Monday, January 28, 2008

Welcome to the World of Paranoia!

Our daughter has always been a ravenous researcher. If a topic strikes her fancy, she'll research it until she understands it fully. When her soon to be ex-husband became involved with Amway, SME successfully researched Amway/Quixtar and de-programed her then-husband, before he totally ruined their finances.

For the past few years, SME has been researching "Satanic Panic" for a book she wants to write. In her research, she has encountered several other disturbing phenomena, which she has written about on her alternate blog: swallowingthecamel.blogspot.com. Through this blog, SME and I have become acquainted with several *ahem* "bizarre" individuals, some of whom are semi-famous.

We have been educated in atrocities that belong in science fiction novels. I'm not going to mention the atrocities as I don't want the nutcase commenters here. For an example of the paranoia that exists in our world, read SME's post from November 29th and the comments, and watch the video. I'm interested in my reader's reactions to this post.

I have researched some of the terms mentioned by her commenters...scary stuff! I pity the people who believe they have been targeted by the "New World Order". They live in a constant state of paranoia, believing they are being assaulted, from a distance, by lasers and/or microwaves. They also claim to have been brainwashed or tortured by telepathic forces, had their cars run off the road, and are constantly followed by "them".

After dealing with a paranoid schizophrenic mother-in-law for the past 30 yrs, I'm wondering how many undiagnosed cases are out there in our world today.

SME and I have been accused of being judgmental toward these "victims". What do you think? Are these people being paranoid, or do you believe their claims?

20 Comments:

At 1/28/2008 5:54 PM, Blogger Courtney said...

Well, if ya'll are being "judgemental", then so am I. I think they're just paranoid. Especially the lady who sat in her car filming people walking by, claiming they're gang stalkers. Crazy, man.

How'd she de-program the Amway/Quixtar thing? We have a couple friends who've alienated everyone they know by pushing Quixtar. They claim they're making so much money they'll be able to quit their jobs, but they had to sell their condo and move in with her parents. Sad...

 
At 1/28/2008 6:33 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

I knew I could count on you Courtney!
My favorite paranoid was the lady, in the comments section, who had her teeth destroyed by lasers...through the walls of her home!

SME printed out about 3 REAMS of paper full of stories like you just described. For every person that makes ANY kind of profit through Amway, there are a thousand who have gone broke trying to make the big bucks they're promised.

 
At 1/28/2008 9:51 PM, Blogger SME said...

One way of dealing with Amway/Quixtar folks is to know their stuff so well that you can say things seconds before they do. For instance, the ex started a sentence "My uplink thinks I should wear..."
And I finished it "...a white shirt and red tie."

Freaks 'em out.

 
At 1/29/2008 12:40 AM, Blogger Grizzly Mama said...

I agree and think they're nuts. I had a neighbor once who truly believed that shape-shifting aliens live under Denver International Airport (the proof was the masonic symbol somewhere at the airport..) - and they controlled the world. He would always ask us, "Are you in the matrix?", after seeing the movie Matrix. I told him that he needed professional help and that made him very mad. Oh well.

Some guy wrote a book about these aliens and he bought it - lock, stock, and barrel. I'm thinking I could write a book about some crazy something or other and thousands of people might actually believe it.

 
At 1/29/2008 3:10 AM, Blogger SME said...

I don't understand the Denver Airport theories at all. Looks like an ordinary airport to me - and if a vast underground complex had been built beneath it, wouldn't folks have noticed during construction? Conspiracy theorists point to the "New World Order" mural in which children of all colors hand over their nations' weapons to a smiling blonde boy. To me it seems to be about world peace and disarmament. Sure, it's a little garish and extreme, but since when are airport murals perfect?

I know of some people who believe in the shape-shifting aliens/lizards, too. What can you say but "Maybe you should look into getting some help?"

 
At 1/29/2008 10:10 AM, Blogger tweetey30 said...

If you are judgemental then so are we in my house hold.. Yikes.. I mean come on where do people come up with this crap.. I mean sure I have read books about people shape shifting but never in real life.

Oh by the way before Jeff and I left home we tried that Amway.. Not very good at all. I mean sure you can make money if you have people that want to believe you. But of course coming from a small town no one wanted anything to do with it. But Courtney is right there.

 
At 1/29/2008 4:45 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Grizz, I've got a post coming on the alien lunacy too.
When I first started reading this stuff I didn't think these people were serious. Your former neighbor is a prime example that these people ARE serious. They give me the willys!

SME, the witnesses memories were blacked out with DEWs or that telepathic stuff. There's ALWAYS an answer when dealing with paranoia.

Tweets, Amway makes most of their money selling motivational tapes and other mumbo-jumbo to their own distributors.

 
At 1/29/2008 6:45 PM, Blogger Hammer said...

I've dealt with the amway/quixtar bots. They are scarier than any new world order.

 
At 1/29/2008 7:41 PM, Blogger Jeannie said...

The lady taping is definitely paranoid. People in a neighborhood and their friends and family tend to move around the neighborhood. The white car? someone left the house, drove a ways, realized they forgot something and went back to get it. I do that a lot. Has she never realized that things in photos - and the viewfinders of cameras are a lot smaller than they really are? Even if they couldn't see her, they probably all know eachother and know her as the crazy lady. And point out her craziness to eachother. Poor thing.

 
At 1/29/2008 8:31 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Welcome back Hammer!
I wonder if they have medication for Amway bots?

Jeannie, I agree! The sad thing is that these people start websites on that topic and encourage each other. Then they never get the mental help they need. I can't imagine living my life in such a constant state of paranoia.

 
At 1/29/2008 9:07 PM, Blogger SME said...

That's my concern too. If deeply paranoid/disturbed people have enough people backing them up in their beliefs, they'll never seek help. In fact they'll be terrified of all health professionals because they're "Them."

 
At 1/30/2008 6:38 AM, Blogger Laura said...

I think the growth of this phenomenon is directly linked to the lack of informational literacy in the general population. There is so much information out there thanks to The Tubes - and that's a good thing sometimes. But increasingly, it means being able to tell GOOD information from BAD information. I could write a diatribe email disparaging a company or political candidate, full of make-believe and half-truths, forward it on to my entire address book and, without question, I'd say a good half of them would just forward it right on. Because if somebody wrote it, that means it's true!

There are ways to determine what is reliable information from a good source and what is not. But it is becoming much more difficult to discern the two.

 
At 1/30/2008 9:02 AM, Blogger Ben O. said...

I'm no expert, but wouldn't you know it if you were being assaulted by lazers from another planet? Hey, I've seen Star Wars, those suckers make an awful racket.

Nothing stealth about it, baby.

Nice post - Ben O.

 
At 1/30/2008 1:42 PM, Blogger Blue said...

Holy flippin' cows. Doesn't the world have enough problems as it is?

There appear to be an increasing number of paranoid schizo's at least mentioned in local newspapers as being associated with crimes of a varying sort.

We really need a mental health strategy and action plan.

 
At 1/30/2008 5:22 PM, Blogger SME said...

Laura's definitely got a point about the sheer quantity of information. People either don't have the time/inclination to learn how to discern what's valuable and what's rubbish, or the volume of info is just too overwhelming for some.
A lot of paranoids and conspiracy theorists also just don't like unanswered questions. They want to fill in any gaps in their knowledge about a situation with the first or most interesting info they come across.
Others are mentally unstable and need help.
Some approach it as a hobby and don't take any of it too seriously.
Then there are the ones who just make sh** up!

 
At 1/30/2008 6:28 PM, Blogger Squirl said...

I didn't have time to read all of the comments, but these folks are very creative. There's too much to do in life to worry about all of these bizarre theories.

 
At 1/30/2008 7:36 PM, Blogger VV said...

Wow, so many topics to tackle! Let's see, um, Amway, my mom almost got hooked by that in the 70's but luckily Sarah Coventry jewelry saved her and she hawked their stuff instead. Stalking? I've had three individual stalkers. Group stalking? I feel left out, do you get anything out of it like group sex? Can anyone join? Aliens, death rays, etc. Never seen or felt the effects of them. I have seen numerous UFOs though, so I suppose the potential exists, but I'm more likely to fall in with the paranoids who believe their government is out to get them. Not that I do mind you, just I'd be more likely to believe the government was after me than little green men. Did I miss any of the topics? This is a crazy world in which we live.

 
At 1/30/2008 10:36 PM, Blogger zydeco fish said...

I sat through that whole video and was reminded of various times in my life when I sat in the car while my mother went it to some store to buy cigarettes or rum or whatever. Sure, people look at you; you notice the same cars, the same people going past; you see people standing in one place seemingly waiting for nothing and then leaving. The whole video is garbage.

 
At 1/31/2008 6:38 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Laura, I think that has a lot to do with it. Plus, these people tend to only read stuff that agrees with their delusions.

Ben, good point! ;)

Blue, from what I've seen, the need is growing. :(

Squirl, you NAILED it! Life's too short to be spending all of our time making ourselves miserable.

VV, I've seen 3 UFOs too, but I still don't believe that God is on the mothership. ;)
I'm more afraid of running into these whackos than anything the supposed "New World Order" can come up with.

ZF, EXACTLY! I think any of us could sit in our front yard with a video camera and get the same results this woman did.

 
At 1/31/2008 7:23 PM, Blogger SME said...

If I taped even a trillionth of the weirdness you see everyday downtown, I would have a faaaar scarier tape that that lady.

 

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