If you dabble at all in the odd world of far-right conspiracy theories, or happen to be a nazi-sympathizing, jew-hating, 4chan user who frequents the /pol/ thread on that site, then you have undoubtedly stumbled upon the person or people known as QAnon. For the rest of you who believe in reality and don’t frequent message boards where hate groups congregate, QAnon first emerged on October 28, 2017 in a /pol/ thread on 4chan, titled “Calm Before the Storm,” clearly in reference to an odd quote by Trump in early October where he stood with military leaders and stated “Maybe it’s the calm before the storm. Could be, the calm. The calm before the storm.”
While it’s pretty clear he was talking about the military’s possible use of force, this individual, or group of individuals who have been posting cryptic images and messages on what amounts to an internet hate-group message board, believes that Trump was referring to something else entirely. They believe that Trump has been pretending to be influenced by Russia in order to force the FBI, DOJ and Special Counsel to investigate what really amounts to Russian ties on the part of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and others. They also argue that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is not really investigating Trump, but instead is investigating Obama, Clinton, and their associates.
Since October, QAnon has been suggesting that a “Storm is coming” any day now. It’s been 7 months now and as Trump associates continue to plead guilty, get indicted, or flip, not a single individual within the Obama administration or Clinton campaign has even been interviewed by Mueller, as far as we are aware. Despite the lack of any evidence, what-so-ever, to verify any of these clearly baseless claims, QAnon continues to promise that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Podesta, Huma Abedin, and even John McCain will soon all be arrested, or are already under house arrest.
Besides the general “Trump is a superhero” rhetoric coming from the anonymous QAnon, the lost souls who follow every word of this account, almost as if it’s god himself coming to speak to them, also believe that Clinton and Obama were covering up child sex rings, and that the Las Vegas massacre was an inside job connected to a cabal led by the Saudis and Hillary Clinton.
There are always conspiracy theorists out there, but the group congregating around this QAnon pseudonym are incredibly vile, disguise themselves on 4chan with anonymity, and seem to be lost in a fantasy world where their hero is someone so heroic that he/she will only post on a known Nazi-sympathizing message board, anonymously. It’s one thing to question authority. It’s something entirely different when you unquestionably follow an anonymous user on an anonymous message board, posting theories which don’t remotely add up. This group is dangerous, not because they will influence the Mueller probe in any way, but because they are convincing an incredibly large number of internet users that reality is not reality and that hate, bigotry and lies are the norm.