First Alex Jones, then Fellowship of the Minds–Who’s Next?

Image result for images of gagging someone with duct tape

Are we headed back to those good old days, longed for by President *Batteries Not Included, when there were only three news networks and no alternative sources of news?

So first they kicked Alex Jones off the social media, and now WordPress has shut down Fellowship of the Minds for supposedly violating its “Terms of Service” (http://jamesfetzer.blogspot.com/2018/08/james-tracy-wordpressautomattic-shuts.html). No warning was given. No explanation has been offered.

WordPress is owned and operated by Automattic Inc. I looked up the Terms of Service to see if I could somehow deduce how FOTM had violated them. Let me quote what seem to be the only applicable lines.

“Our service is designed to give you as much control and ownership over what goes on your website as possible and encourage you to express yourself freely. However, be responsible in what you publish. In particular, make sure that none of the prohibited items (like spam, viruses, or serious threats of violence) appear on your website” (https://en.wordpress.com/tos/).

None of that seems to apply to Fellowship of the Minds. But there are a few remarks by Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg as to the desirability of shutting out “hate speech,” a term which remains undefined, and “egregiously fake or harmful things.”

The buzz on the Internet is that both Alex Jones and Fellowship of the Minds were censored and silenced for suggesting that the Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax perpetrated by the Obama regime to inspire gun control legislation. I do not know whether either of them actually said that. It’s a conspiracy theory, and I don’t like conspiracy theories. (I especially don’t like the one that says Donald Trump “colluded” with T*H*E  R*U*S*S*I*A*N*S to steal the 2016 election from the rightful president, our beloved Hillary Clinton. But I don’t see the media shutting down that one.) I don’t believe in “false flag operations.” The only one that ever really happened was in 1939, when Hitler tried to make it look like Poland had invaded Germany. It fooled no one.

But let’s say, for the sake of argument, that FOTM did claim that Sandy Hook was a false flag operation. So what? If they can’t prove their case, eventually hardly anyone will believe them. I don’t know that there are all that many people who believe them now.

So you make what strikes a lot of people as a ridiculous statement–and you get cast into the outer darkness for it? The claim that Sandy Hook was a hoax rubs many people the wrong way; and if they believe that Fellowship of the Minds made such a claim, that makes Fellowship a really easy target for the censors. Few rallied to defend Alex Jones. Probably few will rally to defend FOTM. Because what they are supposed to have said is extremely unpopular.

Free speech includes unpopular speech. In fact, if it doesn’t, the entire concept of free speech is rendered meaningless.

As it already has been, for liberals.

Meanwhile, the rest of us non-liberals on WordPress are left wondering, each of us, when it’s going to be our turn to be silenced. It’s unfair to lay everything on President Trump, when it really ought to be Congress taking action against what has become, in effect, a viewpoint monopoly; but most of the time it seems Donald Trump is the only leader in town who’ll go to bat for the American people.

C’mon, Ted Cruz! Prove me wrong.

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

14 responses to “First Alex Jones, then Fellowship of the Minds–Who’s Next?

  • Unknowable

    Censorship is a slippery slope. As soon as the right to censor is granted, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a political weapon. I’m no fan of the Sandy Hook conspiracy theory, but I’m even less a fan of censoring anyone. I’ll do my own censoring, and it applies only to what I choose to take in, not anyone else’s intake, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  • kindfeelings

    This is my first time hearing of Fellowship Of The Minds.

    Like

  • thewhiterabbit2016

    How long ago was Sandy Hook? Why censor FOTM now? – very suspicious. Alex Jones never said it didn’t happen, yet whenever his name is mentioned in the MSM that is what he is tagged with. Isn’t that how Joseph Goebbels did it? What good is freedom of speech if you can’t say what you think, and if you do, you are censored because someone does not like it? I am alarmed WordPress has done this, and it makes me wonder if Lee Duigan is next for supporting Trump and calling out the Democrats.

    Like

    • leeduigon

      Note that I was careful to write “what they are supposed to have said,” and put it in boldface, to boot.

      It sure looks like the Democrats are using their media tools to silence everyone who isn’t them before the midterm elections.

      Truly the despicable party, no one else comes close.

      Like

  • John Jr

    Hello Leeduigon,

    Thank you for sharing this post, it is good to have more people talking about this, especially since WordPress.com / WordPress / Automattic do not seem to be publicly addressing this as far as I know yet.

    Here is where I first learned about it:

    https://wptavern.com/wordpress-com-boots-sandy-hook-conspiracy-theory-sites-bans-malicious-publication-of-unauthorized-images-of-minors

    -John Jr

    Like

    • leeduigon

      Thank you for that, John–very interesting. WordPress caved to pressure from the slimy fake news merchant, The New York Times.

      I still hate conspiracy theories. Fellowship’s menu had a “False Flag Operations” section, but I don’t believe in false flag operations so I never opened it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • John Jr

        Hello Leeduigon,

        You are welcome, I am disappointed with how they are handling this so far as well, and I do not like how they are silently doing this without warning us about the quietly changing vaguer rules and consequences.

        I hate how too far and crazy and illogical some people go with conspiracy theories, but I do not hate conspiracy theories in themselves because some end up being true or at least partly true and can help encourage critical thinking and deeper thought into issues; but if you are not careful you can get trapped in them and go too far, and lose your way in all the disinformation and misinformation et cetera.

        I believe that false flag operations did exist, do exist, and continue to exist but that they are way less common and more specific and more limited than many conspiracy theories suggest; and so I do not think that they happen much nowadays and are smaller scale, but it can be harder to tell because of all the disinformation and misinformation and tactics used in such operations.

        False flag operations on the small scale are probably sometimes used by terrorist groups and other criminal organizations, militaries, intelligence agencies, governments, police, et cetera to achieve certain specific goals; the police might want to break up a protest so undercover police officers disguised as protesters may start some violence as an excuse to break up the protest, a terrorist group may try to gain favor in an area by dressing up as soldiers during an attack to sway public opinion their way a bit, a government or criminal organization may fly a flag of another country on their boats when moving illegal materials between countries and / or carrying out stealth operations, a gang might carry out an attack disguised as another gang to start a war between two other gangs, et cetera.

        -John Jr

        Like

        • Unknowable

          One thing is for certain, vast conspiracies are improbable. There are obviously small-scale conspiracies, certainly with regard to some crimes, etc. But the idea that hundreds, or even thousands of people are all keeping mum about some vast conspiracy involving a headline-making event, is ludicrous. I assure you, getting that number of people to understand, consent to and then keep secret some event would be beyond the realm of possibility.

          One of my favorites is the notion that the moon landing was a hoax. IIRC, there were something on the order of 400,000 people that contributed to the moon landing in some way or another. Can all of these people be kept quiet? OK, not everyone would have to be directly involved in the conspiracy, but even if it were just NASA officials, astronauts and a handful of launch and recovery workers, word would have leaked out and probably sooner than later. It would probably be harder to fake a moon landing than to actually land on the moon.

          Liked by 1 person

        • leeduigon

          The people who carried out those operations that you mention used to be called “agents provocateurs,” and I don’t deny that they’ve been employed any number of times.

          But I think it wrong, and maybe even sinful, to snatch at the belief, without compelling evidence supporting it, that even so loathsome a shyster as Obama would have ordered a lot of school children murdered just so he could get support for gun control.

          Besides which–are we really that short of genuine school shootings that really happened?

          Like

          • John Jr

            Hello Leeduigon,

            I am not a supporter of that conspiracy theory or most similar vast conspiracy theories, in the United States case I see zero reasons for the government to use false flag operations to limit gun control for most people at this time, the United States has so many shootings (especially in Chicago) that there is no need to fake it so I am not sure how or why most of those who support that conspiracy theory support it so you would have to talk to some supporters of that.

            -John Jr

            Like

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