I originally planned to entitle this ‘Through a Scanner, Dumbly’. Unfortunately the title, though mildly amusing, would distract from the deadly seriousness of the topic.
I’m desperately hoping that this is another Sokal or “conceptual penis” Hoax – the work of dedicated academics and scientists who have pushed a purposefully fraudulent and deeply offensive paper through peer review in order to demonstrate the fundamental corruption and gullibility of academia. I won’t hold my breath though.
This is not hysteria. This is not hyperbole. The German government really has funded (indirectly via the German Science Foundation) a study into ways to chemically force people to accept refugees and “reduce xenophobia”. We have already endured various aspects of both Orwell’s and Kafka’s respective nightmares being realised and imposed on us. Now it’s Huxley’s turn . As the tweeter who originally drew my attention to this said, “Soma is coming”. As much as I want to curse the names of Marsh, Scheele, Feinstein, Gerhardt, Strang, Maier and Hurlemann for an eternity, I won’t use academic citation to refer to their appalling paper. No – from here on in it is simply ‘the Soma paper’. It’s better than they deserve.
The archived link is here (thanks again to tweeter APaverDarkly). The paper is still live at the time of writing. However I have no wish to give the authors the traffic or take the chance it will be removed or placed behind a paywall. Even with a generous grant via the German government, academics still largely subsist on a ‘publish or perish’ model and I would be quite happy for these Soviet era Lysenkoist ideologues to perish. I’ve never seen such an openly politically motivated piece of research – these frightening people make climate scientologists look like paragons of scientific integrity.
I had the increasing sense through 2017 that multiple previously unthinkable Rubicon crossings were in progress. Open warfare is now upon us. The warfare establishments against their own citizens. We can now look back fondly at the days when our worthless leaders simply abdicated their prime – and many would argue only – responsibility to protect us from harm not of our own doing. They now take an active hand in our destruction and want to enforce our compliance through any means necessary. I still hear petulant, desperate cries of “b-b-but the government wouldn’t allow that!”. But they will, and they do.
Working through the Soma paper is a journey through the minds currently possessing once august corridors of governance and academia. It exposes a number of their working assumptions as well as their peculiar anxieties. Most of all it clearly demonstrates what they think of us, the hoi polloi. They refer to us, charmingly, in one part of the paper as “social ecosystems”. We are, for them, colonies in a petri-dish. We are expendable.
The abstract opens with presuppositions about the inherent evil of “xenophobia”. It is always used as a loaded term despite historically being, at worst, something of a social minor misdemeanour and indeed in many times and places has been regarded (and still is in saner parts of the world) as de rigeur. There is simply nothing inherently irrational or worthy of censure for the simple act of disliking other cultures. The fact it is now weaponised and deployed by regressives as a term on par with “racism” and “fascism” means there is no recourse or rational debate possible when it is used. It is symptomatic of the regressive mindset dominated by ultimate moral, social and epistemological relativism.
Without blushing, the Soma paper states that its aim is to contribute to “neurobiological evidence informing about strategies to reduce xenophobic sentiment and foster altruistic cooperation with outsiders” and the experiments it details are “settled in the context of the current refugee crisis”. They found that combining a nasal delivery of Oxytocin (popularly characterised as the ‘love’ hormone) with “peer-derived altruistic norms” resulted “in a 74% increase in refugee-directed donations” in the victim – sorry cohort – group that had previously been designated as “more xenophobic”.
If this isn’t sending creepy shivers up your spine at this point, I’d recommend checking whether you still have a pulse.
The horror, naturally, continues. The Soma authors spell out their case further:
“Accommodating the large influx of migrants not only challenges the humanitarian capacities of European countries but also requires their native populations to adjust to rapid growths in ethnic diversity, religious pluralism and cultural differentiation.” [My emphasis]
Requires? REQUIRES? The Soma scientivists (scientist activists) write as if the entire catastrophic Western demographic experiment is a fait accompli. As if there is nothing remotely odd or undesirable about this state of affairs.
Unfortunately for ‘the agenda’, millions of Westerners are not willingly complying. The Soma authors note “Resistance to this transition often goes along with xenophobic sentiment” (note the word ‘transition’ there – it implies there is a clear end goal in mind, as opposed to the social policy accident Douglas Murray argues has occurred). As a result of this “resistance”, “recent elections in Europe have favored populist candidates who have openly expressed xenophobic attitudes toward refugees”. Can you see where this is going, yet? And how conveniently this parallels the founding dream of the EU to end distinct nations?
You’ve probably guessed the direction of travel already. Its not the outsiders who have to integrate, but of course us – “In the face of growing tensions over differences in ethnicity, religion, and culture there is an urgent need for devising strategies for helping foster the social integration of refugees into Caucasian societies.” The explicit racial term at the end there is a curious inclusion. They’re all but denying any form of civil libertarianism or agency for non-Caucasians who want to be functioning members of Western Society.
They note that in-group preference is an evolutionarily selected for trait. They also note that Oxytocin has been a key factor in this adaptation. They argue that it would be a good idea to disrupt our wired in behaviours. And this is how they plan to do it:
“How many fingers am I holding up Winston?”
Before going into more detail regarding the experiments it is salutary to consider the way the scientivists measured “xenophobia”.
Their measure is referred to as the ‘Xenophobia index’, abbreviated as ‘Xi’. They used a battery of questions with a 10 point likert scale (usually used to indicate degrees of agreement/disagreement or of perceived severity). The questions “[i]ndicated how strongly they associate refugees with realistic and symbolic threats.” By “symbolic threats” they meant “e.g. perceived threats to morals, values or beliefs” and by “realistic threats” they meant “e.g. perceived threats to economic interests, social status, or health”. The scientivists assert that the “realistic threat” indicators are much stronger predictors of “xenophobia”. They asked respondents to rate statements such as “Refugees are not displacing German workers from their jobs” and “Refugees have not increased the tax burden on Germans”.
It is abundantly clear what answers the scientivists believe to be materially and factually true and demonstrable and anything contrary to this is automatically rated as “xenophobia”. They are effectively medicalising participants due to their expressed WrongThink opinions even before they have started the experiments and even though it is obvious to any sane, rational observer that these facts (and associated fears) are grounded in empirical reality.
Experiment 1 – “normative cues”
In this experiment the scientivists attempted to pull on the heartstrings (think Alan Kurdi) using emotive language. The materials were composed of “50 authentic case vignettes briefly describing the personal needs of poor people, half of which were portrayed as refugees (outgroup) and half as natives (ingroup)”. Victims – sorry – subjects were allowed to spend a theoretical 50 Euros on these needy individuals. They could donate a maximum of 1 Euro per vignette/poor person and then keep the rest for themselves (0-50 Euros). If you’re already wondering about the validity of this research design, keep reading.
Who were the subjects? The paper informs us: “In Experiment 1, a total of 76 healthy female (n = 53) and male (n = 23) undergraduate students”. I’m sure you have already noticed the flaws here. Firstly a group of young adults – who have a general propensity to virtue-signalling and much lower impulse/emotional control than more mature adults. Then they are university students – steeped in a culture of idealism and activism, easily triggered to impulsive , although low cost activist action. And finally, overwhelmingly female – meaning yet more bias towards emotionally manipulable virtue-signalling.
It gets better though….
“For the purpose of generating an altruistic norm, subjects were assembled in a lecture hall, enabling reputation pressures to prompt potential donors to respond more generously”. The young (and likely idealistic) men are outnumbered two to one by young (and likely idealistic) women in a shared social setting, in an environment and period in their lives where virtue-signalling is the current way of displaying high sexual and social value.
Magnifique. Honestly – how could this experiment possibly fail when you combine peer pressure and feel-good drugging with such an easily manipulated cohort? The scientivists did note however that they attempted to control by gender in analysing the results and concluded that the donations were not influenced by gender (something contradicted later in their paper as we will see).
Experiments 2 and 3
Curiously it was just men who received ‘the treatment’ this time in ‘Experiment 2’ – 107 men, slightly older than the previous group (24.1 +/- 3.2 y). On the “xenophobia scale” (their ‘Xi’ test), 53 scored high and 54 scored low. I’m sure that must have terrified the scientivists. Nearly 50% of their subject group – a subject group already predisposed to virtue-signalling – fell into the “xenophobic” group. The subjects were then given either the Oxytocin or a placebo to self-administer. The scientivists found that the administration of Oxytocin resulted in (by their own dubious statistical measures) a 68% increase in donations to the outgroup (refugees) and 81% increase for the ingroup (natives). The authors themselves actually use the term “natives”, by the way.
Note that these are overall increases they observed. The “high xenophobia” group remained relatively recalcitrant with their donations to the outgroup. If there was an oxytocin effect on them, it was primarily in favour of the ingroup. The cuck group – sorry – “low xenophobia” group on the other hand doubled their contributions to both the ingroup and outgroup. Virtue-signallers can be easily manipulated to signal more with a bit of emotional enforcement – who could have guessed?
This result was obviously suboptimal for the scientivists’ brainwashing – sorry – honest scientific inquiry goals, so they carried out a third experiment combining elements of experiments 1 and 2. Oxytocin and placebos were administered as before. In addition though, “each case presentation also included information about the average contribution choices of all their male and female peers enrolled in Experiment 1”. Given the latter, one particularly striking omission from this section of the methodology (one of the many things that should have ensured this did not pass peer-review) is the authors failed to identify at this stage who the cohort was in this case – it’s distinctly unclear whether this is a new cohort or the same people from ‘Experiment 2’ and this matter is not cleared up until the reader reaches the small print at the end, where they confirm that Experiments 2 and 3 used the same cohort. Another point which makes me question how it passed pal – sorry – peer review.
It appears the scientivists achieved their desired result with Experiment 3. The combination of chemicals and peer-pressure resulted in an increase in outgroup donations by the “xenophobic” group by 74% and increased their donations overall.
“A norm-enforcing treatment”
When I first mentioned this study in the comments here, Stuart Beaker kindly redirected my attention to contrary research regarding whether and how Oxytocin can be used to obtain the effects the Soma scientivists so ardently desire which led to us having a brief discussion on what was in play here. As Stuart indicated there are indeed mixed results on applying Oxytocin (though some of the previous efforts are no less disturbing – for example “If there were a scientific conspiracy to turn men into cuddly, highly evolved salad-eaters, oxytocin might be a powerful weapon.”
It is about establishing the principle, not the execution. Just assessing this paper on it’s methodological approach alone, it should not have passed peer review. But then it should not have even left the confines of the scientivists’ head in their darkest fantasies either. Establishing the principle of this kind of control is exactly what the paper is all about and why it is so fundamentally disturbing.
Recall that the social / peer pressure aspect is important to their findings in combination with the Oxytocin treatment. Remember the Facebook “contagion experiment” ? If you can’t be manipulated directly as an individual it’s usually quite possible to influence your peers to do it indirectly instead. It is an age old technique of intimidation and also one that regressives understand intuitively and deploy continuously – you might not care if they label you a “racist” but what of your family, your friends…..your employer?
Thinking the unthinkable
The Soma scientivists aren’t shy about identifying who their real targets are here. Does this description sound familiar to you, dear reader? –
“These results are especially important in the light of evidence that even a minority of selfish non-cooperators….may suffice to force the majority of altruists to defect, resulting in a rapid decay of altruistic cooperation within a population.” They go on, “…selfish motives impose an impending threat to altruistic cooperation”. More of that creepy terminology and framing here. As if altruistic cooperation between diverse groups is the natural state of affairs.
This reminds me of the moment Hilary dubbed Trump supporters as “deplorables”. Time to embrace the label, fellow “selfish non-cooperators”!
Particularly disturbing in the paper’s discussion section is the observation that previous studies have shown “the facilitating effects of OXT signaling on social conformity”. The paper’s authors feel that they have finally hit on the universal panacea with their combination of chemical intervention and use of explicitly social (as opposed to social media) peer pressure – “Here, we provide evidence that a xenophobic rejection of refugees can be reversed by coupling enhanced activity of the OXT system to a normative [moral or moral values] incentive for cooperation with peers; neither intervention alone was sufficient to alter selfish responses in Xi high scorers, illustrating the relative resistance of outgroup rejection to exogeneous modification.” [My emphasis]
Got that, proles? They’re going to medicalise you in true Soviet style. They want to reverse millions of years of sound evolutionary adaptation and force you to accept externally imposed modification through any means.
And just in case you weren’t clear already what the bigger picture was:
“Unfortunately, open and latent xenophobia continue to be a major challenge for European democracies…..It should be emphasized… that the measured Xi scores represent relatively typical levels of xenophobia within the general population.”
Damn the demos! Damn those populists! We don’t like the electorate so we would like to dissolve them and replace them with another! If they don’t accept their demographic displacement well then we’ll use Soma and make them love Big Brother (sorry to mix dystopian concepts there, but it works….)
And a little further down, a key observation made that could easily be missed on a surface reading:
“…given that OXT can produce sexual-dimorphic effects…we cannot extrapolate our findings to women.” [my emphasis]
Their experiments already confirm a mountain of psychological, sociological and biological evidence that women are easier to manipulate emotionally and socially to engage in altruistic ingroup and outgroup behaviours. But of course women are not the main target here. Men are. They know that men will form the core of any “selfish non-cooperator” groups.
And if you weren’t already sufficiently creeped out and didn’t already consider these scientivists hopelessly lost to a lethal ideological crusade, they kindly spell it all out for us towards the end of the discussion section, tying all of the themes together that readers here will no doubt already be very familiar with:
“…our findings suggest that greater focus should be placed on enabling positive social encounters among citizens of hosting countries that communicate a procsocial norm; that is, by affirming and emphasizing the benefits of ethnic diversity, religious pluralism, and cultural differentiation [I interpret this term as a synonym for cultural relativism]. This may include the promotion of balanced and informed media reporting [c.f. the drive to turn Big Social and Big Search into epistemological guardians], the integration of refugee themes to the curricula of schools and universities, or the organization of events that involve the general public and bring communities together by promoting sustained experience – and information-sharing on the situation of refugees.”
Be in no doubt about this – what they are proposing is a full spectrum assault across all social and media channels. Moreover they are:
“…proposing that interventions to increase altruism are most effective when charitable social cues instil the notion that one’s ingroup shows strong affection for an outgroup.” [my emphasis]
‘Intervention’ is usually used in an academic or medical context to indicate something benign (even if experimental) to help correct a damaging imbalance or condition. They regard us “selfish non-cooperators” as irredeemably damaged by our natural evolution.
If you were wondering if there was some larger group in play here beyond the German government and German academia, there is. The Soma scientivists name it explicitly:
“UNESCO has emphasized the importance of developing neurobiologically informed strategies for reducing xenophobic, hostile ,and discriminatory attitudes.” [my emphasis]
If you happen to be a fan of Marvel films and TV series you could be forgiven for thinking, as I do, that the above sentiment could come straight out of the mores of the fictional inheritors of the Nazi programme depicted by Marvel, HYDRA. They link to a specific UNESCO position paper too, which can be found here .
In case you were wondering about the ethical oversight for this monstrosity, the study was apparently approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Bonn (they also claim it was in line with the ethical principles of the Declaration of Helsinki ). The University of Bonn might be the first port of call for asking the question “excuse me, just what the utter fuck were you thinking?” I will certainly be contacting them myself. I hope you join me.
Freedom is in peril like never before. Defend it with all your might.
© Katabasis 2018
First published at Katabasis.me