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QAnon Does Dallas, and where do they go from here

Started by Ferris, November 05, 2021, 06:27:11 PM

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Ferris

I have a macabre fascination in people's belief and cults, and the thread on religious beliefs reminded me of QAnon and all those lads so I gave them a quick google.

Turns out there was a fairly large Q-adjacent gathering (estimates range from a few hundred to a thousand) on Dealey Plaza in Dallas 3 days ago. History buffs might remember it as the location where JFK was shot by the CIA. Apparently, the belief was that JFK Jr (deceased 1999) and JFK Sr (deceased 1963) were going to reveal themselves to be alive (and in Sr's case, over 104 years old), declare "everything" since 1879 (?) as illegal (?), and appoint mr trump as president, whereupon he would immediately resign and JFK Jr would become the new president, Michael Flynn would become VP (at this point sure why not), and 7 kings would rule America, with trump as "king of kings". When 2 dead people didn't rise out the grave and start appointing kings as planned, the prediction shifted to this all being announced at the end of a nearby Rolling Stones concert[nb]presumably as part of the big finale, which fair enough it would be quite the ender[/nb].

https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/qanon-kennedy-jfk-jr-dealey-plaza-dallas-1251929/

...and I thought, wow.

I don't know why I find this stuff so engrossing - there hasn't been a "Q drop" in a little over a year and all of the predictions have turn out to be nonsense, and yet people have radicalized themselves and each other to be so completely off the grid that this JFK shit not only seems credible to them, but is so likely to happen they should take a day off from their lives and be there when it all happens.

They are flapping in the wind because there's no central planning guiding their beliefs so they've just gone completely bonkers. And these people sell cars, work in banks, paint houses, and go about presumably normal lives while being literally insane. I suppose it is fair enough that a few hundred wingnuts don't garner a lot of press attention, but if I didn't randomly google them today I would have no idea this had happened and that these people are out there. It's quite a strange thought.

I don't know what the point of this thread is, I just found this all very unsettling and thought I'd write it out to try and make sense of it.

mothman

Good idea for a thread, Ferris. As you say, this is perhaps the most extant extreme "conspiracy theory" out there and yet people able to do jobs which require a certain degree of intelligence are able to believe it without question.

Fambo Number Mive

So these Q people hate Democrat president Biden yet think that JFK and his son, who could be seen as more liberal as Biden at least on domestic issues, will make everything ok?

I'm sure Vincent Fusa is delighted with Rolling Stone for showing everyone how they can contact him via LinkedIn and making a disparaging comment about how he looks.

Blue Jam

Quote from: FerriswheelBueller on November 05, 2021, 06:27:11 PMApparently, the belief was that JFK Jr (deceased 1999) and JFK Sr (deceased 1963) were going to reveal themselves to be alive (and in Sr's case, over 104 years old), declare "everything" since 1879 (?) as illegal (?), and appoint mr trump as president, whereupon he would immediately resign and JFK Jr would become the new president

Was Elaine Benes there with bells on?

Ferris

It isn't just the extremity of the beliefs I find disconcerting, it's how weird they are and how quickly they have manifested.

Imagine someone in 2019 confidently telling you that JFK Sr will rise out of his grave next month and 7 kings will rule America, and that is how warped the beliefs have become in a single year without central "stabilizing"[nb]for want of a better word[/nb] cryptic Q drops. At least then they were all on the same page and had the same songsheet to witter on about. It's not a small number of people either, some of these fruitcakes have hundreds of thousands of followers on Telegram and they can't all be gonzo documentarians or Jon Ronson.

I also found the pretty overt references to religion fascinating - the concept of an innate value in having faith (regardless of the locus of that faith), and even when it is demonstrably entirely misguided. In a way, it is better for their predictions to be wrong, because that just allows them to demonstrate how much faith they have by continuing to believe. Several people interviewed in the piece make mention of the fact that they will continue to believe in all this come hell or high water, but I can't help but wonder how many of them knew who JFK Jr was or could point to Dallas on a map 2 years ago? And now it's the scene of a pseudo-rapture?

And even though an on-its-face ludicrous theory/event ended with several hundred damp people standing in the rain saying the pledge of allegiance (for reasons best known to themselves), they still continue to believe, fervently and with all their hearts, that it is all true. I suppose I'll continue to google them every few months and find baffling stuff like this and post about it here.

Funny old world.

Zetetic

Quote from: FerriswheelBueller on November 05, 2021, 06:53:00 PM
they still continue to believe, fervently and with all their hearts, that it is all true
I think you have to think carefully about what "believe" and "true" mean here, given your previous paragraph about faith and the significance, or not, of predictions manifesting.

Saying that you think JFK Jr is coming back and spending a pleasant-enough day out with some like-minded people in Dallas isn't a massive hardship, although it's a little bit of commitment.

These aren't the same sort of things to "believe are true" as the sort of beliefs involved in successfully navigating the world from day-to-day.

Ferris

Quote from: Fambo Number Mive on November 05, 2021, 06:45:36 PM
So these Q people hate Democrat president Biden yet think that JFK and his son, who could be seen as more liberal as Biden at least on domestic issues, will make everything ok?

That's the thing right - it is inherently ludicrous, and yet hundreds of thousands (?) of people (privately?) believe it to be absolutely be true.

The press have largely moved away from covering them (which I understand - they're not exactly movers and shakers and you don't want to amplify wingnuts), but it does mean they take on this weird "underground" type vibe. I was really thrown when I read the article because you stop following along with them for a few months and suddenly you find the theories haven't slowed or stopped, they've become more bizarre and seem no less popular than they were before.

Ferris

Quote from: Zetetic on November 05, 2021, 06:58:51 PM
I think you have to think carefully about what "believe" and "true" mean here, given your previous paragraph about faith and the significance, or not, of predictions manifesting.

Saying that you think JFK Jr is coming back and spending a pleasant-enough day out with some like-minded people in Dallas isn't a massive hardship, although it's a little bit of commitment.

I suppose I was highlighting the commitment more than anything else. It's one thing to post anonymously that you believe XYZ. Its another to take a day off work, drive to Dealey Plaza and stand in the rain wearing your MAGA hat to say the pledge of allegiance with strangers.

bgmnts

I think if you were to chuck these gimps on the bonfire and say 'recant your belief that JFK is alive or we'll crisp you' or whatever, i'd doubt there'd be a millisecond of thought.

Zetetic

Quote from: FerriswheelBueller on November 05, 2021, 07:00:39 PM
I suppose I was highlighting the commitment more than anything else. It's one thing to post anonymously that you believe XYZ. Its another to take a day off work, drive to Dealey Plaza and stand in the rain wearing your MAGA hat to say the pledge of allegiance with strangers.
But they're not just strangers, they're people that you share some rough values with and it's nice not to feel alone with those.

Goldentony


Ferris

Quote from: Zetetic on November 05, 2021, 07:03:40 PM
But they're not just strangers, they're people that you share some rough values with and it's nice not to feel alone with those.

Sure, but that doesn't make the mutually-constructed outsider/folk-faith they've bought into any less odd, and that's the bit that weirds me out. The fact they're willing to meet up and do all this just underlines how fervently they hold those beliefs and makes it all the weirder (to me, anyway).

Quote from: Goldentony on November 05, 2021, 07:05:39 PM
amazed JFK II didnt come back, had cash on that

They had it backwards - he opened for Mick and Keith but no-one got there in time so he'll stick with the Stones for the next few legs of the tour until the time is just right.

Zetetic

Fervently, insofar as they did turn out, but perhaps not seriously in the same way that they might believe in the resale and scrap values of a second-hand 2004 Toyota Camry (to pick one of your examples, that these people might also run car dealerships).

chveik

Quote from: FerriswheelBueller on November 05, 2021, 06:59:05 PM
The press have largely moved away from covering them

have they? that's strange because a story like this would be a perfect distraction from that new election defeat

Ferris

Quote from: Zetetic on November 05, 2021, 07:10:05 PM
Fervently, insofar as they did turn out, but perhaps not seriously in the same way that they might believe in the resale and scrap values of a second-hand 2004 Toyota Camry (to pick one of your examples, that these people might also run car dealerships).

I don't see how that distinction makes a difference so not sure I follow the point you are making. If you believe in something fervently, you inherently take it seriously surely? No one fervently believes in something they simultaneously think is ludicrous. And even if they did (they don't), what real-world difference does that make?

Why are you here, self radicalized person with fervently held bonkers belief?

"Ah well, I have to stop you there - you see I take this belief-system seriously but not fervently, and I must take umbrage with your use of "belief" because there is a material difference (that is worth teasing out) between 'belief in something' and 'faith in something'..." etc.

They're people who have gone through a process of radicalization to the point of believing some really weird things, and there's enough of them out there to muster a decent showing on a rainy Tuesday (and I find both those things quite jarring and unsettling). Additionally, they must lead largely normal lives, and it's weird to think the guy selling you insurance or renewing your drivers license could be completely bonkers. That's all I'm really saying I suppose.

Quote from: chveik on November 05, 2021, 07:26:19 PM
have they? that's strange because a story like this would be a perfect distraction from that new election defeat

I read an op-ed that argued the democrats are losing ground because they're not tacking to the centre enough. I mean, give me strength.

Famous Mortimer

Quote from: Zetetic on November 05, 2021, 07:10:05 PM
Fervently, insofar as they did turn out, but perhaps not seriously
You'll have to explain the difference between these two. Do you have a normal, real-world example of a belief which is held fervently but not seriously?

Psybro

Weird cults have emerged as offshoots of religions all the time, it's just that the symbols and mythology of 20th century pop culture have replaced the religious ones since they're glitzier and more immediate.

Goldentony

this is the one thing id drop a bollock over if it turned out real, like id have to go out into the road hands up and wait for it arse in the air

TheGingerAlien

Saw that JFK stuff too and thought it was particularly barmy Ferris.  They just keep doubling down on the mad shit don't they?  Where will it all end.

Is it the Q lot that think Tom Hanks harvests children for adrenochrome?  You have to admire their creativity I suppose.

George Oscar Bluth II

Find it particularly funny they fervently want JFK Jr back from the dead. He was just some playboy socialite!

PlanktonSideburns

Don't know how they thought they were going to bring Kennedy back without some human sacrifices

kalowski

Remember the last time he came back? There was blooming mess everywhere.

Buelligan

I think this is about God being dead.  I think there are some people who need to have unshakable belief in a thing (maybe, to save them from thinking and being afraid).  If you take away one eternal daddy, they're ripe for adoption.  And there are peeds out there, just trawling, waiting, sniffing the blood in the water, which is everywhere now.

jobotic

I'm sure a lot of them don't believe it, they're just having fun.

How many of those that chant "The Jews will not replace us" really believe that "the Jews" are trying to replace them?

How many Terfs really believe that the existence of trans-women is a threat to the existence of all other women?

They're just enjoying the hate and being part of the club.

Buelligan

Yeah, I'm sure there's some of that in the mix too.

Ferris

Quote from: jobotic on November 06, 2021, 09:21:29 AM
I'm sure a lot of them don't believe it, they're just having fun.

I think that's probably the case online, and even in person when you're just having a bit of an old racist chant for an edgy laugh. That's one thing; when you've established your own outsider-political theology involving some pretty ludicrous theories and are willing to physically turn up somewhere to see it all unfold, that's a more intense (and difficult to dismiss) level of genuine crankery.

And there haven't been any "Q Drops" for a year, so this is all being synthesized based on absolutely nothing, just a collective groupthink and wish fulfillment.

Imagine locking 10 people in a room for a year with no information, and when they come out they confidently assert that Abe Lincoln ascended directly to heaven and is going to reappear again in Lincoln, Nebraska on the 4th of July 2022 and inaugurate Alan Sugar as King of America, and a thousand people actually travel there to see it happen. That's the level of unsettling weirdness that's going on here.

Anyway I'll stop banging on about this until the next episode of weirdness.

Kankurette

Odd how none of them have EVER proven a link to Frazzledrip, isn't it?

Zetetic

I don't mean to dismiss this as weird and unsettling, Ferris. What I think is that the sort of believing that "JFK Jr. is going to appear in Dallas to become Vice-President of the United States" is often a different kind of thing to believing in the resale value of a car, or when the next bus is going to come, or whether you should drink bleach.

Quote from: Famous Mortimer on November 05, 2021, 07:34:17 PM
You'll have to explain the difference between these two. Do you have a normal, real-world example of a belief which is held fervently but not seriously?
The most obvious examples are semi-religious beliefs like "the world is 4000 years old" or "this wafer is the flesh of the resurrected son of God". The content of these beliefs is often mostly irrelevant to believers actually navigating the world and it might be actually very difficult to make sense of what the actual claim being made is (because it doesn't matter a huge amount and will shift accordingly).

The entire point of these sort of beliefs is in their specific profession and rituals that can be vaguely tied to them - whether that's receiving communion or turning up for a day out in Dallas. The profession and the rituals tie groups together.

If something in the world challenges these beliefs, then you don't so much correct it (because you weren't that interested in whether it was true in the same way that you want to know if a bus timetable contains truth) but it might slide away a bit to something slightly different or simply more nebulous.

I think Ferris is absolutely correct here:
Quote from: FerriswheelBueller on November 05, 2021, 06:53:00 PM
In a way, it is better for their predictions to be wrong, because that just allows them to demonstrate how much faith they have by continuing to believe.

These beliefs aren't held because there's good evidence for them or they're useful in the sense of giving you a foundation on which to take action about the thing that the belief is about. They're professed and acted upon because, and mostly only insofar, they let you bind yourself with others.

(I don't want to overstate the degree of insight that most believers have into their own beliefs, and how they hold them.)

Ferris

I think I follow you - it's about the degree of immediacy in the belief? Like I can say I believe in the benefits of rent control, but I have a different degree of belief in where I left the cheerios? One belief guides my actual day to day actions and one is more of a professed type of thing?

I sort of buy that I think, but that's straying into epistemology in a way I'm not really qualified to bang on about. My Cheerios example is probably categorically knowledge (a true, justified belief), versus a plain old belief. Been a long time since my philosophy degree and I was a lazy student at the best of times so don't ask me to expand on it more than that!

Either way, I think just the formation of the belief itself is what I find weird, though I take your point on it potentially not driving actual real world "knowledge" type beliefs/actions (although; do any religious or pseudo-religious beliefs do that? Discuss [1500 words, include bibliography]).

Dex Sawash

Quote from: FerriswheelBueller on November 06, 2021, 12:43:40 PM
I have a different degree of belief in where I left the cheerios?

Was going to say this was a Post-modern belief but looked it up and General Mills makes Cheerios, not Post.
fuckitpost