Anyone with a developed religious sensibility has been aware of the religious nature of COVID-19 terror from pretty early in the lockdowns. The evidence is becoming increasingly striking.
Last month, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul accented this in a particularly weird way by wearing a necklace formed into the word “Vaxed” as its talisman.
Check out the necklace NY Gov. Kathy Hochul is wearing today.
(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) pic.twitter.com/RJvCWnc1Pd
— Jon Campbell (@JonCampbellNY) August 26, 2021
Just a few days ago, Hochul also gave a press conference in which she claimed she is the ultimate religious authority over all New Yorkers no matter their actual religion. “There are not legitimate religious exemptions [to COVID injections] because the leaders of all the organized religions have said there is no legitimate reason,” she said.
“I’m not aware of a sanctioned religious exemption from any organized religion, in fact, they are encouraging the opposite,” Hochul also said. “Everybody from the pope on down is encouraging people to get vaccinated.”
NY Governor Hochul: “There’s no legitimate religious exemption” pic.twitter.com/6CqWgru48G
— Jewish Deplorable (@TrumpJew2) September 27, 2021
Even though Catholics do believe the pope is a final authority on their religion, unlike people of other “organized” faiths including many other varieties of Christian, Catholics have this marvelous little theological technicality helping lift their burden of currently enduring one of the worst modern popes ever. It is that every random thing the pope does or says does not define church doctrine.
Only under special and carefully defined circumstances do even the pope’s utterances become Catholic religious law, and the pope almost never employs this authority. And even a pope as theologically unfettered as Francis has not required COVID vaccination of Catholics. So not only is Hochul completely ignorant of one of the basic tenets of an important religion in her own state and country, she is also breathtakingly arrogant to claim that her political opinions should trump every single New Yorker’s sacred conscience on this serious matter or any other.
Self-appointed pope of all New Yorkers Kathy Hochul also appeared at a megachurch to preach her COVID doctrines, telling the congregation that COVID-19 injections “come from God” and “I need you to be my apostles” for preaching universal vaccination to the unsaved.
Science: Natural immunity after COVID disease is stronger and longer lasting than vaccine immunity.@GovKathyHochul: The vaccine comes from God. It is mandated.
Q: For COVID recovered, how about a religious exemption for those who believe in science instead of God? https://t.co/3yNR4tBx4x
— Martin Kulldorff (@MartinKulldorff) September 28, 2021
It’s all very weird and creepy, and it’s going to only get weirder and creepier the longer the strangely millions of people terrified out of their wits about COVID continue like this. That’s because the gap between reality and their deeply held religious beliefs is going to keep growing, and keep getting harder to explain away with yet another layer of lies.
That’s what happens in the best-case scenario with a cult: The gap between what believers are told and what they can see with their own eyes eventually grows so large that it turns into disillusionment and eventually disbelief. The worst-case scenario? We’ll get to that.
It is an old truism that one’s god is what one most loves and fears. For COVID cultists, their love and their fear are mirror images: Physical suffering and death.
This is why there’s a correlation between the strength of a person’s Christianity and his lack of fear of COVID: Because Christians do not ultimately most revere suffering or death. Better, as Jesus Christ says in the gospel of Matthew, to “fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” than to “fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.”
For pagans, however, this present world is all they have. Their decaying body is the only thing to which they can cling. And clinging to it they most certainly are — one might say with a death grip that is reaching for all of us.
The emergence of COVID has brought pagans’ refusal to consider their immortality right in front of their eyes every waking moment. Looking into that great, yawning darkness of believing there’s no life after death is more than many can bear.
So they invent rituals. Wear talismans. Engage in weird and frankly grotesque compulsions. And try to compel the rest of us to join their cult, in a desperate attempt to alleviate their existential terror.
It’s clearly a religious ritual to believe that the evil death god won’t come near only if you are engaged in morally significant mass actions, while he will swoop down suddenly if you are engaged in an immoral act like living without demonstrating your great fear of and respect for him or openly rejecting his commands. If the evil spirit theoretically goes away when you engage in sacred rituals like wearing ceremonial face decorations, despite the lack of strong objective evidence this is actually true, you are in a cult. Or a false religion.
You are also in a cult when there is nothing anyone can say or demonstrate that could possibly change your mind about your beliefs or even get you to admit uncertainty. Being impervious to data and reason is a hallmark of the psychological capture on which cults feed.
You are in a cult or an overweening religion when you use or support the use of manipulation, pressure, and fear tactics to get people to obey you instead of allowing them the freedom to make up their own minds and live as they choose. You are getting cultish when you become wildly obsessed with rituals and purity. You are in a cult when you isolate yourself and demand to isolate others so that the only information allowed to circulate supports your beliefs.
“A very important aspect of cult is the idea that if you leave the cult, horrible things will happen to you,” says President of the International Cultic Studies Association Steve Eichel. “This is important, and it’s important to realize. That people outside of a cult are potential members, so they’re not looked upon as negatively as people inside the cult who then leave the cult.”
Eichel’s top advice? “Beware of any kind of pressure. That’s probably the single most important advice I can give anyone. Any kind of pressure to make a quick decision about becoming involved in any intensive kind of activity or organization.” Oh, you mean maybe like forcing people into “two weeks to stop the spread” and everything that followed under threat of being implicated in mass body counts?
Another endemic tactic to cults and other kinds of power relationships is scapegoating. Scapegoating means identifying some person or group of people as “the evil ones” who are at fault for every bad thing that happens.
With the COVID cult, the scapegoats have varied, but they are brutalized just the same: Donald Trump. People who supported Trump. People who objected to mass mail-in ballot chaos using COVID as an excuse. People who wouldn’t stay home. People who protested having their life’s work destroyed. People who won’t wear masks. Now the “unvaccinated,” even though many of them have better immunity due to naturally defeating the disease.
Clearly a minority of people with a majority of power have weaponized billions of people’s existential dread of death. But, rationally speaking, attempting to stop COVID, like trying to stop death, is ultimately impossible. It is a futile attempt to control what is in reality beyond any human ability to control.
Attempting to understand, revere, and interact with what is beyond human abilities to control is what religion is for. And right now a frighteningly large proportion of the American public wants to give god-like powers to the temporal and highly fallible state in a doomed attempt to relieve their existential emptiness. In Australia, they have become willing to send armored men with massive guns to seize and lock up people over even trivial COVID heresies.
Humanity has seen this kind of thing before. Previously, we’ve called it things like theocracy, fascism, tyranny, and totalitarianism. That’s where this is headed in many, many more places if more people don’t snap out of the COVID death cult — soon.