Mike Rothschild started tweeting about Qanon in Jan. 2018. Soon, people contacted him with horror stories about how loved ones and friends went down the rabbit hole and never returned. In the beginning, many laughed about how crazy Qanon was. Then, on Jan. 6 2021 the Qanon-fueled attempted insurrection happened. People stopped laughing.
It’s still crazy, with way too many opportunistic Republican politicians refusing to denounce it. Qanon doesn’t have leaders. It matters not to adherents how many dozens of times their prophecies have been proven wrong. They just find a new one to believe in. Currently, their belief is Trump will somehow become president again, and soon. Like I said, it’s delusional.
It also doesn’t matter who Q is. He’s almost a peripheral player now. Qanon started on repellent far-right, proudly racist, anti-Semitic, Nazi sewers like 4chan, 8chan, and 8kun, where multiple other nasty movements also have crawled out of.
In The Storm Is Upon Us, Rothschild tracks Qanon from that start to where it is now, threatening to take over at least part of the Republican Party. And, because New Age has always been anti-authority and suspicious of mainstream science, it’s making inroads into that community too.
It’s not specifically a cult or a religion, however shares aspects of each. Russian or other outside interference and manipulation is minimal. It exists on its own.
He concludes by offering solid advice on how to pull people back from Qanon.
“Decide if you really want to do it.
Understand the scope and difficulty of what you are attempting.
Know you’re not alone.
Understand cultic groups and their appeal.
Stay in touch, but on your terms.
Try to unlpug them.
If the door opens, be ready to walk through it.
Understand it will not happen overnight.
Don’t mock or belittle.
Don’t attempt to debate or debunk.
Don’t give up if it matters to you.”
This is similar to alcohol and drug recovery. You can’t force them. The best you can do is be there when they are ready.
If you want to understand Qanon, read this book.