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Byron Shire
February 9, 2023

Mandy Nolan’s Soap Box: How to make friends and delete people who think differently

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The facelessness of Facebook

How neat would the world be if all our friends thought exactly the same way as we did? Our ideas would never be challenged, our comfort zones never pushed, instead we’d enjoy the constant reinforcement of our inherent righteousness.

The other morning I woke up to this posted on Facebook:

“Hi Mandy Nolan. I am deleting all local friends who are pro-fluoride. For two reasons. If they support it they are dangerously ignorant or they are cowards. Are you pro or anti?”

The underlying ethos of this statement bore some resemblance to the missive delivered by my first admirer: ‘My name is William Somerfield. I have seen you on the bus. If you won’t go with me you can get fucked!’ Of course this came well before Facebook in the form of a handwritten note passed through 10 different sets of grubby hands before I took the latter option and got fucked.

In the old days you couldn’t just DELETE people. If you wanted to take umbrage as to their point of view you had to tell them to their face. It was confrontational and weird and it was the threat of a nasty social incident that seeded the warning ‘Don’t talk about politics or religion’. Generally these have always been the subjects that divide us. And so in the interests of social politeness we avoided the subjects that would reveal our true allegiance.

The facelessness of Facebook has given licence to a false bravado and encouraged a ruthlessness that perhaps we wouldn’t have the courage to execute in the real world.

I should remind you, reader, that the land of Facebook does not exist. It’s not real. And the people in there, they aren’t actually friends. Just names grouped together under other names for the purpose of social connection, which is in effect a thin veil to mask the real objective which is to gather data for marketing purposes.

The Facebook statement enraged me. Not because I am pro-fluoride. The fluoride debate becomes irrelevant when thought threats are used. Just a few weeks ago another anti-fluoride supporter smashed Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell’s head in the door frame of her car. Surely physical violence is an inappropriate tool to communicate messages about public health?

When we refuse to listen or acknowledge the view of another, it posits a dangerous world where we corral all those who don’t think like us outside of the frame and philosophically execute them, albeit not with a guillotine but with a DELETE button.

If one never listens to dissent, then I guess one is never challenged. Isn’t the liberty of argument part of what democracy was founded on? How is it we always revert to totalitarianism in our fight for right? Is being right enough? What if everyone is right? At least a little bit? Perhaps this is the secret to what has been called the ‘looney left’: preaching to the converted?

Fluoride is not the biggest harm here. Intolerance is. Intolerance is a far greater poison than fluoride could ever be. A neurotoxin that targets critical thinking but also spiritual and physical liberty. Not even the CIA could lay claim to such a lethal chemical weapon. They don’t even need to drop it on the population with covert chemspray operations. We seem to produce it naturally.

Intolerance is our biggest health risk; it threatens our safety, our children’s safety, our children’s children’s safety. In fact it is intolerance, not fluoride, that will be the end of us. Or at the very least the end to what we prescribe as the ‘other’.

It seems that in the age of enlightenment we still define ourselves by what we are not. This simple binary process sorts the world into convenient groups: gay and not gay; women and not women; Muslim, not Muslim; fluoride supporter, not a fluoride supporter.

It is a timeless, simplistic approach that humans have always used to work out whom they hate. Whom they must persecute. It is the hallmark of all fundamentalism, and it is the way we enact our intolerance in the world. Fundamentalism in all its forms is dangerous.

Fundamentalism is what allows us to persecute others because they are different. It reduces us to our base animal nature, and that is to seek out and destroy what we identify as ‘difference’. Throughout history we have burned witches, gassed Jews, massacred indigenous people, and stolen people from their mothers and chained them
as slaves.

Fluoride didn’t do this. We did. We haven’t evolved at all. We continue to DELETE people because they think differently from us. Or if not DELETE exactly, we do things like lock them in ‘processing centres’ and hope they delete themselves.

There is no vaccination for intolerance. If only it were as simple as a few drops of a magic poison in the water supply and we’d all have shiny teeth and even shinier hearts. So I went to my friendship group and pressed DELETE. Then I thought, ‘what would Gandhi do?’ So I refriended the writer of the offensive post. Then I blocked him. If there is one thing I can’t tolerate, it’s intolerance.

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  1. “Blessed are the weird people, the poets & misfits, the writers & music makers, the dreamers & the outsiders – for they force us to see the world differently” – a little something a facebook friend of mine posted.

  2. A very good written piece on intolerance, but intolerance may be on both sides of this fluoridation debate.

    The Facebook post could have been better worded, to say.

    “Hi Mandy Nolan. I am ASKING all local friends who are pro-fluoride, why do you believe in forcing this toxic industrial waste into the whole population’s water, food and beverages, without getting everybody’s consent first? If they support it, I feel they are dangerously ignorant and/or they are cowards. Are you pro safe water or anti safe water?”

    Or, what gives the Council and the State Govt. the right to use their Bully Power to put this accumulative toxin into my good clean drinking and cooking water, for the rest of my life? Bullies are liars and cowards, are they not?

  3. Or, better yet, how about “Dear Mandy. I am asking all my anti-fluoride associates, why do you feel you should deny financially disadvantaged kids a chance to avoid horrible dental pain, and for that matter babies and children of those who do have dental plans, just to feel better about your hobby issue? Why do you feel you know more than dentists and scientists who did the tough training and actually do the work and the testing? You enjoy line-jumping, perhaps? And why is it, do you think, that fluoride is such a clever toxin that it poisons with no detectable harmful effects or outcomes? Maybe ‘someone’ is either dangerous or ignorant, as you say.”

  4. Did you think before you wrote your first sentence. This whole Northern Rivers area is full of non-thinking people.

    “What a rubbish dump this world would be if all our friends thought the same way as we did in the Northern Rivers. Everyone would be off their Facebook tweeting and saying “Hi, I know what you are thinking.”
    “Oh but I thunk it first.”

  5. Mandy thank you for being so relentlessly intelligent in the face of the crass stupidity and attempted intimidation by undercover elements of the lunatic fringe.

  6. “Bernays helped the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa) find a market for Hexafluorosilicic acid, a byproduct of aluminum production. Working on behalf of Alcoa and various special interest groups, he successfully convinced the American public that water fluoridation was safe and beneficial to human health. This was achieved by using the American Dental Association in a highly successful media campaign.[26 ]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Bernays.

    I wrote to Mandy Nolan and all my friends with exactly the same comment. I lost 15 out of 603. All of them, like Mandy felt perturbed at being given an ultimatum moreso than based on getting the facts. In her blog she is neither here nor there about the issue, so i would have unfriended her from my networks. She has a family, so i consider her attitude to be one of defiant individualism in the face of common sense for the best interests of her own people, as she is not willing to take a stand. She is a coward.

    Fluoridation is the greatest Medical Health blunder of all time, costing us trillions in medical problems, and untold misery. From Asthma (Banned in Israel in 2014 for this main easily observable reason) to heart disease, hormonal imbalance (psychological and physical) to bone and brain issues. It will harm you and your families.”

    When it comes to the issue of Fluoride, which is a marketing scam, I expect my friends and associates to be able to do the necessary fact checking to make an informed decision and to not wither in the face of elitism, groupthink or herd thinking, I assume my friends are not victims of a major and prevalent societal problem- passive thinking (cowardice in the face of an assumed authority), but that they are confident and empowered enough to practice informed choice.

    The pro fluoride mayor, Jenny Dowell the main spearhead of Fluoridation across the Rous Water region, of which Byron Bay is included, used tactical threats and blackmail involving litigation, to achieve getting councillors to vote pro fluoride, against their better judgement. An attack that was spearheaded by NSW Health and Newscorp and of which one of the benefits of the successful outcome of a yes vote was to get a new hospital upgrade the following week. In the scare campaign- which included Byron Bay, which voted No successfully to fluoridation- NSW Health and Newscorp created false scares of disease outbreaks and made personal attacks against councillors and our families based on their own agenda- which is to shame us thru fear onto allowing fluoridation.

    Fluoridation of the water supply with HFSA is not an effective or cost beneficial method in terms of dental health, and accrued untold misery of other health problems related to fluoridation. Fluoridation is playing russian roulette with yours and your loved ones health.

    I cant make you think, but I will tell you, when it is something as dangerous as fluoride, that, if you are a friend and take the wellbeing of your family seriously, you will take the time to care and use the power of your mind to effect good. If not, I can live with that. Can you?


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