The day itself, I found to be rather nerve-wracking. I think anybody who had really been tracking what was going on could see that this was the moment in which those power players who had been circling around Q, whether that's Roger Stone, [retired Maj.] Gen. [Paul] Vallely, [retired] Gen. [Michael] Flynn, Steve Bannon, Alex Jones, Donald Trump, all of these guys, they were all prodding in the runup to Jan. 6 in a way to make the Q narrative real. And there were these overlapping groups that were all driving toward something similar. So I think if you were tracking it closely, you probably would have thought like myself that it was going to be even worse than it was.
How much fault do you think Ron and Jim deserve for that day?
Well, I don't think Jan. 6 happened because of Q, but I also don't think it would have happened without Q.
How interconnected was Trump world and Q?
So I would like for there to be more investigation into the ties between Ron and Jim and some of these power players in D.C.—Gen. Flynn and these other characters. I mean, we've seen some forensic evidence, and certainly after the 2016 election, it stands to reason that, given the amount of traffic 8chan was turning to Trump's own campaign, that they would have reached out. I think the series paints a pretty good case for their ties to these D.C. operatives. But the exact nature of that relationship remains a little unclear.
Who were some of the key players and how much were they feeding Q information?
In the series, we show what we know, which is that Jerome Corsi, the known conspiracy theorist, had ties with all of these guys, close ties, and was one of the first to bolster Q. He says that a couple of people he holds very close to him—and we know that he has ties to Vallely—said you need to start paying attention to this. Bring it on Alex Jones' [show]. Make it bigger.
So that would indicate that very early on, some of these ex-military networks saw the value in Q, saw that it was gaining steam and wanted to bolster it. When you talk about the information that's being funneled, I don't think there was really any meaningful information being funneled to Q. Q was just basically picking its favorite research out of things that the anons [anonymous posters] were collecting on 8chan and then 8kun, and then reflecting that research, or those ideas or the conspiracy theories back to the anons in the form of questions.
So you didn't have to be Gen. Michael Flynn to write the Q drops. You just needed to be an incredibly engaged and active user of 8chan and very well versed in the research and analysis and all the internet data points that were being collected in order to create that narrative.
The documentary builds a powerful case that Ron is Q. Ron denies this, but in the documentary, he seems to relish the idea of being suspected. After the election, he comes out of the shadows and begins posting in his own name on Twitter about the election. He even appears on OAN, the right-wing cable TV platform, to share his false conspiracies about Dominion voting machines. Along with Trump, Ron was banned from Twitter. Tell us more about why you think it's him.
There's so much more evidence I have pointing to Ron than what I was able to keep in the series. There's mountains of it, including things he said to me since then. That's part of why it was so valuable to spend this much time with them, because they're not going to tell me the truth. So the answers lie in the omissions, in how they change their stories, in basically what they're hiding and then what they eventually sort of choose to reveal.
One of the things Ron messaged me after the series dropped, he said, "You know, Cullen, I identify more with villains." He wrote, "Something I learned a long time ago is that internet personalities are just actors on a stage. Making things larger than life makes for a better story and ultimately a more entertaining existence." And then he goes on to say, "Getting away from the narrative that Ron is Q will be impossible, so I may as well embrace it."
I think that it's, like, almost an admission in and of itself. And there have been a few of those since then. You know, I think deep down he wants the credit, but he can't take it.
What do you hope people take away from knowing who Q was?
I think that when you demystify something, it takes away its power. You're left with the baggage of the man and the motives of the man, and it just changes the equation. You know, if you talk to a Q follower, they could imagine that Q could be any number of things. It could have all of the benefits and none of the cons. And also it allowed them to imagine that there was this massive, super top secret military operation in the works. And I think that the truth matters. I think that it's important to reveal the forces behind the operation.
And I think deep down, most of those who believed in Q wanted to know the truth. Whether or not they're willing to accept it is another story. I just present them with the information, and they'll draw their own conclusions. I don't expect QAnons to watch this and suddenly, be like, "Well, I don't believe in Q anymore." The misery of shame is too great. I think that it's a process, and that story may continue to evolve, but I think, also, the people who've seen who's behind the operation, will they be likely to believe in Q now?
Have you heard from any Q followers or supporters?