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COVID-19: A Precursor To A ‘New World Order?’ aka “The Great Reset”

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Global chaos has always been a precursor to big change on our planet, this initiative by 'the powers that be' is now being called "The Great Reset."

  • Reflect On:

    Are problems created by those who want to propose the solution? Do naturally occurring issues become hi-jacked to implement greater measures of control? Are we living through an epidemic of control?

Before you begin...

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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 does the “New World Order” refer to? It refers to the idea that many crises’ are manufactured by powerful groups of people in order to justify a more heightened national security state. While some might view this as an unfounded conspiracy theory, there are numerous examples and pieces of evidence that show this not to be the case. Many world leaders have spoken about a ‘new world order’ on multiple occasions, pointing to greater global collaboration, control and surveillance to pull it all off. It’s an agenda of greater centralized power for those already in great positions of unelected power, a movement that slowly takes away many of our rights and freedoms under the guise of good will.

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A heightened national security state in our current times includes more surveillance and data acquisition, using more methods for tracking the general population, their actions, intentions, and even their currency. Again, it’s no conspiracy theory, Edward Snowden made it quite clear that the NSA was tracking US citizens all along, illegally, without their permission, and they even denied doing this under oath.

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Given that, to think that any government institution or politician will come out and be honest about their real plans would be silly, we already know the lengths some have gone to cover up these projects.

This article will examine the use of continuous ‘threats,’ sometimes manufactured to impose more security measures on the population, what the “Great Reset” is, and why it’s important to recognize the measures taken by those who claim this is a step towards more authoritarianism.

It’s time to truly begin having serious conversations about these controversial topics, and learning to empathize with differing positions on them. The need for collective sensemaking is at an all-time high, and if we are constantly divided and unable to perceive reality from the perspective of anybody else, we are going to struggle to create meaningful change. This is both a time to consume information and to develop ourselves personally to become effective changemakers.

The Focus on Problems or Threats

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The justifications used to bring about this new world are often continuous threats such as climate change, disease outbreaks like what we are experiencing with COVID-19, terrorism etc, and measures taken against these things are marketed as necessary for our protection and well being. As a result of this marketing, we are slowly being conditioned to view our freedom as selfish and harmful to others. This is a whole conversation on it’s own, but for now we’ll stop here.

Many, especially so called “fact-checkers” brush off the idea of some form of ‘increase in centralized power’ or ‘new order’ as a “conspiracy theory,” but the idea has plenty of legitimacy. This type of legitimacy has gained even more traction thanks to people like Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and William Binney.

Binney and Snowden, both NSA whistleblowers have spoken at large about threat propaganda multiple times. Obviously, this isn’t covered by mainstream media and anybody who does give a voice to people like Snowden and Binney seem to be subjected to censorship by social media platforms. People like Assange, who is on the brink of death in a UK prison awaiting US extradition,  are branded as traitors or a danger to society, while Edward Snowden lives in exile.

A great quote comes to mind from Nils Melzer, Human Rights Chair of the Geneva Academy of Int Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Prof of Int Law at the University of Glasgow,  and UN Rapporteur on Torture and Other Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. I’ve used it before.

“How far have we sunk if telling the truth becomes a crime? How far have we sunk if we prosecute people that expose war crimes for exposing war crimes? How far have we sunk when we no longer prosecute our own war criminals? Because we identify more with them, than we identify with the people that actually expose these crimes. What does that tell about us and about our governments? In a democracy, the power does not belong to the government, but to the people. But the people have to claim it. Secrecy disempowers the people because it prevents them from exercising democratic control, which is precisely why governments want secrecy.”

Snowden has spoken about many threats, recently emphasizing that the Coronavirus is being used, like the threat of terrorism, to impose more overreaching control measures on the human population. William Binney has relayed the idea that the NSA is not interested in protecting us and our freedoms, but rather “total population control.”

This type of censorship happens on all scales at various levels, we here at Collective Evolution have experienced it with demonetization and the loss of our ability to post on our Facebook page of 5.5 million followers, and people like Joe Rogan have experienced it for simply discussing ‘controversial’ topics.

It feels as though Freedom of speech has never been so threatened, and yet we are in a critical time where it is greatly needed.

It’s not just credible whistleblowers we should be listening to, there are actual real world examples, data and evidence. When it comes to the coronavirus for example, multiple renowned medical doctors and professors from around the world continually relay their strong opinion that we are dealing with something far less dangerous than what is being presented, and that it is perhaps on par with the flu, or no more dangerous than other respiratory viruses that already infect hundreds of millions and kill tens of millions a year. 45,000 doctors and scientists have now signed The Great Barrington Declaration strongly opposing lockdown measures, and some of the most reputable scientists in the field have been sharing the same information while being completely ignored, censored and “fact-checked.”

Coupled with this type of censorship comes a massive amount of mainstream media coverage around the world, constantly beaming out the exact opposite narrative to alternative media, and ridiculing it along the way. Government scientists are given the spotlight while all others, who seem to be in the majority, seem to be muzzled.

Strange times indeed.

It’s a shame that science has become so politicized, used, and manipulated to possibly help push forth this “New World Order” or greater centralized power and mass surveillance.

As with COVID-19, “false flag terrorism,” the idea that ‘the powers that be’ create, fund, and arm terrorist organizations like ‘ISIS’ and ‘Al-Qaeda’ comes with an abundance of evidence. That’s why Congresswoman and military veteran Tulsi Gabbard introduced the “Stop Arming Terrorist” act, because this DOES happen. 9/11 was a great example used to justify the invasion of Iraq. These events seem to be used in an attempt to invade under the guise of good-will. Again, this is a narrative that is threatening to powerful interests, which is why it’s usually ridiculed and downplayed any time it does happen to make its way into the mainstream.

“The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al-Qaeda, and any informed intelligence officer know this. But, there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an intensified entity representing the ‘devil’ only in order to drive TV watchers to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism.”

– Robin Cook, Former British Foreign Secretary. (source)

“The statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.”

 Mark Twain

The Great Reset

What is “The Great Reset?” It’s an initiative that was started by the World Economic Forum. The House of Windsor, and the UN are prime executive co-producers. Top sponsors include BP, Mastercard and Microsoft. According to them,

 There is an urgent need for global stakeholders to cooperate in simultaneously managing the direct consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. To improve the state of the world, the World Economic Forum is starting The Great Reset initiative.

They go on to explain all of the “disrupts” we are facing is “changing the traditional context for decision making. The inconsistencies, inadequacies and contradictions of multiple systems – from health and financial to energy and education – are more exposed than ever amidst a global context of concern for lives, livelihoods and the planet.”

COVID and all other crises’ we face, according to the World Economic Forum,

…shape the recovery, this initiative will offer insights to help inform all those determining the future state of global relations, the direction of national economies, the priorities of societies, the nature of business models and the management of a global commons. Drawing from the vision and vast expertise of the leaders engaged across the Forum’s communities, the Great Reset initiative has a set of dimensions to build a new social contract that honours the dignity of every human being.

WEF founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab said:

“the world must act jointly and swiftly to revamp all aspects of our societies and economies, from education to social contracts and working conditions… Every country, from the United States to China, must participate, and every industry, from oil and gas to tech, must be transformed. In short, we need a ‘Great Reset’ of capitalism.”

Schwab’s message was amplified by Prince Charles when he said:

“We have a golden opportunity to seize something good from this [COVID-19] crisis. Its unprecedented shockwaves may well make people more receptive to big visions of change.”

Jennifer Morgan (current head of Greenpeace) stated:

“We set up a new world order after World War II… We’re now in a different world than we were then. We need to ask, what can we be doing differently? The World Economic Forum has a big responsibility in that as well—to be pushing the reset button and looking at how to create well-being for people and for the Earth.”

All of this requires changes in human behaviour. Behaviour modification, if you will.

This, according to many, is authoritarianism under the guise of good will and will no doubt include measures being placed upon the citizenry at the expense of our freedoms. We are currently living in it, and we are currently experiencing the beginning of “The Great Reset.”

We are also experiencing a great divide amongst the citizenry, there are many who believe in these pushes for change having been made to believe they are necessary and for the common good, and then there are others who believe it’s simply a step towards a more authoritarian human experience.

The former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America and Vatican insider, Carlo Maria Viganò, for example, recently wrote a letter to Donald Trump. In it, he mentions The Great Reset.

A global plan called the Great Reset is underway. Its architect is a global élite that wants to subdue all of humanity, imposing coercive measures with which to drastically limit individual freedoms and those of entire populations. In several nations this plan has already been approved and financed; in others it is still in an early stage. Behind the world leaders who are the accomplices and executors of this infernal project, there are unscrupulous characters who finance the World Economic Forum and Event 201, promoting their agenda.

The purpose of the Great Reset is the imposition of a health dictatorship aiming at the imposition of liberticidal measures, hidden behind tempting promises of ensuring a universal income and cancelling individual debt. The price of these concessions from the International Monetary Fund will be the renunciation of private property and adherence to a program of vaccination against Covid-19 and Covid-21 promoted by Bill Gates with the collaboration of the main pharmaceutical groups. Beyond the enormous economic interests that motivate the promoters of the Great Reset, the imposition of the vaccination will be accompanied by the requirement of a health passport and a digital ID, with the consequent contact tracing of the population of the entire world. Those who do not accept these measures will be confined in detention camps or placed under house arrest, and all their assets will be confiscated.

You can access and read the entire letter here.

The IMF and Great Reset plan does not yet show how people will transition to own nothing, and they have not yet outlined any plans to force mass vaccination or renunciation of private property in exchange debt removal.

According to Ellen Brown, an attorney and chair of the Public Banking Institute:

“No country will be allowed to opt out because it would be endangering the rest…Who is behind the Great Reset and what it really entails are major questions that need their own article, but suffice it to say here that to escape the trap of the globalist agenda, we need a mass awakening to what is really going on and collective resistance to it while there is still time. There are hopeful signs that this is happening, including massive protests against economic shutdowns and restrictions, particularly in Europe; a rash of lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the lockdowns and of police power overreach; and a flood of alternative media exposés despite widespread censorship.

Life as we know it will change. We need to ensure that it changes in ways that serve the people and the productive economy, while preserving our national sovereignty and hard-won personal freedoms.”

The Takeaway: It’s Time To Think More Deeply 

Not to oversimplify but, around 50 percent of Americans believe those who voted for Donald Trump are dumb and perhaps racist. The other half who voted for Trump and feel the other side is evil and stealing the election. Faith in institutions is crumbling, and there is good reason for this. It isn’t simply the doubt sewn from loud voices like Trump or his supporters, it comes from years of now evidential lies, deceit and a deep calling for meaningful change.

The election is one of many examples, along with COVID-19, that shows how separated people are not only in America, but all over the world. We live in a collective narrative founded on a basic idea that we are separate from one another, and thus our world gives us this reality. What many of us call authoritarian measures are not really forced upon the population as we might think. There is a great deal of people who see and believe the value of more security, digital currencies, more tracking etc, and they feel they will be safer with it all. Is this story true? That’s for you to decide, but exploring WHY we agree to these things is the bigger conversation we must have.

There are always justifications in the minds of people who oppose what you or I may believe. This requires dialogue, not ridicule, it requires understanding and it requires people to empathize and understand each other, and where we are all coming from.

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. It’s more important than what we know, because ultimately if we can’t treat each other like we want to be treated, we are not going to get anywhere.

As much as we point our finger to the global elite and authoritarian government measures, which are happening, real change comes from educating ourselves, awakening to a deeper understanding as to who we are, treating everybody with respect, and having dialogue with those who disagree with us. Further, we have to begin asking ourselves why we get so triggered the way we do.

The deep change we all know is possible on this planet will be created from a different state of consciousness. One we must foster and develop. Playing the blame game, at a deeper level, doesn’t do much. That being said, it’s an important step to ask why our world is the way it is and identify issues we face, especially ones that are put in place by governments that do not resonate with a lot of people.

It doesn’t matter so much whether or not we agree that something like The Great Reset is planned conspiracy, it’s more important to deeply ask ‘is this the world we truly want to create? Is this what we are limited to creating, and if not, what holds us back? What power would we have if as a collective to come together and do something?

If we don’t want people who don’t truly represent us to have tremendous amounts of power, then we have to wake up and realize that it’s not them who has to change, it’s us.

If you’re feeling called to become a more effective changemaker in this critical time, consider becoming a member of CETV where this is the main focus of our conversations, original shows, and courses.

Update Apr 27th, 2021: Updated to reflect that the IMF does not have any any plans as outlined by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò

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Essay

How Corporations Influence You & Control Your Actions

Franklin Okanu

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By metamorworks

Before you begin...

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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.

In the movie Inception, Leonardo DiCaprio and his team work by placing thoughts and ideas into influential people. Have you ever had a idea suddenly pop up in your head? If so, you might be a influential person.

Think back to when you’re going through your day, and boom — a crazy, completely random idea enters your mind. It’s frustrating and completely throws off your routine. You’re not alone. The worst part is that the thought seems to linger before disappearing — the inception.

We all have thoughts that come in out of left field and throw off everything. Whether you’re trying to study, or trying to focus, the IG post you saw yesterday or the article you just read, randomly comes to mind that  doesn’t have anything to do with you.

These “inceptions” are the effects of what’s known as propaganda. Propaganda is “telling people what to think.” The act of thinking happens in the brain, which is made up of three separate brains:

  1. Human Brain: This is the only part of your brain that’s you consciously control. It oversees all logical thought process.
  2. Mammalian Brain: This is the first half of your subconscious. It oversees all emotional attachments. This is the largest brain.
  3. Lizard Brain: This is the second half of your subconscious. It oversees survival and reproduction.

And that’s why propaganda is so dangerous — it doesn’t appeal to your logical mind; it appeals to your feelings, the language of your subconscious, the driver of 90% of the actions you take. By doing this, propaganda influences you to have certain thoughts that it placed there. These thoughts lead to actions like impulse buys, and before you know, you have new shoes everywhere.

The good news is that these aren’t your thoughts, and since they’re not, you can use this piece of information to form a solution. Identifying these thoughts and evaluating them stops the propaganda before it takes place.

The first step is understanding what propaganda, or inception looks like.

The Creator of the Propaganda Machine

To grasp propaganda, you need to know the man who made it famous: Edward Bernays.

Bernays, the nephew of Sigmund Freud — the father of modern psychology — understood psychology and the working of the human mind, but more significantly, what made them tick.

If you want to go full-blown conspiracy, Bernays happens to be the grand-uncle of Marc Randolph, co-founder of Netflix. Talk about a first-class ticket to people’s subconscious.

Bernays effectively used propaganda to help companies sell products by appealing to the consumer’s wants and desires. How did cigarettes become so profitable? Thank Bernays. JC Penny, Sears, and other major retail giants. Thank Bernays. “You don’t need a new dress — you want a new dress because you know it’ll make you look good.” By using psychology techniques to appeal to the subconscious, Bernays and companies have been influencing consumers for years.

As with Bernays, Netflix has been keen on influencing the masses as well. Two examples include the R. Kelly trial and the orcas at SeaWorld. Both movements were driven by Netflix documentaries. After numerous years, R. Kelly went to jail, and SeaWorld had to change its policies. This shows the power of the propaganda machine, not just to increase sales but also to start a revolution.

Now that you know the history and have examples, let’s see how it affects you.

Propaganda, Propaganda, all that matters is Propaganda

You’ve encountered propaganda today, and had no idea. If you look at your favorite TV shows or music, you’ll see that some kind of product is being pushed. And it doesn’t have to be a physical product — it can be a narrative, a lifestyle, a way to look at the world.

We identify with certain celebrities, actors, politicians, and we see ourselves in them. So when they take stances or make statements, that leads you to take a similar perspective. Everything in our society has some form of propaganda because propaganda is very rewarding, especially to companies, industries, and countries.

What makes propaganda so dangerous is that when it’s properly executed (which is often), you, the target, think those thoughts as if they were yours, and then transform them into actions. “Yes, I want to buy a new purse.” “I should get a new car.

Lastly, all propaganda has elements of truth in it. If it was an outright lie, you would automatically dismiss it. But with that truth, it bypasses your logic brain and enters into the emotional brain. When you take everything that propaganda does, you have:

  1. Propaganda shapes your views on factual events taking place in the world
  2. Propaganda convinces you the thoughts you have are yours
  3. Propaganda persuades you towards one direct path

By now, you know the history of propaganda, how it affects you, and what makes it so dangerous. Now, we’ll discuss how to arm yourself against it.

Propaganda Protection

You should’ve realized that Netflix isn’t the only propaganda machine out there. Every company with a marketing department is using propaganda techniques to capture you as a potential customer. But, as we said before, it’s not just companies. For generations, rulers, shamans, and politicians have been telling you what to think. The technology is a lot better now.

The first step to break this cycle is to step back. Whether it’s the news or a social media post, before responding or engaging, take a step back and ask yourself “how well informed are you on the particular subject?” This forces you to address what you know and don’t know. If you can’t speak to the counterargument, then you’ve been exposed to propaganda by one side and face a bias that makes you more likely to be swayed one way versus another. So it’s important to take a step back.

The second step to overcoming propaganda is to pay attention to the message being delivered. You may or may not know everything about the topic being shared, but you should expect whoever is sharing the topic to present a thorough argument. When attentive, you pick up on what angle the messenger is coming from. The more you’re actively engaged, the clearer you see the direction that the messenger is trying to take you.

The final step is to evaluate yourself. Remember, propaganda is here to move you towards a goal that it wants for you. So ask yourself, is this a goal that you want for yourself? Have you previously thought about this? If not, then you can easily flag that thought as a propagandist idea.

As the poem goes, “I am the master of my ship — the Captain of my soul,” by constantly stopping to pause, think and evaluate yourself, you ensure that you stay in control of your mental ship rather than relinquishing control.

Closing Remarks

Propaganda is all around us. Unfortunately, not many in the general population are aware of this age-old trick. But now you are. You’ve been informed against it, and you know that at the end of the day, propaganda wants to you to do its bidding. The question is, will you?

Once you realize that everyone is trying to get you to think how they want you to, you realize how truly influential you are. You then have two choices: blindly act and let your body take the wheel — or take a minute, ask yourself, “why am I doing this?

That small moment to pause, breathe and reassess, ensures that you stay in control of your actions — and your life.

In my adventures, I’ve come to see that life is a great game, and we too can develop strategies to ensure that we come out on top. I’m developing an E-Book that will unveil the world’s mysteries, how it applies to us, and how we can better our lot in life. If interested, please follow my handles (IG/Twitter) for more information to come.

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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Essay

The Unseen Damages Fact Checking Has On Public Discourse

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CE Staff Writer 13 minute read

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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.

By now the discussion around the potential lab leak origins of COVID-19 is where it should be – in a space where we can admit we don’t know exactly what the truth is, but that there is in fact evidence of lab origins that should be investigated. This evidence was widely available to public health officials and the public as far back as February of 2020 when the pandemic began hitting Western countries and the origins battle began. Yet here we are in disarray, wondering how mainstream media and science labelled this story a ‘conspiracy theory’ in the first place.

We’ve covered the question of lab origins in depth through multiple pieces we’ve published since the pandemic began. A more recent article we published in March 2021, by Dr. Madhava Setty, pointed to the validity of lab origins even before the famous,  Nicholas Wade investigative piece. Due to public sentiment at the time, Dr. Setty’s article was met with criticism of course.

Back in September of 2020, I published a piece exploring the claims of a Chinese virologist named Dr. Li-Meng Yan who said she had proof that COVID was made in a Wuhan lab. Interestingly, our coverage was met with a fact check from PolitiFact claiming that our piece was false because her claims have been widely debunked. And it’s here where I want to turn your attention to how fact checking works and also discuss the unseen damages it causes to not only independent media public also public discourse. Inevitably, we’ll also have to discuss a truth I feel is emerging: fact checkers seems to be glorified journalists that re-enforce mainstream perspectives, as opposed to fact checking content.

How Fact Checking Happens

The way it works is, we painstakingly work on a piece, fact check it, edit it, and then publish. We then start disseminating our content to our networks via email and social media. If we’ve made a mistake, we usually catch it within hours as inevitably someone brings it to our attention. While this is not common, it happens, and it is a normal part of running a news/media publication. We then issue a correction and make it clear in the article. But when a fact checker gets involved it’s a bit different. We receive the dreaded email in our inbox claiming that an independent fact checker has rated our content posted on Facebook as false. We know what this means, and it’s rare that it’s actually a mistake.

It’s important to understand what happens next.

A notice is placed over top of our content on Facebook newsfeeds. Someone on Facebook would see something like this:

Readers are then given the option to read why it was considered “false” or “misleading” by reading an article written by a fact checker. In some cases, the fact checker is correctly ‘debunking’ poor claims made in an article. But in many cases, this isn’t quite what is going on. Sometimes, the fact checker merely disagrees with the objectivity of the article in question.

Before we continue, this “False Information” notice doesn’t just look bad on brand who produced the content, who’s logo appears next to the post in millions of newsfeeds, it also affects the content reach of the brand and thus their ad revenue.

From our data, which admittedly isn’t perfect, we typically see about a 75% reduction in traffic from Facebook when we are hit with a ‘fake news’ claim. That equates to a 75% reduction in our ad revenue as well considering that traffic is now gone. What’s worse is that Facebook seems to keep a log of how many fact checks a brand gets over time, and they claim that repeated false news strikes will result in long term reach reduction .

According to a 2021 article in Adweek,

Facebook will begin showing prompts to users who are about to follow a page that has repeatedly shared content deemed to be false by its independent fact-checking partners.

Facebook has also said that repeated sharing of misleading information could result in page deletion as well. Of course, no one knows just how much reach is taken away or how many strikes a brand needs for their page will be removed, but I can tell you we’ve gone from doing about 20 million page views a month in web traffic to about 3 million a month.

Evidence of our traffic loss over time. Source: Google Analytics

Almost all of our traffic loss is from the Facebook side, with about 15% coming from Google search after they systematically removed us from their search results in 2020.

Google’s systematic removal of our content from their search results. Source: Google Search Console.

Looking specifically at the Facebook side, ‘false news’ claims have huge implications on independent media companies, and it directly affects the bottomline. And what we’re about to get into explains how it’s not as though in all cases fact checkers are cleaning up fake stories, they are actually dead wrong – a lot. This attack on objective journalism can literally put a news company out of business. And no one is holding fact checkers accountable when they are flat out wrong.

Let’s take our story of the Chinese virologist that PolitiFact claimed was false back in September 2020. As of May 17, 2021, PolitiFact retracted their claim saying:

When this fact-check was first published in September 2020, PolitiFact’s sources included researchers who asserted the SARS-CoV-2 virus could not have been manipulated. That assertion is now more widely disputed. For that reason, we are removing this fact-check from our database pending a more thorough review. Currently, we consider the claim to be unsupported by evidence and in dispute. The original fact-check in its entirety is preserved below for transparency and archival purposes. Read our May 2021 report for more on the origins of the virus that causes COVID-19.”

I struggled to include this next bit in this piece because I truly don’t want to become petty here, but I don’t know how else to bring attention to how serious this situation truly is. Having been so intimately connected to this particular example since last year, I feel PolitiFact needs to be more honest and say something like:

“Here at PolitiFact we ignored sources of information that provided evidence that COVID may have originated in a lab. We only looked at evidence we thought was trustworthy from establishment sources. We did not spend enough time truly digging and applying objectivity, as journalists would, and thus we made unfounded assertions. We have since updated our story now that mainstream discourse has opened up to the idea of lab origins and now that our parents, mainstream media, told us it is OK to talk about it.”

However, this is obviously not what they wrote, because why would they? Instead, they are passing off their lack of objective research and blaming the “researchers” they sourced. For reference, here is what an objective look into this story would have produced, and why an obvious conflict of interest that ‘debunked’ the lab origins theory would have been found.

Recently, I’ve heard many people come to the defense of mainstream media and fact checkers when it comes to this ‘new’ information about COVID’s origins. Many have said things like “this is what science and journalism is, we update ideas. When new information comes forward and we see we are wrong we admit it, and move forward – updating our understandings. You should be congratulating people for changing their mind.”

But that’s not what happened. It’s not like no one knew what was going on with this information, they were just too busy hating Trump. Mainstream journalists ignored the evidence – and fact checkers followed right behind mainstream media and did the same. They did an objectively bad job of investigating this story and are now trying to celebrate their mind changing, all while continually attacking the sources that got it right from the start – independent media.

The position we took in our piece in September 2020 was simple: we don’t know enough about the origins of this virus and we need a call for further research. This was met with “this is a conspiracy theory that has been widely debunked.” And now those debunkers are admitting “we don’t know enough about the origins of this virus and we need a call for further research.”

So where is our compensation for lost revenues from Facebook or PolitiFact? Where is an apology and notification to people of Facebook that clears our name of wrong doing? There won’t be one and I’m OK with that. Could we really expect otherwise? At the same time, I feel we need to learn from the choices we’re making right now.

Learning From Cultural Mistakes

The sad part is, this is not the first time this has happened to us. To our tally of ‘fact checks’ since the start of Facebook’s campaign, only 2 of 15 have been correct, and they were more so about providing a bit of deeper context as opposed to incorrect facts.  Multiple times we have received ‘fact checks’ that stay on our page for a couple of days, only to be removed by fact checkers a day later claiming “oops this was a mistake” or even sometimes they sit in dead silence. Of course, the damage has already been done by the time they remove their mistaken fact check.

An email we received from Politifact for a fact check they wrongly applied to a piece of content we put out in 2020.

One recent fact check we received was from the small outfit called Lead Stories. They applied a fact check to one of our articles, but they cited an article that wasn’t ours. When we asked to discuss what was wrong our piece in particular they said they would look into it. They took over a month to respond, and they still have not provided any clarity as to why our piece is “missing context.” This too might be a case where pride is getting in the way and admitting there is nothing wrong with our piece is just too much – we don’t know, and that’s the problem. We won’t know if this bogus strike will be added to the pile of strikes we receive on Facebook that could one day lead to facebook terminating our account due to ‘repeated publishing of fake news.’

Another company called Science Feedback has a division called Health Feedback. They are who we deal with most. Typically Health Feedback handles health related stories that are usually the most relevant in culture at any given time. Think of things like COVID-19 or vaccine hesitancy. We’ve had multiple interactions with Health Feedback where they fact check our work and use straw-man arguments, that we do not make in our pieces, so they can debunk the straw-man claim and pretend they’ve debunked our piece. Communication with this organization typically goes nowhere productive as they hold strong to their opinions. Since they hold all the power, they wait for you to concede so you can get your business revenue back. This single fact is probably what the public does not understand about fact checking: they have the power to hold your ad revenue hostage by means of holding your social media traffic hostage.

How This Affects Public Discourse

Mainstream media often sends out a pretty common narrative across the board. Alternative or independent media often provide more information, another perspective, or even a counter perspective. Yet fact checking seems to have come along and ‘debunked’ that alternative perspective by using the same sources the mainstream uses – and in a lot of cases they are downright false. This makes fact checkers an apparently objective re-enforcement of mainstream narratives. This effectively negates the point of independent media.

Look at the COVID lab origins story as just one example of literally hundreds. People gave up on the idea, even called it downright crazy, just because mainstream media and fact checkers wrongly labelled the story a ‘conspiracy theory.’ For over a year, people argued, fought over this story. Companies who stuck with the truth saw their revenues and social media reach cut – only to be vindicated a year later, but with no real benefit to that vindication other than a personal pat on the back.

Fact checking does well to debunk obviously and verifiably false claims, but it is not always objective and thus shutting down meaningful discourse in public policy and science. Both important factors to creating a thriving society.

People have speculated that fact checking is just a way for powerful corporate interests to further police factually based dissenting ideas – they might be right. After all, look at the people behind some of these organizations.

Another way to look at it is, perhaps people began to notice that objectivity in journalism was dying. Fact checking then was a way to bring objectivity back to journalism by being a third party. Only, what’s happening doesn’t seem to support that idea as it appears fact checkers and mainstream media push their narratives in lockstep.

There are real problems in media too that aren’t just about facts. The political slanting in most mainstream and alternative media is obvious. Does that cloud the facts of a story? Does it manipulate the viewer? Does an organization choose to cover what supports its view as opposed to what is in the best interest of people? Sure, news organizations have to make money. And in many cases the first step to that is finding out who your target market is and tailor your message towards them. And in most cases, mainstream and alternative organizations are doing just that; usually aligning their content to the political views of their audience.

But in the case of mainstream media, they are also aligning with corporate interests or their main TV network sponsors, which is likely why when it comes to health and Pharma, one can’t expect to get ‘the whole story’ from mainstream news. It would be a direct conflict of interest. A conflict of interest that is not widely disclosed to you, the viewer, during every broadcast about these products, which it should be.

Now, in June 2021, with the Wuhan lab origins story of COVID being taken seriously by mainstream media, in stead of coming out and admitting they had it wrong from the start because they ignored facts an published improper journalism, they continue to weave a narrative of protection – further confusing the mass populace. Which is why, I hope, you read our news and watch our media, because we have consistently been ahead of the curve over the last 12 years.

This won’t be the last time.

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Essay

If You Want To “Trust The Science” Don’t Read The Washington Post

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    When we trust media sources to explain the science, we are trusting the media source, not the science. The Washington Post's explanation of the risk the unvaccinated face is based on assumptions but presented as measurable fact.

  • Reflect On:

    So called fact checkers rarely challenge narratives coming from the MSM but unfairly attack the dissenting opinion. Who can we rely upon to fact check the fact checkers? In this piece, I demonstrate what is required of a reader to "know for oneself."

Before you begin...

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It is being proclaimed on lawn signs and social media memes, on T-shirts and in PSAs. From sea to shining sea, the message is clear: Trust the Science! This is the mantra chanted by pro-vaccine portions of the population to encourage us to do our part. Getting the jab is no longer a matter of debate. There is only one sensible choice: vaccinate or be condemned to the anti-science movement that denies the horrors of polio and remains entrenched in a flat-earth delusion.

Scientists Do Not “Trust The Science”

I have a message for all you “science trusters”: scientists don’t trust the science. Scientists are the most skeptical of the science because they know that science is always changing. That is why our understanding evolves, and why we trust the scientists to begin with.

Scientists trust the scientific method, which is an entirely different thing. In order to do the systematic measurement, experimentation, observation and reformulation of hypotheses, the scientific method demands that we approach what is happening with an open mind, so that all possibilities are on the table to begin with. It is their unbiased approach to examining what is that instills credibility to their opinion.

Unless you are a scientist yourself, it is very hard to understand what the scientists are actually saying. Trusting the science is not the same thing as trusting what the media is telling you what the science says. This is becoming more and more evident as MSM sources continue to distort and oversimplify nuanced and complicated subjects into sound bites, tweets and headlines. In this article I attempt to explain how to critically examine content published in Mainstream Media that attempts to explain “the science”.

“Lab Origins” Was Always The Scientific Position

Perhaps the biggest example of the enormous amount of Mainstream media distortion around scientific matters is the recent acknowledgement that the SARS-COV2 virus was most likely engineered in a laboratory. Of course no new evidence emerged recently. The evidence pointing to lab origins was available 15 months ago, but it was portrayed as an absurd notion unworthy of any consideration by any legitimate news source. Nevertheless, Collective Evolution covered it here nearly three months ago.

How Do We Know If The Vaccine Is Proving Effective ?

The arguments for universal vaccination have been starting to shift now that hundreds of millions of people have been vaccinated. Is the vaccine making an impact on the spread of Covid-19? That is an extremely difficult question to answer. Unless we have access to clear data that demonstrates the rate of infection in the unvaccinated compared to the vaccinated we can only guess. Why don’t we have those numbers now? It’s because we haven’t completed Phase III trials of the first vaccines that were formulated. That’s why we do the trials and why we generally wait for them to be completed before giving the vaccine to anyone.

The best data I have seen has come from Israel and published in the New England Journal of Medicine on February 24, 2021. They matched nearly 600,000 vaccinated individuals with unvaccinated ones and observed them over 42 days. At the end of that period approximately 10,000 documented cases of Covid-19 resulted, the unvaccinated outnumbered the vaccinated by about 5 to 4. To be precise, 57% of the people who got documented Covid-19 in this examination were not vaccinated. What this means is that vaccine efficacy over the entire period of observation is:

(57-43)/57=24.6%

On the other hand, the vaccine seemed to be more effective (over 91%) as time went on. This is of course encouraging and is more representative of what the vaccine’s efficacy really is. However, if we compare the incidence of the disease in the unvaccinated to the vaccinated after 35 days we are now dealing with a much smaller pool of subjects. At that point there were 47 unvaccinated people that contracted the disease compared to 4 that were vaccinated. The vaccines may prove to be that effective as time goes on.

Perhaps what is more telling is that at the end of the study period only about 1% of the people got Covid-19. Of those, 43% were vaccinated. This means the absolute risk reduction of vaccination is just over 0.1%. In other words, in order to prevent 1 case, 1000 people need to be vaccinated. If the vaccine continues to demonstrate a 91% efficacy then 110 vaccinations would prevent a single case in the long run. The point here is that unless one is willing to look more closely it is very easy to come to unsound conclusions, especially around the true impact of the vaccine.

The Washington Post Used Circular Reasoning To Make False Claims

The Washington Post has built an interactive Covid-19 data tracking page called “The Unseen Covid-19 Risk for Unvaccinated People” on May 21, 2021. This page was cited by a member of my social media community as proof that the vaccines were very effective and, based on the title of their page, the unvaccinated were facing a risk “unseen”. This person was quite convinced that remaining unvaccinated was irrational if not unconscionable and the data proved it. After all, it was in the Washington Post, a publication with a long history of balanced and rigorous inquiry.

The page demonstrates rates of infection among unvaccinated compared to the total population over time. From the day that vaccines began, it seemed (from the dozens of graphs presented) that the rate of infection in the total population began to drop faster than that of the unvaccinated. This was demonstrated in a number of selected states and not the country as a whole. Could they be cherry picking data? Of course. Nevertheless, I was surprised to see such a marked effect of the vaccines in any given population, cherry picked or not.

However, upon closer inspection something was missing. Where was the plot showing the rate of infection among the vaccinated? It wasn’t shown. The graphs only plotted total rates compared to unvaccinated rates. The mystery deepens…

Numbers of unvaccinated and vaccinated people with infection were not counted

If you searched for the raw data (the numbers of people who got covid who were vaccinated and unvaccinated), you won’t find it. So how are they able to tell us the rate of infection in the unvaccinated? They weren’t telling us that at all. Instead they created a variable which they call “Rate adjusted for Unvaccinated”. To see how they arrive at this “rate” you must read their methodology section at the bottom. In it they demonstrate their deception. They assume that 85% of all people vaccinated could not contribute to the total number of cases. They make that assumption based on a small study from the CDC involving about 4,000 people (one tenth that of the Pfizer study). They then apply this to all the states in their plots. 

This is a big assumption. Although the authors cite the study upon which this assumption is made in at the bottom of the article in the “methodology” section, the assumed efficacy of the vaccine (85%) is never explicitly stated in the body of the article. Perhaps the vaccine will turn out to be that good. The point here is that there is no consensus on what the vaccine efficacy is (Phase III trials are yet to be completed), and they buried their assumptions in the methodology section.

Let’s go back to the basics. These are the proper scientific definitions:

Total Case rate = Total Number of Cases/Total Population

Vaccinated rate = Number of Cases in Vaccinated/Number of Vaccinated 

Unvaccinated rate = Number of Cases in Unvaccinated/Number of Unvaccinated

Hopefully that was straightforward and logical. The Washington Post then introduces this term:

Rate adjusted for Unvaccinated = Total Cases/(Total Population – 0.85 x Vaccinated)

What is wrong with this? Nothing–as long as they know that only 15% of the vaccinated are contributing to the number of cases. But they don’t know this, they are assuming this in order to make their graphs. To casual Washington Post readers (numbering in the millions), it would be easy to look at the graphs and believe that that is what is being reported while in fact that is what the graphs would look like if their assumption were true. 

They are taking out 85% of the vaccinated people from the total population to calculate the new “rate” and calling that the Rate of Unvaccinated. This would in fact be true if they actually measured every population in each plot and confirmed that 85% of the vaccinated people were not contributing to the case count. But that is not what they did. They assumed that was the case, drew their plots and “demonstrated” that the rates in unvaccinated people were much worse than the vaccinated. This is pure circular reasoning.

Notice that in their formula for “Rate adjusted for Unvaccinated” the denominator is the difference between the Total Population and 85% of the vaccinated. What do you suppose happens to the adjusted unvaccinated rate as more people get vaccinated? Before answering, “it gets bigger!” notice that it depends. It depends on “Total Cases” which had also been dropping day after day. However in every graph they compare Total Case rate and Rate adjusted for Unvaccinated. A quick glance at the formulas above should lead you to the conclusion that “Rate adjusted for Unvaccinated” will always be larger than Total Case rate as more and more people get vaccinated. That is what every graph they published demonstrated. They are not introducing another artifact; it is the direct result of their assumption that in every geographical area plotted 85% of the vaccinated are protected.

They deepen the deception by subsequently referring to their “Rate adjusted for the unvaccinated” as “case rate for the unvaccinated” by subtly removing the word “adjusted”. As explained and defined above, the unvaccinated case rate requires that the actual number of unvaccinated individuals who are infected were counted. This is pure manipulation. What happened to the fact checkers?

They conclude the article by quoting Umair A. Shah, Washington State Secretary of health who makes this audacious claim:

“The people who are not vaccinated are the ones who are not wearing a mask or washing their hands. Those are the very people who oftentimes will socialize and be around similar like-minded people. You’re going to have the pandemic continue in those clusters.”

I wonder how Dr. Shah, an MD and epidemiologist was able to make this measurement? Did he survey unvaccinated people to see if they were wearing masks or washing their hands? Did he surveil them? This level of propaganda coming from the Washington Post or any other media platform is unconscionable yet continues to go unchecked.

The Takeaway

The Washington Post is not the only culprit in this kind of manipulation. In this piece from CE, similar kinds of spin were apparent in the NYTimes in their effort to paint 5G naysayers as Russian apologists and citing articles that contradicted their own position. Are established, corporate funded publications given an enormous amount of latitude because of their reputation? Or is it because they contribute to a narrative that is accepted by their sponsors and “independent” fact-checkers? I believe it is both.

(This article was corrected on June 7, 2021 to clarify the efficacy results from the NEJM paper submitted 2/24/21)

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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!

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