John Jones sits across from the psychiatrist.
Mr. Jones, I see your employer referred you.
Yes, Doctor. I was basically told that if I didn’t seek treatment, I would be suspended. Perhaps fired.
Why? What did you do?
Nothing. I just told a co-worker the news is an illusion. She reported me to the Personnel officer.
The news is an illusion?
Yes. It’s a realization I came to recently.
Well, it started one night when I watching an interview with a woman who was upset, because she was on a long waiting list for the vaccine. Looking at her, I suddenly realized she’d spent the whole afternoon preparing for the interview.
I could see she’d gone to her hairdresser. She probably had her nails done. She probably spent another hour picking out a dress from her closet.
You ASSUMED all that.
The most important fact, as far as she was concerned, was: she was on television.
She was thinking: I’M ON TELEVISION.
I see. To her, that was more important than not having access to the vaccine.
And that’s it, Mr. Jones? That’s the illusion?
No. The next thing I realized was: THE NEWS IS ON TELEVISION.
Well, of course it is.
At that moment, I stopped believing.
You stopped believing in what?
Because it’s just a person on television.
Don’t you think, Mr. Jones, that your conclusion is an unwarranted leap?
The newsman started talking—after the interview—about vaccine hesitancy. He said experts were in agreement about the science. The vaccine is very safe.
Science is just “what’s on television.” That’s the definition of science.
Try to walk that back, Mr. Jones. You’re going too far. You’re describing a delusion.
I don’t think so.
I don’t see, on the form you filled out, that you’re taking any medications.
What about recreational drug use?
I don’t take any drugs.
Let me put it this way, Mr. Jones. If you stop believing in the news, what do you believe in?
I have to figure that out.
Something has to be considered authoritative.
I’m not sure what you mean.
Mr. Jones, people can’t experience everything first-hand. Surely you understand that. What you can’t experience you have to accept…from somewhere, from some source outside yourself.
And you think that source should be the news.
The news is an attempt to collect the best information possible.
I now see it as an attempt to be on television. A very successful attempt. It’s a collaboration among many employees of the network. Their prime declaration is: WE’RE ON TELEVISION.
Mr. Jones, you have Delusional Disorder.
What is that?
It’s a condition. People who have it have delusions.
What should I do about it?
The first thing—try just to watch the news. Try to…let it flow. Don’t interrupt it, so to speak.
And if that doesn’t work?
Then don’t watch the news for a month or so. Stay away from it. Consider it a trigger for your condition. Which brings me to a question.
You want to know whether I have other delusions.
None I’m aware of. My life is otherwise normal. I have friends. I get along with my family.
You don’t hear voices?
Do you get messages…for example, from God?
No. Look, Doctor, here’s the situation. I like watching the news now. To see that something you thought was real isn’t real at all…it’s invigorating. I feel stronger after I watch it. Freer.
You could be having manic episodes.
You think I should go along to get long?
If it benefits you. Don’t be so anxious to reject reality.
You think I should behave.
We’re all in The Normal. A sane person understands that.
Do you believe in the news, Doctor?
Of course. It’s a requirement of my job. It’s a basic standard against which I can assess the sanity of a person.
Am I an unusual case?
Harvey, the Personnel man at your company, referred you to me because I see hundreds of people who’ve had your experience. It’s my specialty. Bringing people back to SSI. The Stable Structure of Information.
There are other people like me?
Many. More all the time.
They don’t believe in the news, either?
Correct. But there is a STRUCTURE called the news. A few billion people accept it. So they have common ground. We need common ground.
And I’m a deserter.
You’re suffering from a selective fantasy.
I read alternative news websites.
I’m not surprised. Those websites need to be censored.
Because they lead people away from common ground. They divide society.
Even if they contain truth?
Truth is a cheap commodity. Vastly overrated. What matters is consensus. If we don’t have that, we have various kinds of insurrections breaking out here, there, and everywhere.
Binds us together.
In a way, it sounds like you agree with me. The news is the news because it’s on television.
Where else is the news going to take place?
Suppose the news says the COVID vaccine is safe and effective, but it isn’t. It makes people fall over. Lots of people. They’re injured. They die.
That’s tragic, but frankly, it doesn’t matter, Mr. Jones. Suppose a hundred million people decided the vaccine is dangerous. Tomorrow they might doubt the existence of the pandemic. Then, the next day, they might say viruses are a fiction.
Better if we all agree the moon is made of green cheese.
Better if we all accept and believe in television.
So psychiatry is a branch of television.
For certain patients, I prescribe eight hours of viewing a day. Mr. Jones, anyone who doesn’t watch the news ought to be under close surveillance.
Because not watching the news amounts to what I call psychological insurrection. It can be a forerunner to physical insurrection.
Is that a joke?
We live in a collective. We pass, to each other, information. That information comes from the news. The news is the root of the collective.
You’re talking about mind control.
I’m talking about your delusion.
Let me ask you something, Doctor. Suppose, just suppose I were an alien from another galaxy, and I came here to observe Earth civilization. I observed you, and I was shocked. You’re treating people for so-called mental disorders, but you’re quite mad. Insane.
I would say you don’t understand how our civilization works. Consensus is our life blood. We must have it. Those who can’t go along with the consensus need to be treated by a professional.
And I’m one of those people.
Because I’ve come to the realization that the news is what’s on television.
Because you’ve stopped believing in the news.
And you’re going to help me restore my belief?
I’m going to try.
And if you fail?
I’ll tell you that you should be shunned. You could infect others with your delusion.
You’ll recommend that my company fire me?
If you go along with therapy, and take the medication I prescribe, I’ll report that you have an “immunity certificate.”
I thought the certificate was just for vaccination.
The uses for the certificate are expanding. Did you vote for Donald Trump?
I didn’t vote.
If you had voted for him, you could lose your immunity status. Have you made public statements criticizing COVID science?
Well that’s good. We’re clamping down, Mr. Jones. The resistance to the consensus is nearing a danger point. So we have to respond.
And as you clamp down, how will I know what to say and what not to say?
Are you on television?
Think of me as behind television. Nurturing it.
When did you stop being human?
When I was nine.
I realized being human was a disadvantage. Much better if I took up a position outside humanity, where I could analyze behavior and thought. That’s where status is. And a higher level of personal success.
And you’re happy with that?
Of course. Civilization needs people like me. Again, I mention consensus. I help push people into common ground. People need to be spun in a blender, so they all come together in accord. The details of what they agree on don’t really matter.
And the news is that blender.
It’s the best one invented so far.
Electronics, nanoparticles—we’re making advances in controlling the brain. But the news—it’s meat and potatoes. A basic. It’s the school everyone must attend.
Which brings me back to my original idea. The news is what’s on television. If it weren’t on television, it wouldn’t be the news.
If you keep that up, you’ll face excommunication. You’ll be labeled a heretic.
If I had any sense, I’d try to land a job with one of the major news networks.
If you succeeded, ten years from now you’d look back on these days and you wouldn’t recognize who you were. That person would be gone. You’d feel secure. You’d know you had matured.
I once had a dream I was sitting at an anchor’s desk. I was reporting the news.
It’s never too late, Mr. Jones. That’s my motto.
I would sit there at the anchor’s desk talking to millions of people, and I’d think, I’M ON TELEVISION, AND IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT I SAY. WHATEVER I SAY IS NEWS.
Exactly. And if you could keep that thought and not lose it; if you could avoid believing that what you’re telling people is true, if you could put aside TRUE and FALSE, you’d be home free. You’d have an experience few people could imagine.
So you agree with me, Doctor. The news is what’s on television.
I never said I disagreed, Mr. Jones. Your delusion is thinking that’s a problem. You just need to shift your point of view. Don’t be the patient, be the doctor.
Don’t be the victim, be the master.
Don’t be the tricked, be the trickster.
Don’t be the penitent, be the priest.
Don’t be the viewer, be the anchor.
So it’s all a game, Doctor.
Everything is, Mr. Jones. Do you want to play the game, or do you want to sell it and let others play it?
Is this therapy, Doctor, or an initiation into a secret society?
What do you want it to be, Mr. Jones?
Reprinted with permission from Jon Rappoport’s blog.