Shocking news to no one: The FBI has, for the first time ever, decided to publicly declare that conspiracy theories, like Qanon, pose a domestic threat. Read the FBI Bulletin here.
The bulletin specifically calls out Qanon, a totally whackadoodle conspiracy theory. For those that don't have family members or friends that are Q disciples, this is a group of folks that believe in a shadowy figure named Q who drops "bread crumbs", ie clues, about what is going on and secrets including massive Deep State Arrests Coming Soon, Trump is a "secret double agent", Pizzagate is real, etc.
The bulletin states: “the FBI assesses these conspiracy theories very likely will emerge, spread, and evolve in the modern information marketplace, occasionally driving both groups and individual extremists to carry out criminal or violent acts." They also predict that violence related to these conspiracy theorists will rise during the 2020 election cycle.
One of the big things that the FBI noted is that social media is helping these conspiracy theories gain traction in ways that are hard to control or combat. They stated "the advent of the Internet and social media has enabled promoters of conspiracy theories to produce and share greater volumes of material via online platforms that larger audiences of consumers can quickly and easily access."
Trump supporters have latched on the Qanon bandwagon, with Q posters showing up at Trump rallies. It is not uncommon to see MAGA and Q bumper stickers next to each other and people proudly proclaim their allegiance with hashtags #WWG1WGA, #GreatAwakening and something about following a white rabbit. Honestly, it sounds like something a group of tweens concocted in a backyard treehouse as a secret group.
Here is a woman, trying to explain what Q is. She sounds like a totally deranged cult member who has lost her mind.
We addressed this new FBI bulletin and how they have a two-way love affair going with Republicans.
Q is a dangerous group. Let me be clear. These are not mentally stable folks. They are not some cute group talking on twitter and message boards. They are often truly convinced about their importance and power and believe that they are part of a secret group that knows things that the rest of us do not - crimes going on that the police refuse to investigate, conspiracies and blackmail, certain people are labeled heroes while others are assumed to be traitors who will be arrested (and even killed) soon. And when action doesn't happen fast enough, sometimes they try to be the hero themselves, like Pizzagate arrest.
I have actually lost family members down the Qanon rabbit hole. Without getting into too much detail, a few people started off as Trump supporters. I was not happy, but I accepted them. Then they moved from FOX to message boards and became disciples. At holidays I was subjected to lectures about how Donald Trump was a double agent for 30 years, how Obama is a traitor who set Trump up, Clapper is going to be charged with treason, mass arrests of Democrats are imminent, etc. But even worse was the passion they felt at "knowing the truth" while I was the one who was truly delusional. THEY BELIEVE THESE THINGS TO THEIR CORE.
I have given up on spending time with the folks in my family who believe in Q. Talking to them is too distressing. They are irrational and angry. The last time I saw them was shortly after Trump/Barr said they were declassifying documents. I could not stomach seeing the glee in my family members' eyes as they talked about arrests and charges of treason and murder of people who were "deep state operatives working against Donald Trump."
I have no idea if they are lost forever. I honestly do not. But for now, I am happy to stay away from them. It is promising that the FBI finally sees the threat the Qanon (and other conspiracy theory folks) pose. They are truly comparable in their fanaticism to Al-Qaeda or ISIS.
Many other people have lost their family members and friends to Q. Vice did a great article about this very topic and you can read it here.