Parkland shooting survivor: My QAnon dad is convinced that it was all a hoax

The guillotine was there.
But I think a lot of them would have been scared shitless the other way: into never doing anything that might be seen as anything less than full and enthusiastic support for Trump.

These are not brave people.


No need for scare quotes. That’s family.


that’s where my family’s at with me.

my mother told me i was never allowed to mention covid, vaccination, or anything “political” to her ever again, and when i explained i wasn’t going to be able to do that - especially because she wanted to visit me and mine - she said, okay. and won’t talk to me anymore.

she won’t even explain her ideas to me ( other than the broad strokes that covid is a hoax and that trump was selected by god to be president ) presumably because she doesn’t want me to present anything that would pop her bubble.

my mother and my uncle have pulled up the bridges. they don’t want to get better. that’s how attached they are to it all.

and honestly, i do get it. they’d have to reject their whole world view, and say they were wrong this whole time. who could do that? how far back would they have to reach to find something, anything true? they’ve painted themselves into a corner with no way out, and they’re stuck


As a dad, I just want to hug this kid and tell him it’s alright. Then I want to go double backhand the sperm donor.


That’s heart breaking. My brother hasn’t spoken to me or our father in close to a year. My father used to be a republican but voted for HRC instead of Trump and think’s the entire GOP has gone insane. My brother told use he didn’t vote for president b/c he couldn’t support Trump, but I don’t really know why he stopped talking to us other than his one friend that I’ve contacted said “probably too much politics”. I dunno we often argued/discussed politics but I don’t know what changed. He never mentioned any crazy conspiracy shit when we talked. Alas though he won’t talk to either of us so I have no clue =/


Honestly? I can’t really say what I’d do in his situation, but my gut feeling is that this is the sort of thing that merits disowning your father. He’s calling you a liar and resenting you for a traumatic event because its inconvenient to his views. He’s saying that he cares more to have his politics than he does to protect or support you. If he’s siding with the people who would organize your harassment and removal from society, he doesn’t deserve your association.

What a tragedy to survive something like that and have your family stolen from you, too.


Me. I could. And have.

Had to start over and build a completely new worldview that doesn’t hinge on “everything is glued together with miracles and god’s will”.

If I can do it, if I can escape the hermetically sealed thought patterning of religion, and the conspiracy theories of the devil and his demons, nobody else has an excuse, in my opinion.


Unfortunately not as broken as we would guess. We keep approaching Q-anon and related conspiracies through the lens of politics. I think it is more helpful to look at it through what we know about financial cons and abusive cults. It shares a lot of structure with each. One thing that is true in both is that the deeper you get, despite getting to easier to falsify ideas, it become cognitively harder to escape. You’re fed down the funnel and perfectly normal cognitive biases make it easier to deny reality than to accept you’ve been conned. We know that it usually isn’t stupidity or mental illness that makes people fall for these things, but vulnerability, including social isolation or trauma.The same thing that makes this so horrifying from the outside, the trauma of the shooting, is exactly the type of thing that makes people easier marks.


I hope Bill has a very strong support group — other family members, friends, teachers — to help counter the ugliness of the dad.


What I dont get is: Why now? Why this particular conspiracy theory?

QAnon is just warmed-over conspiracy burrito of John Birch Society, plus some secret sauce.

Why did QAnon take off and “black helicopters”/ZOG not so much?

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Because twitter, facebook, etc, never used to amplify this bullshit and actively promote stuff that breaks their own TOS until the guy running for president started spouting it. Then they didn’t TOS anybody for this kind of stuff until biden got sworn in.


…and they still aren’t banning ppl and groups the way they should.

nazis do not deserve a platform.
No bigots deserve a platform.
Anti-science/anti-vaxx assholes are getting ppl killed, and certainly don’t deserve a platform.

All three are dangerous, and get ppl killed, but the last is the most dangerous.

I never dreamed a group would appear that’s more dangerous than the neo-nazis and other bigots.


There are assholes out there denying the holocaust (strangely… probably significant overlap…), and there are TONS of first hand accounts and photo documentation.

There are people who deny the non-flatness of our planet.

Facts and documentation don’t mean shit to these assholes. It’s all about belonging to their little stupid club and how they feel.


QAnon presented Trump as a secret paedophile-hunting hero, building on his personality cult and the idea that he was “draining the swamp” and fighting the “deep state”. Now fear and hatred of the federal government could co-exist happily with fanatical loyalty to the leader of that same government.


I really don’t understand the world I live in anymore. I can, to a point, see how people can get sucked down the QAnon rabbit hole. Child sex trafficking is a real thing, so that’s enough of a kernel of truth to draw people in. I get that. But when you run into something that directly contradicts your own personal experience, how does that not dig you out of the hole? Like, the first time this guy came across some post that claimed the Stoneman-Douglas shooting was a hoax, how did he not say, “wait, that’s not true. I know that shooting was real. My own son was there and is a survivor.”?


Trauma/social isolation are just examples of being broken.

My guess is the environment wasn’t ripe. Today’s environment is more accommodating to such things. Social media being a big part of that.


There is a giant media, technical, and political infrastructure backing this one. Major Republican figures are either true believers or at least willing to tread in the waters, major cable broadcasters are amplifying the stories, and the feedback loops of social media keep it humming. Once it rose above the background noise and became politically advantageous it had all of the conditions for rapid growth. The fact that it is just old reheated conspiracies made it easier to spread rather than harder.

If you want, sure, but if your definition of broken includes everyone vulnerable to such things, it encompasses pretty much everyone. Almost everyone experienced substantial social dislocation this year, all of us endured a major trauma, and most of us had significant political turmoil. We carry the same cognitive biases, but this hook was just baited for someone else.


I tend to agree with RAW on this:
under the present brutal and primitive conditions on this planet, every person you meet should be regarded as one of the walking wounded . we have never seen a man or woman not slightly deranged by either anxiety or grief. we have never seen a totally sane human being.”


I went through an extreme trauma at 15. I truly don’t remember much of anything until I was about 21. People will tell me I did or said things and I have no memory of it. I think my brain was protecting me until I could deal with it. I still don’t remember those years (although I remember clearly the trauma), but I’ve come to accept I never will.