How Do We Know The People Promoting The Wayfair Conspiracy Are Not Child Molesters?
On Friday, we reported on the Wayfair conspiracy — a rumor that started on the r/conspiracy subreddit that the reason some industrial storage units cost upwards of $10,000 was because the company was actually selling children. Over the weekend, it blew up even more. People added more details. They decided other sites, like Amazon, Etsy and eBay, were involved in this as well. They asked their followers to Google what the word "waif" means, because apparently these intrepid detectives who are smart enough to take down a retail-site-based child sex-trafficking ring don't know extremely common words.
Personally, I find it highly suspicious that anyone is this stupid. It simply cannot be. There's just no way anyone living in a nation that has been though this particular wringer as many times as we have, only to come out of it embarrassed and ashamed, would go this route again. We know how the Salem Witch Trials turned out. We know how the daycare sex abuse hysteria thing turned out, how so many innocent people were sent to prison for crimes they did not commit because over-zealous townsfolk thought they were "investigating" child molesters. They were not. We know how the Satanic Panic turned out.
According to the logic of those pushing this conspiracy theory and others, when we find something suspicious or find something we can't quite explain, the thing to do is to put our ears to the ground and listen for the hoofbeats of zebras; to just make something up out of thin air, and then demand others prove to us that it is not true, at which point we must claim that all of that proof is just part of the conspiracy.
So I think it's fair to say that it's at least possible every last one of them is a child molester. At least by their standards of what is and is not fair to say! (To be clear, in no sane world is it fair to say that. Which is our point.)
It is entirely possible every single person claiming Wayfair is selling children in storage containers for $10K a pop is a child molester, and that they have come up with this theory to cover up their own crimes. Is it likely? No, not even a little bit. But it's certainly possible.
And if something is possible, it must be true, right? Is that the game we're playing now? There are no coincidences?
Clearly (not clearly) the Wayfair conspiracy is just a false flag for a bunch of child molesters to deflect attention from themselves by making it seem as though all child sex trafficking is happening out in the open and on retail sites across the non-dark web. In fact, the next time you run into someone who believes in this crap, you should tell them that you heard a rumor that they are a child molester, and you are going to have to believe it until you see proof to the contrary. Shout it from the rooftops! You, the accuser, do not have to provide any actual evidence, because that's not how these people want to see things done. Is their name John? Like, John as in John Wayne Gacy? HMM. Really makes you think.
After all, there are no coincidences.
In fact, we should also, when we see these people in the wild, look up their friends and family members and employers and tell them of our suspicions. If there's nothing wrong with amateurs investigating these kinds of things when they are in no way qualified to be doing so, then they should see nothing wrong with us doing that.
Because hey! There is exactly as much evidence for all of these people being child molesters as there is evidence for Wayfair being a secret child sex trafficking organization or for me being Anastasia Romanov but, like, a vampire Anastasia Romanov because obviously I would be dead by now if I weren't undead. Or the pope! I could totally be the pope. Maybe even a vampire pope. Maybe I am Elena Ferrante. Maybe I am D.B. Cooper. Maybe, just maybe, I am cake.
Maybe these people are not only child molesters, but serial killers. Maybe they eat people and grind up their bones to bake their bread. Maybe they have a collection of skin suits in their closets and bodies under their floor boards. How would we know?
All things are possible in this, the stupidest of all possible worlds.
Personally, I think it would be perfectly fair of the rest of us to accuse them of absolutely anything that pops into our heads and demand, as they have, that it at least deserves an investigation before it is dismissed outright. It's only fair.
I admit. I am angry. I am so, so angry at these people. I am furious and my skin feels like fire. Why? Because I know too many actual victims of sexual assault and child molestation. Because I consider these things serious, serious crimes and therefore not a thing to accuse anyone of unless there is proof of some kind — or, at the very least, a complaining witness or victim. Because I know enough about actual child slavery throughout the world to know that it's not a fun Nancy Drew mystery for intrepid internet sleuths to solve, with clues and codes and numerology and search engine magic.
Because I've seen this movie before, I know how it ends and I have absolutely no clue how we stop it now.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse