The shameless campaign to silence Jordan Peterson
The world-famous psychologist is being sent for re-education by his professional body.
Writer and psychologist Jordan Peterson has lost his battle with Canada’s woke moralists. After a two-year legal fight, the Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled that the Ontario College of Psychologists has the right to send him for mandatory ‘social-media training’ – or to a ‘re-education camp’ as Peterson puts it. If he refuses, Peterson will lose his licence to practise clinical psychology.
Peterson is effectively being punished for committing thoughtcrimes. His troubles started in 2022, when several individuals complained to the Ontario College of Psychologists about his tweets, particularly his criticisms of climate-change alarmism and gender ideology. The tweets also included comments that a plus-size model was ‘not beautiful’; that trans actor Elliot / Ellen Page ‘had her breasts removed by a criminal physician’; and that Gerald Butts, prime minister Justin Trudeau’s former principal secretary, was a ‘prik’ (sic).
This attempt to silence Peterson is deeply Orwellian. At an earlier hearing last summer, the Ontario Divisional Court ruled that individuals belonging to professional bodies ‘do not lose their… right to freedom of expression’, but that they must still ‘abide by the rules of their regulatory body that may limit their freedom of expression’. Such doublethink wouldn’t be out of place in Nineteen Eighty-Four.
The Divisional Court also ruled that the order to undergo social-media training ‘is not disciplinary and does not prevent Dr Peterson from expressing himself on controversial topics’. This wilfully disregards the reality and impact of the order. Peterson has to undergo social-media training or he will lose his licence to practise clinical psychology. What is that if not disciplinary action?
This ruling ought to worry anyone who cares about freedom of speech. As Peterson himself has pointed out, he has built up enough wealth to be able to challenge the college in the courts. He also doesn’t have to rely on his former day job as a psychologist to make a living. But a psychologist wholly dependent on his or her clinical salary would not be so fortunate. The court’s ruling puts a high price on freedom of expression, one which many will not be able to afford.
This isn’t just about Jordan Peterson. Ontario’s College of Psychologists is clearly using his re-education as a way of intimidating any other potential dissenters. It sends a message that opposing elite orthodoxies will not be tolerated. The precedent this sets is truly chilling.
Thomas Osborne is an intern at spiked.
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