- By Shayan Sardarizadeh
- BBC Monitoring
Their hero is no longer the president, but some followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory have clung to old and irrelevant laws in an attempt to keep the faith.
Six weeks have passed since the president’s inauguration Joe Biden, and it seems that Donald Trump’s best chance of regaining the presidency could be in the 2024 election.
However, some of his fervent followers, who support the unfounded conspiracy theory QAnon, they believe that he will return sooner and, somehow, the March 4.
In Washington they are attentive to the possible movements of these extremist groups. Therefore, this Thursday, security was reinforced at the United States Capitol in response to “a possible plot to rape” building.
The House of Representatives even canceled Thursday’s session, but the Senate will continue with its agenda.
The measure was prompted by intelligence information, as according to an FBI bulletin, “an unidentified group of violent extremist militiamen discussed plans to take control of the US Capitol and remove Democratic lawmakers March 4. ”
Why do QAnon supporters believe that Trump can return to power sooner?
The idea stems from the belief among some QAnon followers that the United States went from being a country to a corporation after the passage of the Organic Law of the District of Columbia of 1871.
It is a strange and unfounded theory drawn from the sovereign citizen movement, an extreme libertarian fringe that opposes federal laws, general taxes, and even the US currency on the grounds that they restrict individual rights.
Believers in the QAnon branch hold that every president, law, and amendment passed after 1871 is illegitimate.
But the theory is based on a false interpretation of the Organic Law, which simply made the D.C. in a municipal corporation and has no relationship with a president or the United States as a whole.
But why the March 4?
Before the 20th Amendment to the United States Constitution – adopted in 1933 – moved the inauguration dates of the president and Congress to January, American leaders assumed office on March 4.
That’s why QAnon’s followers have stuck to this date to back up their latest theory.
How are QAnon fans reacting?
The date of March 4 began to spread among QAnon’s followers just days after Biden was sworn in, the January 20.
That completely predictable event caused an uproar in the world of QAnon.
This conspiracy theory is widely spread and what it raises is basically that President Trump is waging a secret war against pedophiles from the US government, corporate and media elites who worship Satan.
QAnon’s followers had been promoting January 20 as a day of reckoning, when prominent Democrats and other members of a so-called secret society would be arrested and executed on Trump’s orders.
When the promised “storm” did not materialize, there was shock and despair among many believers.
“The real POTUS (short for the President of the United States) can’t get back to office fast enough. No later than March 4 … PLEASE GOD! “says a comment on a major QAnon channel of the messaging app Telegram in late January.
In other alternative social networks, such as Gab, various followers of QAnon echoed that sentiment.
For its part, a influence The movement that has more than 55,000 subscribers suggested that there was a “clue” from 150 years ago in the Organic Law of 1871.
According to him, the digits of the act add up to 17, a symbolic number for followers of the conspiracy theory, with Q being the 17th letter of the English alphabet. Numerology “tests” are important in the world of QAnon.
Why do influencers warn of a ‘false flag’?
Authorities warned intelligence services that an unidentified militia group has planned a attack in Washington on March 4.
But in recent days, some influencers QAnon’s have tried to manage expectations.
They claim that March 4 could be a “false flag by the Edeep state “ and from the mainstream media to trap the movement and encourage supporters to engage in acts of violence after the Capitol riots on January 6.
The influencers QAnon’s have done their best to distance themselves from those events after several of their fans participated.
Subsequently, at least two of his most prominent supporters –Jacob Anthony Chansley and Doug Jensen-, they were arrested. Both men have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
A major QAnon online forum warned fans to “stay home, stay alert and safe” on Thursday.
“The influencers of QAnon are doing damage control, “he says Julian Feeld, co-host of the QAnon Anonymous podcast, who investigates the movement.
“They are trying to isolate themselves from QAnon fans who know less about the media and who will say or do things on camera that are not strategic to QAnon’s longevity,” he adds.
Take control with your own hands
Despite the above, some followers remain convinced that the promised “storm” or reckoning will be fulfilled this March 4, warning that if there is no important event on Thursday, they could take the matter with their own hands.
“Until March 4 I will be compressed and ready for civil war“said a supporter in a Telegram chat.
“May 4 get good results or some of us turn rogues,” reads another post.
But with March 4 set to be another disappointment and no new “Q” posts since December 8, supporters are exploring new potential dates for Donald Trump’s supposed return to power, ranging from later in 2021 or even sometime before the next presidential election.
Experts believe that these failed prophecies are unlikely to change the views of their most loyal followers.
“Goalkeeping changes have defined the movement from the beginning and I think they will continue to do so,” says Feeld.
“As weakened as it may appear from the outside, QAnon’s alternate realities will not go away,” he says. Sarah Hightower, an independent researcher and expert in conspiracy movements.
“As long as there are people who hold on to those alternate realities, QAnon will continue to exist in some form,” he concludes.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.