Jordan Peterson’s New Book Stirs Controversy At Penguin Random House Canada

A general view of a collection of Penguin books on display in Foyles bookshop on December 3, 2015 in London, United Kingdom.
Ben Pruchnie / Getty Images

Canadian clinical psychologist and commentator Jordan Peterson is releasing a new book through Penguin Random House Canada, which is causing pushback from some of its staffers.

As reported by Vice News, the publisher announced on Monday that it would be releasing Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life in March 2021. In response, some staffers allegedly expressed opposition to the decision to platform Peterson, who has sparked controversy for his commentary on political and cultural issues.

One junior employee argued that Peterson is an “icon of hate speech” and “white supremacy.” Another claimed that people cried at the company town hall centered around the book on Monday as they discussed how Peterson had negatively affected their lives.

Penguin Random House Canada issued a statement to Vice News in which it supported its workers’ rights to express their opinion on the company’s decision to publish the book.

“Our employees have started an anonymous feedback channel, which we fully support. We are open to hearing our employees’ feedback and answering all of their questions. We remain committed to publishing a range of voices and viewpoints.”

Peterson first drew national attention for his opposition to Bill C-16 — which sought to increase protections for non-binary and trans Canadians — and argued it did not bode well for free speech protections in the country. He also penned the self-help book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.

Anne Collins, publisher of Knopf Random Canada Publishing Group — which Peterson’s book will be published under — argued that his strategies had “helped millions of people who are on the fringes of society.” She suggested that without Peterson’s help, these individuals would be radicalized by alt-right groups. But Collins’ claims didn’t convince everyone. One employee claimed that she was attempting to put a positive spin on the publisher’s decision to release the title.

The controversy around the book has generated varying opinions on social media.

According to Entertainment Focus, Peterson’s new work will focus on gaining meaning from life by exploring the unknown and adapting to a world that is always changing.

“Beyond Order therefore calls on us to balance the two fundamental principles of reality – order and chaos – and reveals the profound meaning that can be found on the path that divides them.”

The book comes on the heels of Peterson’s stint in a Russian hospital after becoming addicted to the benzodiazepine anti-anxiety drug clonazepam, which is known by the brand name Klonopin. As The Inquisitr reported, the psychologist was alleged to have suffered from neurological damage during this recovery and a bout of pneumonia, which prompted doctors to place him in an induced coma for eight days.