BANNED: Book by Dr. Peter McCullough & John Leake
Top reviewed book for over 18 months suddenly deemed “offensive” and terminated.
OCT 10, 2023
I would like to open this column by stating that I have long had a great relationship with Amazon, which has sold far more of my books than have ever been sold in bookstores. I have also been extremely grateful to Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program for empowering me to publish whatever nonfiction books I please, quickly and efficiently, while retaining the rights and earning the best royalty in the business.
In May 2022, Dr. McCullough and I published our book, The Courage to Face COVID-19: Preventing Hospitalization and Death While Battling the Bio-Pharmaceutical Complex, directly on Amazon. Quickly the book became a hit and within a year it had earned over 1000 5-Star Reviews. For almost 3 weeks in July 2022 it was a top 100 seller.
In the autumn of last year, Tony Lyons, President and Publisher of SKYHORSE in New York, graciously offered to bring out a special, handsome hardcover edition with a preface by U.S. presidential candidate, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who warmly endorsed our work.
A bit of Covid fatigue this year caused sales to decline, but in September the book got a second wind as more and more Americans seem to be recognize that Dr. McCullough has been right all along.
To my gratitude and delight, Amazon actually supported the effort by running a deep discount promotion while still paying the same royalty to us—an act of generosity to authors that is unheard of in traditional publishing.
And then, on September 29, seemingly out of nowhere, Amazon Account Review sent me the following notice:
We have temporarily suspended your KDP account because we found offensive content that violates our Content Guidelines in the title(s) listed below:
ASIN: B09ZLVWMD9 –
Title: THE COURAGE TO FACE COVID-19: Preventing Hospitalization and Death While Battling the Bio-Pharmaceutical Complex – Author: John Leake
Upon receiving this message, I humbly beseeched Account Review to restore my account and to let me know what “offensive content” was found in our book. Amazon restored my account and published my latest book—a conventional work of true crime—but refused to reinstate The Courage to Face COVID-19. Yesterday my third appeal was turned down without answering my query about what in our book is offensive.
My question seemed especially pertinent, given that Account Review provided me with a link to its Content Guidelines, which include a section on Offensive Content.
We don’t sell certain content including content that we determine is hate speech, promotes the abuse or sexual exploitation of children, contains pornography, glorifies rape or pedophilia, advocates terrorism, or other material we deem inappropriate or offensive.
Obviously, nothing in our book even remotely touches on any of these subjects. Upon reading this description, it occurred to me that it was a perfection description of 120 Days of Sodom, by the Marquis de Sade, which contains hundreds of pages that glorify the abuse and sexual exploitation of children, violent pornography, and glorifications of rape and pedophilia. I did a quick search for the title, and voila, there it is, for sale on Amazon in three formats.
None of my polite entreaties to Content Review was answered with an explanation of what, in our book, is offensive or in violation of any other published guideline. This strengthened my suspicion that the decision was the result of a sudden imposition of power for which the Content Review staff was not prepared.
Even more stunning that banning my softcover edition was Amazon’s decision to ban Tony Lyons’s SKYHORSE hardcover edition from the site without even sending the publisher notice. He learned of his edition’s demise from me.
This is a developing story about arbitrary censorship and book banning. Generally speaking, Amazon has a robust history of resisting pressure to ban books. Even during the COVID Pandemic, Amazon bucked the censorship regime that was established at Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.
I believe it is no exaggeration to state that Amazon’s decision to ban our work of medical and historical scholarship, carefully vetted by Dr. Peter McCullough—who has published over 600 peer-reviewed papers in top academic medical journals—is the most egregious act of arbitrary censorship in the history of American publishing.
Many works of literature have been banned from public school systems and libraries and censured by religious organizations. However, I cannot find a single example of a banned nonfiction book that contains zero sex, zero violence, zero expletives, zero harshly expressed opinions, and zero assertions that aren’t grounded on rock solid scholarship.
Indeed, the book is a strictly factual narrative based on hundreds of published sources ranging from academic papers to standard works of medical history to documents published by U.S. federal agencies. The longest chapter in the book recounts Dr. McCullough’s U.S. Senate testimony on November 19, 2020.
This is a developing story about a gross infringement of the freedom of speech that is enshrined in the First Amendment of the U.S Constitution. Coincidentally, tomorrow (October 10) I have been invited to address the Republican Women of Greater North Texas about the critical importance of maintaining free speech for the maintenance our Constitutional Republic. I can now speak from very personal experience.
I would like to conclude by stating that I believe this decision is almost certainly the result of outside pressure being brought to bear on Amazon—the sort of outside pressure from the U.S. Executive Branch that was revealed in discovery in Missouri v. Biden.
As Jacob Siegel recently remarked in a brilliant piece in Tablet magazine titled “A Guide to Understanding the Hoax of the Century:”
At companies like Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Amazon, the upper management levels had always included veterans of the national security establishment. But with the new alliance between U.S. national security and social media, the former spooks and intelligence agency officials grew into a dominant bloc inside those companies; what had been a career ladder by which people stepped up from their government experience to reach private tech-sector jobs turned into an ouroboros that molded the two together.
I strongly suspect that the banning of our book from Amazon has the fingerprints of Biden administration or intelligence agency goons all over it.
For those who would still like to purchase our book, please visit our website by clicking on the image below.
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