyone falling for the hoax necessarily subscribes to every aspect, and plenty of people incorporate their own personal pet conspiracies into it. As is often the sad case of conspiracy theory, it's not uncommon for such notions to act as personal justification for bigotry, by adding whatever group one hates to the list of enemies. That cover for hatred is certainly not unique to QAnon, but rather a thing that crops up in conspiracy circles historically.


Game and Story Use

  • It's hard to talk about modern American politics, current events, and conspiracy theory without touching on QAnon. It's tied into really everything tragic and uncomfortable in the political climate of the early 2020s.
  • Depending on the needs of your plot, it's possible to cast Q-believers as victims of the greatest hoax of our era, or as reckless perpetrators of violence. Just remember, this stuff is still ongoing, and there's a good chance your audience knows someone personally affected by it. There's likely to be a lot of raw emotions around this topic for a long time to come.
  • Aspects of QAnon could easily be repurposed as a parallel or template for the growth or origin of any hoax, cult, confidence trick, espionage ploy or false flag operation, etc. In a few years when people have a little distance, assuming we have avoided a civil war in the meantime, this is going to be a source of plot inspiration.
  • From an outsider's point of view, most of this hoax seems to serve to lull the American People into inaction by pretending that their concerns are already being addressed: Crimes of the Obama Regime? Gonna be sorted! Network of powerful child molesters? The Don is huntin' em down! Blatant election fraud? They're not getting away with it! No need for any of you to do anything…
    • I see why you might think that, but as it turns out, on January 6 2021 those who believed the hoax was truth were actually spurred to criminal activity, rather than inactivity.
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