From New Dawn 182 (Sept-Oct 2020)
The mainstream media has become a consolidated, corporate behemoth, that promotes a distorted and limited perception of reality to the Australian people.
These organisations have shed their once-noble mission, the pursuit of truth, to adopt a new purpose – manufacturing narratives and manipulating the public.
Historically, anyone who speaks out against this system of propaganda on a public level is demonised by the press. David Icke’s banning from Australia in 2019 is a perfect example of this (see New Dawn #180).
Dominant alternative theories to emerge during the COVID-19 event circle around a belief that authorities, scientists and medical professionals are deceiving the public on a grand scale.
Regardless of your thoughts on the event, the hallmark of any free society is the ability to share information and discuss ideas openly, regardless of personal position or perspective.
Despite this, we have seen a continuing campaign to squash any information deemed ‘dangerous’ or ‘misleading’, including targeting and attacking those who simply ask questions that contradict the mainstream narrative.
As the coronavirus event continues to unfold, one public personality has become a central target of this crusade against open and free discussion –Pete Evans.
Pete Evans became a household name in Australia as a chef, restaurateur, author and television presenter, best known as a judge on the competitive cooking show My Kitchen Rules. He is one of Australia’s leading authors of healthy cooking books.
He has been an active supporter of the Paleo Diet which advocates eating unprocessed foods that our ancestors would have eaten in the Palaeolithic era.
Evans has a long history of stoking ‘controversy’, with health ‘experts’ regularly condemning him for promoting alternative medicine and practices.
He has campaigned against fluoridation of water, supported a pro-choice position concerning vaccines, questioned the chemical concoctions in sunscreen, amongst other issues.1
In recent years, Evans has publicly veered to alternative approaches and ways of thinking, regularly sharing COVID-19 information from a variety of independent non-official sources.
In July 2020, he appeared on popular Australian television show 60 Minutes as part of feature segment focusing on ‘COVID-19 conspiracy theories’.
“I am sceptical. And I also am suspicious because history has shown us that, I mean, even science and you know, this as a fact, science has been bought by vested interests in so many different fields over the years,” Evans told 60 Minutes presenter Liz Hayes.
The hit-piece attempted to highlight “COVID crazies” (their words) who are sceptical of government narratives. Despite this, Pete did not play their game of ‘labelling’ and division.
Pete admitted he would not get a vaccine unless it was “100 per cent” safe – no vaccine can ever be deemed 100 per cent safe – but refused to call himself an “anti-vaxxer”:
“We are living in a society where we label people this or that. Are you ‘anti this’ or ‘pro this’? Why can’t we be open to everything? I’m anti-labels. Modern medicine and ancient wisdom need to live harmoniously because if we disregard one or we disregard modern medicine and science, where is that going to leave us?”
During the interview, the pair touched on a number of topics, including current aged-care restrictions, lockdown legislation, a potential COVID-19 vaccine, and the virus itself.
Pete’s interview was a calm and collected display that highlighted the importance of asking sensible questions about all information, regularly pushing back against attempts to ‘pick a side’.
“It’s a belief system. Am I going to believe this and not look at other opportunities or options, because that’s my belief, or am I going to be on this side of the fence? I like to see it in the middle and look at it all.”
In the aftermath of the segment, a swath of Australian media identities, ‘experts’ and viewers, took to social media to express disbelief and anger at Evans and 60 Minutes. Tabloid outlets also did their best to distort the heavily-edited interview.
Meanwhile, Evans remained two steps ahead, following through on an earlier promise to post the full, unedited footage of his interview. He had agreed to the 60 Minutes interview on the proviso he could film the whole interview. He subsequently shared it onYouTubeat the same time the segment aired on Channel Nine.
Pete Evans has become a national symbol of open-mindedness, curiosity and balanced perspective, and the interview not only highlights this but also exposes the deceptive nature of media.
I recently spoke with Pete to get his perspective on the mainstream media and their tactics, his 60 Minutes interview, and the importance of critical thinking and discernment.
ETHAN NASH (EN): Thank you for taking the time, Pete. You are no stranger to disinformation campaigns and poor journalism from a variety of sources over the years. In recent months, this increased to new heights after the unprecedented circumstances we all face across the world. We have seen press coverage of Pete Evans shift from a ‘loveable television personality, with a few crazy views’, to whatever you say is ‘dangerous’. What do you think when you see your name published in a negative or misleading light by the mainstream media? How does 2020 compare to previous years in the spotlight?
PETE EVANS (PE): It’s really fascinating what has been going on at the moment, and I am no stranger to being in the headlines, that’s for sure. I’m very curious about it and how I ended up in that position.
The things I’m talking about have the potential, in my opinion and many others, to improve people’s lives, so it has always struck me as odd from the beginning.
It first started when I was talking about fluoride. I choose not to have fluoride in my water and have a system in place at our home that takes out the fluoride. Now, the backlash from the mainstream media and from the dental association about fluoride was, to me, shocking. ‘Surely you guys are up-to-date with the science on this?’, I thought. Obviously they are not, because it’s not debatable anymore – it’s classified as a neurotoxin. The first book I read about this was 30 years ago (laughter), and I can’t believe people still haven’t woken up.
I think the next thing that happened was sunscreen. All I simply said was, ‘I don’t use a sunscreen unless it’s a non-toxic one’. That became a headline saying, ‘Pete Evans gives you cancer’ or something like that (laughter). Well, number one, I never said that. Number two, read what is in most mainstream sunscreens. Look at the ingredients, look at the side effects. You will probably find they might be cancer-causing. The fact that most people are Vitamin D deficient in this country should ring the alarm bells, or better yet, common sense bells.
I was talking about dairy. The fact that modern dairy is nothing like it was once upon a time and the fact raw milk is banned in this country. Modern dairy is an abomination, I believe. That also become quite controversial. So, I find it very interesting.
The list goes on and on and on. Whether it’s vaccine safety, whether it’s talking about glyphosate sprayed on our fruit and vegetables, whether it’s new technologies such as 5G being rolled out into your children’s schools or daycares, or now the current issues relating to COVID-19, it feels like the same old tricks to me.
I just got off a podcast with a wonderful doctor over in the US, and he said that he’s taught his kids, basically, anything you see in the mainstream media where they are telling you to do something, do the opposite! (laughter).
If we’re not asking questions, things are going to keep rolling out. We need to inform ourselves and empower ourselves with knowledge. It’s been proven time-and-time again that our governments have been corrupted. They have falsified science, whether it’s in the food sector, the medical sector, the pharmaceutical sector –we know this. It’s been proven over and over again. Yet, people still believe in their government, they still believe in medical authorities. Now, I’m not saying there isn’t good parts in these sectors, there are. But to blindly follow, assuming everything they say is for the benefit of individuals, community and the planet? I think that’s naive.
To return to the question, I am actually encouraged and I see the positives when the mainstream media creates a sensationalist headline based on lies. Because what happens is it creates a conversation or a debate, and sometimes people investigate further.
I have a lot of people who come on board with different ideas or ways that we share, from environment or diet to emotions or the spiritual. They come to me and say, ‘Hey Pete, I used to think you were the biggest wanker in the world, from what I used to believe on mainstream media. But then, they wrote something and it triggered me to do some more research. I’ve got to say, I’ve changed my life by adopting some of the principles that you have shared over the years’.
I particularly love the ones that say, ‘I don’t believe everything you say’. I think that’s great! Imagine if we all applied that to everything? If the health ministers say one thing, are we going to believe everything they say? Or, should we question it? I encourage everyone to question, even the things that I share. I might not be right 100% of the time, but at least I’m giving it my best intentions.
That’s not something that I can say for the mainstream media in many cases.
EN: You are certainly resilient, that’s for sure, and it definitely hasn’t slowed you down. It is refreshing to hear you see a positive side to all of this, particularly surrounding discussions that are generated as a result of sensationalist media coverage. Now Pete Evans is regularly grouped in with so-called ‘conspiracy theorists’ who question the COVID-19 narrative, and the focus of the recent 60 Minutes presentation. I want to touch briefly on your experience with 60 Minutes. Was this the same type of thinking that led you to appear on the show? To generate a healthy discussion?
PE: Absolutely. It’s all about generating a positive discussion and highlighting shortcomings at the same time. I think the bias was shown in how the journalist interviewed myself and Fanos [Panayides], compared to the authority figures. There was a change in tone, a change in music, a change in lighting, a change in appreciation of the guests, so to speak.
It was plain to see, and that’s cool. To me, the most stunning part of this whole coronavirus conversation has been the fact our health authorities and people in positions of power aren’t educating people about their immune system. If this attacks the immune system, why isn’t anybody talking about it? Think about everything they are recommending at the moment, from wearing a mask to social distancing to staying inside. These activities seem to me, and many others, that they will weaken the immune system of anybody that follows those directives. Not the law, the directives. What is the agenda here? Is it to create a weaker immune system?
I mean, am I a ‘conspiracy theorist’ just for asking questions? To me, it seems like people might draw a conclusion that our governments and media are weakening our immune systems through fear, through misinformation, through bad science and through demonisation of many doctors who say the current direction isn’t working. In fact, they say it is the opposite thing to do. The ‘conspiracy theories’ these days seem to be right in front of your face.
EN: How was this originally framed to you? Did the story stay the same from conception to reality? Did it influence you to publish the full interview on your YouTubechannel?
PE: When I was invited to be a part of it, the narrative they presented was, ‘why is there a massive distrust of mainstream media and government now?’ I thought that would be great, so I agreed to the interview on the basis that I could film the interview. I understand why there is such a mistrust at the moment, and I knew 60 Minutes would present one side very biasedly. I wanted to expose why people are now increasingly dubious of these media outlets.
Now, I don’t mean to generalise here. I love mainstream entertainment, I love mainstream news –there’s stuff in there that is good. Just like everything, you take what is good. It’s not all bad, I just want to say that. It’s like alternative news – it’s not all good either! (laughter). We have to come to the realisation that we need to have discernment, and we need to engage critical thinking, engage common sense. When 60 Minutes said they were doing a story, I thought to myself, ‘this is going to be a great experiment’ because I will film it and I will show people the whole interview.
It was interesting to see which parts they included from the whole interview. It was predictable, and that’s why I went and did it. I think my YouTubeversion of the interview has been seen by 350,000 people so far, compared to roughly 600,000 viewers of the episode. We have more than 50% of viewers who already watched the full 90-minute interview. That shows it is generating conversation.
I saw it as an experiment in which I could share the whole thing without it being filtered or manipulated to create a story.
EN: One of the most interesting things that I took from the interview was almost a persistence to label you. From ‘anti-vaxxer’ to ‘COVID denier’, ‘conspiracy theorist’, you name it. All of the usual terms we hear coming from mainstream channels. Why do you think the media tries so hard to label everything? What does putting someone in a particular category or ‘box’ achieve?
PE: It’s very simple. I mean, I’ve worked in the media for 20 years. Without any disrespect to anybody, they structure their information for the lowest common denominator. They need to be able to spoon-feed their content. I believe every single person on the planet is an intelligent and wondrous human being. We all have the capacity to think freely, to think critically and use discernment. We are intelligent human beings.
What I have noticed over the years from working in that industry is that they don’t think and feel the same way. Listen to talkback radio or watch breakfast television, for instance. I refuse to go on those platforms anymore. The reason is because the intelligence level of the question or the conversation created by these talking heads is of a level that is just embarrassing.
I’ve been on those programs and asked, ‘can we have an intelligent conversation about things that actually mean something and share knowledge that empowers people?’ My observation is they dumb down information such as putting Pete Evans in a box or attaching him to a label, so they think people at home will go, ‘oh, he’s an anti-vaxxer!’ (laughter). People aren’t like that.
More people can now see through that BS. Why are you treating the population like children? The perfect example of role-reversal regarding this is Donald Trump at his press conferences when he does question time with the media. He treats them like children, and the reason he does that is because they treat the public like toddlers and infants. They tell people how to think, how to behave, who to fear, who to ridicule. I love watching Trump. I don’t agree that he should treat them like children, but it’s a great thing to witness the role-reversal and the media’s reaction (laughter).
Putting someone into a box is something that I’ve never been comfortable with all my life. I believe that we as human beings are so unique and multifaceted that we defy description. Once we try to limit ourselves by an identity, such as ‘I am a person of faith’ or ‘I follow this political party’, it becomes very difficult to step outside that box.
I’ve witnessed that over the last four years. Again, I refer back to Trump and people that were so anti-Trump, almost abusively aggressive towards this man. Because they have been so vocal and outspoken against somebody, it almost inhibits them emotionally (and possibly even spiritually) to be able to change their opinion. Even when they may be hearing information they agree with. They become fearful of being judged as a hypocrite or as someone with no conviction.
In fact, I think it should be seen as the opposite. When we can admit we should look at all sides, that’s when true freedom happens. So, I refuse to be put into a box, and I encourage others to refuse that from their friends, their families, their cultures. I believe we are here to express ourselves creatively and to keep evolving; to keep learning and gaining knowledge. A perpetual student and teacher at the same time. When we are a student of life, we can come at it humbly and ask questions. This is the most beautiful and free way to be.
The mainstream media does not like that.
EN: Absolutely. You have always touched on the importance of keeping an open mind, double-checking information and also getting that information from a variety of sources. The establishment believes that alternative sources of information are potentially harmful to the civil functions of daily life, and that we should only trust official sources in times of crisis. What are your thoughts on this? Should keeping a balanced perspective ever ‘take a back seat’, particularly during times when authorities claim alternative information can be ‘dangerous’?
PE: Just look at the history of humanity to get your answer. We have seen this type of thing over and over again. The burning of books, the rewriting of history and the following of various belief systems.
Wars created with false agendas pushing them. Look at the invasion of countries and lands of tribal peoples. Realising that the version of history we were taught as kids was not factual.
Should we believe all of a sudden that humans have grown a conscience? Or is [humanity] at a point of enlightenment, that we are all caring for each other? Or that we all have the best interest of humanity at heart? It would be insane to think like that.
It has been proven over and over again in the past that we can be the most destructive species on the planet –hurting other species and hurting our own. Slavery, genocide, political dictatorships.
We are heading that way in this country, it seems. I shared a video this morning of a woman in Victoria who was abused by a police officer for not having a mask on.
Is that our ‘new normal’? Is that what the police are there to do? Locking people down and lowering their immune system for a virus that doesn’t affect 99% of the population?
If anybody doesn’t think there is another agenda going on! I’m not religious, but God help us. (laughter)
FOOTNOTE: 1. These topics have been regularly covered in New Dawn. See, for example, New Dawn Special Issue Vol.9 No.5 and New Dawn Special Issue Vol.14 No.2.
You can find more great content from Pete Evans, including his books, products, initiatives, social platforms, public speaking events and more, by heading to peteevans.com.
Pete is the host of the Evolve with Pete Evans Podcast, available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Acast. Find out more here: peteevans.com/evolve-podcast. Also check out his latest project Evolve Network for a fantastic range of films, interviews and much more.
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