No Brainer

The mind makes a wonderful servant but a terrible master.

Hello Dr. Woodson,

I read your article, “American Psychos” a week or so ago, and am just now sitting down to write and thank you for it. It is rare to find that level of honesty in a newspaper, local or otherwise. I subscribe to the Chestnut Hill Local and week after week, I keep hoping to see an editorial or letter writing about this corona virus hoax. The lack of independent research or judgment, the conformity, the susceptibility to fear that the government and media have been whipping up–it is just horribly depressing and bodes ill for the USA. I suppose we are to be herded into vaccine concentration camps. I wish we could mobilize opposition for the lockdown, for starters. But even if you do not altogether agree with me, your article was a great first start in educating people about what is really going on.

Keep up your good work.


Caryl Johnston (Germantown)

Hello Caryl, it is great to hear from you. I applaud your instincts to balk at this drumbeat of fear and passivity we are hearing from the top down! You are right – conventional media makes no room for free thinkers like us. They want to water our ideas down, make excuses for the other side, throw the same so-called facts in our face instead of addressing the obvious inconsistencies.

Not so at The Local. My columns come from real conversations, with everyday folk, where I am delighted to inform and educate the editors about perspectives they will not encounter in mainstream (i.e. white supremacist) media. To their credit, they research all my facts and include source links when they publish my pieces on their website. If you think I’m radical, you should diversify your education.

And learn your history — not just whitewashed history!

FUN FACT: You know those “Extra! Extra!” newsboys back in the day? They were selling papers in the streets because mainstream newsstands refused to carry them. Called these cheap independent papers “trashy” for covering everyday people instead of moneybags and bigwigs. Essentially the fat cats did not want other worldviews but their own to be heard. They hated them because they shed light on the truth! Because they fingered crooked leaders and blew the whistle on all their scandals.

Damn right they did. These “penny press” papers served the people, not The Man. They were agitators for Human and Civil rights, and called out many injustices to humanity. They were all about free thinking and acting for the common good, in support of the “moral majority.” They did not kowtow to political pressure – they applied it from a position of power, representing huge swaths of working-class voters in major cities.

Now that time, as you have noticed Caryl, has passed. Most newspapers are once again corporate operations, that have eaten the small voices. They have become the lapdog doing the bidding, messaging and programming for the elite class while they look away when things get messy. I am glad you found The Local, which shows me you are open-minded and comfortable stepping outside the box. Big corporate media lives on fear and conformity. This paper says Fuck that. We want the real story. We do not care if it is ugly, uncomfortable or inconvenient.

Now about this “corona virus hoax” you mentioned…

Interesting. I know from my experience as a mental health professional that I would be wasting my time, using science to try to convince you that COVID-19 is indeed a real and deadly global pandemic. You already know this – and the reason you know this is why you cling so tightly to this hoax business. Get me?

Conspiracy theories are how religions were born. When humans feel our existence is threatened, when we face random, confusing dangers that are out of our control, we soothe ourselves with stories that tell us whatever we want to hear, no matter how fantastical.

We enjoy repeating our stories to each other. We seek out others who think like us, which helps reinforce what we choose to believe, what feels most comfortable and familiar. I can no sooner change your mind about coronavirus than I could convince you to renounce the faith of your childhood.

I respect your story, Caryl. If you need to close your eyes in the face of a terrible catastrophe, I understand and honor that. I commend you for trusting your instincts. Unfortunately, your hunger for certainty in an uncertain world makes you susceptible to political exploitation, by glib grifters who have answers for everything.

Personally, I prefer questions: What can we do? What do we know? Who is in charge and what can we expect in terms of support? How does it make any sense to re-open businesses before the virus is contained? More than 70% of Americans support COVID lockdowns – why do we assume people will run out to shop just because things are open again? Unemployment is at 14.7% — who-all has extra money to burn?

We are facing a killer stealth virus with no known treatment. How do we stay safe? Before we force the economy open, everyone must have access to testing and healthcare, no exceptions. All workers need sick pay, so they stay the hell in bed when they are ill. Until there is a vaccine, every job outside the home should get extra hazard pay on top of their regular salary and proper equipment to not spread the virus.

This costs money that the “American Psychos” running our government do not want to spend. Keeping us safe from COVID-19 will cut their bottom line. They had rather put this money toward shutdown protests and trying to convince us the best chance we have against coronavirus is to march into direct fire and hope for the best. But they hope we do it to ourselves so they cannot be held liable. This is nonsense.

The only way the economy can be healthy is if workers are healthy. The United States is the richest country maybe in the world. We must invest our great wealth toward properly protecting and supporting our citizens in this time of crisis. We need to check our ego and learn from other countries. We need to stop being so fucking greedy and make some sacrifices for the common good and our survival. Above all, we need to remember that our battle is with COVID-19, not each other.

Thank you again for your email, Caryl. As one maverick to another, high five! You gave me much to think about and I hope I have returned the favor. Please comment below or look me up on Facebook & YouTube to continue this conversation.

Peace, love and empowerment!

– Dr. Woodson

About Lorenzo Woodson 37 Articles
Dr. Lorenzo Woodson (Ph.D., RBT, CC, LBS) is a licensed behavior analyst specializing in clients on the autism spectrum. He lives in Germantown with his wife of 24 years, and lectures nationally for social causes. Lorenzo is a member of Men Who Care of Germantown. Connect with Lorenzo on Facebook or email him at


  1. Dr. Woodson, thank you for this wonderful article. It is so illuminating and real. It cuts through a lot of the tension and anxiety and landed uncomfortably on the truth.

    • Well Matt H. thank you for your taking the time to read the Local. The Local mkes diligent effort to be on the ground where the voice of the people are. We are joyful to know folk like yourself understand that news should be meaningful and informative such that it enlightens us and moves us to get involved. Please share and continue to read our monthly editions.

      Thank you,

  2. Dr Woodson, I agree with your article, COVID is Real and must be taken seriously, or we will see much more deaths, all we have to do know is wear a mask and wash your hands and stay a least 6 feet away from people, but how are we going to do this if the government forces people to constantly interact with each other in all types of setting for the sake of MONEY. This should not be happening especiilay now that we know what is needed to solve this problem, and it;s going to take time time time to get it right.

    • Thank you, Elliot Carter, for your response to the article I am happy to know that you took time to read the Local, thank you. Your point as with many of us during this time is allowing confusion to take over our rational sense to do basic Universal Precautions. It is my contention that our government has dropped the ball by the sheer incompetence of this countries leadership and I mean the entire administration Democrats and republicans and our citizens for not pushing back hard enough. Many citizens are short-sighted and they are acting out of frustration and impatience at the risk of others by wanting to fill pleasure over their own safety and the safety of others. What have we become with this type of cognitive dissonance? We must stay diligent in the fight for unselfish morality and reevaluate our cultural value-orientations. Thank you and continue to read the Local for more on the ground news.


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