What to do when family members believe in bunk ?

WeedWhacker

Senior Member
I hope I wasn't to long with my story. I know it's not very interesting, I just really needed to share it with somebody who would understand.

I too wanted to 'chime-in' and say that your story touched me. Giving "advice" might not be my "strong suit"; but know (and rest assured) that you have empathetic people here....some who actually do have experience, and can be a "touchstone" if you need it.
 
Last edited:

Gary Cook

Active Member
It is hard to help people to think their way out of a conspiracy theory. Few people would admit to being wrong. Especially in public. It is tough to see one of your family believe some false claim from the internet that makes them live in fear and depression.

Although in my experience some of my family I also have the opposite issue in the sense that challenging any status quo is a 'waste of time' or 'too much like effort'.

So I have to deal with both sides of that paradigm with my relatives. Not that I want to create some kind of false dichotomy.
 
Last edited:

Whitebeard

Senior Member.
It is hard to help people to think their way out of a conspiracy theory. Few people would admit to being wrong. Especially in public. It is tough to see one of your family believe some false claim from the internet that makes them live in fear and depression.

Although in my experience some of my family I have the opposite issue with in the sense that challenging any status quo is a 'waste of time' or 'too much like effort'.

I think that applies to most people, I know I can certainly relate to that.

One of the biggest rows I ever had with my father was over the start of the Falklands war, and Maggie Thatchers role in facilitating the political situation that lead to to the Argentine invasion. (Mainly around the withdrawal of the naval survey vessel HMS Endurance from the islands and the British Nationality Act of 1981 (which changed the UK citizenship rights of the Falkland islanders) at the point she was at her lowest in the polls. All against the advise of the Ministry of Defense and the Foreign Office who had been warning for at least two years that to act as such would send a signal to the Argentine ruling Junta that Britain was not interested in the Islands and would trigger an invasion to deflect the internal strife Argentina was then undergoing and help Galtieri cling to power. Norman St John Stevas, writes a good account of the situation in his book 'Two Cities')

Anyway my father, a typical working class torey was claiming the traditional Maggie the heroine line and just couldn't even accept the notion that there may be some truth in the claims (even though they were coming in part at least from then torey insiders) that she 'coat tailed' the situation to save her political backside. It caused a huge row and even now, 30 plus years after the war, and 15 years or so after the row, the whole 'Falklands Thing' is off topic between us for the sake of family unity.

All you can do in this situation, be they at the CT or status quo ends of any debate, is seek sound facts that back up your claims, plant a seed and hope that one day it may bear fruit, and then agree to differ.
 

WeedWhacker

Senior Member
It is hard to help people to think their way out of a conspiracy theory. Few people would admit to being wrong. Especially in public. It is tough to see one of your family believe some false claim from the internet that makes them live in fear and depression.

Although in my experience some of my family I also have the opposite issue in the sense that challenging any status quo is a 'waste of time' or 'too much like effort'.

So I have to deal with both sides of that paradigm with my relatives. Not that I want to create some kind of false dichotomy.

GLAD to see you return "Gary". I haven't had the opportunity to discuss "bunk" with family members....but recently with a "co-worker". Who was about to fall down the "Alex Jones rabbit hole" (trademark pending...)....of course, THAT was a joke.
 

Lisa P

Active Member
Another thing we are contending with is the 'anonymous' people that believe they are living in the Matrix. They seem to take sides and play against each other. It is hard to know who is seriously trying to debunk and who are just there for the game. Some Anon's were at the first & last chemtrail protest I went to. There is not much you can say to anons as they just tell you you are brainwashed. I mentioned how important it was to vote once in a chemtrail group and near had my head bitten off. Only time and experiences will teach these ones but I agree just keep presenting facts and being respectful.
 

E**

Member
Thanks for the reply. I agree what you said about Alex Jones. It really baffles me as to why she likes him. I definitely want to help her, I will keep trying slowly over time. I've tried catching her in better than normal moods to show her some videos and at the very least she didn't get too defensive. Usually when I show her evidence she likes to shut down in a talk to the hand kinda way.

I've tried to pinpoint the time she started all of this and it seems like it was around the time she had more access to the internet than before. Also she started taking Lexapro for depression and anxiety. I have no idea if that might be part of it or not. Maybe she is just more impressionable than some people.

Yeah in my case more access to internet is the thing that snowballed the whole thing. But in your case you might hold out some hope if they are on SSRI's then they aren't listening to everything Jones is saying or they haven't heard him discuss it yet... I would be very careful they don't come off their medicines cold turkey and end up hurting themselves. I wonder how many people that need legitimate medication that... gentleman... has hurt or even killed over his long career that never will be accounted for.

I haven't posted in a long while but I have to rant at how dangerous Alex Jones is. His anti vaccine propoganda are particularly infuriating if you know the science, the man is like the combination of used car salesman and sleazy lawyer everything he says has a kernel of truth which he distorts and spins 100's of times more than mainstream media ever could.

The end goal is to convert people over to his John Birch inspired conservative libertarian "resistance" cult of course (ok it doesn't truly fit in with all the definitions of a cult but it is definitely cultish anyways)

I told my family member when they started this it was all b.s. to suck them into right wing politics and low and behold more than a year later that is what has happened, there is just enough of the horseshoe effect going on that curves it into the extreme left where they originally started to keep them from seeing what it is.

Of course Jones emphatically denies being right or left which is how he sucks you in. He just steals bits from smarter philosophies and arguments and adds them to his own. I swear the man reads all the debunking about himself and infowars and then reincorporates it into his own arguments so he can appear smarter. He's very sly.
 

WeedWhacker

Senior Member
...but I have to rant at how dangerous Alex Jones is.

This is what I was tangentially referring to in another thread, where I mentioned that I had an opportunity to inter-act with a person face-to-face who is an Alex Jones 'follower'. This is a slow process....takes time.
 

Jeremy

Active Member
I admittedly just ignore them whenever I see them post bunk on FB. I've been tempted to debate them whenever they post the anti-vaxxer stuff, however (my brother and sister-in-law have an autistic son and have been snookered into this, in spite of the fact that autism runs in my dad's side of the family, even before modern vaccines existed).
 

thoughtform

New Member
I used to have arguments about this kind of stuff until I came to the realisation that I love my family no matter what stories they believe in and I don't let it get to me anymore. It's not worth the arguing in my experience.


Well, what year do you attribute as the startpoint of modern vaccines?
 

Whitebeard

Senior Member.
Well, what year do you attribute as the startpoint of modern vaccines?
I say 1796 when Edward Jenner published the results of his famous cow-pox / small pox experiments. But he was only following and expanding on the work of others. John Fewster published similar results in 1765, after reading an even earlier paper dating from around 1741, but for various reasons never followed up on it.

Even the 1741 paper at the royal society was based on observations of the practice of variolation as practiced across much of the Islamic world and believed to originate from 15th century China.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Well, what year do you attribute as the startpoint of modern vaccines?
considering he is specifically referring to autism, I would think he means before thimerisol was used as a preservative and/or before the (MMR) vaccines were grouped into one shot.
 

MikeC

Closed Account
Many medical practices of ancient-medieval times are known to have been effective - but IMO knowing the reasons WHY something is effective is what seperates modern and "traditional" proctices of all types.
 

Trigger Hippie

Senior Member.
I used to have arguments about this kind of stuff until I came to the realisation that I love my family no matter what stories they believe in and I don't let it get to me anymore. It's not worth the arguing in my experience.

There is a practical aspect to the arguments that needs to be considered.

For instance, you have a family member who decides not to vaccinate her child at all. After she spends a weekend at a family water park she wants to drop in for a visit. At the same time you're in close contact with your wife's 99 year old grandmother who has cancer and a compromised immune system.

To me the solution seems self evident except that the family member doesn't see the problem. "Measles? Who gets measles these days? Besides, if you're vaccinated you don't need to worry about exposure to unvaccinated children, right?"

I'd say that's worth an argument no matter how much you love your family.
 

Jeremy

Active Member
I used to have arguments about this kind of stuff until I came to the realisation that I love my family no matter what stories they believe in and I don't let it get to me anymore. It's not worth the arguing in my experience.



Well, what year do you attribute as the startpoint of modern vaccines?

I had the MMR vaccine in mind.
 

Santa's sidekick

Senior Member
I used to have arguments about this kind of stuff until I came to the realisation that I love my family no matter what stories they believe in and I don't let it get to me anymore. It's not worth the arguing in my experience.
It can be very difficult to avoid arguments. I have several close relatives who are members of a rather cult-ish religious group which determines much of their lives and worldviews. It's almost impossible to avoid arguments when I'm in close contact with them.
 

Joseph

New Member
I think the "spread" of autism is due to increased awareness. That and the fact that diseases that were under the autism umbrella are now just labeled autism. It's highly unfortunate that vaccinations have taken the blame.
 

Joseph

New Member
I used to have arguments about this kind of stuff until I came to the realisation that I love my family no matter what stories they believe in and I don't let it get to me anymore. It's not worth the arguing in my experience.

I pretty much take that path because of what I know about mental illness. Right now my brother is out of the hospital and listening to him, he sounds exactly like he did before the diagnosis. There's a good chance that he will never gain insight and he will blame this on government experiments in mind control. I just try and love him and hope that he will gain insight.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I think the "spread" of autism is due to increased awareness. That and the fact that diseases that were under the autism umbrella are now just labeled autism. It's highly unfortunate that vaccinations have taken the blame.
Not exactly. but kinda close enough. kinda.

but yes it is a shame vaccinations have taken the blame.
 

Jeremy

Active Member
I've recently been doing passive-aggressive trolling of bunk-believing family members of sorts on Facebook (liking various skeptic/debunking pages and certain photos, which is all visible to them).
 

guyonearth

New Member
I guess I should consider myself lucky. I was raised by a single mom (father died when I was 3) who was a very common-sense type of person who didn't go in for any nonsense at all (though we did have to go to church every week). I don't remember anybody in my family buying into weird ideas or conspiracies at all. Sure, they were a little suspicious of the government and some elected officials, but they always voted, paid their taxes and had every intention of collecting their social security. I guess I was luckier than most.
 

guyonearth

New Member
Actually I think most people are not really into conspiracy theories. There's just quite a few that are.
http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/2011/PPP_Release_National_ConspiracyTheories_040213.pdf
Interesting data, but it's worth pointing out that, in my opinion, conspiracy theories as a phenomenon only became widespread with the advent of first, the Internet, and second, the explosion of cable TV channels that produce the miasma of pseudo-documentaries which, while fueled to a certain extent by the internet, are able to reach an even larger audience that doesn't spend all day surfing conspiracy websites or youtube. I've got the feeling that if that poll was taken in, let's say 1978 with questions that were timely to that era, the "dos" would have been a significantly smaller proportion. I remember that era really well, and to be "into" the fringe back then, you had to hang out in libraries a lot looking for obscure books, you had to buy lots of UFO and mystery magazines and read all the small print ads in back, you had to be willing to spend a lot of money ordering books and pamphlets from them, in other words, you had to really go looking. All you need to do now is turn on your computer/tablet/phone, or just watch Fox News.
 

tadaaa

Senior Member
those Do's look pretty high to me, 1 in 4 or 5 !!!!!

Although some of the questions seem broad and open to interpretation

Aliens as in Men In Black, or extra terrestrial life?
 

guyonearth

New Member
those Do's look pretty high to me, 1 in 4 or 5 !!!!!

Although some of the questions seem broad and open to interpretation

Aliens as in Men In Black, or extra terrestrial life?

I think when you mention aliens to people in that context, it's definitely with the image of the "Grays", little green men, etc.
 

jakesteele

New Member
Often, close family members will reveal one or another closely held ideas.....that somehow fall into the category of "un-substanciated" claims....or other types of "suspicious beliefs".
No one is speaking of religion claims, but those that are often conversational claims of medical cures and ideals which are largely unproven in the scientific community.

I don't know if this happens within your family gatherings.....but it does within mine......to a small but significant amount.
I always tell someone to thoroughly study 'both' sides with an emotionally detached and objective mind and then come to a conclusion, if possible.
 

Moses3D

New Member
Hey all,

I posted a while back about my dad being a believer in conspiracy theories (HAARP, dutchsinse, etc.), but I was unaware of the true state of his psyche. Things have devolved into a sort of gang stalking situation. I don't like bringing mental illness into the picture but I truly believe that he is suffering from Persecutory Delusional Disorder at the very least though it could possibly be schizophrenia-paranoid type.

Allow me to explain. He had been living in California when all this started. At first, he would say that his computer and phone had been hacked and tell me to watch my phone as well as my wife's to make they hadn't been hacked as well. I sort of shrugged this off as it didn't seem too strange. However, claims started getting more bizarre, like he was being followed and being sent encrypted messages in his email. Finally, enough was apparently enough and he packed up all his belongings in his pickup and drove from California to my home in Springfield, Illinois. It wasn't until then that I realized the full extent of his problems. He believes the prime perpetrators behind these acts to be two of his ex-girlfriends (I know how that sounds). One's initials happen to be "TL" and works for Level Three Communications. This is important because he believes he is being followed by her trucks, which are marked either "TL" or "LT" on the front, back, or side. I believe this is called "loose association," common with schizophrenia type disorders. In addition, he claims to be able to hear what he calls RAVON waves (possibly an acronym, I don't know) which are used to track him. Also, even when his phone is off, he claims that it can still be used to listen in on him. I once saw him talking to his phone to someone he called Kumesh, or KuMesh; apparently one of his stalkers.

After his visit, he continued on to the Chicago area where his brothers and sisters live. I should note, they have been dealing with this for much longer than I have. They did everything they could to convince him to seek help, to no avail. Finally, after a particularly nasty confrontation where he accused his brother of spying on him, they decided to seek a court ordered evaluation. He was taken into custody and evaluated and found not to be a threat to himself or others so he was released after 24 hours. My guess is that he didn't mention any of the stalking subjects during his stay. Unfortunately, his release confirmed to him both that he doesn't need help and his brother is truly trying to spy on him. Of course now he has basically disowned his family and wants to move down to be near me and my pregnant wife, which I can't say I'm terribly comfortable with.

So that's the short version of the story. I'm not sure how I can now convince him that he needs help. Nor am I sure how I can keep him from coming around until he gets that help. Any suggestions would be most appreciated.
 

Joseph

New Member
Unfortunately Moses it may have to be a situation like my brothers, if mental illness is truly the culprit. My brother has been in and out of the hospital I think 4 times now. Currently he is living at a halfway house type of place. He seems to be doing good but I think he will always believe in bunk. Hopefully your father and my brother reach a happy medium where they can believe in bunk but not let it affect their lives.
 
So that's the short version of the story. I'm not sure how I can now convince him that he needs help. Nor am I sure how I can keep him from coming around until he gets that help. Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

Sorry to hear of your family's tribulations with your father. Sounds like your father's belief in CT's was symptomatic of larger mental issues.
Unfortunately Moses it may have to be a situation like my brothers, if mental illness is truly the culprit.

Let me explain - my BIL also went through a complete mental collapse when he was older. Poor guy made a good living as a commodities trader, had a nice house in an uppity-type community, nice family. Then - something - happened. Started losing money in commodities (long, unnecessary story ending with) being released from prison, he was basically shunned by all the family members he had conned out of money, ourselves included. After spending a couple of years on the streets of a medium sized town, denying his mental problems even existed and refusing to do anything to help him deal with them, he died in his sleeping bag camped out on the town's library steps at the age of 50.

I laud you, Moses, for trying to help him, but you must realize your father has to do almost all the heavy lifting himself, and this may not happen. So please, help him out as best you can, but make sure you protect yourself and your family from the effects of your father not coming to his senses. BIL's family got too involved in doing the heavy lifting for him, and it took it's toll on them - we had a memorial service for his once-promising daughter a few months back. She died at age 38.
 

Moses3D

New Member
So please, help him out as best you can, but make sure you protect yourself and your family from the effects of your father not coming to his senses.

We (myself and my aunts and uncle) have taken measures to protect ourselves. It was terribly difficult to tell him that if he wants to be around the family anymore, including his soon to be born grandson, he MUST get treatment. It seems harsh, but my first priority must be my family. However, a glimmer of hope emerged not long after I cut that last family life line. He approached his brother, to whom he said he would never speak to again, and the two of them came to the conclusion together that his "wires" are off and his life is in disarray. It remains to be seen whether he will actually seek treatment, but it would appear that he at least acknowledges there is some sort of psychiatric issue.
 

Spectrar Ghost

Senior Member.
Good. We all have to start somewhere.

I can't imagine going through what I went through as an adolescent for the first time as an adult, and that was just bipolar. It must be horribly disorienting to have your life come down around your ears once you get used to it.

You and your family seem to be doing what you can; hopefully things continue to improve.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
We (myself and my aunts and uncle) have taken measures to protect ourselves. It was terribly difficult to tell him that if he wants to be around the family anymore, including his soon to be born grandson, he MUST get treatment. It seems harsh, but my first priority must be my family. However, a glimmer of hope emerged not long after I cut that last family life line. He approached his brother, to whom he said he would never speak to again, and the two of them came to the conclusion together that his "wires" are off and his life is in disarray. It remains to be seen whether he will actually seek treatment, but it would appear that he at least acknowledges there is some sort of psychiatric issue.
ive seen quite a few blogs, websites that deal with families dealing with schzophrenia, give advice on how to deal with the 'afflicted. i have no reason to think thats what he has but delusion and feelings of being 'persecuted' etc are the same it sounds.
But dont discount physicians, seriously. If you have a decent, level headed physician they are familiar with many 'psychiatric' issues, and they often prescribe the milder medications without psychiatric input. Just a thought, as i think people get very offensive if they here "treatment" or "psychiatrist", where as "lets get a full physical and talk to the doctor to see if there may be something physical causing these feelings" is alot less threatening to start off. And physicians (if they are any good) have more 'training' on how to nonconfrontationally suggest seeing a shrink.
 

Moses3D

New Member
ive seen quite a few blogs, websites that deal with families dealing with schzophrenia, give advice on how to deal with the 'afflicted. i have no reason to think thats what he has but delusion and feelings of being 'persecuted' etc are the same it sounds.

I agree that it is definitely some sort of schizophrenia spectrum disorder, as there seems to be some auditory hallucinations included as well, although not voices, just sounds. One strong possibility is Persecutory Delusional Disorder. I would be interested to know if you can recommend any of those blogs or websites.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I agree that it is definitely some sort of schizophrenia spectrum disorder, as there seems to be some auditory hallucinations included as well, although not voices, just sounds. One strong possibility is Persecutory Delusional Disorder. I would be interested to know if you can recommend any of those blogs or websites.
sorry i dont recommend anything "medical" oriented unless i'm super well versed in the area of discussion and ive done massive research. my only recommendation is ask your physician for advice and if you want you can do a consultation with psychiatrists (youd have to pay out of pocket) that have experience with those symptoms and get some direction from one of them. I would say to be careful as a laymen sticking "labels" on him. I dont know anything really about old people dementia... but maybe its early alzheimers? type thing. i could see that presenting to the patient as 'the government following me' if they dont understand what is happening.
 

Moses3D

New Member
I would say to be careful as a laymen sticking "labels" on him.

I'm definitely aware of the risk and freely open to correction. Dementia is something I haven't considered, but would make sense as there seems to be some memory problems, although it could be selective memory honestly. Regardless, the issue is simply to get him to get help and be truthful about his symptoms. He was of course evaluated by court order as I said above, but there is no was he was truthful about his experiences. I find it difficult to believe that a psychiatrist, upon hearing the things he has told the family, would give him a clean bill of health.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I'm definitely aware of the risk and freely open to correction. Dementia is something I haven't considered, but would make sense as there seems to be some memory problems, although it could be selective memory honestly. Regardless, the issue is simply to get him to get help and be truthful about his symptoms. He was of course evaluated by court order as I said above, but there is no was he was truthful about his experiences. I find it difficult to believe that a psychiatrist, upon hearing the things he has told the family, would give him a clean bill of health.
i doubt a physician would either.

Again i'm in no way suggesting any particular 'disorder' here... esp since reading this checklist i suffer from all of them at times :) but its not due to Alzheimers

az.PNG

http://www.alz.org/national/documents/checklist_10signs.pdf

I think he would most likely be MORE truthful about his symptoms if he didnt feel threatened, and physicians (hopefully) are not threatening. They might even think "hhmm we dont know for sure but he might have mild alzheimers" and hook him up with support that is all peaches and cream and believing (as support people ARE with alzheimers) and that may be all he needs. ?
 
Thread starter Related Articles Forum Replies Date
JFDee New York Times: Talking to family members fallen for conspiracy beliefs Practical Debunking 5
Mick West Shooting of Judge Esther Salas's Family Current Events 1
Mick West Contrails Hidden In 1950s and 1960s Family Photos Images and Videos: Contrails, Skies, and Aviation 2
Mick West Debunked: Cooper/Copper family ghost photo UFOs, Aliens, Monsters, and the Paranormal 127
Joe FBI report: Florida family had ties to people linked to 9/11 attacks 9/11 0
BlueCollarCritic German Gov Kidnaps & Detains 14yr old Girl For disturbing sense of family Solidarity Conspiracy Theories 23
Mick West Debunked: Boston Marathon Family Guy Prediction Boston Marathon Bombings 29
Clock The members of Metabunk are a "Disinformation Group" General Discussion 18
Mick West Welcome Thread - New Members Post Here General Discussion 2009
T Is it less rational to believe in several conspiracy theories than only one? Conspiracy Theories 31
Mick West TFTRH #30 - Tom: 9/11 - Why We Believe and Change Tales From the Rabbit Hole Podcast 9
Steve Funk Does Guy McPherson believe in chemtrails? [No] Contrails and Chemtrails 21
Leifer Erin Brokovich does not believe in chemtrails. Contrails and Chemtrails 64
Pete Tar Debunking just makes people believe the bunk - 'motivated reason' Practical Debunking 67
Mick West Greek Survey suggest 1 in 3 Greeks believe they are being sprayed Contrails and Chemtrails 3
Jimbo 12 of the Weirder Things Americans Still Believe Conspiracy Theories 31
Leifer Citizen Journalism...what to believe ? General Discussion 0
Mat Reasons to believe in Chemtrails Contrails and Chemtrails 9
FreiZeitGeist FB: Airline Pilots Who Believe that Chemtrails are Real Contrails and Chemtrails 28
F4Jock Why do people believe? General Discussion 83
Dan Wilson Why do people believe conspiracies? General Discussion 86
Mick West Do you believe in any paranormal or supernatural abilities? General Discussion 106
George B Poll . . .What makes people who believe in the Chemtrail conspiracy tick. . ?. . Choo Contrails and Chemtrails 76
George B I am a Chemtrail Advocate . . . I believe there is an Aerosol Injection Program Contrails and Chemtrails 1316
Mick West Debunked: "A conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists" (Hoover) Quotes Debunked 116
tryblinking How many people actually believe in 'chemtrails'? Contrails and Chemtrails 2
Pogopoint99 Does Rosalind Peterson believe in chemtrails? Contrails and Chemtrails 17
Steve Andrews How I came to believe and disbelieve in chemtrails Escaping The Rabbit Hole 6
Steve Andrews Chemtrails and other conspiracy theories I don't believe Conspiracy Theories 3
Related Articles





























Related Articles

Top