Belonging and the Phenomenon of QAnon (Excerpts for Free Membership)

C’mon QAnon followers! It’s not too late to join the rest of us in the “rational” world….
and wait for Jesus to come back on a cloud of glory to judge the living and the dead

But if they’re sad (QAnons) and looking for ways to spend hours on the internet researching arcane and impossible to understand theories, might I suggest . . .  nerd culture? Join us! It’s great. I spend every waking moment when I am not on camera reading JRR Tolkien, listening to JRR Tolkien, or reading about JRR Tolkien and, and, and taking Tolkien quizzes online and reading the JRR Tolkien dictionary, like this one, and correcting the entries!

Stephen Colbert
(“Episode 1032 – Opening Monologue.” The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
9:40-9:50 and 10:20-10:53. CBS, New York, January 21, 2021.)

When I read about people who believe QAnon conspiracy theories, part of the commentary always goes something like this; “How could people believe such stories?” or “What is wrong with people who go down these extreme roads?”

But don’t we actually know the answer to that question.

One of the core beliefs of folks involved in QAnon is that there is a child sex-trafficking ring run by prominent people (mostly democrats and people in entertainment industry). They believe that the former President who just left office was involved in a secret campaign against a “deep state” group of people said to be satanic pedophiles and even cannibals, who ran a child sex-trafficking organization. The people in the “deep state” satanic group includes many politicians of the opposite party of Q and QAnon followers.

Q had predicted “The Storm,” when the secret campaign would be made public, military leaders would arrest the horrible people and they would either be killed or sent to Guantanamo Bay. The outgoing President would not be outgoing but would stay in office and continue the campaign. There would be a “Great Awakening.”

These are not the only outrageous beliefs put out there. Many people in the QAnon conspiracy community had extremist view before the appearance of Q, such as white, heteronormative supremacy and anti-Semitism, and believe that violence is the answer.


The interesting thing about some of the outlandish and crazy theories is that there are bits of possible truth. For example, there are child sex-trafficking rings and there are prominent people who are involved in them. Jeffrey Epstein, an obvious example, comes to mind, but we know there are many pedophiles in my country [the U.S.] alone and there are many people profiting from this violence. I think of pornography websites that claim not to have child pornography as part of their “offerings” but that obviously do.

Take a grain of truth and start weaving stories. Take a grain of truth and use it to play [prey] upon people’s fears.

For those who stand outside conspiracy theories like QAnon, it is easy to shake our heads, to mark people as delusional, to feel superior in our “well-informed” realities.


I had a dream recently with a small moment that I have been sitting with these last few days.

In the dream, I was walking down a hallway, getting ready. The building is a school type of building with classrooms, etc. It seemed an older building, mostly empty. As I was walking by one room, a classroom perhaps, I heard familiar voices float out the open door. I stopped and poked my head into the room. Inside was a gathering of people from an old community of mine – people who had stayed in the community after I, and many others, left.

They were milling about and seemed to be getting ready for something, a class, I assumed. Many of the people in the room looked up when I peered in and said warm hellos. I said hello with warmth and love, then continued on my way, leaving the building.

I have not worked this dream with my dream practitioner yet [and yes, of course I still work my dreams with a practitioner], but there was a feeling in that moment of poking my head in the room that has stayed with me.

It has made me think of some of the people caught up in QAnon.

Some of the articles I have read about QAnon are about individual people who have believed deeply in the conspiracies and what it has been like for many of them since the inauguration. A woman in Manhattan who graduated from Harvard, a man in Las Vegas who blocked traffic on the dam, the “QAnon Shaman” who was part of the insurrection earlier this month and now is blaming the former President who “invited” him to go to the Capitol.

I also read this – that now that QAnon is fading or people have felt let down, neo-nazi groups are stepping up recruitment to bring QAnon people into their groups.

What I have been considering is what we do not talk deeply about – which is why people are drawn into conspiracy theories, drawn into violent groups who are against other humans – like neo-nazis and white supremacists.

Which brings me back to my dream and that moment of being amongst my old friends. That moment, familiar, where I felt part of something.

The friends in the dream are from a community that I left many years ago. When I was in the community, I did feel part of something. Part of what we did, or tried to do, was build an organization to promote the power of dreaming, to bring a new view of dreaming and spirituality. We felt part of something big and exciting. Part of something that could change the world.

Poking my head into the old classroom, I felt that for a moment again. Felt the belonging of it. The belonging to something bigger than myself. A feeling I had during some of my time in the community.


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