Joe Biden just took the oath of office as the next president of the United States of America, officially and definitively debunking Qanon, a movement I was part of for over 2 years. I feel it is necessary to write this for a few reasons: 1: to give perspective from someone in the movement; 2: to address several issues in the way Qanon was handled by everyone; and 3: to own my mistakes publicly.
The best place to start is at the beginning and how I became part of Q and that was the early spring of 2018. I had heard a little about Q and 4chan from a friend but laughed it off when I heard the premise and didn’t give it much thought until he started telling me about North Korea predictions from Q that were starting to be correct. At that point, I finally gave him a somewhat serious listen. The evidence for the North Korea summit was compelling at the time and the narrative being pushed by the media was blatantly biased and wrong and it started to make a little sense. I knew that there was plenty of prior evidence of corruption throughout governments in all of history and things started to click as I learned more of these coincidences and connections that were being promoted by people in Qanon. One thing I want to make clear here: the VAST majority of people I encountered in Qanon were very good people who sincerely believed people in power were trafficking children and worse. Many felt they had no choice but to speak up, myself included, as more and more coincidences and connections were uncovered through all the sincere research of people in the movement. Connections between people in power and industry were uncovered that were previously not widely known publicly. Epstein and NXIVM were major themes of Qanon and their continued arrests and connections uncovered only strengthened our belief that we WERE right and Q WAS legitimate. Q is not a movement full of grifters, or racists, or white nationalists, or fascists’, or anything else that the media has claimed. It is very largely a group of people, mostly Christians but not all, who all love our country and have a deep respect for our freedoms and our constitution and the sacrifices Americans have made throughout our history to keep them. Demonizing this group is not the way forward. To be completely fair and objective, however, I do need to state that all those elements do exist within the movement, but they are a very, very small minority. I have found this to be true of any passionate political group, as they all have a fringe element of people that hold extreme and hateful views that are not acceptable. However, there is no larger percentage of these people in Qanon than any other group and that is an important point to make and understand.
Once the North Korea summit finished and Q was more correct on the event than the media was, I started to take Qanon very seriously. I made a twitter account for it, an email account, and I started to do something I had never done before: publicly promote a conspiracy theory. Now, again to be fair, I had dabbled in conspiracy theory research over the years, all the way back to Alex Jones sneaking into the grove, but I had never taken any of it public to my friends and family as a fact instead of a theory. Qanon changed all that as I truly believed that a military intelligence operation was taking place that was communicating with both the public and its enemies through an anonymous message board. I believed that people in power on both ends of the political spectrum throughout the world were working together in secret to deceive the public and attain nefarious goals. I saw each new coincidence and connection uncovered as further proof and each “miss” as a necessary misinformation element to keep the enemy guessing and off balance. I told myself I was staying objective to each new piece of information and I did make an effort to do so, but in hindsight it was hard to truly do so as the belief became more concrete. “Trust the plan” and “misinformation is necessary” became mantras against anyone who didn’t take our claims seriously, which was nearly everyone. We saw it as more evidence of the claims Q made and continued to do research, create YouTube videos, 4chan posts which then became 8chan posts, then 8kun. I was consciously checking major news elements against the Q posts and failed to see anything that credibly debunked Q. I was sincere throughout my Q experience, but I was sincerely wrong. I have never been more wrong about something for so long and so publicly and it has been hard coming to terms with that reality and seeing the deception for what it was, but I have and I am. All I can do is explain my experience honestly the best I can, own my errors and mistakes, and move on. I lost people in my life that I care about because of Q. It is fair to say my life will never be quite the same.
Now let’s cover another area of responsibility in Qanon, and arguably the hardest one: Donald J. Trump. My history with Trump is varied. I believed most of what was said of him initially and didn’t vote in 2016 as I was not a fan of her either. I heard everyone saying if he won it wasn’t a question of if, but when, and when he won I waited for World War 3, or mass deportations, or any of the other doomsday scenarios we were PROMISED would happen if the worst of the worst happened and Trump won. None of those happened and instead I saw unemployment going down, the stock market going up, and other markers that were generally used to measure presidents all generally performing well. After his first year and no real major disasters, I had to reevaluate my opinion of him and went back and checked many of the claims made against him. I found edited videos, parts cut out of context, and even outright lies that the media had pushed about Trump and decided he was more right in calling them “fake news” than they were in calling him “racist” and “dictator”. At that point I decided I was wrong about Trump and started to view his actions more objectively. This was the correct move given how the media treated him, but it also paved the way for Qanon. This is where Trump really failed all of the sincere people in the movement once Qanon started to get attention and traction. Instead of seeing it for what it was and calling it out, he ignored it and either unintentionally or intentionally kept dropping several clues & typos & hints that could be used by the Qanon community as evidence that they were right. He could have called out the movement as fake early on, while highlighting any elements of it that were real and needed addressing. That would have stopped Qanon in its infancy and brought many sincere citizens back to reality while still being supporters of Trump. By allowing it to fester, he allowed it to grow and the claims to grow and the confidence within the group to grow. Q latched onto this aspect by claiming early on that any member of the media could end this by asking Trump about Q, and they never did, until just right before the election of 2020. Trump did many good things for this country while he was president, but he failed us regarding Qanon.
That brings me to the next area of responsibility in Qanon: the media. Let me be clear and up front: I have never had any real love for the mainstream media, which is most easily defined as anyone owned by the “Big 6” or its affiliates. I knew both sides almost always put their spin on things and already had prime ground for “fake news” to grow, but the media really layered on the fertilizer and nutrients to make the garden bloom. Q came on the scene claiming they were pretty much all in on it and it wouldn’t be fair to say that those claims were baseless, given the history of manipulating data by both sides of the media spectrum. The media saw Q as a joke and largely treated it as such, but in doing so they forgot that their ONLY job was to be a credible news source for the public. Every time they said Qanon had “no evidence” and made “baseless claims”, the Q community saw it as validation. What should have happened after the rally in 2018 where the Q signs were everywhere, (if not before) was a full investigative report done by one of the major networks on the claims of Q and what Q DID get right and what the group was using as evidence to support their claims, approaching it as a true journalist instead of an opinionated talk show host, which is what most of them effectively became. By failing to ever do a credible approach to Q, or even “force the question” to Trump early on, they allowed Q to fester and grow and the community to become more confident in their beliefs. Their failure in this CANNOT be overstated as they are supposed to be the main reliable source of information for the public and they allowed either their opinions, or directions from superiors, or both to cause them to violate the code of ethics from the Society of Professional Journalists that they should ALL know by heart and keep at the forefront of all their work. They failed to publicly fully vet the claims made by Q, and the theories put forth with the evidence claimed by the community. Doing so would have largely stopped Q in its infancy.
That covers most of the main areas of responsibility, at least in my experience with Q. Other elected officials or General Flynn could have pressed Trump harder to denounce it or handled it differently, and ANY intelligence agency from ANY country could have debunked Q for us all at ANY point the last 3 years (seriously, why didn’t THAT happen??) but at this point it is what it is and the very large, looming question is how does society move forward with the public and the Qanon community? I’ve already seen elected officials calling for deprogramming and even “camps” but that is a dangerous path that has clear history to reference which should alarm anyone seriously considering it. We have to recognize that there isn’t 70 million “bad” people on either side and go back to a peaceful coexistence.
To those in the Q community I can only say this: One has to recognize that even if still holding to many of the corruption claims made by Q, it is not the fault of your everyday person and attacking anyone who doesn’t listen isn’t going to lead to any peaceful path. Whether the corruption you believe in exists or not, Trump isn’t president anymore. There is no plan. There is no storm coming. The world is largely as it appears to be and denying that is going to lead to a very hard and stressful life.
To the rest of the public: please remember that the vast majority of people in Qanon are good hearted people who believed very bad things were happening and we were being lied to about it and only wanted to stop bad things from happening. The few outliers and con artists in Qanon who don’t fit that will have to lay in their own bed they made. We have to have compassion for more than just the people we agree with going forward.
A lot of bad things happened because of Qanon but again, to be fair, it wasn’t all bad. Q got me involved to the level that I started doing citizen journalism, putting out content for almost 2 years with several viral videos and having my content used by most of the major networks and in multiple countries. That was an experience I never would have had without Q and it was largely a very good experience. My first media event was the Trump rally in March 2018 and it was amazing. I had never seen anything like it and being able to capture it and report on it from a completely unique perspective was a feeling I will never forget. Being involved in Q also led to many positive steps in my personal life, which I will just leave at that, but every cloud has a silver lining and it wouldn’t be fair to say that there wasn’t one with Qanon.
And that is my insight into Q, from being outside it, to joining to, to denouncing it. It has changed my life: some good and some bad. I’m not going to spend years bitter about Joe Biden being president or about Trump not really having “the plan” or spending all day yelling “not my president!” to everyone. I believe in our republic and our democracy and we are under president Joe Biden for at least 4 years and I don’t want him to fail. I want our country to excel and succeed and we will all need him to perform well for that to happen and I sincerely hope he does that. This will be my final article, it has been an amazing 2 years and writing and covering events has been an experience that I enjoyed far more than I ever imagined I would. I am looking forward to putting this chapter of my life behind me and seeing what the future holds for myself and this beautiful country that I still love very much. Goodbye Qanon and God bless America.