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Should we suppress Holocaust deniers – or expose them to scorn? –

Posted: February 23, 2020 at 12:48 pm

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Last Monday night, BBC2 aired of one of the weirdest and most horribly gripping documentariesI've ever watched.

ComedianDavid Baddiel presented Confronting Holocaust Denial and even before the programme went out, people were complaining that he was "giving a platform" to Holocaust deniers.

The controversy went back and forth in the English papers and everyone took a side.

That the Holocaust happened is, of course, not up for debate. But Holocaust denial is something that should be debated wherever it is confronted.

As I've repeatedly argued in this column, the best way to destroy a stupid argument is not to suppress it, as some believe, but to debate it in the open and expose its flaws for all the world to see.

Baddiel, the son of Jews who fled Nazi Germany, was determined to explore the motivations behind this most pernicious of lies, while others argued that giving these odious people a stage would simply encourage people to follow the deniers.

As he travelled through eastern Europe, it became clear that denial remains strong in some formerly occupied countries because they simply don't want to confront their own role in the single greatest crime in human history.

In a weird way, the motivations of some of those people made a degree of horrible sense - if you think your grandfather was a hero of the partisans and fought against the Nazis, would you really want to know that he was actually a collaborator who forced Jews on to cattle trucks?

That's not to excuse this position, but at least it comes from a place of very human frailty - the reluctance to condemn your grandparents.

But the other form of Holocaust denial, the ideological one, is far more dangerous.

Baddiel met Deborah Lipstadt, who beat the Holocaust denying historian David Irving in a famous libel trial. Her lawyer argued that giving any denier airtime was simply giving them publicity and urged the comedian to refrain from doing so.

Baddiel refused, so who was he going to meet? An unreconstructed neo-Nazi? Irving, or one of his supporters?

Um, no. In fact - and this is where the weird bit kicks in - he travelled to Ennis in Clare, of all places, to meet Dermot Mulqueen, the man arrested in 2015 for putting an axe through a TV to protest against Holocaust Memorial Day - as you do.

The decision to interview Mulqueen was an inspired one. Rather than giving oxygen to hatred, he gave Mulqueen enough rope to hang his ideas. And what batty ideas they were.

He claimed that Auschwitz was a holiday camp with swimming pools and bakeries. He asserted that it was impossible to burn that many bodies (it wasn't). He even repeated the old blood libel that Jews eat Christian babies. He also said one of the reasons why the Holocaust never happened was because Jewish people drive German cars.

Funny enough, Sarah Silverman - when she was still funny - used to have a song called 'Jewish People Driving German Cars.'

Not that our hero would know that. I doubt he spends much time listening to potty-mouthed Jewish comedians.

Rather than being confronted by some sinister but strangely convincing Revisionist, Baddiel met someone who came across as deeply sad and truly pathetic.

Rather than being intrigued by his ideas, anyone watching would have been forced into laughter.

Rather than taking on 'the Jew' and winning, Mulqueen was exposed as complete buffoon.

While there's nothing funny about his ideas, he came across as laughably weak and frightened, happy to spend his days immersed in conspiracy theories - the perfect way for an idiot to think he's an intellectual.

I've interviewed Holocaust survivors in Ireland, and I've dined with many of them in Israel. You just sit there in stunned silence and hope that you don't break down as they talk about what happened to them. Even listening to them is a difficult experience, and the scale of the horrors they endured is just too incomprehensible for the rest of us to process.

But here's the thing - did Mulqueen make me ashamed to be Irish? That was the response from many Irish people who had watched, jaws agape, as he spoke about the 'Holohoax'.

People were quick to express their 'shame' and 'embarrassment'. Numerous messages were sent to Baddiel from Irish people apologising and expressing their revulsion.

That's an undoubtedly sincere reaction but it's the wrong one.

Mulqueen represents nobody but himself. He doesn't speak for the rest of us because the rest of us look at him with scorn and contempt.

In fact, expressions of collective shame feed into the idea of collective responsibility - and we all know how that ends up.

But Baddiel proved his point - by dragging these people away from their chat rooms and exposing them to facts, they always make fools of themselves.

Remember - you should never make a martyr out of a moron.


Should we suppress Holocaust deniers - or expose them to scorn? -

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February 23rd, 2020 at 12:48 pm

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Jordan Peterson – Wikipedia

Posted: February 15, 2020 at 2:56 am

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Canadian clinical psychologist

Jordan Bernt Peterson (born June 12, 1962) is a Canadian clinical psychologist and a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. His main areas of study are in abnormal, social, and personality psychology,[1] with a particular interest in the psychology of religious and ideological belief[2] and the assessment and improvement of personality and performance.[3]

Peterson has bachelor's degrees in political science and psychology from the University of Alberta and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from McGill University. He was a post-doctoral fellow at McGill from 1991 to 1993 before moving to Harvard University, where he was an assistant professor in the psychology department.[4][5] In 1998, he returned to Canada to become a faculty member in the psychology department at the University of Toronto, where he eventually became a full professor.[6]

Peterson's first book, Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief (1999), examined several academic fields to describe the structure of systems of beliefs and myths, their role in the regulation of emotion, creation of meaning, and several other topics such as motivation for genocide.[7][8][9] His second book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, was published in January 2018.[4][10][11]

In 2016, Peterson released a series[12] of YouTube videos criticizing political correctness and the Canadian government's Bill C-16, "An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code". The act added "gender identity and expression" as a prohibited ground of discrimination,[a][13] which Peterson characterised as an introduction of compelled speech into law,[14][15][16] although legal experts have disagreed.[17] He subsequently received significant media coverage, attracting both support and criticism.[4][10][11] Several writers have associated Peterson with an "Intellectual Dark Web".[18][19][20][21][22]

Peterson was born on June 12, 1962.[23] He grew up in Fairview, Alberta, a small town northwest of his birthplace (Edmonton).[24] He was the eldest of three children born to Walter and Beverley Peterson. Beverley was a librarian at the Fairview campus of Grande Prairie Regional College, and Walter was a school teacher.[25][26] His middle name is Bernt ( BAIR-nt),[27] after his Norwegian great-grandfather.[28]

When Peterson was 13, he was introduced to the writings of George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and Ayn Rand by his school librarian Sandy Notley (the mother of Rachel Notley, leader of the Alberta New Democratic Party and 17th Premier of Alberta).[29] He worked for the New Democratic Party (NDP) throughout his teenage years, but grew disenchanted with the party. He saw his experience of disillusionment resonating with Orwell's diagnosis, in The Road to Wigan Pier, of "the intellectual, tweed-wearing middle-class socialist" who "didn't like the poor; they just hated the rich".[25][30] He left the NDP at age 18.[31]

After graduating from Fairview High School in 1979, Peterson entered the Grande Prairie Regional College to study political science and English literature.[2] He later transferred to the University of Alberta, where he completed his B.A. in political science in 1982.[31] Afterwards, he took a year off to visit Europe. There he began studying the psychological origins of the Cold War, 20th-century European totalitarianism,[2][32] and the works of Carl Jung, Friedrich Nietzsche, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn,[25] and Fyodor Dostoevsky.[32] He then returned to the University of Alberta and received a B.A. in psychology in 1984.[33] In 1985, he moved to Montreal to attend McGill University. He earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology under the supervision of Robert O. Pihl in 1991, and remained as a post-doctoral fellow at McGill's Douglas Hospital until June 1993, working with Pihl and Maurice Dongier.[2][34]

From July 1993 to June 1998,[1] Peterson lived in Arlington, Massachusetts, while teaching and conducting research at Harvard University as an assistant professor in the psychology department. During his time at Harvard, he studied aggression arising from drug and alcohol abuse and supervised a number of unconventional thesis proposals.[31] Two former PhD students, Shelley Carson, a psychologist and teacher from Harvard, and author Gregg Hurwitz recalled that Peterson's lectures were already highly admired by the students.[4] In July 1998, he returned to Canada and eventually became a full professor at the University of Toronto.[1][33]

Peterson's areas of study and research are in the fields of psychopharmacology, abnormal, neuro, clinical, personality, social, industrial and organizational,[1]religious, ideological,[2]political, and creativity psychology.[3] Peterson has authored or co-authored more than a hundred academic papers[35] and has been cited almost 8,000 times as of mid-2017.[36]

For most of his career, Peterson had maintained a clinical practice, seeing about 20 people a week. He had been active on social media, and in September 2016 he released a series of videos in which he criticized Bill C-16.[12][29][37] As a result of new projects, he decided to put the clinical practice on hold in 2017[10] and temporarily stopped teaching as of 2018.[26][38]

In June 2018, Peterson debated with Sam Harris at the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver while moderated by Bret Weinstein, and again in July at the 3Arena in Dublin and The O2 Arena in London while moderated by Douglas Murray, over the topic of religion and God.[39][40] In April 2019, Peterson debated professor Slavoj iek at the Sony Centre in Toronto over happiness under capitalism versus Marxism.[41][42]

In 1999 Routledge published Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief. The book, which took Peterson 13 years to complete, describes a comprehensive theory about how people construct meaning, form beliefs and make narratives using ideas from various fields including mythology, religion, literature, philosophy and psychology in accordance to the modern scientific understanding of how the brain functions.[31][5][43]

According to Peterson, his main goal was to examine why both individuals and groups participate in social conflict, explore the reasoning and motivation individuals take to support their belief systems (i.e. ideological identification[31]) that eventually results in killing and pathological atrocities like the Gulag, the Auschwitz concentration camp and the Rwandan genocide.[31][5][43] He considers that an "analysis of the world's religious ideas might allow us to describe our essential morality and eventually develop a universal system of morality".[43]Jungian archetypes play an important role in the book.[4]

In 2004, a 13-part TV series based on Peterson's book Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief aired on TVOntario.[25][33][44]

In January 2018, Penguin Random House published Peterson's second book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. The work contains abstract ethical principles about life, in a more accessible style than Maps of Meaning.[10][4][11] To promote the book, Peterson went on a world tour.[45][46][47] As part of the tour, Peterson was interviewed in the UK by Cathy Newman on Channel 4 News which generated considerable attention.[48][49][50] The book topped bestselling lists in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the US, and the United Kingdom.[51][52][53] As of January 2019, Peterson is working on a sequel to 12 Rules for Life.[54]

In 2013, Peterson began recording his lectures ("Personality and Its Transformations", "Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief"[55]) and uploading them to YouTube. His YouTube channel has gathered more than 1.8 million subscribers and his videos have received more than 65 million views as of August 2018.[37][56] In January 2017, he hired a production team to film his psychology lectures at the University of Toronto. He used funds received on the crowdfunding website Patreon after he became embroiled in the Bill C-16 controversy in September 2016. His funding through Patreon has increased from $1,000 per month in August 2016 to $14,000 by January 2017, more than $50,000 by July 2017, and over $80,000 by May 2018.[29][37][57][58] In December 2018, Peterson decided to delete his Patreon account after Patreon's bans of political personalities who were violating Patreon's terms of service regarding hate speech.[59][60]

Peterson has appeared on many podcasts, conversational series, as well other online shows.[56][61] In December 2016, Peterson started his own podcast, The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast, which has included academic guests such as Camille Paglia, Martin Daly, and James W. Pennebaker.[62] On his YouTube channel he has interviewed Stephen Hicks, Richard J. Haier, and Jonathan Haidt among others.[62] In March 2019, the podcast joined the Westwood One network with Peterson's daughter as a co-host on some episodes.[63] Peterson supported engineer James Damore in his action against Google.[11]

In May 2017, Peterson began The Psychological Significance of the Biblical Stories,[64] a series of live theatre lectures, also published as podcasts, in which he analyzes archetypal narratives in Book of Genesis as patterns of behavior ostensibly vital for personal, social and cultural stability.[11]

In March 2019, Peterson had his invitation of a visiting fellowship at Cambridge University rescinded. He had previously said that the fellowship would give him "the opportunity to talk to religious experts of all types for a couple of months", and that the new lectures would have been on Book of Exodus.[65] A spokesperson for the University said that there was "no place" for anyone who could not uphold the "inclusive environment" of the university.[66] After a week, the vice-chancellor Stephen Toope explained that it was due to a photograph with a man wearing an Islamophobic shirt.[67] The Cambridge University Students' Union released a statement of relief, considering the invitation "a political act to ... legitimise figures such as Peterson" and that his work and views are not "representative of the student body".[68] Peterson called the decision a "deeply unfortunate ... error of judgement" and expressed regret that the Divinity Faculty had submitted to an "ill-informed, ignorant and ideologically-addled mob".[69][70]

In 2005, Peterson and his colleagues set up a for-profit company to provide and produce a writing therapy program with a series of online writing exercises.[71] Titled the Self Authoring Suite,[25] it includes the Past Authoring Program (a guided autobiography); two Present Authoring Programs which allow the participant to analyze their personality faults and virtues in terms of the Big Five personality model; and the Future Authoring Program which guides participants through the process of planning their desired futures. The latter program was used with McGill University undergraduates on academic probation to improve their grades, as well as since 2011 at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University.[72][73] The programs were developed partially from research by James W. Pennebaker at the University of Texas at Austin and Gary Latham at the Rotman School of Management of the University of Toronto.[4] Peterson's co-authored 2015 study showed significant reduction in ethnic and gender-group differences in performance, especially among ethnic minority male students.[73][74] According to Peterson, more than 10,000 students have used the program as of January 2017, with drop-out rates decreasing by 25% and GPAs rising by 20%.[25]

Peterson has characterized himself as a "classic British liberal",[32][75][76] and as a "traditionalist".[77] He has stated that he is commonly mistaken to be right wing,[56] as, for example, The New York Times has described Peterson as "conservative-leaning",[78] and The Washington Post has described him as "conservative".[79] Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Yoram Hazony stated, "The startling success of his elevated arguments for the importance of order has made him the most significant conservative thinker to appear in the English-speaking world in a generation."[80] Nathan Robinson of Current Affairs opines that Peterson has been seen "as everything from a fascist apologist to an Enlightenment liberal, because his vacuous words are a kind of Rorschach test onto which countless interpretations can be projected."[81]

Peterson's critiques of political correctness range over issues such as postmodernism, postmodern feminism, white privilege, cultural appropriation, and environmentalism.[61][82]

Writing in the National Post, Chris Selley said Peterson's opponents had "underestimated the fury being inspired by modern preoccupations like white privilege and cultural appropriation, and by the marginalization, shouting down or outright cancellation of other viewpoints in polite society's institutions",[83] while in The Spectator, Tim Lott stated Peterson became "an outspoken critic of mainstream academia".[32] Peterson's social media presence has magnified the impact of these views; Simona Chiose of The Globe and Mail noted: "few University of Toronto professors in the humanities and social sciences have enjoyed the global name recognition Prof. Peterson has won".[37]

According to his studyconducted with one of his students, Christine Brophyof the relationship between political belief and personality, political correctness exists in two types: "PC-egalitarianism" and "PC-authoritarianism", which is a manifestation of "offense sensitivity".[84] Jason McBride claims Peterson places classical liberals in the first type, and places so-called social justice warriors, who he says "weaponize compassion", in the second.[25][2] The study also found an overlap between PC-authoritarians and right-wing authoritarians.[84]

Peterson considers that the universities should be held as among the most responsible for the wave of political correctness which appeared in North America and Europe.[37] According to Peterson, he watched the rise of political correctness on campuses since the early 1990s. In his view the humanities have become corrupt and less reliant on science. Instead of "intelligent conversation, we are having an ideological conversation". From his own experience as a professor, he states that the students who are coming to his classes are uneducated about and unaware of the mass exterminations and other crimes against humanity perpetrated by Stalinism and Maoism, which were not given the same attention as fascism and Nazism. He also says that "instead of being ennobled or inculcated into the proper culture, the last vestiges of structure are stripped from [the students] by post-modernism and neo-Marxism, which defines everything in terms of relativism and power".[32][85][86]

Peterson, 2017[85]

Peterson says that postmodern philosophers and sociologists since the 1960s[82] have built upon and extended certain core tenets of Marxism and communism while simultaneously appearing to disavow both ideologies. He says that it is difficult to understand contemporary Western society without considering the influence of a strain of postmodernist thought that migrated from France to the United States through the English department at Yale University. He states that certain academics in the humanities:[85]

... started to play a sleight of hand, and instead of pitting the proletariat, the working class, against the bourgeois, they started to pit the oppressed against the oppressor. That opened up the avenue to identifying any number of groups as oppressed and oppressor and to continue the same narrative under a different name.... The people who hold this doctrinethis radical, postmodern, communitarian doctrine that makes racial identity or sexual identity or gender identity or some kind of group identity paramountthey've got control over most low-to-mid level bureaucratic structures, and many governments as well.

Peterson's perspective on the influence of postmodernism on North American humanities departments has been compared to Cultural Marxist conspiracy theories.[51][87][88][89]

Peterson says that "disciplines like women's studies should be defunded" and advises freshman students to avoid subjects like sociology, anthropology, English literature, ethnic studies, and racial studies, as well as other fields of study he believes are corrupted by the neo-Marxist ideology.[90][91][92] He says that these fields, under the pretense of academic inquiry, propagate unscientific methods, fraudulent peer-review processes for academic journals, publications that garner zero citations,[93] cult-like behaviour,[91]safe-spaces,[90] and radical left-wing political activism for students.[82] Peterson has proposed launching a website which uses artificial intelligence to identify and showcase the amount of ideologization in specific courses. He announced in November 2017 that he had temporarily postponed the project as "it might add excessively to current polarization".[94][95]

Peterson has criticized the use of the term "white privilege", stating that "being called out on their white privilege, identified with a particular racial group and then made to suffer the consequences of the existence of that racial group and its hypothetical crimes, and that sort of thing has to come to a stop.... [It's] racist in its extreme".[82] In regard to identity politics, while the "left plays them on behalf of the oppressed, let's say, and the right tends to play them on behalf of nationalism and ethnic pride", he considers them "equally dangerous" and that what should be emphasized instead are individualism and individual responsibility.[96] He has also been prominent in the debate about cultural appropriation, stating the concept promotes self-censorship in society and journalism.[97]

On September 27, 2016, Peterson released the first installment of a three-part lecture video series, entitled "Professor against political correctness: Part I: Fear and the Law".[29][14] In the video, he stated he would not use the preferred gender pronouns of students and faculty, saying it fell under compelled speech, and announced his objection to the Canadian government's Bill C-16, which proposed to add "gender identity or expression" as a prohibited ground of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act, and to similarly expand the definitions of promoting genocide and publicly inciting hatred in the hate speech laws in Canada.[14][98]

He stated that his objection to the bill was based on potential free-speech implications if the Criminal Code is amended, as he claimed he could then be prosecuted under provincial human-rights laws if he refuses to call a transgender student or faculty member by the individual's preferred pronoun.[15] Furthermore, he argued that the new amendments, paired with section 46.3 of the Ontario Human Rights Code, would make it possible for employers and organizations to be subject to punishment under the code if any employee or associate says anything that can be construed "directly or indirectly" as offensive, "whether intentionally or unintentionally".[16] Other academics and lawyers challenged Peterson's interpretation of C-16.[15]

The series of videos drew criticism from transgender activists, faculty, and labour unions; critics accused Peterson of "helping to foster a climate for hate to thrive" and of "fundamentally mischaracterising" the law.[99][29] Protests erupted on campus, some including violence, and the controversy attracted international media attention.[100][101][102] When asked in September 2016 if he would comply with the request of a student to use a preferred pronoun, Peterson said "it would depend on how they asked me[...] If I could detect that there was a chip on their shoulder, or that they were [asking me] with political motives, then I would probably say no[...] If I could have a conversation like the one we're having now, I could probably meet them on an equal level".[102] Two months later, the National Post published an op-ed by Peterson in which he elaborated on his opposition to the bill and explained why he publicly made a stand against it:

I will never use words I hate, like the trendy and artificially constructed words "zhe" and "zher." These words are at the vanguard of a post-modern, radical leftist ideology that I detest, and which is, in my professional opinion, frighteningly similar to the Marxist doctrines that killed at least 100 million people in the 20th century.

I have been studying authoritarianism on the right and the left for 35 years. I wrote a book, Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief, on the topic, which explores how ideologies hijack language and belief. As a result of my studies, I have come to believe that Marxism is a murderous ideology. I believe its practitioners in modern universities should be ashamed of themselves for continuing to promote such vicious, untenable and anti-human ideas, and for indoctrinating their students with these beliefs. I am therefore not going to mouth Marxist words. That would make me a puppet of the radical left, and that is not going to happen. Period.[103]

In response to the controversy, academic administrators at the University of Toronto sent Peterson two letters of warning, one noting that free speech had to be made in accordance with human rights legislation and the other adding that his refusal to use the preferred personal pronouns of students and faculty upon request could constitute discrimination. Peterson speculated that these warning letters were leading up to formal disciplinary action against him, but in December the university assured him that he would retain his professorship, and in January 2017 he returned to teach his psychology class at the University of Toronto.[104][29]

In February 2017, Maxime Bernier, candidate for leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, stated that he shifted his position on Bill C-16, from support to opposition, after meeting with Peterson and discussing it.[105] Peterson's analysis of the bill was also frequently cited by senators who were opposed to its passage.[106] In April 2017, Peterson was denied a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grant for the first time in his career, which he interpreted as retaliation for his statements regarding Bill C-16.[36] A media-relations adviser for SSHRC said, "Committees assess only the information contained in the application."[107] In response, Rebel News launched an Indiegogo campaign on Peterson's behalf.[108] The campaign raised C$195,000 by its end on May 6, equivalent to over two years of research funding.[109] In May 2017, Peterson spoke against Bill C-16 at a Canadian Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs hearing. He was one of 24 witnesses who were invited to speak about the bill.[106]

In November 2017, Lindsay Shepherd, the teaching assistant in a Wilfrid Laurier University first-year communications course, was censured by her professors for showing a segment of The Agenda, which featured Peterson debating Bill C-16 with another professor, during a classroom discussion about pronouns.[110][111][112] The reasons given for the censure included the clip creating a "toxic climate", being compared to a "speech by Hitler",[30] and being itself in violation of Bill C-16.[113] The censure was later withdrawn and both the professors and the university formally apologized.[114][115][116] The events were criticized by Peterson, as well as several newspaper editorial boards[117][118][119] and national newspaper columnists[120][121][122][123] as an example of the suppression of free speech on university campuses. In June 2018, Peterson filed a $1.5-million lawsuit against Wilfrid Laurier University, arguing that three staff members of the university had maliciously defamed him by making negative comments about him behind closed doors.[124] As of September2018,[update] Wilfrid Laurier had asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit, saying that it was ironic for a purported advocate of free speech to attempt to curtail free speech.[125]

Peterson has argued that there is an ongoing "crisis of masculinity" and "backlash against masculinity" in which the "masculine spirit is under assault".[24][126][127][128] He has argued that feminism and policies such as no-fault divorce have had adverse effects on gender relations and have destabilized society.[126] He has argued that the left characterises the existing societal hierarchy as an "oppressive patriarchy" but "dont want to admit that the current hierarchy might be predicated on competence."[24] Peterson has said that men without partners are likely to become violent, and has noted that male violence is reduced in societies wherein monogamy is a social norm.[24][126] He has attributed the rise of Donald Trump and far-right European politicians to what he says is a negative reaction to a push to "feminize" men, saying "If men are pushed too hard to feminize they will become more and more interested in harsh, fascist political ideology."[129] He attracted considerable attention over a 2018 Channel 4 interview where he clashed with interviewer Cathy Newman on the topic of the gender pay gap.[130][131] Peterson disputed the contention that the disparity was solely due to sexual discrimination.[131][132][133]

Peterson doubts the scientific consensus on climate change,[134][135] saying he is "very skeptical of the models that are used to predict climate change,"[136] and that "[y]ou can't trust the data because too much ideology is involved".[135][137]

Peterson married Tammy Roberts in 1989.[29] The couple have one daughter and one son.[25][29]

In a 2017 interview, Peterson was asked if he was a Christian; he responded, "I suppose the most straight-forward answer to that is yes".[138] When asked if he believes in God, Peterson responded: "I think the proper response to that is No, but I'm afraid He might exist".[10] Writing for The Spectator, Tim Lott said Peterson draws inspiration from Jung's philosophy of religion and holds views similar to the Christian existentialism of Sren Kierkegaard and Paul Tillich. Lott also said that Peterson has respect for Taoism, as it views nature as a struggle between order and chaos and posits that life would be meaningless without this duality.[32]

Starting around 2000, Peterson began collecting Soviet-era paintings.[30] The paintings are displayed in his house as a reminder of the relationship between totalitarian propaganda and art, and as examples of how idealistic visions can become totalitarian oppression and horror.[4][38] In 2016, Peterson became an honorary member of the extended family of Charles Joseph, a Kwakwaka'wakw artist, and was given the name Alestalagie ('Great Seeker').[30][139]

In late 2016, Peterson went on a strict diet consisting only of meat and some vegetables to control severe depression and an autoimmune disorder, including psoriasis and uveitis.[26][140] In mid-2018 he stopped eating vegetables, and continued eating only beef (see carnivore diet).[141] In 2019, Peterson entered a rehabilitation facility after experiencing symptoms of physical withdrawal when he stopped taking clonazepam, an anti-anxiety drug. He had begun taking the drug upon his doctor's recommendation following his wife's cancer diagnosis.[142][143][144] In early 2020, his daughter revealed that he had spent the previous year struggling with addiction to benzodiazepine tranquilizers and had gone to Russia for an experimental treatment that included a medically induced coma. He was neurologically damaged and unable to type or walk unaided.[145]

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Jordan Peterson - Wikipedia

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Jordan Peterson enters rehab after wife’s cancer diagnosis

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Jordan Peterson, the Canadian psychologist and anti-political-correctness crusader, has checked himself in to rehab in New York, his daughter has revealed.

The 12 Rules for Life author has sought help trying to get off the anti-anxiety drug clonazepam, his daughter Mikhaila Peterson said in a video posted to her YouTube account Thursday.

Ive never seen my dad like this, the 27-year-old diet blogger said in the eight-and-a-half-minute video. Hes having a miserable time of it. It breaks my heart.

The elder Peterson, 57, began taking the addictive medication to deal with stress from his wifes battle with cancer and other health problems earlier this year, his daughter said.

He tried to quit cold-turkey over the summer after his wife, Tammy Roberts, miraculously recovered from complications with a kidney surgery, Mikhaila said.

But he went through horrific physical withdrawal that has left him looking like a lost puppy, she said.

He decided to check himself into a place because he didnt want to stress mom out, wanted to get off of this as quickly as possible, and honestly needs the medical help, said Mikhaila, who has used her YouTube channel to promote her all-meat Lion Diet.

Peterson is getting weaned off clonazepam at the unidentified rehab facility with other drugs that will help abate the withdrawal, Mikhaila said.

She added that she had a similar withdrawal struggle when she tried to get off Oxycontin as a teenager. At one point it made her feel like ants were crawling upside down under my skin, she recalled.

Peterson has gained international fame for his strident critiques of academic safe spaces and feminism, as well as his refusal to use transgender peoples preferred pronouns.

The controversial University of Toronto professor has been open about his previous struggles with depression, which he has battled since his teen years.

Hes said he beat it back with the meat-heavy diet his daughter encouraged him to adopt. Cutting out greens altogether improved both his mental and physical health, he said in an interview last year.

Im better now probably than Ive ever been in my life, and I havent been taking anti-depressants for a whole year, Peterson said in a July 2018 episode of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast.

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Jordan Peterson enters rehab after wife's cancer diagnosis

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Jordan B. Peterson

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Jordan Peterson is a Canadian clinical psychologist, cultural critic, and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. His main areas of study are the psychology of religious and ideological belief, and the assessment and improvement of personality and performance.

From 1993 to 1997, Peterson lived in Arlington, Massachusetts, while teaching and conducting research at Harvard University as an assistant and an associate professor in the psychology department. During his time at Harvard, he studied aggression arising from drug and alcohol abuse, and supervised a number of unconventional thesis proposals. Afterwards, he returned to Canada and took up a post as a professor at the University of Toronto.

In 1999, Routledge published Peterson's Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief. The book, which took Peterson 13 years to complete, describes a comprehensive theory for how we construct meaning, represented by the mythical process of the exploratory hero, and provides an interpretation of religious and mythical models of reality presented in a way that is compatible with modern scientific understanding of how the brain works. It synthesizes ideas drawn from narratives in mythology, religion, literature and philosophy, as well as research from neuropsychology, in "the classic, old-fashioned tradition of social science."

Peterson's primary goal was to examine why individuals, not simply groups, engage in social conflict, and to model the path individuals take that results in atrocities like the Gulag, the Auschwitz concentration camp and the Rwandan genocide. Peterson considers himself a pragmatist, and uses science and neuropsychology to examine and learn from the belief systems of the past and vice versa, but his theory is primarily phenomenological. In the book, he explores the origins of evil, and also posits that an analysis of the world's religious ideas might allow us to describe our essential morality and eventually develop a universal system of morality.

Harvey Shepard, writing in the Religion column of the Montreal Gazette, stated: "To me, the book reflects its author's profound moral sense and vast erudition in areas ranging from clinical psychology to scripture and a good deal of personal soul searching. ... Peterson's vision is both fully informed by current scientific and pragmatic methods, and in important ways deeply conservative and traditional."

In 2004, a 13-part TV series based on his book Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief aired on TVOntario. He has also appeared on that network on shows such as Big Ideas, and as a frequent guest and essayist on The Agenda with Steve Paikin since 2008.

In 2013, Peterson began recording his lectures ("Personality and Its Transformations", "Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief") and uploading them to YouTube. His YouTube channel has gathered more than 600,000 subscribers and his videos have received more than 35 million views as of January 2018. He has also appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience, The Gavin McInnes Show, Steven Crowder's Louder with Crowder, Dave Rubin's The Rubin Report, Stefan Molyneux's Freedomain Radio, h3h3Productions's H3 Podcast, Sam Harris's Waking Up podcast, Gad Saad's The Saad Truth series and other online shows. In December 2016, Peterson started his own podcast, The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast, which has 37 episodes as of January 10, 2018, including academic guests such as Camille Paglia, Martin Daly, and James W. Pennebaker, while on his channel he has also interviewed Stephen Hicks, Richard J. Haier, and Jonathan Haidt among others. In January 2017, he hired a production team to film his psychology lectures at the University of Toronto.

Peterson with his colleagues Robert O. Pihl, Daniel Higgins, and Michaela Schippers produced a writing therapy program with series of online writing exercises, titled the Self Authoring Suite. It includes the Past Authoring Program, a guided autobiography; two Present Authoring Programs, which allow the participant to analyze their personality faults and virtues in terms of the Big Five personality model; and the Future Authoring Program, which guides participants through the process of planning their desired futures. The latter program was used with McGill University undergraduates on academic probation to improve their grades, as well since 2011 at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. The Self Authoring Programs were developed partially from research by James W. Pennebaker at the University of Texas at Austin and Gary Latham at the Rotman School of Management of the University of Toronto. Pennebaker demonstrated that writing about traumatic or uncertain events and situations improved mental and physical health, while Latham demonstrated that personal planning exercises help make people more productive. According to Peterson, more than 10,000 students have used the program as of January 2017, with drop-out rates decreasing by 25% and GPAs rising by 20%.

In May 2017 he started new project, titled "The psychological significance of the Biblical stories", a series of live theatre lectures in which he analyzes archetypal narratives in Genesis as patterns of behaviour vital for both personal, social and cultural stability.

His upcoming book "12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos" will be released on January 23rd, 2018. It was released in the UK on January 16th. Dr. Peterson is currently on tour throughout North America, Europe and Australia.

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Jordan Peterson, has become one of the best-known Canadians of this generation. In the intellectual category, hes easily the largest international phenomenon since Marshall McLuhan. . . . By combining knowledge of the past with a full-hearted optimism and a generous attitude toward his readers and listeners, Peterson generates an impressive level of intellectual firepower. Robert Fulford, National Post

Like the best intellectual polymaths, Peterson invites his readers to embark on their own intellectual, spiritual and ideological journeys into the many topics and disciplines he touches on. Its a counter-intuitive strategy for a population hooked on the instant gratification of ideological conformity and social media likes, but if Peterson is right, you have nothing to lose but your own misery. Toronto Star In a different intellectual league. . . . Peterson can take the most difficult ideas and make them entertaining. This may be why his YouTube videos have had 35 million views.He is fast becoming the closest that academia has to a rock star.The Observer

Grow up and man up is the message from this rock-star psychologist. . . . [A] hardline self-help manual of self-reliance, good behaviour, self-betterment and individualism that probably reflects his childhood in rural Canada in the 1960s. As with all self-help manuals, theres always a kernel of truth. Formerly a Harvard professor, now at the University of Toronto, Peterson retains that whiff of cowboy philosophyone essay is a homily on doing one thing every day to improve yourself. Another, on bringing up little children to behave, is excellent. [Peterson] twirls ideas around like a magician. Melanie Reid,The Times

You dont have to agree with [Petersons politics] to like this book for, once you discard the self-help label, it becomes fascinating. Peterson is brilliant on many subjects. . . . So what we have here is a baggy, aggressive, in-your-face, get-real book that, ultimately, is an attempt to lead us back to what Peterson sees as the true, the beautiful and the goodi.e. God. In the highest possible sense of the term, I suppose it is a self-help book. . . . Either way, its a rocky read, but nobody ever said God was easy. Bryan Appleyard, The Times

One of the mosteclectic and stimulatingpublic intellectuals at large today,fearless and impassioned. The Guardian

Someone with not only humanity and humour, but serious depth and substance. . . .Peterson has a truly cosmopolitan and omnivorous intellect, but one that recognizes that things need grounding in a home if they are ever going to be meaningfully grasped. . . . As well as being funny, there is a burning sincerity to the man which only the most withered cynic could suspect. The Spectator

Peterson has become a kind of secular prophet who, in an era of lobotomized conformism, thinks out of the box. . . .His message is overwhelmingly vital.Melanie Philips,The Times

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Is Jordan Peterson the New Ayn Rand? – Merion West

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(Flickr-Gage Skidmore)

I compare Peterson with Ayn Rand becauseas I read this bookher name constantly came to my mind (she is mentioned only once in the book).

The Left has long had intellectual gurus with cult-like followings: from Derrida to Foucault to Sartre to iek. This is a less frequent occurrence on the Right, so there are fewer intellectual gurus to be found there. Perhaps the last such figure was Ayn Rand, and, even thoughshe has been dead for more than three decades, her views remain quite influential for some young people.So, the time is ripe for a new right-wing intellectual guru, and it seems Jordan Peterson is playing that role.

If you are a male college student, you might not mind watching Petersons long lectures on Solzhenitsynor reading his technical articles on the psychology of alcoholism. However, the rest of us would prefer to have a ready-made concise CliffNotes version of his ideas, chiefly to judge whether this Peterson fellow is actually worth all of the fuss that accompanies him. Jim Proser provides such a guide in Savage Messiah: How Dr. Jordan Peterson Is Saving Western Civilization. It is a nice intellectual biography, written in a very engaging style; it is never dumbed-down yet full of anecdotes. It also quotes extensively from Petersons own books, lectures, and interviews.

I compare Peterson with Ayn Rand becauseas I read this bookher name constantly came to my mind (she is mentioned only once in the book). In Atlas Shrugged, the boogeyman is socialism, and the dominant theme of that very long book is individuals rejecting herd-mentality and taking responsibility for their own actions; Atlas is the mythological hero, who embraces this ideal by taking the world on his shoulders. In Prosers portrayal, Peterson is similarly fascinated with Atlas, as this excerpt from one of his lectures demonstrates: This is an old representation, right? Atlas with the world. Well, its a representation that says that thats the proper way to live, right? [It] is to pick up a load thats heavy enough so that if you carry it you have some self-respect.

Points along these lines may sound more like self-help motivational coaching than insightful scholarship. And indeed, throughout Prosers book, one may sympathize with Peterson, but I still wonder what all the hand-wringing surrounding him is all about. Dont misunderstand me, Peterson is a legitimate scholar, but I can think of many, many contemporary intellectuals that have far more interesting things to say.

Now, maybe Petersons singularity is that he struck a chord in the right place at the right time. Political correctness and identity politics have gone too far, and free speech does appear to be under siege at many North American universities. As Proser tells the story, Peterson courageously has taken a stand against of all this. Kudos to him for that. However, I worry that there is something darker lurking underneath Petersons crusade.

Apart from Ayn Rand, the other author that constantly came to mind as I read the book was Nietzsche. Proser paints Peterson as some sort of bermensch, a figure who in his youth lifted weights, a roughneck, a frontier cowboy from the lonely Alberta oilfields he grew up fighting for his place in a wolf pack of tough guys. And, now, Peterson has become this savage intellectual, who exists beyond the mediocrity of the restand thrives by killing the dragons of chaos, fighting hard to reestablish order.

Now, of course, Nietzsche was not guilty of the way his philosophy was abused by the Nazis. But, I do give credence to the thesis that his ideas did sow the seeds of totalitarianism.If you worry so much about being a Superman, then ultimately it is not so hard to conclude that weaklings must simply disappear from the face of the Earth.Likewise, I worry thatunderneath all the talk about responsibility, order, and anti-political correctnessthere may be something more sinister going on with Peterson.

Proser presents Peterson as a champion of the Enlightenment, who prioritizes science over ideology, and calls a spade a spade by reminding liberals that gender differences are real. That may very well be, but I doubt Peterson is really committed to the Enlightenment and its true liberal spirit. Actually, I think Matt McManus hits it on the head when he claims that Peterson is much closer aligned with postmodernism and the counter-Enlightenment than he would be willing to admit. The Enlightenment turned its back on faith and Christianity as a whole; Peterson says he does not believe in God, but he, very confusingly, seems to think religion will always be necessaryand that atheism inevitably leads to many depravities. The Enlightenment was cosmopolitan and had little patience for nationalism; by contrast, the counter-Enlightenment provided the intellectual rationale for modern nationalism, and Peterson is similarlyunhappyabout what he calls globalism. The Enlightenment had little patience for pseudoscientific mumbo jumbo; by contrast, Peterson seems to think that people who painted snakes in antiquity already knew about DNA

But, perhaps the more worrying aspect of Peterson is his obsession with what he calls neo-Marxism and its alleged pernicious infiltration of our civilization. This is the dominant theme of Prosers book. Yes, there are some fools in North American universities, and Peterson does a public service by confronting them. But, to believe that these clueless college students are actually a threat to Western civilization (and that Peterson is a kind of Medieval knight who must slew the terrifying monsters) is hyperbole. If History is any guide, totalitarianism begins with hyperbole about the dangers of particular people, whether it is Jews, the bourgeoisie, or the Kafir. Of course, Communism killed millions of people, but to obsess over it may actually pave the way for new forms of totalitarianism. Those youngsters who are fascinated with Peterson should know that Stalinism and McCarthyism are cut from the same clothand, unfortunately, Petersons obsession with neo-Marxism (whatever that means) is dangerously close to the kind of intellectual cleansing that infamous Senator from Wisconsin senator aspired towards.

Precisely because Peterson has this illiberal bone, nasty people can become very fond of him. The Alt-right is a case in point. Of course, one ought never be charged with a crime on the basis of association (again, one cannot entirely blame Auschwitz on Nietzsche). But in the case of Peterson, it should at least give pause that his ideas are being used to push for someeyebrow-raising agendas. While he still has a chance to escape such guilt by associations, Peterson must try harder to disavow some of the tendentious readings that people make of his words.

Proser has written a nice book, but he also makes for an example of someone who wants to use Peterson for his own agenda of ultraconservatism and American triumphalism. Take, for instance, his views on American imperialism. In the book, there is constant mention of the Soviet Evil Empire but no mention whatsoever of any American Empire. Proser scolds Noam Chomsky for saying that, the United States also wiped out communist uprisings in Latin America with the methods of Heinrich Himmlers extermination squads. Well, like it or not, Chomsky is right this time. The United States illegal involvement in Nicaragua(and other countries south of Rio Grande) was intended to wipe out communist uprisings. Proserin dismissing offhandedly this comparisonignores that the School of the Americas run by the CIA taught Latin American dictatorships how to torture in order to suppress communist movements.

Proser is so far to the right, that he thinks that Obama was, the de facto leader of the left since his election in 2008. Proser even claims that, Jordan [Peterson] recognized the election of Barack Obama and explosion of Occupy Wall Street as clear demonstrations that a radical Marxist storm had surged and was aiming to collapse Western traditions as it had before. I do not know if Peterson actually thought this; however, if he did, then there is something wrong with him. To think that Barack Obama, who bailed out banks and Wall Street belongs in the same category with Occupy Wall Street is nothing more than unhealthy conspiratorial thinking.

One can easily guess Prosers political views by looking at which thinkers he invokes and approves of. When speaking of the Intellectual Dark Web, he mentions respectable names such as Sam Harris, Joe Rogan, and Ben Shapiro. But then, he includes Glenn Beck. Seriously? The same guy who rants about George Soros and toys with conspiracy theories over and over again? Someone who not only toys withbut rather fully embracesall sorts of conspiracy theories is Alex Jones. And Proser does seem to have a soft spot for him, too: Alex Jones would fall to de-platforming as social media monopolies Facebook, Google, and Twitter revealed themselves to be in the progressive camp by using the new standard hate speech is not free speech to throttle conservative, or as Jordan [Peterson] described himself, traditionalist voices.

It is nice to have someone to give young adults advice about discipline, order, and responsibility. It is also nice to have a professor on television telling woke crusaders that the State has no right to force people to use specific pronounsand that not everything is about race. But, if by talking so much about the Gulag, you forget about Guantanamo, we have a problem. No, I do not claim moral equivalency; the Gulag was certainly worse. But, I cannot emphasize enough that obsession with Stalinism can lead to McCarthyismor the Patriot Actand Peterson needs to think harder about how to prevent this.

He still has time to avoid going down the path of Ayn Rand. In her case, one can understand how closely witnessing the horrors of the Russian Revolution led to her extremist views. By contrast, Peterson has had the privilege of living in democratic nations his entire life. Sure, he has reason to strongly object to Communism, but his own unchecked views may be promoting a world that few sensible people would want. I worry thatin the endthis famous quotation by John Rogers may also apply to Petersons work: There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year olds life:The Lord of the RingsandAtlas Shrugged.One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

Dr. Gabriel Andrade is a university professor. He has previously contributed to Areo Magazine and DePauw Universitys The Prindle Post. His twitter is@gandrade80

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Why was Jordan Peterson placed in a medically induced coma? What we know about benzodiazepines and treatment – National Post

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In the wake of news that Jordan Peterson spent eight days in an induced coma in Russia to overcome a physical dependency on a benzodiazepine drug, questions have been raised about the nature of this commonly prescribed drug, its symptoms and the best way to treat withdrawal. In a video and transcript provided to the National Post, the psychologists daughter, Mikhaila, said that her father was initially prescribed a low dose of a benzodiazepine a few years ago for anxiety, but he only developed a physical dependence on the drug after his dose was increased last April following his wifes terminal cancer diagnosis. She said Jordan was misdiagnosed at several hospitals in North America and nearly died several times before his family made the decision to fly him to Russia for emergency treatment. Mikhailas account has raised questions about the difference between physical dependence and psychological addiction, side effects associated with benzodiazepines, and potential treatments. Heres everything you need to know about the drugs.

What are benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines are prescribed for anxiety or as sleeping aids. They include diazepam, lorazepam, alprazolam and clonazepam. They are commonly referred to as benzos or tranquillizers, and well-known brand names include Valium, Ativan and Xanax.

Are they dangerous?

While benzodiazepines can effectively treat anxiety and insomnia, it is not recommended that they are taken long-term as a physical dependency can develop in just two weeks. Once they become physically dependent upon them, anytime that you try and stop them, youre going to have a rebound of the prior symptoms, said David Crockford, a psychiatry professor at the University of Calgary. When you try and taper them or stop them, people will notice a worsening of their prior anxiety that will come on. While the recommendation is that theyre used only in the short term, a lot of people end up on them for longer because of their effectiveness.

Is there a difference between drug addiction and physical dependency?

While colloquially the terms are often used interchangeably, there is a difference, though its not a clear line. The National Institute on Drug Abuse defines addiction as compulsive drug use despite harmful consequences. This includes failure to meet work and social obligations and risky behaviour to seek out more drugs. Physical dependence is when your body adapts to a drug, develops tolerance and experiences physical and mental withdrawal symptoms when trying to come of the drug. Physical dependence can develop even when someone is taking a drug exactly as prescribed, which is the situation Mikhaila described.

What is a paradoxical reaction?

Mikhaila said her father experienced a rare but not unheard of paradoxical reaction, meaning the benzos did the opposite of what theyre supposed to do. A 2004 review published in the journal Pharmacotherapy found that paradoxical reactions to benzodiazepines prescribed for sleep problems occur in less than one per cent of patients. Mikhaila did not specify what kind of paradoxical reaction her father experienced, but if she was referring to increased anxiety, the effect may actually have been caused by growing tolerance to the drugs, Crockford said. As you develop physical tolerance, you require either a higher dose to get the same effect of what you saw before, or essentially people just start getting a breakthrough of all their anxiety symptoms, he said. Thats essentially what tolerance means.

What is akathisia?

Mikhaila said her fathers worst symptom was akathisia an incredible, irresistible restlessness, and an inability to sit still. Crockford said this movement disorder is commonly a side effect of antipsychotic drugs and he didnt know of any benzodiazepine cases. Its also hard to differentiate from anxiety, so its possible Jordans symptoms were a result of growing tolerance to the drug.

What are common symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal?

Symptoms include disturbed sleep, agitation, hallucinations, psychotic behaviour, altered mental status and seizures. (Mikhaila said her father is taking anti-seizure medication.)

What are common treatments for a physical dependency?

Generally, the recommended approach is a gradual detoxification from the benzodiazepines, done on an outpatient basis, Crockford said. The Ashton Manual, a well-known tapering technique, recommends reducing the dose by five to 10 per cent every two to four weeks, which means it could take as long as a year to come off the drug. Every time theres a taper, there will be more experience of anxiety and withdrawal symptoms from it, Crockford said.

What about a medically induced coma?

Mikhaila said her father was flown to Russia and placed in a medically induced coma because doctors there have the guts to medically detox someone from benzodiazepines. Crockford said a medically induced coma has been tested for rapid detox from opioids, but it had much higher mortality rates so the Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine recommended against it. He is not aware of any cases of it being used for rapid detoxification from benzodiazepines. Likely, it would have the same potential risk, he said. Most people would not recommend a detox through a general anesthetic.

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Why was Jordan Peterson placed in a medically induced coma? What we know about benzodiazepines and treatment - National Post

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Jordan Peterson is unwell.

But for fans and followers of the clinical psychologist and crusader against political correctness, the good news is he is getting better.

This week, his daughter Mikhaila posted a bulletin on her website, announcing that after years of suffering absolute hell from his physical addiction to the anti-anxiety benzodiazepine, Clonazepam, Peterson had been admitted to a clinic in Russia for an emergency detox treatment, which had involved him being placed in an induced coma for eight days.

Peterson, she said, was now on the mend and smiling again for the first time in months. She did not say where in Russia he was, and added that there would be no further bulletins on his condition until Peterson was able to speak for himself.

The revelation is the latest twist in the extraordinary rise of Peterson from obscure Canadian academic to what the *New York Times* described as the most influential public intellectual in the Western world.

Peterson first rose to international prominence in 2018 with the publication of his book 12 Rules For Life, and an appearance on Channel 4 News in which he eviscerated his interviewer Cathy Newman in a discussion about gender and the rise of identity politics and has now accrued more than 19m views on YouTube.

He quickly became the most visible, outspoken, and certainly the most divisive figure in the culture wars between Left and Right, challenging the orthodoxies of political correctness and the culture of victimhood he maintains is sweeping across university campuses in America, Canada and Britain. In March 2019, an offer of a Visiting Fellowship by Cambridge University was rescinded following a backlash from students and some members of faculty.

As his book soared to the top of the best-seller lists around the world, Peterson gave up his clinical practice and embarked on a frenetic round of lecture tours, media appearances and speaking engagements. But last year these engagements tailed off in November he was obliged to cancel a talk he was due to give at Londons Hammersmith Apollo as speculation about his health mounted.

Petersons health, and in particular his struggle with the chronic depression he has suffered since the age of 13, has long been a theme in his talks. When I met him at his home in Toronto in 2018 he described the feeling as like freezing to death on an endless stark plain knowing that the reason that you got there is because you did everything wrong. As part of his attempt to control it, he had adopted a diet consisting solely of meat and greens he was barbequing steak for breakfast when I arrived. Its hell on your social life, I can tell you, he told me with a laugh.

He adopted the diet following the example of Mikhaila, 28, who has become a prominent figure on social media herself, not only in her capacity as her fathers assistant and right hand (Peterson also has a son Julian, 27) but because of her own story about her struggles with debilitating illness.

She has her own website, which lists the long catalogue of ailments that have blighted her life. At the age of seven she was diagnosed with severe juvenile rheumatoid arthritis; at eight she was injecting herself with immunosuppressants twice a week; by the age of 12 she was diagnosed with severe depression and bi-polar type 2; at 14 she was diagnosed with idiopathic hypsomnia; at 17 she had her hip and ankle joints replaced; by the time she was 22 she was sleeping 18 hours a day, chronically depressed and experiencing rashes and blistering.

After years of experimenting with eliminating certain foods, she now promotes the wonders of what she calls the Lion Diet, which consists solely of ruminant meat (beef and lamb), salt and water, and which she claims had put her multiple disorders into remission, leaving her completely asymptomatic, medication free and thriving.

It took me years to believe this myself, as it went against all accepted medical teachings, she says on her website a fact confirmed by numerous health professionals, among them Jack Gilbert, the faculty director at the University of Chicagos Microbiome Center, who in an interview with The Atlanticmagazine described the Lion Diet as a terribly, terribly bad idea, adding, if she does not die of colon cancer or some other severe cardiometabolic disease, the life I cant imagine.

Peterson, however, told the American radio host, Joe Rogan that Mikhaila was glowing. So much so that he embarked on the diet himself to apparently extraordinary effect. His lifelong depression, anxiety, gastric reflux (and associated snoring), inability to wake up in the mornings, psoriasis, gingivitis, floaters in his right eye, numbness on the sides of his legs, problems with mood regulation all of it, he told Rogan, had gone.

But in April last year, the familys history of ill-health took another tragic turn when Petersons wife, Tammy was diagnosed with what was believed to be terminal cancer. The couple had been childhood sweethearts, growing up on the same street in the small prairie town of Fairview in Northern Alberta, and have been married for 31 years.

Devastated by the diagnosis, Peterson was prescribed antidepressants and Clonazepam. But in September, in a family bulletin on her Youtube channel, Mikhaila announced that following surgery for the removal of a kidney, and with Tammy making a miraculous recovery, Peterson had tried unsuccessfully to wean himself off Clonazepam, and been admitted to a rehabilitation centre in New York. The family, she went on, felt it important to make the announcement before some tabloid finds out and publishes Jordan Peterson Self Help Guru Is On Meth or something.

The treatment was evidently unsuccessful. In her posting this week, Mikhaila told how several failed attempts in American hospitals, including tapering and microtapering treatments, had left Peterson suicidal, with a condition called akathisia, where the patient constantly feels on the border of panic and is unable to sit still. The family had been forced in extreme desperation to seek treatment in Russia, where doctors have the guts to medically detox someone from benzodiazepines.

It seems somehow fitting that Peterson should have sought treatment in Russia a country that, one way and another, has exercised a powerful sway over his life and his philosophy. Dostoevskys Crime and Punishmentand The Demonsfigure in a list of books he published as influential in his intellectual development.

The rise of the Soviet Union was equally formative. When I met him, we talked, with Peterson in the full lotus position on an armchair, in a sitting room hung with monumental Soviet propaganda paintings a young man clasping the works of Lenin like a prayer book, and Soviet soldiers in the midst of a battle. Upstairs in his office, a painting of young revolutionaries about to be shot by a White Russian hung on a wall alongside a portrait of Yuri Gagarin. A battered cap, worn by a prisoner in a Soviet gulag was framed above his desk, beside a beaten copper crucifix from a Russian Orthodox church.

Peterson began collecting Soviet-era art in the Nineties, buying paintings on eBay, mostly from junk dealers in Ukraine. He told me they served to remind him of the iniquities of totalitarianism, and the evil of art being subordinated to propaganda. He particularly relished the irony of having bought them for a song on eBay, The most capitalist platform thats ever been invented!

Its kind of weird having Lenin around the house, Mikhaila told me. When Dad first started buying them, Mom would say, Not another one!. He now has more than 300.

It was Petersons fierce opposition to what he described as post-modernist Neo-Marxists and the creeping orthodoxies of political correctness that first made him a figure of public controversy in 2017, when he protested against a ruling by the Ontario Human Rights Commission that refusing to refer to a trans person by their chosen name and a personal pronoun that matches their gender identity in a workplace or a school, would probably be considered discrimination.

Peterson argued that his objections were on the grounds on free speech, and nothing to do with discrimination, and that at no time in British Common Law history has the legal code mandated what we must say, as opposed to simply what we must not say. He added that he would use the gender-neutral pronoun of a particular person, if they asked him.

Accusations of being transphobic and promulgating hate speech have followed him ever since. Indeed, it is hard to think of a more polarising figure in the culture wars as the cruel, gleeful postings by some on social media at the news of his illness have once again demonstrated.

In her bulletin this week, Mikhaila said that her fathers sense of humour is back... But he still has a long way to go to recover fully. It appears that were going to get through this by the skin of our teeth.

As a clinician you learn that its a rare person who isnt tragic right under the surface, Peterson told me when we met. But that doesnt mean you get to be a victim. You pick up your goddamn suffering and put one foot in front of the other. Its the way up, and also its the antidote to the way down.


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Letters to the Editor, Feb. 15 – Toronto Sun

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Way back when I was a Toronto Police officer, I was off-duty trying to buy two tickets to a Canada Cup hockey game that was being played at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton. All the scalpers took one look at me and my brush cut and refused to deal with me fearing that I was working undercover. I spotted Christie Blatchford in the crowd and explained my dilemma. I had never met her before. She laughed and said stay right here and leave it with me. Five minutes later she returned with two tickets. When I asked her how much I owed her, she waved her hand and said, Enjoy the game. Class, pure class.

Tom Newell

Niagara Falls

(There are so many great stories about Blatch. She was a once in a generation person)


I hope Jordan Peterson is recovering and will soon be back to enlighten our minds with his vast knowledge. I dont read comments because it makes me mad to hear ignorant peoples opinions. Peterson is a human being, his knowledge doesnt make him a piece of stone. He experienced traumatic events and will come out of it. I send him my love, my admiration and am waiting for him to get to the top. Get well, get strong. Maybe it would be good to experience ibogaine. I wish you the best.

Simone Da Fonseca

Spokane, Wash.

(It was really appalling how the left reacted to him)


Re Feds climate change plan could pose significant new risk to economy, says Superintendent (Sun Media, Feb. 12): Your article and the headline about remarks on climate risk made last week by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) may have left the wrong impression with readers. The headline suggests that the Superintendent was commenting specifically on Canadas climate change plan. In this instance, the reference to governments was used in a generic context. The following is what he said about transition risks associated with climate change: Transition risk arises from efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions rather than from the changing climate itself. These risks will result principally from the policies that governments have (or will) put in place to reduce emissions. It is also possible that transition risks will arise from changes in investor or consumer sentiment. In the speech, the Superintendent noted that OSFIs role is to prepare for severe yet plausible economic scenarios. The impact of climate change on the economy remains uncertain, but OSFI is planning for the severe yet plausible. As the Superintendent stated, As the prudential financial regulator, its long been our business to make sure that financial institutions are always prepared to continue functioning through a range of severe yet plausible economic scenarios. So we have already done considerable analysis about how a major economic disruption could impact the financial system.

Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions

(That is helpful to know because we all want that information)

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The holdovers: assistants Randy Jordan and Nate Kaczor were retained by Ron Rivera for a reason – The Athletic

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Anyone attending a Washington practice knows exactly where special teams coach Nate Kaczor is. Its impossible to miss the energy he exudes, and so much harder not to hear him during special teams periods. And he has found a way to blend intensity, scheme, simplicity and not taking himself too seriously, all while being respected by his players and peers alike.

He shares those traits with Washingtons running backs coach Randy Jordan, about whom one could say many of the same things. In 2018, when Washington played the New York Giants in the Meadowlands, Adrian Peterson broke off a late-game, 64-yard for a touchdown to give the team a 20-6 lead with 3:06 remaining. As the future Hall of Famer sprinted down the sideline, just escaping the grasp of a would-be tackler at the very end, cameras caught Jordan, the teams longest-tenured coach, running down the sidelineas well, celebrating the score with his player.

Players say what sticks out the most is...

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The holdovers: assistants Randy Jordan and Nate Kaczor were retained by Ron Rivera for a reason - The Athletic

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February 15th, 2020 at 2:56 am

Posted in Jordan Peterson

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