Contagious Paranoia

By Paul Balles

Five years ago I wrote an article on mass paranoia. At the time I argued that U.S. and Israeli paranoia threaten to lead the entire world to oblivion.

In that previous article, I defined paranoia as “a psychotic disorder characterized by delusions of persecution with or without grandeur, often strenuously defended with apparent logic and reason. It involves an extreme, irrational distrust of others.”

That definition of paranoia applies not only to individuals; it also fits large groups of people, like the disastrous gathering of people in Jonestown, Guyana who killed themselves with cyanide poisoning.

It’s contagious and can spread like a pandemic. The U.S. and Israel are acting as paranoid as the Jim Jones cult that led to the murder/suicide of over 900 people.

The entire cold war was an expression of national paranoia on the parts of both America and Russia. As soon as both sides in the cold war relaxed, the U.S. started its moves to create paranoia through its threatening activities.

The U.S. brought virtually the whole Warsaw Pact into NATO, a real threat to Russia. America gave up its policy of deterrence for one of pre-emptive attacks and occupations.

Norman Podhoretz, the godfather of the American neocon movement wrote, “It now remains to be seen whether this president … will find it possible to take the only action that can stop Iran from following through on its evil intentions both toward us and toward Israel. As an American and as a Jew, I pray with all my heart that he will.”

Paranoia took stronger hold in America with 9/11; and the large numbers of security measures that have followed reveal an increasing disorder.

From its beginnings as terrorists in Palestine, Israelis have shifted between their irrational fears of another holocaust and their equally irrational fears of attacks by neighbouring states.

In a study of different island cultures, anthropologist Ruth Benedict, in Patterns of Culture, referred to the Dobuans whose culture seemed to her magic-ridden, with everyone fearing and hating everyone else. She characterised the islanders as “paranoiac and mean-spirited”.

According to Israel Shamir, in the Wall, this “definition fits the Jews as culture to a boot.”

Shamir adds, “The Jewish state is enactment of the paranoid Jewish fear and loathing of stranger, while the Cabal policies of Pentagon are another manifestation of the same fear and loathing on global scale.”

The Medical Encyclopaedia says, “Paranoid individuals constantly suspect the motives of those around them, and believe that certain individuals, or people in general, are ‘out to get them’.”

Present Israel, the country of perennial body search, is the ultimate of paranoid societies.

While paranoia in individuals has no known cure, it can be treated with medication. Group paranoia has no known treatment. Thus, if a group like those following the dictates of cult leader Jim Jones succumbs to paranoia, it’s incurable.

Not only is it incurable, it’s exceptionally dangerous to members of the group as well as to others in contact with the group. When the group happens to be a nation, the dangers become even greater.

The motivation for pre-emptive strikes (Israeli bombing of Iraq and Syria) and pre-emptive wars (American invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan) comes from group paranoia.

The Sci-Tech dictionary, by McGraw Hill describes this sort of paranoia as having “…properties of suspiciousness, fearfulness, hypersensitivity, hostility, rigidity of conviction, and an exaggerated sense of self-reference.”

As the U.S. and Israel move closer to a larger pre-emptive war with Iran, our only hope is that enough of the American public can resist those with paranoid delusions.

Paul J. Balles is a retired American university professor and freelance writer who has lived in the Middle East for many years.

  1. #1 by MJ on 09/15/2012 - 9:34

    He is right it is not just the Nut-yahoo and co.

  2. #2 by Michael philip peter mcculloch on 09/15/2012 - 9:34

    Shalom godbless if they are saying that iran is developping nuclesr weapons and have no proof before jumping the gun and bringing the world to war why dont the world leaders in hindsight organize with iran diplomats from every country in the world and not just a chosen few. access into iran if they have nothing to hide and are telling the truth regarding peacefully purposes they would allow this action in the interests of international security and immediately poblicize the findings in realtime before people start dying shalom godbless

  3. #3 by Pro-Gentile on 09/15/2012 - 9:34

    Salaam, Allah bless, if Israel has nuclear weapons (or a nuclear program) and doesn’t allow inspections, it is illegal under the Symington Agreement for Israel to receive aid from the US.

    If Israel has nothing to hide, it should allow international inspections. Otherwise halt all aid and maybe also ask for a refund while we’re at it.

    Also, you might want to ask what the Samson Option is:

    “Our armed forces are not the thirteenth strongest in the world, but rather the second or third…We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets for our air force…We have the capability to take the world down with us, and I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under.”
    –—Martin Van Creveld, a professor of military history at Israel’s Hebrew University.

    Destroying the world is the ultimate logical end of the paranoid.

  4. #4 by lolathecur on 09/15/2012 - 9:34

    To above poster. Have they not done this already? Why will the state of israel not do the same? Hmmmmm.

  5. #5 by 30.06 on 09/16/2012 - 9:34

  6. #6 by Ingrid B on 09/17/2012 - 9:34

    On a personal level, I was depressed, and paranoid, for a number of years, due to circumstance, once I removed myself from the situation, I healed naturally..

  7. #7 by lolathecur on 09/20/2012 - 9:34

    in order to understand the truth in the scripture you must look up and understand the meanings of these words. they will be found in Strongs bible dictionary with corresponding verses where they are used. get to studying now! here are the words: Yahakobe, Yhuwdiy, Yehoodawee, Ioudaismos, Idudaios, Dath, Yehhodeeth, Yahad. do not let liars decieve you..please consider this very important subject for future discussions on shows. Thank you jeff turner

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