WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- HBO’s docuseries ‘Q: Into the Storm’ suggested that Ron Watkins was the man behind conspiracy theorist ‘Q.’
- Watkins repeatedly denied speculations that he was the infamous character.
- People highly believed that Watkins is “Q,” given his associations with message board sites used by QAnon.
On the sixth episode of director Cullen Hoback’s Q: Into the Storm, an HBO docuseries, 8kun’s former administrator Ron Watkins was highly speculated to be associated with “Q,” the infamous conspiracy theorist of the QAnon conspiracy movement.
Before the docuseries aired, Watkins shared an encrypted message in Telegram, saying: “I am not Q. I’ve never spoken privately with Q. I don’t know who Q is.” Some people, though, were already convinced that he was the man behind the far-right conspiracy cult.
In the final episode, Hoback suggested that Watkins unintentionally signaled that he posted on 8kun as Q.
During the show, Watkins discussed how he managed being an active user on Pol and other research threads. It was one of QAnon’s platforms where conspiracy theories are shared and talked about by Q followers.
“It was basically three years of intelligence training, teaching normies how to do intelligence work. It’s basically what I was doing anonymously before,” he said, before adding: “But never as Q.”
After giving a careful smile, Watkins burst in laughter and repeated his denial: “No, never as Q, I promise. Because I am not Q and I never was.”
In an encrypted message via Telegram prior to the last episode, Watkins again noted that he was not the point person everybody wanted to find out.
“Friendly reminder: I am not Q. Have a good weekend,” his message read.
Covering QAnon for NBC, Ben Collins had something to say regarding the docuseries: “The widely believed thesis may wind up being the correct one: Q was a bunch of anons on 4chan, then the Watkinses on 8chan.”
The author of the book ‘The Storm is Upon Us: How QAnon Became a Movement, Cult, and Conspiracy Theory of Everything,’ Mike Rothschild, also shared his thoughts.
“The lesson for me is that sometimes the most obvious answer to an obscure riddle is also the true one. Ron Watkins being Q was always staring us in the face. We just had to want to see it,” he said.
The mysterious figure, whose cryptic posts have appeared on 4chan, 8chan, and 8kun imageboard sites, laid the foundation of QAnon. The bedrock of the extremist right group is based on an outrageous claim that there is a cabal of satanic people among politicians, business leaders, and celebrities who were conniving against former President Donald Trump.
Since Trump left office in January, the frequency of QAnon messages has significantly diminished.