Q-Anon and Other Replacement Realities: How Religious Emotion Threatens Free Society but Can Also Contribute to a Progressive Future examines the historical and theological origins and the social-psychological effects of American conspiracy fantasies that Q-Anon and other right-wing beliefs foster. The authors argue that as progressive social change moves groups of people and the natural world from the margins to the mainstream, this inclusiveness “threat” mobilizes reactionary forces that embrace wild fantasies of Satanic sacrifice, Jewish global control, racial replacement, communism, cannibalism, pedophilia, orgies of rape and murder, and manipulations to steal elections and enslave the “normal” white population.
To counter such gratifying myths and replace violence with mutually reinforcing social interaction the authors challenge the rhetoric that abuses power. The book maps out an alternative to destructive, hateful, polarizing, and conspiratorial discourse, with new more life-giving rational, emotional, and spiritual orientations. The authors hope this will move American society towards a new collective national identity, based on inclusiveness and equality, around a social character defined by compassion, gratitude, reverence, and love.
George Lundskow is professor of sociology at Grand Valley State University.
Sarah Louise MacMillen is associate professor of sociology at Duquesne University.
Chapter 1. Social Progress and Reactionary Fiction
Chapter 2. Of Truth and Bullshit
Chapter 3. The Social Psychology of Conspiracies
Chapter 4. QAnon—The Perfect Conspiracy
Chapter 5. Threats to Democracy and Hope for the Future
About the Authors
"In Q-Anon and Other Replacement Realities, George Lundskow and Sarah Louise MacMillen make an important contribution to the study of conspiracy theories and offer new and novel hypotheses about why people believe conspiracies. The connection the authors make between conspiratorial beliefs and violence is one that should concern us all as we move inexorably toward elections that could very well erupt in violence as trust in our institutions is at an all-time low."
“In an amazing, well-researched, well-documented, and lucid analysis, Lundskow and MacMillen have provided one of the best analyses of paranoid thought since Hofstadter. Today, cultural changes in values and identities challenge traditional, privileged, hierarchical identities of race, gender, gender orientation, etc. The authors show how certain character types, authoritarians, and social dominators feel anger, rage, and hostility, which leads them to embrace paranoid fantasies that 'explain' their discontents and victimization and justify violence against these seemingly threatening, 'evil' minorities. For those interested in the alt right and conspiracy theories, this book is a must-read."