Living on the Fringe: When Anti-Vaxxers thought their children were aliens

Beyond the normal reaches of our society lies an endless array of others: some living, some dead; some known, some obscure. This is about the fringe of the fringe.

Adherents of fringe beliefs don’t tend to see reason when their favorite nonsense is debunked; they just slide on to tanother. They go effortlessly from Gamergate to Pizzagate to QAnon(gate) with nary a bit of self-awareness; from the Rapture of 2011 to the “Mayan” apocalypse of 2012 to the arrival of Nibiru in 2017; from starting a Final Fantasy cult to starting a Hannibal cult. Yes, really.

When this happens, the old bullshit tends to go down the memory hole. And so it is with anti-vaccine maven Jenny McCarthy, who’s done all she can to bury that she once explained her son’s autism not with debunked science, but by believing she, and him, were literally magic.

Such is the way of the Indigo Child believer: the precursor to anti-vax, and a strange movement in its own right.


McCarthy’s awakening came when a woman on the street yelled at her.

No, really. Someone told her that she was an Indigo & her son was a Crystal child. And on the word of a Lady Screaming On The Street, she found her purpose in life.

McCarthy embraced the Indigo child identity hard, but only a few years later, she deleted all pages about her belief in Indigo children – and her crusade against vaccines began.

But what exactly were Indigo Children? And how were they related to anti-vaxxers?


Well, let’s look them up. In a delightful field of embarrassingly sincere artwork, we find a succinct, 14-point checklist of Signs You May Be An Indigo Child:

This is a narrow list that limits Indigo Children exclusively to: every overly-sincere-and-awkward teen; every liberal arts student who just discovered politics; every Weird Horse Girl. Wow, truly a paranormal phenomenon at work.

But the Indigo Child phenomenon relied on its vagueness, on the ability of just about any mom to fit their child into their rubric. Other countdowns make it even more weaselly: you may have had a difficult childhood. Or a nice one. The Indigo Child tent is big. Pagan author Lorna Tedder claimed every pagan mom she knew had an “Indigo child”, and some believers claim as many as 95% of children are born with Indigo or Crystal ~ E N E R G I E S ~

But what are Indigo Children?


To put it simply, Indigo Children are children born with indigo auras, and Crystal Children are children born with crystal auras.

“Ah”, I hear you say. “Ah.”

The internet’s most respectable resource, Crystalinks dot com, seems surprisingly dubious on the phenomenon, but does quote the original 10-point indigo child list:

They come into the world with a feeling of royalty (and often act like it).

They have a feeling of “deserving to be here,” and are surprised when others don’t share that.

Self-worth is not a big issue; they often tell the parents “who they are.”

They have difficulty with absolute authority (authority without explanation or choice).

They simply will not do certain things; for example, waiting in line is difficult for them.

They get frustrated with systems that are ritually oriented and don’t require creative thought.

They often see better ways of doing things, both at home and in school, which makes them seem like “system busters” (nonconforming to any system).

They seem antisocial unless they are with their own kind. If there are no others of like consciousness around them, they often turn inward, feeling like no other human understands them. School is often extremely difficult for them socially.

They will not respond to “guilt” discipline (“Wait till your father gets home and finds out what you did”).

They are not shy in letting it be known what they need.

“Born feeling like royalty”, does not follow rules, doesn’t respond to consequences – a magical indigo child, or a rich kid? The results will NOT surprise you!

Commentary on the Indigo child is effusive in its praise, but hazy in the specifics. Indigo children have ‘special auras’. Indigo children will ‘change the world’. But what of the specifics? Let’s look at THIS reasonable looking site:

“Put simply, thousands of years ago we began to “think” instead of “feel.””

Ah.

“With past as our guide, we gave our power to the ego, which made us fearful. The intellect caused us to lose our connection to the collective consciousness, making us feel alone.”

Ah,

“Some adults have been able to gain at least a part of this former knowing. They in turn are giving birth to children who remember how the collective consciousness works and they are using it. The indigo offspring is their descendant.”

Ah…

But this site lays bare the truth. A Indigo child ‘bores easily’. Is ‘prone to insomnia’. ‘Has a history of depression’.

“Has probably been diagnosed as having ADD or ADHD”.


Indigo children were almost universally children with ADD or ADHD, raised by parents who would rather believe their child was an alien than that their child need Ritalin.

And here is where we see the seed that birthed anti-vaxxers; that made their transition from talking about auras to talking about debunked medical science.

“Indigo Children who take Ritlin or other psychotropic drugs soon lose touch with their intuition, psychic abilities, and warrior personality. These children were sent to Earth with these three spiritual gifts for the express purpose of cleaning up our planet, environmentally and socially.” Care and Feeding of Your Indigo Child, Doreen Virtue

Suppressive drugs such as Ritlin, can cause an indigo child to forget their life’s purpose, which only delays what HAS to change on our earth for us to continue living on it.

Indigo parents believed their children didn’t really have ADHD; in fact, ritalin suppressed their natural, magical gifts, and so parents should deny their children medicine that could help them.

One of the reasons an indigo, crystal or rainbow child has trouble sleeping is because wayward spirits are attracted to them. These spirits know these children can see and sense them. This makes them more irritable and restless in school. The schools and doctors decide from this they are ADHD or ADD.

Crystal children, meanwhile, were typically diagnosed with autism. And that’s how Jenny McCarthy found her way from crystal auras to antivax: how people went from denying their children medicine so as to not ‘suppress’ their gifts, to suspecting the medicine itself was the problem. From a more outré type of denialism – doctors are trying to drug the MAGIC out of your ALIEN ghost child! – to the more simple “this one discredited doctor’s study proves this vaccine is bunk, so let’s bring back measles.”

But both are related to hatred of their children – of love that’s conditional. Indigo and crystal children believers could only love their ADD-diagnosed child if they could rationalize it as them really being special in some way; vaccine believers would rather their children be dead than autistic. And both abuse their children by withholding healthcare. Neither is kooky or harmless; and when anti-vaxxers finally disappear, let us hope they disappear for good, and don’t move on to something new.

…though there are also New Agers who think their kids are literal aliens. Or angels. So uh, not holding my breath.

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A History of Nibiru, the Made-up Planet That Keeps Failing to Destroy the Earth

Nibiru, the secretive Planet X speculated to exist by some people who are not astronomers, will not pass through our solar system and destroy the Earth this Saturday, goddamnit.

David Meade, an author who boldly describes himself as a “Christian numerologist” despite that not now, or ever having been a job, predicts the world’s end in a potent mix of Bible-code-eschatology and New Age Planet X fears. And he issues his prophecy via the means best accepted by the people: incredibly stupid Youtube videos.

A woman will descend from heaven, looking like something out of a Pure Moods ad.

“…but because she saw The Shape of Water, she’ll kinda be into it.”

A great red dragon will appear, looking like a Langolier rendered on a Nintendo 64.

Snatched up by God in a way akin to the magical books in Myst, yet somehow with more antiquated graphics.

Ah yes, what more Judeo-Christian symbols are there than Astraea, Hermes, Ares and Aphrodite? We later learn that her child is Jupiter – that classic figure of Christianity, Zeus, God of Thunder.

What follows is an apocalypse depicted with all the verisimilitude of a basic cable drama starring a lesser Skarsgard.

My god, look at the sky…it’s a blurry aurora, at this time of year, localized entirely in your shitty Youtube video!

People disappear worldwide from stock footage of major cities, carried away in epilepsy-inducing balls of light. On this random street, hazy filters distract us from how few people are actually there as cars crash and helicopters fall in some hollow The Leftovers-ripoff. I guess the message is less “be Christian and stuff” and more “NEXT TIME YOU INVITE FINAL PAM TO BARBECUE”.

Pants fall from the sky and we close with a final warning:

…says the man literally making an overwrought Youtube video saying the exact day and hour he thinks the world will end. What a world, what a world. Continue reading

The Week in Conspiracy Theories: Top Minds Explore The Satanic Origins of Feminism, Islamophobia Down Under and More!

Feminism: A Secret Freemason Plot?

Via r/conspiratard comes this jumble of run-on sentences alleging that Feminism is a Rockefeller/Rothschild/Satanist/Freemason conspiracy to make sure the state raises children, not parents.

56561954Feminism is a cruel hoax, telling women their natural biological instincts are “socially constructed” to oppress them. It is elite social engineering designed to poison male-female relations – divide and conquer. By promoting Feminism, the state is able to gain the allegiance of women to promote more government control. Their twin objectives are depopulation and totalitarian world government. Research it so you can believe your own eyes. IT’S A TRAP! IT’S A SET UP!

 

To be a Freemason, in most lodges you have to be two things:

  1. A man
  2. Religious (usually Christian)

But let’s not dwell on those facts. Let’s instead dwell on this site’s bizarre images:

fem 3

Women! They have eyes! The All-Seeing Eye. Money. Government. Women making a hand symbol! Three of them! Looks like three sixes. ARE WOMEN A FREEMASON-ILLUMINATI-SATANIST PLOT!??? Of course! IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW! Continue reading

“Only Ideological Feminists…”: #GamerGate reaches new lows

Feminist media critic Anita Sarkeesian, who no one noticed until she started criticizing video games for being sexist sometimes, faced another challenge as an anonymous person threatened a massacre if she made a speech. Again, this is over moderate criticism of video games.

Also: Depression Quest is free.
Also: Depression Quest is free. (source: r/gamerghazi)

The ongoing campaign of harassment against women in gaming has, oddly enough, been better reported by non-gaming sources than gaming news sites. Dubbed #GamerGate, it’s technically a campaign for ethics in journalism – and so, obviously, they’ve allied themselves with Breitbart.com to fight the New York Times. But actually the movement began with long, pointless Youtube videos attacking a developer called Zoe Quinn for sleeping with men. Including a man who gave a good review to her game Depression Quest, except he never once reviewed Depression Quest, meaning the whole justification for the movement is bullshit.

Now, the threat doesn’t mention #GamerGate. But that doesn’t stop Gaters from engaging in the time-honored tradition of conspiracy theorists everywhere: shouting false flag! False flag! everywhere like total assholes.

This isn’t the first time this has happened with Anita Sarkeesian. Back in August, loathsome MRA site Return of the Kings reported that Anita Sarkeesian must have invented threats she showed off: after all, she’s logged out (no one has multiple accounts on Twitter or browses offline, obviously) and the account’s recently made (no one’s ever made a new burner account to get around a ban in the history of the internet)! Plus, isn’t the guy’s grammar too good to be real? And the search bar’s empty – which always happens after going to a account’s page from search results, as I just verified now. It takes 5 seconds to confirm this.

But people ranting about false flags are like cicadas: you can’t seem ’em now, but you know they’ll be back soon and they’re going to be fucking loud when that happens.

anita

I’m pretty sure that politicians get death threats all the time. In fact, quite a few of them have been outright murdered by people. Stephen Sondheim has a musical on the topic if you’re interested.

J61ml88

And here we see someone “proving” the threat was fake by grading it like a damn middle school essay. It must be fake because this manifesto by someone who wanted to shoot people over feminism is too focused on women. Only feminists would know of the Montreal massacre (a major event that spurred gun control in Canada), and you can’t say it’d be an attack like it because there was only one attack (huh?), And this death threat by someone willing to kill people to protect video games from feminism has some weird writing in it, Ergo, false flag. Elsewhere, someone uses a website to prove that a woman wrote this.

There are valid arguments on both sides. For instance, one side thinks saying something about ethics lets you harass women and the other side is full of rational adults who see #GamerGate as the horde of petulant children they are. One side allies with conservative news sites, conservative websites and conservative celebrities and the other side somehow thinks this means they’re a conservative movement. One side angrily reacts to headlines, and the other actually bothers to read things before judging them. One side talks about ethical concerns honestly, and the other only started caring about corruption in the game industry when it let them yell at women. There are truly two sides to this issue, as you can see.

“A few bad apples” is a funny phrase. Now it’s a defense – it’s just a few bad apples, the rest of our group is fine! But the full expression says the opposite: a few bad apples spoil everything. There may be apples in the #GamerGate bunch that aren’t rotten to the core, but they all spring from the same, poison tree.

PS: I apologize to cicadas for comparing you to #GamerGate. Cicadas are great. Bugs are great. Please go look at cool bugs instead of reading anything about #GamerGate.

“It’s the age of the Tea Party, all government is bad. That’s why they threw an amazing, award-winning plan into the trash.”

Conspiracy theories are, generally, harmless. They may become a target of unhealthy obsession for their advocates, but they usually don’t harm anyone else in and of themselves. But this isn’t always the case. Sometimes conspiracy theorists can harm the people, and world, around them.

Agenda 21: a non-binding UN resolution calling for sustainable development. Passed in 1992 and signed by many world leaders, including George H. W. Bush.

But if you ask conspiracy theorists, Agenda 21 is something far more sinister. It’s a threat to American sovereignty, it’s a plot to take away your property, it’s going to destroy the Constitution!

And that’s why people fought an award-winning development plan in Baldwin County, Alabama and killed it in 2012. Smart growth and urban development had become something more:

“This battle is more than just planning,” the county commission’s chairman, Robert James, said that day. “This is to protect the Constitution of the United States and what’s in it and, to me, even the Ten Commandments that God gave us.”

In attacking the Baldwin County comprehensive plan, James, the county commission chairman, invoked the names of Hitler and Stalin, Mao and Mussolini, and how their “plans, guides, outlines” resulted in the deaths of millions of people.

Continue reading