Fortunately, Alanna blocks me. I think Dan does, too. So, I don't have to worry about offending anybody's sensibilities by making this response permanent #FreedomToListen ... the rest of you are welcome to block me for posting another person's response to Alanna. That's your prerogative, but it'd be sad.
Before you wonder, I've also not been diagnosed with any mental illness. However, since I have not sought treatment, it's fair to say I haven't not not been diagnosed, either.
Thanks for sharing @joshuavial
This is an important letter on my behalf, and I hope I can count on you to take the necessary time to read and absorb it. My request is to post this to Scuttlebutt as a response to something that was posted by Allanna.
My problem with it is that it is highly defamatory and almost every statement in it is factually wrong. Since his erroneous information is presented to start a deplatforming campaign, I think you should know about it.
See my detailed answer below.
The first thing seriously objectionable is to cast disagreements in the context of unproven mental health issues from the other person. I don’t know if you are old enough, but this psychiatrisation of dissent was one of the characteristics of the Soviet regime, where dissidents were routinely diagnosed and confined to mental institutions. This is unbecoming to frame a disagreement. So let me first assure you that though I am getting older (almost 62), I have not been diagnosed with any mental issues.
The second thing is that I never came out in support of Jordan Peterson, not in August, not ever. Here are the facts. Last August, I started worrying about the influence of JP, because it mixes some interesting and attractive features regarding psychology and human development, with conservative political views that could have negative impacts for progressives, i.e. a relative support for Trump and a relative denial of the seriousness of climate change. I thus thought it important for my community to have a critical evaluation of JP and posted two critical videos, one by Russell Brandt and one by 2 CIIS scholars. That did create a backlash, but not exactly like Alanna presents it. What transpired was an enormous level of disinformation was being spread about JP in left circles (this is well documented and I can provide you with various references), which I try to rectify by bringing in the necessary nuances (I do this for every debate, not just for JP), and for this I was reproached, and immediately threatened. The threat, was: you must stop talking about this subject , or else ... A small group of people, about 40, left the P2P Group, out of 6,500 members, but we received actually a lot of support for maintaining open and pluralist curation and discourse.
I was in shock, and even left Facebook for 3 weeks. I had never been challenged on open curation and free discourse in my own forum, and could not believe that part of my own community would have become 1) so intellectually lazy so as no longer to verify any sources 2) opposed to debating divergent viewpoints in such an aggressive manner. However, I decided to stand my ground and defend open curation and returned. Every so often, not more than every few weeks so we are talking about 0.05%, I post something on the issue, as a matter of principle. These are usually progressive evaluations on JP, that ask fellow progressives to take him ‘serious’, that is to say to evaluable him seriously about what he really says.
Here is a quote from a person who has had the same experience as I have had, so you can understand what my problem is, not opposition or critique, but the lack of veracity in the critique:
“I only became aware of Peterson about 8 months ago when hate for the man started appearing on my various feeds. I would read the stuff, track the origin down to find out for myself, and then discover that what people were saying about him was completely wrong. They would usually misquote him or simply misrepresent what he said knowing full well that most people who have already bought into their narrative wouldn't go through the process of tracking down what he actually said. I think the important thing to
remember about Peterson is that he has posted hundreds of hours lectures so it's actually not that hard to figure out what his actual message is.
Through this process, I have become shocked at what the left have become.”
This is pretty much exactly what I feel. Discovering the reactions to JP proved to me more shocking than JP himself, who is a classic liberal and conservative.
What Alanna was posted was in the same vein. One actually fabricated quote, one from a really bad piece of hostile journalism, and one quote that seems so out of line with what he says that it is probably also a fake. In other words, Alanna is also reacting not out of knowledge and study but based on a quick google search to find material that confirms her prior prejudice.