A few weeks ago, three friends on Facebook told me that they wished for my death.
One of them I didn’t really know. He freaked out when I calmly suggested there were viable treatment options for those with Covid. He responded: “Stay out of my life!! I hope you get Covid and die!”
The other two friends were people I knew in college 45 years ago, one was my freshman year roommate, and the other guy introduced me to my first wife. He suggested that I prove Darwin’s theory and perish from the virus, the other just basically said I deserved what was coming as a selfish unvaccinated science-denier.
Covid’s willing executioners.
I know Facebook is certainly not the ideal place for reasonable discourse. As a psychologist, however, I do find it an interesting sample of a certain extreme way of thinking and behaving.
I also believe my experience with “friends” wishing for my demise is not unusual amongst those on that side of the fence in this debate. At least not unusual in thought.
As we all know, Facebook is the place of no inhibition. However, that said, I do believe it is a grave concern that human beings can be manipulated into this dark manner of thinking and feeling.
The operative word here is “manipulate.”
I do have faith, that for the most part, human beings have evolved from a cave mentality when confronting “other” in the culture. In cave days our psychology was programmed for survival, and it didn’t take much coercion to view members from another tribe that wandered into territory that was not their own to be immediately met with suspicion and fear.
Today, many thousands of years later, I think it takes a bit of manipulation to view “other” as fatally dangerous—but not much coercion, so it seems.
In this regard it appears we have lost any scintilla of common sense. How can a government (or more likely an even higher organization of authority) convince the masses so easily that the unvaccinated are the mortal enemy with not a whiff of science in the argument? This clearly is a case of the emperor’s new clothes, but it isn’t going to take only a small innocent child’s exaltation that the emperor is naked to make everyone see what is true.
Why is this?
I’m afraid it is human nature — at least a small part of human nature — that these days needs a little coercion to come out in full bloom. For me, as a psychologist, it is more proof that there is an organized agenda, a “psyop” if you will, driving this whole debacle. When humans are put into this sort of psychological environment, their reaction is very predictable.
A friend of mine, Dr. Mark McDonald, who is a prominent psychiatrist and has a very prestigious practice in California, told me this in a recent conversation:
“Pandemic of the unvaccinated” has emerged as an expression of propaganda meant to provoke anger toward those who exercise medical choice in deferring or refusing the experimental vaccine. It is meant to isolate, shame, and humiliate anyone who will not agree to surrender medical autonomy to the state. It intentionally divides Americans against one another while simultaneously distracting attention from the medical reality of poor vaccine efficacy and vaccine harm. The expression is devoid of scientific meaning but full of coercive psychological power. It must be challenged.
Again, we see this idea of “coercive psychological power” come up in Dr. McDonald’s comment. Propaganda and the manipulation of the masses has been a key tenet in totalitarian regimes. Pitting person against person is of utmost importance to having control over the masses. Even in Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984, the opposition to the state was created by the state to keep the masses distracted, or so it is implied.
I am reminded of the Stanford Prison Experiment as well as Milgram’s obedience studies at Yale. Milgram set up an experiment where a subject, someone who did not know the parameters of the experiment, was in control of administering an electric shock to the “learner” if he/she failed to answer certain questions correctly.
The “learner” was also “in” on the experiment and in fact received no shocks. The authority figure egging on the subject was also, of course, “in” on the experiment and played the role of authority that the subject had to succumb to. “Just following orders” is the phrase that immediately comes to mind.
The current phenomenon regarding the persecution of the unvaccinated has some correlation with this experiment in that people, when pressured by the “mainstream authority or narrative,” tend to have little or no connection with a natural empathy toward the group identified as “other” (the unvaccinated).
The subjects in Milgram’s experiment consistently detached from the learner’s pain and tended to dissociate from them as fellow humans. They ceased to see them as in the same tribe as themselves; they were quickly reclassified as “other.”
The difference in the results of this experiment and the current situation is that “other” (the “learner”) posed no threat to the subject in Milgram’s experiment. He or she was just disobedient to authority, i.e., was not doing correctly what authority demanded him/her to do.
Now, in our present situation, the vaccinated are convinced by authority that the unvaccinated are in fact a threat (as well as not being obedient to the parental agenda). Authority is doing this through any means available to them, and it makes no difference if these means have even the slightest scientific truth to them (they say of course it is all scientific, but with further scrutiny, it certainly is not).
We saw this early on with the mask compliance. Those wearing masks were identified as one particular tribe: the “good” tribe who possessed community values. Those not wearing masks, or complaining about them, were the other tribe: the bad tribe, who were selfish, stupid, and science deniers. (to paraphrase Orwell’s sheep in Animal Farm: “four legs good (mask), two legs bad (no masks)”).
Now this effort of segregation and persecution has moved to the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. It is not the “right” science that will disintegrate this tribal conflict: it is a psycho-social issue, not a pragmatic objective one.
In a recent Charles Eisenstein article “Mob Morality and the Unvaxxed” he states:
My point is that those in the scientific and medical community who dissent from the demonization of the unvaxxed contend not only with opposing scientific views, but with ancient, powerful psycho-social forces. They can debate the science all they want, but they are up against something much bigger.
Daniel Goldhagen’s book, Hitler’s Willing Executioners (from which this article’s title is derived) presents a thesis that the persecution of the Jews in Hitler’s Germany was not only an exercise of obedience to Hitler’s ideology but was the result of a long history of German antisemitism. This very well could be true, but in my opinion this historic antisemitism was only the hook which made it easier for Hitler to hang his ideology.
Today’s willing executioners do not need a history of racial discrimination to hang their hatred of anti-vaxxers, but instead rely on a simple identification of “other” (unvaccinated) and a hatred for those who “don’t care about me, or those that I love.” The key common denominator it seems is the common concept of caring for others before caring for yourself, which, ironically, is clearly not the true psychological operator in this situation.
These people seem to care far more for themselves and their own safety (and their opinion) than they do for the rights and freedoms (and safety) of others — take the jab to save me, never mind you might die or get sick in the process.
So what we are actually experiencing is “normal” — normal from the perspective that human beings have the innate capability of being all sorts of ugly things, particularly when gathered in crowds: tribes.
If coerced and manipulated in a particular way, as has happened countless times in world history, they can become unconscious, irrational, nonempathic, monsters. I will close with a paragraph from another excellent article by author CJ Hopkins (which can be found in its entirety on Off-Guardian’s website) “The Approaching Storm”:
Thus, their plan is to make our lives as miserable as possible, to segregate us, stigmatize us, demonize us, bully, and harass us, and pressure us to conform at every turn.
They are not going to put us on the trains to the camps. GloboCap is not the Nazis. They need to maintain the simulation of democracy.
So, they need to transform us into an underclass of “anti-social conspiracy theorists,” “anti-vaxxer disinformationists,” “white-supremacist election-result deniers,” “potentially violent domestic extremists,” and whatever other epithets they come up with, so that we can be painted as dangerously unhinged freaks and cast out of society in a way that makes it appear that we have cast out ourselves.