Bridging the Gap Between Breggin and Desmet

by | Sep 30, 2022 |

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I am a fan of the work of Dr. Peter Breggin since long before Covid, and I believe the current issues are possibly his finest hour, where all his long experience is paying off. His book about Covid (Covid-19 and the Global Predators, We Are the Prey), which he wrote with his wife, is absolutely solid. I like Prof. Mattias Desmet too, and I believe he makes a contribution, but his book on “mass formation” (The Psychology of Totalitarianism) is full of inconsistencies and is more exploratory than definitive. Even though Desmet does things that sound exculpatory on the perpetrators, that is not ultimately what he means to say. Having said all that, I regret that a proper conversation is not happening, as that would be a better way to clear the air. 

One place where things derailed was with Breggin’s article about what may or may not have been a professional mistake on the part of Desmet, which deteriorated into an unnecessary ad hominem attack. First of all, the patient was not a mass murderer, but, at best, a serial killer, and even that has to be taken with a grain of salt. Euthanasia since that time has been better regulated and normalized in Belgium. Also, Desmet’s answer on this point was that the events were already ten years old at the time when he learned about them in therapy, such was covered by professional confidentiality, and he would not have a duty to report unless there imminently was an acute threat. What exactly transpired and if, in fact, it was a mistake is not easy to answer.

Leaving that incident aside, there has now been an interesting production in the German Corona Investigative Committee in the form of a video interview with both parties independently about the controversy. Again, I keep hoping for a conversation and a reconciliation of sorts, but until then, this video may be the best we will get. Breggin has a whole section on his website about the issue. As I have worked my way through all the material, including reading Desmet’s book cover to cover, I find that my own view of the matter has undergone an evolution. For a while, reading and listening to Breggin got me concerned, although I never believed that it was Desmet’s purpose to exonerate the perps, as Breggin infers. But, there are several passages that seem exculpatory in nature, particularly in chapter 8. which is not helpful in my view and should have included an appropriate disclaimer.

Manifest versus Latent Content

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. (Shakespeare, As You Like It, act 2, scene vii)

I think it is starting to dawn on me why these two are talking right past each other. Breggin is talking about the players on the stage, and the manifest content of the story. Desmet is talking about the latent content, the playwright’s mind, which in this case, is the collective mind. What is going on to cause so many people, almost the whole world, to get caught up in a frenzy? Too many of us, that question is more interesting than if the virus came from a lab or not. 

With his book, Breggin’s investment is that he has carefully organized his expert witness testimony in a conceptual preparation for prosecuting the leaders who led this fiasco. There can hardly be any doubt that crimes against humanity were committed, and it seems appropriate that the perpetrators be held to account, particularly repeat offenders like Gates and Fauci, but many others as well. At the extreme, I think that every healthcare professional who collaborated with this scheme that had virtually zero medical foundation and was all about politics, and trampled on patient’s rights, should be re-educated in the meaning of the Hippocratic Oath, the proper use of an Emergency Use Authorization, the Nuremberg Code, and Informed Consent in particular. As to accountability, the best we can hope for is justice for the ring leaders, and perhaps a renewed commitment to those values by healthcare professionals. Like in the army, it should be made clear you do not have to follow illegal orders.

Desmet is not clearly expressing that he is focused on the latent meaning of the play, but he is. He sees the co-dependence between victims and victimizers, without which the whole entire play would not be possible. To a prosecutor (or an expert witness), understanding or empathy for the perpetrators would be deadly, though ultimately, like in Nuremberg after World War II, “Ich habe es night gewusst,” is no defense, nor should it be. But as to the role-play of victims and victimizers, we should observe first that vacuous “psychologizing” is absolutely an abuse, which does bear the risk of exonerating the perpetrators and blaming the victims, which would clearly be a mistake. 

However, understanding the psychological dynamic that is at work, if done correctly, can be very helpful. There is no doubt in my mind that Freud was right with such issues as “secondary gain,” i.e., where a person likes to be sick because it gets them attention. And Desmet is clearly not a knee-jerk Freudian psychoanalyst, as Breggin falsely implies. As Desmet says in the interview on the Corona Investigative Committee, he is not even a member of the International Psychoanalytic Association, and also from his book, it is quite clear that he departs from Freud, most notable because he has clearly moved away from Freud’s tenacious conviction that all psychological phenomena would ultimately be rooted in biochemistry. Freud steadily saw the body as first cause; Desmet did not.

Again, I find the Desmet book exploratory in nature, failing to arrive at much explicit clarity. Breggin may be a little over the top, saying Desmet just throws concepts against the wall in order to see what sticks. I did not think that was elegant, but I understand why he said it. I also tend to agree with Breggin when he says that Desmet is not a very good psychologist, since he clearly is insufficiently conscious of the fact that casual psychologizing runs the risk of blaming the victim and exculpating the perpetrators.

In terms of the co-dependent relationship of victims and victimizers, I always am reminded of the story of a retired Manhattan detective who I once met, who realized at some point when he was chasing a certain criminal that he knew what the man was thinking to such a degree that the thought occurred to him that in another life he had been the criminal. Maybe the criminal had been the cop. That is how intense it got for him. The reason that in the individual, there is a certain preference for the victim role, should be evident to whoever observes how easy a child learns to say, “I did not do it.” That is the ontological condition of individual selfhood; we want to have our cake and eat it too; we want to have somebody else to blame and have no responsibility ourselves, so on the level of our most basic instincts, we think we are getting away with something as long as we have somebody else to blame. Psychologically, that defines the attraction of victimhood. Any good therapist knows that the battered woman who just got out of her umpteenth abusive relationship cannot benefit from therapy at all unless and until she is willing to contemplate her own role in finding the bastards in the first place. Why is she attracted to them?

The Germ Theory Paradigm

The microbe is nothing; the terrain is everything.
Louis Pasteur, at the end of his life,
accepted this statement of Antoine Béchamp.

Again, psychologically we want to have an enemy outside, and the germ theory of disease nicely suits that psychological need. Allopathic medicine sees an opportunity for selling lots of treatment, or, worse, prevention (like vaccines). This concept is grist for the mill for the pharmaceutical industry, if indeed, vaccines can prevent infection and transmission. If indeed. 

In short, germ theory, even though it was abdicated by Pasteur, who was the original developer of it, satisfies a psychological need for enemies outside, and it creates a huge profit opportunity for big pharma. Truly a marriage made in heaven and foundational to the Rockefeller medical reforms. Except we are now starting to come full circle, as is being demonstrated by the work of Christine Massey, Drs. Sam and Mark Bailey (A Farewell to Virology), and Steve Falconer (Spacebusters – The End of Germ Theory), along with many others.

Covid was just a bridge too far, and the hoax is no longer believable because of the current massive vax failure. Had we been told of vitamin D, of nasal rinses, and gargling, there would never have been a pandemic of any kind, and for the few serious patients, there should have been early treatment. Most of the experts in the early treatment field think so, 800,000 “covid deaths” could have been prevented, but they were silenced in favor of the vaccine which is now killing more people than the virus ever did.

In short, it’s not a psychosis, it’s a medical paradigm, but scientific paradigms die hard. Ask Galileo how he felt about being exonerated 350 years later (tongue in cheek). At least since the Rockefeller reforms, germ theory is the official dogma, and the AMA is the priesthood that protects the dogma that protects the pharmaceutical industry, which in turn pays off the doctors. 

The way it always works in government is that in normal times, you just take care that the people have bread and games, panem at circenses, but when the going gets tough, there is a process of Hegelian dialectic, that says A) find an external enemy,  B) sell people on your solution and C) (synthesis) recruit them into the solution, which can be sent the boys and girls to war, or in this case, lock them up inside and give them a shot. This is how politicians in a democracy gain and maintain power. And then, indeed, if the shot fails, and it is not the final solution (pun intended) you had hoped for, the easy answer is to shift and now to make the makers and dispensers of the vaccine into the problem and propose Nuremberg 2.0 as the solution and satisfy the public’s blood lust by letting the leaders dangle in the wind. But we would not solve anything if it ends there. 

I think there should be some form of a Nuremberg 2.0, as well as some form of a mandatory renewal of medical licenses that reaffirms what I suggested above, the Hippocratic oath, the Nuremberg code, informed consent, proper use of EUA, The Helsinki accord. We need to codify the notion that a doctor never has an obligation to follow orders that contravene a patient’s rights etc. Certainly, clerks and administrators should not commandeer doctors. Medicine needs to be renewed entirely to focus on prevention and disease reversal, and healthy lifestyles in general – lifestyle medicine. What we do need is some kind of a truth and reconciliation commission that brings to light how our whole society became gripped by fear, and created the very problem they were trying to avoid. We need to re-educate ourselves, and focus on health, not on maximizing profitable treatments.

Again none of that precludes justice for the cartel bosses and their conciglieres and under bosses, like Gates, Fauci, and others, who deliberately pushed for the most disastrous measures though they should have known better. Even with the lockdowns, it was known forever that did not make any sense, and the statistics now prove it once again. How many times do we need to learn? In 1918, people understood that sunshine (vitamin D!) and fresh air were the best defense, but we locked people up inside.

The alternative is terrain theory, implying that it is really about our general health, and our lifestyle is where it is at. Having had some experience with lifestyle change in the context of my volunteer work teaching whole foods, plant-based cooking classes at a local church, it is very clear to me that there is a moment for some people when they simply choose health, and feel empowered when they realize the ability to take charge of their health. However, if people are not ready, you come up to the old notion of you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink. A close friend is a 2x breast cancer survivor, and member of a support group that tries to teach her a low inflammatory diet, but she gives away all the healthy food and orders hamburgers. To her, it is a civil rights issue, and if you challenge it, you get a near-psychotic reaction. In short, as long as we are identified with a certain paradigm – don’t touch it. Change is hard. We can see this in the public dialog around us.

Freud for Modern Times

The multiple misunderstandings about Freud between the interlocutors, who aren’t talking to each other, are worth exploring too. Breggin’s assumption that Desmet is a knee-jerk, card-carrying Freudian was not warranted. Still, Desmet is insufficiently cognizant of the fact that his own enlightened interest in Freud has him straddling tectonic plates that are drifting apart between materialism and spirituality, or what in formal terms might be the metaphysical idealism of Bernardo Kastrup (see my guest article on his site on how this applies to healthcare), or a non-dualism such as we find in Advaita Vedanta or A Course in Miracles.

Breggin is a representative of the very general turning away from Freud, that always risks throwing out the baby with the bath water. Desmet is a student of Freud but is unclear about how much he has already deviated from him, in particular by dropping his allegiance to materialism. Still, he seems to be very unclear, if not wholly mystified, about the alternative. I think that when he uses rationalism for the culture of the scientific revolution, where Freud fit himself all his life, along with Darwin, Newton, etc., he means materialism, which makes us into bodies that have a mind, thinking that we do have “meat that thinks” as Terry Bisson called it in his famous sci-fy story. The alternative is not the fuzzy notions of Desmet, but at the very least, Kastro’s very clear-headed and very rational and metaphysical idealism, which implies we are a mind (spirit/soul) that has a body so that the physical is an epiphenomenon of what we are in our essence.

Recently, a book was published by another clinical psychotherapist, who lived not too far from the Breggin’s in Roscoe, NY, for a long time, Kenneth Wapnick Ph.D., Touching the Heart of God. The book is in two volumes, the first dealing with Freud and the second with Jung, that most famous departure from Freud, who in a a way set the stage for psychiatry and psychology in general throwing away the baby with the bathwater. Jung, in effect, covered up and spiritualized the inner conflict that Freud had so brilliantly exposed. The way forward is a synthesis that transcends both, which is what Wapnick’s work represents.

The Upshot

If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it was necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956.

Applying the above to the dialog at hand, there are two problems going on. The overall paradigm that frames our story is a paradigm of fear, the virus as an invisible enemy, and it should be questioned first of all. It turns out that terrain theory would focus more on healthy lifestyles as a first line of defense (remember, the virus killed primarily old people with multiple co-morbidities). For the most part, if you are healthy, you have nothing to fear, primarily this was about adequate vitamin D levels, but research was published in BMJ during the pandemic, showing clearly that low inflammatory diets reduced the risk of Covid by up to 73% (explained here by Dr. Brooke Goldner). I was 70 when I survived this plague in 4 days, and an old friend who is a concentration camp survivor and who also takes good care of himself was 87 when he had it and pulled through in 4/5 days also. For most healthy people, it’s a flu and an opportunity for some R&R.

We can see that the dialog between our two parties fails very simply because our interlocutors never notice that Breggin is talking on the manifest level while Desmet is talking on the latent level of the story that is happening on the stage. To Breggin and prosecutors in general, “understanding” the enemy always comes with the threat of leniency, or forgiveness, when some form of forced reform may well be in order. However, if we appreciate what Solzhenitsyn says, and what the famous philosopher Pogo also knew so well, “We’ve seen the enemy, and it is us’n,” then we see that the focus should be on the reeducation of our entire healthcare system, and our society as a whole about the proper relationship to their own health.

The prime actors (the Global Predators) probably are beyond reform and need to spend the rest of their life in jail. Gates and Fauci, and many others literally condemned millions of people to death and caused untold economic damage with their advice. These are undoubtedly crimes against humanity, and they need to be dealt with appropriately.


Rogier Fentener van Vlissingen is a Dutch native, living in America since 1979, in both Connecticut and New York. He has worked in international shipping and most recently he has mostly been involved in energy efficiency and retrofitting. He is also a co-founder of a biotech, BCM Industries, which develops autologous organ repair tissues, and also a line of revolutionary IT equipment, computers and storage appliances, running on live neurons. He is an eager student of business, literature, history and spiritual traditions. He also teaches whole foods, plant-based nutrition and cooking. He published his first book in Holland in 1973.

In 2007, Rogier published the book Closing the Circle: The Gospel of Thomas and A Course in Miracles. He blogs about energy retrofitting, energy finance, spirituality and whole-foods, plant-based nutrition and healthcare.

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Robert Wallace Malone
Robert Wallace Malone
2 months ago

Thank you for seeking a center in this misbegotten kerfuffle. However, the controversy has been entirely generated by the Breggins, and pursued with remarkable vengance and malice. Mattias has never asserted that the two were mutually exclusive, and always taken a position more akin to yours- That the two books are addressing different facets. However there is no excuse for the ad hominem attacks repeatedly and obsessively leveled at us by the Breggins. This was in no way provoked. Furthermore, the various claims which the Breggins have leveled at me are completely without merit.

The actions of the Breggins have been extremely destructive and counterproductive, and completely without merit. To provide just one example, I most definitely did not invent either the term “mass psychosis” or “mass formation psychosis”.

The Breggins have basically reinforced false attack narratives developed by corporate media. The question is, why? To what end? For what purpose?

Those questions remain unanswered.

For further regarding these claims including documentation refuting the attacks, please see the following:

Robert Wallace Malone
Robert Wallace Malone
2 months ago

Just published today, and also relevant to this thread is Mattias Desmet’s latest substack article:

Some notes on the tragicomic attempt to burn me at the stake.

Note that the attacks here in USA have been paralleled by attacks in his home country of Belgium, home of the EU.

Here is his prior written reply to the criticisms of Dr. Breggin. I think we can all agree that it is important to listen to both sides.

Am I an expert in Mass Formation or a Trojan Horse?Response to Breggin and Breggin

This article is also relevant

The Psychology of TotalitarianismFrom rationalism to mass formation – and towards Truth speech.

Please read, think for yourself, and make up your own mind.
Do not let others do your thinking for you.

Robert Wallace Malone
Robert Wallace Malone
2 months ago

To really understand what is going on here, it is important to understand the “Hochstetter syndrome”.

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