It’s funny how Vox Day continues to attack Jordan Peterson. Vox and others believe that by trying to ‘expose’ Dr. Peterson, that Dr. Peterson’s followers will disavow him and he’ll lose credibility. However, in early May, 2018, when Vox began his first round of attacks on Dr. Peterson, I predicted that Dr. Peterson’s popularity would not be hurt, and so far I have been right. The official Jordan Peterson sub, r/JordanPeterson, is as popular as ever and his books and lectures continue to sell.
I believe that people should make predictions, because predictions are a way of being held accountable; if you are certain about something, then a prediction forces one to be precise. I predict that in spite of the backlash over Dr. Peterson’s tweet imploring Kavanaugh to step down, Dr. Peterson’s popularity will again be unscathed.
Nothing short of…I dunno…him going to jail for murder or some other heinous crime, will suffice to dissuade Dr. Peterson’s followers. Look at Rush Limbaugh…despite the hypocrisy of being a drug abuser while opposing drug legalization, and being arrested for prescription painkiller abuse, his popularity was not hurt at all. Rush’s listeners did not disavow him when confronted by the apparent contradiction of his beliefs and his actions. Same for all the pastor scandals over the past decades. A confounding tweet is certainly not in that same league.
If Vox is correct that the Jordan Peterson community is a self-help cult–which there is probably some evidence it has cult-like characteristics but I hesitate to level such a harsh accusation–then given how cults work, no about of ‘exposure’ to the truth or contradictions will ever suffice to de-convert its members. A reason has to do with the sunk cost fallacy. Acolytes/members have so much mentally and emotionally invested in their dogma, that they cannot let go, and because their identity is also immured in the cult, that to repudiate it would lead to an existential crisis. Followers will rationalize-away all counter evidence, either attributing it as part of a conspiracy or attack against the cult or will compartmentalize it.