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

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Episode Summary

In this episode, my guest reveals the "Bouncing Souls" right wing media tactic keeping conspiracy theorists trapped.

Hot topics

The “soviet solution” technique that dismantles the New World Order conspiracy theories brick by brick 5:29

WARNING: Never ask for proof of a conspiracy theory…ask the “reversed proof” question instead…this sneaky tactic will cause someone to doubt their own belief 9:42

The four sneaky words Alex Jones uses to keep his followers coming back for more—every right wing grifter uses this 14:09

“Mission Accomplished!” Discover the sick and twisted desire fueling 99% of all conspiracy theorists 35:56

Hollywood False Flag Terror Plot Exposed!  This staged event was a conspiracy theory that came true despite all the coverups 24:56

Drinking babies blood is the biggest QAnon conspiracy theory, right? WRONG! Here’s the QAnon claim that you can ignore right off the bat (by doing this, you’ll shut down QAnon fanatics) 33:03

Introducing the “Bouncing Souls” manipulation tactic that keeps conspiracy theorists glued to the internet (this sends them further down the rabbit hole) 37:03

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

The Ex Conspiracy Theorists on Facebook

The Ex Conspiracy Theorists Youtube Channel

Read podcast transcript

Antonio [00:00:00]:
In this episode of Escaping the Rabbit Hole, my guest reveals the right wing bouncing souls manipulation tactic that kept him frantically researching conspiracy theories. Can you guess what this is? Keep listening to find out.

voice over [00:00:15]:
Welcome to escaping the rabbit hole, hosted by former conspiracy theorist Antonio Perez, author of converting conspiracy theorists. Antonio looks at conspiracy theories from multiple angles, such as how do conspiracy theorists impact their family and friends?

Antonio [00:00:31]:
How can they escape the grip of conspiracy theories, and why do they fall down the rabbit hole in the 1st place? You'll discover strategies to Set clear boundaries with people stuck in dangerous conspiracy theories and improve your mental well-being. Here's your host, Antonio Perez.

Antonio [00:00:49]:
Aloha. This is Antonio with escaping the rabbit hole .com. As a former conspiracy theorist, I have a good idea of what kinda pulls people into it, and I always like getting other people that were into conspiracy theories to talk about their journey. Today, I have John known as the ex conspiracy theorist. Thank you for jumping on the call.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:01:09]:
Thank you.

Antonio [00:01:10]:
So, let's kinda jump into it. What, How did you get pulled into conspiracy theories in the 1st place?

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:01:20]:
Well, at first, it was pretty much what drags people in, like a gateway drug. It's it's politics because of the political bias. And so in in that case, in the 2009 and 2010 era, It was, a conspiracy theory surrounding Obama, and, the big promoter of that was Glenn Beck. And as I listened to Glenn Beck further, that get that led me to other more more anti bomb outlets, which led me to Alex Jones, which led me to what all the conspiracy theories he believed in.

Antonio [00:01:53]:
Yep. So it's funny. And, my book, here's my shameless, shameless plug. Converting conspiracy theorist. I mentioned how I, how I was real deep into conspiracy theories. And the one Event that crack that kinda stopped me from believing. I don't know if I've told you the story. I was coming back from computer school, the bus would come down Rosa Parks Avenue in Detroit and would turn towards the highway, and then it would it would do that day in and day out.

Antonio [00:02:26]:
But one day, the pattern changed. So keep in mind it happened for about a year. And, you know, anytime a pattern changes, we notice right away. We see the confirmation by oh, it's not confirmation bias, but we see when a pattern changes. Anyhow, the bus, instead of turning on to Michigan, instead of turning towards the highway, crosses over, gets to Michigan, takes a left. So at that point, I'm already trying to see things, because the outro all that prime, okay, there's something happening. Next thing I know here, like a thump thump thump. I can hear like this, like a whirly bird sound, and I'm thinking like, what the hell? I look outside the window of the bus, 2 black helicopters are hovering over a building.

Antonio [00:03:01]:
I'm like, Holy shit. What's happening? This is 2007, so I'm knee deep in Alex Jones' rhetoric. I get off the bus, and off in the distance, It looks like a bomb had gone off. There's, looks like paramilitaries in this members in the streets got fully armed fully armed. So I'm thinking Alex Jones is right. Martial law's here. They're coming for us. They're coming for our guns.

Antonio [00:03:21]:
Even though I had I I didn't have a gun. So I'm getting ready to, like, hightail it. I wanna get home, warn all my Patriot Friends on Myspace. Okay. I gotta warn everybody. This could be the this is a false flag. As I'm getting ready to dart in front of the train station, I look over. I see.

Antonio [00:03:36]:
About a block away on the right, I see this guy. The best way to describe him, he looks like a a a scrotum stretch over skeletal with Two eyes bulging out. So just keep that in mind. And as I'm coming up to the guy, I'm like I'm like, how do I know this guy? I've seen him before. My mind's racing. Starts to panic. My plan was to once I get past him, just run home. So and you understand this when you're paranoid.

Antonio [00:04:00]:
You're just You're scared all the time. So as I'm getting ready to run past the guy, I look over. I'm like, why the fuck is the actor Steve Buscemi here? And I heard, quiet on the set. I'm like, Oh, it clicked. I looked around. I'm like, you're filming a freaking movie. Yeah. They were film they were filming the island.

Antonio [00:04:18]:
So Full disclosure, Steve Buschope Yeah.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:04:24]:
He was in that movie. I forgot. Yeah.

Antonio [00:04:26]:
But he wasn't in that scene, but, I just I put him in that I put, I've told it so many I've told that story so many times. I put him in the scene. And that's the interesting thing about conspiracy theorist There is when we tell ourself these stories so many times, we start to believe them. We start conspiracy theorists will start seeing evidence that does not exist. Mhmm.

Antonio [00:04:47]:
You start and then when if somebody asked to back it up, yeah, you you it's that whole crazy rhetoric. What, what's what do you think pulled you out? Was there, like, 1 or 2 events that kinda switched everything?

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:05:02]:
It was pretty much college. When I, went went to Florida Southern College, I took some foreign policy classes, learning basic stuff about, how how the world world order it has been, how foreign policy between different countries has, Changed over the years. And then when I heard the term new world order, I was like, oh my god. It's like a like, they're gonna talk about the new world order and how they tried tried to Create a global government or something, and then, he

Antonio [00:05:28]:
got all excited.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:05:29]:
Got and mentally, but I was just thinking, keep me cool. I was just let my professor speak. And then, when they talked about it, it was just like a benign term for, like, what the current current world order is post the collapse of the Soviet Union. And and pretty pretty much like the new world orders I brought up every time, like, some big event happens, like, which which changes? Like, if Like, there's there's been all kinds of orders. There's been, Roman order, an Islamic order, Persian order, Egyptian order, and, like, And this this era is called the a lot of foreign policy people call it the American order because America is the dominant one or and If there's another era, like, where there's another another foreign power that's, like, equal to that, the US, it'll be, like, the The the the 2 state power in which, like, 2 2 states mainly run the guided most of the world, and, Yeah. So it was just a very, very normal term. Like, I think I think it was first coined by George h w Bush. And, Yeah.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:06:37]:
Ever since then, like, it was as soon as I found out, like, that that term's, like, a very benign term, and it doesn't mean anything, I'm like thinking, okay. What else is he lying about? Then basically that what, that's what pushed me to like, look up the context if there was one for almost everything that I'll show them the same.

Antonio [00:06:55]:
Yeah. No. There's a whole broken clock. It's funny when people if you bring it up to conspiracy theorists, like, oh, he might be wrong about this, but he predicts a lot of off. Like, no, he doesn't.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:07:05]:
No. He doesn't. Yeah. No.

Antonio [00:07:07]:
Did I ever send you that video where I ran into him?

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:07:11]:
Oh, you I think you sent me a photo. Oh, no. It was the video. Yeah. Yeah.

Antonio [00:07:14]:
So me and a, it was funny. Me and a, hypnotist friend, He does shows on a cruise ship. So he he came to Kauai, and I took him on a hike. And I was talking to him how a lot of hypnotists Buy into conspiracy theories because it's I think a lot of hypnotists are promised like, oh, you're gonna get a secret knowledge to be able to help people. You're better than doctors, blah blah blah. Just It's kind of built like that. I guess a lot of it's marketing because if you can build prestige into something, it's easier to sell something. When we're doing the hike, I talked to him about how we about how Alex Jones is crazy, yada yada yada.

Antonio [00:07:54]:
And 6 hours later, we're at a restaurant. I looked by him, like, Holy shit. That's Alex Jones. I was like, let me get a picture. And then it dawns on me, like, I can't share a picture of me without Jones on faith. I'm gonna look like an asshole. I need to get video for this full disclosure.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:08:08]:
Yeah. You're lucky. Only celebrity I've ever run to is, like, hey. Can I take a picture with you is is Shia LaBeouf?

Antonio [00:08:14]:
Oh, he's he's a weirdo.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:08:16]:
Yeah. But this is back in 2000, 2000 12 maybe. Yeah.

voice over [00:08:24]:
To get instant access to the newest episodes of the podcast and the first 3 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 [00:08:41]:
How was your mental health going through all this? Did you have any issues with mental health beforehand? Or

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:08:48]:
No one's ever asked you that before. The the answer to that would be no. No, like, nothing that no, like, extreme Perinor or anxiety is something that would, like, I guess, or schizophrenia is something that would, like, prone someone to believing all sorts of things. It it was just scalability mostly.

Antonio [00:09:06]:
Oh, okay.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:09:08]:
Yeah. Especially when you're young young and easily impressionable, like, you'll If if you don't think like a detective or, like, I think like a scientist or think basic basic critical thinking, you start to, believe they said yeah. Exactly. Depending on, like, who who gets you first.

Antonio [00:09:25]:
Well, a lot of conspiracy theorists start with a conclusion first. They start with a conclusion, then they add evidence, and then it doesn't matter what evidence you show them and doesn't work. There there's a really good book. Have you ever heard of street epistemology?

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:09:41]:

Antonio [00:09:42]:
Street epistemology was coined the term was coined by Peter Regassian. He has this, quest this, methodology of asking questions to help people to rethink how they got to the the beliefs that they believe. One of the questions I love in it is, let's say somebody says they believe in satanic pedophiles running the planet. You could ask them, On a scale of 1 to 10, how confident are you in the belief that satanic pedophiles run the planet? And then they'll they'll give you their baseline, And they might say, about a 7. And then you just ask them, like, why didn't you choose a 6? When you they they think you're gonna ask them a question, like, why didn't you go higher? So they kinda put the defenses up, and you say, why didn't you choose a lower number? They, they how do I say it? They tend to they have to provide evidence of why the belief might be wrong, which is kinda interesting. Do you know if if you have any history with trauma or anything?

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:10:35]:
No. Not before that. Nothing that would, That that would, like, make make somebody vulnerable. Okay. Nothing like that. No.

Antonio [00:10:44]:
What's the one idea you think people get wrong about conspiracy theorists?

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:10:50]:
That that they're mentally ill or like they're, schizophrenic, I think is the biggest one, Which isn't the case. Like, some some of them are I mean, they'll talk crazy and then you like, we when you, bring up basic stuff, like I say, but what about How is that the case? It like, this is happening. It'd be kind of like, oh, over kind of a stretch to say that. It's like they'll be like, they're like, Like, they'll they'll ponder that. They'll they'll give, like, thought to it and it's like but they'll stick to their original beliefs as if they're Yeah. As if they're religion. Yeah.

Antonio [00:11:25]:
I I think people with mental health issues can definitely be prone to them. With the same token, I think that people can can have mental health issues caused by conspiracy theories.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:11:36]:
Oh, yeah. That could that could definitely trigger it because one of the biggest issues with mental health is, especially with people that have delusions is when, people around them give in to their delusions. Sometimes they might tell themselves, oh, you think the you think the body's on the floor? You better start digging, and then they'll start digging. Reaffirming what they think is real will only make their mental health, worse when you get into their delusions.

Antonio [00:12:01]:
In, in my book, I talk about this thing called the fame model, f a m e. Let me know if this kinda Here's true for you. This is how I explain myself getting pulled into conspiracy theorist. F stands for feeling powerless. At least for me, I felt powerless. I'm like, I want, I want, I wanna feel like I'm in control. That's part of when, when I thought the, the martial law was happening, I will, I felt powerless like a victim of the new world order, the world around me, but I wanted to be a hero. But, hey, guys.

Antonio [00:12:30]:
I'm gonna save you guys. A is apophenia, which I know this sits for you. Apophenia is connecting the dots. When you see everything, you start connecting the dots. And then I think when you're connecting the dots, you almost create, In my opinion, you create, like, a larger meta story of everything. And I think that's why, QAnon has been so successful is QAnon seems to it's a conspiracy of everything. They they tie everything together. M is misinformation, which is blatantly obvious.

Antonio [00:13:00]:
And then e is external locus of control. Are you familiar with the idea of locus of control?

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:13:06]:

Antonio [00:13:07]:
So locus of control is a good metaphor is who is driving the car? Are you driving or you a passenger? Are you in control? Are you in full agency, or is it do you, do you feel like a victim? Do you think the Illuminati and all these nefarious forces are controlling your life? Does that make sense?

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:13:25]:

Antonio [00:13:26]:
So how much how much of the that fame model kinda resonated with what you are going through?

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:13:33]:
Well, thank you. Being a college student back then, like, you you you feel not making a lot of money initially, and, And being someone you don't think can make a difference I mean, sometimes it got to the point where it's like, oh, we gotta overthrow this this Think that government is like, oh, but I don't have the money. What could I do? And and, basically, You you would look you would listen to Alex Jones, and he'll and he would and you'd wonder, like, when he would say, when was the time? It's like kinda like when, when people ask their creatures, like, when will the end come? When should we be ready? And then he was like, I'll let you know.

Antonio [00:14:11]:
You know why? Because you you can't you can't make a lot of money. You have to keep on grifting your followers.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:14:16]:
Yeah. I mean, Alex Jones didn't really drain me. I think Think I spent only, like, $150 worth of DVDs. I still got them.

Antonio [00:14:25]:
I I I have an embarrassing picture of me wearing a I have a So funny. I have a Che Guevara shirt with a, Infowars sticker with those 2 don't go together.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:14:33]:
Oh, wow. Is is it from his website or just Somebody.

Antonio [00:14:37]:
No. No. No. No. No. I, I had the Che Guevara shirt, but then I, I bought, I think, an InfoWars sticker. It's, it's funny. I we used to do a conspiracy theory at the bar I worked at in Detroit.

Antonio [00:14:51]:
We would, hand out, to follow everybody. So we'd sit there. We would drink. We also do this thing that made us parent, oh, called cocaine. That's one reason. This is probably Over 25 years ago. That's another reason I was paranoid. Your your impression I was probably in my mid twenties, Impressionable, paranoid.

Antonio [00:15:10]:
I remember one time I'd gone to work, and I get to work and there's a sign on the door saying, The salesman has been shut down, so my immediate thought was, they got to us. They don't want us to expose them. They're shutting us down. Well, the issue is the, owner of the of the business, God rest his soul, he passed away, he was not good at business. He wasn't, like, paying his taxes, so he got shut down for that. It wasn't, I thought, like, the government's coming after us. They're trying to shut us off. It wasn't.

Antonio [00:15:39]:
But my brain decided, confirmation bias. That's what my brain told me it was happening. What's, I guess, the hardest challenge that you've had to overcome in your life?

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:15:51]:
Mostly just, like, looking back and say, oh my god. I wasted a whole year of my life. It's kinda like a

Antonio [00:15:55]:
It was only a year?

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:15:57]:
A little little over a year. It was from from 2009 to 2000, 10, so that would be 2 years

Antonio [00:16:05]:
Holy shit. You got out easy. I would oh, it's like 2001 to, like, 2007?

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:16:11]:
Oh, wow. Yeah. Oh, so you were into the 911 stuff. Right?

Antonio [00:16:17]:
Yeah. Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:16:19]:
So did did you I have this feeling that 2 that 911, going into 2,008 was, like, old and, like, It's tires sound like we gotta move

Antonio [00:16:31]:
on to something else? Possibly.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:16:35]:
Yeah. Because I I've noticed that, and I think the single biggest thing That destroy the Ireland truth movement was the election of Obama because at the time, most people that were believing it were people that were like people on the left. But Well, after Obama got elected, that thing started to go down because I'm get I'm guessing they think, oh, he won't he won't investigate 911. He's There's probably nothing to it, and, like, the it just slowly faded away.

Antonio [00:17:02]:
Yeah. And one thing I noticed, From 2001 to Obama, it was it's an inside job. It it was a government. But then, when you have they're trying to claim he's a Muslim and this and that. He was much more of a threat, I think, than the inside job. Then they then there's idea went from it's It's an inside job to the Muslim brotherhood. It's the bad Muslims.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:17:24]:
Yeah. The the it's like the newer thing that's being talked about. I mean, the Muslim brotherhood, which is a real Organization. I mean, I learned about my foreign policy class, but, it's a but it didn't become trendy until the, The

Antonio [00:17:39]:
Until Brown Man until Brown Man was in.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:17:42]:

Antonio [00:17:43]:
And then, yeah, and then people people got spooked.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:17:47]:
Often have this, thing I tell conspiracy theorists that think he's a Muslim. I was like I say, oh, black plus white equals brown equals Arab equals Muslim equals terrorist. Because, like, it would not be marketable to say he's a Muslim that he was not If he was not half white, half half black because

Antonio [00:18:06]:
it's Oh, because he was full black. Oh, that's right.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:18:09]:
Yeah. His his mom his mom's side was white, but his his

Antonio [00:18:13]:
So he looks he looks more he looks more Arabic being black and white. That's a good one.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:18:17]:
Browns. Yep. Mhmm.

Antonio [00:18:19]:
I never thought about that.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:18:22]:
There's a meme on, face you can look it up. A meme that said that says, Trump was a Muslim, and it's and it's just like little, Muslim kid that looks just like Trump.

Antonio [00:18:33]:
That's funny.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:18:34]:
There's a whole story about how he was adopted.

Antonio [00:18:37]:
I have a conspiracy theory about conspiracy theories, so very kinda meta, that the 1st conspiracy theory that we get introduced 2 is almost like a foundation of a house. And then any new conspiracy theories we get, it's almost like other layers of the house being built on top of it. And I think my idea is that any newer conspiracy theories kinda, lay the groundwork and make the original conspiracy theory seem more real. My idea is if the original conspiracy theory that we've bought into were to be challenged or dismantled, if we Stop believing if it would kinda be like foundations, cracks in the foundation going through a house. What are your thoughts on that?

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:19:17]:
In terms of, like, the whole Belief in it falling apart?

Antonio [00:19:20]:
Yeah. In terms of, let's say, the belief in the original conspiracy theory falling apart, if that were to kind of, Go through the other conspiracy theories.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:19:30]:
Yeah. That that definitely contributes to, like, being deprogrammed from believing other stuff. Like, You might, like, break away from like, if you're Alex Jones fan and, you broke away from him believing Sandy Hook is like, okay. He believes this. What else Is he pushing that couldn't be true e either. And then it's just like just just like what I did about Finding out what else he's lying about, it just creates a domino effect.

Antonio [00:19:56]:
I'm looking in, chapter 10 of the book. I talk about, Conspiracy converting questions. At one point, I talked about how Alex Jones, You know, this whole thing, if they like you about that, what else have they liked you about? And you're, oh, you're right. What else have they lied to me about? Were you ever into, I guess, alternative health quackery?

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:20:21]:
No. That wasn't trendy at the time. 2000 I mean, there was I didn't take the swine flu vaccine back then, but, then again, I'm actually glad I'm actually glad I didn't because me, personally, I'm actually allergic to the, COVID Moderna shot.

Antonio [00:20:37]:
Oh, okay.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:20:38]:
Yeah. Yeah. I'm I'm gonna I've I've written about this in my page. I just happened to be one of those rare cases of someone who had allergic reaction to it, brought my platelets from which is basically what what, allows you you to coagulate when you bleed either externally or internally. My platelets went from 150,000 to 5,000. So I was, like, 1 punch away from death.

Antonio [00:21:02]:
What, What? So allergic to Moderna. Is there any other ones? What about, like, the J and J?

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:21:11]:
Which one is that?

Antonio [00:21:12]:
Johnson and Johnson.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:21:13]:
Oh, I didn't try it. My current hematologist tells me not to, well, he any any vaccine, he tells me that I check with him first because I also have a exemption from the, MMR vaccine, mumps, measles, and rubella. And, but I have I happen to have natural immunity from that, so I don't really need it.

Antonio [00:21:36]:
Oh, god.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:21:36]:
But, but, yeah, that that thing also triggered it when I was a child too.

Antonio [00:21:41]:
That's not fun.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:21:43]:
No. I I mean, it's I've not had an issue with it for 25 years, and then it's just like, if I'm take a vaccine that apparently, like, Ruins your platelets, and, yeah, I'm I'm screwed.

Antonio [00:21:55]:
Yeah. Don't do that. Oh,

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:21:59]:
I would've got back to back to your thing about health. Like, I wasn't it wasn't really trendy back then, 2009, 2010.

Antonio [00:22:05]:
Yeah. I think it might be more of, like, the prepper kinda thing.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:22:10]:
Oh, yes. Yeah.

Antonio [00:22:15]:
We all have a conspiracy theory that was too crazy for us. I remember at the, When I was we're doing the conspiracy theory in Brew and View, people would come in, like, sheep, as we would call them, would come in and be like, oh, What about the reptilian agenda? I knew they were trying to, like, poke fun at me. I'm like, oh, I'm not that crazy. I just believe this crazy shit that satanic pedophiles were on the planet or whatever crazy shit. I almost use it as like a lever to go, look. I'm not that crazy. I'm still normal. What was your what was your line that was too far?

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:22:45]:
Back then, it it was definitely the reptilians, but at the same time, when I was listening to Alex Jones' show, he would have dig David Icky on, who is, like, the The godfather of that stuff. Yeah. And I'm thinking about myself.

Antonio [00:22:57]:
Iki is a good way to say them.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:22:59]:
Yeah. I think that is how you properly pronounce it. I I think it's great,

Antonio [00:23:02]:
but I like Icky. Icky sounds better.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:23:05]:
Yeah. But, like, when he would have him on, I'm, like, thinking, oh, like, they're not really talking about reptilians, but, like, this is This is his thing. Why is he why is he pushing it? And, like, year but years later, this the I put 2 and 2 together saying, Figuring out, like, why he was doing that back then is basically, get get as much of the of the market of conspiracy theories as Awesome. That's why he, Jones expanded to, Sandy Hook. Like, he's just doing whatever was trending on and this is in the court records for his defamation lawsuit. They were looking at, like, what was trending on Google with analytics, search terms, and that that's basically how how you find out, like, what people are want Talking about it and what people are, wanting to hear. They and if they find the most popular conspiracy theorist talking about this, they're gonna be like, oh, wow. Being exposed.

Antonio [00:23:57]:
Yep. Was it Google and Lyft, or was it Google Trends?

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:24:01]:
I I mean, maybe Google Trends. I may be getting the The word's wrong, but, you you can look it up in the court records about how he how they were, looking up search terms at the time, trying to figure out what to talk about Based on their

Antonio [00:24:15]:
show. How do you prevent yourself from falling back down into the rabbit hole?

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:24:21]:
Oh, I Nope. That's actually a good question. If if something happened that's, like, okay, I'm absolutely convinced this was staged, like, there's a pretty high threshold for I mean, there's There's there's a lot of stuff that's staged, but it's like it's mostly boring stuff, like, just you smell it. Yeah. And they say, oh, see thing things are staged. Like, yeah. Pretty much not the stuff that you talk about, but,

Antonio [00:24:46]:
And and that's different that's different. Oh, okay. Something like that, Smollett, that's easy to stage because it's 1 person, 2 people. When you start adding

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:24:54]:
other 3. But yeah.

Antonio [00:24:56]:
Oh, yeah. 3. But, yeah, you you start adding other People but here's the deal. They couldn't, even though they stage it, it still got out.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:25:04]:

Antonio [00:25:04]:
And you start adding other people to the fold. It's It's impossible. When when when we were in active in conspiracy theories, we didn't really think that went through. You don't really have that. You you don't think about, like, wow, it takes a lot of peep you know why? Conspiracy theories are sexy. Normal life is boring as shit. Conspiracy theories aren't like that. It's like that, like a really, like, interesting movie.

Antonio [00:25:31]:
It's something that's just so fancy. Like, wow. This it it it seemed conspiracy theories are sexier than The the world is chaotic. Does that make sense? Yeah. Life is boring. So in conspiracy, there's, They know their stories. Like, I was talking about my story with, when, with Steve Buscemi. I didn't actually see him there, but But I've told that story so many times, I've I've mentally put them there.

Antonio [00:25:57]:
Now it's to the point where I've almost had to question myself. I'm like, wait. Did I see him there? No. You know, anytime we access a memory, we're altering that memory. It's never the same memory. If you have a memory from childhood, anytime you access it, It alters a little bit. So I've told that story so many times. I've and I'm like, wait.

Antonio [00:26:15]:
I'm like, is he really there? It's interesting thing with our memory.

voice over [00:26:20]:
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 www dot Escaping the rabbit hole .com/call. That's escaping the rabbit hole .comforward Slash c a l l.

Antonio [00:26:47]:
How did you define yourself politically before, during, and after your time as a conspiracy theorist?

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:26:54]:
Back then your standard Republican, which had well, I think it was highest 60% believe LeBlanc wasn't born in the US. Right now, I'm pretty left economically, socially, but I'm, like, I'm willing to say, like, okay. Like, This guy's on left. This is a majority belief on the left. It's wrong. Move on, basically.

Antonio [00:27:16]:
Yeah. Yeah. I I'm, I'm pretty left. So it's funny. I my family are pretty much all liberals. Parents are teachers, so gonna More often than I could lean left. I don't know how I ever fell down into libertarian I thought it was a libertarian. I'm like, No.

Antonio [00:27:32]:

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:27:32]:
Again, I got into libertarianism that back that after the conspiracy phase briefly, like, I had supported Ron Paul for president in 2012. Then after he didn't win, I decided to vote for Obama.

Antonio [00:27:45]:
I remember, when I went to Florida before I moved to Kauai, I, you know what? And I think a lot lot of it was wanting to find a community. I remember seeing, you know, you you always see those random it was in Florida. See those random people on the side of the road with Ron Paul flags. I'm like, oh

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:28:02]:
my god.

Antonio [00:28:03]:
My parents, I was like, let's pull over. I'm guaranteed they're probably like, oh, Jesus Christ. Gotta fucking deal with this shit again. But it's funny. As I look back, a lot of the conspiracy people hanging out with A lot of hateful people. I had a lot there was a definitely, I was there was, Oracle Broadcasting. I was helping promote them. Lot of homophobic dude.

Antonio [00:28:25]:
They straight up. They're homophobic assholes, transphobic, and there's some straight up racist ass people. I remember some of the dudes upstairs. I'm like, I when, the Michigan you know the Michigan Militia. Right?

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:28:38]:
I've heard of them. Yeah.

Antonio [00:28:39]:
They, I mentioned in the book, I think 1st chapter that Those are my parents' living room. I get a call from John from Michigan Militia, which is weird because he lived in Southwest Detroit, which is 99% Mexican. He yeah. And the the founder of the Mission Militia was it was really weird. And we called me up, and I remember asking about If I wanna join, he probably saw my name on different message forums or message boards. And I asked him, like, yeah. Yeah. I'm, like, ask him about joining.

Antonio [00:29:08]:
I'm, like, I'm Mexican. Can I join? Click. Straight dial tone. I was like, okay. I was like, I see how you line. In the Michigan election, it's so funny. Those, Those ding dongs I thought would be a good idea to try to kidnap the governor of Michigan. How did they think that was gonna go? There, There's a lot it's funny.

Antonio [00:29:26]:
There's a lot. I don't know if you realize this. There's a lot of, militia movements in Michigan. You know? I'm sure Florida how's Florida? I'm sure you guys have a couple of them.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:29:35]:
Oh, I've not heard of 1, that's active in Florida. It's I mean, if there was, then probably it's like a branch deal. Oathkeepers from back then. Yeah. But, like, Oathkeepers is pretty much, like, their I mean, their founder's gone to jail for going to prison for 25 years.

Antonio [00:29:53]:
I'm kinda getting an argument with this guy on Facebook today. He's talking about how January 6th, it was FBI, blah blah. I'm like I'm like, so you're telling me these people are willing to go to prison. I know they're, like, they're antifa. I'm like, so you're Yeah. People that normally have masks on are willing to take their mask off and go to prison for 20 years, and it doesn't make any sense.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:30:13]:
Yeah. I asked them, like, which ones that are had have been arrested, aren't you? And which ones that didn't get arrested, but they were caught on tape doing something? Which one's aren't you? It's always the ones that that say, oh, they're unidentified. I haven't really heard anybody say, like, oh, the people that went to prison or they're going to jail, or they were arrested were TFN members. And and sometimes the people that that get accused of being Antifa, they're, like, people that are arrested, but they were released and they've charged his job because There's there the evidence wasn't just wasn't there. I'm not saying they didn't do it or that they did did do it, but, like, you don't have evidence. You just don't help hold people.

Antonio [00:30:52]:
I like I really like seeing a Trumper get accused for being Antifa. Oh. There's some kind of poetic poetic justice.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:31:00]:
Yeah. The shaman was accused of it. There's 1 guy who's, like, soon Fox News because he was arrested for January 6th, but but he was Go ahead.

Antonio [00:31:09]:
Is that is that the Epps guy?

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:31:13]:
I think that that that that's him. I keep confusing him right him for the f f the The head of the FBI because I think they have similar names, but I think it's up to you.

Antonio [00:31:21]:
Is that the one Tucker Carlson's like, he's a Yeah. Yeah.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:31:24]:
I'll tell you. He he could be. We just don't know. Like, that Tucker Carlson tone.

Antonio [00:31:30]:
You know, I'm a start calling him cock Tucker Carlson. You know a lot of Oh,

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:31:33]:
that's brilliant.

Antonio [00:31:34]:
Yeah. I just thought about that one. A lot of Republicans talk about, oh, you guys are cocks. You guys are cocks. Do you remember, Roger Stone?

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:31:43]:
Yeah. I know, Robert. So Yeah.

Antonio [00:31:45]:
It's funny. You know, so he it's funny. Like, him and his his breed of people, like, calling liberals cocks. He pulled out an ad in a in a swingermatic as he asking been set up as it said something like, need BBC for my wife. I'm like, bro, I'm a your little definition of a cock, especially with all these people that are are crying about, trans people. What is the idea? A, it's the idea that an accusation is a confession.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:32:13]:
Accusation is a confession.

Antonio [00:32:15]:
Yeah. Well, let's say when you got these people when people are screaming about trans people that are grooming kids, grooming kids, and All of a sudden, like, low mo, you see you see a cop that gets busted, grooming kids. You see a freaking, of some right wing Oh,

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:32:29]:
people people that get get, like, arrested for things that accuse others of doing. Yeah.

Antonio [00:32:33]:
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:32:34]:
Yeah. I've heard of that. Yeah.

Antonio [00:32:35]:
It happens all the time, and I'm not saying that there's not, democrats that are scumbags. There are. I brought this up before when people are Hyper focusing on pedophilia. That is fucking weird.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:32:49]:
Yeah. Like And a lot a lot of times, the obsession isn't actually saving. Like, I I people like, I talk to people who are, like, defensive of Qanon. I was like, name 1 child Qanon has saved. 1. And they're they're they're not able to bring it up. And it's like, oh, you have all these these child busts that the FBI and law enforcement agencies announced. It's like, oh, How did you miss this one? They like, you weren't even talking about, like, a, a pedophile ring in in South Florida or something.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:33:20]:
Like, you somehow missed that.

Antonio [00:33:22]:
Yeah. What's up? A few months ago, I was at a, nursing home. We were caregivers for our elderly neighbors when he passed away. And there's this lady there, nice lady, but then one point, She's talking about religion. She's like, you know what? She's there's these radical people in the world. I'm like, oh, shit. Oh, no. And she's like she's like, there's this new type of gay.

Antonio [00:33:42]:
I'm like, off. I already know. Okay. She's like, they're radicals. I'm like, whatever. And then one day and this is right around the southern freedom. Everything she's talking about, I'm like, I know where you're getting these talking points from. And she's talking about, oh, there's these pedophiles that are trying to take their kids, and and I remember I told him, like, listen, that movie is full of a lot of rhetoric, A lot of misinformation.

Antonio [00:34:04]:
Like, listen. I'm like, if you wanna help kids, I can get you I can get you a number for organization on the on the on the island so you can help. They basically shut her up. Like, no. You're not looking for solutions. You're look conspiracy theorists are looking for problems while other people are trying to find solutions.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:34:20]:
Yeah. And they're they're like, Sam Seater has brought, you know who Sam Seater is. Right?

Antonio [00:34:25]:
I can hear his voice.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:34:28]:
Majority report?

Antonio [00:34:28]:
Yep. Yep. Yep. He's with he's with he's with that woman a lot. What's her name?

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:34:33]:
I I I don't know her name. Yeah. I know who he's talking about yet.

Antonio [00:34:36]:

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:34:37]:
He he's brought this up about Alex Jones for years saying that if Alex Jones Didn't exist. He would have to the CIA or some, mark some PR agency would have to invent him To, like, to misdirect resources and attention away from, problems that you could actually have meaningful change for. But then, Like, if you're if you're saying you're against, excessive or the militarization of police, that's fine, but you're not actually doing anything to try to, like, Change change that. You're saying that the oh, they're militarizing because they're planning to round us all up. That's what's happening. Prepare for that. When it's just like a a place over militarized, maybe they they would use, excessive force. And, like, maybe you wanna prevent that, you could change something in the law, but they only they don't do that.

Antonio [00:35:28]:
Yeah. They just want they just want talking points to to bitch and cry about. Thank God I'm not bound by the FCC because I have dropped so many cuss bombs. What did being a conspiracy theorist do for you? What kind of emotional need did it fulfill?

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:35:49]:
Probably what you've mentioned before, like, it give gives us purpose, like, you're don't really have a Driving life and you feel like you're actually accomplishing something. That was the feeling at the time.

Antonio [00:36:01]:
But you know what you're accomplishing was getting that hit of dopamine. Because Every time you get a new conspiracy theory, like, oh my god. I found something else. And it's just oh, man. I I watched an old video of myself. This is, like, 2, 2007. There was a blimp flying over Detroit for, Super Bowl, I think. I think it was Super Bowl or something, and I talked to one of my conspiracy theorist friends in California.

Antonio [00:36:27]:
We're on the phone. And this is, like, of course, it's, like, 3 in the morning. I'm got no sleep. I've got insomnia. And, of course, my brain's not it's it's firing on all cylinders, but in it's misfiring all cylinders. And at one point, I was talking about the satanic pedophiles and dada. It's so embarrassing to listen to. But it but I think it's good when you share things, because I'm sure you were embarrassed for some of the stuff you thought and said.

Antonio [00:36:52]:

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:36:52]:
Oh oh, yeah. I was saying saying stuff to my friends and and some of my friends in high school, and I'm just Thinking to myself, what what were they think what were they thinking on their end when I sent them this, sent them, Jason Burbage's, New world order, defined movie, on my my face. What were they thinking then? Well, actually, what's wrong with this guy or something?

Antonio [00:37:16]:
Yeah. I go like, oh my god. What is wrong with this guy? Well, I mean Yeah. We we both made it out alive, and I but I know that I can always fall back into it. That's why, certain certain jobs I avoided. I wanted to Do copyright. If you're familiar with copywriting, it's basically writing sales copy to sell products. There's a lot of copywriters that are in Lot of copywriters that that write write sales copy to sell, like, financial stuff, prepper kind of markets, there's a lot of copywriters that fall into right wing think.

Antonio [00:37:54]:
And I think what it is is a lot of Copywriting techniques use logical fallacies to sell people. And that's A lot of it, I think, models that same kind of conspiratorial thinking. It's it's us versus them. Big pharma doesn't want you to know about this, and then people start buying their own bullshit.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:38:14]:

Antonio [00:38:15]:
Little maddening. What does escaping the rabbit hole mean to you?

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:38:25]:
Getting out basically getting out of, this endless cycle phase of Basically chasing ghosts that don't exist. And, like, you're I love

Antonio [00:38:38]:
it. Chasing ghosts that don't exist.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:38:40]:
Yeah. Going through the and looks like we'll try to find evidence of it, and then, sometimes you'll get out of it. Sometimes, like, you'll just keep Doing the same thing over and over again, looking for see you see a shadow on the wall. It's like, oh, that could've been it. I see another shadow that could that could be hit.

Antonio [00:38:58]:
That, in in the book, I talk about, are you familiar with NLP or hypnosis at all?

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:39:06]:
No. I'm not too familiar with hypnosis. Okay. I I actually don't know if it's real or not.

Antonio [00:39:10]:
Yeah. I'll so I'll explain it. Hypnosis is, Like, what you see in movies is that's exciting. It's not that exciting in real life. I I wish it was that exciting. If not, you you ever drive down the highway and then Maybe you're driving and then maybe you forgot you, like, passed home, you're daydreaming. Real similar to that. It's I think the idea of hypnosis is being able to kinda turn off the the critical faculty.

Antonio [00:39:36]:
It'll chat your mind so you can do, work on yourself. That's what I've I've used it to overcome trauma, etcetera. Inside of hypnosis and NLP community, there's this idea that The map is not the territory, meaning our reality is not necessarily, like, we interpret everybody interprets reality different. In the book, I talk about the idea of the map is not the territory. One day, I was walking. I was Walking doing a nightly walk. As I'm walking on the side, I see this guy looked he looked like he's been over smoking a cigarette. So I'm like, okay.

Antonio [00:40:11]:
You know what? I'm like, I don't know this guy. He might be shady, like, across the street. As I'm closer, I go across the street. I look over. I'm like, oh, it's a freaking garbage bag. And then I'm like, oh, it's garbage bags piled up. My brain had almost created a complete rule saying, if you see people on the side of the road, be careful. Cross, these people are dangerous.

Antonio [00:40:30]:
Like you said, like, We started seeing shadows. We started seeing things all over the place. Now, I'm gonna try something different I've never done. Ask me a question.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:40:41]:
Did you ever think you could you would have to use violence?

Antonio [00:40:45]:
Oh, good point. Good question.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:40:47]:
Like, was there an epic moral dilemma? It's like, oh, These satanic pedophiles are are running the place. Someone's gotta do something. No one's gonna do something, and is it gonna have to be me? No no volunteers? Oh, let's go into the pizzeria. It's done.

Antonio [00:41:02]:
I think to a point I did because I I wanted the exciting story. You know, like, when you're talking about, things are boring, I wanted to be the hero. I'm like, I might have to holy shit. This just unpacked something. So when I was a kid, I forgot what grade it was. I had a lot of illusions of grandeur. You know, illusions of grandeur. Like, I wanted to be the hero.

Antonio [00:41:25]:
So, yeah, I was definitely prone to conspiracy theory. So I remember it was, 7th grade, maybe. I used to, I used to have this, like, this fantasy. Like, what if terrorists were to come to the school? I wanna be the ones that save everybody. I remember there was, like, some girl I thought thought it was cute. I'm like, I wanna be the hero. I will play out that scenario in my mind. Like, if terrorists came in, I'm gonna do this and that

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:41:50]:
and that that that that.

Antonio [00:41:51]:
So it's basically the same thing. I wanna be the hero. So I I think, yeah, totally. I wanted to be a hero that stops everybody, But I've got no training. It's like it's like these people that are fanatical gun nuts. You put them in a real world situation, they don't know what the hell they're doing. I'm sure you've seen that being in law enforcement. I'm sure, especially in law enforcement, probably have to keep their They're, firearms training up.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:42:19]:
Yeah. Well, like, we have scenarios for, like, every situation, like, had like, what's our plan? Like, if this happened, we're gonna do this, and we're gonna. If it if it rolls down like this, this is what we had to do. Like, it's you always have that mindset. Especially walking in a jail, you don't know what what's what's What's gonna happen? I mean, it's safer in the jail working with around the inmates. Yeah. But the still, like, when they're out for their time, they're, like, walking around. There's, like, a big crowd of inmates.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:42:45]:
So, it's safer in the jail than it is on the road. We all had 1 person die in our in our, agency for in the in the jail, but it was like, he got he got pushed against the wall. He hurt his back, and he died in surgery during complications. It was I mean, it's it's tragic, but it it we've only had one, officer died, job there in the history of the of the jail.

Antonio [00:43:12]:
That's good. What, so was it like an inmate that pushed him?

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:43:16]:
Yeah. It was, it it was a sergeant. He was he responded to a guy who broke his sprinkler head, and basically he got pushed. The floor was wet, fell on his back, And he died. And he went went to surgery a couple days later and then for to repair his back, and and he died there for Due to complications.

Antonio [00:43:33]:
Oh, that guy it got screwed for life. Killed a cop.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:43:36]:
Oh, he he already he already killed another guy. But yeah. Well, I

Antonio [00:43:40]:
thought he wasn't walking free anytime soon.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:43:42]:
Oh, yeah. But

Antonio [00:43:45]:
so I know I would say 1 last question. I got another one. Being in law enforcement, how many people do you see that are prone to to conspiracy theories?

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:43:54]:
It it's very common, like, of course, because Like, when you when you select a certain demographic, it's gonna there's gonna be an overrepresentation of that stuff. Like, in case of law enforcement, of course, Most of them are republicans, so, of course, you're gonna and most conspiracy theorists are republicans, so you're gonna have that overrepresentation. But I work with them. They like, they'll work with you, but they're not planning to join the Oath Keepers, if that makes sense. Like, they're very, Like like, we're

Antonio [00:44:21]:
not It's frowned upon. Well, I mean, maybe back in the day, they could do it, but now it the oath keepers are so they're out in the public. It's so much more that, Well, now that Enrico got sense of what? 20, 28 years, something like that. It's, we figured it's probably a better idea to to not join the Oath Keepers.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:44:39]:

Antonio [00:44:40]:
Thank you for jumping on. Do you have any last oh, here. Do me a favor. Mention your all your social media channels or websites.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:44:48]:
Oh, my my I'm the ex conspiracy theorist. You can just find me on you can find me on YouTube. I also have a Twitter. Twitter. I'm still gonna call it Twitter. Yeah. Twitter Twitter account. I'm on YouTube, same name.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:45:05]:
I think that's it.

Antonio [00:45:06]:
In Facebook.

Jon the ex conspiracy theory guy [00:45:07]:
Facebook Facebook too. Yeah. That that's my main one.

voice over [00:45:11]:
Thanks for listening to escaping the rabbit hole. To get Instant access to the newest episodes of the podcast and the first 3 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.

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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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