Escaping the Rabbit Hole: How to Debunk Conspiracy Theories Using Facts, Logic, and Respect is a great book written by Mick West. I wanted to write this review on Amazon, but I don’t meet their eligibility requirements: “you must have spent at least $50 on Amazon in the past 12 months”.
Many people know about the Metabunk debunking forum. It is my main resource for checking various conspiracy theory claims. I haven’t posted much on Metabunk, but I’m a frequent user. I learned that Mick West is running Metabunk and is an active member. Mick is an excellent debunker presenting the facts in clear, logical manner often using visual demonstrations. See e.g. a thread I started: “How to calculate the visible fraction of the Earth” (to debunk one Flat Earth claim). You will also notice that there are many other active debunkers bringing new information, asking important questions etc.
Example of working visual demonstration by user Trailblazer on Metabunk. You can compare the 1972 Apollo 17 photo of Earth with a household globe.
You might also notice that Metabunk users treat other persons with respect. Name-calling or attacking people is not allowed. Bunk gets debunked, not people. This is highly important and one of the key messages of Mick’s book: if you want to help someone who is deep in a conspiracy theory rabbit hole, you must be respectful, open and honest. Negative approach only push people deeper into the rabbit hole.
Mick’s book is not so much about Metabunk as it is about how and why people get sucked into false conspiracy theories, and how you can help them to see the light.
The book also covers four popular false conspiracy theories: 9/11 controlled demolition, Chemtrails, False Flags and Flat Earth. All the main claims and their debunks are presented. Understanding the false conspiracy theories and the debunks will help you to help your friends.
The book contains survivor stories from people who have been deep in rabbit holes. These stories prove that it’s possible to get out of the hole – one way or the other.
I highly recommend this book to anyone that is interested in conspiracy theories, debunking, communicating/debating or helping someone who believes in a false conspiracy theory.