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Rihanna Allegedly Paid 2.5 Million For Indian Farmer Protest Tweet As “Conspiracies” Emerge

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Farmers are protesting in India because they have concerns about corporate exploitation. The Indian government is suggesting these protests have been 'hijacked' and used by those who wish to smear the current government and destabilize it.

  • Reflect On:

    Why is it so hard to find out what's really happening when it comes to geopolitics? Why are we so divided on so many issues? What's really going on here?

Before you begin...

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In the title I put the term “conspiracies” in quotes because many times, as many of you reading this already know, many “conspiracies” are not actually conspiracies. That being said some are, but the term is used today, especially by mainstream media, to ridicule information and evidence that doesn’t fit within the framework of accepted knowledge or what seems to be getting the most attention. I recently published an article titled “India Shuts Down Internet Around New Delhi As The Corporate Takeover of Food Continues.” After doing so I came across another perspective that I did not include in that article.

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In this article I am attempting to put a decent amount of information within it to give readers an idea as to why so much controversy is currently surrounding this issue. This, to me, is unfortunate and a common theme on planet Earth. It seems it’s so hard to tell what’s really going on, especially when multiple governments in many ways have become puppets for major corporations and the major financial institutions that sit above them. Our perception with regards to these events in my opinion, in many ways, always seem to be heavily manipulated and thus more division is created among people.

The farmer protests are a good thing, in my opinion, and concerns about corporate exploitation need to be addressed. That being said, there is another perspective. What’s right and wrong doesn’t really matter. Handling it with peace and dialogue is what matters. Why can’t this be done? What is going on? It has come to my attention that others may be benefiting, that do not represent these farmers at all, by turning this into a religious fight for ulterior motives when it has nothing at all to do with that. Have rogue groups infiltrated these protests?

Why Are Farmers Protesting? Farmers are protesting three bills created by the Indian government known as the “Farm Bills.” Ever since they were approved, mass outrage has ensued coming from people within the agricultural sector. For decades, the Indian government has given farmers guaranteed prices for certain crops, but the new laws allow farmers to sell their goods to anybody for any price, giving them more freedom to sell directly to buyers as well as other states. Right now, most farmers sell the majority of their produce at government-controlled markets (referred to as mandis) for an assured price called the Minimum Support Price (MSP). They’re worried that the changes will lead to the government removing MSP, leaving farmers in a difficult position. This concern, however, has been addressed by the government, they’ve told the farmers that they will still have this option and that’s one of many reasons why many don’t understand why these farmers are upset. It’s also come to my attention that not all farmers are upset and feel that these types, and many other reforms, are needed with regards to farming in India.

These markets (mandis) are run by farmers and large landowners, they are the “middle” men that deal with storage, transport, etc. You can read more about these “middle men” here as they are also worried that they will lose their livelihoods due to these new reforms.

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So, on paper, these bills give the farmers an option of selling outside this “mandi” system if they would like. But the farmers are upset because they believe this will mark the end of the mandi system and assured prices, although the government, again, seems to have made it quite clear that this current system will stay in place. But can the government be trusted?

Farmers who are protesting believe the new reforms leave them open to exploitation as the bills allow private business to come into the equation and potentially exploit farmers. They are worried that if they are not satisfied with the price offered by a private buyer, they cannot return to the mandi system. They feel that at first these private players will come in and offer better prices, thus driving the mandis away and then after a few years the farmers will be subjected to exploitation, with no other option. They are worried that the “middle men” will be put out of business, even with the government’s promise that the mandi system will remain. While farmers could sell crops at elevated prices if the demand is there, conversely, they could struggle to meet the minimum price in years when there is too much supply in the market.

“This is a death warrant for small and marginalised farmers. This is aimed at destroying them by handing over agriculture and market to the big corporates. They want to snatch away our land. But we will not let them do this,” Sukhdev Singh Kokri, a farmer, told BBC Punjabi.

The protests have been the strongest in Punjab and the neighbouring Haryana state. There are reports that claim it’s the largest protest in history.

On the other side of the coin, I have received many messages from people in India claiming that there are protests supporting these new laws, that farmers will prosper more under these reforms and that they do nothing but good for farmers. People are quite polarized on this issue it seems. I don’t know much about it. Sadhguru, a prominent spiritual “leader” recently shared that he does not know “exactly what is it that’s upsetting the farmers.” He stated that many farmers he’s talked to in Haryana are not bothered by the reforms at all. This is interesting, as I’ve come across many people in India who feel this way. What seems suspicious is that, as usual, we are only getting one side and perspective from the mainstream media, which should, in my opinion, always raise a red flag.

Bob Blackman, a conservative party MP from the United Kingdom, has offered support to India’s farm laws, as have many others around the world. In a tweet, Blackman also posted a “blithering idiot’s guide to India’s agri reforms.” His wording could have been different, but it’s quite informative to offer the perspective we are not hearing about.

Both sides seem to be completely ridiculing one another, which is quite unfortunate.

That being said, big corporate influence in India with regards to farming and food is nothing new and this is very important to emphasize. To read and learn more about that, I suggest you read a recent article written by Dr. Vandana Shiva titled, “Indian farmers’ 30 year struggle against corporate globalisation and 40 year struggle against the green revolution.” Her books are also a great resources documenting the takeover of seed and the immoral and unethical actions of big corporations, like Monsanto, in India and all over the world.  Tens and thousands of farmers in India have committed suicide as a recent of this corporate takeover of agriculture. It’s not surprising at all why so many farmers would be against any type of multinational corporate involvement. There is a bad history in India, and many other countries with regards to this. President Modi has welcomed big agribusiness into India, and the GMOs and pesticides that come with them.

I reached out to multiple friends on Instagram who are in India, I am receiving many conflicting stories and viewpoints, but for the most part the viewpoint represented below seems to be one that’s receiving no attention in the west, so I thought I would share it. There are farmers who are very concerned, there’s no doubt about that and they have been peacefully protesting, but, according to one of my contacts in India who wishes to remain anonymous:

If you ask me, there are no absolutes in this protest and there is an element of misinformation surrounding the farm laws, not to mention labour reforms (That no one is talking about). Punjab happens to have a greater number of the most wealthiest of farmers India with a vibrant community that contributes most to agriculture and the Armed forces. Average land holdings of a farmer in Punjab happens to be 17 acres as opposed to 1-2 acres for the rest of India. The disparity within agriculture is staggering and full respects have to be paid to the Punjabis for holding up the mantle and sticking it to the man! The virtue of being the only lobby of farmers having the might and stamina to carry on a protest of this nature.

Having said that, I personally  think the laws will benefit the country and farmers as a whole. They may believe the fight is against a corporate takeover, but the truth is they will remain enslaved in debt within the “Arithiyas” or middlemen system, depriving themselves of a free market economy. This will let them sell to anyone in the world without having ever to go to a ‘Mandi’. India a far cry from developed nations where cold chains, cold storages and easy logistics are taken for granted. The very same happened with dairy farmers after AMUL took wings as a decentralised corporate entity but today it has empowered and uplifted many. The very politicians who are supporting the protests are seen fanning fires.They are also the ones that started formulating the very same reforms during their tenures.

Ironic is it not? Well this is the nature of dissent in India, Nothing is as it seems and it always looks like both parties in a brawl are right in some way. I can’t comment beyond  beyond a point being unable to put myself in the shoes of a Punjabi farmer. But all I know is, down south where I am from farmers can’t even afford to protest for even a day or they lose pay. There are no easy answers here. Hopefully, everyone  is better off after this whole movement. The farmers and the mouths they feed!

Outside Influence? Deception? Below is a statement recently released by the Indian government. They claim that “vested interests groups” are trying to “enforce” these agendas on these protests, and derail them. They are not denying that these protests are happening, and that some farmers are very concerned and worried, but they are claiming that outside influence and perhaps “actors” have infiltrated the peaceful protests to turn them violent in a possible attempt to destabilize the government and make them look like terrible people. If this is true, this does not bode well for either side, the protestors or the government and you would think that both sides would be united in not welcoming this “infiltration.” They (the government) claim that “a very small” group of farmers in certain regions do have concerns and that they are willing to work with them in a peaceful manner.

On the other hand, I’ve had videos and information sent to me from people on the scene claiming that the Indian government has hired people to provoke violence, making it look like peaceful protests are violent so the police and government can use violence as an excuse to shut down the protests and stop the movement. There are reports of human rights abuses and more. The United Nations recently gave heat to this allegation.  Again, I don’t know what to believe at this point.

Dr. Prabhjot Singh uses the “Black Cats” as an example. According to one of his recent Instagram posts, “The Indian government faced strong opposition from Sikhs in the time period between the mid 1970’s to mid-1990’s. To counter this, they set up a covert operation nicknamed “Black Cats.” The Indian government would hire individuals, and wait until they could grow beards. Then they would tie turbans and the government would send them to kill groups of Hindus in buses or villages in Punjab. During these events, the Black Cats would use names of people that the Indian government wanted to eliminate. The indian media would then publicize killings of Hindus to divide religious unity, and plaint prominent Sikh figures as a terrorists..”

This, keep in mind, was a long time ago under a completely different government, but deception tactics are common place these days amongst multiple governments, so I just wanted to use it as an example as it’s one of many. The Indian government’s claim that other powerful interests have infiltrated the protests for ulterior motives is something people are curious about. In the West, people have lost trust in mainstream media so much that when they are pushing one perspective or drawing a lot of attention to something, they believe there is a lot of deception going on, or something is at least suspicious. Celebrities here are constantly used to push political agendas and narratives. In this case, we are getting only one perspective regarding the farmers protest, and that perspective is painting the current Indian government as “bad” and allowing the corporate takeover of farming continue. Again, I believe this is indeed very much the case, perhaps not quite so with this particular example (but maybe it is?), but the corporate takeover of food across the globe has been a common for a long time. The Green Revolution, for example, left farmers discontented and indebted as the result of degraded soil, and pest-ridden crops, which caused slavery and disillusionment as well as tension in the State of Punjab between the farming community and a newly centralized state taking charge of agricultural policy as well as agricultural commodities’ prices, finance and credit. Before the Green Revolution, ​ ​Punjab was the​​ land of five rivers, prosperous, ​with ​hard-working farmers​.​  By 1984 Punjab farmers were protesting against this slavery​.

“Corporations have been trying to impose free trade deregulation of Agriculture since 1990s, Freedom for corporations translates into unfreedom for farmers & consumers . Farmers income collapse , consumer prices increase polarization of prices = superprofits for corporations.” – Dr. Vandana Shiva

Is what’s happening now simply just a continuation of infiltration by corporate giants that do not have Indian farmers best interests at heart?

What about Rihanna? This idea of infiltration was amplified when Rihanna, a world famous music star, tweeted an article by CNN covering the protests saying, “Why aren’t we talking about this,” but according to a report by The Printthe music star was paid 2.5 million to put it out. Greta Thunberg has also come under fire.

The “toolkit” for protestors that was tweeted and then deleted by environmental activist Greta Thunberg, 18, to garner support for the ongoing farmers’ protest was allegedly “fed to her” as part of a “larger conspiracy to create disharmony”, sources in the security establishment told The Print. According to “sources”, Canada-based organisation Poetic Justice Foundation (PJF) played a “vital role” in “starting a global campaign”, with backing from “political leaders and activists based out of Canada.

The people that are on the radar of Indian agencies include Mo Dhaliwal, founder of the PJF and director of a PR firm named Skyrocket, Marina Patterson, who worked as a relationship manager with PR firms, Anita Lal, director of the Canada-based World Sikh Organisation, and co-founder of PJF, and Canadian parliamentarian Jagmeet Singh. According to sources, it was Skyrocket that allegedly paid $2.5 million to popstar Rihanna to tweet in support of the farmers’ protest in India. Dhaliwal, the sources said, is a Canada-based Sikh who is a “self-proclaimed Sikh separatist” and is also close to Jagmeet Singh.

There is obviously no way to verify this at all. It could very well be untrue? Who knows. When a claim is made that “according to sources” this is true, without an actual proof that’s the case it’s hard to believe. That being said, there’s also a possibility that it’s true. I simply don’t know.

Below is a recent tweet by  Saket Gokhale regarding the article sourced above, a “Transparency Activist & Investigator| Anti Fascist | Former foreign correspondent.”

The more I look into this, the more I see, as similar in the United States, so many people are completely divided in what they believe. What’s even more perplexing is that you have really good warm hearted people on both ends of the spectrum, as with so many other issues. At the end of the day, all of us want the same thing, for everyone to prosper.

Numerous stars in India have taken to twitter voicing their opinion that these protests have been infiltrated and used by powerful people to divide the country even more and destabilize the government so that the ‘powers that be’ can come in and take over for ulterior motives. For example, Indian actress Kangana Ranaut replied to Rihanna stating that:

No one is talking about it because they are not farmers they are terrorists who are trying to divide India, so that China can take over our vulnerable broken nation and make it a Chinese colony much like USA… Sit down you fool, we are not selling our nation like you dummies.

There have been many responses,  Sadhguru tweeted the following:

It is important to understand celebrity status in the world does not not give you an understanding of internal situations of a nation. India has a democratically elected govt with all the necessary systems to address its internal issues. We don’t need your help. Thank you. -Sg

“My country is proud of our farmers and knows important they are,” former Indian cricketer Pragyan Ojha tweeted at Rihanna.“We don’t need an outsider poking her nose in our internal matters!”

Apparently the Indian government has launched an investigation into these rogue interests.

This, according to some messages I’ve received, has turned into some sort of religious issue which is unfortunate and unnecessary. There is a possibility here that “rogue” interests are benefiting here from turning this into a religious fight when it’s not really about that at all. It’s about farmers, their concerns and their desire for a safeguard against big corporations who they fear will exploit them. And again, I’ve received messages emphasizing that the Indian government is simply trying to do good by the famers, which may very well be true as well as discussed above. It seems obvious to many that it’s not true, and that this government is really taking advantage of farmers. It also seems to be obvious to many that that’s not the case.

So confusing looking from the outside in.

This rogue interest group may be the “Khalistan” movement according to messages I’ve received. This is a “Sikh separatist movement” that is not really welcomed within the country, by anybody, or any religion. It has no place in India according to some messages I’ve received, but I don’t know much about it but many Sikhs do not welcome it either. They desire their own land/government that is seperate from India, when most people in the country desire a united and free India.

Throughout all this conflict I find that everybody just wants to get along. This is the sentiment in the heart of most humans, and it’s what unites us all. Apparently this movement has ties with to the organizations mentioned above that supposedly paid Rihanna, and supplied Gretta with the “toolkit.” But again, these allegations remain unconfirmed.

Is this a classic attempt to create destabilization India, by powerful people, for ulterior motives? We’ve seen it many times before in various countries for many reasons. The “War on Terror” in the middle east is perhaps the best example, where Western interests funded, trained, armed and created the various terrorist organizations they claim to be fighting against.

Lt Gen H S panag, who who served in the Indian Army for 40 years, offers another perspective,

The aftermath of the 26 January violence even more disturbing. The  perpetrators were predominantly Sikhs, or certainly the more visible ones because of their unique Sikh identity. This led to perceived ‘substantiation’ of the politically inspired campaign that was started by neo-nationalists with active cooperation of pliant media since end November — to dub the farmers’ mass protest as revival of the Khalistan movement. The visuals of violence were aggressively exploited to discredit the farmers’ movement. The short-term aim of politicians and their supporters is to derail the movement, but its resonance is being felt in Punjab. It spells ominous portents for communal harmony in the state and if not checked may become the first stride towards replanting the seed of radicalism in the psyche of the Sikh community.

He goes on,

Then there is the traditional approach of the State to discredit a mass movement contesting its will by shaping public opinion through a perverse narrative assisted by its supporters and a large section of media. The agitation may be infiltrated with provocateurs or one of the dissipated groups may be sponsored/encouraged with tacit support to engineer violence and sabotage the movement itself. Finally (what we are seeing now) is crackdown by the State with full support of the shaped public opinion. The will of the State is reimposed and it is business as usual. All of the above was at play since 26 November.

This is what I mentioned earlier in the article, the idea that governments want to discredit and shutdown peaceful protests so they engineer violence. Perhaps the engineered violence was a result of the government and not foreign interests groups? I don’t know, it doesn’t seem that way according to many, and according to many others it does, but it was interesting to hear a high ranking military veteran say this.

He also states,

With respect to Punjab farmers, there were two factors that impinged on the spirit of the movement. First, Sikhs living abroad are close to their roots and actively participate in Punjab politics through donations. Every family has at least one member settled abroad. Some of these Sikhs are radicalised proponents of Khalistan, they attempt to hijack every movement of Sikhs through their proxies.

So, he sees the idea of painting these protests as a “Khalistan” movement ridiculous, it seems. But he  acknowledges their attempt to infiltrate such movements, like these farmers protests, is a very real thing.

The Takeaway:  One thing is for certain, today it’s so hard for people to really understand what is happening in our world, myself included. Big media seems to exist only to sway the perception of the masses with regards to numerous events. Truth never really seems to be the priority, and as a result people become very polarized in their beliefs which is a very easy catalyst for conflict. Furthermore, outside influence and infiltrating movements for political purposes and ulterior motives is and has been a common theme throughout history, there are numerous examples.

I’ve tried to understand what’s happening with the farmers protests the more I realize how useless our global geopolitical system has become. I’m truly sick of it, and it’s frustrating to know that the human race has the potential to move beyond these “systems” and start to at least question how this can be done. The way we do things here on planet Earth is clearly not serving us, and constantly turning to government to solve our issues doesn’t seem to be viable solution. That being said, I don’t have the answer.

At the end of the day, I would hope that everybody, be it police or protestors, regardless of what “side” one is one, that they do not succumb  to violence or hate, if this is indeed the case.  More important than truth and what we believe is happening, and this can’t be emphasized enough, is our ability to get along and love each other, to help one another, and to empathize with each other and try to understand where someone who has an opposing perspective is coming from. We cannot continue to coexist if we continue to move forward and operate from this level of consciousness. This issue should really force us to ask deeper questions about why we live the way we do on planet Earth when we have the potential to do so much better. How much longer do we want to play with and rely on a system where it’s not clear to everybody that it has humanity’s best interests at heart? Politics has become a cesspool of corruption to the point where it seems participating in and making this type of system the ‘decision maker’ can never really lead to decisions that benefit everybody. Most governments, including the Indian government, have very close ties to interests that seem to have a bigger agenda for the entire human race. Perhaps that’s what The Great Reset is all about?

The Bigger Picture:

Most importantly, as our About Us page on CE states:

We live in a time where virtually every aspect of our society is changing or crumbling. Power is shifting and old ways of looking at and understanding our world are no longer working. New voices and ideas are emerging that encourage us to look more deeply at why our world is the way it is, and what about us creates it to be this way.

Collective Evolution is a news-media and education company that creates content to explore how humanity can shift our consciousness and way of being to evolve beyond the personal and global challenges we face. We help encourage the development of inner faculties to explore more about how we can arrive at truth as opposed to just saying what truth is. Our work encourages a greater connection to self, an increase of self-awareness and being aware of what’s around us. We encourage others to let information be as opposed to it defining who we are and developing ideology. 

What do our current events say about how we operate as people? What do our societal structures and common issues say about our level of thinking (consciousness) and what type of ideas we’re bringing to the table? What if the solution to the many challenges we feel we face today is actually in changing how we think, relate to one another, and even relate to our world?

We feel this is one of the key missing factors in mainstream media, alternative media and traditional societal discussions today, and therefore we create our content to inspire personal transformation and the expansion of collective consciousness through two key avenues: news media and personal transformation content.”

We’ve always felt that bringing the inner work, inner transformation aspect into making sense of our world was key as it is empowering and actually allows each person to take responsibility for what they are creating in their life and in the world. By developing inner faculties like critical thinking, presence, self-awareness, and intuition, we can better understand our world and why it is the way it is. We can also begin to become aware of an expanded state of who we are, which may choose to create society from a completely different mindset than simply believing we are a cog in the wheel with beliefs and ideologies that are outdated and don’t resonate with us. At the end of the day change begins within. If we want peace in our outside world, we have to have peace within. Imagine living on a planet where all humans were peaceful within? If that were the cases, such issues like we are experiencing now wouldn’t even exist.

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Attention Readers: We’ve Moved Our Journalism To The Pulse

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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.

A large portion of our journalism that you’re used to seeing on our Collective Evolution platform has now moved over to The Pulse. We will be publishing most of our news articles there, while Collective Evolution focuses more on personal development.

You can follow The Pulse on Telegram, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  

We’ve done this for a number of reasons, mainly due to the struggles we’ve had with regards to extreme censorship at Collective Evolution. We hope you join us over at The Pulse in our quest to keep doing what we do!

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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Abductions & Car Vandalism – Startling Australian UFO Report Unclassified

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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.

An uncovered Australian report performed by their Department of Defence. “Scientific Intelligence — General — Unidentified Flying Objects” is trending again. Those who have done extensive research on UFOs will find the Australian version of disclosure to be far more intellectually honest than the American version. Albeit it was conducted decades ago.

According to ex-US intelligence official Luis Elizondo, the Defense Department’s Inspector General is presently conducting three reviews. The inquiries vary from the Department of Defense’s handling of UFO claims to Elizondo’s alleged whistleblower retribution. The open IG cases are crucial to Australia’s report because they establish beyond a shadow of a doubt that the US Department of Defense is being dishonest and shady when it comes to the UFO subject. For decades, Australia has been a loyal friend of the United States. Within Australia’s boundaries, they share a military installation (Pine Gap). When a close defense ally’s intelligence agencies determined that the US was not being intellectually honest in its approach, perhaps it is reasonable to conclude that there is more to the tale than the 144 incidents studied since 2004 by the UAPTF.

The CIA became alarmed at the overloading of military communications during the mass sightings of 1952 and considered the possibility that the USSR may take advantage of such a situation.

Australian UFO study.

According to the summary, OSI, acting through the Robertson-Panel, encouraged the USAF to use Project Blue Book to publicly “debunk” UFOs. In a tragic twist of fate, when Australian authorities sought explanations from the US Air Force, the allegation was debunked. The authors of the study were depicted as conspiratorial and even crazy by the US Air Force. Ross Coulthart reported this, and it may be heard in a recent Project Unity interview. Courthart is an award-winning investigative journalist who is drawn to forbidden subjects. He also stated on the same podcast that a senior US Navy official identified as Nat Kobitz told him that the US had been in the midst of reverse-engineering numerous non-human craft. According to his obituary, Mr. Kobitz was a former Director of Research and Development at Naval Sea Systems Command.

Continue reading the entire article at The Pulse. 

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PGA Tour To End COVID Testing For Both Vaccinated & Non-Vaccinated Players

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The PGA Tour has announced that it will stop testing players every week, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not.

  • Reflect On:

    Are PCR tests appropriate to identify infectious people? Should people who are healthy and not sick be tested at all, anywhere?

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.

The picture you see above is of John Rahm, a professional golfer on the PGA tour being carted off the golf course after tournament officials told him he had COVID. He was healthy and had no symptoms, yet was forced to withdraw from the tournament. He was told in front of the camera’s, and a big scene was made out of the event. You would think something like that, especially when you are a big time sports figure, would be done behind closed doors with some privacy.

Earlier on in June a spokesperson for the PGA Tour said that more than 50 percent of players on the PGA tour have been vaccinated. Although it seems that the majority of players on the tour will be fully vaccinated judging by this statement, it does leave a fairly large minority who won’t be, and that’s something we’re seeing across the globe as COVID vaccine hesitancy remains high for multiple reasons.

We are pleased to announce, after consultation with PGA Tour medical advisors, that due to the high rate of vaccination among all constituents on the PGA Tour, as well as other positively trending factors across the country, testing for COVID-19 will no longer be required as a condition of competition beginning with the 3M Open. – PGA tour Senior VP Tyler Dennis

The tour recently announced that the testing of players every week will stop starting in July for both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. This was an unexpected announcement given the fact that, at least it seems in some countries, vaccinated individuals will enjoy previous rights and freedoms that everyone did before the pandemic. Travelling without need to quarantine and possibly in the future not having to be tested could be a few of those privileges. Others may include attending concerts, sporting events, or perhaps even keeping their job depending on whether or not their employer deems it to be mandatory, if that’s even legally possible. We will see what happens.

Luckily for professional golfers, regardless of their vaccination status they won’t have to worry about testing positive for COVID, especially if they’re not sick. This is the appropriate move by the PGA tour, who is represented by their players and it’s a move that the players themselves may have had a say in. It’s important because PCR tests are not designed nor are they appropriate for identifying infectious people. A number of scientists have been emphasizing this since the beginning of the pandemic. More recently, a letter to the editor published in the Journal of infection explain why more than half of al “positive” PCR tests are likely to have been people who are not infectious, otherwise known as “false positives.”

This is why the Swedish Public Health agency has a notice on their website explaining how and why polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are not useful for determining if someone is infected with COVID or if someone can transmit it to others, and it’s better to use someone who is actually showing symptoms as a judgement call of whether or not they could be infected or free from infection.

PCR tests using a high cycle threshold are extremely sensitive. An article published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that among positive PCR samples with a cycle count over 35, only 3 percent of the samples showed viral replication. This can be interpreted as, if someone tests positive via PCR when a Ct of 35 or higher is used, the probability that said person is actually infected is less than 3%, and the probability that said result is a false positive is 97 percent. This begs the question, why has Manitoba, Canada, for example, using cycle thresholds of up to 45 to identify “positive” people?

When it comes to golf, the fact that spread occurring in an outdoor setting is highly unlikely could have been a factor, but it’s also important to mention that asymptomatic spread within one’s own household is also considerably rare. It really makes you wonder what’s going on here, doesn’t it?

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