Hannah Introduction

Hannah

New Member
Hi!
I am glad to have found this site after reading Escaping the Rabbit Hole after still years of mostly quiet frustration about my folks' escalating beliefs in conspiracy theories. I grew up with what I might describe as a dysfunctionally loving family who endorsed an alternative lifestyle - homeopathy, naturopathy, ayurveda, some superstition and an alternative lifestyle in general. Central to it was my mother's Christian beliefs mixed with my father's fascination with teachings of old Vedic scriptures. Grew up very open-minded, absorbing anything I could read from science magazines and textbooks to pseudoscientific theories about what the patterns in the iris supposedly can say about our personality and diseases. Although the scientific side gradually won me over as I gained education and life experience, I generally found my folk's beliefs, while strange and somewhat embarrassing, to be mostly harmless and just part of their personalities.
However, there's always been an underlying frustration and sometimes a deep feeling of disappointment and suspicion from my folk's side towards society, authority and power though (probably founded in personal suffering, long-standing health issues, isolation etc), and with more and more time spent on the Internet, starting with Alex Jones' PrisonPlanet, they've gradually been drawn deeper into the rabbit hole.
Fast forward to today, a typical phone call from from my mother usually entails (after asking how I'm doing and how studies are going) talking about all the ways in which the Jewish-run global elite is supposedly ruling the world, how dangerous 5G is, the evils of vaccines and a plethora of other loose claims promoted by bloggers, 'journalists' etc. who my folks believe are truth-tellers in a world of mainstream media lies. Because these beliefs are so intertwined with religious beliefs for my folks and lie very close to the core of how they identify themselves, I have found it very difficult to even touch some topics. I've usually ended up just humming, giving evasive answers and trying to steer away the topic or just waiting until the talking stops. I've often spent hours trying to researching the various claims in articles just to find an argument that might give my folks a second thought. Mostly, I've ended up learning some really interesting stuff but ultimately the discussion hasn't seemed to lead anywhere - gentle attempts have resulted in me being labeled the naive one who trusts the modern science complex and 'the world's view' (an interpretation from the Bible). Trying to reason with my father has increasingly led to a pile of articles being landed on my desk - questioning from my side and the process being repeated until I go home after that holiday visit. No particular hard feelings but oh so tiring and time-consuming. After last Christmas celebration I decided it had gone so far I have to try something different. Reading Escaping the Rabbit Hole and on these forums occasionally has given me some fresh ideas and cautious optimism that with time how to reach out, and perhaps at least get my dear old parents to think a bit more critically about the most extreme conspiracy theories.
Phew, this won't be easy! Wish me luck!
 
...Reading Escaping the Rabbit Hole and on these forums occasionally has given me some fresh ideas and cautious optimism that with time how to reach out, and perhaps at least get my dear old parents to think a bit more critically about the most extreme conspiracy theories.
Phew, this won't be easy! Wish me luck!

much of what you write there sounds familiar. most of my recent conversations with one parent are often sad to me. they used to be much more interesting and not so polarized to see everything in terms of what some news network is spewing. i tried in a recent conversation to talk about what they were reading as they used to read a variety of things, no luck, said they fall asleep and didn't talk about any particular topic.

just have to keep trying and hold on through the tougher moments when i'm otherwise inclined to walk away.
 

Bruno D.

Senior Member.
Hi!
I am glad to have found this site after reading Escaping the Rabbit Hole after still years of mostly quiet frustration about my folks' escalating beliefs in conspiracy theories. I grew up with what I might describe as a dysfunctionally loving family who endorsed an alternative lifestyle - homeopathy, naturopathy, ayurveda, some superstition and an alternative lifestyle in general. Central to it was my mother's Christian beliefs mixed with my father's fascination with teachings of old Vedic scriptures. Grew up very open-minded, absorbing anything I could read from science magazines and textbooks to pseudoscientific theories about what the patterns in the iris supposedly can say about our personality and diseases. Although the scientific side gradually won me over as I gained education and life experience, I generally found my folk's beliefs, while strange and somewhat embarrassing, to be mostly harmless and just part of their personalities.
However, there's always been an underlying frustration and sometimes a deep feeling of disappointment and suspicion from my folk's side towards society, authority and power though (probably founded in personal suffering, long-standing health issues, isolation etc), and with more and more time spent on the Internet, starting with Alex Jones' PrisonPlanet, they've gradually been drawn deeper into the rabbit hole.
Fast forward to today, a typical phone call from from my mother usually entails (after asking how I'm doing and how studies are going) talking about all the ways in which the Jewish-run global elite is supposedly ruling the world, how dangerous 5G is, the evils of vaccines and a plethora of other loose claims promoted by bloggers, 'journalists' etc. who my folks believe are truth-tellers in a world of mainstream media lies. Because these beliefs are so intertwined with religious beliefs for my folks and lie very close to the core of how they identify themselves, I have found it very difficult to even touch some topics. I've usually ended up just humming, giving evasive answers and trying to steer away the topic or just waiting until the talking stops. I've often spent hours trying to researching the various claims in articles just to find an argument that might give my folks a second thought. Mostly, I've ended up learning some really interesting stuff but ultimately the discussion hasn't seemed to lead anywhere - gentle attempts have resulted in me being labeled the naive one who trusts the modern science complex and 'the world's view' (an interpretation from the Bible). Trying to reason with my father has increasingly led to a pile of articles being landed on my desk - questioning from my side and the process being repeated until I go home after that holiday visit. No particular hard feelings but oh so tiring and time-consuming. After last Christmas celebration I decided it had gone so far I have to try something different. Reading Escaping the Rabbit Hole and on these forums occasionally has given me some fresh ideas and cautious optimism that with time how to reach out, and perhaps at least get my dear old parents to think a bit more critically about the most extreme conspiracy theories.
Phew, this won't be easy! Wish me luck!

Good luck there!!! I hope everything goes well for you and your family.

I have friends that went down the rabbit hole (a long time ago I started going down that path, but thankfully didn't go all the way) and I slowly just stopped talking to them. This is something that we can't, and shouldn't, do with parents. I really hope you can get an opening, at least on the most extreme ones, and make them question everything there, as they question everything in the big media and science complex, it should go both ways.

Again, all the luck to you!!
 

NoParty

Senior Member.
Hi!
I am glad to have found this site after reading Escaping the Rabbit Hole after still years of mostly quiet frustration about my folks' escalating beliefs in conspiracy theories. I grew up with what I might describe as a dysfunctionally loving family who endorsed an alternative lifestyle - homeopathy, naturopathy, ayurveda, some superstition and an alternative lifestyle in general. Central to it was my mother's Christian beliefs mixed with my father's fascination with teachings of old Vedic scriptures. Grew up very open-minded, absorbing anything I could read from science magazines and textbooks to pseudoscientific theories about what the patterns in the iris supposedly can say about our personality and diseases. Although the scientific side gradually won me over as I gained education and life experience, I generally found my folk's beliefs, while strange and somewhat embarrassing, to be mostly harmless and just part of their personalities.
However, there's always been an underlying frustration and sometimes a deep feeling of disappointment and suspicion from my folk's side towards society, authority and power though (probably founded in personal suffering, long-standing health issues, isolation etc), and with more and more time spent on the Internet, starting with Alex Jones' PrisonPlanet, they've gradually been drawn deeper into the rabbit hole.
Fast forward to today, a typical phone call from from my mother usually entails (after asking how I'm doing and how studies are going) talking about all the ways in which the Jewish-run global elite is supposedly ruling the world, how dangerous 5G is, the evils of vaccines and a plethora of other loose claims promoted by bloggers, 'journalists' etc. who my folks believe are truth-tellers in a world of mainstream media lies. Because these beliefs are so intertwined with religious beliefs for my folks and lie very close to the core of how they identify themselves, I have found it very difficult to even touch some topics. I've usually ended up just humming, giving evasive answers and trying to steer away the topic or just waiting until the talking stops. I've often spent hours trying to researching the various claims in articles just to find an argument that might give my folks a second thought. Mostly, I've ended up learning some really interesting stuff but ultimately the discussion hasn't seemed to lead anywhere - gentle attempts have resulted in me being labeled the naive one who trusts the modern science complex and 'the world's view' (an interpretation from the Bible). Trying to reason with my father has increasingly led to a pile of articles being landed on my desk - questioning from my side and the process being repeated until I go home after that holiday visit. No particular hard feelings but oh so tiring and time-consuming. After last Christmas celebration I decided it had gone so far I have to try something different. Reading Escaping the Rabbit Hole and on these forums occasionally has given me some fresh ideas and cautious optimism that with time how to reach out, and perhaps at least get my dear old parents to think a bit more critically about the most extreme conspiracy theories.
Phew, this won't be easy! Wish me luck!
Thank you for that.
I think quite a few of us have had similar trials.
If you don't mind (I'm just curious) how did Escaping the Rabbit Hole get on your radar?
 

Hannah

New Member
Thank you for that.
I think quite a few of us have had similar trials.
If you don't mind (I'm just curious) how did Escaping the Rabbit Hole get on your radar?
No problem, nice to be able to share these experiences. I have had a couple of short-term jobs (sales of newspapers, charity) where I ended up hearing a lot of conspiracy theories, and a few times having the chance to debunk them. With one's own family it can be harder, so I can imagine I'm far from alone, especially in this day and age when there are so many opportunities to "go down the rabbit hole". I encountered Escaping the Rabbit Hole from a recommendation in a science group on FB, discussing how to deal with conspiracy theories, and though it might be worth a try. It was.
 

Hannah

New Member
Good luck there!!! I hope everything goes well for you and your family.

I have friends that went down the rabbit hole (a long time ago I started going down that path, but thankfully didn't go all the way) and I slowly just stopped talking to them. This is something that we can't, and shouldn't, do with parents. I really hope you can get an opening, at least on the most extreme ones, and make them question everything there, as they question everything in the big media and science complex, it should go both ways.

Again, all the luck to you!!
Thank you for the encouragement! Yea, some relations you can choose, and debunking friends' conspiracy theories can be draining, so I certainly understand breaking contact there.. Well, I've been down the rabbit hole of physical chemistry lately, hence the late reply. It is indeed not fair to have that kind of one way communication, particularly not being an adult, not financially or otherwise dependent on one's parents, but it's a kind of fanaticism I suppose; when people are so into a narrative they think that they are helping you by bombarding you with all that stuff - "spreading the truth" and all that. I've been very tempted to send my own pile of articles/books but I'm afraid that might counter-fire, but I've been pointing out a few very clear incorrections in stuff they sent to me, and that has at least made my folks hesitate about one particular sub-topic, so there hope but a long way to go.
 

Hannah

New Member
much of what you write there sounds familiar. most of my recent conversations with one parent are often sad to me. they used to be much more interesting and not so polarized to see everything in terms of what some news network is spewing. i tried in a recent conversation to talk about what they were reading as they used to read a variety of things, no luck, said they fall asleep and didn't talk about any particular topic.

just have to keep trying and hold on through the tougher moments when i'm otherwise inclined to walk away.
Thanks for your reply! Yes, hope you can keep trying there. It can indeed be very saddening to see loved ones go down such a route. One thing that occurred to be the other day, watching the HBO documentary on Qanon, was that in comparison with regular news outlets these conspiracy sites, Qtubers etc. often provide a much greater simplicity of explanation, excitement and emotional involvement than regular news outlets, not to mention identification with the personable 'Lone Ranger' who is out there telling the 'truth' against corporations, governments etc. For the more average folks I suppose ideological news networks, papers, podcasts etc (whatever orientation) often fill that role, but for someone for one or other reason embittered by what they see as establishment, I think that doesn't tend to hold their interest. I feel like I'm the parent looking for better role models for my kids (parents) sometimes, i.e. somebody who might share traits that they value highly (in my case being christian, and clearly opposed to war, consumerism etc.) but without the crazier aspects (though I know it's not a fair comparison).
 

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