A Bag Of Dog Poo, A USPS Drop-Box, and a Cult. How One Bad Decision Led Me To Join QAnon
Back in 2016, if you were to tell me that in just a few years I'd be associated with a conspiracy organization deeply rooted in a far-right belief system, I would have called bullshit, immediately followed by questioning whether or not my bro-shaman, Joe Rogan, had also joined. If that were the case, I could see it. I'm currently abiding by a strict daily regimen of 37 supplements as recommended by my bro-savior without knowing what a single one of these things do. My testosterone levels are absolutely BOOMING, but I digress.
When the average American hears about fringe organizations such as QAnon, ANTIFA, Neo-Nazis, furries, etc., it's easy to automatically assume only morons can fall down a schizophrenic rabbit hole like that. I, for one, was no different in this type of thinking. But the truth is that these cults find ways to take advantage of even the brightest individuals. All it takes is a small vulnerability that they can latch onto; A vulnerability I didn't know I had until it was far too late.
It all started on a mundane, cold, and cloudy Wednesday in early October 2020. We were months into the lockdown with no end in sight, the BLM protests had taken over the news cycle, and politics riddled my mind. I was susceptible, to say the least. I tried everything I could to strengthen my ever eroding mental, but no amount of self-care Twitter threads were helping.
Following yet another unsatisfactory quarterly self-review at work, I decided to take my dog on a walk to blow off some steam. We were only a few hundred feet from my apartment when she squatted to take a poop. After picking it up, I found myself in predicament: (1) Walk all the way back to where the dumpster was to toss the bag, or (2) Hold onto it for the entire walk.
While pondering my options, a third choice made itself visible; I caught a glimpse of the nearby USPS mail drop-off container that occupies a small spot towards the exit of our apartment complex. I checked my surroundings to make sure no one was looking. When I felt the coast was clear, I quickly ran up to the container and dropped the small bag of poo inside. As I turned back, I was shocked to lock eyes with a man leaving his apartment. It was obvious he had seen what happened.
I didn't know what to do. With my weak mental state and dwindling social skills following months of minimal human contact, I scurried through my brain to find something - ANYTHING - that would get me out of this situation.
I examined the environment around me for some nonverbal clues. I noticed he was wearing a Carhartt jacket, but not like a hipster would wear it. It was also apparent that he was heading towards a dirt-covered Dodge Ram. I scanned the back of the truck for more indicators:
BINGO - A "Black Smoke Matters" bumper sticker.
It was time for me to take a leap of faith. I stared him directly in the eyes and confidently stated, "That's for them rigging the election," in reference to the US Postal Service. There was a pause…..followed by a confirming nod. He threw up an "Ok" sign, to which I repeated in solidarity.
Relieved, I turned around to continue my walk and celebrate my near escape. We were about halfway to the sidewalk when I heard footsteps behind me: It was the man. He asked to speak with me. I grew skittish, but he assured me he was a friend.
The conversation was quick: He asked if I had taken "the red pill." I confirmed. Like I mentioned earlier, I was on Joe Rogan's supplement regimen. I'd taken a lot of pills that day: a red pill, purple pill, my Adderall, which is orange or sometimes white depending on if I get the generic brand...
He smiled and invited me over later that night to hang out with him and his group of friends. Being that I wasn't in a position to say no, I reluctantly agreed.
Upon arrival, I was met by 4 or 5 men who'd be nearly invisible had they been sitting in a tree or even some brush. The Cabela's/Bass Pro Shop hats occupying the bulk of noggin tops in the room told me this wasn't going to be one of those Xanax parties I typically attend. Perhaps more of an old-fashioned, West Virginian, opium throw down.
After introducing myself and getting comfortable, the moment had arrived: They sat me down and asked if I was ready to be red-pilled.
This, of course, worried me for two reasons: (1) I had already explained I had taken red pills before, but perhaps there were worries stemming from a past allergic reaction to Red Dye 40, and (2) Red "pilled" made it sound like we were doing this anally so the drugs would get to my system faster. I obviously have no ill-will towards this method; I just prefer not to do it around a group of men I've never met.
Nonetheless, I nodded in confirmation and put out my hand, ready to take a trip with some strangers. To my surprise, they ignored my outreached palm, instead sparking a conversation about the group "QAnon" and their plan to save our society.
I started to look around in confusion. It wasn't long when it finally clicked: "Oh, wow..." I thought, "I don't think that was an "Ok" sign at all..."
It wasn't a month later that I found myself dick deep (5.25 inches) in the QAnon organization. If I'm being candid, initially, things were pretty nice. In a way, it brought back a sense of normalcy.
Every Wednesday, me and the Q-boys would meet up in apartment 36, no masks, drinking beers, and discussing the ongoing "plan." We would speak about life after exposing ultra-wealthy and high profile government officials of their child trafficking ways. We'd argue over when we thought the right time was for Trump to expose the Rothschild's satanic cult. We'd even joke about crisis actor's salaries and which movie roles the "dead" children would best fit in at. I always joked they would seamlessly take Haley Joel Osment's place in Pay It Forward.
It wasn't long when the Q-boys began encouraging me to buy my first “Q” bumper sticker. It was something I had put off for a while. Despite keeping my involvement with the group secretive, I wasn’t worried about the sticker exposing me. I commonly use bumper stickers as a source of comedy for my inside jokes. Everyone who knows me knows I have a 26.2 sticker on my car, despite never actually running a marathon. I only put off the purchase for quality assurance purposes. With mounting pressure, though, I finally took the dive.
Sticker on and time moving along, things remained relatively normal for a few months. But that all changed when news arrived that a couple of fellas who'd attended a Q-night earlier in the year were arrested for plotting to kidnap and try Gretchen Whitmer.
Wednesday meetings started to grow tense shortly after that. Booze was banned from our gatherings to follow in the footsteps of our fearless leader, President Trump. Serious talks were going on about some sort of "Capitol Protest" in January. I considered going, seeing as to all of the extra vacation time I rolled over from the year prior, but ultimately, I decided to skip it. It wasn't a month later that it happened...
Typically, I can take multiple at a time, but this was a tough pill to swallow. I was shocked; Even our weed guy, Brian Cash, was taken into custody. He was always conspiracy-driven, but I assumed it was just the ganja brain.
How did it get this far? How did dropping a bag of shit in a USPS box morph into taking part in the planning of an insurrection? I mean, fuck…I just wanted something to do to fill all the free time I had with the ongoing lockdowns. Wednesday with the Q-boys was supposed to be a fun thing we did; I only wanted some sort of normalcy.
Shortly after the news broke, I resigned from my position in QAnon and disavowed what they believed in. To absolve myself of my sins, I've decided to fight back against all extremist groups, right or left. I'll no longer standby as these pseudo-patriots continue to tear this country apart.
I've been left with no choice but to start my own organization; One that represents the common person: A radical centrist group of sorts. A group that believes most solutions lie somewhere in between the extreme left and extreme right narrative. After mere minutes, I decided on a name that would best represent that belief...
In MAnon, we stand for the average American; The person who doesn’t want to have to yell “The crossover dribble was first popularized by the likes of Oscar Robertson, Pee Wee Kirkland, and later Tim Hardaway - all African American’s” while playing basketball to avoid accusations of cultural appropriation, but also doesn’t scream things like “THE SOUTH WILL RISE AGAIN.”
Here at MAnon, we stand for the man or woman (or whatever you might be, we really don’t care. It’s just that the term he/her, man/woman, etc. have been instilled in the English language for our entire lives and makes it exponentially easier to describe a person. Similar to when there’s one black guy in the room, and instead of describing him by his eye color after someone asks who Malik is in order to avoid being called racist, you just say “the black guy,” similarly to how a black guy would describe a white person in a room full of black people after someone asked who Chad was) who can see both points of views. Our outlook on things are, what some people would describe as, alt-middle.
We want tiki torches to be a method of decorating the back porch, not a sign of a white revolution. We want political beliefs to stay political beliefs and not become entire personalities. We want white suburban kids to go back to being addicted to heroin, not race wars. I want more of these stickers:
...and less of these:
Remember those days? Remember when things were normal? Remember when Vicodin was enough to keep us docile? And besides, haven't we learned from the Kony 2012 movement? Ends up, we're not all that good at saving the world, but at least then we were able to set our differences aside and stand arm in arm to make a real change...in this man's brain chemistry.
It has to be said: Medium writers - What are we doing here? Stop.
Carl - Put down the AR, pick up the keys to the van, and take your family to Disney World, not another Trump rally.
Karen - Stop yelling at black people in parking lots and start putting your fucking cart back in the cart station. It's not that hard.
Stacy - Get back to joining Instagram smoothie pyramid schemes, not extremist political cults.
Jamal - ...
So join us in our pursuit to be the most hardcore centrist group in America, and remember to follow MAnon on Twitter for all the moderate takes. Together, we'll make this world eh again!