The Rise of the Neo-Puritans

Tighten those trim collars, do up your neck buttons, smooth the perfection of your dress and walk into the new Puritan Age, for an ideal world awaits noble intentions which must be applied to all, most particularly to those who dissent.

There is a saying, ‘no good deed goes unpunished’, supposedly coined by Clare Booth Luce, an American writer and playwright, Republican congresswoman, ambassador and wife of Time co-founder Henry Luce. It means in essence that good deeds and good intentions often backfire, that there is a curse in all gifts because everything has its cost even if not recognised at the time. There are very good reasons to beware of the good-intentioned because in those realms, as Donald Rumsfeld put it, the unknown unknowns abound.

There are some who do good because of the sincere desire to help, but they are rare. Is it steeped in cynicism to suggest most do good not so much because they want to help but because it makes them feel good? I am not decrying this noble motivation, for there is evidence that doing good stimulates our immune function and we benefit physiologically as well as psychologically. Happiness, it is said, boosts immune function , so when we do good we are pleased with ourselves and that means we feel happy.

So, to some degree we are hard-wired to help, but it is a matter of degree and process. What is often overlooked are the effects of our actions because of forces which are ignored. In Jungian terms, the Shadow effect holds that what is done consciously will trigger a striving for balance in the unconscious; the more extreme the actions or beliefs, the more extreme will be the punishment — the curse, if you will —  which the gift carries. In analytical psychology, the Shadow (also known as ego-dystonic complex, repressed id, shadow aspect, or shadow archetype) is an unconscious aspect of the personality that does not correspond with the ego ideal, leading the ego to resist and project the Shadow.

Let us just say that, whatever we do or think, there are always other forces at work and never more so than when puritanism’s dogmatism, strict rules, properness, controlling attitudes and desires rule of the day. It is then acolytes become full-blown zealots, which does not happen overnight but instead is a slow and often unconscious creep until fanaticism manifests itself in the fanatical and uncompromising pursuit of religious, political or other ideals. Zealotry knows no bounds, and it works just as powerfully upon those now demanding the Voice, veganism and the overwhelming reshaping society in the name of climate change as once it did for the Puritans of old.

The definition of the word ‘puritan’, was first applied in the late 16th and 17th centuries to English Protestants who wanted to simplify and regulate worship, and who also endorsed and advanced the witch-hunts and gruesome deaths of so many. They were prepared to go to any lengths to ‘cleanse and purify’. No man, woman or child would be allowed to soil their pure world and their even more pure beliefs.

Does any of this ring a bell in our modern times?


IN TODAY’S world such puritanical beliefs, at times verging on the fanatical, are all around us – climate change, animal ‘rights’, COVID regulations and mandated treatments for starters. Green/Labor agendas are sacred writ and, increasingly, even our food choices reflect alleged moral shortcomings unless veganism be embraced. Notorious vegan activist Tash Peterson has terrorised diners at a Perth Outback Jack’s steakhouse while costumed in a white apron and pants splattered with fake blood, a schtick she has repeated with variations all over the world. Her passion cannot be denied even as her lack of judgement is obvious. Ms Peterson is the dictionary illustration of an intolerant zealot.

The last few years, in this time of COVID, has also brought such Neo-Puritan attitudes to science, medicine and governance, heartily supported by mainstream media. The unvaxed have been demonised in ways and for reasons which have never applied to any other medical treatment. Do you recall how the virus was ‘a pandemic of the unjabbed’, how we were told the inoculated couldn’t contract the ailment or pass it on? That all and any who begged to differ were intent on killing grandma? All rubbish, as we now know, but for months, indeed years, the get-vaxxed-or-else hysteria has cast those who wish to make their own choices as the modern iteration of others once thought to be in league with Satan — forces embracing and promoting evil for the sheer devilment of the exercise. COVID has been a reminder these forces simmer beneath the surface of society, waiting to explode when granted opportunity and encouragement.

But wait, there’s more — and it does not get better.  Increasingly in many belief systems the approach is excessive beyond reason. Fundamentalism rides like the hounds of hell on a wave of self-righteous fanaticism.  We live in a time when humans have been called a “cancer on the planet“, as more than one  paper has asked, and many garden-variety Neo-Puritans also assert. How psychologically healthy will a child grow up to be having been taught she and all humans are a disease? Ironically, such a perspective mirrors the Christian belief that we are all sinners, it’s just that this mirror is is the distorting variety of a Giggle Palace fun arcade.  We have invented a new form of sin and the desire of the fanatic to purge grows more powerful, ever more insistent.

Climate change seems to ruffle the collars of the Puritans more than most. Those who dare to question the doom-laden narrative are deemed wicked. The denial of climate change is not just ignorant, but ‘malign and evil’, according to Mary Robinson, the former UN high commissioner for human rights and special envoy for climate change.

How different is any of this to being in the dock at a Salem, Massachusetts, witch trial in 1693, when being found with a wart or a mole could send you to the gallows? The modern warts and moles are opinions which challenge a current narrative but they are enough to see even highly qualified professionals burn on metaphorical pyres, their lives and careers destroyed.

Doctors are being deregistered, struck off for challenging the ever-changing official edicts on COVID. How can that make for good science and safe medicine? How does any of this differ from the religious fanaticism of a past where reason and common sense were trampled in the cause of dogmatic and compelled belief? The encouraging news — one item at least — is word of a new medical association to defend the right of doctors to speak and act in accordance with their expertise. Such actions are not taken by the usually discreet and mostly conservative medical profession unless the need is dire. When the Pharmacy Guild of Australia places itself between doctor and patient by ordering its Main Street chemists not to fill lawful prescriptions, in this instance for ivermectin, you know such pushback is long overdue. And don’t be fooled by the ever-quotable, Left-colonised AMA, which now represents less than one-third of Australian doctors, down from 92 percent in 1962. At least now some are speaking up.

The rise of the Neo-Puritan Age has been fuelled by more than one generation having been raised to believe they can not only have it all, they entitled to have it all and they cannot be wrong. What a gift they would have been to the Protestants in the 17th century, convinced of their righteousness and the God-given nobility of their cause. Try talking to someone convinced we are headed for global catastrophe in terms of climate, or that animals are the equal of humans and should be treated as such, and the echoes of those original Puritans can be heard loud and clear. When fanatics heat their passions to boiling point before the fires of intolerance and contempt, the pages of history that follow tend to be written in blood.

Is that really what the normies of this world are prepared to accept?

18 thoughts on “The Rise of the Neo-Puritans

  • DougD says:

    “We live in a time when humans have been called a “cancer on the planet“. I’ve not yet seen any plan to cull humans. But the WEF may soon take up that challenge.

    And as for Mary Robinson’s opinion, well, she was once president of Ireland.

  • Sindri says:

    Well said, Roslyn. It’s interesting how a sense of guilt, an urge to confess, and a desire for redemption are hard-wired into humans (CS Lewis accounts for it very simply and obviously). Sometimes, as in the Puritan era, it takes a highly destructive turn, as it does in the pitiless world of the contemporary zealots. What is repulsive and striking is their moral vanity, their childish lack of nuance, their instant and permanent damnations – and, distastefully, the infinite elasticity of their double standards.

  • Peter Marriott says:

    Thanks Roslyn, good piece, clearly put with a ring of truth to it.

  • Daffy says:

    “that animals are the equal of humans” I’ve yet to hear an argument that makes this case without being grounded in an arbitrary moralism that instantly reduces to an equally arbitrary, and personal aesthetic. So, its another case of ‘it feels right’. Thus, it might not be right at all and have no true moral grounding, let alone an objective biological one.

  • rod.stuart says:

    Outstanding work, rosross. Very well presented.

  • Trevor Bailey says:

    All too true, Roslyn. A remnant of my time in the Emerald City, I still received the occasional email from the NSW Bar Library announcing its latest acquisitions. When the last one arrived, I found members’ money had been spent on a book exploring the ‘rights’ of trees and plants. I cancelled my email subscription, went home to my selection here in the bush and noticed that in this wet spring, the trees and plants looked right enough to me.

  • Stephen Due says:

    Notwithstanding the valuable general import of this article, I must protest about the unhistorical use of the Puritans as a kind of random punching-bag. John Milton was a Puritan, and so was John Bunyan. Puritanism was an important 17th century protest movement within Protestant Christianity against what its adherents saw as decadent and unbiblical doctrines and practices of the established churches. Puritans endured a great deal of persecution in their day. In some situations they themselves became persecutors. However there was no ‘Puritan Age’ and to write of a ‘Neo-Puritan Age’ is misleading. If one ignores all the references to Puritans, what remains are the author’s actual arguments, which in themselves are excellent.

    • rosross says:


      All fair points. I used the Puritans because they are well known and associated with extremism, arising from rigidly held views. And in ways which did not fit who they thought they were or wished to be.

      All that you say is correct and of course there was much of a positive nature about the Puritans, but, they can be seen as a movement which was led into terrible and cruel realms by the rigidity of their beliefs. No doubt unwittingly and unconsciously, that being a point I sought to make.

      The Puritans were certainly not the first to burn witches, nor the last, but, they are perhaps better recognised by the general public, and the concept of a ‘Puritan approach’ can still be understood by many.

      And they certainly fit the dangers of which I sought to warn, that black and white, fundamentalist thinking, draws us inexorably toward greater violence. We can see that today in many religions which are immersed in such thinking.

  • john mac says:

    Excellent piece RR, and I fear it will get worse before it gets better. Unless harsher penalties for these exhibitionist stunts are handed out , these attention seekers , drunk on self-righteousness will push the envelope further . Notice too that for quite a while , they involve good looking young girls who can’t wait to take their clothes off in public in a twofer of “look at me and my nice body” and “My cause is just , and don’t dare criticise me !” . This is shallow beyond belief , yet they are given oxygen by a compliant media . In the age of social media , the greatest harm done to the Western world (To me, at least) is the weaponization of young impressionable women into “Influencers” “Change Makers” etc all pushing to various degrees Victim/heroine persona’s ,shrill feminism , vegan/green agendas and smug misandry . to delve into Tiktok or Instagram (which I see through Youtube) is to witness zealotry at it’s worst , with endless snippets of female teachers, HR workers, and bureaucrats all loud and proud of their indoctrination of students , their condemnation of men , or transgressors of the narratives , goading their pupils to embrace their (The teachers) sexuality and demanding to be addressed as “they/them” and not even worried about repercussions ! The modern world via Toxic feminism (and airconditioning) has created the angriest generation of humans to ever draw breath , fighting battles long won , and totally ignorant of history .

  • Peter C Arnold says:

    What nonsense about Covid precautions!
    The disease has not yet run its course, yet Roslyn, presumably neither an epidemiologist not a virologist, pronounces on our efforts (government and doctors) to control it.
    We do not yet have the evidence to pronounce on the pandemic or on our measures to counter it.
    You can do better that this, Editor!
    Dr Peter Arnold MBBCh, BA (PPE)

    • rosross says:

      It is easy enough to read epidemiologists, a very flawed business based on modelling, and virologists, many of whom were ignored during the Covid casedemic, to know that the over-reaction to Covid was irrational and highly destructive.

      The evidence to pronounce on what was always a casedemic and never a pandemic is before our very eyes. Worse health, more Covid, more severe Covid, more Jab injuries and deaths, more harm done by useless and unhealthy masks, businesses, lives, economies destroyed in the name of a virus which was never a threat to the vast majority.

      Our measures to counter it were a TOTAL FAILURE and ran counter to any basic understanding of physiology, virology, vaccinology and common sense. Never before have people been locked up in this way and subjected to such fascist fearmongering with most medical professionals going along with it.

      We still have medical clinics masked up as the world outside goes maskless. Idiotic. We have nurses and doctors in masks trying to communicate with stroke patients who have trouble communicating and we have special needs teachers in masks, trying to communicate with children who can barely communicate.

      What we do know is that never before have Government and the medical industry demonstrated such stupidity and unprofessional hysteria.

      We have clear evidence that NONE of the counter-measures achieved anything but more harm and were all not just useless but dangerous.

    • rosross says:

      An Israeli study of 5.7 million people, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in June, shows that unvaccinated people who gained immunity through infection, were far better protected from Covid than people who were double vaccinated. And while the study did not have enough cases of severe Covid to be definitive, it showed that unvaccinated people with natural immunity were also better protected from severe Covid.

    • rosross says:

      Quote: My latest investigation for The BMJ reveals that, in July 2021, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) quietly disclosed findings of a potential increase in four types of serious adverse events in elderly people who had had Pfizer’s covid-19 vaccine:

      acute myocardial infarction,

      disseminated intravascular coagulation,

      immune thrombocytopenia, and

      pulmonary embolism.

      More than one year later, however, the agency has not issued a press release, or notified doctors, or published the findings via preprint or the scientific literature or updated the vaccines’ product label.

      I spoke with leading doctors about the FDA’s failure to inform the public of these vaccine safety signals, and the consequences of keeping such information secret.

  • Elizabeth Beare says:

    In more humorous times it used to be that ‘nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition’.
    Nowadays, we have come to expect it, to feel its inquisitory presence, in the paradoxical guise of the New Puritanism, as if the Old Puritanism was not bad enough with all of its witch burnings.
    When ideologies take hold there is something vile in human beings that makes them want to force others to believe, or die. The search for a perfect world was exemplified as evil itself in the town of Beziers during the time of the Albigensian Crusades by the instruction re this town to ‘kill them all; God will know His own’.
    This has the ring of Extinction Rebellion.
    They want to make human life effectively extinct in order to perfect the world to their liking.
    They catastrophise along with the Malthusians and the Club of Rome; we don’t deserve to survive.

    • rosross says:

      And they know not what they do.

    • David Isaac says:

      Every society has a set of foundational beliefs or myths which it considers immoral or actually illegal to contradict. At one time ours was belief in the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth in the reign of Tiberius and loyalty to the king as the guardian of his people. Contemporary mores and beliefs are somewhat changed.

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