Why Devolution is quickly becoming the future of the QAnon movement

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Most conspiracy theories start with existing concepts or events, then take elements of them into fantastical directions. This way, the people who create and believe these theories can use the real elements in them as “proof” the invented elements were also real—and that they were right all along.

Such a mingling of real and invention is at work in a concept becoming more popular with Trump supporters and QAnon promoters who believe former President Donald Trump rightfully won the 2020 election, not President Joe Biden. That idea is “Devolution”—an extremely complex emerging set of events based around a real concept, but full of invented details and wishful thinking. The theory takes the “stolen election” trope and tweaks it a bit, claiming that Trump won’t be “reinstated” as president, because he’s always been president, despite you having witnessed Biden’s “inauguration.” 

Political devolution is a real thing. The term refers to the “devolving” of power from a central government to regional or state governments. The most well-known recent example of devolution was in the late 1990s, when the U.K.’s member nations held a series of votes moving power from London to governments in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. 

But that’s not the Trump-centric Devolution theory in the early stages of going viral in the stolen election and right-wing conspiracy world. That theory, compiled in a series of eight (and counting) Substack articles by the anonymous account Patel Patriot, is an almost incomprehensible secret operation where Trump appears to no longer be president, while still carrying out the duties of being the president, in order to expose the massive fraud of 2020. Trump, according to Patel Patriot in Part 4 of the series, “suspended the counting of the electoral college votes” sometime between Dec. 6 and Jan. 7, meaning that “he is still President, and we’re in a state of devolution at the moment.”

A Twitter account appearing to belong to Patel Patriot didn’t respond to Daily Dot’s request to ask additional questions about the theory. But Patel Patriot copied the request onto their Telegram channel, claimed that “Devolution is about to be debunked by the MSM,” and referred to this reporter as a “douche canoe.”

If Devolution were simply another version of the same impossible claims being made by other stolen election advocates, it wouldn’t be noteworthy. But Patel Patriot has almost instantly gained a social media following off it, while heavily crowdfunding his efforts through a growing Patreon page, all while emerging as a sought-after guest on Q social media outlets. As Q continues to flail without a leader and is ditching the branding it relied on, could Patel Patriot emerge as a new figurehead, one whose rhetoric isn’t based on racism or antisemitism, but on uncut hope for the future?

In doing so, Patel Patriot is taking some of the most mainstream elements of QAnon and rearranging them to create something new—a detailed plot to keep Trump in power based on real orders and real people, but pointing toward an impossible conclusion. 

Patel Patriot’s theory goes down too many rabbit holes and tangents to easily categorize, adding layer after layer of irrelevant details to give itself the aura of being heavily researched. These details are also irrelevant because the plan that they revolve around has no validity. Spooled over rambling blog posts, it’s an unfollowable array of orders, claims, secret plans, court cases, and conspiracy theories.

Patel Patriot believes that Trump anticipated the deep state using China to steal the election from him, thanks to a defector revealing that COVID-19 was a bioweapon released on purpose to weaken the U.S. and allow for large scale mail-in ballot fraud. So Trump reorganized the Pentagon (which really did happen just after the election, for reasons that are still unclear) and signed a series of Presidential Executive Action Documents (real and classified orders to carry out in the event of a nuclear attack or large-scale disaster) in response. Through his secret actions, Trump essentially declared a hidden, low-intensity war against not only China, but also against antifa, which he also secretly designated as a domestic terrorist organization. And because the U.S. is in a declared war with China, according to the theory, Trump can use any power at his disposal to save the country.

Using a variety of disaster contingency plans developed in the event that COVID-19 sickened or killed the president and the majority of Congress (plans Newsweek revealed the existence of in April 2020), Trump secretly suspended elements of the Constitution, and the nation is now under a caretaker special operations military government being run by “former” acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Chris Miller and administered by regional commanders with enormous power.

That secret war is fighting to expose both China’s massive vote switching and the leftist infiltrators who “really” caused the Jan. 6 insurrection. And finally, once the ruse of Trump faking his loss and allowing Biden to pretend to be president has purged us of evil, the Arizona audits will reveal the truth, individual states will “decertify” their electoral results, and Trump will stride back into the Oval Office.

The point of all of it is that at some point between the election and now, the power of the United States government “devolved” to a closely held, un-elected military government administered at the state or regional level. It’s not classic devolution, since nobody took a vote or authorized these actions, which are likely illegal and unconstitutional. But in Patel Patriot’s version of devolution, legality means nothing. Only preserving Trump’s power matters. 

Patel Patriot attempts to sum up the theory in Part 3 of the series:

  • Trump prepares for election theft
  • China colludes with Democrats to steal election
  • Trump “caught them all” and prepares his countermove
  • Massive personnel moves at DoD and pentagon to place Trump allies in key roles
  • Implementation of what appears to be a Devolution plan for our Spec Ops
  • Refusing to tell incoming Dems about said Spec Ops
  • Checkmate

The idea of Devolution being a secret Trump plot to restore his own power through a legal military coup didn’t entirely originate with Patel Patriot. In February, the prolific conspiracy theorist and “the planet’s only expert on World War I flamethrowers,” Thomas Wictor, posited an extremely similar theory on the discussion forum QuodVerum.

Wictor’s theory has the same broad strokes as Patel Patriot and might be an even more traditional version of devolution, writing that Trump temporarily seized power through the military and delegated it downward.

“Devolution is the U.S. military running the country under seven separate plans that are put into action when the civilian federal government ceases to exist,” Wictor wrote, referencing the Newsweek article, which Wictor believes was actually a strategic leak by Trump. “So I think we’re in a hybrid state of devolution AND a shadow presidency. The military is making NO policy decisions, and Trump is preserving national-security infrastructure.”

Both Wictor’s thread and Patel Patriot’s posts sound quite a bit like “The Storm” theorized by QAnon—a military purge of Donald Trump’s civilian enemies, carried out both secretly and publicly. Patel Patriot, for his part, claims to know nothing about Q, writing on Telegram he hasn’t “personally read” the Q drops but thinks that there are “many things between Q and Devolution that lines up.” And at a glance, Devolution is full of points that Q believers will be familiar with: Secret codes hidden in how words are spelled, cryptic social media posts, and a plan that constantly shifts in its tenets, but is always to be trusted.

It’s also not clear if Patel Patriot was familiar with the Wictor thread, though in a Telegram post from late June, Patel claimed he was banned from QuodVerum…

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