Days of Darkness: One woman's escape from the conspiracy trap

Bonnie

Super Member
Associate Press published an article recently about a woman and her boyfriend who got caught up in conspiracy theories until they were enslaved by them. Eventually the woman found her way out and was freed from the irrational fear they had produced in her. Here is her story:


(And yes, despite the MSN, the link does go directly to the AP article)

She said this, in the article:

“The world is scary enough without conspiracy theories,” she said. “But when you believe them, at least they can give you answers. If you’re scared of the unknown,” conspiracy theories offer “an answer, no matter how farfetched it is.”

Seems to me, that the truth would be far less scary.

BTW, AP News is the oldest news gathering organization in the world, founded in 1856, I think it was, and it is independently owned and non-profit.

And this, I think, is the attraction of conspiracy theories, no matter how absurd and stupid. It gives people answers for the unknown, or so they think. But all it does is pile on more stuff to be anxious about.

All I can say is: thank goodness for faith in Jesus Christ, Who casts out our fears!
 
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Associate Press published an article recently about a woman and her boyfriend who got caught up in conspiracy theories until they were enslaved by them. Eventually the woman found her way out and was freed from the irrational fear they had produced in her. Here is her story:


(And yes, despite the MSN, the link does go directly to the AP article)

She said this, in the article:

“The world is scary enough without conspiracy theories,” she said. “But when you believe them, at least they can give you answers. If you’re scared of the unknown,” conspiracy theories offer “an answer, no matter how farfetched it is.”

Seems to me, that the truth would be far less scary.

BTW, AP News is the oldest news gathering organization in the world, founded in 1856, I think it was, and it is independently owned and non-profit.

And this, I think, is the attraction of conspiracy theories, no matter how absurd and stupid. It gives people answers for the unknown, or so they think. But all it does is add pile on more stuff to be anxious about.

All I can say is: thank goodness for faith in Jesus Christ, Who casts out our fears!
I have read something like this, that some people prefer the idea that someone is on control of events, even if they are making, than the thought of random uncontrolled events. So worldwide illness is deliberately manufactured, terrorism is orchestrated, elections are fixed etc. etc.

I suppose the idea that everything is ultimately controlled by God is akin to this, though presumably there's some sort of disconnect when truly terrible things happen. I can assure you that belief in God is not necessary to avoid being sucked into conspiracy theories. Indeed from the evidence of these forums, you are in a minority of believers that isn't consumed by them.
 
Associate Press published an article recently about a woman and her boyfriend who got caught up in conspiracy theories until they were enslaved by them. Eventually the woman found her way out and was freed from the irrational fear they had produced in her. Here is her story:


(And yes, despite the MSN, the link does go directly to the AP article)

She said this, in the article:

“The world is scary enough without conspiracy theories,” she said. “But when you believe them, at least they can give you answers. If you’re scared of the unknown,” conspiracy theories offer “an answer, no matter how farfetched it is.”

Seems to me, that the truth would be far less scary.

BTW, AP News is the oldest news gathering organization in the world, founded in 1856, I think it was, and it is independently owned and non-profit.

And this, I think, is the attraction of conspiracy theories, no matter how absurd and stupid. It gives people answers for the unknown, or so they think. But all it does is add pile on more stuff to be anxious about.

All I can say is: thank goodness for faith in Jesus Christ, Who casts out our fears!

Religious cults have similar historic and well-documented attributes that are in a sense - parallel to the acceptance of Populist conspiracy beliefs that have infiltrated the Republican party. For instance, Scientology provides a new identity for people where the old-stale liturgical and conventional religious institutions seem to be lacking. Intense group pressure to conform is critical with a lot of group activity that significantly contributes to a dramatic change of a world view that was once held valid. In politics, it's the law-and-order conventional Reagan conservatism that seems to be lacking in the Republican party for many and Populist politics supplies a new world view where many have conformed so thoroughly - they are willing to break laws in order to attain their goals.

Populism Index _ the Economist.jpg

____
.
 
I have read something like this, that some people prefer the idea that someone is on control of events, even if they are making, than the thought of random uncontrolled events. So worldwide illness is deliberately manufactured, terrorism is orchestrated, elections are fixed etc. etc.

I suppose the idea that everything is ultimately controlled by God is akin to this, though presumably there's some sort of disconnect when truly terrible things happen. I can assure you that belief in God is not necessary to avoid being sucked into conspiracy theories. Indeed from the evidence of these forums, you are in a minority of believers that isn't consumed by them.
Actually, I have read a couple of studies that suggest that the more extreme far-rightist Christians are more likely to believe conspiracy theories than more moderate Christians. I am not a far rightist, but slightly to the right of center, as you well know.

I put this link on the other thread about the nature of conspiracy theories. It is an article from my church, the LCMS, which is quite conservative, and sees buying into these theories, when carried too far, as a form of idolatry:


Conspiracy theories are popular. But are these theories compatible with Christianity? It turns out the reason conspiracy theories are so popular is precisely the reason they are incompatible with Christianity: At the root of these theories is a form of idolatry...

A conspiracy theory is an unfalsifiable worldview. Evidence for the theory proves the theory. Evidence against the theory proves that the truth is being suppressed. Lack of evidence proves a cover up. Nothing can prove the theory false because the theory itself is the sole arbiter of truth.
(there are some unrelated photos in the middle of this story; scroll past them and the article continues)

So, not all Christians fall prey to wild conspiracy theories. But I do thank you for recognizing that I am one on here who does not. And there are a few others like me, as well. :)
 
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Seems to me, that the truth would be far less scary.
You have to remember that you're looking at this (re. her story) with the benefit of hindsight; you know how the future she feared turned out. It's the unknown which is scary for many people.

Of course the "truth" would be less scary, but you only have access to the truth after passing through the unknown. While you're passing through the unknown, you can't see the truth. In other words, solving her problem isn't as simple as choosing one over the other.

---

This was an interesting article. It echoed a few ideas I'd expressed here, namely the need to feel important. However, banishing fear seems to have been a strong motivator as well.
 
You have to remember that you're looking at this (re. her story) with the benefit of hindsight; you know how the future she feared turned out. It's the unknown which is scary for many people.

Of course. As the old saying goes, "hindsight is 20/20." But then, you know from my posts on this forum and the SEP forum, that I am highly skeptical of most conspiracy theories. Plus, I don't get on social media much, except to read jokes and watch pet videos, lol!
Of course the "truth" would be less scary, but you only have access to the truth after passing through the unknown. While you're passing through the unknown, you can't see the truth. In other words, solving her problem isn't as simple as choosing one over the other.

I know. But she did eventually realize what social media was doing to her and all the conspiracy theories were only adding to her anxieties, not alleviating them, though that took awhile.
---

This was an interesting article. It echoed a few ideas I'd expressed here, namely the need to feel important. However, banishing fear seems to have been a strong motivator as well.
True. Thanks for your input about this. :)
 
Actually, I have read a couple of studies that suggest that the more far-rightist Christians are more likely to believe conspiracy theories than more moderate Christians. I am not a far rightist, but slightly to the right of center, as you well know.

I put this link on the other thread about the nature of conspiracy theories. It is an article from my church, the LCMS, which is quite conservative, and sees buying into these theories, when carried too far, as a form of idolatry:



(there are some unrelated photos in the middle of this story; scroll past them and the article continues)

So, not all Christians fall prey to wild conspiracy theories. But I do thank you for recognizing that I am one on here who does not. And there are a few others like me, as well. :)
Bonnie, is it your church's position that men will solve their problems and that things will get better on earth because of the will and actions of men?

Or, does your church believe things will continue to get worse here on earth?
 
Actually, I have read a couple of studies that suggest that the more far-rightist Christians are more likely to believe conspiracy theories than more moderate Christians.
Ultra left wingers try to label "Christians" in political terms.


I am not a far rightist, but slightly to the right of center, as you well know.
Far leftist. A record of your hitting the like button shows your strong support of leftists that oppose Republican Christians.
Your amen corner is totally leftist.
In fact "conspiracy theory" topic is main line leftist issue.
Once again you fail to change my professional observations.




I put this link on the other thread about the nature of conspiracy theories. It is an article from my church, the LCMS, which is quite conservative, and sees buying into these theories, when carried too far, as a form of idolatry:
So the obsessions by left wingers that obsess over conspiracy theories are into idolatry??
@Backup and @Bonnie


(there are some unrelated photos in the middle of this story; scroll past them and the article continues)

So, not all Christians fall prey to wild conspiracy theories. But I do thank you for recognizing that I am one on here who does not.
You were strong in promoting Ivermectin clot shot adverse events conspiracy theories.
like voting audit claims.



And there are a few others like me, as well. :)
Left winger amen corner.
 
I have read a couple of studies that suggest that the more far-rightist Christians are more likely to believe conspiracy theories than more moderate Christians. I am not a far rightist, but slightly to the right of center, as you well know.
Sounds like the studies you’re reading are dividing Christian’s into groups… and using manipulative tactics to instill a fear, in the reader, of being labeled a “far-right Christian.”

After reading those studies, do you feel a sense of relief that you’re not like those “other” Christian’s? Do you pity the “other” Christian’s or feel you’re smarter than, better than… holier than them?

…an article from my church sees buying into these theories as a form of idolatry
Wow! Idolatry huh? Sounds like your church might also be using fear tactics.

Have you considered alternative reasons why your church might be diverting you away from looking into these theories? Or is the use of discernment and critical thinking also discouraged?

So, not all Christians fall prey to wild conspiracy theories. But I do thank you for recognizing that I am one on here who does not. And there are a few others like me, as well. :)
You must be very proud of yourself.
 
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Bonnie, is it your church's position that men will solve their problems and that things will get better on earth because of the will and actions of men?

Or, does your church believe things will continue to get worse here on earth?
Probably the latter. You would need to go to the Lutheran board, if you want to discuss what my church teaches, though. :)
 
Sounds like the studies you’re reading are dividing Christian’s into groups… and using manipulative tactics to instill a fear, in the reader, of being labeled a “far-right Christian.”

After reading those studies, do you feel a sense of relief that you’re not like those “other” Christian’s? Do you pity the “other” Christian’s or feel you’re smarter than, better than… holier than them?

No to all things you wrote here, except maybe the 'pity' part. I don't live in fear and I pity those who do. Jesus Christ casts out all fear.
Wow! Idolatry huh? Sounds like your church might also be using fear tactics.

No, it isn't. But go to the Lutheran board if you wish to discuss this article, as I posted a link to it on there.
Have you considered alternative reasons why your church might be diverting you away from looking into these theories? Or is the use of discernment and critical thinking also discouraged?

Oh, discernment and critical thinking are very much encouraged. Go to the Lutheran board and see for yourself, if you wish.
You must be very proud of yourself.
No. Are you proud of yourself?
 
Ultra left wingers try to label "Christians" in political terms.

There are Christians, and then, there are so-called Christians. For instance--True Christians accept a person's sincere apology, and do not hold grudges for a simple mistake.


But this has nothing to do with my post, does it? Just another diversionary tactic...
Far leftist.
Nothing to do with my post, but is just another diversionary tactic...but I am a moderate rightist. As usual, you are wrong about this.
A record of your hitting the like button shows your strong support of leftists that oppose Republican Christians.
Your amen corner is totally leftist.
Again, off topic for my post here, and is just a diversionary tactic--as usual. But I sometimes support what they write, but not always. Truth is truth, no matter who writes it.
In fact "conspiracy theory" topic is main line leftist issue.
Once again you fail to change my professional observations.

What "profession" would that be? A CPA?
So the obsessions by left wingers that obsess over conspiracy theories are into idolatry??
@Backup and @Bonnie
Wow! The article must have hit a nerve....
Did you actually read the article? ALL of it?
You were strong in promoting Ivermectin clot shot adverse events conspiracy theories.
like voting audit claims.
Ivermectin and voting audits have zero to do with the article I linked to about people who allow themselves to become obsessed with conspiracy theories. BUT, for what it is worth:

No, I promoted no such thing. In fact, quite the opposite. I wrote repeatedly on the SEP forum that I hope that large ivermectin study that went on in England, the "Principle study", pans out and shows that ivermectin truly helps, as we need all the help against covid-19 that we can get. I wrote to the people last year who conducted the study, asking for the results, but I was told they were evaluating the results, which would take some time, and could not share it with anyone until they had published it. I wrote back, thanking them.


Post no. 83 in part.


Post no. 59

Once again, you are incorrect. No surprise there....
 
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Many conspiracy theories turn out to be true as the sand slips through the hour glass. Sometimes it take a few months and sometimes it takes a few years. Sometimes conspiracy theories are just that...theories. Did you know Hillary was hung at Guantanamo Bay?
Believe it or not most people don't know there were 3 buildings that fell of 911. They only think the twin towers fell. Don't believe me when I say a third tower fell? Go look it up. Perhaps we can chalk it up to the Mandela effect.....the "conspiracy" can be found in why and how the 3rd building fell.

Jesus told us not to be deceived.

One of he conspiracy that many people have bought into is that Man was made in Gods likeness and image....The conspiracy being, there is no God of the bible creator. I would think many of the christians would disagree. You know, evolution did it and God nudged it. Or so we're told.
The conspiracy grows...well it wasn't God who nudged the evolution of mankind....it was the aliens. Gen 6 is a myth. Religion is just a cover...a veneer...all the christians have bought into the "God" conspiracy. But just wait till the real truth shows up knocking at the door of the human race. Open the door, let them in....they have salvation in their technology...you can live forever.

In the OP Bonnie mentioned an "irrational fear". Perhaps true to a certain degree. Matt 24 speaks of bad times. Matt 24 must happen and will happen...but...Jesus tells us not to worry. Not to fear.

Scripture tells us a "man of peace" coming. The conspiracy theorist tell us it's not Jesus. In that day they will be saying "peace and safety"...the followers Jesus, those claiming Jesus is the way truth and life will be removed. Taken....This "pollution" so to speak will no longer stand in the way of the truth. The world will celebrate.

DeSanto tells us..."Wow! Idolatry huh? Sounds like your church might also be using fear tactics".
Can't the christians see we are building the kingdom of God? Pushing for the 3rd Temple....Revelation won't happen, the rapture won't happen.

MikeT tells us... "It's the unknown which is scary for many people". Which can be true. But what if the unknown, the future has been written down for us? We all know Revelation is just a book written by John...a book written in code for the early "church". Is a one world Government actually laughable? Look what the world did...they put on a mask, they isolated and many took the jab. After all ivermectin was just horse paste.

Inertia speaks of the Republican party...I ask, how much of the republican party is a different wing of the same bird?
How many of those coming through the Darian Gap...funded by the UN and the USA...are slipping across the southern border are actually Chinese military age men? Come onnnnnn, we all know the dollar can't collapse.

Life's good....they even make T-shirts that say that.
 
No to all things you wrote here, except maybe the 'pity' part. I don't live in fear and I pity those who do. Jesus Christ casts out all fear.
Okay, then why did you feel the need to declare that you’re not a far-rightist and mention how relieved and grateful you were not to be recognized as one of them?

Also, why do you assume these Christian “others” are living in fear???

No, it isn't. But go to the Lutheran board if you wish to discuss this article, as I posted a link to it on there. Oh, discernment and critical thinking are very much encouraged. Go to the Lutheran board and see for yourself, if you wish.
You didn’t answer my question.

Have you considered alternative reasons why some might want to divert you away from looking into these conspiracy theories?

It’s a general question that can be applied to any institution. It doesn’t have to pertain specifically to the lutheran church or any church, for that matter.

If you’re not afraid, then you would look into these theories without fear of falling into idolatry, being rendered incapable of discernment or of thinking critically, and consider different ideas and theories with an open mind. Right???
No. Are you proud of yourself?
It just seemed like you were boasting when you said…

“And there are a few others like me” … that don’t “fall prey to wild conspiracy theories.”
 
Okay, then why did you feel the need to declare that you’re not a far-rightist and mention how relieved and grateful you were not to be recognized as one of them?

I never wrote any of that, except I am not a far rightist. Please reread what I wrote in context.
Also, why do you assume these Christian “others” are living in fear???

The lady in the article in the OP certainly was.
You didn’t answer my question.

Have you considered alternative reasons why some might want to divert you away from looking into these conspiracy theories?

Sure. But I actually HAVE looked into some of these conspiracy theories over the past 3 years. A LOT.
It’s a general question that can be applied to any institution. It doesn’t have to pertain specifically to the lutheran church or any church, for that matter.

The article I posted about being hooked on conspiracy theories being a kind of idolatry to some when carried to extremes came from a Lutheran site. Ergo, we can discuss that article more on that forum, if you wish.
If you’re not afraid, then you would look into these theories without fear of falling into idolatry, being rendered incapable of discernment or of thinking critically, and consider different ideas and theories with an open mind. Right???

Actually I have looked into a LOT of these conspiracy theories over the past 3 years. LOTS of them, on the SEP board. And investigated them.
It just seemed like you were boasting when you said…

“And there are a few others like me” … that don’t “fall prey to wild conspiracy theories.”
That isn't boasting at all, but simply a statement of fact. If you read more carefully in context, I was responding to what Temujin wrote here:

Indeed from the evidence of these forums, you are in a minority of believers that isn't consumed by them.

Post no. 2.

I was just assuring him that there are a few Christians on here who, like me, are not consumed by conspiracy theories. That is all.

However, I apologize if I came across as boasting. That was not my intention.
 
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I never wrote any of that, except I am not a far rightist. Please reread what I wrote in context.
Yes, you said: “I’m not a fat rightist.”

And you said:

“So, not all Christians fall prey to wild conspiracy theories. But I do thank you for recognizing that I am one on here who does not. And there are a few others like me, as well. :)

This implies you’re grateful and implies a sense of relief that you are recognized as NOT being a “far-rightist Christian,” as you’ve described.

What am I missing?
The lady in the article in the OP certainly was.
That doesn’t mean everyone that believes or theorizes about a possible conspiracy is living in fear. And therefore should be pitied.
Sure. But I actually HAVE looked into some of these conspiracy theories over the past 3 years. A LOT.
Okay, what alternative reasons have you considered?
The article I posted about being hooked on conspiracy theories being a kind of idolatry to some when carried to extremes came from a Lutheran site. Ergo, we can discuss that article more on that forum, if you wish.
I’m not interested in the article. I’m interested in your perception of “others” that may believe or understand things differently than you.
Actually I have looked into a LOT of these conspiracy theories over the past 3 years. LOTS of them, on the SEP board. And investigated them.
And you didn’t become a far-rightist or fall into idolatry?

It’s a miracle!
I was just assuring him that there are a few Christians on here who, like me, are not consumed by conspiracy theories. That is all.
Who here do you think is so consumed by conspiracy theories that they’ve become far-rightist, idolatrous Christians?

If I were you, I’d think long and hard before answering that question. Might be best not to answer that, at all.
However, I apologize if I came across as boasting. That was not my intention.
I’m sure it wasn’t. I’m just playing a little devils advocate here and trying to provide some insight.

I don’t like the way people are being stereotyped, labeled, and influenced to divide ourselves into “us vs. them” groups painting each other with wide generalized brushes. It’s dangerous and actually has the potential to put innocent people, who are not idolatrous, far right Christian’s in jeopardy of being falsely accused or even persecuted.
 
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Yes, you said: “I’m not a fat rightist.”

I have gained a few pounds lately, but I am far from "fat." :p
And you said:

“So, not all Christians fall prey to wild conspiracy theories. But I do thank you for recognizing that I am one on here who does not. And there are a few others like me, as well. :)

This implies you’re grateful and implies a sense of relief that you are recognized as NOT being a “far-rightist Christian,” as you’ve described.

What am I missing?

A lot.
That doesn’t mean everyone that believes or theorizes about a possible conspiracy is living in fear. And therefore should be pitied.

I never said EVERYONE who believes in conspiracy theories is living in fear. Did I? But the lady in the OP certainly did--didn't she?
Okay, what alternative reasons have you considered?

Huh? I just looked into some of the conspiracy theories that were on the SEP board a few years ago, researching them. it would take too long to go into all of the ones I did. But I did look into two of them just recently on this forum--Pizzagate and that Michelle Obama is actually a man.

One of the more recent ones on the SEP board was investigating whether or not the MMR vaccine actually does cause autism in children. I very thoroughly investigated that.
I’m not interested in the article.

So, does this mean you did NOT read it at all?
I’m interested in your perception of “others” that may believe or understand things differently than you.
Extremism/obsession/fanaticism is the problem. Not just having a different viewpoint.

And you didn’t become a far-rightist or fall into idolatry?

No.
It’s a miracle!

Is it?
Who here do you think is so consumed by conspiracy theories that they’ve become far-rightist, idolatrous Christians?

Sorry, but it would be against the rules to name names.
If I were you, I’d think long and hard before answering that question. Might be best not to answer that, at all.

If I were you, I would think long and hard, too.
I’m sure it wasn’t. I’m just playing a little devils advocate here and trying to provide some insight.

Thank you.
I don’t like the way people are being stereotyped, labeled, and influenced to divide ourselves into “us vs. them” groups painting each other with wide generalized brushes.

I don't either. Yet one person on the boards repeatedly infers on here that I am a far leftist, despite my correcting him, which is a lie. Isn't that labeling?
It’s dangerous and actually has the potential to put innocent people, who are not idolatrous, far right Christians in jeopardy of being falsely accused or even persecuted.
Well, it could also put moderates like me in danger of being persecuted by the more fanatical far rightists--couldn't it?
 
I have gained a few pounds lately, but I am far from "fat." :p
Lol! My bad.
I never said EVERYONE who believes in conspiracy theories is living in fear. Did I?
No but it does seem to be what you were implying… that you pity THOSE who ascribe to conspiracy theories, because they live in fear.
But the lady in the OP certainly did--didn't she?
Idk. I guess so.
Huh? I just looked into some of the conspiracy theories that were on the SEP board a few years ago, researching them. it would take too long to go into all of the ones I did. But I did look into two of them just recently on this forum--Pizzagate and that Michelle Obama is actually a man.
But I did look into two of them just recently on this forum--Pizzagate and that Michelle Obama is actually a man.

One of the more recent ones on the SEP board was investigating whether or not the MMR vaccine actually does cause autism in children. I very thoroughly investigated that.
Okay, obviously you’re not understanding my question. Here, let me try to give you a hypothetical example:

Say a parent has a secret past they don’t want their child to find out about, but the child heard a rumor about it and starts asking questions.

How might the parent try to divert the child from looking into it further?

Maybe the parent tries to divert the child’s attention by distracting them or blowing off their questions as inconsequential or unimportant. Maybe the parent gets defensive causing the child to be afraid of upsetting the parent. Maybe the parent gets angry and tells the child they’ll be in big trouble if they don’t stop asking questions about it. Maybe the parent gaslights the child by saying how crazy they are to believe such nonsense. Maybe the parent even tries to confuse the child by exaggerating the truth so much that they couldn’t believe it’s true.

You get what I mean? Have you considered alternative reasons why some might not want you looking into conspiracy theories?


Maybe a better example would be…

The Catholic Church. They didn’t want people looking into claims of child sex abuse. It was hush hush for many years. Right? What would you say about them telling their people they could fall into idolatry if they looked into the claims??? Or calling them radical extremist lunatics that should be feared or pitied for believing such nonsense?

Now do you see what I’m saying? Do you think maybe they might have an alternative reason for not wanting people to look into those theories?
 
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Associate Press published an article recently about a woman and her boyfriend who got caught up in conspiracy theories until they were enslaved by them. Eventually the woman found her way out and was freed from the irrational fear they had produced in her. Here is her story:


(And yes, despite the MSN, the link does go directly to the AP article)

She said this, in the article:

“The world is scary enough without conspiracy theories,” she said. “But when you believe them, at least they can give you answers. If you’re scared of the unknown,” conspiracy theories offer “an answer, no matter how farfetched it is.”

Seems to me, that the truth would be far less scary.

BTW, AP News is the oldest news gathering organization in the world, founded in 1856, I think it was, and it is independently owned and non-profit.

And this, I think, is the attraction of conspiracy theories, no matter how absurd and stupid. It gives people answers for the unknown, or so they think. But all it does is pile on more stuff to be anxious about.

All I can say is: thank goodness for faith in Jesus Christ, Who casts out our fears!
I feel for the poor woman in the story.
My wacky neighbor seems to get something out of it that I may have overlooked in this case, but as for my neighbor who is by choice a homebound hermit, they seem to exist for the ongoing and innovative conspiracy theories. According to an article I read as to what attracts people to embrace these types of things, sitting at number one was a sense of validation and belonging to a group with similar views; acceptance. My take, this is very much what cults do and how they also appeal to some.
For my neighbor I don't think her view is pure anxiety, in fact it's likely there but buried under a great deal of faith, fanacticism and enjoying all the rhetoric no matter how ridiculous things sound. What I also find interest, through firsthand observations of my neighbor, is that the story they embrace as fact, is always in a state of flux. Then stating, obvious crapola, about it not changing when challenged. Everything about this person's life supposedly doesn't go through this re-interpretation, but it does all the time. I think for them, in a large way, it's an addictive melodrama like a soap opera on steroids maybe? Somehow they tolerate my skepticism, but their view is seasoned with smugness and one day you'll learn rhetoric. Then they like to say, "you're where I was maybe so many years ago and you know everything I've told you has been later shown as truthful." I'm like no way. But so there is also a huge delusional component to these or at least my neighbor's embrace of this sub-culture that for lack of a better word serves as their editor in chief. In trying to argue they commit so many fallacies, it's difficult to keep up, if not impossible. This once proud atheist and Democrat said she she had this God delusional all figured out by age five. Now she says she has always been a Republican and Christian but didn't know it. The they proceed to tell me Christian-ese conspiracy theories about Christianity. In my amateur view, this person is in a cult with some form of apparent psychosis at a minimum playing out.
 
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