I am pissed.
I’ve been angry before about all this nonsense, but never this angry. I know that’s a weakness, and I will work hard to calm down, but I just want to vent.
Why am I mad? I seem to have a very short fuse with people who show no humility, no ability to consider different viewpoints, and hold firm on their own biased position with anger, arrogance, belligerence, and a “holier than thou” moral attitude. I have a short fuse with people who do not recognize expertise in others and show intense disrespect for opposing positions. I have a short fuse with nasty people.
So what’s new? Right from the beginning with all this Covid insanity I noticed that very few people “on that side of the fence” were calm about it all. I felt like I was the little chicken peep who believed the sky was falling and in his excited exuberance scampered about the farm, believing he was being a great help, and screaming to all he ran into, “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!!” I thought people would embrace me, “Oh my, really? Tell me what you know!!”
That was then. I am no longer chicken little, but I do occasionally say things to friends (who are unfortunately sheep) where the response is an incredulous, “What?? What did you say??” Oops.
What prompted this article was just a situation like this. A very close friend who has been in my inner circle for forty years and whom I consider one of my dearest brothers, is very clearly on the other side of the Covid tracks. We have made an agreement that we will only talk about music, cats, funny dogs, and maybe a squirrel story now and then. Invariably he will break this promise with subtle, rather passive aggressive, comments, like, “Can you believe people are still complaining about the vaccine?” Now why did he go and do that? I am pretty good with keeping the “don’t talk about it” promise, but when he breaks it himself, I can’t stay silent. So…I replied with, “Just curious, do you know that the vaccines don’t work? That all they have been jacked up to be has fallen flat?”
Well…the argument that ensued was not pretty. The thing that gets my goat is not that he disagrees (which is indeed stupid, but I can overlook that) but that he gets belligerent about it. It is that “What??? What did you say??” attitude and he then takes the opportunity to send me a text questioning what I really believe about all this, like a competency test you would take to get a job, or a cognitive functioning test to keep your driver’s license. When I said what I said that got him going it was as if I had said there were two moons that circled the earth, or that water boiled at 10° C, or something equally preposterous. This makes me angry, and after I get through my anger, I start to question my friend’s sanity (and I am sure he is questioning mine.) Which one of us is crazy? Well, I do know water boils at 100° C, so I know I have at least some objective awareness. And I don’t expect him to agree with me, I only expect him to allow me to state an opinion without questioning my sanity.
I have found this odd rigidity in people (sheep) right from the beginning, and it is, to me, probably the most perplexing part about all of this. No one discusses anything—I would be happy with a heated argument even, but this rigid “you are just insane” position regarding the issues is itself insane.
Mattias Desmet, a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Ghent in Belgium, recently coined the phrase “mass formation psychosis” as an explanation for much that I have been writing about here. He explains his discovery: “I started to really think about what psychological dynamic or processes could be responsible for this lack of openness of mind in a situation. And it took me several months…to really, in my opinion, hit the nail and to suddenly see that what we were dealing with was a large scale phenomenon of mass formation, of what is called mass formation (psychosis.)” He claims that four societal criteria must be met to see the phenomenon emerge in the culture. The first is that a lot of people experience very little social bond; the second is that many see life as pointless and meaningless. The third is that many have a sort of “free-floating anxiety” and psychological discontent. The last condition is a compulsion toward aggression and frustration. If all four of these criteria are met in a culture, it will create a mass psychosis, an inability to see nuance, subtlety and “grey.” Desmet explains it best:
People suddenly feel connected again in a heroic struggle with the object of anxiety. So a new kind of solidarity, a new kind of social bond and a new kind of meaning making sense, making emerges in society. And that’s the reason why people follow the narrative, why people buy into the narrative and why they are willing to participate in this strategy, even if it is utterly absurd. Because the reason why they follow it has nothing to do with the fact that it is correct or accurate or scientific. Not at all. The reason why they buy into the narrative is because it leads to this new social bond. This new solidarity. People are social beings and being socially isolated is really painful. And through the process of mass formation they switch from the very negative state of social isolation to the opposite state of maximal connectedness, of the maximum connectedness, that exists in a crowd in a mass. And that in itself leads up to a kind of mental intoxication which is the real reason why people stick to the narrative, why people are willing to go along with the narrative, even as we said, if it is utterly wrong and even more important, even if they lose everything that is important to them personally. Because mass formation is a kind of hypnosis. And just like in hypnosis, the attention is focused on this very small part of reality that is indicated by the story. And just like in hypnosis, people are not aware of everything that happens mentally outside of this small focus of attention.
I am a psychotherapist and in my early years of training I was acutely interested in cult psychology. What Desmet describes here is very similar to the psychology of people caught in a cult. There is a central focus on the cult leader, the cult’s tenets and beliefs, with very little, if any, integration of information outside the cult.
From an article found on the internet (Mass Formation Psychosis. The Madness of Crowds. And The End Of Progressive America) here is a further explanation:
As mass formation progresses, the group becomes increasingly bonded and connected. Their field of attention is narrowed and they become unable to consider alternative points of view. Leaders of the movement are revered, unable to do no wrong. Left unabated, a society under the spell of mass formation will support a totalitarian governance structure capable of otherwise unthinkable atrocities in order to maintain compliance.
I am an amateur scholar of Russian and Soviet history (as well as the history of National Socialism in Germany in the mid 1900s). Although it is a popular thought that the general populations under these powerful totalitarian regimes wanted desperately to get out, nothing could be further from the truth. These cultures are good examples of mass formation psychosis—again, very much the dynamic of a cult.
The rigidity I have described here with friends and other “members of the normie class” can also be found in articles, newscasts, and speeches from politicians. I have found again a strange arrogance in these situations—a refusal or even inability (as if under a hypnotic spell) to see different perspectives or entertain contrary thought. Desmet makes a point to say that not only will the general populace be “under the spell” but the leaders are also affected, which explains why so much we see from them seems so out of left field. I am not so sure if I agree with this, as it would make them largely unconscious of their actions and intentions, but it does explain some of their bizarre behavior.
We see then a huge effort to censor information contrary to the mainstream narrative. Efforts to belittle the opposition to the narrative by discrediting, destroying reputations, etc. The greater mystery is not these efforts themselves, but why people (sheep, see my article on Sheep and Shrew) are so quickly taken in by them.
In an article I found about mass formation psychosis I read this about the prominent scientist Robert Malone who is credited with the invention (or at least leading the team in the invention) of the mRNA technology that is responsible for the science behind the Covid-19 “vaccines.” Malone’s credentials are not fiction, and anyone with this sort of achievement in their history is an uber-scientist in my book. This is what I ran across:
Malone appeared on Joe Rogan’s Spotify podcast shortly after being permanently booted from Twitter last week for “repeated violations” of their Covid-19 misinformation policy. And if you look at some of the outrageous, unscientific things that are said on social media in general, it typically takes a fair amount of “pseudosciencing” to get booted in this manner.
Really? How can “pseudoscience” and Robert Malone even be uttered in the same paragraph? It seems to me that our world has been flooded with the most ignorant form of arrogance imaginable. With just a few unsubstantiated words some third class journalist can wipe out an entire career of highly educated and skilled practice of science just because it doesn’t fit his ignorant, uneducated, moronic views. Views that are either shoved down his throat by some authoritarian agenda, or just formulated on his own due to his inability to think for himself and come up with critically sound conclusions. What have we come to?
Yes, I am making an assumption about Dr. Malone. I am making an assumption that he got to where he is in life due to the achievements he has obtained through his work as a scientist. My assumption is that his accomplishments came about because he is smart, capable of critical thought and logic reasoning, and is highly educated. If true, and I assume it is, he deserves respect, and a careful consideration of what he has to say. Yes, he may be wrong, but his “wrongness” is still carefully thought out, and still based on solid robust science. He would not be wrong because he is an idiot, or has suddenly become a pseudoscience-spouting moron.
This is one of many articles that illustrate one of the serious problems we are facing today. There is a wholesale disregard for any opposing thought to the mainstream narrative. Why aren’t sheep calling Fauci a “pseudoscientist”? Or any of the other minions in white coats that call themselves objective scientists? In my opinion it is because they are a part of the authoritarian regime and are operators in this nefarious agenda. Do I give them the same professional respect I am suggesting we all give to those out there similar to Malone? Actually I do, but I have seldom heard anything coming out of their mouths that is scientific. It seems “that side” only lambasts our side as the foundation of their point. I really have never heard any scientific debate coming from the likes of Fauci. Have you? Send me a link. If he has, it is simplistic babbling aimed at a five-year-old mentality. Generally it can easily be debated. (Here is a typical Fauci scientific statement: “masks will protect you from Covid.”)
I feel better. Just a little; I am not as angry. Thank you for reading.
I have always hoped that one day I could see these rigid people simply as people suffering from some sort of mental condition—as Mattias Desmet says, a mass formation psychosis. But there is so much at stake here. I slip into anger far too often. I am also tired of the constant barrage of “you are the crazy one, you are the science denier, you are the one that can’t see the truth.” Being hit with that projection in nearly every encounter with sheep friends and family, our human tendency is to start identifying with the projection. This can be wildly confusing and at times disorienting—thus the tendency to become enraged.
There are so many lessons to be learned during this crisis—so many growth opportunities. We must always strive to be the best we can be, both physically and spiritually. I have a feeling we have a long way to go with this, and an even longer time to repair the damage. Love, of course, is the only salve that will heal these types of wounds.