The Undue Psychological Influence of Covid-19
By Sue Parker Hall – Psychotherapist
‘Thought reform’ is a term that Lifton (1989) coined to describe Chinese indoctrination techniques that were used during the Communist takeover; it is a concept and a process which many cult researchers and survivors are familiar with. In Lifton’s words, the Chinese were ‘more organised, comprehensive and deliberate’ in the breadth, depth and ingenuity of their influencing techniques which sought to bring about ‘a significant personal upheaval’ in everyone it touched.
Thought reform is a process that brings about the systematic alteration of a person’s mode of thinking, a process of individual political indoctrination. It has a psychological momentum of its own; once installed – as many researchers on the issue of cults have found – there is no further need of an indoctrinating guru, teacher or other authority figure, because the subjects who have been indoctrinated reflexively take on that role, policing their own and others’ adherence to the ideology.
What is of particular interest to therapists is that an ideology is defined by Lifton as ‘emotionally-charged convictions about man and his relationship to the natural or supernatural world’.
‘Extreme adherence to an ideology…..where immoderate ideology meets with immoderate individual character traits’, and an ‘all or nothing emotional alignment’ results in a phenomenon that Lifton describes as ‘ideological totalism’. In all of his research interviews, Lifton never assumed ideological totalism in his participants and was careful to hold a continuum of effect in mind; he spoke with interviewees tentatively, in terms of ‘degrees’ of influence. I am being careful to do the same here. I am going to offer my analysis of how the psychological influence of government and media during this period of Covid-19 may be cult-like through applying Lifton’s concept of thought reform and will discuss eight characteristics that are present in an indoctrinating environment, all of which have the potential to be totalistic.
I invite you to reflect on how the psychological influence of government and media may have affected you and, if you’re a psychological helping professional, how the psychological influence of government and media may have affected your profession and your clients.
1) Milieu Control
The most basic and essential feature of the thought reform environment is milieu control, brought about by the control of human communication. A totalist environment limits an individual’s communication, what is seen, heard, read and written and what can be experienced and expressed. A merger occurs between the external and internal environments, this limits an individual’s communication with self; their reality checking faculty is significantly undermined, and it becomes impossible to maintain a separate, unique identity. An individual is deprived of a variety of information and of their capacity for inner reflection, and consequently the possibility of making meaning for themselves. In Transactional Analysis terms, their ‘Adult ego state‘ (Berne, 1961) is taken offline.
Let’s look at a few examples of how communication has been controlled during this time. Association with others has been seriously curtailed. There have been restrictions on how many people can meet at any one time, where they can meet and how close they may stand to one another. Traditional meeting places such as pubs, clubs, churches, and sports venues have either been closed or had their capacity significantly reduced. Free association, the potential to experience a diversity of knowledge and opinion and lively discussions, as well as the opportunity to express emotion together, has been seriously inhibited. Social distancing, the wearing of masks and the threat of infecting others or of being infected, have seriously interfered with people’s human need and ability to connect with others through sharing facial expressions which can lead to impromptu conversations.
If we look at how the external environment has been managed in terms of information about Covid-19 in the media and social media, only one narrative, that of the government, has been allowed oxygen. Questioning or expressing alternatives to the official account, of the traditional investigative journalism kind, has not been evident in the mainstream media and has resulted in thousands, if not millions of people being deplatformed from popular social media. There has been a need to depart from all that is familiar, in terms of receiving news and opinions, in order to explore other perspectives on the nature, extent and statistics of the Covid-19 illness, to gain a perspective on the risk factors and mortality rates of different populations, a more holistic presentation of statistics and more evidence-based, less politicised versions of science. Those who have not questioned or sought any wider information have likely consumed the government’s mono-narrative in its entirety.
2) Mystical Manipulation
This is a process whereby experiences appear to be spontaneous but are, in fact, planned and orchestrated by the group or its leader. The purpose of the manipulated event is to demonstrate the authority or exceptional talent of the leader/group and positions them at the highest level of – or apart from – humanity. It constructs their ‘leadership’ as a necessity and allows them free rein to interpret events, coincidences and other experiences in a way that furthers their own narrow agenda.
In their efforts to manage Covid-19, governments worldwide have taken advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO). The UK has also looked to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), and the US to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). However, thousands of eminent scientists globally have questioned this guidance and they have disputed both the validity of the assumptions these bodies have made about Covid-19 and the efficacy of their suggested policies. Their research has found sharply contradictory evidence in terms of the nature, function, level of threat, treatment and prevention of Covid-19 but they have been censured and censored from sharing their findings by powerful elites, imbued with a saviour-like quality, in the high drama circumstances that they themselves have created with the assistance of the mainstream media.
The tool of mystical manipulation is myth being presented as fact, or ‘scientism’ versus science. This has generated significant fear in the people of the UK and indeed worldwide. As a lay person I’m defining 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 whence the apparently scientific models, opinions and interventions originate, is created purposefully, in a form of backwards engineering, to justify the particular interventions.’
Ferguson’s highly cited Imperial College London Coronavirus model (Elsland van & O’Hare, 2020), and its corresponding predictions (which later had to be massively revised downwards), presented Covid-19 as ‘the most serious public health crisis in generations.’
The model denied that there were treatments for Covid-19 and declared that it used
‘the latest estimates of severity to show that policy strategies which aim to mitigate the epidemic might halve deaths and reduce peak healthcare demand by two-thirds, but that this will not be enough to prevent health systems being overwhelmed. More intensive, and socially disruptive interventions will therefore be required to suppress transmission to low levels. It is likely such measures – most notably, large-scale social distancing – will need to be in place for many months, perhaps until a vaccine becomes available (ibid).’
His model suggested that if no action was taken, there would be 500,000 deaths in the UK and 2.2 million deaths in America. The fear generated by Ferguson’s modelling would likely have overwhelmed a goodly number of people’s capacity for critical analysis, leaving them in survival mode and vulnerable to unquestioningly complying with any measures that those in authority prescribed. Ferguson’s model justified extreme measures such as mask wearing, social distancing, testing, temperature testing, isolating and quarantining; it seriously curtailed freedom to associate, even with immediate family members, the freedom to travel, to go to school, to run a business and necessitated a vaccine.
Mystical manipulation depends on an individual placing their trust and faith in authority figures. In a climate that has been constructed as highly dangerous, where information and scientific data is limited or withheld, there is a milieu of fear and mysteriousness and people are more likely to reach for, and conform to, the measures promoted by that saviour-like agency, however painful or bizarre they may be.
Tackling Covid-19 as it has been constructed can be understood as a ‘mystical imperative’ (Lifton, 1989), a higher purpose, ‘the pursuit of which must supersede all considerations of decency or of immediate human welfare’ (ibid).
Mystical manipulation produces the polarised responses of idealism or cynicism. Those who idealise and comply with these manipulations likely feel superior, virtuous, ‘in the vanguard of an advanced movement’ (ibid). They may even find pleasure in their painful compliance once they have been influenced to adopt it as their own. Those who are cynical, hesitant, sceptical, questioning or don’t comply with the proposed measures are judged negatively, ridiculed and often shamed; are considered to be ‘the expression of a lower purpose….backward, selfish and petty in the face of the great overriding mission’ (ibid) and they are described in terms such as Covidiot, Covid-denier, science-denier, anti-social, tin foil hatter, conspiracy theorist and disease or misinformation super-spreaders.
Examples of mystical manipulation or scientism include: the renaming of gene therapies as ‘vaccines’, thereby implying they are safe and effective despite there being little evidence to support this assumption; masks and social distancing having little or no data to support their use; the obfuscation of Covid-19 cases and deaths and a denial of a variety of pre-existing prophylactics and treatments for Covid-19.
3) The Demand for Purity
The polarising of the scientific community and of the wider community resonates with Lifton’s next characteristic, the demand for purity. He tells us that in an ideologically totalist situation, the world is divided into pure and impure, absolute good and absolute evil. The assumption that total purity is achievable means that ideas, feelings, and actions that are in harmony with the totalist ideology and policy, are designated as good and pure; anything else is designated as bad and impure. Badness and impurities will be sternly and negatively judged, searched out and eliminated.
In such a totalist environment, purity is firstly defined and a war on impurity ensues. The main weapons in this mission to root out impurity are guilt and shame. The existential guilt and shame that are universal to human existence are used as leverage in a totalist environment to manipulate and control.
In the indoctrinated, the values and actions considered pure are internalised, and generate excessive virtue while impure values and actions generate strong self-condemnation. Pure values and actions are seen as originating within the totalist environment and impure ones from without. In the extreme, outsiders are hated, purged or war is waged against them.
With regard to Covid-19, it can be argued that the pure are those who virtuously follow the single, global and often changing doctrine, uniformly delivered by Government, health service, media and social media alike which specifies the nature, origin and treatment of the phenomenon. It can be similarly argued that the impure are those who question the mono-narrative and hesitate or refuse to follow the directives of those in authority. Those who question the narrow and rigid mainstream construction of Covid-19 find themselves censored, censured, and even criminalised.
From the beginning of the Covid-19 event, the Behavioural Insight Team (BIT) has been advising the Government about the most influential ways of communicating their messages to the population. A BIT blog post entitled ‘Four messages that can increase uptake of the Covid-19 vaccines’ (BI.Team, 2021), exemplifies 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.
‘Helping Loved Ones’ was the first influential message that BIT research identified. The overt, purity message appeals to people’s desire to protect and support their friends and family. The covert subtext invites shame for a lack of care for loved ones.
‘Approved by Healthcare Workers’ is the second persuasive message.The overt purity message emphasises how these professionals have demonstrated confidence in the vaccine by taking it themselves; the covert subtext invites shame for questioning the credibility and authority of trusted healthcare workers.
‘Getting Lives Back’ is the third persuasive message; the overt purity message identifies the virtue of a person taking the desired action in bringing about a return to the activities and people they are missing. The covert, subtext invites shame because non-compliance is preventing this return to a normal life..
‘Tested by Thousands’ is the fourth persuasive message to build trust in the vaccine development process. The purity message appeals to people to do what others have done; the covert subtext invites shame for being in a minority and for having reservations that are flawed.
The manipulative nature of these messages is there for all to see in this blog. Three of the four messages include a directive to messengers that reveals their duplicitous nature.
The ‘Helping Loved Ones’ message cautions the communicator of the message to be ‘careful not to overstate the vaccine’s power to reduce or eliminate transmission’.
The ‘Getting Lives Back’ message cautions the messenger not to promise that ‘life will ever fully go back to “normal.”’
The ‘Tested by Thousands’ message cautions the messenger against ‘getting bogged down in overly technical details or medical jargon’; which begs a question about informed consent.
Compliance to the pure behaviours is engineered by exploiting three powerful forces: shame; the human existential fears of illness, death and isolation; and the human needs to be approved of and to belong.
4) The Cult of Confession
Confessions, and false confessions, are closely related to the demand for purity. Religious confession can be viewed as a vehicle for absolution; a sin shared with a priest resulting in a penance which, when complied with, absolves, and brings comfort. In the hands of a totalist, confessions and false confessions become a means of exploitation, rather than offering solace. An individual’s acquiescence to confession can be leveraged more easily because of ‘the ubiquitous human tendencies toward guilt and shame….[and]…also by the universal need to give expression to these tendencies’ (Lifton, 1989).
In a totalitarian system, confession is more than just personal purification, ‘it’s an act of symbolic self-surrender, the expression of the merging of individual and environment’ (ibid). The advantage of this merging is a deep sense of oneness and intimacy in joining with other fellow confessors and feeling the benefit of purging in terms of catharsis, a sense of self-betterment and a relief from suppressed guilt feelings and self-criticism. Covid-19 confession has revolved around mask wearing, testing and the injection. With regard to mask wearing, some people who don’t wear a mask have felt the need to confess why they are not wearing one; in the present milieu, physical and psychological health reasons may be a little easier to confess than political ones.
There has been a popular trend on social media for people to declare that they have received the gene therapy injection. Facebook have introduced profile photo frames, with a blue National Health Service (NHS) heart, which state, ‘I’ll get my Covid vaccine’ and ‘I’ve had my covid vaccine’.
Some who have not been injected feel obliged to confess this to others in an effort not to mislead, or to promote their position. As a psychotherapist I feel obliged to confess, to clients whom I will meet in person, that I don’t wear a mask and I’m not ‘vaccinated’, sharing private medical information, before I’ve even met them. Similarly, some people have confessed their positive or negative test results honestly, some dishonestly; some have not taken a test but falsely claimed that they have.
With the phenomenon of confession in mind, I have identified a new concept, ‘titrated conversation’; people cleverly orient their conversation, their level of disclosure or non-disclosure to the environments they find themselves in. These titrated conversations derive from a continuum of honesty, ranging from the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth at one end, to lying and lying by omission at the other. Using Porges (2011) sense of neuroception – how neural circuits distinguish whether situations or people are safe, dangerous, or life threatening – people calibrate the depth and breadth of disclosure that the environment can safely contain, attempting to avoid the risk of relationship rupture or hostility.
The cult of confession is an essential tool of a totalitarian system that demands full exposure; the end goal is to claim complete ownership of every individual’s private, as well as public, self.
5) The ‘Sacred Science’
Dogma, defined as ‘a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true’ is sacred in the totalist milieu.. Reverence is required for this group think, it’s principles, originators and those who preach it.
In the case of Covid-19 the sacred science was created by a conglomerate of agencies including the WHO, the CDC and the pharmaceutical industry. Its introduction saw the abandonment of previously well thought through pandemic preparation in virtually every country in the world, in favour of a never conceived of before, homogenous, global, ‘one size fits all’ approach.
A critical difference between science and scientism is that science bears scrutiny while scientism censures and limits debate. Within a totalist environment the sacred science is presented in a way that implies it is scientific and has an unquestionable logic. Any critical analysis of, or holding of, alternative ideas to such a doctrine is strongly prohibited, construed as immoral, irreverent, and unscientific.
The moral principles that the ‘science’ incorporates are designed to promote a sense of comfort and security. From this matrix, behavioural norms emerge that signal which actions are approved of and which should be criticized or punished. The ‘science’ associated with the Covid-19 event gave birth to the ‘science’ of mask wearing, frequent hand sanitising, PCR testing, staying at home, social distancing, closing businesses and schools and, latterly, the ‘vaccination’. These interventions, many never used before in response to a virus, and therefore lacking an evidence base, have been employed unquestioningly, as if there were empirical data to support them.
The globally asserted, ultimate Covid-19 moral vision is that of saving lives.The powerfully engaging moral principles championed are protection and freedom; the protection of individuals, communities, the NHS and the economy and the freedom to return to normal. On a surface level, these highly moral and apparently benign principles are difficult to argue with and once the sacred science has been internalised, a person will feel guilty and fearful if they encounter ideas which contradict it. There is no escape from the totalist milieu’s ‘ever-pressing edicts and demands’ (ibid) and the natural, constant search for truth of the human, and of genuine science, is disabled.
The mainstream media, social media and NHS have all promoted a single sacred ‘scientific’ narrative. The population regularly planned their evenings around what is known as ‘event’ TV, placing publicly broadcast live television at the centre of their viewing schedules. These events were regular, nightly briefings from Downing Street, anticipated by the population with bated breath, usually led by a solemn prime minister, Boris Johnson. There is a pageantry involved in these announcements; he would stand elevated on a podium, bedecked with the royal coat of arms, with two imposing Union Jacks behind him, often with emergency hazard ticker tape with imperatives that included ‘Stay Alert’, ‘Save Lives’, ‘Control the Virus’, ‘Stay Home’ and ‘Protect the NHS’. He would be accompanied by other equally solemn science and health officials such as Matt Hancock, Health Minister and Patrick Vallance, Government Chief Scientific Adviser.
Many news broadcasts displayed a constantly updating case and/or death counter – presented without context of numbers of non-COVID deaths – and tickers, a form of rolling text, running from right to left across the bottom of the screen with often, doom-laden messages of Covid-19 which heightened fear in viewers.
This government’s Coronavirus Data website (Gov.uk, 2021a), continues to post daily updates on ‘People tested positive’, ‘Deaths within 28 days of positive test’, ‘Patients admitted’ and ‘Virus tests conducted’.
Only in the case of Covid-19 has the media raised the alarm about every infection and every death. Rarely mentioned are the most important risk factors, older people and those with underlying health conditions that undermine their immune system, obesity being the most common one; ‘there was a J-shaped association between BMI and risk for death, even after adjustment for obesity-related comorbidities’ (Gao, 2021). Sadly, it’s a normal occurrence that every winter the flu kills large numbers of old people.
There was the weekly, ‘Clap For Our Carers’ initiative that involved the population applauding health practitioners from their doorstep across the UK, every Thursday evening at 8.00 p.m. for ten weeks during the first national lockdown in 2020.
In a totalist-like environment, whether a person is complying, compromising with, or resisting the sacred science, they experience a relentless compulsion to close down, or avoid engaging with, ‘the kinds of knowledge and experience necessary for genuine self-expression and creative development’ (Lifton, 1989).
6) Loading the Language
In a thought-reforming environment, the language is characterised by ‘thought-terminating cliché[s]’ (ibid), that inhibit critical thinking’. The broadest and most complex of human problems are reduced to brief, authoritative sounding phrases, devised and deployed to counter universal human behaviours such as questioning authority, exploring alternative ideas and holding a different opinion. Loaded language is ‘easily memorised and easily expressed’ and deadly dull to non-advocates; ‘the language of non thought…..a threat to the emotions and thus to life itself’. (Trilling, 1950).
In recent years and months, three, long-held, public health definitions have been modified with enormous implications for public health policy. By altering the meaning of these hitherto familiar constructs, a sacred science is created that destabilises an individual’s sense of reality and smooths the way for the implementation of the particular agenda of those in power. Those in charge feel entitled to own and operate language and have no compunction about manipulating and loading it in any way that furthers their cause.
The first term to be redefined is ‘pandemic’. This definition was changed in the month leading up to the 2009 swine flu pandemic, removing the ‘severity and high mortality’ criteria and leaving the definition of a pandemic as a worldwide epidemic of a disease.
The reduction in severity allowed the WHO to declare swine flu a pandemic after only 144 people had died from the infection worldwide, and it’s why COVID-19 can be promoted as a pandemic even though plenty of data suggest the lethality of Covid-19 is on par with a bad year of seasonal flu (Doshi, 2011).
Since COVID-19 ‘vaccines’ did not meet the former definition of vaccine, Merriam-Webster’s vaccine definition has recently (and quietly) been changed to include a description of the experimental COVID-19 gene therapies. Vaccines used to be defined only as
‘a preparation of killed microorganisms, living attenuated organisms, or living fully virulent organisms that is administered to produce or artificially increase immunity to a particular disease (Merriam-Webster, 2021a)’.
The new definition is:
‘a preparation administered (as by injection) to stimulate a body’s immune response against a specific infectious disease’ (Merriam-Webster, 2021b)
and now includes
‘a preparation of genetic material (such as a strand of synthesized messenger RNA) that is used by the cells of the body to produce an antigenic substance (such as a fragment of virus spike protein) (ibid).
‘Herd immunity’ is another term that has been revised during the Covid-19 event. It used to be defined by the WHO as
‘the indirect protection from an infectious disease that happens when a population is immune either through vaccination or immunity developed through previous infection.’
In October 2020, going against decades of medical science understanding, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO told a press briefing in Geneva that ‘using the principle of so-called herd immunity to stem the Covid-19 pandemic is unethical and not an option that countries should pursue to defeat the virus’ (UN News, 2020). Herd immunity became about ‘protecting people from the virus, not by exposing them to it, but by protecting them from it’ (ibid); suddenly, ‘herd immunity’ became synonymous with ‘vaccine’, arguably paving the way for a global vaccination programme.
Sharing a common language unites people. On the one hand, the language of fear has been used to alarm people about the Covid-19 event, on the other hand, people have been influenced to think about the psychologically and emotionally damaging Covid-19 policy interventions in benign terms. A new vocabulary has emerged to garner support for policies, a utilitarian shorthand, which significantly forestalls critical analysis and therefore contributes to the general public’s compliance. . Being confined to home alone was called ‘cocooning’ or ‘sheltering’; keeping an anti-social distance of two metres from other human beings, a measure that results in a sense of ‘increasing social rejection, growing impersonality and individualism, and the loss of a sense of community…[that]…negatively affects learning and growth, and…prevents people from effectively socializing, which is a fundamental human need’ (Sikali, 2020), was titled, ‘social distancing’; surveillance became ‘contact tracing’, and the justification for the multitude of life limiting policies was to ‘flatten the curve’ and, telegraphing that life could never be the same again, the innocuous sounding, ‘new normal’.
Lastly, within the dominant narrative, anyone with a different opinion, or who says ‘no’ to any of the Covid-19 measures and recommendations (not mandates), are not viewed as sovereign, grown up, pro-social individuals who, having done extensive, independent research and risk assessment, are taking responsibility for their own health, as well as the health of their family in a different way. Rather, they are ‘confined by these fetters’ (Lifton, 1989), the contemptuous labels of uneducated, anti-scientific, anti-social, a covidiot, selfish, irresponsible, reckless, inconsiderate, stupid and anti-vax.
7) Doctrine over person
In a totalitarian environment, ‘an abstract idea [is placed] above human life’ (Camus, 1954); the doctrine is always more important than the individual and includes ‘mythical elements….more, valid, true and real than any aspect of the human character or human experience’ (Lifton, 1989). When these mythical elements become fused with scientism, a ‘logic’ emerges that can be so compelling and coercive that it simply replaces the realities of individual experience. Personal doubts or recognition of inconsistencies in the doctrine are construed as arising from deficiencies in the mind or of unenlightened thinking. Divergent thoughts, feelings and other experiences need to be denied, or re-interpreted to fit the doctrine.
There are several striking examples of the Covid-19 official medical doctrine prevailing over the empirical research findings and advice of many immunologists, and other highly qualified medical practitioners.
The first of these is NHS England denying the possibility of early treatment. According to their website ‘there is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus’ (NHS, 2021), and that any ‘treatment aims to relieve the symptoms while your body fights the illness’ and ‘you’ll need to stay in isolation, away from other people, until you have recovered’ (ibid). People with symptoms who contact the NHS are told to stay at home until they recover or develop serious respiratory problems. Only at this later stage – some would say, life threatening stage – is any treatment offered.
America’s Frontline Doctors (AFD), (2021) state
‘unfortunately, going to the hospital today and being diagnosed with Covid-19 often guarantees a one-way trip to EUA [Emergency Use Authorisation] treatment, isolation, ventilation, and higher probability of death than the disease itself. Dr. Fauci’s NIH protocols often include an elixir of sedatives such as Midazolam, experimental Remdesivir (which is known to damage kidneys) and the ventilator.
Drs McCullough (2021) and Lawrie have all presented evidence and/or treated thousands of patients easily and cheaply in the early stages of the illness before hospitalisation is necessary. McCullough is first author of two papers which are ‘the most cited and relied upon papers in the world’ for the treatment of Covid-19 and of which he is first author (2020a et al; 2020b et al). He and his collaborators have found that medications such as Ivermectin, Azithromycin, Hydroxychloroquine and Budesonide, together with, Zinc and vitamins C and D are highly efficacious in treating Covid-19 as an outpatient. McCullough and colleagues recommend a ‘multifaceted, highly targeted, sequential multidrug treatment’ of early Covid-19’ (2020a), finely calibrated to each patient; this is in contrast to the ‘one-size-fits-all’ NHS and CDC protocol of stay at home until you get so ill that you can’t breathe, then go to hospital.
In an interview he cites home treatment guides which are supported by, and are available on, the websites of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) and the Front
Line Critical Care Consortium (FLCCC). These organisations are way ahead of the NHS in the UK and the CDC, National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in promoting effective and early, outpatient treatment.
Another questionable tenet of the prevailing doctrine is that people without symptoms can spread the virus. This is occurring in spite of Dr Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the Chief Medical Advisor to the President, stating in September 2020, ‘in all the history of respiratory born viruses of any type, asymptomatic transmission has never been the driver of outbreaks; the driver of outbreaks is always a symptomatic person’ (Fauci, 2020). Only one study (Wycliffe et al, 2020) has attempted to quantify the contribution to the epidemic from pre-symptomatic spread and estimated it accounted for no more than 7% of overall transmission.
Anders Tegnell – Sweden’s State Epidemiologist – who refused to lock Sweden down – says, in an interview with Claudia Nye (2021), maker of the documentary, Covid, Tango and the Lagom Way, ‘we haven’t come across any cases of asymptomatic spread in Sweden at all’. Another study found ‘there were no positive tests amongst 1,174 close contacts of asymptomatic cases’ (Nature.com, 2021).
The World Doctors Alliance (WDA) are
‘an independent nonprofit alliance of doctors, nurses, healthcare professionals and staff around the world who have united in the wake of the Covid-19 response chapter to share experiences with a view to ending all lockdowns and related damaging measures and to re-establish universal health determinance of psychological and physical wellbeing for all humanity’ (WDA, 2020). In an open letter they state
‘testing healthy asymptomatic individuals is nonsensical, unscientific and a colossal waste of money. The governments moon shot daily testing program will cost £100 billion roughly two thirds of the annual NHS budget’ (ibid).
Clearly, there is little justification for mass testing healthy people for Covid-19.
8) Dispensing of Existence
In a totalitarian milieu, the world is divided into two groups, those who have a right to exist and those who don’t. In Communist China, the working class and the Communist party combined and formed their own state which became a dictatorship over the rest of the population who were dehumanised and related to as non-people.
We have seen those outside the dominant group described as ignorant, unscientific, conspiracy theorists, alt-right extremists or anti-vaxxers who should be converted to the dominant narrative or be ridiculed, shunned, or punished to such a degree that they can be considered of no consequence, as ‘non-persons’; their existence is dispensed with in terms of not being allowed a voice. The people who have appointed themselves as the dispensers of human existence, with regard to Covid-19, are the government, mainstream media, social media and – saddest of all – the NHS, and our family and friends who cannot tolerate our differences.
Wearing a mask can be seen as another example of this ‘non-person’ phenomenon; faces hidden, people denied the positive strokes of giving or receiving a smile or of engaging in spiritually nourishing impromptu conversations. Important emotional information from facial expressions, that reassure or alert us to conflict, or danger, is no longer available. Masks also muffle voices, making communication more stressful and excluding those with hearing difficulties.
Mass testing with PCR and lateral flow tests have led to thousands of asymptomatic people getting a false positive result, requiring them to isolate from the world and human company for ten days at a time, often with serious economic and psychological consequences. At the time of writing, the FDA is alerting test users, caregivers, health care personnel, and the public of the potential for false positive results with certain lots of the Ellume COVID-19 Home Test. Reuters (2021), a distributor of the dominant mainstream narrative, have a headline which says ‘Australia’s Ellume recalls some COVID-19 test kits over false positives’, but in the smaller print below it quotes ‘the company said of the 427,000 tests that were affected, it had recalled about 195,000 tests as they were unused’.
There is a worrying global trend, most markedly in the US, Canada, Australia and Israel, of people being dispensed with, through the medium of vaccine mandates and passports which exclude them from employment, restaurants, shops and travel. Further, those who protest against such mandates are being dispensed with in some places through the use of brutal policing including use of tear gas and water cannon in – for example, Paris and Athens in July 2021 and rubber bullets in Melbourne in September 2021.
Particularly alarming is the increased mortality rate in young people in England and Wales since 1st May 2021. Using Office for National Statistics (ONS) and National Immunisation Management System (NIMS) data, an article by the Health and Advisory Recovery Team (HART) (2021b) concludes
‘mortality has risen in younger age groups since 1st May 2021. The increase in the 15-19 year old age group is particularly noticeable, especially as deaths in this age group are uncommon. The excess deaths have a marked male predominance.
An increase in ambulance call outs for patients who have had a cardiac arrest or are unconscious showed a coincidental noticeable rise from May 2021. The period also coincides with the rollout of vaccination and although there may be another underlying cause for this rise there has been no acknowledgement of the issue or intent to investigate it.
Finally, ONS have reported on a striking rise in age adjusted mortality rates in those with only one dose that accelerated in May 2021 to levels far exceeding those in the unvaccinated. Although there may be a number of explanations for these findings, further investigation of the cause of these deaths is warranted’.
In a totalitarian milieu, there is just one right path, just one valid way to be, all others are invalid. This creates a painful psychological split in a non-believer, who must choose between abandoning their personal truth to have their existence acknowledged or hold onto their truth and become an outsider of little social consequence.
The thought reform process does offer a mechanism whereby non-persons, ‘through a change in attitude and personal character [can] make themselves into people’ (Lifton, 1989). So great is the human need to belong, and in order not to be dispensed with, a person may be drawn to such a conversion experience to reclaim a sense of belonging and an existence. For this reason, many people have succumbed to the ‘vaccine’ and with it vaccine passports, in a cruel irony, to protect themselves or others, to travel, work or to attend large sports and entertainment gatherings. However, it is a means of existence that may be withdrawn at any time. In relation to Covid-19 this would involve further lockdowns, travel restrictions, mask mandates, testing, vaccine passports and boosters.
The eight characteristics of thought reform present a useful lens to look at the undue psychological influence that is being exerted on populations nationally, and globally. People are, without doubt, being coerced into behaviours and decisions which, if they were not unduly fearful, and in possession of all the available data, they may think were not in their best interest and may not have consented to.
Incredibly, Covid-19, with a mortality rate of under 1% across all age categories, has been designated a pandemic, warranting drastic measures that have significantly harmed a great number of people, including, very sadly, a great many children.
Harms have been psychological, physical, and economic; the full extent of the damage is not yet fully understood. The fear of catching covid, not wanting to put pressure on the NHS – along with the ban on visitors – resulted in restricted access to health care and consequent delays to diagnosis and treatment, the impact of which will be felt for years to come. People have also been harmed through an increase in drug overdoses and murders. Angst and loneliness among the elderly has led to dramatic deterioration in their health. The extent of the impact of withholding early treatment of covid, giving inappropriate treatment for covid and ‘vaccine’ injuries will be counted in years to come
Physical, emotional and economic recovery from this traumatic event will take a long time for some, and others may never recover.
On a positive note, and as an antidote, there is a growing number of people who are seeking information about Covid-19 beyond the narrow agenda of the highly censored mainstream media and social media. A growing number of people are blowing the whistle on the malpractice and misinformation they are seeing in their workplaces and elsewhere. Similarly-minded people are finding each other in person and online, to share information and offer emotional support, not complying with measures that have no scientific basis, and taking practical, legal, and political action to hold those in power accountable and to influence policy making. Health Advisory and Recovery Team and Therapists for Medical Freedom offer a platform for medical and psychological practitioners (HART) and psychological practitioners (TMF) to share their concerns, scientific research and provide moral and emotional support for each other.
Protesters and non-compliers have – remarkably – been emotionally well-regulated and good humoured, with the London protests having mostly a festival feel, and the Stand in the Park events offering a comforting weekly ritual with a warm welcome and a much-appreciated sense of belonging for those beyond the pale of the dominant Covid-19 narrative. There is a special bond, built on an enduring sense of shared respect, affection, and camaraderie between all those who the Covid-19 oligarchy would dispense with if it could. There’s a shared conviction that peaceful non-compliance (only within the law, of course!), information sharing, asking awkward questions, and creative, unpredictable, well-targeted and well-executed efforts will ensure that those who are presently in control cannot remain in power indefinitely and will be held to account.
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