Opting Out of a Smart Meter Is About Freedom and Health. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Gets That.

Opting Out of a Smart Meter Is About Freedom and Health. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Gets That.
American Values 2024 | April 27, 2024

By Helena Hjalmarsson, M.A., C.S.W., L.P., Special to The Kennedy Beacon

“The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission.”

– John F. Kennedy

I still hope this can become true for Americans, and for all people. And I believe there has never been a more important time in history as this one to protect ourselves and our families from government and corporate invasion, not just of our privacy, but of our freedom, our health and our safety.

The other day, I received a notice in the mail from New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG) that my “smart meter is coming soon.” I have worried about this notice. “We will knock when we arrive,” it read, “but you don’t need to be present for your upgrade unless your meter is inside or difficult to access…the process will just take a couple of minutes.”

Just a couple of minutes to make someone’s life dramatically more difficult. Just a few minutes to lay the foundation for insomnia, the return of seizures and escalating anxiety and OCD. Just a few minutes to change the trajectory of one family’s life.

My oldest daughter has Autism. She has proven time and time again to be extremely sensitive not just to toxins, but to wireless radiofrequency radiation (RFR’s) and electromagnetic fields (EMF) as well. Recognizing that she did much better away from all that, I made the decision to leave New York City, and move upstate. Since our move about six years ago, when smart meters were actively and forcefully incorporated into most New York City buildings, my daughter, her sister, and myself have felt increasing wellbeing and serenity, as well as a deepening connection with mother earth and each other. I believe that living in a place with less EMF and RFRs is a big part of this better, calmer life.

In small print, the notice from NYSEG – which has a monopoly on supplying electricity to over two million customers in upstate New York – stated: “if you are a residential customer and would prefer to opt out of our new standard smart meter for a monthly fee,” visit the installation section on our website for more information. I visited, but couldn’t find any information about opting out. So I called NYSEG and spoke with numerous people about opting out of smart meters.

We live on a farm and, in addition to the main house, there is a little guest cottage and a barn. NYSEG decided that this called for two accounts, and two meters. Without my knowledge, they made the barn and the guesthouse a “commercial” account, in spite of the fact that I have never, since we moved here 6 years ago, charged anyone a penny for living in the guesthouse and have not engaged in any commercial or profitable activities on this property. And with a commercial account, there is no option to reject smart meters.

But even if I had made money at the farm where we live – charged someone for living in the guesthouse or collected money for boarding horses or sold what we plant here – why would I not have the right to opt out of having a smart meter? We still live here, it is still our home, and we would still be affected by the radiation, regardless of whether the account was considered commercial or not. But that, somehow, is considered besides the point. I tried to explain this to the NYSEG workers on the other end of the phone line, and while they all agreed that I would be allowed to opt out of a smart meter for our house, they said that when it comes to the second account, there is no option to opt out of the installation of a smart meter.

The last lady I spoke to, let’s call her Sonia, had a child with Autism herself and showed no surprise about my wish to opt out. She herself had considered it,but for reasons we did not get into, she had decided against it. I’m not going to make any assumptions about what her reasons were. But I do know that it is always the ones with fewer resources, who can’t pay any extra fees even if they are given the opportunity to opt out of harmful things, that are the first to lose their right to make choices about their own lives, health and physical environment.

Sonia told me she would try her best to change my second account to residential, and I could sense her sincerity. Though after the weekend, Monday morning, she called me back. There was something a little harder, a little more determined, in her voice. “There is no way you can opt out of having a smart meter for your second account,” she told me. “Your second account is considered commercial and you can only have one residential account on the property. There is no way to convert that account to residential.”

She said all that quickly, almost as if she was reading it, and as if she hoped this conversation would come to a very quick and resolute end.

“There has to be a way,” I responded.

“Then are you shutting the account down?”

“Maybe,” I said, “though I’m wondering if it would be possible for me to turn the two accounts into one account, a residential account.”

“Yep,” Sonia said, feeling the relief that the end of this exchange was coming closer, because this topic was out of her jurisdiction.

“You’ll need to have an electrician come and evaluate if it’s possible for you to have just one meter,” Sonia advised me.

“Ok, that sounds good. I can do that. Can I also speak with the legal department?”

At that, Sonia disappeared for 30 minutes only to return to let me know that her supervisor would call me shortly and she would now connect me, not with the legal department, but with the “Energy Services Installation Team.”

The supervisor, as you might have guessed, never did call me back. After another half hour on hold, however, another woman picked up the phone. She said she would be back in a minute (which was more like 20 minutes) and tried to find out if we could convert my two meters into one meter that would be considered residential. She then told me to get an electrician and give them a call about a conversion to one account.

A NYSEG’s “field planner” would have the last word in deciding whether it would be feasible or not. My electrician was hopeful. “We don’t know how much it would cost you, but I believe it can be done,” he said.

I am hoping that my electrician will be able to negotiate successfully with NYSEG and have their go-ahead to fuse the two accounts into one residential account.

If NYSEG disapproves there is very little we can do to stop them from installing their smart meter, though we will do whatever we can, and then some. And if that doesn’t work, we will indeed, as Sonia suggested, have to shut down that account and go without electricity in the barn and in the guesthouse. Because the way that I see it, no electricity is better than bad electricity.

“Only an educated and informed people will be a free people,” said President John F. Kennedy.

Why, beyond the imminent threat to my oldest daughter’s wellbeing, am I not willing to have smart meters on my property? There are two main reasons why I believe we should not allow digital meters in or near our homes.

Jerry Day, an expert on digital meters, in a Youtube video called “The Dangers of Smart Meters,” talked about the aspect of this that has to do with control:

“There is a global initiative to set up a surveillance grid for every human being on the planet,” Day says in the video.

Day describes how every digital meter has a recording. And every digital meter, whether they call it a smart meter or any other kind of digital meter, has the power to transfer its data to other institutions, beyond the consumer’s control.

The analogue meter does not record any data, and citizens with this meter have their privacy intact. And just like the idea of vaccine passports, and the COVID vaccine mandates, and the childhood vaccine mandates, it is becoming very difficult for Americans to protect their rights to deny digital meters.

As Woody Allen once said: “Do you know what they call someone who thinks they are being followed all the time? Perceptive!”

Apart from mass surveillance, collecting data about our living habits and activities in our homes leading to increasing social control and authority dependence, digital utility meters represent other, very serious physical threats.

Jerry Day and others refer to digital meters as “dirty electricity” and the radio frequency causes what is commonly referred to as “smart meter fires.” Thousands of fires caused by digital meters. But much, much worse than the fires: having a digital meter in your home is like living inside a giant microwave resulting in chronic illness or even very serious injuries. There goes the idea of throwing out the microwave and turning off the cell phone as the answer to our radiation problems. To insist that this would be a game changer is a little bit like blaming cows farting for global warming. Or as Cecelia Doucette, a technology safety educator and the director of Massachusetts for Safe Technology, stated: “Smart meters are a bad idea because they use two-way radiofrequency microwave radiation to send your usage data for electric, gas, water and solar energy.”

The U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP), which is part of the National Institutes of Health, carried out a $30 million research project in 2018 that established clear evidence that Electromagnetic radiation (EMR) is associated with both cancer and DNA damage.

Founder and director of the Institute for Frontier Science, Beverly Rubik, Ph.D., after reviewing more than 250 peer-reviewed research reports on the harmful bioeffects of wireless communication radiation, established that RF radiation includes morphologic changes in erythrocytes [changes in red blood cells] contributing to hypercoagulation [excessive blood clotting]; impaired microcirculation and reduced erythrocyte and hemoglobin levels accelerating hypoxia [deficiency in oxygen reaching the tissue]; increased immune system dysfunction, including immunosuppression, autoimmunity and hyperinflammation; cellular oxidative stress and the production of free radicals leading to intracellular Cellular Ca2+, essential for viral entry pathways [compromised ability to deal with infections]; and worsened heart arrhythmias and cardiac disorders.

Much research on EMR and the RF radiation part of EMR has found tinnitus, fatigue, headaches, dizziness and disorientation as well as nausea and vomiting to be recurring and common side effects.

Martha Herbert, Ph.D., MD, at Harvard Medical School, Research and Neuroscience Evaluation of Neurodevelopment, is one of many researchers documenting how wireless and electromagnetic fields alter brain function and affect our nervous system. These changes can lead to altered sleep, damaged mitochondria [an organ inside the cell that produces energy known as “the powerhouse of the cell]; increased oxidative stress [an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in our bodies, causing damage and disease]; cellular damage, genotoxicity [chemical agents that damage the genetic information within a cell causing mutations which can lead to cancer]; and blood brain barrier permeability [the Central Nervous System is exposed to toxins and pathogens via the blood].

Herbert points out that children on the spectrum are particularly vulnerable to such assaults.

In 2016, at the Pediatric Societies Annual Conference, Herbert stated: “I think there is enough strong scientific support to argue that EMF/RFR’s are important contributors to degrading the optimal chemical-electrical funcion of our bodies– thereby detuning our brains and nervous systems.”

Studies at Yale, have established a significant link between EMF/RFRs and hyperactivity and poor memory. A growing number of medical doctors, researchers, obstetricians and public health educators are advising pregnant women to reduce wireless exposure to protect developing brains.

The whole idea of opting out of an installation, that the electric providers have proven themselves unwilling to insure as something that would not be damaging to the customer, is unreasonable. In Maui, Hawaii, there is no such thing as opting out of digital meters. They have what every citizen should have: an option to opt in to have digital meters installed.

In an article on the website “Take Back Your Power,” August 18, 2016, regarding the opt-out measure, Jerry Day writes: “So when you refuse to allow the pirate to rob you, the pirate hands you an opt-out contract where you agree to pay him for not robbing you. It’s pretty ludicrous. Your refusal is the opt-out”.

Jerry Day encourages customers who don’t want digital meters to offer their electrical supplier a contract that is called a conditional acceptance, which the supplier must sign before you sign their proposal. In it, the electric supplier would insure you against the risk, which they wouldn’t do any more than the pharmaceutical industry would accept liability for the adverse effects of unresearched vaccines. No matter how much you pay them, there are no insurance companies on the planet that would be willing to insure customers of digital meters against their harmful effects.

As far as NYSEG goes, however, they are not even giving their customers an option to sign something to accept the installation of digital meters, never mind ensuring their clients that they will compensate for any harm that life inside a giant microwave would lead to.

As for me and my family, I have never been much of a gambler. But I was tempted to play hard-ball and force NYSEG to assure me that no harm would be done by their smart meters in order for me to sign something that they never considered necessary for me to sign in the first place. With this much at stake, though, I would rather shut down my second commercial account or try to rewire, dig trenches, whatever it takes, to ensure that I have only one residential account. I will pay my opt-out fee and be a sucker, but keep my daughter, as well as her sister, my dog, myself, and any other human or animal who lives here, calm and radiation free.

Trying to prevent not just digital electricity meters in our homes, but installation of cell towers as well as small cell installations in our neighborhoods is no easy quest. In my small town, if you want to talk to the zoning board about not installing a giant cell tower in the middle of a residential area, you can argue about the aesthetics; how ugly it will be no matter how hard they try to make it look like a giant tree; your decreased property value; the noise from the power stations; pollution of air and water from construction, etc.

But if you want to talk about the real dangers, the health concerns, you will be shut down. There are no processes in place for talking about that. In fact, it is legally irrelevant, I have been told, to argue against the cell tower installation on the basis of its risks to human and animal life.

In the United States, DAS (Distributed Antenna Systems) that allow wireless service providers to deliver cellular data, has estimated plans to construct 800,000 DAS by the end of 2026, compared to the 150,000 that were constructed at the end of 2018. Thanks to the Obama administration, federal legislation limits cities’, towns’, and states’ legal authority over wireless facilities.

In other words, on all levels we are losing our right to prohibit the construction of DAS. The idea behind these federal guidelines pushed by Obama and carried out by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was and is to deploy broadband service across the country as fast as humanly possible. I get that. Whenever someone wants to do something profitable that is also harmful to people, they always try to get it done faster than anyone can protest. Faster than anyone can fully realize the harmful impact on living things. And as is usual in this country for the last couple of decades, whoever is brave and truthful enough to talk about the dangers of anything that is highly profitable, is labeled a conspiracist.

But Robert F. Kennedy Jr. ., true to form, is not afraid to talk about the dangers of 5G radiation. Or, who knows, maybe he is afraid, but does it anyway. In a NewsNation Town Hall in June of 2023, Kennedy stated in his usual, plain and straightforward way: “My concern about 5G is that the RF radiation is dangerous. It disrupts the blood-brain barrier and is also associated with cancers and causes a lot of other dramatic health effects. There are literally thousands of studies on that.”

According to Kennedy, 5G is dangerous and under-regulated, more so in the U.S. than in most other places in the world. On February 18, 2020, San Diego’s East County stated that Kennedy “is committed to be proactive on the concerns regarding excessive exposure of our children to 5G and wireless radiation. To fulfill his promise, CHD submitted a lawsuit on February 2nd, 2020, against the FCC for its December 4th, 2019 decision to decline to review its 1996 guidelines, and for its determination that the guidelines are protective of human health.”

For this, and for other truthful comments on the impact of radiation, EMF and 5G on humans, Kennedy has endured many dismissive and contemptuous reviews. But it has not set him back from sharing what he knows and from fighting for more stringent regulations as well as for the people’s right to choose what they are surrounded by.

RFK Jr.’s father, Robert Kennedy, on June 6, 1966, at the Day of Affirmation Address at the University of Capetown, South Africa, said it best: “Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in a battle or great intelligence. Yes it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change the world which yields most painfully to change.”

Rare are the ones who are able to endure dismissive contempt, alienation, censure, financial loss, and even death threats, because of their faithfulness to what is true and righteous, and to what protects their fellow beings from the exploitation of profit-hungry corporations and agencies.

I believe RFK would be proud of the moral courage his son is demonstrating. And I also believe that RFK Jr.’s willingness to endure the pushback he faces when he attempts to protect the most vulnerable, to keep speaking the truth, no matter how unpopular and uncomfortable, is powerful enough to change our country.

“Many people, especially ignorant people, want to punish you for speaking the truth, for being correct, for being you,” said Mahatma Gandhi. “Never apologize for being correct, or for being years ahead of your time. If you are right and you know it, speak your mind. Speak your mind. Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is still the truth.”

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