Freedom of religion is one of America’s top values and deserves respect. Terror groups, on the other hand, have no place in a civilized society
Unfortunately, it is not just white people getting taken in. I know people of color who have gotten sucked in to QAnon and other conspiracy theories as well. It's a factor of disenfranchisement across every demographic. It's a serious problem that foreign agents are exploiting and amplifying. Why wouldn't they? As you point out, few countries are not similarly afflicted. So, this economic exploitation that began in the 80s is a serious threat, not only to democracy, but to national security, and also to the future of the planet. It's the most serious threat humanity has ever faced.
Republicans have a long history of blaming the Democrats for doing what they themselves are actually engaged in. Is it projection? Is it prophylacitc cover? Most of it are things the rank and file are not even aware of. But for decades I have rankled my Republican acquaintances by showing them proof that what their party was casting blame onto others was really their own dirty laundry. That, of course, includes rigging elections and voter fraud.
It also includes other things that are much more sinister. Quick history - my best friend for decades was raised by his grandfather, a black magician, and Aleistar Crowley, another black magician from England who worked for English intelligence during WWIl, as well as U.S. intelligence. According to my friend, Aleister had a very deep dark side, which I discovered for myself when I researched his activities. While he presented himself as a very religious man, having founded the religion Thelema, he was in fact a Satanist. It was fortunate for my friend that Aleister passed away towards the end of 1947, when my friend was just nearing 14. He told me that one of the sagist bits of advice Aleister gave U.S. intelligence was to support both fundalmentalist Christianity and Satanism. He said the dynamics between the two would be like clay in their hands, and he was right.
More currently, we can observe how much the Republican party has relied on the fundamentalists, and ever more so as they have moved ever deeper into tyrannical authoritarianism. But the dark side was also very much present and wide-spread, though kept underground. Quite large Satanist groups abound, with the highest levels of authority in any given region being members. One of the largest was/is centered in Omaha. I have lost track of its existence, or lack thereof, since 2000, after 13 of our investigative group, originally organized by the mayor of Omaha and a family friend, were killed; one of them an FBI agent, the only clean agent in the Omaha office, who was run over on a downtown sidewalk the day he helped us break the story on the only one of three TV stations in town that was trustworthy. Another was a Cracker Jack investigator and former Green Beret who had been hired by the Nebraska State Legislature to look into the Satanism scandal surrounding the Franklin Credit Union, as well as his six-year-old son. The state legislature dropped the case, which centered around Lawrence E. King, Jr., director of Franklin Credit Union, who became a personal friend of H.W. Bush - and also provided young men for Bush's "midnight tours of the Whitehouse." A major mover and shaker in Washington, Jack Abramoff, went to prison, apparently for introducing King to Bush. King eventually went to prison as well, not for procuring or Satanistic pedophilia, but for embezzling from the credit union he ran.
What struck my first about Qanon was their first "conspiracy" about satanic rituals and child prostitution, even down to the pizza parlor - which in real life was directly across the street from the Omaha police department, and it had a basement. According to the FBI report by one of their most senior investigators, there were indeed Satanic rituals happening in that basement, which included the drinking of blood from infant sacrifices.
Do not think it highly unlikely that this could happen so close to police authority. They were in on it, along with the sheriff's department, the owner of the World Herald newspaper, the only daily in town, and the state attorney general, as well as the aforementined TV stations, and most of the radio stations as well. According to Alisha Owens, one of the escaped child victims who gave birth to a child by the country sheriff, H.W. and was responsible for exposing the whole operation, Bush was a fairly frequent guest at their pedophiliac orgies. According to what she told my ex partner, who is the mother of my son, he had a prediliction for 12-year-old boys. I was so happy that my son, by the time this was all starting to become known, was living in a different part of Nebraska and had already joined the Air Force.
As you can see, this all has a striking resemblence to Qanon's conspiracy. As I mentioned, I have been telling my Republican acquaintances about this sort of "projection" for decades, and I assumed this was more of the same. I also told my friends that I appreciated that the Republicans did this, as it kept me up to date on what they were up to, which infuriated them no end.
There of course is much more I could relate, but I hope this was enough to get my point across. Qanon preys on the mentally weak, but perhaps we need to look more closely at what it is they are putting out. The Republicans "project" like Hell. Literally.
"...cutting them off altogether may be the least useful strategy...".
The past few years have provided me numerous tours of the lower-levels of my mind - places I did not know I held within. Often I would find myself in a space so foreign as to not know the exit. What I speak of, simply, is hatred. Now to be clear, hatred and anger may be related but in no way are they synonymous. I am still very angry, and probably will continue to be, so long as this world churns out injustice. However, anger is motivation - when used as directed.
I am reminded that if indeed we seek a world in which being our brother's keeper is the code we live by, then that time is now - not in some imagined future where we have engineered a social system which perfectly serves the people.
We are the difference, the change, the hope. It is us who must be our brother's keeper, especially in a time when they have fallen prey to the truly evil among us - the kind of wretched that does indeed feast on the blood of naïveté.
Listen openly. See our shared existence not as two, but one. Forget the pitfalls of talking points and team allegiances. The stakes for humanity, democracy, and perhaps Life itself are too high for engagement in pettiness.
We have been living with the militias and Tim McVeigh's of this country for a very, very long time. And we know what went on with the KKK and various religious sects for hundreds of years. I guess my question is on the crazy scale, what's the score for the Q followers?
Are we expecting better from people because it's 2021 and EVERYONE has a camera? SHOULDN'T people want to see proof?
All of the notions, traditions, and rules get built layer by layer with groups that are looking for a dragon to slay. Facebook and other platforms are the perfect way to build the crazy. What's more, it happens in record time.
Every person has to think about the damage to their own mental health when dealing with toxic people, even the ones we are related to. So I would worry about yourself before you sacrifice too much of your own sanity to keep from isolating them. It's about boundaries.
This country is in serious need of professional help, just like most of the rest of the world. We have a director of the National Institute for Mental Health...get to work Dr. Joshua Gorden!
Freedom of religion is freedom of thought more narrowly defined. But is thought really free when it's shackled by destructive belief systems that only pretend to "know" the eternal, the sacred, the greatest mystery in the universe? When in reality, small-minded true believers use their extremely limited, highly delusional, and paranoid ideation to justify the most horrendous acts of cruelty against their fellow humans for purposes that can only be defined as wicked -- the inevitable consequence of egocentricity and lack of empathy. In one word -- selfishness!
Trump's pathological narcissism tearing apart democracy is but one example in a long history of humankind's stifled consciousness. The clarion call for "freedom and liberty" rings hollow coming from those trapped and isolated within the prison of their own mind, where the spontaneity of thought and sentience is almost nonexistent. The swaying, creaking edifice of disjointed, jumbled-up feelings and thoughts constructed by fearful little egos, creating endless conflict and confusion to the point of numbness, is the so-called "enlightenment" proffered by the snake-oil salesmen of our time.
"How many elections are they going to steal before we kill these people?" Charlie Kirk blames the "left" for the violence on the right: https://www.newsweek.com/charlie-kirk-guns-kill-people-election-fraud-1642588
Or are we just living the crisis stage of oligarchy/feudalism/colonialism? Facsimile thereof by way of malignant capitalism? In Russia, the raging serfs hanged the aristocrats' horses. The horses, for heaven's sake! After the Rodney King riots, a guy told me the rioters had been headed for Beverly Hills, but the National Guard had been hush-hush deployed to turn them back to take out their rage on their own neighborhoods. I can't vouch for that, but when do the serfs of West Virginia set their sights on the Manchin Mansion instead of brooding over Hillary's nonexistent pizza basement or Soros invasions that - funny - don't materialize? Do any of the Jan. 6 people get it that Trump said "Follow me," and then scurried into hiding to watch them perform? I haven't seen any follow-up on that specific question.