2. ABOUT JEREMY GRIFFITH
WTM FAQ 2.3 Why did Jeremy Griffith suffer from a serious stress related illness when he was described as a cυlt leader — shouldn’t he have been immune to the effects of such criticism given he is unresigned and has the reconciling understanding of the human condition?
Firstly to clarify, Jeremy Griffith did suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) following the vicious persecution of him in the Australian media in the mid-1990s—which he defeated in a successful defamation action that at the time was described as the biggest defamation case in Australia’s history (which you can read about in the Persecution of the WTM essay).
In terms of the question, what drives a denial-free, unresigned mind is the desire to stop all the suffering and destruction in the world that their innocence allows them to see so clearly (see Freedom Essay 39). That innocent, highly sensitive, extremely concerned, selfless drive is what both motivated and enabled Jeremy to solve the human condition, a solution that can end all the psychological upset in the world and save the human race from extinction. Nearly everyone else lives in deep, fearful denial of the pain of the corrupted state of the world because we suffer too much from it to look at it, so it is hard to appreciate the world of the unresigned mind, but imagine if you find the understanding, ‘the pill’, to stop the suffering but most people don’t want to take it, are understandably afraid of it, and, worse still, viciously attack you for finding it by making a national TV program portraying you as the leader of a dangerous anti-social organisation. How much harder is that persecution going to make the paramount task of bringing the understanding to the world in order to save it! Even though you can understand why people are attacking you (see F. Essay 56 about our deep fear of the human condition), the responsibility you have to protect the integrity of that ‘pill’ so it survives the persecution is going to be so herculean it is likely going to be too much for your body to bare. However, while he was compromised by CFS, Jeremy did manage to continue to work while he had it, and thankfully he fully recovered.
Jeremy talks about this responsibility in a number of his publications; to quote from his Effective Psychological Therapy talk: “I just absolutely drive myself all the time because as I’ve explained, when you realise that you can deal with this forbidden subject of the human condition—this off-limits subject—and from there make amazingly precious insights, the responsibility is just enormous.”
Charles Darwin also suffered from CFS, which Jeremy has written about in paragraph 608 of FREEDOM, and also in Freedom Expanded where he writes: “Of course, there weren’t many who were secure enough in self to even cope with the initial step that Darwin took of relating humans to animals, a situation Darwin was keenly aware of and greatly distressed by, to the extent that he developed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome…(Indeed, there has been some discussion about renaming CFS the ‘Charles Darwin Syndrome’ (Roger Burns, ‘Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Changing the Name’, Sep. 1996; see www.wtmsources.com/123).) The responsibility Darwin felt to bring his critically important, albeit limited, biological understanding of nature to an immensely insecure, human-condition-afflicted populous, many of whom were only able to cope with a non-confronting, abstract interpretation of our world—in particular that we humans weren’t related to animals, but were divinely created by a personal, cosmic-magician-type, deity-in-the-clouds, abstract version of God—caused him immense anxiety and stress. Indeed, when the insecure, paranoid response to ‘natural selection’ subsided some 10 years after the publication of The Origin of Species Darwin’s health quickly recovered.”
In the case of the exceptionally unresigned denial-free-thinking prophet Moses, he had to be warned about wearing himself out from the strain of his job of bringing denial-free leadership to his people. To quote again from Freedom Expanded: “when ‘Moses’ father-in-law’, the desert nomad priest with whom Moses had lived before his return to Egypt, visited him, he said, ‘What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you’ (Exod. 18:17–18) and advised Moses to ‘select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials…[to help] serve as judges [so] you will be able to stand the strain’ (Exod. 18:21–23). It is a very great problem for denial-free thinkers or prophets who can see so clearly where there are threats from people’s extreme upset and blindness to the all-important project they are undertaking and they do wear themselves right out trying to contain the threats.” From that description of how exhausted Moses became, it is highly possible he was also suffering from CFS at that time.
And even though exceptional denial-free thinkers have their soundness to draw on, that’s not going to protect them from becoming distressed by the state of the upset world. In the case of Christ, he was so distressed he ‘overturned the tables of the money-changers’ in the temple (Matt. 21:12 & Mark 11:15), and in the case of Moses, he became so distressed at one stage that ‘One day after Moses had grown up…he killed…[an] Egyptian’ who was ‘beating a Hebrew, one of his own people’ (Exod. 2:11–13).
Despite Jeremy’s own distress at the upset world, the fair assessment of Jeremy’s overall capacity to understand the upset world and bring compassion to it and endure persecution from it, is that it has been absolutely extraordinary.
Psychiatrist, Professor Harry Prosen recognised the real soundness, strength, sensitivity, selflessness and endurance of Jeremy when he wrote in his Introduction to FREEDOM, “As I have said, Jeremy’s journey in bringing understanding to the human condition and protecting the integrity of that explanation—a 40 year saga—has certainly been a protracted and torturous one (indeed, the persecution was so terrible it left Jeremy seriously debilitated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome from 1999 to 2009).”