Friday 13 November 2020

Is QAnon a Game?

At the time of writing, QAnon has not made a drop since the November the third. He/she/they have remained completely silent since the bizarre election whose result is, despite raucous media decrees to the contrary, still up in the air. It's not unusual for Q to go silent for periods of days or even weeks; but seeing as this is just after an election where President Trump has supposedly been voted out of the White House, naysayers are going to claim that the game is now over. The Storm never came and the Great Awakening never happened. The man who was destined to save the world is no longer the president... Wasn't it fun while it lasted? On to the next LARP! No doubt the voices disbelieving in QAnon will be informing us that they told us so. Even within the Conspirasphere there were many who never took Q seriously, including my good friend Kev Baker, see: Another well known name in that camp is Neil Sanders, see: Obviously, outside the UFO/para/con community there are thousands more, including the author of an article sent to me by a Facebook friend. It is by a designer of alternate reality games, experience fiction, interactive theatre, "serious games" and LARP's called Tony Webster. He says that the moment he saw QAnon he recognized it as exactly such a creation. Q is a fictional character, he reckons; a typical archetype of the "mysterious stranger" who pokes his head up in the story every now and again to provide hidden information to the other characters, like the smoking man in The X-Files or Flying Buffalo in the Roswell trilogy, see: The only difference is that this hypothetical QAnon game involved everybody who followed QAnon and took it seriously as unknowing players. The abstract way in which Q speaks allows the reader subconsciously to invent their own meaning and paste it onto the drops. It is similar to pareidolia, the way our minds naturally interpret randomness as meaningful patterns, such as maps in the clouds or a face in the grain of a wooden plank. This process is underpinned by others in the community which leads to peer-reinforcement. I am well aware that there is a strong sense of camaraderie in the Conspirasphere; but this alone does not make the community's ideas false. Football fans form loving bonds with each other too, but does this mean that their team can never win the cup? Webster claims that in reality things like QAnon never happen. People with insider information simply give it away straightforwardly, like Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning etc. QAnon instead distributes oblique hints that lead the readers to come to their own conclusions. In Webster's view, this is a sign that Q is not real. I don't see how that necessarily follows. Those famous whistleblowers we all hear about in the news released their classified information out of a sense of public duty, casting it onto the ground like the biblical sower, hoping that it would take root among the populace. The result was that these individuals ended up in jail or in exile. The people, for the most part, ignored them or chimed in with the media demonization of them. Whoever QAnon is, they may well have decided on a different modus operandi so as not to endure the same fate. If the public are too brainwashed to accept the truth when it is handed to them, then that actual brainwashing must be cured through education; and proper education is a very interactive process in which learners do indeed have to find conclusion through their own thought processes, guided by the teacher.
Mr Webster sees this supposed QAnon game as very dangerous in the political world. He says: "Q is almost pure propaganda... There is no doubt about the political nature of the propaganda either. From ancient tropes about Jews and Democrats eating babies... to anti-science hysteria, this is all the solid reliable stuff of authoritarianism. This is the internet's repurposing of hatred's oldest hits... an aspic of anti-Semitic, misogynist, and grotesque posts on posting boards that, indeed, have been implicated in many of the things the fake conspiracy is supposed to be guilty of." At the same time, the mainstream media has been covering the QAnon community in equally scathing terms, see: Needless to say, I defy all pundits who talk along these slanderous lines. If a Q-follower loses his mind and starts shooting people in the streets, short of direct individual incitement, it is not the QAnon community's fault; anymore than it would be Greta Thunberg's fault if somebody murdered the chairman of an oil company after watching one of her tirades. Q is as innocent of anti-Semitism as David Icke, see: I don't think QAnon has ever mentioned Jews; and certainly Jews have never been accused of any kind of crime in any Q-drop. As for the misogyny accusation, that is a common label used to smear anybody, including women, who raise legitimate questions and concerns about feminism.
Tony Webster then goes on to analyze QAnon's methods more deeply and draws parallels with a cult, or "Qult" to quote the rhetoric of another Q-skeptic, see:, many lines above where he gives an explicit comparison. He describes newcomers to QAnon as "initiates". A lot of psychology is involved. The "breadcrumb" drops are designed to pique the reader's curiosity and stimulate them mentally in the way the game designer wants, to lead them to where the designer has already planned for them to go. Just lecturing or preaching at people doesn't work half as well. The Q community also breeds a distrust of the mainstream world and its institutions which Webster regards as unhealthy. I, on the other hand, consider it totally justified for a multitude of sound reasons. Webster goes on to assert that QAnon is part of a deliberate propaganda and public relations strategy. In this way he has come to a conclusion that is similar to Bernard Grover's, but both are equally wrong. Source: The problem I have with Tony Webster's article is that its foundational premise is that the conspiracy QAnon describes does not exist. Therefore the question of whether it does or not, and the evidence for and against, are beyond its scope. The only attempt he makes to address the reality question rationally is, unoriginally, to wheel out pareidolia, which he inaccurately called apophenia; that word only applies to sounds, in electronic voice phenomena studies etc. But I don't wish to nit-pick; whatever you choose to call it, it is a theory often badly applied because it is essentially unfalsifiable. It can only become a valid explanation when all researchers can agree on a statistical ceiling above which it can no longer be used. Otherwise one could go to the extreme of claiming that the Sistine Chapel mural is just random splashes of paint. Michelangelo just got in a temper one day and kicked some cans of paint around the room; and decided he liked the accidental result. Obviously that's nonsense; but then if you agree, you have to ask yourself: where is the cut-off point? See here for details: Let's look at how QAnon has risen in proportion to world events. Against all historical precedent, as well as my own predictions, Donald Trump became president of the United States; Britain voted to leave the European Union; information emerged about the organized abuse of children and that led to the arrests of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell; Epstein then died in circumstances that fly in the face of the official verdict of suicide, official government video of UFO's was leaked and then declassified; there was a transparent attempt at electoral fraud in the world's second biggest democracy, often considered the epitome of a developed western nation... I could go on. The 2016 Effect is real. QAnon has somehow become a herald of that real life transformation. Can that really be just a coincidence? What's more, although there are fake Q-posts and several people have claimed to have uncovered Q, like "Unirock" whom Kev Baker interviews in the link above; others have come forward claiming either to be Q or to have rumbled Q. They can't all be telling the truth. Either all but one of them is lying, or they are all lying. I also recommend this debate between Unirock and Dustin Nemos about the reality of QAnon: (It is currently private, but I hope Dustin will publish it again. Keep checking back) A huge amount of internet blood-sports has been generated from these claims and counterclaims; with all the usual doxing, threats, flaming, trolling etc. Drama only adds to the confusion in the same way it has with Hampstead and Larry Warren etc. Also, why is it that with all the nonsense "shit-posting" that continuously fills the Chans which nobody takes seriously, one in particular has grown legs and risen above the morass? Could it be the authenticity of QAnon that can come only come from it being factually real? I don't know who QAnon is. He/she/they have vigourously guarded their anonymity. It is possible with the explosive new developments of the last ten days they have gone into hiding. Until they go public there can be no provable verdict; but I think there is enough reason right now to believe that Q is real. Obviously the full shockwaves of the election turmoil lie in the future. What effect this will have on QAnon is a subject for an upcoming publication
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Anonymous said...

Listen to Fredrick Brennan and you wiLL get more understanding of who Q most likely is and why it's now a grifting scam that evolved from a message board LARP.

If you don't know who Fredrick Brennan is look up the origins of 8chan and it's morphing into 8khun.

Your welcome.

Ben Emlyn-Jones said...

Hi Anon. I've heard of him. I'll look at him in detail.