This post, written by Jim Del Negro, was submitted with the title “Free Speech in The United States?” Jim is a supporter and friend of Keith Raniere and a former trainer for Nxivm.
By Jim Del Negro
I am writing this article because I believe we are dangerously close to losing our ability to have public debate due to the censorship and control of the internet by a few powerful entities. I am interested and passionate about the topic of free society and freedom of speech.
I have been an admirer of the founding fathers and philosophers who have tried to establish theories of how to create a civilized society. It is my hope that the topic of free speech gains momentum for civil discussion on The Frank Report and other media outlets, much like the Federalist Papers and Anti-Federalist Papers did back when this country was formed.
These papers were a series of arguments made in favor and opposition to the states coming together under a federal government instead of being individual states. The arguments were published through the media to instigate public debate.
Shutting Down Parler
We recently had an event which exposed where we are at in the United States with respect to freedom of speech and our constitution. For me, it was one of the saddest days in our nation’s history. Obviously there have been many sad days when people died from wars and hateful acts.
Maybe this sounds melodramatic or extreme, but I believe it is an undeniable sign that our country is not what we were taught and is not what the founding fathers established. Furthermore, it is a silent killer in that it allows hateful and destructive acts to permeate society unchecked and unexposed.
I am speaking about the overnight destruction of an open communication platform called Parler. Parler was a competitor to Twitter, free from censorship. Overnight, Apple and Google banned Parler from their app stores and Amazon kicked them off of their servers. In addition, Parler’s lawyers dropped them as clients.
Parler was the highest downloaded application on the app stores just days before this happened.
People were migrating from Twitter to Parler due to censorship on Twitter. The media titans who control content on the internet destroyed Parler in just 24 hours because of bias and prejudice. (some estimated Parler was on track to become a billion-dollar company in a short period of time).
Why is this such a big deal? Because open communication is the lifeblood of free speech in a free society. Without free speech you cannot have freedom. Freedom of the press, without censorship, was the biggest protector of freedom before the internet and cell phones, but now it’s freedom to communicate on the web that dictates if a society is free.
Mainstream Media Does Not Control the Narrative, Big Tech Does
There is a saying, credited to Jim Morrison, that says “whoever controls the media controls the mind”.
Well, we found a way around that through social media, and messaging applications. We are no longer reliant on the media because any one of us could become a media mogul on the internet. Social media was an advancement in communication, because it allowed free speech to reign worldwide.
When the internet started to become censored, we lost our ability to communicate with each other by the masses and therefore lost our ability to organize and object to ideas which we do not like.
It is the worst possible assault against our country’s founding principles. We no longer have access to conflicting and oppositional views. There is no debate. We no longer have a dialogue of ideas, rather a monologue of one group or person’s ideas.
This prelude brings me to the subject at hand.
Frank Report, Free Speech and Publishing Standards
Keith Raniere has said, in one of his communications from prison, that The Frank Report may be one of the few, if not the only,
platforms for free speech in this country. Frank has posted articles in their entirety, without editing, written by many people with opposing views.
At times, The Frank Report has allowed people to write articles and make comments about me and my friends that have substantial lies
in them. Lies which have caused me to lose money, lose friends and have caused hardship for many family members. In spite of this, I support The Frank Report and others’ rights to free speech.
To curtail or censor this website would do exponentially more damage to society than giving lies a venue to present themselves.
Benjamin Franklin said that “the pen is mightier than the sword”. So, if you wield the pen, make sure you understand who may be damaged by it and if you feel good about the damage. Similarly, by consuming media from an outlet, we’re supporting that outlet’s existence and encouraging it to write more of what we read. Therefore, it is essential that we all raise our standards of what we read and what we write.
We need to evaluate: if I read or write something that is damaging to someone–as it is my free speech right–am I also ok with the
damage it may cause? Unrestrained speech means we can use that speech to uphold people or damage people… but the choice should be ours to make, not someone else’s.
Free speech is the fundamental building block which is necessary for a free civil society to exist.
It is up to all of us to raise our standards and publish and support those who act responsibly with their publishing. If we allow all people to publish without censorship, we can simply patronize publications of our choosing based on our values. In the end we may prove to
ourselves that we are a violent and irresponsible society by the way we treat our freedom of speech. But I would rather live in a violent, open society than an oppressed, obedient one.
At least I will have the ability to enroll people in the idea and virtues of non-violence and responsibility.
Raniere and Parlato Should Work Together to Expose Free Speech Dilemma
Some have suggested that Keith Raniere and Frank Parlato are opposites. Some say one is the devil and others say the other is the devil. I say that neither is true. I believe both are here to work together, despite their differences, to bring this free speech dilemma to light and evolve our society to not only help freedom of speech and expression thrive, but to evolve it to be a noble tool of human existence.
Thank you for upholding free speech, Frank. I will suspend my judgements and differences with you for another day. For now, I fight alongside you in this important battle. I hope you continue to evolve your website, to figure out how to navigate the lies and dishonorable contributors who have done so much destruction, to me, and to others I know.
I know you will find a way to right the wrongs that have come from the lies propagated on this free-speech website. I support you in continuing on your path of investigating our justice system by bringing to light the injustice done to Keith Raniere, even though you do not like him and believe he has done bad things.
Being able to transcend differences of belief to uphold principles is a noble act, and one that I honor you for. Your efforts are bringing light to millions of people who are punished and stripped of their freedom and dignity by corruption and abuse of power.
Just as we saw in the destruction of Parler, we see our justice system abuse its power every day to destroy the lives of innocent people at the whim of a few who have the power to do so. We need accountability for those we have put in power. They work for us, not vice versa.
We have the right to hold them accountable for their actions.