Posts Tagged ‘Conspiracy Theories’

Who Or What Is Qanon?

Friday, February 22nd, 2019

The left says it’s a bad conspiracy theory by and for dolts who support Donald Trump.  The media, despite defaming Qanon as a conspiracy theory for brain-addled nitwits, gives this alleged “conspiracy theory” a great deal of print coverage on the Internet, but very little coverage on-air or in actual newsprint.  Why not?  Meanwhile, the very cynical NeverTrumpers either allege(like the left) that it’s a conspiracy theory, or that it’s a psychological operation by the Trump 2020 campaign, as a means and method by which to both recruit voters and also campaign volunteers(all of whom are presumably idiots because they support Donald Trump.)  There is a growing segment of our society, however, among whom Qanon carries great credibility. For them, it’s very nearly an article of faith.  Whatever Qanon is or isn’t, it’s becoming more and more difficult for the media to ignore, with giant “Q” signs showing up at Trump rallies across the country.  I wonder why the media doesn’t ask about “Q” at Whitehouse press briefings.  I wonder why it gets so little coverage on broadcast and cable television.  What do you call a “conspiracy theory” that the mainstream media largely refuses to cover in mass distribution despite its apparent growing reach across the country and around the world? Who or what is Qanon, anyway? Is he/it going to help President Trump vanquish the Deep State?  Is he really a “they?” What may be the most shocking part of this “conspiracy theory”could well be the discovery that it’s not a theory at all.

I began researching this subject a short time ago when somebody who follows me on Twitter contacted me via private messages about it.  In retrospect, I thought at the time that I had run across this someplace or another, but hadn’t given it any attention.  I think I saw some Q signs in a crowd either during a Trump Rally or perhaps in replay coverage last Fall.  I may have raised an eyebrow, but didn’t pay it much attention at the time.  In any event, it was also mentioned in comments on this site by a long-time poster, and while the Twitter follower had piqued my interest a bit, the long-time poster got my attention.  That poster provided some links, and some back-story information, some of which I’d already uncovered in my preliminary research, but some of which was new to me.  What I discovered is that there’s a growing community of people who definitely subscribe to this developing story, whether it’s conspiracy or real, and that fact is by itself all the justification I needed to investigate in earnest.  After all, for every person who exposes his or herself on the Internet, even in approximate anonymity, you must know that there are generally a dozen or more “lurkers” who read but never engage, for various reasons.  I know this to be a fact because at the peak of this blog, back in 2011-12, as many as two thousand people would read each of my posts for every one who commented.  Most people don’t want to create an account, or log into a website, or remember another damned password.  When I see evidence that hundreds of thousands of people are in some way participating in the Qanon phenomenon, I know that the actual number of people may well measure in the millions, or perhaps even tens of millions.

When you have any phenomena in any continental civilization that reaches even one-percent of the population, that is bigtime.  Less than two percent of our population watched the last game of the NHL’s Stanley Cup, last year. Less than two-percent of our population viewed the most recent episode of Empire, in which the now-controversial Jussie Smollett is an actor.  I had never heard of Smollett, but then, I’m a poor gauge of the popular culture.  Certainly, however, a movement that seems to have generated a whole cottage industry of Youtube Channels and websites that provide constant coverage of “Q” is not to be ignored.  Tallying the top dozen or so channels’ subscribers, the total comes out to well over a million, but that’s just subscribers. Some of the individual videos have many more than one million views, and some of them accumulate these large number of views in very short periods. If a video is garnering four or five times as many views in a week as the channel has subscribers, that’s an indicator of a large lurking audience, but when you see this consistently in viewership of a Youtube channel, what it means is that there’s a large, lurking audience that prefers to remain anonymous on principle.

In considering this Q phenomenon, what I hope to do is to determine whether there’s any veracity to it.  It’s a very detailed sort of story, but like all things even remotely political, the first question I have with this “Q” phenomenon is the underlying motive driving “Q.” There may be more than one person behind this, but still, there is some highly organized motive for pushing this.  It could be genuine.  It could also be a giant disinformation campaign and distraction.  It could be a campaign operation for Donald Trump or for one of his opponents, declared or undeclared for 2020.  It could be a foreign government, including the Russians, or it could be a past nemesis playing games at the expense of Trump’s supporters.  It could even be a collection of teenagers spoofing adults all over the globe and having one Hell of a good laugh at their expense.  One of the best clues we actually get comes in the examination of motives combined with the information provided to date by “Q.”

The stated motive is along the lines of communicating with patriots about what President Trump is doing to fight the deep state, along with assisting the President in that pursuit.  That sounds comforting, and it surely appeals to all the people who in their fondest wishes would like a superhero to come save us from the Deep State and its parade of villains.  Another possible motive would be money.  Imagine the advertising revenues one could rack up on Youtube and other platforms if you could generate tens of millions of views.  Of course, this must be tempered by the fact that Youtube and other platforms seem to be actively suppressing Qanon-related content, in part by de-monetizing some Q-related videos. (Some of the channel owners have bitterly complained in some videos I’ve seen.)  On Facebook and Twitter, Q-content seems to get suppressed.  Even so, the current strategy for circumventing this is to use graphical memes to carry the message, because those are so much more difficult for automated systems to screen and censor.  One “Q-tuber” seems to use code to speak to his audience, referring to Qanon as “our favorite anon.”  In fairness, however, I must state that it seems as though most of these purveyors of all things “Q” have absolutely no apparent commercial motive to speak of, while just a few seem to be more “about the Benjamins,” but even for those, that still seems like a secondary or tertiary concern.

Setting aside the stated “good intentions,” let’s examine what, apart from the purely commercial, could be among the motives of Qanon.  If I were a President under siege by a deep state, I would like a Qanon-style operation working on my behalf, but aren’t there easier ways?  It is true that the mainstream media is highly controlled so as to prohibit Trump from having much direct interaction with the people.  The State of the Union, earlier this month, is a great example of why the media wants Trump’s direct communications with the American people strictly limited, and why they wish to create a certain image of Trump that does not comport with reality, but creates a false reality they want their viewers to absorb.  This is why the media hates Trump’s use of Twitter, but they eventually remedied this: At first, they covered almost every Tweet; then they became better at framing those Tweets in a manner that was more derogatory to the President.  Still, they can’t put words in his mouth, much as they might like to, but they can misrepresent context.  For this reason alone, it is understandable why a Qanon-like character would certainly be a desirable thing, carrying the President’s water to the public, but bypassing the media.

I also think that if this was bad actor, the President would quickly send forth emissaries to disclaim and disown Qanon.  Imagine what the Democrats and other Deep-State dimwits would do with such a thing if it could be traced back to Russia, or some other locale indicating nefarious origins and intentions.  They would crucify him, and the subsequent impeachment and Senate trial would have been over some time ago.  Hell, Mueller would have been on the case!  He would have ordered a 6am raid on Q-Central, wherever that may be.  More curiously, the press has been mostly hands-off on broadcast and cable television, and in printed versions of their publications.  Online articles are one thing, but they seem to intend to periodically  flood of the zone, whereby somebody new, only now becoming aware of the Qanon phenomenon(much like me,) would do a quick Google Search, finding that the overwhelming majority of the first one-hundred links are highly critical and all refer to it as a conspiracy theory.  Go search for “Qanon” on Google.  (Myself, for the moment, I prefer duckduckgo.com as my search engine.)  I can almost guarantee to you that the linked results account for many fewer page views than the number of total Youtube views, and this means it’s been put in place as a deterrent or smoke screen.  To what end, I cannot yet say, but this is the obvious truth.  It’s also interesting that if you look at them by date, they seem to come in waves.  All of the outlets publish something within a couple of days of one another, followed by silence, perhaps for months, and then another wave comes in.  This is classic disinformation, and the media is carrying it out with apparent zeal.

The reason this is done is fairly simple: Most search algorithms include a weighting of some sort for recency.  Search engine users generally want newer and therefore  more relevant content, in general.  If all of the big media outlets post anti-Qanon content in the same week, they will all age at approximately the same rate too, with respect to the search engines, which means people like me, who may post about Qanon just once will eventually come in as being more current/recent in the search results.  Since I’m not part of their narrative, that’s bad from the suppressors’ point of view.  Periodically, roughly every three to six months, it seems, a new litany of anti-Qanon articles is published.  The same seems to be true on Youtube.  A spate of videos appear from different media sources, all at once, and all with the same theme: Qanon is a conspiracy theory and its adherents are kook-ball, tinfoil-hat-wearing, right-wing, Trump-supporting morons.  It’s so consistent that it’s clearly orchestrated, or at a minimum, herd-directed reporting.  Again, you can search it yourselves. Go to Youtube, and you will see that if you search for “Qanon,” almost all of the top results will be from around six months ago, and it will include videos from large left-wing outfits like MSNBC, as one example.  This is the trend you will see again and again.  If Qanon is really just a silly conspiracy theory, why are all the big outlets expending so much time on it, and why with such regular synchronicity?  Perhaps more importantly, why is it now penetrating into the popular media culture space.  Just days ago, Qanon was mentioned in the popular television series NCIS New Orleans.  I don’t watch any network television, so I didn’t see this, but it’s become big news in the Q-world.  Even though here too, it was defamed as a conspiracy, the fact that it garnered any attention in a major television show acts as a gauge of the phenomenon’s growth.  Here’s the clip:

The major media uses their television shows to push narratives they want to see active in the culture.  There’s not a reader of this blog who doesn’t know that, hasn’t noticed it, and hasn’t become sick over how media has been used for at least two generations to besmirch all things conservative, and all things patriotic.  The anti-American bias is a theme that has dominated mass media in the US for a long, long time.  The thing to note is that it’s a powerful tool, and the purveyors don’t generally waste it on things of little or no importance.  Prime-time television space is literally gold, so that you don’t waste part of a scene attacking something you don’t think warrants suppression.  Remember, it’s all about marketing and positioning: Just as they want to associate conservatism with all things bad, evil, hateful, and vile in the world, so too do they seem intent on similarly besmirching Qanon and its followers as crazy conspiracists.  If there’s nothing to see here, why bother?  The answer may be as simple as this: Despite other ongoing attempts to suppress Qanon‘s growth and reach, they’ve failed, and the growth has occurred and the reach has spread. Why would they wish to suppress it?  Well, obviously, it’s because they’re Deep-State shills… or it could be a simpler commercial motive: If you’re spending your time researching Qanon, you’re not consuming as much of their bilge.

Another reason could be that they’re actually behind it.  If one wanted to watch Trump supporters jump through hoops in pursuit of their tails, this would be a fine strategy.  Hell, they already know that the intended audience is not reading, watching or listening to their garbage most of the time, so why not torment them a bit?  After all, since the audience in question considers this collection of outlets to be “FakeNews” anyway, why not give them a real taste of “FakeNews?”  Again, the problem here is that if this were the case, you would expect the Trump team to put out the word that the Qanon phenomenon was a hoax, and part of “FakeNews.” No such disclaimer seems to have been forthcoming.

Or has it? One of the things I found in my research was the claim that the United States Secret Service was prohibiting people from entering Trump rallies while wearing Q-themed outerwear.(T-shirts, etc.)  This seemed to have occurred in the wind-up to last Fall’s elections. This story was posted on the DailyBeast, a publication that is as fake as FakeNews gets, but this claim appears to have been true. It was explained away in Q-posts as the result of some deep-state operative calling in threats against the President referencing Qanon.  That’s a nifty story, and it surely would explain why the Secret Service is keeping Q-merch out of rallies, but not so fast.  The Secret Service isn’t generally staffed by fools, and I doubt whether such a thing would go on for long unless there was a serious threat or the President and his people ordered it. It’s a good deal to explain away, and just a bit too convenient. What if the real reason the Secret Service doesn’t wish to let Q-shirts into rallies is because the President doesn’t want to associate even an implicit endorsement with this Qanon phenomenon?  Or, what if the President doesn’t want the media to give coverage to Qanon because it is a political operation that is part of the President’s campaign, and another fake persona thrust into the limelight by Donald Trump might be embarrassing.  Remember John Miller?  Is he Q?

I jest, but only slightly. One of the things that has appeared in all the Q posts is this: “Q+.”  I can hear the collective groans of my readers.  Yes, when Q+ appears as the signature at the bottom of a post, (rather than the simple “Q,”) it is alleged to either be the President himself, or alternatively, posted in the presence of the President or with his knowledge/consent, depending upon whose particular interpretation you accept.  If Donald Trump can play John Miller, surely he could play Q or Q+(or both.)  In any event, I find some of the Q-posts humorous even when the subject is deadly serious, because here, Barack Obama is invariably referred-to as “Hussein.” If nothing else, it should make all but the Deep-Staters smile.

Let’s summarize some things, so far: Qanon is alleged to be some sort of intelligence officer(or collection of them) who are working with Donald Trump to vanquish the Deep State.  Qanon posts information in “drops” that convey information that at times is very specific, but also sometimes vague, and encoded.  Very often, information is provided in the form of questions that seem to lead inexorably toward a single logical result.  The poster(s) known as “Q” has freely admitted that disinformation is included in some “drops.”

You can visit the following sites for more info:

  • Qanon “drops” can be found here: https://qanon.pub/
  • They can also be found here with added features(for example, the President’s tweets, toggled by clicking a button at the top): https://qmap.pub
  • So-called “proofs” of the legitimacy of Qanon can be found here: https://www.qproofs.com

Here is a list of some popular Qanon-content Youtube channels(a.k.a. “Q-Tubers“):

There are numerous others, many, but these appeared most often in my searches for content, and I must admit humor is a winner with me, so IPOT was my favorite, based purely on delivery and production value. PrayingMedic seems much more serious and sedate. Some of them have voices I just can’t take, and while that’s surely superficial, it makes it harder for me to listen to them. Others, like Craig Mason’s Reasonable Conversation Channel, I just want to tell him to a.) shave, and b.) stop grinning. I know, I know, that’s probably tough advice to swallow coming from a guy who has a face for radio and a voice for print, but again, you just have to call the balls and strikes sometimes. Some of them certainly work harder to deliver interesting content, and some work harder at delivery, and some frankly should stop cluttering the Internet with their babble. I’m sure they’d say the same of me.  One of the quickest ways for a so-called Q-Tuber to cause me to punch out is to talk about 9/11 conspiracies, or other such well-debunked nonsense.  None of the videos I’ve viewed by the list of Q-Tubers above(so far) have mentioned outrageous 9/11 conspiracies of the sort for which Alex Jones has been the purveyor.  Apparently, there’s also a sidebar about Alex Jones and Jerome Corsi that needs to be covered at some point.

Of all the Qanon-related content I’ve encountered so far, that which drives me right to the edge is the decoding videos on Youtube where various forms of Gematria decodes are done with the most tortured logic and fantastic assumptions.  Frankly, I can take just a minute or two of those videos before I’m ready for a rubber-padded cell.  The poster(s) Q frequently exhorts readers to “Learn our comms.”  If their communications involve Gematria decoding, I’m likely out.

For those of you who, like me, are just now becoming acquainted with all of this Qanon business, I beg your indulgence as I continue my research. The material above should provide a good starting point for those of you interested in researching this subject, but if nothing else, ought to provide you a little entertainment.  I’m far from a conclusion on what I think of the veracity of this story, and my default position is to side with David Hannum, who purportedly said of PT Barnum’s Cardiff Giant hoax: “There’s a sucker born every minute.”  Still, there are some tantalizing details here that seem more than mere coincidence, and  deserve to be ruled-out by facts before dismissal.  I’ve always been a sucker for a good mystery or spy novel, so while some of this research can be tedious, at least it’s not completely dreary. I’d also note that if some of the information posted by Q is accurate, we’re even more vastly under-served by the grotesquely corrupt mainstream media than even a cynic like me had dared to imagine.

In the next installment, I will discuss so-called “Q-proofs,” which is a class of circumstances, events, images and items of news that would seem to lend more credibility to the Qanon claims. I’m still not sure what to think of this, or how seriously to take it, but for the fact that it appears a fairly significant number of Americans seem to believe some or all of this story.  It may all be a hoax, or it may be deadly serious, but I’m not yet convinced either way. I am covering this because some proportion of my readers have now requested it, and because anything that has hundreds of thousands or even millions of Americans this engaged is something that demands examination.  Other than to cast aspersions, the lamesteam media certainly isn’t investigating it very seriously.

To be continued.  In the meantime, I leave you with the latest Q-video from IPOT:

 

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