Over the past year, I haven’t been quiet about QAnon’s harmful influence within the spirituality and wellness communities, but I haven’t been as vocal as I should have been. By some fluke of fate I had a front row seat to the explosion of QAnon theories in the spiritual, mystical and wellness communities that once welcomed my social justice mind and queer, mystical heart. Today I can’t even bear to look at that time without feeling shame for staying as long as I did. And that guilt persisted during the Insurrection on January 6th.
Most are calling this QAnon incursion into spiritual and wellness circles conspirituality. But for me, calling it “lightwashing” feels more accurate because of the use of “love & light” narratives to absolve oneself of responsibility for collective action on social harm. Even if I didn’t personally get caught in the QAnon spiral of doom, I watched helplessly as whole groups of lightworking, spiritual friends were lightwashed into this strange, cruel, incongruent reality. I feel a responsibility to share what I learned during that time, a responsibility to share what insight I have about their beliefs and behaviors and why it is so perniciously awful.
Exploiting the vulnerability of the pandemic
I first became aware of QAnon in late 2017 when I started seeing an increased presence of “We are Q” signs prominently bouncing around at Trump rallies. Since I’m suspicious of anything that aligns with the former president’s self-aggrandizement and violent rhetoric, I did a bit of research to find that it was yet another 4Chan spin-off, this time with a constructed mystique of anonymity, creating a mystery for the relentlessly overstimulated incels of 4Chan to chew on and later weaponize against women (more on that later)
It was a violent movement from the start, cheering on a bloody end: predicting “The Storm” which presumably is when Trump would round up prominent Democrats, arresting them and eventually executing them. QAnon can’t exist without its lust for blood.
Here is what the New York Times was saying in August of 2018:
The paranoid worldview has crossed over from the internet into the real world several times in recent months. On more than one occasion, people believed to be followers of QAnon have shown up — sometimes with weapons — in places that the character told them were somehow connected to anti-Trump conspiracies….”The biggest danger is you are one mentally unstable person away from the next massive incident that defines whatever happens next,” Mr. (Ben) Decker said.“From 2018: Explaining QAnon, the Internet Conspiracy Theory That Showed Up at a Trump Rally” The New York Times, 8/1/2018
And although I had researched QAnon enough to recognize its dangers, I went down the rabbit hole just enough to see the face of their message, insidiousness of its tactics and goals. I hoped, rather than believed, that it would just go away.Read the rest of this entry
Something is happening that I don’t understand. Dizziness, sleeplessness and pains everywhere imaginable. Some might say it is a transformation. Others might argue that it’s a breakdown. And there’s the camp who think it is all in my head.
I don’t know what to think anymore. I don’t have the wherewithal to continue dismissing these symptoms like they don’t exist. Nor can I really allow myself to believe that I’m the victim in some self-induced hysteria.
I’m burdened and tired. Regrets flow through me like a river where barren ground once cracked under my feet. Languid and wrung out. Waiting for faith to return to me while I stand locked in the mud of my own consequence. I can’t move toward it. There is no life beyond the present moment. No light at the end of a vast tunnel. Just fear and loathing and a heart dripping with diminished hope.
I bleed with the chasm of sacred sacrifice. A wound too deep to heal. A calling too vast to encompass.
I am only one person and at that not a very good one. I am depressed with the lost potential of my future. I am weighed down by the loss of gravity and importance.
Let the lake of tears claim me. Everyday is an old struggle. An impulse for the unthinkable. The shameful secret that is perched quietly over my bed that waits for insomnia and this insanity to descend. My constant. The option that lingers on the edges of my thoughts. A call to concede. “Enough, my friend. Your struggle can come to an end if you just turn to me.” It isn’t the opposite of hope. Instead offering me what the future can’t. A certainty of no pain, my anger, and certainly no guilt.
In the cold of night I remember the hurt. The banishment and the endless prayer. “Help me, oh God. I can’t do it by myself. But I can if I can meet you halfway.” And he did. Every single time until he didn’t. Until he left me as utterly alone as I had felt before I learned how to listen to him.
There is no halfway for people like me. We either live fully or not at all. We either embrace the shadow or we die of too much light.
And in the quiet of my little girl heart I thought I heard him calling me…a voice tethered to the smallness of the innocence I lacked. A girl who was told “no” but never allowed to say it. A girl who dreamt of ogres and closets. A girl who refused to deserve any gift, any charity, any worth.
Alone in the night. Misaligned and maligned.