I Met Some Very Paranoid Dudes on the Tinder for Conspiracy Theorists


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I Met Some Very Paranoid Dudes on the Tinder for Conspiracy Theorists

Awake Dating is the first dating platform for those who get hung up on 9/11 demolitions. It seems to pull a nice crowd of mostly men.

Illustrations by Ashley Goodall

A few weeks back a site called Awake Dating appeared on the web. It's the first dating platform made specifically for the "awake"—meaning those who get off on conspiracy theories.

I'm not a believer, just to be clear, but I saw Awake Dating as an opportunity to get an insight into those who are. Maybe, I figured, I could understand how someone comes to believe in chemtrail theories, or fear fluoride, if we talked about something more universal, like dating.


So I signed up. I went online and asked a bunch of users what drew them in and why they'd turned to conspiracy theories in the first place. Also, I was curious, how did they feel about handing over so much personal information to a website?

For the sake of privacy, I've changed all the names.

VICE: Hi Alex, can you tell me about when you first woke up?
Alex: It was gradual. In 2001, I witnessed on television an attack by terrorists. In 2005, I learned the videos were faked using video compositing technology. It went from there.

Why were you attracted to Awake Dating?
I'm not really taking this site seriously. Dating sites in general seem like scams. Just a way for someone else to make money off of you. I think of this site as a controlled opposition dating site, meaning control in the sense of manipulation.

So you think this site could potentially be manipulating conspiracy believers?
I don't think it "could potentially."

So you think it's a fact?
Were the 9/11 demolitions a conspiracy theory, or were they actually controlled demolitions? Just as countless evidence proves that to be factual. Are you going to sit there for the rest of your life believing that the September 11th was a mere conspiracy theory?

No, I'd say it was a terrorist attack.

At that point Alex stopped responding. So, I figured I'd tone it down for the next guy.

Hi Jessie, what made you decide to join this dating site?
Jessie: Because it sounded intriguing, and there aren't too many people I know interested in the topics I like to talk about. So this was a perfect opportunity to find people with the same interests. Even though I know this is a dating site, it's not my only intention to find anyone to date. Rather, I like to share ideas to help us all to become the best versions of ourselves in all aspects of life.


Do you find it difficult to date people in real life?
Unfortunately, the majority of people I encounter are either living in a fantasy world, and they talk about themselves and materialistic possessions. But there are a handful of people with good heads on their shoulders. As far as dating is concerned, I choose to be celibate, so interactions with women are minimal by choice. But I do enjoy spreading positivity, probably because I went to hell and back in past relationships for many reasons, which makes me the person I am today.

It sounds like you've spent a lot of time reflecting.
Indeed. I assume you are interested in chemtrails?

I'm sure you are aware that there is lots of information out there regarding chemtrails, from black goo, to nanoparticles that destroy immune systems, to using the trails to bounce radiation off of our atmosphere to prevent so called global warming. I see the planes leaving trails several times a week near the mountains where I live. One time I saw a bright white orb flying on the side of one of the planes one time, while they were spraying the trials. What do you think of them?

I told Jesse that I thought chemtrails "could be harmless," and he stopped talking. Luckily, there were plenty more matches to talk to.

Hi Greg, tell me about dating in the conspiracy world.
Greg: Well, since I woke up I've dated girls who haven't been awake and I've found it fine, but it's really a bit of a conundrum. I've dated because I've fallen in love, and if they're not awake it doesn't quite bother me, but it'd definitely a bonus if they were. I'm difficult. I don't watch TV, drink fluoridated water, and I don't eat poisonous foods.


Tell me some more about your life.
There's nothing interesting, I haven't flown in any UFOs or anything. I went to a friend's engagement party recently; that was fun. Everyone is getting married and having babies.

Is that what you want?
I want to, actually. I'd love to, but I haven't met the right girl yet. I suppose that's why I'm here.

After that Greg clammed up and wouldn't talk more about relationships, so I moved on.

I'm looking for someone independent, not there to control or to be attached at the hip. I am very open-minded and passionate.

Hi Rick, how is your day?
It's ok, I guess. I like it quiet lol.

What made you decide to join Awake Dating?
I just read about it and thought I should at least will try and mingle with a like-minded crowd. Not many here for chatting and meeting, particularly for my age—50.

How do you feel about putting such personal information on a hackable, public website?
I definitely have thought about it. That's why I'd rather talk to only one or two people on this site, rather than everybody. I hope talking to someone will make us somehow closer, via this site, to become more intimate without any complications in the long term. Often, I just need to vent. And often it's not only political or social things I need to talk about, but intimacy.

So you're not seeing anyone at the moment?
I've been in defacto for the last 25 years. But in the last seven years we became, how to describe it, non-sexual.


Do you guys live together?
Yes, we are paying off the mortgage. It's cheaper that way, plus we are not arguing.

Won't this make it weird with your ex if you meet someone else?
Well, she is not entirely my ex. We're not intimate, we just share the space. We're friends.

How does this woman feel about your belief in conspiracy theories?
She's okay about some theories but apart from being passionate about the environment, she isn't political. She's just not skeptical. For example, she refuses to believe the Yanks could blow up their own buildings. But what is good is that she respects my views.

I think it's important that everyone recognises each other's views and opinions. I'm not trying to force views on anyone, but by the same token, others should not be forcing theirs on me.

Can you describe what you're looking for?
I'm looking for someone independent, not there to control or to be attached at the hip. I am very open-minded and passionate.