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Eric Clapton says vaccinated people may be victims of "mass formation hypnosis"

Eric Clapton onstage
(Image credit: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Eric Clapton has claimed that the choice of people to be vaccinated may have been driven by what he refers to as "mass formation hypnosis."

The guitarist made the comments in an interview with the YouTube channel The Real Music Observer, explaining his belief that people were being brainwashed by the media into getting vaccinated.

“I didn’t get the memo," says Clapton. "Whatever the memo was, it hadn’t reached me. Then I started to realise there was really a memo, and a guy, Mattias Desmet [professor of clinical psychology at Ghent University in Belgium], talked about it. And it’s great. The theory of mass formation hypnosis. And I could see it then. Once I kind of started to look for it, I saw it everywhere.

“Then I remembered seeing little things on YouTube which were like subliminal advertising. It had been going on for a long time: that thing about ‘you will own nothing and you will be happy.’ And I thought, ‘What’s that mean?’ And bit by bit, I put a rough kind of jigsaw puzzle together. And that made me even more resolute." 

The theory of mass formation hypnosis came to public attention after featuring on an episode of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast late last year, but has been dismissed by academics.

“The concept has no academic credibility,” said Stephen Reicher, a social psychology professor at the University of St Andrews in the U.K., in an email to The Associated Press, while John Drury, a social psychologist at the University of Sussex, says such notions of “mob mentality” have been discredited after decades of research into crowd behaviour. “No respectable psychologist agrees with these ideas now,” he said.

Other videos on the Real Music Observer channel include titles like "Elton John Will Hermetically Seal His Crew In Order To Proceed With The Farewell Yellow Brick Road" and "Meat Loaf Possible Cause of Death Being Used Against People Who Love Freedom."

You can watch the interview with Eric Clapton below. The guitarist's latest album, Lady In The Balcony: Lockdown Sessions is out now.

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 36 years in music industry, online for 23. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.