Son makes a documentary about his QAnon-infected mother

Originally published at: Son makes a documentary about his QAnon-infected mother | Boing Boing


I’m wondering how much more we’ll see in this genre:

We’ve seen articles from psychologists on how to engage with people who’ve embraced the lies on social media and right-wing broadcast networks. Hopefully, we’ll see more films demonstrate what works in getting through to these folks. Maybe a focus on those who’ve stopped watching and listening to these sources - and what led them to make that decision - might be helpful.

The intense interest in woo as a gateway belief in this case was interesting. The common theme of obsessing over this content to the point that people spend most of the day on it really stood out, too. It makes me wonder what a month of digital detox might accomplish. Hopefully, she’s been evaluated by a physician to eliminate the possibility of physiological reasons behind the change in her behavior.

Her family seemed fairly resigned about it. Personally, not knowing what “truths” she’s picking up online would lead me to focus on my own safety* if I lived in the same house. Some of these conspiracy theorists demonize those who don’t believe, or portray them as part of the problem.

*In terms of food preparation and sleeping arrangements.


The Q-Nuts are few in number out here in Joshua Tree, but when you run into them, it’s at WallyWorld. And let me tell you folks, it ain’t pretty.


Solid work and personal kindly done. Being “right” is overrated; better to get along and build relationships. People can convince themselves of ANYTHING with even a gentle nudge. Only by being together can we set aside the nonsense that bitterly divide us.

Disclosure: I spend too much time online too and it takes its toll on my relationships


How very sad; though it is nice to see that the family can continue to love each other, despite their differing worldviews.


A family member I saw recently probed my opinion on the post-pandemic “Great Reset”, as if it was a dark conspiracy no-one knew about instead of the out-in-the-open theme of the 2020 World Economic Forum. I love the guy and sort of brushed it off in a “sure, I heard about it, no big secret and the kind of words-not-deeds stuff you’d expect from that crowd”, but I knew what he was trying to get at. Like the woman in this film, that relative is already highly susceptible toward New Age woo, so I had to bite my tongue. I just hope that he doesn’t fall headlong into the Qanon garbage like she did.


Such a great vid because he’s got a Qrazy person in the wild, and they have civil conversations. My favorite part, however, is the comments on the video (at YouTube). So many are along the lines of, “I think people in their 50s and 60s just don’t get the internet - it’s too hard for them. They’re too old and it came in when they were already set in their ways, so they just don’t know what to do with all the information.” In other words, “olds are the worst!” The presumption of understanding/ownership of the internet because they’re not over 25… Love it.


“She’s fine with me going my way and her going her way so I think as far as a marriage goes it’s great”

Dude, you and I have different definitions of a functional marriage.


That’s kind of adorable. It’s absolutely true for some people; my 80-year-old mother-in-law has never adjusted to the Internet. On the other hand, her husband (who passed away five years ago but would be about 90 now) was highly motivated to learn how to use the Internet once he discovered he could get sports scores and listen to radio in distant places.

Neither one of them fell down the Fox News well, much less Q. Considering my mother-in-law has Alzheimer’s, I’m particularly grateful for that.


When ‘everyone gets along’ in these situations it’s because the non-extremist makes the choice to swallow the truth to protect the delicate sensibilities of their extremist loved ones.

It’s not a real relationship anymore. It’s a form of abuse. Just because someone decides to suck it up to maintain peace doesn’t make it an equal, loving situation.

But yeah, I’ve done it too.


Those commenters don’t realize that Boomers were the first IT guys.


thank you for articulating that. i was searching for why “can’t we all just get along” was rubbing me the wrong way.

it occurs to me too, that adherence to conspiracy theory is a form of exercising privilege. ( or can be, at least. )

like, look: i can believe all the wild, unfounded bs - it’s my right, and you just have to live with it. it’s a form of abuse, yes. and maybe control. like a kid refusing to share a toy even though they don’t really want the toy. they just want the ownership. ( in this case, i guess the toy is reality )

i don’t know where that comes from. fear maybe. and maybe like someone said on a different thread. there’s a lower root than just the itemized beliefs of qanon. and maybe until that gets unpacked a person isn’t really going to heal

and of course, the person themself has to want to do that work. nobody can make them.


The prototype has existed forever in religious belief. Those who don’t believe have been a minority who must “nod along to get along” with the majority.

So now it shifts to different fear-driven beliefs, and it’s far too late to start pointing out the elephant in the room.


Rather than place bets, instead create your own fake conspiracy web video and document its creation. Then show it to her and see if she falls for it. If she does then point out how you made it up, and that all of this stuff is just somebody making stuff up. Putting it on the web doesnt make it real , weird coincidences happen all the time, and you can connect dots in infinite ways. Then buy her something nice with that $700 you won.


Bad Idea. That’s exactly how we ended up with scientology.


L Ron Hubbard bought his mom something nice?


I’ve learned loads of stuff since turning 50 years ago; most of it from youtube :smiley:


I’m in my 70’s and retired after spending the last 25 years of my working life in software development, then as a computer technician.
Generalizations and generally wrong.

I have to admire the film-maker’s understanding of his mother’s “issues”. I have a friend who admittedly is not as far down the rabbit hole as this poor woman, but he drives me to distraction with his ill-informed opinions derived entirely from what I laughingly refer to as Rupert Murdoch’s “media”. Not even fit to wrap the garbage in.


I like “Qmom” as a modern addition to the zombie/infected/reanimated/undead genre.


The older I get, the more I realize that an “ordinary,” relatively comfortable USian life like mine is based on a pack of myths and buried lies, about the past and (thus) the present. In a lot of ways, nornal US life is also a fantasy world… So I’m a lot less judgemental, and more patient, than I used to be with such relatives.