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Mass Formation: How the Left Got Duped
In my previous essay (Covid-19 and the Green Void), I examined the dogmatic fervor of the Left endorsing draconian and discriminatory vaccine mandates and health passes. A missing piece of my analysis was how the Left became so singularly duped into forming the vanguard of this new authoritarianism. What mechanism could explain this non sequitur?
(Artist: Bob Moran)
Out of all possible political demographics, the Left (including Greens) would seem the least likely to embrace mandatory segregation, coerced medical procedures, government surveillance, and the censoring of scientists. The Left would seem the least likely to give pharmaceutical corporations a free pass on multi-billion-dollar investigational injections that are suspected in 9,476 deaths to date in the United States alone, according to the VAERS database for reporting vaccine adverse events. An additional 11,045 recipients of Covid vaccines are now permanently disabled, with a vaccine link suspected. In total, there have now been more than 700,000 reports of adverse events in the US filed with VAERS in which someone suspects a link to a Covid vaccine. For comparison, the swine flu vaccine of 1976 was pulled from the market after just 10 weeks in which 25 deaths and 500 cases of Guillain-Barre Syndrome were noted, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.
One would expect the Left to lead the charge in a consumer protection crusade against a new and still experimental pharmaceutical product with a higher than expected body count. Instead, the Left is leading the charge against those who decline to consume.
So what happened? How did the Left get subverted into being the first-string enforcers for Big Pharma and dystopian government? One reason appears to be deliberate targeting of the Left with pseudo-collectivist messaging designed to resonate with Left sensibilities.
“The government/Big Pharma public messaging about the virus seems to almost have been designed to appeal to the left-wing sense of empathy that green groups and other activists specialize in. ‘My mask protects you, your mask protects me. My shot protects you, your shot protects me.’ This collectivist approach has been alluring to the left, as it appears on the surface to offer a chance to undermine the excessive individualism and greed they have always railed against. Unfortunately they have failed to realize that this pseudo-empathetic approach actually empowers the greedy and exploitative systems they are supposed to be against, and grants the ‘evil greedy corporations’ previously unfathomable authority over everyday life.”
To whatever extent there were major players on national and global stages who, from the outset, wanted to steer Covid response in a “vaccine only” direction up to and including mandates, passports and permanent digital ID cards, then clearly the first task is to disarm the Left so it can’t perform its traditional social function of resisting such illiberal developments. Skewing the messaging to not merely disarm the Left but to actually bring the Left on board as an ardent proselyte in a Stockholm syndrome manner is nothing short of brilliant.
Had the message been: “Get vaccinated so you have a better chance of surviving Covid,” that self-serving proposition would not have prevented the Left from looking critically at these investigational injections, or the lack of public data on them, or the futility of a vaccine-only approach with a non-sterilizing vaccine and a zoonotic virus, or the devastating public health impact of lockdowns, or the Orwellian significance of a checkpoint society and potential social credit system.
By strategically framing the campaign in pseudo-empathetic, pseudo-collectivist language (“we’re all in this together”), a very different reality emerges. One in which the Left goes from public watchdog to mindless robo-army in service to pharmaceutical corporations. Corporations that won’t release their data for 75 years.
It’s also worth noting the pre-existing Green/Left dogma prioritizing “kindness” above all else. This dogma essentially weaponizes kindness and then launches it at anyone or anything that might confound the simplicity of group-think with complexity. Long before Covid struck, we were already being keelhauled by kindness from Greens and the Left. This practice expands quite naturally and aggressively into the official Covid messaging. So now it’s unkind not to vaccinate, unkind not to take every booster offered, unkind not to mask everywhere including outdoors or alone in your car, unkind to call the Omicron head cold a head cold, unkind to scare people with the VAERS database, unkind to even raise questions because doubt somehow drives variants. And so on.
Mattias Desmet and Mass Formation
Even so, something more than a few pseudo-empathetic slogans is needed to lobotomize the entire Left at an institutional and individual level. For that understanding, we must turn to Belgian clinical psychology professor Mattias Desmet at University of Ghent. Desmet is a leading psychological expert on tyranny and totalitarianism, and how a type of crowd hypnosis (“mass formation”) is created. Desmet has become a rock star among resisters in the Age of Covid. If you google “Mattias Desmet mass formation,” you will find many videos and writings by or about him on this subject.
The following Desmet presentation from August 2021 provides a good summary of how the world has been hijacked and intoxicated by the “absurd” (his word) Corona narrative, and what the implications are for democracy and even the future of humanity.
According to Desmet (who cites both Hannah Arendt and Gustave Le Bon), all totalitarian systems must be preceded by a collective psychological phenomenon called mass formation, also known as mass hypnosis.
The Four Preconditions to Mass Formation
There are four preconditions that must exist within the population before mass formation can emerge. Desmet maintains that these four preconditions were already present in our modern, alienating, stultifying societies prior to Covid. They are:
A large percentage of the population feels socially isolated and lacks good social connections to other people.
A lack of meaning-making or sense-making prevails for many. People feel their lives and jobs are meaningless, senseless.
A high degree of free-floating anxiety exists, anxiety that cannot be connected to a specific object or circumstance. This free-floating anxiety is a consequence of the previous two conditions: social isolation and meaninglessness.
There is a high degree of frustration and latent aggression in the population, arising from the free-floating anxiety, which in turn arises from the first two conditions.
“These four conditions were already fulfilled before the Corona crisis,” says Desmet in the video above. “Under such conditions, a society is highly sensitive to narratives—particularly if these narratives are presented through the mainstream media.”
A Unifying Narrative
According to Desmet, free-floating anxiety is the most painful psychological experience a human being can have. People will do anything to end it, which requires finding an object to anchor it to, a so-called “object of anxiety.” If a persuasive narrative comes along via mainstream media, offering the entire population an object of anxiety and also a strategy for dealing with that object, the psychologically anguished population will commit fully, ignoring all illogic or collateral damage caused by the narrative.
“Through the process of mass formation, the population switches from a highly painful psychological state of social isolation to the opposite, to the state in which the population experiences a high level of solidarity,” says Desmet. “And that process leads to a kind of strong mental intoxication, which narrows the field of attention and focuses it until it contains only that aspect of reality on which the narrative focuses the attention. The Corona narrative, for example.”
“Once you understand that, you understand why the Corona narrative can be utterly absurd and blatantly wrong, and people will still continue to follow it and to go along with it… In a state of hypnosis, you can take away everything from a population. You can take away their financial well being, you can take away their physical integrity, their physical health. As long as the population remains in the grasp of the mass forming narrative, they will psychologically not notice that there is collateral damage…”
“From the beginning, it was clear that the collateral damage [of lockdowns and other Covid measures] would probably be much more severe than the damage that could be caused by the Corona virus. Even in the worst-case scenario.”
So the unifying narrative that will lead to mass formation, not only offers people an object of anxiety as a pacifier, but it simultaneously “solves” the problems experienced in all four of the preconditions. People are no longer isolated. They are now bonded with a huge number of other people in an intoxicating crush of solidarity, united in a noble mission. So their lives now have great meaning rather than no meaning. Their free-floating anxiety has been anchored to something identifiable. And their frustration and aggression have theoretically been reduced (although it looks more like those feelings have been redirected and misdirected).
Who is Immune to Mass Hypnosis?
This brings us to what I consider the most interesting aspect of Desmet’s analysis: who is consumed by mass formation, and who is not?
According to Desmet, there are always three groups at the outset of mass formation. And they break down into roughly equal thirds:
Those who are fully hypnotized true believers in the narrative, accounting for 30-35 percent of the population.
Those who are going along mainly out of convenience, self-preservation, or to avoid the scorn and wrath of the true believers. They may partially believe the narrative, but they aren’t fully committed. This group also accounts for another 30-35 percent of the population.
Those who reject the narrative, who see it as false from the outset, and who speak out publicly. This group accounts for 30 percent of the population.
As the process of mass formation progresses, people may switch from one group to another, Desmet says. If the society is so oppressive that it is too dangerous to speak out, then the non-hypnotized third group will completely disappear from public view. At that point, whatever totalitarian system is in place has no brakes on it whatsoever and will begin to devour its own children. From that moment on, everyone becomes a victim of the system. No one is spared (regardless of vaccination status or social credit score).
On the other hand, if that third group of the non-hypnotized can keep speaking out publicly, then some of the second group of half-hearted participants in the mass formation will start to come into the third group, or will at least be awakened, or “red-pilled” as the current parlance would have it. So this second group is in fact reachable. I should know. I’m an example.
My Own Transformation
In 2020, I was fully supportive of lockdowns, school closures, masks, and the whole “Covid Zero” approach that aimed to whittle case counts down to zero. I was masking in stores months before masks were mandated in my province of British Columbia. Nobody entered my home or rode in my vehicle for at least one full year.
It was in my self-interest to support these measures. I was a leukemia patient on immune-suppressing treatment. There were no vaccines. And I hadn’t yet discovered the cheap, effective early treatment protocols. Fear was a big component of my pandemic experience for most of 2020.
By 2021, the Covid Zero strategy no longer looked logical. The vast damage it was causing appeared to exceed the purported benefits. I had discovered the effective (but censored) home-based treatments saving lives the world over. I had amassed a boxful of these repurposed drugs from generic pharmacies in India. I was alarmed by the number of vaccine injuries I was hearing about, and decided I was better off with the simple home treatments. I was witnessing enormous suppression and discrediting of any doctor discussing the effective but unprofitable treatments, or questioning the safety of the investigational vaccines. (That alone was the only red flag I needed to withdraw from the mass formation—watching the public purge of all heterodox science and scientists.) I came to see the daily press briefings and dashboard statistics and headlines as nothing more than fear porn meant to ensure continued devotion to the official narrative. I had begun reading Desmet. I saw that I had been played.
When vaccine passports were implemented in British Columbia in September, and I overnight lost access to basic components of daily life that others still enjoyed, the whole shabby Covid narrative unraveled before my eyes. I am now solidly in the third group of the non-hypnotized. And once you’re there, once you see the mass formation and the delusional thinking it spawns, there’s no going back.
Greens and the Left – Forever Hypnotized?
My assessment is that the first group in Desmet’s breakdown of mass formation, the fully hypnotized, are not reachable and cannot be recovered.
It is also my assessment that the majority of Greens and the Left have unfortunately landed in that first group and are now completely intoxicated with what Desmet calls the absurd Corona narrative. They seem fully embedded in the mass formation, unable to awaken, unable to widen their focus to see the collateral damage caused by the illogical narrative and their fervent allegiance to it.
There is an element of pseudo-science in all major totalitarian systems of the twentieth century, Desmet says. (E.g., Race Theory in the case of Nazi Germany.) And this pseudo-science is supplied by the official narrative that creates the mass formation. The pseudo-science is hard to overcome, since its proponents claim to have science on their side.
This may be some of the allure the official Covid narrative has for Greens in particular. The Green Party of Canada has fought hard to overcome its earlier reputation as “Conservatives with composters.” Today’s Green Party of Canada likes to imagine itself a leader in climate science with a raft of candidates who are in fact scientists. The party’s current interim leader, Dr. Amita Kuttner, is an astrophysicist.
This pro-science obsession may paradoxically predispose the Greens to embrace the pseudo-science of the official Covid narrative—a narrative that simultaneously reminds us that vaccinated and unvaccinated alike can transmit Covid and will carry the same viral load when infected, yet the unvaccinated must still be segregated so as to not threaten the vaccinated. To the hypnotized, this non-logic makes perfect sense.
Elizabeth May herself, former leader of the Canadian Greens, reflexively recoiled from me at an outdoor political event in August upon discovering my vaccination status. There were 300 people in attendance for our MP Paul Manly’s re-election campaign kick-off in a seaside park in Nanaimo, BC. Virtually no one was masked, including May. Vaccine passports and the segregation that would follow had not been officially announced for BC. But we knew it was coming next month.
During May’s speech, she repeatedly said how happy she was to be double vaccinated “because now I can hug everybody again.” (The science on these non-sterilizing vaccines had been clear for months by that point: the vaccinated could still become infected, and could still transmit the virus.)
At the end of the event, I approached May to chat, smiles all around. She warmly moved toward me for a hug, arms open wide, while simultaneously asking “You’re vaccinated, right?” I said “No.” She spasmodically recoiled, took two steps back, reached into her pocket, pulled out a well-used cloth mask, hurriedly strapped it on, then turned away and began talking to other people higher up the evolutionary ladder than I now was. I stood there aimlessly for a minute, dazed by my excommunication, not yet aware that this would be my future in our brave new world of medical apartheid. Then I wandered over to the merch table, bought a Green Party T-shirt, pulled it on over my other T-shirt and walked home. I had not yet realized I was politically homeless.
Perhaps not completely homeless. We’ve started a private group of Canadian Greens Against Mandates. You’re welcome to message me if you’re interested in joining. But you will be vetted to determine your sincerity.
In a future essay, I’ll explore what we can do, what creative strategies and imaginative acts are needed, to collectively break free from this nightmare of mass hypnosis.
Kim Goldberg is a poet, journalist and author on Vancouver Island, Canada. Her latest book is Devolution, poems and fables of ecopocalypse (Caitlin Press, 2020).