The Rebel Wisdom founder discusses the psychologist's descent into tribalism
Followers of the clinical psychologist and now world-famous member of the ‘Intellectual Dark Web’, Jordan Peterson, have noted a radical change in his style in recent weeks.
Peterson used to produce largely unedited, long-form videos of his academic lectures, but his recent uploads have been highly edited, straight-to-camera monologues addressing the culture wars.
On 1st July, after being suspended from Twitter for ‘hateful conduct’, Peterson retaliated with an angry broadside against the “woke moralists” who had reported him. He then began to post sweeping polemics aimed at different groups: ‘A message to Muslims’, ‘A message to the Christian churches’ and ‘A message to CEOs’ to name a few.
According to David Fuller, founder of Rebel Wisdom, these videos ‘signalled a watershed moment’ for Peterson, from truth-seeker and mediator between Left and Right to a blinkered tribalist. Unlike the meditative, analytical man he interviewed for Rebel Wisdom, Fuller says that ‘the current incarnation of Peterson is unrecognisable’ to him.
Fuller’s critique of Peterson, which he outlined in a long post on Substack, marks a significant split. Peterson was a celebrated guest in the earliest days of Rebel Wisdom and Fuller was frozen out by his employers at Channel 4 for making a documentary about his work. But now, Fuller says that he is increasingly uneasy about the direction that Peterson and other members of the Intellectual Dark Web are going.
UnHerd’s Freddie Sayers sat down in the studio with the documentary-maker to dig a little deeper into his reservations about Jordan Peterson and alternative media’s part in this story.