An Expose of a “Big Lie”

Like many, I found a few shiny nuggets of value in Peterson’s evocative ramblings and dismissed the rest as meaningless bafflegarb, never stepping back to appreciate the deeper meaning and motivation in Peterson’s overall philosophic system. Fortunately, Vox Day did. What he finds there is shocking – the gyrations of an intellectual con artist tying together strands from Jungian psychology and occult “wisdom” to weave a tapestry of deception disguised as a self-help guide and intended to be a foundational text for a postmodern secular religion. Vox Day exposes Peterson’s rejection of truth and reality in favor of a gnostic gospel of “balance” – a middle way between truth and falsehood, between good and evil. This short but clear and helpful text provides an essential inoculation against some of the most dangerous and virulent intellectual fallacies of our times. Check out Jordanetics.

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45 thoughts on “An Expose of a “Big Lie””

  1. Hans,

    What are the issues?

    I take a lot of things Jordan Peterson says with a grain of salt. I think the comparison to L Ron Hubbard in the title was a low blow to sell books. Am I wrong? Who has said Jordan Peterson is “Humanity’s Greatest Thinker”?

    Thank you for introducing this debate.

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  2. Hans, perhaps you could prove the validity of your claims by writing some fiction about how a vast conspiracy operates to keep your views from becoming known:  Just like you did with with your physics.

    If you have an issue with Peterson, I look forward to hearing it.  I’ll even offer a starting point, based on your words, not those of the childishly pseudonymous Vox Day:

    Peterson’s rejection of truth and reality in favor of a gnostic gospel of “balance”

    What is the truth and reality rejected by Peterson?  The accusation rolled right off of your tongue — will the explanation?

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  3. Having read his 12 Rules for Life, listened to a bunch of lectures, and watched interviews, I wonder what exactly you think he is getting wrong or that is a rejection of Truth. I mean, I have seen Peterson dismissed by many on the right as saying “nothing new”.

    I have not found Peterson to be anything other than authentic, and interested in finding truth. He is willing to say “I don’t know” a lot, which I find refreshing. What he does know, about psychology, is well grounded in a scientific understanding of neruobiology. Having a degree in psychology myself, I find Peterson to be persuasive.

    Saying he is an “intellectual con artist tying together strands from Jungian psychology and occult “wisdom” to weave a tapestry of deception disguised as a self-help guide and intended to be a foundational text for a postmodern secular religion” is really a slur. I might was well say anyone bucking the understanding of modern physics is a crazy man unwilling to come to terms with the stark realities of what is.

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  4. Let’s keep to the facts and discuss the book. Don’t shoot the messenger but look at the message.

    Mollie Hemingway had a few things to say that as a Christian she wasn’t for Jordan Peterson but agreed with some things he said.

    I see the forward was by Milo. Isn’t Milo more fringe than Jordan Peterson?

    I just don’t get the cover art. Why put a professor of psychology in a straight jacket with a smiling face to put across this person is insane? This doesn’t seem a good way to persuade people.

    I might agree that Jordan Peterson is raking in the money but what’s wrong with that? People aren’t forced to go to his lectures or buy his books. He is also a neophyte to the public arena. He has made mistakes.

    I still wish instead of taking down this person Vox Day would promote someone to follow. Who is Vox Day for?

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  5. Haakon Dahl:
    Hans, perhaps you could prove the validity of your claims by writing some fiction about how a vast conspiracy operates to keep your views from becoming known:  Just like you did with with your physics.

    If you have an issue with Peterson, I look forward to hearing it.  I’ll even offer a starting point, based on your words, not those of the childishly pseudonymous Vox Day:

    Peterson’s rejection of truth and reality in favor of a gnostic gospel of “balance”

    What is the truth and reality rejected by Peterson?  The accusation rolled right off of your tongue — will the explanation?

    I don’t think the Gnostic Gispels have anything to do with “balance”.

    And I’ve never thought Petersen was very profound.  “Stand up straight.” Yeah, okay, but then what? I think he’s harmless and if people find him comforting, all to the good .

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  6. 10 Cents:
    What are the issues? I take a lot of things Jordan Peterson says with a grain of salt. I think the comparison to L Ron Hubbard in the title was a low blow to sell books. Am I wrong? Who has said Jordan Peterson is “Humanity’s Greatest Thinker”?

    The comparison to L. Ron Hubbard is well developed and persuasive. The “Humanity’s Greatest Thinker” is pure rhetoric and shouldn’t be taken literally – a sarcastic jibe at the attitude of some of Peterson’s fans.

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  7. Haakon Dahl:
    What is the truth and reality rejected by Peterson?  The accusation rolled right off of your tongue — will the explanation?

    Peterson’s definition of truth is subjective – that which “serves life” in a Darwinian sense rather than an objective reality that exists independent of the observer. Peterson doesn’t “think facts are necessarily true.” Vox Day pulled many of the most damning Peterson quotes in this video.  The introduction by Milo Yiannopoulos is a good place to start if you don’t have Kindle Unlimited and want to get a more detailed sample.

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  8. Hypatia:
    I don’t think the Gnostic Gispels have anything to do with “balance”.

    Sorry for the confusion. I didn’t mean in it the Christian context. I meant it more figuratively – “gnostic” in the sense of hidden knowledge concealed behind a veil of turgid prose and accessible only to the most enlightened, and a “gospel” in the sense that Vox Day’s argument is that Peterson is attempting to set up a secular religion along the lines of Scientology.

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  9. 10 Cents:
    I just don’t get the cover art. Why put a professor of psychology in a straight jacket with a smiling face to put across this person is insane? This doesn’t seem a good way to persuade people.

    He’s being deliberately provocative to garner attention – a purely rhetorical move. However, the best rhetoric is that which conveys a kernel of truth, which is the case here.

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  10. Peterson is more pop-psychologist than he is serious thinker. This doesn’t mean he’s wrong about most things but there is an air of mountebank about him. I notice that the book’s description claims that

    He has, by his own admission, thought thoughts that no man has ever thought before. He has dared to dream dreams that no man has ever dreamed before.

    Presumably, there’s evidence for the claim that Peterson has made such assertions. They certainly have the ring of truth. I’m not going to watch hundreds of hours of Peterson videos to verify the claim.

    The book’s tag lines and other promotional material engage in exaggeration, much as Peterson himself does. It may be necessary to do so if one is to pierce the bubbles of preconceived notions and prejudices. Peterson is up against a secular religion of political correctness and cultural Marxism. Vox Day is up against a burgeoning cult of Jordan Peterson.

    10 Cents:
    I see the forward was by Milo. Isn’t Milo more fringe than Jordan Peterson?

    Milo is a self-acknowledged provocateur. He never styled himself as a serious scholar or academic. It’s unwarranted to compare them as equals. If Peterson is even 10% Milo, he’s being somewhat dishonest.

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  11. Dime, I’m not talking about the book.  I haven’t read it, and Vox Day didn’t put this here.  Hans did.

    Just as I need not school myself in “electric universe” nonsense to know that it is nonsense by what it attacks, I’m not reading this book just to counter what I know about JP.  This post and its author have the burden.

    This is a slur, a drive-by book advertisement with a bucket of manure — for substance.

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  12. Ok so nothing else said so far changes my mind at all. I don’t need to read what someone else thinks of Peterson. I have seen him in person and like what he has to say. Comparing him to Hubbard is uncalled for.

    The cover alone is reason enough to skip it.

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  13. Haakon Dahl:
    Dime, I’m not talking about the book.  I haven’t read it, and Vox Day didn’t put this here.  Hans did.

    Just as I need not school myself in “electric universe” nonsense to know that it is nonsense by what it attacks, I’m not reading this book just to counter what I know about JP.  This post and its author have the burden.

    This is a slur, a drive-by book advertisement with a bucket of manure — for substance.

    Yes.

    And Vox Day is not my go to for wisdom. Like Peterson, I have read him too. Vox’s work does not help his case.

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  14. Haakon Dahl:
    Dime, I’m not talking about the book.  I haven’t read it, and Vox Day didn’t put this here.  Hans did.

    Just as I need not school myself in “electric universe” nonsense to know that it is nonsense by what it attacks, I’m not reading this book just to counter what I know about JP.  This post and its author have the burden.

    This is a slur, a drive-by book advertisement with a bucket of manure — for substance.

    The first person on this site to put up a link to the book was John Walker. It is a good topic to talk about. People get to come down on both sides of the issue.  I don’t think the debate should be about the person who brings the issue here.

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  15. Hans G. Schantz:
    Vox Day pulled many of the most damning Peterson quotes in this video.

    I found the video to be propagandist but also useful. The most interesting and valid point made was that Peterson and Shapiro are trying to define the boundaries of thought on the Right* to prevent those who with to color outside the lines. In other words, they’re trying to stop bad-think and promote good-think. In their own way, they are complicit in suppressing free thought even as they proclaim themselves to be free thinkers.

    *The Right/Left dichotomy is not really appropriate in this context but it’s a useful shorthand for a set of ideas that divide more-or-less this way. As the video points out, Soros and Peterson may have more in common than is generally appreciated.

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  16. Hans G. Schantz:

    10 Cents:
    I just don’t get the cover art. Why put a professor of psychology in a straight jacket with a smiling face to put across this person is insane? This doesn’t seem a good way to persuade people.

    He’s being deliberately provocative to garner attention – a purely rhetorical move. However, the best rhetoric is that which conveys a kernel of truth, which is the case here.

    The cover art is provocative in the same way Peterson is. Hasn’t anyone heard of the aphorism don’t judge a book by its cover? Maybe there’s some wisdom in it. I’d add that cover art is not generally chosen by the author, much as headlines are not normally written by the authors of magazine articles.

    Regarding the point that provocative rhetorical moves convey a kernel of truth, that applies equally to Peterson and Vox Day.

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  17. 10 Cents:

    Haakon Dahl:
    Dime, I’m not talking about the book.  I haven’t read it, and Vox Day didn’t put this here.  Hans did.

    Just as I need not school myself in “electric universe” nonsense to know that it is nonsense by what it attacks, I’m not reading this book just to counter what I know about JP.  This post and its author have the burden.

    This is a slur, a drive-by book advertisement with a bucket of manure — for substance.

    The first person on this site to put up a link to the book was John Walker. It is a good topic to talk about. People get to come down on both sides of the issue.  I don’t think the debate should be about the person who brings the issue here.

    Dime, I asked Hans a direct question about something he said.  You’re chasing something, but it’s not me.  How about this — neither Peterson nor “Day” are here to defend themselves.  Hans is.

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  18. I never understood why the Left went so insane about Peterson.  Looked him up and I see it’s because he first burst on the public scene in connection with opposing having to use people’s “preferred” gender pronouns.

    Incredible.  So this guy who advises people to always pet cats, speak precisely, and 10 other almost mawkishly mundane precepts–

    ( my fave was, don’t let your children do anything that would make you dislike them.  Yuh. If only.  Y’ever try saying” Sorry honey, I can’t let you date,  or love,  Jane/John.  It might make me dislike you, you see.”?) —

    –has been relentlessly villainized and attacked by the Left.  Which in turn has made him a hero on the Right.  I really don’t think this is worth it.

    (But I will say I’m all in on the Jungian archetype lore.  I believe! )

    And I’ll say one more thing: anybody who is essentially saying to his fellow humans: pull up your socks, this is all on YOU , not on your society, not on some supernatural force,  so start acting like you know that!

    …is on the right track,  IMHO.

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  19. Hypatia:
    I never understood why the Left went so insane about Peterson.  Looked him up and I see it’s because he first burst on the public scene in connection with opposing having to use people’s “preferred” gender pronouns.

    Incredible.  So this guy who advises people to always pet cats, speak precisely, and 10 other almost mawkishly mundane precepts–

    ( my fave was, don’t let your children do anything that would make you dislike them.  Yuh. If only.  Y’ever try saying” Sorry honey, I can’t let you date,  or love,  Jane/John.  It might make me dislike you, you see.”?) —

    –has been relentlessly villainized and attacked by the Left.  Which in turn has made him a hero on the Right.  I really don’t think this is worth it.

    (But I will say I’m all in on the Jungian archetype lore.  I believe! )

    And I’ll say one more thing: anybody who is essentially saying to his fellow humans: pull up your socks, this is all on YOU , not on your society, not on some supernatural force,  so start acting like you know that!

    …is on the right track,  IMHO.

    It’s not that he just refused to use preferred pronouns. It’s that he did it under threat of possible jail time. You must remember that he did this in Canada, the same place that tried Mark Steyn for pretty much repeating what Muslim Imams said about Jews and destroying the West.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/free-speech-eh-why-is-canada-prosecuting-mark-steyn-1.720445

    I think Peterson deserves a huge amount of credit for that alone.

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  20. Robert A. McReynolds:

    Hypatia:
    I never understood why the Left went so insane about Peterson.  Looked him up and I see it’s because he first burst on the public scene in connection with opposing having to use people’s “preferred” gender pronouns.

    Incredible.  So this guy who advises people to always pet cats, speak precisely, and 10 other almost mawkishly mundane precepts–

    ( my fave was, don’t let your children do anything that would make you dislike them.  Yuh. If only.  Y’ever try saying” Sorry honey, I can’t let you date,  or love,  Jane/John.  It might make me dislike you, you see.”?) —

    –has been relentlessly villainized and attacked by the Left.  Which in turn has made him a hero on the Right.  I really don’t think this is worth it.

    (But I will say I’m all in on the Jungian archetype lore.  I believe! )

    And I’ll say one more thing: anybody who is essentially saying to his fellow humans: pull up your socks, this is all on YOU , not on your society, not on some supernatural force,  so start acting like you know that!

    …is on the right track,  IMHO.

    It’s not that he just refused to use preferred pronouns. It’s that he did it under threat of possible jail time. You must remember that he did this in Canada, the same place that tried Mark Steyn for pretty much repeating what Muslim Imams said about Jews and destroying the West.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/free-speech-eh-why-is-canada-prosecuting-mark-steyn-1.720445

    I think Peterson deserves a huge amount of credit for that alone.

    He does not deserve being compared to L. Ron Hubbard.

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  21. Richard Easton:
    I’m waiting for the book Dimeanetics.  I’ll buy that one.  🙂

    Finally a book that will make cents out of life, Richard?

    Dimenectics: The GPS for Your Life. Go to our website for our free brochure.

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  22. I have read some of Vox Day’s other stuff.   Vox Day produced some useful stuff, and also some counterproductive stuff.   I am agreeing with Bryan G.S. that I am skeptical of Vox Day’s criticisms.   I have not read this particular criticism.

    I am more familiar with Jordan Peterson’s stuff.   I have not read any of his books, but I have read some of his posts, articles and interview transcripts;  also I have watched a couple of his instructional videos, a couple of interviews and and part of a debate.   The interviews were really entertaining.   With friendly interviewers he gets a chance to distill or expand on things that he is being criticized for.   With hostile interviews you get to see a master at work; they are especially entertaining because he is very smart, has a quick memory and a quick wit, and speaks very precisely.   I have not seen him have to reel back any of his statements, but rather he defends them in ways that make hostile Leftist interviewers look silly.

    In general, as a first consideration, keep in mind that he is a professor of psychology, and so he accepts some of the teachings of contemporary psychology without question.   This gets him into trouble, such as accepting that there is an extreme right that is collectivist in nature.   I think that is because the field of psychology has internalized the Leftist lie that the Nazis were rightists and not Leftists, and J. Peterson has not unlearned the twisted history on that particular issue.   It is hard to fault a professor because he has not countered every lie that has infested a field that is full of lies.

    My interest in Peterson came when I saw that he has gained an enormous following among young American men, and also saw that he has made use of the Old Testament for a number of lecture illustrations.   I was intrigued enough to dig in to find that he is being very coy about his personal religion, which, as near as I can tell, is Deism.   It is not uncommon for Deists of all sorts to be entranced by the Bible they don’t believe in.  In the cases I have found, I do not think that Dr. Peterson has drawn any erroneous conclusions from the Bible passages that he cites, though it seems to me that in a couple of cases he missed the point.

    It is also fascinating that he is grouped in with Ben Shapiro, Sam Harris and Claire Lehmann as a leading light of the “Intellectual Dark Web.”   He is worth watching.

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  23. drlorentz:
    The cover art is provocative in the same way Peterson is.

    I agree that Vox Day’s cover is provocative.   However, I am unfamiliar with Peterson as provocative, except that I have seen him defend himself from baseless criticisms using some challenging rhetoric.   I have not seen him as a publicity hound.   His fame grew organically.

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  24. MJBubba:
    In general, as a first consideration, keep in mind that he is a professor of psychology, and so he accepts some of the teachings of contemporary psychology without question. This gets him into trouble, such as accepting that there is an extreme right that is collectivist in nature. I think that is because the field of psychology has internalized the Leftist lie that the Nazis were rightists and not Leftists, and J. Peterson has not unlearned the twisted history on that particular issue. It is hard to fault a professor because he has not countered every lie that has infested a field that is full of lies.

    This is the most serious criticism of Peterson. Maybe he can’t help it but he’s taken a lot of the cult-Marxist narrative on board. The consequences are many and varied. One of them is that he spends a fair amount of time punching right. That’s not helpful. The Left is already doing plenty of that.

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