What they’re not telling you – about a lot of things
Several days ago, we learned that our magazine What Doctors Don’t Tell You had been slated by a drive-time radio host in Australia, and that his statements led to the magazine being pulled from two store chains: Coles and Woolworths.
Now, I have to tell you: this is not really our fight. But it raises a number of issues about wholesale censorship now occurring in all the media you read, which is why I bring this up.
You may or may not know that What Doctors Don’t Tell You, which my husband Bryan Hubbard and I have published in some form in the UK and the US for 30 years, is also licensed by foreign publishers for release in 16 other countries. They are obliged to publish at least 80 per cent of our content.
One of the new licensees was Nuclear Media in Australia.
Stirring up outrage
The radio host in question, Ben Fordham, an ex-sports reporter, is a shock jock. His job is to slap awake his listeners during their morning commute, so he’s on the lookout for anything he can use to rustle up a campaign of outrage.
Taking a cue from Ben’s campaign, here’s what the website of his radio station 2GB recently wrote about us:
“The magazine ‘What Doctors Don’t Tell You’ is stacked page-to-page with conspiracies, dangerous misinformation and dodgy medical advice.
“On the front page, hydrogen gas is advocated as a heart disease treatment, and it warns of dangers associated with 5G and Wi-Fi networks.
“The magazine’s website contains further unfounded claims linking vaccines with autism.”
That so-called ‘dodgy information’ of ours largely derives from medical and scientific journals. Although written for consumers, each issue of WDDTY is packed with hundreds of medical references, placed at the bottom of each article.
Every article is meticulously checked by a production team, with our chief copyeditor a PhD from Imperial College, London, one of the top science universities in the world. She also edits many prestigious medical journals, and one of her jobs with us is to check every last medical fact and reference, which she does painstakingly.
Hydrogen gas as a promising therapy is nothing new: there is a good deal of evidence supporting its use, and many doctors around the world are treating patients successfully with it.
The latest story we reported on vaccination and autism concerned the fact that the The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had been forced to concede that its reassurances to parents that childhood vaccines don’t cause autism are not based on any scientific evidence.
“The admission followed a Freedom of Information request lodged by the vaccination campaign group called Informed Consent Action Network (Ican), which had asked the CDC to produce all the studies it relied on to claim that a host of vaccines (not the MMR) do not cause autism,” we wrote. “The CDC could not produce any evidence to support their claims.”
‘We’ did not and do not say that vaccines are linked to autism.
We reported on evidence showing that one of the world’s leading health agencies is lying to the public.
That, to us, is a story that you, the public, need to know about, particularly as it was not covered by any of the mainstream media.
The 5G story is an extract of a book written by Dr. Joseph Mercola, containing both scientific evidence and sensible advice about how to limit your exposure to Wi-Fi (such as turning it off at night).
It does not, by the way, link 5G to coronavirus – nor do we.
But this is not a story about Ben Fordham or his belief we should be banned – a position proving very unpopular, judging by the hundreds of listeners shouting about it on his social media pages and to other publications.
This is, pure and simply, about censorship, the shutting down of any point of view other than the official government and mainstream medical line about issues relating to your health and medical treatment.
Shutting down any debate
I am increasingly shocked by the wholesale willingness of today’s journalists to automatically disparage any evidence or point of view other than the official ones fed to them by the government and other authorities.
Anyone who simply questions whether a vaccine is safe or effective, or even offers evidence suggesting that a vaccine may not be well-tested or that a government may have lied and covered it up is immediately branded an ‘anti-vaxxer.’
This is particularly worrying considering the rush to find a new vaccine for COVID-19. Will no journalist be willing to investigate whether it is safe or effective?
I am astonished that social media companies are now allowed to determine what is or what is not worthy of public consumption when it comes to health.
Recently, after interviewing a prestigious UK doctor, who is part of a worldwide team of medics studying the effects of high-dose vitamin C both on prevention and treatment of COVID-19, our Facebook post about it got labeled ‘Fake News.’
Who is determining this? And what is the agenda behind shutting down any reasonable and open debate? (I remind you that Facebook has just bought two drug companies.)
What is the difference between these kinds of ‘for-your-own-good’ tactics and the kind of censorship employed by China today or Pravda under Russian communist rule?
Why, finally, are we the public willing to passively stand by and allow freedom of information, particularly about health, to get massively eroded so that the only news allowed to reach us parrots the position favored by governments and by the drug industry – an industry routinely found guilty of a host of lies and confiscations?
I had thought that after the ‘have-you-or-have-you-ever-been-a-member-of-the- Communist-Party?’ 1950s trials we learned our lesson, figured out that closing down freedom of speech leads to the ascendancy of demigods like Joseph McCarthy, who are able to operate with impunity and to destroy lives, all in the name of acting in the ‘public interest.’
In its Universal Declaration of Rights, the United Nations wrote that the right to freedom of opinion is a basic human right and includes: “freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
So Ben is entitled not to like our magazine. What becomes a problem for you and me and everyone else out there is when he, his radio station and shops like Coles believe that they have the right to determine what sort of information you and I can have access to.
I had thought we’d long ago figured out that freedom of speech is where all other freedoms start. “Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech,” wrote Benjamin Franklin.
Because when you thumb through history, you discover that shutting down free speech is exactly where every kind of oppressive move against a free society begins.
If you live in Australia and want to complain to Coles:
Coles Customer Care number: 1800 061 562,
Or write on their Facebook page
Or fill out the customer service form:
Address your comments to Steven Cain, the managing editor and CEO.
Telephone: 02 8885 0000
Or fill out the form:
Address your comments to Brad Banducci, managing editor and CEO.
By Aaron Kesel
YouTube said Friday it will stop recommending conspiracy videos such as those claiming the Earth is flat, or promoting alternative theories about the September 11, 2001 attacks.
We’ll continue that work this year, including taking a closer look at how we can reduce the spread of content that comes close to—but doesn’t quite cross the line of—violating our Community Guidelines. To that end, we’ll begin reducing recommendations of borderline content and content that could misinform users in harmful ways—such as videos promoting a phony miracle cure for a serious illness, claiming the earth is flat, or making blatantly false claims about historic events like 9/11.
While this shift will apply to less than one percent of the content on YouTube, we believe that limiting the recommendation of these types of videos will mean a better experience for the YouTube community. To be clear, this will only affect recommendations of what videos to watch, not whether a video is available on YouTube. As always, people can still access all videos that comply with our Community Guidelines and, when relevant, these videos may appear in recommendations for channel subscribers and in search results. We think this change strikes a balance between maintaining a platform for free speech and living up to our responsibility to users.
This change relies on a combination of machine learning and real people. We work with human evaluators and experts from all over the United States to help train the machine learning systems that generate recommendations. These evaluators are trained using public guidelines and provide critical input on the quality of a video.
While the former is a psyop — the Earth obviously isn’t flat and is a spheroid — the latter is the more worrying contention, since to this day there are still valid questions about 9/11. For information on 9/11 that doesn’t quite add up, you only need to watch two of James Corbett’s YouTube documentary films: 9/11 War Games and 9/11 Trillions: Follow The Money.
This also follows the news that a NYC Federal Grand Jury has been empaneled to investigate the claims made by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, which will look into the evidence of the World Trade Towers being a controlled demolition operation with thermite.
This YouTube algorithm and policy change further comes as a mysterious group The Dark Overlord (TDO) has claimed to hack “the truth behind 9/11,” by breaching numerous different insurers and legal firms, claiming specifically that it hacked Hiscox Syndicates Ltd, Lloyds of London, and Silverstein Properties. While not much has come out of the hack, there was one curious document alluding to military intervention in Flight 93, which if you remember was said to have been civilians who brought down the plane in a heroic move, not military intervention.
Activist Post previously reported that YouTube was planning to combat conspiracy-driven videos by introducing informative debunking boxes linking back to Wikipedia and other sources. Although it seems that’s not enough, and now they have to remove “conspiracy videos” from suggested videos as well.
We also reported that since Google was heading towards targeting critical thinkers — demonized as “Conspiracy Theorists” — who ask the difficult questions in its rating guidelines, YouTube wouldn’t be too long to follow those actions. It seems we were right!
Considering that the origination of the word “Conspiracy Theorist” comes from the CIA, I would say using a derogatory word to discuss those who think is dangerous. More modernized, in fact, it is also straight out of the JTIRG playbook that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed.
Misinformation is plaguing the Internet, but who is to decide what is and isn’t misinformation? The readers themselves need to, because policing thought and opinion opens a door to the avenue of a Truth Council and information oversight where admins (the purveyors of truth) decide what is and isn’t fact. What happens when one of these people doesn’t dig deep enough and just dismisses something without looking at the evidence, due to lack of information or understanding? Censorship of not only ideas but also people as a whole who are effectively removed from the discussion.
As discussed in this reporter’s last article entitled “YouTube Purge: The End Of Freedom Of Expression Or The Great Awakening For Alternatives?” – questioning is healthy; and as writer Naomi Wolf exposed, you should think before it’s illegal to do so. “It’s no longer crazy to assess news events to see if they are real or not real,” she stated in the video below. As history has shown through declassified documents (overthrow of Mossadegh), leaked diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks, and reporting by murdered journalist Michael Hastings who exposed propaganda used against the Senate and Congress, “all over the world, it’s well-established, the State Department intelligence agencies engage in theatre, and it’s what they do, it’s spycraft, to create spectacles and events that people may not realize are spectacles and events…,” Naomi says.
Hastings exposed the use of propaganda to get into Afghanistan in his report entitled: “The Afghanistan Report the Pentagon Doesn’t Want You to Read.” The article was surrounding a leaked unclassified Pentagon report. The report took the shroud off the U.S. military’s psyops operation command revealing several techniques the group uses in psychological warfare to manipulate the public, including but not limited to fake intelligence information, lack of information and social media manipulation, according to Lt. Colonel Daniel Davis. The kicker is that not only were those tactics used against the American people but the tactics were used against Senators.
It is an extremely worrying fact that the Military Industrial Complex would manipulate elected officials with fake news, especially considering that propaganda wasn’t legalized in America again until 2012. Previous legislation had been passed to protect citizens during the Church Committee hearings as part of a series of investigations into intelligence abuses during the mid-1970s, amended by the Smith-Mundt Act. Smith-Mundt was repealed in 2012 under Obama, as Business Insider reported, “The NDAA Legalizes The Use Of Propaganda On The US Public.”
As Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright stated, VOA, Radio Free Europe, and many others “should be given the opportunity to take their rightful place in the graveyard of Cold War relics.” Fulbright’s amendment to Smith-Mundt was bolstered in 1985 by Nebraska Senator Edward Zorinsky, who argued that such “propaganda” should be kept out of America as to distinguish the U.S. “from the Soviet Union where domestic propaganda is a principal government activity.”
This is extremely dangerous; one perspective might see things in a different way because one person has acquired information, while the other lacks that information. For example, the U.S. government (specifically the CIA) used documented propaganda on the public and uses foreign propaganda against other countries. It’s not just the CIA, other nations’ intelligence services do it too.
While one person might feel that is insane, (and it quite literally is) the other person might know of the previous existence of Operation Mockingbird, which used CIA-employed journalists to produce fake stories during the Cold War-era 1950s through 1970s. They also funded student and cultural organizations and magazines as front organizations. This CIA operation became known as Operation Mockingbird and was mentioned in the infamous CIA Family Jewels collection.
The U.K. smaller equivalent to Operation Mockingbird was known as Operation Mass Appeal. It was allegedly run by MI6 during 1997–98 and exaggerated Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, according to former U.N. chief weapons inspector Scott Ritter. That claim was further exaggerated just a few years later in 2003 when the U.K. government Downing St. produced a fake Iraq war memo that was exposed as being based on academic papers. It is a claim that would never have seen the light of day if it wasn’t for a doctor named David Kelly, one of the lead scientists who called the Iraq dossier a sham. Kelly was later found in the woods, and his death remains a mystery to this day.
Another example is how the media as a whole portrayed a video that was claimed to be from Syria (known as the “Syrian boy hero”) as real but was later revealed by Norwegian filmmakers to have been faked. As a result, the media had to backpedal their story issuing retractions.
Years later, in an unrelated incident, five people were arrested for using children in staged Aleppo videos, showing how dangerous it is to report any information out of Syria, as well as how important it is to have independent free thinkers.
Now, a UN panel (with little media attention) has revealed that the infamous White Helmets in Syria, the subjects of an Oscar-winning documentary, were engaged in criminal activity including but not limited to organ theft, staging rescues, and stealing from civilians. As a further fun fact, the leader of the White Helmets, Raed Salah, was denied entry into the U.S. at Washington’s Dulles International Airport and deported, due to “extremist connections” while on his way to receive a humanitarian relief award at a gala dinner hosted by USAID.
Really none of this should come as a surprise since White Helmets are connected to the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which in turn is connected to AlQaeda and Al-Nusra.
Perhaps a better example, and one that doesn’t involve propaganda, which more people can relate to is the situation in Flint, Michigan where water was poisoned due to negligence that was attempted to be covered up by the local government. YouTube as a medium allowed those citizens to have a voice and show the carelessness by their government officials. Further, the government even removed the citizens’ power to sue the state of Michigan over the lead contamination of its water supply.
For a moment imagine that this was called fake; these people would have been ignored far more than they were by the national mainstream media. Policing information is outright reckless and could endanger lives.
Then there is the spraying of carcinogenic chemicals on unknowing residents in the U.S. and Canada by the Army under Operation DEW and Operation Large Area Coverage (LAC) during the Cold War in testing linked to weaponry involving radioactive ingredients meant to attack the Soviet Union. Which, if I am being frank, sounds absolutely bonkers; but if you study history, you will see that this is the least that was done during that time frame, i.e. the infamous program known as Project MKUltra. During that covert program, people all over the place were tested with various experiments, many times against their own will.
So to say that YouTube will link to one source that can be edited by anyone and claim it as the moral high ground of “truth” is crazy, but to then introduce a recommendation block on “conspiratorial information” is outright insanity, which suppresses research efforts.
It doesn’t matter what your views are or what you think about a particular subject YouTube is aiming to censor the free flow of information, and this could be dangerous for a democratic society. This means that channels promoting free thinking and questioning of news events will now face further demoting within YouTube’s algorithms. These actions endanger a free and open society; no one should be able to decide what a user can and can’t search for no individual platform should be able to decide what is and isn’t the truth for their users. While in the same respect no one should be able to decide who does and doesn’t have a voice. (That’s the silencing of freedom of opinion and expression.)
YouTube is walking us straight into George Orwell’s nightmare 1984 through its proposed actions to silence free thinkers deemed “conspiracy theorists.” I will be the first one to tell you some theories are bat shit crazy such as the theory of flat Earth. But that doesn’t mean I want to censor the content. As another example, the rise of an anonymous insider who has been wrong more times then I can count on two hands: Q. However, again I don’t want YouTube as a corporate giant to have the ability to censor anyone who speaks about the Quidiot conspiracy. Because if you give them an inch they will take a mile and begin censoring other topics or even individuals as they already have including Activist Post‘s own YouTube channel.
If someone wants to promote a ridiculous theory they should be free to do so. After all, it’s their own credibility at stake. A democratic society is free and open and full of debates; and while YouTube wants to promote that theories about 9/11 are ludicrous, there are far more dots that don’t add up than they or the general public care to see or admit. (I won’t go into the topic as it would take far too long to dive into, but I’ll make a few quick suggestions of names and events to research – Michael Riconisciuto, John Patrick O’Neill, Bill Cooper, Able Danger, dancing Israelis, WTC7, bombs on George Washington bridge, et al.)
See my article: “The Official Narrative Of 911 A Bigger Conspiracy Theory” for just some of the various evidence against the official story.
It’s particularly worrying that they single out theories of 9/11 — one of the worst tragedies in American history shrouded in mystery — in the blog post. Since, again, there is more that doesn’t add up than makes sense in regards to 9/11. There are several holes such as the various war game drills that James Corbett goes into in detail within his documentary War Games. We may never know what happened on 9/11, but there is way more to it than the official government narrative, and we the people have a right to know or at the very least seek out potential answers.
While YouTube wants you to think the governments of the world aren’t involved in any sort of corruption, “conspiratorial plots,” or cover-ups, history has proven quite the opposite. All of this information now risks being censored under YouTube’s policy and algorithm changes a scary and worrying prospect. It seems as though they want to protect the establishment rather than allow people to freely think for themselves. This is about the human right not to be indoctrinated with information, but rather to make up our own minds. Even if we are wrong about a particular subject (such as those of you who think the Earth is flat), this allows for healthy debate among individuals and the stopping of tyranny or tyrannical rule by dictatorships
For now, at the very least, we can be thankful that YouTube is stating that it will not outright ban all content it designates as a conspiracy theory (yet), despite the recent purge of dozens upon dozens of accounts that are connected to free speech and free thought. There are also always alternatives such as DTube, BitChute, and many others for uploading content. We need to ask ourselves is the YouTube purge the end of freedom of expression or the great awakening for alternatives?
YouTube’s moves against free thinkers could backfire for the company quite severely, because truth is stranger than fiction. Although this writer can agree with YouTube that the world is a spheroid, definitely not flat or completely round for that matter, it is important to have free independent thought and speech. Even if that means I have to share the planet with flat-Earthers or people who believe every crazed murder spree is a false flag attack (granted some might be because Operation Northwoods against Cuba and a memo suggested a false flag attack against Russia during the Cold War using civilians as cannon fodder, so it’s not that insane to suggest.)
The rapid changes we are witnessing with the main drivers of Internet perception has even drawn the attention of one of the inventors of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee. He noted in an open letter that “What was once a rich selection of blogs and websites has been compressed under the powerful weight of a few dominant platforms.” Do we really want those dominant platforms telling us their exclusive version of the truth?
Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post. Support us at Patreon. Follow us on Minds, Steemit, SoMee, BitChute, Facebook and Twitter. Ready for solutions? Subscribe to our premium newsletter Counter Markets.
THE 3 TRIGGER TERMS BEING USED TO STOP CRITICAL THINKING
It’s a strange world of newspeak we live in. What was once a society devoted to logic and progress is now being herded in echo chambers of thought control and anti-critical thinking. Without the ability to examine an issue impartially and completely there is little hope of maintaining liberty and freedom, as history repeatedly demonstrated.
Today, we find that thinking is a diminishing art, and in its place, sound bites and stop-thought terms are used to put the brakes on the mind. These terms are widely used as signals to prevent minds from looking too deeply at a topic or issue.
The three terms most widely used today to this avail are detailed below.
1.) Conspiracy Theorist – This term is so overused that it really is devoid of any practical meaning. If you were to examine it at face value, though, it describes a person who is looking to understand injustices in our world and is willing to look at uncomfortable facts in search of negative influence… of which there is plenty in our world today.
However, ‘conspiracy theorist’ has literally become a derogatory term that is attributed to anyone who refuses to accept mainstream narratives at face value. It doesn’t matter that there is overwhelming evidence to indicate that mainstream media does not value objectivity or report on important issues thoroughly or truthfully.
Now we find this term applied as a prefix to well-known journalists and media personalities, almost as we use the term Doctor. It’s an adjective that precedes them everywhere, so that before you even know what issue is being discussed, you know that the issue is coming from someone considered to be fringe and unacceptable.
2.) Alt – We see the label ‘alt’ being applied more and more frequently as an adjective for sentiments that supposedly do not fit in with the accepted status quo. Ideas outside of the box.
Alt-Media. Alt-Right. Alt-Left. Alt-News. Alt-Health. And so on.
The signal here is that the mainstream is the safe space, and that any segment of ideas or thought given this prefix is outside of that mainstream, and therefore not something ordinary people would want to associate with. It takes complex ideas and sensitive issues and benches them, so that when the hive mind stumbles upon something ‘alt’ they immediately react with fear, disdain and feigned outrage.
There is no ‘alt’ in our world. We are one, and any faction of ideas is really just a spinoff of the shared reality we all live in. If segments of this shared space are off-limits and labeled as so, we all lose.
3.) Hate Speech – This term is one of the all-time favorites of politicians and tyrants. After all, what could more dangerous than hate?
Newsflash: Hate speech is not the same thing as a hate crime. Speech is just that, speech. It is literally vibrating air moving through space, and unless we’re talking about and LRAD crowd control cannon, sound really can’t cause people physical harm.
It is fascinating to watch how people use this term so freely as if speech itself can be criminal. American society is founded on the idea of freedom of speech and self-expression, which at its core is the recognition that as human beings we do not and never will all see the world in the same way. It is an acknowledgement of the fact that different people have different ideas about how the world is and should be. That these differences shouldn’t be used as a basis for discrimination.
The term hate speech is one of the most loaded and ambiguous terms in the political lexicon. Beware.
Next time you see or hear these terms being used, ask yourself what it is about the story that you’re not supposed to think too deeply about. Allow both sides of the argument to share equal time in your mind, and honor the independent, sovereign being within yourself that deserves a chance to make up its own mind about how it wishes to view the world.
Independence, liberty, freedom. Ideas worth celebrating, for sure, only intangible constructs of the human mind, therefore, their meanings can change along with the times. And since people are extremely adaptable creatures, we rapidly normalize to ever-evolving societal and cultural conditions and values. What people consider to be ‘freedom’ today, is nothing similar to what it was even a couple of generations ago.
Here are 4 celebrated, historic liberties that people have long enjoyed, yet are undergoing a dramatic metamorphosis in an evolving world.
1. ) The Freedom to Travel
The idea that human beings should be free to roam the earth without permission or threat is now dated. Prior to the 1930’s you needn’t a driver’s license to operate a motor vehicle or carriage in America. Traveling without a passport used to be commonplace as well.
“[B]efore 1915 His Majesty’s Government did not require a passport for departure, nor did any European state require one for admittance except the two notoriously backward and neurotic countries of Russia and the Ottoman Empire.” [Source]
Now, even recreational drivers are required to be commercially licensed, and in addition to a complex system of fees, fines, high-speed-chases and beat-downs, we are now watching the normalization of domestic checkpoints manned by armed and dangerous government employee.
“Sobriety checkpoints — also known as DUI checkpoints — are the most common roadblocks you might encounter. They function as a general purpose investigatory tactic where police can get a close look at passing motorists by detaining them briefly. A roadblock stop is quick, but it gives police a chance to check tags and licenses, while also giving officers a quick whiff of the driver’s breath and a chance to peer into the vehicle for a moment.” [Source]
2.) The Right to be Self-Sustaining
Living off the grid is the ultimate example of personal responsibility, but as government needs dependents in order to be relevant, the type of rugged, ingenious mind that once made America remarkable is being stamped out in a fog of rules, regulations, permits, codes and trade agreements. For those interested in cultivating true independence by homesteading or setting up a little offgrid outpost somewhere, it is increasingly difficult and expensive to comply with the state.
“Look, if I want to build a yurt of rabbit skins and go to the bathroom in a compost pile, why is it any of the government’s business? Bureaucrats bend over backwards to accredit, tax credit, and offer money to people wanting to build pig city-factories or bigger airports. But let a guy go to his woods, cut down some trees, and build himself a home, and a plethora of regulatory tyrants descend on the project to complicate, obfuscate, irritate, frustrate, and virtually terminate. I think it’s time to eradicate some of these laws and the piranhas who administer them.” – Joel Salatin
In some areas, people’s veggie gardens are being ripped up by over-zealous code enforcers, senior citizens are being fined thousands of dollars for not cutting their grass on time, individual rainwater collection is being prosecuted, and police are being called in to enforce mandatory connection to public utilities.
3.) Freedom of Speech
Supposedly one of the greatest rights bestowed upon Americans by the constitution, increasingly, the right to speak your mind is under duress, by government, corporate policy makers, and a changing social climate. Sure, since the ’80’s we’ve been trained to accept Free Speech Zones, where protestors could be shuffled out of sight and out of mind. Now, though, we’re entering an era of extreme political correctness and unabashed irrationality. People are increasingly unwilling to listen to what others have to say, and intolerance is being normalized under a cloak of phony diversity.
“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?” – Orwell’s 1984
The way we communicate is rapidly changing, and corporations now have incredible power to shape our thoughts, as sites like Facebook have demonstrated. Our language can be moulded and transformed by company policy, as forum rules and formats can change in accordance with investor motives. We no longer own our words or our conversations.
As social pressure continues to build upon indoctrination, the ability of people to civilly discuss differences in opinions is more strained. Add to this the general dumbing down of everything, and the climate is one of highly-vocal intolerance. The liberty to openly speak in our society is being tested by personal crassness as much as it is by law.
Here’s an example of the kind of behavior that is now acceptable when some are in the presence of ideas they are unwilling to tolerate:
4.) The Right to Choose Your Own Medicine
Human beings have always had a symbiotic relationship with food and with plants, and medicine was always something taken directly from nature and combined with human intuition, wisdom and the intention to heal. The disruption of the balance between humans and nature, as initiated by consumer culture and corporate medicine, has taken a fundamental human right and is turning it into a privilege.
The corporate overthrow of the concept of medicine, mass fear-hyping, and the war on drugs, are devastating to personal sovereignty. Mandatory vaccines, public water fluoridation, and the prohibition of plant medicines such as cannabis, ayahuasca and iboga, add up to a severely restricted perception of health and wellness, physically, mentally, and spiritually.
If you alone do not own your body, then who owns your body?
“These medicines heal the cultural malaises of apathy and distractedness by re-introducing mystery and magic into life, and by liberating one’s consciousness from the confining prisons of the war on consciousness. They completely destroy the matrix of cultural programming, clearing space within the psyche for something new and positive to emerge.” – Dylan Charles
Due to the inherent violence required to maintain the social-political order we have now, along with mass indoctrination of the public with extreme statist and corporatist ideologies, it is practically impossible for most people to imagine a world governed by voluntaryism, although it’s well-worth consideration for those enjoy the celebration of human liberty.
“If, before undertaking some action, you must obtain the permission of society—you are not free, whether such permission is granted to you or not. Only a slave acts on permission. A permission is not a right.” [Source]
“America is the land of opportunity,” “There is only one race, the human race” and “I believe the most qualified person should get the job” are among a long list of alleged microaggressions faculty leaders of the University of California system have been instructed not to say.
These so-called microaggressions – considered examples of subconscious racism – were presented at faculty leader training sessions held throughout the 2014-15 school year at nine of the 10 UC campuses. The sessions, an initiative of UC President Janet Napolitano, aim to teach how to avoid offending students and peers, as well as how to hire a more diverse faculty.
At the gatherings, deans and department chairs across the UC system have been instructed to be careful using (read: instructed not to use) phrases such as “America is the land of opportunity” or even use forms that provide only “male” and “female” check boxes, among a long litany of supposed microaggressions listed in a document underlying the “Faculty Leadership Seminars.”
The document has drawn little scrutiny until now, when a professor in the UC system pointed it out to The College Fix. The professor chose not to attend the seminars, but myriad materials on the UC Office of the President (UCOP) website give indication as to what sort of lessons were taught there.
Other sayings deemed unacceptable include:
● “Everyone can succeed in this society, if they work hard enough.”
● “Where are you from or where were you born?”
● “Affirmative action is racist.”
● “When I look at you, I don’t see color.”
These phrases in particular are targeted because they promote the “myth of meritocracy” or represent “statements which assert that race or gender does not play a role in life successes.” Others are said to be color blind, apparently a bad thing that indicates “that a white person does not want to or need to acknowledge race,” according to the handout, “Tool: Recognizing Microaggressions and the Messages They Send.”
In another handout, “Tool for Identifying Implicit Bias,” faculty are advised when dealing with a student or researcher that they are particularly impressed with not to express approval with compliments like “It’s clear he’s a rockstar.” The handout also describes “raising the bar” as “elitist.”
President Napolitano’s “invitation” to deans and department chairs in January describes the half-day seminars as helping them meet their “responsibility” to create “academic climates that enable all faculty to do their best work.” The seminars are intended to help faculty identify and “interrupt” microaggressions and develop “an inclusive department/school climate,” according to the seminars’ webpage.
The seminars also taught faculty how to deal with prospective hires and existing minority faculty. According to a synopsis of the theatric production “Ready to Vote?” presented at the gatherings, a group of professors consider whether to nominate an Asian American female colleague for tenure. It’s intended to illustrate several perceived microaggressions, such as holding minority professors to higher standards than white male counterparts and not supporting their research.
Another highlight among materials for the seminars is a curious choice: a Supreme Court dissent in a decision upholding Michigan voters’ right to ban race preferences in college admissions. Its inclusion suggests to faculty that publicly approving of race-neutral admissions policies is a microaggression.
The College Fix reached out to the UC Office of the President for comment. In response to a question about how these seminars might have a chilling effect on faculty members’ ability to engage in free speech, representative Shelly Meron said in an email Tuesday that “These seminars are not an attempt to curb open dialogue, debate or classroom discussions.”
“The seminars are part of the President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program,” Meron stated. “Deans and department heads who attended the seminars could choose whether they wanted to convey the information to their faculty.”
With regard to the seemingly commonplace, innocuous quotes that are labeled microaggressions in the seminar leaflets, Meron writes:
“The quotes you referenced are taken directly from research done on this topic. We present this research literature/climate survey responses as examples so that faculty leaders can be more aware of the impact their actions or words may have on their students, and to provide faculty members with potential strategies to create an inclusive learning environment for all students.”
Many UC administrators are used to talking about promoting diversity thanks to diversity initiatives and calls to “improve campus climate” that have been legion across UC campuses in recent years. UCLA’s campus in particular has been a hotbed of activity for diversity campus crusaders.
In 2013, Carlos Moreno, a retired California Supreme Court judge, authored an exhaustive report on “Acts of Bias and Discrimination Involving Faculty” at UCLA. Just this past year, after failed attempts in 2004 and 2012, UCLA passed a highly controversial diversity class requirement that was the subject of multiple faculty votes.
College Fix reporter Josh Hedtke is a student at UCLA. College Fix editor Jennifer Kabbany contributed to this report.
Fortunetelling Verdict Raises Thorny Questions
- Analysis by Benjamin Radford
Tue Jul 17, 2012
Last week a federal judge in Alexandria, Louisiana, overturned a law banning fortunetelling on the basis that it is free speech protected by the First Amendment.
U.S. District Judge Dee Drell struck down an ordinance outlawing fortunetelling, astrology, palm reading, tarot, and other forms of divination on the grounds that the practices are fraudulent and inherently deceptive. The case involved a fortuneteller named Rachel Adams who sued to overturn the law and won.
About one in seven Americans have consulted a psychic or fortuneteller, and their services are in high demand, especially during hard economic times. This curious case raises issues about the boundary between freedom of speech and fraudulent (or at least unproven) claims.
There are, of course, exceptions to free speech that go beyond yelling fire in a crowded theater. People who lie on their tax returns can be convicted of tax evasion, and those who lie in a court of law can be convicted of perjury, which under federal law is a felony. Companies, also, are legally prohibited from making false statements about their merchandise; Ford cannot claim its cars get 200 miles per gallon, and vitamin manufacturers cannot advertise that their pills cure cancer. But other cases are murkier.
Free Speech and The Right to Lie
Last month the Supreme Court ruled that Xavier Alvarez, a public official who falsely claimed that he had received the Medal of Honor, could not be prosecuted under the Stolen Valor Act, a 2006 law that made it a crime to falsely claim “to have been awarded any decoration or medal authorized by Congress for the Armed Forces of the United States.” Alvarez admitted that his statements were false, but claimed that his lies were free speech protected by the First Amendment. The Supreme Court agreed and overturned the law.
The First Amendment freedom to lie and misrepresent matters of fact was even invoked by top Wall Street credit rating companies including Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s Investors Service, and others. In the months and years leading up to the global financial crash, these companies routinely inflated the ratings of billions of dollars worth of investments they bought and sold. When investors and investigators demanded to know why companies that were given stellar confidence ratings one day went bankrupt the next, the agencies claimed that their investment ratings were merely “opinions” not necessarily based on truth or fact, and as such were protected by the First Amendment.
Psychics and fortunetellers try a similar strategy, often offering their services “for entertainment only,” a tacit acknowledgement that the information they provide may not be reliable. Yet the fact is that—like clients of credit rating companies—the clients of psychics often do take the advice they get seriously, making life, love, and career decisions based upon fortunetelling. If clients truly are seeking only entertainment, for the $40 to $100 per hour psychics typically charge there are far cheaper ways to be entertained.
Some fortunetellers offer readings for fun and pleasure, and for the most part it’s not palm reading per se that police are concerned about, it’s the confidence schemes, theft by deception, and fraud that often accompany fortunetelling. One common scam involves luring clients in with inexpensive readings, then convincing them that a recent misfortune is the result of a curse put on them by an enemy. The imaginary curse can be lifted but it won’t come cheap, and some victims have been robbed of tens of thousands of dollars. In one recent case a “psychic” misused the influence and trust placed in him to sexually exploit several women.
The issue of fortunetelling is a tricky legal and ethical area. Although psychic powers and prediction have never been proven to exist (and indeed have failed in well-controlled scientific tests), psychics themselves often genuinely believe in their powers. Other professions can at least provide concrete proof of ability: a mechanic can prove to clients he can fix a transmission by doing it; a doctor can prove to patients she can perform heart surgery by being certified (and doing it). Psychics, on the other hand, cannot prove they can accurately predict the future; if they could, they should be making a killing on Wall Street or in highly-paid positions protecting national security.
Is it ethical to accept money for a service you cannot scientifically prove you can provide, even if you believe you can? How is that different than a lawyer who takes on a case knowing she can’t win (but pretending she can), and gets paid either way? Perjury and fraud only make it a crime to knowingly lie or misrepresent matters of fact, and fortunetellers—like Wall Street credit rating firms—can always say that their claim to psychic abilities is their (Constitutionally protected) opinion. Caveat emptor.
Photo Credit: Corbis