People cannot stand too much reality.[i]
-C. ~C. G. Jung
It is a shattering experience to see through our imaginary projections and recognize that someone we thought was leading and protecting us does not have our best interests at heart. People who support George Bush resist and turn away from the irrefutable and readily available evidence that Bush is anything but a good leader, as if they are in denial with a capitol D. Bush is saying one thing and doing totally the opposite, and many people are simply in denial of this and look away. People who follow Bush are not only in denial, but are actually refusing to look and therefore, blind to what most of the world finds very obvious. It’s as though those who are loyal to Bush are under a hypnotic spell, suffering from a form of collective brainwashing. People who support Bush in his pathology are exhibiting nothing other than the “group-think” of cultic behavior. Another name for cults is “collective psychosis.”
Followers of a cult unquestioningly give their power over to their leader’s version of reality. People in a cult have dis-connected from their own discerning wisdom, the ability to discriminate between the opposites, between truth and lies, between good and evil. In a cult, any reflection concerning the leader’s unconscious shadow is not only not allowed, but is severely punished. The cult leader is typically insulated from anyone who disagrees with him, not even wanting to come in contact or have any connection with people who have a different point of view. The cult leader surrounds himself with “yes-men” and sycophants whose only role is to flatter the leader’s narcissism. People in a cult exhibit complete and total denial with regard to any evidence contradicting the agreed upon belief of the cult, even going so far as to deny their leader’s criminal behavior. All of these qualities of cults and their members’ perfectly describe Bush and his followers.
People who belong to a cult are always hooked through their unconscious fear and blind spot. The cult members’ relationships with each other are based on a mutual unconsciousness, as they reciprocally reinforce each others’ denial and illusion. In a cult, there is always some form of mind control, such as the Bush Administration’s control and manipulation of the media. “Staying on message” is the typical communication style within a cult. The cult leader plays with and manipulates peoples’ fears so as to gain their trust and control them, a process not based on love but on power over others.
Bush, like an (arche)typical cult leader, attempts to create a “fiction-based” reality, rather than relate to a reality that is based on facts. Cult leaders try to transform or even destroy history so as to invent their own. Reality is interpreted and shaped so as to suit the narcissistic designs of the cult. Attacking critics of the Iraq war, Bush says,”…it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began.” The New York Times itself responded to Bush’s obvious projection by saying, “We agree, but it is Mr. Bush and his team who are rewriting history.”[ii]
Cult leaders are actually quite plugged in, be it consciously or unconsciously, as to how we are collaboratively dreaming up our universe. Instead of consciously wielding this sacred power of co-creating reality to serve the whole of humanity, however, cult leaders perversely use this power in a way that feeds and supports the psychosis of the cult.
Like a typical dysfunctional family, there are always aspects of a cult kept hidden and secret, which is the mechanism keeping its hierarchical power in place. In a cult, this inequality of power ensures that a form of abuse is always unconsciously acted out. In addition, the members identify with only one side of an inherently two-sided polarity, projecting out the marginalized shadow. Hence, people who disagree with the cult are seen as having fallen under the spell of the Devil. Members of a cult are convinced of the rightness of their point of view, which they consider non-negotiable. Therefore, there is no room for open dialogue and debate, the core of a true democracy.
In a personal discussion I had with the late Harvard psychiatrist John Mack, he said, “In one area, Bush is even worse than Hitler. Unlike Bush, Hitler was smart enough to give Germany’s scientific community freedom to unfold their research.” Cults will suppress and distort science to serve its ends, just as the Bush Administration is doing for partisan political ends.
The cult leader is (arche)typically either identified with God or feels he has a special relationship with God. Cult leaders and their followers see themselves as agents of apocalyptic, end-time scenarios, which is one of the more disturbing aspects of Bush and his supporters from the religious right.
At their root, cults are based on a mass, collective unconsciousness that feeds and reinforces itself. The cult’s nature is of an infinitely-perpetuating negative feedback loop, fueled by its members’ (“the elect”) unwillingness and resistance to self-reflect, look in the mirror and see what they are doing and who they have become. Because it is so insular and unable to integrate any reflections from the outside, a cult always becomes self-destructive and ultimately destroys itself. This is why it is an extremely dangerous situation as Bush and his cultic followers attempt to take over our country, as they will create endless, unnecessary suffering for all of us. Bush might not just take down our country, but our very planet as well.
It is profoundly important for us, as citizens of this country and the world to recognize the nature of the collective madness I am calling ME disease manifesting itself through Bush and Co. If our country continues to give our power over to the likes of a madman such as George Bush, we would in one sense be like the Germans during World War II, who, to quote Jung, “…follow a mediumistic Fuhrer over the housetops with a sleep-walker’s assurance, only to land in the street with a broken back.”[iii] Let us wake up from our somnambulistic trance.
A pioneer in the field of spiritual emergence, Paul Levy is a healer in private practice, assisting others who are also awakening to the dreamlike nature of reality. Paul is also a visionary artist and a spiritually-informed political activist. He is the author of The Madness of George Bush: A Reflection of Our Collective Psychosis,which is available on his website www.awakeninthedream.com. (See the first chapter, The Madness of George W. Bush: A Reflection of our Collective Psychosis). Please feel free to pass this article along to a friend if you feel so inspired. You can contact Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org; he looks forward to your reflections. © Copyright 2010
[i] Quoted in Kunstler, The Long Emergency, p. 1.
[ii]New York Times, Editorial: Decoding Mr. Bush’s Denials, Nov. 15, 2005
[iii] Jung, Civilization in Transition, CW 10, par. 426.