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Friendship with conspiracy theorist??

  • 23-03-2022 10:11am
    Registered Users Posts: 717 ✭✭✭

    I have a really good friend in Scotland - friends for 25 years - older than me, in her late 60s. I think the friendship may be in jeopardy, and I don't know if it's worth saving. From March 2020 until now, she has gone on about Covid being a conspiracy, that the Great Reset is happening, that Bill Gates and Faucci were in a conspiracy to topple the world order and create a new world order, that the vaccines are altering our genes in order to control us, and that some people in Germany - lawyers - are taking a Nuremberg case for war crimes against humanity due to 'forced' Covid vaccines. She is a supporter of the lecturer in UCD who was dismissed from her job due to taking an anti-vaccine approach. My friend was into David Icke before - she knew that I had no time for him - and rarely mentioned him to me, but now she watches him daily, and that, and Covid conspiracies are all she talks about when we phone each other. Now she has been sending me Tiktok videos of people denouncing NATO and has been saying that the war in Ukraine is Ukraine's fault as it angered Russia by wanting to join NATO. While I feel that someone was making lots of money from Covid vaccines - I don't view it as a conspiracy. I also, as I stated to her, feel that a sovereign country, has the right to join NATO or the EU, or whatever else it wishes to join, and is it's sovereign right to do so, and that should not lead to the mass slaughter of innocent people. My friend used to be so interesting. I always thought she was extremely well read, and she certainly was very supportive, but I'm at a loss as to where the friendship goes from here. Has any one else on here had an issue with friends who became conspiracy theorists and how did you deal with it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,132 ✭✭✭akelly02


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,509 ✭✭✭Purgative

    Hi Hannaho, I'm getting on a bit like your friend, so I tend to try and hang on to my friends for as long as I can.

    One of my few friends will occasionally send me racist or anti immigrant memes and jokes - I just delete them, mostly without even opening them. When we meet he never mentions anything like that and I suspect he's trying to be funny, edgy, relevant or whatever.

    If it came to it I'd argue and then the friendship would probably whither.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Put it into a slightly different context. What if your friend talked about nothing but football despite you indicating you weren't interested in football? Not just a "Did you see the match", but non-stop, incessantly, constantly yapping. For me, it would reach a point where it was christmas cards and birthday cards and that was the extent of the relationship.

    The problem isn't neccessarily the conspiracy theory aspect, its the total disregard for your feelings, and the disrespect to you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,714 ✭✭✭Xterminator

    i agree with the last poster.

    a elderly relative of mine occasionally said some ****, basically he spouted whatever came to his mind without a filter. It was at least partly the way he was raised, a generation ago. Held stereotypes about women, foreigners etc. I didn't like it, but it wasn't my mission n life to correct him either. He was generally a good guy, plenty of evidence for that - just said some things he shouldn't have occasionally. I didn't cut him out of my life & my kids lives etc. people are flawed in general and you can probably find faulty with anyone if you try hard enough.

    the question is not does she subscribe to conspiracy theory, but is she a good friend, and on balance is the friendship good for you, or bad. i don't think you can change someone, so d you see a future here for this friendship?

    if not, then perhaps you should wind down the friendship.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,208 ✭✭✭✭recode the site

    I have a cousin who is an out and out anti-vaxxer, conspiracy theorists. Even walked out of her father’s funeral because of the presence of people with “dangerous protein spikes” in their bodies. I’ve always had a soft spot for her, in that she has always held some slightly different alternative views on life, and has always had time for people who are slightly different. But she went out and out bonkers in recent years. She has a medical condition I believe may be partly responsible for the extremity of her views, and I kind of feel humouring her is the best tack. There’s no badness in her really. But this is all very easy for me to say as only rarely do I have interaction with her, but when I do I want her to know she has my goodwill.

    Can I get away with anything if I pay the piper, so to speak?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 452 ✭✭HerrKapitan

    Sounds like a head case, although I don't know why you have included great reset as that is a real thing. There are videos of world leaders discussing it, websites, etc.

    I presume you have already told them that you don't want to hear about it all? Just don't answer their calls anymore if they are not heeding.

  • Registered Users Posts: 717 ✭✭✭Hannaho

    Thanks to all of you for your replies. I am hoping the friendship can be maintained, but even when I introduce other subjects, it's immediately switched back to Covid conspiracy theories, Bill Gates and Fauci and the Great Reset. Herr Kapitan - I know the basics about the Great Reset. My friend talks about all our properties and worldly goods being taken from us and, that we will all end up like slaves, being given just a minimum amount to live on, and that if we don't have the required vaccines or do what 'our overlords' say, then even that small amount of money will be removed from us. I haven't looked into the Great Reset more than I know it's about the necessity of green business due to climate change. I suppose what really upset me lately is her remarks re thinking that it's Ukraine's fault that they were invaded - as I said, I had mentioned to her that a sovereign country should be free to join any organisation it wishes, and it shouldn't lead to the slaughter of innocent people. She then sent me more videos via tiktok on NATO and about American Propaganda and the issues re NATO and how the damage they did in Iraq - I'm aware they didn't always cover themselves in glory in Iraq. My friend didn't have any thought or response to my mention of the many children and families fleeing and torn apart by the war in Ukraine - it was like it was irrelevant to her, and that what really mattered was that Putin was being damaged by propaganda - I found this really unsettling and actually upsetting.

  • Administrators Posts: 13,729 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Big Bag of Chips

    You need to tell her you don't agree with her on these issues and rather than fall out you'd just prefer not to talk about them. She lives in Scotland, so do you see her often, speak in person, or is the friendship mainly conducted online via messages?

    I'd just ignore her messages and videos. Just don't watch them. Don't open them.

    If she doesn't respect your wish to not discuss these issues then you really need to consider what you're getting from the friendship. You might reach a point where you just let the friendship drift and keep contact at a Christmas card.

    I'd be pretty sure you won't be the only one who backs off. But don't worry about her ending up with no friends. I'm sure she has made many new friends in the past 2 years.

  • Registered Users Posts: 717 ✭✭✭Hannaho

    We used to call each other every week, and see each other 3 times a year - but I've recently just cut it down to ringing every 3 weeks or so. I think you're right re her backing off - she has made a lot of new friends in the conspiracy theory field in last 2 years. I have told her I don't agree with her views on conspiracy theories, Putin etc., but she keeps returning to them. It's like she has nothing else to talk about now. She says she can't talk to her other friends about these issues - I know some of her friends, and her views would not be welcomed.

  • Administrators Posts: 13,729 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Big Bag of Chips

    She says she can't talk to her other friends about these issues - I know some of her friends, and her views would not be welcomed.

    Well why does she feel she can talk to you about them? You need to be just as clear as her other friends that these views are not welcome. She will either stop talking to you about them, or she'll stop talking to you.

    Win win.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,995 ✭✭✭Caranica

    What are you getting out of the friendship? She's clearly brainwashed and a danger to others if she is trying to convert people to her way of thinking.

    Be glad you live in a different country and you can ease her out of your life.

    We all need friends, but friends who care, show empathy and kindness, not ignorance.

  • Registered Users Posts: 339 ✭✭NiceFella

    Firstly not all conspiracy theorys are false, some are in fact true. However, someone who is totally preoccupied with them certainly has issues. I think the core quality of conspiracy theorists is the self righteousness they have and you'll never convince them otherwise. Waste of time talking to them. They are mistrusting of ordinary things. Driven by paranoia that many people all have a bad agenda.

    I had a friend who's interest in conspiracy theorys gradually became more weird and wacky the the more he got into them. He went from the usual, we never landed on the moon to flat earth and then became a born again christian(never religious in his life really). He had smoked a lot of weed for years though which he stopped when he became a Christian again. The conspiracys didn't stop though unfortunately. Had he kept it to himself I would have been happy to continue being his friend but he pushed and pushed it.

    I will say, they're not the craziest conspiracy theorys I've ever heard, but they do make you uncomfortable, so you need to articulate this to your friend and remind her about what you enjoyed talking about before and tell her how happy that made you etc. No guarantee it will work but you are at least setting boundaries and being up front.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,757 ✭✭✭Dakota Dan

    I have a friend in Ireland who keeps watching RTE news and believes everything they tell her she also believes that anyone that questions it is a conspiracy theorist 😀😀😀

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,237 ✭✭✭Tork

    I haven't got friends who are conspiracy theorists but there are other people in my circle who have gone down the "Covid is a hoax, anti-vax, Donald Trump had the election stolen from him" rabbit hole. I handle them by either keeping the conversation steered firmly away from these subjects or moving away to talk to somebody else. I haven't yet had reason to be more direct with them but if I had to, I would. I wouldn't even attempt to argue with them but would simply say something along the lines of "You've got your views, I've got mine. Let's leave it there" (you can see why I don't work as a screenwriter 😀).

    I get the impression that you haven't communicated very well to your friend that you don't want to listen to these theories. The other people she knows have made it clear to her where they stand. What are you doing differently? Why does she feel it's OK to unload all this stuff onto you, despite you apparently telling her that you're not interested? Do you have problems with assertiveness and communication, by any chance?

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,928 ✭✭✭✭Dav010

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,929 ✭✭✭✭Ash.J.Williams

    I read two sentences of this and I assume that’s the jist, I have a friend like this and recently met him in person for the first time since I shouted “gobshite” out my car window as he protested , and he’s still the same lad at the back of it all , they’re harmless really as long as you don’t listen to them

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,426 ✭✭✭maestroamado

    If they are a good friend stick with them... Covid is gone and the market economy has taken over... just tell them your tired talking about Covid... its clear to me that the experts do not know what they are at... i seen a medic yesterday saying that the jabs were working after being asked why we now have the highest number ever recorded...

  • Registered Users Posts: 44 Frack

    My mother has been like this since discovering David icke 20 years ago. It’s an absolute bore but you need to be assertive and say you have no interest. I honestly think it’s like a game to them, as if they have uncovered this massive global conspiracy and it gives them a rush. When the interest in covid and Ukraine wanes it will turn to the Zionist occupation of the world, then to crystal healing, then to whatever else they can get their fix.

    It quite honestly ruined our relationship as when I ever challenged her she would just look at me with a condescending sadness and say things like “I wish you would just open your eyes”. Which is awful on many levels but also completely disarms any debate. People like this have no interest in what your opinion is and so are not worth your time. It is all dripping in covert racism and should be avoided at all costs.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    These people are best ignored, OP. If you scratch at the surface of any of these theories it's simply a racist ideology.

    You can't reason with them because they didn't use reason to arrive at their position.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,973 ✭✭✭✭Donald Trump

    I was friends with a conspiracy theorist but I had to stop being friends with them after a while as it got too much. I couldn't understand that mentality. Plus, I knew from the moment I met them that they were out to get me.

    Serious answer is it just depends on how much their obsession affects you or the friendship. If it's just a weird hobby for them then let them fire away. If it impinges on your interactions then maybe consider allowing the friendship to become less frequent in your interactions and see how you feel

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  • Administrators Posts: 13,729 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Big Bag of Chips

    @Dakota Dan and @Ash.J.Williams I have deleted your off-topic posts.

    Please do not post in this thread again unless you have advice to offer to the OP. Take your discussion to PM.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,505 ✭✭✭✭Mad_maxx

    i know someone who is pretty radical on covid , takes the side of Russia right now too , his brother is behind his beliefs , i know that for a fact , this guy is very sound and level headed otherwise , married with four kids , not in anyway dysfunctional , more people than you might think have far out attitudes to specific things

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,169 ✭✭✭✭B.A._Baracus

    Problem I have found with conspiracy theory nut jobs is that they can't just accept you think differently to them. No matter how polite you may phrase it that you do not share the same belief, you are often met with "ah you're a sheep like everyone else then" (or whatever rude response)

    Ain't nobody got time for that.... or them so.

  • Registered Users Posts: 88 ✭✭Physeter

    I had a good friend go through a similar thing a few years ago.

    Time is the ultimate trump card. If we're not all sterile or riddled with mutations in 5 years from the vaccine, point that out to her. In the meantime, try and advise her to put energy into the things she can control in her life.

  • Registered Users Posts: 455 ✭✭KieferFan69

    I notice some men are bothered when females display strong opinions or “don’t know their place”

    are you male op. But yes I don’t mind what people think but it can be tiresome if they are talking about gates 24-7

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


  • Registered Users Posts: 468 ✭✭Shao Kahn

    The Ukraine aspect doesn't really fit the description of "conspiracy theory" to be fair.

    Just a difference of opinion on what they think were the most prominent causes of the conflict. Very high level diplomats and experts on foreign relations would actually agree with your friend in that regard. But it is obviously a contentious topic right now, dividing opinions across the board.

    In relation to the covid stuff, I can see how that might be irritating to be confronted with what might be wild speculation and anti vax type stuff. Perhaps just cool off the relationship for a while, until covid is firmly in the rearview mirror and perhaps your conversations might return to more normal topics in time.

    Everybody has been under stress these last couple of years, and some people's minds just start spinning as a result. Not everyone deals with these big life events in the same way... give your friend some time would be my advice. Don't pull the plug in a hurry, if they are someone that has been a good friend.

    "Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives, and it puts itself into our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday." (John Wayne)