In times of crisis and panic, going against the flow is seen by many as inconvenient. This is precisely the case in the current Covid-19 pandemic where people who dare to oppose the official information coming from institutions such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and other local health institutions have been declared foolish, unreasonable or plainly insane by mainstream media. Despite this, more and more dissidents are standing up, demanding to know the truth about what is going on.
By Arthur Blok and Marco Mattiussi
In the former Soviet Union, activists and dissidents who dared to speak out against the communist system were sent to state-run psychiatric wards. According to the State, all opposition to government policy was considered a form of mental illness.
If you were not crazy and dared to oppose the regime or communism, the Soviet State medical system made sure that you were at least classified that way. This at is exactly what happened to Jewish-Russian poet Josif Alexandrovich Brodsky.
In 1963, a Leningrad newspaper denounced his work as “pornographic and anti-Soviet”. At his trial a year later, authorities charged the 24-year-old with “social parasitism”. Brodsky was condemned to a Soviet mental institution and later spent five years in Arkhangelsk, an Arctic labor camp.
Modern dissidents and the new forms of censorship
Does this seems far in time and place? It certainly is not, considering that early this April, German lawyer Beate Bahner was sent to a psychiatric ward after mounting serious resistance to what she called ‘unconstitutional’ Covid-19 lockdown.
Bahner, known in Germany as an experienced specialist in medical law, had already been under police investigation over “calls for an illegal action” after urging Germans to go on a nationwide demonstration against the lockdown. As a result, the State Security is now investigating the lawyer for public incitement to commit crimes. This is nothing compared to Soviet gulags, certainly, but it still remains an uncomfortable thought.
This is far from being an isolated case. Many countries have dissidents who have seen their popularity rising in the past weeks. In the Netherlands, former radio DJ and talk show host Robert Jensen has seen his audience quadruple in recent weeks with his online broadcast themed “Stop the Lockdown” which questions the legality and validity of the so-called ‘intelligent’ lockdown in his country.
In the United Kingdom (UK), the most vocal case is one related to former footballer and sport broadcaster David Icke, a controversial character and leading conspiracy theorist. Icke is completely banned from mainstream social media. He had his main Facebook page deleted early May. This measure occurred after sanctions were placed upon local television station, London Real; media regulator, Ofcom, found it had posed a threat to the public’s health by showing a lengthy interview with David Icke about the coronavirus pandemic.
Icke calls the Covid-19 pandemic “fake”; he sees the global corona lockdowns as “unnecessary and a breach of human rights”. He questions the method of testing with the polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test. Various scientific sources suggest that the test is not always accurate. It locates a coronavirus gene sequence and creates multiple copies that can then be easily detected. Simply, it tests if a person has a concentration of a coronavirus, not particularly Covid-19. If one wants to test for Covid-19, an antibody test is required and such a test is not yet broadly available on the market.
Consequently, the current trend in many countries such as the UK, Italy and Spain is simply to attribute all the deaths to Covid-19. Many doctors around the world have stated that they are pressured to declare the cause of death as the virus. more valid practice would clearly be to make the clear distinction between how many people died with Covid-19 and how many by Covid-19?
Icke has often quoted articles that a patient died “after testing positive” of Covid-19, ignoring the underlying disease completely and therefore inflating the death statistics. Unsurprisingly, Icke’s third major interview with London Real, which attracted millions of viewers, is banned from YouTube. For the last few days, Icke has been now completely banned from the video platform.
The most recent example of this “internet cleansing” is related to the first part of the documentary The Hidden Agenda Behind Covid-19, a new film by Plandemic. It went viral on the internet right after its release. In a 25 minutes interview, Dr. Judy Anne Mikovits PHD reveals the agenda of the scientific and political elite who run the global health system and shows the sinister role of U.S. president Donald Trump’s advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci. Youtube had to take the video off its site repeatedly because it is constantly re-posted. It can be watched for free here.
Without debating about the ideas presented in this video and its fierce attacks against the establishment, the question prevails: is it acceptable that one person has the power to decide, unilaterally, what is the truth and what is not?
Freedom of Speech
In truth, there have been many calls by the WHO and governments to combat “dangerous misinformation” about the coronavirus. All social media platforms such as Youtube and Facebook have initiated the implementation of strict new “community rules” for the sake of “stopping the spread of misinformation”.
Facebook has started to place anti-misinformation messages in the newsfeed of people who have engaged with what it considers ‘fake coronavirus stories’. It has also started banning events that violate social distancing orders.
Certain questions must be posed: who is the judge of what is misinformation? Whatever happened to the concept of freedom of speech? You might be inclined to read this as a positive effort to promote law and order in difficult times. It could also be seen under a totally different light: a move aimed at suppressing any voice which is not aligned with the “truth” dictated by governments and main organizations. In other words, it is a move aimed at silencing dissidents.
What is mostly disturbing in these multiple censoring acts, besides the mere fact of censoring itself as something that should raise eyebrows in the 21st century, is that they might actually silence the truth or, at least, a good part of it. In fact, what has been so vigorously defended and protected by official channels might not actually be the best solution for solving the crisis. Some opinions provoke more than others, and a one-sided debate is by definition a dangerous one.
For a start, not all governments took the same approach to the crisis. Sweden, for example, has implemented quite a different method than other countries, practicing a so-called “mild social distancing” without implementing a rigorous imposed lockdown; this meant that it did not have to shut down 99% of its economic system.
This has shown to work so far, at least not worse than for countries who have gone straight into the “economical suicidal state” of a total lockdown. Swedish shows us, at least, that alternative approaches are actually possible and successful.
This could explain why the Swedish policy has been criticized, sometimes strongly, by many official media all over the world. By acting in such a different way, in fact, the entire country of Sweden as a whole IS a dissident, to some. Initially, the country’s approach was under attack; now it has proven successful. In contrast, other European countries remain largely in lockdowns in their eager attempt to “flatten the curve” of the disease and unclear when life can return to normal, iff ever.
A very good example about how shaky the “official truth” can be has emerged in recent weeks. Since the beginning of the crisis, the most publicized resource for helping advanced ill patients hit by the Covid-19 has been said to be the use of ventilators.
Simply put, mechanical ventilators push oxygen into patients whose lungs are failing. Using these machines involves sedating a patient and sticking a tube into the throat. This (very painful) solution was considered the only way to support patients entering phase 3 of the disease,the most acute. This proved to be so effective and needed, in fact, that companies were asked to produce the machines in vast quantities as quickly as possible as the world faced a shortage of them.
In early April, some voices began to question why the death rate of the patients put on ventilators was so abnormally high, up to a frightening 88% in some cities. Doubts started to emerge: were doctors actually harming rather than helping Covid-19 patients by placing them on ventilators?
Two weeks later, the analysis of data on deceased patients reveals the ugly truth: it seems more and more certain that assuming that Covid-19 was primarily a respiratory disease was not correct. People, especially relatively young ones (under 50) are actually dying of strokes, due to blood clots that have been left untreated. It appears, in short, that ventilators might have caused harm by forcing extremely high levels of oxygen in the body.
Doctors officially say that this is not proof that ventilators have accelerated death and that the link between intubation and death rates needs further study; however, the numbers are quite clear. At an ICU in Wuhan, 86% of Covid-19 patients did not survive invasive ventilation.
A recent British study found two-thirds of COVID-19 patients put on mechanical ventilators ended up dying anyway, and a New York study found 88% of 320 mechanically ventilated COVID-19 patients had died. Normally, studies say that patients with severe breathing problems have a 50% chance of survival (source: The Journal of the American Medical Association).
We have two uncomfortable conclusions here, both contradicting the official “truth” in which we have been immersed so far. The first is that Covid-19 might have been misdiagnosed in many cases. The second is that the ventilators might actually not be the great saviour as described.
If nothing else, this emerging new truth shows how the “unified thinking” pushed by all official media, used to create panic and mass hysteria, was simply wrongly based. The data accumulated in these two months have provided very precious information on how to treat the virus and it appears that the most appropriate way of doing it is quite different from what was done originally.
The lockdown was probably justifiable at the beginning, when specific data was not available, but it is not the case anymore. These conclusions should lead to a fast revision of the lockdown, ending the mass hysteria and returning to normality in a much faster way than predicted.
“In times of universal deceit, the Truth becomes a revolutionary act” (George Orwell).
Arthur Blok is the Executive editor-in-chief of the Levant, Marco Mattiussi is an Italian political analyst