QAnon conspiracy theory enters politics: What to know

“Q” has moved from the fringes of the imageboard 4chan and into ballot boxes and troubling headlines across the United States.

“Q” is the anonymous person or people leading the group QAnon.

Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia is now poised to become the first QAnon believer elected to Congress, while a QAnon follower was arrested in New Hampshire late last week after livestreaming himself on a treacherous police chase while his five children were in the car.

QAnon is a conspiracy theory centered on the baseless belief that President Trump is waging a secret campaign against enemies in the “deep state” and a child sex trafficking ring run by satanic pedophiles and cannibals.

Q and the QAnon supporters refer to “The Storm” often, which is a reference to an October 2017 meeting between Trump and military leaders during which Trump said, “the calm before the storm.” During the so-called “storm” thousands of deep state operatives and top Democrats, including Hillary Clinton and President Obama, will allegedly be rounded up and sent to Guantanamo Bay.

Daily Beast tech reporter Will Sommer has reported heavily on QAnon for nearly three years and told Fox News that QAnon believers think even he “is going to get arrested and sent to Guantanamo Bay.” Sommer explained that what is truly concerning, however, goes beyond the conspiracy and has evolved into fatal, real-world violence.

A man charged with killing the reputed boss of the Gambino crime family last March showed off a QAnon symbol scrawled on his left hand during a court appearance. Police in Colorado have also said a 50-year-old woman, inspired by QAnon, sought to kidnap her own child.

“One QAnon believer with an improvised armored truck and some guns blocked a highway near the Hoover Dam for a couple hours and was basically kind of ranting about Q,” explained Sommer.

Fortunately, 32-year-old Matthew Wright did not harm anyone during the Hoover Dam ordeal and eventually pleaded guilty to a terrorism charge. In a letter from jail explaining that he was motivated by patriotism, Wright used the phrase “for where we go one, we go all (WWG1WGA),” at the end of the letter. The phrase is used on message boards in the QAnon community, authorities said. QAnon conspiracy theories center around a supposed government insider who adherents believe is spooning out vital revelations using cryptic language and signs. According to Sommer, that cryptic language and game-playing is detrimental to advancing real policy goals.

“Frankly, I think if you're a Republican and you want conservative ideals to be in government, I think one of the risks of QAnon is that it focuses people on this kind of game-playing and these codes rather than actually doing political work,” said Sommer. “They [QAnon] always say, 'Trust the plan,' or 'Get some popcorn and watch,' and that just takes people out of the normal democratic process–and they think that these shadowy forces way above their control are going to handle everything.”

Furthermore, major Trump supporters, including former White House aide Sebastian Gorka and pundit Kurt Schlichter, have denounced QAnon. Social media giant Facebook said it found the QAnon activity as part of its investigations into suspected coordinated inauthentic behavior ahead of the 2020 presidential election. Sommer elaborated that QAnon diverts meaningful debate and real-world issues into futile dialogue.

“I think we can have debates about politics and policies,” said Sommer. “But when it comes down to debating, QAnon people think everyone who is opposed to them is essentially a demon or a pedophile, and I mean, that's really not the basis for a republic.”

For more insights into Q and QAnon watch the interview with Daily Beast reporter Will Sommer above.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Emily DeCiccio is a reporter and video producer for Fox News Digital Originals. Tweet her @EmilyDeCiccio.