Tom Hanks, according to many, is a secret pedophile. The proof comes from the best type of source possible: a victim. Her name is Sarah Ruth Ashcraft, and she’s been very open about her experience.
Ah, sorry. I was supposed to work up to that. I could have started with her initial allegation, and her revelations about her history. Then I could have pointed out that she’s a huge proponent of QAnon and Pizzagate. By the time I was finished, I’d have a nice, simple arc from possibility to implausibility, demonstrating that she seems to be crazed.
That’s the easy thing, debunking her claim by providing her words for people to read. Such information is valuable in and of itself, because it provides context when pieces like the one recently published at Collective Evolution present her as a rational plaintiff. (Collective Evolution claims to have been demonetized by YouTube and censored on Facebook for no reason… just another “journalism site” like InfoWars, no reason for them to be targeted.)
More important by far, however, is recognizing the reach of her claim.
People, both famous and not, have always been targeted for harassment. Sometimes allegations are true, sometimes they are not. Without evidence, decisions must be made based on patterns of behavior.
A single claim of sexual abuse, particularly one as premeditated and dramatic as purchasing a child, is the sort of thing which will typically have other, related incidents associated with it. Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Jeffrey Epstein and Michael Jackson are among the most famous examples, but there are hundreds of others. Few actions occur in a vacuum. Even when stories seem to come from nowhere, such as the assault on Tiger Woods by his then-wife over his serial cheating, it is typically revealed that their associates knew of their behavior or at least had heard rumors about it.
It’s the deviations in behavior which are suspect. When Judge Roy Moore was revealed as serially propositioning young teens when he was in his late twenties, only one person accused him of actual rape… and that person’s story was demonstrated to be false.
Tom Hanks is far from my favorite actor. Truthfully, his presence in a movie is a good way to keep me from seeing it. But he has no history of accusations of being a predator, much less a pedophile.
This does not matter when a person is the target of a group, and that is exactly what happened here. By aligning herself with QAnon, Ashcraft ensured a ready contingent of listeners who were not merely open to her claim but who were eager to believe and repeat it, due to Hanks’ Democrat affiliation.
By this mechanism, a single allegation was repeated and twisted by multiple sources until any person curious to research it could find dozens of YouTube clips and blog posts about Tom Hanks’ supposed pedophile history.
This is one of the dangers of a cult mentality. It is one of the greatest dangers of abandoning basic journalistic ethics: the remaining “news” sources can merely echo existing statements, no matter how absent they are of truth, and because people are hearing them from multiple venues they take on the appearance of validity.