If you praise faith healing among people who consider themselves scientifically informed, you might get a flurry of laughter or a condescending pat on your back. It is regarded as a relic of the past – a superstition beyond which we have progressed. However, faith healing is one of the most well-established scientific facts in medicine, although it’s usually referred to by another name. It’s called the placebo effect.
Placebo is Mainstream
Not only is the placebo effect mainstream science, but it is also so thoroughly documented and widely accepted that few take the effectiveness of new drugs seriously until they are tested against placebos.
The power of faith healing is remarkable. A few years ago, a surgeon named Dr. David Kallmes discovered that the positive effects of a broken back surgery known as vertebroplasty could be achieved equally well with fake surgery. Similar surprising results have been observed in other areas.
Placebo’s Evil Twin
But the placebo effect has an evil twin called nocebo, which is staggeringly close to voodoo. Nocebo is faith harming. If you believe you will be harmed, then you are more likely to experience bad health. It can even kill you. If you are absolutely convinced that you will die during surgery, chances are you will.
The nocebo effect was first discovered as an adverse side effect of placebos. Patients who think they are receiving powerful medication often report pain, nausea and even vomiting, in line with the expected side effects of the drug, all while taking harmless sugar pills. If the power of faith hadn’t been so well documented in the scientific literature, you would be hard-pressed to believe it!
From Sugar Pills to Economics
The power of faith is not only limited to the health of the body. It also has effects on society. The economist John Maynard Keynes, for all his faults and flaws, did make one lasting contribution to economic theory, namely the idea that people’s faith in the future – or lack thereof – impacts the economy in such a way as to partially make it a self-fulfilling prophecy. It can be thought of like the placebo and nocebo effects applied to economics.
Does the power of faith extend even further? Possibly. Karl Marx and his acolytes understood that as long as people saw capitalism as morally good and that people had confidence in their own culture, the left would not stand a chance.
Clever Marxists in the Soviet Union devised a plan to break the spirit of the West. By erasing its great history, causing internal strife, and blaming all the world’s ills on the West, their goal was for good people to lose faith – to see the West as immoral, imperialistic, racist, sexist, bigoted, and just plain evil in all thinkable ways.
The Soviet Union is gone, but their plans to destroy the West from within went viral among evil people in the West. Cultural Marxism has emboldened leftists everywhere because they see that their spiritual poison is working. It amounts to a cultural nocebo effect, which makes good people lose the will to defend themselves.
The Red Pill
Fortunately, we can counteract the power of faith. If you reveal to a patient that they are eating a sugar pill and not a potent drug, all its negative symptoms disappear.
Perhaps that is the reason why the “red pill” analogy from The Matrix has caught on as a cultural metaphor for people breaking out of the Marxist matrix of self-hatred. Is it possible that the West can cure itself of the disease of cultural Marxism by merely taking a truth pill? Don’t underestimate the power of faith. It may yet decide the fate of civilization.