The Writing’s on the Wall: COVID is a Totalist Cult Whose Righteous Followers are Impervious to Evidence

In his Master’s thesis “Hope Wanted: Wall Writing Protests in Times of Economic Crisis in Athens“, Georgios Stampoulidis presents a photo of a graffiti on Athens’ Sina Street reading “Merry Crisis and a Happy New Fear”. This play on the words of the standard holiday greeting became a symbol for the street protests in conjunction with the 2008 economic crisis and its political fallout, primarily as it affected southern Europe. In the context of the oligarchs 2020 corona crisis, this is so spot on that I can’t skip writing about it.

Source: Stampoulidis (2016), https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.14237.31203

The idea of looking at this crisis as “The Covidian Cult” was introduced to me in playwright C.J. Hopkins’ essay on the Consent Factory blog, via German philosopher and author Gunnar Kaiser’s video “It’s a Cult“. Hopkins describes fear (based on dramatic but fake news media images and erroneous predictive models) as the initiation to the Covidian Cult, which has perpetuated itself as a “global totalitarian movement” with an ideology unaffected by new scientific findings of pre-existing human immunity, milder impact, and well-known prevention and treatment options for SARS-CoV-2 /COVID-19. Kaiser further explains the concept of totalism, proposed by psychiatrist Robert J. Lifton, as the characteristic of ideologies that aim for total control of human thought, speech, and behaviour. The tool used to exert this control is fear, which includes the denial of death and the rejection of any external changes to the system’s world view. This fear often translates into violent oppression of dissenting views. If you have observed, or perhaps even experienced, the reactions of Covidians to dissenting views on social media or among your family and friends, you can relate.

C.J. Hopkins’ essay 13 October 2020, https://consentfactory.org/2020/10/13/the-covidian-cult/ (Also read his other recent commentaries at https://cjhopkins.com/articles-essays-fiction/ !)

“Merry Crisis and a Happy New Fear” then can be read as the wish of a Covidian who is deeply invested in the crisis and dwells in fears. New fears emerge constantly and are being amplified by uncritical journalists, with reports of #LongCovid, … However, the righteous followers of “The Cult of COVID” are, as Michael Tennant put it in The New American, “impervious to evidence” … For an even more scathing verdict, have a look at psychoanalyst Bruce Scott’s “Brave New Normal: Turning The World Into A Covid-Cult” in Technocracy News & Trends.

2020 Christmas card design by author. I have been designing holiday greeting cards for a number of years. This year’s instance is based on data from Ontario’s provincial digital elevation model. I had previously identified an area to the west of Lake Superior in Minnesota near the Canadian border to create greyscale “The Black Forest” design for the Blue Crow Gallery summer group show 2020 here in Toronto. For the card, I turned the “trees” green and the “sky” red. An ominous blood-red background seemed an appropriate metaphor for the lapsing year 2020. Let’s hope that humanity will soon find its grounding again, and the green subdue the red. With that, I wish my readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Merry Crisis and a Happy New Fear! — GIS2 at Ryerson