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How Might QAnon End?

Post date: 2020-07-06 03:41:09
Views: 9
I've been interested and disturbed watching QAnon continue to snowball online, including increasingly prominent people like candidates for Congress going public as QAnon believers. I have some questions (below the cut) about how cults/beliefs like this end.

I've seen a lot of writing about how individual people have broken away from cults or hate groups, but not as much about how these collectives end. What do we know about how cults and false belief systems fall apart or lose influence? For purposes of comparison, QAnon seems closer to a complicated false belief system like 9/11 Truthers than it is to a cult or collective where people are gathering in person or living together (but maybe that's wrong?).

Is there a predictable peak or limit for how many people will subscribe to a belief system like QAnon, which is pretty obviously untrue? Are there markers for when a cult or belief system like this is losing influence or coming to an endpoint, based on past examples in history? Is there usually some kind of climax where it breaks and people abandon it quickly and en masse, or do people slowly drift away from it? Does it matter for this calculus that QAnon is based around something happening (huge mass arrests of famous people by the US military and led by Trump) that will never happen? Once it's over, have people actually stopped believing in it, or is it more that it becomes embarrassing/unacceptable to openly admit to?

(I am not looking for "what bad things will QAnon do?" It's obvious to me that it poses a real danger and people could be really harmed by it before it's over.)
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