Anatomy of a Conspiracy Theory: Adrenochrome and Child Sacrifice

In a recent TikTok video, a young woman aims her phone camera at her bathroom mirror. It is a wholesome, suburban-looking bathroom. Oyster walls. Tasteful plastic flower arrangement. The woman, with her blonde hair casually pulled back and sleeveless shirt shoved into her jeans, could be any American woman you see on a Friday-night patio,... Continue Reading →

Anatomy of a Conspiracy Theory: The Wayfair Child Trafficking Scheme

The Theory: A major retailer "covertly" offers children and teenagers for sale on its website by overpricing and naming certain items in such a way that pedophiles will instantly recognize what's really being offered. Origin: This theory started on Reddit's r/conspiracy subreddit. A July 9th post by user PrincessPeach1987 noted that online retail furniture/housewares company... Continue Reading →

The Skeptical Cinephile: Waco and the Memory Hole

The Paramount Network series Waco (currently on Netflix) boasts solid acting and makes you feel like you're actually inside the Branch Davidian compound during the infamous 1993 FBI standoff, bombarded with bright lights and dying-animal noises every night while your food supply dwindles and mysteriously hostile federal agents destroy your property just for funsies. The... Continue Reading →

Satanic Panic and Recovered Memory in the News

What do "Satanic Mormon" child abuse rings and a glam cult leader have in common? This therapist: On Wednesday (October 3, 2018), six people filed a lawsuit in federal court against a John and Jane Doe who have been identified as Robert and Brenda Miles. The six adult plaintiffs allege that the couple sexually abused... Continue Reading →

Anthony Godby Johnson, the Invisible Boy

Boy Wonder Tony Johnson was a dreamchild: A kid who excelled effortlessly in school, never accepted handouts, and was determined to better himself, despite having a childhood that might have made Dickens blanch. What follows is Anthony Godby Johnson’s story as he told it in his 1993 memoir, A Rock and a Hard Place: One... Continue Reading →

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