Saturday, November 24, 2007

Tiburon Health & Freedom Strategy Session

I'm blogging from a meeting of health and freedom activists at a beautiful center overlooking San Francisco Bay. The question of the day is, how to help hundreds of thousands of health freedom activists self-organize with sufficient resources to make a difference in public policy.

We're working toward the idea of a Global Declaration of Health and Freedom.

Talking about those creative activists we each know who ought to be open to the importance of defending health freedom, "auditing" what resources the various groups represented bring 'to the table.'

Natural Solutions Foundation - - Medical Director Rima E. Laibow, MD pointed out that NSF is becoming the "netroots" (that's the Internet Grassroots...) of the movement, with an Alexa ranking in the top 30,000 US web sites.

Our understanding of "health freedom" is being expanded, starting with the rubric, "No health without freedom... little freedom without health." Freedom is indivisible. To be free in one's health choices requires that one be free in the political and economic sense. The fundamental issue is Food, states one participant.

Now the discussion moves to defining who (what people and institutions) are central to the attacks on health and freedom. One opinion, the economic forces that are degrading food and heath are corporate interests that benefit in the short run from the degradation of the food supply. Some of those degradations are: eroding organic standards; failing to label GM (genetically modified) and irradiated foods; allowing higher levels of toxins in foods. This process is propelled, offers one activist, by Codex Alimentarius (the World Food Code) that is itself the product of a process that started in the old Austrio-Hungarian Empire where the restrictive Napoleonic Code was applied to the food trade in the empire. After WWII certain rehabilitated Nazi-linked pharmaceutical executives pursued the creation of Codex. Says this participant, the goal is to reduce world population by degrading the nutritional component of food, producing large, diseased populations that will "need" pharmaceutical intervention. She sees a move to "neo-feudalism" and a "post consumer" economy.

Another astute observer, president of a health consumers group, suggests that Big Pharma (linked to Big Oil and Big Agra) without any overt genocidal intent, just driven by perceived economic benefit, leads to the current restrictive regulatory environment.

Despite these repressive forces, "Everything is breaking apart... that's why we can have an impact..." What is needed, said one former military officer, is a strategic vision.

This is point in history where "modern" is breaking down. Some people are moving to a pre-industrial, neo-feudal lifestyle of low impact while others are moving toward a trans-industrial society depending on advanced technologies of transcend current limitations.

Another opines that such philosophizing fails to bring the issues to the level of clarity that most people will be able to understand. She describes explaining the Codex problem to a group of well-healed SantaFeians recently, and how none of them had heard of the World Food Code before, but did see the risk when it was presented to them.

States another, we are at a turning point and the information we have is like "shock therapy" -- the problems are so dense, our challenge is to find the "most brilliant" attack strategy (another says, "defense...")

The question arises: how to break though public apathy. We talked about "hot button issues" and the lessons of the direct mail industry. Fear and anger results in a 3 to 5% public response. This bypasses nine tenths of the populace. What does "love and hope" do instead? The example is the response that certain positive-thinking mega churches are having. Another example is the sustainability movement.

Forced drugging, including involuntary vaccination, is clearly a "hot button" issue.

We are, one says, looking for the fulcrum. Basic human need is for both autonomy and and connectedness. All the issues that concern us are on this autonomy /connectedness range.

Empowering people to be healthy and free is the fulcrum to leverage the system.

Even a more fundamental concern, says another, is aggregating the interests of the individual does not necessarily result in the common interest. The one on one relationship, as for example, the doctor / patient relationship, is not the model for social change.

Some consensus on the need to find the next issue to which the public can relate, with focus on the point where maximum change can occur. Find the weakness and exploit it.

Another view of fundamentals, one how to precipitate results (using chemistry as the example) - (1) increase the active ingredient, (2) decrease the solvent or (3) cool it.* How to we apply this analogy to the health and freedom movement.

Active ingredient - trustworthy information
Decrease solvent - people who don't know (the field in which the ingredient resides)
Cool it - solidify the information in the proper size mass; allow time to precipitate.

This precipitates action.

* An example of "cooling it" was how the Organic Foods law was adopted. At the strategic moment, the groups pulled back (did not push for a vote in the relevant committee) and as a result it wasn't stopped in committee, but got to the House floor without approval; it was then approved by a majority. Another version, "go in the side door..."

Campaign for publicity to drive people to the growing web sites. Branding as the Health and Freedom Netroots. Media advocacy campaign. Example: Campaign for Better Health -

During a break we just looked at a satirical piece about the flu vaccine and its toxic components:

which sums, with great humor, the issues we've been discussing.

The consensus is that Opt-Out for all forced drugging, including vaccination. The events last week in Maryland (see blog below) shows the importance of freedom for health. This is the issue that can educate many people. We need to offer them meaningful options to Opt-Out for Health Freedom.

Lunch break... Later we'll be video taping questions for the presidential candidates, to submit through YouTube.

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