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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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’.
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!
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.
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
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.
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?
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.
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:
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
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 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.
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.
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.
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:
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’:
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!
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.
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 (BurnYourFeelings.com)
Going through on-boarding, here were the first suggestions I got.
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:
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 QAnon/Hollow-Earth true believer!
Racist memes from user Murder_All_Marxists, who deleted their own account. Reddit was apparently fine with the username.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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:
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
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.
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.
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…
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.
(This blog post was also published to WT.Social with permission. You can see my interviews with attendees here)
On August 22nd, at 3pm exactly, ~100 people sat by Wellington Arch to participate in a “global guided meditation”. Children all over the world were being kidnapped, murdered, or cannibalized by a nebulous group called ‘the elites’. But more than anything, the organizers claimed, this was a spiritual war.
And so sage was burned, gongs were rung, and the tranquility was only shattered when a man approached the crowd to scream: “Where were you when those peadophiles were grooming all those white kids, huh? You didn’t give a shit then! Shame on you. You didn’t care about those white kids.”
QAnon has officially come to Britain.
Who Are The Believers?
The crowd seemed to be evenly split into three camps:
The Crunchy Moms As the march was centered around such an adult and disgusting subject matter, I was surprised to see so many people attending with their kids. Concerned mothers wanting to be on the right side of history made a strong showing. They helped to lead the meditation, which they took extremely seriously, and a few cast some very forceful spells at the end of the day.
Although they claimed that their kids weren’t aware of what was going on around them, it seems doubtful that signs saying ‘Kill All Pedos’ and chants about children being snatched off the street will go completely over their heads.
The Q Converts There was a strong showing of people pilled from the internet, although none of them could say exactly where they first became aware of Q. These were the people overtly concerned with symbology, frazzledrip, and COVID being a hoax.
People With Issues Around Their Children There was a subsection of attendees who obviously had issues with their own children. These were the people who wanted to talk about the courts, or the one gentleman who started crying talking about “fighting for my kids”.
What Do They Believe?
One of the more surprising things I learned was that most attendees did not believe in the infallibility of Q. Q was “one source” of information, but not correct about everything, and nobody said the words “disinformation is necessary”, for which I will be forever thankful.
There was absolutely no mention of Hillary Clinton, and Trump was draining the swamp, which was great, but didn’t have a lot to do with us. George Soros and the Rothschild family made their obligatory appearance, but only one person seemed to be aware that they were spouting antisemitic conspiracy theories. When I pointed out to one couple that all the people they were demonizing were Jewish, they were extremely emphatic that they weren’t aware and didn’t care about that.
The entire UK government seemed to be forgotten. The Queen and Lord Rothschild were the actual rulers of Britain, and the UK heads of the pedophile cabal. Strangely enough, there were no UK-centric saviors. In fact, there didn’t seem to be a savior at all. Just one long list of evils perpetuated by a nebulous elite.
How Has Q Changed Them?
In a crowd of fellow believers, the mood was light and there was a real sense of camaraderie between attendees. However, when asked about their lives outside of this event, and how their new worldview had changed them, they all had only bad things to say.
People couldn’t sleep, people couldn’t talk about anything else, people’s entire worldview had been shattered. There was no mention of losing loved ones, but even these short self-reports give a depressing insight into the world of a QAnon follower.
When asked how they were looking after their mental health, everyone said “I smoke a lot”. The blanket of cigarette smoke covering the crowd spoke to the truth of that claim. The few day drinking attendees also said this was how they dealt with the stress of living in the world Q has convinced them is real.
This all only applied to the new converts. The older crowd who has known this “forever” reported no change in their lives at all since Q emerged.
When Does This End?
The short answer, according to the attendees, is that it doesn’t. One QAnon devotee did cling to the belief that there would be mass arrests with pedophiles being put into gitmo, but to everyone else, this was a forever fight.
There are more walks scheduled throughout the year, including satellite groups like Sovereign Citizens and “doctors” who believe COVID is a hoax. With no end goal, it’s difficult to know where this misplaced rage will go. After I left, the crowd bum-rushed Buckingham Palace to call out Prince Andrew, but should Q turn their attention to less well guarded individuals, perhaps the witch-hunts of the 90s will return. We can only hope there will be less collateral damage.
(Editor note: As an experiment, I want to see what happens when you publish one of these without a 500 word essay on ‘what I did last Sunday’. Are you entertained!?)
Recipe by Z Richter Welch
You will need:
For the rosewater –
Two handfuls’ worth of petals
2 tablespoons of water
For the jam –
A combination of strawberries and rose petals adding up to 1 kg
One 25 g packet of Dr Oetker 2:1 Gelfix
500 g of real sugar, or erythritol – up to you!
(Optional) The juice of at least 1 lemon
For the containers –
Several mason jars
2 to 3 cups of distilled or purified water – and a pot to boil it in
A wide funnel
A roasting tin or baking sheet
Tongs and oven gloves
Make Your Rosewater
Triim away and discard the white or light or yellowish bits at the base of each petal. If you will be busy for a while between picking and prepping the petals, I suggest you leave the flowers in cold water until you’re ready to use the petals. You don’t want wilting.
Take your extra trimmed petals and place them in a pot, take some distilled or purified water (I just used cooled down boiled water), and only just cover the rose petals in that water.
Simmer on low heat for 20 to 30 minutes or so, being careful never to let it boil. The rose petals will lose their color in the process and the water may look a little yellow but if it’s full on green, you’ve boiled them and that’s not good – it’ll taste more green and less rosy.
Once 20 minutes or so have passed remove from heat, strain and discard the wilted petals. You can store the rose water in a glass jar and refrigerate. It’ll keep for a few days to two weeks.
Sterilize Your Mason Jars
Preheat the oven to 180 C.
Prepare a large pot of boiling water. Wash your jars and their lids in hot, soapy water, rinse well, and then place the jars and lids into the pot of boiling water. Boil for 10 minutes.
IMPORTANT: If you have lids with removable rubber seals only boil them on their own for 2 to 3 minutes and do not oven dry them
Next place these jars and their lids face down in the roasting tin and place in the preheated oven to dry for 15 minutes – use gloves and tongs, as the jars will be super-duper hot; just avoid touching the insides of the jars at all costs.
Create Your Jam
Combine your strawberries, petals, sugar or erythritol, and Gelfix in a pot and put on the hob on medium high heat. Add in your lemon juice and rosewater.
Using a wooden spoon, stir this mixture occasionally, mashing it up, until it comes to a boil, at which time you then let it boil for a minimum of 3 minutes as you stir continually.
Put it all Together
When your mason jars are ready, remove them from the oven, turn them right side up, place your funnel on one of the hot jars and start pouring the hot jam mixture in.
Fill as many jars as you need to but don’t over fill them, then cover with lids immediately, sealing them well (use oven gloves!) and turn them upside down. Leave them upside down for 5 minutes. Then right side up, and let cool.
Many recipes note that you are to let them set for 24 to 48 hours, but I think using Dr Oetker makes that step optional. Mine totally set within an hour or two.
I wanted to put this in the main post but decided it was too ‘liberal arts degree’ for a snarky review so just to be clear:
Milton Isn’t a Shortcut to Profundity
I thought this was my fault for not watching Se7en. But having done my homework, I am astounded that I now get to explain this to a professional writer.
When Milton is quoted in Se7en, Morgan Freeman immediately says where it’s from, and then lays out what we, the audience, can expect having learned this new information.
The point of the Milton quote is to show that John Doe is well-read. It mixes in with the library scenes from earlier and also emphasizes the studiousness of Detective Morgan Freeman, as juxtaposed against Brad Pitt’s impatient refusal to read anything but the cliff notes. You know, the crux that naturally leads to the film’s ending.
“Long is the way and hard, that out of Hell leads up to light.”
Milton but also John Doe in Se7en
The Invitation does things a bit differently. The quote is read, one character asks if it’s from The Bible. Dt. Somerset says “No, no, it’s Milton! It’s from Paradise Lost!” and this thread is never picked up again. A writer looking to build on the original work, rather than rip it off, might take the opportunity to create a “Satan as the hero” motif. Here it appears, is given prominence, and then vanishes. It gives the impression they are trying to be clever and failing.
Similarly, Hemingway is an allusion to the core of Dt. Somerset’s character as established through conversations with numerous other actors, and also a call-back to a specific scene shared with Dt. Mills that this play does not include.
Every actor is obviously giving The Invitation their best shot, and without the context of the movie Se7en, I almost laughed out loud. The raw material does not warrant Hemingway.