The young man stares in disbelief as he reads the words. Confused how this happened, he thinks to himself. How? Why? For all his logic and reasoning he cannot begin to find where he ideas come from that he is reading. In a moment he is looking up statistics, trying to verify the information's authenticity.
There's nothing. Was there something he missed? Something recent? A journal unread that uphold the claims? Confused, he shakes his head and wonders what led people to write this. Reservedly, he decides to simply ask. Better than being left in the dark. So he writes in and waits.
Time goes by and no response, yet the statistic he's seen is repeated again and again until it seems all know it, yet no one know where it came from. He writes in again, where did it come from? What journal? What is the source? This time a response asserts it is common knowledge. Happy to see a response, he begins explaining that he wrote in before, yet a volume of vitriol is his return.
Confused. He walks away before responding, taking a breather. Perhaps it is just an emotional subject for the person responding; attempting to tread carefully, he apologizes for any offense, but makes his point clear. Asserting the claims that have been printed over and over again must have a reliable source and methodology. His attempts to explain this clearly seem to be failing as the words returned once again attack his character. Once again confused, he asks if it's okay to show this conversation to people, in a hatefilled response, permission is granted.
So he writes. And he writes a post and published it, explaining his search, anonymizing and displaying the emails without edits. Throughout his article he attempts to make it clear that he is only wants to know the truth, and whether or not acting upon the information presented is justified. Both introduction and conclusion firmly state this, his search for the truth is the only reason he is posting, at the end he asks for anyone, anyone at all to provide a source.
Within days his words are slapped across headlines, his article cherry picked to present a narrative not present in the original article. The words being placed into his mouth are sickening to him. The notifications to his mailbox and other outlets are filled with anger. Yet none step forward to answer his claim. All seem happy to cite him as an opponent to a great cause, his confusion only magnified as it's blown more and more out of proportion.
All he wanted was the truth. Yet his words became the lies told.