MP hits out at Government Covid-19 injection ‘disinformation campaign’

In an interview with HTL’s Roger Guttridge, Sir Christopher Chope MP accuses the Government of running a ‘disinformation campaign’ to encourage Covid-19 injection take-up while being in denial about the treatment’s safety.

Sir Christopher claims the media saw itself as being the spokesperson for that campaign, with editorial decisions being made to keep adverse reactions ‘under wraps’ at major TV stations and national broadsheet newspapers.

He alleges that some people seeking help from the NHS for Covid injection harm were ‘ridiculed as having mental health problems’

And he says he is speaking out for the ‘forgotten heroes’ of the pandemic who were harmed by the injections after being told they were safe.

Watch the interview on HTL’s Odysee channel

The Conservative MP for Christchurch, Dorset, told Holding the Line: Journalists Against Covid Censorship he had been contacted by hundreds of people across the UK about serious harm, including death, caused by the injections.

Sir Christopher said: “There was a propaganda war to say the injections are safe and nothing to worry about. There has been pressure on staff to take them and for going to venues and going abroad.

“In this propaganda war, truth was the victim and people were discouraged from using their own judgement.”

He said the Government’s Yellow Card vaccine injury reporting scheme had up to 500,000 Covid injection injuries flagged including reports of 2,000 deaths and a five-figure number of people who suffered very serious consequences.

Sir Christopher said there were cases where people reporting vaccine injuries to the NHS were “ridiculed as having mental health issues”.

He said some NHS staff he had spoken to in his constituency were relieved they no longer had to have a Covid injection as a condition of their employment as they had seen with their own eyes some of the adverse consequences.

Sir Christopher, an MP since 1997, said: “Some people are feeling the need to club together to fight back against the disinformation campaign from the Government.

“The media have seen themselves as the spokespersons for the Government propaganda machine and continue to do so.”

Asked why he was sticking his head above the parapet on the issue while so many of his colleagues appeared reluctant to do so, he said: “The reason I’m making a stand is because I know there are a group of people who are the forgotten heroes of the pandemic.

“They are the people who followed the Government advice that they should get vaccinated in order to promote good public health and in following that advice they have suffered dire consequences, in some cases fatalities and in other cases life-changing injuries.

“So many in middle age and younger age groups with no underlying health issues have had their lives completely wrecked.”

Sir Christopher said YouTube had censored a speech he gave in Parliament in early March of this year about Covid injection harm that had been uploaded on the Google-owned platform.

He said YouTube claimed the video contained content which was “medical disinformation” – which he denied.

He said the censorship of injection harm information also reached across to the mainstream media where journalists at the main television stations and broadsheet newspapers had told him there was “nervousness about opening up” on these issues.

Sir Christopher said: “There are some brave journalists who buck the trend but on the editorial level there is very much a ‘let’s keep this under wraps’ attitude.

“I have accused the Government of being in denial about the fact that the vaccines are not safe for everybody.”

But he added the Government now acknowledged that some had died or were seriously injured as a result of the injections, when its initial view had been the treatment was absolutely safe.

Since raising the safety issues with the Government, Sir Christopher said he had been told the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme had been transferred to a dedicated team at the NHS Business Authority.

Yet no one had yet received any compensation for injection harm through the scheme and claims were only just starting to be processed, with a lot of obstacles appearing to be put in the way of those who were claiming.

Sir Christopher said organisations claiming to be fact-checkers were trying to ridicule and discredit factual information about injection harm, and he was concerned that the Online Safety Bill going through parliament could challenge the right to speak out.

When asked who might be responsible for the lack of debate, he said: “There is always a group of people who are rather statist [advocates of a political system in which the state has substantial centralised control over social and economic affairs] whose life would be much easier if people could not express individual opinions.”

Watch the interview on HTL’s Odysee channel

The Journey from 1950s Maoist Thought Reform to 21st Century Covid Tyranny – Part I

By Rusere Shoniwa

This article was first published at https://plagueonbothhouses.com/

In this three-part essay I discuss the Government’s deployment of psychological warfare techniques to induce compliance with Covid containment policies. Robert Lifton’s 1961 study of ‘brainwashing’ in China elucidates eight psychological themes that characterised 1950s Chinese Communist ideologues’ indoctrination techniques. Using both Sue Parker Hall’s and Lifton’s work as a platform to provide my own perspective, I explore the extent to which UK Government psyops mirrored methods employed by 1950s Chinese Communist ideologues. Part I discusses the first four themes. Part II discusses themes five to eight. Part III is an exploration of the root cause of Covid ideological totalism.

“This is not a data war. We won that a long time ago. It’s a psychological war, and it really needs to be thought of that way.” – Dr Mark McDonald, psychiatrist and author of “United States of Fear: How America Fell Victim to Mass Delusional Psychosis.”

In its own benign phrasing, the remit of the Government’s Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviour (SPI-B) is to provide “behavioural science advice aimed at anticipating and helping people adhere to interventions that are recommended by medical or epidemiological experts.” 

What it actually ended up doing was made much clearer in a confession by a SPI-B scientist who spoke to Laura Dodsworth, author of A State of Fear. They had “discussions about fear being needed to encourage compliance, and decisions were made about how to ramp up the fear. The way we have used fear is dystopian. The use of fear has definitely been ethically questionable.”

It’s more than just “ethically questionable”. The Government’s widespread use of fear and other emotional levers to manipulate behaviour fits the definition of classical military psyops or psychological warfare.

The weaponisation of behavioural psychology did not happen overnight. At the very least, it can be traced back to the formation in 2010 of the Government’s Behavioural Insight Team, whose aim is “finding intelligent ways to encourage, support and enable people to make better choices for themselves”. You do have to wonder about the Orwellian mindset that is unable to see the contradiction between people “mak[ing] better choices for themselves” and a Big Brother government unit being set up to “encourage” and “support” them in this supposedly autonomous decision-making process.

The integration of ideas about mind control into popular culture finds expression in the term ‘brainwashing’ which encapsulates a degree of mind control in the service of a political or other ideological goal. Today, Her Majesty’s brainwashers euphemistically call it ‘nudging’, as if they’re merely setting an alarm for you to make sure you don’t forget to do something you had always intended to do, like wear a mask in public for two years. 

The choice of language for today’s government sponsored brainwashing is in itself an attempt to brainwash. After all, psyops wouldn’t work if your daily ‘nudge’ flashed up in a neon light ticker tape over Piccadilly Circus reading: “Today’s brainwashing message is brought to you by the manipulative controllers at SPI-B. Don’t forget to wear your mask! Mask-wearing makes it easy for you to instantly distinguish the rule breakers from the rule followers, thereby enhancing compliance with idiotic rules by leveraging group normative pressure. Have a nice day!”

Perhaps it’s naïve to think that psychologists would be any less prone to using their powers for evil than other professions, but there is something exceedingly sinister about using an academically acquired understanding of the human psyche to subvert human happiness. Which is why it is heartening to see the emergence of a group of mental health professionals in the UK, Therapists for Medical Freedom (T4MF), which has aligned itself with sound ethics by taking aim at the Government’s use of covert psychological manipulation.

Totalitarianism, like the Government’s weaponisation of psychology, is not something we have accidentally stumbled into. Total control, precisely because of its manipulative intent, is a deliberate, stepwise, and stealthy process. We must get wise to what unscrupulous psychologists in the Government’s service are doing and tell the brainwashers in no uncertain terms that we like our brains dirty, thanks very much!

In early 2021, T4MF wrote to the British Psychological Society (BPS) asking them to explain their position on the Government’s unethical practice of increasing emotional discomfort to influence behaviour and compliance. Shockingly, the BPS saw nothing problematic with the psychologists’ role in the pandemic response, which they felt demonstrated “social responsibility and the competent and responsible employment of psychological expertise”. Should we be surprised by such blatant dereliction in light of T4MF’s pertinent observation that the “BPS is impeded by a major conflict of interest on this issue in that several members of the SPI-B are also influential figures within the BPS”?

The rhyme of Maoist thought reform with Covid brainwashing

Robert Jay Lifton’s book Thought Reform (1989) is an academic study of the psychological techniques used by Chinese Communists in the 1950s to politically indoctrinate opponents. ‘Thought reform’ is the term Lifton gave to the Communists’ extremely organised, comprehensive and deliberate methodology of remoulding their opponents’ worldview. It was this apparent dedication to a highly disciplined and carefully thought-out approach that set the Chinese Communists’ approach apart from previous historical attempts at ideological indoctrination.

The wellspring of thought reform is ideological totalism, which Lifton defined as the integration of an “immoderate ideology with equally immoderate individual character traits – an extremist meeting-ground between people and ideas”.(1) Ideological totalism is manifested by an extremist all-or-nothing emotional alignment to a particular ideology. In that sense the term is interchangeable with totalitarianism.

In attempting to provide a vantage point for identifying ideological totalism wherever it might rear its ugly head, Lifton outlined eight psychological themes that dominate an atmosphere of manipulative thought reform. Initially these themes were rapidly picked up by cult researchers because of their relevance to cult psychological indoctrination techniques.

Sue Parker Hall, a member of T4MF’s Steering Group, has published an article which explores how these themes have been mirrored in what has effectively been a government and media psyops campaign. I have taken her up on her invitation “to reflect on how the psychological influence of government and media may have affected [us]”. 

Reading her article together with Lifton’s original elucidation of the themes, I have added my own perspectives and interpretations of how the Government and its media allies may have applied a 21st century thought reform programme since March 2020. A discussion of Lifton’s eight themes, contextualised for Covid containment policies, is laid out in parts I and II of this essay.

When considering these themes in the context of government Covid containment policies, I have found it helpful to view them in two ways: (a) as tactics or methods employed to alter individuals’ perceptions of a problem or situation with a view to directing behaviour towards a desired outcome, and; (b) collectively as a barometer of totalitarianism or a set of criteria for judging an environment that we suspect of ideological totalism. 

In part III of this essay, I will discuss why 21st century Covid totalism was so successfully implemented at such short notice and how Covid totalism is rooted in global capitalism, itself an extremist ideology which, at its current apogee, is entirely compatible with totalitarianism. 

Any celebration of the apparent retreat of Covid totalism, in the UK or anywhere else, should be tempered by the realisation that ideological extremism and its imperative for total control are baked into the system we live under. In England at least, it may feel as though a battle has been won, but the war is by no means over. 

But first a discussion of the themes and how they transfer to Covid containment policies and propaganda.

1) Milieu control

This refers to the control of human communication and is the most basic feature of thought reform upon which all the other elements depend. At the outset, the hands of all mass media communications were tied by Ofcom’s suffocating guidance to broadcasters to avoid “question[ing] or undermin[ing] the advice of public health bodies on the Coronavirus, or otherwise undermine people’s trust in the advice of mainstream sources of information about the disease”. 

The control of external communications as governments around the world sought to be the “single source of truth” has seriously hampered individuals’ ability to gain a balanced perspective on risk factors. The alignment of the interests of Big Tech with Government has seen industrial-scale censorship on social media platforms, with the government now seeking to formalise this censorship by introducing legislation to police these platforms, our public squares for debate, by removing lawful free speech content.

Renowned and eminently qualified experts who dissent from the official narrative on lockdowns, masks, testing and especially vaccines, have had their YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts deleted and their reputations besmirched by Big Media ‘fact-checkers’. The mushrooming of an Orwellian ‘fact-checking’ industry is in fact nothing more than repressive narrative management dressed up as a noble pursuit of truth.

Any reality checking that is typically done through person-to-person social contact was again severely curtailed by the alienation of people from their normal social contacts through the ‘social distancing’ and lockdown measures put in place.

In a more normal world, one in which information is not so tightly managed, competing sources of information compel the individual to inwardly reflect and perform reality checks. This helps to maintain a measure of identity separate from the environment that is under constant assessment. When this lively interaction with the world is severed, the individual is freed from the “incessant struggle with the elusive subtleties of truth”.(2) There is a regression to a childlike state in which ‘reality’ (the Government’s and media’s version of it) is packaged and handed to the individual on a plate. All the risk that goes with judging whether a situation is ‘real’ or not is removed.

The power of milieu control is such that even when information that contradicts the official narrative seeps through the Government’s filter, there is powerful resistance to “realities outside the closed ideological system… until the milieu control is sufficiently diminished for [the individual] to share these realities with others”.(3)]

As more and more dissenters continue to speak their truth, alternative realities will make it through this filter, creating disequilibrium in those who have been infantilised into accepting “one truth”. This is no bad thing since, as Lifton points out, the alternative is to be “profoundly hampered in the perpetual human quest for what is true, good, and relevant in the world around [us] and within [us].”(4)

2) Mystical manipulation

Complete capture and carpet bombing of the information airwaves is essential to the manipulation of the individual’s emotion and behaviour. This manipulation acquires a mystical quality as events directed by the omniscient authority to control the individual appear to arise spontaneously. 

Under Covid containment policies this was achieved by scientism – the debasement of science by giving bad science the imprimatur of scientific authority. Sue Parker Hall defines scientism as:

“The framing of a problematic phenomenon and subsequent interventions, in genuine scientific language, but based on the models and opinions of a few influential individuals, not on a meta-analysis of all the relevant empirical data in the pertinent fields. Further, this closed ideological frame, from where the apparently scientific models, opinions and interventions originate, is created purposefully, in a form of backwards engineering, to justify the particular interventions.”

This is a good start but, for me, scientism is more than just bad science. It is the deployment of science, good or bad, as the sole arbiter of public policy and personal actions. Science is a tool for making sense of the material world. It should never override the imperative of placing an ethical, moral and values-centred framework at the heart of decision-making. Science as a tool may complement it, but we risk dehumanisation when it supersedes ethics and values. Seeing a medical doctor argue with the Secretary for Health against mandated vaccination on the basis of medical expediencies such as vaccine efficacy and immunity from prior exposure rather than on the basis of voluntary informed consent (with the emphasis on voluntary) is a victory for scientism and a defeat of our humanity.

That said, we have witnessed established scientific principles and evidence thrown under the bus on an unimaginable scale: bogus models uncritically used to justify the destruction of livelihoods; enforcing lockdowns with no evidentiary basis; u-turns on masking with no basis in scientific evidence; an overnight change in the definition of the foundational principles of herd immunity; the abandonment of the core medical principle espousing early treatment to save lives in favour of late treatment with instructions from medical authorities not to seek medical treatment until symptoms are unbearable; the abandonment of voluntary informed consent and mandating mass human experimentation on a global scale with novel gene-based therapies labelled as vaccines. And so on. This is a short list of the perversions wrought by apparently spontaneously evolving but, in reality, pre-planned Covid policies. 

Far from sowing doubt, this element of ‘planned spontaneity’ fuels a bizarre mystique and evinces a childlike acceptance of and trust in the manipulations. This is essential to engendering a sense of higher purpose reinforced by the apparent supernatural knowledge of the controlling authorities. This higher purpose yields a sense of virtuous superiority – of being ‘in the vanguard of an advance movement’ – impelling the individual to pursue the imperatives of ‘staying safe’ and stopping the spread of the virus at all costs, zealously jettisoning considerations of decency or immediate human welfare in the process. 

Anyone not aligned with the imperatives of the higher purpose is considered to be in the throes of lower order impulses such as selfishness, backwardness and stupidity, and accordingly denigrated as ‘Covid-denier’, ‘science-denier’, ‘tin foil hatter’, ‘conspiracy theorist’ and ‘disease or misinformation super-spreaders’.

3) The demand for purity

Ideological totalism by its very nature creates a sharp polarisation, both within the individual and society, between the pure and impure, both of which are speciously defined to advance the needs of the ideology. The pure is everything that is in harmony with the ideology while the impure is everything that threatens it.

Failure to achieve purity must necessarily lead to guilt and shame, which are weaponised in the war on impurity. Apostates of the ideology can expect ruthless ostracisation and humiliation.

Purity messaging with its guilt and shame corollary have been hallmarks of Covid policy messaging. The Government’s Behavioural Insights Team advised on the role of psychological persuasion in creating guilt and shame to influence people to behave in ways that achieve the desired outcomes as defined by those in authority. If you weren’t committed to saving Granny, you were relegated to the status of a quasi-murderer. 

One of the most perverse outcomes of weaponising guilt was seeing our most emotionally vulnerable group, children, effectively encouraged to believe that getting a vaccine for a disease that posed virtually no risk to them would be a way in which they could protect adults whose job it is to protect children.

Statements antithetical to public health and common decency emanating from the highest offices bear witness to the scale of the moral perversity produced by this demand for purity. The Archbishop of Canterbury debased his office and the entire Christian faith by engaging in vaccine evangelism which moralised a medical choice. New Zealand’s premier expressed a joyous acceptance of a two-tier medical apartheid as the consequence of her vaccine passport policy. And France’s President crudely told the country that it was his aim to ‘piss off’ the unvaccinated

A paradox of ideological extremism is that the ideological extremists inevitably end up manifesting the darkest aspects of the impurity they claim to be fighting.

4) The cult of confession

The demand for purity and the accompanying guilt and shame place demands on the individual to make public declarations of the private sphere to either seek absolution for transgression or to confirm continued allegiance to the ideology. 

Totalitarianism (or ideological totalism) seeks to gain private ownership of the mind by stigmatising privacy and, in more extreme cases, making it illegal. Thus, whereas a sincere and heartfelt confession in more normal circumstances might offer the prospect of genuine catharsis, totalism corrupts the confession by rendering it into a ‘command performance’ whose true aim is to reassure fellow believers of continued allegiance to the ideology. The aim of confession under totalism is, paradoxically, not to reveal innermost secrets but to conceal them. 

The most sacred public Covid confessional relates to the injection and provides one example among many of how Covid seeks to normalise the abnormal. Whereas previously, vaccination status was rightly regarded as private medical information, people now declare their jabs on social media as the ultimate symbol of purity, and colleagues think nothing of enquiring about it in the workplace and in social settings. 

Not only does this confessional serve the purpose of maintaining the fervour of official narrative acolytes but I have also witnessed its power to convert doubters. Someone I know who had decided not to get jabbed was asked by workplace managers if he had been jabbed. He had not, but he replied in the affirmative as he felt in that moment unable to cope with the anticipated unfavourable reception to a negative response. Having then lied about receiving the jab to avoid censure, he later explained to me that he would in all probability go on to get jabbed as he foresaw too many negative consequences for his survival at work if he didn’t. 

And so a public demand to ‘confess’ secret truths elicited the exact opposite – a lie – which the confessor then felt compelled to convert to truth in order to resolve the inner conflict that a ‘confessional’ lie had created. This is the power of the cult of confession – not only curbing apostasy but converting doubters.

Part II will complete the discussion of the psychological themes that signpost totalitarianism or totalist ideology. Part  III explores the ultimate cause of Covid ideological totalism.

You can read more of Rusere’s work at https://plagueonbothhouses.com/

(1) Robert J Lifton, Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism, University of North Carolina Press, 1989, Ch 22, pg 419

(2) Robert J Lifton, Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism, University of North Carolina Press, 1989, Ch 22, pg 421.

(3) Robert J Lifton, Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism, University of North Carolina Press, 1989, Ch 22, pg 421-422.

(4) Robert J Lifton, Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism, University of North Carolina Press, 1989, Ch 22, pg 422.

First Look at Newly Released Pfizer Docs Part 1: Case Report Errors and Anomalies

HTL’s Sonia Elijah analyses the first-release Pfizer papers. This is a must-read article and it’s available at TrialSiteNews, an essential resource to which HTL readers are urged to subscribe.

‘This is phenomenal investigative reporting. Either the Pfizer vaccines are over, or the entire social order of democracy and liberalism is over.’ Nick Hudson, Pandemics Data & Analytics

The HTL interview: James Corbett

In a wide-ranging interview with Holding the Line’s Rusere Shoniwa, James Corbett (the Corbett Report) discusses the ‘emergencies’ around public health, the economy, climate change and war and claims that behind these four themes is a wider agenda of global control.

Corbett also examines the role of the World Economic Forum and the legacy media in the roll-out of the ’new normal‘ across the majority of the world’s countries.

While many of these themes are familiar to journalists within the independent news arena, they are not widely discussed by those within the legacy media, not least because the journalists within the legacy media ‘bubble’ are not aware of them.

Perhaps it is the duty of journalists to engage in a broader debate that allows for the question  ‘who benefits?’ and to follow the money during journalistic investigation.

Watch the interview on HTL’s Odysee channel

EXCLUSIVE: HTL interview with Chris Green MP, who says mainstream news ‘failed’ on Covid reporting

In a hard-hitting interview with Holding the Line, a United Kingdom Member of Parliament is calling out tech giants and mainstream news for failing to provide balanced debate on Covid and lockdowns.

Watch the interview

Conservative MP Chris Green, speaking to HTL spokesperson Roger Guttridge, says: “When we think of a media challenging the establishment, they have failed.”

During the wide-ranging interview he also raises concerns about restrictions on free speech that could be brought in via the proposed Online Safety Bill.

The Bolton West and Atherton MP also discusses the social and economic costs of lockdowns and why he resigned as a Parliamentary Private Secretary in October 2020 because of the coronavirus restrictions, which he believes caused more harm than good.

Fear-based policies around Covid-19, Mr Green claims, resulted in people being too frightened to visit their doctors and hospitals for serious conditions including heart disease and cancer.

The MP says that in the Bolton borough alone there were 20,000 fewer referrals from doctors to hospitals over the period of just a few months.

He also discusses vaccine mandates for health staff, and Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Sajid Javid’s U-turn on those mandates for NHS staff.

Mr Green was speaking to HTL spokesperson Roger Guttridge on February 22, 2022.

Watch the interview on the HTL Odysee channel.

The New Zealand Freedom Convoy and the Covidian commentariat

A public game of shoot the messenger and ignore the message is unfolding as protesters in Wellington dig their heels in

From https://www.thelookingglass.co.nz/

The Convoy22 protesters camping in front of Parliament since Tuesday face a complete unwillingness by the media, political and pundit classes to take them at their word.

Present are people who have lost their jobs due to mandates, people whose lives have been forever changed due to ‘vaccine’ injury, people separated from loved ones through travel restrictions and those who oppose the suspension of civil liberties due to the Covid ‘emergency’ and myriad other reasons connected to the loss of freedom and state coercion.

Despite being clear they are there in the name of freedom, to end medical mandates, to halt the roll out of the Pfizer injection to children and to end Covid restrictions, their critics insist they are not what they say they are.

Instead, they are conspiracy theorists, anti-vaxxers, crazies, QAnon devotees, right-wingers, violent extremists, neo nazis, delusional freaks.

This playbook is so played out it’s entirely predictable at this point. Anything but reality. Anything but real people suffering under Covid policy. Anything but a grassroots surge for freedom from tyrants.

This from Finance Minister Grant Robinson yesterday:

“The protest we have seen at Parliament this week is driven by wild, false, dangerous conspiracy theories and people with an extreme agenda.”

Research director at lobby firm Capital NZ, Clint Smith, an influential supporter of the Ardern Government, continually posts comments like this:

So for a little balance, here is one the protesters giving a virtual tour of occupied Parliament grounds, which tells an almost diametrically opposed story.

Gary Moller has also been posting some good reports from the centre of action.

Nasty New Zealand

I’ve been shocked by just how far the dehumanisation and mischaracterisation has gone. It’s almost pathological. I take it as a given that people are 100 per cent nicer in real life than they are on Twitter, but what people have been willing to publicly post shows how emboldened that hatred has become with little concern for how it will look when the mood changes.

We have the receipts, as they say. So let’s review.

Commentators on social media are happy, proud even, that not a single politician has addressed the crowd:

They have defended police brutality (see full video of police kneeling on this woman’s head below):

Here is the footage in full:

It was claimed that the protester’s grievances are a ‘political dysfunction’:

Tweets that expressed indifference to the tragedy of medical mandates and that celebrated people losing their jobs were posted and then deleted.

Others wished misfortune on them:

And generally showed indifference to their plight:

Barely any commenters have shown any willingness to hear what the protesters have to say, understand their experiences or what has brought them to Wellington. But still, we are authoritatively infomed that “there is no rhyme or reason to their call to action. They want freedom, but don’t respect others’ right to choose to be protected by the mRNA jab, or the Government’s democratic mandate.”

The delusion goes further. Despite the Government’s Covid policies having wiped a minimum of 27,000 businesses off Companies Office records, and tens of thousands of professionals losing their jobs, and the vaccine injured going unacknowledged, reporters are more concerned about the impact of the protests on local businesses, disabled road crossings, and local residents.

In a display of complete cognitive dissonance, the Finance Minister is bemoaning the toll the protests are taking on MPs’ families:

The media seem confused about why protesters are not welcoming them, despite having spent two years vilifying and gaslighting anyone who disagrees with the Government.

They have mercilessly smeared dissenting experts and other critics, have used the bogus concept of ‘false balance’ to justify biased reporting, and egged on the Government in its authoritarian policy making  – ‘Why are you not locking down sooner, longer, forever? Why aren’t you punishing refuseniks harder?’

After such a dereliction of duty, do the press really think they have a right to walk among these protesters heckle-free?

I can’t support jibes by protesters, or signs referring to the hangings at Nuremberg. While historically accurate, it is distasteful. I’ve always read them as a reminder that the abuse of power is eventually held to account but others have interpreted them as death threats.

Given the media’s willingness to misrepresent the protesters words and actions, it’s important that they attempt to be beyond repute. Protests are heady affairs and tensions run high, so this is a difficult ask. But they have the moral high ground here and need to stand on it. They need to be the adults, while the press and pundits throw their tantrums.

One News reporter Kristin Hall did go among them, but sadly with pre-set ideas of collective delusion, and could not resist a low blow in her final analysis.

Kids having a feed at the Freedom Convoy22 protest at Parliament. Sourced from the Voices For Freedom Telegram channel.

‘The kids are in danger’

A noticeable criticism from the haters has been the fact that many people brought their kids. I’m not really sure why they think this is so bad, every protest I have ever been to has had kids present. It’s completely normal. Clearly, protesting parents had no intentions or expectations of violence.

This picture made a bit of a wave but the kid was later reported to be happy as Larry and well cared for:

But when I saw the same criticism was being thrown at the Canadian Truckers, who inspired the New Zealand convoy, it made a lot more sense.

This morning it was announced police would stop carrying batons at the protest over concern for children present. This is obviously a good move, but in my view this should have been their plan from the start precisely because there were children present. The fact they have decided this only now implies it’s more about making the protesters look bad.

Anti-government protesters are increasingly being labelled security threats by intelligence services. Sourced from the Voices For Freedom Telegram channel.#

The new information war on freedom fighters

Along with freedom and bodily autonomy, thinking for yourself is now deeply frowned upon. ‘Doing your own research’ is an invitation for mockery.

It is considered so dangerous that it can lead to radicalisation, some researchers say.

Thursday’s One News report on the protests compared the protesters to the January 6th ‘insurrectionists’ in Washington last year. Despite this narrative emerging from the security services in the US, without evidence, the media has embraced it.

The Department for Homeland Security in the US has been signalling for the last year a major pivot from focusing on foreign terrorists to domestic ones. So have local agencies.

In a new briefing from DHS, factors contributing to a “heightened threat environment” included “the proliferation of false or misleading narratives, which sow discord or undermine public trust in U.S. government institutions”.

Why is the fouth estate not challenging what is being implied: That anyone who disagrees with the government or shares counter-narrative material – as I do here – is a potential violent extremist?

“Covid-19 mitigation measures—particularly Covid-19 vaccine and mask mandates—have been used by domestic violent extremists to justify violence since 2020 and could continue to inspire these extremists to target government, healthcare, and academic institutions that they associate with those measures.

Newsroom political editor Marc Daalder published a piece on Saturday called  Splintered Realities’: How NZ convoy lost its way, which claims the protest has been high-jacked by the ‘far-right fringe’. It’s an interesting case in point of how the mainstream are following the new narrative to turn the freedom movement into something sinister. There will be many more articles like this so keep an eye out.

Counterspin Media, the focus of this article, is not my cup of tea at all for a number of reasons. But they have covered important court cases that the mainstream media has not touched in any meaningful way.

Daalder correctly identifies that like any social movement there are splits between different groups and what they are trying to achieve. Most people protesting that I’ve spoken to take the view that the challenges faced are beyond left and right politics, and require uniting on the issue of freedom to push back against government over-reach.

The media’s use of terms like ‘white supremacist’ and ‘anti-vax’ is liberal and often dishonest, which is one of the reasons they are losing their audiences.

The article contains an interesting fact. What Daalder and the mainstream designated as ‘misinformation’ pages on Facebook, have had more views than mainstream media pages during the protest.

“The leading misinformation page, run by anti-vaxxer Chantelle Baker, garnered more video views with five posts than the leading media page, the NZ Herald, got with 73 …

“Chantelle Baker is, with five videos, generating more video views than 73 videos put out by NZ Herald in the same 24-hour period. There are dynamics here that are unprecedented. You are talking about a small misinfo/disinfo community who are pushing out real-time footage and coverage and framing about something that is happening that is fundamentally different to what the mainstream media is putting out. (emphasis mine)

Ah. Yep.

Daalder and commentator Sanjana Hattotuwa from the Disinformation Project express alarm and imply this is a result of a kind of radicalisation process. But this is delusion. Just as Joe Rogan has more listeners than CNN, the reasons for this are not difficult to understand. Audiences want more than what they’re given.

There will always be people attracted to more extreme ideas and interpretations, but most people can intuitively tell when they are and are not being manipulated and bullshitted. When they hear chat they have been missing and needing, they know it and tune in. Authenticity shines through.

Chantelle Baker comes across as open, interested, kind, and eager to hear about how Covid policies have hurt people. She is explaining and showing her audience the reality of who the protesters are and why they are there – something the mainstreams media can’t execute because no-one involved wants to talk to them.

They are losing their readers and viewers to new independent sites. In their self-reinforcing bubble, they believe their own bullshit and then buy into dark fairy tales about why people don’t want to hear it anymore.

Despite the spin and internal disputes, protesters report swelling numbers, a great deal of community spirit, much hugging, children and the elderly being cared for collectively, love being shown to the police, the distribution of free hot food and drinks and even hot showers. They are a from a wide cross section of New Zealand society. They know what they are about.

A watershed moment

Despite the predictably negative media campaign and the intolerance from the laptop class, the response from the Government has been telling.

I asked propaganda and crisis communications expert Greg Simons at Uppsala University what he made of the fact that politicians are refusing to meet with protesters, but at the same time have now publicly said there will be an end to mandates (at some point) – the first time they have said this.

“This is an act of desperation to keep their totalitarianism on track. They engage in character assassination as they try to kill or at least compromise the messenger, and will not go after the message itself for the risk of people seeing how illogical the official narrative is.”

“I also note how the same narrative is being used everywhere to discredit those protestors in both Canada and New Zealand. They are the same essentially, and bring in some recycled stuff from the ‘populism’ and Trump narratives.

“To me, this signals coordination, but it also signals desperation. The old tactics used to intimidate, scare or shame people into submission are not working. In fact, in Canada and parts of Europe, it is having the opposite effect and instead of dividing the public it is uniting them through a common sense of outrage at these ‘lovely’ would-be dictators. It is a watershed moment.”

Simons says the hardliner ‘Covidians’ are being forced to double down on their authoritarianism, like in a game of poker.

“If protests continue the Government will be forced to fold on their totalitarian paradise, and this scares them. Accountability comes after that.”

Hey! Leave them kids alone

mRNA injections and mask mandates are a predatory attack on our children’s bodies and minds.

From https://www.thelookingglass.co.nz/

Not everyone is happy about the roll-out of covid jabs to kids.

Today is my child’s first day of school, and it’s been bittersweet.

I can keep my child from being injected with the Pfizer product (in principle, anyway) but short of removing him from school there is little I can do about his first year being marred by the blight of face masks.

He will be young enough not to have to wear one, but will be surrounded by older children who will. The joy of interacting with other kids and teachers, seeing their facial expressions and other important facial cues, will be violated by a useless, unhygienic, dehumanising muzzle.

Children need to breathe

A 9-year-old girl from my neighbourhood just told me, with eyes popping out of head, that she had to wear a mask at school today. She said it made her head hurt, and feel “kind of dizzy”. But they were allowed out of the classroom for up to a minute to take some deep breaths before putting it back on and resuming class.

If children need to leave the classroom to get sufficient fresh air, then they clearly shouldn’t be wearing a mask in the first place. I find it incredulous that our public health officials have decided this is a price worth paying for a virus with such a low mortality rate.

The damage being done to unvaccinated kids through the social alienation of being barred from school camps and sports activities and the inevitable bullying and stigmatisation that has occurred, is already unconscionable.

But injecting young children with this crap, masking them. It’s unspeakable what is taking place.

In a recent conversation with Guy Hatchard who writes the fierce Hatchard Report, he commented, “do these people even understand prana?”. Clearly not.

In Indian philosophy, ‘prana’ is the body’s vital energies. It is the “wind-like vital forces that assist breathing, distribution of food in the body, and digestion,” according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. Note the word ‘vital’.

I’ve done enough yoga in my time to appreciate this wisdom, but if you prefer to look at it from the point of view of scientific materialism, then we can probably just leave it at the obvious – that our children require plenty of fresh air to function properly, on every level.

As well, humans were not designed to inhale their own carbon dioxide waste, or foster a warm moist environment for the growth of bacteria over an important orifice. Surely this is just common sense?

Visiting my child’s classroom today, I’m told they will have all the windows open at all times for good ventilation – great when it’s warm, but what if it’s cold and draughty? They will also eat outside. OK, that’s cool, but what happens when it rains or it’s cold?

The idea that the teachers can’t make these basic, practical decisions based on real-time considerations, and instead must defer to arbitrary rules seems beyond ridiculous.

I must trust that the teacher’s sense of practicality and instinct for what serves the children best will prevail, but I’m already hearing anecdotes about children at other schools being forced to wear masks despite having exemptions. One girl became short of breath and fainted as a result.

My own child’s teacher wisely pointed out the importance of facial cues for children’s learning and said he will not be wearing a mask. But other kids in masks and teachers will still be a visual signal everywhere else in the school for my child to absorb. What message does it send, what will it do to his sense of the world?

Dr. Gary Sidley is a retired clinical psychologist. He argued against the use of face masks during a recent debate on GB News. Credit: Coronavirus Plushie

More nudging

Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield is on the record for saying that one reason to use masks is that they are “a constant reminder to people of the ongoing threat”.

But I have no desire for my child to be concerned about any such threat. I just want them to be left alone to be a child and do the busy work of self-development, unburdened by the world’s problems. That’s our job as adults, to let them just be, unencumbered by our fears.

Before the insanity of 2020, there was a significant consensus among medical professionals that masks did nothing to stop respiratory viruses from spreading.

Epidemiologist Michael Baker even said so back in February 2020.

“The virus can also infect you via your eyes. It basically likes to land on mucus membranes, and then, from your eyes, go down to your nose anyway. So I think people should not bother with the face masks.”

And studies done in the last two years have found little to no evidence for the effectiveness of face masks in the general population, neither as personal protective equipment nor as a source control, according to Swiss Policy Research, an organisation that has impeccably recorded data from all over the world during the Covid situation.

The largest of these studied 6,000 subjects. The Danish study found no statistically significant effect of high-quality medical face masks against SARS-CoV-2 infection in a community setting.

Now, Baker is suggesting children as young as two should wear masks. I felt a rising anger in my gut at how thoughtlessly, recklessly, those words left his mouth.

And this is many months after a US study found that kids born after the pandemic began showed a drop of 22 points on the Mullen scales of early learning from the average of previous cohorts, corresponding to an average IQ score of 78.

“We find that children born during the pandemic have significantly reduced verbal, motor, and overall cognitive performance compared to children born pre-pandemic. Moreover, we find that males and children in lower socioeconomic families have been most affected.

“Results highlight that even in the absence of direct SARS-CoV-2 infection and Covid-19 illness, the environmental changes associated Covid-19 pandemic are significantly and negatively affecting infant and child development.”

The report’s authors go on to say:

“Masks worn in public settings and in school or day care settings may impact a range of early developing skills, such as attachment, facial processing, and socioemotional processing.”

So it was painful to hear Baker glibly call for two-year-olds to be masked.

“Our biggest gap in immunity, in many ways, is younger children. It’s been partially filled by lowering the vaccine age to five. But, we’ve still got the younger age groups, many of whom are going to early childhood centres, and they won’t be protected by the vaccine. So, we need another barrier in the way of them getting infected.”

Credit: Bob Moran

Hatchard calls this the “shield mentality”. We must use our children as a protective fence for our elders, by masking and jabbing them. When did our ethics get so topsy-turvey?

A recent freedom of information request in the UK shows that in the last two years, there were no deaths in children between the age of 1 and 9, where Covid-19 was the only cause listed on the death certificate. There was one death under 1 year, one in the 10-to-14 age group, and one in the 15-to-19 age group, and 5 in the 20-to-24 age group.

Screenshot

So why are we rolling out these experimental jabs to our kids?

Risk of Covid versus risk from the injection in children

Physicians and Scientists for Global Responsibility spokeswoman Jodie Bruning said after two years, the truth concerning the lack of risk to children and the ethical considerations of injecting children with the gene therapy technology remains obfuscated by the Government.

“The Government makes no claims other than that the vaccinations will protect tamariki and continues to urge medical treatment of 5-to-11-year-olds to protect vulnerable family members.

“There has been no public discussion of how children may be at risk, and the implications of this risk. No discussion on the necessity of taking a new drug that has not stood the test of time. No analytics have been provided of the infection fatality rate of 5-to-11-year-olds throughout the pandemic.”

Bruning said the efficacy of the jab against the omicron variant now circulating was dubious (see here and here) and may even have negative efficacy, meaning that if someone is exposed to the infection after vaccination, the outcome is more likely to be worse.

She points out the Government’s Unite Against Covid-19 website categories groups at severe risk from covid, and children are not listed.

“It has been clear from very early on, that healthy children and young people, including those with a single health condition are not at risk. In the UK, with a similar obesity rate as New Zealand, 99.995 per cent of children and young people with a positive SARS-CoV-2 test survived. This equates to an infection fatality rate in the UK of 0.0005 per cent (from a study of over 12 million).”

And yet the risk from vaccine injury in children and young people, is heightened and throws a spanner in the works of the presumed safety of the roll-outs, Bruning said.

“Studies from the USAHong KongDenmark show high levels of myocarditis in young people, particularly males. Scientists have drawn attention to the fact that these rates are above background rates.”

One study that found there were major risks for children, was pulled by the publisher Elsevier without explanation, after passing peer review. Elsevier is now facing legal action from the authors because of the unusual circumstances.

The British HART group (a group of doctors, scientists, economists, psychologists and other experts concerned about policy and guidance relating to the Covid-19 pandemic), sent an urgent letter to UK drugs regulator the MHRA on 20 January, urging an investigation to find out if the Covid jabs are causing a “significant numbers of deaths seen recently in male children and young adults.”

The groups is also asking that anonymised data showing how many kids have died following the jab, and within how many days, be published for the sake of transparency and the public interest. And here is what HART has to say about masks.

The letter to MHRA came on the heels of evidence presented to the High Court in London on 13 January showing a significant increase in the number of young male deaths following the roll-out of the covid-19 vaccinations compared with the prior five-year average between 2015 and 2019.

On 19 November, under court order in the US, Pfizer released a document titled Cumulative Analysis Of Post-Authorization Adverse Event Reports Of Pf-07302048 (Bnt162b2) Received Through 28-Feb-2021.

Pfizer’s own safety monitoring recorded more than 150,000 adverse reactions, within three months of the global roll out.

In its appendix list of adverse reactions, Pfizer lists nine pages of ‘adverse events of special interest’, with barely a space between each one named. Many of these are very serious and include cardiac events, kidney problems, blood clots and Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children.

Pfizer’s own post-authorisation monitoring lists nine pages of adverse reactions. The Government continues to tell the public Comirnaty is safe.

The US vaccine pharmacovigilance system VAERS now records just shy of 2 million adverse reactions from the Covid jab and nearly 35,000 adverse reactions in children between the ages of 5 and 17. This is the US Centre for Disease Control’s own data, with a calculated under-reporting factor of over 40 (Steve Kirsch and Jessica Rose have both run the numbers).

In the report covering 14 December to 21 January for 5-to-11 year-olds, there were 7,052 adverse events. This included three reported deaths, including a 7-year-old girl from Minnesota who died 11 days after receiving her first dose of the Pfizer product. There were 14 reports of myocarditis and pericarditis, and 24 reports of blood clotting disorders.

In the report covering the 14 December to 21 January for 12-to-17 year-olds, 27,772 adverse events were recorded, including 1,588 rated as serious and 37 reported deaths.

New Zealand’s adverse event reporting system CARM, managed by drugs regulator Medsafe, shows there are now 45,984 events recorded and a total of 133 deaths, of which it only recognises two as resulting from the injection. There are citizens databases with many more injuries and deaths recorded, however.

Medsafe says an independent safety monitoring board has reviewed adverse reactions in children and found children are not disproportionately affected by the vaccine.

There just doesn’t seem to be a point at which they would ever pull the plug. It feels like deaths and injuries will go on unabated by regulators and ethicists and medical publishers.

court case bought by parents against the Government to halt the vaccine roll-out to 5-to-11 year-olds did not succeed on 1 February, when High Court Justice Rebecca Ellis declined to halt the roll-out until a full hearing had taken place.

A spokesperson for the group, working together collectively as The Hood, said they were disappointed but not surprised by the decision.

“While we are concerned the Judge did not act in a precautionary way, by temporarily halting this roll out until the matter could be heard in full, our case remains compelling.”

The group was committed to continuing the fight, they said.

In other news, Pfizer is now asking for permission to jab babies as young as six months old. The insanity never ends.

Canadian truckers are driving freedom home

By Sonia Elijah

A record-breaking convoy of 60,000 truckers from Western Canada and 12,000 truckers from the Eastern region have converged and are heading their way to Parliament Hill in Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, to take part in a peaceful protest. It’s been reported that 12,000 US truckers are crossing the border to join them.

The truckers are primarily protesting the vaccine mandate requiring all truckers entering Canada to be fully vaccinated. This rule came into effect on January 15th. The United States also imposed the same mandate on truckers, on January 22. 

The convoy assembled in British Columbia on Sunday and has grown to nearly 50 miles long! The first several hundred truckers reached Ottawa on Friday and are expected to set up around Parliament Hill.

Since Thursday, hundreds of flag-waving supporters have lined the streets of down-town Ottawa, with many honking their vehicle horns.

One protester captured on video is heard saying:

“You said it was crucial to listen to the people..listen to this Mr Trudeau (sound of loud truck horns) Can you hear us now? Can you hear us now?”

1.4 million people are expected to flood into Ottawa this weekend.

The convoy is due to arrive on Saturday January 29, throwing the entire city into grid-lock. The truckers intend to remain until all Covid restrictions and mandates are lifted.

This unprecedented trucker convoy has become a nation-wide movement for freedom and a powerful form of protest against Covid-19 restrictions and mandates to be lifted for all Canadians.

Thousands of supporters have cheered the #ConvoyForFreedom2022 at bridges and intersections across the TransCanada Highway. Many have greeted the truckers with food and hot drinks at various truck stops along the way.

Organisers of the group have set up various channels on Zello for the truckers and their supporters to communicate with one another.

Young children can be heard leaving messages such as: “Thank you truckers for fighting for our freedom!”

I recorded a short segment from their Zello channel, Convoy to Ottawa.

Informative updates and logistical queries; emotional messages of gratitude; honking at the top of the hour and motivational speeches from supporters not just from Canada but all over the world, have been streaming in on these channels, over the past several days. Frequently, the group’s moderaters chime in with strict instructions that the weekend’s protest will be peaceful and anyone causing trouble will be reported to the authorities.

Go-fund-me page was set up ‘to help with the costs of fuel first, and food and lodgings.’ So far, over 91k donations have rolled in, raising a staggering total of $7 million.

Not everyone has been supportive of the truckers. Much of the mainstream media has so far chosen to ignore this monumental convoy. The outlets that have covered it, have been largely negative, using phrases such as “so-called Freedom Convoy” and “a convoy of anti-vaccine Canadian truckers.” One website ran the headline “The ‘Freedom Convoy’ Is Nothing But A Vehicle For The Far Right.”

When asked a question about the coming protest, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded:

“The small fringe minority of people who are on their way to Ottawa who are holding unacceptable views that they are expressing do not represent the views of Canadians who have been there for each other, who know of that following the science and stepping up to protect each other is the best way to continue to ensure our freedoms, our rights, our values, as a country.”

Over a short period of time, this convoy of ‘salt of the earth’ truckers, has not only grown to a nation-wide movement with their potent message of freedom and their oppostion to government over reach but it has spread to other parts of the world, too.

Thousands of Australian truck drivers are assembling to protest vaccine mandates. The truckers are planning to converge on the nation’s capital, Canberra, on January 31. A Facebook page with over 75K members has been set up, along with a Go-Fund-Me page.

Several Telegram channels have been set up across parts of Europe with the aim of truckers to converge on Brussels.

Given the vast number of supporters who have cheered on this convoy en route to Ottawa and those who are expected to descend on the nation’s capital this weekend- one thing is for certain, they are no “fringe minority” and they are being heard, well for those of us who have ears to hear.

Follow Sonia on Twitter https://twitter.com/sonia_elijah and Substack https://soniaelijah.substack.com/

France tightens the screws with ‘vaccine pass’

By HTL

France’s newly minted vaccine pass took effect on Monday, requiring everyone over the age of 16 to be fully vaccinated to get into restaurants, cinemas, museums and so forth, without the possibility of presenting a negative Covid test to enjoy these mainstays of social and cultural life.

One exception as France enters the homestretch to its presidential election in April is attending campaign rallies, with the Constitutional Council saying such a requirement would be unconstitutional. Nonetheless, the so-called ‘Sages’ did not consider the constitutionality of the vaccine pass in view of article R.4127-36 of France’s public health law requiring informed consent:

The consent of the person examined or treated must be sought in every case. When the patient, in a state capable of expressing his wish, refuses proposed tests or treatment(s), the doctor must respect this refusal after informing the patient of its consequences.

Also enshrined in the law and compromised by the vaccine pass are the right to medical confidentiality and the right to privacy.

Controversially, the new law will allow a barman, for example, to ask to see a customer’s ID to check against the vaccine pass, in case of a suspicion of fraud (henceforth punishable by a fine of 1,000 euros).

‘Everyone will check everyone — that’s a totalitarian society!’ thundered presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon, head of the France Insoumise (France Unbowed) party, during the parliamentary debate.

A little advertised loophole is the possibility of providing proof of recovery from Covid – an acknowledgement of natural immunity.

The tightening of the screws in France comes as some of its neighbours are loosening theirs — with British PM Boris Johnson saying mandatory Covid certification would end in England and Spain’s regions opening up one by one. Johnson’s Spanish counterpart Pedro Sánchez urged the EU overall to start treating Covid like the flu, and on Sunday the World Health Organization’s Europe chief said the continent could start envisaging the pandemic’s ‘endgame’ thanks to the takeover of the Omicron variant. The remark came just days after the WHO said airlines’ travel restrictions should be lifted or eased because ‘they do not provide added value and continue to contribute to the economic and social stress’ of some countries.

The vaccine pass’ passage into law was initially expected to be a slam dunk but turned into an embarrassing marathon for the government, with bipartisan pushback as well from people on the streets and online. 

The debate was set under a fast-track mechanism that has been used by President Emmanuel Macron numerous times since he took office in 2017. Even so, MPs in the lower house dominated by Macron’s centrist party found themselves deliberating well into the wee hours on several nights, achieving final passage at 4am on Sunday January 16th, with a vote of 214 to 93, with 27 abstentions..

Merde!

Early on in the process, Macron scored an own goal with incendiary comments to the Paris daily Le Parisien vowing to ‘hassle’ the unvaccinated ‘to the bitter end’, using a vulgar word, emmerder. Even more shocking was his next remark: ‘If your freedom threatens others’ freedom, you become irresponsible. And irresponsible people are no longer citizens,’ he said. Uproar over the interview led to a new suspension of debate in the early hours of January 12, and the first vote on the bill was not held until 24 hours later.

That weekend, more than 100,000 people (by the media’s typical gross underestimation) took to rainy streets across France to protest the draft law and to vent anger against Macron, many carrying signs reading ‘Manu, je t’emmerde’ – ‘Screw you, Manu’ (the diminutive of Emmanuel).

And while the law eventually passed with a large majority, it had to surmount the challenge posed by 60 opposition MPs – from the far left, centre left and centre right – who took the matter to the Constitutional Council, winning only the concession on entry into election campaign rallies. Clearly, requiring proof of vaccination would be beyond the pale for a number of parties, including Melenchon’s LFI and far-right icon Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National. Both Melenchon and Le Pen have vowed to eliminate the vaccine pass if elected.

Another right-wing candidate, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, has made the same promise. After the vote in parliament, he tweeted: ‘Tonight, I no longer recognise my country. A feeling of disgust over the cowardice of those who voted for this freedom-killing law… I will do all I can to restore FREEDOM to the French on (election day) April 10.’

Omicron to the fore

The growing dominance of the Omicron variant is helping to shatter the illusion that the vaccine pass will further help protect people. Indeed, Health Minister Olivier Veran admitted in mid-December that the primary goal is to induce the last five million French people to get the jab. Asked about the difference between the health pass in use since May 2021 and the new vaccine pass, he told the online news site Brut: ‘The vaccine pass is a disguised form of requiring vaccination, but more effective than requiring vaccination.’

He added: ‘The idea is not to punish, to sanction, to ostracise, but to say, “now you don’t have a choice anymore”, you don’t hesitate anymore.’

But people are hesitating, becoming increasingly aware of the incongruity of using coercive tactics to persuade people to accept a vaccine that fails to prevent infection at a time when the extremely mild Omicron variant of Covid is becoming dominant.

A poll commissioned by the conservative daily Le Figaro found that nearly two-thirds of respondents — 62 percent — are in favour of the vaccine pass. But 71 percent want it to be ‘automatically suspended as soon as the health situation improves’ — and Le Figaro said the government ‘has declined to detail the conditions’ for such a suspension.

Pollster Véronique Reille-Soult of Backbone Consulting, which conducted the survey along with Odoxa, concluded: ‘If the constraints are no longer justified on health grounds, the French will no longer accept them.’ She notes that on social media, commentators ‘are also beginning to wonder why our country is not following the example of Spain, which is scrapping constraints in view of Omicron’s much less dangerous impact on (public) health.’

Among those who may begin asking such questions are the estimated 560,000 people who already stand to lose their ticket to normal life because they haven’t had their latest jab in time.

This number can only increase as the days go by, and catch many people by surprise.

As for Macron, he may rue the day he used the ‘M’ word. An IFOP poll out Sunday found his approval rating down four points in a month, to thirty-seven per cent.

‘Lies don’t like to be questioned’: an interview with propaganda and crisis communications expert Greg Simons

Propagandists have been working overtime to dominate your cognitive world.

From https://www.thelookingglass.co.nz/

Greg Simons, associate professor at Uppsala University says propaganda is most effective when it’s simple.

The covid era has bought to light an information war. One that was always there but operating at a more subtle level. Now, those in charge barely hide their attempts at seeking what communications and propaganda expert Greg Simons refers to as “total information domain dominance”.

Have you ever stopped to wonder how almost overnight, the populations of nearly 200 countries accepted the removal of basic civil and political rights and the imposition of extended lockdowns, masks and social distancing? And on the basis of really very flimsy evidence of a health crisis purported to be of globally catastrophic proportions?

Just as one example, the World Health Organisation declared a global Public Health Emergency on 30 January 2020, when there were just 82 confirmed cases of covid-19 outside of China.

Have you wondered how the leader of a ‘democratic’ country can declare themselves the “single source of truth”, reminiscent of the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century, and not be challenged on it by the fourth estate?

And how nearly two years later, after the destruction of hundreds of thousands of ‘mom and pop’ businesses globally, the loss of large parts of two school-years for children and university students, the long-term separation of family due to border closures, an exponentially increased mental health burden, massive indebtedness, the destruction of medical privacy, and the creation of an underclass of people in previously free and democratic countries, the public is still putting up with it?

It comes down in large part to propaganda and information management, says the associate professor and researcher at Uppsala University, a Kiwi now resident in Sweden.

“Lies do not like being questioned,” he tells me.

Information that is there to protect and defend a political narrative falls apart under questioning, and this is why the west is now seeing widespread censorship of academics, dissident experts and media figures who dare to offer a different take on the events of the last two years, or the science underpinning it, Simons explains.

Reports of covid ‘cases’ and deaths tend to be reported lacking important context, such as whether the case was a confirmed symptomatic infection, or whether a person died with or of covid. Screenshot.

Missing context

“This is about the first time in human history when they have used ‘infection rate’ (how quickly the pathogen spreads) as the standard of measuring the hazard, not the ‘infection fatality rate’ (how many people infected by the pathogen die of it). Because the infection rate is quite high but the infection fatality rate is really low … All they needed to do was scare people with the numbers of cases of covid.”

The median infection fatality rate globally was calculated to be 0.23 per cent by John Ioannides in this paper last year, using seroprevalence studies.

British doctor John Campbell recently reported on a freedom of information request that showed the number of deaths solely attributed to covid in England and Wales since 2020 may be much lower than previously thought, about, 17, 371 deaths at an average age of 82.5 years.

“But a slight point of order: there are 7 billion people on this planet,” Simons points out.

The media has never provided this context for the public, along with many other basic but important distinctions, including differentiating between those who die with or of covid, or how the definition of a ‘case’ has been turned on its head, in a departure from traditional medical diagnosis to become a meaningless positive PCR test.

The lack of context has been one of the hallmarks of media coverage these last many months.

As Dr Sam Bailey notes in this interview (at the 25 minute mark):

“The cases that we hear in the news … of an eight-year-old or nine-year-old dying of covid-19 – well what happened with that child? Tell us more. You can’t just accept these things at face value.

“You want to know what was their background, what was their past medical history. Were they … in hospital for something else? To me it just doesn’t make sense. Eight or nine-year-olds don’t just die like that,” Bailey says.

Screenshot.

Censorship goes into overdrive

The covid-era has also seen the acceleration of ad-hominem attacks on personalities presenting inconvenient analysis and facts, increased use of behavioural science (‘nudge units’) by governments to influence people’s behaviour and an explosion of accusations of mis-and-dis-information from the orthodoxy against anyone that threatens the official story.

After Dr Robert Malone, one of the people who invented the MrNA technology used in the covid jabs, was interviewed by Joe Rogan on his podcast (incidentally this was on the same day as Twitter killed his account), a virtual angry mob of 270 ‘experts’ demanded that Spotify, which hosts Rogan’s show, censor him.

A Rolling Stone article quoted a ‘misinformation specialist’, Abbie Richards (emphasis mine):

“Any podcast that platforms dangerous people, people spreading dangerous ideas and misinformation, should not be allowed to go unchecked on the Spotify platform.”

However, only one third of the signatories turned out to be doctors, one reporter found. Despite this, the episode was reportedly scrapped after the backlash.

According to Simons, the aim was likely to be to deter other potential guests from appearing on the show by attacking Rogan, the messenger.

Screenshot

Misinformation misnomer
The use of the terms ‘misinformation’ and ‘disinformation’ have increased significantly, he says.

I ask Simons if these terms, along with ‘conspiracy theory’ are deployed to encourage the public to accept, and even demand, censorship.

“The first term to really gain coinage was fake news, and that was 10-15 years ago. And then you have this disinformation /misinformation and this whole industry of fact checkers – this is part of the narrative defence, nothing about [actual] misinformation and disinformation.”

A piece of research from Auckland University last year, from something called “the disinformation project”, in which researchers categorise ‘dangerous speech’, was widely reported in the legacy media when it was published.

The paper pointed out the obvious – that groups circulating sceptical information about the covid jab increased during last year’s August lockdown. The paper made this out to be something threatening rather than a justifiably suspicious portion of the public trying to establish the facts of what was really behind all the draconian covid policies (because the media refuse to), it also relied on dubious claims of ‘extremism’ made by a shady trans-Atlantic outfit called the Centre for Countering Digital Hate.

The paper states: “The study of Aotearoa New Zealand’s mis- and disinformation ecologies mirrors the work by the Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), and their consequential
Disinformation Dozen report.”

Claims about ‘anti-vax super-spreaders’ in this report from the Centre for Countering Digital Hate were demolished by Facebook.

The CCDH is a UK based group that popped up out of nowhere a couple of years ago, with obscure funding sources. Some alternative media reporters have speculated it is funded by “dark money” and has links to intelligence agencies, and was formed as a front group to launch political attacks on the vaccine sceptic movement.

However, the Disinformation Dozen report, which accused 12 people of being vaccine misinformation super-spreaders on Facebook, and was adopted by US President Joe Biden (leader of the ‘free world’) who touted the censorship list publicly, was later discredited by Facebook itself.

“There isn’t any evidence to support this claim … In fact, these 12 people are responsible for about just 0.05% of all views of vaccine-related content on Facebook. This includes all vaccine-related posts they’ve shared, whether true or false, as well as URLs associated with these people.

“They are in no way representative of the hundreds of millions of posts that people have shared about covid-19 vaccines in the past months on Facebook,” Facebook vice president of content policy, Monica Bikert said.

Despite this, legacy media and academics continue to use CHDC’s report uncritically as a source.

None of this is by accident, Simons says.

Several world leaders issued aggressive attacks on the unvaccinated in the period of less than a week, in early January.

Coordinated communications

“All of these things are important elements and aspects of the bigger picture … There is also a great deal of consistency and similarity in tactics and strategy and especially narratives around the world.”

I ask Simons what he makes of the fact that between 4 January and 6 January, three world leaders made strident attacks on the unvaccinated, using highly defamatory and aggressive language.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the unvaccinated were often also racists and misogynists, and that the country should ask itself if they should “tolerate” unvaccinated people any longer.

French President Emmanuel Macron said he wanted to “piss them off” until they relented, and that the unvaccinated were “not citizens”.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson took a milder approach, but accused “anti-vax” campaigners of spreading “mumbo jumbo”, which is rich coming from a man who clearly doesn’t believe his own rhetoric on covid measures.

Credit: Bob Moran

“What it is showing you is that the communications are coordinated. Anyone who works or has studied communications understands this is not random, this is not accidental … This doesn’t mean that one says it and politicians from different countries think it’s a wonderful idea. It means whoever is advising them is coordinating with them and it’s as simple as that.”

GB News commentator and presenter Neil Oliver came to a similar conclusion, which he outlines in this video.

Back in October, during the early days of the campaign to scapegoat the unvaccinated, Justin Trudeau and Jacinda Ardern used almost word-for-word the same phrases about rewarding the vaccinated for “doing the right thing”, and keeping them away from “people who are less safe”.

In a paper titled “Media inclusion and exclusion in the era of covid-19: “vaxxers” versus “anti-vaxxers”, Simons wrote that “mass media and journalism played an extremely uncritical, supportive and subservient role to their government’s agenda in the west. This contradicts the rhetoric of their role as a fourth estate, but confirms their role as an engineer of consent.”

Fear-based manipulation of the public by “nudge units”

The use of behavioural psychology, or nudge units, has also been in plain sight. The famous example is the UKs SAGE group saying that people didn’t feel scared enough of covid, and recommending fear based messaging in order to get people to comply with restrictions.

“A substantial number of people still do not feel sufficiently personally threatened … The perceived level of personal threat needs to be increased among those who are complacent, using hard-hitting emotional messaging.”

Earlier this months, epidemiologist and one of the main scientific faces of the covid response in New Zealand, Michael Baker, told The Guardian:

“The traffic light system won’t help us very much [with omicron] because it was never designed to dampen down transmission, it was only designed to nudge people towards vaccination.”

That’s right, the Government cast out about 10 per cent of the population from civic life, making an underclass of them through the introduction of vaccine certificates, to coerce them into taking a medical treatment.

But this discriminatory strategy, under which unvaccinated people are unable to eat in cafes and restaurants, get their hair cut, or sit a driving test among other things, was sold to the public on the lie that they are more likely to infect others with covid than a vaccinated person.

One headline read “Your unvaccinated friend is roughly 20 times more likely to give you Covid”, a statement which data out of highly vaccinated places such as Israel, DenmarkBarnstable County, Massachusetts and Waterford in Ireland has proved wrong.

“What is being attempted is communication management, but it is being waged within the fields of information warfare [with] a strong element of psychological operations attached to it. This has been done incrementally, followed by moving the goal posts after the audience has cognitively accepted the old trade – liberty traded for a false sense of security – and then a matter of rinse and repeat the steps,” Simons says.

The man doesn’t mince his words.

Wilfred Trotter was known for his concept of ‘herd instinct’, in social psychology. Picture licenced under the creative commons licence.

Total information domain dominance

Simons goes on to explain that attempts are being made in the information realm to totally dominate the cognitive world of individuals, in most cases by using fear as a quick fix. Fear is also used to create a “herd mentality” among a population.

“If you go back to the writing of people like Wilfred Trotter and Gustave Le Bon at the end of the 19th, beginning of the 20th century, they were talking about a ‘herd mentality’ based on fear and emotion, not on reason. The basic premise, if you can get a large audience to form this herd mentality … this makes them easier to control and more inclined to uncritically act against their objective interests through the suggestions made by the primary mainstream sources of information, such as [Jacinda] Ardern and MSM, [Anthony] Fauci, and other key influencers.”

A perception of trustworthiness is the key to the whole thing, he says. It’s not necessary for powerful players to enter into a reciprocal and mutually beneficial relationship with the public to do this. Instead the approach is transactional and asymmetrical.

“The main aim is to create ‘total information domain dominance’, which also excludes anything or anyone that contradicts or questions the official political narrative that is made in the name of science. This is why [we’ve seen] the massive use of catch phrases and slogans to try and solidify and consolidate the message and influence and persuade the audience and gain their compliance.”

He reels off a few as an example: ‘two weeks to flatten the curve’, ‘new normal’, ‘trust the science’, ‘build back better’.

I think of a few others: ‘team of five million’, ‘be kind’, ‘safe and effective’.

“Propaganda is most effective when it’s simple,” he says.

Narrative collapse

But the good news is, Simons believes the wheels are starting to fall off the narrative.

“One of the biggest problems you have in persuasive communication is to keep a lie going because you start getting caught out eventually. This is what is happening now. And this is what they tried in Austria. They tried one step too soon and too much.”

Simons is referring to Austria’s recent decision to impose compulsory vaccination against covid-19 on the entire population over age 12, with the threat of imprisonment for not complying.

“They thought that they had everything under control. But what happened was the division ceased because the vaccinated and the unvaccinated joined together on the streets and said ‘this is garbage’, and supported each other. It failed. And now they are trying to backtrack a bit, for ‘technical reasons’.”

The policy was due to come into effect on 1 February, but has been delayed until April.

Protests in Austria against the draconian policy continue.

Anti-lockdown and mandate protests are increasing in size around the planet, despite receiving very little news coverage.

Another example, he says, is the World Health Organisation now recommending the lifting of travel restrictions, including proof of vaccination, because they are ineffective and contribute to social and economic stress.

“The failure of travel restrictions introduced after the detection and reporting of Omicron variant to limit the international spread of Omicron demonstrates the ineffectiveness of such measures over time. Travel measures should be based on risk assessments and avoid placing the financial burden on international travellers in accordance with Article 40 of the IHR.”

Another clue is the US Supreme Court quashing Biden’s OSHA mandates, due to not being constitutional, he says.

Further developments in the last week include the CDC admitting that the injections cannot prevent transmission in an interview with CNN, and an admission that prior natural immunity after infection is protective against new variants, both of which destroy the case for certificates and mandates.

Associate Professor Greg Simons is a researcher at the Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Uppsala University and a lecturer at the Department of Communication Sciences at Turiba University in Riga, Latvia.