By Rob Verkerk PhD, executive & scientific director, Alliance for Natural Health International and USA

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Just do it!

Free speech isn’t an option if you want to live in an open, creative, advanced, free-thinking society. It’s a necessity. That’s why we’re leading the charge in our FreeSpeech4Health campaign, along with our growing partnerships with other organizations including Dr Meryl Nass’ Door To Freedom, to amass 1 million signatures on a petition that is the first step in bringing pressure to bear on YouTube to change its medical misinformation policy. A policy that is already denying millions life-saving information, especially about non-drug, natural health approaches. 

If you haven’t signed and got the message out to your networks, please do so now!

>>> Why the petition matters, including access to videos, memes, a media pack (in multiple languages) and downloadable flyers that are ideal for sharing with your networks.

To help get the word out, the easiest thing to do is use one of our two campaign posters to signpost people to the FreeSpeech4Health portal, that in turn takes you to the petition page. It will take you less than a minute. It’s a worldwide petition, so it doesn’t matter who you are or where you live. The only requirement is that you’re human.

>>> Why the FreeSpeech4Health petition matters

>>> Download campaign assets including memes and flyers

If you haven’t decided if you want to sign or not — or you’re hungry for more information about what it’s all about—understanding more about the landmark Murthy vs Missouri case is an ideal primer. And that’s the journey I take you on below.  

Murthy v Missouri
Defendants’ conduct fundamentally transforms online discourse and renders entire viewpoints on great social and political questions virtually unspeakable on social media, “the modern public square.” Packingham v. North Carolina, 582 U.S. 98, 107 (2017)
— Extract from brief filed by Missouri et al on February 2, 2024

The US Supreme Court jury may be out on the Murthy v Missouri case. A ruling that will decide if the US government’s collusion with, or coercion of, social media giants in ways that limited the availability of health information to the public amounted to a violation of First Amendment rights to third party free speech. As stated by the petitioners (plaintiffs) in the case, the government engaged in, “a broad pressure campaign designed to coerce social media companies into suppressing speakers, viewpoints, and content disfavored by the government".

On the US Day of Independence, July 4, 2023, Judge Terry Doughty in the District Court of the Western District of Louisiana issued an injunction against certain agencies and members of the Biden Administration, that he likened to an "Orwellian Ministry of Truth". It prevented government personnel from contacting social media platforms to request content removal, except in the case of illegal activities.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals then determined that government interactions with social media companies had been coercive, violating the First Amendment. They narrowed Doughty's injunction to prohibit government coercion of content moderation. The U.S. Supreme Court initially halted the Fifth Circuit's ruling, but later decided to review the case. Oral arguments were heard on March 18, 2024.

The cat is out of the bag

Whichever way the court rules, the cat is out of the bag. The parties bringing the original proceedings were the states of Missouri and Louisiana, along with 5 individual users of social media platforms, including ex-Harvard epidemiologist and biostatistician Martin Kulldorff PhD, and Stanford professor of medicine and health policy, Jay Bhattacharya PhD.

>>> Read the petitioner’s brief filed December 19, 2023

>>> Read the brief of Missouri et al filed on behalf of Battacharya, Kulldorff filed on February 2, 2024

Honestly, I don’t think you can really understand the extent to which the cat is out of the bag and why this landmark case was brought, without reading the evidence (the ‘cats’) cited in the above link (which represents just one of the ‘bags’). There is extensive first-hand evidence that the White House and US Surgeon General’s office pressured/forced/coerced social media platforms, threatening potential criminal prosecution for harbouring communications that would lead to an “insurrection” or face a “robust anti-trust program”. Social media owners were told they would be “held accountable” after the Biden Administration stated publicly on July 16, 2021, that Facebook and other platforms are “killing people”. Read the evidence and it’s hard to not see it as pulpit bullying on steroids. 

Beyond Barrington

Many will remember that Drs Kulldorff and Bhattacharya were two of the three prime movers for the Great Barrington Declaration of October 2020. The declaration, originated from an open letter and has gained wide public, scientist and health professional support with nearly 1 million signatories (myself included).

Yet the approach proposed, that included lifting lockdowns and opening schools to allow the development of natural immunity, was predictably considered “ridiculous”, “total nonsense” and “very dangerous” by none other than Dr Anthony Fauci, the former director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Fauci, along with US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, and a gaggle of other Biden Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) officials find themselves as defendants in the case.

It's worth noting too that Fauci’s retirement from public duties at the end of 2022 may not be as relaxed as he might have hoped, given emerging information that he leaked confidential information to Peter Daszak at the EcoHealth Alliance about the known low biosafety standards of the Wuhan lab that was being funded to carry out gain of function research. On June 3, he will testify before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic and will undoubtedly face tough questions on his communications and knowledge about the origins of the virus, contradictory advice on mask-wearing, advocacy of social distancing and lockdowns and arbitration of what he felt constituted scientific or medical misinformation or conspiracy theory.

The essence of the Biden Administration’s defence can be simplified as follows; ‘we were just trying to help the social media companies combat the plague of medical and scientific misinformation, especially about the COVID-19 vaccines’. Government officials argue that ‘they only pointed out content that violated the platforms’ policies to reduce harmful effects of online misinformation'. A defence that sounds crass given the apparent weight of evidence of coercion and pressure.

>>> Read the amicus brief of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons

>>> Find links to all proceedings, in chronological order, in Murthy v Missouri via a dedicated page on SCOTUSblog.

The fight for legal standing

The defence, as might be expected, is doing its best to try to knock the case out of court by claiming the petitioners don’t have standing; way preferable to dealing with the uncomfortable evidence against them. Arguments presented by both sides on March 18 focused heavily on one petitioner, Jill Hines, co-director of Health Freedom Louisiana whose Facebook account was restricted after she republished an ‘anti-vax’ post by Robert F Kennedy Jnr. Some justices in the hearing contended that such restriction might be sufficient injury needed for standing, while others proffered that injury from such restriction was unclear or too attenuated. So it’s anyone’s guess which way it will go. But what’s for sure, there is a huge amount at stake: for free speech and the First Amendment on one hand, and for the credibility and trust in government, on the other.

With public trust in governments, especially that of the US, somewhere near the toilet floor, are we meant to still trust the most powerful judges in America ruling on what is already hailed as a landmark case? Won’t the justices be just as susceptible to being swayed by scientific, psychological and behavioural manipulation as others in high places? The trick seems to be: carry on regardless, don’t admit any error, wrongdoing or misinterpretation because you know those who follow the dominant, but flawed narrative, also control the medical and scientific establishment, the media airwaves, the education system—and the judicial system. It’s all about the safety provided by the in-group, and very little about trying to get to the truth of the matter.

The Princess, covid-19 vaccines and free speech

To get a feel for how free speech is manipulated let’s take an example, one involving a high profile member of the British royalty, Kate Middleton, now Princess of Wales.

A BMJ paper, the World Health Organization (WHO), the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) and many other influential sources have claimed the development of mRNA covid-19 vaccines during the pandemic was a “monumental” scientific success. We’ve yet to see any evidence that this claim has been challenged by social media companies despite it being misinformed scientifically. Presumably it’s dodged the censors because it’s consistent with government positions, even though it’s increasingly hard to uphold scientifically (see Cleveland Clinic study and Fung, Jones and Doshi evaluation of bias in widely reported data on vaccine effectiveness).  

Prince William was quoted using the same “monumental” adjective to describe the mass vaccination program. His wife Kate, now the Princess of Wales, received her first vaccine on May 29, 2021. However, her recent disappearance from the public spotlight and cancer diagnosis has generated viral social media claims suggesting the cancer she subsequently developed may have been promoted by the COVID-19 vaccines. The reality is that there are insufficient data to verify either way if Kate’s cancer’s progression is or isn’t related to the vaccines. But there is emerging evidence, discussed by the likes of leading UK cancer specialist and previous covid-19 vaccine supporter, Dr Angus Dalgleish, that the covid-19 vaccines may trigger ‘turbo’ cancers (Dr John Campbell’s interview with Dr Dalgleish has yet to be removed). But even these data are limited given that national cancer statistics in most countries are several years behind.


“I’d wage a bet that few, if any, doctors or scientists, even those very close to the Princess, could categorically prove either that the COVID-19 vaccines were, or were not, associated in some way with the progression of her cancer.”

—Rob Verkerk PhD


This aside, if you search Google UK with terms like ‘Kate Middleton turbo cancer vaccine’ you get a raft of results that appear to tell you the whole notion of the Princess’ cancer being related to the vaccines is a conspiracy theory. 

The top result (Fig. 1) in my search today revealed a post by a non-expert saying: “Anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists are baselessly linking Kate Middleton's cancer diagnosis to the Covid vaccine and a supposed side-effect of the vaccine called "turbo cancer", which doesn't actually exist".

The second post (Fig. 1), on Yahoo! News is a report by Associated Press, claiming: “Experts have reiterated that there is no evidence linking cancer with Covid-19 vaccination, contrary to false claims that circulated on social media after Kate Middleton revealed she had been diagnosed with the disease aged just 42. An increase in the recorded rates of cancer in young people has been observed since at least the early 1990s".

The third result (Fig. 1) is interesting if we’re tuned into misinformation or disinformation. A non-doctor erroneously claims on X that another non-doctor has expressed concern that the Princess’ cancer may be covid vaccine-related. But it’s very clear that the person expressing this concern is actually a medical doctor, William Makis MD, by name. Plain weird. Permitted misinformation, assuming it’s aligned with the in-group narrative, seems to consistently get a clear bill of health from content moderators.

Figure 1. Top 3 posts (based on a Google search on 1 May 2024) on the X platform (there are numerous others like it) relating to Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales, her cancer and whether it might be associated with COVID-19 genetic vaccines.

It would seem that some kind of algorithm at Google is driving the placement of these search results. If I was the betting type (which I’m not), I’d wage a bet that few, if any, doctors or scientists, even those very close to the Princess, could categorically prove either that the COVID-19 vaccines were, or were not, associated in some way with the progression of her cancer. The only acceptable consensus position should surely be one of uncertainty over the relationship, as uncomfortable as this might be for some.

Ideology, science and trust

The moderation as well as amplification and restriction of specific content reflects an ideological position, not a scientific one. It’s similar to what we’ve seen in the shadowbanning of high quality, expert content on keto diets and intermittent fasting that helped to inspire the FreeSpeech4Health campaign.

It’s also what we saw happening to any dissent on the official narrative relating to the origin of SARS-CoV-2, lockdowns, mask-wearing, or vaccine effectiveness or risks. These were all areas that were especially uncertain soon after their emergence, but as time, information and knowledge gathered, they became less uncertain. In all cases, the views that were immediately labelled as misinformation or conspiracy theory weathered the storm better than those that were consistent with the mainstream narrative.

There of course has been no mea culpa from the establishment. But what has happened instead is that the public has increasingly lost trust in the authorities who told them they were just ‘following the science'. Critically, they won’t win back trust by clamping down ever harder on what they decide is misinformation or disinformation simply because it doesn’t reconcile with their positions.

Why do I think the balls-out attack from the establishment on misinformation and disinformation will fail? Because the cat is already out of the bag. It’s all there, a big wad of it in Murthy v Missouri for those who care to dig deep. Think WikiLeaks, or perhaps more appropriate, MissouriLeaks.

Regaining trust doesn’t come from applying force or censorship. It comes from being trustworthy, or worthy of trust. A good time to remind ourselves of what former US President, Ronald Reagan said back in 1986:


“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help.”
- US President Ronald Reagan, August 12, 1986


Ronald Reagan made this statement at a presidential news conference on August 12, 1986. He was pointing to the regular policy changes of government that create unpredictability and the fact that the goals of government often don’t align with those of the people – further breaking down trust in government.   

Will you be an active or passive bystander?

You need to scratch yourself and check that you’re not living in a dream when we consider the reasons why — now — there is such a clamp down on medical misinformation. What transpired during the COVID-19 pandemic has been justified as the catalyst.

Somehow, we are meant to trust the people in government and health authorities who claimed: (1) that SARS-CoV-2 couldn’t have come from a lab, (2) that lockdowns and masks were necessary and reflected the need to ‘follow the science’, (3) that the novel C19 genetic vaccines were “safe and effective” and would be the only way out of the pandemic, and, (4) that early treatment with ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine and a cocktail of natural products was dangerous or ineffective.

As half the world’s population engages with supposedly democratic elections, we need to ask ourselves if governments are truly worthy of our trust given their gross misunderstanding, miscommunication or misrepresentation of science during recent years? It’s as if they never uttered a wrong word, and we must now submissively face a restriction of our liberty and our protected right to free speech — just because we saw the emerging uncertainties differently. In a world that celebrates the French idiom of vive la différence when it comes to certain elements of diversity such as gender and race, it is absurd that there is such intolerance for a diversity of views on matters of scientific or medical uncertainty.

As the great Hungarian-American social psychologist and genocide researcher, Dr Ervin Staub, alludes, once you understand who the perpetrators are, you can choose either to be a passive or an active bystander. Active bystanders in this fight for the protected right of third party speech on matters of human health, I believe, would do well to sign the FreeSpeech4Health petition.

What it’s all really about

We are not really in a war on scientific or medical misinformation. We’re in a war of culture — a war in which opponents hold divergent ideologies and opinions that relate to culture more than they do to science. Yet both attempt to use their different interpretations of science to justify their positions.

The problem we face in finding resolution to these differing views on the available science is compounded by the capture of ‘science’ by the scientific/medical-industrial complex.


“We’re in a war of culture—a war in which opponents hold divergent ideologies and opinions that relate to culture more than they do to science.”—Rob Verkerk PhD


Ironically, opposing camps also claim they are motivated by their desire for freedom. One side, the in-group that currently holds the balance of geopolitical power, argues it wants freedom from information that challenges its ideological position. The opposing side, the out-group — with which we are proudly associated — seeks freedom to express itself without government or corporate restraint, or sanction or punishment.

Such free expression is particularly important when it comes to matters of scientific or medical controversy as discourse is a prerequisite to ultimately resolving controversy and finding consensus that withstands dissent. It is only then we move towards an understanding of the world in which beliefs and ideologies converge with knowledge via a consistent logic structure, and we celebrate a united perspective over what we like to think of as scientific ‘truth’ (which is rarely, if ever, absolute) that we can declare peace and move on.

This freedom isn’t anarchical; we are advocating for true freedom — our own ability to exercise our free will and express ourselves in ways that don’t violate the freedom of others.

And that’s the very balance that needs to be sought in our campaign to pressure Big Social and others who moderate content on the public airwaves with a view to co-creating future-fit medical misinformation policies.

Ones we hope are informed by the learnings from Murthy v Missouri, regardless of the final ruling that we must recognise may be influenced more by the ideologies of the in-group, rather than by objective science or law.

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