is that you don’t write about Unreported Truths (unless you are CNN trying to get Substack to censor it).
In the last few weeks, the media has published lots of pieces on the Substack phenomenon - the fact that readers are so desperate for information that has not gone through the woke reporting machine that they are signing up by the tens and in some cases hundreds of thousands for Substack newsletters.
The same names come up a bunch: Bari Weiss, Matt Taibbi, Glenn Greenwald.
All worthy journalists. But reporters, and Substack itself, politely choose to avert their eyes from the existence of Unreported Truths, which can now generate over 650,000 views for a single article. No worries. You seem to be finding this page anyway - almost 200,000 of you have now signed up. (I can only imagine what the audience might be had Twitter not defamed and banned me.)
The great majority of you have chosen to sign up for free - and that’s fine. Enough of you are paying that I can chase the truth without fear for my family’s future, even if no “mainstream” news outlet or publisher will ever hire me again. But I am stunned and grateful that more than 10,000 of you have chosen to pay.
I know you know you don’t have to do so. I know you are doing so to be part of a movement (and to help me hire folks, if I can ever find the time). I am equally grateful that so many of you regularly reach out with tips and stories. I am still doing my best to read every email, although the volume is becoming overwhelming.
I also know that sometimes I’m going to write things many of you don’t like - whether about Trump and the election, or long Covid and other poorly defined chronic illnesses and syndromes.
I want to go a little deeper into what I wrote last night.
I fear the United States is increasingly sick in what for lack of a better word might be called its soul. And I fear that our extraordinary efforts to medicalize the pain - real and psychic - of everyday life has played a crucial role in our decline.
Pain is part of life. Illness is part of life. Death itself is part of life.
Of course, we should do our best to challenge and defeat our maladies - to live long and prosper, as a wise Vulcan liked to say. But to pretend that we can live without pain or illness or death is to delude ourselves, and the delusion has come at an extraordinary price.
Medicalizing chronic pain and trying to treat it with opioids has caused the United States far more problems than it has solved. Turning common psychiatric conditions into diseases that don't exist (in any reproducible way) is doing the same, though the effects are harder to measure than the body count of opioid overdoses.
Which is to say: if 10 doctors tell you it's in your head, maybe it's in your head. Maybe you should own the fact that leaving DC for Connecticut and having a third kid is stressing you out and you're having panic attacks, instead of finding the 11th, who will give you a diagnosis you prefer. Just like I should own the fact that my back is a ruin because I won’t find the time to strengthen my abs.
But huge and growing segments of the health-care industry now validate - and even valorize - these choices. And to profit from our discomfort along the way. Make no mistake, industry is the word that fits. They tell us that we don’t need to face our pain head-on, that health and happiness can be ours with the right pill or injection.
Our response to Covid has exposed the dangers of this hyper-medicalization - even as it has worsened them. We have been profoundly dishonest about the real risks of Sars-Cov-2, and the fact it poses almost no serious dangers to healthy working-age adults, much less children. (Which is one reason the long Covid drums beat so loudly - they are a desperate effort to scare people who have had mild cases and can’t understand the fuss.)
And so our leaders have twisted the United States inside out for two years. They are now so profoundly dishonest that they would rather force healthy teenagers take injections of mRNA that have already been proven dangerous to them than encourage morbidly obese people to consider the risks of their weight. Of course Corporate America, medical and non-, happily plays along.
Our inability to tell the truth, or even look in its general direction, is now actually killing us.
Maybe it’s time to start?