By Greg Ganske
December 11, 2022
Recently while watching the talking heads on CNN and MSNBC I discovered that I could be labeled a ‘stochastic’ terrorist.
One after another they repeated the claim that the horrific shooting at the LGBT bar in Colorado Springs was the result of “‘stochastic” terrorism. My terrorist offense?
George Orwell understood, and in his novel “1984” he explains that critical thinking leads to questioning, that leads to “Room 101” and that rat cage to the face. That is the room, where the Thought Police practiced torture and thought control on dissidents. And then I realized that I could be an accused “stochastic terrorist” myself.
My great sin? I had warned against treating minor children and adolescents with puberty blockers and surgery in response to fears of “gender dysphoria.”
That makes me guilty?
Having never heard the phrase “stochastic terrorism” before I wondered about its origin. It turns out its etymological root is the Greek word meaning “guess.” It refers to a mathematical concept that hinges on random variables and conditions. It takes into account random chance of association.
How did the Party Members of Orwell’s “1984” come up with Thought Crime? This is how. Language has power.
How was it that the U.S. Department of Justice was able to consider the portrayal of American parents as potential “domestic terrorists” for daring to question curriculum?
This is how.
In the hands of the left, language is a club to bludgeon their opponents into submission. And the term “stochastic terrorism” is a term that has been picked up by the radical Left from an opinion piece for Scientific American by writer Bryn Nelson, who defined it as “ideologically driven hate speech” that increases the “likelihood of unpredictable acts of violence.”
Thus, if one speaks out in disagreement with transitioning surgery in minors and then an act of violence occurs against the trans community or a member of the medical community, you are by definition guilty of that unpredictable act of violence.
You are a thought criminal. You are a stochastic terrorist.
Never mind that in the Colorado gay bar shooting the “stochastic” violence claim fell apart after it was revealed in court filings that the alleged perpetrator of the Colorado shooting is a ‘nonbinary’ person who uses “they” pronouns.
If only the alleged killer had been a Christian male who attended church regularly, a family man, perhaps even suffering the indignity of European antecedents, then all Christian clergy would have been guilty of “stochastic terrorism.” And many would have been in line for Room 101.
But the news about his lawyers announcing they would claim “non-binary” status helped kill the media buzz and the very real tragedy lost much of its political/media utility.
Also, never mind that many in the gay community themselves are warning of the dangers of treating minors with physiology altering drugs and are especially critical of genital surgery in children and teenagers. Yet according to Brandy Zadrozny of NBC, under stochastic terrorism as a plastic surgeon disagreeing with the “science’ of transitioning treatment, I could be guilty of “demonization of LGBTQ people.”
In my previous op-ed for johnkassnews.com I pointed out that there is little published data on the risk/benefit of such treatment as admitted by those involved in sex change treatment in children themselves.
The website for the University of California San Francisco Hospital states, “Genital surgery is being performed on a case-by-case basis more frequently in minors. In the absence of solid evidence, providers often must rely on the expert opinions of innovators and thought leaders in the field.”
In my op-ed I also called attention to the possible conflict of interest by providers that these treatments are big money makers for the providers as evidenced from Vanderbilt Medical Center being embarrassed by a provider openly talking about how much money they were making from their double mastectomies.
Thus, according to this “stochastic terrorism” theory, if violence occurs at a children’s hospital those who have spoken out against the practice are guilty of inciting terrorism. This is absurd. Nothing in my or others’ writing about the advisability of sexual transition treatments encourages violence. Similarly, “Stochastic terrorism” was invoked when Paul Pelosi was attacked by a homeless person with mental illness. They are unrelated incidents with no causal relationships. Under this pernicious theory, any incident of violence can be attributed to any ideological or political opponent.
Americans who understood the freedoms of Free Speech would have dismissed it all with contempt. But now, the left has demonstrated time and again that it is opposed and threatened by free speech.
This is an attack on free speech. If dissenting opinions on public policy can be labeled “hate speech” and then tangential violence occurs, the left wing and officials call for the suppression of speech.
Imagine if no one had dissented on the Tuskegee medical experiments or the use of frontal lobotomy? This theory allows activists to avoid proving cause and effect by invoking an unrelated probability mathematical theory and to use it to silence ideological opponents. The adjective ‘stochastic’ with its Greek roots just sounds scientific and so it is useful and bandied about as if it is valid.
Christopher Rufo addresses this danger to free speech in his essay for City Journal titled, “The ‘Stochastic Terror’ Lie.”
“The scheme works like this: Left-wing media, activists, and officials designate a subject of discourse, such as Drag Queen Story Hour, off-limits; they treat any reporting on that subject as an expression of “hate speech”; and finally, if an incident of violence emerges that is related, even tangentially, to that subject, they assign guilt to their political opponents and call for the suppression of speech. The statistical concept of “stochasticity,” which means “randomly determined,” functions as a catch-all: the activists don’t have to prove causality—they simply assert it with a sophisticated turn of phrase and a vague appeal to probability.
“Though framed in scientific terms, this gambit is a crude political weapon. In practice, left-wing media, activists, and officials apply the “stochastic terrorism” designation only in one direction: rightward. They never attribute fire-bombings against pro-life pregnancy centers, arson attacks against Christian churches, or the attempted assassination of a Supreme Court justice to mere argumentation of left-wing activists, such as, say, opposition to the Court’s decision in Dobbs. In those cases, the Left correctly adopts the principle that it is incitement, rather than opinion, that constitutes a crime—but conveniently forgets that standard as soon as the debate shifts to the movement’s conservative opponents.”
The clear and obvious goal of left-wing activists is to provide pretext to the federal investigative agencies to censor and prosecute journalists and others who question the orthodoxy of radical gender theory.
The obvious goal is to suppress speech and intimidate political opponents. Speech is not violence and statistical abstraction is no substitute for evidence.
Free-association fantasies constructed in some mind palace cannot determine guilt.
Don’t let some fancy sounding term like “stochastic terrorism” fool you. Expose it for the fraudulent theory it is. Beware those bearing “Stochastic terrorism” charges.
And if you don’t oppose it, then when “Room 101” opens for business, at least you’ll know how we came to passively accept it.
Greg Ganske, MD is a retired plastic surgeon and former Member of Congress (1995-2002) from Iowa