Sunday, 18 September 2016

Electrosensitive...and proud!

I made a throwaway comment on Facebook recently, about how I think that we, the electrosensitive community, need to speak out and assert our fundamental human rights, through something that resembles the Gay Pride movement.

While LGBT individuals are making great strides around the world in the quest for an end to the stigma, prejudice and discrimination which has faced them in the past, we - by the very nature of our condition perhaps - are collectively much less vocal, and even when we do manage to get our voices heard, we then usually have to endure the barrage of "tinfoil hat" gags, and patronising, ignorant, and/or downright offensive comments.

Here's a recent example of the latter, possibly well-meaning (but who knows?), left underneath a Humans of New York photo and comment from an electrosensitive lady:

"It seems the hardest thing for people without mental illness to understand is that this is her reality. Yes, it's different from yours, but that doesn't make it any less real for her. The sooner we accept this, the sooner we can begin to help. I hope her days are filled with some goodness, somewhere"

Here's another example of this sort of thing, this time from Professor Rodney Croft, a psychologist, and member of ICNIRP, the conflicted radiation "protection" organisation which sets the guideline exposure levels which, tragically, much of the world follows.

"Science recognises that people are suffering, but there's no evidence that it's related to the electromagnetic fields.

Once you use a double-blind testing technique where the person doesn't know when the exposure is on or off, then they are no longer able to tell when they're being exposed," Professor Croft said.

He said the symptoms appeared as a result of anticipation by the sufferer that they were going to be affected.

In other words, yes, it's that old "nocebo effect" theory again.

Here's one of Rodney Croft's colleagues, Dr Sarah Loughran, saying the same sort of thing:

"Research has consistently failed to find any association between electromagnetic field exposure and reported symptoms, or health more generally. This raises the question, if it is not the electromagnetic energy, then what is causing EHS and the symptoms that these people suffer from?

One possibility is the nocebo effect, or simply, the influence of a person’s expectations or perceptions of how something might affect them. In the case of EHS this would correspond to a misaligned belief that electromagnetic energy is harmful and, therefore, when around devices that emit such fields they expect to feel bad, and they do."

(Dr Loughran is also a member of the pro-wireless organisation ICNIRP).

Also, many electrosensitive people will be aware of Dr Gideon James Rubin, who has made the same claims, based on some electrosensitivity provocation tests which have been criticised of being of poor design and execution.

Like the LGBT community (which will obviously also include electrosensitive individuals), it can be extremely hard for us to "come out" about our condition, when doing so may jeopardise our relationships, work, finances, access to services, and so on.

There's a stigma attached to the condition - we are often characterised as being mad, tinfoil hat-wearing conspiracy theorists. In general, the media does little to help this situation, although there have been some notable exceptions over the years.

I say that we can continue to be treated as victims, and we can continue to suffer effective discrimination, whereby we are unable to be in safe public environments which aren't polluted with harmful electrosmog, and where no accommodations are made for our condition.

We can continue to be exposed to harmful electromagnetic radiation in our homes from our neighbours, and from external wireless infrastructure, including smart meters, and - with 5G on the horizon - an explosion in the numbers of microwave-emitting small cells.

We can continue seeking help and treatment from a mainstream health system that doesn't understand or recognise our condition, and which is itself obsessed with wireless technologies - whether it's wifi, cell towers and wireless technologies in or near hospitals, or wearables that are given to discharged patients.

We can continue to be made progressively more ill as the wireless proliferation gathers pace, and all the remaining "not spots" are gradually eliminated.

We can continue being ignored or treated with contempt by international organisations such as the World Health Organisation and the United Nations,  our own governments, and even many advocacy organisations.

We can meekly accept a judicial system which takes its lead from the authorities, and with a few exceptions, ignores the plight of those of us who are highly sensitised to a Group 2B Carcinogen.

Or, we can say "enough is enough".

We have a term in the UK, where I am: the "Pink Pound". I think that in the US, the equivalent of this is the "Dorothy Dollar". It's basically talking about the economic power of the LGBT community, just through its sheer size and collective wealth.

If the EHS community does constitute between 3-5% of the population, or possibly higher still, how much economic power would we wield if we chose to exercise it? Would we have the power to changes things? I suspect that as our ranks continue to grow, the answer to this will increasingly become a resounding "yes". Perhaps we already have this power, but we just don't realise it.

How much political, economic and social power would we wield, if we worked together, under some common banner? Or how much power to bring about positive social change?

To do any of this though, we need to be open about how we have been harmed by electromagnetic radiation. There should be no disgrace in telling people that this Group 2B carcinogen, whether it's from low frequency radiation or from microwaves, has had a severe biological effect on us.

We have decades of scientific papers backing us up, as well as a sizeable contingent of scientific experts and medics who accept that the condition is real, and that it is linked to electromagnetic radiation.

We ourselves come from every possible background and occupation, and we have a hugely diverse range of skills and abilities (if only we lived in a safe and unpolluted environment in which to exercise them).

If we try to hide what is happening to us from our family, friends, employers, officials, service providers - whoever it is - we diminish our collective power, and we are doomed to perpetual victimhood; forever running, hiding out of sight, not speaking out, and pretending that things are all right, when they are no such thing.

None of this is to say that we should stop looking for "cures", and treatments which will reduce, or possibly even eliminate, our symptoms, in whatever form these may take.

I think that we need to understand though that our condition, whether it improves over time or worsens, gives us a unique perspective, which will always be with us.

It allows us to experience things which most other people either don't experience, or else don't associate with the true cause.

As Professor Olle Johansson says so often, it is the environment which is sick, not us. We know this!

We are special; we are humanity's early warning system. Were we to be listened to, we could bring about so much good in the world. Think of the number of people who might avoid acute or chronic disease, or possibly an early death, if they only knew what we knew, and experienced what we experience, even for just a short time.

We have a special ability, a sort of sixth sense. It's a curse as well as a blessing, but it makes us more than we would otherwise be. We can think things that other people cannot think, and feel things that they cannot feel.

In a way, we can see into the future, and we know that if this harmful technological insanity continues, it is likely to be a time of unimaginable horror - not just for us, but for everyone.

We endure levels of pain and impairment  which most people couldn't even comprehend. Yet we somehow carry on, hoping for an outbreak of sanity to occur.

While many people live shallow existences, based on consumerism and self-interest, barely questioning the status quo, we can see the bigger picture - a way forward which is more positive, more sustainable, more compassionate, more generous, and - of course - more healthy.

I say again, we are special.

It's time that we take some pride in ourselves, join forces, exercise our pink pound and our dorothy dollar (or whatever the electrosensitive equivalent is), and say what needs to be said.

What do you think?


  1. I am EHS... it started with Tinnitus, I became an activist fighting EMR radiation and helping others...
    The awareness is growing - keep fighting effectively:
    Lead by example

  2. Dave, I just read this. This is trully excellent. Painful to read but so excellent and so true. I go through this kind of thing everyday especially when doing so many interviews over and over in Green Brank and seeing the patronizing, ignorant results that often come later or even during the interview. Back to square one over and over. From Jennifer Wood

    1. Yeah back to square 1 over and over - very true. Over and over cowed and cornered , squeezed and coralled into thinking : " I am the odd one out here, the one who is at fault, the nut-case"
      We need people-power - demonstration with banners, parties, space free of the deadening pressure to conform to insanity. For me - wild spaces can do a lot of that too, but that also is very hard to find. We are 5-th columnists without a motherland left permanently alienated by the alienated from a world we cannot live in any longer. We live or die on the wrong expression, an inflection of a smile, a silent communication which could give us away to
      our kgb-like fellow-citizens.
      We need to find electosensible pride, but it has to be firm and strong and unassailable even when it cannot breathe a word of its existence. How do you live in a literally mad world? Without betraying your sanity (because doing so is often unsafe) . So it is easier to betray ourselves instead often.