In this scenario – a doctor, a pick-up artist and Frank Zappa try to walk into Australia. But they can’t and it’s not just because one of them’s dead.
Last week, we reported on the pro-vaccine campaign to ban Dr. Sherri Tenpenny from entering Australia on a speaking tour. She has spoke of the damaging effects of vaccines. For that, she was catapulted into international and Internet infamy. The Australian Today Show segment showing the one time she was allowed to share her side of the story was removed from YouTube.
Since then, five business venues buckled under the pressure and fled from hosting her, thereby effectively cancelling some of her talks. Immigration Minister Peter Dutton is currently considering the matter….
Last year, the Australian Vaccination-Skeptics Network was literally forced to insert the word “skeptics” into their name. They also lost their charity status “after concerns it could negatively affect children’s health.”
Also coincidentally, in November, Californian pick-up artist “dating guru” Julien Blanc had his visa cancelled during a speaking tour in Australia, followed by the UK and Singapore. Australia’s immigration minister Scott Morrison looked into complaints that he taught men how to emotionally manipulate women and use sexual forcefulness. Without actually seeing the seminar, he acted on the cancellation. Smear campaigners are riding on the coattails of this conveniently timed event to block Tenpenny. Likewise, the fervor to shut Tenpenny out projected ghastly things onto her character.
Anything deemed “bad for society” is being banished from Australia. They are making raw milk producers contaminate their own milk for sale just in case an Australian gets it in their heads to try it… The press coverage there is infuriatingly skewed whether they are wrongfully blaming a raw milk company for killing a three year old, relegating Tenpenny to the sarcastic title of “osteopath” instead of referring to her as a doctor like we would here, or removing videos showing her speaking her side.
Are they trying to compete with the U.S. for the “Least Amount of Individual Freedom” award?
Here is a little from The Guardian about the takedown campaign to keep Blanc out of Australia:
The #takedownjulienblanc Twitter campaign led by online activist Jennifer Li helped spread word of his talks, and an anti-Blanc Facebook page also emerged. An online petition urged Morrison to deport him.
It is strikingly similar to the methods in use to ban Sherri Tenpenny.
One of the frontrunners of the campaign said he would not lose sleep if her visa was cancelled and even drew a Blanc comparison:
If somebody like [so-called pick-up artist] Julien Blanc can have his visa stripped, I think it could be equally applied to Tenpenny.
In Blanc’s case, cancelling his visa was lauded as preventing “hate speech” and to stop the pre-crime of emotional abuse and potential sexual assault.
They are arguing that, in Tenpenny’s case, it is not an issue of free speech, but public health. By hearing her words people might die.
Dr Caroline West, a senior philosophy lecturer at the University of Sydney, said free speech should be restricted if it could cause harm.
“The overwhelming evidence seems to be in favour of vaccination and the overwhelming majority of experts agree that it’s the right thing to do,” she said.
“If we’ve got good reason to think it will be harmful to allow misinformation to be spread, it seems like there is a pretty strong case for restricting free speech in this instance.”
Remember that one time … when free speech was non-negotiable? Remember that one time when individual freedom remained a valuable resource in cases where the overwhelming majority of experts were found to be overwhelmingly wrong?
Ironically, the same hitpieces calling for a ban on her free speech are also trying to smear Tenpenny and other non-vaccine supporters as fundamentalists. (And dubbing Tenpenny as a cult leader.)
As a teenager, I first encountered censorship as a tool of the religious right…they made the mistake of thinking that the artwork was a cause rather than a symptom…
I was naive to think that censorship, in its many forms, was restricted to the right wing but the effect of reading about these debates at an impressionable age was to give me an enduring suspicion of bans, wherever they come from.
Lynskey shares both my repulsion for Blanc’s behavior and the support of his free speech. A way to approach it and protect everyone’s freedom would be to allow it and allow protest which would shine the light of scrutiny. This differs greatly from banning entry into a country and closing venue halls.
It should be noted that one of the first casualties of so called fundamentalist or cult groups is free speech. That is, true cult leaders must not let their victims hear a perspective from the outside world. Yet, the campaign is based on the idea that her words are dangerous and if other people are allowed to hear them, babies will die. (Nothing hysterical about that….)
Frank Zappa once said, “We’re talking about words – why are people afraid of words?” He didn’t fret over communism, but a fascist theocracy. And, the worship of “medical scientism” and “experts” with devout fervor and much of its false pretense and government/corporate backing can be just as fanatical and dangerous to freedom as a fascist theocracy.
Here he is on Crossfire, defending free speech in the 1980s during the “parental advisory” hearings led by Tipper Gore.
If people make censorship demands of their government out of fear and because they abhor the “fear of vaccines,” then what does it say about the society that fears words? Is public health truly safe when the other side of the story is banished from all audibility?
It wasn’t my intent to make Frank Zappa the posterchild of censorship. In my mind, a better choice would be Bill Hicks who also experienced it with his work as a fierce, truth-telling comedian and social commentator among other things. This video sums it up for me, where he also goes after manipulation by corporate media. His posthumous words resonate truthfully all the more despite the censorship attempts.
Censorship is not just a ban on free speech – it’s information hoarding. It’s an exercise in power over other people, by controlling what they are allowed to see and hear. It also lacks tolerance and dignity for assuming to know more about individual health – to be the very authority of it. And by insinuating that the audience will automatically devolve into “bad behavior” once the words reach their ears. And, why is that behavior “bad”?
Bad behavior in this case is only that which is deemed unacceptable to a power establishment. Therefore, the highly publicized campaign against Tenpenny and the ensuing business venue cancellations appear to be an exercise in mass behavior modification.
One of the arguments against allowing Tenpenny to speak was that parents (read: mothers) are vulnerable – and they might be confused by the message. But isn’t that a sexist thing to say? It hearkens back to the “all women are hysterical” days of Sigmund Freud. It not only insults intelligence and freedom of choice, but is a blatant form of infantilization. Yet, who is behaving hysterically right now? The aggressors who unilaterally decided Australians can’t hear words.
Again, from SBS:
It should also be noted – there is no anti-vaccination movement. Think about it – who are the aggressors here?
Dr. Tenpenny has made a response in her recent newsletter. When asked if she would now change her message, she said:
No. Just because a lion roars doesn’t mean you leave the savannah. I’m doing this for the next generation of children…
If paying people in Australia are barred by the lobbyists, businesses and government working in tandem there, perhaps they will seek her elsewhere. Like the U.S., they will have to take a sharper look at the increasing role censorship plays in their day-to-day lives when they are prevented from hearing words….
Upcoming Media for Dr. Sherri Tenpenny:
Mon Jan 12: WHDT World News TV – 12:00p-1:00pEST – on YouTube after the show
Mon Jan 12: Richie Allen Show – 4:15pEST/9:15pmGMT – on YouTube after show
Mon Jan 12: Know Your Rights – 9:00pEST – every week with Dr Sherri Tenpenny & Alan Phillips
Wed Jan 21: Coast to Coast AM – 10pPST
Her Facebook page.
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