Well, I hadn’t planned another post on The Anointed and free speech, but they keep making it topical.
In case you haven’t already heard, someone at Wikipedia decided to make Dr. Malcolm Kendrick disappear … kind of like in the old Soviet Union when politicians no longer in favor simply disappeared from official photographs of the country’s glorious history. (And that was before Photoshop, which took some talent.)
Dr. Kendrick announced his disappearance on his blog:
I thought I should tell you that I am about to be deleted from Wikipedia. Someone sent me a message to this effect. It seems that someone from Manchester entitled User:Skeptic from Britain has decided that I am a quack and my presence should be removed from the historical record.
To be frank, I am not entirely bothered if I no longer appear on Wikipedia, but I am increasingly pissed off that self-styled anonymous ‘experts’ can do this sort of thing without making it explicit why they are doing it, what their motives are, and if they have any disclosure of interest.
His reasons for trying to get rid of me are the following:
“Malcolm Kendrick is a fringe figure who agues(sic) against the lipid hypothesis. He denies that blood cholesterol levels are responsible for heart disease and in opposition to the medical community advocates a high-fat high-cholesterol diet as healthy. Problem is there is a lack of reliable sources that discuss his ideas. His book The Great Cholesterol Con was not reviewed in any science journals. Kendrick is involved with the International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics, I suggest deleting his article and redirecting his name to that. Skeptic from Britain (talk) 20:29, 2 December 2018 (UTC)”
Like Kendrick, I don’t care all that much about Wikipedia. Years ago, someone who obviously doesn’t like me or Fat Head created an entry about the film. Yawn. I didn’t care. Someone else later updated the entry to be more balanced. I still don’t care. I’m pretty sure sales of the film have zip to do with Wikipedia either way.
But also like Kendrick, I’m pissed about the urge to stifle dissenting opinions. And it’s not just Kendrick slated to be removed from the historical record. If you check the entries for Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt and Dr. Uffe Ravnskov (assuming you do it quickly), you’ll see the message This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedia’s deletion policy. Ravnskov’s deletion notice explains that This article may present fringe theories, without giving appropriate weight to the mainstream view.
Hmmm, now why would someone at Wikipedia want to remove Ravnskov, Kendrick and Eenfeldt just because their ideas are considered “fringe”? Why not simply present their ideas along with criticisms of those ideas and let people decide for themselves? I’ll answer that by quoting from a previous post:
The Anointed aren’t big fans of freedom of speech or of concepts like The Marketplace of Ideas or The Wisdom of Crowds. Two of their most dearly-held beliefs are:
1. They are very, very smart.
2. The rest of us aren’t very, very smart and are often quite stupid.
Consequently, The Anointed don’t view wide-open debate and discussion as opportunities for the best ideas to be discovered and bubble up to the top. They view them as opportunities for the great unwashed masses with their inferior intellects to be fooled and led astray.
One way or another, The Anointed believe they must coerce people who disagree with them into shutting the hell up.
Or just disappearing altogether, at least from the Wikipedia universe.
A few people I follow on Twitter have speculated that Skeptic from Britain is working for Big Food. Maybe. But I have my own two-legged theory: 1) Skeptic from Britain is a disciple of The Church of the Holy Plant-Based Diet, and 2) Wikipedia has been taken over by social-justice warriors.
As the book SJWs Always Lie reminds us, any organization that doesn’t make a concerted effort to stick to its primary mission and avoid an SJW takeover is a candidate for being invaded by SJWs. Once they’re in control, the SJWs steer the organization towards promoting the “correct” ideas and agendas – even if that means harming the organization’s supposed primary mission.
Universities are, unfortunately, a perfect example these days. Read their mission statements, and you’ll see lofty language about a commitment to inquiry, debate, the free exchange of ideas, etc. In reality, college campuses have become ground zero for speech codes and mob protests to shut down (sometimes successfully) speakers the SJWs find offensive. These are not people who believe in a marketplace of ideas.
Earlier this week, a comedian tweeted part of a contract he received from a university where he was slated to perform:
By signing this contract, you are agreeing to our no tolerance policy with regards to racism, sexism, classism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia or anti-religion and anti-atheism. All topics must be presented in a way that is respectful and kind.
Yeah, that’s what makes comedy great: staying within carefully crafted guidelines designed to make sure absolutely nobody’s feelings get hurt. Can you think of a single comedian who makes you laugh out loud whose act wouldn’t violate that contract? My act was family-friendly by design, but since I made jokes about my parents getting older (which they loved), I’d fail the “ageism” test for sure. I had a whole bit on dealing with stupid people that would probably fail the “ableism” rule.
The point is, this contract is typical of what we’re seeing in universities – the supposed centers of inquiry and free expression. And yet the SJWs have turned campuses into do not dare offend us! zones. (Historical footnote: the first big campus protests in the 1960s weren’t about Vietnam. They were about free speech. Oh, the irony.)
As for the connection between SJWs and disciples of The Church of the Holy Plant-Based Diet, I covered that in this post about Walter Willett becoming the co-chair of an organization called The EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health. As a reminder, here are some quotes from the organization’s web site explaining why people need to eat less meat:
Food production is notoriously energy-intensive. Reducing the amount of energy used in developed countries’ food systems is an important step to lower GHG emissions and environmental impact.
Food production contributes around a quarter of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. By eating limited amounts of meat or none at all we can reduce methane emissions and improve our diets.
Reducing inequalities between countries and within societies themselves will require a huge boost for those at the bottom of the ladder.
There is also a reverse relationship between food and peace, justice, and strong institutions: A lack of these can also be a root cause of dysfunctional food systems, hunger and poor nutrition. Getting it right on food can both depend on this goal, and strengthen its attainment.
This organization isn’t dedicated to making people healthy. It’s dedicated to pushing the SJW agenda — and telling us to stop eating meat is part of that agenda.
Yes, I’m sure the people who run Big Food aren’t fans of Kendrick, Ravnskov or Eenfeldt. But based on what I’ve witnessed on social media, the people who really can’t stand anyone who says saturated fats and cholesterol are good for you are the SJW/Plant-Based Diet crowd. By gosh, if you tell people meat and eggs are part of a healthy diet, you’re ruining the planet, promoting inequality, and possibly supporting the repressive imperial patriarchy or whatever.
And so you must be removed from the historical record. Sorry, comrade, but it’s for the good of everyone.
By the way, when I first opened Wikipedia, I was presented with a plea to make a donation to preserve the organization’s independence. Yeah, that’ll happen. Because nothing prompts me to fork over a few bucks like seeing “fringe” ideas stifled.
Based on comments here and on Twitter, I see I wasn’t clear about which posts are for which series, which is a bit confusing because of long gaps between the posts on free speech.
The Anointed And Free Speech is one series, and The Anointed, The Experts, and Knowledge is another. Here are links to both series of posts: