Why Some People Take Q-Anon's Pedophilia Allegations Seriously
In Billy Joel's rock classic, "You May Be Right," he has the memorable lines:
You may be right
I may be crazy
But it just may be a lunatic you're looking for.
It's too late to fight
It's too late to change me
You may be wrong, but for all I know,
You may be right.
Billy Joel's classic came back to me as everybody seems eager to bash the "Q-Anon" phenomenon these days. In one of Joe Carter's usual feints at the Gospel Coalition, he offers a listicle of things Christians should know about Q. First and foremost, it is "the family of fringe conspiracy theories."
Carolyn Mimbs Nyce at the Atlantic says it is a "new American religion." And you know that if you're writing in the Atlantic, there's no way to be an American religion, new or old, in a good way. While at least acknowledging that concern for child abuse motivates many Q proponents, she goes as far as to say that Q is a "rejection of reason and Enlightenment values."
Will Sommer, reporting at the Daily Beast, can scarcely hide his glee in reporting about the ill fated antics of Jessica Brim, whom he calls a "Q-Anon devotee." Brim "had come to New York because of an internet conspiracy theory video about a 'cabal' of pedophile Democrats" and got arrested over "more than a dozen counts of criminal possession of a weapon ... as well as a marijuana possession charge." Sommer summarizes her world as a "Facebook page" "filled with references to QAnon, a conspiracy theory that holds that top Democrats like Biden and Clinton are cannibal-pedophiles scheming to undermine Donald Trump."
The New Yorker's Adrienne LaFrance describes Q-Anon the way superstitious people would describe an omnipresent demonic force. Liberals like to turn descriptions of Q-Anon's conspiracy theories into their own grand conspiracy theory about Q-Anon's dangerous empire of saboteurs, underworld plotters, fanatical ideologues, and terrorists. Q-Anon, LaFrance tells us, is "more important" than one might think. In her view, the movement unites many people with the laundry-list obsessions that fearful leftists love to denounce: religiosity, resistance to the Sexual Revolution, affiliations with Trump.
LaFrance is cited as the definitive Q expert by Sarah Posner, author of the subtly titled book Unholy: Why White Evangelicals Worship at the Altar of Donald Trump. In a classically manipulative New York Times piece called "The Evangelicals Who Are Taking on Q-Anon," Posner assures us that Q-Anon is not only insane, but also a distillation of the most dangerous extremisms of right-wing white Christianity:
Some white evangelicals speculated about whether Barack Obama was the Antichrist, or just a "sign of the times." Of course the point was not to actually determine, definitively, whether the first Black president was the Antichrist. The point was to make people wonder aloud about it or post about it on social media.
The message from every major news outlet is simple: Q exemplifies both a criminal mind and psychopathology (see here to consider how people criminalize and pathologize "conspiracy theories"). Any time you hear someone mention Q with scowling contempt, you are having a close encounter with the evil villains of every left-wing doomsday warning: brainless evangelicals, frigid Midwestern Sunday School matrons, macho gun-collectors, gullible mobbers, Clinton-obsessed racists, misogynistic homophobes, cross-burners, Bible-thumpers, locker room bullies, incestuous backwoods druggies on work release.
Since Q-Anon became so vilified, it's no surprise that the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives voted to denounce Q-Anon on October 2, 2020 by a vote of 371-18. The vast majority of the spineless GOP contingent went along with the bluster. Hilariously, in more than a dozen "Whereas" clauses, the House resolution wanders into its own lunatic fringe, alleging that the Q-Anon crowd contributes to violent crimes, terrorism, anti-Semitism, and seemingly random but newsworthy disturbances such as a man trying to bomb the Illinois Capitol rotunda and another vandalizing a Catholic church. The resolution even accuses Q-Anon of harming efforts to curtail sex-trafficking by focusing so much on it that they overwhelm hotlines.
The resolution cites the FBI and West Point. The authors think this is the best time to demand that we place our faith in politicized intel agencies and the military-industrial complex. Who doesn't want to place his faith in James Comey and Dr. Strangelove?.
Q-Anon, we are told, is crazy. But remember what Billy Joel said in "You may be right." It might be some lunatics America's been looking for.
In a land full of blind men, the one-eyed man is king
If you immerse yourself in the left's sexual beliefs, after a while, their radicalism won't shock you because you think that's how the world is. You'll be scandalized when someone else is shocked by things that really ought to outrage us. So it goes in a country where ludicrous notions have become mainstream and the sane people who object are tagged as psychopaths. It's like the Twilight Zone episode where the pretty blonde is seen as ugly in a world of people with elephant faces.
At first, leftists believed they could make Q go away through their usual sandbagging tactics:
- pretending they're not there (the way they buried the Terry Bean and Ed Buck stories),
- blacklisting them from media sites (Alex Jones and Groyper treatment),
- getting the Southern Poverty Law Center to splatter them all over one of their "hate maps" (the Family Research Council sleight),
- mocking them (Westboro Baptist Church),
- and digging up dirt about their leadership, the way they smeared religious leaders (Ted Haggard) and Supreme Court nominees (Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett).
Q's warriors are immune to these typical tactics.
Q-followers area persistent and now numerous, so #1 fails.
They are diffuse, so it's impossible to know whom to ban, so #2 fails.
The soldiers in Q's army rally around their common interest in the techniques used by elites to deceive and manipulate large masses of people. By this time labels like "bigot" and "hater" have become banal, so #3 fails.
Unlike earlier anti-leftist movements, Q began with the unquestioned conviction that global elites are twisted, depraved, and evil. The movement never went through a phrase of wanting liberal echelons to like them, so they couldn't care less about their detestable opponents making fun of them. Many emulate David fighting Goliath anyway. Therefore, #4 fails.
Lastly, Q has no identifiable leaders, so the usual trick of blackmailing or defaming someone at the top for a surgical strike — in essence, #5 — also fails.
Why Q won't go away
Pedophilia may be the most shocking allegation, but it is a refraction of a deep and commonly perceived problem with all the left-wing camps: the left's ideas about children have become frightening. Whether it's age of consent, family law, adoption procedures, sexual education, sexual media aimed at younger and younger children, the forced exposure to sexually confusing material, or lies about sexual reality, or, yes, direct emotional or physical abuse, the leftist camps have shown a consistent eagerness to force adult controversies onto children who are too young to understand them.
Q was smart to frame the pedophilia discussion by looking at the link between child abuse and networks of power, systems, and ideological agendas. Q never agreed to a discussion on the left's terms. Usually, the left likes to make sex abuse a matter of naming, shaming, and punishing famous individuals as mass catharsis. This left-wing modus operandi of ostracism and revenge creates paradoxes where leftists brand Roy Moore a pedophile with only the flimsiest of evidence, only to hand victory to Doug Jones, endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign or HRC. HRC was founded by accused abuser Terry Bean and now wants to force schoolchildren across America to learn about adult sexualities through "Welcoming Schools." If the left were so concerned about pedophilia, why are leftists creating a national system of targeting children for discussions about sexuality away from their parents — a practice associated with grooming?
If charges of organized pedophilia at the highest ranks of society are so delusional, then why is Obama-connected Netflix doubling down on its support of child porn? Why has California created a legal loophole for twenty-four year-olds to engage in "consensual" sodomy and oral sex with fourteen-year-olds in the name of LGBT equality? Why have the same leftists who see Handmaid's Tale as a misogynist dystopian tale rallied to support surrogacy and international adoption-on-demand in the name of supporting "gay families," despite the fact that we haven't developed safeguards against child trafficking, as evidenced in cases like Mark Newton and Frank Lombard? Indeed, the same left that speaks endlessly about "kids in cages" on the Mexican border fought agcontrols of border crossings, which will undoubtedly make child-trafficking more common for black-market adoptions and for sex slavery.
Anybody claiming that same-sex parenting through surrogacy poses no risk of sexual misconduct should look simply at the case of Barrie Drewitt-Barlow, known as Britain's "first gay dad." He was together with one man for over 30 years, during which they adopted five children via surrogacy. But then Drewitt-Barlow broke up with his "husband" and started dating Scott Hutchinson, the boyfriend of his surrogate-conceived daughter Saffron. Hutchinson is half Drewitt-Barlow's age. This new couple then procured a daughter, Valentina, through yet another surrogacy contract.
Describing the moment his daughter met her little sister for the first time, Barrie said: "It was strange when Saffron first met Valentina. It crossed my mind that this could have been her baby with Scott and my grandchild."
If the Drewitt-Barlow case looks normal to you, then you're probably not going to understand the mass appeal of Q-Anon. But here's the punch line: you're crazier than Q ever was if that's the case.
When these issues were raised during the debates about gay adoption, the constant response we heard from the left was that "children don't need to be raised by their mother and father; they only need to be loved." If you unpack that logic, you'll see the underlying evil. Q-Anon has figured out that terrible things happen when adults think all children want their "love" all the time. Stalking, molestation, grooming, trafficking, and harassment of underage people quickly become normalized when the left reserves the right to say the child wanted whatever strange treatment the adults believed they were entitled to force or press upon the child.
If you have any doubts that left-wing adults will project even their weirdest thoughts onto unwilling children, consider the movement to ban "conversion therapy" even for youths who want counseling to avoid homosexuality. Pro-LGBT fanatics see no problem in deciding what underage people should want or even what kind of sex lives they should desire.
And naturally, the more powerful a person is, the greater the likelihood the person will have the ability to turn his own sick thoughts about children into law, policy, and culture.
Setting aside some examples where people proclaim that Q-Anon got things wrong, we find abundant signs that the basis of Q-Anon's theory — elites promote child abuse through the levers of power — is not crazy at all.
The Q army is not approaching pedophilia the way leftists MeTooed issues of sexual conduct. The left cast it as an individual abomination to smear specific targets such as Roy Moore, Milo Yiannopoulos, Jerry Sandusky, and Joshua Duggar. The new Q activists are looking at the systemic pedophilia, ironically because the leftists who obsess about "systemic" problems can't make the jump from individual abuse cases to the larger structural deficiencies in our society.