In 2002, after living in India for two years, I returned to Seattle with my wife, ready to begin the next chapter of life. With our first child on the way, I needed a steady job. It was time to get got serious about my acupuncture career. In searching for a location to open a clinic, I was on the road often, sleeping at the homes of friends and in motels, so it seemed logical to purchase my first cell phone. I remember feeling a sense of power and prestige as my mind’s self-image vainly compared itself to media images of business executives on the go, holding a cell phone to the ear. Marlboro Man move over, the Motorola Man is here.
I’ve been very fortunate to enjoy good health in my life. As a child, I had abundant energy – so much so that our family doctor suggested medication to stabilize my mood. Thankfully, my mother wisely ignored him. As I passed forty, I began to notice changes in my health – a consequence of age I figured – achiness, creaks and pops in joints, decrease in stamina, and changes in vision. But other symptoms soon appeared which were more difficult to attribute to mere aging. Sometime around 2011, the year of the triple melt down in Fukushima, neuropathy (numbness) began to affect my feet. Even with eight hours of sleep, it became more difficult to wake up in the morning, my mind felt heavy and my balance was unsteady upon rising. My mouth sometimes become extremely dry at night and I felt less rested.
Seattle is a modern global city, home to major corporate players in the data world – Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and east of the mountains, Itron, maker of “smart” meters. The “smart” meter industry was a 5 billion dollar business globally in 2012 with industry forecasting eight hundred million meters to be installed by 2020. This demand is not coming from free markets – as the vast majority of people have still never heard of “smart” meters. So where is the demand for this technology coming from?
Seattle mainstream culture prides itself on its tech-culture. Neighborhoods are ever vying for inclusion in the latest high speed data network. And now this: In a few short months, the City Council is poised to vote on City Light’s roll out of “smart” utility meters in Seattle, potentially bringing a tsunami wave of radio-frequency (RF) smog to the already electrified ether of Emerald City. “Smart” meters are orders of magnitude more troubling than cell phone towers because they not only add an unknown measure of harm to personal and environmental health, but also threaten what little personal freedom still remains in our ailing American democracy.
Human beings came into existence roughly 150,000 years ago. As one of millions of different forms of life that walk, swim, crawl, or fly around the Earth, the human organism has an intimate relationship with the gravitational and magnetic fields of the earth, sun, and moon. Even at the cellular level, our bodies function based on subtle electrical charges. Although my exposure to molecular biology was too long ago to articulate this topic in depth, an intellectual understanding of the bioelectric basis of human life isn’t necessary in order to directly experience what I am talking about. I invite you to read the following short exercise and then step away from your computer and try it – or have someone read this to you slowly:
Take a few deep breaths. Hold out both hands in front of you at the level of the navel, facing each other but not touching. Imagine that you are holding a ball of light in your hands. Make sure that your shoulders are relaxed, not hunched up around your neck. Let your breathing be relaxed and natural, as you breathe in, expanding the lungs, allow your arms to open, imagine your energy ball growing in size. As you breathe out, bring the hands slowly back together. Observe closely, the sensation as your hands move back to the original pose of holding the ball. Do you feel the energy in your hands grow stronger as you bring them together, like a slight tingling sensation? That’s your bio-electric field or in Chinese, the chi (pronounced chee).
The vitality of our energy field – roughly translatable to the Chinese concept of chi – is the basis of our health. Many things impact the strength and quality of our chi field. Mental and emotional stress slows down our energy flow and reduces our field strength. This often triggers a tightening in muscle tension, reducing the flow further. Disease, physical injury, lack of sleep, inadequate nutrition often from eating foods lacking vitality (denatured, chemically laden, genetically modified, microwaved, overcooked, canned or stale ingredients, etc.) all of these diminish or harm the Chi. And increasingly in the last generation or two, electromagnetic radio frequency waves present our bio-electric organism with another, major assault to reckon with.
The frequency of the average adult heart is around one cycle per second (one hertz or Hz). The earth’s planetary frequency, which also corresponds to the resting human brain vibrates at approximately 10 Hz. In brief, over the course of the past five to ten thousand generations, humans and all creatures have adapted to a predictable mix of natural frequencies. Since the invention of electricity, radar, cell phones, and millions of other electrical gadgets, the manmade energy frequency spectrum has proliferated to where our minds and bodies are bombarded with everything from 60 Hz household electricity up to the latest 4G cell phone networks operating in the gigahertz (billions of cycles per second) and the latest full body airport scanners which operate in the terahertz (trillions of cycles per second). While it is true that cosmic background radiation originating from the big bang thirteen to eighteen billion years ago during the formation of this universe also vibrates in the gigahertz frequency ranges (and has obviously been present throughout the history of mankind), these doses are generally considered low and any hypothetical damage at the cellular level quickly repairs itself. (For an excellent discussion on this topic, please read An Electronic Silent Spring, by Katie Singer, 2014.
Recently, on a walk with my family, I passed a new house in my neighborhood and noticed a “smart” meter. I had never actually seen one. As the house was only a few feet from the side walk, I approached the meter, holding out my left hand to see if I could sense the energy. When my hand was about eight inches away, I began to feel a rapidly pulsating sensation. About thirty minutes later, after returning from my walk, I noticed a dull ache in the left posterior-temporal region of my brain. The entire left side of my body felt like it had been zapped. It would be foolish to claim any scientific conclusions from my anecdotal experience. However, it would also be foolish to discount the growing body of suggestive evidence of biological harm from smart meters and other RF technology. Furthermore, let’s not forget one of the most obvious differences between a smart meter and a phone is our ability to regulate our exposure to these devices. “Smart” meters run 24/7. If a smart meter is on the other side of a bedroom or office wall where we sleep or work – we have few options except to move out or suffer the consequences. For the increasing numbers of electro sensitive individuals, RF-free zones are getting more difficult to find.
With cell phones, there are many precautions one can take to minimize exposure – for example, using a phone without data capability (not a “smart” phone), only turning it on when needed, using the speakerphone instead of holding it against the head, etc. And while NSA’s huge data centers have long been storing information from our emails and cell-phone calls, the granular data possible with smart meters takes surveillance to a whole new level and potential for control – a bureaucrat under orders from his boss can turn off your power supply remotely with one key stroke, or decide you are a terrorist based on arbitrary computer algorithms, sending in a SWAT team to break down your front door at 3:00 a.m. Paranoia? That accusation is often dismissively leveled at civil-libertarians and free thinkers who rock the dominant paradigm. Apologists for the (in)security state are fond of saying: “If you have done nothing wrong, then there’s no reason to be afraid”. Such logic too easily exposes a society to the overreach of despotic government and is contrary to both the vision of the founding fathers, and common sense enlightened governance. To believe in promises that “smart” meters would never be used to spy on us strikes me as extremely naive and ignorant of history.
Now is the time to educate yourself on the issue or reap the unpleasant consequences.
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