In Trust the Plan, Daily Beast reporter Will Sommer delves into the origins and evolution of the QAnon conspiracy theory movement. His book provides important context for how QAnon gained traction and influenced American politics.
The book in three sentences
- The book examines the rise of the QAnon conspiracy theory, which baselessly claimed Donald Trump was dismantling an elite child-trafficking cabal.
- Reporter Will Sommer tracks QAnon’s origins on fringe sites and growth into a mainstream movement upending U.S. politics.
- Sommer connects QAnon’s rise to broader trends of misinformation, partisanship, and anti-establishment distrust.
The book explores the beginnings of QAnon on fringe internet forums and its growth into a mainstream conspiracy theory upending politics. Sommer examines the primary actors and events that elevated QAnon along with its false claims and ideological underpinnings.
Sommer traces QAnon’s origins to cryptic online posts from an anonymous individual or group known as “Q” starting in 2017. Q promoted a conspiracy theory claiming Donald Trump was secretly working to dismantle an elite global child-trafficking ring run by prominent Democrats.
The book outlines QAnon’s spread from online message boards to mainstream social media, amplified by far-right activists. Adherents interpreted Q’s vague predictions as proof of the conspiracy. QAnon ultimately incorporated other conspiracies and morphed into an umbrella movement.
Sommer connects QAnon’s rise to broader trends of misinformation, polarization, and declining trust. He highlights how QAnon radicalized Americans and prompted real-world violence. The book concludes with QAnon’s influence on the 2020 election, the Capitol riot, and its endurance despite being an obvious hoax.
Trust the Plan provides a detailed overview of how an outlandish conspiracy theory gained credence with millions of Americans. Sommer’s insightful reporting sheds light on the highly concerning QAnon phenomenon and the growth of extremist movements in modern American politics. The book is an engaging yet alarming read.
Who Should Read
Anyone concerned about the growth of conspiracy theories and extremism in the United States will find the book highly informative. It is a must-read for understanding modern partisan polarization and the QAnon phenomenon.
- QAnon originated with obscure online posts from an anonymous poster known as “Q”.
- Viral conspiracy theories and partisanship created conditions ripe for QAnon’s rise.
- QAnon radicalized Americans across the political spectrum as it was amplified by far-right groups.
- Despite promoting disproven claims, QAnon has carved a niche in American politics.
About the Author
Will Sommer is an award-winning reporter for The Daily Beast who has covered internet culture and conservatism. He previously worked at The Hill.