I miss my sister. Where do I start?

ktrane331

New Member
Hello, I'm brand new to the site. I found it after reading Mick's book. The book is very helpful and I plan to start utilizing some of the techniques he outlines to start trying to reach my sister. But what do you do if someone you love is entrenched in not just a few, but seemingly ALL of the conspiracy topics? Election fraud, covid, vaccines, 9-11, chemtrails, UFO's, Trump, etc... the list she sent me is 100 items long filled with a lot of topics I've never even heard of. It's overwhelming to figure out where to begin. I had no idea she was even into any of this stuff until recently. I've learned my initial approach with her was the wrong one. I didn't take it seriously and poked fun at what she's been obsessed with the last couple of years. It has strained our relationship and now we barely talk. I'm working on reestablishing communication and trust. And I've learned that humor/shaming is not the way to reach someone this far down the rabbit hole. Anyway, I could go on, but I'd appreciate any direction or advice as this is all very new to me.

Thank you!
 

Radapox

Member
Is your goal to actually get her out of the rabbit hole (as in, changing her mind on her opinions), or to accept that your views differ and get along as siblings regardless? I'd say that the latter is a much more achievable option, though far from easy. Either way, as Mick writes somewhere in his book, the constructive way forward is to find common grounds: topics you do agree upon (which may be more than you realized), and use those as a building ground - not necessarily for actually changing each other's minds, but at least for gaining a better mutual understanding of where the other is coming from.
 

Scaramanga

Member
People believe in conspiracies because they give meaning to a chaotic world. It's a lot easier to believe in some grand and sinister cabal one can fight against than to believe the truth...that politicians are incompetent and often don't have any of the answers let alone all of them. Most conspiracies posit a mysterious 'they' that rule the world, deposit chemtrails, hide from us that the world is flat or we're about to collide with Nibiru, and so on. It's nonsense but its exciting nonsense for many people and in many ways replaces the old religions that served that same purpose.

The best response, rather than scoffing, is to show people that scientific truth is actually far more fascinating than all the conspiracies. A round earth is much more intriguing and mysterious and full of deep connections with physical forces than a boring flat one. Learning what causes aircraft contrails and the various forces involved, and why they appear at some heights and not others, is far more interesting than cabals spraying people. And the truth about the solar system and its worlds is way more intriguing than all the Planet X conspiracies.
 

ktrane331

New Member
Is your goal to actually get her out of the rabbit hole (as in, changing her mind on her opinions), or to accept that your views differ and get along as siblings regardless? I'd say that the latter is a much more achievable option, though far from easy. Either way, as Mick writes somewhere in his book, the constructive way forward is to find common grounds: topics you do agree upon (which may be more than you realized), and use those as a building ground - not necessarily for actually changing each other's minds, but at least for gaining a better mutual understanding of where the other is coming from.
Thanks for the reply. I'm still figuring out what I'm actually trying to achieve. I'm going slow and yes, trying to find common ground right now. I know I want a better relationship with her, but I would also like to nudge her to start processing information with a more analytical mind. I recently told her I would watch a documentary called: The Fall of Cabal. She said that's where she got started.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
I recently told her I would watch a documentary called: The Fall of Cabal. She said that's where she got started.
Article:
A Dutch woman called Janet Ossebaard recently has quite some succes – measured in views – with a 10 part video series on YouTube that propagates the far right QAnon conspiracy theory. The series is called Fall Cabal, and you will have no trouble finding it on your own. [...]

According to Ossebaard a big change is about to happen, but most people don’t seem to have a clue. So therefore she is going to tell the hidden truth to us. She claims to have access to privileged knowledge, because she knows the Great Plan that is unfolding before our eyes.

Ossebaard usually just bombards the viewer with unsubstantiated claims, which you could of course answer with Hitchen’s Razor – “What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.” – but I’ll try to debunk those claims anyway.

The first episode of the series is titled: “The End of the World As We Know It – Things That Make You Go Hmmmm…” In the text before the title screen Ossebaard urges the viewer to accept nothing as the truth, asks to do your own research and to double-check everything she presents. So I did.

Below follows a list of the more or less factual claims Ossebaard makes in Part 1 of her video series. They are preceded by the timestamp for easy reference.

This looks like a very thorough claim-by-claim debunk of this 10-part "documentary". I found it by simply looking for "fall of cabal" debunk.


My instinct would be to say, "I'm sceptical of the evidence in thus video, can we watch it together and talk about the points she is making", but the way you're describing your relationship right now, this seems bound to end in a shipwreck?

I think what's going to be important for you is to understand how your sister, whom you love and respected, could come to trust this sort of misinformation: to listen to her and figure out how she came to be ready to believe this.

She's probably expecting this video series to convert you to her world view, and she'll be disappointed when that does not happen. Which is why the "watch together and talk" approach could be important for her to understand why you won't trust this information -- but only if she's respecting you enough to care about that.

(To understand the pull of QAnon, I also recommend looking at https://www.metabunk.org/threads/a-game-designer’s-analysis-of-qanon.11509/ .)
 

J.d.K

Member
Hello, I'm brand new to the site. I found it after reading Mick's book. The book is very helpful and I plan to start utilizing some of the techniques he outlines to start trying to reach my sister. But what do you do if someone you love is entrenched in not just a few, but seemingly ALL of the conspiracy topics? Election fraud, covid, vaccines, 9-11, chemtrails, UFO's, Trump, etc... the list she sent me is 100 items long filled with a lot of topics I've never even heard of. It's overwhelming to figure out where to begin. I had no idea she was even into any of this stuff until recently. I've learned my initial approach with her was the wrong one. I didn't take it seriously and poked fun at what she's been obsessed with the last couple of years. It has strained our relationship and now we barely talk. I'm working on reestablishing communication and trust. And I've learned that humor/shaming is not the way to reach someone this far down the rabbit hole. Anyway, I could go on, but I'd appreciate any direction or advice as this is all very new to me.

Thank you!
First off, I'm open to the possibility of there being truth in a lot of "conspiracy-stuff", including all you mentioned... Election fraud, covid, vaccines, 9-11, chemtrails, UFO's, Trump. I definitely believe Trump exists by the way.. I didn't know he was a conspiracy ;P. That said, I have been lost in that world aswell, because it's a world one can easily get lost in... because what is true and what isn't? Everyone seems to think they know, but who does really? This David Icke guy everyone loves even says the moon was BUILT... euhh...? A friend of mine was a flat earth believer and also had told me that Vivekananda (and indian saint) was an Illumiati and showed a picture of him with his hand in his jacket which meant it was a sign that they use.
The stuff drives me absolutely mad because there is no talking to them. As an example, the basketball celebrity that came out telling the world the earth was flat publicly, the flat earthers idolized him, then when he publicly announced that he was sorry and had just fell into this media conspiracy stuff and none of it is actually real, the flat earthers claimed that ’they’ had gotten to him. There is always this bs. And there is no use in even talking to these people because they know everything and always will and if you do not believe them and are in any way saying anything that opposes their beliefs…. Well….
The conspiracy stuff even goes as far as taking anything anyone says as a numerical value and decodes it then makes meaning out of it. Sad.

I don't know where your sister is standing or how how well she does her research, but if she is lost in it, like many.. sometimes there is nothing you can do about it. I have little in common with my family with regards to views on what is true and what isn't... what it is to live a good life and what what isn't, but sometimes all you can do is love them, try to understand the other person, or just talk about other stuff.

I myself was lost in a new age world for quite some time until a brilliant and studied man was able to put a clear mirror in front of me. After that I've had 4 people close to me tell me they felt like they had me back, whereas before they felt as if they had lost me. I'm "lucky" I was open enough to listen to him, consider, research, but most would reject that mirror.
 
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LilWabbit

Active Member
Hello, I'm brand new to the site. I found it after reading Mick's book. The book is very helpful and I plan to start utilizing some of the techniques he outlines to start trying to reach my sister. But what do you do if someone you love is entrenched in not just a few, but seemingly ALL of the conspiracy topics? Election fraud, covid, vaccines, 9-11, chemtrails, UFO's, Trump, etc... the list she sent me is 100 items long filled with a lot of topics I've never even heard of. It's overwhelming to figure out where to begin. I had no idea she was even into any of this stuff until recently. I've learned my initial approach with her was the wrong one. I didn't take it seriously and poked fun at what she's been obsessed with the last couple of years. It has strained our relationship and now we barely talk. I'm working on reestablishing communication and trust. And I've learned that humor/shaming is not the way to reach someone this far down the rabbit hole. Anyway, I could go on, but I'd appreciate any direction or advice as this is all very new to me.

Thank you!

I would say the first step is to show her you accept her, love her, and would not judge her as a person, no matter what she chooses to believe in. And that you are a safe space for her to share her beliefs despite the fact that you may disagree on some points.

Then you have gained her trust.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
t scientific truth is actually far more fascinating than all the conspiracies. A round earth is much more intriguing and mysterious and full of deep connections with physical forces than a boring flat one. Learning what causes aircraft contrails and the various forces involved, and why they appear at some heights and not others, is far more interesting than cabals spraying people. And the truth about the solar system and its worlds is way more intriguing than all the Planet X conspiracies.

no it isn't.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Election fraud, covid, vaccines, 9-11, chemtrails, UFO's, Trump, etc... the list she sent me is 100 items long filled with a lot of topics I've never even heard of. It's overwhelming to figure out where to begin.

the way you wrote "Trump" shows that you aren't even close to being able to understand another person's political views. so i would
1. apologize PROFUSELY for mocking her and trying to shame her.
2. Pick one to start with that is not political related. and say you aren't going to argue about politics and you'd prefer she not send you political content either, as it upsets you the way you are upsetting her.
3. Buy her a subscription to HBO Max or some such (but not NETFLIX!), as it seems she has way too much video watching time on her hands.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
haha what do you mean there?

science is not all that interesting. I'm certainly glad some other people think it is, so we have medicines and indoor plumbing and satellites to watch our streaming youtube shows.. but i think the majority of people prefer fiction. That's why documentaries don't make millions at the box office.
 

J.d.K

Member
science is not all that interesting. I'm certainly glad some other people think it is, so we have medicines and indoor plumbing and satellites to watch our streaming youtube shows.. but i think the majority of people prefer fiction. That's why documentaries don't make millions at the box office.
ah right, got it
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
science is not all that interesting. I'm certainly glad some other people think it is, so we have medicines and indoor plumbing and satellites to watch our streaming youtube shows.. but i think the majority of people prefer fiction. That's why documentaries don't make millions at the box office.

I think saying "no it isn't" really didn't reflect that this was merely your opinion.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I think saying "no it isn't" really didn't reflect that this was merely your opinion.
but the comment i was responding to did?

you think a [add:female] q-anon follower who believes the election was stolen, planes are spraying chemtrails, 9/11 was controlled demolition and that balloons are aliens, disagrees with me? fair enough.
 
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gpack28

New Member
Hello, I'm brand new to the site. I found it after reading Mick's book. The book is very helpful and I plan to start utilizing some of the techniques he outlines to start trying to reach my sister. But what do you do if someone you love is entrenched in not just a few, but seemingly ALL of the conspiracy topics? Election fraud, covid, vaccines, 9-11, chemtrails, UFO's, Trump, etc... the list she sent me is 100 items long filled with a lot of topics I've never even heard of. It's overwhelming to figure out where to begin. I had no idea she was even into any of this stuff until recently. I've learned my initial approach with her was the wrong one. I didn't take it seriously and poked fun at what she's been obsessed with the last couple of years. It has strained our relationship and now we barely talk. I'm working on reestablishing communication and trust. And I've learned that humor/shaming is not the way to reach someone this far down the rabbit hole. Anyway, I could go on, but I'd appreciate any direction or advice as this is all very new to me.

Thank you!
I lost my best friend of 30+ years to QAnon (and other conspiracies) last year. I hope your outcome is better than I had with my friend. We haven't spoken in over a year now and I don't think we'll every talk again, unfortunately.

Anyhow, he sent me a ton of conspiracy theory videos and one of them was the Fall of Cabal. I had no idea what it was and when I watched it I knew he was gone. He was always entertaining conspiracy theories (i.e. he believes the carnivore diet is the "one true diet" and everyone should be eating like a carnivore but Big Vegetable is in the pockets of the gov't and hiding the true bliss of eating only meat) but I had no idea just how deep into CT's he was. I was completely unprepared and instantly mocked the video saying it was BS. I wish I would've said "hmm, interesting. I'd like to look into these claims further" and then addressed each claim in discussion with him. I don't know that I would've been successful but at least I could feel good that I tried (in a productive manner at least).

Mendel linked you to some good resources. You can also check out the Driven Progressives debunk of the Fall of Cabal as well. He does a really good job and links to a lot of sources to back him up and debunk the claims in Fall of Cabal. Source: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLxnpEm20Jr7wjGJq7hZpDwXjJ5CvlyiVN


Best of luck to you with your sister.
 

J.d.K

Member
he believes the carnivore diet is the "one true diet" and everyone should be eating like a carnivore but Big Vegetable is in the pockets of the gov't and hiding the true bliss of eating only meat.
wow, just that alone is.. wow.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
@ktrane331 my advice would be to NOT use "progressive" debunks and to look into the claims all on your own. it will sound more authentic and less like you are spewing left wing talking points at her ( just my opinion).
- you are assuming that the person is right-wing? but I've seen an interview with a Bernie supporter who fell into QAnon, it's not a clear issue.

- similarly, you assumed OPs mention of "Trump" was political, when in the conrext of QAnon it most likely means the narrative that Trump was going to arrest the cabal and the "pedophiles" etc. which is bunk independent of what your stance on Trump's politics is

- to debunk everything in a Gish gallop (a pile of BS claims, like that "documentary") is a serious amount of work, and recommending that exposes the person you ask to do that to attrition.

The debunk I recommended is thorough, and reading that along with the original video does two things: a) it prevents the OP from falling in the rabbit hole themselves, and b) there are lots of links to more in-depth evidence if you want to dig deeper . That's why I recommend that over any video debunk.

You don't get any prizes for doing all of the debunks yourself; in fact, metabunk exists to help with that!
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
You don't get any prizes for doing all of the debunks yourself;
this is a specific situation. and since this is America, i am allowed to have my own opinion, thankyou very much.

I already told him/her (s)he shouldnt be doing any political debunking anyway at this point in time. On an upnote, you [both] make me appreciate my own brother a lot more. so there's that.
 

ktrane331

New Member
Wow, I'm really psyched to have all of these responses. I wanted to "like" a lot of them, but maybe I don't have that privilege yet? Anyway, let me clarify a few things.

When I said "Trump" in my list of conspiracies she believed in, I was being vague. She is a big supporter and several of her ct's revolve around his presidency and election loss. A few from her 100-long list...
  • Why Trump stopped paying enormous amounts of money to the World health administration? I know the connections.
  • Why does Biden not have the military launch codes? You know like the ones sitting on Trumps desk in Florida. Are you even aware of how many assassination attempts Trump and his family have had? Good vs. Evil at play here.
  • Why did Trump really reduce funding for NASA? I know. CRAZY.
  • Why did Trump really expand GITMO while in office?
I like the idea of sitting down and watching the Cabal documentary together, but we live in different states. I'm now on episode 2... it's bad. It's like this woman (narrator) is just throwing two handfuls of garbage at a wall to see what sticks. 3+ hours of this is going to be tough.

Just a little bit of background. My sister is conservative-minded, slightly racist, and doesn't really have a large network of people in her life. She is very religious, but has never really gone to church. She has a high school education and had children very young. She's lived in one town her entire life, values her family deeply, and is a fierce mama bear mother of two. I think she's depressed, but would never admit it to me. Politics, news, and the internet are relatively new to her. I know it sounds like I'm degrading her, but I'm really not. She's a good person. Just stating facts.

Anyway, thanks for all of the support. I'm slowly getting into all of this and learning a ton.
 

megafeps

New Member
It's great you're looking to reconnect with her but imho trying to "educate" her will only push her away further. Deirde has raised some good points though. No skin off your back if she feels encouraged trying to convince you, in my experience getting people to talk this way makes them open up about deeper emotional issues that made them believe bunk in the first place. Mocking her is a definite no-no.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
i watched the first 18 mins of that 'debunking' video above. so i can only base this on what he told me was in the movie, but my first big question is 'how the heck does some chick from Holland know so much about the United States? That's weird. I had to turn off the debunking video because he was going on about the Federal Reserve...and it's too boring a topic for a ct or a debunk... so i think Ms. Holland got all her facts from youtube. (my opinion)

He had several mistakes in his debunking vid though, that i hope you don't make.
1. you dont have to make an excuse for everything, especially if the alleged bunk is mostly or partly correct. The vid man does admit this, but don't follow suit when conversing one on one with a conspiracy theorist or a conservative. :)

2. also dont 'debunk' stuff (note: some people think debunk means give an alternate opinion) where the meaning is ambiguous unless you ask your sister first what she thinks the movie claim means. An example, in the debunk vid he talks about Hillary Clinton's email and says the claim that the media did not cover it was bunk. But conservatives also say the media did not cover Hunter Biden's laptop. Obviously the liberal media ran the story but they primarily ran the story as if they were debunking it/claiming it was untrue. They didnt cover it as if it was an important news worthy story. That might be what the Holland woman meant in her movie. So i would ask your sister FIRST how she understands each claim.

Basically ONLY address** very very specific claims (ex The Pope says hell does not exist), that have a conservative debunking source or, in this case, the Pope himself saying that is not true.

The debunker vid man kept using also some logic (twice at least) like "No one OWNS them because they are assigned or elected officials". This may be true but isnt going to convince a cter (or conservative). Because you can "own" people in government positions. We went through 3 years listening to the libs claim Trump was 'owned' by Russia because they have dirt on him.

** Basically i reiterate my original advice. Avoid politics for now. Pick an easier more factual (vs alot of opinion) topic like chemtrails or UFOs or even 9/11. If she realizes she was wrong about contrails being chemtrails, she might start questioning some political sources on her own.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
It's great you're looking to reconnect with her but imho trying to "educate" her will only push her away further.
Has anyone suggested that?

The proposed strategy was
a) reconnect over common ground
b) understand why she's into this
c) maybe: help her to understand why ktrane isn't into it
d) carefully, try to find and implement an exit strategy (e.g. by getting her off CT-inducing and onto more factual media, and by addressing the underlying needs)
 

Radapox

Member
'how the heck does some chick from Holland know so much about the United States? That's weird.
No it isn't. You said it yourself further above: "this is America". The remainder of the planet is very well aware of what's going on over there.
 

J.d.K

Member
No it isn't. You said it yourself further above: "this is America". The remainder of the planet is very well aware of what's going on over there.
I happen to be from Holland aswell. I didn't watch her video (so I can't say anything about that), but I can say that the US is in the news in the Netherlands quite frequently, and let's not forget the effect the US has on the world... dutch soldiers were in Iraq, Afganistan, the key importance of the US dollar in world economy, music, entertaintment, WHO is based in US, Musk, Zuckerburg, Gates, Bezos, Google etc. You're not the most introverted country out there ;), your last president spoke so loud, I didn't need a television to hear him all the way here.
 
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J.d.K

Member
you've studied the history of the Federal Reserve? but point taken, maybe she is just abnormally "well" informed.
Nah, personally I don't know that much about the US. But most likely more than the average US citizen knows of any country in Europe, lol. I did look into how the US got rid of the golden standard.
you're thinking of the CDC.
Ah you're right, United Nations isn't the same as United states, oops. Though the US and Bill Gates are big funders of it, if not the biggest.

Hey and again I didn't watch her video so what do I know.
 
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