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A Psychological Profile of the Pandemic as Viewed by Professor Mattias Desmet

Compiled and Summarized from Professor Desmet’s Interviews

James Odell, OMD, ND, L.Ac.


Professor Mattias Desmet is a clinical psychologist at Ghent University Belgium who also has a master’s in statistics. Early in the pandemic around May 2020, he took on the role of a statistician and started studying the figures and graphs. He soon concluded that the fatality rates for the pandemic were dramatically overrated. For example, the projected mortality rate in Sweden was approximately 50,000 people, if they did not have a lockdown. Yet, Sweden still did not go into lockdown and the casualties were only 6,000, which is 13 times less than predicted. Even though the predictive models were incorrect, politicians did not alter the measures to the real data, they did the opposite. They continued as if the models were correct, and the real mortality rate was the same as the faulty models.


We have an approach to the pandemic that claims to be based on science, on statistical models. But when it is proven beyond a doubt that the models were completely wrong, instead of changing the measures (lockdowns, social distancing, etc.) they continued as if the models were correct, even after they were proven to be completely wrong.


According to Professor Desmet, one thing that has rarely been discussed, is the long-term costs and detrimental consequences of the lockdowns on countries, compared to the benefits of “flattening the curve.” Clearly, the lockdowns and other measures have caused long-term damage to the world economy as well as profound psychological distress to millions of people. The lockdowns have increased worldwide hunger and starvation rates as well. From the beginning, institutions like the United Nations warned us that probably more people would die as a result of starvation, particularly in developing countries, because of the lockdowns, than the number of victims the coronavirus could ever claim, even if there were no measures taken at all against the virus. This meant the ‘remedy’ was far worse than the actual disease. And still, nobody seemed to notice this. Everybody seemed to be so focused only on the coronavirus victims. This showed that the field of attention, of the entire world, seemed to be singularly focused on the victims of the pandemic as if all the collateral damage did not matter anymore.

In one way or another, people were not able to see the collateral damage caused by the lockdowns and the government’s draconian measures. They were only able to view the pandemic through this tiny lens as if nothing else mattered. He concluded that the pandemic was not a biological crisis but more of a psychological crisis. Thus, when Professor Desmet realized this, he started to view the pandemic through the lens of a clinical psychologist instead of as a statistician. He proposed that ignoring science and following one narrative was due to “mass formation” a form of mass hypnosis.


Mass Formation – Crowd Formation


Professor Desmet concluded that society was suffering from “mass formation” or “crowd formation”. This is a specific type of group belief and behavior formation, almost a type of hypnosis, that emerges under certain circumstances. According to Dr. Desmet, society needs to meet 4 certain conditions for mass formation to occur.

These four conditions are:

  1. Social isolation or lack of a social bond, or a lack of meaningful relationships in their lives.

  2. Lack of meaning in life (for example, many people within society had lost their livelihoods, and or felt that their job was meaningless or without significant purpose)

  3. Presence of free-floating anxiety in society, and in some cases, anxiety that the society cannot point to a specific reason for what exactly is causing this anxiety.

  4. Presence of discontentedness, frustration, and even aggression.

Right out of the gate, those four markers are obviously endemic to Americans. The lack of social bonding has been created by lockdowns, social distancing, masking, school, church, and sports event closures. This continues today throughout the world, and in some places is more extreme than others. Millions worldwide have become jobless and lost social connections with family and friends. This has created an existential situation in which masses of people have lost purposeful meaning and transpersonal direction in life.

The mainstream media narrative has constantly propagated fear and doom. We witnessed death counters on the TV 24/7. So-called health experts without any scientific studies inform the masses that the only way out of the pandemic is through lockdowns, masking, social distancing, and now inoculations. Many viable treatments for the Covid flu were and still are censored. People’s anxiety and fear greatly increased and led to a surge in suicides and extreme depression. Essentially society now meets all the conditions to create “mass formation”.

The two narratives propagated through the mass mainstream media (MSM) are:

  • Mainstream media tells society what specifically the object of their anxiety (Covid-19 flu) is. Thus, only focusing on this singular cause for anxiety and depression.

  • At the same time, MSM gives a strategy to deal with this object of anxiety (lockdowns, social distancing, masking, inoculations).


Over time, through media propaganda, all the disconnected people in society, all those suffering from free-floating anxiety, connect their anxiety to this specific cause Covid-19 flu. Then a new solidarity emerges, where all these disconnected people from all areas of society become a part of a new group, and a bond amongst them emerges. Many of these people are willing to join together by participating in a faulty strategy pitched by the mainstream media narrative so that they can deal with this object of anxiety together. They turn a blind eye to any other narrative even though it may be founded in science.

Once mass formation sets in, its brainwashed adherents display little regard to every other measure of wellbeing. Regardless of how damaging or serious the side effects the strategic narrative may be (social isolation, economic destruction, masking, and experimental inoculation), people hypnotically participate in this media propagated solution and feel relief from their anxiety (mass formation). It is as if everyone engaged in this new social bond is fighting a heroic battle together against this object of anxiety. They begin a new solidarity, a new meaning for life, and a new social bond emerges over this heroic battle against this dreaded object of anxiety.


The reason why people within this mass formation (mass hypnosis) all need to participate in the lockdowns, wear a mask, social distancing, or take an experimental inoculation is that if you do not do it, then you are not showing solidarity to the new group that has been formed. Almost as if all the measures to defeat the object of anxiety are just to prove to everyone else that you are a part of the new cult-like social group. This participation and obedience to the narrative solution are not backed in scientific studies, in fact, studies that go against this narrative are discounted and criticized as a conspiracy theory. This mass formation is primarily becoming purposed to identify who is a part of the new obedient cult-like social group and who is not. People are being divided between vaxed and non-vaxed or “non-pure-bloods and pure-bloods”.

Professor Desmet further explains that these people who are engaging in this mass formation then start to create their own religious-like rituals. These rituals come in the form of pushing lockdowns, wearing masks - even with young children, social distancing - even from family members, sanctioning and mandating experimental inoculations, as well as a whole range of other draconian measures that have not been proven by science to achieve anything. Because these people are hypnotized by the “religious cult” they are now rejecting any new scientific research that conflicts with their current religious cult beliefs. Thus, they are closed off to new information, no matter how definitive it may be.

A second mechanism also develops under mass formation, namely fascistic intolerance to competing outlooks. The intolerance is a natural self-defense maneuver because the psyche would have to confront reality, thus bringing them back to the initial anxiety and discontent that precipitated the mass formation in the first place. Thus, when the people engaged in this new social cult-like religion receive conflicting information from people who are not hypnotized by the cult, the cult members then use the state to oppress the dissenters. That is when you see powerful people using the power of the state to lockdown innocent people and mandate experimental “so called vaccines.” The use of the police to assault innocent people in the street is akin to a totalitarian state like mainland China or the previous Soviet Union, where the state exterminates people who disagree with them.

If it sounds like our deranged friends and families are living under a sort of hypnosis, it is because they are. So entrenched is their fear of Covid flu that they cannot literally process or handle the endless studies and statistics that debunk everything they hold to be true, such as masks do not work, lockdowns do not work (though they exacerbate the symptomatic manifestations of mass formations), inoculations do not work, other treatments do work, liberties are being crushed, and so on. When adults are unable to function normally after being asked to consider the infinitesimally small risk posed to kids in schools by Covid or presented with basic knowledge that the flu has always been more severe or lethal, it is like talking to your dog, though your dog is probably more sympathetic. Except in addition to looking stupidly back at you, these people bite back with furious irrationality.

Professor Desmet leaves us with a hopeful way to change this destructive mass formation; he concludes, “In my opinion, the most important thing for people to do is to continue to speak out. Even if it’s just to say that you don’t agree with the mainstream narrative: because mass formation is provoked by the specific voice it’s gotten used to. Really, you must take this literally. Totalitarian leaders know this very well: they start every new day with thirty minutes of propaganda, in which the voice of the leader constantly penetrates the consciousness of the population. So, without mass media and without the ability to confront people, time and time again, with the voices of the leaders, no mass formation could have continued for as long as it did in Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union. And the opposite of this is also true: if other voices are available in the public space, then the mass hypnosis will be disturbed.”