Anybody seen Gina Haspel? Long post-election stirs an appetite for alternative facts
By Tom Baxter
Unless you’re among the select few who really know what’s going on, you may never have heard of the 305th Military Intelligence Battalion, or Executive Order 13848, or Scytl.
You may not know that CIA Director Gina Haspel was killed last month in a U.S. Special Forces raid in Frankfurt, Germany, which retrieved a server used to control the Dominion voting machines in the U.S. presidential election. Or maybe she was just wounded. Or arrested, and singing like a bird about the global conspiracy to throw the election.
To those who believe a secret cabal of liberal pedophiles rule the world and is on the brink of being exposed, it doesn’t matter that the story changes a lot. It’s the specifics, the numbers and the code-like words, the dates and addresses that feed the hunger of those who want to believe the story, and pass it along as their own. That, and the promise that the whole thing’s about to blow, and they’ll be vindicated in their beliefs. That Gina is right now singing like a bird. That the world will soon know.
Conservative commentator Erick Erickson recently compared the QAnon movement to the Gnostics of early Christianity, who believed that only those who had access to a special, secret knowledge would reach the highest part of heaven. It’s a very apt comparison, worth expanding on, especially at this time.
From what we’ve learned, Gnosticism appears to have been more a habit of mind settled around a collection of beliefs rather than a single movement. Similarly, the new Gnosticism appears to be spreading in the post-election period far past the QAnon movement of a few months ago. It’s becoming a habit of mind for Trump voters who hunger for the knowledge that the election was rigged.
Since the election there are a lot more people who are unhappy with the reality they’re confronted with, and open to a new one more in line with their beliefs. Therefore when the certified Democratic electors met Monday to cast Georgia’s electoral votes for Joe Biden, a shadow group of Republicans, with no real electoral votes, went through the motions of casting their vote.
The secret knowledge of the early Gnostics often involved turning conventional beliefs on their heads. Judas was not Christ’s betrayer, but the disciple who really “got” him. The mighty God of Genesis was a bumbling demigod, not the creator of the universe.
This tendency is very consistent, down through the ages. “Destroy the GOP,” pro-Trump demonstrators chanted at a Washington rally Saturday, as President Trump flew over several times in Marine One. The number of conservatives and party leaders being denounced as Deep State traitors grows longer by the day.
Donald Trump has been at the center of the new Gnosticism, not so much the visible Trump as the one working behind the scenes, masterfully maneuvering his enemies into inevitable defeat.
With the Electoral College meeting to make Joe Biden’s election official, that belief in Trump the hidden mastermind is being tested as never before.
There really is an Executive Order 13848, but it doesn’t give Trump nearly the reach some have speculated he has. There’s a 305th Military Intelligence Battalion, but it’s a training unit based in Arizona. There’s a Spanish voting machine company called Scytl, but it has no presence in Frankfurt, where that fateful raid is supposed to have taken place. Gina Haspel, according to the CIA, is still on the job.
All the intricate puzzle pieces that were supposed to combine for a stunning turnaround haven’t fitted together. As the world moves on, the details that meant so much at the moment will fade, fairly quickly. But we don’t know yet what the people who have believed so fervently in this hidden knowledge are going to do.
Trump didn’t invent this movement he’s been at the center of, and his fate after the White House is no predictor of how this new strain of Gnosticism is going to develop. There are sure to be more stories which fit what their listeners want to believe, and a Democratic administration on which to focus their ire. But will the secret genius ever be as convincing as he was?