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It started when I received an email saying “Woohoo – you just got paid! $3,383.92 was just sent out to you from Patreon covering earnings up to July 6, 2021.”
Woohoo indeed. When your boss fires you with “here’s the money we owe you, now get out of here” he doesn’t say “woohoo.” But Patreon is run by mindless robots, and they’re even more obnoxious than the lousiest boss.
A dozen emails down, another Patreon bot wrote: “Hey there! We hope you’re having a good day. We’re writing to give you a heads up about a small change for some of your patrons…” (Long story short, Patreon was changing their terms to grab a bigger share of the money, as they so often do. Apparently the grab-more-money bot hadn’t heard that I was fired.)
A few more emails down, another Patreo-bot wrote:
“Dear Dr. Kevin Barrett,
We are writing to let you know that your account is currently suspended because it violates our Community Guidelines. If you want to reactivate your account, please read the Community Guidelines carefully and make any necessary updates to your creator page. If you have any questions, please answer directly to this email and a member of the team will be in touch as soon as possible….Please don’t hesitate to reach out, we are happy to answer any questions you have about this process.
I wrote back:
I don’t believe I have violated any community guidelines. But after reviewing them, I noticed the new guideline on ‘medical misinformation.’ That policy, which presumably relates to COVID, didn’t exist when I started posting on Patreon. Since my show is primarily a platform for hearing ‘the other side of the story’ on all of the most important public policy issues, I have featured a couple of scientists and doctors, like internationally-acclaimed peer-reviewed biowar expert Meryl Nass MD and anti-aging scientist Josh Mitteldorf, who disagree with some of the CDC and WHO policies. So I assume that must be the problem.
Please note that I have also interviewed experts who support CDC and WHO policies, like historian Eric Zuesse and science professor Gideon Polya. I think my overall coverage of COVID issues is ‘fair and balanced’ given that the whole purpose of my show is to critique mainstream perspectives from the most defensible and interesting angles.
I would appreciate it if someone at Patreon could help me figure out what I need to do to remain in compliance.
Dr. Kevin Barrett”
But nobody at Patreon was interested in being reasonable. Another mindless bot wrote back:
Thank you for your patience.
Upon further review, we have determined that the content on funded by your project (sic) fundamentally misleads the public with dubious claims and unsubstantiated theories regarding COVID-19.
In the interest of the public’s general safety, your page will not be reinstated and will be permanently removed.”
So why am I a threat to public safety? It isn’t “COVID denial.” Unlike many in the alternative info-sphere, not to mention most of the 74 million Trump voters, I have consistently opined that COVID-19 is probably about as dangerous as mainstream scientists say it is.
So what “dubious claims and unsubstantiated theories” could they be talking about? I think I know the answer: Ron Unz’s claim that COVID-19 likely emerged out of a bio-war attack on China and Iran by American neoconservatives.
By promoting that hypothesis, I made the Associated Press/Atlantic Council list of “The Superspreaders Behind Top COVID-19 Conspiracy Theories.”
Dr. Kevin Barrett, a Ph.D. Arabist-Islamologist is one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror.
He also has appeared many times on Fox, CNN, PBS, and other broadcast outlets, and has inspired feature stories and op-eds in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Tribune, and other leading publications.
Dr. Barrett has taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin; where he ran for Congress in 2008. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, author, and talk radio host.