“There can be no doubt that a historic battle is shaping up. I expect it to get worse. The hour is later than any of us realize.”
Dave Hunt on censorship of Seduction of Christianity, 1987
I am not sure how much longer my voice will be available online. The battle is intensifying, but it is a subtle one that cannot be clearly defined. People give me all kinds of advice. A friend told me today, “It’s about the words you use, you have to be careful not to use certain words, so the algorithms don’t get you.”
But isn’t that exactly what we are fighting for? To be able use the words we want, when we want. If everyone starts tiptoeing around the algorithms, that is not free speech. That is worse than the heavy boot of communism because it is so deceptive. It means everyone is imprisoning themselves and thinking they are smart for doing so. The government no longer needs to censor anyone. People can speak freely inside the prisons of their own making, to other prisoners who think the same.
My issues with Google and Microsoft are escalating. I am not a big voice, but I think those of us who have been identified as renegades, meaning we refuse to comply with fitting into the boxes they want us confined to, are probably being targeted. Plenty of big names have no problem saying what they want, but that is because they have agreed to the box, where they can have thousands, perhaps millions of followers, and they are sponsored by the powerful people/companies to whom they are now answerable.
Just like giving in to the algorithms, once you give in to big money, you are no longer free, no matter how much you insist that you are. You become beholden to your new masters. You get used to the fame, the constant acknowledgement of how important you are, and all the luxuries that go with it. It’s another form of addiction. This is something I will never do. I do not use the word “never” lightly. I use it with a lot of respect for words and their meanings.
Of course, we all have to earn a living. I cannot survive without my paid subscribers. I wish I could, if I could I would get rid of the paid part. People say, that means you don’t value yourself or what you say. But it is the opposite. There is no price on the truth. I am grateful for the support I receive on Substack where at least I can say what I want without censorship. I will keep doing this for as long as I can. Although, a doctor friend recently told me that I need to take a break for the sake of my health. I don’t know. How do I take a break when I feel such an urgency?
- I have now been locked out of my Gmail account for 48 hours. At the end of the appointed time, apparently, I will receive a code that will allow me to log in again.
- I am unable to access my Microsoft account unless I jump through a series of hoops that were never required of me before. In a couple of months, I should be able to explain more about why this happened. I am researching some things about this and can’t really talk about it now.
- I am censored on “X” because I publish on Substack, I refuse to pay for a blue check so Elon Musk can verify I am a “real” human and feed my data to his A.I., and I criticize Musk in my essays.
Freedom of Speech not of Reach is justification for a type of censorship that seems as if it is for your own good but it’s not.
Here, you can see the new CEO of X, Linda Yaccarino, talking about “Freedom of Speech, not Freedom of Reach”.
If you’re going to post something that is lawful but it’s awful you get labeled. You get labeled, you get deamplified, which means it cannot be shared and it is certainly demonitized.
It’s all about protecting brand safety. That means keeping the sponsors happy—the ones that give you money. That is not freedom. That is slavery to evil big companies that want you to buy endless amounts of stuff that enslave you further.
I’m sure it’s very nice to go on luxury vacations, for example. But if I ever spend “ten days visiting Rome, Pompeii, and the Amalfi Coast while berthed in a 160-foot yacht, courtesy of a close friend” like Dr. Robert Malone recently described, please become wary of me.
I was reading something that RFK Jr said today about his father, and it made me think of my own. My father taught me many of the same principles, mainly to speak out even when it means you are ostracized from the world you grew up in and the community that should be supporting your work and giving you an income. It means being fearless even when your life is threatened.
Of course, RFK doesn’t need to worry about surviving. He has enough income, family money, and millions of people who give money to his cause. But it takes a lot of courage, even so, to stand up against a powerful family like his, and say the opposite of the narrative. And there is no doubt he could be killed for what he says. I am sure he is not perfect, nobody is, but for these reasons, I greatly admire him.
And so, I want to talk about fighting censorship and facing those who want to hurt or kill you.
My father spoke out against the prosperity evangelists of the 1980s, even though it meant losing a lot of money and a bigger audience as a result. He just did not care about fame or fortune. He was not impressed by promises from powerful people. What he did care about was staying free to fulfill what he believed was God’s purpose for his life. It’s a wonderful thing to have a purpose in life that you believe in so strongly, no one can buy you.
Big evangelists like Robert Schuller, founder of the Crystal Cathedral, were bilking their followers of millions of dollars and it made my father angry. These charlatan “Christian” preachers hated him because he fearlessly exposed them in his books.
My father knew all about censorship—from the very people who claimed to be Christians. After his book The Seduction of Christianity was published in the mid-1980s, it became a phenomenal best-seller, causing a huge upheaval in the church and my father was viciously attacked as a result. This is what he had to say about censorship, way back in 1987:
Robert Schuller has great power, and when he declared on radio that Seduction (although he hadn’t read it) was literally “demonic, satanic, a work of the devil,” many probably believed him. Recently Schuller told a pastor at whose church I was scheduled to speak, “Dave Hunt is a devil; you can see the serpent in his eyes,” and warned that he would have to exorcise the “negativism” out of the stones of his church if he allowed me to speak there.
This was right after he had told a group of pastors, in keeping with his “positive” TV image, that they should never say anything “negative” against anyone. Schuller and Oral Roberts together convinced the pastor of a very large church, who had until then been favorable, that he ought to take Seduction out of the church bookstore. Schuller and others have been offered the opportunity to discuss the issues with me on TV and have refused.
When Hal Lindsey interviewed me on his Saturday morning radio program, almost half of his stations across the country cut him off as soon as they heard my voice.
On a recent trip to the East Coast, the church where I was scheduled to speak canceled under pressure. That pastor as well as others confessed in private that they agreed with the message of Seduction, but were afraid to let me in their churches because of extreme pressure from positive-confession and word-faith pastors who were very strong in the area.
My dad continued to live a simple life, even after his books became best sellers. He continued to turn down many big offers. He was blessed with a good life when for so many years he had struggled—we all had—to survive as he wrote his books and preached the message on his heart.
If he were alive today, I know he would be proud of what I am doing. He would be right there with me, speaking out in the ways he always did. He would continue to be a thorn in the flesh of those who comply, and they would not like him very much.
So, back to my current problem. Other advice people give me is to just not use Google or Microsoft, etc. But the reality is, these monoliths control everything on the internet. Yes, I can use proton mail, for example, but I still have to access it through the internet. If I log into Yandex, I can access everything, but for how long—who knows. It, too, is connected to Google. Whatever search engine you use, content is still being monitored.
I have Microsoft Word on my computer and that is the way I write. My goal over the next few months is to get a new computer and to have an IT guy I trust set everything up in a more secure manner. But whatever I do, I will not change the way I speak or the way I write. If you look at my profile on X, karenalainehunt, it says:
Fighter. Writer. Renegade. Banned. Cancelled. Shadow-banned. NO SURRENDER. Bow to no man. REFUSE THE BLUE CHECK. Back-up breakfreekaren
So, I’m very clear about who I am and what I think. I engage less and less on social media. I cannot play the game anymore. I see people trying so hard to get the clicks and the followers. I despise the term “follower”. I don’t ever want to be called an “Influencer”. Over and over, people repeat the same things in the echo chamber, or try to come up with bombshell posts that word it a bit differently, but it’s still the same thing. All the time and energy spent in this fake world; tales “told by an idiot full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” – William Shakespeare, Macbeth.
What does it mean to live by what you say? We have lost that connection to reality. Jesus said that if you want to be a disciple you must not “be willing to give up everything” but you must “give up everything” and follow him. Yes, be a follower of the one that truly matters. And I am talking to everyone. Because what Jesus said, his words apply to us all, you don’t have to be a Christian to recognize the truth of it. Calling yourself a Christian isn’t the same as being a follower of Christ, anyway.
What does this mean in our modern day?
What does it mean to stand up fearlessly, not violently, with love and understanding in your heart? I will tell you a story about that, because it, too, is a result of how I was raised.
As many of you know, I was living in Luxor, Egypt when the pandemic struck. I was staying with a friend of mine, Gitte, although she called herself Eva in the article I wrote for Egyptian Streets, but I don’t think she will mind me calling her by her real name here.
Let me tell you about what happened, the part that wasn’t included in that article.
I was there at the start of the pandemic and Luxor was considered the epicenter of the pandemic in Egypt. So, once the tourists found that out, it didn’t take long for all of them to scurry away. Luxor, especially the magical west bank, close to the Valley of the Kings, became a town of ghosts. Gitte had been living in her lovely villa for about nine years by this point, coming there every winter to paint. But during the pandemic, she decided she’d had enough, and she told the Mafia real estate agent who controlled much of the business, that she wanted to sell the villa. That’s when all hell broke loose.
Gitte was unusual, in that she really did own her villa. Yes, she had been taken in by a local man in the beginning and had signed an “Orfi”, a marriage contract, but she had soon realized it was all a scam. She was one of the few women who had lived for many years on her own, without once again succumbing to the advances of a local man to marry. Probably 90% of the foreign women (maybe more) in Luxor who think they own the villas or the cars or the businesses that they buy really don’t.
There is a saying in Luxor, if you are a foreign woman who has married a local man and you want to get out, you are lucky if you leave with the skin on your back. You will take nothing else with you. After my story was published in Egyptian Streets, many women contacted me, saying they wished they could get out, but they had no more money to do so. One woman messaged me that she wished she could tell her story of horrific abuse but if she did, she wouldn’t live to see the next day.
And so it happened that when word got out that Gitte wanted to sell her villa, her neighbor, who had coveted her villa for many years, decided it belonged to him and he would have it. Ahmed lived across the street in a large villa, and he had a very good tourist business.
There’s a lot more to this story, much intrigue and oddities that happened, but suffice it to say, the night came when we got word that Ahmed was going to invade the villa and take it by force. Remember, that by this time, we were essentially trapped in Luxor. There were no flights out.
All that day, we had seen men from his village arriving until by the evening there must have been at least twenty or so robed men ominously pacing back and forth on the narrow dirt road outside the villa, staring up at us with scowling faces as we looked down from Gitte’s rooftop terrace, wondering what they were doing. Now we knew.
As darkness fell, we searched for weapons we might use to protect ourselves. A hammer, a piece of wood, anything. We knew it would be pointless to try and contact the police as they would not come. It must have been around 9 o’clock when we heard yells at the back gate and someone rattling it, as if they wanted to come in.
“Isn’t there anyone you can call?” I asked Gitte.
She knew one man, someone who had tried to gain her favor and marry her (there was always someone trying to do this), and she thought maybe he might help. He said he would come and arrived not long after in his car. As he got out of his car, he was beaten with sticks by the men in the street. He had no choice but to drive away.
I tried to film what happened, but I was high up on the terrace and couldn’t see the street. Gitte was down by the gate, and she saw it. I heard the sounds, and it was terrifying. I posted what I had filmed on Facebook and asked for help from the other foreign women who lived in Luxor. No one responded.
It was then that we knew we were really on our own and in grave danger. I started to think to myself, hold on. I am not going to sit here passively waiting to be attacked.
In such moments, the choices one makes can mean life or death. There was only one thing I could do.
I went down to the gate to confront the men on the street. It was a beautiful blue iron gate, and the moment I came to stand there, the men stopped their chattering and pacing and stared at me in surprise.
I said in a loud Moudira (boss) voice that I wanted to speak to the man in charge. In my three years in Luxor, I had learned that if a man came at you loud and aggressive, you had to come back louder and more aggressive, never give an inch, never show one bit of weakness. Besides, this, I was already well known as an international writer and as someone who had started the first and only boxing club for girls in Luxor, as well as the fact that I had already stood up to a group of men despite their threats to my life and I had come out stronger because of it (a story for another day).
Of course, when I asked who was in charge, I already knew it was the neighbor, although I had never spoken to him. He was a tall, imposing man who was highly regarded in the neighborhood. He came froward to face me at the gate. A few of the other men came, too, and stood behind him like bodyguards.
There we stood, a man and a woman from two completely different worlds, facing off on either side of the gate that separated us.
I had spent a lifetime traveling and living in many countries. I loved nothing more than learning about new cultures and people. At that time, the United States was still probably the freest place on earth, despite all its problems. I have never considered myself a “patriot”, I always thought of myself as a traveler, but in that moment, I became very thankful that I was an American and that we had such a “crazy” president as Donald Trump.
It’s easy to theorize about things when you are posting big claims on social media. It is very different when you are in the real world, facing a dangerous situation where the smiles of the people surrounding you disappear, their masks fall off, and the hatred that lies beneath, that has been so deeply imbedded for more than a thousand years, comes to the surface, ready to be unleashed.
All the woke ideology matters for nothing. All the right phrases are gone. In that moment, all that matters is the reality of the situation and making the right choice.
“I’m an American citizen!” I said (in that Moudira voice). I explained that I felt threatened. I warned him that I would inform my embassy, the media giant, Egyptian Streets, and the whole world would know what had happened and who had done it.
The minute I gave my speech, the aggressive attitudes they had been showing retreated and the familiar masks of smiles reappeared.
“We love Americans,” Ahmed said hurriedly, and the men behind him nodded in agreement.
Right then I felt the pride of being an American in ways I never had before. Frankly, I knew it wouldn’t have been the same if Gitte had stood there and said, “I’m a Swedish citizen”. Or any other country for that matter. I came from the most powerful nation on earth and yes, my president was that “crazy” man, but he was also a strong man whose foreign policy was to be respected. People in the United States didn’t understand this. But it is a fact, I am sure, that if Joe Biden had been president at that time, they might well have torn me to pieces instead of backed off.
The result was that, instead of being attacked in the night, I was able to invite Ahmed in and he and Gitte sat down and discussed the sale of the house. Mind you, it was understood that she had no choice but to sell the house to him.
First, we drank tea and Ahmed spilled all his grievances against Gitte.
“Didn’t I always water the street in front of your house for you, all these years?” he said. In the evenings they always water the streets to settle the dust.
“Yes,” Gitte acknowledged.
“And did you ever invite me for tea or come into my home and sit with my wife and my mother?”
“No, I didn’t.” Gitte confessed.
It went on like this until Ahmed was satisfied, she had apologized enough. And then came the agreements for the sale of the villa. The Mafia real estate man drew up the contract and they both signed it around 3 am. Remember, this was the height of Covid, but no one was wearing a mask or keeping safe distances. We were inside Ahmed’s home, squashed together with many family members and children, all eating watermelon, the best of friends now.
That wasn’t the end of Gitte’s problems. She was tormented endlessly after that, in the hopes that she would be terrified into signing away her rights to be paid for the house. Many times, she was dragged to the police station in the middle of the night. Claims were made that she was trying to sell the house twice and she would go to prison for it. Gitte told me that if I hadn’t been there, she doubted she would have ever gotten out of the country alive.
In the end, when we finally were able to leave the country, as I describe in the Egyptian Streets article, her taxi was surrounded by a mob of violent men, trying to pull her out and take her to the police station yet again. She called me, terrified, and I managed to get there before they had torn her in two—one man on each side of the car trying to pull her out. There was a police officer, just standing there, a man I knew, and when he saw me, his eyes grew wide, and he made a big fuss about telling the men to stop pulling on Gitte. The men backed off long enough for us to make our escape to the airport.
That still wasn’t the end. When officials took my temperature at the airport, as they were doing back then, I was in such a state that I had a fever, and they almost didn’t let me on the plane. After all of those battles, how horrible it would have been to have to say good-bye to Gitte and go back to face those men on my own. Thank God I got out.
Gitte did return not long ago to pick up her paintings that she’d had to leave behind. She was very careful where she stayed and left quickly. She wanted me to go with her and we had joked that we would ride bicycles as we used to, down the main street by the Nile, only we would wear burkas, and no one would recognize us. But of course, they would because we were both so tall and her eyes were blue and mine were gray. We recalled how we used to sit by the Nile, drinking very bad wine during Ramadan and saying, we will never get out of here alive.
But the point is, in the real world, it is actions that matter, not some post you make on social media. Anyone can be brave there. We will be required to be brave in the real world. More and more the choices we make will determine our fate. This is the urgency I feel. To not falter. To not give in and make compromises.
This is courage. This is what I mean when I say “no” to extremism. This isn’t extremism. This is simply the right way to live. There is nothing extreme about it. There is nothing hateful about it. In that dangerous situation in Luxor, on that dark night, I took action, but not with hatred, nor did I wait passively for things to happen. I would have fought if I needed to, I was prepared to fight for my life. But I was able to negotiate. Friends on social media did not save me or Gitte. They abandoned us.
In his book Live Not By Lies, Rod Dreher talks to dissidents from the communist era in eastern Europe about what held them together. A famous Christian dissident, Vaclav Benda and his wife Kamila are described by his children like this:
“Our parents were heroes for us. My father was the sheriff from High Noon.”
“Watching High Noon really formed our way of fighting against evil. Everyone was asking this sheriff to leave so that the town will have no problems from the bad guys. But the sheriff comes back nevertheless because his virtue and honor can’t allow him to leave.”
What a great way to learn a lesson—from a classic movie while living in such a dangerous situation. I can see it all in my imagination.
Fighting can mean many things and the most powerful ways of overcoming evil do not come from shedding blood but from remembering who we are and walking through the fire, not causing it. We come out the other side stronger. This is how we win.
Karen Hunt [aka KH Mesek] is an author and illustrator of 19 children’s books, the YA series Night Angels Chronicles and the science fiction novel, LUMINARIA: Tales of Earth & Oran, Love & Revenge, to be published in August. She recently returned from living in Luxor, Egypt where she started the first boxing club for girls. Having lived and traveled extensively behind the Iron Curtain, she is devoting her time to writing essays related to the loss of freedom in the West. You can read more of her work, or sign up to her newsletter, here. You can’t follow her twitter any longer, as she’s been banned.
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