By General Maddox
On March 11,2013 an article published by http://www.theconversation.com again saw public perception management go into over drive in one of the most pro-fluoride articles to date.
The article in question can be read here. But before you do, we must first take a quick journey in order to read between the lines.
Meet Edward Louis Bernays. Otherwise known as the father of modern public relations. He literally wrote the book on propaganda.
See this excerpt from Wikipedia:
Edward Louis Bernays (November 22, 1891 – March 9, 1995) was an Austrian-American pioneer in the field of public relations and propaganda, referred to in his obituary as “the father of public relations”. He combined the ideas of Gustave Le Bon and Wilfred Trotter on crowd psychology with the psychoanalytical ideas of his uncle, Sigmund Freud. He felt this manipulation was necessary in society, which he regarded as irrational and dangerous as a result of the ‘herd instinct’ that Trotter had described.
Among many other influential attributes on his resume such as making it socially acceptable and popular for women to smoke in public, Bernays helped the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa) and other special interest groups to convince the American public that water fluoridation was safe and beneficial to human health. This was achieved by using the American Dental Association in a highly successful media campaign.
To put it bluntly, through Bernays, the aluminium mining industry in America was able to solve the multi-million dollar problem of finding the perfect way to get rid of their toxic waste. What’s more outrageous is that not only would they not have to pay for its safe disposal, but that they would actually earn extra revenue by selling it as a product.
Again by bringing on board a well known body such as the American Dental Association, Bernays’ use of impressive media campaigns and public perception management achieved their goal.
It would seem his work was recognised the world over. To this day those studying public relations know all too well whom Edward Bernays is (among others in the field). His work is taught to thousands in university classrooms across the globe.
Now let us get to the article in question. The title is an absolute corker. ‘Stopping Fluoridation Imperils Queenslanders Dental Health’. The author knows all too well that the average citizens perception of fluoride is not that of a toxic waste bi-product but more a clean, pharmaceutical grade, safe chemical tended to by men in white lab coats and declaring that not having it implies we’re doomed to have the teeth of a homeless bum.
When viewing the page most people probably won’t pay much attention to the left hand column. You should! There’s a lovely little disclosure statement that reads: John Spencer (the author) is the recipient of a research grant from Queensland Health establishing a baseline in child oral health to evaluate changes after the implementation of the Queensland Fluoridation Act 2008. Fair enough you might say. However, taking on board what we now know about P.R. you could actually see what this is really saying. It should really say this: John Spencer just got a big fat cheque from the Queensland Government and the promise of more big fat cheques as long as he says good things about how the Queensland Government has spent millions on water fluoridation and should continue to do so.
The first paragraph itself is envious of the work of Bernays.
There are even indications that some local government councils have moved with remarkable haste to decide to cease water fluoridation at the behest of a vocal, small minority of anti-fluoridationists.
Moved with remarkable haste? Or…acted decisively?
At the behest of a vocal, small minority of anti-fluoridationists? Or…after being provided hard scientific proof of its fraudulence by a group whose numbers are growing rapidly and joined by professionals, scientists and doctors worldwide.
Anti-fluoridationists… We have now been labelled.
The next paragraph goes on to paint a picture of our local government councils (who have thankfully opted out of poisoning their communities) not doing their homework and making a decision that will have grave consequences. When in fact they have chosen to go against the corporate mouth-pieces and industry funded lobby groups and listen to people, professionals, scientists and doctors who are dedicating their own time for the welfare of us all.
Continuing on to the next two paragraphs we’re told that dental decay is so ubiquitous in Australia and that the ideal solution is one that helps the whole population (Yes! Even those of us who take care of our teeth and don’t need it). This next bit is priceless… It then says, Measures that reach very large numbers of people but require little or no individual effort are best. That’s right, this author believes we’re so incapable of looking after our own teeth that the nanny state should do it for us. Oh how lovely.
The last piece of outright propaganda is the icing on the cake. I thought it worthy of being pasted here for dissemination:
Water fluoridation for the prevention of dental caries is an excellent example of such a public health measure. It’s been described as one of the ten great public health measures of the 20th century and is one of only a handful of health promotion measures in Australia that’s cost saving.
Edward would be so proud.
So dumping toxic waste into our municipal drinking water supply is an excellent example of a public health measure? Measuring its decline perhaps. And then…it’s been described as one of the ten great public health measures of the 20th century and is one of only a handful of health promotion measures in Australia that’s cost saving.
And the award for Best Propaganda Piece goes to…(opens envelope)… (Pauses for effect)……John Spencer!
That statement of it being described as one of the ten great public health measures of the 20th century is a quote from the CDC website in the U.S. written by the CDC in flagrant self promotion. That would be like Qld Health saying the same thing.
As for it being cost saving. Well that’s a flat out lie. Here’s an excerpt from a blog by a fellow activist Werner Schmidlin.
When Premier Bligh announced forced fluoridation on the 5th Dec 2007, she said it would cost $35 million to fluoridate Qld. It is recorded in Hansard on the 12 Feb 2008 that Premier Bligh again confirmed that it would cost $35 million dollars to fluoridate Qld over 4 years.
Now we learn that the actual cost is at least $113 million dollars to date and this does not include SEQ Water or regional councils ongoing operating costs. It would also not include any repairs from flood damage as the govt was only ever going to re-imburse the capital costs of building fluoridation plants under the Fluoridation Assistance program.
In future please be wary of such blatant propaganda pieces touting the benefits of water fluoridation and condemning those who oppose it. Instead think for yourself and do your own research. A good place to start is http://www.fluoridealert.org.