Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (Matthew 7:15)
Italy boasts one of the highest youth unemployment rates in Europe, at around 45%. Worker ‘protections’, a high minimum wage, and centuries of encrusted regulations on business make hiring inexperienced young workers risky and unprofitable. The more ambitious among them have abandoned their country of birth in search of greener pastures, including in the US, whose corresponding unemployment rate is under 20%. Nevertheless, the Pope saw fit to come here and and lecture us on the dangers of unbridled capitalism, and to extol the memory of Thomas Merton, a psychic and mystic, and Dorothy Day, a socialist who fought for greater worker protections. These, he believes, are the people to whom we should aspire, even though their doctrines have been discredited and inevitably lead to the scourges he decries – unemployment, poverty, mental illness, crime, drug use, and family disintegration.
By pushing the same policies to reduce poverty, suffering and inequality that actually cause it, the Pope creates a powerful countercycle, in which an increase in social ills leads to a call for more of what ails it. The problem only gets worse for the vulnerable people he claims to care most about. Unemployment in Italy will not improve any time soon, which is great news for government bureaucracies, law enforcement, mental illness services, and the human trafficking industry. The Catholic Church rallies around the Pope.
Leadership of the Church covered up for decades the sexual abuse of 100,000 children, and now the Pope promises to “zealously” guard the children in the fold. However, the they have set their sights on the world at large and the Pope’s policy recommendations will increase the stock of exploitable resources even as he decries exactly that.
Blame the healers
The CDC recently issued a countercyclical calling on to doctors to limit opiate prescriptions: liberal dispensing practices caused addiction and therefore restrictions will reduce it. However, this will only push more people into the dangerous heroin market, which results in more unsafe behavior, overdose and death. These are lifesaving medications and many legitimate pain patients will kill themselves because chronic pain is awful and they cannot get the relief they need. Nevertheless, the CDC will count up the deaths of the ‘addicts’ and cry, “We must crack down more on irresponsible opiate prescription habits!”
However most of the people dying are not drug addicts, and typically each overdose has a specific cause, such as a traumatic life event, chronic pain, or 12 Step cult bullying. Drug addiction itself is not a disease but a religion, and trying to prevent it by restricting opiates is like trying to eradicate Catholicism by criminalizing wine and crackers.
Unsurprisingly, the Pope supports the Drug War: “Drug addiction is an evil, and with evil there can be no yielding or compromise. To think that harm can be reduced by permitting drug addicts to use narcotics in no way resolves the problem.” In fact, the Drug War creates exactly the addictive behaviors and crime the Pope decries. Such countercycles increase the problems they are purported to solve, and the associated propaganda worked effectively for almost a century. Fortunately people are starting to realize that the Drug War was a complete failure. On the other hand, the Pope’s and Bernie Sander’s socialist rallies still attract large and enthusiastic crowds.
The oldest scam in the book
If you can convince someone they have a disease, then you can exact a high price for the cure. This is the oldest scam in the book and is the basis of the 12 Step cults like AA: “I drank for decades and had a blast but eventually it almost killed me and it will surely kill you too. Now, confess:”
Most people who go through a heavy drinking or drug use phase will moderate naturally without treatment. However, the ‘disease’ countercycle creates the unhealthy and damaging binge-abstinence behavior that manifests as ‘symptoms’ – the relief of which is to admit even more sincerely that one’s substance abuse is a disease. Of course, the problem only worsens, and 12 Step treatment results in extremely high death rates. The promise of ‘jails, institutions, and death’ becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Typically crime, aggression and lying long preceded the first drug use, as reported by the addicts themselves at their meetings. Disease theory doctrine that holds that drug addiction causes crime will only make the problem worse. We need not believe the claims of self-professed liars and thieves who first tasted opiates after a ‘sports injury’. Nevertheless, public health officials call for “more of the same, but in a more intense way.”
Similarly the mental illness industry convinced us that depression, autism, ADHD and schizophrenia are brain diseases. In fact they are just normal emotions that commonly occur at various stages of development and are then complicated by cognitive fallacies. But the industry sells expensive treatments and pills to save us from certain doom. Thousands of children took Risperdal for years, leaving them obese and troubled. The resulting problems generate statistics that cause us to double down on more of the same. A recent study on suicide in the military showed that more intensive treatment for depression actually increased suicide – and still many call for more psychiatric ‘treatment’ in the VA. Parents are encouraged to ask colleges about mental health services for their children during campus visits. Calls for more ‘early intervention and treatment’ will only trap more people in this powerful countercycle, and it is getting harder to break.
In fact addiction and mental illnesses are not diseases but forms of mass hysteria. They are instilled and aggravated by media portrayals in news and movies which model such behaviors as ‘bipolar‘ and ‘early onset Alzheimers’. Sensationalist news stories claim that addiction causes crime, prostitution, and overdose and renew calls for the Drug War, which only exacerbates these naturally occurring social ills.
Servants to ideology
Students on college campuses are at an age where it is common to re-evaluate basic assumptions, and therefore are particularly susceptible to countercyclical reasoning. ‘Tone policing’ and ‘trigger warnings’ ostensibly to protect people from PTSD and ‘microaggressions’ only serve to increase anxiety and neuroses and self-censorship in the population as all interactions become laden with deeper and sinister motivations, creating even more referrals to mental illness services and student adjudication committees. A powerful new countercyclical promoted by Lady Gaga shows that ‘disrespect’ and drinking cause rape which causes low self esteem and mental illness. Here is the simple truth: low self esteem often results in regretted sex, false accusations, and substance abuse. However the ‘campus rape crisis’ alarm rings for more mental health services and substance abuse ‘treatment’ that only further erode self esteem and increase drinking and exacerbate the original problem. The goal of this agenda is to disadvantage and institutionalize large swaths of the population either as mentally ill or criminal.
The pope decries religiously motivated fanaticism like ISIS, when in fact religion is just a convenient rationalization for their mischief – a dynamic he should be familiar with by now. He encourages us to ‘serve people not ideologies’ but we all serve our own ideologies. He denounces ‘extremism’ without acknowledging it is another’s ‘moderation’. He offers no way to discern the good from the bad. And meanwhile he pushes his own discredited agendas.
The Protestant Reformation was in large part a rebellion against the Catholic Church’s commodification of penance for sin – confession will save you from eternal damnation but the priest will exact a price. They have now adopted the more sophisticated mortgaging schemes of the modern religions of addiction and mental illness: sin now, amend later, and meanwhile make the monthly payments with the blood of the victims.