We all know someone who’s seemed normal but who’s somehow gotten involved in reposted propaganda and nonsense about this stuff.
I am talking about someone who isn’t a Limbaugh listener. A yoga teacher, a coffee roaster, an office worker. Someone who isn’t even all that political really, but who is nevertheless posting heavily photoshopped images about “saving children” with random celebrities hovering like demons in the background. How did these people get sucked into a strange cult? How did regular people end up believing an antisemitic trope about “baby brains”? Why is Nevaeh even aware this shit exists?
It starts with that tag. “save * children”.
Most people are really glad to feel like they’re doing something useful to battle against child abuse. We all hate seeing people get away with abuse, assault, or molestation just because they’re rich. People outside this cult, regular people who understand that trump fits this category, agree that anyone who hurts a child should be stopped. It’s universal. It’s a common point of agreement.
Yes, they have written entire guides about how to involve people in the Death Cult. This one is relatively easy to find, but there are entire discord and app chats full of ideas on this. They’re constantly discussing how best to brainwash and argue people into the cult.
So this common, universal point of agreement is the entry into it all. It’s a small step to next start picking out random celebrities who actually HAVE hurt someone- Polanski, Woody Allen, Weinstein, and then extend it to another celebrity. There’s an inexorable drag towards the wilder side of things, but they’ll go slowly, pulling people in bit by bit. I hate to use the “frog in boiling water” analogy but it’s what they are doing.
They’re pretty much following core cult recruiting tactics.
Another route of entry is anti-vaccine beliefs. Admittedly, people who are fully against any vaccines are usually always convinced of further weirdness that slots nicely into the Death Cult:
- they think modern medicine is a lie
- they think “big pharma” wants to kill kids
- they are terrified of their own kids being hurt or defective
- they don’t care about 3rd world children who still die from polio
- often they already believe conspiracy theories about Bill Gates, random politicians and celebrities
Once they’ve gotten on board with the idea that the elite are hurting kids, their fears are pretty easy to redirect.
Now, the red flags here aren’t that they think powerful or rich people hurt kids or assault women. They do. We can look directly at the cases that have come to light and see that there is a grain of truth. Epstein did in fact traffick and rape kids. He did have friends in high places, and they were involved- trump, prince Andrew, Acosta, Dershowitz.
Thinking there’s conspiracy to hide this is also true. ICE has “lost” thousands of children from their facilities. Many were trafficked and yes, have been found. ICE officials have been arrested, and convicted of both trafficking and covering it up. Acosta brokered a deal to keep Epstein’s clients from being charged with sex crimes against children, in 2007 when Epstein was first charged. This could be called a cover-up. Hell, Weinstein had an army of lawyers to help him get away with it. Trump has hundreds of settlements he’s paid. Sure, this is a thing that happens.
These things do happen. And so, you’ve taken that first small step. Each step along this path gets harder to believe, but is only a small step from the last.
Let’s follow the logic.
1. children are being trafficked (ok, true)
2. by powerful people who are protected (sometimes, sure)
3. they’re celebrities and democrats (at this point, people will start to argue about if trump is included. they’ll admit to Roy Moore, or a random Congressional staffer- but not to trump. they will not want to hear about ICE or cartels or anything but white, American kids)
4. Depending on how gullible they think their target is, they’ll either go step by step through a list of people they think are involved, or they’ll jump right to Hillary Clinton. (pizzagate). they’ll spend as much time as necessary inventing “proof” of pizzagate.
5. this is where the baby brains will get mentioned. (and the merch!)
6. sometimes, they’ll go a step further into “lizard people”, aliens, The Cabal, etc.
By the time people have been to, and accepted, step 4, it’s too late to get them out of it. They’re indoctrinated. They’re cult members. They may be only tenuously involved but cults are incredibly hard to leave once inside.
You can use any common agreement to get from the start to step one. “Bill Gates is hurting kids with vaccines” works just as well. step 2 becomes “vaccines are made out of aborted fetuses” (not true, but some believe it). etc
The anti-Semitism of all this doesn’t seem obvious unless you’ve read about the history of medicine, and specifically about previous plagues. Since the plague of Justinian, “blood libel” has been a way of accusing Jewish people of causing plagues.
It was this accusation that fueled the flagellants in 1349, too- another cult that was massive, and that took hold during a plague. I feel that the modern Death Cult is related to the flagellants in a lot of ways. These are very old, very common thoughts for a lot of right wing or christian people. Anti-semitism is still very active, a very real force in the world, just like racism or sexism.
It is not about Israel. It’s about Jewish people themselves, and is a threat to them. Usually this kind of talk is coded.
“Lizard people”, “Soros”, “Rothschild”, and the claims of blood libel all are examples.
This is where your regular, everyday receptionist ends up. After simply wanting to do something to “help kids”, they follow the train of crazy deep into the cult, and end up thinking lizard people are eating baby brains. By the time they’re this deep, they also tend to believe trump is some kind of undercover hero, not a serial abuser at all. They will lie or avoid proof from outside the cult- anything not sanctioned by the cult is “fake” or “part of it”.
They’ll be using thought-stopping phrases, whenever they feel doubt about what they’re doing they will repeat these. They seem like they’re directed at you, but they’re not. These phrases are self directed and are repeated almost a mantra, to quash any feelings of doubt or discomfort with cognitive dissonance they’re having. “Wake up”, “Do your research”, “You’ll see”, “Watch and wait”, “Trust the plan”.
These are said in order to stop themselves from thinking about the cult AS a cult. They’re not directed at you.
This is why your somewhat normal friend is now a rabid trump supporter involved in antimask parades. Sorry.