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CDC Caught Spreading Misinformation About The Flu Shot: Here Are The Details

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The CDC declares to the public that the flu vaccine greatly reduces the risk of elderly people dying of the flu as though it was a scientifically proven fact. Yet, the reality is that the CDC’s bold claim has been thoroughly discredited.

  • Reflect On:

    Why are we bombarded through mass marketing and media to support and get the flu shot every year, without no mention of all of the scientists and doctors that are creating awareness about why we shouldn't. What is going on here?

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone aged six months and up, including pregnant women, get an annual influenza vaccine. The two fundamental assumptions underlying the CDC’s policy are that vaccination reduces transmission of the virus and reduces the risk of potentially deadly complications. Yet multiple reviews of the scientific literature have concluded that there is no good scientific evidence to support the CDC’s claims.

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Notwithstanding the science, to increase demand for the pharmaceutical companies’ influenza vaccine products, the CDC makes use of fear marketing, asserting as fact that tens of thousands of people die each year from the flu, even though the CDC’s numbers actually estimate that are controversial because they are based on dubious assumptions that appear to result in a great overestimation of the negative impact of influenza on societal health.

The primary justification for the CDC’s flu vaccine policy is the assumption that it significantly reduces the mortality rate among people aged 65 and older, the group at highest risk of potentially deadly complications from the flu. The CDC declares to the public that the vaccine does so as though this was a scientifically proven fact. Yet, the reality is that the CDC’s bold claim that the vaccine greatly reduces the risk of death among the elderly has been thoroughly discredited by the scientific community.

… contrary to the CDC’s claims of a great beneficial effect on mortality, influenza mortality and hospitalization rates for older Americans significantly increased in the 80s and 90s, during the same time that influenza vaccination rates for elderly Americans dramatically increased.

The Implausibility of the CDC’s Claims

Concerns about the CDC’s mortality claim were raised by researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in a study published in April 2005 in Archives of Internal Medicine (now JAMA Internal Medicine). Their concern was prompted by the observation that, despite a considerable increase in vaccination coverage among people aged 65 or older—from at most 20 percent before 1980 to 65 percent in 2001—pneumonia and influenza mortality rates had actually substantially risen.

That is to say, to quote a review published in Virology Journal in 2008, contrary to the CDC’s claims of a great beneficial effect on mortality, “influenza mortality and hospitalization rates for older Americans significantly increased in the 80s and 90s, during the same time that influenza vaccination rates for elderly Americans dramatically increased.” (Emphasis added.)

As the authors of the 2005 NIH study commented, this result was “surprising” since vaccination was supposed to be “highly effective at reducing influenza-related mortality”—an assumption underlying CDC policy that “has never been studied in clinical trials”.

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Relying instead on post-marketing observational studies of the general population, the CDC has claimed that vaccine efficacy in preventing influenza-related deaths is as high as 80 percent. Furthermore, to support its claim of an enormous benefit, the CDC has relied on a meta-analysis of observational studies that concluded that vaccination reduces the number of flu-season deaths from any cause among the elderly “by an astonishing 50%.”

In their own study, however, the NIH researchers found that, over the course of thirty-three flu seasons, influenza-related deaths were on average only about 5 percent and “always less than 10% of the total number of winter deaths among the elderly.”

The obvious question was: How could it be possible for the influenza vaccine to reduce by halfdeaths during winter from any cause when no more than one-tenth of deaths in any given flu season could be attributed to influenza?

The most obvious answer was that it couldn’t, and so the researchers examined more closely the methodology of the observational studies that the CDC was relying upon. The conclusion they drew from doing so was that the CDC’s implausible numbers were due to a systemic bias in those studies. There was a “disparity among vaccination” in these studies between cohorts that received a flu vaccine and those that didn’t.

Specifically, it wasn’t that vaccinated individuals were less likely to die, but that sick elderly people whose frail condition made them more likely to die during the coming flu season were less likely to get a flu shot.

Faced with this identification of a systemic bias in their methodology and despite the obvious implausibility of its own claims, the CDC’s response was to question the methodology of the NIH researchers’ study while reiterating its unshaken faith in the studies it was relying upon to promote the flu vaccine.

Notwithstanding the lack of science to support the statement, and no doubt prompted by the need for government agencies to show solidarity on public vaccine policy, the CDC and NIH subsequently published a joint statement claiming that the seasonal flu shot was the best way to protect old people from dying.

The sharp decline in influenza-related deaths among people aged 65 to 74 years in the years immediately after A(H3N2) viruses emerged in the 1968 pandemic was most likely due to the acquisition of natural immunity to these viruses.

Ironically, and tellingly, while commenting on the lack of evidence that the vaccine was preventing deaths among the elderly and the observed increase in mortality, the NIH researchers in their 2005 study had also acknowledged the effectiveness of naturally acquired immunity at reducing mortality (emphasis added):

“The sharp decline in influenza-related deaths among people aged 65 to 74 years in the years immediately after A(H3N2) viruses emerged in the 1968 pandemic was most likely due to the acquisition of natural immunity to these viruses. Because of this strong natural immunization effect, by 1980, relatively few deaths in this age group (about 5000 per year) were left to prevent. We found a similar pattern in influenza-related mortality rates among persons aged 45 to 64 years, an age group with substantially lower vaccine coverage. Together with the flat excess mortality rates after 1980, this suggests that influenza vaccination of persons aged 45 to 74 years provided little or no mortality benefit beyond natural immunization acquired during the first decade of emergence of the A(H3N2) virus.”

The way the NIH’s joint statement with the CDC contrasted with its own research findings is a remarkable illustration of the institutionalized cognitive dissonance that exists when it comes to public vaccine policy.

The CDC’s Mortality Claims Further Debunked

Numerous additional studies have since been published highlighting the lack of credibility of the CDC’s claims about the vaccine’s effectiveness. A systematic review published in The Lancet in October 2005 found a “modest” effect of the vaccine on mortality, but its authors—which included lead author Tom Jefferson, a top researcher for the Cochrane Collaboration—cautioned that this finding must be interpreted in light of the apparent systemic bias of the observational studies. They likewise attributed the perceived effect of the vaccine to a difference in vaccination rates among the cohorts “and the resulting selection bias”.

Randomized controlled trials could minimize any such bias, they observed, but the evidence from such studies was “scant and badly reported.” Hence, placebo-controlled trials were needed to “clarify the effects of influenza vaccines in individuals”. The problem was that such studies were considered impossible “on ethical grounds” due to the fact that mass vaccination was already recommended as a matter of public policy.

In other words, the science wasn’t done before the CDC made its universal vaccination recommendation, and now they refuse to do the science on the grounds that government technocrats have already made up their minds that everyone aged six months and up should get an annual flu shot.

The lead author of the 2005 NIH study, Lone Simonsen, was also coauthor with W. Paul Glezen of a commentary in the International Journal of Epidemiology in 2006 that reiterated the problems with the CDC’s claims. Although the vaccination rate for elderly people had increased by as much as 67 percent from 1989 to 1997, there was no evidence that vaccination reduced hospitalizations or deaths. On the contrary, “mortality and hospitalization rates continued to increase rather than decline”. The studies the CDC cited to support its claim of a dramatic reduction in mortality suffered from a selection bias that resulted in “substantial overestimation of vaccine benefits.”

study in the International Journal of Epidemiology also published in 2006 confirmed the systemic selection bias of the observational studies. Its authors concluded that not only had the results of those studies indicated “preferential receipt of vaccine by relatively healthy seniors”, but that the magnitude of this demonstrated bias “was sufficient to account entirely for the associations observed”. (Emphasis added.)

Not only is the evidence supporting the safety and effectiveness of influenza vaccination lacking, but there are also reasons to doubt conventional estimates of the mortality burden of influenza.

Influenza vaccine researcher Peter Doshi followed up with a letter to the BMJ published in November 2006 under the headline “Influenza vaccination: policy versus evidence”. As he summed up the situation, “Not only is the evidence supporting the safety and effectiveness of influenza vaccination lacking, but there are also reasons to doubt conventional estimates of the mortality burden of influenza.”

Furthermore, “influenza vaccines impose their own particular burden—to the tune of billions of dollars annually.”

Indeed, the very high cost of yearly vaccination for large parts of the population was among the considerations of a 2014 Cochrane meta-analysis that concluded that the results of a systematic review of existing studies “provide no evidence for the utilization of vaccination against influenza in healthy adults as a routine public health measure.”

A randomized controlled trial studying the cost effectiveness of influenza vaccination in healthy adults under aged 65 and published in JAMA in 2000 found that this practice “is unlikely to provide societal economic benefit in most years”—when, according to their data, it generated greater costs than to not vaccinate.

Peter Doshi followed up in 2013 with another BMJ commentary. After all those years, the CDC was still sticking to its claims. And yet, if the CDC’s claims were true, it would mean “that influenza vaccines can save more lives than any other single licensed medicine on the planet. Perhaps there is a reason CDC does not shout this from the rooftop: it’s too good to be true. Since at least 2005, non-CDC researchers have pointed out the seeming impossibility that influenza vaccines could be preventing 50% of all deaths from all causes when influenza is estimated to only cause around 5% of all wintertime deaths.”

Despite scientists pointing out the “healthy user bias” inherent in the observational studies that the CDC relied on to support its bold claims, “CDC does not rebut or in any other way respond to these criticisms.”

“If the observational studies cannot be trusted,” Doshi asked, “what evidence is there that influenza vaccines reduce deaths of older people—the reason the policy was originally created? Virtually none…. This means that influenza vaccines are approved for use in older people despite any clinical trials demonstrating a reduction in serious outcomes.” (Emphasis added.)

“Perhaps most perplexing,” Doshi added, “is officials’ lack of interest in the absence of good quality evidence.”

He further observed how government agencies promote the flu shot by claiming it’s been proven safe. He cited the example of a YouTube video produced by the NIH in which the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci, declared that it was “very, very, very rare” for a serious adverse event to be associated with the influenza vaccine.

Yet, “Months later, Australia suspended its influenza vaccination program in under five year olds after many (one in every 110 vaccinated) children had febrile convulsions after vaccination. Another serious reaction to influenza vaccines—and also unexpected—occurred in Sweden and Finland, where H1N1 influenza vaccines were associated with a spike in cases of narcolepsy among adolescents (about one in every 55,000 vaccinated). Subsequent investigations by governmental and non-governmental researchers confirmed the vaccine’s role in these serious events.”

The NIH’s presenter in the video, Anthony Fauci, also happened to be among the opponents of conducting randomized, placebo-controlled studies to determine the safety of the influenza vaccine. “The reason? Placebo recipients would be deprived of influenza vaccines—that is, the standard of care, thanks to CDC guidelines.”

“Drug companies”, Doshi continued, “have long known that to sell some products, you would have to first sell people on the disease.” Only, in the case of the influenza vaccine, “the salesmen are public health officials”.

Conclusion

In summary, there is no good scientific evidence to support the CDC’s claim that the influenza vaccine reduces hospitalizations or deaths among the elderly. The types of studies the CDC has relied on to support this claim have been thoroughly discredited due to their systemic “healthy user” selection bias, and the mortality rate has observably increased along with the increase in vaccine uptake—which the CDC has encouraged with its unevidenced claims about the vaccine’s benefits, downplaying of its risks, and a marketing strategy of trying to frighten people into getting the flu shot for themselves and their family.

By Jeremy R. Hammond, Guest Contributor, Children’s Health Defense

Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is planning many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.

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New Plastic “Zeoform” Turns Hemp Into Almost Anything

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Zeoform is a material that changes everything. It's made from cellulose fibres and water. Their patented process converts cellulose fibres into an industrial strength moulding material capable of being formed in into an array of products.

  • Reflect On:

    Zeoform is 100% non-toxic, biodegradable, compostable and ‘locks up’ carbon into beautiful, functional forms. A perfect solution for emerging hemp industries and bio-waste nations. Solutions exist, finding solutions are not the issue, so what is?

What if today’s plastics could be made from materials which were not only sustainable, but non-toxic? At the moment, our plastics are made from oil, which means not only are we putting toxic chemicals into our atmosphere, but we are also filling our environment with products that cannot bio-degrade.

To combat this problem, a company out of Australia has created a promising new product called Zeoform, made entirely out of water and cellulose taken from hemp plants. This means their plastic is not only eco-friendly in production but is also biodegradable!

As stated on their website:

Zeoform is a revolutionary material that changes everything. Made from cellulose fibres and water – and absolutely nothing else! Our patented process converts cellulose fibres into a super strong high tech moulding material capable of being formed into a multitude of products. ZEOFORM is 100% non-toxic, biodegradable and ‘locks up’ carbon from waste into beautiful, functional forms.

zoeform_chair

According to Zeoform, their product is very durable and relies only on the natural process of hydrogen bonding that takes place when cellulose fibres are mixed with water. No glue or bonding material is necessary because the bond created is already so strong. The final material can be formed into almost anything and can be cut, routed, machined, drilled, screwed, nailed, and glued in the same way wood and wood composites can be. It can also be coloured/dyed, and finished in any way creators like.

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The material is inherently water- and fire-resistant and can be reinforced further in both categories with some small adjustments to ingredients. Zeoform can also be made into anything, from car parts to paper, moulds, furniture, and even musical instruments – the possibilities are endless.

zeoform_guitar

Given the practicality of this material, the company hopes to expand their patented technology and begin offering manufacturing licenses to larger facilities around the world. Since there is plenty of infrastructure already set up where this type of product can be built, switching over from our current unsustainable and toxic method of production is very possible and should be a high priority, especially considering our environmental state. Sure it might mean disaster for big oil, but isn’t it time we put us and the environment ahead of profit?

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Jeffrey Epstein, Harvey Weinstein & Ghislaine Maxwell Pictured Together At Princess Beatrice’s Party

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The Sun has obtained an image of Jeffrey Epstein, Harvey Weinstein & Ghislaine Maxwell pictured together at Prince Beatrice's 18th birthday party. Beatrice is the daughter of Prince Andrew.

  • Reflect On:

    Is this really surprising, how deep does the sex trafficking of children go, and who else could be involved?

As a company, Collective Evolution has been creating awareness on elite level child trafficking, sexual abuse, ritual abuse and murder for quite a long time, but we are an independent media organization, and it’s a topic that mainstream media did not touch for quite a while. But that all changed when the Jeffrey Epstein/Prince Andrew drama emerged. Now more than ever, more people are starting to ask questions about elite level child trafficking and pedophilia, as well as a phenomenon that’s referred to as ‘satanic ritual abuse.’ We will get to a bit about that later on in the article, but for now we’d like to bring attention to an image that was obtained exclusively by The Sun, showing Jeffrey Epstein, Harvey Weinstein, and Epstein’s girlfriend at the time Ghislaine Maxwell, together at a party hosted by Prince Andrew, for his daughter Princess Beatrice and her 18th birthday party.

James Beal from The Sun writes:

As they mingled with royalty at Beatrice’s 18th, police had already prepared an arrest warrant for Epstein on child sex abuse charges and raided his Florida mansion. Eight days after the billionaire posed in a US Navy Seal uniform for this snap he was in cuffs. Tuxedo-wearing Weinstein is due in court next month accused of a sex offence in 2006 – the same year this photo was taken. Maxwell, seen in a gold mask and red headdress, is now being investigated by the FBI on suspicion of procuring girls for Epstein. A source told The Sun on Sunday: “This photograph sums up just why the Epstein affair has been so disastrous for Andrew. “He brought these people into the royal fold, to Windsor Castle no less, where they could rub shoulders with the great and good.“It is an astounding lack of judgment at the very least. “This picture will raise further questions about Andrew’s interaction with these individuals.”

It’s important to mentioned that not everybody who has ever been pictured with Epstein means they were involved, or even had knowledge of his activities,  but this is different, because it’s Harvey Weinstein.

The picture is not surprising. Based on our research, many of these people who hold, or held, great power in the world are involved in such activity. Many presidents and prime ministers over the years have been accused, countless amounts of politicians as well, and it turns out that people like Epstein might have been tasked to entrap these people for the purposes of blackmail.

Sonia Poulton, a British journalist, social commentator, and filmmaker, has been investigating the dark web of pedophilia for years. Some of her research has been complied into a documentary called “Pedophiles In Parliament.”

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Trevor Victor Norman Fortescue, CBE, also known known as Tim Fortescue, was a British politician. He was the Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Liverpool Garston from 1966 to 1974, in a clip from that documentary also reveals something significant.

Fortescue was appointed  by Edward Heath as an assistant whip under Francis Pym, served as a senior whip, Lord Commissioner of the Treasury from 1971 until he resigned in September 1973. According to him, as stated in the documentary referenced above:

For anyone with any sense, who was in trouble, would come to the whips and tell them the truth, and say now, I’m in a jam, can you help? It might be debt, it might be… a scandal involving small boys, or any kind of scandal in which, erm er, a member seemed likely to be mixed up in, they’d come and ask if we could help and if we could, we did. And we would do everything we can because we would store up brownie points… and if I mean, that sounds a pretty, pretty nasty reason, but it’s one of the reasons because if we could get a chap out of trouble then, he will do as we ask forever more.

This kind of thing has been floating around out there for decades. For example, a member of the Royal family was claimed to be part of a suspected pedophile ring under investigation by the police in the late 1980s, a former police officer has said. The former Metropolitan Police officer said he was told by a detective sergeant that the investigation into the ring, which was also claimed to include an MP, was shut down for national security reasons. “I was in a car with two other vice squad officers … The detective sergeant said he had just had a major child abuse investigation shut down by the CPS regarding a royal and an MP,” he told the Sunday Mirror newspaper. “He did not mention names, but he said the CPS had said it was not in the public’s interest because it ‘could destabilise national security’.”

Peter McKelvie, a former child protection chief in the UK, gained attention when he claimed that senior politicians, military figures and even people linked to the Royal Family were among the alleged abusers. While working in Hereford and Worcester, he helped to convict notorious child abuser Peter Righton, who was once one of the country’s most respected authorities on child care.  This highlights a great point, and something that I’ve come across multiple times in my research. Many people who work for national child care protection programs are directly involved in this type of thing. McKelvie  is one of many who told the world that these types of powerful VIP pedophile rings have been running in secrecy for multiple years. (source)

Epstein & Weinstein’s connections to Israeli Intelligence

For those who have examined Epstein’s ties to intelligence, there are clear links to both U.S. intelligence and Israeli intelligence, leaving it somewhat open to debate as to which country’s intelligence apparatus was closest to Epstein and most involved in his blackmail/sex-trafficking activities. A recent interview given by a former high-ranking official in Israeli military intelligence has claimed that Epstein’s sexual blackmail enterprise was an Israel intelligence operation run for the purpose of entrapping powerful individuals and politicians in the United States and abroad.

In an interview with Zev Shalev, former CBS News executive producer and award-winning investigative journalist for Narativ, the former senior executive for Israel’s Directorate of Military Intelligence, Ari Ben-Menashe, claimed not only to have met Jeffrey Epstein and his alleged madam, Ghislaine Maxwell, back in the 1980s, but that both Epstein and Maxwell were already working with Israeli intelligence during that time period. You can read more about that story, in detail, here.

As far as Weinstein, he hired ex Israeli intelligence officers to threaten and spy on his victims.

So that’s interesting to note.

”They use all forms of persuasion to prevent people from speaking out, to silence people. Threats, intimidation, blackmail, financial deprivation. And all types of harassment such as put under intensive surveillance, telephone tapping, all of this. They pull out the stops and they have unlimited funds because those funds are supplied by the tax payer” Andrea Davison, Former Intelligence Agent (source)

It Goes Deeper Than Pedophilla

A paper published in European Psychiatry titled The cremation of care ritual: Burning of effigies or human sacrifice murder? The importance of differentiating complex trauma from schizophrenia in extreme abuse settings” by Dr. Rainer Kurz, a chartered occupational psychologist (Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) at The University of Manchester. Master of Science (MSc) Industrial Psychology at The University of Hull) explains:

In the wake of institutional abuse enquiries and the ‘unbelievable’ child abuse perpetrated by celebrities like Jimmy Saville and Ian Watkins, a ‘new reality’ is setting in that child abuse is pervasive and knows no limits. Reports of elaborate rituals with ‘mock’ human sacrifices at the highly secretive annual ‘Bohemian Grove’ summer festival point towards a pervasive interest in the occult in high society. Mental health professionals have a ‘duty of care’ towards their service users. Unless clear and irrefutable counter-evidence is available it is inappropriate to claim that disclosures of extreme abuse and/or human sacrifice rituals are ‘delusions’ and indicative of Schizophrenia.

Epstein, Schwartz & Schwartz (2011) described cases of ‘Forced Impregnation’ by cult members which were followed by Human Sacrifice rituals. They also described UK based abuse groups forced ‘child-on child’ sex abuse salient to the case. Scott (2001) described the casual ease with which some abuse perpetrations torture and kill. 36 survivors completed her survey of whom 34 claimed abuse by members of their immediate family, and 21 by one or both parents. For 34 ritual abuse in childhood involved murder and for 16 involved forced childbirth/abortion. Bekker, Karriker, Overkamp and Rutz (2008) found in their extreme abuse survey that ‘forced impregnation’ by 40 % of 1041 of adult survivors and 33 % of  82 child survivors, and disclosed to 70 percent of 221 professionals bearing witness. Murder of a ‘breeder baby’ by the perpetrators was reported by 26%, 18% and 55% respectively. Witnessing murder by perpetrators was reported 56%, 43% and 77% respectively.

Research eventually led to the Franklin scandal that broke in 19819 when hundreds of children were apparently flown around the US to be abused by high ranking ‘Establishment’ members. Former state senator John W DeCamp, cited as one of the most effective legislators in Nebraska history, is today attorney for two of the abuse victims. A 15 year old girl disclosed that she had been abused since the age of 9 and was exposed since the age of 9 and was exposed to ‘ritual murder’ of a new born girl, a small boy (who was subsequently fried and eaten) and three others.

The key sentence above is “when hundreds of children were apparently flown around the US to be abused by high ranking ‘Establishment, as referenced with the information above about Epstein.

Our Interview With A Survivor of Child Sex Trafficking

Anneke Lucas is an author, speaker, advocate for child sex trafficking victims, founder of the non-profit organization Liberation Prison Yoga, and creator of the Unconditional Model.

Her work is based off her 30-year journey to restore her mental and physical wellbeing after surviving some of the worst atrocities known to humankind before the age of 12. Sold as a young child into a murderous pedophile network by her family, she was rescued after nearly six years of abuse and torture.

We recently conducted an interview her her. Below is a clip from the four part series, as it was a very long and detailed interview. You can access the full interview HERE on CETV, a platform we created a platform we created to help combat the censorship we are experiencing and allow us to continue to do our work and get the world out about various issues and topics.

The Takeaway

This information can be difficult to take in, and what’s presented in this article is simply a tidbit of what’s really going on. It’s quite deep. The key here is that people with great power and resource control are clearly involved in such activity, yet we let these people make important decisions about our world. Many seem to have quite a disregard for human life, and the fact that our world is in the state it is today is no doubt reflective of psychopathic behaviour. This is a perceptional shift, one of the multiple sparks to begin questioning who our ‘leaders’ are and why we keep putting power into their hands. This questioning and awareness alone will lead to change, based on what we know with regards to consciousness and quantum physics, the simple will and desire for change that’s put out by the collective can have a direct impact on our physical and material reality. Furthermore, awareness always leads to action.

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“I Was Aware of Everything” – The Man Who Woke Up After 12 Years In A Vegetative State

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Martin Pistorious had a normal childhood growing up in South Africa in the late 70’s. But everything would change for the worse when Martin was 12. He was diagnosed with cryptococcal meningitis, which put him in a vegetative state, but not forever.

  • Reflect On:

    Others who are in a vegetative state should not be deemed 'brain dead.' For all we know, they are totally awake, with their mind working sharp without the use of their body.

My mind was trapped inside a useless body, my arms and legs weren’t mine to control, and my voice was mute. I couldn’t make a sign or a sound to let anyone know I’d become aware again. I was invisible – the ghost boy.” -Martin Pistorious

Martin Pistorious had a normal childhood growing up in South Africa in the late 70’s. His parents, Joan and Rodney Pistorius, explained how Martin insisted that he would one day be an “electric man,” infatuated by any type of electronic equipment he could get his hands on.

But everything would change for the worse when Martin was 12. Coming home from school one day, he told his parents that he was feeling sick. This wasn’t any normal flu, however, as Joan and Rodney watched their son begin to sleep for endless hours of the day, almost like a baby. Even worse, he couldn’t eat, refusing anything they put in front of him.

Martin was tested for everything in the book, including Parkinson’s, TB, mineral deficiency, and more, yet everything came back negative.

As the months went on, Martin’s parents watched as their son slowly began to shut down — first his ability to move, then his ability to make eye contact, and finally his speech.

“He progressively got worse, probably in the second year of his illness. He was sleeping whenever we didn’t wake him up. He was permanently lying down in the fetal position,” said Rodney in an interview with NPR.

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Finally, a test came back positive. It was cryptococcal meningitis, something the doctors said meant there was no hope for Martin.

They were told that he was a vegetable, with no more intelligence. They were advised to take Martin home, to provide him with love until his death.

Trapped inside of his own body for a decade and thought to be severely brain-damaged, Martin Pistorius was actually fully aware the entire time. His story is one marked by abuse, neglect, love and despair. An expert on what people do when they think no one is looking, Martin has become well versed on human nature and self-determination.

A Boy Who Wouldn’t Let Go

But something in Martin held on for much longer than his prognosis had estimated.

Martin just kept going, just kept going,” said Joan.

The years continued to pass as Rodney and Joan cared for their helpless son. They dressed him, fed him, bathed him, and dropped him off at the special care facility he was enrolled at on a daily basis.

My alarm was set for every two hours so that I could wake up to turn him, so that he wouldn’t get bed sores,” said Joan.

This exhausting cycle continued for another 10 years, literally taking everything from Joan and Rodney. Joan told NPR that she eventually came to a point where she said to Martin, “I hope you die.

I know that’s a horrible thing to say. I just wanted some sort of reliefin my mind he’d already died.”

A Nurse Who Believed In The Soul Inside Martin

By the time Martin was in his mid-20’s, something slowly began to shift. Martin was now able to squeeze someone’s hand, a remarkable advancement considering his history. Furthermore, he was getting better at holding himself upright in his wheelchair.

However, the doctors insisted that Martin still had the mind of a 3-year old. But one nurse, named Verna, was convinced that there was something there.

She eventually convinced Joan and Rodney to get another evaluation done elsewhere. Martin was given a test where he had to identify different objects by pointing at them with his eyes. Surprisingly to many, he passed; not with flying colors, but he passed nevertheless.

I then gave up my job,” said Joan.

This 1987 photo is the last one to show the family before Martin fell ill. He is at the right. Courtesy of Martin Pistorius

Joan dedicated the next year to  teaching Martin how to use a special joystick for the computer, four hours every morning, until he finally got it.

Once he did, everything would change. Martin was now able to select words using his stick.

‘I am cold. I am hungry. I want toast.‘ These were his first bits of communication. Soon after, other things began to return to him.

He started moving his eyes and moving his head and almost nodding, asking for coffee by stirring his hands around and things like that.”

A Horrifying Realization – Martin’s Perspective

For 8 of the 12 years he was diagnosed, Martin was invisible. From the outside, he s1920x1080_martin-199x-4_custom-772c052f23f1615f33cc52799f0c2bc2f2cbb1f3-s800-c85was unresponsive, a vegetable. But deep inside, Martin said he was aware of everything.

I was there, not from the very beginning, but about two years into my vegetative state, I began to wake up.”

Martin described the initial process,

“I suppose a good way to describe it is like an out-of-focus image. At first you have no idea what it is, but slowly it comes into focus until you can see it in crystal clarity.”

Somewhere along this process, Martin soon realized his immobility.

I stared at my arm, willing it to move. Every bit of me condensed into that moment.”

Martin recalled a moment when his father was helping him undress, and how badly Martin was trying to communicate, but nothing in his body would obey.

Everyone was so used to me not being there that they didn’t notice when I began to be present againThe stark reality hit me that I was going to spend the rest of my life like that – totally alone.”

Martin revealed how he spent countless hours wallowing in self-defeat: “You will never get out. You are pathetic, powerless, totally alone.”

Was this really how he was to spend the rest of his days alive?

An Unlikely Inspiration Changes Martin’s Thoughts

Martin had fully let go of hope, but as he explains, occasionally there were unlikely sparks of inspiration.

‘You can always count on having a fun day when you spend it with the people you love,‘ said Barney, the fictitious children’s show icon. Martin was constantly forced to watch Barney, a show he now admits he thoroughly despised. He used the show, along with the movement of the Sun, to figure out the time of day.

This was his first semblance of control. Simply knowing where he was in the day gave him the sense of being able to climb through it. He realized his thoughts could help him.

I’d have conversations with myself and other people in my head.”

Reengaging with his thoughts transformed his world, and slowly, life began to have purpose.

This also sometimes meant pain for Martin, such as when he heard his mother say to him, “I hope you die.”

But as time passed, he gradually learned to understand his mother’s desperation. He realized that it came from profound love for him.

She could see only a cruel parody of the once-healthy child she had loved so much,” Martin said.

Amazingly, this made him feel even closer to his mother.

It wasn’t long after this when Martin’s nurse, Verna, saw the soul trapped inside Martin, and insisted on getting him more help. This, as previously explained, was the beginning of an inspiring new chapter for Martin.

College Graduate, Bushiness Man & Husband – Martin Today

By leaning into those dark thoughts, Martin gained a self-understanding and humour about the human condition that allowed him to attain so much more than he had ever imagined for himself.

Progressing through various levels of improvement, he eventually scored himself a job filing papers at a local office, then moved onto fixing computers, creating a web design business, and earning a computer science degree. He even met a beautiful and loving wife named Joanna, whom he met through his sister.

“I turned around, and it was just this guy with this big smile. And it’s such a warm personality…Yeah, okay, well he’s in a wheelchair, and he doesn’t speak. But I love this guy. He’s amazing. It just so quickly turned into love,” said Joanna.

Though his success may seen simplified by this article, we cannot forget the amount of dedication and hard work it was for both Martin and his loved ones to get him to where he is today.

Martin’s story is indeed one filled with many mixed emotions – sadness, empathy, fear, agony, inspiration – yet it stands as an incredible testament to human willpower.

For more on Martin’s story, be sure to check out his incredible personal account of his journey in his book,  Ghost Boy.

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