Although I was immediately attracted to this book when it was released back in February of 2023, I wasn’t sure how current it was – I mean I hadn’t heard anything substantive about QAnon in months, maybe not since 1/6. I’d read a few pieces about it prior to that but is that what I was going to be getting here?
Trust the Plan:
The Rise of QAnon and the Conspiracy
That Unhinged America
By: Will Sommer / 2023
Narrated by: Joe Knezevich
Length: 8 hrs and 12 min
Rating: 8.5 / politics and government
Okay fine – tt went onto my Wish List but… well… I procrastinated. Then, out of the blue, I read something somewhere and caved. Yes – let’s just get it. I was wanting a good juicy nonfiction that wasn’t true crime again. I had started a science book but that was something I had to pay close attention to (“Power, Sex, Suicide” by Nick Lane) – so far so good in it but really, I was ready for a kick-back and enjoy book.
And yes, there was a lot more in this book about QAnon than I knew. Sommer has been following and investigating and reporting on QAnon for “The Daily Beast” for years. I was aware of the origins, the power struggles, and the search for the writer of the Q-Drops. but what was going on with since the rowdy followers were removed from Facebook and Twitter?
The story is fascinating as the loose group and their leader, the anonymous”Q,” move from a base at 4-Chan to 8-Chan to Facebook and Twitter groups writing about the accusations of Child Abuse and nonsense about Covid-19. And a lot of innocent people got hurt.
I had no idea all this was going on, but then I don’t frequent those kinds of social media. I’ve never even been curious enough to investigate, besides, maybe the news shows and sites I do go to were playing that down. I remember reading one good article about QAnon and they were mentioned in others with some mainstream TV and internet exposure thrown in. I suspect some of my friends were more seriously infected with the ideas than I knew (sad to say).
“At its core, QAnon is about distrusting institutions. The media, the government and big business are all out to get you and your kids. The only people you can trust are QAnon and Trump.” Chapter 7 somewhere – (I listened to the book.)
“Conspiracy theories have been around since the earliest days of this country and even before. The main story is something like, “A small group of powerful persons is acting in secret for their own benefit, against the common good.”
What is at the heart of QAnon? Sommer says that it’s child trafficking, but he also says that “…it’s the racism and anti-Semitism which are at the heart of Q-Anon.” Having read the book I’d say it was the racism and anti-Semitism first and then it got into child trafficking which really struck a chord with the followers and brought new members in.
Sommer doesn’t go into the possible psychology of QAnon believers beyond the idea that they’re alienated from US social and cultural life and it creates problems for those who care about them – also it seems that psychologists aren’t too sure about what to do with them. Sommer’s advice is to leave them alone with their delusions as long as you can tolerate it.
QAnon is certainly not dead – in fact, it’s growing globally in some places.
One thing I appreciated but didn’t use a lot was the Source Notes section which you can download from your Audible library (I imagine it’s included in the book but ??? ). There are about 25 pages of notes. Sommer wrote some of what he uses in earlier articles, but certainly not all – Vanity Fair is mentioned as well as other news sources, interviews and blog posts.