Not too long ago, on January 6 2021, swarms of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol in an attempt to win back the presidential election. A large number of those who took part in the insurrection were staunch believers in QAnon, a conspiracy theory that believes President Trump is a hero safeguarding the world from Satan-worshipping pedophiles, Democrat politicians and Hollywood celebrities. This conspiracy has moved from the dim corners of the Internet to now being referenced on some of the largest conservative media outlets. To help us understand this phenomenon, we speak to Mia Bloom, co-author of the book Pastels and Pedophiles, on the origins of QAnon and the gender dynamics at play. This conversation is supplemented by former QAnon follower, Jitarth Jadeja, on how he went from being a staunch Bernie Sanders supporter to a purveyor of Q beliefs. 

Media Minded explores the bizarre world of misinformation and conspiracies. Following on from the success of the first season in 2019, each episode platforms a different subject who has previously been a victim of, or a willing participant in, a conspiracy theory… but these lines may be more blurred than you think. Ex-cultists, anti-vaxxers and more describe their slow descent into the untrue, and those who experience the brunt of the lies and hatred explain the effect that the proliferation of these ideas has. All the while, industry-leading academics and experts provide theoretical justifications for the actions taken by all parties.

Presented by Matteo Bergamini
Edited and recorded by Sabina Mckenzie Brown.

This podcast is made possible thanks to the kind support and sponsorship of the US embassy in London.