Not necessarily. It’s actually a complicated process.
At first, some people in the 18th-19th century thought that Jesus was an Essene or a puppet of the Essenes. Back then it was pretty common for some fiction writers to imagine the Essenes as this sort of secret cabal (y’know, kind of like the Freemasons or the Illuminati in the popular mind ;)) of ‘enlightened’ - by enlightened, I mean they’re proto-rationalists who believe in Greek philosophy and stuff rather than that nasty ol’ Jewish religion :rolleyes: - do-gooders who are seeking to free the Jews out of their backward fire-and-brimstone superstition (there it is again!) To achieve their goal of enlightening the Jews, the Essenes reared Jesus from His childhood by teaching Him Greco-Roman philosophy and stage-managing His ‘miracles’ and His ‘resurrection’, that sort of thing. In other words, He was their puppet messiah. Yeah, it’s really crazy: just about every other person connected to Jesus is claimed to be an Essene.
By the 20th century, when the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, this idea underwent some modification. This time, it’s John the Baptist that’s connected with the Essenes (which are now linked with the ‘Community’ who lived in Qumran). Scholars pointed out the similarities: both John and the Qumran sect were in the desert, they believed in and preached Jewish apocalypticism - the belief that the present world order is going to end soon and that God is going to intervene and make things right - and they performed ritual immersions (= baptism). Because of this, John is sometimes presented as a member or an ex-member of the Qumran sect.
Eventually, however, later scholars looked back and critiqued these supposed similarities. They argue that while there are similarities between what we know about John and the Qumran sect, and while both may have had some form of contact with one another at one point, it’s not enough to prove conclusively that John was an Essene or an ex-Essene. (In fact, it’s also being questioned by a number of people whether the sect at Qumran were really Essenes at all.) There are also differences between John and the Qumran sect that are equally weighty.
but could it have been possible for Jesus to have followed John the Baptist and splintered off of him after the Baptism?
To be fair, that was some scholars think: Jesus joined John the Baptist’s group - or had some close contact with it - but eventually went His own way and started His own movement after John was arrested and killed. Now for more conservative Christians, that might sound rather problematic (due of course to the idea of the divinity of Christ), but personally (just speaking my opinion here), I’m not entirely closed to that possibility. I mean, Jesus was baptized by John - even though He was clearly superior to John and didn’t have to. So maybe Him condescending to become (at first) a follower of another in His humanity was also done as an example for people just like His baptism was?
Anyways, the movement Jesus founded was more effective than John’s. In John’s case, it was a monopoly: John ran the whole show - you apparently had to come to John himself and be baptized by him - so if John was killed, the movement is pretty much over. In Jesus’ case, it was a franchise: He authorized His disciples to baptize and preach and to pass on that authority to others, thereby ensuring that His movement will continue even after He was gone.