Attacks and mass murder – probably the most dangerous sect in the world

Ways to salvation, answers to all questions, making sense of the world. QAnon promises no less than that – with dangerous consequences for those who get in the way of the followers.

Freedom of belief and opinion are valuable assets in democracies. They enable citizens to organize their lives according to their own ideas without state repression. They enable them to enter self-chosen dependencies at the same time. Quite a few join religious communities or feel a part of them. And again, some of these communities promise their followers the solution of universal problems. To have found the only true truth that has so far remained closed to others: That is an enticing promise.

conspiracies and anti-Semitism

Many of these faith communities are harmless, apart from potentially damaging influences on their members. Some, however, have been and will be dangerous. The closed belief systems of so-called sects enable their masterminds to manipulate believers, even to the detriment of outsiders. This ranges from proselytizing to deadly attacks.

Probably the most influential sect at the moment is the so-called QAnon movement. The magazine “The Atlantic” once described it as the new American religion, but it is now active worldwide. The faith of their followers consists of a colorful mixture of old conspiracy myths and anti-Semitism. They are enriched by all sorts of modern elements from the esoteric, science fiction and contemporary literature. The movement thus acts like a blueprint or a best-of of known phenomena.

Apocalyptic fight against evil

Fundamental to adherents is the belief that a satanic elite rules the world via the so-called “deep state”. This elite, according to the story, is linked to the evils of the world: ritual murder, pedophilia, war and dictatorship. Most public figures are perceived as representatives and henchmen of this “deep state”. This applies not only to celebrities from film and television, but above all to liberal politicians and the media.

According to QAnon, the fight against them is the apocalyptic fight for good – so, one suspects, right-wing radicals are on God’s side in the fight against evil. Everyone is waiting for the “storm” to finally start – and for the world to be freed from the machinations of the secret circles (including the puppet governments attributed to them). That not only sounds roughly like the old belief in a Jewish world conspiracy, it is almost congruent. It is probably not entirely coincidental that Jews in particular are identified as contributors or masterminds of the circle.

No visible leadership structure

The genocide researcher Gregory Stanton once described QAnon as a “Nazi sect in a new guise”. Their ideology, which resembles the forged protocols of the Elders of Zion, laid the groundwork for mass murder and dictatorship. This is, so to speak, evident as supporters constantly hope for impending mass executions to put an end to the supposed activities of the satanic elite.

The QAnon sect is atypical in that it does not have a visible central leadership structure and seems to focus on the radicalization of individual perpetrators. It started out in internet forums, where conspiracy theorists, who had previously been widely ridiculed, exchanged ideas anonymously. Where the Kennedy assassination, UFOs and Illuminati were once discussed, far more drastic and concrete fantasies have dominated thinking since the 2016 US election campaign. Supporters of Republican candidate Donald Trump read references to satanic pedophile rings in US Democrat emails hacked and distributed by Russia.

Trump the Redeemer

The ideas were promoted by cryptic contributions from a pseudonym named “Q”. He is an insider from Trump’s environment, a patriot. And it wasn’t long before newcomers to the US Republican Party discovered their affinity for sectarianism. In fact, QAnon believers today are largely associated with strands of the party, most notably Donald Trump, whom they see as their savior.

Again and again he used faith through allusions. QAnon supporters played an important role in the failed storming of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. Apparently, in conjunction with far-right militias, the plan was to take senators hostage or even kill them in order to put Trump in power. According to the FBI, the QAnon ideology is considered the basis for terrorism. Numerous acts of violence are attributed to them.

In Germany, too, QAnon-believing “Reichsbürger” tried to storm the Bundestag during the corona pandemic. Again and again there are attacks in the weapon-affine scene, especially on police officers. The alleged Reichsbürger terror group, which was exposed in December 2022, is also said to have attached fragments of the QAnon ideology.


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