Political Correctness and Censorship within Subud Britain, by Sakib Ahmad
The mid-April 2020 issue of the Journal had this invitation: “We would love to hear your Subud-related experiences of lockdown and at a distance Latihans and/or your thoughts, Receivings, understandings etc about the situation.” In response to this invitation I wrote a personal account of my experience of “lockdown, distance Latihans, thoughts, Receiving and understanding” of the world which had been turned upside down. This account, entitled “A Testing Time”, was published in the May edition.
The next issue of the Journal in mid-May was extraordinary for the humbug and vitriolic comments which the editor thought fit to publish.
The article “In Response” purported to deal with the medical aspects of the mysterious COVID-19 disease, which the author called a virus. This “response” to me was quite irrelevant in the context of “A Testing Time”, which was my subjective account of how I perceived the extraordinary changes taking place at breakneck speed. I did make a passing reference to unexplained medical questions behind the panic but those questions were sidestepped by the author. His “medical explanations” merely repeated the official and media propaganda and provided references to discredited sources (e.g. USA’s CDC). That kind of disinformation, and the omission of information which would have exposed the official lies, made his article quite inappropriate for publication in the Journal. A more knowledgeable editor would have returned the article to the author for corrections and improvement. I do think that there is an urgent need for us to set up a mechanism for Testing weighty issues in this age of fake news.
That article was followed by three contributions from members of a single Group. I was puzzled by the editor’s decision to give the groupthink of Maidenhead Group so much emphasis by allowing three members of that Group to give vent to their suppressed anger based on the non-stop propaganda which is being hammered into the collective mind of the populace. Those three pieces did make me wonder if Testing had become a “conspiracy theory”, a phrase they all shouted in unison. One of them expressed sorrow that the article was published and she “understood the dilemma over the cries of censorship that would have come from that quarter!” What quarter, indeed? The article was the outcome of Testing, and had full support from my family spread over three Groups: Oxford, Loudwater and Birmingham. Did the editor have to fill the pages of the Journal with the groupthink of Maidenhead Group? This is quite out of place in a Subud magazine. I have received support from various members for “A Testing Time”. The criticisms have all come from the SB and the Maidenhead Group, and those closely related to them.
The personal attack by the Maidenhead members was quite out of place over an article which was about Testing and set out the personal response of a Subud family to the current upheaval in society. Our response rejected the propaganda by the state and the media because of our strong faith in what we had Received. It is unfortunate that there are Subud members who attempt to alter the convictions of others because they differ from those members’ own thinking. Our allegiance ought to be to the Source of the Latihan: the Originator and Creator of all that exists, not to corrupt politicians and their corporate sponsors.
The unpleasant attacks were followed by a controversial article, published anonymously. The title echoed the earlier contributions: “Conspiracy Theories”! In this lengthy diatribe the writer seems to be directly attacking some people outside Subud while indirectly criticising “A Testing Time”. The Journal is not an appropriate medium to engage in battles with outside parties. The editor then announced dramatically: “the discussion was now closed”. There had been no discussion! Five people had misunderstood the contents of “A Testing Time” and had shouted “censorship”, demanding that views different from their own – whether or not backed by Testing – should be suppressed.
My family faced a dilemma. A direct response to the parochialism displayed in those five articles would be viewed by the editor and the SB council as continuation of “discussion” and promptly rejected. We decided that an appropriate way to respond to those provocations was to stick to the primary theme of Testing, which can penetrate the thick walls of propaganda and help us uncover the truth hidden behind those walls. We asked ourselves: did the Receiving correspond with emerging facts? My son Hammad (Birmingham Group) carried out extensive research for verifiable facts.
I wrote a second article, “The Need for Testing”, in which evidence for the facts supporting our Testing was provided directly or links were given to reports which supported the facts mentioned in the article. I also disclosed two further questions which I had Tested before I wrote “A Testing Time”. My daughter Halimah (Loudwater Group) proof-read the finished article and made improvements. It was, therefore, a family effort, representing the views of Subud members spread over Oxford, Loudwater and Birmingham Groups, and comprising three separate households.
The article was sent to the editor, for publication in the beginning-of-June edition. He refused to publish it in its entirety, restricting it to the opening two paragraphs. He called this fact-based article – inspired by Testing – “opinion”, a judgment shared by at least one Helper, who was named by the editor. The Subud Britain Journal’s decline into a shallow publication, which reflects the Politically Correct views of SB national council, is regrettable. There appears to be a spiritual vacuum at the upper echelon of SB which needs to be addressed by Helpers. The mid-June edition of the Journal had an article which showed that the active membership of SB has nearly halved since the seventies. Bapak used to warn Helpers that the way they carried out their responsibilities had a direct effect on falling memberships.
Testing is not “conspiracy theory”, a term which was coined by USA’s intelligence agency CIA following the murder of President Kennedy in the sixties. Unlike the state and media propaganda where lies are repeated endlessly until people accept them as truth, the inestimable Gift of Testing can penetrate the web of lies that non-stop propaganda around us has spun. If only Helpers of the SB organisation would Test the three questions mentioned in my two articles, they might then view things differently. Their endless pious pronouncements reflect their lack of self-awareness. I am aware of my own limitations. While my Testing has helped me see through the propaganda it has not given me the clarity I would wish for. For that I look to others whose potential to Receive is greater.
The display of intolerance and prejudice in the Journal is regrettable. It might be better to replace it with a 4-page newsletter with extracts from Bapak’s talks, plus essential news and timetable of events. So long as the Journal continues in its present form, we ask that this article is published, followed by the full version of “The Need for Testing”. Suppressing freedom of expression will only result in the continuing build-up of dissatisfaction and disaffection with the SB organisation. There are members whose views about the organisation are unprintable. To them, expressing an opinion in the Journal is a waste of time. One member I know will only donate to the Group on condition that not a penny of the sum donated is sent to the Region.
It is time we took a long hard look at ourselves before it is too late. This is an issue which should be of the utmost concern to the new SB Chair who will replace the current incumbent shortly.
Sakib Ahmad, Oxford Group.
25 June, 2020
The Need for Testing, by Sakib Ahmad
The beginning-of-May issue of the Journal had an article written by me, entitled “A Testing Time”. The primary point I had made was that the need for Testing was absolutely fundamental at this time of crisis. I found the mid-May edition of the Journal disappointing in that those who wrote so enthusiastically about my article failed to mention Testing. Having received messages of support from various Subud members, I am taking the topic of Testing a step further in this article.
Before I wrote “A Testing Time” I had Tested the following two questions, among others:
May I Receive what the consequences of lockdown are?
May I Receive how it would have been if there had been no lockdown?
Why did I feel the need to Test?
During much of March our government appeared to be following a sensible policy of dealing with the latest crisis much as governments have always dealt with epidemics. That is, letting our immunity systems grapple with the invading viruses and for herd immunity to establish itself. It was only vulnerable people, those who already had existing illnesses and those with weak immune systems because of old age or unhealthy lifestyles, who might need to be quarantined. Up to that point in history it was unheard of to quarantine healthy people.
Numerous internationally renowned medical experts, epidemiologists and microbiologists have spoken up in support of this policy. To keep the article to a reasonable length, I mention three names (many more are mentioned in an Appendix which the editor may care to place on the Journal server and provide a link to it). Professor Sucharit Bhakdi, Professor Emeritus of Medical Microbiology at the Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, and Head of the Institute for Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, called the “novel” coronavirus a “spook” because it had not been purified and isolated in a laboratory; Professor John Ioannidis, Professor of Disease Prevention at Stanford University; Professor Knut Wittkowski, who was Head of The Rockefeller University’s Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research for 20 years. According to Professor Wittkowski, locking people up in their homes is the worst thing you could do if you wanted to reduce the infections and the duration of the outbreak. Staying inside for weeks and months weakens our immune system.
In the latter half of March our government had a complete change of heart. The catalyst for this change was Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College, London. Ferguson is a controversial figure with a record of alarming predictions based on questionable assumptions (see Appendix). Two months ago he predicted half a million deaths in the UK and 2.2 million in the US if a policy of lockdown were not adopted forthwith. The media publicity given to Ferguson’s dire warnings and the intense pressure from the WHO, the pharmaceutical industry and their agents (for example, Dr Anthony Fauci) caused both governments to reverse their policies. This set off a domino reaction and the drift towards lockdown became a flood. Several countries stood defiant, among them Sweden, Belarus, Iceland and South Korea. The Belarusian President, Alexander Lukashenko, called the stampede towards lockdown “mass psychosis”. Belarusians have enjoyed life much as before with sporting activities, social contacts and economic life carrying on normally while lockdown countries suffered immense deprivation socially and economically, at great cost to their mental and physical health.
Well over a month has elapsed since my Testing. I can see my Receiving being reflected in the unfolding events over this period:
Firstly, to justify the lockdown, both the UK and the US governments have attempted to inflate the number of deaths caused by covid-19 by changing the way death certificates are completed. Any mention of covid-19 anywhere on the death certificate, regardless of established complications such as heart failure or cancer, is now treated as covid-19 death. From the Office of National Statistics website: “The ONS weekly deaths figures include all deaths where the registration mentions covid-19”. This is a blatant attempt to hide the fact that a very high proportion of people – around 90% – who die with covid-19 have at least one or more co-morbidities. Dying with covid-19 is not the same as dying from it. The government’s deception goes further, as ONS admits: “These [weekly deaths data] are based on registrations of deaths where confirmed or suspected covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. Death certification as involving covid-19 does not depend on a positive test”. So, if a sneeze or a cough occurs before dying, then a suspected covid-19 case can be assumed and the death certificate completed accordingly!
Ever since the lockdown began the weekly deaths statistics have consistently exceeded the average that applied in the previous five years. Despite the government’s frenzied attempts to inflate deaths attributed to covid-19, the excess deaths from other causes are higher. That sharp increase is the result of hospitals having cancelled appointments for serious conditions such as cancer and heart disease and earmarking resources for COVID-19 patients. The expected “surge” in the number of covid-19 patients never materialised. The rows of empty hospital beds – and largely empty temporary Nightingale hospitals – make a mockery of Ferguson’s presumptuous modelling.
The scandal of care homes, where large numbers of people are dying, is under-reported. Little attempt has been made to test them for covid-19 or to isolate them from the infection. They are dying from lack of treatment for their illnesses as there is extreme reluctance to take them to hospital. According to The Guardian (article link in Appendix), the staff in some care homes have been issued DNAR notices: Do Not Attempt Resuscitation, which almost sounds like a euthanasia programme. Recently, changes have been made to the way death certificates are completed in care homes. According to ITV News, a spokesman for the Care Quality Commission (the regulator for health and social care services) told them: “the death notifications we collect from providers will allow them to report whether the death was of a person with suspected or confirmed covid-19”.
As a result of official and media propaganda, people now fear COVID-19 more than killer diseases such as cancer and heart disorders. Many are afraid to go to hospital to seek treatment in case they catch the dreaded COVID disease and, presumably, also to “protect the NHS”. The consequences for people who require treatment for cancer and cardiovascular complications are terrible. Professor Stephen Westaby, a leading heart surgeon at John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, has said: “we could see thousands of deaths from heart disease and cancer over the next six months”.
A recent survey by ONS showed 84% of people interviewed were worried about C19. Anxiety leads to the risk of cardiovascular disease and depression. We are facing not just higher mortality but a mental health crisis too. Professor Ed Bullmore, Head of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge, has remarked: “increasing unemployment, separating families and changes in the way we live are major psychological risk factors for anxiety, depression and self-harm”. There are reports of domestic violence and child abuse as frustrated adults seek escape in alcohol but I have not come across reliable figures applicable to the UK. In the US, however, Dr Dan Erickson (who has an urgent care facility in Bakersfield, California) has spoken of lifelong scars, mental trauma and suicides emerging as the direct result of the government’s decision to take away people’s freedom of movement and entrap them in their homes isolated from human contact.
The destructive lockdown regime will lead to economic devastation, which is openly admitted, with widespread closures of small and medium-sized businesses. The consequent rampant unemployment and poverty will give rise to crime, social breakdown and the various health issues mentioned above.
I am aware that there are Subud members who feel uneasy about the direction the government’s lockdown policy is taking. At a time when normal life is turned upside down and reality appears to be merging into fantasy we in Subud are fortunate to have the ability to find peace through the Latihan and counter the waves of propaganda through Testing.
22 May, 2020
Appendix to “The Need for Testing”
- Additional independent (i.e. independent of the government and the pharmaceutical industry) medical experts who oppose the Lockdown policy
Dr Wolfgang Wodarg, German physician specializing in Pulmonology (diseases involving the respiratory tract);
Dr Joel Kettner, Professor of Community Health Sciences and Surgery at Manitoba University, formerly Medical Director of the International Centre for infectious diseases;
Dr Pietro Vernazza, Swiss physician specializing in Infectious Diseases at the Cantonal Hospital St. Gallen and Professor of Health Policy;
Frank Ulrich Montgomery, German radiologist, former President of the German Medical Association and Deputy Chairman of the World Medical Association;
Prof. Hendrik Streeck, German epidemiologist, professor of virology, and the director of the Institute of Virology and HIV Research, at Bonn University;
Prof. Michael T. Osterholm, regents professor and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota;
Dr Peter Goetzsche, Professor of Clinical Research Design and Analysis at the University of Copenhagen;
Dr Sunetra Gupta, Professor of Theoretical Epidemiology at the University of Oxford with an interest in infectious disease agents that are responsible for malaria, HIV, influenza and bacterial meningitis;
Dr Pablo Goldschmidt, Argentine-French virologist specializing in tropical diseases, and Professor of Molecular Pharmacology at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris;
Dr Michael Levitt, Professor of biochemistry at Stanford University, a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), a member of the National Academy of Sciences and received the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems;
Dr John Oxford, English virologist and Professor at Queen Mary, University of London. He is a leading expert on influenza, including bird flu and the 1918 Spanish Influenza, and HIV/AIDS.
By contrast, a look at the politicians and experts directing our government’s policy shows clear conflict of interest. The Chief Scientific Officer, Sir Patrick Vallance, was the Head of Research and Development at GlaxoSmithKline in March 2018, when he smoothly moved through the fabled “revolving doors” between the government and the corporations and was appointed to his government post.
The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, and the Chief Adviser to the Prime Minister, Dominic Cummings, have questionable ties to a healthcare company, Babylon Health. This is a murky political issue which I will not comment on further. Here is an article from the British Medical Journal:
Dominic Cummings has been accused of politicising the advice given by SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergency) to the government. Here is a report published in The Guardian:
- Professor Neil Ferguson’s wild predictions this century:
- In 2002 Ferguson predicted that up to 50,000 people in UK would die from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, “mad cow disease”, possibly to 150,000 if the epidemic expanded to include sheep. A total of 178 people were officially registered dead from vCJD.
- In 2005, Ferguson claimed that up to 200 million (!) people worldwide would be killed by bird-flu or H5N1. By early 2006, the WHO had only linked 78 deaths to the virus.
- In 2009 Ferguson’s group at Imperial College advised the government that swine flu or H1N1 would probably kill 65,000 people in the UK. In the end, swine flu claimed the lives of 457 people.
- DNAR notices being applied in care homes