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Senate QAnon Casualties

Discussion in 'Community' started by Bacon164, Sep 21, 2020.

  1. Bacon164

    Bacon164 Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 22, 2005
    I named this thread after the subreddit of the same name. I’m not sure how much context I need to provide, but for posterity’s sake, a death cult has overtaken the U.S., accusing a center-right party (Democrats) and for whatever reason (anti-Semitism) the Hollywood “elite” of being atop the chain of a child sex-trafficking ring for the purpose of unleashing Satan and becoming immortal on Earth. Only one man can stop this, and his name is Donald J. Trump, and he will punish his enemies. Soon.

    This thread is intended to be a resource for those with friends and family members who have succumbed to the cult and endlessly go on about foreskin, blood, and the beauty of the coming storm.

    My sisters have been hooked on this. I don’t know when it started (certainly after March). One has shifted from being a Bernie supporter into a Trump supporter. Even after the research I’ve conducted (some with the assistance of fellow JCC members), I have not broken through and don’t know what to do. I lose sleep over this. But maybe others know of resources and tips that can. Below are some things that have helped me. My link embedding isn’t working, so sorry:

    podcasts
    Reply All - Country of Liars: https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aH...Ewiu9enD4PvrAhXOZs0KHQe1DNYQieUEegQIMxAF&ep=6
    QAnon Anonymous: https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aH...kY2xvdWQ6dXNlcnM6NDkyMTM1NDIwL3NvdW5kcy5yc3M=
    Worst Year Ever - QAnon: https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aH...DQtYjczMS0xMWVhLWJmOTAtMWIzZGNlNTM3Njk1?ep=14

    How to Talk to People About QAnon: https://www.engadget.com/how-to-talk-to-people-about-qanon-123045910.html

    I’d link more resources but this link thing is rly annoying me and these are already annoying to look at.

    My first approach was to go through the whole history of anti-Semitic ideas that QAnon is stealing from to demonstrate how this entire story has literally been plagiarized. The only response was: “But what if it IS true?” My sister is not an idiot. I don’t know how to proceed, but my tactic will be to simply listen with compassion and ask questions. Being combative doesn’t work. Making fun of it doesn’t work. I don’t know how win a war against fiction.
     
  2. Darth Guy

    Darth Guy Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Thankfully I don't know friends or family who've bought into this, but I don't talk to most of my extended family very often.

    I think one reason it's gained traction is because (some) rich and powerful people are running sex trafficking rings and there was a high-profile exposure of one of them within the past few years. Never mind that the hero of QAnon pal'd around with Epstein. I haven't done a deep dive into it because if I consume nonsense it'd better be entertaining, so maybe I'm totally wrong.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
  3. Jedi Knight Fett

    Jedi Knight Fett PT Interview & Teh Mole Host star 10 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2014
    Damn I have only heard about QAnon through the internet never really knew what it was. I know some people who could fall into it if they weren’t careful. I’ll keep this thread watched just in case.
     
  4. Bacon164

    Bacon164 Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 22, 2005
    I wish I could go back to just laughing at it, but the scope and range of its potential power now terrifies me. We have a population in austerity and poverty, with extremely limited resources compared to their parents. They are prime pickings for this kind of stuff.
     
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  5. Lordban

    Lordban Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Nov 9, 2000
    To me, the ultimate test - and the most desperate - is to overtly put a person in front of a Nazi speech - there are a good few that cover Jews, Bolsheviks, Freemasons, a wide range of depravities attributed to them, and how Hitler is the messianic figure that will put them down. By the end of it, you're going to know whether you have someone who can be shocked into realizing just how far down they've gone, or you'll know a lost cause who doesn't have a problem with Donald Trump being the heir to Adolf Hitler.
     
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  6. poor yorick

    poor yorick Ex-Mod star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Jun 25, 2002
    @Bacon164 —I’m really sorry this is happening in your family. I tend to just make fun of QAnon, without considering whether anyone listening is a believer or has had a close relationship ended or damaged by QAnon’s fantasies. I’m sure it doesn’t help matters. My apologies if anything I’ve said has caused you undue distress.

    I know little about cults and even less about deprogramming people from them, but for a while I did work with kids who had emotional and behavioral problems, so maybe some of that information will apply.

    1) Feelings are always valid, even if you disagree about what “really” caused them. Assure the person you’re talking with that you are not dismissing their fear, anger, or sadness. Nobody chooses to feel these things just because they have nothing better to do or just to “get attention.”

    2) Painful feelings ultimately stem from unmet needs. Try to sort out with the person what those needs are. Consult Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs if necessary. Many people are having trouble getting safety and belonging needs met right now. Joining a “welcoming” cult with an all-protecting parent figure (Trump, in this case), might appeal to such people.

    4) Establish some basic common reality. There really are child molesters and traffickers in this world, and they have done an incalculable amount of damage to abuse survivors and those who care about them. There is nothing wrong about feeling outraged about that, and particularly about abusers who are in privileged, protected positions where they can harm one victim after another and never face consequences.

    5) Suggest some non-cult-centered ways for the person to get their needs met and help them find prosocial ways to work at solving the problems that distress them. Instead of going online and spreading libelous fake news about Tom Hanks (of all people), they could donate time and resources to a charity that benefits young trafficking victims or works to prevent child abuse in the first place. Bonus points if you can get the person offline entirely and to go volunteer IRL. The Internet tends to generate a lot of low-quality, superficial connections to other people, which are not a substitute for a few, deep relationships with others you can physically see. I can only imagine that the pandemic is making this problem worse.

    6) Do not try to take away the person’s beliefs, strange though they may be. They adopted those beliefs for a reason, and plainly they’re getting something out of them. The goal is to supplant the malignant fantasy with quality, real-life interactions, so that the delusions fade organically, like a child growing out of the need for an imaginary friend. It’s possible the cult-inducted person will never entirely renounce their QAnon belief system. However, if they’re spending their time off their computer, working to provide real, wanted help to others, and interacting with loved ones, the belief system’s ability to poison will be much reduced.
     
  7. Bacon164

    Bacon164 Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 22, 2005
    After like an hour of reading, this basically compiles the best pieces of info I’ve gotten into one post, thanks!
     
  8. BigAl6ft6

    BigAl6ft6 Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Oh I Didn't know the end game for the bad guys was Stan-fueled immortality, that's pretty metal.
     
  9. Darth Punk

    Darth Punk JCC Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 25, 2013
    I’ve never felt the need to deep dive into the QAnon story as it seems as far fetched as flat earth theories, or Creationism.

    I guess there’s a heady mix of chaos, too much free time, and a lack of unbiased information in America right now. People crave order and meaning, and generally like to try and join the dots - even if the dots aren’t really there.

    I once read a fascinating book about the Weimar Republic. It was more about hyper inflation, but it boiled down to this - during times of extreme austerity, the general public tend to polarise politically. I’d wager that people who fall for QAnon are a carbon copy of people of early 30’s Germany - skint, tired, and poorly educated.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
  10. Lordban

    Lordban Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Nov 9, 2000
    I don't think you're far off the truth - with the caveat that the people of early 30's Germany had a total war still fresh on their minds. The hunger, I'm afraid, is nearly as prevalent in the 2020s USA as it was in the Weimar republic.
     
  11. CairnsTony

    CairnsTony Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    May 7, 2014
    This is 100% correct. Studies have shown that humans see patterns all around them. If you have an open-minded, critical ability to sift out the patterns that aren't, then you're probably a fairly mentally healthy individual; but a seriously large number of people see pattern, meaning, and relevance where there is none.

    The film A Beautiful Mind perfectly exemplified what happens when this is taken to its logical conclusion: literally everything then has meaning and those dots get joined even when they are not in any way related. People want the meaningless to have meaning. And you don't have to have a mental illness to experience that.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
  12. Dannik Jerriko

    Dannik Jerriko Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 12, 2017
    I have a couple of friends who have bought into QAnon. These men are professional, middle-aged fathers. The two have never met and both came to their beliefs independently. They sent me several videos during lockdown and, having little else to do, I watched many QAnon and Fall Cabal videos.

    Having watched these videos, I noticed that the creators have a flair for the dramatic. My personal take is that it gives the follower a sense of being special. The follower is made to feel that they are privy to knowledge that is being ignored by the ignorant masses. The videos are constructed to seem reasonable and logical whilst making huge inferential leaps. I think that there’s a sense of excitement in believing oneself to be part of a burgeoning underground movement that will rise up and overthrow the evil corrupt world world governments.
     
  13. Rylo Ken

    Rylo Ken Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Dec 19, 2015
    The thing that most attracts me to QAnon is the merchandise. The merch is great. Thank God for the people who sell it. That's how we know the movement is legit. Just like how we know when a social media personality has truly arrived.
     
  14. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Five Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Apparently the child-sex-trafficking-ring aspect of it gets the attention of mothers who have not previously paid attention to politics very much but are drawn in by fear that the children of America are in danger. And I agree that Epstein having been linked to the Clintons does not help, although I don’t see how Epstein being linked to the Clintons makes them pedophiles but his being linked to Trump just means Trump is a good guy who is spying on them.

    Thankfully I don’t have any family members who have gotten into this. I don’t have the patience. I’m sorry you’re dealing with it @Bacon164 .
     
  15. gezvader28

    gezvader28 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 22, 2003
    I'd never heard of QAnon til I saw it mentioned here . So is it like a conspiracy idea that some are spreading via the internet? Does it have some David Icke figure pushing it?
     
  16. Darth Punk

    Darth Punk JCC Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 25, 2013
    I’d guess the David Icke figure is an algorithm over at BookFace
     
  17. poor yorick

    poor yorick Ex-Mod star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Jun 25, 2002
    I expect this is true. I was a big X-Files fan back in the day, and while I didn’t seriously believe in any of the show’s conspiracies, it was fun to pretend to be part of some secret, “in the know” group that was smarter than other people. I briefly played an online Matrix RPG that was much the same.

    I also wish to God there really was some charismatic leader in a powerful position out there who was going to “save us” from all the corruption and cruelty in the world. It would be neat if all any of us had to do to help improve things was to “wake up” and then sit on the computer forwarding YouTube videos.

    So I really think I get the appeal. I don’t think most QAnon followers are “crazy” in the usual sense. Or at least they didn’t start out that way.

    It’s not an uncommon thing for survivors of child sex abuse to believe that “all men are like that” or that all people in positions of power know and deliberately protect pedophiles. That’s because this has been their actual experience. Plenty of child molesters position themselves as “pillars of the community” because it gives them more access to children and a cover for their repellant activities. There are still plenty of towns, church communities, schools, ect. where the adults just cannot bring themselves to believe that the dear old pastor or principal or community leader could possibly be assaulting kids, so they punish or ignore the kids and protect the abuser. It’s easy to see how someone who grew up like that would just naturally assume that’s the dynamic everywhere in the world. And it actually is, in far too many places.

    That’s actually the first thing I think of when I hear about fervent QAnon fans who are really into the “pedophile cabal” aspect of the myth. They just want to believe so badly that there’s finally a “grown up” who believes them and will protect them. It would be darkly hilarious that they’ve picked the guy who bought the Miss Teen USA pageant to he could leer at underage girls, if only it weren’t so damn sad.
     
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  18. Darth Guy

    Darth Guy Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Aug 16, 2002
    @poor yorick Are QAnon supporters more likely to have been victims of abuse? I haven't heard that and it doesn't seem to be the case.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
  19. SuperWatto

    SuperWatto Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 19, 2000
    Bacon, you seem like a smart person so I must assume your sisters aren't dumb. Do they read? And if so, would they read a book you give them?

    This thing is not unique in its dynamic. Similar events have occured throughout history. If you can get them to read a good history book about similar events (and I can recommend some great and applicable ones), they might get the necessary perspective without having been talked down to or made fun of.

    I only realize now that I've used this tactic on my brother and it's worked.
     
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  20. poor yorick

    poor yorick Ex-Mod star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Jun 25, 2002
    I’ve never seen any data on the issue. I have my suspicions about the group of followers who appear just frantic and sick about the poor children who are [not] being kept in tunnels under Hillary Clinton’s pizza restaurant, but suspicions are all they are. Clearly, something very real has upset these people a great deal. You don’t get that worked up over make-believe. (I would say except for people who fight over Reylo, except that upsets a lot of people who have been in legit abusive relationships, so.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
  21. Bacon164

    Bacon164 Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 22, 2005
    They're high school educated and not particularly interested in reading. I literally went through how this same thing was employed in Nazi Germany without going into specifics until the end and it didn't make a dent. She seems to respond more to video or audio commentary.

    But by all means, if you have book recommendations, I will recommend and do the reading.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
  22. Darth Guy

    Darth Guy Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Aug 16, 2002
    It happens all the time. In the vein of "Won't someone think of the children?!" there's **** like the Satanic panic of the 80s and 90s and video games causing school shootings. No one was really the victim of a "Satanic ritual," but that didn't stop a bunch of people from taking it seriously for a long time. People routinely get worked up about make-believe that's baked into the foundations of our society-- e.g., national identity, religion.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
  23. SuperWatto

    SuperWatto Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 19, 2000
    Maybe start with this?



    It's brilliantly explained in The Proud Tower by Barbara Tuchman.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
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  24. Bacon164

    Bacon164 Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 22, 2005
    For what it's worth, the people (not just my family) that have demonstrated themselves to be most vulnerable to QAnon (on social media) that I know have a history of severe childhood trauma (not necessarily sexual)
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
  25. blackmyron

    blackmyron Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Yeah, even my parents - who were normally very level-headed - were convinced by super-religious conservative friends of theirs of the 'dangers' of my playing Dungeons and Dragons and wearing black shirts... both of which mysteriously vanished. It wasn't even my parents saying "We don't like these things", they just took them away and pretended that they didn't. It really made them feel incredibly alien to me - they never acted that way before and they never did again.
    The irony is that, as I told my parents when I was an adult that "I wore a lot of black shirts because I have a tendency to stain my shirts and mom would bleach my white t-shirts into oblivion trying to get the stains out"