Posts from QAnon conspiracy theorists' 'leader' Q grind to a halt leaving followers 'shaken'
QANON's anonymous "leader" Q seems to have stopped posting conspiracy theories on social media after Joe Biden's win.
Q, who peddles baseless claims about the supposed "Deep State," reportedly went quiet after Biden beat Donald Trump, while discussion boards used by its believers also ground to a halt.
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The QAnon conspiracy theory gained popularity among large swathes of Trump supporters, who think he's communicating about "covert battles" against the Deep State and an alleged ring of pedophiles and cannibals.
It centers around an anonymous source, Q, who is trying to tell the world secrets about these Hollywood elites and Democrats and the movement has been classified as a potential source of domestic terrorism by the FBI.
QAnon followers have been left devastated by Biden's win when they were promised a landslide victory for Trump coupled with Q's week-long silence, reported The Washington Post.
"Have we all been conned?" asked one supporter on Saturday, using their preferred message board 8kun.
"HOW CAN I SPEAK TO Q????" demanded another user. "MY FAITH IS SHAKEN. I FOLLOWED THE PLAN. TRUMP LOST!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT NOW?????? WHERE IS THE PLAN???"
While some die-hard supporters are comforted by Trump's golf club trips and the Four Seasons Total Landscaping press conference, others aren't satisfied.
News of Q's absence was also referenced on Twitter.
A QAnon Twitter account Praying Medic told some 400,000 followers that many fans “had to be talked off the ledge” after Biden clinched battleground states like Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona, Michigan, and Georgia.
"The fact that Trump will hold rallies tells you everything you need to know about his strategy," they wrote on November 8. "He's going to stick the knife in and twist it. He has no plans to leave office. Ever."
Ron Watkins, who headed their preferred chat forum 8kun, also resigned which has fueled questions about the point of the conspiracy theory group.
"Trump knows what he is doing. He is letting the Dems, technocrats and media publicly hang themselves," one fervent believer claimed.
Meanwhile, a pro-QAnon website confirmed "Q has been dark for 8 days," claiming it was a strategic move.
"At times Q strategically goes dark for days, weeks or in some cases months," it read. "Be sure you have some type of Q Alerts in place so you are notified when Q drops again.
"IF your browser shows a red bell icon at the bottom/right, that is a great place to start."
"Have Faith in God, our President and THE PLAN," one supporter tweeted.
"Rejoice now in VICTORY. Do not worry. Do not be afraid. THERE IS A PLAN. IT IS A GOOD PLAN. IT IS BEING EXECUTED — and it will not fail.'"
Anon Anonymous podcast host Travis View confirmed "the majority reaction from QAnon followers has been outright denial."
The founder of 8chan Fredrick Brennan, also told The New York Times: "They feel really defeated by the deep state, even if they’re not admitting it in public.
"They were not expecting him to lose, and they were not expecting Fox News to call it. It was really psychologically damaging."
The bizarre theory originated in December 2016, when Edgar M.Welch entered a Washington DC pizza parlour and demanded to see a basement that did not exist.
According to NBC, he believed the restaurant was part of a child sex ring, a conspiracy known as Pizzagate.
The US news site reported that eight months later, a person going by "Q" posted for the first time on the anonymous politics message board 4chan, known to be a hotbed of conspiracy talk.
Since his first message, which involved Hillary Clinton, Q posted nearly 1,800 messages.
Followers try to decipher these nonsensical posts, with some of Trump's most loyal supporters using them as a way to explain away any scandal the President might face.
Trump refused to condemn their bizarre beliefs on October 15 and many of his supporters are seen with clothes and flags emblazoned with their slogan "where we go one, go all."
Trump insisted "I don't know them" despite their presence at his rallies – not to mention QAnon believer Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene winning a Congressional seat in Georgia.
Facebook crack down on QAnon, removing over 1,500 Pages and Groups containing discussions of potential violence and "over 6,500 Pages and Groups tied to more than 300 Militarized Social Movements" by October.
What is QAnon?
QAnon is a conspiracy theory that has gained popularity among large swathes of Trump supporters.
Its supporters claim the President is communicating about "covert battles" between himself and the Deep State.
According to NBC, the theory centres around an anonymous source, Q, who is trying to tell the world a secret – or multiple secrets.
These centre around unfounded allegations that President Trump and special counsel Robert Mueller are waging a secret battle against an alleged paedophile ring.
Supporters of the entirely unfounded theory believe that this ring is filled with celebrities and political elites, who have been covertly running the United States government for decades.
The theory gained more press coverage after a supporter held a vast letter Q at a Trump rally in Pennsylvania in August 2018.
In June 2018, an armed QAnon follower blocked traffic at the Hoover Dam, demanding the president release a report allegedly tying past presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton to the alleged sex ring.
The protester, Matthew Wright, pleaded guilty to terrorism charges in February 2020.
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