Interesting. QAnon is increasingly the hub of a “Q community” which advertises itself self-referentially. So we see Q linking to tweets about its own popularity. The Q community is a diverse group that seems to be titillated by crazy conspiracy theory and batshit crazy Evangelical superstition.
The movie above seems to be in the latter category. To the credulous and gullible it is an exposé of the infiltration of Hollywood by satanic government agents. Moving from the fairly obvious and well-known phenomenon of wartime propaganda films, we are soon led by well-connected Hollywood insiders (a.k.a. two unknown stuntmen) into a horrific story of satanism and cannibalism.
At the denouement we find that it’s all about the completely debunked pizzagate story. And it depends heavily on the say-so of Liz Crokin, a deranged Trump-worshipping right wing lunatic who has continually made unfounded claims that mirror Q and related conspiracies. Among her ravings of the last two months are the claim that Covid-19 was invented by Bill Gates, but that “white hats” have managed to turn the disease to the president’s advantage. Crokin said that Covid-19 was no more dangerous than flu, but was being used as an excuse for lockdown so that people will be off the streets when Trump sends in the National Guard to arrest all members of the global satanic pedophile ring.
Crokin previously believed that the Trump impeachment proceedings were the cover under which the mass arrests would be made. A year ago she seemed to be getting tired of waiting and warned that if the mass arrests didn’t happen soon there would be “vigilante justice”. But like most cult leaders and followers disappointed by the non-arrival of an apocalypse, there are always further opportunities.
I think most normal people will be pretty amazed that such individuals exist. But I had cause some years ago to spend time reading up on millenarian cults of 19th century America. This really isn’t a new phenomenon at all. From Mormons, to Seventh Day Adventists, to Jehovah’s Witnesses, there has been a long line of cults and cult leaders. Many have morphed into significant modern-day religions while others have faded away, unable to sustain the weight of their own failed predictions. Sometimes, as in the case of the disciples of Joseph Miller (Adventists) and Charles Taze Russell (Witnesses), the founders’ predictions were reinterpreted to mean some sort of spiritual awakening instead of the promised Second Coming or other millenarian advent.
A sort of general millenarianism is pervasive throughout American Evangelicalism today, traceable to those 19th century cults. The sort of Dispensationalism taught at Dallas Theological Seminary, and popular accounts of the Rapture such as in Tim LaHaye’s Left Behind series of books have their roots in groups like the Plymouth Brethren and particularly the biblical prophecies of John Nelson Darby (a one-time Anglican pastor of Delgany, Co. Wicklow). The threads get very complicated, depending on whether you believe in a pre- or post-tribulational rapture, and the specific ordering of the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the Millenium – all of them events from the Book of Revelation.
My own assessment is that it is difficult for a purely apocalyptic cult to get traction this days because of the general decline in religiosity. QAnon cultists probably do tend to be of an Evangelical persuasion, but the phenomenon has been dressed up in such a way that you can subscribe without being overtly religious. In other words, it is millenarian without being specifically Christian millennialist. At the centre of it is a character who doesn’t even have to sustain the normal cult of personality on which the 19th century movements depended. The central figure is unknown, but presumed by adherents to have access to the highest levels of the establishment. In effect, divine inspiration is replaced in this modern version by having the ear of the President. And of course, you have a president who is so hell-bent on his own cult of personality that he seems willing to play along.
There’s nothing new under the Sun, and this is just a continuation of a very long line of distinctly American Protestant cultism.