Chris and manipulation
|“||For every trolling saga, there was a bunch of stuff happening in the background. [Chris's] reactions on youtube were highly inflated by troll girlfriends whispering shit to him behind the scenes. "Oh Chris, you're not just going to take that, are you? Chris, I need a man who can stand up for himself, not just a little wuss..." It takes quite a bit to whip Chris up into a frenzy. And it's hard to keep it going.||”|
|The Man in the Pickle Suit on how trolls manipulated Chris into performing in many of his rage videos.|
|“||something like 90% of what got Chris to make the videos he did was never made public.||”|
|The Man in the Pickle Suit|
Manipulation is a psychological tactic aimed at taking advantage of someone in order for them to perform a specific action. This has been a key technique used by Chris's trolls, his enablers, and his mother.
Behind the scenes of trolling
|“||Trolling is necessary for Chris to be as funny as everyone expects him to be. People don't like to hear this because they want to believe Chris is a crazy, three ring circus of fun, 24/7. But he's really not. He's got his moments, but he's a phenomenon that needs to be curated if you want to experience the old school trolling days.||”|
|The Man in the Pickle Suit|
One of Chris's former trolls, The Man in the Pickle Suit, has often posted on Kiwi Farms describing how trolls manipulated Chris behind the scenes. Hundreds of hours worth of calls between Chris and the trolls took place - much of it never released. Information was also omitted on the CWCki, which several trolls were members of, to paint a funnier picture of Chris; a side-effect of which has created a skewed impression of him to fans. Trolls would intentionally obscure their true identities, even from each other, and many would even change core details to further confuse those who seek to dox them. For example, Clyde Cash was originally meant to be a plain-but-successful Asian American guy, but this image was later replaced with a guido stereotype, and everyone went along with it.
In the background calls, people would plant ideas in Chris's head and goad him into making videos. One such example is Twin Falling Towers, a 2009 video in which Chris invoked the 9/11 tragedy to diss Clyde Cash. The Man in the Pickle Suit described how the trolls talked to Chris behind the scenes to get him to make the video as:
|be sure to mention that you think he's weak! call him weak, like some sort of big disaster, like a bridge collapsing. ooh, or compare him to 9/11! that'll embarrass him!|
For a decade or so, people assumed he came up with the 9/11 video on his own volition, painting an image of an unpatriotic ingrate. It didn't help that his apology video involved photoshopping the Twin Towers into candles, basically depicting the buildings on fire. Whether this apology video was staged or not is unknown. Later, Kacey's father brought up the video in the infamous Father Call, claiming he had to dig his mother out of the towers' remains.
Other examples include CWC Calls Out Three Naïve YouTubers, a set of videos in which Chris lambasted fan Sonichuizcool (trolls had planted the idea in his head that she was secretly a troll); the Cwcsicle video in which he jammed his penis in the snow; and the Liquid Chris saga (Chris originally didn't want to react to Liquid, but the trolls forced his hand with artificial reasons)
Trolls also exploited their knowledge of Chris's psychology to goad him to get angry in his videos:
|Chris usually reacts to a specific stimulus, and has a short memory about those sorts of things. Like a goldfish. So in any video where Chris is specifically trying to act like Johnny Bravo, that was almost always in response to a request by us no older than 24 hours. We would hype Chris up about how he's being called a pussy, and how if he doesn't make a video soon, he'll lose the rights to Sonichu.|
The difference in style between videos produced by trolls and videos Chris records on his own initiative supports the point. Troll-produced videos tend to be short, succinct, and feature Chris making a fool of himself. Chris recording on his own tends to bore his audience by rambling about his own interests like toys or his fantasy world.
The Truman Show
Chris's situation with the trolls has been compared to The Truman Show, a fictional film in which the main character is unaware he is living in a reality TV show, surrounded by improv actors, hidden cameras, and a conspiracy to hide the reality of a controlled environment. Chris's situation reflects Truman's, as he has been manipulated by trolls for the sole purpose of making him into a spectacle for online mockery, and many of his ostensibly private interactions have been unwittingly shared with the world. The only real difference is that Chris installed the cameras himself.
Similar to how actors populate Truman's world while posing as trusted loved ones, undercover trolls posed as Chris's friends for years. They controlled access to Chris - when one sweetheart saga ended, another potential sweetheart would contact Chris, and he would ask his "friends" to vet them. The undercover trolls would confirm to Chris that the sweetheart could be trusted, thus continuing the cycle of trolling.
One such undercover troll is the woman behind Emily, Kim Wilson, and several other undisclosed personas. She lives locally to Chris, and she has met him in real life where she has gained his trust. Due to the severity of Chris's autism-related facial blindness, he was unable to recognize her face whenever she would meet him in town. She then exploited this weakness to trick Chris into believing he has multiple gal-pals he can trust when, in reality, all are played by a single undercover troll.
Boiling frog fable
In the years post-2011, Chris has become increasingly vulnerable to the concept of 'creeping normality', often represented through the fable of the boiling frog, which states that by slowly heating a pot of water with a frog inside to a boil, the frog will not recognize itself being cooked alive, as opposed to immediately tossing it in the boiling water, in which case it would quickly jump out. In a manner similar to the boiling frog, Chris is increasingly unable to recognize when he is the target of manipulation without being told outright by others that said manipulation has taken place. In 2018, the Idea Guys manipulated Chris in ways darker than had ever been attempted before, including systematically dismantling his imaginary world and its cast of characters, engaging in criminal extortion against him, and accusing Chris of pedophilia if he didn't play along with them (see "Overview" section). Chris was gaslit to the point of completely believing everything the Idea Guys said to him.
While the efforts of the Guard Dogs minimally restored Chris's self-awareness to the point that he will level angry asides at the Idea Guys for their extortion in his videos, as demonstrated in those during the Soft Exile saga, Chris still wholeheartedly believes in modifications the Idea Guys made to both the Sonichu canon and real world aspects of Chris's life. He appears from the outside to be no longer able to discern this 'new normal' from that which came before it, thus being affected by creeping normality.
|“||Chris believes in crazy tv hacker stereotypes. That's why we always so easily told him we hacked into his phone or his email and blamed all our leaks on that. Our various troll girlfriends got away, scot-free.||”|
|The Man in the Pickle Suit|
Trolls exploit Chris's naive nature to gain access to his accounts in order to leak emails or videos. After gaining Chris's trust via an internet persona, they would ask for access to Chris' accounts and blame the resulting trolling on hackers. Chris would then change his password while simply handing the e-girlfriend/Sonichu character the new one since he still trusted them.
This practice came to a farcical head during the Teen Troon Squad saga, when the Squad and Guard Dogs factions engaged in a tug-of-war over Chris. The Squad would log into Chris's accounts and post "information" from Magi-Chan about the Dimensional Merge, and the Guard Dogs, also having Chris's passwords, countered with their own "information" trying to lead Chris away from thinking about the Merge. This conflict caused confusion in Chris, who wanted to trust both sides.
|White knights were subverted. Their messages blocked, deleted before Chris could see them. If they got through, trolls would leak their conversations with Chris and accuse the helper of being the culprit. Trolls had a vise-like grip on Chris and that only loosened when they willingly gave up when Bob died. [...]
But even if the conversation of who is or isn't a troll comes up with Chris, he's still not playing on level ground.
Someone accuses Julie of being a troll. Julie says she's not a troll. Who should Chris pick?
What if it's two people saying Julie's not a troll? Three? Four? Some of Chris' IRL friends saying she's not a troll? Almost every person in his life?
When people try to help Chris, he's not knowledgeably throwing that help away. He cannot identify help. There's a platter with 20 different options, and one of those options is help, the rest are people trying to fuck him over.
The numbers are not in Chris' favor.
Chris in-between the trolling
|“||Without stimuli like the trolls [goading him to get angry], Chris just kind of fell back into his natural state: being a manchild, playing with toys, and wanting his heartsweet to take care of him.||”|
|The Man in the Pickle Suit|
Since his discovery by the internet in 2007, there have been times where activity fell to the point that Chris was temporarily without manipulation from trolls or enablers. Left to his own devices, Chris would drop off the internet and concentrate on the real world instead.
|“||We held him online. If someone's not actively compelling Chris to do stupid stuff online, he slides off.||”|
|The Man in the Pickle Suit|
An example of this can be seen in Chris's internet activity following his father's death. At that point, the classic troll cabal voluntarily relinquished their control over Chris to allow him to grieve. As a direct result, Chris stopped recording wacky videos online (hence the abrupt end of the Calling Out saga).
The troll experience has left Chris with lingering suspicion and paranoia as to the motives of others, and he has occasionally posted on social media channels about how he suspects people offline of being trolls, albeit without any real evidence. Chris gradually socialized in the real world again, such as hanging out at the Impulse Gay Social Club and with his Pokémon League friends, although this respite was interspersed with the beginning of modern trolls such as Catherine and the Lady Managers who, again, manipulated Chris back into his Truman Show existence.
Manipulators at War: Sockness and Co. vs. the Watchmen
During the latter half of 2019, tensions between Chris's enablers and manipulators came to a head, especially as Jacob Sockness, one of Chris's principal manipulators at the time, was attempting to close his jaws firmly around Chris's imaginary world and even worm his way into a physical relationship. Sockness and his ilk came under fire from the Watchmen. In a futile attempt to gain control over the situation, Sockness and his key allies attempted to manipulate Chris into believing that MKR and the other Watchmen were against him, and were enemies of the supposed prophecy Sockness claimed would take place if he were to meet Chris in person. As Sockness attempted to mastermind this plan, he even ended up getting into conflict with Chris-themed YouTubers and observers such as GiBi and Dillin Thomas, attempting to silence their coverage of the growing shitstorm.
Ultimately, Sockness's plan completely backfired; Chris being Chris, he believed that the Watchmen were his friends, and, torn between who to believe, chose to rebuke Sockness for this attempt to turn his supposed friends against him, in a rare moment of clarity not commonly seen since the arrival of the Idea Guys the year prior.
Barb is often blamed for being Chris’s original and most persistent enabler, and it is likely that her coddling gave Chris his puerile and egocentric attitude. She is also deemed by Christorians to be the one responsible for Chris constantly taking orders from random strangers without giving it a second thought. In the past, some of Barb's attempts at controlling Chris were nothing short of outright emotional abuse. Examples include threatening to lock Chris out of the house and leave him homeless if he dared travel further than a few miles out of town after the Ohio Trip, as well as feigning cardiac arrest to bring Chris into line, terrifying him to the point of calling 911 on several occasions.
Perhaps the most notable incident involving this sort of manipulation took place in 2011; Chris had planned to visit that year's MAGfest convention, but realized that he didn't have enough of his Monthly Tugboat left to afford a hotel room, so he instead opted to sleep in his car. After informing his parents of his plans, Barb gaslit him into backpedalling, firstly by claiming he could be at risk from a combination of criminals and cold temperatures, then by again threatening to leave him homeless, and finally by implying that she would commit suicide if Chris went to the convention. A distraught Chris cancelled his plans, and received only further guilt tripping (and a video game) as consolation.
The methods listed here are for documenting common techniques used by trolls. Do not attempt any of these.
As shown above, after gaining Chris's trust, it isn’t particularly difficult to get him to do many things he wouldn't normally do. There is a three step process that most trolls and enablers use:
- Appeasement: Give Chris an offer for something he’d really want or feed into Chris’s beliefs.
- Instructions: Provide Chris with over-the-top steps he can take to take the offer or so that he can roleplay with you.
- Betrayal: Watch him do it, and betray him. Then watch the result of said betrayal. Rinse, Dry, and Repeat.
As an example, Chris’s history of being manipulated began with him being tricked into crawling into a tight space by childhood friend Sarah Hammer when she told him that she found Casper the Friendly Ghost there. Sarah simply noticed that Chris had a fascination with cartoon characters being real, and knew this was the perfect opportunity to give Chris the offer of meeting him in person (Appeasement). She then told him that he could see Casper if he crawled into the hole (Instructions). Finally, she locked him in, and began watching the events that would follow (Betrayal).
During the Classic Era, this technique would be used by many trolls, such as Blanca Weiss, Clyde Cash, Liquid Chris, and even a bunch of trolls posing as Nintendo Staff. In the case of Blanca, the trolls behind the pseudonym simply realized that Chris really wanted a significant other to complete his Love Quest and finally get some china, so they used Chris's desperate pleas to complete this mission to obtain his medallions (Appeasement). Afterwards, they insisted that Chris give them the medallion if he wanted Blanca for himself (Instructions). Finally, they destroy the medallion in many ways, from cutting it with a knife and hitting it with a hammer, to setting it on fire and submerging the broken pieces into a jar of pickles (Betrayal).
The most illegal and life-changing use of this technique to date is from Chris's most infamous enablers, the Idea Guys. After a long string of supernatural beliefs and creepy behaviors being displayed from Chris during his comeback, a troll by the name of Joshua Wise noticed his complete lack of self-awareness, and wanted to see how deep the rabbit hole would go. Wise would then appeal to many of Chris's fantasies by roleplaying as several of his characters (Appeasement). Afterwards, he tasked him to do a number of nonsensical tasks such as having him lick a drawing of Magi-chain's penis on a wall, and having him destroy a Christmas tree, telling him it was Nazi merchandise (Instructions). The Betrayal part of this would come from the proposed humiliation that Chris would subject himself to. Even after he was doxxed and shut down for a while, he (along with several others), would use this technique repeatedly until they went as far as extorting large sums of money from him and falsely reporting him to the FBI for being a pedophile, among other things (Betrayal).
A less common means that people have found to manipulate him is through this same process but in reverse. This method is a favorite among his mother.
- Threats: Tell Chris that if he does or does not do something, you will do something undesirable that will happen to him.
- Instructions: Tell him that, in order to prevent the undesirable thing from happening, he has to cancel all plans and instead take part of someone else's whims.
- Betrayal/Reward: Reward him for doing what he has been told to further strengthen his trust for you. Or, you can just betray him anyway. Rinse, Dry, and Repeat.
Some manipulation involves giving Chris validation over his pre-existing feelings and beliefs, which influences him further. Examples include the unknown enabler who told him to get in touch with his feminine side and influenced him into identifying as a tomgirl; the Subliminal Frequency Hypnosis videos, and the people who commented in them, who influenced Chris into believing his taint was transforming into a vagina; and the Idea Guys, who exploited his beliefs about alternate dimensions in order to influence and shape those beliefs further, culminating in Chris's pseudo-religious belief over the Dimensional Merge.
Reasons why Chris is so gullible
A common aspect of autism spectrum conditions is an increased level of gullibility; those on the spectrum are often more openly trusting of others, willing to put aside suspicion to follow what someone says, even in situations which could put them at risk. Chris also appears to have some degree of both face blindness and difficulty recognizing voices, which are also common (though not universal) autism symptoms.
Chris has been fooled by numerous personas operated by the same person; an example of this is Chris wholeheartedly believing the person behind Jack Thaddeus in the Calling out Saga to be Ahuviya Harel (ADF), even though the two neither sounded nor looked alike, as well as Chris believing Kim Wilson to be a different person from Emily, even though the latter presented herself to Chris as the former on several occasions, even in face to face meetings where Chris should have been able to tell the difference had he not been experiencing this impaired recognition. Furthermore, Julie was a 13-year-old boy using an obvious falsetto voice, yet Chris believed "her" to sound 100% female, even when the actor forgot to mask his voice.
Enablers & Lack of Independence
Chris isn't very independent. He relies on the government and his mother to pay the bills, and still ends up in debt. While he has made real-life friends in the past, the Idea Guys saga led him to alienate them in mid-2018. Nowadays, he prefers to surround himself with online enablers who play into his every escapist fantasy, in turn gaining his trust. Chris's dependence on other people, especially his enablers, has actually made him more susceptible to being manipulated, as all of his trust is simply put into them without any second thoughts. He is also highly susceptible to peer pressure and fitting in with others' opinions.
Chris’s gullible, overly trusting nature and desire for contact means that he has often been drawn to consider others friends, even if they’re acquaintances at best or simply attempting to get close for malicious reasons at worst. Even though he would often curse and even wish death on trolls, in recorded voice chats with them he would often appear to be quite receptive and active in such conversations, as long as the others did not cross the “Hurtful Truth Level”, in which case he would become hostile in return. From an outside perspective, Chris’s isolation has also resulted in making him vulnerable to manipulation techniques as a result of his attempts at seeking out people beyond the hoard-choked halls of 14BC.
Lack of Self-Awareness
Chris lacks self-awareness and a sense of boundaries, whether for himself or for others. He has no filter, a trait which he calls honesty. He will tell you embarrassing, private matters when you first meet him, including his former virginity, his story about how pinkeye gave him differently-colored eyes, and even his tendency to soil himself. Once someone gains his trust, he will reveal even more personal information, most of which an average person wouldn't even reveal to a psychologist. Trolls collate the information and leak it to the general public, where it ends up on forums, YouTube videos, and this fine Wiki.
This lack of self-awareness may also be another symptom of his autism. Usually, this manifests as generally innocuous things, like being unable to regulate the volume of one's voice to match the social setting, or being unable to recognize non-verbal social cues when communicating with other people. In more severe cases like Chris however, his lack of social awareness can come across as tone-deaf at best, or a threat to one's safety at worst. Normally, this lack of self-awareness in a social sense can be minimized or outright "cured" with the proper resources (e.g. special education and the right therapist), but we all know how that turned out.
Another massive flaw that makes Chris easy to manipulate is his egotism and resulting entitlement, so long as he takes a procedure or simply whines about it long enough. Many of the cases where he had been manipulated involved the manipulator noticing this fundamental character flaw, and therefore bribing him with gifts and promises of self-fulfillment. The bribes could be anything from promises of romance to a video game publishing deal – as long as it's something Chris wants, trolls will use it as bait. However, this also has a tendency to backfire, as Chris always believes he is entitled to more, and will take a gift and then turn around and ask for another.
Chris repeatedly falls victim to the SuperStraight effect, where someone will provide a quick rebuttal to a point and lose ground to the wider argument. In SuperStraight's case they inadvertently corroborated the claims that trans women are women by creating a separate sexuality than straight for those who aren't attracted to them. Likewise, Chris will regularly talk himself into various corners by agreeing to various outlandish claims merely because he was pressured to accept certain points as fact to continue the conversation. This is how you can get him to finally admit Liquid's TRUE and honest name really is "Chris" and not "Jeff", then "CHRIS!!! CHANDLER!!!", then "Christian Weston Chandler" (but he was given that name and not renamed by an animatronic bear), and so on theoretically forever.
- Kiwi Farms posts (Marvin)#Marvin on how the Miscreants trolled Chris
- Kiwi Farms posts (Marvin)#Marvin on lost content regarding the trolling of Chris
- Comments from Marvin on Kiwi Farms, gone when the site was taken down.
- Gal Pal E-mails 3#Borb vs MAGfest