Iain Dale 7pm - 10pm
James O'Brien caller explains why increasing numbers believe in QAnon conspiracy theory
9 October 2020, 15:35 | Updated: 9 October 2020, 15:38
This is the moment a caller provided James O'Brien with a fascinating breakdown of why people become avid believers in the QAnon conspiracy theory.
QAnon is an unfounded conspiracy theory which says that President Donald Trump is waging a covert war against paedophiles in the government, business and the media who worship Satan.
Ben in Chigwell began his conversation with James by telling him that he had friends who have been taken in by the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Speaking of one of those friends, Ben said: "He believes every single possible conspiracy you can think of. He often shares things with me. It feels like a bit of a recruitment drive sometimes. Have you ever noticed that?"
Unsurprised by Ben's words, James replied: "Yes, well it is. They're trying to sign you up because they're inviting you into 'the know', aren't they? They're inviting you into the 'secret knowledge' that other people are still too blind to see."
Ben then proceeded to break down why people start believing in conspiracy theories such as QAnon.
He told James: "I think sometimes when people feel frustrated that they have no control over their lives and their destinies, they need something to explain why they haven't.
"And the idea, that...[they will] never do anything because of an outside influence stopping them and manipulating them and controlling them, gives them a level of comfort."
Ben also criticised QAnon believers for how they "forget what they said five minutes ago".
He said: "At the beginning of lockdown they were totally and utterly convinced we were going under martial law. Where's that gone?"
The caller also spoke of the "absolute idiocy" of QAnon believers sharing 1984 memes without having read the book.
He said: "There's two-minutes of hate in 1984, which is where people turn up [and] get angry [at] why someone with 'questionable' views tells them who is at fault. That sounds like Trafalgar Square a couple of weeks ago to me mate."
Towards the end of the call, Ben predicted the level of belief in "far-out, weird, fringe concepts" would "ease once lockdown eases".
"I think it will ease once lockdown eases because I think...[when] people [are] under duress and stress, it comes out in weird ways."
He added: "There will always be that fringe, but I think it will ease."