Alt. Reich targets depressed people for recruitment online, article claims.

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Alt. Reich targets depressed people for recruitment online, article claims.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-01-21 11:26pm

Note: I'm not very familiar with this source, so can't vouch for its quality, but I figured this at least deserved some consideration.

https://theoutline.com/post/3537/alt-ri ... i=o75wxksq
video on YouTube entitled “Advice For People With Depression” has over half a million views. The title is generic enough, and to the unsuspecting viewer, lecturer Jordan Peterson could look legitimate or knowledgable — a quick Google search will reveal that he even taught at Harvard as an assistant professor of psychology back in the '90s. But as the video wears on, Peterson argues that men are depressed and frustrated because they don’t have a higher calling like women (who, according to Peterson, are biologically required to have and take care of infants). This leaves weak men seeking “impulsive, low-class pleasure,” he argues. Upon first glance he certainly doesn’t seem like a darling of the alt-right, but he is.
Type “depression” or “depressed” into YouTube and it won’t be long until you stumble upon a suit-clad white supremacist giving a lecture on self-empowerment. They’re everywhere. For years, members of the alt-right have taken advantage of the internet’s most vulnerable, turning their fear and self-loathing into vitriolic extremism, and thanks to the movement’s recent galvanization, they’re only growing stronger.
“I still wonder, how could I have been so stupid?” writes Reddit user u/pdesperaux, in a post detailing how he was accidentally seduced by the alt-right. “I was part of a cult. I know cults and I know brainwashing, I have researched them extensively, you'd think I would have noticed, right? Wrong. These are the same tactics that Scientology and ISIS use and I fell for them like a chump.”
“NOBODY is talking about how the online depression community has been infiltrated by alt-right recruiters deliberately preying on the vulnerable,” writes Twitter user @MrHappyDieHappy in a thread on the issue. “There NEED to be public warnings about this. 'Online pals' have attempted to groom me multiple times when at my absolute lowest.”
“You know your life is useless and meaningless,” Peterson says in his “Advice” video, turning towards the viewer, “you're full of self-contempt and nihilism.” He doesn’t follow all of this rousing self-hatred with an answer, but rather merely teases at one. “[You] have had enough of that,” he says to a classroom full of men. “Rights, rights, rights, rights…”

Peterson’s alt-light messaging quickly takes a darker turn. Finish that video and YouTube will queue up “Jordan Peterson - Don't Be The Nice Guy” (1.3 million views), and “Jordan Peterson - The Tragic Story of the Man-Child” (over 853,000 views), both of which are practically right out of the redpill/incel handbook.
“The common railroad stages of 'helpful' linking to 'motivational speakers' goes 'Jordan Peterson ---> Stefan Molyneux ---> Millennial Woes,” writes @MrHappyDieHappy. “The first is charismatic and not as harmful, but his persuasiveness leaves people open for the next two, who are frankly evil and dumb.” Molyneux, an anarcho-capitalist who promotes scientific racism and eugenics, has grown wildly popular amongst the alt-right as of late. His videos — which argue, among other things, that rape is a “moral right” — are often used to help transition vulnerable young men into the vitriolic and racist core of the alt-right.
Though it may seem like a huge ideological leap, it makes sense, in a way. For some disillusioned and hopelessly confused young men, the alt-right offers two things they feel a serious lack of in the throes of depression: acceptance and community. These primer videos and their associated “support” groups do a shockingly good job of acknowledging the validity of the depressed man’s existence — something men don’t often feel they experience — and capitalize on that good will by galvanizing their members into a plan of action (which generally involves fighting against some group or class of people designated as “the enemy”). These sort of movements allot the depressed person a form of agency which they may never have experienced before. And whether it’s grounded in reality or not, that’s an addicting feeling.
According to Christian Picciolini, a former neo-nazi who co-founded the peace advocacy organization, Life After Hate, these sort of recruiting tactics aren’t just common, but systematically enforced. “[The recruiters] are actively looking for these kind of broken individuals who they can promise acceptance, who they can promise identity to,” Picciolini said in an interview with Sam Seder. “Because in real life, perhaps these people are socially awkward — they're not fitting in; they may be bullied — and they're desperately looking for something. And the ideology and the dogma are not what drive people to this extremism, it's in fact, I think, a broken search for that acceptance and that purpose and community.”
Taking vulnerable young people and putting them in a group of seemingly supportive and energetic ‘friends’ is also how ISIS or cults recruit. The dogma becomes second nature.
Some of the most toxic unofficial alt-right communities online have operated on this principle. r/Incels (which is now banned, thankfully), began as a place for the “involuntarily celibate” to commiserate, but quickly became the place for extreme misogynists to gather and blame their problems on women and minorities. “Men going their own way,” (MGTOW) was initially a space for men to commune and protect their sovereignty as dudes “above all else,” it devolved into an infinitely racist and misogynistic hellhole. Similar fates have befallen r/Redpill, r/MensRights, and countless others. Commiseration begets community begets a vulnerable trend towards groupthink.
While it’s easy to isolate purely hateful content, the type that preys upon the disenfranchised and uses much more insidious methods to bring them into the fold is much more difficult to manage on expansive platforms like YouTube. Particularly because the message being sent isn’t one of obvious in-your-face hate speech, or something so obviously objectionable, but rather more of a slow burn. It’s not the sort of thing you can train algorithms to spot — or at least, not yet — making the issue of containment that much harder to address.
CORRECTION:
Jordan Peterson was an assistant/associate professor of psychology at Harvard University from 1993 to 1998. A previous version of this article solely referenced his guest lectures there over the past decade.
So, find vulnerable and desperate people, tell them they're a victim, give them someone weaker than themselves to blame, and show them a path to power by taking what they want at the expense of others. Its sickening, but doubtless effective.

A particularly illuminating quote (emphasis mine):
“I still wonder, how could I have been so stupid?” writes Reddit user u/pdesperaux, in a post detailing how he was accidentally seduced by the alt-right. “I was part of a cult. I know cults and I know brainwashing, I have researched them extensively, you'd think I would have noticed, right? Wrong. These are the same tactics that Scientology and ISIS use and I fell for them like a chump.”
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Re: Alt. Reich targets depressed people for recruitment online, article claims.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-01-21 11:35pm

The rhetoric about women having the "purpose" of childbirth and raising children, and giving men a purpose through hate and power, also harks right back to classic fascist rhetoric and ideology:
Mussolini wrote:War is to man what motherhood is to a woman.
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Re: Alt. Reich targets depressed people for recruitment online, article claims.

Post by mr friendly guy » 2019-01-22 08:46am

You know, if Jordan Peterson came onto the scene in the mid 2000s instead of the 2010s, Darth Wong and the board would have mocked him as per the old motto of making fun of stupid people. And before someone says, wah Peterson has a degree, yeah so did Fred Hoyle, and our emperor called Hoyle an idiot for his incorrect views on evolution.

From what I gathered from Peterson, he tries to speak beyond his expertise, and uses similar logical fallacies to those Creationists. For example

1. Uses unfalsifiable statements, like atheists morality might be secretly due to God. :lol:

And Peterson might secretly be influenced by Satan.

2. Believes ancient art of deities wrapping themselves around each other like snakes (which is behaviour snakes do display) indicates that ancient people understood DNA. No I kid you not.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIfLTQAKKfg


3. You can't stop smoking without supernatural experience. No, I am not kidding. :lol:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaDAuiLaT2Q

He then rattles on about using buproprion and how that is not effective. A quick search shows bupropion has a 29.5% abstinence vs 17.7% placebo and that achieved statistical significance. However that is surpassed by varenicline which is 44% abstinence rate achieving statistical significance. Although prolong use goes to 70.5% abstinence.

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/f ... cle/211000
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/f ... cle/211006

So, yep, totally can't quit smoking without supernatural means.

4. Believes if we use the term "denier" in climate change denier, its a smear in the same vein holocaust deniers are used to insult people (Peterson is not a holocaust denier by the way) and not simply an accurate description of a climate change denier's views. David Pakman humiliated him on twitter by pointing out Peterson used the same argument, when he describes a professor as a "biological sex denier." Peterson deleted his tweet.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3GukO0ro84

5. Vague statements and refusal to get pin down. Its like he is not even wrong.

For example, a Vice news reporter asked about his views on women, and Peterson doesn't like to get pin down with statements along the lines that "no we just need to talk about the change in relationship between men and women in the modern world." If I was the Vice reporter I would have asked him, so what specific things would you like to talk about, I am giving you a free platform.

I will say there is one person he can dominate though. BBC reporters like Cathy Newman. :D But then its BBC so you can't expect too much.
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Re: Alt. Reich targets depressed people for recruitment online, article claims.

Post by K. A. Pital » 2019-01-22 09:01am

Gotta hand this one to the fascists. They liked to recruit sadists, but you can capitalize on other mental states as well. Sick and efficient, fascists recruiting the depressed.

Just like expected in our capitalist dystopia.
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Re: Alt. Reich targets depressed people for recruitment online, article claims.

Post by Solauren » 2019-01-22 05:28pm

Standard Tactic. Extremists recruiting people with a mental health problem.
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Re: Alt. Reich targets depressed people for recruitment online, article claims.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-01-23 12:41am

Yup, as I noted, the article directly compares it to ISIS and Scientology recruitment methods.

Which makes me wonder why we as a society haven't gotten better at countering this poisonous shit by now.
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Re: Alt. Reich targets depressed people for recruitment online, article claims.

Post by Ralin » 2019-01-23 02:43am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-01-23 12:41am
Yup, as I noted, the article directly compares it to ISIS and Scientology recruitment methods.

Which makes me wonder why we as a society haven't gotten better at countering this poisonous shit by now.
Because a good chunk of us have been recruited by people using those methods?

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Re: Alt. Reich targets depressed people for recruitment online, article claims.

Post by FireNexus » 2019-01-23 11:55am

mr friendly guy wrote:
2019-01-22 08:46am
You know, if Jordan Peterson came onto the scene in the mid 2000s instead of the 2010s, Darth Wong and the board would have mocked him as per the old motto of making fun of stupid people. And before someone says, wah Peterson has a degree, yeah so did Fred Hoyle, and our emperor called Hoyle an idiot for his incorrect views on evolution.
Someone’s not friends with Mike on Facebook, I see.

And I’m not sure about the “cut the shit” rules around here, exactly, but my impression was they were aimed at hostility among the community rather than towards outside third parties. Because Jordan Peterson is basically like the Tenth Doctor if he had the gallifreyan equivalent of a lobotomy. He’s among the dumbest people I’ve ever seen turned into an intellectual hero.
I had a Bill Maher quote here. But fuck him for his white privelegy "joke".

All the rest? Too long.

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Re: Alt. Reich targets depressed people for recruitment online, article claims.

Post by FireNexus » 2019-01-23 12:03pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-01-23 12:41am
Yup, as I noted, the article directly compares it to ISIS and Scientology recruitment methods.

Which makes me wonder why we as a society haven't gotten better at countering this poisonous shit by now.
The answer is twofold:

1. We are. This kind of shit used to be pretty successful at recruiting in the old days. KKK, NeoNazis, various cults, AmWay. All of that shit used these same kinds of techniques and had a lot of success. There have been a lot of efforts, often successful, to counter them.

2. Our improvement in recognizing and countering coincided with a quantum leap I recruitment technology. They can microtarget only the most susceptible individuals and completely swamp multiple communication channels with recruitment. The fact that some communication channels have been unwittingly designed to facilitate their efforts doesn’t help.
I had a Bill Maher quote here. But fuck him for his white privelegy "joke".

All the rest? Too long.

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Re: Alt. Reich targets depressed people for recruitment online, article claims.

Post by Zaune » 2019-01-23 01:23pm

You know, just this once it's nice to be able to say, "Let's use the alt-right's own methods against them" without sounding like a questionably high-functioning sociopath...
For some disillusioned and hopelessly confused young men, the alt-right offers two things they feel a serious lack of in the throes of depression: acceptance and community. These primer videos and their associated “support” groups do a shockingly good job of acknowledging the validity of the depressed man’s existence — something men don’t often feel they experience — and capitalize on that good will by galvanizing their members into a plan of action. [...] These sort of movements allot the depressed person a form of agency which they may never have experienced before.
This is what we need to be doing, as sane and rational progressive thinkers. Make depressed young adults feel like they're not alone, that there are other people who understand and relate to their struggles and that it's not solely a result of their personal failures, and to leverage that sense of community to motivate them to work together to make things better.
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Re: Alt. Reich targets depressed people for recruitment online, article claims.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-01-23 03:00pm

Zaune wrote:
2019-01-23 01:23pm
You know, just this once it's nice to be able to say, "Let's use the alt-right's own methods against them" without sounding like a questionably high-functioning sociopath...
For some disillusioned and hopelessly confused young men, the alt-right offers two things they feel a serious lack of in the throes of depression: acceptance and community. These primer videos and their associated “support” groups do a shockingly good job of acknowledging the validity of the depressed man’s existence — something men don’t often feel they experience — and capitalize on that good will by galvanizing their members into a plan of action. [...] These sort of movements allot the depressed person a form of agency which they may never have experienced before.
This is what we need to be doing, as sane and rational progressive thinkers. Make depressed young adults feel like they're not alone, that there are other people who understand and relate to their struggles and that it's not solely a result of their personal failures, and to leverage that sense of community to motivate them to work together to make things better.
Agreed.

The relative ineptness of the Center Left establishment in reaching out to marginalized groups and countering extremist propaganda, its failure to adapt to propaganda in the Information Age, is in my opinion one of its greatest failings.
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Re: Alt. Reich targets depressed people for recruitment online, article claims.

Post by mr friendly guy » 2019-01-24 10:24am

While I think its a good idea to help people with depression (done it several times myself as part of the job), but how far should the Left go? Does the Left do Jordan Peterson style, where because he helps them with depression, then they agree with his political views. Its also a tactic missionaries use which I find distasteful.

In my line of work, none of my patients know whether I am left wing, right wing, libertarian, an atheist or a theist etc, and I suspect for most doctor patient interactions, most patients would have no idea about their doctor's political or religious belief aside from some who wear some obvious religious clothing eg a hijab. And that's largely the way it should be. A healer might get your money, but they shouldn't get your soul.
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Re: Alt. Reich targets depressed people for recruitment online, article claims.

Post by Zaune » 2019-01-24 12:55pm

mr friendly guy wrote:
2019-01-24 10:24am
While I think its a good idea to help people with depression (done it several times myself as part of the job), but how far should the Left go? Does the Left do Jordan Peterson style, where because he helps them with depression, then they agree with his political views. Its also a tactic missionaries use which I find distasteful.
Well, obviously we aren't going to be enabling the behaviours that got people in this mess in the first place or encouraging a siege mentality and/or persecution complex; that's counterproductive as well as immoral. But where precisely the line between persuasive rhetoric and manipulation lies is a difficult ethical question.

Although forgive me if I would feel very little guilt for manipulating people into doing things like making better life choices, overcoming their in-group/out-group mentality and critically evaluating prevailing social norms.
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Re: Alt. Reich targets depressed people for recruitment online, article claims.

Post by madd0ct0r » 2019-01-24 01:17pm

Pretty much all of my hobbies and interests seem to have a feeder into the far right.

Of course, there is also a difference between a heavy metal nordic race ganger and a middle aged maga good ol boy, just as there was between black shirt thugs and vw corporatists. The far right is a large church.

Perhaps the same thing exists on the left? A decade on, most of my heavy metal gang are white collar proffesionals. A few, like me perhaps, are also enviomentalists. A number are public service technocrats. The argument is voting green or labour or lib dem.

Are we the same people as the young punks we were? Are we part of the same left coalition?
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Re: Alt. Reich targets depressed people for recruitment online, article claims.

Post by Ralin » 2019-01-24 01:41pm

Zaune wrote:
2019-01-24 12:55pm
Although forgive me if I would feel very little guilt for manipulating people into doing things like making better life choices, overcoming their in-group/out-group mentality and critically evaluating prevailing social norms.
'Pushing depressed people towards left-wing politics and ideas effectively means pushing them to be better people and support good things that help themselves and others' is pretty much the first thing that sprang to mind for me too. But most people probably think something like that about their politics. The aforementioned Christian missionaries certainly do.

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Re: Alt. Reich targets depressed people for recruitment online, article claims.

Post by madd0ct0r » 2019-01-24 01:49pm

Encouraging volunteering at a food bank or ngo or social charity seems a potential vector.
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Re: Alt. Reich targets depressed people for recruitment online, article claims.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-01-24 03:12pm

madd0ct0r wrote:
2019-01-24 01:49pm
Encouraging volunteering at a food bank or ngo or social charity seems a potential vector.
Speaking from experience here, when I was suffering a period of prolonged unemployment, I volunteered frequently (community theatre and political activism), in part because prolonged unemployment and inactivity is a psychologically damaging state, and I would have probably gone (even more) nuts if I didn't volunteer.
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Re: Alt. Reich targets depressed people for recruitment online, article claims.

Post by Zaune » 2019-01-24 04:41pm

Organising some activities for them to volunteer for would be a good start, then. Or even just some free social activities where disaffected youth can meet like-minded people. Maybe screen some TED Talks in a park one summer evening and leave some pamphlets from the IWW, the Green Party etc by the tea urn?
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Re: Alt. Reich targets depressed people for recruitment online, article claims.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-01-25 12:55am

Couldn't hurt.
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Re: Alt. Reich targets depressed people for recruitment online, article claims.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-01-27 02:46am

Had to sell one of Peterson's books at work today. Apparently the fucker is on the best seller list. :(
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Re: Alt. Reich targets depressed people for recruitment online, article claims.

Post by Zaune » 2019-01-27 10:47am

We need a successor to Michael Moore. Ideally one who doesn't gloss over anything that doesn't fit the narrative they want to push, but I'll settle for a convincing bullshitter with an agenda so long as their agenda is opposed to fascism.
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Re: Alt. Reich targets depressed people for recruitment online, article claims.

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2019-01-27 11:27am

The Romulan Republic wrote:So, find vulnerable and desperate people, tell them they're a victim, give them someone weaker than themselves to blame, and show them a path to power by taking what they want at the expense of others. Its sickening, but doubtless effective.
SOP for fascists, cultists, terrorists and crusaders, since the dawn of time, Rom.
Yup, as I noted, the article directly compares it to ISIS and Scientology recruitment methods.

Which makes me wonder why we as a society haven't gotten better at countering this poisonous shit by now.
Cause, we as a society don't want to, for several reasons, the main one being we, as a society, secretly enjoy abusing others for power and kicks.
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