QAnon, for those who don’t know, is a conspiracy theory that makes Pizzagate look sane and rational. According to QAnon, the world is run by a Satanic cabal lead by Hillary Clinton, and that President Donald Trump and Special Counsel Robert Mueller are secretly working in tandem to eliminate the cabal. (There are more nuances and intricacies to the conspiracy theory, but after seeing FB moderators being radicalized by the content they are moderating, I’d rather not look further.)
The reason this has come up on this blog is that one of the several dozen books on Amazon that espouse QAnon beliefs has recently started climbing the charts on Amazon.
The book, “An Invitation to the Great Awakening,” is currently No. 9 in all books about politics, and No. 1 in all books about “Censorship,” one slot ahead of Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451,” and immediately followed by classics “Lord of the Flies,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and “Of Mice and Men.”
The paperback, which cost $17 at press time, features outlandish claims, sometimes written in rapid succession with no evidence. On one page, the book baselessly claims that the United States government created AIDS, polio, Lyme disease, some natural disasters, two Indiana Jones movies and the Pixar movie Monsters Inc.
The book posits that Monsters Inc. shows off a government plan to collect children’s blood “that gives [government figures] some form of high or youthful looks.”
When I first found the book’s listing on Amazon this morning, it ranked at #50 in the books category on Amazon. As of writing this post, the book has risen to #30. This was mostly due to all the press attention and a highly effective marketing campaign.
The only thing that separates this book from conspiracy theory books about “The Protocols of Zion” is the amount of publicity it’s getting (well, and the topic). This type of book has been around for decades, but they’ve never gotten this much attention before.
This is an expected result of online communities forming their own networks for sharing what is important to them. In this case, most of the attention is probably coming from videos posted on Youtube.
For example, YouTube conspiracy theorist JoeM, who has more than 127,000 YouTube subscribers, claims to have contributed to the book, and several other anonymous YouTube and Twitter conspiracy theorists who have pushed Qanon in the past have claimed credit for writing chapters of the book.
All of these Youtubers have been heavily promoting the book to their audiences since it launched a week ago, so it is really no wonder that it ranks this high on Amazon.