• Gregory Quinlan

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

"The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore, God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness."

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 ESV

"Each individual possesses a conscience which to a greater or lesser degree serves to restrain the unimpeded flow of impulses destructive to others. But when he merges his person into an organizational structure, a new creature replaces autonomous man, unhindered by the limitations of individual morality, freed of humane inhibition, mindful only of the sanctions of authority."

Stanley Milgram

The Center for Garden State Families takes the title of this article from the 1841 book by the same name. A journalist in London, Charles MacKay, wrote about what happened to the masses during certain events, including the South Sea Bubble of 1720 and the Tulip Mania of 1634-1637. In the preface of his book, he writes, "The object of the author in the following pages has been to collect the most remarkable instances of those moral epidemics which have been excited, sometimes by one cause and sometimes by another, and to show how easily the masses have been led astray, and how imitative and gregarious men are, even in their infatuations and crimes." Further, he writes, "Some delusions, though notorious to all the world, have subsisted for ages, flourishing as widely among civilized and polished nations as among the early barbarians with whom they originated, that of dueling, for instance, and the belief in omens and divination of the future, which seem to defy the progress of knowledge to eradicate them entirely from the popular mind. Money, again, has often been a cause of the delusion of multitudes. Sober nations have all at once become desperate gamblers, and risked almost their existence upon the turn of a piece of paper."

In our last article, we read about Mattias Desmet, professor of clinical psychology at Ghent University in Belgium, who had observed something due to the Covid-19 pandemic. A mass formation or collective hypnosis is advancing, which is a requirement for totalitarianism to emerge. A mass formation or collective hypnosis occurs when four critical conditions are met. The first is social isolation. Sadly, even before the pandemic, many have reported having feelings of social isolation. Social media has spawned this isolation, which gives the illusion of connectivity without true community and fellowship. Second, a majority of people feel a sense of meaninglessness and have no sense of purpose. The third condition is free-floating anxiety and discontent, all too often without a direct cause. Perhaps in an age of social media, this could be the cause that induces meaninglessness and lack of purpose, causing an array of emotions, including anxiety and discontent. And lastly, feelings of free-floating aggression and free-floating frustration are essentially rooted in the three conditions above.

Meaninglessness and lack of purpose create a dangerous void that needs to be filled. Many are finding meaning and purpose in defending their positions during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, this creates further separation, quarrels, and isolation in many cases. The reason has to do with those not going along with the crowd. Those refusing to comply with mask mandates, social distancing, and mandatory vaccines are finding themselves ostracized from the group. In Europe, we hear reports of governments actively locking down those who have not been vaccinated and limiting their movement. In Australia, quarantine camps have been established for those suspected of Covid-19 or any other variant that may occur. Even in our own country, we are being told of travel restrictions concerning other countries, and there is the potential that we could witness another lockdown due to the Omicron variant. Our society has been mobilized to fight an invisible enemy. Perhaps there are those who romanticize about the greatest generation who fought in World War II returning home with victory upon conquering the Axis powers in Europe and Japan. We see the ritual of putting on masks for their daily battle, arming themselves with hand sanitizer, and proudly wearing their I am Vaccinated stickers as if donning a medal on a military uniform. They perceive themselves in a war where the enemy cannot be seen, and the virus is like a bullet from a hidden sniper.

Herein lies the madness of crowds. Herein lies why the world has seen so many acts of barbarity and wickedness. Our most recent historical point of reference involves World War II. In previous articles, we have discussed the parallels with Nazi Germany and the rise of Adolph Hitler and how it could have been possible for people to succumb to such a tyrannical dictator. It all begins with crowd psychology. Gustave Le Bon, the French Social Psychologist in 1895, wrote the book called The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind. In it, he writes regarding how an individual is swayed by the crowd or group-think, "Moreover, by the mere fact that he forms part of an organized crowd, a man descends several rungs in the ladder of civilization. Isolated, he may be a cultivated individual; in a crowd, he is a barbarian – that is, a creature acting by instinct. He possesses the spontaneity, the violence, the ferocity, and also the enthusiasm and heroism of primitive beings, whom he further tends to resemble by the facility with which he allows himself to be impressed by words and images – which would be entirely without action on each of the isolated individuals composing the crowd – and to be induced to commit acts contrary to his most obvious interests and his best-known habits. An individual in a crowd is a grain of sand amid other grains of sand, which the wind stirs up at will."

Further, he writes, "When defining crowds, we said that one of their general characteristics was an excessive suggestibility, and we have shown to what an extent suggestions are contagious in every human agglomeration; a fact which explains the rapid turning of the sentiments of a crowd in a definite direction. However, indifferent it may be supposed, a crowd, as a rule, is in a state of expectant attention, which renders suggestion easy. The first suggestion formulated which arises implants itself immediately by a process of contagion in the brains of all assembled, and the identical bent of the sentiments of the crowd is immediately an accomplished fact." When people are in a state of anxiety and fear, the power of suggestion becomes much more powerful, allowing them to submit to authority figures without willingly questioning their motives.

To expand on this idea, we now turn to Stanley Milgram, an American social psychologist best known for his experiments on obedience conducted in the 1960s during his professorship at Yale. The Milgram experiments began in 1961, one year after the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem. Eichmann was a primary organizer of the Holocaust in Nazi Germany. Therefore, the experiment conducted by Stanley Milgram was to answer the question could it be that Eichmann and his million accomplices were just following orders? Could we call them accomplices? The experiment was conducted using recruited individuals placed under an authority figure. There were three parties involved in the experiment.

  • The "experimenter," who was in charge of the session.

  • The "teacher" is a volunteer for a single session. The "teachers" were led to believe that they were merely assisting, whereas they were the subjects of the experiment.

  • The "learner," an actor and confederate of the experimenter, pretended to be a volunteer.

The experiment was to determine if the German people were predisposed to being obedient to authority since the claim was that they were following orders during the atrocities of the Holocaust. The experiment was also designed to determine how far people would go to harm another person by obeying instructions. The subject and the actor arrived at the session together. The experimenter told them they were participating in "a scientific study of memory and learning" to see the effect of punishment on a subject's ability to memorize content. The punishment involved an electric shock that the subject would administer to the learner in the experiment. The subject was given a sample of this shock to know what it would feel like for the learner.

It should be noted that the learners were actors, and no actual electrical shocks were given. They were to act out by screaming and pleading for these electrical shocks to end. One of the actors said they had a heart condition and pleaded for the subject to end the electrical shocks.

The learner gave mainly wrong answers (on purpose), and the teacher gave him an electric shock for each of these. When the teacher (the subject) refused to administer a shock, the experimenter gave a series of orders/prods to ensure they continued.

There were four prods, and if one was disobeyed, the experimenter read out the next prod, and so on. The following are the prods that were given.

Prod 1: Please continue.

Prod 2: The experiment requires you to continue.

Prod 3: It is absolutely essential that you continue.

Prod 4: You have no other choice but to continue.

The results were stunning. 65% (two-thirds) of participants (the subjects of the experiment who were the teachers) continued to the highest level of 450 volts. All the participants continued to 300 volts. This experiment revealed that ordinary people are likely to follow orders given by an authority figure, even to the extent of killing an innocent human being. Stanley Milgram published an article in 1974 called "The Perils of Obedience." In it, he wrote, 'The legal and philosophic aspects of obedience are of enormous import, but they say very little about how most people behave in concrete situations. I set up a simple experiment at Yale University to test how much pain an ordinary citizen would inflict on another person simply because he was ordered to by an experimental scientist. Stark authority was pitted against the subjects' strongest moral imperatives against hurting others, and, with the subjects' ears ringing with the screams of the victims, authority won more often than not. The extreme willingness of adults to go to almost any lengths on the command of an authority constitutes the chief finding of the study and the fact most urgently demanding explanation."

Milgram went on to further explain his Agency Theory. In it, he discusses two states of human behavior.

  • The autonomous state – people direct their own actions, and they take responsibility for the results of those actions.

  • The agentic state – people allow others to direct their actions and then pass off the responsibility for the consequences to the person giving the orders. In other words, they act as agents for another person's will.

Milgram suggested that two things must be in place for a person to enter the agentic state:

  1. The person giving the orders is perceived as qualified to direct other people's behavior. That is, they are seen as legitimate.

  2. The person being ordered about is able to believe that the authority will accept responsibility for what happens.

Agency theory confers that people will obey an authority when they believe that the authority will take responsibility for the consequences of their actions. Because, after all, they were simply just following orders.

Today we are witnessing events unfolding that look eerily similar to those of Nazi Germany. We have Dr. Anthony Fauci, a medical authority pushing for experimental vaccines and booster shots. The public has not been fully informed of the short or long-term implications of these injections. We see people admonishing others for not wearing masks, social distancing, or taking the vaccines because they are not following orders. In the crowd's mind, who are following orders, those who don't deserve some kind of punishment, whether it be ostracization, loss of employment, or being quarantined if suspected of carrying a virus with less than a one percent mortality rate. Worse, those who run our educational system are also considered in positions of authority and are telling parents that their children must be masked. Mandatory vaccines are being rolled out to attend schools. We can see how the madness of crowds under the sway of obedience to authority leads to potential atrocities like those of the Holocaust. What we are seeing is part of our population entering the agentic state. They are now the willful agents of a nefarious agenda of totalitarianism. We would be remiss if we did not quote from our article Welcome to 1939 Nazi Germany. In that article, we wrote, "Hitler viewed himself as "The Great Doctor" and put himself on par with none other than Robert Koch, the father of modern bacteriology.

In Hitler's World War II "Table Talk," the Fuhrer declared, "[Koch] discovered the bacillus and thereby ushered medical science onto new paths. I discovered the Jew as the bacillus and the fermenting agent of all social decomposition. The discovery of the Jewish virus is one of the greatest revolutions that has taken place in the world. The battle in which we are engaged today is of the same sort as the battle waged, during the last century, by Pasteur and Koch. How many diseases have their origin in the Jewish virus! We shall regain our health only by eliminating the Jew."

Here we see a defined enemy, namely the virus-infected Jew. How long before we go from an invisible enemy known as Covid-19 to groups of individuals who will be considered like the virus-infected Jew that needs to be exterminated? Long after we are gone, will people ask themselves how it could have happened? Like Stanley Milgram's experiment, will studies be conducted to determine that we were just following orders? How many millions will be willful agents and accomplices in this global crime against humanity?

The pages of history bear witness to the fall of civilizations, empires, and nations at the hands of crowds like grains of sand stirred up by the wind in an undaunted maelstrom. It is a vortex that provokes the crowd to obey authority even at its own destruction. May the United States never succumb to Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds that destroys our Constitution, our Freedoms, and our Liberties under the tumult of tyranny.

"I would say, on the basis of having observed a thousand people in the experiment and having my own intuition shaped and informed by these experiments, that if a system of death camps were set up in the United States of the sort we had seen in Nazi Germany, one would find sufficient personnel for those camps in any medium-sized American town."

Stanley Milgram

"Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one."

Charles MacKay

Friends, it is the end of 2021 and we are so busy doing our mission that we haven't had the time to tell you everything we do. However, we trust you have been following our work stopping the Reproductive Freedom Act. AKA the Freedom to Kill Act, a bill that would subsidize human sex traffickers who currently have to pay for the abortions on their sex slaves. But if the bill becomes law, all NJ taxpayers will be paying for all abortions, including up to the moment of birth.

The Center for Garden State Families has been exposing Tammy Murphy's extreme and exploitive sex education curriculums. These curricula include anal sex in eighth grade and masturbation in fifth grade (9 to 10-year-old children).

This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Join us as we work to expose the threats to our children and families and confront legislators and bureaucrats about the harm their policies are to the citizens of the Garden State.

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