Does Psychotherapy Enable Social Repression?

Does Psychotherapy Enable Social Repression?



I’m reading two challenging books by the late British psychologist, David Smail. Ironically, he was dubious about the effectiveness of psychotherapy. Particularly when it does account for the oppressive impact of hidden societal “interests” on the quality of our individual lives. Why, he asks, do we always direct the client inward, as though something is inherently wrong within them, but refuse to take seriously how larger power interests are a source of our problems in living well?

It reminds me of my seminary days when “the system” was deemed to be the source of all evil, not the individual, and furthermore, any religion that makes spirituality a private affair is colluding with the oppressive social systems. When we therapists neglect to include things like class, wealth, and hidden corporate and state interests we are fostering another kind of repression, not psychological, but social. The upshot of my education was that when I was released from seminary on my first unsuspecting congregation I hammered home the systemic roots of injustice in every sermon. One day, Harry, the gatekeeper of the congregation invited me over for lunch. When we were finished he gently wondered whether the odd sermon could be about, say, God’s love? I was furious, and secretly accused him of being so blind as to not recognize that this kind of sentimentality was part of the problem. I was, in other words, a royal pain in the ass.

Still, reading Smail has been a refreshing reminder that my life, and my client’s lives, are lived out in a social context of “interests” which are happy to keep us focused inward, while massive transfers of wealth from the poor and the shrinking middle class to fewer and fewer elites and their corporate interests (and to state politicians susceptible to lobbying in order to pad their own stock portfolios), is enacted without much notice or apparent concern.

It has long been a strategy of those in power to keep the hoi polloi distracted–bread and circus in Roman times, Netflix, in our own–and perhaps suggests Smail, psychotherapy. All the while those invested in power and control carry on with their hidden agendas as the “little people” live out their lives oblivious to what’s going on, searching for the ever-elusive state of happiness in more private ways, such as shopping and entertainment. (For Smail, “little people” refers to the fact that power relations have been an issue from the moment of our birth. We are subject to big people and their control, for good or ill). Many of us remain in this state of being “little”, throughout our adult lives, assuming that we are not free to live a life of our own making. This plays into the hidden interests and strategies of the elite. Growing up means in the first place looking up and out at what’s actually happening in the world, and then summoning the courage to curate our own lives. We settle for the prison of the status quo when what we need to do is fight for our life.

The other control strategy of the elite is to keep the people in a constant state of fear and anxiety necessitating a Big Daddy state to make the world safe and take care of us. The bogeyman could be another nation, the plague, or nuclear war.  Obedience to repressive policies is thereby guaranteed. These power games are happening, and we are, knowingly or not, subject to them every single day of our lives, says Smail. Do we want to know? Or are we happy to remain in a state of mystification? Red pill? Blue pill?

Smail identifies “demystification” as a critical concern of therapy—that is, clearing away the fog of repression so that a person can see their life more clearly and not as powerful, hidden interests would like us to see things. Psychological repression keeps early trauma that was not possible to integrate when we were “little” outside of conscious awareness. But the cost is that the repressed stuff surfaces in unconscious behaviours as adults that creates suffering for ourselves and others. Social repression is when we refuse to see clearly what is going on in the world, because if it’s as bad as it seems to be, well, we have enough to deal with in our private lives. And most of us are in survival mode in any case. Who has time or energy to look up and out?  But there’s a cost associated with sticking our collective heads in the sand —mystification —carrying on as though the strategic interests of an elite have no bearing on one’s personal life. As with psychological repression, the fantasy that everything is okay generates and perpetuates suffering and self-blame.

For example, the current fiat money system’s policy of creating money out of thin air ends up devaluing the money we earn. We find that it’s getting harder and harder to make ends meet. Chances are we may internalize the frustration concluding that we don’t have what it takes to be financially viable, i.e something is wrong with me. Then interest rates hiked (as is now happening) to control runaway inflation, which we are told is Putin’s fault, redirecting our attention away from the truth that the cozy relationship between our state representatives and the Federal Reserve (which is privately run) is the true cause of inflation. It has nothing to do with our spending habits or our inability to get a raise at work. All the while, the elites closest to the digital money-printing trough are getting wealthier and wealthier while the rest of us get poorer by the day.

Smail compares our situation to a factory chicken farm. The chickens are proceeding as though living in cages with a million other chickens and eating chemically laced food for the purposes of fattening them up is natural. They don’t know what “natural” is, what it is to feel well, nor that they are objects of higher powers (human greed) to whom they have only instrumental value (money). The chickens have no clue about the end game, which is their end. So, asks Smail, are humans any different when we are not encouraged to pull our heads out of our arses and see what is actually going on? What are we being fattened up for? The upshot is that not all of our suffering is the result of childhood wounds.  Rather, the chronic focus within serves the purpose of mystification which in turns serves an elite’s agenda.

Imagine a scenario of a young man who shows up in a therapist’s office because he’s feeling anxious and afraid. He feels like somebody is watching his every move. He’s turned inward, suspicious and he has stopped talking to friends. When he turns on his computer it feels like somebody is listening in. The therapist immediately frames this as paranoia, and focuses therapy on the impact of intrusive parents who wouldn’t let this man out of his sight as a child. Fair enough. But if therapy begins and ends with this psychological exploration, the man internalizes that he is a little crazy. There’s something wrong with him. He may even start to refer to himself as “a paranoid”. He is the kind of person who makes shit up. Maybe he’s put on anti-psychotics to help him adjust to the “real world”. He has received a life sentence by his therapist.

But if the therapist was engaged in the real world outside her office she might have come across a book by Harvard professor, Shoshonah Zubov, Surveillance Capitalism and learned that social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, and Google’s search engines like Chrome are indeed watching. In fact, they are harvesting our personal data and selling it to the highest bidder, usually China, but also to commercial interests who are cashing in on the dream of AI by gathering every bit of data from every source, including you and me. We are being profiled continuously without our consent. (Or the consent is a term of use buried in 100’s of pages of small print).   Ever noticed how when you google, say “air filters”,  you are then peppered with marketing for that very product. Algorithms, they say, know us better than we know ourselves. Benign example you say of being watched. It gets more sinister.

I remember on Denman Island seeing a string of lights moving across the sky one night and wondered if the aliens had finally arrived. I discovered that it was Elon Musk’s satellites, part of a program to ring Earth with 5 G technology. I recall being pissed that I didn’t get to vote on whether I wanted this technology. If you think 5G is all about making our lives easier by increasing the speed of our internet searches, you’d be wrong. It’s setting the table for better surveillance capability of the whole planet.

China is the world leader in surveillance technology boasting one camera for every two citizens (540 million as of 2021). They got most of the technology from U.S. tech companies. The party leadership did an experiment in which they dropped a pretend American spy into a city of 3.5 million people to see how long it took to locate and arrest him after taking a photo of his face. Five minutes. There are programs that are in production which are predicting crime and anti-state activity based on a person’s profile and behaviour on social media platforms. This was the subject of the film, Minority Report.  China now has open air prisons because of the effectiveness of their tracking technology.

China’s Prime Minister, Xi Jinping, was praised by Canada’s PM and by the Klaus Schwab, CEO of the World Economic Forum, for his superior leadership in managing 1.2 billion citizens so effectively. This kind of language, management of humans by scientists, engineers and so-called experts is known as technocracy. It is social engineering and it is gaining momentum among the elites of the world. It is an alternative form of governance to democracy, which is its enemy. There was actually a political movement in the 1930’s called Technocracy Inc, in the U.S. and Canada, that extolled the virtues of scientific experts and engineers centrally planning utopia. It’s a nuisance having to deal with voters. I mention this because, again, if you think this degree of surveillance, and technocracy itself,  doesn’t appeal to Western democracies, like Canada and U.S and the EU, think again. The powers have already concluded that social engineering of us “citizens” is the most efficient way to go. During the pandemic, Great Britain had a whole department which employed “nudge” techniques, (behavioural modification), on their entire population (without their knowledge). The mass hypnosis then garners ideological assent, eliminating any opposition to the health policies, encouraging what amounted to censorship of alternative views, and shaming of the “crazies”, including world renowned epidemiologists and virologists. The nudge technology was an effective way of turning citizens into agents of the state.

How quickly we have forgotten computer engineer, Edward Snowden, who blew the whistle on his employer, the National Security Association, for leaking top secret information to the press, when he discovered that they were spying on its own citizens. We have forgotten this story because the job of mainstream media (which consists of four or five corporations) is to represent the worldview of the owners. If we are consuming their information we are consuming the ideology of the elites, full stop. Our worldview will be the worldview the owners of the media corporations want you to have, unless you seriously practice media literacy and have some skills at deconstructing the headlines. Journalism as the fourth estate disappeared long ago.

Last year Canada subsidized the Canadian Broadcasting Association to the tune of 1.4 billion by the state. What journalist is going to bite the hand that feeds it? Demystification should be the role of the journalist, acting as social therapists. Today integrity as a journalist could get you killed, as it has for so many throughout the world who are committed to the practice. Or canceled. We experienced mystification throughout the pandemic by so-called journalists of the major media outlets, who lobbed harmless questions at hand-picked experts of the Covid Consensus. Again, we have a situation in which journalists are recruited to be agents of the state. Most of us are unaware of just how much money the Gates Foundation, for example, puts into journalism schools. Gates’ model of philanthropic capitalism is not value-free. Bill Gates is promoting a worldview and agenda that funds and materializes what he believes should be the role of the media, health policy, and education.  Now, you might be aligned with Mr. Gate’s values, but what if you’re not. Here is an unelected individual exerting significant and often hidden influence on democratic nations.

Canada is currently under the leadership of a PM and his cabinet, half of whom are graduates of the World Economic Forum’s “Young Leaders” program including Justin Trudeau himself. Which doesn’t seem alarming in itself, until you discover that the WEF has its own agenda for our world and its citizens, named The Great Reset by the author of a book by the same title, and CEO of the consortium of world elites, Klaus Schwab. That agenda is to remake the world in such a way that it minimizes the power of sovereign democratic nations in favour of a trans-nationalist (global) governance system; that promotes partnership between corporations and governments (in its extreme form this is known as fascism, and we are not far from it); and that is very excited about planetary global ids for every citizen—more on that below.

Canada is earning the WEF’s deepest respect for being one of two nations (Holland is the other) experimenting with a WEF initiative called Known Traveller Digital Id (KTDI). On the WEF website Klaus Schwab describes it as follows:

“The more attestations a traveller accumulates and shares, the better consortium partners, government, and other parties can provide a safe and a smooth travel experience.”

Now, I’m no journalist but I think I could muster a few tough questions for Mr. Schwab: Who are the “consortium partners”? Who are “other parties”? What exactly is an “attestation”? And why should I give these unelected parties access to my private life? “Attestations” are the information you are willing to share with the above mentioned parties, partners, and the state to fly the friendly skies. The more private info you share the better your travel experience. The unmentioned corollary is that the less you share of your private information, the bumpier the ride. Will you even be able to board a plane if you opt out?

This is the slippery slope that aroused Orwell’s imagination in his novel 1984, which depicts a totalitarian nightmare in its absolute form, state control not for the sake of an ideology like communism or fascism. No, it’s control for control’s sake, power for the sake of power, in which there is zero freedom, even to think for oneself. The WEF’s end game is a utopian vision laid out for all to see in the Great Reset. But how much control are they willing to exert in order to achieve it? ( What they call P3, (public private partnership), because of the amount of money at their disposal, is already exerting profound global influence on sovereign nations. The wealth of unelected individuals and corporations are shaping government policy. I can’t think why I would trust them. I don’t even know them. They weren’t elected. To whom are they accountable?

Once digital ids are in place the next step will be a social credit system. The KTDI program and the vaccine passports are the beta test programs for Western democracies, and Canada’s PM is proud to fully endorse and aggressively implement both. Sound like it’s time to bring out the tin foil hats?

It is no conspiracy to note that the social credit system is well underway in China. It was designed in 2014 to “allow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under the sun while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step”. As Jeff Booth describes in The Price of Tomorrow: “Every citizen receives a credit score available as public record. Points are deducted for things like traffic violations, bad debt, selling faulty products” (and rewarded for those activities that deemed “good” by the state). “In some regions, listening to music too loudly deducts points; in others jaywalking or playing video games. It would be hard to imagine any system that rewarded opposition in any form to the Communist Party…By the end of 2018 the system is functioning in 12 regions, it has blocked access for 5.4 million people from traveling on high speed trains and an additional 17 million people from taking airline flights.”

Thank god we’re not Communist China right? Well…those who chose not to be vaccinated here in Canada had a foretaste of social credit system. Disobedience meant no bars, restaurants, concerts, the swimming pool, visits with dying parents, no travel, etc. It meant being censored, shunned and humiliated for bad behaviour. My unvaccinated clients couldn’t understand this enforced social isolation even after it became evident that:

a) the vaccine doesn’t prevent transmission;

b) it doesn’t stop anybody from getting the virus;

c) in fact, as it now stands, the double vaxxed, and double and triple boosted stand a greater chance of being infected than the unvaxxed—which is playing out where I live. We were recently excluded from attending a birthday party because it was only for the vaccinated. A vaccinated and triple boosted friend who attended emailed to say that she and five others who attended the party tested positive. Hmmm…

While all the hoopla about the resignation of British PM, Boris Johnson was distracting us, the UK government quietly released statistics on July 12th that the vaccinated and double, triple, quadruple boosted account for 94% of the deaths from the latest outbreak of the virus since April 2022. Portugal has the highest vaccination and boosted rates in the world, and they are reporting the highest incidence of infection with this new variant. Haiti is the least vaccinated country and they are reporting the lowest incidence. The reason is immune imprinting, which I encourage you to research. You won’t find this study or any information about immune imprinting in mainstream media. Seems to be a theme. Yet the media continues to call this a pandemic of the unvaccinated.

d) they are not actually safe. The VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) of the CDC this past week released the latest stats. Again, you’ll never hear these reported on mainstream media. How come? The new U.S. data showed that a total of 1,329,135 reports of adverse events following COVID-19 vaccines were submitted between Dec. 14, 2020, and July 1, 2022. The data included a total of 29,273 reports of deaths and 241,910 serious injuries. Prior to these vaccines, 50 deaths marked the moment when a vaccine was pulled off the market. Given that VAERS is cumbersome and time consuming for MD’s to report, the actual number of vaccine injuries far exceeds these figures.

e) the vaccines are ineffective against the new variants because they were made for the original virus, which is long gone, yet they are pushing to vaccinate infants and toddlers with the old vaccine. This is having the effect of driving the virus to evolve ever-more quickly into variants that vaccines will not be able to keep up with—but that natural immunity is very effective in dealing with. There has never been a vaccine made that is effective against the common cold which is also a corona virus.

We, the public, seem willing to remain in a state of mystification about the pharmaceutical industry’s interests.  But why would we trust them unequivocally given their egregious criminal track record (including Pfizer who was fined 2.3 billion dollars for fraud); despite knowing that they’ve paid fines collectively of over 20 billion dollars in the past 15 years for misrepresenting the efficacy of their products or underplaying the risks. (In the case of Purdue Pharmacy that they were profiting from their aggressive marketing of oxycontin, which helped to create an epidemic of opiate addiction and caused 10’s of 1000’s of deaths); despite knowing that they routinely manipulate research and data to get approval; despite knowing that the FDA, charged with the responsibility for being the watchdog of the industry receives 70% of its funding annually from the same industry; despite it being public knowledge that it’s a revolving door from the FDA to a seat on the boards of pharmaceuticals; and despite knowing that Pfizer’s  budget in 2021 average marketing budget of the past ten years is 2.5 billion dollars mostly targeted to mainstream media. Ever noticed how much of the news program is “brought to you by Pfizer”? Wonder if it has an impact on what is reported? This is a pretty good example of mystification or social repression. This industry is literally transforming our lives, how we define health and illness, and actively marketing a particular ideology that trusts technology over billions of years of accumulated natural intelligence.

This blind trust we are willing to extend to proven criminals reminds me of grown adults who defend the parents who sexually abused them. To break through the fog of denial is to land in a world of unbearable sorrow. The upshot is that we’d rather poison ourselves and our children than call out the powers who are benefitting from our denial. We simply cannot believe that these powers lie to our faces again and again refusing to fess up and be held accountable. It is no different than the father who knowingly sacrifices his own daughter he raped by lying about it, rather than face the truth that he acted monstrously for his own selfish pleasure. Turns out the world out there is full of monsters. It doesn’t help to pretend otherwise.

Back to the young man who, with his therapist, came to the conclusion that his issues were inside him, that he needed to be treated for paranoia.  The treatment included giving up his conspiratorial thoughts. But what if he was simply feeling into the world as it is? What if he didn’t yet have words for what he was experiencing? The therapist in this instance colluded in the mystification, the social repression of reality, because, well, he didn’t want to know. The interests of the elite on our personal lives may not find its way into the therapist’s office. That’s up to the individual. But when it does, says Smail and I agree, that conversation is every bit as valid as exploring the impact of early family trauma. Over the past two years individuals showed up in sessions with me because their previous therapist had nothing but judgment when these individuals expressed confusion about the state policies which were devastating their lives. These therapists set themselves up as agents of the state, repressing any and all questioning of the consensus narrative. Shame on them. The fight for our freedom may start within, but if it ends there, freedom is a fantasy, not reality.

Bruce Sanguin Psychotherapist

Written by Bruce Sanguin

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