Santa Clara County, California, imposed some of the harshest Covid restrictions in America. A church and its members defied them — and became the targets of an unprecedented surveillance operation
"...the Unit struck an agreement with the law-abiding church next door to Calvary for the officers to set up camp there for their operations."
Collaborators. A church participating in the repression of religious expression. What's the name of this church, and what is the name of the person in that church who agreed to this?
Also, what's the point of redacting the names of the enforcement officers in the screenshots of court documents? These are public officials, doing taxpayer-funded work, and their names appear in public records. They should be named, along with their direct supervisors. Beyond "Santa Clara County," who did this?
Thanks David! This is great reporting of a truly terrible story. In the America I want to live in Cody is rotting in prison for the rest of her life.
I wish I knew about Calvary earlier on. I barely made it to Fall 2021 when the shot mandates were reaching peak insanity. I started attending Destiny Christian Church in Rocklin, CA for all the reasons many of the folks you interviewed here did. It was also going against state orders and filled with maskless worshippers. I’d been a moral atheist for 47 years and certainly never thought I’d find a home in an evangelical church, but that’s what happened. I’m not going to Destiny any longer as it was too far from Berkeley, but both my wife and I are at church every week, in a small couples group together, and attend the men’s and women’s ministry events each week. I’ve never been so connected to other people in my life. It is wonderful.
After nearly everyone, from my in-laws to my best friend to the parents of the kids that I had coached for over a decade kicked us to the curb for not getting the shot, we were very broken people. I can forgive them, but all those old people are still gone, presumably because they are now embarrassed for turning into Nazis just like the Santa Clara Health Department did, and now ALL of the data is on the side of those that remained unafraid and charted a course of their own. All my Christian friends are here, unafraid, living normal lives and loving people deeply. Maybe one day these others will come back to me, but I’m only looking forward now with a new and deep connection to God. As hard as it was to live through, I’d not change a single thing.
What a life!
Check out Toby Rogers post from yesterday. It’s related to the topic.
I love this quote as it say so much about the evils that have been inflicted on people over the last 3 years:
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
― C. S. Lewis
They should have been watching French Laundry - I heard there were some bad violations there...
"I, for one, support the full brunt of totalitarian overreach being brought against any individual or group that does anything that I don't personally approve of."
The Vast Majority of California Residents in 2021 & 2022
Thank you for reporting on this David!
Our family thought and prayed long and hard about this and decided in early summer 2020 that attending in-person church services was the best way we could actively love our neighbors in a time of major anxiety and fear.
As those you interviewed noted, I too felt as though I was forced into what was now classified "criminal" activity by my local authorities. While shopping malls, liquor stores, and weed shops were fully open, church doors around our city were forced to remain closed. I was watching my own family and friends suffer and decided it was time to humbly protest by going, being present with others, praying together and....gasp....singing together.
For that decision I was derided by local authorities and even other Christians. Dark times.
I will never regret my decision to continue meeting together with my fellow brothers and sisters in a moment of fear.
Thank you for your reporting!
Two things in this article strike me.
First, NPIs are now known to have been ineffective. More importantly, they were never known to be effective. None of the impositions inflicted upon people for the purpose of "public health" were capable to attaining their goals. And, generally, government authorities were aware that their demands wouldn't have any effect. A public health authority should have likewise been aware of the science, which did not (and still does not) support these NPIs as effective tools to combat an airborne virus. Because the NPIs were incapable of reaching their public health goals, they were arbitrary, and therefore unlawful/unconstitutional.
Second, the NPIs not only did not work, they were counter-productive. They caused harms that resulted in people demanding the fellowship to be found in a church. The county created a vicious feedback loop that was bound to cause harm directly to individual people, or to the community (by the violations of the NPIs, as they saw it, but because the mandates were intrinsically ineffective, those harms didn't materialize, leaving the only, actual harms - those that directly resulted from the county mandates - it wasn't even a wash).
And here is why authorities were so insistent in the enforcement of their declarations (and to me, evidence that they knew the NPIs were ineffective):
"Each of the congregants I spoke with mentioned that while they were not dismissive of the harms of Covid, they were in church week after week, with hundreds, or more than a thousand other people, and there was nothing noticeable happening. In Calvary’s declarations they point out that there is no evidence that church attendees had a higher rate of Covid infections than the community at large."
Government authorities could not allow gatherings, such as in the church, that would eventually demonstrate COVID wasn't the threat it was being presented as. People were punished for violating the rules, because their violations threatened to expose the NPI regimes as fraudulent. Remember when an "expert" declared that the Sturgis motorcycle rally would result in 250,000 COVID cases? I do. I also never saw a follow-up by anyone attempting to demonstrate that those cases materialized. The Sturgis rally defied the predictions, and threatened to unmask the COVID NPI regime as useless. Too many incidents like this, and the jig would be up. Calvary Church had to be crushed, lest the rest of the community realize that the mandated NPIs weren't necessary for public health and safety.
Churches & gyms were shut down while massage parlors were allowed to stay open & protesters were allowed to gather in massive numbers on city streets. It was straight out of 1984.
We need Nuremberg trials for the scum that perpetrated this persecution. Now.
I am glad this subject is finally being discussed and showing the wild overreach this one church experienced. I debate with my parents who are in their 70's on this topic from time to time. Often starting with a little story called, 'Daniel in the Lions Den'. Or, "Do you think Jesus or the apostles would have bent the knee like so many did?". My own church still does not pass an offering plate but provides the WEF approved QR code on their big screens. I shudder watching a handful of folks break out their cell and snap a quick pic of the larger than life digital tracker. I often wonder what percent of funds they are losing weekly abandoning the practice of passing the plate/basket. Sad. Sad that the one group that have moral and constitutional values, packed up their things so quickly and kiss the boot of the same institution that will be looking to close their doors down the road. I'm sure 'Superspreader' was used on a loop when "covering" this one brave church/pastor, yet I don't recall this article mentioning attendees parking next to cold body storage trucks or dodging people falling over on their way in. Thank you for your reporting and for their bravery, during a time which this could have ended much quicker if more churches did the same.
Incredible reporting. I’ve subscribed!
I'm glad that you've decided to take a stand David. I'm not sure what's different now than it was when I initially contacted you back in the fall of 2021. As you'll recall, I essentially begged you to do the right thing as an investigative journalists and tell the American people the truth about early treatments. I believe you had the respect and reputation to save countless lives here in America and around the globe by providing the scientific proof on early treatment and the coordinated efforts to censor medical research not only in America but around the globe as well, but you didn't take action. I sent you countless emails with detailed information about the amazing results from Uttar Pradesh where every home, in every village, of over 240 million people received a "home medicine kit" that included ivermectin. The distribution of those kits was praised and actually helped in the distribution process by the WHO yet they refused to confirm the contents of the kits. I even had a photographic imagine of the insert in the kits. I also provided front page newspaper reports from the region that noted that ivermectin had saved the lives of the citizen's of the region and essentially ended the pandemic within 3 months time. And that was with the more deadly Delta variant. I also shared the accusation by the Indian Bar Association who charged the leaders of the WHO with "crimes against humanity" by interfering with the acceptance and mass distribution of ivermectin in India and around the globe. Yes, one can say better late than never but I'm curious how you're feeling about the actions you failed to take back then. You had asked me to stop emailing you, which I did. You also stated you were very busy getting your book written. I'm also curious how that turned out for you? I suspect your readers might be as well.
This snark needs to go..."None of the people I interviewed thought Covid was a hoax, or that the vaccine was a conspiracy by Bill Gates, or any other nonsense that has so often been ascribed to anyone who didn’t want to follow every Covid rule without questions." Cause conspiracy theorists should be denied civil rights. The concept that someone who argued against the consensus is demeaned in this way is poison as we move forward unraveing this operation. This gate keeping had got to go.
I lived in Santa Clara through it all. A hellish dystopia.
And they were singing. Oh my! Makes me wonder what the government actually wanted to achieve in banning church services.
Honestly the doctors I've encountered over the past 5-10 years are increasingly neutered by the system they are part of. It's one large bureaucracy, thanks in part to Obamacare, that tells them what they can and cannot do. All couched in "quality of care" jargon. Also increasingly they are young and from foreign countries whose cultures don't necessarily foster a stand-up-to-tyranny mentality. I escalated my request for HCQ and/or Ivermectin through my PCP to the top of Palo Alto Medical Foundation (now "Sutter Health") and got a stone wall.