Designs V2- The Orchid – Insanity www.gndesigns.net
CONSPIRACY THEORY AND THE SOFT GULAG
One particularly vile aspect of totalitarian systems is the abuse of psychiatry. In China today, dissidents may be labeled mentally ill and consigned to psychiatric hospitals. Once swallowed up by the mental health system, they can be subjected to electric shock ‘therapy’ and incapacitating drugs, as well as the psychological assault of being confined with the mentally ill – indefinitely, since a ‘diagnosis’ is not a sentence and has no term. In the Soviet Union, political dissidents and artists who failed to bow the knee were also punished in this way. A famous example was the poet Joseph Brodsky, who was eventually released to the West after a widespread campaign. Less well-known figures had no such life-line and remained consigned to this hellish form of incarceration.
The diagnosis invented for the purpose of interning dissidents, whistle-blowers, petition-signers and the like was so-called ‘sluggish schizophrenia’. I suppose the implication of ‘sluggish’ was that the symptoms of this ‘schizophrenia’ would only manifest themselves gradually, unlike the real disease, where onset would be rapid and dramatic. It could then be claimed that early symptoms included political paranoia, even while the sufferer seemed completely rational in every other way.
Totalitarian governments use psychiatry to create a second, secret gulag, as the state seeks to control every aspect of the individual’s life, and the nature of reality itself becomes a matter of centraliSed edict.
In the West, using its ‘conspiracy theorist’ stereotype, the state has relied on psychological conditioning rather than psychiatric coercion, progressively setting up a soft, social gulag, an open prison for those who dissent from state-approved versions of reality. More recently, however, our governments have moved towards totalitarian ‘hard gulag’ models of psychiatric abuse. While countries such as China, Uzbekistan and Cuba continue to incarcerate their citizens in psychiatric wards for thought-crime, similar cases are beginning to be seen in the West, along with foreshadowings of the whole range of totalitarian methods of control.
At a 2004 meeting between the World Psychiatric Association and the Chinese Society of Psychiatrists, a joint statement was issuing saying that the CSP had co-operated in a three-year investigation of alleged psychiatric abuse of Falun Gong members who were sent to Chinese psychiatric hospitals and clinics. The CSP’s investigation had uncovered instances in which some Chinese psychiatrists ‘failed to distinguish between spiritual-cultural beliefs and delusions, as a result of which persons were misdiagnosed and mistreated.’
While the statement was welcomed as an unprecedented acknowledgement of human rights abuses in China, it is a ‘limited hang-out’. It is not in fact an acknowledgement of abuse, but the old incompetence defence. The doctors, it says, ‘failed to distinguish between spiritual-cultural beliefs and delusions’. The statement attributed these unfortunate lapses to “lack of training and professional skills of some psychiatrists rather than [to] systematic abuse of psychiatry.”
Psychiatric coercion forms only one plank of the Chinese state’s persecution of the Falun Gong, which draws on Buddhism, Taoism and Chinese medicine and views itself as much as a new form of science as a new religion. It is widespread, and vocal. It clearly frightens the Chinese government, which banned it after ten thousand Falun Gong practitioners protested in silence outside the headquarters of the Communist Party of China. In the hypocritical West, meanwhile, corporate governments reveal their own fear of dissent and exposure through their persecution of principled and articulate individuals.
In New Zealand in 2009, a political activist and writer for Uncensored Magazine, Clare Swinney, received death threats after publishing an article entitled ‘Why Does TVNZ [Television New Zealand] Lie to us about 9/11?’, which cited evidence that the US government was involved in the September 2001 attacks. She also brought a complaint to the Broadcasting Standards Authority alleging that the television station’s claim that Osama Bin Laden carried out the attacks was an outright lie. A few days later she was taken into psychiatric custody by social workers and police officers, who told her that they were acting on a tip-off from a relative that Swinney might be suicidal. At Northland Base Hospital in Whangarei she was diagnosed as delusional, and it soon became apparent that the only reason she was being held was her belief that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated by criminal elements within the US government. This diagnosis is illegal under New Zealand law, where section 4 of the New Zealand Mental Heath Act states that no one can be judged to be mentally ill solely on the basis of their political beliefs. The psychiatrists at Whangerei refused to look at evidence – Swinney’s well-researched published articles – that her beliefs were rationally held. Instead, the chief psychiatrist, Dr Carlos Zubaran, held to his diagnosis of a delusional disorder for the duration of Swinney’s incarceration, from which she was only able to extricate herself after eleven days.
Also in 2009, Jane Burgermeister, an editor at a medical journal based in Vienna, exposed the apparent attempt by the Baxter Corporation to trigger a deadly flu pandemic in Europe by distributing 72 kilos of vaccine material contaminated with live human and avian flu viruses in circumstances which cannot have been accidental. For humans, avian flu is deadly but rarely contagious. Human flu is rarely lethal but highly contagious. A reassortment of genes would likely have created a global pandemic on the scale of the 1918 ‘Spanish’ flu. Disaster was only averted due to the vigilance of Czech lab technicians. Burgermeister proceeded to file legal charges against Baxter and publicize the issue to great effect, but was soon subjected to a terrifying legal assault by the Austrian government which sought to portray her as ‘a dangerous conspiracy theorist’ and strip her of all civic rights and assets. Ten days before her court appearance, Burgermeister wrote:
This Sachwalterschaftsverfahren or court guardianship is usually used for extremely elderly people who are diagnosed as senile, and means you give all your rights to the court.
But it seems such a court guardianship can also be used to eliminate any critic of the Austrian government or of vaccines because there is absolutely no control over what judges put in files.
The government clearly decided to make the fake charges look like they were filed by my “supporters”. But what these charges really are supposed to do is leave the impression I am an hysterical and potentially dangerous conspiracy theorist who has to be confined to a mental institute.
All internet postings by Burgermeister cease from the point of her court appearance on August 12th 2010.
In 2014 a British soldier, Vivian Cunningham of the Irish Guards based in Aldershot, Hampshire, was committed to psychiatric hospital for informing a superior officer that a warrant had been issued by the International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State for the arrest of Queen Elizabeth II in connection with child abduction and trafficking in Canada. Another British citizen named David Compan, who supported the ITCCS campaign to hold the British monarchy accountable for its genocidal crimes against native peoples in Canada, was imprisoned and sedated in Charing Cross Hospital in London. These two are far from the only victims of the cover-up of the ongoing genocide of native peoples and the ritual abuse and murder of children abducted en masse from so-called Indian Residential Schools in Canada.
In December 2016, just as I was finishing this article, an outspoken opponent of the medical-pharmaceutical complex, Dr Rebecca Carley, was confined in a psychiatric ward at Chatowga County Memorial Hospital in North Carolina, on accusations of having a ‘delusion of conspiracy’. The redoubtable Carley has been a fierce public critic of medical malpractice since being forced from the profession by a similar ruse thirteen years ago in 2003. In the course of her subsequent career as a holistic doctor she has been subjected to an appalling smear campaign by operatives harping on her 2003 ‘diagnosis’ and foreshadowing, as it turns out, a new onslaught of psychiatric coercion.
‘Insanity’ by Ryouko Takihama
It is a common tendency for people to dismiss radically different interpretations of events as the products of insanity, and they are loudly encouraged in this folk-belief by the mass media. The official version of reality is vehemently – and sometimes violently – defended. Ideas which lie beyond normative ideological horizons must be stamped out like brush-fire.
Whether in the old Soviet Union, China or the USA, one of the core functions of the media is to discredit and marginalise those who challenge state ideology. On 11th September 2009, the actor Charlie Sheen wrote an open letter to President Obama, requesting a twenty minute meeting at which Sheen intended to lobby for a new investigation into the terrorist atrocities of 2001. He spelled out his reasons in the form of twenty bullet-points detailing questions which the ‘9/11 Commission’ had failed to answer. He claimed to represent the families of victims of the attacks, whose determined lobbying had eventually led to the opening of the Commission in the first place, and who felt the investigation had failed to answer their concerns. His letter, like the accompanying video appeal to the President, was respectful, reasonable, and constructive in tone.
The reaction of the mass media to Sheen’s appeal was predictable – it ignored the substance of the letter and simply attacked Sheen personally. It is at moments like this that one thinks of the old Soviet media, its ‘journalists’ cravenly nosing the party line. In the case of Sheen, the mask of ‘diversity’ slipped, revealing the actual conformity it hides. Where the story was picked up by mass media, talking heads across the spectrum restricted themselves to a narrow range of insults, repeated endlessly. The broadcaster Geraldo called Sheen a ‘drug-addled whore-banger’. But the campaign of invective received its most entertaining expression the same day in the apoplectic rage of the talk-show host Rush Limbaugh. His diatribe is worth reproducing it in full.
Phone-in questioner Mark Dice:
Hi Rush, I’m wondering what you and your establishment friends are going do now that one over one third of Americans from both political parties believe that the attacks of 9/11 were an inside job, and your propaganda and your gate-keeping is not having the effect that you and your puppet-masters thought it would?
Well, you know something, Mark, what that tells me is that we’re losing one third of the country to a bunch of insane lunatics – that 9/11 was an inside job. I saw an interview, Mark, with Charlie Sheen. Charlie Sheen got twenty minutes with Barrack Obama, I read the transcript. And Charlie Sheen said, hey Mr President, don’t you realise 9/11 was an inside job? And Obama didn’t want to go there, but if you can’t get, if you can’t get the leader of you kooks to go along with what you kooks believe, then I would say that you’ve got a kook cause. 9/11 – an inside job? I, um, I fear for our country because of such insanity. And I’ve talked about the fact that we’re two or three countries today. And I have no illusion that I have any ability to reach the insane. I have no illusion that I have any sway over lunatics. And frankly I don’t even try. What I’m trying to do is to make sure that the number of lunatics, the numbers of the genuinely politically insane remain as small as one third. So that you will forever remain the stupid idiot minority that, er, that you are.
Limbaugh calls Sheen mad no less than ten times in about thirty seconds. Among the tautologies and repetitions of his impoverished vocabulary, he lets slip an interesting phrase – ‘the politically insane’. Despite Limbaugh’s right-wing credentials, the phrase would seem more at home in the lexicon of a Stalinist political commissar.
Limbaugh’s diatribe is a crude example of the madness gambit, which is repeated at all levels of the media. At the far end of the spectrum from Limbaugh we find the novelist Martin Amis, in his book The Second Plane, dismissing those who question the official narrative of 9/11 in a single high-handed parenthesis – ‘Psychiatrists call them fabulists’.
This is simply Limbaugh’s ‘insane lunatics’ translated into the psycho-babble of the Sunday papers. The serious novelist cannot be seen to point and yell, ‘You’re completely tonto!’ – so he shifts the responsibility onto unnamed psychiatrists and throws in an obscure epithet to flatter his readers. Don’t take it from me, he says, listen to the experts. He’s wrong, of course — the term ‘fabulist’ is not used by psychiatrists, so it’s Amis who is inventing things (fabulising?) here.
One might expect a famous linguist to be less casual with language and logic. Nevertheless, Steven Pinker, in his widely acclaimed book about language, The Stuff of Thought, writes:
According to various conspiracy theories, the buildings were targeted by American missiles, or demolished by a controlled implosion, in a plot conceived by American neoconservatives, Israeli spies, or a cabal of psychiatrists. But aside from the kooks, most people agree on the facts. (Pinker, 3)
In following the rhetorical rule of three here, Pinker makes two plausible statements about the allegations, and then throws in an invented one: ‘a cabal of psychiatrists’, designed to appear ridiculous. Is it a Chinese whisper of something Pinker has heard or read, such as a description of the attacks as a psy-op, or psychological operation, or the fact that psychological warfare is one of the Pentagon’s core competencies? It is not clear where Pinker gets this idea. But the real discouragement is to find a linguist casually using thought-extinguishing clichés such as ‘conspiracy theory’ and ‘kook’, and resorting to the fallacy of appeal to the masses.
The madness gambit is usually encountered in the form of a jibe, whether in the language of a growling Limbaugh or a simpering Amis. However, there is an ongoing attempt to present it as a respectable psychological theory, and to embody it as a syndrome. There are of course, no academic papers on the subject – none are ever cited, at least, even in a professional-sounding publication like Psychology Today.
In 2009 this periodical ran an article on the theme of political paranoia. It hung the piece on an interview with Alex Jones of Infowars. In an article entitled ‘Dark Minds: When does incredulity become paranoia?’ John Gartner argues that ‘conspiracy theorists’ in general, and Jones in particular, suffer from a psychotic illness. Like Dr Carlos Zubaran, the tormentor of Clare Swinney, Gartner does not entertain the possibility of a rational basis for Jones’s accusations of treachery and criminality within the political, corporate and intelligence establishments. Nor does the article expound any particular theory or diagnosis. As with other pieces on this theme, it relies on rhetorical devices and casual slurs to convince its readers.
Aware that a growing proportion of his audience share the beliefs he is attacking, Gartner goes some way to acknowledging the validity of ‘conspiracy thinking’ when he concedes that it is a basic survival instinct to identify threats in our environment. Political paranoia, he says, is simply the fight-or-flight response in a pathologically exaggerated form. He then proceeds to the main agenda by referencing historian Richard Hofstadter’s 1954 book The Paranoid Style in American Politics, which hypothesises that political paranoia is fuelled by underlying feelings of alienation and helplessness. He brands such thinking as a form of ‘political pornography’.
Gartner backs this up with a reference to a named psychologist, Marina Abalkina-Paap of New Mexico State University, though he doesn’t cite any studies or publications by her, and uses paraphrase rather than quotation. He summarises her views as harmonising with Hofstadter: that ‘people who endorse conspiracy theories’ are especially likely to feel ‘angry, mistrustful, alienated from society, and helpless over larger forces controlling their lives.’
The statement depends on a political assumption about the nature of our society. Clearly, if the conspiracy-thinker’s doubts turn out to be well-founded, the diagnosis is void. If 9/11 did turn out to be a government conspiracy, feelings of anger, alienation, and so on, would be the only sane reaction to the news. However, the unshakeable and unexamined ideological assumption being made here, as by Zubaran, Limbaugh, Pinker, Amis et al, is that such a possibility does not and by definition cannot exist.
Gartner is aware of the problem with all this circular thinking. Prominent (legitimate) ‘conspiracy theorists’ research their subjects exhaustively, use academic methodology, write books and make documentaries, share their sources and lay out their evidence. They cunningly disguise their madness with understated conclusions and well-formulated questions, often confining themselves to pointing out inconsistencies and omissions in official investigations rather than offering any kind of theory. Many of them, such as the thousands of members of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, are highly qualified professionals and academics. They contextualise their findings with historical precedents and well-established military and political theory. Gartner has to account for this tendency to rely on empirical evidence, historical precedent, and deductive reasoning within his theory of psychosis.
Information is the conspiracy theorists’ weapon of choice because if there’s one thing they all agree on, it’s that all the rest of us have been brainwashed. The “facts” will plainly reveal the existence of the conspiracy, they believe. And while all of us tend to bend information to fit our pre-existing cognitive schema, conspiracy theorists are more extreme. They are immune to evidence, discounting contradictory information or seeing it as proof of how clever the enemy is at covering things up.
Gartner then throws in a bit of spurious brain science, hypothesising that conspiracy theorists might be addicted to the dopamine released by the brain when we perceive patterns, and noting that schizophrenics overproduce dopamine. He doesn’t cite any studies of dopamine levels in ‘conspiracy theorists’, however. And that’s about it in Gartner’s article, except for a little quiz which readers can answer to find out if they might be at risk of infection by ‘conspiracy thinking’.
The Hofstadter hypothesis trickles down through the whole of the mass media. Those who accuse high officials of high crimes are fulfilling a psychological need; they are suffering from a delusional disorder, equivalent to the Soviet diagnosis of ‘sluggish schizophrenia’. This theme has been advanced by media mockingbirds since the 1960s, and was given pride of place in a BBC documentary on 9/11 in 2005. The concluding minutes of the film were given to Chris Carter, producer of the conspiracy-based TV show, The X-Files. According to Carter, the world is a place of arbitrary and incomprehensible events, which are not connected to each other in any way and have no organising principle or nexus of control behind them. Some people find this chaos so frightening that they seek patterns where there are none, and invent over-arching theories to explain random events.
This theory makes a statement about the world, and the nature of reality, as well as about ‘conspiracy theorists’. It is not quite the same theory as originally expounded by Hofstadter. Carter’s argument rests, first of all, on a strikingly nihilistic assumption which we do not commonly find elsewhere in the mass media: this assumption is that essentially the world makes no sense; that things happen for no reason; that there are no discernible patterns in reality; or that there are certain specific events, within an otherwise comprehensible reality, which make no sense, happen for no reason, and whose meaning should not be examined. It assumes that all sane persons share this belief, to the extent that challenging it is a symptom of insanity.
This must come as a surprise to historians, whose discipline is based on the axiom that history does reveal long-term trends, discernible processes and patterns, and that the causes of specific events are at least potentially knowable, given enough evidence. Carter’s theory implies that no coherent interpretation of historical events should ever be attempted. At the same time it assumes that the official interpretation of events, promoted by the mass media, is by definition correct.
From these contradictory premises Carter proceeds to an absurd conclusion: that ‘conspiracy theorists’ choose to believe that their own governments have a hidden hand in epoch-making events such as assassinations and terrorist atrocities, because it makes them feel safer. They feel more secure because the world at least makes sense. The idea is neatly stated by the environmental journalist and campaigner George Monbiot, who writes for The Guardian newspaper in the UK.
People believe Loose Change [and by extension 9/11 truth in general] because it proposes a closed world: comprehensible, controllable, small. Despite the great evil that runs it, it is more companionable than the chaos that really governs our lives, a world without destination or purpose. This neat story draws campaigners away from real issues – global warming, the Iraq war, nuclear weapons, privatization, inequality – while permanently wrecking their credibility.
The problem with this idea, clever as it sounds, is clear. A person who believes that his country has been attacked by terrorists from a mountain hideout in Afghanistan conceives of a ruthless enemy who is nevertheless thousands of miles removed and poorly armed, and from whom he is therefore relatively safe. Someone, on the other hand, who believes that the terrorists are within the country’s government, military and intelligence establishments, conceives of an ruthless enemy inside the gates, which enlists the resources of the state and is extremely proximate. In addition, an individual who believes that 9/11 was an ‘inside job’ is likely to see it as the precursor of other disastrous and threatening developments – the Patriot Act, the endless wars, the open adoption of torture, and the descent into totalitarianism. The idea that the first scenario is more frightening than the second is absurd. The idea that the second scenario is somehow more ‘companionable’ than the first is utterly bizarre.
Such theories, deriving from Hofstadter’s hypothesis, tend to be carelessly elaborated and lacking in coherent development. They are in fact mere expressions of the primitive mockery that is leveled at the returner to the Cave in Plato’s parable, dressed up in terms designed to flatter the middle-class reader, who is delighted with himself for knowing what ‘fabulist’ means, or understanding ‘sophisticated’ psychological theories based on fashionably nihilistic assumptions about reality.
As questions about 9/11 still refused to go away, Monbiot felt the need to up the ante. Not content with rehashing the Hofsadter hypothesis, he improvised a new, contagious form of insanity, especially for the purpose, and portrayed it like a terrifying bio-weapon:
There is a virus sweeping the world. It infects opponents of the Bush government, sucks their brains out through their eyes and turns them into gibbering idiots. First cultivated in a laboratory in the US, the strain reached these shores a few months ago. In the past fortnight, it has become an epidemic. Scarcely a day now passes without someone possessed by this sickness, eyes rolling, lips flecked with foam, trying to infect me.
Monbiot’s attempts to rebut the argument are as silly as Pinker’s ‘cabal of psychiatrists’. If the government, or elements within it, he says, had orchestrated 9/11, too many people would have to be involved, and someone would have blabbed. But he goes on to argue, in glaring contradiction, that since whoever was proposing the conspiracy theory had not yet been assassinated by the conspiratorial elements concerned, then the said conspiratorial elements did not exist. ‘If what you say is true, then how is it that you are alive to say it?’ This conclusion unwittingly invokes the idea of truth itself as a lethal text. In Monbiot’s world, the truth can never be told, because the knowledge kills the knower before he can communicate it.
Prof Stein Going Insane, by Demon Mew
If the lethal text is a formulation of words that destroys the mind of anyone who reads it, rendering the reader insane and therefore incapable of communicating the text to anyone else, is it possible that, in some circumstances, politically taboo information might constitute a type of lethal text because of the institutionalised use of the madness gambit by state propaganda? The text itself – the accidental discovery, say, of disturbing information – need not itself induce madness, although it might cause shock, anxiety, outrage and a sense of urgency. These responses can then be played up by the protectors of the text, using a reverse correlation: that these people, disturbed by the information they have stumbled across, only believe that information because they are disturbed – as in unbalanced, unhinged, mad. Since these individuals are in the process of grappling with their own belief systems, the idea that they are not quite sane is easily accepted, with the result that nothing these individuals say will be listened to. So whether they actually have been rendered insane, or are merely perceived as insane, the effect is the same. They are unable to communicate the lethal text.
For the past half century, state propaganda has been largely successful in confining its ‘paranoid’ critics in a kind of soft psychiatric gulag, a social locked ward. In the wake of the Warren Commission into the assassination of President John F Kennedy, the CIA issued Directive # 1035-960, entitled ‘Countering Criticism of the Warren Commission Report’, to all operatives, recommending the use of the ‘conspiracy theory/theorist’ stereotype, and urging the avoidance of rational debate with individuals who doubted or challenged the Commission’s findings. In November 2001, George W Bush at the UN menacingly reissued the ‘conspiracy theory’ meme in the wake of the terrorist attacks: ‘Let us never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories about the events of 9/11.’ In 2008, Obama’s ‘Information Tsar’, Cass Sunstein refreshed the concept in an influential paper describing people who similarly criticised the report of the The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States as subscribers to a ‘crippled epistemology’, and called for the ‘cognitive infiltration’ of the truth movement to sow disinformation and infighting, in a renewed commitment to COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program) methods.
The original CIA directive advises its operatives throughout the specialised classes not to engage in rational debate with any who challenge official histories. This is what lies behind the madness gambit – the professional obligation of the journalist, teacher or doctor to exclude certain issues from normal rational discourse. This institutional stigmatisation of unlicensed thought is aped and amplified by the unwitting population at large, who then apply it to family, friends and colleagues, turning on any of their number who try to share the news that the cave is not the world.
Now, as new evidence emerges from the Podesta emails of a DC child-trafficking, ritual abuse and snuff network, and this nightmarish pedophile-occult underground comes bubbling once more to the surface, a new schism opens up between the politically paranoid and the pacified majority. On Facebook and Twitter the insults fly, as moral cowards resort to the madness gambit with new exasperation. Professional journalism has long since ceased to function as anything but a propaganda system; investigative work is now done by unpaid citizen-journalists sifting through thousands of leaked e-mails, their efforts stigmatised as ‘fake news’ by the cover-up artists of the mainstream and obediently dismissed by an oblivious public as just more insane ‘conspiracy theories’.
These catch-phrases have a long record of success in containing public knowledge of elite pedophilia and occultism. The journalistic term ‘moral panic’ was introduced to ridicule public outrage about Hellfire Clubs in and around London in the 1720s. ‘Conspiracy theory’ refreshes the tactic for the twentieth century, widening its application in an age of assassinations and false flag terror. In the 1990s, after repeated and widespread exposures of Satanic Ritual Abuse the UK, ‘false memory syndrome’ was launched to discredit the numerous victims and their therapists who were suddenly speaking out.
The origins in aristocratic, corporate and political elites of organised pedophilia, occultism and sex-slavery is an open secret from de Sade’s time onwards. I have written about the sex-and-Satanism cult at Medmenham which briefly took over the British government in 1762-3, the origins of the Bohemian Club of San Fransisco, the acquisition of abused children by the CIA and the development of trauma-based mind control, the horrific experiences of MK-Ultra survivor Cathy O’Brien, but I have hardly scratched the surface of what is known about the organised trafficking and Sadistic abuse of children by those who rule us. These networks, it is apparent, have very deep roots and are entrenched throughout the power structure in the West: the various ‘scandals’, whether tagged Franklin Affair or Presidio Child-care or McMartin Preschool, Jimmy Saville or Mark Dutroux, Madeleine McCann or Jonbenet Ramsay, Praia de Luz or Pedo Island, are not anomalous or separate. They are glimpses into the same abyss.
So when there’s another breach, this time via leaked email exchanges using known pedophile code, connected with restaurants displaying known pedophile symbols and promoting Sadistic and pedophilic visual and performance art, I am not surprised. A restaurateur’s otherwise inexplicable political influence, and frequent White House visits, should remind us of nothing more than Jimmy Saville’s visits to Buckingham Palace and access to the political elite in Britain. The exterior of Broadcasting House in London, after all, is adorned with sculptures like these by Eric Gill.
Sculptures by Eric Gill, Broadcasting House, 1932
The naïve public have their verbal amulets, their ‘moral panic’ and ‘conspiracy theory’, to protect them from lethal texts. But now, suddenly, they are being issued a new catch-phrase: ‘fake news’.
Why the new meme? The old ones have accrued wads of pseudo-academic theorizing and draw on well-developed stereotypes; a lot of work has been invested in them. By comparison, the new cliché seems particularly thin and lacking in connotative power. It has no ‘theory’ behind it, only the crude ‘Russian propaganda’ retro-meme, and does little to help the poor journalists charged with leading the counter-attack. Newspaper hacks working to discourage peer-to-peer discussion and investigation of the Podesta emails are reduced to reciting the thesaurus, continuously recycling synonyms: ‘fake’, ‘false’, ‘baseless’, ‘groundless’, ‘bogus’ and ‘fictitious’.
These linguistic weapons have no psychological resonance. They may work for a while, but only if the passive majority, like the Eloi of H G Wells, really do not care which of their fellows are seized by Morlocks and dragged underground, as long as it’s not them. They do not mourn, not really, for the children of others.
But there are more of us lunatics now, and we’re crazier than ever. The paranoid style is high fashion, Monbiot’s brain-eating viruses are infecting thousands every day, and even the President-elect is seen in the company of conspiracy theorists. Will the soft gulag hold, or will its fences sag and collapse beneath the surge? The establishment’s reliance on these hurriedly-issued, paper-thin defensive memes suggest that the fences might be going down.
If that happens, the Sadean system which has subverted the Christian West will be forced to reveal its totalitarian teeth. Its hard gulags are ready, its legal frameworks in place. There are just too many sluggish schizophrenics out there who are not taking their meds, haven’t taken them for years. Too much time spent letting genies out of bottles and squeezing toothpaste out of tubes, and none of it can be put back. Our insanity endures and deepens, and I don’t think it’s going to let us – or the Sadists – off the hook this time.
Hofstadter, The Paranoid Style In American Politics
In the chaotic months that followed the inauguration of Donald J Trump as President of the United States, his enemies searched desperately for ways to unseat him through impeachment. The question was, for what? An investigation was launched into allegations of collusion with Russia, the consequences of which will continue to reverberate into 2019 and beyond. At the same time, to create context for an impeachment under Article 25 of the US Constitution, a group of psychiatrists held an extraordinary conference at Yale University Medical School, where they called on the legislative branch to remove the President on mental health grounds.
Speakers described Trump as paranoid and delusional, dangerous, and unfit to hold office.
The diagnosis entertained no room for doubt. James Gilligan, a psychiatrist and professor at New York University, told the conference he had worked with ‘some of the most dangerous people our society produces, directing mental health programmes in prisons.’
I’ve worked with murderers and rapists. I can recognize dangerousness from a mile away. You don’t have to be an expert on dangerousness or spend fifty years studying it like I have in order to know how dangerous this man is.
(The Independent, April 21 2017)
The conference was preceded by a petition, organized by psychotherapist Dr John Gartner, which boasted the signatures of more than 41,000 mental health professionals at the time of the Independent article. Gartner also founded a group of psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers called Duty to Warn, which published an open letter in February 2017 warning that Trump was ‘incapable of serving safely as President’ because of his tendency to ‘distort reality’ to fit his ‘personal myth of greatness’.
This was followed in September 2017 by the publication of a book, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, edited by Dr Bandy Lee, assistant clinical professor in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, who was also the organiser of the conference. The book quickly rose to #1 in Amazon’s Popular Psychology Pathologies category.
Those mental health professionals who took part in the conference and contributed to the book chose to violate the American Psychiatric Association’s ‘Goldwater rule’, which states that for psychiatrists to give professional opinions on people whom they have not personally examined is unethical.
A few months later in Europe, the use of psychiatric coercion against a political figure became an official reality in France, where the authorities are going after Marine Le Pen, the leader of the Rassemblement National party. In a shocking attack on free speech, a French court last month ordered the ‘far-right’ leader, who garnered 34% of the vote in the 2017 Presidential election, to submit to psychiatric evaluation.
The court order is part of a larger investigation into ‘disturbing’ tweets which Le Pen sent out in December 2015, depicting graphic images of violent acts by the terrorist group ISIS or Daesh. This was in response to an accusation by a journalist that her party was no different from ISIS. The provocation came in the wake of the Paris terror attacks of November 2015, and Le Pen’s response was an angry rejection of the charge and a condemnation of terrorism.
Absurdly, Le Pen then had her parliamentary legal immunity lifted and was charged with violating a French ‘hate-speech’ law that prohibits the promotion of ‘violent messages that incite terrorism or pornography or seriously harm human dignity.’ If found guilty she faces a possible three-year prison sentence.
Le Pen’s response to the court order was nothing if not sane. ‘Hallucinant!’ she wrote. ‘Ce régime commence VRAIMENT à faire peur.’
‘This regime is beginning TRULY to become frightening.’
Her public defiance of the order — essentially, ‘make me’ — was admirable. She went on to tell reporters that the legal assault on her freedom of speech was reminiscent of tactics used by totalitarian regimes to silence dissent.
6 thoughts on “THE MADNESS GAMBIT”
Fantastic Paul, really interesting and as one censored and derided as being pretty cray cray for my examination of events which become siphoned off into the sluicegate of conspiracy theories, I am glad to know I am not bobbing along on my own. It occurred to me that the more exotic conspiracy theories eg the alien reptilian inner earth core body snatcher type stuff is a deliverate attempt to discredit legitimate theories eg 9/11. What do you think? Is there a counter operation happening?
Absolutely. You look up something about Jimmy Saville and the Royal Family, and before you know it you’re reading about lizards.
This piece is too long, I think.
Thank you so much for this excellent piece. It must have taken a good while to compose and is absolutely fascinating, particularly as I was recently sectioned for having ‘lost weight’ after reporting child sex abuse cases, which were not investigated nor recorded on the Metropolitan Police’s system. There were other women like me in the London hospital. It is a terrifying reality.
Thank you for commenting and for sharing your experience. I hope you have managed to get yourself clear of the gulag of psychiatric coercion. All the best to you, Caroline.