QAnon, the dimmest bulbs to have ever taken on the Illuminati, are keeping busy. In their endless quest to expose the liberal deep state as fear-gland milking, Satan-worshipping pedophiles these loons are racking more conspiracy theories and news stories than most death cults manage over their (albeit brief) lifespan. And since there's no longer a week that goes without by without one of these Pizzagate patriots serving up another hot slice of conspiracy from Oprah being under house arrest for being a sex offender to Beyonce secretly being Italian, here's our vain attempt at a monthly recap of the utter insanity that is the QAnon boom.
To QAnon, the coronavirus pandemic has been both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it has given them plenty of free time to harass Chrissy Teigen to the point of a near nervous breakdown. On the other hand, the enduring lockdown has put a damper on their favorite conspiracy classic. After all, with all the pizza parlors closed, how are these coastal elites getting their hands on freshly baked kids to molest?
Luckily, there are plenty of online shopping alternatives ready to make discreet home deliveries. Like Wayfair, the online retailer specialized in delivering large crates of furniture. Just like any other online shop with thousands of items, Wayfair has its prices typically determined via an algorithm. This can lead to the odd glitch, like selling flatscreens for literal pennies. So when a line of items was showing up with steep price tags, like $9000 shower curtains or a series of utility closets going for over $13,000, it was obviously a numbers error. But one conspiracist had an even more straightforward explanation: There're kids in them there closets.
Between the suspicious pricing and the closets having garbled girls' names like Neriah or Alyvia, QAnon quickly jumped to the conclusion that they had stumbled upon some sort of pedo-IKEA. Both social media and human trafficking hotlines were bombarded by Q-tips claiming that Wayfair was sex trafficking missing children inside furniture to housebound liberal elites so they can continue to enjoy supping on their youthful adrenal glands from the comforts of their dystopian compounds.
The mad ranting got so out of hand that Wayfair had to make a public statement reaffirming that, no, they weren't in the business of home delivering a Deep State Narnia experience. In fact, Wayfair pointed out that these cabinets were industrial grade and thus "accurately priced" for their purpose of not sex trafficking kids, with a spokesperson also adding: "There is, of course, no truth to these claims." And you can almost feel the pinching of a brow in that "of course."
On July 8th, officials announced that former Glee actor Naya Rivera and her four-year-old son Josey had gone missing during a boating trip on Lake Piru in Ventura County, California. When a search party found Josey all alone sleeping on their rental boat, speculations about Rivera's disappearance into the lake's treacherous waters became direr by the hour. But some knew exactly what had happened to Rivera: She was in some deep state safehouse awaiting execution.
Conspiracy theories soon started saturating social media claiming Rivera had actually been kidnapped by ... them. (You know, them). Soft-skulled sleuths started suspecting the actor never made it into the water as her ID and other personal belongings had been left in her car -- because normal people tend to walk into bodies of water with their pockets stuffed with their driver's license, birth certificate and two recent energy bills.
Tragically, Rivera's body was recovered on July 13th floating in the lake, a clear victim of accidental drowning when the family had gone swimming. (Sources now believe that Rivera likely saved her son's life before losing hers in the process). Investigators later confirmed there was no sign of foul play. But QAnon dicks, blessed with both an overabundance and total lack of imagination, couldn't fathom this outcome. Instead, they now placed Rivera's death in the context of a larger conspiracy: The Glee star wasn't the victim of misadventure, but a systematic Glee-nocide.
The Glee curse is nothing new on social media. An unusual number of the original cast have now lost their lives, with Cory Monteith dying of an overdose in 2013 and Mark Salling committing suicide after being arrest for possession of child pornography in 2018. The latter incident was like catnip to QAnon, who then rubbed their bleachy stank all over the pop conspiracy. Naturally, they saw the death of Rivera as further proof that the Glee cast deaths must be part of some sort of deep state cover-up -- as if they had stumbled upon President Obama eating a live rabbit while bathing in the blood of boy scouts during their 2010 White House Easter performance. That they're disparaging the reputation of a deceased young mother leaving behind a small child is of little interest to these ghouls, who are desperately in need of a productive hobby.
It must be exciting to be a QAnon conspirator. To them, the world is merely a satisfying series of easy ciphers, a mix of The Da Vinci Code fanfic wrapped in a sudoku easy enough to solve on the toilet. And with their shitposting prophet Q supposedly leaving a trail conspiracy breadcrumb trails about the ongoing deep state civil war, their acolytes are always on the lookout for hidden codes from Washington. Like in, say, fancy dresses.
During Trump's Mount Rushmore speech on the 4th of July, several QAnon groups became convinced that Melania Trump was sending out a sartorial secret message. Like seeing the face of Jesus in a cheese danish, conspiracists were convinced that they could see another Catholic-related image in Melania's scribbly dress: a tableau of children being molested, an obvious nod to the ongoing QAnon investigation into the Democratic party's pedophile ring.
While it'd be easy to see Melania's scribbly black and white dress as a tinfoil Rorschach test, surprisingly, this QAnon conspiracy is based somewhat in truth. Designed by fashion icon Alexander McQueen, the dress is indeed patterned with the expressionist sketches of children. Specifically, drawings of "dancing girls" which were captured (no, not like that) during a live art class in London.
It's also hard to blame QAnon for immediately assuming Melania was sending coded messages with her dresses. In 2018, the mail-order Deep Throat used her fashion sense to send a political statement. Though, in that instance, it was to specifically point out that she doesn't give two fucks about children being abused in cages. And with the rise of the Qaucus, the semi-coherent, zero-cogent group of QAnon friendly politicians inside the Republican party, there are plenty of DC insiders who'll gladly communicate in not-so-secret with the far-right group. Eric Trump (the son who looks like a douchebag Count Chocula) posted a giant Q on Instagram before quickly taking it back like middle schooler doing a halfhearted Nazi salute behind the math teacher's back to impress his friends. Meanwhile, during his 4th of July message, Michael Flynn, former security advisor to Trump and current inhabitant of Kirk Douglas' decaying corpse, stood with his family while droning the Qanon slogan "Where we go one, we go all" -- which is somehow the catchphrase of a group that relishes in calling others sheeple.
In March of 2020, Pew research showed that less than a quarter of Americans had even heard of QAnon, let alone know the specifics of their insane ramblings. But now there's barely a day they don't pop up in the mainstream with some kind of half-assed viral intrigue. Legitimate news outlets have to spend precious paragraphs debunking the kind of stupid that can only be manifested by a conspiracy theory group so dense the only reason they don't believe in lizard people is because they'd have to admit evolution exists.
So how does this far-right fringe group manage to spread the dumb word so quickly? The obvious suspect is, of course, Facebook. The social network specialized in catering to the bitter middle-aged set has countless QAnon groups. Most do attempt to cloak themselves with simple codes, like replacing Q with this alphanumerical 17 (a very popular tactic with the far right) and other encryptions on the level of using the kind of kids' spy ink you reveal with lemon juice. But it's super easy to join the QAnon lemon party. Facebook's algorithm has had plenty of practice connecting Nazis to a wider audience, so simply giving a pity like to one of your crazy uncle's posts now has a decent chance of landing half a dozen conspiracist groups into your permanent recommendations.
Less obvious is the rising QAnon presence on TikTok, which it's now using to reach a whole new key cultist demographic: dumbass teens. Recently, TikTok even 'broke' a QAnon conspiracy theory that claimed Victoria Secret's secret was that the lingerie keeps tabs on its clientele of shoplifting teens and recently divorced moms with trackers sinisterly sewn into the bras. A video of a woman cutting a "tracker" out of a bra has accumulated over 26 million views in a couple of weeks. Obviously, the spy tech was just an electronic tag to count inventory, but that didn't stop over 2 million users from also sharing it with other gullible kids. And with reports that the all-singing, all-dancing TikTok crowd are now reviving QAnon theories as dated as Pizzagate and setting them to shitty beats, it might just be a matter of time before QAnon becomes the first Bollywood-themed deep state conspiracy theory group.
Speaking of QAnon going international ... yeah. While its origins lie in the somewhat domestic niche topic of American deep state politics, the recent global troubles are making QAnon increasingly popular among the jet-set crowd of international nut jobs.
QAnon is already well underway to infiltrate the rest of North America with its cut-rate brand of conspiracy theories. In Canada, local QAnon supporters have started targeting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. One loyalist, Norman Traversy, has managed to crowdsource a US$140,000 legal fund in hopes of convincing Trump to prosecute Trudeau on counts of, um, general deep state-ness? They're not sure yet, but they'll think of something. Another Qanadian, Corey Hurren, elected for a more direct type of coup by attempting to ram a pickup truck full of guns into the Premier's home. Shockingly, the national leader's gates proved to be shock-proof, bouncing the former soldier onto his ass before being arrested by police.
But as the coronavirus pandemic drags on, it's QAnon's Covid claims that have started to truly mass-convert bleached assholes from every corner of the globe. In Europe, QAnon now has a talking point with massive appeal to their far-right groups: coronavirus denialism. And hating Jews. (So, two talking points actually.) In Germany, plenty of far-right idiots have swapped their swastikas with a Q, with German watchdogs noting a serious spike in QAnon related online extremist groups. And despite having one of the most successful coronavirus containment efforts in the world, the pandemic has also made QAnon popular with non-Neo Nazis, with many German contrarians now openly endorsing the group as a way to signify they'd rather watch their co-workers die than develop a minor mask rash behind the ears.
And the more infamous QAnon gets, the more wackjob cults want to ride its brand's coattails. Over in Iran, a far-right dissident group by the name of Restart has aligned itself with the American group. While having little in common with QAnon (aside from political extremism and antisemitism), they see their alliance as a way to curry favor with the openly anti-Iranian government Trump in the hopes of getting to pick over the country's carcass when he's done nuking it. And if the unfortunate normal folks of Iran have to start worrying about a band of American trolls best-known for shooting up a pizza place, sadly, the days of getting to ignore QAnon are coming to an end for all of us.
For more weird tangents and pizza-related conspiracy theories (small pizzas are a geometric con!), do follow Cedric on Twitter.
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