An alert from avaaz.org and change.org which concerns us all!
Avaaz.org is a 25-million-person global campaign network that has alerted the world about the UK’s incredulous attempt to filter out websites with ‘esoteric material’.
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?
Now it appears that a block on alternative religions, minority groups and healing systems will be put in place, preventing people from visiting such websites! This is a manipulation of the highest order, with the very weak argument to protect children from pornography. It is absolutely unacceptable that a government controls the very people who voted them into power and does not allow them to preserve their rightful freedom to read and watch what they want.
Avaaz article reads:
The freedom of spiritual expression and exchange of spiritual ideas is under attack. The UK has announced internet filters which will automatically filter out websites with ‘esoteric material’. Working directly with ISP’s and affecting 95% of British internet users, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said these filters will be active ‘by the end of the year’. ‘Esoteric Material’ could mean anything from sites of small spiritual groups, to ones which teach esoteric or spiritual practices or contain information about a wide range of alternative spiritual ideas.
This sinister development is being slipped past public notice as these automatic filters are being headlined as a powerful tool to combat Pornography on the web. UK Prime Minister David Cameron is touting these new policies will ‘protect children and their innocence’. But this Trojan Horse has a much larger sweep than just pornography. UK based digital advocacy organization Open Rights Group discussed the coming changes with British ISP’s and besides pornography, there are 9 other categories which are automatically blocked which includes ‘esoteric material’ (and ‘web forums’). The filters can be turned off by the user, but they are set to ‘ON’ automatically upon setup. This uses the popular ‘nudge theory’ helping to control actions of people and relies on user’s tech savvy-ness in order to disable them. The definition of ‘esoteric material’ is so broad that it can span from meditation to spiritual healing, Chakras and everything in between. And this has now been lumped in with the horrid company of pornography, violence and suicide related sites.
While major religions will not be affected (at least for now), these policies discriminate, marginalize and stigmatize small spiritual groups and alternative spiritual viewpoints. Already other countries are talking about adopting the same ‘Pornwall’ filters and we need to take action now to stop this assault on our collective spirituality. Already on UK pay-as-you-go Orange phones websites that promote ‘esoteric practices’ or websites of ‘universally acknowledged sects’ are being blocked. Wikipedia founder and high profile adviser to Prime Minister Cameron, Jimmy Wales calls the online porn filter ‘an absolutely ridiculous idea’.
Sign this petition now and send a strong message to Prime Minister Cameron that we see through this obvious Trojan Horse and we will not accept this infringement upon our human right to free spiritual opinion and expression.
www.avaaz.org – (should you start getting newsletters from them, of which you are not interested in, then you can always unsubscribe)
Posted by Punya – credit to Facebook friends
Thanks for raising awareness of this important issue. It is truly disturbing what is happening here.
Alongside the Avaaz petition, I have started a petition on change.org and have posted regular updates on various, similar initiatives by governments around the world who are watching closely to see what they can get away with.
The more petitions crying out against this Trojan Horse, the better!
Jaime Tanna, Founder and Director of Energy Therapy
Related article The Religious Pyramid