Responses to Open Letter II

As mentioned previously, most responses were of little substance, just telling me to go away.  Another one of those, accusing me of committing an intrusion by sending them my message:

Do not EVER contact me with this nonsense or anything else, ever again. I do not appreciate this foolish and unwanted intrusion into my life.

The most interesting response I’ve gotten accuses me of trying to destroy the UU faith, and even includes a threat:

Gene,
This is absolutely a false narrative couched in white supremacy culture and privileged elitism.
Our UU faith is stronger than you and all those who are trying to destroy it and harm our UU’s with marginalized identities.
I do not condone your behavior, your letter, or any of those you are associated with and will continue to actively work to dismantle systems of oppression within our faith and the larger world. Love will win despite your efforts to destroy it.
I have already told the leaders of the gadflies that I am to be removed from their lists, so I will tell you as well.
Take me off of your list, do not contact me again.
Nor should you ever contact my congregation in any way or I will be filing harassment charges.

I was tempted to invite this person to go ahead with filing the charges and see if they can get me into a cage for sending them an email.  But I thought better of it, as my life is complicated enough as it is, it would only serve to create bad blood which there is enough of in the world. And I realized my original message included a metaphor about the naked emperor’s erection; I don’t put it past our modern justice system to classify that as an act of violence worthy of putting someone in a cage.  (in hindsight I probably should have re-worked that metaphor bit, as the letter was supposed to be persuasive message, not a piece of artwork.)

I’ve got two more responses below, which actually includes some sort of substance and some back-and-forth.  The themes from these I would say are intellectually lazy dismissal and deflection.

Sources aren’t credible; Ivermectin is used in cattle

I’ll be honest.  This is the first response of any substance that I received and I was a little affected by the barrage of negativity previously mentioned, and I let it get to me, and I admit I was a little bit of a jerk.  But I think the bad blood has been smoothed over okay.

 

Gene,
Obviously this has taken you a long time to put together and send out.
Also, I am horrified at the contents of this letter. As someone who was working in hospital chaplaincy at the time the pandemic started here, your assertions are misleading and dangerous. Dear G-d, Ivermectin is used to treat livestock for worms. People need to be very careful with something like that and it’s not going to treat for COVID.
So many of these sources you’ve listed are not credible or reliable.
I do hope that you have a minister you can talk with and have scheduled an appointment with a trusted doctor to discuss your concerns.
I pray that this email causes no harm to anyone.

My Response

Thank you for your response.

Antibiotics are used to treat animals in factory farms because they are forced to live in squalid disgusting conditions, crammed into small spaces with their feces. But that says nothing about the fitness of antibiotics for treating ailments in humans. It’s a non-sequitur that only distracts from the real point, by eliciting an emotional reaction of disgust, as is stating that ivermectin is used for worms in cattle.

I’m not the one recommending Ivermectin, HCQ, or any medical intervention. Many credentialed doctors and scientists have been recommending these things, and have been using them with success for early Covid treatment. They say it with their own mouths. The issue I want to point out is that their voices are not allowed in mainstream discussion. Not all doctors share the same opinions. In a properly functioning society, we should be allowed to hear a variety of expert opinions.

If you want to to talk about “dangerous”, how about the mentality that there only exists One True Science that is blessed by a centralized authority, and that those credentialed professionals that stray from it should be censored. (I’m guessing when you hope i can find a “trusted” doctor to talk to, you’re referring to one who conforms to acceptable opinion)

If you want to talk about “dangerous”, how about the mentality that information should be dismissed based solely on its source. We are seeing an unprecedented level of censorship by big tech, and forgive me if I’m a little skeptical about the good intentions of google and facebook megacorporations. Which sources are and are not reliable is being dictated to us by entities that are propagandizing us, acting in consort with federal government.

Hypothetically, in a world where government authorities are corrupted, what does that mean when everyone is convinced that they can only go sources that big tech and government say they can, and it is those sources they can accept uncritically as truth? George Orwell wrote about exactly that in his book 1984 – it was called the Ministry of Truth.

We’re in a dystopia, my friend. I’m not sure there’s a better word for what we’re seeing with a frighteningly large percentage of the populace of a “free” country supporting the idea that individuals don’t have a right to refuse injection with an experimental substance, and believe that those who hesitate to accept said injection represent mortal threat.

Anyway, I can understand your prayer for my message to not harm anyone. But what does that say about your opinion of UU ministers? Do you think they’d be stupid enough to just accept without a grain of salt an email from a random idiot they’ve never heard of? If its any consolation, most responses are ministers just telling me to never email them again.

Finally, I just want to challenge you on your quasi appeal-to-authority statement, implying that your work as a hospital chaplain validates your blanket dismissal of my assertions as misleading. Would you be able to quote one example of a misleading assertion I made? A blanket dismissal might be useful to use in one’s own mind to deal with cognitive dissonance from holding an unjustified belief, but for the sake of discussion it is completely useless. I certainly concede that I’m not perfect and may be off-base, and a specific example could be enlightening.

 

Their Reply

We can start with the fact that ivermectin is not an antibiotic, but a dewormer — that is, an anti-parasitic medication. Not one of your sources for the statement about Dr. Fauci being a liar is a credible one.
Honestly, I’ve found your messages to be disrespectful. Not because I am a minister or a trained professional — just as a human being. You are dismissive and condescending, which doesn’t help your case.
Just reviewing how deaths have slowed since vaccinations began is enough evidence for me that they are working, beyond all my other experience.
Please do not message me again.
My Grumpy Response

The point about antibiotics is to illustrate that what your saying about ivermectin is completely irrelevant.  Your dismissal based on its use in cattle doesn’t change the fact that many medical professionals and scientific studies show it to be effective in people certain situations.

The lies of Fauci are supported by hard proof.  Particularly the lie about gain-of-function research at wuhan.  But so-called “credible” outlets ignore it, and trust that people will never see it because they would never dare to look at so called “uncredible” sources.

I won’t message you again so long as you don’t give me something to reply to.

My Apologetic Response

Okay, i lied about not messaging you again… i didn’t mean to.

I just want to say you’re 100% right; i should’ve been nicer. I should’ve reworked the message to remove the condescending crap.

I was annoyed and frustrated after a barrage of negativity, and I gave in to it, and made an enemy in the process.

So I just want to send an apology your way, then sign off. You won’t hear from me again, I promise.

I’m sorry for my condescension and arrogance, XXXX. Best wishes to you and your loved ones.

Finally
Thank you, Gene. And my best to you and yours.

 

In hindsight “100% right” may have given them the wrong idea that I was conceding to the validity of their illogial dismissals of my points.  But it is pretty evident that we’re past the point of caring about logic and nuance anyway.  As long as the reported numbers of deaths are decreasing, there’s no more information or context that needs to be considered.  So be it.

 

Don’t attack the vaccines; do something better with your time

I’ve one last response to share in this post, this one heavy on deflection, with myself on the receiving end of some condescension.

Dear Gene,

Everything is a risk, of course.  We can’t know the future.  The question is whether you feel that the vaccine is more dangerous than COVID.
You are clearly an excellent researcher.  It might be helpful to spend some time reading or talking to people dying of COVID and their families as well.
It might be helpful not to attack the current approach to ending the pandemic, but spend your talents recommending other ways to end the pandemic.  You mention doctors are better at treating COVID-19.  Of course they are.  But is this ending the pandemic?  Have people stopped dying? Vaccinated people have mostly stopped dying, but the unvaccinated are dying still.
Perhaps spending time in your local community working with other people concerned about the vaccine to come up with real solutions to stop hospitalizations and deaths would be a good use of your time.
I suspect this letter has convinced no one, and thus is not a useful way to spend your time to create a world where people can truly flourish.
My response

Thanks for your response, i very much appreciate it.  It is by far the most level-headed and thoughtful response I’ve received so far.  Most are telling me it’s harmful, never email again – things like that.

The purpose of my message wasn’t to attack vaccines.  It was an attempt to shine light on misconceptions we are operating under; misconceptions created by deliberate propaganda from malevolent forces.

I don’t deny the suffering of those affected by covid.  But if we just give in to the fear and manipulation to believe our corrupt leaders that are demonstrably and deliberately deceiving us – who are CAPITALIZING ON that suffering – trying to sell us an insane solution, it is ridiculous to think that anything other than more suffering could possibly be the outcome.  (considering that these people selling us this solution – big pharma, politicians, oligarchs –  have demonstrated over and over again they have no regard for human life, and infinite regard for profit and power)

I’d slightly modify your statement about the question being “whether you feel that the vaccine is more dangerous than COVID”.  The question is whether *enough people* feel the vaccine is more dangerous than covid.  And “feel” is the key word, because we are not getting good information from our agencies and our media.  It is about perceptions rather than facts.  And if *enough people* hold their deception-based beliefs with religious conviction, they have incredible power to pressure, bully, and even force the rest of us into compliance.  And to even hate those they *feel* are a mortal danger to them.

Yeah, something “solution-focused” would’ve been nicer, spending my time doing something more positive.  But everyone is under this mass hypnosis that the only the vaccine can save us.  Not to mention on the liberal side, we’ve got people with religious conviction believing it is “the science” that it is a matter of social responsibility, and see no problem with using authoritarian measures to coerce people into compliance.  People who feel that individual autonomy and liberty is disposable when the “leaders” tell us it is for the common good.

I don’t see any way around the need for people to snap out of the hypnosis.

I see a deeper pandemic, of masses of people being programmable into doing the bidding of psychopaths in positions of power, all the while thinking they are doing good.  This is not new in human history.  What is new is technologies available to those psychopaths.

But I believe you are probably correct that my letter is not going to convince anyone of anything.  But I had to try.  Probably i should have let the facts stand without so much commentary.  But then again, facts really don’t matter as much as one would hope, given how propaganda works on human psychology.  I don’t know.  Reality is absolutely insane.  Part of me hopes i lose my mind completely soon and can just be done with it all.

(have you seen the movie “i’m thinking of ending things”?  there’s a part where an old guy whose experiencing dementia expresses how he looks forward to when it progresses far enough that he loses awareness of his condition… that’s basically what I’m talking about)

It is seriously difficult to figure out the best way to spend one’s time when one sees major systemic problems and wants to address them.  When you start to see how those in power capitalize on peoples good intentions to funnel their energy back into a mass-murderous anti-human system, its difficult to decide where to put ones energies where it doesn’t end up feeding the very system you want to correct.  For example, all this well-intentioned “get out the vote” stuff coming from the UUA, energizing so many people to dump all this energy into something they see as progressing toward solutions.  God bless all those people, really, but when you get down to it, it’s feeding not only the illusion of a legitimate government and political system, but also the psychosis of the left-vs-right manipulation being perpetrated on us all by the oligarchy.  The “orange man bad” frenzy that makes everyone think that someone like Biden or Obama or Clinton is on any where near “our side”.  When all that actually happens is swap-out of figure heads for the mass murder industry (aka the military industrial complex).

Anyway, I fully agree with you about solution-based energy focus – the idea that of working local is spot on.  Building and interacting locally where results are direct and tangible.  I’m probably done researching and attempting to “red pill” people.  It is exhausting, and, like you basically said, pretty much completely fucking pointless.  But something in me said I had to try.

Take care, best wishes,

Gene

Their response
Building meaningful relationships based on respect and kindness is the best resistance. It is the only resistance.
I found that last quip a little annoying, but left the conversation there.   I thought about replying with a question about resistance to groupthink and willful ignorance.  I started to type the following, but did not send it.  Consider it a reflection on the statement, not a final polished philosophy:

There are other forms of resistance that are needed to maintain moral integrity. Resistance to groupthink in commitment to truth and basic morality.

For example, consider a group of people who are indoctrinated to believe that they have the right to violate an individual’s bodily autonomy, who have a religious conviction in the legitimacy of their so-called leaders’ authority, despite being shown clear evidence of the leaders’ corruption and malevolence.

I don’t really think it’s possible to build a meaningful relationship based on respect and kindness with willfully ignorant and hopelessly indoctrinated people who believe they have the right to use violence to control others for some stated “common good”. I mean, it is a good to attempt, and is absolutely where the conversation needs to begin. However, it’s not enough in and of itself.

In such a situation you can’t just dance around the facts and play nice and pretend like their authoritarian beliefs are worthy of any respect. You can’t get sucked into a game of pretending that certain violations of basic morality are just some difference of opinion. That is called moral relativism and is in fact one of the deepest forms of evil created by humankind.

A meaningful adversarial relationship based on clearly-articulated opposition and disrespect for an opponents’ lack of morality might be a critical form of resistance.

 

Of course, that example applies to any number of government functions (as government authority is fundamentally based on the threat of violence – the monopoly on the right to initiate violence against its citizens to force them into obedience).  But here I’m specifically thinking of the use of state authority to force people to be injected.  That’s where this is going.  A critical mass of a propagandized population willfully ignorant of their leaders’ evil, believing religiously that individuals don’t have right to own their own bodies.

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