The popularity of conspiracy theories seems to be at an all-time high in the United States of America (USA). The hard-to-believe popularity of QAnon conspiracy theory is a startling example of how willing people are to accept the most outlandish beliefs regarding the government and people they don't like.
But there is one heartwarming story of a man who was also submerged in the psychedelic world of conspiracy theories but has now turned a corner to not just breathe in the real world but also help those who are in his earlier position. Stephen Ross is launching a website called DebunkQanon.com which will be dedicated to revealing the hollow nature of this theory.
The personal story of Ross is a complex one. He came out as gay around the time he turned 18 and then left his parents' home. Unfortunately for him, he subsequently ended up in relationships with two men who got him interested in wild fantastical ideas.
His first boyfriend led him to believe that the infamous Sandy Hook massacre of 2012, where many little children were killed by a gunman, was a hoax and staged with the help of actors. After this, another boyfriend got him involved with a cult with even crazier beliefs.
But the weirdest conviction he had, according to himself, was related to pop star Lady Gaga and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In his own words, "I was brainwashed. My lowest was believing Lady Gaga worshipped Satan and ate children with Hillary Clinton. Crazy right? I used to think Hillary ate children. It's like I was a different person. I don't know who that person was," he told Daily News in a special interview.
What is even more surprising is the fact that Ross was once a big fan of Lady Gaga, during his school days. There is even a picture the young man has of himself with the famous singer and actress, taken in 2009. Luckily for the youngster, by 2017, he started to climb out of the well of conspiracy theories and started to step back into reality.
Apart from his "moral compass" that the 27-year old credits with redeeming him, he also received the full support of his parents and sister in getting life back on track. Interestingly, Ross has now gone from far-right to the left, luckily not the far left. He now even admires Hillary Clinton and opposes President Donald Trump.
While his left-leaning political beliefs may not be everyone's cup of tea, there is something to be learned from the young man's experience. That is, not letting propaganda by sinister fringe elements, be they on the far-right or far-left, take you too far into a make-believe world.
Ross now aims to use his new website to not only debunk the QAnon theory but also help those men who, like him, have been trapped into such crazy ideas.