Save The Last Trance For Me
The Covid episode opens up the terrifying possibility that society is now so amenable to hypnoidal mechanisms that it may soon be unrealistic to expect them not to fall prey to every passing tyrant.
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In his book on the new left, Fools, Frauds and Firebrands, the late English philosopher Sir Roger Scruton compares the language of the modern left to the concept of Newspeak devised by George Orwell for his novel 1984. Actually, Scruton traces Orwell’s creation back to the sloganeering of the French Revolution, and later the pre-Bolshevik era Russian intelligentsia and Socialist International of the late 19th century. In such quarters, slogans were essential to stigmatising dissidents, revisionists, deviationists and the like, and its success convinced communists that it was possible to alter reality by coining new phrases and words. Repeated use of the term ‘crisis of capitalism’ could be used to bring down an economy; constant invocation of ‘democratic centralism’ could insinuate that dictatorship was not in fact dictatorship; the call for ‘the liquidation of the bourgeoisie’ could conjure the targeted person out of his human body, reifying and isolating him.
A key instrument in the LGBT assault on Ireland from early 2014 was the use of the word ‘homophobic’ to demonise anyone who failed to supply 100% endorsement to the gay agenda. This was in anticipation of the ‘marriage equality’ referendum to take place in mid-2015. ‘Homophobia’, of course, is a made-up word, with no clear objective meaning, other than the one that has accrued to it in culture. It was invented by gay activists as an instrument of war, designed to demonise enemies, critics and opponents in a way that would marginalise them and either render them silent or have then ejected from public discussion. The word deliberately confuses the concepts of fear and hated, implying that the ‘sufferer’ from homophobia experiences both a fear of gays and a repugnance of them. A ‘phobia’ is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as ‘extreme or irrational fear or dislike of a specified thing’. The same dictionary defines ‘homophobia’ as ‘an intense aversion to homosexuality and homosexuals’. To call someone a ‘homophobe’ is not merely to demonise and therefore silence them, it is to obviate the necessity of responding reasonably to anything they say. The accusation of ‘homophobia’ levels a charge that cannot be answered or refuted, because it implies a fault that lies in character rather than actions. The word therefore attacks its object in multiple ways, while also warning bystanders that, should they fail to acquiesce in every aspect of the gay agenda, they are liable to being attacked in the same way.
‘Newspeak,’ writes Scruton, ‘occurs when the primary purpose of language — which is to describe reality — is replaced by the rival purpose of asserting power over it. . . . Newspeak sentences sound like assertions, but their underlying logic is that of the spell. They conjure the triumph of words over things, the folly of rational argument and also the danger of resistance.’
Scruton described the process whereby we are invited by words to see someone as an enemy, an untouchable. Confronting someone as a human being, he writes, entails giving that person a voice, which means words must be used as a tool of negotiation, agreement or disagreement. ‘I make remarks about the weather, grumble about politics, pass the time of day’, he writes, ‘and my language has the effect of softening reality, of making it pliable and serviceable. Newspeak, which denies reality, also hardens it by turning it into something alien and resistant, a thing to be “struggled with” and triumphed over.’ Ordinary language ‘warms and softens; Newspeak freezes and hardens… does not merely impose a plan; it also eliminates the discourse through which human beings can live without one.’
In this context it is not fanciful to speak about the role of language in triggering a form of hypnoidal state in which people become terrified of being called certain toxic names, in effect dubbed, or daubed, with hypnotic trigger phrases, such as ‘racist’, ‘white supremacist’, etc. These phrases become, in modern political discourse, the equivalents of the stage hypnotist’s code-words, calculated to invoke the trance of a generation of opinion formers who remain in a repetitive loop of retro-sentiment defined by the counter-cultural mantras of young people from a completely different world. All of them are rooted in 1960s concepts of ‘human rights’, which have become as though indelibly stamped on youth and pop culture, thus rendering them amenable to be weaponised for agendas and campaigns which may have little or nothing in common with those past struggles. The word ‘racist’, for example, accesses a deep reservoir of psychic power rooted in slavery, apartheid, Jim Crow, civil rights, MLK etc., and creates a kind of extrasensory current that exercises a profound terrifying power over people who have not trained themselves to deconstruct the process. It means that at some level the charge of racism sticks to them — both in their own minds and, as a question, in the minds of bystanders and observers, so that no one is satisfactorily able to rebut the charge so levelled, and all are agreed that the spell poses a risk of sticking to everyone, and is therefore — along with its target — best given a wide berth. This is why, in discussion about immigration or what is called cultural appropriation, people preface every contribution with ‘I’m not a racist but...’, as though a racist might start off my admitting he was one. The effect of this is to strengthen the spell, to spread the goo more disastrously on the hands of the object, who clearly doth protest too much!
We speak therefore of words that are no longer words, but rather magical entities that serve to deter and corral. Spell language is designed not to describe or explain things but to invoke a set of pre-programmed demonic descriptions with which to detonate an explosion of disapproval calculated to dispose of what the suspect in his defence is likely to describe as ‘common sense’ — usually some category of what is called ‘conservative’ counter-argument or objection. The language is also calculated to protect in a manner immune from scrutiny all that the word-conjurer seeks to defend. When these words are uttered, almost no one listening encounters or is prompted to a thought; most simply feel themselves stung as though by a cattle prod or an electric fence, thereby experiencing a kind of shame at even knowing the targeted person, which in the vast majority of cases is sufficient to cause an immediate falling into line.
This form of sorcery has come to saturate our cultures. Indeed, the events of the past year open up the terrifying possibility that human beings in general are now so amenable to hypnoidal mechanisms that in the future it may be unrealistic to expect them not to fall pretty to every passing tyrant.
The claimed spread of SARS-CoV-2, which through the mechanism of lockdown ravaged the world, its economies, cultures and households, in the first half of 2020, attacked humanity in the most intimate ways imaginable: in the closest relations between peoples, in their entitlement and capacity to earn a living, in their most sacred liberties, their most carefully husbanded resources, health, not least their mental health. As a cursory glance at the relevant statistics will affirm, the ‘pandemic’ was a carefully orchestrated lie, accompanied by campaigns of terror perpetrated by politicians and technocrats, consolidated by establishment mouthpieces travelling in the robes of journalists and enforced by brutish police forces the world over. The effect was a mass paranoia concerning a risk of death no higher than a medium-rage influenza, and less than that incurred by the average person crossing a busy road.
Perhaps the most shocking aspect of the Covid-19 story is the manner in which vast swathes of the world’s population immediately and unquestioningly fell into line, carrying out to the letter the most absurd and contradictory diktats of their governments, in defiance of facts and reason. This was achieved by what was, in effect, a process of mass entrancement, imposed by the use of propaganda, neurolinguistic programming and terror tactics.
Like any form of hypnosis, mass entrancement depends on the leveraging of several inter-related conditions in the subject: heightened emotion, a focusing of attention, including impaired or reduced peripheral awareness, and an elevated imaginative state — all conditions contributing to vastly increased suggestibility. The Covid-19 scare and accompanying lockdowns enabled these criteria to be met almost everywhere on a 24-hour basis.
The process at work is somewhat different to the use of hypnotic or ‘spell’ phrases, described above, to herd individuals into what is called politically correct thinking, but it is of the same family of techniques of mass manipulation. These processes could not have been formulated without the assistance of highly practised psychologists and other experts in mind control, capable of exploiting both individual psychological pathologies and comprehending dysfunctional family dynamics to expose and manipulate weaknesses in human persons and relationships. The Covid operation harnessed the dynamics of archetypal relationships between narcissists/psychopaths (politicians) and co-dependent submissives (citizens), in effect weaponising on a grand scale the dynamics of a kind of platonic BDSM.
The chief instruments of manipulation involved the leveraging of guilt, obligation and fear, in a variation on the nice cop/nasty cop routine. This took the form of a rolling series of apparently mixed messages: ‘The pandemic is coming and will cause millions of deaths’. But, ‘We are with you’’. But, ‘Stay at home, save lives’. But, ‘Go to your front door and clap/dance/light a candle for the front line workers’. And, don’t forget, ‘Being apart brings us together’. So, ‘Let us leave no one behind’. Et cetera. As with the use of conventional spell words, the language employed was top-heavy with negative slogans and phrases designed to instil fear and dread. Those who did not obey were told they were risking the lives of others and repeatedly urged to ‘do the right thing’. This was accompanied by the use of embedded command phrases that appeared random and superfluous but actually served to emphasise the mandatory nature of what was being conveyed: ‘It just has to be’. ‘There is no alternative’. ‘All you have to do is follow the rules’.
Celebrities were rolled out to supply further emphases, offering a semblance of ‘objective’ confirmation of the scale of the crisis and the necessity for obedience, which further propelled the recruitment of citizens in the process of their own incarceration.
Imagination is a key tool of the hypnotist. With an appropriate script and a deliberate mimicry of well-remembered charismatic leaders of the past — a touch of Kennedy, a soupcon of Churchill — even the most plank-like politician could affect a sufficiency of charisma or gravitas to seduce his audience into the zone wherein to weave word-pictures and teleport his captives to a place of collective imagining. The mood of siege or crisis thus established was sufficient to inveigle stronger-minded holdouts to join in.
By affecting empathy, rapport, a sense of common purpose, the ‘hypnotist’ guides his subjects towards the desired frame-of-mind. He seeks access to the unconscious, but not that of the individual person; rather, he wishes to remove each member of his audience to a common place: the herd mind in which he knows they can all come to share approximately the same outlooks, so that henceforth they can be summoned to that place by signs and triggers without being required to leave their armchairs.
TV creates an ideal instrument of this form of hypnosis, not least because the news comes sandwiched between movies and soap operas that engage the imaginative and emotional elements of the mind. These, maintained by fictionalised treatments of reality, provide the heightened state that renders the subject amenable to be lured into the trance. Once achieved, the trance can be reactivated at will in anyone whose attention, kept primed by fictional narratives, remains in this state of focused imaginative attention, highly prone to easy emotional arousal.
When in such a hypnoidal trance, in the grip of its dominant emotion — rage, hatred, fear, anxiety, sadness, worry, envy, greed, selfishness — humans retreat into their reptilian minds, becoming cut off from their thinking brains and thereby more susceptible to adopting a locked-in, limited view of reality. In the lockdown episode, fear of death was the chief emotional trigger imposed by the controllers.
As outlined in ‘Wall of Lies’, my recent article on propaganda, a herd has a different psychology to that of an individual, a sort of collective mind that makes them in that situation feel, think and act in a manner quite differently from that in which each individual would feel, think and act when alone. Herds are, generally speaking, stupider than individuals, and highly prone to follow a single current of emotion in their midst.
Creating a hypnotic state involves three phases: idealisation, devaluation and alienation. Idealisation is also called ‘love-bombing’, whereby the controller/hypnotist strives to identify with and mirror the target individual or social group. In this case, the controller is the politician or health tsar who seeks to corral the public while making them believe he is doing them a great favour. In reality, he follows the same line of attack as the habitual wife-beater. He thanks the people for their stoicism thus far, praises them, reminds them they are ‘saving lives’ then spells out the next stage. The controllers in this case include the media — the journaliars — usurping their roles as watchdogs and truth-tellers to exert powers of manipulate and control using the weapons of fear, guilt and obligation, which impress the presence of constant danger on the reptilian lower brain, ensuring widespread compliance.
Language — the use of spell words — is again central to the endeavour. The reptilian non-brain responds to repetition — of words and phrases, memes, catchwords, clichés, which serve to embed the hypnotic suggestions to the extent that they became beliefs, immune to rational argumentation. Physical triggers can be more efficient than verbal ones, especially if self-administered, creating an instant Pavlovian effect.
All this kicked in with a vengeance from about mid-March last year. Throughout the ‘pandemic’ period, the pathways in the parks near my home had intermittently placed chalk figures separated by arrows pointing at each figure (indicating the extent of two meters), clearly designed to evoke the chalk marks investigators draw around the corpse of a murder victim. (Interestingly, these markings, which had all but disappeared, have been restored in the past couple of weeks. For those daft enough to watch TV pr listen to the radio, statistics of deaths, most of them invented or inflated, were rolled out by the hour. Terms like ‘deadly virus’ were used non-stop: The phrase ‘new normal’ had the effect of insinuating the loss of things long cherished, a state of bereavement, invoking a grief that did not realise its name. The applauding by candlelight of ‘front line workers’ became a way of compelling holdouts to throw themselves into the spell as though into battle.
The second phase, ‘devaluation’, is analogous to the live cooking of a frog. Words of praise and consolation are juxtaposed with house arrest, instigating a form of induced Stockholm Syndrome. If feedback indicates that the populace is beginning to wake up to the deception and manipulation, the controller/wife-beater must show that he is indeed working for everybody's good by intermittently appearing to be on their side. This registers in the entranced individual as a chemical rush of serotonin, oxytocin and other chemicals of relief, which facilitate the deepening of the stranglehold.
Images and ideas of restriction, control, humiliation, are packaged in sentimental and often paradoxical forms of manipulation: nurses or police officers dancing amidst what we are led to presume are unremitting scenes of death; grandchildren waving to their heartbroken grandparents through a wound-up car window. Here, the glass becomes a symbol of the invisible wall that may permanently separate them, a portent of the ‘new normal’, invoking dread of an unknowable future. Generated confusion, mixed messages, are central elements: you must be sure to take care of old people — just don’t go near lest you kill them; it is important to become infected to achieve immunity but at all costs avoid infecting other healthy people; wear a face mask, even though ‘experts’ say they are ineffective. Wear two face masks, just to prove you are not an anti-masker. The inconsistency and incoherence of the messages is not random or chaos-driven — it has a planned and precise purpose: to destabilise the sensibility of the subject, rendering him amenable to further manipulation. Since he cannot understand, he simply obeys.
Then comes the final phase of the hypnosis: ‘Abandonment’, the iron fist. No more Mr Nice Guy. The police, it turns out, have been issued with more equipment, more vehicles, more guns, more batons, rottweiler-shaped robots to spy on the public. Reinforcements are brought in, including trainees dressed up as robo-cops, part of the process of abasement. The talk of vaccine passports shifts from a possibility to a racing certainty. Now the real motives may more readily be seen. Our rights having been stripped away, we begin to awake to the folly of thinking of the controllers as our savours or guardians. In order to maintain the control, a method of what known as ‘intermittent reinforcement’ takes place, whereby the tone of the controllers becomes more austere and threatening, establishing another layer of conditions in respect of the future. Unless compliance improves, we are warned, the ante may have to be increased. We should not expect a return to normal any time soon — or at all. The ‘second/third/fourth wave’ is mentioned in tones of disappointed rebuke, setting up an expectation that failure to meet the contradictory requirements may result in further coercion. With each intermittent reinforcement there will be a further erosion of civil liberties and so the programme goes on.
Ritual is a key factor in the alteration of expectations, which in turn transforms reality. Rituals are process of initiation and renewal, which reinforce beliefs, behaviours, and values, inducing conformity, groupthink, accommodation to changes in structures, a reinvented sense of belonging. Rituals are transformative, redefining, rebirthing, anchoring the subject in his new situation.
Rituals work subliminally to alter perception, to strengthen or exaggerate existing emotions. The initiate in a religious rite is separated from reality and, in advance of the ritual, placed in isolation so as to become decontaminated from everyday influences: Shelter-in-place involves a form of detoxification from the logic, desires, assumptions and language of the world, a process of renouncing that facilitates a coming to terms with losses about to be imposed as part of the initiation: loss of freedom, loved ones, hopes, expectations. Here we begin to glimpse the true purpose of the Covid project: to prepare us to relinquish the kind of life we took for granted hitherto.
A transition follows: the subject begins to let go of everything she has taken for granted, prepares to enter a new regime, to cross the threshold to a new era. A new mood descends, a mixture of fear and sorrow, accompanied by an escalating sense of powerlessness that threatens to overwhelm until the subject agrees to accept. Then comes the liberation and release that accompany the signing away of freedom for an insinuated higher purpose. This is akin to the liminal state between life and death. The old life is subjected to a form of scorched earth, presaging a surrender to the new normal.
By persuading people to engage in rituals — essentially collective rites and ceremonies they would not normally succumb to while alone, it is possible to draw them into an imagined herd for the purpose of imbuing them with collective thoughts, breaking with existing or normative patterns of thought and behaviour. Using repetition and emotional enhancement, the ritual imposes a new language, new signposts contained in words and symbols. Ritual also operates to impose new codes as a way of effecting changes in thinking, working primarily at the spiritual and psychological levels, but unnoticed as such. It serves to suspend the cognitive dimension, thus eliminating any individual reservations that might otherwise manifest as embarrassment, while activating elements of the mind not usually engaged. The subject is both actor and spectator.
In the course of the ‘pandemic’, the face mask emerged as a new symbol of pseudo-solidarity, though really it was used as an instrument of fear-mongering, alienating and division. Many of the more enthusiastic maskers happily doubled as mask-marshalls, policing their neighbours, even strangers, with accusations about granny-killing and selfishness. The mask provokes a death of the ego, enabling a new self to be born: the temporary covering of the old face while the new one is immersed in the period of gestation necessitated by the transformation. It was not very often a pretty sight. The more threadbare the Covid-19 story became, the more people seemed to be wearing the face mask, not so much as precautionary apparel as a form of accusation: You are threatening my life! The hypnotised as hypnotist. Once the mask is donned, the subject becomes his more fearful self, but also more tyrannical, the secret weapon of totalitarianism.
The mask obliterates the face, the window of the soul, thus reducing the wearer to a kind of humanimal. Beholding one another in the street — masked, visored, alert for the slightest incursion into our personal six foot of space, jumping out of our skins at the slightest cough, sniffle or sneeze — it became clear that we were being coached to no longer look upon one another and perceive the iconic shape of the human being in history — limbs, trunk, head, face, gaze, smile — but see instead a moving blob of festering matter, a biohazard to be avoided on pain of death. In a sense, this is a reversal of the civilising process, which has over centuries coached humans beings to, among mush else, avoid seeing each other in the terms summoned up by Nietzsche in The Genealogy of Morality: man defined by ‘repulsive’ traits disapproved of by himself: ‘impure begetting, disgusting nourishment in the womb, vileness of the matter out of which man develops, revolting stench, excretion of saliva, urine, and feces’. Clearly, whereas such definitions have an objective basis, to carry such notions of ourselves around in our imaginations would soon reduce each of us to a state of constant perturbation, disintegrating our desire to be alive.
In The Human Person and Natural Law, Karol Wojtyla wrote about ‘the essence of a thing’ being taken as the basis of ‘all actualisation of the thing’, which in human terms meant perceiving the unity represented by the ensouled being within the encasing body. The essence of the human person was not to be found in the biological matter comprising his physical totality: he was also creativity and will and emotion and conscience and subjectivity and self-reflection — all parts of the human creativity that cause us to rise above the Nietzschean reduction.
Perhaps the most emphatic and lasting effect of Covid-19 will be to shift the entirety of our capacities for self-perception from the largely-metaphysical to the overwhelming phenomenological plane. It is not far-fetched to fear that, under the attrition of the lockdown psy-op, our personal and collective self-image as human beings began dissolving, bringing an end to the millennia-old sense of the human person as an embodied soul on an earthly sojourn. We shall need new words to describe this, and they are unlikely to be pretty.