QAnon conspiracy theory creator 'Q' returns to online message board for the first time in two years with cryptic post: 'Shall we play a game once more?'
- Q, the founder of the paranoid Qanon movement, posted on Friday night with three cryptic messages
- His first post appears to reference the 1980s movie 'War Games' in which a computer hacker nearly sets off a global thermonuclear war
- The enigmatic leader refused to say why he had not posted for two years
- Disinformation researchers believe Q has reemerged to foment chaos after the recent controversial rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court
- Linguistic researchers believe that computer entrepreneur Ron Watkins is the man behind the Q postings
- Watkins is currently running a dark-horse campaign for Arizona congressman
'Q,' the leader of the QAnon movement, who promoted the theory that the world is controlled by Satan-worshiping cannibalistic child molesters has reemerged, posting online for the first time in two years.
'Shall we play a game once more,' the shadowy figure behind the global movement posted Friday night on the online chat form 8kun, which was formally 8chan.
Followers recognized the post from the original Q's unique signature on the forum. Although his identity has never been revealed, linguistic researchers believe Q is computer entrepreneur Ron Watkins, the founder of the internet chat space.
Ron Watkins, pictured here, is widely believed to be the man behind the Q postings on the 8kun online forum
His cryptic messages on 8kun created a global movement pushed the conspiracy theory that Donald Trump was recruited by the military to bring down the imagined Satanistic cabal.
QAnon followers were part of the group of insurgents who stormed the Capitol Building on January 6 to stop the certification of the 2020 Presidential Election results.
Disinformation researchers believe that Q's reemergence coincides with the U.S. Supreme Court's recent controversial decision to overturn Roe v Wade, which was met with nationwide protests.
Disinformation researchers believe that Q has emerged to capitalize on the division in the country over the recent Supreme Court rulings
Jacob Anthony Chansley, who also goes by the name Jake Angeli, a QAnon believer known as the 'QAnon Shaman,' speaks to a crowd of Trump supporters in November 2020
'Leveraging social and cultural instability has kind of been a hallmark of QAnon for a very long time,' Montclair State University associate professor Bond Benton told the New York Times. 'This very much throws gasoline on the fire and leverages the fear that people have about the future.'
The new post appears to echo a scene from the 1980s movie 'War Games' in which computer hacker played by Matthew Broderick breaches a Department of Defense computer and nearly sets off a nuclear war believing he's only playing computer game.
A popular QAnon theory claims that he faked his death
Followers wondered where their leader had been after all these years.
'Throw us a bone Q, we've all been waiting for what seemed like an eternity. What's going on?' an anonymous member of the forum asked Friday.
Typical of the inscrutable leader, the answer was minimal.
'It had to be done this way,' Q responded.
And later, in another indecipherable post, he wrote, 'Are you ready to serve your country again? Remember your oath.'
The 8kun messages were copied and posted on Twitter by Daily Beast writer Will Sommer, who wrote about the subculture.
QAnon started out as a fringe group on the obscure 4chan internet forum in 2017 but grew into a global movement that propagated wild conspiracies, including one that said there was an international child sex ring run by Democrats operating out of a Washington, D.C., pizza shop called Comet Pizza.
Watkins, who is is running a flagging campaign in Arizona for a seat in the House of Representatives, has denied that he is Q, but has supported QAnon conspiracy theories.
'There is probably more good stuff than bad,' Watkins told The Times earlier this year, after being outed. He ticked off a few benefits, like 'fighting for the safety of the country, and for the safety of the children of the country.'
Despite Q's silence, followers have still pushed their wild beliefs on the internet.
Some of those messages have gained followers in the mainstream Republican Party with Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene and Colorado Congresswoman Lauren Boebert expressing support for the movement.
Pictures posted to social media by Steven Monacelli, the publisher of Protean magazine, show QAnon followers congregated on the infamous grassy knoll. At one point, the group stands in the shape of a giant ‘Q'
In March, Q followers promoted the theory that a speech by President Joe Biden on the Russian threat to cybersecurity was a call for corporations to solidify a 'new world order' with a 'shadow government'
'No, Joe Biden, there is no new world order coming on my watch,' GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado wrote on Twitter in response.
Other QAnon followers believed that John F. Kennedy Jr, who died in a plane crash in 1999, had faked his death and would come back to lead the country after Donald Trump.
The group gathered in Dallas at Dealey Plaza, where President John Kennedy was shot, on November 2, 2021 waiting for the son to materialize.
He did not appear.
Coleman revealed his thinking behind his belief that his wife, Abby, had reptile DNA that she passed down to their children
Matthew Coleman confessed to killing his son Kaleo, 2, and daughter Roxy, 10 months, by shooting them in the heart with a spear gun in Mexico in August 2021
In a two-page letter, Coleman wrote to friend about what has been going through his mind in the 10 months since he was locked up for the murder of his two children in August 2021
A poll conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute last year found that 15 percent of all Americans believe the basic tenets of QAnon.
The FBI labeled the movement a terror threat.
Aside from loopy political theories, QAnon followers have shown to be capable of extremely violent acts.
Matthew Taylor Coleman, a father of two, killed his two-year-old son and his 10-year-old daughter with a spear gun in Mexico in August 2021 in a cloud of QAnon-fueled delusion. He believed that his wife had reptile DNA that she had passed on to their children.
Coleman believed that Q was communicating with him directly and that he 'eventually…saw the big picture that he had to kill his children to prevent them from becoming an alien species that would release carnage over the Earth.'
Only after his conviction for the children's murder did he realize his error.
'I was deceiving myself. I know now that the [reptile] DNA thing was a delusion in my own mind. I made myself believe something that wasn't there,' he wrote in a letter from prison.
QAnon: America's most lurid pro-Trump conspiracy theorist group
Origins: Q non started on fringe website 4chan, where a poster calling themselves Q left messages claiming to be a senior federal official and purporting to reveal a 'deep state' cabal intent on bringing down Donald Trump. Q grew out of the discredited 'Pizzagate' conspiracy that top Democrats were involved in pedophilia and cannibalism from the basement of a Washington D.C. restaurant, but quickly picked up steam with 'Q' leaving 'clues' and claims that Trump was going to bring down the deep state. Whenever the conspiracies turn out to not be true, followers rationalize that the inaccuracies are part of Q’s larger plan.
Who is Q?: There may now be multiple people posing as Q on the anonymous 4chan boards
A QAnon believer blocked the bridge near Hoover Dam with a homemade armored tank in the name of the movement, and later pleaded guilty to terrorism
Hoover Dam: In June 2019, 32-year-old Matthew Wright, a QAnon supporter, blocked the bridge near Hoover Dam in Arizona with a homemade armored vehicle in a 90-minute stand-off. He pleaded guilty to terrorism charges and has written two letters to Donald Trump from jail, which include the sign-off, which has become the QAnon motto: “For where we go one, we go all.”
Michael Flynn: Trump’s former national security adviser became a martyr figure for QAnon believers after he took a plea deal from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, admitting he lied about his Russia contacts. QAnon conspiracy have spun Flynn pleading guilty into him being a persecuted victim of the deep state – and some even claim he is ‘Q.’
Many believers put three star emojis next to their Twitter handles. But the retired three-star general has denounced any connections to the group and pulled out of participating in an event after finding out it was hosted by a QAnon believer.
QAnon believers make former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn out to be a martyr after taking a plea deal with Robert Mueller
QAnon Political Candidates: Jo Rae Perkins, 64, won the Republican primary in Oregon in May to run for a Senate seat against incumbent Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley. “I stand with Q and the team,” she said when asked about her interest in the group. She insisted she goes to QAnon message boards as a “source of information” and claims media focuses too much on the group. Perkins won 49 per cent of the vote against three other Republicans.
Marjorie Taylor Greene came in first place in the Republican primary in a deep-red Georgia district, and was elected to the US House of Representatives in November 2020. She claims to have stopped believing in QAnon in 2018, but continues to make controversial statements, and was forced to apologize in June for comparing mask mandates to the Holocaust