Your assumption defaults back to a position of full understanding.
A 'splinter cell' can be completely separate from its primary origin and/or source.
Therefore, [1%] holds water.
The 1% to which Q refers are the parasites.
They live within the host body and work their way to the top.
Once they occupy the highest positions of the land they fill the top spots with their own people.
Taking over the functions of business, government, religion etc.
Then slowly subverting the institution to their own ends.
The masses are unaware of the secret society within their own society.
The masses are slowly conditioned to go along with what their 'leaders' say.
Infiltration, not invasion.