One of the biggest reasons I write and talk about the QAnon movement is because of its potential to end in violence.
Despite all the lofty talk of “research” and patriotism and bringing “dark to light,” QAnon depends on extrajudicial incarceration, flagrant violation of the Constitution, and eventually, mass killing. It’s the very heart of what Q has been preaching.
While the conspiracy theory manages to worm its way into virtually every current event and political happening, the foundation of QAnon remains what Q refers to as “the Storm.”
This is the unsealing of a massive number of secret indictments of high-ranking Democrats, supposed pedophiles, entertainment industry figures, and business leaders – all of whom will be tried in secret field tribunals, found guilty without benefit of due process, and either shipped off to Guantanamo Bay or simply executed.
There is no credible evidence that any of this is true, and I’ve written about the “sealed indictment” hoax many times.
Yet the movement persists in its belief that any day now, the government is going to snap up tens of thousands of people, try them in secret, and dispose of them.
Not only that, but despite believing in a theory that revolves around the elimination of large swaths of society, Q believers also insist that they’re part of a non-violent research movement, devoted only to dissecting the “breadcrumbs” that Q leaves, and preparing the masses for events that the media will never cover.
No movement that bills itself as “non-violent” can simultaneously revolve around violence. No movement that bills itself as “patriotic” can simultaneously depend on flagrantly violating both the Constitution and Supreme Court rulings to enforce military justice on civilians.
I wrote about this shortly after John McCain’s death, when a verbal slip by John Kasich resulted in countless QAnon believers giddy over the Arizona Senator being “put to death” after a secret treason trial – and how profoundly un-American such “justice” is, how deeply contrary it is to our system of government.
These dual paths of cognitive dissonance are the heart of QAnon – peace through brutal violence, and patriotism through discarding of American values.
And every time I bring up this contradiction, I’m shouted down – often with threats of violence, ironically.
It is, of course, completely untrue.
There have already been multiple incidents of real world, real life violence or threats of violence by believers in the QAnon conspiracy.
Earlier in September, conspiracy theorist and YouTuber William Douglas was arrested after threatening to massacre YouTube employees in a “mass casualty event,” driven by what he saw as the site’s censorship of his videos in support of QAnon and pizzagate.
Before that, there was the Southern California arsonist with a Facebook page littered with references to QAnon, the man who held an armed standoff in June near Hoover Dam whose letters from jail are full of QAnon references, and the arrested occupier of an abandoned cement plant in Tucson he believed was a haven for child sex trafficking.
And they’re just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. QAnon social media is absolutely brimming with paeans to violence and fantasies of brutally eliminating enemies of the president. The popular subreddit r/greatawakening, with 70,000 subscribers, was banned from Reddit for that very reason – a constant drumbeat of violent threats.
QAnon Twitter is just as bad.
Here’s some QAnon believers giddy at the prospect of Trump’s enemies being executed.
Execution specifically by firing squad? We’ve got tweets for that, too.
And if old-fashioned death by hanging is your bag, QAnon is fine with that too.
Let’s not forget the guillotine, favored by revolutionaries of the French variety.
On and on it goes, hyperbolic paeans to brutal, bloody killing of enemies. And this is just on Twitter. I don’t even want to know what violent nonsense is being spewed on 8chan, where QAnon posts originate.
The point of this is that you can’t bill yourself as simply wanting to bring truth to lies when it comes at the point of a gun or on the blade of a guillotine.
Q’s drops themselves are full of references to bombs, guns, imprisonment, and death. It’s the language of dictators and killers, not democracy. Clearly, the language of his followers is worse.
This is not the language of a non-violent research movement – it’s the language of a fascist, gore-soaked fantasy.
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