A rare interview with a recovering QAnon'er

Jitarth Jadeja is an Australian who spent some time living in the US, and regretfully spent two years of his life down the QAnon wormhole.

Once Jadeja found QAnon he was quickly sucked in. He would spend time on websites that aggregated posts supposedly from Q, which often first appear on darker corners of the internet like 8kun. Then he'd move on to read the interpretations of those posts from other believers. These interpretations are popular among the QAnon community because posts from "Q" are often so vague that they can be read in any number of ways. The tactic tends to lure in supporters the way fraudulent psychics can — there's little solid information given, so almost anything can be taken as confirmation of a pronouncement by "Q.""There'd be a lot of Youtube and Reddit mini-celebrities within the community that would be like the anointed decrypter for that point in time," Jadeja noted.

QAnon was all he wanted to talk about. That made life offline increasingly difficult for him, and he pulled away from friends.

But cracks began to form when — of all things — he noticed that Trump was encouraging the extradition and legal punishment of Julian Assange, who was obviously instrumental in helping Trump win the election and also "exposing" Hillary Clinton. Jadeja began researching more and more discrepancies into the hole-riddled conspiracy, and eventually wrote a 700-word post on Reddit admitting he was fooled.

I wanted to believe that justice was coming, that all I had to do was sit back and enjoy the show, I trusted the plan, that where we went one, we went all, blah blah fucking blah. There we red flags everywhere, nothing Q said ever came true, time and time again he would be wrong and time and again we all made excuses for him. It was just disinformation yo, Q's tricking the black hats who for some fucking reason listen to what Q says and don't realise it's misinfo despite the fact that Q specifically says it's misinfo. LOL wtf?

I suppose I was a prime candidate, disaffected, vulnerable and insecure. Q gave me purpose, meaning and perhaps saddest of all, he gave me joy. I was happy that the world wasn't as actually as fucked up as it seemed, that there were good guys out there fighting the good fight, that we could genuinely build a better future for all of humanity. What a fucking joke.

In the video above, Jadeja talks to CNN about his experience in the QAnon cult, and how he escaped.

He went down the QAnon rabbit hole for two years. Here's how he got out. [Bronte Lord and Richa Naik / CNN]

You guys were right [Jitarth Jadeja / Reddit]

Image: Mike MacKenzie / Flickr (CC 2.0)