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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Plain Summaries of What Conspiracy Theorists Actually F**king Believe

Flat Earthers: The world is flat, and some unknown organization is faking space photographs, flights and cruises to prevent anyone from going to the ice wall that they think exists because they misread a map. By means unknown, this organization somehow profits from inexplicably spending millions, maybe billions annually to make people think the Earth’s flat…for…some…reason? Despite their vast resources & nefarious nature, this organization can of course be outsmarted by some Youtubers.

GamerGate: A game developer used corrupt means to make someone who didn’t ever review their game give a positive review that doesn’t exist to a game that was free. You know, for the sales. After reading some articles that suggested maybe gamers weren’t all nerdy young white straight men anymore as meaning that gamers were literally dead, the geniuses of GamerGate pretended a movement whose origins occurred in public was actually about how gaming journalism wasn’t as ethical as it was in the days of Nintendo Power. Despite this, the conspiracy of corrupt game critics could of course be outsmarted by some Youtubers.

Also, everyone who believed this is a Nazi now.

PizzaGate: Campaign staffers ate pizza at a popular pizza joint in DC. Somehow this means there’s a secret child abuse cult based in the basement, despite the restaurant not having a basement, and also every part of that sentence being deranged horseshit. I don’t even know here. Despite the cult’s resources, this grand Satanic conspiracy can of course be outsmarted by some Youtubers.

Also, everyone who believed this is a Nazi now.

Medicine denialists: Pharmaceutical companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars on cures for diseases, only to throw them in the trash, for some reason, I guess? Also, the cure for your toxic toxins in your body are [insert whatever scam you’re pitching here]. Despite the pharmaceutical industry’s shadowy nature & vast resources, this conspiracy of greed can of course be outsmarted by some Youtubers.

White genocide: People who aren’t white exist, have kids. Literally. That’s it.

Also, everyone who believes this was already a Nazi.

QAnon: A rando on 4Chan knows secret blah blah I can’t do this anymore. What the fuck. How was that a thing.

Also, Nazis, all of them, etc.

The World’s First Anti-Propaganda Search Engine Places Users in The Biggest Echo Chamber Ever

Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, runs the website Natural News. It’s exactly what it sounds like. When we last saw him, he was calling all non-conspiracy theorists mentally retarded and compared pro-GMO journalists to Nazis and said people had a “moral right” to kill them. Now he’s created a innovative new search engine, a new idea that disrupts a industry by ensuring that you will never again see new ideas.

“For the last six months, I have been working hard on the development of a breakthrough search engine that will finally offer a credible search alternative to the NSA-funded, surveillance-state search engines currently dominating the web.”

This new search engine will keep you from seeing the propaganda that you will see anywhere but my website. You can trust the Health Ranger, because my site isn’t LITERALLY a NSA-funded scheme to spy on you.

“Next week, I’ll be opening the webmaster URL submit page for the world’s first independent, anti-propaganda search engine that filters out corporate propaganda and government disinformation.”

The first search engine that makes sure you don’t have to see any ideas that you don’t agree with. For too long, the denizens of the internet have had to suffer through seeing people who don’t think the same as them. Well, no more! In the past, you might have avoided ever, ever leaving your personal echo chamber by only going to garbage sites like Natural News for your news. This will automate the process. Never be challenged again!

“Uniquely, this independent search engine either bans or flags (with a warning) all corporate propaganda and government disinfo websites. Just as Google flags search result URLs containing malicious code that can infect your computer, we will flag search result URLs containing malicious propaganda that can infect your mind.”

I wonder what propaganda the brave Health Ranger will keep from infecting our mind? It must be pretty awful

“This means you won’t find the CDC’s vaccine propaganda dominating search results, for example.”

It’s the CDC. The CD-fuckin’-C. Their “vaccine propaganda”, otherwise known as “science”, will stop dominating search results. They’re given undue weight, just because they’re “accurate”. This is LITERALLY oppression.

“Instead, you’ll find a universe of independent websites that have been suppressed, censored or outright banned by Google.”

A universe of websites not found easily on Google, just because they might start ranking sites by accuracy and Natural News would be somewhere on page 9,975,256 in any search.

“Google’s search results are now determined by each page’s so-called “factiness” — a new algorithm that punishes all content which disagrees with official sources such as the criminally operated CDC, the pharma-controlled science journals, and biotech-infiltrated universities.”

They rank pages based on “factiness”, a horrible algorithm that punishes content just because it disagrees with sources that “know what they’re talking about”.

“This shift effectively makes Google a real-life Ministry of Truth that censors the truth and promotes corporate propaganda (and government disinfo), all while spying on you to boot.”

In my first post on the Health Ranger, I proposed Space Lizard’s Law: if you live in a country where you can freely compare the government to 1984, then you aren’t living in 1984.

Google is just like the Ministry of Truth. It censors the truth – except it doesn’t do anything to stop competing search engines from existing. It doesn’t torture you if you use Bing, since (insult Bing joke here). Its “propaganda” is judging, objectively, whether facts are true. Google has zero power to force you to use Google, so of course it’s like the propaganda arm of a dystopian dictatorship.

“Think about it: Google heavily promotes Wikipedia, a discredited disinfo and defamation website largely edited by corporate-funded trolls hiding behind anonymity. Even though Wikipedia was co-founded by a “porn king” and carried child porn imagery on its site, Google gives it high rankings while punishing the independent media websites that actually publish the truth.”

One of my favorite things about Wikipedia is Googling (oh no, the Ministry of Truth is going to get me for making their trademark generic!!!) some alternative medicine topic and the first result being a Wikipedia article that outright calls it pseudoscience. I won’t get into the bizarre attack on Jimmy Wales. He’s apparently unreliable because he ran a porn site and covered it up – except it’s mentioned on his Wikipedia page and has its own extensive page. That’s like shredding documents in a copier.

Remember, though: you can’t find the truth out there. You can only find the truth in here. Only I, the Health Ranger, speak the truth. Trust me. TRUST ME AND ME ALONE. I’m sure there were similar speeches given in Jonestown.
“Google also strongly favors mainstream media news sources — precisely the news outlets that spew the most blatant disinformation about everything that matters: Central Banks, government debt, politics, economics, health care, immigration, crime, culture and more.”
Google strongly favors popular, widely read media sources. CONSPIRACY!
“The day is probably not too far off when Google and Facebook ban all independent media websites.”
Strange how your site still pops up when I type in “Natural News”. They’re doing a poor job of suppressing independent websites, then, but I’m sure they’ll just all disappear one day.
“When that day comes, it’s projects like the one I’m launching that will be the last remaining portals to real journalism and independent reporting.”
But everyone will be fine with letting these alternative search engines, run by pseudoscientific health bloggers who constantly tell their followers that they are the only ones telling the truth, proliferate. Just like 1984!


What a magnificent echo chamber this will be! The main problem with social media is, no matter how tightly you construct your personal bubble, dissenting views will occasionally slip through. Now your right to never be disagreed with will be protected. Some people think they have the right to disagree with you just because they’re objectively correct. Well, no longer! Bring on the hive mind!

Blurry Photo or Evidence of Demons?

Ghost Study, the biggest ghost site on the web since 1999, offers the world two things: dubious ghost photos and advice on how to best misuse tools to make them find “ghosts”. This photograph hails from August 2001 and describes a concept that couldn’t even catch on in the world of ghost hunters.

“Look for the demons. You’ll find several of them in this picture!”

crowdNo, photo, YOU ARE THE DEMONS.

Supposedly this photo includes several DEMONS, including: t-rex eating a dude’s head, a shadow man in the stands, and a giant bird or something they helpfully highlighted.

It’s impossible for these to be a woman’s hair, or a face, or a dude wearing black. It’s impossible that this is a terrible photo. Photos never lie, have errors or just look like shit. No, it’s DEMONS.

“This photo from Jeff gives us greater insight into the phenomena of crowd demons. The term “Crowd Demons” is a term I came up with here at Ghost Master to differentiate them from other demonic beings caught on film. It’s not unusual to catch strange and unidentifiable anomalies on film which I call “Crowd Anomalies”, but this is much different! These are not ghostly anomalies at all, but appear to be actual Demons on film! It is believed that the appearance of these types of demons are a direct result of either the location being haunted or their attractiveness to the photographer or member/s of the audience…….scary thought.”

Scary thought…

If you’re looking for other examples of “crowd demons”…there aren’t any. The few times paranormal sites discuss “crowd demons” it’s…a link to this photo. This terrible, terrible photo.

It’s a terrible, terrible photo that’s lasted until 2013, when it made an appearance on a Listverse listicle about lesser-known kinds of ghost, along with kobolds (!?), doppelgangers of Nic Cage, 100% artificial ghosts and vortexes, strange, camera-strap like spirits that only show up on camera.

So next time you’re talking a low-resolution photo of a crowd with a terrible camera, you can always hope that someone will find ghosts and demons in it and keep spreading it around with some ridiculous backstory about “crowd demons”. Ain’t life grand?

Reddit Hates Jews

This blog has been quiet so far this year, but not for lack of material. Just CRUSHING DESPAIR.

The Charlie Hebdo attacks prompted the usual cries of “FALSE FLAG!” from the top minds of r/conspiracy. It also inspired the usual antisemitism.

The top voted post about the attacks this month was…this cartoon:

Antisemitism

 

How does this relate to the attack? Because Charlie Hebdo once fired a cartoonist for making an antisemitic joke, and r/conspiracy is obsessed with it: of the top 25 posts this month, three out of four posts dealing with the Charlie Hebdo attacks were about the cartoonist fired over antisemitism.

But maybe they’re just really concerned about freedom of speech. After all, the r/conspiracy crowd rarely says anything about Jews. They just think there’s a Zionist conspiracy, not a –

r/isrconspiracyracist‘s users have discovered that certain users, like the terribly named Antiochus88, will post antisemitic videos or links – but swap out “Jew” for “Zionist” in the post’s title. They are interchangeable to this crowd.

I am not cherrypicking any examples of r/conspiracy being terrible; I’m just looking at what their users upvoted in the last week.

There are entries about the attack being a false flag. Guess what nation they blame?

antisemitism2

The link goes to an International Business Times article – that’s been retracted for being erroneous.

The theory du jour: Israel ordered the attack in retribution for France potentially recognizing Palestine. One wonders why there were no strikes on Sweden, or Iceland, or the 133 other countries across the world that actually recognize Palestine.

The top 25 posts this week contain four posts about murdered or jailed Palestinian journalists and cartoonists; one post about Israelis plotting to blow up the Mexican parliament in 2001 (more on that later); two posts on a French comedian banned from performing due to his antisemitic act; and three more posts about various instances of Israeli censorship.

To be fair, some of these are valid concerns. The murder or arrest of journalists is abhorrent anywhere. Accepting any kind of racism is hypocritical. But if they were focused on the rights of journalists, they’d probably be talking about more than just abuses in Palestine. Many people have pointed out the anti-journalist actions of the world leaders who attended the Paris march. There is no reason to focus on Israel – they had nothing to do with the attacks, and their leaders were just one of many to attend the Paris march. There is a reason they’re so focused on these incidents specifically.

The Mexico story, it turns out, does not involve two Israelis plotting to blow up Mexico’s Parliament. It involves one Israeli and one Mexican Jew – since, again, these words are interchangeable to this crowd and attacking “Israelis” makes them seem not quite so antisemitic. This story never caught on with the mainstream media, another sign of their bias against stories that aren’t true. But one user explains why the media ignored it:

MSM

Ah yes, the ol’ “Jews own the media” canard. With just a dash of “Jews did 9/11!”. What’s next, blood libel? Wait, they’ve already done that?

Though I sadly didn’t screencap it, for a time every other link on r/conspiracy’s main page was about Israel, Jews or “Zionists” – in response to an event that did not involve Israel, and where Jewish people were inarguably victims (the kosher market attack, far as I can tell, went unmentioned). And among them was this entry:

antisemitism3

They’re not saying Jews did 9/11, they’re just saying some Jews were adjacent to 9/11!

If you can discern anything from this blog post, I salute you. I just gave up when I saw that it descends into one gigantic block halfway through.

This is a subreddit that marked Rosh Hashanah by making a six-hour documentary about how Hitler was misunderstood their featured documentary. A photo of a Holocaust survivor turns into a opportunity for them to slam the “paid shills” of Israel. This blog’s first post was a moderator’s defense of David Duke. An entire subreddit exists solely to collect their racism.

r/conspiracy is a goddamn cesspool, home to edgy 17 year olds (I hope, but I sadly think a lot of these people are much older) whose knowledge of the world derives from South Park and obscure blogs. And they think they’re smarter than everyone else because of this. They’re proud of their ignorance. In their minds, they’re better than you because they draw their entire worldview from nonsense.

Hating Jews lets them be edgy and shocking, but it’s also what they believe: r/whiterights’ userbase overlaps with r/conspiracy, and the most visible members, at least until 3 months ago, included “Antiochus88” – named after a historical oppressor of Jews and a code for “Heil Hitler”, respectively.  r/conspiracy is big with the Stormfront crowd. And so r/conspiracy continues to lash out at “Zionists” and Israel and sometimes, when they don’t bother to disguise it, Jews. It’s impossible to tell who’s just parroting what they hear and who earnestly believes it, and it doesn’t matter.  Both followers and leaders march against Jews in Germany. Both followers and leaders vandalize synagogues. Both chant “Jew, France is not for you”.

Of course, that’s not to say that the users of r/conspiracy engage in such behavior. The only thing more powerful than their racism is their slacktivism.

The Conspiracy Theorist Ideology in a Nutshell

“Natural News” (“See real-time breaking news on: GMOs, fluoride and heavy metals”) posted an astonishing article entitled, “Refreshing rationality: Why NOT believing in conspiracies is a sure sign of mental retardation“.

With a title like that, how can you go wrong? Well, quite easily.

The phrase “conspiracy theorist” is a derogatory smear phrase thrown at someone in an attempt to paint them as a lunatic. It’s a tactic frequently used by modern-day thought police in a desperate attempt to demand “Don’t go there!”

First paragraph and we have a Thought Police reference already!

We need a term for unwarranted 1984 comparisons. Perhaps a Space Lizard’s Law: If you live in a country where you can freely read and discuss 1984, then making a comparison to 1984 causes you to immediately lose any argument. Continue reading