Things That Matter

Video Surfaces of QAnon Congresswoman Harassing Parkland Shooting Survivor David Hogg

Screenshots via YouTube

As you may be aware, a woman named Marjorie Taylor Greene was just elected as Congresswoman of Georgia’s 6th congressional district.

Greene holds extreme and debunked beliefs that have convinced many that she is unfit for office, including considering QAnon conspiracies “worth listening to”, believing California wildfires are being started by space lasers and perpetuating the dangerous lie that certain school shootings are hoaxes.

Recently, an unsettling video surfaced of Greene following and harassing Parkland shooting survivor and gun control activist, David Hogg.

In the video, which she posted to her YouTube page, Greene (who was not an elected official at this point), follows Hogg around with a camera and a microphone, grilling him on his gun-control stance just weeks after he lived through the Parkland shooting that killed 14 of his classmates.

“David, why are you supporting the red-flag laws?” she asks Hogg. “If Scot Peterson, the resource officer at Parkland, had done his job, then Nikolas Cruz wouldn’t have killed anybody in your high school, or at least protected them.”

She continues as David Hogg continues to walk on, ignoring her. “Why are you supporting red-flag gun laws that attack our Second Amendment right and why are you using kids as a barrier?” she asks. “Do you not know how to defend your stance?”

As Hogg walks away from her, Greene turns and addresses the camera. “He’s got nothing to say,” she says. “Sad.”

“He has nothing to say because there really isn’t anything to say, you guys. He has nothing to say because he’s paid to do this.”

She then goes on to accuse Hogg of being bankrolled by liberal donors and lament the state of her funding and political connections.

“I have nothing,” she says. “And this guy [David Hogg], with his George Soros funding, and his major liberal funding, has got everything.”

Greene then goes on to attack Hogg’s bravery–literal months after he survived a school shooting. “And he’s a coward. He can’t say one word because he can’t defend his stance.”

The Hogg video isn’t the only controversy Greene has been embroiled in. Recently, CNN uncovered some disturbing comments Greene had previously made on her Facebook page about the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.

Greene agreed with a Facebook user who accused the Stoneman Douglas resource officer of being “paid off” to “keep his mouth shut” about the “false flag planned shooting” at the school. To which Greene responded: “Exactly”

To make matters worse, since Greene has been appointed to the House Education and Labor Committee.

Needless to say, people aren’t too happy about a school-shooting conspiracy theorist having the power to make decisions about our children’s education.

Recently, David Hogg himself made his thoughts known about Rep. Greene being appointed to the Education and Labor Committee. “I think it’s absolutely horrific,” he told CNN.

“I think it’s disgusting. [Republicans] need to come out and say ‘I call on Leader McCarthy to come out and condemn the actions of Marjorie Taylor Greene.’ And prove that you’re actually able to put politics aside and work towards unity. Because if there’s anything we should be able to unify around, it’s that our children should not be dying in our schools.

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New Findings Show That QAnon Followers Are More Likely to Suffer From Mental Illness

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New Findings Show That QAnon Followers Are More Likely to Suffer From Mental Illness

Photo via Getty Images

It’s no secret that QAnon followers subscribe to some outlandish ideas. The biggest one being that the government is run by a cabal of elite, satan-worshipping pedophiles. And while critics could chalk up these conspiracy theorists to a few gullible internet users, the reality is much more complicated than that.

According to new research, QAnon followers are more likely to suffer from mental illness than the rest of the population.

The data comes from a study conducted by Georgia State University by radicalization expert, Dr. Sophia Moskalenko. According to her findings, out of the QAnon followers arrested for crimes since 2018,  68% “reported they had received mental health diagnoses.” That’s in comparison to 19% of the rest of the population.

These diagnoses were manifold: post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, paranoid schizophrenia, Munchausen by proxy syndrome, as well as depression, anxiety and addiction struggles. These numbers were self-reported by QAnon offenders via social media posts or through interviews.

Due to these numbers, Dr. Moskalenko concludes that “QAnon is less a problem of terrorism and extremism than it is one of poor mental health.”

According to Dr. Moskalenko’s research, 44% of the QAnon insurrectionists “experienced a serious psychological trauma that preceded their radicalization, such as physical or sexual abuse of themselves or their children.” These past traumas may explain why QAnon supporters are more likely to believe outlandish conspiracies of elite government pedophile rings.

As Dr. Moskalenko writes: “In my view, the solution to this aspect of the QAnon problem is to address the mental health needs of all Americans – including those whose problems manifest as QAnon beliefs. Many of them – and many others who are not QAnon followers – could clearly benefit from counseling and therapy.”

Since COVID-19 radically changed most people’s way of life, mental health problems skyrocketed in the United States.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the number of people suffering from anxiety and depression quadrupled during quarantine. It doesn’t seem a coincidence, therefore, that the QAnon movement gained such momentum during a year when people were already suffering from extreme stress and isolation.

But just because QAnon followers are more likely to suffer from mental illness, that does not mean that every person who suffers from mental illness is a QAnon follower.

It’s unfortunate that power-hungry politicians have leveraged the beliefs of already-vulnerable people to their advantage.

In a time when so many people feel much more fragile than they did before, there are some bad actors out there who are using misguided conspiracy theorists to push their own agenda.

Politicians like Donald Trump, Rep. Lauren Boebert and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene have used QAnon rhetoric to recruit voters. Instead, they should be getting their constituents the help they need instead of manipulating and taking advantage of them. These so-called leaders are preying upon people who are unwell and looking for help and guidance.

As one Twitter user wrote: “‘Q Anon’ has consumed those already plagued with mental illness. We need to address this because this is how ordinary American citizens become radicalized.”

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The FBI Is Investigating the ‘Trump Train’ Group With Ties to QAnon That Brigaded Biden’s Campaign Bus

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The FBI Is Investigating the ‘Trump Train’ Group With Ties to QAnon That Brigaded Biden’s Campaign Bus

Photo: Getty Images/Scott Olson

Investigative reporters found that the caravan of Trump supporters who blocked Joe Biden’s campaign bus in Texas have ties to QAnon conspiracy theory activity online. The fact-finding website Snopes discovered that the caravan was organized in a Facebook group called “Alamo City Trump Trains,” a group that is “littered with activity” tied to QAnon

According to Snopes, the “Alamo City Trump Trains” Facebook group is comprised of people who post pro-Trump memes and content. The pro-Trump group apparently has many members that frequently post QAnon references and lingo. QAnon flags and merchandise can also be spotted at the group’s events and in their YouTube videos.

The group organized the brigade through posts hash-tagged with #OperationBlockTheBus. Hundreds of the group’s members interacting with the posts, commenting and “liking” them.

As background, a group of Trump-supporters in trucks brigaded Joe Biden’s campaign bus on October 20th while it was on the Interstate 35 in Texas. Video shows trucks decked out in Pro-Trump flags and blocking-in and tailgating the Biden bus as well as the white SUV that was accompanying the bus.

At one point, the SUV attempted to change lanes to remain behind the campaign bus but a Trump truck prevented it from doing so. The footage shows the two cars colliding in a minor fender-bender as the truck blocks the SUV from changing lanes. According to Snopes, extended footage of the accident was even posted inside the private Facebook group. Snopes also reported that the incident is being investigated by the FBI.

The stand-off is notable because it shows the complete lack of civility our country has descended into on the eve of this historic election. Political division are no longer relegated to family arguments and Facebook rants, but have transformed into real-world violence.

QAnon is a dangerous far-right conspiracy theory that alleges that left-leaning politicians and celebrities are actually Satan-worshipping pedophiles who run a global child sex-trafficking ring. Believers are convinced that Trump is fighting against this evil cabal. The claims, needless to say, are completely false, but that hasn’t stopped some Trump supporters from spreading the harmful and inflammatory misinformation online.

And while young people are not immune from falling for these dangerous conspiracy theories, it is older generations who are more likely to believe in them. A recent study conducted by Princeton University found that people aged 65 years and older are seven times more likely to share fake news and misinformation on social media than those aged 18-29. Experts chalk it up to “digital media literacy”–millennials and Gen Z-ers have grown up on the internet, and have thus fine-tuned their radar that separates fact from fiction. Older generations are not as savvy.

Already, both Facebook and Twitter have attempted to reign in the harm of QAnon conspiracy theories, banning mentions of QAnon theories from their platforms. The social media giants have said that they believe the messages could lead to potential real-world violence.

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