David Millikan: Persecution is Persecution: A Call for Journalists to Care for Humanity

by Katerina Nikolaidis, Brunswick Heads, Australia

I was born in the mid 70’s and spent the early years of my life in Greece. During that time, the military junta had just been thrown out of Greece, and the country was joyous and empowered – they had said no to fascism, no to dictatorship and yes to freedom of speech and democracy. Saying ‘no’ had cost many lives; many people had been killed and tortured. My father, a journalist, was one of those held in prison and tortured; luckily he survived and continued in his trade for the rest of his life. He would regularly write about the wrong-doings and the corruption that he saw in politics and the community, which would often leave some people feeling uncomfortable, but I remember as a child how amazing this was. I liked journalists: they told the truth and helped make the world a better place.

Fast forward a few years and I was living in Scotland. I was bewildered with what I saw on the shelves at the newsagents: page 3 girls, the tabloid press, and stories that seemed to be nothing but gossip. Journalism was a different beast (well, it was now actually a beast!), owned by big conglomerates that wanted to make more and more money by selling more and more gossip. When I moved to Australia in 2001, I realised that the same conglomerates operated here too, and sure, there were no topless women on page 3, but page after page I would read drama, gossip, hearsay, more gossip, etc.

I was disappointed with what I saw and what I read, but I knew that there were still journalists out there who were sincere and who would report on what was really going on. It was a BBC correspondent who exposed the mass genocide of the Tutsis in Rwanda, so much so that the international community could no longer turn a blind eye to what was going on. In earlier years, an Australian journalist told the world about Pol Pot’s regime and what it had done to the Cambodian people. And there were others; journalists who cared for humanity more than a fat pay cheque.

In today’s times, in the developed world we may not live under a dictatorship or a fascist regime, and there may not be mass genocide happening to the degree that it took place in Rwanda or Cambodia. But that doesn’t mean that humanity is suffering less. It simply means that the pervasive corruption is more subtle and more hidden.

When a group of people is being harassed and derided for their spiritual beliefs and ways of living, when a hate-campaign via the internet and mainstream media is incited against them, then this is also persecution. It shows us how, sadly, humanity hasn’t changed, and that some individuals will still incite hatred towards another group of people. But worse, it also shows us how this kind of behaviour is now accepted.

This is what has been demonstrated with the hate campaign targeted at Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon. A small group of people, angry at Universal Medicine because of their own relationship issues (for which they don’t want to take any responsibility), have been hiding behind anonymity and pseudonyms – instigating a hate campaign via the internet. And the mainstream media has also been running with this, commissioning some of the hate-mongers on their payroll in order to get a story that will be good gossip and will sell. But this is not idle gossip. It is much more insidious than that: It is actively inciting a witch-hunt against a group of people because of their spiritual beliefs and way of life.

So those journalists out there who still have integrity and who still do what they do because they want to make the world a better place, I’m asking the following questions:

  • Is humanity so dumbed down that it has to take mass slaughter before there is an outcry to stop a witch-hunt?
  • Is fascism not tolerated only when it comes knocking on your own doorstep and threatens your freedom?

All it takes is one journalist to seize the opportunity and tell the truth. When that happens, it will have the potential to ‘turn the tide’ and show us all the true power and potential that a journalist holds.

You may think I’m being a bit too simple and naïve. I beg to differ. I feel we have become deeply ‘given up’, so much so that this can appear naïve. We’ve developed coping mechanisms, dare I say it, even a cynicism, so that we just accept the corruption that we see around us. Deep down we know it doesn’t feel right, but we don’t think we can make it any different, so it’s less distressing if we just accept it so that it becomes ‘normal’.  That way we can just get on with our lives and hope that at least ‘I’ll be OK’.

But deep down this aches us, because we know that it’s not right. Underneath all the cynicism, the muck and all the giving up, we all hold something very precious in common: our love for humanity and a longing to make the world a better place. And yes, in our times, this may sound like a cliché. But I feel it’s the truth.

142 thoughts on “David Millikan: Persecution is Persecution: A Call for Journalists to Care for Humanity

  1. Hear hear to all you have written here Katerina. Blind are those who refuse to see the love that we are and the abuse we accept in its place when this love is not lived.

  2. What an invite to the journalist who holds humanity with the grace, love and understanding that each person deserves. If that is you, please do not hold back from printing the truth of what Universal Medicine offers to our world.

  3. Thank you Katerina for the reminder about the true heart of journalism – it has the potential to serve humanity well.

  4. It is naive to think you can have a system of accountability that in itself does not need to be held accountable – and yet this is the view of the press, the called 4th estate that is there to hold the world of governance, politics, and business to account. And yet, it is in itself subject to the same forces of corruption that contaminate that which it seeks to expose. And thus, accountability is in truth a very important aspect of the freedom of the press, for it is accountability that restores faith in what we are reading. Today we are engaged in one of the great freedom of speech experiments in history, and in the future, this age will be looked back on as the age of misinformation – the root cause of which was the mis-shapen ideal that freedom of speech could only be maintained by ensuring that there was no accountability for what one said. Such a world, however, fosters not so much a renaissance of thought as it does a world of propaganda and abuse, whereby the loudest voice wins, whilst the quiet voice of reason or contemplation often lost amidst the haste and noise of sensationalism.

  5. Today journalists complain that their industry is under pressure from the advent of social media, and the proliferation of false news that contaminates it. Rather than complain however, they would be wise to realise that there is a niche that has developed for true quality journalism. People are craving for it and will continue to do so as the world gets consumed by misinformation. Thus the integrity of journalism is now more important than ever before.

  6. Well said Katerina ‘All it takes is one journalist to seize the opportunity and tell the truth. When that happens, it will have the potential to ‘turn the tide’ and show us all the true power and potential that a journalist holds.’ I look forward to this day, in the meantime if we all deepen our responsibility to expressing truth in all areas of our lives, we know there is a powerful flow-on effect that is felt by others.

  7. Journalists serve the people, they consume what they produce. The question is what exactly is the service they provide? Is it delivering truth? Is it about confirming that life is about right and wrong? Is it entertainment? What is it? What is it that the people demand from journalists? That is another question to be asked. Is it a true demand for truth? Not to take any inch of responsibility off the journalists’ shoulders but to see the big picture.

  8. Great call Katerina! We need to realise that we all have a voice, especially today with the internet and social media, but also through where we spend our money, what conversations we choose to have, whom we befriend, etc. we have a say and we have a power to change things, but are we going for it? Or do we give up and stay complacent in the face of the horrible things that are happening all around us.

  9. Inspiring read Katerina – well worded and lovingly expressed. I would love to see and read an article from a journalist (or you – maybe me?!) about your questions – “Is humanity so dumbed down that it has to take mass slaughter before there is an outcry to stop a witch-hunt?” and “Is fascism not tolerated only when it comes knocking on your own doorstep and threatens your freedom?”
    As you say we all have the potential to turn the tide and, to add to that, when we feel something is not right we are actually empowered then and there (equiped) to deal with it. That is positive and energetic fact ..

  10. “there were others; journalists who cared for humanity more than a fat pay cheque.” It is also the responsibility of the readers and consumers of what is presented by the media to call for the truth and not accept the lack of integrity that is obvious in much of current so-called journalism.

  11. Thank you for your worldly expression and wealth of knowledge on journalism. I found this article enthralling, what really struck me is how you are speaking without any energy of defence or outrage but more calling for more love. This is still so relevant some 5 years later, as it speaks to all corruption, it is not personal to this case.

  12. If you happen to have experienced to live under a dictatorship, you know how amazing is to have journalists that tell you truth no matter what and how courageous that is since these are realities that operate parallel to it and make sure that truth does not circulate too widely. We all remember also exemplary journalists that brought truth to the attention of people in democratic settings and caused major political earthquakes. Unfortunately, not all journalists uphold truth equally. The truth is that there are many ways to make a career within journalism and integrity is not a necessary ingredient in all of them.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s