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Reason to believe


March 4, 2021 is Trump Inauguration Day in QANON land:

The idea stems from the belief among some QAnon followers that the United States turned from a country into a corporation after the passage of the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871.

It’s an odd, unfounded theory drawn from the sovereign citizen movement, an extreme libertarian fringe that opposes federal laws, general taxation and even the US currency on the grounds that they restrict individual rights.

Believers in the QAnon offshoot maintain that every US president, act and amendment passed after 1871 is illegitimate.

For those of you fortunate enough not to have encountered it, the sovereign citizen movement is a particularly deranged set of right wing conspiratorial beliefs, all revolving around the kind of magical thinking that gloms onto ordinary legal texts and interprets them like Cabalists on meth.

For instance back in the day when I ran a constitutional law center, I used to get letters and phone calls from people who were absolutely convinced of the truth of propositions such as that they didn’t need to pay any federal income tax, because Ohio had never really become a state so the 16th amendment had never really been ratified. (Apparently the Ohio legislature failed to sign off on some paperwork or something during the formal admissions process. It was a pretty complicated theory).

For these sorts of sovereign citizen types to meld with QANON was a very natural development:

One influencer, with 55,000 subscribers, suggested there was a 150-year-old clue in the 1871 Organic Act itself. The digits of the act add up to make 17, a symbolic number for the conspiracy’s followers – with Q being the 17th letter of the English alphabet.


After today’s Great Disappointment a few QANON types will no doubt be disenchanted, but the savvier grifters running this thing are already shifting the goal posts again:

Authorities have warned of intelligence that an unnamed militia group has planned an attack in Washington on 4 March.

But some QAnon influencers have moved in recent days to manage expectations.

They are claiming that 4 March could be a “false flag by the deep state” and mainstream media to frame the movement and encourage supporters to engage in additional acts of violence after the Capitol riots.

A cult is a religion with a bad PR department.

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