In one of his most unhinged rants yet, hate radio show host Rush Limbaugh argued that the revelation that a famous book about multiple-personality disorder is a hoax means that “nothing is real,” including global warming. “Sybil” was an influential 1973 book written for a popular audience that told of a psychiatrist’s client with “multiple personality disorder.” The book influenced the field of psychoanalysis for years. By the 1990s, questions were raised about the veracity of the tale, and a new book by Debbie Nathan, Sybil Exposed, fully debunks the story, after thousands of people were mistreated.
In today’s show, Limbaugh took this news to mean that all institutions are part of a global “liberal” conspiracy, including climate science:
So here we have a real-life recent case of an agenda-driven hoax becoming scientific consensus and a popularly accepted concept that real decisions were based on. Sound familiar? Sound familiar, folks? Does it not sound exactly like what’s happened with global warming?
“The United States Congress, the White House, you name it, wherever they have dominated for a significant amount of time, you have perverse corruption, lies, outright fraud and hoaxes all for the express purpose of controlling people, all because they want to control everybody,” Limbaugh concluded. “Now, who do you think is in charge of this stupid Occupy Wall Street thing? The same bunch of fraudsters, the same bunch of liars, the same bunch of hoaxers. Nothing is real.”
Limbaugh is engaging in a fallacy common among climate deniers, the belief that climate science totters like an upside-down pyramid on a few key observations or influential scientists. In reality, the science of manmade global warming is a robust accumulation of knowledge from diverse fields, from molecular chemistry to ecological biology, from satellite-based atmospheric physics to paleoclimatology.
Limbaugh wants his listeners to believe that the 99 percent movement — which has now gone global — is part of a conspiracy of “perverse corruption” and “outright fraud.” Limbaugh has claimed, without evidence, that “Obama’s responsible” for the movement, fed by “George Soros money” and “organized and paid for by a bunch of anti-Semites.” It’s not clear what the connection is between this supposed conspiracy, climate scientists, and a psychiatrist who’s been dead for nearly twenty years.