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Mass Formation Psychosis. The Madness of Crowds. And The End Of Progressive America.

Mass Formation Psychosis. The Madness of Crowds. And The End Of Progressive America.

Hope in the midst of despair. But first, things will fall apart, so get ready.

Used with permission reader WAJ

Until a few days ago, I had never heard the term “Mass Formation Psychosis.” There’s a phenomenon when something gets hot that all sorts of experts announce themselves on Twitter, when their expertise is about 24 hours old and an inch deep.

I’m not going to do that. I’ll just play you what the now Twitter-banned Robert W. Malone said on Joe Rogan that swept the internet for close to an entire news cycle:

From a substack article by Malone on December 9, 2021, MASS FORMATION PSYCHOSIS or… mass hypnosis- the madness of crowds (transcribing a different video):

A brief overview of Mass Formation, which was developed by Dr. Mattias Desmet. He is a psychologist and a statistician. He is at the University of Ghent in Belgium.  I think Dr. Mattias is onto something about what is happening and he calls this phenomena:


So, when he says “mass” formation, you can think of this as equivalent to “crowd” formation. One can think of this as:


The conditions to set up mass formation psychosis include lack of social connectedness and sensemaking as well as large amounts of latent anxiety and passive aggression. When people are inundated with a narrative that presents a plausible “object of anxiety” and strategy for coping with it, then many individuals group together to battle the object with a collective singlemindedness. This allows people to stop focusing on their own problems, avoiding personal mental anguish. Instead, they focus all their thought and energy on this new object.

As mass formation progresses, the group becomes increasingly bonded and connected. Their field of attention is narrowed and they become unable to consider alternative points of view.  Leaders of the movement are revered, unable to do no wrong.

Left unabated, a society under the spell of mass formation will support a totalitarian governance structure capable of otherwise unthinkable atrocities in order to maintain compliance. A note: mass formation is different from group think. There are easy ways to fix group think by just bringing in dissenting voices and making sure you give them platforms.  It isn’t so easy with mass formation.  Even when the narrative falls apart, cracks in the strategy clearly aren’t solving the issue, the hypnotized crowd can’t break free of the narrative.  This is what appears to be happening now with COVID-19.  The solution for those in control of the narrative is to produce bigger and bigger lies to prop up the solution.  Those being controlled by mass formation no longer are able to use reason to break free of the group narrative.

(added) A reader forwarded this video, which has over 4 million views on YouTube, from August 2021:

I hadn’t heard of Mass Formation Psychosis before, but I’m not sure it’s really anything novel as an explanation for mass hysteria. Malone’s subheadline on his substack references “the madness of crowds.” Ah, now that is familiar to me.

I am familiar with, and often quote, Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, by Charles Mackay (1841, revision 1852)(emphasis added):

PREFACE to the Edition of 1852

IN READING THE HISTORY OF NATIONS, we find that, like individuals, they have their whims and their peculiarities; their seasons of excitement and recklessness, when they care not what they do. We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object, and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first. We see one nation suddenly seized, from its highest to its lowest members, with a fierce desire of military glory; another as suddenly becoming crazed upon a religious scruple; and neither of them recovering its senses until it has shed rivers of blood and sowed a harvest of groans and tears, to be reaped by its posterity. At an early age in the annals of Europe its population lost their wits about the sepulchre of Jesus, and crowded in frenzied multitudes to the Holy Land; another age went mad for fear of the devil, and offered up hundreds of thousands of victims to the delusion of witchcraft. At another time, the many became crazed on the subject of the philosopher’s stone, and committed follies till then unheard of in the pursuit. It was once thought a venial offence, in very many countries of Europe, to destroy an enemy by slow poison. Persons who would have revolted at the idea of stabbing a man to the heart, drugged his pottage without scruple. Ladies of gentle birth and manners caught the contagion of murder, until poisoning, under their auspices, became quite fashionable. Some delusions, though notorious to all the world, have subsisted for ages, flourishing as widely among civilised and polished nations as among the early barbarians with whom they originated,—that of duelling, for instance, and the belief in omens and divination of the future, which seem to defy the progress of knowledge to eradicate them entirely from the popular mind. Money, again, has often been a cause of the delusion of multitudes. Sober nations have all at once become desperate gamblers, and risked almost their existence upon the turn of a piece of paper. To trace the history of the most prominent of these delusions is the object of the present pages. Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one….


The Tulipomania

Chapter 3

The rage for possessing them soon caught the middle classes of society, and merchants and shopkeepers, even of moderate means, began to vie with each other in the rarity of these flowers and the preposterous prices they paid for them. A trader at Harlaem was known to pay one-half of his fortune for a single root, not with the design of selling it again at a profit, but to keep in his own conservatory for the admiration of his acquaintance.

In 1634, the rage among the Dutch to possess them was so great that the ordinary industry of the country was neglected, and the population, even to its lowest dregs, embarked in the tulip trade. As the mania increased, prices augmented, until, in the year 1635, many persons were known to invest a fortune of 100,000 florins in the purchase of forty roots. It then became necessary to sell them by their weight in perits, a small weight less than a grain.

The demand for tulips of a rare species increased so much in the year 1636, that regular marts for their sale were established on the Stock Exchange of Amsterdam, in Rotterdam, Harlaem, Leyden, Alkmar, Hoorn, and other towns. Symptoms of gambling now became, for the first time, apparent.

You see, I was writing about the Madness of Crowds and Tulipomania long before I heard of Mass Formation Psychosis. Political Tulipomania, to be more precise, on October 10, 2009:

I have described Obamamania, as evidenced most recently by the award of the Nobel Peace Prize, as farce. I stand by that description. But farce is not the only apt term. I think the “folly” described by Charles MacKay over 150 years ago fits as well.

Where are we on the chart of Obama’s rising star at this moment in time? Hard to say. The Dutch tulip mania lasted years. And as with The Tulipomania, the worship of Obama by a large portion of the population is based upon expectations and imaginations beyond any rational measure, rising to the level of mythology.

Alas, the Obamamania bubble never fully burst, though the 2010 midterms did cause major leakage. Maybe it took until now.

So are we in the midst of another madness coming to an end when we least expect it?

What started me on this post was not Mass Formation Psychosis, or the Madness of Crowds, it was this post by Joel Kotkin at Unherd, which proposes what seems most unlikely proposition that the “progressive” march through institutions we are witnessing in real time may be nearing its end, Is this the end of progressive America?

Over the past several decades, the progressive Left has successfully fulfilled Antonio Gramsci’s famed admonition of a “long march through the institutions”. In almost every Western country, its adherents now dominate the education system, media, cultural institutions, and financial behemoths.

But what do they have to show for it? Not as much as they might have expected. Rather than a Bolshevik-style assumption of power, there’s every chance this institutional triumph will not produce an enduring political victory, let alone substantially change public opinion.

Even before Biden’s botched Build Back Better initiative, American progressives faced opposition to their wildly impractical claims about achieving “zero Covid” and “zero emissions”, confronting “systemic racism” by defunding the police, regulating speech, and redefining two biological sexes into a multiplicity.

Increasingly, the “march” has started to falter. Like the French generals in 1940 who thought they could defeat the Germans by perfecting World War One tactics, the progressive establishment has built its own impressive Maginot Line which may be difficult to breach, but can still be flanked.

That is not to deny the progressives’ limited successes. It has certainly developed a remarkable ability to besmirch even the most respected institutions, including the US military. But that is where its achievements stop.

Klotkin goes on to catalog the loss of institutions that are familiar to Legal Insurrection readers, particularly the destruction of higher education:

In America, the disconnect between the professoriate and the people also keeps growing, as conservatives head towards extinction on many campuses: on some well-regarded campuses such as Williams, Swarthmore and Bryn Mawr, the ratio of Democrats to Republicans reaches between 70 and 132 to 1.

These trends have long been evident in the fading humanities and social sciences, but now even the sciences are becoming politicised. Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that universities are losing credibility even among some traditional Leftists, who marvel at how they burnish their progressive credentials while making huge profits off their endowments and seriously underpaying most of their employees.

And just as with the growing disaffection for the military, teachers, students and parents are starting to push back….

He then documents additional movements undermining the progressive stranglehold on K-12:

In the past year, this blindness has incited considerable public outrage. Criticism of Critical Race Theory buoyed the Republican win in Virginia in November, and has become a rallying principle for parents around the country, including a recall drive against San Francisco school board members.

Other parents are trying to opt out of the public system altogether. The pandemic saw the departure of more one million American students from public schools, while 1.2 million families switched to home-schooling last academic year, bringing the total number of home-schooled students to 3.1 million, roughly 11% of the total. According to the Census Bureau, Black and Hispanic families now have the highest estimated rates of home-schooling, at 16% and 12%, respectively.

Klotkin ends with this hopeful note, that the progressive Mass Formation Psychosis and Madness of Crowds will end:

So, here’s the good news. On what sometimes seems the inexorable course towards progressive capture, we can see multiple fronts of resistance, and the early congealing of independent-minded forces, from the rational Right to the traditional liberal-left. Our society may never regain the feistiness of previous eras, and our new elites might continue marching through our institutions. But as they become increasingly discredited, they would be unwise to forget that all long marches one day come to an end.

So there you have it. Mass Formation Psychosis. The Madness of Crowds. And The End Of The Progressive March Through Institutions. All connected somehow. Hope in the midst of despair.

But first, things will fall apart:

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

So get ready. I am.

[Featured Image Courtesy Legal Insurrection Reader: Manhattan NYC Park Avenue 3-19-2020]


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Trump Derangement Syndrome, meet Mass Formation Psychosis. You have a lot in common.

    pfg in reply to JHogan. | January 8, 2022 at 9:22 pm

    Repeat after me, Liberalism is a Mental Disease.


    gibbie in reply to JHogan. | January 9, 2022 at 7:15 pm

    As demonstrated by the number of downvotes, it is strangely easy to take JHogan’s comment the wrong way.

    DaniBenGolani in reply to JHogan. | January 10, 2022 at 8:05 am

    Greta Thunberg 👉🏼 ” The conditions to set up mass formation psychosis include lack of social connectedness and sensemaking as well as large amounts of latent anxiety and passive aggression. “

    fredx3 in reply to JHogan. | January 10, 2022 at 4:48 pm

    Look, literally everything that has ever happened in human history can be explained by the goofy “mass formation psychosis” It’s another example of therapeutizing everything, based on sloppy, fake, made up psychology. It can explain Trump Derangement syndrome, and it can explain Trump followers who think he is God. It can explain people who think that basically Covid is not dangerous and almost no one has died from it, and it is only a means that an elite is using to control us.

    Everyone is going mental, and it appears that most of the people going mental have web sites or radio talk shows.

      drobs in reply to fredx3. | January 13, 2022 at 1:39 pm

      Its effectively Rene Girard’s mimetic theory that all human desire is based off imitation, and often the dynamics are mimetic forces that push crowds in a positive mimetic direction, (effectively when the stock market is actually increasing in real terms). But the danger is when it turns negative, then violence turns mimetic. In a secular deracinated society like America that could turn very bad. In a more religious society, the way out of the negative mimesis in his estimation was with Christianity, a way out of the spiral. Luckily most folks with guns are more likely to be Christians than not.

The problem with this theory is that Trump won twice going away. They are gaslighting us, the majority.

    Who is doing the gaslighting? Dr Robert Malone? Do you know who he is? How does your counter-theory work?

    It all makes perfect sense. Most people don’t form very informed opinions but are quick to form emotional opinions and when people become unmoored from common sense itself, they unite around rage. “The Stupid” is very dominant in our society today.

    How easy it was to divide families and communities around “mean tweets” and how it has been to steal elections with even the losing party not only refusing to investigate, but actually blockading those efforts. And so many people still refuse to see the obvious, that the system IS working… for somebody. We just don’t see that keeping the majority trapped in their mazes and echo chambers is how they do it. They are a very small minority but they control everything enough to keep us fighting among ourselves.

    So long as we can’t even wake up to acknowledge that we are trapped in our own personal mazes, we will never get out of this. The obvious solution for now is we have a majority to win already and we better wake up in time to use it. As angry as the majority is at the Democrats, we are going to lose because the real enemy is the Uniparty and yet we keep defending the squishy Republicans. For instance, we cannot afford to ignore any more Ted Cruz-like “mistakes”. They are either with us or against us. No squishy middle. We need to focus because it is our last chance.

    It’s MAGA or everything is lost. We need to win this year and a major Republican victory that only entrenches the squishes permanently would be a catastrophe. Only Danny would be happy.

      DelightLaw1 in reply to Pasadena Phil. | January 10, 2022 at 8:25 am

      I totally concur! The mere thought of anyone voting for our current incumbent Republican class of Senators/Congressmen ( w/maybe 1 or 2 exceptions), is an utterly abhorrent thought to me. They have done NOTHING to stand up against the Tsunami of evil and lawlessness being waged upon our country and Constitution by the Dem machine. Not that I even have any faith in elections any more, but heck, primary all their butts anyway just so they know we are out here, and WE THE PEOPLE are pissed.

        #FJB <-- Disco Stu_ in reply to DelightLaw1. | January 10, 2022 at 11:07 am

        Including our guy here in Central N.Y., John Katko (R-Cross the Aisle), @RepJohnKatko. One of the squishier GOPes who voted for the second “impeachment”.

        It’s possible that when New York finally gets to redrawing the 1-LESS Congressional district lines, Mr. Katko’s will be disappeared.

      What total nonsense. You might as well say that all Trump supporters are using Mass psychosis to manipulate everyone. Don’t you see how stupid and flabby this whole therapeutizing of everything is? Literally anything that happens could be covered by this “explanation”. It is an all purpose conspiracy theory that covers it all – it is just as stupid as believing that systemic racism is behind everything. It is if you believe it is, even if systemic racism does not exist at all (it doesn’t). So now you have invented your own version of systemic racism, just from a conservative side, that allows you to explain why things seem discombobulated right now. You don’t have to prove anything, you don’t have to show who put this effort into effect, you just have to believe it exists. You people are mental.

Fauci is following a plan. He is not stupid. He is evil.

Yeah, good to know a cycle of madness will eventually end, but not all that comforting when it’s likely a whole lot of unpleasantness will precede the eventual collapse, Kind of like telling the French during the revolutionary period to take heart because the Reign of Terror will soon kill itself.

    Dimsdale in reply to Concise. | January 9, 2022 at 5:39 pm

    I am looking forward to the pendulum swinging back to reality.

    It is likely to be a real sharp one, a la Poe.

    Mark in reply to Concise. | January 10, 2022 at 7:25 am

    It won’t end. Progressivism is fatal. Have you never heard, “it is easier to fool someone than convince them they’ve been fooled?”

Reuters did a complete “fact check” on Mass Formation Psychosis just the other day. Of course, they found a number of Psychiatrists to claim there is not such thing.

    henrybowman in reply to Neo. | January 8, 2022 at 10:29 pm

    Haha. Reuters.

    MattMusson in reply to Neo. | January 9, 2022 at 8:42 am

    The AP came to the same conclusion based upon the fact that they could not find the terminology ‘Mass Formation Psychosis’ used in academia.

    I have a different take on it: the behavior of “progs”:

    They are neurotic and narcissistic people who are jumping on the bandwagon of “I can act like an asshole, and be praised for it”.

    The prog thinktanks got this right way back in the 50s. The McConnells, Romneys and Boehners went along for the money.

    Dimsdale in reply to Neo. | January 9, 2022 at 5:40 pm

    Likely the same ones that discount gender dysphoria as a mental disease.

    puhiawa in reply to Neo. | January 10, 2022 at 12:01 am

    War of The worlds
    Llama Ranches
    Black Helicopters
    Trump’s Interment Camps for Jews
    Anthropogenic Global Warming
    Bush Derangement /Bush’s FEMA Concentration Camps
    Trump Derangement/Russian Collusion
    Trump Derangement
    Beany Dolls

Mass Formation Psychosis is consistent with the book “The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements,” a non-fiction book authored by the American social philosopher Eric Hoffer, published in 1951, Schwab, et al, must have used it as a guide.

    This is ancient human knowledge they’ve always known, not books from 70 years back. The same class dynamics were in play during the time of Moses, then Jesus, then Muhammad. Corrupt political class embraced by an immoral priestly class, overseeing vast economic inequality and total lack of morality. Enter, messianic figure who likely today would be diagnosed as schizophrenic who preaches heterodox ways of thinking, feeds off the crowd, but also seems to intuitively know how to calm the crowd when needed. Almost like an evolved social genius. People in the crowd turn them into prophets or saviors and mythologize them. I think this is why todays Sadducees (oligarchs who run the Democrats) feared Trump & later Qanon so much.

Suggestibility is the biggest zero-day exploit in the human psyche. We are pack animals, descended from pack animals, wired in the meat to obey alpha/beta hierarchies, and it comes with the territory.

People who have a natural talent for exploiting this are said to have “charisma” — like JFK, Steve Jobs, Jim Jones, and Uncle Adolf. It’s not rare. Every cult leader has it. Many, many politicians have it. Some street magicians can trigger it in under 15 seconds. Scott “Dilbert” Adams can tell you all about it.

If you are raised practically paranoid about conformity and peer pressure, you have some defense against it… otherwise, you are an average potential victim.

    I hope people dwell on what you just said. We are all pack animals but there are always some who won’t jump over the cliff.

    My only problem is that as paranoid as I have been, I haven’t been paranoid enough. Most conspiracy theories I have ever believed have turned out to not only be true but so much worse than I believed. We used to be free to speak about our conspiracies. But now that they have become fact, we can’t talk about it.

      DaveGinOly in reply to Pasadena Phil. | January 10, 2022 at 2:41 am

      “When the whole world is running off a cliff, he who is running in the opposite direction appears to have lost his mind.”
      C.S. Lewis

    Dimsdale in reply to henrybowman. | January 9, 2022 at 5:42 pm

    Remember, the lemmings didn’t jump off the cliff; they were pushed. I think it was Disney, but I am not sure. It sure wouldn’t surprise me though.

Have been saying for a time now that the counterculture was upon us. It gathers speed. It was bound to happen as the progressives overreach by nature. It may still have to become worse, as noted, but a sea change has occurred. The reactionaries, post-Trump and in the age of covid, have shown who they are and the majority does not like it.

    You just said the magic word: Counterculture. That which becomes mainstream is no longer cool, and upon becoming the cultural norm, there will arise a counterculture. And academics love counterculture. Whatever the culture, they will find fault in it and lead the charge for change. They love to positions themselves as rebels. What do they rebel against? Whatever you got. If progressivism becomes too successful, academe will turn against it in an attempt to stay relevant.

How are you preparing Professor?
Curious minds want to know

Surely true here. Our governor and Lt Gov. are near insane. The doctors below the age of 50 believe in nothing but the vaccine ad infinitum, and the letters to the demand complete and total shut down of society ….as if food an power were magical.

    Dathurtz in reply to puhiawa. | January 9, 2022 at 7:28 am

    I go back and forth with that. I want to think these neo-commies are just thoughtless and don’t realize that food/products don’t just magically exist and have to be physically/shipped. Then, I think they don’t seem to care if that they are destroying the lifelong efforts of millions.

There is an upside. The crazier things get, the more horrible our suffering, the greater our martyrdom, means greater glory in heaven, once we get there.

You think this is bad? During the Crimean War all we had to eat was the cold stench of death.

This is very interesting to see how human behavior patterns work. I think the 2nd Coming has already began with me. For over 10 years I have been drawn away from common beliefs in evolution when I discovered advanced technology in our brain. As a space shuttle guidance system engineer I was blown away and spent years wiring up the mind so I can explain how it works. I also started reading scripture and saw how the Bible teaches us how these circuits work in forming our spirit and how Totalitarianism works. Jesus Christ was a man who, through reading scripture saw the truth differently then it was being taught in his day. He started a movement back to a new way of living under God’s laws just as this video explains. The rulers killed him because he was opening the eyes of the people. But it was too late, it was already spreading rapidly. This new 2nd coming movement has already begun. Over 100 thousand people have download my brain maps. See to get your freedom back again. Once we understand that evolution is nonsense, then people will return to God’s ways and morality, love and the pursuit of happiness will return again. America once had it and was a beacon to the world, but evolution corrupted our minds and our hearts became proud. The highest of the mountains is what we look up to as the greatest source of truth. Read Isaiah 2:2 to understand how the Bible has foretold this time.

Gosh, I remember that day at work, in-person, when I was told to stand back 6 feet (what???) from my colleagues and then had to laugh as I watched them perform the 30-second hand-washing ritual in the office kitchen as if they were saving the world.

My gut told me to keep my mouth shut because they were SERIOUS.

There is an article at Gateway Pundit concerning Washington state; supposedly the legislature is considering a bill to let health authorities round up the unvaxxed and put them in quarantine camps. The article is by Alicia Powe, an “investigative journalist”.

It cites a Washington Adiminstrative Code, that has been on the books since 2003. And it points to a quarantine “camp” in Centralia and a ‘help wanted’ ad for a “strike team” member(s) to compel vaccination or forcible quarantine.

So I went out to the WA state legislative site to look for any such bill under consideration as the article claims. There on the WA dot GOV site I found proposed bills for recognizing natural immunity, prohibiting government from requiring proof of vaccination, recognition of religious and conscience type objections, right to refuse medical procedures and vaccinations, etc. NOT a thing about the gist of the article.

About the quarantine ‘camp’ in Centralia, it’s an old hotel off of I-5, which at the time of this writing, is closed on the northbound lanes because we’ve had such a rapid snow melt the Chehalis River is flood a significant portion of the valley. The hotel / quarantine facliity is currently closed.

I also checked out Inslee’s recent remarks and it amounts to making home test kits available, launching a web site for obtaining them, and ramping up the vaccination facility in my old home town, Auburn.

My comment detailing all these things lasted all of 5 minutes on Gateway Pundit before some $h!t$ta!n deleted it.

Pretty damn sad when you can’t call out the sensationalism, falsehood, click-bait horseshit being peddled by an alleged conservative “investigative journalist”. The comments on that one read like a damn call to civil war – so a reasonable voice with the facts is silenced.

In the same way Trump broke the left from 2017-2020, Biden and the left are returning the favor. I hope the cooler heads prevail – but damn if our side isn’t stirring the pot too.

I don’t read Gateway Pundit very often, and with this experience won’t again. Damn irresponsible of them to post that article. And to silence a voice that might have otherwise quelled the mob.

    Sanddog in reply to MrE. | January 9, 2022 at 11:26 am

    There are people on the right who don’t want the mob quelled. Some people want a complete breakdown of society because they’re delusional enough to think they’ll be the ones to put humpty dumpty back together again.

    henrybowman in reply to MrE. | January 9, 2022 at 4:25 pm

    Yes, there is a lot of right-wing fake news out there.

    I remember around 2001, I came across some nutter who was insisting that FEMA detention camps were being set up all over the US. OK, “mildly possible.” Except that this guy claimed to have photos, and one of the detention sites he highlighted was the airport in Wickenburg, AZ. That happens to be my “hub” town, I shop/eat/get gas there every day.

    I know the airport well. If you evacuated the entire property of aircraft and equipment and recreated Joe Arpaio’s Tent City, you couldn’t contain the student body at the local high school. (Maybe if you threw in the adjacent dog park and part of the golf club.)

    The photos this guy had were of construction for our new hangars — all the existing hangars had been booked solid for most of the past decade. And anybody here could have told him that. And just for yuks, I asked about signing up for one of the new spaces and got all the paperwork.

    So yeah, skepticism and paranoia shouldn’t take sides.

      Thanks Henry, Commo, Sanddog. I’ve run into the same thing the one time I checked out the Q posts. And with a friend who was convinced chem-trails were real. The one had to do with a supposed missile launch from Whidbey Naval Air Station (which I can see from my house) aimed at AF1. I ran the trapline on that one and it was a local weather cam taking timed exposure photos that captured a life-flight helicopter flying north to south in the wee hours with it’s down-light on. It looked like a missle streak. Debunked in the Seattle papers and I also looked up the AF1 / presidents schedule where he was in the Phillipines at the time and I believe took a side trip to see ‘Rocket Man’. The one to do with chem trails – simple logic – I retired from Boeing and there ain’t no “cunningly hidden” aerosolized dispersal systems in the trailing edge of a wing, and having also lived awhile among corn fields where they crop dust, STILL could not explain to my gullible friend that spraying “mind control chemicals” at 35,000 feet presented some serious targeting problems. ;^)

      The article at Gateway Pundit, cites an existing law (since 2003), a closed hotel on I-5 which might have 36-48 rooms (guessing), and like a 2 word quote from Inslee – all strung to gether by a boat load of conjecture and hysteria. And people snap it up like red meat.

      Isn’t it amazing how applying just a wee bit of logistical thinking can debunk that crap? Quick search says WA was 7.9 million in 2019. 33% unvaxxed would be 2.6-2.7 million people? Man, there’s going to be some long lines for the restrooms at that dentention facility. 😉 😀

In this discussion of Mass Formation Psychosis, psychologist, Dr. Mattias Desmet, recommends leaving off the Psychosis and calling it Mass Formation – because it’s a mass phenomenon more than a true psychosis.

***Dr. Mattias Desmet, Dr. Malone and Dr. McCullough on TPC podcast.

It seems to me that MFP becomes a true psychosis when it supersedes one’s rationality and humanity – bringing a person to the point of violence and murder – but would not be grounds for criminal defense on the basis of insanity.

It also seems to me that – creating, promoting and mandating vaccines for the purpose of population control – and creating a pandemic via the release of a pathogen and media narratives – and denying/forbidding proven, safe inexpensive and effective therapeutics and early treatment in order to implement said vaccines – is within the bounds of certain types of psychosis and psychopathology – and perhaps even warrants a diagnosis of megalomania.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to Uncle Samuel. | January 9, 2022 at 6:27 am

    Re: creating a pandemic – it can be done via release of a pathogen, if augmented by media narratives, at the direction of health agencies, political entities, pharmaceutical and hospital corporations.

    How to manufacture a pandemic:

    Article –

    Video –

    Uncle Samuel in reply to Uncle Samuel. | January 9, 2022 at 7:04 am

    Well, maybe some have actually reached ‘psychosis’ or at least derangement:

    In Australia, The COVID World reported on a father who lashed out and attacked a jogger for not properly social distancing. The Covidian “is seen running towards the jogger before kicking and kneeing him in the head.”

    In Texas, a mother locked her 13-year-old son in her car’s trunk to avoid exposure to COVID-19.

    “Sarah Beam said that her son had tested positive on a rapid test, so on January 3rd, she put him in the trunk of her car to avoid being exposed to the virus and drove to the testing center at Houston’s Pridgeon Stadium,” The COVID World reported. “Beam then opened the trunk to reveal her son lying down inside when someone at the center had asked to see the child. Staff then refused to test her 13-year-old son until he was let out of the trunk, after which, they called the police.”

    Last month, a woman was caught on video assaulting a man on a flight from Tampa, Florida to Atlanta, Georgia. She, who has her masked down below her chin, “went ballistic because the man wouldn’t mask up while eating and drinking,” the New York Post reported.

    The woman is seen slapping, spitting on and pouring hot water onto the man’s leg.

    Then there’s the Hawaii Department of Public Health which literally calls getting healthy, exercising or saving money as “stupid” New Year’s resolutions. What is a smart resolution, according to these Covidians, is submitting your children to medical experimentation.

    Article with live links –

    alaskabob in reply to Uncle Samuel. | January 9, 2022 at 1:48 pm

    That would be fine except for the long lines of people wanting testing. Adding fear ,uncertainty and doubt are more than just a mass event. The desire to punish .. and eliminate people… is more than just a whim.

    texannie in reply to Uncle Samuel. | January 10, 2022 at 10:21 am

    I’m in Texas where you expect good sense (sometimes). Every time the media hype a new variant, the big stores are massed with folks back in the mask and fear mongering at every turn. I do see the term mass psychosis fits (I am a mental health professional).

2smartforlibs | January 9, 2022 at 6:52 am

This happens every so often in history and the kool-aid drinkers have yet to figure it out.

This reminds me of the movie Red Planet where the monster is a gone wild ego of a scientist escaped in to a machine.

A lot historically is a political move. Identify a new public problem and take ownership of it, as a route to political power. Sociologist Joseph Gusfield made a career out of studying this. It depends on panic.

Since the 50s when I’ve seen changes from placidity to panic: the three main ones are drunk driving (became a public problem in the late 50s, from being a personal moral failing), dangerous dogs (loose dogs had simply socialized themselves; only problem dogs got rounded up) in the 80s, and child sexual abuse in the 70s (had been absorbed into the general background of ways people act). Ian Hacking has books on the history of the latter.

E Howard Hunt | January 9, 2022 at 9:24 am

This story, in relation to COVID, has been kicking around for over a year now. So what? It is just a gussied up way of saying that most people are stupid, vile, craven, lazy and incurious.

Religion functioned to counteract this state of affairs. Religion was supplanted by science and materialism, and this theory is likewise rooted, supposedly, in science.

Only a return to religious observance can cure this spiritual sickness.

    Just a reminder, the church in Revelation 3:20 was doing “religious observance”. Yet Jesus was locked out and knocking on the door to gain the attention of anyone who hears. So interesting that when a man does finally hear and open the door, Jesus doesn’t go into the church, but into the man who hears and opens the door.

    It makes sense in light of Revelation 18 – that of the saints and prophets – the “church” being swallowed up in harlotry – or helping to keep the harlot alive through the life-blood of the saints and prophets. Why doesn’t Jesus go into such churches to effect “revival” (etc.)? Because to do so would be to enter a harlot. So He calls us out of her (Revelation 18:4) unto Himself and only to Him.

    Also, the Biblical principal of receiving the one sent is the same as receiving the sender. Rejecting the one sent is the same as rejecting the sender. It’s evident in the vineyard tennant parable among others. So that church in Laodicea where Jesus is on the outside looking in? Is a church that refuses the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus sent in His place on Pentecost. Jesus ascended (Acts 1:11). Before that, He promised the Holy Spirit in His place (John 14:15-31 and John 16:13-14). It’s folly that a church thinks it has Jesus while refusing the Holy Spirit whom He sent in His place. That would be why in Revelation 3:20 He is on the outside looking in, because they’ve locked out the Holy Spirit, His emmisary. And where Jesus is the “way, truth, and life”, how can there be truth in a church that has locked the truth incarnate, out?

    Jesus is the cure. The fervor we’ve seen from the branch covidians has a religious like zeal and they’re sick as dogs.

BTW, that interview of Dr Robert Malone by Joe Rogan is epic. It’s over 3 hours long but even if you only watch part of it, you will learn plenty. You will probably break it up to view in smaller segments.

There is a reason why Rogan gets 11 million hits per day (that’s more than ALL of the news networks combined). He gets the big important interviews, is fair and open with his questioning and is not afraid to ask the tough questions. But he really should get his profane language under control.

    I like Joe Rogan and watch his podcast frequently. There is a LOT good about him and the show. But I disagree with your assertion that he is “…not afraid to ask the tough questions.” I used to think that too, until I realized that the vast majority of people I see him interviewing are people that I’m not that familiar with, so I didn’t really know if the questions he was asking them were “tough” or not. Until I saw him interview the Mayor of Austin, where I live, and Joe recently moved. It was a total puff-piece… Joe failed miserably to ask him ANY tough questions about the disastrous “defund the police” initiative or the “camping ordinance”, both of which were rammed through by the Mayor and his little Commie-cabal on the city council. Joe didn’t touch those topics, and therefore missed a massive opportunity to push back on these progressive assaults on our society.

      Rogan goes into a lot of subjects and interviews a lot of people. He is not on top of most of the subjects he covers. A lot of it is entertainment but he is a one-man wrecking CNN crew. His interview of Dr Sanjay Gupta should have been the end of that liar’s career. His interview of Dr. Robert Malone is a game changer.

      I find his interviews of subjects like UFOs and the like amusing and there are lots of those kinds of shows. Rogan spreads himself thin but his interviews are almost always entertaining and usually informative. He is a major force to reckon with and makes a lot of enemies across the political spectrum. He is not an idealogue but has some strong opinions and when he gets serious, his opinions guide his questions. But he asks fair questions and always appears to be looking to improve his opinions.

      Nobody “knows” anything. We are all guided by our opinions. The key is to realize that and be open to modifying or changing what you believe in as you learn. Regardless of where we begin, if we are honest with ourselves and are open to listening people with different opinions, honesty will get us to the same place. We don’t know anything but we should at least be navigating into better, more accurate and thus stronger beliefs.

        I agree with all you said there, and Rogan is truly a voice in the wilderness right now. A refreshing one, even if I don’t always agree with him.

      Allen Parker in reply to Paul. | January 9, 2022 at 12:05 pm

      The majority of Joe’s guests are open about who they are and what they want, allowing him to ask them nearly anything.

      Do you really think Adler wasn’t going to put forth stipulations concerning “off-limit” topics for the podcast? Adler has a PR team like all politicians, they know the “No-Go” topics concerning public optics.

      For Adler it was a glad-hand session, where he got to act bipartisan and give himself political credit; ​”See, see I’m not the horrible partisan politician I’ve been made out to be! I’ve been on Joe Rogan!”

      This is assuming it was even Joe’s people that reached out and not Adler’s.

      gonzotx in reply to Paul. | January 9, 2022 at 12:51 pm

      I am
      Disappointed that Rogan didn’t ask those questions of Austins left wing nut mayor.
      Rogan was also OK with Spotify deleting several of his more controversial interviews.
      It is more than disappointing because he had an opportunity and for whatever reason he failed.

    I think Scott Adams is correct in saying that Rogan should include a person with a competing view in his interviews with subject matter experts. As it is now, the interviewee is afforded an uncontested platform for his views.

Excellent article. I am saving it to read again. Yes, things will have to get worse before they get better. It’s just a matter of how much worse.

Professor listed Tulipmania as a great example of how Mass Formation is not new.

Here are a few others where society went into panic-overdrive and the event took on a life of its own:

– Salem Witch Trials
– McCarthy
– Y2K

    Don’t forget the Macarena.

    henrybowman in reply to Doc-Wahala. | January 9, 2022 at 4:51 pm

    Y2K was real. If we had done nothing, civilization would have been crippled much worse than even the intentional crippling we see from COVID regulations. We got plenty of advance notice about it, and worked like hell independently, as capitalists, in our own self-interest to prevent it before it struck. And although we missed a few examples, they were quickly dealt with. And the big reason this was possible is because government was just one more potential victim of it — not the perpetrator, and forgodsake not in charge of the solution.

Given that we have a segment of the population who are slavishly devoted to the idea that
1. Covid is the plague and Fauchi is the savior
2. Jan 6 was an insurrection

The question for me is why do these folks believe this? The evidence doesn’t support either contention. However the constant drumbeat of hype and propaganda by the media clearly plays a role. As does the tepid pushback by so called conservative lawmakers in DC.

I believe it boils down to fear and consequences. How many times have politicians and members of the media claimed to be ‘under fire’ from snipers in their brief visits to a combat zone? Lots. How many of these opinion makers / influencer use their position to create one set of rules for the establishment/elite and another for the rest of us? Lots.

L Graham’s antics with Jan 6 seems to encapsulate this. For a brief moment he and other DC elites faced the possibility of real danger. They catastrophized the situation; looking at the remote worst case as the probable case. It scared them that normal citizens might not play by standard rules. This is why they hate DJT.

Same for Covid. These risk averse Karen demand that we be inoculated multiple times against our wishes to protect them. They cloak their cowardice in their supposed virtue but when omicron blew threw the vaccines and masks suddenly they began to doubt their actions. No longer was it the deplorable in red States being infected because they were not vaxed. Their propaganda machine began to write articles that in essence said ‘bad things happen to good people’.

IMO, the willing audience for Covid mania and Jan 6 fantasy is shrinking rapidly. Polls indicate this. People who went along because it was easier than to oppose feel more confident in beginning to voice their opinion due to the clear evidence that runs counter to the elite narrative.

    “Drumbeat” … Bob Larson was a Christian musician and speaker back in the late 1960’s and wrote a book “Rock & Roll: The Devil’s Diversion” … he had a lot to say about drums and drum beats. In a Christian band myself at the time but also someone who loves rock music where the message is agreeable, I didn’t put much stock in Bob’s rantings.

    Still there’s something to be said about drumbeats, and their affect on our mental state. There have been studies about tempo and how BPM (beats per minute) in multiples of the human heart rate are the most peaceable, whereas beats that rush the beat, creat anxiety / hurry. Like the theme from Jaws and how it builds fear when coupled with the visual …

    Around here, we mostly enjoy peace and quiet because we don’t watch TV but for movies we select and our main criteria is fun, funny, uplifting, redeeming … but then we venture out into public where there are people who watch entirely too much TV such that they’ve been turned into TVs on legs … we quickly go about our business, buy what we need, and return home. For fellowship, we hang out with our neighbors once in awhile, or talk to family on the phone.

    Thankfully the audience for crapola is shrinking as you observe. I’ve often thought to myself that can only grow, when the followers of St. Fauci are standing in line for their 8th semi-annual mRNA booster shot – will they be tired of it by then? 10 shots? A dozen? Then they include a line item in their budget for masks? When Quicken Books adds a standard budget category for Covid 19 expenses? When your iPhone or Andriod is sending you daily messages about Covid sightings near you? Crazy-town stuff.

“So get ready. I am.”

I’m less sure these days what being ready means but I will be out of California by summer. Hopefully sooner. What I am finding in my search for a safer place to hunker down is that most other states are deluding themselves about being “safer” places and already have an excuse ready should they also fail: “it’s those damn Californians!”.

No, CA is NOT why your cities are all sanctuary cities. It’s failing to appreciate why cities are important. Texas today looks just like CA less than ten years ago. Need better governor and senators. Heck, if it weren’t for DeSantis shaming Guv Abbot to action, it would be all over already.

I don’t know about AZ, my current likely target. Looks like it is succumbing to the same fate as CO (rapid urbanization, illegals and influx of out-of-staters). I am finding that it is more expensive to move into the rural communities than into the big cities.

Nevada has already failed. Idaho? Already over-crowded. FL? If it weren’t for DeSantis, it would already be a blue state. I don’t know if he can hold on with the hopeless corruption infecting the GOP. If the home state of Trump and DeSantis falls, what hope does everyone else have?

Maybe it is better to wait until after the election when, should Trump fail, real estate prices will collapse and I will have accumulated much more money for down payment into crashing home prices. Or maybe it is just too late period already.

    CommoChief in reply to Pasadena Phil. | January 9, 2022 at 1:17 pm

    Try looking around in rural Alabama. Extremely low property tax. Multi acre building sites or smallish gentlemen farms are abundant. Good weather, lots of water, mostly sensible people.

    The fall of 2020 I felt the strong urge to buy a 2nd house where my wife’s family lives. It’s a deep red county in central Illinois. 3br, 1-1/2ba, 1450sf on a double lot on a green belt cost a hair over $100k. I could have bought 7+ of those with what my WA home would sell for. We’ll be selling the WA home and pay off the IL home, with loads to spare. I’m talking with my kid and her hubby, about leaving their apt in Tacoma and moving to a red state. Also including her hubby’s mom whom they love and help care for. If they pick some place reasonable, I’ll help them buy into their first home (they’re almost 40) and see about a small place in a senior community for me and my wife. Not ideal, but because we’re spending 6 mos between my fam in WA and 6 mos with my wife’s fam in IL, I don’t want anything with much maintenance and upkeep. I’m hopeful they’ll consider TN or TX. They have such silly excuses for staying in Tacoma … “culture” – when the homeless are starting to encroach on their expensive apartment. Food deliveries (gro and meals). Walk to Starbucks. Comes with a rent that’s 3x the highest mortgage payment I’ve ever made. 4x what I pay for the rural IL rambler.

    Sometimes I think people are afraid of freedom, independence and success.

Whatever you call it, “it” is more like “them.”

We now have mass hysteria/delusion/psychosis regarding Covid, race, transgenderism, and the long-running production in the disturbed minds of a sizable portion of the “world community” of Israeli “genocide” and “apartheid.”

Social media plays a part in the speed and spread of these delusions as does 24/7 cable news. Infotainment has morphed into infogoguery. Distrust (well-earned) in our institutions leaves an authority vacuum. Humor is also under attack. Most comedians now refuse to perform before college audiences and they tread too lightly around the day’s controversial issues. Dave Chappelle is a comedy star, but even he is in a constant degree of danger to his career from the self-righteously delusional. It’s true totalitarians are susceptible to ridicule through humor, but even the top comedians of our day either live in fear or already toe the delusional party line. That’s why the Babylon Bee is subject to “fact checks” and other attacks from the powers that be.

I don’t know if things will fall apart. They might just keep going on along as they are now, with the two teams fairly evenly matched pushing each other back and forth between the two 40-yard lines.

Recent news that could be a sign of hope: Hispanics and Asians are rejecting the Democratic Party in increasing and alarming (to Democrats) numbers. Increasing numbers of old-school liberals (such as Joel Kotkin) are being red-pilled. The tenor of Kotkin’s think pieces has definitely changed over the years.

Demography is destiny, and it would be so delicious if the Democrats’ open southern border strategy backfired. If a majority of Hispanics do indeed start backing the Republican Party, a wall won’t be enough to satisfy Democrats.

“ branch covidians“

Very good

What’s your plan Professor?
If you don’t mind my asking?


Yes I hear people high and low say “the world is upside down” especially in CA, where drug addicts are sacred and middle class people are the devil. But now rich elite progressives are getting robbed and terrorized and deprived of water and electricity. And they know it’s going to get worse. So it will end as soon as they experience the requisite amount of horror. Robespierre, beware.

It’s too bad there is no way to upvote this article by Professor Jacobson.

You need to post more of your articles to your gab legal insurrection account. This article is a must.. I’ve learned so much from your site.

60 Minutes ran a report tonight on “how to heal the divide by getting people to talk to each other.” The reporter introduced the piece with “One year ago insurrectionists stormed the Capitol.” Her first question to the man behind a project meant to promote dialog was “Who do you blame for the division?” The first word out of his mouth in response was “Media.” Considering the intro was almost certainly written after the interview, it seems she didn’t make the connection. These people have zero self-awareness.

    freespeechfanatic in reply to DaveGinOly. | January 10, 2022 at 8:12 am

    “These people have zero self-awareness.”

    Yes, and an understatement. Their collective lack is a psychosis unto itself.

freespeechfanatic | January 10, 2022 at 8:10 am

The idea of mass “formation” psychosis was not developed by Desmet. The theorized concept, just like the phenomena, has been around for some time. Joost Meerloo, the Dutch psychoanalyst, wrote about it in his book “TheRape of the Mind.”

“the progressive establishment has built its own impressive Maginot Line which may be difficult to breach, but can still be flanked.”

It’s not really that difficult. We just have to say no, stop obeying. They rely on our willing subservience, that is the only real power they have.

These search terms are interesting:
You Tube [Russell Brand] Can We REALLY Trust Vaccine Fact-Checkers??!

the normie meltdown will be good entertainment. the masker/vaxxer drones push will add to that burden. then dealing with the cannanite bolsheviks will be most serious.

Today’s Branch COVIDians remind me of the Salem witch hunters – people in a hysterical frenzy willing to destroy lives to placate their particular insanity.

“And the gods of the copybook headings,
with terror and slaughter, return.”

I’m disappointed to see that this writer is resorting to psychobabble.