Monday, August 06, 2018


BuzzFeed floats the theory that QAnon is actually a left-wing prank:
While it's almost impossible to prove who started QAnon, there is some evidence that it was meant to be a prank all along. And more importantly, it's looking more and more likely that QAnon is actually a prank by leftists or anarchists to make the far-right look deranged.

Last month, an Italian leftist activist collective called the Wu Ming Foundation pointed to a book they published in the ’90s that is shockingly similar to QAnon.

In 1999, Roberto Bui, Giovanni Cattabriga, Federico Guglielmi, and Luca Di Meo, writing under the name "Luther Blissett," published an Italian novel called Q....

The plot of their novel Q is pretty similar in structure to the basics of the QAnon conspiracy theory.

It follows the journey of an unnamed Anabaptist religious radical across Europe during the 16th century. He joins various movements that emerge following the Protestant Reformation. The whole time he's being pursued by a spy for the Roman Catholic Church named Q....

They also pointed to the fact that the Q from the QAnon community is described almost exactly like Luther Blissett used to be described, "an entity of about 10 people that have high security clearance."
There's also this:
In early 1995 the Italian media was gripped by the disappearance of a British artist. harry Kipper had been cycling round the north of the country, his route tracing out the word 'ART'. Weekly TV show Chi l'ha visto? ("Has Anybody Seen Them?") departed from its usual diet of missing children, fugitive spouses and draft dodgers to follow Kipper's case. On the eve of broadcast, the programme-makers found they'd been duped - but not before newspapers had been alerted to the hoax. Kipper was the creation of anonymous, Bologna-based art-anarchists who explained their motivation thus: "Chi l'ha visto? is a Nazi-pop expression of the need for control". The statement was signed 'Luther Blissett'.

... Following a five-year plan, the group known as 'Luther Blissett' pulled off a number or stunts. They conned the Italian mass media with stories of art made by chimpanzees. They were behind rumours implicating a respected priest in a child sex ring....
"Child sex ring"? Okay, now I can believe that QAnon was the brainchild of one or more people who at least know about these guys, although that doesn't necessarily mean the perpetrators are lefties or left-leaning anarchists.

But if they are lefties, QAnon was a stupid and dangerous prank for them to pull.

As the BuzzFeed story notes, it already seems to have led to a couple of acts of vigilantism:
An Arizona veteran’s charity called Veterans on Patrol ... came across a homeless camp in Tucson in May and decided it was a child-sex camp. The group organized under the #OperationBackyardBrawl hashtag. Members spent several days streaming at the site and eventually forced local authorities to investigate, and a cadaver dog was even brought in. Of course, nothing was found.

Things got even more intense a week after the Tucson incident, when Matthew P. Wright ... was arrested after he drove an armored vehicle onto a bridge spanning the Hoover Dam and blocked traffic to demand the government "release the OIG report," a call spouted by QAnon believers. Wright's standoff with the police lasted 90 minutes. He was eventually taken into custody without incident, authorities said, but a rifle and a handgun were found inside the truck.
We know that the earlier Pizzagate conspiracy almost got people killed when a gunman showed up at the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in D.C.

Generally speaking, I like an arty prank as much as the next overeducated elitist. But whoever cooked QAnon up -- assuming the perpetrators were people whose worldview is similar to that of the Italians -- didn't take into account that the likely believers in QAnon are heavily armed, or that the rumors being circulated reinforce the messaging of the dominant political party in America, which is extremely reactionary and dangerous.

QAnon seems to be withering under exposure. Good. If it was a prank, I hope the people responsible had a good laugh -- and we're lucky nobody got killed.

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