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Bogus “biologist” Jeremy Griffith’s book: Freedom, the end of the human condition – a useless book, best trashed

I am very sceptical when people use titles such as “World Transformation Movement” and make wild generalisations in their videos.

So today there was this massively advertised book by one Jeremy Griffith in The Australian. A massive advertisement on the front page (online edition). Clearly a lot of money has been poured into advertising a free book.

A book called Freedom is naturally of great interest to me. So I quickly download and skimmed through key sections of the book.

I was disappointed from the start.

There is nothing remarkable in the book. It is written MOST UNSCIENTIFICALLY and makes bogus claims. The following is an example:

E.O. Wilson—that lord of lying, the master of keeping humanity away from any truth; indeed, the quintessential ‘liar…the antichrist’ (Bible, 1 John 2:22 ) , the ‘deceiver and the antichrist’ ( 2 John 1:7 ) , ‘The beast… given… to utter proud words and blasphemies’

And there are massive quotations from various religious scriptures, as if these documents mean anything to the world of science. Why do I need to read extracts from bogus books in order to understand the human condition?

So what you have here is a failed Christian/ religious man trying to feed us his delusions about how he understands reality and can fix the world.

Now, I’ve read Edward O Wilson and thoroughly enjoy his works, which are deeply scientific and knowledge-based.

That someone will hit out at EO Wilson so brutally and yet claim to be a scientist meant I had to investigate further. And this is what I found:

The problem is that Griffith’s writing presents a romanticised view of hunter-gatherer life.” [Source]


The problem is that this is a PATHETICALLY CONFUSED book. He distorts the truth to suit his preconceived notions, he has no understanding whatsoever of freedom in the real sense (political), and rambles into religious territory – which may well suit some confused people, but adds no value to the human race or the human condition.

And read this:

we can all now know that our insecure, egocentric need to validate ourselves through winning power, fame, fortune and glory is obsoleted.

Guess what! This man wants REAL GLORY – as head of a new religion called the World Transformation Movement! No desire for fame! Pah!

As I skimmed through the book for any real knowledge, I was severely disappointed. Pure CRAP. A severely garbled book.

And here is Jeremy Griffith the new messiah speaking:

we can immediately and completely change our mind’s attitude from living a selfish, self-preoccupied life and be, as it were, ‘born again’ to a consider-the-welfare-of-others-above-your-own-welfare, unconditionally selfless, soulful, pre-resigned-like way of thinking and living. While every resigned human naturally becomes extremely habituated to living for the relief of power, fame, fortune and glory, it is possible to completely relinquish that way of thinking and living and, in its place, adopt a completely different, unconditionally selfless way of thinking and behaving.

Hold it, what has any of this to do with knowledge? That too, false knowledge, that involves denying the basic science of human nature.

The issue before mankind is this: GIVEN human nature and colossal human ignorance, what system of human interaction can be devised that minimises violence and enhances human well-being and life on earth? As James Madison said:

The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.

Refusal to even acknowledge the facts of human nature can only lead us seriously astray

The man doesn’t understand freedom and therefore the title of the book is misleading. By no means is this a book on freedom.

I’m afraid I must give the book a ZERO out of 10.


Review of Freedom, the end of the human condition, zero out of 10

Sanjeev Sabhlok

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16 thoughts on “Bogus “biologist” Jeremy Griffith’s book: Freedom, the end of the human condition – a useless book, best trashed
  1. Joe Blow

    I’ve been studying Griffith’s ideas for over 25 years. I began as a believer and ended as the vocal critic that I am today. I do find more of value in Griffith’s work than you do, but as a stimulus to my own thinking rather than as a source of insight.

    I think that the central question Griffith sets out to answer – Why are we so often drastically out of sync with our own ideals? – can be answered in one sentence :

    Ideals tend to set up a negative feedback loop in which they under-mine the self-acceptance which is the necessary foundation for loving behaviour.

    We see this dramatically in the case of religion. Christianity admonishes us to love and forgive each other, which is fine if we find a way to love and forgive ourselves, but if we are exposing ourselves to ideals which undermine our self-acceptance, it may make us more insecure in a way which can manifest in violence and intolerance towards others, hence the often violent and oppressive history of the church. I remember reading a comment somewhere that religion is fine if you are already a very good person, but if you are not, it will make you worse. (By the way, my understanding is that Griffith was not a religious person before he began his writing and that he was led to study the Bible because someone else pointed out similarities between his ideas and ideas expressed in it.)

    My philosophical wrestling with the issues Griffith raises led me to write my own book (a much, much shorter one) on the subject of how to achieve psychological freedom :

  2. Kevin

    Griffith uses religious text, art, etc., as evidence to prove his hypothesis. Seems like lots of the examples he uses prove his point about the conflict between genetic instinct to be good and conscious need to understand is the origin of the human condition.

  3. Craig

    If one was to make an observation on Sanjeev’s review of Jeremy Griffith’s book it would be that Sanjeev has an agenda stated at the top of this page – “One-stop shop” for the TOTAL transformation of India – which would necessitate such a trivialising review.

    Unfortunately Jeremy’s book doesn’t fare well if skimmed. It is one of those books where immersion by the reader is required to fully understand the complexity which ultimately delivers simplicity. As I am a high level skeptic of religions, new and old and cults, subliminal or stated, I was keen to see if Jeremy’s book was another Hubbard’s Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health or similar.

    As it turns out, Jeremy’s book is nothing more than a culmination of a life’s work dedicated to answering an unarguable observation, which is why human’s fundamentally do not like each other and are therefore so selfish, aggressive and competitive. Freedom is not an easy read but it is surely a good read. No new religion or cult has evolved from Jeremy’s book as stated by Sanjeev. If one was to actually read and understand Jeremy’s book they would see there is little foothold for a new religion to evolve.

    If nothing else, the salient points from Jeremy’s book is the essential nature of mother’s nurturing and the need for the human race to reinstate a matriarchal society. With this in place the rest would follow.

  4. Joe Blow

    Kevin : Religious dogma and art cannot be used to prove a scientific hypothesis. They are open to many interpretations.

    Even if one were going to test the theory by assessing Griffith’s ability to provide a viable explanation for the mystery of a particular religious dogma, Griffith doesn’t pass the test when it comes to the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, something which plays a central role in his book.

    His explanation is that Adam and Eve eating from the Tree of Knowledge represents our ancestors experimenting with their newly acquired capacity for reason and thus departing from strict adherence to some genetically encoded moral guidance system. This leads to selfishness, anger, egocentricity and alienation – they are kicked out of the Garden and find themselves alienated from “God”.

    That’s all well and good. But the story has other features. Eve is the first one to take the fruit. She is tempted to do so by a snake. And the tree is not simply the Tree of Knowledge but specifically The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

    I can give an explanation which accounts for all these features – thus a better explanation than Griffith’s.

    The story is about the arrival of idealism and the curse that it brought to humans. With our newly acquired capacity for reason we would have asked ourselves why we (at that time) were a loving, nurturing community, and yet there was predatory behaviour in nature which was in stark contrast to the love which made our lives, generally, so pleasant and meaningful. Animal predators would kill human infants. We needed to protect ourselves, but we also needed to understand this part of nature. In fighting against the predators, we discovered our own capacity for aggression.

    Women, being the nurturers, would have been the first to recognise the problem that evil represented and to insist on some kind of solution. Unfortunately once a distinction was made between good and evil, idealism (the idea that we should hold ourselves to a high standard of good behaviour and feel shame for bad behaviour) arose. On the surface this makes sense, but actually it doesn’t work, because love can’t exist without forgiveness. Love is all-accepting and arises only from unconditional self-acceptance. Our conscience – that part of our ego where we store our moral expectations of ourselves – undermines our self-acceptance and thus deprives us of the capacity to feel the very love which – were we healthy – would be the motivation behind the very behaviour it criticises us for not showing.

    So the deadly side of nature (a snake) caused a woman to distinguish between good and evil. This distinction led to a cultural manifestation which robbed us of our ability to love and thus alienated us from “God” (the cooperative theme of creation).

    Adam and Eve also became ashamed of their nudity and donned clothes. Griffith gives an interpretation of this which conforms to much later feelings about nudity – i.e. nudity arouses lust. A much better interpretation would be that nudity is symbolic of honesty. Before the arrival of idealism, we would have been neither critical of others nor self-critical. But, in the harsh unforgiving light of idealism, the impulse would be to “clothe” ourselves with lies – to lie to others and to lie to ourselves – to become false, to be come alienated.

    Craig : Why are people so selfish? Selfishness is the natural self-directedness of the suffering or threatened individual. As long as we feel we need to prove something about ourselves – to establish our worth – we will tend to be selfish and thus competitive. The principle psychological cause of suffering is idealism. Idealism robs us of self-acceptance and also of acceptance of others. Kill idealism, by recognising that it is a destructive thought virus, and we can find an unquenchable love for ourselves and each other. I see no evidence that we have a genetic conscience which dictates that we be selfless, but love is at the very core of our biology. A baby is born with no morality – no conscience – but with an instinct for unconditional love – uncritical acceptance of others – which allows bonding with them to be the intense source of pleasure that it should be.

    It didn’t take me all that long to understand Griffith’s first book Free : The End of the Human Condition, or the ones which have come since. It did take me a while to understand why he was wrong and to work out the real explanation for the human condition.

  5. Scott F.

    I’m about 100 pages into “Freedom
    ..”…..and it’s a bit of a slog. Griffith is an awful writer…repetitive, long-winded, too much reliance on various modes of EMPH-A-SIS, and far far too much self-promotion/ aggrandizement. I can’t shake the feeling that I’m being sold a bill of goods– what it might have been like speaking to Joseph Smith as he was first promoting Mormonism. Not sure I want to continue😜

  6. Max

    Didnt J.Krishnamurti talk in great detail about the human condition?
    Unlike mr Griffiths, he was wise enough not to pretend that there was a straightforward solution,pointing out that it was for the individual to understand how things were an find out for himself if it was possible to change, any help from outside being considered useless. Not a philosophy that would make a million seller and though paradoxical, is probably, unfortunately, true.

  7. Jason Brown

    I’m with Scott F. on this one – the use of different fonts, font sizes, apostrophes around multiple words in each sentence, underlining, bold and italics – sweet Jesus, what a mess.

    Even without the dreadful formatting, I too feel the bill of goods vibe. So it was great being able to read the comments here, and get more perspective on an area I know so very little about.

    But anyone who feels so passionately about something they cannot bear to listen to professional advice about presentation must surely suffer blindspots?

    Might try and run the PDF through a converter to word, remove all the wildly differing formats, and see if it reads a little easier.

  8. Bob O'Brien

    I was at first, excited to dive in and make my life instantly amazing, but it looked a lot like a cult in the making. It reminded me a little of J.W. with their free brochures, and more like “The Path”, that minnie series that keeps on going forever.
    I am so glad I found these blogs to give me perspective. I won’t waste my time on reading “Freedom…”.

  9. Lesley Flint

    I thought ‘Freedom ‘ was going to be a really worthwhile book, so strongly promoted and supported by such dignitaries as Prof Harry Prosen and Tim Macartney-Snape. When I saw Bob Geldolf giving it his backing,I thought that’s for me – maybe it will be ‘The book that saves the world’. What a claim ! I have taken nearly a year to have got only half way through (I keep falling asleep), it is so badly written and repetitive,with sooo many references. For some reason I am determined to finish it – will there be a wonderful revelation at the end ? – I doubt it. I can’t really believe that Bob G actually read it. If he did, I bet there’d be a few expletives in his review !

  10. Radu C. Serban

    I have almost finished it, and I agree with you, Lesley Flint: it makes me fall asleep, as I find it too repetitive, and instead of simply tackling the problems, the author makes us aware of why, HOW and IN WHICH WAY (I deliberately use synonyms) he would explain his ideas in a further chapter. Oh, how I don-t like reading books with FOREWORD longer than the content in itself!

    The reading is good as a support in starting to think (maybe) wider than we used to.
    By the way, by reading comments about this book, I found different interesting ideas, like the ones from another reader:

    And, by the way, I started to write (at the moment for myself) down ideas, which I will gather, consider, and reconsider, over and over, so latter on I can decide whether to publish (even on internet only) or not something that may be helpful for some individuals of our species.

  11. Joe Blow

    Lesley : From what I saw of the book launch, my understanding is that Geldof was not convinced by Griffith’s presentation of his ideas. Griffith says that Geldof told him : “We’re not all going to turn into people who are all hugging each other Jeremy because we’re all competitive by nature. The question is how do you relieve yourself from an instinctive primal state.” In his speech he said: “…we need to think, we need new ideas, we need proselytisers, we need obsessed people, which I think Jeremy is. We need him to be questioned. We need it [FREEDOM] to be argued, we need it to be read and talked about and understood. It may be right, it may be wrong. But you need someone as committed to trying to understand what gets us here time after time…” Although I can’t confirm it, my theory is that Geldof was hired to do the launch. He is available for hire : Griffith spent an awful lot of money promoting his book. There were large, sometimes full page colour adverts in The Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and other papers. No major periodicals decided to actually review the book though. There was something in a tabloid, but it looked like a perfunctory bit of filler slapped together after reading a press release, rather than the book itself.

    Radu : I’m glad the writing on my blog was of interest to you. And I’m glad to hear that you are doing some writing. I have found that wrestling with Griffith can stimulate useful thought along the lines of “if not that, then what”. Exploration is always useful. Griffith’s problem is that he believes he has arrived at the final destination.

  12. Roger Paine

    Aside from the repetition and awful formatting, I find the notion that our ancient predecessors lived in Edenic is bliss a bit far fetched – life, it seems to me, is a shit fight all the way down to bacteria; How could it be otherwise? Competition is the driver of evolution.
    It seems our growing understanding of ourselves and the universe are more likely to deliver a secure world than an attempt to resurrect a mythical state of innocence.
    Stephen Pinker’s ‘Better Angels of our Nature’ and the WHO statistics on the battle against poverty clearly show that we live in a time of decreasing aggression and enjoy greater prosperity than ever before. Our time is the least violent ever; never, has your chance of being murdered been less than it is now.
    Reading Griffith triggers caution alarms – why should it be necessary to watch a bunch of videos before you read the book? Smacks of programming and feels like Scientology.
    Haven’t finished it and am dubious… but Griffith would say that is because I haven’t watched the videos. ‘You can only understand if you believe’ is a red flag.

  13. melody thompson

    An absolutely excellent book for me because I always searched for scientific answers for myself and why we are here as humans and especially if there is any great reason.
    Scientifically the book has a lot of answers from the hominid state we came from and developed. Today then look at what we are in truth, humans destroying not only each other to a great extent but our own earth, we kill violently are angry and bitter and full of egotistic selfishness.
    Will this continue to take us further as a species? Will our guilt and heartache stop us in our tracks and cause us to take another look at what we have become?

    I love all Jeremys books because they complete me in the way that they tell us all that we are amazing wonderful humans because we have survived all this time over millions of years and that we suffered inside of ourselves because we thought we were bad and selfish and greedy.

    It turns out that when we became conscious we were stuck between a conflict of instinct and our new mind willing us to go on to thinking.
    Today we are thinking humans but we are still suffering, searching for answers to who we are which Jeremy proves in all of his writings is amazing.

    Men have been absolutely heroic in carrying our species on and on and women have been absolutely amazing in their nurturing love for their infants and so who wants to believe in false gods or dogma of religion when even Christ new man in simple language was his own worst enemy and suffering and it was not his fault. It was all about not understanding his instincts from his intellect.
    I hope all the angry men who have been suffering on this site wake up and think, from me to you trust me your are not guilty, you are amazing and if you live today thank your ancestors for all their determination and love

  14. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    I’m afraid, Melody, what you are saying makes no sense, indeed. No one thought they were selfish and greedy. This kind of weird thinking is inconsistent with human reality. If you want to read good stuff, go read Steven Pinker and F.A Hayek. Trash this Griffin fellow whose work fosters utter confusion.


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