1. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    @Stefan I don't know how the culture is in Germany, but here in Florida, particularly, there is a large aging population. They have fallen for many, many phone and internet scams. The Government has had to implement legislation to try to stop older people getting ripped off. There are many programs available now to teach older people about internet and phone scams. The police are making more PSAs (public service announcements) to warn older residents, even in my state up North, about con artists and scams.

    So while all ages can fall for bunk, it seems to me that older people new to the internet are particularly vulnerable. I think because they are just not expecting it. I told my mom about "trolls" and she was looking at me like I was making it all up!, she just can't comprehend why people would spend time doing stuff like that.
  2. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    My experience of taking my father to many (typical) allopathic doctor's visits..... my father will mention to the doctor that he has found (on-line) herbal remedies.
    Usually the doctor will say one or few of these things... "don't believe everything on the internet" and, "stay off the internet"... or, "you can take those supplements, it will likely do no harm"..... but, "keep taking your pharmacological prescriptions, don't stop those". He has some serious heart med 'scripts, that are essential, and mandatory.
    My father has not yet put aside the "mandatory" meds, and replaced then with herbal cures.... thankfully.

    The one area he has actually went counter to a doctor's recommendations, is with using herbal cures for his prostate problems. There are so many of these on the net..... and to him, they sound convincing.
    Father recently told me he "needed" to get a special foot and leg cream for dry/chapped skin, especially geared for diabetics. It turns out it is a homeopathic product which he learned about from a clickbait advert. I read the ingredients, and it contained the typical skin moisturizers found in any skin softener..... chief ingredient was Canola oil and some glyceryl stearates..... plus some homeopathic dilutions.....and it's $25 for a 30 day supply.
    If this product makes him feel better, then that's OK.
    I showed him several videos on what Homeopathy really is, but he wasn't very interested or impressed. He was more impressed with the positive reviews posted on the product's own website.
    I even showed him the FDA warning letter that was levied against the product's website, stating that the site used "cures" and "treats" in an un-regulatory manner..... but with no change in his beliefs about the product.

    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
  3. cloudspotter

    cloudspotter Senior Member

    Did you try calculating what cost you could put the ingredients together for? If he's getting ripped off then he might start to take notice
  4. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    I tried, but his mind is too open, and his bank acct is able to pay. ....lol ?
    He tends to put way-too much credence on what is >easily< found online, and much lesser importance on my advice. (or other critical views of such products).
    The product.... https://www.magnilife.com/product/magnilife-db-pain-relieving-foot-cream/
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
  5. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    I want to restate, that this is a small problem for him (and any crusade I might engage an argument with him).
    He is stubborn, but I need to "pick my battles".... and this is an example of one small issue.
    But eventually many small issues can lead to a bigger issue, and battle. He is a sweet man, but entirely stubborn, and naive.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Yeah, it's hard to get worked up about that. It's going to help his feet, and and it's not going to break the bank. Pick you battles.

    It's good that you did that though. You don't want the homeopathic part getting any credit. Did you explain that specifically for these ingredients? A touch of ground up honeybees?

  7. fmosm

    fmosm Member

    Sometimes you just have to respect people's opinions. Arguing in a family environment is not healthy, if you can have a discussion about something that's fine, but if it starts to get distressing, especially for older people, it's best just to drop the subject.

    I can't convince my mother that cannabis is medicinal, healthier than tobacco and safer to be legal than illegal, and that it is less detrimental than alcohol, no matter how much I talk about it, so eventually it just becomes distressing for her and ruins her day. So for a healthy family relationship you just have to accept difference of opinion as a fact of life.

    Unless we're talking about vulnerable people getting scammed, like someone has already mentioned is a serious issue, then there really is no harm in people believing what they want to believe, as long as it doesn't harm them selves or others.

    Bunk or no bunk family is family, and if you've got love for one another, being aggressive in trying to bring down the walls of someone's ideas really just isn't worth it. Better to be a part of that loving home and have that support than discuss things that people have no interest in discussing.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Whitebeard

    Whitebeard Senior Member

    Agreeing to differ only really works if both sides agree to differ. I HAD a very close friend, known him for years, that jumped feet first into the rabbit hole. I tried the reasonable debate thing and got nowhere. Tried the let it lay option, and refused to be drawn into arguement, but that only inflamed the issue, because I didn't counter him, I was tacitly agreeing with him (at least from his point of view) and when I said I didn't agree was told I was sheeple, had to wake up and then accused of being a shill. He wouldn't shut up and let it be. Hence I broke off a 20 plus year friendship. As it was a friendship I could walk away, it was still upsetting, but could easily be done. Blood ties are a whole new level of murky. I really do feel for his family, three of his four brothers have now disowned him, his wife has left him, and it's only his son who has any contact these days, and he keep that to a minimum. Bottom line is, family or no, unadressed issues, when swept under a carpet can fester and rip relationships apart.
    Depends what you mean by harm, see above for a lot of harm.
  9. fmosm

    fmosm Member

    I think quite commonly though mental health issues are a huge factor, especially in illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, where delusional thoughts really take hold of somebody and can rapidly escalate if they're not treated. The problem in America is healthcare, it costs I don't know, $100 to visit a doctor? Let alone the massive expense of seeing psychiatrists, psychologists, paying for medication, etc. I imagine the number of people who visits doctors in a particular state [take your pick] is probably less than that of people in the UK where healthcare is free.

    I'm not saying this is the case with your friend, but you never know where underlying issues might be present. If not only you, but the rest of his friends and even his own family abandoned him, it kind of demonstrates my point, that being aggressive in trying to prove a point, no matter which way round, destroys a family dynamic. Unfortunately for you it was him who was aggressive with you in his bunk ideas and trying to convince you. And more likely than not if it had an effect on his entire family, it might have been something a lot deeper than him simply believing in it.

    My cousin has a severe case of Aspergers and ADHD, at one point he had this huge episode of ranting on about the federal reserve, the illuminati and money and shared wealth, and we all know his type of behaviour, but his other issues escalated and much like your friend our family have pretty much disowned him, for separate reasons, and now he's on a spiritual adventure around the world doing god knows what, from what I've heard from him being this figure of enlightenment. And I know that no amount of arguing or trying to convince him otherwise would have stopped his behaviour, it was better to not engage and just let him stew, because that's what was necessary for the dynamic of the family, especially my grandparents.
  10. Whitebeard

    Whitebeard Senior Member

    This / was in the UK where healthcare is free at point of contact. But he refused all approaches and pleas to seek help, it was all 'big pharma this, and NHS = NWO that'.
    He had alway been 'looking for something', had dabbled in happy clappy christianity at one point and Buddhism at another. But then he discovered David Icke... His religious period was not a problem, just the conspiracy pit he jumped into. It was as if he was seeking his own echo chamber, where all hi biases were confirmed and he just couldn't handle anybody who disagreed with him. It was beyond sad, watch slide over three years from being one of the nicest guys you could meet, into someone you couldn't talk to in fear of triggering a massive rant and a bucket of not so veiled insults.
    Aspergers and autism I don't think is really an issue. I've first hand experience of people with those conditions. My newphew has Aspergers, and his thing is military history, what he don't know about British infantry weapons from the musket onwards isn't worth knowing. I have another good friend with the condition, had his focus is music - he is a talented multi-instrumentalist, a great song writer and fronts a superb punk band. Even my partner is 'on the spectrum' as the say,with a great love of ancient history (and hardcore punk!!). People with experience of dealing folks with autism and aspergers know, or learn to know how to talk to them and handle them, and understand any obsession they may have, cutting slack where needed.

    However in my friends case there was no known underlaying condition, and yes people can develop mental illness at any point in their lives, but I am not going to collate conspiracy belief with mental illness. I have known a fair few folks with various 'mental conditions'. I myself have undergone a life long battle with clinical depression, but I can count those with conditions who have sunk into the rabbit hole on the fingers of one hand and still have a few fingers left over. My friend was always a 'bit of a stubbon git', and could be very single minded when wanted to be, but always up for debate and was willing to change his view point when proved wrong. But when he got into David Ickes thrall it was if all his reason and critical thinking skills had been junked over night almost. Sad, but there you go.
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Mechanik

    Mechanik Member

    New member here so hope I'm not out of line. I literally signed up to comment on this post (truncated above).

    I have an acquaintance who is under long term treatment for bipolar disorder. He is easily swayed by counter-factual conspiracy theories and is easily (to me) fixated on particular ideas, concepts, or even crusade-like rants for or against things he believes deeply. However, he is fully aware of his condition and when his friends and acquaintances point out that he's being obsessive, he stops and reconsiders his actions, and often moderates his position or rhetoric on the issue.

    To be perfectly clear, he quite often has a very good point, it's just his approach is not what most of us would consider "normal", like aggressive arguments around very little little factual context.

    My point is that when properly treated, delusional thoughts can be controlled, but I fully agree that diagnosis and treatment is spotty and expensive. I've lost two friends who were fully convinced about chemtrails and I simply couldn't get beyond what I saw as a delusion and stopped associating with them to avoid conflict. In retrospect, I regret my actions in distancing myself from their friendship, and I've grown more tolerant over time, but it's tough to hang out with individuals with such a divergent world view.

    Anyway, thanks for the Forum.
    • Like Like x 3
  12. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member


    It doesn't automatically have to be. I'm an atheist, but some of my friends and relatives believe that some kind of supernatural all-powerful old dude runs the world from heaven, and there's quite a variety of these beliefs. Polar opposite world views. But my religious friends and I both accept that we have different views. Sometimes we talk about them. You don't HAVE to challenge someone's views just because they are different to yours. You can discuss, exchange information, steer around the things that make either of you angry.

    What sort of things led to the conflict you mention?
  13. Mechanik

    Mechanik Member

    Thanks for the welcome, Mick.

    I like the question and the religion comparison, as it made me think. The main reason in reading this thread was to get ideas on how I could have dealt with situations differently, rather than my default reactions.

    There was a weekly get-together and this guy and I would talk and joke throughout a fair portion of the 3 hour event and did so for several years. We were not close friends, but I enjoyed socializing every week. One day at sunset in the Angeles National Forest foothills, I commented on the beautiful sunset and he said something to the effect that it was too bad that the chemtrails were ruining the atmosphere. I thought he was joking and made a comment about how poorly the population-control thing was going. At that point he pulled out his phone and started showing me websites and photos explaining the whole "thing". I did not have a clue how to handle this exchange and reacted at future events by avoiding all but superficial contact, afraid that he would bring it up again. In hindsight, I made a snap judgement about his mental health, and this thread helped me understand why I was off base in that judgement. He was wrong about a specific topic but that didn't make him a different person from the guy I knew for years.

    If I had just let him know that I didn't want to talk about chemtrails, he probably would have stopped and I would have been more comfortable around him.
  14. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    I have a couple of friends like this.
    ....people who have these thoughts and opinions, but dont always share them with everybody. Not even family.

    You could either feel "privileged" to hear their theories, or feel "nucinced"....or anything in between.

    I try to gauge what they say.
    Are they serious and progressive or proactive ??
    Or are they somewhat suspicious and inquisitive ?
    ....about the idea.
    How much time do they invest in the idea ?
    How much time do they invest in it, with you ?
  15. fmosm

    fmosm Member

    Personally I've never gave up on my family or friends, talking about issues with my cousin above ties into this. I my self am a very good listener, I love to talk trust me lol but if people have something to say or get off their chest I'm there and patient to listen to what they want to say say, and when I say listen I mean listen. I had a friend (we've naturally just drifted apart) who used to spark very misinformed and nonsensical conversations, and present the most bunky videos you've ever seen to express his views with very little facts. But I still stand that in most cases (where this isn't an issue that actually harms someone) just letting them burn them selves out really is the best way.

    Because generally most people who are neurotypical understand things like social interaction, the art of conversation, body language, and things like that. Most people would have the skills to recognise that someone is becoming tired of a conversation, that they are changing a conversation, or that they're ignoring you or subtlety telling you to "stfu". One of my other friends would literally just say "stop talking s**t!" and that would be the end of it.

    The worst thing to do is to engage them in nonsensical conversation, because then you become an enabler, you become a rock for them to reinforce their ideas and a channel in which they can express it, you become a pillar of reaffirmation.

    There are some examples in here that are really serious, such as self medication, those issues are really serious and require strict intervention. But for your average person where their beliefs don't harm anyone, just let them think what they want to think, it doesn't mean they can't live productive lives. My friend was a care worker, it didn't stop him from caring for people, my cousin was adventurous, it hasn't stopped him from travelling the world and doing what most of us will never do in our life time.

    It's no different to being religious. You can't go around the town linking everyone to metabunk to convince them that God isn't real because they talk about it in the bar, because they're not going to listen to you, and they're going to continue on with their lives regardless of your opinion. This is why I think where in most cases where things are really bad, there are mental health issues at play, or drugs and alcohol, that prevent people from thinking properly. How many people have lost their friends and family due to addiction? It's exactly the same thing.

    Someone who pushes someone away doesn't understand how hard they are pushing. I think those are much deeper and more underlying issues than the subject of conversation, because the same applies to relationships, addiction, all sorts of different scenarios. Often enough it comes back to the issue of enabling, be it partaking in conversation, entertaining unnecessary arguments, or giving people money for drugs, the act of trying to be an opposing force by trying to help a person's behaviour inadvertently becomes a force of attraction instead, and only serves as a means of spiralling them deeper into their own negativity.

    Thus is just my personal experience of course.
    • Informative Informative x 2
  16. Gib

    Gib New Member

    Homeopathy is indeed harmless, unless it stops the sufferer from getting medical advice for a non-psychosomatic condition.
  17. Gib

    Gib New Member

    Ball lightning is such a random and unrepeatable event that lacks a full scientific explanation. We still don't know how life started, in fact biology is full of mysteries, e.g. morphogenesis. You could call these phenomena miraculous, but they just illustrate the limits of current scientific knowledge. I like to say miracles are all around us - look a how a tiny seed grows into a huge tree!
  18. Gib

    Gib New Member

    This underlying belief is also the basis for religions (for "elite" read "God" or "gods").
  19. JayC

    JayC New Member

    I should post here as part of how I got tangled up in this stuff is from an in-law that believes in a few conspiracy theories. A big one for him is the Global Financial Reset which doesn’t seem to be very popular. I can’t find a thread here about it, maybe I’ll start one.

    He also believes in HAARP causing hurricanes and earth quakes. And that there are multiple HAARP facilities. It’s frustrating to listen to, and I feel bad if I shut him down because he really is a nice guy and he really does believe he’s helping by telling everyone he knows.

    I’m still figuring out how to cope with this stuff. It’s really hard to get into it as it all sounds so paranoid and straight up bonkers. Trying to talk about it rationally is difficult probably because I don’t respect these ideas very much. I’m not sure how to cultivate some basic respect for these beliefs.
  20. LREKing

    LREKing New Member

    I’m not sure how to cultivate some basic respect for these beliefs.

    Concentrate on having basic respect for your in-law as a person and try not to engage him. Once you've got it straight in your head, you don't need to fix everyone around you.
  21. JayC

    JayC New Member

    You’re right about that.

    I generally don’t engage him in this stuff. He still tries to get me to though. He’ll usually just start talking about stuff and then I find myself stuck on how to respond. I don’t really want to rattle his cage, I’d just like it if he didn’t rattle mine!
  22. Marin B

    Marin B Active Member

    I hear about that one nearly every week.

    It's difficult. I usually try to change the conversation to a non-conspiracy topic that I know is of interest to my family member. Good luck.
  23. Andy123

    Andy123 New Member

    I have had a good read through this forum and it is encouraging to know I'm sort of on the right track with dealing with a family member.

    They have become obsessed with their theories, all gained from youtube and similarly easily accessed sources. They announced at the start of the year that they now firmly believe in an end of the world scenario as described in the bible and have taken on a belief in God as a consequence. Please forgive me if religious talk is not permitted on here but I am new here and will not dwell on this aspect. As background info, there is no history of religious beliefs in the family or upbringing.

    What does not really gel with a religious conversion is the method by which it has been arrived at. They say that they believe in multiple theories and that they all point to the scenario mentioned. This extends to NWO, lizards in pyramids, Illuminati, aliens acting as angels in the end times, planet nibiru, solar masking devices to hide multiple planets in proximity to earth, hidden codes in the media, Obama being the antichrist, you name it ! ....... I could list more but the list grows daily and I honestly struggle to keep up.
    Daily news all seems to fuel the belief no matter how tenuous the link or even if there is one. Recent earthquakes in California being last night's "evidence".

    They set about telling everyone in their life about these theories and this has resulted in their relationship breaking down, their business collapsing, and generally alienating everyone around them. We are all very sure that this is linked to a mental health condition but have struggled to get any help to them for this. As an adult they must seek help themselves, and they see no need to seek help for their new enlightened position.

    I'm currently looking into the psychology of conspiracy theories and how people come to them. A common theme seems to be a search for a type of control of ideas to make up for a lack of control or direction in their own lives. This certainly seems to fit with the case here.

    They are often compelled to talk for hours about all the things they look at but always blame others for bringing it up, when in reality it is always initiated by them. We have all made it clear that we don't share the beliefs but do listen when we can. I always try to steer the conversation back to them instead of talking about the details of the theories. How does it make them feel ? Do they think it is a positive or negative influence in their lives ? Will they be fact checking or looking at other viewpoints ? I try not to challenge their ideas too much as this can get them irate when they realise that they don't really have an argument, but they can always ditch that particular item and move onto the next one which saves them having to explain.

    They also have some "get outs" prepared such as "All this might not be true" and "I'd show you all the videos and you'd be able to see I'm right, but you probably don't have the time and you're probably too rigid in your established beliefs to understand anyway"

    The current state of things is that they are utterly convinced by their views, are not fact checking anything, and are daily looking up "news" from chosen sources. I believe the "news" being looked up is youtube channels that use mainstream news as evidence for particular points of view. I'm getting to the point of a loss with helping methods apart from damage limitation in their crumbling life.

    The most worrying development has been to learn they have been telling their children, aged 6 and 9, about their new beliefs and even shown them videos to back up their claims. This is obviously extremely concerning and it has become clear that decisions might have to be made that severely affect lives.

    Any help anyone can offer would be amazing, and thanks for reading such a wordy intro.
  24. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    It's a real challenge to try to address such a long and growing list of ever-changing ideas. Do you know if they get their info from one main channel?

    It sounds like they are still in their initial downward spiral into the rabbit hole. You're doing the right thing by keeping communication open with them.

    That makes it very difficult, and I wish I had some better advice. But I think you being a connection to reality for them is quite important.
    • Like Like x 1
  25. Andy123

    Andy123 New Member

    As far as I know their info is mostly youtube based, but they are a bit coy about sharing sources openly. They are more interested in telling me about their take on what they have seen rather than the actual source. I have asked if they are involved with any internet communities that share their ideas and they have said they are not. I have warned against this.

    I fear their rabbit hole is quite cemented now. It's been 6 months since they "came out" and we really don't know how long the research was taking place before that. The fact that they have felt the need to tell everyone in their life seems to demonstrate their commitment, but I remain hopeful.

    Health care has been forthcoming to deal with recent anxiety attacks and such, but they make no connection with their beliefs and their current fragile state of mind and emotions. The theories have reluctantly been mentioned by them to their doctor who did not take them seriously at all. We are currently chasing up mental healthcare but are told the system is underfunded and oversubscribed.
  26. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    what does "they"s partner feel about this? or is this a single parent situation?
  27. Andy123

    Andy123 New Member

    The mother and father are separated, they share responsibility and time with the kids. They have been separated more than 4 years and do not have any direct communication due to a mutual hatred. They communicate only via text or email when necessity demands it. In short, the other parent does not know.

    This knowledge has only come to me yesterday. I have chatted with the person in question and they have assured me they left out all the scary parts and have limited the information they have supplied to the children. They say the information has been limited to their newfound belief in God and has offered the children information about this belief. This has done nothing to reassure me at all. I am not sure I can trust them completely.
  28. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    I would tell. Not because of the God stuff, but children need to taught about social media. How people make fantasy videos for click bait because that is their only source of income etc. The children may not be telling the other parent because of the animosity they know it would cause. Personally, I would tell the other parent.. just about the children bit. Or if the other parent would cause too many problems, maybe a teacher/counsellor at their school?

    You could call the school and kinda just query "what are you teaching children at ages 6 and 9 about social media? I'm wondering because …."

  29. Andy123

    Andy123 New Member

    I know this is the right thing to do. I have no communication with the other parent but could make this happen. I am aware that this would probably trigger lack of access between my family member and the children, and in turn this could trigger a return to the intense depression and anxiety attacks they have experienced.
    It's a very testing mental process I'm going through with this. I know I need more info about how this content is being shared with the children before I make important decisions.
  30. Gib

    Gib New Member

    It really sounds like a mental illness issue. The trouble is it sounds if this person would never seek help from a mental health professional.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  31. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    well maybe they are open to the knowledge that showing children youtube videos to prove God is highly abnormal, to say the least.

    And if they are showing the kids videos about lizards in pyramids or aliens posing as angels at the end of the world, that is akin to showing them Creepy Pasta videos to prove that there really are monsters under the bed. Six year olds should be learning to tie their shoes, not learning about Armageddon or black eyed devils.

    I would suggest a hard line interrogation of the child issue. They will undoubtedly deny everything, which is fine- but may make them realize their faux-pas in this area.

    edit add: I should add, that more times then not a child, esp at 6, will narc the adult out to a teacher anyway. By drawing a weird picture or just saying something odd. Which you family member might want to be wary of.
  32. Andy123

    Andy123 New Member

    I realise that this is highly abnormal and possibly damaging. The person in question has rationalised it to themselves by saying it is no different to any religious instruction given to a child by another parent or a school. They also say they are telling the children that it might be true it might not be.
    I know these reasons are a cop out and that due diligence in the truthfulness of information is not being done. I have been told it is none of mine or anyone elses business what he exposes the kids to and I need to butt out.

    There is already a court ordered investigation into both parents going on at the moment and their abilities to provide for their childrens emotional needs.
  33. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    ah. useful information. then they will interview the 6 year old.. so the courts can handle it.
    • Useful Useful x 1