The Unbearable Sadness of QAnon

I’ve written at length about how, despite its followers claiming that it’s merely a non-violent research movement, QAnon is a blood-soaked conspiracy theory based on the extra-judicial purge and execution of tens of thousands of perceived enemies of the state.

But QAnon is also a movement of people who think they know something horrible that nobody else knows. And that while trying to “redpill” or “wake up” the “normies” in their midst, they carry the burden of that secret knowledge with them alone. Naturally, being a receptacle for such horror makes them sad. Very sad. Like, anhedonic, unable to experience pleasure, sad.

One of the top threads for the week on the Q-endorsed research board on Voat asks Q bakers “When you became awake, did everything feel fake to you? Movies, shows, games, media, pop culture, society, economy, government, Hollywood, relationships, friendships everything?”

And it is full of responses from people who did indeed feel that everything had become fake to them. From simple entertainment like movies and music, to interactions with the people closest to them, QAnon is utterly full of people who have gained knowledge of a (non-existent) plan by Donald Trump to demolish (non-existent) pedophile rings infesting every level of media and government – but lost pretty much everything that makes them human.

Warning: almost every thread on Voat eventually (or quickly) devolves to a shocking level of anti-Semitsm, racism, or both. But if you can more or less ignore the horrors and focus on the trauma behind them, the thread is an eye-opening glimpse at just how bleak belief in conspiracy theories has made these people’s lives.

The most upvoted (ie, agreed with) comment: someone who literally can’t enjoy movies, music, or “normal conversations” anymore. But hey, he/she is happy. Right!?!


This Voat-er appears to have been written off as a crank by their wife, and feels alone with everyone in the world except Voat, naturally (and gets scolded for using non-woke search engine Google, for his trouble.)


Another poster who has become so calloused to the suffering of actual children (rather than the non-existent children being trafficked by Hillary, etc) that his mother sees him as heartless.


This person loves the band Tool, but has decided he must stop listening to them because…hey, maybe they’re CIA funded?


When you’re so woke that you can’t even buy groceries without freezing up.


And you don’t even want to know what many QAnon believers think of sports. Predominately black athletes working for a number of Jewish team owners? Yeah, it’s bad.

On and on the misery goes. People who can’t enjoy music anymore (thanks to the Jews, of course) to friendships lost to people who claim with a decent amount of credibility that the only love they have left is their dog.

Some folks have been in the shit for far longer than Q has been around, with some claiming to have been ensconced in the misery for years, or even decades, thanks to 9/11 conspiracy videos like “Loose Change.” And the many conspiracy books that laid the ground for that movement.

And it’s not as if this thread is the only one where people express the dark cloud of loneliness and depression that’s settled over their lives since Q came along. The Daily Beast and Vice both chronicled Facebook posts by Q followers who have isolated themselves from family members rather than spend the holidays with people who aren’t woke. Who among us could forget the “QAnon Thanksgiving Sandwich?”

And Esquire wrote about QAnon breaking up families, ending relationships, and pitting children and parents against each other when one believes and the other doesn’t.

Yes, it’s easy to mock these people, and I’ve done it myself. It’s also easy to write off their profound lack of joy as a self-inflicted wound created by their belief in a racist, anti-Semitic conspiracy theory whose ideal ending is a giant pile of corpses. If this is what you choose to believe, then maybe you deserve to be miserable.

But the bigger issue here is the sacrifice these people believe they’ve made in service of Q. They’ve lost friends and family, jobs and hobbies, spent their time and money, all to advance a plan that they believe will save the world – but in reality, is a complex grift that got out of hand.

There are real questions to be asked here.

What happens when the “plan” that they’ve devoted themselves to fizzles out for good? Are they really going to go back to their brainwashing TV and Jew-infested music and normie friends? How will they react when it becomes clear that their sacrifices have been in vain? Can these people find their way back to the life that the rest of us already lead? Will be they be accepted if they try? Or will they just twist themselves into tighter knots and declare that the only reason it failed is because they didn’t give enough of themselves to it?

When you no longer enjoy anything other than a conspiracy theory, what do you fill the hole with when the conspiracy theory crumbles?

I suspect we don’t have long to find out. In the meantime, I hope the people dealing with the profound sadness seen in this and other QAnon threads get some help. Or at the very least, a hug from someone they still care about.

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5 thoughts on “The Unbearable Sadness of QAnon

  1. You worry with good reason, Damien. Once represented the mentally ill, acutely psychotic and manic persons, seeking to refuse involuntary psych treatment in trials and appeals. QAnonsters, whose “plan” I’ve been following for months now, are actually more disconnected from reality than any clients I can recall.

    Thanks, Mike, for writing and tweeting about this craziness. Been studying cults and conspiracy theories my entire sentient life and this one has been most disturbing thus far. No longer feel so alone with my perceptions, concern.

  2. Wow, spent an interesting 15 minutes skimming through this blog. I’m simply blown away by how completely consumed this guy has become in debunking, ridiculing, pearl clutching and snarking about the Q thing. For someone lecturing about conspiracy theories and generally looking down on others for their beliefs, this guy has made more Q related content than most Q followers. Certainly an uninformed reader of this blog would experience the Streisand effect and potentially learn more and perhaps even become a Q follower. An inadvertant situation from the blog owner, I’m sure.

    However, more than anything else, I’m left feeling as if something isn’t quite right here, there’s a sense of the counter intuitive for me anyway.The blog owner purports to be motivated by busting conspiracy theories.The most effective way of doing this would be using a scientific or evidence based approach. Whereby the claims that make up the theory are weighed against available evidence or fact. Instead, the author presents everything through his own political filter. So not only are we shown conspiracy theories, they are right wing Trumpian conspiracy theories, presumably the worst/most dangerous/frightening subspecies of the genre.

    With political motivations colouring the blog, suspicions of bias are natural. It’s worth mentioning Lance deHaven Smith’s brilliant book “Conspiracy Theory in America” at this point as an example of a scientific, non biased dissection of the subject against 60 years of American history.It looks at the history of the phrase and how the CIA weaponized it to stop dissenting opinion and ridicule of the Warren Commission Report into the assassination of JFK. The one with the magic bullet theory.

    In many ways this blog reminds me more of the Cass Sunstein academic paper on Conspiracy Theories which is a lame, liberal attempt to justify restricting free speech. It’s a ridiculous and patently inane paper. Of course Sunstein is a Clinton lackey and may well be on the Clinton Foundation payroll. Perhaps the blog author is too, who knows? I mean I just can’t see why someone would be motivated to do this blog without being paid to do so. It’s anti Trump in it’s overall viewpoint and there are many sources of dirty money that would pay for such content. But this is just conjecture on my part.

    While I don’t identify as a Q fan, I do see that there is something compelling about the phenomenon.
    People certainly are excited about it, some of the content is interesting in terms of reminding about forgotten history. I endorse anything that brings forgotten history back to the fore and also content that excites and gives people hope of a better world.

    Equally there is something odd and suspicious about a blogger who is intent on “debunking” it within an overtly political anti Trump blog. The debunking is half-assed, non scientific and seems to consist mostly of snide superiority, ridicule (although the author exhibits no evidence of having a sense of humour) or ‘eyerolling’ descriptions. However with 6000 subscibers all the best to him, clearly there is some market for his particular style of Trump bashing.

    Personally, the people attacking Trump fall into two main categories, they are either brainwashed by the media or they are guilty of fraud, trafficking or human rights crimes. The harder the opposition the more they are either brainwashed or guilty. Anyway it will be apparent to the world shortly, all evidence points to the fact that Trump has all his ducks in a row now and ready to use rule of law to take down some very nasty and criminal people who’ve wielded far too much power for far too long…

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