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The Origins of QAnon (?) 
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Post The Origins of QAnon (?)
The origin of QAnon is murky at best. I went to whatever sources I could find on this matter and have simply laid out the "facts" as I found them. I don't do much of any speculating here. I am not trying to speculate on anything but rather give as objective an account as i have thus far been able to compile. I make no claim that this is in any way definitive. It is simply what I have found thus far. Make of it what you will.

On the Vice Channel program, “QAnon: The Search for Q”, a person identified on the program as Manuel “Manny” Chavez III who goes by the online moniker of “Defango” claimed to have been recruited in 2017 by an online network known as Cicada 3301. Among online gamers and hackers, Cicada 3301 is very well known after they posted an elaborate online puzzle/treasure hunt on 4chan in 2012. The players had to solve a series of puzzles and ciphers to get the clue of where to search next—sometimes it was to another online site, a phone number or a physical locale. The treasure to be found was the Spear of Destiny (the spear that supposedly was used to stab Christ in the side during his crucifixion) hidden somewhere in the desert. Manny eventually located the Spear and was recruited into the Cicada network except that he didn’t know it for five years.

Manny claimed he was recruited in July of 2017 at a Defcon (a hacker convention) by a guy known as “Microchip.” Manny claimed that, at the time, he did not know that Microchip had been part of Cicada. Manny said he was basically recruited by Microchip to concoct the next puzzle and so they invented Q as a joke, more or less, at the behest of Cicada—filling it with all kinds of rightwing paranoid tripe strictly as a gag. He claimed this QAnon puzzle was a kind of stripped-down version of the 2012 puzzle only without all the treasure-hunting otherwise it would become too complex and exhausting for most people who weren’t into puzzles the way he is.

Manny said that Microchip conceived of QAnon as a version of a LARP or Live Action Role Playing where people into cosplay would dress up as a knight, king, queen, magician, etc. They would meet in the woods and engage in battle—something like Civil War reenactors. The difference between a standard LARP and QAnon is that the players in a standard LARP knew it was all game and that they were role-playing but the QAnon LARPers were not told they were LARPing and so they took it for real. They fancied themselves people in the know, in on the big secret being spilled to them by an anonymous government insider with all kinds of connections. They would tell their friends who would also become infatuated with the game and they would, in turn, tell others and so on. It spread with frightening rapidity. All these LARPers became QAnon addicts, believing every word of it and regarding it as something supremely important. It wasn’t just for internet gamers and puzzle enthusiasts—in fact, Cicada didn’t want them because they were too good at hacking and figuring things out. They wanted the average Trump MAGA supporter because they were stupid and easily duped. Anyone could join QAnon if they desired and they did in droves. As one woman stated of her membership in QAnon, “It is the most important thing in my life.”

The head of Cicada according to Manny is Thomas Schoenberg who LARPed under the moniker of Sophia Musik. Schoenberg, a shady character with a shady past and a long rap sheet and had stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars in con games, blackmail, intimidation, etc. He had also once worked in some capacity with some people closely associated with General Michael Flynn who was very high up in Trump’s circle. Manny described the Cicada network as being composed of criminals without conscience. Manny had a falling out with Schoenberg and left Cicada and claimed that the group then hounded him and tried to ruin him and drive him to suicide. Manny said he felt he needed to alert people that Cicada was dangerous and were going to pull off something big and they were perfectly capable of carrying it out because they were far smarter and more ruthless than the MAGA idiots they conned into following them. It should be pointed out that not all MAGA Trumpists are QAnon but all QAnon are MAGA Trumpists.

The internet provides a labyrinth of dots that can be connected almost any way one chooses and has, not surprisingly, become a candy store for kids whose passion is looking for conspiracies behind every tree and rock. Not only is cyberspace chock full of conspiracy websites that are perused regularly and thoroughly by researchers of the fringe (such as yours truly) but mainly by the true believers. Most of these websites have little to no credibility being little more than propaganda watering-holes for racist and religious nutbags looking to reinforce their nutbaggery with the worst type of misinformation. But some of these sites gained a bit of prestige.

One such conspiracy website is Wikileaks. Founded by Australian activist, Julian Assange, in 2006 in Iceland under the auspices of the Sunshine Press, Wikileaks specializes in anonymous document-dumping where caches of classified material are posted online concerning shady finances, military expenditures, “secret” wars, espionage and black ops carried out by various governmental organizations around the world, etc. Some might object to my characterizing Wikileaks as little more than a conspiracy and propaganda website but when the dumps are done anonymously, how do we determine how true the content of the leaked documents are? Suppose one government frames up another by anonymously releasing doctored documents revealing a coverup of illegal spending or the clandestine imprisonment of innocent citizens, how would we really know this was happening? Even if this was not the intention of Wikileaks, how could they stop their website from being used this way when there is no way to check sources?

In 2016, the emails of Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, were stolen by a Russian hacker and dumped on the Wikileaks website. While the dump appeared to be real, it’s what was done with the leaked material that calls the efficacy of Wikileaks into question. If the leaked material results in the freeing of innocent people or the prosecution of law-breakers or puts an end to a genocide then that would justify the existence of such a website. But if leaked material that is basically harmless is utilized by those with an agenda who want that material to be so much more harmful than it actually is, what purpose does a website as Wikileaks really serve other than to provide screwballs with the fodder they require to manufacture conspiracies?

In November of 2016, the emails shared between Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, and one James Alefantis became of intense interest to the rightwing conspiracy theorists who make up half of the regular consumers of Wikileaks. Alefantis was not some high-powered attorney or congressman or lobbyist in Washington but rather he owned the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in DC. Comet Ping Pong was a popular spot to hold parties and even doubled as a concert venue for various bands. It seated 120 and was stocked with ping-pong tables, craft rooms and what not. The place had come to Podesta’s attention through his brother, Tony, who liked to go there a lot. Podesta was looking a spot to hold a fundraiser for Clinton and Alefantis was known to be a staunch democratic donor who knew a number of bigwigs in the party although he did not know Clinton.

This exchange of emails dumped onto Wikileaks by a Russian hacker was gone over by users of the imageboard 4chan. Although I have spent some time at 4chan, I never posted there but I needed to see what it is about. 4chan was founded in 2003 supposedly by a 15-year-old known only as “moot.” It was modeled on similar boards used on the Japanese internet where images are posted and discussed. The site, which is a group of boards covering various topics, appears to be overwhelmingly populated by white teenaged boys which makes sense since it was allegedly founded by one. Many of these boys I found to be maladjusted “incels.” Pornographic images are posted with great frequency including child porn. Other images are disgustingly gory in a way that fascinates teen children. Words as “nigger” and “fag” are overused and antisemitism is quite rampant.



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Post Re: The Origins of QAnon (?)
Concerning the Podesta-Alefantis email exchange, while completely innocuous, the users of 4chan decided that what they were reading was or could be interpreted as a conversation in code concerning a child-molesting and trafficking ring at Comet Ping Pong. They asserted that references to cheese actually meant children and references to pizza actually meant sex acts. The fact that Alefantis is gay probably didn’t help a lot. He was turned into some kind of child-porn pimp stocking democratic politicians as the Clintons with children for sex as well as their flesh for consumption and their blood for drinking (because it keeps them young). Comet Ping Pong was the headquarters of this ring, 4chan decided, and kept a supply of children in the basement. This fictional scandal was dubbed “Pizzagate” by the press.

By mid-November, the Turkish government was rocked by a child abuse scandal. A Turkish pro-government media outlet then broke the story of Pizzagate in that country demanding to know why anti-government factions were so outraged of the child abuse scandal in their country but ignored Pizzagate. This lent some legitimacy to the Pizzagate scandal. Alefantis and many of the pizzeria’s employees began receiving anonymous death threats.

Then on October 28, 2017, the first post from Q appeared on 4chan. The post appeared on a 4chan sub-board designated as /pol/ which means politically incorrect. The post appeared in a thread titled “The Calm Before the Storm” and was “signed” by “Q Clearance Patriot.” A Q clearance exists within the Department of Energy and so it is assumed that Q works there although what a DOE employee would know about the contents discussed in the post itself is not explained. Q said he was tasked with dropping “crumbs” on 4chan. These crumbs or Q-drops as they came to be known had to be followed by the 4chan users. Q stated that there never was anything between Trump and the Russians no matter what America’s intelligence services claim to have discovered. Robert Mueller was never appointed by the State Department to investigate Trump’s ties to Russia but rather he was working with Trump to investigate the Clintons and Obamas for child trafficking and other law-breaking. Trump, said Q, figured this out when he first became a candidate. Trump only feigns a sycophantic, fawning relationship with Putin as a way of forcing some interested third party (the fourth estate?) to investigate the connections without arousing the suspicions of the satanic democrats.

Thus, the beginning of the Storm. The Storm is simply Trump’s draining of the swamp which would be dramatic as it would be outing and prosecuting the “deep state actors”—Obama appointees embedded in the three branches of government actively engaged in carrying out the satanic agenda and also including others as Podesta, the Clintons, the Obamas, Huma Abedin, the Squad, Nancy Pelosi, the Bidens, Kamala Harris, a large number of Hollywood actors, writers and directors, etc. Q expected tens of thousands of arrests would be made and a huge child-trafficking ring would be exposed and destroyed. This was first slated to happen around 2018. Hillary Clinton, said Q, was about to be arrested. This opening salvo would lead to “The Great Awakening” which everyone would finally understand the importance and sheer heroism of Donald Trump and this would bring salvation to the country and to the world. This inherently involved Trump winning a second term in a landslide election in November 2020. So, virtually everything predicted by Q didn’t come to pass but QAnon followers were far from disappointed. Like last-days Christians, they simply reshuffled the deck and set up new dates. Unlike Christians, though, they couldn’t do this forever.

Instead of folding, the QAnon conspiracy picked up steam so Q kept posting. Thanks to Trump circle insiders as Michael T. Flynn and his son, Michael G. Flynn, Trump supporters in the general public began to pick up on Q and it turned into a movement. QAnon’s motto became, “Where we go one, we go all,” which was taken from the 1996 movie, White Squall and which QAnon adopted after Flynn used it in a speech. The motto is abbreviated as WWG1WGA



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Post Re: The Origins of QAnon (?)
DB Roy wrote:
The Origins of QAnon (?)
The origin of QAnon is murky at best. I went to whatever sources I could find on this matter and have simply laid out the "facts" as I found them. I don't do much of any speculating here. I am not trying to speculate on anything but rather give as objective an account as i have thus far been able to compile. I make no claim that this is in any way definitive. It is simply what I have found thus far. Make of it what you will.


Thanks DB for this very detailed backgrounder to QAnon. I hope that BT members in large numbers will read and use this information to better understand the origin and danger of this movement.

Skeptic magazine had QAnon as their feature article in their Vol 25 No 4 issue. Some of their articles are available on line including:
"QAnon Is Just a Warmed Over Witch Panic — and It’s Also Very Dangerous" BY DANIEL LOXTON

https://www.skeptic.com/reading_room/qa ... dangerous/



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Post Re: The Origins of QAnon (?)
You should be aware of this precursor to QAnon from Italy and a novel titled Q. I remember reports of this years ago, dunno why it isn't more prominent.
https://www.theartnewspaper.com/feature ... an-artists

Also this documentary by HBO appears to unmask Q. (I haven't watched it. Yet.)
https://www.hbo.com/q-into-the-storm

:btw: The final drop from Q appears to be from 12/8/2020. :?



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Post Re: The Origins of QAnon (?)
DB Roy wrote:
. . . Manny said he was basically recruited by Microchip to concoct the next puzzle and so they invented Q as a joke, more or less, at the behest of Cicada—filling it with all kinds of rightwing paranoid tripe strictly as a gag.

Telling, isn't it, that a gag could form the basis of a new belief system for right-wing paranoia? In the book we are discussing, Dawkins talks about the baby cuckoo, whose open gaping mouth is so irresistible to mother birds—of other species!—that they will ignore their own offspring to go feed the cuckoo fledgling. The cuckoo, as such, is a parasite. The QAnon stuff offers an irresistible delicacy to the mind that is receptive towards it, moreso than reality itself. Dawkins would also say that with a little discipline and rational thinking (along with Sagan's "baloney detection kit") we can easily learn to rise above such instincts or intuitions that can lead us astray. We have free will.

I'm reminded of a quote (thanks Robert Tulip) attributed to Voltaire: "Anyone who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

It's interesting, or maybe just sad, to note that the satanic panic stuff being promulgated by QAnon is only a rehash of a craze from the 1980s, only that it was more mainstream back then.

https://www.vox.com/culture/22358153/sa ... -explained


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Post Re: The Origins of QAnon (?)
Image

The above photo shows the only true thing about QAnon. It is not about wisdom passed down from Q, it is the bewildering insanity of what the mob cooks up with their own non-sequiturs. In the seven months since the 2020 election Q has posted only four times. One was a single word "Durham," referring to an FBI investigation. Another Q drop was a favorite tautology: "Nothing can stop what is coming. Nothing!" (If the thing that was coming is stopped, then that termination is what was really coming.)

Q is not relevant because "We are Q!" A mob determines where this is going, which appears to be focusing on "reinstalling" Trump.



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Post Re: The Origins of QAnon (?)
Actually, there's more to the history but BT won't let me post it. Some weird error I keep getting. Wrote to Chris about it but haven't heard back.



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Post Re: The Origins of QAnon (?)
Q isn't going away. It may morph into something else even worse but it is not going away. It has taken on a life of its own now and not even its creators can stop it. More than likely, they would be proud of the monster they made and would do their best to keep it going no matter how bad it is. But it will keep going regardless. Things are not really getting better.



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Post Re: The Origins of QAnon (?)
Quote:
An estimated 30 million Americans are praying at the altar of Q, according to a new poll by religious interest groups. That number means QAnon has more followers in America than Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism combined.

...Now, a poll by the Public Religion Research Institute and the Interfaith Youth Core confirms QAnon’s political and ideological stranglehold over American society. “Thinking about QAnon, if it were a religion, it would be as big as all white evangelical Protestants, or all white mainline Protestants,” PRRI founder Robert P. Jones told the New York Times. “So it lines up there with a major religious group.”

https://nypost.com/2021/05/28/with-30m- ... ions-poll/

More evidence that DB Roy's statement "Q isn't going away" is true. Which is quite amazing and a sick revelation about the underbelly of the US population. I tried to follow QAnon in detail early on. As Mr. Roy summarizes, it started with predictions on 10/28/2017 about the imminent arrest of Hillary Clinton along with 25K to 50K others, creating a "Storm" that would completely overturn the American political system. This was obviously ridiculous yet I became interested in how long could QAnon followers hold onto these beliefs before cracking? A year later with ZERO arrests, wouldn't you think QAnon would collapse in late 2018? Although many did leave - NO! it morphed, evolved, and expanded as the "We Are Q" phenomenon kept up the energy utilizing a bias confirmation hamster wheel snorting crystal meth. I stopped checking QAnon below the surface by then because I have a low tolerance for fascist blood lust. But here we are after many more failed predictions (landslide Trump victory) and absurd statements (Trump and Mueller collaborating on mass arrests) with a nascent religion that now appears to be focused only on "reinstalling" Trump as President.



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Post Re: The Origins of QAnon (?)
LanDroid wrote:
The above photo shows the only true thing about QAnon. It is not about wisdom passed down from Q, it is the bewildering insanity of what the mob cooks up with their own non-sequiturs.
What struck me about the picture was the mass-produced sign. Granted anyone can work a copier, but it is generally evident that there is a support infrastructure making QAnon into a crowd phenomenon. Is that support entirely by grass roots volunteers? My paranoia leads me to suspect that there is substantial "seed money" from some manipulators, using the crowd to either generate more income (in the way Steve Bannon uses the right wing) or generate political influence (which is often also about raising income for the manipulators) or both.

LanDroid wrote:
Q is not relevant because "We are Q!" A mob determines where this is going, which appears to be focusing on "reinstalling" Trump.
The roots in cheesy mass search games strongly suggests this is not manipulation in the traditional, Goebbels sense, but rather a game played with suggestive ambiguity. Q and probably others keep throwing pasta at the wall to see what sticks, and sometimes stuff sticks that comes to life and oozes into corners and multiplies.



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Post Re: The Origins of QAnon (?)
Quote:
QAnon supporters have acted with dismay and confusion after Donald Trump announced the December dates of his upcoming speaking tour with Bill O'Reilly, which coincides with when he is meant to have already been reinstated as president.
6/20/21

https://www.newsweek.com/qanon-trump-de ... nt-1602328

QAnon is squirming again. They believe Trump will become President this August, but wait what's this? Trump is planning a speaking tour in December with O'Reilly? Oh no, both can't be true can they? :lol: :icecream:



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Post Re: The Origins of QAnon (?)
https://www.businessinsider.com/hbo-fil ... 021-4?op=1

But there are other candidates.



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Post Re: The Origins of QAnon (?)
On Sunday, December 4, 2017, a 28-year-old white man named Edgar Maddison Welch drove to DC from his hometown in Salisbury, North Carolina and walked into Comet Ping Pong carrying a Colt AR-15 assault rifle as well as a Colt .38 handgun, a shotgun and a folding knife. Welch pointed the rifle at an employee and demanded to be taken to the basement to free the children imprisoned there. The employee ran and Welch fired into the floor. Fortunately, the bullet did minor damage. The employee called the police. Meanwhile, other employees caught inside with Welch did their best to convince him that Comet Ping Pong did not have a basement. The police arrived and a 45-minute stand-off ensued as Welch walked around the establishment looking for a basement door. When he was confident that the employees were truthful about there being no basement and unable to locate any children being held prisoner, Welch walked outside and turned himself over to the police. He later stated his firm belief that the Clintons regularly murdered and presumably ate children.



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Post Re: The Origins of QAnon (?)
On December 6th, Michael G. Flynn abruptly resigned from his post on Donald Trump’s transition team. Flynn had been chief of staff at his father’s company, Flynn Intel Group. When Trump appointed the senior Flynn as his national security adviser, the junior Flynn was brought aboard to assist his father. Exactly what he did was not widely known even to those inside the Trump inner circle (or so they said). One thing, however, that Michael G. Flynn was fast becoming infamous for was tweeting bizarre conspiracy theories. The transition team was becoming wary of Flynn’s postings. People were beginning to notice and that was not a good thing. Only a day after Edgar Welch was arrested at the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria, Flynn tweeted:

Until #Pizzagate proven to be false, it'll remain a story. The left seems to forget #PodestaEmails and the many "coincidences" tied to it. https://t.co/8HA9y30Yfp
--Michael G. Flynn US



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Post Re: The Origins of QAnon (?)
This was only one of 16 conspiracy tweets that Flynn had posted since August. Another one of those tweets asserted that Florida senator, Marco Rubio, who ran for the Republican nomination against Donald Trump, was a gay cocaine-abuser, for which Flynn produced no proof. Both Flynns were known to post bizarre conspiracies and appeared to firmly believe them. The so-called Pizzagate tweet attracted so much attention that Trump himself became uncomfortable with Flynn’s posts fearing they would end up smearing the senior Flynn whom Trump was dead-set on installing as his national security adviser. Trump ordered Flynn junior fired. Flynn had just posted a tweet that Edgar Welch was an “actor” whose purpose was to discredit the child sex trafficking story. At 3:30 p.m., Flynn’s tweet ended in mid-sentence. After that, Trump adviser, Stephen Miller, stated that Flynn no longer worked on the Trump team and had resigned. He must have resigned seconds before he was to be fired. Miller’s statement contradicted Trump’s vice-president’s earlier statement that the junior Flynn had never worked for the Trump team. Hence, the Trump presidency and QAnon were both off to a flying start.

The beliefs prevalent among the followers of Q are a hopeless mass of contradictions. They claimed Trump’s election in 2016 was legitimate despite every American intelligence agency finding that the Russians had assisted the Trump campaign (which led to Michael Flynn getting sacked from his post as Trump’s chief of National Security for not disclosing his Russian connections for which he later went to prison); yet, QAnon insisted that Biden’s win over Trump in 2020 was fraudulent despite that fact that no evidence was ever produced to back up the claim which were made in lawsuits of which the courts shot down more than five dozen in several states. In the wake of the 2020 election, QAnon supporters called for Trump to declare martial law and yet were infuriated at the idea of states enacting a pandemic lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. They insisted that the virus was a hoax but also insisted it was no worse than a flu. They praised Trump for his role in hunting down the satanic pedophiles ensconced in the government and in Hollywood and yet ignored Trump’s clear predilection for teenaged girls including his own daughter, Ivanka. His close friend, Jeffrey Epstein, was proven to have a harem of teenaged girls (which led to his imprisonment) and Trump certainly knew this when he was quoted in a 2002 New York magazine profile of Epstein: “I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.”



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