Conspirituality-to-QAnon (CS-to-Q) Keywords and Phrases

Conspirituality-to-QAnon (CS-to-Q) Keywords and Phrases

This incomplete list comes from our shared experience, with the crowd-sourced help of listeners and patrons. The brief historical and analytical comments are not comprehensive. Corrections and additions are welcome on our Facebook page.  

We feel it’s important to recognize these terms and their relationships to each other as they’re part of a growing language. Studying how this language is used will help increase awareness of conversations listing toward conspirituality in terms of content and emotional impact. Understanding this newly-formed vernacular also helps people recognize when they’ve left the land of information. 

Parallel to high-emotional impact, these terms share low-definitional precision. Red pill, 5D, and starseed mean many poignant things to a spectrum of passionate users. This allows for the power of poetic suggestiveness. But it also lets speakers constantly move goalposts and express plausible deniability (i.e.: “No, I’m not talking about that. How dare you suggest I’m using anti-semitic / anti-vaxx / pro-Q language!”). 

Jargon is not meant to convey data, share perspectives, or persuade. Its function is to establish a symbolic or ritual order where certain questions can no longer be asked and to provide a threshold test for admittance to an in-group. Users bond over these terms, but not necessarily because they share consistent definitions of them. The bonding happens because the terms signal the sharing of emotional contagion.

Robert Jay Lifton’s famous analysis of “totalist” language is useful here. Lifton’s work has been used for 60 years to describe language that protects itself from scrutiny or analysis as it builds social and political power.

The language of the totalist environment is characterized by the thought-terminating cliché. The most far-reaching and complex of human problems are compressed into brief, highly reductive, definitive-sounding phrases, easily memorized and easily expressed.

Totalist language, then, is repetitiously centered on all-encompassing jargon, prematurely abstract, highly categorical, relentlessly judging, and to anyone but its most devoted advocate, deadly dull.

Lifton, Robert Jay. Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: a Study of “Brainwashing” in China. W.W. Norton, 1961. pp. 429-30.

Reading these terms is one thing, but it’s also worth noting that Lifton’s descriptions of “thought-terminating” repetitions that are “easily memorized and easily expressed” attain new intensity when the influencer deploys them in video format. Combined with hypnotic rhythms and intrusive eye contact, the pre-cognitive impact of the terms ramps up.

When the influencers we’ve studied on this podcast use these terms, they usually also deploy techniques that emphasize relational power over verbal meaning. Altogether, the vaguely-defined but powerful terms can combine with high-def video and sonorous, prayer-like sermonizing to create an immersive and bonding experience. 

Finally, it’s prudent to pay special attention to those influencers who can seem to turn this on and off at will. Some of the most powerful and seemingly credible communicators of CS-to-Q are “renegade” medical doctors that are able to flip into sermon mode and use this jargon as a kind of release valve in the midst of their more boring and complicated health ideas. Part of what they’re doing is weaponizing the complexity of medicine against an anxious public. Their sermons are calibrated to soothe the very anxiety they provoke.

5D Consciousness

The Ds are spiritual dimensions; the number indicates levels of wokeness. Many influencers in CS use the language of ascending from 3D (a level of fear and avarice) to 5D (a level of spiritual expansion) to describe the spiritual promise afforded by times of crisis. This term is often used in a soothing way, seemingly to help CS-to-Q seekers focus on the ultimate goal of their struggles.


Used in the UFO/extra-terrestrial/transdimensional discourse to describe the aspiration and end result of spiritual transformation. Because this is a dramatic process, ascension becomes a way of explaining stress responses like tinnitus, headache, fatigue, dissociation, and depersonalization. People who are ascending are not suffering from cognitive dissonance or the anxiety of meditating on the apocalypse; they’re suffering from the pain of entering the etheric realms where cosmic battles are raging. From a listener’s comment: “When you read about ascension it sounds a lot like the Biblical rapture.”

Brainwashed Doctors

Evoked to explain how emerging COVID medical consensus around distancing, testing, and masking is all delusional. Often accompanied by a screed about how contemporary medical education is bought and paid for by “Big Pharma.” There’s no doubt that the pharma industry impacts medical education, but the implication is that the corporate sins of Purdue Pharma, etc. mean that no medical students have access to good research or clinical skills. 


A play on COVID-19 and the title of George Orwell’s dystopic 1948 novel, 1984. Meant to cast the pandemic as a planned exercise of totalitarian control. Carries with it anti-communist meanings. 

Deep State

When used to critique capitalism, this is a plausible descriptor of unelected powerbrokers forming a shadow government that persists through changes in administration. While presidents come and go, the Deep State is understood to have a consistent historical goal; this is also a modern recounting of the Illuminati. CS uses the term in relation to things like public health agencies that operate at arm’s length from the federal government and influence the media. QAnon uses it to describe the power network of pedophiles that controls the government (and by extension the public). Q is purported to be a Deep State rebel and patriot: someone on the inside who is fighting, undercover, to support Trump’s messianic mission. 

“Do your research”

Common in New Age/counter-culture/conspiracy theory movement, but also in alt-right spaces where the manosphere pretends to throw off or ignore mainstream narratives. This is a crucial aspect of CS-to-Q gamification, in which participants empower themselves as detectives, and play what they believe is a crucial role in public knowledge. People who use this phrase almost never propose a framework for what researching might actually mean, (i.e., how to resist confirmation bias). In the absence of a critical framework, Do your research often means letting the YouTube algorithm suggest more and more radicalizing material. This isn’t coherent with the principle of independent thought. The command also has the air of moral, psychological, or spiritual judgment, suggesting that those who haven’t followed the algorithm are akin to those who haven’t looked deeply, not only into the reality of CS-to-Q, but into themselves.


A term popular in UFO conspiracism, denoting the moment when official sources will admit that alien life has been found, contacted, or is living among us. In CS-to-Q discourse it blends with notions of “The Storm” or “The Great Awakening” to describe the time in which all hidden secrets — including secret indictments of DNC leaders — will be revealed.

“Don’t let yourself be ruled by fear”

A stock phrase used to denigrate anyone who, in the time of COVID, abides by public health directives. The term implies that the virus is not real, but rather a constructed social control effort. Meshes well with victim-blaming language that suggests fear itself is a degraded or immature state.

Down the rabbit hole

The process of becoming red-pilled, acted out by surfing AI recommendations for more and more extreme Q content, offered by media platforms to lock in engagement. Ironically, the rabbit hole first appears in Lewis Carroll’s Alice. It’s likely that Carroll himself was a pedophile, suggesting that QAnon devotees are really following projections. According to podcast listener Melody Walker, “The whole Alice story makes so much more sense as a metaphor for grooming, gaslighting, and abuse. She’s isolated away from her family, the rules are ruthless and arbitrary, she is made to feel big and small and it’s an emotional rollercoaster, there are other characters she cannot help along the way as hard as she tries, and after the experience, it gets stashed away and compartmentalized as a dream, and the details are fuzzy and metaphorical like trauma memory.”

“Enjoy the show”

A wink-wink phrase passed between QAnons, referring to shared knowledge of events yet to unfold. Reinforces the theme that QAnon is an online, video-driven movement of “digital soldiers” that will ultimately prevail. Often accompanied by popcorn-eating memes. 

Forced penetration

Phrase used by anti-vaxxers that conflates vaccination with rape. Highly potent in the post-#metoo world. When used in the context of child immunization, it takes on an additional connection to the Q-theme of Satanic Ritual Abuse. Important to note that because the phrase pertains to immunization policies, it implies that governments are committing institutional abuse through basic public health measures. 

The Great Awakening

In Q discourse, this tracks with being redpilled or waking up to the truth of the Q-drops, but also the storm, or the wave of mass arrests that will finally awaken the nation to the reality of the Cabal. The phrase has roots in 19th-century evangelical reform movements, which often had white supremacist elements. #Thegreatawakening is a literal QAnon hashtag. But when used by CS influencers like Dr. Christiane Northrup this connection is stealthy: she dresses it up in the Starseed/UFO/Ascension vocabulary. 

Looking at all viewpoints

When used disingenuously, this phrase can equalize evidence and fantasy. Usually carries the pretence that the speaker is open, objective, balanced, and a peacemaker. Appeals to the value of diversity. Used to great effect in the US conspiracy to teach intelligent design alongside evolution in schools (i.e., Darwinian evolution is reduced to a viewpoint, equal to Biblical interpretations of creation.) Often combined with sea-lioning: “a type of trolling or harassment which consists of pursuing people with persistent requests for evidence or repeated questions, while maintaining a pretense of civility and sincerity. It may take the form of ‘incessant, bad-faith invitations to engage in debate.'”

“Mainstream media” (MSM)

A slur against almost all professional journalism platforms. Common amongst right and alt-right actors, but also disaffected progressives. Carries with it the implication that because large platforms are corporate-owned, there is no such thing as journalistic integrity. Also carries a range of intensities, from the ableist derivative lamestream media (Sarah Palin), which expresses disdain for conventional reporting, to the accusation that all journalism is active propaganda. Often coupled with the term narrative, which erases terms like reporting, and conveys the belief that stories and meanings are pre-ordained. Alt-health influencers will say that MSM is beholden to Big Pharma advertising. 

Mockingbird Media

A new take on a Cold War intrigue. The term is a portmanteau/evolution of “Operation Mockingbird” — the unconfirmed theory that the CIA had headlining journalists on its payroll — and “Project Mockingbird” — a confirmed CIA wiretapping scheme. The addition of “media” generalizes the meme, allowing its user to plausibly reject any journalism as more-than-biased: actively and purposefully corrupted by Deep State control.


Referring to conspiratorial plans to embed tracking chips in humans via vaccine, even though mobile devices record geolocation. Often seen in conjunction with speculations about Bill Gates’s record or nefarious intentions.

“My body my choice”

An anti-vaxx/anti-mask slogan that co-opts pro choice language. A potent example of pseudofeminism, setting public health measures against reproductive autonomy. Goes with “Each person has to decide what is best for themselves.”


The 2016 prequel to QAnon mythology and practice. Leaked DNC emails were interpreted by researchers to be using coded language to organize child trafficking out of Comet Ping Pong, a pizzeria in Washington DC. The Clintons and other leading DNC figures were imagined to be ringleaders. The fiction led a man to attack the restaurant with an automatic weapon. In the summer of 2020, QAnon boosters started to use the hashtag, #pizzagateisreal, implying that the media consensus that had debunked Pizzagate is itself a conspiracy.

“Powers that be” 

First used in print in 1526 in Tyndale’s Bible, Romans 13:2: “The powers that be are ordeyned of God. Whosoever therfore resysteth power resisteth the ordinaunce of God. And they that resist shall receave to the selfe damnacio.” In CS-to-Q, this meaning is inverted to suggest temporal power that has NOT been “ordained” of God (i.e., Bill Gates, George Soros). The phrase was used in the Q-recruitment video, “Out of Shadows,” to point at the Illuminati/Cabal/Deep State. 

Red pill

The transformational pathway to Q-awareness, or indoctrination. Appropriated from the transgender action fantasy The Matrix, red pill first emerged on 4chan alt-right and Pick-Up-Artists boards dispensing stories and advice on how to throw off the scourge of feminist thought and realize true masculinity again. In the CS-to-Q slope, it’s also associated with enlightenment experiences provoked by plant medicine or esoteric practices like yoga. Important to note that in The Matrix, taking the red pill wakes a person up to the fact that they are enslaved and must go to war to free themselves. 

Satanic Elite, Cabal, Global Elite

All synonyms for Deep State-like institutions that track back through conspiracy history to the fictional “Elders of Zion” and the “Illuminati.” When Satanic is used, there are overlaps with the blood-libel anti-semitism of earlier movements, dating back to the Middle Ages. One listener commented that Satanic Elite has Pharma overtones to it, citing comments that claim they’ve bought patents on many new medical treatments, to prevent rank and file citizens from benefiting from the latest advances in healthcare. The antisemitism of these terms is also strengthened through allusions to predatory banking. These fantastical organizations have always been global, but when this descriptor is used today, there is an added tinge of anti-globalization. Given increasing concentrations of wealth in Global North, anti-globalization is an attractive concept for those falling into poverty as labour finds the lowest wage-centres, and automation eliminates jobs traditionally associated with American strength and productivity. 

Save the Children

A slogan used by legitimate child welfare organizations, co-opted by CS-to-Q influencers in the summer of 2020 in the wake of the Wayfair conspiracy, to brand-wash the QAnon discourse from more inflammatory themes, like Satanic ritual abuse. In late August, the slogan was used very effectively to recruit participation in rallies internationally. Rally participants openly displayed QAnon symbols and merch. No actual children were saved through these rallies.


The non-red-pilled. Those not awake to the truth of whatever conspiracy is being asserted as true. Implies an ignorant citizenry being driven off a cliff, or led to slaughter. Meant to disparage group-think, but of course, it is itself a group-think term. Interchangeable with normies.


Used in libertarian wellness discourse to bolster the false idea that the human system can adapt on its own to novel threats. It is a hallmark of pseudofeminist wellness, which both ignores the social determinants of health and dismisses victim narratives in favor of self-identifying as regal. The term, and its political expression (Sovereign Citizens Movement), has roots in 1970’s white nationalism. 


A mainstay of UFO or extra-terrestrial-related contemplative communities. Expresses a wide diversity of identities: starseeds each come from different systems in different galaxies, and enter into earthly realms to bestow their unique gifts. Also being used to describe those woke enough to be able to see the Q-Truth.

The Storm

Also: the coming storm, the storm is coming. Q’s predicted (but never actualized) political apocalypse, featuring the mass arrests of Deep State and/or Cabal figures, and the subsequent liberation of captive children.

“This resonates with me”

An affirmation about DIY “research” and its intuitive value to the user. Allows the user to ally with a POV without stooping to defend it. Announces to the listener that subjective truth is all-important and self-sufficient. Particularly useful when users are expressing opinions about complex and developing scientific problems such has how serious COVID-19 is, whether masks are protective or not, whether thimerosol in vaccines is toxic, or whether 5G microwaves vibrate human cells at damaging frequencies (whatever that means). Key to this phrase is its reliance on nonverbal meaning. “Resonance” points to sensations of trance or meditation. Might be adjacent to phrases like “tuning in” or “dropping in”, which imply metaphysical sources of information.

“Watch this before it is taken down, again

Expression of urgency related to censorship panic. Importantly, the urgency mimics the pressurized and addictive rhythms of social media, which is likely a contributing factor to the speed of radicalization.

“Where we go one, we go all” (#WWG1WGA)

The unifying mantra of QAnon followers.