QAnon and Conspiracy Theories: Caught between Laughter and Jaw-Dropping Shock

Lately, we’ve seen a sixth world religion take shape: QAnon. The god of this religion is “Q” and ex-President Donald Trump is one of the prophets.

For a long time, we have had five major world religions. The oldest is Hinduism, which has developed over several thousand years, and has many gods. The most well-known of these gods are Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu. The next oldest is Judaism, which began to take shape when Abraham set out with his kin on a journey to the land that Yahweh wanted to give to him.

Christianity is 2,000 years old and has one almighty God who sent his own son to us mortals so that we can receive eternal life. Buddhism was founded by Buddha approximately 400 years B.C.E. This religion does not have any gods but says that the process of karma is a dependable control mechanism. Islam is the youngest of these five main world religions and was founded by the prophet Muhammad in the 600s C.E. Allah is the name of the god of Islam, and Muhammad was charged with the task of conveying his teaching.

Lately, we’ve seen a sixth world religion take shape: QAnon. The god is of this religion is “Q” and ex-President Donald Trump is one of the prophets.

While the established religions have acquired distribution rights for eternal truths, albeit undocumented, QAnon has acquired them for eternal lies — albeit documented. QAnon devotees flock to buy each word that comes from “Q’s” keyboard as though it were fresh baked bread.

What’s really surprising, yes, almost shocking, is how quickly QAnon has reached the world — unlike the five other religions, which needed hundreds, or even more than 1,000 years, to achieve their status as world religions. They had to rely on word of mouth to spread their message, in addition to a few literate individuals who were able to wield God’s pen. Obviously, compared with today’s communication possibilities, this was a laborious, time-consuming project. For example, it took 1,000 years before Olav — you know, the one who was holy — Christianized Norway by force.

It’s not that way for QAnon.

“Q,” in fact, has the whole World Wide Web at their disposal. They merely have to type something, hit send and presto, their message reaches millions of people. “Q” and their disciples can sit in their “basement apartments” and produce non-stop conspiracy theories day and night.

For example, that 9/11 was a deception. That it’s pure fiction that two planes flew into the Twin Towers in New York. Someone else was responsible for the plot and blew up the towers.

Or that powerful Democrats in America, led by Hillary Clinton, are part of a pedophile ring that operated out of a pizza restaurant in Washington.

That COVID-19 vaccines are being used to inject microchips into people so that they can be put under surveillance. That vaccines can cause autism and make women infertile.

The most popular and widely believed lie right now is that Trump won the presidential election in America, and Joe Biden is a cheater who would have never been able to beat the ex-president in an honest way.

Conspirator Trump had a whole PR team at his disposal. Before he was banned from Twitter, he was also able to frolic behind the keyboard, tweeting about “the cheater Sleepy Joe” and hit Tweet. Seconds later, 82 million followers, the majority “Trump believers,” could gorge themselves on a particularly liberal interpretation of the truth.

Not long ago, I wrote an opinion piece in Dagbladet where I stated, among other things, that Biden had done a surprisingly respectable job so far. It was not well received by all, to put it mildly. I monitored the comments section on Facebook. The piece generated more than 1,000 comments, many from those trumpeting the QAnon cause.

One person wrote that Biden was trying to destroy America at a record pace, and they added: “Soon, when the election fraud is exposed, Trump will thankfully be back as president.”

Another advised us to follow along with what is happening in Maricopa County, Arizona — apparently there are huge things going on there.

While another person wrote that he can’t wait until Trump is back. “As it stands now, it might be July 4,” he claimed.

This direct quote takes the cake, though: “Biden didn’t win … he lost by millions of votes … and soon you’re going to see! Biden is not and has not been in the White House … but at Castle Rock Studios! You’re watching a performance! Trump isn’t ‘ex’ — he’s president … Commander-in-Chief!”

It’s laughter-inducing material, at least until one realizes that it isn’t meant as a joke. Then one is left sitting there with their jaw on the floor. So, the question arises: How is it possible that full-grown adults all over the world, again and again, are letting themselves be duped and seduced by a “holy Q,” an ex-president and digitally-spread conspiracy theories?

A heretical thought comes to mind: Not so strange, really. I mean, hundreds of millions of people believe in reincarnation, or that Yahweh led Abraham and his kin to a land he had promised them. That the Virgin Mary bore God’s son, who was human for 30 years before he became divine again. That those who die in holy war will receive flocks of virgins at their disposal in heaven.

Even though this all seems rather far-fetched, we can still give these people the benefit of the doubt. However, when it comes to QAnon, there is no doubt. Their conspiracy theories are and always will be eternally hilarious, jaw-dropping lies.

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