QAnon: Conspiracy Theories & The Destroyer Of Relationships

Webster

Administrators
Staff member
(The Guardian) Speaking of QAnon, which we seem to be doing more and more, Cecilia Saixue Watt writes for us on the topic this morning, suggesting that while for some Republicans, the antisemitic conspiracy theory is seen as an opportunity to garner support, for those who have lost loved ones to it, QAnon is a destroyer of families and relationships: Susan and her partner, Mike, have been together for seven years. In the beginning, Susan was drawn to Mike’s kindness and altruism. “He’s really thoughtful and always really positive,” said Susan. “He was always pushing me to do better things.”

Mike had long been interested in conspiracies, and had said strange things about aliens and water fluoridation, but Susan had found it “endearing and weird and harmless”, she said.

But over a year ago, Mike began talking about QAnon. After the pandemic hit and Mike spent more time indoors, on social media, he became obsessed. “It’s been an exponential thing,” said Susan. “He’ll spend hours ‘researching’, which is just watching YouTube videos and going on Twitter.”

Susan and Mike began to fight frequently. Mike continuously tried to convince her, sending her videos she found upsetting. “He would get so mad that I wasn’t ‘open-minded’,” she said. “He’ll say I’m programmed, or that I don’t realize I’m a slave, or that there’s a secret war. He has all the information and I haven’t ‘done the research’. It got to a point where I just didn’t care.”

Susan researched how to speak to loved ones who have joined cults. She attempted to establish common beliefs with Mike, and encourage him to examine cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias, to no avail . Susan now believes that her relationship is over. “I would like to help him navigate out of QAnon, if that’s something he wants to do,” she said, “but it doesn’t seem like it is.”

-Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/sep/23/qanon-conspiracy-theories-loved-ones
 
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