The Far-Right’s Latest Insane Conspiracy Theory Is “The Storm”
You may have noticed the #QAnon hashtag on twitter recently. If you were wondering it’s the latest example of insane conspiracy mongering to come out of the depths of the far-right internet. Known as “The Storm” the theory is of course completely divorced from reality.
Of course we live in an era when much of the right thinks journalists, scientists, and other purveyors of truthful information are liars. That makes it easy for charlatans and propagandists to sell snake oil like this to the foolish and willfully blind.
New York Magazine’s Select All recently ran a piece explaining the bizarre theory.
A new conspiracy theory called “The Storm” has taken the grimiest parts of the internet by, well, storm. Like Pizzagate, the Storm conspiracy features secret cabals, a child sex-trafficking ring led (in part) by the satanic Democratic Party, and of course, countless logical leaps and paranoid assumptions that fail to hold up under the slightest fact-based scrutiny. However, unlike Pizzagate, the Storm isn’t focused on a single block of shops in D.C., or John Podesta’s emails. It’s much, much bigger than that.
As most terrible things do, this story begins with a post on /pol/, a sub-board of the more-or-less-anonymous, anything-goes website 4chan. Over the last few years, /pol/ — which technically stands for “politically incorrect” — has slowly but surely become a top contender for the ever-coveted title of the most upsetting community online. It’s the sort of place where neo-Nazis and people who believe women shouldn’t have basic human rights used to meet before we started verifying them on Twitter and electing them to public office. And as of late, it’s expanded its ranks to include fringe members of all shapes and sizes.
On October 28, someone calling themselves Q began posting a series of cryptic messages in a /pol/ thread titled “Calm Before the Storm” (assumedly in reference to that creepy Trump quote from early October). Q claimed to be a high-level government insider with Q clearance (hence the name) tasked with posting intel drops — which he, for some reason, called “crumbs” — straight to 4chan in order to covertly inform the public about POTUS’s master plan to stage a countercoup against members of the deep state. It was, in short, absolutely insane. However, thanks to some rather forced coincidences — like Q kind of, sort of guessing that Trump would tweet the word “small” on Small Business Saturday, and this one time the internet decided that Q was “totally on Air Force One” because he posted a blurry picture of some islands while Trump was on his trip to Asia — and a whole heck of a lot of wishful thinking, people believed he was the real deal.
So he kept talking.
According to Q, Trump was never really involved with Russia, and isn’t actually under investigation by Mueller & Co. On the contrary, Q insists that it’s actually Clinton and Obama who were corrupted by Putin (and are now actually under investigation by Mueller) because they’re obviously just evil, money-hungry globalists who’ll do anything for the highest bidder. (Oh, yeah, and they’re also apparently into raping and killing children, though the crowd is split over whether this is because they’re satanists or just part of some weird blackmail scheme involving the CIA.) Q also claims that Trump, the genius that he is, figured all of this out way back when he was just a measly presidential candidate, and has been pretending to love Putin and/or be involved with Russia ever since as a way to force a third party to investigate these horrors — without drawing the attention of those evil Dems-who-must-not-be-named, of course — because he’s just that selfless of a leader.