Why Does the QAnon Conspiracy Thrive Despite All its Unfulfilled Prophecies?

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  flynavy1  •  one month ago  •  47 comments

By:   MSN

Why Does the QAnon Conspiracy Thrive Despite All its Unfulfilled Prophecies?
"Q makes you feel important and gives you meaning and self-esteem. You are saving the world when you're in Q, [it's] the highest way you can view yourself."

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



To any reasonable person, the failure of a long-foretold event to materialize should erode the belief that it will happen. A perfect example is the long-foretold and never arriving "storm" of mass arrests promised by the mysterious "military intelligence" team at the heart of the QAnon conspiracy. How could anyone think something promised for years, and put off countless times, is actually going to happen this time?

© zz/STRF/STAR MAX/IPx—AP A QAnon supporter as the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. was breached by thousands of protesters during a "Stop The Steal" rally in support of President Donald Trump during the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

Belief doesn't need to be reasonable—particularly when it revolves around the punishment of the people you've been told are responsible for all of the world's ills. And this stubborn lack of logic isn't limited to people who think the deep state is trafficking children or that Joe Biden is actually a fake president. We all have an innate need to believe in good things that are extremely unlikely to take place. It's the essence of hope. And a life without hope is . . . hopeless.

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Even when Q believers are presented with crushing proof that they've been fooled, they still believe—often taking the proof that they're wrong as proof that they're actually right. To do otherwise would be to give in to hopelessness.

By the time of the COVID-19 lockdown, Q had been exposed countless times as a fraud and a troll with no connection to military intelligence whose "predictions" were the same kind of rapid-fire guessing that a strip-mall psychic uses, while the movement's members were running into the law for their increasingly violent and untethered behavior. But to the faithful, these were all temporary setbacks, perpetrated by a bought-and-paid-for media. Everyone just needed to "trust the plan" and believe.

To understand why QAnon followers believe and hang on to that belief requires understanding why people believe in conspiracy theories in the first place. To begin, Q is almost never anyone's first conspiracy theory, but the next step on a ladder that includes any number of plots and schemes. So when people find Q, which already incorporates so many other conspiracy theories, it easily fits into their world view. And it doesn't mean they're crazy or stupid.

Human brains need to recognize dangerous situations, and we are hardwired to seek patterns, to find order in chaos, and to exert control where none can be found. Conspiracy theories, at their most basic level, assert that we are in danger from hidden forces. This helps give difficult questions and random events satisfying answers—and puts us at the center of those events. And we all do it.

If you're hearing danger in a strange noise late at night, or looking at a world event and thinking that there must be more to it than what we're being told, you're just doing what your brain has evolved to do as a way to make sense of the senseless.

Our lives are often full of failure—personal, professional, and collective. We don't want to believe these failures are due to honest mistakes by others or random chance. And most of all, we don't want to believe that they're our own fault. To believe otherwise is to believe that either we screwed up, or that we have no control over what happens to us. And that's just too horrible to accept.

Such beliefs don't begin with the Internet, nor are they more prevalent in the Internet age. Decades of polling consistently show that over half of Americans believe in some conspiracy theory, and that about as many people in 1963 believed that multiple assassins killed JFK as they did in 2013, according to Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Use Them.

Notions that someone is trying to get something over on us go viral for a good reason: many times, someone is trying to get something over on us. Conspiracy theories can be held by people who work normal jobs, have loving families, and don't spend every hour of every day soaking in violent ideation. They can take the form merely of irritating our friends with yet another ramble about whatever hidden chicanery we've chosen to believe in—our phone breaking suspiciously just as the service contract expires so that we have to buy a new one, and so on. They can even be fun to speculate about—like the viral conspiracy theory about Chuck E. Cheese "recycling" unused pizza slices to make misshapen new pizzas.

Further complicating matters is that some conspiracies are real. Julius Caesar was murdered by Roman politicians conspiring together. And 150 years later, a conspiracy of killers succeeded in assassinating President Abraham Lincoln, with plans to kill both the Vice President and Secretary of War. A conspiracy of German officers tried to kill Adolf Hitler in July 1944. And the U.S. Public Health Service engaged in a grossly unethical four-decade conspiracy to withhold syphilis treatment from Black sharecroppers in Tuskegee, Alabama.

Conspiracy theories, on the other hand, find believers because they fit in with our need to find hidden danger and revelations about how the world "really" works. As we've seen, this is not necessarily a bad thing. But for many Q believers, that nebulous feeling that they're all out to get me becomes They're all out to get me, and I'm gonna get them first. This is the danger of Q—not that people believe it, but that believing it means that those who don't are the enemy.

For the QAnon adherent, Q is not a conspiracy theory—and many believers bristle at the term, calling themselves "conspiracy researchers" instead. It's a way of clearly seeing the world and of organizing the players into columns of good guys and bad guys. And it provides its believers something nobody usually expects out of cultish conspiracy movements—hope. Q believers speak excitedly of the promise of a new future that Q would deliver—something ex-believer Jitarth Jadeja explained to me.

"I wanted to believe that the good guys were fighting the good fight, and in a better future," he told me over Zoom. "Q makes you feel important and gives you meaning and self-esteem. You are saving the world when you're in Q, [it's] the highest way you can view yourself."

Undoubtedly, at least some Q believers are in the grip of delusion, to the point of being unable to stand trial for crimes they've committed. Others vaguely believe some of its tenets without specifically calling themselves Q believers. And some are just in it for the trolling—or because they really hate Jews and Democrats, or worship Donald Trump. But those extremes are out of the ordinary. Many are just people who passionately believe in a thing that isn't real because it tells them what they want to hear.

This is ultimately what brings people to Q, and what keeps them there. The promise of bad people being punished is one element of it, but the feeling of being part of something important and powerful is vastly underestimated. Q believers see themselves as soldiers fighting for the ultimate cause—and are surrounded by people who validate them, rather than insult or belittle them, or try to fact-check them out of what they think is real. Yes, Q will sometimes admit to making errors in drops. And Q posts their drops on 8chan, a place full of racists and anti-Semites saying racist and anti-Semitic things.

But that can be explained away, or written off as just another attack by the enemy.

What's real, what's tangible to Q believers is how it makes them feel. What questions it answers. What holes it fills that other aspects of their life don't. For many believers, who truly see themselves as non-violent patriots, it's that simple —good feelings shared with a community about something awesome that will happen to people who are keeping them down.

But for a few, it metastasizes. Sometimes it's due to mental illness. Other times, it's need and anger curdling into violent resentment. No matter the cause, the end is the same: from the Capitol attack to countless tiny familial tragedies, the results are violence, pain, and shattered lives. And onlookers struggling to understand what about this was so alluring in the first place.

Adapted from The Storm is Upon Us: How QAnon Became a Movement, Cult, and Conspiracy Theory of Everything. © Copyright 2021 Mike Rothschild. Reprinted with permission from Melville House.


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FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
1  seeder  FLYNAVY1    one month ago

They're all out to get me, and I'm gonna get them first. This is the danger of Q—not that people believe it, but that believing it means that those who don't are the enemy.

That statement ought to be sobering......  

Again it comes down to a lack of critical thinking skills.  Something we've stopped teaching the last 40 years.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
1.1  Gordy327  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @1    one month ago
Again it comes down to a lack of critical thinking skills.  Something we've stopped teaching the last 40 years.

As I've said before, never underestimate the stupidity of the American people.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Masters Expert
1.2  Greg Jones  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @1    one month ago

 Julius Caesar was murdered by Roman politicians conspiring together. And 150 years later , a conspiracy of killers succeeded in assassinating President Abraham Lincoln.....  jrSmiley_40_smiley_image.gif

And it was a Trump-Putin conspiracy that Trump won the election.

Is what we're seeing a manifestation of the Q Continuum?

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
Professor Participates
1.2.1  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Greg Jones @1.2    one month ago
And it was a Trump-Putin conspiracy that Trump won the election.

Fact: Putin did want Trump to win and expended Russian resources, at least $1.25million a month during the campaign, in an effort to help Trump win. Russian hackers hacked American political parties and released damaging emails during the election with the specific intention of helping Trump win.

Fact: Donald Trump gladly accepted Russian help and even asked for it at a rally during the campaign. His campaign staff and even children had dozens of contacts with Russian operatives, his campaign manager gave highly sensitive polling data to a Russian operative, Trump's son said of offered dirt on Hillary “If it’s what you say, I love it, especially later in the summer.”

Believing Russia helped Trump in the 2016 election is no conspiracy theory, it is well established fact.

The only thing that wasn't proven was an actual conversation between Trump and Putin where Trump offered any concrete repayment for Russia's illicit aid.

Only dumb fuck Qanon dip shit half wits continue to claim the "Trump Russia thing" was all a hoax or fake news.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Masters Expert
1.2.2  Greg Jones  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @1.2.1    one month ago

Nothing you say provides any facts of proof, nor was illegal. There was nor real 'help' given to Trump

He won fair and square because the people hated Hillary more than they disliked Trump.

No votes were changed inside voting machines or sealed ballots.

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
Professor Participates
1.2.3  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Greg Jones @1.2.2    one month ago
Nothing you say provides any facts of proof, nor was illegal.

Oh please, if the Russians had hacked the RNC and released their emails that showed back room political deals and infighting that embarrassed the party two months before the election and Russia was spending $1.25 million a month on fake social media ads that constantly trashed Trump and he lost, then Hillary's new National Security Advisor was caught lying about communications with the Russian ambassador telling them to ignore recent sanctions put in place because of the hacks and election interference and telling them the new administration would reverse the sanctions and work together closely once Hillary was inaugurated, Republicans would be demanding their heads and screaming about collusion and Russian interference even if they didn't have a tape of Hillary telling Putin what he'd get in return for his illicit help. The only reason you're downplaying it now is because it benefited the candidate you preferred, not because it wasn't egregious. Oh, and yes, the Russian hacking of private email servers was illegal and was done on Trumps behalf whether or not his slimy supporters will ever admit it.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1.2.4  JohnRussell  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @1.2.3    one month ago

Trump asked the Russians to hack Hillary Clinton's email system.  In and of itself that should have ended his presidential bid. 

By the way, THE SAME DAY Trump asked the Russians, later that night the Russians did in fact attempt to hack into Hillary Clintons computer system.  

The compliticity between the two (Trump and Russians) is all over the place, but because the dossier was unproven or in some cases wrong , Trump is thus totally innocent?  Uh, hell no. 

 
 
 
exexpatnowinva
Freshman Quiet
1.2.5  exexpatnowinva  replied to  JohnRussell @1.2.4    one month ago
Trump asked the Russians to hack Hillary Clinton's email system. 

Quite wrong Mr. Russell, he simply stated IF YOU HAVE them.   Don't forget, it was John Podesta that replied to the phishing email requesting his password that he replied to noting his password was, of all things PASSWORD.   That tidbit of info gave any 5th grader access to all emails of the server.

But speaking of Russia, it was in point of fact Hillary Clinton and the DNC that paid for the Steele dossier which relied on a known Russian spy.   

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.2.6  Tessylo  replied to  exexpatnowinva @1.2.5    one month ago

Nonsense XM

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
PhD Quiet
1.3  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @1    one month ago

There will always be people out searching for and defending some cause, even when it is the wrong one. Part of human nature I think.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2  Buzz of the Orient    one month ago
"Why Does The QAnon Conspiracy Thrive Despite All Its Unfulfilled Prophecies?"
What an easy question to answer.  It's because people are ignorant.
 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
3  JohnRussell    one month ago

A few weeks ago one of the members here stated matter of factly to the effect of "we all know what happened to Vince Foster" of course implying that the Clintons had their friend murdered back in 1993. Five different investigations concluded that Foster committed suicide, including the investigation headed by Republican special prosecutor Kenneth Starr, but to this day, almost 30 years later, right wing true believers take it for granted that Bill and Hillary Clinton not only had Foster murdered, but also many dozens of others who stood in their way or had damaging information about them over the years.  The number of people the Clintons have supposedly murdered is over 100 in some accounts. 

The way I looked at it is that the Clintons must have been the most brilliant psychopaths in human history if they could get away with murdering over 100 people. Or not. Probably not. Not the most brilliant psychopaths, not the murderers of 100 people. 

Conspiracy nuts think they have knowledge, usually very specific, that regular people don't have. Everyone could have that knowledge, but only the conspiracy followers have personal commitment to follow the truth wherever it leads and the rest of us are sheep. Believing conspiracies is a way to feel special but also part of a group of special people. 

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
Professor Guide
3.1  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  JohnRussell @3    one month ago

 most brilliant psychopaths in human history if they could get away with murdering over 100 people

That honor goes to Trump.  He murdered over 500,000.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Masters Expert
3.1.1  Greg Jones  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @3.1    one month ago
He murdered over 500,000.
Idiotic bullshit.
 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Junior Expert
3.1.2  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Greg Jones @3.1.1    one month ago

Sad thing is there are others here that think exactly the same way..................

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
Professor Participates
3.1.3  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Greg Jones @3.1.1    one month ago
Idiotic bullshit.

That's what President Trump was spewing to the American people a month after he knew the truth about how deadly the virus was, how it was airborne and what an major effect it was going to have on our nation. He chose to spew idiotic bullshit, said the virus was no worse than the flu, said it would just "go away" "like a miracle" by Easter 2020, downplayed the effects on our nation, downplayed the use of masks and social distancing and then later claimed he lied to the American people only because he "didn't want to create a panic", yet his decision to lie very likely led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans.

"This is deadly stuff ... you just breathe the air and that's how it's passed," Trump told Woodward in early February.

" The U.S. could have prevented roughly 36,000 deaths from COVID-19 if broad social distancing measures had been put in place just one week earlier in March, according to an analysis from Columbia University."

And that was from May of 2020 with a study showing at least 36,000 lives could have been saved with just 1 week earlier pandemic measures being put in place. The reality is that Trump never really endorsed masks and social distancing, he fought them tooth and nail throughout his Presidency, even when he and many of his staff were infected.

There is simply NO WAY IN HELL that the some 600,000 Americans would have all died from this virus if Trump had simply told the American people the truth and endorsed masks and social distancing at the same time he alerted Woodward. Trump has blood on his hands, and no amount of praise for him later endorsing 'Operation Warp Speed' will make up for that lost time and the lost lives.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
3.2  seeder  FLYNAVY1  replied to  JohnRussell @3    one month ago

I've actually met a couple that was deep into "The Q".  It is really scary to listen to what they take as fact.  And the more you contradict them with real facts, the more ardently they reject those facts and grip to their decided reality is.   It is flat scary John.  There is little doubt we are dealing members of the "the Q" right here on NT.  I can't think of anything that is going to change their thinking.  Reality sure doesn't.

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Expert
4  Hal A. Lujah    one month ago

Have you heard the latest?  The building collapse in Florida was a controlled demolition to destroy terrabites of government corruption data collected by John McAfee and stored at his son’s condo … who didn’t even live there.  

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.newsweek.com/deanna-lorraine-qanon-florida-condo-collapse-john-mcafee-conspiracy-1605519%3famp=1

Who even dreams this shit up?  Putin’s cyber trash cronies?

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Masters Guide
4.1  Thrawn 31  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @4    one month ago

Things like that really make me want to give up on our species. 

 
 
 
evilgenius
Professor Participates
5  evilgenius    one month ago

I believe there is a hidden Nazi bunker on the moon filled with alien lizard people... Oh wait that was a movie. Sorry, carry on. 

Reuters had to fact check online claims that Trump is still the current President and he issued a cease and desist order on COVID vaccines.  

Even the tiniest bit of critical thinking skills would tell one that isn't true.

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Masters Guide
5.1  Thrawn 31  replied to  evilgenius @5    one month ago

I am trying to finish that movie on netflix actually. 

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
5.1.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  Thrawn 31 @5.1    one month ago

I was thinking about watching it.

 
 
 
evilgenius
Professor Participates
5.1.2  evilgenius  replied to  Thrawn 31 @5.1    one month ago

I missed Iron Sky on Netflix. I really want to see it. I did see Iron Sky: The Coming Race which was hilarious! There was a 3rd one announced, but I've not seen anything on it since the original announcement. 

EDIT: I see Iron Sky is available on Amazon Prime for free.

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Masters Guide
5.1.3  Thrawn 31  replied to  evilgenius @5.1.2    one month ago

My problem is I turned it on and then started doing other things (laundry, dealing with kids) and when I’d try to pay attention I had no fucking idea what was happening.

 
 
 
evilgenius
Professor Participates
5.1.4  evilgenius  replied to  Thrawn 31 @5.1.3    one month ago

You'll just have to come over and watch it at my house. LOL!

 
 
 
Hallux
Freshman Principal
6  Hallux    one month ago

People need to believe in something, once you succeed in convincing them what is true is fake it becomes a short step to convincing them what is fake is true. Sociopaths and narcissists mastered the 'art' long ago and now they have all the tools anyone could wish for. George Orwell got it wrong, Big Bro is us.

 
 
 
r.t..b...
Masters Participates
6.1  r.t..b...  replied to  Hallux @6    one month ago

A strange story but enlightening as to how deep this phenomenon…

While visiting the Guggenheim with my son a few years back, purchased a t-shirt to commemorate the moment. It was a stylized floor plan of the famous Frank Lloyd Wright design with the famous concentric spirals. Wore it to the store yesterday and was approached by a woman who tapped me on the shoulder, gave me a wink, and actually invited me to a gathering of ‘like minded’ believers. Not knowing her intent and being polite, asked her to explain. She said she liked the ‘Q’ on my shirt and only wished it was in red, white, and blue. I respectfully denied her invite, went home and had a drink, and am still trying to process the encounter. 

Nothing of import, but thought it odd. 

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
6.1.1  Kavika   replied to  r.t..b... @6.1    one month ago

LOL, I'd need more than one drink after an encounter like that.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
6.1.2  Trout Giggles  replied to  r.t..b... @6.1    one month ago

I need one of those so I can identify them in my town

 
 
 
Hallux
Freshman Principal
6.1.3  Hallux  replied to  r.t..b... @6.1    one month ago
Nothing of import, but thought it odd.

It's a perfect fit.

 
 
 
r.t..b...
Masters Participates
6.1.4  r.t..b...  replied to  Trout Giggles @6.1.2    one month ago

Just follow them to their vehicle.

Another oddity…just when did a mode of transport become a traveling advertisement for political philosophy?

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
6.1.5  Trout Giggles  replied to  r.t..b... @6.1.4    one month ago

Ever since that first black Ford rolled off the assembly line

 
 
 
devangelical
PhD Principal
6.1.6  devangelical  replied to  r.t..b... @6.1.4    one month ago

been to texas lately?

 
 
 
r.t..b...
Masters Participates
6.1.7  r.t..b...  replied to  devangelical @6.1.6    one month ago

Splitting time between AZ and Colorado…no difference twixt the two in the number of examples.

Neighbors in both states still fly the 2020 trump flag in defiance of the results…and more often than not, have blacked out any reference to Pence in their protestations. 

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
6.1.8  seeder  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Trout Giggles @6.1.5    one month ago

Corresponds with black helicopters taking to the skies by chance?

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
6.1.9  Trout Giggles  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @6.1.8    one month ago

Yep!

 
 
 
Freefaller
PhD Participates
6.1.10  Freefaller  replied to  r.t..b... @6.1    one month ago
approached by a woman who tapped me on the shoulder, gave me a wink, and actually invited me to a gathering of ‘like minded’ believers

I think she was just coming onto you and using the Q thing as a cover for inviting you over

 
 
 
Freefaller
PhD Participates
7  Freefaller    one month ago

I've been saying this for years, if you believe in conspiracy theories that makes an individual part of something special and vocalizing their beliefs mean they're doing something special.  Thus they take pride in this accomplishment and believe themselves as some sort of hero, savior or truthseeker, when in actuality they're just easily led sheep. 

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Masters Expert
7.1  Greg Jones  replied to  Freefaller @7    one month ago
Thus they take pride in this accomplishment and believe themselves as some sort of hero, savior or truthseeker, when in actuality they're just easily led sheep

That seems to be true in the case of most people who support the progressive Democrats.

 
 
 
Freefaller
PhD Participates
7.1.1  Freefaller  replied to  Greg Jones @7.1    one month ago

Thank you for your little splash of partisan rhetoric./s

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
8  Tessylo    one month ago

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Kavika
Professor Principal
8.1  Kavika   replied to  Tessylo @8    one month ago

Perfect

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
9  Tessylo    one month ago

46507600_2422824014399605_3717172522559471616_n.jpg?_nc_cat=105&_nc_rgb565=1&ccb=1-3&_nc_sid=730e14&_nc_ohc=mOSXUiZ4zdoAX_9-16t&_nc_ht=scontent-iad3-1.xx&tp=6&oh=f7fa16e4e8a46d0030f0764380d0d3d5&oe=60E0B919

 
 
 
cjcold
Professor Quiet
9.1  cjcold  replied to  Tessylo @9    one month ago

It's hard to forgive mean, stupid, evil folk sometimes.

I also hate the Trumpist encroachment of fascism and voter suppression into my beloved U.S.of A democracy.

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Masters Guide
10  Thrawn 31    one month ago

The answer is easy, a lot of people are really, REALLY stupid. FFS religion is still a thing, so people believing in absurd bullshit with no supporting evidence and repeatedly failed prophecies isn’t all that surprising. I will never understand it.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
10.1  Gordy327  replied to  Thrawn 31 @10    one month ago
The answer is easy, a lot of people are really, REALLY stupid. FFS religion is still a thing, so people believing in absurd bullshit with no supporting evidence and repeatedly failed prophecies isn’t all that surprising.

That's what I always say too.

I will never understand it.

Because you're rational.

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Expert
10.2  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  Thrawn 31 @10    one month ago

FFS religion is still a thing, so people believing in absurd bullshit with no supporting evidence and repeatedly failed prophecies isn’t all that surprising.

The problem with religion is that not everyone who embraces it does believe in the bullshit, they just accept that it is bullshit but trust that a sentient creator still does exist somehow - and since religious adherents are members of the community they want to be a part of they just join in.  It’s a conspicuously disingenuous position for those who don’t want to be associated with the ridiculousness of the scriptures.

 
 
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