Deafening Silences and 21st Century Democracy
"If I don’t like or agree with what you say and do, I will censor you, destroy your reputation, terminate your employment and, if necessary, throw you in jail"
The COVID-19 event has borne witness to unprecedented levels of propaganda at both national and global levels. Mainstream media have been incentivized through sponsorship to promote certain messages whilst regulatory authorities have directed broadcasters to stay within confines defined by authorities.
The propaganda we have seen, however, has not just consisted of distorted narratives regarding the efficacy of locking down entire populations, the threat posed by a respiratory virus, and the utility of mass injections; it has also involved approaches to silencing anyone with the foresight and courage to raise their voices against these officially sanctioned narratives.
I have personal experience of this; for writing this article and giving this interview, I was attacked by a purportedly respectable newspaper, the Times of London. The fact that, in my humble opinion, events have proven me and other early dissenters correct is unlikely to lead to any apology or retraction by that particular newspaper.
My experience with the Times of London, not my first, can be characterized as propaganda through smear or character assassination and is a particularly unpleasant feature of the mainstream media’s modus operandi. US journalist Sharyl Attkisson’s The Smear serves as a useful introduction to the ways in which political operatives close down challenges by working to destroy reputations. And, for the scholarly minded, there is even an academic handbook on the topic. Perhaps the most high-profile example of this nefarious tactic during the COVID-19 event was the smear campaign initiated by Francis Collins (Director National Institute for Health) and Anthony Fauci to ‘takedown’ the Great Barrington Declaration. Attempting to destroy the hard-earned reputations of scientists in order to enhance their own, as opposed to engaging in reasoned debate, is unethical and runs counter to basic rules of civilized and rational debate.
More broadly, we have seen a combination of widespread censorship through de-platforming and the deployment of coercion. With respect to the former, we have seen mainstream media and social media giants, so-called ‘Big Tech’, jumping on board with pro-active censorship of dissenting voices. Regarding the latter, we have seen numerous people fired through the pernicious consequences of mandates. For example, Professor Julie Ponesse was forced from her position at Western University in Canada because of her refusal to receive the COVID-19 injection whilst numerous health care workers have been fired for refusing to comply. Dr Aaron Kheriaty was suspended and then fired by University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine for refusing their injection mandate. Although people don’t always associate this kind of coercion with propaganda, it is in fact all part and parcel of a battery of approaches employed in order to ‘organise conduct’.
Attempting to break the will of honest and hardworking individuals who, for whatever reason, hold opinions and analyses that run counter to official narratives is undemocratic, unscientific and akin to the strategies of control historically employed by authoritarian and totalitarian political systems. The fact that there have been attempts to oppress so many people, including eminent scientists, should alert the more thoughtful observer that somebody, somewhere, is up to no good. There is indeed ample reason to argue that thinly disguised political and economic agendas have served as driving forces behind the COVID-19 event.
Of course, there might now be some cracks starting to emerge in the COVID narrative with increasing discussion regarding the damage inflicted by lockdowns and the harms caused by mass injection strategies. Indeed, people once committed to the COVID narrative have started to ask precisely the same questions raised by earlier dissenting voices: the popular YouTube medical scientist and educator John Campbell has recently published quietly worded but scathing critiques with regard to the emergence of persistent excess mortality; Dr Aseem Malhotra, once an advocate of the injections, is now demanding their use be ceased. And for her article in The Atlantic, pleading amnesty for those who got it wrong during the COVID-19 event, US economist Emily Oster has received a withering backlash over twitter. In recent weeks Italy has moved to end mandates for health professionals whilst a New York state judge has decreed fired health workers must be reinstated.
But it is not all over yet. Censorship continues, apparently unabated, and only last week PANDA was removed from Facebook, without explanation, and the personal accounts of those managing the PANDA account were also suspended. Dr Peter McCullough has just been stripped of his board certifications. 40,000 care workers remained forced from their employment in the UK for refusing the injection. And it must not be ignored that legislative moves surrounding the concepts of online harm, disinformation and malinformation, combined with the emerging ‘counter-disinformation industry’, threaten to embed still further the kind of censorship witnessed during the COVID-19 event. More widely, and for some time now, those questioning, for example, western foreign policy have been subjected to wide ranging examples of censorship, smearing and coercion in order to shore up official narratives and the belligerent wars fought under its banner. As I write, we are witnessing a preeminent example of coercion with Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, facing the prospect of deportation to the US and the rest of his life in prison. His crime was to reveal accurate information about the 9/11 wars especially those in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is no time for complacency; freedom of expression and democracy have to be fought for, otherwise they wither and die.
For all these reasons, PANDA today starts the series ‘Deafening Silencing’ where those who have been censored, smeared or coerced can tell their story. The series starts with interviews of PANDA Chairman Nick Hudson, playwright C.J. Hopkins and virologist Dr Jennifer Smith and will, over time, include people from all walks of life who have become victims of what can reasonably be described as state-sanctioned oppression. Not only will this serve as some small redress for the injustices that have occurred, it will also form part of the historical record and a warning as to the dangers posed by emerging strategies of manipulation and control - such as online harm legislation - that we might see in the coming months and years.
Thanks for reading this article by Piers Robinson.
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Watching those 3 interviews and wondering what has happened to the world. It's weird the way the western govts were clearly becoming more controlling and totalitarian in their behave over the last few decades but we all sort of ignored it. Looking back and thinking about it, this silencing and suppressing was just where it was going to go once the technology allowed it. Govts can't control us if we don't use the technology can they? Not in the same way. Not unless they put soldiers out there to shoot us. None of this would be possible without the technology - the internet banking, the social media, the online publishing. Maybe we have to get rid of it all?
I'm looking so forward to this series. One suggestion? Could you run one that focuses on the way everyday people with no significant "public-facing" identity experienced intellectual suppression in the context of the intimate relationships of marriage, family and friendship groups? Perhaps make a call to the public for written communications between everyday people which reflect this dynamic?