Former Conspiracy Theorists Describe The Moment They Realized They Were Wrong

Truth is truth. Why is that so hard to believe?

Oh right , because we've all lived through the last six years of politics. Conspiracy is the new way of life for many.

Everyone is believing every little thing.

But eventually, for some, the "truths" they hold so dear, become a lie. And then the real truth lives.

People are starting to realize, they've been duped.

Maybe from that real growth begins.

RedditorAussieDrummerboi wanted to hear the confessions of all the people who came back to reality, by asking:

"A question for former Conspiracy Theorists… what was the moment you realised the conspiracy theory you thought was correct was completely wrong all along?"

I pray the Qanon people are listening.

How they live and breathe that nonsense is beyond me.

And it effects us all.

What makes more sense?

"From roughly ages 16-21, I believed that our impending climate doom was a leftist conspiracy to raise taxes, consolidate power, or whatever else was a right wing parroting phrase at the time. I eventually realized that I just believed that because it was easier than acknowledging the deep shit we're in."


"A big part of the epiphany was the simple question from a friend:"

"'What makes more sense? A global power grab through thousands of faked studies by scientists in a hundred countries with nothing to gain, or a couple fossil fuel executives sowing doubt to protect their fortunes?'"

"So now, I rationally acknowledge our doom." ~ brainsewage

Old Roots

"Can't say that I was ever a hardcore theorist but I was definitely one of those 'early 20s guy reading weird early internet message boards' types. It's been since the mid-2000s that I stopped following any of that."

"I can't pin down any specific one that steered me away but digging in and finding out just how many political ones find long, old roots in some form of anti-Semitism, racism, or some flavor of authoritarianism was enough to throw that baby out with the bath water as new ones kept creeping into the mainstream." ~ xETankx

The Truther

"I used to be a 9/11 truther. Like hardcore. After spending 6 years in the military and going to work for a federal agency, I realized there was no way the US government could pull something like that off without a few thousand people knowing about it, and a few hundred of them spilling their secrets all over the place I mean for God's sake, it takes a half ream of paperwork to take a freaking vacation." ~ oheffme

I want to believe...

"I don't think there was a single moment where I realized anything. It's not really a case where I believed it because of a lack of information, I believed it because it had emotional pull attached to it. Fox Mulder in the X files has a poster that says 'I want to believe' in his office for a reason: it's that the main reason people believe in these things is because they want to, in spite of evidence to the contrary."

"It had emotional pull to believe that because it made life seem more interesting. My life at the time i believed it was super dull and lonely, when I had very little going on for me. What got me out of it was A) embarking on a new career that I found fulfilling and made me feel good about myself B) got a lot more friends and started engaging in a lot more activities and social outings from hiking to basketball to snorkelling and skydiving. I just kind of stopped believing in that stuff because I no longer had a need to hold onto it, not because I realized it was BS." ~ DoctorWatchamacallit

The Antichrist

"Not necessarily a conspiracy, but as a teenager, I found this website that made a very seemingly convincing argument that George W. Bush was the Antichrist. I believed it could possibly be true, for like a day, then I took a step back and realized how ridiculous it was." ~ TheBoomExpress


Where do we even begin with some of this craziness?

I feel like I'm reading fiction.

Oh wait, I'm reading about people who believed fiction.

I'm Lost

"When the entire conspiracy community jumped on the Trump Train and Q became a thing. I was down for Atlantis, ancient aliens, William Cooper, and Coast to Coast with Art Bell. Now I barely cared about all recent disclosures and acknowledgements. Still watched the Bob Lazar documentary though." ~ RexyMundo


They're out there...

"I used to be a firm believer in the whole 'Aliens are secretly kept in Area 51' and other related conspiracies until it was pointed out to me that governments are incapable of keeping secrets of that magnitude and if it was really true, it would have been leaked to the public ages ago." ~ Mrgreen37

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"great awakening"

"My friend went down the rabbit hole a little too hard once and thought that the earth was hollow with entrances at the poles and then he believed some guy wrote an app that let you talk to ghosts. It was a $20 app lmao. He said to just keep waiting for the 'great awakening' for it to work. He could never explain to me what that was or why it kept getting pushed off lol. Eventually me pestering him enough for answers for him off it." ~ Osirus1156


"When I was 12, like 16 years ago, I was on a website talking about Tupac really being alive. It had that famous pic of him throwing up Westside. Only thing is that it was actually a gif (which I realized years later), that would wink every minute or so. I saw him wink at me and I closed the site and wouldn't go back to the computer until the next day. I couldn't even muster the courage to go cut some yews on runescape. Absolutely terrified me for months." ~ MuayThaiWhy

The Hole

"I bet that moment is pretty rare. A feature of conspiracy theories is that evidence against them is also evidence for them: 'Well obviously this rock solid alibi shows just how deep the rabbit's hole goes.'" ~ Permanganic_acid


Something is Off

"Not a former, I think there's still plenty of crap out there that doesn't line up, but I did believe the moonlanding one until a teacher of mine brought up a very good point, if it were faked there's no way in hell Russia with the relationship it has with the US would acknowledge it happened." ~ everyone-is-a-victim

Oswald acted alone...

"I used to be on the Kennedy Assassination, multiple-shooter conspiracy train. I think there was a moment where the more I thought about it, it just made more sense that Oswald acted alone. As someone who likes to work on cars and motorcycles and fix things around the house, I hate over-engineered things, and I hate moving parts. The same applies to this conspiracy theory. If it was a conspiracy it appears that there are too many moving parts. I feel like the simplest explanation is the correct one. Oswald acted alone." ~ Extrasherman


"Age 10ish. It was about Santa. The moment was catching my Granny reaching out the window with a doll's shoe on a stick. She had told my cousins every year that those tiny footprints in the snow outside the window were the elves watching us. Being much older than my next cousin, I was recruited to participate in the deception and keep the magical secrets. Actually much more fun than believing." ~ Soggy-Macaron-4612


"I've only had the opposite experience where conspiracy theory I brushed aside as nonsense turned out to be true. Rich and powerful people conspire and collude all the time. The reason hard drive prices never went back down after the 2012 floods is because of conspiracy and collusion between manufacturers to keep hdd prices at their current highs." ~ FunGuyF0rmYuggoth

weather flooding GIF by The TelegraphGiphy

The Teen Years

"As a teenager i enjoyed reading around a few theories in the early days of the net. But is was more fun, when nobody took things seriously. I grew out of them when i realised i was using the ideas as a form of escapism. Responsibilities are a drag... wouldn't it be cooler if ufos are real?"

"Or if you could crack the JFK case for once and all? It's escapism. But as i grew up and learned more about myself and the world it just seemed childish and silly. This is even more reinforced now when I see the hoards of mentally ill people on social media that flock to completely absurd beliefs."

"People want to find some kind of underlying meaning to things they cant control. And i just get disappointed when idiots refuse to get vaccines et cetera because they subscribe to a dumb conspiracy." ~ yr-no

What's out there?

"I used to believe the government was covering up aliens. Now I kinda think they are too inept to do anything that hard. On top of that, the more I learned about astronomy, the more I realized it would be very unlikely that a space faring civilization that could travel at close to the speed of light would actually find us. There are so many stars and it would take such a long time to search them all." ~ thetasteofair

Hollywood Games

"For context, I was one of those people who believed the original Moon Landing by Buzz Aldrin, and Neil Armstrong was completely staged by Hollywood. With that being said, even on his deathbed, Neil Armstrong claimed the Moon Landing was real. It's hard to find a viable reasons why he wouldn't confess it was fake on his death bed. After 2012, I couldn't continue to believe the Moon Landin was a hoax anymore." ~ MTVChallengeFan

The Quest

"Not really a moment exactly, but realizing that I was believing in things that I WANTED to be true- mostly because it was actually thrilling to bring fantasy and fiction into my real world- I came to understand it was more about the way they made me feel than any probability of being the truth. Thus, I gave up my quest to battle reptilian aliens in the astral plain." ~ Dante4u2


"I used to buy into a lot of Alex Jones' ravings, but then I noticed that pretty much everything he says is heavily endorsed by Mormons. If they can believe in that, maybe they're not the best judge of what constitutes 'evidence.'" ~ Dirty_Hertz

canadian wtf GIF by CBCGiphy

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