I wanted to publish a personal thank you to all the readers and supporters who have read and responded to this week's articles on health freedom, the FDA, the covert attacks on NaturalNews and natural medicine in general. You are a sharp group of thoughtful, skeptical readers, and the comments you've posted are almost universally right on the money. I wish I had time to personally answer them all.
But I don't. So instead, I'm posting some follow up clarifications and comments in the hope of answering some of the more common questions we've been receiving here at NaturalNews.
By far, the most questions have been asked about my mention of Scientology as being a target of FDA raids. Some readers have railed against Scientology, and others have even said I was "endorsing" Scientology by merely mentioning them in the article detailing various FDA raids. Let me be clear here: Scientology was included in the article for the simple reason that they were raided by the FDA. If the FDA had broken down the doors of a building belonging to the Nation of Islam (or any church / organization), I would have mentioned the Nation of Islam instead. And the idea that my mentioning of any organization is somehow an endorsement of that organization is utterly illogical and has no basis in reality.
I do not selectively censor the mentioning of any particular church, self-help group or political organization simply based on their current popularity or level of conformity with the beliefs of mainstream America. My purpose in the article was to document FDA
raids, and since the FDA chose to target Scientology, that's what got included in the story. I have no intention of endorsing, debating or debunking anything whatsoever about Scientology. In fact, I know almost nothing about the organization other than the fact that I strongly agree with its position against modern psychiatry, as pursued by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (www.CCHR.org
On issues of religion, I happen to believe in genuine Freedom of Religion, and that means there's room in my belief system for other people to practice whatever kind of religion they want, even if it's eccentric or unpopular. I also believe in personal liberty, meaning that I respect individuals' rights to determine in their own personal way whatever system of belief serves them best.
Remember: If you don't believe in freedom of religion for OTHER people's religions, then you don't believe in it at all.
My beliefs intersect with many religions and religious figures. For example, I am an avid reader of the Dalai Lama's books and consider his investigations into the workings of the mind to be fascinating from both a scientific and spiritual viewpoint.
Health freedom movement?
Next question: Many readers have correctly pointed out that there is a tremendous amount of disagreement in the so-called "health freedom movement" about the FDA's new CAM Guidelines. Some people say they're no big deal and there's nothing to get worried about. Others, like me, say they're of serious concern. What's up with this? Why the disagreement?
The truth is there's no such thing as any organized health
freedom movement. Anybody can call themselves a member of the health freedom movement simply by stating so. And it is a well-known fact in health freedom circles that one out of every two people who say they belong to the health freedom movement are actually on the payroll of either the pharmaceutical companies or the U.S. government and acting with the intention of creating chaos, noise and confusion by getting the real people in the health freedom movement to turn on each other.
Unfortunately, they are really, really good at it, and their strategy works. The result is that, so far, the health freedom movement is a totally discombobulated (yes, that's actually a word) collection of well-meaning people who spend most of their time bickering about who said what rather than doing anything really useful to protect health freedom.
It sure would be nice if we could get together and agree to pull in the same direction, but right now, the health freedom movement looks more like twelve crazed housecats trying to attack a giant ball of yarn. And I'm not about to jump into that whirlwind of claws and try to sort it all out. I'll leave that job to someone who actually enjoys pain.
Why no recent FDA raids?
One good question I was asked in response to my story on FDA raids was, "Why don't you list any RECENT raids by the FDA?"
The answer is because all the bad publicity that followed the FDA raids carried out in decades past taught the FDA an important lesson in tyranny: Never operate with the appearance of tyranny.
Americans don't like having guns shoved in their faces. They're fine with having their rights stolen away by legal or legislative maneuvers, they just don't want guns shoved in their faces. So after the era of FDA raids ended with the passage of DSHEA in 1994, the agency went covert, so to speak, and they've waged their war against health freedom using laws, regulations and guidelines rather than guns and body armor. It's worked beautifully for them. Following the legalization of television drug ads in late 1997, the pharmaceutical business exploded and has only increased ever since.
So now the FDA primarily uses bureaucratic tactics instead of law enforcement tactics. Hence the new CAM Guidelines. It's the silent, non-violent way to accomplish the same thing as breaking down doors and raiding vitamin shops. If they can regulate natural medicine out of existence, even just one herb or vitamin at a time, they can eventually win their war without firing a single shot and attracting too much public attention. (Hence the actions against ephedra, kava kava, etc.).
To my knowledge, the FDA has not raided any vitamin shops in recent years, but they've sure cranked up the threatening legal tactics. The legal assault on Lane Labs is a perfect example of the new tactics the FDA seems to now prefer: Put companies out of business legally and financially rather than at gunpoint. It's more palatable to the American people.
Any more attacks on NaturalNews?
We have not had any more attacks on the NaturalNews website since Wednesday evening of this week, and even that wasn't a full-on DDoS attack. So far, we've weathered everything the hackers have thrown at us, but I have no doubt that when they get sufficiently motivated (and funded), they will eventually be able to cause website outages that take NaturalNews off line temporarily. It's really only a matter of time. But once the storm passes, we'll be back online (probably within hours), reporting on the situation.
So if you ever see the NaturalNews site down, you can trust we're working on blocking the hackers and getting the site back online. If our site goes down for a really extended period of time (like more than two days), then you can assume somebody destroyed our servers or engaged in some other nefarious actions that we were unable to prevent.
How can you report all this about the FDA without being afraid of the FDA raiding the NaturalNews offices?
As you have probably noticed, we do not sell or profit from any foods, supplements, herbs, superfoods or other products that are regulated by the FDA. Thus, the FDA has no regulatory power over NaturalNews
. That's the only reason you get the full story here at NaturalNews.
If the FDA had no power to regulate food and supplement companies, then LOTS of people would be saying the things we're saying about the FDA. But since most of the people who actually have any motivation to say anything about the FDA are, in fact, regulated by the FDA, they have to censor themselves or face the very real risk of being threatened or shut down by the FDA.
If NaturalNews were ever stupid enough to start selling supplements, I have no doubt we would be raided or threatened by the FDA within days. Not surprisingly, we have no plans to enter the supplement business. In fact, we sell no supplements, we earn no money from the sale of supplements, and we do not charge supplement companies to be mentioned on NaturalNews.
These squeaky clean financial boundaries make us virtually immune to FDA regulatory oppression. Everything NaturalNews publishes is protected under Free Speech and is offered solely as opinion and / or entertainment. The only lasting way the mob bosses running conventional medicine today can silence NaturalNews and other health freedom websites is to pass a law outlawing free speech on the Internet, and if that happens, I'm pretty sure I won't be the only one ringing alarm bells.
Where is NaturalNews going with all this?
All this work covering the FDA and Big Pharma is not only exhausting, it's also becoming rather redundant. Sometimes, I feel like I've said everything there is to say about the FDA / Big Pharma conspiracy. Beating the drum one more time doesn't seem to add anything to the weight of evidence that should have long since indicted the FDA for its crimes against the American people. (I mean, seriously, how many Americans have to die before the ones left standing start to notice something's wrong with modern medicine?)
My long-term intention is to comment less and less on Big Pharma and the FDA while focusing more on real solutions for disease prevention, natural weight loss, green living, physical fitness, enhanced mental and physical performance and other areas. I've basically stopped covering the daily Big Pharma news (because it's like a broken record, the same thing day after day) and I only cover the FDA when something important comes along like the recent CAM Guidelines.
My hope is to focus on bringing you more solutions, and the recent report we published entitled "Ocean Medicine" is a great example of that effort. I've got four more solid interviews already completed and just about ready to release, plus a huge number of new products to talk about on NaturalNews.com. My aim is to introduce 2-3 new health or green living products each week, along with detailed product reviews as often as we can get them done.
We're also working on new videos, cartoons and reference guides that you'll see released in 2007. We're staying busy! But you'll probably see a lot less news and commentary on Big Pharma and the FDA throughout 2007. It's just not worth spending the time and energy talking about what's broken when I could be introducing you to more things that really work!
Stay tuned to NaturalNews for more news, views and information in the days ahead. Thanks for reading, and thanks for your questions and comments!