The Criminalization of Dissent (Revisited)
Greetings from Thoughtcriminal 231Js1736/23!
That’s my official Thoughtcrime Case Number, which my attorney needs to reference in all our official correspondence with the New Normal Thoughtpolice. I think I’m going to silk-screen it on a T-shirt and wear it on my first day in Moabit Criminal Court, “the largest criminal court in Europe with 340 judges and 360 prosecutors.”
That’s right, the Berlin State Prosecutor’s office is pursuing its criminal investigation of me for allegedly “disseminating propaganda, the content of which is intended to further the aims of a former National Socialist organization,” which according to Germany’s Grundgesetz could send me to prison for up to three years.
My attorney wrote to them and politely explained how ridiculous their investigation is and why they should summarily drop the charges, but New Normal Germany has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to Thoughtcrime, especially Thoughtcrime involving any kind of Covid-denying propaganda.
The “propaganda” in question is these two Tweets.
Which, OK, I just disseminated them again, so there’s another three years in prison. Or, I don’t know, maybe it’s six years in prison, i.e., three years for each separate count of Thoughtcrime.
I wrote those Tweets in German, so let me translate.
The one on the left reads, “The masks are ideological-conformity symbols. That is all they are. That is all they have ever been. Stop acting like they have ever been anything else, or get used to wearing them.” The hashtag translates as “Masks are not a benign measure.”
The one on the right is a quote by Karl Lauterbach, the Minister of Health of Germany, tweeted by Die Welt, a national newspaper. It reads “The masks always send out a signal.” And, yes, Karl, that’s exactly the point I was making.
The image is from the cover art of my book The Rise of the New Normal Reich: Consent Factory Essays, Vol. III (2020-2021), which was banned in Germany by Amazon, Inc. two days after I tweeted the above Tweets. (It appears to also be banned for sale in German bookstores, but I don’t have confirmation of that.)
My attorney just received the screenshots of these Tweets from the Berlin State Prosecutor a few days ago. Up to then, we didn’t know what they were, and we couldn’t find them, because they have been censored by Twitter, presumably on the orders of the German Thoughtpolice. We knew they featured the cover art of my book, because the Prosecutor’s office described it, but we didn’t know about the “Covid denial.”
So, essentially, I’m facing criminal charges, and being threatened with who knows how many years in prison, or thousands of Eurodollars in fines, for (a) stating what has now been widely acknowledged, and what was generally understood by every serious epidemiologist until the Spring of 2020, namely, that mask-mandates do not work, and thus are nothing but symbolic measures designed to generate and enforce mass obedience, and (b) insulting the Minister of Health of Germany, who happens to be a fanatical serial liar who is directly responsible for the serious injury and death of … well, we’ll never know how many people.
Neither of which are actual crimes. Not even in the Federal Republic of Germany.
The pretext for the charges I am facing is the swastika behind the mask, which, as I noted in a recent essay, is a play on the international bestseller, The Rise and Fall of The Third Reich, by William Shirer, which you can buy in any bookshop in Berlin.
Incidentally, my book has also been a bestseller, at least on Amazon (in countries where it’s not banned) and Barnes & Noble, but I’ve still got a little ways to go before I get to Shirer territory.
So, there you are … those are my Thoughtcrimes.
I’ve been writing about the “New Normal” as a new form of totalitarianism for several years now. I wrote about it in one of my essays, The Criminalization of Dissent, in May of 2021. Some of my colleagues rolled their eyes. They thought I was being hyperbolic again. I wasn’t. This is what I meant. It is literally the criminalization of dissent.
I wasn’t the only one covering the story of the criminalization of dissent in Germany. The New York Times reported on it in April of 2021 …
“The country’s domestic intelligence agency says it will create a new department to deal with extremism among conspiracy theorists.” (German Intelligence Puts Coronavirus Deniers Under Surveillance)
As did Aljazeera …
“For intelligence officers to be legally allowed to start observing parts of the anti-lockdown movement, Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) had to create an entirely new category of groups because the ‘Querdenkers’ do not fit neatly into the existing classifications of right-wing or left-wing. The new category is for groups suspected of being ‘anti-democratic and/or delegitimizing the state in a way that endangers security.’ The designation allows intelligence officers to gather data about individuals and their activities, and could in a further step include shadowing people and tapping their communications.” (German Spy Agency to Monitor Some Anti-Lockdown Protesters)
I was not a member of the “Querdenker” movement, or any other movement for that matter, but I doubt that makes any difference to the BfV or the Berlin State Prosecutor. Anyone even vaguely prominent who spoke out against the “Corona measures” is fair game for threats and prosecution. The beneficent-sounding Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, or BfV, is basically Germany’s FBI. It’s now two years after the above stories were published, and they are still on the hunt for “Covid deniers,” “conspiracy theorists,” and other such persons suspected of “delegitimizing the state” … whatever that Orwellian language means.
Of course, it doesn’t matter what it means. It means whatever they say it means. That’s what it means. It means it doesn’t mean anything, and they do not have to pretend it means anything. It means, “Shut the fuck up. Get in line. Do what we tell you. Say what we tell you. Think what we tell you. Or we will fucking get you. We will make up some charges and prosecute you. We will censor you into Internet oblivion. We will shut off your fucking bank account. We’ll send the IRS to your house. We’ll ruin your career. We’ll hurt your family. We will extradite you to the USA and lock you up in Supermax prison for 175 fucking years.”
How am I doing? Do I sound hyperbolic?
And, no, of course I’m not just talking about Germany. The criminalization of dissent is being rolled out everywhere. Ireland is just the latest of dozens of countries all throughout the West that are criminalizing so-called “hate speech.” The specifics are different but the message is the same, “Watch what you say, or we will prosecute you, or otherwise seriously fuck you up.”
Oh, and also, I should probably mention, my lawyer advised me not to republish those Tweets. He completely understands where I am coming from, but it is his job to look out for me and to try his best to … you know, keep me out of German prison, which I’m not making easy for him.
Now, I want to be very clear about this. I have no desire to go to German prison. I am about to turn 62 years old. I'm not at all interested in tossing anyone's salad or having my salad tossed by anyone, especially not a pumped-up, tattooed member of some local Turkish drug gang, or an actual German neo-Nazi, but I'm not going to be intimidated into shutting up or toning my act down to placate the New Normal Thoughtpolice.
The thing is, I don’t respond well to bullies. I feel a particular antipathy toward them. I’m not very fond of liars either. And totalitarians … there’s another group of people I don’t like. I am not ashamed to admit my bias against such people. I wish them ill. I am sorry about whatever vicissitudes of fortune or experience turned them into lying, bullying, totalitarian creeps, but they can suck foul wind out of my ass if they think I am going to bow down to them. They can do what they want to me. They have that power. They can silence me for a while if they want. But they cannot make me silence myself.
And they cannot make me pretend to respect them.
The Germans are real big on respecting authority. So am I. But authority is earned. It does not stem from a title or a uniform. It stems from knowledge, experience, integrity, and honorable behavior, not from brute force. Fascists, totalitarians, and the like do not deserve our respect. They deserve our scorn. They deserve our derision. I have plenty of it for them.
Also, there are the kids to think about. I don’t have any, but other people do. What kind of an example are we setting for the kids if we start censoring (or “sensitivity-editing”) ourselves every time some fascist bully threatens to put us in jail if we don’t? A lot of the young people are already pretty pussified as it is these days. I’m certainly not a tough guy or anything, but sometimes, in life, you have to fight, and it doesn’t really matter if you get your ass kicked.
Oh, and, if you’re contemplating writing to me and telling me to “get the hell out of Germany” or inquiring as to why I haven’t “gotten the hell out of Germany,” please do not do that. I am extremely tired of hearing it. Instead, just wire a high six-figure sum into the Swiss account I will be setting up shortly, and, I promise you, I’ll get the hell out of Germany, and send you a postcard from an undisclosed location somewhere in the Ionian Sea.
In the meantime, I’ll definitely keep you posted on Case 231Js1736/23, and maybe I’ll go ahead and do up that T-shirt. Wait, what am I thinking? This is New Normal Berlin! I could find a VC, round up some 20-year-old, transgender, Ayahuasca-guzzling tech bros (or “tech persons with penises” or whatever the proper “non-harmful” nomenclature is at the moment), and start up some type of totally Bitcoined bespoke Thoughtcriminal T-shirt business!
The way things are going, I’ll probably make a killing … or at least I’ll be able to cover my legal costs, which, after that last little gratuitous outburst, Lord knows what kind of new charges I’ll be facing!
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