The following article from Spectator Australia
There is a lot of talk about fake news and conspiracy theories which, in the past, we would have called ‘rumours’. This is where the art of ‘cherry-picking’ becomes useful, because in rumours or conspiracy theories the ‘cherries’ are the fruit you must find.
There have always been rumours in the news cycle. They are stories that generally come to life because someone who ‘knows something’ says something to someone else – and on and on it goes. The jungle drums begin beating. It has ever been thus for humans. Social media is simply the modern version that has replaced pub gossip and chatting over the neighbour’s fence. The medium is as old as humanity.
Rumours also tap into that great human survival mechanism, intuition. Humans are connected beyond mere words. We communicate with each other at unseen and generally unacknowledged levels. Like bees in a hive, humans know things because other humans know something… That is why ‘word spreads’ so easily.
Word of mouth is not necessarily reliable, but that doesn’t mean it is completely wrong either. There are often elements of fact, truth, and reality scattered noisily between these whispers.
Social media works very hard to censor the ‘drums’ and limit the rapid exchange of information, rumour, and what we now call ‘conspiracy theories’. They have even created a new label for it: Fake News.
There are plenty of conspiracy theories running around – some more believable than others.
A few crowd-pleasing favourites that will almost certainly get you dragged off by the fact-checking police include:
- Covid is a bioweapon.
- A cabal of powerful people want to reset the world.
- There is a shadowy plot to solve over-population.
- Microchips in vaccines to track society.
- Covid vaccines, in one way or another, alter human DNA.
There are probably more, but let us consider which, if any, hold a grain of truth.
The idea of vaccines as a bioweapon is one of the top trending conspiracies in 2022 riding off the Covid pandemic. It is the subject of endless videos on unrestricted sites and has spawned a whole sub-class of conspiracies.
There is no doubt that controversial ‘gain of function’ research into viruses goes on in various labs around the world. While it is claimed that gain of function research is done with the best of intentions, any student of history knows that the ‘best of intentions’ can lead to the worst possible outcomes. It occupies the same space as ‘for the greater good’, ‘a better world’, ‘for your own sake’, and ‘no good deed goes unpunished’.
Gain of function research is dangerous. It involves deliberately adding functionality to a virus or organism. It is both a natural and artificial process. For example, scientists have sought to modify E. coli to covert plastic waste to tackle environmental problems.
Could it be used as a bioweapon? Absolutely. Even more likely are the dangerous unintended consequences, which is why the subject remains controversial. Given it is widely believed that Covid escaped from the Wuhan viral lab, the next question is, does China pursue bioweapon technology? Almost certainly, despite denials. The fact is, many nations pursue bioweapon technology, and deny it.
However, it does not follow that Covid is a bioweapon.
To quote Thomas Inglesby, director of the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins:
‘I haven’t seen any of the vaccine companies say that they need to do this work in order to make vaccines.’ He pointed out. ‘I have not seen evidence that the information people are pursuing could be put into widespread use in the field.’
‘Gain of function’ research could certainly be part of the development process in a bioweapon. Is the belief, rumour, or conspiracy theory therefore so silly? Not at all.
There is plenty of room for speculation, particularly when Covid centres around the highly secretive Chinese communist regime which locked the world out from conducting a proper and legal investigation for nearly a year. What they were up to, we may never know – although the answer will likely be ‘an accident’. At the same time, it could simply be another pandemic wave the likes of which humanity has experienced every century.
As a conspiracy, ‘Great Reset’ has an advantage over the others in that it is backed by the largest and most powerful closed-door lobbying group in the world – the World Economic Forum.
How logical or sensible is it for people to believe that a powerful group wishes to re-organise the world, reset societies, make massive changes to how we live?
Actually, it’s perfectly valid. The difference here is not ‘denial’, it’s an open debate about whether this proposed great reset – done for the ‘sake of the environment’ – is good or terrifying. It is a question of ethics, not existence.
There remains a great deal of scepticism, particularly in the press, regarding the ability of these global institutions to enact their printed wish to initiate a great reset (most news organisations have given up denying its existence). However, World Economic Forum’s projects continue to end up as domestic policy and so, like it or not, governments are falling under the influence of this organisation.
Is it by force? Probably not. This seems to be a genuine choice made by our leaders who are using the excuse of the Covid pandemic to enact Great Reset goals centred around the rise of militant environmentalism. It is a foolish act by politicians, given the soul of the Great Reset is the desire to end capitalist democracies and replace them with ‘more sustainable’ socialist states controlled by a mixture of bureaucrats and businesses.
The most powerful ideas are those proclaiming to have good intentions. It is easier to drag people along if you can convince them and yourself that this is in the best interests of everyone and that ultimately it is for the greater good.
According to Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of WEF:
‘The pandemic represents a rare but narrow opportunity to reflect, reimagine, and reset our world.’
Is the Great Reset a conspiracy or international policy? It is probably leaning toward the latter.
Population reduction holds the bizarre twin existence as both a demand from concerned eco-groups and a conspiracy by their opposition. It begins with the question, would the world benefit from reduced population? For the Climate Change alarmists (and their more rational environmental predecessors) there might be some gristle in this one. Too many humans, like too much of anything, creates a strain on global resources.
As for whether anyone is ‘actively doing something about it’, that’s where the conspiracy runs thin – unless it was coming from a secretive consortium of funeral parlours.
If not killing humans, is anyone stopping them from reproducing? Overwhelmingly the answer is ‘the cost of living’. This is not so much of a plot as a natural reaction to changing circumstance.
Global populations are at their highest point in history, so it is unsurprising that even in China and India, there has been a shift. Both have fallen below replacement level (which is normal, considering eternal growth is not possible or advisable for any species). Access to contraceptives will naturally reduce population levels, but the conspiracy goes much further to claim it is part of some plot by the elites. It is the perfect example of an observable fact being co-opted into a grand conspiracy that doesn’t exist.
The fear over microchip implants is a logical fear given the rise (and celebration) of transhumanism (which is not a conspiracy). There are companies in Sweden that already microchip their staff as part of an experiment in augmented reality and during Covid, it was discussed whether governments should look at adding vaccine passports to these chips for ‘ease’.
Microchips in vaccines can easily be dismissed as nonsense, but the underlying fear of surgical implants linked to government systems is a genuine ethical debate – so it’s no wonder the conspiracy gained traction.
This conspiracy theory might be fiction right now, but it hasn’t been ruled out as a probable future.
Lastly, if you really want to get yourself banned from social media, casually suggest that Covid vaccines ‘change your DNA’.
Interestingly, this conspiracy hinges on definitions. It is this confusion that is expanded on to turn a grain of truth into something more sinister. mRNA vaccines do manipulate the human body into producing the Spike protein to trigger an immune response. Whether this is a good thing or not remains in question, but what the vaccine does not do is permanently alter human DNA in a manner that gets passed down through the generations – which is the suggestion of most conspiracies.
The conspiracy is given extra weight when the question is changed to, can human DNA be altered? Yes. It was only a few years ago that a Chinese scientist went to jail for splicing the DNA of children (who were born) in an attempt to make them immune to certain diseases.
Could a new genetic treatment change your DNA in some way? Yes, it could. Is it likely? We don’t know. Is it possible? Yes, it is. Are the scientific answers offered to this fear a bit fluffy? Yes.
As evidenced by this selection of conspiracy theories, most revolve around a grain of truth. In essence, the most sensible thing to do in the face of what is called a ‘conspiracy theory’ is to not summarily reject it, but do a bit of work and have a good, long, hard think about whether or not it is possible, if it is likely, and decide whether these outcomes are something you would support and defend.
One thing is certain, the human capacity to be suspicious, to exercise scepticism, and to communicate feelings, thoughts, theories, doubts, fears, hopes, facts is what has enabled us to survive and generally thrive for millennia.
There is also such a thing as gut instinct and we need to remember that. Humans lie and never more so than when they have powerful vested agendas. They lie even more when there are profits at risk and when they know they can ‘sell their story’ to the public in the name of good intentions. These realities are recorded throughout our human history and we ignore and forget their truths at our peril.
When we stop asking questions, stop thinking for ourselves, and censor those who try, we are betraying the freedoms for which so many fought and died and squandering the future and hopes of our children.
Scepticism is needed more than ever in times like this. Not cynicism, but healthy, questioning, open-minded, clear-headed scepticism. Your government does not have your best interests at heart. It has its own. Become a questioner. Carpe Diem!