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‘There Are Millions of People Who Believe in This’: Former QAnon Supporter Stresses Group’s Capacity for Violence

‘There Are Millions of People Who Believe in This’: Former QAnon Supporter Stresses Group’s Capacity for Violence

A former QAnon supporter appeared on CNN’s New Day on Tuesday to discuss a recent Federal Bureau of Investigation warning that the conspiracy theorists within the cult could be plotting to commit violent acts in the wake of the January 6th insurrection at the United States Capitol.

Screenshot/Crooks and Liars

Speaking to host John Berman from Sydney Australia, Jitarth Jadeja reminded Berman’s viewers that QAnon is already guilty of violence and that its most extreme believers should not be underestimated.

A transcript of the conversation is below.

Berman:

Joining us is a former Qanon follower who has since rejected the movement and its beliefs. This report from the FBI which says it could move from digital to factual, real-world violent stuff, even more violent after January 6th. Your reaction?

Jadeja:

Well, I wasn’t surprised. I don’t know anyone who studies or follows the QAnon movement who was surprised. And just a little correction, John. They didn’t say they could. They said they are. That there is an increased propensity for the use of real-world violence following the lack of action they believe by Donald Trump in order to take over America in a military coup. So, yeah, and they even listed a few terrorist attempts that happened apart from the Capitol, including the derailing of a train. So this is happening right now.

Berman:

How far are you worried that they could take it?

Jadeja:

Well, if you think about it, their battle in their mind, the nature of this crisis is existential for them. It’s not a battle between authoritarian and libertarian, between left and right, between nation-states. It’s a battle between God and the devil. Literally, it’s a battle for their souls. For their children’s souls. I mean, if you believe that, if you really believe that, what would you do? What wouldn’t you do?

Berman:

It’s terrifying. And I’m always faced with a question: how could you believe it, though? How? How could you believe that?

Jadeja:

Well, it’s a strange thing because sometimes I ask myself the same thing. But as with any kind of full doubt, any kind of you’ll start with some small thing and ended with another, then ends with another and then you’re all the way down the rabbit hole and you have no idea what to believe and what not to believe. So you want to believe that you’re on the right side. That you’re fighting for good against injustice. And it’s almost like the more disenfranchised you are, the stronger that belief is because of the lack of meaning and purpose in your own life.

Berman:

I get it. It’s still nuts, and I can’t think of a better word. I wish I could think of a better word than just nuts but that’s what it is. Part of the issue here appears to be a belief, the FBI says, that some QAnon followers can no longer trust the plans set forth by Q. That’s why they may turn to physical violence. What do you make of that?

Jadeja:

Well, I mean, I think that’s very – that’s very obvious. The notion of some kind of doomsday or apocalyptic cult sort of slowly spiraling into violence is very well studied within the academic literature. It’s been like that for 50 years. Essentially what you get is you get sanctions implied by authorities, imposed by authorities that go ahead and increase the disenfranchisement and deviancy and withdrawal of a group which further elicits more sanctions and it spirals into an amplification scenario where eventually it ends in the use of real-world violence.

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And it wouldn’t take a lot, John. There are millions of people who believe in this. The QAnon conference had a million people live streaming a couple of weeks ago. I was watching. And it would only take a hundred people in ten groups of ten around the country to have some sort of Northern Ireland-like tribal situation and then what happens if we did get martial law. Can you imagine that?

Berman:

Well, look. Well, yeah, I don’t think we’re anywhere near martial law.

Jadeja:

No we’re not.

Berman:

No I don’t think that’s an issue here. But, but if you start to see them enacting more examples of violence, if you do start to see pockets of them rising up, an area of enormous concern, we’re going to have to continue this conversation because I have a lot more questions. and I think you need to walk me through a lot more of how to look at this.

Watch below via Crooks and Liars:

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