Posted by HSG on April 24, 2005 at 06:26:54:
In Reply to: Re: The hoax finally debunked posted by Andrea on April 23, 2005 at 21:11:07:
It is very true that, in the wake of this study, an anti-weight-control message is finally beginning to appear. The URL at the foot of this post links to another CCF "digest"-type article, this one encapsulating some of the newly-minted media outrage against the anti-plus hysteria of the past two years.
It's good to see, but one has to ask, where were these voices before this new study appeared? Fair-weather friends are better than none, but they are not especially dependable.
This new study will undoubtedly be an asset, but it is hardly the end of the war, because the anti-plus epidemic was never based on reason or facts in the first place, but on blind faith.
The people who fanned the flames of this hysteria had their minds made up from the start. They quickly seized on whatever statistics supported their beliefs, and ignored any that contradicted those beliefs (including recent cases of actual loss of life from dieting and over-exercising).
One might hazard a guess that, from the very beginning, the people who refused to buy into the weight hysteria were those very few individuals who had a good sense of history, and who were well aware of how clever groups have always fabricated myths to serve their political or economic ends, and of how easily the general public buys into such myths--if those myths appear to reflect a majority point of view.
In The Crowd (1895), Gustave Le Bon's brilliant examination of mob mentality, the author characterizes this "will-to-consensus" in the following manner:
It is thus a very useless commonplace to assert that a religion is necessary for the masses, because all political, divine, and social creeds only take root among them on the condition of always assuming the religious shape--a shape which obviates the danger of discussion. Were it possible to induce the masses to adopt atheism, this belief would exhibit all the intolerant ardour of a religious sentiment, and in its exterior forms would soon become a cult. The evolution of the small Positivist sect furnishes us a curious proof in point. What happened to the Nihilist whose story is related by that profound thinker Dostoiewsky [sic] has quickly happened to the Positivists. Illumined one day by the light of reason he broke the images of divinities and saints that adorned the altar of a chapel, extinguished the candles, and, without losing a moment, replaced the destroyed objects by the works of atheistic philosophers such as Buchner and Moleschott, after which he piously relighted the candles. The object of his religious beliefs had been transformed, but can it be truthfully said that his religious sentiments had changed?
Le Bon observed that all of the "new" ideologies that were appearing in his day--socialism, Marxism, feminism, post-colonialism--were behaving exactly like religions, regardless of what aspersions these ideologies were casting on the notion of religion itself. These ideologies all simplistically delineated problems in moralistic, black-and white terms (the "good" victims, and the "evil" powerful), they demanded that their "converts" adopt a blind faith in the doctrines of the ideology, and they fomented crusades against whatever forces were keeping the proponents of these ideologies from achieving dominance.
Little has changed in the century since Le Bon published his profound study. The proponents of weight hysteria behave in precisely the same manner. They have established a true cult of thinness, in which emaciation is the only good/moral/correct path in life, and being curvaceous is an offense on an apocalyptic scale. They renounce natural impulses in favour of an artificial ideology. They have "sins" (food) and siniter tempters (providers of food). They publish propagandistic "convert" stories, in which individuals are "saved" by miraculous weight-control schemes. And they use the most dehumanizing and malicious language imaginable against those who are considered "offenders."
It all would be quite laughable--except that 90% of the media promotes this dogma with a faith that is astonishingly blind--either due to a lack of reflection on their part, or because of an innate, anti-plus prejudice that prompts them to adopt a wilful blindness in this area.
So what is the . . . moral of the story? If the majority of the population did not live in a state of cultural amnesia, with no sense of the legacy of Western culture--its tribulations, and its triumphs--this latest bout of societal hysteria could never have occurred. If the general public had a good working knowledge of what the timeless conception of natural beauty actually looked like, it would never have accepted a defamation of that natural ideal by a few like-minded groups united by prejudice and profit.
(This is something that the enemies of body love know quite well, which is why they suppress the timeless ideal by every means at their disposal.)
If more individuals educated themselves rather than tortured themselves, if they spent some quality time with books instead of weights, and if those books were literary volumes rather than diet guides, then perhaps they would not have been duped by the words of a cadre of blinkered reporters--and perhaps those reporters would have known better in the first place.
Arthur Frederick Sandys (1829-1904), The Pearl:
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