Minerva-funded researcher, Dr. Mia Bloom (Georgia State University) presented at the Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) General Speaker Series on Qanon Radicalization and Conspiracy: 2017-2020 on December 15, 2020.
Dr. Bloom began her presentation by noting the similarities between ISIS’s and Qanon’s methods of recruitment and radicalization, as well as their deployment of operatives. She then stated that since the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdowns ensued, there have been spikes in Qanon activity and an expansion of the conspiracy beliefs that Qanon is known for, not only in the US but globally. She added that there is a great deal of overlap among those who believe in conspiracy theories, those who support Qanon, those who are anti-vaccine, those who are anti-mask, and those who are convinced that COVID-19 is a hoax. Dr. Bloom then noted that Qanon has gone from being a fringe conspiracy theory to one that is now embraced by some congressional candidates. At its core, Dr. Bloom argued, Qanon is a rehashed version of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion—a fabricated piece of anti-Semitic propaganda.