Forward Kentucky: QAnon — a dangerous conspiracy movement

By MARSHALL WARD

There has always been an undercurrent of conspiracy theories in American politics.

In 1833, the Anti-Masonic Party was dedicated to the proposition that Freemasons were controlling the world. Scholars have identified it as the first “right-wing reactionary movement” in American politics. Anti-Masonry emerged from the suspicions and anger toward rapid economic modernization and the geographic expansion happening during the 1820s and 1830s. In addition, the group was deeply committed to conspiracy theories, primarily the claim that Masonic elites secretly controlled America.

Why should you care about a conspiracy theory from 1833? Because, today’s version of the Anti-Masonic Party may be QAnon.

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