12 episodes

QAnon and the plot to break reality.
A year on from the Capitol Insurrection in Washington DC on 6 January 2021, Gabriel Gatehouse journeys into the dark undergrowth of modern America. He's looking for the origins of the story that drove the crowds to storm the heart of US democracy. From conspiracy-soaked barrooms in 1990s Arkansas, via spies in hotel rooms in the shadow of the Kremlin, to anarchic chatrooms on the early internet, this is a search for the answer to one big question: did this just happen, or is somebody trying to break reality?

The Coming Storm BBC Radio 4

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

QAnon and the plot to break reality.
A year on from the Capitol Insurrection in Washington DC on 6 January 2021, Gabriel Gatehouse journeys into the dark undergrowth of modern America. He's looking for the origins of the story that drove the crowds to storm the heart of US democracy. From conspiracy-soaked barrooms in 1990s Arkansas, via spies in hotel rooms in the shadow of the Kremlin, to anarchic chatrooms on the early internet, this is a search for the answer to one big question: did this just happen, or is somebody trying to break reality?

    The Louis Theroux Interview

    The Louis Theroux Interview

    Louis Theroux interviews Gabriel Gatehouse about the aftermath of the 2021 Capitol riots, QAnon, and the latest twists in the plot to break reality.
    Producer: Lucy Proctor

    • 54 min
    The Mid-Terms 2. The Regime

    The Mid-Terms 2. The Regime

    When Gabriel Gatehouse is reporting on the aftermath of the presidential election in 2020, and trying to understand the motivations behind QAnon, he comes across people who believe another conspiracy theory.
    It’s about a laptop which Hunter Biden, the son of the Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, had supposedly left in a computer repair shop in Delaware. The laptop allegedly contains damning information about the Biden family. Gabriel thinks it’s fake news and ignores it at the time. But that is a mistake.
    The laptop turns out to be real, even if some of the claims about its contents are not. Silicon Valley and perhaps even the FBI seem to have tried to suppress the story, while the mainstream media refused to run it. For some, it is now powerful evidence that the Biden administration, and the entire establishment, is a regime that must be toppled.
    Producer: Lucy Proctor

    • 55 min
    The Mid-Terms 1. Groomers

    The Mid-Terms 1. Groomers

    As America goes out to vote for the first time since the tumultuous aftermath of the 2020 election, Gabriel Gatehouse is back in the deep undergrowth of the US political scene, in a bid to understand where the dark energy underpinning the January 6 assault on the Capitol is going now.
    Some of the energy from the QAnon conspiracy theory about a satanic cabal of paedophiles is morphing into a grassroots political movement against ‘groomers’ – the idea that LGBTQI+ sex educators and trans healthcare advocates are indoctrinating young people into a sexualised culture.
    The battleground is America’s school boards and the prize could be a galvanised Republican base with a new crusade. At a conference in Miami of thinkers shaping the future ideas of the right, Gabriel finds the issue top of the agenda.
    And across the country, a slate of candidates linked to QAnon is running for office – how will they fare?
    Producer: Lucy Proctor

    • 42 min
    8. Epilogue

    8. Epilogue

    QAnon and the plot to break reality...
    Gabriel Gatehouse has something to confess. Throughout the making of the series he’s been developing his own conspiracy theory. It’s about a book, called The Sovereign Individual, written by two men who were also pushing stories about the Clintons in the 1990s.
    Were the people who seeded the myths that led to QAnon involved in a vast conspiracy to break reality, to divide and conquer and divvy up the spoils?
    Gabriel seeks to understand the book, a favourite amongst the tech billionaires of Silicon Valley. They think a new version of the web, based on crypto and blockchain, will bring about the next step in the societal shift driven by the internet. What would that mean for democracy?
    Producer: Lucy Proctor

    • 38 min
    7. Welcome to the Future

    7. Welcome to the Future

    QAnon and the plot to break reality...
    The Q Shaman, the man with the furs and horns who stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, is in jail. The movement he came to symbolise appears defeated. But in a small South Carolina seaside town, ‘establishment’ Republicans are fighting a losing battle for the soul of their party, after one of the bloggers who mainstreamed the QAnon conspiracy theory has been elected to a powerful local position.
    Across America, people who believe Donald Trump’s parallel narrative about a stolen election are trying to take over the levers of democracy. Was this the plan all along?
    Producer: Lucy Proctor
    Presenter: Gabriel Gatehouse

    • 37 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

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