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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

People Break Down The Nicest Celebrities They've Ever Met | George Takei’s Oh Myyy

They always say, "don't meet your heroes." But here's the thing, sometimes your celebrities are actually just chill, normal people who are overjoyed to meet ...

"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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People Reveal The Weirdest Thing About Themselves

Reddit user Isitjustmedownhere asked: 'Give an example; how weird are you really?'

Let's get one thing straight: no one is normal. We're all weird in our own ways, and that is actually normal.

Of course, that doesn't mean we don't all have that one strange trait or quirk that outweighs all the other weirdness we possess.

For me, it's the fact that I'm almost 30 years old, and I still have an imaginary friend. Her name is Sarah, she has red hair and green eyes, and I strongly believe that, since I lived in India when I created her and there were no actual people with red hair around, she was based on Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo.

I also didn't know the name Sarah when I created her, so that came later. I know she's not really there, hence the term 'imaginary friend,' but she's kind of always been around. We all have conversations in our heads; mine are with Sarah. She keeps me on task and efficient.

My mom thinks I'm crazy that I still have an imaginary friend, and writing about her like this makes me think I may actually be crazy, but I don't mind. As I said, we're all weird, and we all have that one trait that outweighs all the other weirdness.

Redditors know this all too well and are eager to share their weird traits.

It all started when Redditor Isitjustmedownhere asked:

"Give an example; how weird are you really?"

Monsters Under My Bed

"My bed doesn't touch any wall."

"Edit: I guess i should clarify im not rich."

– Practical_Eye_3600

"Gosh the monsters can get you from any angle then."

– bikergirlr7

"At first I thought this was a flex on how big your bedroom is, but then I realized you're just a psycho 😁"

– zenOFiniquity8

Can You See Why?

"I bought one of those super-powerful fans to dry a basement carpet. Afterwards, I realized that it can point straight up and that it would be amazing to use on myself post-shower. Now I squeegee my body with my hands, step out of the shower and get blasted by a wide jet of room-temp air. I barely use my towel at all. Wife thinks I'm weird."

– KingBooRadley


"In 1990 when I was 8 years old and bored on a field trip, I saw a black Oldsmobile Cutlass driving down the street on a hot day to where you could see that mirage like distortion from the heat on the road. I took a “snapshot” by blinking my eyes and told myself “I wonder how long I can remember this image” ….well."

– AquamarineCheetah

"Even before smartphones, I always take "snapshots" by blinking my eyes hoping I'll remember every detail so I can draw it when I get home. Unfortunately, I may have taken so much snapshots that I can no longer remember every detail I want to draw."

"Makes me think my "memory is full.""

– Reasonable-Pirate902

Same, Same

"I have eaten the same lunch every day for the past 4 years and I'm not bored yet."

– OhhGoood

"How f**king big was this lunch when you started?"

– notmyrealnam3

Not Sure Who Was Weirder

"Had a line cook that worked for us for 6 months never said much. My sous chef once told him with no context, "Baw wit da baw daw bang daw bang diggy diggy." The guy smiled, left, and never came back."

– Frostygrunt


"I pace around my house for hours listening to music imagining that I have done all the things I simply lack the brain capacity to do, or in some really bizarre scenarios, I can really get immersed in these imaginations sometimes I don't know if this is some form of schizophrenia or what."

– RandomSharinganUser

"I do the same exact thing, sometimes for hours. When I was young it would be a ridiculous amount of time and many years later it’s sort of trickled off into almost nothing (almost). It’s weird but I just thought it’s how my brain processes sh*t."

– Kolkeia

If Only

"Even as an adult I still think that if you are in a car that goes over a cliff; and right as you are about to hit the ground if you jump up you can avoid the damage and will land safely. I know I'm wrong. You shut up. I'm not crying."

– ShotCompetition2593

Pet Food

"As a kid I would snack on my dog's Milkbones."

– drummerskillit

"Haha, I have a clear memory of myself doing this as well. I was around 3 y/o. Needless to say no one was supervising me."

– Isitjustmedownhere

"When I was younger, one of my responsibilities was to feed the pet fish every day. Instead, I would hide under the futon in the spare bedroom and eat the fish food."

– -GateKeep-

My Favorite Subject

"I'm autistic and have always had a thing for insects. My neurotypical best friend and I used to hang out at this local bar to talk to girls, back in the late 90s. One time he claimed that my tendency to circle conversations back to insects was hurting my game. The next time we went to that bar (with a few other friends), he turned and said sternly "No talking about bugs. Or space, or statistics or other bullsh*t but mainly no bugs." I felt like he was losing his mind over nothing."

"It was summer, the bar had its windows open. Our group hit it off with a group of young ladies, We were all chatting and having a good time. I was talking to one of these girls, my buddy was behind her facing away from me talking to a few other people."

"A cloudless sulphur flies in and lands on little thing that holds coasters."

"Cue Jordan Peele sweating gif."

"The girl notices my tension, and asks if I am looking at the leaf. "Actually, that's a lepidoptera called..." I looked at the back of my friend's head, he wasn't looking, "I mean a butterfly..." I poked it and it spread its wings the girl says "oh that's a BUG?!" and I still remember my friend turning around slowly to look at me with chastisement. The ONE thing he told me not to do."

"I was 21, and was completely not aware that I already had a rep for being an oddball. It got worse from there."

– Phormicidae

*Teeth Chatter*

"I bite ice cream sometimes."


"That's how I am with popsicles. My wife shudders every single time."


Never Speak Of This

"I put ice in my milk."


"You should keep that kind of thing to yourself. Even when asked."

– We-R-Doomed

"There's some disturbing sh*t in this thread, but this one takes the cake."

– RatonaMuffin

More Than Super Hearing

"I can hear the television while it's on mute."

– Tira13e

"What does it say to you, child?"

– Mama_Skip


"I put mustard on my omelettes."

– Deleted User


– NotCrustOr-filling

Evened Up

"Whenever I say a word and feel like I used a half of my mouth more than the other half, I have to even it out by saying the word again using the other half of my mouth more. If I don't do it correctly, that can go on forever until I feel it's ok."

"I do it silently so I don't creep people out."

– LesPaltaX

"That sounds like a symptom of OCD (I have it myself). Some people with OCD feel like certain actions have to be balanced (like counting or making sure physical movements are even). You should find a therapist who specializes in OCD, because they can help you."

– MoonlightKayla

I totally have the same need for things to be balanced! Guess I'm weird and a little OCD!

Close up face of a woman in bed, staring into the camera
Photo by Jen Theodore

Experiencing death is a fascinating and frightening idea.

Who doesn't want to know what is waiting for us on the other side?

But so many of us want to know and then come back and live a little longer.

It would be so great to be sure there is something else.

But the whole dying part is not that great, so we'll have to rely on other people's accounts.

Redditor AlaskaStiletto wanted to hear from everyone who has returned to life, so they asked:

"Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?"


Happy Good Vibes GIF by Major League SoccerGiphy

"My dad's heart stopped when he had a heart attack and he had to be brought back to life. He kept the paper copy of the heart monitor which shows he flatlined. He said he felt an overwhelming sensation of peace, like nothing he had felt before."



"I had surgical complications in 2010 that caused a great deal of blood loss. As a result, I had extremely low blood pressure and could barely stay awake. I remember feeling like I was surrounded by loved ones who had passed. They were in a circle around me and I knew they were there to guide me onwards. I told them I was not ready to go because my kids needed me and I came back."

"My nurse later said she was afraid she’d find me dead every time she came into the room."

"It took months, and blood transfusions, but I recovered."


Take Me Back

"Overwhelming peace and happiness. A bright airy and floating feeling. I live a very stressful life. Imagine finding out the person you have had a crush on reveals they have the same feelings for you and then you win the lotto later that day - that was the feeling I had."

"I never feared death afterward and am relieved when I hear of people dying after suffering from an illness."



The Light Minnie GIF by (G)I-DLEGiphy

"I had a heart surgery with near-death experience, for me at least (well the possibility that those effects are caused by morphine is also there) I just saw black and nothing else but it was warm and I had such inner peace, its weird as I sometimes still think about it and wish this feeling of being so light and free again."


This is why I hate surgery.

You just never know.



"More of a near-death experience. I was electrocuted. I felt like I was in a deep hole looking straight up in the sky. My life flashed before me. Felt sad for my family, but I had a deep sense of peace."



"Nursing in the ICU, we’ve had people try to die on us many times during the years, some successfully. One guy stood out to me. His heart stopped. We called a code, are working on him, and suddenly he comes to. We hadn’t vented him yet, so he was able to talk, and he started screaming, 'Don’t let them take me, don’t let them take me, they are coming,' he was scared and yelling."

"Then he yelled a little more, as we tried to calm him down, he screamed, 'No, No,' and gestured towards the end of the bed, and died again. We didn’t get him back. It was seriously creepy. We called his son to tell him the news, and the son said basically, 'Good, he was an SOB.'”



"My sister died and said it was extremely peaceful. She said it was very loud like a train station and lots of talking and she was stuck in this area that was like a curtain with lots of beautiful colors (colors that you don’t see in real life according to her) a man told her 'He was sorry, but she had to go back as it wasn’t her time.'"


"I had a really similar experience except I was in an endless garden with flowers that were colors I had never seen before. It was quiet and peaceful and a woman in a dress looked at me, shook her head, and just said 'Not yet.' As I was coming back, it was extremely loud, like everyone in the world was trying to talk all at once. It was all very disorienting but it changed my perspective on life!"


The Fog

"I was in a gray fog with a girl who looked a lot like a young version of my grandmother (who was still alive) but dressed like a pioneer in the 1800s she didn't say anything but kept pulling me towards an opening in the wall. I kept refusing to go because I was so tired."

"I finally got tired of her nagging and went and that's when I came to. I had bled out during a c-section and my heart could not beat without blood. They had to deliver the baby and sew up the bleeders. refill me with blood before they could restart my heart so, like, at least 12 minutes gone."


Through the Walls

"My spouse was dead for a couple of minutes one miserable night. She maintains that she saw nothing, but only heard people talking about her like through a wall. The only thing she remembers for absolute certain was begging an ER nurse that she didn't want to die."

"She's quite alive and well today."


Well let's all be happy to be alive.

It seems to be all we have.

Man's waist line
Santhosh Vaithiyanathan/Unsplash

Trying to lose weight is a struggle understood by many people regardless of size.

The goal of reaching a healthy weight may seem unattainable, but with diet and exercise, it can pay off through persistence and discipline.

Seeing the pounds gradually drop off can also be a great motivator and incentivize people to stay the course.

Those who've achieved their respective weight goals shared their experiences when Redditor apprenti8455 asked:

"People who lost a lot of weight, what surprises you the most now?"

Redditors didn't see these coming.

Shiver Me Timbers

"I’m always cold now!"

– Telrom_1

"I had a coworker lose over 130 pounds five or six years ago. I’ve never seen him without a jacket on since."

– r7ndom

"140 lbs lost here starting just before COVID, I feel like that little old lady that's always cold, damn this top comment was on point lmao."

– mr_remy

Drawing Concern

"I lost 100 pounds over a year and a half but since I’m old(70’s) it seems few people comment on it because (I think) they think I’m wasting away from some terminal illness."

– dee-fondy

"Congrats on the weight loss! It’s honestly a real accomplishment 🙂"

"Working in oncology, I can never comment on someone’s weight loss unless I specifically know it was on purpose, regardless of their age. I think it kind of ruffles feathers at times, but like I don’t want to congratulate someone for having cancer or something. It’s a weird place to be in."

– LizardofDeath

Unleashing Insults

"I remember when I lost the first big chunk of weight (around 50 lbs) it was like it gave some people license to talk sh*t about the 'old' me. Old coworkers, friends, made a lot of not just negative, but harsh comments about what I used to look like. One person I met after the big loss saw a picture of me prior and said, 'Wow, we wouldn’t even be friends!'”

"It wasn’t extremely common, but I was a little alarmed by some of the attention. My weight has been up and down since then, but every time I gain a little it gets me a little down thinking about those things people said."

– alanamablamaspama

Not Everything Goes After Losing Weight

"The loose skin is a bit unexpected."

– KeltarCentauri

"I haven’t experienced it myself, but surgery to remove skin takes a long time to recover. Longer than bariatric surgery and usually isn’t covered by insurance unless you have both."

– KatMagic1977

"It definitely does take a long time to recover. My Dad dropped a little over 200 pounds a few years back and decided to go through with skin removal surgery to deal with the excess. His procedure was extensive, as in he had skin taken from just about every part of his body excluding his head, and he went through hell for weeks in recovery, and he was bedridden for a lot of it."

– Jaew96

These Redditors shared their pleasantly surprising experiences.


"I can buy clothes in any store I want."

– WaySavvyD

"When I lost weight I was dying to go find cute, smaller clothes and I really struggled. As someone who had always been restricted to one or two stores that catered to plus-sized clothing, a full mall of shops with items in my size was daunting. Too many options and not enough knowledge of brands that were good vs cheap. I usually went home pretty frustrated."

– ganache98012

No More Symptoms

"Lost about 80 pounds in the past year and a half, biggest thing that I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen mentioned on here yet is my acid reflux and heartburn are basically gone. I used to be popping tums every couple hours and now they just sit in the medicine cabinet collecting dust."

– colleennicole93

Expanding Capabilities

"I'm all for not judging people by their appearance and I recognise that there are unhealthy, unachievable beauty standards, but one thing that is undeniable is that I can just do stuff now. Just stamina and flexibility alone are worth it, appearance is tertiary at best."

– Ramblonius

People Change Their Tune

"How much nicer people are to you."

"My feet weren't 'wide' they were 'fat.'"

– LiZZygsu

"Have to agree. Lost 220 lbs, people make eye contact and hold open doors and stuff"

"And on the foot thing, I also lost a full shoe size numerically and also wear regular width now 😅"

– awholedamngarden

It's gonna take some getting used to.

Bones Everywhere

"Having bones. Collarbones, wrist bones, knee bones, hip bones, ribs. I have so many bones sticking out everywhere and it’s weird as hell."

– Princess-Pancake-97

"I noticed the shadow of my ribs the other day and it threw me, there’s a whole skeleton in here."

– bekastrange

Knee Pillow

"Right?! And they’re so … pointy! Now I get why people sleep with pillows between their legs - the knee bones laying on top of each other (side sleeper here) is weird and jarring."

– snic2030

"I lost only 40 pounds within the last year or so. I’m struggling to relate to most of these comments as I feel like I just 'slimmed down' rather than dropped a ton. But wow, the pillow between the knees at night. YES! I can relate to this. I think a lot of my weight was in my thighs. I never needed to do this up until recently."

– Strongbad23

More Mobility

"I’ve lost 100 lbs since 2020. It’s a collection of little things that surprise me. For at least 10 years I couldn’t put on socks, or tie my shoes. I couldn’t bend over and pick something up. I couldn’t climb a ladder to fix something. Simple things like that I can do now that fascinate me."

"Edit: Some additional little things are sitting in a chair with arms, sitting in a booth in a restaurant, being able to shop in a normal store AND not needing to buy the biggest size there, being able to easily wipe my butt, and looking down and being able to see my penis."

– dma1965

People making significant changes, whether for mental or physical health, can surely find a newfound perspective on life.

But they can also discover different issues they never saw coming.

That being said, overcoming any challenge in life is laudable, especially if it leads to gaining confidence and ditching insecurities.