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Reading this might Save your Life: the Vagus Nerve and the end to Mysterious Illness.

Elizabeth NicksonJun 3

I am 85% recovered from a Chronic Fatigue relapse. Which means I have recovered twice. Which makes me anomalous. Traditional medicine claims a cure of 6%, and functional medicine which combines alternative with hard-core science has been able to “cure” 60% of patients, but mostly in part. There are many others like me, but we are decidedly in the minority. A tiny minority.

But I am hiking the hard hills (cautiously), writing a steady two hours every day (hey it’s a start), and embarked on a spring cleaning routine, the contemplation of which at any time in the past three years, would have sent me into a tailspin of exhausted self-loathing. I still cannot contemplate giving a party (which I love) and travel is out of the question. I cannot publish.

The only thing that wasn’t affected was my curiosity. I could read, I could study, I could learn.

Early on, CFS/ME/Fibromyalgia — they are generally identified as lying on the same continuum — was considered mostly psychogenic, but it turned out that antidepressants helped only 5% of sufferers. “The yuppie flu”, “the worried well”, the contempt leveled at sufferers was searing and still is, if you cast your eye over the linked Reddit thread.

Then doctors began to collapse, were forced to revise their opinions and in order to crawl out of it, pushed every button and pulled every lever. No cure was found. Some things worked for a little while or helped a little going forward. Herbal and other nutritional supplements were found necessary by doctors with the disease — it is why complementary medicine can claim substantially more success than straight-up western medicine.

“I was shocked to learn that somehow medical education has completely missed an epidemic affecting so many gifted young people (mostly women), leaving the patients to fend for themselves.”

Dr. Sharon Megalthery
https://www.rccxandillness.com/

Finally, after thirty years of effort, there are trials using drugs originally aimed at other illnesses: the abortion pill, RU 486 might be able to reset the nervous system, mestonin, used for Myasthenia Gravis, helps with mental fatigue, Ampligen looked good at first, but no. Still no cure. Still no drugs. Still no effective simple test. Still no protocol.

Tens of millions of us suffer somewhere along the CFS/ME/Fibromyalgia continuum, including Lady Gaga, Lena Dunham, Cher, Stevie Nicks, filmmaker David Putnam, author Suzanna Moore, Randy Newman, the 10th Countess of Mar, Lauren Hillenbrand, and so on into infinity. Some estimate that we are among tens of millions of missing lives.

Further, it may be an epidemic about to soar. The Agency for Occupational Work and Safety recently reported that 43% of Americans consider themselves too tired to function at work. 97% carry least at one risk factor of fatigue, and 81% perform jobs where fatigue is a danger to others.

Jennifer Brea, a Harvard Ph.D. student fell ill at the age of 27, and after being dismissed by doctors, put together, from her bedroom, an award-winning documentary called Unrest, which premiered in 2017. This gave the disease profile. Last month, Jennifer announced that she had been cured by craniocervical surgery.

“..in my case, the circumstantial evidence strongly points to some structural defect the surgery resolved (e.g., relief of a squished vagus nerve, better CSF flow), but I put my money on the brainstem. Where does the cause of my PEM (if not all PEMs) reside? I can’t be sure but if it turns out that my PEM is truly gone, then I’d put the money, at least in my case, on the brainstem.” (PEM is Post-Exertional Malaise.)

Brea was initially diagnosed with a conversion disorder, which basically meant who the hell knows, but Brea says today, “the mechanism was structural. Its impacts were systemic.”

My mother bio-hacked her way out of schizophrenia by becoming an Adele Davis acolyte. I cannot imagine the discipline it took. She had no help, no one was thinking about curative nutrition at that time, much less the many other things she tried. But for her, exercise was core, she forced herself to become, slowly, arduously, a competitive golf and tennis player. She trained her mind, scheduled daily rest, learned meditation, and taught herself to speak French in her 70’s; every effort in service of training her mind. Wherever I moved in the world handwritten lists of nutrients would follow me and every new discovery was outlined in exhaustive detail. It wasn’t a complete cure, reality breaks were still part of her life but she was more than just functional. As a result, I was the only person I knew who would in every city, search out an immunologist who would test me for nutrient deficiencies. I believe that’s why I didn’t collapse completely when I fell ill. But for twenty years, I operated in a fugue state with maybe 65% of my energy. And then ten years ago, suddenly I was normal. I behaved as if I were normal with the predictable result: CRASH.

As soon as I could sit up in bed and type, I studied. And a few months ago, a theory of everything coalesced. “First step,” I thought “what the hell, maybe this is psychological?” So I hired a therapist who had a practice in Los Angeles working with people with CFS and Hashimotos. Within a few sessions, we identified childhood triggers, and I began to apply behavioral modifications.

It didn’t really take. I mean it was interesting, but I’ve had five years of serious analysis with subsequent check-ins, mostly because I was terrified of developing schizophrenia. All my neuroses have been fully disinterred and examined.

Back to the drawing board. Whereupon I read about the discovery by the Japanese who, given that their citizens will literally die from overwork (karoshi) put their backs into it and identified the malfunction of the Vagus nerve as the culprit.

They tested their theory by triggering Vagus nerve shutdown by challenging subjects’ cognition with a series of tests, pursued until the subject was exhausted and was unable to transition from fight or flight (sympathetic nervous system) to rest and recover (parasympathetic nervous system). In some people, not all, under extreme stress, the Vagus nerve which triggers the rest-and-recover system starts to curl up and die. This is a literal description and why surgery is sometimes called for.

I am going to radically simplify here: push your brain too hard, and your Autonomic Nervous System gets stuck on fight, flight or freeze. And then your body triggers hibernation. You become a bear in winter whether you like it or not.

Hibernation can take many forms. A list of the illnesses caused by ANS (autonomic nervous system) dysfunction is as long as your arm. The acronyms MCAS, POTS, EDS-HT, enhanced intracranial pressure, these are just a start. The body will do anything to make you stop and give it the relief it needs. In my case, the Epstein-Barre or mono virus, which most of us carry, activated. Also Herpes Simplex and the Cytomegalovirus, all of which I tested for. I had the mother of all flu for two years before I began to crawl out of it. Truly I have never been so sick. It was terrifying. Added to that, because of Canada’s bonkers health system, I had no GP. I went to emergency five times until they found me a doctor on an Indian reserve four hours away.

Once I discovered the Japanese theory, biohacking became relatively straightforward. I found herbal anti-virals from Dr. William Rawls, a physician who contracted Lyme, and built a practice from his discoveries, After two months the viruses were suppressed. I have been meditating for 30 years but I imposed a strict program which plunges me into Theta or deep deep relaxation for an hour every afternoon. I slowly began to exercise, and if I felt PEM (post-exertional malaise), would force myself to take a long break. For two and a half years I was allergic to sugar, wheat, dairy, and chocolate, so I gave them up. I became ketogenic. I purchased a compendium of TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) herbs, innovative nutritional supplements that nourished my body, mushrooms, and minerals that optimized my brain and triggered Nerve Growth Factor. I am smarter than I was at the beginning of my collapse. Within three months, I was almost normal. I am almost normal. I can eat anything. I can hardly believe it.

It is a Wild Wild West out there in CFS/ME/Fibromyalgia land. An internist told me last week that in conventional medicine, still, no one knows nothing. There is a diagnosis code now, which means physicians can claim it on insurance forms. But again, few pharmaceuticals help, and none cure.

Individual physicians, many of whom have the illness have innovated protocols, most of which look like the one I devised for myself: super-nutrition, mindfulness, deep rest, a paleo diet, techniques to trip activation of rest and recover, and if necessary, surgery to free the Vagus nerve from its trap.

But the theory of everything comes from Dr. Sharon Meglathery, a psychiatrist and GP, who works in private practice in Arizona.

In 2009, Meglathery developed mast cell activation (MCAS), postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), raised intracranial pressure, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and a host of other potentially disabling syndromes which she identified as lying within the setting of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS-HT) or hypermobility.

She spent seven years researching, scouring forums, gathering data from her patients and those on the forums, reading into the scientific literature, experimenting on herself, and challenging assumptions held by the medical community.

“Early on, my broad medical background revealed that several commonly held assumptions about these conditions must be false. By letting those assumptions go, I was able to find a neuropsychiatric marker, dubbed CAPS, which predicts a higher risk of chronic illness regardless of hypermobility status which has stood the test of several years. From there, a lucky break revealed a set of candidate genes which pulled all of my observations together. The knowledge of these genes changed the course of my illness by presenting novel treatment options, and I expect will pave the way for new pharmaceuticals.”

The Vagus nerve is starting to receive popular attention as something that we all need to look after, to cherish, but some people are genetically predisposed to its malfunction.

“The genes of interest include CYP21A2 which codes for a crucial enzyme involved in the acute stress response (21 hydroxylase), TNXB which codes for tenascin, an important matrix protein implicated in EDS-HT and C4, a gene involved in the complement system and implicated in schizophrenia, CVID, MS, lupus and other autoimmune diseases. “

Dr Sharon Meglathery

Megalathery found that most of her patients operated as if they had grown up in an abusive family, even if they had not: their fight or flight instincts were finely tuned, they were hypervigilant, they had increased threat detection and enhanced stress response. And since nature likes to take with one hand and give with another, there are gifts that come along with an enhanced stress response. “If present in moderation,” says Meglathery, you can demonstrate “enhanced empathy (ability to read emotions in others), sensory sensitivity, superior pattern recognition/information processing, times of intense hyperfocus/obsession/special interests and unusual abilities (often in music, arts or abstract thinking).”

Twenty percent of us carry the CAPS mutation. This is not a small number. This is a market.

The finely tuned nervous system can also demonstrate “bursts of emotional dysregulation, dysautonomia, motor and sensory syndromes (hallucinations, dystonia, catatonia, cataplexy, non-dermatomal sensory symptoms, non-epileptic seizures, etc.) and inappropriate states of consciousness (fight/flight, freeze, shutdown).”

Further, these diseases cluster in families. Meglathery believes we intermarry because people with the mutation are attracted to each other. So you may find in such a family, CFS, heart disease, bouts of psychosis, autoimmune diseases, multiple sclerosis, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, gender fluidity, PTSD. Children may have ADD, Aspergers and sensory processing disorder. Equally, there may be members who are massively successful, who hang the moon. In other words, if you can master your genes, you become super-human.

I can trace my mitochondrial DNA (matrilineal) through four generations. Most of the women and some of the men demonstrate negative aspects of the RCCX hypothesis, and some of the giftedness as well.

And it isn’t just the CFS syndrome that is triggered by the CAPS mutation. Internet theorists are starting to suspect that mysterious illnesses like systemic lupus erythematosus, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, myasthenia gravis, selective IgA deficiency, multiple sclerosis, MS, Parkinson’s, Graves, Hashimoto’s, ME/CFS, Fibromyalgia all turn up when your body just cannot handle another day in an adrenalin circus.

And what is the world right now but an adrenalin circus?

I admit I have had a lot of time to think over the past three years, but I believe Dr. Sharon Meglathery’s work is ground-breaking. Has she not cleared a wide road down which we may find the actual cure to life on earth? Is this genetic anomaly not showing us the next step in evolution?

“I believe that these genes, particularly C4 and CYP21A2 sit in the most highly mutagenic part of the genome because mutations of these genes provide novel ways of responding to ever-changing environments in terms of response to pathogens/brain wiring for C4 and stress response/brain wiring for CYP21A2.”

Are the people with CAPS and the ways they heal showing us how to best live? Do these food allergies suffered by the sensitive mean that some of our food is profoundly unhealthy? Can food become super-nutritious for everyone? Are the routines by which we spend our days counter-productive? Is our way of life killing us? Should we be exposing ourselves to endless waves of adrenalin and stress? Are agricultural and industrial chemicals and EMRs degrading our nervous systems? Are most of our illnesses the result of the ways we live? Are we maladapted? If we are to progress, to become smarter better innovators, do the 20% of us carrying the CAP mutation show the way?

The Economist published a long essay in their summer culture issue called The Curse of Genius, wherein they examined the plight of children so brilliant they lie in the top .1% of intelligence. Inadvertently they prove Meglathery’s hypothesis:

“Giftedness may even be linked with physiological conditions such as food allergies, asthma and autoimmune diseases, which sometimes go hand-in-hand with “sensory processing disorder”. For many exceptionally intelligent individuals, everyday stimuli such as a radio playing in the background, the colour or texture of food, a vibrant display on a classroom wall or a scratchy label in a piece of clothing can become almost unbearable. Because his brain function is so acute, Lorenzo’s senses are more than usually finely tuned, believes Hilary. “He can hear things that we can’t. He can find it impossible to do his homework in a room that would seem to most people completely silent.”

The secret to living to 900, as we did before Adam ate the apple, according to the Old Testament, may lie buried in the cure for the complex of diseases that Meglathery identified. We can already see the culture moving towards the elements that form a cure. The stripping of harmful chemicals from our clothing, household cleaning products, cosmetics, the emphasis on yoga and meditation, the refusal of the super-culture’s demands, the focus on nutrition that heals the self and is both humane and nourishing of the planet, all these work to mitigate the effects of the CAPS genetic complex.

I have had to take extreme action. Since my diagnosis thirty years ago, my whole life was dedicated to finding relief. I moved to an island regulated so tightly I live in a giant park. Ten years ago I built a certifiable healthy house, with no off-gassing in any of the materials. We eat like hippies or Gwyneth Paltrow. Every friendship, every job I took was determined by whether something made me feel sick, or better. I sacrificed some of the glittering prizes of life, but the life I live now is what my body and nervous system need to thrive.

I think RCCX points the way forward. People suffering from the condition caused by the mutation are our canaries. They almost certainly have gifts we can use. Perhaps the human’s next step is enhanced empathy, sensory sensitivity, superior pattern recognition, and the ability of intense hyperfocus. If so, our future is more garden than war zone. I say, bring it.

E. Jean Carroll’s Bitter Feminism

One has to feel sorry for E. Jean Carroll, shot for the cover of New York Magazine in her mid-70’s, in an attitude of hollow-eyed raddled misery, wearing a coat dress that has seen better decades.

Her mood resembles an African who has watched her entire village raped then killed, rather than a famous writer who has lived her entire life sipping on cocaine and Moet Chandon and having zipless encounters with horrible men like Donald Trump.

Continue reading “E. Jean Carroll’s Bitter Feminism”

The Commies Among Us

This weekend it was brought home once again, just how tolerant of a genocidal and vicious ideology we have become. The London Sunday Times tongue-bathed the Labour Shadow Chancellor, an admitted Marxist, up one side and down the other. John McDonnell put on the charm and went ’round the City on a tea offensive telling them not to worry, he won’t totally eviscerate their funds, but change it is a-coming. I’m quoting extensively from the piece because it’s behind a pay-wall.

“In Who’s Who he lists his hobby as “fermenting [sic] the overthrow of capitalism”, and when I ask whether this is still his aim he replies without hesitation, “Yes. I want to move on from capitalism.””

Instead of capitalism, he wants “a system where you reduce the level of exploitation, you establish a fair distribution of rewards and then you start developing other forms of ownership,” he says. “Eventually, I think you will get to a situation where goods will be held in common, so workers will own their own companies, will be democratically managed. That will evolve over time. What we will do is move it to the next step.”

So many problems with this. But rather than contest point-by-point, let’s agree that this is not an innovation. It IS Marxism. And no matter where you look, in every country, in every single country, it ends in genocide, stagnation and reversion to the primitive.

What does this guy say about that? “I ask whether he understands why many people find the idea of a Marxist at the Treasury alarming. “It’s because of the association with Stalin and what went on under some of the most oppressive regimes in the world, but my lot, the socialists, were the first that went to the gulags and got shot by Stalin,” he replies. Of the failures in the Soviet Union, Cuba and Venezuela, he says, “It was never socialism.”

Yeah. They all say that. Perhaps this is closer to the real man:

“A few years ago, he quoted a call for the Tory MP Esther McVey to be “lynched”. When I ask about this, he shifts slightly in his chair, insisting it was “meant as a joke. It was just repeating what somebody said.” But there is a bit of a pattern. He also once said that Danny Alexander, a former Lib Dem cabinet minister, should be “garrotted”. “That was just a joke as well,” he says. In 2003 he suggested the IRA should be honoured, declaring that it was “the bombs and bullets” that brought Britain to the negotiating table.”

Capitalism innovates constantly, every year bringing more and more people out of poverty. Socialism does worse than kill, it degrades the humans left after the genocide and crawling out of it takes decades. This guy is worse than a Nazi. And anyone who says “that wasn’t real socialism”, is a genocidal maniac.

Reading this Might Save your Life

The modern physician should know as much about emotions and thoughts as about disease symptoms and drugs. This approach would appear to hold more promise of cure than anything medicine has given us to date

Hans Selye

I am 85% recovered from a Chronic Fatigue relapse. Which means I have recovered twice. Which makes me anomalous. Traditional medicine claims a cure of 6%, and functional medicine which combines alternative with hard-core science has been able to “cure” 60% of patients, but mostly in part. There are many others like me, but we are decidedly in the minority. A tiny minority.

But I am hiking the hard hills (cautiously), writing a steady two hours every day (hey it’s a start), and embarked on a spring cleaning routine, the contemplation of which at any time in the past three years, would have sent me into a tailspin of exhausted self-loathing. I still cannot contemplate giving a party (which I love) and travel is out of the question. I cannot publish.

The only thing that wasn’t affected was my curiosity. I could read, I could study, I could learn.

Early on, CFS/ME/Fibromyalgia – they are generally identified as lying on the same continuum – was considered mostly psychogenic, but it turned out that antidepressants helped only 5% of sufferers. “The yuppie flu”, “the worried well”, the contempt leveled at sufferers was searing and still is, if you cast your eye over the linked Reddit thread.

Then doctors began to collapse, were forced to revise their opinions and in order to crawl out of it, pushed every button and pulled every lever. No cure was found. Some things worked for a little while or helped a little going forward. Herbal and other nutritional supplements were found necessary by doctors with the disease – it is why complementary medicine can claim substantially more success than straight-up western medicine.

“I was shocked to learn that somehow medical education has completely missed an epidemic affecting so many gifted young people (mostly women), leaving the patients to fend for themselves.”

Dr. Sharon Megalthery
https://www.rccxandillness.com/

Finally, after thirty years of effort, there are trials using drugs originally aimed at other illnesses: the abortion pill, RU 486 might be able to reset the nervous system, mestonin, used for Myasthenia Gravis, helps with mental fatigue, Ampligen looked good at first, but no. Still no cure. Still no drugs. Still no effective simple test. Still no protocol.

Tens of millions of us suffer somewhere along the CFS/ME/Fibromyalgia continuum, including Lady Gaga, Lena Dunham, Cher, Stevie Nicks, filmmaker David Putnam, author Suzanna Moore, Randy Newman, the 10th Countess of Mar, Lauren Hillenbrand, and so on into infinity. Some estimate that we are among tens of millions of missing lives.

Further, it may be an epidemic about to soar. The Agency for Occupational Work and Safety recently reported that 43% of Americans consider themselves too tired to function at work. 97% carry least at one risk factor of fatigue, and 81% perform jobs where fatigue is a danger to others.

Jennifer Brea, a Harvard Ph.D. student fell ill mountain climbing at the age of 27, and after being dismissed by doctors, put together, from her bedroom, an award-winning documentary called Unrest, which premiered in 2017. This gave the disease profile. Last month, Jennifer announced that she had been cured by craniocervical surgery.

JENNIFER BREA; OMAR WASOW; UNREST

“..in my case, the circumstantial evidence strongly points to some structural defect the surgery resolved (e.g., relief of a squished vagus nerve, better CSF flow), but I put my money on the brainstem. Where does the cause of my PEM (if not all PEMs) reside? I can’t be sure but if it turns out that my PEM is truly gone, then I’d put the money, at least in my case, on the brainstem.” (PEM is Post-Exertional Malaise.)

Brea was initially diagnosed with a conversion disorder, which basically meant who the hell knows, but Brea says today, “the mechanism was structural. Its impacts were systemic.”

My mother bio-hacked her way out of schizophrenia by becoming an Adele Davis acolyte. I cannot imagine the discipline it took. She had no help, no one was thinking about curative nutrition at that time, much less the many other things she tried. But for her, exercise was core, she forced herself to become, slowly, arduously, a competitive golf and tennis player. She trained her mind, scheduled daily rest, learned meditation, and taught herself to speak fluent French in her 70’s. Wherever I moved in the world handwritten lists of nutrients would follow me and every new discovery was outlined in exhaustive detail. It wasn’t a complete cure, reality breaks were still part of her life but she was more than just functional. As a result, I was the only person I knew who would in every city, search out an immunologist who would test me for nutrient deficiencies. I believe that’s why I didn’t collapse completely when I fell ill. But for twenty years, I operated in a fugue state with maybe 65% of my energy. And then ten years ago, suddenly I was normal. I behaved as if I were normal with the predictable result: CRASH.

After I relapsed, as soon as I could sit up in bed and type, I studied. And a few months ago, a theory of everything coalesced. “First step,” I thought “what the hell, maybe this is psychological?” So I hired a therapist who had a practice in Los Angeles working with people with CFS and Hashimotos. Within a few sessions, we identified childhood triggers, and I began to apply behavioral modifications.

It didn’t really take. I mean it was interesting, but I’ve had seven therapists over the years, mostly because I was terrified of developing schizophrenia. All my neuroses have been fully disinterred and examined.

Back to the drawing board. Whereupon I read about the discovery by the Japanese who, given that their citizens will literally die from overwork (karoshi) put their backs into it and identified the malfunction of the Vagus nerve as the culprit.

They tested their theory by triggering Vagus nerve shutdown by challenging subjects’ cognition with a series of tests, pursued until the subject was exhausted and was unable to transition from fight or flight (sympathetic nervous system) to rest and recover (parasympathetic nervous system). In some people, not all, under extreme stress, the Vagus nerve which triggers the rest-and-recover system starts to curl up and die. This is a literal description and why surgery is sometimes called for.

I am going to radically simplify here: push your brain too hard, and your Autonomic Nervous System gets stuck on fight, flight or freeze. And then your body triggers hibernation. You become a bear in winter whether you like it or not.

Hibernation can take many forms. A list of the illnesses caused by ANS (autonomic nervous system) dysfunction is as long as your arm. The acronyms MCAS, POTS, EDS-HT, enhanced intracranial pressure, these are just a start. The body will do anything to make you stop and give it the relief it needs. In my case, the Epstein-Barre or mono virus, which most of us carry, activated. Also Herpes Simplex and the Cytomegalovirus, all of which I tested for. I had the mother of all flu for two years before I began to crawl out of it. Truly I have never been so sick. It was terrifying. Added to that, because of Canada’s bonkers health system, I had no GP. I went to emergency five times until they found me a doctor on an Indian reserve four hours away.

Once I discovered the Japanese theory, biohacking became relatively straightforward. I found herbal anti-virals from Dr. William Rawls, a physician who contracted Lyme, and built a practice from his discoveries, After two months the viruses were suppressed. I have been meditating for 30 years but I imposed a strict program which puts me into Theta or deep deep relaxation for an hour every afternoon. I slowly began to exercise, and if I felt PEM (post-exertional malaise), would force myself to take a long break. For two and a half years I was allergic to sugar, wheat, dairy, and chocolate, so I gave them up. I became ketogenic. I purchased a compendium of TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) herbs, innovative nutritional supplements that nourished my body, mushrooms, and minerals that optimized my brain and triggered Nerve Growth Factor. I am smarter than I was at the beginning of my collapse. Within three months, I was almost normal. I am almost normal. I can eat anything. I can hardly believe it.

It is a Wild Wild West out there in CFS/ME/Fibromyalgia land. An internist told me last week that in conventional medicine, no one knows nothing. There is a diagnosis code now, which means physicians can claim it on insurance forms. But again, few pharmaceuticals help, and none cure.

Individual physicians, many of whom have the illness have innovated protocols, most of which look like the one I devised for myself: super-nutrition, mindfulness, deep rest, a paleo diet, techniques to trip activation of rest and recover, and if necessary, surgery to free the Vagus nerve from its trap.

But the theory of everything comes from Dr. Sharon Meglathery, a psychiatrist and GP, who works in private practice in Arizona.

In 2009, Meglathery developed mast cell activation (MCAS), postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), raised intracranial pressure, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and a host of other potentially disabling syndromes which she identified as lying within the setting of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS-HT) or hypermobility.  

She spent seven years researching, scouring forums, gathering data from her patients and those on the forums, reading into the scientific literature, experimenting on herself, and challenging assumptions held by the medical community.

“Early on, my broad medical background revealed that several commonly held assumptions about these conditions must be false.  By letting those assumptions go, I was able to find a neuropsychiatric marker, dubbed CAPS, which predicts a higher risk of chronic illness regardless of hypermobility status which has stood the test of several years.  From there, a lucky break revealed a set of candidate genes which pulled all of my observations together. The knowledge of these genes changed the course of my illness by presenting novel treatment options, and I expect will pave the way for new pharmaceuticals.” 

The Vagus nerve is starting to receive popular attention as something that we all need to look after, to cherish, but some people are genetically predisposed to its malfunction.

“The genes of interest include CYP21A2 which codes for a crucial enzyme involved in the acute stress response (21 hydroxylase), TNXB which codes for tenascin, an important matrix protein implicated in EDS-HT and C4, a gene involved in the complement system and implicated in schizophrenia, CVID, MS, lupus and other autoimmune diseases. ” 

Dr Sharon Meglathery

Megalathery found that most of her patients operated as if they had grown up in an abusive family, even if they had not: their fight or flight instincts were finely tuned, they were hypervigilant, they had increased threat detection and enhanced stress response. And since nature likes to take with one hand and give with another, there are gifts that come along with an enhanced stress response. “If present in moderation,” says Meglathery, you can demonstrate “enhanced empathy (ability to read emotions in others), sensory sensitivity, superior pattern recognition/information processing, times of intense hyperfocus/obsession/special interests and unusual abilities (often in music, arts or abstract thinking).”

Twenty percent of us carry the CAPS mutation. This is not a small number. That is a market.

The finely tuned nervous system can also demonstrate “bursts of emotional dysregulation, dysautonomia, motor and sensory syndromes (hallucinations, dystonia, catatonia, cataplexy, non-dermatomal sensory symptoms, non-epileptic seizures, etc.) and inappropriate states of consciousness (fight/flight, freeze, shutdown).”  

Further, these diseases cluster in families. Meglathery believes we intermarry because people with the mutation are attracted to each other. So you may find in such a family, CFS, heart disease, bouts of psychosis, autoimmune diseases, multiple sclerosis, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, gender fluidity, PTSD. Children may have ADD, Aspergers and sensory processing disorder. And there may be members who are massively successful, who hang the moon. In other words, if you can master your genes, you become super-human. There are two of these in my family, one ran the British General during the Second War, the other became the most successful gold miner of all time.

I can trace my mitochondrial DNA (matrilineal) through four generations. Most of the women and some of the men demonstrate negative aspects of the RCCX hypothesis, and some of the giftedness as well. What appears to come along with our genetic cluster, as a sweetener from nature, is seven longevity markers, with several of us surviving into the 100s and most into their late 90s.

And it isn’t just the CFS syndrome that is triggered by the CAPS mutation. Internet theorists are starting to suspect that mysterious illnesses like systemic lupus erythematosus, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, myasthenia gravis, selective IgA deficiency, multiple sclerosis, MS, Parkinson’s, Graves, Hashimoto’s, ME/CFS, Fibromyalgia all turn up when your body just cannot handle another day in an adrenalin circus.

And what is the world right now but an adrenalin circus?

I admit I have had a lot of time to think over the past three years, but I believe Dr. Sharon Meglathery’s work is ground-breaking. Has she not cleared a wide road down which we may find the actual cure to life on earth? Is this genetic anomaly not showing us the next step in evolution?

“I believe that these genes, particularly C4 and CYP21A2 sit in the most highly mutagenic part of the genome because mutations of these genes provide novel ways of responding to ever-changing environments in terms of response to pathogens/brain wiring for C4 and stress response/brain wiring for CYP21A2.”  

Are the people with CAPS and the ways they heal showing us how to best live? Do these food allergies suffered by the sensitive mean that some of our food is profoundly unhealthy? Can food become super-nutritious for everyone? Are the routines by which we spend our days counter-productive? Is our way of life killing us? Should we be exposing ourselves to endless waves of adrenalin and stress? Are agricultural and industrial chemicals and EMRs destroying our nervous systems? Are most of our illnesses the result of the ways we live? Are we maladapted? If we are to progress, to become smarter better innovators, do the 20% of us carrying the CAP mutation show the way?

The Economist published a long essay in their summer culture issue called The Curse of Genius, wherein they examined the plight of children so brilliant they lie in the top .1% of intelligence. Inadvertently they prove Meglathery’s hypothesis:

Giftedness may even be linked with physiological conditions such as food allergies, asthma and autoimmune diseases, which sometimes go hand-in-hand with “sensory processing disorder”. For many exceptionally intelligent individuals, everyday stimuli such as a radio playing in the background, the colour or texture of food, a vibrant display on a classroom wall or a scratchy label in a piece of clothing can become almost unbearable. Because his brain function is so acute, Lorenzo’s senses are more than usually finely tuned, believes Hilary. “He can hear things that we can’t. He can find it impossible to do his homework in a room that would seem to most people completely silent.”

The secret to living to 900, as we did before Adam ate the apple, according to the Old Testament, may lie buried in the cure for the complex of diseases that Meglathery identified. Short form: increase rest, digest and recover. Super nutrition, exercise, connect, better sleep. Change everything.

I have had to take extreme action to cure myself. From twenty relatively successful years in Toronto, London, and New York, I moved to deep country, on an island regulated so tightly I live in a giant park. Our house is surrounded by an older growth forest, with a ravine and a couple of pristine creeks. Ten years ago I built a certifiable healthy house, with no off-gassing in any of the materials, even to the point that we have no drywall in the house. We eat organic, local humanely-raised meats. I have a vegetable garden. Jamie has built a spectacular garden around me, to the point where sometimes I feel as if I am living in a fairytale. Every step along this path was determined by whether something made me feel sick, or better. I sacrificed the glittering prizes of life in the passing lane. But this life is what my body and nervous system needed to thrive.

I think RCCX points the way forward. People suffering from the condition are our canaries. They almost certainly have gifts we can use. Perhaps the human’s next step is enhanced empathy, sensory sensitivity, superior pattern recognition, intense hyperfocus, and unusual abilities in the arts and a disconnect from the hyper-consumption living.

An Exciting Week in the World of Wimmen

Languishing on my bed last week, like millions of others I happened upon Brene Brown’s Netflix talk. Brown, like Jordan Peterson, is a data-driven social scientist forced into the public square, in her case, by a Ted talk in which she admitted she’d had a breakdown when she realized that vulnerability was the key to just about everything. Five million views and a lot of embarrassment later, she emerged a star. Brown is just as popular with women as Peterson is with men and just as successful with several different enterprises based on her work. But, of course, primarily, she wants to “heal our divisions”.

Which is becoming big big business.

Therefore with stunning predictability on Tuesday Oprah signed on to the healing-our divisions-cash-cow. In a cover story in the Hollywood Reporter Oprah declares she had NO IDEA people were so pissed they elected the Orange Monster. Therefore, lucky lucky us, with the help of Apple, she is aiming at her old influence where red and blue states people adored her and she brought people together under the great banner of feelings trumping reason. In order to corral her former red state women, she is super super super sorry that she got mired in the progressive elite where only one kind of feeling is permitted (I added that last bit).

Last Sunday, Helen Andrews, editor of the Washington Examiner Magazine, published a long essay in the New York Times, bemoaning the fact that there are no women on the right standing up for the family. Where? she asks, is our Phyllis Schlafly? Where is our Michelle Obama, our Oprah, our Brene Brown?

Um, hello? We’re pretty much hiding out from the empowered women Oprah and Brown and Michelle have stood up. Who are very very scary. Who feel very very strongly about stuff. And they like to kick us out of well … everything. This week, for example, Erika Barootes, the young woman president of the United Conservative Party of Alberta, a few days after running a stunningly effective campaign, left her running group.

“I am stepping away from Run Collective indefinitely.
I am stepping away because I felt I had no other option.
I am stepping away because I received comments of hate, as did those I care about, and I won’t tolerate others being subjected to that.
I am stepping away because for the first time I saw hate in the run community.
I am stepping away because I was discriminated against.
I am put in a position where I feel I must step away because I am conservative.”

“I fear that the actions taken against me due to my political affiliations are not making the world a better, more inclusive place, but rather a divisive black-or-white one, where we cannot have more than one passion (emphasis mine) or that our character is solely attributed to our political party of choice.”

Erika Barootes

Brown and Oprah, while standing up their army of empowered, deep-feeling women, have stood up an army of vicious harpies ready to destroy anyone who does not agree with the prevailing feeling.

Brown identifies the chief need of women as ‘belonging’. This is evolutionarily correct. Women need the tribe to protect their children. It is why women are so quick to conform. The Alpha female acting against the prevailing winds usually ends up in the tundra, with her children at extreme risk.

I have dozens of conservative women friends, maybe hundreds. Many are closeted because they are afraid. Unless they live in a Red State community (and even then…) they don’t want to be cast into darkness. They need to be silent because of their work, or because of their husband’s work, or because they need to feel at home at their church, town meeting, garden club. They need to be invited to the right parties, to feel part of their community, to smile at people when they walk down the street and have them smile back. They need to not be accused of being racist, bigoted and white supremacist. So they stay silent. They know that the moment you become visible politically, you are immediately vulnerable. Actual vulnerability.

Test this. Think of any visible conservative woman. Google her. If a bunch of vile mean-spirited, character-destroying “facts” don’t emerge, it’s just a matter of time.

Brene Brown tries to fix this. She writes about civility, deep listening, empathy, curiosity, sitting in pain with others, about countering ideological bullshit. She recommends a vulnerable front and a strong back. She says if you choose authenticity, people will inevitably attack you.

“You will be in the wilderness….I may not have been liked, and that didn’t feel so great, but I was in my integrity”



Brown’s definition of ‘wilderness’ is the state of being emotionally vulnerable, not the state of being a functioning adult at severe financial risk. And with that, she loses all my respect.

Brown and Oprah have some work to do before they can figure out how to heal the divisions they in part, caused. Fine to splash around your multitude of fans, feeling as if the sun rises and sets at your will, ladies, but by privileging feelings above reason and common sense, you have created this hellfire of a mess.

Fix it.

MKULTRA, Mind Control, and My Momma

I signed onto a class-action lawsuit last week, for the first time in my life, unusual because I am fiercely independent and prefer to just out-live the slings and arrows. Proud too, I guess because there have been many insults if I think about them – which I can’t because my spiritual discipline demands that I not only forgive you, but I forget you ever existed. (This works btw). But this one, this is different, it damaged not only me but my mother, my father, my two brothers, our children, our grandchildren and proved a constantly repeated and terrifying chord, somewhat like the entrance of the villain, during that part of our childhood where you have virtually no defenses to speak of.

MKULTRA was a CIA program created after American Korean War prisoners came home praising Communism. The freaking morons at the CIA decided to create their own brainwashing programs, and lo and behold, they found a willing experimenter up in the wilds of Canada, who actually ran a massive mental hospital in an Italianate villa built to receive Kings and princes, once filled with treasure, and ballrooms and the entire panoply of Asian art, minor Old Masters, and heavy gilt-framed portraits of forgotten great men and their wives. It was a spectacular place in which to destroy minds, lending to the force of the psychiatrist, Ewan Cameron, the trappings of earthly and spiritual power. The Canadian government signed on, happily contributing far more research grant money than the Americans. No one, NOT ONE PATIENT gave consent to being an experimental subject.

It was a spectacular place in which to destroy minds, lending to the force of the psychiatrist, Ewan Cameron, the trappings of earthly and spiritual power.

This is what they did, short form. They took a patient, like my mother, who suffered from post-partum psychosis, triggered by the death of her first baby, and broke her back to infant status by administering massive amounts of shock treatments. Whereupon, she was fitted with a football helmet into which speakers had been placed, and she was played statements about herself over and over and over again, sometimes 500,000 times, stating how unworthy and useless she was. Often using her own voice taped during therapy sessions, when the psychiatrist would elicit her worst feelings about herself.

Then, they would administer LSD. How splendid would that have been? Completely broken and then LSD!!!! Again the football helmet, strapped down and this time, positive affirmations up to 500,000 times.

How likely would you have been able to manage the rest of your life? Cameron only experimented on mildly ill patients, alcoholics, those with post-partum syndrome, depression. He broke people and then returned them back to their families, whereupon we would attempt to assume care, NOT KNOWING what had happened.

In my family that meant a constant level of support and care and worry of the kind one would administer to a dying pet. If the pet was dying for fifty years. When my father died, I left the world I was working in – Paris, London and New York – and came home to take care of her. My father had told me, in no uncertain terms, that when he died, she would de-compensate unless I stood up and assumed his role.

This suit has international and historical significance because it speaks to the power of government. No government should ever experiment on its citizens. We ARE the boss. The precedent must be set and the lesson must not only be learned but seen to be learned.

If there was a way to personally ruin the people who made those decisions, I would counsel it. Regrettably, they are dead. No government official ever suffers the consequences of his decisions. They slither off into pensioned obscurity. Cameron died a few years after retiring, still grasping shreds of his former glory.

There have been modest pay-outs in the past to patients, but no apology from the University, the hospital, the Canadian government or the U.S. government. No admission of fault, despite the egregious ruination of thousands of innocent lives. No compensation even approaching real recompense. Time to move into the modern age, guys. The new populism means we win. Every single time. Or you lose.

Is Attorney-General Barr the necessary Hercules?

In my 20’s, I was pretty crazy politically speaking and by the time I was 30, most of my friends were lefties. Two red diaper babies (children of communists) got me started writing in New York. One found me a job with a film director so detached, I could write all day and the other my first gig at the LA Weekly.

Both went on to become enormously successful, writing for Vanity Fair, bestseller list, winning the Palme D’Or at Cannes, etc. When I moved to London I stayed with one in Camden Town and found myself meeting her father, which was a great treat because everyone in New York’s Soho, from DeNiro to store clerks, worshipped him.

David (not his real name) was a lawyer, head of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the military or terrorist arm of the African National Congress, best friend of Mandela, head of the South African Communist Party. He had also spent some time on Interpol’s Most Wanted list.

A couple years later in South Africa for the Mandela release, I found myself interviewing a black man who had been tortured by David’s henchmen. He’d lost an eye and his shoulder was shattered, along with all his fingers on his left arm, which was shriveled. He told me that throughout Africa, the Communist Party under David, killed any liberal black leader who could challenge the Party for dominance. This was confirmed later by a white South African who had studied at Cambridge, and had gone home to start a think tank when Mandela promised a new future.  Behind the happy face of the new South Africa lay Communist-run assassination and torture camps for blacks who only wanted prosperity for all.
 

During the inevitable Barr hearings, when you contemplate the deeds of Christopher Steele, John Brennan, Jim Comey, Nellie Ohr, Bruce Ohr, Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page, Obama, Podesta and Clinton, think of that. Because each one of these co-conspirators has deep and abiding connections with the Communist Party or are intellectual water carriers for its ideology. They have written on the foundational texts, argued for similar policies, and from 2016 on they tried to engineer an internal coup, an usurpation of power in an act more familiar to Communist dictatorships.

Diane West, in her recent book, “The Red Thread, A Search for Ideological Drivers Inside the Anti-Trump Conspiracy” sources their allegiance to the grim imperatives of Marxism. West has shown in her blog and books, “American Betrayal” and “The Death of the Grownup”, that the American government is stocked with similar men and women who work to overturn the Constitution, accrue power with every policy and regulation, slowly instituting a police state, run by them.

West found Nellie Ohr apologizing for Stalin’s massacre of six million farmers, which Ohr called it “a sad necessity”. Remember it is thought that Ohr not only commissioned the dossier but may have helped re-write it so that it sounded like it was written by a Russian.

Most importantly West answers a question I have held in my mind ever since I met the tortured man: For God’s sake, why? How could these people, people I admired, even loved as a kid, associate themselves with the death cult that is Marxism?

She finds the deepest reason in the writing of James Comey.

“The Christian in politics must be willing to transgress any purely Christian ethic. He must be willing to sin in the name of justice.”

What is Justice to Jim Comey? It is what he says it is.

“Niebuhr believes that the Christian must pursue justice and that justice is achieved through power. The Christian must recognize this connection between power, coercion and justice.”

Here is the moral rot at the center of the coup. They decide.

The Barr investigation offers a stunning opportunity. First, Barr is an unflappable man with a deep understanding of the justice system. I suspect he came back because he was deeply worried by the attempted coup. We have the right president, profoundly courageous and independent. Following the Red Thread, we could root out the thousands of bad actors seeded throughout the American government. We could have a show trial for the next six years, within which the machinations of bureaucrats and politicians and activists who hate the country are laid bare. Because unless that happens, the war against America will only gain power.

Diane West points out that according to assassinated FSB defector, Alexander Litvinenko, Russian intelligence trained Ayman al-Zawaheri before he became head of Al Quaeda in 1998. Jihadis work with the hard left to sow chaos in western democracies. Hysteria and chaos alienate people. The left encourages rage and greed in the black community, hoping they will rise up and attack whites, dividing us further. The more outrageous and hate-filled the charge, the more people turn away from politics, leaving the field to fanatics. Hence Ilan Omar normalizing the hatred of Jews, AOC normalizing hysteria about climate change, legislatures normalizing infanticide and euthanasia and Justice Democrats – who are straight up Marxists – planning to fill the halls of power with their puppets pushing the Green New Deal.

The Green New Deal is a set of policies drawn from the U.N.s Agenda 2030. Everywhere it is tried, the poor and old suffer, the economy starts to die.  It is Cloward-Piven on steroids.  Fiscal catastrophe ensues.

This is deliberate. Green New Deal people believe that only by reducing the population, stopping consumerism, forcing people to live like they did in the 18th century, can the world be saved. At the bottom of The Green New Deal lies genocide. So-called climate change is the perfect weapon.

We are up against a mortal enemy. These next two years could mean their end. Or ours.

featured image from the private collection of Elizabeth Nickson

The Nap Ministry

The only publication I subscribe to is Bon Appetit, which is a lively little Conde Nasty rag which delivers a lot for $2 a month. There is a nest in the staff of radical people of color whose effusions I sometimes enjoy, despite the accusatory hate leveled at filthy white people like me. This week they published a story about the Nap Ministry, an outfit in Georgia, that promotes the nap as necessity, as the source of inspiration, as resistance to Orange Man or Capitalism or Consumerism.

Stripped of its dumb politics, the Nap Ministry is a welcome addition to my Instagram feed, prone as I am to completely wearing myself out. And while I cannot possibly need as much napping as the average black woman, whose burdens seem preposterously high, I do need the reminder.

A hundred years or so ago, Bertrand Russell wrote “In Praise of Idleness” which advances many of the same ideas, riven with the same errant political thought, but ignoring that, Russell points out that rest is not only rest but if you’re looking for inspiration, for guidance, for something to help you transcend and illuminate the meaning of your ordinary life, resting is the way to go.

And then, there’s the Idler, founded in ’93. It is a bi-monthly publication which investigates the glories of loafing. It is great fun, and also has no hectoring. Which is, admit, not restful.

Thanks to hateful capitalism, we are definitely working less. This may be forced upon us, by redundancy, by innovation, by a distaste for corporate control, but more and more of us are living in the gig economy, which delivers quite a bit more leisure than the 9to5 of our grandfathers. People left to their own devices are incredibly innovative in piecing together incomes.

I expect a golden age of lounging in our future and very welcome it will be. Especially to black women.

The Death of the Old Way

(This was published in the Globe and Mail a few years ago. I’m writing about the same culture again, so wanted to archive it for myself. Plus, it’s a great book review, if I do say so myself)

I sometimes think I had the last Victorian childhood in existence, growing up among the Anglo-Protestant clans of Old Montreal. We’re pretty much a diaspora now, clinging to the wreckage, which is all right, things as they have to be. But there was much to love in the old ways, and the best was belonging to a familial grouping of 400 people and having a distinct place within that clan, however marginal. It is why I’ve never been able to fully embrace literary fiction; the isolation of the modernist is so brutal and strange. Far too many people were interested in my fate and reputation, and did not hesitate to criticize. Luckily, I was ridden out of Old Montreal on a rail, so effort at conformity could cease.

  • The Toss of a Lemon, by Padma Viswanathan, Random House Canada, 616 pages, $34.95

How much greater, then, is the loss of the 8,000-year-old culture of the Brahmin caste of the subcontinent? The question is rhetorical, for in The Toss of a Lemon, Padma Viswanathan’s first novel, we see exactly how magnetic, how sinkingly seductive that life was, and how difficult it must have been when the habits and customs of millennia were overturned by the shock of the new.

In 1931, India’s last census to count by caste, Tamil Nadu Brahmins, named after the Indian province where this book takes place, measured a little less than 3 per cent of the population. They were a priestly tribe, descended from the Vedic rishis, enjoined to live a life of learning and non-possessiveness.

The Toss of a Lemon is relentlessly domestic, therefore relentlessly feminine. Politics, independence and war rage on the far borders of the Brahmin quarter, barely noticed. As is business, since the novel’s central family, like most Brahmins, has farms and tenants which support them. It begins with Sivakami, a passive little 13-year-old who trots off obediently to live in her 18-year-old healer husband’s house. A sword hangs over their arranged marriage: If her son is born on the right date, her husband, Hanumarathnam, will die young. Which he does, promptly, on the appointed day. But Hanumarathnam was practical. He taught his young wife, and Muchami, a servant uninterested in women, to manage his farms, so she need not live on charity.

Sivakami dutifully shaves her head and puts aside her beautiful clothes for the two white cotton saris she will wear for the rest of her life. The rules by which she must live are beyond stringent. She can’t touch her children during the day; if she does, she has to bathe. She must cook all her own food and she cannot go outside the gates of the house, and there are dozens more rules. But the life of the quarter streams in though Muchami, her family, her tenant farmers, the inhabitants of the Brahmin quarter, her two children, their friends and spouses, and the many children her daughter, Thangam, bears.

Thangam, of “the burnished hair and molten eyes,” is so gorgeous that “most of the neighbourhood considers Thangam’s beauty itself to be a community service.” She is surrounded by admirers, and eventually begins to shed gold flakes, assiduously collected and used as healing ash. Thangam is married off to a feckless man who neglects her, but not enough to prevent a child being born to the couple almost every year.

The divine Thangam suffers mightily, and no puja or japa by her saintly mother can save her. Her brother, Vairum, can’t save her either, but as an adult, he forbids any more marriages based on horoscopes. Reason, not superstition, must determine the family’s future, and with that, some of the magic trickles away.

Vairum grows into a wealthy businessman, who protects his nieces and nephews. He chooses his musician wife himself despite their joint horoscope predicting childlessness. Vairum can’t overturn that fate until one of his nieces dies of cancer, and he adopts her children, but by then he loathes his mother and her willingness to sacrifice her beloved daughter, his sister, to a husband careless to the point of criminality, for the sake of family reputation.

This is the way class dies, Brahmin, WASP or aristocrat. The sacrifice of individual to clan becomes unbearable, tragic and, finally, impossible.

Leaving the book feels like getting out of a warm bath on a cold day. Viswanathan is a charming writer, and I do not mean to belittle; one’s senses are overwhelmed by a rich density. An almost invisible discipline marches her hundreds of characters from 1896 to 1958. The demons (in the form of an illegitimate child) gather at the garden gate; caste must die, or as a newspaper of the time says, “the upper-caste bigots [must]cast aside their false race pride.” Nothing is said, sniffs a granddaughter, “of mutual dependence and respect. … Brahmins are the servants of society. Why is everyone out to get us?”

Censoring the Right, using a Lot of Jargon

Censorship Wars Using Jargon

by Elizabeth Nickson in media8 Comments

This was published on Victory Girls Blog on April 4, 2019. https://victorygirlsblog.com/

Does anyone remember the appearance of poor little rich alien, Mark Zuckerberg in front of Congress in two marathon sessions almost a year ago? One did not envy him. It was a pile on from both the left and the right, and at one point Zuckerberg actually asked Congress to regulate him, especially when it came to politics.

The attitude he displayed when asking for regulation was almost crawling and strikingly similar to Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey’s appearance on the Joe Rogan show on March 5th of this year. For three hours, Dorsey was attacked by leftie journalist Tim Pool principally on the censoring of conservatives, compared to the almost-no-censoring of liberals.

Dorsey apologized over and over again, repeatedly throwing the accusations over to Vijaya Gadde, his global lead for Legal, Policy, Trust, and Safety (an Orwellian title if there ever was one). Gadde brought data with her, but not enough for Pool, and ended by promising over and over again to ‘reach out’ and discuss specific cases with Pool and Rogan. Perhaps, she floated, permanent suspensions could be made temporary. And so on. “Algorithmic deep learning is happening as we speak,” added Jack. Shiver.

They were, however, prepared to discuss the banning of Alex Jones, uncomfortably. Also Milo. Uncomfortably. Also the banning of the phrase ‘Learn to code’, which was leveled at the many fired journalists after the Covington Boys fiasco. But Pool asked, “Why were the Proud Boys banned and not Antifa?” They wobbled, but Pool did not give up. He roasted them. Again, a self-identified progressive took the side of banned conservatives.

Both Jack Dorsey and Vijaya Gadde apologized many times over the course of the three-hour discussion, made many statements about trying harder, claimed they worried ceaselessly about this and that. That banning people sent them to the dank underground of the human psyche and who knows what would come out of that? The jargon was killing: ‘Cost-benefit analysis’, ‘deep learning’, ‘evolution in prioritization’, ‘massive velocity’, and preventing ‘harm’. “We have to work with the technologies, tools, and conditions we have today and evolve over time where we can see examples,” said Jack. “We are working on opening up the aperture even more. We understand that binary on or off is not scalable. A permanent ban is not desirable”. “Nuances are coming”. “Sunlight is the best disinfection,” said Gadde. “We worry about driving people away from the platform and affecting their real lives.” And so endlessly on.

Wired Magazine points out that these guys have been apologizing for 14 years. Senator John Thune called Zuckerberg on it last Wednesday. “After more than a decade of promises to do better, how is today’s apology different…?”

It’s different because opinion is turning against the digital giants and, at the same time, against the left-wing which has turned social discourse into shrieking hysteria. On Friday NBC/WSJ published a poll declaring that 60% don’t trust Facebook. Big majorities say social media divides us, spreads falsehoods and unfair attacks. And 82% say social media sites waste people’s time. The negative opinions run across the political spectrum.

Lawsuits are mounting from both sides of the aisle. Devin Nunes filed a $250,000,000 suit against Twitter last month and Twitter isn’t broke but their insurance rates will skyrocket if he succeeds. The New Yorker published a take-down of the corrupt Southern Poverty Law Centre on March 21, which all the digital giants used to determine whether you were a good guy or a stinking racist. The lawsuits based on that censorship could be impressive.There were about half a dozen suits lodged against Facebook in the last week alone.

Next week, Facebook, Twitter, and Google are appearing in Congress to specifically answer alleged censorship of conservative voices. Google has been accused of skewing millions of votes for Democrats in the 2018 election

Facebook has promised a dog and pony show. “Facebook said public policy director Nil Potts will provide testimony at a Wednesday hearing titled “Stifling Free Speech: Technological Censorship and the Public Discourse held by the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution.

No doubt they will weasel out using some of the newspeak listed above. But maybe not. Something shifted around the time of the Covington Boys. You could feel it on Facebook as evidence mounted that the story being sold was not only wrong but cruel to the point of criminality. On Dave Rubin’s podcast this week, the lawyer for the Covington Boys, Robert Barnes, discussed the case and free speech. Barnes has sued CNN and the Washington Post for $275,000,000 and $250,000,000 respectively and he doesn’t plan to lose. Barnes is considered one of the leading figures in the free speech wars.

These are scary numbers for media struggling with ratings. Even one win will embolden other conservatives to stop taking the endless slander and bullying lying down. The behavior of the mainstream media (of which I was a member for 15 years) has been egregious beyond belief for the past two years. 90% of Trump stories are negative and 95% of reporters are left-wing. The security of conservatives on staff is tenuous at best. This is not open and free discourse. This is very close to Fahrenheit 451.

In Canada, it’s even worse. We have one right-of-center tabloid chain which is under ceaseless attack as racist Nazis, all the rest of our broadsheets are staffed by socialists or scaredy-cats. Our national broadcaster is bought and paid for by the current Liberal government to the tune of $1.1 billion annually, and just last month, the same Liberal government invested $600,000,000 in print media, conveniently ahead of the fall election. This, fyi, is how bad it can get.

Equally, people are becoming increasingly aware of the left’s use of lawfare against people who can’t afford to defend themselves. They perfected this in rural regions all over the world, but especially in rural America. Environmentalists backed by massive foundation money lodged suit after suit against foresters, ranchers, miners, farmers and any manufacturing concern that used raw materials drawn from natural resources. They broke county after county, township after township. Despite Trump’s deregulation and his new people in Interior and the EPA. Rural America is still operating at less than 50% of capacity. Up in Canada, we have allowed left-wing American foundations to spend $300 Million with the goal of decommissioning our oil sands. Alberta’s oil sands infrastructure is one of the seven wonders of the modern world, the most advanced environmentally-sound infrastructure project in the oil business. It is operating at half speed if that and all new routes to export have been mothballed, leaving the resource virtually landlocked. Two researchers working on their own, without pay for 15 years uncovered this scam, and still, no one will stand up and take these people down in court. Nevertheless, people are angry. We have a couple of important elections coming up and they are looking to landslide right. Even Canadians can fight back.

Are we seeing a tipping point in the culture? I am sensing the screeching and crunching of a forced widening of discourse, somewhat like the tomb door opening in a Lara Croft Tomb Raider film. In five years, if we win this battle, we will be living in a far healthier world. If not, we all better get used to muzzling our speech.

Featured image: Mark Zuckerberg cariacture by DonkeyHoteyCreative Commons License 2.0 (CC BY 2.0)

censorship Dave Rubin Jack Dorsey Joe Rogan Mark Zuckerberg Tim Pool