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What The Pharmaceutical Industry & Your Doctor Don’t Tell You About Depression

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Before starting off, it’s important to mention that yes, some individuals suffer more than others when it comes to depression, and people do need assistance to climb out of these dark places. There is no denying that in this article, what is being challenged is the disease-model of depression, and how it may not be helpful in helping get rid of a problem that continues to rise exponentially. Are drugs really the answer? Do they even do anything? What’s the science behind depression? It’s also important to mention that many doctors are completely unaware of this type of information, it’s not like they are ‘not telling’ you on purpose.

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Anti-depressant drugs are the most commonly prescribed drugs in North America. Pharmaceutical companies are bringing in billions of dollars every single year from the sale of anti-depressant drugs alone, and they also spend billions of dollars marketing and advertising their products. Not only that, pharmaceutical companies have been found to falsify research and influence scientific literature. This is a big problem that plagues the modern day medical industry. For example, last month, an independent review found that the commonly prescribed antidepressant drug Paxil (paroxetine), is not safe for teenagers, despite the fact that a large amount of literature already previously suggested otherwise. The 2001 drug trial that took place, funded by GlaxoSmithKline, found that these drugs were completely safe, and used that ‘science’ to market Paxil as safe for teenagers. You can read more about that story here.

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“The medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful.”  – (source)(source) Arnold Seymour Relman (1923-2014), Harvard Professor of Medicine and Former Editor-in-Chief of the New England Medical Journal

This is a problem that’s well known in the medical community, which is why John Ioannidis, an epidemiologist at Stanford University School of Medicine published the most widely accessed article in the history of the Public Library of Science (PLoS) entitled Why Most Published Research Findings Are False. In the report, he stated that most current published research findings are false.

This was more than 10 years ago, fast forward to today where a more recent ‘cry’ to the public masses came from Dr Richard Horton, current editor-in-chief of The Lancet. He stated that half of all the published literature could be false. (source)

The examples are endless, so let’s take a look at depression.

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The Chemical Imbalance Theory Might Be Incorrect

Joseph Coyle, a neuroscientist from Harvard Medical School sums it up best, “chemical imbalance is sort of last-century thinking. It’s much more complicated than that.” And it’s true, depression is much more complicated than that, at least much more than the commonly accepted belief that depression results from a chemical imbalance in the brain. This idea was posed in the late 1950’s, and sticks today, it’s the general idea that a deficiency of select neurotransmitters exists (chemical messengers) at critical points, like synapses. One of these neurotransmitters, for example, is serotonin, others include norepinephrine and dopamine.

As Scientific American reports, “much of the general public seems to have accepted the chemical imbalance hypothesis uncritically,” and that “it is very likely that depression stems from influences other than neurotransmitter abnormalities.” (source)

Harvard medical school put out a press release a few years ago stating that it’s “often said that depression results from a chemical imbalance, but that figure of speech doesn’t capture how complex the disease is.”  (source)

“Of course, there are brain events and biochemical reactions occurring when someone feels depressed, as there are all the time, but no research has ever established that a particular brain state causes, or even correlates with depression…In all cases studies yield inconsistent results, and none have been shown to be specific to depression, let alone causal…The fact that more than 50 years of intense research efforts have failed to identify depression in the brain may indicate that we simply lack the right technology, or it may suggest we have been barking up the wrong tree.” – Dr. Joanna Moncrieff,  British Psychiatrist, Author (source)

The most commonly cited evidence to support the chemical imbalance theory comes from the fact that some drugs have been shown to increase and decrease mood in human and animal models, and yes, many antidepressants increase the amounts of serotonin and other neurotransmitters at synapses, but what we fail to realize today is just because mood can be artificially manipulated with drugs, does not mean that the chemical imbalance theory is true. Just because these antidepressants do increase and decrease certain chemical levels in the brain. does not prove the chemical imbalance theory of depression.

To say that a human being has a chemical imbalance (to whatever extent) and what neurotransmitters are involved is something that’s not possible, which is why the chemical imbalance theory of depression remains a theory. It’s not like chemical levels in the brain can accurately be measured or ‘looked at’ either.

This comes despite the fact that much of the general public still accepts the chemical imbalance theory. For example, a survey conducted in 2007 of 262 undergraduates at Cleveland State University found that more than 80 percent of the participants found it “likely” that chemical imbalances cause depression. (source)

“At best, drug-induced affective disturbances can only be considered models for natural disorders, while it remains to be demonstrated that the behavioral changes produced by these drugs have any relation to naturally occurring biochemical abnormalities which might be associated with the illness.” (source)

Keep in mind, as Harvard Medical School points out, that there are probably many chemicals involved, working both inside and outside of our nerve cells. “There are millions, even billions, of chemical reactions that make up the dynamic system that is responsible for your mood, perceptions, and how you experience life.

“The cause of mental disorders such as depression remains unknown. However, the idea that neurotransmitter imbalances cause depression is vigorously promoted by pharmaceutical companies and the psychiatric profession at large.”(source)

Again, theories like the low serotonin one, came into existence because scientists have been able to observe what drugs to to the brain. It was a hypothesis that attempted to explain how drugs could be fixing something, yet whether or not depressed people actually had lower serotonin levels actually remains to be proven. You can read more about the science here.

“The serotonin theory is simply not a scientific statement. It’s a botched theory – a hypothesis that was proven incorrect.” – Dr. Joseph Mercola (source)

Not only is there no solid scientific proof to back up the chemical imbalance theory, another is the fact that many depressed people are not even helped by taking antidepressants like SSRIs. For example, a review done by the University of California in 2009 found that one third of people treated with antidepressants do not improve, and a significant portion of these people remain depressed. Scientific American points out that “if antidepressants correct a chemical imbalance that underlies depression, all or most depressed people should get better after taking them.”  (source)

That being said, there are many who do report positive benefits, but there is no way to tell if the drugs are working or of it’s just working like a placebo.

Think about this for a moment. So many of us are made to believe that depression is the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain, when there is actually little scientific evidence to support that statement. Association between various brain changes and depression is large, and no studies have established a solid, cause-and-effect correlation between the brain and the disorder.

Depression has one focus, brain chemistry, despite the fact that there are multiple concerns, multiple facts, and millions of chemicals, focusing on this one chemical imbalance theory, and then dishing out drugs that actually alter brain chemistry, as Scientific American reports, “shortsighted.”

“In spite of the enormous amounts of money and time that has been spent on the quest to confirm the chemical imbalance theory, direct proof has never materialized.”  (source)

I personally believe that it is quite ironic actually, because the only imbalances we know of in the brains of people called mental patients, are the ones inflicted on them by the psychiatric drugs. How ironic, we make a false claim that they have biochemical imbalances and then we give them biochemical imbalances…

Pharmaceutical Fraud

markIt’s no secret that there is a high income partnership between drug companies and psychiatry, one that’s created a multi-billion dollar industry that’s based off of money, not science. Many experts suggest that the chemical imbalanced theory of depression has been used to market anti-depressant drugs. In fact, when we talk about scientific fraud, the latest example has to do with the antidepressant drug Paxil, as mentioned above.

An independent review found that the commonly prescribed antidepressant drug Paxil (paroxetine), is not safe for teenagers, despite the fact that a large amount of literature already previously suggested this. The 2001 drug trial that took place, funded by GlaxoSmithKline, found that these drugs were completely safe, and used that ‘science’ to market Paxil as safe for teenagers.

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine”    Dr. Marcia Angell, a physician and longtime Editor in Chief of the New England Medical Journal (source)

The chemical balance theory alone transformed the pharmaceutical companies. Prior to the chemical imbalance theory, these drugs were never heard of, and this type of money was not coming in, and the financial ties between medicine and pharmaceutical companies wasn’t as strong.

American psychologist Lisa Cosgrove and others investigated financial ties between the Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Mental Disorders (DSM) panel members and the pharmaceutical industry. They found that, of the 170 DSM panel members 95 (56%) had one or more financial associations with companies in the pharmaceutical industry. One hundred percent of the members on the panels on ‘mood disorders’ and ‘schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders’ had financial ties to drug companies. The connections are especially strong in those diagnostic areas, where drugs are the first line of treatment for mental disorders. In the next edition of the manual, it’s the same thing. (source)

“The DSM appears to be more a political document than a scientific one. Each diagnostic criteria in the DSM is not based on medical science. No blood tests exist for the disorders in the DSM. It relies on judgments from practitioners who rely on the manual.”  – Lisa Cosgrove, PhD, Professor of Counseling and School Psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

The very vocabulary of psychiatry is now defined at all levels by the pharmaceutical industry,” Dr. Irwin Savodnik, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California at Los Angeles (source)

The financial ties and examples of scientific fraud between publications and corporations is one of the biggest problems that plagues the medical industry today, and it’s a serious one.

To view the most widely accessed article in the history of the Public Library of Science (PLoS), click here: Why Most Published Research Findings Are False.

It’s not illogical to assume, given all the examples of scientific fraud, and the lack of science behind why people are depressed, that the chemical imbalance theory has been used to market the heavy sale of these drugs.

We are perhaps seeing the same thing with ADHD, and you can learn more about that in this article:

4 Facts About ADHD That Teachers & Doctors Never Tell Parents

Below Dr. Peter Rost, MD, a former vice president of one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world (Pfizer), shares the truth about the ties between the medical and pharmaceutical industry.

How Your Thoughts/Feelings & Emotions Can Change Your Biology

Again, as the literature (mentioned in the above paragraphs) points out, depression is not all cut and dry. Should we really be taking medications that change the chemical flows in our brains, despite the fact that we know very little about the chemical flows and neurotransmitters that are set to cause depression in the first place? Think of children, antidepressant drugs are being dished out at critical points in brain development. Despite the fact that many of these drugs have some harmful side effects, and are given to patients based on a theory that has no grounds in science, it seems a bit odd.

It’s also odd that the fact that our thoughts, feelings, emotions and how we perceive our environment can literally change our brain and the chemical flows within them.

One great example is neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to adapt and change. It’s the idea that the brain is malleable, that it’s function and structure can change with simple changes in our thinking or perception of the environment around us. It’s a response to sensing and perceiving the world, even to thinking and imagining. Human thoughts and learning actually turn on specific nerve cells which allow those cells to make new connections between each other.

Our brain shapes and re-shapes itself given how we perceive the environment alone. Neuroplasticity suggests the way we think alters chemical flows, which makes one wonder, is depression caused by a chemical imbalance or does a chemical imbalance exist because of the way we are thinking and perceiving things?

As your mind changes, your brain changes.

Apart from neuroplasticity, there are many placebo studies showing the effectiveness of how we think. You can read more about that in this article:

The Placebo Effect: Transforming Biology With Belief

The wonderful and brilliant scientists over at the Institute of HeartMath have done some amazing work in shedding light on the science of the heart. This is also important and relevant to mention here when it comes to thinking about depression. You can find out more about that in this article we published last year:

What Science Is Telling Us About The Heart’s Intuitive Intelligence

I often wonder why so many people suffer from depression, and notice how drugs are the most common answer rather than going within and addressing the real problem. Perhaps, also, it’s time for us to take a look at the environment human beings choose to surround themselves with on a daily basis, because it doesn’t seem to be resonating with the majority. Our planet needs change on multiple levels, and perhaps this is one contributing factor as to why so many people don’t feel well?

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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Leading Academic Quits After Showing No Children Died From First Wave of Pandemic In Sweden

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CE Staff Writer 8 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Jonas F Ludvigsson, a paediatrician at Örebro University Hospital and professor of clinical epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute is quitting his work on covid-19 because of harassment from people who dislike or disagree with his work.

  • Reflect On:

    Why are scientists, journalists and doctors who present information that opposes what we hear in the mainstream censored, ridiculed, harassed and never given any air time?

Before you begin...

Coherent icon

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

What Happened: letter to the editor published in the New England Journal of Medicine titled “Open Schools, Covid-19, and Child and Teacher Morbidity in Sweden” has found that “Despite Sweden’s having kept schools and preschools open, we found a low incidence of severe Covid-19 among schoolchildren and children of preschool age during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic…No child with Covid-19 died…Among the 1,951,905 million children who were 1 to 16 years of age, 15 children had Covid-19, MIS-C, or both conditions and were admitted to an ICU, which is equal to 1 child in 130,000.”

It was published by  Jonas F Ludvigsson a paediatrician at Örebro University Hospital and professor of clinical epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute.

The study also showed that  “fewer than 10 preschool teachers and 20 schoolteachers in Sweden received intensive care for Covid-19 up until June 30, 2020 (20 per 103,596 school teachers, which is equal to 19 per 100,000). As compared with other occupations (excluding health care workers), this corresponded to sex- and age-adjusted relative risks of 1.10 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.49 to 2.49) among preschool teachers and 0.43 (95% CI, 0.28 to 0.68) among schoolteachers.

In a Karolinska Institute press release,  Ludvigsson indicated he was hopeful about the results. “It is very gratifying that serious COVID-19, defined here as needing treatment in an intensive care unit, is so rare among children despite schools being open during the pandemic,” he said. “The next step will be to follow up the children who were treated in an intensive care unit for COVID-19 to see if they have recovered fully. My gut feeling is that children who have been seriously ill because of MIS-C seem to recover fully eventually.”

After he published this piece, an article published in the British Medical Journal on the 18th of February by Ingrid Torjesen states the following,

The Swedish government has said that it will strengthen laws on academic freedom after a leading Swedish academic announced that he was quitting his work on covid-19 because of an onslaught of intimidating comments from people who disagreed or disliked his research findings….After the letter’s publication he was bombarded with angry messages through social media and email criticising the study and inferring that it and Ludvigsson were representative of the country’s covid-19 containment strategy.

The experience has taken its toll on Ludvigsson. He told the journal of the Swedish Medical Association (Lakartidningen) that for a week he woke up at 3 am every night and could not get back to sleep and that he had now lost his “appetite for covid-19—both when it comes to speaking out and researching. He has decided to quit researching and debating covid-19.

He is trying to put the experience behind him and has said that he will not talk to the media about what happened. However, he told The BMJ that, although the findings were published in a research letter, this was “an actual study” that underwent formal external peer review, including statistical peer review, and the manuscript was revised four times before it was published.

Intimidation and threats against academics have risen with the growth of social media, and uncertainties and diverse opinions about covid-19 have added to the situation. In response, Sweden is planning to provide increased support for academic freedom through an amendment to its Higher Education Act.

Matilda Ernkrans, Sweden’s minister for higher education and research, told The BMJ, “It is deeply concerning when academics are threatened to the extent that they don’t have the courage to keep on doing their job. This is not a new phenomenon, but we have seen an increase of threats against academics related to research on the coronavirus. When people are silenced, it’s a threat against the freedom of speech and our democracy.  “To strengthen academic freedom, the Swedish government has proposed a new amendment that points out that education and research must be protected to enable people to freely discover, research, and share knowledge.”

Ole Petter Ottersen, president of the Karolinska Institute, told The BMJ that he found the increase in threats and harassment towards researchers very worrying.

“A tough debate and a diversity of opinions based on facts and evidence are necessary elements of science and public discourse, but hateful and scornful accusations and personal attacks cannot be tolerated. We already see that researchers retreat from the public debate after being threatened or harassed, and in my own institution a leading researcher just decided to give up his covid-19 research for the same reason,” he added, referring to Ludvigsson.

Given that the Karolinska Institute seems to be the focus here as well, I thought I’d mention that professor Anna-Mia Elkström, an epidemiologist from the Institute and professor Stefan Swartling Peterson, have gone through the data from UNICEF and UNAIDS, and come to the conclusion that least as many people have died as a result of the restrictions to fight COVID as have died of COVID directly. You can read more about that story here.

Why This Is Important: Censorship of opinions, evidence, data, science and information is a big problem today, this is no secret. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden once said that “The Problem with fake news isn’t solved by hoping for a referee. But rather because we, as participants, as citizens, as users of these services, (need to) help each other…We point out what is fake, we point out what is true – the answer to bad speech is not censorship, the answer is more speech. We have to exercise and spread the idea that critical thinking matters, now more than ever, given the fact that lies seem to be getting more popular.”

Snowden, like many others, especially those of us in the field of alternative media are quite aware of the fact that censorship and the close relationship big tech companies have with governments is due to their goal “to dominate the conversation and information…They’re trying to make you change your behaviour.” (source) We’ve talked about this here at CE since our inception in 2009, that the job of mainstream media, and “fact-checkers” these days, in our opinion, seems to be perception control. This is especially true when it comes to major global events, ones that seem to benefit the rich and powerful. The world’s ten richest men have seen their combined wealth increase by half a trillion dollars since the covid pandemic began, for example.

As authoritarianism spreads, as emergency laws proliferate, as we sacrifice our rights, we also sacrifice our capability to arrest the slide into a less liberal and less free world. Do you truly believe that when the first wave, this second wave, the 16th wave of the coronavirus is a long forgotten memory, that these capabilities will not be kept? -Edward Snowden (source)

The Polish Government recently announced that it will be taking steps to make censorship by big tech companies like Facebook and Twitter completely illegal, comparing it to their experience during the communist era. The Prime Minister said that “Censorship of free speech, which is the domain of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, is now returning in the form of a new, commercial mechanism to combat those who think differently.”

The point is, it’s perfectly fine to disagree with one another, that’s healthy, and open debate is healthy especially during the times we are living in. What seems to be so off-putting to many is that debate is being discouraged. People are being urged not to do their own research, and any evidence or opinion that goes against what we hear from mainstream media is being completely ignored, censored or ridiculed to the point where people whose only source of information is mainstream news seem to be completely in the dark regarding important information and research.

The Takeaway: Why does mainstream media fail to have proper and appropriate conversations about “controversial” information that threatens the accepted framework of what we know, or at least what we are told is known? Why can’t we understand the viewpoints, opinions and perception of those who disagree with us, and try to empathize with and understand why somebody feels the way that they do? It seems today that information and perception control are at an all time high due to the fact that information that threatens certain government and corporate agendas is a threat to powerful people, but again, if you share this opinion and information/evidence as to why you feel this way you may be labelled as a “conspiracy theorist.”

All this being said, like 9/11, covid has served as a catalyst for even more people to question the official narrative, and whether or not our governments and the corporations above them actually have our best interests at hand, or if they’re simply serving other interests and rolling out measures under the guise of good will when they are not in humanity’s best interests.

Anyone who disagrees with the way COVID is being handled is not allowed to have a platform to speak. What does that tell us? You decide.

Last but not least, do we really want to go back to “normal”? A bird kept in a cage who is given a bigger cage will think it’s free and has attained a new level of freedom. Something to think about. You can read more about that discussion here.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

Continue Reading

Alternative News

World’s Ten Richest People See Wealth Increase By Half A Trillion Dollars Since Beginning of COVID

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CE Staff Writer 9 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A recent report by Oxfam is one of many to explain how the world's wealthiest people have seen their wealth grow substantially since the beginning of the pandemic, while most others have suffered greatly as a result of the pandemic.

  • Reflect On:

    Why is money always presented as a problem or a solution? Does humanity have the potential to move beyond such a system and thrive? Do we have solutions to our issues? Is the problem that many solutions threaten government/corporate greed/control?

Before you begin...

Coherent icon

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

A recent report by Oxfam shows that “the world’s ten richest men have seen their combined wealth increase by half a trillion dollars since the pandemic began.” On the other hand, the majority of people have been ushered into “the worst jobs crisis in over 90 years with hundreds of millions of people now underemployed or out of work.” The report was titled “The Inequality Virus” and was published on the opening day of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) ‘Davos Agenda.’

The WEF has been both praised and criticized by many academics, politicians and journalists for their “Great Reset” initiative. An initiative that intends to rollout,and currently is rolling out, a number of large changes here on planet Earth as a response to various, according to them, crisis’ we face such as climate change, terrorism, and of course the covid pandemic. The criticism comes from the idea that ‘the powers that be’ are using, and have used global crises’ to put more money, power and control over the human race into hands of the very few, all under the guise of good will and necessity. Measures being proposed include many things like the implementation of 5G, digital ID’s, digital currency, universal income, the abolishment of privately owned property, mandatory vaccination, increased surveillance  measures like tracking,  facial recognition and much more. This comes along with a ‘ministry of truth’ that seems to be “fact-checking” information that pertains to these topics. The censorship of alternative media and scientists who share information that counters what we hear in the mainstream during this pandemic has been unprecedented.

The idea that these are some sort of ‘nefarious’ measures being taken is usually presented as a “conspiracy theory” within the mainstream media. Unfortunately, big media continues to fail at having appropriate conversations around controversial topics. Furthermore, these implementations continue to rollout against the will of many people. That in itself has many people quite disturbed and asking the question, do we really live in a democracy, or is an authoritarian oligarchy type of government operating under the guise of a democracy?

According to Oxfam,

The report shows that COVID-19 has the potential to increase economic inequality in almost every country at once, the first time this has happened since records began over a century ago. Rising inequality means it could take at least 14 times longer for the number of people living in poverty to return to pre-pandemic levels than it took for the fortunes of the top 1,000, mostly White male, billionaires to bounce back. 

A new global survey of 295 economists from 79 countries, commissioned by Oxfam, reveals that 87 percent of respondents, including Jeffrey Sachs, Jayati Ghosh and Gabriel Zucman, expect an ‘increase’ or a ‘major increase’ in income inequality in their country as a result of the pandemic.

Oxfam’s report shows how the rigged economic system is enabling a super-rich elite to amass wealth in the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression while billions of people are struggling to make ends meet. It reveals how the pandemic is deepening long-standing economic, racial and gender divides.

A lot of these issues come as a result of the measures taken to combat covid, which have come under fire by many scientists, academics, doctors and journalists. Again,  information, evidence, data and opinions of these people has been completely silenced. Professor Anna-Mia Ekström and Professor Stefan Swartling Peterson, for example, have gone through the data from UNICEF and UNAIDS, and came to the conclusion that at least as many people have died as a result of the restrictions to fight covid as have died of covid. A group of doctors and scientists published an essay for the American Institute for Economic Research explaining and presenting the data as to why they believe lockdowns are not only harmful, but useless to combat COVID. These are two of many examples.

Lack of access to health care,  economic implications and more have experts suggesting that lockdown measures will kill well over one hundred million people and push even more to the brink of starvation. According to Oxfam, the pandemic has ushered in the worst job crisis in over 90 years with hundreds of millions of people now underemployed or unemployed.

Billionaires fortunes rebounded as stock markets recovered despite continued recession in the real economy. Their total wealth hit $11.95 trillion in December 2020, equivalent to G20 governments’ total COVID-19 recovery spending. The road to recovery will be much longer for people who were already struggling pre-COVID-19. When the virus struck over half of workers in poor countries were living in poverty, and three-quarters of workers globally had no access to social protections like sick pay or unemployment benefits.

The report does mention the benefits of vaccines, and that the covid vaccines are not being fairly distributed. It speaks of the vaccine as a life saving intervention, but does not mention that fact that this is a virus with a 99.95 percent survival rate in people under the age of 70, and that other interventions like vitamin C, Zinc, Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin have shown great success and efficacy. Vaccine hesitancy, especially with regards to the covid vaccines, is on a sharp rise among people, doctors and scientists. Again, the mainstream doesn’t seem to do an adequate job of covering information like this. Big Tech fact checkers censor any type of information that doesn’t paint vaccines in a positive light, and all those who raise concerns, no matter how legitimate, seem to be labelled as “anti-vax conspiracy theorists” and are constantly ridiculed. It would be great if the mainstream actually brought these concerns to light and addressed them in a civil manner.

Early on in the pandemic a report from the Institute for Policy Studies found that, while tens of millions of Americans have lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, America’s ultra-wealthy elite have seen their net worth surge by $282 billion in just 23 days. This is despite the fact that the economy is expected to contract by 40 percent this quarter. In turns they were correct.

The Institute for Policy Studies’ report shows something nothing short of a modern day oligarchy, where the super-rich have captured so much power and control, including controlling what laws are passed. These are the “decision-makers” of our world while we all are glued to to the T.V. see what they “command” next, not realizing that we the people have the most “power.” “Their” power comes from our compliance, and our compliance comes from their ability to shape our perception of this issue. The report discusses what it labels a new “wealth defense industry” – where “billionaires are paying millions to dodge billions in taxes,” with teams of accountants, lawyers, lobbyists and asset managers helping them conceal their vast fortunes in tax havens and so-called charitable trusts. The result has been crippled social programs and a decrease in living standards and even sustained drop in life expectancy – something rarely seen in history outside of major wars or famines.

The Takeaway: It can be frustrating observing the human experience knowing that we are nothing but infinite potentiality. The human race has huge potential and we have more than enough solutions and technological developments to start co-existing with mother Earth in a more harmonious way, one that provides abundance to all people. Many of these technologies and solutions “never see the light of day” (Dr. Brian O’Leary, NASA astronaut ex-Princeton physics professor). Why was electric car technology invented decades ago but not put into mass production? My point is, again, that solutions exist, that’s not the problem, the issue seems to be the prevention of solutions from making their way into the public due to corporate and government interests being threatened. Is this really the kind of world we want to live in? Despite all this, we continue to operate under the assumption that “this is the way it is” and the idea of a “utopian” society is unachievable.

This goes to shows that it’s not really the “solutions” that will change our world, it’s the consciousness that humanity operates from. It’s the consciousness behind these “solutions” that determine what direction humanity takes.

When it comes to mandating certain health measures, and other things, do we really want to live in a world where we give so much power to governments to the point where they can dictate our actions, and control our thoughts and perceptions regarding certain global events? Do we want to allow them to restrict access to certain rights and freedoms simply for non-compliance of certain measures, like getting vaccinated, for example? Should freedom of choice not always remain? Should governments and private institutions simply be making recommendations?

What about the “new normal”?

This is an important question at the moment, and we are seeing it in everything from alternative media to mainstream media. As we saw with Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, even politicians are warning their citizens that what you see happening now will be the ‘new normal’ to some extent. What do they mean by this? Should we want things to go back to how they were prior to this pandemic? Do we have a future of even more restrictions in sight?

From my perspective, I don’t want things to go back to ‘normal’. Why do I say this? Because I ask myself the question: was life prior to, and even during this pandemic, truly allowing humanity to thrive? Was it anywhere even close to what humanity is capable of? Or is it a society and world designed out of programming that has convinced us to accept basic survival as being how we should live… as normal?

This can be a question for everyone no matter where you live on this planet. Whether the weekly rat race is reality or whether having to worry about whether you will get your next meal is your reality, is this truly how we want to live and what humanity is capable of?

If not, then how can we shift the conversation to begin exploring how we might change the way we live in our society?

Read more here.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

Continue Reading

Alternative News

New Lancet Article Suggests 50-75% of “Positive” PCR Tests Are Not Infectious People

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CE Staff Writer 12 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A recent article published in The Lancet medical journal explains that PCR tests can be "positive" for up to five times longer than the time an infected person is actually infectious.

  • Reflect On:

    Why are certain viewpoints, opinions, studies, scientists and doctors being censored and/or ignored for presenting data that completely contradicts what we are receiving from government health authorities.

Before you begin...

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PCR testing (polymerase chain reaction testing) has come under fire from numerous doctors, scientists, politicians and journalists since the beginning of this pandemic. Not everyone would know this if their only source of information was mainstream media however, as they’ve chosen not to cover the controversy surrounding it. This is not to say that PCR testing hasn’t been praised as a useful tool to determine a covid infection, but again, there are great causes for concern that aren’t really being addressed.

As far back as 2007, Gina Kolata published an article in the New York Times about how declaring pandemics based on PCR testing can end in a disaster. The article was titled Faith in Quick Test Leads to Epidemic That Wasn’t.  In July, professor Carl Heneghan, director for the centre of evidence-based medicine at Oxford University, an outspoken critic of the current UK response to the pandemic, wrote a piece titled “How many Covid diagnoses are false positives?” He has argued that the proportion of positive tests that are false in the UK could also be as high as 50%.

The Deputy Medical Officer of Ontario, Canada, Dr. Barbara Yaffe recently stated that COVID-19 testing may yield at least 50 percent false positives. This means that people who test positive for COVID may not actually have it. Former scientific advisor at Pfizer, Dr. Mike Yeadon,  argued that the proportion of positive tests that are false may actually be as high as 90%.

Furthermore, 22 researchers have put out a paper explaining why, according to them, it’s clear that the PCR test is not effective in identifying COVID-19 cases, and that as a result we may be seeing a significant amount of false positives. You can read more about that here.

These are simply a few of many examples from the recent past, and it’s concerning because lockdown measures and more are based on supposed positive “cases.”

Another concern recently raised comes from an article  published in The Lancet medical journal titled “Clarifying the evidence of SARS-CoC-2 antigen rapid tests in public health responses to COVID-19.”

In it, the authors explain that most people infected with COVID are contagious for approximately one week, and that “specimens are generally not found to contain culture-positive (potentially contagious) virus beyond day 9 after the onset of symptoms, with most transmission occurring before day 5.” They go on to explain:

This timing fits with the observed patterns of virus transmission (usually 2 days before to 5 days after symptom onset), which led public health agencies to recommend a 10-day isolation period. The sort window of transmissibility contrasts with a median 22-33 days of PCR positivity (longer with severe infections and someone shorter among asymptomatic individuals). This suggests that 50-75% of the time an individual is PCR positive, they are likely to be post-infectious.

Once SARS-CoV-2 replication has been controlled by the immune system, RNA levels detectable by PCR on respiratory secretions fall to very low levels when individuals are much less likely to infect others. The remaining RNA copies can take weeks, or occasionally months, to clear, during which time PCR remains positive.

They explain:

However, for public health measures, another approach is needed. Testing to help slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2 asks not whether someone has RNA in their nose from earlier infection, but whether they are infectious today. It is a net loss to the health, social, and economic wellbeing of communities if post-infectious individuals test positive and isolate for 10 days. In our view, current PCR testing is therefore not the appropriate gold standard for evaluating a SARS-CoV-2 public health test.

An article published in the British Medical Journal explains:

It’s also unclear to what extent people with no symptoms transmit SARS-CoV-2. The only test for live virus is viral culture. PCR and lateral flow tests do not distinguish live virus. No test of infection or infectiousness is currently available for routine use. As things stand, a person who tests positive with any kind of test may or may not have an active infection with live virus, and may or may not be infectious.

The relations between viral load, viral shedding, infection, infectiousness, and duration of infectiousness are not well understood. In a recent systematic review, no study was able to culture live virus from symptomatic participants after the ninth day of illness, despite persistently high viral loads in quantitative PCR diagnostic tests. However, cycle threshold (Ct) values from PCR tests are not direct measures of viral load and are subject to error.

Searching for people who are asymptomatic yet infectious is like searching for needles that appear and reappear transiently in haystacks, particularly when rates are falling. Mass testing risks the harmful diversion of scarce resources. A further concern is the use of inadequately evaluated tests as screening tools in healthy populations.

The UK’s testing strategy needs to be reset in line with the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies’ recommendation that “Prioritizing rapid testing of symptomatic people is likely to have a greater impact on identifying positive cases and reducing transmission than frequent testing of asymptomatic people in an outbreak area.”

The academics who published this paper are one of many explaining how another approach is needed, given the fact that PCR tests are the basis of lockdowns that might have already, and will kill more people than COVID itself, all for a virus with a 99.95% recovery rate for people under the age of 70. Many are in fact calling for the end of testing for asymptomatic people.

Michael Levitt, a medical professor at Stanford University and a Nobel Laureate for chemistry is one of many who has been emphasizing this:

“Getting tested right to avoid making more mistakes going forward [is crucial].” He writes, “very disturbing that PCR test can be positive for up to FIVE times longer than the time an infected person is actually infectious. Many implications.”

Rosamond A K Jones, a retired consultant paediatrician, and part of the Health Advisory & Recovery Team (HART) in Slough, UK, writes with regards to testing in UK schools:

If testing 5 million secondary school pupils twice a week, those 10 million tests would be expected to generate 30,000 false positives. These children would presumably all be sent home from school, with their 30 classmates, leading to almost a million children incorrectly out of school each week.

According to an article written by Robert Hagen MD, who recently retired from Lafayette Orthopaedic Clinic in Indiana:

By base rate fallacy/false positive paradox, if the specificity of a test is 95%, when used in a population with a 2% incidence of disease — such as healthy college students and staff — there will be 5 false positives for every 2 true positives. (The actual incidence of active COVID-19 in college age students is not known but estimated to be less than 0.6% by Indiana University/Fairbanks data. Even using a test with 99% specificity with a 1% population incidence generates 10 false positives for every 9 true positives.

Using the same test on patients with COVID-19 symptoms, because their incidence of disease is 50% or greater, the test does not have to be perfect. Even using a test with only 90% specificity, the number of false positives will be much less significant.

Another issue is with PCR testing is the cycle threshold. PCR seeks the genetic code of the virus from nose or throat swabs and amplifies it over 30–40 cycles, doubling each cycle, enabling even minuscule, potentially single, copies to be detected. I first learned about this when Elon Musk revealed he had completed four rounds of COVID-19 testing, tweeting that something “bogus” is going on because two of the tests came back false, and the other two came back positive.

He also mentioned he was “doing tests from several different labs, same time of day, administered by RN & am requesting N1 gene PCR cycle threshold. There is no official standard for PCR testing. Not sure people realize this.”

And therein lies the problem, something that the World Health Organization finally addressed recently. On January 13th the WHO published a memo regarding the problem of asymptomatic cases being discovered by PCR tests, and suggesting any asymptomatic positive tests be repeated. This followed up their previous memo, instructing labs around the world to use lower cycle thresholds (CT values) for PCR tests. The higher the cycle threshold the greater the chance for false positive rates.

Is this why case rates around the world have started to decline? It seems plausible since the same time cases dropped the WHO told labs to monitor the cycle thresholds which means false positives would reduce.

A Portuguese court has determined that the PCR tests used to detect COVID-19 are not able to prove an infection beyond a reasonable doubt, and thus determined that the detainment of four individuals was unlawful and illegal. In the Portuguese appeal hearing, Jaafar et al. (2020) was cited, explaining how a high CT is correlated with low viral loads.

“If someone is testing by PCR as positive when a threshold of 35 cycles or higher is used (as is the rule in most laboratories in Europe and the US), the probability that said person is infected is  <3%, and the probability that said result is a false positive is 97%.” (source)

The court further noted that the cycle threshold used for the PCR tests currently being made in Portugal is unknown. You can read more about that story here.

“Cases” Are The Basis of Lockdowns 

The information above is indeed telling, because PCR tests are being used to justify lockdown measures and yet there is a huge amount of controversy and inaccuracy with them.

Professor Anna-Mia Ekström and Professor Stefan Swartling Peterson have gone through the data from UNICEF and UNAIDS, and came to the conclusion that at least as many people have died as a result of the restrictions to fight covid as have died of covid.

study published by four medical professors from Stanford University has failed to find evidence supporting the use of what they call “Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions” (NPIs) like lockdowns, social-distancing, business closures and stay at home orders. According to the study, these measures have not been sufficient and are not sufficient to stop the spread of COVID and therefore are not necessary to combat the spread of the virus.

A group of doctors and scientists published an essay for the American Institute for Economic Research explaining and presenting the data as to why they believe lockdowns are not only harmful, but useless to combat COVID. In the essay they present a multitude of studies supporting the same conclusions found in the Stanford study cited above. You can read that here.

Lockdown harms were pondered early on in the pandemic, a report published in the British Medical Journal titled Covid-19: “Staggering number” of extra deaths in community is not explained by covid-19″  has suggested that quarantine measures in the United Kingdom as a result of the new coronavirus may have already killed more UK seniors than the coronavirus has during the months of April and May .

Bhattacharya, MD, PhD wrote an article  for The Hill titled “Facts, not fear, will stop the pandemic.” In it he points out a number of facts regarding the implications of lockdown measures, which also include that fact that:

Internationally, the lockdowns have placed 130 million people on the brink of starvation, 80 million children at risk for diphtheria, measles and polio, and 1.8 million patients at risk of death from tuberculosis. The lockdowns in developed countries have devastated the poor in poor countries. The World Economic Forum estimates that the lockdowns will cause an additional 150 million people to fall into extreme poverty, 125 times as many people as have died from COVID.

Is a Great Reset Really required? Or should we just go back to normal?  Even if we weren’t in a lockdown, should we still be questioning how we feel about our “normal.” You can dive into a deeper discussion about that here.

The Takeaway 

The one thing that has many more people questioning their government with regards to COVID seems to be the fact that countless amounts of scientists, doctors, journalists and more are being heavily censored for sharing their information, data, research and opinions about COVID when they don’t fit within the accepted framework of mainstream culture.

For example, the Swedish government has said that it will strengthen laws on academic freedom after a leading Swedish academic announced that he was quitting his work on COVID-19 because of an onslaught of intimidating comments from people who disagreed or disliked his research findings. (source)  This is one of many examples, you can see more here.

 Dr. Kamran Abbasi, former (recent) executive editor of the prestigious British Medical Journal, editor of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, and a consultant editor for PLOS Medicine. He is editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine and JRSM Open recently published a piece in the BMJ, titled “Covid-19: politicisation, “corruption,” and suppression of science.” I reference this quite a bit in many of my articles so I apologize if you’ve come across it already.

Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. Covid-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. So too are scientists and health experts. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science. –

I say it in almost every article I write about COVID, should we not have the right to examine information openly and transparently and determine for ourselves what is and what isn’t? Why is it that someone like Dr. Anthony Fauci gets to make an appearance on television with instant virality anytime he desires, while other experts presenting opposing viewpoints are completely ignored? Can the mainstream media make the “consensus” or the majority seem like the minority and the minority seem like the majority?

How are we going to make sense of what is going on and make effective decisions about it all if we are not allowed to talk about certain ideas?

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

Continue Reading
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