Not long ago, I posted on the Shack forum about a young actor that I really liked and seemed like he had a bright future ahead of him…and then he went completely off the rails, killed his own mother, and went out looking to assassinate the Canadian Prime Minister! I mean…how did we get HERE???

But that’s a very important question, isn’t it? Take a moment and think about it. In a world where people can be radicalized to say, believe, or do almost anything beyond any realm of logic or common sense…it’s pretty clear that this is becoming a growing problem in our society. I mean…what does it? Brainwashing? Conspiracy theories? Or just a mental imbalance? Maybe a touch of all three in different doses. But whether it be the Manson family, Jim Jones getting his followers to drink poisoned Kool-Aid, or Heaven’s Gate getting people to castrate themselves and commit suicide in order to reach a comet from space…this keeps popping up in every culture. And no one knows what to do about it.

The question is…how well do you know yourselves? And do you think that you could ever become one of those people who suddenly follows a rabbit hole down into a pit of madness and violence? It has nothing to do with intelligence or morality or lack there of. Some people just get sucked into these things where it all makes sense. What about you? Is there anything that would get you to change everything that you are and abandon what you now may think is your sanity for something better? Could you be talked into it? What would it take to convince you?

Apparently, we’re all susceptible to such a thing. Do you ever wonder if there’s a trigger within you somewhere that could ensnare you a cause you wander off of the path that you once thought was so straight and narrow?

Let us know what you think! And be careful what you say here…hehehe, the Illuminati is watching! 😛

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“I think it’s the power of social media. It’s an amazing amplifier, for both good and ill.

I can’t say I am immune from ever going down the conspiracy route, and the world of intolerance, and spreading hatred of others, but I just can’t see me ever doing that.

In the almost 40 years I’ve been alive, it’s never been in me to hate someone for how they look, where they come from, what they have between their legs, or who they love.

The only intolerance I do have is for hateful beliefs, and those who spread them.

And I really dislike greed, and politicians who work on behalf of corporate interests instead of helping normal, every day, working people, who’re struggling more and more, as costs rise and rise.

I also used to believe that if information was free and easily accessible, that people would be educated and more and more do the right thing (I was naïve).

I didn’t understand just how cult like lots of people were. Social media’s empowered racists, sexists, homophobes and other bigots with far more power than they had even a decade ago.

And people are so easily persuaded by bad arguments, and to people who set themselves up as someone who is speaking against “the establishment” (even though they are a part of it and benefited from it).

Straight white people are “being ignored and repressed” cause there’s no “white history month”, or “straight pride”.

No? Well there was also no prison sentence for heterosexuality, and white slave trade across the West, for centuries, and Jim Crow laws discriminating against them. Without this oppression and cruelty, there would be no need for pride and BLM, etc.

I’m sure targeted minority groups would forego pride, for never having to deal with discrimination in the first place. The only reason it exists is because of hateful people like them. Sexuality and race, ideally, should be no more controversial than hair and eye colour.

So yeah, I think social media needs to get much tougher on hate speech. Possibly a controversial thing to say, even here? Because I also recognize the importance of free speech. And I’m sure others here do, too.

But the amount of hate and toxicity now spreading around online, and also influencing even younger kids, who lack the ability to think more critically, is insane.

The rise of Andrew Tate over the last few months alone, is scary.
Glad TikTok and the other SM finally stepped in and did something.

I’ve seen videos of him degrading women, and ‘bigging up’ domestic abuse, and victim shaming victims of rape, etc, cloaking it under his “religious beliefs”.

His videos racked up 15 Billion views on TikTok alone, this year. Lots of his viewers being teens and twenty-something boys.

And he’s also homophobic and racist too, as all these nuts tend to be. They don’t stop at hating on just one group of people.

He was also making tens of millions a month, apparently.
How lucrative it is to be a nasty little pig.

Anyway, the piece of shit has been banned across multiple planforms now. Good riddance.” – Mike

“Anyone can fall down a rabbit hole…

A lot of this starts out innocent enough. It’s like, you like comics or video games? Well here are some Youtube channels that talk about these hobbies you like. So you start watching and at some point they start slipping in mentions of how Game X is bad because of “SJW nonsense” and companies going ‘woke’ and not listening to the “real fans” like you, the watcher. And if you’re an impressionable teen, you just think it’s funny and edgy until you hear it enough that you start to believe it.

Or it’s presented as ‘personal growth’ or life advice, and it sounds helpful at first, but then a few videos in you start hearing about how the problem isn’t you, it’s ‘insert group here’ and how THEY’re the reason you’re not living the perfect life you dreamed of, and you should resent and hate them and treat them like shit.

I think everyone is just one bad day away from falling prey to this kind of thing, because from what I’ve seen a lot of them are masquerading as a support group to draw people in, and then once they’re in the ‘support’ is nothing more than giving vulnerable people a marginalised group to hate and blame for all their problems.

I don’t know that there’s a specific trigger for me, but my guess is all it could take is feeling really down one day and clicking on the wrong video. Because once you put one foot in a rabbit hole, social media will push you all the way in with their ‘recommendations’.” – Shadow086

“I have to admit that I am quite baffled by the whole idea that anyone would allow someone else to lead them away from their own core. I mean, inspiring thought, challenging norms, and encouraging a certain curiosity to learn more is one thing. I can get that. But in real life…to follow any ideology that discourages questions and demands blind loyalty for the sake of comfort…I can’t understand that for the life of me. How can people not have limits? What the hell?

I want you guys to watch this…
There are people out there who can see the weakness or the need in you…and they will try to manipulate you every chance they get. You can be cheated out of your money, cheated out of opportunities, even relationships…but keep you heart and your soul for yourselves. Please. There’s nothing more precious than that.

See? LIMITS! Nobody can make me believe something that I don’t believe. I won’t lie to myself. I won’t lie to other people in order to defend it. You couldn’t pay me enough to sell my soul for something like that. If I deliberately wore a T-shirt with something hateful or offensive on it, something that hurt people, and I was getting dirty looks and was being booed in the streets, I would experience a level of shame that I don’t think I’d be able to handle. Why do that? Even if I made a new friend and we were really cool and having a good time…if he pulls out a pistol and was like, “let’s rob this bank really quick!”….ummm, FUCK no! What the hell is wrong with you? What the hell do you think is wrong with ME to even suggest such a thing?

I wrote a series called “Agenda 21”, where I followed a bunch of videos and stuff down into the conspiracy rabbit hole myself, but it was mostly because I thought it was cool how people were building it up and connecting dots that shouldn’t connect. But I would never be ‘radicalized’ by such a thing. It’s ridiculous when you really stop and think about it, but it makes for a cool story. You know?

The series is on a long term hold because of the big anti-vax stuff going on with the Covid pandemic. I felt that it would be irresponsible of me to possible fuel that any further with a totally fictional story about the end of the world. I don’t want to be a part of that madness. Maybe one day I’ll pick it up again, but folks need to stop searching for some kind of ‘war’ to fight around every corner that makes them think that every day is filled with life or death situations. I’m pretty sure that anyone trying to lead me down one of those dark paths would be wasting their time. I have limits. Better yet, I have common sense. And I know when people are telling me outright lies in order to appear perfect.

Nobody’s perfect. So knock it off.” – Comicality

“I know my truth

I’ve seen and heard many times how someone has been groomed to join a cult or do something they wouldn’t ordinarily do.

I think there are 2 factors that can have an impact. Age and stability in the home.

Young people are still figuring themselves out and are easily drawn in by clever manipulators. They don’t even realize it’s happening most of the time, because these manipulators are clever and patient.

Also I think people are far more unlikely to be brainwashed etc if they come from a stable home life.

Now if you mix an unstable/broken/bad home life and the person is young then this makes them even more vulnerable to suggestion, as deep down they are looking for somewhere to belong and these cults/predators etc use that.

As for me? I know my truth/limits and I’ve been around long enough and experienced enough to know I can’t be manipulated like that.” – Dom

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If you guys ever want to add your two cents to any one of the ‘Q & A’ sessions for future issues of Imagine Magazine, we’d LOVE to hear your input and your personal stories on the forum! Feel free to attach your screen name, or do so anonymously! Drop by “The Shack Out Back” forum on the 1st of every month for a brand new topic of conversation! We look forward to hearing more from you! 🙂


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