9 Scary Signs Your Loved One Is Turning To Right-Wing Extremism

We’re witnessing the mass reality collapse of people across the country.

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Have you ever seen someone get sucked into the rabbit hole of QAnon or the red pill? If you have, then you might know what my homeboy Ted* is dealing with. He’s in a scary predicament.

His roommate Toby* is quickly devolving from a progressive yet sulky guy into something … well, something scary. Ted’s nervous because Toby is getting increasingly aggressive, increasingly hateful, and just unsettling to be around.


After a nasty breakup, he turned to YouTube for advice and found himself sucked into the red pill and it quickly turned into his political platform. Toby’s behavior became so alarming, that Ted sat me down and asked what he could do to pull him out of it.



Here are signs that your friend, partner, or family member is being radicalized by propaganda. 

So, let’s start with the biggest warning signs that your homie might have been brainwashed and could potentially turn dangerous.

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Here are 9 scary signs your loved one is turning to right-wing extremism:

1. They suddenly have a strange interest in right-wing media from dodgy sources

Most of the people I know who were radicalized got their "information" from YouTube or Facebook. Take a look at your friends. Do they suddenly have an obsession with certain YouTubers who act as political pundits or dating coaches? Not a good sign.


A lot of people who become radicalized by hate speech get that way because these vultures found them during a period in their lives where they felt alone or lost. This is why there seems to be a correlation between breakups and MRA/MGTOW/red pill material.

One of the things I keep seeing on sites like QAnon Casualties is how often people complain about being unable to unglue their loved ones from YouTube or the net. This is because this propaganda is addictive. Your friend is addicted.

It’s scary to think about, but you can end up with a totally radicalized, brainwashed person within a matter of months — literally months. It works fast and that’s why it’s so terrifying to watch.

2. You can’t get them to stop talking about conspiracies

I remember hearing about some of the strange behaviors that Toby was exhibiting. One that really stood out to me was how he would always find a way to turn the conversation toward conspiracy theories and hate.


If you’d tell him that there was a pizza shop you enjoy, he’d butt in and tell you about the children being trafficked in pizza parlors by the Clintons. If you talk to him about a person’s pet lizard, it’d turn into a tangent about lizard people.

Even when broached with good news about a law passed by Democratic mayors, he would find a reason to froth and foam at the mouth about how evil that person is. It became clear he didn’t want to talk to people, but talk at them.

This is a sign of obsession, one of the most alarming signs of a person who’s been brainwashed.

3. Your friends have started to say things that don’t jive with his personality

Toby was always pro-vax because he was a staunch believer in science … until he became radicalized. After years of deriding others who didn’t get the jab during the pandemic, he started to say he was anti-vax.


Ted and his friends had to do a double-take when he first started talking like that. Toby was a science major, for crying out loud. At first, Ted and the others just laughed him off or gave him a strange look.

It didn’t take long for other "talking points" to crop up. Soon, Toby was talking about how women’s value hinges on the number of men they slept with. He started to talk about how white people are oppressed.

Ted is not white. Toby is. This rubbed Ted and everyone else in the house the wrong way. Toby was never racist, but his speech started to get increasingly racially charged. Ted doesn’t bring people around Toby anymore.

RELATED: 15 Signs He's A 'Red Piller' (And Why It's So Dangerous)


4. They started to use lingo that’s associated with extremist movements

This can include anything from "high-value man" to "New World Order" to "WWG1WGA." New slang, when paired with other behaviors on this list, tends to be a sign of indoctrination into a potentially dangerous group.

It’s not just a right-wing issue. The use of new lingo, mantras, and slang is also tied to cult indoctrination.

5. When confronted with statistics and facts, your friend rejects them

One of the best ways to prove that someone is brainwashed can be seen when you offer them official proof that goes against their beliefs. If the person in question says they still don’t believe it or they don’t care, it’s brainwashing.

A person who is brainwashed will swear they are logical, but will often flip out when people point out the holes in their thinking. They may even admit that "it’s just what I feel to be true, even if I know it’s not true."


Many QAnons will also reject studies and statistics if they don’t come from a news source like FOX or Brietbart, claiming it to be a "government shill."

6. You noticed they’re increasingly angry and agitated

Radicalization tends to make people angry, especially when it’s right-wing radicalization. One of the reasons why so many domestic terrorists are right-wing deals with the hate speech they’re being fed.

If you go onto QAnon Casualties, you’ll see a lot of writeups talking about how their once-mellow friend turned into an angry, bitter, rageaholic with a penchant for violence.

This tends to be a dead giveaway that they’ve been brainwashed by propaganda. It also tends to be a sign that the person you’re dealing with could end up becoming violent.


Author’s Note: If your homeslice suddenly start threatening you, getting physical, or talking about hurting others, get out of there immediately and take any kids/pets with you. Then, call the police. QAnons have been known to kill their families.

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7. They seem to be very confused or act like they’ve been dumbed down

One of the most jarring signs of brainwashing is a sudden cognitive decline. It’s almost as if your loved one’s ability to think for themselves is slipping away — primarily because it is.

They are not looking to think about their actions or their beliefs. They are not doing introspection. They tend to follow whatever their talking heads say, regardless of how illogical it is or how stupid it is.


Unsurprisingly, they tend to get into bouts of confusion. Confusion and being unable to actually do things they used to do are key signs of brainwashing. Ideapod emphasized this a lot for that reason.

8. They don’t seem to care that people are backing away from them

Like most rational people, Ted has made a point of walking away from his roommate. He tries to keep things short with him because, well, Toby is turning into something scary.

Toby’s ex has already made it clear that she’ll put him on a restraining order if he comes close to her. She’s legit terrified of him. Most of his other friends and family have ended up saying similar stuff.


It’s not like Toby doesn’t know why they’re backing off. Many have told him that it’s because he’s turned into a racist, sexist, transphobic goon. He just doesn’t seem to care.

Isolation makes brainwashing worse, but at times, it can be unavoidable. If you feel you’re in danger or that you’re suffering from mental anguish, please back away from them. You can’t risk yourself to keep others afloat.

9. Their personality changed in alarming ways

The most common thing you’ll hear from loved ones who have had someone get radicalized is that they can’t recognize them anymore. It literally feels like the person had their brain taken over by an alien or something.

When things get past a certain point, they’re no longer the person you once knew. Whether or not they’ll be able to deconstruct everything is all on them. There’s only so much you can do … but you can always try.


If things don’t work out, it’s important to let yourself grieve who they used to be. Sometimes, that’s all you can really do.

*names have been changed for privacy

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Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer whose work has been featured in Yahoo, BRIDES, Your Daily Dish, Newtheory Magazine, and others.