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Mass Shootings: The New Manifestation of an Ancient Phenomenon & Their Link to Psychiatric Drugs

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Individuals perpetrating unspeakable acts of violence is not a new phenomenon. What’s new, rather, are the altered states of consciousness induced by antidepressants and other psychotropic drugs well-documented to promote homicidal and suicidal behavior in susceptible individuals.

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Although semi-automatic weapons have enabled the infliction of mass casualties at an unprecedented scale, massacres perpetrated by lone individuals are not new phenomena. Rather, these tragic and inexplicable events may represent an incarnation of a more ancient phenomena called “running amok,” formerly believed to be a culture-bound syndrome isolated to certain societies.

The Resemblance of Mass Shootings to Running Amok

Used in colloquial verbiage to indicate an irrational individual wreaking havoc, the linguistic origins of “running amok” stem from the description of a mentally perturbed individual that engages in unprovoked, homicidal and subsequently suicidal behavior, oftentimes involving an average of ten victims (1).

Although it was not classified as a psychological condition until 1849, amok was first described anthropologically two hundred years ago in isolated, tribal island populations such as Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Laos, where geographic seclusion and indigenous spirituality were hypothesized to be cultural factors implicated in this culture-bound syndrome. In his eighteenth century voyages, for example, Captain Cook recorded Malay tribesman randomly maiming or executing animals and villagers in a seemingly unprovoked, frenzied attack (1).

Culturally-encapsulated explanations localized blame to spirit possession by the “hantu belian” or evil tiger spirit of Malay mythology, which was believed to have been the source of the involuntary, indiscriminate violence that characterizes amok. In native cultures, sacred healers of the folk sector operated under cultural ideologies where illness was believed to be of supernatural origin, so amok was tolerated as an inevitable element of the cultural experience and offenders were brought to trial (1).

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As Western expansion encroached on remote cultures, incidence of amok decreased, reinforcing the biased view that so-called primitive cultural ideas were responsible for its pathogenesis. Meanwhile, episodes of violence in Western civilizations began to escalate, culminating in the unparalleled modern statistics where shootings have become so frequent that those unaffected become numb and desensitized to their devastating effects, and all live with the threat of an impending shooting as an everyday reality. Formerly considered a rare psychiatric culture-bound syndrome, researcher Dr. Manuel Saint Martin (1999) argues that amok is also prevalent in contemporary industrialized societies (1).

Resurgence of this Ancient Construct in Modern Shootings

Saint Martin postulates that the escalating frequency of mass homicides in industrial cultures in the past quarter century represents amok, citing that attackers often have a history of mental disturbance and that modern-day episodes involve similar numbers of victims (1).

He likewise disputes classification of amok as a culture-bound syndrome, since it seems to appear cross-culturally, and argues instead that culture is the mediating mechanism that determines how the violence manifests (1). For example, Jin-Inn Teoh (1972) claimed that amok appears universally but that its mode of expression in terms of weapons and methods used are culture-specific (2). Furthermore, John Cooper (1934) postulated that its affiliation with suicide, a practice transcending arbitrary cultural boundaries, disproves the classification of amok as a culture-bound syndrome (3). Cooper further highlights that amok may be an indirect expression of suicide, induced by the same psychosocial stressors that produced suicide in contemporary cultures (3) In essence, the author contends that amok is a product of mental illness, which has similar etiology and psychosocial precipitants worldwide (3).

In his comparison of amok to modern-day shootings, Saint Martin advocates prevention by identification of individuals with risk factors and treatment of underlying psychological conditions (1). In addition to coworker, neighbor, friend, and family observations of susceptible individuals, Saint Martin states that physicians are uniquely positioned to collect data regarding those vulnerable to amok, since, “Many of these patients preferentially consult general and family practitioners instead of psychiatrists owing to the perceived stigma attached to consulting a psychiatrist, denial of their mental illness, or fear of validating their suspicion that they have a mental disorder” (1). However, the arsenal of tools wielded by the conventional allopathic doctor, with their magic bullet remedies and treatment algorithms, often falls short.

Addressing the Root Cause: Psychiatric Drugs Engender Violence

Although amok explains the deep-seated human tendency to engage in acts of violence, it does nothing to explain the recent increase in frequency. While many argue that access to semiautomatic weapons explains the explosion in mass shootings, one long-neglected element of the conversation is that the recent rise in mass homicides coincides with the greatest use of cognition-altering psychiatric drugs ever observed in human history.

Oftentimes, shooters are branded as bad apples, a narrative that allows for the rationalization of such heinous crimes and marginalizes assailants as social deviants and mentally deranged anomalies. However convenient this rhetoric is for imparting meaning to the unfathomable, it does nothing to prevent future incidents or to understand the trajectory of events or the biological and psychological variables that enabled individuals to perpetrate these tragic acts of terrorism. It enables the system and society to wash their hands of any culpability and critical analysis of how people can commit unspeakable violence.

Due to media distortion, the story line disseminated in public spheres diverges dramatically from the conversations played out in the academic sector and these questions remain largely absent from the mainstream dialogue. A perusal of the academic research, however, reveals that psychotropic drugs may be contributing to the epidemic of mass shootings. In 2011, 26.8 million adults in the United States used pharmaceutical drugs for mental illness (4). Two years later, the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) found that nearly 17 percent of American adults filled at least one prescription for a psychiatric drug.

Psychiatric drugs, many of which are based upon the flawed serotonin theory of depression, send almost 90,000 people to the emergency room yearly as a result of medication side effects ranging from delirium to head injuries to movement disorders, and one in five of these visits culminates in hospitalization (4). This figure is an underestimate, as it excludes visits to the emergency department secondary to drug abuse, self-injurious behavior, or suicide attempts (4).

Preliminary reports from the Las Vegas shooting that left at least 58 people dead indicate that the alleged killer was prescribed Valium, a sedative-hypnotic drug classified as a benzodiazepine (5). Relevant to this insight is a meta-analysis of 46 studies published in the Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, which illuminated that, “An association between benzodiazepine use and subsequent aggressive behaviour was found in the majority of the more rigorous studies,” especially in those individuals with an underlying propensity toward anxiety and hostility (6). In addition, a prospective cohort study of nearly one thousand Finnish subjects published in the journal World Psychiatry demonstrated that current use of benzodiazepines elevated risk of homicide by 45% compared to controls (7).

Data compiled from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) adverse event reporting system similarly highlights that use of some antidepressant medications is disproportionately related to an increased number of violent events (8). The authors report that, “Varenicline, which increases the availability of dopamine, and antidepressants with serotonergic effects were the most strongly and consistently implicated drugs” in case reports of “homicide, homicidal ideation, physical assault, physical abuse or violence related symptoms” (8).

Psychotropic Drugs and The Absence of Informed Consent

At the epitome of this discussion is that deleterious side effects of psychotropic drugs are ill-publicized and patient do not receive sufficient information about the devastating sequelae that can result from their use. Little of the public knows that in 2004, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a black-box warning for antidepressants, advertising that they are associated with suicidal ideation and behavior in two to three children out of every hundred who are administered these drugs (9, 10). In fact, a meta-analysis of 372 randomized clinical trials entailing nearly 100,000 subjects elucidated that the rate of suicidal thoughts and action was double in those patients assigned to receive an antidepressant compared to placebo (11).

Notwithstanding the tendency of psychotropic drugs to predispose individuals to homicidal and suicidal ideation is the evidence that antidepressants elevate risk of death and cardiovascular disease, which is often not shared when a physician dispenses a slip from their prescription pad. A meta-analysis of 17 studies published in the journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics found that in the general population, antidepressant medications increase all-cause mortality (death from any cause) by 33% and the risk of cardiovascular incidents (heart attacks and strokes, for example) by 13% (12). According to researchers, “The results support the hypothesis that ADs [antidepressants] are harmful in the general population” (12).

Also rarely discussed with patients is the potential of psychotropic drugs to distort emotional affect. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have mind-numbing effects, as demonstrated by their ability to blunt emotions and produce apathy, disinhibition, and amotivation similar to a frontal lobe lobotomy, all of which would be consistent with a mindset that might predispose an individual to homicidal behavior (13). As a corollary, SSRIs are known to induce serious movement disorders, including akathisia, dyskinesia, tardive dyskinesia, dystonia, and parkinsonism (14). Pertinent to this discussion is akathisia, a form of severe agitation also induced by antipsychotic drugs, which can cause suicide and violence (15). Further, almost one in ten admissions to hospital psychiatric units have been attributed to antidepressant-induced mania or psychosis (16).

Moreover, it is often not disclosed that antidepressant therapy can exacerbate the severity and chronic nature of depression and lead to poorer outcomes. For instance, one retrospective study of nearly 12,000 patients in the Netherlands revealed that 72 to 79 percent of those who were treated with antidepressants during their first depressive episode experienced relapses (17). It is telling that despite record high rates of antidepressant use, prevalence of depression continues to soar.

Lastly, meta-analyses, which compile data from placebo-controlled trials, indicate that the differences in levels of symptoms resulting from SSRI use “were so small that the effects were deemed unlikely to be clinically important” (18). Further, a meta-analysis involving 6,944 patients participating in 38 studies underwritten by drug manufacturers found that “Antidepressants demonstrated a clinically negligible advantage over inert placebo” (19). This is all the more shocking, since the efficacy of the drug was likely artificially inflated. Researchers state, “This analysis probably overestimates the antidepressant effect because placebo washout strategies, penetration of the blind, reliance on clinician ratings, use of sedative medication, and replacement of nonresponders may penalize the placebo condition or boost the drug condition” (19).

It is incumbent upon physicians to provide patients with true informed consent as to the potential disastrous consequences of consuming mind-altering psychotropic drugs, to identify at-risk individuals and mobilize support, and to provide alternatives where applicable. For instance, luminary Dr. Kelly Brogan, who has been a pioneer in debunking mythologies of conventional psychiatry, recently published the success of her holistic protocol incorporating mind-body techniques, dietary and lifestyle interventions, detoxification modalities, and targeted supplementation in producing dramatic clinical remission in a patient with bipolar disorder with psychotic features, panic disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (20).

Other Risk Factors for Amok and Mass Shootings

Compounding the effect of skyrocketing prescription rates for violence-promoting psychotropic drugs is the unprecedented social isolation that accompanies the digital age. The common thread uniting amok and contemporary mass shootings is what is branded mental illness, which is often inextricably intertwined with social alienation in a chicken-or-egg scenario.

In the anthropological curiosity known as amok, dimensions such as grief, acute loss, and interpersonal stress are intimated to be contributing factors (1). For instance, an 1846 Malay incident was concluded to be caused by an elderly mans bereavement of his wife and child, while the offender in a 1998 Los Angeles incident suffered financial bankruptcy (21). Furthermore, individual characteristics, such as predilection to aggression, and recurring cognitive themes such as persecution and revenge are speculated to constitute instigating elements (1).

Undoubtedly at play in mental illness is that we are divorced from our nuclear families, proverbial islands adrift from the quintessential tribe and support system to which we are evolutionarily adapted. Social ostracism was historically the ultimate ancestral punishment, as an individual was ill-equipped to survive when banished from a community. Moreover, admissions of psychiatric disorders are met with derision and social stigmatization, and the mobilization of social and professional support needed to contend with mental illness is radically deficient. Therefore, many individuals are deterred from seeking professional help.

Initial narratives by amok witnesses chronicled two forms characterized by differential causative factors: “The more common form, beramok, was associated with a personal loss and preceded by a period of depressed mood and brooding; while the infrequent form, amok, was associated with rage, a perceived insult, or vendetta preceding the attack” (1). Many of these traits can be reconciled with the diagnostic criteria for modern psychiatric disorders such as depressive, mood, psychotic, dissociative and personality disorders, as well as paranoid schizophrenia (1). Some argue that psychiatric classifications are not reproducible or diagnosable with objective biomarkers, and therefore do not constitute objectively delineated and non-overlapping categories, but they do have utility in their ability to describe and operationalize behavior in recognizable terms.

According to Saint Martin, “Viewing amok from this new perspective dispels the commonly held perception that episodes of mass violence are random and unpredictable, and thus not preventable” (1). However, the modern medical infrastructure has failed to support these individuals with anything other than pill-for-an-ill psychotropic cocktails and psychotherapy, rather than undertaking a holistic, root-cause resolution approach consistent with the precepts of personalized medicine. Instead of deferring to this standard of care, which has proven inadequate, we would be wise to use these societal tragedies as impetus for revolutionary reform and the heralding of evidence-based natural approaches that address the underlying causes of mental illness rather than applying symptom-suppressive chemical band-aids.

Going Forward: Making Sense of Devastation

In summary, the behavior exhibited in modern mass shootings bears uncanny resemblance to amok, indicating that indiscriminate violence has long been intrinsic to the human psyche. It is fundamental to recognize, when drawing parallels between the two constructs, the role that social isolation, collective disillusionment, violent proclivities, and mental instability play in precipitating this behavior in order to generate effective solutions. More recently, the widespread use of psychotropic drugs no doubt contributes to the rising incidence of mass shootings, yet it is a topic mainstream media outlets fail to broach.

However, the prescribing of these pharmaceuticals is only symptomatic of more upstream causes of psychological imbalance, many of which remain to be elucidated. Fundamental, though, is the profound disparity between the circumstances to which we are evolutionarily accustomed and the modern-day stressors we encounter, such as micronutrient deficiency, toxicant burdens, a genetically engineered and irradiated food supply, and a deeply-entrenched sense of dissatisfaction and loss of social connection.

This is not meant to catalogue excuses for such egregious and monstrous behavior, or to rationalize the very worst in humanity. Nor is it meant to represent an exhaustive survey of all the multifaceted socioeconomic, psychosocial, and geopolitical variables that contribute to acts of mass violence. But rather, this article serves as a commentary on some of those little-discussed instigating variables and the pharmaceutical industry-promulgated predecessors to such tragic events. It also attempts to paint a portrait of how massacres are not isolated to the modern era, and that by using critical analysis of the historical patterns of amok we can garner insight into shared risk factors such as detachment of an individual from the fabric of society and lack of supportive resources or constructive coping mechanisms.

By finding common psychological threads, and exploring their physiological origins, as well as unearthing novel variables such as psychotropic drugs which contribute to the never-before-witnessed frequency of fatal massacres, we can take productive action to prevent their recurrence. We can transform our righteous indignation into meaningful change. Although it is tempting to abdicate all blame and to employ the bad apple narrative, this does nothing to prevent the recurrence of these home-grown acts of terrorism, but rather, represents a society-wide coping mechanism and means of distancing oneself from some of the sources of these ultimate acts of unimaginable aggression.


References

1. Saint Martin, M.L. (1999) “Running Amok: A Modern Perspective on a Culture-Bound Syndrome”. Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 1(3), 66-70. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC181064/?tool=pmcentrez

2. Teoh, J-I. (1972). “The changing psychopathology of amok”. Psychiatry, 35, 345–351.

3. Cooper, J. (1934). Mental disease situations in certain cultures: a new field for research. Journal of Abnormal Sociology and Psychology, 29, 10–17.

4. Hampton, L.M. et al. (2016). Emergency Department Visits by Adults for Psychiatric Medication Adverse Events. Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry, 71(9), 1006-1014. doi:  10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.436

5. Harasim, P. (2017). Las Vegas Strip shooter prescribed anti-anxiety drug in June. Retrieved from https://www.reviewjournal.com/local/the-strip/las-vegas-strip-shooter-prescribed-anti-anxiety-drug-in-june/

6. Albrecht, B. et al. (2014). Benzodiazepine use and aggressive behaviour: a systematic review. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 48(12), 1096-1114. doi: 10.1177/0004867414548902

7. Tilhonen, J. et al. (2015). Psychotropic drugs and homicide: A prospective cohort study from Finland. World Psychiatry, 14(2), 245-247. doi: 10.1002/wps.20220

8. Moore, T.J., Glenmullen, J., & Furberg, C.D. (2010). Prescription drugs associated with reports of violence towards others. PLoS One, 5, e15337.

9. Friedman, R.A. (2014). Antidepressants’ Black-Box Warning — 10 Years Later. The New England Journal of Medicine, 371, 1666-1668.

10. Harris, G. (2004). F.D.A. Links Drugs to Being Suicidal. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/14/health/fda-links-drugs-to-being-suicidal.html

11. Hamad, T., & Racoosin, J. (2004). Relationship between psychotropic drugs and pediatric suicidality: review and evaluation of clinical data. Silver Spring, MD: Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved from http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/ac/04/briefing/2004-4065b1-10-TAB08-Hammads-Review.pdf

12. Maslej, M.M. et al. (2017). The Mortality and Myocardial Effects of Antidepressants Are Moderated by Preexisting Cardiovascular Disease: A Meta-Analysis. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 86, 268-282.

13. Garland, E.J., & Baerg, E.A. (2004). Amotivational Syndrome Associated with Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors in Children and Adolescents.  Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 11(2), 181-186.

14. Gerber, P.E., & Lynd, L.D. (1998). Selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitor-induced movement disorders. Annals of Pharmacotherapy, 32(6), 692-698.

15. Shear, M.K., Frances, A., & Weiden, P. (1983). Suicide associated with akathisia and depot fluphenazine treatment. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 3, 235–236.

16. Preda, A. et al. (2001). Antidepressant-associated mania and psychosis resulting in psychiatric admissions. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 62(1), 30-33.

17. van Weel-Baumgarten, M. et al. (2000). Treatment of depression related to recurrence:10-year follow-up in general practice. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 25, 61-66.

18. Moncrieff, J., & Kirsch, I. (2005). Efficacy of antidepressants in adults. British Medical Journal, 331 (155). doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7509.155

19. Antonuccio, D.O., Burns, D.D., & Danton, W.G. (2002). Antidepressants: A Triumph of Marketing Over Science? Prevention & Treatment, Volume 5(25).

20. Brogan, K. (2017). Resolution of Refractory Bipolar Disorder With Psychotic Features and Suicidality Through Lifestyle Interventions: A Case Report. Advances in Mind Body Medicine, 31(2), 4-11.

21. Burton-Bradely, B.G. (1968). The amok syndrome in Papua and New Guinea. Medical Journal of Australia, 55, 252–256.

About the Author

Ali Le Vere holds dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Human Biology and Psychology, minors in Health Promotion and in Bioethics, Humanities, and Society, and is a Master of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine candidate. Having contended with chronic illness, her mission is to educate the public about the transformative potential of therapeutic nutrition and to disseminate information on evidence-based, empirically rooted holistic healing modalities. Read more at @empoweredautoimmune on Instagram and at www.EmpoweredAutoimmune.com: Science-based natural remedies for autoimmune disease, dysautonomia, Lyme disease, and other chronic, inflammatory illnesses.

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New Footage of “Transmedium” Sphere (UFO) Disappearing Into The Ocean From The U.S. Navy

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The US Navy photographed and filmed “spherical” shaped UFOs that seem to be capable of travelling not only in air, but underwater also. Footage of one of these objects has been leaked.

  • Reflect On:

    Can we rely on government to give us an accurate depiction of what these objects may represent or what they actually know? Should this be a citizens initiative? Has government manipulated our perception of major global issues? Will this be different?

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Footage filmed (video below) in the CIC  (Combat Information Center) of the USS Omaha on July 15th 2019 off the coast of San Diego depicting an unidentified flying object (UFO) has made its way into the pubic domain. It’s one of several incidents when U.S. warships were what seems to be continuously observed by multiple objects of unknown origin. One video and multiple images have been released of these particular incidents, and the Pentagon confirmed these leaks that are apparently being investigated by the Department of Defense’s Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF).

The Pentagon has also confirmed this particular video to be authentic as well.

The Debrief reached out to the Pentagon about the newly leaked video asking whether it could be confirmed as authentic, and whether it was obtained by Navy personnel aboard the USS Omaha.  “I can confirm that the video was taken by Navy personnel, and that the UAPTF included it in their ongoing examinations,” said Pentagon spokesperson Susan Gough in an email response.

This particular video is the second one that has been leaked, the first one mentioned above shows triangular or “pyramid” shaped UFOs flying near the military vessels, again, the footage was confirmed to originate from Navy personnel. They did not release anymore information about the incident.

In the new video below, we see a small spherical object hovering, changing direction, flying above the ocean and also capable of “flying” underwater it seems, hence the term “transmedium.” Navy submarines searched for the object but did not recover anything. This object was filmed using Night Vision and FLIR technologies, and was also tracked on military radar. It was released and published by investigative filmmaker Jeremy Corbell.

One thing that’s important to stress is the fact that military encounters with UFOs is not a new phenomenon, in fact it dates back decades.

The phenomenon reported is something real and not visionary or fictitious…The reported operating characteristics such as extreme rates of climb, maneuverability, (particularly in roll), at the actions which must be considered evasive when sighted or contacted by friendly aircraft and radar, lend belief to the possibility that some of the objects are controlled either manually, automatically or remotely. -General Nathan Twining, U.S. Air Force, 1947. (source)

Common themes among these objects, based on our research here at Collective Evolution, seem to be evasive maneuvers as well as the capability to travel at speeds and perform maneuvers that no known man made piece of machinery can. It’s not uncommon for these “vehicles” to enter and exit our oceans, and what seems to be materializing and dematerializing, starting and stopping on a dime, splitting into multiple objects and much more. In one incident released by the U.S. Navy in 2016, the pilot described one of the objects descending from 60,000 feet and stopping right above the ocean surface, instantaneously.

Critical equipment failure, like radar and weapons systems going offline, also seems to be common in various instances of documented encounters with military aircraft. Here’s one example from Iran in 1976 when military jets attempted to fire on one of these objects. At that exact moment, their weapons and electronic systems were “paralyzed.” How could the occupants or “controllers” of these objects know the exact moment they would be fired upon?

As far as what these objects are, where they come from, why all of a sudden the mainstream is legitimizing this topic after years of secrecy and ridicule, it’s impact on human consciousness and more, we’ve had these discussions and speculations quite a bit. You can access our article archive on the topic here if interested. There are a lot of articles we’ve published that go more in depth than this one.

We’ve been covering this topic since our inception in 2009, and one thing we believe is that it’s OK to speculate and discuss possibilities. Relying on mainstream media as well as government to constantly tell us what something is doesn’t seem to be, in our opinion, the most intelligent thing to do. Years of lies, propaganda (perception manipulation) on various global issues make it clear that independent investigation into this issue is quite important. We must ask ourselves, why does information and evidence need to come from the government for it to be confirmed as real? What does this tell us about ourselves and the influence these “institutions” may have over human consciousness? That being said, it’s great to see more legitimacy pertaining to this topic emerge into the public domain. So far,what we’ve seen is great.

 

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Fully Vaccinated Individuals Are Testing Positive For The Coronavirus: More Examples Emerge

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Multiple reports around the globe are showing that fully vaccinated individuals are still testing positive for COVID.

  • Reflect On:

    How safe and effective are the vaccines?

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What Happened: News of fully vaccinated individuals testing positive for COVID seem to be making headlines everywhere. For example, six people who tested positive in a Sydney hotel quarantine had already been fully vaccinated. According to data from NSW Health’s weekly COVID-19 surveillance report, between April 10 and May 1, six people in quarantine who reported being fully vaccinated were among the 150 overseas cases recorded. One had received a one-shot vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson, and the remaining cases had received both doses of a two-shot vaccine, such as Pfizer, AstraZeneca or Moderna. University of Sydney epidemiologist Dr. Fiona Stanaway said, given no COVID-19 vaccine is 100 percent effective, it was to be expected that some people who have been vaccinated test positive.

The New York Yankees recently announced that they had two coaches and one support staff member test positive for COVID despite all of them being fully vaccinated. In Seychelles, East Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that on Tuesday it was reviewing coronavirus data in the region after the health ministry said more than a third of people who tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week had been fully vaccinated.

These are a few of many examples, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise as people have been warned throughout the pandemic that the full dosage of COVID vaccines will not be 100 percent effective. Canada’s Chief Public Health officer Teresa Tam, for example, recently reminded Canadians on Saturday that even those who are fully vaccinated are susceptible to COVID. She did say, however, that the risk of asymptomatic transmission is far lower for anyone who is fully vaccinated, but how much lower? What about asymptomatic individuals who are not vaccinated?

According to Dr. Jay Bhattacharya from Stanford University’s School of Medicine,

The scientific evidence now strongly suggests that COVID-19 infected individuals who are asymptomatic are more than an order of magnitude less likely to spread the disease to even close contacts than symptomatic COVID-19 patients. A meta-analysis of 54 studies from around the world found that within households – where none of the safeguards that restaurants are required to apply are typically applied – symptomatic patients passed on the disease to household members in 18 percent of instances, while asymptomatic patients passed on the disease to household members in 0.7 per cent of instances. A separate, smaller meta-analysis similarly found that asymptomatic patients are much less likely to infect others than symptomatic patients.

Asymptomatic individuals are an order of magnitude less likely to infect others than symptomatic individuals, even in intimate settings such as people living in the same household where people are much less likely to follow social distancing and masking practices that they follow outside the household. Spread of the disease in less intimate settings by asymptomatic individuals – including religious services, in-person restaurant visits, gyms, and other public settings – are likely to be even less likely than in the household. (source)

Something to think about.

It’s hard to say. In the United States, for example, the CDC makes it quite clear that “there will be a small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated who still get sick, are hospitalized, or die from COVID-19” and that “symptomatic breakthrough cases will occur, even though the vaccines are working as expected. Asymptomatic infections among vaccinated people also will occur.”

But the concern here is the fact that the CDC recently announced the following,

As previously announced, CDC is transitioning to reporting only patients with COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough infection that were hospitalized or died to help maximize the quality of the data collected on cases of greatest clinical and public health importance. That change in reporting will begin on May 14, 2021. In preparation for that transition, the number of reported breakthrough cases will not be updated on May 7, 2021.

This means that people who get infected with COVID after being vaccinated will not be reported unless they are hospitalized or died. It begs the question, how can any appropriate data in the United States, for example, be collected regarding the effectiveness of the vaccine if those who test positive and have had the vaccine are not being reported?

It is a bit confusing, because the CDC is requiring that clinical specimens for sequencing should have an RT-PCR Ct value ≤28 when conducting tests for vaccinated individuals. “Ct” refers to cycle threshold. A common occurrence when using this test is a Ct value greater than 35, which makes the probability of “false positives” quite high. Why are they all of a sudden specifying a Ct value for vaccinated individuals? You can read more about that, in depth, here.

Why This Is Important: Prior to the rollout of these vaccines, the vaccine manufacturers claimed to have observed a 95 percent success rate. Dr. Peter Doshi, an associate editor at the British Medical Journal, published a paper titled “Pfizer and Moderna’s “95% effective” vaccines—let’s be cautious and first see the full data.” Even today, there is still not enough data to tell how effective the vaccine is.

A paper recently published by Dr. Ronald B. Brown, School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, outlines how Pfizer and Moderna did not report absolute risk reduction numbers, and only reported relative risk reduction numbers.

Unreported absolute risk reduction measures of 0.7% and 1.1% for the Pfzier/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, respectively, are very much lower than the reported relative risk reduction measures. Reporting absolute risk reduction measures is essential to prevent outcome reporting bias in evaluation of COVID-19 vaccine efficacy.

Brown’s paper also cites Doshi’s paper which makes the same point, “As was also noted in the BMJ Opinion, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna reported the relative risk reduction of their vaccines, but the manufacturers did not report a corresponding absolute risk reduction, which appears to be less than 1%.”

Absolute risk reduction (ARR) – also called risk difference (RD) – is the most useful way of presenting research results to help your decision-making, so why wouldn’t it be reported? (source)

Omitting absolute risk reduction findings in public health and clinical reports of vaccine efficacy is an example of outcome reporting bias. which ignores unfavorable outcomes and misleads the public’s impression and scientific understanding of a treatment efficacy and benefits…Such examples of outcome reporting bias mislead and distort the public’s interpretation of COVID-19 mRNA vaccine efficacy and violate the ethical and legal obligations of informed consent.” – Brown

Furthermore, there are a variety of other factors that may be responsible for a drop in cases that we are likely to see in combination with the rollout of these vaccines. One of those factors is previous infection, as there is evidence suggesting that previous infection is more efficient than the vaccine when it comes to creating immunity.

I’m not aware of any vaccine out there which will ever give you more immunity than if you’re naturally recovered from the illness itself…If you’ve naturally recovered from it, my understanding as a doctor level scientist is that those antibodies will always be better then a vaccine, and if you know any differently, please let me know. – Dr. Suneel Dhand, an internal medicine physician based in the United States

Vaccine expert and Harvard professor of medicine Dr. Martin Kulldorff recently tweeted that, “After having protected themselves while working class were exposed to the virus, the vaccinated Zoomers now want Vaccine Passports where immunity from prior infection does not count, despite stronger evidence for protection. One more assault on working people.”

There are multiple studies hinting at the point the professor makes, that those who have been infected with covid may have immunity for years, and possibly even decades. For example, according to a new study authored by respected scientists at leading labs, individuals who recovered from the coronavirus developed “robust” levels of B cells and T cells (necessary for fighting off the virus) and “these cells may persist in the body for a very, very long time.”

With all of this said, there is also evidence suggesting that the vaccines are indeed working. 22 renowned scientists published an article titled “The vaccine worked, we can safely lift lockdown.” It was pertaining to the United Kingdom. Many of these scientists have also been quite vocal about their belief that not everybody needs to be vaccinated, and the fact that this is indeed the message we are being bombarded with is suspicious given the fact that this messaging does not, as one of the Professors, Dr. Sunetra Gupta of Oxford University explains, does not align with the science. All this is expressed by her, and others, while maintaining their belief that the vaccine can be used as a great tool for focused protection, on those who are vulnerable and who need it the most.

In the article, they explain,

It is time to recognize that, in our substantially vaccinated population, Covid-19 will take its place among the 30 or so respiratory viral diseases with which humans have historically co-existed. This has been explicitly accepted in a number of recent statements by the Chief Medical Officer. For most vaccinated and other low-risk people, Covid-19 is now a mild endemic infection, likely to recur in seasonal waves which renew immunity without significantly stressing the NHS.

Covid-19 no longer requires exceptional measures of control in everyday life, especially where there have been no evaluations and little credible evidence of benefit. Measures to reduce or discourage social interaction are extremely damaging to the mental health of citizens; to the education of children and young people; to people with disabilities; to new entrants to the workforce; and to the spontaneous personal connections from which innovation and enterprise emerge. The DfE recommendations on face covering and social distancing in schools should never have been extended beyond Easter and should cease no later than 17 May. Mandatory face coverings, physical distancing and mass community testing should cease no later than 21 June along with other controls and impositions. All consideration of immunity documentation should cease.

The Takeaway: Regardless of how effective the vaccine is at preventing the spread of COVID, and more, there are a number of valid scientific reasons why freedom of choice and informed consent should always remain. A number of “pro-vaccine” scientists who believe and point to the idea that these vaccines are indeed working are also pointing out that they believe mandatory vaccines for travel, employment, and school are unscientific and unethical. If this vaccine was completely safe and effective, travel mandates, for example wouldn’t be needed, everybody would be rushing to get one. Do we really want to give governments the power to implement health mandates when it goes against the will of so many people, doctors, and scientists? Is it not enough to simply promote and recommend people receive the vaccine instead of using measures to coerce the entire population to do so? Why are certain viewpoints, opinions, research and evidence of so many experts in the field being completely ignored and in some cases ridiculed if they oppose the common narrative we receive from governments and mainstream media?

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Improper Amounts of Aluminum Discovered In Multiple Childhood Vaccines

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CE Staff Writer 7 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A team of aluminum experts at Keele University has found that multiple childhood vaccines contain significantly more or less aluminum than what is listed on product labels. They have filed a petition with the FDA in an attempt to resolve this issue.

  • Reflect On:

    What are the consequences of misleading or incorrect product information, like vaccines, listed on the product label? Should these labels not be completely accurate?

Before you begin...

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The aluminium adjuvant that’s used in multiple childhood vaccines has come under the scrutiny of multiple scientists from around the world over the past couple of years. It’s been discovered that a number of these vaccines have far more or far less aluminum adjuvant than listed on their FDA approved product labels, and as a result two formal petitions (access them here and here) were filed with the FDA on May 4th and May 6th of this year.

The petitions demand that the agency do its job and assure that vaccine manufacturers are disclosing accurate information about the amount of aluminum adjuvant that’s actually present in their childhood vaccines. You can access the most recent legal update, here.

A team of the world’s foremost experts in aluminum toxicology, led by Christopher Exley (initiator of the petition), a Professor of Bioinorganic Chemistry for the last 29 years with more than 200 published peer reviewed articles regarding aluminum, made this discovery. Six vaccine products contained statistically significant greater amounts of aluminum (Pentacel, Havrix, Adacel, Pedvax, Prevnar 13, and Vaqta) and four childhood vaccines were found to contain a statistically significant lower quantity of aluminum adjuvant than what is outlined on the label for these products (Infanrix, Kinrix, Pediarix, and Synflorix.

This discovery was published in The Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology where researchers point to the fact that since aluminum is a known toxin in humans and specifically a neurotoxin, it’s content in vaccines should be accurate and independently monitored to ensure both efficacy and safety.

Another paper of interest for readers might be this one, titled The role of aluminum adjuvants in vaccines raises issues that deserve independent, rigorous and honest science. It also outlines the concerns being raised.

The petition states,

These deviations from the products’ labels are extremely concerning. Doses with more than the approved amount of aluminum adjuvant raise serious safety concerns, and doses with less than the approved amount raise questions regarding efficacy. Indeed, aluminum adjuvant is a known cytotoxic and neurotoxic substance used to induce autoimmunity in lab animals, and which numerous peer-reviewed publications implicate various autoimmune conditions….These deviations also render the products and manufacturers not in compliance with various federal statutes and regulations, requiring immediate action from the FDA.

The Petitions therefore demand that the FDA immediately and publicly release documentation sufficient to establish that the aluminum content in each vaccine at issue is consistent with the amount provided in its labeling and that the FDA pause distribution of the vaccines at issue until it has done so.

  Nothing can be more important than the safety of vaccines injected into babies.

If you would like to provide the FDA a comment regarding the petitions filed regarding aluminum levels in childhood vaccines, you can do so here and here.

Exley and his work is supported by many scientists from around the world, yet he is facing a potential set back with regards to continuing his research on aluminum and disease. One hundred scientists came together and recently wrote a letter of support, stating,

We are writing to express our concern over the possible interruption of research on aluminum and disease conducted by Christopher Exley and his group in your (Keele) University. We feel that Christopher Exley’s work conducted for so many years in line with the previous research of late Pr Birchall at Keele University has been an important service to the scientific community, patients and society in Europe and globally. We firmly declare that Pr Exley has always defended rigorous research independent of commercial conflicts of interest, and has freely carried out his research without any control by any of his sponsors.

You can read more about what’s going on with regards to this situation, and access the correspondence that’s happened between Keele University (Exley’s employer), Exley, and the academics who support his work, here.

Exley has provided his own comment on the petition that reads as follows,

Once these data on the aluminium content of infant vaccines were known to me I asked myself about their absolute significance. What were the data witnessing. Sloppy processing by manufacturers? If so then why weren’t these issues flagged up by internal auditing of the products? Do manufacturers not actually measure the final content of aluminium in their vaccines? It looks that way. If they do not are they still assuming that the information they give on the patient information leaflet is accurate? Presumably they are as this amount of aluminium per dose of vaccine has been extensively researched and optimised by the manufacturer to give the antibody titre necessary for the vaccine to be effective. Since the vaccine is wholly ineffective in the absence of the aluminium adjuvant then the amount of aluminium adjuvant injected into the infant must be tightly controlled in providing a safe and effective vaccine. Isn’t that correct?

How can vaccine manufacturers be so complacent about such a critical issue? Is there a darker side to all of this? It may or it may not be true that manufacturers carefully optimise the aluminium content of infant vaccines. However, how often do manufacturers monitor the efficacy of their vaccine in receiving infants? How do they know that the data they must have for their clinical trials is reproduced in real time vaccinations in infants. Simply, how do they know that their vaccine works against its target disease? Do they even care? These data on the aluminium content of infant vaccines suggest very strongly that from the moment the vaccine is aliquoted to its vial ready for subsequent administration to an infant the manufacturer has no interest in whether it is either effective or safe.

No one is monitoring the former and vaccine manufacturers have no responsibility for the latter. Vaccine manufacturers are businesses first and foremost, it is not up to them to make sure that their products are safe and effective. It is the responsibility of the FDA and the FDA is clearly neglecting this responsibility as is the European Medicines Agency. A cartel of neglect and complacency that puts infants all of the world at risk, not only from the disease the vaccine is meant to be effective against but critically from the injection of an unknown amount of a known neurotoxin into vulnerable infants.

I know that many of you have given me your support in a myriad of ways and I am eternally thankful. You may be interested to know that the ‘academic’ Aluminium Family has also played a part and you can read all about this through this link. If you have any questions or comments about this please direct them to Professor Romain Gherardi (RKG75@protonmail.com) who kindly instigated this effort on my behalf.

The Takeaway: The politicization of science has become quite a large issue these days. In my opinion, science that seems to support a narrative that is in favour of  certain government and/or corporate interests is heavily promoted and explored, while science that calls these narratives into question is heavily scrutinized, censored and unacknowledged within the mainstream.

If science is raising a cause for concern, especially regarding something like aluminum toxicity that is so prevalent in our lives today, why can’t we as a society embrace, support, and acknowledge the study of it openly and collectively? What is going on here? You might imagine that everybody would support research like the kind Exley and his team are doing, as it only seeks to make a healthier world. Then again,  it may not be in the best interest of pharmaceutical companies and their business model.

Isn’t human health and ‘doing no harm’ the key oath public health is interested in upholding? The implications of science should not impede progression of health, but rather accelerate it.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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