Photo by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona (edited by me)

Has someone used at least two of these phrases together in an argument with you?

  • Wake up!
  • Think for yourself!
  • Do your own research!
  • Don’t believe the fake news MSM! (or a slightly different version of this phrase)

It seems to be about critical thinking, but it’s not.

Before we continue, let’s just get this out of the way: People usually don’t see the bigger picture, most of us don’t do enough critical thinking, we should be autodidacts, sometimes journalists get the facts wrong or report from a biased perspective, and corruption is rife in many governments. Those things are all true. But the person who combines those exact phrases (wake up, think, etc.) is involved in something that goes way beyond recognising those realities. They’re pushing deep into the realm of alternate reality. The articles below explain how.

This set of phrases, used in combination (typically in an online argument) are not entreaties for you to develop a nuanced view on health issues or politics in the light of systemic problems and imperfections. You should, of course, develop nuanced views, but that’s not what these people are trying to get you to do. In fact, if you call out informal fallacies, deal mindfully with cognitive bias or do formal research, they won’t like you much.

So what is this about, then?

It’s a game.

These are slogans from a campaign. The campaign pretends to be about freeing individuals and the world. This campaign is not about religion or spirituality, although people who are concerned about it often describe it as a cult and even a deathcult. However, it isn’t quite that, not in the traditional sense. The articles below explain the difference.

In short, your friend (or enemy!) who uses these phrases together is an unwitting soldier who has been recruited into the First Reality War. They’re a player in a dangerous Alternate Reality Game, or ARG. Several ARG specialists have independently reached this conclusion. Younger people—those who have been part of an RPG, LARP or ARG—are better at seeing it and explaining it than older people—if they see it, that is. Most people inside the game don’t see it, and for psychophysiological reasons they don’t want to see it: facing reality would mean having to extricate themselves from a powerful addiction. (Also, they think you’re the one with the reality problem.)

The game is dangerous.

There are some important differences between this ARG and a regular ARG. In a normal ARG, players know the game isn’t real life, but they don’t say it. In this ARG, most of the players don’t know it’s a game. Also, in this ARG, players and people who don’t believe in the alternate reality of the game, die for real. They die as a consequence of choices which they or others make based on fictional information disseminated as fact.

See also: Apophenia: The tendency to find connections between unrelated things

And they die in great numbers. Hundreds of thousands of people have died because of policies which players have been co-opted into supporting.

(Oh yes, and your friend will tell you that death stats aren’t real.)

A game? Says who?

Jim Stewartson, Reed Berkowitz, Seth Abramson and others have called it. Some of those “others” believe the game grew organically from something fairly frivolous into a dangerous phenomenon: there are even open supporters of QAnon in governments now, so it’s way beyond a fringe phenomenon. But Berkowitz, Stewartson and Abramson don’t think it’s organic at all. They believe QAnon is a psyop steered by powerful politically connected criminals, and they have growing evidence to support these claims. (Bear in mind also that Seth Abramson is a former criminal defense attorney who has published three bestselling books detailing proof of crimes committed by Trump and his associates.)

Some people say these ARG specialists are bonkers—especially people in the game. Read their expert analyses anyway, because like it or not, this is about life and death—yours and everyone else’s.

22 January 2020 update

The following well-illustrated article connects many of the main players from Trump biographer Seth Abramson’s Proof trilogy (including those named in this extract from the first book), and highlights the role of Paul Flynn, like Jim Stewartson has also done. The extracts from the Psy Group’s presentation to their client are particularly interesting, and the callousness of the disinformation campaign reminds me of what the #GuptaLeaks revealed about the way the PR agency Bell Pottinger created a campaign to support the corruption collution between Jacob Zuma and the Gupta family a few years ago, except that this is on a much, much, much bigger, deeper and more dangerous scale for the world. Guptagate was national brainwashing; QAnon is (and I don’t normally use profanity) an international mindfuck.

“Qanon” is Propaganda, and we know who’s responsible

Daniel Morrison

Now, since QAnon is an ARG—an Alternate Reality Game—and games end, we could well say that GAME OVER was 6 January, when Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were inaugurated as President and Vice President of America, and believers’ alternate reality shattered before their horrified eyes.

‘It’s Over’: Devastated QAnon Believers Grapple With President Joe Biden’s Inauguration

Jesselyn Cook

But it isn’t over. The ARG players have taken a knock, but they’re still a vast horde of random Nazis, anti-maskers and anti-vaxers; they’re still armed, and they’re still both vulnerable and dangerous. The people who got them into the game are all still at large. It isn’t over.

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