A few months back I started having bizarre interactions on social media of a kind I’d never experienced previously. Suddenly, whenever I’d write about President Trump’s nonstop warmongering and capitulations to longstanding neoconservative agendas like implementing aggressive new cold war escalations against Russia along multiple fronts, the illegal occupation of Syria with the stated goal of effecting regime change, increasing troop presence in Afghanistan, unprecedented civilian deaths in drone strikesfacilitating the slaughter of civilians in Yemen, or the administration’s open regime change policy against Iran, I’d get all these weird accounts telling me things like “Trust the plan” and “This is the Art of the Deal, Trump is playing 4-D chess”, and saying I should research something called “QAnon” or “Q”.

It happens literally every time I write anything critical of this administration; a deluge of commenters telling me in effect, “Shush. Calm down. This is nothing. What looks like Trump facilitating longtime establishment agendas just like his predecessors is actually brilliant strategic maneuvering.” Every single time, without a single solitary exception.

It got particularly frustrating when I’d try to talk about Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ statement that arresting WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange is a high priority for this administration, a statement Trump personally supported. These Q people told me they had great news for me: Assange is no longer languishing in London’s Ecuadorian embassy. No, some clever researchers had deciphered some cryptic statements from an anonymous poster on 8chan, and it turns out that Assange is now walking free and enjoying a full presidential pardon. Some even say it to Assange’s own mother.

Unless you move in certain circles you may never have even heard of the Q phenomenon; it’s almost never in the news and very seldom comes up in anything resembling mainstream discourse. But for people like me who write about the behavior of America’s unelected power establishment, it comes up a lot and can be a bit of an obstacle to the lucid sharing of ideas and information.

To summarize, someone claiming to be an insider with “Q clearance” began making posts on the anonymous message board 4chan, a notorious online playground for millions of meme creators, trolls and nerds which has fostered a massively enthusiastic pro-Trump zeitgeist since 2015. 4chan users refer to one another as “anons”, so “Q” is often referred to as QAnon. Q would share intentionally vague clues they referred to as “crumbs” and encourage readers to research what was meant by them, usually leading toward incriminating information about Trump’s political rivals and never toward any incriminating information about Trump. The posts moved from 4chan to the related forum 8chan, with disputed claims of authenticity.

This has created a dynamic wherein an anonymous poster shares extremely vague messages, and many thousands of Q enthusiasts go off combing the internet to find out what is meant by them. There are disputes within the community about precisely what is meant by which posts, but the net result is universally the same: all the information confirms that Trump is a brilliant hero who is fighting the Deep State, and all of Trump’s political enemies are corrupt criminals/pedophiles/satanists. All that is asked of Q’s army of woke patriots is that they have faith and trust the plan, and to know in their hearts that soon the President of the United States will solve all the nation’s problems.

Now who could possibly benefit from such an arrangement?

I’ve been openly critical of Qanon for many months, but it’s hard to write anything substantial about this subject because the QAnon phenomenon is so amorphous and is spread all over the internet in a sprawling, non-cohesive conversation consisting of many thousands of parts, so anything you say about it will be immediately slammed as untrue by its more passionate enthusiasts because you’re not saying it in exactly the way that they would say it. That plus the faith-based, religion-like reality tunnel Q enthusiasm requires one to espouse makes engaging this topic about as much fun as debating creationists online, so I’ve been avoiding writing about it.

For that reason, I was very happy to see that journalist Suzie Dawson had posted an epic, in-depth thread about why she views QAnon as a “Pied Piper operation”.

The thread is worth reading in its entirety, easier done here in this thread reader due to its size. Dawson explains how QAnon uses standard psyop tactics, first establishing credibility and then implementing gamification and spirituality to suck followers into an energized, cultish mentality which leaves them susceptible to suggestion, manipulation and direction. From there they are told things like not to worry about Julian Assange at a time when he needs our support and activism more than ever before, or told to be suspicious of Edward Snowden. She shows using primary source documents that Snowden has revealed vastly more to the public about the mechanics of the deep state than QAnon ever has, including information about the CIA, and shows who does and does not benefit from the operation.

Yesterday, Dawson’s thread was shared by the WikiLeaks Twitter account with the comment “This analysis, unfortunately, increasingly appears that it may be correct.”

In response to a tweet from Roseanne Barr asking “where is julian assange?”, the WikiLeaks account (which has long been a multi-user account run by a rotating WikiLeaks staff) replied that he is “Gagged and isolated as a result of the Trump administration’s betrayal of the constitution and the demands of those who voted for it.” Barr, who has promoted QAnon in the past, replied that WikiLeaks’ answer was “BS”, to which they responded with Dawson’s thread.

This would line up with a comment made by Assange a month prior to his being silenced and isolated by the Ecuadorian embassy in March, in which he responded to someone who’d heard an internet rumor that he was secretly free saying it was “Probably a black PR campaign amplified by CIA contractors to reduce the support for WikiLeaks.”

So on one hand we’ve got WikiLeaks insiders saying QAnon is a likely psyop designed to Pied Piper the populist right into supporting establishment agendas, and on the other we’ve got an anonymous someone on 8chan saying “trust the plan” and the President is awesome. These are not equally credible sources.

It would make perfect sense for the US intelligence community to conduct psychological operations against those on the right who espouse anti-establishment ideals, since they’ve been conducting them on the anti-establishment left for generations. Any political faction in the US which opposes war, corruption and oligarchy is going to be infiltrated, monitored and manipulated, and there’s no reason to believe the faction which elected Trump on the basis of his anti-globalist and anti-interventionist positions wouldn’t get the same treatment. The same intelligence agencies which have successfully manipulated a large portion of America’s left wing into despising Assange are now manipulating the right wing into despising Snowden. The same social engineers who manipulated Obama’s base into ignoring his warmongering and oligarchic capitulations are now doing exactly the same for Trump’s base.

Somebody’s benefiting from this, and it ain’t you. This administration is advancing longstanding neoconservative agendas with increasing aggression, perpetuating the Orwellian surveillance state of Bush and Obama, and actively pursuing the extradition and imprisonment of Julian Assange. Ignore the narratives and watch the behavior, and he looks very much like his predecessor. So cut out the narratives. Cut out the manipulators. Cut out QAnon from the equation and look at what’s really happening here.



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30 responses to “WikiLeaks Calls QAnon A Likely ‘Pied Piper’ Operation”

  1. Q is on the Trump team… part of the plan of communicating with the people without the MSM and the internet propaganda CEO’s.
    It is working….Swamp being drained daily.

  2. I have not taken a very deep dive into QAnon, because their docs have nothing interesting to say except as examples of deceptive black propaganda: The QAnon releases I have read presented as crude amateur forgeries, documents supposedly from intelligence officers, public officials and corporate executives – written in a style and vocabulary borrowed from low budget TV scripts. I have read and studied leaked and FOIA documents since the 1970s and as far as I can tell QAnon doesn’t have any to offer. Conversely, the real thing would not be nearly as interesting or persuasive to QAnon’s target audience – so maybe I was too hasty in calling the style and content of their forgeries “amateur.”

    Another indicator , QAnon always seems to have red hot material directly relevant to the same day’s news cycle, which seems a bit much for coincidence unless they write those docs themselves. Every QAnon release I have bothered to look at happened to support the Trump Administration’s interests – another amazing coincidence.

    Whatever propaganda contractor runs the QAnon campaign does good work, diverting a targeted audience of first year Conspiracy students down a blind alley before they stumble across the real goods and start down a path to becoming uncontrollable free agents. But the QAnon campaign has an Achilles heel: The deception can not be sustained. Low functioning victims will assimilate into stereotypes already rejected by the public at large, while those with the native capacity for Conspiracy Studies will work their way out from under the trash pile in a matter of weeks.

  3. As a general rule, the truth is not complicated. When text become vaigue, ambiguous, convuluted I stop reading. Artenately there are the articles that keep rehashing the same information to keep you frustrated and distracted – mueller investigation. It is strange that the people cannot come together over the idea that we should not be supporting factions in syria or tampering in guatemala.

    I enjoy Caitlin’s articles.

    1. Cass Sunstein. Canary Mission. QIAduh has all the hallmarks of an ISRAELI intelligence op. They spend BILLIONS of US taxpayer grants on “national security” with hundreds of institutes dedicated to maipulating online opinion and influence. They are far more into this angle than even the CIA, though the CIA is more funded. Anything that erupts out of ‘nowhere’ and is suddenly ‘everywhere’ with a ‘huge’ following? 90% fraud. Especially over time. I tried to write posts on both Trump’s Syria attacks & their FF nature. Same folks on 4Chan who want us to Trust the Plan– BANNED me!
      That and their obvious use of old material like Sorcha Faal from 2007 and popular memes long known as if they are THEIR breaking insider info from “Q Qlearance” guy in WH? Proved they are nothing but a bull$hit op who is astroturfed marketing to coverup for Drumpf’s betrayal of his base.

  4. Speaking of anonymity; I see a lot more of it in alt media than corporate media. I do a three part series on my blog (which has included excerpts of a few of Caitlin’s blog posts) and endeavor to be as clear as possible about everything, including the author(s) and media outlet, always linking to the post’s or article’s original. Many of those entries include a question mark where I would normally enter the author’s name. I have no choice.

  5. Patricia Ormsby Avatar
    Patricia Ormsby

    Thank you for this warning, Caitlin. I’d vaguely heard of “Q” but didn’t know what it was about. I think another reason Trump’s supporters are ignoring the way he has been betraying their hopes is that Hillary’s supporters are so eager to rub it in at the first chance. People do not react by admitting what fools they were, and how wise their opponents (sarc), They dig in their heels and take it in the opposite direction, sometimes to absurd extremes. I’m sure the psy-ops are utilizing this dynamic to keep people at each others’ throats and unaware or in denial of the real crimes underway.

  6. The Roseanne Barr meltdown the day after this article is pretty intriguing timing!

  7. I’ll go with the 4Chan Role Playing Game that got way out of hand. Critical thinking skills are a lost or dying ability to most Americans and to many Euro idiots also, it seems. This fascination with complicated cloak and dagger explanations is a sickness of conspiracy-minded people who cannot accept that the neoliberal plan of the Elites and the major corporate entities of the world is really very simple. And that is: transfer (steal!) as much of the wealth of the working class as possible, in the shortest time period possible. Then use the military powers of the world’s armies to protect themselves from the inevitable uprisings when the “rabble” have had enough pain and lash out.

  8. We knew this day would come.

    Stay strong patriots.

  9. Indeed, makes no sense why a deep state whistleblower would publish their secrets to a source that can’t even protect their identity.


    Not that WikiLeaks is much better. They could *both* be honeypots.


  10. Thank you for your article about QAnon. However, it is naive to say that,

    It would make perfect sense for the US intelligence community to conduct psychological operations against those on the right who espouse anti-establishment ideals, since they’ve been conducting them on the anti-establishment left for generations. Any political faction in the US which opposes war, corruption and oligarchy is going to be infiltrated, monitored and manipulated, and there’s no reason to believe the faction which elected Trump on the basis of his anti-globalist and anti-interventionist positions wouldn’t get the same treatment.

    The secret police will always target the left (‘for generations’) much more rigorously than the right, and they have always murdered or otherwise compromised the left’s best and most promising leaders. The ‘manipulation’ is also physical for the left.

    The secret police certainly keep an eye on rightwing organisations, especially those with some tinges of ‘anti-establishment’ populism, but it’s always with a mind to co-opting them. After all, the arguments of the left, specifically the Marxist left, cannot be countered easily, but populism’s can be because populism in essence is a scapegoating ideology, and it becomes a matter of changing the scapegoat.

    When things get out of hand, as they may well do soon, the repressive core of the state will reach out for help from the fascistic right as their ever-faithful auxiliary. Co-opting those taken in by rightwing populism helps with this strategic aim.

    1. I also doubt it is a government operation. It sounds like a Trump operation.

      1. Funny, thinking Trump is NOT the government. But you know what I mean.

      2. Q is on the Trump team… part of the plan of communicating with the people without the MSM and the internet propaganda CEO’s.
        It is working….Swamp being drained daily.

    2. part of that is the fact that the Left has always been more bloodthirsty and has caused more deaths through war, violent civil war and pop on pop low grade wars, as well as witch hunts (quit literally in the case of the Anglo-Puritans, whose modern day descendants are virtue signalers on both the right and left, but primarily the Left) . I think part of it is simply genetic–people who lean left are much more likely to be ok using force against people who do not agree with them, and they tend to depersonalize those they are opposed to, whether it be national socialists against Jews or Southern Democrats against blacks. And in the case of revolutions, they ALWAYS line their own up against walls once they have gained power. It would make sense those in power would watch them more carefully, although not exclusively.

      1. The Left has been more bloodthirsty?
        You realize that even if one goes by the Nazi Propaganda of the Black Book of Communism, which gives a gross estimate of 100 million (using HIGHLY questionable numbers, which have been thoroughly debunked), that Capitalism kills 100 million people every 3-4 years, when one gives an honest look at it.

        National Socialists are a right wing ideology.

        I am guessing your delusional state is intentional, however.

    3. You’re naive and uninformed. Read Carroll Quigley’s definitive book on how the world runs called “tragedy and Hope.” Until then? You’ve no idea what youre talking about.

  11. It’s amazing to me how easily people are duped. I think P.T. Barnum severely underestimated the sucker birth rate , there must be ten born per minute , at least. Let’s see , the Pope has had a terrible January , February , and March , with things getting worse for him by the minute , today is April 3 so I’m going to predict that the Pope will have a rough month in May. Et voila ! Damn , I’m Nostradamus with a tripcode ! Now , if you’ll excuse me for a bit , I have to go set up my Patreon account and web store.

    I appreciate the effort Wikileaks and Caitlin are making to open some peoples’ eyes on this , but you know the old saying : ” You can lead a horse’s ass to water……..”

  12. I have learned so much from all those Q posts! The fact that the Deep State hates Q and Qanon and tries to disprove it, only validates the good they do.

  13. Joseph Mirzoeff Avatar
    Joseph Mirzoeff

    trump on 911 on the day (<4minutes)

    susan lindaur (you only need the first 12 minutes of this):

  14. Joseph Mirzoeff Avatar
    Joseph Mirzoeff

    I hope and think you are wrong. What is your view of 9/11? I think inside job and cover-up. Why is it that hardly anyone talks about it? Mueller was hired to head the FBI on 9/4/01, a week before 9/11, they knew it was coming — see Susan Lindaur video for additional detail — they knew it was coming in April 2001. There is a 4-minute youtube of Trump saying it was done with explosives (voice only on the day 9/11), explaining the strength of the towers. Comey appointed US atty for southern ny in dec 2001 (christie nj same time). Comey later became us asst atty general. So Comey and Mueller were serving during the cover-up. Why is it that none of the trump supporters talk about 9/11, and all the bad actors of 9/11 who hate trump. Look at Brennan for instance, not to mention the bushes, the cheneys…

  15. I agree Caitlin.
    All the Q-stuff reads like the astrology section of the newspaper.
    It’s hard for the sheeple to wake up
    because they are being manipulated by using
    their deepest, human, subconscious desires . . .
    (to see how it’s done, watch the documentary,
    ”The Century of Self” by Adam Curtis)

    There is absolutely NO EVIDENCE demonstrating
    that billionaires care about ordinary people.

    1. Joe Van Steenbergen Avatar
      Joe Van Steenbergen

      I agree. Once the sheeple are convinced that something like Q is true, it is hard for them to accept information that conflicts with their updated belief system. Cognitive dissonance, really; “I believe it’s true, so anything that tells me otherwise must be false.” Sad. I feel bad for them.

  16. Reminds me of the George Webb phenomenon of not long ago. Keepign people mesmerized because of their longing for good to triumph over evil and not only capturing them but distracting them from what is actually happening. Lionel Nation is a perfect case in point. An otherwise often astute commentator now with an obsessive interest in the Deep State and neglect of what is happening in the Middle East and elsewhere. Intellligence does not prevent people from being conned.

    Q may be being conducted by Trump in his infighting with the Clinton corporatist faction. Otherwise we would see him criticizing it.

  17. We are observing a psyop in real time, in the open, and it is fascinating. The Q operation seems so transparently unsophisticated that it is shocking to learn how so many people can be so easily manipulated. I suspect this is not even a professional operation.

  18. John Allen aka Ol' Hippy Avatar
    John Allen aka Ol’ Hippy

    I learn something new every day. Thanx!

  19. Harry S Nydick Avatar
    Harry S Nydick

    I had never previously heard of QAnon, but have certainly been confronted by some of those characters on FB and elsewhere where comments are accepted. Fortunately for me, or to me, their tactics are as obvious as a Trump lie (whenever lips are moving). I do my own research – and also consider what is, or seems, reasonable. I’m proud to generally be stubborn, once having made determinations on things, as a result of deep research, though open to change, rarely ever find justification. Edward Snowden is a U.S. patriot and Julian Assange was a gift to the world. And no QAnon tactic will ever make me think otherwise.

    1. I’m with you!

  20. Qanon is AI best I can tell. “It” gathers intel from various postings, media, anything it has hacked, and merely regurgitates..when people respond to it, or the news cycle moves forward, people respond to that movement as being a reaction to Q when in fact, it was merely contemporaneous actions that Q or anyone else is, was, or is likely to be commenting on, reacting to, or predicting about. The photos and all that, are merely gathered information anyone, including an AI program, can gather and reproduce. The “commentary” left by Q is no more deep than random psychobable blatherings such as found here: http://www.wisdomofchopra.com/

    “Trust the plan”, “these people are sick” “We know all”, have the alt-right abuzz in delight that some long-awaited hammer is about to befall all the demonic shepherds of evil in our world–yet none of it has happened, and anything that has happened (the infamous “where are the Podesta brothers”) has never been more than coincidence or tenuous logical connections between some perceived “happening” in the real world, with what Q and/or it’s followers wish were true, or seek as validation that justice is coming.

    It would be nice to think there is some old man sitting at a keyboard that is quietly surveying the landscape and authentically reporting on courts of justice and men of action about to do something righteous on behalf of the truthers, and skeptics of globalists…but it’s doubtful Q is anything more than a deist computer program, turned “on” and currently running it’s course.

  21. This is the best explanation of Qanon I’ve seen yet

    I have a simple rule for situations like this: if someone is telling you to believe something incredible on faith or authority with no verifiable evidence, then chances are good that they’re lying manipulators.

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