Holy conspiracy theory, Batman. QAnon is having a convention September 14 in Atlanta, to “prepare social warriors for a coming digital war against censorship and oppression.” And none other than convicted felons and Russian enablers Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos will be on hand to speak at the “Digital Soldiers Conference,” a one-day event. Mother Jones:

Other featured speakers include Bill Mitchell, an online broadcaster and conspiracy theorist; singer and Trump backer Joy Villa; and a “mystery guest.” The event is being organized by Rich Granville, the CEO of Yippy, Inc, who has a Twitter feed littered with references to QAnon, a conspiracy theory centered around the notion that Trump is secretly taking down an international ring of pedophiles that includes high-ranking Democrats. QAnon supporters believe that an anonymous person known as Q is dropping online clues about this supposed clandestine operation. The web page for Granville’s conference prominently features an American flag festooned with a Q.

In an interview, Granville denied that the Q on the flag is a deliberate QAnon reference. He said the stars refer to Flynn’s prior status as a three-star general. “It does look like Q, but there is no reference to QAnon anywhere on that site,” Granville said. He acknowledged that he personally espouses QAnon views. “Do I think it’s good for America? Absolutely,” he said. “Do I think it’s a conspiracy theory? I doubt that.”

“I am with anybody who is with the United States of America, any digital solider, any patriot, any average American who is doing their part to support the president of the United States,” Granville said.

Tickets range from $49 to $2,500 for an “Ultra VIP pass” and the money is earmarked to go to General Flynn’s legal expenses. Flynn is just like Roger Stone. He’s a millionaire, but he cries poor mouth and victimization and goes after the wingnuts to pay his freight. And apparently they love him.

Flynn’s legal shift has coincided with his apparent move toward conspiracy theorists who have embraced him as a hero. After Flynn’s plea, many conservative writers argued he was unfairly prosecuted and suggested his case would be thrown out. QAnon believers added their own spin, theorizing that Flynn was actually working with Mueller to help defeat the so-called deep state and expose a liberal pedophile ring.

Flynn’s son, Michael Flynn Jr., a frequent purveyor of right-wing conspiracy theories, espoused QAnon views when he tweeted in late 2016 about “PizzaGate,” a conspiracy theory that a DC pizzeria was part of a child sex ring involving senior Democratic officials. Flynn Jr. lost a job on the Trump transition team due to those tweets. Flynn Jr. has since renounced QAnon. But General Flynn’s brother, Joseph Flynn, and sister, Barbara Redgate, have signaled support to QAnon supporters, according to the Daily Beast. Joseph Flynn delighted believers last March by tweeting the letter Q. He later deleted the tweet but suggested his account had been hacked by “the team.” Some QAnon followers interpreted his tweet to be a reference to their theory that a “Q Team” of hackers is working to help Trump.

This is woo woo magical thinking at it’s finest. These people don’t have even one toe on the ground, let alone both feet. For them, it’s all maps and codes and secret connections. Think of the garage that the protagonist in “A Beautiful Mind” used to work in, and you’ve got the picture. This is “Holy Blood, Holy Grail” and “The DaVinci Code” on steroids. The larger picture, however, is that the dual information narratives that exist in this country, and which fuel the cultural war, are not going away anytime soon. As Obama opined, Trump is just a symptom of what’s wrong with America, he’s not the cause. Getting rid of Trump is the first step, but America will not snap back to sanity like a rubber band. We have a long, hard road ahead of us.



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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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