Episode 54 – Mia Bloom and Sophia Moskalenko: Pastels and Pedophiles

Rory

Senior Member.
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUhKd_cdVGE


Just finished this one and I thought it was magnificent: a really nice meeting of minds, great conversational flow, and really cool to listen to three experts talk in (what I presume is) a balanced, well-rounded, and extremely well-informed way. Very, very educational - and I will be immediately to forwarding to those I know who have family members and friends caught up in Q.

I couldn't even begin to talk about what I enjoyed or learned or agreed with or found enlightening and thought-provoking - so as ever on Metabunk (on the internet? in life?) I'll just mention one thing that stands out that made me think, hm, not sure about that: the idea of "elves".

Number one, I think most of us here have probably been "elves" at some point in our lives and seen that it hasn't really worked in the way that your guest said it worked in the psychological analogy.

That brings me to number two, in that I think the reason for that is that the two things aren't really analogous: in the experiment the 'disrupter' is questioning something that is patently absurd, and the subject knows this, on some level. But in CTs the topic on the table generally isn't patently absurd in the mind of the believer, and, in fact, just the opposite is true. And if they do know deep down that the belief is ridiculous, I'd imagine it's almost always very, very deep - to the extent that it isn't really accessible.

I was also surprised to learn that "the majority of people" will go along with the group in these experiments. I always thought it was more like a third. I'd better google.

But, anyway, like I said: great conversation, great guests, and great information.

Loved it. :)
 
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Rory

Senior Member.
I was also surprised to learn that "the majority of people" will go along with the group in these experiments. I always thought it was more like a third. I'd better google.

In Mick's podcast Moskalenko says (from around 59:30), "most people, most of the time will agree with the group on something as ridiculous as 'white is black.'"

The phenomenon is known as 'Asch Conformity', named after Solomon Asch who did the first experiments in the 1950s. He found in his samples that around a third would give incorrect answers to easy and obvious questions when influenced by a group of three or more "actors" (his questions were't quite as straightforward as in the example Moskalenko gave).

Relevant to the point of "elves", he found that levels of conforming to an incorrect group fell dramatically (to around 5%) when an 'ally' was introduced to the scenario (and rose again once they left).

Seems like some argued that the seemingly high percentage, though, was artificially inflated by: a) a lack of diversity among subjects; and b) 50's conservatism.


The wikipedia page concludes with an interesting note explaining that psychology textbooks have long reported on Asch's experiments in a somewhat biased way, to highlight issues of conformity and, ironically enough, conform to a narrative made popular by the general understanding of other famous studies, such as the Stanford Prison experiment.

 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
I started watching cause i'm wondering what pastels have to do with pedophiles. note: Mick says pastel like he's saying hostel or something. it's weird.

I only got 10 mins in because she says "but the portion they believe is the blood drinking cabal that are exploiting children". We had a local official interviewed near here because he had q anon sticker on his car and some of my Facebook game playing "friends" post q anon stuff... (maybe like 5 ladies ive asked them questions) and none of those people believed the blood drinking sex ring stuff.


Anyway is there another definition to pastel (when pronounced like hostel)? i tried google definitions but i'm only seeing the classic pastel. so @Rory, can you tell me...why is pastel in the title? Do pedophiles tend to wear pastels?
 

Rory

Senior Member.
Gee, I never even thought about that - but I was: a) only listening; b) playing Tetris at the same time; c) distracted that Mick was pronouncing pedophile [sic] like an American. :D

But now you mention it...I haven't a clue why the word "pastel" is there.

Is it a reference to the feminine aspect of QAnon? To the idea that "yoga mommas" are into it?

There's a pastel-y Q flag on the cover. Perhaps that's part of it.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
As for 'Asch Conformity'...reading about that reminded me of a previous occasion I'd come across it, on a TV show, and coupled in with that was a real-life example of the dangers of conformity: the 1979 Woolworth's fire in Manchester that killed ten people.

I remember distinctly that it was said a number of people may have died (or suffered injury) because they were sitting in the restaurant waiting to pay their bills. They didn't want to run out because that would be like stealing. And as they looked around and saw other people doing the same they all conformed with one another and the consequences weren't good.

Just looking for info on that now, I don't find anything to corroborate this story. I do find, however, a snippet saying that some shoppers refused to leave the store and continued queueing at the tills - this is labelled 'task attachment' rather than 'social conformity' - but with nothing in the citation provided related to this; and that most of those who died were in the restaurant on the second floor but were unable to find the exits due to the thick smoke (but with no mention of remaining voluntarily).

Damn: I've repeated their 'sitting at their tables waiting for someone to take their money' many times over the years, as an example of social conformity. Not a million miles off. But probably not factually accurate either.
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
hmmm.. yea this backpack is maybe "pastely", and khaki shorts guy might be a bit pastely. like "soft?" non violent? edit: rory answered above


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Rory

Senior Member.
Oh, here we go, from the book's blurb on Amazon:

The QAnon conspiracy theory has ensnared many women, who identify as members of "pastel QAnon," answering the call to "save the children."

The authors track QAnon's unexpected leap from the darkest corners of the Internet to the filtered glow of yogi-mama Instagram.

So "Pastel QAnon" is a thing: it even has its own wikipedia page:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastel_QAnon

Pastel QAnon is a collection of techniques and strategies of using feminine-coded aesthetics to indoctrinate predominantly women into the QAnon conspiracy theory, mainly on social media sites. It co-opts the aesthetics (including a pastel colour palette, which is where it gets its name) and language of communities and activities popular with women and uses gateway messaging to frame the conspiracies as reasonable concerns.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
So "Pastel QAnon" is a thing: it even has its own wikipedia page:
and all the links are from March of this year. hhmmm....

but that is an effective way to shame women away from q-anon. I wouldnt mind being a nut, but i wouldnt want to be associated with pastels. those sneaky democrats!
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
not that it matters on this site, but... yea i guess those FB women were more the norm. Bold added:

Article:
The highest-polling statement was “Democratic politicians and Hollywood stars are part of a global network that tortures and sexually abuses children in Satanic rituals”—62 percent of QAnon supporters rated it as definitely or probably true. The other three QAnon theories polled—Trump is preparing mass arrests, Mueller was secretly ordered by Trump to investigate pedophiles, and celebrities harvest adrenochrome from children—registered between 44 and 54 percent.

Those numbers, however, heavily overstate the level of belief. Toward the end of the poll, Schaffner asked respondents which statements they had heard of before taking the survey. A large number of Qanon supporters, it turned out, were rating as “true” statements that they were encountering for the first time. The “global network” statement only polled at 38 percent when discounting people who had never heard it.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
That report's conclusion:


Quite interesting.

(Note: above it says "fewer than one-in-ten have a favorable view towards QAnon". This is based on a result of 7%. While not wrong, I don't know why he put "fewer than one-in-ten" when "around one-in-fourteen" would have been much more accurate.)
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
(Note: above it says "fewer than one-in-ten have a favorable view towards QAnon". This is based on a result of 7%. While not wrong, I don't know why he put "fewer than one-in-ten" when "around one-in-fourteen" would have been much more accurate.)

eh. close enough. it was a survey of 4,000 adults. they say 2000 pollers gives you a plus or minus 2% accuracy, but... q anons in my opinion are a rather specific type. so i think "less than 1 in 10" is fair, myself.
Article:
Post-stratification weights were used to ensure that the sample was representative of American adults on targets from the American Community Survey. The survey was weighted on age, region, gender, race, education, and the interaction of race and education. Weights ranged from .432 to 3.862. The survey has a margin of error of ±1.7 percentage points, though the margin of error will be larger for subgroups.
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
Coincidentally, yesterday I finished reading the book, after hearing an interview with the authors on one of the POTUS programs on Sirius.

I'd largely recommend the book -- it feels a bit rushed, and my sense is that longer research might produce a more informative book, while recognizing that time may be of the essence here in trying to understand the Q phenomenon and that there is value in getting the informaiton we have now in wider circulation now! I found their recommendations a bit disappointing, but acknowledge that I was likely hoping for a "silver bullet" when it is probable that no such thing exists. Still, it felt a bit like "well, here is our field of study, and whattaya know, the best reccomendations are from that very field, who'da thunk it?"

I have not watched the interview yet, but will do so tomorrow -- at the moment, Captain Kirk is about to demand the Zenite and I do have to set priorities for my viewing time...
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
The British pronunciation is pa·stl, US is pa·stel. It's not a word I use a lot, so I'm still being British there.

The pastel reference is hardly mentioned in the book. Just three mentions:

But it's really just the rebranding of Qanon to appeal more to women.
 

FatPhil

Active Member
Thanks @Rory for posting this - it was indeed an interesting discussion. Whilst much was unsurprising (which it's nice to hear people with a different perspective also conclude), there were still several things that were quite eye-opening.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I found their recommendations a bit disappointing, but acknowledge that I was likely hoping for a "silver bullet" when it is probable that no such thing exists.

one recommendation i have (for the bulk of q people.. not for the guys and gals who are violent or break into buildings) is for the media to stop portraying all q supporters as dangerous nuts. The media lies. period. We all know that. (we, meaning conservatives).

And so youre a lady browsing Instagram and youre chatting with your q anon "friends' in your quilting bee about regular "patriot" stuff and the sneaky democrats, then read the media hype about these ladies are domestic terrorists and crazy.. which you personally know is a lie, because you know these q supporters.. so you not only have no problem joining the q movement but you might be motivated to do so just to stick it to the liberal liars.

It's like demonizing covid vaccine hesitants... you get more with honey then you do with vinegar.
 

RTM

New Member
How can a q supporter not be a nut? The movement was founded on nonsense. Check out Mike Rothschild to see what was being claimed and predicted over the last three to four years.
 

JarJar

Member
People love to insist that they 'know' what other's think and believe.

Tribalist stereotypes help nobody, especially if you need to assign someone to a group based on what you assume about them.
It's intellectually lazy, a shortcut to avoid discourse, and a literal definition of prejudice.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
How can a q supporter not be a nut? The movement was founded on nonsense

because most supporters now have no idea what the movement was founded on. Kinda like how Christians now have no idea what Jesus actually said (because they havent read the bible, or they sort of read it but believe the evangelists interpretation).
 

LilWabbit

Active Member
How can a q supporter not be a nut?

Sheep aren't nuts. Just intellectually lazy. They follow shepherds who are either manipulative cynics, genuine believers in nuttiness or both. Sheep and nutjobs are to be found in every major political and ideological tribe. Both sheep and nutjobs have willingly forsaken their capacity for independent and critical thought.

As unfortunate as this is, tribalism and treating the members of the other tribe with a lesser standard than one's own tribesmen are the far more perilous scourge for humanity.
 

RTM

New Member
because most supporters now have no idea what the movement was founded on. Kinda like how Christians now have no idea what Jesus actually said (because they havent read the bible, or they sort of read it but believe the evangelists interpretation).
You mentioned earlier that you know of people subscribing to it, has the origins ever been pointed out to them? If so, do they back off it or double down?
The evangelical comparison is interesting, I wonder how many evangelicals are attracted to it, given the dramatic show down against evil that is involved. And of course the willingness to ignore failed predictions.
 

FatPhil

Active Member
i dont know. i would never ask them that because that would make them defensive and shut down communication.

You don't need to bust down the front door, there's probably a way around the side where you can sneak in through their downstairs toilet window.

Unless very carefully delivered, "where did you hear X", for example, often seems to start out judgemental and carry a "why" payload too, for example. However, "when did you first hear about X" is a weaker probe, it's more accepting of the fact that X is a continuing message, not something that you're threatened by, and the "when" will naturally expand into a "where" in the answer.

However, don't listen to me - last time I tried a genuinely interested and non-judgemental approach along these lines I very quickly ended up with an explicit death threat so clearly delivered I had no option but to take it seriously. Because, yup, some people are literally nuts, and dangerously so.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
However, "when did you first hear about X" is a weaker probe, it's more accepting of the fact that X is a continuing message, not something that you're threatened by, and the "when" will naturally expand into a "where" in the answer.
I don't know, I still think they'll stop sending me free gifts in our FB game.
 

FatPhil

Active Member
People love to insist that they 'know' what other's think and believe.

Tribalist stereotypes help nobody, especially if you need to assign someone to a group based on what you assume about them.
It's intellectually lazy, a shortcut to avoid discourse, and a literal definition of prejudice.

I tried to avoid anything to do with whatever Q was until it was repeatedly being shoved in my face any time I opened a news site, ignorance was bliss. But as I read a number of what would be considered left-leaning sources, much of what I was seeing was "Qanon supporters do X", "Qanon supporters believe Y", "Z pledges support to Qanon", etc.. Given that, the first *conspiracy theory* as such that I detected was that large groups of lefties seemed to think that Qanon was a mysterious and powerful cabal that was out to destroy the civilised world. Which is kinda the opposite CT from what everyone else was getting from the news!
 

NorCal Dave

Member
not that it matters on this site, but... yea i guess those FB women were more the norm. Bold added:

Article:
The highest-polling statement was “Democratic politicians and Hollywood stars are part of a global network that tortures and sexually abuses children in Satanic rituals”—62 percent of QAnon supporters rated it as definitely or probably true. The other three QAnon theories polled—Trump is preparing mass arrests, Mueller was secretly ordered by Trump to investigate pedophiles, and celebrities harvest adrenochrome from children—registered between 44 and 54 percent.

Those numbers, however, heavily overstate the level of belief. Toward the end of the poll, Schaffner asked respondents which statements they had heard of before taking the survey. A large number of Qanon supporters, it turned out, were rating as “true” statements that they were encountering for the first time. The “global network” statement only polled at 38 percent when discounting people who had never heard it.
Yes, I know several "Qish" types that believe in liberal media bias, the power of a Hollywood-Washington elite cabal, are not sure about masks or vaccines, think the government is coming for their guns and so on, BUT they do not believe in any of the crazier Q Anon conspiracies and most have barely heard of Q Anon, if at all.

If they've heard of "endocrine drinking" they've never shared with me. But they will go off on Epstein, and more recently the Como brothers, as examples proving their point, and I think, it's hard to say they're totally wrong on those points. As crazy as a lot of Q Anon stuff is, it's great at exploiting just enough actual news stories into a larger conspiracy. Plus it's convoluted as hell! I'm not surprised lot's of people would agree with what seem to be Q Anon tenets without knowing what it is.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Yes, I know several "Qish" types that believe in liberal media bias, the power of a Hollywood-Washington elite cabal, are not sure about masks or vaccines, think the government is coming for their guns and so on, BUT they do not believe in any of the crazier Q Anon conspiracies and most have barely heard of Q Anon, if at all.

If they've heard of "endocrine drinking" they've never shared with me. But they will go off on Epstein, and more recently the Como brothers, as examples proving their point,
:) other than the masks and vaccines, that sort of sounds like me and alot of normal conservatives i know.

but in fairness the opposite of that is many liberals believe in conservative media bias, that Trump and pals [insert something like a elite cabal here, i dont really know the specfics], not sure about say impartiality of the Supreme Court or maybe why it's important they dont end the filibuster, think everyone is racist and coming for minorities, and so on.

Like technically the government IS coming for their guns. and Hollywood and DC ARE powerful and spend alot of money on brainwashing their woke ideas etc. BUT to me, it's the level of emotional response and paranoia that differentiates say normal conservatives (me), with "patriots" (people who care about politics and think activism is useful or they feel the need to vent on social media) and then say the more extreme Q people (and i might throw what i term "Trump supporters' into this mix... like most regular conservatives and patriots aren't still whining about the election).

as far as the masks and vaccines.. i'd say there are members of all 3 of my levels there who are "not sure about" those, but to be honest i think its more of a life view issue... like how Amish type groups dont seek medical care (they do somewhat) because God's Will is GOd's Will? i think that mentality trickles down in many conservatives to different degrees. Like my conservative male friends are more like "i'm gonna ride my motorcycle without a helmet because it feels better and if i die i die. Live Free Die Free", where the lib guys tend to wear helmets. Not always mind you, but it does seem to be a general different life view.
 

NorCal Dave

Member
www.americansurveycenter.org/research/after-the-ballots-are-counted-conspiracies-political-violence-and-american-exceptionalism/

The question is how many of the 30% that believe (or the 17% of the 30% that sort of believe) in a global sex trafficking ring are Q Anon adherents, or are just thinking of Epstein and his friends. To borrow a term, it's the intersectionality of some likely true events, along with people that where tangential to the events combined with a false social media lead panic about child kidnappings blowing up.

It seems likely that Jeffery Epstein and Gislaine Maxwell had "dealings" with under aged minors. People like Bill Clinton and Bill Gates along with many other "elites" had dealings with Epstein. And this was coming to light as there was a wave of false Facebook posts, as well as real, but false, allegations of suburban white girls being kidnapped from mall parking lots in broad daylight. Now add, that if your even a mild Trump supporter and you see that he kicked Epstein out of Mira Lago, we have a Zeitgeist where it's easy to get 30% saying there's a sex trafficking ring that people like Trump are battling. Even if they've never heard of Q.

What I find fascinating about Q, that unfortunately Mick and the ladies didn't cover, is to what end? What was the original point? Conventional wisdom is that, whoever first started it, Jim and/or Ron Watkins kept it going to drive traffic to there 8chan/8kun forum. They don't appear to be ideologs, they live in the Philippines. It'd be interesting if the whole Q conspiracy was largely just a publicity stunt. All be it, one that got out of control. Guess I'll have to get the book.
 

JarJar

Member
What I find fascinating about Q, that unfortunately Mick and the ladies didn't cover, is to what end? What was the original point? Conventional wisdom is that, whoever first started it, Jim and/or Ron Watkins kept it going to drive traffic to there 8chan/8kun forum. They don't appear to be ideologs, they live in the Philippines. It'd be interesting if the whole Q conspiracy was largely just a publicity stunt. All be it, one that got out of control. Guess I'll have to get the book.
Gullible people make great revenue engines.
Especially when rampant tribalism and a lack of critical thinking skills are prevalent.
But yeah, I'm sure these grossly oversimplified surveys are totally accurate and trustworthy. Not at all meant to influence anyone.
;)
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
What was the original point?
does the original point even matter any more? Movements change with time, even BLM is not what it was when it first started. so do we analyze it as if it is still what it was originally, or do we look at it as it is today. and tomorrow. (i'm not knocking BLM, just the quickest example i can think of)
 
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