The Psychology of Totalitarianism: Professor Mattias Desmet, a Belgian psychologist, gained worldwide recognition toward the end of 2021, when he presented the concept of “mass formation” as an explanation for the absurd and irrational behavior we were seeing with regard to the COVID pandemic and its countermeasures.
He also warned that mass formation gives rise to totalitarianism, which is the topic of his new book, “The Psychology of Totalitarianism.”
Desmet’s work was further popularized by Dr. Robert Malone, whose appearance on the Joe Rogan podcast was viewed by about 50 million people.
But as the search term “mass formation” exploded in popularity, Google responded by manipulating the search engine results in an attempt to discredit Desmet and show people in their search results information that would cause them to discount the importance of this work.
Why? Because Google is at the core of the global cabal and movement toward totalitarianism, writes Dr. Joseph Mercola, the founder of Mercola.com, an osteopathic physician, best-selling author and recipient of multiple awards in the field of natural health.
Understanding the Psychology of the Times Is Crucial
The Psychology of Totalitarianism: Those who refuse to learn from history are bound to repeat it, they say, and this appears particularly pertinent in the present day because, as explained by Desmet, if we don’t understand how mass formation occurs and what it leads to, we cannot prevent it. How did Desmet reach the conclusion that we were in the process of mass formation? He explains:
“In the beginning of the Corona crisis, back in February 2020, I started to study the statistics on the mortality rates of the virus, the infection fatality rates, the case fatality rate and so on, and immediately, I got the impression — and with me, several world-famous statisticians, such as John Ioannidis of Stanford, for instance — that the statistics and mathematical models used dramatically overrated the danger of the virus.
Immediately, I wrote an opinion paper trying to bring some of the mistakes to people’s attention. But, I noticed immediately that people just didn’t want to know. It was as if they didn’t see even the most blatant mistakes at the level of the statistics that were used. People just were not capable of seeing it.”
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This early experience made him decide to focus on the psychological mechanisms at play in society, and he became convinced that what we were seeing were in fact the effects of a large-scale process of mass formation, because the most salient characteristic of this psychological trend is that it makes people radically blind to everything that goes against the narrative they believe in.
They basically become incapable of distancing themselves from their beliefs, and therefore cannot take in or evaluate new data. Desmet continues:
“Another very specific characteristic is that this process of mass formation makes people willing to radically sacrifice everything that is important to them — even their health, their wealth, the health of their children, the future of their children.
When someone is in the grip of a process of mass formation, he becomes radically willing to sacrifice all his individual interest. A third characteristic, to name only a few, is that once people are in the grip of a process of mass formation, they typically show a tendency of cruelty towards people who do not buy into the narrative, or do not go along with the narrative. They typically do so as if it is an ethical duty.
In the end, they are typically inclined, first, to stigmatize, and then, to eliminate, to destroy, the people who do not go along with the masses.
And that’s why it is so extremely important to understand the psychological mechanisms at work, because if you understand the mechanisms at work, you can avoid the mass formation to become so deep that people reach this critical point in which they really are fanatically convinced that they should destroy everyone that does not go along with them.
So, it’s extremely important to understand the mechanism. If you understand it, you can make sure that the crowd, the mass, will first destroy itself, or will exhaust itself, before it starts to destroy the people that do not go along with the mass.
So, it’s of crucial importance, and that’s what my book describes. It describes how a mass, a crowd, emerges in a society, under which conditions it emerges, what the mechanisms of the process of mass formation are, and what you can do about it. That’s extremely important. I will mention this from the beginning.
Usually, it is impossible to wake up the masses. Once a process of mass formation emerges in a society, it’s extremely difficult to wake the masses up. But, [waking them up is] important, [because] you can avoid the masses and their leaders becoming so fanatically convinced of their narrative that they start to destroy the people who do not go along with them.”
Indeed, to those of us who did not fall under the spell of the irrational COVID narrative, the cruelty with which political leadership, media and people at large tried to force compliance was shockingly abhorrent. Many were physically attacked, and some even killed, simply for not wearing a face mask, which we knew was a useless prevention strategy.
Historical Context for Mass Hypnosis
The Psychology of Totalitarianism: It is easier to understand what mass formation is if you consider it as mass hypnosis, because they’re not merely similar, they’re identical, Desmet says. Mass formation is a kind of hypnosis that emerges when specific conditions are met. And, disturbingly, these conditions, and the hypnotic trance that emerges, almost always precede the rise of totalitarian systems.
While totalitarianism and a classical dictatorship share certain features, there are distinct differences at the psychological level. According to Desmet, a classical dictatorship, at the psychological level, is very primitive. It’s a society that is frightened of a small group, a dictatorial regime, because of its aggressive potential.
Totalitarianism, on the other hand, arises from a very different psychological mechanism. Interestingly, the totalitarian state didn’t actually exist before the 20th century. It’s a relatively new phenomenon, and it’s based on mass formation or mass hypnosis.
The conditions for this mass hypnotic state (listed below) were first met just before the emergence of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, so that’s our historical context. These conditions were again met just before the COVID crisis. What we’re seeing now is a different kind of totalitarianism, largely due to technological advancements that have created extremely effective tools to subconsciously influence the public.
We now have very sophisticated tools with which to hypnotize far larger masses of people than they could in earlier times. But while our current-day totalitarianism is global rather than regional, and the information war more sophisticated than anything the Soviets or Nazi’s could muster, the basic psychological dynamics are still identical.
The Psychology of Totalitarianism: So, what are those psychological dynamics? “Mass formation” is a clinical term that in layman’s jargon could simply be translated as a kind of mass hypnosis, which can occur once certain conditions are fulfilled.
When you are being hypnotized, the first thing the hypnotist will do is to detach or withdraw your attention from the reality or environment around you. Then, through his hypnotic suggestion — usually a very simple narrative or sentence stated out loud — the hypnotist will focus your full attention on a single point, for instance, a moving pendulum or just his voice.
From the perspective of the hypnotized person, it will seem as though reality has vanished. An extreme example of this is the use of hypnosis to make people insensitive to pain during surgery. In that situation, the patient’s mental focus is so narrow and intense, that they don’t notice that their body is being cut into. Read the full article here.
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