The Shaman of the New Religion.
A significant number of QAnon followers, according to NBC News reporter Ben Collins, believe the end-times of their religion will be reached when Donald Trump takes back control of America, unleashes police to mass-arrest elected and other high-profile Democrats, and QAnon followers then engage in an orgy of violence and murder against Democratic Party-aligned neighbors, friends and family. ”
Notice that the above quote refers to Qanon as a “religion.”
Already, one believer has murdered two of his children, saying they had “serpent DNA” and had to be killed to save humanity. There’s evidence that a majority of the people who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, leading to more than a half-dozen deaths and nearly overthrowing our republic, were solidly within the QAnon cult.
This isn’t quite as weird as it sounds; mass death or even murder of unbelievers, often for political or “End of Days” rationales, is a familiar trope within multiple world religions.
There have been hundreds of bat-shit crazy incidents committed by those under the spell of the new cult; incidents too local to be reported nationally.
But that doesn’t include the better-known instances, like the guy who shot up a pizza joint in Washington, D.C., looking for the basement where Hillary Clinton hid children whose blood, she was going to drain to obtain adrenochrome.
Or the fellow who blew himself up in front of the AT&T building in Nashville to stop the lizard people. This latter guy, I suspect, had been watching too much old sci-fi TV.
Now don’t get me wrong. Bat-shit crazy isn’t new. Jim Jones and David Koresh were proponents of such “end-times” death cults. Belief in satanism and witchcraft is rampant among far-right evangelicals.
Some of you of a certain age will remember the McMartin pre-school drama.
The McMartin preschool trial was a day care sexual abuse case in the 1980s prosecuted in Los Angeles. Members of the McMartin family, who operated the pre-school, were charged with hundreds of acts of sexual abuse of children in their care. Accusations were made in 1983, arrests and the pretrial investigation took place from 1984 to 1987, and trials ran from 1987 to 1990. The case lasted seven years, resulted in no convictions, and all charges were dropped in 1990. By the case’s end, it had become the longest and most expensive in American history. The case was part of day-care sex-abuse hysteria, a panic over alleged Satanic ritual abuse in the 1980s and early 1990s.
It all started in 1983 when a Judy Johnson, whose son attended the pre-school listened to him complain about a painful bowel movement. She immediately accused her ex-husband and Ray Buckley, grandson of the school’s founder of sodomy.
In addition, Johnson also made several more accusations, including that people at the daycare had sexual encounters with animals, that “Peggy drilled a child under the arms” and “Ray flew in the air. Ray Buckey was questioned, but was not prosecuted due to lack of evidence. The police, however, then sent a form letter to about 200 parents of students at the McMartin school, stating that their children might have been abused, and asking the parents to question their children.
The hysteria began. Were there satanists at the school? Hundreds of kids were questioned. The therapists were brought in from a local “abuse therapy clinic.” The highly suggestive questioning of the kids began.
Some of the accusations were described as “bizarre”, with accusations that mirrored the emerging satanic ritual abuse panic. It was alleged that, in addition to having been sexually abused, they saw witches fly, traveled in a hot-air balloon, and were taken through underground tunnels. When shown a series of photographs by Danny Davis (the McMartins’ lawyer), one child identified actor Chuck Norris as one of the abusers.
Some of the abuse was alleged to have occurred in secret tunnels beneath the school. Several excavations turned up evidence of old buildings on the site and other debris from before the school was built, but no evidence of any secret chambers or tunnels was found. There were claims of orgies at car washes and airports, and of children being flushed down toilets to secret rooms where they would be abused, then cleaned up and presented back to their parents. Some child interviewees talked of a game called “naked movie star” and suggested they were forcibly photographed nude. During trial testimony, some children stated that the “naked movie star” game was actually a rhyming taunt used to tease other children—”What you say is what you are, you’re a naked movie star”—and had nothing to do with having naked pictures taken.
Judy Johnson, who made the initial allegations, made bizarre and impossible statements about Raymond Buckey, including that he could fly. Though the prosecution asserted Johnson’s mental illness was caused by the events of the trial, Johnson had admitted to them that she was mentally ill beforehand. Evidence of Johnson’s mental illness was withheld from the defense for three years and, when provided, was in the form of sanitized reports that excluded Johnson’s statements, at the order of the prosecution One of the original prosecutors, Glenn Stevens, left the case in protest and stated that other prosecutors had withheld evidence from the defense, including the information that Johnson’s son did not actually identify Ray Buckey in a series of photographs. Stevens also accused Robert Philibosian, the deputy district attorney on the case, of lying and withholding evidence from the court and defense lawyers in order to keep the Buckeys in jail and prevent access to exonerating evidence.
These same folks who fiercely believe in the reality of satanists and witchcraft are still with us. Facebook has brought the likeminded cultists together.
Why do evangelicals spend so much time in Israel trying to convert Jews to Christianity?
Many of these evangelists are quite upfront about their belief that in the end times, in preparation for the return of Jesus, all but 144,000 of the roughly 7 million Jews in Israel must die. And those who survive will all be converted to Christianity and “wear the names of the Father and Son on their foreheads throughout eternity.” When that happens, Jesus comes down from the sky.
It’s a belief that millions of Christians — and a solid majority of white evangelicals — fervently hold, and one of the reasons why there’s so much support for Israel among the Republican white evangelical movement: That’s where the mass death has to happen to bring back Jesus.
As for Qanon, one theory is that a “tribe of the mentally ill” are finding each other through Facebook and other social media and being led by Donald Trump, himself a case study in mental illness.
But that’s probably far too glib an explanation: Tens of millions of Americans are members of odd cults, many that believe in the end times, and most mental health professionals would be reluctant to call them all mentally ill.
Mainstream Christians teach their children about a guy who has flying reindeer, after all, and most Americans profess to believe in a Jewish guy 2,000 years ago who rose from the dead after walking on water and turning water into wine.