My Red Pill Moment
A Pill in the Lion's Paw
As I discussed in my post Fear of the Red Pill, the "red pill" is a metaphor for sociopolitical awakening. I have read and heard numerous accounts and testimonies from people who have "taken the red pill" and found them all illuminating. In turn, I think it is important for my readers to know about my experience, as it illustrates a useful and effective method for presenting others with the red pill/blue pill choice.
And it was absolutely critical that I was presented with a choice. If I had been merely challenged and preached to by someone who was red-pilled long before myself, I may well have rejected it as conspiracy theory nonsense. I was also presented with an easy topic, one that on the surface didn't challenge my world view, but was "merely" a question of science.
It was 2009 and I had made a group of new friends after moving to a new city. Among the group was a self-made man that we had nicknamed "The Lion" as a sort of jest about his peaceful nature. He hadn't been to college or enjoyed any formal education that I can recall, but he was remarkably well-informed about the world at large with a wealth of experience to draw from.
The Crack in the Dam
One night, after we had known each other for a while, the present started discussing toothpaste for some reason. Toothpaste. We had just eaten dinner and were sitting around the table and The Lion inserted an innocuous comment into the conversation: "You might want to consider trying one without fluoride." Without fluoride? I thought, but fluoride is good for your teeth!
"But fluoride is good for your teeth," I said aloud.
"Nah," he replied, "it's really not."
"That's absurd, everybody knows fluoride is good for you."
"Well," he said, "you're a smart guy. Why don't you look it up? Prove it to me."
And that was the beginning really, a seemingly inconsequential conversation about toothpaste. But it actually motivated me to take action. I thought, I will look it up, this is such a slam-dunk, I will get the evidence and show it to him. I had been challenged to show how smart I was and just to confirm what I already knew was true.
From a Drop to a Stream
I would prove my superiority. I didn't see it that way at the time, but looking back now, I think that is exactly what it was. I was blue-pilled, ensconced in a blue world surrounded by other blue-pilled and privileged prodigies who had never been encouraged to actually question anything they had been taught by the authority of the educational establishment. I was filled with arrogance and hubris.
So I looked it up. It quickly became clear the issue wasn't as clear-cut as I had thought. Even at that time, the fluoride "conspiracy theory" had already flourished on the internet. It was everywhere. Initially that explained it for me, my friend had fallen for a conspiracy theory. But to prove it to him, I had to disprove the conspiracy theory, which was compromised of many components.
Fluoride is a neurotoxin. Fluoride is not actually beneficial for bones. Fluoride is an industrial waste product. Water fluoridation in municipal water supplies is the intentional infliction of brain damage and dumbing down of the population. It was a fascinating puzzle and I was confident that my accepted truth would prevail, it was just a question of disproving the conspiracy claims.
After a few weeks, I had to admit defeat. I couldn't disprove much of anything. There were nuances for sure, like I couldn't know for certain why it was being put in the water supply, but the research literature was clear - even back then. Non-naturally occurring fluoride could not be disproven as a neurotoxin. Comparative studies on tooth enamel didn't support the claims it was good for your teeth. The fluoride additive was demonstrably a byproduct of phosphate production.
From a Stream to a River
I didn't want to believe it. Truth be told, I still don't. It paints an ugly picture. But that isn't the way my brain works, I had "discovered" the facts for myself. It was no longer an issue of hearsay or conspiracy theory. I couldn't say why it was happening, but the preponderance of evidence made it impossible to disprove the "conspiracy theory".
Today, the fluoridation of the water supply is still ongoing. Primarily because its proponents demand proof of neurotoxicity while fallaciously claiming to provide proof that it is not. Proving something however is not the same as disproving something. Disproving something is the gold standard of scientific excellence and I couldn't disprove fluoride is dangerous to human health.
Things are considered true not because they can be proven, but because they cannot be disproven.
By going down the toothpaste trail, I had disproved my own belief about how the world worked. More importantly perhaps, I had disproved my belief in my own infallibility, in my "superior" knowledge and the validity of my own unquestioning world-view. Most importantly, I had learned humility in a manner that was neither humiliating nor shaming.
I had been humbled by toothpaste. This was important because I didn't understand this as my friend proving me wrong. In fact, I was thankful that he had steered me in the right direction. When I told him I had looked it up and wasn't able to disprove it, he wasn't happy for either of us. There was nothing to be happy about really, it was merely a confirmation of comradery in a world gone mad.
From a River to a Flood
And as I mentioned in Fear of the Red Pill, this one instance resulted in a domino effect of questioning and reevaluating the world. I continued with the fluoride issue for a while, following the money, following the people involved, trying to figure out why. The next step was aspartame, then monosodium glutamate, then... then... then... all the way up the food chain, so to speak.
Then one day, I looked out at the world around me and it was a completely different place. It was no longer the safe, well-intentioned world of my earlier blue-pilled existence. History was not what I had been taught it was, nor was government, the education system, the food I ate or the air I breathed. It was almost too much, the temptation to turn my back on it all and hide in the ivory tower was almost irresistible. The blue pill was beckoning. It would have been easy. Easier than this.
But in the end, I couldn't go back to sleep. I learned to be very careful with handing out knowledge that directly contradicts how people want to believe the world works. Some people take it very badly. I have, for my part, decided to try and wake up as many people as possible so that we don't all sleepwalk into the maws of planned obsolescence. But it takes time and finesse, something I am still learning.
... is what you are reading here. There is no happy end in sight, but things are not nearly as grim as they were some years ago. Today there is at least hope that the catastrophic course humanity has been lead down can be redirected onto a path that is positive and beneficial for our species as a whole. The door is open to a new beginning if we make the journey together.
Shot with a golden arrow,
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