The Cult of Antismoking

I seem to have an aversion to cults. I’ve never signed up to any of them. And I’ve come across quite a few. I think Transcendental Meditation (the thing the Beatles signed up for) was probably the first I noticed. But there were plenty more. Scientology. The Moonies. Subud. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Heaven’s Gate. The Reverend Jim Jones. They’ve been popping up all over the place the past 40  or 50 years, it seems.

It’s very often just their names that turn me off. I had a very good friend of mine join something called The Emissaries of the Divine Light. And, well, sorry, but I sort of knew immediately that there was no way I was going to be able to take something called that in the least bit seriously. It may as well have been the Church of the Dancing Potatoes. I thought he’d lost his mind. And I used to think he was a very logical kind of guy.

But if it’s not the name I trip over, it’s the sudden realisation that underlying the cult in question is some sort of horrible barking madness, some terrifying irrationality, or some piece of monstrous idealism.

And my encounters with these irrational cults have always had the effect on me of prompting me to try to become more rational, more commonsensical, more grounded in reality. And, in my case, that’s resulted in me spending more and more time on mathematics and physics, because they are supremely rational. Or at least not manifestly insane.

And I guess that these days I think that if whisky and cigarettes can’t cure the underlying malady of the soul that leads people into these cults, then probably nothing ever will.

But the cults aren’t always run by Indian gurus with long hair and beards. That’s a dead give-away. Some of them are run by very respectable-looking people.

I’ve been reading The Believers by Adam LeBor. It’s about Bernie Madoff. And it starts out:

The simplest way to understand how Bernard Madoff persuaded thousands of investors to pour billions of dollars into his investment scam is to think of it as a cult. The cult of Madoff followed all the necessary rules. It was founded and run by a godlike figure whose decisions could never be questioned or challenged. Its devotees believed themselves to be part of an elect group, with access to a secret credo denied the rest of the world… The secret knowledge was his arcane investment strategy, couched in pseudo-scientific terms that could never be properly understood but which members believed would provide them with eternal wealth…

The cult of Madoff was astonishingly successful. Bernard Madoff was a financial criminal genius who ran the largest and most enduring fraud in modern history. His elaborately engineered scam, investigators believe, lasted for decades. It reached from Wall Street and across America, to Europe and further East.

Madoff wore Saville Row suits, and he had a number of houses and yachts, and he was married with children, and he helped create the NASDAQ computer trading system, and he was very well respected, and he circulated in the highest social circles, including royalty. He was an ultimate insider. And nobody – or hardly anybody – could even begin to believe that he was doing anything fraudulent. It was quite literally unthinkable. And yet he was actually running a $65 billion pyramid scheme, by simply offering investors a relatively modest 10-12% annual return on their money. People fell over themselves trying to lodge their money with him. Yet none of them could figure out how he kept on producing the same return, regardless of the market conditions. Until 10 December 2008, when they all found out.

It’s people like this who are far more dangerous than any long-haired Indian guru. They’re rich and they’re extremely respectable and absolutely everybody thinks the world of them, even though they can’t quite understand their impenetrable mathematics.

And I think that the cult of antismoking is an even bigger scam, that’s been running for far longer, and has made far more money for its devotees, mostly in the form of taxes. And it gets away with it because its high priests are ultra-respectable doctors and scientists who are, if anything, far more respectable than Bernie Madoff ever could have been.

Yet all the hallmarks of a cult are there. The cult of antismoking also has its charismatic gurus, past and present. In Britain Sir Richard Doll was for many years the main man. And its doctrines are as unquestionable as any of Madoff’s decisions. And it also has its own vast pseudo-scientific literature, mostly statistical jiggery-pokery of one sort or other. Nobody really understands it, just like nobody really understood Madoff’s investment strategy. Instead they take it all on faith, just like Madoff’s investors.

Dr W, who I met back in the 1960s, was quite a big wheel in the cult. I didn’t know it was a cult back then. I just thought that the joyless Dr W was a one-off, and borderline insane in his hatred of smoking. There was something profoundly irrational about his attitude. It was some sort of a weird belief system. But Dr W wore a pinstripe suit, and attended conferences at the BMA. He didn’t look like he was a dangerous lunatic, even though I knew he was, because I’d seen it at first hand, watching him rant like an evangelical preacher against the “filthy, filthy, filthy” habit.

His madness is everywhere now. Millions of people now believe that smoking is the cause of every disease known to man, and that tobacco is more addictive than heroin, and that tobacco smoke can go through walls and along telephone wires, and that even the sight of anyone smoking can cause heart attacks.

But relatively few people can see just how utterly insane it all is. They trust the doctors and the scientists. They can no more bring themselves to question their integrity than Madoff’s customers could entertain the idea that he was a crook.

There are a lot of people these days that have been emboldened to question the cult of global warming (and that is a cult too), and to regard it as the greatest scam in human history. But the same people very often aren’t able to spot the pseudo-science of antismoking. Somehow, sceptics as they might be about global warming, they just can’t quite get themselves to entertain the idea the antismoking campaigns are also part of an equally irrational cult.

And yet these days the cult of antismoking is doing far more damage than Bernie Madoff ever did, or even the environmentalist global warming alarmists. For the cult of antismoking is not just extracting billions of dollars in taxes from the pockets of smokers everywhere in the world, but it’s also destroying thousands of businesses, and shattering communities, and turning friends against each other, and even killing people. It’s become a Godzilla monster, trampling across the entire globe.

People are going to wake up to this rampaging monster. There are growing signs that this is beginning to happen. And they’re going to start questioning the pseudo-science all the way back to its Nazi, eugenic origins. And they’re not going to care if its high priests are senior doctors with Sir in front of their names. And they’re going to wonder how they – and so many millions of other people – ever came to swallow its absurd and destructive doctrines.

 

About Frank Davis

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25 Responses to The Cult of Antismoking

  1. Frank you NAILED IT!

    There are growing signs that this is beginning to happen. And they’re going to start questioning the pseudo-science all the way back to its Nazi, eugenic origins. And they’re not going to care if its high priests are senior doctors with Sir in front of their names. And they’re going to wonder how they – and so many millions of other people – ever came to swallow its absurd and destructive doctrines.

    Ive been saying the same thing,when the nazis opened up the insane shs/ets claims it left the field wide open to question all their claims all the way back to the very begining. As we figured,it was a maze of even more statistical chicanery……….We ask the simple question of PROOF is Truth…….

    What did they do,they created their own truth via Epidemiology. It makes one simply wonder if epidemiology wasnt created simply for the purpose to pursue anti-tobacco. I would really like to know where epidemniology actually began and the political reasons behind it as we had always required PROOF until epidemiology came along. I heard even the Global Warming nutz were utilizing epidemiology as a new way to prove man-made global warming exists…….

    Then I read about the Precautionary rule here on your blog…….jesus how these environmentalist green wacked socialists have brought us and the scientific process to the verge of societal collapse in belief of anything.

    Perhaps a series of how the nazis have used epidemiology and other changes in world views like the precautionary principle have been created to pursue political goals as in the new world order thats quickly unfolding before our eyes. Smoking bans,environmentalism etc,it all plays for the same goals a socialist united world. The EU is its testing ground………thats why they wont let it fail no matter how much they use Madoffs mathematics to keep it alive. Only one outcome will be arrived at from keeping it alive,total economic and political collapse worldwide I dare say.

  2. waltc says:

    It seems the earmark of a cult is the demand that its adherents believe three impossible things before breakfast. And the wonder is: they will! Group Psychology 101. Nor can I think of a cult whose impossible belief systems haven’t led to evil. From Salem on up (and, if I had more history stored at the top of my brain, likely “on down.”) .

    Skipping the obvious (Nazism, Maoism), I thought about other kinds of cultic beliefs. In America, about…20-some years ago, a township became convinced that its day care proprietors were abusing the children in improbably lurid ways. They called in some Experts who really quite literally brainwashed the kids who came up with the wanted tales, including the testimony that the teachers had hung the kids naked from the trees in front of the facility on a fairly regular basis. And this was believed! Even though the trees faced a well-trafficked street and somebody, passing by, might have noticed– hey, lookit, Ma– kids grow on trees. But all of it was retrospectively swallowed and the innocent teachers got carted off to jail and for very significant terms. One of the prosecutors was Janet Reno, who later became Clinton’s attorney general. And the story wasn’t busted for at least a dozen years.

    It’s hard to draw the line between cultic beliefs and mass hysteria. But smoking/smoke phobia has clearly crossed the line. (30 minute heart attacks; thirdhand smoke, life-threatening seepage through solid apartment walls.)

    • mikef317 says:

      waltc: There were many “satanic cult” cases in the U.S. Without minimizing abuse that really does occur, this was totally nuts. A child would testify that a cat was slaughtered on the altar of a church, yet no one at the church noticed any blood. (Tidy devil worshipers cleaned up after desecrating the alter?) Children from a day care center would say they were flown to another city and molested, but there were no airline tickets. If I recall correctly, at least one kid was molested on the moon.

      The scary thing is that people were tried in court and convicted of these “crimes” by juries of their “peers.”

      There’s also the weird notion that children don’t lie. (Were these people never children?) I lied when I was a kid, but like most kids I wasn’t very good at it. As with many things, lying is a skill that takes years of practice to master.

      There are many books on the satanic cult scare. The link (to Amazon U.S.) has a “look inside” feature that lets you read some of the text. http://www.amazon.com/Satans-Silence-Ritual-Making-American/dp/0595189555/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1332745790&sr=1-3#reader_0595189555

  3. Rose says:

    “From Salem on up (and, if I had more history stored at the top of my brain, likely “on down.”) .

    That seems to have been caused by James 1st as well.

    Basic Concept: The Salem Witch Trials

    “Witchcraft, if not a common phenomenon, was, according to common acceptance, an unfortunate, periodic harassment in the colonies. A number of respected divines had addressed the subject in various formal discourses.

    King James I of England was better known as the author of “Daemonology” (Demonology) than he was as the “executive producer” of the King James Version of the Bible that bore his imprimatur.”
    http://www.distancelearningassociates.com/eng2327/BC-WitchTrials.html

    Daemonologie (full name “Daemonologie, In Forme of a Dialogie, Diuided into three Bookes. By James Rx”) is the book written and published in 1597 by King James VI of Scotland (later also James I of England). In the book he approves and supports the practise of witch hunting. He starts the book: “The fearefull aboundinge at this time in this countrie, of these detestable slaves of the Devil, the Witches or enchaunters, hath moved me (beloved reader) to dispatch in post, this following treatise of mine (…) to resolve the doubting (…) both that such assaults of Satan are most certainly practised, and that the instrument thereof merits most severely to be punished.”

    He was influenced by his personal involvement in the North Berwick witch trials.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daemonologie

    King James I: Demonologist

    “Even by the standards of his age,” King James VI of Scotland, later James I of England, stood out as a deeply superstitious man, obsessed with the occult.
    Before his reign, witchcraft persecutions had been rare in Britain. But that all changed in 1590 when James personally oversaw the trials by torture for around seventy individuals implicated in the North Berwick Witch Trials, the biggest Scotland had known. Their alleged crime? Raising a storm which nearly sank James’ ship when he sailed home from Norway with his new bride, Anne of Denmark. The trial resulted in possibly dozens of people burned at the stake, although the precise number is unknown.
    In 1597, James published Daemonologie, his rebuttal of Reginald Scot’s skeptical work, The Discoverie of Witchcraft, which questioned the very existence of witches. Daemonologie was an alarmist book, presenting the idea of a vast conspiracy of satanic witches threatening to undermine the nation.
    In 1604, only one year after James ascended to the English throne, he passed his new Witchcraft Act, which made raising spirits a crime punishable by execution.”
    http://www.wondersandmarvels.com/2010/04/king-james-i-demonologist.html

    Counterblaste – 1604

    “Shall wee, I say, that have bene so long civill and wealthy in Peace, famous and invincible in Warre, fortunate in both, we that have bene ever able to aide any of our neighbours (but never deafed any of their eares with any of our supplications for assistance) shall we, I say, without blushing, abase our selves so farre, as to imitate these beastly Indians, slaves to the Spaniards, refuse to the world, and as yet aliens from the holy Covenant of God? Why doe we not as well imitate them in walking naked as they doe? in preferring glasses, feathers, and such toyes, to golde and precious stones, as they do? yea why do we not denie God and adore the Devill, as they doe?”
    http://www.laits.utexas.edu/poltheory/james/blaste/blaste.html

    “making so one canker or venime to eate out another”

    “, and yet it makes a kitchin also oftentimes in the inward parts of men, soiling and infecting them, with an unctuous and oily kinde of Soote, as hath bene found in some great Tobacco takers, that after their death were opened.”

    • Rose says:

      There seems to be a dark and festering hole in our shared history, which leaks down the years and needs to be excised.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Daemonologie (full name “Daemonologie, In Forme of a Dialogie, Diuided into three Bookes. By James Rx”) is the book written and published in 1597 by King James VI of Scotland (later also James I of England).

      I didn’t know that. It makes me wonder whether his Counterblaste was in some way connected to his Daemonologie, and being antismoking is a form of superstition.

      I can sort of half see it: If people believe in spirits, ghosts, magic, witches, etc, then it’s dead easy for them to believe that tobacco smoke has supernatural properties.

      • Rose says:

        Frank

        I’d give Counterblaste another read through with that in mind.

        He seems most worried by a Pagan practice being popular in a Christian country and attempts some very strange pseudoscientific reasoning to argue that it has no benefit medical or otherwise and grasping at straws, classes smoking under the sin of drunkeness.

        The Puritan migrants to America seem to have taken it more seriously than we did.

        “In the 1640’s Connecticut also banned public smoking and required smokers to obtain a smoker’s permit. These laws generally were ignored, however, particularly after the clergy took up the habit; Massachusetts soon repealed its prohibitions, the Connecticut ones eventually faded away, and smoking vanished as an issue for the next one hundred and fifty years.

        It resurfaced in 1798, when Dr. Benjamin Rush published an essay called “Observations upon the influence of the Habitual use of Tobacco upon Health, Morals and Property.” Smoking and tobacco chewing were harmful to the mouth, stomach, and nervous system, Dr. Rush observed, in addition to being generally filthy and expensive habits.

        The doctor went on to draw a direct cause-and-effect relationship between tobacco use and drunkenness, a correlation that would persist throughout subsequent antismoking campaigns.”
        http://tobaccodocuments.org/ti/TIFL0069563-9578.html?zoom=750&images_per_page=1&ocr_position=above_foramatted&start_page=5

        “German opposition to smoking, chewing, and snorting the dried leaf of nicotiana dates from the early seventeenth century, when smoking was introduced into German-speaking territories by Dutch and English soldiers fighting in the Thirty Years’ War (1618-48)”

        “One of the interesting things about these early antitobacco associations was their opposition to alcohol as well as tobacco. The situation was not unlike that in the United States, where “temperance” was intended to apply not just to alcohol but to other vices–idleness, gaming, and swearing, for example.

        The founders of the Dresden-based Antitobacco League were almost without exception advocates of alcohol abstinence; the same was true of Hanover’s association, whose very name proclaimed the link (Alkohol- und Tabakgegnerverein = Association of Foes of Alcohol and Tobacco). American-style prohibition was applauded by many racial hygienists, who feared the power of drink to corrupt the German germ plasm.”
        http://toxicology.usu.edu/endnote/Proctor-Nazi-war-tobacco.htm

        • beobrigitte says:

          Rose, this is priceless!!! Thank you very much!!

          The founders of the Dresden-based Antitobacco League were almost without exception advocates of alcohol abstinence; the same was true of Hanover’s association, whose very name proclaimed the link (Alkohol- und Tabakgegnerverein = Association of Foes of Alcohol and Tobacco). American-style prohibition was applauded by many racial hygienists, who feared the power of drink to corrupt the German germ plasm.”
          http://toxicology.usu.edu/endnote/Proctor-Nazi-war-tobacco.htm

          Growing up I often heard this little proverb:
          ‘Alkohol und Nikotin
          rafft die halbe Menschheit hin.
          Ohne Alkohol und Rauch
          stirbt die andere Haelfte auch’

          (unpoetical translated)
          Alcohol and nicotin
          kills half of the human population.
          Without Alcohol and smoke
          the other half dies as well.

          (Alkohol- und Tabakgegnerverein = Association of Foes of Alcohol and Tobacco. I would have translated Alkohol- und Tabakgegnerverein ” Association of opponents to alcohol and tobbacco).

          Nowadays we just call these people “Spass-bremsen” (fun-stoppers)

      • Frank do you remember the church of smoke that started out a few years back…………

        I got Cherokee in me so I gather I can start a church of smoke and have public meetings in our church while serving fine religous steak dinners and music along with religous wines of our selection all while practicing the religion of smoke!

        • beobrigitte says:

          I got Cherokee in me so I gather I can start a church of smoke and have public meetings in our church while serving fine religous steak dinners and music along with religous wines of our selection all while practicing the religion of smoke!

          Your are not by any chance a descendant of Sequoya? The CoS (Church of Smoke) will find me a humble servant; doing everything I can to keep the devil-antismokers and their lies away.

        • reinholdfrombavaria says:

          I’d like to become one of the Church’s cup-bearing altar-boys.

        • No, I have no sequoya in me that I could ever find. Im still trying to find exactly what happened in the 1830s that caused my whole family to pack up and leave nashville tenn back then. But the way Ive heard it a few of my 4th great grandpas sons were married to cherokee squaws and then Andy Jackson was busy with the trail of tears campaign marching them to oklahoma terroritory. Then in 1895 my great grandpa went out to California and came back by way of the Indian Nations in Oklahoma and he traded for my great grandmother another cherokee squaw. My grandpa was born from that union along with 5 aunts and uncles. I guess the whole family would be called ”SQUAW MEN” back then. Oh and my second cousin up in virginia,she lives right a civilwar battlefield. She is 88 and still smokes 2 packs a day……she is who told me the family history and has all the old family bible along with photos. It appears we all fought for the Confederacy as my great great grandpas wedding picture from 1867 was in his confederate officers uniform.

        • Rose says:

          Harley

          Now that is interesting.
          As I’ve mentioned before, when I was a very little girl I used to sit infront of the old black and white tv in my toy feather headress and watch Cowboy and Indian films, waiting for the Good Guys to win, as they surely must.

          Problem was, being a little English girl, nobody had told me which ones the Good Guys were supposed to be, so I could only judge both sides by their actions.
          After a long time in which the Good Guys never won, I finally came to the conclusion that the films were rigged by the people who made them.

          But even now, after all this time, I am still convinced that the Good Guys must eventually win.

  4. smokingscot says:

    Hope you don’t mind – too much.

    Six years ago on 26th March. Scottish Ban. And yes some question… even in Scotland.

    Didn’t quite make it to Google, but what the heck… Bing’ll do. Page 1 #1

    http://www.bing.com/search?q=6th+anniversary+of+the+smoking+ban+in+scotland&qs=n&form=QBLH&filt=all&pq=6th+anniversary+of+the+smoking+ban+in+scotland&sc=0-16&sp=-1&sk=

  5. Rose says:

    James 1st rewrites the medical history of what appears to be smallpox in order to condemn Tobacco and establish a “smoking related link”.

    “The Spanish inadvertently owe much of their success in conquering the Aztecs and Incas in Mexico in the 16th century to smallpox. Unlike the Spanish, the native Indians had no immunity to the disease, having never encountered it before.

    It wiped out huge numbers of them. A century later the North American Indians suffered a similar devastation.”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/empire_seapower/smallpox_01.shtml

    “For Tobacco being a common herbe, which (though under divers names) growes almost every where, was first found out by some of the barbarous Indians, to be a Preservative, or Antidot against the Pockes, a filthy disease, whereunto these barbarous people are (as all men know) very much subject, what through the uncleanly and adust constitution of their bodies, and what through the intemperate heate of their Climat: so that as from them was first brought into Christendome, that most detestable disease, so from them likewise was brought this use of Tobacco, as a stinking and unsavorie Antidot, for so corrupted and execrable a Maladie, the stinking Suffumigation whereof they yet use against that disease, making so one canker or venime to eate out another.”

    “With the report of a great discovery for a Conquest, some two or three Savage men, were brought in, together with this Savage custome. But the pitie is, the poore wilde barbarous men died, but that vile barbarous custome is yet alive, yea in fresh vigor: so as it seemes a miracle to me, how a custome springing from so vile a ground, and brought in by a father so generally hated, should be welcomed upon so slender a warrant.

    For if they that first put it in practise heere, had remembred for what respect it was used by them from whence it came, I am sure they would have bene loath, to have taken so farre the imputation of that disease upon them as they did, by using the cure thereof.”
    http://www.laits.utexas.edu/poltheory/james/blaste/blaste.html

    “I am sure they would have bene loath, to have taken so farre the imputation of that disease upon them as they did, by using the cure thereof”

  6. smokingscot says:

    Frank

    Wrong click I’m afraid. It was the start of BST that year. It made sense to a government headed by a guy called Jack. They were told we’d forget about it within a year and the next election was due in May 2007. We didn’t and we have not.

    Thank you and all the others who clicked on the link. Google finally got it’s act together and it’s now page 1 number 1 there too.

    http://www.google.com/webhp?complete=0&hl=en#complete=0&hl=en&source=hp&q=6th+anniversary+of+the+smoking+ban+in+scotland&gbv=2&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=a1efaedc2c0293f4&biw=1016&bih=395

    Deeply satisfying to see the NHS media rubbish has had to take 2nd place.

  7. beobrigitte says:

    Frank, this is brilliant!!! You hit the nail on it’s head!!! CULT of any-cr*p, CULT of ANTI-SMOKING.

    It’s very often just their names that turn me off. I had a very good friend of mine join something called The Emissaries of the Divine Light.

    Names never put me off – most of the time I found them just entertaining. My (almost) instant departure resulted from:
    “Hmmm, sounds interesting, but what about the bits that seem a little “odd” somehow?”
    “There are no ‘odd’ bits”
    “Yes there are!!! What if I really do not agree with XXXX method?”
    “You have to trust…..”
    “Fuck off, then.”

  8. jaxthefirst says:

    I love the sound of the Church of the Dancing Potatoes!! Where do I sign up?

  9. smokervoter says:

    In my formative years I only tended to get involved with these cults as a result of chasing a pretty girl.

    I’ll never forget EST, the Werner Erhard cult. A very pretty girl who I’d just meet invited me to join her at an EST initiation talk and I of course accepted.

    The meeting began with some guy outlining a myriad of life’s problems, none of which I had or could even relate to. And he had the hallowed solution to them all at his fingertips. He said that it was critical to give him our undivided attention and forbade anyone to leave during his talk, even to use the bathroom and he forbade smoking. This was back in the golden days of public smoking.

    I kept trying to make eye contact with the lovely young lady but she was staring at the speaker like he was God himself. And I became more irritated by the minute as the whole thing rolled on interminably.

    When he finally granted a break in the action he asked for some feedback. I told him in no uncertain terms ‘Sayonara Guru Boy’. I was the only one in the room of about 30 who reacted negatively.

    Outside over a cigarette, I did however manage to get my love interest’s phone number and made a date with her. She apparently liked self-contented rebels just a bit more than control freak lifestyle evangelicals.

  10. jaxthefirst says:

    Just as an aside, Frank, and completely off-topic – did you hear on the news today that the Health pundits are predicting that a staggering one in five children will be diagnosed with some form of cancer before they reach the age of 14? If this turns out to be a correct figure (and I appreciate that, as so often in the past, it may never materialise in “real” cancer cases), then I wonder what they’re going to blame it on. Bearing in mind that around 13 or 14 is the age at which most teenagers start experimenting with smoking and drinking, they can’t blame it on that, because these are figures for children up to that age, not after it.

    Ineed, the fact that these childhood cancer rates have been rising in almost direct correlation with the diminishing levels of environmental tobacco smoke around them – and looks set to continue to do so – seems to add yet more weight to the (Shock! Horror!) indications that environmental tobacco smoke may actually have a preventative role in childhood cancers. No doubt this inconvenient indication will join the other elephant in the corner of the room, i.e. that of the similar, almost exact, correlation between the “obesity epidemic” and the decline in the overall rates of smoking.

  11. Pingback: Magical Thinking | Frank Davis

  12. Sorry for going totally off topic Frank, but I know this was brought up on a different comment section here.
    Anyone outside the US that can no longer follow the comments in Siegel’s blog, read here: http://support.google.com/blogger/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2402711 and particularly this paragraph that lets you get around the problem (I don’t know how long this solution will last) :

    Q. Can users outside of the United States still access the service’s .com domains?
    A. Yes, we allow anyone to view the .com version of a Blogger blog by typing: http://%5Bblogname%5D.blogspot.com/ncr – which always goes to the .com version of the blog. The “no country redirect” (ncr) will temporarily prevent Blogger from redirecting readers to the local version of the blog.

    And this applies to any blogspot blog not just Siegel’s. CAGE’s for instance also runs on blogspot.

    As for the reasons and consequences of such a decision from Google, I will leave this for another discussion. Perhaps Frank would like to elaborate on it on a separate post about future internet ”censorship”.

    Iro

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