So, how do otherwise intelligent adults fall for these whacko conspiracy theories?
Ex-QAnon 'cult' member explains how she fell 'down the rabbit hole' — and how she finally got out
(Alternet) As mainstream media digs into the deeply concerning QAnon conspiracy theory—including coverage of the reality that we now have a QAnon congresswoman—we're also seeing more people who formerly identified with the movement come forward. In an interview with CNN, Melissa Rein Lively described how she fell into the conspiracy tunnel, and why she wants to help people experiencing the same thing now. "I really became all consumed in the QAnon conspiracy theories because of a mix of fear, anxiety, depression," she told host Alisyn Camerota on Monday. "You know, uncertainty. Inconsistency about information coming out about the pandemic." She talked about feeling terrified seeing people around her lose their businesses. So what did she do? She went online. And that's when, according to Lively, the algorithm took hold and brought her into an "echo chamber."
Lively says she began looking at a number of wellness, spirituality, and New Age pages, and within a "matter of weeks," the algorithm hooked her into a "terrifying echo chamber" that "completely changed the way that I think and that I process information." Lively notes that the Save the Children messaging, in particular, spoke to her. Lively went on to describe how her husband gave her an ultimatum between her family and the QAnon movement, including even calling the police out of concern for her well-being.
Lively says she ultimately broke the QAnon spell by seeking mental health treatment with a specific focus on PTSD and trauma. "I really believe that it's a cult," she said. "It operates like a cult in every single way. And people don't realize that they're being consumed by QAnon until it's too late."