One of the most striking things about QAnon is the dissociative state it induces in its followers. It doesn’t merely cause people to dissociate with family and friends, though there is plenty of that. But they also dissociate from reality and the consequences of their baseless conspiracy theorizing.
I suppose that’s a natural result of their certainty that they’re part of a great, important movement. If you genuinely believe that you’re helping end child trafficking rings and ushering in a grand new American age, you wouldn’t care about the people harmed because of your online hobby.
Here’s how QAnon has bled into the real world in the past two weeks.
QAnon Conspiracy Theory Leads To Cancellation of A Charter School Fundraiser
Every year, the small Grass Valley Charter School in Grass Valley, California holds a “Blue Marble Jubilee” fundraiser. This year, it would’ve been held on May 11, were it not canceled due to online threats stemming from an incoherent QAnon conspiracy theory.
The mess started with a QAnon “decode” of a tweet by James Comey, in which he participated in a Twitter meme by listing “five jobs I’ve had.”
#FiveJobsIveHad 1. Grocery store clerk
2. Vocal soloist for church weddings
4. Strike-replacement high school teacher
5. FBI Director, interrupted
— James Comey (@Comey) April 27, 2019
To people in the QAnon community, however, this tweet was no innocent stroll through Comey’s work history. Some claimed the first letter of every job listed (GVCSF) was actually code for the Grass Valley Charter School Foundation. They further speculated that the Comey was signalling that the upcoming Blue Marble Jubilee would be the site of a deep state “false flag” attack.
— Joe M (@StormIsUponUs) April 29, 2019
The tweet caused people across the country to contact the small charter school. Despite the fact that local police determined that the threats were not credible, organizers opted to cancel the event “out of an abundance of caution.”
Despite denying a school the opportunity to raise funds, people in the QAnon community didn’t react with remorse. Rather, they either doubled down or expressed indifference.
Even after a QAnon conspiracy theory causes a school to cancel a fundraiser, a QAnon follower comments “Thank you Anons for decoding these evil people’s criminal sick activities.” Joe M says he doesn’t “give a damn.”
They don’t care how destructive their conspiracy theories are. pic.twitter.com/LLLcfhbOjF
— Travis View (@travis_view) May 3, 2019
Anthony Comello Pleads Not Guilty In The Killing Of Gambino Mob Boss
Anthony Comello, the 24-year-old man accused of killing Frankie Cali, the reputed mob boss of the Gambino crime family, pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and weapons charges during his April 24th arraignment. Police sources have claimed that Comello researches QAnon online. In a previous court appearance, Comello drew a large Q in the center of his palm and the phrase “patriots in charge,” which appears to be a variation of the QAnon phrase “patriots in control.”
Comello’s lawyer Robert Gottlieb has previously stated, “The evidence that I refer to, the QAnon, the other hate words and messages emanating from other extreme right-wing conspiracy websites, as well as statements made by the president, without any question will be critical and central to explaining what happened in this case.”
QAnon Finds Growing Support Among Militia Groups
As reported by the Southern Poverty Law Center, QAnon has found support among sovereign citizens, border militias, and antigovernment Three Percenter groups.
An incident from 2018 shows how QAnon and border militias can work hand in glove. Veterans on Patrol (VOP), a group originally run by longtime antigovernment advocate Michael Lewis Arthur Meyers, thought they had stumbled upon evidence of a QAnon-like conspiracy theory when members stumbled upon a skull in the Arizona desert. They also found other items they believed baselessly were used for immigrant child sex trafficking.
Law enforcement investigated the claims and determined they were not related to human trafficking. But before they had a chance to debunk the claims, VOP used social media to call upon others to join them on the site to investigate. Unsurprisingly, QAnon supporters were among those who traveled to VOP’s base of operations.VOP and its successor group AZ Desert Guardians took advantage of Q’s popularity, using the QAnon hashtag #WWG1WGA to promote posts.
What happens when sovereign citizen QAnon followers start citing Q drops in order to predict that “admiralty law” is coming to an end?
I dunno, but I guess we’ll find out. pic.twitter.com/DgjGArxvVO
— Travis View (@travis_view) March 19, 2019