14 October 2020

QAnon

Do you notice something odd about the road sign above? Look closely. The zero in "20" has been altered with a piece of black tape to make it look like a letter "Q". That sign is at the end of The Sheffield Parkway - where it meets the M1 motorway. I have seen a number of other speed limit signs altered in the very same way.

I first started noticing these altered signs in the early summer and I became puzzled about them. What could the "Q" mean?

Hunting around on the internet, I have discovered that it is a pseudo-political symbol. It stands for QAnon, a sinister right wing  movement that began in The United States and has gradually, quietly moved around the world like a virus.

There are many things in this world that I do not understand and I readily admit that QAnon is one of them. Its thousands of supporters seem to be the kind of people who happily embrace conspiracy theories as though they are joining some sort of exclusive club that enjoys superior, secret  knowledge about how this world runs.

QAnon suggests that Trump is the planet's saviour. He is closing in on an international paedophile ring as he battles against "The Deep State". QAnoners tend to be anti-vaccine and link with anti-5G and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.  It is all quite eerie and disturbing but it is happening. It is out there.

To these blinkered fantasists, evidence does not seem to matter as they promote their nonsense. Their numbers are growing along with their influence. Of QAnon, Trump has said, "they like me very much. I heard... that these are people who love our country".

So that is pretty much all I know about QAnon. Instinctively, it sends a shiver down my spine. Had you heard of QAnon already? What do you know about it?

54 comments:

  1. I've heard about them, a bunch of whackadoodles who think that there are lot of pedophiles in politics. "It alleges that a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles is running a global child sex-trafficking ring and plotting against President Donald Trump, who is battling against the cabal"

    What I don't understand is why so many people believe such shit.

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    1. Your attitude to QAnon mirrors mine exactly Lily.

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  2. I've heard of QAnon but had not researched to see what it is. Thanks for telling us very clearly what it is. We don't need people like Trump giving such groups encouragement.

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    1. Why should he care? There is only one person in the world he cares about.

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  3. It suffered quite a set back in US after that driver drove into the left protestors and killed someone. But they are all just still sitting there, biding their ime in their paranoid delusional state. I was disturbed to hear or read just yesterday that QAnon has made an appearance in England. Why import that when you can and have had your own right wing fascists perfectly well without foreign help.

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    1. It is said that the COVID pandemic has provided fertile ground for the growth of this cancer.

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  4. There are a variety of those type of groups here now and they scare me to death. Of course if a reporter mentions them up to Trump he will not say anything negative about them and usually supports them since they support him.

    There is a similar group (I don't think QAnon) that had plans to kidnap the Michigan governor and thank goodness they were caught by the FBI before they carried out their final plans. They had also planned to go after Virginia's governor as well. Apparently they were plotting against Democratic governors that Trump had been verbally attacking. These kind of groups usually carry guns and are quick to cause problems. I am honestly concerned about what will happen here when (I hope) Biden wins the election. Some of these characters have already made threats about taking to the streets if Biden wins. I truly worry about our country because Trump has encouraged all these groups to come out of their hiding places and cause trouble.

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    1. When Old Biden wins, it will certainly not be the end of all the demons that Trump has released.

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  5. I have an ex-client who called a friend who is into all this, she was anti-vax but somehow it led into the idea that Trump is a good person doing a great job, almost an humanitarian. I really cant wrap my head around the leap of logic from anti-vax to Trump supporting. I respected her and if she was a random stranger I'd just write her off as a nutter but it's hard when you actually know them. I don't think she's affiliated with any groups though, just has her own little crusade.

    Anyways, I haven't contributed anythng here, just taken the opportunity to express my utter confusion

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    1. Not straightforward. I guess it was the same with the rise of Nazism in Germany in the 1930's.

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  6. Hadn't heard of them till you mentioned it. And, YP, if I, Ursula, haven't heard of something it does NOT exist. That'll show them.

    Save your "shivers", don't take their ramblings seriously. The number of "followers" is small; even Facebook has done its bit to curb their output. Reminds me of those sandwich board men (not least in London) telling us that the end is nigh. They must have died out since as I haven't spotted one in years. Or maybe they are hiding from Corona, self-isolating.

    U

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    1. Have you heard of Galaxy IC 1101? No, I did not think so. It is the biggest known galaxy in The Universe but as you have not heard of it I guess it does not really exist. It is 2000 times more massive than our Milky Way.

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    2. Hi Ursula, I guess , since the End- Is -Nigh guys have died out, they were correct.

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    3. The Chinese sci-fi writers speculate on galaxies like IC 1101.

      Read Hao Jingfang and her story *Invisible Planets* in an anthology of the same name, edited and translated by Ken Lui, published by Head of Zeus.
      A second anthology of Chinese sci-fi stories, *Broken Stars*, has also appeared under the same imprint, again edited by Ken Liu.

      Another Chinese writer, Cixin Liu, wrote a trilogy much admired by Barack Obama, *The Three Body Epic*. It will take you out of yourself during lockdown.

      I had my first numinous experience aged three watching the BBC serial *Quatermas and the Pit* about a crashed spaceship dug up in London during building work. Not just dead Martians, but the ghosts of dead Martians!

      Sorry for going way off-topic, I just got carried away, Yorky.
      Great to learn that Roger Penrose has won the Nobel Prize for physics, listen to him on YouTube.

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    4. You are welcome to go off piste John. You know so very much and know it with intellectual passion. Your memory is clearly stupendous. Thanks for calling by again and leaving your reflections.

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    5. Memory? I scarcely recall Doncaster from Dewsbury though I am anti-Scottish Nationalism. The old politics is gone and we are a nation of tribes again.

      I voted to remain in Europe though I stood in Parliament Square and mixed amiably with the Brexit and Farage supporters. My London sister, who works for an NGO, was devastated when she woke up to find we had left Europe, yet she always laughed at Farage's wit and directness. In a way he was a reaction to Blairism and spin politics.

      The QUanon movement makes one think of the line from Yeats as Tykewriter says below. Post-Brexit Britain is so difficult to understand because globalisation has marginalised people, and out of that alienation came low wages, populism, anti-immigration, and a contempt for the political elites.

      Watch two YouTube films of David Icke in London: 29 August and 26 September. *I have dreamed of this moment,* he tells his marginalised fans. And this is the man who believes the Royal Family are shape-shifting reptiles !

      Douglas Murray who wrote *The Strange Death of Europe* interests me. Watch him on YouTube: *We Are Standing on a precipice.*

      I am about to start reading Frances Beckett's *Clem Atlee* because I can never know enough about the world into which I was born (1951) and the great things the postwar Labour government achieved. The term Welfare State was coined by a bishop in the Church of England, a society of which he heartily approved as did my hero J.B. Priestley who refused a knighthood.

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  7. Don't they always spring up though, the 'other worlders' paranoid with fearsome ideas. I know in the land of the megaliths you can also find extremist nutters with theories that don't stand up. Scary in America of course because they have recourse to guns. Think I read somewhere that in this country they are the tail end of a football mob, ready for a good night out.

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    1. As I say, quietly, secretly their numbers and their influence are both growing. This is more sinister than a football mob Thelma.

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  8. Isn't Q a James Bond character?

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    1. I have never seen a James Bond film so I wouldn't know.

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    2. There is also a Q in Star Trek - The Next Generation. He (played by John DeLancie) was everybody's favourite villain.

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    3. I once thought the Q in Q-Anon came from Q in "Star Trek," but it turns out it's some kind of security designation in the intelligence world. Someone started posting as Q, as if they had privileged information from secure sources, and that started the whole thing. (Although some aspects of the conspiracies existed beforehand, and were later woven into Q-Anon.)

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    4. Wait -- YP -- you've NEVER seen a James Bond film? How is that possible?

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    5. I got to the age of eighteen and realised I had never seen a James Bond film and then it became a thing for me. Ever since then I have gone out of my way not to watch any James Bond films. I have seen a few clips over the years - could not avoid them - and they consolidated my disinterest.

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  9. theRUMP is a blithering idiot. He doesn't know what QAnon is. He just heard somewhere that they think he's Jesus. He may need their vote after he gets done killing off all of his supporters at his Corona Rallies.

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    1. Corona rallies? I though they were infection events. "I'm gonna kiss all the men and all the beautiful women...please be warned that my breath smells like a hog's ass!"

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    2. Neil, when I saw him say that about kissing "all the beautiful women", I was almost expecting him to complete the sentence with "...and while I'm at it, grab them by the pussy".

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    3. Those words were there but unspoken.

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  10. I have seen those speed limit signs around here somewhere, can't exactly remember where. I'll take note now I know what it means.
    I blame the internet for there being so many of the nutters around. Without it they would need pamphlets and soap boxes so it's not as easy to peddle their poison.

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    1. That's a good point Jean. One of the downsides of the Internet.

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  11. "Idle hands and idle minds" - springs to my mind here YP! The loonies, idiots, and conspiracy theorists have nothing better to do, now that the virus has taken over everyone's consciousness and the planet.
    I haven't heard of this alarming "sect" until now, but anyone who thinks Trump is the saviour of the planet certainly needs their heads examined, and then preferably locked up where they can do no more damage.
    YP, your comment on the rise of Nazism is a chilling reminder that such small beginnings can take over the world if left unchecked.

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    1. The legacy of COVID will not just concern the death count and the economic damage.

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  12. I'd noticed these altered signs too - near "13 Bends" in Derbyshire was the first I saw. The worrying thing is that the megalomaniac right-wing loonies in charge of the US and UK have allowed similar people to feel they have permission to come out of the woodwork because their bigotry has been legitimised. It brings to mind W B Yeats' words in "The Second Coming":

    "The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    "Are full of passionate intensity."

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    1. A chilling connection Steve. Thanks for calling by again.

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    2. Of course it might not be QAnon. It could just be one bloke with a roll of gaffer tape.

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    3. It's not you is it Steve?

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  13. So, if they're right wing they are all for law and order, so they must believe that people who deface public signs should be severely punished. I think they should cut their knackers off.

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    1. Many of them are women and women do not have knackers.

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  14. QAnon have been mentioned several times on German media in connection with demonstrations in Berlin and elsewhere - "Hygiene-Demos" they call them, a mix of people against all the measures our government has put in place. There are average family types who have started out simply protesting against the closure of schools and kindergardens earlier this year, others are anti-vaccine, others again have their very own theories, but they all have been seen demonstrating side by side with ultra-right supporters, neo-Nazis and QAnon followers. Altogether, there were about 40,000 people - not a huge number, but enough to get plenty of attention.
    Apparently, QAnon followers also believe that a race of Alien reptiles have taken over some of our key politicians. Angela Merkel's lower body is reptile, her upper half is only a human facade, like a mask, to trick us all... that's what I have read, and wonder how this sort of story is not confined to the pages of a particularly weird graphic novel.

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    1. If people can believe quite literally in the fires of Hell then it is only a small step away from believing the ridiculous lies about Mrs Merkel.

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  15. Super powers ie: Britain and USA are rudderless lacking leaders that have at least two brain cells to rub together- Sort of an anarchy of the mind- minds- I reckon. Since religion hit the skids seems that the masses of compromised intellect need some fantastic belief of which to adhere. Humans have always been crazy like that. Humans are nuts, the earth is shaking us off. Apocalypse is a term thrown around quite a bit lately, but all of this could just be another wave of human ignorance, history tells the story doesn't it? Education, especially in the USA, is clearly not prioritized. If there are four more years of the Orange Dong, go sit in a cosy spot with a good cuppa and just watch - nothing more can be done, I am afraid. We have to ride this one out and hope that the cray cray turns on itself.

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    1. COVID seems to have assisted the growth of these cancerous notions.

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  16. They believe that Hollywood celebrities drink the blood of children in order to stay young which is about what non-Jews used to accuse Jews of back in dark ages. What else do you need to know?
    I think that we're back in the dark ages now. I believe that people are not nearly as intelligent as I used to believe. Quite frankly, I believe we are f**ked.

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    1. QAnon seems to be like a fruit shop where you can pick whichever fruits you prefer. It's not a consistent philosophy. You can pick and choose.

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  17. Having read the post and all the comments I am thoroughly dejected. Well I would be if I were not an eternal optimist who still hopes that there are enough people in this country at least to withstand these people.

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    1. It is a very strange phenomenon but perhaps there are parallels in history.

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  18. Well, the latest that I've heard about it is that facebook has blocked it from their site. Rightfully so. I first heard about it from - of all people - a adjunct professor at a college. I read the post, and it was unbelievable. So I began to fact check it. Further and further down the rabbit hole I went, and it got crazier and crazier and crazier. Christy Tiegan drinks the blood of children to stay young. Pedophiles rule the world and only tRUMP can save us. Lunacy really. I came back to her post and presented my findings and her response was (no joking, it is a quote) "I don't care if it is true or not, this needs to stop!"

    Whenever I see a Qanon article, I post it along with my disclaimer that these are crazy people. The latest: A long winded article about how breastfeeding babies is a segueway into sexual abuse, that a woman breastfeeds for sexual gratification and she ought to go to jail for it. The philosophy was that there are a lot of ways to feed your baby other than breastfeeding and so it was not done for anything but selfish reasons.

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    1. Thanks Debby. Clearly you have delved deeper into this than I have. How crazy for anybody to see breastfeeding as a wrongful activity. Madness.

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  19. The thing is, years ago, people could be clueless, but they were somewhat isolated in their cluelessness. Now the Internet has readily connected all the clueless people and plugged them into an evolving web of conspiracies that to those of us with an education and critical thinking skills make NO SENSE WHATSOEVER. Susceptible people love these conspiracy theories because they make them feel powerful -- like they're finally in on a secret that no one else knows. And all the college-educated liberals who have made these Joe Lunchbuckets feel shitty about themselves for years, telling them they should be more open-minded and tolerant, are THE BAD GUYS! It's like a dream!

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    1. Thanks for your well-considered analysis Steve. Seems like a nightmare rather than a dream - to me at least.

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    2. I mean it's like a dream for the conspiracists. It's definitely a nightmare to me too!

      The Atlantic had an excellent cover story about Q-Anon a couple of months back. It's worth reading if you haven't seen it already.

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