“Watkins’ journey from decorated Army vet and well-regarded volunteer firefighter to alleged insurrectionist would seem, at first glance, unlikely. But the forces that propelled her onto the FBI’s radar have become increasingly familiar: a caustic stew of misinformation spread on conspiratorial websites, aggressive boosterism and logistical support from right-wing extremist groups, and the collision of a global pandemic with last summer’s Black Lives Matters protests. As described by Siniff, it all happened very quickly.” She Went From Running A Bar In A Small Town To Being Charged With Conspiracy In An Attempted Coup
“Information suggests that some ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances fueled by false narratives, could continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence,” read a National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin issued by acting Secretary of Homeland Security” A New Terror Advisory Warns Of More Potential Right-Wing Extremist Attacks
Leaderless but united by racist ideology that has been supercharged by social media, extremists have built a web of real and online connections that worries officials. Capitol Riot Puts Spotlight on ‘Apocalyptically Minded’ Global Far Right
‘I Miss My Mom’: Children Of QAnon Believers Are Desperately Trying To Deradicalize Their Own Parents Like most others featured in this story, Sabrina believes her mom and dad were primed for QAnon by an echo chamber of far-right lies and propaganda reinforced by Fox News personalities,aggressive social media algorithms — and Trump. The former president is hailed as a deity-like figure in Q-World and has repeatedly amplified QAnon conspiracy theories that support his political agenda. ‘I Miss My Mom’: Children Of QAnon Believers Are Desperately Trying To Deradicalize Their Own Parents
“We know that there are two groups of people in the West, in the present, who in terms of psychological profile are particularly drawn to conspiracy theories. First, there are people who feel out of control and feel powerless and they can explain the fact that they are not being heard, that the country is developing in a direction that unhappy with, by resorting to conspiracy theories. Secondly, there are people who have trouble accepting insecurity and ambiguity, and what conspiracy theories do for these people is to resolve this ambiguity and provide seemingly clear answers.
Think about the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, at least in Germany and Europe, when everything went into lockdown in early March last year and we were all sitting at home and nobody knew what our lives would look like in three days or three weeks or three months. That’s a situation where conspiracy theories were extremely attractive because they provided an answer. They told people, “Well, this is what’s really going on. These are the people who are responsible for this, and this is what they are trying to trying to achieve.”
Obviously, it’s easier for some people to believe that a group of conspirators is pulling the strings than to accept that nobody is putting the strings, because it’s easier to accept that people are acting intentionally than to accept that there’s a lot of chaos and contingency at work. If human agents are responsible, then of course you have scapegoats, you have people you can point your finger at and blame for everything. If it’s abstract forces like globalization, or just coincidence and chaos, then you really can’t point your finger at anybody. And if human agents are responsible for all that, then no matter how powerful they might appear they can, at least in theory, be defeated. Even though this might prove difficult to achieve, at least it’s possible. You can’t really defeat chaos or an abstract force like globalization. So this is what makes conspiracy theories attractive.
Then, in the present period, where it’s no longer normal to believe in conspiracy theories, believing in them also allows you to reassure yourself that you are special: You can claim that you are somebody who has understood something that most people are missing. While they are walking through life with their eyes closed, sleeping, you have opened your eyes. You’ve woken up, and these are powerful metaphors in conspiracy’s discourse. You can claim that you are special because you know something that others don’t.” Conspiracy theories — unmasked! From Winston Churchill to QAnon in a few easy steps