Escondido, CA

Mr. Jones’s Manor


Does anyone remember reading Animal Farm? The George Orwell masterpiece first published in 1947 that explored the corruption of the Russian Revolution and how Stalin used fear to enslave millions of citizens who mistakenly believed he had their best interests at heart? Orwell cleverly illustrated how totalitarians used fear to manipulate the farm animals populating the bucolic and peaceful farm called Mr. Jones’s Manor. 

Fear is a dangerous and insidious agent of corrosion. Think of fear as rust. It slowly destroys the material it grows on. Subjecting people to sustained periods of fear has dangerous effects. Our physical response to fear can cause cardiovascular damage, gastrointestinal problems, decreased fertility and even premature death. And most importantly, it can cause us to stop thinking clearly. 

It is, in its own way, a bio-weapon.

In my new book, “The Illusion of Knowledge: Why So Many Educated Americans Embrace Marxism,” I explore the insidious and powerful nature of using persistent fear to intimidate and control people. My premise is that bullies and political movements use fear to change the way their subjects think. The process is a clinical aggression called “Perspecticide” or more commonly “Gaslighting” and can be used to brainwash large groups as effectively as with individuals. Cult leader Jim Jones proved perspecticide could induce 900 of his followers to voluntarily drink Kool-Aid laced with cyanide. 

In the book, I document how our Progressive public school system has been gaslighting students with apocalyptic “pseudo-science” for nearly a century. Students have been convinced, as New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez claims, the world is going to end in 12 years. Subsequently, we have created a generation of neurotics, who insist we wallow in continuous anxiety with them. Many people are so traumatized, they react with hysteria about everything controversial, so it is becoming the “new normal” to be neurotic. 

Now we find ourselves facing a worldwide pandemic: in a war with a microscopic army that has disrupted life as we know it in ways we haven’t seen since World War ll. If you look back at how society reacted to the Declaration of War against the Nazis and Imperial Japan after Pearl Harbor, there was palpable fear in the air. 

Americans of the Greatest Generation used fear as motivation to fight to protect and restore worldwide freedom. Don’t you think those young soldiers on the beaches of Normandy were afraid of dying? Now, however, society reacts to fear with depression, denial, and hysteria. Americans are experiencing phobias over disease, climate change, poverty, and sexual anxieties. There is a growing consensus that we need the nanny state to take care of us. 

I see this pandemic as World War lll and the world needs Americans to come to the rescue once again. And we aren’t going to win this battle if we run away and hide. And since the government can’t protect us from the virus or ourselves, you and I are at a defining moment in our lifetime. 

We are in a war with a virus, yes, but even more dangerous is the war we are fighting with our own irrational fears. Are we, like the victims in Animal Farm, just going to go along to get along? Shouldn’t we be in a national state of war? Shouldn’t we be garnering our troops to protect our livelihoods and our freedoms at all costs? Before these evil little psycho-pathogens completely overrun our position and we find ourselves buried in our foxholes? Remember President Roosevelt’s famous declaration in his inaugural address at the height of the Great Depression, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”?

Americans need to turn this voluntary incapacitation around. We need to harness our fears and turn them into strength and action. Our #1 concern should be the health of Americanism and our way of life. Yes, we are going to take casualties, no doubt about it, but we should not be cowering in the shadows of fear. The world cannot afford for America to capitulate to the impulse to trade our Constitutional rights and responsibilities for some unproven strategy of retreat. 

The last thing we want to be is a sequel to Animal Farm. We can’t condemn our children to a lifetime at Mr. Jones’s Manor.

Rick Elkin is an artist, author, and columnist. His most recent book, The Illusion of Knowledge: Why So Many Educated Americans Embrace Marxism, is available at most online booksellers. He resides in Escondido, California. You can follow him at

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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