Letter to Writers’ Union Executive Director

A pertinent quote from Albert Einstein. Photo by the author.

Mr. John Degen: Having read your recent Twitter post urging everyone to get their “jabs” I have to ask whether you have spent any time whatsoever informing yourself about these vaccines. And I further have to question what business the leader of a writers’ union has at all in promoting what amounts to an experimental medical treatment, never mind so uncritically. I certainly applaud your work on behalf of writers but this is far beyond your purview. You could even be exposing the Writers’ Union to potential litigation for providing medical advice when you are not in a position to do so.

As the article in the link below by US lawyer P. Jerome shows, all three of the major pharmaceutical companies’ vaccines are licensed only under a special dispensation known as “Emergency Use Authorizations” in the US (and likely a similar dispensation in Canada). This is because, if you read the inserts that come with the vaccines, they plainly state that they are still in trial or clinical phase until 2023. That means anyone who accepts the vaccine is enrolling themselves unwittingly in a clinical trial of an unproven, experimental drug that uses unprecedented mRNA technology. This is NOTHING like getting your standard annual flu shot. Nor is this how medical science is ethically conducted; normally, clinical trials are closed, controlled environments with placebo control groups, and paid volunteers who sign releases. Now they have unethically externalized the clinical trial upon an entire population, without informing them of potential adverse reactions, or even of the fact that the public is participating unknowingly in a mass clinical trial.

Further, these same vaccine manufacturers admit that neither will these experimental drugs provide you with immunity from Covid, they also have no guarantee they will prevent those with it from transmitting it to others. One must ask then: What is the point of taking such a huge risk with an unproven medical treatment? According to P. Jerome, the lawyer who authored the article “Covid Vaccine Nonsense,” under US law it is also illegal to mandate any drug that is still in trial stage, thus, it follows legalistically that neither can a vaccine “passport” be mandated based upon such a drug.

It is also a contravention of international law codes to mandate or pressure anyone to receive an experimental medical treatment of any kind. The Nuremberg Code is quite clear on this, ruling out any form of coercion whatsoever. The key principle enshrined in this law code is that of “informed consent.” That means, as a retired physician at a recent rally explained, that doctors and healthcare workers are obligated to provide every patient with all known information about a given medical treatment, including all known adverse reactions and risks. And as she said, given how brand-new these vaccines are, the correct answer to the long-term potential effects of these vaccines by a physician would be: “I don’t know.” Thus, one can hardly give one’s “informed” consent. Nor can one consent if one is coerced, for example with threats of being excluded from participating in public life without a vaccination. Governments are setting themselves up for years, if not decades, of legal actions they are sure to lose.

Useful questions. Photo by the author.

And finally, if you’re only listening to CBC, CNN or any other mainstream news source, you are not getting the facts about the thousands of adverse reactions and DEATHS from these vaccines. Recent CBC commentators have lied outright about this, claiming no deaths had occurred from vaccinations. (Not to worry, the CBC is being sued for their role as misinformation dispensers.) Again, some of the best information is coming out of the US, which has a Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting Service (VAERS). To date, in the US alone, there have been over 56,000 adverse reactions to Covid vaccines, including more than 2,300 DEATHS. Keep in mind that because VAERS is a voluntary reporting system, it’s estimated that only 1% of adverse reactions are ever reported. Do the math if you want to get a sense of what the horrific true numbers might actually be. In Europe, there have so far been 102,100 Covid vaccine injuries and over 3,000 deaths reported. Reports are coming in of people suffering blood clots (which can lead to strokes and heart attacks), Bell’s palsy, partial paralysis, and other life-altering reactions. Furthermore, never in medical history has any medication with such an abysmal rate of adverse reactions been allowed to continue being prescribed. That alone must surely make you pause to wonder why.

So if you want it on your conscience that you as executive director of a writers’ organization urged people to roll these dice, then by all means proceed. But be aware, you may face future consequences that are far less pleasant than a piffling virus with a proven mortality rate of 0.1–0.26% and a recovery rate of 99.97% even by the corrupt standards of the US CDC.

I provide you with a long list of references you can check for yourself. In doing so, I urge you to avoid falling into the trap that has been set by our media of dismissing without examination anyone who challenges the official Covid narrative. Apply the Socratic method and ask yourself: Why the rush to discredit scientists who disagree and even to sabotage their careers? (Hint: Ad Hominem principle of attack when an argument can’t be met on its face.) Why is it that these same authorities, when challenged to produce peer-reviewed science backing up their claims, consistently fail to do so? Why are scientists with decades of expertise in immunology being ignored as to the proper way to respond to this virus? Is this how science is normally done?: Set up an orthodoxy and destroy anyone who questions it? Why are prevention and recovery methods such as massive dose vitamin C and D and Zinc not being discussed? (Hint: Follow the money.) Why was a perfectly safe medication, hydroxychloroquine, taken off the market despite testimony from American doctors that they had not lost a single Covid patient treated with this medicine, which, unlike the new Covid vaccines, has a 60-year-track record of safety? (Again: Follow the money.) Keep asking questions like these and the Covid narrative easily and quickly falls apart.

I would ask that you retract or at very least qualify your statement to Writers’ Union members regarding the Covid vaccines. Failing that, I wish to cancel my membership with TWUC. Please destroy my postdated cheques. Naturally, I would prefer to remain a member and support the important work the Union is doing on behalf of members. But acting as a medical advice service with no qualifications to do so is not one of them.


Sean Arthur Joyce, TWUC Member

UPDATE: To date here are the responses I have received from Mr. Degen:

April 12, 2021:

Dear Mr. Joyce,

Thank you for your note.

Any member of the Union is free to resign their membership at any time and for any reason, with written notice. As a matter of policy I do not try to talk anyone out of such a decision, as I understand there are a host of good reasons why membership may not be right for someone.

Please confirm you wish to resign, and I will start that process. As a current member in good standing, you are of course welcome to return any time.

I wish you all the best for your writing.

John Degen

From: Sean Arthur Joyce
Sent: April 13, 2021 1:25 PM
To: John Degen
Subject: Re: member concerns

Mr. Degen: You have missed the point, clearly. The point is not that I wish to resign but that I require an answer from you regarding your using your platform as Executive Director to dispense medical advice, something that is beyond both your expertise and your remit as head of TWUC.

As I said, you could even be opening the Union up to future litigation by your actions, something I would not like to see happen to this organization.


Sean Arthur (Art) Joyce
author, Laying the Children’s Ghosts to Rest (2014, Canadian history)
Mountain Blues (2018, novel)
Dead Crow & the Spirit Engine (2020, poetry)

April 13, 2021:

Mr. Joyce,

Please let me know if you will be resigning your membership or not. If so, I will inform the appropriate staff.

The use of my personal Twitter account for expression of personal opinions is not at issue.

John Degen

Executive Director

The Writers’ Union of Canada

From: Sean Arthur Joyce
Sent: April 14, 2021 2:45 PM
To: John Degen
Subject: Re: member concerns

Mr. Degen: The use of your personal Twitter account is certainly at issue if you’re speaking as the Executive Director of the Writers’ Union.


Sean Arthur (Art) Joyce
author, Laying the Children’s Ghosts to Rest (2014, Canadian history)
Mountain Blues (2018, novel)
Dead Crow & the Spirit Engine (2020, poetry)

April 15, 2021:

Mr. Joyce,

I am copying TWUC Chair, Anita Daher, on this message.

The Union has made no policy decisions or public statements about vaccines. I anticipate that, were that to happen, it would involve discussion, debate, and decision-making by the elected National Council. Union policy and statements are disseminated on social media by official Union accounts; not the personal accounts of members, National Council members, or staff. Reference to my personal account as a union policy channel is inaccurate, and I consider this discussion to be at an end.

If you have any other information about your membership and whether or not it will continue, please communicate it to info@writersunion.ca.

John Degen

Executive Director

The Writers’ Union of Canada


“Covid Vaccine Nonsense,” P. Jerome, Off-Guardian: https://off-guardian.org/2021/03/30/covid-vaccine-nonsense/

“Latest VAERS Data Show Vaccine Injury Trends Continue”: https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/vaers-data-vaccine-injury-trends-continue/

“British Medical Journal Questions Big Pharma COVID Vaccine Claims,” Arjun Walia, Principia Scientific International: https://principia-scientific.com/british-medical-journal-questions-big-pharma-covid-vaccine-claims/

“Could mRNA Vaccines Permanently Alter DNA? Recent Science Suggests They Might”: https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/science-mrna-vaccines-alter-dna/?utm_source=salsa&eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=a04b6cfd-3d34-4217-a12d-061d7ff47b68

“Mandatory Vaccinations and Vaccine Passports,” Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (video): https://www.jccf.ca/mandatory-vaccinations-and-vaccine-passports/

“Epidemiologist: We Could Have Reached natural Herd Immunity in 6 Weeks,” Dr. Knut Wittkowski: https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/rob-verkerk-knut-wittkowski-herd-immunity/?utm_source=salsa&eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=f9f42235-fc83-4837-a2e2-c8362cc97140

“Netherlands Suspends AstraZeneca Jab for Under-60s Over Blood Clot Fears,” Global Research: https://www.globalresearch.ca/netherlands-suspends-astrazeneca-jab-under-60-blood-clot-fears/5741886?utm_campaign=magnet&utm_source=article_page&utm_medium=related_articles

“Elderly Population Suddenly Dying Off for Unexplained Reasons, and It’s No Longer Coded as Covid-19,” Dr. Eddy Bettermann: https://dreddymd.com/2021/02/18/elderly-population-suddenly-dying-off-for-unexplained-reasons-and-its-no-longer-coded-as-covid-19/

“Germany Indefinitely Suspends AstraZeneca Vaccine for Anyone Under Age 60”: https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/germany-indefinitely-suspends-astrazeneca-vaccine/

“Canada Pauses AstraZeneca Vaccine for Under 55,” ABC News: https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/canadian-panel-recommends-astrazeneca-pause-55-76751765

“Canada Does About Face on AstraZeneca Vaccine, Citing Blood Clot Concerns,” Children’s Health Defense, Megan Redshaw: https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/canada-astrazeneca-vaccine-blood-clot-concerns/

“The Lancet Retracts Hydroxychloroquine Study”:


Follow the Money: “Pfizer Execs Discuss Hiking Vaccine Price After Pandemic Wanes,” CBS News: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/pfizer-covid-vaccine-price-hike-post-pandemic/

“All-cause Mortality During COVID-19: No Plague and a Likely Signature of Mass Homicide by Government Response,” Dr. Denis G. Rancourt, ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/341832637_All-cause_mortality_during_COVID-19_No_plague_and_a_likely_signature_of_mass_homicide_by_government_response

“Former Pfizer VP: ‘Your Government is Lying to You in a Way That Could Lead to Your Death,’ interview with Dr. Mike Yeadon: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/exclusive-former-pfizer-vp-your-government-is-lying-to-you-in-a-way-that-could-lead-to-your-death

About seanarthurjoyce

I am a poet, journalist and author with a strong commitment to the environment and social justice. If anything, I have too many interests and too little time in a day to pursue them all. Film, poetry, literature, music, mythology, and history probably top the list. My musical interests lie firmly in rock and blues with a smattering of folk and world music. I consider myself lucky to have lived during the great flowering of modern rock music during its Golden Age in the late 1960s/early '70s. In poetry my major inspirations are Dylan Thomas, Rilke, Neruda and the early 20th century British/American poets: Auden, Eliot, Cummings. My preferred cinema includes the great French auteurs, Kirosawa, Orson Welles, and Film Noir. My preferred social causes are too numerous to mention but include banning GMOs, eliminating poverty (ha-ha), and a sane approach to forest conservation and resource extraction. Wish me—wish us all—luck on that one!
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