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.
167 thoughts on “David Millikan: Persecution is Persecution: A Call for Journalists to Care for Humanity”
“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”. I would absolutely agree with this statement. In the past I was not awake to the first rumblings of societal disharmony but now I am much more aware and see it in the smallest of exchanges and the way systems work. I recently visited Cambodia and went to the interrogation prison. I could see that the same patterns of abuse, control and vilification have repeated over and over again in history. I also was directed to read the steps towards genocide. It starts with small things, allowing groups to be treated as less, snide remarks about their differences. This is where it all begins and where we need to say no to this behaviour before it escalates.
I saw a media report yesterday on how the media have reported on a man arrested on particular charges, for which later got dropped. The media however based their story on the arrest, placed his photo all over their publications and TV screens and combined it with rather sensational headlines – none of which were true. The problem with this is that the media do not consider this approach to the way they tell their stories as harmful, when it is very harmful to the person. It is seen as a right to bring news to the people. But how is news being brought to the people when judgment hate and vilification is being incited? We may say that it is our responsibility on what news we consume and how we consume it. Whilst this is true there is also responsibility on how something is reported. Responsibility is all round.
The pen is mightier than the sword only when it cuts through the lies and serves up undiluted, the whole untainted truth. Unfortunately it is also the case that many ‘poisoned pens’ have worked diligently to veil such truth from the eyes of many so that the lies of a few gain traction.
The focus on wrongdoing of politics still assumes that there is nothing intrinsically wrong about politics in the modern format.
Great Katerina, journalism is taking us away from our divine essences and we are not asking for the truth! So why would we not want to live in the natural fire from with-in, that essence that is always ignited and warming our whole being. And at present journalism is not closing the door where evil dwells or in other-words our controlling-spirit needs to be understood for what and where it leaves openings to quench our fiery essence. Thus accountability on every level has to be considered other-wise our spirit will keep the status quo.
For it is much easier to accept the corruption and lies than it is to look at our lives with an honest eye and discern how we are contributing to it.
It is very very well said here in this article, that one way we all can go in to a protection for ourselves and our loved ones is to just make sure that our own private world of activity and personal life in general is ‘ok’. And, this is a reflection essentially of how dis-empowered a person can feel, when there is so much corruption, lack of integrity, and violence happening. And I agree that it can seem like a safe and sensible place to go to, where your own personal needs and those of your family are individually met. But, I also whole heartedly wonder how much this does leave behind everyone else, all of those who may be suffering and/or experiencing all of that which is being avoided. And so the question is, how can we leave behind our fellow human kind to suffer and or endure and, just because we are not personally suffering or enduring the same, does this mean that we are living without it?
Yes as readers and receivers of information we have a lot to say about what is then going to be printed and broadcasted. If we don’t read or buy the newspapers then it won’t sell. So, in the end, we have the power to change it. The local newspaper where I live has started to put in alcohol ads in the newspapers which I find completely disgraceful since they will be read by people of all ages and I don’t want children to grow up thinking that this is normal. I don’t and wouldn’t even consider, spend my money buying the newspaper, and I don’t read it either. If we all took a stand like this then what would be printed would be what we as an audience says is acceptable. Unfortunately, we still want to be entertained so we’ll get what we ask for. I’ll hope we get to our senses in time though.
As well as some journalist overriding what is true for what sells because they are after a ‘fat pay cheque’, I would add that we also need journalists who can resist the temptation to succumb to the desire of all the ‘glittering crumbs’ that the recognition they may hunger for, promises to deliver. For if these crumbs are ingested, then all semblance of decency and humanness gets left well behind.
Decency, Respect-full-ness and a deep Humble-Appreciate-Ness should be a paramount obligation for all journalistic pursuits! To be Humble is to; Being the base we use to overcome the spirit and become Soul-Full; So the spirit feels the truth of the soul.
Journalism has become a mouthpiece for the bottom line, for what sells more copies than your competition, no matter the cost, for sensationalism before the public interest; journalism is serving the lowest common denominator or the elite and either way, it has sold out.
“But deep down this aches us, because we know that it’s not right.” so so true – hence why there is so much pain, illness and disease….
It’s not the religions that are the true cause of our difficulties in life, but the way we treat each other’s difference. We tolerate and ignore or attack and abhor. Either approach just keeps us miles apart. What would the world be like if we truly cultivated the art of questioning and discussing with openness? It seems to me it would cut the chord on so much hate, anger and recklessness. Thank you Katerina!
I agree. The fact that we are needing so much stimulating and numbing devices to go through our day/life is a proof that there is angst and unsettlement we are feeling deep inside us, that what we have come to accept is nowhere near how we truly want to live or what we would like to have in our life.
What I find interesting is that journalists typically stay away from exposing other journalists – perhaps the retaliation would be too fierce or they would then worry about exposure themselves. It is an interesting trade.
A willingness to at least look at truth is a start, we may have to feel a little un-comfortable in the process.
Yes clearly there needs to be a major shake-up in the media, the level of corruption and greed runs deep affecting millions of people’s lives every day. Great to begin the exposure of this corrupt industry to support people to become accountable.
‘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.’ If journalists realised how much power the truth holds, every paper would be sold out if they published articles based on the truth,
I am not sure – truth may not sell that well at the moment. Would it be too confronting?
Truth does not sell so well in a ‘house of lies’ as it questions the very foundation such a structure is built upon and thus it exposes how we each have contributed to such a monstrosity. The sad truth here is that we are fed the lies because it is what we demand. If we are all standing at the candy counter waiting for chocolate, we are not going to be overly impressed when we are offered an apple.
We can smell the truth but the stench of the lies at this point of time has tainted our ability to sense what is true.
It is true Katerina, of that I have no doubt. Our nature is to be love and love one another. But as things stand, where there is a demand for a product there is invariably someone to meet that demand. Yes, journalism as an industry has a massive responsibility for what it writes, but so do those who blindly read what they write without discerning whether it is true, partially true, biased or simply made up. When humanity demands ‘nothing but the truth’, then perhaps that is what we will get.
Where are the journalists with integrity? Have the conglomerates made it so challenging for their articles to be put to print that we just don’t have access to them anymore? Or are we as a society not demanding integrity in journalism?
The media get away with feeding us false misinformation because at some level within ourselves we do not really want to know the pure corruption that is going on in the world. The more we open up to knowing the truth of what we are allowing by pretending that life is other than how it is the quicker we will have a media that brings truth and not misinformation and lies.
Beautifully written Katerina , journalist have a great opportunity to support the growth of humanity
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.
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.
“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.
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 ..
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Accountability, Decency, Respect-full-ness and a deep Humble-Appreciate-Ness should be a paramount obligation for all journalistic pursuits!
Thank you Katerina for the reminder about the true heart of journalism – it has the potential to serve humanity well.
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.
Much called for Katerina, journalism with integrity
Comments are closed.