For many years, a famous quote summed up my mission as a journalist: “Comfort the afflicted, afflict the comfortable.” That once-noble quest doesn’t apply anymore. The afflicted get so much attention and have so much power in society today that people are making up afflictions so they can be part of that prestigious group.
The following are some favorites:
• I was bullied/abused (translation: someone called me a name once or I was spanked) so now I have anxiety/depression/bipolar disorder;
• I had an overbearing (or absentee) father, so now I have anxiety/depression/bipolar disorder;
• I have an addiction to drugs/alcohol/food/sex/porn/social media/Netflix/kitten videos on YouTube;
• I was born the wrong gender;
• I have stress (and anxiety, of course) after suffering severe discrimination from the time the police pulled me over for no reason and when the Starbucks barista gave me the side-eye;
• I have an eating disorder;
• I have a learning disability;
• I have chronic fatigue syndrome (and anxiety, of course), so I can’t work;
• I have PTSD from watching coverage of school shootings;
You have to claim some victim card to avoid being perceived as the only thing you’re not allowed to be in our country today: Privileged. That’s why celebrities and third-generation wealthy people are so quick to pull out their well-worn stories about how they had to sacrifice to have this or suffer for that … Anything in an attempt to avoid the dreaded “P” word.
It would be comical if that mindset didn’t have such destructive consequences.
Now, before you courageous sufferers of any of the previously mentioned conditions or situations rally the troops in their safe spaces to begin assailing me with all the forces you can muster on TikTok and Snapchat, let me make this point: I do believe that all of those things are real. They all exist. They’re just not as common as the culture claims.
Like the word “racism,” what defines each condition has broadened to fit the interpretation of the “sufferer.” And since people with any of those conditions are part of the preferred class in this sick society … well, it’s an easy equation to understand their multiplication.
As I wrote a while back, everyone should be tolerant of people who are different than them and aren’t hurting anyone else. But our current culture has turned it up a notch. Several notches, in fact. It has accelerated from “tolerating” to “celebrating” people who claim any of those conditions, so of course their tribes have expanded exponentially.
That’s an observation that’s undeniable. So, the next step is to simply ask this: Why?
The answer is just as simple … in a deep, dark, disturbing way.
All of the potentially manufactured maladies have preferred “treatments” that call for a very long (or lifetime) round of pharmaceuticals and/or psychological/medical professionals. Hmmmm …
This is not a new theory with me, by the way. It’s just, in order to avoid being characterized as a conspiracy kook, I keep it to myself mostly. That’s because the messaging regarding all of these things has been super successful. You’re cold-hearted and ignorant if you don’t believe that every bit of bad behavior or character flaw or lack of impulse control or minor discomfort that’s blamed on what’s broadly defined as “mental illness” is as serious and as real as any physical illness … even though there are no conclusive, medically-infallible tests to diagnosis any of them.
But there are drugs for them. There are treatment programs. A “diagnosis” of any of them creates a customer. Legitimizing all of them makes them eligible for taxpayer- and/or insurance-funded programs, which are the most reliable payers to those who benefit.
The hardest to comprehend of all those manufactured maladies — at least among those of us with common sense — is gender dysphoria. An 8-year-old girl can walk into a psychiatrist’s office and say she’s a boy, and protocol calls for the psychiatrist to affirm that conclusion. Oh, there’s a scripted, perfunctory Q&A to go through (there are “cheat sheets” available all over social media for the claimers to follow on how to answer), and if the counselor does not affirm, there could be hell to pay in the form of international keyboard warrior attacks from the global trans tribe to license suspension from professional organizations.
Now, if your Aunt Fern were to walk into the shrink’s office and say she identifies as a hanging basket, the counselor would try to get to the root of why she believes that. There would be several sessions trying to determine the reason and talk her back down to earth. But there’s no such probing when a kid with a vagina says she is a he. Why?
Well, when you think in terms of my kooky conspiracy theory, it’s simple: Getting a young transgender is like hitting the lottery. It’s tens of thousands of dollars for all of the puberty-blockers, hormone treatments, psychotherapy, reconstructive surgeries …
Big Pharma and medical associations have some of the most powerful lobbies on Capitol Hill and are among the biggest advertisers on TV and all the other outlets that are influencing people today. It’s not in any of their interests to be skeptical of things that are making them all rich.
A couple of years ago, I would’ve called myself kooky for even suggesting that. Then again, our government has a long history of being in the propaganda business, pushing any issue that is beneficial to it and its powerbrokers.
A century ago, our government underplayed the threat of Spanish flu in order to keep morale up during World War I — to the detriment of the people it’s supposed to protect. A century later, it overplayed the threat of COVID-19 to gain power — to the detriment of people it’s supposed to protect.
In just a couple of generations, the culture has made the seismic shift from believing ridiculous claims made in films like “Reefer Madness” to equally ridiculous claims on the opposite side, pushing CDB and medical marijuana as the cure-all for anything from chronic pain to anal warts.
Why? Well, powerbrokers benefit now.
During Prohibition, some of the most zealous alcohol opponents were bootleggers who stood to lose the most by “the demon wine” going mainstream, and they shamelessly hid behind moral and religious claims for their hard-line stance. A longtime sheriff in Rankin County who was one of the longest holdouts for allowing legal alcohol comes to mind …
Now, our government is in the alcohol business, profiting greatly, which seems to somehow offset the number of lives it’s destroyed. Same goes with cigarettes and other tobacco products.
You know what opened my mind to all of this? Psychedelic drugs did. No, not taking them, but reading about them and watching a new documentary about them (with a skeptic’s eye, keeping in mind that people who make “documentaries” are actually advocates).
But it is thought-provoking. Numerous studies have been started, then shut down, on naturally-occurring substances that produce psychedelic effects — namely psilocybin (mushrooms) and mescaline (peyote cactus). Studies have shown that they may have lasting effects in the treatment of numerous mental conditions, from PTSD to OCD.
Wouldn’t that be great? A one-and-done treatment for what seems to ail so many in society? Well, it would be if the cure would benefit anyone other than the patient … but it’s a single dose of something that isn’t produced by a pharmaceutical, so that’s a big no.
Big Pharma and a few rogue members of the medical community created the biggest addiction crisis in the world by handing out opiates like candy for years … but officials didn’t get interested in stopping it until the addicts shifted to illegal opiates such as heroin and fentanyl, and now it’s out of hand. And now addicts are characterized as victims, so they have protected status, too.
I don’t know. I don’t like thinking this way. But the way this government has ham-handedly lied and manipulated the public — with things we can plainly see and experience here in what’s left of the real world — it invites this kind of distrust and conspiracy-theorizing.
And it leads back to the oldest saying in politics: Follow the money.