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Julia Lupine was forced to leave her family and a normal existence due to EMF sensitivity. She now has her own farm in a remote area of the American west, where she tends her goats and garden.

"Meaning and purpose, I muse as I trek up the canyon under the weight of the week’s groceries, head still pounding from the beating I took from an afternoon in Electromagnetic Hell (a.k.a. town). My nerves feel as twitchy as the chipmunks and small lizards that flee from my footsteps. My right eye is twitching too, and I feel as drained as if I’ve just driven cross-country with gallons of gas station coffee instead of sleep. But all I’ve done is go to my local health food store. Well, I made it without any serious mishaps, I console myself. This time.

Red cliffs tower above me, ravens croak and cottonwoods shimmer by the creek as I climb up further into the hills and civilisation recedes behind me like a bad dream. Good riddance. There is meaning in these cliffs above. Meaning in the raven’s croak. The shadows on the canyon walls. But in my life?

Well, I’ve got a backpack full of sardine cans and beets and kale and coffee. I’ve got some apricots from the tree, bananas from the Dumpster (everything organic, of course). I’ve got a cave where I can sleep, free of the debilitating migraines that I get from strong electrical fields, secure in the knowledge that no cell tower waves can reach me here. And right now, that’s all the meaning and purpose I need.

Artificial Electromagnetic radiation, or EMF, is a hot topic of conversation these days, a buzz word, so to speak, but there is much controversy and just as much misinformation about the subject. No, cell phones are not proven safe (the telecommunications companies do their own safety studies, on a plastic head filled with saline named SAM - check out wearenotsam.com). No, you cannot protect yourself by buying some gadget to “harmonise” the waves or a sticker you put on your cell phone or scalar wave-emitting pendant or silver-lined underwear or any other such bliss ninny paraphernalia. The electromagnetic pollution on Earth today is trillions of times stronger than what it was before the modern age. Are we really so arrogant as not to question Big Tech, just because “cell phones are cool?”

EMF kills bees and disorients birds. It weakens plants, as you might notice when you pay attention to the vegetation around the new 5G towers. It also affects humans, but there is variation in the severity of symptoms experienced by individuals. As you’ve likely figured out my now, I am one of those lucky individuals who is strongly affected. I’ve been this way since about 2012, and have been living as a hermit ever since. WiFi refugees, we have been called. We are the most marginalised group in the world, and EHS (electro-hypersensitivity, the official diagnosis), is the only disability that comes with no rights. We pretty much have to fend for ourselves.

The bright side of a life spent in nature is it gives me a lot of time to ponder life’s deeper meanings. And, as a science-obsessed nerd armed with tattered biology books I found in free bins and thrift stores, it was my mission, back in my cave days, to understand how biology operated, to figure out why I was being affected, and what this EMF stuff was all about. The reality is-SPOILER ALERT- the answer to the meaning of life is this: electromagnetism is the life force.

Think about it: it’s the Schumann Resonance of the Earth. You can measure it in the body with an EEG or EKG. You can “jumpstart” a depressed person to greater liveliness with electroshock therapy. You can hook an electrode to a frog’s leg and make it twitch. X-rays, gamma rays, infrared, visible light, and the millimetre waves in the megahertz and gigahertz frequencies are all part of the Electromagnetic Spectrum. And just because we cannot see beyond the spectrum of visible light, that is no reason to assume that these frequencies have no effect on biological life. Think about it: bees have antennas. Birds have pieces of magnetite in their brains that they use to sense the Earth’s magnetism for navigation (magnetite has also been found naturally occurring in the brains of humans).

And, call me a Luddite, but perhaps we should not be so drastically messing with the life force and blanketing the entire surface of the planet with these millimetre waves, until we’ve done some unbiased studies on whether or not they are safe (and oh yeah, there are hundreds of studies showing it is not safe, such as the NIH’s National Toxicology Program’s 14-year study linking cell phone radiation to increased tumours, heart problems and DNA damage in rats). Prometheus stole fire from the gods. Does that mean we should be burning down the barn?

But what can I do, you may ask, how can we as individuals fight the behemoth that is Big Tech? Well, I’d say, start small: it is more important what happens in your house than in the White House. Because we vote with our dollars and with our attention. Get a landline. Opt out of Smart metres (they will try to deny you, but persist). Go to city council meetings and fight against cell towers on top of schools.

And if you’re worried about personal exposure, resist the urge to buy some gadget and instead spend the money on an EMF meter (the Safe and Sound is a beginner-friendly option that costs around a hundred bucks). Then use it to pinpoint sources of EMF in your living environment. The reductions in exposure you can make with this knowledge may greatly benefit your health and sleep quality. Lowering your ambient EMF levels before you feel it will also reduce your likelihood of becoming an EMF refugee like me.

And by the way, I’m doing very well in my life right now and I no longer live in a cave (though I do sometimes miss it). I have my own farm in a remote area of the American west, where cell phones barely work and there are many more tumbleweeds than people. I use DC solar (mostly considered safe) to power my well, and I live in a camper while I build my underground house. I have goats and gardens. I will soon be installing landline Internet. I now find meaning and purpose in my life by educating people about all I’ve learned from this experience (search me out on podcasts). I’m doing my part to create a better world, one where cell towers are cut down for scrap metal, and humans, bees, birds, and other life on earth can coexist in a saner, less robotic, reality."

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