People have been seeking the answers to life’s questions in all the wrong places ever since Adam and Eve believed the marketing scheme devised by the serpent in the Garden of Eden. 

God provides the ultimate answers to the ultimate questions. The answers are there for the asking; we just have to ask. But when they are not answers to our liking, like our first parents, we look elsewhere at our peril.

The history of mankind is punctuated with epochs when men either lived without knowledge of God or rejected the knowledge of God. Such constructs produced Vandals, Visigoths, French revolutionaries, Russian Communists, and German fascists. 

Sadly, many people in our American culture have personally distanced themselves from God, and when terrible things happen like a pandemic or political upheaval, rather than going to their knees to seek answers, they instead pursue advice from gods of their own making. And some of these gods dwell in very dark places.

The dark web, emphasis on “dark,” is an “off-the-grid” grid for those who want unfettered access to people and subject matter that is prohibited in the above-the-ground internet. Multiply the number of terrible things one can find on “mainstream” online servers by a factor of a thousand and you have the dark web. 

There is literally no government or private company oversight. It is like a virtual cave in the imagination of a modern-day Tolkien. And this cave even has its own dragon. He is not named Smaug; his name is QAnon.

QAnon is purportedly the pseudonym of a real person. He or she writes cryptic messages on mysterious dark web websites claiming to have secret knowledge of what is going on at the highest levels of power on an international scale. QAnon writes in riddles and his growing base of followers are free to interpret these enigmatic postings however they wish.

This has led to outrageous conspiratorial fantasies bubbling up out of the cave. One of the most notorious ones involved a claim that a Washington, D.C., pizza restaurant was conducting human sacrifice of children for the pleasure of powerful elites in its basement. It motivated a QAnon/dark web disciple to shoot at the restaurant, insisting he was doing it to expose the conspiracy. When it was revealed the pizza restaurant did not have a basement, one conspiracy was dismissed, but several more took its place.

A multipart documentary on HBO Max dives deep into the underbelly of the QAnon world, and it is frightening. Not because there is some crusading anonymous individual who has so many dark secrets about government actions and government officials, but because it shines just a little light on the “dark web.” I had heard of that term before but, like QAnon, gave it short shrift.

The QAnon disciples, and there is no other adjective that most fits them, use the dark web to keep government eyes from prying. But the other reality only briefly covered in this documentary is the amount of criminal, corrupt, and evil content to be had on the dark web at the click of a mouse. And QAnon’s followers see things that other people do not in every communiqué that QAnon emits.

The first internal threat to the Church in the first century were the Gnostics, those who claimed secret knowledge, which led them to espouse nonbiblical “truths” about Jesus, such as he was pure spirit and his body merely an illusion. 

QAnon is also pure spirit, at least for now, and like the Gnostics who must have looked down upon those pitiful early Christians who took Jesus so literally when it came to things like his death and resurrection and the Real Presence, the modern-day Gnostics on the dark web see themselves as apart from the rest of us. 

And according to the HBO documentary, these people, who come from every walk of life, eagerly await the next missive from QAnon about clues to the latest celebrity involved in Satan worship and child sacrifice.

If QAnon and his dark web followers ever lifted their heads from their keyboards and computer screens they would see that child sacrifice is going on in their own backyards, at Planned Parenthood clinics and hospitals from coast to coast, replete with high-level government officials enthusiastically involved. But I did not learn that from the dark web — I learned it on the nightly news.