Jordan Peterson appealed a College of Psychologists of Ontario ruling that ordered him to undergo “remedial social media training” because of his beliefs.
In his novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” George Orwell created the term “Newspeak,” a language Big Brother imposed to diminish the range of thought.
That perfectly describes what recently happened in Canada to the popular — and, to some, controversial — psychologist Jordan Peterson.
Peterson, a University of Toronto psychology professor and bestselling author, appealed a College of Psychologists of Ontario ruling that ordered him to undergo “remedial social media training” because of his beliefs.
Those beliefs include his opposition to the “climate change” hysteria and forced use of gender pronouns and gender change, among other “woke” subjects.
An appeals court rejected Peterson’s petition. He contends “post-modernism and neo-Marxism,” along with other political-correctness indoctrinations, are undermining “proper culture” and Western civilization.
Peterson says his “sin” was “Tweeting opinions the college deemed ‘unbecoming of a psychologist.’”
On Twitter, Peterson wrote: “I am likely to soon lose my license to practice as a clinical psychologist in my home province of Ontario, in Canada whose historically prosaic internal politics should by all reasonable standards still be off the international radar. It’s capitulate to the petty bureaucrats and the addle-pated woke mob or lose my professional license.”
According to the US State Department’s 2020 Report on International Religious Freedom, Canada’s “constitution guarantees freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief, opinion, expression, and the right to equal protection and benefit of the law without discrimination based on religion.”
Critics are worried the courts are eroding those protections.
Aid to the Church in Need, a Catholic Church-affiliated international organization, said in a 2023 report: “While Canada is nowhere close to countries where religion is under extreme attack from oppressive governments,” there’s “growing religious persecution in recent years, from pandemic restrictions to hate crimes to the burning of churches. Canada continues to be a place where rule of law is respected, but generally there has been a palpable reduction in respect for religious freedom in recent years, particularly where it has come into conflict with entrenched views relating to equality, diversity, and public health.”
The case against Peterson adds evidence to that perceived threat.
Canada last year adopted a law, ironically called C-4, which in another context is an explosive.
Critics say that law prevents Canadian citizens from quoting Bible verses about marriage and sexuality.
Following the appeals court ruling, Peterson added to his previous Twitter post: “You won this round. Mark my words, however: the war has barely started. There is nothing you can take from me that I’m unwilling to lose.”
In his book “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos,” Peterson writes, “Speak your mind. Put your desires forward, as if you had a right to them — at least the same right as others. Walk tall and gaze forthrightly ahead. Dare to be dangerous. Encourage the serotonin to flow plentifully through the neural pathways desperate for its calming influence.”
It’s that kind of old thinking that’s gotten him into trouble with the Newspeak crowd.
Could such thinking be imposed in academia and elsewhere in America?
It already is.
Cal Thomas’ latest book is “A Watchman in the Night: What I’ve Seen Over 50 Years Reporting on America.”