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Jews & Mental Illness

2,933 words


“Everyone is a little paranoid.” — Woody Allen

This essay was inspired by the excellent interview between Greg Johnson and Mike Enoch, “Forced to Be Free,” in the recently released You Asked For It: Selected Interviews, Vol. 1 [2]. This wide-ranging interview covers a vast range of topics, and as a whole serves—as does the whole book—as an absolutely excellent introduction to the whole of our project for “normies” who don’t “sperg out” over the topics we’re interested in—to translate that for the normies, I’m talking about normal people (that’s definitely not an insult to you) who are too busy with actual lives to spend free time studying the topics we talk about in the neurotic levels of details it takes to actually break through societal conditioning and begin to see them the ways that we do.

This interview, in particular, shows us two intellectually curious, mentally stable, and fundamentally compassionate men sharing the steps they’ve taken on a sincere intellectual journey in pursuit of the truth for the truth’s sake. Agree with their conclusions or not, this interview presents us with sincere and obviously well-meaning human beings on a genuine quest to comprehend the world around them, and the picture we’re given bears no resemblance with the media cardboard cut-out caricature of the ignorant racist “neo-Nazi.” They even have negative things to say about Nazi Germany—in this conversation between two “neo-Nazis” which is cloistered generally to an inside audience.

There was only one passage that I thought would come off jarring to those “normies” we need so desperately to learn to communicate effectively with. To be clear, I think the topic discussed in that passage is true. It just isn’t what I would lead the average “normie” into trying to think about the topic with. And that’s why I thought it was possible that the some small piece of our world might benefit in some way if I shared this combination of personal experiences (from my previous article, “Why I Write: The Jewish Question [3]“) and objective data (below). That passage goes roughly as follows:

One of the things we talked about before we started recording is this strange oscillation in people who suffer from mania between grandiosity, where they feel that they are God, or God is in them, or that everybody’s God, and then they have this ebullient grandiosity where they literally feel like they’re the whole universe . . . Then what happens is when people don’t respond to you appropriately when you say that you’re God, you start feeling that they are evil in some way. You start getting the touchy, paranoid, hateful side. The side that feels victimized and persecuted.

Well, that basically just sounds like Jews to me, because they have the grandiose notion that they are God’s chosen people, that they’re a light unto the nations, they’ve given the world all these wonderful things. And when people don’t treat them in ways that coincide with their grandiose self-image they assume always that these people have some problem, that these people are evil, malicious, they’re plotting against them, they’re trying to destroy them. . . . even though they’re the most powerful people on the planet—and would have no hesitation in destroying the planet if they felt their own existence were threatened—these people still have the psychology of cornered rats who think that every issue is existentially threatening to them.

But it is a stunning coincidence, isn’t it? The entire Jewish religious narrative literally contains this dichotomy right at the center. The entire historical narrative of the Old Testament could be roughly accurately summarized as “We have been persecuted by every foreign peoples we have ever lived among—because we, and uniquely we, are God’s Chosen People.” The juxtaposition of grandiosity and persecution complex is right there at the core of the entire narrative, and it is also in the relationship detailed in the Old Testament between the Jews and God—“God has always punished us more severely than he has others for the slightest deviation from holy behavior—because he chose us as his favorite people.” The historical narrative and the religious narrative are both centered most fundamentally around exactly this very overarching theme. Once again, I finally reached a point where I just couldn’t help but find myself wondering if it was sheer coincidence that this overlapped so heavily with the experiences I detailed and described in my last article [3].

And so, as I concluded in my essay, I never sought them out intentionally, but I became willing to listen to deeper explanations for why these kinds of behavioral trends would exist when I was finally presented with them. Here are the beginning sketches of unacceptable hate facts I’ve accumulated—through no deliberate search of my own—over time that have fit like puzzle pieces together in my mind to explain the experiences I went through as a young liberal who valued things like opposing war, not mutilating childrens’ genitals, and not attacking women because of their childrens’ beliefs.

First of all, whether you find the term “race” appropriate or not, Ashkenazi Jews are most definitely a genetically unique and closely related population. According to studies conducted in 2014, Ashkenazi Jews are “inbred” as a population to the point that all Ashkenazim are at least 30th cousins [4]. This research shows that modern Ashkenazi Jews were founded from an original population containing no more than 350 people. It is therefore an omnipresent fact of much modern genetic research Ashkenazi Jews are preferred as test subjects for many genome-wide association studies precisely because Ashkenazim as a whole are so genetically similar that this makes isolating the correlations between individual genetic differences and various outcomes much easier.

Like it or not, the plain fact is that most stereotypes exist for a reason—because of actual, real-world observations [5]; and the stereotype of the neurotic Jewish mother [6] is probably no exception. Based on data involving over 9,000 subjects from 2002 onward, a whopping 65% of Jewish women report having experienced poor mental health in the month prior to being surveyed [7]—compared to 32% of black men and 43% of black women.

Jordan Peterson has consistently referenced research in his public speaking showing that women are hardwired to be much more neurotic, on average, than men [8]. Research on the Big 5 personality traits [9] consistently bears this out. While we have little direct research on racial differences in the Big 5 personality traits, and are mostly reliant on finding indirect ways to identify correlations ourselves, what minimal evidence does exist clearly suggests that Jews score higher on neuroticism than non-Jews, as well [10].

Jewish women therefore get the worst of both worlds. At The Jewish Chronicle, [11] a Jewish author named Jennifer Lipman writes: “Rabbis raise a laugh during their sermons with a punchline about neurotic Jews. We make these characters the stars of our summer camp skits. We take being phobic as a badge of honour, a sign we are proper Jews … I am one of them, having suffered from insomnia for more than a decade. I worry about falling asleep, staying asleep, getting enough sleep, or surviving without sleep. I worry about the amount I worry about this. … The stereotype is funny because it is true. … Every time we joke about all Jews being in therapy, we make it harder for people to talk honestly about the fact they might be. … The stereotype of the neurotic Jew might make us giggle, but this isn’t always a laughing matter.”

Those of us who are sincerely concerned about the impact that powerful Jews from George Soros to Henry Kissinger have had on the trajectory of the American political system would concur. We live in a world where liberal press will openly celebrate articles from white male authors that say things like: “I’m mentally ill, and I should never own a gun [12].” Subtitle: “The decision to purchase a shotgun should not have been mine to make.” Against that backdrop, would a statement that “I’m neurotic, and I should never own a whole military full of guns” really be that much more offensive?

Most people will already be aware that Tay-Sachs is a uniquely Jewish disease. The condition progressively destroys neurons in the brain and spinal chord, and as of 2010, even with the best possible care children who inherit the disease almost always die by the age of 4 [13]. Approximately 1 in 3,600 Ashkenazi Jews are affected at birth [14]; 1 in 27 are carriers [15]. While the condition exists in non-Jewish populations (partly due to intermarriage), it is still comparatively tremendously rarer within them, with somewhere between 1 in 250 to 1 in 300 carriers in the other populations most likely to be effected (Irish, French, French Canadian, Cajun, and Pennsylvania Dutch). The Jewish Genetic Diseases [16] website tells us that for late onset Tay-Sachs disease, “In the 4th decade of life, mental and behavioral abnormalities include bipolar disorder and psychoses.”

As of 2013, a study of more than 25,000 [17] Jewish individuals reported by scientists at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, New York and at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has identified genes that makes Ashkenazi Jews more susceptible to schizophrenia and manic depression. Specifically, this particular mutation [18] of the gene NDST3 was found to make Ashkenazim 40% more likely to develop schizophrenia or manic depression.

Do we have per capita numbers on what this means in the real world? While we don’t have current per capita data on racial representation in mental health clinics, we do have data [19] from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, collected here in an online archive of the full unedited text of the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia [18]. The results all, without exception, conform to the rest of the observations so far made here: “From statistics collected by Buschan he concludes that [Jews] are four to six times more liable to mental disease than are non-Jews. Lombroso quotes Servi (“Gli Israeliti di Europa,” 1872) to the effect that in Italy there is one insane among 391 Jews, nearly four times as many as among the Catholic population of that country. Verga (“Archivio di Statistico,” 1880) shows that in 1870 there was one insane among 1,775 Catholics in Italy, while with the Jews it reached the alarming proportion of one insane in 384 of population. . . .” Again, even all the way back in 1906 the same trend was found in every single country for which we have data. How many coincidences can there be?

The 1906 Encyclopedia also notes in its entry on Nervous Diseases [20] that “The Jews are more subject to diseases of the nervous system than the other races and peoples among which they dwell . . .  Hysteria and neurasthenia appear to be most frequent. Some physicians of large experience among Jews have even gone so far as to state that most of them are neurasthenic and hysterical. . . . Raymond says that in Warsaw, Poland, hysteria is very frequently met with among both Jewish men and Jewish women. The Jewish population of that city alone is almost exclusively the inexhaustible source for the supply of hysterical males for the clinics of the whole Continent (“L’Etude des Maladies du Système Nerveux en Russie,” p. 71, Paris, 1889) . . . Binswanger, Erb, Jolly, Möbius, Löwenfeld, Oppenheim Féré, Charcot, Bauveret, and most of the other specialists in nervous diseases, speak of this in their monographs on neurasthenia and hysteria, and point out that hysteria in the male, which is so rare in other races, is quite frequent among the Jews. In New York City it has been shown by Collins that, among 333 cases of neurasthenia which came under his observation, more than 40 per cent were of Jewish extraction, although his clientele was not conspicuously foreign (“Medical Record,” March 25, 1899).”

To wit: this is not from The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. This is from The Jewish Encyclopedia. The American Jewish Archives has called it [21] “the most monumental Jewish scientific work of modern times,” and Rabbi Joshua L. Segal notes that [22] “For events prior to 1900, it is considered to offer a level of scholarship superior to either of the more recent Jewish Encyclopedias written in English.” Its authors [23] were Jewish.

This makes a particularly amusing coincidence of the fact that so many of the leading lights of the antipsychiatry movement — from Thomas Szasz [24] in the United States to Roy Porter [25] in Britain — have been of Jewish origin. In his own work denying the existence of drug abuse as well as addiction, Thomas Szasz made parallels like these quite explicit: “The Nazis spoke of having a Jewish problem. We now speak of having a drug-abuse problem. Actually, “Jewish problem” was the name the Germans gave to their persecution of the Jews; “drug-abuse problem” is the name we give to the persecution of people who use certain drugs.” This is trailing way off topic, but this paragraph really deserves its own essay. Szasz is literally claiming that Jews were victims of Nazi Germany in the same way that people who get jailed for running around town on methamphetamine are. Was that analogy seriously intended as a way to raise sympathy for meth-users?

In any case, how has public in Israel responded to the prevalence of genetic childhood disorders throughout its society? They’ve responded with a legal novelty that has become known as a “wrongful life” lawsuit [26], whereby the parents sue a doctor who failed to discover fetal abnormalities and advise the parents to abort the child. While similar lawsuits are filed over disabled children in other countries, these lawsuits are unique for specifically demanding compensation for the fact that the child was not aborted. As Rabbi Avraham Steinberg, a medical ethicist at Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem describes them, these parents literally “go on the witness stand and tell their children ‘it would have been better for you not to have been born.’”

Now, here is an extremely important fact to bear in mind: when a person carries genes that can lead to schizophrenia, and they don’t express those genes or have the right combination of genes to actually exhibit the full range of symptoms of full-blown schizophrenia, the genes they do express actually still can in fact give them some but not all of the symptoms of schizophrenia at a somewhat less extreme intensity. There is, in fact, an entire range of so-called “schizophrenia spectrum disorders [27].” The list includes schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, delusional disorder, schizotypal personality disorder, schizophreniform disorder, and brief psychotic disorder. Research has explicitly made the very clear finding that all of these disorders run together in families which have higher than average rates of schizophrenia [28]. And what is the modern Ashkenazi Jewish population? Quite literally, a large family of at-least-30th cousins. [29]

Schizotype personality is a diagnosis based on the assumption that “psychosis” is less of a clear category than the far extreme end of a continuum containing a fairly wide range of behaviors and psychological orientations. Research boils the schizotype personality [30] down to four factors:

1. Unusual experiences: The disposition to have unusual perceptual and other cognitive experiences, such as hallucinations, magical or superstitious belief and interpretation of events (see also delusions).

An article at The Jewish Magazine notes that [31] “many strong beliefs did and still do exist amongst the Jewish community, none more so than those in relation to the Evil Eye . . . . In broad terms the Evil Eye is frightening and something which most Jews live in awe of with parents of newborn babies going to great lengths to protect their child. Hence the practice of tying a red ribbon or string to an infant’s crib or in some instances their underwear to ensure safekeeping from bad vibes. . . .”

2. Cognitive disorganization: A tendency for thoughts to become derailed, disorganised or tangential (see also formal thought disorder).

The above passage that was cut off continues: “. . . red was the chosen colour simply because it was used when creating the original Temple, the red thread derived from a certain species of worm and it was Rabbi S R Hirsch who pointed out that although the worm may be the lowest form of creation without its thread the Temple would never have been built. And so whenever mankind looks at the red ribbon, he is reminded that a person is really as humble as a worm, this humbleness being ultimately the main weapon against the ‘evil eye’.”

3. Introverted anhedonia: A tendency to introverted, emotionally flat and asocial behaviour, associated with a deficiency in the ability to feel pleasure from social and physical stimulation.

The article previously linked to from Jennifer Lipman at The Jewish Chronicle [32] notes: “Woody Allen characters are versions of the writer, so we are told . . . we well know these men who choose introspection over a trip to the pub.” In 2016, Woody Allen even literally released a film called “Anhedonia.” [33] Explaining the premises of the film, Allen said to an interviewer: “I think everyone suffers from [anhedonia], just as everyone is a little paranoid.”

4. Impulsive nonconformity: The disposition to unstable mood and behaviour particularly with regard to rules and social conventions.

Remember the answer [34] given by Al Goldstein, the founder of the pornographic Screw magazine, when he was asked by Jewish interviewer Luke Ford why the porn industry contained so many Jews? “The only reason that Jews are in pornography is that we think that Christ sucks. Catholicism sucks. We don’t believe in authoritarianism.”

When asked, “What does it mean to you to be a Jew?” and “Do you believe in God?” Goldstein replied with yet another reiteration of our opening dichotomy. In one breath: “I believe in me. I’m God. . . . God is your need to believe in some super being. I am the super being. I am your God, admit it.” And yet, in the next breath he says: “Fuck God. . . . We’re random. We’re the fleas on the ass of a dog.”