by Andrew Orlowski
Wednesday, 5
January 2022
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07:00

‘Mass formation psychosis’ gets a warning from Google

Robert Malone's mentioned it on Joe Rogan — so the search engine acted
by Andrew Orlowski
Robert Malone’s (L) interview with Joe Rogan was taken down by YouTube this week

Many more people turn to Google for information about the world than use Twitter, so when Google censors ideas, the societal impact is potentially very wide reaching. Last week one specific search term drew a speedy and surprising response from the search giant.

“It looks like these results are changing quickly,” a notice explained. “If this topic is new, it can sometimes take time for results to be added by reliable sources.”

The term is “mass formation psychosis”, a description of collective hysteria, and it had gained a sudden spike in popularity and searches after a talk by a Belgian academic discussing the phenomenon was promoted by anti-vaxxer Robert Malone in an appearance on the Joe Rogan show (which YouTube has since deleted).

Searches for a well-known concept yielded no results after it was promoted by Robert Malone

According to Professor Mattias Desmet of the psychology faculty at Ghent University, whose talk was extensively discussed by Rogan and Malone, a generalised sense of anxiety leaves a population in a hypnotic state, vulnerable to suggestion. It isn’t a new idea. Mass formation draws on work by the 19th century writer Gustave Bon, commonly credited as the father of crowd psychology. Le Bon was avidly read by Lenin, Hitler and Mussolini, and became a huge influence on Louis Bernays, Freud’s nephew and the inventor of modern public relations.

Talking about mass formation seems to be a freelance venture by Professor Desmet, whose published work focuses on psychotherapy for the individual, not social psychology. But it is not hard to see why it was seized upon by a spectrum of people broadly opposed to pandemic interventions, ranging at its extremes to conspiracy theorists (before Malone promoted it, it had been aired on a number of podcasts).

Besides the very obvious point that Google is editorialising, and therefore imperilling its safe harbour privileges — a point frequently made by former President Donald Trump — this latest intervention raises two questions.

You may think, as I do, that using individual psychological explanations to account for the behaviour of a crowd is a fundamental category error: a crowd is not a person. By attributing a condition such as hypnosis to the population, the individual’s internal motivations are brushed aside. But social psychology, for all its flaws, has been an influential field of enquiry.

In fact, studying how communications media can be used to totalitarian ends used to be a prime liberal concern. It was the motivation behind the establishment of the Radio Research Project in the 1930s by the Rockefeller Foundation. Hitler had risen to power through radio, using it to hypnotic effect, so the project invited researchers to consider the role played by new media, and how Hitler had exploited it.

But the intervention begs a more intriguing question – now that certain concepts need L-plates, where does this end? Google was prompted to qualify its results after a concept was promoted by a popular conspiracy theorist. So if Piers Corbyn now offers an opinion on the Nash Equilibrium, or the teaching of phonics, will the search terms for these ideas also get the plates? For consistency, they should. We shall see.

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Sharon Overy
Sharon Overy
8 months ago

For crying out loud! How can someone who’s been double vaccinated, as Robert Malone is, be an “anti-vaxxer”?

Laziness or irony given that the subject is, essentially, about misleading the public?

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
8 months ago
Reply to  Sharon Overy

Same way critics of Israeli actions are anti-Semites and people who think men are not women are “transphobes”.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
8 months ago

Critics of Israeli actions are not antisemites, but deniers of Israel’s right to exist are.

stephen archer
stephen archer
8 months ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

Whilst you guys are focusing on Israel you might like to check out Malone’s findings on the vaccine’s effect on womens’ menstruation cycles in Israeli orthodox communities, just over an hour into the video. Scary!

Justin Clark
Justin Clark
8 months ago
Reply to  Sharon Overy

Definition of anti-vaxxer : a person who opposes the use of vaccines or regulations mandating vaccination
Quite a few vaccinated anti-vaxxers in that second category.

Last edited 8 months ago by Justin Clark
Jim Nichols
Jim Nichols
8 months ago
Reply to  Justin Clark

This is the problem. Some American dictionaries have recently now changed the definition of anti vaxxer, as per the above example.

Language is being politicised and changed in order to manipulate the debate.

Warren T
Warren T
8 months ago
Reply to  Jim Nichols

Language has been politicized for centuries. The difference today is that we have so much access to it 24/7 and so many younger people do not have the critical thinking filters and skills that older folks were taught in school.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
8 months ago
Reply to  Warren T

I don’t think language has been ‘politicised’ as such for centuries, since politics as we know it arose in mass industrial societies. However religion and social hierarchy were strongly supported and reinforced by language and indeed we still use many of those terms today (Christian often tending to mean generally good whether or not the person believe s in the Resurrection or the divinity of Jesus, ‘noble’, ‘villain’ -from ‘villein’ – etc.

Last edited 8 months ago by Andrew Fisher
Fiona Craig
Fiona Craig
8 months ago
Reply to  Justin Clark

It’s not a vaccine though.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
8 months ago
Reply to  Sharon Overy

Orlowski also calls Malone a “conspiracy theorist”, the new pejorative dumped on anyone whose opinion runs counter to the preferred narrative. Those two characterizations alone discredit this entire article.

Last edited 8 months ago by Allison Barrows
Robin P
Robin P
8 months ago

Orlowski also calls Malone a “conspiracy theorist”,

If you check through his article you will see that he doesn’t. And while I agree with the stupidity and dishonesty of the wide use of that term, there are indeed a “fringe” of crazy people who believe the most absurd nonsense such as “chemtrails” being used to poison everyone, when it is already so much easier to do so by adding toxic fluoride to water supplies.
More widely, Orlowski adds some sound critiques of Desmet’s ignorant notions, besides my own commentary in a longer comment here.

You may think, as I do, that using individual psychological explanations to account for the behaviour of a crowd is a fundamental category error: a crowd is not a person. By attributing a condition such as hypnosis to the population, the individual’s internal motivations are brushed aside. 

Indeed, as explained in my own account of authoritarianism

Talking about mass formation seems to be a freelance venture by Professor Desmet, whose published work focuses on psychotherapy for the individual, not social psychology.

Indeed, his profound ignorance of psychology more widely is all too obvious.

Jim Nichols
Jim Nichols
8 months ago
Reply to  Robin P

In the final paragraph of the article:

“…Google was prompted to qualify its results after a concept was promoted by a popular conspiracy theorist…”

I took this to be a reference by the author to Malone?

Peter Branagan
Peter Branagan
8 months ago
Reply to  Robin P

Reply to R [email protected]
It’s a fact that those affected by mass psychosis/mass formation are not confined to the ‘masses’ but affect university graduates, post grads and even post docs and professors to, at least, the same degree.
It is a sad fact that those affected are completely unaware that they have the condition.
Sadly it is clear that R [email protected] is particularly badly afflicted with the condition.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter Branagan

“This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.”
https://press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/511928.html

Warren T
Warren T
8 months ago

It is interesting that the term rarely gets ascribed to people on the Left, who make outrageous and unsubstantiated claims. Was Hillary Clinton accused of being a “conspiracy theorist” when she talked about “the vast right-wing conspiracy”?

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
8 months ago
Reply to  Warren T

No because those on the other side of the arguement (and others, bystanders,etc) knew she was just being Hillary.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
8 months ago

Ah your own wee cancel culture? You realise you’re in the same group that pulled down Colston’s statue because of its associations.
You can only understand the opposition and then deconstruct their arguments if you listen and read their material. Don’t join the cancel bigots.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
8 months ago
Reply to  Sharon Overy

And a vaccinologist and one of the developers of the mRNA technology. A truly contemptible piece of journalism.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
8 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zg1j7Zquoc for similar, Bret Weinstein,

the banned vidoe talked above https://odysee.com/@BannedYouTubeVideos:4/JOE-ROGAN-AND-DR-ROBERT-MALONE:c

a MUST Watch! Fun and interesting, watch before you Vax!

stephen archer
stephen archer
8 months ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I’ve just listened to the first 1½ hours of this and I’m gobsmacked by some of his discoveries and assertions, and that’s even after listening to McCullough and Martin. The conspiracy ceases to be a theory when respected professionals, all highly relevant and knowledgeable in their fields are presenting verifiable facts and not just vague and unsubstantiated theories. The character assassinations and suppression going on are truly alarming and deeply troubling.

Last edited 8 months ago by stephen archer
Kate Marris
Kate Marris
8 months ago
Reply to  stephen archer

It’s very shocking when you first learn from entirely credible, institutional professionals. Truly alarming and deeply troubling just as you say.

Richard Aylward
Richard Aylward
8 months ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

First, we never miss an episode of Weinstein/Heying Darkhorse Podcast and support independents we watch.Second, YouTube fed me the Desmet video prior to Malone on Rogan. He is also a statistician and make a compelling arguments. Third, we also watch Steve Deace and Daniel Horowitz regularly. That’s enough to cause several heads here to explode. All of them have been months ahead on the Covidistan issue. and hosted Malone, Kory, McCullough, Cole, and other heroes quite some time ago. I pray Ryan Cole is next on Rogan…

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
8 months ago
Reply to  Sharon Overy

Malone developed vaccines. He made it very clear in the podcast that he was very pro vaccination. He was angry and concerned that these vaccines were going to make people more “vaccine hesitant” in the future if the results work out as he believes they will. He is angered by the lack of rigor around the testing and studies done on the safety of the vaccines and even more concerned about the mandates which are leading to people to mistrust public health even more.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
8 months ago
Reply to  Sharon Overy

Robert Malone is the World’s most vocal Anti Vaxxer! Watch the banned Youtube on Oddest https://odysee.com/@BannedYouTubeVideos:4/JOE-ROGAN-AND-DR-ROBERT-MALONE:c

Excellent Video! Fascinating, and WATCH before you Vax!

The vax is way too dangerous for normal, healthy, people to use, Insanity for children to use. Watch the video.

Then Unherd’s own Dr Bret Weinstein and Dr NcCullough on exactly the same – a TOP scientist telling the terrible problems with vaxing, and how giving the vax has caused half a million deaths un-nessicarialy, in the West. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zg1j7Zquoc

Mass Formation Psychosis has been talked of everywhere – you all may be snoozing off in watching kitten videos if you never heard of it.

Richard Aylward
Richard Aylward
8 months ago
Reply to  Sharon Overy

Exactly. Unless you realize the the term was recently redefined to include those that are against vaccine mandates. I don’t subscribe to the latest weaponization of the dictionary so I quit reading after most absurd line. (Edit: I reacted prior to reading the other comments. I bow to all who posited this idea prior to myself.)

Last edited 8 months ago by Richard Aylward
Norm Haug
Norm Haug
8 months ago
Reply to  Sharon Overy

He is a prime example of the type who say “do what I say, not what I do”. He protects himself first and then advises his followers to eschew vaccines and to rely on livestock dewormer instead.

Last edited 8 months ago by Norm Haug
Jimminy Timminy
Jimminy Timminy
7 months ago
Reply to  Sharon Overy

A prime example of the weaponised language of the ‘permanent pandemic’ brigade. I like cheese but I don’t think lactose intolerant people should be forced to eat it. I guess that makes me anti-cheese.

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
8 months ago

Yet another reason to move to DuckDuckGo for search.

Raymond Inauen
Raymond Inauen
8 months ago

Here’s the archived version of the original Wiki RNA vaccine entry before the removal of Dr. Robert Malone. Under history he is mentioned at the very beginning as being the scientist behind the developed a high-efficiency in-vitro and in-vivo RNA transfection system…
Before June 14, 2021
https://web.archive.org/web/20210614140319/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RNA_vaccine
After June 14, 2021
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MRNA_vaccine
If you try and use the old link it will be moved to the new one. 😉
However, if you look in the “references” at the bottom you will find “Robert Wallace Malone” mentioned. I guess Wiki didn’t completely erase him.

Last edited 8 months ago by Raymond Inauen
Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
8 months ago
Reply to  Raymond Inauen

Wow. First article, the name “Malone” gets nine hits on the page, three of them in the main article, six in the footnotes. Second article, only three mentions of Malone, all in the footnotes. Kind of like those famous pictures of Lenin, one with Trotsky, one without.

Last edited 8 months ago by Francis MacGabhann
Raymond Inauen
Raymond Inauen
8 months ago

That’s the same conclusion I came to, thanks for confirming it!

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
8 months ago
Reply to  Raymond Inauen

There are an Unherd interview with one of the founders of Wikipedia last year – they peddle a one sided narrative and continually manipulate entries.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
8 months ago

The use of certain terms in this article reveal bias. Dr. Malone is not adverse to vaccines, nor does he seem conspitorial as observed in his SubStack space. He is contrarian against the current narrative. The public fear during this pandemic has been remarkable and our society’s response has been remarkable as well. Malone postulates a reason. We can mull that over as we wish.
The missed point is the bias in search “to save us from unapproved information” and Malone’s being removed from Twitter “to save us from unapproved information”. Please allow me to be an adult who does not need such filters.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
8 months ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

Unfortunately, we are living in a world where information providers increasingly curate the information for us in case we think wrong thoughts. You may think you are an adult but in fact you have been reclassified as a vulnerable person who needs to be protected from wrong thoughts by suppressing any evidence that might cause you to doubt the approved truth.

Warren T
Warren T
8 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

LOL. And the next step is to save you from eating animal proteins, sugary drinks and overconsuming electricity.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
8 months ago
Reply to  Warren T

Why the lol? -10 social credit points for you.

AC Harper
AC Harper
8 months ago

From Wikipedia (Gulliver’s Travels):

The Lilliputians reveal themselves to be a people who put great emphasis on trivial matters. For example, which end of an egg a person cracks becomes the basis of a deep political rift within that nation. They are a people who revel in displays of authority and performances of power. 

It would seem that satire is still alive but embedded in real life.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
8 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Thanks for posting that quote. I’ve recently reread Gulliver’s Travels and remember reading and applying that description to the ‘Lilliputians’ of our times.

Sanja Sulić
Sanja Sulić
8 months ago

I stopped reading after use of the term “anti – waxxer”!

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
8 months ago
Reply to  Sanja Sulić

Quite right. Why shouldn’t women wax their legs if they want to.

Last edited 8 months ago by Jeremy Bray
Raymond Inauen
Raymond Inauen
8 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Spot on!

Sanja Sulić
Sanja Sulić
8 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Totally agree but there is a downside to using wax as it have to be repeated indefinitely. But don’t take my word for it (I never used the wax because of my allergies). I prefer a method that prevents the growth.

Gunner Myrtle
Gunner Myrtle
8 months ago

This is why I use Duck Duck Go for internet searches. Google has been doing this a long time. During the second climategate email incident I noticed that searching climate gate on google took you to an article tut tutting about how stealing emails was unethical. All day long I kept checking and searches on other engines like Bing showed the term taking off – but the number of ‘hits’ on Google kept dropping. It is a disgrace that we allow these companies to manipulate public opinion.

Warren T
Warren T
8 months ago
Reply to  Gunner Myrtle

Hooray! And what’s worse about Google is the sale of information about you to hundreds of their clients and the algorithmic strategies they use to keep you clicking.

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
8 months ago

The word ‘cult’ has a definition which applies to a surprisingly wide range of human institutions. This ‘mass formation psychosis’ seems to be the mesmerising brain mechanism exploited by those malfeasants who hope to be ‘great leaders’ of cultish acolytes.

Malcolm James McKillop
Malcolm James McKillop
8 months ago

Trusted News Initiative (TNI) A very real oxymoron.

Jürg Gassmann
Jürg Gassmann
8 months ago

Censors only ever censor the truth – falsehoods do not need to be censored, exposure is far more efficient.
Also, censors are always stupid and end up totally discrediting their medium. Established media, Google, FB, YouTube, Twitter etc. have within less than two years reduced their credibility to below that of Pravda and Izvestia.

mike otter
mike otter
8 months ago

Its still on screwtube i am listening at the mo….mass hysteria is as old as the human species and is probably evident in other animals too

Neven Curlin
Neven Curlin
8 months ago

Andrew Orlowski is a conspiracy theorist.

Sam
Sam
8 months ago

This article isn’t what I would expect to find on Unherd. Not because it goes against my views, and it doesn’t offer me confirmation bias. Or it offends me or anything. But to call Dr. Malone an anti-vaxxer and conspiracy theorist, really? If I want to hear that kind of juvenile take I’ll just tune into CNN.

Robin P
Robin P
8 months ago

There should not be this censorship, but more importantly, these notions of “mass psychosis” or “mass formation” reflect profound ignorance about psychology.
Years ago it was well-recognised that there is something called authoritarianism, and authoritarian mentality. There have been whole books about this. And associated with it is the delusion that we have meritocracy.
The present situation was fully explained already in my book Experts Catastrophe before this Covid even began.
But first some facts. These silly new ideas are DISPROVEN by the FACTS. The very firm observation is that there is very high belief in the Covophobia among posh “educated” people, and there is high disbelief among the non-posh non-“educated”. And that is the opposite of these silly “mass” theorists’ predictions. It is the people who are most comfortably in society who are the most Covophobic.
Coming now to authoritarianism, we all have to to an extent just rely on trusting our “superiors”. We don’t have time to research and question everything. So a level of unquestioning authoritarian mentality has evolved in us We all learn from the Bigger People – our parents, teachers, lecturers, professors. THIS is the brainwashing.
The exams system strongly rewards mindless authoritarianist parroting of “expertise”. “Earning” of qualifications acts as a biasing bribe adding to the delusion of a meritocracy.
Meanwhile there is huge disbelief among dark-skinned people because they are constantly bombarded with a message that they are victims of an inverted meritocracy (of “institutional racism”). So either that’s true and therefore there’s no meritocracy, OR it’s untrue and all the media are lying to the dark-skinned people hence again no honest meritocracy.
The popularity of this “mass” nonsense is itself a reflection of the gross incompetence of an academia which has forgotten most of what it had learnt only 50 years ago. I recommend books by Kreml and Eysenck for some more competent info, plus my own (pre-Covid) “Experts Catastrophe” for which I will add a link in a reply here.
Cheers, Robin P Clarke, someone who has actually STUDIED both psychology and medical charlatanism for many years, rather than become an instant expert the last year or two.

Robin P
Robin P
8 months ago
Reply to  Robin P

You can read for free the (pre-Covid) explanation of why there has been such a catastrophe of charlatanism, in the first chapter of my book Experts Catastrophe – http://www.pseudoexpertise.com/ch-1a.pdf
Cheers.
PS: If you are one of these ultra-superiors who don’t need to read things before dismissing them, then please just b off somewhere else instead as you won’t be properly appreciated here.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
8 months ago
Reply to  Robin P

First I’ve ordered your book from Amazon, and there is no question that we have a catastrophe as a result of diktats from so-called Experts, who are actually not really experts. e.g. Fauci, for all his past scientific accomplishments, is not a practicing physician – sure he sees the odd patient at the NIH clinical center once in a blue moon but that’s not the same thing as actually treating thousands of patients. But there is something else going on: and that is that many very smart (or at least highly credentialed) people, especially those on the left for some reason, are not prepared to listen to any facts that contradict the current ExpertTM narrative, and at least research these facts. And to top that big tech (FB, Google, Twitter, YouTube) are censoring any contrarian views. This is an extraordinary situation because for many all common sense and independent thought has been thrown out the window and blind faith has been put into the ExpertsTM.
The result is frighteningly dangerous. A an example, consider the mandating of boosters at many of the top US universities as a condition of attendance. How dumb can this be: (1) the population (students in their late teens and early 20s) in question is not really at risk of untoward consequences from a covid infection; (2) the risk of myocarditis in young males following vaccination is up 20-fold (and that’s only the tip of the iceberg) over background (from the VAERS database); (3) there is no such thing as mild myocarditis that entails hospitalizations – by definition that’s a severe adverse event (i.e. language is being distorted – in other words these mild cases of myocarditis are only mild relative to myocarditis resulting in end stage cardiac failure require a heart transplant!); (4) they are mandating boosters for a vaccine that is no longer effective against the current (Omicron) variant – indeed the monoclonal antibodies directed against the original spike are no longer effective so why one would expect a vaccine that produces the original spike to be effective is beyond me.

Robin P
Robin P
8 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Fauci is quite tame compared to the top leading expert we have here in the UK, professor Neil Ferguson, whom the BBC constantly wheel out for long erudite explanations about why we might need another “circuit-breaker” lockdown. For all I have to say about that please refer to http://www.pseudoexpertise.com/cherry.pdf and my own incompetent analysis of the deaths data of nine whole countries at http://www.pseudoexpertise.com/clarke-covid3.pdf
By the way, I think you indicate a popular illusion above. There is an important distinction between “taught knowledge” and “direct knowledge”, with the latter generally being greatly superior. BUT, when it comes to “what is happening nationally/globally”, there is no substitute for looking at the epidemiological data, which is of course not direct knowledge. And being a frontline physician, for instance in a hospital ward, does not entail any national viewpoint and indeed takes your attention away from studying the science. So, working on an intensive Covid ward actually goes with being LESS informed and expert rather than more! But talk to people in the shops and they will declare “but this guy works in a Covid ward so he is an expert”. This reflects the deep ignorance about expertise most people have in our society.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
8 months ago
Reply to  Robin P

I read your your PDF analysis. I would agree with everything you say in it. In fact, I would say it is so self-evident that it is surprising to me (probably very naively) so few of my learned colleagues are willing to even consider the data which as you rightly point out are in plain view in the public domain, at the click of a mouse.
And with regard to my learned colleagues I’m not talking about people who have any sort of financial or any other stake in the outcome, other than their own personal considerations.

Last edited 8 months ago by Johann Strauss
Robin P
Robin P
8 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

The result is frighteningly dangerous

I’d bet there’s no rush by those at the top of all this to prove that they have taken these wonder-treatments themselves – Mr Gates, heads of the various Pharmas, directors of the Publicis propaganda corporation, investors, etc…….

Robin P
Robin P
8 months ago
Reply to  Robin P

I should add that the notion that the True Believers of Covophobianity are “deluded” “Sheeple” or “suckers” under some psychological effect is entirely unsound. They are simply DISINFORMED, IGNORANT. They are victims of an “expertise” system which has become grossly corrupted (see my book links here) and an information system which has become completely censored by Gigantic Money. People do not understand that money controls everything. They do not understand how gigantic the money is. A million dollars is peanuts to these corporations and yet with even one such “peanut” you can employ whole professional teams to churn out lies about the truth-tellers and promote “professor” Ferguson as the great “leading expert”. THAT is all the causality you need here, not this clueless nonsense from the doubtlessly well-meaning Dr Desmet here.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
8 months ago
Reply to  Robin P

I don’t really agree here. It is unquestionable that fear has been used to promote behavioral changes. It is the biggest impact on their behavior from what I have experienced. This is the whole purpose of the SPI-B group and the Fors Marsh group in the USA. The money men wouldn’t have paid the Fors Marsh group $400 million dollars if it wasn’t working.

Last edited 8 months ago by Dennis Boylon
Robin P
Robin P
8 months ago
Reply to  Dennis Boylon

Thanks. I fully agree that fear (and shaming) has been a major component of the propaganda. Having studied marketing (exactly same as propaganda!) copywriting, I’m well aware that it targets emotions such as greed and fear. And also there has been that huge operation of deceit using those emotions.
But that in no way (a) undermines the position I explained in that Chapter 1, that it is just a matter of VERY STRAIGHTFORWARD individual psychology (in a context of huge propaganda disinformation), nor (b) validates the already disproven “mass formation” notion being here advanced by a person whose only expertise is in CLINICAL “psychology” (such as Freudian rubbish lol). Cheers.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
8 months ago
Reply to  Robin P

You are certainly correct that the initial event is that people are victims of an “expertise” system that has become corrupted. You are also correct that such people (the majority it so happens) are disinformed and ignorant. But the problem is that these people are so convinced of the correctness of the Experts that they can no longer be persuaded of the errors in their views by reasoned arguments and actual facts. In other words, following the Experts has become analogous to a religion or a cult. And that is sort of what is meant by “Mass Formation”.

Robin P
Robin P
8 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

But the problem is that these people are so convinced of the correctness of the Experts that they can no longer be persuaded of the errors in their views by reasoned arguments and actual facts. 

Thanks but I am well aware of that. And there’s nothing remarkable there. Once people have a notion massively built into their brains (by both authoritarianism instinct and DECADES OF “EDUCATION”), they consider it a “KNOWN FACT” that the bbc and professors speak the truth and any oddoes who say otherwise are “self-evidently” brainwashed by “misinformation”.
It is far harder for people to UNlearn faulty information than to just learn the correct in the first place.

This is a matter of individual psychology, nothing to do with some cult or mass.

 In other words, following the Experts has become analogous to a religion or a cult.

Not so. My first comment explained why innate programming plus whole decades of education cause this behaviour. People do not have time or energy to examine the reasons and evidence for everything. How about you spend more time considering that maybe you have been fooled that climate crisis is/isn’t ridiculous, go through all the published and unpublished data. It is nothing to do with a group phenomenon such as cult.
And no that is not what is meant by mass formation, it is a grossly incompetent concept as already explained in my first comment. Cheers…

Last edited 8 months ago by Robin P
Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
8 months ago
Reply to  Robin P

Interesting Robin. Ok, let’s discard “mass formation”.
But it does seem to me that it is awfully bizarre that colleagues of mine who are Members of the National Academy of Sciences, and therefore should be perfectly capable of assessing scientific/medical information critically and intelligently, just dismiss any concerns regarding serious adverse events following covid vaccination, especially when it is clear now that the vaccine does not prevent infection or transmission, but may only reduce the severity of symptoms (and even that isn’t for sure – it’s just something that is endlessly repeated as if it were fact). It is equally surprising that they (as well as many academic physicians) dismiss all inconvenient facts that go against the so-called mainstream narrative. Similarly it is very surprising that all these people are gung-ho for masks even though it is clear that they offer minimal protection at best, and it is also not clear from real world data that regular masks even act effectively as a method of source control.
The same is true of the panic over global warming, all based on mathematical modeling which gives the impression of tremendous rigor when it is anything but. I could understand it if the planet were really warming up dangerously, but 1 degree centigrade in a 150 years, especially since 1850 marks the beginning of the end of the mini-ice age, is not exactly either surprising or particularly worrying, especially when one considers previous highs in the Minoan, Roman and Medieval periods which could not have had anything to do with human-generated CO2. These same people will even deny US Government data from the reference NOAA dataset that was started by NOAA in 2005 for the 50 US states that shows absolutely no warming over the last 16 years in the US. And not only that, they will blame natural occurrences (such as blight) on global warming. But it’s not just smart people but the majority of climate scientists themselves who deny the best data, and fall back on heavily doctored/erroneous/corrected data. For example, recently, the current President of the National Academy of Sciences wrote to all members about the impending climate doom and existential crisis based on a summary of the latest IPCC report, yet if one actually goes to the report proper it says no such thing. Indeed, the analysis of the IPCC reports by Steve Koonin, who is hardly some right wing conspiracy theorist, given that he was Obama’s deputy Secretary of Energy and a world-renowned computational physicist, demonstrated quite clearly that there is no indication of impending doom and there is plenty of unsettled science, even in the bowls of the IPCC reports.
So I fully understand if people with no scientific/medical knowledge are easily hoodwinked, but in the case of COVID, it is precisely those who should be the least susceptible to hoodwinking who are actually hoodwinked, while many of the common folk (i.e. non-scientists and non-intellectuals) are not.
In other words, it seems to me that there is more going on than can just be explained at the level of the individual, given the huge numbers that appear to be affected, and all in the same direction.

Robin P
Robin P
8 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

You raise a crucial point here. The thing to understand is that there are two things, how the education system supposedly works, and how it actually works. Supposedly it teaches truth and critical thinking.
.Of course it does that to a significant extent. But especially in med schools, the exams system strongly discriminates in favour of mindless high-efficiency parroting, and strongly discriminates against stopping to ask whether it is all true, Independent thinkers are rigidly excluded by this system. And as for “critical thinking” these people actually believe that it consists of if the profs say it, or the authorities say it, and peer-reviewed, then it can be assumed to be true, whereas if some unpaid nobody says it, you should not even bother listening to them. They have zero understanding of the corrupting and biasing factors. This was explained in my first chapter http://www.pseudoexpertise.com/ch-1a.pdf
I meet and talk to people in very different areas of this city. There is a stark contrast. In the posh area near the university and hospital, the Covophobia is intense, whereas in the un-posh areas there is a lot of disbelief, hidden just below the surface.
That is because people in the posh areas believe there is a functioning meritocracy system, the good people are the heroes on BBC etc. The people in non-posh areas know otherwise. They are constantly told they are victims of “institutional racism”. Therefore, either (a) that it true and there’s no true meritocracy, or (b) it’s untrue so those superiors are all lying to us about it.

Last edited 8 months ago by Robin P
Robin P
Robin P
8 months ago
Reply to  Robin P

Also bear in mind that people with jobs in science are afraid to speak out against false bandwagons lest they harm their careers. Then the silence is assumed to mean non-disbelief.

Alex Stonor
Alex Stonor
8 months ago
Reply to  Robin P

Motivated by money and prestige; this is an important factor in the way that big corporations behave and manipulate. They want admiration & respect.

C D
C D
8 months ago

Robert Malone is not an anti vaxxer – really surprised at Unherd

Last edited 8 months ago by C D
jon smith
jon smith
8 months ago

For those who want the opportunity to make up their own mind the banned video is here: https://www.bitchute.com/video/RbEtHaVCeNYs/
I haven’t watched it yet so can’t confirm it’s definitely the original banned video etc
Also, as a first time visitor to bitchute, that was interesting lol

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
8 months ago
Reply to  jon smith

That is the interview. Watch it, then look up rogan and Dr McCullogh forr the same from an expert of equal credentials saying the same, or just watch him here with Bret Weinstein https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zg1j7Zquoc

Robin P
Robin P
8 months ago
Reply to  jon smith

Thanks but I’ll wait till the BBC and Professor Ferguson certify that it isn’t dangerous misinformation first!

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
8 months ago

Louis was his middle name. I believe he went by Edward Bernays. It should be noted that Joseph Goebbels had everything Edward Bernays ever published in his library. Bernays even mentioned it in his own autobiography. They were using my books as the basis for a destructive campaign against the Jews of Germany. This shocked me, but I knew any human activity can be used for social purposes or misused for antisocial ones.
The USA is the inventor and world leader in modern propaganda and behavioral modification. They have been for decades. Hill & Knowlton’s  Nayirah testimony production often comes to mind as a good example. The SPI-B group of SAGE in the UK and the Fors Marsh group in the USA that the Biden administration just rehired are doing this work on the coronavirus response for these governments. They should be watched closely. On a funny note when Trump signed them up for their first $250 million the Democrats started to get in an uproar for fear it might blunt their strongest campaign message against him. It seemed to be short lived though. Whoever the TPTB are must have told them to back off. Dr. Mattias discusses his theory here… if somebody want to hear it from the horse’s mouth.
 https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/dr-mattias-desmet-dr-robert-malone-dr-peter-mccullough-mass-formation-psychosis/

mike otter
mike otter
8 months ago

Interested to see that Malone thinks we can stop the scamdemic crew by using reason and finding common ground. There is only one solution to determined criminal group with guns. Once that becomes common ground the problem generally goes away as it did in 1945, 1648, 1776, 1917 etc etc

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
8 months ago

This Wikipedia article describes what’s happening in the West quite aptly:
Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism

Fiona Craig
Fiona Craig
8 months ago

To label Robert Malone an anti-vaxxer is ludicrous! He is strongly pro-vax but opposes the roll-out of this mRNA-based gene therapy. Surprisingly sloppy journalism from UnHerd.

Fran Martinez
Fran Martinez
8 months ago

Glad I switched to duck duck go long time ago

David B
David B
8 months ago

Another Desmet link here: https://ratical.org/PandemicParallaxView/EyeOfTheStorm-ProfMattiasDesmet.html
This is a transcript of a very interesting discussion around mass formation.

Trish Castle
Trish Castle
8 months ago

Mattias Desmet is not alone in his thinking re mass psychosis https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC7913136/

Last edited 8 months ago by Trish Castle
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
8 months ago

34:30 ‘We are in what is called A Mass Formation Psychosis’

https://odysee.com/@NoFriendRequests:5/Joe-Rogan-Peter-McCullough:c

one of the top world’s top research Doctors talking of why the covid response is entirely a Mass Formation Psychosis.

I have been hearing of Mass Psychosis for a wile now, and everyone talking negatively of covid response always talks of this phenomenon. It always ends up very badly indeed.

David Simpson
David Simpson
8 months ago

TIme to cancel Google, methinks

Andrzej Wasniewski
Andrzej Wasniewski
8 months ago

Mr. Orlowski
Listen to Joe Rogan podcast with Malone, the whole thing not the snippets you have seen or not just enough to apply few labels to dr Malone. What you wrote may appease the TwitterSS, but has nothing to do with the Malone opinions or expressed views.

Damian Hardy
Damian Hardy
8 months ago

Hold your horses… I’ve seen these warning plates on other less potentially controversial search terms before. I don’t think it necessarily means editorialising. I think your assertion that “Besides the very obvious point that Google is editorialising, and therefore imperilling its safe harbour privileges” is a pretty big leap of logic in this case.

Jim Nichols
Jim Nichols
8 months ago
Reply to  Damian Hardy

According to the caption under the screenshot in the article “Searches for a well-known concept yielded no results after it was promoted by Robert Malone”

So it’s more that just adding a ‘warning plate’; they actually blocked you from seeing any results.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
8 months ago
Reply to  Jim Nichols

As people migrate to alternative search engines they learn more. Google workers have become enemies of information as they decide what’s best for us. They imagine they can change our views via search and they may be right.

Warren T
Warren T
8 months ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

They sure are. They helped elect a hapless, senile, buffoon who spent 50 years in politics accomplishing absolutely nothing, with the exception of being pummeled by the media 30 years ago over being a plagiarist.

Last edited 8 months ago by Warren T