QANON believers are baselessly convinced that Donald Trump will return to the White House next week after a "military investigation" into President Joe Biden.
The utter nonsense is the latest wild prediction peddled by the deranged conspiracy theory which has spread like wildfire over the past few years – reaching millions worldwide.
March 4 has become the latest date which the QAnon conspiracy storm is swirling around as proponents believe Trump will somehow be reinstalled as President.
QAnon is a wide-ranging belief which covers all manner of outlandish claims, but its most central tenant is that Trump has been waging a secret war on a cabal of child-eating satanic paedophiles.
The latest bizarre connecting of the dots pushes that Trump will be "inaugurated" on March 4 and will be installed as the 19th President of the United States – rolling back the union to the form it had in 1871.
Despite all their predictions failing to materialize and Biden being inaugurated as the president, many Q believers have continued to fantasize that Trump is still pulling the strings behind the scenes.
Closely tied to falsehoods about the election being stolen pushed by Trump and his most hardcore allies, the conspiracy theorists are claiming a Myanmar-esque coup is about to happen in the US.
And despite the conspiracy theory seeming laughable, it has been linked to violence and ex-believers have explained how the twisted lies almost ruined their lives.
CNN met some QAnon believers this week in a segment on Anderson Cooper's show 360 – with reporter Donie O'Sullivan confronting some Q fanatics at a rally in Ventura, California.
Speaking to an elderly Q follower sitting in a lawn chair, she pushed back when challenged over the fact that all the conspiracy theories predictions haven't happened and the dates keep moving, again and again.
She said: "This is a 6,000-year-old death cult. You can’t take it down that quick."
So what is QAnon?
QANON is one of the world’s most dangerous and widespread conspiracy theories.
It alleges a worldwide network of celebrities and politicians are part of a child sex-trafficking ring which is doing battle with Donald Trump.
The cult-like belief spawned out similar viral conspiracy theories such as Pizzagate and historic hoaxes about cults linked to Satanism.
“Q” is the central anonymous figure of the theory, who was claimed to be a high-ranking government official inside the Trump administration.
Posts began to appear on internet forum 4Chan in June, 2017, before starting spread across social media.
Q would drip feed various pieces of information detailing a grand plan in which Trump would defeat the Satanists in an event called “The Storm”.
It was claimed thousands of suspects would be rounded up and arrested before being executed.
Q created an alternative reality as supporters shunned mainstream news outlets, instead feeding entirely on a stream of false information and bogus predictions.
The conspiracy theory began to gain more mainstream attention and QAnon supporters began appearing at Trump rallies.
Numerous events then started unfolding linked to QAnon, such as domestic terrorist Matthew Phillip Wright blocking the Hoover Dam with an armoured truck while armed with an AR-15 in June 2018.
Crime family boss Frank Cali was then allegedly murdered by Anthony Comello, who is claimed to have been a QAnon believer who thought Cali was a member of the “deep state” in March 2019.
And then Jessica Prim was arrested carrying several knives as she livestreamed her attempt to “take out” Joe Biden.
QAnon activity exploded during the coronavirus pandemic, with reports of posts tripling on Facebook and Twitter.
Both social media giants tried to take action, but struggled to police the spread of misinformation.
QAnon was reported to be in disarray following the inauguration of Biden, but the army of conspiracists now appears to be regrouping and refocusing their narrative.
Another Q believer – wearing a red MAGA hat – then steps up and tells the reporter that the January 6 attack on the Capitol was conducted by Antifa and Black Lives Matter.
O'Sullivan asked: "Are you feel going to foolish on March 5th when Biden is still president?
She replied: "Umm, then Trump has a different plan in play."
The believer went on: "He didn’t lose the election, sir. Trump did not lose the election and that’s where we differ."
She cited a documentary by Trump ally MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell as proof that the election was stolen from Trump.
The other woman adds: "This whole thing is Biden, he’s like a puppet president. The military is in charge.
"It’s going to be like Myanmar, what’s happening in Myanmar. The military is doing their own investigation.
"At the right time they’re going to be restoring the republic with Trump as president."
Speaking in the studio on 360, Cooper said: "There was some thought about some people leaving QAnon once Biden was election because they realized nothing they had been promised has come to pass.
"But like the lady in the piece, they just change what the prediction is supposed to be
O'Sullivan replies: "And when Trump doesn’t become the 19th president next week, they’ll move on to something else as well.
"I found it very concerning last weekend when we were speaking to these folks, particularly when they were talking about Myanmar and celebrating the military coup there and wanting to see that happen here in the US”
National Guard troops remain on alert in Washington DC after thousands of Trump fans stormed the Capitol on January 6 – many of them understood to have QAnon leanings, such as the now infamous QAnon Shaman.
It seems their presence is only providing fuel for the QAnon narrative to continue to spread like wildfire across the internet – worming its way into other conspiracy theories.
‘My QAnon living nightmare’
A BUSINESSWOMAN told The US Sun how she became brainwashed by QAnon – leaving her in a downward spiral that sent her to rehab and almost destroyed her marriage.
Melissa Rein Lively explained how a decline in her mental health linked to the pandemic became horrifically intertwined with QAnon.
And it all ended with her suffering a highly publicised breakdown in a local Target store.
Melissa, who owns PR firm The Brand Consortium, became labelled ‘QAnon Karen’ by cruel trolls as a video of her attacking a face mask display went viral last July.
She told The Sun Online this was the day she hit “rock bottom”, suffered a manic episode, and had no choice but to check into rehab.
Her meltdown was in-part triggered by a last straw row with her husband Jared in which he told her to try to come back from the conspiracy spiral or he would have to file for divorce.
The now-heartbreaking video shows her screaming at store staff, and other footage has her confronting police as she claims to be in direct contact with then-president Donald Trump.
She ended up dubbing herself the “QAnon Spokesperson” online, descending into the twisted world which left her lonely, isolated, paranoid and suffering self neglect – losing almost 10lbs.
“You think everyone is lying to you, every day is Judgement Day, and you are living an apocalyptic nightmare. It's a sad, lonely place,” she told The Sun Online.
“I was consuming information all hours of the day, I wasn’t eating, I wasn’t sleeping well, and when I did sleep I would have horrific recurring nightmares where I would wake up gasping for air,” she said.
“I became increasingly mentally unhinged and angry as time went on.”
Reflecting on her behavior, she likens the QAnon to a “choose your own adventure” game or “live action role play” as it encourages you to go deeper and deeper into its twisted world.
“I was freaking out,” she said.
Her husband Jared tried to provide a ballast of reality for her as he tried to reassure her and pull her back to the real world – but things blew up between the two before her episode at Target.
She said: "QAnon replaces your worldview wholesale, everything changes, it rewires your brain.”
After going through rehab, the couple have repaired any fractures in their relationship caused by QAnon and Melissa said she’s managed to come to terms with her own “trauma and demons”.
Trump's own Washington DC has reportedly hiked its rates on March 4 – and it did the same thing on January 5 and 6, other key dates for QAnon, reports Forbes.
Jason Blazakis, a senior fellow at the Soufan Center, said: "Raising room prices will surely be interpreted by QAnon as Trump’s support for the March 4 narrative.
"They absolutely try to interpret the words and actions of President Trump very carefully.”
QAnon has been previously labelled a “domestic terror threat” by the FBI over its tendency the inspire violence.
Trump never explicitly endorsed the conspiracy theory, but was repeatedly accused of spreading it via his Twitter.
He often retweeted messages from accounts linked to QAnon – including while spreading false claims of voter fraud.
The former President refused to condemn it during an NBC town hall on the campaign trail, saying “I don’t know about QAnon".
Blazakis added: "I'll just say, I don't believe President Trump doesn't know who QAnon is.
"He's trying to be very clever in the words that he uses so he doesn't implicate himself directly in the conspiracy, but also at the same time, doesn't discourage those from providing him political support.”
And while nothing is likely to happen on March 4, Mike Rothschild, author of the forthcoming book on QAnon, explained the conspiracy theory will just "move the goal posts".
He said: "And then they just find another day. That's how all prophetic movements go."
QAnon did reportedly suffer a wobble after Biden's inaguruation as many believes were left stunned that prophecies of mass executions of Democrats and celebrities didn't happen.
Despite this – the theory appear to still have steam as it continues to reform and revise its narratives, such as around the date of March 4.
And the Democrats are focusing on Republican congresswoman Majorie Taylor Greene, a freshman legislator who has previously seemed to endorse a slew of conspiracy theories.
Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell stopped short of naming her, but took aim at the trend of "loony lies" taking root in the party – describing them as a "cancer".
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