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Parkland Survivor Says QAnon Convinced His Dad That Shooting Was Hoax

Parkland Survivor Says QAnon Convinced His Dad That Shooting Was Hoax

Roaming-the-internet

Unfortunately parents believing kids are “making up hardships for attention” is fairly common. Thankfully it’s not usually this bad but the most easily proven one is Kid: “I need glasses” Parent: “stop making things up for attention” Kid’s teachers: “the kid needs glasses” The optometrist, later: “kid definitely needs glasses” Which happened to me and 2 people I know, as well as a bunch of people in various parts of the internet I’ve come across


MrSenator

This actually happened to me too! I actually begged my teacher in 7th grade to tell my parents because otherwise they wouldn't do anything. Edit: This is one of those "I'm surprised to hear it is so common" moments on reddit for me.


allworkandnoYahtzee

That happened to me too. I needed glasses when I was a little kid and didn’t get them until 6th grade when I was failing three classes because I couldn’t see anything. My parents would also tell me I wasn’t sick when I clearly was.


BlackLeader70

My ex did that with my daughter…and she has been wearing glasses her whole life! I had to take my daughter in for the exam and to buy glasses because “she was just making it up for attention.”


Roaming-the-internet

Good thing she’s an ex


descendingangel87

Happened to me. The board was blurry so I def needed glasses in grade 7, parents didn’t believe me. Got eye tested at school, they said I needed glasses, parents still didn’t believe them because neither of my parents nor my sister wore glasses. It wasn’t until I was 20 years old and I could afford to go get tested myself that I finally got glasses and had to wear them ever since.


Roaming-the-internet

Oh god I’m so sorry it happened to you for so long


FadedFox1

Damn, those are some shit parents


IgnisExitium

Me - “my tooth hurts” My mom - “quit lying for attention” My dentist 2 weeks later - “due to a massive infection, we have to pull 5 teeth and maybe remove part of his jaw (thankfully they did not), he should have come in sooner”


Blenderhead36

The entire "troubled teen" industry basically runs on this. Dozens of the programs have been outed as bizarre and cruel, but they're so over the top that kids' parents think they're making it up.


Poison-Pen-

Can you imagine going through the most traumatic event in your life and having your own father claim it was fake and that you were paid to act like a victim?


Batbuckleyourpants

It is weird, but it is not all that unusual for people who are peripheral to a disaster to grasp at conspiracy theories. It is like the mind does not want to believe a kid could just suddenly decide to so something so evil, so they start connecting dots to find any other explanation. They would rather believe some nefarious unseen evil is to blame because it is easier than to accept what happened. It is a mental illness if anything.


id10t_you

It's called Complexity Bias. They look at a school shooting and can't comprehend that one person decided to murder a bunch of their peers. There HAS to be more there, some larger more complex series of events that explains it all.


SmokeGSU

Sounds a lot like ancient aliens belief - "we're so much more advanced than ancient Egyptians were. There's no way that they moved those massive stones by themselves and stacked them all. It must have been aliens who did it while they Egyptians sat around mouth-breathing and dribbling drool down their chins because they were so dumb."


pupperonipizzapie

I just started the Netflix series today and I am losing my shit. First episode starts off, "In the 2011 film, Aliens vs Cowboys..." "There are a few who believe this story might have roots in historical fact." [Cut to footage of Texas]


sovietta

Nothing is impossible to build when slavery is involved!


ExtractionImperative

It’s pretty well established now that the pyramids were built with contracted labor. In part there’s no evidence of the major operation it would take to contain and manage a slave workforce that large. There’s also records of paying laborers. Also the level of expertise required wouldn’t have been consistent with a slave workforce. That is relatively new though.


monkwren

The Pyramids are actually thought to have largely been constructed by skilled laborers, who were paid for their work. Slaves were used, this being Ancient Egypt, but much of the work was done by paid laborers.


Cookielicous

Not neccesarily slavery, but more like seasonal labor with free beer and food thrown in.


Batbuckleyourpants

That's the thing. We always hear about how much manpower it would have required. Thing is, public works like the pyramid were done in part to hold the peasants working in the off growing season. Farmers would run out of money and food by the winter, so the Pharaohs had to create jobs just to keep them busy and fed so they would not spend every winter rebelling. Might as well have them stacking stones a few months a year.


nchoe123

Please, it’s ‘prisoners with jobs’.


Nemisis_the_2nd

When you word it like that, it sounds like a small scale version of religious belief.


MudLOA

That's a great analogy. Like something happened but we can't explain or comprehend it. Okay let's make shit up.


id10t_you

That's an excellent point. I hadn't thought of it like that.


wowbragger

Not so much religious beliefs themselves, but it is a factor when people become religious during difficult times. There typically has to be an activating event, for Complexity Bias to occur. Example.. Soldiers spirituality tends to shoot upwards in combat deployments, or if we're sent to support disaster recovery.


th3cr1t1c

The JFK assassination is the ultimate example of this. There's absolutely nothing complex about it but the mythical status of the Kennedys makes people believe it impossible. After all, if it's that easy to bring down Camelot, what other institutions are that fragile? These movements are also fueled by disinformation... Oliver Stone's movie is riddled with factual inaccuracies and just plain b.s., but it's presented in such an overwhelming, dramatized fashion that it got people's gears turning again and spawned a whole industry of conspiracy theorists peddling nonsense when the reality involves one rifle and a straight shot down Elm Street. People gauge this event through the lens of modern Presidential security without realizing that modern Presidential security is the *result* of that incident. It's the single most traumatic and unbelievable event of the modern era, broadcast live in the beginnings of the televised media era, one that I don't believe America's collective consciousness ever fully recovered from.


id10t_you

Great point.


TheTruthT0rt0ise

Sounds like the a similar reason to why humans invented religion. To explain the unexplainable. At least back when things were unexplainable.


Swiftclaw8

I was kind of like that when I heard about the Capitol Riots, I just thought the police had a mishap or some security fluke occurred. Nope, turns out there really are people that stupid and hateful, and it really turns out that Capitol security is pretty crappy.


Various-Space-680

me, i call it stupidity. really no need to go much deeper than that.


lickmenorah

but it wasn't the peers of the father. I get what you are saying, but it just sort of sounds like the kids dad is an a\*\*hole.


Dyxlecsics_untie

I think it's not just complexity bias at work here. People's empathy tend to give the belief that you can understand and empathise with their motivations. Most people can't empathise with the idea of a mass shooting so it's probably simpler for them to look for external factors, rather than doing the research into what would drive someone to do something so awful


Quigleyer

>They would rather believe some nefarious unseen evil is to blame because it is Easter than to accept what happened. It is a mental illness if anything. When you put it that way it sounds like the same kind of coping mechanism people use for serial killers, or folks who leave their children in cars. Those people are "monsters" because it's easier on the mind than thinking some seemingly normal neighbor had been murdering people the whole time, or believing some average Joe like themselves can forget about a child in the car. But with the "mass shooting is a hoax" thing there's some political shit involved.


Batbuckleyourpants

>But with the "mass shooting is a hoax" thing there's some political shit involved. Sure, things being as politically polarized as they are in the US, people will naturally see things through that lense.


Quigleyer

What I mean when I say that is that this view is pushed through from higher-up by an entity along political lines. Like Qanon pushes this theory and gullible folks go along with it because it was put into their head, whereas the other examples at least appear to be people's natural coping mechanism. I wonder if people would just naturally believe this as a coping mechanism if it wasn't put into their heads.


Nother1BitestheCrust

I think a lot of the 9/11 truthers used it as a coping mechanism.


JCMcFancypants

Idk man, I think it's way easier to accept that a bunch of people in a country on the other side of the planet are mad at us than our own government just up and decided to kill a bunch of citizens because they felt like starting a war in said country. It's like, the former scenario is pretty dark, but the conspiracy is ultra-dark.


Nother1BitestheCrust

I agree, but I don't there's a lot of rationality to it. They fell helpless and vulnerable, but now they know what 'really happened' so they're special and in control because the government didn't fool them. It's just a guess and based on one dude I knew that was a Truther. It was weird and fucked up, but I felt like it was his backward way of empowering himself.


saynay

This is true for most conspiracy theories, tbh. Being "in the know" gives a sense of control and purpose.


Missy_Elliott_Smith

There's definitely some measure of inherent xenophobia to it, too, the idea that a bunch of dudes from the Islamic middle east could do that much damage to Christian America without getting some help from the Men Upstairs is unthinkable to some. Same reason no one says Ancient Europeans had to have help from "ancient aliens" to develop civilization.


altogethernow

I'm not proud to say I flirted with 9/11 trutherism for a while (never got too far down that rabbit hole, though). I'm not aware of any 9/11 truthers who denied the tragedy and loss of life involved - the conceit was that the US Gov had some hand in it's execution (either by directly planning/cooperating with the terrorists, or at the very least looking the other way to capitalize on the tragedy). This is unlike mass-shooter deniers, who seem to think the shootings were staged with "crises actors" and that there was no actual loss of life at all. Most of the 9/11 trutherism had a lot to do with how quickly the US Gov pushed into it's "War on Terror" and legislation like the Patriot Act - a knee-jerk reaction that still feels worrisome 20 years later. I'm not trying to defend one or the other (The Bush Admin's incompetent handling of the wars quickly made me feel like such a grandiose conspiracy would be impossible and upon thinking about it I realized how silly the whole idea was). I'm just musing on how the two conspiracies feel different and have/had differing impacts. Maybe coping was part of it for the 9/11 truthers, too: easier to believe in a grand conspiracy than the idea that a handful of guys with boxcutters could cause such destruction.


Dirty_Virmling

>Sure, things being as politically polarized as they are in the US, people will naturally see things through that lense. No, I think you aren't being intellectually honest here. This isn't "seeing things through that lens," like the conspiracies existed first and it became politically charged later. The political nature of it is central to the existence of the conspiracy. Without the political impetus behind it, the conspiracy theory likely doesn't exist.


silgidorn

Not from the US, but I can see how down playing mass shootings as hoaxes could serve an anti gun control agenda.


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[удалено]


whelp_welp

The leaving kids in cars thing is awful. Car manufacturers have literally tried to make safety features to prevent it from happening but people don't like it because it upsets them and they don't think they will ever need it.


CardWitch

Yeah it was something that we talked about on my cognitive psychology class once. My professor essentially said "if you're capable of going to the store and forgetting a grocery item you needed, or you've ever put your phone or pen down somewhere and forgot where it was - you can definitely forget your child is in the car. It is not a personal failing, our brains just do these things."


tedivm

Can you cite a source for that?


Googunk

For this reason I do recommend people look up the paintings of young Adolf Hitler. Not to commemorate or revere him of course, but to remind yourself that he was a human being. Monsters causing catastrophes of the highest scale is terrifying, but more terrifying is being faced with the knowledge that no monster is required. The Holocaust was the result of human beings like you and me. Parkland wasn't the result of a monster either. That was a person. It is difficult but necessary to understand this.


aleisterfowley

Hitler got a decent inheritance as a young man and gave it all to his sister who was a young mother with no money. He also caused 75 million deaths thanks to world war 2. The biggest monsters are human.


Codedmelody

Reminds me of old folktales and myths. People would rather believe some werewolf, vampire, or witch in contact with the devil was murdering people in their town because they couldn't understand how a human being by themselves could do it.


amitym

Well it's not just "a kid did something evil." You start facing reality and the entire edifice of your delusions about the entire world start to crumble. You can't have that of course. So you retreat deeper into delusion instead.


ApostateX

But how do we know that's a form of mental illness? Neurotypical people believe preposterous things and commit terrible acts. Neurotypical people join cults. For those of us who are tethered to reality and don't try to commit horrifically violent crimes or gin up conspiracy theories around them or participate in online/IRL communities that encourage us to engage in anti-social behaviors it certainly \*seems\* to us like mental illness is the cause, but how do we actually know this? It seems like circular reasoning to me: 1) Person X did Y because of mental illness. 2) How do you know they're mentally ill? 3) Because they did Y. It's like with belief in a god: 1) The Bible says God is real. 2) How do you know the Bible is right? 3) Because the Bible says so. How do we know QAnon isn't triggering totally normal human psychological processes common in neurotypical people that literally any of us could fall prey to ourselves, given the right priming, exposure and reinforcement? I mean, advertising works on me. The urge to keep gambling if I visit a casino works on me. I definitely have confirmation bias. I'd feel a lot more confident the average person isn't likely to be taken in by QAnon if we were able to define and diagnose the mental illness(es) likely victims have, but I'm not sure what those illnesses are, or if they even exist. Lots of people have poor coping skills but that doesn't make them mentally ill.


Catatonic27

THANK YOU this perfectly expresses something that's bugged me for a while. People who fall victim to cognitive biases get labeled as "nuts", "mentally ill" or some variation all the time, and it's simply not accurate. Religious cults are a good example, it's all too easy to point and say "*Ahh, those people are crazy. Their minds aren't right! Look at all the nonsensical things they believe!*" but you're absolutely correct, perfectly healthy and otherwise-competent people get sucked into this kind of thing all the time. I've been there myself. The truth is far more unsettling. People aren't conned into believing in gods and conspiracy theories because they're *crazy*, they get sucked into them because the human brain has many well-documented bugs called Cognitive Biases which are easily exploited and NONE of us are immune. The only thing that approximates a cure is studying and being *aware* of these biases and how they present themselves. Once you learn to recognize them in yourself, you start to recognize when someone is trying to exploit them for their own gain. It's kind of like mental antivirus. Is it some wild coincidence that virtually every human culture around the globe and throughout history has worshiped some god(s)? Were all of those humans crazy or dumb? No, as far as we can tell, believing in a god is one of the most natural human instincts known to man. The fact is there is some innate quality of the human mind that makes us pre-conditioned and biased right out of the box to believe in a god. It's one of our bugs, and it's one that people are only too-eager to exploit. We should be educating people on the inherent flaws in their own minds rather than condemning and judging them for being tricked. It's a bit like making fun of an obese person for their weight when they were never taught anything about nutrition. It's unhelpful and regressive.


DorisCrockford

Except that in this case the father does believe his kid did something evil, when he didn't do anything at all except not get shot.


FrankaBob

The number of people who survive childhood traumas only to have their parents/relatives gaslight them about the horrors they experienced is staggering. So, yes, I can imagine, and I am absolutely heartbroken for him that his own parent is invalidating his experience like that. Situations like this can get so severe the victims themselves may even begin to question the validity of what they experienced.


darwinwoodka

Yeah, I had a friend who was sexually abused by her dad and brother and the mother denied to the end of her life that it ever happened and thought her daughter made the whole thing up.


naliedel

I posted after you, but we have a lot in common, that no one should have in common. Many virtual hugs. I believe you.


id10t_you

>The number of people who survive childhood traumas only to have their parents/relatives gaslight them about the horrors they experienced is staggering. Yup. And it's mostly done to preserve the families standing in life. It's sickening.


SirGlenn

Haven't seen my family in almost 32 years, and have no desire to, for the very same reason you mention. A psychologist at my local community college i enrolled in helped me immensely just by talking a few time and telling me in no uncertain terms after i described a few "incidents" it was not you "it was them"!, and in my business we all know a family can be the most dangerous place of all for a child, and abuse of a child rarely diminishes, it escalates and continues on and on" two examples, my older brother took me downstairs and "taught" me how to put a rope hangman's noose around my neck, put me on a rickety old wooden chair, tied the rope around the steel beam in the basement, told me to practice doing this as he ran up the stairs and out the door. After drunkenly beating me halfway into a cripple with a brutal spanking, my mother yelled for him to stop before you kill him!, his response was to say in anger to me, i'll give you something to really cry about, and stubbed his cigarette out on my bare ass, and later on claimed to my mother, "the lit end must have fallen off." No thanks, you can keep your f'ing family, i want no part of it.


Teddybear88

Jesus. I hope you’re doing better now.


naliedel

True. I was sexually abused by a babysitter for years. Too afraid to tell. When I did, it was traumatic again. My dad, "can't you just forget it happened? It couldn't be that bad." Yes, yes it was.


Legal-Software

My parents were physically abusive to both my sister and I when we were old enough to start questioning religion, resulting in both of us leaving home at 16. After about 20 years of no contact, my wife decided to reach out to them to try and build bridges (without first consulting me), both denied anything untoward ever took place and concluded that my sister and I were just being selfish and clearly were just making things up. My sister eventually rediscovered religion and reestablished ties, acknowledging the error of her ways, and now doesn’t talk to me either. Selective amnesia seems to be a more common coping mechanism than I imagined.


Strange_Temperature

Yeah but like, usually it's about their uncle molesting them or something. This is just fucking crazy: "I don't believe you, not because it will cause family rifts or shame, but because an anonymous nut on the internet told me otherwise!"


bhangmango

I know a girl that happened to. She was in a targeted restaurant during the Paris terrorist attacks. She was unscathed but traumatized and in therapy, but still agreed to give an interview on camera for a news website months later. Literally all the comments were conspiracists saying she was a paid actress pushing a political agenda. Knowing what she was actually going through, it was heartbreaking and infuriating. At least these assholes were anonymous and not her family…


OracleofFl

Can you imagine a father not believing his son, who was there, over the yahoos of the Q world about anything?


bigbangbilly

Usually it's the victims loved one's that's the target of violence from conspiracy theorists. For example [This Sandy Hook father lives in hiding because of conspiracy theories fueled by Alex Jones](https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/this-sandy-hook-father-lives-in-hiding-because-of-conspiracy-theories-fueled-by-alex-jones/). I wouldn't expect the a victims loved one's joining them. That's like a prey joining a flock of wolves


galeej

Gerard butler in law abiding citizen comes to mind.


Zeeman9991

Took me forever to parse that sentence. *Gerard’s Butler-in-Law?* *Gerard Butler’s in-Law?*


pyrrhios

Grammar and punctuation are important to being understood.


AmidFuror

Would you say that if the commenter had taken a moment to better format the point, it could have saved time and potential misunderstanding by the audience? For example: >Gerard Butler in *Law Abiding Citizen* comes to mind.


comegetinthevan

I am doing my best to and so far what I have come up with is that the biggest hoax would have been them being my Dad. Id never speak to the man again unless he was on his knees begging forgiveness for being a piece of shit. I doubt the dad randomly woke up and started following qanon and was probably reprehensible before that.


Meowzebub666

It's comforting to think that, but it leads down the same path. Most of these people were completely normal people. They weren't monsters. Far more terrifyingly, they were us.


ApostateX

Certainly possible he was reprehensible long before he found QAnon. What I find most horrifying about this is that by not believing his child, he's revictimizing him.


peepjynx

Yup. My father is the type of person who would pull this shit. I totally empathize with that kid. I hope he's surrounded by better support.


ActiveFrontEnd

It is hard to believe in a world with senseless violence, so it is a coping mechanism to believe in conspiracy theories. I just don't understand how if he survived you could believe the lie. Like you can talk to him, you can ask questions. If he were dead I could maybe see it, this is...another level.


heliowolf

My dad thinks school shootings are a government hoax meant to push gun control. I entered public school in 2012, when Sandy Hook happened. There were a lot of school shootings since then. One even happened 20 miles from my school. I think my whole generation has some trauma. It sucks.


Successful_Time_8586

So, like a lot of women who are raped?


petal14

The definition of family dysfunction


Redboy45672

I know people who think Covid is fake even though one of their friends almost died from it


amrg2c

Here is a link to the original Reddit post these articles are referring to: [https://www.reddit.com/r/QAnonCasualties/comments/onq9ig/i\_survived\_the\_stoneman\_douglas\_school\_shooting/](https://www.reddit.com/r/QAnonCasualties/comments/onq9ig/i_survived_the_stoneman_douglas_school_shooting/) The kid was only about 15 when it happened yet somehow became a "paid actor" without his parents knowing and has kept up the ruse for 3 years now.


Lord_Gaben_

Damn that was a depressing read, the dad sounds like he needs some kind of mental health intervention.


I_Was_Fox

I mean the same could be said of everyone that listens or believes in anything QAnon says


Lord_Gaben_

True, you'd have to be pretty far gone to treat your child like that tho


BlackLeader70

What the actual fuck!? That was heartbreaking to read.


a-plus-15-axe

That’s so sad. I hope the kid gets away from his family as soon as he financially can.


amisanthropicfish

This is terrifying.. If Q anon is alluring enough to these idiots that a father can believe it over trauma his own son lived through we are in danger as a country how much it has taken hold


Rosebunse

I have to know, what makes it so alluring? It feels like it just makes the world a more dangerous place than it already is.


brent0830

It's gives these people a sense of control and power. Makes them feel like they are in the know and are smarter then normal people, and they love the idea that everything wrong in the world is going to be fixed by someone soon. Also gives an explanation on why everything is shitty.


Cue_626_go

Their claims are always the dumbest fucking things. They do this on purpose so only the dumbest fucking people would believe them. Then when everyone else rightly condemns them for their bullshit, they can pretend the condemnation is jealousy over their being "right."


bobbyrickets

> They do this on purpose so only the dumbest fucking people would believe them. Do they though? The dumb people repeat things to other dumb people and through the grapevine it ends up being twisted and dumbified even more. Eventually some smart amoral person decides to make bank by selling some merch to these fools.


Shrike79

That's been happening for awhile. Like someone printed out all of Trump's tweets and made a killing selling them at Trump rallies, and this was before he got banned from twitter. There are also these "speaking engagements" that happen throughout the mid-west and south where you have these fringe conspiracy nuts throw up some tents at a park and ask the dumbasses that show up for "donations" to fight blood sucking democrats and shit like that while selling them obnoxious slogan t-shirts, flags, stickers, and of course literally anything they can slap a picture of Trump on.


bobbyrickets

Yup. My point is that it's pretty much an ecosystem. The bad actors within the ecosystem are hidden and not always obvious. Some are, but I would argue they're feeding ON the ecosystem less than feeding the ecosystem. Like MTG. She's just a clown, but she does have a real and scary impact. The only way to get to the truth isn't to simply look and play detective. The rot is far too large for any one person to handle. This is something that requires study and analytics and more than a few minds.


saint-malo

Kinda similar to why belief in God is appealing. It gives more certainty and control over life (“God will take care of it”).


huntimir151

Yeah it also makes them believe that things are bad because of a plan of dangerous people in control of things, which comforts them in comparison to the reality that the world is a hodgepodge of interconnected bad decisionmaking and random errors.


NormieSpecialist

Exactly. It validates their sense self righteousness.


CIA_grade_LSD

Image you're a standard mildly conservative boomer, the prime demographic for Qanon. Your kids and grandkids are depressed over stagnating economy, unaccountable government, shootings, climate change, etc. You can feel your kids futures turning to shit. But to do something about that would mean giving up your way of life, your vacation home, your cheap gas, maybe your job. It means confronting the fact that you helped build this world with your support for easy to access guns, wars, your desire for cheap McMansions, etc. That's too much. To know that your kids face an uncertain future and by all rights should blame you for it. You've only ever wanted your kids to have a bright future and you not only stood by, but cheered while politicians fucked that future into the dirt, because you were too dumb to realize Ronald Reagan, the Bushes, and Trump and the rest of the right were conning you. What do you do? It would break your brain to admit that. So instead you latch on to a theory that says all that stuff is lies and the real threat is deep state pedophiles, and that you are actually fighting them by posting Facebook memes. You are actually fighting for your kids futures. It resolves the cognitive dissonance. That's much more comforting.


Dry_Transition3023

This should be on a billboard somewhere


Ephemeris

*squints* Imagine you're a standa..... *rushes passed at 55 mph*


pinzi_peisvogel

That's very well said, thank you! I'd add that all of the reasons that the kids' future is turning to shit are so complex, divers, partly last back dozens of years and span the whole world that all of this gets too complicated. Boomer wants to help the kids but they don't know where to start, where the root cause is and whom to address. So around comes this convenient and easy solution, there are clear good and bad positions, no grey scale, plus the responsibles are so far away that a single person can totally do nothing except posting to Facebook.


DanimaLecter

This is 100%. You will always be the hero of your own story and you will reconcile that in any way you have to. The realization that you have been scammed, or used, most of your life isn’t possible to face with the programming received. The easiest “way out” is to embrace the path of least resistance and use that as your answer.


NotSoNiceO1

O.o. Good read.


Awkward_Result6214

Likely. Not sure it’s Boomers so much. If you look at the Capital felons, most were much younger than boomers. They look to be, on the whole, 28-48, less educated Caucasian men. And some women of the same class.


CIA_grade_LSD

Qanon in general skews a bit older, but you are right, a lot of the capitol mob was gen xers or older millennials. And this is a phenomenon worth looking at. Young downwardly mobile romantically frustrated men have always made up the core fighting force of radical far right movements, Al Qaeda, Nazi brown shirts, etc. Even if the rank and file is older and the leadership richer.


Awkward_Result6214

Exactly.


thenotoriousberg

Jesus Christ this explains everything. I never understood what allure it provided before. Sad!


gcolquhoun

If you buy into that stuff you get to think you’re “in the know,” despite knowing nothing. You get to scapegoat and blame other people instead of reflecting on yourself or acknowledging big, shared problems with no easy fixes. It means you don’t have to try to get along with anyone who challenges you, since they are all “sheeple.” But really, people will get into the weirdest things and place importance on absolute nonsense for little reason other than having a slot in the psyche for irrational stories that explain everything that can’t be comprehended directly by the human mind (the slot previously filled by mythology, basically). Some people probably adopt Q crap as a hobby to fill the same emotional and psychological needs as someone who goes in hard on liking the MCU and arguing about canon. Both are fantastic manufactured constructs, only one is honest about it.


Rosebunse

I definitely think it's very similar to fandoms. The amount of time they talk about it and theorize about it reminds me of, like, Star Wars or, yeah, the MCU or when a manga heats up. In fact, there's a fair bit of overlap between the Fandom Menance and Qanon.


onlyinitforthemoneys

conservatives tend to believe in the just-world fallacy more than liberals. they want to believe that good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people, so when horrible things happen to good people they need to justify it. its easier to believe that there are unseen evil forces that are causing reality to misalign with their "just world" view rather than swallow the pill that the universe is a cold, uncaring, cruel, meaningless, and chaotic place


trumoi

A lot of Christian groups paved the way. QAnon is a fascist conspiracy theory that both tries to "right the wrongs" of all the absurdities that come with being a poor conservative voting against your own interests alongside old old conspiracy theories about secret satanic cabals trying to sacrifice children and ruin the world. These kinds of propaganda even hit Ancient Greece and Rome when kings and courts would demonize groups like the Bacchanalia (followers of Bacchus/Dionysius) because they were popular amongst young progressives who used the gatherings to spread theory and criticize the authorities. It probably goes back further. As the secular dream of an Agnostic society hasn't really been met yet, plenty can easily believe that if the Devil exists, he can have followers, and if he has followers they are capable of anything. Even if you don't believe in why the "Deep State" murder children, you can believe *they* believe it. Is it really any less stupid than half the things Christians believe? If a man can miracle heal you with prayer, why couldn't the devil prolong your life or give you a high from children's blood.. Obviously this is not to say all individual Christians are idiots or conspiracy theorists per say. But Christian *groups*? Many of them repeat the same conspiracy theories the Church spread to discredit Protestants and vice versa. Even things from before that the Inquisition and others said about the Jews and Muslims. Western Society has never truly challenged these ideas. It's either encouraged them or not bothered combatting them directly. That's why it's so alluring. It has history. You've heard similar things before but can't remember exactly where. Maybe your dad said the Illuminati was real. Maybe an Uncle mentioned something about secret branches of the government. Or maybe the fact that the CIA and some branches of the government actually *do* conceal large swathes of information, usually atrocities they commit, has degraded your trust in any information source.


StinzorgaKingOfBees

People are not looking for the truth. They are looking for confirmation of their own beliefs.


Beast1007

Does anyone have a link to the Reddit post the article is referring to? Edit: Thank you u/amrg2c!


amrg2c

[https://www.reddit.com/r/QAnonCasualties/comments/onq9ig/i\_survived\_the\_stoneman\_douglas\_school\_shooting/](https://www.reddit.com/r/QAnonCasualties/comments/onq9ig/i_survived_the_stoneman_douglas_school_shooting/)


deeannbee

> Then Bill’s father saw a video of Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene harassing Parkland survivor David Hogg in 2018, while he was visiting Washington to advocate for stricter gun control. Greene has repeatedly voiced support for QAnon and claimed the Parkland shooting was a hoax. From the original, more in-depth [Vice News](https://www.vice.com/en/article/epnq84/im-a-parkland-shooting-survivor-qanon-convinced-my-dad-it-was-all-a-hoax). I feel so bad for this kid.


BackAlleyKittens

We really need to start calling out mental illness and get these people treatment.


solidcordon

Am I being detained? I'm being silenced! Help ! help! Come and see the violence inherent in the system!


Nose_to_the_Wind

And for what? A succulent Chinese meal?!


cazzhmir

Have a look at the headlock here. See that chap over there? He-- GET YOUR HAND OFF MY PENIS!


Skeptical_Romulan

Oooh that's a nice headlock, sir! Aaah yess, I see that you know your judo!


Smorgsaboard

I don't know the context but I desperately want to


cazzhmir

https://youtu.be/PeihcfYft9w


DamonLazer

Thank you so much for that. "AND YOU SIR, ARE YOU WAITING TO RECEIVE MY L I M P P E N I S ?"


MoistlyHuman

You know your Judo well sir.


trampolinebears

Search for “succulent Chinese meal” and you’ll find it.


pvtcannonfodder

Help help I’m being repressed


Full_Ninja

The country would need mental health program first


HandyDrunkard

How do you treat 40% of the US population?


theonlymexicanman

It’s not mental illness though. It’s just insane levels of narcissism and a deep desire to have a “easy” explanation for the chaotic world That’s what most wacko conspiracy theorists are. People seeking attention or people seeking an answer that is somehow understandable to them. Edit: this is why you see JFK assassination conspiracies yet Ronald Regan Assassination conspiracies are non existent (despite the fact Reagan’s attempted Assassin’s reasoning straight up sounds like a conspiracy theorist made it up). One was successful and shocking, the other failed, hence why there’s no interest Edit: this is radicalization, not a mental illness issue.


NewMercury

Come on. This is absolutely a form of mental illness.


TaylorSwiftsClitoris

Either way, how would you get these people into treatment?


gaythrowaway112

You can’t hate morally despise someone for having mental issues that cause them to be victimized by hoaxes like Q


BlinkReanimated

Likely a direct result of a complete lack of critical thinking skills provided by a book of "[universal truths](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible)" taught to kids from birth. Even among those who eventually question their faith and take an athiest response to religion I find most people taught religion from an early age still hold firm to some notion of answers being provided to them instead of having to properly seek out and identify reality.


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CharlestonChewbacca

No, because the "easy explanation" that "a crazy person snapped and went on a shooting" would mean they need to acknowledge that our education systems, our healthcare system, and our economy are creating mental illness and not treating it. They would have to rethink their entire political perspective if they accepted that. It's easier to just say "it didn't happen, nothing needs to change." Than to try to come up with solutions.


Rubberbabybuggybum

It's not mental illness. It's propaganda.


Nother1BitestheCrust

This. He was radicalized.


roeravid

It's fucked that I'm the one in therapy


Vissari

Man, what the next few years looks like terrifies me with this stuff. I have an aunt that's spiraling out of control who is an anti-vaxx nurse. I thought that alone was nuts that she'd fall to that conspiracy, but imagine thinking your son was in on a school shooting hoax. We're starting to get to the point where people who experience these events are now believing the conspiracy. I don't honestly know what the endgame is, or how Q ends, but something tells me it'll get much worse before it gets better.


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johngreenink

This story is deeply sad, and I'm sorry to say I clicked because it rang a familiar bell for me. I am somewhat distantly related to one of the teachers who died in the Sandy Hook shooting (she is a distant cousin who I never met,) but some of my family knew her. Within less than a year of the shooting, my conspiracy-minded cousin-in-law from South Carolina was posting things on FBook about paid crisis actors and false shootings, including the Sandy Hook massacre. Now, this guy's wife is my first cousin - so she and I are as equally related by blood to the poor woman who died at Sandy Hook, and yet despite that, he cannot even make the stretch to personalize this - not even remotely - and understand that this woman is an actual person who was part of his extended married family. That level of detachment is chilling.


imjustlurkinghere244

I read this earlier this morning. This is absolutely insane. It’s a mental illness.


Dahhhkness

Millions of people sharing in this mass delusion, accepted enough that two of them have been elected to congress, constantly shifting dates and adding new features to their growing insanity, completely in denial of objective reality. It's a damn pandemic in its own right.


imjustlurkinghere244

I couldn’t agree more. I wish we could totally exile them from our country.


StickSauce

How about we rename an island "America" and spin it off as a sovereign nation, and put them "in charge" of it.


imjustlurkinghere244

As long as we don’t have to keep bailing them out every time they fail. That shit is getting old.


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PouffyMoth

The fact that r/QAnonCasualties exists was disturbing when I found out this morning. I’m glad these people are developing a support system when their own support systems are failing. I always assumed Q supporters exist to the extent their loved ones are unwilling to confront them, but I’ve quickly found out this is certainly not the case for thousands (tens? Hundreds? Of thousands) of Q supporters who are willingly radicalized despite their family members trying to reason with them.


jayfeather31

...how any parent could behave like this is beyond me. This is just sick and wrong.


[deleted]

This is why classes on logic, reason, and critical thinking skills need to be part of the mandatory high school education. Most people cannot identify basic logical fallacies like correlation is not causation and appeal to ignorance, straw men etc. and get suckered into these conspiracies. You can bet the Russians and other agents who are pushing this shit out are very well versed in how to exploit our ignorance of these fallacies.


BerKantInoza

Yep. The fact that logic 101 or basic philosophy courses aren't required coursework for k-12 schools is just a failure on the education system's behalf. It would eradicate so much stupidity. I was an English teacher in Chile and i was very surprised (in a good way) when i found that all seniors at the school i taught at had to take philosophy


Sadpanda77

I’ve got a Masters in journalism, and I always ask my Mom why she listens to Tucker Carlson, a stranger who’s less qualified for the job than her own son. It’s truly a mental illness


KitWalkerXXVII

>I’ve got a Masters in journalism, and I always ask my Mom why she listens to Tucker Carlson, a stranger who’s less qualified for the job than her own son. It’s truly a mental illness My friend doesn't have a Masters, but would get very deeply offended when her parents (OK, her dad really) would rant about the "liberal news media" conspiring to take down Trump. She and her husband worked for a local news station, as a producer and a photographer respectively. They is the media. Admittedly, they've both since quit the industry due to it being kind of a shit show (one of the four local stations had gone Sinclair since they started and theirs was badly mismanaged), but that a different issue...


Sadpanda77

“Liberal media” is just a fancy way of saying “they don’t promote my white supremacy narrative.”


Poisoneddosage

Gonna throw out a guess that your mom is middle age and white? Upper middle class or higher? She listens to him because he wears and suit and had a microphone and says what she wants to hear. It seems America has moved past the point of facts. Half the population can't even accept basic ones that aren't even debatable. The crowd that "don't make this political" managed to literally turn any point political.


ThoughtUWereSmaller

>She listens to him because he wears a suit Your sentence could have stopped there for my mom lol. She tried to argue Trump was better than Biden bc Trump wore cuff links at one of his speeches and Biden didn’t


kkeut

i mean, you only use them when wearing a french cuff shirt


Sadpanda77

Nailed it. Plus she’s from Poland, loves to go on about how she escaped Communism and all the propaganda, yet fails to recognize when she’s fallen for it today.


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bunkSauce

I would argue the upper middle class or higher aspect Many of these people fall into the rural poverty demographic. For followers in more urban areas, they tend to be upper middle class or higher.


eric_ravenstein

**The article OP posted was written about THIS article:** [https://www.vice.com/en/article/epnq84/im-a-parkland-shooting-survivor-qanon-convinced-my-dad-it-was-all-a-hoax?utm\_source=vicenewstwitter](https://www.vice.com/en/article/epnq84/im-a-parkland-shooting-survivor-qanon-convinced-my-dad-it-was-all-a-hoax?utm_source=vicenewstwitter) **which in turn was written about THIS reddit post:** [https://www.reddit.com/r/QAnonCasualties/comments/onq9ig/i\_survived\_the\_stoneman\_douglas\_school\_shooting/](https://www.reddit.com/r/QAnonCasualties/comments/onq9ig/i_survived_the_stoneman_douglas_school_shooting/) *what a time to be alive.*


I_H8_2_love_U_4_ever

I'm sure his Dad is also saying the bullet wounds, and medical bills were fake too.


MrSprichler

They never specify that the person was someone who was shot. Anyone present there and left with a pulse is a survivor. But yeah probably thinks it is all make up


Rosebunse

If the medical bills are fake, then he doesn't have to pay them!


[deleted]

Imagine being that dumb of a human being. How has that idiot not drank antifreeze because he thought it would keep him warm in the winter?


megamania215

Because neither Trump nor Fucker told him to do it. Edit: Grammer.


SomDonkus

As someone who has gotten into actual brawls with their father I can't imagine him acussing me of something like this and it ending in anything but a brawl.


Jboc777

I wonder when Qanon will evolve into a terrorist organization?


Rage_Like_Nic_Cage

does the Jan 6th insurrection not count as a terrorist attack?


Jboc777

I’m not sure if you can say all of those people were Qanon followers and just Trump junkies.


Chasman1965

January 6, 2021, IMHO.


GandalfsHairyTaint

It already is. The groups like Boogaloo boys, proud boys, the Capitol insurrection, attacks of police, attacks on protesters, has shown they are a terrorist organization.


dylanoffff

That man isn’t fit to father a goldfish never mind a son.


Cue_626_go

That so-called "father" is a monster.


Ariadne_Kenmore

I read that Vice article last night. Gods, that poor kid, 18 and essentially losing both parents because his dad believes all the right wing bull shit and his mom because she's standing by her husband even if she doesn't believe in Qanon. I hope this young man finds peace, a long long way from the toxic asshole that is his dad.


Dinodigger67

This so terribly wrong!


MrSenator

QAnon is a modern day mind virus. Much like many religions have been (and I'm not disparaging religious people here)- some take it to extremes. Humans have an innate need to have a belief system. It's so fucking weird to me.


Gattawesome

That’s it folks, humanity is done for.


DanYHKim

From the [*Vice.com*](https://www.vice.com/en/article/epnq84/im-a-parkland-shooting-survivor-qanon-convinced-my-dad-it-was-all-a-hoax) article linked by *Insider*: (my italics) >“He'll say stuff like this straight to my face whenever he's drinking: **‘You're a real piece of work to be able to sit here and act like nothing ever happened if it wasn't a hoax. Shame on you for being part of it and putting your family through it too**,” Bill said in an anonymous post on Reddit last week. Holy shit. Words alone are not sufficient to express the level of disgust and shock I feel over this. Please wait a bit while I try some interpretive dance. [. . . .] I hope that conveyed my feeling.


eric_ravenstein

https://www.reddit.com/r/QAnonCasualties/comments/onq9ig/i\_survived\_the\_stoneman\_douglas\_school\_shooting/


Kn7ght

"Dad you literally dropped me off at school that morning" "Nah you're just a crisis actor paid by George Soros" "Well he sure isn't paying off my college tuition"


Drifter_Lux

“Why would you need that? Just work part-time next summer to pay for your tuition and a down payment on a house.”


Tripple_T

This is just about the most depressing thing I've ever read. I wonder if he still thinks his son is his son or if he thinks that his boy was replace by the Satan worshiping, democratic, lizard people?


coffeecupcakes

God that's sad. Poor kid to have survived an insane trauma and his own dad would think that.


Viyka

Qanon is a coping mechanism for those that got something explained to them and still didnt understand


WestFast

Conspiracy theories are terrifying rabbit holes because of all this. The shit flows down hill. One Orange idiot at the top spewing lies… “From there it snowballed into what he is today, believing that if the government is able to overthrow an election, then everything else is probably a lie too," the 18-year-old, who previously detailed his story on Reddit, said.” “He'll never stop on his own because there are always new theories and goalposts being moved," the survivor told Vice News. "I don't know how to help someone that far gone."


2horde

I remember some kids tried bullying me in 2nd grade saying I wiped a booger on the wall because it was next to me when we were lined up coming back in from recess, told my dad but he straight up told me he didn't believe me because he claimed I had been lying about other things back then. (It was when my parents were getting divorced so I kept acting out for attention because of having a fucked up home life, I don't remember lying about things though) But I can't imagine my dad going this far as to not believe me, shit


etork0925

The Twitter post for this was so disgusting to read. I feel bad for that daughter. Doesn’t deserve to have a actual conservative loony for a dad…


Elevenst

People confuse freedom of speech with spreading downright lies that hurt people. Being ethical isn't a law, but who will enforce the truth? There will always be gullible people with trust issues, but how can we just let preditory pieces of shit keep "being allowed" to spread this bullshit? Although this is anecdotal, it isn't uncommon. There needs to be ramifications for posting shit like Qanon and similar word diarrhea.


hihellobye0h

Freedom of speech only protects you from retaliation for criticizing the government, and other legal things, expressing your opinion about the government, etc. It doesn't protect you from people calling you out in your bullshit, making fun of the insane things you may say, this is what we need to find these people of, when they say something bat shit crazy, laugh in their face, call them the idiot sheep, say how you can't believe they are truly that stupid, then walk away, eventually these people will shut up or wake up, or not I can't foresee the future.


Realityisatoilet

Finally, something Onion-y!


SelectiveSanity

The headline is incorrect. That man can no longer be called his dad. Now he's just a sperm donor.


Prehistory_Buff

Some people's lives are held together by their own ignominy.


Gai_InKognito

It went from 'alternative facts' to 'alternative reality'.


WestFast

That’s just [email protected] up and sad.


Happyfuntimeyay

We let people this stupid own guns, drive cars, and vote


Miss_Might

God that's sad.


MoistlyHuman

In my experience parents REALLY don't want to believe when their kid is the victim of a serious incident like this. My mom's not remotely in anti-mask q-annon territory but still doesn't believe me when I tell her about the shootings at my old school in the early 90s. "How was school today?" "Well. Like..I lived, so that's something. I think a few kids died though." "Stop making things up." She still thinks I'm making it up. I think she can't face the reality. I'm so sorry for OP and all that they have had to go through.


[deleted]

I can't imagine how stupid his dad must be.


couplingrhino

Dad, I am disappoint.