A guest on Joe Rogan’s podcast has claimed that being transgender is a “contagion” similar to “satanic ritual abuse.”
Rogan, who has recently come under widespread criticism for Covid misinformation on his show, also suggested that social acceptance of the trans community was a sign of “civilisations collapsing.”
Rogan made the comments in a conversation with Canadian psychology professor Jordan Peterson on 25 January, in which he asked the right-wing academic what caused an individual to be trans.
Mr Peterson told him that being trans was a “sociological contagion” which he compared to “the satanic ritual abuse accusations that emerged in daycares in the 1980s.”
Later in the episode Rogan asked Mr Peterson about a theory he has previously discussed, that trans people are a sign of “civilisations collapsing.”
Rogan discussed this with The Spectator’s Douglas Murray in September 2020, who told him that trans issues “will be seen to be a late-empire, a bad sign of things falling apart.”
The podcast host asked Mr Peterson if he was familiar with Mr Murray’s work.
“He had an amazing point about civilisations collapsing, and that when they start collapsing they become obsessed with gender. And he was saying that you could trace it back to the ancient Romans, the Greeks,” said Rogan.
Mr Peterson told him that he was aware of the idea.
“I think probably it’s not so much an obsession with gender, it’s a disintegration of categories as a precursor - like so it’s a marker for - if categories just dissolve, especially fundamental ones, the culture is dissolving because the culture is a structure of category,” he said.
“That’s what it is. So in fact culture is a structure of category that we all share, so we see things the same way, so that’s why we can talk.”
“I mean, not exactly the same way, because then we would have nothing to talk about, but roughly speaking, we have a bedrock of agreement. That’s the Bible, by the way.”
Media watchdog group Media Matters criticised Rogan for the podcast, saying he had “once again peddled harmful anti-trans rhetoric.”
“Rogan has frequently used his platform to promote smears against trans people, spread conspiracy theories, and espouse Covid-19 misinformation,” it said.
Earlier this month, 270 scientists and doctors wrote an open letter urging Spotify to take action “against the mass-misinformation events which continue to occur on its platform.”
Spotify is also in the process of removing the music of rocker Neil Young who said he would not share a platform with Rogan because of his Covid-19 misinformation.