Firstenberg’s History of the Anti-Wireless Movement, Adapted and Rebutted

Adapted from a newsletter By Arthur Firstenberg, Jan 2022, here.

Wire America: Firstenberg seems to not be informed by the US Court of Appeals DC Circuit ruling on Friday the 13th in August, 2021, the day the Wireless World irrevocably changed. Please read the ruling itself: 2021-0813-Ruling-in-Case-20-1025-EHT-v-FCC.pdf. Also don’t miss the detailed rebuttals to what Arthur has written, below.

In 1996, when almost no one owned a cell phone, and Wi-Fi had not yet been [commercially introduced], organizations formed to oppose wireless technology in order to protect our world from an unprecedented assault. The telecommunications industry planned to put a cell phone in the hands of every man, woman and child so they could communicate instantaneously from any point on Earth to any other point on Earth [and be tracked]. In order to accomplish this, and for the first time in the history of the planet, the Earth was going to be bathed in microwave radiation at all times. For the first time in the history of the Earth, every member of one of its species was going to be emitting microwave radiation [whenever they operated with their cell phones and wirelessly connected devices].

The purpose of this article is to review this history of the Anti-Wireless Movement in order to remind people of the purpose of the movement and to unify and redirect action to where I believe it needs to be: [to oppose consumer use of wireless technology in order to stop the microwave radiation assault and recover the health of our environment and ourselves]. I will focus this article on the opposition in the United States because I am most familiar with it, but similar movements have [launched] in other countries.

On February 8, 1996, [S.652 – Telecommunications Act of 1996 was signed by President Clinton and became Public law No: 104-104, a law which mandated the rollout of wireless telecommunications service across America. Both existing and new organizations all over the United States united to oppose this mandate].

The EMR Alliance [(EMR = Electromagnetic Radiation]), which until that time had focused on [electric and magnetic fields radiating from] power lines and computers, now directed its energies to fight the construction cellular towers, [which emit microwave radiation 24/7, year-in and year-out]. Citizens for the Appropriate Placement of Telecommunications Facilities was organized. I helped found the Cellular Phone Task Force to oppose not just cell towers but cell towers’ main reason for being, which is cell phones. Other organizations that formed included

  • Noe Valley Families Against the Antennas;
  • Healthy Home Alliance;
  • Families for Appropriate Cellular Tower Siting;
  • Ulysses Citizens for Responsible Technology;
  • Hardwick Action Committee;
  • Thistle Hill Neighborhood Alliance;
  • Coalition of Concerned Citizens for Responsible Technologies;
  • Citizens of Marin for Sensible Communications Planning;
  • Northboro Residents for Responsible Tower Siting;
  • Telecommunications Master Plan Coalition of San Francisco; and
  • Rainier Valley Association for Safe Wireless Technology.

These and other groups, individuals, public officials, and the Communications Workers of America, joined together to sue the Federal Communications Commission in order to protect health, nature and democracy.

In 2000, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against us, and the Supreme Court refused to hear our case.

In the aftermath of our failure, a national coalition called the EMR Network was formed to try to unify efforts to protect us all against microwave radiation. But in the five years since the passage of the Telecommunications Act, [much] of the population had acquired cell phones, and many had started using Wi-Fi, which had recently been [commercially launched]. Cracks formed in the coalition, which was beginning to split into factions. One faction still opposed all of wireless technology. Another opposed cell towers but not cell phones, as if one could exist without the other, and as if the microwave radiation did not come from both. A third represented the interests of people who called themselves electromagnetically sensitive (EMS). Not only were there differences of opinion among us, but outside interests had infiltrated our movement and helped to divide us.

The EMR Alliance, which had previously functioned as a national coalition, vanished. Its corporate counsel, Michael Withey, was the head of a national network of personal injury lawyers hunting for million dollar lawsuits, called the Electromagnetic Radiation Case Evaluation Team (EMRCET). When those lawyers concluded that ours was a losing cause and there was no money to be made from lawsuits about electromagnetic radiation, EMRCET disbanded, and the EMR Alliance also disappeared.

Another lawyer, James Hobson, who had represented most of the parties before the Second Circuit, and who became counsel for the EMR Network, was a telecommunications lawyer who, simultaneous to representing the parties against the FCC, represented a number of telecommunications companies, as well as the Telecommunications Industry Association, on other matters. He had also previously been in-house counsel for the FCC.

George Carlo, a lawyer as well as a scientist, who had headed up the telecommunications industry’s effort to prove cell phones were safe, made headlines when he switched sides and wrote a book condemning cell phones as dangerous. It was titled Cell Phones: Invisible Hazards in the Wireless Age. He attempted to join the national coalition against wireless technology, but like Hobson, not everyone trusted him. He had spent most of his career as a scientist-for-hire working for major polluters.

In addition to being hired by the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association to prove cell phones were safe, he had been a consultant to the Tobacco Institute, Dow Chemical, Dow Corning, the Chlorine Institute and other polluters and published articles for two decades purporting to show that tobacco smoke, breast implants, dioxins, herbicides, and other chemicals were not dangerous.

Eventually the EMR Network, beset by internal quarreling, broke up and yet another coalition, called the EMR Policy Institute, formed. And gradually, over the years, as the wireless industry’s adversaries came more and more to also be its customers, they abandoned, for the most part, the fight to protect human health, nature, and democracy.

Many opponents of cell towers today are not only not opposed to cell phones, but they are heavily addicted to them and have damaged their health from years of exposing themselves to microwave radiation. The birds, insects and animals have already disappeared from their yards and the population has grown used to living without them. I used to get more calls asking how to help fight wireless technology. Now, more often, people call me or email me from their cell phones asking me what is the safest kind of cell phone to use, how far away from their body to hold it, what kinds of devices will best neutralize the radiation, and how to distinguish a 5G tower from a 4G tower. When I tell them that radiation is radiation, that there is no way to “neutralize” it, that distance doesn’t matter, and that it is destroying the Earth regardless of what you call it, they don’t understand what I am saying.

More and more, they ask, in frustration, “What is the alternative?” And when I answer that the alternative to not having a cell phone is the imminent, well-under-way destruction of all life on Earth, including their own, they don’t seem to register what I am saying. They simply can’t imagine living without a cell phone. ECHOEarth (End Cellphones Here On Earth), an organization that I helped create in May 2020 in order to build a movement to abandon wireless technology, still has fewer than 2,000 members although 300,000 people and organizations have signed the International Appeal to Stop 5G on Earth and in Space.

Meanwhile the EMR Policy Institute has also disappeared and a lot of new organizations have taken its place. The focus of many is not to stop wireless technology, or even cell towers, any more, but just to stop the newest version of them, which is called “5G”. There is an international coalition called Stop 5G International.

In the United States many groups have formed:

  • Stop 5G Chicago,
  • Stop 5G San Diego,
  • Stop 5G Hawaii,
  • Stop 5G Georgia,
  • 5G Free California,
  • 5G Free Vermont,
  • 5G Awareness Now,
  • 5G Colorado Action,
  • Citizens Against 5G Cell Towers,

and dozens of other organizations with similar names.

For many it is not because they no longer think radiation is harmful, but because they have given up trying to stop it, and because most of their members own cell phones.

And there are still outside interests assuming positions of leadership in our movement, and telecommunications lawyers representing us in court. Children’s Health Defense, directed by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., is doing wonderful advocacy work, represented in its legal work against 5G by W. Scott McCollough, a telecommunications lawyer.

And there is a new national coalition [still without a name] that is now filling the void left by the EMR Policy Institute. It holds Zoom meetings every other Friday, and has invited a series of excellent speakers to present at these meetings, organized by Odette Wilkens and Jenny De Marco.

[Wilkens did not agree with some points in the amicus brief that was filed in support of our current petition to the U.S. Supreme Court. She talked to the coordinator of the amicus brief about this after a lot of organizations had already signed on and people had already donated money toward it, so that I had to find another organization to take over the effort and get it filed. She communicated why people may not want to sign onto the amicus brief and why they may not want to donate money toward it.] See rebuttals, below.

It was after Wilkens did this that I investigated her and discovered that she was providing legal services for IBM. IBM is the company that launched a “Smarter Planet” campaign in 2008 and a “Smarter Cities Challenge” in 2010. Everything IBM does today depends on cell phones and wireless technology. Wilkens has since left that position. Her new website,, doesn’t even have her name anywhere on it.

[In an interview (at 36:56) she said she said that local governments can regulate the placement, construction and placement and operation of cell towers of “Any G” in order to protect the quiet enjoyment of streets, our inalienable rights to privacy and public safety. She also pointed out that preemption of local authority extends only to telecommunications service (the placing of wireless phone calls) and not to information service (wireless broadband for internet audio/video streaming and apps). Industry propaganda has attempted to merge “wireless cellular telecommunications service” and “wireless broadband information”, but that is only in industry propaganda — it is not codified in the laws passed by our elected representatives or in telecom case law.]

We are back asking the Supreme Court to hear another case, after twenty years, to strike down US Code Title 47 §332 (c)(7)(B), in order to establish that local governments have the rights to regulate wireless infrastructure in order to

  • protect its residents’ health and environment
  • impose liability on telecommunications companies that injure and kill people.

In 2000, the Second Circuit addressed only the issue of states’ rights. Today we are asking for our personal rights to life, liberty, and property. In our petition to the Supreme Court we are represented not by telecommunications lawyers, but by lawyers with expertise in environmental law and civil rights.

The radiation emitted by cell phones is the same as radiation emitted by Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (WTFs or cell towers). There are 15 billion mobile devices in the world, and about seven million towers.

The problem is that people have become used to using cell phones. People have become used to the absence of butterflies and sparrows. People have become used to being fat and diabetic, and at risk for heart attacks and strokes.

By this newsletter I am reaching out to all organizations and people who love this Earth. I ask them to remember what they are fighting for and to unite together in a campaign to abandon wireless technology and eliminate cell phones from this planet in order to save it.

The wireless industry propaganda says

  • only radiation above a certain frequency is energetic enough to remove electrons from molecules to form ions
  • only such ionization causes genetic mutations and cancer, and
  • radiation is harmless if it does not remove electrons from molecules to form ions.

The most obvious of these fictions is that radiation has no effects besides cancer. In fact microwave radiation acts directly on the electrons in our mitochondria, slowing metabolism, making us hypoxic, and causing diabetes, heart disease and, yes, cancer.

Microwave radiation also acts directly on all the electric transmission lines in our bodies, including our nerves, our blood vessels, our heart’s pacemaker, and yes — even though western medicine doesn’t recognize their existence — our acupuncture meridians.

All this plays havoc with life and in just 26 years has wiped out most of the Earth’s insects, a large percentage of the small birds, and is imminently threatening to put an end to what’s left — including us — if we do not put an end to it.

Please work with me on a campaign to abolish cell phones and cellular infrastructure. It is necessary, it is realistic, and the alternative is unthinkable.

Thousands of people have written to me over the past few years asking how they can help. You can all help to begin this movement by throwing away your cell phones and joining ECHOEarth. As soon as enough people have joined ECHOEarth so that it has strength in numbers, I will contact the people who want to work on this in earnest and we can discuss the next steps.


A. Feb 2 Rebuttal of Firstenberg from Susan Foster of Colorado

Dear Arthur,

I cannot let your email to your vast mailing list go unanswered. In your email of January 26 you disparage attorney Scott McCollough with whom I have worked for the past 1 ½ years.

There are still outside interests assuming positions of leadership in our movement, and telecommunications lawyers representing us in court. Children’s Health Defense, directed by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., is doing wonderful advocacy work. However, it has been represented in its legal work against 5G by Scott McCollough, a telecommunications lawyer. Like George Carlo and James Hobson, he claims to have switched sides, but his website does not say anything of the sort, and he has told me that he does not believe RF radiation harms everyone, just people with electromagnetic hypersensitivity.

How can you commit this sort of accusation to print without doing your research? Your implication is that Scott is still working for telecom, and if one applies logic to your accusation, we could expect a telecom legal mole to intentionally throw cases that had detrimental implications for telecom. Yet it was very easy for you to research the fact that the opposite is happening. Scott McCollough is not losing cases; he is winning them.

Scott worked for more than a decade as the Assistant Attorney General for the State of Texas for Telecommunications and Utilities. The website you linked to – outdated as it is – does show that Scott had telecommunications clients. Absolutely true, and that is what made him the ideal attorney for the IRREGULATORS v FCC case [which provided a useful clarification for all states: the states are free to set their own accounting rules for separations because they do not need to follow the FCC scheme for doing so].

Then-CHD attorney Dafna Tachover subsequently hired Scott precisely for his knowledge of telecommunications law and how the FCC works so that CHD would have the best chance of winning the RF Standards case. You must be familiar with that case. The DC Circuit Court of Appeals joined the Environmental Health Trust and Children’s Health Defense cases against the FCC which had been filed literally days apart.

Scott McCollough argued that case for both nonprofits on January 25, 2021 before the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. This was an administrative law case which is Scott’s specialty, and in spite of the extremely high bar, i.e. asking the Appellate Court to judge the work, or lack thereof, of a federal agency – something the courts are loath to do, Scott successfully argued the case that had been thoroughly briefed by both EHT & CHD. The DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2 to 1 in favor of the Plaintiffs in EHT et al v. Federal Communications Commission. The decision was rendered on August 13, 2021 and forces the FCC to go back and review the science.

Attached please find the majority opinion. The Court ruled that the FCC had failed to use reasoned decision-making when they establish the regulatory limits. In other words, the FCC failed to produce the science supporting the current RF standards for the vast majority of health and environmental concerns we are facing today. Stay tuned.

On December 7, 2021 Scott McCollough was back at the DC Circuit Court of Appeals arguing the OTARD case. This was a case briefed by Scott and Dafna Tachover on behalf of Children’s Health Defense. The ruling may be months away, but Scott argued this case masterfully once again. I was not part of the preparation of this case because I work directly with Scott on telecom fire risks and zoning law, not for CHD, but I was privy to how Scott McCollough prepares for a case. This was an administrative case and the court typically does not like to second-guess a federal agency. If there is a win in this case it will be, in very large part, because of the skill with which Scott argued this case.

OTARD allows any of your neighbors to put a Wireless Telecommunications Facility (WTF) antenna on his/her roof or yard without a permit and without notification or any means for accommodation of any individual who is electrosensitive. Such an antenna is intended not just for personal use as the original rule required, but rather for commercial use, a material change of the rule that would further telecom’s goal of unfettered 5G deployment across the country. The fear is that lives will be changed and most likely lost if this FCC rule is not reversed. A great deal was at stake in this oral argument.

The makeup of this particular three-judge panel would almost guarantee a 2 to 1 win for the FCC. Yet after you hear this argument, you may be able to recognize what I’m about to tell you. Scott McCollough does his homework on the judges, studies prior written decisions, and searches for that hook within his oral argument that may capture a judge’s interest and cause him/her to vote in favor of protecting people like you and me. I now think he has a chance to have another win with the OTARD case.

Please listen to this YouTube recording from the DC Circuit Court of Appeals which starts around 30:58.

The very best lawyers know what the other side is going to present and anticipate what they might have in their back pocket. If I’m bringing a personal injury case, I would rather have an attorney who has, at least for a while, defended personal injury cases because he/she knows how the other side is going to prepare and argue their case.

If I’m going to sue the FCC, I want an attorney who has worked for telecom.

Knowing how hard Scott McCollough works for every single one of us, and chronicling his successes, makes your words about him ring hollow. When we become overly suspicious of and disparage those in our own arena, all we are really doing is standing in a circle shooting arrows at each other while the FCC, the FDA and telecom watch us self-destruct.

Or we can view life realistically and recognize what a gift an attorney like Scott McCollough is. I thank Dafna Tachover for hiring him and I thank Robert Kennedy for funding Scott and putting his full faith in him. And I thank Scott for adding me to his team to delve into the fire risks in telecommunications equipment and start to bring about legal safety barriers to the encroachment of 5G and all cell towers in our communities. I not only welcome his knowledge of telecom, I embrace it.

When it comes to people working in the same arena, I don’t believe in fighting back. You are a beautiful writer, and I am asking you to please choose your well-crafted words more carefully when it comes to people in our wide circle around this globe the next time you sit down to write an email to hundreds of thousands of people. Scott doesn’t need for me to defend him. His work product speaks for itself. But this is what friends do for friends.

It would be lovely if, in your next email, you cite the knowledge I am sharing with you and correct a significant misstatement. You have judged harshly a person who may, through endless preparation and a gifted presence in the courtroom, end up saving your life, Arthur, and the lives of many of us.

Anyone is free to share this email.

Susan Foster
Medical Writer
Honorary Firefighter, San Diego Fire Department

B. Feb 2 Rebuttal of Firstenberg from Lex Kisteneff of South Carolina

Hi Arthur,

Hope this note finds you well. Thank you for your work and efforts on the wireless front. I always look forward to your newsletters. They are helpful and informative and provide a robust sense of community. We at the SCCWSS are very grateful.

I’m writing to touch base on one point in your last newsletter. I noticed you mentioned that Odette Wilkens

“convinced the coordinator of the amicus brief not to file it”.

I assume the coordinator is me. If I’m wrong, please let me know.

In that light, I want to restate, as I mentioned last fall, that Odette’s opinions and interpretations played no role in our decision at the SCCWSS not to file the amicus brief. We elected not to file the brief because it was our estimation that we didn’t have sufficient funds to file the brief properly at that point in time. Plus, as I mentioned on several occasions, we did not have confidence in Joe Pace, the attorney whom we originally had hoped could file the brief.

Also, please remember that within our limited means we looked for another attorney. The best we could find was Gilbert Gaynor. You’ll recall our group was extremely impressed with him. I believe you may have referred us to him. I had a lengthy ‘hail marry’ phone call with him as we got down to the wire. Gilbert estimated that the brief would run north of $50k.

I hope this clarifies the issue from our point of view. Thank you again for your passion, intellect and perseverance.

Best regards,

Lex Kisteneff