Russian military disinformation online is making Americans go nuts, QAnon edition

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/09/11/russian-military-disinformatio.html

3 Likes

31 Likes

children who are being raped and tortured so that “the cabal” can “extract their blood and drink it.”

They’re not quite out in the open about it yet, but getting closer.

[The “Protocols” (although not the French works it cribbed from) has its origins in Russia, so this is yet another case of their security services using it in service of authoritarianism]

43 Likes

16 Likes

It’s not just anti-semitic. Accusing other groups of people of cannibalism (broadly speaking) is pretty standard fare for any us vs. them scenario. Witness people of European descent encountering any other cultural group in Africa, South America, or the Pacific Islands. And for that matter, there are constant rumors in Sub-Saharran Africa that Europeans are stealing African blood.

There are certain complaints about “enemies” that come up over and over again. Another example is the story of enemies throwing babies in the air and catching them on knives or bayonets. Other Europeans accused French soldiers of doing this during Napoleon’s time, and Americans and Mexicans accused Apaches of doing this same thing a few decades later. The British accused German soldiers of this in World War I, and the Japanese were accused of this by everyone in World War II.

The wacky thing is that ritual cannibalism is hard-baked into Christianity via Communion, but if you point that out to your Sunday School teacher she’ll cry and say “why are you guys like this?”

14 Likes

derry-girls-sister-michael-here-we-go

17 Likes

In this case, where Russians are promoting a story about a shadowy “cabal” orchestrating drinking the blood of children, it definitely is. I’m just waiting for the Know-Nothing marks to come out into the open about “da Joooos” being the masterminds, instead of dancing around it with talk about Soros and “financial and media elites” spreading “alien ideas”.

35 Likes

It’s not the same thing as the blood libel trope and I’d argue what we’re talking about, specifically the line that @gracchus highlighted about extracting and drinking their blood is directly out of the antisemitic tropes, not the tribal cannibalism tropes. This is a very specific phrasing in this case.

26 Likes

Russian disinformation is not making these people crazy. They were obviously already crazy. What it’s doing is weaponizing their craziness in service of their stooge Trump.

24 Likes

Like so much else in conspiracy theory it’s 1:1 just worded slightly different.

15 Likes

Even the “Protocols” (which underlie nearly every right-wing conspiracy theory out there) are plagiarised from an earlier French anti-clerical work. In addition to everything else that’s rotten about them, conspiracy theorists are lazy gits.

27 Likes

children who are being raped and tortured so that “the cabal” can “extract their blood and drink it.”

The psyops often seem to start with a grain of ugly but real news and spins it off into something far worse and even more hysterical. For example, the above could’ve started with this:

2 Likes

“ Several small-scale studies (involving 15 or fewer test subjects) conducted in the 1950s and 1960s reported that adrenochrome triggered psychoticreactions such as thought disorderand derealization.[3]Researchers Abram Hoffer and Humphry Osmondclaimed that adrenochrome is a neurotoxic, psychotomimeticsubstance and may play a role in schizophrenia and other mental illnesses”

Worst party drug evah. You would think that these rich, powerful people could at least afford the good stuff.

11 Likes

From the article:

“Go online,” one woman said. “Dig deep,” added another. They seemed to share a collective disdain for the mainstream media–a skepticism that has only gotten stronger and deeper since 2016. The truth wasn’t reported, they said, and what was reported wasn’t true.

This matters not just because of what these voters believe but also because of what they don’t. The facts that should anchor a sense of shared reality are meaningless to them; the news developments that might ordinarily inform their vote fall on deaf ears. They will not be swayed by data on coronavirus deaths, they won’t be persuaded by job losses or stock market gains, and they won’t care if Trump called America’s fallen soldiers “losers” or “suckers,” as the Atlantic reported, because they won’t believe it. They are impervious to messaging, advertising or data. They aren’t just infected with conspiracy; they appear to be inoculated against reality.

How do you counter something like that? There’s no inroad, no crack in their armor against facts.

I used to entertain conspiracies about the JFK assassination, and there may have been something deeper going on that we don’t know about, but all those weird convoluted things, the grassy knoll, the “umbrella man”, the “badge man”. . . bullshit. These things are like pareidolia, and once you’ve convinced yourself that the blurry image isn’t a blob of tree branches but a hidden gunman then you’re in the twilight zone.

17 Likes

And it was very probably literally written by the Russian security services at the time. Sometimes history really does rhyme.

6 Likes

This is straight-up crazypants stuff, but people are talking about killing themselves if Joe Biden wins, based on information they read on Yandex. That’s not funny. That’s suicide.

I was reading this earlier and my initial reaction was: “Awful as this is, this is probably the best-case scenario.” I mean, the alternative is that they’re going to be killing other people. Our society just can’t function with some significant percentage of the population inhabiting this alternate reality in which everyone who disagrees with them is a child-raping cannibal Satanist who needs to die.

Oh, I’d say they’re pretty out in the open about the blood libel. (It needn’t be antisemitic to be blood libel. The first case of blood libel was the Romans accusing the Christians. The descendants of those Christians repurposed it for the Jews for similar reasons. It gets further repurposed for various groups, e.g. in recent decades, imaginary Satanists. Though there was probably some attempts to imply links there between Satanists and Jews.) The whole Qanon thing is also wrapped up in antisemitism, too, even if they don’t directly draw the line between Jews in general and the cannibalism.

Cannibalism accusations are a different thing, really - that’s more of a universal phenomenon, where even in the absence of colonialism, various groups would accuse their neighbors of cannibalism to dehumanize them. (The irony of the Europeans doing this is that they frequently smeared groups with false accusations at the same time Europeans themselves actually engaged in medical cannibalism, a practice which continued into the 20th century.) Blood libel has a fairly specific, distinct lineage and dynamic.

That’s fundamentally how religion works, though - you use the signs and tropes that people are already familiar with. Coming up with something actually novel alienates potential converts - they struggle to understand it. Better to just rearrange the ideas they already have with a smattering of new details to make it seem new. (And of course that familiarity makes it seem more true as a result.)

13 Likes

Unfortunately she is talking about killing herself and her children and this is just unthinkably horrible. Honestly, Child Protective Services should evaluate her ASAP on the basis of this quote alone.

24 Likes

It gets a little complicated though when one side is actually doing things like this, using baseless claims that their victims started the cycle. Eg, Germany liquidating Jewish ghettos and whole towns in Russia, Rwanda’s country-wide massacre of Tutsis.

3 Likes

How do people this insane exist?

Do they ever step back and look at the riculousness of what they claim to believe is going on?

Joe Biden drinking child blood like a vampire is real to them, but 190000 people dead from covid isn’t?

Just how does evolution create people this deluded?
The sane mind boggles

16 Likes

Belief in a conspiracy theory is an epidemiological fact. Some percentage of the population is always going to be susceptible to it. No amount of “education” will make them resistant.

Remember in the late 1990s, when “black helicopters” was a thing? That was the New World Order (the off-hand phrase used by Bush-41) coming to: take our guns, change our way of life, [fill-in].

This Week In Pessimism
It’s just staggering to think that, anti-semitism has been with us so long, that it must always be with us. The (small-c) conservative mind, by definition, clings to ritual and “what we have always done.” They will always be attracted to antisemitism because it is what “has always been done”, for millennia.

1 Like