We are living in an age of conspiracy. From UFO footages to Bigfoot to the intelligence community bugging our food to listen in on our conversations, there are conspiracy theories about a wide variety of topics. I will say I do appreciate the diversity presented in Conspiracy Theories. The most famous of these conspiracy theories that has gained quite a bit of traction is Q-Anon. If you’re unfamiliar with Q, it’s not just an ultra powerful being on the Star Trek series. Ok, take a moment to contact your nerd friend to find out why that’s funny.
Q-Anon originates in the depths of 4chan, a shit-posting site and eventually moved to other sites like 8kun. The mysterious ‘Q’ posts cryptic images and messages on these boards that their followers decipher and follow dogmatically. Q’s followers call these messages ‘Q-Drops’, because this is America and even conspiracy theories deserve a brand and merchandising opportunities. And sometimes the ‘Q-drops’ have led to violent actions. For example during the Pizzagate conspiracy, which claimed that there was underground, child sex ring run by Hilary Clinton, led an armed gunman to go into Comet Pizza in Washington D.C. to liberate these kids. But that was all proved to be false.
In a lot of other posts they put up cryptic messages about the impending apocalypse and Q’s invitation to ‘enjoy the show’, like it’s a double feature at your local Drive-In. Which goes against everything we know about apocalyptic thinking! You don’t just watch it come to fruition, you either make it happen or take actions to prevent it. I don’t know if this passive observer model is what the apocalypse is all about. The apocalypse is really about a way of life, not just something you watch from the stands. It requires active participation if you’re going to be a mouth piece for it.
Q-Anon is also responsible for pushing theories about the ‘New World Order’ where the there’s a shadow government run by some of the most powerful people on the planet. More recently this conspiracy theory also claimed this pandemic was a hoax. The phenomenon that the Q followers are waiting for is called the Great Awakening, but it’s very unclear what that is other than listening to Q like a God speaking through gifs and memes. This fanaticism surrounding Q-Anon can be seen as a religion or a cult. The unseen leader that sends out a message for their disciples to uncover. Basically it’s like if Tyler Durden from Fight Club learned about memes.
Also like Tyler Durden the identity of Q seems to be the allure of Q. Q’s followers have theories about who it could from Donald Trump himself, to JFK, which is like saying the second coming of Jesus could be a cartoon villain or… JFK. The followers of Q are infatuated with them. These followers usually come from a working class background and have gone through a major life change, like a job loss, a reconfiguration of faith and so on. When you go through a change like that, the transition point is scary and lonely. So latching on another community that is offering you something to follow and a sense of order mixed in with a higher purpose seems like the right thing to do. Attaching oneself to communities like Q-Anon comes from the fear of change and a community offering you answers to all your questions.
The ‘Q’ community is generally hated by the Establishment and the intelligence agencies, who are busy trying to get people to believe their conspiracies. You know for a system that encourages competition, it really hates competing. The biggest issues in the last few years that has fallen into the conspiracy category is the belief that Donald Trump was put into power by the sneaky Russians and is doing the bidding of Vladmir Putin. This conspiracy was pushed forward as fact by virtually every liberal, Democrat and related media outlet despite any proof. It was called Russiagate, and it just doesn’t want to die!
Every week for 3 years, they looked for the smoking gun, but each point was more speculative than the previous one. Even Robert Muller, the chief investigator for this scandal debunked the argument. Muller in his report states there were no Kremlin intermediaries. Journalist Aaron Mate has done a fantastic job debunking these arguments in his reporting and has won awards for it. Yet, squishy liberals call folks like him that do the work to prove ideas true or false as Russian agents or Kremlin Mole Men! In his reporting Mate points out that each time someone came forward with information about the Clinton campaign, it was a false flag and really turned out to be a waste of time.
He also points out, the Muller reports also claims the interactions with Russian Ambassador Sergie Kislyak was “brief, public and non-substantive”, which is the meanest thing you say to a diplomat. An on and on it goes. I’ve addressed these points several times over the course of the last few years and even delved into the McCarthyism we continue to give into as a society. Democratic leadership has turned routine diplomatic efforts into acts of espionage befitting a James Bond movie. Look I get politics can be boring because it doesn’t have explosions and tits but come on, this is going a bit too far!
The other claim that was made was that Russian hackers were responsible for hacking into the DNC’s servers and leaking the emails that led to the downfall of Hilary Clinton. The firm that discovered this evidence was a company called Crowdstrike which was hired by the DNC. Before the FBI could look at their servers, Crowdstrike and the DNC said they destroyed the servers. Now if you had found the smoking gun, this is like if you melted the gun and turned on the fan and set the house on fire for good measure.
This is what became known as the Steel-Dossiers. And that’s an appropriate name, because much like in Danielle Steele novels somebody is going to get fucked, but unlike a Daniel Steele novel, it won’t be in a brisk romantic fashion. The most recent update to the unending saga surrounding Russiagate comes from the President of Crowdstrike, Shawn Henry, who said, during a Congressional hearing, they don’t have concrete evidence that the DNC servers were hacked by Russian State actors or anyone at all! Which means the smoking gun turned out be a water pistol that had NO WATER!
And when the emails were released by Wikileaks, Julian Asange himself said that the information came from within the DNC and not an external source. And since it came from within, it’s a leak not a hack. And because he said that, the DNC labeled him a Russian asset. When asked for proof they gave everyone the finger, made a very loud eagle noise then ran away.
The question is why. Why would the Democrats weave a narrative that would be fitting of the ‘Q’ community, while simultaneously saying that if you don’t believe this conspiracy you are Q-Anon? Part of the problem in this comes from the fact the Democratic Party is unwilling to accept its own faults as a party. Over the years, it’s moved further and further to the right, aligned itself with corporate interests and even dictators, like in Saudi Arabia, all for the sake of the Almighty Dollar. They sold out the working class people and instead of admitting to it like the Republicans do, they sell us a bill of goods, tweet a few platitudes and expect to fall in line.
This can also be seen how movements like Black Lives Matter and any worker solidarity movements are treated. The narrative that is woven by the intelligence community about these movements is they’re destabilizing the American way of life by pointing out the racial and income inequalities in our society and hence forth they help Russian interests infiltrate the nation. I think what’s causing the destabilization of the American way of life is the systemic racism that kills our brothers & sisters in communities of color and the widening of the income gap to keep the rich richer and working class too tired and hungry to push back.
The CIA and FBI making this argument come off as an authoritarian force that claims that claims equality is a conspiratorial crime. They’re also alluding to the fact there might be a foreign actor in charge of these protests. Now considering the history of the CIA and how many countries they’ve destabilized it sounds like they’re paranoid that someone might be out of revenge. So what happens when you push back against these narratives presented by the establishment elites and the intelligence agencies? They associate you with the Q-Anon community to discredit you.
Let’s be clear about this. Russiagate was a conspiracy theory weaved by the Democratic Establishment and there’s a mountain of evidence to prove it. This statement doesn’t acquit Donald Trump of any of the other illegal activities he engaged in as President, just that this spy movie wasn’t a spy movie at all, but a comedy of errors, where none of the actors get the joke! This statement also doesn’t mean I’m a Trump supporter or sympathizer, rather that I am someone who looks into facts and evidence and don’t give up my critical thinking to serve a party that does not have my interests in mind.
The Democratic Establishment with the help of the Intelligence community is acting no better than Q-Anon. Every week Rachel Maddow, the mouth piece of Russiagate, would drop little clues to the smoking gun which as we just covered, end up being false. This is like the ‘Q-Drops’, that come in this cryptic fashion and the followers of Q spend hours deciphering it. There’s an obsession of finding out exactly who was behind the Trump election, that one person who made this happen, just like how the followers of Q want to find Q themselves. The liberals and Democrats couldn’t accept that the party they supported for all these years could be so corrupt and vapid, so they were led to conspiracy thinking instead of critical thinking.
But these Democrats are going through the same issues that the folks that join Q-Anon are going through. They are entering the phase of their skepticism that makes them ask tough questions about their beliefs and their party affiliation which could be connected with their identity. You are still you, but now you don’t need don’t need a big blue ‘D’ by your name to believe in the things you believe. This fear leads them to latch on harder to the Democratic Party as the party of good guys with all the answers. When someone tells you the answers it’s far easier than discovering them for yourself.
The difference between what is provable and what is a conspiracy theory is the word theory. Is it plausible that there is a New World Order somewhere in the depths of Congress, maybe, but there’s no real evidence proving that. There is real evidence that most of the politicians in there are working to enrich themselves and fund future campaigns and own mansions with 2 refrigerators. Is it possible there’s a Bigfoot somewhere in the woods of America? Maybe, but we really don’t have any evidence suggesting this and a show on the Learning Channel isn’t proof! It is proof that word ‘learning’ is applied very loosely in this case! Is it plausible that Russia is trying to infiltrate America? Maybe, but as we just discussed, there is no evidence suggesting this.
This idea plays into the notions of the Intelligence Wars. Every country has an agency or two dedicated to gathering intelligence from other countries secretly so they can get a leg up if conflict arises. America has used this force more prominently than other countries. It should be no surprise that it is a possibility that this could happen here, but till there is evidence suggesting that, making large claims like Russian assets and interference is about as detrimental as saying the Coronavirus isn’t real. The vitriol faced by anyone that goes against the word of the Democratic establishment is far more severe than the scorn of a Republican.
The extrapolation of information is a lost skill for a lot of the populous. Part of the problem with questioning authority is knowing when to make a decision based on the information you gathered. Understanding where your bias comes from and addressing it with honesty isn’t really something taught to most people that grew upon the school of American Exceptionalism. Being open minded is great, but striking a balance between that and skepticism leads us to clarity and away from the rabbit holes of conspiracy theories. Or is that what they want you to think…
Krish Mohan is a socially conscious, Indian standup comedian and writer who regularly tours the country. He performs at small theaters, bars, comedy clubs, colleges, DIY and house venues. With his quirky attitude, charming personality, and intelligent humor, Krish captivates and engages audiences of all backgrounds, tackling hot button topics like race, religion, war, immigration, while adding an optimistic, philosophical & sociological twist!