Dear “Olive”

Another “Olive” replies to a recent reader’s letter about protecting our children from 5G harm:

DIGITAL SURVIVOR tech news, views and analysis

Dear “Olive”,

Reading your messages, I saw myself. I used to feel like you do now.

I was frightened, desperate for information, for knowledge about how to protect myself and my children. I looked at their fat delicious faces and growing bodies while they were sleeping and I cried.

I had put them in harm’s way; putting wi-fi in the house, letting them play with my smartphone, letting them talk to Daddy and Granny with the phone right up against their heads.

Every so often I would hear a doctor or someone from the government on the TV or radio saying that there was no evidence that it causes cancer.

But all the while the little voice in my head was getting louder: asking if I was sure that this was safe; that when it comes to the growing brains and bodies of the most important things in my world, maybe it’s better to err on the side of caution; that “no evidence of harm” isn’t the same as “evidence of no harm”; that maybe, as with everything that a parent has to think about these days, I needed to do my own research and make a properly informed decision.

And so I started to investigate. I read journal articles, contacted researchers, learned about biology and physics, read up on medical history.

I studied legislation, good practice guidance, and the Precautionary Principle. I learned, with a dawning horror, about conflict of interest, the power of money, and the sickening realisation that all was not what it seemed.

I learned that there was plenty of evidence of harm. But it was being suppressed.

Fear mixed with disgust and threatened to descend into despair. But I rallied and resolved to change – after all, when you know better, you do better.

We got rid of the wi-fi and I ditched my smartphone. We felt grateful to live in a rural area where we could escape the saturation of so many urban lives.

And then 5G came along. Now I am angry – really angry.

How dare they.

How dare Public Health England say that “there is no convincing evidence of harm” when over 200 independent experts have publicly declared that “research has convincingly confirmed serious health risks” and called for an urgent moratorium on 5G.

How dare they claim that they are “committed to monitoring the evidence applicable … and to revising its advice, should that be necessary” when they are ignoring a body of over 10,000 peer reviewed studies and multiple international appeals from those who are involved in building the evidence that they claim to care so much about.

How dare the government decide that its primary role is to “ensure the right conditions and support the deployment of 5G” without even stopping to think about whether or not its safe.

How dare they prioritise this “experimental technology” over my health and that of my children.

How dare they destroy my ability to protect my family.

How dare the government claim that they are committed to giving “precautionary advice” on mobile phone use with “a particular emphasis in that advice on those considered potentially most vulnerable, i.e. children” when they are pursuing a strategy that will see blanket exposure of every single person all of the time and render any notion of precaution absolutely pointless as the Internet of Things turns everything from cars to fridges and bins and washing machines to milk bottles and coffee cups into miniature mobile transmitters.

They are gas-lighting us. I do not know why, but I know when I am being lied to.

Do not doubt yourself or your instinct on this.

Be strong and fierce in your determination to protect your family.

Let me be clear once and for all: I do not consent to this; I do not consent to myself or my children being subjected to an “experimental technology”.

I do not want a driverless car.

I do not need a washing machine that tells me when I need to buy more powder.

I do not need a milk bottle that tells me anything that I cannot gather from just looking at it.

A fridge that texts me when I am out to let me know I have left its door open is my worst nightmare. What the fuck am I supposed to do about the fridge door when I am out? Why doesn’t it close the door itself if it’s so bloody smart?

Give me a washing machine that takes the clothes out, hangs them up and puts them away and then I’ll consider it a properly useful invention.

I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t still a little bit afraid. It’s horrifying.

On the days when despair is snuffling at the door, I reach for my old friend, Clarissa Pinkola Estes and her piece We Were Made For These Times

She says:

You are right in your assessments. The lustre and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking. Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is that we were made for these times…

Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach … It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good.

We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale…

There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it. I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate.

When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.

You see, Olive, there are many of us out there.

Like Clarissa says, I recognise a seaworthy vessel when I see one and there have never been more able vessels in the waters than there are right now across the world.

Start in your community, with your family and friends, and know that I am working on mine.

Know that it won’t be long before more come and join you and together your voices will be stronger.

Eventually as more people come along, a chain of voices will form and link us across the whole world.

Like you, I have preferred to use a pseudonym – a small protection in a world where a single voice feels vulnerable and small and where tales of censorship can be intimidating.

One voice can be silenced, but they can’t silence all of us.

I will be Olive too.

They can’t silence Olive us.

Let us all be Olive together.

With love,

“Olive”