As QAnon Falters, European Followers Flock to a Financial Conspiracy

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Imagine you’re a jaded stalwart of the QAnon conspiracy. The latest batch of ‘drops’ – the cryptic posts into which you’ve read so much – aren’t quite as enticing, and you’re not even sure that Donald Trump will return to the Oval Office.

But you’re not ready to reassess your belief system. Luckily for you, there are other doomsday prophecies to keep you engaged. That’s how you ended up with billions of Zimbabwean dollars. Or Iraqi Dinars.

Whatever the currency, this scenario doesn’t seem so rare in those corners of the internet that are populated by Europe’s conspiracy theorists. New data shows that QAnon’s hold on the continent’s conspiracy discourse has begun to loosen at the same time that some of its European followers flock to a decades-old financial conspiracy.

That decades-old conspiracy is GESARA, which heralds a financial reset that will see billions of secret funds distributed to people across the globe and the erasure of all debts. Over the past year, Bellingcat and Lighthouse Reports have archived and analysed millions of messages from more than 2,000 conspiracist Telegram channels as part of a joint investigation into the spread of the dangerous QAnon conspiracy in Europe. A team of country-specific researchers selected an initial sample of channels in their respective countries that was then expanded using snowball sampling.

While these channels included QAnon terms, they were not specifically QAnon themed, many of which included a heady mix of other conspiracy theories. Researchers found an explosion of GESARA content across the collected channels at the same time as classic QAnon tropes like “the Great Awakening” have seemed to falter.

This resurgent popularity has rekindled GESARA’s decades-old prophecy of an imminent financial reset and created especially fertile ground for schemes that have seen hundreds across the continent invest in worthless (crypto-)currencies.

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1 comment

  1. True believers in conspiracy theories often move from one paranoid belief to another. The key to ending this cycle is to take a break and unpack what happened. Examine it objectively, explore alternative perspectives and critically analyze everything.

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