Can We Transcend Covid? Some Perspectives on Mass Psychology

EDITORIAL, 10 Jan 2022

#727 | Diane Perlman, Ph.D. – TRANSCEND Media Service

Mass psychology theories that shed new light are becoming popular. I will make an imperfect attempt to apply the TRANSCEND Method of Analysis, Diagnosis, Prognosis and Therapy.

The ultimate analysis must integrate dimensions beyond this article including political, economic, hidden agendas of Big Pharma, Big Tech, Big Media, the Great Reset, transhumanism, surveillance, and control by global forces, known and unknown (“Mr. Global”).

Context: Dominant Narrative Exaggerating Threats, Fear, and Hate

For deep context, consider that the Amish in Pennsylvania, insulated from media and government, achieved herd immunity to Covid by May, 2020 without social distancing, lockdowns, masks or vaccines, and had the most profitable year ever.

Otherwise, the US propaganda campaign framed Covid as a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” inciting hysteria, blame, coercion, and ostracism.

Numerous tricks include defining “vaccinated” as beginning 14 days after the final Covid shot. Breakthrough infections, hospitalizations, injuries and deaths before day 14 are counted as “unvaccinated.”

Furthermore, hospitals get paid $13,000 to diagnose Covid, $39,000 to use ventilators, and staff are pressured to record Covid as the cause of death, including deaths from other causes.

Massive censorship and suppression of life-saving early treatments, estimated to prevent 85% of deaths led to wildly inflated death rates, triggering false beliefs, fear, and submission to lockdowns, passports, mandates and endless boosters.

Captured agencies (CDC, FDA, NIH, NIAD, WHO) and media in global “lockstep” proclaim “vaccine” safety and efficacy, suppressing underreported data on injuries and deaths.

Statistics from Israel, Gibraltar, Iceland, and everywhere reveal “breakthrough” cases (vaccine failures), injuries, hospitalizations and deaths, indicating a “pandemic of the vaccinated.”

We have a pandemic of fear, hysteria, dehumanization, poor health, racism, and domination by known and unknown powers.


Promoting a Cultural Hegemonic Belief System

The dominant narrative seems irrefutably true. Leaving out entire bodies of knowledge, it promotes a superficial belief that masking, distancing, lockdowns and “vaccines” are the only responses.


Italian philosopher, Antonio Gramsci described how the ruling class wields “invisible power” by manipulating ideology, beliefs, values and social norms. Incurious people, ignorant of facts, uncritically accept their worldview as a natural, inevitable, beneficial cultural norm.  


This resonates with R.D. Laing’ mystification, aplausible misrepresentation” of reality. “By representing forms of exploitation as forms of benevolence, the exploiters bemuse the exploited into feeling at one with their exploiters, or into feeling gratitude for what (unrealized by them) is their exploitation, and, not least, into feeling bad or mad even to think of rebellion.” 

Mystification maintains stereotyped roles by masking truth with false constructions of what is actually happening and what a conflict is actually about, though people may not feel confused. In fact, they may feel quite assured of their position. Laing concluded that “before enlightened action can be taken, the issues have to be demystified.” 

The dominant narrative is portrayed as an absolute, undeniable truth accepted by all sane people. Those who challenge it are stupid, crazy and dangerous and must be convinced or punished.

The US spent $10 billion on messaging, hiring behavioral scientists to convince the “vaccine hesitant,” with rewards and punishments.


Mattias Desmet’s Elegant Model of Mass Formation and Mass Hypnosis

Mattias Desmet, psychology professor at Belgium’s Ghent University, with a master’s in statistics, is on a meteoric rise to superstardom. He is deservedly the darling of many questioning the narrative including world renowned doctors – Dr. Robert Malone, inventor of the mRNA technology and Dr. Peter McCullough, the most published doctor in his field, cardiorenal medicine, in the world, in history.

Desmet was puzzled by failed predictions used to justify draconian policies. British scientist, Neil Ferguson overpredicted 2.2 million US and over 500,000 UK deaths. In Sweden, 80,000 deaths were predicted. Only 6000 died with no lockdowns. Policies were not revised with new data.

He was troubled by the singular obsession with Covid victims, ignoring lockdown victims, and UN risk assessments that the lockdown would cause more deaths than Covid.
After 6 months observing irrational policies, Desmet shifted to his work on totalitarianism which emerges when social conditions conducive to exploitation are met, including:

  1. Social Isolation – lack of social bonds, community, loneliness
  2. Experiencing life as meaningless, senseless– meaningless work, disengagement
  3. Free-floating anxiety, not attached to a mental representation like fear of a lion
  4. Free floating frustration and pent-up aggression

I add unrelenting stress, fear, humiliation, envy, grief, betrayal, unpredictability, dread, insecurity, financial devastation, educational setbacks, inferiority, domestic abuse, trauma, helplessness, vulnerability, dashed hopes, and having one’s entire social fabric ripped away.

Intolerable psychic pain threatens to turn into panic, generating an overwhelming urge for relief. A transformation occurs when “under these conditions, a narrative, a story is distributed through the mass media indicating an object of anxiety, and at the same time, providing a strategy to deal with this object of anxiety.”

This intoxicating narrative enables people to feel connected in a “heroic struggle with the object of anxiety,” simultaneously providing meaning, a new kind of solidarity, a channel for pent-up aggression and “a huge willingness to participate in this strategy to deal with this object of anxiety because in this way, people feel they can control their anxiety and social discontent.”

People desire a strong leader to rescue them and tell them what to do. After 9/11, Bush’s popularity skyrocketed.

Mass formation overtakes individuality. 3 groups emerge, approximately

  • * 30% are hypnotized, fully committed to the galvanizing narrative
  • * 40% with doubts go along out of fear, social pressure, and conformity.
  • * 20 – 30% are immune to propaganda. Risking dehumanization, retaliation, and censorship, they calculate when and where to speak out.

When safe, the 40% will shift towards the truth-tellers. The immune group is extremely heterogenous.

I add to mass formation a diagnosis of mass hysteria.

Mechanisms that Exploit Anxieties

Fear and Regression

“Fear of the virus is more dangerous than the virus itself?  Mattias Desmet

The narrative manipulates fear of everyone all the time. Death is a random crapshoot. Young, healthy people feel terrified of dying, infecting and killing others.  People are more dangerous when afraid, regressing to primitive levels of functioning.

Fear-reducing information is suppressed regarding early treatments, prophylaxis, immune boosting, natural immunity, and that healthy children don’t die or transmit to adults.

Terror Management Theory

Social psychology research shows how awareness of one’s death provokes existential anxiety. People mobilize “anxiety buffering systems,” providing illusions of transcending death. “Mortality salience” disrupts this buffer, increasing fear, hostility to outgroups, attachment to one’s ingroup, nationalism, prejudice, support for violence and attraction to charismatic leaders.

Induced Helplessness

In Seligman’s theory of learned helplessness, when repeated actions have no effect people learn that they can’t make a difference. They give up, even in situations where they can make a difference. Helplessness elevates immune-suppressing cortisol levels.

Media undermines personal agency over one’s health and early treatments inducing passive hope in “vaccines.”


The dominant narrative offers no endgame.

Transcending Covid requires awakening from mass hypnosis and withdrawing participation in predatory institutions. Much work is required to overcome dark forces.

Favorable Indicators include:

  • Desmet’s claim that totalitarianism ultimately self-destructs and devours its own
  • Overconfident zealous dominators made fatal errors, are panicking and becoming unhinged
  • People will resist overreaching mandates, lockdown, boosters, passports, violations of autonomy and rights
  • The unhypnotized are connecting, collaborating, speaking up
  • The 40% are waking up
  • Those witnessing “vaccine” failures, injuries and deaths are painfully awakening
  • New evidence of fraud threatens to override “vaccine” manufacturers’ immunity to liability
  • Many lawsuits are in progress and Nuremberg 2.0
  • Mild Omicron may offer a way out

Transcendent Solutions

Johan Galtung’s eternal solution, creating a new reality that bridges incompatible goals, has new meaning. Compatible goals include health, freedom, a new society and justice overcoming corrupt domination.

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”   Buckminster Fuller

Desmet’s Solutions for Critical Thinkers

  1. Keep speaking up to prevent deepening the hypnosis
  2. Meet in small groups, build “parallel structures” (Vaclav Havel)
  3. Create a new, appealing society, not go back to old normal
  4. Exercise creative nonviolence

I add:

  • Demystification techniques, break the spell, call things by their real names
  • Make it safe for threatened healthcare professionals to speak without retaliation, Steve Kirsch’s Free Speech Day
  • Provide Massive Services to Reverse “vaccine injuries”
  • Provide Vitamin D level testing, nutrition, health education, immune boosting, agency
  • Create new democratic institutions – post-partisan political, international, educational, financial, healthcare
  • Attract Psychic Energy – Vibrate at a higher frequency

Create a new story, a healthy, honest, ethical narrative that identifies the true source of anxiety (not the virus or each other) that connects us in a new heroic struggle that

  1. Forges social bonds, community, joy, creativity
  2. Gives life sense and meaningful work
  3. Challenges perpetrators of suffering – holding parties accountable
  4. Channels frustration and aggression towards restorative justice, tribunals, truth commissions and healing .


My deep gratitude to TMS, an Oasis for uncensored analysis and safe space for all points of view.

Diane Perlman, PhD   is a clinical and political psychologist, devoted to applying knowledge from psychology, conflict studies and social sciences to designing strategies and policies to reverse nuclear proliferation, to drastically reduce terrorism, reduce enmity, and to raise consciousness about nonviolent strategies for tension reduction and conflict transformation. She is a visiting scholar at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, is active in Psychologists for Social Responsibility, the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment, and on the Global Council of Abolition 2000. Some of her writings can be found on her websites,  and Email:

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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 10 Jan 2022.

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2 Responses to “Can We Transcend Covid? Some Perspectives on Mass Psychology”

  1. Marilyn Langlois says:

    Thank you, Diane, for this excellent analysis. As a psychologist you point out important techniques used to manipulate public consciousness. These techniques can only be applied widely by entities that control huge assets and resources. Hence, to your sound proposals for solutions (therapy), I would add that we need to restructure economies all over the world to eliminate the limitless accumulation and concentration of personal wealth, while ensuring everyone’s basic needs are met via meaningful and dignified work at a living wage, social support for children, the elderly and the disabled.

    • You raise an important issue, which is essential to transcend Covid, and as I mentioned, beyond the scope of this article and my expertise. I find the work of Catherine Austin Fitts relevant to this and also recommend the film, Planet Lockdown in which she is interviewed. We have much work and collaboration ahead of us.