A controversial Four Corners episode which has attracted media headlines is set to screen on Monday on ABC.
The report by Louise Milligan has been the subject of controversy in political circles and media stories, with managing director David Anderson defending his decision to delay its screening for further editorial work.
A promo teasing “The Great Awakening: A Family Divided by QAnon” refers to “questions about the Prime Minister’s old friend.” ABC has interviewed members of the man’s family.
It also notes Scott Morrison’s rejection of personal involvement or support for a “dangerous organisation.”
“QAnon is …first and foremost a conspiracy theory…(about) a global satanic paedophile cult, who have infiltrated the highest levels of government, the media, Hollywood.”
The extreme political movement QAnon has mobilised a committed band of believers dedicated to fighting what they claim is a war against corrupt, child abusing elites. There are vocal devotees here in Australia.
“Tim believes that the world has really been taken over by… Luciferian paedophiles and that is represented by the left, the radical left.” Sister of QAnon follower
One QAnon adherent has attracted attention because of his long friendship with the Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison.
“I would imagine that they would be among their closest friends. I think that’s a reasonable thing to say.” Father of QAnon follower
The Prime Minister’s old friend is an enthusiastic exponent of QAnon’s bizarre conspiracy theory. Now his family are speaking out on Four Corners about his descent into this extreme world view and their fears for him.
“I’m his mum…we’ve watched the change over these last years be quite dramatic.” Mother
What emerges is a portrait of a family in distress, divided by politics and extremist beliefs and a growing sense of alarm.
“I think almost all of us have broken down on the phone trying to explain…grieving the loss of someone who’s still alive and it’s a very confusing emotion.” Sister
In this dramatic episode of Four Corners, family members detail their growing awakening to the powerful hold this extremist movement now has.
“At that point we recognised, there’s a level of radicalisation that is very different to even a year prior to that.”
Those with experience of QAnon at the highest levels say the conspiracy theory movement needs to be watched very carefully.
This episode of Four Corners has already sparked a political furore and an angry rebuke from the Prime Minister.
“I find it deeply offensive that there would be any suggestion that I would have any involvement or support for such a dangerous organisation.” Prime Minister Scott Morrison
8:30pm Monday on ABC.