Michael Shellenberger Profile picture
Oct 18, 2023 15 tweets 6 min read Read on X
The mainstream media insist that the Censorship Industrial Complex is a conspiracy theory, but it's not. It's real. And, now, 138 artists, journalists, and public intellectuals from around the world, and from Left to Right, are calling on governments to dismantle it. Image
Introducing the Westminster Declaration

One hundred and thirty-eight public intellectuals and journalists demand governments dismantle the Censorship Industrial Complex

by @shellenberger @mtaibbi @NAffects @lwoodhouse & @galexybrane
Home page of The Westminster Declaration ()

In March of this year, two of us, Matt and Michael, testified to Congress about the existence of a Censorship Industrial Complex comprised of government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and Big Tech companies working together to suppress disfavored views and disfavored people.

At that hearing and ever since, elected members of Congress, the mainstream news media, and the NGOs have argued that there is no Censorship Complex, just people doing research into and trying to correct misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation.

But now, a group of 138 scholars, public intellectuals, and journalists from across the political spectrum have issued a strong call warning the public of the Censorship Industrial Complex and urging governments to dismantle it in the name of the “first liberty,” freedom of speech. It’s called The Westminster Declaration.

How did it come about?
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And please read The Westminster Declaration!

westminsterdeclaration.org
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New York Post

"Whatever your political bent, this new form of speech control is a threat to you. Only by debating freely in a rapidly fragmenting world can we resolve differences without resorting to violence."

Thank you @mirandadevine ! 🌹❤️

nypost.com/2023/10/18/wit…
Times Of London

Rishi Sunak warned over ‘censorship of ordinary people’ on social media

thetimes.co.uk/article/rishi-…
Telegraph (Front Page)

Social media firms are silencing free speech with 'disinformation' claims, Sunak told

Over a hundred academics, historians and journalists have warned the PM against censoring free speech, in a statement delivered to No 10

"Their intervention comes after The Telegraph revealed that a secretive government unit was flagging criticism of lockdown as Covid 'disinformation'.

"The Counter Disinformation Unit, which operated out of Whitehall, worked with intelligence agencies to monitor the online posts of journalists and members of the public.

"At least three people whose legitimate opinions about Covid were flagged by government monitors have co-signed the statement sent to Mr Sunak, which warned that labels such as “disinformation” were being abused."

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La Verità: Il manifesto a difesa della libertà di espressione
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La Verità: Il manifesto a difesa della libertà di espressione
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La Verità: "Il manifesto a difesa della libertà di espressione"
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France-Soir: "DECLARATION POUR LA TRANSPARENCE ET LE DROIT A L'INFORMATION"

francesoir.fr/opinions-tribu…
France-Soir: "DECLARATION POUR LA TRANSPARENCE ET LE DROIT A L'INFORMATION"

francesoir.fr/opinions-tribu…
Welt: Wir kommen von links, rechts und aus der Mitte und sind zutiefst besorgt über die zunehmende Zensur

welt.de/kultur/plus248…

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More from @shellenberger

Jul 16
I’m afraid I have some terrible news. The governor of America’s largest and richest state has just signed a law that puts 10 million children and adolescents in grave danger of medical mistreatment.

The media headlines have it wrong. They claim that California Governor Gavin Newsom’s new law protects children by stopping public schools from outing their new gender to their parents.

It does just the opposite. It makes children vulnerable to irreversible and lifelong medical abuse and mistreatment. And it is all based on the pseudoscientific idea that some children are born into the wrong bodies and that we can change a person’s sex through drugs and surgery.

For any of this to make sense, you have to understand what’s happening in Britain. Several years ago, the government appointed a well-respected pediatrician named Hillary Cass to investigate whether it was ethical to block the puberty of children, give them opposite-sex hormones, and perform surgeries on their bodies to make them feel better about their gender. Dr. Cass came back a few weeks ago and said no, absolutely not.

Around the same time, the British government banned puberty blockers nationwide. And, just a few days ago, the new Labor Party government affirmed that it would maintain the former government’s ban.

In her report, Cass said that the so-called “social transition,” whereby a child adopts the identity of the opposite sex, is not a neutral act and has psychological consequences. This means it is the first step toward medical intervention.

What Gavin Newsom has done is actively prevented schools from informing parents that their children have been put on a medical pathway.

This is an outrageous attack on the rights of children and parents. Children have a right to go through puberty. No adult should be able to block their puberty. And parents have a right to know if their child thinks that they are the opposite sex or were born into the wrong body.

We have seen with leaked internal documents of the leading gender medicine group, WPATH, that these medical interventions, namely puberty blockers, hormones, and surgery, are not only irreversible but result in sterilization and loss of sexual function.

Children or adolescents are simply not mature enough to understand the effects of so-called “gender-affirming care.” They cannot, in other words, give their informed consent.

The new law creates the grave risk that activist teachers, students, and outside groups will convince their children that they were born into the wrong body, and hide their “social transition” from parents, which will lead to harmful medical mistreatment.

As such, the law that Newsom just signed is the opposite of what both children and their parents need. We need schools to immediately warn parents if their children think they are the opposite sex.

After all, this is a diagnosable psychiatric condition known as “gender dysphoria.” And if your child has a psychiatric disorder, whether anxiety, depression, an eating disorder, or gender dysphoria, you have a right to know.

And schools must stop teaching children, or allowing other people to teach children, the pseudoscientific and dehumanizing ideas that it’s possible to be born into the wrong body and possible to change one’s sex.

As such, either the legislature, the courts, or a ballot initiative will be required to nullify Newsom’s law. Until then, it is important to spread the word to parents that California public schools are fundamentally unsafe for the millions of children who attend them.
The politicians — @GavinNewsom @EleniForCA @AGRobBonta @XavierBecerra @JoeBiden @KamalaHarris — must immediately stop this grotesque violation of human rights.

The whole world is watching.
Read 4 tweets
Jul 13
Now might be a good time for our political leaders to tone down the rhetoric.
A mentally ill homeless drug addict attacked Nancy Pelosi’s husband and NBC blamed Trump and the GOP.

Somehow I doubt NBC will blame Biden for the near-assassination of Trump. Image
Read 6 tweets
Jul 12
Take a good look at this man. His intent is to censor the entire Internet, including in the United States. He hates our freedom because it exposes his lies. He treats “1984” as a guidebook. He is a totalitarian menace, and we must do everything we can to remove him from power.
What Breton is doing is flagrantly illegal. He is violating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the EU Constitution, and the French Constitution. US, EU, and other lawmakers around the world should demand Breton be fired and investigated for his attack on freedom.
Breton must be stopped at all costs. The longer he is allowed to stay in his position the more powerful and dangerous he becomes.

We are witnessing an EU coup against our fundamental freedom in real time.

The EU must fire Breton or face serious consequences for his pathological totalitarian behavior.
Read 6 tweets
Jul 11
Business owners and district attorneys in California have proposed a moderate ballot measure to stop rampant shoplifting and fentanyl deaths. Gov @GavinNewsom says he will oppose it. I suspect Kamala and Biden will, too.

The reason is that Soros is one of their biggest donors. It is his law that decriminalized shoplifting and hard drugs. Soros will likely give Gavin's consultants tens of millions to kill the law.

It will be interesting to watch Gavin, Kamala, and Biden defend their obviously immoral Soros-funded pro-crime agenda, which led a half million people to flee the state and has turned the downtowns of San Francisco and Los Angeles into lawless wastelands.

These are deeply creepy people who do not care about the thousands of mentally ill addicts they're letting foreign drug dealers poison every year.

The mainstream media in California takes money from Soros and campaigned for the legalization of drug dealing and shoplifting. They have been lying about this issue for years. So please share this information so we can get the truth out.
Voters passed the Soros-funded Prop 47 in 2014. Gavin Newsom and Kamala Harris made it harder to mandate drug treatment because it effectively decriminalized hard drug dealing, public drug use, and theft under 950 dollars, with no incentive to enter rehab.

That combination proved devastating. Prop 47 allowed shoplifters and thieves to break the law with impunity, often to support their deadly drug habit.

The money addicts make from selling their stolen goods goes to drug dealers, so in effect, our laws subsidize the Sinaloa drug cartel, which has pioneered new forms of extreme violence.

That’s why so many stores, from Walgreens and Old Navy to Nordstrom’s and Macy’s, have closed and left California.

There is a better way. We need to mandate rehabilitation, not prison, for people who repeatedly break the law to support their addiction. We need to crack down on open-air dealing of fentanyl, which is killing our people. And we need to make it illegal to steal from retail stores, and hold people accountable.

Gavin Newsom is trying to kill the new ballot initiative, Proposition 36. It is essential that we stop him. Californians need the Homelessness, Drug Addiction and Theft Reduction Act. Please visit to learn more.CASafecommunities.com
If @KamalaHarris becomes the Democratic nominee for president, you can expect criticism of her for campaigning for Proposition 47 and misleading voters about it.

As California's Attorney General at the time, Harris wrote the 100-word summary for voters. And, as AG, she oversaw the lab that analyzes DNA.

And yet Harris failed to mention in her summary that Prop 47 would drastically reduce the DNA samples collected by police, which proved devastating for prosecuting perpetrators of rape and murder.Image
Read 6 tweets
Jun 28
Many Democrats want to replace Biden with California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Doing so would be a disaster for the nation. Please consider these three key facts, and watch the video below for an overview:

1. Newsom's policies led directly to homelessness increasing by 31% in California, even as it decreased by 18% in the rest of the US from 2010-2020. Homelessness increased another 7.5% between 2022 and 2023.

2. Newsom's policies led directly to skyrocketing crime. One out of four San Francisco residents polled say they were a victim of crime in the last year, and 42% say they were a victim more than once.

3. Rising crime and homelessness, high taxes, and unaffordable housing under Newsom has resulted in people fleeing the state. The state's total population declined by 573,000 from its peak in 2020.

I have interviewed hundreds of homeless people in California. Many, if not most, are from out of state. Many said they came to California so they could be paid to use hard drugs, in many cases to self-medicate severe mental illness. And many are assaulted and left to die, resulting in far higher rates of drug death than other parts of the nation.

Don't believe the hype: Newsom is not compassionate. He only cares about himself, and his policies result in grotesque cruelty.
Newsom demanded that we decriminalize up to $950 in shoplifting and the possession of hard drugs. The result has been an influx of homeless addicts who shoplift to support their deadly habit. Many of us have endorsed a reform of the law (Prop. 47). Leaked emails show that @GavinNewsom tried to undermine the reforms, which voters are likely to pass this November.

cbsnews.com/sacramento/new…Image
Newsom, and the mainstream news media say there’s been no increase in crime and that crime levels are lower in California than in other states. But that’s a lie.

It's true that the increase in crime isn't just in California. But it's worse here.

California politicians know this. In a single week last April, someone burglarized the home of Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, someone stole the suitcase of Congressman Adam Schiff in the Bay Area, and someone else punched the police officer protecting the mayor of San Jose.

In California, we have the fewest police per capita than at any point since 1991.

Newsom has done more than anyone to implement the policies of George Soros, one of his major funders.

Newsom enables and defends addiction.

“Clean and sober is one of the biggest damn mistakes this country's ever made,” said Newsom. “If you're like me, I've been known to have a glass of wine at night watching some of the nightly news. We all need to self-medicate periodically.”

For Newsom to compare his chardonnay sipping to people smoking fentanyl is grotesque.

Over 100,000 people died last year from hard drugs. People die in San Francisco at far higher rates than the rest of the country.

Yes, the epidemic started with prescription drugs. But Newsom made it worse by making drugs more available and opposing the tough love that addicts and criminals alike need to get their lives together.
Read 8 tweets
Jun 27
Over the last two decades, scientists and the media published thousands of articles claiming that climate change would destroy small atoll islands due to sea level rise.

And the climate change was our fault. "You're making this island disappear," claimed @CNN
It was all a big lie. Scientists have known since 2018 that, "Over the past decades, atoll islands exhibited no widespread sign of physical destabilization in the face of sea-level rise."
And now, six years after scientists published that study, which found that 89% of the islands were stable or had increased in size, the New York Times has finally informed its readers of this "surprising climate find."
In truth, it's only "surprising" to readers of New York Times, CNN, and the rest of the mainstream news media because they brainwashed their readers into believing that the islands were disappearing, causing an epidemic of adolescent climate anxiety culminating in the toxic disinformation of @GretaThunberg

The Times writes today that "atoll nations like the Maldives... seemed doomed to vanish... Of late, though, scientists have begun telling a surprising new story."

Of late? The year 2018 is "of late"? No, it's not.

There was never evidence that the islands were disappearing; it was only a theory. The scientists simply assumed that sea level rise was the only factor in the size of islands and denied the obvious reality that islands can grow.Image
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They said that climate change was "killing" the Great Barrier Reef.
In truth, there is more coral on the Great Barrier Reef than at any point since they started studying it.Image
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They said climate change was making wildfires more intense.

In truth, better forest management to reduce wood fuel accumulation makes them less intense, even with hotter temperatures, as everyone always knew:

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Read 16 tweets

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