Watch this Podcast on Youtube about Charismatic cult leaders.

Free Ebook Reveals:
Little-Known Conversation "Hack" Forces Angry Conspiracy Theorists To Calm Down And Listen To You Almost Instantly

Click here to set your free book so you can regain your peace, freedom and happiness!

Have you ever wondered what causes a person to go down conspiracy rabbit holes in the first place? If so, this will podcast will be the most important thing you listen to today.

"Why's that?" you ask with bated breath.

Because I said so.  No seriously, you'll like it for a few reasons. My guest is fairly well known in the life coaching/personal development circles.

As his wife pointed after she first met his family—"You've had to work really hard to be you."

Reason for this?

He was the outcast of his family because of his political beliefs.  Eventually he used some therapuetic techniques to transform his relationship with his father.

Which went well until Trump came on the scene.

In the podcast, Damon shares a simple exercise help you hit your goals.  These can be goals such as creating healthier boundaries with your loved one. This exercises uses your own personal vaules (freedom, security, safety, etc.) to help you get closer to these goals.

You can download the free exercise from this link:

Here are some of the things we discuss on the podcast:

  • What do red cards have to do with predicting someone’s ability to get sucked into conspiracy theories? 5:33
  • Discover why my guest is the black sheep of the family—despite being super successful 19:57
  • Personal development is always a good thing, right? WRONG! Discover how personal development can go sideways 21:49
  • A little-known “supplement” that conspiracy theorists chug by the gallon—this toxic material can permanently scar your skin 22:29
  • Secret phrases cult leaders to use to brainwash people (This unique combination of words create a confused trancelike state in people) 24:10
  • A common “emotion” that normally plagues teenagers…that’s now dragging adults into conspiracy theories 34:37
  • You should always be honest with your loved ones, right? FALSE!  Discover how my guest got sucked into a rabbit hole by sharing his weaknesses 41:11
  • Plus much more!

Free Ebook Reveals:
Little-Known Conversation "Hack" Forces Angry Conspiracy Theorists To Calm Down And Listen To You Almost Instantly

Click here to set your free book so you can regain your peace, freedom and happiness!

Guest Bio & Links

Read podcast transcript

Antonio [00:00:00]:
In this episode of Escaping the Rabbit Hole, my guest reveals how cult leaders brainwash people with psychological puzzles. Can you guess what one of these puzzles is? Keep listening to find out.

Antonio [00:00:45]:
Aloha. It's Antonio with escaping the rabbit hole dot com. Today, I have a very special guest. Every time I always say very special Damon Cart, but, this one has a, warm spot in my heart. First met him out here in Hawaii a few years ago. Damon Cart is Damon Cart. I know him from the the hypnosis commune or not so I mean, I don't know if you're really if you really identify with yourself in the hypnosis community so much.

Damon Cart [00:01:09]:
Not as much, but I I have been trained in hypnosis, and I'd actually, I kind of becoming a regular at the hypnosis, UK hypnosis convention in London. So I just got accepted again, there. I'll be there in, I mean, I'll be there in, November. Yeah. It's probably November. So, you know, I'm I'm good with the the hypnotist.

Antonio [00:01:33]:
Yeah. But and let me ask. I think the, let me see if I've got a good gauge on this. I think the reason that you you don't quite identify with the hypnosis community is because there are some batshit crazy people in the hypnosis community.

Damon Cart [00:01:45]:
Well, I'd never that wasn't that wasn't the reason. However, I went to you know, James Tripp? Yeah. Yeah. Great guy. I got to see him in London this last time that I was there, and I hadn't seen him in been a few years. And, he's one of those guys, you know, I just hit it off with. It doesn't matter how many years passed. Like and when I see him, it's like we have these great conversations.

Antonio [00:02:09]:
He's very he seems very, levelheaded.

Damon Cart [00:02:13]:
Very level headed. Yeah. He was teaching a hypnosis, convention post hypnotherts. I wanna have the the convention. They have the the workshops afterwards. So I I flew out to Vegas, because I wanted to meet him. We had been corresponding back and forth. He was commenting on my videos.

Damon Cart [00:02:29]:
I was commenting on his videos. And, so, yeah, I went, met him. We shot some videos together. And, during, like, breaks on while he was teaching, I'd go with the other attendees.

Antonio [00:02:44]:
I remember months. Yeah.

Damon Cart [00:02:45]:
Yeah. And, man, just to listen to these conversations, and I was just like, have you guys just totally taken a step off, like, re the reality train? And what train did you jump on? And Was

Antonio [00:02:58]:
it was it the ghost thing?

Damon Cart [00:03:00]:
The ghost story. Yeah. Yeah. And I was just like so this lady was, you know, just telling us how there was a ghost in her room, and she knew it because she felt it sit on her bed and all these things. And I was just like, okay. What what makes you jump to the conclusion that it was a dead person who came back and sat on your bed? Like, of all the things Yeah. That it could possibly be, anything from muscle spasms to okay. Let's say it's paranormal.

Damon Cart [00:03:25]:
Why a dead person? Like, I don't you know, how do you jump to this conclusion? And, man, everybody just kind of stopped and looked at me, and it was like, oh, I just, you know, I just farted in their faces. It's basically what it You weren't

Antonio [00:03:38]:
in the you weren't in the in group?

Damon Cart [00:03:40]:
I was not in the in group, and I put myself out real fast like that. And so we got on to, like you know, they were, you know, pushing back on it, and I was, like, there was the guy, the Israeli guy, what's his name, who for a long time deceived people about his paranormal abilities.

Antonio [00:03:56]:
I used to believe when I was a kid. Yeah. When I was a kid, I believe yeah. Yuri Geller. Yeah. Yeah.

Damon Cart [00:04:00]:
Yuri Geller. And, so I you know, they were talking about psychic I mean, this conversation went off the the rails, for sure. And, so I wrote up Yuri Geller because at right at that time, like, he had just come out and admitted that he had faked everything. And so I was like, okay. That guy was so convincing that he actually convinced scientists. And it wasn't until the amazing Randy came out and Yep. Was saying, like, no. He's he's not for real, and he won't face me because he knows I will expose him.

Damon Cart [00:04:27]:
And they were like, but did didn't you know that, you know, the amazing Randy when he would challenge these people? Like, he made it impossible for them to ever succeed. And I was like, why? Because he was looking at them, and he he knew their tricks. You know? It was like so, anyway, by the time we were done with that conversation, people were upset with me. And I wasn't trying to be, like, mean or you know, I was just like, let's before we jump off the cliff, why don't we just talk about it a little bit and just say, like, what makes you think this or what makes you think that? And they were just they weren't having it.

Antonio [00:04:58]:
Hypnotist of all people should know that.

Damon Cart [00:05:01]:
You would think.

Antonio [00:05:02]:
And, you the one thing that boggles my mind is and I think this might come from, like, some of the the stuff from Bandler. I don't know. Maybe okay. Let's not pull that in. But, you know, the idea of hypnotist, like, oh, the more you focus on something, you get more of it. You know, you buy a red car, see a red car. It's very everybody knows that. So it boggles my mind when hypnotists are are sitting there freaking out wondering why they see conspiracy theories everywhere.

Antonio [00:05:29]:
I'm like, I can I can tell you why, but you're you got a blind spot? In in regards to that, to the, lady, I thought there was a, ghost sitting in her bed. I'm not sure if you ever heard there's a phenomenon in the South. You know what our sleep paralysis is? I'm sure you do.

Damon Cart [00:05:46]:

Antonio [00:05:46]:
In the South, they call it, witch's sit. I've heard of, some African Americans talking about how people think, like, there's a witch sitting on you because you're in that sleep paralysis. So that could've I mean, there's so many different possibilities. Sure. Have you, have you been exposed to street epistemology?

Damon Cart [00:06:03]:
I don't think so.

Antonio [00:06:04]:
Oh, man. You're the, go get this book, How to Have Impossible Conversations. Peter Bergasse, and he he wrote 2 books, manual for creating atheists and street and, How to Have Impossible Conversations. It's basically a methodology of, how to help people understand how they got to believe what they believe. Phenomenal. Oh, I'm telling you, you get those books, you're you're gonna love them.

Damon Cart [00:06:27]:
That does sound

Antonio [00:06:32]:
good. So your website is

Damon Cart [00:06:35]:

Antonio [00:06:36]:
Now can you give people a brief, background into, I guess, who you are and how you came to what you do?

Damon Cart [00:06:45]:
Sure. So I've recently outed myself. I used to tell everyone that the very first, NLP experience I ever had was a professor in college, and that is a true story. But previous to that, and I'm comfortable saying this now because I just did a video with him a few months ago back in October, my first, encounter with NLP other than Tony Robbins, but I don't really count that because I was just listening to the tapes, and I wasn't really doing much with them. My my dad had them, and, so it was a little bit of indirect NLP there, but I wouldn't call that an NLP experience. But I was in college. I was very lonely. I was a freshman, and I felt like everybody else in the world was, partying and having a good time and dating and all that.

Damon Cart [00:07:31]:
It turned out that was not true, but I thought it was true. And the Internet was very new at this time, and I was amazed by how you could pretty much look up anything and find information on it, which plays into what you do in the whole conspiracy thing because that's Yeah. What people are doing. But, I looked up how to how to how to meet women and that whole thing.

Antonio [00:07:50]:
And Ross took first Yep. I knew. I was gonna say you found the curl the curly haired guy. Yeah.

Damon Cart [00:07:55]:
But his hair was very short at that time. You know, you couldn't even tell he had curly hair because he kept it so sharp. Yeah. So I I didn't I was reading over it, and I was very broke because I didn't have a job and I was a college student. And I reached out to my brother and said, hey. This looks pretty interesting. Would you split the cost on on this with me because I can't afford it? And he goes, oh, he's using an LP. And I was like, what's that? And so he's like, well, that's what Tony Robbins does.

Damon Cart [00:08:18]:
And I was like, okay. Well, that kinda made it sound more legitimate. So we bought the course. I memorized everything, in it, and then I went and tried it, and it worked. And I couldn't believe how effective it was. And I was like, man, this NLP stuff is pretty amazing. And then later, I found out that there was a professor at the same university that I was attending who taught a course called the psychology the philosophy of psychology. Now I wouldn't have counted I wouldn't count myself as a NLP practitioner at that time.

Damon Cart [00:08:48]:
All I had done is memorize a few techniques and some scripts, and and I was just making them work. I didn't understand how it worked, and, you know, I couldn't really apply it anywhere else in my life. So I go to I attend this class with this professor, and he's amazing. And when he was doing demonstrations, he hypnotized people. We did all kinds of things. We learned about gestalt. We learned how to hypnotize each other in class. And And then at the end, he was like, okay.

Damon Cart [00:09:13]:
This is the mother of them all. This is NLP. And I didn't understand it, like, when he explained it. He was a very good teacher, but I just didn't quite grasp it. But, after I graduated college, it's about, I don't know, maybe 2 years after that I took his class, I fell into a depression. 911 had just happened. I had a several things, happen back to back, and I was just down. And I had no health insurance.

Damon Cart [00:09:36]:
I was a bartender at the time. And I thought, I really need help, but I can't afford it. And then I thought about my professor, and I reached out to him and said, hey. I'm in a bad situation. I don't know what to do. Can you help me out here? And he said, yeah. Come to my office. We talked it out a little bit.

Damon Cart [00:09:54]:
The first time I I met with him, it was not an actual session. And, he said, okay. One more thing. I don't believe in a free service, but I don't need your money either. So when you every time you come to me, you donate money to charity or you donate time for community service. Deal? And I was like, deal. Showed up the next week, one session, less than an hour, depression was gone. Blew my mind.

Damon Cart [00:10:19]:
And I remember just thinking, I was in film I had I had just graduated film school, and I was focusing on a film career, but I was like, oh, man. I wanna learn this NLP stuff. Like, that was amazing. And it just didn't make any sense to me because I was like, you hear, you know, it takes months months to come out of depression. And I was like, I've been suffering for almost a year, and in one session, it was over. And I I was like, I was even wondering, is this gonna last? Is this just like a little technique, like, an anchor he did? And it was, like, it lasted. And jump forward 10 years later

Antonio [00:10:49]:
Something I wanna interject, just so peep people understand that, sometimes I mean, I I I my depression is so much better. I get, like, little bits here and there. I'm able to manage it. I'm gonna I don't wanna attack his, Damon's position, but, like, hypnosis, NLP is great for, changing moves and everything, but sometimes it takes a longer intervention. And I know Ericsson sometime would do longer interventions.

Damon Cart [00:11:13]:
That's a really good point that you're making. I don't want people to come take on the expectation that, oh, if you just do an NLP technique, it should wrap it up in one session. It doesn't always work that way.

Antonio [00:11:27]:
I can add add something to that real quick. I know you're familiar with core transformation. The first time I guess it wants to, like, I think stop smoking for about a week. And then I had another time when I was having these nightmares of, of, like, a girl being killed and body parts in the car. So I remember, like, talking to my mom. She said, oh, our neighbor was killed when we were I was, like, oh, shit. So I did court transformation. Because I used to have this horrible fear.

Antonio [00:11:50]:
If I was in the bathroom, if I turn off light, I'd have this panic. I almost feel a little bit of the feeling now, but or if I was, walking by a window in our house, but and it was dark, I almost felt like somebody was following me. It was throughout my life, I had these, like, fears, like, oh, there might be a serial killer, just always terrifying. So I did core transformation. The first time I did it, I remember getting this feeling of wholeness. It felt very psychedelic, that kinda oneness feeling. Problem gone. Like, I cannot pull so what happened at the time, I thought, like, wow.

Antonio [00:12:22]:
Core transformation, it's a silver bullet. It'll work on everything, which isn't the case. I've been able to use a lot of stuff, but sometimes it takes a lot more work to do it.

Damon Cart [00:12:32]:
Yeah. That's why I don't wanna people to think that you're you can cure everything in in one session. And, for for whatever reason, it worked for me that one time. And it's also it does but it does go to show you that you can overcome something rapidly. Like, it doesn't necessarily take a long time. So, yeah, I remember thinking that, like, one of these days, I need to learn this NLP stuff. And, yeah, not long after that, I moved to Los Angeles, and I was trying to make the whole, film thing work. That never really worked.

Damon Cart [00:13:04]:
And then, I couldn't I we thought about going back to moving back to New Orleans, but it it the hurricane had just hit the big, you know, the big one, hurricane Katrina. And I had kids at the time, and I was like, I'm not bringing my kids back to that. And the, the crime was horrible, and I was I was like, we gotta stay in California, but I wanna get out of LA, and I wanna do something different. I was working at a computer software company. And, my dad, is an insurance agent still to this day. And so I started looking into that, and I saw that there was an opening in for this company that, my dad works for, that there was an opening in Santa Cruz. Now I the only thing I knew about Santa Cruz up to this point was I got lost on the way to Big Sur and ended up in Santa Cruz for about an hour. So that was the only knowledge I had of Santa Cruz.

Damon Cart [00:13:49]:
And when I saw that there was an opening, I just knew. I was like, we're going to Santa Cruz. You're in

Antonio [00:13:55]:
the you're in the hot spot of NLP.

Damon Cart [00:13:58]:
And I didn't even know it. And I didn't even know it. And this is where, you know, you go synchronicity? Like, this is, I don't know. I don't know what to call it, but it's, it was pretty amazing. I didn't even know that NLP had been created here. And I was en route to move here. Like, everything was set. I had already taken the position.

Damon Cart [00:14:17]:
We were you know, had a scheduled move, everything. The the, we rented a place, all that. And then I found out that it was where NLP started. And I was just like, that's too weird. And I was like, okay. Well, I'm gonna now I'm gonna really learn NLP. There's gonna probably be an NLP Institute on every corner. And then I get here, and it's like, no NLP.

Damon Cart [00:14:38]:
Like, it was crickets.

Antonio [00:14:40]:
And I thought that when I when I was gonna move off to Hawaii. I should have been trained when I was in Michigan. I'm, like, oh my god. Hawaii is a healing place healing place, but I'm like, no.

Damon Cart [00:14:50]:
So and it wasn't until I was at you know, I'd started my insurance office, and I had already acquired a book of business. And this couple comes in, and the wife was from New Orleans. And I was like, hey. I'm from New Orleans too. So we really hit it off. And the guy was, there where he was he was kind of interesting, but he didn't he was kinda kept quiet. And then every and so I finally said, how did you 2 meet? And he says, oh, I was teaching an NLP workshop in New Orleans. And I was like, oh, okay.

Damon Cart [00:15:16]:
Well, where is everybody? And, he didn't wanna get into it, but it really the whole Bandler thing really the whole Bandler murder, thing, you know, that he was acquitted for left Santa Cruz with a very bad, very sour taste, in everyone's mouth here. In fact, they wouldn't even sell NLP books in bookstores here, like, when that happened. So it was a big deal, and people just wanted to put it behind them. And that that's probably why, NLP and Santa Cruz didn't flourish. But event eventually, I I discovered that they had NLP University happen happening up at the campus, the UCSC campus every summer.

Antonio [00:15:52]:
Is that, was that Halbom?

Damon Cart [00:15:55]:
No. That's, Dilts and Delosier. Okay. Yeah. Delosier and Robert Dilts. And, so I did I did train with Habem up in San Francisco, though. That's that's where I got started. I mean, I well, actually, I hit another depression, and I was pretty sure that my professor had retired.

Damon Cart [00:16:13]:
He was kind of up in age even when I was there. And, yeah, I just didn't feel right about reaching out to him or trying to find him. And a lot of times, most people had to leave New Orleans after the hurricane, and then they were hard to locate after that. So I was just like, I'll I'll just do regular therapy. It Took me a year of regular therapy to come out of that depression. And so, you know, of course, my mind was on, like, okay. That took a year. Whereas with my professor who did NLP with me, took one session.

Damon Cart [00:16:40]:
I need to learn NLP. And and that was when I decided, for my mental health and, you know, for my business and for my marriage, which was on the rocks, was failing, eventually did fall apart. So I started doing NLP training, and I was just hooked. Like and I I practice every single day. I kept jumping into if there was a practitioner training happening near me, I would go and, I would I would enroll and and attend that. And my life started changing pretty fast. And then I was, master practitioner training, NLP University. A lot of bad things were going on in my life at the time, and I almost canceled that training.

Damon Cart [00:17:16]:
And a friend of mine said, no. I think, Damon, this is actually what you really need to do.

Antonio [00:17:20]:
You need this.

Damon Cart [00:17:21]:
And you need this. And I was like, you know what? You're right. And I stuck with it. And during that training was when I realized the things that were making me miserable, my marriage and my business, and both of them needed to go. And, so that, you know, you build when you don't really understand yourself, you don't understand what your true values are, you end up building things up, you know, and you you build these structures in your life, a marriage, a family, a business perhaps. And then when you finally do understand who you are and what you want, sometimes you have to let those things crumble or you have to destroy them, so that you can make way for new things.

Antonio [00:17:59]:
Okay. Cool. That now I know how I can how I can take the direction of this podcast. I know, you're good at you can definitely talk on boundaries. 1st, I want to boundaries and the idea of values. First, I wanna ask you a couple questions. I know, you're in a interesting camp because you you do have some, conspiracy theorist in your family.

Damon Cart [00:18:22]:

Antonio [00:18:23]:
And you're also you're familiar with some mental some tools to help people.

Damon Cart [00:18:29]:
Mhmm. So I

Antonio [00:18:29]:
wanna take this in the direction of, first, ask you a couple questions and maybe give some, some family members give tools to family members of conspiracy theorists. Like, how can I, create more harmony? Because I'm not I don't wanna work focus on how to

Damon Cart [00:18:43]:
convert a conspiracy. The right person for that. I I saw I saw a meme on, Facebook that said something like, usually the black sheep of a family is just the one who sees through the bullshit. And I would say that that's that's me. In fact so my wife is, from Romania. It, we had some issues with immigration during the pandemic. We got separated. She couldn't come back here.

Damon Cart [00:19:10]:
And so the only way that we could see each other is by both meeting in a country that we could both get into. After we got married, then I could at least get into Romania. But anyway, she had met my parents once and my brother, and and it was brief, and we quickly moved on. So when she was finally able to come back, when she got her green card, we went out to visit my parents, and we were there for a few days. And when we came back, she was like, wow. She's like, you've had to work really hard just to be you. And I was like, yeah. And she said, okay.

Damon Cart [00:19:46]:
Well, you know, you're definitely the black sheep. And I was like, well, I didn't quite think of myself that way. My younger brother, who died of a drug overdose was definitely thought of as the black sheep because he just kinda did everything wrong and pissed everybody off. And what I think is strange is I'm kind of looked upon that way as well, the shit starter. And I'm like, I don't think I'm being a shit starter, but their attitude is don't disturb our you know, we all think this way, so we must be right because we outnumber you. Yeah. Yeah. So don't start shit, but you need to, like, sit there and just take what we're giving.

Damon Cart [00:20:21]:
And I was just like, no. I'm not gonna do that.

Antonio [00:20:23]:
Yeah. You

Damon Cart [00:20:24]:
know, I'm gonna push back. I'll be nice. I'm not gonna call call people names, and I'm not gonna yell and scream. I have done that. But, you know, I'm I'm gonna I'm I'm gonna try to talk to you.

Antonio [00:20:34]:
You've seen my Facebook. I have a hard time dealing with people. So the funny thing about a black sheep, I always had this joke. Like, if you don't know who the black sheep of the family is, it's you. If you're looking around going, who is it?

Damon Cart [00:20:46]:
I'm like, it's

Antonio [00:20:46]:
probably you. What was your perspective on mental health, growing up versus now?

Damon Cart [00:20:58]:
Well, I'm from I'm Cajun, and it's a kind of a poor rooted in, like, kind of a poor peasant culture. Of course, Cajuns are not all poor now. But they they tend to have you know, be rooted in that whole thing where, you know, you're a man, don't you don't cry, you don't talk about feelings, you know, that whole thing. So it wasn't great, but as I was getting older and just I was curious, so I would, you know, read books by Sigmund Freud and Nietzsche and all these things. And I I started to really warm up to, the idea of, you know, therapy and therapists. And my parents were always a little skeptical of that. What they were into, though, was personal development. And this is where I think kind of that personal development thing kinda goes, you know, a little too far off in a direction of, like, these supplements are gonna cure you.

Damon Cart [00:21:53]:
And my parents were kind of into that. You know, that that whole idea of, you know, like, you don't need doctors and all that. They weren't that far. You know, we went to doctors and all that. But now now it's gotten so bad that I I'm a little concerned about that. Pushed. Right. So there's there's that that there's that side of personal development where, you know, you could go off that that edge of, you know, not accepting reality.

Damon Cart [00:22:16]:
So they they were on that kind of personal development edge.

Antonio [00:22:18]:
I used to make my own colloidal silver back in the day. And that's stuff you know, I think I think, there's definitely medical applications for silver outside of the body. I don't know if there's much evidence for it being used in the body, but I know they've used it for, like, band aids. Silver can help heal things, but versus drinking it to get rid of

Damon Cart [00:22:38]:
Doesn't that turn your skin blue?

Antonio [00:22:40]:
Yeah. I I I was drinking in copious amounts. I think there's other risk factors for causing people to turn blue. There's a guy here on the island, a homeless guy that's very, very blue from it. It doesn't sound like it it might be too toxic on the body other than, you're gonna look like a Smurf.

voice over [00:22:58]:
To get instant access to the newest episodes of the podcast and the first three chapters of Antonio's newest book, go to www.escaping the rabbit and enter your first name and best email and smash the button that says get the podcast.

Antonio [00:23:14]:
What are some of the rules you have for your relationships? Like, what are some boundaries that you're not gonna let, be pushed or crossed?

Damon Cart [00:23:22]:
You know what? I'm I guess when I was a kid, I saw so much hypocrisy. My parents were very religious, and they would preach, you know, one thing, and then I would see them do violate that. And my father also followed, and this is Catholic. My father followed this guy who is had this control over people. I mean, he was very, I guess, charismatic, but also narcissistic. And, he wasn't a priest or anything. He had a really large family. And he just and and I knew one of the tactics he would do because I witnessed it several times, which was he would create a riddle.

Damon Cart [00:24:03]:
You know? And since he created it, he knew the answer to it. Right? And so, and and and South Louisiana, where I'm from, is very Catholic. Okay. So you have a lot of Catholics, and he would sort of call them out for not being the good Catholics that they should be. And they're like, well, I go to church. He's like, that's bare minimum. You you need to do more than that. You know? That that was his way of like, he was very staunch.

Damon Cart [00:24:26]:
And he would get talking to people, and then he would throw one of those riddles at them. And I wish I could remember them. I'd it actually, I think I do remember one of them. And so it would completely tie this person's brain in a knot. And what do we hate? We absolutely hate confusion.

Antonio [00:24:43]:
Yes. Right?

Damon Cart [00:24:43]:
We hate chaos and confusion. Your unconscious, especially, is always trying to avoid chaos and confusion and looking for clarity, and something stable to to

Antonio [00:24:52]:
That's why people like puzzles so much. They get into a puzzle, and then then they're like, oh, I gotta solve it.

Damon Cart [00:24:57]:
And the but the thing about a puzzle is, like, you you always know you can turn it off. It's kinda like what Hitchcock was saying about horror movies. So somebody asked him, why do you why do people like horror movies? And he says, well, it's like a roller coaster. You know you're safe, so you can scare yourself and know you're safe at the same time. But for when you can tie someone's brain up in a knot with a riddle, they don't they get so pulled into that that they don't really have a sense of, like, you know, this is just a riddle. It's just words I can just pull out of this. They don't have that sense of that. And so he would tie that person's brain in a knot, and then they would be begging for mercy because they're in this state of confusion.

Damon Cart [00:25:33]:
And then he would hand them the answer.

Antonio [00:25:35]:
He loved that control.

Damon Cart [00:25:37]:
Yeah. And then he and then the person thought that he just enlightened them. He just freed them. And it was, like, well, yes and no. He only freed you from the confusion he put in your brain to begin with. There was no confusion before that. And really, it's just a riddle. It's just words.

Damon Cart [00:25:55]:
It's just you know, these are just concepts. But the person doesn't realize all that. And so if he did that enough times, then you start to think, oh, this person knows something. This person is enlightened. He he he knows the way. And so people would follow him as a result of that, and my dad was one of them. And it was always like and and I I I think my dad was just going through his own existential crisis. He didn't understand why he wasn't happy.

Damon Cart [00:26:19]:
He thought Catholicism was the answer. And then if the Catholicism is the answer, well, then you go and, you know, talk to the sage in town who knows it all about Catholicism, and it happened to be this guy. And, my dad it just made my dad more miserable. I remember him, you know, starting to follow him, and then things just got worse and worse. And, you know, and then at the same time, they're saying, and this is the only way to be happy. You need to follow this religion. You need to follow what he's saying, and this is the only way to be happy. And I'm like, I'm looking around.

Damon Cart [00:26:46]:
It was like, nobody looks happy. No. Everybody looks like they're miserable. And so it was that constant, contradiction.

Antonio [00:26:54]:
Was it like a push was it like a push pull kind of thing?

Damon Cart [00:26:57]:
Yeah. Like, oh, oh, you're not happy then just because you're not doing this, you know, strictly enough. You know? And it was like it was just you know? So my dad tried harder and harder. He tried to clamp down on us even harder and harder. And it's like, can't you see that this is making things worse? And I could see that. And I think, you know, even my mother could see that, but she was still kinda going along with it. And, anyway, eventually, my dad, broke from him. And it wasn't it wasn't until I was in college that he he finally broke from him, and things got really good between us.

Damon Cart [00:27:27]:
Like, I, started having a great relationship with my especially my dad, and we did a lot of repairing, and I was happy to do that. So, when Trump came along, my dad didn't like him at first, like most conservatives, like most Republicans. And then I

Antonio [00:27:45]:
Was it was it, sorry for interrupting. Was it, like, a becoming addicted to the rage kinda thing?

Damon Cart [00:27:50]:
Yeah. Well, I think my I think what my dad followed was I think, this I don't wanna get too much into, like, my grandparents and all that. But in general, I think he sought after, like, a strong male figure, and that's why he ended up with this first guy that I I mentioned. And so I, you know, I thought once he broke with him, I was like, ding dong. The wicked witch is dead. We're free. We can just be ourselves. And and he could still be Catholic, and he can still be conservative and Republican, and I'm not those things, but we can look past those things.

Damon Cart [00:28:21]:
No problem. And we had a great we we really cultivated a great relationship. And this went on for, like, 15 years. You know, things were really good between us. And then Trump comes along, and, you know, right away, my dad doesn't like him because he's the so immoral. And my dad is a very moral person who follows his faith and and all that. And I remember talking to him on, 1 week, and then the next week, I called him. We were talking, and he had completely flipped for Trump.

Damon Cart [00:28:50]:
Not only that, like, he was angry at the Republican party for not having supported Trump sooner. I was like, you weren't supporting Trump sooner. What what the hell just happened here? So in that time and within a span of 1 week, he completely flipped.

Antonio [00:29:02]:
Did he ever tell you what it, like, what it was? Were you ever able to pinpoint, like, what was the deciding factor?

Damon Cart [00:29:08]:
Nothing that was satisfying. I mean, I'd certainly asked him quite I was like, what? You know? And it I mean, I actually it it broke my heart, and I couldn't even understand it at first. Like, I didn't understand why I was so angry about this. I'm able to articulate it now because I just gave you kind of the history. Yeah. I didn't connect all these things at first. I was just like, what? And, you know and, like and the other thing too, I think I was upset about it. It was like, you dragged me through your existential crisis.

Damon Cart [00:29:35]:
You Yeah. Pushed all this morality. I mean, it was morality, morality, morality. And now you just sort totally throw that stuff out, and now you're going for the most immoral person to ever come you know, set foot in the White House. And, like, my mind was just blown. I was just like, this doesn't make any sense. And, you know, I I even credit my father for really helping me establish good morals because he was always a very moral person. And my my father was always a a a healthy skeptic.

Damon Cart [00:30:07]:
You know? If you brought something to him, he was like, well, you know, what does science say about this? You know? He was he had that sort of sense of skepticism. I think that's where I got mine from. So to see him just go all in with this guy, I was just I mean, I was confused. I I I'll say I was confused probably for a good year or 2. And then I actually did did some therapy around it, and I was able to finally start putting it together why this had had messed with me so much, and it it it killed our all the work that we had done, all the repairing that we had done. I thought all those things had been healed, but actually what happened was it just ripped all those wounds wide open. And then and the way I look at it is he had a relapse, very much like my younger brother kept relapsing with, drugs.

Antonio [00:30:52]:
Yeah. Because there's dopamine involved in this kind of stuff.

Damon Cart [00:30:55]:
For sure. For sure.

Antonio [00:31:00]:
What's one thing you think people get wrong about conspiracy theorists?

Damon Cart [00:31:05]:
Well, I guess it depends on if you know any, like, closely, like family. I I would say, what people probably get wrong is they that they're they kinda think of them as not really human and not be able to not able to, carry on a productive life. You know? If, like I said, some people, they have family members. In fact, I would say it's probably more common now than not common to have family members who are conspiracy theorists just because it's so prevalent now. You

Antonio [00:31:35]:
know The Internet's everywhere.

Damon Cart [00:31:37]:
Right. If you met my father, you'd like him. He's, you know, he's a he's a good guy, and he's, you know, very loving, caring person. But something flips, man, whenever, Trump comes up. You know? Or I I was questioning on him on a few things. I had a conversation with him a few days ago and and things that are facts, undeniable facts. And I was putting that in front of me, and he was just getting really angry because it was, you know, testing his, beliefs about Trump. And I was just like, look.

Damon Cart [00:32:06]:
He Trump wouldn't even deny this if you put it in front of him because it it happened, and, you know, there's video on it. This is not this is not for this this, you know, dispute. But, it's amazing to me how many of these conspiracy theorists, lead such normal lives otherwise. You know, I think there's a tendency to think and this is a probably the way that I thought is that, you know, your typical conspiracy theorist was like an incel who never went out of their home and just sat in front of a computer all the time. But that is not the case. I mean, they're pretty much everywhere.

Antonio [00:32:38]:
I think I think there are, there are a lot of in cell types because it it because then you get, like, the the manosphere, you get, like, the Peterson types. You get Andrew Tate types, and those ones are attracting those people. I think a lot of people think of conspiracy theorists as stupid. I mean, you know, I so as it I almost said as an active conspiracy theorist. Let me refrain. As a former conspiracy theorist, I definitely grew up with, beliefs that I was stupid, lot of lot of depression, etcetera. 1, this kinda ties in. What what do you think are some of the psychological factors that pull people into conspiracy theorists?

Damon Cart [00:33:23]:
That's a good question because I think it's changed, and I've read articles about this. It used to be that it was a compensation for something that was missing in their lives. That was the most and I'm probably oversimplifying that theory, but it was something along those lines. Because really by the time you realize somebody it used to be, like, maybe 15 years ago. By the time you realize, like, somebody was a conspiracy theorist, it it made all it made sense because they were really extreme a lot, you know, in in in multiple ways in their lives. And now Are

Antonio [00:33:59]:
you saying that it can change for the person over time?

Damon Cart [00:34:04]:
That or I think we have a lot more conspiracy theorists who are that way, for more reasons than just that initial one that there was something like, feeling like there was something really missing in their lives. And the the it so it's expanded. It's not that it's not that anymore. That certainly is a factor. But they discovered another factor. It's just that it's more interesting to them. It's sort of like watching WWE wrestling or watching soap operas. They kinda know it's fake, but it's more interesting.

Antonio [00:34:36]:
Life is boring. Life can be boring. I've heard, copywriter John Carlton say this that, hey. Like, your audience life is boring. Give them something. Give them a lot of copywriting is infotainment.

Damon Cart [00:34:48]:
Oh, for sure. Yeah. And so well, I for my brother and my father, I think that's a combination of both. I think there there are some missing things in their lives, and they're trying to, it's like eating fast food and and, you know, your your body or your mind thinks you're nourishing yourself, but in fact, there's no nutrients in that. But it feels right. It tastes like food. It looks like food. It goes in your body.

Damon Cart [00:35:13]:
It's okay, but there's there's no nutrients in it. And so the information It's food, but

Antonio [00:35:16]:
it's not it's food, but it's not really packed with a whole lot of

Damon Cart [00:35:20]:
nutrients. You can't you're you're if you just that's all you eat, then you're gonna corrode inside, and that's what's happening with information out there, the so called news. You know, it's like this isn't factual information. It's fast food. So it titillates you, but it's not actually nourishing your mind and nourishing your understanding of what's going on in the world.

Antonio [00:35:41]:
And it it's, you know what's hilarious with that metaphor about the fast food? What does Trump eat?

Damon Cart [00:35:48]:
Nothing but fast food. Yeah. Yeah.

Antonio [00:35:50]:
Yeah. Nothing but now, I'm gonna do a little shameless plug for, my book, Converting conspiracy theorist. In, chapter 2, I what I see as pulling people in the conspiracy theorist, I call it the fame model, f a m e, which is kind of interesting because I think a lot of like, me at the time, like, I wanted to be that person. Like, hey. Look what I have. I've got this information. FAME stands for, feeling powerless. At least, I don't know if this if this is for any other conspiracy theorist.

Antonio [00:36:21]:
This resonates for me. It was, feeling powerless and helpless at the time. Mhmm. A is apophenia. That's the psychological concept where you're connecting dots everywhere, which is common for every conspiracy theorist. Very true. Very true. M is misinformation, which is pretty much everywhere.

Damon Cart [00:36:38]:

Antonio [00:36:38]:
Every conspiracy that there is, I'm gonna say 9 99% of conspiracy there's get introduced via a video or or a question. Somebody's like, hey. You You know, Alex Jones will say something like, if they've lied to you about 911, what else have they lied to you about? Then you're, oh, let me and then you kinda go down that rabbit hole. And then e is external locus of control. And I'm you're aware of locus of control.

Damon Cart [00:37:06]:
No. I'd say you covered it. I'd say because as you were mentioning, I was like, yeah. I see that. Yeah. I see that. Like, I think, yeah, that the especially the the very first one about the the helplessness. I think a lot of people are are, trying to they they have this sense that, like, what's going on, what what seems obvious and apparent, there's always something deeper going on.

Damon Cart [00:37:29]:
And I think it's also about, like, they don't wanna get surprised or, thrown a curve ball, and so it's about really trying to find more certainty and clarity. The funny thing is it's, like, it's a it's a paradox. Like, they're actually creating more uncertainty and more, paranoia by going down that. But it the idea, I think their intention is to sort of grab on to something more clear, more substantial.

Antonio [00:37:52]:
And to help people. Because no conspiracy like, any vaxxers, although they're doing a horrible thing, they think they're helping people. They think they're keeping kids safe.

Damon Cart [00:38:00]:
Yeah. And I I you see that a lot in cults too that that's, it's this idea that there there's some, like, altruistic mission going on. You know, with Qanon, it's you know, they're they're they're doing it for the kids. And but a lot of people who have gone into Qanon and on and come back out, they say that is just a ruse on the surface. Like, it has nothing to

Antonio [00:38:19]:
do with what they do. I interviewed, this guy, the ex conspiracy theorist. Like, he said, they haven't like, show us one kid at qanon and say, none.

Damon Cart [00:38:28]:
Yep. Yep. But, yeah, that that whole, like, I know what's really going on. Like, oftentimes, when I've talked to conspiracy theorists, like, they have that attitude, like and you don't know. And, like, I could try to explain it to you, but you but you wouldn't understand. And that's one way to for me to they want you to, to say, oh, no. Please explain it to me.

Antonio [00:38:46]:
It's that puzzle. Mhmm. Going back and I think going back to that puzzle where you're you're confused, and then they'll give you that information.

voice over [00:38:53]:
Is your mental and emotional health being affected by a loved one trapped in conspiracy theories? If so, discover how Antonio can help you set clear boundaries and reclaim your mental well-being. Book your free 20 minute consultation call by going to w w w dot escaping the rabbit hole dot com slash call. That's escaping the rabbit hole dot com forward slash c a l l.

Antonio [00:39:19]:
What does escaping the rabbit hole mean to you?

Damon Cart [00:39:22]:
Like, I'm I'm assuming you're applying that to conspiracy theories.

Antonio [00:39:26]:
Yeah. Or conspiracy theories or or being in a family where there's conspiracy theories, whatever is, I guess, more relevant for you.

Damon Cart [00:39:35]:
Yeah. And so I'm I'm, I'm fallible like anyone else, and I would have to say I have gone down rabbit holes. It's just not the conspiracy theory, rabbit hole. You were down at the

Antonio [00:39:45]:
were sorry for were you down, I I just thought of this. Were you down, like, a depression rabbit hole at one point?

Damon Cart [00:39:50]:
I would call that a rabbit hole for sure. Okay. Like, just always seeing, the worst in the world and the worst in myself and on and on and on. And it's amazing too how there could be people in your life who are supposed to be your partner, your protector, your advocate, and you're supposed to be the same the same for them, but they know this about you. They know your buttons. They know your sensitivities, and they use them against you in a very passive aggressive way. And that's why, like, I've done videos about passive aggressiveness and and narcissism because, man, those people are really good at finding your sensitivities, your buttons, and then pushing them to manipulate you, and you don't even realize it's them doing it. Like, that's how crafty they are.

Damon Cart [00:40:38]:
And I would say, I remember having well, okay. I don't wanna incriminate anybody, but having had, a very strong experience with someone who is very passive aggressive manipulating me, followed by a very strong experience by someone who's very narcissistic, who did use passive aggressiveness, but a lot of other tactics to manipulate me. And and after I came out of that, I was like, how did I even get there to begin with? And what I started to realize is that I allowed my vulnerabilities, to be a little too, exposed, and they jumped right onto them. But the normal person, a normal person wouldn't do that to someone else. These were

Antonio [00:41:20]:
not all people. The social pathway.

Damon Cart [00:41:22]:
Yeah. Yeah. So escaping the rabbit hole, I think I think you have to become ungrounded to go into the rabbit hole to begin with. So, and that's a that's a kind of a vague thing to say. But I think the best thing is to know who you are. And to in order to know who you are, you gotta know what you want, and you gotta have enough experience of knowing how to get what you want. And then it's this interesting thing where that really that really reveals who you are to yourself. Once I got there, I knew at that point, like, there's no way that somebody could do what these other two people had done to me.

Damon Cart [00:42:10]:
That would never happen again. Not saying that I can never be fooled again. That that I mean, we're all human, so I can be fooled again. But that kind of manipulation, there's no way because I'm just way too grounded in who I am and what I want and how to go about doing that to ever let that happen again.

Antonio [00:42:26]:
No. So I know we might have to do a second follow-up podcast. Your website is, Yep. Can you share, I guess, a simple tool that people can start, start to, I guess, build better, boundaries. I the one thing I like from your your program was, first program was the the idea of identifying a trait. Like, I know I'm a kind person. You know, we were a caregiver for elderly neighbor, and I remember when in your program, you you basically had us ask ourselves, how do I know I'm a kind person? And in your program, you talk about how these qualities are built up from, like, different experiences, memories.

Antonio [00:43:08]:
I remember seeing, like, a collage of of me helping people throughout my life.

Damon Cart [00:43:14]:
Mhmm. So I

Antonio [00:43:15]:
don't know if there's because I mean, self it's a it's not something you can teach in 5 minutes. It's

Damon Cart [00:43:19]:

Antonio [00:43:19]:
Big. I guess, what can you any simple tools you can comment on that? Or

Damon Cart [00:43:25]:
Sure. Value solicitation. It's a very easy tool. I on my videos, especially the ones I've done about value solicitation, I give a free PDF on how to how to do that. So it's where everything starts.

Antonio [00:43:37]:
And I will have a link. If you give me a if you tell me a link later below or above this video, I'll have a link to

Damon Cart [00:43:43]:

Antonio [00:43:43]:
The value solicitation. Can so, again, can you describe what the value solicitation, is and, like, how it can help somebody?

Damon Cart [00:43:50]:
Yeah. So what we think we want is just the surface of what we want. Nothing has inherent value. It only has the value that we project onto it. And that's what we call, a value. And Steve, Andreas, defined a value as a generalization about an experience that is important to you. If you've had happy experiences in your life and you like them and you want more of them and they're important to you, then happiness is a value. Same thing with kindness, same thing with joy, passion, freedom, you know, all of those.

Damon Cart [00:44:18]:
So, like, let's say money. You say, okay. I want well, I want a $1,000,000. Nobody really wants a $1,000,000. You want what you think a $1,000,000 will get you. And when you ask that question, what will a $1,000,000 do for me? That's when you start opening the door to reaching what your values are. Values are mostly unconscious. They drive every decision that you make, every choice that you make, and every behavior that you engage in.

Damon Cart [00:44:40]:
So everything you do, every choice, every decision, every behavior is an attempt to fulfill a value, possibly more than one value at a time. And so when you understand that about the things that you want, the the game really starts to change. And there and how this happens first is, like, I can't tell you how many times that I've worked with a person, coaching them, and that's how we always start the conversation. What do you want? There's a reason you're coming to me for coaching. So what is it that you want? And they'll tell me. Like, I I want a new I want this, I want a job promotion, or, you know, I wanna do more in sales or whatever. And once we elicit the values and then we go back to the original goal, and I would say, do you think this goal is actually going to fulfill those values for you? And they go, no. Not at all.

Damon Cart [00:45:27]:
Not even close. And I I'll say, well, how do you how do you think you arrived at those? And that's where all the exterior external locus of control comes in. The, you know, the the values of your society, the values of your culture, the values of your parents who all told you, hey. This is really important. You need to be a lawyer. You need to be a doctor. You know, any of those things. And there's some really unhappy lawyers and doctors.

Damon Cart [00:45:48]:
Trust me. I know I've coached them. Yeah. So they did what they were told was important, but it wasn't really important to them. What's really important to you is your own personal values. And so criteria of for those values is how you go about fulfilling those values. So it's also important to know your criteria for your values. And no one can give you that.

Damon Cart [00:46:08]:
That's all that has to come from within. You have to discover that. And it may even take you exploring that, especially if you're I don't know. If you're listening to this and you're in your twenties, chances are you don't really know what will fulfill your values. And so that's why you're young so that you can take the time to go and explore that and try a lot of different things. And then as it as it relates to boundaries, we do have we can call it an imaginary boundary around us. It's imaginary because, yes, we are creating it, but it is feels just as real as anything else because when people violate that boundary, it's like when someone walks up to you too fast, and you don't know the person, what do we do? We back up. We want our personal space.

Damon Cart [00:46:46]:
That's they triggered that boundary. So getting becoming aware of that boundary and becoming aware of the positive intention behind that boundary, it's boundaries are meant to protect you, but understanding it even better than that. And then you can then decide the the way the boundary is fashioned. Is it really getting you what you want? Is it is it really is it useful, or can it be changed? Or does it even is it even necessary? So, yeah, you can play around with boundaries, quite a bit. And, that's a little more involved. The value solicitation would be the fastest, easiest thing that you could learn.

Antonio [00:47:21]:
I, in my second book, Coping with conspiracy theorists, it's more of like a self care guide for family members of conspiracy theorists. More of a self self help guide, which is much more enjoyable and enjoyable for me to write. I think chapter 13 or 14, I talk about boundaries, and I, basically just created 2, NLP or let me create 2 techniques. Basically, visualization for people where people identify what I call their hidden boundaries are. I think one, the boundary I basically had them having them imagine closing their eyes, and I'm have them imagine somebody that comes up into their personal space that they like versus somebody they don't like to notice. Like, how how we how that, how we elicit in our imagination.

Damon Cart [00:48:02]:
Mhmm. Yeah. We tend to, include or anything we include in our boundaries, we tend to be in good rapport with, we feel very familiar and trusting with. Anything outside of our boundaries, just the opposite. Like, we don't feel connected at all. And we do this all the time for everything. Like, you know, we'll hear about a plane crash that happened in, say, Asia, and we'll go, oh, man. I you know, that's terrible.

Damon Cart [00:48:25]:
And then they'll say, there were 2 Americans on board, and we'll you know, because what do we do? We automatically include them

Antonio [00:48:31]:
in that feel like a bad person.

Damon Cart [00:48:35]:
We all do it. But the reason we do it is because we we have we say, oh, American, that generalization, we put them inside our boundary. And and and you can chunk it down even more. Like, you know, I hear about something that happens in this country, and I'm like, oh, man. That's terrible. That's tragic. And they say and they were from New Orleans. And I'm like, oh, no.

Damon Cart [00:48:55]:
You know? Like so it's again, there it gets even closer. And we do this with football teams. We do this we're very tribal like that. So, it's just good to understand that. I don't think it's you're wrong for for doing that, but it's just good to understand that. And one of the things that Steve Andreas had pointed out was, when we were fighting the Cold War, any country that simply said that they were not communist, we included them in our boundary, which meant that we ended up giving aid to and aligning with some of the worst dictators to ever exist simply because they said they were not communist. And that was a failing, you know, on this country's part.

Antonio [00:49:35]:
Well, look what's happening with, the idea of, you know, if it was Antifa, but now it so I can't I don't know who the boogeyman is. That was, like, the deep state. Now it's, like, the trans. And if somebody's like, oh oh, oh, no. This is a good way to put it. I interviewed a, a gay guy whose husband's in QAnon, which is mind boggling. Just like when I find a fellow Mexican that's in queue that's a Trump supporter, like, how are you doing this? If that makes any sense, it's kinda similar. It's like, what? How are you doing this? I think that, I interviewed, that gay guy and I and I asked him if he thought it was, like, a a thing of, of his his, ex husband being like, you know, I'm not one of those bad gay guys.

Antonio [00:50:15]:
I'm one of the good ones.

Damon Cart [00:50:17]:

Antonio [00:50:18]:
Almost trying to say, like, I'm not I'm not a communist. I I'm a good person.

Damon Cart [00:50:22]:
Yep. Yeah. Yeah. A lot of those things are surprising me too, but I think, it has a lot to do with media, and and people are drawing their boundaries based on the tribalism of, like, right versus left and and that sort of thing. And what gets crazy is that a lot of my family buys into that, and they will post things on Facebook. And I'm like, okay. I am a registered Democrat. I don't identify with the party that much.

Damon Cart [00:50:49]:
I I don't have a problem. I would vote outside of my party if I found a candidate. You know? But you realize you're talking about killing me because I'm not

Antonio [00:50:59]:
You're not eating babies. Right?

Damon Cart [00:51:01]:
Yeah. You know? Or, yeah, just weird things like that. I was like, okay. Do you do you real well well, we're not talking about you, but it looks like, yeah. You kinda are. Yeah. And I've had to have that, very uncomfortable conversation. But, again, that's I'm not going to pretend, so that they can feel better about their messed up beliefs.

Damon Cart [00:51:18]:
I'm I'm going to put this in their face. And, maybe that helps, maybe it doesn't. But, yeah, I'm not gonna back down from those things. And somebody has to do the tough love thing. I feel like somebody has to bring the reality to them because nobody else is.

Antonio [00:51:33]:
You definitely need to get a copy of how to have impossible conversations. Oh, so good.

Damon Cart [00:51:39]:
That does sound fascinating. I have to look into that for sure.

Antonio [00:51:41]:
It's, it's basically, a lot of Socratic questioning. And one of the questions I like in there I was bringing up is it's a scaling question. It might be from motivational interviewing. It's on a scale of 1 to 10, how confident are you in the belief that Democrats are trying to kill babies? And then, it it the book says if it's a really high number, there's a good chance it's a moralistic belief. So no amount of evidence is gonna work.

Damon Cart [00:52:02]:

Antonio [00:52:03]:
If they're like, oh, it's like a 7, then you you oh, why didn't you choose a 6 or a 5? Then they have to kinda double down.

Damon Cart [00:52:09]:
Well, that's where you get those good questions. I see you arguing, with people on Facebook from time to time, and I was like, man, that's a good question. I've even stolen some of your questions. Yeah. Because they're, you know, they're really good. Did you get, kicked off of Facebook, or you seem to have or maybe I'm just not seeing the conversation. Sometimes I don't

Antonio [00:52:28]:
No. No. I'm no. During 2020, I mean, I was booted so many times.

Damon Cart [00:52:32]:
What Yeah. When were you complaining about it?

Antonio [00:52:35]:
At the beginning, it was at 2020. It was beef right before the Andreas camp, they were doing, they were starting to, do core transformation trainings again. They were looking for, like, a you're gonna start a practice group. I had been off Facebook. I used core transformation to get off Facebook. It was off, like, 2 months. It was peaceful. I got an email and it was from Mark Andrei saying, Hey, come and find a practice partner.

Antonio [00:52:58]:
I'm like, oh God, sure. Let me open Facebook. As soon as I opened it, holy shit. Like, panic attacks. I'm just seeing, like, q and on, and I'm like, oh my god. This is a horrible idea. I should not have done this. I got booted off Facebook for calling somebody an uneducated potato.

Damon Cart [00:53:15]:
Oh, man. That's that that you're going to hell for that one. Yeah. Nice. I have one. I wanted to try it out on you. And I, I've actually used this once, and it worked pretty well. So let's do a little role play

Antonio [00:53:28]:
here. Okay.

Damon Cart [00:53:28]:
So let's say just a this is just a role play. I want you to pretend like you believe the election was stolen. You're a Trump supporter who believes the elect the last election was stolen. Yep. Okay.

Antonio [00:53:37]:
But it was. Alright.

Damon Cart [00:53:39]:
Okay. Good. Alright. So if Trump came out today and said, hey. I lied about the whole thing. The election wasn't stolen. Would you still continue to believe that the election was stolen, or would you believe Trump and say, okay. The election wasn't stolen.

Damon Cart [00:54:00]:
It was fair.

Antonio [00:54:02]:
I think a 100% I would still believe it because the, the deep state is forcing him to do that.

Damon Cart [00:54:09]:
Okay. So the reason you believed the election was stolen was because Trump said so. So in the even in the face of irrefutable evidence evidence, the guy who made up the lie, if he came out and said, I lied, you still wouldn't believe it. So that means that no matter what evidence, no matter what came out, how true it is, there is just no way you would ever believe that the election wasn't stolen.

Antonio [00:54:36]:
Yeah. Okay. I'm, I'm having some cognitive dissonance here. I got steam blowing on my ears. I think, one reason that Trump said that is he wanted to identify the people in the deep state, the the enemy the people that we need to watch out for.

Damon Cart [00:54:51]:
Yes. But you wouldn't even think that the election wasn't stolen had Trump not said so. So the guy who got you to believe it is now saying, I didn't say it. I mean, I I didn't I didn't mean it. I lied. So if you would still believe that the election was stolen, that means no matter what, no matter if it was it wasn't stolen and then we could prove this empirically, you would still believe that the election was stolen?

Antonio [00:55:18]:
I probably would.

Damon Cart [00:55:19]:
Okay. So there that's just it. You're you're this is not about truth for you. It's about your belief and you clinging to that belief. You're admitting that. Okay. So if you had so I had this kinda I asked this question to to my father. And so he switched, and I knew he was gonna switch.

Damon Cart [00:55:40]:
So what I want you to do now is you I want you to to see how crazy that is just to hold on to a belief even though it's been proven incorrect, and then switch to no. I would stop believing it if if he said it.

Antonio [00:55:53]:
Okay. Well, that was a weird role play. I had to, like, kinda put myself in. Okay. So I'm gonna so I'm gonna be what am I gonna be? I'm gonna be the

Damon Cart [00:56:01]:
The person who would stop believing it if Trump said he lied.

Antonio [00:56:04]:

Damon Cart [00:56:06]:
So I would say, if Trump came out and said he lied about the election being stolen, would you, would you then stop believing that the election was stolen? You'd believe it was actually a free and fair election.

Antonio [00:56:20]:
It'd be hard for me to admit that. It meaning that I was wrong would, would be hard. I I I might, but I I'd have to go slowly at first. I might not post it on Facebook. I might just admit it, but not be very vocal about it.

Damon Cart [00:56:35]:
Okay. So what you're saying then is facts don't aren't aren't true to you. It's this one man, Trump, whatever he says is truth to you. So he can say one thing one day, and you're gonna believe it's truth. And then tomorrow, he could say the exact opposite, and then now that's your new truth. So truth isn't facts and reality. Truth is whatever comes out of Trump's mouth.

Antonio [00:57:03]:
I guess so.

Damon Cart [00:57:04]:
Okay. So I did this with my dad, and, of course, he hated both conclusions but couldn't deny either and he actually switched midway. He goes, oh, no. If if Trump said it, then I'll and so and then he finally got so frustrated. He said, well, then what's the right answer? And I said, the right answer is that the election wasn't stolen. And so have that one. So, I kinda did with that guy with the puzzle that I was telling you about. So I set it up just to make it seem like, you know, I'm really getting your answer, but there is no right answer because it's a false question to begin with.

Damon Cart [00:57:45]:
The election wasn't stolen. It was a lie. So no matter what they answer, it sound you can you wanna take it to whatever extreme, and then they go, oh, I don't like that, and they wanna switch. And then they would finally go throw their hands up in the air, and they're like, well well, what is it? And it's like, the election wasn't stolen. Neither one is correct. Of course. You know?

Antonio [00:58:27]:
What are 2 to 3 other people you would recommend that I interview? If you can think of anybody off the top of your head.

Damon Cart [00:58:34]:

voice over [00:58:36]:
Is your mental and emotional health being affected by a loved one trapped www.escaping the rabbit hole call by going to That's escaping the rabbit hole dot com forward /call.

Antonio [00:59:01]:
Yeah. So they're very freaking logic.

Damon Cart [00:59:04]:
Yeah. And so but he had a lot of things wrong because, like, we were sitting, in London, and, he brought this up. I was kinda surprised. He's like, you know, if if I was able if I lived in America and I was able to vote, I would vote for Trump rather than Biden. And I was like, okay. Please explain. And he he everything that he was saying, he really got wrong. He was like, well, the the Black Lives Matter riots and stuff that that happened under Biden.

Damon Cart [00:59:29]:
I was like, no. It didn't. That happened under Trump. And so, yeah, he was getting a lot of things wrong. And then, so we continued the conversation by phone, like, leaving each other voice messages. And, I was like I just kept calling out, where's your evidence? Where is your evidence? He's a very well read person. And so he does actually, you know, look for stuff and bases his opinions on,

Antonio [00:59:52]:
he will change his beliefs.

Damon Cart [00:59:54]:
He will change his beliefs. And so the so I was really calling him out, and I think he hadn't explored a lot of this stuff in a while. And I how I know that is is he started to back up his points. He started sending me videos, John Stossel videos. He's a fan of John Stossel.

Antonio [01:00:11]:
Oh, okay.

Damon Cart [01:00:11]:
He started sending me videos

Antonio [01:00:12]:
Libertarian. Makes sense.

Damon Cart [01:00:14]:
Right. Right. Of before Biden was elected and what Stassel and this other so called, expert thought Biden was gonna do. And because they that's what they thought he was gonna do, they were voting for Trump. And I was like I I was like, this was more than 3 years ago. We know Biden didn't do these things because he's been president for 3 years. Like so there were there was things like that, and I think he just hadn't updated, you know, his knowledge base. He just kinda went, okay.

Damon Cart [01:00:40]:
This is how it is. This is how we think, and just rolled with it. And then now I was calling it out, and he started to change his mind on a few things. So he will change his mind if you show him the evidence. But he's not a conspiracy theorist either. He'd he he and he doesn't I mean, he believes Trump is a narcissist, and he's not a Trumper, but he would vote for him. That's what I thought was crazy.

Antonio [01:00:58]:
So I I can still interview him. What I know, like, one other or 2 other people you would think of even if not inside the hypnosis community, maybe, with inside mental health, a broader thing? Maybe it's somebody that does, like, a cult deprogram or anything?

Damon Cart [01:01:14]:
No. But I can tell you who I've been rolling around in my head about asking to, interview him. And then the re one of the reasons why I thought this is because his videos, his live streams don't get a lot of, views on YouTube, but he is very well known. And it's Alan Lichtman, the guy who created the keys. He he actually predicted that Trump was going to win. He's predicted every presidential, president person elected. He's a man, talk about a smart, smart dude, and he's he's liberal. He he he got he caught a lot of flack for predicting that Trump was gonna win, but it was his keys and patterning.

Damon Cart [01:01:51]:
That's what it'll brought

Antonio [01:01:52]:
him up. Vincent Vincent Blow is the one that told me about him.

Damon Cart [01:01:56]:
Oh. Oh, yes. Yes. Okay. Yeah.

Antonio [01:01:58]:
He's the one that originally told me about, keys. Like, yeah. He's like, don't worry. He's like, Biden's gonna win. I I was terrified.

Damon Cart [01:02:05]:
Yeah. Well, here Yeah. When I was waiting on Alan Lichtman to come out with his prediction, and when he did that Biden was gonna win, I was like and right now, he's not ready to call the keys just yet. He's just saying right now it's in Biden's favor, but some you know, things can happen between now and then. So but, I think he would be he'd be reachable because his his his, following on YouTube is very, very small, and his son seems to be helping him out. And it's it's gone mediocre. But, I don't know if he would have a lot to add to the conversation about, conspiracy theorists, but, you know, election, politics, history. He's a history professor.

Damon Cart [01:02:41]:
You should. You know

Antonio [01:02:42]:
who else I need I wanna get on the podcast. You know Lakoff?

Damon Cart [01:02:46]:
Yes. Boy, that guy is smart. Yeah.

Antonio [01:02:48]:
Yeah. He's right, Rob. Democrats suck at framing messages. What's it called? You know the idea of, it was global warming, but it's not it's climate change. A lot of Republicans, like, oh, I we're just gonna change it to climate change. They thought it was Liberals. It was the GOP that changed it to climate change. I don't know if you know that.

Antonio [01:03:08]:
George oh, no. No. I'm sorry. Let me backtrack it. So, it was George Luntz. He's a, think tank guy for Republicans.

Damon Cart [01:03:17]:
Yeah. Isn't it Fred Luntz or

Antonio [01:03:18]:
Fred Luntz? Frank Luntz. That's it.

Damon Cart [01:03:21]:
Frank Luntz. Yeah.

Antonio [01:03:21]:
George. Frank Luntz. They figure out that, climate change sounds natural and doesn't sound threatening versus global warming.

Damon Cart [01:03:29]:
I thought the Liberals had done that to soften the whole thing, but, yeah, that makes sense. You wanted to understand that what the threat is. Yeah. Oh, no. It's it wasn't a person. I wanted to this is the first time I heard this. Maybe you have heard it arguing with anti vaxxers. I was arguing with an anti vaxxer, and I referred to him as an anti vaxxer.

Damon Cart [01:03:50]:
And, normally, anti vaxxers don't push back against that. But I've been noticing Robert Kennedy doesn't wanna be called an anti vaxxer even though he absolutely is. It's so funny. He'll say in the same sentence, I'm not an anti vaxxer, but there's no such thing as a safe vaccine. It's like you're an anti vaxxer, and you wouldn't say that. Yeah. You weren't an anti vaxxer. So I was arguing with this guy on Facebook, and I referred to him as an anti vaxxer.

Damon Cart [01:04:14]:
And he goes, I'm not an anti vaxxer. And I was like, oh, yeah. You are. And I was That's a lot. But I said, well, what are you? He said he's a pro immune pro science what is that? Pro immunity, pro immunity science or something like that?

Antonio [01:04:31]:
Natural immunity?

Damon Cart [01:04:32]:
They didn't say natural. He just said immune science. I'm pro immune science.

Antonio [01:04:38]:
Pro death?

Damon Cart [01:04:39]:
Yeah. And I was and I was like, oh, no. You're not allowed to rebrand yourself. You are an anti vaxxer, and that's

Antonio [01:04:45]:
why I'm asking where we're going that thread, how they they are.

Damon Cart [01:04:47]:
It's all to rebrand themselves because it

Antonio [01:04:51]:
anti vaxxer. Oh, that's similar to, the redefine with, sleight of mouth.

Damon Cart [01:04:55]:
Yeah. And so it they know that anti vaxxer sounds crazy. So now they're trying to change it to, like, pro immune science or something like that.

Antonio [01:05:06]:
Dude, thank you. This has been great, and I'm looking at my time. Well, I it's funny. I I live 5 minutes from work, and I'm always, like, barely making the I I I should work on my tardiness. Thank you for jumping on, and, I I wanna do a follow-up on, more of the stuff that you can help people with. Website is And if anybody looks above this video, below it, wherever on this website, I will have a link to some of his stuff. Check his stuff out.

Antonio [01:05:34]:
If you want to be able to create better boundaries in your family, he's the man that can help.

Damon Cart [01:05:41]:
It might be interesting to have Jurgen and I on the same time and get us arguing.

Antonio [01:05:46]:
That, you know, we I think we might have to do that. Might have to do that.

Damon Cart [01:05:50]:
That would be interesting. Even it I I like him. He's I respect him, and he's a he is a really good guy. I you should watch the video I did, the most dangerous man in personal development.

Antonio [01:06:01]:
I saw I think I saw a little bit of it.

Damon Cart [01:06:03]:
It's built up like a horror movie in the beginning. Yeah. We went to Norway and interviewed him, but it you know, the of course, he's there with his family. His kids are

Antonio [01:06:10]:
And you it is, like, kinda creepy, but yeah. I do. I'm I yeah. I'd have to check it out.

Damon Cart [01:06:14]:
Yep. No. He is a good guy. Like, I'm I don't I'm not trying to take you know, tear him down or anything like that. He's a good guy.

Antonio [01:06:21]:
Oh, thank you for jumping on, and let's do another follow-up one.

Damon Cart [01:06:24]:
Sure. Alright. Thank you for helping me out. Take care.

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Escaping The Rabbit Hole
Escaping The Rabbit Hole

Former conspiracy theorist, Antonio Perez, discusses how to deal with family and friends that have fallen down the rabbit hole.

About the Author

Antonio Perez, author of Converting Conspiracy Theorists, is a former conspiracy theorist.  He helps friends and family members of conspiracy theorists to improve their mental and emotional health, and to set clear healthy boundaries with their conspiracy theory addicted loved ones.

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