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I miss my sister. Where do I start?

1 month ago 28
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Hello, I'm brand new to the site. I found it after reading Mick's book. The book is very helpful and I plan to start utilizing some of the techniques he outlines to start trying to reach my sister. But what do you do if someone you love is entrenched in not just a few, but seemingly ALL of the conspiracy topics? Election fraud, covid, vaccines, 9-11, chemtrails, UFO's, Trump, etc... the list she sent me is 100 items long filled with a lot of topics I've never even heard of. It's overwhelming to figure out where to begin. I had no idea she was even into any of this stuff until recently. I've learned my initial approach with her was the wrong one. I didn't take it seriously and poked fun at what she's been obsessed with the last couple of years. It has strained our relationship and now we barely talk. I'm working on reestablishing communication and trust. And I've learned that humor/shaming is not the way to reach someone this far down the rabbit hole. Anyway, I could go on, but I'd appreciate any direction or advice as this is all very new to me.

Thank you!

Is your goal to actually get her out of the rabbit hole (as in, changing her mind on her opinions), or to accept that your views differ and get along as siblings regardless? I'd say that the latter is a much more achievable option, though far from easy. Either way, as Mick writes somewhere in his book, the constructive way forward is to find common grounds: topics you do agree upon (which may be more than you realized), and use those as a building ground - not necessarily for actually changing each other's minds, but at least for gaining a better mutual understanding of where the other is coming from.

People believe in conspiracies because they give meaning to a chaotic world. It's a lot easier to believe in some grand and sinister cabal one can fight against than to believe the truth...that politicians are incompetent and often don't have any of the answers let alone all of them. Most conspiracies posit a mysterious 'they' that rule the world, deposit chemtrails, hide from us that the world is flat or we're about to collide with Nibiru, and so on. It's nonsense but its exciting nonsense for many people and in many ways replaces the old religions that served that same purpose.

The best response, rather than scoffing, is to show people that scientific truth is actually far more fascinating than all the conspiracies. A round earth is much more intriguing and mysterious and full of deep connections with physical forces than a boring flat one. Learning what causes aircraft contrails and the various forces involved, and why they appear at some heights and not others, is far more interesting than cabals spraying people. And the truth about the solar system and its worlds is way more intriguing than all the Planet X conspiracies.

Is your goal to actually get her out of the rabbit hole (as in, changing her mind on her opinions), or to accept that your views differ and get along as siblings regardless? I'd say that the latter is a much more achievable option, though far from easy. Either way, as Mick writes somewhere in his book, the constructive way forward is to find common grounds: topics you do agree upon (which may be more than you realized), and use those as a building ground - not necessarily for actually changing each other's minds, but at least for gaining a better mutual understanding of where the other is coming from.

Thanks for the reply. I'm still figuring out what I'm actually trying to achieve. I'm going slow and yes, trying to find common ground right now. I know I want a better relationship with her, but I would also like to nudge her to start processing information with a more analytical mind. I recently told her I would watch a documentary called: The Fall of Cabal. She said that's where she got started.

I recently told her I would watch a documentary called: The Fall of Cabal. She said that's where she got started.

Article:

A Dutch woman called Janet Ossebaard recently has quite some succes – measured in views – with a 10 part video series on YouTube that propagates the far right QAnon conspiracy theory. The series is called Fall Cabal, and you will have no trouble finding it on your own. [...]

According to Ossebaard a big change is about to happen, but most people don’t seem to have a clue. So therefore she is going to tell the hidden truth to us. She claims to have access to privileged knowledge, because she knows the Great Plan that is unfolding before our eyes.

Ossebaard usually just bombards the viewer with unsubstantiated claims, which you could of course answer with Hitchen’s Razor – “What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.” – but I’ll try to debunk those claims anyway.

The first episode of the series is titled: “The End of the World As We Know It – Things That Make You Go Hmmmm…” In the text before the title screen Ossebaard urges the viewer to accept nothing as the truth, asks to do your own research and to double-check everything she presents. So I did.

Below follows a list of the more or less factual claims Ossebaard makes in Part 1 of her video series. They are preceded by the timestamp for easy reference.

This looks like a very thorough claim-by-claim debunk of this 10-part "documentary". I found it by simply looking for "fall of cabal" debunk.

My instinct would be to say, "I'm sceptical of the evidence in thus video, can we watch it together and talk about the points she is making", but the way you're describing your relationship right now, this seems bound to end in a shipwreck?

I think what's going to be important for you is to understand how your sister, whom you love and respected, could come to trust this sort of misinformation: to listen to her and figure out how she came to be ready to believe this.

She's probably expecting this video series to convert you to her world view, and she'll be disappointed when that does not happen. Which is why the "watch together and talk" approach could be important for her to understand why you won't trust this information -- but only if she's respecting you enough to care about that.

(To understand the pull of QAnon, I also recommend looking at https://www.metabunk.org/threads/a-game-designer’s-analysis-of-qanon.11509/ .)

Hello, I'm brand new to the site. I found it after reading Mick's book. The book is very helpful and I plan to start utilizing some of the techniques he outlines to start trying to reach my sister. But what do you do if someone you love is entrenched in not just a few, but seemingly ALL of the conspiracy topics? Election fraud, covid, vaccines, 9-11, chemtrails, UFO's, Trump, etc... the list she sent me is 100 items long filled with a lot of topics I've never even heard of. It's overwhelming to figure out where to begin. I had no idea she was even into any of this stuff until recently. I've learned my initial approach with her was the wrong one. I didn't take it seriously and poked fun at what she's been obsessed with the last couple of years. It has strained our relationship and now we barely talk. I'm working on reestablishing communication and trust. And I've learned that humor/shaming is not the way to reach someone this far down the rabbit hole. Anyway, I could go on, but I'd appreciate any direction or advice as this is all very new to me.

Thank you!

First off, I'm open to the possibility of there being truth in a lot of "conspiracy-stuff", including all you mentioned... Election fraud, covid, vaccines, 9-11, chemtrails, UFO's, Trump. I definitely believe Trump exists by the way.. I didn't know he was a conspiracy ;P. That said, I have been lost in that world aswell, because it's a world one can easily get lost in... because what is true and what isn't? Everyone seems to think they know, but who does really? This David Icke guy everyone loves even says the moon was BUILT... euhh...? A friend of mine was a flat earth believer and also had told me that Vivekananda (and indian saint) was an Illumiati and showed a picture of him with his hand in his jacket which meant it was a sign that they use.
The stuff drives me absolutely mad because there is no talking to them. As an example, the basketball celebrity that came out telling the world the earth was flat publicly, the flat earthers idolized him, then when he publicly announced that he was sorry and had just fell into this media conspiracy stuff and none of it is actually real, the flat earthers claimed that ’they’ had gotten to him. There is always this bs. And there is no use in even talking to these people because they know everything and always will and if you do not believe them and are in any way saying anything that opposes their beliefs…. Well….
The conspiracy stuff even goes as far as taking anything anyone says as a numerical value and decodes it then makes meaning out of it. Sad.

I don't know where your sister is standing or how how well she does her research, but if she is lost in it, like many.. sometimes there is nothing you can do about it. I have little in common with my family with regards to views on what is true and what isn't... what it is to live a good life and what what isn't, but sometimes all you can do is love them, try to understand the other person, or just talk about other stuff.

I myself was lost in a new age world for quite some time until a brilliant and studied man was able to put a clear mirror in front of me. After that I've had 4 people close to me tell me they felt like they had me back, whereas before they felt as if they had lost me. I'm "lucky" I was open enough to listen to him, consider, research, but most would reject that mirror.

Last edited: Today at 5:38 AM

Hello, I'm brand new to the site. I found it after reading Mick's book. The book is very helpful and I plan to start utilizing some of the techniques he outlines to start trying to reach my sister. But what do you do if someone you love is entrenched in not just a few, but seemingly ALL of the conspiracy topics? Election fraud, covid, vaccines, 9-11, chemtrails, UFO's, Trump, etc... the list she sent me is 100 items long filled with a lot of topics I've never even heard of. It's overwhelming to figure out where to begin. I had no idea she was even into any of this stuff until recently. I've learned my initial approach with her was the wrong one. I didn't take it seriously and poked fun at what she's been obsessed with the last couple of years. It has strained our relationship and now we barely talk. I'm working on reestablishing communication and trust. And I've learned that humor/shaming is not the way to reach someone this far down the rabbit hole. Anyway, I could go on, but I'd appreciate any direction or advice as this is all very new to me.

Thank you!

I would say the first step is to show her you accept her, love her, and would not judge her as a person, no matter what she chooses to believe in. And that you are a safe space for her to share her beliefs despite the fact that you may disagree on some points.

Then you have gained her trust.

t scientific truth is actually far more fascinating than all the conspiracies. A round earth is much more intriguing and mysterious and full of deep connections with physical forces than a boring flat one. Learning what causes aircraft contrails and the various forces involved, and why they appear at some heights and not others, is far more interesting than cabals spraying people. And the truth about the solar system and its worlds is way more intriguing than all the Planet X conspiracies.

no it isn't.

haha what do you mean there?

haha what do you mean there?

A: Documentaries are so much more interesting than Marvel/DC superhero action movies.
B: No they aren't.

De gustibus non disputandum est.

Election fraud, covid, vaccines, 9-11, chemtrails, UFO's, Trump, etc... the list she sent me is 100 items long filled with a lot of topics I've never even heard of. It's overwhelming to figure out where to begin.

the way you wrote "Trump" shows that you aren't even close to being able to understand another person's political views. so i would
1. apologize PROFUSELY for mocking her and trying to shame her.
2. Pick one to start with that is not political related. and say you aren't going to argue about politics and you'd prefer she not send you political content either, as it upsets you the way you are upsetting her.
3. Buy her a subscription to HBO Max or some such (but not NETFLIX!), as it seems she has way too much video watching time on her hands.

haha what do you mean there?

science is not all that interesting. I'm certainly glad some other people think it is, so we have medicines and indoor plumbing and satellites to watch our streaming youtube shows.. but i think the majority of people prefer fiction. That's why documentaries don't make millions at the box office.

science is not all that interesting. I'm certainly glad some other people think it is, so we have medicines and indoor plumbing and satellites to watch our streaming youtube shows.. but i think the majority of people prefer fiction. That's why documentaries don't make millions at the box office.

ah right, got it

science is not all that interesting. I'm certainly glad some other people think it is, so we have medicines and indoor plumbing and satellites to watch our streaming youtube shows.. but i think the majority of people prefer fiction. That's why documentaries don't make millions at the box office.

I think saying "no it isn't" really didn't reflect that this was merely your opinion.

I think saying "no it isn't" really didn't reflect that this was merely your opinion.

but the comment i was responding to did?

you think a [add:female] q-anon follower who believes the election was stolen, planes are spraying chemtrails, 9/11 was controlled demolition and that balloons are aliens, disagrees with me? fair enough.

Last edited: Today at 6:27 AM

Hello, I'm brand new to the site. I found it after reading Mick's book. The book is very helpful and I plan to start utilizing some of the techniques he outlines to start trying to reach my sister. But what do you do if someone you love is entrenched in not just a few, but seemingly ALL of the conspiracy topics? Election fraud, covid, vaccines, 9-11, chemtrails, UFO's, Trump, etc... the list she sent me is 100 items long filled with a lot of topics I've never even heard of. It's overwhelming to figure out where to begin. I had no idea she was even into any of this stuff until recently. I've learned my initial approach with her was the wrong one. I didn't take it seriously and poked fun at what she's been obsessed with the last couple of years. It has strained our relationship and now we barely talk. I'm working on reestablishing communication and trust. And I've learned that humor/shaming is not the way to reach someone this far down the rabbit hole. Anyway, I could go on, but I'd appreciate any direction or advice as this is all very new to me.

Thank you!

I lost my best friend of 30+ years to QAnon (and other conspiracies) last year. I hope your outcome is better than I had with my friend. We haven't spoken in over a year now and I don't think we'll every talk again, unfortunately.

Anyhow, he sent me a ton of conspiracy theory videos and one of them was the Fall of Cabal. I had no idea what it was and when I watched it I knew he was gone. He was always entertaining conspiracy theories (i.e. he believes the carnivore diet is the "one true diet" and everyone should be eating like a carnivore but Big Vegetable is in the pockets of the gov't and hiding the true bliss of eating only meat) but I had no idea just how deep into CT's he was. I was completely unprepared and instantly mocked the video saying it was BS. I wish I would've said "hmm, interesting. I'd like to look into these claims further" and then addressed each claim in discussion with him. I don't know that I would've been successful but at least I could feel good that I tried (in a productive manner at least).

Mendel linked you to some good resources. You can also check out the Driven Progressives debunk of the Fall of Cabal as well. He does a really good job and links to a lot of sources to back him up and debunk the claims in Fall of Cabal. Source: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLxnpEm20Jr7wjGJq7hZpDwXjJ5CvlyiVN

Best of luck to you with your sister.

he believes the carnivore diet is the "one true diet" and everyone should be eating like a carnivore but Big Vegetable is in the pockets of the gov't and hiding the true bliss of eating only meat.

wow, just that alone is.. wow.

the Driven Progressives debunk of the Fall of Cabal

@ktrane331 my advice would be to NOT use "progressive" debunks and to look into the claims all on your own. it will sound more authentic and less like you are spewing left wing talking points at her ( just my opinion).

@ktrane331 my advice would be to NOT use "progressive" debunks and to look into the claims all on your own. it will sound more authentic and less like you are spewing left wing talking points at her ( just my opinion).

- you are assuming that the person is right-wing? but I've seen an interview with a Bernie supporter who fell into QAnon, it's not a clear issue.

- similarly, you assumed OPs mention of "Trump" was political, when in the conrext of QAnon it most likely means the narrative that Trump was going to arrest the cabal and the "pedophiles" etc. which is bunk independent of what your stance on Trump's politics is

- to debunk everything in a Gish gallop (a pile of BS claims, like that "documentary") is a serious amount of work, and recommending that exposes the person you ask to do that to attrition.

The debunk I recommended is thorough, and reading that along with the original video does two things: a) it prevents the OP from falling in the rabbit hole themselves, and b) there are lots of links to more in-depth evidence if you want to dig deeper . That's why I recommend that over any video debunk.

You don't get any prizes for doing all of the debunks yourself; in fact, metabunk exists to help with that!

You don't get any prizes for doing all of the debunks yourself;

this is a specific situation. and since this is America, i am allowed to have my own opinion, thankyou very much.

I already told him/her (s)he shouldnt be doing any political debunking anyway at this point in time. On an upnote, you [both] make me appreciate my own brother a lot more. so there's that.

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