How Fanatics Took Over The World

Tyler Durden's PhotoBY TYLER DURDENFRIDAY, JUN 11, 2021 – 09:40 PM

Authored by Jeffrey Tucker via,

Early in the pandemic, I had been furiously writing articles about lockdowns. My phone rang with a call from a man named Dr. Rajeev Venkayya. He is the head of a vaccine company but introduced himself as former head of pandemic policy for the Gates Foundation.

Now I was listening.

I did not know it then, but I’ve since learned from Michael Lewis’s (mostly terrible) book The Premonition that Venkayya was, in fact, the founding father of lockdowns. While working for George W. Bush’s White House in 2005, he headed a bioterrorism study group. From his perch of influence – serving an apocalyptic president — he was the driving force for a dramatic change in U.S. policy during pandemics.

He literally unleashed hell.

That was 15 years ago. At the time, I wrote about the changes I was witnessing, worrying that new White House guidelines (never voted on by Congress) allowed the government to put Americans in quarantine while closing their schools, businesses, and churches shuttered, all in the name of disease containment.

I never believed it would happen in real life; surely there would be public revolt. Little did I know, we were in for a wild ride…

The Man Who Lit the Match

Last year, Venkayya and I had a 30-minute conversation; actually, it was mostly an argument. He was convinced that lockdown was the only way to deal with a virus. I countered that it was wrecking rights, destroying businesses, and disturbing public health. He said it was our only choice because we had to wait for a vaccine. I spoke about natural immunity, which he called brutal. So on it went.

The more interesting question I had at the time was why this certified Big Shot was wasting his time trying to convince a poor scribbler like me. What possible reason could there be?

The answer, I now realized, is that from February to April 2020, I was one of the few people (along with a team of researchers) who openly and aggressively opposed what was happening.

There was a hint of insecurity and even fear in Venkayya’s voice. He saw the awesome thing he had unleashed all over the world and was anxious to tamp down any hint of opposition. He was trying to silence me. He and others were determined to crush all dissent.

This is how it has been for the better part of the last 15 months, with social media and YouTube deleting videos that dissent from lockdowns. It’s been censorship from the beginning.

For all the problems with Lewis’s book, and there are plenty, he gets this whole backstory right. Bush came to his bioterrorism people and demanded some huge plan to deal with some imagined calamity. When Bush saw the conventional plan — make a threat assessment, distribute therapeutics, work toward a vaccine — he was furious.

“This is bulls**t,” the president yelled.

“We need a whole-of-society plan. What are you going to do about foreign borders? And travel? And commerce?”

Hey, if the president wants a plan, he’ll get a plan.

“We want to use all instruments of national power to confront this threat,” Venkayya reports having told colleagues.

“We were going to invent pandemic planning.”

This was October 2005, the birth of the lockdown idea.

Dr. Venkayya began to fish around for people who could come up with the domestic equivalent of Operation Desert Storm to deal with a new virus. He found no serious epidemiologists to help. They were too smart to buy into it. He eventually bumped into the real lockdown innovator working at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico.

Cranks, Computers, and Cooties

His name was Robert Glass, a computer scientist with no medical training, much less knowledge, about viruses. Glass, in turn, was inspired by a science fair project that his 14-year-old daughter was working on.

She theorized (like the cooties game from grade school) that if school kids could space themselves out more or even not be at school at all, they would stop making each other sick. Glass ran with the idea and banged out a model of disease control based on stay-at-home orders, travel restrictions, business closures, and forced human separation.

Crazy right? No one in public health agreed with him but like any classic crank, this convinced Glass even more. I asked myself, “Why didn’t these epidemiologists figure it out?” They didn’t figure it out because they didn’t have tools that were focused on the problem. They had tools to understand the movement of infectious diseases without the purpose of trying to stop them.

Genius, right? Glass imagined himself to be smarter than 100 years of experience in public health. One guy with a fancy computer would solve everything! Well, he managed to convince some people, including another person hanging around the White House named Carter Mecher, who became Glass’s apostle.

Please consider the following quotation from Dr. Mecher in Lewis’s book: “If you got everyone and locked each of them in their own room and didn’t let them talk to anyone, you would not have any disease.”

At last, an intellectual has a plan to abolish disease — and human life as we know it too! As preposterous and terrifying as this is — a whole society not only in jail but solitary confinement — it sums up the whole of Mecher’s view of disease. It’s also completely wrong.

Pathogens are part of our world; they are generated by human contact. We pass them onto each other as the price for civilization, but we also evolved immune systems to deal with them. That’s 9th-grade biology, but Mecher didn’t have a clue.

Fanatics Win the Day

Jump forward to March 12, 2020. Who exercised the major influence over the decision to close schools, even though it was known at that time that SARS-CoV-2 posed almost risk to people under the age of 20? There was even evidence that they did not spread COVID-19 to adults in any serious way.

Didn’t matter. Mecher’s models — developed with Glass and others — kept spitting out a conclusion that shutting down schools would drop virus transmission by 80%. I’ve read his memos from this period — some of them still not public — and what you observe is not science but ideological fanaticism in play.

Based on the timestamp and length of the emails, he was clearly not sleeping much. Essentially he was Lenin on the eve of the Bolshevik Revolution. How did he get his way?

There were three key elements: public fear, media and expert acquiescence, and the baked-in reality that school closures had been part of “pandemic planning” for the better part of 15 years. Essentially, the lockdowners, over the course of 15 years, had worn out the opposition. Lavish funding, attrition of wisdom within public health, and ideological fanaticism prevailed.

Figuring out how our expectations for normal life were so violently foiled, how our happy lives were brutally crushed, will consume serious intellectuals for many years. But at least we now have a first draft of history.

As with almost every revolution in history, a small minority of crazy people with a cause prevailed over the humane rationality of multitudes. When people catch on, the fires of vengeance will burn very hot.

The task now is to rebuild a civilized life that is no longer so fragile as to allow insane people to lay waste to all that humanity has worked so hard to build.


The G7 and the arrogance of Covid theatre

Politicians know how pointless many Covid rules are. But they still expect the rest of us to follow them.


The G7 and the arrogance of Covid theatre


We know that so many of the Covid rituals are pointless. Has a single life been saved by the ubiquitous elbow bump? Does social distancing in the great outdoors really stave off infection? Is there any point to wearing a mask while walking around, only to take it off as soon as you sit down? And now, thanks to the pictures from the G7, we know that our leaders know these gestures are largely pointless, too. The contrast between the official, staged, ‘Covid-secure’ photos of the G7 leaders and the rest of the footage of them could not be more stark.

In one set of photos, we saw our presidents and prime ministers adhering strictly to social-distancing guidance, wearing masks and greeting each other with their elbows. Meanwhile, other footage showed them hugging, slapping each other’s backs and crowding together in large groups – Covid rules be damned.

Some have alleged that the leaders’ BBQ exceeded England’s legal limit on gatherings. The government insists that it stuck to the ‘rule of 30’ for outdoor events. But it is not the possible rule-breaking that should annoy us – it is the persistence of all the Covid theatre.

All of the G7 leaders will have been vaccinated. All have been getting tested for Covid every day. So why do they insist on going through the motions for the camera, only to jettison the rituals moments later? They could not have made it clearer that this is all for show.

Clearly, major diplomatic events like the G7 summit cannot properly function with social distancing or masking rules. Sometimes the informal get-togethers, the quiet chit-chats in between the official meetings, can be just as important for getting a diplomatic breakthrough as the official roundtables.

What the G7 leaders fail to recognise is that the same is true for the rest of society. Social life, business and creativity are all being sacrificed to Covid theatre, even as the threat from Covid recedes. It would be impossible to calculate the vast number of ideas, inventions and creative leaps that would have otherwise emerged in the past year or so were it not for bans on people mixing informally. Spontaneous interactions, chance encounters and rubbing up against each other are what drive society forward. But these kinds of interactions have been effectively banned for all but the most powerful people on Earth.

All of the G7 nations have instituted lockdowns and social-distancing rules of some form over the past 15 months. And in all of these countries, high-ranking politicians and public-health officials have been caught, in their private lives, breaking the very rules they devised for the public.

We are bound to see even more of this hypocrisy in future. Climate change will eventually overshadow Covid-19 as the threat that most concerns our elites. As with Covid, we can expect them to implement restrictions on travel and on economic activity in response. We are already treated, every year, to the spectacle of private jets and helicopters descending for gatherings like the World Economic Forum, so that the global elites can decide which of our freedoms should be sacrificed for the good of the planet. Many citizens are currently banned from the skies thanks to Covid restrictions. Perhaps we will be kept out by exorbitant carbon pricing in decades to come. But we know the rich and powerful will continue to travel as they please.

What made the G7 summit snaps all the more galling was that we all knew the prime minister was planning to announce another month of restrictions. Meanwhile, our leaders are only expected to tolerate these restrictions for the duration of a photo-op. It’s time they stopped patronising the public with these phoney Covid gestures, and let people get on with the business of living.

Bleached New World

The object of our current crisis has not been to get people back to life, joy, and pleasure but to institute a “new normal,” which involves denial of humanity and an excuse for our own lack of joy.

By Emina Melonic

June 8, 2021

In Todd Haynes’ 1995 film, “Safe,” Julianne Moore plays an affluent housewife, Carol White. Carol leads a comfortable life with her husband and stepson. They live in an upscale home with a servant; she spends her days gardening, taking aerobics classes, and seeing her female friends. But Carol feels isolated from her environment. The relationship with her husband is polite and respectful but distant. Her stepson doesn’t much like her, and her friendships are based on social standing. Carol’s concerns are trivial, like attending a baby shower, getting a perm and a manicure, and causing an uproar over the fact that the furniture company delivered a wrong-colored couch.

Carol is suffering from malaise, and everything she does takes extra effort. She begins to feel physically sick, first from the exhaust fumes on the freeway, and then from the entire environment that surrounds her. She begins to watch videos about environmental disasters and how they influence our lives. The power of suggestion is strong and her mind leads her to think she is allergic to chemicals. In order to alleviate her symptoms, she checks into Wrenwood, a  health center whose patients all suffer from supposed “chemical sensitivities.” 

Carol doesn’t get better, however, and she further descends into what she considers the safe zone, away from the environment, the people in it, and ultimately even her family. She ends up in a small geodesic dome akin to a concrete cell. She is alone, sitting on a metal bed, barely illuminated, muttering words of self-love and affirmation as the film ends.

Haynes’ film could be taken on a literal level but, of course, it also functions as a metaphor for an unstable life. Carol’s malaise is not in her body but in her mind. Without being fully conscious of it, she participates in an annihilation of herself. Although the film is supposed to take place in the late 1980s, with allusions to the AIDS epidemic and social commentary on the affluent apathy so popularly criticized in those years, as well as the advent of self-help books, videos, and gurus, the ideas of safety and risk-taking are very much part of our current society’s rhetoric and reality.

The COVID-19 crisis, which still appears to be going on in some absurdly undefined fashion, has brought out not only the political divisions among people but also the emotional and psychological divisions. At the beginning of the crisis, we observed people as being either afraid or not afraid of the virus itself, but as time went on, it became clear that the real division was between people who are afraid of life and those who are not. 

Even after the CDC made an announcement that vaccinated people didn’t have to wear masks indoors anymore, many took to social media to proudly and “virtuously” announce that they will continue to wear a mask even after they have been vaccinated. They’re doing it for the sake of others, the narrative goes, but in reality, such decisions are grounded in fear. Much like Carol in Haynes’ film, they too are forsaking their family members by refusing to see them even after they have been vaccinated. Some have even said that they are afraid of venturing out and seeing people again, and therefore prefer to stay home and work remotely. One presumes that some of these people will continue to wear masks indefinitely, perhaps even alone in a car.

At the outset of the virus crisis and now, one of the primary challenges has been how to deal with authoritarian powers. But there is more to this. Totalitarianism and authoritarianism cannot multiply without willing participants. As Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges observed, “dictatorships breed oppression, dictatorships breed civility, dictatorships breed cruelty; more loathsome still is the fact that they breed idiocy.” Those who were afraid of life to begin with and who were seeking their salvation either through ideology or government ended up being the very same people who were most afraid of the virus. Much like Carol White, they wanted to create a perpetual zone of safety to avoid their deep fear and denial of death.

One can have genuine and measured anxiety about life’s events, and such concerns should not be dismissed or ignored. What is currently happening in America, however, and in many parts of the Western world, is more than just a passing anxiety about the unknown. It is a malaise that is fueled by extreme inwardness and political ideology. The problem is that some people feel most content when not questioning authority, which is why the proponents of perpetual masking are mindlessly shrieking at anyone who dares to question the accepted ideological orthodoxy. 

At the heart of this problem is alienation. This may be a human condition that takes different forms in different epochs, but current alienation driven by technology has positioned itself in a good place to serve as one of the factors promoting alienation through the vehicle of COVID-19. Attempting to bleach the world that surrounds them, those who unquestioningly follow the so-called scientific leadership (which has repeatedly lied to the people) have no qualms in treating others as mere germs. One of the biggest spiritual aftereffects of the COVID-19 crisis is the dehumanization of others (this is especially true of the morally reprehensible treatment of children during the pandemic, which still continues). 

By nature, human beings are social and relational. To continue on a trajectory of dehumanization would be disastrous for the human mind and soul, and for our society. The pandemic has given us a glimpse of an anti-life dystopia in which people are weaponized against each other in order to achieve the political goals of certain power brokers. For instance, the idea of perpetual masking goes against the humanity of the other. The human face represents the very dignity of who we each are individually as human beings, and what passes for science today is woefully anti-rational and anti-human. 

One of the repeated elements in Haynes’ “Safe” is Carol’s inability to feel joy, be it in seeing friends or being with her husband. She is powerless but paradoxically, she is relying on her own passivity to make choices for her. Her joylessness is therefore somehow less her own fault. The object of our current crisis has not been to get people back to life, joy, and pleasure but to institute a “new normal,” which involves denial of humanity and an excuse for our own lack of joy. 

In The Origins of Totalitarianism (1948), Hannah Arendt observed that “ideologies are never interested in the miracle of being,” and this is precisely what we are witnessing today. The sooner we recognize that the problems brought on by the COVID-19 crisis are not only political, cultural, or economic but also deeply existential and spiritual, the sooner we might be able to fight the chaos of dystopian and joyless thinking, and continue to affirm the culture of life.TwitterFacebookParlerShare onTwitterFacebookParler

About Emina Melonic

Emina Melonic is an adjunct fellow of the Center for American Greatness. Originally from Bosnia, a survivor of the Bosnian war and its aftermath of refugee camps, she immigrated to the United States in 1996 and became an American citizen in 2003. She has a Ph.D. in comparative literature. Her writings have appeared in National ReviewThe Imaginative ConservativeNew English ReviewThe New CriterionLaw and LibertyThe University BookmanClaremont Review of BooksThe American Mind, and Splice Today. She lives near Buffalo, N.Y.

Rex Murphy: Did you spot the hypocrite(s) at the G7 summit?

Their frolics and inconsistencies have not gone unnoticed, including those of our own prime minister

Author of the article:Rex Murphy

Publishing date:Jun 15, 2021  

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joins other G7 leaders as they watch a performance by the RAF Red Arrows aerobatic team in Cornwall on June 12, 2021.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joins other G7 leaders as they watch a performance by the RAF Red Arrows aerobatic team in Cornwall on June 12, 2021. PHOTO BY ANDREW PARSONS/NO. 10 DOWNING STREET

Before I turn to the meeting of the world’s G7 leaders, whose mighty deliberations one leader predicted shall outlast the cosmic dance of the stars and the eternal whirl of the atom’s electrons, not to mention the real estate section of yesterday’s newspapers, let me make a note about the subject of my most recent column.

For the politically vagabond Ms. Atwin, all ill, all wrong, was with the Israelis. There were no “two sides”: Israel was a damnable “apartheid state” and its defence of itself was “unthinkable.” Thus Green Party Leader Annamie Paul’s less vitriolic perspective was, for Atwin, unbearable, and drove her to the otherwise deplorable Liberals.

I hope readers agree it is only fair to note the conversion of any MP

Atwin has now severely recanted; she has publicly deplored her own criticisms. She “regrets” her words — those about Israel being the new South Africa as an apartheid state, there being no two sides, and Israel’s defence of itself being unthinkable. Now, as a baptized Liberal, she tells all of Canada those words, so fine, so nuanced and delicately calibrated, were meant — how beautiful — to “send strength and love” to all who heard them.

It is truly wonderful how abandoning the Green party and melding with the Liberal party can cleanse a human soul.

I hope readers agree it is only fair to mark and note the conversion of any MP, and this one is almost Pauline in its thoroughness, as if Ms. Atwin had been struck down on Sparks Street on her way to the Chateau Laurier.

I’ll have much more to say about the Green party later. But for now, back to that “feast of reason and flow of soul,” the just-ended G7 meeting, epically heralded by our own Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as unquestionably superior to fish-wrap. All meetings of this sort are prefabricated. By which I mean the various leaders do not attend one till everything that is to be discussed, the agreements to be reached, the statements to be delivered are all prepared and decided in advance.

They are in this sense pure puppet shows. It is only the few spontaneous gestures and particular incidents that arise that were not set in advance that we need pay attention to. There were a number, and surprisingly people who hardly ever pay attention to these glorified mummeries did give them notice.

There was that opening spectacle of our highest statesmen/women giddily bumping each other’s elbows like some frat boys exchanging a “ritual” greeting. This was meant to show how serious even the most important people in all the world are about COVID. No handshakes please! was the message. Then the picture of them standing like pegs on a scattered cribbage board, all well and truly “socially distanced.”

Next we see them, leaders and spouses, locked arm in arm, mouths agape and uncovered, staring up, all laughter in their eyes, at … a return sighting of ET? … A weather balloon with Donald Trump’s face painted on it? They were clustered closer than worker bees when the hive is under attack.

Justin Trudeau bumps elbows with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s wife, Carrie Johnson, during the G7 summit in Cornwall, England, on June 11, 2021.
Justin Trudeau bumps elbows with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s wife, Carrie Johnson, during the G7 summit in Cornwall, England, on June 11, 2021. PHOTO BY KEVIN LAMARQUE/POOL/REUTERS

Next we see them strolling down some beach, arms over each other’s shoulders like the best of bros, masked in one picture, and unmasked in the next. It’s like their “historic” summit had show-and-tell COVID Days for the press, and all-this-COVID-stuff-is-boring days for themselves. Who would have guessed?

It was heartening to see Mr. Trudeau prancing about in various photos, he who has been in lockdown longer than medieval hermits, now wandering with the Queen in her garden, unmasked in one picture, masked in another. Something like Batman, he has a secret identity (that everyone knows). It was good, too, to see him finally socializing a bit, and nice of Stella McCartney not to insist on a mask when they met.

Their frolics and inconsistencies have not gone unnoticed. The guy who normally runs a now closed barbershop, the owner of the bankrupt shoe store, the waitress at the closed restaurant, these people and thousands like them are only too painfully alert that there are two types of people in this COVID era. Those who have no choice but to bear the weight of the rules; and those who made them, and then pick and choose what day or moment they themselves will abide by them.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau chats with Queen Elizabeth and British PM Boris Johnson during the G7 Summit on June 11, 2021, in St. Austell, Cornwall, England.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau chats with Queen Elizabeth and British PM Boris Johnson during the G7 Summit on June 11, 2021, in St. Austell, Cornwall, England. PHOTO BY JACK HILL-WPA POOL/GETTY IMAGES

No one thinks they shouldn’t meet. But why do they get to flip the rules when it suits them? In the COVID era must they meet in person? As Mr. Scrooge might say, “Is there no Zoom? Are there no cellphones?”

Meantime in a place far, far away, the leader of a political party, Maxime Bernier, is arrested in Manitoba and placed in police custody for “breaching” COVID regulations, an event I think of as very singular in this democracy-respecting country. And yet it is almost unbleated by our democracy-guarding press.

As far as I know Mr. Bernier is not advocating fire-bombing or insurrection. Surely we should take the arrest and detention of an oppositional politician a little more seriously than we have so far. We have had protests far more, let me say, energetic than his, and no cell time followed.

But then, as at the G7, the rules for COVID seem to be person-dependent

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