A PANDA SERIES

DEAFENING
SILENCING

THE PROPAGANDA WAR USING
censorship, smearing AND coercion

Since the start of the Covid event, authorities around the world have sought to implement quite extraordinary policies including the so-called “locking down” of entire populations, compulsory masking and coercion through, for example, the mandating of multiple ‘vaccine’ injections. A central part of selling these extreme, and ultimately highly destructive, policies has involved the use of propaganda on an unprecedented scale.

One aspect of the Covid-19 event propaganda has been the aggressive promotion of official narratives; but just as important has been the suppression and censorship of those questioning authorities. Part of this process of suppressing arguments and opinion involves superficially well-meaning attempts to manage what has been increasingly labelled as “misinformation” and “disinformation”.

 

Deafening Silencing is a series documenting the widespread and indiscreet use of direct censorship, de-platforming, smearing, coercing and other attempts to silence individuals questioning the official narrative on the Covid-19 event and the associated vaccines. The crude censorship methods employed by the mainstream press and large tech corporations enable and support the equally crude propaganda our societies are flooded with.

Interviewed and edited by Heike Brunner

CJ HOPKINS

An award-winning American playwright, novelist, and political satirist. His most recent book is a collection of essays called The Rise of The New Normal Reich and was banned on Amazon in Austria, Germany and The Netherlands. In this video, C.J. discusses how his satire has become more serious as he has been documenting the global roll-out of a totalitarian ideology, the seemingly unending forms of censorship he has encountered, and the bizarre way in which Twitter appears to be trying to defame him and smear his reputation.

NICK HUDSON

Chairman of PANDA: an organisation formed in April 2020 which performed the only cost-benefit analysis done at the start of South Africa’s first hard lockdown. Nick discusses the direct censorship he is experiencing and shares his thoughts on what it means for society as a whole when a nebulous concept such as the undefined “violating community guidelines” is given as a reason for silencing opinions that run counter to the official narrative.

“It’s a notable truism that censorship always targets the true stuff.”

DR JENNIFER SMITH

A virologist and immunologist with over 12 years experience in vaccine development and testing. She came out as a whistleblower whilst working for the Hawai’i Department of Health on their Covid-19 Track and Trace efforts and spoke out about the PCR testing problems. Amongst other things, she has been banned from LinkedIn and was fired from her position with the Health Department for speaking out.

“….if I am saying these things as an expert, and people are not listening, that tells me that something bigger, something much deeper is happening here…and people should be curious about that…”

SEAN KAUFMAN

“Public Health Professionals do not do public health TO you and FOR you, they do it with you and by you.”

Sean Kaufman MPH, CPH, is a public health professional specialising in behavioural science with and around infectious diseases. Working with the CDC and the WHO, Sean has been directly engaged in almost every infectious disease response that occurred in the last 25 years.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, however, he found himself censored and dismissed, while actors and accountants are allowed to dispense medical advice on the same platform from which he was banned for quoting science.

MORE SILENCED VOICES COMING SOON

A SUCCESSFUL REPRESSION

Identifying or labelling arguments and opinions in this way runs hand in hand with direct censorship through the removal of critical or questioning content and de-platforming of individuals, the sponsoring of hostile coverage designed to smear and intimidate anyone raising critical questions regarding the Covid-19 narrative, and coercive approaches involving threats to livelihood and employment.

Numerous scientists, experts and members of the public have been removed from social media platforms for allegedly violating ‘community standards’ whilst academic papers have been blocked or retracted. Others have been subjected to ugly smear campaigns in which unscrupulous journalists seek to denigrate an individual whilst the emergence of mandates has led to people losing their livelihoods due to their non-compliance.

HOW DEBATE IS STIFLED

The tactics of censorship, smearing and coercion are synergistic and help construct an environment in which self-censorship becomes ubiquitous:  the de-platforming of dissident scientists sends a clear warning about subject matter and issues that are off limits, whilst examples of smearing highlight the potential unpleasant consequences of discussing such issues. Coercion acts as a final hardstop for anyone entertaining the possibility of risking talking about censored issues and riding out the smears that will result: loss of job and income is simply too much to bear. Overall, the role of authorities in enabling censorship and coercion broadly speaking results in an institutionalised culture in which the suppression of opinions and debate becomes the norm.

These developments have deleterious consequences for rational debate and democracy. John Stuart Mill explained that silencing the expression of an opinion robs us all of the opportunity to either hear an argument that might turn out to be true, or refine or reject an opinion that is faulty.  Things are, potentially, about to become even worse with the pushing through of so-called ‘online harm bills’ including in the UK, Europe and Canada.

It is likely that such legislative developments will operate in tandem with so-called “fact checking” entities and algorithms that work to define and then exclude what is defined as  “misinformation”, “disinformation”, and now “malinformation”. These terms are so nebulous that they will enable authorities to proscribe virtually any serious debate or criticism in the public sphere.

into the future

Of course, there is nothing new about censorship, smearing and coercion in western democracies. Indeed, for some time now –  decades in fact –  those questioning western foreign policy have been subjected to censorship and smearing.  Of course, we are witnessing a preeminent example of coercion with the Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, facing the prospect of deportation to the US and the rest of his life in prison. His crime was to reveal accurate information about the 9/11 wars, especially those in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The overall trajectory here is clear to discern. It entails the move to a world where the truth is defined by “fact checkers” and authorities, and legislation provides the underlying coercive framework to ensure any deviance is punished. This is entirely at odds with basic principles of open debate, objective scholarship and freedom of expression. This is entirely at odds with democracy. There are dark days ahead and mounting a robust and uncompromising defence of freedom of expression has never been so urgent.

RESOURCES

DEAFENING SILENCES: PROPAGANDA THROUGH CENSORSHIP, SMEARING AND COERCION

by Dr Piers Robinson
There is a case to be made that the most important part of any propaganda campaign is the drive to ensure that certain voices, claims and arguments either never see the light of day or otherwise remain contained within “fringe” or “alternative” circles.

Deafening Silences and 21st Century Democracy

by Dr Piers Robinson

“If I don’t like or agree with what you say and do, I will censor you, destroy your reputation, terminate your employment and, if necessary, throw you in jail.”

Propaganda through Censorship, character assassination and coercion during COVID-19 and the emergence of a disinformation industry and legislative moves to sanction online “harms”

This short talk by Dr Piers Robinson was produced for and shown at the International Conference on Pandemic/Health Management, held in Fatima, Portugal in October 2022, as part of the panel “Mental Health in the Age of Disinformation and Propaganda”.