"In the matter of Q"

Credence and interest in the QAnon phenomena  

3 members have voted

This poll is closed to new votes
  1. 1. Which choice best represents your interest in the QAnon phenomenon

    • Uninterested
      2
    • Interested, but skeptical
      1
    • I already know what I know
      0
    • None of your business. I don't declare my interests
      0
    • "Don't bother to examine a folly ... "
      0
    • I'd be interested in an objective analysis of the phenomena
      0
    • I will explain everything in a guest post here, if given the opportunity
      0

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  • Poll closed on 12/02/2018 at 02:32 AM

I'd like to open a field of discussion for the QAnon phenomena.  Here is where I will post in already existing material presented at OL by members.  I'll take direction from comments and from poll answers. 

  • What is Q / QAnon?
  • Why should anyone on OL pay attention?
  • Is skepticism justified?
  • What are the main questions readers have in mind to guide discussion?

No special rules or guidelines for this thread; the OL guidelines are good enough and will apply here. .  Please keep personal abuse to a minimum. Creative insults are kosher, but if they aren't on topic, why post them?

hr

Our forum leader opened discussion on the phenomena back in January of this year.  My key-word search-term was "QAnon,"  not "Q," so the search results will not necessarily return all incidence of discussion touching on the phenomena.

On 1/3/2018 at 4:10 AM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

[...] If you really want to go down a Rabbit Hole where anti-deep state magic happens for real, look into "QAnon."

I will post a thing about him later, probably in a new thread or on the Conspiracy Theory thread. He's been spot on accurate predicting a lot of recent happenings right before they happen. More recently he's been doing some twittering and he seems to like hamming it up a bit, so here are a few teasers:

 

And this:

 

 

And this:

 

 

And this:

 

 

:)

 

More coming...

 



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There seems to be a mental barrier to participation here, but I think it fair to link to "parallel" commentary.

When I posted the entry's poll originally, I chose the 'Australian ballot' option, and I also chose an end-date for the poll. In other words, I haven't touched the poll since I instantiated it.  In fact, as far as I can tell, there is no way to even get into the poll to either remove or extend its end date. It's done.  Next to nobody is (apparently) interested anyway.

Jon, if you are reading this, you are free to post here, if you can hew to the Objectivist Living guidelines, quoted below.  Just about everyone here has different 'voices' and 'tones' depending on topic, circumstances, mood, etcetera ... but a kind of implacable, incorrigilbe Greg Mamishian assholism degrades discussion, in my opinion.  I don't want it here at Friends and Foes.  I don't believe extended personal abuse and insult is necessary to rubbish a person's argument. You, Jon, make your choices according to your personal morality.

(as for Ellen, I am quite fond of her, her doggedness -- and her wealth of reporting and  insight into Ayn Rand, the New York Objectivist 'scene' back in the day.  She has informed opinions on issues of mutual interest, a unique voice and perspective. 

I made a bad interpersonal error of judgement when we were discussing Stephen Hawking, coming close to one-half a Mamishian in tone and accusatory insinuations. I regretted it, apologized for it, and accept that she will not likely ever enter into discussion with me on any substantive issue going forward. It's what happens when one gets carried along by Assholism and does not foresee the damage one can do to human relationships.)

On what evidence can anyone conclude that QAnon offered the demoted and reprimanded police officer a job with the FBI or CIA -- or that he or she or they-Q has any means to 'fast-track' an application?  "Your name has been entered to be fast-tracked."  Oh, really?

The bolded question in Jon's comment is .... If we get news he’s hired what will that mean?

 

Here Jon Letendre refers to Liz Crokin, who has  had lost her social media account at Twitter because she cannot stop making wild accusations of supposed satanic cult sex crimes against children.  As I have written before, there are no more disgusting crimes than abuse of innocence or maltreatment in the form of child sexual abuse; it is revolting and almost certain to provoke a violent antipathy and urge to punish and separate the perpetrators from normal society. 

But, having been a researcher and activist during the Memory Wars and the last Satanic Panic -- I realize as most folks do, that hysterical moral panic unchecked can lead to grave injustices (from the Memphis Three to the Kellers).  The taint of an accusation of such disgusting crimes is much stronger than an accusation that someone is, say, a "lying, deranged leftist scumbag," or "suffering from an undiagnosed mood disorder," or "a psychotic bullying fuckhead."

Jon may or may not detail these supposed 'dozens' of 'proven pedophiles.'  Of course, harbouring a desire to sexually abuse a child is one thing.  If I harboured a desire to crush someones skull in a wine-press, or draw and quarter someone else, or bully a child unto suicide, or to usher The Joo into a revivified Holocaust Easy-Bake Oven... it is a thoughtcrime, at best,  a sign of mental illness, brain injury or tumor at the worst. I find all justifications of sex with children to be wholly without merit, a convenient self-exculpatory dodge and a sign of self-deception.  

The problem with Crokin as I see it is and was that she styles herself investigator, accuser and judge. A hanging judge.

 

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[Edited to reflect that Crokin has a replacement account at Twitter]

Edited by william.scherk

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10 minutes ago, Jules Troy said:

I guess those rules no longer apply on OL.  Or is being called a cunt now acceptable.

Jules,

That's my domain.

I tend to be flexible with long-term members.

But there are fixes. For example, William has a safe space over here on his blog just like they do on college campuses.

Would you like a safe space, too?

I mean, among regulars, we have room for both the boisterous and the snowflakes.

:evil:  :) 

Michael

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3 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Jules,

That's my domain.

I tend to be flexible with long-term members.

But there are fixes. For example, William has a safe space over here on his blog just like they do on college campuses.

Would you like a safe space, too?

I mean, among regulars, we have room for both the boisterous and the snowflakes.

:evil:  :) 

Michael

No need I’ve got my bigboy pants on see? 👖 

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12 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Jules,

That's my domain.

I tend to be flexible with long-term members.

But there are fixes. For example, William has a safe space over here on his blog just like they do on college campuses.

Would you like a safe space, too?

I mean, among regulars, we have room for both the boisterous and the snowflakes.

:evil:  :) 

Michael

It's not about "boisterous" or "snowflakes", it's not about "strong" or "weak".  That dichotomy is barbarism.  There will always be a portion of society that will try to use primitive tactics and actions to try to gain advantage over others.  It's your forum, you choose to allow or not allow whatever behavior.  Civility exists, but for it to exist there has to be rules and those rules enforced, otherwise the barbaric will have their way.  The rational and moral will be impacted by the "strong" and those who seek superiority over others.  Perhaps the rational and moral will seek out "safe spaces"---as what it is currently being called here on OL---if the behavior of others is primitive and aggressive.  But like you've said before, you pay the bills here on OL.  I'm just one of those long-term members.

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13 minutes ago, KorbenDallas said:

It's not about "boisterous" or "snowflakes", it's not about "strong" or "weak".  That dichotomy is barbarism.

So, you're calling MSK a barbarian. Not very civil. Not polite.

 

14 minutes ago, KorbenDallas said:

Civility exists, but for it to exist there has to be rules and those rules enforced, otherwise the barbaric will have their way.

Name-calling! That doesn't fit with your call for civility. Practice what you preach.

 

18 minutes ago, KorbenDallas said:

The rational and moral will be impacted by the "strong" and those who seek superiority over others.

You're assigning others evil motives. That's not polite or civil.

 

16 minutes ago, KorbenDallas said:

Perhaps the rational and moral will seek out "safe spaces"---as what it is currently being called here on OL---if the behavior of others is primitive and aggressive.

Stop attacking people with smears and name-calling! That's against the rules here.

MSK, please protect OL! Korben is being uncivil and impolite. Please use your ownership powers to make him stop upsetting me.

Whaaah! Booo hooo hooo!

J

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QAnon has posted a whack of 'drops' at 8chan since we last checked in.  From QAnon.pub. My favourite is outlined in red. These are click-and-go images,  image-links take you to its first appearance at 8chan's "qresearch" image-board.

Q2566.png

Q2567.png

q2568.png

Q2569.png

Q2570.png

Q2571.png

Q2572.png

Q2573.png

Q2574.png

Q2575.png

Q2576.png

 

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Adam Schiff, as interpreted by QAnon.

I thought to point out a useful function of the QAnon.pub curation site.  It contains a search-within capacity, which lets you zero in on 'drops' of particular subject interest -- and it also provides "Answers" to particular queries embedded in a variety of posts.

Here I capture the search and the second item of note. 

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"Merry C-Word, everybody!"

On 12/6/2018 at 9:04 PM, Jules Troy said:

I guess those rules no longer apply on OL.  Or is being called a cunt now acceptable.

It is on the Front  Porch, Jules.  It could be classed under 'banter,' or free expression, or what have you. It is now becoming a norm of sorts. One member resorts to use of this word  in place of reasoned argument or discussion of disagreements. 

"Name your poison!"

Spoiler

 

 

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He is such a fluffy little bunny eh?

Oops I meant mentally and emotionally fragile.  

He is starting to make the worst posters at Solop seem polite!  

  • Sad 1

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These should come in a boxed set.  Only fans of the QAnonAnonymous podcast will get the dark undertones of hilarity here:

We are a small but hardy crew of jester-inquirers. Only some of this crop have personal memories of the Satanic Panic of the 1980s-1990s. 

 

Here is another insight into the QAnon phenomena, a backwards-looking insight. It's like a mythic blob. It is never killed and never really alive. But it can do damage to softer, less-objective minds.

massArrests01.png

massArrests01b.png

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Travis View gets cited in an NBC news explainer on QAnon-world consternation about the Flynn trial and the DC judge (details noted elsewhere). 

Flynn hearing leaves the far right's conspiracy theorists wanting

Quote

A year-old conspiracy theory simmering in both far-right message boards and mainstream conservative publications that predicted former national security advisor Michael Flynn would be exonerated fell apart on Tuesday at his sentencing hearing, leaving believers perplexed.

The rumors, which were pushed heavily by believers in the Qanon conspiracy theory in recent days, predicted that Judge Emmett Sullivan would throw out Flynn’s guilty plea an

As Mueller’s investigation has widened and ensnared more members of Trump’s team, conspiracy theories of Trump loyalists have been forced into a variety of contortions to justify the belief that the special prosecutor’s actions are working in Trump’s favor or an abuse of prosecutorial power.

Many of those contortions relied on Flynn being let off by Sullivan, who on Tuesday made clear that would not be the case.

[...]

“The idea that Flynn holds a lot of secrets about the deep state and won't face serious consequences is important to the Qanon community,” said Travis View, a conspiracy theory researcher. “They’ve been banking on Sullivan throwing out the charges.”

d reprimand Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team for nefarious investigating practices.

In reality, Sullivan excoriated Flynn, saying that “arguably, you sold your country out” by working as an unregistered foreign agent to Turkey while advising President Donald Trump during his candidacy and clarifying with Flynn that he did not wish to challenge the circumstances under which he was interviewed by the FBI. Flynn's defense attorneys suggested last week that he had somehow been entrapped into lying to the FBI.

[...]

The theory began back in February, with a series of articles onconservative news websites lauding Sullivan as a “government misconduct expert” who may be looking to get Flynn to change his plea.

“Emmet G. Sullivan is one judge who is ready, willing and able to hold Mr. Mueller accountable to the law and who has the wherewithal to dismiss the case against General Flynn — for egregious government misconduct — if Mueller doesn’t move to dismiss it himself,” wrote lawyer Sidney Powell on the Daily Calleron Feb. 16.

Similar articles from the same week in the Washington Examinerand National Review spawned additional speculation that Sullivan might be indicating that Flynn should change his plea.

From there, far-right message boards and members of the Qanon conspiracy community have been “banking on Sullivan throwing out the charges,” View said.

[...]

Some of the 8chan qresearch reaction is wrapped up with the "Flynn is safe" trope. QAnon last posted about Flynn on December 4.  Nada since then.

flynnQ01edited.png

 

Edited by william.scherk

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On 12/13/2018 at 12:01 PM, william.scherk said:

MOAR.  Mother of all ridiculous?

[...]q2625.png

Cool. The stress test failed.  

Here come half of the newest QAnon 8chan 'drops' as curated in a database serving the page QAnon.pub,

q2626.png

q2627.png

q2628.png

q2629.png

 

q2630Edited.png

You tell me, Q. You tell me.

I'll pause here for an excerpt from Rationalwiki -- which is usually snide and awfully full of itself -- about some festive places within 8chan:

Spoiler
/leftypol/
The leftist and almost as toxic version of 4chan/8chan's /pol/. A radical leftist board that discusses and promotes revolutionary socialism, including Marxism, democratic socialism, Communalism, Strasserism and anarchism. Anti-identity politics. A splinter board, /leftpol/, has emerged after people grew tired of the Marxist-Leninist board owner's increasingly authoritarian actions such as banning threads about Rojava and word filtering controversial terms like "Red Fascism". The majority of anarchists and anti-authoritarians now reside over at /leftpol/ rather than /leftypol/ due to this.
/namibia/
Dedicated to a rather outlandish plot by white supremacists to colonize… well… Namibia. To put it shortly, they believe that Namibia is a wild lawless space for their great white hunter selves to colonize and create a nation based on the alleged "values" of National Socialism. Though this may sound like the typical anon plot, they actually have sent scouting parties and are attempting to get their "New Rhodesia" under the guise of a charity.
/fatpeoplehate/
Created after Redditors "left" in "droves" after the banning of the /r/FatPeopleHate subreddit due to the site's new anti-harassment guidelines. They were shortly driven out by 8chan's existing userbase in a raid fashion. This is another example of Reddit naïvely bigging up the Chan boards as their mega-cool best friend, when in reality they all despise Reddit with little to no exception.
/qanons/
Incredibly bizzare cult centred around a troll originating on /pol/ who can supposedly tell the future. See QAnon for further details.
A whole bunch of other boards we're not giving any exposure to
Video games, rape, gore, technology, animal abuse, illustration of child porn, Christianity and the like.

/baphomet/[edit]

One of the more infamous boards is called /baphomet/ (named for the demon Baphomet, of course), a "hacking" and raiding board dedicated to the spirit of old 4chan /b/. /baphomet/ streamlines the most extreme and disturbing forms of harassment for which user of 8chan are notorious for, such as gathering personal information of the site's targets and coordinating SWATing efforts.[12] The board is also replete with grotesque images of abuse of humans and animals, the sole purpose of which is to disgust outsiders and thus deter spying on the board's operations. Initial targets were those who worked to report the child porn on 8chan to the authorities, though many of the current targets are the same people Gamergate has been targeting for months. Gamergaters off the board will deny that it's part of their movement, while simultaneously cautioning against provoking /baphomet/ in a way that totally isn't a threat.

For those who daren't visit the 8chan /qresearch 'board,' here's a block of today's 2630 reaction ...

fThatNword.png

Edited by william.scherk

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So, what happens to a believer in QAnon prophecy** -- once doubt creeps into his or her mind?  Kelly Weill has a look at some exemplars. The reading is sobering.

Christmas is the loneliest time for QAnon fans.

Quote

Kimberly’s boyfriend was tired of hearing the QAnon videos she watched around their small apartment. To keep the peace, she started keeping the videos to herself. “I live in headphones now,” she told The Daily Beast.

“My boyfriend is... I don’t know how to describe it,” she said. “We have very different views. He does not think this QAnon thing is anything except nonsense. I drastically disagree.”

Over Thanksgiving, she joined a chorus of QAnon believers lamenting that their belief in the bizarre right-wing conspiracy theory had isolated them from friends or family, a loss keenly felt over the holidays. QAnon is “something I've been researching on my own, by myself pretty nonstop, 24/7 since probably July-ish,” Kimberly said. “And then it’s grown more and more and more and more and more and more intense for me.”

[...]

The Daily Beast spoke to four Q believers—two die-hards and two who are beginning to experience doubts—who claim to have been isolated from loved ones, as well as a former Q believer who now thinks the isolation helps reinforce QAnon support. The Daily Beast is withholding their last names at their requests.

[...]

The rift is most evident this time of year. “When I get together with family for the holidays,” Megan doesn’t feel comfortable discussing conspiracy theories, or even politics, with members of her family, she told The Daily Beast. “I stopped trying to tell them. I stopped. Nobody wants to hear it. They say you’re a conspiracy nut and you’re looking at wacky stuff on the internet.”

Megan and Matthew now voice various degrees of skepticism about QAnon. Both were involved in earlier conspiracy communities, and view Q as one of many conspiracies in that broader matrix of fringe beliefs. A number of recent QAnon prophecies, including predictions about mass arrests of Trump foes on December 5 and the dismissal of charges against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn this week, have flopped.

Those failures, plus doubts about the moderator of a large Facebook group have caused both to back away from the conspiracy while still supporting some of its claims. But Kimberly and Marjorie (among a growing community of Canadian QAnon believers) said they were all-in on the conspiracy.

“My friends have told me they are tired of seeing my political postings,” Marjorie told The Daily Beast. She’s lost several friends over political posts about Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, including a post about Trudeau being bricked into a wall, she said. She believes Trudeau is linked to the New World Order, a conspiracy theory promoted by some QAnon believers, and said she hopes Trump will save Canada from Trudeau.

QAnon is a call for drastic political purges. Adherents believe tens of thousands of Trump opponents will be arrested and possibly detained in Guantanamo Bay or executed. Some Q believers call for the military to implement martial law and crack down on Trump’s rivals. It’s a fantasy about a political Armageddon, after which the country will be cleansed and Trump can rule unimpeded.

In one instance, “after having a friendship with her for 60 years, she humiliated me on my  Facebook page. There are other incidences as well. I keep it to myself that I follow QAnon. Some of my other friends follow as well.”

Kimberly said her Q belief had changed her, and that some former friends didn’t understand.

“I haven’t always been with these feelings I have now. I haven’t always felt the way I feel now,” she said. “I’ve done a complete 180. There are people in my family that don’t understand as well. I’ve lost some friends, people I’ve known since high school that I’m Facebook friends with, for an example. They just blocked me, or decided I’m not their friend, or unfriended me. Who the heck came up with that definition of friend anyway? That’s OK. It is what it is.”

[...]

Travis View is a researcher monitoring the QAnon conspiracy. Over the course of the movement, he’s seen believers discuss a growing estrangement from loved ones.

“People in the QAnon community often talk about alienation from family and friends,” View said. “Though they typically talk about how Q frayed their relationships on private Facebook groups. But they think these issues are temporary and primarily the fault of others. They often comfort themselves by imagining that there will be a moment of vindication sometime in the near future which will prove their beliefs right. They imagine that after this happens, not only will their relationships be restored, but people will turn them as leaders who understand what's going on better than the rest of us.”

But the alienation isn’t just a personal loss. It can also drive people further down the path of conspiracy.

Serena is a former QAnon believer. “I followed Q’s drops [forum posts]. I watched all the videos,” she told The Daily Beast. “I’m semi-retired, so that’s all I did all day. I was so excited. It was really a thrilling, exciting time.”

[...]

She left the movement and started watching a YouTuber who debunks Q claims.

“That kind of saved me. I also studied cults in the aftermath. I believe these people are brainwashed,” she told The Daily Beast. “There are several things they [Q] do. One is isolate their followers and turn their followers against all other sources.”

Cult expert Rachel Bernstein previously told Wired that online conspiracy movements can radicalize people by creating a tight-knit community, insulated from the rest of the world and its facts.

“When people get involved in a movement, collectively, what they’re saying is they want to be connected to each other,” Bernstein told Wired. “They want to have exclusive access to secret information other people don’t have, information they believe the powers that be are keeping from the masses, because it makes them feel protected and empowered. They’re a step ahead of those in society who remain willfully blind. This creates feeling similar to a drug—it’s its own high.”

As real-life friends slip away, some Q fans have taken solace in the online QAnon community.

“It gives me hope,” Marjorie said of the Facebook fanbase. “As far as I am concerned, real friends respect your opinions, not call you down.”

[...] At its most radical core, QAnon is a call for drastic political purges. Adherents believe tens of thousands of Trump opponents will be arrested and possibly detained in Guantanamo Bay or executed. Some Q believers call for the military to implement martial law and crack down on Trump’s rivals. It’s a fantasy about a political Armageddon, after which the country will be cleansed and Trump can rule unimpeded.

[...] Psychologist and author Robert Lifton uses the term “forcing the end” to describe efforts to push a prophecy into reality. In his book Destroying the World to Save It, Lifton describes a series of cults that initially believed Armageddon would happen naturally, without human intervention. But when significant dates came and went without revelation, and the groups perceived themselves to be under attack, members took drastic actions: mass suicides in the cases of the Heaven’s Gate and Peoples Temple cults, and mass murder in the case of the Manson family and Japan’s Aum Shinrikyo cult.

[...]

Leaving the QAnon movement isn’t easy, Serena, the Q renunciant, said.

“There’s different stages when you get out,” she said. “When I first got out I said ‘oh my goodness, I need to warn everybody. I need to warn them.’ But then I was attacked and threatened so harshly,” she said. “And then I was just so sad, like in a mourning stage, and then I had to laugh because it became so ridiculous. It was the only way I could cope.”[...

“No,” Kimberly said when asked if anything would convince her Q was fake, “nothing.”

“No,” Marjorie answered the same question. “I just hope that justice will be served.”

______________________

** Rob Brotherton, author of the fantastic "Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories," shares a blog with three other psychologists: The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories.  In August appeared a post on the QAnon phenomena: "Internet prophecy cults 101: QAnon and his predecessors."

Edited by william.scherk

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