Yesterday I did a guest podcast for Destination Health, a wellness program targeted to truck drivers. I always learn as much as the hosts do, it seems. In their space, they are truly experts and "get around," as we say.
Kevin, the host, had just returned from a fringe wellness summit featuring the gurus of the movement like Mercola, Ashbury and others. One of the hot topics of discussion involved lawsuits against natural health practitioners and the sudden 90 percent drop in searches coming to alternative wellness websites.
The obvious assumption is that Google is suppressing searches to these websites because they are unorthodox. In a related thread, a chiropractor in Canada posted a blog questioning modern vaccination protocols and was admonished by both government regulators and her licensing board to remove the post. She refused.
Subsequently, she was stripped of her license and fined $100,000. The podcast host noted a growing nastiness even among his own listeners whenever he dared to question today's vaccination protocols. Like me, he's not an all or nothing believer. When I was a kid and received vaccinations, the whole regimen was about 4 or 5 and spread over several years. Today it's dozens compressed in months.
That anyone who dares question such procedures is branded as a heretic and summarily burned at the stake for not embracing the orthodox party line shows a drastic increase in intolerance. We all know that innovation comes from the lunatic fringe. One of my favorite quotations from permaculture writer Peter Bane is this: In times of epochal change, the most valuable societal equity is the freedom to innovate. Wow, that's profound. I may not have quoted him exactly, but that's the essence.
When societies become timid, paranoid, and weak, they naturally feel more threatened by the weirdos. When societies are strong, virile, and confident, they don't mind a few witches and weirdos lurking around the fringers. Who cares? But let that society weaken, and suddenly these outliers threaten a crumbling status quo.
That is where we are in America. It's also fueled by accelerating government ownership of everything. Make no mistake about it, when I owned my body (determined by who is responsible for my health care) if I wanted to ingest raw milk or not take vaccines, that was my prerogative. But as soon as others are responsible for my health, or pay for it, then all my activities become economic assets or liabilities. If you're paying for my health care, you have an incentive to minimize my risky behavior.
Risky behavior is quite subjective. Goodness, I think drinking Coke is risky, as is eating factory meat and Impossible Burgers. Others think eating real meat is risky and raw milk is deadly. Defining risky behavior is a slippery slope toward an Inquisition and burning at the stake. If I'm paying for your health, suddenly I have a vested interest to make sure you stay healthy. That may be veganism. It may be paleo. How do you codify? But that is exactly what's going on, and what is fueling the growing intolerance in the discussion.
We can't just live together as neighbors and friends if your activity is a liability to me. Therein lies the great horror of government health care, the drug war, alternative therapies and farming practices. Every time the government intervenes, it's going to codify acceptable and unacceptable terms; that in turn creates criminals and compliants. How sad.
For the record, I do not believe Google or Facebook have the right to suppress anything. The trade they made with society was to give up their private business and liability risk in exchange for a public platform. They have no right to censor or suppress anything, from how to make a bomb to how to circumvent tyrannical vaccination rules. Congress gave them a special dispensation; they wanted to be public and not private. You can't have it both ways. They gave up their private company status; now they have to abide by that.
Have you had an uncomfortable alternative wellness discussion with someone lately that bordered on intolerance?
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