8 episodes

QAnon and the plot to break reality. Reporter and presenter Gabriel Gatehouse takes a journey into the dark undergrowth of modern America

The Coming Storm BBC Radio 4

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9 • 300 Ratings

QAnon and the plot to break reality. Reporter and presenter Gabriel Gatehouse takes a journey into the dark undergrowth of modern America

    1. The Dead Body

    1. The Dead Body

    QAnon and the plot to break reality...

    When a mob storms the Capitol in Washington DC, reporter and presenter Gabriel Gatehouse sees someone he recognises: a man draped in furs with horns on his head. He is known as the Q Shaman.

    Gabriel had met him at a Trump rally in Arizona, ranting about a conspiracy theory involving Hillary Clinton and a cabal of satanic paedophiles plotting to steal the 2020 presidential election.

    The search for the origins of this strange and twisted tale begins in 1993, when the suicide of a White House aide during Bill Clinton’s presidency reveals the first signs of a new information ecosystem that is starting to spill over into the mainstream. Myths about his murder proliferate on the early internet. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. In Arkansas a parallel reality is forming, in which the Clintons are a corrupt and murderous couple who will stop at nothing in their quest for power.

    Producer: Lucy Proctor

    • 35 min
    2. Sex, Lies, and… a Videotape

    2. Sex, Lies, and… a Videotape

    QAnon and the plot to break reality...

    Gabriel Gatehouse discovers a real conspiracy called The Arkansas Project. The aim is to inject lurid tales about the Clintons into the mainstream American press in the 1990s. These stories spin off in different directions. Down one road lie sex scandals and eventually impeachment proceedings. But thanks to an Evangelical coalition the story goes off in another direction, involving Satan and a looming battle between good and evil. A dark fantasy has taken hold which bubbles away under the surface, ignored by the establishment.

    Producer: Lucy Proctor

    • 35 min
    3. The Basement

    3. The Basement

    QAnon and the plot to break reality...

    A severely disabled boy from upstate New York is shocked when his online community of video game fans is flooded with porn. He gets sucked into a toxic world of mostly young men stuck in their parents’ basements, making memes out of snippets of popular culture and Nazi symbols. He becomes a major figure in a dark new counterculture germinating on a niche website called 4chan.

    As the 2016 Presidential election approaches, a story grows on 4chan about Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, paedophilia, and references to pizza. The story bursts out into the real world when a man walks into a pizza restaurant with a gun.

    Producer: Lucy Proctor
    Presenter: Gabriel Gatehouse

    • 32 min
    4. Q Drops

    4. Q Drops

    QAnon and the plot to break reality...

    In Oct 2017 Donald Trump says something weird in a room full of military figures: “Maybe this is the calm before the storm.”

    A few weeks later a poster on 4chan who calls himself Q starts to tell a crazy story about a coming storm, in which Trump is engaged in an epic battle against a cabal of satanic paedophiles who have hijacked the American Republic.

    A group of bloggers mainstream the theory and it starts having a life of its own with real world consequences. Qanon is born. But who is directing it?

    Producer: Lucy Proctor
    Presenter: Gabriel Gatehouse

    • 35 min
    5. Blowback

    5. Blowback

    QAnon and the plot to break reality...

    A British spy is hired to dig dirt on Donald Trump’s Russia connections. His sources tell him Trump is a Russian agent, a puppet of the Kremlin.

    America is gripped by this story. Half are convinced the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians in order to defeat Hillary Clinton. But the other half believes the investigations into Russian collusion are a hoax, a conspiracy by the establishment to unseat a democratically elected president.

    The QAnon community takes up this second narrative, in which a renegade General becomes a martyr and a figurehead.

    Producer: Lucy Proctor
    Presenter: Gabriel Gatehouse

    • 35 min
    6. The Usual Suspects

    6. The Usual Suspects

    QAnon and the plot to break reality...

    Donald Trump’s fantasy about a vast conspiracy to steal the 2020 election merges with the fantasy of QAnon, about a looming showdown against the deep state cabal of satanic paedophiles.

    After the storming of the Capitol in Washington DC, major figures from the QAnon movement gather in Dallas, Texas. Gabriel Gatehouse gets inside their conference to try to figure out who is now controlling this parallel reality. And he confronts General Flynn who is calling for his ‘digital soldiers’ to take over the country from the bottom up.

    Producer: Lucy Proctor

    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
300 Ratings

300 Ratings

SteEllisEFC9 ,

Outstanding podcast

Outstanding podcast. Superb storytelling. Couldn’t recommend this highly enough. Congrats to all the team involved 👏👏👏

willinnit1 ,

Superb

Spellbinding journalism

Bigpaparini ,

Riveting

Listed to a few jan 6th / Q anon podcasts and this one is by far the best . We’ll done to the bbc , Gabriel and the whole team who produced it

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