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Virtual reality cure for all


The Paddy McGuffin column


“People who suffer from paranoia can overcome their fears using virtual reality, new research has found.”



Saturday 7th



This was the boast of researchers at Oxford University earlier this week and we should be very worried indeed.


The study, funded by the Medical Research Council, combined psychological treatment techniques with state-of-the-art virtual reality created social situations to reduce paranoid fear, we are told.


This column has had just about enough of these nosy bloody scientists meddling with things they don’t understand and trying to fix things that don’t need fixing.


As honorary president of paranoiacs anonymous, the help group with the most rigorous vetting procedures outside of MI6, at least until those bastards usurp me, I wish to express my grave concern about this latest “development.”


Paranoia, as any sensible person will tell you, if you can hear them from inside the bunker and all those layers of tin foil, is the only sane reaction to an increasingly insane world.


The article goes on to say: “People who suffer from severe paranoia can show an extreme mistrust of other people, believing that others are deliberately trying to harm them.”


Yes? And? What’s wrong with that?


I KNOW people are deliberately trying to hurt me.


They’re called Tories and half the morons in this country voted for them, if that’s not reason enough to be anxious I don’t know what is.


We have a government openly assaulting and sneering at the most vulnerable in our society, branding them shirkers and scroungers, demonising destitute refugees and deliberately leaving them to die in the Mediterranean.


We have a police force that conspires against the public, smears victims, fabricates evidence and routinely fits up innocent people for no reason other than their ethnicity or skin colour.


We are waging proxy wars across the globe at the behest of our US overlords, killing thousands in the name of jingoistic imperialist adventurism and oil.


There are unmanned aircraft that can blast us out of existence in the blink of an eye while being operated from hundreds of miles away.


All our phone and internet communications are tapped.


Our health service is being carved up and handed over to the highest bidder and if the Tories carry on the way they’re going, when you have that heart attack due to the massive stress of merely trying to make ends meet you will, eventually, be transported to hospital in an ambulance owned by McDonald’s, who probably contributed to your condition in the first place.


It is entirely possible that Donald Trump will end up in the White House with the rabid support of millions of US bigots and rednecks and the only alternative is a war criminal and hypocrite.


And, as if all that wasn’t bad enough Ukip have gained seats in the assembly elections.


Anyone who ISN’T paranoid these days is an idiot.


Personally I’m fervently hoping that THIS is the virtual world and that someone is going to come along and take the helmet off soon.


Which, in a roundabout way, brings me to the crux of the matter.


First, if this kind of nonsense continues we’re going to end up living in a Philip K Dick novel where nobody knows what’s real and what isn’t or even who’s real and who isn’t.


Quite how that is going to help people who are already paranoid is beyond me.


And second, why are scientists in one of the country’s most elitist institutions trying to make the rest of us think everything is sunshine and roses when we all know we’re on the fast track to hell?


The old mushroom analogy seems particularly apposite at this juncture.

This is mind control pure and simple. Conditioning responses like rats in a laboratory.


Professor David Clark, a member of the study team, said: “There is growing evidence that psychological treatments can have a major beneficial impact on the lives of people suffering from psychosis.”


Am I the only one who sees a problem with that?


It’s already bad enough with television sucking the souls out of most of the nation and the internet doing the same job on the rest.


If TV is opium for the masses, this will be the crack cocaine.


People will just opt out of reality making them credulous, subservient, voluntary slaves who have to be reminded to eat and excrete for themselves.


And because reality for the vast majority under this fascistic government is so god-awful, the idea seems highly tempting.


As has been pointed out recently when George Orwell wrote 1984 it was supposed to be a warning, not an instruction manual.


It strikes this column that a far more beneficial use for virtual reality technology would be to use it on bigots, sexists, homophobes and racists to show them what it is like to be on the receiving end of such vicious hatred and abuse through absolutely no fault of your own.


Use it on the Tories, bankers and other capitalist scumbags to show them what it is like to struggle to subsist on the paltry wages or benefits they routinely inflict on those less fortunate than themselves whilst lining their own pockets to the tune of millions.


That way a great many people would have their day-to-day reality vastly improved and the cause of much of our entirely legitimate “paranoia” would be removed at a stroke.


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