How then does the brain differentiate the real from the imagined? The way the brain processes information is fundamentally different when we perceive information from our senses compared to what is self-generated within the brain. What the brain receives from our senses is known as ‘afferent information’ and simply means, information travelling towards the brain. The brain can self-generate or imagine what is currently happening and this is called an efference copy. When there is a conflict in information between afferent and efferent information, we experience a “surprise”.
The media know this basic brain hardwiring very well and use surprise to capture our attention. For example, we will never see a headline like – “Ordinary teenager gets on with life”.
The thing with Q-anon is that it's already widely accepted as being a conspiracy theory. I can see that it shares some similarities with a cult, but there doesn't seem to be any kind of 'leader' that benefits form Q-anon - as in, is there anyone who is amassing power and influence and money as a result of Q-anon?
Is there some kind of centralized organization that is asking for donations?
I second the Conspirituality podcast.
Here is some of what I learned from it:
New age spirituality has some core tenets: everything is connected, and that everything happens for a reason. That's typically interpreted in a way to make the enlightened individual feel better.
Conspiracy thinking also believes everything is connected and that everything happens for a reason, except that it's bad. It's also interpreted to make the individual feel better as they are ons of the few who are in the know.
21 hours ago
Losing a Wellness Mom to Q / Greetings from Canada
I want to say that first off I am new to reddit. I have been reading these posts the past couple months for guidance and have finally bit the bullet and created an account because I feel I have something useful to share and contribute.
My mom is a devout Q believer. However she did not become a believer the “traditional” way. Up until this past summer, my mom hated Trump with a passion (as many Canadians do). She loved the Obamas and admired Hillary Clinton.
However my mom is an ardent anti-vaxer and a couple years ago had developed a keen interest in holistic wellness and new age spirituality. When covid broke out, it acted as a sort of catalyst. It hardened her mistrust of mainstream medicine and media which made her vulnerable to Q’s conspiracies. The next thing I new, she was freaking out about Project Blue Beam and watching the Fall of the Cabal, and ranting about the “Plandemic.” She believes that the governments of Canada and Ontario are taking away Canadians’ freedoms, and this is all one big huge conspiracy orchestrated by elite liberal pedophiles (also Trump will save us all and didn't actually lose the election).
My mom suffers from OCD which she isn’t getting help for and I believe Q and related covid conspiracies have become the new focus of her obsessions. She spends all day watching videos by so-called “experts” and reading posts and believes she is now a “Light Worker” and is being tagged in Pepe the Frog memes on Facebook, which is where she was "brainwashed." She has since started spending more time on Parler and Telegram. Many of her friends are also "awake" and they validate each other's beliefs.
It’s to the point where I can hardly have a normal conversation with her and she is alienating her family. I try to be around my mom often as I really don’t want to push her away and also so I can monitor her. I have a lot of patience and tolerance but it's becoming increasingly difficult. I try not to argue with her but I do push back on some things and try to sympathize with other things she says but it's a delicate balancing act.
If you think QAnon is only an American problem I can tell you that it has been making its way into middle and upper-middle class suburbs in southern Ontario. I’ve heard it has now spread around the Anglophone world, and even reached Germany and other countries in Europe, possibly even Russia (which seems like poetic justice for Putin if it takes hold there).
To any fellow Canucks here, you’re not alone. And solidarity with the Americans and others who are here as well.
If you've also lost a loved one to Q through the wellness/spirituality/anti-vax route please feel free to comment. Any strategies for coping and helping a loved one are really appreciated. I refuse to lose hope that I can bring my mom back.
The female-dominated New Age (with its positive focus on self) and the male-dominated realm of conspiracy theory (with its negative focus on global politics) may seem antithetical. There is a synthesis of the two, however, that we call ‘conspirituality’.
We define, describe, and analyse this hybrid system of belief; it has been noticed before without receiving much scholarly attention. Conspirituality is a rapidly growing web movement expressing an ideology fuelled by political disillusionment and the popularity of alternative worldviews. It has international celebrities, bestsellers, radio and TV stations.
(Conspirituality)offers a broad politico-spiritual philosophy based on two core convictions, the first traditional to conspiracy theory, the second rooted in the New Age:
1) a secret group covertly controls, or is trying to control, the political and social order
2) humanity is undergoing a ‘paradigm shift’ in consciousness.
Proponents believe that the best strategy for dealing with the threat of a totalitarian ‘new world order’ is to act in accordance with an awakened ‘new paradigm’ worldview.