Naturally, my rationalist alarm bells began to sound, and I quickly grabbed one to take a look. And, unsurprisingly, I wasn't disappointed. For, while those around me were flicking through their evening papers or staring blankly into space, I was busy learning about an inter-governmental plot to eliminate 92 per cent of the global population using the current swine flu pandemic.
How, and indeed why, would they go about doing a thing like that? Well, here's the how:
"Please do not accept Tamiflu or Relenza or any other anti viral drug, or any current or future vaccines recommended by our own government, the world health organization (WHO) or any of their agencies.
Please this is urgent. We strongly believe a very high percentage of these anti viral drugs and vaccines contain receptors and triggers designed to receive and activate within the host a second swine flu virus to be released at the end of this summer and during the autumn throughout the northern hemisphere and the rest of the world.
Like a Trojan horse, hidden within the anti virals, Tamiflu, Relenza, and vaccines Pandemrix and Focetria are receptors and triggers and we believe your chance for survival will be as any normal seasonal flu virus if you avoid taking these drugs and instead take alternative medicines advised by your Doctor. Four to ten days is normally required for your own body’s natural defences to counter the virus.
We believe the second swine flu virus will have a mortality rate of 100% for those who have consumed these swine flu receptors and triggers."
And here's the why:
"Their motive, we believe the world's governments are struggling to prevent the ice caps from melting due to global warming and to mitigate the substantial damage to the ozone layer. The true extents of both these global problems we believe have been deliberately under reported.
In response to the above current situation, they have initiated two major plans.
Their plan A, involving thousands of terra-forming aircraft flying secret missions every day of the week all around the world cannot keep the world cool enough at the current green house gas emission rate. (see "chem trails" and “geoengineering” on the internet, turning blue sky's silvery white to reflect some of our sun’s heat back into space and weather control).
Their plan B, the world's governments have secretly agreed amongst themselves to cull over 6 billion people to achieve their "sustainable" human population of 500million.
Their justification, the existing world's population would all be dead had the terra forming planes not done their work over the last 10 years. In other words, we have been living on borrowed time and in their minds the cull is more a sacrifice than genocide.
Special batches of anti viral drugs and vaccines with very low percentage of receptors and triggers are being sent to areas around the world selected by post codes/zip codes and where it has been deemed by their governments for more people to survive and live."
(Well, at least the world's governments tried a Plan A against global warming before resorting to Plan B of wiping out more than 90 per cent of the world's population...)
The rest of the leaflet contains the usual conspiracy theorist blending of statistics and pseudoscience, and frankly it's all a little out of date, as it states that the deadly second virus was set to be released "at the end of this summer", so either the great anti-viral genocide involves a delayed reaction, or the fears of the conspiracy theorists have proven unfounded. I'll let you decide which one it is. The CD enclosed with the leaflet even contains a longer, eight-page, version, which proceeds to involve Hurricane Katrina, Middle East wars, the banking system, the Black Death and just about anything else you can think of in the conspiracy. The Illuminati aren't explicitly mentioned, but presumably they are the global rulers responsible for it all.
The leaftlet also states that the HPV vaccination, which protects young women against the virus that causes cervical cancer, is being used in the same way. I have to say I wasn't all that familiar with the anti-vaccination lobby (if you can call it that) until recently, and I actually learned more about it after AIDS denialism became a big issue for us this autumn. Although the anti-vax movement and AIDS denialism aren't entirely linked, they do have many similarities, so if you'd like an insight into the psychology involved I advise you to read Seth Kalichman's excellent piece on "How to spot an AIDS denialist" in our current issue. This passage from his piece seems particularly relevant here, as you could largely just substitute AIDS denialism for anti-vaccination:
"AIDS denialists are therefore a mixed bag of rogue scientists, pseudoscientists, conspiracy theorists, and snake-oil salesmen. There are also vocal AIDS denialist activists, primarily HIV positive people who are in deep denial of their diagnosis and seek the insulating bubble offered by AIDS denialism. So, what can we do about AIDS denialism? There will always be crazy people who say crazy things. AIDS denialists only do harm when people listen to them. The best defence against AIDS denialism is improved public understanding of science and medicine. We all need to know how to recognise cranks and crackpots and their sinister rhetorical devices."
The leaflet I found on the tube was clearly from the crazy conspiracy theorist wing of the anti-vax movement, but they're not the only people spreading this kind of false information. There may not be many people out there ready to believe in a plot to cull six billion people, but there are plenty who are ready to believe that vaccinations do more harm than good. It is therefore, as Seth Kalichman says in relation to AIDS denial, essential that people are given the knowledge to indentify the anti-vaccinations movement as dangerous and lacking a scientific basis.
And if you see any of these leaflets on the Underground, do everyone a big favour and remove them to the nearest bin.