James Perloff’s virus critique contains information some people want kept hidden.
By S.T. Patrick
James Perloff can now be added to the growing list of authors who have had their books banned by Amazon. Perloff’s newest work, COVID-19 and the Agendas to Come, Red-Pilled, had sold over 3,500 units at Amazon since its debut on Aug. 20. For an independent author, the book was an overwhelming success—that is, until Oct. 15 when Perloff received his first notice from the world’s largest bookstore.
Perloff received an unsigned email from Amazon notifying him that the company was suspending his right to publish the book because there was a dispute about whether he had publishing rights overseas. He did, and does, as Amazon was informed via a routine question-and-answer screen when Perloff published the book with Amazon’s Kindle Direct self-publishing service. Perloff, again, began going through the process of affirming that he had the right to sell his own book. Two hours later, another unsigned email arrived from Amazon.
Worldwide distribution rights were no longer issues for Amazon, which now said that the author had violated its policy on “content guidelines.” Perloff, stunned by Amazon’s anonymous decision, asked for a more specific explanation about what content guideline was violated. Amazon responded, “We’ve reviewed your book COVID-19 and the Agendas to Come—Red-Pilled, and found that it is in violation of our content guidelines and we will not be offering this title for sale on Amazon. We reserve the right to determine whether content provides a poor customer experience and remove that content from sale.” Amazon’s answer was a non-answer.
The author later wrote a blog post detailing his interactions with Amazon and his thoughts on the ban. “I’d like to say some things about the book itself,” Perloff wrote. “Two days after publication it ranked as high as No. 254 of all books on Amazon, and over the course of the last two months, it was often ranked as Amazon’s No. 1 bestseller in the category of ‘respiratory diseases.’ . . . Along with over 3,500 Amazon sales, the book had received 50 customer ratings, 92% 5-star, 8% 4-star. No one gave it 1, 2, or 3 stars. So how can Amazon call it a ‘poor customer experience’? Aren’t their customers supposed to determine that?”
There has been some uncertainty as to why the book has been banned. Was it because it takes a strongly anti-mainstream media approach to explaining the great pandemic of 2020? Perloff isn’t sure that’s the case; instead, he questions whether it is about class.
“Why I was singled out is unclear,” Perloff wrote. “Amazon initially banned Alex Berenson’s Unreported Truths about COVID-19 and Lockdowns, then reversed its decision after protests were voiced, notably by Elon Musk. Amazon also banned Julio Gonzalez’s book Coronalessons, but reversed itself after intervention by Sen. Marco Rubio, an associate of Gonzalez. Unfortunately, I am not a friend of Elon Musk or any U.S. senators. However, the First Amendment was not intended to apply only to the rich and the powerful.”
Perloff isn’t an uninformed hack pushing conspiracy theories about buying tin foil hats for a coming end times apocalypse. He is an accomplished author who has done two of the most groundbreaking works in the alternative research field. The Shadows of Power: The Council on Foreign Relations and the American Decline (1988) and Truth is a Lonely Warrior: Unmasking the Forces Behind Global Destruction (2013) are both canon within their sub-genres. Perloff is also the author of Thirteen Pieces of the Jigsaw: Solving Political, Cultural, and Spiritual Riddles, Past and Present, which tackles topics as diverse as why Nagasaki was targeted by Truman for an atomic bomb and the real reason there was a “Golden Age of Television.” He’s also done two critical works on Darwinism.
In an email exchange with this writer, Perloff described what the incident has taught him about censorship in 2020. “Well, it was not a big surprise—honestly, I thought they would censor the book on day one,” Perloff wrote. “But after it became a bestseller for seven weeks running, I was hoping the book’s popularity might keep it on Amazon. That was naïve of me, of course—we’ve seen YouTube videos with millions of views deleted. Popularity has nothing to do with it, and may even work against you, as a more visible item can’t ‘fly beneath the radar.’ ”
Perloff also found it odd that the censorship was not singular but part of a wave.
“Another thing that struck me about the censorship was the coordination,” Perloff said. “Other alternative media were censored at the same time as me. As just one example, Sean [Stone] of ‘SGT Report,’ who had 625,000 acknowledged followers on YouTube, lost everything in one day—his YouTube channel, his Patreon account, and his Mailchimp account. Man, that’s coordination. The censorship is at an unprecedented level, and it is apt to only get worse. I am encouraged, however, by the fighting back some people are doing—for example, the lawsuit against Google and YouTube that whistleblowers Zach Vorhies and Ryan Hartwig are launching.”
Perloff has also decided to fight Amazon on the decision. He has taken his case to a law firm that specializes in First Amendment cases. He is also planning to notify the House Antitrust Committee, which has recently paid special attention to the workings of the Jeff Bezos global retail giant.
Readers of the American Free Press can currently find it in the AFP bookstore, as well. The book is available, but, like any banned book, printings and stock may be sporadic and unpredictable. The time to support Perloff’s work is now, and Perloff knows that. He understands the psychology of censorship.
He ended positively: “One last thing I’ll say as a word of encouragement. Censorship often backfires. If you say to people ‘Don’t read this book,’ their instinct is to go and read it.”
S.T. Patrick holds degrees in both journalism and social studies education. He spent 10 years as an educator and now hosts the “Midnight Writer News Show.” His email is [email protected] He is also an occasional contributor to TBR history magazine and the current managing editor of Deep Truth Journal (DTJ), a new conspiracy-focused publication available from the AFP Online Store.