jordan peterson
© Don Arnold / WireImage
Dr. Jordan Peterson speaks at ICC Sydney Theatre in Sydney, Australia, in a file photo from Feb. 26, 2019.
The College of Psychologists of Ontario should scrutinize itself

Psychology, and those who teach it, seem to be the topic of today. So I start with a question.

What are the marks of the non-functional mind?

They are three.
  • The inability to learn.
  • The incapacity to take wisdom from past examples.
  • To recommit at the cost of vast humiliation and public mockery, actions that infinitely extend the effect those actions were intended, with grim finality, to suppress. (The appropriate analogy here would be to pour oil on a fire in an effort to put it out, or to listen to Whoopi Goldberg for insights into the Holocaust.)
I apologize. That was a redundancy. Whoopi, insight — the terms cancel.

These three in combination, due to their woeful, inevitable consequences, have earned — known to all peoplekind at even the mail-in universities swallowing Psychology 1.0 — the melancholy sobriquet, "The General George A. Custer Syndrome."

Which brings me to the College of Psychologists of Ontario (CPO) and their jihad — pardon, that is politically incorrect — their crusade — pardon again, that might be politically incorrect as well — their whatever-it-is campaign against Dr. Jordan Peterson. You may have heard of him. He's CPO's highest profile member. Likely the sole Ontario clinical psychologist known in most parts of the province and beyond.

It is a lurid moment when the inexplicable beds down with the ludicrous. What a Bethlehem birth of folly awaits such a congress.

The CPO has provided such a moment. And, as when rare comets or terrifying supernova ornament the firmament with their tails and brilliance, all eyes burn with fascination at the extraordinary phenomenon.

And so it is now. Children in their cradles, old men by the fire, are asking: what is the council of the CPO — renowned guardians of civil rights, monitors of just how and what we may tweet and say — what is this most eminent cluster of mind explorers issuing cautions about?

What dread dragon, slayer of innocent woke poseurs and pronoun fetishists are they donning their finest-forged, woke-steel armour against? Jordan Peterson of course. Anti-wokeist sublime.

It is an inconvenient truth that the scaly-backed Peterson, incinerator of BBC interviewers, Lord of YouTube, Harvard/Toronto professor, 20-year clinical practitioner, sublimely high-ranker in cited professional publications, exegete of renown on Biblical texts, was uncomplained-of for almost his entire tenure as a professor and a practitioner. A model professor, a prized lecturer and an accomplished clinician.

It wasn't until six years ago, when he had a disagreement over grammar (the trans pronoun business) and his own University of Toronto issued menacing letters to him, that — suddenly — his professional qualifications, his very presence on the U of T campus, all came into question and were put in jeopardy.

Who knew that she and he, zhe and zher could raise such a storm?

It is noticeable that during that attack on Dr. Peterson — this was one of their own — the warriors at the CPO were silent. As was the near-whole body of tenured professors at U of T, tenure once being understood as a shield for academic independence, now more understood as a signal of going along with the crowd.

Peterson was left alone in the storm.

And yet to the grief, nay to the dismay and fury of the woke mob, and their howling and rude efforts to silence him, they made him a name. He flourished.

Let it ever be known that the soil in which he blossomed, and the incredible fame he has achieved, owes all its fertility to the basket of "cancellers" who tried to shut him down.

In a classic example of The General George A. Custer Syndrome, U of T wokeists performed their own version of the Little Bighorn.

From that shameless campus assault on thought and debate, Peterson rocketed to world status. It provided the explosive.

This near solitary professor, wandering unknown the green swards of the U of T lawns, grew into the most celebrated champion of all of that used to be seen as the sacred concepts of western democracy and genuine liberal philosophy: Free speech. Free thought. Open debate. Defence of the humanities. Calling on universities to untangle themselves from fashionable ideological imperatives. Academic independence.

Like him or not, he has been the catalyst, the prime mover in what is the highest stakes debate of our day.

The CPO, obviously, has not taken in any of Peterson's impact or even given the slightest acknowledgement of the arguments and debate he has fostered.

It is, by choice, ignorant of the consideration that he is the foremost, most celebrated, member of the guild it presumes to rule. It also ignores the thousands of testimonies of the good he has done, and the immense positive response to the messages he has offered. Instead it has given favour to a dozen choice objections to his, extra-clinical, perspectives.

It has treated, as mothers treat babies in swaddling clothes, these political complaints. He criticized the prime minister for example, and (horror) he retweeted Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, a vileness not to be tolerated!

Dropping all irony, what does the CPO council think they are at? What are their qualifications, their motivations, for blistering or attempting to blister the reputation and standing of the only member of their association the world even knows? Who gathers crowds in their thousands to listen to a "clinical psychologist," and draws millions to his internet lectures? And who are they to insist on social media training for the greatest media personality their profession has even seen?

CPO, look at yourselves. Or in more formal language, psychologists scrutinize thyselves.

P.S. Jordan, if you receive a crystal goblet from your "friends" — check for hemlock.