ER Editor: The original article from The Telegraph lies behind a paywall. We offer this through the French site Profession Gendarme.
Scientists acknowledge that the use of fear to control behavior during Covid’s crisis was ‘totalitarian’
Those who still doubt fear manipulation and believe they are still in a democracy may be able to open their eyes with this admission by the manipulative scientists.
English speakers will be able to tell us if the translation is faithful since it is the newspaper The Telegraph which is the source. This is not the prerogative of the United Kingdom but concerns all the countries which adhered to the instructions of the world council in 2018, of which the majority of the citizens of the world are unaware of the existence.
Those who still doubt the manipulation of fear and believe they are still in a democracy may be able to open their eyes with this admission by the manipulative scientists themselves.
Members of a scientific panel on pandemic flu behavior regret “unethical” methods.
Scientists on a committee that promoted the use of fear to control people’s behavior during the Covid pandemic have admitted that their work was “unethical” and “totalitarian.”
Members of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviour (SPI-B) lamented these tactics in a new book on the role of psychology in the government’s response to Covid-19.
The SPI-B warned in March of last year that ministers needed to increase the “perceived level of personal threat” from Covid-19 because “a substantial number of people still do not feel sufficiently threatened personally.”
Gavin Morgan, a psychologist on the team, said,
“Clearly, the use of fear as a means of control is not ethical. The use of fear smacks of totalitarianism. It is not an ethical position for a modern government. I am by nature an optimistic person, but all this has given me a more pessimistic view of people.”
Morgan spoke with author Laura Dodsworth, who spent a year investigating government tactics for her book A State of Fear, published Monday.
Ministers have been repeatedly accused of exaggerating the threat of the pandemic to justify containment measures and coerce the public into complying with them – an allegation that will be examined by the upcoming public inquiry into the response to the pandemic.
The SPI-B is one of the subcommittees that advise the Scientific Advisory Panel for Emergencies (Sage), headed by Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific advisor.
An SPI-B scientist told Dodsworth,
“In March , the government was very concerned about compliance and thought that people would not want to be locked up. There were discussions that fear was necessary to encourage compliance, and decisions were made about how to increase fear. The way we have used fear is dystopian.
“The use of fear was definitely ethically questionable. It was like a weird experiment. In the end, it backfired because people were too scared.”
Another SPI-B member said,
“You could call psychology ‘mind control.’ That’s what we do…We’re clearly trying to do it in a positive way, but it’s been used in a negative way in the past.”
Another warned that
“people are using the pandemic to seize power and push through things that wouldn’t happen otherwise…We have to be very careful about authoritarianism creeping in.”
Another said, “Without a vaccine, psychology is your main weapon…Psychology has had a very good epidemic, actually.”
In addition to the open warnings about the danger of the virus, the government was accused of feeding the public a steady diet of bad news, such as deaths and hospitalizations, without ever putting the numbers in context with news about how many people have recovered, or whether the number of daily deaths is above or below seasonal averages.
Another SPI-B member said he was “amazed at the weaponization of behavioral psychology” during the pandemic, and that “psychologists didn’t seem to notice when they stopped being altruistic and became manipulative. They have too much power and it intoxicates them.”
Steve Baker, the vice president of the conservative member group Covid Recovery, said, “If it’s true that the state has made a decision to terrify the public to get compliance, it raises extremely serious questions about the kind of society we want to become.”
“If we are really honest, do I fear that today’s government policy is playing with the roots of totalitarianism? Yes, of course it is.”
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