My Mother Thinks Bill Gates Is Trying to Kill Us All

And now she wants me to “respect her beliefs.”

Shannon Ashley
Apr 10 · 11 min read
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Photographer: Michelle Andonian | From the Henry Ford Museum “Collecting Innovation Today” interview with Bill Gates by OnInnovation | Used with permission

Poor Bill Gates. I mean, obviously not poor Bill Gates, but have you ever looked at his Twitter account? Recently, he announced some of his thoughts about coronavirus along with his efforts to create a vaccine.

The responses are mostly… livid. Comment after comment of Twitter users accusing Gates of being this very evil, super bad dude. We’re talking an epic villain of comic book proportions. Most of the comments are referencing a particularly widespread conspiracy theory about Bill (and Melinda) Gates. One that claims they aspire to commit genocide.

So, um, yeah. Poor Bill Gates.

And the comments?

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The whispers (or shouts) of Bill Gates conspiracy theories go on and on. Honestly, I can’t even imagine what it would be like to wake up to constant accusations of depopulation scheme (in this case, code for genocide).

The fervor of these folks reminds me an awful lot of my own mother and her conspiracy theories.


Actually, I made the mistake of mentioning Bill Gates to my mother the other day. We’d been talking about the coronavirus and I wanted to mention just a bit of a bright spot in this whole pandemic thing.

I respect the fact that Gates is using his wealth to look for a solution, whether or not it pans out. Frankly, I hope he is successful. This pandemic is enough of a nightmare that I want the whole fucking world working on solutions. The more research, the better.

My mom, however, does not agree. As it turns out, the first mistake I made was to even mention Bill Gates at all.

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As I read my mom’s response, I was kicking myself because I should have known where this conversation would go.

Well played, Mother. She’s using a bit of my own verbiage at me, like when I tell her that I don’t want to argue but I’m not going to listen to the dreams she claims “God sends her” to tell me my daughter is in danger.

In case you missed it, my mom holds a number of conspiracy theories close to her heart, including the notion that the American government has singled her out for radiation torture over the past five years or so.

Before you write her off just as another kooky old lady, however, you should know that she’s also not one to be trifled with. Back in my early twenties, when my sister was battling drug addiction, our mom chose to get child protective services involved before anyone else. And she set off a chain of events that could never be undone.

I warned her when she first talked about getting child protection involved. “There are other ways to get her help,” I said. But she went ahead with her feelings and called child protection. And she didn’t just report the things she’d seen with her own eyes. She reported her “hunches” too, which generally always include sexual abuse.

Ironically, when my sister lost custody of her four kids, our mom also had them removed from her life. They were sent off to another state to live with their other grandma, and in recent years it’s become clear that all four kids suffered abuse in that home.

(I should also note that my sister won a case against the county and it was determined that the investigator didn’t follow protocol. He was essentially on a witch hunt, taking action without evidence. As a result, she obtained a set aside and her eldest daughter is now living with her after more than a decade of separation.)

My mom thought she was the ultimate victim in the entire investigation. When her grandchildren were sent away, she sank into a deep depression and claimed that “life was not worth living.” That she was just waiting for Jesus to take her home.

I was still young enough back then to feel like I needed a mom. She quit being a mother to me, however. Since she felt she had no reason to live or celebrate another holiday, I had to find my own way.

Among estrangement from my older sister while she battled drug addiction, the death of my estranged father, and the new temperament of my mother, I felt like an orphan.

When I dared to voice the pain I felt to my mother, and how much it hurt to hear her say she had no reason to live, she called me a lot of terrible names. Mainly, she said that I was jealous and selfish and crazy.

At one point, she decided I was demon-posessed. That there was something deeply wrong with me… all because I wanted to celebrate a holiday or get a scrap of attention from her even though my nieces and nephew were out of state.


Just a few years ago when I moved from Minnesota to Tennessee with my then two-and-a-half year old, my mom began to say my daughter was being molested. Well, she didn’t say it in so many words.

First, she accused me of moving my daughter away from her so I could live my “sinful lifestyle.” Then, after we’d been there for a few months, she claimed God was sending her dreams.

In one email, she used lots of exclamation points and capital letters to tell me to “wake up.” My mom said that I was going to have to answer to God for allowing bad men around my daughter.

In reality? There were literally no men in my or my daughter’s life, just an occasional visit with her dad.

I drew up some boundaries with my mom back then and told her that it wasn’t okay to make baseless accusations that my daughter was being abused.

No more emails about her supposedly prophetic dreams.


Almost instantly, that brief text exchange with my mother about Bill Gates triggered something in me. I don’t usually type in all caps to anyone, especially not to my mom.

But her messages instantly perturbed me. And they were clear. Don’t try to talk about it.

At almost 40 years old, I still flinch when my mother announces to me that a conversation is over. I still flinch when I know she thinks the worst of me.

I am routinely put into a place where I have to explain fake news to my mother, but when it comes to actual conspiracy theories, there is nothing I can say to get her to consider any other possibility.

So, I let it go and messaged my sister instead.

“Omg mom just made me so angry,” I said in a burst of frustration.

“Omg. What did she do? She pissed me off earlier this week too.”

I told her about our short conversation and complained that accusing Bill Gates of creating vaccines for chemical warfare and murder isn’t a belief to be respected. It’s misinformation. It’s fear.

“I know it wasn’t personal but it pissed me off so much that she wouldn’t even talk or listen,” I vented.

And considering how often our mom has called us “possessed” or claimed that we’re going to be “left behind with the rapture,” both my sister and I know exactly how pushy she is about her beliefs.

My sister then went on to tell me about her most recent chat with Mom. Apparently, our mom complained about a red bracelet my sister and her husband each wear. It’s meaningful to them and based on a Chinese proverb. Our mom equated it to some “false religion” and told my sister that Jesus is upset she’s wearing it and that’s why she’s sick.

You see… my sister just wrapped up treatment for her second bout of cancer, and then she recently developed pancreatitis and pneumonia.

And our mom decided to tell her that she’s sick because she wears an evil bracelet.

She wasn’t done, though.

Our mom then went on to talk about my eldest niece, who recently moved in with my sister. She had the nerve to tell my sister that her soon-to-be son-in-law will probably contract coronavirus and my niece “will suffer and be punished since he is Jewish.”

It’s the kind of thing our mom likes to say that shouldn’t even shock us because we know her, yet it’s still horrifying every damn time.

“I told her to never speak like that again to me, and she said, ‘well those poor kids aren’t going to make it.’”

My sister explained she hasn’t spoken to our mom since that exchange and I don’t blame her.

She’s not maternal, she’s exhausting.


Honestly, I don’t know when I’m going to talk to my mom again. I suppose I’ll just go back to responding politely, but it will be rare for me to reach out.

At least for a while.

It’s not great for my mental health to keep going back to that place where every conversation with my mother leaves me feeling alone, unheard, or cast aside. It’s honestly exhausting trying to sit through all of the conspiracy theories she believes in. Listening to that shit can leave you feeling suffocated and oddly oppressed as if truth is not allowed.

Like I told my sister, the insistence that Bill Gates is going to create a fake coronavirus “vaccine” for the purpose of population control is not a legitimate belief. I don’t think I owe it to my mother to nod my head and “respect her beliefs… which are doing more harm than good.

For years now, there have been these rumors that Bill Gates is out to get people. Don’t get me wrong--I think there are valid questions and criticism about Gates and his habit of subsidizing corporations to help the poor in ways that also help the rich. On the other hand, there’s the argument that the overall goal is to encourage more philanthropy on a larger scale. Only time will tell how effective his methods really are.

But the depopulation rumor is a big one and it could quickly become more problematic in a world that desperately needs a COVID-19 vaccine.

My mother believes that years ago, she watched “secret meetings” where Bill Gates talked about using vaccines and immunizations as a tool to reduce the population of an already too-large world. Not just my mom but countless others have interpreted his statements to mean that children are receiving shots meant to kill them.

All because the world has too many people.

It’s interesting how when some people hear folks discuss the realities of overpopulation, all they seem to think about is conspiracy and murder. As Snopes has plainly explained, Bill Gates thinks we can reduce population growth by reducing childhood mortality. Gates has found reason to believe that when kids have a real chance at a long life and safe future, parents typically have fewer children, not more.

It might seem counterintuitive, but it’s hardly diabolical. Love him or hate him, Bill Gates is not some evil genius looking for ways to kill you.


Media Matters for America did a nice and timely writeup on everything that’s happened within the past month or so to give the old rumors new life lately. It’s frightening, though, to think that a significant faction of Americans could be so opposed to tracking the coronavirus and creating vaccines, because their hesitancy will only cost more lives.

My mother believes within her heart and soul that Bill Gates is working on a fake COVID-19 vaccine that is basically going to become the “mark of the beast.” She is not alone in the belief that taking such a vaccine will bar her from entry into heaven.

“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number [is] Six hundred threescore [and] six.”

Revelation 13:16 - 13:18

Bible verses like these have led some folks to constantly look for a conspiracy about what the “mark of the beast” might be.

For a long time, it’s been anything to do with the number 666. People today continue to change their address and phone numbers with that unfortunate combination of digits.

At one point, the mark of the beast was supposedly the bar code. These days, it’s a microchip.

And the coronavirus has certainly added fuel to the fire.

Despite this being a global pandemic, a faction of folks have found reason to believe that the virus is a means of control. Like the Virginia minster who called it all a hoax on Facebook and was dead within two weeks from COVID-19.

His family never even got to say goodbye.

Tragically, this is the sort of damage such conspiracy theories do. They prevent people from making educated and healthy choices in favor of following their fears.

People like my mother and others who believe that Bill Gates want to depopulate the globe through Trojan horse vaccines are often the same people who who downplay science and reason. They claim that the media has made us afraid of COVID-19 (and irrationally so), while they fear eternal damnation for getting tricked into taking a vaccine. There is a deep fear of being “controlled” by the media, the government, and the secular world. And it’s a fear that gets in the way of all reason.

One of the worst things about a pandemic is that it gives people a hook for all of their fears.

“See, I told you that the mark of the beast was coming.” That’s what my mother says, even though the experts and secular world that’s been warning us about a possible pandemic for years.

Certain people just keep waiting for the next tragedy to hook their next conspiracy onto.

Is there an answer to the madness? I don’t even know. I’ve been fighting the insanity for as long as I can remember within my own family. It’s all I can do to hope that the realities of this virus (like 18,000 US deaths in 6 weeks) will eventually help folks realize this isn’t a hoax, nor demonic plot to trick them into adopting “the mark of the beast.”

Though I suppose I also won’t be holding my breath.

In the meantime, I am definitely holding onto hope that somebody will develop an effective vaccine.

Honestly Yours

Here's the landing pad for my new and self-published…

Shannon Ashley

Written by

Single mama, full-time writer, ex-vangelical. It's not about being flawless, it's about being honest. Top Writer.

Honestly Yours

Here's the landing pad for my new and self-published stories without another home.

Shannon Ashley

Written by

Single mama, full-time writer, ex-vangelical. It's not about being flawless, it's about being honest. Top Writer.

Honestly Yours

Here's the landing pad for my new and self-published stories without another home.

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