THE MADNESS GAMBIT [updated]
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 2018 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 to call for his removal on mental health grounds. Speakers described Trump as paranoid and delusional, dangerous, and unfit to hold office, and called on the legislative branch to remove him on mental health grounds.
Some of the language used was extreme. 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 in society”, including murderers and rapists — but that he was convinced by the “dangerousness” of Mr Trump.
“I’ve worked with some of the most dangerous people our society produces, directing mental health programmes in prisons,” he said.
“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 organizer of the conference. The book quickly rose to #1 in Amazon’s Popular Psychology Pathologies category. Contributors included Gail Sheehy; Lance Dodes, M.D., Training and Supervising Analyst Emeritus at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and retired Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School; John Gartner and Noam Chomsky, to name a few.
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 psychiatrists are not to give professional opinions on people whom they have not personally examined.
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 to become truly 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.
The abuse of psychiatry is a particularly vile aspect of totalitarian systems. 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.
Psychiatric coercion forms only one plank of the Chinese state’s persecution of the Falun Gong movement, which draws on Buddhism, Taoism and Chinese medicine and views itself as much as a new form of science as a new religion. Falun Gong 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. 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.’ It was a limited hang-out — the old incompetence defense.
In the Soviet Union, political dissidents and artists who failed to bow the knee could also be consigned to the psychiatric gulag. A famous example was the poet Joseph Brodsky, who was eventually deported to the West after a widespread campaign to have him released. 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 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.
In the free West we have seen the same tendency in a soft, creeping form, applying social-cultural pressure on dissent. Here, the state has long relied on psychological conditioning rather than psychiatric coercion, marginalization rather than legal suppression. Through the steady propagation of its ‘conspiracy theorist’ stereotype, it has effectively set up a soft, social gulag, an open prison for those who dissent from approved versions of reality.
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’, recommending the use of the ‘conspiracy theory’ 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 criticized 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 specialized classes not to engage in rational debate with any who challenge official histories. This is the foundation of the marginalization strategy – the professional obligation of the journalist, teacher or doctor to exclude certain issues from normal rational discourse. This institutional stigmatization 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. Thus ideas which lie beyond normative ideological horizons are ghettoized and starved of oxygen.
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. Whether in the old Soviet Union, China or the USA, one of the core functions of the media is to discredit and marginalize those who challenge consensus reality.
When on 11th September 2009 the actor Charlie Sheen wrote an open letter to President Obama, lobbying for a new investigation into the terrorist attacks of September 2001, the reaction of the mass media was predictable – it ignored the substance of the letter and attacked Sheen personally in a co-ordinated barrage of verbal abuse. It is at moments like this that one thinks of the old Soviet media, its ‘journalists’ cravenly nosing the party line. The mask of diversity slipped, revealing the actual conformity it hides. 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’. 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?
Limbaugh: 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 realize 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. […] 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 the doubters insane 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 other end of the cultural spectrum 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 nuts!’ – so he shifts the responsibility onto unnamed psychiatrists and throws in an obscure term 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 fabulizing here, if anyone.
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. It is not clear where Pinker gets this idea. Is it a Chinese whisper of something he has heard or read, such as a description of the attacks as a psychological operation, or the fact that psychological warfare is one of the Pentagon’s core competencies? But the real discouragement is to find a linguist casually using thought-extinguishing clichés such as ‘conspiracy theory’ and ‘kook’, and resorting to the ad hominem attack, the straw man argument, and the fallacy of the appeal to the masses, within the space of two sentences.
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 has been an ongoing attempt throughout the post-war period to present it as a respectable psychological theory, and to embody it as a syndrome. We can date this from Richard Hofstadter’s 1954 book The Paranoid Style in American Politics, which hypothesizes that political paranoia is fueled by underlying feelings of alienation and helplessness. He stigmatizes such thinking as a form of ‘political pornography’.
There are, of course, no academic studies on the subject – none are ever cited, at least, even in a professional-sounding publication like Psychology Today. This periodical ran an article in 2009 on the theme of political paranoia by the same Dr John Gartner — the same activist who set up the Duty to Warn group, organized the petition to remove Donald Trump from office on mental health grounds, and contributed to the book The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump.
Gartner hung his Psychology Today piece on an interview with the conservative talk-show host Alex Jones. In an article entitled ‘Dark Minds: When does incredulity become paranoia?’ he argues that ‘conspiracy theorists’ in general, and Jones in particular, suffer from a psychotic illness. In accordance with the CIA briefing, 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 psychological 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 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 summarizes her views as harmonizing 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.’
Clearly, if 9/11 did turn out to be a internal 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 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 several thousand of members of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, are highly qualified professionals and academics. They contextualize 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. He writes:
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, hypothesizing 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 organizing 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: 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. 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 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 though it might sound, 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 is extremely proximate and controls the resources of the state. 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 nonsensical. The idea that the second scenario is somehow more ‘companionable’ than the first is completely 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 refused to go away, Monbiot felt the need to up the ante by postulating 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 childish as Pinker’s ‘cabal of psychiatrists’. He argues that since whoever was proposing the conspiracy theory had not yet been assassinated by the conspiratorial elements concerned, then the said conspiratorial elements could not therefore 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 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.
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, it is possible to see politically taboo information as constituting a type of lethal text because of the institutionalized 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.
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 centralized edict.
In the hypocritical West, meanwhile, governments have increasingly moved towards the ‘hard gulag’ model in their persecution of principled and articulate individuals. While countries such as China, Uzbekistan and Cuba continue to incarcerate their citizens in psychiatric wards for thought-crime, similar cases have begun to be seen in the West, signposts on the road to a totalitarian future.
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 she might be suicidal. She was not, though she was understandably under considerable stress. However, 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, on the other hand, is rarely lethal but highly contagious. A reassortment of genes might 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, who tested the material on ferrets, all of which died.
Burgermeister filed legal charges against Baxter and publicized 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, one 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, 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.
So if you think psychiatric abuse is confined to foreign dictatorships, think again. There’s a steady trickle of cases in Western countries: and these are just the cases which have received publicity. One reader reported that she had been sectioned after reporting child abuse cases — accusations which were not even recorded, never mind investigated, by the Metropolitan police. Instead, the fact that she had lost weight was used as a basis to have her committed. She tells me there were other women like her in the London hospital where she was detained.
One reflects that this kind of treatment is enough to make anyone crazy, and that, no doubt, is how it works.
Delusional paranoia, you see. Sluggish schizophrenia.
It is this creeping tide of totalitarianism which is lapping at the feet of Marine Le Pen, charged with inciting terrorism by condemning it, and Donald Trump, branded as delusional for seeing corruption everywhere in public life.
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 in the UK, ‘false memory syndrome’ was launched to discredit the numerous victims and their therapists who were suddenly speaking out. These catch-phrases have a long record of success in containing public awareness of elite pedophilia and occultism. The public clutches them like verbal amulets to ward off the evil eye. The press corps chants them in unison like shamanic charms whenever some rumour of the diseased anti-morality that underlies the power structures of our society makes it into the public domain.
They chanted them feverishly when this nightmarish pedophile-occult underground came bubbling once more to the surface in the run-up to the 2016 US presidential election. Leaked emails from the private account of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, featured a number of exchanges clearly using known pedophile code. Local restaurants were referenced which turned out to display variations of pedophile symbols in their logos and promote Sadistic and pedophiliac visual and performance art.
Professional journalism in the West has long since ceased to function as anything but a propaganda system; investigative work is now done by unpaid citizen-journalists sifting through the data, their efforts stigmatized as ‘fake news’ by the cover-up artists of the mainstream and dismissed by an oblivious public as just more insane ‘conspiracy theories’.
The affair was trivialized as “Pizza-gate”, and sent hack-journalists hurrying to their thesauruses, thumbing desperately through them for synonyms for ‘not true’. It was unfounded, fictitious, groundless, baseless, bogus, false… in short, it was “deranged”.
Nevertheless, a restaurateur’s otherwise inexplicable political influence and frequent White House visits was reminiscent of nothing more than Jimmy Saville’s visits to Buckingham Palace and access to the political elite in Britain.
There was another thesaurus-fest and outbreak of chanting in the summer of 2018, over what the mainstream called a ‘nest of conspiracy theories’ centered around the persona known only as Q, an anonymous commentator on free-speech internet boards. The Q narrative appeared to confirm what many had suspected: that Trump was not just some rogue businessman who got lucky, but that he had been recruited by a disaffected faction within military intelligence — principally General Michael Flynn (retired) of the Defense Intelligence Agency and Admiral Michael Rogers, former commander of the US Cyber Command and Director of the National Security Agency — to purge the political system and public institutions of the deeply corrupt elements which were progressively and deliberately destroying the Republic.
The mainstream media — the ‘fake news’ in Trump’s parlance — reacted predictably. They ignored the Q phenomenon for as long as they could, until billboards on the highways and hand-made signs at Trump rallies made it impossible. The counterattacks finally came in August, taking the tired old form of the madness gambit. The hacks did their dance and chanted their spells. It was another ‘deranged right-wing conspiracy theory’. It was ‘unhinged’ — ‘blatantly insane.’
In fact the idea that the grouping behind Trump would decide to communicate directly with the most informed members of the public — the ‘conspiracy theorists’ — is not far-fetched at all. After all, Trump pioneered the establishment of a direct line to the general public, in an attempt to bypass the hostile ranks of the media, through his Twitter feed. Why would his handlers not open a new channel, to rally his support among the patriot and truth movements? It is unprecedented, it is very now; but it is completely plausible. What we see is an extremely sophisticated propaganda operation to consolidate, educate and mobilize the political base. What must eventually be revealed to the public, if revealed all a once, would constitute a lethal text on a societal level, and the repercussions might be unpredictable. Think of the shock Kruschev’s revelations created in the Soviet Union in 1954, and multiply it by a thousand. It is dangerous to wake a sleep-walker. How to prepare the public for these revelations? The bewildered herd might trample and stampede if startled too suddenly with such disturbing truths.
In a decentralized system the repudiation of the past will be a long and complex operation, and through the Q project the core support is being fed with information and guided towards a more mature understanding by an experienced voice from inside the project.
Is Donald Trump, then, dangerous? Oh yes — far, far more dangerous than establishment can possibly admit. But mad? Far from it. The attempt to portray the President as mentally ill is a desperate gambit on the part of a terrified criminal oligarchy and its servitors. It is the Sadean system showing its totalitarian teeth, but only in a grimace of fear.
The moral cowardice and chronic amnesia of the general public has until now been enough to protect the corrupt networks and cushion the effect of repeated exposure. But the balance may be changing. The adjectival barrages of the madness gambit may keep people away from the sagging fences of the soft gulag, but for how long? There are more of us lunatics now, and we’re crazier than ever. The paranoid style is in high fashion, Monbiot’s brain-eating viruses infecting thousands every day, and there are just too many of us sluggish schizophrenics out here now; too much time spent letting genies out of bottles and squeezing toothpaste out of tubes, and none of it is going back. Our insanity endures and deepens, and it’s not going to let us – or the Sadists – off the hook this time.