It’s Time to Walk Away from QAnon

Like digital pilgrims looking for the face of Jesus Christ on a piece of meme toast, QAnon believers have had to spend more and more time dissecting ephemera for clues, because Q is increasingly absent. Since March 29th, Q has made less than 40 posts – leaving his followers to dig deeper and deeper for evidence that they haven’t been abandoned, and that the “great awakening” they’ve been promised is actually going to take place.

Just this past week, we had Q acolytes going crazy over an errant “Q” in a James Comey tweet (which was deleted and reposted,) Fox News interviewing a man wearing a “Q” hat, desperate attempts to parse Robert Mueller’s tone of voice for clues that he “cut a deal” with Trump to pretend to investigate him (he didn’t,) and totally baseless allegations that the horrific shooting in Virginia Beach was actually a false flag signaling an offensive by the deep state against the Q team.

Normally, I’d go through each of these and let people know why they’re bogus signs for a great event that’s never coming. But instead, I want to use this floundering as an opportunity to reach out directly to QAnon believers, who I know read my writing. And what I want to say this:

It’s time to walk away.

QAnon is a bust. Nothing it predicted has happened. Nothing that it talks about is real. None of the clues are clues. None of the proofs prove anything. You wasted your time. You got scammed. Admit it, own it, say it loud and proud. It’s incredibly hard to say such things out loud, to admit that you got played. But you did. I’m telling you this not because I hate you, but because I want to help you. I wouldn’t waste one second of my life writing about QAnon if I didn’t want to help people break away from it.

And please know you’re not alone. Far from it. Scams are so universal because they work, and they work best on people who can’t admit they’re getting scammed. You wouldn’t be the first to get snookered by something that promised great rewards and delivered nothing, and you won’t be the last. It doesn’t make you stupid, it doesn’t make you crazy, it makes you a person. Like the rest of us.

In fact, it’s the perfect time to walk away. If you leave QAnon now, you can probably get your family back. You can get your life back. Nobody will think less of you for leaving, in fact, the people who love you will think much more highly of you. Maybe you spent a lot of time and money on Q. Maybe you lost people you love because of it, or at least lost the respect of people you love. But if you take this opportunity to declare that QAnon is bullshit, has always been bullshit, and that you made a mistake by getting sucked into it, you can start down the path to fixing the damage.

QAnon is a scam and a troll, and its a troll whose makers think you are a gullible loser. This has been evident since the avatar’s first post claiming that Hillary Clinton had already been arrested. Yet, after thousands of posts and countless decodings, nothing has changed. Q is still a false prophet, and the disciples around him are still grifters. The long promised “pain” has never come for the deep state. The last few months have seen the scammers who started and grew Q showing their utter contempt for you, their audience, throwing out worthless placeholder posts simply to keep the fire burning. At the same time, the Q gurus are using you as a mailing list to shill for sham medical treatments, worthless books, and shoddy merchandise.

They’re counting on you being too enmeshed in the fiction they’ve created to be able to separate yourself from it. And they’re counting on you having pushed away your loved ones to the point where you think that without Q, you’ve got nobody. But that’s not true. Even if you’ve gone past the point of no return with your families and friends, you’ve still got yourself. You’ve got your dignity. And there’s no dignity in following a scam down further and further, simply because you’ve followed it this far. It’s hard to do it, but you can, if it’s important to you.

Walk away from QAnon now, while it’s still an alternate reality game gone too far, not a full-blown cult or religion that’s got you by the throat. Walk away before you’ve given it years of your life. You can tell everyone “hey, I got a little too carried away with this, but that’s over now.” Everyone has gotten just a bit too deep into something that wasn’t good for them, be it narcotics, an unhealthy relationship, pursuing a passion at the expense of responsibilities, self-destructive behavior, or even just rampant spending. You can walk away from it stronger and more knowledgeable about yourself, your blind spots, and the breathtaking effectiveness that scams can have. Apologize to the people you hurt, and they will almost certainly welcome you back without mockery or shame.

Make no mistake, QAnon is about to get dark. No prosperity scam can keep people dancing on a wire this long without some folks falling off. A few already have. They’ve killed other people. They’ve killed themselves. They’ve committed crimes. More is coming, as each disconfirmation and broken promise sends a few more true believers reeling. Do you really want to be around when the wire snaps? Or do you want to be able to tell others and yourself that you recognized the signs that everything was collapsing, and that you got out?

If you’re wavering on Q, take the hint and renounce it. I and the other writers working to deflate this horror show will welcome you. In fact, I’ll share your story. If you were a QAnon believer who woke up and dropped it, reach out to me. My Twitter DM’s are open, and my email address is on this site. If you give me permission, I’ll use your story to help others get out of this ridiculous nightmare.

QAnon has abandoned you. It’s time to abandon it.

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