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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

The Village

**The Village spoilers contained herein**

I recall having watched M. Night Shyamalan’s film The Village in 2004. I didn’t care for the offering, because I didn’t consider its implications at the time. Per one source, the movie is summarized thusly:

‘The Village’ depicts the tale of an isolated town confronting the astonishing truth that lies just outside its borders. At first glance, this village seems picture perfect, but this close-knit community lives with the frightening knowledge that creatures reside in the surrounding woods. The evil and foreboding force is so unnerving that none dare venture beyond the borders of the village and into the woods. But when curious, headstrong Lucius Hunt plans to step beyond the boundaries of the town and into the unknown, his bold move threatens to forever change the future of the village.

The creatures said to reside in the woods surrounding the secluded village have a pact with elders of the small community. As long as citizens of the colony do not exit their borders, the monsters will not invade the village.

When character Ivy Walker, a blind person, ventures beyond the borders of the isolated collective, she manages to stumble into the modern world. Apparently, things weren’t as they seemed.

Ultimately, the audience is left to interpret that the elders dressed costumes to portray the menacing force beyond the border so that they could maintain authoritarian control over the populous. Ostensibly, this was done for the safety of villagers.

Corruption, violence, and degradation of the world beyond the village’s borders served as a threat to the morals and ethics of the colonial ruling class. Was their effort representative of benevolent subjugation of others, selfish tyrannical rule, or perhaps something else?

In 2004, I disliked The Village, partly because there were a number of film elements which didn’t make sense to me. However, I currently appreciate a particular theme that one source describes as follows:

The superstitions followed by the villagers to appease the creatures seemingly act as a criticism of organized religion. The members of the community follow the village’s ways because it’s what they know, with the unproven fears they have been conditioned to have keeping their behavior in check. There are clear parallels between The Village’s story and both cults and contemporary religion, meaning that the film offers some insightful social commentary.

Allow me to substitute an element separate from religion and cults—one which arguably follows a similar methodology. If you’re willing to entertain this thought experiment, consider that the elders are akin to the ruling class of the world, the creatures represent a COVID-19 narrative, and the villagers are commoners around the globe.

I’m not asserting that COVID-19 was entirely manufactured, much as the monsters outside the village weren’t solely the product of imagination. People needed to dress up in scary costumes and lore about the malevolence of creatures required human interaction.

In this way, COVID-19 very well may have represented a concern for some people. However, I posit that the reaction to COVID-19—action perpetrated by local, state, federal, and international elites in addition to folklore about the virus—was overblown.

To be clear, masking, lockdowns, and the so-called vaccine during the three-year fear campaign related more to hysterics, neurosis, histrionics, and irrational beliefs than science. Rather, it was the bastardization of science itself—from those who promoted “the science”—which resulted in a situation arguably worse than COVID-19.

As people venture outside the village, escaping the misinformation that kept them captive—literally, in many cases—there is no need for apologies, as far as I’m concerned. Instead, lessons learned about those who donned frightening costumes and spread lies can inform future behavior.

Some of us will no longer trust the elders, because they wielded power and control while proving themselves unworthy of authority. Others will foreseeably beg the ruling class to subject the village to deleterious tyranny far beyond the first round of lockdownerism.

Recently, murmurs of COVID-19 resurgence have caused some people to anticipate future overreaction by village elders to viral outbreak by December 2023. Who, aside from ruling elites, within the village desires round two of authoritarianism?

In the United States, we went from a near two-decade war in the Middle East to COVID-19, then to funding a proxy war in Ukraine, and it wouldn’t be beyond the scope of consideration to wonder about whether or not village elders will use another virus as a means to keep the fear machine churning.

Personally, I don’t believe in a mythical creature used by those in authority to frighten others into desired behavior. There is no monster in the woods except that which is created in the mind.

Yes, viruses are real. However, the reaction to COVID-19 is the beast, not the virus itself. Even if the people gripped with fear—and who failed to think critically about narratives offered by elders—were to remain captive within the confines of their homes, they would eventually die.

Each and every one of us will one day die. While I support the decision of those who choose to freely engage in bondage and discipline, domination and submission, and sadism and masochism, I want no part in the village’s orgy of fear.

Overindulgence of that sort isn’t my preference. For those who also care for liberty and freedom, and who desire to lead a purpose-driven and meaningful life unhampered by irrational beliefs from villagers and elders alike, I welcome you.

If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.

As a psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues ranging from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.

At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!

Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW


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