[COMMENTARY] “There Is No QAnon!” is the New QAnon Conspiracy

Conspiracy theories have been around forever and will always thrive as long as there are people who’ll willfully and obtusely believe in them no matter how wacky the messaging. Coincidentally, the same thing is true of cults. Both thrive on the element of unknown factors: if anyone questions a theory, the person spinning it only needs to make up a possibility as an explanation or an excuse. No one in a cult ever asks for proof; they have already been drawn in and told to trust the leader. And the leader is always several steps ahead, overseeing the Groupthink that takes over so a conspiracy can be repeated, shared, and accepted by enough people as fact.

But an interesting thing happens when a conspiracy begins to fall apart, or a cult leader abandons his flock; those left behind are faced with accepting what to them is a shocking reality: they’ve been duped. And it seems that while some of those who were sucked into believing the QAnon conspiracy theory under the sway of the Former Guy (MAGA is often called #Cult45 on Twitter) have had their come to Jesus moment, you should pardon the expression, others are taking on a whole new way to pretend they don’t believe what they still believe.

WILKES BARRE, PA – AUGUST 02: David Reinert holds a large “Q” sign while waiting in line on to see President Donald J. Trump at his rally August 2, 2018 at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. “Q” represents QAnon, a conspiracy theory group that has been seen at recent rallies. (Photo by Rick Loomis/Getty Images)

While QAnon isn’t over at all, some devotees are trying to go back to living the Q life on the downlow. In a new profile for Vice, writer David Gilbert outlines the post-January 6th Insurrection letdown and the constant moving of the goalposts that are the hallmark of all conspiracies. And while the QAnonsense came with a body count and property damage, they didn’t get the results they wanted. When Joe Biden was inaugurated without incident, the QAnons who believed something would stop it were incredulous. Soon a new conspiracy popped up, suggesting Trump would be inaugurated in March, first on the 4th, then on the 20th.

And then a whole lot of nothing happened. And kept happening. So then the new thing was to pretend there never was a QAnon at all anyway. Gilbert writes that while this isn’t necessarily an example of QAnon believers finally coming to their senses, the QAnon brand has been badly tarnished.

“The idea within the QAnon movement that there is no such thing as QAnon originates from a post from Q, who wrote on October 17 of last year: ‘There is Q. There are Anons. There is no QAnon.’ ‘Q’ went on to say that QAnon was something made up by the mainstream media to tarnish the movement,” Gilbert writes. ‘”Q’ conveniently ignored the fact that past ‘Q Drops’ had referred specifically to QAnon in posts in 2018 and 2019.”

The anonymous founder of the “Q Origins Project” says that by claiming that QAnon was never really a thing, believers are trying to get rid of their bad reputation.

Yeah, good luck with that, QIdiots. We know enough of you are still out there believing in lizard people kidnapping babies or whatever, and pretending you’re not is like when a kid puts their hands over their eyes. We can still see you even if you’re acting like you’re invisible all of a sudden while some of you sit in prison awaiting sentencing for what you did on January 6th. Pretending it’s not a thing doesn’t undo a thing you did in the name of Q and Trump, and we’ll never forget.


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