WASHINGTON DC– With his poll numbers steadily declining, his campaign running short on cash, a series of fresh scandals, and a case of COVID-19, Donald Trump has been having a rough time. But things took a turn for the worse on Friday when in a startling twist, “Q,” the anonymous poster at the center of the QAnon movement, denounced Trump and endorsed his opponent Joe Biden.
QAnon is an online conspiracy theory that claims Donald Trump is secretly working with the military to bring down a ring of Satan worshipping child sex traffickers who secretly control the United States, if not the world. The origin of the story is an anonymous poster called “Q,” who claimed to be an official in the Trump administration with a high-level security clearance and knowledge of the secret plot against the president’s enemies. Q’s method of communication with followers is via cryptic “drops” of information on 8chan, an image board with a well-established history of associations with child pornography.
One of the common themes of the QAnon conspiracy theory is “The Storm,” the term for mass arrests of prominent Democrats like Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and many others alleged to be part of the “deep state” as well as the child trafficking cabal. Although Q has made dozens of predictions about the Storm that failed to occur, the insistence that it will happen in the future has been a consistent element in QAnon lore. But in his latest drop, Q denounced President Trump and appeared to endorse his opponent, Joe Biden.
“No plan survives first contact with the enemy,” Q wrote.
“Plans change. Patience is limited. The Storm delayed too long. Was 45 a chess player? Did we get played? Maybe it’s time to turn the board around. Switch sides. 45 left us in the cold. Winter is here. Longing for spring. Biden-Harris 2020.”
The latest drop has been met mostly by confusion from dedicated QAnon enthusiasts. Rhonda Waits, 64, is a native of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and has been following QAnon religiously since 2017, and only more regularly since her family members gradually stopped communicating with her over the past three years. She described being “totally baffled” by Q’s latest message.
“The thing with Q is, you’ve got to read between the lines,” Waits said.
“But I’ve been an investigator since the first drops and the message I’m getting is that Trump may have been playing us for suckers the whole time. I can’t believe Donald Trump would ever be involved in any kind of sexual impropriety, but at the same time, I trust Q.”
Thomas Morten, 56, is a auto parts shop owner in Baytown, Texas, got into QAnon in 2019 and calls himself a “digital soldier.” When he’s not posting about the latest Q drops, he spends his time watching popular movies, which he claims contain secret messages left by the “deep state” that reveal their conspiracies. He too, was confused about Q’s latest message.
“I couldn’t believe that a righteous man, and I know he’s a man, like Q would endorse someone like Joe Biden, but when you’ve been as far down the rabbit hole as I have, anything’s possible,” Morten said.
“In a lot of the movies I research, sometimes the villain turns out to be the person you thought was helping the hero the whole time. They call it a twist. Maybe that’s what this all is- Donald was secretly running the Satanic adrenochrome-drinking pedophile cult the whole time, and Q finally found that one piece of the puzzle that put it all together.”
But not all QAnon die-hards are convinced that the President, a man with multiple connections to people involved in sex trafficking and accusations of sexual misconduct by 26 different women, could be the kingpin of the global Satan-worshipping child sex trafficking cabal.
Judith Waterford, 60, is a QAnon follower from Wichita who maintains the latest drop is an example of disinformation.
“Q says trust the plan, and I believe him,” she said.
“Just because it’s almost election day doesn’t mean Trump isn’t going to order the Storm at any point between now and then. The closer to the election the better. Imagine how people will vote when he reveals JFK Jr. as his running mate just before the polls open.”
Jeremy Cartwright is a former U.S. Marine special operations sniper (UPDATED, see editor’s note below) from Spokane, Washington who got into QAnon when the pandemic hit. He too says he believes “the Storm” is still coming for Biden and other Democrats rather than Trump.
“When I was a sniper doing black ops in Afghanistan, I saw a lot of classified intel,” he said.
“I know what to look for and what has to be there to say if a drop is authentic. I didn’t see any of that. The Storm’s still coming, and it’s coming for the libcucks.”
It is difficult to predict the outcome of the latest Q drop. Like many of Q’s failed predictions, followers may choose to ignore it and continue with the original theory. On the other hand, there is a chance the controversy could lead to a “civil war” between different factions in the movement.
“I won’t say for sure what’s going to happen,” Cartwright said.
“All I can do is trust the plan and wait for the next drop.”
UPDATED: 2 Nov, 2020
Editor’s note: Shortly after this article was published, it was found that Jeremy Cartwright had never been in the U.S. Marine Corps, nor did he ever serve in the military in any capacity.
UPDATED: 2 Nov, 2020
Editor’s note: Shortly after determining that Jeremy Cartwright had never been in the military, it was reported that he had been arrested for alleged possession of explosive materials and child pornography.