Dissident Dialogues: Dr. Naomi Wolf

Dr. Naomi Wolf

As the author of eight nonfiction bestsellers; cofounder/CEO of DailyClout.io (now on Substack!); and fearless warrior on the battle lines for truth, freedom, humanity, and justice along with her intrepid husband Brian O’SheaDr. Naomi Wolf likely needs no introduction.

Naomi was among the earliest to speak out against COVID tyranny, instantly recognizing the signs of fascism she had identified in her 2007 book The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot. She is not only brave enough to say Mistakes Were NOT Made, but she brings the receipts to prove it.

Now she has a new book out documenting the very totalitarianism she once prophesied along with the spiritual journey she underwent while confronting this darknessFacing the Beast: Courage, Faith, & Resistance in a New Dark Age.

Formerly a darling of the legacy media, Naomi earned an unceremonious ejection from her professional and social circles by speaking out against authoritarianism, with the fact-chokers smearing her as a conspiracy theorist, the White House colluding with Big Tech to censor her, Facebook launching a “scorched-earth erasure” of DailyClout, and mainstream straddlers like Alex Berenson describing “much of what she said” as “counterfactual (and batshit crazy).”

She has demonstrated intellectual humility by recalibrating past positions in light of new knowledge and experiences, calling out the cowards and quislings in her erstwhile “tribe,” and apologizing for prior misconceptions about those she now considers allies in the fight for our freedoms, rights, and lives. Facing the Beast: Cour... Naomi Wolf Buy New $18.38 (as of 11:52 UTC - Details)

Naomi brings a literary lens to her analyses, having earned a DPhil in English literature with a focus on Victorian poetry from the University of Oxford (2015) and a BA in English literature from Yale University (1984), where she delivered a galvanic speech condemning its COVID injection mandate for students in 2022.

From finding miracles in the depths of grief after the loss of their beloved Mushroom to learning what it means to have a puppy heart from Loki, Naomi draws wisdom from her cherished canine companions and generously welcomes us into her tender heart as she reflects on these life lessons.

On a personal note, I feel grateful to call Naomi a friend and was particularly touched when she reached out to me after she returned from the hospital following her near-death experience. At a time when her inbox was likely inundated with thousands of backlogged messages, she followed up about an exchange regarding a safety threat to make sure I was okay.

Naomi has sacrificed prestige, media access, and security in her Outspoken quest for the truth, and she is a deeper, kinder, braver human being for it.

MAA:

In your new book Facing the Beast: Courage, Faith, & Resistance in a New Dark Age, you write:

“[F]riends and colleagues of mine who were highly educated, and who had been lifelong critical thinkers, journalists, editors, researchers, doctors, philanthropists, teachers, psychologists—began to repeat only talking points from MSNBC and CNN, and soon overtly refused to look at any sources—even peer-reviewed sources in medical journals—even CDC data—that contradicted those talking points. These people literally said to me, ‘I don’t want to see that; don’t show it to me.’ Eventually they started to say, ‘This debate is over.’

“It became clear soon enough that if they absorbed information contradictory to ‘the narrative’ that was consolidating, they risked losing social status, maybe even jobs; doors would close, opportunities would be lost. One well-educated woman told me she did not want to see any unsanctioned information because she was afraid of being disinvited from her bridge group. Hence the refrain: ‘I don’t want to see that; don’t show it to me.’”

When I read this, I felt like jumping up and down and exclaiming, “YES!!” To me, this has been perhaps the most perplexing, disappointing, and frightening aspect of what has occurred over the past four years. People I knew to be discerning, knowledgeable, loving, and thoughtful individuals suddenly lost all intellectual curiosity, all willingness to listen, all ability to see beyond the pitch-black contact lenses they had voluntarily stuck in their eyes.

When it came to the topic of COVID, their critical thinking faculties evaporated. I begged, pleaded, and groveled for them to just spend thirteen minutes watching testimonials of the vaxx-injured or eighteen minutes capturing scientific fraud happening in real-time. I’d tell them the perpetrator admitted on camera his collusion with a Gates-funded nonprofit to downplay ivermectin’s efficacy for COVID could result in the unnecessary deaths of 500,000 people, and they still wouldn’t look.

They might fritter their lives on all forms of frivolous entertainment, but people who supposedly cared for me couldn’t read a single article of mine or spare four minutes watching the most meaningful accomplishment of my life.

I honestly struggle to overcome the revulsion I feel in the face of such cowardice, the shame I feel on their behalf for having relinquished their judgment to the fact-chokers, the shock I feel at how easily they slipped into the role of excluder, the pity I feel for their decline into menticide.

And yet these are people I love, people I once respected, people I want to respect again. If they gave the tiniest inch, if they were willing to simply listen, look, or read, I would be doing somersaults.

But they don’t. And I fear they can’t. It’s bad enough if they injected themselves, but if they did it to their children, I can’t imagine the terror and guilt they are fending off with every ounce of their strength. So I begin to understand why they would choose denial. It saddens me, but I get it. And, like you say in A Lost Small Town, I forgive them.

It is only when I let go of my judgment of them that I can have compassion for their predicament, and it opens up a space for dialogue that was formerly crowded out by my zeal.

I see myself through their eyes and realize I sound like a Jehovah’s Witness trying to convert them. They don’t want to look at my pamphlets. They’ve already made up their minds that it’s bunkum, so why should they waste their time?

So I pull back. I stop pushing. They know my position. They know where to find me if a seedling of a question takes root in their consciousness.

When you contemplate this transformation of your friends and colleagues, how did you feel when you realized they could not see what you were seeing, when they would not see it?

What explanations did you come up with to account for this behavior, both when it was first happening and over time as your perspective evolved? What do you think were the mechanisms of causality?

And what differentiated you from them? Why could you see what they could not?

NW:

I certainly relate to this. It’s been baffling to me to see people who are highly educated—including doctors, scientists, journalists, editors, and managing directors of major companies—engage in this kind of uncritical, cultlike response to information, including primary source information.

Some of this can be attributed to the brain changes caused by isolation, which I addressed in the past when I researched the use of isolation in torture. Some is greed—that famous dictum (I paraphrase) that you can’t get someone to engage with an idea if his or her livelihood depends on rejecting it. But by midway through Facing the Beast, I came to realize that a material explanation for all this was insufficient and that we—or at least I—had to grapple with the fact that we could be witnessing a spiritual battle, on a global scale, in which “strong delusion” for some people was an element.

For me personally, I suppose three things made it impossible for me to keep silent. One is that I am a student of history and specifically of totalitarianism (for my book The End of America), so I know that speaking out now, whatever the risks, is far less dangerous, ultimately, than remaining silent.

One reason is that I know I am mortal and I expect some day I will be asked to review my life, and I had better have an answer about what I chose to do when all of humanity was threatened.

And one is that I do have professional pride as a journalist, and I can’t ignore the biggest story of our time. An additional reason is that I married a man who spent many years fighting kinetic wars, and he explains war to me in a way that helps (i.e., that war lasts for years, not months); he lets me know when it’s shock, or when it’s battle fatigue, etc., so I can avoid giving in; and he reminds me that making the bad guys burn resources or fighting them to a standstill is also part of victory.

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