USA Today issued a fact check this week that served as both a disturbing sign of the times and indication of just how outlandish conspiracy theory groups, such as Qanon, can be.
“Fact check: Tom Hanks is now a Greek citizen, but pedophilia has nothing to do with it.”
You read that right.
USA Today had to explain that Forrest Gump isn’t some sort of monster running off to another country to skirt the law for his crimes.
How’d it come to this?
QAnon appears to have been a key contributor.
That’s right, the dumbest people you went to high school with have cooked up a conspiracy theory that claims Hanks became a Greek citizen because the country classifies pedophilia as a disability.
There’s no evidence that he is a pedophile, and Greece doesn’t consider pedophilia a disability.
According to USA Today, it began with a July 28 Facebook post which was shared more than 2,300 times that read, “while everyone was distracted by the coronavirus Tom Hanks became a citizen of Greece … a place that recognizes pedophilia as a disability.” USA Today said the person who made the post claimed she found out about Hanks’ Greek citizenship via a BBC article, “but did not comment on the other claim about pedophilia.”
USA Today said the post was part of a “larger trend” of posts questioning Hanks’ citizenship change, and alluding to him being involved in child sex trafficking. Many of the posts appear tied to QAnon which USA Today said believes a “deep state” run by elite pedophiles — politicians, celebrities and business leaders — exists and that they both operate a child sex trafficking ring and are also working against President Donald Trump.
QAnon members seem to believe that Trump is attempting to take down this group with the help of the military. But, it’s not that simple. The Qs appear to believe the people Trump is attempting to have jailed are so powerful that he has to speak about what he is doing in codes. Codes that the make-believe, powerful, pedophile elites he is trying to take down, somehow, cannot understand, but Qs can.
It’s far-out stuff.
And Hanks isn’t the only celebrity target. QAnon supporters have taken aim at Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres and Bill and Hillary Clinton within this whole elite pedophiles who are battling Trump vortex.
Yes, Oprah is duking it out in a battle of good vs. evil against the President and the United States Military. And, if you truly believe that, like the Qs seem to, Oprah is one, bad woman because she’s still out there interviewing people while beating back the armed forces.
Back to Hanks and this USA Today fact check, though.
Remember back in March when he got coronavirus and went into quarantine?
The Qs passed around a theory that he was actually arrested for pedophilia.
That was false, of course, and News Break, sadly, had to fact check that.
But the Qs have helped keep this bunk swirling.
Here’s what is true: Hanks did become a Greek citizen, along with his wife, Rita Wilson.
That happened on July 26.
Hanks, Wilson and their children were awarded honorary Greek citizenship after working to bring attention to a wildfire near Athens in 2018 that killed more than 100 people, according to USA Today.
They’ve been visiting the island for years, and, according to USA Today, own a home on Antiparos. Wilson has Greek heritage. Hanks converted to the Greek Orthodox Church.
Here’s what’s not true: everything else.
Pedophilia is not considered a disability in Greece.
There was a proposal in 2012, USA Today said, in which behavioral disorders “such as compulsive gamblers, pyromaniacs, pedophiles and fetishists” would be added to the list of disabilities. That proposal was designed, USA Today reported, to better enable medical assessments but not to affect disability benefits.
And that sparked outrage and caused the proposal to be quickly rebuked in the country.
And, again, there’s no evidence Tom Hanks is a pedophile.
And, no, despite what Qs might tell you, according to Reuters, the flight logs from Jeffrey Epstein’s jet show no evidence of Hanks flying on the plane.
Finally, life is like a box of chocolates, and memes aren’t always facts.