Of all the threats to democracy, the rise of belief in conspiracy theories is perhaps the most pernicious. Specifically, the so-called "QAnon" movement has risen above many others to pose a special concern, especially during this critical election. That's why we're continuing our series on undue influence and unethical manipulation of democracy with a deep dive into what exactly QAnon is — where it came from, who started it, and why. And most importantly, what we can do about it.
The Financial Times has released a video that outlines the origins of the scheme. We will feature two of the guests interviewed by FT — alternate reality gaming expert Jim Stewartson, and cult expert Steven Hassan.
Startling revelations reported by the Financial Times include indications that QAnon has its roots in the internet puzzle "Cicada 3301"; that a network of former disgruntled military and intelligence professionals has collaborated to lend the scheme legitimacy; that various people involved are connected to a 1930's cult called "I AM"; and that many people involved with QAnon were also involved with "Occupy," NODAPL protests at Standing Rock — and even connected to the disinformation film "Plandemic." We'll speak with journalist Desiree Kane, who was involved with those protests.
Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, and this is an impossibly complicated story. Doing it justice will take some time. So we're setting aside 90 minutes for this important conversation, with the intention of exposing more facts, and ultimately helping to safely dismantle this destructive cult that has damaged so many lives.
Please join TEDxMidAtlantic co-curator (and disinformation researcher) Dave Troy in conversation with gaming expert Jim Stewartson, cult expert Steve Hassan, and journalist Desiree Kane. Don't miss this exclusive event!