Parkland shooting survivor: My QAnon dad is convinced that it was all a hoax

On February 14, 2018, a gunman at Parkland, Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School killed 17 people and injured 17 more. Last week, one former Parkland student, using an anonymous account on Reddit, posted the following: "I survived the Stoneman Douglas school shooting and my dad is suddenly convinced I'm a liar and part of a false-flag operation…"

He'll say stuff like this straight to my face whenever he's drinking: 'You're a real piece of work to be able to sit here and act like nothing ever happened if it wasn't a hoax. Shame on you for being part of it and putting your family through it too.'"

Vice confirmed the 18-year-old's identity and interviewed him:

"It started a couple months into the pandemic with the whole anti-lockdown protests," Bill [not his real name] said. "His feelings were so strong it turned into facts for him. So if he didn't like having to wear masks it wouldn't matter what doctors or scientists said. Anything that contradicted his feelings was wrong. So he turned to the internet to find like-minded people which led him to QAnon."

But until January, that was as far as it went. Then Bill's father saw a video of Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene harassing Parkland survivor David Hogg in 2018, while he was visiting Washington to advocate for stricter gun control. Greene has repeatedly voiced support for QAnon and claimed the Parkland shooting was a hoax[…]

At this point, Bill has little hope in ever seeing his father return to the person he was before he became obsessed with QAnon conspiracy theories, and even if he did, too much has happened to ever repair their relationship.

"He'll never stop on his own, because there are always new theories and goalposts being moved," Bill said. "I don't know how to help someone that far gone. My guess is restricted access to the internet and lots of therapy. But even if there was hope he'd eventually snap out of it, it wouldn't change my mind on never wanting to see him again. So it doesn't really matter anymore."

image: Lorie Shaull (CC BY-SA 2.0)