April 21, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A few days ago a star choreographer for Britain’s Royal Ballet died at the age of 35. Liam Scarlett’s career had been taking off, with widely praised ballet productions under his belt and more in the pipeline from all over the world. He was the product of an intensely specialized education, having trained as a ballet dancer from the age of eight, successfully making the transition from performance to choreography.
Then he was accused of sexual harassment, within the Royal Ballet. An independent investigation took place, which concluded that there “were no matters to pursue in relation to alleged contact with students of The Royal Ballet School”.
This was not good enough, however. The Royal Ballet, followed by the other institutions which had commissioned work from him, cut all ties with him and informed him that his work would never be seen again. With his professional life in this tiny, specialized world essentially over, Scarlett killed himself.
I have no special information about Scarlett or this case. Perhaps there were some special features of the case I don’t know about which vindicate the Royal Ballet’s actions. It is part of a pattern of “cancel culture,” however, which cannot be explained away. This is a culture in which individuals accused of wrongdoing are destroyed, in terms of reputation and career, even if the normal mechanisms of oversight and investigation conclude that they are not guilty.
The same thing has happened in the Church. Priests who are accused of wrongdoing can find themselves thrown out of dioceses or forbidden to exercise public ministry, on the basis not of the conclusion of a proper canonical process, but simply of an accusation.
It seems only yesterday that priests were protected in the Church, and abuse accusations against them were ignored. It was equally recently that similar accusations against employees of secular institutions were ignored. In some cases it was the accusers who found themselves being sanctioned, while the institution refused to look into the claims.
As a matter of fact, this is still happening in many places, and I think it is highly likely that an institution which ignores complaints about some people, except to punish the people making them, will simultaneously throw other people under the bus at the first sign of complaints against them. This is because I do not see these two reactions to complaints as diametrically opposed, but as very similar, and emerging from the same psychology.
The problem is that many dioceses and secular institutions have not emerged from the “us and them” attitude which pays no attention to truth and justice, and seeks only to protect an inner circle: the attitude which caused the clerical and secular abuse-crises alike. They have simply adjusted the boundaries of who is regarded as “one of us”: who is on the inside of the protected sphere, and who is outside.
The protected sphere is now much smaller than before. If it previously included all priests, or all teachers in a school, or scout-masters, or sports coaches, or whatever, now the outer defenses of these institutions have been abandoned, and they are only concerned to defend the inner-most circle: the bishop and the most senior clergy, and the senior management of other institutions. The fact that they are prepared at the drop of a hat to throw more junior colleagues to the wolves is not an indication of a new concern for justice. It reflects a ruthless determination to keep the wolves away from the really important people, whatever the cost.
It doesn’t always work. Indeed, in the longer term it is counter-productive. It undermines collegiality, encourages vexatious complaints, and leaves some real cases of abuse wholly unresolved. It is not the reaction of fully rational and upright people. It is the way an abusive institutional culture deals with a threat. It is what I would expect to see happen in a cult or a criminal gang if it were seriously threatened: The senior members would sacrifice the junior ones to save their own skins.
PETITION UPDATE (2/23/21) -
LifeSite has signed on to a Media Research Center (MRC) letter to all 50 state Attorneys General, calling for an investigation into Big Tech.
Google, Facebook, and Twitter have monopolized the industry, and are using their influence to collect user data, suppress content, and silence those who voice ideas and beliefs counter to their own.
As we urged prior, action must be taken to combat these efforts, and that is why we’ve joined the MRC in this fight.
Please take a couple of minutes to READ this LifeSiteNews article about MRC's initiative: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/lifesite-joins-effort-asking-state-attorneys-general-to-investigate-big-tech-for-deceptive-trade-practices
Then, please SIGN and STOP using Twitter, Facebook, Google (YouTube) and Amazon to take back your privacy and freedom of speech!
PETITION UPDATE (2/9/21) -
YouTube just completely removed the LifeSiteNews YouTube channel. This isn’t a ban, every single one of our videos is completely gone. Being completely removed from YouTube means we’ve lost access to 300,000+ followers.
This is the latest and appalling affront to free speech which is happening to many conservative and Christian organizations.
Please SIGN this petition and STOP using YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Google (owner of YouTube) and Amazon to take back your privacy and freedom of speech!
We are not going to take this lying down!
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PETITION UPDATE (1/26/20) -
Twitter has again locked LifeSiteNews out of two of our accounts on the platform for displaying a message noting that President Joe Biden’s newly named Assistant Secretary of Health “Rachel” Levine is a man.
Both accounts displayed a simple message which read: “Biden names transgender ‘woman’ as Assistant Secretary of Health. ‘Rachel’ Levine is a father of two who divorced his wife in 2013 after 30 years of marriage.” The tweets also included a link to LifeSite’s article Biden names transgender ‘woman’ as Assistant Secretary of Health, and contained part of the opening sentence of that article, “Joe Biden has announced his intention to appoint a gender-confused man” as Assistant Secretary of Health.
For stating biological or Biblical truths, Twitter and Big Tech are trying to shut down conservative voices.
Therefore, it is now more important than ever to consider dumping Twitter, Google (who own YouTube) and Facebook. To be clear: LifeSite is still using Twitter and Big Tech to encourage others to migrate away from these illiberal platforms.
This is not the first time that LifeSiteNews has been censored by Twitter. In December 2019, Twitter indefinitely suspended our account for a tweet that linked to an article on transgender activist Jonathan “Jessica” Yaniv.
At the time, Twitter gave LifeSite the option to delete the tweet and reactivate our account right away. LifeSite remained steadfast that the tweet did not violate any of the company’s “rules and policies,” and sought several appeals with Twitter, while looking into legal action against the company.
And, while LifeSite's account was eventually restored, we must now consider what course of action we will pursue in this case, over and above appealing the ban.
Meanwhile, since taking office on Wednesday last week, Joe Biden has already signed an executive order which will force women’s athletic programs, restrooms, and locker rooms to be open to men. He has also turned back the Trump administration’s policy protecting women’s sports programs in schools.
Last week, LifeSite was banned for two weeks from our YouTube channel, after the site determined that one of our videos about vaccines violated YouTube’s “community guidelines.” We are also in the middle of appealing this ban.
Please considering SIGNING and SHARING this petition. Thank you!
Twitter just deplatformed President Trump premanently! And, other conservatives, including General Flynn and Sidney Powell, were also summarily deplatformed.
Conservatives, Christians and freedom-loving Americans of all political persuasions must now take a decision to preserve their free speech AND their ability to peaceably assemble by dumping Twitter and Big Tech, and by finding other good alternatives to communicate with each other and share their opinions.
Please SIGN our petition-pledge to Dump Twitter and Big Tech, and take back your freedom of speech and privacy. [CLICK HERE for our "Goodbye Google" resources page to find good alternatives to Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, and Google!]
When you use Twitter or Facebook to communicate, and, or, Google and Amazon to search for something online, these companies can stifle your ability to share your thoughts and opinions and manipulate your search results, threatening your privacy, your freedom of speech, and even our democracy.
Evidence suggests that Twitter and Facebook's 'community guidelines' are selectively enforced against conservatives and Christians, while Google rigs their search algorithms to direct traffic away from conservative and Christian websites, effectively choking traffic to those sites.
Simply put, Twitter, Facebook, Google (who owns YouTube) and Amazon appear to be actively suppressing access to pro-freedom, pro-family and pro-life news and opinion.
Don't contribute to this assault on democracy: Stop using Twitter, Facebook, Google and Amazon as your default social media platforms and search engine! [CLICK HERE to find a good alternative to Google.]
To repeat: a few liberal and completely unaccountable computer programmers in Silicon Valley are dictating what we do and do not see in our Twitter and Facebook feeds, and in our Google searches.
We, here, at LifeSite, also recently had our Twitter account suspended by the company over "misgendering" a man who claims to be a woman.
LifeSite has also experienced a fall-off in Google search-related traffic since the company updated its search algorithms at the beginning of May.
And, since the November election, Twitter and Big Tech appear to have dramatically INCREASED their censorship of conservatives and Christians as the President Trump disputed the results of the election and when evidence of election fraud began to mount.
Now, it seems likely that they are trying to cut-off conservative leaders (like President Trump) from conservatives on the ground, and effectively exclude us from the national conversation.
But, this tactic will not work. Because Twitter, Facebook, Google and Amazon are not the only game in town! There are a good number of excellent alternatives which we list in our 'Goodbye Google' Resources page.
The great irony is that, while Twitter, Facebook, Google and Amazon executives talk a lot about maintaining freedom of speech and diversity, in fact, these hypocrites are ATTACKING free speech point-blank!
This kind of manipulation poses a lethal threat to our democracy, but as we see so clearly now, Twitter and Big Tech have shown no hesitation in excluding conservatives and Christians from the public square.
So, at this point, the only way to stop Twitter, Facebook, Google and Amazon is to quit using their platform.
Please SIGN and SHARE this petition to pledge to stop using Twitter and Big Tech. Then, please CLICK HERE to find alternative search engines and social media platforms. Thank you!
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Coming to terms with the real issues, getting to grips with proper procedures, fairness, and transparency, aren’t attractive options for those trained up in a culture of abuse and of covering it up. That is the very last thing they want to do, since the people at the center of these organizations are tainted in all sorts of ways. If they have been there a long time and have risen to a position of seniority, it would be surprising if they were not.
The new strategy of defending only the inner circles, the bishops themselves and a handful of cronies, at the expense of every other aspect of the institution, is doing a new kind of harm to the Church. If these inner defenses fail, as in some cases they certainly deserve to, the loss of the Church’s public moral authority will be complete. But right now it doesn’t seem as though real reform is going to happen in any other way.