Communicators — Honorable, Honest, Real Men; Mauro D., David C.: 5G/EMF/RF Father’s Day Stories
In yesterday’s article about author Paul Brodeur (asbestos, cancer chemicals, ozone depletion, microwaves, powerlines), we looked at the demise of investigative journalism in the mainstream media.
The issue is not only that mainstream journalism “could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite” as Eisenhower warned. The issue is more insidious. The public is not aware that The New York Times they are reading today is not the same newspaper that reported Nestle’s unethical sales tactics when selling infant formula to poor mothers in impoverished nations. The public is loath to recognize that the mainstream media is now a working partner of the scientific and corporate/telecom elite.
This elite has been very successful with the “tin foil hat” and “conspiracy theorist” and “arsonist” strategies of marginalization of those expressing concern about wireless tech.
Widget not in any sidebars
Many have spoken about the frustration of journalism that impersonates balanced reporting in the wireless realm, by pretending to “tell both sides of the story.” Often the industry narrative is given the higher word count, headline, and top billing. The perspective that goes against the mainstream narrative is marginalized in tone and content. This leaves the reader with the false impression that doubt prevails about the possibility of adverse effects. Doubt is a product of the cigarette century and the product defense industry. This form of reporting misleads the public about legitimate evidence of harm. Thus the media itself plays a part in manipulating public sentiment, and obscuring, rather the revealing, industry wrongdoing. “Doubt is their product” prevails.
Fortunately, many sincere, courageous individuals are playing a role in countering the outdated, inaccurate, corrupted narrative.
Mauro DePasquale, WCCA TV Worcester, MA
Daily Breaking January 19, 2021 Mass for Safe Tech Mauro’s return guest is Cece Doucette, Director of the Massachusetts for Safe Technology MA for Safe Technology. LINK
WCCA Worcester Community Cable Access is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation administering public access cable television for Worcester, Massachusetts. Founded in 1986, Mauro DePasquale has been the Executive Director since 1990. WCCA performs miracles in the iconic building on Main Street in Worcester (which is the second largest city, by population, in Massachusetts). The multi-ethnic community is well represented on WCCA, and the station’s shows are very much a mainstay in the lives of many residents. (WCCA’s innovative community cable show “Watching New Voices” featured competitors appearing now on both “American Idol” and “The Voice.”)
Before smart meters came to Worcester, Mauro was somewhat concerned about wireless safety. But when National Grid came to town with the largest, most expensive smart meter pilot program in the country, without the knowledge and consent of the community, he noted, “People were being impacted, and they needed to have a venue where they could be heard.” The Torey Fort neighborhood was ground zero, where National Grid performed an extensive expansion of a small neighborhood substation, with plans to add a 90-foot tower and five antennas is a low lying area, abutting bedroom windows. The loss of property values was just one of many concerns. The fact that the City’s leadership was firmly in support of the program, including the assessor, the health department, the Mayor, and a number of City Counselors, in partnership with areas colleges, with no input from residents, was another.
Mauro noted, “We felt obligated to have a platform that brought other voices to the table. It felt as if the community was being railroaded by big corporations. The residents and the abutters were shut out of the process, and there was no news coverage about those on the front lines.”
The smart meter pilot program was an auto-enrollment design. Knowledge and consent was not provided; 15,000 homes and businesses received a new 2-way meter and were assigned to a default billing plan if they did not take action to choose between several options. The pilot, which was over budget and behind schedule, was designed not to study smart meters, but to justify smart meters, and violated many principles of sound research design, enabled by regulator (the Dept. of Public Utilities).
The pilot was behind schedule because many residents chose to opt out after they learned belatedly about the program . . . and WCCA receives much of the credit for offering over 6.000 homes and businesses the choice to decide that they wanted out.
Initially, those concerned about smart meters appeared as guests on existing shows with various gracious hosts, including Mauro’s “Soapbox.” Eventually, WCCA hosted what may have been the first local cable television show exclusively devoted to the smart meter issue. Some shows were simply rebroadcasts of information from the internet about smart meters, as many residents in the City did not have computer access, and the cable station was the only venue for learning about the issues, including health risks, privacy, surveillance, cost, fires, safety, and green-washing.
The first show produced by the station featured a number of residents, including Leslie Saffer, who went on to form the group WITH Worcester Info Team for Health with the late Lance McKee. They also worked with John Provost of Worcester Opts Out. The unlikely pairing of chain-smoking, outspoken, charismatic, Republican Tea party member Clare Donegan, and shy left-leaning yoga teacher Patricia Burke were the driving forces behind the cable show. Their partnership reflected a national trend; there were many reasons to be opposed to the meters, regardless of political affiliation.
Activists went door-to-door in a meter-deployed neighborhood, and found that most of the residents had no idea what was happening. Language was clearly a barrier for some families.
Noting that big tech and government have become increasingly entwined, some reflected that the City was essentially “occupied” during the pilot. This included the presence of the Sustainability Hub, nicknamed the “Propaganda Pub,” staffed by area college students who were hired to wear the face of the utility in the community.
Although some media outlets reported the controversies early on, eventually they all stopped covering the perspective of “the little people,” except for WCCA.
Community cable television is not funded by tax revenues, but supported by viewer donations, and by cable franchise fees. During the reign of Ajit Pai under former president Trump, the FCC attempted to pull the rug out from under community cable. As reported by ArsTechnica, “FCC sued by dozens of cities after voting to kill local fees and rules, Cities challenge FCC vote to preempt local fees and broadband regulations.”
Nearby Leominster possesses a state of the art community cable facility, while the City of Worcester controls the purse strings of WCCA by only disbursing a portion of the fees collected to the station. But renaissance man Mauro – father, grandfather, public servant, jazz musician – continues his efforts as a true public servant and champion of free speech (along with his capable and devoted staff). He continues to cover the wireless issue in an inclusive, responsive way, providing a platform for First Amendment rights and for the “little people.”
David Charalambous “I will look at any additional evidence to confirm the opinion to which I have already come.” Lord Molson
David Charalambous brings his consulting and health background to the challenge of finding effective ways to communicate about questioning prevailing paradigms.
He not only looks at what is being communicated to facilitate societal change. He looks at how it is being presented, both by the marketing machines promoting 5G and increased telecom expansion, and by activists attempting to reach a public firmly entrenched in assumptions and belief systems.
He notes, “Much of what has been tried is not working; the public is not thinking. Facts don’t change people’s minds, they are not listening to the science.”
On the side of how activists communicate their concern to others, David notes, “If you resent the person speaking on their cellphone, you have already lost the battle. If the person sees you as oppositional, they never listen. It activates their defenses and they can’t hear you.”
David likens activism to trying to toss a tennis ball into a room. If the door is closed, you keep hitting the door. Some people think that the solution is to try to throw the ball harder, with more force. The solution is to get the door to open. This translates into communicating in a way that does not arouse the other person’s defenses.
David has incorporated principles outlined by Donna Hicks, in her book Dignity: “Don’t be a dignity violator.” He also studied debating technique. He shares a toolbox including Emotional Freedom Technique tapping to help activists clear difficult emotions. For example, many individuals encounter bullying by groups of industry trolls working in a coordinated way to intimidate and invalidate activism on-line. “They have a toolbox. They attack the messenger rather than providing any safety science; for example, by calling the person a ‘conspiracy theorist from the flat earth society.'” Critic attack strategies have been honed by the CIA, for decades.
(Most recently, 5G opponents were widely portrayed as arsonists and therefore domestic terrorists, despite lack of evidence linking established groups to tower fire reports.)
The activist, when triggered, can’t communicate effectively. The audience, when triggered, can’t take in new information. David’s insights help activists to sustain self sovereignty, and raise the vibration of their interactions. The industry is armed with trained opponents; activists can also develop a skill set. David distills the knowledge down into understandable tools and strategies.
Reaching “I need to go away and think about this”
“It is like dropping a stone into still water….and watching the ripples. You want to drop an idea into someone’s awareness, and allow them to see something in a different way. If you push, or see the person as an obstacle, or are trying to change the other person, it activates their defenses. Emotional intelligence is the key.” It is about keeping a high vibration in oneself, regardless of what is coming at you.
David favors using metaphors as a way of helping people to see that they have been “innoculated” against listening to people who are concerned.
“You are attempting to help them recognize in themselves an error in perception.”
From the industry side of the equation, David and his colleagues have been de-constructing industry messaging. He explains, “It’s like suddenly seeing the scaffolding…and then it loses its power over you. Its power is no longer unconscious.”
The Mindspace document is an example of a primer designed to assist decision-makers in influencing behavior through public policy.
“The industry has done an incredible job of convincing the public that they are ‘on the same side.’ Studies show that we do not hold our beliefs based on facts, and we are not aware of it. This is known as the Illusion of explanatory depth. Studies also show that we tend to listen to people within our group rather than the one stating the best argument.”
David studied under Paul Chek, and has a fondness for Zen in the tradition of Alan Watts. “It’s not our job to change someone, but we can be the kindling point. It is the state that we communicate from non-attachment and grace, rather than anger, fear and anxiety, that allows people to feel that we are on their side.”
Be on the right side of history.
Top image by Flo Freshman
This is part of a Father’s Day 5G series which you can read in its entirety HERE
Patricia Burke works with activists across the country and internationally calling for new biologically-based microwave radio frequency exposure limits.She is based in Massachusetts and can be reached at [email protected].