QAnon. We are not even going to begin to try to explain the details (see this) of this grand unified conspiracy theory, meme and wingnut delusion, but it did at least emerge from a series of incoherent posts on 4chan in 2017 by someone calling themselves QAnon or Q. Through conspiratorial bullshit, paranoia and deep state fearmongering, Q’s cryptic messages have led to the creation of a remarkable, complex structure of nonsense that still enjoys a (relatively small) group of thoroughly insane followers – or more precisely: the conspiracy works by Q leaving a couple of vague, nonsensical “crumbs” (“[m]any sound like they were written by Deepak Chopra channeling Alex Jones”) that commenters freely use to build whatever insane web of delusions they wish to build. Now, who exactly is behind the conspiracy theory (schema) is unclear, but a couple of promoters (in additional to an unknown number of Russian bots) have been identified, such as Coleman Rogers, known as Pamphlet Anon on his youtube videos and InfoWars appearance.
Rogers’s career took off after Reddit shut down the QAnon Reddit board in April 2018 due to “encouraging or inciting violence and posting personal and confidential information”. Rogers and his wife Christina Urso subsequently launched a plan to replace mainstream media (often a target of Q’s posts) with a continuously streaming YouTube network made up of self-described “researchers” putting together Q’s clues, called the Patriots’ Soapbox. The channel is more or less a continuous broadcast of a Discord chatroom with audio commentary from various volunteers and moderators, including calls for donations. It is, of course, utterly ludicrous; you can search it out yourself; we’re not providing any links.
Rogers has a background as zealous participant in an internet “meme war” where he would claim e.g. that liberals murder children and worship Satan, notions that are currently central to the QAnon mythology. Now, Rogers denies knowledge of who Q is, or that he himself might be Q. Suspicions that he has more insider information than he let on to abound, however. Meanwhile, other wingnut conspiracy theorists have accused him of being part of a deep state conspiracy. So it goes.
Diagnosis: It remains very much unclear whether Rogers believes any of the QAnon stuff or not (or whether he cares). He is nevertheless a serious loon, and one who has actually managed to gain some influence over mostly angry, older and less internet-savvy tinfoil hatters.
Hat-tip: Rationalwiki, NBC.
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