Last year, Netflix founder and CEO Reed Hastings defended  the company’s choice to renew the controversial series 13 Reasons Why.
“13 Reasons Why has been enormously popular and successful. It’s engaging content,” [CEO Reed] Hastings said during the company’s annual shareholder meeting. “It is controversial. But nobody has to watch it.”
Now it seems the company has changed it’s tune a bit – at least when it comes to a certain documentary about the relationship between root canal teeth and systemic illness. Root Cause has been pulled from Netflix distribution, presumably due to pressure  from the American Association of Endodontists and other conventional dental organizations.
Netflix has yet to publicly comment on the matter.
While we have our own, very different concerns  about the film – especially its oversimplification – pulling the film from distribution is hardly the answer.
For one, the film is still available on other platforms, including YouTube, Vimeo, iTunes, and Amazon.
For another, this kind of blacklisting tends mostly to increase interest in the taboo content. We want to see what we’re told we shouldn’t. We may even give more credence to its claims. If “they” don’t want you to see something, then there must be some truth there, right?
More, it sets a dangerous precedent. As one op-ed writer over at CTech put it ,
Certainly, Netflix and other content providers would seem to seek out this type of provocative film, given the infinite other choices that are also vying for eyeballs. But, in their defense, particularly in the age of the internet, ought not viewers have the responsibility and the capability to assess the veracity of what they watch? Especially given the growing scourge of fake news, no one should ever take any claim at face value. Although we all know that we do.
Indeed, as KQED reported ,
“The quality and the veritability of everything [on the Internet] is all over the spectrum,” says Stacey Woelfel, who directs the documentary center at the Missouri School of Journalism.
Woelfel says many documentaries are more personal and engaging than factual. He suggests we consider this question through the lens of politics: do we want Netflix and other streaming platforms censoring, say, the lefty firebrand Michael Moore? Or his counterpoint on the right, Dinesh D’Souza?
Woelfel would much rather we do our own homework. “There’s no way for a consumer to decide without doing a little bit of research herself.”
Of course, it’s not government doing the censoring here but a corporation. Even so, if they have indeed pulled the film at the request of professional associations (which are also powerful lobbying groups), they’ve now opened the door to removing other content that monied interests might object to.
At the same time, though, we understand the concern that many people will take what they see at face value and not question or research further.
Every week, we get phone calls from people who have seen Root Cause and want to get their root canal teeth removed. Some sound sure that those teeth are the cause of their chronic, systemic health problems. Others seem to think that by removing root canal teeth now, before they’re experiencing symptoms, they’re preventing cancer or other diseases. It’s like they’ve diagnosed the issue and devised a treatment plan for themselves already based on this film.
This is why the film’s oversimplification concerns us. For one, you never want to plunge into dental or medical procedures of any kind without proper evaluation. In this case, are the root canal teeth the primary trouble? What other toxic burdens – dental and otherwise – is the individual carrying? How do the dental procedures fit into the patient’s whole health history?
Most importantly: What is the condition of the individual’s basic regulative system? What is the state of their biological terrain?
Above all, that will determine whether or how root canal teeth become a health burden.
If you simply extract root canal teeth (or address other oral foci) without first addressing the terrain, the procedure may not be all that helpful in the long run. First, you need to create an internal environment that supports detoxification and healing.
That’s why we spend so much time with each new patient who calls us with such concerns – first on the phone, and then at their initial exam and consult. We want to help them see how root canals are just one aspect of the big picture of their oral-systemic health. We want them to understand how and why a terrain-based approach may provide the healing they crave, just as it has helped other patients of ours across the years.
At the same time, we understand their desire to take action now. Many have been sick for years. They’ve bounced from doctor to doctor, drug to drug, procedure to procedure, looking for relief, only to get progressively sicker.
Along comes a well-made and emotionally-engaging film that offers what looks like something all those other health professionals have missed: an answer. Suddenly, they feel hopeful. Finally, all their suffering seems to make sense.
After evaluation, we may indeed find that root canals were the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back – or we might not. Only comprehensive exam including biological terrain assessment can tell us that. It also points toward the proper path for a patient’s healing.
Focusing solely on root canals at the expense of the terrain is not so different from the allopathic thinking that drives conventional dentistry and medicine. It’s a linear, one cause-one effect approach that doesn’t quite jibe with the quantum world in which we live.
Only when we look at the big picture can true healing become possible.