Lively says she ultimately broke the QAnon spell by seeking mental health treatment with a specific focus on PTSD and trauma. “I really believe that it’s a cult,” she said. “It operates like a cult in every single way. And people don’t realize that they’re being consumed by QAnon until it’s too late.”
If Lively sounds familiar to you, it might be because she went viral back in the fall yelling and throwing face masks on the ground in a Target. “I’ve been looking forward to this,” her voice says in one video. “Target … I’m not playing any more of their games.”
In a video later filmed at her garage, she is seen describing herself to police (summoned by her husband) as a “QAnon spokesperson” and claiming that she was on the phone with Donald Trump “all the time.”
In an interview with The Washington Post, Lively described falling into QAnon as happening “gradually, and you don’t realize you’re getting more and more deep in it.”
And if this language sounds familiar, it’s likely because you heard about another former QAnon believer, Ashley Vanderbilt. As Daily Kos covered, Vanderbilt recently gave an interview to CNN talking about her fall into the QAnon rabbit hole. Vanderbilt, the mother to a four-year-old daughter, lifelong Republican, and employee of a construction company, told the network she fell deep down the conspiracy well when she became very “isolated.” She also describes trusting Trump-supporting friends who sent her deeper down the conspiracy rabbit hole via conspiracy YouTube videos.
A big similarity to Lively’s journey? Algorithms. Vanderbilt described using social media (TikTok, specifically) and “liking” pro-Trump and anti-Biden posts, and then, lo and behold, the algorithm did the rest.
You can watch the full CNN interview with Lively below, courtesy of YouTube.
And you can watch Vanderbilt’s video interview below, as well.