Tonight’s Guest: Mike Rothschild Author of The Storm Is Upon Us: How QAnon Became a Movement, Cult, and Conspiracy Theory of Everything

Tonight’s guest on Dark Matter: Mike Rothschild:

My interview notes:

About the guest:

Debunker seen/heard on CNN, NPR, NYT, WaPo, BBC, Peacock. Media requests: My book on QAnon, THE STORM IS UPON US, is out now!

Mike Rothschild is a journalist who explores the intersections between Internet culture and politics through thelens of conspiracy theories

As a subject matter expert in the field of fringe beliefs, he has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, the BBC, NPR, Yahoo!, Daily Beast, CBS, San Francisco Chronicle, Rolling Stone,Snopes, NBC News, Vice, Slate, and Politico, among many others.

Mike has also made frequent TV, radio, and podcast appearances in the United States and internationally, including CNN, The Mehdi Hasan Show on Peacock, and many others.

Here are some direct quotes

  • “Even when Q believers are presented with crushing proof that they’ve been fooled, they still believe—often taking the proof that they’re wrong as proof that they’re actually right,” writes @rothschildmd

Mike Rothschild@rothschildmd·gave a quick quote to Forbes on how extremely disturbing it is for Donald Trump, who commands a heavily armed cult of personality, to be demanding the identity of whoever shot Ashli Babbitt.

Rothschild said. “People came to QAnon because of the pandemic and they stayed for the stolen election conspiracy theories.” QAnon believers get more and more frustrated at predictions failing to come true, they are increasingly likely to move from being “digital soldiers” to taking action in the real world.


TOPICS– Who is responsible? Where is it going? Qanon’ers in the chat will respond to authors claims and statements.

My questions and areas of inquiry:

  • IS Q-Anon just the Tea Party rebranded? Are we looking at the far-right under the spell of an effective demagogue, or is this a new an permanent part of the American electorate?
  • Does Trump have plausible deniability or is he feeding the Q-ult?
  • Do conspiracy theories need censorship or discussion?
  • Role of General Flynn and Lin Wood and Alex Jones


  • McAfee’s dead man’s switch and the letter Q posted on his Instagram. McAfee’s Epstein investigation and the association of the collapsed condo with McAfee.
  • Chapter 12 Mathematically Impossible: Debunking QAnon and Its Prophecies
  • Chapter 13 Where We Go One: How to Help People Who Want to Get Out of Q
  • to be a prophet or digital warrior online, as long as you aren’t promising financial returns or specifically exhorting people to commit crimes. And despite Q mythology having a major role in the lead-up to the Capitol attack, it’s a stretch to say that the Q poster directly ordered anyone to do anything.” ALEX JONES– Said they’d take JB out of the WH one way or the other, that day.
  • But Q believers see it as a plan to save the world—a plan being carried out by Donald Trump, his handpicked advisors, and his millions of digital soldiers. *”
  • “It’s a political movement that revolves not around patriotism or traditional conservative values, but bloody revenge against diabolical enemies. Its voters demand loyalty, fealty, blood in the streets, and the total overthrow of the political norms of the past.” — (my intro to Q was someone explaining the need to stand down and just watch the show as the deep state would be purged. I was told that Covid19 lockdowns were a ruse to get Trumps White-hats into place –and that Celebrities and Politicians would be executed live on TV.

“Some almost salivate for violence (“These people need to ALL be ELIMINATED. Those who know cannot sleep,” screams Drop #2051 on August 31, 2018)”[11:03 AM]Q-ANON VERSES[11:03 AM]QURAN VERSES

  • There’s the poll that showed well over a quarter of white evangelicals believe QAnon to be at least somewhat correct.
  • Going beyond Q itself, a December 2020 poll by NPR/Ipsos found that about a third of Americans believe in the existence of a shadowy “deep state” pulling the strings of international politics, and that 23 percent of Republicans believed in a pedophilic ring of “Satan-worshipping elites” who are “trying to control our politics and media.”2 Finally, though the site has methodology problems, a late 2020 YouGov poll found that some 30 percent of Republicans had a “favorable view” of QAnon.3
  • Do you suppose that a religious framework was used to radicalize the political party with religiousity?
  • Sealed indictments, opening of seals, a Great Awakening, Judgement, and a better age to follow. It sounds like Trump as a savior.

  • THE GOSPEL OF Q The closest thing to a founding document or scripture for Q are Q’s drops themselves. There are 4,953 of them posted just during the Trump Years totaling 60,000 more words than the New Testament. (Is Donald Trump as Christ/redeemer?)
  • Is JFK Jr Qanon alive? This struck me as comical until I learned how seriously this fits into the covert war on a supposed “Deep State”, and that THE PLAN is the Kennedy’s revenge for JFK’s death, undertaken by JFK Jr who presumable faked his death to carry out this mission with the help of Donald Trump.
  • Believers even think that drops signed “Q+” were personally posted by Donald Trump—despite Trump famously being computer illiterate and not even knowing how to send his own emails.
  • “To backstop this view, believers have created a genre of Internet memes known as “Q proofs.” Proofs provide just that for believers—evidence that Q and Trump are intimately connected, and that there’s no way anyone could post what Q posts without that connection.”I
  • “Q post June 2018 (about McCain, we don’t say his name): “every dog has his day” McCain death announcement: national Dog Day.15”


(CNN)The man who detonated an RV bomb in downtown Nashville early Christmas morning was a loner with no significant criminal record and as yet no signs of a political ideology.Anthony Quinn Warner, a 63-year-old from Antioch, Tennessee, died when his recreational vehicle exploded on 2nd Avenue North, damaging more than 40 buildings and injuring at least eight people.Yet no one else died in the blast, partly because Warner’s RV had broadcast ominous warnings in a computerized female voice that it would soon explode, spurring police and bystanders to leave the area.”


(Pratictioners see everything as connected, the world engrossed in a spiritual war and are purifying against the world, and they are immersed in alternative medicines)

Do you think CONSPIRACY THEORIES are the problem, or is it THIS particular one? For example, Qanoon could arguably lead to conflict because of the political nature of it and how it demonizes the opposition. However, Flat Earth for example, doesn’t literally have the power threaten to shove civilization off the edge of the world.



  • “Drop #1595 saw Q claim that July would be “the month the world discovered the TRUTH.” Whatever the truth was, it went undiscovered, nor did Q ever claim what it was supposed to be”
  • Autists: Anons who specialize at obsessively digging into Q drops to find obscure connections and events. It’s a compliment, believe it or not.[11:19 AM]“Adrenochrome: An oxidized form of adrenaline thought by Q believers to be a super-powerful drug extracted from children that extends life and imbues its user with almost godlike powers. “
  • Q – Who is the most influential Qanon-er proximal to Trump? Does he have plausible deniability?
  • Daniel Scavino Jr. is an American political adviser who served in the Trump administration as White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications from 2019 to 2021 and Director of Social Media from 2017 to 2021.



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