Holding The Line

Journalists Against Censorship

Photo by James R Gray from Freerange Stock

By Charlotte Hervis

Originally published at Mark Crispin Miller’s News from Underground Substack

Do you have the feeling that reports of people “dying suddenly” have multiplied dramatically these past few years, and that the number keeps on growing week by week? If you have that feeling, it’s not just you, because that uptick in reports of people “dying suddenly,” and their ever-growing number, are facts beyond dispute.

Analysis of long term trends across the news online confirms that there has been a spike in such reports these past three years. The number of reports of people “dying suddenly” rose from an average of 4,346 items per month in late 2020, to an average of 5,517 in 2021, 7,287 in 2022 and, from January to August this year, there have been on average 7,910 news items each month citing this phrase alone.  That’s a marked rate of change – a 22% rise in average volumes late 2020 into 2021, a 37% rise between 2021 and 2022.  The dotted line indicates the upward trend over time.

It is important to explore this broad recent historical context across a large body of data, before we delve further into the trends we see from our own research and cataloging of sudden, unexplained deaths, which have been posted on News from Underground since early 2022.

The trend visible across online news over the past three years reflects content across 173 countries, from some of the world’s biggest global news sites. (MSN, Yahoo!, Daily Mail and The Sun are among the most prolific sources of content featuring this term.)  In fact, 6% of references came from the top global news sites (ranked by web traffic, as listed recently by Press Gazette).

As reports of people “dying suddenly” have multiplied dramatically worldwide, the media has tried to play that increase down, either by ignoring it completely, or by noting certain evidence of excess deaths, in some country and/or ethnographic group, but attributing that rise to something other than the one and only thing most likely to have caused it. Thus we’ve read that all those “sudden deaths” are due to (for example) stress, obesity, hot weather (i.e., climate change), “heartbreak syndrome,” referees’ whistles (suggested as the cause of all those athletes “dying suddenly”), pizza margherita (proposed by one Italian outlet as the reason why so many Italians have “died suddenly” of heart disease), drugs, alcohol, too much exercise, and – last but not least – “long COVID.”

Both those tactics – blacking out the spike in sudden deaths, or quietly explaining it away – are meant to normalise this ongoing catastrophe, so that people will forget it, and move on. Those tactics have been quite effective, appealing strongly, as they do, to our wishful thinking that this horror isn’t really happening, or, if it is, its causes are innocuous, and easily addressed. In order to see through this push to normalize the utterly abnormal, we need to put that key obituary phrase ”died suddenly” – along with the synonymous “died unexpectedly” – in its proper historical context.

Until early-to-mid-2021, those phrases were used far less often than they are today, as they shared a certain coded meaning. Each was an obituary euphemism, primarily for deaths by suicide, and, secondarily, for deaths by overdose – that is, deaths that were, back then, deemed, by the bereaved, as shameful. (Similarly, back when the word “cancer” was somewhat taboo, “died after a long illness” was a euphemism for that cause of death.) Even throughout 2020, so widely (mis)reported as a year of excess ”deaths by COVID” (although 2020 featured only one brief spike in such excess mortality – among older people lately isolated under “lockdown” – whereas that year’s death rate was not unusual overall), the number of reports of people “dying suddenly” did not notably increase.

Starting in early 2021, however, the use of both those phrases started spiking; and while they sometimes had the euphemistic purpose that they’d had for long before, more often they were literally true, as people of all ages were now “dying suddenly” or “unexpectedly,” just dropping dead, or failing to wake up, often for no given reason – a trend unprecedented in the history of obituaries, especially in the United States. Formerly – that is, before the “vaccination” drive – even deaths of people in their nineties were ascribed to some precipitating cause or causes; whereas now the vast majority of all these “sudden deaths,” not just among the very old but all others, too, including teenagers, children, babies, are noted tersely with “no cause reported.”

Some people have asked the legitimate question whether the covid ‘vaccine’, coerced across the global population since late 2020 could be contributing to this phenomenon.

Rarely, major news outlets come straight out and say what many are thinking, the case of UK NHS Doctor Stephen Wright being a rare example:

News sites such as the Express were happy to question the safety of the RUSSIAN ‘vaccine’ back in 2021:

Cynically, ‘major’ (high traffic) news outlets have been keen to quash association of the ‘vaccine’ with news of sudden deaths. 

Where newswires (Associated Press, Reuters, Bloomberg, etc.) publish talking points, mainstream media follows in syndication (the act of re-selling and re-publishing news content to multiple news outlets).  Check out some of these headlines:



It is imperative that critics of Big Government, Big Pharma and Big Media are discerning in the ways they gather and report evidence, to avoid headlines such as those above which serve to discredit the efforts of thousands of people working hard to break through the media programming and bring this message to the masses. 

It is one of the reasons why News from Undergound’s weekly Substack newsletter (search our archive for posts which start “In memory of those who ‘died suddenly’”) chronicles and illustrates the individual stories behind some of the headlines. After all, it was Joseph Stalin who reputedly said, “A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.”

For some significant time, Mark Crispin Miller’s campaign to curate and relay these individual stories has been supported by a dedicated team of volunteers and editors. If you are in a position to donate to this initiative, you can do so here.

It became clear early on that we couldn’t rely on ‘news media’ alone to report these deaths. The News from Underground’s team searches diligently across news and obituaries to pay tribute to the countless number of people who, particularly since late 2020/2021 have been dying suddenly, and typically with no cause of death given. 

As coverage volumes rose, we became more structured in our approach, and are now in a position to share some of the aggregate data and trends from our weekly alerts for the period January to July 2023.

Over this seven month period, we have logged 30,583 lines of information. 

We track information related to:

Geographic location

Type of report (celebrity news, other news, obituary)

Age details if given

There is a bias in our data collection linked to geography, because we have researchers dedicated to searching out stories from particular countries.  We are conscious that we lack evidence from Israel, for example. These gaps in our data collection are due to lack of resource among our volunteer researchers or lack of news reporting in mainstream media.

In Canada, we can’t rely on mainstream media outlets to report these stories, meaning our tireless researchers scour news from funeral homes to log obituary information. This is why our Canadian volumes are so much higher, as we were looking deeper, spending longer looking for information.

Below you will see the most prolific countries logged from a list of 128 countries on our database:

The trend over time in some of the higher volume locations is as follows:

So far in 2023, the level of news reporting is pretty constant, with an average of 1,270 news/celebrity news items combined each month.  

Compare these ‘news’ volumes against those reported at the start of this post, which are based solely on articles which match the search term ‘died suddenly’, with no curation or qualitative assessment. 

This shows both the extent of the effort undertaken by the team to apply such qualitative assessment before logging this information, but also the extent of the human tragedy unfolding in plain sight, with reports scattered here and there and very few people joining the dots. 

The top ten countries producing news reports (including information about celebrity or high profile deaths) from our 2023 newsletter archive have been:

It is heartbreaking to report on the range of young people dying suddenly:

And an increasing number of people of working age:

As we head into the winter season in the northern hemisphere, we are expecting to see more and more news reports and obituaries; so that our work has only really just begun.

Editor’s note: News from Underground is performing a great service to humanity and if you haven’t already subscribed to it, do so without delay!


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