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QAnon ushers us into the age of post-post-truth

Following QAnon into the age of post-post-truth

The conspiracy theory is the midwife of a monstrous new era

The conspiracy theory is the midwife of a monstrous new era

Tim Smith-Laing | August 14th 2018

We are living in a new age. No, not the age of post-truth, which we’ve all heard so much about over the last couple of years. That era is already over. What is dawning now is something even more extreme. In the age of post-truth we could at least look mournfully back at truth in our rear-view mirrors and contemplate turning the car around and returning there some day. In this new age, as whatever comes after post-truth consolidates its grip on us, even that hope will fade. Truth won’t just be small and far away; it won’t even be on the map. 

If this seems hysterical, consider the phenomenon known as QAnon, that monstrous midwife of the new era. QAnon is a conspiracy theory, but that fails to do justice to its baroque, all-consuming madness. Beside it, all other conspiracy theories, from the faked Moon landings right up to 9/11 trutherism, are as summer breezes against a tornado. If news of QAnon has not filtered through to you yet, brace yourself. 

Q is a person or persons unknown who first appeared last October on the messageboards of 4chan. Q’s initial post announced the imminent arrest of Hillary Clinton, followed by the mobilisation of the National Guard to counter any civilian “defiance”. Q followed up with a series of tantalising questions perfectly pitched to pique the interest of the conspiracy-curious. “Why does Potus surround himself w/ generals?”, “What is military intelligence?”, “Why did Soros donate all his money recently?”. Though neither the arrest nor the riots materialised, people took note.

What made them do so, it seems, was Q’s claim that he or she is an important official in the United States government possessed of Q-level clearance. Q-clearance, if you are not aware of it, is a real thing; it is the level above Top Secret – Top Secret turned up to 11, if you will. Q revealed that he was instructed to secretly alert the public to the nefarious actions of government baddies by posting “crumbs” to 4chan. Somewhat conveniently, the degree of secrecy involved is such that it is impossible to verify anything Q says independently – but ignore that for the moment, because it is nothing to the claims that those who have followed Q down his breadcrumb trail have made. 

What this trail disclosed is the existence of a single, giant megaplot which Donald Trump is here to foil once and for all. He is, and has been for some years, secretly assisted in this by John F. Kennedy Jr, who faked his own death in order to escape assassination (like his father and uncle before him) for knowing the truth. The truth is this: all past presidents – Democrat and Republican alike – have been participants in an international child-trafficking ring, which Hilary Clinton, as Obama’s anointed successor, was set to helm for the next eight years. The Donald, however, swooped in from outside of the metropolitan, paedophile, elite government system for the specific purpose of tearing it to the ground. 

If this is the case, then why hasn’t Trump – man of action that he is – torn it down already? Why all the apparent flailing and incompetence, the seeming stupidity, and stress under investigation, and everything else? Welcome to what believers of QAnon call “The Calm Before the Storm”. It is all part of his strategy. Just as the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was making people think he doesn’t exist, the greatest trick the Donald ever pulled was making people think he was stupid. He is not. Indeed, he’s not even under investigation. Robert Mueller is actually on Trump’s side, but lulling the “deep state”, the bankers and the libs into believing the precise opposite. Boy are they all riding for a fall.
 
It goes without saying that no one knows who Q is. Some adherents think he might be Trump himself. Sceptics have suggested that the whole thing is probably a hoax made up by left-wingers or anarchists in order to troll the right – which does seem more plausible. But it does not much matter either way, because QAnon has taken on a life of its own. Despite all laws of logic and reason it has inveigled its way into the hearts of many Make America Great Again fans. Even Roseanne Barr has tweeted about it, to her 887,000 followers. Look at the crowds at Trump’s latest rallies (above), and you will spot – as many commentators have noted – disturbing numbers of supporters, brandishing Q-signs, Q-shirts and Q-hats, along with their Q-stionable mental capacities. 

This may remind readers of Pizzagate, the conspiracy theory which claimed that the Clintons and their friends were running a paedophilia take-out service from a Washington pizzeria called Comet Ping Pong. What was initially a hoax considered so stupid that even single-celled life forms would think twice about giving it credence culminated in a man called Edgar Welch walking into Comet Ping Ping armed with an assault rifle and demanding answers.

The thing about Pizzagate, though, is that, for all its extremeness, it was just common-or-garden dumb. Even those who wanted to believe it must have wondered why on Earth the Clintons would run a paedophile ring out of a pizza kitchen. If you had a whole world order and the deep state behind you, wouldn’t you run your paedophile ring out of a slightly more upmarket venue – like, say, the White House? 

QAnon, meanwhile, is not common-or-garden dumb, it is beyond dumb and that is its very secret. It is a level of stupidity so complete, so Byzantine in the labyrinth of false reasoning it has constructed around itself, that it is impervious to attack. It’s laughable, but as more and more people follow Q down this trail of breadcrumbs, we seem to be entering a new age: not truth, not post-truth, but something new and terrible that, like Q himself, has yet to be given a name.