‘Shall We Play a Game Once More?’ Conspiracy Troll Master ‘Q’ Returns

“Q,” the mysterious leader of QAnon, breaks 18 months of internet silence as SCOTUS scuttles Roe v. Wade and the 2022 midterm elections loom
243

“Q,” the leader of QAnon—the cultish conspiracy movement obsessed with global elites and pedophilia, and which is slavishly devoted to Donald Trump—resurfaced Friday after 18 months of silence in a cryptic post to the anonymous message board 8kun, formerly known as 8chan. 

“Shall we play a game once more?” reads the post, Q’s first since the aftermath of Trump’s stinging election defeat.

Ominously, two more posts followed.

“Are you ready to serve your country again?” Q wrote. And then, “Remember your oath.” 

That last message was perhaps in reference to a central QAnon motto. Famously, Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, recorded a video of himself on July 4, 2020, in which he holds up his right hand and vows, “Where we go one, we go all.”

“Q” refers to “Q clearance,” an obscure government security authorization required to access Top Secret Restricted Data. QAnon refers to the legions of anonymous internet warriors, many of whom regard “Q drops” with a kind of awe reminiscent of evangelicals and the Book of Revelation. 

Cloaked in the anonymity of anything-goes internet forums, the user known as Q purports to be a top government insider close to the former president, with proof that global elites secretly enslave and torture children and drink their blood for its life-extending properties, like vampires. 

There is no way for social media users to know who the real Q is, because whoever is posting as Q uses a password-protected account that produces a unique ID, visible to other users. Q believers accept his claims on faith.

Other prominent individuals who have been connected to QAnon in one way or another include: comedian Roseanne Barr, actors James Woods and Jim Caviezel, adult film star Jenna Jameson, and MAGA lawyers Lin Wood and Sidney Powell.

Not all adherents of the celebrity-crazed conspiracy movement—flagged as a violent threat by the FBI, banned from Twitter and TikTok, and avidly courted by Trump—were quick to hail the return of their prodigal prophet. When one anonymous user on 8kun demanded an explanation for the 18 months of internet silence, the uncanny Q replied, “It had to be done this way.” 

Whether and to what extent Friday’s Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade influenced the user to reactivate the anonymous Q account is unclear. 

Will Sommer, a politics reporter for the Daily Beast who has covered QAnon since the extremist movement’s inception in 2017 and has a forthcoming book on the subject, has suggested the timing may be linked to the flagging congressional bid of former 8kun administrator Ron Watkins, who controls access to the Q account.

Far from being a secret agent or government insider, Watkins is a thirty-something computer programmer whose long-shot bid for Congress in Arizona as a Republican is floundering. Watkins has previously denied involvement with Q, and if the Second Coming of the supposed super-agent Q on 8kun was a ruse meant to revive Watkins’s moribund political campaign, Watkins isn’t saying.  

QAnon—which also holds that JFK Jr. is still alive (he’s not), Adam Schiff runs a sex ring on the Sunset Strip (he doesn’t), and Donald Trump is God (also false)—has metastasized from the dark corners of the internet to the front ranks of the Republican Party, including the front lines of the January 6 insurrection in the Capitol. Infamously, Jake Angeli, the horned, face-painted and animal pelt-clad stormer of the Capitol, was a QAnon true believer dubbed the “QAnon Shaman.”

A pair of true Q believers currently sit in the 2022 U.S. Congress, as well: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) and Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colorado). A possible third Q supporter is also on the path to Congress now that Republican J.R. Majewski won an upset victory in a Republican House primary in Ohio last month. Newly elected Texas Republican Mayra Flores has referenced QAnon, but denies having ever supported the ends of the movement. 

It may be shocking to consider that a movement known for widely circulating an “arrest/execution list” which name-checked the entire cast of Friends as “arrested & waiting tribunal” (except for Courtney Cox, who was “arrested & under house arrest”) has yet to reach the zenith of its power and influence in American politics. 

Shadowy QAnon influencer Wayne Willott, better known in QAnon World by his alias as “secret agent” Juan O. Savin, is a case in point.  

The 65 year-old Willott, a one-time Alaska insurance investigator, has morphed into the most unlikely of Republican power brokers. He now leads the America First Secretary of State Coalition, a rogue’s gallery of conservative activists, donors, and media figures, all focused on getting fervent 2020 election deniers elected to the secretary of state offices that administer elections in key battleground states. 

“One of the group’s candidates, Kristina Karamo, has already won the Republican nomination for the position in Michigan,” the Daily Beast reports. “Another candidate, 2020 election denier and Arizona state representative Mark Finchem, has won Trump’s endorsement and looks set to win his state’s primary as well. If victorious in the general election, both candidates could play a key role in how electoral votes from their states are allotted in 2024.”


Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.