In a dramatic video published on YouTube last week, a woman looked at the camera and made a deeply personal announcement.
She revealed that her father, Jordan Peterson, the famous “professor of political correctness,” was in intensive care in Russia after being admitted to hospital after a severe dependence on benzodiazepines – a class of anti-anxiety pills.
“He died almost several times,” she says solemnly in the clip that has been viewed more than 2.4 million times.
Clear: Jordan Peterson in a confrontational interview with Channel 4 News’ Cathy Newman and, below, with Douglas Murray
“He almost died of what the medical system did to him in the West.”
Mikhaila Peterson explains why he was in Russia, not exactly a free society, and says: “The doctors here are not influenced by the pharmaceutical companies.
“They don’t believe in treating symptoms caused by drugs, by adding more drugs, and have the guts to medically detoxify benzodiazepines.”
For the Canadian psychologist’s family, the idea that he has had “neurological damage,” as Mikhaila says, is of course a tragedy.
But it is also a huge tragedy for everyone who cares about the cultural wars that dominate so much of our lives today.
Because the 57-year-old, who has recently been the most talked-about thinker on our planet, has boldly challenged political correctness ninjas harder than anyone else. In a time of newly imposed, often suffocating dogmas, he said what people know that is true about a whole range of issues.
That women and men are biologically different. That people have to take responsibility for their own lives.
That modern life often seems hollow and meaningless.
But it took a lot to be the cause of telling the truth. By becoming public enemy No. 1, he may have helped where he is now.
Peterson was first publicly disclosed in his hometown of Toronto by refusing to use so-called “forced language” – for example, by forcing the law to refer to a trans-person through their chosen pronoun.
He was not “transphobic,” as his critics claimed, but he was motivated by a simple refusal to allow governments in a free society to dictate what people are allowed to say.
From that first storm he seemed to make fire everywhere.
And always sing the people who tried to improve him.
His YouTube channel, where he placed lectures and speeches, produced tens of millions of views.
Parts of the left-wing media tried to destroy him.
One of the most famous examples came during a visit to the UK in 2018 when Cathy Newman from Channel 4 News spent half an hour trying to put words into Peter’s mouth.
In an effort to track him down on trans rights and the equality of women, she unsuccessfully tried to fit what he said into her own ideological agenda.
Fragments from the interview turned viral and, like other attempts to destroy Peterson, only helped him reach a larger audience.
His book Twelve Rules For Life was published in 2018 and immediately became a global bestseller # 1.
He quickly sold out arenas during tours.
Although his audience was of all ages and backgrounds, he made a certain deal with the youngsters.
In a society whose guiding ethos is “doing what feels right” and then “spending your free time saving the planet,” Peterson had a different message.
It contained a number of reboots of good, old-fashioned values. Sit up straight.
Put your own house in order. He told people that if they couldn’t even keep their room clean, it was unlikely that they would use much to reorder society or the planet.
He advised people to develop meaningful relationships. He recommended procrastination instead of immediate satisfaction.
And he invited people to live their lives as if they had a purpose: to think that this life that we live is more than just a superficial game for consumers.
High price: good friend Douglas Murray reveals that the famous ‘professor of political correctness’ has paid a high price
When I first saw him giving a lecture in London, the atmosphere was electric.
In a tour-de-force, Peterson explained the virtues of the Jewish-Christian tradition, the meaning of myth and the relevance of great stories from the past for people’s lives today.
It was religious and secular – familiar and radical.
At this point we had become friends and together we were on stage at two locations.
Together with our friend, philosopher Sam Harris, we appeared at the 3Arena in Dublin and the O2 Arena in London. On both occasions about 10,000 people were found to hear us talk about God, politics and society.
I have no doubt that the majority of the public was there to see Jordan, and he deserved it.
It is inevitable that he has made countless enemies. Not only among people who hated his message, but among people who had never seen anything like this star and were jealous.
He was constantly abused on Twitter, while publications constantly printed hit pieces and slander.
Fury: Students and the faculty of Cambridge University were upset about the decision to pull the plug from his visiting fellowship
Then, last March, his visiting fellowship at Cambridge University was withdrawn after a backlash from the faculty and students.
In search of excuses for not receiving the world’s most famous professor, they pretended to be shocked by a photo of him at a meet-and-greet fan standing next to a man wearing a T-shirt with the slogan “I’m a proud Islamophobic ‘.
The cowards in Cambridge said that by standing there, Peterson had approved the man “casually.”
Meanwhile, people around him were worried about his crazy schedule. A speech in a different city – often a different country – every day. And media interviews at all hours.
Last April his wife Tammy got terminal cancer.
Jordan tried to cope with the tension and started taking increased doses of benzodiazepine.
He has always been frank and open about his history of depression and has tried to advise other people on how to deal with this terrible condition.
Last September, his daughter Mikhaila announced that her father had checked in.
Then we got the terrible news this week.
In her report, Mikhaila, who is suffering from arthritis and an autoimmune disease that she treats by eating a controversial diet with only meat, announced that he has been trying to get rid of medication for the past eight months.
I wish the response to this terrible news would have been nicer.
But it is a characteristic of our toxic time that people who like to present themselves as the nicest can trust that they are evil as hell in a cause they like.
The social justice activists that Peterson uncovered when he was healthy are now despicable because he cannot protest.
The Independent website attacked him as an “alt-right figurehead” who has attracted “widespread accusations of transphobia.”
The Guardian journalist Suzanne Moore cheerfully tweets: “Hello Editor-types. Jordan Peterson ran into a rehabilitation center in Russia. F *** me gently with a chainsaw … let me tell that story. Come on!’
A fellow Canadian scholar, Amir Attaran, wrote on Twitter under the hashtag “Karma”: “Jordan Peterson, oracle of gullible young men, preacher of macho-toughness, and bullying against” snowflakes “, is addicted to strong medicine and his brain are infused with ‘neurological damage’.
“He deserves as much sympathy as he showed others.”
And these are just three notable examples of the sewerage of abuse that was directed in his direction.
So maybe I can say a few words of support for him?
I have known some remarkable people in my time. The best of them inevitably have fans.
Fans: The writer Martin Amis said you can see who fans are when they shake when they meet their heroes, but in Peterson’s case, his fans would tell him that he made the difference in their lives
You can tell the fans, as the writer Martin Amis once wrote, because they vibrate when they meet their heroes.
It wasn’t the case with Jordan Peterson. While walking down a street with him, or sitting next to him in rows for signing books, I saw firsthand what other people heard.
In the 20 or 30 seconds that people would have him for themselves, they didn’t tell him how much they loved his job.
They told him what a difference he had made in their lives.
A great author is lucky if this is even said to them a few times in their lives. Peterson was told several times every night.
I will never forget a man in his twenties who came by after one event.
While Peterson signed his book, he said he had lived in a bed 18 months earlier, spent his time gaming and smoked too much marijuana.
Today he said he was married and had a job and that his wife was expecting their first child.
This, he said, was all because of Peterson. I have often heard similar stories.
A serious and mature society would learn lessons from this.
Instead of rejecting, mocking, or trying to catch him, it would acknowledge that we live in a society where many people are willing to tell simple untruths, but too few people are willing to tell difficult, necessary truths .
It would also realize that under the glitz and technology of modern times there is a profound lack of purpose – a chaos – that can be utterly frightening especially for young people and that almost no one tackles it. Peterson has tried to tackle that chaos.
Not with big plans but with small, feasible steps. All supported by a knowledge and curiosity that was frankly amazing and inspiring.
At no time did he tell himself to be holy. And not once has he suggested that he has all the answers.
But he knows where the answers are not. And he knows that we can live a life with a deeper meaning and purpose than this superficial and rewarding age claims.
Jordan Peterson is a remarkable man.
But he is still a man, with all the weaknesses and shortcomings that this condition entails.
His daughter says he is improving. And I know on behalf of millions of people I say: Get well soon, my friend. Our world needs you. ”