Monday, May 31, 2021

The depersonalization of the cult of COVIDmania


As COVIDmania is wrapping up, I have spent all year looking for a resource - a study - anything that would have gone into detail about the mechanisms that had certain people responding in the way they have to the COVID propaganda.   Certainly there has been a psychiatric study or exploration done, and after a year, I believe I've found it:   The Rape of the Mind by Joost Meerloo.  From the excerpt:

It is Dr. Meerloo’s position that through pressure on the weak points in men’s makeup, totalitarian methods can turn anyone into a “traitor.” And in The Rape of the Mind he goes far beyond the direct military implications of mental torture to describing how our own culture unobtrusively shows symptoms of pressurizing people’s minds. He presents a systematic analysis of the methods of brainwashing and mental torture and coercion, and shows how totalitarian strategy, with its use of mass psychology, leads to systematized “rape of the mind.” He describes the new age of cold war with its mental terror, verbocracy, and semantic fog, the use of fear as a tool of mass submission and the problem of treason and loyalty, so loaded with dangerous confusion.

I'm about half way through the book, and it covers many of the thoughts I have already had, that the repetition of the propaganda - endless cycles of mantras like "Stay Home, Stay Safe", "Wear the d*mn mask", "We're in this together", etc are often enough to beat down even the intellectuals who resisted the initial waves of the propaganda.   I myself know several doctors who have recommended wearing cloth face coverings to protect against COVID - something I think they will embarrassed by in due time.  One quote of interest from the book though:

"Why has all this happened to me?"  Their need for a sense of direction , for a feeling of purpose and meaning was unsatisfied, and hence they could not maintain their personalities.  They let themselves go in what psychopathology calls a depersonalization syndrome, a general feeling of having lost complete control of themselves and their own existence.  What Pavlovian conditioning can do in applying artificial confusion, can be done too by one shocking experience.  "For what?" they asked themselves.  "What is the meaning of all this suffering?"  And gradually they sank dully into that paralyzed state of semi-oblivion we call depression: the self destructive needs take over.

If the shocking experience - the initial lockdown and resulting economic devastation - was not enough to convert many people, the Pavlovian repetition - the bell-ringing of all of the social distancing signs, the plastic barriers, and finally the masks, over and over again, everywhere one went, was enough to convert the vast majority of everyone else.  

It also explains the strange shuffle the masked masses had.  Why they wouldn't make eye contact.  Why they wouldn't even stop to joke or make basic conversation.  Why some of them glared at and even attacked the non-participants.  

For some the suffering itself became their purpose.  


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