Who’s afraid of the big bad Wolfe?

Fringe health and well-being guru David ‘Avocado’ Wolfe is coming to Australia and surprise, surprise there are two separate Change.org petitions going around calling for him to be banned. One of the petitions is addressed to the Hon. Peter Dutton and claims that Wolfe ‘represents a danger to the Australian community, and the health of children and adults alike, due to his extreme views…we request his visa be revoked on theses [sic] grounds under Public Interest Criteria 4001’. The other petition is addressed to the Rendezvous Hotel in Perth who are hosting a conference at which Wolfe is scheduled to appear, in an attempt to get the venue to cancel the event.

Of course the petitioners are well within their rights to circulate a petition and some argue that this sort of action is evidence of people exercising their own free speech in calling for Wolfe to be banned, but I argue that this is not the case. The spirit of free speech is that of open enquiry, a free market of ideas, wherein everyone gets their say. Bad ideas can be ridiculed and contested, and good ideas honed by argument and free thought. What is tragic is that people who are members of a society that is the product of enlightenment philosophy, are only too willing to try and ban people from speaking. You often hear these types say ‘I believe in free speech, except for this instance…’, trouble is you either believe in free speech, which includes speech by people you hate or disagree with, or you don’t.

When people try to come in between a person’s free expression and their intended audience by way of petitions calling for speakers to be banned from venues or even from countries, they are acting in a way that is the antithesis of an open spirit of enquiry. John Stuart Mill, a philosopher of liberty, spoke against this sort of censorious behaviour when he described the actions of people who believe they know best which opinions should be expressed in public. He derided ‘the assumption to decide that question for others, without allowing them to hear what can be said on the contrary side.’

In other words people who try and stop others hearing a certain speaker are speech censors, and anti-free speech. It’s one thing to disagree with David Wolfe, but quite another to decide on behalf of the broader community that nobody should have a chance to listen to him for themselves.

Critics of Wolfe say that his health and wellness claims are not backed up by scientific evidence, and he has been known to be outspoken against vaccinations as well as touting ‘alternative’ cancer treatments. It’s understandable that many people are against the idea of him speaking publicly, and personally I think he’s a bit of a quack. But even if Wolfe is the worst person on earth, what could be a better way of counteracting what he has to say than holding your own Wolfe debunking event, writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, or making use of any other form of public platform to express your disagreement with his ideas?

If you are that worried about people being taken in by his alternative views, then why not stand outside his event and hand out flyers to attendees of his conference or stick up some posters? These means of countering Wolfe’s views are respectful of free speech and the free market of ideas, rather than patronising the general public with the belief that they must be protected from ‘dangerous’ ideas.

Not only is censorious behaviour anti-free speech, it is also counterproductive. In the age of the internet, banning a speaker has little effect on curtailing the spread of their ideas. The petition against Wolfe that is doing the rounds will only serve to give him more publicity, and it won’t stop anyone from easily accessing his work online. As the man himself has said “sane and rational people understand that censorship leads to tyranny and this is a free country and freedom shall prevail.”

Defending free speech means supporting the right of everyone to express themselves, even those you totally disagree with. It’s one thing to disagree with Wolfe’s beliefs or his health advice, but quite another to decide for other people that they should too. Freedom means being able to reject mainstream medical advice if you want to, or believe the earth is flat if that tickles your fancy. Why must it be decided by any other human authority that certain beliefs or attitudes are verboten?

Banning of speakers may seem reasonable when it happens to somebody you abhor, and you may well go along with the idea by signing a petition designed to shut them up. But when this kind of censoriousness becomes normalised, then what’s to stop a group of people campaigning and succeeding having a speaker banned that you support and admire? Currently both petitions to have David Wolfe banned have less than 600 signatures combined. Let’s hope it stays that way.

This article was also published by The Spectator Australia March 8, 2017.

76 Comments on "Who’s afraid of the big bad Wolfe?"

  1. It is funny how people want to ban a hippie like this from speaking or the Red Pill, but are more than happy for Islam to come here.
    The most regressive, anti-free speech (or free-anything for that matter) on the planet. That ACTUALLY kills people.

    • This conversation would not exist if a certain journalist had not been convicted … so what is your 18c point Jesse ?

    • I don’t recall mentioning 18C in my comment above Malcolm. If you are asking in general I despise 18C and the blasphemy laws.
      Restriction on speech is a hallmark of Totalitarianism. In Australia every year we seem to be seeing more leftist radicals and more totalitarian tendencies.

    • The problem l have 18 c has worked very well since introduce some 40 years ago particular in a multicultural society where we have lots of minoritys. Tell me what is it you can’t say ps I notice you did not addressed the fact of a particular journalist conviction ….you guys never do.

    • “You guys”? You mean free-thinkers I presume. Or in leftard lingo xenophobes, homophobes, islamaphobes and mysogynists (despite usually having no basis in reality).
      18C works well only for identitarian brainwashed slaves of the State. As do the blasphemy laws. Two recent examples of non-slaves being villified under these totalitarian measures are the students in SE QLD and the Bendigo beheading with Blair Cottrell.
      Without the freedom to think and speak your mind completely and without the threat of State is to be enslaved. If that means saying “mean things” about ethnic minorities then said minorities can easily counter said statements.
      If you cannot get such a simple idea as the freedom to speak your mind that is not my issue mate. It’s yours. Just as offence is taken- not given.

    • Jesse Bell unfortunately free speech is something we do not have in Australia. We are not America we have no first Amendment nor a bill of rights. The right to public expression can be and is routinely regulated depending on need, politics and public safety. As to saying we have anti blasphemy laws I do not believe there is any on the books as no government can legislate to implement or direct as to religious belief or worship. I am happy to be proved wrong if you can list the name or section of a law.

    • Jesse Bell on 18c and the QUT case, I am not sure if you are fully aware of the facts. Yes the process these gentleman went through was wrong, however the section was not to blame. Rather the fact that the individual did not like a comment attributed to her. The QUT case was never ever going to be successful if you read the case law. The process is then a part of the very democracy and freedoms you claim to cherish and protect. Everyone, even if they have no chance of success, can seek remedy in the courts. Sad but true. Yes I am left thinking but at least I know the full facts of the law.

    • Aaron Griffiths if I had to guess from your comment (and I could be wrong) you sound like a Classic Liberal. I have no issues at all with Classic Liberals even though we generally disagree on some points of argument.
      As for being a part of the Democracy I disagree. As you seem to have all the facts please enlighten me as to how these kids were taken to court for disagreeing with segregation. To my knowledge they were charged under the RDA.
      Not a civil case of slander or defamation.

    • As to your law question Shane Rattenbury (however you spell it) got the legislation passed that threatens jail and/or a $7000 plus fine for speaking out against Islam. Which is the same legislation these men are being tried under.
      I don’t have the exact article down my pants right now and looking shit up on the fly I see as being dishonest in a debate.
      Are you trying to tell me these measures weren’t proposed and passed in both Houses?

    • you dont have a clue do you

    • Aaron Griffiths Its clear Jesse is not clear on many facts at all

    • Jesse Bell, you can say anything you like in Australia but you have to qualify your statements. Unlike in the United States where people can say anything and not be challenged, here in Australia, we have a right to not be harassed by bigots like UPF.

    • 18c hasn’t worked, it almost never actually applies, even in quite overt situations.

    • All I hear is totalitarians posing as moral superiors. You actually believe that it is right to prevent anyone who has views that oppose yours being able to speak their minds.
      Hypocritical nonsense. When YOU get censored you scream oppression.
      The funny thing is all of you see EVERYTHING through the lenses of race, gender, sexual orientation etc. Your ability to maintain objectivity is despicable. And you demonise anyone who disagrees with your narrow dogmatic way of thinking.
      Progressive? As in progress? Thanks for the laugh

  2. If we made it illegal to tell lies for personal gain our political system would completely collapse.

  3. there’s a difference between being afraid of, and holding a complete fuckwit in utter contempt.

    • And there’s a difference between holding someone in utter contempt, and trying to censor them.

    • It seems that you have the concept of free speech fundamentally wrong.
      Free speech means that you cannot be criminally charged with something that you say. (Well, unless it’s a direct threat of course).
      It does not mean freedom from consequences, nor does it mean that you are entitled to a platform to spread what you want to say. It merely means that you can say what you wish without being criminally charged for it.

    • No Allan, your definition of free speech is one limited by your own idea that censorship can only be carried out by governments.

      Free speech involves the freedom to speak, and the other side of the coin which is freedom to listen.

      A speaker is entitled to a platform when they have been invited by a group to speak. It is up to the group hosting the platform to decide who will speak at their event and when people use threats, pressure and coercion to get them to change their minds, then those people are anti-free speech.

    • Not at all. They are entitled to use their right to free speech to call for it to be shut down. Again, you misunderstand the concept of free speech

    • Allan you are a member of a group of people who only advocate for the legal right to free speech. We completely understand this viewpoint but it is a limited definition.

      This article is describing the principle of free speech such as that described by philosopher John Stuart Mill which is anti government censorship and anti social censorship. Read the article below if you want to understand this concept:

      http://www.ruthlessreviews.com/29371/im-free-speech-absolutist/#google_vignette

    • LibertyWorks this is not advocating, but stating a fact that has been part of our democracy since 1901. I suggest you read the boilermakers case on free speech and how the High court interpreted the law, the constitution.
      Our democracy is one founded on a limited version of free speech. Our forebears actively restricted speech and ideas. There are laws that have existed since the Magna Charta that exclusively prohibit speech and ideas. Wars have been fought on differences of opinion on what is or is not free speech. It is as ambiguous as gas and as amorphous as a piece of clay. Saying from a purely academic point of view your argument is true but fails to take into consideration modern legal realities. Are you against Sedition and defamation as well?

  4. I believe Nicola is wrong about the impact of the individual on circulation and impact of ideas. If he personally had not been invited, the organisers could have hooked him up by video/skype etc, the ideas could be communicated just as effectively for much less outlay. The reality is that communication is more than 50% about who and how it is communicated, not just how it is read. This, in my mind goes to the heart of the debate. A paper describing his vies could be circulated and would be as effective as the technical capacity of Liberty and the anti vaxers can manage by Social media, however if he is a powerful speaker, articulate and with charisma he will gain more followers/ folk who are persuaded. Equally, if the communication is caharcaterised by abusive tone or personally directed, the notion of free speech of ideas as opposed to inappropropriate criticism of individuals comes into play. Free speech has boundaries in this sense.I am not sure Wolfe has that much power however, unlike Trump who has a pugilistic and abusive style and tone and rarely fails to be personel.

  5. And David “Avocado” Wolfe’s scientific qualifications are ….. ?

  6. I don’t like the idea of legitimising the Immigration Minister’s power to block people’s entry on the basis of their views, but I have to admit I don’t have a massive problem with petitioning the hotel. Suppose I say to the hotel’s owners, “Psst, just so you know, this Wolfe guy is likely to say X, Y and Z, and hosting him might be bad for your corporate image. It’s entirely up to you whether or not you go ahead with him or not.” Would I be trampling on Wolfe’s speech rights by doing this? And how is this substantially different from the message the petitioners are conveying?

    This growing attitude among speech libertarians that everyone must always be given a platform to say everything is IMO harmful to liberty overall, since it makes a fetish of speech and promotes it at the expense of freedom of association.

  7. Seems to me it is a case of “I don’t like what you have to say so I will stop you saying it”. A very totalitarian attitude. Everyone should be allowed to have their say, even if they say stupid things. Like some of the comments here.

  8. So Tom Garton and Andy Good essentially both of you are saying that you are the moral and intellectual authority on what people can and cannot hear because you know better? Seriously?
    The monumental arrogance, derision and insult attached to such a view shows absolutely everyone what entitled and totalitarian nazis you actually are. Tom I am not sure we have sparred before. Andy we definitely have and you lost badly you leftist prick.
    Round two. Out in the open. No reply shit. Post below. Bring it on. Looking forward to it lads.
    One of these days you may actually realise Australia is done with your leftard preaching. Colour me scared.

    • Haha good on you Jesse. The last time i schooled a leftard zombie, they went to my page accusing my father of sexually assaulting me. Classic projection is their MO. The useful idiots actually hate themselves, their minds just aren’t free enough to realise. The 2 leaders to achieve the highest approval in the last century are Hitler (98%), Barry Soteoro 90%+(black vote), both socialists/Marxists/communists. Whenever you want to destroy the globe socially, leftist scum and their minority serfs are the best place to start. They need extermination or relocation to Saudi Arabia, UN human rights leader and champion of LBGT and women’s rights.

    • No argument here mate. We have an epidemic of these arseholes.

    • Tom is coming from a libertarian perspective rather than a free speech absolutist one, which undermines freedom of association, a fundamental implication of overall liberty. Free speech absolutism would force private establishments to host anyone who wanted to speak, therefore breaching the non-aggression principle. The NAP does not allow for “positive rights”, something which is actually advocated more by leftists.

    • At no stage did I call Tom a leftist. I reserve that one for Andy who is a self-confessed regressive and has trolled this page relentlessly. Not just with contrary views (which is great- I am for a completely free and open marketplace of ideas). But generally with open contempt, disdain and with a morally superior complex common to far too many leftists.
      I would agree Tom seems to be coming from a softer angle, except to me more classic liberal than libertarian.
      I understand the non-aggression principle and agree with it. What bothers me is, to my understanding, it is supposed to apply to physical aggression or bullying etc… How letting a hippie nutter like this come in to speak is aggressive- well how?
      If people are so worried then either go to the event and argue during Q&A, or debate his constituents. No-one has the right to stop someone coming in merely for making a speech.
      And before you go down that line of hate-preachers etc. a) this guy is likely not the kind to advocate for violence, jihad etc. and b) such hate-preachers can be taken down with argument.

    • I will not reword the post as that is dishonest. The totalitarian nazi part was more directed at Andy.

  9. You know what? A guy who spends his time convincing parents they can cure their kid’s cancer with almonds should be in prison. Chuck Manson never directly killed anyone either.

    • And he is back! Missed you! So your contention is that anyone can be banned from giving a lecture based on what?
      This guy is an idiot no doubt. So why worry? You think you are smarter than everyone else? That people can’t smell bullshit?
      I find it interesting that it is only leftists who both cannot smell their own bullshit but are so keen on censoring other’s.

    • I’ve seen you advocate silencing of Islamic hate preachers, yet someone whose victims are desperate cancer sufferers is not as worthy?

    • As I have told you on two occasions before Islamic hate preachers are welcome to spew their bullshit. Just as I am welcome to call them out and destroy them over it.
      Fuck me man a little consistency isn’t too much to ask. If you are referring to the petition I signed surely by now you have understood that petition was a shot at the left.
      You lot aren’t the only ones who can use that totalitarian bullshit. Try again.

  10. i agree he is nothing but a con man,plagiarist space cadet. he has nothing of value for anyone. he is a threat to the gullible people that might believe him.

  11. This smashed Avocado has made suckering leftards an artform and a very lucrative business. Take mind controlled zombie…add a dash of bullshit….charge entry….voila…bulging bank account.

  12. Yeah, if you keep this guy out nobody will hear his lies!
    Well, apart from the fact that EVERYONE KNOWS WHO HE IS AND WHAT HE SAYS.

    Those of you who want to control speech are completely crap at controlling speech. Can we get some COMPETENT fascists in here please? Sloppy workmanship offends me.

  13. So Michael Close just censor him? Because you don’t agree? You think you are smarter than absolutely everyone else? Hell of an assertion…

  14. I don’t know much about the man, but going on recent censorship campaigns, I suspect a lot of the petitioners may know less. Less about his ideas, less about his motivation and certainly little about any real science involved.

  15. Jesse Belle wants to ban the Sale of the Quran ..restriction of free speech !!!

  16. Anti vaxxers are a cult, if it were just their children dying because of their idiocy I’d be content to let them have their “Avocado” and eat it, but it’s not, it is those with compromised immune systems who cannot be immunised who suffer; like the baby in WA from whooping cough. If they want to practice hoodoo and go against 95% of the medical and scientific communities that’s all good and well for them but there needs to be consequences when their decisions impact others quality of life.

    • And what does that have to do with some hippie coming over for a speech where his rhetoric can easily be dismembered in debate during Q&A or after?
      Before you ask I have personally vaccinated people in a third world country and agree that the tried and proven ones are a great thing and prevent disease.
      I do not however subscribe that worried parents should be shot down. There are an increasing number of reports coming out (some from very credible sources) that indicate there is a link between autism and cancer and certain vaccines.
      My personal belief backed up by mates who are actually in the industry is that it is the additives that do this.
      There are credible concerns and arguments on both sides mate. This guy is a nutter. A hippie. Doesn’t mean he should be banned.

    • Vaccines are tested mate before they’re released for public use, see there’s a whole lot of misinformation out there conspiracy theories mostly from what I’ve seen and read, People like Andrew Wakefield, or more recent and in Australia, Chris Savage an x policeman who was fired for telling parents their babies who died of SIDS were vaccine injured, all the while selling supplements as a substitute (currently residing in a New-Zealand prison for fraud from what I read), see homeopathy has become a multimillion dollar industry so there are those that are quite happy to vaccines painted in a bad light as they profit no matter the cost, as for vaccine efficacy the data speaks for it’s self and until I see data by a credible immunologist stating otherwise I’ll trust their safety, as for autism…. Every study conducted has found no link so I’m not sure where you’re getting you info on that from but I’ll be interested to read if you’ll provide a link…. Now you might paint “Avocado” as a harmless hippie but he’s one of those very people that profits selling misinformation, also I wasn’t arguing for him to be banned from speaking just that there should be consequences if his bad advice leads to child endangerment.

    • A fair enough statement on avocado but the blame resides with the parents more than anyone- and I am a parent of two who’s kids are vaccinated.
      Like I said I have personally vaccinated people. Likely over 200 in Timor.
      I will get on to my mates reference the evidence. They are shit scared of losing their jobs. Only told me because they trust me.
      As for autism and cancer will search again for the links. There are many and from a variety of sources- some credible.
      I don’t archive everything as my main concern is Islam and the regressive left extremists etc.

  17. Hey Malcolm Jones so you obviously did the typical leftard and trolled my timeline.
    Here is my response: the totalitarian bullshit of 18C can be used against the left as well
    Try again. See what else you can troll. Either debate me honestly or piss off.
    Or keep displaying your regressive credentials for all to see. By all means.

  18. The lefties in this country were all too willing to ban anti islam speakers from being allowed into australia to provide first hand information on the dangers of islamic immigration. Typically they only agree with free speech when it suits them. If this person was a holocaust denier would they hold they same stance.

  19. Let him come & say what he likes. This bloke is a liar. Recently he put out a Facebook meme describing how great things are in Denmark. It was widely shared by those who have no qualm with the idea that other people’s money spent on things they agree with is right and proper.

    Meanwhile I asked a Danish friend about what was claimed about Denmark by Wolfe. He said it was complete bullshit.

    So let him come and let him say whatever he likes. However let critics say what they want to. If what he states is rubbish, it will be proven so in the battle of ideas.

    Banning him from coming here will make him a martyr & will vindicate what he says as his supporters will argue he is telling the truth but vested interests don’t want Australians to hear the truth.

  20. Funny, i normally don’t agree with you peeps. I think even david irvine should be allowed to speak somewhere, even though i completely disagree with his offensive garbage.

  21. “The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error. He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. If he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion
    ― John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (as if any of these ban-happy types have ever heard of him!)

  22. All considered opinions should be free to be voiced. Even some not considered opinions should be free to be voiced (Irvine comes to mind … I agree with Chomsky) … but, not all opinions should be voiced. If someone wants to shout “FIRE!” in a crowded place to prove their right to speech, when there is no fire, then they should realise their idea is an exception in the freedom of speech debate.

  23. Thats not quite right though. There is a difference between free speech and walking into a packed movie theatre and yelling “Fire” at the top of your lungs. I would be happy for him to make money out of idiots ( which is his business model) if taxpayers didn’t have to clean up the mess.

  24. Heimat Alzihimir , Arlene Selman

  25. He lies to people to make money. He actively targets vulnerable groups and lies and fraudulently gains money. Stopping this is nothing to do with free speech. It is about not accepting fraudulent and vice behavior.

    • If there is proven fraudulent behaviour then the law will deal with him. No need for censorship.

    • Lol so instead of political censorship you would prefer police censorship? Yeah cos that’s worked out so well in the past… Face it to claim the anger over this piece of shit being allowed into the country ( yes I can’t stand h he personally has tried to garner a lot of money from me with miracle cures that are simple bullshit) is some holier than though campaign against censorship is crap. We don’t have a problem with censorship in this country. This man is a stain on the community and has thousand of death directly attributable to him, he doesn’t deserve a platform. And you pretending to defend his right tondraw speech is a fucking joke. We don’t have an enshrined right to free speech in Australia.
      Me, I don’t care if he comes. But standing up for his “right to opinion” is pathetic. Standing up for someone right to lie and cheat and destroy lives by aknowingly spreading false and misleading information is frankly and embaresment for you…

    • Paragraphs are your friend.

    • Enough said really, if you can comprehend what’s in this pic and still claim he’s not doing any harm, and feel the need to defend his “freedom of speech ” then please remove all the salt from your body and levitate away too

    • Lol when all else fails just sink to some good old ad hominen to misdirect and score some points 🙂

  26. Free speech is great but endangering lives for profit is not. Really his free speech isn’t important relative to other peoples rights to quality medical treatment and not being scammed out of their money.

    His scam is elaborate, but in the same way that you wouldn’t defend a “Nigerian Princes” rights to free speech in the form of emails asking for bank deposits on the promise of money that doesn’t exist you also shouldn’t support this clowns right to free speech in the form of asking for money on the promise of medical treatment that doesn’t work.

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