The books are already burning

Within a day, Dr. Hall’s article was flooded with nearly 1,000 comments, mostly, she says, from activists demanding the article be stripped from the site, but also from some readers expressing their appreciation. Angry emails from activists swamped the blog’s editors. Within two days, those editors had given Dr. Hall an ultimatum: retract, rewrite, or allow them to add a disclaimer.

“What surprised me was that my fellow editors attacked me, too. Basically what they said was that my article was not up to my usual standards as far as medicine, science and critical thinking went. And I didn’t feel that I did anything but what I always do. That surprised me,” she told me. Considering the editors’ ultimatum, she elected to have the editors who disagreed add a disclaimer to the website. “I told them I did not want it retracted. And the next thing I knew, they had retracted it.”

Let that sink in: a book review by a respected physician was bullied out of existence in America.

Public figures who have watched the success of such campaigns — and they are now weekly if not daily — now know they risk their livelihoods by engaging heterodox views. Jordan Peterson, for example, chose to demonetize the interview we did on his YouTube channel to, in his words, “avoid attracting counterproductive attention by jackals who weaponize demonetization.”