Towards a New Conversation

September 17, 2020

When I was studying architecture in the 1980s, the treatises and manifestos of famous architects were required reading. One of the most popular was a collection of essays called Towards a New Architecture, written by French architect Le Corbusier in the 1930s. Corbu, as we called him, was one of the pioneering Modernists, urging architects to move beyond established cultural norms in their designs. “Architecture,” Corbu said, “is stifled by custom. It is the only profession in which progress is not considered necessary.”

Despite facing continuous opposition over the past twenty some years, the global Health Freedom movement has grown in numbers and public awareness. The foundational approach to our conversations about vaccines and vaccine safety, however, has remained largely unchanged. If the movement is to continue gaining traction, that conversation needs to expand not only in volume but in depth of heart and breadth of patience. As a state senator told me, we cannot expect to continue saying the same things in the same way but with louder, angrier voices and expect positive results. We need to grow towards a new conversation.


We know that public discourse about vaccines is not easy. Presently, it has two major components; arguments about science and deeply personal accounts of vaccines gone wrong. The science discussions tend to devolve quickly into feuding facts and dueling data, while parents’ heart-wrenching stories of their children’s injuries are simply dismissed out of hand as hysterical mothers trying in vain to find something to blame for their child’s injury. At a recent legislative hearing in Colorado, there was an audible, collective gasp when a vaccine proponent viciously told a packed committee room that vaccine injuries might be “emotionally real but they are not scientifically real.” During the summer of 2019, a three-day Vaccine and Health Choice Summit was held at the Colorado State Capitol. Throughout the 15 hours of professional, information-rich presentations and conversation, not one Democratic legislator even managed to poke their head in the room to see what was happening. Not one. Numerous efforts have been made at local, state, and national levels to have public debates on the subject, but the vaccine proponents consistently refuse to engage. Having productive conversations in this hostile climate is clearly a huge challenge. And yet, it is imperative that those who are interested in expanding the conversation explore creative and effective ways to do so.

There is a concept about the development of wisdom known as the DIKW hierarchy in which data inevitably leads to information, then to knowledge, and ultimately to wisdom. It is a widely accepted and interesting notion that, like so many 19th– and 20th-century social and scientific concepts, might make sense in a linear universe with known variables. However, that is not where we live—the universe holds more unknowns than we could possibly imagine and moves with a complexity we are just beginning to comprehend. David Weinberger, in his February 2, 2010 article in Harvard Business Review refutes the idea that knowledge derives from filtering information:

It doesn’t. We can learn some facts by combing through databases. We can see some true correlations by running sophisticated algorithms over massive amounts of information.  All that’s good.

But knowledge is not a result merely of filtering or algorithms. It results from a far more complex process that is social, goal-driven, contextual, and culturally-bound. . . . Where the decisions are tough and knowledge is hard to come by, knowledge is not determined by information, for it is the knowing process that first decides which information is relevant, and how it is to be used. . . .

The image that knowledge (much less wisdom) results from applying finer-grained filters at each level, paints the wrong picture. Knowledge is more creative, messier, harder won, and far more discontinuous.

If mere information could shift the tide, the movie VAXXED: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe would have changed the world. If flawless, accurate data could change hearts and minds, any random 30 pages of Mark Blaxill and Dan Olmsted’s Denial (Skyhorse; July 25, 2017) or J. B. Handley’s How to End the Autism Epidemic (Chelsea Green Publishing; September 19, 2018) would immediately clarify the issue for any reader. And if there were any true cultural interest in learning from the unvarnished history of disease and the medical industry, Dr. Suzanne Humphries and Roman Bystrianyk’s book, Dissolving Illusions (CreateSpace Publishing; July 27, 2013) would have radically altered the course of the global vaccine paradigm. But these and many other brilliant books are thrown onto the official pyre of “misinformation” and tragically ignored.

So, we end up with one side’s demands for “peer-reviewed studies” fighting with the other side’s calls for “double-blind placebo testing.” While vaccine supporters decry the “anti-science” attitudes of the vaccine hesitant, those who question vaccines push back against the veracity of safety studies funded by the very corporations that manufacture the products in question. And so it goes. Both sides sparring. Both sides throwing punches, counter punches, and blocks. Both sides trying desperately to win the fight, but never really making progress in terms of gaining a deeper understanding of each other or expanding our wisdom about the issue at hand. Both sides demand they are “right.” And both sides retreat to fearful, dark corners where those with whom they disagree are perceived as the “other” and labeled as evil enemies.

This is the easy and time-honored path that history shows leads to failure and additional conflict more often than to any satisfying resolution. But the ideas and ideals of medical freedom are too important to stay caught in this seemingly inexorable web.  Advocates for honest cultural cost/benefit analyses of vaccines have the challenge of contradicting the deeply held, carefully crafted, and well financed narrative that “[all] vaccines are [completely] safe and effective.” If efforts to bring the conversation from information to true wisdom are to be successful, the conversation needs to not merely be reframed but to be entirely restructured. The message needs a seismic shift away from even the perception of “angry mothers complaining about their children’s injuries” to one of intelligent, well-informed citizens patiently offering their experiential knowledge for careful consideration.

Of course, mothers are justifiably angry. The rage and deep accompanying guilt that parents of vaccine-injured children bear are unimaginable to any of us with healthy children. These parents followed the rules. They respected the white men in the white coats. They obediently held their babies while nurses injected those chubby thighs with products that caused irreparable harm. Then they are branded as delusional and left not only with the devastation of injured or dead children but also with no legal recourse for any semblance of fair financial compensation.

And yet, while justifiable anger can be an effective spark, it will not sustain a potent conflagration. Clarity of purpose, message, and intent are the fuel, oxygen, and heat required.

To be clear, I am not, in any way, calling for containment of the conversation. It must burn bright and fierce. But, to reach new terrain with meaningful dialogue, the conversation must become more akin to Tai Chi than to the present bludgery. We must be willing to let go of any need to “be right” or “prove our point.” A friend of mine, Donna Kazee, recently posted:

We will never all think or feel or live alike, and finding a way to navigate this existence our own way while simultaneously allowing others to do so as well is critical. We have tough decisions to make as members of communities and nations and the world as a whole. It would behoove us to remember at each juncture what it feels like when our rights are trampled and when we are disenfranchised. This feeling is why I’ve sought out people very different from myself to interact with and learn from. I fundamentally disagree with many of my friends on many issues, but I understand why they hold those positions and take those actions. However, I see more and more people suffering and thinking if only their issues were at the forefront, if only their people had control. . . . It’s not that easy. The goal is to divide and conquer, so I choose to resist that. On all sides.

. . . I enjoy hearing opposing views. It’s how our conscious capacities expand. We all need to work towards harmony as the elite continue to divide us.

If we try, we all have the ability to understand others’ viewpoints, even while respectfully disagreeing. The easy way out is to jump to petty insults and offensive labels. The serious work involves deep listening, empathy, and a willingness to suspend judgment. Perhaps, if we encourage deeper inquiry rather than soaking people in a deluge from our fire hose of facts and data, the conversation could truly ignite. There just might be folks, even (dare I say?) Democratic politicians, who may not support our positions but who may be vaguely cognizant of some tiny crack in their dogma, who may hold one small doubt about the value of vaccines or the validity of vaccine mandates. Our being in constant attack mode does not give them a chance to process, to come to terms with, whatever it is they are experiencing. The natural response when under attack is to resist and shut down.

This conversation is too important to be stifled by custom, the movement too important not to progress. Perhaps if we engage in a new conversation in a new way, those with whom we disagree might be willing to interact in an impactful discussion. If we take the first step out of the fight-or-flight mode, maybe we can create a space where wisdom can enter.

If others feel respected, perhaps they will respect. If they feel heard, perhaps they will listen.

~ Phil Silberman

Phil Silberman is a medical freedom advocate living in Denver, Colorado.
Image by ArtTower from Pixabay.

Pin It
This entry was posted in Blogs by Thinking Moms' Revolution, Phil Silberman, Vaccine Awareness and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Towards a New Conversation

  1. Angela says:

    Hmm, I feel like that is exactly what all of the one on one meetings are. Calm conversations, active listening, and attempts in understanding why the democrats are in favor of legislation that singles out a minority population. We are met with nods, and looks of concern, and platitudes only to be dismissed in the end and a sad “it was out of my control”. The testimonies come across angry because we are angry. Angry that months have passed and we are being ignored and mocked when we are civil and calm. Angry that they sit with their eyes glued to their phones and computers as parents tell horrific stories about their child’s injury or death. Angry that not one Democrat has the backbone to stand up for us for fear of retaliation from their “inclusive and tolerant” colleagues. We can act like someone in an abusive relationship and say “if only I didn’t make them angry, they wouldn’t hit me” or we can pack up our bags and leave with our dignity and lives intact. I choose the latter. #walkaway

  2. Mari LaCom says:

    Thank you for this article, Phil. Proud to know you!

  3. Janet L Hunt says:

    We are in phase 1 & 2 now. I believe it is just a matter of time to get to phase 3:

    All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. Arthur Schopenhauer

  4. MICHAEL says:

    My first thought on this is I’m not sure what I got out of this, but I’m still processing. Sometimes its hard to have this conversation when you feel the other side is kneeling on your neck and you can’t breathe, i.e. censorship, pejoratives, dehumanzing, demeaning, gaslighting commentary and remarks.

    Second thoughts coming from my building-remodeling background where homeowners ask me for an assessment of an extensive remodel and invariably comes down to, “is there anything that is worth saving” or “tear down to the foundation and start over”. Well there is certainly something worth saving but we might have to tear it down to the foundation to do it. That’s difficult if you are trying to live in the structure at the same time.

    I do think Donna Kazee has the right temperament, which can and might bear fruit. There is some hope there.

  5. Billie Rubin says:

    Nice article, especially delineating the way that knowledge is gained. Several studies in the medical community suggest that when a new paradigm shift occurs (eg. don’t use this medication for that problem, or do use this treatment for another problem), it takes up to 17 years to be incorporated.

    The movies and books referred to are not science, and won’t be recognized as such by those who view this as their altar of worship. While the Danish study on MMR and autism is touted as the proof without question, there is a small margin of error whereby autism MAY result from immunization. It is clear that not every immunization causes a problem in 100% of recipients; whether it does in some, many, most, or none is the topic to explore. Even placebos have both positive and negative (nocebo) effects. This is clear, and likely the basis for therapies such as homeopathy which have no demonstrable therapeutic effect. The only rational way to parse out cause and effect is with a randomized, double-blind controlled trial. Those advocating their alternative positions don’t want these because they are rarely favorable. Alternative medicine that works is, simply, medicine.

    • ProfessorTMR says:

      No, the books and film referenced are not “science”; they merely cite, quote, analyze (in many cases quite brilliantly), and refer to mountains of science and lots of historical records.

      The Danish MMR study is a piece of crap; its many methodological problems have been repeatedly discussed. The “margin of error” you cite is wide enough to drive a manufactured house through. In addition, the study was engineered by someone who is currently wanted by the U.S. government for fraud. Funny how you never hear about that in mainstream media.

      There is science that indicates that homeopathy DOES have “demonstrable therapeutic effect.” You (and “medicine”–a misnomer if ever there was one) just ignore it because it doesn’t fit your world view. If only “medicine” did accept all alternative therapies that “worked,” we would be much, much healthier than we are. Acupuncture was thought by Western medicine to be placebo at best for many years, until science unequivocally proved that it improves certain outcomes. Clearly, the fact that “medicine” ignores or disparages something does not mean anything about whether it has actual validity and has much more to do with the biases of those who are trained in “medicine.” Those people have generally had little-to-no education in physics beyond Newtonian mechanics. And double-blind controlled trials are of limited use in determining widespread systemic effects of small changes in the body.

      • Billie Rubin says:

        Funny, I don’t see the retraction of the article or corrections to the “house wide” errors, unlike, say, the Wakefield article which led to his loss of license. Probably just because Big Pharma is protecting their precious beliefs, right?

      • ProfessorTMR says:

        Of course. Do you have any idea how much money the Lancet and the BMJ make from pharmaceutical companies?

  6. Annette Fang says:

    Good article. We need a new conversation because science has already evolved in directions not visible to average people. But for us scientists, who are involved, it is the same dilemma: how to discuss this new information outside of our small circle (peer reviewed publications are not the answer) and how to create real change based on a new understanding. We need new solutions and we need new platforms. I am not sure if a comment section on a blog dealing with the failure of “old medicine” is a good new platform, but here goes because I have been involved in this:

    Homeopathy could solve a lot of problems if it were accepted by everyone. But first, we need to explain how it works: Homeopathy is likely an artificially created magnetic field which is stored within sugar and/or water/alcohol. It is known from gouy balance experiments that all matter has at least a tiny amount of magnetism surrounding it: ferromagnetism, paramagnetism, diamagnetism, or anti-ferromagnetism. When lining up identical magnetic domains—no matter the substance—a field gets stronger. Magnetic domains get lined up by placing them into another magnetic field (the Earth’s magnetic field), while shaking them up, so that the domains all have a chance to reorient themselves. The amount of shaking, hitting or vibrating needed to help align magnetic entities depends on the material. In the case of homeopathy, a drop of mother tincture in water is the typical starting point for succussion (shaking). As water has structure, and molecules are not necessarily free-floating, potency is determined by the amount of shaking. The final step in the homeopathic manufacturing process includes pouring the succussed and diluted solution onto sugar pills (lactose or sucrose), thereby transferring the magnetic field from the remedy solution onto sugar. Sugar pills are the perfect dry storage medium for magnetic information, as no additional succussion can occur outside of the original solution.

    There is much more to this—human biology and magnetic fields, vax injury and magnetic fields, the philosophy and fields of illness—but let’s just start here. As you say, I would love to have a real discussion around some of these issues. Real discussions solve problems. Please let me know what you think.

    Annette Fang, Ph.D.

  7. There are so many issues with polarized opinions and vaccine safety is one. I feel “how” we engage is creating the failure to come together and compromise for the greater good. I am not just talking about respecting others. In a relationship it is very valuable to keep in mind that the loving relationship is far more important than winning the present argument. Pausing in our desire to convince in order to see the fuller picture and to prioritize is essential for longevity in a personal relationship, work relationship, or decision making for our community and society. Working backward from the bigger focus used to work because we agreed on certain rights and behaviors and when reminded of that could be less strident with championing our agenda. What do we do when there doesn’t seem to be agreement on the big priorities? Have we as a society trained ourselves to view and argue a certain way that does not lead to working together with success? Just as basing conclusions on the DIKW process can create errors perhaps we need to rediscover how to work together as a society or societies. I don’t know the answer but I think it would be world altering if we could make a shift. If anyone has resources for someone who has explored this I would love to know them. Maybe seeing issues as conflicts is part of the problem. How else could we view them?

    I was told in a history course that the only way we (USA?) have recovered from an economic depression was by going to war against an enemy that united us with a common goal. I hope that conflict is not the only route we have for making a big change.

  8. Rebecca Lee says:

    I think about this a lot. I think it is a matter of doing what the other side has done to get their narrative accepted as gospel. That is to do what propagandists suggest, repeat your message over and over until it seeps into people’s brains. Do what Bernaise suggested. That’s what they do.

    • Billie Rubin says:

      It’s not the “other side” that keeps repeating the message; it’s science. Unfortunately, we see today with the issue of masks, social distancing, etc. what happens when the “other side” keeps repeating the message – people get sick and die. Do you really think the more than 200,000 in the US alone who have died died from “pre-existing conditions”? If so, why are the total deaths in the period from March to August significantly higher than the same time period in each of the last 10 years? Bad luck? Yeah, the country’s bad luck.

      • ProfessorTMR says:

        Sorry, dear, your bias and constant comments notwithstanding, the bulk of science by no means supports the “vaccines are [all] [completely] safe and effective” narrative constantly pushed by the mainstream media.

  9. pammy says:

    Very well said and wise. I agree that the both parties have become elite and keeping the 99% divided, distracted, angry is what allows them to shift more wealth and power away from the people. It took 40 years to take down the lead lobby, over 100 to get women’s vote, longer to end slavery (still dealing with the ramifications).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *