How have we gotten here? Mass formation psychosis, explained

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Clark County Today Administrator Heidi Wetzler shares clinical psychology professor Mattias Desmet’s theory about the societal conditions under which a population ends up willingly sacrificing their freedom.

I received the following comment recently from a reader in Africa, on a column I wrote a while back regarding natural immunity. It captures the essence of my daily inner dialogue.

“Arguments from privileged countries. We in Africa have little access to vaccines, boosters, etc. The question we should be asking is, how is Africa managing? You people have already caused mayhem over Omicron. Our good doctors from South Africa have told us not to panic, but the rest of the world is in the highest panic mode yet … your countries’ have over 70% vaccinated, boosted etc. You should be at peace … you will die of fear.”

As I sat with these ideas, coming from half a world away, I realized the privileged countries in the world are living a far different reality than the less privileged. Ironically, in America, we have limitless access to vaccines, and some of the most educated doctors and scientists in the world, yet the majority of our citizens are consumed with fear. But does the level of fear and now the level of governmental control really match the current threat of the virus and its variants? Why aren’t we jumping for joy that so far Omicron is looking to be more transmissible, but far less deadly? In theory, this variant could signal the end of the pandemic. Shouldn’t it be good news that many more people will likely develop a level of natural immunity from a less dangerous variant as we work toward the promised land of herd immunity? But this commenter is right … instead of optimism, what we have instead are increased calls for panic, lockdowns, passports, mandates and more. Why, you ask? Let me suggest a theory.

Recently, I ran across the concept of mass formation, explained by Mattias Desmet, professor of clinical psychology at Ghent University in Belgium. He explains the societal conditions under which a population ends up willingly sacrificing their freedom.

There are four basic conditions which need to be met in order for a society to be vulnerable to mass hypnosis. The first of which is a lack of societal bonding. It is easily argued that members of Western society struggled with loneliness long before the pandemic, and then with the ongoing lockdowns, isolation, and general fear of one another, this lack of community has continued to a dangerous degree.

The second condition is met when the majority of people view their lives as being without purpose or meaning. A recent poll of young people in the UK revealed that 89 percent of those aged 16-29, “believe that their lives have no meaning or purpose.” Desmet also cites studies showing that half of all adults believe that their jobs are completely meaningless and are basically “sleepwalking” through their day.

Free floating anxiety is the third condition for the rise of mass formation. A quick count of the number of anxiety/depression medications prescribed each year, confirms that there is no arguing the crushing levels of anxiety prevalent in our communities.

And the fourth condition is high levels of frustration and aggression, with no discernible cause. If you spend any time driving or on social media these days, you will experience the open hostility present in the world today.

I drive myself crazy trying to find logical reasons why the masses whole-heartedly accept everything that Dr. Fauci or other national and global health officials proclaim. The announcements can change with the wind, lack data to support, openly contradict what was said the day before, or include outright lies, but as long as they are echoed and supported in mainstream media, they are believed as truth. This is the result of mass formation psychosis.

Society has been given somewhere to place their anxiety. Community has been formed around a seemingly heroic struggle against a common goal. Fighting this virus has given purpose to rudderless lives. And life has been given meaning through a global human connection, where there once was a void. Saving every life from dying of COVID is of paramount importance. All other psychological, economic, and social losses are unworthy of concern – blatantly selfish to contemplate.

This psychological phenomenon explains why so many have bought into a clearly illogical narrative, and why they are willing to participate in the prescribed strategy — “even if it’s utterly absurd,” Desmet says. “The reason they buy into the narrative is because it leads to this new social bond,” he explains. “Science, logic and correctness have nothing to do with it.”

Humans crave community and long for social bonds. Now that these connections have been forged, they are nearly impossible to break. Hypnotized people are unable to question the narrative being fed to them.  Take vaccinations in children 5-11 for example. There is absolutely no emergency for children. None. Yet, the FDA approved an Emergency Use Authorization vaccine for this age group. There are zero long term safety studies. But the masses eagerly line up to vaccinate their children. This doesn’t make any sense. This is reckless. There is no science to back this need up. But our leaders say it is vital. So, it must be.

This group of people is deathly concerned with living outside of the fold. The need to virtuously comply and fit in trumps all else. It doesn’t matter that health organizations are ignoring the science of natural immunity. It doesn’t matter that the vaccine injured are being excluded from society along with the vaccine resistant. It doesn’t matter that neither the pharmaceutical companies nor the governmental authorities mandating these vaccines are responsible for any adverse effects recipients suffer.  Apparently, we all must be willing to die for the good of the group. We must be willing to sacrifice our children’s very lives, because being concerned about the safety of the vaccine is now considered immoral. It is abhorrent to die from the virus, but quite acceptable — even dare I suggest, honorable — to die from the vaccine.

NY Times Editor, Carlos Tejeda died of a heart attack on December 17, less than 24 hours after getting the Moderna booster. He was 49. The NY Times story makes no mention of the coincidental timing of the booster. If given the full story, I’m afraid the hypnotized masses still wouldn’t even blink. The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System, hosted by the CDC, now indicates over one million reactions from COVID vaccines. Funny how mainstream news outlets completely ignore these statistics. And the hypnotized firmly debunk all adverse events they come across as happenstance. The hypnosis is real. And thick.

Desmet highlights the difference between a rising dictatorship and totalitarianism.  He suggests, “As a general rule, in a classic dictatorship, the dictator becomes milder and less aggressive once dissident voices, his opposition, are silenced. Once he has seized complete power, he doesn’t need to be aggressive anymore and can resort to other means to maintain control.

In a totalitarian state, the exact opposite occurs. This is crucial for us to understand, because in a totalitarian society, once the opposition is silenced, that’s when the state commits its greatest and cruelest atrocities.”

It has been obvious (and criminal) that for the last two years, dissenting ideas regarding COVID and the governing response have been perpetually silenced. This censorship is desperate and most unscientific. Since when is “the science” resolved? Since when is science unable to withstand questioning? Maybe it’s when the response isn’t about science at all. If the scientists were genuinely interested in keeping each of us safe from COVID, wouldn’t they be most interested in each of our antibody levels? Isn’t it perplexing how they say it is impossible to create an accurate antibody test? Why after two years are they pushing a one-size-fits-all vaccine with no accompanying measure of the real ticket to herd immunity — antibodies?  Have we had randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled studies for all of this mix and matching of boosters?  Is anyone questioning the criminalization of Ivermectin in America, while dozens of other countries are using it to greatly reduce death? Does anyone question why the unvaccinated are losing their jobs, but the vaccinated employees can still spread it? No, because the masses who are currently subject to Mass Formation Psychosis, simply comply. It is absolutely stunning to me the lack of questions being asked. And the vehemence with which the group defends the course of action. This group of people belongs to something now. And belonging is more important than searching for truth.

At the end of the day, the global fight against COVID has brought an unbreakable bond between the members of a vulnerable group. Mass formation erases individuality. The virtuous fighters have now focused their virtuous fear and hatred on a group that is not under the spell. The unvaccinated are now the subject of intense disdain. The governor of Washington state recently called them domestic terrorists. And the masses likely agree.  Even though many unvaccinated are COVID recovered, have natural immunity and are completely safe to be around. No questions are being asked. All critical thinking is done for.

I’m sure I’m not alone in my futile attempts to spread logic and common sense to person after person without ears to hear. There is simply no changing people’s minds with new statistics or information. What will it take to break this trance?  The answer at this point is personal loss. Each one will need to be personally affected by a vaccine/booster injury, or a loss of freedom they care about, or a loss of livelihood, in order to begin to turn the tide. But by then I imagine it will be too late. The totalitarian regime will be in full force and freedoms lost will never be regained.

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