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With conspiracy theories spreading in pandemic Britain with destructive consequences, we need readers to bolster responsible and thorough journalism with their support.

“Hope a mast gets put up outside your house Alon – maybe then you’ll ‘understand’”

We expected a backlash after publishing a piece that debunked the conspiracy theory that links coronavirus to 5G – the next generation of wireless technology. And we got one. 

An active community of conspiracy theorists mobilised to send the Cable a torrent of abusive and outlandish comments, including some directed at the author and Cable journalist Alon Aviram. 

The piece in question looked at Bristol’s Stop 5G Facebook page and posts made by administrators to thousands of followers supporting baseless theories on the next generation of wireless technology. 

These included assertions that coronavirus was in fact a deep state cover for the rollout for 5G; that the technology was weakening human immune systems and was responsible for the pandemic; and that 5G was connected to student suicides at Bristol University. 

Tell your friends…

An avalanche of emails, comments, posts and even muffled phone calls lambasted  the Cable’s independence and integrity. Many critics concluded that the Cable must be working in cahoots with the telecoms lobby and other mysterious actors.

“4 words for you @ the Cable: SOLD OUT TO OFCOM,” one comment read, referring to the official media regulatory body. “All media, it seems – is owned/bought-out by big pharma, big TELECOM, big Ofcom and big bullshit. Bristol Cable – please remove the word ‘independent’ from all your pages,” read another. 

Or, “‘independent journalists’ (the unbearable irony!) who betray the common people as they eagerly bend over to assist the establishment fulfill their pre-ordained agenda.” And “Shame on The Bristol Cable for bending over for these scum bags. Just curious, was this article written because of coercion? fear? blackmail?”

For these readers, it didn’t seem to matter that the Cable is 100% democratically owned by more than 2,100 members and that all our financial information is transparent. Or that fact-checking organisations and the overwhelming scientific consensus has found no evidence of significant harm from the 5G technology being rolled out across the UK, much less a connection to COVID-19.

This reaction is not confined to Bristol. Other journalists in the UK have also reported being abused for debunking the conspiracy theory. And as life in lockdown Britain continues, there are no signs of the 5G coronavirus tale abating. 

Telecoms workers have been threatened and in the last few weeks there has been a spate of arsons on telecom towers fuelled by disinformation that coronavirus is linked to 5G. One mast had served the NHS nightingale hospital in Birmingham.

A complex scientific matter has become an emotionally vexed debate among people who are rightly concerned about public health. Yet some have turned to the tale of 5G triggering coronavirus as their preferred theory, despite a vacuum of credible evidence. As may be expected, attempts to counter such disinformation often entrenches people’s feelings of victimisation and can strengthen their resolve. 

So where do we go from here? Now is certainly not the time to scorn or deride people. We must amplify the voices of the silent majority and begin to understand how we can inoculate our communities against misinformation with empathy and cold hard facts. And at the same time, nourish a healthy scepticism of powerful interests and of official narratives that have too often obscured and hidden what is really in the public interest. 

A frightening consequence of this disinformation is that ‘real conspiracies’ can be brushed off by critics as yet another conspiracy theory.

As Professor Stephan Lewandowsky of the University of Bristol writes in the aptly-timed release of the Conspiracy Theory Handbook “actual conspiracies do exist but they are rarely discovered through the methods of conspiracy theorists.” A frightening consequence of this disinformation is that ‘real conspiracies’, for example the erosion of civil liberties under the guise of public health in Hungary, can be brushed off by critics as yet another conspiracy theory.     

If people who are disempowered are more susceptible to conspiracy theories, as professor Lewandowsky says, then we must do our utmost to genuinely empower our colleagues, neighbours, family and friends to thwart conspiracy theories.

That must involve journalism that is both independent of corporate interests as well as viral conspiracies. 

That is our aim at the Cable. But, as we’re not funded by the 5G industry lobby, we need you to join 2,100 others in Bristol for just a couple of quid and support good information in the battle for ideas.

But we would say that, wouldn’t we?

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  • Philip Morris says:

    Why listen to these idiots Alon, why give them space on the Cable web site ? Just ignor them. Just heard their leader Trump on about how people should drink cleaning fluid to cure th4e Virus, lets hope his supporters and some of these idiots follow his advice.

  • Esther Tyler-Ward says:

    I think it’s a conspiracy that Professor Stephan Lewandowsky of the University of Bristol releases an aptly-timed release of the Conspiracy Theory Handbook….!!!

  • Tereks Mela says:

    My favourite ‘woke fact’ was that the Thursday 8PM clapping for the NHS was to cover the beeping noise made when installing a 5G mast.

    Well done The Cable for pushing this agenda. Sadly the vulnerable, the gullible, the easily led, and the congenitally stupid – all seem to wear Idiocy like a badge of honour.

    The internet, which makes so much available, also links up these plonkers – perhaps ironically a double edged sword.

    I am doubling my subscription in response to this. Keep up the good work..

  • Paul Breeden says:

    Hats off to Alon and the Cable for sticking to the facts and refusing to bow to a minority of the readership who don’t like the story. This highlights how difficult it can be to cover science – particularly when connected to health fears – responsibly. Journalists have to strike a balance between reporting genuinely-held fears and testing the evidence for them. We also have the complication that while the Covid-5G link is bunkum to most people, there are many who have genuine health fears about 5G. I think those concerns are misguided, but we can’t dismiss them out of hand. I’ve written an article about the difficulties journalists face in reporting these issues:
    http://www.bristolnuj.org.uk/2020/04/23/covid-conspiracy-theories-whats-a-journalist-to-do/

  • Angela says:

    Where are your facts Cable?
    Fact 1 – Microwave Radiation causes calcium efflux
    Fact 2 – Calcium channels are important viral replication pathways
    Fact 3 – outside of Wuhan, China does not have MMWave. MMWave is what all 5G TestBeds through Europe and the world have. Also full 5G in Tehran, Italy, Daegu. Check TestBeds out at “5G Observatory” – frightening. Fact.
    Fact 4 – Microwave Radiation at the 5G density and frequency was repeatedly evidenced to be unsafe decades ago.
    Publish the facts and help people instead of spreading misinformation yourselves.

  • Andy Frayne says:

    Thanks Alon and the Cable for following on from the original piece. Please continue giving space to all-comers on conspiracy-type ideas and you may get some comments that have logical inconsistencies that are well worth highlighting. For example on the death of Princess Diana it’s been noted that “She’s not really dead she’s in hiding” proponent is quite happy with the “She was killed by the CIA” proponent’s explanation as they’re united under the “Any explanation as long as it’s not the official one” banner. It’s as if bonding trumps truth and there’s scant regard for the mutual exclusivity of someone being dead and alive at the same time…well ok she is/was a Princess…

    As Lewandowsky says above,” …we must do our utmost to genuinely empower our colleagues, neighbours, family and friends to thwart conspiracy theories” and that includes giving them a voice and listening carefully.

  • Yuko says:

    Time to research relationships between radiation and a multitude of potential dangers to human, animals and environments is an extensive subject and would take a lot of effort and focus.
    It is tricky to understand and evolving. To perpetually claim that there is ‘no evidence’ of radiation playing a role in human / animal cell damage is beyond the realm of conspiracy or debate – it is ridiculous and naive. If science is to be the measure in which we judge our understanding of technology, then let’s be clear – the scientific global community has spoken for many years on this subject and have found a ba-zillion relationships of carcinogenic properties and results from 1G through 4G. They have requested that telecom companies take the time to test the technology before deployment. It is not unreasonable to assume that the immune system is compromised by radiation. We are all intelligent and with a measure of kindness, allowing for proper testing of the technology – that effects all people on Earth is warranted.

  • Angela says:

    Thanks Andy, when facts are published, they are not anything to do with a conspiracy. If unsure, look the facts up for yourself, they have existed for decades.
    Also, another fact, China has microwave radiation limits 100 x lower than America and Australia. China has also, not allocated MMWave spectrum (outside of initially in Wuhan), meaning they are not in the manufactured “race” as full 5G requires the three bands. MMWave is not safe, It is ‘Smart’ of China not to deploy MMWave on their citizens. China also has Smart meters that do not emit Microwave. Microwave Radiation is not safe.

    Effects from beam formed SHF Microwave Radiation are far deeper than 0.5mm and are related to heat transfer and voltage. Effects on the vascular system and sensitive structures in the skin are expected. Again these are facts, sorry, no conspiracy here.
    Thank-you to Alon and Cable for remembering in difficult times that journalists have a very important role to play in debate, truth and honesty. Don’t be sold out.

  • Ace says:

    Hi Angela

    Can you give me an answer as for why South Korea has not seen health issues despite 5g being launched there almost a year before every other country?

  • Angela says:

    Hi, yes. Many places list that they have 5G, but they are not utilising or do not have, the upper band, 26-28 GHz mmWave. The upper band is for IoT therefore it is for when the equipment is available/ready for it.

    Even with the lower and middle bands, the telco will have 5G stated and then when ready, if licenced and required they add in the MmWave.

    I realise South Korea is one of the few countries and I think the first to auction it, very much at the front of the ‘race’. Italy too has deployed MMWave, the only European country to auction MMWave.

    However MmWave is still deployed in TESTBEDS worldwide that seem to have few restrictions on what they can and can’t do due to being ‘Research or Scientific licences’.

    In South Korea, the manufacturers and then the Smart Cities (large testbeds) would be expected to be the first to test and utilise the upper band, MmWave.

    South Korea has around 5 ‘Smart City Projects. The Smart Cities were scheduled to be operational between 2020 and 2022. Daegu had the opening ceremony Dec 2019 for their Smart City testbed which would be utilising the full three bands lower, middle and upper. They had 5G trials underway including drones on the motorway Jan 2020.

    TESTBEDS were always scheduled for early 2020 throughout Europe and have deployed 5G and IoT in multiple locations in public spaces (refer to 5G Observatory) including from satellites and cars (!). Many through Italy and Spain and France from the start of this year.

    Around the world, 2020 has always been the year for the Smart city projects to kick off and the Testbeds, long in the planning.

    As part of the industry misinformation, the 26-28GHz band, named MMWave is actually cmWave, even more penetrating. MMWave (which is cmWave) for IoT requires a phased array to beam form. The increase in voltage associated is expected to affect sensitive structures in the skin and the circulatory system. I think it is time for them (whoever they are) to halt and actually do some Scientific studies before continuing to deploy dense Microwave and MMWave in TestBeds throughout the world. It has not even been tested on animals and there is not even the equipment invented that can measure the strength and density of the beam formed MMwave (cmWave!) emitted.

    These again are the facts. If it was safe, very few would be protesting as the idea seems so convenient. For medical facts, I am not an expert, however Dr M Pall is and I think it is time someone asked a real Scientist ‘Is it Safe?’.

    It is not a fourth revolution, that is a lot of hype as Microwave Radiation is just not safe.

    Interestingly, I believe that China is not assigning MmWave so this means that outside of Wuhan, they aren’t having full 5G. Also China, outside of Wuhan maintains strict Microwave Radiation health limits 100 x lower than the US, Canada and Australia. Now that is Smart.

  • Andy Frayne says:

    Below is a reference to a Guardian article that throws light on Dr Martin Pall who is cited in a comment above as a “Medical expert”. The article mentions Pall’s 90 page self-published document which informs us ( just on page 1) that

    “…microwave EMF exposures attack nervous systems (including brains), hormonal systems, break both DNA helical strands, produce cancer and mutations (which show up in your offspring), lower M&F fertility, attack DNA in sperm, have 15 different mechanisms of cancer causation… Dementia… Alzheimers… ADHD… Autism…”

    Dr Pall doesn’t run the gauntlet of peer-review here and he doesn’t feel the need to run his ideas past the editorial staff of a well-established medical journal… this stuff is so whacko and off-the-wall that by the time you get to page 2 you start to think “Better check the date on this one to make sure it’s not 1st April”

    As I said earlier, give the 5G’ers a voice, listen carefully and sooner or later the contradictions arise. And every now and then you’ll get the full Kamikaze…

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/jul/26/how-baseless-fears-over-5g-rollout-created-a-health-scare

  • Angela says:

    Andy, it seems that you are the one spreading misinformation here and I have noticed along with the Guardian.

    Dr M Pall has published over 100 times including in the Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy.
    I had researched this area long before I came across Dr Pall’s work. If you need to look further, try the World Health Organisation Warsaw Symposium 1973 and the Geneva Symposium 1981, both available on the WHO website. Prior to 1985, the literature was not heavily biased towards industry.

    When Dr P Czerski passed away, prematurely, circa 1990, Repacholi started up the ICNIRP club. A lot changed in this critical area of health concern. There is now a heavy bias towards ‘risk perception’. So much so that people do not realise that Microwave Radiation is not safe.

    Maurice Strong, via the UN founders and Ontario Hydro sponsored Repacholi to write “EMF Risk Perception” in 1998. There is the problem. We want the Science, not an industry based risk perception to then feed to the public.
    The Science reveals extensive evidence of harm.

    There is a reason why the countries who have studied Microwave the most, Russia, Czechoslovakia, China, Poland and might I add the UN headquarters Switzerland and Belgium, Toronto, Paris, maintain a safe limit of 10 uW/cm2. These countries/cities cannot bathe their citizens in Microwave like our country.

    However, at the start of 2020, these countries also started up their 5G IoT testbeds, along with much of the world, but outside of testbeds, the limits are respected.

    Therefore, in countries with safe limits, schools and universities would not have a 5G emitter perched on top like in the UK, America, Australia, Canada. It is not safe.

    Also, by the way, the effects outlined by Dr Pall are from numerous peer reviewed ‘at the bench’ studies. They are our best guide as to what to expect from 5G and particularly IoT.

    The below effects are from as little as 10uW/cm2
    “fatigue, memory loss, bradycardia, hypertension, hypotension, cardiac pain, systolic murmur, central nervous system dysfunction” N.A.S.A. 1981.

    MMWave and dense Microwave RF, up to 1000 uW/cm2 is allowed by the ICNIRP club.

    Wide ranging adverse effects including chromosome aberrations, calcium efflux, cardiac dysfunction, all are evidenced countless times in peer reviewed Scientific journals at Microwave levels well below the allowed 1000uW/cm2.

    Industry has published their own ‘risk perception’ studies with Psychology and physics professionals at the helm. They don’t count many actual studies, they decide what they think counts. Most ICNIRP members conduct work for industry, e.g. T-Mobile. None of the ICNIRP members conduct ‘at the bench’ studies.

    Dr P Czerski brought the world together for the first time in Warsaw in 1973, at the symposium, “Hazards of Microwave Radiation” sponsored by WHO, UN, in order to keep people safe.

    The resulting monograph from the 1978 symposium, “Radiofrequency and Microwave”, is listed at No.16 of 243 (no.) monographs published by the World Health Organisation to date. Microwave Radiation is listed as a biological agent and described as a pollutant. Monographs alongside include: (9) DDT and its Derivatives (10) Carbon Monoxide (11) Mycotoxins and (13) Carbon Disulfide.

    Microwave Radiation at the current and proposed levels is categorically not safe, this has already been evidenced. The call for more research by industry promoters is ill founded. It is time for industry to produce ‘at the bench’ studies indicating that their technology is safe.

    Amidst the corona virus, Doctors are being urged to add Corona virus to the cause of death even if they don’t believe this to be the case. The Bakerfield Doctors are speaking up with the truth, it needs to be out there as too many people like yourself Andy are trying to tear the truth down.

    Bristolcable, you can sleep at night knowing you are true to your profession and have the integrity to let people be heard, to reveal that democracy is still at the helm, not money and influence that is out of control.

    I just want people to know the truth, I want them to return to when the level of Microwave was safe. We will still have the internet, just not the harm associated with Microwave, that is likely not to be reversible.

    Thankyou, Angela

    P.s. Andy, are you in a country with safe limits by chance?

  • Andy Frayne says:

    Dr Pall’s 90 page document mentioned above is 2 mouse-clicks away: open The Guardian link (above), scroll down about 12 paragraphs and there’s the link.

    Anyone else care to comment on Pall’s more recent “publications”?

  • Angela says:

    Hi Andy, there are plenty of publications to choose from if you scroll to the reference section.

    I think what would be great is if you Andy could produce a publication (i.e. ‘find a study’) indicating safety within Repacholi’s ICNIRP standard and at 1000uW/cm2 over chronic periods?? Preferably a study with phased array beam formed 26-28GHz pulsed and over chronic periods. Just like in the current 5G IoT TESTBEDs within the UK, Italy, Spain and so on.

    We can swap studies here if you like, firstly, please check the Warsaw and Geneva documents and see if that makes things clearer?

    ICNIRP headed up now by a psychology professional appear to believe, as written in their guidelines, that the harm threshold for heating the eyes, bone and skin is by a 5 degree increase (!) and the brain by 2 degrees – this is very wrong as any physician will tell you.

    ICNIRP then build in ‘safety factors’ from these wrong numbers. This is not safe and is not in keeping with the hallmarks of a sound guideline based upon Science and protecting people.

    Here (below link) is an example circa 2000, of just how wrong Repacholi’s guidelines are as outlined by Dr Cherry (unfortunately passed away circa 2002).
    The guidelines have worsened just recently with the increased allowable ‘dose’ to accomodate 5G.

    https://researcharchive.lincoln.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10182/3931/90_m1_EMR_Australian_Senate_Evidence_8-9-2000.pdf;sequence=1

    Note: In this Cherry clearly outlines his field and approaches the Science as, ..a Scientist. He looks at the facts.

    • Dave says:

      Hi Angela, I can see from your exhaustive posting here that your clearly feel very strongly that 5G is dangerous. And you have quoted a few scientists and reports, some of them even sound pretty impressive. But they are not. They are a few dissenting voices in the face of a massive scientific consensus underwritten by testing and peer review. Just because someone is a “scientist” doesn’t mean they should automatically be believed. But 1000s and 1000s of scientists…then you have my attention. And don’t be confused here, this is complicated science stuff, like the calculation of specific absorption rate of different parts of the body and the setting of safe levels by ICNIRP. You stated that they had settled on 5 degree heating level as safe, but it is actually 10% of this. If you cannot understand this basic calculation I’m not so sure I trust your critical thinking skills or your ability to discern truth from misleading conspiracy. My hope is that you don’t cause harm to yourself or others through the fear, panic and dis-information you seem so determined to spread. I really don’t have the time or energy to debunk your points one by one by I’ll leave you with one fact you probably do not know….the TESTBEDS !!!! you are so convinced are using mmWave are broadcasting it – they use RF screened booths, where no RF energy escapes the booth. And people sit in these booths all day testing 5g phones. So far no-one has exploded.

  • Andy Frayne says:

    Unfortunately I didn’t get too far into Dr Cherry’s paper cited above as the old “BS detector” started twitching on the first page and went full scale deflection by P3 for similar reasons to Dr Pall’s paper mentioned above.

    Also Cherry’s paper (p3) says “Radiofrequency fields are as dangerous as toxic chemicals and Ionizing Radiation.” which effectively says there’s no difference between (electromagnetic) ionising and non-ionising radiation. Now if this were true it wouldn’t be safe to go out in sunlight… maybe the vampires know something that we don’t.

    And there’s no recognition of the photon and quantum nature of EM waves (Planck and Einstein roll in their graves). It’s the conceptual equivalent of saying ” The world-record for the high-jump is 8 feet. If we get 9 people who can all jump 1 foot then we can jump 9 feet and break the world record!” It’s the reason why you can stand in front of of a powerful electric light (think airport runway or lighthouse) and not get fried!

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