Silencing of Courageous Documentaries

Historically, documentaries have told important truth in powerful ways and often challenging powerful groupthinks, but such brave films are becoming an endangered species, explains John Pilger.

By John Pilger

I first understood the power of the documentary during the editing of my first film, The Quiet Mutiny. In the commentary, I make reference to a chicken, which my crew and I encountered while on patrol with American soldiers in Vietnam.

Journalist John Pilger in “The Quiet Mutiny.”

“It must be a Vietcong chicken – a communist chicken,” said the sergeant. He wrote in his report: “enemy sighted.” The chicken moment seemed to underline the farce of the war – so I included it in the film. That may have been unwise.

The regulator of commercial television in Britain – then the Independent Television Authority or ITA – had demanded to see my script. What was my source for the political affiliation of the chicken? I was asked. Was it really a communist chicken, or could it have been a pro-American chicken?

Of course, this nonsense had a serious purpose; when The Quiet Mutiny was broadcast by ITV in 1970, the U.S. ambassador to Britain, Walter Annenberg, a personal friend of President Richard Nixon, complained to the ITA. He complained not about the chicken but about the whole film. “I intend to inform the White House,” the ambassador wrote. Gosh.

The Quiet Mutiny had revealed that the U.S. Army in Vietnam was tearing itself apart. There was open rebellion: drafted men were refusing orders and shooting their officers in the back or “fragging” them with grenades as they slept. None of this had been news. What it meant was that the war was lost; and the messenger was not appreciated.

The Director-General of the ITA was Sir Robert Fraser. He summoned Denis Foreman, then Director of Programmes at Granada TV, and went into a state of apoplexy. Spraying expletives, Sir Robert described me as a “dangerous subversive.”

What concerned the regulator and the ambassador was the power of a single documentary film: the power of its facts and witnesses: especially young soldiers speaking the truth and treated sympathetically by the film-maker.

I was a newspaper journalist. I had never made a film before and I was indebted to Charles Denton, a renegade producer from the BBC, who taught me that facts and evidence told straight to the camera and to the audience could indeed be subversive.

This subversion of official lies is the power of documentary. I have now made 60 films and I believe there is nothing like this power in any other medium.

Nuclear Warning

In the 1960s, a brilliant young film-maker, Peter Watkins, made The War Game for the BBC. Watkins reconstructed the aftermath of a nuclear attack on London. The War Game was banned.

“The effect of this film,” said the BBC, “has been judged to be too horrifying for the medium of broadcasting.”

The then chairman of the BBC’s Board of Governors was Lord Normanbrook, who had been Secretary to the Cabinet. He wrote to his successor in the Cabinet, Sir Burke Trend: “The War Game is not designed as propaganda: it is intended as a purely factual statement and is based on careful research into official material … but the subject is alarming, and the showing of the film on television might have a significant effect on public attitudes towards the policy of the nuclear deterrent.”

In other words, the power of this documentary was such that it might alert people to the true horrors of nuclear war and cause them to question the very existence of nuclear weapons. The Cabinet papers show that the BBC secretly colluded with the government to ban Watkins’a film. The cover story was that the BBC had a responsibility to protect “the elderly living alone and people of limited mental intelligence.”

Most of the press swallowed this. The ban on The War Game ended the career of Peter Watkins in British television at the age of 30. This remarkable film-maker left the BBC and Britain, and angrily launched a worldwide campaign against censorship. Telling the truth, and dissenting from the official truth, can be hazardous for a documentary film-maker.

In 1988, Thames Television broadcast Death on the Rock, a documentary about the war in Northern Ireland. It was a risky and courageous venture. Censorship of the reporting of the so-called Irish Troubles was rife, and many of us in documentaries were actively discouraged from making films north of the border. If we tried, we were drawn into a quagmire of compliance.

The journalist Liz Curtis calculated that the BBC had banned, doctored or delayed some 50 major TV programs on Ireland. There were, of course, honorable exceptions, such as John Ware

Roger Bolton, the producer of Death on the Rock, was another. Death on the Rock revealed that the British Government deployed SAS death squads overseas against the IRA, murdering four unarmed people in Gibraltar. A vicious smear campaign was mounted against the film, led by the government of Margaret Thatcher and the Murdoch press, notably the Sunday Times, edited by Andrew Neil.

It was the only documentary ever subjected to an official inquiry — and its facts were vindicated. Murdoch had to pay up for the defamation of one of the film’s principal witnesses. But that wasn’t the end of it. Thames Television, one of the most innovative broadcasters in the world, was eventually stripped of its franchise in the United Kingdom.

Did Prime Minister Thatcher exact her revenge on ITV and the film-makers, as she had done to the miners? We don’t know. What we do know is that the power of this one documentary stood by the truth and, like The War Game, marked a high point in filmed journalism.

Artistic Heresy

I believe great documentaries exude an artistic heresy. They are difficult to categorize. They are not like great fiction. They are not like great feature movies. Yet, they can combine the sheer power of both.

The Battle of Chile: the fight of an unarmed people, is an epic documentary by Patricio Guzman. It is an extraordinary film: actually a trilogy of films. When it was released in the 1970s, the New Yorker asked: “How could a team of five people, some with no previous film experience, working with one Éclair camera, one Nagra sound-recorder, and a package of black and white film, produce a work of this magnitude?”

Guzman’s documentary is about the overthrow of democracy in Chile in 1973 by fascists led by General Augusto Pinochet and directed by the CIA. Almost everything is filmed hand-held, on the shoulder. And remember this is a film camera, not video. You have to change the magazine every ten minutes, or the camera stops; and the slightest movement and change of light affects the image.

In the Battle of Chile, there is a scene at the funeral of a naval officer, loyal to President Salvador Allende, who was murdered by those plotting to destroy Allende’s reformist government. The camera moves among the military faces: human totems with their medals and ribbons, their coiffed hair and opaque eyes. The sheer menace of the faces says you are watching the funeral of a whole society: of democracy itself.

There is a price to pay for filming so bravely. The cameraman, Jorge Muller, was arrested and taken to a torture camp, where he “disappeared” until his grave was found many years later. He was 27. I salute his memory.

In Britain, the pioneering work of John Grierson, Denis Mitchell, Norman Swallow, Richard Cawston and other film-makers in the early Twentieth Century crossed the great divide of class and presented another country. They dared put cameras and microphones in front of ordinary Britons and allowed them to talk in their own language.

John Grierson is said by some to have coined the term “documentary.” “The drama is on your doorstep,” he said in the 1920s, “wherever the slums are, wherever there is malnutrition, wherever there is exploitation and cruelty.”

Speaking from Below

These early British film-makers believed that the documentary should speak from below, not from above: it should be the medium of people, not authority. In other words, it was the blood, sweat and tears of ordinary people that gave us the documentary.

Denis Mitchell was famous for his portraits of a working-class street. “Throughout my career,” he said, “I have been absolutely astonished at the quality of people’s strength and dignity.”

When I read those words, I think of the survivors of Grenfell Tower, most of them still waiting to be re-housed, all of them still waiting for justice, as the cameras move on to the repetitive circus of a royal wedding.

The late David Munro and I made Year Zero: the Silent Death of Cambodia in 1979. This film broke a silence about a country subjected to more than a decade of bombing and genocide, and its power involved millions of ordinary men, women and children in the rescue of a society on the other side of the world.

Even now, Year Zero puts the lie to the myth that the public doesn’t care, or that those who do care eventually fall victim to something called “compassion fatigue.” Year Zero was watched by an audience greater than the audience of the current, immensely popular British “reality” program Bake Off. It was shown on mainstream TV in more than 30 countries, but not in the United States, where PBS rejected it outright, fearful, according to an executive, of the reaction of the new Reagan administration.

In Britain and Australia, it was broadcast without advertising – the only time, to my knowledge, this has happened on commercial television. Following the British broadcast, more than 40 sacks of post arrived at ATV’s offices in Birmingham, 26,000 first-class letters in the first post alone. Remember this was a time before email and Facebook.

In the letters was £1 million – most of it in small amounts from those who could least afford to give.

“This is for Cambodia,” wrote a bus driver, enclosing his week’s wages. Pensioners sent their pension. A single mother sent her savings of £50. People came to my home with toys and cash, and petitions for Thatcher and poems of indignation for Pol Pot and for his collaborator, President Richard Nixon, whose bombs had accelerated the fanatic’s rise.

For the first time, the BBC supported an ITV film. The Blue Peter program asked children to “bring and buy” toys at Oxfam shops throughout the country. By Christmas, the children had raised the astonishing amount of £3,500,000.

Across the world, Year Zero raised more than $55 million, mostly unsolicited, and which brought help directly to Cambodia: medicines, vaccines and the installation of an entire clothing factory that allowed people to throw away the black uniforms they had been forced to wear by Pol Pot. It was as if the audience had ceased to be onlookers and had become participants.

Murrow’s Message

Something similar happened in the United States when CBS Television broadcast Edward R. Murrow’s film, Harvest of Shame, in 1960. This was the first time that many middle-class Americans glimpsed the scale of poverty in their midst.

Legendary CBS News’ correspondent Edward R. Murrow.

Harvest of Shame is the story of migrant agricultural workers who were treated little better than slaves. Today, their struggle has such resonance as migrants and refugees fight for work and safety in foreign places. What seems extraordinary is that the children and grandchildren of some of the people in this film will be bearing the brunt of the abuse and strictures of President Trump.

In the United States today, there is no equivalent of Edward R. Murrow. His eloquent, unflinching kind of American journalism has been abolished in the so-called mainstream and has taken refuge in the Internet.

Britain remains one of the few countries where documentaries are still shown on mainstream television in the hours when most people are still awake. But documentaries that go against the received wisdom are becoming an endangered species, at the very time we need them perhaps more than ever.

In survey after survey, when people are asked what they would like more of on television, they say documentaries. I don’t believe they mean a type of current affairs program that is a platform for politicians and “experts” who affect a specious balance between great power and its victims.  Observational documentaries are popular; but films about airports and motorway police do not make sense of the world. They entertain.

David Attenborough’s brilliant programs on the natural world are making sense of climate change – belatedly. The BBC’s Panorama is making sense of Britain’s secret support of jihadism in Syria – belatedly. But why is Trump setting fire to the Middle East? Why is the West edging closer to war with Russia and China?

Mark the words of the narrator in Peter Watkins’s The War Game: “On almost the entire subject of nuclear weapons, there is now practically total silence in the press, and on TV. There is hope in any unresolved or unpredictable situation. But is there real hope to be found in this silence?”

In 2017, that silence has returned. It is not news that the safeguards on nuclear weapons have been quietly removed and that the United States is now spending $46 million per hour on nuclear weapons: that’s $46 million every hour, 24 hours a day, every day. Who knows that?

The Coming War on China, which I completed last year, has been broadcast in the United Kingdom but not in the United States – where 90 per cent of the population cannot name or locate the capital of North Korea or explain why Trump wants to destroy it. China is next door to North Korea.

According to one “progressive” film distributor in the U.S., the American people are interested only in what she calls “character-driven” documentaries. This is code for a “look at me” consumerist cult that now consumes and intimidates and exploits so much of our popular culture, while turning away film-makers from a subject as urgent as any in modern times.

“When the truth is replaced by silence,” wrote the Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, “the silence is a lie.”

Whenever young documentary film-makers ask me how they can “make a difference,” I reply that it is really quite simple. They need to break the silence.

This is an edited version of an address John Pilger gave at the British Library on Dec. 9 as part of a retrospective festival, “The Power of the Documentary,” held to mark the Library’s acquisition of Pilger’s written archive. www.johnpilger.com

 

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55 comments for “Silencing of Courageous Documentaries

  1. December 18, 2017 at 1:51 am

    I would much rather be educated than entertained.

  2. Jason Witherspoon
    December 15, 2017 at 11:45 pm
  3. Jacob Freeze
    December 15, 2017 at 9:49 am

    “$46 million per hour on nuclear weapons?” Not really.

    That would be $1 billion per day, $365 billion per year, almost half of the entire military budget. The real figure is just about 1/10th of that amount, which is bad enough anyway.

    https://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/31/nuclear-overhaul-defense-budget-cbo-244391

  4. Maxim
    December 15, 2017 at 9:31 am

    Still waiting to see Ukraine on Fire.
    “The US isn’t a country, it’s a disease.”

  5. f f skitty
    December 13, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    bev harris’s extraordinary ‘hacking democracy’ from 2006 has never been refuted, to my knowledge.
    before participating in any election, every american should watch that documentary.

  6. MEexpert
    December 13, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Most of the information that John mentions can be obtained if one keeps their eyes and ears open. The trouble is that people are addicted to the MSM. Most of the MSM pundits have never set foot in the Middle East, except Israel. They have no idea what goes on in the streets and homes of the people being destroyed. I learn more in two weeks from the real people during my visits to the Middle East than I do from the MSM because I stopped watching the MSM long time ago.

    Thank God for people like John Pilger, Robert Parry, Philip Giraldi, and Ray McGovern to keep exposing the MSM. Good health to all these people.

  7. Larry Motuz
    December 13, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    The United States spends $46 million perhour on nuclear weapons! This article. https://consortiumnews.com/2017/12/12/silencing-of-courageous-documentaries/

    Yup. That’s $403 billions annually.

    Now that’s NEOLIBERAL AUSTERITY for you! …And, CLEARLY, it austerity only for you.

    That’s why cuts to Social Security, to Medicare and Medicaid, to the health of children and those with disabilities, taxes raised on everyone but the extremely wealthy, and to product and environmental regulations to protect you are so absolutely needed.

    DO YOU UNDERSTAND???

    Do you understand that?

    • Joe L.
      December 14, 2017 at 12:49 pm

      Larry Motuz… Actually I was watching a video from Jimmy Dore on YouTube and he showed an article that claims that the US has been spending $250 Million a day for the past 16 years in this War “of” Terror.

  8. December 13, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    I wrote this over 5 years ago, and it’s already here. See link below.
    March 3, 2012
    “The Internet Under Attack”

    The internet is the last bastion of real freedom in the world today. But, I believe its days could be numbered. I believe the political puppets and their elitist advisers are working overtime to censor, control and tax it….
    [more info at link below]
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2012/03/internet-under-attack.html

  9. December 13, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Great work. Mr Pilger.
    The censorship of the internet is already in motion. See link to article below.
    —————————————————————————————————
    Apple, Google attend China internet conference that promotes control and censorship
    December 11, 2017
    Lisa Bourne

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/apple-google-attend-china-internet-conference-that-promotes-control-and-cen

  10. Joe L.
    December 13, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    As always Mr. Pilger thank you for the article. I have watched many of your documentaries and the ones that stick out for me are “War on Democracy” and “Stealing a Nation”. I used to watch them on YouTube, on your channel (which I believe was official), that YouTube has now shut down. Now either I will go to Vimeo or your official web page. Again, thank you for giving voice to the woes of the world.

  11. GMC
    December 13, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    John Pilger — one of the few that Did Make a Difference –no, not in the corrupt Governments because they can’t have the Truth told — but for us average people that needed our stories told and the stories of those that couldn’t tell the sorrows they’ve seen and gone thru. The World is indebted to men like John – thank you for your courage ! Nam 70-71

  12. NavyVet
    December 13, 2017 at 11:35 am

    I just watched “The Quiet Mutiny” for the first time. Very enlightening documentary. I wish we had more stuff like this regarding our wars in the Middle East. I definitely want to check out the documentary he mentioned on Syria.

    “The Quiet Mutiny” is available free on YouTube, if there’s anyone else out there like me trying to find it. Enjoy.

    • Joe L.
      December 13, 2017 at 12:53 pm

      NavyVet… I have found Mr. Pilger’s documentaries also on Vimeo. I particularly like “War on Democracy” and “Stealing a Nation”. You might also want to check out his documentary entitled “Breaking The Silence: Truth And Lies In The War On Terror”.

  13. December 13, 2017 at 11:33 am

    Most people don’t want to see or hear a bit of a truth about our brutal world in any form, and are eager to suppress it physically or in their minds.. Thought that Pilger would have noticed it by now.

  14. Paul Vereshack B.A.,M.D.,D.Psych.
    December 13, 2017 at 9:10 am

    John,

    You will really want to read this simple powerful psychological journey. It underlies all that you say and feel.

    http://www.warafterwarafterwar.com

    About: Wars/Lies/Terrorism causes and inner workings (Unlike anything you have ever read!!)

  15. john wilson
    December 13, 2017 at 6:13 am

    Silencing documentaries is just another form of re-writing history or suppressing any kind of alternative news or opinion. John Pilger rightly complains, but on the whole he hasn’t don too badly as he is very well known and discussed, even on MSM (well, British MSM).
    The chicken story just illustrates how obsessed the West, and America and Britain can be when it comes to vilifying the enemy, real or imagined. I recall hearing various pundits in the Us and Britain mocking the Russian Mere space station when it was operational, but it never occurred to them to note what a remarkable achievement this was to have a space station functioning for ten years. The Americans didn’t have a space station and we British hadn’t even got any kind of rocket off into space, and still haven’t when Mere had already been in space for ten years. As we all know, the Russians together with the Syrian military and other regional allies have driven ISIS almost to extinction, but not a word from Western MSM about this achievement. My worry is not the contemporaneous history we know about that is being suppressed or manipulated, but what about the stuff that that has been kept secret and hidden from public view?

    • MEexpert
      December 13, 2017 at 3:57 pm

      “but it never occurred to them to note what a remarkable achievement this was to have a space station functioning for ten years.”

      Because, if the US couldn’t do it, it can’t be done. Britain is just a little poodle following its master. We are exceptional people. Only we can do exceptional things.

  16. December 13, 2017 at 5:02 am

    Such brave films are becoming an endangered species

  17. David G
    December 13, 2017 at 4:45 am

    Hurray for John Pilger.

    I love reading him on sites like CN, and catching him on RT, but I’ve never actually seen any of his films. Presumably at least some are available in some format?

    After reading this, I’d certainly like to see “The Quiet Mutiny”. Can anybody recommend any others?

    P.S. I *have* seen “The War Game”, as well as Peter Watkins’s other films “Culloden”, “Punishment Park”, and “Edvard Munch”. All absolutely distinctive and worth seeing. “Culloden” in particular kicks butt.

    • December 13, 2017 at 6:06 am

      David G

      Almost all my films are freely available on my website.
      Go directly to
      http://johnpilger.com/videos
      … and scroll down.

      JP

      • David G
        December 13, 2017 at 6:55 am

        Great, thanks!

        I’m honored by the reply.

      • jo6pac
        December 13, 2017 at 11:17 am

        Thanks

      • Skip Scott
        December 13, 2017 at 11:51 am

        Thank you John Pilger. You are one of my favorite journalists. I will view your films.

      • MEexpert
        December 13, 2017 at 3:51 pm

        Thanks, John. I will be watching them with great interest.

        I enjoy reading your articles. Please don’t stop. You do great work.

      • December 13, 2017 at 4:58 pm

        Holiday greetings to Mr. Pilger and readers of Consortium News.

        Thank you for your long dedicated effort on behalf of peace and truth, deservedly recognized and admired by men and women around the Earth. May we be so bold as to share a concept for a documentary film yourself – or perhaps other filmmakers who pass this way – might find of interest. The title of the conceptualized film is “Peace on Earth”. Today being December 13, twelve days before Christmas, makes the possibility of producing and opening “Peace on Earth” before Christmas Day seem improbable, but the conceptual film’s simplicity regarding production allows rapid editing, sound, etc. for presentation to humanity before December 25.

        The film concept or format specifics:
        Film length – 100 minutes – featuring solely raw human expression with unobtrusive background music
        Content – 50 testimonials of 2-minute duration, 25 men and 25 women from around the Earth, order of appearance being woman, man, woman, man, etc.on the question “What will it take to bring true and lasting peace on Earth?”

        We take the opportunity to share the idea here, Mr. Pilger, because we understand your ability and personal associations match the necessary requirements to accomplish “Peace on Earth” for worldwide opening inside the twelve days remaining before Christmas Day December 25, 2017. Given that many others who pass this way also possess the capacity for producing and releasing pre-Christmas Day, or know family or friends with such capability, our “Christmas Wish” is for somebody to make such a film – whether it be Mr. John Pilger, or thousands of men and women around the Earth united in the greatest moral cause in world history.

        Blessed are the peacemakers.

        • Sam F
          December 13, 2017 at 7:30 pm

          I would give the filmmaker more time, say a year after he begins, if film planning and production and editing is as complex as novel writing, which it must be.

          Reaching peace on earth requires control of the warmongers as well as resolution of underlying causes of war. So it is a very complex matter to preserve peace, and more complex to create the necessary institutions and culture. To get there from a particular point in history from a particular set of failed institutions and corrupted cultures is more complex yet. So it will take quite an analysis in advance, and quite a presentation.

          • Joe Average
            December 13, 2017 at 8:30 pm

            Whatever war I’ve looked at (by watching documentaries, reading books, articles, comments on the internet, etc) the underlying causes of ware can be boiled down to one single factor: money (more precisely: greed or the lust for money).

            Religious differences are used by those in power to divide people and to agitate against “the others”. The three religions Judaism, Islam and Christianity are considered Abrahamic religions. This implies that the Old Testament is part of their religion and this in turn includes The Ten Commandments. If everyone would remember and keep those ten rules, the powerful would have a hard time to order a military attack and by doing so violating the Commandments.

      • Lisa
        December 13, 2017 at 7:06 pm

        Thank you, John Pilger! So much to see on your website.
        There is only a trailer on the film “The Coming War on China”, the same trailer and some longer clips are available on Youtube.
        This great documentary was shown recently on Aljazeera. I reside in Sweden and could watch it, but how many Swedes follow this channel ? 1 in a 1000 is my optimistic guess. I caught only the second part but might find the first part too, among the past programs.

        In the beginning of the film the popular quote from George Washington is uttered by an American, as an excuse for the continuing armament : “If you want peace, prepare for war.” Well how long has US been preparing for war and how much peace have they achieved? I would suggest paraphrasing the quote as follows: “If you want peace, prepare for peace.” Naturally, it does not mean complete one-sided disarmament as a way to peace. There will always be disagreements and conflicts, which have to be solved somehow. Not necessarily with sable rattling.

        I enjoyed the scene where J.Pilger was questioning a US representative (cannot keep the names in my memory) about their military bases in Australia. Answer: “We don’t have any”. Pilger gives a list of the bases. “Oh, but they are not ours, we use the existing Australian bases.” ???? A hypocrite, if I ever saw one.

      • Superman
        December 14, 2017 at 4:18 am

        I have watched almost all of your videos and most of the ones mention in this article. Thank you for being one of the many who help me understand.

    • john wilson
      December 13, 2017 at 6:33 am

      You must be American, David G, because I have seen a number of John Pilger’s films over here in the UK. If I remember correctly, they are usually aired on channel 4. The trouble with these kind of documentaries is; even when they are shown on public TV most people just don’t have the brains to watch them. They are too busy watching soap operas or watching some fool so called celebraty people eat insects and grubs in a jungle somewhere. The proverb: “you can take a horse to the water but you can’t make it drink” comes to mind.

      • David G
        December 13, 2017 at 7:29 am

        Busted. I can’t leave my apartment without tripping over an Amber Wave of Grain.

        As John Pilger mentioned, Britain is one of the few countries with such programming on TV. The U.S. is definitely not one of the others. PBS network has “Frontline”, which probably shows some ok things, within corporate-approved limits; I don’t generally watch, but I think they’ve been heavy on Scary Putin recently.

        Funny this coming up now, because I had noticed that there have been a lot of documentaries reviewed in the NY Times the last few weeks, probably because it’s been the pre-Christmas box-office doldrums (now ended by Star Wars). These films get a token theatrical run before heading off to cable or streaming.

        My impression is that not many of them, as John Pilger put it, “go against the received wisdom”. But still, I’ll take this exchange as impetus to pay more attention to the documentaries that are out there.

      • Sam F
        December 13, 2017 at 7:53 pm

        There are also many people with families, love affairs, or heavy work commitments that permit only rest on weekends. And adults under 40 who haven’t yet read enough to realize how badly our government has behaved since WWII. So those of us who have time to read serious and sometimes depressing material, and put together a broad enough picture to read two or three levels further and reach conclusions, are a small minority. And even then there may need to be some personal involvement or experience of government wrongdoing that leads one to question further. Sometimes literature or a film can bring identification with a victim and provide that experience.

  18. Zachary Smith
    December 13, 2017 at 1:02 am

    I wish Mr. Pilger the best of luck, but as he surely knows better than I, it’s an uphill struggle. The Powers That Be will know of any documentary they don’t approve of very early on, for all communications are now wide open to Big Intelligence. We live in a Big Brother Fishbowl! They have many options at this early stage in buy-outs, blackmail, or simply stalling in many ways.

    The Media *hores they have in their employ will have plenty of time to compose scathing reviews. Finally, circulation will be a problem. For example:

    “Google Hiring 10,000 Reviewers To Censor YouTube Content”

    As an aside, I found that internet title using duckduckgo. Using the exact same search terms in a Google search turned up nothing!

    Google owns youtube, and they’re going to make sure you and I see only what they want us to see. There are a number of DVDs and books which I’d love to purchase, but they’re not available at any price. I know the videos exist because I have blurry VHS tapes I made of them when they were publicly broadcast. I know the books exist because I have references to them in some of my own texts, and because they’ve been reviewed in Europe.

    Das Volkswagenwerk und seine Arbeiter im Dritten Reich by Hans Mommsen

    I tried Google Translate to make sure I had the right book, and for some odd reason Google gave me this response: 403. That’s an error.

    Your client does not have permission to get URL / from this server.

    Odd, that. Anyhow, the book which has NOT been translated into English and presumably never will be is “Volkswagen and Its Workers During the Third Reich”. Reviewers say it tells of extraordinary cruelty at the Volkswagen facilities during WW2. But I won’t be reading it.

    More recently, I tried to buy “Journalists for Hire: How the CIA Buys the News” by Dr. Udo Ulfkotte only to have my check returned on account of the book being “unavailable”. A just-now search of booksellers for this 2016 book turned up two copies at Amazon UK for $1421.44. Now I wonder – who might be suppressing availablility of that one? I’d imagine the Media *hores I mentioned previously would be happier if it wasn’t generally known they were being paid to put their thumbs on the news/editorial/review scales.

    Suppression is easy – if you have influence and money. Even if an interesting documentary was somehow put on the internet for free download/viewing, you’ve got to get to the site where it is. I’ve been seeing more and more strange failures by Google to turn up things I’ve used them to locate previously.

    • Sam F
      December 13, 2017 at 8:53 am

      Yes, Google is systematically suppressing information and works as a political conspiracy against democracy. Google Books has been hiring the staff of copyright pirates who distribute “free” copies of books to destroy small publishers of dissident works, and the US courts block attempts to stop copyright piracy of dissident works.

      That the US government sponsors these totalitarian processes proves its abject corruption by money power. It is necessary to substantially restructure the federal government to restore and protect democracy, and likely that will result in a bloodbath in its future, the ultimate result of the corruption of democracy by money power.

    • Virginia
      December 13, 2017 at 12:38 pm

      I’ve been noticing strange things with Google, too. Today it’s trying to get me to sign in to “Google” simply to use the search engine on my Android. It succeeded in early dismantling the major search engine that came with the phone; that is, by using Chrome once, the other was completely disabled.

    • Joe Average
      December 13, 2017 at 8:12 pm

      You should use Google translate only and copy and paste the passages of interest.

      Regarding the book “Journalists for Hire: How the CIA Buys the News” you may try to order the book from hugendubel or thalia. Their pricing of this book is way more affordable than those collectors items from amazon. (I don’t know if they’ll sell and send books to the US).

      • Zachary Smith
        December 13, 2017 at 11:16 pm

        Thanks for the suggestions. I’m reluctant to order books from Europe, for the postage costs take my breath away. Regarding more ordinary books, I’ve found I’m almost always better off to pay a little more in the US. Once I got in contact with a bookseller in the Netherlands regarding an uncommon book he had, and he remarked that shipping costs to the US from that nation were much higher than they ought to be. For some reason shipping for CDs and Videos is more reasonable, and I’ve purchased them from Germany and Japan, among other places.

        • Peg
          December 15, 2017 at 8:45 pm

          The Book Depository in the UK will mail books anywhere in the world with no postage fee. Of course, they do not have everything, and rpices are slightly higher than Amazon, but definitely worth looking into.

  19. December 13, 2017 at 12:25 am

    John’s diatribe is fantastic. Spread the word about nuclear evil, folks. Robert Hunziker’s 2-part article in Dissident Voice is a must read also. I was floored by his report that the IOC has selected Japan as the site of the 2020 Olympics when the Daiichi nuclear disaster, which is in the Fukushima prefecture where those Olympics will be held, is not at all under control. Japan has passed police state laws preventing people from talking about it. Hospitals are banned from releasing information about radiation sickness. This is how far corporatists (which I equate with fascists) will go to protect a nuclear industry. It unites Russia and the United States! It’s against nature and humankind. Presumably, IOC members will be joining their precious athletes in Japan in 2020, where they’ll all be exposed to an environment that has experienced a nuclear meltdown. Those IOC members might deserve the exposure, but will the athletes? Will the unwitting attendees deserve the exposure?

  20. Joe Tedesky
    December 12, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    I often find myself fantasizing about a day when by some weird stroke of luck a documentary will make it on the air of every American citizens TV sets, a detailed drama showing to how the U.S. has waged war and destruction on all sorts of people and places in the world, and has taken away every American citizens rights, all for the price of a huge benefit for the few. A film so bold and informative, that every American will stand up for peace. Since I’m not addicted to playing the lottery I instead thought that I’d use that spent up energy on this wish.

    • Annie
      December 12, 2017 at 11:33 pm

      If the country voted Trump in, and the democrats chose Hillary Clinton as their presidential candidate, and the main focus of Trump’s win has been Russia-gate and a host of sexual allegations with little if any focus on policy what hope is there? If you go on Facebook you’ll see where the American mind is focused, the glorification of self, and issues of little substance. It reflects a culture that is shallow at best. If such a documentary as you suggest miraculously made it’s way to the mainstream media most would turn it off and cry blasphemy. There was an article on the California fires and I brought up the issue of climate change and the role it has played in the worst fires California has seen. Most denied that it played any role, and they did so with absolutely no understanding of the subject.

    • Pft
      December 13, 2017 at 12:28 am

      It wouldnt do any good as brainwashed and dumbed down as they are. In addition politics is the new religion and entirely faith based. Those who would believe it would just blame it on the other party (religion)

      Frankly, almost everyone woukd simply change the channel or stream something else. Its all over. Enjoy the show cause nothing is getting better

    • john wilson
      December 13, 2017 at 6:21 am

      You must be smoking some extra strong skag, Joe, to even be able to fantasize about such a wonderful dream. The trouble is, Joe, even if such a film were to be shown I doubt the American public would notice because they are so brain washed and conditioned the import of a documentary like this would just wash over their heads. Keep on dreaming, Joe.

    • Sam F
      December 13, 2017 at 8:43 am

      We may hope that such documentaries will be viewed outside the MSM, where such news and books are found. Pilger is right that the MSM propagandize that no one cares when in fact many do care. The US has totalitarian mass media working hard to deceive.

      But the change needed in the US to restore democracy and humanity cannot be done by merely showing and persuading people that change is needed. The bully class that controls all branches of government and mass media do not care in the least for humanity and democracy; they have absolute contempt and enmity for such expressions except as a medium of lies. For them money=power=virtue and nothing else. They are predators who respond only to force.

      The question is whether, and when, alternative media combined with public anger can ignite the necessary force.

      • Bob Van Noy
        December 13, 2017 at 10:48 am

        “The bully class that controls all branches of government and mass media do not care in the least for humanity and democracy; they have absolute contempt and enmity for such expressions except as a medium of lies.”

        Sadly, all to true Sam F. Because of our corruption, America is becoming isolated in the world and now the alternative media is the only source of communication. It will be necessary for those of us who for many years have been aware of the subterfuge to continue to add context and reference to the many problems ahead. Thank you Sam F. For your guidance and well measured thought. It is appropriate to thank John Pilger, Robert Parry and of course Joe for their clarity and service to Justice…

        • Virginia
          December 13, 2017 at 12:34 pm

          The big past time today in America is calumny — two of the major topics being President Trump and recently Ray Moore.

      • Joe Average
        December 13, 2017 at 7:42 pm

        The bully class knows that public anger will ignite and they’re already planning to fight the have-nots. It’s no coincidence that so many “surplus” military equipment landed in the hands of law enforcement.

        (Is the U.S. Military Planning to Take Over America?; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2JBCX1Na7k)

        Similar preparations can be seen all over Europe. The state of emergency law had been used in France for almost two years. It shall get (or got) replaced by a new anti-terror law that causes lots of head-aches for people concerned with civil liberties. The German military is preparing for urban warfare (http://www.pivotarea.eu/2017/10/26/german-armed-forces-open-part-of-their-new-urban-warfare-training-city/). Even more distressing is that the training center for the German military got the blessing of a priest (siding with the powerful and money changers).

      • maryam
        December 15, 2017 at 7:45 pm

        It’s more important that those who wish to view these documentary films are able to do so, rather than getting stuck at the argument that not enough people seem to be willing to watch them.

    • Dave P.
      December 13, 2017 at 2:11 pm

      Joe,
      Some of us get up in the morning everyday wishing that peace and reconciliation prevail in the World. Whenever – very rarely – news like that is on the front of a newspaper in the morning, some how the nervous system feels better. Even sometimes these various foreign funded fighting Islamic Jihadists groups want to sit down and talk with the Syrian or some other government, it feels good to think that some how reconciliation will come through. But some how the vast majority of the population has become immune to these type of feelings.

      May be it is because of what kind of atmosphere we grew up in young age. A person growing up in an environment of nature and crops around in the countryside – and no guns or violence – is conditioned to think more of peace and getting along than of violence!

    • MEexpert
      December 13, 2017 at 3:43 pm

      Amen!

    • Joe Tedesky
      December 13, 2017 at 4:39 pm

      To all of you who posted to my comment; I guess what I am referring to, is that something like a documentary or anything for that matter, would come along and alert the lazy American citizens on just how destructive our government honestly is. I picture a moment of truth hitting our nation’s citizens, as what happen in Germany at the end of WWII when German people were shown the ugliness of the Nazis over their treatment of minorities, and the Jewish population of that time.

      I’m not naïve enough to think this will ever happen, especially when the MSM is standing guard over our information that we people in the U.S. receive. I know all too well the power about the media’s collusion with the MIC and the CIA, so my wishes of the American people hearing the truth, is up against a terrible gatekeeper at best, if the truth is ever to be told.

      I only meant that a documentary such as we know John Pilger is capable of producing would be a welcome relief to see appear on our American TV sets. On the other hand maybe I should start playing the lotto, because the odds of me winning on a one dollar lotto ticket is probably a way better bet, than me waiting for the American MSM to show something such as a Pilger film that would pull back the curtain.

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