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EPISODE # 213

A conversation with Mike Rothschild on how QAnon became a movement, cult, and conspiracy theory of everything, based on his book The Storm Is Upon Us

On October 5th, 2017, President Trump made a cryptic remark in the State Dining Room at a gathering of military officials. He said it felt like “the calm before the storm” — then refused to elaborate as puzzled journalists asked him to explain. But on the infamous message boards of 4chan, a mysterious poster going by “Q Clearance Patriot,” who claimed to be in “military intelligence,” began the elaboration on their own. In the days that followed, Q’s wild yarn explaining Trump’s remarks began to rival the sinister intricacies of a Tom Clancy novel, while satisfying the deepest desires of MAGA-America. But did any of what Q predicted come to pass? No. Did that stop people from clinging to every word they were reading, expanding its mythology, and promoting it wider and wider? No. Why not? Michael Shermer speaks with Mike Rothschild, a journalist specializing in conspiracy theories, about QAnon and its followers.

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IN MEMORIAM: PAT LINSE (1947–2021)

Download the 14-page Tribute to Skeptic’s Co-Founder & Art Director: Pat Linse

A couple weeks ago, we announced the death of Skeptic’s Co-Founder and Art Director, Pat Linse, when we announced the release of issue 26.3 of Skeptic magazine — the last issue that Pat was working on before she died on July 24, 2021. We completed that issue by including a special 14-page collection of tributes to Pat, written by Michael Shermer, Daniel Loxton, Donald Prothero, Brian Dalton, Harriet Hall, Ralph Lewis, Carol Tavris, Tim Callahan, Kevin McCaffree, James Gurney, and Bill Nye. Please download the PDF and read the touching tributes written by some of Pat’s friends and colleagues. You are dearly missed, Pat.

Download the Tribute (PDF)

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