The Illusion of Consensus
The Illusion of Consensus
NEW: Rav and Jay Break Down The Missouri v. Biden Ruling

NEW: Rav and Jay Break Down The Missouri v. Biden Ruling

Tune into the full episode or read highlights from the transcript.

Hello readers,

Rav and Jay are busy at work examining, discussing, and breaking down the landmark Missouri v. Biden ruling. Yesterday, they spent an hour together recording a long-form podcast breaking down the origins, ramifications, and impact of the case for Illusion of Consensus subscribers.

The episode is available to all on Spotify, Apple, and the Substack app. Transcript highlights are available below. Stay tuned for more exciting content: collaborative releases with Matt Taibbi, Alex Berenson, and Michael Shellenberger!

— The Illusion of Consensus Team

(Spotify link)

(Apple podcast link)

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Dr. Jay on the broad discovery in the Missouri v. Biden case:

It's just a free speech question.

Are you allowed to have these kinds of scientific conversations, policy conversations online openly, or will the government put their thumb on the scale? And it was interesting because, so as the case went on, we presented enough evidence that we'd been suppressed — that the judge in the case allowed the Attorney General to have a very broad discovery of what the government was actually doing. The way discovery works is most cases won't get to this stage because there's not evidence to warrant it. But what discovery means is that the Louisiana Missouri Attorney General's office got to read the emails and communications between the government to social media companies.

And when I say the government, I mean like particular people inside the government. Tony Fauci, Jennifer Psaki, the head of the communications director of the White House, the Surgeon General of the United States, the CDC's communications with the NIH's communications with the social media companies. We got to read their communications.

Dr. Jay on the federal government threatening social media companies if they don’t follow their censorious orders:

So what we found, for instance, was that these government officials were directly threatening these social media companies if they didn't comply. So what would happen is the government would say they had direct line into the databases of these companies and communication with the trust and safety people within these social media companies. And so you see emails from Rob Flaherty, who's the ex-deputy assistant of the president.

He'd send an email to Facebook and he'd say (Jay’s interpretation),

“Look, Here are people that need to be censored. Here are accounts that need to be censored. Here are ideas that need to be censored. And if you don't listen to us, if you don't censor these people, take, deplatform these people, put misinformation labels on these people, then, you know, you should remember that the federal government has broad regulatory authority over your companies. Section 230 protections are regulated by the federal government.”

The implicit message was really clear.

If you don't listen to us, if you don't censor the way we're telling you to censor, I mean, that's a nice company you have there. Wouldn't it be terrible if something were to happen to it? The threat was, I mean, it was just clear from every single one of those those emails that these companies, even though they were they sometimes look like they're cooperating, they were operating under a threat, a threat by the federal government that if they didn't comply, that they would be regulated out of existence. And around the same time, you had President Biden going around saying things like, Facebook is killing people by permitting misinformation.

Dr. Jay details a striking example of being censored online:

In March of 2021, I had been part of a public roundtable invited by Governor DeSantis in Florida to discuss various aspects of COVID policy, masking of children and so on. And in the course of that conversation, the governor asked me what I thought about the evidence on child masking. Like in the United States, we masked children as young as two. The World Health Organization actually didn't recommend masking anyone under six, and the European CDC didn't recommend masking anyone under 12. And I'd looked into this literature and I found that there was no randomized, high-quality evidence whatsoever that masking children had any effect on the disease spread.

And so I told the governor this in public. Now this public round-table was videotaped and then put on the air by a local Florida TV station, which then took that recording and put it on YouTube.

A day or two after we recorded this public round-table, YouTube censored the video — took it down. And I think the Attorney General's offices knew this. And of course the people of Louisiana and Missouri are harmed by not having access to basic scientific information, or even just the fact that scientists may disagree with each other about these sorts of things.

And so they were they asked if I would write an affidavit in support of this and I happily did that.

Dr. Jay on the Illusion of Consensus:

The problem with the illusion of consensus is that people understand it's an illusion and they distrust the people that created it. And that's unfortunately exactly where we are.

The nice thing about this Doughty ruling is it now opens things up so that anyone who is suppressed or was suppressed by the government, these kinds of actions now have a cause of action.

We're opening this up to be a class action now so that people can sue and join the suit and get their rights back. What we're seeking is a restoration of free speech and that's what I think this ruling allows.

The ruling by Judge Dowdy enjoins the federal government against these kinds of activities, but it's a preliminary injunction. The federal government, the Biden administration had a choice. They could have just accepted the injunction as permanent and never since censor speech again. Instead, as you've read, they've decided to double down. And what they've done is appeal the case to the fifth circuit court of appeals. I hope they uphold injunction and I suspect they will. It is a very well-reasoned ruling.

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Rav analogizes the one-size-fits-all view on Covid vaccines the government enforced with the zealotry in the diet and nutrition space:

The internet is a free place where you can access a wide range of ideas and beliefs and views on every topic.

One interesting analogy I use with people is diet — there's so many differing views. I know people, like the Peterson family, including Jordan Peterson — they follow a carnivore diet. On the other side, I have family, friends who are vegan. Some people believe in paleo or keto or the Mediterranean diet. These are wildly different diets.

Some people are just eating green plants, other people are just eating meat and that's their thing. This idea that there's one size fits all for everyone — that there's only one narrative — is ludicrous. There's so much variance, there's so much diversity, and so many people who've had these big debates, you know, on these very complex topics about what to eat, what not to eat, how to exercise, how to not exercise, which drugs or which pharmaceuticals or which practices to use for sleep and anxiety and mental health issues.

I mean, these are very, very complicated topics, right?

And so when it comes to COVID, you know, the government arrogantly, was behaving like totalitarians. That we have the true narrative! We know what's right. And they clearly weren't right, right? Because it didn't make sense for everyone to get vaccinated. Yet their narrative was to vaccinate everyone. and not only vaccinate, but the first, second, third, and the bivalent boosters for infants, irrespective of risk and all the individual circumstances that go into whether a person chooses to get vaccinated or not. Also, the school closures, the lockdowns — it's very obvious that those topics are very, very complicated, just like any other topic. And this idea that only one narrative is true and the others are false, going back to your point, that is what makes people really distrust the government — when they have that arrogance of,

“We know the true way and this is the only way and anyone outside of that is killing people, their heretics and they deserve to be burned at the stake online on various platforms.”

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The Illusion of Consensus
The Illusion of Consensus
An independent podcast by Dr. Jay Bhattacharya and Rav Arora devoted to dismantling weaponized "consensus" in science. Weekly topics include Covid policy, online censorship, holistic medicine, mental health, and well-being.