Where Did QAnon Come From?

VICE TV's new three-part docuseries, starting Jan. 26, examines the who, what, and why behind the conspiracy movement to understand its radicalizing impact on society, in the wake of the Capitol riots.
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In the space of only a few years, the QAnon conspiracy theory has exploded from a fringe group in a dark corner of the internet to a mainstream movement, claiming millions of followers around the world and taking a central role in the Capitol riot in D.C. last week.

What QAnon has become—with supporters winning several congressional seats and the president of the United States promoting the conspiracy—is a far cry from its origins on the dark web. How QAnon began, and who started it, is shrouded in as much mystery as its core conspiracies about devil-worshiping elites who run a global child sex trafficking ring known as the Deep State that’s actively working to unseat Donald Trump.


The new three-part documentary series, “QAnon: The Search for Q” will try to answer these questions, by speaking to the people who say they were involved in QAnon from the very beginning. Launching Jan. 26 at 10 p.m. on VICE TV, the series tracks the rise of QAnon up to its major role in the Capitol riot, and tries to identify the real Q.

“Our docuseries takes a step back to examine the who, what, and why behind QAnon so that we can more effectively recognize its radicalizing impact on society, as well as learn to engage with the rising number of Americans who adhere to the theories pushed by Q,” Bayan Joonam and Marley Clements, the series co-creators, said. 

Joonam and Clements speak to people who are now consumed by the ever-hanging conspiracy, revealing the impact on their lives and their families, and they trace the roots of QAnon to before the first Q “drop” appeared, in fall 2017. The series delves into the murky online world where Q emerged and speaks with key QAnon figures, including Manuel Chavez III, who claims to have come up with the idea for Q as part of a LARP (live-action role-playing game); and former CIA officer Robert David Steele, who’s become a revered figure in QAnon circles.

They also speak to Fredrick Brennan, the founder of 8chan, where Q made its home, who has since left the site and now works tirelessly to expose the truth about Q and the site’s new owner, Jim Watkins.

Watch the trailer now and tune in for Part One of the VICE TV series on Jan. 26: