Perspectives on the Q phenomenon (work-in-progress)

(new edits August 10, 2018)
(new edits August 14, 2018)
(new edits August 16, 2018)
(new edits August 21, 2018)
(new edits August 25, 2018)
(new edits September 6, 2018)

Since the MSM is going so crazy about this Q thing, I’ve decided to add my $.02 worth.

We started following the Q drops back in December 2017. We, being me and a few members of my poetry group. Two things immediately caught my attention: the historic Q community and the historical precedents of this Great Awakening.

Q, it is believed, is someone (or a group) high up in military intelligence, a Trump supporter(s) with access to the highest security clearance available. Q provides “drops” of information to the public on one of the interweb chans message boards, then transfers those drops to the regular internet. These drops consist of photos, links, and cryptic messages in almost verse format. Then Q anons, anonymous members of the Q community, translate and explain the contents of these drops, and “autists” and “bakers” do additional research to connect the dots between and across previous drops and other information sources. Today, August 4, 2018, we are up to 1815 drops. You can find them all listed at https://qanon.pub/ and explanations and commentary at the reddit message boards  The Great Awakening  and https://www.reddit.com/r/greatawakening/

But back to the two things that caught my attention. Many years ago I read a book by a non-violent protestor/activist/theologian, The Nonviolent Coming of God, by James Douglass. When I first heard about this new Q I went and pulled the book down from my bookshelf because I remembered something he had written about the Q community of Galilean Jews who were followers of Jesus towards the end of his ministry in the first century. These followers maintained an oral tradition of the teachings of Jesus before his death and these teachings, really just sayings, ultimately made their way into the Gospel of Mark. See the 1996 article, The Search for a No Frills Jesus.

But more importantly, and significantly, Douglass explains that this early band of followers had very specific ideas about the judgement that was about to befall their generation of fellow Jews, especially those who rejected Jesus. In fact, the Q Gospel focuses on the coming judgement of the tribes of Israel, the invitation to the way of peace, and the repentance demanded of the Jewish nation. The judgement came. The Jewish-Roman War of 70 CE resulted in Jewish defeat and the destruction of Jerusalem.

Wikipedia has a good article on Q Source. And this paper, Galilee and the Historic Jesus looks pretty good but I haven’t read it yet.

So, the Great Awakening. Current Q followers, researchers, adherents claim to be a part of a Great Awakening of political consciousness as a result of their digesting of Q “crumbs.” It is certainly the case that people are having conversations on-line and in message boards that raise their awareness, and many are producing content on blogs, social media posts, and youtube videos. But it is not the first Great Awakening. Just try typing “Great Awakening” in your favorite search engine and see what you get. Duck Duck Go. BlogSearchEngine.com.

The First Great Awakening was a series of religious revivals in churches in Britain and the American colonies in the 1730’s and the 1740’s. Churches of all denominations had become boring and sterile places and worshippers sought a closer, more personal, and more energetic relationship with the Divine. A handful of British preachers, including George Whitefield, John and Charles Wesley, and Jonathan Edwards began developing and preaching a new theology inside existing churches based on individual salvation and personal morality, but that required a “new birth” that each person experienced directly and personally. A similar upheaval occurred in British churches and was called the Evangelical Revival.  See the Wikipedia article on the First Great Awakening. Meanwhile, back in the U.S., the Great Awakening strengthened Baptist and Methodist denominations and left in its wake such institutions of higher learning as Brown, Rutgers, Dartmouth, Columbia, and Penn. Read more of the Colleges of the Great Awakening.

The Second Great Awakening, from 1790 to the 1850’s, converted new believers versus the “preaching to the choir” of converting existing believers of the First Great Awakening. The missionary outreach went out to all demographic groups, free men and women and slaves.  Camp meetings led by “circuit riding” preachers caused huge increases in membership of protestant denomination churches, especially Methodists and Baptists. Although barely a footnote in most historical accounts, the Second Great Awakening, especially in Virginia and the Carolinas, most certainly gave rise to the slave preachers and slave congregations that produced leaders of the great pre-Civil War slave revolts, Gabriel Prosser, Denmark Vessey, and Nat Turner.  The top beneficiaries of the Second Great Awakening were Baptist and Methodist churches, and temperance, abolition and women’s rights movements. I don’t know why the Second Great Awakening ended though the time period suggests something related to the advent of the Civil War. Here is a good article on Religious Transformation and the Second Great Awakening.

What some scholars refer to as the richest period in American Literature and is considered by tradition as the literary American Renaissance can be connected in many ways to the Second Great Awakening.

The Third Great Awakening (#3) (1850-1890) and the Fourth Great Awakening (#4) (1960’s and 1970’s) are both somewhat fuzzy in definition. #3 witnessed the end of slavery and the prohibition movement, the growth of churches and church-related learning institutions, new religious movements including Christian Science, Jehovah Witnesses, Salvation Army, and the Ahmaddiyah missions to the U.S. to propagate Islam among the emancipated blacks (area for greater research). A similar revival occurred during an overlapping period in Korea 1884-1910, including the use of many techniques of the 2nd Great Awakening, camp meetings, circuit riders. #4 was either during the post WW2 period of the late 40’s and early fifties or during the late 60’s, depending on who you read, and its stars were Martin L. King, Billy Graham, and Pope Paul VI.

[Sections to add: #3 and the transcendentalists; #3 and the introduction of Ahmadiyyah Islam; #3 and its effects on American proto-modern poetry, i.e. Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Paul L. Dunbar, E.A. Poe.]

The present Great Awakening, while primarily political in nature, has some elements of previous religious great awakenings. Politics have become boring and stale for everyday people. People have lost a personal touch with their political leaders. The mainstream media has become a propaganda instrument for their subjects, the people and movements they write about (and are paid by). And people, readers no longer pay them any mind, opening the path for an alternative information source.

I have seen mentions on QAnon-related message boards about these aspects of the historic Q community and previous great awakenings. But these mentions get pretty much dismissed by the message board bosses and moderators as irrelevant postings. I predict that, over time, the QAnons will begin to accept this history as their own and see their place in the broad sweep of movements of people and their interaction with information. Just as the 2nd Great Awakening was marked by circuit riding preachers and camp meetings, the present great awakening (and I do believe we are in the midst of some sort of awakening) is marked by message board posts and youtube video producers.

Finally, Martin Geddes’ article is pretty good if your mind is open.

And another good Martin Geddes article.

Great article in American Thinker: Trump Haters Meet the Sorcerer’s Apprentice

A Brief History of Spiritual Revival and Awakening in America

There will be more to say here and I will probably be making edits. So stay tuned!

Postscript.

I still don’t get the trip codes thing and how it relates to Googlebooks. All things in time.  

Robert Patrick Lewis: What If #Q, #QAnon, and #TheGreatAwakening are Real?

 

What might be some long-term effects of the Q phenomenon? (09/06/2018) The future of Q

5 thoughts on “Perspectives on the Q phenomenon (work-in-progress)

  1. This was a fascinating article about a topic I have little familiarity with. Question: you make reference in 4th Awakening to a Pope Paul II (no such person) – would this be Pope Paul VI or Pope John Paul II? I’m guessing JPII as he was such a monumental world force during his long tenure, but it would be nice to know for sure. Thanks, Ray! I enjoyed this – very thought provoking. Paula

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ll return to read second half another day. Fascinating historically. I’ll need to refresh my history awareness. I don’t remember anything about an Evangelical Revival in Britain from school days (but it doesn’t mean there wasn’t one somewhere in Britain.) i remember the arrival of an Evangelical mission in the mid-1970s. Attending a congregational assembly at our school hall gave me nightmares! it was nothing like church or chapel – more like the stuff of televised ‘sermon’. There seems an evangelical ‘church’ venue at every turn here nowadays, but they appear from the outside as unattended and unused as most church places.Only about 5-10% of population at most attend organised religious ‘worship’.We carry our faith in our hearts.Maybe the stats about the same over there.

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