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A former QAnon member has opened up about being ‘groomed’ by the conspiracy group with ‘plausible’ claims on yoga pages.
Melissa Rein Lively, from Arizona, earlier went viral for destroying a face mask display inside a Target store, declaring herself to be a ‘spokesperson for the White House and QAnon’ and going on to be branded ‘most hated person on the Internet’ for a brief time. However, her life has since changed for the better.
QAnon supporters allege there’s a global cabal of Satan-worshipping, cannibalistic paedophiles in the ‘deep state’, which warred with Donald Trump during his only term in power, and a ‘storm’ of mass arrests is almost always imminent. There’s absolutely no evidence to back up any of their claims.
Lively, 35, has since swore off QAnon, sought out treatment for her mental health and spoken out about how she was lured in by the conspiracy theory. During an appearance on the Finding Q podcast, she explained it started while browsing ‘spirituality, wellness, health and yoga groups’ on social media during lockdown.
‘When they call it a rabbit hole, it starts up at the top, near the surface with very innocuous information and as you click and click and click the algorithm does its thing. Over time it becomes more and more extreme and the confirmation bias you’re experiencing changes the way you think and grooms you to believe a separate set of beliefs that you had before,’ she said.
‘If I had seen right off the bat, Hillary [Clinton] is a baby-eating paedophile, I would have been like… okay no,’ she said, arguing that while it’s ‘easy’ to call QAnon supporters ‘idiots… this is some of the most well produced, well written things that were very plausible, and I realise there is a huge industry for conspiracy theories’.
Lively discussed how her mindset changed from assessing whether something was true to pondering what other lies someone may be telling. ‘I don’t remember the exact moment I took the red pill. I remember seeing those graphics… and I remember thinking, of course I’m going to take the red pill because I want to know the truth,’ she said.
For a time, she believed ‘there was a mechanism by that shadow government to perform a genocide on the global population by implementing a health crisis, a man made bio-weapon like COVID-19‘ and a ‘massive paedophilia ring that politicians and business elite participated in with human trafficking and sacrifice of children for personal Satanic use’.
It wasn’t until her husband gave her an ultimatum, forcing her to choose between the conspiracy theory and her family, that she changed her ways. ‘It was absolutely rock bottom and I needed help, there was no way I was going to come out of that situation on my own,’ Lively said.
‘I absolutely call it a cult in every single way. It destroyed me completely, collapsed my world view and landed me in a psychiatric evaluation facility. For me, being a successful person in my life, I never thought I would be in a situation like that and it was rock bottom.’
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