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They don’t make very good prognosticators, whoever they are.
Since exploding on the conspiracy theory scene in October 2017, the self-proclaimed Donald Trump administration insider who calls himself “QAnon” has made a great many predictions of what will be happening next, from specific incidents taking place on exact days, to general claims of great events to come.
Most recently, Q’s drop of Aug. 19, Drop #1926, kicks the can down the road for when the supposed “Great Awakening” of unsealed indictments and mass arrests will take place, citing several Trump executive orders as proof.
If Q’s latest prediction holds with the rest of them, the deep state has nothing to worry about, as most of QAnon’s predictions have fizzled out with virtually nothing happening. Indeed, the predictions have gotten vaguer, content to mostly forecast things happening “next week” or “soon.”
But it wasn’t always like that. In fact, Q kicked off his prognosticating with a bang, using his first few dozen posts to spin an elaborate conspiracy theory that continues to be cited today.
Drop #1 “claimed that “HRC extradition [was] already in motion effective yesterday with several countries in case of cross border run” with Drop #2 alleging “HRC detained, not arrested (yet)” and that there would be “massive riots organized in defiance and others fleeing the US.”
After a stretch of posts full of rhetorical questions and vague claims, Q used Drop #15 to predict that John Podesta would be indicted on Nov. 3, and Clinton aide Huma Abedin indicted on Nov. 6.
Drop #16, posted the same day, claimed that “Friday & Saturday will deliver on the MAGA promise” with a thorough house-cleaning of the government. That Friday, Nov. 3, saw the president leave for a tour of Asia, and no firings, but the predictions continued.
After a series of vague insinuations about the National Guard being activated in various major cities (which was not true), Q again claimed in Drop #25 that proof of his predictions would “begin 11.3.” Again, the only significant event of this day was the president leaving for Asia.
In Drop #32, Q claimed that the “initial wave [of arrests] will be fast and meaningful,” with many members of the media “jailed as deep cover agents.”
Finally, Drop #34 unveiled a host of predictions for what Q claimed would happen imminently. He claimed that “over the course of the next several days you will undoubtedly realize that we are taking back our great country.” He claimed that everything he’d been talking about in secret “will then be revealed and will not be openly accepted,” resulting in “public riots.”
Q claimed that because of the imminent unrest of Nov. 3 and the announcement of John Podesta’s arrest the next day, “a state of temporary military control will be actioned,” and that “we will be initiating the Emergency Broadcast System (EMS) during this time in an effort to provide a direct message (avoiding the fake news) to all citizens.”
Drop #38 continued with the conspiracy fantasizing, predicting “other state actors attempting to harm us during this transition,” along with “increased military movement,” “[National Guard] deployments starting tomorrow, and “false flags.”
As part of the “imminent event” of the 3, Q claimed in Drop #44 that “before POTUS departs on Friday he will be sending an important message via Twitter,” used Drop #47 to warn his readers to “be vigilant today and expect a major false flag,” and claimed in Drop #55 that President Trump would unleash the massive military purge (now nicknamed “The Storm”) with a tweet reading “My fellow Americans, the Storm is upon us…….”
Q continued to ratchet up the tension, predicting in Drop #61: that there would be “Twitter and other social media blackouts” that would accompany the massive deep state purge.
Finally, in Drop #65, Q claimed “it has begun,” with Drop #67 predicting that news of John Podesta’s military plane being “forced down” “will be leaked” with a prominent “fake news anchor” being pulled off the air.
Needless to say, none of what Q predicted in his first 60+ posts took place. The National Guard was never called up, mass arrests never took place, Hillary Clinton and John Podesta weren’t detained, Donald Trump never sent a tweet mentioning “The Storm,” and the Emergency Alert System wasn’t activated.
But that didn’t stop the movement.
However, Q seemed to learn from his mistakes and mostly stopped making specific predictions about events to come, shifting to vague statements about world events, terror attacks, and political intrigue.
On Dec. 10, Q predicted in Drop #326 that “false flag(s)” would occur, with “POTUS 100% insulated” and to “expect fireworks.” Q believers seized on a partially detonated pipe bomb at New York’s Port Authority Bus Terminal, and Q took credit the next day for “thwarting” the attack.
In Drop #647, Q seemed to predict a major event involving the Department of Defense for Feb. 1, calling it the “[D]ay [Of] [D]ays.” Nothing of note happened either to that agency or the federal government in general that day.
A few days after that fizzled, Q insinuated in Drop #700 that the weekend of Feb. 10 and 1 would be a “suicide weekend” for individuals targeted by the president. There were no high-profile suicides by public figures that weekend.
Drop #796 was a post full of quasi-military chatter that seemed to predict a possible car bombing in London around Feb. 16. No terrorist attack of any type happened in London at all that month.
As talk of President Trump’s military parade ramped up, Q predicted in Drop #856 that “a parade that will never be forgotten” would take place on 11/11/18. That parade has now been postponed until next year due to costs, and likely won’t take place at all.
Then, in Drop #912, Q claimed that the intelligence sharing alliance known as “Five Eyes” “won’t be around much longer.” As of August, it is still in effect.
Drop #997 predicted on April 3 that the Pope would “have a terrible May.” The closest to this that happened was the resignation of several Chilean bishops in June after Pope Francis criticized them over their handling of a sex abuse scandal.
On April 7, Q made a cryptic post in Drop #1067 that read simply “China. Chongqing. Tuesday.” The next Tuesday was April 10, and no newsworthy event took place on that day in that city.
Finally, in Drop #1302 on April 27, Q claimed a “Mother of All Bombs” related to negotiations with North Korea would be “dropped” in the next week.
Some Q believers took this to be the North Korea/United States summit announcement on the 28, but the negotiations had already been reported, and only the location and exact date remained to be set—neither of which Q provided.
Even as he was seeming to reveal world events that never took place, Q kept up his hammering of favored foes Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John McCain.
Even though she wasn’t indicted or arrested, Q predicted on March 5 in Drop #854 that “HRC +++ + +++++(raw vid 5:5)” [sic] would soon emerge, and that it would be the “nail in many coffins.”
The supposed existence of this video sparked a new right-wing conspiracy theory that a secret video existed of Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin doing something horrible to a child. The video never surfaced, and the conspiracy theory flamed out.
Using Barack Obama’s middle name, Q predicted in Drop #1043 that “pics will surface of Hussein holding AK47 in tribal attire,” and insinuated in two April drops that photos of Obama with a young girl named “Wendy” would appear and open him up to charges of pedophilia. No such pictures have ever appeared.
Finally, again using a nickname, Q predicted John McCain’s resignation from the Senate as “imminent” several times, including Drop #1319 and Drop #1850, as well as predicting the “end near” in Drop #1555. Only this week did McCain announce he would stop seeking treatment for cancer.
Politicians aren’t the only suspected deep state members that Q has made failed predictions about.
On April 4, Q claimed in Drop #1014 that Mark Zuckerberg was going to step down as chair of Facebook and flee the United States. The same day Q predicted this, Zuckerberg reiterated that he was NOT going to step down—and he still hasn’t.
Q has also made some fizzled predictions about Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, saying “goodbye” to him in Drops #525 and #598, insinuating that Dorsey would be removed from Twitter in Drop #799, predicting in Drop #1102 that Dorsey was “next”
It’s not surprising that as Q’s predictions fizzled, he became less specific and more generalized with what he claimed would happen. It’s here that QAnon truly began taking on the language of prosperity scams, substituting vague claims of “next week” or “soon” in place of anything more specific.
Q’s use of the phrase “next week” to denote the occurrence of something important started with Drop #243 when Q told his followers “just wait until next week” without making any kind of claim as to what was going to happen. It would be the first of over a dozen times Q would kick the can down the road to “next week.”
In Drop #464: Q vaguely predicted a “BIG NEXT WEEK” on Jan. 5, doubling down in Drop #527, predicting “Next Week – BIGGER,” repeating the claim three drops later.
He would use “next week” as the timeframe for something in a number of subsequent drops, never with any specificity.
Drop #1594 became one of Q’s most famous blown predictions, as he claimed that July would be “the month the world discovered the TRUTH.”
Whatever this truth was supposed to be was never specified, and Q believers were briefly concerned that whatever happened would be a letdown, but this seemed to pass quickly.
Soon after, Q even stopped talking about time frames, merely hinting that “something big” was on the way—and letting his followers determine what that was.
After not posting for about three weeks, Q posted in Drop #1687 that “something BIG is about to drop” with links to various press articles about QAnon. He made the exact same claim in Drops #1708, 1748, and 1802.
Going back through all of Q’s predictions, it’s easy to trace their evolution from highly detailed clairvoyance to vague platitudes that could be taken to mean almost anything.
And what has Q predicted that hasn’t yet failed to come to pass?
Beyond the prediction made in Drop #1926, there are two things in particular. He’s made five different references to Iran being “next” for some kind of major intervention, and several references to Nov. 11 being a date that America will be “unified again.”
What’s supposed to happen? Nobody knows. But as Q would say, enjoy the show.
Mike Rothschild is a writer who specializes in researching and debunking conspiracy theories and fringe beliefs. He also writes about politics, history, and breaking news.