When Anderson Cooper reported on the absurd depths of the QAnon conspiracy cult, he knew that it was personal.
After all he, alongside many other journalists and public figures, were named by this malicious prank.
But he didn't realize how personal it would be until this shocking interview with a former believer.
It's not every day that you come face to face with someone who once thought that you eat babies.
Anderson Cooper recently starred in a CNN Special Report called "Inside the QAnon Conspiracy."
As you can see in this clip, Anderson speaks with a man named Jitarth Jadeja about his now-former beliefs.
Jitarth stopped believing in QAnon in 2019, and departing the cult has left him with a special perspective on the madness that it represents.
Anderson askes Jitarth if he believed "high level Democrats and celebrities were worshiping Satan and drinking the blood of children."
When he posed the question, he obviously did not expect such a personal answer.
"Anderson, I thought you did that," Jitarth confessed.
To his credit, Jitarth continued: "And I would like to apologize for that right now."
"So I apologize for thinking that you ate babies," he expressed without reservation.
"But yeah," Jitarth answered, "a hundred percent."
An astonished Anderson asked: "You actually believed that I was drinking the blood of children?"
"Yes, I did," Jitarth confirmed.
He then explained: "It's because Q specifically mentioned you and he mentioned you very early on."
"He mentioned you by name," Jitarth continued, "and from there he also talked about, for example, your family."
Anderson is of course part of the dynastic Vanderbilt family through his late mother, Gloria Vanderbilt.
"But yeah, I'm going to be honest, people still talk about that to this day," Jitarth acknowledged.
He added: "Some people thought that you were a robot."
"I didn't just believe that," he clarified, adding: "I believed that QAnon was part of military intelligence."
"But on top of that," Jitarth confessed, he believed "that the people behind them were actually a group of fifth dimensional, interdimensional, extraterrestrial, bipedal, bird aliens called 'Blue Avians.'"
"I was so far down in this conspiracy black hole," Jitarth said in reflection, "that I was essentially picking and choosing whatever narrative that I wanted to believe in."
That is the key to success of QAnon, of course.
It's not a singular, uniform belief. To some, it's a science fiction story. To others, a dark fantasy. And to others, it's just a spy thriller.
At its core, QAnon is a deranged and heavily political conspiracy theory about various public figures -- from Tom Hanks to Hillary Clinton to Chrissy Teigen.
In some versions, they practice sorcery to serve their master, Lucifer, in a mystical war against ... God? America? It depends whom you ask.
In others, they traffic and torment children so that they can harves their "favorite drug," adrenochrome, from the miserable children's brains ... sometimes in service to Moloch.
The magic of QAnon (aside from the kind that QAnon troll Liz Crokin accused Hillary Clinton of using to curse her into getting a surfing injury) is that people can pick and choose which parts of it to believe.
It's clearly rooted in a hoax, but the misinformation spun out of control from there -- with some believers clinging to the theory even after claim after claim was debunked.
These people have lost their families and friends as they allowed Q to consume their lives.