QAnon is a pro-Trump conspiracy theory that originated with an anonymous internet post claiming that a secret group of Satan-worshiping pedophiles rules the world.

It has millions of followers, including Michael Flynn, despite the fact that there are no known leaders, no witnesses, no victims and no evidence to support the claim.

A typical QAnon theory is “Pizzagate,” the bizarre charge that the Comet Ping Pong Pizzeria in D.C. is the headquarters of a world-wide child sex-trafficking ring led by Hillary Clinton and other celebrities that abused, murdered and even cannibalized children in Satanic rituals. The cult predicts that Trump and the military will soon arrest and execute or imprison the top Democrats who are supposedly behind it.

“Q” has never been identified but allegedly has a Q clearance which confers special knowledge that is periodically communicated to followers. I held a Q clearance for many years. It is issued by the Department of Energy and authorizes access to information on nuclear weapons.

The FBI warned recently about “fringe political conspiracy theories,” specifically citing QAnon, that would very likely motivate extremists to commit violence.

There is a strong likelihood that the Russians, who had 500 million false flag interactions with Americans on social media in 2016, are also promoting it.

Despite that, Trump has retweeted more than 200 QAnon tweets, according to MediaMatters, and has invited QAnon supporters to the White House. At least 70 congressional candidates have promoted QAnon this year, all of them Republican.

It’s astonishing that anybody would believe the Pizzagate story, but telephoned death threats began almost immediately, and in December 2016, Edgar Welch walked into Comet Ping Pong with several guns and opened fire. No one was injured, according to the Associated Press. Welch demanded to be taken to the basement where the sexual abuse allegedly occurred, but …. Comet Ping Pong has no basement.

Welch was sentenced to four years in prison, as was another crank, Ryan Jaselskis, in 2019. The New York Times has reported that at least seven Q adherents have been arrested, including for a murder in New York, an armed standoff with the police near the Hoover Dam, and an April arrest of a QAnon follower with a dozen knives en route to “take out” Joe Biden.

According to Trump, these are people “that love our country.”

It’s ironic that QAnon focuses on a crackpot theory like Pizzagate when 25 women have publicly accused Trump of sexual assault, including some who were minors. Several, including E. Jean Carroll and (then) 13-year-old Katie Johnson, filed rape charges against Trump.

At least sixteen of them have been interviewed on TV. Many say that Trump assaulted them at one of convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s mansions.

Trump now downplays his long association with Epstein, but film still exists of at least one private party Trump gave at Mar-a-Lago in 1992 consisting of Trump, Epstein and 28 “girls.”

“I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy,” Trump told New York Magazine. “ ... He’s a lot of fun to be with.”

After he died in jail, it was found that Epstein’s address book had 14 phone numbers for Trump; he claimed to have introduced Trump to Melania Knauss, a model/actress he later married. She lied on her visa application, worked without a green card, and somehow got a “genius visa.” Later, she used “chain migration” to get citizenship for her parents.

According to Forbes, which quoted the recent Senate Intelligence Committee report, Trump’s long-time business partners, including convicted felons Paul Manafort and Felix Sater, the Agalarovs, and others had ties to Russian organized crime and Russian intelligence, and were engaged in money laundering, kidnapping, extortion, murder, narcotics, prostitution, and human trafficking.

Stuart Stevens, a Republican campaign operative for 40 years has written (It was all a Lie) that the Republican Party has gone insane. He laments that he was a fool for not realizing that the GOP was nothing but a white grievance party peddling meaningless advertising slogans.

He cites the party’s racist history and its long opposition to civil rights, from Barry Goldwater’s opposition to the Civil Rights Act (1964), to its decades-long Southern Strategy, to Ronald Reagan’s fictionalized “welfare queen” to Willie Horton.

Similarly, the Public Religion Research Institute has written: “The new culture war is not abortion or same-sex marriage; the new culture war is about preserving a white, Christian America.”

It’s not a mystery: every known racist, white supremacist, neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic organization in the U.S., along with QAnon, is supporting Trump.

Tom Maertens served as a White House National Security Council director during the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

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