ForumTouchy Subjects ► QAnon
So I try to shelter myself from idiocy. Is this a joke? Are there actually normal people (not the kind of recluses who spent all their time on the internet before it was normal for everyone to) who would find even a sliver of truth in the statement “Reptilian aliens pose as Ashkenazi Jews and use a secret Illuminati like group made of child sex traffickers to control the UN, Hollywood, and mass media and American democrat politicians are all involved. Also they worship Satan and eat people.”
  
I feel like this would be hilarious if people out there didn't legit believe it. What has facebook come to?
  
Real people exist who believe these things. A lot of them. Whether they're normal, I don't know how to answer.
  
People have been saying this stuff since the '80s.
  
It sounds crazy all at once, but that's not how it starts out. I almost don't even want to delve into it, but you have to take into account one parcel of crazy at a time.

Edit: Nobody leads with anything interdimensional like aliens posing as Jews or the stuff that is batshit. You start out somewhere else and slowly work your way up to that level.

Most conspiracy theorists begin with a "normal" socially acceptable form of craziness. Let me give an example. Many Americans believe a white dude was born to a brown virgin from an omnipotent god (who is also white) and then died absolving everyone from any kind of sin/karma/etc.

Obviously this isn't sound minded Christians (looking at you Hydrogen) but I'm talking about a majority of unsound minded Christians filling up American pews.

Now you find out the news has been lying to you. And it has. Its been lying about almost everything ever since Nixon, probably before. The older you are, the more experience you have with the news lying to you. So you turn off the news. Your politicians lie, you stop believing them.

Law suit after law suit comes out about reputable medical companies and federal agencies who allowed them to sell drugs that are killing people. You stop trusting them. Now the Medical Industry, Federal Agencies, The News are all banding together to tell you stuff.

You're a sixty year old guy whose father died in Vietnam and you learned after the fact that the Americans lied about their reasons for fighting in that war. You turn off CNN. You turn off Fox. You start looking for answers.

Why is the government and the media telling the same lies as though they are acting in cahoots? Well, now someone tells you that people play games and make deals with money behind scenes and closed doors. It starts out with true stuff.

Dick Cheney parceled out Iraq prior to 911 and prior to the invasion he split up interests in Iraq with certain wealthy companies. That's one example out of probably thousands where elected officials and so called public servants have betrayed the public trust.

So a conspiracy theorist comes around and he's got the answers he knows a lot and he's here to tell you what's really going on. This is where it starts.

Conspiracy theorists aren't dumb, but they have been betrayed and disenfranchised by institutions they are supposed to be able to trust and they have turned away making them vulnerable to stuff you or I would think is crazy.

Eventually, after learning about some pretty horrendous stuff. Why are people in power callously throwing away people's lives, killing people, letting them die, etc. etc. Why did my dad have to die in Vietnam? Who did it benefit? These questions gnaw at people.

Demons, aliens, or whatever starts to seem logical to find a motivation for all the carnage, bloodshed, destruction, etc. and the seemingly wanton destruction of the Earth and its inhabitants. Again, you slowly work your way up to that level. No theorists starts out that way.

Tl;dr: Conspiracy people don't start out with the crazy end game conclusions. It always begins with known lies from known and "trusted" institutions alienating them from society, and then they are vulnerable to the crazy explanations for what's "really" going on.
  
Millpond said:
People have been saying this stuff since the '80s.
This is why I thought it was a joke.

Pheo: no they’re not stupid just for believing any of this, but it’s still all absurd. You’re a describing a descent into madness. I’m wondering things more like how many people I come across that seem, at least only a little mentally unwell, at least able to not behave like a madman, who would buy into any of the things more outlandish than “Maybe CNN and Fox News don’t always get things right and maybe sometimes there are stories they aren’t allowed to publish and maybe sometimes the things the tell us aren’t always correct” because that one doesn’t take anything special to come to.
  
The saddest thing about what you're saying Pheo is that equating the lies of the government and media with the bullshit QAnon spouts is half the problem. Everything is "Just As Bad" as everything else. Trying to overturn an election to instate Donald Trump to take down paedophiles who have run the government since the Last True President Ulysses S Grant is worse for the US than Iran-Contra, and is a far more blatant lie than WMD's being held by a brutal dictator in Iraq (the US did in fact give Chemical Ali the weapons to kill Iranians in the '80's).

"Just As Bad"-ism is a cop out that springs from the internet's infinite cynicism mixed with a generation that has a hard time believing they could be wrong about anything, mixed with a resource that will gleefully tell you what you want to hear regardless of how correct it is, and filters that shield you from reasonable criticism.

The weirdest subgroup of QAnon supporters are women dragged in by "save the children" messaging. A lot of otherwise apolitical mothers have become the rabid forefront of the QAnon movement because it's easier to believe that tweeting about paedophiles in government protects your kids than acknowledging that most child abuse starts at home, and most trafficked children are sold by their parents.
  
I don't want to say its just as bad, so I'm sorry for accidentally implying that.

What I was trying, poorly, to express is that I've known people who went down this descent into madness and it didn't happen overnight, it starts with plausible, true stuff, and then they just shove all the crazy stuff down after they earn a victim's trust.
  
I think Water Phoenix gets it: it's a gradual process that once begun is hard to stop. And I think it's actually pretty understandable how someone could start down that path. I have a friend who shared some conspiracy video claiming high-level democrats are part of a pedophile ring. I won't get into the specifics here, but some of the arguments are shockingly plausible-sounding, especially if you already believe the targets of the theory are morally bankrupt. He by no means accepted the full breadth of QAnon insanity, but the stuff he was watching/reading at least convinced him that some of these top Democrat leaders are probably involved in a pedophilia ring. At that point, another mutual friend became so concerned that he wrote a 39-page 124-reference rebuttal document. I'd share it here but it contains PII. Anyway, it can be a lot easier to make a crazy conspiracy claim than to rebut it.
Many Americans believe a white dude was born to a brown virgin from an omnipotent god (who is also white) and then died absolving everyone from any kind of sin/karma/etc.

Obviously this isn't sound minded Christians (looking at you Hydrogen) ...
Since you mentioned me by name, I do believe the gist of that except for the white parts. Not sure if you're implying it's the race part that makes it crazy or the whole thing, but just to clarify, you'll find almost all self-proclaimed Christians believe some version of the rest of that. Also, for what it's worth, I've never encountered a Christian who claimed Jesus was white, but maybe that's just my circle. (I have met at least one person who claimed he was black, interestingly.)
  
I recently talked to my supervisor who mentioned that actually some conspiracy theories are extremely plausible; plausible enough that convincing her older mother that they are flawed was exceptionally difficult. We all know that conspiracy theories are a lot more gradual than the "rabbit hole" metaphor implies. It often starts with a video or two on YouTube which then suggests increasingly polarising views until it's "too late."

By no means is this exclusive to older people, but one thing I have noticed is that a lot of younger people who grew up on the internet in particular are used to the cynicism, the lies, the memes and the polarising language that has left us quite skeptical of conspiracies. People who didn't use the internet until very recently, who only access YouTube and Facebook and didn't encounter 4Chan when it was a memey basement-dweller cesspit of oldfags (excuse the language) are far far less skeptical of 420PatriotEagle1776's tweets than they should be.

Edit: recently had someone unironically share an obviously doctored newspaper article "from a decade ago" where Bill Gates talked about population control through mandatory vaccination. Growing up with TheOnion, 4Chan and niche forums has blunted the shock of those kinds of images enough, but clearly some people just aren't jaded enough to check.
  
I meant the white bit in particular. I had a rando get pretty mad at me once when I told him Jesus wasn't white. I also did hear a guy say Jesus was black.

I know this is a serious topic but I literally burst into chuckling out loud when I read 420PatriotEagle1776, haha.

Moot personally gave me a day ban from 4chan roughly a decade ago. The post that got me banned was something like "rollin for dubs".
  
1) Jesus was a Jew. Jews are considered white in mainstream America, are they not.

2) Mainstream American conservatives don't emphasise Jesus' race. If he's depicted as white in iconography, it's not considered important. If you encountered people who emphasised him being white, you encountered a fringe group.

3) It's normal for Christians around the world to think of Jesus as being their own race, it's not unique to white people. Here is a slideshow where you can see Jesus as Native American, Jesus as black African, Jesus as East Asian, etc.

What I don't understand is, if people believe the government and/or Hollywood are morally bankrupt, corrupt, self-serving and deceitful, that's fine. Why can't they just believe that. They're right in a lot of cases. Why do they then have to throw in crazy nonsense about satanic ritual abuse that was debunked thirty years ago. It's kind of like when people say Hitler only had one testicle or was a sexual deviant or was actually a Jew himself. It's like guys, it's Hitler. You don't need to make up weird extra stuff.
  
Millpond said:
Jesus was a Jew. Jews are considered white in mainstream America, are they not.
Race is a social construct, so it just depends whom you ask. My guess would be that most Americans would probably view most Jews as white but that the type of person who insists Jesus was white would probably not.
Millpond said:
You don't need to make up weird extra stuff.
The extra weird stuff further validates their hatred and opposition. It feels good to hate monsters.
  
Millpond said:
Why do they then have to throw in crazy nonsense about satanic ritual abuse that was debunked thirty years ago.
Humans like to make sense out of senseless things.

In a weird way, its more mentally comforting to imagine demonic influences than to stare an existential mirror in the eye and realize that all great evil humans do comes from something dark inside of humanity itself, and not some external evil.

Its also a way to separate ourselves from horrible people. It makes them different from us. The truth is, given the same circumstances, anyone of us has a chance to be a Weinstein, or a Hitler, or a serial killer. Having their lives, genetics, experiences, etc. there's a high probability we would turn out just as bad - if not worse.
  
The extra weird stuff further validates their hatred and opposition. It feels good to hate monsters.


This is a trend I'm most afraid of: political opponents aren't just bad, they're morally bankrupt and evil. It justifies the progressive escalation into morally bankrupt and evil territory, and then I sound just as bad as QAnon for thinking Steven Miller is morally bankrupt and evil, even if my position is not as tenuous or based in fabrications.
  
ecr674 said:
I feel like this would be hilarious if people out there didn't legit believe it. What has facebook come to?


I use to think it was funny till alex jones. I blame alex jones for all the weird conspiracies.

Im sure I'm wrong but he is the first i heard with lizard people and democrats poisoning our water. Which in his words, “turning frogs gay”.
  
You wanna know who you can ultimately blame before Alex Jones?
This beautiful mother fucker.
Wikipedia link because why not. If you read any of this article, read the third paragraph from the top of the page.
Who wants to start a gofundme or Kickstarter to try and get David to take his Thorazine?

Edit: This guy’s existence is why I thought QAnon was a joke. It’s the same shit he’s been saying for years, but with a more overtly hateful tone. However QAnon overlooks the hollow moon acting as a supercomputer in tandem with Saturn, which is also a computer and not a real planet.
  
Oh god I'd forgotten about David. I remember watching a jeff holiday video that had him hanging around with Del Bigtree at his crazy anti-vax conventions.
  
I love him for one reason: he talks a lot and even though it’s crazy, he’s usually boring, and his 2-3 hour long lectures are great to fall asleep to.
  
I've never paid attention to David Icke's lizard conspiracy in detail, but I know enough to know it's bonkers. But I did see this interview with Icke where he seemed nice and talked about deprogramming yourself from being too scared to say what you think in case you get ridiculed. So while the lizard stuff is ridiculous, I couldn't help but respect him for that. And I wonder to what extent he really believes it, part of me suspects it's just a sort of thought experiment and a way to make a living spouting rubbish.
  
Millpond said:
a way to make a living spouting rubbish.
It ain't much, but it's honest work.
  
I don't mind them having a sort of anti-media sentiment. The media could do with being taken down a peg. Especially what I've seen of American media, and QAnon are mostly an American thing, I think. But it's a big leap to alien lizards!

David Icke, as wacky as his world is, seems actually benevolent from what I've seem, in terms of what he wants us to do with his beliefs. I saw his original interviews and he talks about how we need to avoid hatred and negative feelings because that's how the aliens enslave us, and that the way to rebel against our alien overlords is to love and be kind to one another. Well, if believing in alien lizards makes someone a nicer person, so be it. Somehow I feel like QAnon haven't taken that part on board though!