Conspiracy theory expert gives thoughtful answer on why so many Americans follow QAnon

Greg Evans
Sunday 14 March 2021 14:12
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(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The QAnon conspiracy theory has become one of the most controversial subjects in the current state of American politics.

The conspiracy, which is comprised of several different unfounded theories spread by a mysterious figure known as Q has attracted a lot of attention since 6th January, where many followers of Q stormed the US Capitol building. Numerous members of the new congress, such as Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert have previously expressed a belief in QAnon.

Although it has been easy to dismiss the following for their wide range of bizarre beliefs, which has seen them recently claim that Trump would return as president on 4th March and that Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was CGI, it should always be considered why these wild beliefs appeal to so many.

Donie O’Sullivan is an Irish reporter who covers disinformation for CNN. He’s recently made several reports on the QAnon phenomenon and during a recent podcast, appearance gave a thoughtful reason why he believes Q is attracting such a large number of followers.

Speaking on the QAnon Anonymous Podcast, a show which debunks many conspiracy theories, O’Sullivan expressed that many factors, including Covid-19 are reasons why people fall into this line of thinking.

He said: “I certainly know that when I’m feeling depressed or anxious, you know, you cast a wide net and you start thinking about existential questions that you normally wouldn’t think about and you are willing to embrace very irrational answers, whether that’s about yourself, your life or your relationship. And I feel in some ways that is how we’ve seen the explosion of QAnon over the past 12 months.”

He added that the anger that has been built up towards China during the pandemic might have been facilitated over a need to believe that at least someone, even if they didn’t like them, was behind Covid, rather than it being a spontaneous and natural event. O’Sullivan added how this could play into a belief in the Q character.

“Q is someone who is in control, somebody who has all the answers. It’s someone particularly if you are a religious person and if you are dealing in religious texts that are thousands of years old, if Q is your godlike character and up until recently, posting several times a week, that’s really, really appealing if you’re in a state of anxiety because somebody appears to be in charge.”

O’Sullivan’s words were transcribed by author Thomas Rid, which you can read below.

If you are interested in listening to this particular segment of the podcast, please click on this link.

Although many have since left the movement following Joe Biden’s inauguration there has been evidence of QAnon-like thinking filtering out of the United States and into other countries.

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