an article by Eve Hillary
“With 5000 police, army reservists and Feds prowling the vicinity and helicopters circling overhead, many demonstrators said the area looked like a concentration camp. By all accounts, the city of Boston made its début as a police state.”
Eve Hillary is a medical analyst and writer on issues pertaining to the health care industry, environmental health, impacts of globalization, and a range of social justice issues.
She is the author of Children of a Toxic Harvest: An Environmental Autobiography, and numerous articles relating to health issues. Her most recent book is Health Betrayal; Staying away from the sickness industry. She is also a public speaker.
She has spent 25 years in health care where she has observed the medical industry at first hand from the inside. She also wrote The biggest medicine recall in history about the PAN-TGA Recall, posted on the Project SafeCom website here.
It was a short visit to the US, but already I was getting used to standing in endlessly long airline boarding lines. I am a white middle-aged woman in amongst people of all colours, waved into a special line destined for special attention because of my “foreign” ID. Once American, I have long ago adopted and been adopted by Australia, the “Lucky Country”.
We waited, all of us stockinged or barefoot, looking pained and embarrassed. Surrounded by black suited unfriendly paramilitary looking men and officials with rubber gloves. Up ahead an Hispanic child of barely three, was being searched, her teddy bear falling to the ground. Rough hands retrieve it and probe the bear deeply for contraband. None is found. The child cries.
The line is painfully slow. The linoleum chills my feet. My facial expression must betray my distaste. People talk in whispers. People glance around to spot the camera, careful to hide their mouth from the prying lens. A black man helps me to understand; “nine eleven” he whispers barely audibly. Others join in. Stories cautiously seep out whenever I stand in line with others. We begin an impromptu sociology lesson 101.
Somebody’s friend with an Arabic name was arrested and disappeared for weeks, but never charged. Somebody else knew of a teacher who taught the Constitution in her classroom, and was censured. A student shared his political views in a classroom and was visited by the FBI. A person was detained for reading an airport novel that featured a gun on its cover. While somebody’s sister was in jail for a minor offence her child was taken to a foster home by the authorities.
“Surely that can’t be right,” I say from my white middle-aged Australian perspective. Laughs all round. “You got no money, you go to jail, man. It’s da rules,” explains a brown man with dreadlocks. I later discover that of the 80,000 women now in US jails, about 70 percent are nonviolent offenders. And 75 percent of them have children.
Entire archipelagos of prisons all over the world are owned by private corporations. Business is booming. Their share prices are going through the roof, a good investment for the rich. Multinational prison corporations have built and operated Australian detention centers where we, in the once lucky country, incarcerate refugees from the third world.
There are two million people in US prisons: the highest prison population in the world. More than in Russia. (6) Of those; 70% are illiterate, 50% are African Americans, 80% are drug users and alcoholics mixed in with the homeless, the mentally ill and non-violent offenders. The prison corporations offer no treatment for the sick or help for the homeless. On the contrary, the sick and poor are mixed in with a genuine assortment of sociopaths.
My boarding call is announced. I am relieved when the line shortens. It is my turn. I am waved up to a table by two rubber gloved uniformed persons. I notice that rubber gloves are very popular these days. I am motioned to stand with legs wide apart, my arms extended. The large male spills my bag’s contents onto a nearby table. My money purse bursts open. Coins spill out. A dime rolls and stops at my bare feet. On it I see the word “Liberty”. I reflexively reach out to prevent the contents of my bag from scattering on the floor. The large male shoots out his hand motioning me to stop. His other hand dives toward his belt, which bristles with some kind of paraphernalia.
I stand to attention again. The trigger-happy moment is over. The female begins her search. She pats me down thoroughly, pausing at my crotch to ensure I haven’t stashed a weapon of mass destruction there. After she is satisfied, the female produces a cotton swab, the kind used to remove women’s makeup. She swabs carefully around the perimeter edge of my rucksack and places the swab into a machine nearby. I am told to stand there. No one explains what is happening. I wonder what they’re looking for.
I take a brief inventory. Had I visited a botanical garden recently? Could I have traces of fertilizer on my bag? Could my bag have been contaminated by someone else’s? What happens to the millions of passengers that are now driving instead of flying? Will roadblocks and barricades be erected? Will grandmothers and little girls be frisked at the roadside?
Still standing to attention, I wondered what had happened to the America of my childhood and teenage years. Family picnics in the park. There was terrorism in the world then. But Kennedy presided over a Whitehouse without barricades. 9/11 is now the answer to all questions. But no one yet has satisfactorily answered the question about who really caused it. One thing is for sure. It has unleashed a global siege.
I pondered on my rights and wondered by whose authority I was required to stand here in a hostage position when I had done nothing wrong. I had boarded scores of flights before 2001, but suddenly everything changed. Now I was treated like a suspect and so was the little three year old girl ahead of me and her teddy bear.
Then I remembered that barely 45 days after 9/11 the 350-page Patriot Act had been written and passed by Congress without anyone but Ron Paul and a few African American Congressional representatives reading it. Politicians might be exempted from reading laws, however citizens are required to memorize the 100,000 new laws passed each year in the US, because “ignorance of the law is no defense”. The long arms of the Patriot Act claims to have powers over not just Americans but over all people in all countries of the world. The people of the world need to start reading. As for me, now seemed a good opportunity to recap the legislation.
I remembered that the Patriot Act required me to refrain from attacking, setting fire to or disabling mass transportation systems, and spreading toxins or biological or radioactive weapons of mass destruction. The Act states that I must also refrain from attacking nuclear facilities and carrying a weapon, including a nail clipper onto an airplane.
So far that wasn’t going to be difficult for me. The Patriot Act 2 however, exempts corporations from the penalties of those very acts. And they are not required to disclose information about toxins, biological or radioactive substances.
Furthermore, any person interfering, even unintentionally with any supply, computer or pipeline to US facilities in or around any of the thousands of US bases (or US corporations) stationed around the world on the sovereign soil of other countries would be classed as an “enemy combatant” and deemed guilty of terrorism. They may be indefinitely detained, without charges, trial, or reasonable cause. That also includes people being in the wrong place at the wrong time such as the captured children under the age of 16 who find themselves indefinitely captive in Guantanamo Bay.
It was dawning on me that the networks of prisons around the globe for “enemy combatants”, just like Guantanamo, were courtesy of the Patriot Act. It seems there are no more prisoners-of-war under the Geneva Convention. And torture is now allowed.
The Patriot Act also requires me to report anyone I know who might be intending to do anything “intimidating” to the US Government, or even thinking about it. This requires special clairvoyant skills, but the penalty for not knowing what others are thinking is a stiff 10 years in a US federal penitentiary.
In addition, if anyone in any other country in the world thinks about those things, I am required to report them to the US authorities. They can then be spied on in their own country with the aid of local version Anti-terrorist legislation which many countries have now passed through their Parliaments. It is designed to dovetail perfectly with the Patriot Act, empowering it over the peoples of other countries without anyone having discussed it, voted for it or consented to its powers.
It seems that the sovereign nations of the world are deemed to be ruled under a foreign power. Perhaps it’s time for a referendum to find out what the people say-while it’s still legal to vote.
Suspects under the Act can be removed from their own country to the US or to any unknown whereabouts, and have their assets seized. (Echoes of Guantanamo again. Creating a prison planet for thought crimes. Foretold by Orwell.)
If I should reveal the location where persons are secretly held without a trial, I will also be deemed a terrorist, and the penalty can be death. If I fail to report anyone thinking or talking about “intimidating” the US, I can have my own assets seized under section 806 of the Patriot Act, no matter where I live in the world. I have a demanding day job, but suddenly I realized we have all been recruited as part of the global police. This includes any action that “could result in a foreseeable risk”, anytime before the Act became law.
I’m beginning to realize, as I stand barefoot in the airport, how high maintenance this law really is. I have to think back 40 years or so. It’ll take some time. Oh but wait there’s more; a DNA sample from anyone thinking about conspiring. That means a person is guilty of a crime by the mere thought of it. That’s a lot of samples.
Then there’s the ban on “domestic terrorism”. That is any act that “appears intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population”. (I wondered whether that search of my groin was classed as “intimidating”.) The Act also prohibited influencing government policy by “intimidation”. Theoretically, that included the activities of Greenpeace. However, it was still legal for corporate lobby groups to “influence Government policy” by buying politicians.
“Domestic terrorism” is also defined as “affecting government conduct by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping”. I wondered whether the invasion of Iraq was in breach of the Patriot Act. Patriot 2, the horror sequel to Patriot 1, expands in SECTION 403 the definition of “weapons of mass destruction” as including any activity that affects US interstate commerce or US exports. Looks like corporations had moved into the seat of government when nobody was looking.
The machine gave my swab a green light and I was free to gather the disheveled contents of my rucksack and board the aircraft. Thanks to the Patriot Act, my fellow travelers and all Americans could feel so much safer now that my groin was searched.
“We Live in a dirty and dangerous world. There are some things the general public does not need to know, and shouldn’t. I Believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows.”
Katherine Graham, Heiress and Owner of the Washington Post
The commercial flight was full and heavy, but the pilot executed a perfect takeoff.
I sat next to a terse looking man in his early 40’s with a slightly grown out US military buzz-cut. We were in it for the long haul. Before too long I realized he knew more about the effects of flying on the human body than even a commercial pilot. The hours ticked by. He consumed a bottle of Aussie Red. He seemed familiar with Australia. Not Sydney or Melbourne. But the remote terrain of central Australia, near the bases. We talked about the Iraq invasion. “The liberation? It’s good for the Aussies … we don’t buy French wines anymore”. It was the first time he’d laughed. “But polls show that the Australian public doesn’t want the war.”
I argued. But I knew by now, that we spoke a different language. He gave another brittle laugh as though I’d just made a joke. It was clear he considered the concept of electors as ludicrous and irrelevant. To his view there was no connection between what the voters want and what the government does.
“What’s the problem?” he asked, “we (the US) paid for the Aussie planes anyway and they (the Aussies) get the reconstruction contracts.” Silence. We retreated into our corners for a while pretending to sleep. Both of us had already quite accurately sized the other up.
He asked me where my ultimate destination was. I lied. And he knew it. I told him I was invited to give a talk. That part was true. He asked me about my work. I told him. “A writer on the politics of the health care industry, among other things; exploding the myths.” “What do you mean?” His interest was sparked.
Briefly overcome by the pointlessness of sharing my views with him, I continued anyway. “How strange is it that ‘they’ tell us that the world population is still growing out of control when the west has had close to zero population growth for many years now and up to 80% of Africa and Asia are infected with HIV and dying of AIDS, famine and war?”
He pretended disinterest but cocked his head toward me. I continued. “How strange is it that ‘they’ tell us that our life expectancy is increasing because of good health care, when cancer is raging in epidemic proportions, nearly 42% of Americans will die of heart disease and western medical care has moved up to being the number one killer in the west. [8 9] Asthma, allergies, autoimmune disorders have risen by 40%, AIDS, and other epidemics old and new rage out of control. Obesity, mental illness, Alzheimer’s, addiction and suicides are epidemic, a quarter of children in the west and most in the third world now live in poverty without basic necessities and medical care. Doesn’t anyone die from these? In addition 86% of US children cannot pass a standard fitness test. Isn’t it manifestly obvious that neither the US nor the world’s life expectancy is increasing?”
He had developed a slight facial twitch. “You’re wrong”. He said, “dead wrong”.
“I’m right,” I said stubbornly. “No you’re not,” he said. “I was an analyst for the Pentagon. I analyze information.” There, he’d actually said it. I stopped a while to take it in. “What do you do to the information?” I asked, not expecting a reply.
“Where did you get your information from?” he asked ignoring my question. “It’s out there in the public domain.” I quoted a few studies. “Since big Pharma and corporations took over health care, it’s been killing people. Millions.” I said defiantly.
Are you out there saying that in public? He demanded. “Sure, “I said. “You can’t go out there and say that,” he repeated. “But it’s true,” I insisted.
“You’ve got no proof,” he challenged.
“Consider some proven facts about US health care and join the dots”, I said. I quoted sources that the US, whose health care system is monopolized by corporations, has the worst infant mortality rate compared to 23 other wealthy countries whose health care system is still in partly in public hands.
“US health care corporations are a powerful lobby and generous financial benefactors to politicians on Capitol Hill, and with this flood of cash, the US has nearly the lowest life expectancy of 23 other wealthy countries. The US has 5% of the world’s population and it spends 45% of the world’s health dollars. Despite this, Americans’ life expectancies are the lowest of 23 other wealthy nations’ and lower than some third world countries like Costa Rica [1 2 4 5]. “But not for long,” I speculated, “globalization is exporting this model to the rest of the world.”
He seemed agitated, but I had to finish. “This can only mean that corporate health care creates sickness, disability and death and profits from it,” I said.
“You can’t say that”, he hissed.
“Yes I can”, I answered.
“No you can’t”, he repeated more grimly.
“Because”, he hesitated, searching for the right words, “It’s classified.”
A long silence came between us. He sipped the last drop of red from his plastic airline cup. I sat back in my seat trying to look relaxed. Perhaps it was foolish of me, I thought. But at least I found out who “they” are.
New Solutions for a Sick Society
Each day the silent global epidemic of official brutality escalates. Such crimes are seldom reported, but citzen’s groups now track their numbers.
On my return from overseas I was determined to track the people’s response to the emerging global police state and its volumes of oppressive statute legislation.
I soon discovered a rising tide of activism that already far exceeds the 60’s decade; citizen’s grass roots activism, social justice and human rights activism, student activism, scientist activism, consumer activism, democracy in action, truth in media, truth in medicine, corporate watch, even Islamic activism.
The global trend is steeply on the rise. And it is changing to suit the times. There has been an increasing shift to personal empowerment whereby ordinary persons create the changes they would like to see in the world. Surprising numbers are emboldened because the level of systemic corruption has become blindingly obvious and almost all voters now know that politicians undemocratically pass laws without their consent. Increasingly more people find repugnant laws that deny human rights, impossible to acquiesce to.
Increasingly, Social Justice Groups are rediscovering the principles of Natural Law and the community traditions of Common Law, (as defined by the Oxford Dictionary as that which derives its force and authority from the universal consent and immemorial practice of the community). Common Law movements gather around the world, addressing social, political and judicial injustice. One such trend has been started in Australia by various common law advocates who give regular seminars. Their students frequently challenge statute laws successfully. The movement has found kindred spirits in the thousands who have subsequently been emboldened to stand up for their rights in many diverse areas.
Mental Health vs. Mental Hell
An outbreak of repressive mental health laws around the world reduce accountability and transparency, seemingly empowering the corporate state to incarcerate individuals indefinitely in order to force drugs and treatments upon them that can cause permanent brain damage.
Mandatory mental health screening has recently been introduced in some US States, which activists fear will also lead to more involuntary drug treatments.[10 11] Increasingly, more health conditions are now included under the “mental health” umbrella, where statute laws abound. The result has been a shocking betrayal of trust. Increasingly, children and teenagers who once merely needed drug and alcohol treatment are now funnelled into the mental health system and often end up on long-term psychiatric drugs instead of the recreational drugs they were attempting to withdraw from. Citizen watchdogs and groups supporting victims of psychiatric violations of human rights all report a significant increase in complaints of psychiatric abuse.
A 17-year-old Australian boy had been smoking marijuana on a regular basis during his final year of school. He had been a well-liked straight-A student. The boy and his mother sought help from staff at a nearby drug and alcohol centre who told them that pot “won’t hurt him”. Still concerned, the mother took her son to the local doctor. The GP referred him to a visiting psychiatrist, who began to prescribe psychiatric drugs to the boy.
Within weeks the psychiatrist placed the boy into the mental health system. Once there, he was heavily drugged. Within 2 years the boy was permanently institutionalised and given dozens of shock treatments, without his mother’s consent. Later he had paddle shaped electrical burns on his upper abdomen from the shock treatment. For the past 7 years he has been institutionalised and drugged into a stupor with strong psychiatric drugs. The boy, now a man of 24, remains imprisoned in the mental health system while his general health has deteriorated appallingly.
Mostly heavily drugged, he shakes and trembles between rigid spasms. Effectively unable to communicate, he shuffles unsteadily when on his feet. The remaining time he sleeps stuporously for hours on end. The psychiatric facility has refused to allow outside medical treatment for him. In his GPs opinion, the young man may now be irreparably brain damaged. His mother has now taken Common Law steps to address her son’s psychiatric abuse, and to provide the necessary medical measures required to treat the damage done to her son.
The Common Law Power of withholding Consent
An 18-year-old Sydney boy had been smoking marijuana on a regular basis since he’d left his parent’s home to live independently. After a year he found it increasingly difficult to hold down a job and agreed to get help. His parents were fully medically insured, and encouraged their son to enter a private clinic rather than a state run drug rehab, assuming that the treatment would be better. The clinic was part of a multinational chain of medical and psychiatric facilities. In an extraordinary display of motivation the young man had already abstained from drugs for four days prior to the day of his admission. He entered the facility clean, sober and motivated to stay that way.
On the mother’s subsequent visits she was disturbed that her son had been so heavily drugged he was barely rouseable. On questioning him, she learnt the staff had insisted he take the drugs. The mother, a registered nurse, discovered he was receiving tranquillisers and a strong antipsychotic drug, in addition to extra “sleeping” medication the psychiatrist had prescribed. Since her son had never had a psychiatric illness and because of his other physical allergies she contacted her GP who wrote a letter to the psychiatrist stating that the boy had numerous chemical sensitivities and could not tolerate large amounts of drugs or unnecessary ones. He reiterated that the purpose of the boy’s admission was detoxification and that the boy was clean of drugs when he entered the facility.
- (The boy’s mother also inquired into the protocols of two other public detoxification/rehabilitation centres. Off the record she was told that doctors employed by the corporate hospital chains were known to prescribe large amounts of drugs to insured persons who often ended up on more drugs than the ones they were dependent on at the time of admission. On the other hand public hospital rehabs used drugs sparingly, only to assist with severe withdrawals whereas charity run centres on a shoe string budget used no drugs at all.)
The mother arranged for a conference with the facility’s psychiatrist, herself, and her son, wherein she presented the GP’s letter. The psychiatrist disregarded the doctor’s letter. Appearing resentful of the mother’s presence, he reminded her that the son was now 18, the age of majority. However the son himself requested no more drugs be prescribed for him, as he was motivated to get clean. A few days later the couple took their son out to lunch on leave from the clinic to a nearby restaurant.
The young man was drowsy and slurringly related that the staff frequently brought him medication and insisted they had the right to medicate him, anytime they considered it necessary, with any drug they deemed necessary. Moreover, the son told them that the psychiatrist had presented him with a written agreement to that effect earlier that morning, which the young man had had the presence of mind not to sign, even in his drug addled state. His parents were familiar with Common Law rights and informed their son that they considered he was in clear danger of being forcibly drugged and hospitalised if he signed such a document in that treatment facility. The mother urged her son to leave the facility immediately and return home with them. To the parent’s dismay their son refused at that time, telling them he wanted to “handle it myself”. Later that evening the boy left the treatment facility and travelled home on public transport.
He had not signed any documents giving his own consent to possible involuntary incarceration at the mental “health” facility. The parents were able to convey to their son that his consent was a powerful legal instrument not to be given lightly, and not without consulting with a trusted advisor first. The boy recovered and remains well. Scores of others are not so lucky. Many psychiatric abuses begin after voluntary consent is given without consulting a legal adviser. It then continues by the mental “health” system’s statute provisions. Most health consumers are still unaware of the system’s capability to betray and abuse human rights. It is now more important than ever to investigate health care facilities thoroughly before entrusting a loved one to their care.
If the upsurge in parent activist internet sites is anything to go by, then parents are increasingly disturbed by a school system that resembles a prison; a system that pushes junk food and soda, political propaganda and social conditioning onto their children. Increasingly parents note the absence of freedom of thought at schools. Also lacking are Constitutional studies, which would inform children of their inalienble rights and of the fact that in a democracy, government is at the service of the people and not the other way around.
Stealing Our Children
Stories abound of children dying in the care of abusive parents after child welfare authorities were notified and failed to take action. However, the darker side of government child welfare authorities is rarely publicized. Australian authorities made an 11 year-old-girl a ward of the Court after an oncologist called in the authorities when the family was still deciding whether to consent to chemotherapy.
The child had chemo forcibly administered while being confined and guarded in a hospital for two months. A Supreme Court Judge ordered this forced treatment on the strength of the oncologist’s opinion. However the doctor could not show any evidence supporting the validity of his treatment. The family made several efforts to stop the forced treatment, which they considered medical abuse, but they were unsuccessful in this despite having spent their savings on lawyer’s fees.
The child’s father became educated on the principles of Common Law and represented the child’s interests in Court himself, where he successfully reinstated some of his parental rights.
Sickness Industry Abusing Practitioners through Regulators
The Pharmaceutical industry lobby has increasingly infiltrated government policy. Since then there has been an unprecedented attack on the use of natural, non-drug based therapies, as well as on its providers. New health care laws give powers of search and seizure to medical boards and health care watchdogs. This might be understandable if the police-state powers were being used to ferret out sleazy or quack doctors and incompetent practitioners. Perhaps not surprisingly, however, the power of these laws is now arbitrarily used to harass and abuse qualified doctors and other health professionals practicing natural, alternative or integrative health care.
The internet abounds with Health Freedom activists who are now tracking this official abuse of practitioners. However, Tim Bolen, one such advocate publicises the increasing numbers of practitioners who successfully stand up to authorities. Though abuses still abound, some success stories are emerging.
Last year an Australian naturopath was allegedly raided by a government team who searched the practitioner’s private belongings. The quiet, elderly health professional was overwhelmed and devastated by the raid allegedly conducted by 18 uniformed goons.
Most recently another notable Australian physician who’d achieved excellent clinical results treating patients with nutrient supplements and dietary measures was targeted by the medical regulators in his state. He had been officially harassed for several years. But when confronted by the Board’s police-type powers he “voluntarily” consented to his retirement instead of mounting what he anticipated would be a costly and stressful legal action.
Another Australian doctor who was harassed by authorities for including osteopathy in his general practice won some concessions when he took his case to the High Court where he eloquently represented himself.
Police or Army?
Since 9/11, law enforcement, using non-lethal weapons and riot paraphernalia has now acquired the militaristic image of an occupying army. Even in developed countries the police, once employed to uphold community rights and safety, now attempt to use brutality to suppress lawful activities such as the right to dissent. Each day in the world the silent epidemic of official brutality escalates.
Most such crimes are never reported, but citizen’s groups are closely tracking their numbers. And as the lyrics go, it appears that growing numbers of ordinary folk are; “mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore”.
The principles of Common Law are being applied to many settings. In July 2004 police attempted to herd demonstrators protesting against repression of civil liberties at the Democratic National Convention in Boston, into an area enclosed by netting, chain link fence and barbed wire. With 5000 police, army reservists and Feds prowling the vicinity and helicopters circling overhead, many demonstrators said the area looked like a concentration camp. By all accounts, the city of Boston made its début as a police state. Some demonstrators refused to enter the area that authorities had ironically called the “free speech zone”.
Many demonstrators acquiesced to being herded into the barbed wire enclosure and vocally complained about it afterwards. However, a large number did not consent. They powerfully exercised their simple Common Law right to withhold consent to an injustice. The importance of that event eclipsed the other events of the day.
Free People Zones
By all accounts there are staggering social justice movements afoot which are starting to change the current trend of corporatization, political oppression and corruption.
Increasingly institutions and corporations are being held to account. More health care consumers now require doctors to provide accurate information about vaccinations, drugs and medical procedures. Increasingly, Class Actions are gathering; on behalf of vaccine-damaged children, persons suffering adverse effects from prescribed drugs and inappropriate medical treatments.
With the help of a compliant mainstream media, governments blindly continue to create reams of laws that seek to enslave humanity in “free trade” zones. Meanwhile however, the world’s people reside in communities and are creating a thick global network of Free People Zones; where millions of people are joined by the spirit of their collective values. They create their own community-based media, literature, food, conservation projects, healing centers, technology and politics. In the US, over 300 cities and four States have passed resolutions to have the patriot act repealed.
Around the world, individual persons, entire communities, fellowships and emerging sweeping movements have put the government on notice that Constitutional Laws and Human rights will not be violated in their area.