Spotting Bullshit – A Needlessly In-Depth Guide

As the war in Ukraine continues, the hot takes and thinking pieces keep rolling in. 

When we think of dangerous misinformation, our minds tend to go to the QAnon cult and stories of ‘biolabs’ and rescued children. Alternatively, you might think of Tucker Carlson’s increasingly desperate attempts to defend Putin (although contrary to a lot of posts I’ve seen, he did not imply that discovered bodies of Ukrainian civilians were staged.)

Often overlooked are the far-left publications promoting almost identical talking points. The headlines are more nuanced, the lies more subtle, and the authors often have a better veneer of respectability. 

They deserve just as much scrutiny as their far-right counterparts, but parsing out exactly what is wrong with one of these articles takes effort. You can’t just point at a sentence mentioning mole children and be done with it. You need to engage your brain.

This article is long. I apologize. But a thorough debunking takes time, and explaining your findings takes up even more time. With practice, this becomes very easy, but first you have to follow the process.

For this illustration we will be looking at ‘‘Russian Propaganda’ Is The Latest Excuse To Expand Censorship‘ by Caitlin Johnstone, but you can pick whichever partisan hack you like and follow along.

Step 1 – Should I Even Care?

The headline comes in strong with ‘Russian Propaganda’ in quotes, but there’s only so many hours in the day so it’s a fair question.

Caring should be about context. Is your cousin who likes to call you a cuck posting it to his 20 Facebook followers? In that case, it depends on how much you value the intellectual integrity of your cousin.

Is it being received well by 50,000 people on Twitter? This is where I would think about clicking the link. In my case it was being posted where I had a duty to step in if anything qualifying as ‘dangerous’ or ‘misinformation’ was posted.

Step 2 – Who Wrote This?

So you’ve clicked on the link, now let’s Google the author. On a first go around, she looks like a pretty standard leftist writer. She has books sold by Waterstones and has written for the Observer, which are two institutions you’d expect to do their due diligence on a writer.

However, SEO is relatively easy to manipulate, so there are two extra searches I always perform:

‘<Author Name> RationalWiki’ and ‘<Author Name> controversy’. 

‘<Author Name> controversy’ didn’t bring up anything suspicious. So we’re off to a good start!

‘<Author Name> RationalWiki’ is where it gets interesting.

Caitlin Johnstone does not have her own RationalWiki article (great!) but is mentioned on conspiracy theorist Jimmy Dore’s article (bad). Furthermore, Jimmy is praising Caitlin for ‘debunking the conspiracy theory that Assad gassed his own people‘ (RED ALERT). 

The third entry down on my RationalWiki search is an article entitled ‘Caitlin Johnstone: Anatomy of a Far Left Conspiracy Nut’ written by Ben Cohen. He doesn’t appear to have much of a journalistic footprint, but thankfully we don’t have to take his word for it. He links us right to a piece Caitlin likely authored on a 9/11 truther site – and a Medium piece promoting the Seth Rich conspiracy theory. 

If you don’t know about the Seth Rich conspiracy, Wikipedia has a write-up here, but safe to say this is an absolutely disgusting display of conspiracist thinking that directly attacks the parents of a murder victim.

Step 3 – Keep Digging?

I know it sounds like step one but it’s perfectly adequate to point out a 9/11 truther isn’t someone to take seriously and move on with your life. Take a moment to check in and decide if it’s worth the effort to keep going.

If it is, get ready to do what I can only describe as ‘increasingly depressing clicking’.

Step 4 – Identify and Assess What Claims Are Being Made

I’m going to use two sentences to illustrate the dual-pronged approach I advocate for these documents.

Identify What Isn’t Factual

For years US lawmakers have been using threats of profit-destroying consequences to pressure Silicon Valley companies into limiting online speech in a way that aligns with the interests of Washington, effectively creating a system of government censorship by proxy.

Caitlin Johnstone

The sources aren’t good, but at least ‘using threats’ and ‘pressure Silicon Valley companies’ are referenced. It would be possible to link to proof of threats, and perhaps legislation designed to suppress speech solely based on its political nature. It is possible for these to be statements of fact.

Even with that (nebulous) possibility in the air, the last nine words are neither a statement of fact nor an earned deduction. Perhaps Caitlin knows a lot of things I don’t and is secretly correct. However as the sentence is currently being presented to us, the conclusion is wholly unsubstantiated and can therefor be discarded.

Click On Those References!

A sentence that stood out to me was:

‘The “different research organizations” AP ends up citing include “Cyabra, an Israeli tech company that works to detect disinformation,” as well as the state-funded NATO narrative management firm The Atlantic Council.’

Caitlin Johnstone

I’ll be honest, it was mostly because when people write emotionally charged articles which mention Israel what they mean is (((The Jews))), but ‘state-funded’, ‘NATO’, and ‘narrative management firm’ are all citations, so let’s dig in

‘State Funded’

This links directly to a primary source showing that at least 10 different governments have made a sizable donation to the Atlantic Council. In using this reference Caitlin is asking us to believe that the governments of Japan and Bahrain (amongst others) are all in on pushing that sweet, sweet (((Israeli))) and NATO propaganda. I decline to endorse that assumption, but at least it’s a primary source.


This links to a page from a group calling themselves ‘Swiss Propaganda Research’ with a(n, IMO) very swank looking WordPress website. Unfortunately the article itself is in German, and you can read a translation here. It’s almost entirely unsupported conclusions about The Atlantic Research Council and NATO (see ‘Identify what isn’t factual’). But, employing the bare minimum of effort to sate my curiosity and judge this website, I hover over ‘English’ and click ‘Contents’.

A web page

TITLE: Contents

Paragraph: Swiss Policy Research (SPR), founded in 2016, is an independent, nonpartisan and nonprofit research group investigating geopolitical propaganda. SPR is composed of independent academics and receives no external funding other than reader donations. Our analyses have been published by numerous independent media outlets and have been translated into more than two dozen languages.

TITLE: Coronavirus Pandemic

Facts about Covid (updated) Twenty key facts about covid
Covid vaccines: a reality check (2022) 
Safety and effectiveness
Covid vaccine injuries (2022) An overview of covid vaccine injuries
‘Vaccine passports’ (2022) On ‘vaccine passports’ and digital ID
Coronavirus origins (2022) On the origins of the novel coronavirus
The Propaganda Pandemic (2022) Propaganda during the pandemic
The WEF and the Pandemic (2021) On the World Economic Forum
Face masks: the evidence (2022) A review of the scientific evidence
More: More covid articles (updated) An overview of all covid articles
Well…it’s definitely content

Oh look – ‘Covid Vaccine Adverse Events’ uses VAERS data to promote that the COVID vaccine can kill you. (Please see here for why that’s a deceptive practice) They’re also supplementing their reporting with…Telegram posts of Facebook posts. A+ –

This is enough to dismiss them to my satisfaction. Maybe you know more about science than I do and can really dig in there, but employing VAERS data and Telegram groups to promote COVID conspiracies is enough for me.

‘Narrative Management Firm’

Before I even read the article on this one I’m jumping to the homepage. No COVID conspiracies, but they’re pushing the narrative that Ukraine is supporting neo-Nazis, so that lets me know what to expect. I immediately do not trust this site’s editors. 

For context – The Azov Battalian, a very real group of neo-Nazis currently fighting for the Ukrainian military, number between 900-1500, which is 0.76% of the Ukrainian army, or 0.003% of Ukrainian citizens. In the 2015 general election British fascists ‘National Front’ received 1,114 votes but I don’t think it would be appropriate for France to de-nazify the UK with tanks.

However in this instance the extra clicks were superfluous. Reading the article with a critical eye, you can see that it’s 882 devoted to bitching about the fact that 32 pages were removed from Facebook, two of which might have been groups they endorse. But they may not have been. And in any case they’re restored now. How this is supposed to support the assertion that The Atlantic Council serves as a NATO narrative management firm is a little beyond me

Step 5 – Is It Dangerous Or Stupid?

This is always going to be the most subject part of the process. The article is stupid, yes, but it’s written competently enough, and is obviously geared towards inflaming the emotions of the crowd.

I also believe it’s dangerous to allow on a platform because (a) it’s written by someone with a track record of promoting Russian-backed/authored conspiracy theories (see Seth Rich) (b) it leads the reader to websites promoting misinformation, including vaccine disinformation which has demonstrably led to deaths.

The eventual apotheosis – ‘This isn’t about RT, it’s about the the agenda to continually expand and normalize the censorship of unauthorized speech’ – links to another one of her blog posts that opens insinuating that people are only calling out Joe Rogan’s COVID misinformation because the elites want to control our minds. This adds nothing to the discourse.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Caitlin provides plenty of the former, but none of the latter

Step 6 – Make a Lot of People Angry

It would be nice to end with the ‘extraordinary claims’ line, but you’ll be extremely lucky if you’ve managed to dissect a post like this without making people angry.

You might make the author angry, which is fine! No, genuinely, it’s fine. Be prepared to be lambasted using the same rigorous journalism that got them here in the first place. Perhaps they’ll even find an embarrassing photo or five. Own it. If liars and conspiracists are mad at you, you’re doing the right thing.

You might also have made reactionaries angry but I point to the above. 

You may encounter people saying “well ok so the author isn’t too credible, and there are holes in the arguments, and the references are bad, but the HEART of the article is true”. Always invite those people to expand on what they mean, but be prepared to repeat steps 1-6 if you do.

Anyone emotionally invested in the narrative simply isn’t going to have their mind changed by you. There are so many half-assed posts on the internet that you can play this game indefinitely.

Remember to always check in with step 1 – because at some point it really does stop being worth your time.

Inside London’s Anti-Lockdown Protest – 14th June

CW: Antisemitism, suicide

For my own safety and at the request of some of my subjects, I will not be posting interviews from now on. If you believe you have a compelling reason to see them, please email me.

To most people, the 14th of June ’21 was when Boris Johnson would announce an extension to the national lockdown. The Delta COVID Variant has seen increasing infection rates and hospitalizations.

To protesters, it was described as ‘Judgement Day’ on Telegram, a time for a ‘Great Awakening’ when protesters would take the streets of London and halt government business. Below are my main takeaways from the day.

The Media Is The Virus

On Sunday the 13th I tweeted that I would not want to be an official reporter covering this subject. I was right to be concerned. A BBC reporter was chased out of the protest with such hostility that I’m surprised he escaped without a beating. It’s horrific.

The most popular sign of the day was ‘The Media is the Virus’. The hatred was ubiquitous, but there was no shortage of professional camera operators either. Telegram chatter showed the crowd was looking out for the 77th Brigade and ‘Rothschild Controlled Media’.

A white man with aviator sunglasses and a blue and white striped shirt stands on a London street holding a red  and white sign which reads: THE MEDIA IS the VIRUS. The font is deliberately evocative of the BBC branding.
Slightly depressing to see them using the BBC font. CC-BY-SA 4.0 yesthatfiona

Fact checks were frequently cited by participants as part of the global conspiracy to lead us to their own personal dystopia. I don’t know how you reach out to these people, but traditional channels are not going to work.

Anti-Semitism is Rife

A through-line with (almost) every participant was that COVID and the lockdowns are part of a plan to depopulate the earth. Another through-line, with every participant, was anti-Semitism. Hate crimes against Jewish people in London have reached unconscionable levels. This has mostly been attributed to leftist anti-Israel sentiment, but it’s also become more prominent in conspiracy circles.

A shirtless white man wearing a baseball cap and aviator sunglasses holds up a round sign. On the sign are numerous printed pages which have been attached with sellotape. They are:

A graph of the number of flu cases in 2019 compared to 2020
'SAY NO TO VACCINES' in black ink
A start of David, as worn by Jewish people during WW2, with overlaying text which reads: Certification of Vaccine ID and some random numbers. There is also an RFID chip embedded in the star.
Brain scans
Revalation 13/17
An influenza virus with the caption MISSING! The Influenza Virus AKA: The flu. Last Seen Feb 2020
A beach with the words: VACCINE ONLY HOLIDAY
The cover of a book titled The Anatomy of the Nuremberg Trials
Two pictures of Tony Blair - one from a news clipping with the headling: TONY BLAIR: The world needs to agree a form of Covid passport - and Britain should lead the way. And another with the words WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION
A picture of a London bus with the words NO VACCINE NO TRAVEL overlayed
A picture of an eye with the words EVENT201 overlaid
A picture of Klaus Schwab with the words I'm coming for your property You will Own Nothing overlayed
He was very proud of being called a threat by the Metro. He also admitted that he couldn’t tell me about anything on the sign. His sign. CC-BY-SA 4.0 yesthatfiona

When I interviewed QAnon protesters last year, only one person mentioned Jewish people at all. Another couple were horrified at the suggestion that they might be anti-Semitic. That was not the case on Monday.

A few people still paid lip-service to it just being ‘the Rockefellers’ and ‘Zionists’, but absolutely everyone I talked to was perfectly comfortable blaming Jewish people for COVID 19. One man even took the time to patiently explain Hitler’s revolutionary economic policies, which he believed were the real reason for WW2.

Jesus Is Lord (And Anti-Lockdown)

I was not expecting the Catholic faithful to feature so heavily in an anti-lockdown protest but the faithful were out in force. A de-frocked priest, a former nun, and a smattering of worshippers made their presence known.

When asked why they were attending, most claimed that they believed lockdowns and “mandatory” vaccinations were against the biblical concept of free will. Depopulation via COVID was called a continuation of abortion, and proselytisers also assured me that this was the best place to “plant seeds” for the lord.

Trump Looms Large

As I set up my camera for the day, before I had started interviewing people, a woman grabbed my arm. “It’s Trump’s birthday today”, she tells me with a big smile. I ask her why that matters and she just nods and walks away.

There were at least four giant Trump flags on display, with many more participants wearing ‘Make England Great Again’ hats. The people I spoke to empathised with Trump’s deplatforming, and noted that “England always follows America”. To them, the fact that the 2020 election was ‘stolen’ (which, just to be absolutely clear, it was not) from Trump is a warning of what’s to come.

The ‘Make England Great Again’ hat wearers were freemen of the land inspired by Trump. By their telling, there is no English parliament, instead, the English are oppressed by the British. When I asked who ‘The British’ were the leader responded “You know exactly who they are”.

Q, Lizards, And Assorted Conspiracies

Nobody was willing to talk about Q on camera. The fingerprint of the conspiracy could be seen everywhere, but as one person told me ‘I have about 5% hopium it’s true, but I doubt it’. The rhetoric about saving the children has also shifted. Instead of paedophiles kidnapping kids for nefarious purposes, it was now the more grounded (but still absurd) theory that vaccines were going to murder children.

For conspiracy buffs out there, I did find a Bill Cooper fan in the wild, which was very surreal in 2021 London. (For more on Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars I recommend this episode of the podcast Knowledge Fight)

A white man wearing sunglasses stands in a crowd holding a cardboard sign with the words: 5G, Vaccines, Silent Weapons for Silent War
I mean he didn’t get the quote right, but he was still a fan. CC-BY-SA 4.0 yesthatfiona

David Icke was a prominent figure in the story of most people I spoke to. There was a strong parasocial element, with many expressing regret at having ‘abandoned’ him at an earlier point. I was only able to find two people willing to agree that we had Reptilian overlords. They also very earnestly wanted to me know the Pleiadians were fighting back.

“It’s better that then civilized humans doing this to people. I don’t think I could live with that.”

We Have To Get Personal

Two things really stuck out throughout the day. One, was the carnival-esque atmosphere. People were ecstatic to be around people like them. As they carried messages about our collective impending doom, people were laughing and more than happy to mug for the camera.

A free woman wearing sunglasses holds up a cardboard sign which reads THEY NEVER INTEND TO SET US FREE. She is standing on an empty Parliament Square
If I believed that I feel I would be slightly less enthused. CC-BY-SA 4.0 yesthatfiona

But even light probing revealed a dark undercurrent of fear and despair. One woman I spoke to had undergone chemotherapy in the past, and was terrified of any additional medical treatments. People spoke about losing their businesses, their jobs. And then there was the sign I still can’t get out of my head:

It was too loud to interview this woman, and I lost her in the crowd. According to the other side of her sign, she’s an NHS worker. I really hope she’s ok, and that someone can get her help.

I don’t have any big answers or a moral takeaway. These people are putting their communities at risk and making life hell for the NHS. They’re part of the reason I have only seen a specialist once in the last year and a half. The increasing calls to violence on Telegram are scaring me, and I don’t think they’re empty threats.

All I can really do is suggest, if you have it in you, that you keep in touch with people in your life who have fallen down this rabbit hole. I think exposure to the real world is the only thing that is going to make a difference.

No, 11% of Transgender People Don’t De-transition

Photograph of a "Black Lives Matter" demonstration in Hof on 2020/06/20. This protest sign contaisn the following text: "RESPECT EXISTENCE OR EXPECT RESISTANCE". The sign's color remind the viewer of the Trans Pride Flag.

Header photo by PantheraLeo1359531 – CC-BY-SA 4.0

Or how to manipulate data for bigotry and profit

Trans people are under attack. There’s not really any other way to view it. 0.6% of the US population are somehow such a force to be reckoned with that numerous bills have been created to discriminate against them. It’s trite to point this out but the fact that the party of “personal responsibility” feels it has to legislate healthcare or ‘who uses which bathroom’ is absurd. 

A picture of four people participating in a trans pride youth march. One is pulling a cart with two younger children inside. An older child is walking behind them in a tutu wearing a trans pride flag as a cape. There is a sign on the cart reading 'Protect trans youths'. A few people are watching the procession from behind a barrier.
The greatest threat to America, apparently. (Arthur D Forman, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

The UK is on track to be even worse. It’s (mostly) passé to publish anti-LGB think pieces, so the transgender panic is now used to push copy. The frankly bizarre crusade of Graham Linehan, and now JK Rowling, has helped shore up public support for the Tory government’s regressive legislation.

Statistics Are the New Battleground

In the UK at least, we don’t have an accurate account of the number of transgender people living here. Nobody bothered to ask. The 2021 census actually did have a section about gender identity, which is somewhat of a cause for celebration, but statistics are a fantastic smoke-screen for bigotry. 

Take, for example, the ‘surge’ in “young women” seeking gender-affirming care JK Rowling is so frightened of. Even if we buy into the premise that these are in fact “young women” and not “young men just looking for a doctor”, her dire warnings about a 4,400% increase in referrals to gender affirming care represent an increase from 40 people to 1,806.

Anti-vaxxers will be familiar with this tactic. Instances of autism (which, incidentally, Rowling cites as a reason to be ‘concerned for the youth’) have skyrocketed in recent years. This is because medical care has advanced and diagnostic tools have improved, not because of vaccine-injury.

Picture of a woman holding a sign which reads 'Let Me Call My Own Shots'. Another woman behind her has a sign which reads 'No Forced Vaccines!' The woman in the forefront is wearing a US flag as a cape, and has a 'thin blue line' American flag tucked into her waist.
You look like this Joanne. These are your new peers. Image credit: Scott Eisen/Stringer/Getty Images

Even Allies Get Hoodwinked

As part of my job, I see a lot of social media posts. One that stuck out recently was a Christian cis-gendered man, himself a victim of conversion therapy, honestly asking how to talk about the fact that 11% of transgender women de-transition. 

His entire post was sympathetic and supportive of his “trans brothers and sisters” but he was concerned. How can he best support people he considered his community, whilst making sure that children weren’t subjected to the same ‘behaviour modification’ he was?

He’d done his cursory due-diligence. When I asked where he’d gotten that number, it was the “2015 U.S. Transgender Survey” from the National Centre for Trans Equality. Are they a perfect advocacy group? Hell no, but it’s founded and led by transgender people, and they’re strong advocates against regressive legislation. 

The claim was laundered through Human Life International, an anti-choice hate group to be sure, but it’s a sensible looking article that cites an actual, scientific survey. It wasn’t too surprising that an American Christian would have been sent this link, nor that they would believe the claims.

Looking at the Actual Data

You can read the numbers yourself on page 115, and I highly recommend it – but I wrote this in part for busy people who don’t want to.

The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey was the largest ever conducted, looking at the trans experience of 27,715 adults in the US.

A wall of red heart emojis
It was really difficult to try and illustrate this but each heart is a survey participant. There’s 22 pages of hearts.

8% of the people surveyed had de-transitioned at some point in their life (2,217) – but 62% of those people were now living full time as their preferred gender (1,374).

Or to put it in hearts:

A wall of 2,217 emoji hearts. 843 blue hearts represent people who have permanently detransitioned.

The 1374 green hearts represent people  who are currently living as their preferred gender.
Blue hearts have permanently de-transitioned. Green transitioned again.

To be as fair as humanly possible, 8% of people de-transitioning is still a significant minority. People hear about puberty blockers being forever (they are not) or that the powerful trans lobby is coming for your kids (they are not). If you bought into that premise, almost 10% of people regretting this life-altering decision is a big deal.

But let’s pop open the hood and take a look at why people de-transition.

Approximately 110 people, or 0.4% of respondents to this survey, de-transitioned because it wasn’t for them.

Image of 110 yellow hearts
Behold, 0.4%

The initial reporting is off by 10.6%, or to put it in terms JK Rowling can understand, Human Life International fabricated a 2,650% increase in de-transitioning due to “regret”. 

The actual reasons given illustrate the impact of daily discrimination. This was a multiple choice question. The most common reason survey participants gave for de-transitioning was outside pressure: from parents (36% or 798), their spouse (18% or 339), their employer (17% or 376), their friends (13% or 118).

Transitioning was too hard for 33% (or 731 people), and there was too much harassment for 31% (or 687)

Table 7.6: Reasons why respondents de-transitioned,
at least for a little while
Reasons for de-transitioning
% of those
who had ever
Pressure from a parent 36%
Transitioning was too hard for them 33%
They faced too much harassment or
discrimination as a transgender person 31%
They had trouble getting a job 29%
Pressure from other family members 26%
Pressure from a spouse or partner 18%
Pressure from an employer 17%
Pressure from friends 13%
Pressure from a mental health professional 5%
Pressure from a religious counselor 5%
They realized that gender transition was not
for them 5%
Initial transition did not reflect the complexity
of their gender identity (write-in response) 4%
Financial reasons (write-in response) 3%
Medical reasons (write-in response) 2%
A reason not listed above 35%
You can’t really add hearts for multiple choice questions so please enjoy this table directly copy-pasted from the study I’m quoting. You can read it if you want

Dig a Little Deeper, or Take Trans People At Their Word

I spent a few hours on this because I can and this affects people I love – you don’t have to! In fact I hear that reading surveys from six years ago is extremely dull for most people. Thankfully there’s an easy alternative to research and it involves just listening to trans people talk, and believing their lived experiences.

When people throw around numbers like this, they’re targeting you. Taken at face value, percentage points in the thousands and de-transition statistics almost in the double digits are scary. That’s the point. You’re the mark.

Next time a seemingly credible person sends you some numbers, try and remember the ones I just quoted. De-transitioning happens overwhelmingly because of bigotry and lack of medical care.

Anyone claiming otherwise is doing so for profit, or to further bigotry. Usually both.

A blue, pink, white, pink, blue striped flag symbolizing transgender pride. Superimposed is the phrase: Trans Rights Are Human Rights
It’s really that simple

This Isn’t The First Riot To Steal A Presidential Election

(Featured image by Steven Nelson)

The news right now is a moving target for anyone covering Q, or the right-wing online. It’s 15:30 GMT on the 7th of January as I’m typing this and I have no doubt that when I wake up tomorrow morning it will be to more messages from loved ones about right-wing extremism.

George W. Bush’s Deputy Chief of Staff and man who is only technically not a war criminal, Karl Rove, has been in full damage control mode today. For the President, he wrote an easy to understand condemnation of yesterday’s events. For the more educated conservative, his condemnation of yesterday centered around the GOP’s senate loss and a rhetorical slight of hand I think will be important in the coming weeks.

As Democrats ride their high horses about Wednesday’s congressional fiasco, it’s worth recalling that they’ve also challenged Electoral College results. In 2001 the House Democrats’ effort fizzled on the floor when they failed to recruit the necessary senator to force a debate…Then in 2005…

It must be said that in neither instance was there a president who incited a crowd to shut down the Congress as it received the Electoral College results.

The Republican Party Is in Disarray, Karl Rove. Wall Street Journal [Emphasis mine]

He is technically correct, but by any meaningful measure the 2000 Presidential election was stolen with help from the Brooks Brothers riot. A lawful re-count of the votes in Miami-Dade County, Florida was shut down by paid Republican operatives assaulting police officers and Democratic aides. Instead of being directed by a sitting president, participants were paid operatives of the Bush Recount Committee, who were then given jobs in the new administration.

The riot of 2000 was smarter and more controlled than the riot of 2021, and that’s why it worked. But never forget that this isn’t an aberration of politics as usual, this is the natural result of a decades-long process. They can play respectability politics all they like, but no-one in the Republican apparatchik has clean hands today.

Good Articles To Read – 7th January 2021

A short roundup on great stories to read.

A Week In Q-Land

(CW: Antisemitism)

A lot has been made about the current meteoric rise of Parler as a safe space for the fringe (and not so fringe) right. Watching people who have been suspended from Twitter have a protracted meltdown is both fascinating and extremely concerning.

A picture of a post on Parler by account @StormIsUponUs with username President Elect Joe M. 

The post reads 'There's 100% chance Biden loses the 2020 election. If I'm wrong, I'll livestream my cult-deprogramming therapy.'

The post has 352 comment replies, 1004 shares, and 4683 upvotes.
I’m tempted to make an account just to ask about this

But what about the really safe spaces? Places like Parler and Voat certainly won’t censor Q accounts, but I can still get on there and point out logical fallacies or just spam this blog at them. No, I spent Thanksgiving week going into WeWake, one of the many attempts at making a Q-themed social media platform, to see what I would learn.

It was Thanksgiving week so I spent no more than 30 minutes a day on the platform. I didn’t go to dig for dirt, I just decided to see what a casual user would see.


Turns out you need to get approved for an account so I had to wait around for that. Once I got approved, the website was super pleasant to look at, and I immediately received a warm welcome from my new friends.

Thad Williams appears to be the owner and creator of the website. I have no idea if that’s a real name or not but he’s also extremely sweet and supportive. If I were a QAnon supporter fleeing Twitter this would be an amazing find.

I did find a, um…small issue with the UK Patriots group, that I assume was either made by an American or a troll.

A picture of the header for WeWake group 'UK Patriots'. The banner image has a female BBC presenter speaking to camera, as two men holding an Irish flag with the letter Q on it stand in the background. The profile picture is the flag of the United Kingdom
Do you want hundreds of years of sectarian violence? Because that’s how you get hundreds of years of sectarian violence.

The only red flag that hit on Monday was user Lone Wolf For Trump. Whether they are aware or not (and I suspect they are aware) that term was coined by white supremacist Louis Beam and is an apt descriptor for numerous acts of terrorism perpetrated by both white nationalists and ISIS.

Lone Wolf For Trump wants to set up CHAZ, but Q, in a nice remote area, which brings me to my Monday take-away:

TIL: People in CHAZ are no Longer American Citizens and Their Votes Don’t Count

A comment exchange by two users on WeWake.

User JUNE_RIO28: They did do that, which meant that every person who defected renounced their US citizenship, and therefore their vote was null and void.

User LoneWolfForTrump: JUNE_RIO28 It gets even better, even though that ummm settlement is inside the borders of the US, you will need a passport and a visa to enter their land, they do have some kind of tourism and they do allow visitors but you have to make arrangements for lmao...
I mean, no, just…what? No.


Love bombing is a real thing. If my head wasn’t swimming with stories of people losing their loved ones to this cult I would be feeling extremely bad about this experiment. Everyone is super friendly towards this anonymous mute who joined their platform.

Don’t take my word for it, just ask this person who received a lot of emotional support from fellow ‘patriots’.

A post from the website WeWake with the username and picture covered in a black box.

Post reads: "I'm feeling more stress and anxiety that [sic] in previous years. Especially with holidays coming up.
With y'all i feel I've discovered a whole new family of relatives I didn't know I had.
Most of my family is thousands of miles away and they rarely remember me at holidays or birthdays. 
My son is close and I get to see my grandkids some bit [sic] never holiday sinners [sic]. His wife's family have banished me from the family gatherings over an untruth. Rather than reveal the actual truth to my son n daughter I just let it go. No reason to spoil their family unity too. It's very sad on Thanksgiving, Christmas n [sic] easter but now I have y'all!

Thank you for being my family."

The post has two likes.
This is sad.

Took a little poke around the wider website before my allotted time was up. The platform is funded by PayPal and Bitcoin, not many surprises there. There’s also a Discord set up perfectly for evading bans, and a merchandise section.

PSA: Teespring has hard-coded their website to not accept QAnon search terms, but is happy to profit off of Q

I found a relatively innocuous looking but most definitely Q-themed storefront via WeWake and asked Teespring about it. I was told they supported free speech. When I asked if their dedication to free speech included profiteering off of a dangerous cult they dodged the issue. (As of the 5th of December I await an actual answer from them.)

For now I’m going to pretend a developer has gone rogue and coded in the blacklisted search terms and hats off to that person!

But also…

TIL: The British Army are Setting Up Quarantine Tents and This is Scary

You may think that over 150 people live on a training camp and therefore it’s very smart to have adequate facilities to keep your army operational during a pandemic. You would be wrong. These are obviously for civilians for some reason not adequately explained.


There’s a disconnect you see with Q followers where they insist that they’ve done a lot of research, yet when you press them on it, they’ve ‘read something on the internet’. But here’s the thing, reading about the latest Q theories is work. It’s a nebulous ever-shifting miasma of half-baked ideas trying to explain everything happening in the world. It isn’t valuable work, you’re not learning anything real or of use, but it is a lot of effort to keep up.

There’s also the internal peer-pressure to keep up. I found ‘Waking Up Your Neighbours’, a group dedicated to, well, brainwashing your neighbours. In it, someone suggested that you could read ‘The Storm – v 1.Q’ in a day, and that that counted as research. ‘The Storm’ is 290 pages of dense text that makes wild claims which require a large amount of time to thoroughly debunk every two sentences. You cannot read that and take it all in in one day. That is absurd.

That’s why I wrote a post to try and help Q followers break the cycle of constant reading/pressure, please use it if it might help someone you know.

Other than that, I joined the Discord server to see what was up.

Screenshot from a Discord channel. Channel name is 'General'. Channel description is 'Open chat for WeWake patriots and interested guests.'

The username is 'Don Qoyote'. Message is:
Scott rocks.
Anyone got the info on the Kyle Rittenhouse shooting victims handy? I remember one was a pedo who had done time, redpilling someone right now
It got worse from here

It was interesting to see that disaffected patriots were treated with the sort of scorn I’d assume was reserved for skeptics. Like any other cult, leaving seems to be a one-way ticket to being ostracized by this seemingly wholesome group.

TIL: Rudy Guliani Was Totally Winning in Pennsylvania

Rudy Guliani totally won in Pennsylvania and also the 2020 Presidential Results there are no longer valid. In so far as I am aware, this is not true. (Archive)


If I were a professional I would spend more time on turkey day looking at WeWake but I am not and so I did not.

TIL: The Entire British Cabinet Have Been Put Under House Arrest

The theory says: COVID isn’t real. The lockdowns etc. have killed millions. Therefore the British government (for some reason?) are guilty of crimes against humanity and have been arrested. I don’t know who would have issued that arrest warrant. It doesn’t say. Very confusing.


If you were a Q-positive casual user of this website, you would be forgiven at this point for thinking everything is swell. Everyone is lovely unless you leave the cult, and it’s just stopping kids being kidnapped or whatever. What’s the harm?

Don’t be fooled. It took until Friday for me to find a proper mask-off post, but this stuff is always under the surface.

I also noticed, in a pattern you’ll see a lot in these spaces, that funding went from 33% to 75% of the total in one day. I assume that had something to do with the surge in Bitcoin value, but it remains interesting to see that large one-off payments really do make these spaces function.

TIL: There Are So Many Gates…

There wasn’t anything particularly explosive going on the day we were all collectively having a food hangover but this post just got me. Can we please stop saying X-Gate? It’s stupid.

A post on WeWake which is a uote from a Lin Wood Tweet. 

The tweet reads:

As we approach Thanksgiving 20/20, 80+M Patriots waiting to give thanks for indictments opening these gates:


Stop trying to make CommunistElectionTheftGate happen. It’s not going to happen.


Explosive times in Q-land. There had been earlier “reports” that a server was seized by American soldiers in Frankfurt, Germany. That server supposedly had all the incriminating evidence against the Deep State. QAnon is big in Germany, so I understand the connection, but it is odd that nobody live tweeted ‘Holy shit Americans are raiding buildings in our country, is this an act of war?” Especially because:

TIL: There Was A Firefight In Frankfurt

It took a while for this to develop, and frankly it’s disgusting. There was a firefight, you see, when American forces were heroically duking it out in the streets of Frankfurt. Only, they’re using the real deaths of real people to prop this up.

Michael Goodboe, CIA agent, died in Somalia from injuries sustained from an IED.

Capt. Seth Vernon Vandekamp, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Dallas Gearld Garza, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Marwan Sameh Ghabour, Staff Sgt. Kyle Robert McKee, and Sgt. Jeremy Cain Sherman died in a helicopter crash in Egypt while on a peacekeeping mission. Sgt. Sherman was only 23 years old.

Those men have families who love them. They were real people, doing real jobs, who really died. They should not be fodder for conspiracists longing for a day of the rope.


My week in Q-land is coming to an end. On Sunday the Gateway Pundit wanted me to know that the Republicans in Georgia love Joe Biden actually. They’re making sure the runoff is rigged actually. All hope for electioneering is lost.

That’s frightening and doesn’t portend great things in Georgia, but I thought it best to finish up allowing the Q people to explain, in their own words, why they keep coming back. What keeps them in their own fantasy-land online?

A pinned post on the website WeWake by Thad Williams.

Post reads:
What keeps you coming back to WeWake every day/week?

The post has one like.

KBPatriot: I feel safe here. I feel like I am getting the truth here. This is where I come for comfort, knowing that I am surrounded with others awake like me. It's a soft warm comfy blanket in the middle of winter. And I love green frogs...
6 people like this comment
Comment reply from Tessa: KBPatriot, glad to see you feel safe. That's a huge goal here, green frogs are pretty rad (two emojis of green frogs)

3caratlady: Always new information. I'm stoked by the level of intelligence, hard work of so many, and broadening my horizon
5 people like this comment 

oneromaniac: A common universal unprecedented effort to uncover the truth.
5 people like this comment

VanFarnel: I can make a biblical 
reference without somebody calling my God a 'tyrant of a god who demands worship'.
5 people like this comment
Comment reply: VanFarnel right?? Hallelujah!
1 person likes this comment reply
How comforting it must be to have all the answers. Happy turkey week folks.

Catching Up With Q (Post Election Edition)

(Featured image by Cory W. Watts via Commons – CC-BY-SA 2.0)

I get a bit frustrated trying to write these ‘latest news’ things. This blog post will be out of date when you read it. Having said that, there’s a lot of drama, and a lot of bad bad takes (like this one from the NYT). So hopefully this isn’t just an addition to the pile of postings that are wrong the moment you press ‘Publish’.

Remember Kids, It’s Satan All The Way Down

What gets missed in a lot of the more polite mainstream coverage is that we are dealing with the literal Christian devil here. Your Mileage May Very depending on which Q-Person you’re discussing but the (((globalists))), or pedovores, or just (((the elites))), are for the most part working with Lucifer himself.

Praying Medic, arch Q-grifter and man who ironically looks like a first grader’s attempt at creating a golum, is the master of combining good ol’ American Christianity with Q interpretation.

Picture of a bald white man looking into the middle distance. The background is an American flag. Contact details are redacted behind a black bar. The words: PRAYING MEDIC are visible.
You could also say he looks like a walking thumb

All that is to say, we’re a long way from done with Q. Jesus told his followers that he’d be back before they died and people are still patiently waiting. This cult can survive an election.

Q Went Quiet For a While

This isn’t the first time Q has gone silent. I’m sure it won’t be the last. It is possibly the most amusing as there was an eight day gap with Q’s triumphant post-election declaration just being:

Three images of Garfield lying under a thought bubble. They contain Q drop #4950 which reads:
Panel 1: GodBlessAmerica.png
Panel 2: Nothing can stop what is coming.
Panel 3: Nothing!
Except voting, apparently!

But it’s ok! Q came back on the 12th. Honestly the content isn’t even that relevant. Adherents had already created the conspiracies before the Q drops happened. It was simply a case of repeating what had stuck to the wall.

Also, for reasons that are too convoluted to go into in this blogpost, 11/11 is a special date according to some QAnon followers. So over in [⛶speculation corner], I think they were also waiting for that to pass before posting again.

So What’s Trending Now?

The New Messianic Date – 14th of December

The new date for everything to be revealed is the 14th of December. Why? Because that’s when the electors will meet to confirm that Joe Biden is the next president of the United States. (Barring some sort of coup which personally I’m not ruling out) There’s even going to be a solar eclipse like any good medieval-style judgement day should have.

To lightning-round it:

  • The real ballots were actually watermarked with a “QFS blockchain encryption code” and this was all an elaborate sting operation
  • Dominion Voting Systems (a vote tabulation software) have suspicious ties to the democrats and changed votes
  • ‘Hammer and Scorecard’ – The Democrats secretly commandeered a super-computer named ‘Hammer’ which is using software called ‘Scorecard’ to change votes (braver souls than I have tried to fact check this)

None of these are falsifiable by a lay person, and all of them require the reader to assume that computers are at least a little bit magical. If proof of the above fails to appear on the 14th of December, that won’t disprove magic computers.

Of course there’s more, but those are the main theories going around. Rudy Guliani, and ‘Kraken’ Sidney Powell are gonna bust this case wide open! You just wait and see.

You Thought The Podesta Emails Were Done? They’re Never Done

This is really just a special mention to whoever created this fake Podesta email that’s doing the rounds. It first emerged in 2018 where it was being used to prove the midterms were rigged. It’s now being linked to again to show that the 2020 election was rigged.

I'm really sorry screen readers. Me doing this properly broke wordpress so I'm just going to write what the email from Todd Macklerr to John Podesta says and then lodge a complaint.

Hey guys, as you can see from the subject - The Dogs Are Loose. I repeat - The Dogs Are Loose. Loose dogs, guys. You know what to do from here. I'll be meeting with Soros later this week for some "pre-programming" of machines.

We're also going to check out a Collective Soul concert. Never knew George was a fan, but he is and so am I, so we're going. That isn't code or anything so don't bother looking for the corresponding code - this just means we're actually going to see Collective Soul in concert.

More to come. But yeah, these machines will be humming in November, just like I'll be humming a few Collective Soul songs next week.
For the love of god please stop making these.

I like to think that we know better in this, the year of collective torment, 2020, but just in case. Please stop making these. I genuinely chuckled when I read it until I saw the link to buy the poster’s pro-Q book on Amazon (only $7.95!) It was only funny when everybody got the obvious joke. We’re beyond that now.

Watkins Drama Alert

I’d be remiss to not mention this but Ron Watkins was the administrator of 8kun, where QAnon posts are published. He is also the son of Jim Watkins – creepiest pig-farmer since Willy Pickton, owner of 8kun, and possible Q author.

Screenshot of a video of Jim Watkins, who is wearing a blue shirt with palm trees. The background is a bald eagle in front of the American flag.
Screenshot from Jim Watkin’s post-election video ‘Persevere and Do’ – It was…not inspiring.

Ron quit being an 8kun administrator on election day. Then a few days ago, a verified Parler account which was held under Ron’s username ‘CodeMonkeyZ’, posted this:

Ron and Jim are dumb assholes who run a child porn website that terrorists love. I don’t put it past them to have some weird high school drama playing out in the background. However, it seems more likely at this point that people with verified accounts on Parler can change their name/username and keep the verified status.

That means I could sign up and be verified as ‘Yes, That Fiona’, and then change my entire account so it looked like I was verified as Donald Trump and post ‘Joe Biden won and also Q is fake’. This is hilarious and utterly undermines their verification process. What it isn’t, is a smoking gun that Jim is Q. Sorry guys.

What Is QAnon? (Part 1 – A LARP is born)

(Need More Context? – Read Part 0.5 Here)

People asked me “Fiona, what is a LARP?” A LARP is either when a bunch of nerds get together and act out a kickass fantasy in the woods IRL, or it’s when your racist uncle puts on a confederate soldier’s uniform and pinkie swears that he’s only doing this because of his deep and abiding love of history.

However, in both of those cases, you have to put in some effort, just look at the kickass picture below. One of the most infuriating things about Q is just how lazy of a LARP it is.

A picture of a person dressed in fantasy robes, wearing a fencer's mask, and holding a bladed weapon in a field.
This is how you do a LARP right.
Image by Ralf Hüls, Sascha Rathjen – CC-BY-SA 4.0

FBIAnon had fizzled out by 2017, occasionally popping up to do a pointless Q&A where nothing came true. Fun way to pass the time on /pol/, but not really anything more than that. But no worries, on the 28th of October, 2017, a new and improved FBIANon, named Q, came into the world with this bold and totally accurate prediction:

Picture of an archived 4chan post which reads: "Hillary Clinton will be arrested between 7:45 AM - 8:30 AM EST on Monday - the morning on October 30, 2017."
You can totally see why people insist Q is infallible, right?

(For the rest of these posts I’m going to steal an idea from Jan Bobrowicz and deliver Q drop via the medium of Garfield.)

Make the Mark Work For You

Three posts were made on that first day and immediately they hit on the winning formula. Sure, there was the blatantly untrue prediction of Hillary Clinton’s arrest, but they also asked open ended nonsense questions. Ask any conman and they’ll tell you that getting the mark to put work in on your side is the best way to reel them in.

Here’s an example from the third ever ‘Q drop’:

Panel 1: Garfield standing next to a hole in the ground saying 'Where is Huma? Follow Huma'
Panel 2: Garfield standing next to Otie, who has a bone in his mouth in the hole
Panel 3: Otie is shaking his head. Garfield is saying 'What is the military code? Where is AW being held? Why?
Otie thought about listening to Garfield and getting pilled, before realizing he was spouting nonsense. Because even a dumb-shit imaginary dog can avoid radicalization with a little extra thought.

For the record, Huma is Huma Abedin, ex-wife of Anthony Weiner (who is AW), and former Hillary Clinton employee. At the time, Anthony Weiner was in Federal Medical Center, Devens, which according to Wikipedia is: ‘a United States federal prison in Massachusetts for male inmates requiring specialized or long-term medical or mental health care.’ He was there because he’s a white man with money whose lawyers said he had a sex addiction.

I have no idea what military or what code that question is referring to. Neither do you, because Q never provides answers. Not that it matters. You’re actively crafting this story together. What do you want it to mean? Congratulations, you cracked the code! Please enjoy the temporary dopamine boost and sense of achievement.

The worst part is, to write about this, I have to put in work. By doing so it looks as though I accept the premise that the questions were worth answering. Even if I dismiss the questions as nonsense, I have engaged. That’s how they reel you in.

And that’s why this is a game. If I were passively consuming predictions or just reading a Q&A I might get bored, but at this early stage QAnon is a LARP in a meaningful sense because by answering the nebulous open-ended questions you become an active participant and player.

Harassment Gets Baked Into The Crust

Q likes to call their posts ‘crumbs’ or ‘breadcrumbs’, and Q followers like to say they are ‘bakers’. I’m not entirely sure how you bake bread from already existing crumbs but let’s work with what we have.

As we will see in later parts, QAnon acolytes love to harass people. If you thought (as they do) that someone was a cannibalistic pedophile, you’d probably harass them too. This isn’t an offshoot or a case of something ‘getting out of hand’, it’s a core feature of the game.

You notice I didn’t go stalk Huma Abedin in my answers above. I don’t care where she is. I hope she’s happy now she’s not married to a lying pervert who chats up children. Q really cares. Four out of the first ten Q drops say to follow or check in with where she is. Why? Like I said, Q doesn’t provide answers. You decide!

In all panels, Garfield is lying down and a thought bubble is coming from his head. They say:
Panel 1: Where is Huma?
Panel 2: Follow Huma Tomorrow. Human
Panel 3: Where is Huma Today?
This is normal. Everything is fine.

Join me next week for part 2 where we explore early Q narratives, and watch the original creators desperately try and bail from the monster they made.

Reddit – Still Evil

There’s been a lot of weird revisionist history around Reddit recently. The Atlantic wrote a piece praising them for not currently being a hotbed of QAnon conspiracies, completely overlooking the fact that Reddit helped spread it in the first place. In fact, Reddit was so instrumental in the early spread of QAnon that they got a shoutout in a Q drop.

They praise their swift action on /r/Pizzagate, but in the same post remark on how /r/TheGreatAwakening had 70,000 members. If you want to know how bad it got before Reddit deigned to step in, read this incredibly detailed post about just one harassment campaign organised by Q acolytes.

But all that is in the past. There’s been a big push to make the Anti-Evil Operations team more visible. Has that made a difference? Not really.

Reddit – Still Pushing Conspiracies

I wanted to make a new Reddit account recently. I used an email address from a domain that I owned, and knew had no other user accounts (

Going through on-boarding, here were the first suggestions I got.

Image of Reddit page which is recommending communities to new users. The two relevant ones are 'r/conspiracy_commons' and 'r/conspiracytheories'
Why, Reddit? Why do you do this?

I asked someone else I knew to create an account on a domain I had a level of control over. Here’s what came up:

Image of Reddit page which is recommending communities to new users. The two relevant one is 'r/conspiracytheories'
They’re serious about pushing this apparently….

A complete throwaway with a fake email address does produce completely generic results, removing the ‘Just For You’ section entirely, so this has to be personalized somehow. A quick glance at this blog shows you that I’m no stranger to browsing conspiracy boards. UBlockOrigin doesn’t block every cookie. So that’s it. That’s the solution, right? No harm, no foul. Just serving up relevant content.

What Are They Recommending?

Reddit has no way of knowing why I’m browsing conspiracy boards. The algorithm might be watching me, but it isn’t watching that closely. Much like Facebook, Reddit is now creating a tailored road-map to ‘pill’ me.

Here’s a selection of posts from /r/conspiracy_commons the day I signed up (please note that I took my sweet time writing this so this first bunch are old)

A Q/COVID-denalist grifter!

A reddit post with the title 'Fight with us people of the UK!!'
You too can get coaching on…something. Only £20 p/h!

A QAnon/Hollow-Earth true believer!

A Reddit post with the title 'What did Seth MacFarlane mean by this? A character dressed as Steven Spielberg molesting an Asian boy while singing The Goonies theme. It's probably nothing'
Seth MacFarlane likes to make jokes in poor taste. That is the explanation.

Racist memes from user Murder_All_Marxists, who deleted their own account. Reddit was apparently fine with the username.

A Reddit post with the title 'Slavery is still active in Africa'
This isn’t even a conspiracy.

In defense of the folks at /r/conspiracy_commons, today’s selection (15th October) was less actively horrendous, but number five on ‘Hot’ was still QAnon propaganda.

A reddit post with the title 'Evidence against Biden, Obama and Clinton goes Public! Deep State Scrambles as MORE EVIDENCE Revealed!
This is exhausting.

Just to re-emphasize. This is content that Reddit was actively recommending to me as a new user. I can’t find statistics on how many new accounts there are a day, but there are apparently 430 million active users right now. How many people are being recommended similar content??

Why Does It Matter?

If you hang around places like /r/QAnonCasualties you can get a real sense of what happens in the lives of people taken in by these posts. On the day I registered, I came across this incredibly telling and sad post.

A Reddit post with the title 'Does anyone here feel the constant sadness and hollowness once you are not distracted?'
Apparently this post was deleted. I’m not shocked.

There’s a human cost to algorithms. The anti-COVID propaganda seen here has an actual body-count. Democracies are being eroded by QAnon and Deep State content that pushed people into an alternative reality. And on the micro-level, divorce proceedings are being started, people are losing their kids, parents are alienated from their children.

Reddit can do better.

What Is QAnon? (Part 0.5 The Crazy Stage Is Set)

I am not a journalist. If you’re looking for someone with an editor to tell you about QAnon, please look elsewhere. There’s also an excellent Wikipedia article available if you’re looking for neutrality.

I am but a humble website-haver, and people keep asking me what QAnon is so here goes.

Once upon a time, there was an image board called 4Chan. It was full of fucking dorks. Sometimes those fucking dorks got together and did good, like when they declared war on Scientology and brought their horrific abuses into the mainstream. I should know. I was one of those dorks.

We were all 19 once…

But mostly, 4chan existed as a way to get porn and occasionally make edgy jokes about Hitler. (Author note from the hellscape of 2020: Any time someone is making edgy Hitler jokes, they are trying to make you comfortable with nazism. Kick that person)

The actual banner of the 4Chan subreddit today (13th of Oct 2020) because of course it is

It was also a really good way to get memes going. I know 4chan people like to say they make the best memes, but really it’s just that they have a captive audience of NEETs with no social lives so of course their creations are going to propagate effectively.

One of the great things about 4chan is that it has no reputation system. You show up, you can yell all the slurs you like, and then come back tomorrow with a fresh slate. (For more on how that spills out into the wider internet see ‘The Card Says Moops’)

Which means that you, or I, or the person who is living a miserable daily existence with no hope in sight of decent mental healthcare or a loving relationship, can be whoever we want in this wonderful chaotic bubble.

The Alternate Reality Game Begins…

2016 was fun, wasn’t it? There wasn’t a plague back then. People thought Donald Trump couldn’t be president. Boy howdy the egg on their faces. And Pepe was just, all the rage. Donald Trump gave people permission to say what they had been bottling up for so long, and the chan culture of ‘say it and run away’ was spilling over into our living rooms.

Pizzagate, seen as the beginning of the Q movement, had its groundwork laid in the 90s. Larry Nichols, a weird con-man who genuinely looks like one of the Talking Head video guys, had been saying that Hillary Clinton was a witch ever since he was fired by her husband for helping the contras.

Why were your shoulders so big Larry? What was up with that?

Roger Stone, rat-fucker extraordinaire and Larry Nichols fan, knew that Wikileaks were going to release a bunch of emails from the Clinton Campaign. They were, and remain, boring as shit. Seriously, go read them. These people live dull normal lives, and good for them. But you can’t let something like this go to waste!

So how to get this party started? Simple:

  1. Get an obviously fake Twitter account that may as well be called “Jew McJewerson” to make a spurious accusation regarding the contents of said emails
I hate nazis. I hate nazis so much. Fuck you, you fucking dorks

2. Have Alex Jones & Co ramp up their already existing hysteria regarding elite pedophiles. Extra points go to Roger here for getting Alex on the Trump train and thus derailing his entire life.
3. Get people to drop normie-friendly content ‘proving’ this theory on mainstream sites like Reddit and Facebook.

If you’re very bored, spending an afternoon playing Roger Stone’s game isn’t a bad way to waste time as you hurtle towards the sweet release of death. At this point, the chans were already split about whether or not to support Donald Trump unironically. An actual government whistleblower had posted on 4chan before. The precedent was set.

Someone, somewhere, said ‘Fuck it, I’m in’, and a new LARP was born.

Enter FBIAnon

FBIAnon was the proto-Q but their time was short lived. If you want to see all their posts, a patriot has put them together for you. A patriot, by the by, who now believes in Q. But FBIAnon made a few fatal mistakes that you’ll notice Q avoids.

1. They Took Q&As

If you take Q&As then people are going to remember the answer you gave to their question. Instead of a million failed prophecies that could be interpreted however you’d like, you have a direct answer to a direct question. When all of your direct answers are both wrong and can’t be spun into something new, you’ve failed.

2. They Were Way Too Specific

I know ‘Look at the Clinton Foundation’ doesn’t seem like it’s that specific, and you’re right! But it is too specific to carry an entire cult. The gravy train stops when new threads run out and this just created an immediate dead-end.

3. Putin Was Totally In On It

Apparently nobody cared that Russia was using the Podesta emails to influence the election whilst it was happening. This one actually surprised me but go look! FBIAnon is very clear that Putin is involved in leaks and that his aim is to bring down the dastardly Clinton Foundation.

4. It Was The Jews

The above all helped stop FBIAnon gaining prominence, but the full mask-off of anti-Jewish propaganda was the real death knell. To quote:

The goal (of Soros, since I assume that is what you are asking) is to create a global government where all people intermingle and breed and become one people ruled by a radically pure Jewish race. They sincerely believe under their rule all human conflict will cease because there will be no more cause for division. This desire is born out of a fear of the horrors of WWII. The Holocaust is a lie, but the death toll was still massive nonetheless. And many people were brutalized by it.

FBIAnon – Being a nazi piece of shit on 4chan, 2016

You will see, in later parts of this series, that Q’s story isn’t different from that of FBIAnon. The antisemitism fully on display in this prototype was simply buried deeper.

It says something that when Q and Trump supporters are discussing the reliability of FBIAnon, this rarely comes up. The premise of a Jewish cabal trying to take over the world is a given to many of these people.

Join me for part 1 where we talk about Q rising from the ashes of FBIAnon. The LARP continues…

Dear Q Follower

Hello there!

I’m hoping, if you’re reading this, that someone who loves you very much sent you here. You and they may have differences of opinion when it comes to Q. We have a difference of opinion when it comes to Q.

I do, however, believe in you, and I really hope you will stick with me until the end. I’m going to make some assumptions about you before we get into this. I’m going to assume:

  • You’re basically a good person
  • You genuinely, passionately, care about the issues associated with QAnon
  • (Most importantly) You genuinely want to fix the issues brought up by Q

I also want you to know, and I mean this very sincerely, I accept that I might be wrong. Maybe the things that Q says are true! If you want, please feel free to email me, and I’ll do my best to get back to you as soon as possible. I promise to look over what you have to say with an open mind, if you’ll do the same for me here.

I’d like to teach you how to be the best activist you can be. If you’re right, this is very important – but also, you are loved. And this is about finding the right balance between making positive change, and keeping you ‘in the fight’.

Always Remember – Burnout Is Real

It doesn’t matter what you’re trying to achieve, you must remember that societal change is a marathon, not a sprint! I see that Black Lives Matter aren’t very popular in Q circles but you must admit, they’ve been playing the long game, and consistently making demands and small, incremental, changes for the last seven years. They’ve gotten so many people on their side. If you want the mainstream to view Q like they view BLM, or their social movement of choice, you need to be willing to keep going. That’s going to require self-care, love, and relationships outside the Q-bubble. That’s what this post is for.

Figure Out What You Want To Achieve

Maybe you just learned about Q, maybe you’ve been doing this for a while. I want you to ask yourself “What do I want to achieve?” Start small. Avoid depression and hopelessness by setting targets you know you can hit, and work up from there.

It’s tempting when you learn about a new social issue to want change to happen right this second. From my reading, it seems that the peadophile/pedovore cabal has existed for hundreds of years. You are not going to fix this tomorrow. That can be really disheartening, but that’s why you…

Get Dedicated

Do you want to learn more about this? Then set yourself a number of hours you’re going to dedicate to learning a day, or a week. Importantly, do not go over that number. If you decide to binge, that’s where burnout occurs. Whatever updates happen, they’ll still be there when you return to reading. When The Storm actually is upon us, you won’t be able to miss it! So don’t worry about being glued to your screen.

Maybe you’re a meme-maker – how many quality, informative, memes do you think you can make in a day? Do you need feedback from the Q community? Budget for both of those things every day. Don’t go over your time limit. You want to be energized to keep going tomorrow.

At first, it might seem like you’re being less efficient, but I’m asking you to give it a couple of weeks. You’ll be amazed at how much you get done when you have dedicated, focused time. Speaking of time…

Make Time for Other Things In Your Life

When you learn about a new problem, especially one like Q, it can be overwhelming. How are you supposed to enjoy the things you did, now that you know children are suffering?

You have to. A drowning person can’t save anyone, and if you live-and-breathe only QAnon content, you are eventually going to drown. That’s not because you’re weak, that’s because you’re human. People are counting on you, you need to be as emotionally strong as possible.

Maybe you can’t save any children right now, but what about a dog? Animal shelters are always looking for volunteers, and that’s a great way you can make a difference today.

What did you used to do away from the computer? Board games are seeing a renaissance. Hiking is good for you, and nobody will ask you to wear a mask in the woods!

Anything away from the screen is valid. Remember, if/when The Storm comes, you’ll know no matter where you are. There’s no reason not to take regular breaks.

Be Patient With Your Loved Ones

When you believe in something, it’s really tempting to believe those on the “other side” are evil. After all, this is so obvious and so important that anyone who doesn’t believe is obviously against you!

When you start to think that, take a look at Black Lives Matter, or people fighting for more COVID mask laws, or Social Justice Warriors on social media. If you don’t agree with them, some of them call you names, or label you ‘racist’, ‘sexist’, ‘-ist’.

I know that there are lots of people who don’t support those causes who firmly reject those labels and claim to love all people equally. Maybe you’re one of them. I’m asking you to learn from their mistakes. Be patient, and don’t overwhelm your loved ones with info. Find some common ground outside of politics.

I have read lots of Q people say that they worry for their loved ones when The Storm hits. How will they emotionally process the information? How will they deal with the fallout? If this hits home, remember that you’ll need to be there for them. The best way to be there for them in future is to be there for them now.

2020 is a scary time for everyone. Lets get through this together.