Wednesday, March 9, 2016

This Blog is Censored

I was in the midst of working on Part 2 of "How I Became a Medical Heretic" when, to my considerable surprise, I discovered that my comments in online discussions were being censored!  This is the most excitement I've had in some time.  On the one hand, I am quite flattered that anybody would find my blog important enough to censor and as they say, "bad publicity is still publicity."  At the same time, needless to say, it is quite disturbing in terms of 1st Amendment rights.  I read about this new Orwellian policy in an article at Natural News, "FBI conspiring with National Science Foundation to linguistically surveil the social media posts of 'anti-vax' activists and health freedom activists."

Note, I would not call myself "anti-vax" because I haven't yet been able to find enough conclusive evidence to be entirely convinced either way.  Frankly, in the absence of double-blind placebo-controlled studies which are not performed for ethical reasons,* and without large-scale studies of potential long-term health consequences including autoimmune disease, it is difficult to reach a definite conclusion.  However, I have been accused of being an "anti-vaxxer" in the past merely for mentioning, e.g., that the acellular pertussis vaccine has turned out to be less effective than hoped due to wearing off quicker and, more importantly in terms of "herd immunity," failing to prevent transmission of the disease, or pointing out that the oral polio vaccine causes polio in a small percentage of people (which is why it is no longer used in the United States and why India still has polio despite being declared "polio-free"), or that the flu vaccine is effective only about half the time at best.

I will say that vaccination is a fabulous idea in theory from the standpoint of homeopathy, where introducing a tiny amount of a disease-causing substance allows the body to mount a defense against that disease.  The difference, of course, is that the ingredients in true homeopathic remedies are so diluted as to be undetectable and therefore placebo, whereas vaccines do contain a measurable, albeit small, amount of disease material - which is fine as long as you're not squeamish about violating the principle of hygiene, namely, to avoid pathogens, rather than purposely introducing them into the body.

But, we must keep in mind that germs, like drugs, are bad ["umkay"] except when they are given to you by a doctor, in which case, they are good.  For example, amphetamines are "bad" if you take them even occasionally without a prescription to combat fatigue, to study, or to lose weight, but are "good" when your doctor prescribes them to you for the exact same reasons, or to your very active child on a daily basis to make him behave.  In the same way, while germs are normally thought to cause disease, when injected into your body by a doctor they stimulate your immune system, making you healthier.  Doctors have this power to change the very nature of a thing due to their having attended medical school, where they learned the magic incantations in Latin and obtained the White Coat of the High Priest.

So, while I am equivocal about vaccines, I am absolutely a "health freedom activist" in that I fully support the crazy, heretical notion that individuals ought to have the final authority over what happens to our own bodies including what we choose to eat, drink, smoke, snort or inject.  In addition, we should be free to openly discuss those decisions and publicly express our opinions and the reasons for our choices without censorship.

At this point, no doubt someone will object that vaccination is in a different category because if a person refuses vaccines and/or encourages others to do so, they are endangering the public, whereas what you may choose to eat or drink is harming only yourself.  First of all, if vaccines work and you are vaccinated, you have nothing to worry about.  Then the argument shifts to, but what about immune-compromised people (such as myself) who depend upon herd immunity?  Thank you for being concerned about my well-being.  BTW, if you have recently received a live-virus vaccine, please stay away from me for about 3 weeks, because while you probably are not contagious to a healthy person with a normal immune system, it is possible that I could catch the vaccine virus, which is why you are also not allowed to visit the children's cancer ward.

Secondly, especially now that we have mandatory health insurance, a person's poor dietary and lifestyle choices do in fact affect everybody else.  If you are smoking cigarettes and subsisting on junk food and sugary snacks washed down by soda pop, the premiums that I am being forced to pay for something that I will rarely if ever use are helping to pay for your treatment for diabetes, heart disease or lung cancer.  Don't get me wrong, I'm very thankful that I finally can obtain health insurance just in case of emergencies like serious trauma, because before the ACA, nobody would insure me due to CFIDS.  All I am saying is that healthcare costs due to unhealthy lifestyle are a burden on society as a whole.  If "the public good" takes precedence over our freedom of choice, then let's outlaw junk food and soda pop.

While we're at it, we might as well forbid all sports that are inherently dangerous, like horseback riding, bull riding, cheerleading, gymnastics, mountain climbing, football, surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding, mountain biking and motocross.  And we must ban swimming pools!  About 3500 people die per year from drowning, and it is the number one cause of accidental death among children ages 1 to 4, with 700 children drowning in home swimming pools every year.  In addition, many illnesses can be spread through pool water despite chlorination.  Is our freedom to enjoy these sports - my personal favorites being horseback riding and surfing - worth the high cost to society from the resulting injuries including sprains, fractures, concussions, brain damage, paralysis and even death?!

People die every day from a lack of blood and organ donors.  Donating blood or bits of tissue won't hurt you and you can survive with just one kidney.  Is your bodily sovereignty more important than the interest of the public good in saving lives?

And with regard to mandatory medication, why stop with vaccines?  We could make everyone take psychiatric meds to ensure docility and prevent sociopathic behavior such as crime and religion.  For that matter, if we are going to forcibly medicate people with anything (and I'm not saying that we should), in the best interests of society, IMO it ought to be birth control.  The government would make science-based decisions as to who may breed, how many kids they would be allowed to have, and which pregnancies should be terminated based on fetal abnormalities.

This may sound awfully reminiscent of Nazi Germany, and it is.  But to give credit where it is due, the Nazis had a very orderly, productive society with a strong emphasis on family, public health and safety, and also advanced medical research which gave rise to the modern pharmaceutical industry.  The people were kept on a short leash and those who objected sent to concentration camps, but it was for their own good and the benefit of society, just like the censorship described in the Natural News article.  Under that article I posed this comment, which was deleted by Disqus:

Not to be paranoid, but - I wonder if this is already happening. I've had some strange new experiences online the last few days. I have been a reader of Natural News for many years and participated in the discussions regularly, without incident until recently. I write a blog called "Medical Heresies by Metalnun" in which I discuss many of the same topics as Natural News and describe how my initial blind belief and enthusiasm in mainstream medicine gradually turned to disillusionment over the course of my 22 years working in the field, and why I turned to holistic wellness. I included the link in a comment on a relevant article here and it was flagged as Spam and my subsequent comment in that thread was deleted! I make every effort to be polite and reasonable in my comments and my little blog only has about 3 readers so it shouldn't be a great threat to anyone, LOL... Also deleted was a comment in which I included a link to another site regarding meth and amphetamines. I inquired of Natural News, "Why are my comments being labeled as Spam and deleted?" and they replied that if somebody reports your comment, Disqus will label it as Spam. Why on earth would anybody "report" these comments? At first I suspected it was due to including links - which is problematic if we want to document anything! - but my subsequent deleted comments did not include links. Is it possible that pharma trolls and/or FBI/NSF employees are monitoring Disqus and "reporting" comments that put mainstream medicine in a bad light? Has anybody else had this experience lately?

When I subsequently went back and removed the title of my blog, I was able to post the comment.  Several of my previous posts on Natural News which contained a reference to my blog had been likewise deleted.  At first I questioned whether Natural News may have deleted my posts, but they assured me they did not and it must have been done by Disqus.  I am inclined to believe them, because while I don't always agree with everything they say and I feel that sometimes they may exaggerate or go a little overboard, we are in agreement more often than not.  Also, in the past I have occasionally posted comments that were critical of something in a Natural News article, such as a factual inaccuracy or nit-picky medical terminology error, and they have never deleted those posts.

As mentioned in the above comment, I've been participating in online discussions at Natural News and other sites for years, without incident.  I have had just one previous post deleted when I commented, "The flu vaccine is at best around 50% effective and last year was only 19% per the CDC," and a very rude person responded, "Your comment proves that you are a moron," to which I replied, "Your comment suggests that you are an @sshole."  The @sshole post was deleted.  Otherwise, I've never been censored before.

Upon reflection, this recent mysterious disappearance of my online posts began after I watched the Frontline episode "Supplements and Safety" and commented there.  I didn't see my post but thought nothing of it at the time.  Shortly thereafter I came across an article on Forbes entitled, "Death by Dietary Supplement" in which the author says, "the body count will continue to rise."  I posted a couple of comments on that article pointing out that contrary to the title, it was unclear who, if anyone, had died and what the alleged "body count" was, as discussed in my blog article, "Rising Body Count Results in Supplemental Hysteria."  Both of those posts on Forbes disappeared.

Then after I posted "How I Became a Medical Heretic, Part 1" on February 22, my comments began disappearing from Disqus.  When I read the recent Natural News article about government surveillance of online discussions (referenced above), it all began to make sense.  And since my comment under that article was immediately deleted, I can reasonably conclude that I am not just being paranoid and, in fact, the assertion made in the article is true.  We are being censored.

* at least, not here in the U.S., where we are told that it would be unethical to give a placebo to any of the participants, thereby depriving them of immunity against a potentially life-threatening disease.  However, to my surprise, I did come across a U.S. sponsored study of the pertussis vaccine in 1992 in Italy and Sweden in which some children received different pertussis vaccines and the control group did not.  The rationale was that while pertussis was considered deadly here in the U.S., vaccination rates were low in Italy and Sweden because there had been few deaths from pertussis since the 1960s despite it being a common childhood disease in those countries.

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