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Member since: Mon Oct 31, 2016, 07:09 PM
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Cosmopolitan: Thousands of People Are Trying to Leave QAnon, but Getting Out Is Almost Impossible


In a Cosmo exclusive, women on both sides—the former believers and the doctors they’re turning to—show us what it takes to escape.

For Anna*, a 23-year-old pharmacy student in Pennsylvania, it felt like being trapped in a vortex of fear. “I had feelings of hope, but at the same time, I was incredibly scared, distressed, and anxious and even had panic attacks,” she says. She spent as many as eight hours a day poring over feeds on Telegram and Gab, listening to fringe podcasts. “Doing just about anything else,” she admits, “was really hard.”

Another person compared it to a “monster gnawing away at me.” On a message board this summer, they wrote, “My mind keeps circling back to it, no matter what I do. I don’t want this to happen, I’ve seen what it does to people, but I just can’t shake it off, I’m losing my goddamn mind, I can’t focus on anything and my anxiety keeps shooting up, this isn’t who I am.”
“It,” for all three, was QAnon, the infamous and violent pro-Trump conspiracy theory whose followers mushroomed during the pandemic to include suburban moms, yoga teachers, grandmas, and seemingly half of your Facebook feed. The movement was so easy to get into—a provocative post by an acquaintance, a few clicks, a video that rang true, which then surfaced other videos—but would prove to be much harder to get out of.

After the 2020 presidential election, followers disillusioned by Q’s false predictions of an overwhelming Trump victory flocked to Reddit message boards like QAnonCasualties and ReQovery, their posts tinged with vulnerability and desperation. They swapped articles, books, podcasts (commonly the New York Times’ Rabbit Hole series), and tips on how to let go of conspiratorial beliefs. They numbered more than 200,000.

Alot more from this insightful article & affirms what we've known all along - Q is a cult that social media has helped create.
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