In some ways, QAnon is unique among modern conspiracy theories. In other aspects, it’s similar to belief in the Illuminati and has some parallels to the anti-vaccination movement. What started out as a few anonymous posts on the internet rapidly became a widespread phenomenon. QAnon’s heavy political themes make it attractive to conservative-minded people—but, as with many such ideas, not everyone using QAnon-related terms necessarily supports all the tenets of the theory. In fact, many aren’t even aware of all that is involved in QAnon.
QAnon started on one of the internet’s most infamous sources of trolling: the website 4chan. Several years ago, someone on that site claimed to be an ultra-high-level government official with clearance status “Q,” which allows access to top-secret information. This anonymous poster suggested the existence of a Satanic child-sex ring with connections to the Democratic Party and Hollywood, and with whom President Donald Trump is engaged in a behind-the-scenes political and legal battle. Supposedly, this battle will eventually culminate in an event called “The Storm,” when massive numbers of arrests and public revelations will occur.
Other details about QAnon are typical of conspiracy theories and false prophets. Predictions about specific events made by Q have proved untrue. Some claims are the same type of shifty, easily manipulated “prophecies” made by telephone psychics and horoscopes.
QAnon thrives on angst over issues that have real-world meaning: politically left-leaning officials and celebrities seem to be held to a completely different standard of conduct than those who are conservative, news sources frequently display the same bias and hypocrisy, and human trafficking is a crime that rarely receives the level of attention as other social issues. All these important issues are logs in the QAnon fire. The difficulty is that the QAnon conspiracy theory alleges an implausible level of interconnectedness, coordination, and control wielded by the world’s elites.
Concepts like QAnon oversimplify and condense multiple issues into a single, cartoonish idea, which then takes on a life of its own. Followers of Christ can and should be ready to address the real-world problems highlighted by QAnon. However, we should not succumb to conspiracy theories and quasi-religious political ideas. There is too much of QAnon that is irrational, nonfactual, and unfair to be taken seriously (see Acts 17:11; 1 Timothy 4:7; 2 Timothy 4:4; Proverbs 12:17; 18:17).