The sex trafficking arrest of billionaire hedge fund manager and convicted/registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was not especially surprising for anyone who knows even the slightest thing about the island-owning, Trump-gladhanding perv. The accusations that Epstein has been involved in a trove of sexual misconduct, assault, rape, and trafficking have been run down by outstanding journalists and now backed up by the legal work of the Southern District of New York. It’s not a shock.
Also not surprising: the outpouring of gloating from QAnon acolytes and believers crowing that their “military intelligence” avatar was proven correct in his/her/their promises that Epstein would be revealed as a Satanic sex pervert in bed with the Clintons and some of the worst criminals in the world. After all, Q is wrong so often that it seems like something to celebrate when Q is right. And celebrate, they did:
Last week, I wrote a story for Daily Dot about the month-long absence of new QAnon posts, and what it means for the QAnon movement. I asked believers (who hate to be called that, except that it’s the only term that conveys their status with any accuracy) whether they were losing faith in Q, and if they’d walk away from the movement if Q didn’t post again.
I'm writing a story about the one month gap since QAnon's last post, and want to ask the most fervent believers some simple questions: 1. Do you still believe in Q and "the plan" despite the silence? 2. If so, why? 3. If not, why not? 4. Will you leave if Q never posts again?
Can a cult survive without its leader? What happens when an evolving religion gets no new scriptures?
These are the questions to ponder as the QAnon conspiracy theory evolves into what appears to be a new phase: less an ongoing puzzle to solve or a story constantly being added to, and more of a general philosophy based on the study of codified works.
Since a frenzy of posts in late March, including a long string of posts attacking a private citizen, an orgy of shout-outs to followers at the Trump rally in Grand Rapids, and a few general thoughts on the media; QAnon has been nearly silent.
From March 30th to April 22nd, Q has made just six posts. And they feel perfunctory, not as if the Q poster is trying to add new layers to the mythology, but instead, to keep followers from walking away. They ape Q’s trademark combination of rhetorical nonsense and circular riddles, but only in the service of rehashing old stuff.