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SGT Unit Supply Specialist
PO1 William "Chip" Nagel
..."QAnon was borne out of the far-right political movement, when an anonymous person, or persons, identified only as "Q" began posting elaborate conspiracy theories. Q claims to have inside knowledge of government secrets and has spread a range of lies, not unlike Moon; just as Moon claimed to be "the Messiah," Q has painted former President Donald Trump as a savior figure.

Benscoter's organization, Antidote, will soon offer workshops — consisting of eight, 90-minute sessions — to help participants learn how to break people away from QAnon. Antidote is scaling the individualized deprogramming techniques that saved Benscoter and others from cults in the past.

Like Moon, the disinformation spread by Q plays off people's fears and takes advantage of human vulnerability, Benscoter said.

And as the movement has grown, U.S. authorities increasingly see QAnon as a domestic terror threat, one that reaches across the globe, thanks to the internet.

Antidote's workshops will launch this spring; in the meantime, anyone in need of help can reach out to Antidote online.

Is QAnon a cult?
QAnon has been referred to as a cult, a political movement, and a worldview, among other things. Giving it a concrete definition is as difficult as mapping the range of ideas contained within it.

Catherine Wessinger is a professor of the history of religions at Loyola University New Orleans. In an article for the independent Religion Dispatches, Wessinger argues that describing QAnon as a cult is inaccurate and ineffective at helping people see the truth.

In contemporary society, the word 'cult' comes with a ready-made explanation that is illogically and pejoratively applied to groups and movements with differing characteristics. People are using the term 'cult' to stigmatize groups and movements that they simply do not like."...
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