Diagnosis ‘critical thinking’

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I’ve been diagnosed with a mental illness. But you know what? I’m actually proud of it. And I wish it was highly contagious because everyone should get infected. I admit, this particular affliction can be a little uncomfortable at times, but on another level it is also quite liberating.

The diagnosis? Critical thinking. 

Will this serious disorder make it into the next version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)? It wouldn’t surprise me after watching this fascinating talk by Dr James Davis that demonstrates just how corrupt and downright ridiculous science in general and psychiatry or psychology in particular can be.

My first official diagnosis came in May 2022 when a bunch of researchers from New Zealand presented their explanation as to why some people were less than enthusiastic about getting their Covid jabs when that country’s rollout kicked off in 2021. 

There sure was a perplexing mystery to be solved here. How could it possibly be that the most selfless and scrupulous pharmaceutical companies bestow upon all of humanity out of the sheer goodness of their hearts a perfect solution to save all of us from certain death (and this in record time), only for some people to refuse this heavenly gift? There was only one possible explanation: these people had to be stark raving mad. 

The researchers took their ingenious hunch to a cohort of people at their disposal – people who were used to their lives being prodded and poked by scientists from time to time. And so just before the beginning of the vaccine rollout, these subjects were quizzed about their preparedness to get ‘vaccinated’ against Covid.

The hypothesis was that something must have gone wrong during the childhood of the ‘vaccine hesitant’ or those entirely unwilling to take the stuff.

This group of researchers were not the first ones to claim that vaccine hesitancy is caused by some kind of brain malfunction, for example cognitive deficits (eg Batty et al, 2021). But they felt they had something special to offer – they claimed that vaccine hesitancy was connected to early life experiences. 

A solid 88% of the targeted cohort filled in a questionnaire about whether or not they would get vaccinated. Out of the 832 people, 75% were definitely or likely willing to get vaccinated, 12% were hesitant or undecided, and 13% were labeled ‘vaccine resistant’. 

The study found that 25% of those who were vaccine hesitant or worse ‘followed the expected social gradient’ – they were early school dropouts and from a lower socioeconomic background, and a quarter of them left high school without a qualification. Whereas, among those willing to roll up their sleeves on command, the number was 10%. With 35% of the willing having completed university, only 15% of the refuseniks received a uni degree. 

That says it all, right? Well, as Prof. Mattias Desmet suggests, and that is also my observation from three years of living in Covid Clown World: whether you believe in this whole Covid story has nothing whatsoever to do with intelligence or education. 

But back to the study. The researchers make some very predictable and banal findings:

The unwilling tended to have safety concerns about the vaccines, doubts about the pandemic in general, and they didn’t believe the jabs would lead to a return to normalcy. They mistrusted institutions and influencers, and they didn’t even listen to family, friends and co-workers. Seriously? How dare these people think for themselves, have their own opinion, disagree with the mainstream view? 

And then of course comes the hammer: What did they find when they compared the psychological histories of the willing versus the unwilling? Especially vaccine resistant but also vaccine hesitant people were exposed to ‘significantly more Adverse Childhood Experiences’ such as abuse, neglect, threat and deprivation. As adolescents they scored higher on negative emotionality, in other words they tended to shut down more under stress, felt alienated, felt mistreated, and were aggressive. They were also non-conformists. And to top it off, they were more likely to have experienced ‘mental health problems dating back to adolescence.’ 

Next, they list a plethora of symptoms such as antisocial behaviour, substance misuse, anxiety, depression, delusional beliefs, hallucinations, obsessions, compulsions – symptoms which ‘might interfere with receipt of health messaging, healthy decision-making, and resistance to conspiracy theories.’ 

Aha! There we have it. Why was I not surprised to find the c-word in this study?

Intellectually, the unwilling were below average readers when leaving high school, performed less well in IQ tests as children, and as adults scored lower in comprehension and processing speed tests. In other words, they are a bit, well, you know… slow. 

What about the 13% of ‘unwilling’ who somehow managed to get through university and still turn out to not submit to vaccination? They scored less extremely on all these factors, and so the logical conclusion is the uneducated unwilling are on average actually even crazier than they seem.

And what do these learned researchers suggest should be done about such recalcitrant citizens? 

Seeing that most of them are just plain stupid, they recommend dumbing down the public health message. They suggest that ‘clear and simple messaging tailored to a modest level of verbal complexity may reach the vaccine-hesitant.’

But… hasn’t that  happened from the very beginning of these vaccine campaigns? I mean, is it possible to dumb down primitive slogans such as ‘vax to the max’, ‘we’re all in this together’, ‘do it for granny’ etc? Ah but that’s different, I see…

The study authors go on to pontificate:

‘Pro-vaccination health messaging does not operate in a vacuum, it must compete against powerful anti-vaccination messaging, which often reinforces themes of suspicion, mistrust, fear, anger, alienation, and conspiracy, sensationalises fear of rare side effects, lionises anti-establishment nonconformist, praises going against the “vaccinated herd”, and presents vaccination as a personal choice that must be exercised to preempt exploitation by the government.’

‘Lionises’… cute.

In line with their findings, the authors recommend that schools should do more to indoctrinate children with the right ‘knowledge’. 

It seems the vast majority of teachers were fully on board and had no doubt done their fair share of scare mongering in the classrooms, even if it was mostly online.

This study is based on the fundamental assumption that the reasons for questioning vaccines are invalid, and that there cannot possibly be any good reasons to question the official narrative around these alleged vaccines. It is written from within a very particular narrative.

Never mind that even by the time the study was published, many doctors, health professionals and academics around the world had spoken out against the Covid fraud generally, and specifically against the foolishness (to put it mildly) of coercing the entire population into being injected with insufficiently tested, unproven, ineffective, and demonstrably problematic substances to combat a virus and a disease which is far from being as dangerous as it was portrayed. 

Actually, the authors, had they not been captive to the Covid narrative, could have explored much more interesting questions when it comes to preparedness to get these Covid jabs: why do so many people simply follow orders? Why do they so readily roll up their sleeves? Why do they blindly trust governments? 

On to my second diagnosis… 

You see, I think that the whole climate emergency story is a huge fraud on humanity too. Once I began researching this topic in earnest some years ago, it didn’t take me long to figure out that there was something seriously wrong with the mainstream narrative. But somehow seeing behind the curtain of deceit makes me and many others dangerous ‘climate change deniers.’

The pompously titled 2022 study Associations of locus of control, information processing style and anti-reflexivity with climate change scepticism in an Australian sample is behind a paywall. The abstract is pure pseudo-scientific gibberish, but thank goodness we can get the gist of what the authors are trying to say, because they kindly provide us with a handy summary in the quality publication The Conversation, under the title Inside the mind of a sceptic: the “mental gymnastics” of climate change denial.

The groundbreaking conclusion of this study is essentially that ‘some people reject consensus science and generate other explanations due to mistrust in climate science and uncritical faith in “alternative science”’.

How about looking at it in another way? Could it be that people like myself don’t have uncritical faith in alternative science? Instead, we are critical of mainstream science… including their study which is apparently based on an online survey with a rather low sample size.

The authors seem to suggest that US climate change denialism is connected to religious beliefs, whereas the Australian deniers have ‘faith in “alternative” or pseudo-science explanations.’ 

It’s amazing: that climate denialism bug is shape-shifting just like the Covid bug. 

And it gets better:

‘Our further analyses suggested that mistrust in climate science and uncritical faith in “alternative science” prompted them to reject consensus science and generate other explanations.’

What a fascinatingly ground-breaking and profound explanation. It’s all clear as daylight now.

The authors make an effort to further explain why deniers are sceptical. Apparently, deniers have faith in alternative science, they believe climate change is natural and cyclical, they simply mistrust climate science, for example alleging data manipulation; they point out that predictions haven’t come true, and they question the motives of the pushers of the climate emergency agenda. 

Well, could these not be perfectly reasonable observations and views? Obviously not when one is captive to climate hysteria.

And how to fix these poor mentally deranged people who just can’t see that the planet is burning up before our very eyes? The authors don’t have much to offer, apart from yet more targeted public messaging – propaganda, in other words. As if we weren’t already bombarded with enough of that already. 

Alas, it’s not helping. I’m still suffering from critical thinking. Somebody rescue me, please!

I guess I’m a hopeless case…

But hang on. Very recently I heard this slightly jarring interview on the ever-objective ABC with Gabrielle Bryden from Central Queensland University. (Yes, I don’t just consume conspiracy news, I also dip into high quality official journalism from time to time!) 

Dr Bryden made a ground-breaking discovery as part of her PhD thesis. She even tried really hard to bring into circulation a new term: the ‘privilege paradox.’ Her PhD findings suggest that geographic areas with the highest socio-economic advantage have the lowest rates of vaccination. 

Why might that be? Well, her thesis supervisors had already done the groundwork by putting scepticism down to ‘a particular psychological and cultural orientation which often led to a reluctance to engage with the scientific evidence.’ There you have it. Pure genious.

Worse, these educated rich people embrace magical health beliefs, and to some degree holistic health, complimentary and alternative medicine. How abhorrent … inexplicably, these people don’t even want to allow their five year-olds to be jabbed against a disease which is absolutely no threat to them. How outrageously unreasonable!  

In summary, what do these three valuable studies of the highest scientific integrity boil down to? 

If you’re not on board with the mainstream view, there is definitely something seriously wrong with you. That’s about it. 

And governments are not about to give up curing you from your critical thinking disease. The University of Western Australia has just secured a whopping $4.7 million from the Medical Research Future Fund to study the impact of Covid vaccine mandates. I can hardly wait to see the unsurprising results. Apparently, the findings will help governments ‘understand how to translate vaccine availability to health policy improvements.’ You can read between the lines here, right? 

The causes for suffering from critical thinking are many and varied – being too poor or too rich, being uneducated or being highly educated. It’s a bit like the weather: if it’s too hot, it’s human-made climate change – if it’s too cold, it’s also human-made climate change. No mental gymnastics are too difficult for these grant-greedy mainstream scientists to convince everyone that they are right, and everyone else is therefore wrong. The science is settled. After all, it’s settled science that must have led to all that progress over the last few centuries, right?

I suppose I’ll just have to come to terms with the fact that I’m one of those lower or upper-class and/or highly-educated or uneducated people who don’t just blindly believe in whatever scare story happens to be the flavour of the day. 

I can live with that affliction. I know I’m not alone. I just wish there were more of us. Many more.

Imagine this headline in The Guardian: ‘WHO declares pandemic of critical thinking!’

Us crazies could actually change the world for the better, using dreadful weapons such as commonsense, the scientific method, reason, logic, diplomacy, and compassion.

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  • Jörg Probst

    Jörg Probst is a Sydney-based Swiss-born polyglot Australian researcher and commentator with a passion for promoting critical and independent thinking. He studied philosophy, psychology and law, practised as a lawyer and now works as a legal researcher.

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