What to Do About QAnon and Those Ensnared in It? Interview with Travis View

Q is a high-security level clearance given to Intelligence operatives. Supposedly, QAnon was started by such a person. However, Gregg Housh (whom I met in the context of his organizing protests against Scientology all over the world), one of the original Anonymous founders, told me he knows the people who started QAnon! It was intended as a total joke. A goof on Trumpers. It was only when they realized they could sell merchandise and make money that they really expanded it. Then, the Russians got involved.

To QAnon true believers, they read and try to decipher Q-drops which are cryptic puzzles that need to be figured out. However, for those people, like Travis View who has been covering QAnon since the beginning, they have documented that most of the “drops” and prophecies have not come true. Experts in Alternate Reality Gaming (ARG) say that QAnon is just a sick and dangerous alternate reality game that people think is real! People are being deceptively recruited and programmed to become cult members by the millions on social media platforms. Jim Stewartson believes he has discovered a central Q figure and his name is Jim Watkins and there is ample evidence that the Russians are using him, in likely alliance with some former high-level intelligence and military intelligence figures like Michael Flynn and Michael Scheuer who have echoed Q propaganda publicly.

NBCNews reported how QAnon groups have millions of members on Facebook. The Facebook algorithm has been targeting Q ads towards those interested in alternative health. Facebook groups were growing by leaps and bounds until many were recently shut down. QAnon is gaining momentum. They are now planning to do actual IRL (In Real Life) rallies in 200 American cities under the hashtag #SavetheChildren. Until recently, it has been mainly been considered a small fringe American conspiracy online group but has expanded, and, quite quickly, worldwide. It has gone mainstream and many followers are becoming radicalized. Georgia Republican and QAnon believer, Marjorie Taylor Greene, is favored to win U.S. House seat. And there are at least eleven people seeking to become members of Congress that have espoused support for QAnon. On Wednesday, August 19th, at a press briefing President Trump was asked about QAnon and said that “QAnon followers were people who love our country.” According to researchers, there are individuals in QAnon accounts who are ramping up to be violent despite news reports of Twitter deleting accounts that advocate violence. It appears Portland Oregon is high on the target list. The Combating Terrorism Center has recently published an article that QAnon could be a real security threat

I recently watched the QAnon recruitment movie “Out of the Shadows” which never mentions QAnon overtly. It starts with a Hollywood stuntman, Michael Smith, a filmmaker who narrates. It rehashes well known and documented facts about the CIA including MKUltra, Operation Paperclip (bringing Nazi scientists after WW2 to America), and Operation Mockingbird which was the Agency’s influence over the content in the media. However, it morphs into a presumed exposure of Hollywood being influenced by Satanists, including for Intelligence official Michael Aquino, founder of a Satanic cult called the Temple of Set. The original edition of my first book,  Combatting Cult Mind Control told the story of an ex-member of this Satanic cult, in fact. (I later updated my book substantially and published it as Combating Cult Mind Control.)

The movie is very slick and, if one did not know better, could possibly be convinced that a number of the beliefs are about a Satanic international cabal of pedophiles. There are people in the documentary saying they are former CIA or news people who now know the truth. But you would never know this is a feeder movie to recruit people into the destructive cult known as QAnon. Are there factual things in this movie? Yes, of course. But it is a propaganda effort and people need to analyze and critique its claims and how they draw conclusions that are impossible. The ultimate impossibility is that Donald Trump is a Messiah or that he is going to erase an international conspiracy of traffickers and pedophile rings.

The other major issue is how this is affecting children who need real help. Qanon followers are hijacking the #SavetheChildren movement: Fans of the pro-Trump conspiracy theory are clogging anti-trafficking hotlines, infiltrating Facebook groups, and raising false fears about child exploitation. They believe and promote the idea that Trump is very close to exposing “Pedogate” or “Pizzagate” which they define as a worldwide conspiracy of a pedophile ring of Satan-worshipping, child-molesting criminals, led by important and prestigious Democrats. This false theory of human trafficking that targets Democrats is disinformation but amongst Q followers, it continues to be shared, promoted, and believed. A recent surge in concern about child sex trafficking has links to online conspiracy community QAnon. I write about pimps and traffickers exerting cult mind control to recruit and indoctrinate their victims. Please see a recent blog on the program I was part of to help sex trafficking survivors.

To recruit, they say they are trying to save children, but in reality, they are not taking any real action towards accomplishing this. (I remember using the same words “Save the children” from 1974 – 1976 as a Moonie recruiter). Fortunately, there are real people that are actually helping children. I employ my readers, along with Q supporters, to join me in decrying institutions that hurt and traumatize children. We need to put the spotlight on those people and organizations that are actually involved in criminal behavior. For example, I have talked a few times on my channel about the child abuse issue amongst Jehovah’s Witnesses. Their doctrine and religious policy of requiring “two witnesses” and failing to report sex abuse is finally being exposed. In the UK, IICSA is holding hearings in order to examine the institutional response of religious organizations in regards to child abuse and the Watchtower Society is one of the groups being investigated. (Watch WTIF debrief the hearings.) Keith Raniere is currently in prison as a convicted trafficker. Former NXIVM member Sarah Edmondson talked to me about being recruited into and escaping Raniere’s cult and bringing charges that led to him being convicted of seven felony counts.

Why doesn’t pro-Trump and “Q” conspiracy theorists speak out against Donald Trump who recently wished former Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell ‘well’ as she faced charges of enticement of minors. Trump himself used to party with Jeffrey Epstein and has many accusations of sexual assault against him. E. Jean Carroll is one of over twenty women who made accusations against him in 2019. President Donald Trump was given a series of deadlines to produce his DNA and other evidence as part of mandatory discovery in this ongoing defamation lawsuit.

There are dozens of lawsuits filed against Trump alleging sexual assault and rape. While we wait on the court to proceed, it is clear that President Trump is a malignant narcissist and not this anti-assault, anti-trafficking crusader that “Q” followers are on social media promoting.

Please, if you care to protect children from institutional abuse, do something: contribute money to bona fide organizations like CHILDUSA.org, protest, and educate.

With such growth and reach, QAnon has likely affected someone we know, friends, or family. What can we do? For one thing, we can learn about conspiracy theories. Not too long ago, I interviewed debunker Mick West about his book and podcast, “Tales From the Rabbit Hole” where faces this topic head-on. You can read the blog here: Conspiracy Theories, Cults, and How to Help Friends and Loved Ones with Debunker Mick West.

This week, I interview Travis View for a second time about QAnon. You can read about it here: QAnon: What Is It About? A Discussion With Conspiracy Theory Researcher Travis View. This time, I wanted to add my thoughts on what can be done to help friends and family that are caught up. O course, my book, Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults, and Beliefs offers detailed suggestions.

It is important to take an objective look at QAnon and use the BITE Model and Influence Continuum to identify how this group fits the definition of a destructive mind control cult. I have a separate page with an analysis of QAnon and the BITE Model.

With Travis’ help, we continue the analysis of the QAnon cult. We talk about the latest concerns and how worldwide it has spread. And we discuss how to help our friends and family members that have been persuaded to believe and follow this conspiracy. I offer advice on how to best help and will end by sharing a few pointers.

First, do not attack the leader, the doctrine, or the group directly at first. Find common areas where you both agree. You share a point, they share a point and really listen. Ask questions. If you have been cut off from them, get back in touch. Let them know you miss them. Reconnect and then find that common ground.

Next, talk about the psychology of influence or propaganda. Talk about Chinese Communist brainwashing or trafficking and how pimps use mind control on people. In that setting, in that frame, you are educating people to start reality testing. It is important to engage in respectful dialogue and to ask questions in a way that really encourages people to think for themselves.

It is important to get people to actually start questioning what they are believing. It needs to be proven and that rests on them to prove it and not on us to disprove. Don’t throw facts at them, which will not work. Make parallels with other mind control cults and point out all of the patterns and similarities. And get their opinion and viewpoint. (Read my previous blog about how to help people in the cult of Trump.)

Remember, falling for these types of groups happens to all types of people. It is a human experience to be taken advantage of, in many cases, and life goes on. You aren’t stupid or a bad person. We must continue to educate. While we need to ban social media groups and try to stop the media’s spread of disinformation, more is needed. We need intelligent education. We need to teach others about coercive influence and critical thinking.

Please take the time to watch my discussion with Travis View.  Read the BITE model analysis on QAnon. Together, we can help our friends and family that are ensnared by the QAnon.

Video Discussion

Additional Reading