Quote: You fooled me with your kisses/ You cheated and you schemed/. Heaven knows how you lied to me/ You’re not the way you seemed (Elvis Presley, 1968; songwriters Bill Gland, Bernie Baum, Florence Kaye; backup by gospel group Jordanaires)
In the news: Adam Kinzinger’s family calls him a “disappointment to God” for standing up to Trump (Charlotte Klein, Vanity Fair, 2.16.21)
In context: US President Joe Biden was savvy in labeling his predecessor as “former guy.” Trump was a master of branding, plastering his name across the world to get into every face. Since his US presidency, the name has been synonymous with QAnon, a shadowy worldwide by-product of technology that became a syphon for web groups sinister..
The wacky QAnon movement most likely arose in the US. It first came to mainstream attention through media coverage of “former guy” rallies.
The rallies were packed with supporters who certainly seemed devoted to “former guy.” However, the events were held largely in small towns not usually graced by personages. There was no telling what element of any spectacle really drew the crowds. Nonetheless, fervor grew as the rallies went on for years, culminating in the Covid era “super-spreader” sprees where a willingness to risk life itself was part of the entrance fee.
The die-hard faithful willingly paid the price, even if not fully convinced that Covid was nothing but a hoax. The rallies were invigorating fans reported. They spread the word on social media, which fed a hunger for a passion in desperate need of a concrete substance on which to anchor.
Both QAnon and “former guy” fit the bill. When mixed together, they satisfied like vodka and orange in mimosa. They also exploded like uranium and plutonium in a nuclear bomb. They brought to a head an ancient struggle between good and evil, fought on the battleground of rationality over base instinct.
Belief in God or devil was not necessary to accept both terms as symbols inherent in their names. God and good, devil and evil were obvious. The difference between the two was set out from the earliest humanoid days even before civilization.
By the time of the Bible, for example, there was a God who began with a void that he filled with a universe in an orderly way. When finished, God rested at home in Heaven with helper angels. All were pleased with Earth below, the special place for plants, animals and humans made in God’s image housed in the fertile Garden of Eden. Bliss prevailed until God’s chief helper grew impatient with the limits of God’s creation..
The archangel Lucifer challenged God’s right to make decisions. Lucifer lost and was cast out to establish his own domain apposite God’s with Earth in between. Thus the first solid form to emerge from the void became the battleground to determine who would rule the universe.
Fueled by fury and convinced he could outdo God, the fallen Lucifer looked for ways to recruit others to his cause. Opportunity arose in the Garden of Eden, where God had planted a tree designed to keep humans in line with Earth’s demands.
The tree bore a fruit that revealed the secret of God’s exclusive power, that of knowing the difference between good and evil. God had told the humans to avoid eating the fruit of the tree. The humans had never thought about the taboo since they were wholly satisfied with tending the Garden God had provided for them. But in the tenderness with which humans cared for others, Lucifer saw an Achilles heel.
Lucifer wooed the humans. They ate of the tree. The humans were cast out of Eden to learn God’s secret the hard way through experience. The rest became human history on earth.
When humans chose to learn God’s secret the hard way through experience on Earth, they made the decision at the behest of the fallen Lucifer. That verdict automatically made the humans living pawns in a divine chess game between God and Lucifer.
“Living” was the operative word. Made in God’s image, humans were free to make decisions. They could take the side of God the creator or that of Lucifer, the destroyer of God’s order on the claim that he had a grander plan. On Earth, that divine 3D chess match elevated humans from mere pawns to invested go-betweens.
The human journey on Earth has reflected the path that God seet out in creating the universe. God made order out of a formless void, knowing that concrete substance was better than empty space. Likewise, the outcast humans tamed wilderness in an orderly fashion.
God finished his work in a week. Human have taken many millennia to make a dent in the chaotic Earth they had chosen. From Stone Age tools to the mysteries of Quantum Physics, humans found their way forward by trial and error in ever clarifying areas of science, culture and art. The journey was a jamboree for Lucifer.
The harmony of God’s Heaven was the goal of human on Earth. The challenges of Earth, however, proved more exciting than expected because of Lucifer’s seductions.
“Do as I say and you can be greater than God,” Lucifer prodded as he had since his fall from Heaven. On Earth, the claim seemed valid. Dominion over creation was fine but the prospect of control was compelling. only because Lucifer took a cue from God and retreated to start from scratch in the chaos of the great void.
Whether seen as an entity or symbol, God can be described as simple, steady, immutable. He created and made things that were good. The only way to challenge God was to confuse. The tactic reached its epitome when humans developed the powerful new tool of technology.
The Tech Age rocked humans on Earth as soundly as Gutenberg in the Middle Ages. This time, however, the effect was global. Overnight, more people knew more information than ever and much of that knowledge was false. Lucifer was delighted when “former guy” and QAnon met up in a serendipitous union even he couldn’t have planned.
Chaos was the devil’s wading pool on Earth and QAnon became its sump pump. drawing fringe groups into its fold like a black hole in space. With no concrete truth of God to fill the void, QAnon drew scary hobgoblins that arose in the dead of night. It was an internet sensation that caught the fancy of “former guy” who was an empty vessel desperate to be filled with concrete adulation that never satisfied.
The huckster “former guy” and the QAnon web phenomenon were like Tantalus to each other. Both offered grand promises. Neither ever defined the form that the grandness would take.
The mystery of the great void has been the driving force throughout all creation. God filled the emptiness with concrete good. Certain he could do better with no substance to the claim, Lucifer had no other option but to use the materials God had created and then to make a hash of them.
Creating chaos has been Lucifer’s specialty from the beginning and his millennia-long training with humans on Earth came to fruition with the Tech Age. Opportunistic “former guy” finally found the elusive adulation he craved and he exploited the mutuality of the sensation however unfulfilled he was left by the relationship.
By all accounts, “former guy” was fixated on glitz, money, glamour and attention above all. A fact-check in that regard is quite unnecessary. Former guy has never denied his ambitions.
Also by still emerging accounts, QAnon would not deliver those desirables. While members of the bizarre QAnon movement have achieved a bit of political success, the majority have proved to be ordinary humans misled by Lucifer’s chaos made out of the substance God had created. .
The far-out QAnon conspiracy theories probably had their origins in multi-twisted unrelated news items. The weird concept of elite liberals drinking the blood of babies to stay young could have arisen from a melange of news stories about stem cell research and collagen. Misgivings aobut those issues would have been augmented by social media adherents, the entire ball of wax snowballing into mayhem.
The devil is in the details, said German philosopher Friedrich Nietsche more than 150 years ago. God is in the details, said architect Mies van der Rohe among others at about the same time.
In truth on Earth, both God and the Devil are in the details. Only humans can decide which details to decipher., On Earth, God’s way is solid, steady and straightforward. Lucifer’s way is chaotic, uncertain and, horror of horrors for humans, exciting.
For humans opting for the constant adrenalin rush of challenge, one detail that may provide a clue for making decisions. Is the offer worth a gamble if the only pay-off is the boast that I got away with defying the order God created? .