Opinion | Which Is More Dangerous: Mainstream Media or The Spike Protein?

Last week CE published this piece that demonstrated the obvious spin The Washington Post used to mislead their readers about the status of the unvaccinated, claiming that their rates of infection, death and hospitalization are significantly higher than vaccinated individuals when in fact they never measured these rates. In this article I will once again focus on the Washington Post and their lack of journalistic integrity. This time their propaganda is more egregious because they are targeting the largest pool of unvaccinated individuals: children.

The Washington Post urges the vaccination of adolescents

On May 10, 2021 the Washington Post published this article titled “FDA authorizes Pfizer Coronavirus vaccine for adolescents 12 to 15 years old”. The article begins with a quote from Kawsar R. Talaat, an assistant professor of international health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health who says,  “A vaccine gives them an extra layer of protection and allows them to go back to being kids.” 

This is a fascinating statement. Obviously kids were never not kids during the pandemic. Dr. Talaat is essentially saying that in order to be allowed to enjoy their youth kids must be vaccinated. However the restrictions that have been imposed upon their activity were never based on sound data. Asymptomatic spread could never be quantified or even confirmed. Mask mandates have been empirically demonstrated to have no effect on transmissibility or incidence of infection. The only things preventing kids from going back to being kids are the mandates that remain unsupported by any evidentiary arguments–not their vaccination status.

This statement was then further supported in the article:

”Robert W. Frenck Jr., the researcher who led [an] adolescent trial at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, who said the study was designed to test whether it triggered immune responses, not whether it prevented disease. But because of the number of children who became ill in the placebo arm of the trial, it also became evident the vaccine offered robust protection. He finishes by stating ‘That really points out how much covid there is in the adolescent community.’”

Dr. Frenck admits that the study he conducted was not designed to tell whether the vaccine prevented disease but whether children in the study developed antibodies. The point he is trying to make is that there is a lot of disease in the adolescent community. How much? In his study 16 out of approximately 1150 unvaccinated kids got Covid, all of whom recovered. That is an absolute risk of 1.4%. Compare that to the risk of getting the flu in a flu season: 8%. 

The article goes on to claim that the mortality of COVID is greater than the flu in children. The Post correctly states that of the 581,000 deaths from Covid only 300 adolescents have perished from the disease, an admittedly extremely small percentage but tragic nonetheless. However they state that this number is greater than the number of adolescents that die from the flu which justifies universal vaccinations. The article cites this paper from the CDC that they claim confirms this statistic. In it the CDC states that 188 children died from the flu in the 2017-18 season, indeed less than 300. However the paper then states that “CDC estimates the actual number was closer to 600”. We have caught the Post in what can be fairly called a lie that is being used to make their case that the threat of the disease justifies prevention through vaccination.

Vaccination Risks and what we know about the “Spike Protein”

Every medical intervention has a risk/benefit relationship that must be examined closely. The Washington Post never once addresses the potential risk of the vaccine in children. Despite mainstream media’s dogged refusal to pursue any research into potential harm of the Covid vaccines, some very troubling information has recently surfaced if one is willing to look beyond headlines and CDC reports. Unlike the Washington Post, I will also examine the risk aspect of the vaccine with a look at the role of the infamous “spike” protein.

As is well known, the Spike protein on the SARS-COV2 virus is what allows it to enter a human cell and infect it. It is also the target protein of the mRNA “vaccines” that use a novel approach to teach our immune systems to recognize it by stimulating our own cells to produce this protein ourselves, hopefully triggering our immune system to produce antibodies against it.

The vaccine manufacturers and the FDA who grant them authorization to deploy their product have made an enormous assumption: the virus is dangerous, but the spike protein is not. It is becoming clear that this assumption does not hold true. In this short article published on April 30, 2021 (11 days before the WP published their article) Salk News summarizes one of several scientific publications that demonstrate the danger of the spike protein:

“The paper, published on April 30, 2021, in Circulation Research, also shows conclusively that COVID-19 is a vascular disease, demonstrating exactly how the SARS-CoV-2 virus damages and attacks the vascular system on a cellular level. The findings help explain COVID-19’s wide variety of seemingly unconnected complications, and could open the door for new research into more effective therapies.

‘A lot of people think of it as a respiratory disease, but it’s really a vascular disease,” says Assistant Research Professor Uri Manor, who is co-senior author of the study. “That could explain why some people have strokes, and why some people have issues in other parts of the body. The commonality between them is that they all have vascular underpinnings.’”

The takeaway from these statements is that Covid-19 is a vascular disease more than just a respiratory illness. This was suspected very early on in the pandemic when many people were injured by bleeding, clots, strokes and organ failure. The authors were able to establish its mechanism by an elegant experiment. They designed a “pseudovirus”, one that had the SARS-COV2 spike protein on its surface but without any viral RNA in it. The pseudovirus damaged the lungs and pulmonary vasculature in animal models. They then isolated the molecular pathway by which spike proteins alter the metabolism of vascular endothelial cells causing injury. Conclusion: the spike protein itself causes harm in animal models.

Though we cannot definitively assert, from this study alone, that the spike protein is directly responsible for injury in humans, we must avail ourselves of the reality that this may take a very long time to prove definitively. If it is shown that an intervention is dangerous to animals there is no justification in assuming that it will be safe in a human being. That is why we use animal models in medical research to begin with.

“Fact Checkers” are Taking Notice

As expected, such statements are getting a lot of attention in the media. PolitiFact quickly responded with two articles (one here) “debunking” the theory that spike proteins are dangerous to humans. They quote Dr. Walter Orenstein (associate director of Emory University’s Emory Vaccine Center) and Dr. Paul Offit (director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) who both summarize that they are not aware of any evidence around the danger of spike proteins. Neither, however commented on the study presented in this essay.

PolitiFact also noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) called the spike protein “harmless”. Once again, PolitiFact accepted their blanket statement without asking the CDC for their opinion of the evidence cited here. PolitiFact declined to query the CDC for a different explanation of why hospitalized Covid-19 patients commonly expressed systemic disease often with vascular and clotting disorders.

The Danger of an mRNA vaccine that generates spike proteins

If the spike protein is pathogenic, i.e. capable of causing disease, how do we know that when we create antibodies to it we will be completely protected from it? We don’t. How do we know that every person inoculated will mount an antibody response to them? We don’t. This should be sounding alarms in every institution charged with public health. Why? With traditional vaccines there is very little risk, if any, of contracting disease from the vaccine. For example, if a person inoculated with a Hepatitis B vaccine does not mount an immunological response they do not end up getting Hepatitis B.

The situation we may be in is much more concerning. These mRNA vaccines, if they work as intended, are in fact introducing the disease-inducing component of the virus into our bodies. As with most biological processes there will be a wide distribution of responses to the vaccine from people who have little or no side-effects to others who suffer devastating injury. Is that what we are seeing now? Yes it is. 

The vaccines migrate throughout the body after injection

More recently, more disturbing information is coming to light. Bioavailability studies of the vaccine were not made public prior to Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). A Pfizer bioavailability study, obtained through the FOIA from a Japanese regulatory agency by a group of international scientists, demonstrates where the vaccine may go once it has been injected into the muscle tissue of our shoulder. Table 2.6.5.5B in this study indicates that the very same Lipid Nanoparticles (LNPs) used in the Pfizer vaccine begin to redistribute throughout the bodies of mice. Within 15 minutes after inoculation LNPs show up in the brain, liver, gastrointestinal tract, heart, lungs and especially in the ovaries and spleen. We can infer that where the LNPs go so do the mRNA that codes for spike protein. That was the purpose behind doing this study. We can also safely say that Pfizer and the other Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers never intended for their product to migrate so far from the site of inoculation.

This story is still evolving, however these studies and recently released bioavailability reports help to explain the clinical picture of Covid-19 with its broad effects on the body that are not limited to the respiratory system. Furthermore it may substantiate the numerous reports of injury following vaccinations like strokes, blood clots, bleeding, “brain fog”, Bell’s Palsy, etc.

The spike protein is toxic. The vaccine induces our cells to make spike proteins. The vaccine spreads throughout the body after injection. Until another unifying explanation is found we must assume that these vaccines are potentially far more dangerous than anticipated.

A call to halt vaccinations in the UK

In this advisory letter to Dr. June Raine, chief executive of Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (the UK’s FDA), Dr. Tess Lawrie, the director of an evidence based medicine consulting firm, urges the director to halt the vaccination program in that country after an extensive review of the UK’s adverse reaction data was conducted.

The Takeaway

We know, through the CDC’s own data, that Covid-19 vaccines provide almost no benefit to children and adolescents. The danger of vaccination is yet to be fully understood or quantified. In my opinion, the medical community, the FDA and CDC have no reasonable argument to encourage parents to vaccinate their children at this point. The Washington Post has once again demonstrated sloppy research standards, unbalanced reporting and lack of integrity. In this case adolescents, who are among the least vulnerable to the virus, may be harmed from The Post’s inability or unwillingness to uphold basic journalistic principles.

If You Want To “Trust The Science” Don’t Read The Washington Post

It is being proclaimed on lawn signs and social media memes, on T-shirts and in PSAs. From sea to shining sea, the message is clear: Trust the Science! This is the mantra chanted by pro-vaccine portions of the population to encourage us to do our part. Getting the jab is no longer a matter of debate. There is only one sensible choice: vaccinate or be condemned to the anti-science movement that denies the horrors of polio and remains entrenched in a flat-earth delusion.

Scientists Do Not “Trust The Science”

I have a message for all you “science trusters”: scientists don’t trust the science. Scientists are the most skeptical of the science because they know that science is always changing. That is why our understanding evolves, and why we trust the scientists to begin with.

Scientists trust the scientific method, which is an entirely different thing. In order to do the systematic measurement, experimentation, observation and reformulation of hypotheses, the scientific method demands that we approach what is happening with an open mind, so that all possibilities are on the table to begin with. It is their unbiased approach to examining what is that instills credibility to their opinion.

Unless you are a scientist yourself, it is very hard to understand what the scientists are actually saying. Trusting the science is not the same thing as trusting what the media is telling you what the science says. This is becoming more and more evident as MSM sources continue to distort and oversimplify nuanced and complicated subjects into sound bites, tweets and headlines. In this article I attempt to explain how to critically examine content published in Mainstream Media that attempts to explain “the science”.

“Lab Origins” Was Always The Scientific Position

Perhaps the biggest example of the enormous amount of Mainstream media distortion around scientific matters is the recent acknowledgement that the SARS-COV2 virus was most likely engineered in a laboratory. Of course no new evidence emerged recently. The evidence pointing to lab origins was available 15 months ago, but it was portrayed as an absurd notion unworthy of any consideration by any legitimate news source. Nevertheless, Collective Evolution covered it here nearly three months ago.

How Do We Know If The Vaccine Is Proving Effective ?

The arguments for universal vaccination have been starting to shift now that hundreds of millions of people have been vaccinated. Is the vaccine making an impact on the spread of Covid-19? That is an extremely difficult question to answer. Unless we have access to clear data that demonstrates the rate of infection in the unvaccinated compared to the vaccinated we can only guess. Why don’t we have those numbers now? It’s because we haven’t completed Phase III trials of the first vaccines that were formulated. That’s why we do the trials and why we generally wait for them to be completed before giving the vaccine to anyone.

The best data I have seen has come from Israel and published in the New England Journal of Medicine on February 24, 2021. They matched nearly 600,000 vaccinated individuals with unvaccinated ones and observed them over 42 days. At the end of that period approximately 10,000 documented cases of Covid-19 resulted, the unvaccinated outnumbered the vaccinated by about 5 to 4. This is good, but it demonstrated a much different result than in the vaccine trials where the placebo outnumbered the vaccinated by about 20 to 1. To be precise, 57% of the people who got documented Covid-19 in this examination were not vaccinated. What this means is that vaccine efficacy is:

(57-43)/57=24.6%

This is obviously much more meager than what came out of the initial observations of the Pfizer and Moderna trials (95%). Perhaps what is more telling is that at the end of the study period only about 1% of the people got Covid-19. Of those, 43% were vaccinated. This means the absolute risk reduction of vaccination is just over 0.1%. In other words, in order to prevent 1 case, 1000 people need to be vaccinated. On the other hand, the vaccine seemed to be more effective (over 90%) as time went on. This is of course encouraging. Perhaps the vaccines will prove to be much more effective as time goes on. The point here is that unless one is willing to look more closely it is very easy to come to unsound conclusions.

The Washington Post Used Circular Reasoning To Make False Claims

The Washington Post has built an interactive Covid-19 data tracking page called “The Unseen Covid-19 Risk for Unvaccinated People” on May 21, 2021. This page was cited by a member of my social media community as proof that the vaccines were very effective and, based on the title of their page, the unvaccinated were facing a risk “unseen”. This person was quite convinced that remaining unvaccinated was irrational if not unconscionable and the data proved it. After all, it was in the Washington Post, a publication with a long history of balanced and rigorous inquiry.

The page demonstrates rates of infection among unvaccinated compared to the total population over time. From the day that vaccines began, it seemed (from the dozens of graphs presented) that the rate of infection in the total population began to drop faster than that of the unvaccinated. This was demonstrated in a number of selected states and not the country as a whole. Could they be cherry picking data? Of course. Nevertheless, I was surprised to see such a marked effect of the vaccines in any given population, cherry picked or not.

However, upon closer inspection something was missing. Where was the plot showing the rate of infection among the vaccinated? It wasn’t shown. The graphs only plotted total rates compared to unvaccinated rates. The mystery deepens…

Numbers of unvaccinated and vaccinated people with infection were not counted

If you searched for the raw data (the numbers of people who got covid who were vaccinated and unvaccinated), you won’t find it. So how are they able to tell us the rate of infection in the unvaccinated? They weren’t telling us that at all. Instead they created a variable which they call “Rate adjusted for Unvaccinated”. To see how they arrive at this “rate” you must read their methodology section at the bottom. In it they demonstrate their deception. They assume that 85% of all people vaccinated could not contribute to the total number of cases. They make that assumption based on a small study from the CDC involving about 4,000 people (one tenth that of the Pfizer study). They then apply this to all the states in their plots. 

This is a big assumption. Although the authors cite the study upon which this assumption is made in at the bottom of the article in the “methodology” section, the assumed efficacy of the vaccine (85%) is never explicitly stated in the body of the article. Perhaps the vaccine will turn out to be that good. However the NEJM study mentioned above (with 250 times more people in it) demonstrated an efficacy of only 24.6% as I pointed out above. The point here is that there is no consensus on what the vaccine efficacy is, and they buried their assumptions in the methodology section.

Let’s go back to the basics. These are the proper scientific definitions:

Total Case rate = Total Number of Cases/Total Population

Vaccinated rate = Number of Cases in Vaccinated/Number of Vaccinated 

Unvaccinated rate = Number of Cases in Unvaccinated/Number of Unvaccinated

Hopefully that was straightforward and logical. The Washington Post then introduces this term:

Rate adjusted for Unvaccinated = Total Cases/(Total Population – 0.85 x Vaccinated)

What is wrong with this? Nothing–as long as they know that only 15% of the vaccinated are contributing to the number of cases. But they don’t know this, they are assuming this in order to make their graphs. To casual Washington Post readers (numbering in the millions), it would be easy to look at the graphs and believe that that is what is being reported while in fact that is what the graphs would look like if their assumption were true. 

They are taking out 85% of the vaccinated people from the total population to calculate the new “rate” and calling that the Rate of Unvaccinated. This would in fact be true if they actually measured every population in each plot and confirmed that 85% of the vaccinated people were not contributing to the case count. But that is not what they did. They assumed that was the case, drew their plots and “demonstrated” that the rates in unvaccinated people were worse than the vaccinated. This is pure circular reasoning.

Notice that in their formula for “Rate adjusted for Unvaccinated” the denominator is the difference between the Total Population and 85% of the vaccinated. What do you suppose happens to the adjusted unvaccinated rate as more people get vaccinated? Before answering, “it gets bigger!” notice that it depends. It depends on “Total Cases” which had also been dropping day after day. However in every graph they compare Total Case rate and Rate adjusted for Unvaccinated. A quick glance at the formulas above should lead you to the conclusion that “Rate adjusted for Unvaccinated” will always be larger than Total Case rate as more and more people get vaccinated. That is what every graph they published demonstrated. They are not introducing another artifact; it is the direct result of their assumption that in every geographical area plotted 85% of the vaccinated are protected.

They deepen the deception by subsequently referring to their “Rate adjusted for the unvaccinated” as “case rate for the unvaccinated” by subtly removing the word “adjusted”. As explained and defined above, the unvaccinated case rate requires that the actual number of unvaccinated individuals who are infected were counted. This is pure manipulation. What happened to the fact checkers?

They conclude the article by quoting Umair A. Shah, Washington State Secretary of health who makes this audacious claim:

“The people who are not vaccinated are the ones who are not wearing a mask or washing their hands. Those are the very people who oftentimes will socialize and be around similar like-minded people. You’re going to have the pandemic continue in those clusters.”

I wonder how Dr. Shah, an MD and epidemiologist was able to make this measurement? Did he survey unvaccinated people to see if they were wearing masks or washing their hands? Did he surveil them? This level of propaganda coming from the Washington Post or any other media platform is unconscionable yet continues to go unchecked.

The Takeaway

The Washington Post is not the only culprit in this kind of manipulation. In this piece from CE, similar kinds of spin were apparent in the NYTimes in their effort to paint 5G naysayers as Russian apologists and citing articles that contradicted their own position. Are established, corporate funded publications given an enormous amount of latitude because of their reputation? Or is it because they contribute to a narrative that is accepted by their sponsors and “independent” fact-checkers? I believe it is both.

The Deeper Questions Behind The “Lab Origins” Debate

As the majority of Americans gather around the prevailing voice of our trusted medical institutions, those opposing it seem to be digging in their heels as well. Why is this happening? After all, we are not arguing over religion or political ideology (or at least we shouldn’t be). This pandemic and its management falls squarely in the realm of science, something that should be objective and indisputable. How is the layperson supposed to make sense of the growing polarity concerning this issue? Unless one has related training in virology, epidemiology, statistics and a decent understanding of the history and the sequence of investigations that have led scientific opinion to consensus positions before this pandemic, there is no way to be “scientific”. How are we to know whether the edicts coming from our leaders are reasonable and founded? This puts us in a difficult position, one that we are unable or unwilling to acknowledge: we have to trust someone else. The question is, whom?

Mainstream Media is beginning to acknowledge that SARS-COV2 originated in a lab

There has recently been a shift in the mainstream narrative. Some of these mainstream sources have been willing to take a hard look at where this virus came from: the “lab origins” thesis. In this recent interview with evolutionary biologists Heather Heying and Bret Weinstein, popular satirist and political commentator Bill Maher admits that “it would almost be a conspiracy theory to think it didn’t start in a lab.” The reasons for this are clear to anyone who has looked beyond the veil of simplistic statements and abjectly poor investigative journalism coming from mainstream sources. Gain of Function studies on SARS viruses were being conducted in publicly funded laboratories in this country for years prior to 2014. One could argue this was part of bioterrorism research just as easily as it was part of a pandemic preparedness effort. It is not so hard to see that in order to be prepared to combat a highly contagious and virulent pathogen we must be able to study the pathogen itself. Pandemic preparedness and bioterrorism research are basically the same thing.

As the story unfolds in the mainstream narrative, it is becoming apparent that the wet market hypothesis will soon be jettisoned for its sheer implausibility. Is it likely that this virus could survive in a bat or pangolin for generations while mutating in such a way that it could not only immediately survive in a human body but be so virulent as well? What are the factors that would be involved in allowing this new strain to behave unlike previous SARS viruses in terms of its copious presence in our nasopharyngeal cavities, apparent transmissibility in the asymptomatic and enduring pathogenicity when floating around in the air or lurking on surfaces? The answer is far more than one, making this wet market to global pandemic story all the more unacceptable.

As establishment science comes to its senses, we are left with the reality that the pandemic has most probably been the consequence of a laboratory research that got out of control. It may not be excusable or forgivable but at least we can take comfort that our attention has been refocused on what is plausible. However simply acknowledging the high probability of lab origins and moving forward with all the same initiatives to combat this virus is not enough. There are more questions that need to be posed first.

How did some Scientists “spin” the science?

This argument over SARS-COV2 origin is not new at all. It was being hotly debated a year ago for some of the same reasons I mentioned above. The lab origin thesis was effectively (and prematurely) purged from “acceptable” discussions when a paper entitled “The Proximal Origin of SARS-COV2” (KG Anderson et al) appeared in Nature Medicine (March 17, 2020). This piece served as the foundation of a wall of scientific opinion that was rapidly erected to contain the dangerous “conspiracy theory” that the virus was a product of human intention and ingenuity. If you were to read the piece it would be hard to not end up shrugging your shoulders and going along with the authors’ thesis. The authors are well-respected and published scientists that include W. Ian Lipkin, pathologist, neurobiologist and epidemiologist at Columbia University,  internationally recognized for his work around W. Nile Virus and SARS. They are assured in their conclusions and offer the reader, among other things, a comparative study of the peptide structure and genetic sequence of this virus and closely related variants. 

I am a physician and was led to this piece months ago in my research into this topic. I admit that I was left scratching my head. It wasn’t until I tuned in to a blog surrounding this and other issues hosted by Dr. Meryl Nass, a respected and dutiful researcher of pandemics and bioterrorism, that l was able to grasp where the misdirection was introduced. Dr. Nass correctly points out that it may not be possible to irrefutably prove that the virus was of lab origin or not, however it is the erroneous assumptions and unsound logic the authors of the Nature Medicine article use that point to the obscuration of the facts in a manner we could reasonably deem as deliberate.

After presenting us with a thorough description of the structure of SARS-COV-2 and analysis of its means of entering human cell lines via the Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor, the authors introduce their challenge to the lab origins position. The authors state:

“While the analyses above suggest that SARS-CoV-2 may bind human ACE2 with high affinity, computational analyses predict that the interaction is not ideal and that the RBD sequence is different from those shown in SARS-CoV to be optimal for receptor binding. Thus, the high-affinity binding of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to human ACE2 is most likely the result of natural selection on a human or human-like ACE2 that permits another optimal binding solution to arise. This is strong evidence that SARS-CoV-2 is not the product of purposeful manipulation.”

Anderson et al are presenting their first line of attack on the Lab Origins hypothesis. Because their computational analysis predicts that a different and more “optimal” receptor-binding domain (RBD) portion of the spike protein on SARS-COV-2 could have been built, they say, it must have arisen naturally. The authors are assuming that if the virus was the product of bioterrorists they would have designed it differently. Is this sound logic? It is not. First, the authors are presupposing that their computational method is the only one available for use. Second, there is no reason to assume that a bioterrorist would choose the genetic solution that was “optimal”. Moreover, picking a “solution” identical to a computationally derived genetic sequence would leave an obvious clue that human hands were involved. This is in fact what the authors are correctly pointing out. 

This line of reasoning sheds light upon their foundational assumptions about the sophistication and intentions of would-be bioterrorists. Are they experimenters in laboratories building a novel coronavirus to a computer model’s specs to study it? Or are they true bioterrorists seeking to design a bioweapon that has no trace of human manipulation? Obviously one cannot know. Making either assumption cannot be part of any rigorous forensic analysis.

The authors go on:

“It is improbable that SARS-CoV-2 emerged through laboratory manipulation of a related SARS-CoV-like coronavirus. As noted above, the RBD of SARS-CoV-2 is optimized for binding to human ACE2 with an efficient solution different from those previously predicted. Furthermore, if genetic manipulation had been performed, one of the several reverse-genetic systems available for betacoronaviruses would probably have been used. However, the genetic data irrefutably show that SARS-CoV-2 is not derived from any previously used virus backbone.”

Here the authors are introducing yet another unfounded assumption: If the virus was designed as a biological weapon, why would a known coronavirus backbone necessarily be used as a basis for genetic manipulation? Certainly that option would be entertained by a team of bioterrorism researchers, but it is illogical to begin with that assumption. There are undoubtedly coronavirus backbones that have been genetically manipulated and remain behind closed doors and outside of public databases, i.e. unknown. It is equally logical to conclude that because no known backbone was used the virus was purposefully manipulated.  

In any case, genetic manipulation is not the only way to create a backbone of a virus. The oldest way is to use passage, a laboratory technique where a virus is cultured through a series of cell lines from different species resulting in a viable product that will survive in the target species. Other techniques are also readily available: exposing a known virus to mutagenic factors, collecting those that survive and repeating the process or simply mixing related viruses together to see what recombinant products result. None of these methods will result in a “solution” that would be in any way predictable at the outset. Indeed, that is the advantage of using such techniques. This is a fact that is well known to virologists, making the authors’ analysis all the more suspicious.

It is undeniable that the authors were using poor logic and unfounded assumptions to make unsound conclusions. This should have been obvious to the scientific community at that time, and this paper should not have made it through the editorial process of such a respected publication as Nature Medicine. The disquieting thing is that quite the opposite occurred. The article instead served as the seminal piece to squelch all arguments for the lab origin hypothesis once a flurry of subsequent publications cited it. Who should be held accountable for this? The authors? The editorial committee of Nature Medicine? The cadre of scientists that chose to use this publication to “manufacture consensus”? The mainstream media for failing in their responsibility to offer a balanced view of the debate around this article? None can be held solely responsible and all were required to perpetuate the distortion. The implications here are very serious and impossible to ignore.

Who can we rely upon to faithfully report “the science”?

Are there no stops to the dissemination of baseless “scientific” opinion? This is a question that rarely gets asked because we tend to assume that in the end, scientific consensus will be reached without the need for oversight. We are talking about science and scientists here, not policy makers or private industrialists with conflicts of interest and personal gains that hang in the balance. Yet the lines between science, industry and policy-making are blurrier the closer we look. In any case, who can we rely upon to ensure that the scientists are doing their job in formulating sound approaches to the problems at hand? There isn’t anyone, other than the scientists themselves. So what went wrong here? How did the Anderson paper end up deftly hamstringing a viable theory about the origins of SARS-COV2 a year ago using specious logic and unnecessary assumptions? Why didn’t anyone say anything? Despite what is generally known, many did.

Here’s where things get hopeful, depending on how you look at them. It would be wrong to dismiss all virologists, epidemiologists and researchers as slaves to corporate funded research institutions and group-think. Behind the veil of headlines that tout the rigor of the data and fuel the “trust the science” mantra there are collections of perspicacious and tireless researchers and journalists that have been pushing back against the established opinion and raising valid concerns about the hijacking of the narrative by members of their own ilk. Notably RFK Jr.’s Children’s Health Defense and Dr. Joseph Mercola have published an excellent paper that comprehensively summarized the ongoing work of Dr. Alina Chan of MIT’s Broad Institute who has documented the timeline and significance of how the spin has been manufactured by the scientific community themselves. Of course, many are familiar with Mr. Kennedy and Dr. Mercola not because of what they are bringing to complex discussions but because of their stigmatization as purveyors of “anti-vax” and “pseudoscience” opinions. Once so marked they are felled by the mainstream media machine with all the efficiency and discrimination of a logger’s chainsaw in an old-growth forest.

There are others that are broadcasting the same signal of reason. DRASTIC (Decentralized Radical Autonomous Search Team Investigating Covid-19) is a group of independent scientists, journalists and researchers that have been bringing attention to the suspicious ways that the debate surrounding the origin of SARS-COV2 has been marginalized within the scientific community itself (more about their work here). For example, “A Statement in support of the scientists, public health professionals and medical professionals of China combatting Covid-19” appeared in the correspondence section of the esteemed medical journal Lancet in March of 2020. In this letter the authors explicitly characterize any dissent to the natural origins hypothesis as “rumour, disinformation and conspiracy theories”. 

What are we to make of such accusations leveled against scientists by scientists? This sort of rhetoric has no place in any scientific discussion of any kind and should be a matter of real concern for everyone. Has science been corrupted by the same forces that are undeniably turning investigative journalism into a means of promulgating propaganda in some instances? If that were the case, how then are we to “trust the science”?

The Predicament that we are in

We are in an uncomfortable situation. Unless we can independently dismantle the arguments like those in the Anderson paper, or can understand the significance of the appearance of a mysterious 12 nucleotide sequence in the SARS-COV2 genome that confers the virus with a polybasic furin cleavage site (resulting in a substantial increase in virulence described here), or can appreciate the implications of a situation where scientific journals publish papers without requiring authors to supply the raw data required for independent genomic confirmation, we are stuck. If the science is being spun or misrepresented or poorly reported, there would be no way to know it.

Determining the origin of SARS-COV2 is an important question that still needs to be answered definitively. Attempting to answer this question has brought light to more disturbing questions. We cannot expect the layperson to comprehend the scientific studies that underpin our approach to this pandemic, let alone critique the logic and assumptions made by the authors of these papers. Expecting that a news correspondent, mainstream or otherwise, is anymore capable of dissecting such information is not realistic either. Until we come to grips with this we will not be able to grasp the enormity of the crisis we are facing.

The Takeaway

An honest examination into the origin of SARS-COV2 suggests a danger more pernicious than the virus itself. How much of scientific opinion is dictated by non-scientific interests? How many other “consensus” positions are rooted in inexcusably poor reasoning and assumptions? If we can only rely on independent researchers to bring clarity to these topics, who is going to give them a voice? If there is a fact that can be extracted from this debate it would be that “trusting the science” and trusting what a media source says about “the science” can be two very different things. 

How Does Anesthesia Work? We Still Don’t Know: What Happens When Someone Goes “Under”?

When patients ask anesthesiologists what we charge for putting them to sleep, we often say we do it for free. We only bill them for the waking up part.

This isn’t just a way of deflecting a question, it also serves as a gentle reminder to both parties regarding the importance of “coming to.” If we couldn’t regain consciousness, what would be the point in having the surgery in the first place? Nobody wants to experience pain and fear if it can be avoided. If the only way to avoid the pain of an operation is to temporarily be rendered unconscious, most people will readily and willingly consent to that, as long as we can return to our natural state of being alert and interactive with the world around us. We are awake and aware and that–rather than any particular conception of health–is our most precious gift.

How does Anesthesia work ?

From an Anesthesiologist’s point of view, we really shouldn’t charge for putting someone to sleep. It’s too easy. With today’s medications, putting someone to sleep, or in more correct terms, inducing general anesthesia, is straightforward. Two hundred milligrams of this and fifty milligrams of that and voilà: you have a completely unconscious patient who is incapable of even breathing independently. The medications we administer at induction are similar to the lethal injections executioners use. Unlike executioners, we then intervene to reestablish their breathing and compensate for any large changes in blood pressure and the patient thereby survives until consciousness miraculously returns sometime later.

In addition, those in my field have to contend with the reality that we really don’t know what we are doing. More precisely, we have very little if any understanding of how anesthetic gases render a person unconscious. After 17 years of practicing Anesthesiology, I still find the whole process nothing short of pure magic. You see, the exact mechanism of how these agents work is, at present, unknown. Once you understand how a trick works, the magic disappears. With regard to inhaled anesthetic agents, magic abounds. 

Take ether, for example. In 1846 a dentist named William T.G. Morton used ether to allow Dr. Henry J. Bigelow to partially remove a tumor from the neck of a 24-year-old patient safely with no outward signs of pain. The surgery took place at Massachusetts General Hospital in front of dozens of physicians. When the patient regained consciousness with no recollection of the event it is said that many of the surgeons in attendance, their careers spent hardening themselves to the agonizing screams of their patients while operating without modern anesthesia, wept openly after witnessing this feat. At the time, no one knew how ether worked. We still don’t. Over the last 173 years, dozens of different anesthetic gases have been developed and they all have three basic things in common: they are inhaled, they are all very, very tiny molecules by biological standards, and we don’t know how any of them work.

Why we still don’t know…

If you have never closely considered how our bodies do what they do (move, breathe, grow, pee, reproduce, etc.), the answers may be astounding. It is obvious that the energy required to power biological systems comes from food and air. But how do they use them to do everything? How does it all get coordinated?

These are the fundamental questions that have been asked for millennia, by ancient shamans and modern pharmaceutical companies alike. It turns out that the answers are different depending on what sort of perspective and tools we begin with. In the West, our predecessors in medicine were anatomists. Armed with scalpels, the human form was first subdivided into organ systems. Our knives and eyes improved with the development of microtomes and microscopes giving rise to the field of Histology (the study of tissue). Our path of relentless deconstruction eventually gave rise to Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. This is where Western medicine stands today. We define “understanding” as a complete description of how the very molecules that comprise our bodies interact with one another. This method and model has served us well. We have designed powerful antibiotics, identified neurotransmitters, and mapped our own genome. Why then have we not been able to figure out how a gas like ether works? The answer is two-fold.

First, although we have been able to demonstrate some of the biological processes and structures that are altered by an inhaled anesthetic gas, we cannot pinpoint which ones are responsible for altering levels of awareness because inhaled anesthetic agents affect so many seemingly unrelated things at the same time. It is impossible to identify which are directly related to the “awake” state. It is also entirely possible that all of them are, and if that were the case consciousness would be the single most complex function attributed to a living organism by a very large margin.

The second difficulty we have is even more unwieldy and requires some contemplation. As explained above, western medicine has not been able to isolate which molecular interaction is responsible for anesthetics’ effect on our awareness. It is therefore reasonable to approach the puzzle from the opposite side and ask instead, “Where is the source of our awareness in our bodies?” and go from there.

We do know that certain neurological pathways in the brain are active in awake patients, but if we attribute consciousness to those pathways then we are necessarily identifying them as the “things” that are awake. To find the source of their “awakeness” we must then examine them more closely. With the tools we have and the paradigm we have chosen we will inevitably find more molecules interacting with other molecules. When you go looking for molecules that is all you will find. Our paradigm has dictated what the answer would be like if we ever found one. Does it seem plausible to think we will find an “awareness molecule” and attribute our vivid, multisensorial experience to the presence of it? If such a molecule existed, how would our deconstructive approach ever explain why that molecule was the source of our awareness?  Can consciousness ever be represented materially?

A more sensible model would be to consider the activity of these structures in the brains of conscious individuals as evidence of consciousness, not the cause of it.  To me it is apparent that, unless we expand our search beyond the material plane, we are not going to find consciousness or be able to understand how anesthetic gases work. Until then I know I am nothing more than a wand-waver in the operating room. And that is being generous. The magician is the anesthetic gas itself, which has, up to this point, never let us in on the secret.

What happens when someone goes “under”?

The mechanistic nature of our model is well suited to most biological processes. However, with regard to consciousness, the model not only lends little understanding of what is happening, it also gives rise to a paradigm that is widely and tightly held, but in actuality cannot be applied to the full breadth of human experience. We commonly believe that a properly functioning physical body is required for us to be aware. Although this may seem initially incontrovertible, upon closer examination it becomes quite clear that this belief is actually an assumption that has massive implications. To be more precise, how do we know that consciousness does not continue uninterrupted and only animate our physical bodies intermittently rather than the other way around, where the body intermittently gives rise to the awake state? At first, this hypothesis may seem absurd, irrelevant and unprovable. I assure you that if you spent a day in an operating room, this idea is not only possible, it is far more likely to be true than the converse.

Let us first consider how we measure anesthetic depth in the operating room. We continually measure the amount of agent that is circulating in a patient’s system, but as described earlier, there is no measurable “conscious” molecule that can be found. We must assess the behavior of our patients to make that determination. Do they reply to verbal commands? Do they require a tap on the shoulder or a painful stimulus to respond? Do they respond verbally or do they merely shudder or fling an arm into the air? Perhaps they do not even move when the very fibers of their body are literally being dissected.

There are many situations when a person will interact normally for a period of time while under the influence of a sedative with amnestic properties, and then have absolutely no recollection of that period of time. As far as they know, that period of time never existed. They had no idea that they were lying on an operating room table for 45 minutes talking about their recent vacation while their surgeon performed a minor procedure on their wrist, for example. Sometime later, they found themselves in the recovery room when, to their profound disbelief, they noticed a neatly placed surgical dressing on their hand. More than once I have been told that a patient had asked that the dressing be removed so that they could see the stitches with their own eyes.

How should we characterize their level of consciousness during the operation? By our own standards they were completely awake. However, because they have no memory of being awake during the experience, they would recount it more or less the same way a patient who was rendered completely unresponsive would. This phenomenon is common and easily reproducible. Moreover, it invites us to consider the possibility that awareness continually exists without interruption, but we are not always able to access our experiences retrospectively

During some procedures where a surgeon is operating very close to the spinal cord, we often infuse a combination of anesthetic drugs that render the patient unconscious but allow all of the neural pathways between the brain and the body to continue to function normally so that they can be monitored for their integrity. In other words, the physiology required to feel or move remains intact, yet the patient apparently has no experience of any stimuli, surgical or otherwise during the operation. How are we to reconcile the fact that we have a patient with a functioning body and no ability to experience it? Who exactly is the patient in this situation?

What can Near Death Experiences (NDEs) tell us?

If we broadened our examination of the human experience to consider more extreme situations, another wrinkle appears in the paradigm. There are numerous accounts of people who have experienced periods of awareness whilst their bodies have been rendered insentient by anesthetics and/or severe trauma. Near Death Experiences (NDEs) are all characterized by lucid awareness that remains continuous during a period of time while outside observers assume the person is unconscious or dead. Very often patients who have experienced an NDE in the operating room can accurately recount what was said and done by people attending to them during their period of lifelessness. They are also able to describe the event from the perspective as an observer to their own body, often viewing it from above.

Interestingly, people describe their NDEs in a universally positive way. “Survival” was an option that they were free to choose. Death of their body could be clearly seen as a transcending event in their continuing awareness and not as the termination of their existence. Very often the rest of their lives are profoundly transformed by the experience. No longer living with the fear of mortality, life subsequently opens up into a more vibrant and meaningful experience that can be cherished far more deeply than was possible prior to their brush with death. Those who have had an NDE would have no problem adopting the idea that their awareness exists independently of their body, functioning or not. Fear and anxiety would still probably arise in their life from time to time, but it is the rest of us who carry the seemingly inescapable load of a belief system that ties our existence to a body that will perish.

What happens when we wake up from Anesthesia?

The waking up part is no less magical. When the anesthetic gas is eliminated from the body, consciousness returns on its own. Waking someone up simply requires enough space and time for it to occur spontaneously. There is no reversal agent available to speed the return of consciousness. I can only wait. In fact, the waiting period is directly related to the amount of time the patient has been exposed to the anesthetic. At some point the patient will open their eyes when a threshold has been crossed. Depending on how long the patient has been “asleep,” complete elimination of the agent from the body may not happen until a long while after the patient has “woke.” 

By the time I leave a patient in the care of our recovery room nurses, I am confident that they are safely on a path to their baseline state of awareness. Getting back to a normal state of awareness may take hours or even days. In some cases, patients may never get their wits back completely. Neurocognitive testing has demonstrated that repeated exposure to general anesthesia can sometimes have long-lasting or even irreversible effects on the awake state. It may occur for everyone. Perhaps it is a matter of how closely we look.

Interestingly, it is well known that the longterm effects of anesthetic exposure are more profound in individuals who have already demonstrated elements of cognitive decline in their daily life. Indeed, this population of patients requires significantly less anesthetic to reach the same depth of unconsciousness during an operation. This poses an intriguing question: Is our understanding of being awake also too simplistic? Is there a continuum of “awakeness” in everyday life just as there is one of unconsciousness when anesthetized? If so, how would we measure it?

Does our limited understanding of awareness keep us “asleep”?

Modern psychiatry has been rigorous in defining and categorizing dysfunction. Although there has been recent interest in pushing our understanding of what may be interpreted as a “super-functioning” psyche, western systems are still in their infancy with regard to this idea. In eastern schools of thought, however, this concept has been central for centuries.

In some schools of Eastern philosophy, the idea of attaining a super-functioning awake state is seen as something that also occurs spontaneously when intention and practice are oriented correctly. Ancient yogic teachings specifically describe super abilities, or Siddhis, that are attained through dedicated practice. These Siddhis include fantastical abilities like levitation, telekinesis, dematerialization, remote-viewing and others. The most advanced abilities, interestingly, are those that allow an individual to remain continuously in a state of joy and fearlessness. If such a state were attainable it would clearly be incompatible with the kind of absolute psychological identification most of us have with our mortal bodies. It may be of no surprise that Eastern medicine also subscribes to an entirely different perspective of the body and uses different tools to examine it.

Certainly fear has served our ancestors well, helping us to avoid snakes and lions, but how much fear is necessary these days? Could fear be the barrier that separates us from our highest potential in the awake state just as an anesthetic gas prevents us from waking in the operating room? It is not possible to remain fearless while continuing to identify with a body that is prone to disease and death. Even if one were to drop the assumption that the source of our existence is a finite body, how long would it take to be free from the effects of a lifetime of fearful thinking before any changes that reflect a shift in this paradigm manifest? As long as we leave this model unchallenged we may be missing what it means to be truly awake.

How Effective is the Covid-19 Vaccine?

Are you going to decline the Covid-19 vaccine if it is offered to you? Why or why not? No matter how certain you are in your reasoning there will no doubt be someone else who feels exactly the opposite to you and will be just as certain of their position. We trust different sources of information, we have had different experiences with vaccines and we have different impressions of the threat of SARS-COV2 to us and our species.

I would suggest that those in the “vaccine cautionary” community would decline the vaccine based on their ideas around its potential risks. On the other hand, supporters of the vaccine are more likely to focus on its potential benefits. The debate has largely been centered around the disagreement people have about the risks. In this essay I will consider the uncertainty I and others have about its benefits.

Is the Medical Community biased about the Vaccine?

As a contributor to Collective Evolution I am well aware of the “cautionary” perspective on vaccinations and CDC directives. As a physician, I have a reasonable understanding of how those in the medical community regard the “best of what modern science has to offer”. I am part of a Physician group on social media where doctors can seek advice from each other around all matters Covid-19, from interesting cases to rare side effects to how to address special concerns raised by patients. It has been alarming to realize how unilateral the support of vaccination is in this community. 

I mean no disrespect to my medical colleagues. Many of those in this community have seen their patients die from this very real virus. They have had to struggle with the divergent directives coming from the CDC. They have had to work through many weeks where Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was in short supply as their hospital wards rapidly reached capacity and overflowed. Now that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have met minimum requirements for efficacy under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), they are faced with yet another impediment to getting themselves and their patients through this pandemic: growing skepticism around the vaccine coming from the very same people they are endeavoring to help. Their frustration around the situation is understandable, but is it biasing them?

Before consenting to any intervention it is important to understand its relative risks and benefits. As I mentioned earlier, there has been much concern in the “vaccine cautionary” sphere about side-effects and deaths. Here I will take a closer look at what we know about the benefits of the vaccine based on Pfizer-Biontech’s  briefing document to the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee. How confident can we be in the efficacy of the vaccine? Has the manufacturer done its due diligence in its analysis and in being transparent? These are the central questions that need to be answered.

Understanding False Positives and Negatives

There has been a lot of discussion about the rate of “false-positives” with regard to the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test for confirming infection with SARS-COV2. The PCR test can return a positive result even if only trace fragments of the virus are present. Fragments of the virus on a nasal swab is not necessarily representative of an active infection or transmissibility. Moreover the sensitivity of this test is dependent on the number of amplification cycles, or the cycle threshold (Ct), used.  The Ct is not standardized. It is not unreasonable to say that there will be a percentage of people who test positive that do not have the disease. Nevertheless, without a better test we as the public must treat all positive PCR tests as an indication of an infection. We must assume the test is right. The rate of false positives, whatever it is, is directly proportional to the overestimation of the prevalence of the disease. 

Here I would like to discuss the significance of “false-negatives”. These are people who get a negative PCR result but may still be infected. The rate of false negatives is directly proportional to the underestimation of disease prevalence. This aspect of the inaccuracy of our primary diagnostic test gets relatively little attention for practical reasons. If you are suffering symptoms consistent with Covid-19 but have a negative PCR test we assume that you have Covid-19 anyway. In other words, if someone is symptomatic we assume that the test is wrong, i.e. that it is a false-negative, and necessary measures are taken. We quarantine and isolate until we feel healthy again whether we have Covid-19 or not. 

Because we are in the midst of a pandemic we have no choice but to make these assumptions. We are responding appropriately given the limitations of the test. Because of the assumptions we are forced to make, we are exaggerating the prevalence of the disease and our response to it to some extent. It is the nature of the situation we are in.

How do we know that the Vaccine is 95% effective?

With this in mind I would like to discuss an article published in the opinion section of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) that ran earlier this month. The author, Peter Doshi (PhD), takes a rigorous look at the results reported by Pfizer regarding the efficacy of their mRNA vaccine. The success of their vaccine has been widely publicized to be 95%. Where exactly does this figure come from?

During the four weeks of observation (three weeks between 1st and 2nd dose followed by 7 days), 162 participants who received the placebo expressed symptoms of Covid-19 and tested positive by PCR. Compare that with only 8 in the group that received their experimental vaccine. The chance of getting Covid 19 after receiving the vaccine was about 20 times lower than if you got the placebo. This is the basis of the claim that their vaccine was 95% effective, well over the 50% threshold required for Emergency Use Authorization that allows their product to be deployed despite the fact that the two-year Phase III trial is still 20 months from completion.

How did Pfizer handle study participants in the “Suspected Covid-19” group?

It is less commonly known that of the nearly 38,000 participants in the Pfizer study, 3,410 fell into a group labeled “suspected Covid-19”. These are people who developed symptoms consistent with disease but tested negative by PCR. 1,594 of those in this group received the vaccine and 1,816 received the placebo. It should be quite clear that how we regard this much bigger group of symptomatic participants will have an enormous impact on the true efficacy of the vaccine. In other words, if we assume that the PCR test was accurate in all of these people and that they didn’t have Covid-19 and developed symptoms from another virus, the flu for example, then the vaccine would in fact be 95% effective as reported. On the other hand, if the PCR test was wrong every time and they all in fact had Covid-19, the efficacy of the vaccine would be much different: 1602 (1594 + 8) in the vaccine wing vs. 1978 (1816 + 162) in the placebo wing results in a vaccine efficacy of only 19%. 

The PCR test (like any test) can be wrong some of the time and right some of the time. The true efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine can only be calculated if we know how many symptomatic people in each wing had Covid-19 despite testing negative. It is likely that the percentage of false negatives are different in each arm. As the FDA briefing document on the Pfizer study and the BMJ piece correctly note, there should be fewer false negatives in the vaccine group. Why? It is because there is a greater chance of developing Covid-19 symptoms after receiving the vaccine compared to getting a placebo. Reactogenicity, or the acute response of the body to the vaccine, is common. Most of the acute inflammatory reaction to the vaccine occurs in the first seven days after receiving the vaccine. Looking more closely at the data, 409 patients in the vaccine group developed symptoms in the first seven days after inoculation. Compare this to 287 in the placebo group. If we assume that any participant who expressed symptoms in the first seven days must be suffering from the side effects of the vaccine or the placebo and not a new Covid-19 infection, the efficacy of the vaccine is still only 29%.

How important is this matter of the 3,412 “suspected Covid-19” participants? Let us say hypothetically that we as a nation decide to vaccinate our entire population with the Pfizer vaccine assuming that it has a 95% efficacy in preventing the disease. We can predict that within a month about 6.3% people will develop Covid-like symptoms from something other than vaccine reactogenicity or the disease itself. This is based on the number of participants who became symptomatic (from something other than reactogenicity) despite getting the vaccine and tested negative (1,185) divided by the total number who got the vaccine (18,801) = 0.063. With a population of 300 million we would expect roughly 19 million people to develop symptoms of Covid from something other than SARS-COV2 within a month. We can agree that we must be extremely confident in our assumptions about whether these 19 million people have the disease or not. Why would we assume they all don’t have Covid-19 when the vaccine trial itself considered them to be “suspected” of having it?

There is another extreme possibility. If all of the vaccinated participants who were suspected of Covid-19 truly did not have the disease and all of the unvaccinated (placebo) participants who were suspect did have the disease we would have a true miracle vaccine. Why? It would mean that only 8 people got the disease in the vaccinated group compared to 1978 in the placebo group. This would mean that the vaccine was approximately 99.6% effective.

Pfizer either did not do or report additional testing that would have helped

The real issue here is that we shouldn’t be guessing about such important numbers. What do you suppose Pfizer did, knowing that this larger pool of symptomatic participants could have an enormous impact on the estimation of their vaccine’s efficacy? In my opinion, they should have tested everyone who developed symptoms for antibody titers to help quantify the percentage of false negative PCR tests. If a participant felt like they were coming down with Covid-19 but had a negative PCR test, it seems clear that performing an antibody test would have offered a great deal of clarity. This was either not done or not reported.

We must be careful when interpreting the power of a vaccine safety and efficacy study. Although tens of thousands of people were enrolled in the study, the only meaningful numbers have to do with those that contracted the disease during the period of observation. This is the only way to assess the efficacy of the vaccine. When Pfizer only considers participants that became symptomatic and tested positive we only have a group of 170 cases to cross compare.

The 3,410 people who became symptomatic but tested negative during the four weeks of observation would represent a much larger set of cohorts and would amplify the power of the study 20 fold if infection could be confirmed or ruled out through additional testing. In other words, the 3,410 symptomatic people should be the ones that Pfizer were hoping would emerge when they enrolled 37,000+ individuals in their study. I find this lapse in diligence suspicious and at the very least inexplicable, especially in light of the latitude they are granted under the EUA. The fact of the matter is that we do not know if this was done. Pfizer, per their own protocol, will not make this data available until the trial is completed 20 months from now. 

Why didn’t Pfizer look harder?

This forces us to ask some sobering questions. If Pfizer is required (or has agreed) to make all data available in two years, would they have conducted antibody tests on the “suspected Covid” group? If those results told a different story it would be quite damning, if not now, eventually. Their product would not be permitted for use under the EUA if a 50% efficacy requirement could not be met. On the other hand, if antibody tests were conducted and the results confirmed the impressive efficacy of the vaccine, why wouldn’t they have made the data available right now?

It should be clear that if Pfizer’s primary goal was to obtain approval under the EUA they would have had little incentive to do further testing to confirm their product’s efficacy. Why would they take the risk of seeking more information on 3,400 participants that could potentially overturn their results that were based on only 170 outcomes? This is where we must be very careful in our assessment of the situation. If you believe Pfizer and vaccine manufacturers are only out for profits it would be easy to conclude that they are being manipulative. If you believe that these corporations are seeking to improve public health and safety you may grant them a lot of latitude here. To be truly objective we must ask if they have been scientific in their approach.

At the very least I feel that they have not been diligent, and their position hints at disingenuousness: Pfizer didn’t mention this group of participants in their 92 page report or in their publication in the New England Journal of Medicine. This group was only mentioned in two paragraphs of a 53 page briefing to the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) of the FDA submitted December 10, 2020. The FDA, an agency of the department of Health and Human Services that ostensibly serves to protect the public by ensuring the safety of drugs, biological products and medical devices, continues to remain silent around this issue.

The Take Away

The 95% efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine is widely touted by the media and the medical establishment. Why didn’t Pfizer test or report the testing of an enormously important group of participants in their trial? We can predict that without these additional tests deploying the vaccine will not change our behavior nor our attitude to this pandemic.

Physician Specialists Urge CDC to Consider A Safe & Powerful Treatment For COVID-19

As Covid-19 infection and death rates continue their climb, public opinion is consolidating around our health agencies’ guidance and directives. Resolution of the pandemic could be around the corner given the recent announcements around their initial observations of volunteers in Pfizer and Moderna Phase III trials of their novel vaccine based on an mRNA (messenger RNA) platform. Both vaccine manufacturers claim an initial 90-95% efficacy rate of their experimental vaccines. 

The vaccines are in fact experimental as Phase III trials take a full 24 months to complete. Nevertheless widespread deployment of the vaccine will move ahead under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) policy. This policy does not indemnify vaccine manufacturers from legal action if their products cause harm. That protection has been in place for over thirty years under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act passed in 1986 in response to vaccine manufacturers refusal to produce vaccines without legal protection. The EUA goes a little further by allowing this particular vaccine to be administered to the public prior to the completion of safety and efficacy trials.

Given the unprecedented situation we find ourselves in, such bold measures seem justifiable in the interest of saving lives. After all, there aren’t any other potential options. At least that is what we are and have been told.

In reality, several relatively inexpensive and effective measures have been suggested based on anecdotal and even experimental evidence. These include the use of corticosteroids, Vitamin D and hydroxychloroquine among others. Physicians on the front line have been urging FDA approval for these medicines to treat Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. These medicines have been reliably effective in treating other conditions and have shown promising benefit with symptomatic Covid-19 patients. Despite the completion of preliminary studies in June, 2020 that demonstrated seriously ill COV patients had ample benefit from steroid administration, the CDC position against this treatment did not relent even a month later according to this article in the British Medical Journal

As of today, the CDC recommended treatment guidelines continue to uphold the use of Remdesivir, an antiviral agent (that manufacturer Gilead charges $2,340 for a five day treatment) and bamlanivimab, casirivimab and imdevimab, monoclonal antibodies to the SARS-COV-2 spike protein (which medicare pays on average $340 per hour long infusion). Inexpensive, well known medicines like hydroxychloroquine and Vitamin D that have generous safety profiles when given judiciously remain conspicuously absent from their recommendations.

Could Ivermectin be the “miracle cure”?

Just this week, Pulmonary and Critical care specialist, Dr. Pierre Kory made this emphatic plea at the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on “Early Outpatient Treatment of Covid-19”. Dr. Kory is an academic physician and part of a larger group of critical care clinicians, the Frontline Covid Critical Care Alliance, that have been researching all treatment options since the onset of the pandemic. Recently they are attempting to bring awareness to the results of controlled studies involving the use of Ivermectin in the prevention and treatment of Covid-19. 

If you have a dog or cat this medicine may be familiar to you. Ivermectin is a first line remedy for heartworm. It has also been widely and successfully used to treat various parasitic and roundworm infections in humans for nearly four decades. Discovered in 1975, it was first prescribed in 1981 and is on the W.H.O.’s list of essential drugs. This medicine has been instrumental in fighting infections from river blindness and filariasis to scabies and head lice.

Ivermectin paralyzes parasites by blocking nerve conduction in their cellular membranes leading to their death. Why then would it be useful in SARS-COV-2 infection (Covid-19)? It has been demonstrated, in both in vivo and in vitro studies, to be effective in arresting the replication of certain viruses by blocking nuclear transport of various viral proteins required for the manifestation of disease in Dengue, West Nile Virus (WNV), Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus (VEEV) and Influenza. It has also been shown to stop the replication of SARS-COV-2 in this study from June of this year. Furthermore, Ivermectin has anti-inflammatory properties. The attenuation of an inflammatory response, especially in the late stages of the covid-19 disease process, is instrumental in improving outcomes as well. The possibility that this 40 year old heartworm medicine may have a role in treating Covid-19 is therefore not so far-fetched.

Despite the rigid and limited treatment guidelines offered by the CDC, physicians like Dr. Kory have been exploring all possible treatment options for months. As more study results get published it is becoming increasingly clear that this remarkable medicine may be more effective than any other in treating covid-19. 

Their conclusions are based on numerous studies from around the world. They have made them all available on their website and provide an excellent summary of the studies to date here. Admittedly, few of the studies have been peer-reviewed. As Dr. Kory points out, the peer-review process takes months. Given the fact that we are moving forward with vaccines that are nearly two years from completion of Phase III trials, granting some latitude to these studies is not necessarily out of step with the breakneck pace we are on to find a treatment. In any case, Ivermectin studies have been completed, Covid vaccination studies haven’t.

What does the evidence suggest?

Ivermectin is being shown to be remarkably effective in treating patients with both mild and severe symptoms. For the purposes of this article I will explore what is perhaps the most intriguing aspect to this medicine’s application: prevention of the disease. This is particularly relevant as millions of healthcare providers and school aged children are getting ready to roll up their sleeves to receive an experimental vaccine.

Four different studies are summarized on their above referenced page, all of which demonstrate a statistically significant reduction in infection rates of healthy people. Of note, a recently published randomized controlled study of 217 patients in Argentina demonstrated a 0% infection rate of healthy patients taking prophylactic Ivermectin compared to an 11% rate of infection of those with no treatment. Healthy people with regular contact with a known COVID positive person also had a greater than eight fold reduction in contracting the disease compared to those who received no treatment in a different randomized controlled study with 304 subjects. 

Perhaps even more interesting are the retrospective observations of large populations who received prophylactic Ivermectin compared to similar populations that didn’t. Here I am referring to a paper submitted by Alan Cannell, an engineer that has lived in Mozambique, who noticed that the Covid Rates in Mozambique and Ethiopia where Ivermectin is commonly used to combat the endemic parasitic infections were much lower than in South Africa where the drug is less frequently taken.

His interest piqued, he compiled Covid infection rates from three large towns in Brazil that instituted prophylactic Ivermectin to their population in mid July and compared the number of new cases in these towns in August to three other towns in Brazil of comparative size and geographical location that didn’t use the medicine during the same time period. When comparing each town’s August rates to their June and July rates, the towns that used Ivermectin fared 50 to 200% better. Of course this does not represent a controlled study, but we are looking at a combined population of over 3 million people with roughly the same demographics. His observations in East Africa seemed to play out in South America too.

Are the CDC and NIH biased?

Where does this leave us? Dr. Kory is making a direct and impassioned plea to the CDC and NIH to immediately form a taskforce to review and research the enormous amount of new information regarding this inexpensive, tried and true medicine that has been available around the world for decades. Despite all the convincing findings, these institutions have not changed their position from August 27 when they decreed that Ivermectin should not be used outside of a controlled trial. As a physician who has “cared for more dying Covid patients than anyone could imagine”, he finds the CDC’s seeming lack of interest in a safe and potentially game-changing regimen dumbfounding. This is in stark contrast to their resounding support given to a vaccine solution even though any meaningful study on their efficacy and safety cannot even begin for another 2 years. The implications here are hard to overlook.

I am a physician however I am not qualified to offer an authoritative opinion on the quality of the large amount of clinical data now available around this topic. Dr. Kory is. Nonetheless, he and all other medical professionals that directly care for Covid-19 patients ultimately must abide by the guidelines that are set forth by the CDC. His request to the CDC and NIH for an immediate assessment of the data and reevaluation of their position is more than reasonable. It is my personal opinion that any reluctance or refusal to do so should be considered negligent given these circumstances. I echo Dr. Kory’s plea and request that all my colleagues in clinical medicine consider the evidence and if so moved, join in this petition for an updated set of recommended treatment guidelines.

The Pandemic is NOT a Hoax

If you believe this group of clinicians is sincere, it is worthwhile to closely consider what Dr. Kory has to say about Covid-19 itself. “It is not the flu.” Here he is indicating his frustration with the continued comparisons with death rates between the flu and Covid-19 that demonstrate little difference in most age groups. That has not been his or his colleagues personal experience. Once a Covid patient arrives in the intensive care unit, he feels there is very little that can be done, especially using the treatment guidelines from the CDC. This is much different than a serious bout with influenza. Prevention and early treatment go a long way.

As we negotiate the widely divergent narratives about this complicated disease and sometimes perplexing response to it, it is very easy to succumb to polarization ourselves. Just because the death rate in the relatively young and healthy is very small doesn’t mean we should dismiss the disease as harmless. Just because little can be done to treat the critically ill does not mean we should look no further than a vaccine that is yet to be fully tested when other, safe and efficacious alternatives are available. Though there is controversy about the origins of this virus, it is most definitely not a “hoax”. Neither are the alternative treatment regimens we have to combat it. Dr. Kory notably is not suggesting that Ivermectin is a replacement for a vaccine. He believes it would serve in tandem with one.

Medical Therapies are often found in Nature

Ivermectin is itself a variation of a product of a species of bacteria called Streptomyces avermectinius. If you are familiar with pharmacology you will not find this surprising. Many of our most potent pharmaceuticals, especially antibiotics, were first found in nature serendipitously and later isolated, purified and synthesized. In that sense the “cure” often comes from the same source as the “disease”.

Indeed, the vaccines we have manufactured over the decades are often bits and pieces of the very same pathogens we seek to eradicate. Often they are grown in cell lines of other species. Now we are slowly turning away from nature and synthesizing the solution ourselves. The advent of the mRNA-based vaccine platform is perhaps the biggest step towards a truly “man-made” solution. Rather than presenting the “enemy” to the immune system for future recognition, we are taking over the recognition step itself by programming a cell to build antibodies of our own design, peptide by peptide.

The Takeaway

We cannot know with any certainty which approach is better or safer at this moment. However, doubt doesn’t seem to exist in the institutions that are governing our response to this pandemic. They seem to be inexplicably offering us a synthetic solution to a natural problem at all costs.

The Conspirituality Podcast: Clear Signal or More Noise?

“Conspirituality” is a captivatingly named podcast that has been getting a lot of attention of late and for good reason. The hosts are bringing light to a phenomenon that is rapidly emerging in our collective psyche. The belief that certain very large conspiracies are in play in our world is growing, especially in the New Age spiritual community. A growing subset of people in these circles are finding common ground with those in right-wing political factions, something that seemed unimaginable a short while ago. However, in its well-intentioned effort to bring dialogue around this emerging phenomenon, the podcast is introducing another voice that is adding more confusion to an already confusing world of divergent and conflicting narratives. If we are interested in arriving at a better understanding of how our world works we must dig deeper to find our own blindspots and notice those that may exist for others, especially for those who are graced with a growing audience.   

The co-hosts describe the podcast as:

“A weekly study of converging right-wing conspiracy theories and faux-progressive wellness utopianism. At best, the conspirituality movement attacks public health efforts in times of crisis. At worst, it fronts and recruits for the fever-dream of QAnon.

As the alt-right and New Age horseshoe toward each other in a blur of disinformation, clear discourse and good intentions get smothered. Charismatic influencers exploit their followers by co-opting conspiracy theories on a spectrum of intensity ranging from vaccines to child trafficking. In the process, spiritual beliefs that have nurtured creativity and meaning are transforming into memes of a quickly-globalizing paranoia.

Conspirituality Podcast attempts to bring understanding to this landscape. A journalist [Derek Beres], a cult researcher [Matthew Remski], and a philosophical skeptic [Julian Walker] discuss the stories, cognitive dissonances, and cultic dynamics tearing through the yoga, wellness, and new spirituality worlds. Mainstream outlets have noticed the problem. We crowd-source, research, analyze, and dream answers to it.”

Why is the Conspirituality podcast gaining support?

The three co-hosts are intelligent. They rely on their diverse backgrounds and experiences to formulate formidable arguments to explain why people in these two communities are succumbing to “conspiracy theories” as they call them. In their opinion, those in the New Age, spiritual, and yoga communities more easily succumb to the ideas like the “New World Order” and “Global Agendas” because, as the hosts say, spirituality is associated with a more creative and open way of looking at things. This flexibility in their belief system is apparently a fertile ground for conspiratorial thinking to take root. Folks in Right-Wing libertarian circles believe in hidden, dark agendas because, according to them, that’s what Right-Wing libertarians believe. 

The hosts’ tidy assessment of a concerning “problem” is gaining a lot of support not only inside of the New-Age yoga communities from which they hail but also in the population at large. In the podcast’s relatively brief existence, it has already received attention from the NY Times, WNYC Studios, CBC Radio, and the Brisbane Times. 

Much of what the hosts say about human psychology and emotion is insightful. I agree wholeheartedly with their assessment of the Conspirituality phenomenon: it is ascendant and gathering momentum in these two groups who may indeed share the same blindspot. Their effort to put this all together is commendable, but they have a very large blindspot too.

For those of us who have openly and assiduously examined the independent investigation into conspiracies, their podcast represents yet another obstruction to clarity that is gaining traction. Matthew, Derek and Julian are making a crucial mistake in their approach to the “conspirituality” problem. They assume that there are no large conspiracies in play in our world at this time. To state it flatly, to them the idea of a large conspiracy is so preposterous that they cannot even see that they are making an assumption when dismissing the possibility. I do not condemn them for it. It was only a handful of years ago when I would have cherished their position as a rare voice of reason in this confusing time.

What big assumptions are they making?

If you believe that hidden, ill-intending entities are seeking to slowly enslave the population is just a dystopian fantasy that is becoming uncomfortably popular, then the Conspirituality podcast will no doubt be a go-to resource for you. They use well-practiced cadence in their delivery, as if guiding their listeners through a sequence of increasingly challenging asanas that gently lead the audience to a level of self-assurance not previously thought possible. They bring on notable guests and exude authentic confidence to weave together an explanation as to why the conspirituality phenomenon is not just a nuisance, it is a dangerous threat to our way of life. Notably they never explore whether some, or even one of these conspiracy theories might actually be a true conspiracy. Entertaining such ideas, in their opinion, could only be a symptom of the weak mindedness they seek to identify and eradicate for the greater good.

In their opinion, easily seduced spiritual practitioners and rightwing “Q-anoners” should justifiably be thrown together with every “conspiracy theorist”, from anti-vaxxers to 9/11 truthers to flat-earthers. Rather than denigrating them, the hosts of the  podcast attempt to give us a deeper understanding of this growing population by pointing out how their biases and proclivities make them susceptible to false narratives. Addressing the facts that build these narratives is unnecessary in their opinion. Why? Because they assume these narratives are false to begin with. For those in their camp this strikes an acceptable tone of tolerance. To those of us who recognize the danger in making such assumptions and are quite convinced, through our own open-minded and diligent investigation that there may in fact be a number of big conspiracies in play, their tone could easily be regarded as poorly veiled condescension of the most unacceptable kind. Not only would they be underestimating our understanding, they would be grossly overestimating their own. 

Aside from making the error of assuming that large conspiracies do not exist, they are succumbing to the common mistake of lumping all people who are challenging conventional wisdom together. For example, there are thousands of engineers and architects that are patiently waiting for their day in court to present evidence that would overturn NIST’s explanation of the events of 9/11. There are also an enormous number of children who may have been irreversibly harmed by vaccinations over the decades. Health advocates and doctors who have recognized this very real possibility have been lobbying for a reformulation of vaccines since the inception of their widespread use. According to the hosts of the podcast, these thousands of structural engineers, architects and health professionals are just as crazy as people who maintain we live on a flat Earth. They may continue to assert that such conspiracies have been “debunked”, but equating highly educated professionals with flat-earthers is a stark overgeneralization that speaks to the scale of the bias they carry but refuse to acknowledge.

Their approach is based on unbalanced research, and their tone is sometimes divisive. Simply put, they are adding more noise to an already confusing picture.

“Coincidence Theorists?”

They have used the moniker of “Conspiracy Theorists” to label the subset of the population that are “afflicted” by a certain form of weak mindedness that makes them prone to a certain kind of narrative. But how might one see the hosts of the podcasts? I do not know how they would prefer to self-identify. 

For the purposes of this article I will call them “Coincidence Theorists”, a term I credit to David Helfrich, a contributor to Collective Evolution as well. By “Coincidence Theorists” I am referring to those who remain fixated on the idea of coincidence to explain events in this world that seem intimately connected: massive military exercises leaving the Eastern Seaboard undefended on the morning of 9/11? Coincidence! Three skyscrapers completely veering from expected models of behavior in a gravitationally driven collapse on the same day? Coincidence! Thousands of previously healthy children who suddenly experience cognitive decline and neurologic effects immediately after a series of vaccinations? Every single case must be a coincidence.

Coincidence is one of the primary mantras they use to dismiss extremely suspicious circumstances that would point to a conspiracy. Once dismissed, real investigation into the matter is considered flippant which justifies their characterization of all who feel differently as paranoid and easily seduced “conspiracy theorists”. It should be clear that using coincidence to explain the apparently inexplicable is not logical, it is founded on a basic assumption that because large conspiracies do not exist, any suspicious observations that point to a conspiracy must be a coincidence. This is bias and it has no part in earnest inquiry.

How convincing would a defendant on trial be to a jury if he explained his presence at the scene of a crime as pure coincidence? He may be innocent, but using the coincidence argument would not clear him from suspicion. In fact, in court, the more coincidences add up in a case, the more likely the defendant is guilty.

The other common argument they use to dismiss suggestions of a conspiracy is to flatly assert that “it’s been debunked”. This continues to astonish me. As the critical thinkers that they claim to be, how is it possible that they cannot see that the mainstream media and often the scientific establishment that they cite as debunkers and fact-checkers are the primary conspirators in all of the very real conspiracies that are in consideration? The only proof they will ever consider to be credible has to come from the very parties implicated in a conspiracy. This is pure dogmatic thinking.

Should we adopt their approach and view their position as forgivable because they are in the New Age community and we all know that those folks are prone to dogma too? How different would that be than their approach to profiling all “conspiracy theorists” as individuals that are inherently prone to paranoid delusions? It wouldn’t be any different or any less unfair.

In an effort to be more constructive, I would instead like to share my personal experience of a direct but brief exchange I had with one of Conspirituality co-hosts. I hope that this will shed some light on how their own approach to information may be the very same problem they impute to the “conspiracy theorists” that they identify as a growing threat. In other words, people who believe that “everything is a conspiracy” are suffering from the very same blindspots as those that are certain there are only conspiracy theories and no true conspiracies. The possibility that there are many (unfounded) conspiracy theories and a few very real conspiracies does not exist in minds that suffer from a certain type of bias.

My Exchange with Conspirituality podcast co-host Julian Walker

I must admit that it has been challenging for me to approach this topic. I am a physician, an engineer, a diligent researcher and an author of a book that dissects the nature of some of the false-flags and conspiracy in our history. I am also a member of several spiritual communities and view this podcast as a dangerous impediment to open inquiry–something that all spiritual communities should be espousing. If that weren’t enough, I have also participated in an exchange with one of the co-hosts of the Conspirituality podcast, Julian Walker, that was less than amiable. In order to strike the most effective tone in this piece I had to first find commonality between myself and the co-hosts. Despite our disparate view of the world I had to concede that they are as well-intending as I am. At least that is my hope.

I am part of a large spiritual community that is led by a teacher of acknowledged lineage who is an adept writer and recognized scholar in his area of study. We also happen to be friends on social media. Several weeks ago, on his own personal page, he posted a link to bonus material on the Conspirituality podcast that was published on October 12, 2020. In it, Julian Walker, co-host of the podcast, attacked an article written by anti-globalist, scholar, environmental activist and author of 20 books, Dr. Vandana Shiva, who was highly critical of a patent submitted by Microsoft titled “Cryptocurrency System using Body Activity Data”. In the article, Dr. Shiva first contextualizes our pandemic as part of a larger problem involving our species and its relationship with our environment. She writes: 

“New diseases arise because a globalized, industrialized, inefficient agriculture invades habitats, destroys ecosystems, and manipulates animals, plants, and other organisms with no respect for their integrity or their health. We are linked worldwide through the spread of diseases like the coronavirus because we have invaded the homes of other species, manipulated plants and animals for commercial profits and greed, and cultivated monocultures. As we clear-cut forests, as we turn farms into industrial monocultures that produce toxic, nutritionally empty commodities, as our diets become degraded through industrial processing with synthetic chemicals and genetic engineering, and as we perpetuate the illusion that earth and life are raw materials to be exploited for profits, we are indeed connecting. But instead of connecting on a continuum of health by protecting biodiversity, integrity, and self-organization of all living beings, including humans, we are connected through disease.”

Mr. Walker states that this perspective is shared by people like Dr. Zach Bush who use similar buzzwords like “virome” and “holistic” models that appeal to a susceptible audience. It is quite clear that Mr. Walker doesn’t see it in quite the same way. I take no issue with that. This is a debatable perspective on a very complicated paradigm and outside the scope of this article. However, he then goes on to dismiss Dr. Shiva’s assessment of the patent in question. At minute 21:30 of the podcast, he claims to “have done his research” and concluded that this is harmless technology that can be worn, like a watch, to help a system identify when a person has completed a “task”. This wearable technology can measure things like heart rate, EEG patterns, body temperature and eye movement to figure out if the subject has completed the activity in question. This is where I felt compelled to weigh in.

Having a career spent intensively monitoring patients’ physiology on an operating table as an anesthesiologist, I was surprised to discover, while doing my research, that the technology Mr. Walker considered harmless and wearable would also be able to monitor organ function, blood flow, and localized brain activity.

At this moment in time, we do not have the ability to measure such things with wearable technology. If we did, it would be used in operating rooms around the world. Moreover, it poses the obvious question: what sorts of tasks would require us to monitor such kinds of “Body Activity Data”? We are not talking about planting crops, mowing lawns or delivering packages. This kind of data can be best used for one thing: to monitor a person’s response to stimuli. It is not so hard to put it together. This technology is extremely well suited to measure a user’s level of engagement with technology submitted by one of the biggest creators of technology in the world, coincidentally.

When I offered my impression of the patent I soon learned that Mr. Walker was also on the thread. Julian did not respond to my take on the technology in question but instead deemed it unnecessary because a third party agreed with him. It was then that I asked if he would be willing to discuss the article and the patent openly in a mediated discussion here on Collective Evolution. His response:

My sense is that a speculative discussion with you on what that patent may or may not be is about as useful as the endless circles we can go in with 9/11 Truthers about building 7…The larger set of conspiracy claims and attribution of nefarious motivations are part of a style of paranoid thinking that can always take some facts and sound analysis, some reasonable seeming speculation and some outlandish nonsense and weave it all into a captivating seeming argument. I am not particularly interested in debating on a public stage in front of people who find arguments like [Dr.] Shiva’s in any way convincing or laudable, just as I would not be interested in debating creationists, flat earth-ers or 911 truth-ers.

The Dangers of Confirmation Bias

This is where we left it. How is one privy to this exchange supposed to make sense of this? I cannot expect everyone to accept my analysis because I happen to be more equipped to assess the technical aspects of the patent. Though it may seem logical to listen to the engineer and physician, I also seem to be arguing for a potential nefarious use of the technology and that would imply that Bill Gates and Microsoft have dubious intentions. If that proposition is impossible for you to believe, it is more sensical to side with the yoga teacher, podcast co-host and meditation instructor here and dismiss my analysis as the ranting of a paranoid flat earth-er. This is Confirmation bias. When looking at the world with confirmation bias we tend to focus on stuff that confirms our preconceived notions and dismiss stuff that opposes them. Confirmation bias creates unfounded confidence in our opinions.

Mr. Walker is testing positive for confirmation bias. In his mind the idea that the Earth is flat should be dismissed just as quickly as the idea of a conspiracy behind 9/11 or that patent WO2020060606 could be anything more than wearable technology that will help a person get fairly compensated with cryptocurrency for the work they do.

This is a challenge that not only faces Julian but many others. If their research into subjects like 9/11 or this patent is flimsy and superficial, they likely won’t have the understanding and context to truly unseat their initial foundational belief. Why bother going through the twenty-odd pages of technical descriptions of proposed embodiments of the patent if you begin with the assertion that this could never be anything more sinister than a smart watch? Why even read the supporting technical documents provided by NIST supposedly explaining the nature of the collapse of Building 7 if you know a priori that it must be what we have been told? In the case of Julian’s thinking here, his assumptions must be right. Otherwise it would undermine the entire premise of his attack on the “Conspiritualists.”

There is far more in the balance here than being right or wrong. We are talking about a different world view that puts everything into a different context. Isn’t that worth looking a bit more diligently?

If we examine Mr. Walker’s response a little more closely we can perhaps learn about where he may be “stuck.” First, he calls our proposed discussion to be speculative. That is true; neither of us can know for sure what this technology really represents. However, that is not how he describes his position in the podcast when he claims he “has done his research” and that it is self-evident to anyone who reads the patent description.

Next, he portrays any opinion that this technology may not be what he has claimed as part of a style of “paranoid thinking”. You can see that if he was right, I would necessarily be paranoid. Yet, if he admits that this is all speculative, how can he be certain he is right?

Finally, he claims that Dr. Shiva’s arguments are not at all laudable or convincing. However here he is using his admittedly speculative conclusions about this patent to attack Dr. Shiva’s entire position. Rather than addressing my analysis of the technology, he has labeled it unworthy of discussion because it is speculative too. Why is it fair to use speculation to dismantle Dr. Shiva’s position while claiming that a conversation about it would be useless because it is all speculative? This is clear evidence of a double standard, a necessary element in confirmation bias.

Is it possible to be objective?

This brings us to the most telling aspect of this exchange. Under what circumstances would a discussion about the difference of opinion be useless, especially if it is speculative? Aren’t those the kind of discussions that can lead to more clarity? Mr. Walker is essentially saying that because the Collective Evolution audience are all conspiracy theorists a discussion on this platform would be pointless. Why are we afraid of discussion on these issues?

Julian, if you happen to be reading this, I am not offended that you believe my opinion is no more worthy of consideration than a “flat earth-er’s”, but why would you shun the opportunity to explain your position on a platform that has over five million followers that may or may not agree with you? Are you able to understand that you have absolutely nothing to lose and the potential of helping a few million people see your side? If you are truly concerned about a dangerous “movement [that] attacks public health efforts in times of crisis” why not address those in the movement directly? What would motivate you to eschew such an opportunity to explain yourself to the very population you believe are misguided? Would you be willing to bring me on your podcast so that you can demonstrate how I have lost my bearings or better yet find some common ground and articulate a more accurate position together? If you are concerned that some of your listeners may be easily dissuaded by my “captivating sounding argument” how then would you regard their understanding of your position if it is as unassailable as you proclaim? In any case, we are not trying to win an election here. We are both after the same thing: clarity…aren’t we? 

The Takeaway

From an even deeper perspective, I hope that we can agree that being graced with a platform to express our positions comes with a large responsibility. Shouldn’t we be making every effort to examine all contrarian positions openly before leading our listeners in what we think is the right direction? Wouldn’t it be more constructive to come together and unify under a common understanding and purpose? As two practitioners of yoga, a science that is steeped in the ancient wisdom of embodying unity, shouldn’t seeking common ground be our primary intention?

Namaste.

Does the New York Times use “SPIN” ?

I recently had a conversation with a very intelligent and discerning person regarding “alternative” narratives. In today’s terms we could say that he hadn’t been “red-pilled” yet. I don’t care for the term because it over simplifies a very delicate and personal process of dismantling and rebuilding a conceptual framework to support a new interpretation of the world. The “red pill” offered to Neo in “The Matrix” wasn’t appropriate for everyone. Moreover, “red pills” come in all shapes, sizes and, well…. colors.

This person had the presence of mind to get right down to the essence of the divide between our perspectives. “Look”, he said, “I trust the New York Times. If it doesn’t appear there, I don’t have any reason to believe what you are telling me.”

I was grateful that he had spared me the need to explain contexts, alternative historical accounts and all the other background required to usher him into a new paradigm. This is invariably where open exchanges (when they occur) lead and end up. We may begin with an exploration into logic and science, but ultimately we find ourselves retreating to the reassuring news sources we have trusted our whole life. This person, like many other educated and curious people, believed that the integrity of venerated publications like the New York Times was unassailable. Is it possible to demonstrate that this assumption is unfounded?

Are we too distracted by COVID-19?

Right now most of the world is in one form of a “lockdown” or another. There may be a very real existential threat to our species in the form of a highly transmissible and potent virus. This possibility is perfectly aligned with hypothetical scenarios that our scientific institutions have formulated in the past. At the same time there has been growing public concern over the deployment of 5G technology which seems to be moving forward at breakneck pace despite the unprecedented slow down of human activity around the planet. Those who are voicing concern about this are often being vilified as purveyors of yet another “Conspiracy Theory” that will undermine the ability of our authorities to manage the very real crisis at hand. How are we to decide what to believe?

Many educated and informed people in this country rely on the New York Times for its research and perspective on all important topics, especially those that are nuanced and controversial. Here I will explore an article that ran in the SCIENCE section of The New York Times in May, 2019 entitled “Your 5G phone won’t hurt you, but Russia wants you to think otherwise”. The article is particularly interesting, not so much for its validity as a counter argument to the concern around the safety of 5G transmissions but as a clear demonstration of how even a venerated and iconic institution is not beyond the use of “spin” to influence the reader. Some of it is astonishingly overt.

All 5G dissenters are generalized as having dubious intentions

First and foremost the article cites “RT America” (formerly known as Russia Today) as the voice of concern around 5G. It is true that this platform of dubious credibility has published content that challenges the safety of 5G. By doing this, the Times article is indirectly insinuating that the content must be inaccurate or misleading. There has been a plethora of scientific opinion that casts doubt upon the safety of 5G (see below), but by directing our attention only to RT America we are led to believe concern over 5G safety is unfounded or based in some sort of Russian initiative.

This opinion piece in Scientific American summarizes the strident voices of hundreds of physicians and scientists that are calling for a moratorium on 5G technology until further studies are conducted. These are not politically motivated individuals with an agenda. They are talking about science and safety. The Times piece however, refers to Russia, RT, Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin over a dozen times in an article that is ostensibly about the safety of a band of electromagnetic radiation on our health. What is the purpose behind this association?

The medical benefits of 5G are said to be numerous but not referenced

The Times article suggests that 5G is the foundation for “innovative industries” including medical advances. It references another article that, when examined, describes medical technologies that do not actually need or use the kind of broadband communications that 5G offers. Interestingly, the article referenced describes a rather disturbing initiative to implant devices in pills so that health care providers will know that their patients are actually taking their medications. When implemented, the signal from the pill gets picked up when the pill begins to be absorbed in the stomach! Nonetheless, the casual reader will likely assume that a moratorium on 5G will be bad for innovation and for us.

Basic scientific principles are labeled as “Scare Tactics”

The article implies that when RT calls radio waves “radiation” they are using a scare tactic. Radio waves ARE radiation. All electromagnetic waves are radiation. The energy of the radiation is a function of its frequency. Energy, like matter, exists in minute, indivisible portions, or quanta. A single quantum of electromagnetic energy is called a photon. The energy of the photon is directly proportional to its frequency. We cannot escape the fact that 5G will bombard our planet with photons of higher energy. This is not a scare tactic. It could be very real threat to our cellular health.

The Times admits that X Rays and Ultraviolet radiation is dangerous but at “the opposite end” of the spectrum. The point here is that we are talking about a continuum of frequency. 5G carrier frequencies are not so far away from those that are considered “ionizing”, or powerful enough to break chemical bonds, or disrupt biological molecules. The idea that there is a frequency beyond which everything becomes unsafe is an absurd proposition in nature or in any examination of a large group of individuals that can have varying responses to stimuli. It is more useful (and accurate) to understand that a continuum of frequencies will generate a continuum of effects. 

The Times offers a graphic to help us understand. Conspicuously absent is the mention of microwaves, a frequency we are all familiar with. Microwaves are longer (and less powerful) than those of 5G. Note that the graphic demonstrates that the radiation that Airport Scanners use are in the 5G band. We readily subject ourselves to TSA scanning, so why should we be afraid of 5G? On the other hand, would you want to be in an airport scanner for more than a few seconds a couple times of year? How does the omission and inclusion of certain data affect how one interprets the big picture?

Information from The World Health Organization supports further investigation but we are told otherwise

The Times author then sources an article from The W.H.O. which they claim puts this all to rest. The article was written in 2014 and does not report anything definitive about cellular phone transmissions and safety. In fact, in the article, the W.H.O. refers to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)’s opinion on the safety of radio frequency transmissions on our health: “Based largely on these data, IARC has classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B), a category used when a causal association is considered credible, but when chance, bias or confounding cannot be ruled out with reasonable confidence.” In other words, in the very article the Times offers as evidence of “careful science” and “data that contradicts dire alarms” is an open admission that radio frequency electromagnetic fields are a credible risk to our health. The “further ongoing studies” mentioned are notably not referenced.

Furthermore the W.H.O. had the audacity to suggest that “…tissue heating is the principle mechanism between radio frequency energy and the human body …”. This is an absurd position to take if one has a basic understanding of physiology. They are treating an incredibly complex and intricately balanced system that is the living human body and considering it as something that can only be harmed by radiation if it gets warmer. Perhaps this simplistic model would be appropriate if we were assessing the effects of radiation on a brick or bowl of water. A single living human cell is a symphony of trillions of complex molecules engaged in billions of energetic reactions every second resulting in electrical potentials and currents which are highly dependent upon a complex milieu of ions and proteins held in a tight range of concentration and pH. As a physician myself, I find this simplistic perspective an insult to the intelligence of all my colleagues and to the body of knowledge that our predecessors have built over the centuries.

The list above is by no means comprehensive. Other liberties are taken by the author to mislead the reader to unfounded conclusions, however those mentioned here should be enough to point out that the integrity of trusted institutions like the New York Times are not necessarily beyond reproach. The possibility that no source can be trusted absolutely will be unsettling to many of us who have grown accustomed to deferring to others for the “truth”. We are arriving at the inescapable reality that we may have to rely on our own wits to negotiate the endless narratives and partial truths rampant in our information-rich world. How do we hear the signal in the noise? Perhaps that is the lesson 5G is here to teach us. 

The Purpose of the Federal Reserve Banking System

Do Probability and Statistics interest you? Perhaps not. But what about the secret workings of a casino? They are but two sides of the same coin. One side is science, the other application. Economics is the science of the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services. The application of economics, if honed to a specific, razor sharp intention becomes the most powerful weapon on Earth. This weapon is called the Central Banking system. No country owns this weapon. It is wielded by a tiny circle of people. The identities of these people are largely hidden, but it is abundantly clear they owe allegiance to no country, despot or political ideology. They deploy this weapon at their own discretion. We are the frogs in the proverbial pot of water and they are controlling the stove.

Some basics …

In the 2019 fiscal year the United States Government will spend 1.1 trillion dollars more than it will collect in taxes.(source) This number is called the “budget deficit.” Operating with a budget deficit is nothing new in our government’s history. This has been going on for decades, independent of which party has controlled the White House or Congress. If you were to add together all the deficits over the years you would arrive at a sum of approximately 22 trillion dollars. This number is called the “national debt.”

The ability to “pay off” this debt seems impossible, yet we continue to operate more or less the same way, borrowing more and more to meet our country’s obligation to social services, defense, infrastructure, and obligations to our debt holders. Most people are aware of these staggering numbers, yet few of us seem to consider basic questions about the system, like “Where does the money come from?” or “Who would be stupid enough to continue lending us these sums given our poor track record of even balancing our budget?” The answers to these questions are astounding and can lead to an understanding of our nation’s history and monetary system that is absolutely necessary to put nearly every aspect of geopolitics into perspective.

In “The Creature From Jekyll Island,” author G. Edward Griffin adeptly leads the reader on an intriguing exploration of the origin of money, lending and the banking system and its codependence with the governance of people. Through his thorough examination of military conflicts, the rise and fall of governments and repeated taxpayer funded bailouts, Mr. Griffin makes it abundantly clear that human history has been driven more by the inner workings of centralized banking and not the will of individuals or even the apparent vision of their appointed leaders.

The Federal Reserve, covertly conceived by the wealthiest few and brought into existence by Congress in 1913, is part of a global system of centralized banking that has been devised for a purpose unseen and much different than what the public and most of our elected leaders and legislators believe. The result of this system, as evidenced by repeated examples, has not been to stabilize economies but to destabilize them. In his diligent and erudite analysis, Mr. Griffin goes further in asserting that this has been the intention of the founders of the modern banking system all along. 

To accept his bold assertion it is useful to first consider how this is accomplished before understanding why it is done in the first place. A full analysis of this subject is obviously beyond the scope of a single article. However, we can still arrive at a basic understanding of the system and its repercussions here. 

Show me the money

As stated above, the total national debt is on the order of 22 trillion dollars as of 2019. However, according to The Federal Reserve there is only about 1.7 trillion dollars of currency in circulation. Where are the other 20 trillion dollars? Clearly, it exists only as numbers attached to accounts existing in computer memory. Monetary transactions are no longer dominated by the exchange of currency backed by a commodity (like gold or silver), they are instead represented by the increase of a receiver’s account balance that corresponds to the equivalent decrement in the account of the payer. This, of course, seems like a reasonable system that is equitable to both parties. However, if you examine it more closely, certain fundamental questions arise, primarily, where did the money come from in the first place?

The total amount of money in circulation in 1950 was approximately 27 billion dollars. How do we now have 60 times more money? The answer is that it was created by our banks and the Federal Reserve, an institution uniquely endowed by our government to “print” money at its own discretion. This should strike you as unnerving for two reasons. First, our elected officials do not decide when more money is put into circulation, they have abdicated that authority to the Federal Reserve that acts independently. Second, why is there ever a reason to do this in the first place?

Clearly, the amount of goods and services generated by the country has grown with our population and its concomitant increase in our labor force. Also, innovation in manufacturing and the development of technologies have given rise to less expensive ways to make stuff. We have also engineered methods for extracting our natural resources, making the required raw materials more abundantly available for industry. These changes continually influence the supply and demand for goods and services that ultimately will dictate what things cost. These are the “market” forces that capitalism relies upon to self-regulate and ostensibly create an environment for innovation. If the amount of money in circulation is left untouched, prices will continually readjust to represent the total value of the total amount of goods and services generated by an economy. There should never be a need to put more money into circulation.

Where does money actually come from?

The expansion of the supply of money is less accomplished by the actual printing of legal tender than it is by the “creation” of debt. To illustrate this, let us consider a simplistic model of how a bank works. First, a bank serves as a secure place to store depositor’s money. The bank issues the depositor a receipt of deposit. Long ago these receipts were recognized as being more convenient than actually using coins to facilitate transactions. The “money” was in a vault, but the receipts of deposit, when they began to be accepted as payment by a third party, began functioning as money itself. Griffin explains that this form of money is termed “receipt money.” The modern representation of this convenience has taken the form of checking accounts. 

When the bank acts as a lending institution, it can also provide depositors with an added incentive to keep their holdings there in the form of interest. The bank can pay this interest on its deposits by lending this money out to other customers in the form of mortgages, business and personal loans, etc. and charging a higher interest on these sums. The ability of private citizens and industry to have access to money to purchase homes or invest in their businesses or education allows for economic growth and a higher standard of living and is generally considered a good thing and something we all depend upon.

When we receive a loan to purchase something that we cannot “afford” we understand that it has not been given to us for free. We will pay for it over time. In fact, we will pay more for it through a loan than if we purchased it outright. The higher the rate of interest and the longer the term of the loan, the more we end up paying. In the case of a home mortgage paid over thirty years the borrower ends up paying several times the amount they borrowed. This is all spelled out to the borrower when they sign the promissory note and agree to the terms.

However, there is something insidious happening when banks lend money today. The money that gets lent is not possessed by the bank, it is owned by the depositors of the money. The depositors are free to continue to withdraw from their accounts, meanwhile the borrowers also have access to the very same pool of money. When your bank loans a sum of money to another party the amount in your account there does not get reduced. So, where does the money come from? The bank is essentially creating money out of debt and subsequently collecting interest on it. This money is added to circulation and when this happens, the value of every single dollar in the system gets depleted. Prices go up. This is inflation, and it can exact a devastating toll on the system depending on how much debt is created.

As amazing as it may seem, banks are only required to keep available a fraction (10% or less) of the amount of money they lend on hand to meet the needs of their depositors. Clearly there may come a time when a large number of depositors demand their money to be returned at the same time. This is the dreaded “run on the bank” which should send the bank into insolvency. However, this rarely happens these days for two reasons. One is based upon the confidence we place on our banking institutions to make sound loans and upon the economy in general. As long as we are confident that the bank will return our money if we asked, we won’t demand it back. Secondly, banks operating in the central banking system are able to borrow money from other banks to meet the demands of their depositors when needed.

The Fed is a Monetary Cartel that has been setting us up for bigger failures

The Federal Reserve, with the power Congress has endowed it with, sets standards for the portion of money banks within its system are allowed to loan compared to the money in their “vaults.” Because the profitability of the bank is directly related to the amount of money they loan out, banks are motivated to maximize the amount they lend. Furthermore, because a lifeline to more money through other banks exists, there is little reason for any individual bank to be conservative. By uniting banks under common lending practices it becomes clear that no individual bank will be allowed to go bankrupt. However, there now exists the possibility that many or all banks may fail simultaneously with a deep and widespread dive in consumer confidence and/or an accumulation of a great amount of bad debt. Note that the latter will automatically give rise to the former as in the case of the great recession of 2008 when it became recognized that a massive number of irresponsible home loans were made over the course of a decade.

When such a crisis arises, it is made clear to the public that a dire situation is at hand and it would result in major suffering for all if the government didn’t intervene. Government steps in by infusing the banking system with large sums of money. This money does not exist anywhere. It is created on the fly by the issuance of government bonds, essentially IOUs. But who would be willing to accept government IOUs in such a crisis? Nobody. Nobody, except the Federal Reserve. Through the purchase of government debt the Federal Reserve floods the system with essentially a limitless amount of “money.” This money did not come from the sale of goods and services or gold bars from the treasury. This money is ink on paper called Federal Reserve Checks which are used to fund government debt and ultimately result in greater balances in commercial bank accounts when the government spends it. The crisis gets averted. Or does it?

In the short run, the economy does not grind to a halt, and we laud the intervention as a success. However, there has been no increase in the amount of goods, commodities or services that the nation possesses. There is just more money out there. When that happens, the value of every single piece of currency, including the money in your wallet, drops. We grumble at the necessity of more taxes and less governmental services but few taxpayers realize the extent that their own wealth has been decremented by an unseen cost called inflation, the direct cause of poor lending practices of our banks. We are told that we are in a crisis for a number of vague and complex reasons having to do with rarely agreed upon economic theories and a failure of our leaders to appreciate them. In fact, the reasons are simple. We have a system where banks can and will make the most profit if they make more loans. When they fail, the Federal Reserve ultimately steps in by creating more debt, which we shoulder by allowing our earnings and savings to be devalued.

Let us briefly review. The Federal Reserve has united most banks to accept universal lending practices. This effectively prevents individual banks from defaulting on their obligations, but creates a situation where a nationwide or global banking crisis can occur. When (not if) that occurs, the Fed has an understanding with the government that it will infuse the system with money by “buying” government debt (in the form of government bonds) that will be used to “salvage” the system. The public will eventually pay for this in two ways. First, through the obligation to repay the debt and interest and second, through inflation as money floods the system. It should be clear then that this maneuver is designed to keep lending institutions in perpetual business aggrandizing their wealth.

Central Banks make money by doing nothing

It is important at this point to look more closely at the money making machine the banks use for generating profit. Recall that banks are only required to hold no more than ten percent of their deposits (assets) on hand and are free to loan out the rest. However, there is a greater harm they can exact through our banking system’s definition of an “asset.” Let us say that a bank holds $1,000,000 in deposits. It can write $900,000 worth of loans on that money keeping $100,000, or 10% of it on its books as “reserves.” That money loaned out does not exist, it is created the moment the loan is written. Once written, that loan, effectively the promise of the borrower to pay it back, is now considered an asset of the bank too! This means that the bank can subsequently write loans of 90% of that “asset” (or another $810,000) as well. Once the second round of loans go out, they too are considered assets. This iterative process effectively allows the bank to “loan” out $9 for every $1 it was given as a deposit. The bank uses the one million dollars in deposits (reserves) to “create” nine million dollars in debt and, of course, earn interest on it. The term “earn” is highly questionable in this scheme. The bank provides no real service, creates no tangible product, does no labor and assumes little risk yet is able to collect a continuous stream of money from assets that never existed until the moment someone agreed to borrow from them. This is called “fractional reserve banking” and as shocking as it seems, it exists wherever an economy has abandoned a commodity (gold or silver) backed currency. In other words, everywhere.

The Fed makes the most when we are at War

Turning back to Mr. Griffin’s assertion that the system has been designed to create instability, we can see that the banking system reaps the greatest benefit when needs exceed resources. The Federal Reserve (and any central bank) has the sole authority to create money when the need for debt arises. Is it unreasonable that central banks, functioning without accountability to any authority, government or otherwise, would welcome every opportunity to exert this power, especially when it is so lucrative to them? 

If we were to examine the situation from a central banker’s perspective we would regard global events in the context of debt. What kind of event creates the greatest and most urgent need for resources? War. War requires a nation to redirect their youth away from the creation of goods and services and into military service. There is the cost of munitions, fuel, care for the wounded and ultimately reparations. The bigger and the longer the war the better …if you were a central banker.

The Greatest Conspiracy in our history is still in play today

Could there really be an unholy alliance between central banking and governmental war machines? This may be obvious to some, but to many this approaches absurdity. A government for and by the people seems too powerful to be influenced by financiers and monetary policy makers. If banking insiders had any influence over our elected officials, the media would bring immediate public attention to it, right? In order for this kind of treachery to take place it would require the hidden collaboration of a very small group of extremely influential persons in government, central banking and the media. This would be a conspiracy, which many believe would be impossible today.

There is no question that it has happened in the past. As detailed in “The Creature from Jekyll Island,” the United States entered WWI after The Lusitania, a massive British liner with 195 American civilians on board, was sunk by a German U-boat attack. Prior to setting sail from New York, The Lusitania was loaded with tons of weaponry including six million rounds of ammunition purchased with funds raised for England through JP Morgan’s investment house. This was done in broad daylight with the ship’s manifest a matter of public record. The German government protested that using such a ship to transport weapons was in direct violation of international neutrality treaties. The American government denied this was taking place. The German embassy then appealed to the American people directly, placing ads in newspapers urging them not to book passage on The Lusitania as it represented a strategic target that would fall under German attack. The U.S. State Department prevented these warnings from being run.

At this time J. P. Morgan, one of the chief architects of the newly created Federal Reserve, was profiting from selling English and French bonds to American investors to raise money for their war effort against Germany. In addition, the two countries spent significant sums on products purchased from companies in Morgan’s control. When it became clear that Germany was nearing victory through their control of shipping lanes in the Atlantic with their U-boats, Morgan’s income stream was threatened. England, France and the American investing house knew their causes would only be saved if the United States entered the war against Germany. At the time this seemed a practical impossibility as Woodrow Wilson, approaching reelection, was riding a broad anti-war sentiment sweeping the country. This all changed when the The Lusitania sank. Morgan had, in the meantime, purchased control over major segments of the media and flooded the public with pro-war editorial. The media, the banks and our government worked together to see that America entered WWI on April 6, 1917. War expenditures, as always, were fueled by monetary expansion engineered by The Fed. Between 1915 and 1920 the monetary supply doubled and the value of our currency dropped by nearly 50%.

WWI is one of many examples in our planet’s history where the spoils of war went largely to the inner circles of the banking system that often finance both sides of conflicts. If this version of history still seems too incredible to believe, consider this: How often would a nation engage in war if it didn’t have the money to pay for it? Nations rarely do, unless they have a central banking system. Conventional history books paint our species’ long tradition of conflict as good vs. evil or liberty vs. tyranny while characterizing dictators and their ideologies as threats to the greater good. The real threat is hidden in plain sight and is far more diabolical, as it is not confined by borders or allegiance to governments that inevitably rise and fall.