QAnon has been labelled one of the most dangerous conspiracy theories today. Through the power of the Internet, the antisemitic cult that accuses celebrities and liberal politicians of pedophilia and blood libel and claims that only Donald Trump can save the world from satanism, has grown exponentially and was a dominating force behind the terrorist attack against the US Capitol.
Originating from the anarchist site 4chan which is filled with porn and white supremacy, the cult uses a lot of religious language and imagery similar to Christianity to attract followers from churches. As many American Christians already were Trump supporters and open to conspiracy theories, thousands have fallen victim to the cult, becoming more loyal to the anonymous “prophet” called Q than they are to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Here are four testimonies from people close to Christians who have joined QAnon. Make sure to pray for them, and keep warning those around you for the danger of this cult!
“Please help me bring my husband back to reality”
All of this started about a month and a half ago when my husband began watching videos from a “prophet.” We are Christian and he has often watched things about prophets before, but I noticed a lot of the language seemed political which he usually doesn’t get into, and it also seemed a little paranoid.
Fast forward to a month and a half later- me and my husband had a fight tonight because he believes Donald Trump was chosen by God to get evil people out of the media, out of politics, etc etc. He also believes all of this information is going to be found out about the rigged election, and that “I will see” that the prophecy was real on Inauguration Day. He posts all of this on Facebook and pretty much everyday and it’s overwhelming me.
I’m crying in my bed right now. My usually stable and consistent husband has thrown a curveball at me. I can’t seem to convince him to stop believing this mess.,, I have no one to talk to because I don’t want to embarrass him and also, some of his family believes what he’s believing, too.
To be fair, I don’t know if he knows this “prophet” is obviously influenced by QAnon. I listened to some of the videos just to understand where my husband was coming from and something hit me that this was a conspiracy theory- the prophet talked about the “Deep state” and I remember hearing that from a video about QAnon not too long ago. I finally looked it up and realized everything he was saying was what these people to believe.
We have had a hard year. From Coronavirus to me being laid off multiple times, to him losing his brother this year, and then us losing our church community because I was sexually harassed by a church leader- things have been pretty terrible. I feel like he’s acting out in a really deep psychological way that I can’t figure out yet. I think this is tied to what we went through but I have never seen him he so unaware of what is happening inside of him.
I just desperately need help. I know I am all over the place but this seriously causing issues between me and my husband and trauma to me. I feel so sad that my kids don’t have a happy home right now and that their dad is divorced from reality. I get afraid of what he might do next thinking it’s the right thing to do or that God told him to or something.
“I feel like I’ve lost my dad to this”
Another person writes on Reddit:
I woke up to my phone ringing this morning with a call from my dad. I haven’t talked to him in awhile, so I answered. He starts with light conversation, and I thought how nice it was to catch up. Then out of nowhere, he tells me that I need to start getting ready for the loss of our country. He goes into how Trump is the one true Christian in DC. He said this is a battle of good versus evil and that Trump is “the only one fighting for the people”.
I yelled at him because if Trump was actually for the people then lives wouldn’t have been lost on Capitol Hill. I’m normally introverted, but this act of domestic terrorism on our country has really upset me so I have been learning to speak up now more than ever. We go back and forth, and he tries to stab at every issue but pulls away when I bring up factual information. We have NEVER had a conversation this heated before, and it gave me so much anxiety. I was sweating and having a hard time breathing.
Finally, I asked him if he believed the QAnon conspiracies, and he told me it wasn’t a conspiracy but something that has been going on for awhile. He said the media is trying to shut them out but to be ready because a new form of internet is going to come up that allows them to get the message out.
I shut down at this point because this is the first time I’ve officially heard him confirm it. I started to tear up, and I couldn’t gain the energy to talk anymore. I really feel like a sword just sliced through our relationship. How do I have a conversation with someone that won’t acknowledge the facts? I feel like I’ve lost my dad to this, and it’s heartbreaking.
Is this what everyone else is experiencing? Sadness is all I can feel now.
“I wrote, ‘I love you’, and then she blocked me on all social media”
Reporter Lauren Camera writes on Twitter:
A very personal thread about this story and why I increasingly believe addressing the rot caused by QAnon will be one of the Biden administration’s most important and most difficult tasks.
There are thousands of meme queens across the country. Let me introduce you to another one – my former best friend. We grew up together, were inseparable throughout high school, drove to school together every morning, went on vacations with each other’s families. Sometimes i went to church with her family and sometimes she came to church with mine.
We were in each other’s weddings. She graduated from a good college and went into finance. She didn’t like it much. She moved to California with her husband, went to nursing school and became a delivery nurse. She loved it. She had a baby, and then had two more. But she had a difficult time finding reliable childcare, and not being near any family, she found it increasingly impossible to juggle work and children.
She left her job and began selling women’s clothing through LulaRoe – one of those pyramid scheme-like companies that’s very good at duping SAHMs into opening their own online boutique. As often happens with childhood friends, we drifted apart. This happened increasingly quickly after she moved to California. But as is also the case with childhood best friends, we stayed in touch via text, especially for birthdays and at holidays.
She has never been active politically, but the 2016 election stirred something in her. She proudly posted that she was part of the “Never Clinton” cabal. But she never posted about being pro-Trump. In fact, I don’t think she liked him much at the time, or even voted for him.
It happened very slowly at first. The Facebook and Instagram posts were only semi-offensive and far and few between. I had the privilege of being able to shrug it off. Besides, I had a lot going on too – a new baby and demanding job, thousands of miles away.
But then came the pizzagate posts, the posts about the Clintons, Obamas, Gates and others running a pedophile ring, eating babies. Lots of pro-life posts and warnings about child trafficking.
Whatever was happening to her intensified dramatically in March and April of 2019, around the time that the coronavirus shuttered schools and businesses across the U.S.
The posts became angry, racist and more and more bizarre. Photos “proving” Michelle Obama is a man, explainers about Bill Gates trying to change our DNA through vaccinations, full on COVID-19 denial.
Suddenly she was professing to be a patriot fighting for our country, began worshiping President Trump and reposting memes disparaging Joe Biden, his family and other Democrats. What threw me off the most was just how angry and mean she was being.
I’ve always tried to maintain a firewall between my career as a reporter and the politics of family and friends. That’s something I’m actively reassessing after what’s transpired these last 10 months. I flagged almost everything she posted to Instagram as false through the site’s reporting system, but never confronted her personally. Her account was temporarily frozen a handful of times, so I know others were reporting her too. She always came back, meaner, angrier and more sure that she was on the right side of history.
Things came to a head for me personally on Friday, when she posted memes supporting the rioters and the insurrection, posted images of a militarized Washington, DC, and made references to future, imminent attacks. I messaged her that what she was posting was disgusting and dangerous, that this city is my family’s home and that the person I knew her to be was better than this.
I wasn’t expecting an apology or a change in heart. I didn’t have any grand illusions of rekindling a friendship and driving off into the sunset for a girls weekend.
But I certainly wasn’t expecting the wrath of hate the spewed my way within three seconds of messaging her. “Just you wait,” she fired back. “I know exactly what’s happening. Sad you don’t.” “And don’t for one second say you know [me],” she wrote. “I tried to keep you but there was just nothing left between us. I’m sorry you have no idea what’s happening but your precious Biden will be behind bars.”
”Did you know the inauguration is canceled? Did you know the insurrection act was signed 1/9? Do you know how many assassination attempts have been made on OUR president in the last 4 years? Do you know that the riots were planned by BLM AND ANTIFA?” “Did you know that the election was stolen by the Vatican and 5 other huge key players?” “You think your [SIC] a journalist but you are just as brainwashed as the people watching MSM.”
”STAY HOME. DONT GO TO WORK. KEEP YOUR KIDS HOME. YOUR CITY IS GOING TO BE A WARZONE.”
There’s more, but you get the idea. I didn’t argue. I knew immediately how far gone she was. I wrote, “I love you,” and then she blocked me on all social media. If you’re reading this and you think you don’t have friends and family this is happening to, I promise you’re wrong. Check in with the people you love, make sure they’re doing ok.
“My Q-cousin has died of COVID-19”
And finally, another heartbreaking Reddit story:
He was pretty close to my age, which is alarming, but in some very high-risk categories (very obese, diabetes and asthmatic). He got it from his wife (who is doing ok), but it could have just as easily been the other way around, as they were anti-maskers that ignored all warnings.
He died last night but has been out of it since before the inauguration. I like to think that he would have snapped out of it, but no amount of logic or reason had got through to him before, so why would it now?
The whole thing is just so … dumb. Why in the world would people think that Trump was some kind of messiah? My dog would be a more likely candidate. He’s just such a bad guy. How do I know this? I listen to what he tells me. When someone tells you that they are a thin-skinned, prissy, lying, cheating, anti-intellectual, abusive, con artist, you should take them at their word.
My Q-cousin said that Trump was installed by God. He got this notion from his pastor. If I ever encounter this dude on a lonely road, he will know regret. His pastor basically took over all control of my cousin’s finances and completely fleeced him. His wife now has nothing.
Oh, and the pastor must have had something better to do while my cousin was dying as he was completely absent – not even a text.
My cousin was not a great person but he did not warrant this level of total destruction. I’m feeling pretty surly right now.
Again, we need to pray for these people. If you have testimonies about how your friends or relatives have been drawn into this cult, feel free to contact us and we can publish them anonymously.
Micael Grenholm is a Swedish pastor, author, and editor for PCPJ.
Pentecostals & Charismatics for Peace & Justice is a multicultural, gender inclusive, and ecumenical organization that promotes peace, justice, and reconciliation work among Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians around the world. If you like what we do, please become a member!