‘All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities.’
Frank Herbert, Dune
Many of us want to be led. As children we look to our parents to protect us, to soothe our fears, to relieve us of responsibility. As adults we seek the same protection – we want powerful leaders, leaders who appear fearless and resilient.
Our narcissistic culture also demands that our leaders are charismatic, self-assured, and eloquent – we want leaders who can perform on the world stage.
And so trustingly, time after time, we relinquish our power to those grandiose individuals who covet high office, unaware that their determination – their sheer, dogged, winner-takes-all ambition, their superficial charm and seductiveness – may suggest that many are psychologically unsuited to these roles.
These individuals form a psychologically distinct minority group; although their numbers are limited, their reach is extensive, and the destruction they can cause is immeasurable.
Yet while their lies and manipulations, their recklessness and their lack of remorse can make them appear insane, most are not; the more highly functioning thrive in professions and corporations that value the opportunistic and the ruthless. Their ‘madness’ – such as it is – lies in their lack of conscience; their absolute freedom from ethical constraints. These disturbed and disturbing souls are more fittingly characterised as morally insane.
Take heed. The global influence of many of these high-profile individuals is growing. Together they have been forming grandiose plans. They will vaccinate the entire world. They will block out the sun. They will Build Back Better.
We don’t imagine that psychopaths might be politicians.
So, we blind ourselves, as many abused children do, to the reality of what our leaders are asking of us. When they separate us from our loved ones, suffocate us with masks, inject us with experimental vaccines, remove our civil liberties, crash our economy, close our schools, harm our children and lock us up ‘for our own good’, we justify their behaviour; we accept their lies and their attempts to control us. We reassure ourselves that they are keeping us safe.
We also look to the media for reassurance – to journalists and ‘public health experts’ to inform and guide us, to put our nascent feelings into words, to do our thinking for us. We may suspend our critical judgement in our desire for ‘news’ and reliable ‘facts’. And so we overlook the scandals, the cover-ups, diversions and corruption; we absorb their distortions and propaganda; the artfully conceived scapegoats that keep our hatreds focused elsewhere and our society divided. We may fail to notice the relentless construction of a world that benefits the predator class.
We don’t imagine that psychopaths might be journalists.
So, we heed their warnings about the virus, which accord with those of our leaders. Though they might confuse us with their reporting of ‘cases’ and ‘positive tests’ and ‘hospitalisations’ – with their graphs and statistics and relative risks – we are reassured that the message is a simple one: that the jab will be our route to freedom; that our vaccine rollout is the fastest; that our NHS is the finest in the world: clap clap clap clap clap!
And we probably believe, if we give it any thought at all, that the pharmaceutical industry develops products that relieve suffering and save lives. We are unaware of the institutional corruption; the crimes that have led to millions of deaths and adverse reactions, the billions paid in health fraud settlements; the flagrant distortions of the medical literature; the falsified trials, the targeting of whistle blowers.
We don’t imagine that psychopaths produce vaccines.
For we dare not imagine that we have been entrapped by an unaccountable psychopathic elite who have subverted our democracies; have captured and undermined our institutions; have caused economic devastation the world over; have spawned a global mental health crisis which will reverberate for generations.
We dare not imagine. And so terrorised by fear and shame and relentless propaganda, we fall back on the protection of our psychopathic programmers: far easier to accept their virus narrative, to play the game, to submit, than to acknowledge our protectors’ abuse.
Closing ranks against outsiders we huddle together in our virtual pens; we relinquish our autonomy, we disregard our intuition – our primitive, essential wisdom – and accept the increasingly infantilised role that the pathocracy has created for us. We visit our doctor and accept our jab and we are rewarded with a sticker.
And although others warn us that the testing regime is flawed; that the deaths are misreported; that the vaccine is unsafe; they cannot penetrate our defences. How they enrage us when they disturb our illusions! When they try to force open our blinded eyes! ‘Wake up’ they plead, but we are not sleeping; ‘think!’ they cry, as if we cannot hear.
They don’t know – nor yet do we – that we are shielding ourselves from an existential threat more overwhelming to us than any virus, using the only weapon we have in our wretched armoury: denial.
Because deep down, deep deep down, we do know, we do know and we’ve known all along about the danger we are in, but we ignored the warnings of our inner compass, we ignored the red flags and the brutality and the glaring inconsistencies.
We shielded ourselves from the horror of acknowledging that we are powerless and vulnerable and totally alone in an indifferent Universe. And because a life of servitude seemed preferable to one of existential terror, we collaborated with our oppressors.
We stayed safe.
Andrea Halewood isa Chartered psychologist/psychodynamic psychotherapist and a former lecturer & researcher in counselling psychology.
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