At the Los Angeles Review of Books, Jordan S. Carroll reviews two new books on conspiracy theories, Operation Mindfuck: QAnon and the Cult of Donald Trump by Robert Guffey and Pastels and Pedophiles: Inside the Mind of QAnon by Mia Bloom.
Excerpt: "Guffey sees the QAnon adherents as bad readers. They have a hard time distinguishing between fantasy and reality. When Hunter S. Thompson fictionalizes adrenochrome as a potent psychedelic that must be harvested from living human beings, the QAnon crowd not only believes him but also imagines a whole mythology surrounding the extraction and consumption of this fictive substance. Guffey argues that the right has figured out how to exploit this credulity, using media manipulation techniques modeled on Shea and Wilson’s Operation Mindfuck and similar left-libertarian pranks from the 1960s and 1970s."