A new HBO documentary is reported to suggest the true identity of Q, the leader of the far-right conspiracy theory QAnon, but supporters are refusing to believe it.

The QAnon conspiracy centres on baseless and unfounded claims that former president Donald Trump is at war with Satan-worshipping paedophiles in America’s elite, and was declared a domestic terrorism threat by the FBI in 2019.

The conclusion to Q: Into the Storm, which was made available on the streaming platform on Sunday evening, sees filmmaker Cullen Hoback speak to Ron Watkins, son of 8kun owner Jim Watkins.

8kun is an extremist message board formally known as 8chan, and is similar to 4chan, which contributed to the Gamergate scandal of 2014.

Speaking to Hoback, Ron Watkins said: “It was basically three years of intelligence training, teaching normies how to do intelligence work. It was basically what I was doing anonymously before but… never as Q.”

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Watkins then sported a wide grin, with Cullen saying in his narration: “See that smile? Ron had slipped up. He knew it, and I knew it.”

“Never as Q, I promise, because I am not Q. I never was,” Watkins added.

In a message to his 150,000 subscribers on the private messaging app Telegram before the final episode of the documentary aired, Watkins stressed again: “Friendly reminder: I am not Q.”

In another comment, he said: “I’ve noticed that the fake news media is FALSELY reporting that I am Q. It is simply not true. Here are the facts: I am not Q. I’ve never spoken privately with Q. I don’t know who Q is.”

It appears supporters of the conspiracy theory believe him, as VICE reports that the documentary has, for the most part, not been discussed on QAnon platforms such as Gab, Parler and Telegram.

However, one supporter did post online about the documentary, writing: “Q is a group of genius level military intelligence with very high security clearances. There is 0 chance Ron is Q or is directly involved with the operation.”

While Q: Into the Storm argues that Watkins is Q, news reporters have commented that although he may well be the anonymous figure on 8chan (and later, 8kun), it is unknown who Q was on the older forum, 4chan:

Yet, whatever journalists conclude about the identity of Q, it appears as though QAnon conspiracists do not want to listen – as it isn’t the first time that supporters have twisted events to back-up and strengthen their claims.

Ahead of 4 March, QAnon followers cited an act from 1871 as proof that Donald Trump would be inaugurated as the ‘19th president’ on that date.

This, of course, didn’t happen. Joe Biden is still president, and people were quick to come up with excuses as to why the supposed inauguration didn’t take place:

Just a few weeks later, after the White House turned green on 17 March, QAnon supporters claimed it was a ‘go’ signal for their mission.

It wasn’t, and the building was simply illuminated in celebration of St Patrick’s Day.

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