Just Another Day At The Forward-planning Dept.
“With this SARS, we have colleagues fighting for their lives. We have an invisible killer in our midst. We are professionals and we have a job to do. Now, as I sit at home with my young son quietly sleeping and my wife pottering in the background, I wonder what tomorrow will bring?” Professor Andrew Burd
Bigger than Arnie and Sylvester, bigger than Catherine & Michael, bigger even than De Niro & Devito, SARS or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome has been front-page news the world over. Now call me a stick in the mud, but has the whole world gone mad? Why all this upheaval over just another kind of flu? A good acronym for SARS in this instance could be Systematic And Ribald Scare-mongering. There really is insufficient cause for such widespread panic. On the strength of a few very un-extraordinary deaths related to breathing difficulties and wheezing problems, the World Health Organisation has issued a global warning that some kind of mutant pandemic could be imminent. But looking for the evidence to justify such an announcement, it seems more likely that SARS is turning into one of the most thoroughly convincing pharma/political scams constructed for many years. The strategists behind this latest Shock and Awe, or should I say Cough and Awe campaign must surely be congratulating themselves over the screen time and column-inches devoted so far to this particular venture. To the more seasoned observers however, alarm bells were ringing from the outset of this so-called ‘crisis’. A familiar template has been steadily taking shape from day one.
“OMIGOD! NOT A MUTATED VIRUS, PLEASE!”
From 14th March 2003 onwards, global news agencies began telling us of various health authorities struggling to contain some kind of ‘lethal’ pneumonia, being spread by air travellers across three continents. Interviewing Professor Andrew Burd, a surgeon in Hong Kong, one BBC report contained the following ridiculous hyperbole: “We are at war, but our enemy has no name, no identity. This reality easily eclipses the nightmare fantasies of Bush and Saddam. For the moment, Iraq is no longer an issue in Hong Kong On the 19th March 2003, after a much-hyped race to track down this ‘strange, new killer virus’, researchers named a virus from the paramyxoviridae family, apparently also responsible for such conditions such as mumps and measles. “Thank God!” we cried. “The virus has been identified!” Or had it? A few weeks later, the ‘expert’ diagnosis of paramyxoviridae was superseded by another ‘expert’ announcement from a different virus laboratory, now telling us that SARS was caused by a mutated form of the common cold virus, known as the coronavirus. “OMIGOD! Not a mutated virus, PLEASE!” Who’s on top of this thing? Is any area safe? When could we finally relax? Very soon, said the experts, very soon. But not just yet. You see, said the experts, because coronavirus is a mutated and therefore new virus, the only obstacle holding back a full return to health for the planet is the current lack of expensive testing kits, new antibiotics and new vaccines. Permission to research and manufacture these items must be granted to the relevant authorities as soon as possible. But could the legislative decrees and associated massive funding be rushed through in time? And to those master weavers, we replied, “Look, who cares? Just do it!”
JUST ANOTHER DAY AT FORWARD PLANNING
And that, my friends, is the standard business template. That is how the pharmaceutical gravy train rolls on. Just another day down at forward-planning. Create the need and meet the demand. As pharma-critic Michael Fumento noted in a recent edition of The National Post: “There’s fame, fortune, and big budgets in sounding the ‘emerging infection’ alarm and warning of our terrible folly in being unprepared.” And true to form, in the supposed SARS epicentres of Beijing, Hong Kong and Thailand, there are now frantic requests for the necessary antibiotics to reach the ‘stricken’ areas as soon as possible. His ‘n’ hers matching facemasks, along with masks for the household pet are selling like wildfire. In many areas, facemasks and household disinfectants have tripled in price. ABC News recently reported what is perhaps the first SARS murder - a fatal stabbing. The victim sneezed. The assailant was afraid he might be spreading SARS. The UK Sunday Times, dated 27th April 2003, featured an article on SARS by columnist Richard Leakey who tells us, “… people in Britain are terrified of the SARS virus.” Excuse me? Speak for yourself Mr Leakey. Don’t include me in your lemming-like statistics. Just as our witless emperor paraded himself stark-naked before his loyal subjects, so too the ridiculous broadsheet editorials are persuading the world and his dog (literally) to cry out for the full array of ‘urgently required’, anti-SARS paraphernalia to combat what is only simple flu. Simple flu, you say? What about the death toll so far?
THE FACTS ON THE ‘NEW’ DISEASE THAT NEVER WAS
Going almost completely unnoticed in the frantic fuss, the Hong Kong Health Minster was interviewed at the beginning of the ‘crisis’ by the BBC Newsnight team. He admitted there was no definitive test for SARS and that this illness is identified by a particularly vague set of symptoms. He also admitted that its description covers a multitude of existing syndromes related to flu. It is interesting to note that in the US during 2002, more than 26,000 people died of the flu, most of whom were elderly or very young. Yet with SARS – flu by any other name - we are awash with charged, emotional reports on a disease that to date, has claimed the lives of just 351 people worldwide. To illustrate the laughably inconsistent nature of this latest ‘pandemic’, on the 27th April 2003, the UK ITV 10 O’Clock news announced with all gravitas that 23 people had died from SARS across South East Asia in a single day, 12 in Hong Kong and 9 in China alone! But pause a minute. Do the sums on the unreported death rate for flu in the US. That works out at 71 people a day dying of flu in a country of 290 million. So 9 people in China dying in one day with flu symptoms - a nation with a population approaching 1.7 billion, roughly 6 times more people than in the US, is hardly sensational. Where are all the headlines drawing attention to that particular figure? Where’s the urgency in the Beijing SARS pandemic now, Mr Demographer? While these latest SARS deaths will of course be upsetting for the families concerned, as far as any lead story goes, it is a dismally unshocking scoop.
Undermining these 351 supposed ‘SARS deaths’ even further, ‘confirmation’ of SARS is not definitive. SARS confirmation is carried out by visual assessment only – an assessment of symptoms shared by many other illnesses. This ground-level reality is leading to multiple misdiagnoses and immediately nullifies the mantra ‘thousands more infected’ – those three little words, chanted with such monotony by our BBC, ITN, Ch 4, CNN and CBS crews, working slavishly round the clock to bring us all the latest disinformation. Forgive the momentary descent into bitter and twisted mode, but isn’t it about time there was some sort of organised revolt against this nigh-on satanic media machine? Shouldn’t we be getting a lot more angry at all this utter nonsense? Does anyone out there have a game plan? Tackling the last of the SARS inaccuracies here (although there are many others), whenever there is a death attributed to SARS, no information is ever supplied on those all-important mitigating circumstances, such as the victims’ age, general health and accompanying environmental conditions at the time. As far as objective reporting goes, any journalist worth his salt should know that skirting these issues is a complete no-no.
COGNITIVE POWERS PROFOUNDLY CHANGED
But these are just trifling matters to our media outlets. None of these everyday realities bring any adjustments to official ‘SARS death’ statistics. Journalistically speaking, the SARS story has been mindless tripe from the very beginning. From a medical perspective, we encounter the same banalities and hype at every turn. Throughout this whole SARS campaign, there have always been plenty of ‘qualified’ experts available to comment on the ‘frightening’ spread of SARS and the ‘alarming’ vaccine/antibiotics shortage. But then tracking down qualified opinion in support of ‘the threat of deadly disease’ is never difficult. In fact, it’s a piece of cake. In the seven or more year’s training it takes to become medically qualified, even the sharpest of minds can soon become bent right out of shape. Is that too harsh a criticism? Not according to Dr Michael Greger. He has written his own account of medical school. Entitled Heart Failure, the book contains many passages from a number of doctors describing the pressures to conform and the expectation to toe the party line. The inside front cover has the following quote: “Besides medical school, there is probably no other four-year experience - unless it be four year’s service in a war - that can so change the cognitive content of one’s mind and the nature of one’s relationships with others.”  (Readers are recommended to visit the link to Dr Greger’s on-line book). And in the midst of any so-called ‘infectious epidemic’, many suitably-conditioned medical minds will always be available for interview, expounding their doom-laden beliefs with utmost sincerity. Dr Patrick Dixon is one such voice. Known for his seminars on ‘global trends’, Dr Dixon is pressing for stricter controls to ‘curb the threat’ of SARS and believes this latest ‘epidemic’ has the potential to become a real threat to global health. If allowed to spread much further, says Dr Dixon, SARS may become a wild-fire impossible to put out. Interviewed on the 24th April 2003 BBC Breakfast News, Dr Dixon stated that the government should get properly prepared for an inevitable epidemic. His ‘Truth About SARS’ website contains the following: “We are in an urgent race against time, leading potentially to many tens of millions of deaths over the next two years.”  According to Dr Dixon, his web site received 5.5 million hits over the last twelve-month period.
THE SAME OLD HOLLYWOOD IMAGERY
But haven’t we all been here before with the AIDS scare-stories? Weren’t our screens filled with similar catastrophic, Hollywood imagery? And Dr Dixon was also at the forefront of those early AIDS doom and gloom statistics with his publication ‘The Truth About AIDS’ – a book warning us of a pandemic of massive proportions on the horizon – but with none of his predictions materialising. The opening chapter entitled The Extent of The Nightmare speculated the UK could be witnessing 18,000 AIDS deaths a year. The same book warned against deep kissing, and suggested the pill and even sterilisation for women who had been tested HIV positive.
Telephoning Dr Dixon on this matter, I pointed out the physiological dangers of the contraceptive pill and also asked him to comment on the medical evidence sent to everyone at management level within his organisation, highlighting the fact that the HIV test can react false positively to some 60 different conditions unrelated to any virus. Given the potential for such a high rate of ‘false positives’ on the HIV test, should he really be suggesting the test at all, let alone suggesting that so-called HIV positive women consider such a drastic measure as sterilisation? What about the very real danger of false diagnosis and all the heartache that would entail as a result? Accusing me of being a flat-earther, Dr Dixon stood by both suggestions in his book and continues to do so today, repeating the same ghastly advice on his website. Dr Dixon is aware of the inconsistencies in the HIV test and the ‘infectious AIDS’ theory, but is refusing to seek ways of professionally resolving these matters. What sort of societal control policies might emerge, should the emergency planning measures for SARS be left to minds such as this? While there are a number of well-intentioned, caring people involved with Dr Dixon’s AIDS care teams, following an incorrect path with the maximum of compassion occurs in all walks of life, especially medicine. Dr Dixon has since gone on record to say that SARS could be deadlier than AIDS: “AIDS spreads slowly so we can track it and plan for it. We have effective anti- viral drugs which can prolong life. But this is different, we don’t have the time. This is a far more serious epidemic potentially than AIDS.” But Dr Dixon is not alone in his mistaken beliefs. As far as entrenched medical error is concerned, there is indeed a global trend. Just type the words ‘medical error’ into any search engine and be shocked and awed at the amount of respectable, highly qualified conventional medicine that has come crashing to the floor recently. That seven year medical school curricula has certainly got a lot to answer for. A wide range of ‘respectable’ conventional medicines and errant medical procedures are shortening the lives of thousands of unwitting patients on a daily basis.
THE MEDIA UNMASKED
The April 23rd 2003 Five PM News Hour contained an interview with a doctor who had recovered from SARS. The doctor was struggling to make his illness sound dramatic and during the interview, admitted that SARS is not the fatal disease it is being made out to be. Undaunted by the relative flatness of the interview or the admission by the doctor that SARS was not that dangerous, news anchorman Eddie Mayer summarised the world headlines five minutes later, continuing to describe SARS as ‘a deadly virus’. Perhaps the most glaring inconsistency in the SARS reporting lies in the fact that no television journalists reporting from the supposed ‘epicentres’ are ever wearing the ‘life-saving’ face masks. On this note, I contacted the BBC World Planning Department, where the coordinating supervisor for BBC Beijing conceded there was a certain inconsistency in maskless reporters announcing to millions across the world, the spread of highly contagious disease. She would send an email to Beijing, to find out why that was the case, but I should not be offended if I didn’t get a reply. “After all, we are dealing with an enormous and time-consuming story.” No we are not. We are dealing with a baseless, self-inflated media frenzy. Not surprisingly, I have received no reply to my request for information. More disturbingly though, it seems that SARS is paving the way for the introduction of some potentially quite sinister legislation. Enforced quarantine and restricted movement is being introduced into the populations with relative ease.
In Canada for instance, within a few days of the supposed outbreak, more than a thousand healthcare workers had volunteered for home quarantine because of SARS. Otherwise, they faced legal arrest and incarceration as advised by the World Health Organization. Canadian officialdom has been closing hospitals, restaurants, schools, and workplaces with only two deaths reported at the onset of the media onslaught. The media has successfully whipped the population into a trembling mass of masked and quarantined ‘sheeple’. On 23rd April 2003, the BBC announced that police in Australia have been given new powers to round up and quarantine suspected SARS victims; Singapore’s prime minister has vowed to jail ‘irresponsible’ people who violate quarantine laws and, despite having no confirmed SARS cases, Japan has announced plans to install a thermal imaging camera at Tokyo’s international airport to screen passengers. What’s really going on? Are we witnessing some sort of mass social experiment? Even as I write this, the latest UK radio bulletin is telling me that UK Health Secretary Alan Millburn is under pressure to bring in emergency powers to protect us from this SARS outbreak.
Personally speaking, the experts can tip all their expertise and medicines into the middle of the deep, blue sea. Worse for the fishes maybe, but on dry land, we would notice the benefits immediately. As far as SARS is concerned, just remember that disinformation is the main threat here. As far as flu and pneumonia in general is concerned, strengthen your immune system with good nutrition and exercise. Get informed on those ‘wheels within wheels’ and steer well clear of those flu and pneumonia ‘medicines’.
Achoo! Ahem! Oh no! A tickly cough at the back of my throat! Could I be infected? Might they shut down the M25? Will any of the news teams interviewing me be wearing masks, I wonder?
 ‘Invisible Killer in our Midst’ BBC News, 14th March 2003 at
 ‘Hong Kong doctors 'identify killer disease’, BBC News, 19th March 2003 at
 National Post, 28th March 2003
‘ Scared of SARS, man slays sneezer’ at
 BBC Newsnight, 2nd April 2003
 Greger, Dr Michael, Heart Failure, 1999, online books at
 The Truth About SARS at http://www.globalchange.com/sars.htm
 ‘The Truth About SARS Infection’ at http://www.globalchange.com/sars.htm
 Dr Patrick, The Truth About AIDS, Kingsway Publications, 1987. Dr Dixon’s ideas that Africa is dying ultimately of a sexually transmitted disease brought about by ‘rampant trans-African truck drivers’ etc., has attracted a particularly large and loyal church following - a following that has consistently refused to question Dr Dixon’s easily contestable beliefs. A survey carried out by Durex on national sexual practices for instance found that the UK was the most promiscuous nation by far. Yet where is the British AIDS pandemic? Dr Dixon’s adherence to these dehumanising and inherently racist ideas and the following they attract has severely impeded the path towards the correct and relatively simple treatment for the environmental affliction known as AIDS. Sound nutrition, clean water and a general education away from meddlesome western imperialism and well-meaning, misguided missionary zeal is the only triple therapy needed for Africa.
 Condoms are unsafe for HIV prevention at http://www.globalchange.com/ttaa/ttaa%206.htm
 ONE BILLION TO BE INFECTED WITH SARS WITHIN 60 WEEKS, Daily Record, Wednesday 23rd April 2003 at
 ‘SARS threat closes schools’, BBC News, 23rd April 2003 at
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