A fun new conspiracy theory has popped up in America, called QAnon. The name comes from the signature of the person who started the conspiracy, Q, posting on the 4chan internet board where messages can be posted anonymously under the username Anonymous.

The first post, made in October 2017, was titled "Calm Before the Storm", a reference to Donald Trump saying when asked about a military dinner that it was "Maybe the calm before the storm".

"Maybe it's the calm before the storm. Could be. The calm before the storm. We have the world's great military people in this room, I will tell you that."

When asked by a reporter:

"What storm, Mr. President?"

He responded:

"You'll find out."

The message claimed that the poster had "Q" clearance with the US Department of Energy. Many of the messages are somewhat cryptic, but the thrust is that there is a global elite which Donald Trump is working to dismantle from the inside. Trump is apparently deep undercover, and his unusual policy decisions are actually part of a long term plan to oust an established network of corrupt politicians.

QAnon's cryptic messages have included:

Do you believe in coincidences?

'Blunt & Direct Time'

BDT.

Think currency.

Think fireworks.

Mockingbird

HRC detained, not arrested (yet).

Where is Huma? Follow Huma.

This had nothing to do w/ Russia (yet).

HRC is Hillary Rodham Clinton and Huma is Huma Abedin, her chief advisor for many years. Apparently Abedin works for the Muslim Brotherhood and rapper Jay Z is in collaboration with George Soros.

Many of the messages talk about Obama, Clinton and other political issues from the last few years, including Pizzagate and other wild conspiracy theories that the alt-right have lapped up, and Trump has tacitly given weight to.

QAnon's message seems to be gaining ground among the alt-right crowd, with signs showing up at Trump rallies saying "Where we go one, we go all", "We are Q" and "The Great Awakening". Alex Jones' InfoWars is promoting QAnon, and other right wing groups and individuals, such as Roseanne Barr, are giving the theory credence. There's even an iPhone app called QDrops where you can read all of these cryptic messages in one place, although it looks like it's not available in New Zealand.

Like so many recent conspiracy theories, QAnon seems to pull in many other theories, and places itself as an overarching explanation and framework for a lot of conspiracy theorists believe. Like the flat earth absorbing conspiracy theories about a lying government and NASA faking moon landings, QAnon tries to stitch together many political conspiracies under one overarching idea.