Sectarian drift

Has one year of anti-covid health policy led us collectively into a sectarian drift?

The overall clinical picture of our living situation for the past year is not very pleasing: endless confinement, curfews, arsenal of liberticide and repressive measures, coma of the rule of law, closing of borders, gag on the mouth, agony of freedom of expression, censorship, loss of social link, advent of the all-at-a-distance, death of culture, loss of jobs, material and moral ruin, contempt of the citizen’s word, disinformation, propaganda, etc. This picture is one of increasing drift. But what is its nature? How to analyze it?

More than an authoritarian or totalitarian drift, it seems that our situation has all the characteristics of a sectarian drift. A sectarian drift in which we would have let ourselves be dragged collectively. What makes it special? In reality, there is no such thing as a cult. It is our whole society that is becoming intoxicated, as if it were in the process of becoming a cult. (1)

Cleavages and polarization of opinion

The point is not to denounce any deliberate intention to manipulate the world that would have arisen from the covid crisis, nor any form of premeditation, even if we know that windfall effects could have appeared and that they are being exploited. There is no need to suspect our ministers and other virologists of belonging to a dubious movement, such as Moon or Rael, which would wish us harm. There is no sect as such. (2) But there is a drift. And as time goes by, this drift presents more and more the codes, the methods, the characteristics, of a sectarian organization. In this spiral that drags us all along in spite of ourselves, rulers and ruled, the roles are more and more divided: structural division opposing all-powerful, authoritarian, dogmatic leaders (3) and powerless citizens reduced to a form of servitude; a moral divide as well, between « good » citizens who are adapted, obedient and submissive, on the one hand, and, on the other, « bad » citizens who express criticism, attitudes or divergent opinions, or even protests. These cleavages, which are going to be reinforced, carry with them many dangers: loss of diversity, polarization of opinion, conformism, identity-based withdrawal, uniformity, single thought, incitement to denunciation. They are one of the symptoms of a sectarianism that is well on its way to becoming established.

Physical, psychological and social confinement

For a year, we have been locked up. Locked in a mental universe almost entirely focused on the covid (4), confined by episodes, with controlled and restricted exits, subject to curfew. We are locked in masks, which deprive us of a proper and full intake of air, smiles, emotional outbursts, communication, emotional information, empathy and part of our visual field. We are locked in watertight ‘bubbles’, which deprive us of our friends, parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces and cousins, work colleagues and, of course, any new acquaintance. We are locked within the borders of our country, without being able to consider any leisure travel. We are prisoners. To all of this, we must admit, we have consented: we have voluntarily entered our prison. A situation that refers to the very definition of the sect, whose vocation, purpose, and meaning is to separate, to live and make live « apart », by proposing to « follow ». Cutting existing links, previous references, rejecting the world and proposing a « better » one. In our case, the old world, dirty, deficient and poor (in terms of health security), is over, and the new world, where we are going to « defeat the virus », is in place.

In order to « beat the virus », we have therefore accepted to slide progressively into a physical, psychic, emotional and social confinement. This confinement has generated an impoverished, boring, uniform, predictable world. We always see the same (few) people. We have gone from an open universe, with multiple activities, a multitude of possible meetings, a multitude of possible projects, to a locked universe. Most leisure activities are forbidden, even simple meetings. Gestures of human warmth are no longer allowed. A simple handshake is considered dangerous and subject to a fine. It’s the leaders who say who you can date and when. In order to fight a virus, we have agreed to sterilize our lives and put them under guardianship.

« New normal »

In this fragmented, monitored and controlled universe, the « new normal » reigns. A paradoxical concept (what is « normal », therefore usual, installed, cannot be « new »), never defined, never debated, the « new normal » was pulled out of the hat of a few European decision-makers in the summer of 2020 (5). Immediately recovered by our Belgian ministers, the concept landed in the « recitals » of the Ministerial Order of July 28, 2020. Brandished as an argument to justify the implementation of new restrictions, the « new normal » installs the new codes, barrier gestures, new vocabulary, new behaviors and covidian rituals as definitive. It is inculcated in us by the « new » erthean rhetoric (duly accompanied by the incongruous ritual of wearing a mask on set) which now speaks of respecting sanitary « norms » — that’s how well integrated the thing is. (6) « New normal » seems to mean that the requirement to wear a mask has become « normal » (and therefore not debatable), that staying 5 feet away from people in any public space has become « normal, » that telecommuting has become « normal, » that curfew has become « normal, » and so on. This concept, which came out of nowhere, this bizarre oxymoron, now dictates the organization of our lives and seems destined to govern them permanently, without the slightest beginning of parliamentary debate to define its scope and adequacy.

Here again, we are at the heart of the sectarian mechanism. Imposing a break with all the previous codes, habits, usual behaviors, instilling the idea that they are now harmful, bad, and forcing everyone to adopt new ones to replace them, is to deeply destabilize individuals. It’s turning people’s value system upside down, disorienting them.

It allows to take control of consciousness, to break down emotional barriers, to make people malleable. When one is subjected to this loss of reference points, it is very difficult to maintain one’s free will. And we find ourselves in a situation of control. A person who feels fragile, lost, is ready to cling to the first landmark that comes along to reorient himself. It is then easy for leaders to propose « solutions » that will be perceived as survival rations.(7)

In the covid sect, where a kiss is no longer a gesture of tenderness but a « danger to the life of others » and where a handshake is seen as a « vector of contamination », mantras are injected. « In strict compliance with sanitary rules » parasitizes your brain more effectively than basic Chinese propaganda. « Stay safe ». « Let’s take care of our loved ones by keeping our distance ». « When you love your loved ones, you don’t get too close. Thank you for being fluent in covid novlangue and for mastering case-contact, quarantine-which-isn’t-the-same-thing-isolation, cluster, face-to-face, hybridization, PCR, PLF, lockdown and other RNA or recombinant vaccines. Forget everything that came before. Welcome to life-covid, a life that is ultra-balanced, regulated, traced, surrounded, where daily rituals smell of hydroalcoholic gel, where one writes « I kiss you » to all one’s friends at the bottom of one’s emails without ever being able to kiss them again, where the rules change all the time, when they are not incoherent or absurd, where the fear of contamination is constantly maintained and re-launched, where guilt devours.

Control and self-control

The brainwashing works so well that control has become self-control. We have integrated the codes, the barrier-gestures, which we now docilely inflict on ourselves. We repress all our impulses. We check a hundred times that the mask is well placed on our face. We make sure to keep a good distance from people, and not to touch them. We wash our hands up to our elbows at every opportunity. And this self-censorship devours, every minute of our day, energy, self-confidence, confidence in others, confidence in life, joy of living. This is the real subjection. When the dominant discourse is integrated within the dominated. When you become your own supervisor, your own oppressor, your own « Big Brother ». When individuality is overcome, when the critical sense is suffocated, when the heart and the thought are invaded, phagocyted, by injunctions. There is then a risk of alteration of the personality, a risk of losing contact with the reality of the world, because it is the sectarian ideology that replaces it. (8) The covid context is currently our « world ». We eat covid, we breathe covid, we work covid, we sleep covid. The break with family and friends makes us more vulnerable, the isolation reinforces our fears: we are as if immersed.

Sacrificial dynamics

Another characteristic of sectarian functioning is that a sacrificial dynamic is put in place. (9) At first, these are small sacrifices, which may seem insignificant. No more shaking hands: either… Then come the slightly more important sacrifices. Wear a mask, don’t go out at night, don’t play sports, don’t have dinner parties with friends, etc. The sacrifices add up

to the sacrifices, new measures coming regularly to require new ones, it is finally all our life which is sacrificed. In the name of the biological fight against the virus — the only one that now seems to prevail — the essence of what we value has been sacrificed on the altar of covid. And we persist in believing that we are on the right track, and that everything will work out in the end, because we believe we are « acting for the right cause » — a powerful lever used in cults to neutralize the doubts of followers and achieve lasting psychic transformation. (10) However, we can feel that « something is wrong ». But we always put off saying no. We want to « hold on again », « try again ». We have been predicted such a viral apocalypse in case of « slacking off » that we are willing to do anything to avoid it. Such a cause, we believe, is worth many sacrifices and a « civic » effort. We want to keep our loyalty to the group and to the leaders, to support the others at all costs, to protect them; above all not to betray them, above all not to put them in danger. We want to « take care of our loved ones ». We want to be generous and supportive.

In this respect, the slogan « one team of 11 million » invented by the government is particularly devious. Perverse even. A concentrate of sectarian codes.

How do you say you don’t want to « be on the team »? Everyone wants to be on the team. Everyone wants to be useful, to participate, to be recognized, to have a place in the group. Who would want to be the outcast, the marginal, the uncivil? But how can you feel like a member of a « team » if you can’t choose it? How can we feel integrated if all the conditions of membership are imposed, forced, without our having a say? A membership that is based on fear and coercion cannot be a real, full and constructive membership. This slogan is also a way of slyly suggesting that we are not doing enough. Never enough. We don’t play it collectively enough. We should make efforts in this direction. Always more efforts. And if it doesn’t work, if there is a resurgence of the epidemic, then our efforts will not have been sufficient, obviously. That the « team » will have lacked involvement. But how dare our ministers appeal to our « team spirit » when at the same time they radically prevent us from teaming up with each other? If they force us to isolate ourselves in « bubbles of one », cutting us off from our families, our friends, our professional ties? If they impose on us a « contactless everything » that represents a complete dismantling of our social life? How could this be possible? We find ourselves in a situation of paradoxical injunction (be supportive by distancing ourselves from each other), a situation of « double bind » that reduces each of us to powerlessness and whose destructive potential is well documented by mental health professionals. (11)

Logic of servitude and dependence

Moreover, do we need to remind ourselves that « defeating the virus » is not an attainable goal? It is a decoy. A mirage that is constantly waved before our hungry eyes. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that it is unrealistic to try to control a virus that keeps mutating. And even if we imagine that Sars-Cov2 and its many variants get tired and go to sleep, we know that other viruses will emerge, as they have done every year for ages. From then on, announcing the objective of « winning » is to lead us, in the words of François Gémenne and Olivier Servais, into the « destructive chimera » that represents « the tyranny of zero risk ». (12) To persist in this way, continuing to affirm that the vaccine « is the only solution » and that this vaccine will allow us to « defeat the virus », as our ministers repeat over and over again, is to persist in a lie that keeps us prisoners of a logic of enslavement and dependence.

Enrolled in the covid sect, we tend to resign ourselves. We are experiencing such an erosion of our freedoms that we don’t even allow ourselves to think about what is « essential » or « non-essential » for us and to say so. Tired, depressed, overwhelmed, we end up accepting that someone else thinks and says it for us. We accept dogmas, such as the « only way out » vaccine strategy (13). And we lose our freedom of thought. Doctors themselves receive instructions from the Council of the Order and are threatened with sanctions if they express doubts. (14) As if their freedom of conscience no longer existed. As if their art should no longer be fed by conscience but by regulations. Hippocrates would certainly have something to say about it. Some have already been sanctioned for expressing themselves in a different way. (15) While there are several other serious avenues for managing the epidemic, these are rejected a priori. No other option is more audible, visible, questionable — or even thinkable. For the guru-rulers, it is easy, when you have put an entire population at risk, to present yourself as the « great-vaccinator-savior ». It’s easy to extinguish with a guilt-inducing blow the embers of critical thinking that were surviving. With what consequences? In this world that has become sectarian, we can no longer give the vaccine our choice, in the form of free and informed consent. The name given by the government to the « information » site on vaccines speaks for itself: « »! If « information » is no longer objective, if it becomes « oriented awareness », it becomes disinformation and indoctrination.

As for the possibility of implementing a vaccine passport that would open the doors to theaters and restaurants, it means not only the ruin of vaccine freedom but also, for us and for all generations to come, a permanent conditional freedom. Seeing our social life conditioned to a QR code, as in China, where « vaccinated » (green code) means « good citizen », with unlimited social life and authorized access, and where « unvaccinated » (red code) means « bad citizen », with limited social life and denied access, amounts to making everyone (« good » and « bad ») live under electronic bracelet. Without real freedom of vaccination, without openness to other ways of managing the epidemic, without citizen debate, we will not get out of the sectarian dependence in which the anti-vaccine health policy has now installed us.

« Eating with colleagues is dangerous »

In the unmitigated covidian fundamentalism, which is progressing, the messages are becoming more and more radical. All cultural life is abolished. In Brussels, it is forbidden to walk alone in a street, even if it is deserted, with your face uncovered. « Eating with your colleagues is dangerous » are the big letters on the information screens of a hospital in Brussels. Should we read in it the peremptory and definitive condemnation of all social life? Of course, having lunch with colleagues can be a source of various contaminations. This has always been the case. This is nothing new. And vigilance and prudence are virtues that no one will think of denying. But isn’t eating with your colleagues first and foremost about sharing, relaxing, being close to each other, exchanging, discovering each other, having fun, being friendly, enriching? Isn’t it necessary and essential to develop human, empathetic, pleasant and gratifying professional relationships? Isn’t this a way to be civic-minded and supportive? Alas, it is clear that in the covid ideology, all this is simply reversed and denied.

Taking back control

In an ominous sign, like the hero Winston from « 1984 », some of our citizens are beginning to practice doublethink. Outwardly, they appear smooth and behave like the perfect covidian citizen « in strict compliance with sanitary rules ». Inwardly, it’s quite different. Perhaps, like Winston scribbling angry « down with Big Brother » in his diary while hiding from the telecoms, they too feel the need to say or write, in secret, all the bad things they think of this health policy. Are we going to continue like this, until we expose ourselves later, like Winston, to repression by the Thought Police? If we want to get out of the sectarian mechanics, it is necessary that all our reflections on these issues, all our criticisms, are expressed loud and clear. It is necessary that all doubts be taken into account, manifested and recognized. It is necessary that any debate can take place in the open. And that everyone can say, without fear, what they have to say. We can legitimately claim that. We can take back control. We can demand to be restored to our fundamental rights, to our dignity, to our power as free and active citizens, in a free country.

Let’s not let our democracy falter any further. Let’s support her. Let’s restore it.

Let’s get out of the cult.(16)

Notes et références
  1. Voir le témoignage aussi éclairé qu’impressionnant de Marilis Valo, publié dans France Soir, le 13/01/2021, sous le titre « Anticovidisme : la nouvelle secte mondiale ». L’auteure, qui a été elle-même membre d’un groupe sectaire pendant de longues années, décrit minutieusement les mécanismes dont elle a été victime. Ce sont ces mêmes mécanismes qu’elle identifie dans les politiques sanitaires qui sont menées actuellement un peu partout dans le monde.
  2. Il ne s’agit pas d’ignorer pour autant les multiples collusions, conflits d’intérêts, activités de lobbying, qui impactent et influencent considérablement les sphères décisionnelles. C’est une réalité. Des intérêts supra- nationaux puissants sont également en jeu dans cette « crise ». Mais les analyser n’est pas le propos ici.
  3. Par « dirigeants », on peut entendre le trio qui fonctionne en circuit fermé : Exécutif, médias officiels, conseil scientifique.
  4. Dans son essai paru en janvier 2021 « De la Démocratie en Pandémie » (Tracts Gallimard n°23), Barbara Stiegler propose de voir dans la « Pandémie » (avec majuscule) un « nouveau continent mental, aux contours flous et évolutifs, qui risque de durer des années et, pourquoi pas, des siècles et des siècles. » « Un continent, poursuit-elle, dans lequel la « pandémie » n’est plus un objet de discussion dans nos démocraties mais où la démocratie est elle-même, en Pandémie, un objet discutable. » (pp. 8 et 9)
  5. Le plan de déconfinement du gouvernement espagnol, en mai 2020, a été intitulé Plan para la Transicion hacia una nueva Normalidad , « Plan de transition vers une nouvelle normalité ». Le 03/06/20, ce concept est repris par le Dr Hans Henri P Kluge, directeur de l’OMS pour l’Europe, dans une déclaration à Copenhague.
  6. Julie Morelle, JT RTBF 13h, dimanche 21/03/2021.
  7. Anne Fournier, Mécanismes de l’emprise. Anne Fournier est Conseiller à la MIVILUDES, Mission interministérielle française de vigilance et de lutte contre les dérives à caractère sectaire.
  8. Interview de Jean-Pierre Jougla, avocat, Président de l’UNADFI, par Jean-Marie Dinh : le mécanisme totalitaire de la secte. (04/07/2005)
  9. Anne Fournier, op.cit.
  10. Pierre Tourev, Sectes et manipulations mentales, 21/04/2007. Voir aussi Frédéric Badel, médecin-psychiatre spécialisé dans les stress post-traumatiques, dans une analyse publiée dans le Journal catalan, 24/12/2020 : les méthodes du gouvernement relèvent du phénomène sectaire.
  11. Anne Fournier, op.cit.
  13. Déclaration du Premier Ministre Alexander De Croo en conférence de presse du 05/03/2021 : « il n’y a pas de plan de sortie autre que vaccinal ».
  14. Extraits d’une communication de l’Ordre des Médecins à ses membres : « En sa séance du 23 janvier 2021, le Conseil national de l’Ordre des médecins a examiné les aspects déontologiques relatifs au programme de vaccination contre la Covid-19. (…) Sur la base de la confiance élevée que les patients placent en leur médecin traitant, leur décision de participer au programme de vaccination dépendra fortement de la façon dont le médecin donnera des informations et un avis. En raison de l’important avantage sanitaire lié à ce programme de vaccination, il est évident qu’une forte recommandation du médecin est la seule façon de contribuer à la prévention, protection et promotion adéquates de la santé, comme prescrit à l’article 5 du Code de déontologie médicale (CDM 2018). L’Ordre des médecins veillera à ce que les médecins respectent leur devoir déontologique en endossant un rôle de pionnier par la recommandation et la promotion de la vaccination. (…) Par le passé, la délivrance d’informations erronées diffusées notamment par les « vaccino-sceptiques » (médecins et autres) a tellement affecté la confiance de la population en la vaccination que le degré de vaccination a chuté et qu’une flambée de maladies s’est de nouveau produite. Par conséquent, l’Ordre sévira fermement contre la diffusion d’informations qui ne cadrent pas avec l’état actuel de la science. »
  16. Marilis Valo a écrit deux articles complémentaires, publiés par France Soir, dans lesquels elle propose des outils et pistes de « sortie de la secte » : (02/02/2021) et (25/02/2021).
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