‘Chip in my brain’: The making of a conspiracy believer

Thanks to the reader who sent us the link to this completely engrossing podcast from the U.S.-based NPR radio programme, “This American Life”. It’s an hour long but well worth the time, in our opinion.

We found that the episode, titled “Chip in My Brain”, resonated with our experiences of “true believer” troofers of the hyper-religious variety.

It tells the story of Cody, a young boy from Texas whose private basketball trainer began to induct him—without his parents’ knowledge—into the world of fundamentalist/evangelical Christianity, the Rapture, the Illuminati, brain-altering RFID chips, and more.

The story begins innocently enough, with Cody, a nine-year-old boy who’s less interested in sports than in playing World of Warcraft online. His parents, hoping to boost his interest in basketball, hired AJ, a 6’6″ basketball trainer to come and teach Cody on the old basketball court behind their house.

AJ and Cody quickly developed a friendship, and soon Cody had become basket-ball mad, playing every chance he got.

Narrator: AJ would sometimes pick Cody up from middle school. Cody started to listen to the music AJ listened to. Young MC, “Bust a Move” was a favorite. When Cody went out clothes shopping with his mom, he picked out clothes that looked like things AJ would wear—simple, solid color T-shirts. Cody fell in love with basketball. And he kind of fell in love with AJ.

Cody: I would hug him and tell him I loved him, yeah. I mean, I would jump up, and he was holding me in the air, or whatever, yeah, and tell him I loved him, yeah. I would get sad when he left. I was shy. But once I got to know people, I got very attached to them.

AJ and Cody continued playing basketball together for several years; word got around, and other parents hired him to coach their kids as well.

Then, when Cody was about 14 years old, it all came crashing down. Cody’s mother, Drew says,

At that point, I was driving Cody to school. And I don’t remember why. But I dropped him off. And just as I’m getting ready to leave, my friend whips into the spot next to me. And so I put my window down. She put her window down.

And she’s sobbing. She’s not even the tearing up kind of person. And she handed me– she said, oh my god, oh my god. You need to see what AJ has done. I found some transcripts with my son. Here they are.

And I read them. And it was as if my entire body went numb. It’s still really hard to talk about.

While it seemed nothing physical was going on between Cody’s friend and AJ, the transcripts were disturbing. They seemed to be talking about something of a religious nature, but not in the usual sense. Cody’s mother raced home and found her son’s Skype app open on his computer. The narrator sums up what she found there:

It starts with standard evangelical beliefs about the rapture, the end of days, when a select group of people will suddenly disappear from the Earth to go live with God. And everyone else is going to be left to suffer. Who will be saved, and who will be left behind?

Well, the devil is trying to capture as many souls as he can. And here’s where the sci-fi stuff comes in. The devil is operating through a powerful and secret society called the Illuminati. The Illuminati have built a self-programming supercomputer somewhere in Belgium called “The Beast.”

At some point, the Illuminati is going to try to control people by implanting a computer ID chip, an RFID chip, in everyone’s hands or foreheads. This chip, it said, is what the Bible has been prophesying, the mark of the beast, a high-tech version of 666. If you get an RFID chip implanted, well, you are definitely not getting saved.

In the transcripts, AJ and Cody go back and forth about RFID chips a bunch. At one point, AJ writes, “It’s here. This coming up year, it will be mandatory for all armed forces, followed by medical field, then everyone else. What it does to the body is inhuman.”

Cody, “What do they do to your body?” AJ, “You lose mind control. Why do you think I took time to study the mind with you?” Cody, “How does it do that?” AJ, “Oh, [BLEEP], here we go. Are you sure? You want to know the truth?” Cody, “Yes, I do.” Then the Skype log indicates AJ called him to talk. …

AJ writes, “For now, rest. I have so much more to show you. But you have class tomorrow.” In some places, the conversation seems very middle school, except they’re texting about the apocalypse. And one of them is 36 years old.

Like this time AJ is talking about how he’s preparing to assist other followers of the Lord. And Cody compares the whole thing to a movie. Cody, “So it’s like you’re that guy from The Matrix who rescues Neo and takes him to the refuge underground.”

AJ, “You must be talking about Morpheus.” Cody, “Yes, that guy.” AJ, “How do you know I’m not Neo?” Cody, “But Neo never goes and rescues people from the Matrix.” AJ, “But he does show them the truth.”

It turns out that AJ had not only been inducting Cody into Conspiraloon Training 101, but he’d been driving a wedge between Cody and his parents—telling him that his parents were on “the other side”, and that if they tried to insert an RFID chip in him, he should immediately call Child Protective Services and say he was being abused.

Cody describes how AJ began affect him:

We were in my garage. And that’s where we had some workout equipment at the time. And he just turned so serious suddenly. He’s telling me, “Cody, the things in your World of Warcraft game—these demons, these warlocks—all these things, they’re real. And they’re all around us all the time. And it’s not good that you play that game, because when you play that game, these things, they can come into you. And those things come from hell. It’s a spiritual war going on around us all the time. You just can’t see it. Only some people can see it. I can see it”.

I just remember I—it was truly terrifying.

And then sometimes he would pause in the middle of the session, just look into the field in the distance, and then smile, and then keep going in the session, and like….as if he’d seen something. He would say like when he was talking to my mom, he could see the devil behind her smiling. And he would tell me this about other clients he had too. “This other client, his dad’s part of the Illuminati. And the demons are flocked at his house”.

And when he went there, the demons would scream and run. And they hated it when they went there. And he told me, as soon as that family fired him, he saw the kid that he was working with age 10 years in one day and start getting sick and depressed all the time, because the demons were finally able to flock to that kid and attack him, because he wasn’t there to protect him anymore.

AJ told Cody that once he was “spiritually sound”—like him—he’d be able to see the things AJ saw.

Every second was not normal. It was—I would walk around school. And I would think, all these idiots, they don’t see what’s really going on. The world’s ending so soon. I would spend my off periods walking around the school looking for the Illuminati symbols AJ told me are around St. Stephen’s. I would spend my offs researching articles he showed me about how my dad’s ham radio is proof that he’s part of the Illuminati and that he’s listening in on people’s conversations using his antennas.

Asked whether he ever questioned what AJ was telling him, Cody said,

I think for me, at the time, it was so scary that I wouldn’t allow myself to question. I can’t explain like how—the way it was real to me. It was like I’m in this real battle that’s happening everywhere. I know something that nobody else knows. I’m special. And God had chosen me.

Yeah, it’s like you’re put in this fantasy world. It’s like—it’s hard to explain the way it built you up but simultaneously broke you down. I mean, but it was also this part of you—it just builds you up, like you are this person. And he did it in such a way—it just was so real to me.

That sense of specialness, of being chosen, of having secret, special knowledge that no one else can understand is all too familiar to those of us who’ve encountered “true believer” conspiracy fanatics. And the flip side of that belief that one has special knowledge is the belief that no one else—not your parents, not your best friends—could truly see things the way you see them.

The podcast describes the process of turning Cody, a smart, sensitive, somewhat anxious boy, into a paranoid, terrified troofer who was convinced that his parents were part of an evil plot, and that the Illuminati would be coming after him to insert an RFID chip and control his brain…and the long, arduous process of “deprogramming” that he had to go through to recover.

It’s a fascinating yet frightening programme, which describes in detail what the “mind control” of conspiracy belief can do to a susceptible person.

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85 thoughts on “‘Chip in my brain’: The making of a conspiracy believer

  1. A lot of familiar themes in this, aren’t there.

    The bits about seeing demons on the basketball court and in the house are scary. A lot of the troofers have spoken about demons and I’ve wondered whether they’ve meant it metaphorically or if they believe they can actually seen them like this guy. Ogilvy’s even talked about his daughter being possessed by demons and Belinda said the same about hers, didn’t she?

    In many cases these problems are exacerbated by drugs. Charlotte springs to mind, with her magic mushroom intake.

    The paranoid delusions this character experiences remind me of Jake, another one who seems to be easily manipulated.

    It seems this guy was manipulated using religion at times too (and the fear of going to Hell), another tactic we’re familiar with!

    Liked by 2 people

    • One really interesting aside, I thought, was the bit about the 1972 film, “The Rapture”. Apparently that’s where the idea of a super-computer called “the BEAST”, which would control people with implanted chips, originated. The author said that as a promo for the film they put out fake “news releases”, which a number of fundamentalist churches took for real. Amazing how these things start.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. That’s very unsettling how the groomer telling the son to delete everything and turn everything off when he told him his mum was on to him. With computers and the internet it’s become harder than ever for parents to police and they can tell kids about ‘stranger danger’ but the strange may effectively already be in their home!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s not just children either that can be groomed to believe fantastical stories. I saw a documentary not so long back where a man befriended women online and he had all these women believing that he was a government spy. These educated women fell for his story hook line and sinker and he took all of their cash off them before moving onto to his next victim.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. How extraordinary !!
    I do like American Life so I must listen to this podcast (and lurve podcasts). I recommend also The Moth if anyone can get it- Americans getting up on stage and telling episodes from their life- fascinating.

    There is some value in kids having chips so that parents can trace their whereabouts in these uncertain times.

    And recall : Angela Power-Disney has now claimed The Rapture would occur basically for the last 3 Septembers. Perhaps it came and went and she was removed from the Rapture Bus when they discovered her Rapture Oyster Card was a forgery.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I see S Gerbert (aka ‘Sunshine’) has been sucking up to some of us on YouTube this week but this old comment shows why I wouldn’t trust her:

    Oh and she also believes Pizzagate is real:

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Deborah Mahmoudieh’s first video in nearly two weeks:

    Don’t get too excited, though – I’ve a long way to go yet but she sounds disappointingly subdued in this one.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Translator Please ! Anyone know what this is all about? Mind you he admits he can’t communicate (although his bestie Cat Scot must understand these ramblings).
        Still playing in the sand box at 14/15 ?

        Liked by 1 person

      • He’s been on Miles Johnstons Bases, I think on with APD, he reckons he was one of the SRA victims on Orkney, which didn’t happen………. he’s been used by them, that lonely isolated syndrome and the manipulators groom and pimp him out on their shit shows. As long as he confirms the Satanic myths, he may have been gifted therapy, by a fucht up or a wong un.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Good grief.. I just ventured briefly near ‘cat scot’s ‘ blog..obsessed with pedophilia. Seems to thrive on it. Can’t get enough of it. Sounds over-excited that Hoaxtead has given her/him a little bit of publicity. Obviously been ignored until now.

      Like APD we find another who simply could not live for a day without reading about a sordid case of child abuse (whether real or imagined). You can sense they suck up oxygen from the details. It must be why the idea of “Satanists” eating kids is so exciting. The more gruesome the better. (Bellend stated the babies had been “experiencing” cannibalism lol- what the poor kid suddenly noticed their arm had been bitten off and ended up in a Big Mac?).

      Mind you with APD there is a sort of half-hearted attempt at fanning the Pedo Stakes as she seeks out decades old tales because her main grift is to get maybe a tenner donation for another packet of fags.

      But “Cat Scot”? We’ve hit the mother lode here. The excitement is palpable. I’m sure I heard her/him singing at the top of their voice..”Hoaxtead, Hoaxtead..if I can make it there I can make it Any where..”

      As for poor old David John Marrow. His ‘development and growth’ has undoubtedly been stunted but that’s what comes of sleeping with wild women under doctor’s orders. 18 years of being prostituted by his doctor? Did the poor thing not twig at some stage after the 50th Snuff Movie that something may be amiss?.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Typical – you wait two weeks for the Debbie bus, then two come along at once:

    And this time she’s kissing that tosser Mark ‘Seylon’ Haining’s arse.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Maybe she’ll siphon it, cos her donation bucket remains full of holes and she can’t get any guests that havn’t already been either arrested for child abuse or proven to have protected, defended or housed one.I’ve met alkies drink all sorts of dangerous stuff………… but seriously ? Maybe she’s been to see that creep guy she had on to tell her about crocodil….. she probably gets a stipend from somewhere but she didn’t earn any bonuses or rewards, commissions, no dream ticket to the miles and icke circus and the troofer broadcast merry go round…….

        Liked by 1 person

    • Will you ever stop lying and relentlessly trying to relight the holliegate false SRA flag….I heard the innocent victims of your harrassment speak and also an amazing and very intelligent researcher who was working for the cause and with you at first, I know that you, Anne and Belinda concocted and embellished what was a real case of abuse that was never properly investigated and probably can’t be because of you and your perv protection squad. You have lost any protection that you had, no one believes you or any of the pervs like Andy Peacher, George Greek Trucker, Miles Johnston, David Icke, Alfred Lambremont Webre, Kevin Annett, Richie Allen, Chris Everard, Fritz Springheimer, Mark Ceylon, David Shurter, American Freedom Talk Radio, Freedom Talk Radio, UK, Any channel promoting Hollie gate, pizzagate, pedogate or Hoaxtead, or I tend to call Hampstead SRA Hoax, any still peddling that psuedo child porn are on the side of pervs, pedos and scammers, they don’t mind using and abusing children to do what they do and they don’t care who gets hurt if you go on their shit list………. I do need to update my blacklist, but I think most of those above have been on it for a long time and others are certainly to be found in my playlists……. I’ll devote some time soon to updating though, the Whitelisted have come under attack and trolling, grooming or ignoring, by the vile viral viralising victimising vampires.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Bloody hell, has he stopped giving her his monthly donation ? or is this just a futile attempt to get attention, and use him….. Jake was happy to go off into the wilds of the evangelical nutcase 3 birds church or something ? I must have caught wind of it, probs here, and gone on a looksee and well, I found WAPTEK first really angry about something she’d done and then I found Omni Eros, it was like winning the lottery in terms of knowing all I needed to just share those videos with a comment about Angela & Jake and it stopped them in their tracks, lol……. So before you say I stalked Jake, I do that too with friends whose back I’m watching or am looking at to see what they are about, but you must have stalked me to be stopped and that’s not the only time, but it also happens that threats to others I share or promote also increase, tho if they are linked to security forces you warn people away cos all the gov’t is satanic or actors or demons, so you are denying people from finding the good and improving services that can actuallly help them, as well, like the snake in jungle book……..come to meeeeee, you have no morals Angie and you are a child abuser and a vile bully towards victims/survivors of child abuse………….you give the game away by what you sneer at and what you promote, like the guy we don’t name here, but I’ve named plenty independently, the one you and Wesley Hall attack me for supposedly attacking him, when those I did are now seeing that I was really warning them of a very dangerous and sick person…………. Jake you’ve somehow been taken in by very clever manipulators who are lying and happy for you to do their dirty work, they won’t care what happens to you……….Get your fing claws out of him, Angela !

      Liked by 2 people

    • Jake, you need to learn what Opdeatheaters have done to other good advocates across the world, I would believe that you didn’t even know, how viciously they have harrassed and threatened to assault and kill many of us….. I have evidence in the post on my blog ‘The real deal ……..’ have a look and realise that if you really care, you need to stop, step back retreat and learn, you are a lamb amongst wolves.

      Liked by 2 people

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