Folks, we’re starting to lose it. It feels like every day now, the insane bullshit festering in the deep recesses of the internet comes closer and closer to merging with widely accepted reality, until there is no longer any separation between internet cranks and the most powerful people on Earth.
The latest sign of our inexorable decline comes from Will Sommer’s Right Richter newsletter, published by The Daily Beast, where he reports that South Carolina State Rep. Lin Bennett has been posting some odd stuff online lately, pointing to a belief in the conspiracy theory QAnon.
As Sommer puts it, QAnon is like a “mega-Pizzagate,” a conspiracy theory to rule all other conspiracy theories. Believers have cobbled together a vision of a vast network of evildoers, encompassing most liberal politicians and Hollywood stars, who they believe are sexually abusing and murdering children. QAnon believers think President Trump is working to vanquish these criminals with the help of special counsel Robert Mueller, while a mysterious figure named Q drops hints about the plot on 4Chan. You know, standard issue stuff.
Now that you’re up to speed, let’s check in with Bennett, who seems to be a big Q fan. According to Sommer, she’s been posting QAnon-related content on Twitter for at least a year, including screenshots of Q’s cryptic image board posts.
Bennett has posted other Q “drops” on her Facebook, as well as a guide to the theory.
“To say they are ‘interesting’ is an understatement,” Bennett wrote of the drops. “Wow! Just wow!”
“Is this legit?” Bennett’s Facebook friend asked at one point, understandably confused by her wacky posts. “Cause everything seems pretty grandiose and out there.”
“They’re legit,” Bennett wrote in response. “And they haven’t been wrong.”
This post, and the others referenced here, seem to have either been deleted or made inaccessible to the public since Sommer sent out his newsletter earlier today.
As Sommer points out, Bennett isn’t the first public official to give the QAnon theory props in public. A California councilwoman referenced the theory during a public meeting in December, saying “God bless Q.” That same month, a Florida Sheriff’s deputy was demoted after he was seen wearing a Q-related patch during a meeting with Vice President Mike Pence. And in January, a Montana justice of the peace responded angrily to a reporter who blew off the theory.
The theory has also been connected with violence, including an incident of an armed man blocking a road near the Hoover Dam with an armored vehicle, a truly bizarre stabbing, and the recent murder of a Mafia boss. Yes, really.
Bennett did not respond to Sommer’s requests for comment.