New Discourses
Politics • Spirituality/Belief • Writing
The Workings of the Woke Cult
March 29, 2023
Guest contributors: ConceptualJames

Recently, I published an essay describing the structure of cults, particularly the Woke Marxist cult. I explained that cults have an internal structure in three types of layers: an “Outer School” of low-information initiates, an “Inner School” of informed adepts, and then one or more “Inner Circles” of disciples, leaders, and directors. At the end of that essay, I promised to elaborate on the workings of these various levels in greater detail, to which I am now turning.

Before elaborating, to make an important note, the internal structure of cults can be quite formal or quite informal and vague. In Wokeness, the structure of the cult is extremely vague because it is not a formal cult. In fact, it’s almost wholly decentralized, which leads it to be described as a “mind virus” at least as often as a cult. Thanks to the influence of Paulo Freire and the development of Critical Pedagogy in education from his work, Woke can be taught merely as an attitude of dissatisfaction and disposition toward finding oppressive systems everywhere and denouncing them (and the people who “support” them). Anyone can learn that without learning almost anything, and then suddenly there’s “racism” in literally everything. In Woke, there’s not necessarily any particular first initiation rite one must pass through like with various fraternities, for example, and the distinctions between what function like “levels,” especially in the middle part of the cult structure, is almost entirely ambiguous, even though it can be discerned. Do not let this fact distract you from the general discussion.

This isn’t to be confused with the delivery mechanism of the cult doctrine, which can also be quite formal or informal. In Woke, unlike with secretive fraternal orders, it is both at once. There are formal trainings like people suffer at work or school, educational programs at every level (pre-K, primary, secondary, and college), and various seminars and programs people can sign up for or be made to sign up for, say as “professional development.” There’s also entertainment, social media, interaction between family, friends, and associates, and just everyday culture, all of which are quite informal in their delivery of Woke themes, theory, and practice.

Most of the cult consists of followers who are emotionally, socially, psychologically, and/or morally committed to the idea of the cult and the “communities” it fosters without actually knowing much cult doctrine, if any. This group is the Outer School. The goal of the cult is to make the uninitiated want to join the Outer School and then to increase interest, commitment, and a sense of identity among those who have been initiated. The Outer School carries most of the water for the cult, especially in terms of resources (including human capital). Its commitment is usually social, moral, or hopeful (to grow in the fruits of the doctrine), and the deeper layers of the cult have the objective not only to direct the Outer School members but also to strengthen those commitments. They are, in some sense, like the children of the cult, whether literally children or legally minors or not.

To bring this “thought reform” into the cult doctrine, which Mao Zedong referred to as “remoulding” and his CCP prisons called “brainwashing,” members of the Outer School are subjected to a period of alternating affirmation, acceptance, criticism, and struggle. As Mao explains it, first, there must be the “desire for unity” (with the cult). Ironically, this begins with a period of alienation: being made to feel as though you don’t fit in with the social group around you or the current of society as it progresses in some new direction. Wanting to fit in is a powerful motivator, and when that feeling of alienation is strong enough, acceptance and affirmation will flood a person with desperately wanted good feelings and the illusions of friendships and social bonds. Acceptance and affirmation are commonly used to create the initial social and moral commitment, along with interest, in the earliest phases of initiation.

This alternating cycle of alienation and affirmation is then continued with increasing intensity once inside the cult structure in the “criticism” phases, which are meant not only to criticize you for failing to live up to the cult expectations but also to teach you to reflect upon yourself and criticize yourself in the same way. Woke praxis has been described as a “lifelong commitment to an ongoing process” that includes “self-reflection,” “self-critique,” and “social activism.” What this does is creates, exploits, and channels a shame and guilt spiral into aims the cult finds productive. As explained by Robert Jay Lifton in Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism, the impact of this abuse on the psyche is profound.

Not only did making these accusations increase their feelings of guilt and shame, it put them in the position of subverting the structures of their own lives. They were, in effect, being made to renounce the people, the organizations, and the standards of behavior which had formed the matrix of their previous existence. They were being forced to betray—not so much their friends and colleagues, as a vital core of themselves. (pp. 68–69)

In destroying your own vital core, the cult supplies you with a false one. The process of cult induction from initiation forward drags its victims through this pattern again and again so that it can destroy the individual and turn him into a cultist.

But it is only after commitment is achieved—through social isolation, moral reorientation, exhortation, and extortion, psychological manipulation, etc.—that the “desire for unity” will be transitioned into criticism and struggle. Mao’s full transformative formula, which he openly bragged about, was “unity – criticism – unity.” Once the desire for unity (with the cult) is established, criticism begins. Initiation is over and how the process of cult deepening starts on suitable members. As indicated, this is done by repeatedly subjecting initiates to hazing-type circumstances in which they are criticized for the flaws in their comprehension of the cult doctrine, shortcomings past and present, outside relationships, etc., and in which they are called to account for them, repent of them, or otherwise strongly increase the moral, emotional, social, and psychological commitment (and dependency upon) the cult. The message is simple: “we would have unity, the exact unity you claim to desire, but you’re too problematic and need to do better.”

We see this kind of initiation taking place in Wokeness, for example, in workplace, institutional, and school “DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion),” “unconscious bias,” “sustainability,” and other training sessions, which are often a mandatory job requirement. These introduce the doctrine and force people to take place in a pathetically bureaucratic initiation rite that often includes struggle sessions, confessions, evocative presentations, and more. Criticism about “structural racism” or “unconscious homophobia” or any other number of thought-crimes is usually a part of the affair, and reflection, confession, and pledges to “do better” are often present, if not required, of participants.

“Unity” takes on a number of names, not just literally unity. It might be “social justice,” “racial justice” or “an end to hate.” It might be “environmental sustainability” or “climate justice.” It might be “equity” or a “sustainable and inclusive future.” It might be “liberation” or “socialism,” but in all cases you are the problem because you aren’t doing better enough. You aren’t doing the work, so unity is impossible—because of you. You and also them, the outsiders who haven’t been converted yet, and the enemies who refuse to and must be demonized for their refusal. But you have to leverage your desire for unity to engage in that “lifelong commitment to an ongoing process” of “self-reflection, self-critique, and social activism” as the remedy for this shameful personal failure. This is how it works.

Obviously, these cult dynamics aren’t something someone would just take. They have to be leveraged socially. It has to matter to who you are and who you are to your peers or you would never tolerate any of it. In analyzing the way this phenomenon played out in practice in CCP thought-reform prisons in the 1950s in China, Robert Jay Lifton indicated that the social milieu brings upon the person a tremendous psychological and social pressure while offering only a few ways to resolve the tension. The pressure not only to confess to crimes only visible from “the people’s standpoint” (the cult view) but more specifically to want to confess as a means of resolving the psychosocial pressures put upon you are emphasized. The treatments as such are often sold as “help.”

In the Woke cult, this desire for unity into criticism pathway applied to members of the Outer School may also be completely informal, apparently socially organic and spontaneous, with friends and family members “calling out” their less-Woke associates. It doesn’t have to take place in a captive-audience DEI session at work or school. The process and phenomenon are the same, even when diffuse and undirected. In this case, an initiated person rather than an adept (e.g., paid consultant or corporate political officer) facilitates the same pathway: first, make them desire unity (or peace, or getting along), and, second, make that only be possible by renormalizing to the cult view about racism, transphobia, or some other vector of Woke manipulation. There can be no unity with a “racist,” and you can’t stop being “racist” until you want to be “antiracist” and start the “ongoing process” of “self-reflection” and “self-critique” that will ultimately transform you. Shame and humiliation are key tools in this process. The people doing this do not have to know virtually any Woke Marxist ideology or even that there is such a thing, but they’re following its moral strictures nonetheless because those can be learned without reading a single page of “the work.”

That implies someone knows the Theory and is somehow channeling it into people. It’s true, and it happens in a variety of ways. It’s diffused into society through entertainment, mass media, and public displays. Adepts are behind this. It’s taught in schools, explicitly and implicitly, by Inner School adepts posing as teachers and other teachers who are sometimes Outer School initiates and sometimes are just forced to go along with the programming, conscious of the problems with it or not. From there it bubbles up into society as thought-reformed young people interact, create, and put pressure on each other, parents, relatives, and other members of society. It’s also forced upon people in workplace training sessions led by Inner School adepts that function effectively like prisons, though with a lower adoption rate than through other means. Every bit of this infection of society is informed by the Inner School adepts and socially enforced by the initiates who have already been taken in on it.

Learning the Theory yourself and becoming an Inner School adept in the cult is something mostly done by people already committed to it through the above processes. The first grip the cult has on people is moral and social. That proceeds through the above alienation, criticism, affirmation cycles into the psychological domain through vitiating the essential core of initiates’ identities and replacing that core with the cult moral and linguistic frameworks. If you feel like a cultist and talk like a cultist, you’ll start to identify as a cultist. Only after the commitment is made personal through this process will studying the doctrine be likely to stick, outside of rare cases in which people “find a voice” for things they already feel in the literature. Primarily, moral commitment is followed by social commitment is followed by psychological commitment and is then sealed through study, which teaches the skill of cult apologetics to close off any avenue to doubt. Theory becomes a set of elaborate, complicated rationalizations for why the cultist should stay a cultist despite literally everything in the world saying otherwise.

As both Lifton and Mao make clear in their various materials, progression from the Outer School to the Inner School is a matter of “study.” It’s also one of action, namely “praxis,” which is a fancy word that means putting the cult doctrine into practice and shaping your life’s activities around it. So, after enough criticism and struggle, you will want to start “doing the work,” which is your initiation rite into the Inner School of the Woke cult. You’ll study the theorists and maybe their antecedents, especially the pop-theorists, read lots of their books, watch their videos, and deepen your understanding of the issues from the cult perspective. Or, maybe you’ll learn about these things in schools or your college classroom. When you become conversant in the basic theoretical worldview—that is, the roots of the cult doctrine—you have graduated from the Outer School into the Inner School. The axis here, in the vague realm of the decentralized Woke cult, is one of being student, scholar, activist, and/or organizer.

Some people think because the Outer School of the (Woke) cult carries almost all of its water and only the Inner School members really know anything about the theory, and only the “scholars” and “organizers” among those actually know the antecedent theory, that the theory itself isn’t that relevant to the cult. This is wrong. The theory is the cult doctrine. The Inner School members, who are adepts, largely end up directing and facilitating the criticism, struggle, affirmation, and acceptance cycles mentioned above. These not only solidify and consolidate those in the Outer School but keep their ideas and activities in line with the doctrine.

Most of your life as an adept in the Inner School is devoted to study of theory and application of praxis, according to your understanding, but you’re still subject to the criticism and struggle cycle as you grow in cult doctrine. Again, not only does this keep you on the “right” path according to the cult, it also continues to deepen your psychological, social, and moral commitment to the cult. It also serves as a useful lesson for others, especially initiates, who might waver. The purpose of “study” is to develop an intellectual commitment on top of those other commitments to the cult doctrine, which will also enable you to reframe and rationalize away contradictory information, ideas, and evidence, or to subsume it skillfully into cult doctrine.

Only the most committed and loyal members of the cult’s Inner School have any chance of progressing into the outer circuit of the Inner Circle; that is, to become disciples. Disciples are very few in number relatively speaking because they will actually start to learn the real purposes of the cult and its “mysteries.” Only the most committed, most interested, and most useful members will ever have a chance to learn these mysteries, but they will primarily be selected for their loyalty, ability to keep secrets, and willingness to provide guarantees of those traits. There very well may be an initiation rite that might also involve generating blackmail on you so that you remain a safe keeper of those secrets, purposes, and mysteries even if you come to waver later.

While the Inner School advances most of the cult’s theory and activism, the Inner Circle actually advances and directs the cult’s activity, usually for their own glorification, benefit, enrichment, and power. They’re the directors and producers of the cult’s Truman Show. They use the Inner School members and exploit the Outer School initiates to achieve their aims. Mao explains this clearly when discussing intellectuals and businessmen in 1950s China, who by a few years into his CCP-run regime in China were almost all committed to the idea of socialism (initiates, Outer School) but that only a few were becoming Communists (adepts, Inner School), though more would follow through diligent and right study. Party members (disciples, outer Inner Circle) will be chosen from among those in various domains, and some will become Party officials (leaders, inner Inner Circle) depending on their skill, utility, commitment, and loyalty, perhaps inter alia.

With regard to Woke, most Woke people are Outer Circle. They’ve morally accepted the idea of a “just and equitable” or “sustainable” society, but they don’t know they’re practicing Neo-Communism. The longer they are in, as their commitment rises, the more study they will begin to do. These will become students, scholars, activists, organizers, and consultants; they’ll recruit “co-conspirators” in institutions like schools from among higher-level Outer Circle initiates and create pressures that sway, manipulate, and lead the Outer Circle to follow the cult doctrine and increase commitment and understanding of it. The leadership is more vague, and, as with many cults, may not be veridically Woke themselves. They are operatives working in the large organizations that fund and promote Woke initiatives, which they can use to their advantage whether they agree with the ideas and premises or not. Entities like the World Economic Forum and United Nations, for two examples, push these initiatives vigorously, as do many others, often will billions of dollars behind them.

Understanding that Woke is a cult and is structured like a cult—with its closest parallels in Maoist Communism—is crucial to understanding it and formulating our responses to it. It’s very difficult to make sense of the behavior of our captured friends and family without realizing how they have been captured and how they’re being kept. It’s challenging to tie what seems to be (and is, in a very real way) highly esoteric Theory to people we all know haven’t read a word of it and couldn’t name almost any of the relevant Theorists. It’s not clear how this thing gets the kind of funding and strategic coordination that it gets from a bunch of people who don’t quite seem to be the type for that kind of high-level executive activity. It’s confusing why people who get pulled into this way of thinking about the world can very quickly let it color and contour their interpretations of everything they experience in the world, which is a feature of ideological totalism. All of this becomes clear, however, when we understand that it is a cult and how cults are structured.

Woke is a cult. Being woke means having “critical consciousness,” which means your understanding of the world has been reorganized through Critical Theory. Critical Theory, which is shorthand for Critical Marxist Theory, is the doctrine of this cult. Doing something about it begins with rightly understanding these facts, and doing something about it is absolutely necessary.

community logo
Join the New Discourses Community
To read more articles like this, sign up and join my community today
What else you may like…
American Maoism | James Lindsay

With Liberty & Justice For All, Session 1 of 3

The Left moves operationally and according to a battle logic known as “dialectical political warfare.” The dialectic is the operating system of the Left, and it works by marrying a truth to a lie. Political warfare is a method of conducting warfare in which political means are used with hostile intent to get an enemy to behave in a desired fashion—propaganda is a great example. Perhaps the greatest dialectical political warfare tactician in human history is the monstrous figure of Mao Zedong, Communist dictator of China until his death in 1976. His tactics and cultural revolution are a testament to the fearsome and destructive power of dialectical political warfare, and they’re happening here in America and throughout the West today. Where Mao claimed to be employing “Marxism-Leninism with Chinese characteristics” in China, the “Woke” and environmental “Sustainability” movements we face in the present should be ...

The Force Field That Prevents Marxism | James Lindsay
The 100-Year-Long Spear Behind Critical Race Theory | James Lindsay
Resilience & Woke Brainwashing

New Discourses Bullets, Ep. 65

One of the hottest topics in education (and beyond) right now is "resilience." Youth mental health initiatives are being launched and entrenched all over the country, not just through school counseling but also through Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) initiatives, and their goal almost always includes "fostering emotional resilience." What is meant by "resilience" in the Woke Marxist context, though? We know it must mean something. In this episode of New Discourses Bullets, host James Lindsay draws from a UNESCO source ( ) and explains that "resilience" refers to the opposite of "fragility," which means taking your brainwashing well. Join him to understand why these initiatives are not at all what they seem to sell themselves to be.

Resilience & Woke Brainwashing
Marx's Strawman of Capitalism

New Discourses Bullets, Ep. 64

Capitalism is a Marxist creation. It sounds crazy to say that, but Marxists don't mean competitive market economies or even free-market economies when they say "capitalism." They mean an overarching ideology of limitless capital accumulation as the fundamental organizing principle of society, which most people who promote "capitalism" wouldn't recognize as what they mean by the term at all. In this episode of New Discourses Bullets, host James Lindsay shows you in their own words what Marxists mean by the word "capitalism," which is a revealing and ridiculous strawman of market economics. Join him to learn all about it.

Marx's Strawman of Capitalism
Learning and Countering Leftist Strategy

The New Discourses Podcast with James Lindsay, Episode 127

Leftism, including Marxism, is operational. It is strategic. It knows what it's doing and how to do it. It might look crazy, but that's deliberate. In fact, Leftists proudly publish and disseminate activist guides for their agenda like the book Beautiful Trouble ( ) that spell out for anyone how to do "transformative" activism through deliberate and strategic troublemaking. In this episode of the New Discourses Podcast, host James Lindsay ties together three activist principles from Beautiful Trouble with a large number of relevant contemporary examples to make clear how Marxist Leftism works and is working in our current American Cultural Revolution. He starts by laying out that "Your Target's Reaction Is Your Real Action," ( ) explains how that progresses through "Put Your Target in a Decision Dilemma," ...

Learning and Countering Leftist Strategy

Why I’m a proud conspiracy theorist..
Russell Brand is targeted by the UK, WEF, Pfizer, and the UN most likely..

We're not eating bugs, and we don't care about "emissions."

post photo preview

I'll take "ships that sailed," for $800, Alex.

post photo preview
post photo preview
Rousing the American Judiciary

Woke Marxism undermines law, and for it to succeed, it must pervert law to advance its own ends. So far, it has been extremely successful at this, from the Critical Legal Theory movement in the 1970s and 1980s through Critical Race Theory and outright legal and judicial activism. If our remaining judiciary remains unaware of the infiltration and subversion, we will probably lose our country. If it wakes up and discharges its duty more… judiciously… we can save our country the same way they’re trying to take it from us: without firing a shot, as the saying goes. Such is the power of law, and such is the power of judges who adjudicate on the law.

The issue is that judges are very busy and asked to render legal judgments on an array of cases filled with subject matter in which they are not, cannot be, and should not be expected to be experts. This represents a major crack in the legal and judicial armor that’s susceptible to legal subversion. A great deal of this subversion has already taken place in both low courts and high, though we’re also seeing a wakening judiciary quickly starting to realize the problem and its underlying nature. This rousing of the judiciary is patently visible in the Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, especially in light of Justice Clarence Thomas’s remarks about misapplications of substantive due process in that and other decisions. We see it also in the recent Supreme Court decision about racial discrimination in college admissions at Harvard and the University of North Carolina, challenging the entire basis for the “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” industry by reversing much of the logic of Bakke v. Board of Regents and Grutter v. Bollinger. The awakening of the American judiciary seems to be arriving just in the nick of time.

The fact is, law is being subverted and has been subverted. This has been the result of decades of intentional activism. Aside from the direct legal activism resulting from activists taking the roles of judges, another form of subversive legal activism exists as well, one that exploits the gap in the judicial armor in two ways: by having hijacked language and expertise. Busy judges have to go significantly on domain-specific information that they are given, prepared through testimony and amicus briefs and the likes. Their domain is the law, not necessarily the domains upon which they have to adjudicate the law. In that breech, the lies of activists flourish.

This activism is definitely intentional and purposed, and its purpose is to undermine the institution of American law and turn it toward Marxist ends. Going back to one of the fathers of Western Marxism, Antonio Gramsci, Marxist strategy in Western nations has been largely subversive rather than overt. Gramsci described a Western world that is ruled over not merely by a class of people but by a powerful cultural force he alleged is produced and maintained by those people for their own benefit. This force he called “cultural hegemony,” and he said the only way to bring socialism (and Marxism) to the West would be to infiltrate and subvert the cultural institutions that generate cultural hegemony and turn them from within so they instead produce a “counter-hegemonic” view that can then trickle out into the cultural milieu and make it ripe for revolution. The five domains Gramsci identified for infiltration and capture are religion, family, education, media, and law, with a special emphasis on education because all professional activities are downstream from schooling.

Gramsci wrote this in the 1920s and 1930s, and the thesis was picked up by Rudi Deutshke, who called it “the long march through the institutions” in the mid-1960s, and Critical Marxist thought-leader Herbert Marcuse, who demanded this march from his activists in his 1972 work Counterrevolution and Revolt, which has set the stage for Western Marxist activism ever since. The goal was to infiltrate the institutions and turn them from within. Simultaneously, using Marcuse’s Critical Theory, which he adapted from his Frankfurt School colleague Max Horkheimer, the entire fabric of Western Civilization and culture was to be hauled into “ruthless criticism” and turned inside-out.

Today, the results of these two initiatives—the Long March and Critical Theory—we have a credentialed expert class and expert-credentialing apparatus (the higher education system and professional organizations) that are effectively completely captured. When students pass through, even if they are not taken in by the Critical Marxist, or Woke, perspective, they’re flooded with it such that it no longer rankles their sensibilities when they encounter it later in life. Meanwhile, the professional class of experts who might show up to inform the judiciary on crucial cases is filled with purposed and well-funded activists who make sure to render their fake-expert opinion in the best professionalese in every case of relevant importance. If judges aren’t aware that expertise itself has been tainted, they’re likely to fall for the distortions of this bogus professional cadre and the bogus studies they use to back their activist claims. Justice, the domain of the judiciary, is the victim.

This professionalese is also laced with activist language, words that have obvious everyday meanings but specialized activist meanings that are easily equivocated upon. Some key examples are words like “diversity” (which actually means “expert in Diversity as a theory”), “inclusion” (which means excluding and censoring anything that can be construed to create a disparate impact of exclusion of discrimination), “hate” (which means not giving the activists their way), “harm” (which means the psychological discomfort experienced by the activists when not getting their way), and “trauma” (which means the result of the injuries of “hate” and “harm” as described above). These words are myriad, if not legion (in the biblical sense). Without awareness that Critical Marxism has equivocated much of the language itself—take “diversity” in the context of the Bakke and Grutter decisions, for example—rendering sound adjudications is simply impossible.

Our judiciary, insofar as it still cares about this country, needs to be made aware of these two gaps so that prudence and discernment can return to their rightful positions in rendering judgments on these important cases. I’m in no way calling for judges to become experts in “Woke” language or ideological subversion. Instead, I’m calling for a growing sense of awareness that both language and expertise are at least partly captured and being weaponized so that sound judgments cannot be made on prima facie understanding of expert testimony or the plain meanings of words. The experts are often fake, the expertise manufactured to purpose, and plain meaning of words plainly not meant.

While both of these issues are extremely important for our nation’s judges to be aware of and to take into account when rendering their decisions, the issue of captured, equivocal language is particularly important. Smart people—such as judges are—are some of the most susceptible to the wizardry of equivocal language because they’re the most likely to be certain they already know the plain meanings of many words. Furthermore, simply through these linguistic equivocations, the entire meaning of a law or ruling can be changed or even reversed without changing any of the relevant wording. As an example, the Fourth Amendment protects against government seizure of property, but it does not protect against the seizure of stolen property. If, through “land acknowledgements” or whatever other Marxist manipulation, a judge can be convinced that the property held by some entity is in fact “stolen,” whether from indigenous tribes or through the illegitimate accumulation of capital through exploitation of Man or Nature, the Fourth Amendment would cease to protect that property from seizure—a trick Communist countries used again and again in their own legal contexts. All of contract law is vulnerable to this kind of linguistic exploitation as well once certain activist clauses are inserted into the contract itself or the underlying set of assumptions upon which it is based.

If we are going to save this nation and restore and establish a fair Rule of Law, the Gramscian infiltration and subversion of law must be stopped. Much of this subversion takes place by taking advantage of a judiciary that does not fully comprehend how tainted expertise, expert testimony, and language are as a result of decades of Critical activism. My hope is that this essay sounds an alarm and starts a movement to shake them awake before it’s too late.

Read full Article
post photo preview
Queer Education Is Child Abuse

Queer Theory, which nearly all of the gender and sexuality education in America is ultimately based upon, has nothing to do with "LGBT" education. This is evident to anyone who reads it, not only because its goals are diametrically opposed to LGBT acceptance and normalization in our society, but because they say so themselves very specifically over and over again. For one example, quoting Emily Drabinski, the openly politically Queer and Marxist current president of the American Library Association, from her 2013 paper “Queering the Catalog,” “Queer theory is distinct from lesbian and gay studies.” It could hardly be more blunt. She adds, “where lesbian and gay studies takes gender and sexual identities as its object of study, queer theory is interested in how those identities come discursively and socially into being and the kind of work they do in the world.” Her conclusion? “Lesbian and gay studies is concerned with what homosexuality is. Queer theory is concerned with what homosexuality does.”

What does Drabinski mean about “the kind of work they do in the world” when referring to “queer identities” and what they “do in the world”? She means activism. Nothing more and nothing less.

“Queer” is not an identity like gay, lesbian, or bisexual. It is by definition an explicitly and intentionally activist identity. That is, it is a political stance, not a fact of who someone is—in fact, not an identity at all. Again, this is by definition in Queer Theory. As David Halperin defined it in his 1995 book Saint Foucault: Towards a Gay Hagiography, a few pages away from a rousing discussion of the transformative potential of “anal fisting” as an ideal sex act,

Unlike gay identity, which, though deliberately proclaimed in an act of affirmation, is nonetheless rooted in the positive fact of homosexual object-choice, queer identity need not be grounded in any positive truth or in any stable reality. As the very word implies, “queer” does not name some natural kind or refer to some determinate object; it acquires its meaning from its oppositional relation to the norm. Queer is by definition whatever is at odds with the normal, the legitimate, the dominant. There is nothing in particular to which it necessarily refers. It is an identity without an essence.

Halperin takes great pains to distinguish homosexual being from political homosexual doing and insists that the latter is all of and exactly what Michel Foucault meant by the term “the homosexual,” which he often employed. As he explains, “[Queerness] can now be constituted not substantively but oppositionally, not by what it is but by where it is and how it operates. Those who knowingly occupy such a marginal location, who assume a de-essentialized identity that is purely positional in character, are properly speaking not gay but queer.” Drabinski obviously drew upon this view to form her own.

And what is it Queer Theory does? It disrupts. By definition. The definition of “Queer” in Queer Theory, as we see, is that which resists and challenges all norms and expectations of normalcy. So bringing into education materials based in Queer Theory, including so-called gender-critical perspectives that separate sex and gender as though they are completely different phenomena, is meant to make children activists in this disruptive, destabilizing mode of misunderstanding the world. That has no place in our educational institutions, especially when it’s happening outside of parental knowledge and approval.

Think I’m exaggerating? Here is what the educational paper “Drag Pedagogy,” arguing for Drag Queen Story Hours in schools, says about the matter: “Ultimately, the authors propose that ‘drag pedagogy’ provides a performative approach to queer pedagogy that is not simply about LGBT lives, but living queerly.” Those italics are in the original. The authors elaborate upon this notion of “living queerly” by stating,

It may be that DQSH is “family friendly,” in the sense that it is accessible and inviting to families with children, but it is less a sanitizing force than it is a preparatory introduction to alternate modes of kinship. Here, DQSH is “family friendly” in the sense of “family” as an old-school queer code to identify and connect with other queers on the street.

In my professional work, I have struggled to find a word more adequate than the officially disallowed word “grooming” to describe “a preparatory introduction to alternate modes of kinship” based around “living queerly.” These unacceptable projects, hidden behind a street-slang pun, are core objectives of Queer Theory in education, described unambiguously in their own words. “As an art form,” they tell us, “drag is all about bending and breaking the rules, and so its aims are totally different from a normative classroom.” Because, they insist, “In a broader context, fostering collective unruliness also helps children to understand that they can have a hand in changing their environment.” This, they also tell us, allows both drag performers and children to “recognize the arbitrariness of rules,” engage in “queer play,” and “feel [their] fantasies.”

Queer educators damn themselves with their own words, so I'll quote one more to illustrate one more core, often-repeated goal of Queer Theory in education. As explained by Hannah Dyer, a Canadian researcher, in a paper titled “Queer Futurity and Childhood Innocence,” the innocence of childhood and the established understanding of child developmental psychology all needs to be Queered. She writes, “Here, I help to illustrate how some of the affective, libidinal, epistemological, and political insistences on childhood innocence can injure the child’s development and offer a new mode of analytical inquiry that insists upon embracing the child’s queer curiosity and patterns of growth.” What is that about? This paper is specifically about and contains a section heading on “Queering the child’s innocence,” which is perfectly in line with what the “drag pedagogy” people want. Queer Theory in education is therefore so destructive that it aims to rewrite the innocence of childhood as an evil that prevents children from developing “queer curiosity and patterns of growth.”

None of this is remotely appropriate, and the inherently activist position it takes and seeks to instill into our children (through damaging them) is in many respects the least of its problems. It is, at the least, deranged, though it is more properly cultic and evil. It is far past time to give these damaging materials and the people pushing them into our schools the benefit of the doubt. It is long past time to say “no more, not any of it; it all has to go.”

Read full Article
post photo preview
The Reformers: A New Film About the Grievance Studies Affair

The Grievance Studies Affair has never been more relevant. Back in 2017 and 2018, when we did it, it was obvious that the part of academia sometimes called the “theoretical humanities” had been given over essentially wholly to what we dubbed Grievance Studies—that is, Woke Identity Marxism. We also saw worrying trends in psychology, sociology, anthropology, and all of the social sciences, but at the time it was considered extremely controversial and even unfair to suggest the “soft sciences” were infected with Woke Marxism. Today, that’s completely out the window. Everything is touched by the putrefying finger of Woke corruption. Major medical journals, engineering journals, virtually all education journals, and even premier science journals like Nature routinely publish undeniably Woke “scholarship.”

In the Grievance Studies Affair, Peter Boghossian, Helen Pluckrose, and I set out to demonstrate that Woke “scholarship” is trash. We recognized the peer-review system has a simple, catastrophic weakness: political corruptibility through the corruption of the key gatekeepers of the system, academic “peers.”

Though we didn’t understand the Gramscian, Maoist, Marcusian strategy of the Long March Through the Institutions or its mechanisms at the time, we certainly could see the fruits of it in operation in the corner of scholarship we targeted. In short, through the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, the halls of academe were increasingly filled with neo-Marxist and postmodern activists who reliably place their social and political prejudices ahead of any pursuit of truth. We perceived that those ideological biases were a key element in getting peer-reviewed literature into academic journals in a wide array of theoretical disciplines, and we took advantage of that as a means of trying to expose it.

Through whatever set of chances on our journey, a rather talented documentary filmmaker named Mike Nayna got brought into our very narrow inner circle early in the project’s development, and he did what documentarians do, started recording and documenting everything. He thought we were crazy at first but that it might be a fun side project. Little did he realize.

Now, after several years of fighting his own Woke industry and preposterous delays and restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic so he could get the documentary series he was producing together and out into the world, his time to tell this story has arrived. It is perhaps bizarrely fortuitous—maybe providential—that these delays hindered the delivery of this important documentary. What wasn’t easily visible a few years ago is blatantly obvious now, and it demands the kind of explanation this documentary can provide right when people are the most ready to see it.

Flatteringly, Nayna calls the multi-part documentary The Reformers, nodding to the beginnings of the Protestant Reformation that challenged the corruption of the late Medieval Catholic Church. Nayna rightly sensed all along that the problem in our universities is that they have become corrupt, inbred purveyors of a religious doctrine posing as social science—one badly in need of a Lutheran hammer on the door.

In fact, this assessment is exactly right. Our universities have become increasingly insular seminaries for a neo-Gnostic cult religion that passes itself off as social science and theory. To flatter them can win you indulgences, and to disagree with them will lead them to visit purgatory upon you in the form of personal and professional inquisitorial “struggle.” To say the whole apparatus needs reforming is understatement bordering on the absurd.

Personally, it’s an interesting experience for me to look back on that pivotal phase of my life, including a lot of footage I didn’t know Nayna had taken and that I’ve never seen. The story, ranging from our humble and rather stupid beginnings through to our eventual success and vindication is both hilarious and harrowing. I hope you’ll find it as informative and entertaining as I did.

All that said, though, don’t miss the point. The Grievance Studies Affair has never been more relevant. Entire institutions, including national governments, huge megacorporations, global NGOs, the entire establishment media apparatus, and most terribly our universities and schools are wholly in thrall to the fraudulent ideology we exposed almost five years ago. Little of what we’re going through now is based in reality, and the arc of this documentary series makes that undeniable in a way that simply wasn’t visible when the story first broke in 2018.

The Reformers exposes what we all know about the corrupt academic scholarship misshaping our world: it’s all based on nothing more than the prejudice and opinion of activists and activist scholars who have hijacked academia.

Watch Episode 2 of The Reformers here, on Mike Nayna’s Substack.

Read full Article
See More
Available on mobile and TV devices
google store google store app store app store
google store google store app tv store app tv store amazon store amazon store roku store roku store
Powered by Locals