A “face mask exempt” card that’s making the rounds on social media is connected to a group called “Freedom to Breathe Agency,” led by an author who offers consultations on homeostasis and natural healing. The card cites the “Americans with Disability Act” for not wearing a mask during the coronavirus pandemic (the actual Act is called the “Americans with Disabilities Act.”) The ADA and the Department of Justice have said that many anti-mask flyers and Internet postings making the rounds are “fraudulent” and not endorsed by the ADA or DOJ. The Freedom to Breathe Agency’s website has since been taken down, along with a related Facebook group. The group’s admin said on Facebook that the website was hacked and their group was deleted.
Here’s what you need to know.
A ‘Face Mask Exempt’ Card Has Been Shared Online, But It Is Not Endorsed by the ADA
A “Face Mask Exempt Card” has been making the rounds on social media. The card itself is not a legitimate government document. Here’s a photo of the card that has been circulating.
The card reads: “I am Exempt from Any Ordinance Requiring Face Mask Usage in Public.” It then goes on to read (with some grammatical errors):
Wearing a face mask posses a mental and/or physical risk to me. Under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), I am not required to disclose my condition to you. [sic]
It’s important to note that the Act is actually the Americans with Disabilities Act, so it is incorrectly cited on the card. This is not an official government document.
The card then has a phone number for reporting an ADA violation, along with a list of penalties.
The ADA, however, notes that the following are reasonable modifications to the face mask policy for people who have a disability protected by the ADA that prevents them from wearing masks:
Allow a person to wear a scarf, loose face covering, or full face shield instead of a face mask;
Allow customers to order online with curbside pick-up or no contact delivery in a timely manner;
Allow customers to order by phone with curb-side pick-up or no contact delivery in a timely manner;
Allow a person to wait in a car for an appointment and enter the building when called or texted; or
Offer appointments by telephone or video calls.
The graphic for the card is being shared on sites like Facebook, encouraging people to make their own. Here’s one example.
The card is not endorsed by the ADA or the Department of Justice. The ADA posted a COVID-19 alert about the postings. The alert reads:
*COVID-19 ALERT: Fraudulent Facemask Flyers*
The Department of Justice has been made aware of postings or flyers on the internet regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the use of face masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of which include the Department of Justice’s seal.
These postings were not issued by the Department and are not endorsed by the Department.
The Department urges the public not to rely on the information contained in these postings and to visit ADA.gov for ADA information issued by the Department.
For more information and technical assistance about the ADA, please contact the ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 (voice) and 800-514-0383 (TTY).
Newsweek reported that while businesses can’t question a person’s disability or ask for documentation, face masks are more complicated. The FTBA, Newsweek reported, was originally called the Anti-Mask Task Force.
A Police Department & Local Health Department Also Said the Posts Weren’t Backed by Government Agencies
The Wilton Manors Police Department posted on Facebook about the card, writing, in part:
Please remember these are NOT backed or enforced by ANY official Governmental Department or Law Enforcement Agency. Businesses are REQUIRED by the county/state to enforce face masks/PPE or risk being shut down or fined. Most establishments abide by a “Standing Up-Masks Up; Sitting Down-Masks Down” rule. If someone claims to be harmed by PPE/Masks then they simply may not be eligible to enter into an establishment without the required PPE/mask.
Here’s the department’s post:
The SLO County Public Health Department also warned about the posting, New Times reported.
The Freedom to Breathe Agency’s Website & Facebook Group Were Taken Down
The “Freedom to Breathe Agency” did have a website and Facebook group, but both appear to have been taken down. When Heavy checked the FTB’s Facebook group earlier on Thursday, it was still online. But by late afternoon it was gone. Here’s a screenshot of how the private group appeared while it was still online.
At the time, it had 5,745 members and it was a private group, but visible for anyone to find. Heavy found the group through a link on the group’s archived webpage.
An archive of the Facebook page shows the full description of the group as it originally appeared:
Breathing is a vital biological activity to physical and emotional well being. Oxygen is No.1 nutrient for every living organism including humans. Wearing a mask is an unhealthy obstruction of oxygen flow that can lead to hypoxemia and hypoxia, can permanently damage the brain, lungs, heart and about any organ. We must protect our birth right to breathe. This is NOT negotiable. FTBA is an agency designed to stop face mask orders from spreading nationwide and globally.
A new Freedom to Breathe Agency group now shows up on Facebook with just 17 members as of the time of publication.
The Group’s Admin Said Their Website Was Hacked
The admin of the group, Lenka Koloma, posted on Facebook and said the cards aren’t fake. She said the website was hacked and the original Facebook group deleted.
Our FTBA Face Mask Exemption cards are NOT fake. They are informing people that breathing is their birth right and crucial to their well being.
They are considered “fake” only by the fake mainstream media that wants to keep you living in fear and dark. Please spread the word. Truth hurts but only truth can set us free 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸
Please join our new FTBA Facebook group and email us at email@example.com as our website has been hacked and original FB group deleted. #censorship
According to her Facebook page, Koloma lives in California and is originally from the Czech Republic. She lists herself as a “#1 International Bestselling Author; Founder & CEO at Lenka Koloma Method” on Facebook.
Here’s a YouTube video from when she was interviewed by KTNV in 2019.
According to her website, she offers free consultations to help people achieve their dreams. Her website reads, in part:
She immersed herself in a field of quantum physics and neuroscience to realize the power of the mind and how complex system it is. … She discovered how powerful subconscious programming is and how it has been hijacked by fear-based beliefs leading into stress, anxiety, depression and a state of dis-ease and misfortune. She could clearly see how we are literally being programmed by fear; and become weak and powerless. It was her near-death experience in October 2016 when she connected with the power of her higher intelligence and healed an incurable, life threatening condition, producing a healing miracle in just short seven days despite her doctors telling her she will die.
Lenka Koloma method is based on the laws of Universe and principles of homeostasis. It is designed to support body’s natural power to heal, thrive and prosper on every level. Lenka spent over 40 years to figure the lost connections and missing links. She is thrilled to share her break-throughs to help you heal yourself and claim the life of your dreams.
On Facebook, she actively promotes not wearing a mask. According to her LinkedIn page, she’s a leadership coach who founded the “Lenka Koloma Method.”
She also shared the exempt card on her Facebook business page.
The ADA has said that the cards are not endorsed by them, and anyone with questions about masks should visit the ADA for information.
Here’s a Look at the Original Freedom to Breathe Webpage
As for the Facebook page, it was archived on June 24, 2020 as being a fully active Wix website, but by June 25 the website was gone. Here’s what it looked like before it was removed. Their email was simply ftbagency at Gmail.
The website is now down and just goes to a Wix.com webpage that reads: “Looks like this domain isn’t connected to a website yet!”
An archive shows the page also had a donation page at one point, but it’s not clear if this was an actual working page or just a template.
According to a search of the domain, FTBAgency.com is a private domain registered through Wix, so we can’t see who purchased the domain. It was first registered on June 12, 2020 and expires on June 12, 2021.
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