QAnon, the ultimate baseless conspiracy theory, first emerged in 2017 as a rehashing of the equally ridiculous PizzaGate conspiracy from 2016. But its true origins – and in fact – the true origin of most conspiracy theories is much older than that. Long before the Satanic Panic of the West Memphis Three, the McMartin Preschool Trial, the Martinsville Nightmare and the abduction of paperboy Johnny Gosch – with its possible ties to the Franklin Community Federal Credit Union in Omaha; lies the medieval source of QAnon: The Blood Libel Myth. The popularity of QAnon, PizzaGate and WayfairGate demonstrates the ability of dangerous ideas to persist through the ages. QAnon not only updates this myth for the modern age, but it has also utilized modern technology to proliferate; spreading like a virus, damaging lives and destroying Democracy. With its unique blend of online riddles contained in Nostradamus-like posts and its usage of Trump as the ultimate hero, QAnon has tested our society – and in fact the world – in ways no other modern conspiracy theory has. Its followers manifest symptoms of what could only be described as ‘collective schizophrenia.’ Calling themselves ‘Digital Soldiers,’ members of the QAnon cult wage ‘meme wars’ from behind their computers; and recently several have emerged from beyond their computers, committing dangerous crimes in real life. (IRL) This discussion will focus on the origin of QAnon and demonstrate how destructive it is and ultimately, that it must not be taken lightly or ignored.
Stephanie Kemmerer is a researcher and writer for the podcast, Even the Podcast Is Afraid and an occasional contributor for the Southern Oddities podcast, both owned by Ordis Studios. She currently resides in Sunnyvale, California, and is interested in true crime, the paranormal, politics and conspiracy culture. The podcast is available on all streaming services. The website is https://www.ordisstudios.com/ Her Twitter handle is @mcpasteface