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A Titanic Menace: the Malicious Censorship of Independent Media and Non-Corporate Journalists

On April 10th, 1912, the Titanic set sail from Southampton, England on her maiden voyage carrying 2,200 passengers. Dubbed “the unsinkable ship” by Phillip Franklin, the vice-president of White Star Line, fate would go to show that the hubris of mankind cannot tame the random acts of chance. Two days later, the Titanic was at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean along with 1,503 lives who were entombed in a seabed cemetery.

There are many cautionary tales to be drawn from the saga of Titanic. At the very top of the list is the indecency of valuing human life based on their level of wealth. Out of the 1,503 lives that perished when the Titanic sank, only 123 were first class passengers—the other 1,380 were second class and mostly third class passengers along with a few crew members.

What an allegory of our society; a few above living large, the middle class barely ahead of third class, and the third class mired at the bottom. There to keep the status quo are the crew (cops) who are just as repressed by the 1st class but must play their part.

The tragedy of the Titanic gets even worse when you take into account that the life rafts that saved 706 lives were only at half capacity; an additional 472 lives could have been saved if the boats were loaded as designed.

Most of the second class and third class passengers drowned because they were locked in place by crew members in order to “prevent mass hysteria”. Under the pretext of mitigate the risk of a panic outbreak, second class and third class passengers were caged in while first class passengers were given leeway to calmly board life rafts and save themselves as the rest were pleading for help only to be silenced as bitter cold Atlantic waters filled their lungs.

There to preserve status quo and calm the justifiably felt terror of the passengers below deck were the band. Instead of rushing to open locked gates and give people at least a fighting chance to save themselves, the musicians—whose job it was to entertain the first class passengers during feasts fit for kings—instead picked up their instruments to medicate lesser-class passengers with au revoir melodies. History notes that the musicians were brave heroes who tried to pacify the nerves of panicked boarders, those who refuse to be indoctrinated by propaganda realize that the musicians took part in a mass murder by complying with injustice and playing music to give people a false sense of security.

The band continue to play on, you can find their music on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and within mainstream media on demand.

I bring up the story of the Titanic as a parable of what is taking place in our time. The world has been bifurcated; on the very top are first class passengers who are leading lives of opulence that would make pharaohs shake their heads in envy. The most “Egyptian” pharaohs could do was indenturing humans to compel them by force to build grand pyramids. Modern day pharaohs like Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffet, George Soros, Bill Gates and the rest of their ungodly rich plutocracy counterparts in the billionaire club have turned humanity itself into a pyramid.

At the base of the pyramid are the rest of us, the bottom 90%, whose lungs are being filled daily by financial anxieties as levies and inflation liquidate the meager means we have.

In this context, the top 10% are the musicians while the top 1% are the first class passengers. The musician class are the millionaires who are found across powerful institutions throughout the world. Academia, politics, entertainment, think-tanks and lobbying groups, to name a few, are all populated by very rich personalities at the top. The instrument all of them play, in one shape or another, is media that is being wielded by the ruling class and opinion leaders to medicate us with disinformation, distraction, sensationalism and outrage.

I’m sure among the denizen of crew and band members trying to “keep the calm”—as in sentence people to the bottom of the ocean—were a few courageous souls who tried to save as many lives and tried to warn passengers of the fate that awaits them. Historians rarely record these voices, they are too busy hijacking the narratives of prophets and inverting their teachings to actually put into proper context the evil that the powerful prevail upon humanity and the few who try to defy them.

Caitlin Johnstone always talks about media narratives, what I outlined above is what she is referring to. The establishment have a vested interest in warping reality and presenting manufactured news as facts. In this context, the few who defy the disinformation wagers become a clear and present threat to the status quo for one reason: it takes a Titanic load of money to establish fabrications as facts but it takes very little to exposes lies.

This is why independent media and non-corporate journalists are being fiercely targeted by the media-politico complex. Not satisfied with six mega-conglomerations monopolizing more than 90% of the information that society consumes, corporations and government are colluding to make it nearly impossible for writers, video content creators and those who aim to speak truth to power to break out and attain a mass-following. On one end, corporate media personalities are always trying to discredit anyone who does not belong in their private clubs. The Russian narrative and concern over “fake news” were nothing more than cunning ploys to question the credibility of people like Elizabeth Vos, Vanessa Beeley, Matt Taibbi and Abby Martin.

Whereas tin pot dictators shoot reporters in the head, here in America and throughout the “developed” world, the erasure happens not with a bullet but with intimidation, suppression and exclusion from the media marketplace. Since trust in the establishment is at all-time lows, the “elites” leverage not just discrediting ploys but outright banishment by way of demonization, diminished visibility on social media feeds and deplatforming (as in being kicked off social media sites all together).

This is but the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the way the corporate courtier class is trying to drown independent media. During his waning days in office, Barack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that sanctioned the Department of Defense to “fight disinformation domestically”. In other words, the NDAA made it legal for the DoD to practice PSYOPS against American citizens and to likewise treat people who question state sponsored propaganda as hostile actors.

During our conversation on Seek TruthTV, Vanessa Beeley—a Middle East correspondent who frequently travels to Syria, Lebanon and beyond—relayed to me how she is constantly being vilified and her character is mauled by mainstream “journalists” who have axes to grind. In a follow on conversation, Vanessa noted:

“We have reached a terrifying level of censorship across all platforms, social media, media, into academia and beyond but we are not yet at the pinnacle of criminalization of free thought and the expression of opinions that do not compute with the establishment doctrines. With each clipping of our wings, we are brought closer to earth and to the potential of ultimate institutionalization of our thoughts, our ideas or our push back against indoctrination. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter serve as filters for the ruling classes, siphoning out the undesirables with the push of a button in the digital age of McCarthyism.”

Vanessa is not the only one who expresses this viewpoint that independent journalists are being marginalized through a veiled silencing campaign. A wide range of thinkers and writers across the political and social spectrum, from Lee Camp, Jimmy Dore, Niko House, Tim Black to Tariq Nasheed shed light on the ways mainstream voices invert their messages and try their level best to malign their character. Not too long ago, the leaders of the ADOS group were discounted as creations of Russia while Vanessa Beeley is constantly attacked for being an anti-Semite because she dares to question Israel’s war policies. Knock on wood, I have yet to feel the heat of a coordinated campaign to denigrate my charter, though I know that day is coming, I’m prepared for it. I would have nothing to worry about if I was partisan in my criticism, it’s precisely because I don’t bite my tongue to any ideology or identity when I condemn their hypocrisy.

Guilt by association, words taken out of context and outright slanderous statements made with zero evidence to back them are unleashed like torpedoes by mainstream character assassins who make a pretty shekel crucifying truth seekers. Layered on top of this effort to discredit independent media is a nefarious scheme to reduce the reach they have in social media platforms. This is a topic that Caitlin Johnstone knows very well, when I asked her about her experiences with coordinated campaigns to curtail her voice, she responded:

“I’ve been suspended from both Facebook and Twitter for completely bogus reasons and seen my numbers on both Medium (founded by former Twitter CEO Evan Williams) and Facebook slashed when new algorithms and protocols have been announced. Twitter followers have often reported bizarre things like being unfollowed from my account or even finding my account on their “mute” list without their permission. My Facebook page has had its growth almost completely freeze with “unfollows” staying nearly even with “follows” for perhaps two years, which is not mirrored in my following on other platforms. I’ve had to decentralize and publish my stuff across multiple platforms in an attempt to get around the obvious throttling.”

A truly free media is the only thing that stands between freedom and tyranny. It is precisely because the notion of a free-press in America, Canada, Great Britain, France and other western nations is a myth that the world is sprinting full force towards a corporate-totalitarian state. The oligarchy, by way of the corporations they own, have effectively commandeered almost every institution of power, by extension they are able to dictate conversations and restrict voices who are not beholden to their weaponized wealth.

There is nothing that explains a steady growth in reach only to all the suddenly level off and then and shed follower other than social media corporations using their algorithm to elevate paying customers and treat the rest as third class passengers below the deck. When I asked Lee for his insights on this topic, he noted:

“I have 335,000 Facebook followers at LeeCampComedian.  I’ve had that number for the past 2 years because it’s clear Facebook will not allow me to get higher. I used to gain 6,000 followers a week until this shadow-cap was put on my account. This type of quiet and secretive restriction is everything the internet was supposed to avoid. The main platforms work tirelessly to return the Information Revolution to a time of pushing the talking points of the ruling elite and the corporate state.”

It’s like observing the book Animal Farm in real life, social media companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google the pigs telling the rest of the livestock that “all animals are equal…except the ones who walk on two legs are more equal than others”. There is not a more apt analogy than to call the ruling class pigs, they feast from the trough of injustice using humanity as assets and liabilities on their balance sheets.

 

There is a reason I highlighted the story of the Titanic as the introduction to this article. Most people who don’t have their heads buried in the sand realize that humanity is headed towards an iceberg that could sink us all. Whether the iceberg is a sudden bang by way of atomic booms or a slow-rolling dissolution by way of climate change, it seems we are destined for a cataclysm in the not too far distance. Instead of marshaling our resources to confront these herculean issues, we are being medicated by the reality show of politics and lulled by the cacophony of outrage and sensationalism.

While we are being locked in place mentally by the media-politico complex, the billionaire club are quietly preparing for any and all eventualities. The neo-aristocracy have been building underground bunkers that can withstand nuclear attacks while the rest of us are latching on to the latest media narrative. If that fateful day ever arrives where mushrooms balloon over New York City, Moscow and beyond, you can bet the gentry will be below ground eating their foie gras while the rest of our collective asses become grass fertilizer.

The sad thing is that the very people who are protecting the status quo and getting paid to condition us into complacency and compliance will most likely meet the same gruesome fate that met the musicians on the Titanic. Memo to Rachel Maddow, Sean Hannity, Don Lemon, Joy Reid and the rest of the corporate courtesans who get paid handsomely to gaslight society: your millions will never get you accepted into the billionaire club. The very fires you are trying to spark as you push conflict with Russia and incite public strife will consume you as it consumes us. Don’t let the dual headwinds of greed and self-preservation blind you to the fact that you will not be allowed on the life rafts if our planet gets consumed by a global conflagration.

I do not write this to be self-serving, it is a vitally imperative that non-corporate journalists and content creators are supported by the public. Though we have few resources considering the bottomless coffers of mainstream media and given that we are being steadily marginalized, we nonetheless remain and stand defiantly because our audience make it their purpose to amplify our voices. Most of us would not even be doing this had we not realized that mainstream media has inverted the tenets of a free-press and have become purveyors of death—we are the free press.

Yet even the limited audience we cultivated through years of backbreaking work and tenacious reporting is no match for the corporate censorship campaigns being deployed by the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter. I can’t tell you exactly how these companies do it, people talk about shadow banning or being in Facebook jail all the time, but the truth is that no one knows the true depth of suppression that takes place away from the public eye. It is an established fact that the US government has direct relationships with telecommunications, media and technology companies. The right to privacy is as extinct as the dodo bird and the right to a free press in the West is laughable.

Two weeks ago, one of my tweets about Congresswoman Ilhan Omar was embedded in an article by RT News without my knowledge. The very next day, my Twitter mentions became almost non-existent, the reach of Ghion Journal articles on Facebook dwindled to a trickle and the number of visitors to the Ghion Journal website plummeted by more than 40% (see picture above). There is a part of me that wants to celebrate, independent journalists like me realize we’ve made it through the clutter when we become visible enough to go after.

Yet, my dominant feeling is sorrow that people who are entrusted by the public with awesome power elect to use their authority not to go after bankers who bled our economy in 2008 or bloodbath financiers who create havoc in order to justify the war machine but to go after people who make the mistake of questioning their motives.

I know most of my fellow independent journalists and thinkers who refuse to conform to the corporate norm are like me in this one area: we are not going to go silently into the night without a fight. Where they go high tech, we will go low tech and depend on our readers and viewers to step into the breach in order to magnify the reach of independent media. Below, I outline eight actions that our readers and future visitors to this articles could take as a way to push back against the establishment and to empower us in the process. I hope my fellow independent voices ask their own audience to do the same:

  1. Sign up for our newsletter: when social media is restricted to us, email is still a reliable way of getting our articles to people who signed up for our newsletter
  2. Follow us to new social media sites: when we go to sites like Minds, MeWe and Gab, we are attempting to diversify our channels to our audience while trying to evade the censorship that is taking place at the Big Three social media sites. In the process, we are also attempting to decentralize power away from the Big Three, size (scale) is a breeding ground for corruption and tyranny, we would do well as a people to diminish the reach of big media companies and create viable alternatives.
  3. Bookmark our websites: social media is all about pushing messages out, if our push is being curtailed, it makes it imperative that our readers are pulled to our website by actively visiting on their own. For example, make visiting the Ghion Journal part of your daily routine the same way I always go to the Washington Post once a day to see what the media lies of the day are. Likewise, bookmark this site and visit our site to see what new content is available so that you are not dependent on social media to tell you about us.
  4. Sign up for Push Notification: when you first enter the website, a popup occurs where you are asked if you want to sign up for a push notification. Agreeing to a push notification will ensure that we bypass all the social media sites and instead push our articles directly to your computer, phone or iPad
  5. Sign up for RSS feed: I recently found out about this old school technology. RSS feed lets you add your favorite article into a script that allows you to receive a very non-intrusive RSS feed notification. You can watch more about RSS here if you are not aware of it, for those who are and use RSS feed, our RSS can be found here.
  6. Share, Share, Share: even though our voices are getting more and more restricted on Facebook, Twitter and Google, a vigorous push of our articles and videos by people who consume our work would offset some of the loss. On our end, for every 10 people that read our articles, only 20 share them. Imagine the reach we could maintain if that number ticked up to 50%.  One additional note, it is better to share and tweet original messages with our link embedded as opposed to sharing or retweeting what we post. It’s all about social media algorithms.
  7. Bring Print Back: this idea is a byproduct of our Ghion Dozen initiative. As noted earlier, the best way to evade high tech suppression is to go low tech. To this end, going forward I’m going to include a brochure size summary each write up at the bottom of the article, as you are able, print out one copy (or more as you feel you can), cut out the summary part and then give it to one random person or a close family remember. This is our way of going viral the old school way and in the process decentralize the cost of going to print. You can see the summary pamphlet at the bottom of this article.
  8. Contribute to Independent Thinkers: trust me when I tell you this, almost to a person, people who are in the independent media realm are not doing what we do for money. If that was the case, we would cast our lot with the devil and become that which we write against. Most of us are also working by day and writing/creating by night. We need to get away from the corporate model of news, if that is going to happen it is because enough people decide to fund a truly independent media, one that is not dependent on sponsorship from corporations.

There is a reason why mainstream media has a popularity rating south of diarrhea, its not only because they smell of it. More and more people are realizing that mainstream media’s job is not to edify the public but to eradicate decency and common sense for the sake of ratings. But we have a choice as a people, we can continue empowering that which represses us, we can sit back and complain or we can do something about it. It is my hope that you support not only our Ghion Manifesto and our endeavors going forward but that you also turn away from mainstream media and turn towards truly independent media and non-corporate journalists who are popping up everywhere.

On this front though, I feel compelled to say this to my fellow independent media citizens, please don’t become that which you are disgusted by. Stay away from sensationalism and outrage for the sake of attracting clicks. I know the ego is a bedeviling friend, I too struggle with truly meaningful articles versus jumping into the latest outrage in order to inflate the viewership. We must avoid this path if our aim is to give a voice to the voiceless and speak truth to power. Lastly, don’t compete with each other, as much as possible collaborate. Competing is a hallmark of cancerous capitalism, mainstream media can afford to compete because their pockets are endless. We can only hope to compete with corporate journalists if we collaborate with each other.

We try to live by the spirit of collaboration here at Ghion Journal as much as we can, that is the reason why one Ghion Journal’s writers, Stephen Boni, put together an expansive compilation of independent media outlets so that our readers can know about others like us. Through unity, independent media can become Davids who slay media giants.

We have a decision to make, build our own medium or be toyed with by the establishment. If we choose the latter, that would be to our detriment. As we continue partaking in this bread and circus while fakestream media conditions us into compliance, the plutocracy are preparing their life rafts. It didn't end well for the Titanic band nor the lesser class passengers they pacified, it won't end well for the corporate chattering class and the rest of us either when that iceberg cometh. #TitanicCensorship Click To Tweet

“Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.” ~ Napoleon Bonaparte

If you appreciated this write up and believe that articles like this should be widely read by others and if you likewise support truly independent journalism, I ask you to support my endeavor. As noted in the Ghion Journal statement of purpose, we are a media entity that disavows corporations and we do not raise ad revenue, we are 100% supported and empowered by our readers and writers.

The donate button at the top goes to the Ghion Journal general funds to offset costs and to grow our capacities, the contribution button found the bottom of each article goes 100% to the respective authors. Contribute you can, but most importantly, continue to share these discussions. We are planting seeds, it is up to the readers to nurture it.

Daily Ghion Water: Print and Pass Out

Teodrose Fikre
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Teodrose Fikre

Founder at Ghion Journal
Teodrose Fikre is the co-founder and editor of the Ghion Journal. A published author and prolific writer, a once defense consultant was profoundly changed by a two year journey of hardship and struggle. Going from a life of upper-middle class privilege to a time spent with the huddled masses taught Teodrose a valuable lesson in the essence of togetherness and the need to speak against injustice.

Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.
Teodrose Fikre
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