How QAnon Conspiracy Theorists Are Tearing American Families Apart

Two women have spoken about the torment they have suffered as they watched their parents become involved in the QAnon online conspiracy theory movement, which claims Satan-worshipping pedophiles have infiltrated areas of government, business and the media.

Danielle Marshall, who described her mother as a QAnon follower, said it was "heartbreaking" to watch a loved one join an online community that espoused fringe and often extreme views.

"Sometimes you feel more disappointed, it is just so illogical and so extreme that anger doesn't even feel like the right emotion," she told CNN. "It is heartbreaking but there is nothing I can do to bring her back to a place of reason."

She said a turning point came during the January 6 Capitol riots, which she alleged her mother had attended.

Marshall, whose wife is a Capitol Police officer, said: "That is when everything changed for me. I just want to have a mom who loves me. We're past that.

"When she did that, that said everything to me. That she was willing to put my wife's life in danger.

"Ever since I was little she rallied against science, against public education, against vaccines. Not only does she really believe it but it intersects in her mind with religion and she sees this as biblical end times. It is mind-boggling for me. I feel like she is destroying our democracy."

CNN said it contacted her mother, who the broadcaster did not name, but did not receive a response. Newsweek was unable to reach her.

The QAnon theory began with a post on the image board 4Chan in October 2017 from a user who signed off as "Q."

It has since evolved into a wider movement that threw its support behind Donald Trump's baseless claims of election fraud, and has high-profile backers—including members of Congress.

Another woman who spoke to CNN on condition of anonymity said she was still trying to salvage her relationship with her parents, but that their devotion to QAnon had driven a wedge through the family.

"I will never stop loving my parents, but there is this switch that flips in them," she said.

"They're talking about what the latest Q drop means, they're not logical anymore, they're not understanding and often they're not kind.

"My mom was one of my best friends, but in the recent year or two years where this has become so much stronger within them, they've become completely different people.

"It weighs on me because I love them but I will never be capable of changing their minds."

qanon Washington DC
Supporters of Q-Anon and crowds gather outside the U.S. Capitol for the "Stop the Steal" rally on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)

The latest unfounded belief among some QAnon conspiracy theorists is that Donald Trump will be inaugurated on March 4—casting aside the 2020 election result and inauguration last month of Joe Biden.

That bizarre claim apparently emerged after it was revealed that prices to rent a room at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C on March 4 have been hiked to more than $1,300.

The hotel previously raised its prices on dates that are significant to Trump's supporters, including January 6 when it reportedly cost $8,000 to rent a room. That led to speculation among QAnon believers that March 4 had special significance.