The Paranoid Strain
New! Qanon: How we got here - How conspiracy-driven panics ruin lives
Season 5, Ep. 17
We said last episode was our final Satanic Panic episode, and we meant it! At least, mostly--we still have to wrap up the surprising and awful story of how our interviewee, Justin Sledge, found himself caught up in a late-breaking satanic panic as a 1990s teenager. Plus--Debbie Nathan helps us see what forest we're missing for the sex trafficking panic trees. That makes more sense after you listen. See you in a couple of weeks, when we actually, really get to a totally new topic. Seriously. I promise.
New! Qanon: How we got here - Confessing to imaginary crimes
Season 5, Ep. 16
The Paranoid Strain? They still do episodes of that show? Will wonders never cease.Sorry we're late. I promise, we weren't being neglectful. We just got caught up in a combination of holiday obligations, ongoing research, and a mountain of work for an upcoming project so ridiculously grandiose, we can't believe it ourselves (and it was our idea). That's coming soon. How soon? Who knows. But for now, enjoy the last part of our coverage of the satanic panic proper--this time, focusing on the story of a deputy sheriff with a very active imagination, who essentially imagined himself into a satanic plot that came from his own fertile mind. As you would expect, nothing good came of this. We're back on schedule, so we'll see you with some real-world post-satanic panic followup in a couple of weeks.
New! Qanon: How we got here - The media does PR for the Satanic Panic
Season 5, Ep. 15
Our de facto holiday episode is here, not that there's anything notably Christmassy about it. Or even Hannukah-y. We continue to lift up the rocks of the Satanic Panic and watch the horrible worms and bugs squirm in the disinfecting light of the truth. This time, we turn our attention to the way the media fanned the flames of the panic, convincing people across North America that Satan was coming for their kids. We also do a deep dive into one of the most heart-warmingly silly anti-rock and roll Christian documentaries every created. It's a lot of fun. As the episode intro notes, we're taking one episode cycle off to work on a huge, ambitious project, so don't expect to hear from us again until mid-January. As always, we thank you for sticking with us for another year. Here's to many more, Strainiacs.
New! Qanon: How we got here - Phallic puppets against satanic pederasty
Season 5, Ep. 14
We're waist-deep in Satanic Panic, with no end in sight. Our story continues with details of the McMartin preschool trial, the highest-profile, most emblematic event of the whole sad, deluded era. Our expert interviewees walk us through the gory details...you know, normally when people use that expression, they don't mean it. Unfortunately, in this case, the details are pretty awful, and we don't want to mince words: this episode includes catalogues of truly nauseating accusations. The only relief, if you can call it that, is that apparently none of those horrible things ever happened. Also, there's a puppet with a penis. Really, we're sorry. See you in a couple of weeks
New! Qanon: How we got here - Welcome to Satan's daycare
Season 5, Ep. 13
You asked for it, you got it. The 80s Satanic Panic--especially related to supposedly abusive daycares, was a direct antecedent to the Qanon child abuse/sacrifice mania. So we dive into the whole icky story. Joining us is interviewee Debbie Nathan, pioneering skeptical journalist who was among the first to call bullshit on the whole nightmare, which boiled down to well-meaning parents and officials inadvertently planting horrific memories in the minds of impressionable little kids, who then further elaborated these false memories into disgusting tales that led to prosecutions and imprisonment of innocent people. While also completely freaking out every parent in the country. It's a rough ride. Buckle up.
New! Qanon: How we got here - How the blood libel mutated into the Satanic Panic
Season 5, Ep. 12
Last stop before our full, multi-part discussion of the Satanic Panic of the 80s and early 90s. This stop is back in the depths of antisemitism, the miasma from which so many conspiracies arise. Learn how the unsolved murder of a 12-year-old boy in 12th century England was transformed into an unkillable, slanderous rumor tying Jews to ritual murder, blood-letting, and cannibalism. We wish we could tell you the subject matter gets lighter from here, but that would be a lie. Buckle up, Strainiacs.
New! Qanon: How we got here - Just a smidgeon of human sacrifice
Season 5, Ep. 11
Out with the old, in with the new. In this case, no more Birchers of fluoride--we've moved on to other Q-related topics. This time, we're taking a long windup to get to the Satanic Panic period of the 80s and early 90s in the US and Canada, which is the direct antecedent of the Q "democrats harvesting adrenochrome from abused sex trafficked youngsters" meme that has so obsessed lunatics in recent times. But on the way there, we need to consider how human sacrifice--and even moreso, the idea of others committing human sacrifice, has influenced conspiracy-minded plots over the past couple thousand years.
New! Qanon: How we got here - Our precious bodily fluids
Season 5, Ep. 10
Today, we're gonna get to the bottom of the fluoride conspiracy. Where does it come from? Who believes it? And how did we start dunking our teeth in the stuff in the first place? Hopefully, we'll get through everything we have to say without anything weird going on. Like, it's an mp3 file, right? It's not like anyone can just hijack it and take over. What a weird thing to worry about, Jesuit. You're getting paranoid...
New! Qanon: How we got here - Dedicated, conscious agents of the anti-Communist conspiracy
Season 5, Ep. 9
We're finishing up our Bircher talk here, with our discussion of the group's great crusades to keep people from having more rights, because apparently expanding civil, women's, or gay rights played right into the commies' hands. Plus, they really, really wanted to get rid of Chief Justice Earl Warren. Did they? Kinda. I mean, he retired. So Victory! Plus, you'll learn who this John Birch guy is, and why it's not called The Robert Welch Society. Next week--well, we don't wanna spoil it. But you're not gonna want to miss it.