Friend has fallen into COVID-conspiracies

PenaH

New Member
Early this morning my friend me sent this on Messenger

Screenshot_20211008_070735.jpg

Now, my friend has always been into conspiracies, but they always have been reletavly harmless, but this is something new. Just out of the blue on anti-vaxx mode

And just couple minutes ago he sent me another message regarding that mask mandates would be returning on our local area, even though just couple weeks ago they where removed

Screenshot_20211008_170709.jpg

What do you think of his "arguments" and how can I help him? He used to be rational and skeptic guy, but now he is full on anti-vaxx and believes it is either NWO plan or genocide plan. What to do?
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
i would say "i dont know why you sound so surprised about the demonization and the mask mandates. You know how the liberals are. But that has nothing to do with Trump's vaccine. The vaccine is as safe as other vaccines, so you should chillout about that bit. Trump wasn't trying to depopulate the planet, or take away your liberties. That is just typical left wing propaganda. It's not the vaccine's fault"
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Where is he getting his information from?
Are there still quality sources left that he trusts?

I don't know the guy, but if he used to be rational and skeptic, what would asking him for evidence do?
 

PenaH

New Member
Where is he getting his information from?
Are there still quality sources left that he trusts?

I don't know the guy, but if he used to be rational and skeptic, what would asking him for evidence do?
I asked him for his sources and evidence and as evidence he sent me several Mike Yeadon interviews, graphs from countries how covid deaths rising, even though most people would be vaxxed, InfoWars articles, unverified claims of vaccine deaths, McAfee's takes on vaccine few months before his death, etc.

There are many more, but those are main ones that pop up.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
I would like to find out how your friend has come to trust the sources he trusts, and then why he keeps trusting them even when they have obviously been fundamentally wrong in the past.

For example, Reuters did a background piece on Yeadon:
Article:
In October, Yeadon wrote a column for the United Kingdom’s Daily Mail newspaper that also appeared on MailOnline, one of the world’s most-visited news websites. It declared that deaths caused by COVID-19, which then totaled about 45,000 in Britain, will soon “fizzle out” and Britons “should immediately be allowed to resume normal life.” Since then, the disease has killed about another 80,000 people in the UK.

By his own sources, your friend knows this was terribly wrong.
So if I was to trust Yeadon e.g. on claims of vaccine infertility, I'd want to see evidence before I believed it.

What are your friend's sources for the death data graphs? They might be the most realistic bit of data he has access to, so a way forward might be to discuss his concerns with the aid of similar data sources.

I have no reason to trust Infowars/Alex Jones either. Jones just lost a big court case about his Sandy Hook school shooting coverage. Metabunk has an old thread on him (two, actually) in
the "people debunked" forum. https://www.metabunk.org/forums/people-debunked.18/

You got your friend to respond to your request for evidence, that is a good sign.

What you want to do is to give him reasons to look for more solid evidence. It's a good sleptic practice to look for hard evidence supporting claims, and to check evidence on how trustworthy sources are. If you know your friend is capable of critical thinking, a friendly inquiry/conversation could motivate him to apply it to some of these CT claims and peddlers of such, as long as he sees a chance to convince you.

Caveat: Try to concentrate and go in-depth on a few selected important claims, instead of following a huge amount of poorly supported assertions ("gish gallop").

Remember, metabunk is here to back you up when it comes to evaluating evidence.
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
Jones just lost a big court case about his Sandy Hook school shooting coverage.
actually he lost (for now) by default, because he would not turn over his marketing documentation. Which is more applicable to this convo thread, as the only reason he wouldn't turn over the documentation...if you ask me.. is because they were trying to prove that he was purposefully lying as a marketing gimmick, and he was.


but we all kinda knew that from his divorce case:
Article:
Jones' attorney Randall Wilhite likened the conspiracy theorist to Jack Nicholson playing the Joker in “Batman,” implying that Jones’ parental abilities should not be evaluated on the person he plays on his website Infowars.com.

“He’s playing a character. He is a performance artist,” Wilhite said at the pretrial hearing this week.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
Nah, I bet I will say it worse (am tired).

Just, for me, people like that sound like headaches and I don't like headaches.

Then again, what people send on messenger may not represent what they're actually like. I know a guy in real life (who I see often) and he regularly sends me conspiracy stuff on messenger, but has not once mentioned any of it in person. Mostly I just ignore the messages or post a link to a fact check.

At first I thought he was getting into some really weird stuff and I interpreted his messages as a bid to 'convert' me to something he believed in. But when I asked him about it he said he just found it "interesting."

I have doubts that he was being honest about that but it helped me take them more lightly: all he's doing is sending a link/message/forward, it's me that made up the story that he: a) believes it; and b) wants me to believe it too.

Anyway, like I say, I either ignore them or send something very quick back, and in real life we talk about normal things and it's nice and fun.

I guess in this particular case it depends on what the real life interactions are like. Maybe it's similar to the example I mention here? Or maybe not.

But either way, perhaps "avoid them/the subject" is the right way to go. When they're sending things like "Do. Not. Be. A. Sheep." it feels like constructive conversation would be extremely difficult (at best).
 
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PenaH

New Member
Now, he also send me text from article about known Finnish far-right conspiracy tabloid, MV-lehti about death of woman that died 5 weeks after second Pfizer shot. Quoting it like this:

"Satu, a 36-year-old nurse mother, died completely healthy five weeks after the second Pfizer vaccine, "writes Sanna Tilanto on her FB page. The dead woman's sister visited Level podcast to tell a tragic story about the consequences of experimental corona vaccination.


“For several days she had difficulty breathing, arrhythmia and facial paralysis. She said she kept feeling unwell while packing for a cabin trip. Next night she had died at her home and his son had found her.

Several blood clots were found at autopsy. Several starting blood clots in the brain and lungs. The heart had expanded 75% larger.

Her sister asks to share this information that vaccines are by no means safe. She doesn’t want her sister to die in vain. She asks people to share this in order to avoid even one vaccine death. A healthy person cannot die suddenly without a reason! ”, Writes Sanna Tilanto on her FB page"

Now, I can not verify this news at any way, but I replied to him that even if this is true, only a handful from millions-billions of vaccinated people have died and most of them are alive and fine, but he replied that even one death is too much for him to "gamble on health".
 

CarolynD

New Member
Have you read Mick West's book? It has great advice about this situation. Maybe my age is making me a bit more callous, but how much time and energy do you want to invest in this person, given they seem to have little motivation to change their thinking? Would it be better for you to focus more on your like-minded friends? (Personally, this has helped me.) Whatever you decide, I wish you luck!
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
he replied that even one death is too much for him to "gamble on health".
He's gambling on his health either way.
Article:
Dangerous blood clots can occur in moderate COVID-19

A European study has found an elevated risk of a life-threatening blood clot called venous thromboembolism (VTE) in COVID-19 patients who were not critically ill. The blood clot risk had previously been associated with severe COVID-19. The researchers tracked 2,292 patients who came to hospital emergency rooms with mild or moderate COVID-19 but without VTE. Four weeks later, VTE had developed in roughly 1 of every 200 mildly ill patients who had not been hospitalized and nearly 5 of every 200 moderately ill patients overall, the researchers reported on Friday in Thrombosis Research.

So it's blood clots either way, plus Covid's normal effects.

And that woman seems to have been a health gambler as well:
For several days she had difficulty breathing, arrhythmia and facial paralysis. She said she kept feeling unwell while packing for a cabin trip
Facial paralysis would have me seeking a doctor immediately (hopefully within hours), maybe even call an ambulance. Strokes can happen to anyone. (5 weeks later? Seriously?)
 
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Agent K

Senior Member
Now, I can not verify this news at any way, but I replied to him that even if this is true, only a handful from millions-billions of vaccinated people have died and most of them are alive and fine,
Well, the ones who died are not alive and fine, but I know what you meant.
Article:
Oct. 7, 2021 -- A Washington state woman died from a rare blood clotting syndrome after receiving the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, state health officials said.
The CDC has reported three other deaths nationwide from the vaccine-related syndrome.
The vaccine complication is rare, occurring in about 7 per 1 million vaccinated women ages 18-49, according to the CDC. For women over age 50 and men of all ages, the complication is even rarer.
Among the 15 million people who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the CDC has identified 47 cases of the syndrome. The majority have recovered.

This sad news comes from King County, where people who are not fully vaccinated are now 78 times more likely to die of COVID-19 related illness than fully vaccinated people.

https://kingcounty.gov/depts/health/covid-19/data/vaccination-outcomes.aspx
1634084123725.png

but he replied that even one death is too much for him to "gamble on health".
Again, I'd refer him to the long and growing list of anti-vaxxers who gambled with their health and lost, like our flat-earther friend Rob Skiba. I count being placed on a ventilator as a lost bet.
https://www.sorryantivaxxer.com
 
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FatPhil

Active Member
Now, he also send me text from article about known Finnish far-right conspiracy tabloid, MV-lehti about death of woman that died 5 weeks after second Pfizer shot.

I don't know MV-lehti, I left Finland before that sprang into existence. The name basically mean "WTF??!! News" - which will be important. (That punctuation is in their logo, so I have included it.)

The (finnish) wikipedia page on it is fairly critical, calling it a fake news site:
From which I can extract keywords like tarkistamattomien~unverified, keksittyjen~fabricated, salaliittoteorioita~conspiracy-theories.

I followed one of its references supporting such claims and reached a finnish state media article on fake news generally, wherein MV-Lehti was given many paragraphs of criticism, all strongly calling its reputation into question, but none of which were particularly forthcoming in specific evidence. However, this quote from the founder does sum up the direction he's coming from:
yle.fi: Hän mainitsi myös, että MV sai alkunsa "täydestä huumorista, nimihän sen jo kertoo".
my translation ~ He also mentioned that MV started as "entirely humour, the name already says that".
Here, "he" is the founder, and looking at (a googoo translate of) his wiki page linked to from the MV-lehti one, he seemed like a *very* questionable character, but apparently he's dead now, so irrelevant to these particular claims.

YLE also mention:
Which I think implies that even the "True Finns" (OK, they changed their name since coining that one, but I think the original name is more revealing), a "right-wing populist political party" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finns_Party) ~"is removing links to MV-Lehti from the party's Facebook page". If even they are distancing themselves from him, it must have a pretty toxic reputation.

So, yeah, I wouldn't take anything on MV-lehti at face value. As you imply, it's entirely possible that the case mentioned is a real one, but if their counter-argument against vaxxing is an isolated anecdote rather than statistics, it really oughtn't be persuasive at all.

Beware, my Finnish ain't that good. Do. Your. Own. Research. :) (and correct me where I err, please)

Linkies missing from the above text:
the wiki page on them: https://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV-lehti
the YLE article: https://yle.fi/aihe/artikkeli/2015/03/23/valheenpaljastaja-uutista-helppo-matkia
 

PenaH

New Member
I don't know MV-lehti, I left Finland before that sprang into existence. The name basically mean "WTF??!! News" - which will be important. (That punctuation is in their logo, so I have included it.)

The (finnish) wikipedia page on it is fairly critical, calling it a fake news site:
From which I can extract keywords like tarkistamattomien~unverified, keksittyjen~fabricated, salaliittoteorioita~conspiracy-theories.

I followed one of its references supporting such claims and reached a finnish state media article on fake news generally, wherein MV-Lehti was given many paragraphs of criticism, all strongly calling its reputation into question, but none of which were particularly forthcoming in specific evidence. However, this quote from the founder does sum up the direction he's coming from:
yle.fi: Hän mainitsi myös, että MV sai alkunsa "täydestä huumorista, nimihän sen jo kertoo".
my translation ~ He also mentioned that MV started as "entirely humour, the name already says that".
Here, "he" is the founder, and looking at (a googoo translate of) his wiki page linked to from the MV-lehti one, he seemed like a *very* questionable character, but apparently he's dead now, so irrelevant to these particular claims.

YLE also mention:
Which I think implies that even the "True Finns" (OK, they changed their name since coining that one, but I think the original name is more revealing), a "right-wing populist political party" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finns_Party) ~"is removing links to MV-Lehti from the party's Facebook page". If even they are distancing themselves from him, it must have a pretty toxic reputation.

So, yeah, I wouldn't take anything on MV-lehti at face value. As you imply, it's entirely possible that the case mentioned is a real one, but if their counter-argument against vaxxing is an isolated anecdote rather than statistics, it really oughtn't be persuasive at all.

Beware, my Finnish ain't that good. Do. Your. Own. Research. :) (and correct me where I err, please)

Linkies missing from the above text:
the wiki page on them: https://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV-lehti
the YLE article: https://yle.fi/aihe/artikkeli/2015/03/23/valheenpaljastaja-uutista-helppo-matkia
You got it pretty much spot on. MV has been notorious spreading anti-immigration and islamophobia ever since 2014 or 2015, when refugee crisis was at it's strongest and populist parties started to become more and more mainstream. Even then they talked about NWO, Agenda 21 and White Replacement theories. They still talk about immigration alot, but ever since 2020, most of them are COVID or COVID-vaccine skeptic news and sharing people like Robert Kennedy, Mike Yeadon, Peter McCollough, etc. and some of our own variations like Olli Posti and microbiologist Tamara Tuuminen and parliament member Ano Turtiainen (who has said he believes vaccinations to be depopulation plot of elite).

So, basically they are your averege nationalist conspiracy site.
 

FatPhil

Active Member
You got it pretty much spot on. MV has been notorious spreading anti-immigration and islamophobia ever since 2014 or 2015, when refugee crisis was at it's strongest and populist parties started to become more and more mainstream. Even then they talked about NWO, Agenda 21 and White Replacement theories. They still talk about immigration alot, but ever since 2020, most of them are COVID or COVID-vaccine skeptic news and sharing people like Robert Kennedy, Mike Yeadon, Peter McCollough, etc. and some of our own variations like Olli Posti and microbiologist Tamara Tuuminen and parliament member Ano Turtiainen (who has said he believes vaccinations to be depopulation plot of elite).

So, basically they are your averege nationalist conspiracy site.

Turtiainen, eh? Some overlap with this thread then: https://www.metabunk.org/threads/fi...ble-covid-vaccine-genocide.11865/#post-252977

Not heard of Tuuminen before, she sounds like she knows the CT script quite well:
"Most important, it has become practically impossible to hold a true exchange of views on this topic with the Department of Health and Welfare and the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. [...] A critical questioning of this public policy is deemed heretical by insurance companies and their concealed allies, such as governmental agencies, which means that critics of this approach may be subjected to vilification, harassment, reprimands, demotion, attacks in the social media, denial of funding and grants and access to research material, and even outright offensive behavior and marginalization." -- https://www.researchgate.net/public..._Highly_Politicized_and_Downplayed_in_Finland

And the anti-covid-vax script too:
"Tuuminen käyttää sanaa preparaatti, koska hän ei halua puhua rokotteista. – Esimerkiksi Pfizerin ja Modernan rokotteet eivät ole rokotteita ollenkaan. Ne ovat kokeellisia preparaatteja ja kemikaalisia konstruktioita."
~"tuuminen uses the word 'preparations', because she does not want to say 'vaccines'. "For example, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are not vaccines at all. The are experimental preparations and chemical constructions"."
-- https://www.mtvuutiset.fi/artikkeli...ija-rokote-pienempi-paha-kuin-sairaus/8218234

Likewise, Posti was new to me, he looks like a regular "suppliments loon" from the brief clicking around I did.

Do these people get onto the mainstream media much in Finland, or are they, erm, safely marginalised? (Where they can then claim that marginalisation as a badge of honour, alas, the reinforcement of the "them vs. us".)

Ooops, I've slightly derailed your thread, but I do like to keep up with the Finnish scene.
 

FatPhil

Active Member
... even if this is true, only a handful from millions-billions of vaccinated people have died and most of them are alive and fine, but he replied that even one death is too much for him to "gamble on health".

Does he accept that avoiding the vaccine is also a gamble on health?
If not, then does he think that absolutely no good, no protection at all, can come from the vaccine?

Because either an initial Yes or a No followed by No means that you could now start discussing relative risk levels - you might have an "in", some common ground which could be expanded upon.

However, No followed by Yes puts his stance in direct opposition to all of the medical evidence *independently* collected worldwide. Even the medically literate who are taking minority positions, ones that he has probably quoted to support his argument, do not take this position. Is he happy taking that stance?

Beware - my way looks confrontational, and that's counterproductive. It needs to be softened in such a way that you don't keep pushing him further away.
 

PenaH

New Member
Likewise, Posti was new to me, he looks like a regular "suppliments loon" from the brief clicking around I did.

Do these people get onto the mainstream media much in Finland, or are they, erm, safely marginalised? (Where they can then claim that marginalisation as a badge of honour, alas, the reinforcement of the "them vs. us".)

Ooops, I've slightly derailed your thread, but I do like to keep up with the Finnish scene.
Yeah not to go too far from original topic, Posti is an blogger that has talked a lot about food nd how he believes Big Pharma to know certain foods and supplements can cure diseases better or faster than medicene, but it is kept away from people so they won't lose money. Now he is more popular with claiming vaccine is unsafe and daily publishes his stances on latest covid news and his followers claims of their close ones' vaccine injuries which can not be verified at all.

Only Tamara and Ano have gotten reactions from mainstream media, while Posti is more of an social media celeb. I feel this has spread it bit more since in one link you linked, there was debate between Tamara and Mika Rämet (who is kind of like Fauci of Finland) and Rämet stumbled a lot in his words and sounded nervous and make look "get vaccinated" side look even more bad in their eyes and have memed it a lot and claimed "he clearly knows the real dark truth".

There are few other people I would like to share, but I don't want to make this whole different thing, so if you want, I can tell them in private messeges.
 
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