Is Molly Frances alt-right?
Doesn’t she run a QAnon cult or something?
WHO WORE IT BEST?????
Here is my full and—god willing—final statement on this issue. If you’re as tired of hearing about this as I am thinking about it, please feel free to ignore this post and listen to some Jimmy Buffett while grilling corn with the boys.
Is Molly Frances an alt-right QAnon fascist cult leader funneling people into sex trafficking via the (now defunct?) cult NXIVM?
If you have been contacted by anyone with Instagram posts, tweets or Medium articles accusing me (alongside many others) of the above, I can confirm that it is completely, utterly, evidently untrue. I am not alt right. I am not a QAnon believer. I am not connected to NXIVM or sex trafficking or funneling anyone into such things. It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so serious that I am in a position where I have to write any of that down.
Are you right-wing? Are you alt-right?
No, I’m a socialist who stands for social justice and solidarity.
However, I do not subscribe to popular notions of “social justice” extolled by the liberal left. I am highly critical of identitarianism and racial essentialism, which pervades popular social justice discourse. I have also been a loud critic of “cancel culture” from the left, arguing that it is at odds with the project of abolition and is yet another consequence of capitalism, in large part due to the corporate ownership of our social media platforms (what I call marketing media).
I have been passionate about social justice for as long as I have been vaguely politically conscious. I did not have the vocabulary for it until I got to college. After my first sociology class, I immediately sank my teeth into whatever I could that was critical of capitalism. I also became passionate about social justice and, with the help of early 2010s tumblr, adopted the hyper-identitarian, essentialist lens and its behavioral doctrine that I now critique.
In college I did what I had the capacity for between managing classes, relationships, jobs, and my burgeoning mental illness. I worked at a collectively run food co-op. I studied sociology and women’s studies. I went to protests when I could manage it mentally. I wrote a thesis on neoliberalism in education and the co-op I worked at. I helped organize some people online to send supplies to the water protectors. After college I worked at an institution with a strong commitment to anti-racism and supported it and the institution’s efforts for inclusivity of trans and gender non-conforming people, as much as I could within my minor role and shrinking mental capacity.
When I quit that job for health reasons, I started slinging cards as a tarot reader online and wrote about anti-oppression and witchy spirituality. I gained my initial following after publishing an essay that went semi-viral titled Calling in the New Age: Identifying Oppressive Ideals in Our Spirituality. I came out as non-binary. It was in this moment that I was harassed by a woman who I called a TERF, who slandered me as an “abuser” and “misogynist,” threatened to sue me, threatened me with blackmail and extortion, and made fake accounts to continue contacting me for months. This woman was in my view a fairly established (far more than me) person in my very niche industry, and was a loud voice for feminism and social justice.
That is when my worldview shattered. I began to finally publish my concerns with the relational norms and theoretical limitations of the ideology I had committed myself to. I wrote my first critique of cancel culture (née call out culture) one month after my harassment began, November 2017, which can now be read in my zine series yr problematic crisis of faith.
Throughout this turbulent time I maintained my commitment to social justice, doing what I felt was the most impactful thing I could do with what little capacity I had. This involved giving money where and when I could, including directly to people via Venmo. I donated 10% of the income I made from the first round of my tarot course to the National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network, an organization which works to ensure QTBIPOC have access to therapy. When I ran it a third time, I donated to the COVID Bail Out fund.
So on the whole: no. No, I’m not fucking alt-right. No, I am not “infiltrating leftist spaces.” I am a leftist committed to social justice and have given as much as I have been able to give within the limitations of my ability and social networks. However, now that I recognize the shortcomings of popular social justice ideology, I am filled with grief, anger and a fear of it consuming others as its most troubling tenets become mainstream and further impede the ability of a true leftist movement to flourish. So I write about it.
I don’t have a large network of contacts that can have me work in some NGO or in electoral politics (nor would I want to at this point in my life). I don’t have an advanced degree in the social sciences or ongoing ties to an academic institution. I don’t have organizing experience because my mental health issues have embarrassingly made me an anxious shut-in for a long part of my young adulthood.
What else I don’t have is hatred or a desire to see people suffer; I don’t have any sinister plots. I have ideas, words and passion. I have 27 years of trying my best to figure out what it means to be alive and a well of hope and compassion for humanity that, as hard as things get, I try my damnedest to never lose sight of.
And, since I’m a materialist after all…I am not almost $40,000 in debt with a degree in sociology and women’s studies because I’m an alt-right fascist spying on internet strangers. Lord almighty. At this point I wish the Koch brothers were bankrolling me since Newsom sure as hell can’t seem to find the 3 months of unemployment he owes me. </s>
Finally, I don’t like the idea of writing a laundry list of the things I’ve done to support social justice, especially when it involves donations. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but it’s also reality. These are the material demonstrations of my commitment. Money and my mental attention were the only things I could give to the causes I care about. I’ve beat myself up over it for years, but there’s this shitty thing called disability and social isolation, and I was dealing with it. Honestly, still am working my way out.
Do you believe in QAnon?
No. What I believe about QAnon is that it was probably a psyop and it’s desperately, horribly sad to see the way QAnon ruined people’s lives and families. It’s horrific. I think there is much we have yet to learn about what QAnon was, but no, I do not subscribe to QAnon. I’ve got my COVID vaccines or whatever. I don’t think there are cannibal elites or that Donald Trump is our messiah or whatever. I don’t believe there is some great awakening coming, in fact I believe we are already in the midst of something akin to the “dark ages” given how many conspiracy theories and disinformation floats around unchallenged, and how much corporate influence there is over our every single interaction, even in our private interactions with ourselves. No awakening impending. Sorry.
Are you leading an anti-cancel culture cult?
No. This makes no sense any way you parse it. Starting from a baseline human capacity level: I don’t check my emails or messages most of the time. I spend most of my day in my apartment, maybe sometimes at the beach or on a run. I avoid social interaction despite desperately wanting it because I’m still kinda crazy but haven’t yet therapist to help me iron out that old wrinkle I’ve been avoiding thanks to pandemic-mandated isolation. Frankly, I do not have the fucking brainpower to run a cult. Nor the drive. I am uninterested in leadership or having power over a group. I am interested in sharing my ideas and entertaining people with no strings attached. I don’t like having people fawn over or attach to me. I have the opposite disposition needed to run a cult.
Instead, I have some friends on the internet who wrote or write about cancel culture too, some of whom agree with me politically and some who do not. I have a small discord of 30 people who like sharing funny memes, venting, occasionally engaging in The Discourse, sharing selfies and food pics and animal pics, and supporting each other through tough times. That’s it.
There is no unifying doctrine or belief system among the group of diverse individuals targeted by this campaign. There is, however, a shared value among us that human beings deserve dignity, respect, and autonomy.
Additionally, I have this Substack that I’ve posted on far less than I’d like, and an Instagram that I’ve posted on far more than I should. This is the extent of my contact with ~the public~ and none of it amounts to being cult-like, nevermind an actual cult.
If you did not know, I have a podcast where I interviewed people who have had crises of faith in belief systems or cult-like experiences. Because I feel that my relationship to social justice was cult-like, or akin to fundamentalism. I have written about this extensively. I am critical of cult dynamics and have learned about them from the work of Robert Jay Lifton, Steven Hassan, and Janja Lalich.
Are you involved in sex trafficking or the NXIVM cult?
No. This doesn’t even merit a response. Isn’t NXIVM defunct now? Isn’t everyone who ran it in jail??? I have absolutely no connection to NXIVM or sex trafficking. I haven’t even watched the documentary about it yet. This accusation is extremely, next level disgusting. No.
The person mainly responsible for this believes, among other things, that Concordia University in Montreal has been stalking her, personally, for 6 years. She is an American who lives in Australia, with no ties to this university. See this post for my response to her thought patterns and behavior.
This entire situation is an excellent example of why I speak out about cancel culture. There is no recourse for what this person is doing. The legal system will not stop her, nor will the websites she’s posting on. She will keep spewing these extremely egregious falsehoods and contacting everyone she can with the intention to smear and “deplatform” people she is targeting. And sadly, because we are in an age of disinformation and conspiracy thinking, people will fearfully or sanctimoniously take her sensationalist lies as fact, and it will only continue to hurt everyone involved as Zuckerberg gains more and more capital at our expense.
To quote Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: It is obscene.
If after reading this and becoming acquainted with my story and my writing, you are uninterested in working with me or being connected on the basis of those false accusations: Good riddance. May you grow a spine when they come for you. I’ll be here to accept your apology when it happens.