What I Learned Living With a Conspiracy Theorist QAnon

To say my mind was blown would be an understatement (Image: AP Photo / Ted S. Warren, File)

When I moved to a small and isolated village in Norway Last October, I couldn’t help but feel particularly lucky.

Compared to what is happening in the UK, with news of levels and closures continuing to dominate the headlines, I am grateful to have escaped the intensity of the pandemic.

Things quickly changed when I realized I was living with a stalker QAnon: a widely controversial conspiracy theory that claims that there is a group of pedophiles who worship Satan in the public eye.

I don’t know, on my work vacation I’ll be up against a conspiracy theorist who I’ve only read about before.

My trip plan is to stay with my family and help DIY around their home in exchange for free accommodation and meals.

When I got off the train, I was greeted by a beaming elderly man.

I felt at ease immediately and I immediately texted my parents to let them know that I would be safe.

We were driving through the fjord when we started talking about the upcoming US presidential election. I found it difficult to understand exactly what he was saying so I just smiled and nodded, politely agreeing that I’m excited to see what happens on election day.

During the drive from the station, he spoke very vaguely of how this election would have a huge impact on the rest of the world and how it would change history forever. because unspecified events will happen that no one can expect.

While it’s very clear that he has a deep interest in politics, I don’t really think much of it.

He has a degree in economics and he enjoys talking about US politics and the global economy on a daily basis. I’ve always been interested in politics and I love a political debate, so at first I enjoyed talking to him about it.

When he wasn’t talking about politics, my landlord and his wife would tell me about their family life and history as a couple. It is interesting to compare our lives, since they have always lived in this small village and I come from a big city.

We would go on weekend trips together, hike in the mountains in the snow and swim in the wild – I was able to fully immerse myself in Norwegian culture.

We have certainly built a bond with each other and share a lot of similarities in our love of nature and food, as well as thinking about climate change. I really feel like I have a new extended family.

In our conversations, however, my host will make controversial and absurd remarks, which I believe are purely sarcastic because they are always accompanied by a laugh.

It is difficult to gauge the seriousness of his words as his wife will simply nod in agreement or move the conversation to safer territory, such as my home life and what I do. studied at university.

It was only a few days after the election that I learned he was not joking. He suddenly started telling me that he thought Biden’s team had committed some insane election fraud.

He claimed that hundreds of thousands of votes were transferred from Trump to Biden, including votes from dead people and pets, and that Biden’s team received help from China.

I can tell him he really believes what he’s saying.

He denied my argument as proof of my fallacy by the fake news media.

After listening for a few evenings, I finally asked him to clarify his political views; he seems to hate Republicans and Democrats equally, so I am increasingly confused about his position.

This is my first time being introduced to QAnon.

It was probably one of the most overwhelming evenings of my life. In one sitting, he convinced me that by March 2021, all the banks and mainstream media in the world will collapse and be replaced by non-corrupt politicians.

My host truly believes that most celebrities and rich people are part of an elite pedophile ring, with the exception of Donald Trump, who he thinks is here to expose and fight. Fight against this evil team, and will be restored as king.

He never goes into specifics about who exactly will help run things, he only mentions Trump and how the ‘people’ will ultimately regain control.

To say that my mind has been blown would be an understatement. I am increasingly frustrated when he dismisses any and all counterarguments that I have presented, even small facts such as the BBC’s being a reliable source. public service television station. He denied my arguments as proof of my fabrication by the fake news media.

He’s particularly struggling with the idea that Trump isn’t a politician – he’s just an ‘ordinary’ individual who ran for president to ‘save the people’.

He went on to explain how Trump is the only president to fulfill every single mission he has set during his time in office: including ‘putting an end to all sex trafficking of women and children in the United States’. This is clearly incorrect.

When I bring up widely reported examples of Trump’s cruelty, such as his family separation policy at the US-Mexico border and 26 women accusing him of sexual misconduct , my host will just tell me that it’s not real, but pure media. propagate.

My host truly believes that most celebrities and the rich are part of an elite pedophile ring – with the exception of Donald Trump (Image: Washington Post via Getty)

He truly believes that whatever we read in the mainstream media is a lie, provided to us through an unnamed group of ‘elite’ to maintain order and order. compliance in society.

What shocked me the most was that he was a well-educated man who chose to believe in conspiracy theories spread by unofficial ‘media websites’. In the past, I thought that people who believed in conspiracy theories were often uneducated.

But he challenged this perception and demonstrated to me how globally influential QAnon can be.

The rest of the stay was enjoyable but there was a constant elephant in the room.

Every time he tries to come up with conspiracy theories, I can feel myself getting harder and harder. It’s hard to stay polite while trying to catch him.

While these uncomfortable conversations made up a big part of my stay and are really enjoyable to hear, I’m glad I was exposed to them. It certainly taught me not to judge a book by its cover.

However, I am increasingly concerned about QAnon’s strength after witnessing its adherents storm the US Capitol earlier this year. It’s an example of the actual outcome of unchecked misinformation.

The group’s growing popularity was further substantiated in a recent survey that found that 47% of Americans had heard of QAnon by the end of 2020 – up from the 23% reported at the start of the year.

I personally believe that people buy QAnon’s theories because they are easy to understand and also allow people to feel satisfied that they know more about what is going on in the world than their peers. At least, this is the impression I got from my presenter.

It’s clear that this group thrives on social media, as it’s a quick way for people to spread their conspiracy theories globally. Twitter and other social media platforms like TikTok have permanently suspended thousands of QAnon-related accounts.

I think it is important that QAnon’s disinformation be more closely monitored to ensure that radical theories are not so easily accessible.

I don’t believe my host will change his mind. Although most of his theories fail to materialize, he remains confident and shows confidence in his community.

If anyone else is in this situation, my main advice is to stay calm and not retaliate too much, as there is little point in someone getting in their way like that.

This work was originally published in March 2021

Do you have a story you want to share? Contact by email jess.austin@metro.co.uk.

Share your views in the comments section below.

THAN: 5G, child trafficking and the Covid-19 cover-up – how did someone become a conspiracy theorist?

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THAN: When its content is banned by Facebook, what is QAnon?

https://metro.co.uk/2021/12/07/what-i-learnt-from-living-with-a-qanon-conspiracy-theorist-2-15731235/ What I Learned Living With a Conspiracy Theorist QAnon

Huynh Nguyen

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