Foundation Corona Committee, 63rd meeting on July 30, 2021
Prof. Mattias Desmet ( Professor und Psychoanalytischer Psychotherapeut an der Universität Gent, Niederlande)
Prof. Mattias Desmet speaks about the mass exposure and the influence of the media on the masses, analogous to the time before the Second World War, he gives practical advice to get out of this hypnosis.
in conversation with Viviane Fischer, Reiner Fuellmich and Justus P. Hoffmann
(Original language: English)
[Transkript vom Team corona-ausschuss-info.com + Ed]
Reiner Fullmich: (03:09:01)
Professor Desmet, I’m really– I apologise for keeping you waiting for so long. But I hope that you were able to listen in on what Dr Ardis had to say, because this is a perfect segue onto– what you can say is a perfect follow-up on what he says, because he closed by saying that it’s probably the media that were most influential in–, well, more or less destroying people’s ability to use their common sense.
Prof. Mattias Desmet: (03:09:33)
Yes, that’s possible. That’s possible. The media play a major part in mass formation and totalitarian thinking, that’s true. of course, there are… there is… there is more than media alone, and there need to be very specific conditions before mass formation and totalitarian thinking emerges in a society. These conditions are as important as the media itself. But that doesn’t take away: without mass media, you cannot create mass formation or crowd formation at the scale as we experience it now and at the scale as it has been experienced shortly before the second world war and then Nazi Germany and in the first part of the 20th century in the Soviet Union. You need mass media to create a mass phenomenon at that scale. That’s true, yes.
Dr. Reiner Füllmich: 03:10:32
You are a psych-analytic– psychotherapist. You’re a lecturing professor at Ghent University in Belgium, and you specialise in the mechanisms of mass formation and totalitarian thinking. Is that correct?
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 03:10:46
I’m a professor in clinical psychology at the Ghent University, and I’m also– I also have a Master’s degree in statistics. But in this crisis, I’ve been taking the perspective of mass psychology, yes, indeed. In the beginning of the crisis, I have been studying the statistics and the numbers and actually I noticed that they were often blatantly wrong and at the same time, people continued to believe in it and to… go along with… with the mainstream narrative, and that was why I started to study it rather from the perspective of mass psychology. Because I knew that mass formation has huge impact on individuals’ intelligence and cognitive functioning, and I had the feeling that this was the only thing that could explain why highly intelligent people started to believe in a narrative and the numbers that were, in many respects, utterly absurd, hm?
Dr. Reiner Füllmich: 03:12:38:
So… So what is it, in your view, what is it that, apart from the mainstream media, what is it that has caused this, well, illusion for so many people, that they don’t see the reality but they see a totally different picture of what really goes on?
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 03:12:59:
Yes. Four things need to be– need to exist or need to be in place if you want large-scale, mass phenomena to emerge. And the first thing is that there need to be a lot of socially isolated people, people who experience a lack of social bond. The second one is that there need to be a lot of people who experience a lack of sense making in life. And the third and the fourth condition is that there need to be a lot of free-floating anxiety and a lot of free-floating psychological discontent. So… meaning anxiety and discontent that is not connected to a specific representation. So it needs to be in the mind without the people being able to connect it to something. If you have these four things– lack of social bonds, lack of sense making, free-floating anxiety and free-floating psychological discontent– then… society is highly at risk for the emergence of mass phenomena. And these four conditions existed shortly before the corona crisis. There was like an epidemic of burnout. Over 40 to 70 percent of the people experienced their jobs as completely senseless. This is described in the book “Bullshit Jobs” by this professor — of whom I always forget his name. He died last year, I think. And then, if you look at the use of psycho-pharmaceuticals, it was huge. And then you– this shows how much discontent there was in our society. For instance in Belgium, every year, Belgians, who are about 11 million people, use over 300 million doses of anti-depressants alone. over 300 million doses. So that’s huge. And so you see that these four conditions really existed: lack of sense making, lack of social bonds, free-floating anxiety and then free-floating discontent. – Can I continue for a while?
Dr. Reiner Füllmich: 03:15:11:
Yeah, let me translate.
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 03:16:46
Yeah, yeah. So… you have to know that free-floating anxiety is the most painful psychological phenomenon someone can experience. So extremely painful. It leads up to panic attacks, to all kinds of extremely painful psychological experiences. So, what people want in this situation is something to connect their anxiety to. They’re looking for an explanation for their anxiety. And now, if this free-floating anxiety is highly present in a population, and the media provide a narrative which indicates an object of anxiety, and at the same time describe a strategy to deal with this object of anxiety, then all the anxiety connects to this object. And people are willing to follow the strategy to deal with this object, no matter what the cost is. That is what happens in the beginning of mass formation. Then, in a second step, people start a collective and heroic battle with this object of anxiety. And in that way, a new kind of social bond emerges, and a new kind of sense making. Suddeenly, life is all directed at battling the object of anxiety and in this way, establishing a new connection with other people. And that the sudden switch from a negative state, a radical lack of social connection, to the opposite, to the massive social connection that is experienced in a crowd, the sudden switch leads up to a sort of mental intoxication. And that’s what makes mass formation, or crowd formation the exact equivalent of hypnosis. So all people who have been describing, who have been studying mass formations, such as Gustave Le Bon, for instance, McDougall, Canetti, have remarked that mass formation is not similar to hypnosis; that mass formation is exactly equal to hypnosis. Mass formation is a sort of hypnosis. So what happens is that, at that moment, when people experience this mental intoxication, it doesn’t matter any more whether the narrative is correct or wrong, even blatantly wrong. What matters is that it leads up to this mental intoxication. And that’s why they continue to go along with the narrative, even if they could know by thinking for one second that it is wrong. That is the central mechanism of mass formation. And that makes it so difficult to destroy it. Because for people, it doesn’t matter when the narrative is wrong. And what we all try to do, is: we all try to show, constantly, that the narrative is wrong. But for people, that’s not what it is all about. It’s all about this fact that they don’t want to go back to this painful state of free-floating anxiety. So what we have to realise, if we want to change this state of affairs is: that the first thing we have to do is to acknowledge this painful anxiety, to think about why we got in this state of lack of sense making, lack of social bond, the free-floating anxiety, this massive psychological discontent, and try to tell people: now, we don’t need a corona crisis to establish a new social bond. We have to look for other ways to deal with the psychological problems that existed before the corona crisis, and try to find other solutions. We don’t need this kind of mass phenomenon to solve the problem. Mass formation is actually a symptomatic solution for a real psychological problem. And in my opinion, this crisis in the first place is a large societal and psychological crisis much more than a… biological crisis, let’s say. So, from this state of mental intoxication, you can explain all the rest of the phenomena of totalitarianism. And the mental intoxication leads to a narrowing of the field of attention, it makes that people only see what is indicated by the narrative. For instance, people see the victims of the corona virus, but they don’t seem to see at the cognitive level the collateral damage of the lockdowns and all the victims that are claimed by the lockdowns. They are also not able, at an emotional level, to really feel empathy for the victims of the lockdowns. That is not because they are very egoistic. No, it’s just an effect of the psychological phenomenon. And it definitely– it’s even– As a consequence of mass formation, people do not get egoistic at all. Rather, to the contrary, mass formation focuses the attention so much on one point that you can take everything away from people– their psychological and physical well-being, their material well-being. You can take it away, and they will not even notice it. And that’s one of the major consequences of mass formation. And it’s exactly the same as hypnosis, as classical hypnosis, When a hypnotist– during hypnosis, someone’s attention is focused on one point You can cut in his flesh The person will not notice it. And that is what happens all the time when hypnosis is used as a kind of anaesthesia during surgical operations. A rather simple hypnotic procedure is sufficient to make people completely insensitive to pain, huh? You can without any problem cut in their flesh, even, under some circumstances, you can perform an open heart operation, in which the surgeon cuts straight through the breastbone. And the person, the patient, will not notice this. So that that shows us that the focus of attention is so strong both in mass formation or in hypnosis that people are really insensitive to all the personal losses they experience as a consequence. So… Yeah. Another consequence that is very typical for totalitarian states is that people become radically intolerant for dissonant voices. And so, because, if someone tells another story, or if someone claims that the official story is wrong, then this person threatens to wake the people up then they will get angry, because they are confronted with the initial anxiety and the initial psychological discontent and so they direct all their aggression at these dissonant voices, at the other voices. And at the same time, they are radically tolerant for their leaders, for the people who pronounce the mainstream narrative. These people can actually cheat and lie and manipulate and do everything they want and they will always be forgiven by the crowd because the crowd seems to think that they do it for their own sake. And that’s… also part of the mechanism of mass formation.
Dr. Reiner Füllmich: 03:25:09
OK. Allow me to translate.
What do you think… this is not an accident. Some… who… who’s responsible for this, for this mass hypnosis? Is it colleagues of yours?
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 03:29:23
That’s a good question. I have no idea. I describe it, of course, the mass hypnosis. But I don’t know about the origins. Sometimes it arises spontaneously. Sometimes it is provoked artificially. Yeah.
Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg: 03:29:46
If someone has a lot of money, has billions, he can buy science, he can make universities, he can pay anything. Do you know how many colleagues that have the same education that you have work in such firms that make consultants to those who are going for money, going for power, who are being on the market, can be bought? How many percent of skilled people like you you think, are working in such organisations? if we would guess… so…
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 03:30:28
It depends how you define working in such organisations, I think. But, you know… it’s a strange thing that even most psychologists do not… psychologists… do not really recognise these processes in the present state, in this crisis. It’s very strange, because actually, it took me six months to understand that what we have to do with was a problem of mass formation. From the beginning of the crisis, I noticed that there was something wrong. And I noticed that, in one way or another, nobody seemed to see that a lot of the numbers and the figures about the mortality rates of the virus and stuff that they were actually radically wrong. And then I started to think: like what is happening here at the psychological level? What for Christ’s sake is happening here? And it took me until the summer of 2020 before I really take it down that this is a problem of mass formation, even while I had been lecturing about it for three or four years. So I think that a lot of the psychologists themselves are not aware of what is happening. I’m sure of that. If there are some of my colleagues who are involved in really intentionally provoking this mass phenomenon? At my faculty, I don’t think so, huh? I don’t think so. I know in Great Britain, that there were some psychologists who mentioned that they were hired by the government to provoke fear and anxiety during the corona crisis, but I’m not aware of similar things in Belgium, actually. So…
Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg: 03:32:23
I was vaccinated twice.
You know, I experienced very intensively the bird flu and I experienced very intensively the swine flu. And I did some research then. And I found out that, for instance, the swine flu, Glaxo hired the son of Murdoch to get– to be director in Glaxo. So they really integrated the media into their business. And if– so we know that science now gets money from the state. Science gets money from private enterprise, their sponsors. There is research done… how to influence people. And before, it was the state had a control, had the function of controlling that there’s no misuse of science. And it functioned a little it. But now, the state themselves give money to people who do science, with the result they are looking for. So there is no corrective any more. There is no money for independent science when the states are also engaged in this big business. If it’s a private-public partnership making us afraid, then there is no one who has the money who pays the science that could help us.
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 03:33:44
Of course, being funded by someone diminishes your capacity to think independently. So– that happens all the time, I think. And that’s also why scientists always have to mention their funding and the people by whom they are funded on their publications. Because everybody knows that it has an impact on your results. It should not be like that, but it has an impact. And I think that this impact, to a certain extent, manifests unconsciously. Sometimes maybe consciously, that’s possible. But in any case, it has an impact. And in that way I think that, at this moment– And we know all this since 2005. At this moment, science is really in a crisis. And one of the reasons is that there is so– that almost all research is funded by people who it should not be funded by. So– That’s one part of the crisis, definitely. But still I think that’s maybe something else than saying that most scientists are willingly drawing wrong conclusions or willingly manipulating their data. So– some scientists do. That’s also something we are sure about.
Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg: 03:35:09
You can’t see things when your salary is dependent on that you don’t see it.
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 03:35:16
Yes. I agree. I absolutely agree. And we know that– I don’t know if you’re familiar with these publications that appeared in 2007, I think, over John Ioannidis, Andrew Fanelli, and that were titled “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False”. I have been doing my PhD on this problem in psychology. And I know that it’s really true. And if you really scrutinise most scientific publications, then you will find out that the conclusions are wrong, due to mistakes, due to sloppiness at the level of methodology, due to questionable research practices, or… due to straight– due to fraud. So… we deal with huge problems in the academic world. And I think that the problems that we see surfacing now in the corona crisis actually are more or less the same as those which existed already for a long time and that we refused to solve in time. So we become the victim now of neglect–
Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg: 03:36:32
Of our lazyness.
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 03:36:34
Yeah. Yes. And our lack of honesty and all such things, yes.
Dr. Reiner Füllmich: 03:36:41
Yeah, but, you know, I understand that you try to stick to the facts and you try not to make any judgements. Now, we’re all of us lawyers here. And we’re– since this is something that we have no personal– at least I don’t– knowledge about, we depend on the testimony and on interviewing… experts like you. Now, if I look at the totality of the evidence that we have seen, over the course of the existence of this corona investigative committee, there is no other conclusion than that this has never been about health. There is something sinister and evil going on, just like Dr Ardis just said. This is intentional destruction of businesses and of human lives. And if you read what the people who are behind this– this is not hidden any place– if you read what they’re saying, out loud, including in their Great Reset and other papers, then this is distinctly what they’re trying to do — destroy. What kind of people do this? What– who does this? I mean, do you have to be crazy? Do you have to be– do you have to be a sociopath? Or a psychopath? What kind of people do this?
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 03:38:13
Yeah. That’s very interesting. So: and I think that the most fruitful perspective to take to answer this question is to look at the people who installed the totalitarian regimes in the Soviet Union and in Nazi Germany. And one thing is sure: they are not common criminals. And because most of these people perfectly know how to behave according to social rules. And so, while a classical criminal actually… transgresses all kinds of social rules, people in totalitarian states who commit the crimes are usually characterised by the opposite. They stick to the rules, even if the rules are radically criminal in themselves. Um? So that’s a major difference. So and… and also a very–
Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg: 03:39:07
They stick to the rules, because they make these rules.
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 03:39:11
Yeah, maybe. Yeah, that’s possible. Yes, that’s possible. For their own advantage, it’s perfectly possible. Another interesting thing in this context is that people like Gustave Le Bon and Hannah Arendt claim that… if there is one difference between mass formation and totalitarianism because the two are amost identical, on the one hand and classical hypnosis on the other hand, then it is that while in classical hypnosis the one who hypnotises is awake, his field of attention is not narrowed down, in mass formation and in totalitarianism the field of attention of the leaders of the masses, of the totalitarian leaders, is usually even narrower than the field of attention of the population, meaning that the totalitarian leaders and the leaders of the masses usually really believe in the ideology according to which they try to organise society. So they are convinced, for instance, of transhumanism. They are convinced of mechanistic materialism, and so on. They are convinced of the ideology. They are convinced that this ideology will bring people in a kind of artificial paradise, because that’s something that is common to all kinds of totalitarianism. This totalitarianism actually for the first time arose in the beginning of the 20th century. Before, it didn’t exist. Before the 20th century, we had classical dictatorships. Starting from the 20th century, we had totalitarian regimes, which is something radically different. You cannot compare them to each other. But the leaders of the masses, the totalitarian leaders usually– not usually, always, said Gustave Le Bon and said Hannah Arendt, they’re really deeply convinced of the ideology. and they want to use it to create an artificial paradise. We’ve seen this in the Soviet Union. We’ve seen this in Nazi Germany. And I think that we– that later on the ideologies of the Nazis and the Soviet Union were replaced by transhumanism in general, hm? I wrote about this in an article– It’s not translated into English, but it will be translated, I guess, and I can send it to you if you want. So, but the leaders of the masses are convinced of their ideology, and that’s why they have this huge mental impact on the masses. But, and that’s important, they feel like, that without any problem, they can sacrifice a part of the population to realise this paradise. For instance, Hitler felt that he could, without any problem, sacrifice a part of the population to bring about this rule of the German race over the world. He felt like it was perfectly justified to do that because, in the end, the whole undertaking would result in a paradise where– which was the best possible place for everyone. And the same with Stalin. So… they are convinced of their ideology, and that’s why they feel like almost everything can be sacrificed to make this ideology real– to realise this ideological fiction, Hannah Arendt says. So usually it’s this type of person who leads the masses. Yeah. I tried to describe it in a very short time, now. But… OK. Well.
Dr. Reiner Füllmich: 03:43:05
One thing. If I were, what’s his name? Leute. I would call myself a psychiatrist. Because I had one semester of psychiatry when I was at law school at UCLA. Of course, that’s a lie. I mean, I did have that one semester, but that doesn’t make me a psychiatrist. But if I look at what you’re explaining to us, from a legal standpoint, if I were a judge, and these people were before me, I would sentence them to jail, at least. I would sentence them to jail, because it doesn’t– none of what you’re saying is a justification for them, and it’s not– there’s no apology, either. There’s no excuse. Because what you’re saying is: they know precisely what they’re doing, except that they believe in their own lies. That’s why they themselves are also hypnotised. But they know that they’re lying, because whenever we put them on the spot, and ask them concrete questions, We’re just witnessing this in our own– in this new political party right now. Same people. Same people have infiltrated this party. When we put them on the spot, they lie. And they know that they’re lying, because if you confront them with what is actually happening, and with what they’re trying to make it look like, then they squirm and they try to find a way out, but they can’t. So I don’t see any– from a legal standpoint, that is, I don’t see any– Of course there’s no justification, but there’s also no excuse. So from a legal standpoint, I think they’re liable. They’re guilty.
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 03:44:47
You could even wonder if it could make a difference if they would not know that they lie. Because, as Sigmund Freud said, you are responsible for your unconscience. It’s not because you do something unconscious that you are not responsible for it. But… I advise everyone to read this book, here. I have it here beside me. “Eichmann in Jerusalem”, the book of Hannah Arendt, which actually deals with all these questions, because she’s confronted with someone who in many respects does not behave like a common criminal, but indeed, who, according to her, is responsible for what he does. But it’s an extremely interesting book because it’s not simplistic. She acknowledges the complexity. of the person of Eichmann She… yeah, I think everybody should read it, together with this other book of Hannah Arendt, this is really important: “The Origins of Totalitarianism”. This is such an important book, because it shows you so beautifully, how… how totalitarianism arises in a society. And I think it’s also good to balance out the impact of conscious, intentional processes and unconscious processes, because I think some people now ignore that there is intentional misleading in this situation, and that’s, of course, a disaster. And other people try to reduce everything to intentional processes and end up in extreme conspiracy theories, which are also wrong. And so I think we have to acknowledge the complexity of the situation and try to build an image that is as realistic as possible. And I know everybody of us tends to try to reduce the complexity of reality and either believes in the mainstream narrative or ends up in radical conspiracy theories. And I think, very often that we need both perspectives to really understand what’s going on.
Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg: 03:47:07
I think it’s– you’re– I’m very fascinated by what you tell us.
I think it’s very important, what you tell us. And I’m very sad that we can not have Hanah Arendt in this room, talk with us. But we should read her book again and again. I think it’s right. And I have one question. When you– you know, there were such crimes or such– people who are convinced perhaps, even, that they are doing right. When you think of the apartheid regime in South Africa, of the brutality, and there were those truth commissions afterwards. They were trying to confront those people. to have those both realities in one room. and to find out what happened. What do you think? What’s the– Do you think this is an instrument, this is a possibility to digest as a society and do you have experience with such processes?
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 03:48:06
Not at that scale, no. No…. No. I think it could be very important to put people with a different opinion and people who chose a different side together and to let them talk with each other. That’s extremely important. Because I think that actually most people who believe in the mainstream narrative, who even support it, publicly even those who present themselves now as experts and virologists that very often, they actually are not aware of bad intentions in themselves. I think for these people, it really makes sense to put them together with people of a different opinion and to let them talk. I also experience it myself. When I talk to someone who is convinced of the opposite narrative, who has a really different opinion as me, it almost always, if I continue to talk, And if I… yeah… try to really exchange ideas I always find out that for me, it opens up my mind a little bit. So I think– that’s something that Gustave Le Bon says, for instance, that it’s very difficult if mass formation happens at a very large scale in a society, it’s very difficult to wake up the masses. He says that usually, you cannot do that. It’s impossible to do. Because the masses only wake up after a lot of destruction, usually. But he says that if people who do not agree with the mass narrative if they continue to talk, they prevent the masses to commit their largest crimes. So that’s very important. You can make the hypnosis less deep, by continuing to talk. And that’s what we all have to do, I think. The people who have different opinions, the people who know about the different narrative, they have to continue to speak in the public space. That’s extremely, extremely important. And I’m convinced that in this wy we will succeed in keeping open a certain path besides the mainstream narrative. I think we are just building space for those who don’t follow the narrative, who are on the streets in Paris, who are on the streets in Rome now. If we speak about it, they don’t follow the narrative. And we– they need more space. And we have to– I think we have to build this space with our theories and with our talks. And I think it’s very important. that we– that we take seriously all the other people who are not on the street, who are in their offices, who are afraid to lose their job. What they say– what they really– They don’t get to say it, but there is something in their head that makes them doubt. They see their real numbers. But they have to speak differently. So there is a conflict, in many people. And I think we have to strengthen them to give them power, that they– that they dare– that they don’t feel alone. So I think this is our function.
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 03:51:28
Yes, and… we also have to do it– somewhat paradoxically– for the individuals who _are_ believing in the mainstream narrative. and who _are_ grasped in this process of mass formation, because if we stop speaking, the hypnosis will get deeper. And that’s something very interesting from a historical point of view, around 1930 in the Soviet Union and around 1935 in Nazi Germany, the opposition was completely extinguished and then you see something that is fairly typical for a totalitarian state. Then a totalitarian state starts to show its most aggressive face, and it starts to destroy– Hannah Arendt says literally it starts to devour its own children. It starts to destroy its own children. Stalin extinguished 50 percent of his Communist Party. So… totalitarianism and mass formation are intrinsically self-destructive. And that’s something, for instance, that is completely different in a dictatorship, because in a classical dictatorship, once the opposition is overwhelmed, the dictator starts to lessen, to get milder, because he realises that he needs the population to be on his side. He needs to make them content with him. And that’s what the totalitarian state does not realise, because a totalitarian state is really based on a kind of– yeah, mass, yeah, mass hypnosis, yes? which makes it unaware of reality. And in that respect, it reacts in a radically different way. So I think we have to speak for both the people who are in the masses and for the people who refuse to go along with the masses. They need us, both, I think.
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 03:53:25
I think you guys all do a wonderful job for that. I think one of the biggest problems and what makes totalitarian regimes so alluring in the short term is that they create, in the short term, very orderly societies. And that’s, in my opinion, what makes talking to people rather difficult. Because you can’t say well, there is no more rule of law. They all… think of a classical dictatorship, where there’s just one figure that does whatever he wants and creates chaos. But the problem is, a totalitarian regime creates a very strict, very orderly society, with a very strict rule of law. Look at the Nazis. They created more laws, more government agencies, more policing, more everything. And that’s what we see here. You can’t go to people and say, well, there is no more rule of law. In fact, there’s more police on the streets, there’s more court rulings against… so to say, minorities. And then they can always say, Well, what do you want? We’re still living under the rule of law. Everything’s fine. Yes.
Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg: 03:54:26
I do not agree that totalitarian states impose laws. They actually impose rules.
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 03:54:31
Rules, of course. Rules which change every five minutes. That’s something that Hannah Arendt notes already Both in the Soviet Union and in Nazi Germany, there were no laws any more. And I think in this, even in this situation, there is a big risk that the pandemic law– how is it called in English? There is a law that states that when there is a pandemic that that, yeah, there are all kinds of other rules that apply. The Pandemic Law, no? Well, anyway, it seems to be a law that that erases all the other laws, that says that from now on, you will live by rules that are changed no matter how the situation evolves. And so… yeah.
Viviane Fischer: 03:59:04
I have a question. I would like to know: so why can we see it? What’s different? What kind of– What’s our mental immune system that we have not been affected? Or that there are– I mean, not only us. But it seems to be like– that there’s quite a lot of people. There was just like a new– you know, like a poll that the University of Erfurt does. I think it’s not representative, because they’re only talking to like 950 people or something like that. But they seem to be doing this on a regular basis, so maybe to get some information for the government out. You know, like what’s going on in the population. And it seems that only 30 percent believe the government. Like, at this point. And like it’s very much related to the corona situation. So there seems to be maybe not so many people under like a full-blown kind of hypnosis, but some sort of, you know– that they just can not draw the right conclusions from what they’re seeing. and I wonder why we can see that and what’s making– because we hear that, quite often– you know that you– or like not quite often, but every now and then– that someone all of a sudden, woke up and took a closer look and said, “Wow, what’s going on here? I don’t believe it.” Or, “I don’t want the vaccine,” or “I don’t want my children to be vaccinated.” or something like that. Where do you think– so what’s different… with our state of mind or psychological… constitution? And what is it… is there like a way into this, do you know, breaking the spell of the people who are under it, to some extent?
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 04:00:40
Usually it’s only about 30 percent who are really engrossed in the mass phenomenon in the hypnosis. But an additional 35 percent to 40 percent usually do not want to raise a dissonant voice in a public space because they are scared of the consequences. So usually you have about 70 percent who shut up. 30 percent because they are convinced of the mainstream narrative and 40 percent because they don’t dare to speak out. And then there is an additional 20, 25, 30 percent who do not go along with the narrative and who also say it aloud in certain situations. So it has been very– there’s really– There is a very interesting experiment, maybe you know it, of Solomon Asch on the impact of mass formation and group pressure You know that experiment, on the way of the lies? As concerns the question as to _why_ some people are immune to mass formation, that’s a very good question. Because– One thing is sure. The group that is immune is always highly diverse. They come from all political orientations, from all social classes, from all– something very striking, that it is so highly diverse. That’s something that was described already in the… the case, I don’t– I forget the name now. Anyway, it doesn’t matter. The group who is not sensitive to mass formation The Dreyfus case. In the Dreyfus case at the end of the 19th century in France, the people who wanted an investigation into the Dreyfus case who did not go along with the mass hysteria against Dreyfus, they were really so highly diverse that everybody noticed it. And they came from all political orientations and so on. So why? What connects these people, and what makes someone immune? Yeah. I think, to answer that question, we need to go really deep into individual psychology, and to ask ourselves what– in what way people try to establish psychological stability. Some people always do it by… going along with the group. And other people do it much more by staying very close to what they think that is reasonable. And both these things, both identifying with the group, and on the other hand trying to be as reasonable as possible and to speak up when you do believe in something– both these things give a specific kind of psychological stability and a specific kind of psychological backbone or strength. But I think it really– it’s very difficult to explain this in a few minutes, I think.
Dr. Reiner Füllmich: 04:03:40
OK, I want to say I don’t want to be rude, but I have to rush to get a train, because I have to join a Zoom with the Anglo-Americans in a very short time. So don’t let me interrupt you. As I said, I don’t want to be rude. I’m really grateful for what you’re doing.
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 04:03:56
Dr. Reiner Füllmich: 04:03:57
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 04:03:58
I’m grateful for what you guys are doing, as well.
Viviane Fischer: 04:04:00
Thank you. I want to add something. We once did a little survey. You know, like with– like a very small survey, with like maybe like 20 people something like that. And we asked ourselves, because we came from– You know, some were somewhere from the political party that we joined. And, you know, some from other areas of resistance, let’s call it that, you know? And it turned out that like what we all could agree to, what we thought were our… do you know, the main driving forces for us was that we had a very strong sense of freedom. And we cared very strongly about justice. We had like a kind of extra-ordinary amount of wish to help other people. You know, that we would actually be the ones who call– whatever, like run to the homeless and tell him why everyone walks away, walks past that person, or something like that. And then also that we had kind of, like a… not a mistrust against authorities, but something, some feeling, just because you have this white coat, or just because you bear this title of Professor So-and-So, we do not necessarily trust in what you say. But if you can convince us, you know, that if you come with evidence or like we can– it sounds, do you know, it’s like convincing and we can ask questions, and then– or it’s like you have convincing authority because you know the facts, you know? then we would accept it, but not in general just because you tell us something. That would be maybe the same thing with like police… If it’s something very silly, what they tell us, you know, “You can not stand here.” then we would ask you, “Why can I not stand here? No danger to what…” You know, these seem to be like the four… driving forces for us. And do you see some connection to, like–
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 04:05:44
Yes, of course. I think there is this tendency to independent thinking, thinking with our own heads. And I think that this is really a… a characteristic of people who are more or less immune to mass formation. The other thing, that we have a tendency to help people, that depends a little bit, because people who are in the masses, who are sensitive to mass formations, have the impression of themselves that they do everything to help the others. And that’s exactly– everything is done out of a sense of citizenship, out of a sense of– they do it all for the… for the collectivity, for the community. They’re convinced of that. And that was also, for instance, what Hitler said. “I expect of every German that he sacrifices his life without hesitation” he said, “for the German people.” So that’s what–
Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg: 04:06:29
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 04:06:30
That’s what Stalin said. But so– So, I think– I definitely agree that… the people who are not sensitive to mass formation, That they really want to understand what they believe. And that they have a certain tendency to really stick to reason. Yes. But still I don’t think that’s sufficient to explain why someone is not sensitive to mass formation. You know, actually… actually we have to refer to the concept of truth, I think.
Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg: 04:07:16
And truth– – If you have been betrayed, very serially, and you still want to trust, the only solution is, that your trust– you want– you always have to find out whether your trust is justified. And for this, you need… you need transparency of the relation to others. You need to– you need the possibility that you could control. And if you have this possibility, you don’t even use it. Because there is the possibility, and the other one knows it, too, and so… there is a basis of justified trust. And I think we– this has to do with time, whether you have the time to establish such relationship. This has to do with the size of the social system you are working in. It’s very difficult in a big system to build up justified trust, because you don’t– you have not capacity to control everything. So, I think… we have to think, when we want a new society, when we want more people… Now many people have been cheated. and are destroyed in their life. So we should offer them a society where they can have a trust which is easily to be justified.
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 04:08:38
Yeah. I agree. For me, for my personal experience, What– what– A trait that is common with everyone I’m talking to that asks questions is: they’re not very agreeable. They’re not shy from confrontation, like some other people.
Dr. Justus Hoffman: 04:08:59
Something that I wondered, because in the beginning you said what’s also my experience, that otherwise very intelligent people are– are shutting down, basically. They’ve completely shut down, and they follow the rules, no matter what. And I know a surprisingly high number, actually, of psychologists and psychotherapists and the overwhelming majority of those, if you talk to them, they don’t want to hear anything of it. The only thing they’re concerned with is: how to reach the conspiracy theorists. Everyone who disagrees with them is a conspiracy theorist And their whole scientific knowledge, or partic knowledge is employed in a way that they say, Oh, we need to reach those people because they– they are– not only they are wrong; but they have some kind of psychopathology. And this is also very sadly– very consistent with history. Finding a certain psychopathology to anyone who is disagreeing with you It’s not only unprofessional. It’s dangerous. But this is something I have encountered so much– To finish this: my personal experience is that people with certainly above-average intelligence and high, let’s say, academic credentials, like lawyers doctors, psychologists– they seem to me, to me they seem to be most susceptible to this kind of manipulation. Yes, yes, that they do. For example, my father’s side of the family. My father was the only academic. He was a chemist, a chemical engineer. Everybody else on my father’s family side are hairdressers, or they have a mechanics shop. And you can talk to them, and they’re very educated on these topics, and you can have a conversation with them. And you let them speak, they let you speak, and you can come to a consensus, of sorts, even if it’s to agree to disagree. And this is my experience with people who work construction, who are craftsmen, handymen, whatever. They have no academic background, and they are more open to discussion and more open to being convinced that you may be onto something than most academics I know.
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 04:11:19
That’s something that was already mentioned by Gustave Le Bon in the 19th century. The higher degree of education, the more susceptible to mass formation.
Dr. Justus Hoffman: 04:11:27
But why is that?
Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg: 04:11:29
This must be their education. Just think what education means.
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 04:11:33
Yes, of course. You could see education as a process in which you learn to think for yourself. But you could also see education as a process in which you learn to think like everybody else.
Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg: 04:11:46
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 04:11:47
So… Yes. Yeah.
Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg: 04:11:49
You learn to obey.
Viviane Fischer: 04:17:24
So what’s the end– Do you think that there’s some sort of way into that, to kind of… I don’t know. I guess not by just questioning things. I mean, to sort of get beyond the spell by these people. But… could it be– I mean, if… Like some kind of wake-up call, like some kind of emotional thing that you could present. that– is it about emotions at all? Or is this not even an issue. Or like could you not even on an emotional level reach them, or like wake them up, or…?
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 04:17:59
I think we can think about short-term solutions. Things we can do now. And I think we have to be honest that… we will not wake up the masses, I think, in a few days. So… but, as I just said, we can continue to talk, and in that way, make sure that the mass phenomenon doesn’t get too deep and that people stay awake a little bit and remain a little bit open for other– for collective experiences. I’m sure that is possible. and I’m sure that in this respect, it’s extremely important to continue to talk in a thoughtful and deliberate way. As we do now. At the same time, also something that can be very efficacious, but is difficult, is the use of humour. If you– Because mass formation, just like every type of hypnosis, relies upon the attribution of authority. Yes. Always. The more authority someone attributes to someone, the more he is susceptible for being hypnotised by this person. So what’s always very good is having this gentle– being humoristic in a gentle and polite way. And that’s very– because if it’s not in a gentle and polite way, you will provoke the aggression of the masses. But if it’s gentle and polite, refined humour is very efficacious in a– as a kind of antidotum, as a kind of– do you understand that, antidotum, as a kind of–
Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg: 04:19:45
Yes, yes, yes. to– against the mass formation and the hypnosis. And in the long–
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 04:19:47
of course– but that in itself even if he would succeed in waking up the masses now, they would fall prey to a different story in a few years. and they would be hypnotised again if– if we do not succeed in solving the real problem of this crisis, namely, the question: why did we, as a society, get in this state in which a large part of the population feels anxious, depressed, experiences a lack of sense, feels socially isolated And so that is the real problem. and if we do not succeed in finding out where this problem comes from, then the masses will always be susceptible for leaders who try to… to lure them into a mass formation. so I think the real question in this crisis is: What is there in our view of man and of the world in the way in which we look at life, that makes us experience this lack of sense making? And in my opinion, then, we must conclude that it is something in our materialistic, mechanistic view of man and the world that leads up to radical destruction. of the real social structures and social bonds and of the feeling that life makes sense. If you believe that human beings are a machine, a biological machine, then by definition this implies that life is senseless. What would the sense be of a life that is reduced for a human being if it is reduced to a little part, a little mechanistic part of the larger machine of the universe? If you look at the universe and at the human being like that, then I’m afraid that you always end up by concluding that life is meaningless and that you don’t really have to invest energy in meaningful social relations. that you don’t have to follow real ethical principles and in this way you destroy your psychological energy and your connectedness and you end up in a free-floating anxiety and so on. And so–
Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg: 04:22:24
You’re a burden for the big machine. You feel like a burden for the big machine. They don’t need you. And you have to feel that you are the machine.
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 04:22:36
Um-hm. The large machine.
Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg: 04:22:37
This is– yes, you are the large machine which is a wonder. And you know, this is why we have the dignity of humans as a principle of all our laws. Because it’s the individual, the dignity of the– the wonderful individual.
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 04:22:54
Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg: 04:22:55
All different, all equal. This is such a great thing, and we have to help each other to feel that we are, each of us, a wonderful thing, that we are great. and we get forlorn with our beauty, with our knowledge, with our feelings We get forlorn, being a small, small wheel in a big machine. So I think this is a way of looking at each other. And… it’s the image we have of ourselves And we have to help each other to get the right image again. So…
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 04:23:30
Yes, and that’s something that is also important, I think, as to– the question what the difference is between the people who are grasped in the masses now and those who are not. I think that a lot of the people who do not go along with the mainstream narrative now actually object against the mechanistic view of the immune system, for instance, against the mechanistic view on life I think that’s also an important characteristic that maybe distinguishes a little bit between the two groups. Not entirely, of course, but to a certain extent, I think so. And I think that actually that’s also very important, science itself, the seminal scientists, the great scientists of the 20th century, such as Neils Bohr, Heisenberg, Schroedinger and also the great mathematicians such as János Bolyai who invented– who was one of the pioneers in non-Euclidean mathematics, or the complex dynamical systems theory they all concluded that one cannot completely rationally understand reality, and definitely not in mechanistic terms. And that’s–
Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg: 04:24:43
We should try to to arrive at another way of knowing the world than the mechanistic way, I think. We are our own narratives, and we can exchange narratives.
Viviane Fischer: 04:24:56
Um-hm. To me that’s like the 40 percent silent, or silent majority, kind of, that’s just going along. I mean, they– they have not bought into the narrative as a whole, they’re just afraid. So if they’d have some kind of, you know, crowd where life is maybe more fun or like where it’s going in another direction, they see that this is something attractive, do you think that they could just switch gears and just, you know, turn around and run in the other direction?
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 04:25:29
Yes, of course. And they will, sooner or later. They will, sooner or later. But first our story, our alternative view of man and the world, must be concrete enough. And there are also other factors that will play, of course. Totalitarianism and mass formation have one main characteristic: that it is always self-destructive. It’s something that was noted by, was observed by Hannah Arendt. It was something that was observed by McDougall, It was something that was observed by Gustave Le Bon. In one way or another, the masses and the totalitarian systems are only capable for destruction, never for construction. So– and it was very striking that no matter what totalitarian leaders such as Stalin or Hitler did, it always ended up as a failure and it always ended up in destruction. So– and that’s for me one of the very dangerous things in this situation. I’m not a biologist, I’m not a vaccinologist, I’m not an immunologist, but just relying on the psychological law that the masses are only capable of destruction, and totalitarianism is only capable of destruction, that something in these systems seems to make that inevitable. Each project ends up in destruction. That makes it a very difficult situation, of course, and– because if we know that the mainstream ideology intervenes immediately in the body, in the physical body of the patients and you know– and it would be the case that also they are part of a mass phenomenon, then we could already predict that all the measures that are taken and including the vaccination and stuff and all the rest, that it could end up as a dramatic failure. Well– why did I say that? I forgot why I said it. Anyway… yeah.
Viviane Fischer: 04:27:34
…self-destructiveness of the totalitarianism
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 04:27:39
Yes, and that’s what we have to do, I think. If we can keep people, with our alternative voice, even a little bit awake, in particular this group who doesn’t really– is not really hypnotised, if we can keep them a little bit awake, until the facts are so clear the damage done by the system is so clear, then they might see it. The fully hypnotised group will never see it. That’s the strange thing. You can take them– you can destroy them completely, you can do what you want with them, they will undergo it, and they will not wake up. But the other group, the 40 percent, will be motivated, if there is more and more damage, they’ll be motivated to start to speak up and out. So that’s the tipping point, I think. That’s the point where someone can change. And we reach this point quicker and faster the more we can keep them awake. So that’s why I think– in my opinion, so– I have to be careful if I say that– but I think it’s better for us all to continue to speak in a public space.
Dr. Justus Hoffman: 04:28:49
I think that’s true, because– I mean, common sense dictates that this kind of society is not sustainable. You can’t drive something immense– create such an immense rift in the society, and such a divide and expect the society to uphold itself. It’s impossible.
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 04:29:12
Um-hm. It’s impossible, yes. Now–
Viviane Fischer: 04:29:15
Do you know, what struck me is that when you look at, for instance, Nazi times, Do you know, it’s kind of– At least, if you were part of the crowd that– was the good crowd– I mean in their point of view, you know, that you could, then you could join, for instance, kraft durch freude you know, I mean this, what about… what’s that, Power Through Happiness, you know, You could go on like a holiday vacation you know, that they provided. You could be part of this crowd of the blond white people, whatever, you know, This– and you had privileges. I mean, here we see that if you play along, if you really stick to all these crazy rules, you have even less fun than the others who, do you know, maybe sat together and celebrated their birthday party and then maybe got, do you know, like a letter from the police but in the end nothing happens, do you know, like… as we see this now in a lot of cases. So it’s kind of… what’s making this Is it not necessary to at least provide something that’s a little bit fun for, you know, if you want to lure people like into this totalitarianism Or is this, as you said, I mean, it’s really just like getting your, the anxiety that you had before, you know, that you now have an anchor point for that and having fun does not play any role at all?
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 04:30:35
I don’t know. I don’t know. You know, I will refer again to Gustave Le Bon, who observed already in the 19th century that the masses always have a preference for harsh and strict leaders, hm? who are cruel to their own people, hm? So I hope our experts or our people who… come to the fore now as their leaders do not realise this, but the harsher they are and the more they take away of the people, the more success they will have. And so that’s– –
Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg: 04:31:11
They run the risk to be ridiculous. and if we see this risk, we point with our finger on that. They are naked. This is the– This is what we can laugh about. And which opens a space. And… yeah. Yes, I think we should. We work together with comedians, and I think it’s a very good thing to work together with artists and comedians and musicians to find this space, this human space, which gives a little bit of freedom, so that you can go a little bit back and see the whole thing, and you’re not fixed in this hypnosis so much. I think humour is a way to give space, even if you’re hypnotised. Yeah.
Viviane Fischer: 04:38:37
So we– Is there anything else we would like to add? I mean, we’ve been really extensively discussing everything, I think. So…
Dr. Justus Hoffman: 04:38:45
Thank you for your coming and for your time, and for your very, very insightful comments about the situation.
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 04:38:52
That’s nice to hear.
Viviane Fischer: 04:38:54
I just want to like– I think Justus you had information that we’ve been I think during our conversation have been cut off on YouTube. So we seem to have been right– spot-on.
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 04:39:08
Excuse me, can you come again?
Viviane Fischer: 04:39:10
Yeah, the live stream on YouTube– you know we had like broadcasting to a variety of channels, but on YouTube, we were cut off, like during the conversation with you, they deleted the stream. So we must have been spot on.
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 04:39:26
Maybe. And will this be… this is recorded? And will this be put on YouTube or something?
Viviane Fischer: 04:39:32
No, we’re live. You know, this was live, has been live.
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 04:39:37
Yes, but there will be no copy which will be put on– spread through the social media or something?
Viviane Fischer: 04:39:44
No, of course we will spread it. Like, it’s going to be everywhere.
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 04:39:48
OK, perfect. And can you send me a link?
Viviane Fischer: 04:39:51
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 04:39:52
Yes, OK. Then I can put it also on my social media.
Viviane Fischer: 04:39:57
Yeah. OK. Yeah, thanks ever so much. It was amazing, fantastic, so much more insights, yeah.
Prof. Mattias Desmet: 04:40:03
OK, well, thank you for listening to me, because I also like doing my story here and there. While talking, you also find out new things yourself, so…
Thank you very much. Bye-bye.
Thanks so much.
Have a nice weekend.