Yesterday, I composed an article regarding my thoughts on viral theory. Like everything I write, the article was provocative, controversial, and therefore potentially divisive. I am, as anyone who reads my stuff knows, an alternative journalist who approaches subjects with an alternative perspective. I don't parrot mainstream dogmas, I question and I explore and I think, and - of course - to many people, this is challenging, as we've learned so well these past two years.
I fully expect to get castigated and attacked by quadruple-jabbed "normies" for my approach, with the usual tiresome roll call of "you're not an expert", "you're stupid and delusional", "you aren't qualified to have an opinion" - but I never expected to be deluged with these kind of, er, eloquent critiques from people who describe themselves as "awake" and "independent free thinkers" - for what should be rather obvious reasons.
I don't believe in viral theory and I explained in an article yesterday why that is so. Happily, most feedback I received was as interesting and thoughtful as it usually is (I have remarked on several occasions how impressed I am by the general standard of insight and articulation displayed in the comments on my articles), whether people agreed or not.
But I was absolutely stunned at how many, previously thoughtful and reasonable, people suddenly turned into snarling, belittling gatekeepers, telling me - you guessed it - that I'm "not an expert", "not qualified to have an opinion" (an opinion! I'm not trying to lay down medical statutes here, but according to these towering bastions of personal sovereignty and free speech, I'm not even allowed to think about these subjects), and that groaningly awful old chestnut, "it's people like you who give the rest of us a bad name".
It is astonishing I have to point this out, but if you are a person who believes you should be freely able to exercise your personal autonomy to reject vaccines or decline masks - despite what cherry-picked "experts" have to say - then you should NEVER, EVER try to shut someone else's right to think and choose for themselves down, with the admonishments that they're "not experts" and "aren't qualified to have a view". That people cannot see the rank, dangerous, almost delusional hypocrisy here beggars belief.
However, as I do have to spell it out, let's make it really clear: if you are a person who tries to shut down free debate by telling someone they're not an expert and aren't qualified to have an opinion, then you are absolutely no better than "normies" who have said that to you and told you to shut up and get vaccinated. You are no better. You are exactly the same. You possess exactly the same bullying, small-minded, authoritarian personality that they do - it's simply that your 'triggers' are different.
The reaction of certain people to my viral theory post has incontrovertibly revealed their true colours, though it's not just on viral theory people do this, of course, but on a wide range of subjects that they consider "a step too far". I see this kind of authoritarian attempt at thought control manifest over many other subjects, ranging from the substances in tap water (Anna Brees says anyone who thinks tap water is poisoned is a delusional crank she wants nothing to do with) to the moon landings, Q, the shape of the earth, the holocaust, and lots more.
If we can agree it is absolutely ridiculous and inappropriate for Anna Brees to dismiss people who question the contaminants in tap water as lunatic conspiracy theorists, then we necessarily have to agree that the "line in the sand" of what it is and is not acceptable to discuss, challenge, and have opinions about, is not something there is a consensus view on.
To be clear: everyone's line is different. Brees believes that talking about tap water makes people look crazy and gives "the rest of us a bad name". I don't agree with her, and you probably don't, either. Yet she is adamant. Many other people believe this same thing - that it's ridiculous and gives the rest of us a bad name - about, for instance, Q. For what it's worth, I don't buy the Q theory, but that certainly doesn't mean I'm going to mock and attack people who do and tell them they're not allowed to discuss it, because of how it reflects on me. It doesn't reflect on me at all. My views reflect me, not someone else's, regardless of whether we agree on other things. We are not The Borg, required to have a hive mind and unified thoughts and perspectives on everything.
The same goes for every other contentious subject in the world. For anyone who is genuinely committed to truth, transparency, and integrity, then NOTHING is off the table. No questions are taboo. No theory is too outlandish to be proposed or considered or freely debated.
Because that is how you get to the truth. Gatekeeping and belittling shut-downs are how you protect lies, and these tactics brutally stifle open debate and make the truth impossible to reach (just as they are designed to do). If you're so sure you have the truth on your side, then simply present your case. There's no need to inform other people what their qualifications are or are not (they probably already know), and there's no such thing as "not qualified to have an opinion". Everyone is qualified to have an opinion on whatever they like by virtue of being alive and having the inalienable right to free thought. Of course, many opinions are wrong. Yet people have every right to have - and to express - them, and the way we work through someone's wrong opinion (if we care what they think enough to do so) is to present evidence and a reasonable, thoughtful counter-argument.
It's incredible I have to state this fact, but a not inconsiderable number of people seem blithely unaware of it: Nobody, in the history of the world, ever, was convinced to change their mind on something by being informed they're not an expert and then variously insulted. Funnily enough, the effect this approach tends to have is to entrench people more firmly in their position - because people realise, if their opponent actually had a legitimate counter-argument, they'd express it, and wouldn't resort to stating the obvious and largely irrelevant ("you don't have X qualification") and then insulting them.
So, let's be clear - everybody's line in the sand regarding what's "crazy" and what isn't, what "gives the rest of us a bad name" and what doesn't, is different. So, the solution is perfectly obvious - we have to do away with the line. No one individual, nor consensus of individuals, gets to decree what it is acceptable for other people to think about or discuss. The truth remains the truth and we only get to it by de-stigmatising free and open debate and allowing people to state their case, explore all avenues, and go where the evidence takes them.
It's utterly outrageous for any supposed free and independent thinker to state, "well, I agree people should be allowed to freely discuss X and Y, but Z is just a step too far". Well, who are you to make that call? Are you God? People can discuss whatever the hell they like, and you can agree or disagree - or choose to simply leave them alone to discuss what they like - but you have no moral right to determine what they are allowed to think about or what conclusions they are permitted to draw.
And if you don't know the difference between disagreeing with someone and stating your case appropriately, and just ticking all the "shut down debate because I'm triggered" Bingo boxes (1. "you're not an expert", 2. "giving the rest of us a bad name", 3. "you're stupid / crazy / other random ad hom" - Bingo!), then we're really in trouble.
If there is any subject - any at all - that elicits that response from you, and causes you to suddenly become snarling, derogatory, and rude towards someone you've previously held in high esteem, simply because they (the temerity! The audacity!) expressed an opinion that isn't yours, I want to repeat this to you so it really goes in - you are no better than any of the "normies". No better at all. That you have different triggers to them is trivial. At core, you're wired the same way and will expose your true authoritarian nature when your own buttons are pressed.
The other thing we need to REALLY dispense with is this utterly ridiculous notion that someone else is a terrible "disappointment" and has otherwise deeply upset / let down / betrayed you... by expressing an opinion that isn't yours. I get this all the time (usually from people I don't know and have never had any meaningful interaction with), that "I usually approve of what you write, but that you've said this is a diabolical disappointment, you have betrayed me very deeply and I feel profound and grave distress".
Look, I'm sorry to break it to you, but there is nobody in the world who you share 100% of opinions with (including previous versions of yourself - do you still agree with everything you thought when you were 15?). People have had such wildly different experiences and backgrounds to each other, of course we are not going to have the same perspective on everything, and a mature mind easily accepts that and doesn't expect everyone else simply to be a mirror of themselves. If your attitude to someone, or your respect for them, dramatically shifts simply because they expressed an opinion that you do not share, then that shift is rooted in your own narcissism and your inability to accept other people's rights to be separate people that don't always reflect you.
Of course, we largely seek out "like-minded" friends, but no reasonable person expects to agree with another on everything, and it's a crucial part of all successful relationships, and of being an adult, to be able to handle those disagreements in an appropriate way.
Courtesy of government schooling, we have been trained to be unable to handle conflict and controversy appropriately, and instead to default to "run to teacher mode" - e.g., "how dare you say that! Shut up! I'm telling!". Schools exist to inculcate into us the belief that there is just one way of thinking, one right answer, one correct belief system - that, after all, is how you do well in school and pass exams. There are no "grey areas" in school testing. You either regurgitate exactly what you were told by teacher and in the text books - or you're wrong / stupid / dysfunctional / a failure. No independent thought or critical thinking or challenging "the experts" allowed! And that training is very powerful and - clearly - dogs many people well into adulthood.
"Experts" have their place and I hold many of them in high esteem (such as my friend and brilliant scientist, Chris Exley). But they are just people, not Gods, and I don't think they're any more intrinsically valuable than I am or you are, or that their every utterance and thought is automatically superior to my own, simply because they are "experts". Did you know that experts get it wrong? Fancy some leeches or a few holes drilled in your head? Because that is what the "experts" of the 1700s would have suggested for many and various medical maladies. This is why the technocratic mentality ("do what the experts tell you and don't come to your own view") is quite so sinister and quite so dangerous. Technocratically minded individuals are responsible for the maiming and death of millions, because they aggressively push uncritical devotion to "experts" who can and do get it wrong - FREQUENTLY. And not always accidentally.
Many "experts" are ruthless careerists who will lie for status and cash. A great deal of them, in fact, and probably the majority. So, yes, I do consider some "expert" views in certain circumstances, and I have read a lot of books (nobody learns to write in any half-compelling way unless they are a voracious reader) - but that is not how I make my final decisions or formulate my definitive conclusions.
Instead of merely renting out someone else's mind, I prefer, wherever possible, to use my own too. I did not decline the Covid vaccines because of what some "expert" said. Rather, I knew long before they were on the market that they would be dangerous, because I know our ruling classes desire mass depopulation, and that the whole pandemic was staged to this end. Equally, I did not need to consult "an expert" to determine that wrapping flimsy bits of filthy cloth around my face was not good for me.
So, in compiling my viral theory piece, I did not just parrot "experts" (although I did certainly reference some, and linked a book and entire documentary series, which not a single critic has spent one second looking at). I thought for myself. I prefer to focus on using my own mind, reason, and logic to state my case (after all, wouldn't just regurgitating "experts" be a form of plagiarism? Writers are supposed to express their own views, not merely parrot other people's), because you can find your own pet "expert" to say whatever you like and then get into endless link-spamming wars with opponents. Seriously, whatever position you hold on any subject, there's some "expert" out there who will back you up, so this is really not a winning strategy, in my opinion. "Experts", we are told, all agree that climate change in real. Oh, apart from all those ones that don't. And it's the same for every subject.
If you can't argue your position with reason and logic, and can only parrot what someone else says about it, you don't understand the subject well enough to engage in debate. As they say, the mark of truly comprehending a subject is being able to explain it in simple terms. This is what I always try to do, I try to "translate" subjects that can often seem intimidating and overly-complex, into simple language and straightforward concepts.
I don't think the argument against viral theory is that complicated, I think it's been made artificially complicated so people are scared off trying to understand or (God forbid) opine on it.
My experiences with opining on the subject have made me even more confident that viral theory is not true (I note not one of my critics could answer - or even attempted to answer - the questions I posed in the article, such as why people with highly people-centric roles don't get much more sick much more frequently than people who encounter a very low volume of others every day).
Because this is the thing. If all you've got is insults, ad homs, you're-not-an-expert-itis, that means, you got nothing. And certainly anyone who ever uses these tactics has no rights whatsoever to describe themselves as "awake" or a "free thinker".
If you're genuinely committed to the truth, then no subject should ever be off limits and no opinion ever decreed too "crazy" to be shared. We find the truth by shining a light on things that are wrong, and explaining cogently why they are, not driving them into the darkness with ridicule and insults.
Please just remember that the truth does not need gatekeeping. It does not need mollycoddling and guard-dog-like protections (snarling and growling at anyone who challenges it). The truth is the truth, and it does NOT fear investigation, scrutiny, or questioning. Only lies - and liars - do.
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