I thought I’d break a new habit and put this on YouTube because some of the people from Wikipedia who need to see it may not be smart enough to find Brand New Tube all by themselves.
I have had a Wikipedia page since Wikipedia was first introduced. It always contained inaccuracies and it was obviously written by amateurs who didn’t understand the first thing about journalism, and didn’t know much about research. Several times I asked Wikipedia to take the page down but they wouldn’t. Ironically, the reason given was that I was considered to have achieved too much to be removed. Curiously, the things for which I was considered notable have been removed – but not the page.
So, for a couple of decades the page sat there. Some of the stuff on it was reasonably accurate and some wasn’t. After all, anyone can write and edit a Wikipedia entry and some entries are put together by kids for fun. An American teenager edited apparently nearly half of the pages on the Scots Wikipedia. He started when he was 12 and it was years before anyone noticed that he’d been writing a good deal of drivel.
Some editors mean well and are a credit to the original idea, others are just cowardly little weasels who hide behind silly pen names and use the site to promote their political prejudices and pet theories. Many, I fear, are probably underachievers, full of opinions but never able to persuade the real world to take notice of them.
And it’s perfectly possible to pay editors to improve a Wikipedia page – for a nice fee a Wikipedia editor could probably make even Tony Blair look like a saint.
And then on March 18th 2020 I was stupid enough to make a video. I can’t tell you what it was about because this is YouTube.
Almost immediately my Wikipedia page was changed dramatically.
Within hours there were Nazi war criminals who had better Wikipedia pages than I did. Everything I had ever done that could be considered remotely useful was removed. And the page was filled with an array of clever but deceitful distortions of the truth. It is official policy to insult, smear and demonise anyone who questions the establishment line and Wikipedia is one of the weapons.
So, for example, I suddenly became a discredited person.
Because someone at Wikipedia decided I was.
I have filing cabinets full of thousands of reviews and interviews and no one has ever described me as discredited – until Wikipedia, or an editor, decided I was.
But when a small newspaper in Scotland quoted Wikipedia, the Wikipedia editors put the Scottish paper down as a source for their defamatory comment. A neat little vicious circle.
Overnight, I became a conspiracy theorist too though I rather feel that the conspiring is being done by the people I was criticising. Manipulated truths and deceits used to disappear when a newspaper was turned into chip paper. Today they last for eternity.
Someone dug through decades old internet pages and found that I had been criticised by something called the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK. What Wikipedia didn’t bother to mention, though they should have known, was that the ASA is a private organisation and that when they received a complaint about me I sent them two dozen scientific references in support of my claim that meat causes cancer. The ASA, who had received a complaint from the meat trade, refused to look at the references and simply announced that I had been censured. The same thing is true of the Press Complaints Commission – they too refused to look at scientific references before reaching a conclusion.
Other decades old bits and pieces of nonsense were adapted, edited and published without any attempt to pay even lip service to the truth but with the sole aim of discrediting me. It seemed to me that the page contained more garbage than the average dustbin. Wikipedia says my theories have been discredited but only by Wikipedia and a few drug company trolls. My writings about AIDS were intended to be reassuring and were all scientifically accurate. At the time I was writing, the public was being told that AIDS would kill everyone.
And so it goes. It has never occurred to Wikipedia editors to ask why, if I really were, in their words, a discredited pseudoscientist, I still have a Wikipedia page.
The last time I looked I saw that they’d deleted details of the successful campaigns I’d run, the TV and radio series I’d made, the voluntary work I’d done with great joy and they had deleted the list of my books – over 100 of them. They deleted the fact that I’d written columns for many leading national newspapers – and dismissed me as a self-published author, slyly omitting to mention that I’ve had books published by dozens of leading publishers in the UK, the USA and around the world – and translated into 25 languages. They managed to mention that I had left The People newspaper but failed to mention that I’d resigned because the editor wouldn’t print a column I’d written criticising Britain’s involvement in the Iraq War. They say I can’t practice medicine but ignore the fact that retired doctors aren’t entitled to a licence. A large number of references to articles which were complimentary were simply deleted as were quotes praising my work. I’m accused of being a pseudoscientist, and that’s a libel which is used to discredit anyone who dares to question the establishment view.
The aim, of course, was simply to demonise me – and to dissuade people from taking any notice of my books, articles and videos.
That was the real point of it.
Wikipedia has become a potent weapon in a new war of oppression and disinformation and in its political bias is now threatening our very freedom and promoting the elite at the expense of ordinary citizens. It is as reliable and trustworthy as the BBC – which is to say not at all. I’ve been proved absolutely accurate since March 2020 but truth and facts don’t matter in this alternative world.
And I’m not the only one to have been targeted, of course.
Anyone who speaks out against the new establishment gets the same treatment. They remove all the individual’s real achievements and replace them with anything they can find which can be edited in such a way to discredit the person concerned.
The Wikipedia site may have started out with good intentions, though the idea of allowing amateurs to write and edit an encyclopaedia was always a trifle flaky and dependent on goodwill and honesty, but until recently it seemed pretty harmless and occasionally useful.
So who is behind it all?
Well, I know the names of some of self-styled editors. Some seem weasely or cowardly and appear to be driven by jealousies, prejudices and bigotry. They mostly hide behind silly code-names. Some are undoubtedly working for government agencies but others are not difficult to identify. So, for example, there is a guy called Chapman who hides behind a silly secret special code name on Wikipedia and seems to me to be a bit of nerd. He seems to love vaccines and the EU so he set to work on my page with the zeal of a fanatic; libelling me a good deal. Mr Chapman claims that the 2016 election and the Brexit referendum were swung by Putin. Moreover, Chapman describes himself as a member of the left wing thought police – which seems very accurate. Chapman mixes arrogance with ignorance, apparently without shame, and I suspect the CIA probably sent him a nice big Christmas bonus. Reading round he isn’t loved as widely as he’d perhaps like to be. Maybe he’s a part time soldier for the 77th brigade. And there is an editor called MrEarlGray (who manages to spell the name wrongly) whose pro-Government mutterings on a site called Reddit and elsewhere are revealing. Literacy doesn’t seem to be a priority and he needs to do a little reading and studying. MrEarlGray (spelt wrongly) also wants to remove a Wikipedia page which deals with a series of 15 books I wrote about a GP in a village in Devon. To me, that just looks malicious and will, I think, make individual libel damages considerably greater.
Even those who once loved Wikipedia are now embarrassed and ashamed of how it is being abused to promote prejudices and political extremism. Certainly the page that has been recreated in my name is unbalanced, destructive and, to say the least, misleading. I have screen shots of the worst libels.
Larry Sanger was co-founder of Wikipedia and he certainly doesn’t think much of what it has become in the hands of these people.
In his excellent recent book, Essays on Free Knowledge Sanger writes about the CIA and other government agencies editing pages, he excoriates Google which, he says, helped establish Wikipedia’s undeserved popular perception of credibility and states baldly that `Wikipedia has abandoned neutrality and is used as a tool for social manipulation’. Anyone who edits or uses Wikipedia should read his book to understand what has happened.
It may have been a good idea when it began. But it’s time Wikipedia was closed down. It’s an insult to journalism, history, science, medicine and the essence of the encyclopaedia. It is, without doubt, now doing far more harm than good. There are honest editors who are interested in maintaining Wikipedia as a resource but they have allowed abuse on the site to be so widespread that an increasing number of people regard it as a joke. Some original thinkers now regard a defamatory Wikipedia page as a sign that they are doing something right but it is sad that the site’s management appear to tolerate the bias and prejudices of some of the editors. I wonder how many innocent victims have committed suicide as a result of these character assassinations.
I once heard two boys arguing in a shop.
`I read it on Wikipedia,’ said one.
`Then it’s probably wrong,’ replied his pal.
And that says it all.
Wikipedia has been killed off by people with prejudices, and Chapman and his pals are the online soldiers for the forces of fascism and disorder. Many are rather sad, stupid and toxic individuals who are nowhere near as bright as they think they are and a good deal nastier than anyone ought to be.
Unfortunately, neither he nor the other editors have got Wikipedia pages I can edit. Maybe I’ll set up one or two pages listing their achievements. They won’t be long pages.
Like others who have been demonised, and had their professional lives ruined, I feel a sense of quiet despair but since my reputation has now been unfairly trashed I am now more determined than ever to continue to expose the truth.
The seventh and most recent edition of Vernon Coleman’s diary is available as a paperback and an eBook. It’s called Tickety Tonk.