21 December 2023 in Dossier American Lobbyng, Geopolitics, Home


The world is controlled by a group of Satan-worshipping paedophiles. They are led by centuries-old anti-Semitic prejudices, such as the belief that the cabal is collecting blood from abused children, and they name specific people, including Democrat politicians and Hollywood celebrities, as participants in a global conspiracy. Donald Trump is fighting against them at the request of the US military leadership, and only he can put an end to this obscene practice. This is how one can describe QAnon’s conspiracy theory, which turned six years old in 2023.

Unlike many conspiracy theories that arise spontaneously, QAnon has a specific creator: directly ‘Q’ (Q indicating the highest level of secrecy of government documents, ‘Anon’ instead stands for anonymous[1] ). At the end of October 2017, on the anonymous site 4chan, a user with this nickname began regularly posting vague and portentous messages about the upcoming ‘Storm’ (‘the Storm’)[2] . With this word he defined a large-scale operation to expose the so-called Deep State, consisting of government insiders, global elites and high-level paedophiles (including famous actors, politicians, singers, members of royal families) – an operation that Donald Trump would soon launch.

Q claims to be an important official in the administration of the 45th president of the United States (Donald Trump) who knows the whole truth and is the only one willing to risk his life to tell it. It is not yet clear who is hiding behind this pseudonym. Various versions have been put forward: a troll, a figure from the military services, a group of people close to Trump or Donald Trump himself[3] . The ‘storm’ has been falsely linked to everything from the Democrats’ secret paedophile clubs to rapper Jay Z, all intent on altering the truth, to the complete overturning of the Russiagate investigation[4] .

When Robert Mueller published his report on Russian interference in the 2016 US election[5] , QAnon supporters saw it instead as an investigation into paedophiles within the US government. They also mixed together the so-called Pizzagate theory: that is, the later debunked allegations that several high-profile Democratic lawmakers were part of a human trafficking and child sex ring at a Washington pizzeria[6] . Similar allegations also surfaced in Brazil, Italy and France[7] .

In total, Q left more than 5,000 messages – first on 4Chan (a platform often used by conspiracy fanatics and online extremists[8] ), then on his analogue 8Chan and finally on the ‘mirror’ 8Kun. Each of its messages (called ‘Q Drops’[9] ) is encrypted in a rather simple way and the indications are clear to anyone versed in American politics. Adherents believe it blindly, even though none of Q’s ‘predictions’ have come true. Here are just the most glaring examples:

a) The ‘Storm’ was supposed to occur on 3 November 2017; b) Something sensational was supposed to happen at the US Department of Defence on 1 February 2018; c) Famous paedophiles were to commit mass suicide on 10 February 2018; d) A terrorist attack was to take place in London on 18 February 2018; e) A video revealing all of Hillary Clinton’s crimes was to be released in March 2018; f) Something significant was supposed to happen in the Chinese metropolis of Chongqing on 10 April 2018; g) A sensational statement on North Korea was supposed to be released in May 2018; h) On 20 January 2021, the day of Joe Biden’s inauguration, there was supposed to be a storm over Washington and the US East Coast; i) Donald Trump was to become president of the United States again – before the end of 2024[10] .

QAnon’s followers await and prophesy a ‘great awakening’, a time when all these predictions will prove true[11] . Q’s account has been silent since 2021 and has only posted a few times since Trump’s election defeat in November 2020. Many QAnon faithful hope that Q will return one day, although others argue that the movement no longer needs Q as a central figure[12] .

The Kabbalah that runs the World

A Twitter meme celebrating fake news called #TheStorm[13]

QAnon’s conspiracy theories claim that the world is run by a cabal of Satan-worshipping paedophiles. Followers of QAnon believe that this cabal includes leading Democrats such as President Joseph R. Biden Jr., Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and George Soros, as well as a host of Hollywood entertainers and celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks, Celine Dion[14] and Ellen DeGeneres and even religious figures such as Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama. Many of them also believe that, in addition to molesting children, members of this group kill and eat their victims in order to extract a life-extending chemical called adrenochrome[15] (a compound obtained through the oxidation of adrenaline[16] ). Other theories link it directly to the COVID-19 virus[17] .

According to QAnon, Trump was recruited by senior military generals to run for president in 2016 in order to dismantle this criminal conspiracy and bring its members to justice. According to Q, many of these cabal members will soon be arrested, some will be imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, while others will face military tribunals and be executed. But not only that. Since its inception, QAnon has incorporated elements from many other conspiracy theory communities, including claims about the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the existence of UFOs and the 9/11 ‘truther’ movement[18] .

In the run-up to the US presidential election, QAnon followers became an important part of Donald Trump’s supporter base. His campaign was full of hidden messages and references[19] , from reposting conspiracy stories suggesting that the administration of Joe Biden and Barack Obama had killed six Marines[20] to retweeting 14 QAnon accounts in a single day (and at least 315 times during his presidency) that the FBI believes a domestic terrorism conspiracy theory[21] .

After the 2020 election, QAnon also became the basis of support for the false theory that the election was stolen from Trump. Some QAnon believers claim that he is still the legitimate president, although some have reluctantly accepted the reality that he is not[22] . In August 2020, the US House of Representatives condemned QAnon in a special resolution and rejected the conspiracy theory claims[23] – even though 17 Republican congressmen refused to support the majority on this resolution[24] .

QAnon travels the world


Slowly, Europeans are also following in Q’s footsteps. In Europe, some groups openly embrace the sect, often combining American phrases like ‘Deep State‘ with long-standing national problems, such as the use of vaccines on children to protect them from disease. Others borrow QAnon’s ideas – for example, accusing Angela Merkel, the former German chancellor, of being a puppet of the global elite – to launch attacks against the governments of their countries[26] .

Late 2018 saw the emergence of the numerous groups on Facebook, various sites and encrypted messaging, mostly within far-right communities in the UK and Germany, parroting US theories about a global conspiracy to undermine Trump’s presidency. The pandemic, hours-and-hours spent online without the possibility of leaving home, are factors that have given ample room for the growth of conspiracy theories[27] .

An even greater number of groups regard QAnon and its anti-establishment message as proof that the COVID-19 crisis is overstated and that national blocking measures are undemocratic (as it was also in Italy). In the United Kingdom, one of the most prominent Eurosceptics, Nigel Farage, founded a new party (Reform UK) focused on fighting restrictions during the pandemic[28] . Even activists who started their careers in the Italian Five Star Movement – such as Senator Bartolomeo Pepe and MP Sara Cunial – have moved to QAnon’s side.

In spring 2020, Cunial gave a speech in Parliament calling Bill Gates a ‘vaccine criminal’ (despite the fact that he had spent ‘only’ USD 300 million to fight the pandemic[29] ). Cunial, known for her strong stance against vaccines, was expelled from the Five Star Movement in 2019, after accusing the party of being in the pay of ‘agricultural mafias’ for dealing with a deadly disease of olive trees[30] . Pepe shared QAnon’s ideas on his Facebook page since 2018 (now deleted) – but this staunch No Vaxx campaigner died in December 2021 from pneumonia resulting from Sars-CoV-2[31] . Former Senate communications director, journalist and Italian consultant Claudio Messora now runs a blog[32] (founded after YouTube shut down his counter-information channel byoblu[33] ) which has become one of the main sources of QAnon content in Italian[34] .

In February 2020, the YouTube channel ‘Dentro la Notizia’ (cited on Qanon.it as a credible resource) published a video[35] entitled ‘Trump, Putin and Salvini united against EU elites will liberate Italy!’ The video, which has been viewed almost 23,000 times, claimed that: “The three of them [Trump, Putin and Salvini] have common enemies: Soros, the Deep State and EU Commission technocrats…. Trump and Putin are moving to take Italy back to the Salvini [right-wing] government and free us from the devilish elites who dominate the EU.”[36] .

Figura 1Sara Cunial[37]                                Bartolomeo Pepe[38]            Didier Raoult[39]

In Germany, home to the largest QAnon community outside the Anglo-Saxon world, far-right groups – well-versed in digital tactics – were among the first to embrace QAnon. “Since the refugee crisis, in the sphere of conspiracy and the far right, Merkel has become the archenemy” (called ‘Deep State puppet’[40] ). Jakob Guhl, researcher on extremist movements in Germany, declares this. “Trump is seen as the liberator from the Merkel regime[41] . In December 2020, 25 people were arrested by German police (including a self-styled prince, a retired paratrooper and a former judge) on suspicion of plotting a QAnon-inspired coup to overthrow the country’s government[42] .

France responds with a local website, Qactus.fr, created in May 2020, an entire section of which is dedicated to enemy elements, leaders of the so-called Deep State, including ‘Satanists’ and ‘Rotschilds’. In the autumn, it jumped to 314th place among the country’s most popular sites, based on social media engagement on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest, whereas in July, it was not among the country’s top 1,000 sites[43] . The section dedicated to France concerns alleged conspiracies involving French President Emmanuel Macron and the French Church: according to NewsGuard[44] , “these movements have existed for about 10-15 years. They feed on the sense of anti-system conspiracy[45] . Specific Facebook groups praise Didier Raoult, the microbiologist from Marseille who advocated the use of hydroxychloroquine (an anti-malarial drug), a widely discredited treatment for COVID-19, as a warrior against the lock-down announced by French President Emmanuel Macron[46] .

In April 2023, the most famous conspiracy theorist in the Netherlands, and one of the architects of the defamation against Bodegraven, Micha Kat, was sentenced by the court in The Hague to 28 months in prison after spreading lies about satanic paedophiles in the town of Bodegraven. Together with conspiracy theorists Wouter Raatgever and Joost Knevel (also in prison), he spread unfounded stories about alleged satanic paedophile networks and ritual murders of children in Bodegraven. As a result of the Internet broadcasts, dozens of conspiracy activists went to a cemetery in Bodegraven to lay flowers on the graves of children[47] .

Attack on social media

The phenomenon called ‘Pastel Quanon’ by researcher Marc-André Argentino[48]

On 21 July 2020, Twitter announced that it had removed more than 7,000 accounts linked to QAnon[49] from the platform, citing an increase in violations of the terms of service by supporters, especially regarding ‘behaviour that has the potential to lead to offline harm‘. TikTok took similar action less than a week later[50] . In October 2020, giants such as Facebook and YouTube also joined in with their banning and deletion of pages, videos and entire channels[51] . All three companies have lagged far behind Reddit, which banned QAnon back in the autumn of 2018. Many fear that these recent moves are too deep and too late[52] .

Some QAnon followers are now using softer messages and feminine images to infiltrate social media communities dedicated to lifestyle, health and wellness, fitness and legitimate charity campaigns against child trafficking – harder to detect. What we have seen are pages and groups reforming and trying to play with Facebook’s algorithm to see if they can avoid detection[53] . The action by Facebook and YouTube is a step in the right direction, but it is not the end of the game. There is still a lot of work to be done.

In 2020, QAnon supporters flooded social media with false information about Covid-19, Black Lives Matter protests, and the presidential election, and recruited legions of new loyalists[54] . A December 2020 poll conducted by NPR and Ipsos[55] found that 17% of Americans believe QAnon’s main lie – that “a group of Satan-worshipping elites running a child sex ring are trying to control politics and the media” – to be true.

The sect’s followers have gone further and come out in real life[56] . Followers of the movement participated in the violent uprising on Capitol Hill in January 2021[57] and other QAnon adherents have been accused (starting in 2018) of violent crimes, including kidnappings, car chases, bombings and the murder of a Mafia boss in New York in 2019[58] . A terrorism bulletin issued by the Department of Homeland Security in late January 2021[59] warned of increased violence from domestic extremist groups, including conspiracy theory communities such as QAnon.

Why do they believe it?

#ReleaseTheMemo: an appeal by Trump supporters to make public a previously classified document describing the origin of the investigation into Trump’s alleged involvement with Russia[60]

All classical right-wing and left-wing groups have reasons to be against QAnon. According to disinformation experts who have followed the growth of QAnon, the conspiracy theory attacks a wide variety of opponents and offers multiple narratives to choose from. These analysts warn that the theory has become particularly attractive to the minority in Europe who oppose the European government’s efforts to tackle the coronavirus. Several protests against the blockade – encouraged with a heavy dose of rhetoric by QAnon – took place in 2020 as officials from London to Lisbon tried to fend off the wave of new cases of the pandemic[61] .

“Anything they don’t like, anything they consider corrupt can easily fit into this conspiracy,” said conspiracy theorist Kyle Mantyla, writer of Right Wing Watch, a non-profit group that monitors Internet trends like this[62] . But we are not talking about raving lunatics, so much as a group that consciously pursues goals of political and social destabilisation. QAnon is no longer a mere conspiracy theory, but is closer to a new religious movement. It is also important to consider how QAnon has been able to absorb, embrace, co-opt or adapt to other ideologies.

Until we know the identity of those at the centre of this sect, it will be difficult to understand its true objectives. Trump’s election to the presidency of the United States is a step in a much broader strategy, which would have preferred another candidate on the next ballot, Florida Governor Ron De Santis: ex-military, white supremacist and Christian extremist, opposed to equality between men and women (and thus against divorce and abortion) and the democratic use of freedom, and (dulcis in fundo) pro-atomic warfare – a man whom QAnon sponsors but cannot manage[63] .

This is yet another (but more efficient and successful) technocratic theory that, using the ignorance and fear that have dominated the vast majority of the population for several generations, seeks to achieve the democratic abrogation of democracy, to diminish as much as possible any space for socialisation and, therefore, for the dissemination of free thought and correct information. In countries like Italy, for example, where the situation is still as far from devastating as it is in the United States, China or Russia, the entire political debate revolves around secondary and illusory issues, while the key figures of the economy, justice and welfare have completely disappeared from public discussion and the media. Sects like QAnon offer (mad) simplicity as an antidote to the complexity of truth. And they seem to be winning.


[1] QAnon, conspiracy ranting makes a comeback. And no one is immune – Il Fatto Quotidiano

[2] How ‘the Storm’ Became the Biggest Fake News Story of 2018 (newsweek.com)

[3] Who is Q, the Internet’s Most Mysterious Government Poster? (dailydot.com)

[4] How ‘the Storm’ Became the Biggest Fake News Story of 2018 (newsweek.com)

[5] Read the full Mueller report | CNN Politics

[6] A year of Pizzagate – The Pocketbook ; QAnon, once a fringe conspiracy theory, edges into the mainstream: ‘Things could get much, much worse’ – ABC News (go.com)

[7] QAnon goes European – POLITICO

[8] QAnon goes European – POLITICO

[9] What Is QAnon, the Viral Pro-Trump Conspiracy Theory? – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

[10] Во что верят сторонники QAnon и откуда взялась эта теория заговора | РБК Тренды (rbc.ru)

[11] Глобальный QAnon: как главная теория заговора захватывает мир – Coda Story

[12] What Is QAnon, the Viral Pro-Trump Conspiracy Theory? – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

[13] How ‘the Storm’ Became the Biggest Fake News Story of 2018 (newsweek.com)

[14] QAnon, conspiracy ranting makes a comeback. And no one is immune – Il Fatto Quotidiano

[15] What Is QAnon, the Viral Pro-Trump Conspiracy Theory? – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

[16] Adrenochrome: what is it and what is it really used for? (salutarmente.it)


[18] What Is QAnon, the Viral Pro-Trump Conspiracy Theory? – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

[19] Pepe the Frog, human trafficking and secret cabals – QAnon’s take on the RNC – Coda Story

[20] Christian Vanderbrouk 🇺🇸🇮🇱🇺🇦 on X: “The president retweeted an insane article alleging “Biden and Obama may have had Seal Team 6 killed” posted by a QAnon account and written by “an ex-Community Organiser and Homeschool Mom.” https://t.co/ydoCEFLkAt” / X (twitter.com)

[21] Trump has repeatedly amplified QAnon Twitter accounts. The FBI has linked the conspiracy theory to domestic terrorism. | Media Matters for America

[22] 77 Days: Trump’s Campaign to Subvert the Election – The New York Times (nytimes.com) ; The QAnon Conspiracy Theory is Proved Wrong After Inauguration – The New York Times (nytimes.com) ; QAnon Struggles After Trump Election Defeat – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

[23] Bipartisan Lawmakers Introduce House Resolution Condemning QAnon ‘Cult’ (forbes.com) ; Text – H.Res.1154 – 116th Congress (2019-2020): Condemning QAnon and rejecting the conspiracy theories it promotes. | Congress.gov | Library of Congress

[24] 17 Republican Members of Congress Vote Against Condemning QAnon (thedailybeast.com)

[25] QAnon goes European – POLITICO

[26] QAnon goes European – POLITICO

[27] QAnon goes European – POLITICO

[28] How Brexit’s biggest booster embraced anti-science populism – Coda Story

[29] Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Statement about today’s Coronavirus Global Response Summit | Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

[30] Italian politician spreads false claims about Bill Gates in parliament speeches | Fact Check (afp.com)

[31] Covid, former M5s senator Bartolomeo Pepe has died. He was a convinced No Vax – La Stampa

[32] ByoBlu – Citizens’ TV

[33] Youtube closes Byoblu: the channel of Claudio Messora, former M5S exponent – la Repubblica

[34] Глобальный QAnon: как главная теория заговора захватывает мир – Coda Story

[35] From Archive: Trump, Putin and Salvini united against EU elites will liberate Italy! Does Deep State exist in Russia? – YouTube (archive.is)

[36] Special Report: QAnon in Europe – NewsGuard (newsguardtech.com)

[37] Coronavirus, Sara Cunial (former M5s MP) stopped for a check (blitzquotidiano.it)

[38] Bartolomeo Pepe (1962-2021) | THE DEAD OF THE MONTH

[39]” Tu t’es planté : comment Olivier Véran a fait la leçon à Didier Raoult – Gala

[40] Special Report: QAnon in Europe – NewsGuard (newsguardtech.com)

[41] QAnon goes European – POLITICO

[42] Suspected German coup plot spawns dozens of arrests | AP News

[43] QAnon goes European – POLITICO

[44] Special Report: QAnon in Europe – NewsGuard (newsguardtech.com)

[45] Conspiracy epidemic, born in US, spreads in Europe – France 24

[46] The whole truth about Didier Raoult: why France has gone crazy over the chloroquine guru – la Repubblica ; Who is Didier Raoult, the doctor of chloroquine for the coronavirus – Corriere.it ; French scientist Didier Raoult, who promoted hydroxychloroquine for covid, to be replaced as institute director – The Washington Post

[47] Rechtbank veroordeelt complotdenker Micha Kat tot 28 maanden cel | Binnenland | AD.nl ; A Small Town Became the Centre of a QAnon Storm. It’s Fighting Back | WIRED UK

[48] Facebook, YouTube moves against QAnon are only a first step in the battle against dangerous conspiracy theories (theconversation.com)

[49] Special Report: QAnon in Europe – NewsGuard (newsguardtech.com)

[50] QAnon, once a fringe conspiracy theory, edges into the mainstream: ‘Things could get much, much worse’ – ABC News (go.com) ; TikTok disables prominent hashtags associated with conspiracy theory QAnon – ABC News (go.com)

[51] Facebook, YouTube moves against QAnon are only a first step in the battle against dangerous conspiracy theories (theconversation.com)

[52] QAnon, once a fringe conspiracy theory, edges into the mainstream: ‘Things could get much, much worse’ – ABC News (go.com)

[53] Facebook, YouTube moves against QAnon are only a first step in the battle against dangerous conspiracy theories (theconversation.com)

[54] How ‘Save the Children’ Is Keeping QAnon Alive – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

[55] More than 1 in 3 Americans believe a ‘deep state’ is working to undermine Trump | Ipsos

[56] What Happens When QAnon Seeps From the Web to the Offline World – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

[57] US Capitol riots: What happened and who has been punished? – BBC News

[58] QAnon: a timeline of violence linked to the conspiracy theory | QAnon | The Guardian ; QAnon believer who plotted to kill Nancy Pelosi came to D.C. ready for war – POLITICO ; QAnon, once a fringe conspiracy theory, edges into the mainstream: ‘Things could get much, much worse’ – ABC News (go.com)

[59] DHS Issues Its First National Terrorism Bulletin for Domestic Extremists – WSJ

[60] How ‘the Storm’ Became the Biggest Fake News Story of 2018 (newsweek.com)

[61] QAnon goes European – POLITICO

[62] How ‘the Storm’ Became the Biggest Fake News Story of 2018 (newsweek.com)

[63] https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/aug/16/qanon-conspiracy-theory-sound-of-freedom-trump-desantis ; https://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2021/12/17/desantis-shares-stage-with-activist-who-posted-qanon-related-conspiracy-theories-on-social-media-1401448 ; https://www.nytimes.com/2023/05/05/technology/ron-desantis-conspiracy-theorists.html

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