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How QAnon Dad Matthew Taylor Coleman's Conspiracy Theory Obsession Began

How QAnon Dad Matthew Taylor Coleman Conspiracy Theory Obsession Began

The case of Matthew Taylor Coleman needs to be studied for years. It’s both the clearest and most shocking example of how internet conspiracy theories can twist a person’s mind — in this case, far enough for a father to do the unthinkable.

For those who missed the story somehow, the surf instructor was arrested last year on charges of murder. He is accused of kidnapping his own children, a 2-year-old son and a 10-month-old daughter, from his wife’s care, driving them to Mexico, and murdering them with a speargun.

After his arrest, the FBI revealed in their report what Coleman had told them in their interview: that he believed the children had inherited “serpent DNA” from their mother and were going to turn into monsters — and that killing them was “the only course of action that would save the world.”

All of this came from the rabbit hole of QAnon conspiracy theories. Among other things, the Q crowd believe there’s a giant global cabal of demon-worshipping, cannibalistic child molesters who control the government and the mainstream media — hence why no one ever sees any evidence of them. Donald Trump, whom they believe is secretly still president, is their hero. It’s unclear if there are political operators fueling the irrational beliefs to take advantage of the extra layer of loyalty to Trump, but one thing we do know is that Trump himself refused many times to denounce the nonsense. (We mean, we’re talking about someone who wouldn’t reject the endorsement of the KKK during his 2016 presidential run.)

Related: Man Kills Wife After QAnon Said She Was ‘A CIA Asset Involved In A Sex-Trafficking Ring’

So how did a California surf instructor get infected with these ideas? A childhood friend who spoke to the father-of-two regularly — and as recently as a week before the killings — opened up to People recently, admitting people heard his irrational beliefs but chose to ignore them. They recall:

“He started believing crazy things that he saw on the internet. But nothing seemed violent. He just seemed to be buying a lot of stuff that didn’t make a lot of sense.”

The confidant says it was just dabbling at first — but shockingly quickly it overtook him, convincing him of secret enemies not just in Hollywood or Washington but in his own home, in his own children. The friend cautions:

“It started off slowly, but near the end, he deteriorated rapidly. But he never once said anything to make anyone think that he’d kill his own kids. That’s another level.”

We learned recently the extent of red flags Coleman was putting up for his wife Abby to see — in the form of text messages apologizing for going overboard with his beliefs. (To be clear, nothing that happened is in any way Abby’s fault.) But the friend wants people to know all that stuff the 40-year-old allegedly believed about his children’s “corrupted DNA” he never shared with those around him:

“That sounds crazy. He never said anything about serpent DNA to me, and I assume he never said anything about it to Abby. We knew he was in turmoil, figuring things out, but no one — especially not Abby — thought he’d get violent.”

The friend insisted:

“I’m going to make one thing perfectly clear. Abby loved those kids more than anything, and we all believed that Matthew did too. If anyone had even one thought that he was violent or dangerous, we would’ve done everything to stop it. This came out of left field for all of us, and we have to live with that every day for the rest of our lives.”

We hope this serves as a wakeup call to the loved ones of others who have started to get into QAnon. They need to know things can go from wacky notions to the kind of creeping, pervasive ideas that lead people to take actions like, say, shooting up a pizza parlor. These things aren’t harmless, and the sooner everyone realizes that the sooner they can get their friends and family help.

Related: Coleman Came To His Senses In Prison & ‘Begged Family For Forgiveness’

So how does this start?

Look, there is so much in the world to be depressed about, to be outraged at, to be offended by. If there’s a secret enemy, a personification of the evils of the world, that’s something that can be defeated. If it’s just the way the world is, occasionally heartbreakingly sad and oppressively bleak, that can be a lot for people. At moments of weakness, conspiracy theories can offer people a place to put those feelings, a scapegoat.

But the comfort that offers can work like an addiction, leading people to accept more and more farfetched ideas — and to reject the facts they’re hearing from more reputable sources. Once they believe everyone else is lying to them, they’ll believe the most shocking things with absolutely no evidence.

If you’re worried someone you know is slipping into the world of conspiracy theories, talk to them before it’s too late. Speak to them with empathy — there are some tips for doing so HERE. Get them professional help if necessary. Just please… we don’t want these kinds of killings to become a regular occurrence.

[Image via Lovewater Surf School/Instagram]

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Mar 07, 2022 16:17pm PDT