Dangerous conceits are in their natures poisons,
Which at the first are scarce found to distaste,
But, with a little, act upon the blood,
Burn like the mines of sulfur.
A remarkable irony of contemporary American life, is that those who have been charged with the task of deciding who is of sound mind and who is mentally ill, are not only utterly insane themselves but are quite possibly the greatest psychopaths in all of human history.
Home to the illiterate, the mindless, and the mentally disturbed, the Church of Psychobabble (COP) is a peculiar religion, rooted in vitriolic anti-intellectualism and a love of unfettered capitalism. Listening to a fundamentalist from the COP vomit up their gibberish, is eerily reminiscent of listening to a Hare Krishna or a Christian fundamentalist regurgitate their cult-like dogma. And while Christianity has the father, the son, and the holy ghost, the COP offers a hatred of the humanities, total submission to the mass media and the whims of the ruling establishment, and a deeply irrational belief that therapy alone can act as a panacea and an elixir for all of human misery and suffering.
Priests of the COP preach to their flock that happiness bears no relationship to political and socio-economic factors. As Dr. Adrian Furnham writes in the abysmal Psychology Today: “It pays to be happy. Happy people live longer and, by definition, they lead happier lives. They make better decisions and have more fulfilling relationships. They also make more money, being as much a consequence of happiness as a cause.” So those who are happy make more money, and those who struggle to pay bills are somehow mentally unwell, and represent a kind of flawed and degenerate person.
This lamentable and base dogma serves a profoundly reactionary purpose. For it teaches people whose lives have been destroyed by offshoring, deunionization, the destruction of public education, privatization of health care, the dismantling of checks and balances, and the destruction of real communities, that they have only themselves to blame for their sorrows. This relentless attempt to blame the victim is a key tenet of the COP, and it plays a critical role in how they seek to manipulate, brainwash, and recruit new members.
Indeed, priests of the COP serve a similar function as reactionary priests and other right wing religious leaders have done throughout history. As they serve no other purpose than to turn the masses into mindless and illiterate sheep that cannot think for themselves, and who they lead down a path of ignorance, impotence, and self-loathing. One difference between the COP and the traditional religions of the world, is that Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism are actually based on beautifully written texts, whereas the COP is rooted in such a hideous Orwellian jargon that it would make George Orwell himself blush to look upon it.
And just as fundamentalists from the world’s major religions seek to address social problems by proselytizing and brainwashing new members, fundamentalists from the COP seek to recruit new members with equal fervor, while also attempting to drag as many people as possible into therapy – neoliberalism’s new Sunday sermon.
Even in the best of times all of us need guidance. The question is, do we want this guidance to come from artists and intellectuals, or do we want this guidance to come from illiterates, con artists, knaves, and charlatans? That the COP is rooted in such things might explain why liberals are so drawn to it. As nothing liberals have done in over thirty years can be rationally or intellectually defended, a cult-like religion had to be created in order to establish a dogma that would serve as an ideological foundation to their knavery.
The COP is a cancer in academia, and actively promotes a deep-seated hostility to all things intellectual. This philistinism represents a useful tool, as it allows the oligarchy to inculcate young people with a hatred of the arts and the humanities, without which ethics, political literacy, and liberty of thought cannot exist.
In the COP there are no catastrophic political problems, and all of human suffering can be magically fixed through therapy and mind-altering drugs. That we have more people in therapy than ever before – and also more suffering – fails to dampen the enthusiasm of these fundamentalists of psychobabble.
Have you ever felt as though you were wasting away due to a lack of meaningful work that pays a living wage? Are you sad that trillions of American taxpayer dollars are used to kill enormous numbers of people all over the world? Do you live a life of alienation and loneliness because neoliberalism and the free market have obliterated any sense of community? Never fear: with psychotherapy, all of your pain and sadness can be made to vanish into thin air.
That the COP also conveniently doubles as a business devoted to maximizing the greatest possible profit, further underscores the hypocrisy of this insidious and dangerous cult. And as the liberal class played a key role in dismantling the New Deal, the ruling establishment now seeks to profit off of the alienated, atomized, and broken people left in its wake – as America’s lost souls can be charged a fee simply to have someone to talk to.
The inextricable connection between American liberalism and the COP plays a critical role in their monopolization of the political dialogue, allowing them to squelch radical and dissident views. For liberals and COP members now feel empowered to determine whose views are rational and whose are not. The next time a member of the COP suggests that you seek professional help, ask them how a lunatic who believes that Hillary Clinton lost the election due to Russian hacking, has the right to suggest that you are somehow mentally unwell.
And as facts mean very little to psychobabble fundamentalists, they can simply be invented, as Dr. Nigel Barber was kind enough to demonstrate recently in Psychology Today:
When one combines huge increases in leisure time with corresponding increases in leisure spending, it follows that the lifestyles of contemporary workers are similar to those of the idle rich in earlier times with plenty of leisure time, and expenditure of huge amounts of money on leisure pursuits. Workers are certainly affluent in historical terms.
Therefore the New Deal was in fact never dismantled, and the economy is booming.
In an article posted on the website of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, titled Psychotherapy: How it Works and How it Can Help, a nameless knave writes, “Psychotherapy (also known as talk therapy) can be an important part of treatment for depression or bipolar disorder (manic depression). A good therapist can help you cope with feelings and symptoms, and change behavior patterns that may contribute to your illness.” So the billionaire class can carry on robbing, raping, pillaging, and plundering, while the billions of people whose lives they have destroyed can go into therapy, and be brainwashed into thinking that it is somehow indicative of mental illness to feel sad because the American oligarchy is free to enslave and murder large numbers of people. And what are these “behavior patterns” that need to be changed? Writing poetry? Reading Monthly Review? Watching Russia Today?
And this isn’t to say that there aren’t some social workers and psychotherapists that really do help those who were the victims of childhood trauma, or who experienced a traumatic event later in life. Just as a little Christianity, Judaism, or Islam can enrich someone’s life, the problem is the fundamentalists of psychobabble, who kneel at the altar of fanaticism, demagoguery, and anti-intellectualism. And it is they who dismiss any attempt at meaningfully addressing catastrophic political problems, which in many cases they actually helped to create in the first place.
The dire need for profound political change in this sick and troubled nation, felt so acutely by millions of suffering Americans, is anathema to devout followers of the COP. Thankfully, not all psychologists are blind to the dangers that the COP poses to American society. In an interview published in The Sun, psychologist James Hillman says:
The vogue today, in psychotherapy, is the ‘inner child.’ That’s the therapy thing – you go back to your childhood. But if you’re looking backward, you’re not looking around. This trip backward constellates what Jung called the ‘child archetype.’ Now, the child archetype is by nature apolitical and disempowered – it has no connection with the political world…. This is a disaster for the political world, for our democracy. Democracy depends on intensely active citizens, not children.
As the COP is unequivocally an extension of ruling class power, the pressure to see a therapist in many ways constitutes an attempt at duping the citizen into voluntarily relinquishing any remaining vestiges of privacy. Moreover, the end game of this cult dogma is to manipulate the citizen into surrendering oneself mind, body, and soul to the most rapacious power the world has ever known, and to have the masses acknowledge on bended knee, that they and they alone are to blame for their sorrows.
The devious cult-like language with which COP members are inculcated, teaches them to view the world through a profoundly delusional prism, making rational political discourse all but impossible. And they read the same pernicious rot for years on end, their brains steadily atrophying amidst the onslaught of soulless jargon and lies that they drink like a poison, and which condemn them to a slow and torturous death of mindlessness, soullessness, and the most base and abject dehumanization.
Yet there is no lack of space for these fundamentalists to pray. For their churches are the ruins of our civilization.