Measles and “The Noble Lie”
DR. MIKE WILLIAMS
We see warnings such as this one below all over the world from public health bodies and those tasked with protecting our health. They are splashed across newspapers; endlessly discussed on tv and radio; and fill countless 1000s of social media posts and blogs. So, the discussion we can have about this UK article pretty much applies to most of the western world and beyond.
The message from all those media outlets is: be scared, an infectious disease is spreading and in order to protect your children’s lives they need to get vaccinated. The message usually also says that those parents not choosing to vaccinate are endangering all children in their communities.
Those messages play out across the globe in one form or another, and public outrage fuels movements to force all parents to vaccinate their children or face some form of punishment. OK, so let’s discuss this phenomenon.
SOURCE: BRISTOL POST
In 1995 the UK Committee on Standards in Public Life published The 7 principles of public life covering seven key areas that those selected for public duty should adhere to:
Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest.
Holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work. They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships.
Holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.
Holders of public office are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this.
Holders of public office should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing.
Holders of public office should be truthful.
Holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and be willing to challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.
As we highlight the facts about the widespread measles outbreak and other outbreaks, I want you to remember those seven principles. I would also like you to consider something called Astroturfing – a strategy employed to promote a false sense of consensus around an idea. Astroturfing is used by drug companies to promote the use of their products.
To understand outbreaks and vaccines, you have to understand the deeper problem of pharmaceutical propaganda in the science journals and news media masquerading as science. For the sake of this discussion, vaccines should be seen as drugs. Drug— a substance used in the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of a disease or as a component of a medication.
Ben Swann in Understanding Big Pharma’s Propaganda Machine “discusses how companies within the pharmaceutical industry are able to attract positive media surrounding its drugs, regardless of whether or not their claims are founded”.
The program highlights former medical brand strategist Laurie Powell, who was involved in pharmaceutical propaganda (emphasis added by ER):
[She] spent a decade identifying drugs that would have the potential to treat prevalent and widespread medical issues, and persuading physicians to believe that these drugs were valuable, even if their effectiveness or overall safety was not yet proven.
According to Powell, ad agencies work with pharmaceutical companies to create ghostwritten articles that praise certain drugs utilizing cherry-picked data, and these articles are provided to medical journals. These “scientific articles” are not truly scientific, says Powell, but are actually forms of advertisements created to convince physicians to believe in a certain drug’s potential as well as influence their colleagues.
“It would start with New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, those kinds of large publications,” says Powell, as well as communicating with smaller publications more specifically tailored to certain medical conditions. “We’d plan out over the next few years how we’re going to take the messages that come from the data— which we’d slice and dice that up— and disseminate those messages throughout those publications over a course of years.”
That fraud, otherwise known as Astroturfing, can involve not just the scientific journals, medical publications and public health authorities as they disseminate false or misleading information, but also the media.
The propaganda and pressure to vaccinate can be seen across all vaccines, especially the flu jab, if you are a health worker. It can include offers of freebies to minor loss of privileges and scare tactics, as outlined by the Southern Nevada Health District’s Flu Campaign Ideas:
Make up and distribute coupons for free coffee, ice cream, etc.
Discuss with administration and ensure employees understand any minor sanctions, such as: The loss of minor privileges [If they don’t get vaccinated].
Consider hosting the start of the flu campaign as a practice pandemic drill.
All the way through to losing your job if you don’t comply with a request to get your jab, as compulsory vaccine advocate Dr Paul Offit stated in Mandating Influenza Vaccine: One Hospital’s Experience:
We actually mandated the vaccine, not only for healthcare workers, but for all employees, and the deal was that if you didn’t want to get the vaccine, you had 2 weeks of unpaid leave to think about it. If you still didn’t want to get the vaccine, then you were asked to step down from your position.
Of the more than 9,000 employees in our hospital, only a few chose to lose their jobs over this request.
The Huffington Post article Don’t Believe Everything You Read About Flu Deaths clearly showed that US public health authorities colluded with the media and willfully deceived the public by grossly exaggerating the deaths from flu, propagandizing the need for a vaccine.
The CDC’s decision to play up flu deaths dates back a decade, when it realized the public wasn’t following its advice on the flu vaccine. During the 2003 flu season “the manufacturers were telling us that they weren’t receiving a lot of orders for vaccine,” Dr. Glen Nowak, associate director for communications at CDC’s National Immunization Program, told National Public Radio. “It really did look like we needed to do something to encourage people to get a flu shot.”
The CDC’s response was its “Seven-Step ‘Recipe‘ for Generating Interest in, and Demand for, Flu (or any other) Vaccination,” a slide show Nowak presented at the 2004 National Influenza Vaccine Summit.
Here is the “Recipe that fosters influenza vaccine interest and demand,” in the truncated language that appears on his slides: “Medical experts and public health authorities [should] publicly (e.g. via media) state concern and alarm (and predict dire outcomes) – and urge influenza vaccination.” This recipe, his slide show indicated, would result in “Significant media interest and attention … in terms that motivate behaviour (e.g. as ‘very severe,’ ‘more severe than last or past years,’ ‘deadly’).” Other emotive recommendations included fostering “the perception that many people are susceptible to a bad case of influenza” and “Visible/tangible examples of the seriousness of the illness (e.g., pictures of children, families of those affected coming forward) and people getting vaccinated (the first to motivate, the latter to reinforce).”
The CDC unabashedly decided to create a mass market for the flu vaccine by enlisting the media into panicking the public. An obedient and unquestioning media obliged by hyping the numbers, and 10 years later it is obliging still. [My emphasis].
Should we think that it would be any different for the measles? What do the real data reveal in relation to the Bristol Post soaring measles cases?
Here’s a graph of confirmed measles data from the UK Government:
SOURCE: PHE Measles notifications and confirmed cases by oral fluid testing 2013 to 2018 (Updated 15 June 2018)
The graph clearly shows that the number of confirmed measles cases rises and falls, and that is consistent with epidemiology: measles cycles. It is an endemic infection in large populations and cannot be eradicated; goodness knows we have tried! It basically goes up and down, and when it goes up, we hear the same cries and dire warnings as demonstrated in the Bristol Post.
The number of confirmed cases this year is significantly less than prior rises. Also of note, the percentage of suspected cases that actually were measles has also fallen compared to other “outbreaks”. That indicates an over-diagnosis of measles when, in actual fact, it wasn’t measles at all.
Therefore, a more honest report might say:
Measles is cycling in a predictable pattern but the large number of reported cases reflects misdiagnosis, and the actual number of confirmed measles cases is less than we have seen with prior cycles.
That sounds just a bit different than:
Measles warning Public Health England says cases soar in Bristol meaning infection now “widespread”!
When it comes to reporting diseases that have an associated vaccine, how are our media and officials doing?
Let’s go down the list.
Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. FAIL
Holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work. They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships. FAIL
Holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias. FAIL
Holders of public office are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this. STILL WAITING
Holders of public office should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing. FAIL
Holders of public office should be truthful. FAIL
Holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own behavior. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and be willing to challenge poor behavior wherever it occurs. FAIL
Wouldn’t it be great if public officials entrusted with our children’s health actually read and implemented The 7 Principles of Public Life! In the decade of fake news, it is becoming more and more obvious that we desperately need people that will stand up and do the right thing; sadly, we have a ways to go in that area. Some may misinterpret Plato and excuse the behavior of those officials and the media as the Noble Lie or lying for our own good. But a more academic (and correct) interpretation of Plato as applied here would be: we need a practical solution “some one noble [thing]”1 that best fits the truth. That solution begins with being honest about the data. If we start with that, then we stand a good chance of getting it right and preserving the health of our children, ourselves and our communities.
Reference (not inserted)
Morrissey C. Plato’s Republic (414b). Classical Studies academic conference. Green College, University of British Columbia. 2004.
Contributed to TLB Project by author, Dr. Mike Williams
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