Updated December 14, 2018. 11:20 pm EST
In a new post on Patreon today, Jordan Peterson has articulated his position on Patreon’s deplatforming of controversial YouTube personality Carl Benjamin, aka Sargon of Akkad. In the post, Peterson states: “I am an admirer of Sargon, and he was a great friend of mine when I was in deep trouble two years ago. I think there is no excuse for deplatforming him (particularly when his fundamental crime was defending himself against neo-Nazis).”
Benjamin was booted from Patreon after a video surfaced of him deriding Neo-Nazis by using a racist term in an ironic way. Whatever you may think of Benjamin’s language in the video, it was not in violation of Patreon’s policies. Benjamin was well within his right to express himself, and the fact that he was deplatformed for exercising free speech as opposed to committing some kind of harmful action is problematic to say the least.
This tweet from YouTuber and writer Benjamin Boyce sums up exactly why what happened to Benjamin matters to other creators and consumers:
— Benjamin Boyce (@BenjaminABoyce) December 10, 2018
It’s always the little guy who gets screwed over the most when corporations like Patreon decide to play to the woke peanut gallery.
Patreon CEO Jack Conte went on the popular YouTube show The Rubin Report last year to assure creators that they could trust him to not punish people for their speech. In this appearance, Conte successfully convinced creators that Patreon would not cave to ideological pressure and would defend free speech. Most remained convinced until “The Sargon Incident.”
Many creators and patrons have since expressed frustration and disappointment in the platform. They see the banning of Benjamin as a betrayal. Indeed, many have already abandoned Patreon for SubscribeStar, an alternative crowdfunding platform. It appears that Patreon may be bleeding revenue as it loses support from users and creators. Peterson’s recent statement has amplified the sentiment of these disaffected people. Now the ball is in Jack Conte’s court. Some still believe that Patreon can fix the problem.
One very recent and fascinating thread on Twitter by freelance journalist Nick Monroe has already pointed out what appears to be a gaggle of activist spin doctors to undermine SubscribeStar’s reputation:
THERE IS ALREADY BOYCOTT EFFORTS FOR SUBSCRIBESTAR STARTING.
I came across some shmuck named Tim Squirrell feeding Will Sommer and Jared Holt information to use in whatever smear campaign they’ve got cooking up.
Tim has also CCed the Sleeping Giants so they can boycott it. pic.twitter.com/bJyCUX6sin
— St. Nick Monroe (@nickmon1112) December 14, 2018
Within hours, the predictable happened. SubscribeStar is now temporarily shut down. SubscribeStar reached out to me via Twitter to provide context: “while some of our operations are paused/restricted by PayPal and Stripe, we are not shutting down the service, nor we’re planning on doing so. We are implementing other means for subscribers to support their Stars and for Stars—to get paid.”
Peterson’s take on the issue is of particular interest because he is the quite possibly the most popular figure in the so-called “Intellectual Dark Web” (IDW). Indeed, his monthly support numbers on Patreon are astronomical. He has also been a vocal opponent of compelled speech laws and an unwavering champion of freedom of expression.
In his post today, Peterson went on to assure his supporters and well wishers that he is looking for a solution to the fallout from this new crowdfunding controversy: “I have been talking continually with the majority of members of the so-called Intellectual Dark Web, and we are determining what steps to take … Dave Rubin and I (and others) have been discussing the establishment of a Patreon-like enterprise that will not be susceptible to arbitrary censorship, and we are making progress, but these things cannot be rushed without the possibility of excess error.”
He continued: “I remain deeply grateful for your support and committed to ensure that the money you pledge will be devoted to the highest cause possible and that none of this is being treated with casual disregard.”
Liberals, centrists and conservatives have come to trust Peterson for his consistency during the particularly gruelling culture wars of the late 2010s. In 2018, you can often tell just how effective a voice is by how many people target the speaker with defamation and hit pieces. You see, the more mainstream platforms try to smear popular figures like PewDiePie, Jordan Peterson and liberal feminist Laci Green with labels like “alt right,” the more you can be sure that these people are making meaningful connections and resonating with everyday people.
On this issue, it is encouraging to see Peterson express his support for Benjamin and his disappointment in Patreon. It’s a dangerous time for freedom of expression. The ability to make a living while expressing heterodox views is under attack. Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Patreon have all made recent efforts to “sanitize” their platforms in the name of social justice. Peterson’s statement today provides some hope for the future of freedom of expression on the internet. I hope it leads to real, effective action. This may be an opportunity to break up the monopolies of social media and put an end to their control over cultural capital and their ability to erase people.
Dr. Jordan B. Peterson’s personal troubles are celebrated by his detractors. After his daughter, Mikhaila Peterson, opened up about the difficulties her father faced during this past year, a torrent of ill-wishes were released to social media.
A data scientist, engineer and social justice activist had this to say: “do I think he deserves sympathy despite him not extending it to others? Also no.”
Peterson’s legacy is evident in just how many people have been helped by his work. His message is simple, to take charge of yourself and your life, to avoid being controlled by aimless desire, and if you don’t know where to start, begin by cleaning your room.
A professor of law and medicine at the University of Ottawa also prefers to show no sympathy. Here’s hoping he doesn’t teach ethics.
Peterson’s message is one that so many who hear it can relate to, and he’s travelled the world speaking to sold-out audiences. His views are rooted in western ideas, stem from our most ancient myths and legends, and embrace the Christian hero story of self-sacrifice as the ultimate strength.
A writer for the Toronto Guardian had this to say.
Some guy with the Twitter username “im nice” who fancies himself a comedian had this to say:
Peterson has been vilified by detractors in media and the public at large about as much as he has been praised. The reasons behind this are that people don’t like to hear that relativism is not the best way to live life. People who are mired in our contemporary driving philosophy of meaninglessness, that no one way to live is better than any other, that no one choice is a better or worse choice than another, don’t want to listen to someone who says that the hard work of life is worth doing.
Yet a podcaster, community organizer, and author from Quebec City wishes eternal damnation on Jordan Peterson.
Peterson says that the idea that we should accept ourselves as we are is misguided, because at our core, we’re all probably monsters. He brings up the genocides and massacres of the 20th century as proof, invoking the memoirs of concentration camp guards to show that any of us are capable of the most horrific of human actions. None of us are safe from our own worst, or best, impulses. He holds us all accountable to ourselves, to each other, and to the people we love. He speaks about marriage as a relationship that must be nurtured and tended, not abandoned. Peterson recommends that you don’t let your kids turn into unlikeable children.
Not everyone wished him harm, and some pushed back.
Through podcasts, books, speaking engagements, interviews, and YouTube videos, he talks about how essential it is that we each take on our own hero’s journey. He brings up the legend of King Arthur’s knights, recommending that we must seek our journey in the dark place—meaning we must face our fears, not so that we can overcome them, but so that we can know that we are afraid and act bravely in the face of those fears. One very real place where this approach can be made is in the face of addiction. There is perhaps nothing more difficult than kicking an addiction that has you in its teeth.
On addiction and physical dependence, Peterson can speak from experience. That he has this understanding makes his message that much stronger. How trite it is to hear from a teetotaller who has never touched a drop that we should give up the hard stuff. Where it has more power is coming from someone who has been there before us, whether they’ve beaten the addiction or not.
The calls for Peterson’s head on a spike came from the contemporary left, which is a movement that mirrors the heavy-handed vitriol that we used to see with the late 20th century right. This moralistic grandstanding on a foundation based entirely on narcissistic pleasure principles is eating itself. An ideology that purports to care for others only cares for those who adhere to the ideology. There is a growing intolerance for disagreement.
Peterson’s struggle to overcome benzodiazepines is so incredibly humanizing and real. It shows us that, in many ways, he is right. We are all capable of losing control, even those among us who are so great at guiding us how not to. Peterson’s all too human struggle can give the rest of us strength to know that we are not alone in ours. The identitarian, intolerant left could do well to face its demons, just as Peterson is facing his.
The last year has been extremely difficult for our family.
Dad was put on a low dose of a benzodiazepine a few years ago for anxiety following an extremely severe autoimmune reaction to food. He took the medication as prescribed. Last April when my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer, the dose of the medication was increased. It became apparent that he was suffering from both a physical dependency and a paradoxical reaction to the medication. A paradoxical reaction means the drugs do the opposite of what they’re supposed to. These reactions are rare but are not unheard of.
For the last eight months, he’s been in unbearable discomfort from this drug, made worse when trying to remove it, because of the addition of withdrawal symptoms, stemming from physical dependence. He experienced terrible Akathisia, which is a condition where the person feels an incredible, endless, irresistible restlessness, bordering on panic, and an inability to sit still. The reaction made him suicidal.
After several failed treatment attempts in North American hospitals, including attempts at tapering and micro-tapering, we had to seek an emergency medical benzodiazepine detox, which we were only able to find in Russia. It was incredibly gruelling and was further complicated by severe pneumonia which we’ve been told he developed in one of the previous hospitals.
He’s had to spend four weeks in the ICU in terrible shape, but, with the help of some extremely competent and courageous doctors, he survived. The decision to bring him to Russia was made in extreme desperation when we couldn’t find any better option. The uncertainty around his recovery has been one of the most difficult and scary experiences we’ve ever had.
So: Finally Dad is on the mend, even though there’s a lot of physiological damage that he needs to recover from. He’s improving and is off of the horrible medication. His sense of humour is back. He’s smiling again for the first time in months, but he still has a long way to go to recover fully.
It appears that we are going to get through this by the skin of our teeth.
So let me make a couple of things clear:
- Neither our family nor the doctors here believe that this is a case of psychological addiction.
- Benzodiazepine physical dependence due to brain changes can occur in a matter of weeks. It can be made even worse by paradoxical reactions that are difficult to diagnose and can be extremely dangerous.
- We’ve been told and hope that Dad will recover fully but it will take time and he still has a ways to go.
- We are extremely lucky and grateful that he’s alive.
The next update will come from him directly. Thanks again for all the support.
On January 7th, The Post Millennial reported that a Professor at the University of Calgary tweeted about failing students if they cited Jordan Peterson. Ted McCoy, chair of the Law and Society program at the UoC, apologized shortly after his tweet went viral, asserting that the flippant comment was “a joke” and insisting that he did “take seriously … students’ right to free expression.”
In wake of the social media fallout, sources from within the University of Calgary have come forward to The Post Millennial to assert that McCoy’s comments were anything but a joke. The identities of those who spoke out are being protected for their safety due to their proximity to McCoy.
“He absolutely was not kidding. He absolutely does penalize students for holding divergent views.” Said one source, a former professor at the University of Calgary and current professor at another institution.
“He literally tells students to not read Quillette,” the source revealed, drawing from discussions had with McCoy’s students, “He’s walked into class and expressed how disappointed he was in the amount of conservative ideas being expressed.”
The source noted that students often came to her with complaints about McCoy’s in-class political proselytizing, fearing poor grades because of their ideological differences.
“Students have just learned to shut-up and parrot whatever he wants to hear.” The source revealed that McCoy was the only professor teaching a mandatory capstone exit course required for some students’ successful degree completion in the Law and Society program.
Being the coordinator for the Law and Society program, McCoy is also responsible for hiring new faculty members. Noting that a great deal of faculty has abruptly ceased teaching in the program, the source claimed that all of the new hires have been people who “share [McCoy’s] ideological perspective” and “have no qualifications whatsoever to teach Law and Society.”
A student who took McCoy’s class corroborated the faculty member’s comments.
“I have actually told other students to not enroll in the Law and Society program because of McCoy,” he said, noting a number of distressing interactions with his former Professor.
“The first day of class, within the first fifteen minutes, he explicitly states ‘the goal of this course is to radicalize you. Before you leave University, I want to radicalize you.’” The former student, who identifies as “left-wing” politically, says McCoy immediately introduced the class to a bizarre coding system by which participation was noted for grades.
“[McCoy told students] that he will make a mark beside your name when you contribute to the class discussion. He told us he has a symbol system for if a student made an insightful comment, all the way up to ‘what you said was batshit crazy.’” The former student says the class was “immediately politicized,” with students fearing to vocalize their opinions if it contradicted McCoy’s ideological perspective.
The former student also revealed that McCoy assigned his own writings as well as books written by his Ph.D. supervisor as mandatory readings for the class, leaving students fearful to express criticism. When one student did, noting the lack of objectivity in one of the readings, McCoy berated him.
Recalling another class, the former student says that McCoy blasted Jordan Peterson to the class.
“He came into class with his head in his hands and looked upset. He was shaking his head and sighing.” When a student asked what was bothering the Professor, McCoy went on to complain about Jordan Peterson. “He said he had been reading a lot of Jordan Peterson, and said he ‘cannot believe’ how Peterson ‘thinks he knows everything.’”
After a student defended Peterson, McCoy reportedly went on a tangent.
“He said Peterson is basically espousing hate speech and he ought to be deplatformed in the strongest sense.” the former student said.
“I was distressed that a Professor would take such an obvious political stance in his teaching,” the former student said, going on to reveal he felt “unsafe” with McCoy’s control over his grade. Because of this student’s concerns about entering graduate school, he said he learned to stop challenging McCoy.
“I basically kowtowed in my papers. I would just tell him what he wanted to hear.” Going on to note that conservative students never spoke in class out of fear of angering McCoy.
Since graduating, the former student says his friends who have entered McCoy’s class have texted him for help navigating the Professor’s extreme ideology.
“[McCoy] was unequivocally one of the worst professors I’ve ever had, and it was because the class was more about politics than it was critical thinking.”
On January 9th, McCoy tweeted and quickly deleted a post suggesting he had only apologized at the advice of administration.
The Post Millennial has reached out to Dr. Ted McCoy, the Law and Society program, and Sociology department head Dr. Fiona Nelson at the University of Calgary, but have not received a response by the time of publication.
Ted McCoy, a historian of prisons and punishment, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Calgary, has tweeted out that the rumours about him are true: any student who cites Dr. Jordan Peterson in his class will fail. He lists himself as anti-fascist, and his pronouns he/him.
According to the University of Calgary, his areas of interest include, Social Inequality and Social Justice, Criminology and Deviance, Health, Illness and Medicine, Work and Occupations, and First Nations. We assume it’s the interest in “Social Justice” that led him to make this censorious claim on Twitter, promising to punish students for citing one of the most renowned scholars in the world.
McCoy has since deleted the tweet, but the internet never forgets. The archived tweet can be found here. Professor McCoy joins a dubious list of social justice professors like Matthew Sears who have contracted what can only be described as PDS: Peterson Derangement Syndrome.
People have lost their collective minds when it comes to Dr. Peterson. Bookstores have banned his books, movie theatres have cancelled screenings of films featuring him, The New York Times blacklisted his bestseller from their list, Universities have deplatformed his speaking engagements. It’s all a bit much for a psychologist whose life’s work is dedicated to improving people’s lives.
Ironically, Professor McCoy teaches a class called “Self-Regulation” which examines how individuals and groups create, maintain, and follow non-legal codes of conduct and, in turn, regulate themselves and society.
Apparently McCoy is too deranged by his jealousy-fuelled fever dreams of Jordan Peterson to apply the lessons of his course to his own online behaviour.