In sociology and psychology, mass hysteria (also known as collective hysteria, group hysteria, or collective obsessional behavior) is a phenomenon that transmits collective illusions of threats, whether real or imaginary, through a population in society as a result of rumors and fear (memory acknowledgment).
A common type of mass hysteria occurs when a group of people believe they are suffering from a similar disease or ailment, sometimes referred to as mass psychogenic illness or epidemic hysteria.
Mass psychogenic illness (MPI), also called mass sociogenic illness or just sociogenic illness, is "the rapid spread of illness signs and symptoms affecting members of a cohesive group, originating from a nervous system disturbance involving excitation, loss, or alteration of function, whereby physical complaints that are exhibited unconsciously have no corresponding organic aetiology". MPI is distinct from other collective delusions, also included under the blanket terms of mass hysteria, in that MPI causes symptoms of disease, though there is no organic cause.
There is a clear preponderance of female victims. The DSM-IV-TR does not have specific diagnosis for this condition but the text describing conversion disorder states that "In 'epidemic hysteria', shared symptoms develop in a circumscribed group of people following 'exposure' to a common precipitant."
It makes a lot of sense when you look at the commonalities and the symptoms.
Qualities of MPI outbreaks often include:
symptoms that have no plausible organic basis (Trump was seen as the 'healthiest person ever' by his doctor, if Michael Flynn has something that is wrong with him on the organic level then it must have started very recently);
symptoms that are transient and benign (It is literally just another day when Trump says something not true);
symptoms with rapid onset and recovery (Well, we have yet to see recovery);
occurrence in a segregated group (Can you get any more segregated than the KKK and alt-right celebrating Trump's victory?);
the presence of extraordinary anxiety (What was said about Hillary? Why do you need a wall? Why do Trump supporters attack Muslim women (out of hate primarily but what other reason)?);
symptoms that are spread via sight, sound or oral communication (You can get all three from tweets);
a spread that moves down the age scale, beginning with older or higher-status people (Older or higher-status people, as in the Trump administration itself?);
a preponderance of female participants
Symptoms of this particular psychogenic illness:
Inability to concentrate/trouble thinking (We've got John Bolton saying Russia hacking is a false flag by Obama, another start from the top as well, we've also got the Flynn clan spouting conspiracy theories, it's very easy to get to these conclusions by not being able to think clearly, by jumping to the first thing you consider a threat)
Anxiety (Over immigrants, over Muslims, etc.)
Confabulation and exaggeration (Saying and believing things that are simply not true like with Trump saying he got an electoral landslide or Trump voters saying they did not complain when Obama won. And this can be demonstrated in picture form as well.)
Disorganized thinking (Why attack Goldman Sachs on the campaign but hire their guys when he wins and then be OK with it?)
The Trump presidency exists, but his campaign has been intertwined with a mass delusion and his administration is already sharing in this mass delusion, it is possible to respond to this it though:
* Realizing that a mass delusion exists within and around the Trump presidency is the first step
* Realize and explain the contribution of anxiety to it all (Need to come outright and tell Trump voters that they can't let their fear and anxiety get the best of them, even the angriest sounding ones, especially the angriest sounding ones)
* Recognize what they are saying as symptoms ("I know the Flynn family believes that there are secret Arabic signs on the border and they believe in Pizzagate..." "I know you think you won the popular vote..."
* Explain to Trump supporters that Americans interact with immigrants, Muslims, liberals, gays, transgenders, etc. on a daily basis and nothing bad happens to them (Although I would not say that they interact with these groups on a daily basis and don't know it, that might just increase their anxiety)
* The Trump administration is the root of this hysteria, and the media will need to avoid covering them or the things they say as much as possible. We can also avoid quoting the Trump administration, don't spread the things they say, we need to keep them as far away from the bully pulpit as possible
* The media itself also has a role though, do the same thing with media that shows immigrants, minorities, Muslims, gays, transgenders as scary, don't let them spread anxiety either
Hopefully, if we all do these things, we might start to see some improvement with what's going on.
And by "shut up", I mean quit. Just quit.
Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Donald Trump's pick to be his national security adviser, claimed in an August radio interview that Arabic signs were present along the United States border with Mexico to guide potential state-sponsored terrorists and "radicalized Muslims" into the United States.
Flynn further said in the interview he had personally seen photos of such signs in Texas.
You see, it's real easy to see if there are Arabic signs on the border; the area is not some restricted zone, photography is allowed there, see where this is going? Somebody would have snapped a photo of a sign in an area where nobody speaks the language!
The only photos I see, without mentioning Flynn, are photos of Flynn and his terrorist son.
What does that tell you? Hint: It's not that the Pizzagate conspirators are secretly scrubbing the web of these photos.
Remember when National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said that she didn't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud in the prelude to the Iraq War? If we had all the information about Iraq's capabilities and the administration's intel at the time, she would have been completely discredited.
Well, Flynn comes pre-discredited with this and he clearly has conflicts about protecting this country when his own son is radicalized; not to mention his connections to the Putin regime, his attempts to link Iran to the Benghazi attacks, his bizarre Twitter feed, and his xenophobia and paranoia all discredit him and disqualify him.
He is not legitimate.
And it needs to go the same for any media figure, organization, or lawmaker that gives this man airtime or a platform. No, he doesn't deserve an official platform to say we should ear-tag all the Muslims or that we should invade the Pacific ocean because he has seen photos showing that the sea-people have a WMD program.
Any media figure figure or organization that does not say to Flynn, "I don't believe a word you are saying. Get out." as well as any lawmaker who does not say the same to him is also not legitimate. Period.
"We're gonna drain the swamp"
(When it's clear the swamp will not be drained and the cabinet will be filled with politically connected billionaires, some of whom are part of the very establishment Trump railed against) "Well, they know how to make money"
"Hashtag he's your president"
These things all have a name, they are thought terminating cliches, they are generic statements that sound true and are meant to discourage critical thinking, cognitive dissonance, and other 'bad thoughts'. These are just some examples of these soundbites we've seen with the whole Trump campaign and is what we will see under a Trump administration from the future president down to people who support him on the street.
We may not convince a lot of the people who spout these cliches, but we might get the support of bystanders and others, so we all need to...
Call them out as thought terminating cliches
Don't let the media use them
Demand more information, these cliches rely on being vague and generic. Who, what, where, when, why, how?
Do not let a thought terminating cliche be the end of the discussion.
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