Dr Jordan B Peterson blasted Canada’s “commissars” and penned a scathing letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Tuesday after a leading association of his fellow psychologists threatened to go after his license to practice clinical psychology over social media criticisms of the nation’s far-Left government.
The College of Psychologists of Ontario ordered the best-selling author and Daily Wire+ host to undergo “social media communications retraining” or face a hearing on the potential suspension of his license. In the letter to Trudeau, Peterson vowed not to participate in the process and decried the effort to stifle free speech.
“I simply cannot resign myself to the fact that in my lifetime I am required to resort to a public letter to the leader of my country to point out that political criticism has now become such a crime in Canada that if professionals dare engage in such activity, government-appointed commissars will threaten their livelihood and present them with the spectacle of denouncement and political disgrace,” Peterson wrote. “There is simply and utterly no excuse whatsoever for such a state of affairs in a free country.”
BREAKING: the Ontario College of Psychologists @CPOntario has demanded that I submit myself to mandatory social-media communication retraining with their experts for, among other crimes, retweeting @PierrePoilievre and criticizing @JustinTrudeau and his political allies.
— Dr Jordan B Peterson (@jordanbpeterson) January 3, 2023
The current grievance against Peterson is just the latest of several investigated by the college, with prior complaints having been dismissed. Peterson’s latest alleged transgressions include retweeting Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre’s criticism of Trudeau, blasting Trudeau’s former senior aide, Gerald Butts, and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, tweeting opposition to a plan by Ottawa police to take custody of the children of the Trucker Convoy protesters, and telling Joe Rogan’s podcast audience that acceptance of radical gender theory is a sign of “civilizations collapsing” and that climate change models are unreliable.
Peterson called Butts a “stunningly corrupt and incendiary fool” and a “prik” in a pair of February tweets. In another tweet in February, at the height of Canada’s trucker protest against vaccine mandates, Peterson called Trudeau a “Puppet.” The tweets were among a tranche sent to the college in early March by an anonymous complainant.
College Executive Director Rick Morris said he reviewed the tweets, as well as a transcript from Peterson’s January 25, 2022, appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, and determined they warranted an investigation. The probe appears to have been expanded to include subsequent social media posts by Peterson, including a May Twitter post in which he criticized Sports Illustrated for putting plus-sized swimsuit model Yumi Nu on the cover.
“Sorry. Not beautiful,” he wrote. “And no amount of authoritarian tolerance is going to change that.”
He also tweeted that movie star Ellen Page, who now claims to be a man and goes by Elliot Page, had a mastectomy performed “by a criminal physician.”
The college is a government-regulated association that regulates and has the authority to sanction psychologists, ostensibly to protect the health and safety of workers and the public. But Peterson charged that the Ontario professional organization has been hounding him since 2017, when his viral video lectures made him an international star who now boasts 15 million followers on YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.
“I was never investigated for anything for the 20 years I practiced prior to my emergence on the public scene,” said Peterson, who first ran afoul of the progressive Trudeau regime when he railed against a law that made it a crime not to use the preferred pronouns of transgender people.
Because the college is obligated to probe any written complaint filed against a member, Peterson said he has been buffeted with investigations, many of which were prompted by anonymous calls.
One accused him of being “transphobic, sexist, and racist” for simply posting online an article from Crisis magazine that accused the transgender movement of targeting autistic children. Another complaint was spurred in part by Peterson’s contention that “the racial divide continues apace, fueled by identity politics.” A 2020 complaint claimed Peterson had signed a document used in a child custody case and was dismissed when Peterson showed the purported signature was a forgery lifted from Wikipedia.
Although the complaints were ultimately dismissed, Peterson said they were part of a pattern through which his critics have weaponized the professional organization against him.
“As a Member of the College, and in light of your public profile, you may wish to offer your opinions and comments in a respectful tone in order to avoid a negative perception toward the profession of psychology,” the college advised him after several complaints were dismissed.
Last year, Peterson was taken to task by the college after telling a scientist who said overpopulation was a threat to the planet that he was “free to leave at any point.” When the college opened an investigation, Peterson declined to cooperate.
“Take whatever steps you deem necessary,” he said at the time. “I am simply not going to spend the hours and days required to undergo the unbelievably stressful process necessary to respond to this formally because one of the millions of people who follow me on social media took offense to one thing I said at one point.”
While Peterson’s clashes with the college may be partly due to the unusual circumstance of a member and practicing psychologist also being an internationally recognized thought leader, he said the constant battles show the “process is the punishment.” Peterson claims several of his peers, both in medicine and academia, have been “intimidated into silence and lies by their governing bodies.”
“Can you trust a physician who is afraid to tell you the truth when you’re ill — or, more importantly, when your children are?” he mused in a response to the college. “Can you trust a psychologist who is required by law to agree with what you think and who will not ask you pertinent questions on pain of their license?”