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Escaping the Rabbit Hole

How to Debunk Conspiracy Theories Using Facts, Logic, and Respect
Written by: Mick West
Narrated by: Ralph Lister
Length: 11 hrs and 17 mins
4 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Earth is flat; the World Trade Center collapse was a controlled demolition; planes are spraying poison to control the weather; and actors faked the Sandy Hook massacre....

All these claims are bunk: falsehoods, mistakes, and in some cases, outright lies. But many people passionately believe one or more of these conspiracy theories. They consume countless books and videos, join like-minded online communities, try to convert those around them, and even, on occasion, alienate their own friends and family. Why is this, and how can you help people, especially those closest to you, break free from the downward spiral of conspiracy thinking? 

In Escaping the Rabbit Hole, author Mick West shares over a decade's worth of knowledge and experience investigating and debunking false conspiracy theories through his forum, MetaBunk.org, and sets forth a practical guide to helping friends and loved ones recognize these theories for what they really are. 

Perhaps counterintuitively, the most successful approaches to helping individuals escape a rabbit hole aren't comprised of simply explaining why they are wrong; rather, West's tried-and-tested approach emphasizes clear communication based on mutual respect, honesty, openness, and patience. 

West puts his debunking techniques and best practices to the test with four of the most popular false conspiracy theories today (chemtrails, 9/11 controlled demolition, false flags, and flat Earth) - providing road maps to help you to understand your friend and help them escape the rabbit hole. These are accompanied by real-life case studies of individuals who, with help, were able to break free from conspiracism. 

With sections on:

  • The wide spectrum of conspiracy theories
  • Avoiding the "shill" label
  • Psychological factors and other complications 
  • And concluding with a look at the future of debunking

Mick West has put forth a conclusive, well-researched, practical reference on why people fall down the conspiracy theory rabbit hole and how you can help them escape.

©2018 Mick West (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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Super repetitive

didn't think you could write such a dull book on such an interesting topic. one third of the material covered is actually interesting and insightful. the rest of the book is all repeated and re worded points. the useful material from this 11 hour book could fit in 1 hour. a lot of "de bunking" points are super lame and disputable. too bad.

2 people found this helpful

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practical guide for debunking

an excellent guide on how to use gentle persuasive techniques and nudge friends and family who have come down the rabbit hole into a more rational understanding of reality

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  • arracer
  • 2019-12-11

Excellent resource and strategy for rescuing a friend from conspiracy thinking

I have a friend who is deep down the rabbit hole of conspiracy thinking. I was initially attracted to this book because it has dedicated chapters addressing my friend’s conspiracy. As good as these chapters were, I found the greatest value of the book in the beginning chapters which lay out a strategy for engaging my friend in ways most likely to gain me a hearing. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a thoughtful way to engage a friend or family member who may be caught in conspiracy thinking.

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  • Katie Mc
  • 2018-11-20

Wonderfully woke!

Fact- checkers, conspiracy buffs, and freelance sociologists alike will love this book. Mick's writing is so considerate and his alleigance to fact is apparent in his style. In a world where so many seekers of truth and skeptical minds' intentions are diverted on the journey toward awareness of the world - here is a compass. Whether you wish to better understand the world or how we are wired to see it, this is a great read!

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  • Joseph R. Compton
  • 2019-04-13

Down Into the Rabbit Hole and Back Out

Great collection of conspiracy theories, why people accept them and how to politely and respectfully lead them out. Discovered some that I had never heard of previously such as chem trails. This does a great job with the type of questions one should approach everything.

The best section is on AI and social media. Scary to think that we will have more conspiracists after being fed a curated diet of progressive content. Instead of the internet being the path out, it will more likely make the rabbit hole the size of the Chunnel if more people don’t embrace a modicum of skepticism.

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  • kevinf
  • 2018-11-08

Ammunition for an Information War

Part of the book does focus on some specific conspiracy theories. Flat Earth, 9/11, and chem trails top the list but there are references to others like the matrix, JFK and moon landing.

I don't consider myself a conspiracy theorist. My purpose for getting the book was to learn how to talk to those people that have started down the rabbit hole with regards to politics and fake news. I was happy the author touched upon these factors before the end of the book.

I found the same conversational tactics that are used for conspiratorial theories can be used in the fight against fake news and the political rhetoric it is sometimes surrounded by.

Even if you're not concerned about the conspiracy theories in the book, you'll find the same strategies used to flesh them out can be used in an information war on many topics. Well written and well narrated. #Conspiracy #FakeNews #SelfDiscovery #Tagsgiving #Sweepstakes

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  • michael runner
  • 2020-05-15

excellent and not condescending

great book for everyone. many debunking sources will go into a person being mentally ill go believe such things. this book is written for both a believer and non believe as far as tone. excellent points made and enjoyed the narrator.

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  • Marzorati Alessio
  • 2019-03-11

Escaping the rabbit hole. A book for all

I suggest this book to everyone interested in conspiracies. The author explains very well and with a lot of real life experiences how to find out what could be wrong behind a conspiracy and how to better discuss this flaws with people who believe in it.
Always with care to be polite and respectful with the others.

1 person found this helpful