Sign the Petition to Stop the Censoring of Esoteric Websites in the UK

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shutterstock_136710353_resizeOur freedom of spiritual expression, and the free flow of spiritual ideas and information, is under threat. The UK government has announced an internet filter that is set to block “esoteric material” across the internet in the UK by the end of the year—this scale of web censorship has never before been seen in the UK. The involvement of corporations and state powers declaring what spirituality will be blocked is eerily reminisce of China’s internet censorship policy. But in case you thought it could never happen in the UK, the UK PM David Cameron has actually praised the Chinese company Huawei, founded by a former officer in China’s People’s Liberation Army, for its existing filtering of the UK ISP TalkTalk – whilst others have raised concerns over the alleged close ties between the company and the Chinese government.

The filters are set to be implemented by the UK’s major ISPs, which encompass 95% of British web users, with McDonalds already caught blocking websites considered “Alternative Spirituality/Belief”. But don’t just stay reading about it. Take 2 minutes to SIGN THIS PETITION and let David Cameron know that spiritual expression should never be censored, stop him setting a precedent for other nations, and then make it go absolutely viral. Tell everyone you know. This is an assault on our collective spiritual freedom in a big way.

Websites of organizations that promote “esoteric practices” whether directly or indirectly, and the websites of “universally acknowledged sects” have already been blocked on pay-as-you-go Orange phones. A staff member of the Open Rights Group tweeted of Orange phones:

“The site http://vigilantcitizen.com blocked to me by Orange’s Safeguard (on Light setting). Possible eg of ‘esoteric’ content being blocked?!”

Jaime Tanna, the petition’s founder also writes about how he was unable to visit his own website whilst in the internet café chain Caffe Nero in the UK 2 years ago:

“Together with my wife, we run a holistic business which also mentions “spiritual healing” amongst other key services such as Reiki, Reflexology and Indian Head Massage. I was stunned to find that I could not access my own website as it was blocked for “religious” content. The message on the screen told me it was classified under “Alternative Spirituality/Belief”, and access was categorically blocked.”

In response to this article, Christos reported having a similar experience when he visited McDonalds in Camberwell, London back in 2008:

“We had our laptops with us. When we tried to visit one of the websites that at that time was offering free online courses…. we received the message “alternative spirituality” and we weren’t able to access it. We were puzzled at the time and surprised. I had just arrived in London and such attitude did not seem one of a developed country at all.”

Punya of Osho News wrote how a UK college blocked an Osho website:

“A few years ago while living in Glasgow I attended a Photoshop workshop at the local college. One evening I thought of checking the new design for Osho in UK, a website I was running together with Veena at the time. At college we had Macs so that would have been an opportunity to check it on this platform. And what was my surprise? The website was blocked! I can understand that it would be inappropriate to watch porn in College, but OSHO?”

This is something already happening, and already targeting websites offering alternative viewpoints on spirituality.

Esoteric material” which implies all manner of spiritual knowledge and practice, has been lumped in with the worst of human behaviour in this filter—forming one of 9 categories, which includes pornography, violence, and suicide related websites. No one is advocating protection for criminal behaviour; this petition is solely discussing the “esoteric” inclusion in the bill (along with the inclusion of “web forums”), which has thus far been overwhelmingly overshadowed by the debate on pornography. It’s time to make some noise about the covert slip in of spirituality into an obvious Trojan Horse.

Former Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre boss Jim Gamble told BBC Radio it was important to “get to the root cause” of illegal pornography. I agree, but I would also add that it is important to get to the root cause of why “esoteric material” became part of this filter, who was responsible for adding it, what their religious or non-religious affiliations are, and why it has not been addressed publicly by David Cameron? This appears to have been done as a very shady back-door deal indeed between the UK government and large ISP companies, which probably would have gone completely unnoticed if it hadn’t been for the Open Rights Group actually contacting the ISPs to find out exactly what was going to be filtered.

This is a major issue of religious and human rights, and the inclusion of “esoteric material” on such a filter is clearly symptomatic of a much deeper, underlying problem in UK society and state policy. It is likely that larger, mainstream religions will remain unaffected (at least for now), whilst it is used to discriminate against, marginalize, and stigmatize all manner of alternative spiritual viewpoints and faiths. This does not bode well; it is an indicator of something deeply wrong, and this may well just be the beginning. What starts as an “opt-out” filter may end up as something more permanent, as they lead us “down the garden path” one small step at a time. It is very important to not budge an inch now, because trying to turn things back will be 100 fold more difficult.

Spiritual expression has always formed part of human existence and is found throughout our collective human history from its earliest records. Esoteric material can be found in every religion of the world, in the New Age, and in spiritual wisdom traditions all the way from their ancient roots to modern times. It is a dangerous move for any country to suppress, censor, or encourage bigotry toward spirituality—just take the Nazis, communist China, and Soviet Russia as examples. This is a highly significant step in the direction of totalitarianism for any society to make.

The UN Declaration of Human Rights states:
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. (Art. 18, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948)
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. (Art. 19, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948)

We should and must protect our children, but should we be sending a message to our children that spirituality is harmful, just like pornography, violence, and suicide?  Should corporations or the state play any part in determining our spiritual choices? Should we make room for spirituality to be marginalized and discriminated against in our society? Absolutely not! It would be better that instead we embrace the spiritual treasures and wisdom traditions of the world in collective unity, and defend our religious and spiritual freedoms against this Orwellian nightmare.

It is time for us all to put aside any differences in matters of religious/spiritual faith and act as one united front. This is a test for people of all spiritual walks of life to practice the tolerance, unity, and harmony they preach by working as a collective with those who have other spiritual perspectives that will likewise be affected and put a stop to this. It is also a test of how much UK society really values spirituality and how willing it is to sustain an environment that fosters uninhibited spiritual discovery, growth, and development for all.

Let’s see how much of an impact we can make, and at the same time highlight the importance and social value of spirituality not just for adults, but for our children and for generations to come. Send this petition to everyone you know who practices or values spiritual knowledge in ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM – to anyone who has a spiritual website, visits spiritual websites, reads spiritual books, has a religious/spiritual association or org, takes spiritual classes etc. or who even just deals with spiritual subject matter.

This is a worldwide issue—we must stop it setting a precedent in Western nations, and stop the people of the UK from being cut off from spiritual knowledge and the rest of the world. Already there is a bill planned based on what is happening in the UK that is set to introduce an internet filter in Canada. It’s just a matter of time before other countries follow suit.

If you want to make even more impact, write to your local UK member for parliament or request to meet with them to voice your concerns. If there is an opposition party offering any credible opposition in parliament you could write to them to so they take up this issue. Boycott any ISP that blocks “esoteric” material, contact your ISP to tell them what you think, and spread the word.

~ Angela Pritchard

Read more in:

Why We Have a Need to Know About the Esoteric

War on Consciousness Takes to the Internet as Esoteric Websites to be Censored in UK

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About Angela Pritchard

Angela Pritchard is an author and researcher into the universal nature of spirituality and consciousness. She is the co-author of two books on ancient sacred mysteries. Her primary focus is on experiencing spirituality firsthand, including through OBEs, and she has been dedicated to this for the past 10 years. She aims to uncover the hidden roots of what’s really driving the agenda in society and the world in relation to the war on consciousness and awakening, and writes alongside her husband on the website Belsebuub.com.

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  1. Thanks DavidP for the heads up on this. I feel very sad for this person and a tragedy that he lost his life.
    Its clear in all reports that he didn’t intend to die as he had a life jacket, and its not been mentioned how he came to drown with one on.

    Looking at the article itself, it’s written very emotionally, and you can see its put in a way to cause people to hate and blame David Icke, because in the UK he represents the face of alternative media and because he’s setting out to give the people a voice to speak out against wrong doing and to express the truth in the way they are experiencing it. 6 days after this article the same paper puts out this article about David Icke’s People’s Voice initiative http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/david-icke-launches-tv-radio-2835939

    It seems to me that the mainstream media are threatened by him, and are doing and clutching to anything they can to discredit him and what he is about to provide for the people.

    They’re use of images and words is targeted at creating hate towards Icke, and towards Spirituality. I agree with your concerns DavidP, in light of the UK censorship to censor esoteric material, and the growing criticism against this censorship, its apparent that there is a growing agenda to deface esotericism by defacing those that represent it in the public eyes.

    I also found a couple of other UK papers on this story, all from the similar angles:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2480115/Extreme-yoga-fanatic-drowned-quarry-trying-catch-hypothermia-achieve-enlightenment-near-death-experience.html Here, the person is described as an ‘Extreme Yoga Fanatic’

    http://www.thisiscornwall.co.uk/Alien-enthusiast-drowned-St-Austell-clay-pit/story-20002313-detail/story.html#axzz2lY7FP7bi this one describes him as ‘Alien Enthusiast’

    Interesting how these articles use the mother’s comments to reinforce what they want the public to hear: “Luke enjoyed football and snooker at school and had plenty of friends, Mrs Monrose said. But after he left education he became withdrawn, stopped seeing his pals, and took to reading books on meditation and spirituality.”
    ” “I told him he should get out more, get a girlfriend and go to the pub and get drunk but he wasn’t interested,” she said.”

    So the picture these articles are painting is if someone isn’t interested in drinking, chasing the opposite sex and getting drunk then they’re not normal, and if they’re interested in spirituality, then there’s something wrong and to beware.

    For me personally, it shows that there is a hidden agenda to cause in people a disdain towards spirituality and anyone one who wants to pursue it, and to create an association/link between ‘esoteric’ and dangerous behaviours.

  2. Great interview Jenny. You explained it really well David. I hope this helps people to understand that this is a real and very serious issue.

  3. Excellent job guys! It was really encouraging seeing you have a courage to speak up about those things, and explain the issue so clearly.

  4. Video’s can be submitted to ‘The People’s Voice’ channel here:

    http://www.thepeoplesvoice.tv/submitcontent

  5. This was actually a response to the article David posted below.

  6. Saw it, really nice job guys.

    It would be great if mainstream news-stations were more like this, but most are not…. So it’s great that you guys are covering the subject. Keep it up.

  7. I watched the video recently and thought David did a great job of putting the issue into perspective.

    Jenny, I could relate to a point you made in there about talking to people about this issue and them being in disbelief. I actually brought this issue up to colleagues who study topics related to religion and spirituality, and the first response was that this must be a hoax.

    They thought it must not be real, but unfortunately it is happening.

    It looks like the petition has really gained momentum. It is great to hear that it would be discussed openly if 100,000 people sign. I remember when the goal was closer to 10,000, and it has more than 4 times that many signatures now. So, there’s hope :)

    Thanks, Jenny and David.

  8. Just a note, this comment was in response to David P’s comment below.

  9. At the inquest last month coroner Emma Carlyon recorded a narrative verdict that Luke had “died as a consequence of a near-death experience which resulted in physical death”. – There are so many things wrong with that statement and that article as a whole..

    I think you’re right Dave, it does seem like it’s definitely setting up a vicious cycle. The media jump on the tragedy of a young man interested in spiritual things but going about them completely the wrong way who accidentally takes his life. Then they present it to the public in a way that turns people against astral projection, NDEs, alternative truths etc, demonizing them by making them sound crazy and linking them with suicide (sounds very similar to the web filters). The more esoteric information gets suppressed the more disinformation and myths about it will probably start spreading. Then people who are interested in it might find it harder to break through the disinformation to get to the truth, and so then might end up misinterpreting things and taking the wrong actions leading to events like with that poor kid. Then the media can use those events to further suppress and demonise spirituality..

    The timing of the article is strange too. This next article about David Icke came out about a week later, talking about how he’d raised 300,000 pounds to start an alternative news channel – http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/david-icke-launches-tv-radio-2835939

  10. The scientific community must be horrified to hear the words: Death as a consequence of a near death experience. This is absurd.

  11. I did an interview with David G on this topic for Total View which we released earlier this week.

    David did a super job laying out all the facets of this issue which will hopefully result in greater awareness and understanding of this censorship issue and people taking action to do what they can to try to stop it.

    Check it out if you haven’t already!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaaNQc9OW64

  12. The following recent news story in the UK has me concerned it is part of the plan to demonise and block esoteric content in the UK and to get the general public to want it that way.
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/real-life-stories/david-icke-obsession-killed-son-2796290

    It is tragic that this kid was so interested in spirituality and keen to experience it directly and yet went about it in a really dangerous way that no-one would recommend. Just perfect fodder though for the powers-that-currently-still-be to further their agenda against esoteric content and to steer public opinion against it.

    Although interestingly there was apparently quite a backlash against that angle in the public comments section which has therefore been censored by it being removed.
    http://www.davidicke.com/headlines/daily-mirror-removes-public-comments-to-disgusting-david-icke-attack-story-after-being-deluged-with-condemnation-and-criticism/

  13. I wanted to let you know the E-petition almost reached 40.000 signatures. A big thanks you to all those who supported it so far!

  14. Alexandros says:

    Hello everyone,
    Just to inform that If there is someone who speaks only greek, this is the link to read the UK petition in greek.

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/H-%CE%94%CE%B9%CE%B1%CF%86%CE%BF%CF%81%CE%B5%CF%84%CE%B9%CE%BA%CE%AE-%CF%80%CF%84%CF%85%CF%87%CE%AE-%CF%84%CE%B7%CF%82-%CE%B6%CF%89%CE%AE%CF%82-Different-aspect-of-life/526723894083319

    (it is an authorized translation into Greek language)

    Alexandros

  15. Hello everyone,

    I thought I would share some things I found while contacting some spiritual forums regarding this issue. I have posted on a couple of dozens websites that had sections for “politics”, “news” or similar areas where they allowed the posts about these issues. The replies were mostly positive, even though on the philosophy forum (that also contained sections for discussing alternative religions and spirituality) people were more skeptical about the “realness” of this issue, and one person even accused me of “political solicitation”. The person who wrote that apparently didn’t wish to engage in further discussion though, as they didn’t react to my reply. Others were more considerate, but still somewhat skeptical.

    This was the only forum with this kind of reaction though. On more spiritually-oriented forums, people were generally more concerned and some websites already had their own information about the issue. What surprised me though was the level of persecution/attacks some websites seem to face today. For example the website at ishtargate.com, which regularly posts information regarding censorship of esoteric websites, posting articles of this nature, etc. claims to be repeatedly trolled by malicious individuals that disrupt their forums, re-link their links to nasty adult websites, their users get false virus warnings about trojans being present on their website, and so on. I actually also got re-directed to an adult website while trying to access their forum discussion on censorship of esoteric websites. Their website apparently is appealing to a wide range of audience, as it contains a lot of material and research on ancient religions and their spirituality, so whoever is attacking them probably does not like it.
    They have an interesting discussion going on about this here if you would like to read more:
    http://www.ishtarsgate.com/forum/showthread.php?4621-Cyber-interference-on-the-Gate&p=25901#post25901

  16. Hi Everyone,

    I made this video a little while ago and had it on the shelf but decided to just put it out there to help spread the message about what’s going on and hopefully encourage people to join in and sign the petition (and do whatever else they could).

    You can get it here:
    http://www.ancientsacredknowledge.com/world-issues/censorship-of-esoteric-websites-and-web-forums-video/

    It’s just below the image Jenny made. Feel free with both to share, like, embed, post around, tweet, and whatever else you do :-)

    Jordan

  17. Liberal Democrats reject ‘illiberal’ porn blocking plans

    It seems there’s at least one UK party (the third largest) that are against this censorship. Great news!

    They are part of the current ‘Cameron ministry’ coalition. But I don’t know how (or if) it will affect the proposal from being implemented. But I do think it’s great that there’s a bit of awareness about the real issue within the coalition!

    • That is great news Karim. Because the Liberal Democrats are in a coalition with the Conservative party led by David Cameron, if there is a wedge between the two parties on this issue there is a chance the censorship can be stopped.

      The British Prime Minister has also said he wants to get rid of the human rights act in the UK, but suggested that he can’t becasue the Liberal Democrats don’t support him on that. He won’t have the numbers to pass any bill without them. So it will be great if the Liberal Democrats formally oppose the default filter too. If you are a UK voter, I would definitely express your views to people in the Liberal Democrats so they understand the UK voters don’t want the filter and will take on the Conservatives on this issue.

      The problem with David Cameron’s plan from what I can tell it does not rely on any formal legislation. The government has instead come to an “agreement” with the four biggest ISPs: http://www.zdnet.com/uk/uk-to-automatically-filter-adult-internet-content-7000018403/

      That’s why it is important to put pressure on the ISPs too I think, becasue officially at least the ball is going to be in their court as to what content they will block beyond pornography, and there is no transparency on this issue. Open rights group are waiting for ISPs to respond to questions they have put to them about how their filters will operate: https://www.openrightsgroup.org/blog/2013/nudge-censorship-questions-for-isps-and-government

      One of the questions they put to them is whether the filter will allow a household to cater for a variety of beliefs. This is the full list of questions: https://www.openrightsgroup.org/blog/2013/isp-filtering-qs

  18. Hi everyone,
    I’ve uploaded an infographic about the UK web filter here: http://www.reachinglight.com/infographic-uk-filter-block-esoteric-content-worldwide-implications/ . Please use and distribute it freely.

  19. “It is a dangerous move for any country to suppress, censor, or encourage bigotry toward spirituality—just take the Nazis, communist China, and Soviet Russia as examples. This is a highly significant step in the direction of totalitarianism for any society to make.” This statement that Angela made couldn’t be more relevant during these trying times.

    Recently I found out that in the Quebec, Canada, the political party Parti Québécois has announced a proposal to “neutralize” public servants by unveiling a charter of values that would ban “overt” religious symbols such as Muslim headscarves, Sikh turbans, Jewish kippas from the public service. They claim that since the state is neutral, the people that work for it must have a neutral image. They plan on giving the public institutions a five-year adjustment and transitional period. In the meantime, over $2 million has been spent on marketing this disturbing ploy. There are certain exemptions to the censorship such as permitting a host of Catholic symbols to be displayed in public places. And people who hold positions in high office are also exempt:

    “The plan also would exempt elected officials, raising the possibility that the premier of Quebec could some day wear a veil while the janitor who cleans her office could not.”

    http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&ved=0CDYQFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.theglobeandmail.com%2Fnews%2Fpolitics%2Fquebec-unveils-plan-for-controversial-charter-of-values%2Farticle14214307%2F&ei=3RYxUpeVH-S02AXZyYBY&usg=AFQjCNG7IUEHA4a2Ms9C2IGXxn4XfLePgQ&bvm=bv.52109249,d.aWM

    • First the government wants to ban access (via internet and the library) to esoteric information, then they want to stop people from overtly displaying their faith/creed/spirituality. What’s next, passing laws that forbid people from having a faith altogether? This is sheer madness. It’s important we make the efforts to protest these sinister trends, be aware of them, sign these petitions, let our voices be heard as to not miss any opportunites to stop these unjust censorships of truth and light from being implemented into our society.

  20. Good to see Jaime’s petition is now getting near to 10,000 signatures!
    I found this article which was interesting as it seems the UK ISP’s aren’t entirely pleased with the filter
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23312579
    although I note they seem to be debating more how it should work not that there shouldn’t be one at all and no mention of there sneakily being other filter categories such as esoteric material.
    I think lobbying the ISP’s directly is worthwhile too in addition to the UK politicians.

    • Good points David. I did ask people to contact their ISPs to protest, and will be sure to send another reminder to everyone who has signed the petition. Peace and light, Jaime

    • 3 weeks later and the petition has grown by another 10,000 signatures which is great!

      The word spreading through social media has helped to get more signatures so if anyone can help to continue to share the petition link or infographic and video links to facebook or twitter pages or anywhere else that might be interested and affected by the filter I’m sure it will help the word to spread further as it needs to if it is to reach 100,000 signatures asap.

      I noticed on facebook that a well known best selling author and researcher shared the infographic with their audience and it got hundreds of “likes” and hundreds of “shares” and lots of supportive comments. We just need that to happen everyday and we will be there in no time!

  21. There’s a bit of a new twist to this story. Not only does David Cameron want to trample on the basic human right to freedom of belief and information, now he wants to scrap the Human Rights Act altogether!

    Would a government who censors the internet in the name of ‘protecting the children’, and who are trying to implement a ‘gagging’ legislation to stop organisations speaking out against them before an election also sneakily scrap the Human Rights Act under the guise of ‘protecting the country’?

    In the words of David Cameron “There are some problems, like this issue of human rights”

    http://www.theguardian.com/law/2013/aug/08/david-cameron-human-rights-act

  22. Another action from Jaime everyone can get involved in if interested:

    Thank you once again for taking the time to sign this important petition against censorship “esoteric material” and web forums.

    Now, let’s take decisive, unified action and use the weight of our many voices to impact the Prime Minister and UK Government!

    ACTION 1: PLEASE copy/paste the following email message to your MP and Ms Swinson today, thank you. (see TEMPLATE below)

    If you don’t already know, go to http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/ to check who your MP is.

    Unfortunately, I have now discovered that the Prime Minister does not have a working email address (see possible solution below), so:

    ACTION 2: CALL your MP and David Cameron’s office to voice your concern!

    If their phones are ringing off the hook, it would show them just how alarmed we all are about the ramifications of the government’s internet censorship plans.

    All you have to do is:

    1) Call the Parliament switchboard on 020 7219 3000.
    2) Ask to speak to your MP.
    3) Then call the switchboard again, and ask to speak to David Cameron’s office!

    Thousands of emails flooding through, and hundreds of calls, are going to get their attention, loud and clear.

    Please edit the content of the letter below as you see fit – but remember to be polite!

    It is especially important for all UK Citizens to put their name and full address, including post code at the bottom of the letter.

    It is vital that Ms Swinson and David Cameron hear from their own constituent members.

    I also encourage those from other countries to write also, and include your full name and address.

    Thanks for being part of a movement for change – and for keeping the fight for freedom alive!

    With hope,

    Jaime Tanna

    TITLE FOR YOUR EMAIL: Please stop the unnecessary censorship of esoteric material and web forums!

    ***TEMPLATE [do NOT to copy this line]***

    Dear Ms Swinson and [put the name of your MP here]

    I wanted to let you know that I have added my name to a petition on Change.org.
    http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/uk-prime-minister-david-cameron-stop-the-unnecessary-censor-of-esoteric-websites-and-web-forums

    Recently in July, David Cameron announced the move to introduce legislation to stop pornographic and extremist material from getting through to end users, including vulnerable children. I am all for preventing harm to children, and ensuring online safety.

    However, according to the Open Rights Group, these internet filters will be about more than just pornography. Open Rights Group spoke to some of the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that will be constructing these content filters, and discovered that a host of other categories are likely to be on the block list, including “esoteric material” and web forums. Is this true?

    If so, why have the public not been informed about these other categories, considering that “esoteric material” and many web forums have a rightful place in serving the greater good, and the citizens of the United Kingdom?
    I am deeply concerned that this block list is being created without public consultation and transparency, and there do not appear to be any appeal mechanisms for those wrongly affected by the proposed legislation and implementation thereof.

    This surely contravenes article 19 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, which states:

    “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” (Art. 19, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948)

    The UK government is democratically elected to support the interests of its citizens and is accountable to each and every one of us for its actions.

    I was appalled to discover that websites promoting “esoteric practices” whether directly or indirectly have already been blocked on pay-as-you-go Orange phones. Also, public WiFi hotspots, such as those used by McDonalds and Caffe Nero, have already blocked esoteric websites under the filter “alternative belief/spirituality”.

    I, and many other citizens of the UK and the across the world, do not want to live in a society that bans website material that is inspiring and uplifting, whether intentionally, or as the result of passing laws that make access extremely difficult, if not impossible.

    I also do not wish to see “esoteric material” and the category of “alternative belief/spirituality” lumped in with pornography and extreme hate. That is a false and most disturbing association, and must be rectified immediately!

    Many uninformed people will start to view “esoteric material” and “alternative belief/spirituality” as material that is taboo, and will certainly wish to avoid the stigma of being associated with it. Further, people who openly support “esoteric” practices and view “esoteric material” could easily be stigmatised and discriminated against.

    Certainly, as far as I am concerned, the word “esoteric” is a broad catch-all term/category that is ripe for misuse as are other terms on the intended block list(s). This issue of default filtering will also affect many other people who don’t live in the UK.

    Visitors coming to the UK who wish to access perfectly valid content will most likely be blocked if these measures are implemented. When people visit the UK, they expect free access to information!

    What message are we sending to other democratic countries if we put in these ill-thought-out censorship plans?

    At the Conference for Cyberspace 2011 many speakers called for the internet to be free from government and commercial censorship, consistent with international legal obligations. The conference agreed that efforts to improve cyber security must not be at the expense of human rights.

    Mr William Hague, the then Foreign Secretary, reflected that “governments cannot determine the future of the internet and digital networks alone”, and that when governments do discuss this subject they are “at risk of adopting wrong or dangerous conclusions, or of being out of touch and out of date.”
    Again, I would like to point out that there are major concerns as to the unintended consequences of filtering, such as over-blocking, i.e. where legitimate content is inadvertently blocked.

    The UK government’s own highly regarded advisor, Jimmy Wales, has publicly stated that these intended filters are “ridiculous”. He has repeatedly said that problems like online child abuse, hacking social media sites, and abusive or threatening messages can be tackled without the introduction of new legislation.

    Today, I am asking you to help STOP the unnecessary censorship of helpful, genuine, well-meaning “esoteric” websites and web forums, amongst others, so that you do not impinge on the rights of law abiding citizens to free access of information, and to conduct their affairs.

    On behalf of thousands of other concerned citizens, I am also asking for clear, transparent communication on the censorship matter, and a promise that ensures that genuine websites and businesses, will not be harmed by a myopic viewpoint on what is acceptable.

    I look forward to hearing back from you as a matter of urgency.

    Yours sincerely,

    [YOUR NAME HERE]
    Citizen of [COUNTRY HERE]

    [FULL POSTAL ADDRESS]

    *END TEMPLATE* [do NOT to copy this line]

    ********************************************************
    Ps If you want to write to the Prime Minister, you will need to contact him by using 10 Downing Street’s rather inept web form: https://email.number10.gov.uk/

    I sent a test email to camerond@parliament.uk but the No.10 form is very unwieldy, being limited to only 1,000 characters! Further, upon submission, it doesn’t give a confirmation that anything has gone through!

    So who is know if the Prime Minister is actually receiving anything?!

  23. Recently in Australia I witnessed an extremely effective way of influencing Parliament and its peoples representatives (so called). The plot was to push through legislation that both sides had previously agreed to. There was no mention in the media of the legislation. All was done behind closed doors. A few local radio stations got wind of it, and the radio announcers told the radio listeners to phone up their local representative and voice their discontent and opposition to such policy and the way it was covertly handled. They were then told to phone up the office of the Prime minister and opposition leader to voice the same. Listeners then phoned back the radio station to report what happened. The responses were very successful in getting the message across (obviously the secretaries weren’t happy being inconvenienced but hey its their job to take your calls and you pay their salaries via your taxes, plus you are paying for the phone lines they use along with the office space they rent – so why wouldn’t you phone them and tell them what you want?).
    The legislation was subsequently retracted based on an ‘outpouring’ of public opposition.

    Here is a website with all local radio stations in Australia http://australianliveradio.com
    (not sure how long it will be before the radio site is censored off the internet?).
    Some of these stations have very large facebook followings and listeners. It would be good to contact the stations via email or live phone in to bring up the matter for discussion with the announcers. Many of these stations have live phone in sessions.

    I also recall local radio being the main way a country revolution occurred – see:
    http://johnpilger.com/videos/the-war-on-democracy
    an excellent documentary showing that people power can work.
    Local radio is a common theme for by passing corporatocracy and large media control.

    You can get YOUR elected member details from:
    http://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Members
    and email, mail, fax or phone them.
    Don’t assume they know anything about the subject matter. Most representatives don’t have time to know about ‘everything’. They belong to a party and have to tow the party line, they vote on many matters they are ignorant of and therefore are told ‘how’ to vote without even reading the proposed legislation. Many policies are pushed through and often members are horrified at what they unknowingly have voted for. Take the banker bailout and bailin thefts for example. So when communicating refer directly to proposed legislation etc and help educate your elected democratic representative :-)

    • Thanks very much Shane,
      that is a really practical way of making a difference and influencing our reps!

    • Yeah, that’s great Shane. Thanks for the heads up.

      Re your point about inconveniencing politicians and their staff. That’s exactly right, it IS their job. It seems that both the people and the government forget a really important tenet; THEY work for US. WE pay them, WE employ them, they are answerable to US, as our EMPLOYEES. For some reason, both sides act as if it were the other way around. It’s time we reminded both sides exactly what the true status quo is.

      People shouldn’t be afraid of governments… governments should be afraid of people.

      • Hi Tone, your last statement reminds me of some Thomas Jefferson quotes as below. There have been a few people in history with enough brains, courage and conscience to stand up for the light and take great risks for the benefit of mankind, often opposing plutocracy that has turned sour (mafia style rule).

        ‘When the government fears the people, you have liberty. When the people fear the government you have Tyranny.”
        Jefferson

        “I am convinced that those societies (such as the Native American peoples) which live without government enjoy in their general mass an infinitely greater degree of happiness than those who live under the European governments. Among the former, public opinion is in the place of law, & restrains morals as powerfully as laws ever did anywhere. Among the latter, under pretense of governing they have divided their nations into two classes, wolves & sheep. I do not exaggerate.”
        Thomas Jefferson

        “Information is the currency of democracy.”
        - Thomas Jefferson

        As an add on, after witnessing the fanfare of a recent election in Australia, and knowing how the AEC has manipulated, bullied and subdued different individuals and parties etc, The control over people’s thoughts and emotions continues unabated. Without any conscience or consciousness holding a person firm, individuals are easy prey to the controllers of the plutocratic system. I recall Packer (deceased) having said to a group of individuals something along the lines of: ‘Gentleman we all have a bit of the whore in all of us, name your price.’

        “Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.”
        Josef Stalin

    • Thanks for this Shane. I agree that more media coverage is needed – luckily, a great gal named Olga has put together a list of alternative media contacts, and I have emailed them a Press Release (drafted by Matthew, and edited by Jordan). So our collective efforts are having an impact!

      If we can get Radio/TV on our side (not against us), then we have a good chance of binning this madness. The government know exactly what they are doing – well, at least the tycoons and lobbyists pulling their strings do!

      Blessings,
      Jaime

      • Just to say that I couldn’t have done it without the super help of Lucia, Vida & Christos :)

        The army of light is growing!

  24. Another message and call to action from Jaime (shortened):

    For those of you who are on Twitter, please take 30 seconds to TWEET THIS MESSAGE right now:

    Please STOP unnecessary censorship of esoteric material & web forums! http://tinyurl.com/mbxca98 #censorship @David_Cameron @joswinson

    • Tweet Complete :)

      I have also tried posting this on various facebook groups again, mostly this is raising awareness on the petition rather than just getting people to tweet and help spread the message – so I think that part is still down to us and all the fighters for truth using the social media platform.

  25. AUSTRALIA NEWS ALERT!: Liberal-National Coalition will introduce UK-style internet filter in Australia if elected. Just 2 days before the election the coalition reveal that they will copy the UK internet censorship model, and they bury this announcement in a “safety policy” PDF.

    See the full report here exposed by ZDNet: http://www.zdnet.com/au/australian-opposition-vows-to-implement-internet-filter-by-default-7000020270/

    This is a worry becasue most predict the Coalition will get in. Oddly enough, they opposed the Labor government when they tried to do this a year ago. Now it seems the they’ve traded places with Labor in a good cop bad cop routine.

    Let’s make sure Australians know about this before the election!

    • UPDATE: The Coalition have backed down already, claiming the web filter policy was an “error”. There was a lot of online backlash to the policy and maybe they realised it would hurt their election chances.

      After confirming they would introduce a default internet filter:
      http://www.zdnet.com/au/coalition-confirms-internet-filtering-by-default-7000020272/

      They promptly did a backflip:
      http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/coalition-announces-internet-filter–and-immediately-backs-down-20130905-2t7nb.html

      All in one day.

      • Thanks for sharing Matthew, that’s concerning. Seems like the UK are really setting a bad precedent for the world.

        Glad to hear that public outcry can have such an affect.

        • The whole Coalition internet filter debacle looks very fishy. If it wasn’t for the investigative reporting by Josh Taylor at ZDnet, the whole thing would probably have passed under the radar.

          As previously mentioned, ZDnet broke the story after spotting the plan in an obscure and quietly released Coalition policy PDF that was put up without a press release. Now the Coalition are claiming the document was simply “poorly worded” and it was all a big mistake. Their policy document has since been edited and changed but a link to the original version is in the ZDNet story below:

          “Less than five hours after releasing the policy the Coalition is seeking to deny that a policy around opt-out internet filtering is the current Coalition policy, despite Liberal MP and author of the policy Paul Fletcher speaking to ZDNet confirming the policy.” Full story: http://www.zdnet.com/au/coalition-backflips-on-internet-filtering-policy-7000020282/

          ZDNet points out why it was so important this thing was spotted: “After this weekend’s election, if a future Coalition government had announced its internet filtering plan, all it would have had to do is to point to the original policy document uploaded yesterday and say that it was there for all to see.” Full story: http://www.zdnet.com/turnbull-caught-by-surprise-on-internet-filtering-policy-7000020310/

          Strangely, the policy was apparently released without the Coalition’s own spokesperson for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull, even knowing, who seemed to be genuinely surprised and only just found out about it just before he had to defend it in a radio interview, even though he apparently disagrees with it.

          Maybe “someone” was hoping no one (not even people in their own party) would notice if the policy was snuck in, so they could later claim the Australian people had approved the filter when and if the Coalition is elected?

          Even the mainstream Fairfax media are using the word “conspiracy” now.

          In the video in this news story, at about the 01.40 minute mark, the journalist asks whether there was a conspiracy to sneak this through at the eleventh hour: http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2013/how-malcolm-turnbull-was-ambushed-by-the-coalitions-own-internet-policy-20130906-2t9bd.html

          Now the Australian Christian Lobby – the largest religious lobby in Australia — is upset that the Coalition has backtracked on the internet filter. http://www.zdnet.com/au/coalition-backflips-on-internet-filtering-policy-7000020282/

          I wonder who was influencing Liberal MP Paul Fletcher? He clearly was aware of this policy unlike Malcolm Turnbull.

          (Feel free to reuse any of this comment on your site David)

          • Wow Matthew, that’s really intense and really important that Zdnet spotted it.

            What you brought to light really made me wonder about the action of the Open Rights Group and how they revealed ‘esoteric material’ on the parental filters launched in the UK.

            At the moment, when I share the petition on various alternative spirituality Facebook groups, I am confrounted with several strong opposing opinions, people who argue that this isn’t happening at all. That default settings which people can opt out of isn’t an issue to petition about, and generally people don’t seem to realise the bigger picture because the UK government hasn’t mentioned anything publically about it. There is no way to convince them, there are some people who right away are against a petition of this sort.

            I feel that the main obstacle right now to the UK censorship is that not enough people know about it or accept that the government is hidding it, and mock as though mere conspiracy theories uphold it. Therefore, its all the more important to educate the public, clarify but also get as many resources together.

            Thanks to Zdnet, they were able to dig out credible information to something that the politicians had slipped by mistake, or didn’t realise there would be any intelligent response to it. Who knows.

            Its such a sensitive issue, especially in the UK, it seems British people are weary for matters like these that they would seem crazy in believing in conspiracies if there’s a hint of a doubt in that direction. So several people were quite opinionated against it and quick-witted to snub it as conspiracy stuff (even though they were in alternative spirituality) A greater number was supportive ofcourse, but who knows what impact the voices of people so negative early on bring to the issue. It makes me think that the media would be similar, and a hint of unsupported evidence giving way to suggest any paranoia would leave readers/listeners to complain or react.

            Its obvious to me that all the smoke and mirrors make it difficult, and the UK government knew exactly what they were getting into and were clever about it.

            We can just do our best in letting people know about it..

          • Does anyone want to help me research Alternative Media organisations in the UK to spread awareness for Jaime’s petition?

            These can include Radio, Television, Newspapers, Magazines (possibly blogs and podcasts)

            I have started compiling data, but will welcome help if there is.

            If you just know of some very good sources you can post them in the comments below otherwise email me: olga@privatdemail.net

          • Thanks a lot Matthew. I was speaking to a friend at work yesterday about this, and thankfully it has become somewhat public knowledge in Australia. My friend was suggesting that this also might set a precedent where politicians can backtrack on any policy they have previously spoken about by saying it was ‘poorly worded’.

            It seems like there’s a growing connection between church and state in these kind of matters. One of David Cameron’s advisors has urged the church to withdraw its investments in google to put pressure on them to help combat adult material: http://www.thedrum.com/news/2013/07/27/church-england-urged-sell-its-shares-google-effort-aid-child-pornography-battle

          • There’s been some similar reactions on the FB page Olga, some people just can’t believe that this sort of thing would be implemented.

            I wonder whether ‘conspiracy theorists’ have received the same treatment as extra terrestrials in some ways by the media and whoever is pulling the strings behind it. If I think of movies I’ve seen that had people searching for alternative truths in them, they’re often portrayed as being crazy, socially awkward, misfits etc. I think subtly that has an effect on people, and then everyone is programmed to believe in a certain way, not to question the mainstream depiction of things etc.

            Reminds me of the sleep programming from Brave New World, except our sleep programming happens while we’re physically awake through TV, movies and the mainstream media.

            This image sums up the sentiment towards ‘conspiracy theories’ fairly well:
            http://pigsquash.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/sheepdog-conspiracy-x50.jpg?w=640

          • Julian Kingman says:

            It seems like David Cameron was aware that having it out in the open, like in a public speech or announcement, would cause problems. He played his cards pretty well, it seems, he’s a good strategist.

          • David Cameron did make an announcement about internet filtering, so it’s not as if its a conspiracy theory: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/the-internet-and-pornography-prime-minister-calls-for-action

            There are many problems with the proposal even putting aside whether esoteric material will be targeted by some ISPs. (Though it might be worth finding out from Open Rights Group specifically which ISPs indicated they would do this, and then writing to those companies directly. You might get proof like that, and even a failure by them to deny it would be a kind of evidence, and the campaign could then be more fact based, convincing and targeted).

            But it is worth noting that in Australia internet filtering has been thwarted because of opposition to any default ISP filtering period, rather than on the basis of defending specific content. It is people campaigning for digital rights, freedom of speech and a free internet for all — free of government control — who stopped it. No one wants to give the government power to meddle in or impose itself on the internet. There is already free internet filtering software available for parents who want to prevent kids seeing adult content.

            Obviously people use the internet for many different interests. Esotericism is one of many interests. But there are a bigger number of people, with varying interests, who all value internet freedom on principle. People realise freedom is what makes the internet so unique compared to other traditional elite controlled media. It empowers and allows ordinary people to share what they couldn’t through mainstream media.

            So you might have better luck approaching those with an interest in digital rights, including the tech media, who have been covering closely the issue of filtering in Australia and the UK. You could target their specific journalists who write about these issues and have a demonstrated interest in them.

            Some examples that come to mind are Wired, Zdnet, TorrentFreak and Techdirt and there are probably more

            Working more closely with the Open Rights Group is an option. Another option is the Electronic Frontiers Foundation which is probably the biggest internet rights group in the world

      • Julian Kingman says:

        Thanks for the update.

      • Must be election time.

    • Hi Matthew,

      I was watching the late news tonight and there was a spot specifically on this matter and apparently the Coalition have now stated that they will not support any internet filter in Australia, distancing themselves from the Government now and accusing the Government of always wanting to introduce an internet filter.

      As this is a spectacular ‘About-face’ from earlier this morning, it will be interesting to watch how this develops.

      • Yeah its been like watching a train wreck. I’m glad it got exposed. This another good article:

        “Twitter lit up like a Christmas tree late yesterday when plans for UK-style opt-out internet filtering were discovered buried in a Coalition policy document, only hours before Australians go the polling booths…

        So what really happened? Did the Coalition seriously expect this policy to slip through unnoticed? Did they change their minds at the last moment? Are they trying to pull the wool over our eyes, or are they merely incompetent? None of these options bode well for a bunch of politicians hoping to form the next government of Australia.

        Is it really feasible that Turnbull, one of the key architects of the Coalition’s national broadband policy, had never set eyes on this policy? If we do give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he had never seen the policy before, then what Turnbull is telling us is that he will agree with any policy document put in front of him and defend it in the media, even if it’s something he’s previously said he’s opposed to. Either way he doesn’t come out looking good.

        As news of the mistake spread, Tony Abbott came out and said the filtering policy had a “lack of clarity”.

        “I read the policy last night, quickly it has to be said, and I thought it was a reference to the ability of people to get PC-based filter that’s what I thought it was,” Abbott said.

        “There was a badly worded sentence or two in the document that went out or earlier today. In this particular instance, there was a failure of quality of control.”

        So the man who would be Prime Minister of this country skimmed this important policy document for the first time, only days before the election, and then signed off on it while either failing to spot a giant mistake or simply failing to understand it. Once again, he’s either not telling the truth or not very good at his job.

        This was far more than a “badly worded sentence or two” and the filtering policy didn’t lack “clarity”. What’s lacking here is either honesty or competency. Is this the filtering policy they planned to unveil after the election? What other surprises do they have in store? Or is it all a big mistake because they don’t read their own policies until the last minute and then the sign off on them without even understanding them? How many other Coalition policies “lack clarity”?

        Liars or fools? You decide, Australia.”

        Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/digital-life/computers/blogs/gadgets-on-the-go/coalition-filtering-swindle-abbott-and-turnbull-play-us-for-fools-20130905-2t8fx.html#ixzz2e6NzF6Gk

  26. Just wanted to paste this message from Jaime from change.org:

    “I’m messaging you today to ask you to email McDonalds, Caffe Nero and Orange to complain that their internet filtering systems have been blocking “alternative belief” and/or “spiritual” websites, and that their decision smacks of a totalitarian society.

    If they receive thousands of complaints in their inbox, they will listen and respond. Can you take a moment, right now, to draft a quick email. Emails are below.

    Tell them that you have signed a petition on change.org and that it has come to your attention that their filtering systems have blocked well-meaning, ‘alternative belief’ websites in the recent past.

    Ask them why this happened, and what they intend to do to ensure it doesn’t happen again. You can ask them to email the petition starter (myself) at jaime_tanna@yahoo.co.uk with their reply, so I can let you all know via an email message.

    Here are the addresses you need:

    Caffe Nero
    complaints@caffenero.com

    McDonalds
    pressoffice@uk.mcd.com

    Orange is now called EE. You can contact them here:
    customer-service@everythingeverywhere.co.uk

    As well, if you live or work in the UK, get in touch with your ISP directly to voice your concerns about “opt in” filtering that will block legitimate websites alongside pornography etc.

    UK Parliament resumes this week, so we don’t have that long. We must act now – again, please share this with others and tell them to get involved.

    The real issue is that the harm will be gradual – as new subscribers opt in by default, chunks of the internet will become unavailable. The most worrying thing is that there is no mechanism in place to prevent abuse, and that there is no way for self-employed people or small businesses to override such blanket measures.

    What happens if a self-employed person/small business goes under because it stops receiving traffic to its website? The government doesn’t seem to care!

    Thanks for being part of a movement of change.

    Jaime Tanna”

  27. The censoring system that Talk Talk uses is called Homesafe. It is run by the Chinese company Huawei, the one that Cameron has praised, as Angela mentioned.

    The way that Homesafe works has provoked a lot of controversy. Although a customer can choose to opt out of censorship they are still monitored by the system.

    When someone uses Talk Talk, all internet traffic goes through Huawei’s system either they want it or not.. When a customer visits a website then Huawei’s bots will also visit after a couple of minutes in order to check the website.
    This is the same like talking with someone and after you hung up the company will call this guy again to find out who he is. Only in this example the other person would obviously find out that someone called him. This doesn’t happen with online monitoring though. This interception is illegal but nevertheless it seems that, if the censorship legislation passes, it might become a norm by all ISPs. If it is not already, that is.

    It has even been reported from various website owners that in order to spy on websites untracked Talk Talk has changed the bot name from ”TalkTalk Virus Alerts Scanning Engine” (google that..) to Internet Explorer 8.

    There seems to be no limit on the amount of deception that exists in the world.

    • This is the same like talking with someone and after you hung up the company will call this guy again to find out who he is.

      And if they decide that you shouldn’t be talking to the person then they put a block on your phone that says ‘sorry, you’re not allowed to speak to this person because he has an alternative viewpoint to what is considered correct in the mainstream’. Thanks for bringing that up Christos, it’s pretty crazy!

    • Nicely uncovered, Christos. Amazing how much seems to be hiding behind the surface of this porn-wall censorship… All the more reason to remain vigilant and make sure that these types of efforts to deceive come out in the open.

  28. I asked on Facebook what can we do to stop this censorship?

    And here’s a response worth sharing:

    ”Do what we did in the old days. You get yourself dressed, you get in your cars or bus or whatever transportation you have, and you show up at the offices of these leaders or the parties in power. You demand, right there in real life, to speak with them or their official rep if they are “out” and make your case in real time. Be prepared to show that non-Christian religions do not automatically cater to criminal pursuits like child molestation or animal torture.”

    • Thanks for sharing this with us Olga – however, I would just say that these are new times :)

      I feel hundreds or thousands of people emailing, calling and tweeting is much better than a few people showing up in person.

      Marches with hundreds of people could be effective also but they would also have the drawback of making us seem like crazed loonies – something the mainstream Press/Media would love as they are generally out to make a story!

      Let’s use today’s technology to make our point and put maximum pressure on them to respond. That feels very powerful to me – they don’t like it one jot, let me tell you!

      The UK government is now trying to rush through a “gagging law” which, if it passes, will stop charities and other non-profit organisations running campaigns that would affect elections! It would be a criminal offence! Learn more here: http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-09/04/gagging-law-38-degrees

      I’m personally sick of the lies our politicians are telling us – and their blatant attempts to block out any information that runs counter to their narrow agendas.

  29. I just wanted to share an update on what I have been doing to get this petition to people which perhaps may spark ideas on other things that can be done to make this go viral.

    So far in the last couple days, I have contacted about 170 facebook groups. Each of them had 1000+ members. They ranged from Pagan groups, Wiccan, Druid, New Age, Metaphysical, Esoteric, Mystical, Paranormal, Extraterrestrial, Yoga, Meditation, Light Workers and more.

    I feel its important to gather forces with people of all faiths and beliefs and with everyone which this censorship will impact. This way we can take on this battle grouped together and united with common aims and restore our right to nurturing our faith – free from the control or censorship of those in power.

    Many people responded completely unaware and in disbelief, saying they had no idea that something like this could actually happen, other groups wanted to take further action since they were already in the UK and wanted to meet and discuss the topic within their own communities, other people wanted to rally and protest, others gathered resources giving more information about the topic. So far its made a positive reach.

    Some people also responded to my posting in complete wonder why this censorship is only talked about as a porn filter, and nothing by the government is being mentioned on esoteric material – one person even suggested that its because its not true or a hoax. This makes me wonder if the government’s silence is testing how the masses are reacting to this or even making people doubt the very existence of a filter on hidden categories. I definitely feel its important now more than ever to make a lot of noise how wrong this censorship on esoteric material is and so the message that we are against it is LOUD & CLEAR.

    • Geraldine says:

      Olga – this is a wonderful step you made! I am very thankful for your efforts. Everyday, I go to Jaime’s petition, and see it growing. I keep on sharing it via social networks, but what you did is much better, and inspires me to do the same, here on my end.

      This type of law was “temporarily” stopped here in Australia, but it made the cut in the UK, you can be sure, it will come back here, hidden like it is, as a trojan horse..

      We must help in any way possible to make this message come across:

      Censoring esoteric websites and web forums is WRONG – and cannot and shall not pass

      (btw, thank you SO MUCH Jaime Tanna for starting your petition – please let me and people know how help may be needed)

      • Thank you Olga and Geraldine!

        It gives me hope when I read the strength of everyone’s commitment here to getting the truth out! The petition is doing well, with over 7,000 signatures now. However, I do hope it gets to much more than this… if possible, I’d like to see it reach 10,000 before September 1st!

        I contacted many spiritual and “esoteric” organisations in the UK during the first week of launching the petition. They were concerned but there wasn’t the “fire in the belly” I was hoping for, and expecting! For example, the UK’s “Mind, Body, Spirit” responded by saying that their website wouldn’t be blocked. I felt that missed the point entirely!

        What I am concerned about is the smaller, ‘esoteric’ websites that won’t be accessible to those who really need them! And the insidious creeping censorship that the government want access to by introducing this new legislation.

        The majority of humanity still lives in ignorance of their own programming – and people are all too ready to swallow David Cameron’s agenda without any serious inquiry into his ulterior motives, given that much wider filters are planned.

        I will need to contact the UK press very soon – and I sincerely hope that they will not misconstrue what is being said by all of us here.

        As I mentioned to Angela, they can easily pass all of us off as “porn” supporters. It would not surprise me! Thus, we need to be mindful to attract the more enlightened members of the media and press – those who can see the truth of the matter! And not twist things for a sensationalist story!

        If anyone here has a trusted friend/colleague who works in PR or Press, and can write a Press Release, that would be very helpful!

        Please email me at jaime@energytherapy.biz with more info.

        Thank you!
        Jaime

        • Hi Jaime, I think it would be great if we surpass 10,000, but even greater if we can reach 1 million!

          I wanted to share some advice I heard today through my facebook activity that I hope reaches more people who want to promote this petition.

          THE POWER OF TWITTER

          Today someone asked me if I have Twitter. I said I used it pretty badly. She then explained how she had used Twitter to increase popularity of a petition that was static at 10,000 and reached greater than a million signatures and gained the results of banning Dolphinariums in India along with other successful petitions & their effects.

          She told me it wasn’t about increasing followers on your Twitter account which I thought was the case, but using effective #hashtags. The ones she recommended were #pagan & #anonymous since she felt these were relevent to my posting.

          I had started today and used further #hashtags like #wiccan, #witch, #yoga, #meditation, #spirituality and even #petition (which actually gave me 2 retweets)

          For example:

          #ukcensorship going to affect all #pagan faiths, in the UK or not. Sign the #petition http://tinyurl.com/mbxca98 help our brothers & sisters! (Retweeted twice)

          I feel this petition can generate great momentum if more people are able to gather & come on twitter, using popular hashtags that actually reach millions of people. Therefore I want to reach out to anyone out there who’s been affected by this UK censorship or who fears if it goes through it may come to their own country –> to help share this petition on Twitter along with updates about the UK censorship so that more people hear about it.

          The news can spread underground fast and quick, through social media and word of mouth.

          Anyone can follow me @olgatruthseeker
          There’s also @StopAllCensor specifically to fight the UK censorship

          • A great website for promoting content on Twitter is http://www.hashtagbattle.com
            It lets you enter in 2 different terms at a time, for example #spiritual or #spirituality, and you can see which one is the more popular on being used on Twitter.

        • Jaime you have done an incredible job with this petition, it is indeed everyone’s petition, a hope for all faiths to come together and speak out that we don’t want our religion and spirituality to be threatened. You have given a voice & a concrete opportunity for us to express our concern.

          I agree you would have to be extremely mindful if you wanted to address the media.. In the last month or so, I have been doing some Internet research and just about everything is twisted via mainstream media. Honestly, I don’t think I have found any authentic coverage on serious issues except for alternative places like We are Change or Info Wars etc.. and I am left with a great sense of distrust, and infact wonder if its actually dangerous to contact the media – given the trap imposed by this censorship – that anyone who opposes it would seem like they support pornography – just imagine a few edits or rearrangement of any coverage, or hearing Bill O’Reilley and CNN plaster a negative twist on the whole issue. Just my feeling. If you do choose to go this route, be careful.

          Some organisations I had also been thinking about that would be good to contact:

          New Age Magazines
          Spiritual/Paranormal Blogs
          Spiritual/Paranormal Podcasts
          Spiritual/Paranormal Internet Forums
          Spiritual/Paranormal/Religious Organisations

          • Julian Kingman says:

            Wow, awesome Olga! Way to go. I’ve got to get some strategy here.

            A couple ideas I had were contacting meetup groups here in the US, and also sending to letters (real letters) to various spiritual groups in the US, including a poster explaining the situation that they could post for their attendants.

            I was considering sending in press releases to various papers, but taking your warning, perhaps I’ll focus on the smaller local ones without the bias that mainstream media has.

    • Terrific effort Olga!

    • Brilliant, thank YOU OLGA! I take heart from all this positive momentum and solid work going on behind the scenes, as it were.

      It is not my petition – it is OUR petition.

      All blessings, Jaime

  30. I’m new to this conversation. It’s interesting to learn that a ban or filter would be activated for practicing spiritual beliefs. Spirituality is of course more about the person and not necessarily a religious practice. Regardless, we’d like to see more good in the world and more natural practices that cause no harm. (Maybe according to this legislation I’m a heretic). In my experience, forcing control over others comes more from a point of weakness and lack of control than of truth and strength.
    I support the petition here from the USA.
    Rosemary
    Reiki Master
    Holistic Wellness Practitioner

    • Hello Rosemary, thank you for sharing your thoughts, I completely agree that spirituality is an individual & personal right and its a great shame there are forces trying to push spiritual practice down to the gutter. It would do the world a lot of good with access to spirituality and its alarming its being threatened in this day and age. I guess now all we can do is support eachother and try and find a way to unite and stand up to this ridiculous censorship together before it reaches other corners of the globe.

    • Hi Rosemary,

      Nice to hear you’re supporting this from the US. I’m in Canada, but I also feel like this issue is really beyond just censorship in the UK alone — it’s really affecting everyone worldwide, as sooner or later this same type of legislation is sure to find it’s way to many other places as well. They are already talking about passing a similar law up here in Canada (see some of the comments below), and the same happened in Australia before. But even if it doesn’t pass elsewhere, it still has a big impact to know that an entire country can be blocked access to websites offering holistic advice, alternative health, various spiritual practices or texts, or even just a forum to get together and chat with like-minded people. I agree with you that forced control is never a good sign, and I hope that people are allowed to be free to have access to whatever information they seek, and be free to make their own decisions and choices, without any artificial filters or blanket censorship.

      • The thing is, I had Reiki, and it was one of those things where afterwards I was a little disappointed… I was like, where was the magic? Sure, it may have worked, but equally maybe it really was BS. Until some of these things can be taken in a more scientific light, and people like Dr. Emotu (the water crystals guy) work more closely with many Universities across the world to really prove their work, things like this really won’t be taken seriously. And even when they are, so long as the Rothschilds are in banking, they will try to suppress truth to keep the sheep making them money, with their puppets like Cameron and Obama in place. David Icke… reptilians…errrrrrr – a bit too far but you never know, stranger things have happened.

        • Julian Kingman says:

          Hi Matt,

          I don’t understand what you’re trying to say… Many people on this site have verified the reality of spirituality without working within scientific institutions, and many people in society spontaneously have spiritual experiences of various kinds, such as out of body experiences.

          As for taking this seriously, it’s a human rights issue. Isn’t that serious?

  31. Some thoughts, and ideas to help out.

    Pondering what’s happening it seems worth looking at the cases that happened before this, to see if there’s anything to learn from it. One prime example is the ‘Stop online piracy act’, a US bill which would ‘protect’ copyright, but would give corporations the means to censor and remove content from the internet.

    How was that stopped? This website; sopastrike.com/timeline outlines some events.

    Some phases to discern:

    - The ‘bill’ or law is proposed.

    - A small number of individuals notice the terrible implications the ‘bill’ would have.

    - The group reaches out to more people who will be heavily affected, the ”bill’ gains more notice.

    - The ‘snowball’ begins to roll, an increasing movement, people reach even more people, videos, websites and content are created that point out the obvious ‘errors’ of the bill in a simple and relatable way.

    - Protestive actions are undertaken such as mass contacting of congress, people withdrawing from companies that support the bill, thousands of websites censor their own logo. And more.

    - The movement’s actions start to have an influence on the political arena where the decision will be made.

    - A huge strike is planned, many major websites go on a blackout including Wikipedia and Google. 1 Billion people see a Sopa protest message. Which makes a majority of the senators switch sides and oppose the bill. What seemed impossible becomes reality and the bill is stopped!

    If we look at this and then see where we are now, we can perhaps ascertain the next step (although in this case the process might be different.) I think that in order for this UK proposal to be stopped (which seems difficult because there will be no voting or anything on it) there needs to be considerable opposition, a huge number of people against it. Enough that politicians will basically ‘have to’ shelf it.

    I think many people would be against the proposal if they were more informed of the censorship implications. But how do we spread this information beyond a small number knowing about it into a snowball?
    A few us here in the UK have come together and are contacting and writing any established organisation, big groups and communities which would likely be affected, to inform them about the situation. In this way something might kick off on a bigger scale. I feel anyone around the world can help with this, whether living in the UK or not.
    Example categories; Spiritual groups, Human Right groups, Political groups, big Web Forums, big Non-Mainstream websites, Religious Freedom organisations.

    A quote by Belsebuub which might be fitting in this situation.“I believe everyone working for truth and good should in some way form a unity to counter the large network of evil. That means understanding that others have differences and views that may seem confronting and even strange, but to put aside these differences for the common good, and to create a strength that is capable of pulling its weight against the force of darkness. “

    It has become even more apparent to me recently how amazing the internet can be in exposing hidden darkness acting on the world. And how it has the potential to inform people outside controlled ‘mainstream media’ (aka news that avoids the real issues + nonsense entertainment).
    It seems the internet really can be a platform that can unite people for a common cause.

    Just looking at what Edward Snowden made public and what it stirred up, and that’s but the tip of an iceberg of the terrible things happening. If more things would become known (and actually reach people because of the internet’s ability to circumvent controlled media) it could potentially cause a revolt by the public.

    No wonder the controlling forces behind governments want to attack the freedom of the internet, to instate censors and put it under their control. It would certainly be first on my to do list!

    Perhaps in an ‘ironic’ sort of way we can use the very thing that is trying to be stomped out (the informative empowering and uniting qualities of the internet) to defeat this oppression of freedom.

    • Karim these are excellent ideas and the way you outlined the previous online piracy act was superb.

      I agree that finding a way to group together with other spiritual/religious/freedom organisations to see what we can do to stop this can be a power tool to end the censorship and bring awareness to a vast majority.

      I have contacted some 150 alternative spirituality facebook groups with positive responses, some who didn’t know about the censorship and wanted to do their own independant work as a religious body. The Pagan Federation is also doing their independant work likewise many other Druid orders are trying to fight this bill.

      If we can join forces then perhaps we can become a greater force of light against this outrageous war on each individual’s right to spiritual knowledge and awakening.

    • “Perhaps in an ‘ironic’ sort of way we can use the very thing that is trying to be stomped out (the informative empowering and uniting qualities of the internet) to defeat this oppression of freedom.”

      Yes, I think there are a lot of opportunities to reach out to people and connect with others this way to spread the word. I’ve been talking to Olga more about her experience in talking to other groups and communities on facebook so far, and I think it’s an excellent way to let others know what’s going on, to share ideas and resources, and also to get a sense of how others feel about this censorship bill, how they’ve been/are affected by it, etc. I’ve been inspired by what she shared so far, and I see a lot of potential in working together with others to ensure that this type of infringing legislation doesn’t go through.

  32. Thanks Angela for bringing this issue and the petition to everyone’s attention.

    Its hard to believe that these basic human rights to practice alternative types of spirituality, searching for it, finding it, and being able to get information from various sources are being blocked.
    On top of that web forums are being blocked which is a HUGE method of communication for people throughout the world. Its how people ask a lot of questions and get insights and answers into different issues and problems worldwide and also how many people share experiences, whether esoteric or just plain information. This is an extremely serious matter because it not only infringes upon our rights and freedoms but it also censors a basic and widely used form of communication on the internet; through the web forums.
    So with the esoteric sites being blocked and web forums being blocked, the spreading of these types of sites and spiritual groups is lost.
    Looking into matters deeper, its not a bill being passed or a law, it’s the government putting pressure by some means, upon the ISP services… whether through incentives, or bribery, to put these ‘default’ blocks and filters on.
    Dara you hit the nail on the head with saying that this is very sneaky and deceptive, and with grouping ‘esoteric’ and ‘webforums’ with the worst of the worst categories like pornography.
    This petition is great and very informative on the issue. Thank you Jamie for creating it.
    I’ve signed and I’m spreading it around in as many ways as I can to get more people to become aware of this issue.

    • There is one ISP that is not giving into the pressure and has refused to implement censorship in the services they provide. Their website is here and they support the Open Rights Group – http://aa.net.uk/kb-broadband-realinternet.html

      From the link:

      Active choice is not a choice

      The government wants us to offer filtering as an option, so we offer an active choice when you sign up, you choose one of two options:-

      Unfiltered Internet access – no filtering of any content within the A&A network – you are responsible for any filtering in your own network, or

      Censored Internet access – restricted access to unpublished government mandated filter list (plus Daily Mail web site) – but still cannot guarantee kids don’t access porn.

      If you choose censored you are advised: Sorry, for a censored internet you will have to pick a different ISP or move to North Korea. Our services are all unfiltered.

      Is that a good enough active choice for you Mr Cameron?

      Hopefully more ISPs follow suit!

      • This is amazing, I hope they will be able to survive the pressure and that more providers will follow.

      • That’s great to hear David and thanks for passing on the link. I think that’s a very important step in the ISP world because it shows that not all of them fear taking action to protect the internet and its users from censorship.

    • “Looking into matters deeper, its not a bill being passed or a law, it’s the government putting pressure by some means, upon the ISP services… whether through incentives, or bribery, to put these ‘default’ blocks and filters on.”

      That sums it up pretty well, Christy. The writing is on the wall.

      • In an article somewhere I’m pretty sure it mentioned that ISPs had been spoken to about implementing the censorship, and that if they chose not to then legislation making it mandatory would be considered / implemented.

        • Patricia A. says:

          Yes David, here is an article I came across that mentions this:

          “The Prime Minister made clear the Government’s position on tackling child abuse imagery on the internet, giving search engines until October to take a proactive approach to removing illegal content, before considering legislation.”

          http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/archive/2013/07/22/10563756.MP_Claire_Perry_welcomes_crackdown_on_internet_child_abuse_images/

        • Legislation making it mandatory? It seems they are becoming quite aggressive now, pushing these controlling mechanisms over people quick, before the public realizes what’s going on. Right now, it seems not many people know what’s happening in this particular area, as there is so many issues already (GMO, dangerous chemicals added to food and water, deviant movies and music, etc) that one does not know what to protest against first and people are becoming somewhat passive against this load of darkness being poured at them from all corners. It is really nasty how all this is orchestrated.

          • Here are some other quotes from David Cameron’s speech on introducing this censorship that relate to forcing his way:

            “If they find that we are not protecting children effectively I will not hesitate to take further action.”

            “If in October we don’t like the answer we’re given to this question if the progress is slow or non-existent then I can tell you we are already looking at the legislative options we have to force action.”

            “But however they do it, there will be no escaping this decision, no ‘remind me later’ and then it never gets done.”

            Here’s the full speech. Seems like it has quite a lot of propaganda and posturing in it to me:
            http://www.publicservice.co.uk/feature_story.asp?id=23015

    • Patricia A. says:

      “Looking into matters deeper, its not a bill being passed or a law, it’s the government putting pressure by some means, upon the ISP services… whether through incentives, or bribery, to put these ‘default’ blocks and filters on.”

      That seems to be the case Christy. Here is an article that describes that when the UK Government failed to use “moral pressure” to gain support from major ISP companies to apply these filters, they then turned to the Church of England to pressure them to withdraw financial support from these companies. This tactic seemed to have worked:

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2379979/David-Cameron-advisor-urges-Church-England-pull-money-Google-pressure-search-engine-block-child-porn.html

  33. As an imam of the Muslim faith, I strongly support religious equality for all faith communities and spiritualities without discrimination. The European Convention as enacted into United Kingdom law in the Human Rights Act 1998 protects the right to manifest and express religious belief. The Equality Act 2010 prohibits the selective discrimination against any citizen on grounds of the protected characteristic of religion or belief. Selective targeting of alternative spiritualities and faiths in this way is clearly discriminatory.

    • Angela Pritchard says:

      An extremely important point Sheikh Al-Hussaini – thank you for putting it so clearly. I think it is something that all of us, no matter what our faith, can agree upon, and I thank you for speaking out to advocate for tolerance and respect of alternative spiritualities.

      • Thank you very much, Angela, for your kind words. In relation to religious discrimination issues, a useful legal opinion can be read here, by the top human rights law firm, Bindmans LLP, in an issue where I and other colleagues campaigned in support of the Druid community against illegal religious discrimination:

        http://religiousfreedom.org.uk/guidance.pdf

        I hope we can all work together to safeguard the principle of equal human rights for everyone.

        • ”I hope we can all work together to safeguard the principle of equal human rights for everyone.”

          Very well said Sheikh Al-Hussaini, now’s the time to group together regardless our religious background since we have reached a crucial time in history when our human rights are at risk and our freedom to practice the faith we love is in grave danger.

        • Angela Pritchard says:

          Thank you very much for the legal opinion (and for your work in campaigning for religious freedom), I sincerely hope everyone can work together too.

          I remember reading about a study by researchers from the Universities of Derby, Manchester and Oxford led by Paul Weller, Professor of Inter-Religious Relations at the University of Derby. It found that Muslims, Pagans, Christian sects and “new religions”, were most likely to experience discrimination in the UK. I am concerned that censorship could be used to target already marginalized faiths. The Huffington Post did an article on it http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/09/18/religious-discrimination-muslim-pagan-scientology_n_1893284.html

          The report on the findings of the study so far appear here http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/uploaded_files/research/research_report_73_religious_discrimination.pdf
          And this is the page of the study itself http://www.derby.ac.uk/religion-and-society

          • Interesting point by Professor Weller, “There are many instances of discrimination against Christians, but the discrimination against new religions is more “in-your-face”, verging on hatred.”

            It seems to me that this ‘hatred’ is also spurred on (or even cultivated) by the ‘anti-cult’ movement in its targeting of new religions (which happens to be well supported by the media), causing the public to be intolerant, suspicious and fearful of many spiritual beliefs without really questioning why they are targeted, how they are targeted and what is the agenda and religious belief of those that are targeting these new religions.

            The ‘set box’, as one person said in a forum post isn’t called ‘program’ for nothing ;-). And with more people venturing away from the ‘programming’, seeking information online from a vast range of information sources, than what the ‘programs’ allows, it becomes apparent that the internet and the ‘information sources’ become targeted for censorship. With no parameters, definition or explanation of what ‘esoteric material’ means or encompasses, this censorship has the powerful ability to turn the internet into an online ‘set box’, destroying the opportunities for people, now and in the future, to learn, share, be informed and to learn how to awaken spiritually – freely.

            I really hope that people can see the ineffectiveness of this ‘opt-out’ censorship towards pornography and its huge detrimental ability to ‘opt-out’ our human and spiritual rights.

  34. Revd Dr Kevin Snyman says:

    I am a minister in a mainline denomination in the UK, and support your campaign to keep government out of religion, indeed out of citizens’ privacy in general.

  35. Carlos Soto-Aguilar says:

    Stop censorship it doesn’t work, it’s quite the opposite effect!!,

  36. Hey guys, Dave & I are trying to build some awareness and activity on the censorship facebook page that Dave has made.. Its going well, but it would be a huge help if you could help support it anyway you can. This includes ‘Liking’ (that page and posts), commenting, sharing the page and posting relevant info.

    Here’s the link:
    https://www.facebook.com/esotericmaterialcensorship?fref=ts

    Any help is very much appreciated.

    Cheers,
    James

    • Hi James,

      Not sure if you have done this already.
      There are actually pretty good advertising options on Facebook where you can even reach a specific target audience for as low as $30 a month.

      For example anyone in the UK who’s interested in specific keywords like spirituality, meditation, religion etc.. can see the ad on the sidebar of their facebook page. The narrower the target audience the cheaper it is. Plus if you reach out to the specific target audience – more chances you catch interest. The ad is then linked to the option of liking your facebook page.

    • Hey all,

      If anyone is interested in contributing research for the facebook page a group has been set up to share resources, relevant quotes, articles and images to help defend spirituality from censorship in the UK (and around the world, because if censorship stays in the UK, the precedent will be set for other countries). The resources posted to the group will be collated on this page.

      If you would like to contribute we look forward to working with you!

      https://www.facebook.com/groups/593300137388146/

  37. I just signed the petition.

    It is ridicilllus what they plan to do in UK.

    I hope that after all this motivation, they will understand in UK how foollish is to include in their bill the words “esoteric” and “spiritual”

    Thank you Angela for all this information shared with us

    Christos is unbelievable that from that five years ago, they planed to pass these measurements against everyone that interests about spiritual issues and finally against humanity!

  38. Rev. Jack says:

    The Nazis and Communists also went after esoteric groups in the beginning of their power grab. They hate anything they don’t understand and fear it may have some power they can’t control. Nothing has changed it seems.

  39. I have signed this petition and sent it around Facebook as much as I can to get the message out there and to get as many signatures as possible.
    My Husband (who has also signed) and myself read a lot of Esoteric and spiritual material and I am a practising Holistic Health Practitioner also.
    I am outraged that my basic human right to express my spirituality and to read and educate myself and my family will be infringed. Who do the Government think they are that they can enforce such rules and power over me that I am then to be denied access to my beliefs and be criminalised.
    It is just another form of Dictatorship and control of the masses!! Myself and my Husband will support this cause all the way!
    Please let us know if there is anything more that we can do.

    • Hi Julie,

      Would you mind sharing your story on the facebook page here if you have time (https://www.facebook.com/esotericmaterialcensorship)? There is a section under the picture of the people with question marks for anyone to say how they have been / will be affected by the censorship, and the more stories that get added there the more human the page will be I think, and it will be clearer the real affect this will have on so many people.

      Thanks a lot!

  40. Like others have already said, thanks very much Angela for making bringing this issue to our attention. And a big thanks to Jaime as well for his petition – which I have signed. In view of the serious nature and far-reaching implications of this Orwellian proposal, it is very heartening to see so many people speaking out about it on the Internet. This is the true and positive side to the Internet, using it to bring important matters to the greater public’s knowledge so that we can all act together to bring about the change necessary to improve our way of living now and into the future.

    • Thank you Patty – I hope we can get to 10,000 signatures soon! I have written to so many people now, including those who have a huge following to move this petition into the spotlight where it can be taken notice of… Dr Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson and Hay House are just some of those people and organisations contacted… I’m hoping they will get behind this petition!

      Blessings,
      Jaime

      • Hello Jaime,
        I hope that these very well known people and organisations make contact with you as they are very popular and am sure would be very alarmed by what is being proposed. It is very heartening to see more and more people coming aboard this campaign.

        All the best!

        Paty

  41. Thanks for pointing us in the direction of this petition. It’s amazing how easily this could have slipped by all of us unknowingly due to the sneaky and deceptive way it has been hidden from public view. It’s good to have a way to expose this and fight it and I hope we can find more ways to do this so we can prevent it from happening in the UK or anywhere.

  42. There is a facebook page here (https://www.facebook.com/esotericmaterialcensorship) aiming to collate articles, background information, petitions and other things people can do to oppose this censorship, and to help get the word out to people in the UK and around the world.

    If anyone would like to share / contribute please do!

    • Angela Pritchard says:

      Wow, looks great! The graphics are fantastic. I hope people of all spiritual walks of life come together with this.

    • Excellent page! Good going, and I hope we can all push ahead to get the dire reality of this bill out, so its thrown out and reconstructed as a proper truthful bill to really stop pornography.

      The bill is a troy horse as it stands at the moment, being brought in under the guise of morality but inside it is the means by which they want to eradicate our rights to freedom of speech, freedom of information, freedom of religion and religious belief.

      If people say no to this bill it doesn’t mean they are saying yes to pornography. They are saying no to the deception and the erosion of their right to legitimate information and legitimate spirituality that we all have a right to choose as we need. They are saying this bill is flawed and it cannot go through as it is, they are saying that they won’t have the wool pulled over their eyes, and that they can see the flaw and that makes it wrong. They are saying to the powers that be, go back and put it right and we will support the truth not the deception. Sending a clear message to them that people are discerning and they can tell light from darkness, day from night and truth from lies.

    • Thanks for making this page Dave.

      Another way people can help spread awareness about this UK censorship is to ‘like’ this facebook page and invite friends to like it. You can see a box on the right hand side of the page with your friends, you can easily invite them by selecting the ‘invite’ tab next to their name.

      Sharing and creating awareness is probably the best way to build some resistance against this ridiculous censorship.

    • This is a great page, thanks for letting us know. Interesting facts and articles. It’s good to keep spreading the word and inviting others to the page on FB. We really need to make this as public a statement as possible.

    • Angela Pritchard says:

      I’ve been thinking that those graphics on the facebook page with the people meditating and the censored sign would really brighten up the petition area we have in the sidebar here. If it would be ok for us to use them here on belsebuub.com, please just email them via contact us.

    • Thanks for putting up the Facebook page to highlight this important issue David.

      Peace and light,
      Jaime

      • If anyone has a website or blog and wants to use the images from the facebook page of people meditating with the censored sign on them to link to the petition you would be more than welcome. Here is a collection of them sized for a website sidebar, if you are interested in a different size please get in touch through the facebook page.

        http://rapidshare.com/files/50353256/censored_image_pack.zip

        Thanks!

        • Good thinking, David. I meant to be in touch as I was thinking that some graphics would be nice for people to just throw up on their websites, and I really liked your images. Thanks for sharing them!

  43. Thanks for alerting us to this petition Angela. I took the time to sign the petition as it is such an important issue affecting not just freedom of religion but freedom of speech in general. If this draconian ban gets passed in the UK it probably will be presented and potentially passed in other countries as well and where will it end? And what other even more draconian bans would then be proposed?

  44. Thank you for pointing out this petition, especially since this one is geared specifically towards the esoteric material part. I just signed it, too.

    The more I ponder this issue, the more disturbing it seems. I feel like it’s a definite indication of where we are heading as a humanity. For one thing, the fact that this anti-esoteric legislation is being presented for approval in a major world government, which influences many other governments who will likely follow suit, is really, really scary!

    For two, the way it’s being hidden is so sneaky and deceptive, because it could very easily fly under the radar of your ‘average joe’ type of person who just sees the headlines about pornography and children and assumes it’s good legislation being proposed, for the altruistic motive of protecting young, innocent people. But it’s not. It’s actually a calculated way to dupe people into giving up their religious freedoms.

    Then there’s the point about the association of the term “esoteric” with all of the other horrific issues, so that now, terrorism and violence become subtly associated with esotericism in the mind of the general public. Especially the more this is reported on and repeated when people DO discuss these issues…it all serves to cement the guilt-by-association aspect.

    I think the thing that I find the most disturbing though, is looking down the road to the long-term implications. If this legislation passes in the UK, and then other parts of the world, then that means the power exists for any government, or many of them, to completely shut down a chunk of humanity’s access to spiritual material online. And if the power exists, then someday, someone is likely going to use it, to its full extent. That’s why it’s being put in place now, hidden amidst the other issues. The leap from people being completely banned from sharing, viewing, and publishing esoteric material online, to people being banned from sharing and practicing alternative spirituality in real life is not very big. It could happen so easily once the precedent is set.

    Then you have to wonder what this would mean for us as a humanity, if we weren’t able to find out how to awaken, or were forcibly prohibited from practicing esotericism…and yet this is the whole reason the world and our lives exist in the first place.

    • Dara, please could you contact me at jaime@energytherapy.biz as I’ve added part of your thoughtful reply to the petition. It will be good to have different voices from around the world on there. If you could let me know where you are from? That is, the city and country. Thanks and blessings, Jaime

    • What is most alarming is that, according to what I’ve read, some providers already have blocked sites like this. Christos mentioned experiencing this.

      I’ve signed this and other petition.

      With censorship and issues that don’t seem to make sense, they often say you should follow the money. Has anyone looked into it from this angle yet? Can people in the UK or abroad change their buying/subscription habits in any way that might benefit this positively?

      It’ll definitely be pretty bad if this goes through successfully. They are trying every angle to ram censorship through, and I can definitely see the US imitating the UK if this is successfully implemented — especially since they couldn’t get SOPA, CISPA, ACTA, or TPP through. An activist group in the US, I think, said that censorship is (or was when I read it) a toxic issue for politicians; they started avoiding proposing laws for it. It’d be nice to get that kind of response in the UK.

  45. Alexandros says:

    Thanks Angela for sharing this information and how to act in this. Once again, some are trying to restrict and after years to ban the simple human rights finally.

    I understand the seriousness to protect chlidren from many things in the web and in society but there are ways to do it rather than put all the things in one bag.

    I see, there were also some ”esoteric” groups claimed that their occupation was to pass ”alternative spirituality” but their actions drove many people in massive suicides finally. And in these cases, governments can protect children, people from such groups with many ways and not to put all the groups in one bag. Governments, ISPs and police can protect our children from many things with the right moves and not like this one for example.

    It is a serious subject and needs more people to be aware of it, what is going on and what are the roots behind. And what about in countries where the main religious groups have more influence in governments, then the things will be more difficult…It will not be good to start from the web and then to our daily lifes…

    Thanks for the link for the petition

  46. Gabrielle says:

    Thanks, Angela. Thanks for putting this issue into perspective and highlighting the seriousness of all of this, as well as its relevance to all people.

    Thanks also for the link. The petition was really easy to sign (didn’t even take the full two minutes :)

  47. My heartfelt thanks to Angela for this exceptional piece of writing, and a BIG thank you to all of you who have left comments, and taken to sign my petition on change.org. I am happy to see so many people questioning the motives of this draconian stance by David Cameron and the UK Government. Blessings, Jaime

  48. Julian Kingman says:

    Thanks Angela, I signed it and passed the URL to facebook, and around to various other websites that will be affected.

  49. Patricia A. says:

    Thank you for posting the link to the petition, I hope signing it makes a difference. I agree with spreading the word about this issue and greatly appreciate all the helpful suggestions made on how to go about it doing it.

  50. Geraldine says:

    Thank you Angela, for another great, sensible and important article – the urgency in making a stand for our most simple rights has never been so clear..

    I wanted to share 2 other petitions – it only takes a minute to sigh and make a difference.

    https://www.openrightsgroup.org/campaigns/cameron-stop-sleepwalking

    And there is also this petition but it is only for people living in the UK only, so we could not sign it, but if there are UK people that reads this, then at least here is the link:

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/51746

    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

    • Thanks Geraldine for sharing these other petitions with us too. Luckily people do care and are aware of the restrictions this filter could place upon everyone in the UK.

      Today I’ve discussed this matter with several friends and colleagues who also meditate or have an interest in spirituality. Two points stood out, one of them was about the default of these filters. They are by default turned on and people need to take steps to disable them. Second point which stood out was why esoteric content is listed alongside with pornography, violence and terrorism. I wonder what the common ground is between, subjects like meditation, astral projection, mindfulness and violence for example. They are not even remotely related.

      They too are behind the petition and even though we practice spirituality in different ways, the very fact we see it’s value makes us stand together.

    • Thanks Geraldine, I’ll go an sign those petitions too.

  51. Similar to Roy I also thought to contact spiritual groups and organisations in my country, which I have been researching recently. There is a common belief there that evil doesn’t exist in the world and that everyone is free to do as they like, there is unlimited time, there is only love, humanity is developing towards the light automatically etc. but I hope that this would reach the spark of wisdom in people which recognizes the truth, and to create a movement of raised awareness.

    I also really hope people rising against this in petitions and otherwise can make a difference.

  52. Aleksandr says:

    Thank you for finding this petition that deals specifically with the esoteric material and forums inclusion in the current UK censorship initiative. Like others have mentioned, and I totally agree, these subjects don’t fit in with the others and are being overshadowed by them. The difficulty in finding official details of Cameron’s proposals is also frustrating since it seems that people are told one thing on the surface and what’s actually being carried out is quite a bit bigger.

    It’s a real shame that this is happening in the UK, but it does show something about the current government policies, methods and its respect for individual freedoms.

  53. Thanks Angela for this information. I couldn’t believe what I was reading and promptly signed the petition, To me this is quite disturbing, and I really hope that we can all help to raise awareness.

  54. A serious concern.
    Thank you for making us aware of this particular petition. Sincerely hope it has some impact.

  55. Thank you Angela for sharing this article. It’s hard to imagine that the freedom I enjoy now can be taken away if no opposition would rise to meet this bill. I have signed the petition, shared and pondered on what else I could do.

    One option I see is to get in contact with other spritual organisations in my city and surroundings and make them aware of this. It could be simply by sending them an email and pointing out the petition. Their activities will likely fall under the group esoteric material or forums and they too can be affected if this will be implemented. I believe in working together and gathering as a voice of people power that we can be heard and make a difference.

  56. Christos says:

    About five years ago I went with some friends to MacDonald’s in London. We had our laptops with us. When we tried to visit one of the websites that at that time was offering free online courses on Belsebuub’s teachings we received the same message Jaime Tanna mentioned: ”alternative spirituality” and we weren’t able to access it.

    We were puzzled at the time and surprised. I had just arrived in London and such attitude did not seem one of a developed country at all.

    It seems to me though that what now becomes known in the mainstream media has been slowly sneaking in, preparing the way for a government regulated implementation of the censorship.

    There is also mention about censoring results from search engine searches. Currently, from what BBC says, it will be for child pornography. UK prime minister has said that search firms like Google must do more to stop results from “depraved and disgusting” search terms. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23393851).

    If the term esoteric eventually becomes equally depraved in people’s minds then spirituality will almost become inaccessible from the internet, since search engines will ban any search for it.

    • I have also experienced the same Christo and was trying to understand why they do not allow websites related to spirituality at the specific place. It also seems to me that this phenomenon has started gradually, for some time now.

      I definitely agree Angela:
      “It is a dangerous move for any country to suppress, censor, or encourage bigotry toward spirituality—just take the Nazis, communist China, and Soviet Russia as examples. This is a highly significant step in the direction of totalitarianism for any society to make.”

    • Christos, would you mind contacting me at jaime@energytherapy.biz and telling me where you are from. I’ve added your story to the petition to give it extra weight, so just need a city/country to make it more authentic. Many thanks! Blessings, Jaime

      • Christos says:

        Hi Jaime. I just sent you an email with some more details.

        I am glad to see so many people signing the petition. I hope it manages to achieve its purpose. Well done for your efforts.

    • Yes I came to the same McDonald’s and was very surprised to see Belsebuub’s websites banned by their filters.

      That was many years ago, and I remember feeling as though I couldn’t do anything, as though I was helpless to this ridiculous rule set out by the McDonald’s corporation. I felt voiceless as though no one would listen or would care either way. But now, having seen so much opposition, and endurance from so many attacks against this community, its become more apparent how wrong injustices like these are, and there is no chance I would ever shrug off something like this again.

  57. Michelle says:

    Thanks Angela. I just signed it and will forward it on to everyone I know.

  58. Another side of this that doesn’t seem to be widely covered in news articles are the psychological techniques being used by David Cameron / whoever is behind trying to get these changes in as pointed out in these two articles:

    http://www.ultraculture.org/uk-forcing-internet-censorship-even-esoteric-sites/
    http://blogs.computerworlduk.com/open-enterprise/2013/07/uk-risks-sliding-into-something-worse-than-censorship/index.htm

    Apparently Cameron uses techniques called ‘choice architecture’ (forcing an outcome by presenting a limited set of choices which all lead to results favorable for the party proposing the choices), and ‘nudge theory’ (using positive reinforcement and indirect “nudges” or suggestions instead of punishment or outright coercion, which apparently in neuro-linguistic programming would be called “permissive hypnosis,”). The first article states that Cameron’s government specifically employs a partially-privatized Behavioural Insights Team, nicknamed the “Nudge Unit,” specifically to implement nudge theory.

    There is also a correlation that seems a bit too close to this situation just to be a coincidence. Here is a link regarding the Australian internet censorship attempts (2006 – 2012) that have been mentioned elsewhere recently: http://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/?tag=cleanfeed

    It has a really good summary of why internet censorship is bad, and some things people can do to oppose censorship, as well as some form letters that might be able to be edited for sending to MPs about this current issue. What I found really compelling though is that Senator Nick Xenophon initially (it looks like he may have withdrawn it later) gave his support to the Australian bid for expanding internet censorship. A quote from his office:

    Nick is interested in many issues relating to the internet including broadband speeds, online gambling and children accessing restricted material. On the latter issue, Nick believes all reasonable measures should be taken to ensure children are not able to access unsuitable or restricted material. He is aware of the free speech implications raised by filtering but believes the protection is paramount

    Senator Xenophon is also the senator who was strongly pushing for anti-cult legislation similar to the laws in France to be instigated in Australia. He spoke at the ‘Cults in Australia’ conference in 2011 and there are a lot of articles (particularly on Rick Ross’ site who is a self proclaimed ‘cult expert’ and illegal deprogrammer) about his opposition to ‘cults’.

    • I forgot to mention a part in the computerworlduk.com article that stood out to me:

      In other words, the opt-in scheme threatens to move us beyond creeping censorship – bad enough in itself – to something far worse, because not so visible: creeping self-censorship. That is truly the Chinese model, where online users know that there are certain lines that cannot be crossed, and who therefore never write or discuss certain forbidden topics because they have interiorised the government’s restrictions.

      That is a scary idea, but I think could become a reality if the proposed measures are put in place without opposition

  59. Esoteric material is so ‘out of sync’ with the rest of what is being filtered. It’s not subtle at all, and brings up some alarming questions. Who suggested it officially? Who suggested/told them to? What power brokers behind the scenes are calling for this? What are their interests? Who are they working for?… How did we get to a point where esoteric information could be lumped into the same pile as pornography!!?? What does this mean in terms of where humanity is headed and spirituality for humanity? Really scary that a government like the UK is proposing to do this. Alarming is an understatement.

    • Good questions, Dean. Like others, I wonder the same. It seems like the world is changing, morphing into something that has not yet taken shape fully, but that is eerily alarming nonetheless. I hope enough people will stand up against this attack on freedom to make a difference.

  60. Yes, thank you very much Angela for finding this specified petition that enables people to directly support their spiritual rights. I just signed it and hope many more will do.
    And I also agree with Jon that it would be quite revealing to know whose action it was to slip the “esoteric material” into this filter.

  61. Nathan Greene says:

    Thanks for passing on the link to the petition. It’s terrible to see how the leaders of the UK and elsewhere are trying to slowly bring society back to a state history has shown to be inhuman. Stifling the free flow of information, particularly information about spirituality, which arguably regardless of whether someone is religious, atheist or part of the New Age forms a hugely central role in their view on the world.

    I’ve signed the petition as well and will organise a meeting with my local MP’s here. One other avenue people could take is to write to local and national newspapers, which despite their bias, can help to spread the word and highlight these issues to the general public.

    I also agree that it would be interesting to know who it was in the UK government that wanted to censor ‘Esoteric Material’. I think it would be good if they publicly explained their motives.

  62. Thanks for pointing this out.

    Apparently there will be 50 political parties in Australia running in the next federal election; which may well be a record breaker for federal parliament. The government recently brought in legislation raising the amount it costs to run for the senate significantly which may be meant to be prohibitive to challenge the status quo or to cash in on it all. This is important because Australia is heavily influenced by the UK and a significant amount of the challenging parties have a serious problem with internet restrictions. It is already a big issue in Australia.

    There’s no point in listing the relevant parties here because it isn’t the purpose of this blog to sell politics but if your reading this down under it’d be worth your while to do some research before September. It’ll be interesting to see how many new parties emerge in the UK if this gets through as this will effect a lot of businesses.

    Oppression is popular; many died fighting for it in World War Two; not every one will agree on this.

  63. Jonathan says:

    Thanks for this concise call to action. I too would like to know who slipped the “esoteric material” filter into the mix. That would be very telling.

    • Maybe we can ask Orange Phones in the UK, seeing as they already have a filter in place automatically blocking websites with “esoteric practices”.

      Check out an archive of their web page “what is 18-rated content?” Apparently, “sects” and “esoteric practices” were “automatically blocked by Orange Safeguard for children’s protection” alongside pornography, gambling, racism, violence and websites instructing how to make bombs:

      http://web.archive.org/web/20121006053311/help.orange.co.uk/orangeuk/support/personal/480591
      (The live page seems to have vanished now, although Orange Safeguard is still in use without explanation of what is considered 18+)

      It’s scary that someone thought “esoteric practices” should be categorized with all this stuff. I’d like to know who.

      • Maybe with enough signatures the politicians will not only revoke the bill, but under pressure reveal how this slipped in there. Ultimately I don’t think it will change much though even if we knew for certain who did it, as inevitably those same people will keep trying to do it again. Seems the public always forgets and then the government tries to pass a similar bill in future when we’re not looking. Let’s keep vigilant on this one!

    • Yes, I’d be very intersted too, to know who managed to include esoteric material on the list and also to know exactly what their agenda is. Censorship under the guise of protecting people, and putting the argument in a way that leads the public to say “yes we want protection” is like all the use of terrorism and a supposed protection from it being used as a reason to take away more and more of our freedoms. There seems to be something sinister going on behind the curtain, that is far wider reaching than appears on the surface. We need to find out and make it known to people on mass.

      Thankyou Angela for a call to arms.

  64. Just signed the petition. I’m really glad that there is one out there that deals with the esoteric end of this issue. It’s horrible that esoteric/spiritual websites have already been censored for some people in the UK. This issue is extremely serious and I also feel it’s important that more people become aware of what is happening and the implications it has, since this legislation is interfering with individuals being able to freely pursue their basic human rights!

    Article 18 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

    “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”

    It’s encouraging to see that more mainstream media is starting to pick up on the extent of this censorship legislation, how unrelated websites like esoteric and web forums are being tossed into this censorship legislation, put along side actual deplorable subjects like pornography, violence, terrorism, suicide, etc.

    I hope that more media begins to cover the full story and that more people spread the word, take a stand, voice their objections, because this is truly unacceptable!

    • I have seen a few articles recently quoting the co-founder of wikipedia (who is an advisor for David Cameron), condemning the online censorship in regards to inappropriate adult content as an ‘absolutely ridiculous idea’ that won’t work, and saying that there were already laws in place to deal with illegal content and that the money would be better spent policing people who break these laws. Also that the technology they would need to use to do this doesn’t work.

      I think that clearly shows that there is more of an agenda to this issue than just that of child protection.

      • Interesting David, it would cost a lot of money to implement this proposal. A parallel agenda? Definitely.

    • Thanks Jenny,
      How sad that as a humanity, we are constantly having to remind ourselves and each other of the basic rights afforded us at birth. In some way, shape or form, our modern way of being seems to be intent on violating almost every last right we have!

  65. Great going Olga. I was thinking a mail chimp http://mailchimp.com/ may be a good way to send out large number of emails.