Threats from QAnon-adjacent groups must be taken seriously

Jessie Castellano, Contributing Writer

On Jan. 6, just two weeks before the inauguration of current U.S. President Joe Biden, former U.S. President Donald Trump supporters stormed Capitol Hill in an effort to overturn Trump’s election loss in November. Among this mob of Trump supporters, were followers of the conspiracy theory QAnon, which has grown increasingly popular on social media in recent months. Spread from media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, QAnon centers its theoretical framework on the allegation that a cabal of Satan-worshippers run the government and have been trying to sabotage former President Trump. The right-wing group is a loosely organized network of people who embody questionable beliefs with no real evidence. QAnon believes Trump is being undermined by Satan-worshipping pedophiles who run the government. Elitist democrats, politicians and journalists are just some of the types of people QAnon believes are Satan-worshippers.

Nearly two months after storming the capitol, QAnon followers believed Trump would return to power on March 4. With increased security, many government officials and U.S. citizens took March 4 to be a warning of a potential threat. With the immediate threat of March 4 passed, we must begin to ask where these allegations are stemming from, and how officials might work to contain the threats to our government. One such effort was made by the FBI in May of last year; officials identified QAnon as a potential domestic terrorism threat.

Where have the QAnon beliefs derived from? “Q” is described as a high-ranking government insider who is committed to exposing the hidden truth. Q emerged from internet message boards to mainstream platforms like Facebook and now has created a mass political issue. There are two major events that QAnon followers are awaiting, the “Storm” and the “Great Awakening.” The Storm is the mass arrest of people in high-power positions and the Great Awakening is a single event where everyone will see that QAnon beliefs were accurate. These two major events are inherently disturbing and can potentially be seen as a threat to the stability of our federal government. 

Although March 4 has come and gone, there is much controversy over why that specific date was chosen for this event. QAnon beliefs include the idea that the United States transformed from a country into a corporation after the passage of the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871. So essentially, every president, act and amendment passed after 1871 is illegitimate. In addition to that, in times before the 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed, American leaders took office on March 4, giving us the day QAnon followers believed Trump would retake office. 

Despite the fact that QAnon is another disproven conspiracy, there is still much unrest throughout the federal government about this movement. The potential for domestic terrorism is enough to continual worry to those who work in Washington, D.C.  The alternate realities of Q’s ideology will exist as long as there are still people to believe in them.

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