NOTE: This article was originally published on Minds and other social platforms on April 3rd, 2020. It was only republished here on April 13th, 2020.
First, full disclosure, I have followed the TheGreatAwakening, QAnon, etc. phenom since the beginning in November of 2017. I have watched most of the bigger name Q decoders and their takes on what Q is ‘actually’ saying.
That being said, I have made few public statements on Q. I gained most of my current followers from my work, now almost entirely wiped from the net, with America First Media and Matt Couch on the independent investigation into the murder of DNC employee Seth Rich in 2016.
The reason I bring up my previous work now is so I can draw some parallels to what is happening in the QAnon follower community since a young man named Austin Steinbart who, in case you haven’t heard, claims to be Q in the flesh.
Not surprising, they have met his claims with more than simple skepticism. They have attacked, harassed, and threatened Steinbart but it isn’t only him. The attacks spread to anyone who supports Austin or even so much as suggests keeping an open mind to the possibility of his claims being true.
I should clarify my position on Q first. Yes, I believe there is a military intelligence operation going on and QAnon is a real ‘thing’. There is more than sufficient evidence to support this claim but you will have to research and decide for yourself. This is MY conclusion.
Do I think Austin Steinbart is actually Q himself? I think it is highly probable. This will not be a popular opinion but here’s the point… so what? It’s my opinion. Why are the devoted Q Believers going after people who might share this opinion? One part of the whole Q philosophy which gave the movement its credibility has been the consistent message of thinking and researching for yourself, drawing your own conclusions, essentially, not turning into a cult mentality.
It’s ironic a movement who mocks the mob mentality of people who blindly follow the mainstream media, believing anything and everything told to them by the talking heads, is now mocking people for not following their interpretations of the Q posts on the boards. Yes, plural, boards but more on that later.
Although I have followed many of the big Q names, I have never bought into the concept of any of them having made the correct interpretations of any or all of the Q posts. I have agreed with many interpretations but I have disagreed with just as many, if not more. It occurred to me quite early on Q was not only posting to anons but to his/their enemies and their own people. Believing this, I found many interpretations to be reaching in textual gymnastics to make something fit into a narrative which may not be correct.
One reason America First Media and the many volunteers who have contributed interpretations of found evidence is we rarely, if ever, agree 100% with each other unless we have a documented, verifiable fact in front of us. It is easier to accept and become an echo chamber than to follow your gut and risk sounding like an idiot because you have a different interpretation of what a set of circumstances and evidence could mean.
Although we did not all agree over many things, we always gave each other the opportunity to present arguments without judgement based on everybody’s sincerity to the cause.
Even within our investigation, there are elements we accept as a fact as we have not been able to prove alternate theories to any of our satisfaction. The best example in the murder of Seth Rich is the theory of the killers being MS-13 gang members.
This theory does, and always had seemed too good to not follow up with, and we did… thoroughly, or as much as we could. If you’re not familiar, there were two men found dead in South Carolina shortly after Seth’s murder in D.C. You’d be negligent as an investigator to not look at a scenario which certainly looks like two gang members were killed for some reason, possibly their botched murder attempt in a job they were hired for… it is a plausible fit to the narrative although we were never able to make this connection in any way other than pure circumstantial coincidence.
With having many law enforcement volunteers working in the group, some of whom have dealt with MS-13 in the real world saying this is NOT how they operate. When someone with their credentials says MS-13 does not piss around with shootings, in particular, failed murder attempts, it does, and should, carry some weight. In their experience, MS-13 does not take any chances someone might survive, and they are known for their vicious, up close and personal displays of leaving their victims as clear examples for others. They like their machetes for this very reason. And if they did use a handgun, it would not be a .22 calibre (as we believe was the calibre of weapon used).
I don’t believe Q could have been more clear in the drops where he mentions MS-13 being directly responsible for the murder of Seth Rich. I was surprised to read his posts regarding the connection to the two men found in South Carolina. Up to this point, our information seemed in alignment with everything else Q had posted regarding Seth Rich.
To some in our group, this was proof Q was fake because we know better. But do we? With no disrespect meant to my teammates who have invaluable, boots on the ground experience with MS-13, I have to admit, all we can say for certain is, nothing we have found to date proves there is a connection between Seth Rich’s murder and MS-13. Does Q know something we don’t? It appears so. Is it possible we found info Q didn’t know about? It’s also possible but believing Q is a legit military intelligence operation, it is not likely probable. We don’t have the same access to information as military intel would.
So our choices as investigators in this example are these: 1) We dismiss Q and believe we are right. 2) We dismiss ourselves and believe Q is gospel and go against what we know from our own research. 3) We accept we can only go with what we have been able to substantiate but keep an open mind to the possibility there is information we have yet to discover and proceed allowing for flexible revisions to our findings.
I think when you see the choices stated in this way, there is only one obvious choice. It has to be 3. This does not apply to only America First Media and the Seth Rich murder… this example is essentially how every investigation has to work to be credible and hopefully, successful.
Investigations stall when you stop challenging your own beliefs over time. Human ego does not like to acknowledge changes of opinion when the information available evolves. No one wants to admit they were wrong. This pride can be so strong we will double down and dig in with our original beliefs even though we may know we are now wrong. It can be toxic and devastating especially when we are speaking in terms of a movement like what I believe QAnon was meant to be.
Does it Matter If Austin Steinbart Is Q or Not?
While I was mulling this question, a new YouTube channel called BabyQPlus made a video based on this very question. They make very valid points regarding the risk involved for different people and what they commit to at this point in time regarding this possibility.
To summarize, for people like them, or myself the consequences of saying, yes, Austin Steinbart could likely be Q is minimal. If I, or them or anyone keeping an open mind, are ultimately wrong, we won’t suffer long term unless you consider Twitter mocking as serious.
But, for the people who have built their internet career, establishing a level of celebrity in the world of Q, the consequences of doubling down, digging in, and vehemently attacking anyone who entertains this possibility is HUGE. How do you come back from targeting individuals who don’t always agree with you and actually think for themselves which, ironically, has been a longstanding part of what Q has tried to relay to people?
The main factor which convinced me QAnon was real in the first place is when I asked myself this, “If I were running an operation such as Q, what would make sense to do?” Keep in mind, you have to get around the entire mainstream media, you need allies capable of first understanding what you are trying to do, and second, expand the reach exponentially across the world without advertising, breaking the law, being grassroots, and getting the message to sink in by getting people to do the research themselves so they really understand the depth of the situation.
Answering this question by inserting what Q is doing as an answer, makes perfect sense and realistically, there is no better alternative I can think of which would cover all these bases.
With Austin Steinbart, I asked myself the same question adding this, “If I were Q, what would the next step be?”.
I had been pondering this question long before Steinbart came along because I could not see a path for the QAnon movement to advance past the Chans and into the mainstream. As great as the boards have been up until now, and I say this with the utmost respect to some anons, who are literally geniuses, but for something like QAnon to be completely successful, the reach has to encompass the average citizen, in particular, the left leaning citizens.
For Q to continue only on 8kun, the successor board to 8Chan, ensures there will never be a significant growth of liberal and left leaning citizens. Even growth with right leaning normies will eventually plateau as many will always view Q on the Chans as a conspiracy theory. There really is a limit to the audience you can attract in this format even though the awareness has been incredible.
Let’s suppose for a minute Austin Steinbart is not Q and his claims turn out to be fake, a serious problem has been brought to the surface, regardless. The Q diehards have totally missed the entire message and thus, the purpose of the Q operation. They are condemning people for thinking for themselves. They are shutting out any out of the box possibilities which don’t fit the interpretations they treat as gospel.
One of the biggest arguments from Q devotees against Austin Steinbart’s claims has been an infamous post where Q states “NO OUTSIDE COMMS Outside of THIS platform”. Seems clear enough except for one problem. I mentioned earlier Q has posted on multiple boards. He/They started on 4Chan before moving to 8Chan. 8kun replaced 8Chan after multiple attempts to rid the internet of the forum.
Here’s the technicality to the NO OUTSIDE COMMS argument; this post was made on 8Chan NOT 8kun. The Q movement has technically been using outside comms since the beginning of 8kun.
Above is a screen cap of the most recent re-post from Q seeming to stress his original post. Note: The blue title lettering is added by the Q Maps site hosting the post picture, not by Q himself/themselves.
Below is the original post from January 2018. Notice the convenient titling (in blue) above the post.
The anti-Steinbart crowd readily admits the title is meaningless since it is not Q’s words but conversely, they also ignore the fact Q specifically says, “this platform” which in January 2018 was 8Chan and NOT 8kun.
So why would Steinbart troll the Q crowd rather than posting, “Hey dudes, it’s me Austin. I’m Q” on the 8kun board and clear up the issue completely? Honestly, I couldn’t understand this either… at first.
The more I thought about it, in addition to how many and how quickly the anti-Steinbarts jumped on the people who had been open to the Steinbart=Q option, rubbing this alleged proof in their noses and flaunting their told you so attitude, the more I could understand this decision.
Seeing a group of people who were supposed to be about unity and WWG1WGA (Where We Go One We Go All) completely jump to the obvious conclusion, overlooking the message of research, think outside of the box, and keep an open mind turn on those who were actually practicing the messages allowed me to see exactly why Q might have used this approach instead. In fact, from the context of ‘what would I do’, I could see myself doing the same for the purpose of humbling some Q celebs.
So back to the question of does it matter if Austin Steinbart isn’t Q? No, not really. If Steinbart turns out to be an imposter, the flaw in the current QAnon platform has been exposed and you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube.
For something as complex as the QAnon military intelligence operation to be successful, it cannot have individual Q influencers who aren’t willing to adapt to the progression needed to reach a mainstream audience. Neither can the movement tolerate infighting going against everything the message is supposed to be about. Influencers blocking, attacking, ridiculing, and harassing others who are trying to keep an open mind.
So how will we ever know the truth? Well, Austin Steinbart has actually given a solid date for an upcoming event, April 5th, 2020, claiming Greenland, yes, the country, will either be sold to the U.S. or something will happen to the monarchy. Steinbart used the term ‘Romanovsky them’. Not too subtle. And he guarantees it.
Steinbart made this claim at the beginning of March 2020. Why wouldn’t the Q people with the most to lose reputation-wise keep an open mind and wait for the proof? Hell, just say, “I’m not going to comment and reserve judgement until April 5th.” Why come out vehemently against Steinbart and other Q followers who entertain this very wait and see attitude?