Antisemitism and Military Tribunal Fantasies on /pol/ Before Q


AUTHOR’S NOTE

In light of recent Musk-related events, I’ll be moving some of my material from Twitter over to the website. I’ll begin with a short but significant thread, originally posted 9/23/20; as long as Twitter is still reliable, you can access the original here.

I’ve edited for context and prose and added some additional material. I have also changed all instances of “we” to “I” — early on, the project was a one-person affair, but I used “we” in threads because I wanted to write in the official voice. That was a dumb choice and I abandoned it once I realized it was misleading people.

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It’s striking that — as early as Q’s second day of posting — anons had already figured out Q’s metaplot. It was especially noteworthy that one predicted the “military tribunals” that are central to the Q mythos. How?

As it turns out (surprise!), 4chan users often fantasized about their perceived enemies — frequently Jews — being hauled before a military tribunal and executed. From 1/1/17 to 10/28/17, “tribunal” was used at least 1,208 times on /pol/. Not all of these refer to military tribunals, but many do.

It’s remarkable how often 4chan users fantasized that military tribunals would enact a violent revenge for the Jews’ imaginary “crimes.” One post referred to a tribunal “delivering judgment for entertainment before sending them to the oven.” But don’t take my word for it — this post will have a series of examples.

In fact, one of the screenshots above is from a thread posted on 10/26/10 — two days before Q’s first drop. Let’s take a look at some responses — first, a few that mesh with Q’s main themes…

And second, a few that show *just how* firmly the whole “tribunal” theme was mixed in with antisemitism in the minds of these 4chan anons:

Mix these together, and presto — THAT’S why we find an anon instantly deciphering this anon could immediately decide that Q’s vague hints about “Supreme Court decisions” referred to a military tribunal that would “hang” the “k*kes.”

On a less genocidal (but still murderous) note, one anon said of Hillary Clinton: “Until she’s brought before the tribunal and executed, there’s no win.” The date on that post was 10/27/17 — one day before Q’s first drop.

The point of all this is twofold: 1) it hammers home yet again that Q’s metaplot was a mashup of what many 4chan anons already believed; and 2) it helps explain why, in the first Q-focused discussion on 4chan, so many anons linked tribunals to genocide against the Jews.

So it’s no surprise that the earliest adopters of Q’s theories understood Q to be advocating for genocide of the Jews. In a thread about Q — created on October 29, 2017, which was only Q’s second day of activity — a user with the ID “J8SXe2Kn” posted over 60 times. This anon, who was either Q’s sockpuppet or Q’s first-ever superfan, clearly understood Q’s message to be: the Jews will soon be wiped out.

To give just one example, this user (in a 2-minute stretch!) called a someone a “k*ke” and referred to “pissrael,” then switched to allcaps mode to scream that “Trump is gonna Night of Long Knives the Jews.”

Whether this user was a sockpuppet for Q or just their most enthusiastic early fan, the upshot is the same: this is the sewer that QAnon culture crawled out of. There’s no point in sugarcoating it.