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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"We will control what you see and hear."

"Big Brother is watching you."
(quote from George Orwell's novel, 1984)

 I can remember as a young kid sitting in front of my TV set anxiously waiting for the next episode of the sci-fi classic, "The Outer limits" to begin.
 Suddenly, the ominous voice of the announcer would come on the screen and explain to the audience, "There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission..For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control what you see and hear."
Recently Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei created The Supreme Council of Cyberspace, which includes heads of intelligence, militia, and the Revolutionary Guard Corps. Their specific task is to supervise and monitor all internet activity.
A few months ago, Canadian blogger, Saeed Malekpour, was arrested and found guilty of creating and maintaining pornographic websites. He was sentenced to death by the Iranian Supreme Court. Although he "supposedly" admitted on Iranian tv to developing the porn sites, his sister Maryam claims that it was a forced confession after much coercion and physical torture in Iran's notorious Evin Prison.
Almost 70 years ago, British novelist, George Orwell, authored a novel entitled, 1984, which since then has become a cult classic in literature.
The basic plot of 1984 is about Oceania, a society that is ruled by a dictatorial government that treats individuality and reason as thought crimes. The society is constantly subjected to fear, oppression, surveillance and mind control. The fearful theme and reminder of the novel to its citizens is, " Big Brother is watching you."
 The 1984 Orwellian novel is hauntingly similar to the situation in Iran. The government has suppressed individuality and the God-given right of every human being to think for themselves. Iran is now embarking on a National Internet which would restrict and shut down freedom of expression.
The Government claims that it's doing this for morality and security reasons.
Everyday I spend hours chatting with my Iranian friends on line, encouraging and praying for them and just listening to whats going on in their lives. I'm praying that this will soon not come to an end. When I watched the Outer Limits every week as a young boy, I was terrified when the announcer informed me that "they" were taking control of what I was seeing and hearing. Unfortunately this has become a sad reality for my Iranian friends. I don't want my friends living in an oppressive society like the novel 1984. Join me in speaking out and praying for their freedom.


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