New York Magazine : 2020-09-28

INTELLIGEN­CER : 34 : 32

INTELLIGEN­CER

LATE 2017. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE, the 43-year-old founder of a CrossFit gym in a wealthy Atlanta suburb, hops onto Facebook Live, where she will discuss Moloch, the pagan idol of child sacrifice. Greene is wearing a black top, her blonde hair down. Filming before a blank wall, she looks tired but happy, in her element. “Okay, now,” she says in a pleasant drawl, “have you guys been following 4chan, Q, any of that stuff? Anybody? I’m going to watch for your comments here.” The anonymous persona Q, purportedl­y a government mole, had begun posting on the right-wing message board 4chan in late October, about a month before Greene’s livestream. Q’s posts formed the nucleus of a collective belief system that became known as QAnon, whose premise was this: Hollywood and the U.S. government were teeming with pedophiles and demon worshipper­s, whom Donald Trump was trying to bring to justice with the help of unlikely allies such as Special Counsel Robert Mueller, whose investigat­ion of the president was, in fact, a false-flag operation. To anyone who found this idea implausibl­e, Q had posed a question: Why would a famous billionair­e give up his charmed life to run for president? Was it, perhaps, because “he could not stomach the thought of mass murders occurring to satisfy Moloch?” 32 new york | september 28–october 11, 2020