Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Mental Health Awareness and Legalization; The Key to Escape Reality.

By Spencer Corish
(guest contributor)

With the legalization of marijuana coming into effect this week, now is an incredibly important time to address the impact this cultural shift may have on the mental health of Canadians. The view of marijuana as a wonder drug or a “cure-all” for life’s ailments presents a complex issue when applied to the spectrum of mental illness. Legality is coming on Wednesday with or without a proper call for citizens to fully understand the risks and realities of cannabis use. In this article, I address the issue of escaping reality and self-medicating in an effort to shed some much-needed light on an issue that affects 1 in 5 Canadians.
The article is not a hit-piece on legalization, far from it. In fact, there are few things that I have ever supported more ardently. Rather it is a cautionary tale about believing too much in the hype surrounding anything, and a reminder to Canadians everywhere to keep their collective stick on the ice. 
With World Mental Health Awareness Day having just passed I was moved to write an article on the importance of responsible use in individuals with mental health issues. I myself have lived with Bipolar Disorder since I was a teen and spent a good deal of my adult life self-medicating with marijuana to escape reality, rather than properly managing my illness. I was, and remain an advocate for the legalization of cannabis, but have changed the course of my treatment to a much more responsible one and in turn, changed my life. I am compelled to relate my own battle with mental illness and substance abuse to legalization in the hopes of keeping others from falling into the same trap. I believed the hype, and I very nearly paid the price.

            With Marijuana legalization looming just days away a long-held dream of mine will soon be fulfilled: to be able to walk into a doubtlessly legal store, make an informed product choice, and come out with exactly what weed I went in looking for. No dodgy meet ups, no awkward smokey apartment visits pretending to care how great at Playstation a stranger has become. Just freedom. You will no longer be a criminal for buying weed. If you see me the night of October 17th with an illegal smile, it’ll probably cost more than you expect, but it will certainly no longer be illegal.
            The words of the American songwriter John Prine are in my mind more often than usual these past few days as I am left considering the gravity of what our country is about to undergo. In his 1971 stoner anthem “Illegal Smile” Prine contrasts the taxing nature of the human condition with the phrase,  “Fortunately, I have the key to escape reality.” 
            Next week’s legalization will indeed be welcomed with open arms and looks to bring this country together in a long-awaited celebration that will be fascinating, to say the least. Faced with the prospect of a nation diving into legalization head first, Prine’s words serve as an even more poignant reminder that escaping reality is not always something to be taken lightly.
            Don’t get me wrong, this article is not a hit-piece on legalization, far from it. In fact, there are few things that I have ever supported more ardently. Rather it is a cautionary tale about believing too much in the hype surrounding anything, and a reminder to Canadians everywhere to keep their collective stick on the ice.
            There have been many articles written over the past months both hailing the benefits of legalization and conversely warning the dangers of bringing another conscious-altering substance into the spectrum of daily life. While personally I have long been a believer, and in fact a crusader for the full legalization of marijuana, I am left with concern regarding weed’s growing reputation in the world as a “cure-all”. A wonder medicine, that given the right strain and the right CBD percentage will turn you into the person you’ve always dreamed of being.
            This attitude has come along with the prohibition of many substances throughout our history as a way for people to get around the law. The claims of medicinal whiskies in prohibition-era America, hastily prescribed by fly-by-night Doctors, Priests, and Rabbis who had never seen the inside of a hospital or house of worship. The nostrum tonics and elixirs sold by the traveling patent medicine salesman of old, brimming with high potency alcohol, guaranteed to cure what ails you. The restorative wonder drugs of the late Nineteenth Century, medicinal cocaine and opiates such as laudanum, prescribed to cure headaches and foul moods.
            Today, looking back on these examples may seem ridiculous to many, and an ill-suited comparison to medical marijuana, which indeed can vastly improve the quality of life for many people suffering from painful, chronic, and terminal conditions.  However, the grey area comes in the form of marijuana being prescribed and recommended for the treatment of mental health issues.
     In the same way that giving someone cocaine for a toothache now seems not only ill-advised but in fact ludicrous, will we one day go on to find ourselves looking back at the idea of curing anxiety by telling people to smoke a joint with a similar sense of absurdity?
            My own personal journey with weed started when I was nineteen, not as a method of socializing or being cool, but rather as a way of coping with personal demons. A struggle with severe anxiety, bouts of depression, and strange behavioural outbursts that never existed before, later diagnosed as Bipolar Disorder. To deal with this, I began to use weed to self-medicate a mental health issue I did not know how to properly handle.
            Over the next two years, my mental health condition would worsen and begin to take a serious toll on my life. By this point the use of marijuana to regulate the symptoms had become just as problematic as it was helpful. Although it relieved anxiety in the short term, in the long run, it was making things worse. The ups and downs were becoming steeper and lower, more and more dangerous every day.
            Around this time, the claims that medical marijuana was not only useful for those with painful, chronic illnesses but in fact for the treatment of mental health issues would come to the forefront. I recall going to my doctor and trying to obtain a prescription for cannabis to manage my moods and anxiety. Her response that marijuana could actually make Bipolar worse seemed so utterly ridiculous it infuriated me. I set out to prove her wrong, and stopped taking the assortment of pills prescribed to me, devoting myself to becoming completely reliant on weed to manage what I now know to be a very serious mental health issue.
            This is where the problematic nature of escaping one’s reality comes into the equation. Yes, marijuana can be fantastic at allowing you to slip away from the stress and worry of everyday life, but when a person is living with a mental health issue that clouds their connection to reality already, it can be a very dangerous combination to attempt to further escape things.
            For a lot of people, escaping reality can be a very tempting idea. Certainly for those of us living with mental illness, stepping out of that suit of pain for a few fleeting moments and being untouched by the sickening feeling in the pit of your stomach is incredibly appealing. But when all that pain melts away its only a matter of time before it comes rushing back twice as hard. When you ignore the reality of your mental illness it may feel wonderful in the moment, but in the long run, you are making things worse. In not addressing the actuality of the situation you lose the ability to contemplate the changes needed, and the ability to manage your feelings effectively. Without these tools, the path to recovery becomes all the more difficult.
            I lived a hazy brained, semi-connected life for five years without properly paying attention to the reality that was my progressively worsening mental health. I couldn’t keep a job, I couldn’t maintain a relationship, I couldn’t maintain friendships. I could barely maintain me. Yet I was able to ignore all of this, as I could numb myself so effectively through the use of cannabis that everything felt ok. When those around me started to tell me that things were getting worse, I withdrew, I fought them and ran away rather than fighting for control of my own mind.
            I knew that I wasn’t getting better, but I was able to make myself feel ok through the misuse of marijuana. When I would have a particularly bad day, I would smoke more, which would then make the next day worse, and the next. With this veil of ignorance clouding my mind I fell deeper and deeper into the perils of Bipolar. My mood swings became more violent than ever before, the manic episodes destroying what I would work so hard to stabilize the rest of the time. When the reality of the destructive cost of the manic episodes would hit I would fall into crippling depressive swings, with panic attacks becoming a near daily ritual. I combatted the pain of this by numbing myself as aggressively as possible. By escaping reality in any way that I could, and the most effective way I knew how was by using weed. Which, in my mind, was my medication. I didn’t need Lithium or Seroquel, because I had marijuana, my miracle drug.
            Then one day I realized I had spent so much time so aggressively escaping life that I no longer knew what was real anymore. I had two options, go and seek the help I truly needed, or die. Whether physically or not, this is the decision I and so many others who self-medicate mental illness with marijuana, alcohol, and other illicit drugs face at some point. Do I stand up and take my life back, or give in and become nothing.
            It has been just over one year since I made the choice to get proper treatment for my mental health issues. Through an active course of talk therapy, properly monitored medication, yoga, and meditation, I have been able to turn my life around. Yes, I still smoke weed, and yes I am thoroughly looking forward to the 17th of October and to the wonderful world of legalization. But I now know cannabis as a conscious-altering substance like many others, not without risk, yet in moderation it can have wonderful effects on a person.
            I no longer see marijuana as my medicine.
            I write this article for a simple reason: 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a mental health issue in any given year. For some, this will be a period of depression or anxiety in some way related to an event or crisis within life. For others, it is a chronic disorder that has and will continue to have an effect on life for years to come. Whatever the case, it is not a death sentence. Although it can be the easy answer to turn to substance abuse to numb the pain or hide from the reality of mental illness, know that it will not miraculously fix all of life’s problems. However, you can by making small steps towards taking responsibility for your own well being, and actively participate in your course of healing. Always remember, it gets better.
            Now that marijuana is days away from being legal this message is more important than ever. We must remain mindful of the fact that cannabis is not the answer to life’s problems, as much as it can feel like one. It is a fascinating substance that we are only just beginning to unlock the secrets of, providing an exceptional method to increase your enjoyment of life, and manage pain and stress.  However, we can never forget that it is still an addictive substance, one that requires responsible use, and one that can affect everyone differently.
            Cannabis is no cure-all, it is not a wonder medicine, it is not some Panacea that once taken turns everything in life to bliss. No medication, no drug is. Only you can make yourself into the person you’ve always dreamed of being.
            Before you toke up on October 17th, think first about why you’re using marijuana. Use it responsibly, and most of all when you decide its time to escape reality, don’t forget to come back. Take my word for it, its a lot more fun that way.


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Tough Days Ahead for Hillary Clinton and Friends. Notes on the F.B.I. Interim Report on the Clinton Email Investigation

A Big Petrovski exclusive by Alex Cordasco

On February 7th, 2018, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental affairs of the U.S. Senate released a report that is damaging to Hillary Clinton, the Obama Department of Justice, and the F.B.I. The title of said report is “The Clinton Email Scandal and the FBI's Investigation of it: Interim Report.”

This interim report was a review of everything that had happened since 2013 in regards to the Clinton Email Investigation. The report was fair, thorough and informative. The newest developments in the investigation relate to FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. It is becoming apparent that the two were part of a larger team that were coordinating to cover up Hillary Clinton's crimes, while at the same time framing the current President under false pretences.

The report starts by explaining that they are continuing to investigate and that they have requested additional documents from the DOJ. An excerpt reads:

Following the November 2016 election, President-elect Trump announced that his Justice Department would not pursue any further action against former Secretary Clinton – “the voters had held her accountable..”

However because of the Justice Department and the FBI's unusual management of the investigation and intrusion int the electoral process, charges of politicization arose from both sides of the political spectrum.”

It was only through a DOJ Office of the Inspector General investigation that the Lisa Page and Peter Strzok text messages were discovered. In spite of an active investigation, the DOJ OIG investigation had to learn of the texts from the news media and not the FBI themselves. When presented with the messages and their content, Mueller removed Strzok from the Trump Russia witch-hunt team.

Among the topics discussed in the Page and Strzok messages according to this report:
           Protecting the country from the menace of trump enablers;”

           An “insurance policy” in case of a Trump Presidency;
           Knowing that then- Attorney General Loretta Lynch would not subject Hillary Clinton to criminal charges before the FBI had even interviewed Clinton and before her announcement that she would accept James Comey's decision;
           Making a list of talking points because President Obama “wants to know everything we're doing;”

           Exchanging views about the investigation of a possible Russian Collusion with the Trump campaign. Specifically calling it “Unfinished Business” and “an investigation leading to an impeachment;”
           Strzok regarding the possibility of Trump colluding with Russia “gut sense and concern there is no there there.”

These text messages show clear evidence of a personal political bias within certain high position FBI employees. It is also obvious now that the Obama Department of Justice had influence in this investigation. What needs to be investigated is how much this bias has influenced the FBI's treatment of President Trump. Since the investigation is ongoing, it is likely we will have this question answered in the future.

The bulk of this report is a summary of the background of the Clinton Email investigation which can trace its roots back to March of 2013 when “The Smoking Gun” reported that a hacker named Guccifer had broken into Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal's AOL account.1 This was the first evidence of emails to hdr22@clintonemail.com.2 Hillary Clinton was the intended recipient for these messages proving the existence of her prior email account, she was supposed to be using her official government email instead of a private server.
In March of 2015 the New York Times reported that Secretary Clinton did not have an official State Department email the entire time she worked as Secretary of State.3

It should be also noted that she was the first SoS to not have an Inspector General overseeing and keeping her accountable.

From a report by the National Review;

There was no permanent, Senate-confirmed inspector general at any point during Clinton’s tenure at State. Despite its own repeated pledges of transparency and bipartisan pleas from Congress, the Obama administration declined to nominate an official IG until five months after Clinton had left office. By then, she had become the only secretary of state to serve without the oversight of a permanent inspector general since the position was created in 1957.”4

Despite Clinton never having had a State Department Email Address, Obama claimed in March of 2015 that he only found out about her private email server when the media and everyone else did.5 That is extremely quite obviously a lie because 2 days later, the White House Press Secretary said that the president WAS aware of her address and that Obama had traded emails with Secretary Clinton.6

This report was a blast from the past for all who have been following the Clinton Email scandal since the beginning. It references all of the preposterous Clinton missteps. From Hillary Clinton joking that she wiped her Private Server Email clean “with a cloth” to the Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch tarmac meeting the night before James Comey recommended they would not be pursuing criminal charges against Hillary.

There is a substantial amount damning information within this report so it should be expected that the Democrats will be pushing back heavily with their false Russia narrative. The evidence is stacking up against Hillary Clinton, Obama and his Justice Department, and the FBI. Alternatively, the Mueller investigation has been going on for the better part of a year and has resulted in not a single piece of evidence against Donald Trump.

I will leave you with his excerpt from the Committee report:

On May 19, 2017, two days after Robert Mueller was appointed Special Counsel, Strzok and Page discussed the staffing of the Special Counsel investigation. Strzok wrote, “For me, and this case, I personally have a sense of unfinished business. I unleashed it with MYE. Now I need to fix it and finish it.”95 He appears to be referring to the upcoming inquiry when he later wrote “[a]n investigation leading to impeachment?”96 These text messages raise questions about whether a personal animus may have been a consideration prompting Strzok to join Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation.“

1 See, e.g., Hacker Begins Distributing Confidential Memos Sent To Hillary Clinton On Libya, Benghazi Attack, The Smoking Gun (Mar. 18, 2013), http://thesmokinggun.com/buster/sidney-blumenthal/hacker-distributes-memos784091.
2 Id.; Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail draws scrutiny. The Smoking Gun (Mar. 3, 2015), http://www.thesmokinggun.com/file/hrc-e-mails.
3 Michael S. Schmidt, Hillary Clinton used personal email account at State Dept., possibly breaking rules, N.Y. Times, Mar. 2, 2015.
5Obama weighs in on Hillary Clinton’s private emails, CBS News, Mar. 7, 2015.

6 The White House, Barack Obama Administration, Press Briefing by Press Secretary Josh Earnest, 3/9/2014, https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2015/03/09/press-briefing-press-secretary-josh-earnest392014.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Jordan Peterson: The Right Man for the Time and Place or The Tale of the Professor and His Unworthy Adversaries

As each new week arrives, so does another attempted attack on the character of Dr. Jordan B. Peterson, and with it, a further step toward the Balkanization of Western society. These attacks come from major media outlets under the guise of a traditional non-partisan interview. For Dr. Peterson, it can be lonely at the top, and the Doctor's current situation provides sufficient evidence to support this claim. The Professor is the man of the hour: an intellectual sensation, an Internet star, an accomplished and best selling author. Every journalist wants a piece of him. For, he is the man.

Individuals who have spent time listening his lectures and gone on to read to Dr. Peterson's literature see him as some sort of Second Coming. The Professor is currently being made into a martyr by major news media outlets for having and defending traditional, popularly held beliefs. Dr. Peterson is a clinical psychologist who uses archetypal stories of the Bible to teach a generation of people separated from their roots the stories that their parents and grandparents ought to have taught them: the stories that have been passed from generation to generation, around a bond fire or while working in the fields.

Peterson advises all people, not exclusively young men, (a fact the hostile media hacks fail to acknowledge) to seek meaning in their lives. He encourages everyone to speak the truth while also telling us not to use lies as a pathway to great achievements and enlightenment, or at the very least, a harmonious existence. Exhibiting the traits of a world-class coach, Peterson lectures people to work on their fundamentals as a prerequisite to reaching goals: to work on themselves, and forget about changing the game. His axiom “Clean up your room,” has become an Internet meme, and a call to action and accountability. It speaks to many lost, confused, and dejected young people who are wrapped up in new age addictions like porn, Netflix, and pot. Many of these people have grown up learning to dream big, yet they have not been taught the skills and methods of how to achieve those grandiose goals, consequently ending up in pitiful and miserable states of being.

Peterson eschews the modern, hippy emotion-based philosophies that dominate our society. These modern philosophies often encourage people to dismiss personal responsibility and give in to hedonism and nihilism. The quasi-philosophies that encourage both men and women alike to “follow their hearts and dreams” and “to change the world” that are leaving them dejected and resentful when they recognize the fact that people have their limitations. According to Peterson, life is suffering, but suffering itself isn’t misery; therefore suffering is not inherently negative. In fact, suffering is closely connected to that all-important precondition of civilization, self-sacrifice. Suffering is a pathway to self-improvement, and personal meaning which leads to enlightenment and contentedness. Nihilism, the avoidance of suffering, is a pathway to misery. It can be argued that if suffering is the path to meaning, while nihilism is the embracing of a life void of meaning and purpose. No joy or enlightenment will be found through the eyes of a pure nihilist, or a neo-Marxist postmodernist. The person familiar with the Misesian insight on time preference, i.e. delayed gratification, and voluntary cooperation, may well take Peterson's teachings as the non-economic case for capitalism. 

Thusly, Peterson makes better sense of the Bible and the Judeo-Christian tradition than any preacher I have encountered. I suspect that is also the case with the millions who consider themselves his students and followers.

At the same time, Dr. Peterson’s detractors are abundant and loud. They are working hard to create the illusion that they are a moral majority and that everybody that supports Dr. Peterson and his views is a deluded, despicable, bigoted person. In a sentence, Peterson's detractors can be summed up as a herd of failed intellectual narcissists and arrogant nihilists defending and advertising the virtues of chopping off your “Johnson.” A case in point is CBC News interviewer, Wendy Mesley. Over the past weekend, Mesley seemed to be on a mission to redeem her unfortunate colleague-turned-lifetime-meme, Cathy Newman of BBC’s Chanel 4. Miss Newman, as the whole world now knows, recently spent 30 minutes showing the world what not to do if you want to be a respectable journalist. Sitting across her was a man who has spent the past 30 years studying the intricacies of the human psyche and overall condition. A man who has recently written a book that proposes an antidote to this modern chaos, a simple-to-follow prescription for the average person suffering a meaningless chaotic life, the man who could very well be the person who understands the human psyche better than anyone ever has! Yet all Newman could muster up was slander, mischaracterizations, and accusations of sexist bigotry. Peterson came armed with statistics and studies, he offered sound and logical conclusions. By contrast, Miss Newman responded with anecdotes and ideological slogans, her crowning achievement being her offer to go back to playing with her Cindy dolls.

Not to be outdone, Newman’s Canadian taxpayer-funded broadcasting counterpart, Miss Mesley, spent most of her eleven-and-a-half minutes with the Professor trying to paint him with the “racist bigot” brush. In what in hindsight appears to have been a strategic move, rather than debate the scientific conclusions from his book, a move that lead to Newman’s spectacular crash and burn, Mesley dragged the conversation into the field of what company Peterson keeps. It was a move reminiscent of the post-WWII Kangaroo Court proceedings of Yugoslavia’s regime of the “People’s Revolution” where a potential counterrevolutionary was declared guilty of treason by mere association to persons who in similar fashion had been pronounced enemies of “the People.” I would like to say that journalism has reached rock-bottom, but then I am reminded of the stellar work of Pulitzer prize-winner Walter Durante and his despicable acclamations of the interwar Soviet Union. What seemed obvious on both occasions is that the Doctor understands the human condition and mind profoundly, his interviewers, perhaps not so much. To put it bluntly, Peterson has been running intellectual circles around his opponents, most of whom are consumed by an urge smear his character.

To Peterson’s detractors he is the Devil incarnate. He is regularly called a sexist, racist, provocateur, bigot, and, of course a Nazi. How is it possible for this man to be seen so excessively disparately from each side of the spectrum? The answer is simple. Dr. Peterson’s most vocal detractors, have careers in academia and the traditional media. Those devoted to their institutions, do not usually bother listening to his talks and lectures. They often comment without reading his literature. Their opinions are based on twitter ramblings of other uninformed social justice warriors. Much like a game of telephone, the uninformed opinion goes from friend to friend with no critical thinking being applied at any point. These opposing voices do not even bother listening to what Dr. Peterson is saying when he is speaking directly to them. He illustrated this idea perfectly during the abhorrent and infamous Cathy Newman "So you're saying" interview.

Maybe these people do hear what the Professor is saying and they just do not like it. Perhaps they don’t like the idea of suffering and self-sacrifice in order to earn their bread. The latter was clearly an issue with Newman. She protested that it is unfair to have citizens compete for top jobs—she protests the idea of competition for anything that anyone may desire. Another possible explanation for their stance could be that they do not like the idea of personal responsibility and integrity being currency for living a fruitful life.

Perhaps, worse yet, they just want to burn this whole thing that we call the Western Civilization to the ground.  Because, according to Peterson’s patriarchy-hating detractors, the fact that we are living in the best, most prosperous, most compassionate, and most just society ever produced in the history of humankind is still not good enough for them. Since they lack the historical perspective, they take it all for granted.

Another likely reason for their discourse: they are resentful of Peterson’s fame, newly acquired fortune, and sincere worldwide admiration. Perhaps, they are resentful of the fact that Peterson is living what he preaches. By following his personal map of meaning he has become fulfilled and the object of much love, appreciation, and admiration. Dr. Peterson is living proof of the effectiveness of his philosophy, which in turn is a slap in the face to their vapid gibberish of “quantifying the love economy.” Are Dr. Petersons opponents worthy adversaries? Far from it. They are more like affirmative action lottery winners who cannot understand the value of free speech even though they earn their living because it exists.

On to the CBC News interview with Mesley. After his all-too-familiar introduction as the “pronouns guy,” Mesley opens up in a somewhat cordial manner, buttering up Peterson for being the man of the hour:

WM: “Professor Peterson, you must be exhausted, you’ve been giving all these speeches, sold-out performances, it’s quite something. How do you explain what’s going on? … What’s behind this? What are the forces that have made you so popular?”
JP: “I tell archetypal stories. The sorts of things I’ve been talking to people about are old things. The things that people always need to know.”

Dr. Peterson took the opportunity of the infamous Channel 4 interview to forewarn the world that he chooses his words “very, very, very(!) carefully.” His opening two lines of the CBC News interview alone pack an entire volume inside them. He tells things that people always need to know. Meaning that if you don’t know these things, you better look the hell out, because life is going to chew you up and spit you out faster than you can say “the budget will balance itself,” bucko!

If Mesley was trying not to be as "on the nose" as her British colleague, she failed, immediately steering the conversation into a direction that was reminiscent of Newman’s attempted smear-fest:

            WM: “Your message has seemingly resonated with young men. Why is that?”

While Peterson goes on to give his standard, “Because young men crave responsibility and responsibility gives meaning to people’s lives” answer, the real fact that should be highlighted is that Peterson’s message resonates with people of both genders and all ages, faiths, races, and nationalities. In his interview with Newman, the Professor spoke of career-minded women who have benefited from his insights. His admirers and followers are as diverse a crowd as one can hope in this time. But Mesley’s question is not accidental. In under two minutes we can see that she is trying to paint the Doctor into a corner. More specifically, the “Alt-right” Richard Spencerite corner of the universe, populated by those evil rapist-chauvinist-capitalist pigs of tomorrow, (white) young men. If Mesley were listening in those two minutes, she would have heard that Peterson denounced the Alt-right, identitarianism, and right-wing extremism.

WM: “The world is so polarized right now. You’ve got Donald Trump, and social media, and people screaming at each other on all kinds of political issues.”

Interesting that Mesley mentions Donald Trump as a polarizer, but forgets to mention someone much closer to home in the Balkanization Olympics, like say, Premier Kathleen Wynne and her recent comments depicting small business owners as bullies merely for having to make adjustments to her anti-business policies. Mesley also purposefully avoids any mention the radical Left, and their violent terrorist wing “Antifa,” the left wing hate group known for their white-noise machines and bike-locks to the faces of those they perceive as "the next Hitler.” She then asks Peterson: “Are you part of that polarization?”

Peterson rightly says “no,” before going on to point out that he has received “hundreds, maybe even thousands” of letters from young men who at one point began drifting to the identitarian underworld, but were set straight by his lectures and Self Authoring programs. The Doctor explains to Mesley that he’s been curing proverbial lepers, roughly speaking. To anyone who listens to his lectures, his Biblical Stories series in particular, it becomes abjectly clear after the first two-hour session that Peterson is a “fisher of men,” a man on a mission to prevent the next Columbine. Peterson, the clinical psychologist, the student of history and of the human condition, the tender humanist, has come to understand that the way to change the world, is not with whips and guns and endless rules and regulations, but by sorting yourself out.

JP: “I’m no fan of the radical right. I’ve been lecturing about the dangers of Nazi totalitarianism, for example, for almost 30 years. It’s been a major part of my life’s work, to inoculate people against the attraction of that sort of thing.”

Mesley should listen; Peterson chooses his words very, very, very carefully. Instead, after bemoaning the polarized atmosphere of our time, Miss Mesley goes on to chastise the clinical psychologist, the man with a vocation that not only prepares him, but obligates him to seek out and help those who are lost and confused, those on the wrong path in life. She chastises him for doing just that. Mesley pours scorn on Dr. Peterson for reaching out to these lost souls—the current outcasts of our society—and for speaking to the CBC’s competitor, Rebel Media.  This leaves a question. How are we supposed to bridge the gap that separates the two sides of this polarized divide if we are not supposed to talk to each other? How else will we find out what causes us to feel and behave the way we do?

Peterson cuts to the point: “You don’t think we should talk to people on the right?” Have you spent a day watching CBC programing, listening to CBC Radio, or scrolling through their website, Dr. Peterson? Don’t you know that people on the right support those evil institutions of the patriarchal capitalist society such as parenthood, the market economy, faith in a being higher than the government, freedom of speech and freedom of association?! Don’t you know that they want to torch the Jews, carpet bomb the brown people, and eat the babies of the poor?! Of course CBC’s Wendy Mesley does not think you should talk to people on the right! She would much rather you take her word for how deplorable these people are, than risking having you find out the truth. The truth is that half of Canada's population are not compassion lacking racists, but are instead kind, compassionate, concerned, family-loving individuals.

JP: “I talk to people who want to talk to me. Generally speaking, I try to be careful about it, but I don’t see any reason not to talk to people who are on the right. I talk to people who are on the left, when they want to talk, which is very, very rarely.”

And therein lies the crux of the problem. People who are on the left prefer not to talk. They prefer to smear and yell, while increasingly resorting to using violence. You would not be told that if you got your information only from the CBC.

Peterson is insulted by the line of questioning when the interviewer brings up his social media posts, where he, according to Mesley is “very careful about saying, ‘Please be less radical’.”

JP: “So then there’s a real question there: Given that you’ve encountered the material that I have, why do you think that all these accusations have been leveled at me?”

“Well, I don’t know,” says Mesley, digging deep in her pile of evidence, “that’s what I find so curious,” says she as while simultaneously pulling out her proverbial ace in the sleeve: a photo featuring Dr. Peterson in the embrace of two, very decent looking, young (white) men, one of whom is sporting a “Make America Great Again” hat and flashing the “OK” sign, with a Pepe the Frog flag in front of them, all of which, according to the nose-to-the-ground journalist, represent symbols of the dreaded Alt-right. The Professor can do little but laugh at the baseness of the talking head in front of him masquerading as a journalist. Her summation of the “symbols of the Alt-right” highlight the fact that Miss Mesley has never even ran a Google search on the matter. If she had, she would know that what Peterson is about to tell her is the absolute truth.

JP: “It’s mostly used by young men who are poking and causing trouble on social media.”
WM: “But you’re supposed to be anti-chaos and anti-provocation!”

Again, the partisan journalist exposes her lack of diligence. I’m not at all sure that Doctor Peterson would label himself as “anti-chaos.” His book is subtitled “The Antidote to Chaos,” which suggests that chaos is a necessary condition to order. A one-minute YouTube clip of Dr. Peterson speaking on the balance between order and chaos, posted by the government-owned TVO in 2009, encapsulates his philosophy succinctly:

“In order for people to live a full life they have to have a foot in order. And that order has to be commensurate with what it is that they’re attempting. So their lives are properly ordered if they have goals, and the procedures they put in place to attain those goals are working. That gives them security and hope.

They also have to have a foot in chaos, because part of proper being is not merely security, which is what order provides, but also that continual generative excitement that being on the edge allows. And the edge, which everyone knows about, is the edge between order and chaos, and you can tell you’re there because that’s when life is worth living.

Surfing was sacred to the Hawaiians because the Hawaiians could see that when the surfer mastered a wave, he was physically embodying the balance between order and chaos.

The rule is: you have to confront chaos and make it back into order. You must do that, because otherwise your life becomes unbearable.”

In his lectures, Peterson talks about confronting chaos, St. George style: cutting it into pieces, making the world out of it, and sharing it with the community. He’s not anti-chaos; he’s the antidote to chaos. A life without chaos is misery. Eric Clapton did not become a virtuoso by only playing the songs he knew when he first started playing. He became great because he kept on challenging himself with songs he couldn't yet play. An athlete will never make it to the Olympics if they never train at their threshold. A clinical psychologist will not get better at their trade if they never expose themselves to difficult challenges.

Back to the symbols. Are we supposed to cede our language to anyone who claims it, responds Peterson? Just because some idiot in some obscure corner of the world declares a symbol or a word their own, are all to bow out and hand it over like cowards? This, Miss Mesley, and not “transphobia,” was at the crux of Dr. Peterson’s opposition to Bill C-16! If the “OK” sign is now a racist symbol, are we still allowed to consume “Vegeta?” I, for one, will not let that aggression stand.

In the aftermath of the CBC News interview, one of the young men pictured with Peterson in the “controversial” photo, Alex Van Ham, has published an open letter on YouTube where he declares himself and individualist who rejects identity politics. Van Ham further goes on to state that he is “not a white supremacist, a white nationalist, a racist or a reprehensible person.” As is the case with so many of Peterson’s supporters, Van Ham states that it would be fair to call him “right-wing” only in the sense that he is a proponent of small government while opposing the radical left.

Unable to cut down the unwavering Professor, Mesley digs back into her pile and pulls out a screenshot of a Jordan Peterson tweet. Attempting to suggest a “dog-whistle” the parrot-parading-as-a-journalist pulls out a tweet that confirms what Peterson already informed her earlier in the interview: that he reached out to the “KEK boys,” a.k.a. the crowd that the media’s broad brush has labeled as the “Alt-right”  (who have used the symbol of the mythical god of chaos, Kek, who happens to be a frog, hence the Pepe connection) and offered them his online self-improvement program at a discount. Peterson explains that he was calling them “out of the chaos that they’re ensconced in” and encouraging them to become individuals, rather than race-identifying cogs in a destructive machine. Mesley’s big gotcha moment turns out to have been a house built on sand.

“So, you’re helping them,” says Mesley, “but they’re helping you, too. You raise a lot of money!” That’s generally how the free market operates, Miss Mesley. People do nice things for each other and exchange currency in return. Alternatively Peterson could have invited all those hundreds, thousands, perhaps even millions in need of sorting out, to line up at his clinic and treat them one-at-a-time, and have them pay for their treatments through health insurance—if they have it. Or he can have them use his Self Authoring program, follow his free lectures remotely and help them help themselves all at once, and rely on their gratitude for compensation. Gratitude. Now, there’s a word missing in the leftist vocabulary.

Rather than a giving a lesson in economics, Peterson offers Mesley the logical conclusion to her argument: “Well what do you think should happen in this polarized world if you’re dealing with people you think are attracted by a pathological ideology?” If these young men are indeed going down the pathway of neo-Nazism and white supremacy, as the media claims that they are, then what happens if you push them in their own isolated world are cross-burnings, lynch mobs, and eventually, death camps. Or at least bike lock to the faces of their perceived opponents. “What I do,” continues Peterson, “is talk to them and say, ‘Look, why don’t you make yourself into an individual and get the hell away from the ideology?’ A lot of these kids are lost in the underworld, let’s say, in nihilism, and they turn to these ideological solutions because they don’t know what else to do.” Or in the words of the fictional Walter Sobchak, because at least these ideological solution offer an ethos. Nihilism and self-destruction don’t happen over night. They are creeping phenomena that feed off themselves. “I have something else for them to do,” goes on Peterson, “‘grow the hell up; sort yourself out as an individual’.”

Doctor Peterson has a 30-year body of work behind him. If anyone is capable of dealing with the outcasts of society, it is him. People that criticize him for reaching out are either blind fools or ideological shills. In the past 15 months Dr. Peterson has given hundreds of interviews, as many talks and lectures, he has made countless posts on his social media accounts and added hundreds of hours of YouTube videos—one among which “The Metaphysics of Pepe”—met with thousands of people, taken part in hundreds of events, and published a book. In all of that, Miss Mesley found one picture, the context of which she completely constructed in her own image and one tweet with which there was nothing wrong. Of all subjects, this is what she chose to discuss with the Professor in their 11-minute interview. Had I not lived in, experienced, and personally studied a totalitarian system from primary sources and first-hand-accounts, I would have described Miss Mesley’s work as pathetic, woeful, or inept, but knowing what I know about corrupt societies, I must call it by its real name: an attempt at character assassination. And a pitiful one at that.

At the end of this interview Dr. Peterson echoes a concern he expressed in the aftermath of the Cathy Newman showdown. He is a student of history and the human condition. He is recognizing that the path we are on is likely to take us to a woefully bad place: either something akin to Soviet Russia or Nazi Germany, and it is painfully clear to see in which direction academia and traditional media would like us to go. After the Channel 4 affair, Peterson confided that he was not happy with the lack of resolution in that encounter. At the end of the Mesley interview one could get the sense that he felt the same way. Each time Dr. Peterson goes out and tries to explain his philosophy to the traditional media they refuse to listen. They are not interested in resolutions: their only obvious interest is in promoting a narrative. The leftist media hurl insults and insinuations his way, and when he shows them up, they just turn the rhetoric up a notch. He must feel like he is living in a video game, where each time he completes a level, a new, more vicious, more hysterical villain is released.

My feeling is that the Professor is concerned with the way things are going because as a clinical philologist he is trained at diagnosing pathologies, and he can see that some form of self-destructive ethos afflicts the vast majority of opinion-makers in Western societies—something connected the dark side of the human mind: resentment and entitlement. And opinion-makers are exactly that: a sort of elite that is entrusted with capturing and distilling information and distributing it to the masses. They are a part of the division of labor and our society relies on them to get things right for us so that we can go on doing what we are best qualified at doing. If they are afflicted with pathology, and for that reason they don’t process information correctly, then they are essentially transmitting their pathology to society. Peterson is an astute student of history, and he likely understands the role that women played in the French and Russian Revolutions, and in seeing the women’s marches, the out of control #MeToo movement, and the constant calls for the destruction of the patriarchy coming from within academia and the traditional media, he can see the parallels between our present state and those unfortunate events of the past. This entire context is flying way above the heads of the likes of journalist imposters like Wendy Mesley and Cathy Newman.

In conclusion, Mesley asks Peterson, what’s next? “I’m trying to figure out,” she says, “are you the next Marshal McLuhan, are you the next Billy Graham? Are you a prof or a prophet?” The humble Doctor brushes off such pretensions, as he should. Her query does beg the question, though: If Peterson is a prophet, what does that make of his detractors?

He is, without a doubt, an archetypal hero, the man for his time and place. If the 19th century killed God, Peterson is showing us how to resurrect him. It’s lonely at the top indeed, because the top is Mount Golgotha. Stony Peterson has chosen to rise up and offer himself as a sacrifice for the betterment of the rest of us. He is playing the role of a lifetime, the one he’s been preparing for his entire life, courageously standing up to the Governors and Pharisees of our day—the Nihilistic Johnson-choppers who don’t understand the rules of the game. He is carrying the cross, peacefully denouncing the corruption of our society. We could not have asked for a better, more qualified man to save our Civilization. No matter what happens next, in teaching us how to be individuals—the totalitarians’ kryptonite—Dr. Peterson has left us prepared for the challenge.

*          *          *          *          *

As is the case with so many others, I too have a personal connection to Dr. Jordan B. Peterson. Like the thousands, if not millions out there, despite the fact that I’ve never met with or spoken to the Professor, he has affected me in a profound way and offered me clarity where there used to be none. As with most, Peterson pushed me to sort myself out, and to return to a meaningful life after some years in the nihilistic doldrums. Above that, he helped me make a cardinal connection.

Namely, twenty years ago this spring, my father, the Doctor’s namesake, Jordan Petrovski, did something remarkably similar to what the Professor is doing right now: he spoke out against Macedonia’s corrupt system. A smear campaign ensued, accompanied by threats, followed by complete social isolation. My father’s stepping out of line cost him the return to prominence and relative wealth, and eventually led to my family’s exile to Canada. While I always stood by my father, I never understood why he did not take the pragmatic move of accepting the prominence and wealth while complying with the corruption of the system. It was only when I heard Dr. Peterson explain how compliance to corruption makes one corrupt, and thus no longer their true self, did I understand the magnitude of my own father’s actions, and the actions of those who have dissented before him. Peterson has helped me save my father from the belly of the whale, and inspired me to build on his work. When my father spoke up in Macedonia very few had the courage to stand by him, and in short order even those who initially did were intimidated into backing away and betraying him. Little did they know that they were actually betraying themselves and their children. I have seen the society that the left is so eager to create, and it’s ugly. Very ugly. It’s Third World. If we lose what we have, we have no place left to go. The West is our last hope. That is why I’m speaking up in support of Dr. Peterson.

Dušan Petrovski (34) is a human rights activist, political refugee, opponent of the welfare state, and entrepreneur residing in St. Catharines, Ontario. He was born in the heart of the Balkan Peninsula, and is painfully aware of the full meaning of the term “Balkanization.” He is the Secretary of the Canadian-based Committee for the Democratization of the Republic of Macedonia, junior editor of kotle.ca, and small-business owner. His experiences in socialist, “post-socialist” and creeping-toward-socialist societies have left him with the firm belief that the government that governs least is the government that governs best.
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