covid denialists want you to think you’re brainwashed
As much as people may be sick of talking or thinking or hearing about COVID, the pandemic is far from done with us, especially as the Omicron variant is raging across the world. Much like gravity doesn’t care about how much we want to fly or at least not fall when we trip, viruses will continue to infect us no matter how frustrated we are. But as anti-vaxxers, grifters, and their global army of bored, entitled brats throwing what is now a two year-long tantrum made getting rid of COVID pretty much impossible, they’ve also been looking for ways to justify why we all need to stop worrying about an out-of-control disease and settled on an old conspiracy cliché: we’ve been brainwashed by the evil powers that be.
Yes, it’s a twist as old as “the head of the superhero organization was a bad guy all along” in a comic book, but since most conspiracy theories today are being based solely on identity, they feel pretty shameless in recycling their old hits. Every note sang by the tinfoil choirs of QAnon and Plandemic are just covers of the Taxil Hoax or the Trance Formation of America, which are themselves covers of the Blood Libel and the Spanish Inquisition. And so, we’re now being told that the reason why Americans are dreading catching a disease that was killing thousands of their fellow citizens every day until mass vaccination efforts began, is that they’re hypnotized by a mass media exaggerating its potency and silencing “skeptics.”
Putting their infuriating comparisons to Nazi Germany aside — because using the Holocaust as a metaphorical paper toilet paper for their verbal diarrhea is nothing new for these retrograde degenerates — there are exactly two major problems with the notion that anyone in America or anywhere else for that matter is being hypnotized by mass media. First, and most important, is that hypnosis doesn’t work the way conspiracy theorists claim it does. Far from turning people into puppets with a snap of a finger or a chant, it merely makes people more suggestible and has a success rate of maybe 10%, since nearly 9 in 10 people are just not susceptible enough to reliably follow the suggestions of a hypnotist, and more than 2 in 10 are totally immune.
And even when the very susceptible are ready to enter a hypnotic state at the drop of a hat, the process takes concentration, time, and effort, and wears off very quickly. If you need a perfect environment to get a highly receptive person to maybe accept one suggestion in a trance, the idea of mass hypnosis through news media many try to avoid like the plague is laughable, and to pursue it seriously would take a deranged narcissist. On top of that, there are plenty of mass media sources scoffing at the pandemic’s threat and public health measures meant to control it. Fox News, Newsmax, and OAN boast tens of millions of viewers and fill hours upon hours of daily programming with anti-vaccine rhetoric and COVID denialism.
That brings us to the second problem with this hypothesis. If all the COVID “skeptics” are being silenced, why can’t we seem to go another day without having their opinions shoved down our eyeballs by very the media they claim is censoring them? Why are prime time news slots being dominated by pundits who scoff at vaccinations, social distancing, and masks, and why is one of the top podcasters in the world hosting deranged loons who think that the only reason anyone could disagree with them is because they’re being brainwashed? If anything, they’ve been given massive platforms they don’t deserve and using which they spew dangerous nonsense intended to make a lot of very bored, angry, and ignorant people feel like brilliant iconoclasts.
Now, it’s perfectly fine to question the scientific consensus and authorities. In fact, we should be encouraging it. But it’s one thing to question authority and another to refuse to take no for an answer. Sometimes you’re just wrong, and unless you’re an expert in certain fields, those who are will always know more than you do. When you refuse to believe anything they could possibly tell or show you, you become a denialist, not a skeptical truth-seeker. This is where the Joe Rogans of the world come in to offer you salvation from realizing that you don’t know as much as you think you do and will have to rely on others to help make the right decisions and get through a rough situation.
They’ll tell you your critics are brainwashed sheep, that you’re an incisive sage who could see through vast conspiracies against you and your like-minded friends and family, and who can actually teach those eggheads a thing or two. And while they have your ear, do you want to buy some mushroom coffee? Supplements guaranteed to cure COVID and detox from government chemtrails? Prepared food for the coming socialist supermarket rations? Silver coins? Iraqi cash that will give you a 10,000% return on investment? A reverse mortgage? Come on, put in your credit card into and become a cog in the Grift Industrial Complex. You know you want to. After all, what else are you doing with your life?