One thing I took away from my reading of the Tobacco Endgame was that Tobacco Control was an introverted community with its own set of ‘visionary scholars’ and ‘world thought leaders’, and its own utterly mad set of beliefs.
I mean, where else would one find people saying things like, “The cigarette is the deadliest artefact in the history of human civilisation,” or describing the the practice of smoking as a “pandemic”? Nowhere. Because nobody thinks that way. Nobody else is that mad.
Today it struck me that Tobacco Control was simply another cult. Back in the 70s lots of cults started appearing. The earliest, and perhaps most famous, was that of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, which the Beatles joined in the late 60s. But there were plenty more. There was Subud, and the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, and Hare Krishna. I even once came across the Emissaries of the Divine Light. Other famous ones include Scientology and Heaven’s Gate.
The principal difference between the Tobacco Control cult and these others was that none of them ever went mainstream, while the Tobacco Control cult did. And that’s why it’s far more dangerous than any of them. It captured the social and political elites. If Scientology had gone mainstream (which it almost did), we’d all have E-meters, issued by the NHS, and our doctors would be helping us to become ‘clears’. Instead we have smoking bans and No Smoking signs on everything.
One might say that Global Warming alarmism is another cult. And the EU ‘project’ as well.
If these new cults have been so successful, it’s because they mostly make some sort of appeal to science. In the case of Tobacco Control, it’s statistics. In the case of Global Warming, it’s physics. And since for the most part, most people know next to nothing about either, it’s easy to enlist them as believers, blindly trusting ‘experts’.
To my mind, however, the principal hallmark of a cult is irrationality. It’s quite easy to dismiss most cults as irrational, because they usually are, and they usually don’t even pretend to be rational. But in the case of Tobacco Control and Global Warming, there is an explicit claim to scientific rationality, usually backed up with scientific-looking charts, tables, graphs, and even equations. The result is that it takes a fairly substantial effort to break through the mask of rationality, and discover the irrational core.
In the case of Tobacco Control’s antismokers, I was greatly assisted back in the late 1960s by living in the house of Dr W, the first antismoker I ever encountered. He unwittingly inoculated me permanently against antismoking. Because I thought he was a bit mad – in fact more than a bit mad. And, 50 years on, I still think he was more than a bit mad. I don’t think I was mistaken in that assessment. What I was deeply mistaken about, however, was my belief back then that he was a harmless lone crank. He wasn’t alone at all.
Dr. W was really a member of the Tobacco Control cult. He probably knew both Richard Doll and George Godber very well. Theirs was a medical cult, largely confined to the medical profession. And it was one that eventually completely captured the medical profession in the UK sometime in the 1990s, much like a cancer metastasizing through a body.
And much the same goes for the Global Warming cult. That was one which was growing inside the physical sciences, and took them over around about the same time.
What’s the attraction of these cults? I’ve been reading Cults of Unreason, by Christopher Evans, online today. It was written in 1973, just as the various cults I’ve mentioned were gathering momentum. Early on, he writes:
And if science and present-day philosophy – currently obsessed with semantics and linguistics – are unprepared to offer help, while the great world religions offer only outdated, timeworn and implausible concepts, then the field is ripe as never before for stop-gap systems, pseudo-scientific philosophies, quasi-technological cults and new Messiahs to emerge. They are, in fact, already here, and there is evidence that their strength is growing.
I suppose that if irrationality is the central characteristic of these cults, the second characteristic – which follows inevitably from their irrationality – is that they are also profoundly destructive.
Tobacco Control’s smoking bans and demonisation of smokers is both deeply socially destructive and economically destructive, while producing zero health benefits.
Global Warming alarmism is arguably even more economically destructive, as it sets out to replace fossil fuels with wind and solar energy sources. In a parliamentary climate change committee meeting yesterday, Peter Lilley told the assembled zealots:
“Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.”
And they are indeed mad. Just like Tobacco Control is mad.
It’s probably their sheer destructiveness that eventually can no longer be tolerated, and leads to the zealots being driven out. And this is going to happen both with Global Warming and Tobacco Control (and all its associated healthist junk science). And most likely the EU as well, because it embodies and enables both Tobacco Control and Global Warming alarmism, while bankrupting entire nations and bankrupting itself.
The EU ‘project’ is, of course, yet another irrational and ultimately deeply destructive cult. Why is a European superstate better than a Europe of separate sovereign states? Because, Manuel Barroso tells us, we will be able to sit at the ‘top table’ with other superstates. Everything must be sold so that, in effect, we can dine at the same table with Sean Connery and Clint Eastwood.
Ultimately, the aim of all these cults is to make a bunch of nobodies into somebodies. Tobacco Control and Global Warming and the EU has made a bunch of nobodies into ‘global thought leaders’. Nobody would have heard of any of these tyrannical, conceited bastards otherwise.
Me? I have no ambitions. I’m perfectly content to be nobody. I just want to be able to sit in a pub and drink a pint of beer and smoke a cigarette while I’m about it.