QAnon is not a static conspiracy theory. Since it first emerged in 2017, it has continuously evolved, focusing on different key topics and adopting elements of other conspiracy theories. As Bellingcat has recently written, this elasticity has been the key to its success.
With the inauguration of US President Joe Biden, QAnon’s faithful are adrift and confused. Their distress has caused some observers to ask whether their cult may collapse entirely. That might be premature. Failed prophecies do not always collapse elaborate conspiracies — if that were true, how could QAnon have endured for four years?
If we cannot predict its end, we can at least trace QAnon from its beginning — looking at all the falsehoods and conspiracies it peddled, from the initial Mueller investigations to the era of COVID-19 and the last days of the Donald Trump presidency.