Jonathon Van Maren

Elon Musk Would Be Making a Disastrous Mistake to Allow Pornography on X

Some users have noted that pornography is already showing up more often on X, and that this new policy could open the floodgates. Musk has already responded to the backlash. When one user asked if there was an available function that could allow people to use X without being exposed to pornography, Musk personally replied, “This is a top priority.” That, it must be said, is not good enough. As it stands, X’s policy ensures that minors will be able to access pornography, and makes it increasingly likely that everyday users will be exposed to it.

Elon Musk’s decision to purchase Twitter in 2022 for $44 billion was a game-changer. Due to his longstanding commitment to freedom of speech and his stated intention to ensure that Twitter remained — or became — the “digital public square,” he began by eliminating many of the restrictions that had previously choked off debate on incredibly contentious cultural issues.  
As I noted in a recent essay, his purchase of Twitter allowed critics of gender ideology to speak the truth on the platform — something that had been previously forbidden under Twitter’s Orwellian ban on “misgendering” (accurately noting the sex of a trans-identified person). Without Musk at the helm, for example, J.K. Rowling would not have been able to take on — and neuter — Scotland’s new “hate crime” law. 
Twitter (or X) has had plenty of problems since Musk’s takeover as he and his team work through the new rules, tweak the algorithms, and implement their own biases. Despite all that, X has still served effectively as Musk’s desired “digital public square” for several key cultural debates. But a new policy change may change the trajectory of the social media site for good if Musk doesn’t change course. 
As Newsweek reported, X has now released a new position on pornography, stating that “we believe that users should be able to create, distribute, and consume material related to sexual themes as long as it is consensually produced and distributed.
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“A Fundamentally Decent Religion”

The rise of wokeness, the all-encompassing digital age, and the decline of Western power have forced many atheists to admit that Christianity will not, as it turns out, be replaced by the rationalist regimes they dreamed of. The West is gripped by a crisis of meaning—and atheists have nothing to offer. Dawkins himself has been forced to confront this fact, and he appears to have realized of late that the society he cherishes—one in which freedom of thought, freedom of speech, and other principles he apparently chalked up to the evolutionary process, are the rule—may not be possible in the anti-Christian culture he once strove so hard to bring about.

In 2013, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins announced that teaching children about hell was tantamount to abuse. In 2015, the author of The God Delusion elaborated further, telling the Irish Times that children needed to be “protected” from the religious beliefs of their parents and that we must “write off” those who believed in Scripture. It was a grotesque but unsurprising suggestion from a man who had spent years attacking Christianity.
Less than a decade later in 2024, Richard Dawkins has changed his tune. He still clearly despises the truths of Christianity, but he has abandoned his characteristic contempt and now calls himself “a cultural Chrisitan.” How has this evolution come about?
Dawkins became an atheist culture warrior in the years following 9/11, when the New Atheist movement emerged in the wake of Islamist terror and the sex scandals wracking the Roman Catholic Church. The most prominent of these atheist polemicists were the men dubbed the movement’s “Four Horsemen”: philosopher Daniel Dennett, journalist Christopher Hitchens, neuroscientist Sam Harris, and Dawkins himself. Each published bestselling books attacking God and religion that were briefly but wildly popular.
The New Atheist movement has since spectacularly collapsed and Justin Brierly describes its demise in his fascinating new book, The Surprising Rebirth of Belief in God.
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The Transgender Movement Is Collapsing in England after the Cass Review

According to Maya Forstater, who was fired for opposing gender ideology, won a wrongful dismissal lawsuit, and founded the campaign organization Sex Matters, these coming changes are a “major step” towards walking back NHS England’s “capitulation to the demands of gender extremists, which has damaged policies and practices, created widespread confusion, and harmed patient care.” 

Is it possible that the transgender tide might go out as swiftly as it came in? 
The impact of the Cass Review has been international, but the response has been mixed. The Netherlands rejected “self-identification” by a wide margin, but Sweden and Germany approved it. The Canadian establishment claimed the findings were “transphobic,” and the American LGBT activists similarly ignored these findings. Some people won’t wake up until the lawsuits are served. 
In the U.K., however, the Cass Review appears to be a tipping point. Scotland’s “gender clinics” have paused the prescription of puberty blockers (which England’s National Health Service has banned entirely outside of clinical trials). The NHS has also announced that in the wake of the Cass Review, an independent review of adult “gender clinics” will also be conducted (although Hilary Cass, who currently cannot use public transit due to security concerns, will not be spearheading it). 
Indeed, the NHS is not wasting any time in reversing the changes that have crept in over the past decade. Health Secretary Victoria Atkins is scheduled to announce changes to the NHS constitution on patients’ rights this week with an eight-week consultation period, according to the Telegraph. These changes, it appears, will actually be a reversion to the norm, with terms such as “chestfeeding” and “people with ovaries” banned in favor of the sex-specific terms previously used.  
As I reported in this space over the past several years, references to women had slowly but steadily been removed from NHS websites and medical documents, even on female-specific subjects such as cervical and ovarian cancer and menopause.  
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How the Transgender Movement Fuels Conspiracy Theories

No matter how far-fetched a given conspiracy theory might seem, it will not be as far-fetched as the idea that there are now 72 genders. In fact, considering which narratives the progressive establishment defends most fiercely, it seems to many that the only truly credulous position to take would be that of leaders who cannot even define what a woman or a man is, who reject established science on issues of ideology, and gaslight us when we try to point that out.

Ask anyone in your life to define a ‘conspiracy theory,’ and you’ll likely get a different answer. From elections to vaccines, from the ‘deep state’ to Ukraine, there is only one thing that most people now agree on: that establishment narratives are false. There are a range of key contributing factors to this—the internet and social media, the collapse of trust in institutions, increasing polarization, and much more. But one prominent issue that has proven to be a catalyst for all these trends has been largely ignored: the rise of the transgender movement.
What do I mean by a ‘catalyst’? A catalyst is “an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action.” Thus, the change is already occurring, but the catalyst accelerates it. The transgender agenda, which has been imposed from the top down by the establishment in just a few short years—government, the press, the entertainment industry, academia, and activists—has radically increased distrust in institutions and increased polarization by destroying the common ground where compromise has traditionally been possible. If we can’t even agree on basic biology, what can we agree on?
Progressives seem oddly blind to the effect their radicalism on this issue has on ordinary people. Police bulletins featuring photos of bearded male rapists identifying them as ‘women’; men identifying as women being sent to female prisons; males with all of the male equipment (‘her penis’) competing against girls in sports; sex change ‘treatments’ for minors; and the never-ending insistence that all of this is normal, that nothing has changed, and that we are bigoted for pointing out that this is all very new and even those of us in our early thirties remember when it was different—all of this has a profoundly radicalizing effect in turn.
The reply from the progressive establishment has been censorship, demonization, and a threatening question: Who are you going to believe—us or your lying eyes? When average people in possession of common sense see the experts and elites aggressively pushing absurd things, most reach one of two conclusions. 
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Regime Change: “Transgender Day of Visibility” Replaces Easter Sunday

According to progressive politicians and their press allies, however, noticing the epochal shift between New York City illuminating skyscrapers with the crosses of Calvary and the New York governor ordering landmarks lit up to celebrate cross-dressing men, gender confusion, and the medicalization of confused children is creating a culture war rather than responding to the latest iteration of it. 

Two columns from The European Conservative, on the descendants of Hitler, Mao, Stalin, and other villains: “The Long Island Hitlers (and other children of evil).” On one of the greatest writers of the 20th century: “Sigrid Undset’s Powerful Portrayal of the Consequences of Sin.”
Regime Change: “Transgender Day of Visibility” replaces Easter Sunday
Over the weekend, we once again witnessed one of the LGBT movement’s key strategies in action. First, a major assault on intergenerational norms is conducted. Then, people respond with upset and outrage. Those responding are then accused of engaging in a “culture war” for daring to notice that anything has changed; the change itself, we are told, is normal. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Thus, we saw President Joseph R. Biden, LGBT activist and alleged Catholic, declare Easter Sunday to be “Transgender Day of Visibility.” A call to endorse a radical and wicked ideology which advocates the mutilation of children on the day Christians commemorate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus is an obvious provocation, but the press hastened to insist that the “Transgender Day of Visibility” was there first, actually. Former CNN anchor Brian Stelter posted a long thread explaining that we always celebrate transgender ideology on March 31, and Politico summarized the collective coverage with the title: “Sunday marks both Easter and the Transgender Day of Visibility. Cue the culture war.”
As Rod Dreher noted, it would be nice to have a transgender day of invisibility, for a change.
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Court Jesters of the Sexual Revolution

John Oliver dedicated an entire episode of Last Week Tonight  to making the case for “gender-affirming care,” ruthlessly mocking those who believe that children should not be castrated. Stephen Colbert uses his late night show to defend the LGBT agenda while posing as a Catholic; other late night hosts are also reliable revolutionary allies. It’s easy to be dismissive of late-night hosts and comedians, but that would be a mistake. 

With the release of new comedy specials by Dave Chapelle and Ricky Gervais, we have been treated once again to several rounds of commentary complaining that their jokes about transgenderism are unacceptable and “punching down.” The backlash felt tired this time, since Chapelle and Gervais have proven uncancellable. We’ve all seen this show before. The idea that making jokes about one of the most powerful movements in the world is “punching down” is genuinely laughable.
What is more interesting is that Chapelle and Gervais are being treated as traitors to their class. In comedy of the 2020s it is fine to be transgressive, so long as you transgress in one direction: that of mocking morality, Christianity, and any remaining social boundaries. For the rest, the bulk of the comedian class serves as court jesters for the sexual revolution, targeting anyone who dares question its dogmas and, revealingly, scorning the very idea of virtue as impossible.
Consider how America’s late-night hosts deal with the issue of pornography. Jimmy Fallon spent an entire segment mocking Oklahoma state senator Dusty Deevers, who recently put forward legislation banning pornography and sexting. To uncomfortable laughter, Fallon read out fake sexts from Deevers and claimed that the Christian politician’s name sounded like a porn handle. It wasn’t funny, but the point wasn’t humor—it was to mock someone for opposing porn and for advocating public morality. Despite the growing consensus that pornography is addictive, toxic, and ruins relationships (porn is a factor in at least 56% of marriage breakdowns), opposing it is portrayed as a joke. Deevers’ response on X (formerly Twitter) was a class act:
My response to Jimmy Fallon and his writers, et al. First, I mourn the cost of enumerable people enticed into and trapped in pornography’s banquet in the grave and the fact that Jimmy Fallon serves as a waiter. Second, I long to see singlehood, marriages, families, and futures rescued from the poisonous promises of porn’s insatiable appetite for increasing deviance and destruction. Third, I know Jesus rescues sinners by His saving grace if they abhor and grieve their rebellion against Him, and turn to Christ, pursuing faith and obedience. That is my prayer for our nation and for Jimmy Fallon.
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How a Handful of Billionaires Created the Transgender “Movement”: An Interview with Jennifer Bilek

The primary catalysts driving the gender industry are rooted in technological developments entwined with an unfettered market. Medical-sex identities, along with technological reproduction, are at the forefront of attempts to advance our species beyond our current human borders. The strategic linking of an agenda aimed at deconstructing reproductive sex with a civil rights movement centered on same-sex attraction was pure genius—a metaphorical fox in the henhouse, but dressed as a hen. We are on the brink of breakthroughs in genetic engineering, artificial intelligence (AI), and artificial reproduction, each comprising significant industries. The convergence of these fields indicates a trajectory towards a future that transcends our current human state. 

I first came across investigative journalist Jennifer Bilek’s work in 2020, when her essay “The Billionaires Behind the LGBT Movement” was published in First Things. It was a stunning piece—there are several journalists committed to exposing the transgender ‘movement’ (or industry, as Bilek calls it), but nobody has peeled away the façade of civil rights, pink-and-blue flags, and ‘trans kids’ like Bilek. If we had a mainstream press truly committed to uncovering and reporting the truth about the forces driving our culture today, her work would be cited by them across the board.
Bilek is an artist, activist, and investigative journalist based out of New York City, and her work has been published in Tablet Magazine, The Federalist, The Post Millennial, and elsewhere. Bilek spent her life on the Left, but now she says that she is in the “political wilderness,” reporting on the biggest cultural story of our day while progressives ignore it or cover it up. Bilek also runs the Substack Jennifer’s Newsletter and the blog The 11th Hour, where she explains her focus:
I write at the intersection of humanity, technology, and runaway capitalism. At this intersection stands transgenderism, what I believe is a glamorous ad campaign generated by elites, invested in tech and pharma, to normalize the changing of human biology.
Bilek is doing something that journalists used to do instinctively: following the money. What she has uncovered is a bombshell that reveals the extent to which the transgender phenomenon has been created by super-wealthy LGBT donors who have a dark and sinister agenda. Her journalism supplies the missing pieces needed to complete the picture of how and why the transgender movement so swiftly achieved cultural dominance. Bilek kindly agreed to an interview in which she shared what she has uncovered thus far.
You’ve done groundbreaking reporting on the extent to which billionaires have been quietly backing the LGBT movement behind the scenes. To what extent are the cultural shifts we’ve seen in the past few years astroturfed by big donors?
The cultural shifts we see today regarding gender identity are largely influenced by huge capital inflows from governments, philanthropists, corporations, and investment management and accounting firms like Blackrock and Ernst & Young. While some believe that the ideology originated in universities, funding is directed to these institutions to promote the idea of synthetic sex identities as progressive, which students then carry into the world.
To comprehend the motivations of governments, philanthropists, and big business in this ideology, we must examine its implications. Gender ideology deconstructs human reproductive sex legally, linguistically, socially, and is also attacking mostly young people’s reproductive organs by sterilizing them. It is marketing disassociation from sexed reality presented as progressive, which is especially confusing to young people in using their naturally rebellious youthfulness as a corporate trap.
Both the money and the ideology come out of the medical-tech sector, which is itself being integrated into culture through a philanthropic structure that has been attached to the LGBT civil rights political apparatus. The Arcus Foundation, one of the largest LGBT NGOs, plays a central role in this regard, not only by providing extensive funding to a plethora of institutions but also by introducing a tracking apparatus called MAP and encouraging wealthy philanthropists to invest in the LGBT constituency. Jon Stryker, the founder of Arcus, has a background in banking and is the heir to the corporate fortune that is Stryker Medical. Stryker Medical, with its ventures into the facial feminization surgery market, exemplifies the interconnection between the LGBT political apparatus and the medical-tech industry.
The Pritzker family in Chicago is one of the richest families in America. Though their fortune evolved out of the Hyatt Hotel industry, their predominant investments now are in the medical-tech sector. Their massive philanthropic efforts have made them some of the biggest drivers/funders of the gender industry. Tim Gill of the Gill Foundation—the second largest LGBT NGO in America and connected to Jon Stryker and his family—contributes significantly as well, originally coming from the tech sector and now involved in a home AI platform business. The tech giants—Google, Intel, Microsoft, Facebook, Salesforce, Hewlett Packard, and Amazon—leverage their financial power both to fund this industry in body dissociation and also to browbeat entire states to accept the ideology by threatening the withdrawal of their capital. They did this in 2016, when they signed an amicus brief against North Carolina. After that the state insisted on bathroom privacy for boys and girls in schools.
The rapid proliferation of this ideology is attributed to tremendous financial pressure and mainstream media censorship of critics, which aligns with the media’s ownership by the medical-tech industry. The intertwining of conglomerates like Hearst, Conde’ Nast, and Disney with prominent pharma platforms contributes to the pervasive influence of the techno-medical complex in America.
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The Deadly Trend of Double Euthanasia

A few decades ago—when van Agt was prime minister, for example—an elderly statesman and his wife committing suicide together with the assistance of a doctor would have horrified the country. Now, it is portrayed as a peaceful sendoff—a downright Dutch way of doing things. That may well be the case. On April 1, 2002, the Netherlands became the first country in Europe since Nazi Germany to legalize euthanasia. Since then, the Dutch euthanasia regime has persistently expanded: in 2004, the Groningen Policy laid out the framework for euthanizing infants (who cannot consent); and, the rules have since been expanded to permit euthanasia for all children.

On February 5, 2024, former Dutch Prime Minister Dries van Agt died holding hands with his wife Eugenie in his hometown of Nijmegen. Both were 93; the elderly couple chose to die by euthanasia. The Rights Forum, an organization founded by van Agt, released a statement on February 9: “He died together and hand in hand with his beloved wife Eugenie van Agt-Krekelberg … with whom he was together for more than seventy years, and whom he always continued to refer to as ‘my girl.’” According to the non-profit’s director, they “couldn’t live without each other.”
Unsurprisingly for a couple of advanced age, the van Agts had experienced health difficulties in the past several years, with the former prime minister suffering a brain hemorrhage in 2019 while delivering a speech on behalf of the Palestinian cause, to which he devoted the last two decades of his life. Press reports did not disclose his wife’s challenges, but instead emphasized that they wanted to die together in what is colloquially referred to as ‘duo euthanasia’—when a couple receives lethal injections simultaneously.
Andreas “Dries” van Agt served as prime minister of the Netherlands from 1977 until 1982; throughout his career, he served as both a leader of the Catholic People’s Party (KVP) and the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA). In 1999, after a visit to Israel, van Agt began advocating for the Palestinians—The Rights Forum advocates a “just and sustainable Dutch and European policy regarding the Palestine/Israel issue.” A joint statement released by King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima, and Princess Beatrix praised his “administrative responsibility in a turbulent time” and his “striking personality and colorful style.”
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Middle Schoolers are Now Using AI to Create ‘Deepfake’ Pornography of Their Classmates

The pornography crisis is being exacerbated further by AI, once again highlighting the unfortunate truth of a joke in tech circles: first we create new technology, then we figure out how to watch porn on it. The porn industry has ruined an untold number of lives. AI porn is taking that to the next level. We should be prepared for it. 

A recent news story out of Alabama should be getting far more attention than it is, because it is a glimpse into the future. Middle school students are using artificial intelligence (AI) to create pornographic images of their female classmates:  
A group of mothers in Demopolis say their daughters’ pictures were used with artificial intelligence to create pornographic images of their daughters. Tiffany Cannon, Elizabeth Smith, Holston Drinkard, and Heidi Nettles said they all learned on Dec. 4 that two of their daughters’ male classmates created and shared explicit photos of their daughters. Smith said since last Monday, it has been a rollercoaster of emotions.
‘They’re scared, they’re angry, they’re embarrassed. They really feel like why did this happen to them,’ said Smith. The group of mothers said there is an active investigation with Demopolis Police. However, they wish for the school district to take action. They believe this is an instance of cyberbullying and there are state laws and policies to protect their girls.
‘We have laws in place through the Safe School’s law and the Student Bullying Prevention Act, which says that cyberbullying will not be tolerated either on or off campus,’ said Smith. ‘It takes a lot for these girls to come forward, and they did. They need to be supported for that. Not just from their parents, but from their school and their community,’ said Nettles.
The school hasn’t given many details yet, with the Demopolis City Schools Superintendent Tony Willis saying in a statement that there is little they can do: “The school can only address things that happen at school events, school campus on school time. Outside of this, it becomes a parent and police matter. We sympathize with parents and never want wrongful actions to go without consequences –” 
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Cruelty Cloaked in Compassion

It is cruel to lock women behind bars with violent rapists. It is cruel to force teenage girls to change in front of young men in their locker rooms. It is cruel to force traumatized rape victims to sleep in dorms with men. And it is cruel to demand that women accept their own demotion and dehumanization, reduced to crude terminology to avoid offending the cross-dressers in charge. You can put a man in a dress, and he is still a man. And you can dress up cruelty in a cloak of compassion—but it is still cruelty, and we should say so. 

A November 3 post on X (formerly Twitter) from J.K. Rowling caught my eye recently. It was her comment on the decision of an Australian court to mandate that the ‘preferred pronouns’ of people identifying as transgender be used as a “matter of respect” to ensure “public confidence in the proper administration of justice.” As Rowling noted: “Asking a woman to refer to her male rapist or violent assaulter as ‘she’ in court is a form of state-sanctioned abuse. Female victims of male violence are further traumatised by being forced to speak a lie.” Indeed, forcing a woman to refer to the man who abused and raped her as ‘she’ seems a particularly grotesque form of gaslighting.
Rowling’s comment gets to the heart of something that is not commented on often enough: the manifest cruelty of the transgender movement. I’m not referring here to the mobs of trans-identified men that so often threaten violence towards women who dare to speak out—or, as in the case of Posie Parker’s visit to New Zealand earlier this year, actually perpetrate it. Nor am I speaking of the torrent of vile threats of rape that women like Rowling face from these vicious men in dresses. I mean the cruelty of the practices and policies imposed by those in power on women and girls in the name of the transgender movement, which have swept virtually every Western country in under a decade.
“Sad, Powerless, and Confused”
Many manifestations of this cultural shift have a sinister, totalitarian air about them. Scenes of men like Dylan Mulvaney winning female awards—Virgin Atlantic’s “Woman of the Year” is the latest—while being applauded wildly by men and women in the audience remind me of the crowds forced to give minutes-long standing ovations to dictators for fear of being recognized as dissidents. The cultural overlords are watching, and you’d better think this is fair and good and a bold step forward for ‘transwomen’ if you know what’s good for you. Mulvaney isn’t a one-off example, either—as of March, nine men have won ‘Women of the Year’ awards.
Then there are the high school males winning prizes like Homecoming ‘Queen,’ once reserved for those Walker Percy memorably described as “football girls in the fall with faces like flowers.” Now we are treated to photographs of pretty girls clustered around a jut-jawed gangly young man in long hair and a dress—it seems sadistic, somehow. The girls must smile; must affirm that this young man—who is so obviously a man—is a pretty girl, prettier than they are, a flower among flowers. The press and the LGBT movement and the idiots who chose him, of course, are wild with celebration—and there is more than a little warning in their cheers. Say he’s beautiful. Say it like you mean it. If you don’t, we’ll make you a national news story.
Of course, that only happens after the girls have been forced to share changing rooms and bathrooms with these young men. Girls have risked urinary tract infections rather than use the bathroom with boys. Girls have pled with adults to keep the boys out of their changing rooms, but even their tears do not shake the idealogues in charge.
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