Flat White

Going the full Kafka on free speech

1 August 2018

5:12 PM

1 August 2018

5:12 PM

It was Franz Kafka—the famous twentieth-century German writer—who once said, “Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy”. Kafka dealt with the looming totalitarianism—also foreseen by George Orwell—and explored the theme of how state bureaucracies can utterly crush the individual. Considering what has recently happened to Dr David van Gend—a popular Brisbane doctor and noted author—Kafka’s insight seems especially apt. Indeed, it is nothing short of being Kafkaesque. As Miranda Devine has recently written:

You know our culture has reached peak Kafka when a doctor is hauled before his medical board on professional misconduct charges for retweeting two tweets by a conservative Senate candidate promoting a book about gender ideology and one of my columns.

Van Gend is now facing disciplinary action—by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency—simply because he retweeted two tweets by Lyle Shelton of the Australian Conservatives. According to Devine, the first was a selfie with American author, Ryan Anderson, from the conservative Heritage Foundation: “A privilege to catch up with … the author of How Harry Became Sally. A must read for anyone trying to understand how to push back on radical gender indoctrination of our children.” And the second was the retweet of a column by Devine herself, where she argued that same-sex marriage would lead to the teaching of gender fluidity in schools.

As a result, van Gend is now accused of “presenting as a medical practitioner and providing information that is ‘clearly not medically, psychologically, nor scientifically based’ and not promoting public health”. What’s more, Devine goes on to explain that he must respond in writing to the Medical Board by 12.00 pm Thursday: “Whether your posting on social media ‘twitter’ promotes the health of the community and advances the health and well-being of individual patients”.

Note that not only is Dr van Gend no longer allowed to freely express an alternative opinion—which was until recently the consensus position of Australian society—but he is now facing formal censure. Views such as his are now considered by faceless medical boards, safe in their anonymity, to be harmful to a person’s psychological health.


The Rev. Dr Gavin Ashenden—former chaplain to the Queen—gave the following interview in which he warned of precisely this kind of situation.

While it’s well worth taking the time to watch the full six-minutes, note especially what Ashenden has to say about the link between transgenderism and free speech.

It begins with the state saying, you need to think like this…. And the totalitarian Marxist state says, if you show any sign of not believing it and not doing what we tell you, then we’ll declare you mentally ill.

The way they punished Christians in the Soviet Union was to send them into psychiatric clinics, because according to the state, they were ill, because anyone who doesn’t believe Marxist theory is unwell.

Now we say, ‘homophobic,’ but it’s the same thing. You’re being declared as being psychologically ill and bad at the same time. We’re there already!

Why am I energised by this? Why am I speaking in public? Why am I risking being called a ‘homophobe’? Because it’s going to end in blood. Because freedom of speech and freedom of thought and objective reality and finding out what’s real in the world is under threat.

And down this conveyor belt are some very nasty people who are going to force us to believe what they want us to believe and who will either throw us into prison or kill us when we don’t. Just like they did in China, and in South America, and in Russia.

It’s crazy, that the Western world with its gift of freedom is just walking blindly into it because they want to be nice to groups who appear to have been disadvantaged.

In keeping with Kafka’s pessimistic perception of the human psyche, anyone who holds to a traditional, conservative view on gender and sexuality needs to wake up to the realisation that a terrifying metamorphosis has occurred. That is, in keeping with Kafka’s famous novel, they are now no longer considered to be human. Instead, they are vermin whose perspectives are so ‘harmful’ that they must be completely eradicated from society.

This is the ‘bureaucratic slime’ that the LGBTIQ revolution has produced. For the ‘love is love’ campaign now pours out hate and seeks to prosecute any who would dare to disagree. As Bettina Arndt argued in The Spectator UK last year, with respect to the Scottish philosopher John Haldane—who explicitly argued against the language of coercion in the transgender debate—It’s war, dear.

Indeed, it is. And if you’re not already engaged in the fight for freedom then you’ve already given in and been crushed as an individual.

Mark Powell is the Associate Pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, Strathfield.

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