Depending on who you ask, you will probably be told that there are four major branches of philosophy: metaphysics (and ontology); logic (and language); epistemology; and ethics. In this article I want to discuss some of the ethical concerns with which I have dealt, and shall continue to deal, as the publisher and content creator of my very own micromedia platform (i.e. this website). When researching and sharing new ideas and information, what actions can be fairly considered ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, and why? By sharing my views, I hope to encourage the reader to consider their own opinions on these matters, while simultaneously documenting for posterity the many strands of thought which have been bouncing around in my mind over the past weeks, months, and even years.
Ethics vs morality
For an interesting explanation of etymological difference between the terms ‘ethics’ and morals’, see this article. In the context of what is to follow, by ‘ethics’ I simply mean the conscious ‘right/wrong’ framework which guides behaviour of an individual in his interactions with the world around him.
No branch of thought or philosophy is entirely distinct from the others
This article is concerned primarily with the ethics of micromedia content production. An individual’s views on this matter will obviously be guided by (among other things) their metaphysics and epistemology and, although I am in the process of writing up an explanation of my own perspectives on these topics, a deeper analysis is beyond the scope of this article. It shall suffice to say that I do not know (or have any strong beliefs regarding) who we are, what we are, where we are, when we are, how long we have been here, or why we are here. I am however confident that almost every answer we have been given about these questions, by school, TV, church, and other humans, is absurd and amusingly silly when properly scrutinised by an objective mind.
Insofar as this is relevant to my ethics, I do not believe in a dualistic conception of ‘god’ as a separate entity from myself or this world, or in time as a linear ‘4th dimension’, or that we evolved from a lower ‘species’ or organism, or that we were ‘created’ by a divine force. I am open-minded to these possibilities, and have spent a great deal of time studying and pondering all of them, but at this point in time I do not believe in any of them. My ethics therefore are not driven (at least consciously) by a desire to please a deity (or to avoid upsetting him/it), or out of concerns regarding ‘karma’ (cosmic consequences in the ‘future’), or by some bizarre notion that my actions are the product of ‘millions of years of evolution’.
My fundamental ethical precept
I just want to treat others the way I would like to be treated, in the present moment. That is all.
Many people know of this notion as the ‘golden rule’, and will cite ancient authors/gurus and religious texts, to suggest that this is a long-held guideline/teaching of human morality. This article is neither the time nor place to explain why I do not believe ‘history’ – as in, physical things which took place in the material world and were documented accurately – goes back more than a few human generations. It shall suffice to say that my reason for wanting to treat others as I would like to be treated has nothing at all to do with what other people have allegedly said in the ‘past’.
Can I articulate for you a compelling argument as to why you should adopt the same fundamental ethical precept for your own existence? No. And I’m not going to try to. What this article is designed to do is to share with you my own ethical framework, as explained at the outset. Your own ethics are your business and I am not attempting to in any way alter them with this article.
So how would I like to be treated by others?
In no particular order, I would like to be:
- Forgiven when I am truly sorry for a mistake (and am making a genuine effort to rectify/not repeat it)
- Treated as benevolent (not as an enemy) unless I have proven myself to be belligerent
- Not bullied. That is, left alone by people who know (or believe) they are more powerful than me in some way
- Not intentionally misled – even by parties who believe that misleading me may be ‘good’ for me.
That is pretty much it. There are many other things I ‘want’, such as support for my cause, but I do not really expect this from anybody. Certainly I do not expect myself to support everybody elses causes, so it would be silly for me to expect everybody else (or any particular individual) to support my cause. There are many other examples. Insofar as there are ways I would like to be treated, the four above broadly encapsulate those which I think are fair and reasonable, and which I myself attempt to uphold when dealing with others.
How this is relevant to running a micromedia platform?
Let’s start with an example. I recently stumbled upon a vast array of information pertaining to an individual who has some prominence in the ‘independent media’ scene. This information seemed like it would be of great interest to my audience, many of whom have listened to the individual in question as a guest on a separate independent platform. The information I compiled proves (in my opinion) a number of important points I have been making for some time about how the world works. Specifically, the fact that – with rare exception – nobody in this scene is double-checking anything, and also that this force we know as the ‘internet’ possesses (and is willing to share) a wealth of information comparable to that of a ‘god’ (omniscience) if only we take the time to look.
Before I knew it, I had compiled a 17,000-word document pertaining not merely to the individual in question, but a much broader backstory concerning Australian corporate history and a number of conspicuous connections between high-profile Australian politicians and the wealthy ‘elite’. None of this proved that anybody had broken any laws or done anything ‘wrong’ but, for a number of reasons which are beyond the scope of this article, the information gathered did call into question not only the account of the individual concerned regarding how he accumulated his wealth, but also his implied position as an industry ‘outsider’ (among other things).
Here is the problem: I had never intended to produce, let alone publish, an article which might be in any way construed as a criticism, much less an attack, upon the individual in question. Based on the research, the piece I have written is objective and neutral in tone, and does not make any conclusions which are not entirely supported by the references and citations. I know from bitter experience, however, that when somebody conveys information, certain audience members are liable to not only draw their own conclusions from the information (which they are well withiin their rights to do), but to then project their conclusions as the intention or opinion of the one conveying the underlying information. This can be the case even when the author states explicitly and repeatedly that he does not hold the opinion being projected onto him.
What was I to do? I put myself in the shoes of the individual in question. What if somebody else out there had compiled a 100+ source, 17,000-word article about my own backstory? I would like them to treat me as benevolent; that is, treat me not as their enemy, unless I had proven to be so. I would like to treat me as merely another human, one who means them no harm or ill-will. If they had information which might potentially be against my interests if publicly disseminated, I would not want them to bully me with it. What I would like is for them to contact me to ensure that whatever they were going to publish was at least accurate (and, insofar as humanly possible, ‘fair’). I would like them to ensure that they had the whole story, not merely for their own benefit, but also for the benefit of anybody else who might read the piece and not want to be potentially misled by it. That is what I would like.
And so I contacted the individual in question and offered to send him a draft of the article, and to publish, as either a foreword or post-script to the article, his response to the information contained within it verbatim. If anything was wrong or factually incorrect, I would remove it; if anything was missing or would otherwise provide fuller context, I would happily add it. I made it clear that the intent of the article was not to attack or diminish the standing of him in any way. I treated the individual in question as I would like to be treated.
The next problem: He never replied. Once I finished the article, I contacted the individual in question via his website. He then sent me his preferred email address to receive the draft. I sent the draft, and then correspondence ended. Not even an email to confirm that the draft was received. I followed that email up with another, to check in on the matter, more than a week later. Still, no reply. Without his input, the article could only be published in its existing form. If there were errors, or if relevant information was lacking, this could not be rectified, as I would be oblivious to it. It could well be that there are no errors, and that no relevant information is lacking, but without any reply whatsoever, how could I know for sure?
Thus I am left in the situation whereby an important article, into which I put an unprecedented amount of time and effort, and which I am certain that many of this website’s financial supporters would find most interesting, currently sits unpublished. When I do publish it, I have good reason to suspect that some readers will draw conclusions about the individual in question which most people would prefer that others not draw about them. I also know that there is a chance that those who draw these conclusions will project them onto me, as though they are my conclusions, even though the article repeatedly and explicitly explains that the only conclusions I am drawing are those outlined in the section entitled ‘conclusions’. As a researcher/independent journalist/content creator who puts integrity and ethics at the forefront of my entire operation, this is not an ideal situation.
It does however provide a perfect example of the ethical concerns which face a micromedia content producer like myself. There are countless other micromedia publishers out there who may face similar concerns, but what sets me apart is that I am the only person, with the only platform, who engages in the kind of deep research which may lead somebody to the situation described above. Who else is liable to produce a 100+ source, 17,000-word document detailing the background of an individual whose current claim to fame is as the guest on an independent media network? Show me them and I will visit their website pronto (and probably sign up as a member if such membership is offered). Those content creators who deal in trivialities, banalities, and surface-level investigations will face ethical concerns of their own, but not of the magnitude which I will. It is, for better or worse, that simple.
Let’s look at a different example: man on the street
People love ‘man on the street’ (MotS) interviews. Mark Dice has built a large YouTube subscriber base and one of the main methods by which he has done this is his MotS interviews, which usually feature moronic-sounding normies embarrassing themselves on camera when asked simple questions. The success of this method is also repeated by lower-level YouTubers such as Del of ‘Beyond the imaginary curve’, who interviews unsuspecting heliocentrists who are soon shown to not understand their own belief system. Between his MotS interviews and regular google hangouts, Del has built up a relatively large subscriber base of his own in the space of just a few months. People love MotS interviews – especially when they feature the ‘other side’ being embarrassed.
Here is the problem: by interviewing unsuspecting normies, the likes of Dice and Del are effectively bullying their subjects. Dice knows full well that many normies are essentially retarded, and if he interviews enough of them, he will find a few who make their retardation plain to see. Voila, a new three-minute video which gets laughs at the expense of said normies. Del knows full well that most normies are completely oblivious to the physical explanations which underpin the official (accepted) cosmology of our earth. Regardless of the shortcomings of his own Flat Earth belief, Del is able to embarrass these normies by asking them routine questions which he knows they will usually be unable to answer. Once again, laughs are had at the expense of people whose only crime was to be kind enough to take part in an interview, and thus reveal that their ‘education’ and TV has made them dumb as rocks.
In a way, this can be likened to a trained fighter asking chumps on the street if they would like to spar on camera. Not only this, it is like the trained fighter acting weak and hiding their power level until the chump agrees to the spar. What follows is as predictable as the sun rising in the morning. While the unsuspecting normie who is embarrassed by Dice or Del walks away without a black eye, it remains the case that they have been taken advantage of by somebody more powerful than them, who knew they were more powerful than them. This to me is a form of bullying, and also potentially a form of misleading. It is not the way I would like to be treated, and is therefore not the way I would like to treat others.
Here is my specific ethical problem: just about everybody is a normie to me. Read 37 Things Normies Believe. I do not believe any of them. Not only that, I am confident that I can embarrass, with simple questions, anybody who does profess to believe in these things. While my peers and contemporaries are watching TV programming, or playing video games, I am studying the official stories of our times and identifying the weak arguments and claims which underpin those stories. This is precisely why I no longer believe those 37 Things (and so many other things as well). This means that no matter who I interview, on just about any topic I personally find interesting or worth exploration, I am liable to embarrass – whether or not they realise it – anybody who is kind enough to lend their appearance to the camera. This is compounded by the fact that the audience my website has attracted is likely to see and understand the normies’ failings, even if I do not point them out myself. Then there is my YouTube channel(s), which have attracted a large swathe of cretinous individuals who will viciously (albeit virtually) attack those who disagree with them. Regardless of where I post any MotS interviews, I run the risk of embarrassing the normies.
This is the single primary reason why I have not utilised the MotS interview method with my platform, even though I know how quickly it could raise the profile of my YouTube channel and website. To borrow from the same ‘trained fighter’ analogy used earlier, it is only fair if I interview people who not only know my power level, but are also powerful themselves. How many normies do you think are even in my ballpark (pardon the mixed metaphor)? The honest answer is: almost none. I wish this were not the case, but it obviously is.
The same can be said for online debates, although here there is a clear distinction: many of those who have made the mistake of taking part in live debates with me, have done so despite knowing who I am and what my channel is about. Take Antonio, for instance: it was he who challenged me to that debate in May last year. There is a reasonable argument to be made that I ought to have talked him out of it, like a brown belt being challenged by a yellow. In my defense, I did not realise just how hopeless he was at the time the debate was organised. In fact, it was only during my preparation for the debate (which entailed dozens of hours of further research beyond that which I had already put into FE) that I came to understand just how utterly weak the entire belief system really is. At the risk of belabouring the analogy, I didn’t fully understand the gulf in our strength levels until we got into the ring, and by then it was too late to say, ‘mate, it seriously isn’t worth it’.
This leads to another ethical problem
While at the Brisbane Z-Day, I interviewed a man who calls himself Mark Enoch. I had attended a ‘workshop’ he ran which was centred on how to spread leaflets/stickers/etc in public places for maximum exposure of whatever cause being promoted. Later the next day he was trying to hand me a wad of ‘resource based economy’ leaflets to distribute on my way home, and I said words to the effect: ‘If you want to get your message out there, why don’t we do an interview for my channel? It will probably get somewhere from 500-1000 views’. He seemed excited at the idea, and I told him to think it over until the day’s presentations were over. If he was still interested, I told him, he should find me at the end of the day and we could record some footage. Sure enough he was still interested, and had even prepared a one-minute monologue to deliver to the camera. We recorded that, and then also recorded a short interview with both of us in frame. The only ‘controversial’ questions I asked him were on the very same topic(s) I had asked Zeitgest guru/demigod Peter Joseph earlier in the day (in front of 200 people, and live on camera): ‘What are your thoughts on 9/11’, and ‘is it possible we are being lied to by NASA?’
I was not trying to embarrass him, and he knew full well what kind of questions I might ask, because I had asked the top dog the very same questions, in front of a full theatre, earlier that day. To his credit, Mark gave sensible/understandable responses, along the lines of, ‘9/11 was an inside job’ and ‘we should question everything (including NASA)’. Despite the fact that this is exactly the kind of MotS interview the broader audience of this scene would like to see, I did not even publish the interview to YouTube. Instead I uploaded Mark’s (hopelessly naive) monologue to my YouTube channel, and saved the interview for Full Members of this website. I even explicitly stated underneath the YouTube video that if anybody attacked Mark for his RBE nonsense (rather than criticising the nonsense itself) I would delete their comments:
By giving Mark’s monologue such a platform, without editorial commentary from myself, I was obviously opening myself up to criticism, which is exactly what the 5:20 thumbs up:down ratio reveals I received. The point I am making here is that I do not think I could have been any more fair in dealing with Mark, save for not conducting the interview at all.
Here is the problem: I received an email demanding I remove the material, just hours after staying up late into the night editing, rendering and uploading the videos in question. In line with my ethical framework, I immediately set the YouTube video to private and removed the Full Member video pending further explanation from the interlocutor as to their identity, and reasons for making such a demand. Twenty-four hours later, they had still failed to verify their identity, or answer my simple questions. I therefore reinstated the material and explained to the interlocutor why I was doing so, and that if Mark himself wanted me to remove the material, he need only contact me himself and I would reconsider my decision. I was then threatened with a $100,000 penalty/fee for publishing the material. This is where the correspondence ended.
The reality is that if Mark himself made a polite request for me to remove the content from public view, even though I have spent several hours putting it together, I would be obliged by my own ethics to accommodate the request. I naturally hope this does not happen, as I think the interview went well. If, on the other hand, I was to learn that it was Mark himself who had threatened me with a $100,000 penalty/fee, then this would change things. I do not like to be treated as a belligerent. When somebody threatens me with a $100,000 penalty/fee, they prove themselves to be a belligerent towards me. I do not like to be bullied. When somebody claims to be able to sue or otherwise extract $100,000 from me for publishing material I legally and ethically procured, they are bullying me (even if I know they do not have a legal leg to stand on). This is where ethical frameworks are put to the test, and one of the many reasons why I thought it pertinent to document my own thoughts on these matters sooner rather than later.
Another important example
On this website I deal with topics which are not merely controversial, but potentially life-altering. I know this because the information I have gleaned over the past three years has literally and demonstrably changed my own life. Or, more accurately, the information has led me to make changes to the way I live my life. This can be serious stuff. Within days of learning about the depths of the birth trauma inflicted upon innocent people within modern hospital ‘maternity wards’, I had quit my (relatively) well-paying job. Not only that, but I then went on to self-fund a meagre but sufficient existence and lifestyle, in order to work full-time building my own micromedia website, the fruits of which are borne every time somebody derives benefit from consuming the content published here. While I do not expect that this information will lead anybody else to actions anywhere near as drastic as my own, I am fully cognisant of the fact that this kind of information can have profound impacts on peoples minds and, potentially, their lives.
It was as a result of the Ball Earth Skeptic Roundtable that I came to understand just how easily my work can be misunderstood, and therefore lead to negative consequences. Several people have explained to me directly that they not only thought I was promoting Flat Earth, but that my apparent promotion of the belief system played some role in their own adoption of it. This despite the fact that I made it explicitly clear on multiple occasions during the series that my rejection of heliocentrism (‘spinning ball earth theory’) does not entail belief in Flat Earth. I learned the hard way that what we say, and what others hear, are two entirely separate things – they are of course related, but they are fundamentally distinct. As a content creator I am now very cautious as to what I say publicly, because I am now far more aware of how my words can be misconstrued even by intelligent, well-meaning people.
The problem: Short of explaining myself personally and individually, to every single member of the audience, and then partaking in a dialogue to ensure my position is understood, there is no way to entirely mitigate the potential problem described above. This is one of the main benefits of employing a structured content release mechanism, which is a key function served by the membership element of this site. There is public material (chiefly via YouTube channels JohnleBon and JohnleBonEXTRA), limited release material (chiefly via Free Membership and the mailing list i.e. JLBSelect videos), and exclusive material (Full Membership). Full Members of this website are warned in the Welcome Video that the topics dealt with here may have unintended and unwanted effects on their thinking patterns – and offered a full refund if after watching that Welcome Video they change their mind about their membership. It is highly unlikely that anything I post to Full Members will be seen/heard by people who have not had full and fair warning about what they might see/hear.
Is this enough to alleviate all potential negative consequences which might result from publishing my material? Of course not. I am open to suggestions on other methods I might employ to achieve such ends. In the mean time, this is the best strategy I have come up with yet and, for the most part, it seems to be working. This will be more fully put to the test when I release new content (currently under construction) on topics like Stationary Ball Earth Model, the medical (death) industry, and fake history. All three of those articles (and accompanying videos) will be released to Full Members first (and probably exclusively). I hope to never hear from a member of this site that what they have read or seen has had a negative impact on their lives. If (or when) this happens, I will obviously need to reevaluate everything.
I went into some detail in Full Member Update #1 about my concerns regarding the town of Winton, and specifically the people whose livelihoods depend on the utter nonsense being peddled at the ‘dinosaur museum’ there. Those of you who have not yet studied the facts surrounding the Dinofraud, and the Age of Dinosaur Discovery (Winton) in particular, my not yet realise the significance of the Dinoskeptic project. I do not expect the film to ever be seen by more than a few hundred people, and I certainly do not predict that it will have any significant effect on the dinosaur industry – in Winton or elsewhere. That said, my project will inevitably involve the exposé of a shambolically blatant piss-take of an operation; an organisation built upon a what can be diplomatically described as ‘scientifically-approved exaggerations’. Sadly there is no way for my film to proceed without such an exposé; indeed, it is the entire point of the project. What I can and will do is treat those I encounter on the trip with respect, and do my best to ensure that the useful idiots who believe their own nonsense are not misconstrued as deliberate liars (which I think few, if any, of them really are).
By ‘ethics’ I mean the framework which guides our conscious behaviour in dealing with others
Our ethics are directly related to our metaphysics and epistemology
My metaphysics and epistemology are very different from that of the typical normie
I don’t pretend to be able to convince you of my own ethics – this article is not intended to do so
Instead I want to share with you my own framework (for your benefit and mine)
I merely want to treat others as I would like them to treat me at this moment in time
There are several examples which demonstrate how I put this ethical framework into practice
This framework will continue to be tested as my micromedia platform continues to grow and evolve
What happens from here
My article on the individual in question will be published, with or without his input, within a few days. I have given him fair and frank ‘right of reply’ and for one reason or another he appears to have seen fit to ignore it. As I explained to him in my follow-up email, my offer will remain open even after the article is published.
My material pertaining to Mark Enoch will remain published unless and until he politely asks me to remove it.
My content concerning topics like Stationary Ball Earth Model, the medical (death) industry, and fake history, will be released as soon as completed (likely before the Dinoskeptic trip).
My Dinoskeptic roadtrip begins on April 20. The car is booked. I’m excited and you should be too – especially Full Members of this website who will be receiving daily video updates beginning April 13 (one week before the roadtrip begins) and the right throughout the trip itself.