War on Free Speech is about to Get a Lot Worse

A deserted “Speakers’ Corner”

Today I write in the Federalist about the next phase of the LGBT agenda: “LGBT Activists Arm for Further War on Free Speech.”  Assuming the Supreme Court signs on to the notion of “marriage equality” in June, we can expect an all-out war against free expression that will come to us in the guise of anti-discrimination law.

There’s nothing new about the urge to accumulate and centralize power.  It’s an ancient urge with its source in the sin of pride and it requires the old divide-and-conquer routine that involves restricting communication between people.  People have been dealing with it – and accommodating it – for millennia.  So it shouldn’t surprise us that those pushing hardest for the right to gag Americans are well-heeled hedge fund managers such as billionaire Paul Singer.  Such things are always about more power for the powerful.  In this case, LGBT rights serves as sheep’s clothing.  The new PAC intended to get us herded together is called the American Unity Fund.  And its intended campaign goes by the Orwellian name “Freedom for All Americans.”

The laws they propose would neutralize any voice of opposition to the LGBT agenda, which means the cultivation of groupthink, particularly within conservative and evangelical circles.  The net effect of the forced marginalization of dissent will be much more aggressive policing of speech in the workplace, schools, businesses, and public squares across America. But it’s much bigger than the notion of gay rights.  In the end, we get coercive thought reform and collectivism across the board in America.   Much of this has already taken place in Canada, which legalized same sex marriage ten years ago.

I also commend to you two other related articles in today’s Federalist.  Luma Simms writes brilliantly about the meaning of religious freedom and whether or not it can exist in a nation that has lost its moral moorings:  “Can We Have Religious Liberty in Modern America?”  And Robert Tracinski offers a warning to Ireland which is about to have a plebiscite on same sex marriage:  “Ireland: Look to America’s Cautionary Tale on Gay Marriage.”

 

This Past Week Shows that PC is Morphing into TC

Detail of “The Natchez” by Eugene Delacroix (1835.) Natchez father and mother with newborn (uploaded from Wikimedia Commons.)

Several events last week show just how fast certain cultural forces are working to separate us from one another, always, of course, in the name of “equality.” Fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana spoke about how important it is for children to have both a mother and a father, and also criticized the use of artificial reproductive technologies in order to deliberately deprive a child of a mother or a father. Rock star Elton John who with his same sex partner has two such children, immediately called for a boycott of Dolce and Gabbana.

Patricia Jannuzzi, a Catholic who has taught for over 30 years in a Catholic school expressed her support for traditional marriage — in line with Catholic teaching — on her personal Facebook page.  She is now the target of an LGBT-supported petition campaign to have her fired, as well as for the school to promote “anti hate speech.”  The Catholic Church itself has not defended her, to put it mildly.

Another adult child raised by lesbians has come out in opposition to same sex marriage.  Heather Barwick’s article in The Federalist,  “Dear Gay Community: Your Kids are Hurting” has so far garnered over 42,000 social media shares and thousands of comments.   She has become an object of vitriol and scorn by the militant LGBT lobby for voicing her opinion.  She and other adult children from same sex households – including Katy Faust, Robert Oscar Lopez, Dawn Stefanowicz, Denise Shick, and Rivka Edelman – will be earning more wrath from LGBT shock brigades as they file amicus curiae briefs to the Supreme Court voicing their opposition to same sex marriage.

What do all these cases have in common?  Well, I could state the obvious, which is that the critical issue for kids is not so much having a gay parent, but yearning for a missing mother or father. And whether or not a parent is missing because of divorce, adoption, or other conditions is not the point.  The inherent issue with same sex parenting is that it absolutely requires that one parent be missing from the family.  It also requires that the law implicitly deny all children this right.

But there is another common thread that runs through all of these stories.  It’s the brutal silencing of any voice of dissent.  Political correctness is just too cute a term for the sort of fascism that’s running rampant through society today, particularly on the marriage issue.  I commend you to again read “Gay Marriage: A Case Study in Conformism,” by Brendan O’Neill.  PC has become the sort of extremism that ramps itself up to a level that invites savagery.

Which brings us to the topic of tongue cutting.  TC for short.  If we had a spectrum of free speech with civil society on one end and tongue cutting on the other, I would say we have definitely crossed the halfway point and are proceeding in the direction of tongue cutting.  Saddam Hussein used to literally have critics’ tongues cut out. Tongue cutting is also standard operating procedure in the world of Islamic fascism and sharia law.  That’s because whenever you are dealing with totalitarians, the very idea of freedom of expression cramps their style.  Of course we’re not at the literal reality of TC, but I think it’s fair to say that TC is now a virtual reality.

Katy Faust, Raised in Same Sex Household, Speaks Truth in Love

Several adult children of same sex households are starting to speak up about the wounds children have when deliberately deprived of one of their parents, and why they oppose same sex marriage.  One such person is Katy Faust.  She’s an engaging, compassionate, brave, and loving voice for the rights of children to know their origins.   Listen to her speak in the clip below:

Katy’s open letter to Justice Anthony Kennedy which was published at The Public Discourse last month got nearly 300,000 shares on social media so far. You can follow Katy’s amazing blog, which goes by the tongue-in-cheek name www.askthebigot.com  In this clip Katy talks about how important it is — especially as Christians — to straddle a fence.  We should not cocoon ourselves, but must reach out in love to the other side while holding fast to the Truth.  This may be very difficult, but it is our calling.  After listening to Katy, I feel the need to strike a more conciliary tone in my writing.  I want to always hold fast to the truth, but I do need to delve more into understanding and conveying the pain people feel.  And the loneliness.  Our human condition so often motivates us to stray and get lost and end up feeling that only hate is coming from “the other side.”

Nevertheless, the mechanics of the same sex marriage campaign has been essentially political in nature.  It will reach a political apex in April’s Supreme Court hearings, which will determine if it is the law of the land.  In the past couple of years a few blue state legislatures legalized same sex marriage after hearing testimonies about how hurt people felt by the definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman.  Still, it was a close call.  In New York in 2011 Gov. Cuomo had to resort to late night back room deals and extend the session after official adjournment.  There was obviously a lot of arm twisting until he managed to get  the three votes he wanted.  A very similar thing happened in Maryland with Gov. O’Malley in 2012. He also worked overtime to get the three votes he wanted.  Then, after just a few legislatures passed the measures by the thinnest of margins, activist judges sprang into action to strike down laws in every state whose legislatures hadn’t passed same sex marriage.  And that’s where we are today.

Emotions have basically been the fuel of what looks to be window-of-opportunity politics.  Real societal change naturally occurs over time, as people absorb and think through the consequences of policies.  But when it moves at lightning speed like this, from the top down — along with speech codes that punish any dissent as “bigotry”  — that’s a clear indicator that you’re dealing with manufactured consent that has an expiration date.  It can be obtained only under extreme pressure.  Basically “marriage equality” has been a hard core propaganda campaign and a very hard and fast sell.   An excellent article that reflects on it all is “Gay Marriage: A Case Study in Conformism” by Brendan O’Neill in the British publication Spiked.  This goes way beyond gay marriage.  It seems that what we’re really dealing with here is the building of a closed society in which dissent will not be tolerated.  But, no matter what happens, I think Katy has the answer.

 

Just released! “Jephthah’s Daughters: Innocent Casualties in the War for Family ‘Equality'”

Cover image:  “The Sacrifice of Jephthah’s Daughter,” William Blake, c. 1803 (British National Museum)

This month six adult children from same sex households are submitting an amicus brief to the Supreme Court opposing same sex marriage.  Two of them — Robert Oscar Lopez and Rivka Edelman — have co-authored/edited a just released book which explores the fallout from the social experimentation we are all living through.  Please click here and “look inside” the text of Jephthah’s Daughters at Amazon.  I hope you decide to buy a copy.

The book is a rich anthology of articles and testimonials that describe experiences not discussed in the media.  According to Lopez, “We can help the reader understand why something viewed by so many as beneficial was actually harmful to so many more.”

I am honored to be a contributor, having written the introduction to the chapters on society and the globe.  There are six sections in the book.  The first, “Children,” explores the experiences of children who are separated from at least one natural parent.  This can happen in many different ways, but children of same sex households are separated from a parent by design.  Alana Newman who blogs at AnonymousUs.org was donor-conceived and wrote the introduction to this section.

Section II “Women,” focuses on the effects of artificial reproductive technologies on the health and the lives and psyches of women.  The introduction was written by Jennifer Lahl, founder and president of the Center for Bioethics and Culture.

Section III “Society,” reviews the whole Pandora’s box that same sex marriage is unleashing against healthy human relationships, against children, and against freedom.  Some of the vehicles are transgenderism, polygamy, incest, and sex education as a means of state control of children.  Section IV, “Globe,” discusses the emergence of the LGBT ideology throughout the world and what the growing commodifying of children means for human freedom (hint:  a form of bondage, a form of slavery.)  Yours truly wrote the introduction, and I suppose the bottom line I can’t escape is that this movement is putting us on the fast track to centralized power, and probably on a global scale.  In many ways, it’s a central planner’s dream come true.

Section V, entitled “Gays” includes reflections by those whom the LGBT movement claims to help, but does not.  Jean-Pier Delaume-Myard notes in his introduction that the LGBT agenda actually leads to inequality for gays, not equality.

Section VI, “Bards” explores the McCarthyism of the LGBT agenda — in the arts, the media, academia and throughout society.  Its introduction is written by Michelle Shocked, a world-renowned singer-songwriter twice nominated for Grammy awards.  She asks:  “How did a crusader for children’s rights become the target of a smear campaign?  Answer:  The same way a champion for artists rights did.  By identifying the nexus of non-existent nonsense that is much easier to attach ad hominem to than the question at hand.”

This is an extremely important book with perspectives that have been overlooked — and, in fact, blocked — throughout the entire debate on marriage.  Bobby Lopez founded the International Children’s Rights Institute because, at root, his fight is really about the rights of children.  Children have the right to know their origins.  And nobody has the right to turn them into commodities.

 

 

 

Transgender Propaganda, Part II: TV’s Potemkin Villages

Propaganda often seems to start with a Potemkin Village.  The Wikipedia definition of Potemkin Village happens to be pithy: “a fake village built only to impress.”  It’s a facade that masks a false reality with an attractive illusion. Today we have “SuperTrans” figures cherry picked by Hollywood to present a impressive picture of transgenderism, to promote it particularly for kids and steer them down the rabbit hole of “gender identity.” Below you’ll see a clip of one of the daytime talk drones, Katie Couric, interviewing a transgender homecoming queen.

The idea here is to destabilize the audience’s sense of reality by presenting a very female looking person with male DNA.  Nevermind that just a tiny fraction of less than one percent of the population might identify as transgender.  (From the Hollywood juggernaut, you’d think it was something like 25 percent of the general population.) And nevermind that sex change regret is so real that 90 percent of all transgenders are lost to medical follow up.

So is Couric talking to just an ordinary teen-ager from an ordinary family?  Don’t kid yourself.  This looks like a “Ryland” situation, i.e., another fantasyland poster family for transgenderism. The youtube video for the child Ryland Whittington is a professional production. And so is this Couric number.  The LGBT lobby is extremely well-monied with a huge power agenda that serves to cultivate gender dysphoria, particularly in kids. The parents who have signed on with it get loads of accolades and support.  Those who don’t — like Joshua/Leelah Alcorn’s parents — are pilloried with threats to remove the child from the home.  In any event, it’s very difficult for vulnerable children who look at this seemingly perfect situation and let their imaginations — and whatever past hurts they harbor — trigger them into believing that they were perhaps always the opposite sex inside.  Plus, if they go along with it, they are protected thru the “anti-bullying” agendas that, incidentally, were developed to protect only LGBT kids and virtually nobody else.

The parents who are enabling this agenda have — for whatever reason — bought into the hype.  Their message to all other parents and all other children is this:  if you don’t reject the physical reality of sex, you can expect to be attacked and vilified in the public square.  According to them, your existence as either male or female is all in your mind.  Couric and Oprah Winfrey have taken on the mission of pouring this PC kool-aid down the throats of all Americans.

What we have here is a Potemkin Village interview.  It’s meant to show a facade of the Trans-Agenda, implying:  “Gee, if only kids could be given hormone blockers so that their bodies don’t develop in puberty, then wow, they can look more like the sex they claim to want to be.  Everyone should let go of their doubts and drink up this koolaid.  Doubt, by the way, is the equivalent of ‘hate.'”

We ought to all just spit out this koolaid and give it a rinse.

Bookcase: “Propaganda” by Edward Bernays

Cover of 2005 edition of Edward Bernays’ 1928 classic, “Propaganda.”

Propaganda is a little volume, written nearly 90 years ago by Edward Bernays, who happened to be the nephew of Sigmund Freud.  Both he and Walter Lippmann –who authored Public Opinion – wrote about the  “manufacture of consent.”  Or how to manipulate and control public opinion.

I have three observations to share today about this work:  1) Its general theme about manipulation of the “mass mind” is more important than ever; 2) Much of it is outdated because the mechanics of propaganda today have grown ever more toxic; 3)  It seems as though the folks most interested in manipulating the mass mind are the same people who control the study of propaganda in academia.  I see virtually no discussion in the public square about how propaganda works.

The general theme of Bernays’ book can be condensed in this assertion:

“We are governed, our minds molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way our democratic society is organized.  Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.”

So does this mean we all accept our ideas from these “men we have never heard of” for the common good, like obeying traffic laws?  Or does it mean we cooperate in building a mechanized society that attempts to squash civil inquiry in order to promote a monolithic agenda of central control?  Here’s another nugget from Bernays:

“We are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses.”

In totalitarian fashion, Bernays sees this as a good thing, that controlling people’s behavior is necessary to avoid chaos and confusion in society.

Bernays also stated that “Business today is taking the public into partnership.”  That may have seemed true in 1928, but it’s now outdated. I’d say it’s actually the other way around.  The government is absorbing and amassing corporations at breakneck speed today.

Whereas the propaganda of yesterday was more focused on the manufacture of consent, today the main efforts of propagandists seem to be the squashing of dissent in order to protect its monolithic machine.

Most eerie to me is that those who would promote independent thought do not seem to be in the forefront of the study of social psychology and propaganda methods.   Instead, the study of propaganda and communications seems to be controlled by folks in our universities who have an affinity for central planning.

For example, the author of the introduction to this 2005 edition of Propaganda is Mark Crispin Miller who seems cozy enough with politicians who seek to build a centrally-controlled society built on PC-controlled group think. In fact, the entire field of behavioral insight appears to be dominated by people who want to regulate our minds to the nth degree.  Many come out of the University of Chicago, including Cass Sunstein, Obama’s former regulatory czar, and co-author of Nudge. The extreme left linguist Noam Chomsky is another master of explaining propaganda and yet he is fine with the dictates of political correctness and seems intent on squashing independent thought in order to build a centralized state.  It doesn’t take much reading between his lines to see this.  This is exactly the sort of hoarding of information about self-awareness that Doris Lessing warned against, and which I discussed in a previous post.

I think the best antidote to living under a tyranny of extremist thinking is to cultivate truly independent thinking.  And independent thinking does not come about through adherence to political correctness. It happens through real relationships built on real trust with real people in real communities.

Bookcase: “The Rape of the Mind” by Joost A. M. Meerloo

Joost A. M. Meerloo, M. D. (1903-1976) Author of “The Rape of the Mind”

If you fear we’re living in an age of mass delusion — as do I — then you must read this extraordinary book by Dutch psychiatrist Joost A. M. Meerloo.  “The Rape of the Mind” is subtitled:  “The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and Brainwashing.”  Had it it seen more light of day since it was published in 1956, it may well have served as inoculation against political correctness and groupthink.

Free speech is essential to preventing mass delusion.  Meerloo wrote: “Where thinking is isolated without free exchange with other minds, delusion may follow.”  He adds, chillingly, “Is this not what happened in Hitler Germany where free verification and self-correction were forbidden?”

Meerloo’s writing shows immense compassion for our human frailties.  He understood just how difficult it is to push back against the social pressures to conform.  But push back we must.   Meerloo’s first line of the foreward reads:

“This book attempts to depict the strange transformation of the free human mind into an automatically responding machine.”

We should tremble at the fact that he wrote that back in 1956.  Below is a bit of a synopsis.

Part I “The Techniques of Individual Submission” describes how human beings can be conditioned to do just about anything.  Part II “The Techniques of Mass Submission” explores how totalitarian thinking gets rooted, how man becomes “robotized,” and how demagogues use fear, emotional blackmail, and “semantic fog” to mobilize masses.  Part III “Unobtrusive Coercion” is perhaps the most fascinating of all the fascinating sections. In it, Meerloo provides his theory as to how totalitarians can be “molded” literally from the nursery. He delves into mental contagion and mass delusion and the primal human fear of isolation.  He describes the coercive creep of technology and its paradoxes.  Ditto the bureaucratic mind.  Finally, Part IV “In Search of Defenses” is a welcomed prescription on how to fight back.

Before humans can preserve true freedom, we must first be aware of our inner contradictions:

“Democracy, by its very nature will always have to fight against dictatorship from without and destructiveness from within.  Democratic freedom has to battle against both the individual’s inner will to power and his urge to submit to other people … Essentially, democracy means the right to develop yourself and not to be developed by others.  Yet to develop yourself is impossible without the duty of giving your energy and attention to the development of others.”

In the end, freedom truly depends upon friendship.  (You can read a great article on that here.) After all, political correctness is primarily a tool for separating people.  Clearly, our narcissistic society is oblivious to this. But for me, “The Rape of the Mind” cracks the code. It is a must read for our times.

Bookcase: “Prisons We Choose to Live Inside” Doris Lessing on Fighting Groupthink

Doris Lessing with 2007 Nobel Prize for Literature (IBI Times)

This post follows up on my last post about Doris Lessing’s treatise against groupthink.   It also follows up on my previous list of recommended books.  I chose them (and there will be more!) to help us “piece together what exactly is going on in our brains and in our relationships that seem to be producing the delusional state our society is in.”

It’s critical that we stand athwart the march to groupthink and shout “Stop!”  The more of us who do this as individuals, the better.  And in fact, Lessing noted that it is the Individual — not the group — who changes history.  Here is a wonderful quote in which Lessing expects that systems allowing independent thought will win in the end over those who don’t — because of the power of the individual over the group:

“In the long term, I think the race will go to the democracies, the flexible societies.  I know that if one looks around the world at the moment, this may seem a rather over-optimistic view . . .  But is it my belief that it is always the individual, in the long run, who will set the tone, provide the real development in a society.

Looking back, I see what a great influence an individual may have, even an apparently obscure person, living a small, quiet life.  It is individuals who change societies, give birth to ideas, who, standing out against tides of opinion, and change them. This is as true in open societies as it is in oppressive societies, but of course the casualty rate in the closed societies is higher.  Everything that has ever happened to me has taught me to value the individual, the person who cultivates and preserves her or his own ways of thinking, who stands out against group thinking, group pressures.  Or who, conforming no more than is necessary to group pressures, quietly preserves individual thinking and development. . . .

“It is my belief that an intelligent and forward-looking society would do everything possible to produce such individuals, instead of, as happens very often, suppressing them.  But if governments, if cultures, don’t encourage their production, then individuals and groups can and should.”

You’ll find so much to think about in this little 77-page guidebook about why we must oppose groupthink.  Lessing writes about how brainwashing works.  She is astonished that there is virtually no information available to the public and schools about the mechanics of group psychology — to help us build awareness of how it works within us.  She concludes the reason is that it’s the sort of knowledge that would make it more difficult for elites to gain mass compliance.

I’ll end on a very politically incorrect quote from Lessing’s words, which she wrote 30 years ago:

“ . . . we are living in a time when the great over-simplifiers are very powerful – Communism, fundamentalist Islam.”

Order “Prisons We Choose to Live Inside” by midnight tonight!

Acclaimed Author Doris Lessing: Our Future Depends on Resisting Groupthink

British author and Nobel Laureate Doris Lessing (1919-2013)

Doris Lessing died in 2013 at the age of 94, just a few years after winning the Nobel Prize for literature.  She identified as a communist for many years and was also known as an icon of modern feminism. But she came to firmly reject communism as well as the label “feminist.”  A New York Times article from 30 years ago describes how her politically correct followers became confused and annoyed by her exploration into different ideas and trains of thought.

What’s especially fascinating to me is how Lessing developed some keen insights into how humans behave in groups and how we handle dissent.  She could see the noxious effects of groupthink on human relationships.  It disturbed her so much that in 1985 she gave five lectures on the subject, which are contained in a little known volume entitled “Prisons we Choose to Live Inside” (1986).  

It’s a gem, especially given Lessing’s legacy and renown. Consider these two passages that pretty much sum up the mechanics of political correctness:

“ .. . we can stand in a room full of dear friends, knowing that nine-tenths of them, if the pack demands it, will become our enemies. .. . But there is always the minority who do not and it seems to me that our future, the future of everybody, depends on this minority.”

” . . .  whenever people are actually forced to recognize, from real experience, what we are capable of, it is so shocking that we can’t take it in easily. Or take it in at all; we want to forget it.”

Lessing also contemplates the effects of technology and how poorly we use it:

“I believe that people coming after us will marvel that on the one hand we accumulated more and more information about our behavior, while on the other, we made no attempt at all to use it to improve our lives.”

In fact, our blindness to the realities of our own patterns of human behavior will be our downfall.  If we could just take a clinical look at the mechanics of groupthink and how it hurts us, we’d all become freer and happier.

Lessing also ventured to say that she believed that critical knowledge of human behavior is actually being hoarded by elites in order to amass their own power, prompting her to ask this:

“How is it that so-called democratic movements don’t make a point of instructing their members in the laws of crowd psychology, group psychology?”

Today everyone would do well to read this handy 77-page volume.  You may not agree with every opinion Lessing includes in it (I didn’t) but her insights are absolutely essential if we are to remain a free society.  I’ll offer more quotes from Lessing’s work in future posts.  I absolutely love it.

 

Transgender Propaganda, Part I

Below is an Oprah Winfrey propaganda clip from about five years ago.  In it she interviews transgender supermodel Lea T.  The idea was to promote and glamorize sex reassignment surgery.  Today a primary goal of the transgender lobby is to push hard to get everyone to accept the transitioning of children.  Before that, the focus was primarily on adults. We can look back and see Oprah working to soften the ground here, as always prodding us to align our attitudes and beliefs with hers:

Of course, we’ve reached a new stage in the propaganda war to force feed transgender ideology to America at large.  Last night the TV series “Transparent” won several awards at the Golden Globe Awards.  The series centers around a family in which the father comes out as transgender. Audiences undergo a lot of emotional manipulation and emotional blackmail in this sort of propaganda.

My Friday Federalist piece on Leelah’s Law was about the transgender lobby’s exploitation of a teen’s suicide to push their agenda a whole lot harder.  The proposed law would essentially criminalize any counseling and psychotherapy that does not affirm transgenderism, and any parent who did not get with the Trans program would be guilty by association.  Of course it uses the catchphrase “conversion therapy” to imply that this only applies to one type of therapy.  It doesn’t.   You can read my article here:  “Leelah’s Law is Bad Law and Bad Medicine.”

The message behind the proposed law is that if you do not accept the ideology of transgenderism, you are morally responsible for any suicide of a transgender child who does not feel accepted.

I think there are at least five factors that make the onslaught of transgender propaganda different from other types of propaganda in the past.

1.  It seems far more organized, focused, faster-and-more-furious than any propaganda campaign in history. (Which means it can’t withstand much scrutiny.)

2.  It requires more than ever that the bystander reject physical reality in order to accommodate ever-shifting perceptions of others.  This is huge.  It comes with the territory that such laws require us to reject our own physical reality and question our own “gender identity.”

3. Under the phony guise of “anti-bullying” this type of propaganda exploits children and their peers as never before –physically, emotionally, and mentally.

4.  The scope of the endgame is enormous:  to legally and universally impose upon every human being a new definition — or rather, a non-definition — of what it means to be human.

(Even if for the moment it seems like everybody simply has the “freedom” to identify as one wishes, that’s not sustainable.  Because ultimately, the ideology of transgenderism rejects biology. It’s already begun to erase  everybody’s legal identity as either male or female simply by writing into law the presumption that your sex is merely “assigned at birth.”)

5.  It serves to abolish the family.  When male and female are eliminated as legal categories, it goes without saying that “mother” and “father” must also be eliminated as legal categories, along with any inherent right to a relationship with your biological children.  That’s the logical path transgender propaganda leads us down.

If we want to survive, it’s high time we spit out this kool-aid.