Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Free anti-vax conspiracy theory with every tube journey

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On the way home from work last night, as I sat on London's Piccadilly Line, a man briefly sat next to me who seemed a little on edge. He was fidgeting and looking around, which I have to say was starting to annoy me (not that, as a London commuter, I'd have said or done anything about it), but he didn't stay for long. Having boarded at Holborn, he stood up again at the next stop, Covent Garden and, as he disembarked, he set about covering all the empty seats in the carriage with plastic folders, each containing a CD-R and a three-page A4 leaflet.

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.

15 comments:

Daniel Grosvenor said...

Remove them to the nearest bin? All the dustbins at my train station have been removed in some pro-rubbish/anti-terrorism bid.

1minionsopinion said...

Considering how many gullible people must live in the world, it's bound to be found by someone who'll believe every word of it and spread it around even more.

And then when everyone who didn't get the vaccine gets incredibly ill during their swine flu experience they'll try and theorize a conspiracy around that, too.

It must suck to be so uninformed and not realize it makes the situation worse to perpetuate these fears and unfounded allegations.

Christopher Gray said...

I should think it's extremely exciting for that man to think that he's 'in the know' when it comes to such a major global conspiracy. And actually doing something about it must seem to be the most exciting time of his life, entrenched as he no doubt is in an isolated in-group of mutually supportive and equally cuckoo denialists.

It's ironic that the memes they're spreading - along with all the crafty protective memetic coatings that all good conspiracy theories have - can spread about as quickly as the biological viruses they mention, and cause at least as much harm to people who consequently fail to vaccinate.

I feel sure that Philip K. Dick must have done a story along these lines at some point, mixing the paranoia and thrill of sick minds and bodies with global conspiracies...

daniel said...

i'm pretty much in love with the idea that some people believe dramatically and quickly killing 90% of the planet's population and thus leaving nuclear plants, coal plants, oil refineries, factories producing toxic plastic byproduct runoff WHATEVER running and to their own devices (BOOM!) is a good way to save the planet.

Keeno said...

I don't get it...
if the world leaders wanted to eradicated the population, why wouldn't they let the impending global catastrophy do the job, move to a high altitude city and sit back and watch the carnage?

that'd be much more fun if they were as demented and despicable as this seems to suggest.

plus post code screening?
there's a lot of mix in ever postcode. lets Take W1 in london. Lots of wealthy, well to do types. And smack heads ;)

Anonymous said...

There is a lot of info to suggest that vaccinations (not only swine flu) could be harmful. I would advise doing some of your own research if you are interested...

Christopher Gray said...

I'm very interested - could you just post a link to all this 'information' here so that we can all take a look at the evidence and see if it stands up.

You'll forgive us if we take a rather sceptical view of anonymous assertions of unsupported claims...

ChicagoMolly said...

Somebody must have watched Torchwood Children of Earth and thought it was a documentary.

Fontwell said...

This is exactly the sort of conspiracy theory we need. It is so clearly complete bollox that it nicely discredits itself and by implication, conspiracies in general.

Jim said...

Little man has watched one too many episodes of Spooks perhaps.

I love the level of credit that conspiracy theorists afford our seemingly malevolent government.

We know of course that the government can barely organise a piss up in a brewery, and if they did manage it, we'd be hearing about their inappropriate expense claims for the subsequent 3 months.

Joe Hayhurst said...

Yeah, because any government would willingly kill their own citizens and also trust other governments to do the same at the same time. Of course the other governments wouldn't simply invade a country once they had killed 90% of their population (including most of their army) and take their resources.

This is sort of like a massive genocidal game of reverse chicken! What planet are some people on?

Anonymous said...

I hadn't realised how out of control the anti-vaccine thing was until I read this piece, which makes them sound like the new pro-lifers.

Ignazio said...

I'd say: remove them and separate the paper from the plastic :P pity I don't see any bins to recycle the plastic from sleeves and cds...

PaulJ said...

"The Illuminati aren't explicitly mentioned..."

No 12-foot lizards?

h said...

OK, let's presume for a minute that all of this is true.

By taking the H1N1 vaccination I die. Presumably that means the only people left are anti-vaxxers.

Well I think I'd choose to get vaccinated.