Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Formal complaint regarding the politically motivated cancellation of an event at Totnes Civic Hall on 20/11/21.

Or: What Did You Think Totalitarianism Would Look Like?

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult.”

~ CS Lewis


My complaint is founded on the timeless and time-honoured principles of freedom of association and of speech.

My charge is that the decision to cancel the Totnes Civic Hall Booking on 20/11/2021 amounts to social control through ideological curation of how Totnesians use our hall. This decision has exacerbated divisions in our community and resulted directly in the widespread slander across social media and local press of a large subsection of Townsfolk, many of whom are already denied access and therefore a voice on the social media on which they are now openly defamed and misrepresented. 

These innocent people of Totnes - to whom the hall was gifted - are paying the price for this dreadful decision. Not just in the loss of the use of their hall, but in the outrageous smearing of their reputation, en masse. Through the trust's actions, a large group of Totnesians (I believe around 250 tickets were sold) has been spuriously associated with every far-right/ fascist/ anti-semitic/ anti-vax/ anti-science/ QAnon trope going. The ill will, division and actual harm caused by such slurs is truly immeasurable. Even those of us who had no interest in the event but simply believe in the basic principles of a free society are now roundly smeared just for standing up and saying so. This is both tragic and genuinely dangerous.

It amounts to politically motivated slander, based on tenuous arguments by association, on a large scale, by a public body, against a subsection of the group the body exists to represent.

The Totnes Times' sad and rapid descent into the gutter - marked by the repeated slurring of conscientious and rational citizens with the utterly inaccurate, vicious and highly charged taunt 'anti-vaxxer' - is a clear example of how the trust's actions have directly contributed to the decline in respectful dialogue and community cohesion. The immeasurable harm to our community caused by the spread of such blatant misinformation and slander is caused in a moment, yet may not be remedied in a lifetime.

Councillors have claimed this was done under pressure from disruptive and potentially violent actors who appear to have successfully smeared the event while themselves threatening to disturb the peace. This is an abject moral failure. Is it now the case that anyone can approach councillors seeking to discredit a speaker at an event, threaten violent protest and have an event cancelled?

The oft-repeated suggestion that this decision does not amount to censorship because the meeting could have taken place somewhere else is a ludicrous argument. "Yes, we're burning your books, but it's not censorship, because you can always print more" is no defence. This was clear suppression of free speech and association.

Let me be clear that I do not support speech that is unlawful, and would urge councillors to report any such speech of which they are aware to the relevant authorities. Councillors have repeatedly tried to inform me about the wrongthink of some speaker or other but then repeatedly failed to answer the question: has a crime been committed? The failure to respond to this simple and pertinent question is answer enough.

There is a very well established political movement underway to blur the lines between speech that is unlawful and that which is considered distasteful, abhorrent, hateful, 'unscientific' or 'dangerous' in some way by someone, somewhere.

This political movement attacks the very foundation of our natural born rights as free people and has no moral, ethical or lawful basis. It is, quite simply, evil. Society cannot progress through approved groupthink, just as science cannot progress through consensus. If dogma is all we are permitted to think, and new thoughts are criminalised, there can be no learning, progress and growth. Such a drive threatens the end of civilisation and the beginning of totalitarianism.

Several councillors have suggested that the majority vote to ban the event lends the ban some kind of moral standing. On the contrary, all it suggests to the principled observer is that the majority of councillors are either unprincipled or ignorant of the principle at stake. Groupthink is a scourge in modern politics and society and I applaud wholeheartedly the one councillor who voted with their conscience.

It has also been suggested that community support for the decision lends it ethical credibility. In reality, the briefest glimpse into history demonstrates that totalitarian thinking is often widely applauded by the majority, who are largely ignorant of the underlying principles and monumental risks as well as being easily spooked by boogiemen they do not understand. How ironic it is that the slur 'anti-semite' is now used to silence and discriminate against a vilified minority.

It has been exceedingly frustrating to try and uncover the reasoning behind the decision. Most councillors have ignored my communication completely, while others have abused me and suggested that my argument is in some way tainted by what others have said on obscure internet forums. How ridiculous.

Councillors repeatedly avoided direct questions, such as: were the organisers or ticket holders consulted on a decision which affected them so directly and which was based on charges made against them? I suspected the answer was no and so it eventually proved: it was a kangaroo court in which only the case for the prosecution was heard. This in itself is disgraceful and the fact that I had to ask this question again and again before receiving a straight answer shows how shameful councillors knew this fact to be.

I was falsely informed by several councillors that both the National Association of Local Councils and the police had advised the cancellation. This repeated claim was a lie, plain and simple - intended to lend legitimacy to the decision. The reality is that the police did not give advice on the decision, but merely commented on it informally after it had been made. My search for answers was also deliberately misdirected and confused by one councillor's false implication that the trust consisted of different people to the council.

As far as I have been able to ascertain, the case for the cancellation as expressed privately was to do with historical revisionism and political views described as 'far right', while in public the Mayor seemed to think it was more to do with alleged scientific 'misinformation'. Either way, the cancellation of this event is, in my view, a terrifying example of 'far left' politics at work, as is the suggestion that the potential of protests against the event made the event itself untenable - a motive for cancellation which councillors have widely hinted at but been extremely reticent to confirm, perhaps sensing how completely outrageous this idea is and how terribly it reflects on their political posturing regarding which side of this debate is considered 'dangerous'. This despite what appeared to many to be active encouragement of violent counter-protest against the recent demonstration in the local press by the Mayor.

The Mayor also appears to have taken up leader writing duties at the Totnes Times of late - where he has pontificated about what freedom of speech is not. What's far less clear is what he and the other councillors think freedom of speech is. If it means speech that is approved by the trust then the principle is robbed of any meaning whatsoever.

There has also been a vague suggestion that, because the event was likely to attract people who are sceptical of the necessity and effectiveness of public health measures such as medical masks and 'social distancing', the council had a duty to step in and protect these people, essentially, from themselves. This suggestion demonstrates both a profound ignorance of science and a completely misguided and dangerous overreach by the trust. It is not the trust's job to protect people from speech or from airborne disease. Both of these are the responsibility of the individual. For the trust to seek to control and limit people's behaviour in this way is profoundly wrong and deeply concerning.

There is no need for me to engage with the various claims made about the speakers at the event or their associations. It is all completely irrelevant and makes not an inkling of difference to the principle at stake. As I've made clear: If councillors are aware a crime has been committed, it is their civic duty to report it. It is, however, very far from their duty to prohibit the free association and speech of law-abiding citizens or to ban events based on 'precrime' predictions.

That is a moral crime and the basis of my complaint.

There are only two morally coherent options: Either a crime has been committed by one of the speakers, which would be a matter for the courts, not councillors, to judge, and which would have no bearing on the hire of a venue - or no crime has been committed, which, equally, could have no bearing on the hire of a venue.

Anything else is pure discrimination.

It is completely inappropriate and unethical for councillors to abuse their power by seeking, effectively, to collectively penalise those who have not been tried. Even if speakers had been tried, it would be utterly unethical for the trust to punish them further. Councillors do not legitimately have the power to judge and punish Totnes citizens (or anyone else) based on someone once saying something they didn't like. The idea is preposterous in a civil society and a complete abuse of the trust placed in councillors by free citizens.

The councillors are not the arbiters of good taste, truth and (certainly not) reason for the people of Totnes. We are free to choose what to say and what to believe. The council have stepped over a line and from my communications with some of them, they seem either utterly oblivious to, or to actually revel in this fact.

Councillors have repeatedly suggested that I am 'in bed' with the wrong crowd. This is just silly. I am simply a man who believes in the principles on which our civilisation is built. How tragic it is that this appears to be an unfamiliar phenomenon to the councillors.

I was even told by one councillor that the response against the event was 'huge', whereas the concerns of the event attendees were 'niche'. Two petitions were set up - one against the event which garnered 140 or so signatures, and one for the free use of the hall as it was intended, which is approaching 1000. This is a matter of principle and not a popularity contest - but one has to wonder why a councillor would choose to invert the reality of the situation so completely.

To explain why I believe this to be a profoundly political decision, it is necessary to provide some context.

Politics has transformed beyond recognition in the COVID era. Nationally and locally, established parties have put aside their differences to align with a new narrative. A highly contentious drive is underway, variously referred to as globalist, technocratic or communitarian, which embraces and promotes such ideas as the fourth industrial revolution, the 'great' reset, the green new deal, and rule by officially recognised 'science'. This global drive enjoys the backing of the wealthiest individuals and institutions on the planet, who are able to unleash untold resources in its marketing and promotion.

Many ordinary people around the world have profound concerns about the legitimacy and potential consequences of this unaccountable and uninvited project, which they fear could lead to the first global totalitarian governance system - as many of its key ingredients, including central bank digital currencies, the 'internet of things' and global public-private partnerships have the potential to almost completely eliminate individual freedom of choice. The alignment of state and corporate interests that is underway draws comparison with fascism, while the globalist and utopian vision of 'rule by the experts' echoes the empty promise of communism. Observant people also note that the completely gratuitous hysteria over COVID, along with the plethora of unusual, harm and scientifically dubious 'health measures' enacted in its wake are intimately related in a great many ways to this unprecedented movement of power and resources into the hands of the ultra-wealthy. All of these observations are grounded in undeniable evidence and cannot be dismissed as conspiracy 'theories'. 

As independent journalist James Corbett puts it, " Although, perhaps, a mere extension of the age-old quest for domination that has motivated every would-be tyrant throughout history, this iteration of the dream - fuelled as it is by technologies that even Orwell could never have dreamed of - represents the greatest peril that the human species has ever faced."

I believe it is these profoundly concerning wider political developments which are the primary and pressing concern of the Totnesians so sneeringly and inaccurately dismissed as 'anti-vaxxers' and worse. And - if their analysis of current events is half accurate - they represent the sole local resistance to this totalitarian agenda.

From this perspective - the one deliberately ignored by councillors - the cancellation of this event can be seen as a move to suppress and stifle popular opposition to the schemes of power-crazed billionaires who seek to entice and bully us into the totalitarian future they envisage. Suppression of dissent is exactly what one would expect from the foot soldiers of a totalitarian regime - albeit (for now) of the less overt but more insidious kind described so brilliantly by CS Lewis in the quote above.  

This decision, the ignorance and prejudice on which it is founded, the disregard of the harm it has caused and the complete lack of repentance shown by councillors are a complete disgrace to our town. 

Sunday, 21 November 2021


The open letter can be read here.

I am not an organiser, attendee or particularly interested in this conference. I simply object to the totalitarian suppression of free speech and assembly in our public spaces.

There are many events that go against what I believe. It would never occur to me to seek to cancel one.

The very thought of seeking to prevent the meeting of free and law-abiding people is beyond me. How did you ever come to countenance such a perverse and utterly uncivilised idea? It's terrifying that you seem to have some intelligence and yet are clearly oblivious to this outrage against the neighbours you claim such fondness for.

You accept that conspiracies, corruption, and hidden agendas exist. Believing all this, one has to wonder where such beliefs, so facetiously tacked on as an afterthought to your post, have led you.

Nowhere, it seems.

For me, and others like me, this is the primary concern of humanity.

It is what causes us to question. To question why certain 'established truths' are enforced with the zeal of religious doctrine. And why others, sometimes far less contentious, yet far more significant, are side-lined and ignored. We always ask: who benefits? And the answer is always the same.

My prime concern in life is how corruption impacts our world and threatens to impact the world our grandchildren will inherit. I seek out patterns - because that is all I can hope to find in a tangled web of deceit. What do you do?

I don't believe you've thought through your blasé statements about corruption in the world. They seem to just hang there as meaningless and disconnected concepts without consequence.

Why is corruption rife? Why and how are institutions corrupted? Are there any that are not? If so, how could that be? You place your trust in the Guarniad, taking its claim of objectivity at face value. Why? The same question goes for the UN, the IPCC, 'Hope not Hate', etc. You think these institutions and countless others exist to serve your interests, and not those of the stinking rich.

You are naïve.

Where you assume integrity I see blatant corruption. And it's child's play to see who is benefitting.

Your conspiracy theory - that an assortment of obscure societies created the anti-Agenda 21 'theory' - implies that without their input no one could possibly have come to similar conclusions independently. I beg to differ. I see no reason whatsoever to trust the UN or to take any of its claims at face value. Can you give me one? By what mechanism is such a body immune to nefarious influence and infiltration?

The UN is just one manifestation of the globalist project whose endpoint is a global governance system in which the unaccountable stinking rich decide how you and I live. Every signal points to this, from the smart meter in your house to the global 'National Banks' (which are no such thing) developing programable digital currencies, to the UN secretary-general declaring that prohibition of so-called 'hate speech' doesn't infringe upon my human rights (a bit like you). Everything is pointing towards this totalitarian end.

You call this a myth. I call you blind. Name a time in history when the greedy did not seek domination. The only difference now is that an end is in sight. The world has shrunk, and technology has brought the most depraved dreams of psychopaths within reach. It is only the very dissent you seek to silence that stands between them and the realisation of their demented wish. If you think tyrants have become extinct, I'd love an explanation of how and when that miracle occurred. I say they simply became slicker, wealthier and yet more ambitious.

As for your rhetorical question, "Who could possibly feel threatened by greater environmental regulation and protection and by any move to bring care of the planet into our collective [sic] decision-making processes?", allow me to answer it: Me. I feel very threatened by it because I know full well that the 'green' agenda has been driven full throttle for decades by the stinking rich, who stand to gain unimaginable power over us if we do not stand up now. The modern environmental movement is a scam, plain and simple. If you choose to trust the scum of the Earth to fix the horrific mess they have created, you are a gullible and dangerous fool.

The familiar trope that 'the fossil fuel industry' is some kind of ring-fenced entity seeking to protect itself against the shiny new green paradigm is embarrassingly childish. Those whose insane wealth came from or was multiplied through oil now control the narrative itself more completely than ever before - which is infinitely more valuable. The same interests control every industry, including the fake media as well as the climate change industry which boils down to carbon markets and the digital panopticon know as the internet of things - ie almost infinite control and wealth. The stinking rich don't give a damn about oil profits - they're after your grandchildren. 

If you want to truly begin to understand some of the history behind the modern 'green movement', and how it was literally started by the oiligarchy this is well worth a listen:

Big oil also happened to create the pharmaceutical industry along the way, which you euphemistically admit 'hasn’t covered itself in glory over the years'. As you've just placed yourself in its 'care', it is little wonder that you seek to downplay what a vile and criminal racket it is. But facts are facts. Here are Pfizer's and Astra Zeneca's rap sheets which make for truly disturbing reading (because they are clearly run by psychopaths, and are utterly corrupt, you see - which the Guarniad couldn't possibly be):

Astra Zeneca:

Total criminal fines paid since 2000: $1,182,783,497


Total criminal fines paid since 2000: $4,660,896,333 (includes the largest criminal fine of all time)

These are, of course, just the times these criminals have been caught and 'punished' by taking a little off their profit margin. Bear in mind that 'regulatory capture' is a given, so this is really just the occasional slap on the wrist - there is no true oversight. I mean - was whatever went into your arm tested independently? Will it ever be?

Your statement that 'VAERS reporting for the flu vaccine yields similar results' to the new 'vaccines' shows clearly that you are not paying attention. And frankly who can blame you. In your shoes, I wouldn't want to know the reality either.

You say you respect anyone who chooses not to be vaccinated and that you welcome more debate and more investigation, admitting that this is something the conference you sought to silence may contribute towards. How big of you.

You sought to suppress free speech and assembly, blocking community access to a community resource, while also - unwittingly or not - taking part in the slander of a large group of the neighbours you apparently want to 'stand together' on 'common ground' with. Whether the meeting can take place elsewhere is irrelevant. "Yes, we're burning your books, but it's not censorship, because you can always print more" is no defence. You are on the wrong side of this argument. That's right - the evil side.

Regarding views we find abhorrent: in a civilised world, unless speech is unlawful, it is simply not our business what others say or think.

According to the Guarniad 19/11/2021, "Austria is to become the first European country to make [so-called] vaccinations mandatory".  An interesting turn of phrase, I thought.

Those who genuinely 'respect choice', are not talking about Auschwitz, Flat Earth, or how cool white people are. They are seeking to prevent the greatest crime of all time from happening right now - and you are seeking to stop them from doing so.

The horror that some saw coming from the beginning of this shit show is now coming into view. This is a pivotal moment in human history. What is happening in Austria is the darkest development of our lifetimes, by far. If you can't see where this leads, all your intelligence is for nought. And as all this goes on, all you can do is implore the community you care so deeply about to “be careful”.

Yes. We want to be careful. Very, very careful.

But tragically, like so many of our 'loving' neighbours, you don't seem to have the slightest clue what that means right now.

You ask how we can listen to one another. Well, that's easy: by not attempting to silence one another. To do so, as you recently have, is morally bankrupt. And, at a time such as this, indefensible.

You ask how you can trust or respect someone whose views you do not share. That's your lookout - no one else cares. It's only when you respect them so little that you would seek to silence them that it becomes an issue. That is when your disrespect crosses the line and becomes malignant.

The honourable solution is always more dialogue - while the obverse is to silence your opponent. To then go on to spout vacuous platitudes about love, tolerance of difference and the happiness of our community is simply an insulting charade.

You say you fear for those who are exposed to 'dangerous views'. I fear for anyone who can be so unaware of how utterly condescending they are being.

How embarrassing it is to have to spell out such an obvious truth:

I can, and will, think for myself.


Saturday, 8 May 2021

'Totnesians' Is Broken - And It's A Symptom Of The Global Crisis Of Reason

From the start of the pandemic, we have been rightly encouraged to 'follow the science'. However, it has become increasingly clear that the dissemination of actual scientific data and the asking of scientifically minded questions are unwelcome in the virtual public square - places such as the 'Totnesians' Facebook page. Instead, what is promoted and aggressively defended there is not science, but a particularly strident form of dogma which some describe as 'Scientism'.

Each of us deserves a well informed and open debate on the actual data and on health measures that so drastically impact our physical, mental and economic wellbeing and the very fabric of our society. Lives are being put in danger in the name of protecting life. Great risks are being taken in the name of reducing risk.

True scientific method relies on incessant scrutiny, freedom of thought and expression. Dogma is inherently unscientific. But what we find on Totnesians, as in many other online spaces, is a culture of intimidation, mockery, and censorship of the most basic data and questions. This is an embarrassing state of affairs. But it signifies something far more serious and troubling than that.

Following a solid year of panic-inducing media coverage I was amazed and reassured in January to come across the Office of National Statistic's Interactive Map which displays COVID deaths by postcode. I couldn't help but wonder if the people of Totnes would ever have consented to forced wearing of masks, queuing outside shops, the closing of venues and pubs, the end of almost all communal activities and all the other measures we have seen had they known how minuscule the local death rate would turn out to be. All these measures would surely seem patently ridiculous and destructive. While the faithful will always claim that the numbers are as low as they are because of the measures imposed on us, none of the actual science that I can find backs that claim up (see extensive resources linked below). Repeated assurances to the contrary, without any substantial evidential basis, amount to blind faith. If you believe you have evidence of this claim, please provide it below.

Of course, death rates are not the only measure of the progress of the pandemic, but I was nonetheless buoyed up by the news that they were so unexpectedly low and I decided to share this discovery on Totnesians. I thought it would be a welcome respite to a year of gloom and despair. Here is the post I shared there:

Some perspective. 
According to the Office of National Statistics, there has been 1 death in Totnes and Dartington attributed to COVID19. [As of this writing, the total is 3] 
That's 0.01% of us. If you include the wider local area that is completely free of COVID attributed deaths, which stretches between and includes Broadhempston, Marldon, Ashprington, Harberton, Avonwick, South Brent and Buckfastleigh, this local percentage shrinks considerably. Torbay has a higher death rate at approx 0.06% 
I don't know who this unfortunate Totnesian was and I wish them all the best in the next life and commiserations to the bereaved. What we do know is that the average age of deaths attributed to COVID is 82.4, which is older than the average age of death from all causes (81.5), and that more than 95% of deaths attributed to COVID involve pre-existing or multiple pre-existing conditions. 
All figures based on NHS or ONS data.

The post received several likes and a few comments, both positive and negative - which was a surprise. I logged on, intending to respond to these a few hours after posting. But my post had been removed. As I had no explanation for its removal and no way to contact admins directly, I posted again asking why the initial post had been removed. Eventually, after being blocked from posting or commenting in the group for 3 and then 10 days, I received a terse anonymous note informing me that the post consisted of 'COVID denial' and had broken the group rule prohibiting 'false or misleading' posts. You've just read my post. Did it deny COVID? Was it false or misleading? I was dumbfounded.

I eventually managed to engage an admin in a frustrating dialogue in which he failed to explain why NHS and ONS data could be viewed as misleading, false or in 'denial' of anything. How could a report of a death be a denial of it? During our exchange, this admin informed me that 'posts which seek to minimise or play down the threats posed by COVID' are not allowed in the group. I'm sure you can see the problem with this policy. In practice, what it amounts to is a ban on good news on the topic of COVID. As throughout the media, the steady deluge of fear must never be interrupted.

The same admin has now banned me again, this time for 2 weeks. As far as I can tell, my misdeed on this occasion was either the asking of a question about vaccine ingredients or the suggestion that another Totnesian was rude in their response to my question. Apparently, this amounts to an 'attack and an insult'. My original query about vaccine ingredients was met with sustained mockery by admins and the suggestion that 'ignoramuses' cannot be reasoned with. Though some admin appear to be well-meaning, there is a common theme on Totnesians of certain admins bullying and trolling. selectively applying group rules and arbitrarily making and breaking rules. Many Totnesians have abandoned the page for this reason.

Imagine a dystopic sci-fi world in which the public square is dominated by a group of fanatical bullies who meet any challenge to the prevailing narrative with a shrieking wall of abuse and ridicule. This self-appointed cabal of heavies has the miraculous power to rewind and delete anything spoken against them or which undermines their position so that the public has no memory of it and never learns that dissent is even possible. Imagine that dissenters can be instantly 'disappeared' without anyone knowing it has even happened - without explanation, due process or recourse. Something like the Soviet gulag system - except this one leaves no trace or evidence of its abuses and injustices. What has evolved in online spaces is absolutely comparable with this nightmarish vision.

This isn't really about Facebook or the 'Totnesians' group. I have used this specific example to illustrate the virulently anti-science, anti-debate, anti-reason environment we find ourselves in. It is truly disturbing in a culture that within living memory prided itself on rational and open debate, freedom of speech and scientific enquiry. What the hell happened? How can we continue to tolerate this wanton debasement of the very foundations of our society? The very rights our ancestors have fought for and held most dear?

As I see it, we are in a battle for the heart of our civilisation. In groups like 'Totnesians' around the world, the same narrative is being imposed, the same abusive and censorious strategies are being employed to silence, mock and vilify anyone who shares inconvenient data or asks reasonable questions. I implore anyone who values truth, justice and reason to take every opportunity to challenge these self-entitled gatekeepers and zealots of the fanatical ideology of Scientism. We have rushed headlong into a dark age in which willful ignorance and disrespect run rampant.

Reason must and will prevail. And it is up to the reasonable amongst us to ensure that it does.


There are legitimate scientific questions and vast quantities of data opposing almost every article of faith in the COVID dogma. Here are some useful resources:

Scientific evidence for the ineffectiveness of masks

Scientific evidence for the ineffectiveness of lockdowns

In-depth analysis of the ineffectiveness of UK Lockdown

Demolishing the validity of the PCR test on which the pandemic is founded

History shows how disastrously misleading the misuse of the PCR test can be

Current UK COVID fatalities exaggerated by 50%

The case for natural immunity

'British army creates team of Facebook warriors'. Could this be relevant to the content of this essay?

'How our Government funds 'Trusted News' sources to concoct a 'Single Version Of The Truth' - the antithesis of the scientific method 


A brief introduction to some of the most common logical fallacies.

Logical fallacies are the common parlance of the enemies of reason and are seen every day in places such as Totnesians so are worth learning how to spot. The function of logical fallacies in a debate is to avoid addressing the actual point your opponent is making and to score points by appearing to 'win' on grounds other than reasoned argument. They are a completely dishonest and unscrupulous means of fooling people who are not aware of these tricks into thinking that you have won an argument while avoiding any engagement with the actual issues in question.

Straw Man Argument: Misrepresent your opponents' argument in order to win an argument they are not making - and ideally mock them at the same time.

Examples: "You think COVID doesn't exist". "You think Bill Gates wants to inject microchips"

Argument By Association: Assert that a hated or mistrusted figure, movement or institution shares your opponent's viewpoint, thereby smearing them by association.

Examples: "You sound like David Icke/ Donald Trump/ Alex Jones/ Andrew Wakefield". "That website/ demonstration/ podcast/ writer/ virologist is far-right/ a flat earther/ a quack"

Appeal To Authority: Defer to a supposed higher source of knowledge or analysis on the basis that their status alone will win the argument rather than having to make the case yourself through reason and evidence. 

Examples: "All credible scientists agree." "Every government on earth can't be wrong."

Ad Hominem: The idiotic grandaddy of logical fallacies. Attack your opponent directly on the basis of motive or intelligence in order to bypass the need to address their argument. Often delivered with unabashed vehemence and arrogance, as if the culprit is hungry for an opportunity to showcase their extraordinary wit and wisdom.

Examples: "You Trump-supporting/ anti-vaxxer/ conspiracy theorist/ far-right/ hate-filled/ denier/ contrarian/ attention seeker/ tinfoil hat wearer". There are many ways that ad hominem attacks can be 'smuggled' into the discourse. For example: "I suppose you think the queen is a lizard as well", or simply peppering the debate with random mentions of 5G, Elvis, moon landings, Bill Gates, gammon, chemtrails or whatever you fancy. Anything to discredit and/ or humiliate your opponent whilst neatly sidestepping any requirement to argue your case.


If you'd like to respectfully debate any of the issues raised here - without resorting to cheap tricks such as those described above - please feel free to comment below.


Update: This article was posted on Totnesians today 17/05/21. within a few hours my 2 week ban was escalated and I can no longer view the page at all. Of course admins don't inform members on such decisions other than with snarky comments such as one suggesting this article was either satirical or a fan-post. This is the kind of expected mockery I describe above. I suppose mockery comes below even the ad hominem attack in the pecking order of fallacious argumentation, suggesting as it does that the argument is unworthy of serious attention. It really is a foul tactic.

Before I was blocked from viewing the page, I was able to read a few comments. One smearing this article on the basis that one of the links was 'dubious'. No explanation of this was forthcoming, so it amounts to a fallacious argument by association (described above). This comment ended with the invitation to 'enjoy your rabbit hole' - a classic ad hominem attack (described above).

Another comment read simply 'Spreadneck blathering'. Probably like you, I had no idea what this horrible term meant and had to look it up. Suffice to say, it was another ad hominem attack, intended to discredit this piece without engaging with any of the substance of it, using a baseless accusation that the author has no concern for the safety of others.

It's been ironic to see the zombie-like clown world described above playing out in the comments of a post consisting of this article. It would be foolish of me to imagine that the inhabitants of such a world will actually take the time to read, comprehend and engage respectfully with what I've written here.