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Freedom to dissent and the new blacklist in America

Analysis by Barbara Loe Fisher Fact Checked

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  • The Declaration of Independence rejected unjust laws imposed by a privileged ruling class. The guiding principles of the Declaration of Independence were codified into the Bill of Rights to limit the power of government and protect our unalienable natural rights. After World War II, natural rights were defined internationally as human rights
  • The right to autonomy and protection of bodily integrity is the first human right. If you cannot voluntarily decide when and for what reason you are willing to risk your life or the life of your child, your unalienable right to life and liberty has been taken from you
  • The extraordinary efforts by industry, medical trades and government to delegitimize free speech about vaccination unless it conforms with government policy has given a green light to corporate-owned mainline media outlets to use name calling and other yellow journalism techniques to legitimize the stripping of civil liberties from public health laws
  • Congress officially acknowledged that vaccines can injure and kill in the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2011 that government licensed vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe”
  • Well-referenced, factual information about vaccine risks and failures is now automatically labeled as “misinformation” so it can be censored

Every July 4 since our nation declared independence in 1776, Americans have celebrated this truth:

"… that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."1

The Declaration of Independence rejected unjust laws imposed by a privileged ruling class. The guiding principles of the Declaration of Independence were codified into the Bill of Rights to limit the power of government and protect our unalienable natural rights. The First Amendment of the Constitution states that:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."2

Universal Declaration: Freedom of thought, conscience, religion

After World War II, natural rights were defined internationally as human rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights published in 1948 states:3

"Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person;" and "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood;" and

"No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks;" and

"Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance;" and

"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

These are among the globally recognized human rights that protect individuals and minorities from discrimination and the kind of government oppression that President Thomas Jefferson talked about when he warned:

"All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression."4

Freedom to dissent hallmark of freedom

The legal right to dissent has been a hallmark of freedom in America. Unlike in authoritarian governments,5 in our country, citizens have the right and responsibility to participate in the law-making process.

We have — or should have — the freedom to openly debate government policy, law and ethics in public forums and dissent from the majority without fear of intimidation or punishment.6,7 But two and a half centuries after the Declaration of Independence, that is changing.

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Autonomy attacked by new ruling class

An unprecedented attack on civil liberties and the right to dissent is being led by a new privileged ruling class whose power is not derived from aristocratic titles, wealth and political influence linked to genetic heritage and ownership of land.

The power of the new ruling class in America is derived from academic titles, wealth and political influence linked to corporatized government8,9,10,11,12,13 that seeks ownership of our physical bodies.14,15,16,17,18

The right to autonomy and protection of bodily integrity is the first human right.19,20 If you cannot voluntarily decide when and for what reason you are willing to risk your life or the life of your child, your unalienable right to life and liberty has been taken from you.

Whether you do or do not agree that every liability free vaccine product sold by pharmaceutical companies is safe and effective, or that federal vaccine policy is anchored with sound science, or that mandatory vaccination laws without informed consent protections are moral, you should take a hard look at recent actions by government officials and corporations to censor and repeal civil liberties that safeguard your human right to autonomy and protection of bodily integrity.

Delegitimizing civil liberties with yellow journalism

The extraordinary efforts by industry, medical trade and government to delegitimize free speech about vaccination unless it conforms with government policy has given a green light to corporate-owned mainline media outlets to use name calling and other yellow journalism techniques to legitimize the stripping of civil liberties from public health laws.

Today, any parent,21,22,23 doctor,24,25 research scientist,26,27 journalist,28,29 celebrity,30,31,32 politician,33 philanthropist34,35 or nongovernmental organization36,37,38 asking questions about the quality of vaccine science or the ethics of laws requiring use of a liability-free pharmaceutical product that can harm or fail to work, is immediately labeled as an "anti-vaxxer"39,40,41,42 and publicly defamed,43 humiliated,44 discredited45 and relentlessly targeted for personal and professional ruin.46,47,48

When the risks of vaccination turn out to be 100% for a child and parents describe what happened, their suffering is magnified when journalists gaslight them for witnessing in the public square.

It is a shameful display of ignorance and prejudice against biologically vulnerable children and their parents who have been compelled to unequally bear the risks of vaccination for society, and are being demonized for advocating for safer vaccines and more scientifically informed and humane public health policies.49,50,51,52

Most of all, it is a dangerous assault on freedom of speech by a profession that should be pushing back on discrimination and the erosion of civil liberties, not actively condoning it.

Despite Congress officially acknowledging the fact that vaccines can injure and kill in the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986,53 and even though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2011 that government licensed vaccines are "unavoidably unsafe" so that the multibillion-dollar vaccine industry cannot be held accountable in a court of law for failing to improve the safety of vaccine products,54 today anyone who publicly questions vaccine safety or advocates for voluntary vaccination is treated like a criminal.

Well-referenced, factual information about vaccine risks and failures is being automatically slapped with the label "misinformation" so it can be censored.55 Those who advocate for informed consent protections in vaccine laws are called "anti-vaccine" so they can be silenced. Benjamin Franklin, co-author of the Declaration of Independence,56 warned:

"Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins."57

Half of US adults doubt vaccine safety

When people are oppressed by unjust laws and speak up, those in control of lawmaking often resort to censorship to silence calls for reform and force compliance. Your freedom to think, speak and dissent has been put in jeopardy this year at precisely the same time that growing numbers of people in the U.S., Europe and other nations are expressing increased, legitimate concern about the safety of vaccines.58,59

A recent poll found that nearly half of American adults doubt vaccine safety and of the 45% who do, 16% were influenced by online information, 16% were influenced by knowledge of past secrets and wrongdoing by the pharmaceutical industry and 12% were influenced by information from medical experts.60

Government officials call for internet censorship

So, this year, powerful federal legislators have sent a series of letters telling the CEOs of Google, Facebook and Amazon61,62 that, "there is no evidence to suggest that vaccines cause life-threatening or disabling diseases," and that, "the dissemination of unfounded and debunked theories about the dangers of vaccination pose a great risk to public health."63 The social media platforms were directed to remove vaccine "misinformation" and replace it with "medically accurate information."

This year Americans have watched government health officials making false statements in congressional hearings denying that vaccines like MMR cause brain inflammation and claiming that doctors can predict which children will be harmed.64,65 And even though thousands of parents traveled to those hearings stacked with witnesses blaming "anti-vaccine misinformation" for disease outbreaks, not one individual was allowed to testify offering a different perspective.66,67

The FDA Commissioner even threatened state legislators that if they did not restrict or remove vaccine exemptions, the federal government would step in and "mandate certain rules about what is and isn't permissible when it comes to allowing people to have vaccine exemptions."68,69,70

After thousands of Americans showed up at public hearings in multiple states to testify against proposed laws to remove vaccine exemptions,71,72,73 by June only the state of Washington had eliminated the conscientious belief exemption for MMR vaccine,74 and Maine had eliminated both the religious and conscientious belief exemption for all vaccines.75

Then, on June 13, 2019, the New York legislature suddenly rammed a bill to repeal the religious exemption to vaccination through both the Assembly and Senate in one day with no public hearings.76,77,78 This legislative coup completely cut the citizens of New York out of participating in the law-making process.79,80

Within hours, the governor of New York signed the bill into law and issued a press release quoting one of the bill's sponsors declaring, "I am incredibly proud that science has won with the passage of this bill. We should be taking medical advice from medical professionals, not strangers on the internet spreading pseudo-science misinformation."81

In the weeks leading up to the vote, major newspapers published editorials.82,83,84 The Partnership for New York City, which represents more than 350 major city employers, including Pfizer, Google, Microsoft and other corporations, also sent a letter to legislators calling for an end to the religious vaccine exemption.85,86

Many of the lobbyists argued that no major religion has a tenet opposing vaccination, even though vaccine products were not being mandated by governments until long after the world's major religions were founded.87 In addition, the U.S. Constitution prohibits our government from requiring citizens holding sincere personal spiritual or religious beliefs to identify with an organized religion or be a member of a certain church in order to receive equal protection under the law.88

The justification for violating the religious freedom of New York residents89 was primarily based on more than 1,000 cases of measles reported in 28 states this year, with 800 cases identified in several New York City neighborhoods, although there have been no reported measles deaths or injuries.90

About 75% of the New York measles cases have been confirmed in unvaccinated persons with the majority living in orthodox Jewish communities holding sincere religious beliefs opposing the use of vaccines.91,92

About 97% of children attending kindergarten in New York have received two doses of MMR vaccine compared to more than 94% of school children nationally.93

Government health officials and the media blame unvaccinated school children for measles outbreaks. However, May 25, NVIC published a special report on the history of measles and MMR vaccine providing documented evidence that MMR vaccine failures and waning immunity in vaccinated adults are equally responsible for reported measles outbreaks in highly vaccinated populations like ours.94

The illusion of durable MMR vaccine herd immunity is rapidly dissolving. Measles is being transmitted by vaccinated persons, who are subclinically infected but are not being identified or reported because they show few or no symptoms, while unvaccinated persons fully expressing measles symptoms are being identified, reported and very well publicized.

This information is not part of the public conversation when government officials and the media talk about measles outbreaks because it calls into question the accuracy of the narrative simplistically scapegoating unvaccinated children and their parents.95

Since January, America has been operating under a perceived state of emergency.96,97,98 That happened after the World Health Organization announced that "the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate" — termed "vaccine hesitancy" — is one of the top 10 "threats" to global health.99,100,101,102

The word "threat" is defined as one "regarded as a possible source of harm or danger."103 It is often used during wartime to elicit fear and hatred of an enemy that a government considers to be a danger to national security. In any war, real or perceived, rational thinking is the first casualty of fear, which makes it easier for people to agree to a loss of freedom in exchange for a promise of protection from harm.

Just like in 2015 when cases of measles were reported at Disneyland,104,105,106,107 this year there have been calls for public identification, criminal prosecution and imprisonment of unvaccinated people and parents who don't vaccinate their children.108,109,110

Anyone who defends the informed consent ethic and criticizes the use of coercion to force compliance with one-size-fits all vaccine policies is called an "anti-vaxxer" and subjected to personal attacks on his or her intelligence, integrity, motives and patriotism in the name of protecting the public health.

The litmus test question is: "Are you or have you ever been anti-vaccine?" If you hesitate, qualify your answer, express doubt or admit to being currently or previously associated with a person or organization labeled as "anti-vaccine," it is over.

You are publicly condemned as an "anti-vaxxer" and a danger to society for infecting others with your opinions, values and beliefs. You are blacklisted and turned into a horrible warning for any person like you who is even thinking about speaking up. Often people recant or throw their friends and colleagues under the bus when threatened with excommunication from society for being labeled "anti-vaccine."

There was another dark era in American history during the mid-20th century, known as the "blacklist" or "McCarthy" era, when government officials operated in a climate of fear under a perceived state of emergency that was used to justify taking extreme measures in the name of protecting national security. Beginning in 1947 through 1954, federal legislators suspected there were "communist sympathizers" in government agencies and working in the fields of journalism and entertainment.

Congress held a series of hearings in the U.S. House Un-American Activities Committee followed by U.S. Senate hearings chaired by Sen. Joseph McCarthy, R-Wis.111,112,113 Americans suspected of being a threat to national security were summoned to publicly testify about their personal philosophical, religious and political beliefs and association with persons or organizations believed to be communist sympathizers, a term that became synonymous with being "anti-American."

The litmus test question was: "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?" If the person answered "yes" or refused to answer, he or she risked being blacklisted as a political subversive who infected others with opinions, values and beliefs that posed a danger to national security.

Hundreds of Americans, including authors, artists, filmmakers and high profile Hollywood celebrities, were persecuted for their beliefs, sent to prison, denied employment or left the country in self-exile in order to find work. Often people recanted or threw their friends and colleagues under the bus when threatened with excommunication from society for being labeled "anti-American."

Broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow,114 who helped unmask the smear tactics used by Sen. McCarthy that ended government inquisitions of the "blacklist era," observed that:

"The right of dissent, or, if you prefer, the right to be wrong, is surely fundamental to the existence of a democratic society. That's the right that went first in every nation that stumbled down the trail toward totalitarianism." 

June 20, despite thousands of parents testifying against a bill that essentially eliminates the medical vaccine exemption in a state that has no personal belief exemption,115 the California legislature's health committee voted to give absolute power to state health officials to reject any exemption granted by a doctor that does not conform with federal vaccine policy.116

In other states, legislators are moving to pass laws allowing doctors to vaccinate minor children without the knowledge or consent of their parents.117,118 Americans are being coerced and denied not only an education, but medical care, insurance and employment for refusing one or more government recommended vaccines.119,120,121

If you or your child has already suffered vaccine reactions or struggle with chronic brain and immune system problems that doctors deny can be made worse by getting re-vaccinated, you know what it feels like to live in perpetual fear that you will be hunted down and forced to get vaccines that could cause further damage to health.122

If your life has not been touched by a vaccine reaction, there is no guarantee it won't happen tomorrow.123 Government electronic medical records tracking systems are monitoring every vaccine you do and do not take,124,125 and many new vaccines are being developed by industry and government that will be mandated for children and adults alike.126

Do you want to be forced to use every new vaccine Big Pharma produces127 and public health officials mandate without your voluntary informed consent?128,129 And what will be done to you if you refuse to comply? Will you be able to get a driver's license or passport, shop in a store, go to a football game, enter a hospital emergency room, get on a bus or plane, or simply leave your home if you cannot show proof that you have complied with government vaccine policies?

Will your unvaccinated children be taken from you? Will you be criminally prosecuted and imprisoned? What has happened this year are signs that America may well be stumbling down the trail toward totalitarianism by allowing our unalienable rights to be taken away.

But we, the people, have the power in our constitutional republic to secure our civil liberties if we refuse to live in fear and, instead, choose to defend freedom of speech and conscience and the right to dissent, and if we elect lawmakers who cherish freedom as much as we do.

Unjust laws enacted today can be repealed tomorrow, but only if we wake up, stand up and never, ever give up. Be the one who never has to say you did not do today what you could have done to change tomorrow. It's your health, your family, your choice. And our mission continues: No forced vaccination. Not in America.

+ Sources and References