Supporters of QAnon, the pro-Trump conspiracy theory, have reckoned for weeks that Wednesday would be the “Great Awakening” – a day long foretold in the QAnon Prophecy, when Top Democrats led a global sex trade ring and by President Trump arrested would take a second term.
But when President Biden took office and Mr Trump landed in Florida with no mass arrests in sight, some believers struggled to reconcile the untruths with the initiation on their televisions.
Some QAnon believers tried to realign their theories to allow a transfer of power to Mr. Biden. Several large QAnon groups on Wednesday discussed the possibility that they were wrong about Mr Biden and that the new president was actually part of Mr Trump’s efforts to defeat the global cabal.
“The more I think about it, the more likely it is that Biden is the one to pull the trigger,” wrote an account on a QAnon channel on the Telegram messaging app.
Others voiced their anger at QAnon influencers for telling believers to expect a dramatic climax on inauguration day.
“A lot of YouTube journalists have just lost a hell of a lot of credibility,” wrote one commentator in a QAnon chat room.
Still others tried to move the goalposts, simply telling their “anons” to stick to future unspecified developments.
“Don’t worry about what happens at 12 noon,” wrote a QAnon influencer. “Watch what happens after that.”
And some seemed to realize that they had been betrayed.
“It’s over,” wrote a QAnon chat room participant shortly after Mr. Biden was sworn in.
“Wake up,” wrote another. “We were had.”
Followers hoping for guidance from “Q”, the pseudonymous message board user whose posts drive the movement, had to be disappointed. The account has been silent for weeks and didn’t post anything on Wednesday.
Ron Watkins, a major QAnon booster who some have suspected is “Q” himself, posted a resignation on his Telegram channel on Wednesday afternoon.
“We have sworn in a new president and it is our responsibility as citizens to respect the constitution,” he wrote. “When we move into the next administration, please remember all the friends and happy memories we have made together over the years.”