Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The Reign of Uncertainty - BY MARTIN VAN CREVELD

One of the principal clichés of our age, endlessly repeated, is that our ability to look into the future and control our fate has been growing. So much so that, in the words of Yuval Harari, we are about to transform ourselves from Homo Sapiens, originally a small, weak and vulnerable creature constantly buffeted by his surroundings, into a quasi-omnipotent Homo Deus. The main engine behind this process, we are told, is represented by fast-accumulating developments in science and technology. Those developments in turn, are both cause and consequence the kind of education that helped us cast off superstitions of every kind and, in the words of Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), “dare to know.” Some would go further still and argue that, if such were not the case, there might be little point in pursuing any kind of learning in the first place.
For a long time, this line of thought was closely related to belief in progress. Today it is shared both by those who are optimistic in regard to the future and by those who, like Harari, keep warning against the disastrous consequences that our very successes may bring down upon our heads. As by changing the climate, destroying the environment, running out of drinking water, covering the planet with plastic, breeding antibiotic-resistant superbugs—vide the corona virus outbreak—and being enslaved, perhaps even exterminated, by some self-seeking supercomputer out on a roll. But is it really true that we are better in looking into the future, and consequently more able to control it, than our ancestors were? And that, as a result, the human condition has fundamentally changed? For some kind of answer, consider the following.
1.   The Demise of Determinacy
In Virgil’s words, “Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas” (happy, he who can discern the causes of things). For millennia on end, though, so deficient was our understanding of the future that almost the only way to get a handle on it was by enlisting some kind of supernatural aid. As by invoking the spirits, consulting with the gods (or God), tracing the movements of the stars, watching omens and portents of every kind, and, in quite some places, visiting or raising the dead and talking to them.
Come the seventeenth century, many of these methods were finally discarded. If not completely so, at any rate to some extent among the West’s intellectual elite. Their place was taken by the kind of mechanistic science advocated by Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton, and others. Nor was this the end of the matter Many nineteenth century scientists in particular believed not just that the world is deterministic but that, such being the case, they would one day be able to predict whatever was about to take place in it. One of the best-known statements to that effect came from the polymath Pierre-Simon Laplace (1749-1827). It went as follows:
An intellect [not a demon, which was substituted later for effect] which at a certain moment would know all forces that set nature in motion, and all positions of all items of which nature is composed, if this intellect were also vast enough to submit these data to analysis, it would embrace in a single formula the movements of the greatest bodies of the universe and those of the tiniest atom; for such an intellect nothing would be uncertain and the future just like the past would be present before its eyes.
In such a world not only God but chance, randomness, probability and the unexpected would be eliminated, leaving only sheer causality to rule supreme. Other scientists, such as William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, took matters further still, claiming that science had advanced to the point where there only remained a few minor gaps to be closed. No less than Stephen Hawking in his last work, Brief Answers to the Big Questions, admitted to having done just that. However, the very scientific progress that gave rise to this kind of optimism also ensured that it would not last for long. Just as, regardless of what number you multiply zero by, in the end zero is still what you get.
Starting with the discovery of radioactivity in 1896, it has become increasingly evident that some of nature’s most basic processes, specifically the decay of atoms and the emission of particles, are not deterministic but random. For each radioactive material, we know what percentage of atoms will decay within a given amount of time. But not whether atom A is going to break up before (or after) atom B and why. Subsequent discoveries such as quantum mechanics (Max Planck), relativity (Albert Einstein, the uncertainty principle (Werner Heisenberg, the incompleteness theorem (Kurt Gödel), and chaos theory (Richard Feynman), all helped extend the idea of incalculatability into additional fields.
To specify, quantum mechanics started life as a theoretical construct that could only be applied to the world of subatomic particles, hence could be more or less ignored by everyone but a very small number of nuclear scientists. However, since then it has been climbing out of the basement, so to speak. As it did so it acquired a growing practical significance in the form of such devices as ultra-accurate clocks, superfast computers, quantum radio (a device that enables scientists to listen to the weakest signal allowed by quantum mechanics), lasers, unbreakable codes, and tremendously improved microscopes.
At the heart of relativity lies the belief that, in the entire physical universe, the only absolute is the speed of light apart. Taken separately, both quantum mechanics and relativity are marvels of human wisdom and ingenuity. The problem is that, since they directly contradict one another, in some ways they leave us less certain of the way the world works than we were before they were first put on paper. The uncertainty principle means that, even as we do our best to observe nature as closely as we can, we inevitably cause some of the observed things to change. And even that time and space are themselves illusions, mental constructs we have created in an effort to impose order on our surroundings but having no reality outside our own minds. The incompleteness theorem put an end to the age-old dream—it goes back at least as far as Pythagoras in the sixth century BCE—of one day building an unassailable mathematical foundation on which to base our understanding of reality. Finally, chaos theory explains why, even if we assume the universe to be deterministic, predicting its future development may not be possible in a great many cases. Including, to cite but one well-known example, whether a butterfly flapping wings in Beijing will or will not cause a hurricane in Texas.
2.   Tripping Over One’s Own Robe
So far, the tendency of post-1900 science to become, not more deterministic but less so. As a result, no longer do we ask the responsible person(s) to tell us what the future will bring and whether to go ahead and follow this or that course. Instead, all they can do is calculate the probability of X taking place and, by turning the equation around, the risk we take in doing (or not doing) so. However, knowledge also presents additional problems of its own. Like a robe that is too long for us, the more of it we have the greater the likelihood that it will trip us up.
First, no knowledge can be better than the instruments used to measure the parameters of which it consists. Be they size, mass, temperature, rigidity, speed, duration, or whatever. And no instrument that physicists use is, or can be, perfectly precise and perfectly accurate. Even the most recent, strontium-based, clocks are expected to be off by one second every 138 million years, a fact which, chaos theory says, can make a critical difference to our calculations. The more accurate our instruments, moreover, the more likely they are to interfere with each other. The situation in the social sciences is much worse still, given that both the numbers on which most researchers base their conclusions and the methods they use to select and manipulate those numbers are often extremely inaccurate and extremely slanted. So much so as to render any meeting between them and “the truth” more or less accidental in many cases.
Second, there is far too much knowledge for any individual to master. Modern authors, seeking to impress their readers with the speed at which knowledge expands, often leave the impression that this problem is new. In fact, however, it is as old as history. In China, the Sui-era imperial library was supposed to contain 300,000 volumes. That of the Ptolemies in Alexandria held as many as half a million. And this is to assume that knowledge was concentrated inside libraries—whereas in fact the vast majority of it was diffused in the heads of countless people, most of them illiterate, who left no record of any kind. Since then the problem has only been getting worse. Today, anyone seriously claiming to have written a book containing “all that is most wonderful in history and philosophy and the marvels of science, the wonders of animal life revealed by the glass of the optician, or the labors of the chemist” (The World of Wonders, London, 1869) would be quickly dismissed as either a featherweight or a charlatan.
Third, not only is there too much knowledge for anyone to master but in many cases it keeps developing so fast as to suggest that much of it is mere froth. Whether this development is linear and cumulative, as most people believe, or proceeds in cycles, as was suggested by Thomas Kuhn, is, in this context, immaterial. One of the latest examples I have seen is the possibility, raised by some Hungarian scientists just a few days before these words were written in November 2019, that the world is governed not by the long-established four forces—gravity, the electromagnetic, the strong and the weak—but by five (and perhaps more). Should the existence of the so-called photophobic, or light-fearing, force be confirmed, then it has the potential to blow all existing theories of the world’s behavior at the sub-atomic, hence probably not only at the sub-atomic, level to smithereens.
Fourth, we may often have a reasonably accurate idea of what the consequences of event A, or B, or C, may be. However, working out all of those consequences is much more difficult. The more so because they may (and are likely to) have consequences; and so on in an expanding cascade that, in theory and sometimes in practice as well, does not have a clear end. Some of the consequences may be intended (in which case, if everything goes right, they are foreseeable), others not. Some may be beneficial, others harmful. Some may bend backwards so to speak, turning around and impacting on C, or B, or A, which in turn has consequences, and so on until the cascade turns into an entire series of interrelated cascades. That is particularly true in the social sciences where the very concepts of cause and consequence may be out of place; and reality, either reciprocal or circular.
Some consequences may even be perverse, meaning that they lead to the opposite of what was intended. For example, when the scientists employed on the Manhattan Project worked on a weapon to be used in war—there hardly ever was any doubt that it would be—they could not know that, to the contrary, it would render the kind of war on which their country was then engaged impossible. Both the Chernobyl and the Fukushima reactors were provided with elaborate, highly redundant, safety systems; but when the time came those systems, rather than preventing the accidents, only made them worse.
In brief, a simple, elegant “theory of everything” of the kind that, starting with Laplace, scientists have been chasing for two centuries remains out of sight. What we got instead is what we have always had: namely, a seething cauldron of hypotheses, many of them conflicting. Even when we limit ourselves to the natural sciences, where some kind of progress is undeniable, and ignore the social ones, where it is anything but, each question answered and problem resolved only seems to lead to ten additional ones. Having discovered the existence of X, inevitably we want to know where it comes from, what it is made of, how it behaves in respect to A and B and C. Not to mention what, if any, uses it can be put to.
The philosopher Karl Raimund Popper went further still. Scientific knowledge, he argued, is absolutely dependent on observations and experiments. However, since one can always add 1 to n, no number of observations and experiments can definitely confirm that a scientific theory is correct. Conversely, a single contradictory observation or experiment can provide sufficient proof that it is wrong. Science proceeds, not by adding knowledge but by first doubting that which already exists (or is thought to exist) and then falsifying it. Knowledge that cannot, at any rate in principle, shown to be false is not scientific. From this it is a small step towards arguing that the true objective of science, indeed all it can really do, is not so much to provide definite answers to old questions as to raise new ones. It is as if we are chasing a mirage; considering our experience so far, probably we are.
3.   The Drunk at the Party
If all this were not enough, the problem of free will persists. In the words of the French anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss, it is the drunken guest who, uninvited, breaks up the party, upsetting tables and spreading confusion. Much as scientists may claim that it is simply a delusion—even to the point of showing that our bodies order us to raise our hands as much as ten seconds before we make a conscious decision to do so—our entire social life, specifically including such domains as education and justice, continues to rest on the assumption that we do in fact have a choice. As between action and inaction; the serious and the playful; the good and the evil; the permissible and the prohibited; that for which a person deserves to be praised, and that for which he deserves to be punished. Long before King Hammurabi had the first known code of law carved in stone almost four millennia ago, a society that did not draw such distinctions could not even be conceived of.
So far, neither physicists nor computer experts nor brain scientists, working from the bottom up, have been able to close the gap between matter and spirit in such a way as to endow the former with a consciousness and a will. Economists, sociologists and psychologists, working their way from the top down, have not been able to anchor the emotions and ideas they observe (or assume) people to have in underlying physical reality. Whichever route we take, the complete understanding of everything that would be necessary for prediction to be possible is as remote as it has always been. In no field is the crisis worse than in psychology; precisely the science (if one it is) that, one day, will hopefully explain the behavior of each and every one of us at all times and under all circumstances. Its claim to scientific validity notwithstanding, only 25-50 percent of its experimental results can be replicated.
Given the inability of science to provide us with objective and reliable visions of the future, those we have, as well as the courses of action we derive from them, depend as much on us—our ever-fluid, often capricious, mindset, our ira and our studio—as they have ever done. Elation, depression, love, euphoria, envy, rage, fear, optimism, pessimism, wishful thinking, disappointment, and a host of other mental states form a true witches’ brew. Not only does that brew differ from one person to another, but its various ingredients keep interacting with each other, leading to a different mixture each time. Each and every one of them helps shape our vision today as much as they did, say, in the Rome of the Emperor Caligula; the more so because many of them are not even conscious, at any rate not continuously so. In the process they keep driving us in directions that may or may not have anything to do with whatever reality the physicists’ instruments are designed to discover and measure.
4.   The Persistence of Ignorance
To conclude, in proposing that knowledge is power Francis Bacon was undoubtedly right. It is, however, equally true that, our scientific and technological prowess notwithstanding, we today, in our tiny but incredibly complex corner of the universe, are as far from gaining complete knowledge of everything, hence from being able to look into the future and control it, as we have ever been.
Furthermore, surely no one in his right mind, looking around, would suggest that the number of glitches we all experience in everyday life has been declining. Nor is this simply a minor matter, e.g. a punctured tire that causes us to arrive late at a meeting. Some glitches, known as black swans, are so huge that they can have a catastrophic effect not just on individuals but on entire societies: as, for example, happened in 2008, when the world was struck by the worst economic crisis in eighty years, and as coronavirus is causing right now. All this reminds me of the time when, as a university professor, my young students repeatedly asked me how they could ever hope to match my knowledge of the fields we were studying. In response, I used to point to the blackboard, quite a large one, and say: “imagine this is the sum of all available knowledge. In that case, your knowledge could be represented by this tiny little square I’ve drawn here in the corner. And mine, by this slightly—but only slightly—larger one right next to it.” “My job,” I would add, “is to help you first to assimilate my square and then to transcend it.” They got the message.
There thus is every reason to believe that the role ignorance concerning the future, both individual and collective, plays in shaping human life is as great today as it has ever been. It is probably a major reason why, even in a country such as France where logic and lucidity are considered national virtues and three out of four people claim they are not superstitious, almost half touch wood, and about one third say they believe in astrology. Nor are the believers necessarily illiterate old peasants. Most young people (55 percent) say they believe in the paranormal. So do many graduates in the liberal arts and 69 percent of ecologists. As if to add insult to injury, France now has twice as many professional astrologers and fortune tellers as it does priests. Both Black masses and Satan-worship have been on the rise. The situation in the U.S is hardly any different.
How did old Mark Twain (supposedly) put the matter? Prediction is difficult, especially of the future.

Vox Popoli: The humility of genius

Martin van Creveld writes about the limits of human knowledge:
At the heart of relativity lies the belief that, in the entire physical universe, the only absolute is the speed of light apart. Taken separately, both quantum mechanics and relativity are marvels of human wisdom and ingenuity. The problem is that, since they directly contradict one another, in some ways they leave us less certain of the way the world works than we were before they were first put on paper. The uncertainty principle means that, even as we do our best to observe nature as closely as we can, we inevitably cause some of the observed things to change. And even that time and space are themselves illusions, mental constructs we have created in an effort to impose order on our surroundings but having no reality outside our own minds. The incompleteness theorem put an end to the age-old dream—it goes back at least as far as Pythagoras in the sixth century BCE—of one day building an unassailable mathematical foundation on which to base our understanding of reality. Finally, chaos theory explains why, even if we assume the universe to be deterministic, predicting its future development may not be possible in a great many cases. Including, to cite but one well-known example, whether a butterfly flapping wings in Beijing will or will not cause a hurricane in Texas.

So far, the tendency of post-1900 science to become, not more deterministic but less so. As a result, no longer do we ask the responsible person(s) to tell us what the future will bring and whether to go ahead and follow this or that course. Instead, all they can do is calculate the probability of X taking place and, by turning the equation around, the risk we take in doing (or not doing) so. However, knowledge also presents additional problems of its own. Like a robe that is too long for us, the more of it we have the greater the likelihood that it will trip us up....

Furthermore, surely no one in his right mind, looking around, would suggest that the number of glitches we all experience in everyday life has been declining. Nor is this simply a minor matter, e.g. a punctured tire that causes us to arrive late at a meeting. Some glitches, known as black swans, are so huge that they can have a catastrophic effect not just on individuals but on entire societies: as, for example, happened in 2008, when the world was struck by the worst economic crisis in eighty years, and as coronavirus is causing right now. All this reminds me of the time when, as a university professor, my young students repeatedly asked me how they could ever hope to match my knowledge of the fields we were studying. In response, I used to point to the blackboard, quite a large one, and say: “imagine this is the sum of all available knowledge. In that case, your knowledge could be represented by this tiny little square I’ve drawn here in the corner. And mine, by this slightly—but only slightly—larger one right next to it.” “My job,” I would add, “is to help you first to assimilate my square and then to transcend it.” They got the message.

Read the whole thing. It is a master class on the importance of understanding that what you know, and what you think you know, are merely a momentary glimpse of a fragment of the whole.

Supplies Are Starting To Get Really Tight Nationwide As Food Distribution Systems Break Down - by Michael Snyder

All across America, store shelves are emptying and people are becoming increasingly frustrated because they can’t get their hands on needed supplies.  Most Americans are blaming “hoarders” for the current mess, but it is actually much more complicated than that.  Normally, Americans get a lot of their food from restaurants.  In fact, during normal times 36 percent of all Americans eat at a fast food restaurant on any given day.  But now that approximately 75 percent of the U.S. is under some sort of a “shelter-in-place” order and most of our restaurants have shut down, things have completely changed.  Suddenly our grocery stores are being flooded with unexpected traffic, and many people are buying far more than usual in anticipation of a long pandemic.  Unfortunately, our food distribution systems were not designed to handle this sort of a surge, and things are really starting to get crazy out there.

I would like to share with you an excerpt from an email that I was sent recently.  It describes the chaos that grocery stores in Utah and Idaho have been experiencing…
When this virus became a problem that we as a nation could see as an imminent threat, Utah, because of its culture of food storage and preparing for disaster events seemed to “get the memo” first. The week of March 8th grocery sales more than doubled in Utah, up 218%. Many states stayed the same with increases in some. Idaho seemed to “get the memo” about four days later. We were out of water and TP four days after Utah. Then we were out of food staples about four days later. Next was produce following a pattern set by Utah four days earlier.
The problem for us in Idaho was this. The stores in Utah were emptied out then refilled twice by the warehouses before it hit Idaho. Many of these Utah stores have trucks delivering daily. So when it did hit Idaho the warehouses had been severely taxed. We had a hard time filling our store back up even one time. We missed three scheduled trucks that week alone. Then orders finally came they were first 50% of the order and have dropped to 20%. In normal circumstances we receive 98% of our orders and no canceled trucks. Now three weeks later, the warehouses in the Western United States have all been taxed. In turn, those warehouses have been taxing the food manufacturers. These food companies have emptied their facilities to fill the warehouses of the Western United States. The East Coast hasn’t seemed to “get the memo” yet. When they do what food will be left to fill their warehouses and grocery stores?
Food distribution and resources for the Eastern United States will be at great peril even if no hoarding there takes place. But of course it will.
Additionally the food culture of the East Coast and other urban areas is such that people keep very little food on hand. They often shop several times weekly for items if they cook at home. They don’t have big freezers full of meat, home canned vegetables in their storage rooms, gardens, or beans, wheat, and rice in buckets in the their basements.
With most of the country locked down, normal economic activity has come to a standstill, and it is going to become increasingly difficult for our warehouses to meet the demand that grocery stores are putting on them.
Meanwhile, our farmers are facing severe problems of their own.  The following comes from CNBC
The U.S.-China trade war sent scores of farmers out of business. Record flooding inundated farmland and destroyed harvests. And a blistering heat wave stunted crop growth in the Midwest.
Now, the coronavirus pandemic has dealt another blow to a vulnerable farm economy, sending crop and livestock prices tumbling and raising concerns about sudden labor shortages.
The chaos in the financial markets is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, and it is going to remain difficult for farm laborers to move around as long as “shelter-in-place” orders remain in effect on the state level.
Iowa farmer Robb Ewoldt told reporter Emma Newburger that “we’ve stopped saying it can’t get worse”, and he says that this coronavirus pandemic looks like it could be “the straw that broke the camel’s back”
“We were already under extreme financial pressure. With the virus sending the prices down — it’s getting to be the straw that broke the camel’s back,” said Iowa farmer Robb Ewoldt.
“We were hoping for something good this year, but this virus has stopped all our markets,” he said.
Of course this comes at a time when millions of Americans are losing their jobs and unemployment is shooting up to unthinkable levels.  Without any money coming in, many people are already turning to alternative sources of help in order to feed themselves and their families.
On Monday, hundreds of cars were lined up to get food from a food bank in Duquesne, Pennsylvania.  To many, this was eerily reminiscent of the “bread lines” during the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Hundreds of cars wait to receive food from the Greater Community Food Bank in Duquesne. Collection begins at noon. @PghFoodBank
— Andrew Rush (@andrewrush) March 30, 2020
And it is also being reported that the number of people coming for free meals on Skid Row in Los Angeles has tripled since that city was locked down.
Sadly, these examples are likely only the tip of the iceberg of what we will see in the months ahead.
And it won’t just be the U.S. that is hurting.  The following comes from a Guardian article entitled “Coronavirus measures could cause global food shortage, UN warns”
Kazakhstan, for instance, according to a report from Bloomberg, has banned exports of wheat flour, of which it is one of the world’s biggest sources, as well as restrictions on buckwheat and vegetables including onions, carrots and potatoes. Vietnam, the world’s third biggest rice exporter, has temporarily suspended rice export contracts. Russia, the world’s biggest wheat exporter, may also threaten to restrict exports, as it has done before, and the position of the US is in doubt given Donald Trump’s eagerness for a trade war in other commodities.
If this pandemic stretches on for an extended period of time, food supplies are inevitably going to get even tighter.
So what can you do?
Well, perhaps you can start a garden this year if you don’t normally grow one.  Apparently this pandemic has sparked a tremendous amount of interest in gardening programs around the country…
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, more people are showing an interest in starting home gardens. Oregon State University‘s (OSU) Master Gardener program took notice of the growing interest.
To help citizens who want to grow their own food, the university kindly made their online vegetable gardening course free until the end of April. OSU’s post on Facebook has been shared over 21,000 times.
Food is only going to get more expensive from here on out, and growing your own food is a way to become more independent of the system.
But if you don’t have any seeds right now, you may want to hurry, because consumer demand is spiking
“It’s the largest volume of orders we have seen,” said Jere Gettle of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds in Mansfield, Missouri. Peak seed-buying season for home gardeners is January to March, but the normal end-of-season decline in orders isn’t happening.
Customers are gravitating to vegetables high in nutrients, such as kale, spinach and other quick-to-grow leafy greens. “Spinach is off the charts,” said Jo-Anne van den Berg-Ohms of Kitchen Garden Seeds in Bantam, Connecticut.
For years, I have been warning people to get prepared for “the perfect storm” that was coming, but of course most people didn’t listen.
But now it is upon us.
Desperate people have been running out to the grocery stores to stock up on toilet paper only to find that they are limited to one or two packages if it is even available.
And now that “panic buying” of seeds has begun, it is probably only a matter of time before many stores start running out.
We have reached a major turning point in our history, and things are only going to get crazier.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of Americans still have absolutely no idea what is ahead of us…
About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

German Infectologist Decimates COVID Doomsday Cult in Open Letter to Merkel

Editor’s note: Dr. Bhakdi released a now-viral video in which he calmly explained why nationwide lockdowns are “collective suicide”. Now he has written an open letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel and it is fantastic
An Open Letter from Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi, Professor Emeritus of Medical Microbiology at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, to the German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel. Professor Bhakdi calls for an urgent reassessment of the response to Covid-19 and asks the Chancellor five crucial questions. The let­ter is dated March 26. This is an inofficial translation; see the original letter in German as a PDF.
Open Letter
Dear Chancellor,
As Emeritus of the Johannes-Gutenberg-University in Mainz and longtime director of the Institute for Medical Microbiology, I feel obliged to critically question the far-reaching restrictions on public life that we are currently taking on ourselves in order to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
It is expressly not my intention to play down the dangers of the virus or to spread a political message. However, I feel it is my duty to make a scientific contribution to putting the current data and facts into perspective – and, in addition, to ask questions that are in danger of being lost in the heated debate.
The reason for my concern lies above all in the truly unforeseeable socio-economic consequences of the drastic containment measures which are currently being applied in large parts of Europe and which are also already being practiced on a large scale in Germany.
My wish is to discuss critically – and with the necessary foresight – the advantages and disadvantages of restricting public life and the resulting long-term effects.
To this end, I am confronted with five questions which have not been answered sufficiently so far, but which are indispensable for a balanced analysis.
I would like to ask you to comment quickly and, at the same time, appeal to the Federal Government to develop strategies that effectively protect risk groups without restricting public life across the board and sow the seeds for an even more intensive polarization of society than is already taking place.
With the utmost respect,
Prof. em. Dr. med. Sucharit Bhakdi
1. Statistics
In infectiology – founded by Robert Koch himself – a traditional distinction is made between infection and disease. An illness requires a clinical manifestation. [1] Therefore, only patients with symptoms such as fever or cough should be included in the statistics as new cases.
In other words, a new infection – as measured by the COVID-19 test – does not necessarily mean that we are dealing with a newly ill patient who needs a hospital bed. However, it is currently assumed that five percent of all infected people become seriously ill and require ventilation. Projections based on this estimate suggest that the healthcare system could be overburdened.
My question: Did the projections make a distinction between symptom-free infected people and actual, sick patients – i.e. people who develop symptoms?
2. Dangerousness
A number of coronaviruses have been circulating for a long time – largely unnoticed by the media. [2] If it should turn out that the COVID-19 virus should not be ascribed a significantly higher risk potential than the already circulating corona viruses, all countermeasures would obviously become unnecessary.
The internationally recognized International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents will soon publish a paper that addresses exactly this question. Preliminary results of the study can already be seen today and lead to the conclusion that the new virus is NOT different from traditional corona viruses in terms of dangerousness. The authors express this in the title of their paper „SARS-CoV-2: Fear versus Data“. [3]
My question: How does the current workload of intensive care units with patients with diagnosed COVID-19 compare to other coronavirus infections, and to what extent will this data be taken into account in further decision-making by the federal government? In addition: Has the above study been taken into account in the planning so far?  Here too, of course, „diagnosed“ means that the virus plays a decisive role in the patient’s state of illness, and not that previous illnesses play a greater role.
3. Dissemination
According to a report in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, not even the much-cited Robert Koch Institute knows exactly how much is tested for COVID-19. It is a fact, however, that a rapid increase in the number of cases has recently been observed in Germany as the volume of tests increases. [4]
It is therefore reasonable to suspect that the virus has already spread unnoticed in the healthy population. This would have two consequences: firstly, it would mean that the official death rate – on 26 March 2020, for example, there were 206 deaths from around 37,300 infections, or 0.55 percent [5] – is too high; and secondly, it would mean that it would hardly be possible to prevent the virus from spreading in the healthy population.
My question: Has there already been a random sample of the healthy general population to validate the real spread of the virus, or is this planned in the near future?
4. Mortality
The fear of a rise in the death rate in Germany (currently 0.55 percent) is currently the subject of particularly intense media attention. Many people are worried that it could shoot up like in Italy (10 percent) and Spain (7 percent) if action is not taken in time.
At the same time, the mistake is being made worldwide to report virus-related deaths as soon as it is established that the virus was present at the time of death – regardless of other factors. This violates a basic principle of infectiology: only when it is certain that an agent has played a significant role in the disease or death may a diagnosis be made. The Association of the Scientific Medical Societies of Germany expressly writes in its guidelines: „In addition to the cause of death, a causal chain must be stated, with the corresponding underlying disease in third place on the death certificate. Occasionally, four-linked causal chains must also be stated.“ [6]
At present there is no official information on whether, at least in retrospect, more critical analyses of medical records have been undertaken to determine how many deaths were actually caused by the virus.
My question: Has Germany simply followed this trend of a COVID-19 general suspicion? And: is it intended to continue this categorisation uncritically as in other countries? How, then, is a distinction to be made between genuine corona-related deaths and accidental virus presence at the time of death?
5. Comparability
The appalling situation in Italy is repeatedly used as a reference scenario. However, the true role of the virus in that country is completely unclear for many reasons – not only because points 3 and 4 above also apply here, but also because exceptional external factors exist which make these regions particularly vulnerable.
One of these factors is the increased air pollution in the north of Italy. According to WHO estimates, this situation, even without the virus, led to over 8,000 additional deaths per year in 2006 in the 13 largest cities in Italy alone. [7] The situation has not changed significantly since then. [8] Finally, it has also been shown that air pollution greatly increases the risk of viral lung diseases in very young and elderly people. [9]
Moreover, 27.4 percent of the particularly vulnerable population in this country live with young people, and in Spain as many as 33.5 percent. In Germany, the figure is only seven percent [10]. In addition, according to Prof. Dr. Reinhard Busse, head of the Department of Management in Health Care at the TU Berlin, Germany is significantly better equipped than Italy in terms of intensive care units – by a factor of about 2.5 [11].
My question: What efforts are being made to make the population aware of these elementary differences and to make people understand that scenarios like those in Italy or Spain are not realistic here?
[1] Fachwörterbuch Infektionsschutz und Infektionsepidemiologie. Fachwörter – Definitionen – Interpretationen. Robert Koch-Institut, Berlin 2015. (abgerufen am 26.3.2020)
[2] Killerby et al., Human Coronavirus Circulation in the United States 2014–2017. J Clin Virol. 2018, 101, 52-56
[3] Roussel et al. SARS-CoV-2: Fear Versus Data. Int. J. Antimicrob. Agents 2020, 105947
[4] Charisius, H. Covid-19: Wie gut testet Deutschland? Süddeutsche Zeitung. (abgerufen am 27.3.2020)
[5] Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center. 2020. (abgerufen am 26.3.2020)
[6] S1-Leitlinie 054-001, Regeln zur Durchführung der ärztlichen Leichenschau. AWMF Online (abgerufen am 26.3.2020)
[7] Martuzzi et al. Health Impact of PM10 and Ozone in 13 Italian Cities. World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe. WHOLIS number E88700 2006
[8] European Environment Agency, Air Pollution Country Fact Sheets 2019, (abgerufen am 26.3.2020)
[9] Croft et al. The Association between Respiratory Infection and Air Pollution in the Setting of Air Quality Policy and Economic Change. Ann. Am. Thorac. Soc. 2019, 16, 321–330.
[10] United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Living Arrange­ments of Older Persons: A Report on an Expanded International Dataset (ST/ESA/SER.A/407). 2017
[11] Deutsches Ärzteblatt, Überlastung deutscher Krankenhäuser durch COVID-19 laut Experten unwahrscheinlich, (abgerufen am 26.3.2020)
Translation generously provided by SPR

Monday, March 30, 2020

The Coronavirus and the Culture War, by E. Michael Jones - The Unz Review (Text only)

“Die Eule der Minerva beginnt erst mit der einbrechenden Dämmerung ihren Flug.[1]
— G.W.F Hegel, Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts
“I am a scientist working to stop coronavirus. We should cancel all Masses.[2] ”
— Patrick O’Neill
Pestilence is portrayed in scripture as a punishment for sin. Yahweh forgave David after he committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband Uriah killed to cover up his original sin, but after David caved into the pride of the Israelites and decreed a census, the punishment which had been postponed became inevitable. But even here God relented and attempted to mitigate the punishment by giving David a choice. In the name of Yahweh, Gad the prophet offered the king a choice between three years of famine, “fleeing for three months from your pursuing enemy,” or three days of pestilence. Confronted with these options, David is forced to admit: “This is a hard choice. But let us rather fall into the power of Yahweh, since his mercy is great, and not into the power of men. So David chose pestilence” (2 Sam 24:14-5).
The question has relevance to the current coronavirus crisis. Did any of the world’s leaders choose pestilence? Genetically modified biological weapons did not exist in David’s day, but the fact that they do in our own gives new meaning to the idea that a ruler can choose pestilence. The two main suspects in this regard are the United States and China. Currently, two equally plausible but competing explanations are making their way through the media: 1) the coronavirus is a bio-weapon which was either released into the population deliberately or escaped by accident, or 2) the coronavirus pandemic is a manufactured crisis. These two alternatives, however, are not mutually exclusive.
In order to make the right choice, David had to distinguish categories of nature—between reality, the thing, the disease—and categories of the mind—things like politics, military strategy, policy, including the weaponization of the thing, etc.—before he could make an informed choice as ruler of the Israelites. Pestilence was a category of nature then, but it may not be that in an age when viruses have been weaponized.
Leaders in our day are facing similar choices. What they lack is the ability to distinguish between categories of nature and categories of the mind. Ever since the publication of Newton’s Principia Mathematica, political policy has been based on categories of the mind imposed by the state in the name of categories of nature. The Whig oligarchs weaponized Newtonian physics through Masonic lodges which were established on the continent to bring down the Bourbon monarchy under the direction of Jean Theophilus Desaguliers, who was a member of the Royal Society, a Freemason and protégé of Newton himself. Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations is another weaponization of Newtonian physics, with self-interest and competition taking the place of gravity and inertia, which allowed them to masquerade as forces of nature while promoting the interests of the Whig oligarchs who fostered Smith’s career. Feminism is a more recent example of the same thing. According to this ideological distortion, woman—an obvious category of nature which no one can deny—gets weaponized through the simultaneous creation and imposition of “women’s rights,” which includes, of course, abortion. If you acknowledge the existence of women, according to this line of thinking, you must admit the liceity of killing the fetus. Similarly, if you admit the existence of COVID-19, you must accede to the state’s guidelines in dealing with it. Science, as the Anglo-American tradition which derives from Newton tells us, is used to define what is real, which is to say all categories of nature. Religion now concedes to science the right to say what is real and what is not real. Pestilence, as a result, may come from God but its existence can only be validated by science, which establishes the guidelines which all politicians must follow. Those guidelines now trump all other guidelines, like those requiring attendance at Mass under pain of mortal sin.
Absent any assistance from the Church in distinguishing between acts of God and categories of the mind, the state wasted no time in taking control and not letting another crisis go to waste. Following the lead of governors in more important sections of the United States, Eric Holcomb, the governor of Indiana, declared a state of emergency, banning public gatherings in places like restaurants, which the local bishops then applied to their churches. Unlike David, Governor Holcomb declared that pestilence was war. The arrival of COVID-19 had created a state of war in the state of Indiana. “To those who think we are overreacting,” Governor Holcomb said, “I assure you we are not. We are at war with COVID-19 and we will win this war.”[3]
China agreed with the governor of Indiana, claiming that the United States had launched a biological warfare attack against them. On February 13, 2020, the Communist Party Committee of Beijing Centers for Disease Control issued a “wartime state order” requiring party members to recognize the fact that China had entered a state of war.[4] By mid-March, many commentators had abandoned the official story that COVID-19 had “originated in the Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market in Wuhan”[5] in favor of seeing a biological weapon as the cause of the pandemic. Opinions differed on how the virus made it into the general population. Metallicaman said that the release was intentional.[6] Drawing from his years of experience in the CIA, Philip Giraldi said that the danger of unintentional contamination from the deployment of biological weapons was so strong that it effectively nullified its use.[7]
P-4 Biosafety Lab
Those unusable weapons continued to be made, however, and one of the places they got produced was the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which houses China’s only P4-Level Biosafety Laboratory, a facility which is capable of storing, studying, or engineering Pathogen Level 4 microbes like the coronavirus. Coincidentally or not, the Wuhan Institute of Virology is only 8.6 miles from the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in China, causing Bill Gurtz of the Washington Times to report, “the deadly animal virus epidemic spreading globally may have originated in a Wuhan laboratory linked to China’s covert biological weapons program, according to an Israeli biological warfare expert.”
The Wuhan Institute of Virology was at the center of a web of top-secret biological warfare research and academic espionage that stretched around the world. In 2013 two Chinese virologists were caught stealing and smuggling some of the most deadly viruses on earth from the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg, Canada’s only Pathogen Level 4 virology laboratory, back to Wuhan, where both smugglers, virologist Dr. Xiangguo Qui and biologist Dr. Keding Cheng, were involved in China’s biological warfare program.[8] According to ZeroHedge, “the couple is responsible for infiltrating Canada’s NML with many Chinese agents as students from a range of Chinese scientific facilities directly tied to China’s Biological Warfare Program, including the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Chengdu Military Region.”[9]
One of the bioweapons stolen from the Winnipeg lab was the coronavirus, which had arrived at the NML on May 4, 2013 for experimentation on animals. “It is from this stash of reserves,” Sir Adrian Bond writes: “that the coronavirus was stolen and smuggled by Dr. Qui, Dr. Cheng, and by alleged Chinese Biological Warfare Program agents recruited from the Wuhan Institute of Virology who were disguised as virology students at the University of Manitoba.”[10]
Dr. Charles Lieber
Other universities were also involved in the global bioweapons smuggling ring. In late January 2020, FBI agents arrested Charles Lieber, chairman of Harvard’s Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. Lieber was “charged with lying about his role in a Chinese talent recruitment program” and then was released from custody on January 30, but only after posting a $1 million cash bond.[11] According to the Boston Globe, Lieber “lied about his links to the Wuhan Institute of Virology”[12] after China paid him hundreds of thousands of dollars to arrange not only for smuggling bioweapons but hiring the smugglers.
Lieber, who is Jewish,[13] was considered a flight risk because of his ties to Israel, causing authorities to demand that both he and his wife surrender their passports. Lieber is one of the founders of the bio-tech firm Nanosys, which is affiliated with Hebrew University in Jerusalem.[14] According to the indictment, “Prosecutors say Lieber agreed to conduct research, publish articles and apply for patents on behalf of China’s Wuhan University of Technology in exchange for $50,000 per month and about $150,000 in living expenses. He also received $1.5 million to establish a research lab at the Chinese university. . . . Authorities say Lieber hid his involvement in the program from Harvard and told federal investigators in 2018 that he had never been asked to participate in the program.”[15] Lieber’s arrest followed the federal government’s growing concern over China’s efforts to steal U.S. research and technology, as manifested in programs like the Thousand Talents Plan, where:
scientists have downloaded sensitive research files before returning to China, filed patents based on U.S. research, lied on grant applications and failed to disclose money they had received from Chinese institutions, according to a congressional report issued last fall. . . . Federal prosecutors in Boston also announced charges this week against a researcher at Boston University, who is accused of concealing her ties to the Chinese military. Yanqing Ye, who prosecutors say is a lieutenant in the People’s Liberation Army, lied about her military service to get into the U.S. and researched U.S. military projects and gathered information on two U.S. scientists for the Chinese military . . . . Federal authorities suspect that both Harvard and Winnepeg were complicit in the smuggling of dangerous biological agents to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.[16]
According to a Facebook post, two Chinese “students” working as research assistants were also arrested after one of them, who was actually a lieutenant in the Chinese Army, was apprehended at Logan Airport while trying to board a flight to China while smuggling 21 vials of “Sensitive Biological Samples” on to the plane in his luggage.[17]Lieber’s connection with Wuhan and the “student’s” method of smuggling lend credence to the claim that the coronavirus escaped accidentally into the population there.

On the other hand, the production of those bioweapons was nothing if not deliberate and paid for by the United States government. Professor Zhengli, Senior Scientist and Principal Investigator at the Wuhan Institute of Virology for the past 20 years, was the recipient of millions of dollars from USAID and other agencies “of grant funding for the express purpose of researching and experimenting with coronaviruses—often receiving numerous, overlapping grants for the same time period.”[18]
The U. S. government, in other words, outsourced its bioweapons program to China by providing Prof. Zhengli with a $665,000 grant from the National Institute of Health for a study named The Ecology of Bat Coronaviruses and the Risk of Future Coronavirus Emergence (NIAID R01 AI1 10964). Four days after issuing that grant, on January 10, 2014, Prof. Zhengli received an additional $559,500 grant from the United States Agency of International Development for a research study entitled Emerging Pandemic Threats PREDICT 2_China (Project No. AID-OAA-A-14–00102).[19]
If the United States government paid for the weaponization of coronavirus in bats, it did so with some eventual use in mind, which means that it could have been planning an attack. In many ways, the ideal place to unleash an attack on China would be from one of its own laboratories, because by launching it in Wuhan the United States could hold the Chinese accountable for the attack which the U.S. had launched.
In the final analysis, Sir Adrian Bond, whose article we have been citing, concludes that “the likeliest source of origin for Coronavirus 2019-nCoV is the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” but he is unable to decide whether “there may be concerted efforts to conceal the precise nature of the virus, its source, and the parties responsible, or that, at worst, the dissemination of the epidemic coronavirus is intentional.”[20]
As Sir Adrian’s conclusion shows, focusing on the virus leads to more questions than answers at this stage of the game. Even if everyone agreed with the war metaphor, no one could explain how biological warfare gets conducted in our day if he confined himself to the minutiae of biological warfare. COVID-19 is a weapon; it is not a strategy. And that fact leads us to conclude that the question of whether COVID-19 is a natural occurrence or a bioweapon is irrelevant. After military martial law was declared, the big question: “Is the coronavirus real or is it being used as a pretext for a manufactured crisis?” bespoke an inability to distinguish between things, which have existence and categories of the mind, which gives those things meaning. The solution to resolving the real/manufactured crisis false dichotomy can be found in distinguishing the various parts of a campaign that is made up of both res et intellectum. If we are looking for a strategic explanation of what is happening now, we need to look into the measures which governments are now taking in light of the power the emergency has granted them. As always in situations like this, Rahm Emmanuel had the last word when he said: “Never let a crisis go to waste.”
The Rockefeller Foundation provides additional help in understanding how meaning and, therefore, action gets applied to a phenomenon of nature through what they call “scenario planning,” which they describe as an “important. . . component of our strategy toolkit,” which provides “a process of creating narratives about the future based on factors likely to affect a particular set of challenges and opportunities.”[21]
One of the “challenges and opportunities” the Rockefeller Foundation explored in 2010 was the outcome which flowed from “the pandemic that the world had been anticipating for years” which finally arrived in 2012. This new influenza strain, which the Rockefeller Foundation claimed as “originating from wild geese,” rather than bats, was:
extremely virulent and deadly. Even the most pandemic-prepared nations were quickly overwhelmed when the virus streaked around the world, infecting nearly 20 percent of the global population and killing 8 million in just seven months, the majority of them healthy young adults. The pandemic also had a deadly effect on economies: international mobility of both people and goods screeched to a halt, debilitating industries like tourism and breaking global supply chains. Even locally, normally bustling shops and office buildings sat empty for months, devoid of both employees and customers.[22]
Does this “scenario” sound familiar? Was the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 an act of nature or was it a category of the mind? Was it a bio-weapon which got released deliberately or escaped accidentally? Or, to get even more specific, was it a “scenario” confected by the Rockefeller Foundation which got imposed on the year’s normal flu outbreak as a way of imposing controls on populations which would have otherwise rebelled against accepting them? German pulmonologist Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg favors the latter explanation, describing the epidemic as “hype” (his word in German) which has taken on a life of its own in spite of the facts and therefore merits further consideration:
Every year we have new types of virus in the world. When tests were done in Glasgow coronaviruses were always present. In each year, coronaviruses were always part of the mix at a rate of 7 to 15 percent. In Wuhan they discovered a new strain of virus. Is this virus dangerous. . . . How can we know? It’s important to compare the current data with data from previous years. But even if we look at the 7 to 15 percent who have the virus, we can’t say that they died from it. The big question about mortality rates in Italy is where were the tests taken? If they were administered to severely ill people in hospitals, the death rate would naturally increase. The normal mortality rate for the seasonal flu is 0.1 percent. That means that one person out of a thousand dies every winter. It’s obvious that the virologists have created something very sensational here which impressed the Chinese government. The Chinese government made a big deal out of it. It was suddenly very important politically in a way that had nothing to do with virology, prompting face recognition in airports, spot temperature checks to see if people had fever. And those measures had international consequences. Politicians suddenly had to take a stand. Something was fabricated. A network of information and opinions developed in these groups of experts, and the politicians turned to these groups of experts and they internalized their information network and began operation within its parameters. The politicians have instrumentalized this network of information in order to determine what measures need to be taken. All of these decisions have been derived from these arguments. That means it’s going to be very difficult for a critic to say, “Stop, there’s nothing going on.” It reminds me of the fairy tale about the emperor’s new clothes. Only a small child was able to say he was naked. The politicians are playing along with the scientists who want to seem important because they need money to support their operations. We want to be important; we want to earn money. Didn’t the same thing happen last year? Is anything new going on here?[23]
Reports from Italy confirmed Wodarg’s suspicions. On March 18, Italy’s national health authority released a statement which showed that more than 99 percent of Italy’s coronavirus fatalities have been people who suffered from previous medical conditions. The overwhelming majority of those who died while infected with the coronavirus were either old or had pre-existing conditions which made the virus worse. The average age of patients who succumbed to COVID-2019 was 81 years of age, about 20 years higher than the age of all patients who contracted the infection. The average age of women who died was 28 years higher. The greatest percentage of deaths (or 42.2 percent) occurred in the age group between 80 and 89 years, while 32.4 percent were between 70 and 79, 8.4 percent between 60 and 69, 2.8 percent between 50 and 59 and 14.1 percent over 90 years. Women who died after contracting COVI_D-2019 infection are older than men (median age women 83.4 – median age men 79.9). The average number of pathologies observed in this population is 3.4 (median 3, Standard Deviation 2.1). Overall, 15.5 percent of the sample had 0 or 1 pathologies, 18.3 percent had 2 pathologies and 67.2 percent had 3 or more pathologies. The most represented comorbidity is hypertension (present in 74.6 percent of the sample), followed by ischemic heart disease (70.4 percent) and diabetes mellitus (33.8 percent).[24] Silvio Brusaferro, head of the Italian health service confirmed the fact that senior citizens and those with pre-existing conditions are more at risk. “We are talking about people who are very fragile and who live in close contact with others and the need to protect them as much as possible.”[25]

It wasn’t difficult to tell where oligarchic sympathies lay. The Rockefeller Foundation admired the Chinese because of the draconian measures they took in fighting the virus and criticized the United States’ initial policy of “strongly discouraging” citizens from flying because it “proved deadly in its leniency, accelerating the spread of the virus not just within the U.S. but across borders.” The Chinese government’s “quick imposition and enforcement of mandatory quarantine for all citizens, as well as its instant and near-hermetic sealing off of all borders,” however, “saved millions of lives, stopping the spread of the virus far earlier than in other countries and enabling a swifter post-pandemic recovery.”[26]
Before long it becomes clear that the Rockefeller Foundation is proposing the Chinese authoritarian model of crisis response as the norm for the rest of the world:
China’s government was not the only one that took extreme measures to protect its citizens from risk and exposure. During the pandemic, national leaders around the world flexed their authority and imposed airtight rules and restrictions, from the mandatory wearing of face masks to body-temperature checks at the entries to communal spaces like train stations and supermarkets. Even after the pandemic faded, this more authoritarian control and oversight of citizens and their activities stuck and even intensified. In order to protect themselves from the spread of increasingly global problems—from pandemics and transnational terrorism to environmental crises and rising poverty—leaders around the world took a firmer grip on power. . . . Citizens willingly gave up some of their sovereignty—and their privacy—to more paternalistic states in exchange for greater safety and stability. Citizens were more tolerant, and even eager, for top-down direction and oversight, and national leaders had more latitude to impose order in the ways they saw fit. In developed countries, this heightened oversight took many forms: biometric IDs for all citizens, for example, and tighter regulation of key industries whose stability was deemed vital to national interests. In many developed countries, enforced cooperation with a suite of new regulations and agreements slowly but steadily restored both order and, importantly, economic growth.[27]
The Rockefeller Foundation wasn’t the only group of oligarchs involved in scenario planning for virus pandemics:
In October, 2019 the Gates Foundation teamed up with the World Economic Forum and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security to enact what they called a “fictional” scenario simulation involving some of the world’s leading figures in public health. It was titled Event 201. As their website describes it, Event 201 simulated an “outbreak of a novel zoonotic coronavirus transmitted from bats to pigs to people that eventually becomes efficiently transmissible from person to person, leading to a severe pandemic. The pathogen and the disease it causes are modeled largely on SARS, but it is more transmissible in the community setting by people with mild symptoms.”[28]
The United States Congress was also involved in the discussion. According to a Yahoo news report: “Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., is facing calls to resign after reports Thursday that the powerful Intelligence Committee chairman had privately warned well-connected donors of the dire impacts of the coronavirus pandemic last month while selling off up to $1.6 million of his own stocks.” All of this lends credibility to the claim that the coronavirus pandemic was a deliberately taken act of war. This would also mean that the martial law which followed from this act was equally deliberate.
French President Emmanuel Macron
During the early months of 2020, the category of the mind which the Rockefellers confected during their scenario planning sessions in 2010 became a category of nature, as one government after another implemented their draconian regulations for control. One of the main beneficiaries of the global war on coronavirus was French President Emmanuel Macron. After years of yellow vest protests on the streets of Paris nearly toppled his government, Macron invoked the medical equivalent of martial law and confined his enemies to their homes by imposing quarantine on the entire French nation. When the French ignored his order, Macron countered by requiring the people of France to download forms from their computers for permission to go outside. “France’s ramped-up coronavirus measures,” we are told, “now require people to produce a document that justifies why they’re outside — even just to go a walk or to the shop — after people ignored the government’s pleas to stay at home.”[29]
Denmark took even more repressive measures, effectively shutting down the government, sending everyone home, banning any gathering of over 100 people, and closing all schools and universities. Not content with even these radical methods, the solons of Denmark then passed unprecedented legislation mandating compulsory testing and vaccination as well as approving rules of force which would allow the police, the military, and even private security firms to carry out their orders. Those orders remain in place until March 1, 2021. “Denmark isn’t at war,” announced one politician ominously, “but we will be shortly.” The announcement of government measures set off widespread panic as Danes stormed supermarkets to hoard food.[30]
In situations like this, history provides the best clues for what is going on in the present. The AIDS hysteria is a good case in point. AIDS began as a sexually transmitted disease which was limited to the homosexual population. The collapse of the homosexual’s immune system was traced to bad lifestyle habits which added further odium to the already unsavory reputation surrounding the homosexual lifestyle. The uproar in the media, however, prompted the government to act. As a result, Margaret Heckler announced in 1984 that the homosexual lifestyle disease was, in fact, caused by a virus, HIV, which was soon to be isolated, thereby enabling the production of a vaccine. The virus was never isolated, and the fact that no vaccine was forthcoming prompted AIDS activists like Mathilde Krim to propose azidothymidine, commonly known as AZT, the toxic chemo-therapy drug, as the cure.

After the approval of AZT got fast-tracked at the FDA at Krim’s urging, it was administered on a widespread basis to homosexuals and promptly killed them. The story of African AIDS is even more bizarre by comparison. The meddling of women like Krim and Heckler not only killed more homosexuals than would have otherwise died—compare Magic Johnson and Arthur Ashe for an example of what I mean—it also rehabilitated homosexuality and made it the paradigm of the ideal citizen which it is today. The oligarchs took the AIDS crisis and turned it upside down into a form of social engineering, proving that they knew how to derive political benefits from medical crises.
Understanding how the AIDS epidemic got instrumentalized to promote homosexuality is helpful, but the best paradigm for explaining what is happening now is what happened in Ramallah in 2002. The provisions of medical martial law which followed the announcement of the coronavirus pandemic present an uncanny replication of what happened in Ramallah in March 2002 when the Israelis took over Palestinian TV stations and began broadcasting pornography. Like the Palestinians, who were kept indoors by Israeli snipers, Italians, Frenchmen, and Danes were forced to stay in their homes by government edict. As in Ramallah, the coronavirus has created a world in which people are forced to stay at home with only electronic media as their source for understanding what is going on in the world. In Ramallah, the Palestinians had no choice in the matter. If they stepped outside to talk to their neighbors, they ran the danger of being shot by Israeli snipers. If they stayed indoors and turned on their televisions for news, they were forced to watch pornography.
Gilets Jaunes Protests
Almost 20 years later, after countries like France were subjected to civil unrest in the streets much like the Palestinian Intifada, governments can now use medicine and science as the excuse to deprive their people of their rights, including their right to assemble and to worship. Church services have been suspended indefinitely, but premium access to pornography is now free of charge. The illusion of science and freedom of choice has been maintained, while at the same time, the reality of martial law has been imposed on the world in much the same way that Israel imposed martial law on the Palestinians. In a desperate attempt to maintain its hold on power, the globalist regime has used the crisis precipitated by the coronavirus pandemic to incarcerate entire populations, while simultaneously banning religious services and offering pornography in every cell.
The first step in carrying out the plan which the Israelis proposed in Ramallah was the promotion of pornography. According to a German report, the well-known pornography provider Pornhub has proposed a unique form of assistance to Italy as it suffers the ravages of the coronavirus by providing premium membership for its website at no cost. In addition Pornhub promised to devote part of its revenues to fighting COVID-19 lung infections across the world. Pornhub is devoting its March proceeds from Modelhub to support Italy “during this unfortunate time.” What they meant to say was “Unfortunate for everyone but the pornographers.” “Model earnings,” the compassionate folk at Pornhub tell us, “will remain untouched, this is coming straight from Pornhub’s share. To help keep you company during these weeks at home, Italy will have free access to Pornhub Premium throughout the month.”[31]Eight years ago, Pornhub was more forthcoming about the role it really played in the globalist network of political control when it wrote: “We’re always working towards adding more features that will keep your porno addiction alive and well.”[32]
Because of the coronavirus, Italy is under almost complete quarantine. Unlike the American population which reacted to the arrival of the virus by stockpiling ammunition and toilet paper, the Italians took to their balconies and started singing. The generally sunny disposition of the Italians stood in marked contrast to actions of their government which seemed determined to turn that country of 60 million people into a necropolis based on Edgar Allan Poe’s Masque of the Red Death. Online porn was booming[33] as people withdrew, via “social distancing” far “from the aid and from the sympathy of his fellow men” into the “deep seclusion” of their high-rise Wohnmaschinen. As Poe put it in 1842:
With such precautions the courtiers might bid defiance to contagion. The external world could take care of itself. In the meantime it was folly to grieve or to think. The prince had provided all the appliances of pleasure. There were buffoons, there were improvisatori, there were ballet-dancers, there were musicians, there was Beauty, there was wine. All these and security were within. Without was the “Red Death.”[34]
In keeping with Poe’s “courtiers,” “carefree youth” in Berlin were celebrating at what the English press were calling “lockdown parties” and “end of the world” drinking sessions as the disease spread across the Continent.[35] Berlin’s “corona speakeasies” had uncanny similarities to Poe’s Masque of the Red Death because “owners of closed bars have taped up the windows and locked the doors, only allowing in guests who have registered, or who deliver a specific knock on the door.”[36] But it had other literary resonances as well.
In trying to unpack the “immensely serious questions” which COVID-19 raises about “biopolitics. . . and bio-terror,” Pepe Escobar asks, “Where’s Foucault when we need him?”[37] French philosopher Michel Foucault is an important contributor to the plan of using sexual liberation as a form of political control which got hatched in the 1970s. 1n 1975 Foucault made his pact with the devil when he told the oligarchs: “Give us unlimited sexual liberation, and the Left won’t criticize your unjust economic system.” Foucault explained the principle that sexual liberation was a form of political control to the oligarchs in theory, but Pier Paolo Pasolini came up with the image which described it in detail in Salo, his last and most controversial film, which also made its appearance in 1975.
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Like Foucault, Pasolini was a Catholic who became a Communist after his religious faith got derailed by his homosexuality. By the early 1970s, in the wake of the failed revolution of 1968, both men became disillusioned with traditional Marxism and turned to the sexualized version of Marx combined with Freud as promoted by people like Wilhelm Reich as an alternative. One of the seminal events in this regard was the release of Dusan Makavajev’s film promoting Reich’s conflation of Marx and Freud, WR: Mysteries of the Organism, which premiered in 1971. Inspired by the same Reichian Zeitgeist, Pasolini released his film Decameron in the same year as the opening shot in what would become his Trilogy of Life series of soft-core porn flicks. Pasolini’s Decameron takes a nostalgic look at the Italian Middle Ages, where religious devotion and innocent sexuality could exist side by side without contradiction, as in a canvas painted by Giotto. Not coincidentally, Pasolini appears in Decameron as Giotto, the artist who could bring all of these contradictions together through art.
Pasolini’s infatuation with the innocence of the Catholic Middle Ages stood in stark contrast to his disillusionment with the Communism of the 1970s. In May of 1971, after being put on trial for maligning the Italian armed forces, Pasolini said:
I can no longer believe in revolution, but I can’t help being on the side of the young people who are fighting for it. It’s already an illusion to write poetry, and yet I go on writing it, even if for me poetry is no longer that wonderful classical myth that heightened my adolescence. . . I no longer believe in dialectics and contradictions, but in pure opposition. . . . All the same, I’m increasingly fascinated by that exemplary combination, achieved by saints like St. Paul, of the active and contemplative life.[38]
Pasolini saw how sexual liberation was progressing in Italy and knowing that he was one of the main forces propelling it filled him with mixed feelings. He was a homosexual in the grip of a vice which would eventually lead to his death but he, nonetheless, found abortion repugnant:
I am traumatized by the legalization of abortion, because like many I consider it a legalization of homicide. In dreams and everyday behavior—something common to all men—I live my prenatal life, my happy immersion in the maternal fluids, and I know that there I existed. I know . . . that the majority is, potentially, all for the legalization of abortion . . . Legalized abortion is in fact—no doubt about it—an enormous convenience for the majority. Especially because it would make coitus—heterosexual coupling—easier, and there would practically no longer be any obstacles to it. But by whom has this freedom of coitus of the “couple” as conceived by the majority—this wonderful permissiveness on its behalf—been tacitly desired, tacitly promulgated and tacitly made to become part, in a now irreversible way, of people’s habits. By the powers of consumption, by the new fascism. . . .[39]
“Fascism” was the word leftists like Pasolini fell back on to disguise their inability to describe the new oligarchic ruling class as the sexually liberated proponents of capitalism, which was their new identity thanks to thinkers like Foucault. The Left reacted to the spectacle of a pro-life Communist homosexual with ridicule, claiming that Pasolini attempted to use deviance as the solution to the inconveniences of heterosexual coupling that could be solved by abortion. They also claimed that Pasolini was angry at higher wages because economic prosperity had jacked up the price he had to pay for the services of Rome’s ragazzi di vita, the Italian term for rent boy.[40]
But Pasolini could see where things were going in a way that his equally lust-besotted contemporaries could not. His initial plan, after completing Arabian Nights, the final segment of the Trilogy of Life, was to do a film on the life of St. Paul. Pasolini was no stranger to religious films. His film on the Gospel of St. Matthew had garnered praise from the Vatican. Another possibility was something called “Porno-Teo-Kolossal,” which was probably as bad as it sounded. But that film didn’t get made either. Instead, Pasolini rented a villa near Mantua in the early months of 1975 and began filming Saloor The 120 days of Sodom.[41] Bernardo Bertolucci, now famous for The Last Tango in Paris, which premiered in 1972, was filming his epic 1900 not far away, but the world had changed. The heady days of post-‘60s sexual liberation had passed and something darker had taken its place. In America the harbinger of change from sex to horror was The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which appeared in theaters one year before Salo in 1974. The cultural dam broke five years later with the arrival of Halloween and Alienand the flood of horror flicks and their sequels which followed for the next decade.

Pasolini was one of the few mainstream directors who understood the new direction the Zeitgeist was taking. The conventional trajectory for the year 1975 was clear. In Germany, the wave of sexual liberation which began with sex farces like Der Schulmaedchen Report and Lass Jucken, Kumpel went from soft to hardcore. Instead of heading in the same direction, Pasolini proposed an image of the future in which the oligarchs, whom Pasolini portrays as the fascists in charge of the last days of what was left of Mussolini’s regime after it had fled to the northern Italian town of Salo, commandeer sexual freedom and turn it into a sadistic fantasy perpetrated on the young at a hermetically sealed off location which had uncanny similarities to Italy under the coronavirus quarantine of 2020. Like the Israeli invasion of Ramallah and the quarantine of 2020, Pasolini’s Salo takes place in time of war. Allied bombers can be heard flying ominously overhead. The Italian version of Goetterdaemmerung is in the air, and the rulers of Salo are not going to let this crisis go to waste. They kidnap the most attractive young people they can find and then immure them in a mansion not unlike the one Prospero equipped in The Masque of the Red Death.
In the last year of his life, the same Pasolini who had dedicated his life to flouting sexual morality realized that the oligarchs were going to allow sexual freedom to happen on their terms and not the terms of the young people who were its prime victims. That meant that “consumerism” and “fascism” trumped anything Pasolini could conjure from Boccaccio. The sexual revolution was in reality a sadistic capitalist fantasy perpetrated by degenerate oligarchs on a group of unsuspecting victims in their teens and twenties, who were now being held captive in a luxurious concentration camp where pornographic fantasy was mandatory and religious practice punishable by death. After Foucault made his pact with the devil in 1975, he began teaching Austrian School Economics, and a whole generation of homosexuals in San Francisco, including Fr. Robert Sirico of the notorious Acton Institute, followed his lead, but Pasolini, in spite of his homosexuality, was still Catholic enough to protest, “This is not what I meant; this is not what I meant at all.” The extraordinary powers which martial law has granted to the government has resulted in a situation where sadistic pornographic fantasies get imposed on the population at large, but, as the president of the Republic of Salo announced at the beginning of that quarantine: “Any religious act is punishable by death.” Salo was, mutatis mutandis, the sadistic culmination of the ‘70s sexual revolution and, more importantly, the prophetic artistic description of the Italian quarantine of 2020 which would arrive 50 years after the fact as punishment.
Nineteen Seventy-five is also the year in which Pasolini died while cruising for ragazzi di vita amid the garbage dumps near Idroscalo, the seaplane basin at Ostia.[42] A 17-year-old rent boy confessed to the murder, but those familiar with Pasolini’s injuries claim that a teenager wielding a stick could not have inflicted them, and that Giuseppe Pelosi was the fall guy for sinister figures whose identities remain unknown to this day. The oligarchs and their communist lackeys had motive enough to kill Pasolini for spilling the beans, but most people, especially the Catholics, were too obtuse to understand what Pasolini was really saying.
In both 2020 and 1944, war was the excuse to suspend the conventions of normal life, and the Left in both instances was incapable of describing, much less preventing what was going on. Both Foucault and Pasolini understood how the state was using “science” as a form of control; both rebelled against the party line. Both felt that the enlightenment state was the real enemy, primarily because the Church had internalized the Enlightenment’s command that science determined “ultimate reality” and had become as a result irrelevant. Pasolini got expelled from the party because of his homosexuality, but his Decameron is full of nostalgia for the Italian Middle Ages when sex was innocent and everyone was Catholic, and he was Giotto. Foucault longed for a Catholic Church which would punish him for his transgression, and when both state and church refused, Foucault punished himself in the S&M torture chambers in the bath houses of San Francisco. In an analogous scene in The Canterbury Tales, the second film in Pasolini’s Trilogy of Life, a homosexual gets caught in flagrante dilectuand then, with Pasolini’s approval, gets burned at the stake.
Salo is the most accurate artistic representation of the quarantine which has now been imposed on the entire world. Pornography, abortion, and drugs are now available to those in quarantine but not religious services. Salo is also an uncanny artistic premonition of what the Israelis did in 2002 when they invaded Ramallah and started broadcasting pornography overPalestinian TV stations. The entire world is being subjected to that regimen right now, mutatis mutandis. Religious services have been banned, but abortion, which is considered an essential service, is, along with pornography, freely available. Abortion clinics did not close during the lockdown in California,[43] but that state’s Catholic churches did.
Catholic reaction to this remarkable state of affairs depended largely on the writer’s relationship to the state in general and the American Empire in particular. In an article which appeared in America, the flagship of contemporary Americanism and Jesuit support of the regime, Patrick O’Neill stated in no uncertain terms “I am a scientist working to stop coronavirus. We should cancel all Masses.”[44] The article appeared on March 13 but was written when there were 1,700 confirmed cases and at least 41 deaths. O’Neill then takes that number and extrapolates, claiming that “the true number of infections in the United States is therefore now between 17,000 and 170,000.”
This is true. One week after O’Neill’s article appeared in America spreading panic among bishops in the United States the number of infections stood at 19,383, which is between the two numbers he mentioned but nowhere near the upper limit O’Neill used to scare the bishops. Of those infected 256 died. O’Neill claimed that the mortality rate for COVID-19 was 3.7 percent, but he forgot to tell us when that number applied. This is a significant omission because during the period which stretched from March 8 to March 20, 2020, the period in which the US bishops decided to suspend Masses in public, the United States fatality rate declined from 4.06 percent to 1.32 percent. This meant that while the total numbers increased from 22 deaths out of 541 at the beginning of that period to 256 out of 19,383 at the end, the gross numbers went up but the percentage of those who died went down. As of March 20, 2020 the death rate in Italy was 8.5 percent but the death rate in South Korea was 1.16 percent, which was close to the death rate in the U.S., which was 1.34 percent. The real picture becomes clearer if we look at total cases per million inhabitants. As of March 20, 2020, China had 56 total cases per million; the United States had 59 cases per million, but Italy had 778 per million.
Why is Italy different? The main reason may be demographic. Italy has one of the oldest populations in the world and the aged there and elsewhere are more likely to suffer from pre-existing conditions when subjected to stress from a new disease. But the reason may lie in the public health response to the epidemic. The dramatic difference between Italy and South Korea was largely the result of the different approaches each country chose in responding to the disease. Italy imposed strict quarantine of the entire population, whereas South Korea tracked known cases on their cell phones. As a result, the pandemic was nowhere as severe in South Korea as it was in Italy.
According to a study on how China responded to COVID-19 released by the World Health organization, those who come in contact with carriers who have tested positive have a 1-1.5 percent chance of coming down with the disease. This percentage increases, however, when “the majority of viral infections come from prolonged exposures in confined spaces with other infected individuals.” Under those conditions, “person-to-person and surface contact is by far the most common cause.” According to the WHO report, “When a cluster of several infected people occurred in China, it was most often (78–85 percent) caused by an infection within the family by droplets and other carriers of infection in close contact with an infected person.”[45] This means that quarantine may be making a bad situation worse and may explain the disproportionate number of coronavirus cases in Italy. Because the disease spreads before people show symptoms, Italian health authorities may have taken people who were already infected and placed them in the closed environment which was the ideal incubator for further spread of the disease. According to the CDC data based on the Princess cruise ship, transmission is facilitated in confined spaces, but “Daily growth rates declined over time across all countries regardless of particular policy solutions, such as shutting the borders or social distancing.”
O’Neill fears that the mortality rate may rise to 10 percent, and he is right, but only if the patient is subjected to the quarantine he is urging on the bishops of the United States. According to Dr. Paul Auwaerter, the Clinical Director for the Division of Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine: “If you have a COVID-19 patient in your household, your risk of developing the infection is about 10 percent…. If you were casually exposed to the virus in the workplace [or a Church] (e.g., you were not locked up in conference room for six hours with someone who was infected [like a hospital]), your chance of infection is about 0.5%.” According to a study released by the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University, “The current scientific consensus is that most transmission via respiratory secretions happens in the form of large respiratory droplets … rather than small aerosols. Droplets, fortunately, are heavy enough that they don’t travel very far and instead fall from the air after traveling only a few feet.” Italy, in other words, is enhancing the spread of COVID19 by confining Italians to their small apartments.
Early reports are always deceptive. By the time the bishops acted, the spread of the virus had declined. According to Nobel Laureate and biophysicist Michael Levitt: “Every coronavirus patient in China infected on average 2.2 people a day — spelling exponential growth that can only lead to disaster. But then it started dropping, and the number of new daily infections is now close to zero.” “When discussing diseases, it frightens people a lot because they keep hearing about new cases every day. But the fact that the infection rate is slowing down means the end of the pandemic is near.”
Patrick O’Neil
Patrick “I am a Scientist” O’Neill recommended “radical interventions: quarantining cities, disrupting daily life and restricting the movement of almost 800 million people” in China as “necessary to avoid complete infection” of the United States, but as the example of Italy showed, government measures had a way of making a bad situation worse by closing the barn door after the horse had already escaped. Or to be more precise, putting people who had already been exposed to the virus in its early days into quarantine where they were sure to spread it to other members of their families.
Of 44,145 people infected as of February 11, 2020, 1,023 died, meaning a mortality rate of 2.3 percent. “We still believe, looking at the data, that the force of infection here, the major driver, is people who are symptomatic, unwell, and transmitting to others along the human-to-human route,” according to Dr. Mike Ryan of WHO Emergencies Program. These numbers have been revised down to where only 1 percent of cases will be considered severe. As of March 20, 2020 Italy had 626 active cases per million inhabitants; the United States had 58.3 active cases per million, and China was down to 4.6 per million, indicating that the disease there was on the decline.[46] The CDC has consistently revised its fatality statistics down from the original 4 percent figure proposed by WHO, which is now suggesting 2.3 to 3 percent for all age groups. CDC estimates are even lower, ranging from 0.5 to 3 percent. After examining the data from China, Dr. Paul Auwaeter lowered the fatality rate there to 1.4 percent. Even a high risk environment like the Diamond Princess cruise ship, where an entire, closed population was tested, yielded a fatality rate of only 1.0 percent.
After John P.A. Ioannidis, professor of medicine, of epidemiology and population health, of biomedical data science, and of statistics at Stanford University and co-director of Stanford’s Meta-Research Innovation Center extrapolated that figure to the entire U.S. population, he concluded that:
the death rate among people infected with Covid-19 would be 0.125%. But since this estimate is based on extremely thin data — there were just seven deaths among the 700 infected passengers and crew — the real death rate could stretch from five times lower (0.025%) to five times higher (0.625%). It is also possible that some of the passengers who were infected might die later, and that tourists may have different frequencies of chronic diseases — a risk factor for worse outcomes with SARS-CoV-2 infection — than the general population. Adding these extra sources of uncertainty…[47]
The conclusion seems inescapable. The Italians made a bad situation worse by imposing quarantine. By going along with bad science compounded by bad government, the Church, following the bad advice of the Americanist Jesuits who now control the mind of her administrators, contributed to the deaths of thousands of Italian Catholics, something which would not have happened if they had not been cooped up in their stuffy apartments and had been allowed to go about their normal lives, including attendance at religious services.
Aaron Ginn concludes his article by citing the first rule of the Hippocratic oath: Primum no nocere, First and foremost do no harm:
Local governments and politicians are inflicting massive harm and disruption with little evidence to support their draconian edicts. Every local government is in a mimetic race to one-up each other in authoritarian city ordinances to show us who has more “abundance of caution”. Politicians are competing, not on more evidence or more COVID-19 cures but more caution. As unemployment rises and families feel unbearably burdened already, they feel pressure to “fix” the situation they created with even more radical and “creative” policy solutions. This only creates more problems and an even larger snowball effect. The first place to start is to stop killing the patient and focus on what works.[48]
General Quarantine has only made a bad situation worse:
With such little evidence of prolific community spread and our guiding healthcare institutions reporting the same results, shuttering the local economy is a distraction and arbitrary with limited accretive gain outside of greatly annoying millions and bankrupting hundreds of businesses. The data is overwhelming at this point that community-based spread and airborne transmission is not a threat. We don’t have significant examples of spreading through restaurants or gyms. When you consider the environment COVID-19 prefers, isolating every family in their home is a perfect situation for infection and transmission among other family members. Evidence from South Korea and Singapore shows that it is completely possible and preferred to continue on with life while making accommodations that are data-driven, such as social distancing and regular temperature checks.[49]
Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano
The Church’s capitulation to the state provoked the ire of Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, who unlike most churchmen, was able to distinguish between categories of nature and how they got transformed into weaponized categories of the mind by politicians with an agenda. “The ecclesial events of these hours,” Vigano tells us, “have manifested clearly — if there was still any need — the tragic subjection of the Church to a State that is striving and doing all it can to destroy the Christian identity of our Italy, by enslaving it to an ideological, immoral, globalist, Malthusian, abortionist, migrant agenda that is the enemy of man and of the family.”[50] By capitulating to the state’s definition of public health, the Church is jeopardizing “the salvation of souls” by depriving them of those supernatural gifts which make us “capable of facing trials here below, even the assaults of death, with the power of faith and that spark of inexhaustible and unshakable hope which comes to us from our yearning for the destiny of glory for which we were created.” The Italian Episcopal Conference capitulated to the power of the secular state and its hatred of religion by canceling “the totality of public liturgical celebrations in all the churches of the territory, helping to fuel fear and panic and depriving the faithful of the indispensable comfort of the sacraments.”[51]
The “tragic subjection of the Church to State that was doing all within its power to destroy Christian identity” soon spread from Italy to the United States, where one diocese after another shuttered its churches. One week after Chicago, Detroit, and New York closed their churches, Bishop Kevin Rhoades, ordinary of the diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, announced on March 17 that they were suspending all public Sunday and weekday Masses over concerns about the COVID-19 virus until further notice.[52]

The Church did nothing to counter the panic being generated in the media. By closing her churches, the hierarchy poured gasoline on a conflagration that was already raging in the media. In an article which appeared on the website of The Atlantic on March 11, 2020 entitled “What Will You Do If You Start Coughing? ‘Stay home’ is not a sufficient plan,” James Hamblin writes:
This coronavirus is unknown to our species. Once it breaks into one of our cells, the extent of its spread through the body seems to vary significantly. The experience can slowly progress from the familiar—cough, congestion, fever—to a life-threatening inflammatory response as the virus spreads down into the lungs, filling the airways with fluid. Survivors can have permanent scarring in the lungs. The virus can also spread into other organs, causing liver damage or gastrointestinal disease. These effects can play out over longer periods than in the flu, sometimes waxing and waning. Some patients have begun to feel better, then fallen critically ill. The disease can be fatal despite receiving optimal medical care.[53]
Then after telling us “You’re likely to get the coronavirus,” our author adds, “None of this is meant to cause panic.”[54] Mort Zuckerman turned The Atlantic into a mouthpiece of Jewish oligarchic interests when he purchased what was once the flagship of Boston’s WASP establishment a few years back, and The Atlantic, true to its new masters, was determined eliminate the salvation of souls from public consideration by issuing a demand to “Close the Churches” and telling the nation’s rulers that “State and local shutdown orders shouldn’t exempt religious gatherings, and those communities should comply.”[55]
As of March 22, 2020, resistance to the ban on Mass which the hierarchy had imposed on the faithful was growing among dissident members of the same hierarchy. Raymond Cardinal Burke, former ordinary of the Diocese of LaCrosse, Wisconsin and former head of the Rota in Rome, stated that because “our first consideration is our relationship with God,” primary consideration in times of crisis must be given to having “access to our churches and chapels to the Sacraments, and to public devotions and prayers.”[56] That meant practically a refusal to “accept the determinations of secular governments, which would treat the worship of God in the same manner as going to a restaurant or to an athletic contest.” Rather than capitulate to the power of a state which has always viewed the Church as its enemy, bishops and priests “need to explain publicly the necessity of Catholics to pray and worship in their churches and chapels, and to go in procession through the streets and ways, asking God’s blessing upon His people who suffer so intensely.”
Bishop Athanasius Schneider, an auxiliary bishop from the diocese of Astana in Kazakhstan, had similar things to say:
Millions of Catholics in the so-called free Western world will, in the coming weeks or even months, and especially during Holy Week and Easter, the culmination of the entire liturgical year, be deprived of any public acts of worship due to both civic and ecclesiastical reaction to the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19). The most painful and distressing of these is the deprivation of Holy Mass and sacramental Holy Communion. The current atmosphere of an almost planetary panic is continuously fueled by the universally proclaimed “dogma” of the new coronavirus pandemic. The drastic and disproportionate security measures with the denial of fundamental human rights of freedom of movement, freedom of assembly, and freedom of opinion appear almost globally orchestrated along a precise plan. Thus, the entire human race becomes a kind of prisoner of a world “sanitary dictatorship,” which for its part also reveals itself as a political dictatorship. An important side-effect of this new “sanitary dictatorship” that is spreading throughout the world is the growing and uncompromising ban on all forms of public worship. Beginning on March 16, 2020, the German government issued a ban on all forms of public religious gatherings for all religions. Such a drastic measure of strict prohibition of all forms of public worship was unimaginable even during the Third Reich.[57]
Like Archbishop Vigano, Roberto de Mattei sees the coronavirus as a punishment coming from God. Like Gad, “Saint Bernardine of Siena (1380-1444) told the leaders of his day that: Tria sunt flagella quibus dominus castigat: “there are three scourges with which God chastises: war, plague, and famine.” Like Pasolini, de Mattei draws on the Middle Ages as his theological beacon during a dark and stormy night. “Saint Bernardine belongs to a number of saints like Catherine of Siena, Bridget of Sweden, Vincent Ferrer, Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort, who warned how throughout history natural disasters have always accompanied the infidelities and apostasy of nations.”[58]
Roberto De Mattei
Just as the Black Death, which carried off 40 percent of Europe’s population in the mid-14th century, signaled the end of the Middle Ages in de Mattei’s eyes, so the coronavirus pandemic signals the end of the American Empire and the era of Globalization, as practiced by oligarchs like George Soros. Globalization is both the perpetrator and ultimate victim of the current crisis because it “destroys space and pulverizes distances.” But because God is in charge of history Globalization finds itself subjected to the cunning of reason which has created “social distance, the isolation of the individual and quarantine,” all of which are “diametrically opposed to the ‘open society’ hoped for by George Soros.” De Mattei believes that the pandemic is bringing an end to “the world without borders.”[59]
Globalization may have precipitated the current crisis, but its real source is a Church which is either too corrupt or too befuddled to address the forces which are now destroying the entire world. According to de Mattei, “the great sin which has brought down God’s wrath on our heads is the apostasy of the men governing the Church, who failed, either culpably or not, to denounce the schemes which the oligarchs have used to ensnare the entire world in sin. As a result of this failure, for the first time in many centuries in Italy, the churches are closed, Masses are suspended, and even Saint Peter’s Basilica is closed,” causing De Mattei to ask: “How can we not see in what the coronavirus is producing a symbolic consequence of the self-destruction of the Church?”[60]
Yet, God remains the master of history and in spite of the machinations of the wicked, God continues to use the coronavirus to bring about His intentions, one of which is using it as the “killer of Globalization.”[61] No matter how badly the Church reacts, there has never been a time when God was not in charge of human history. Both St. Bernardine of Siena and St. Catherine of Siena could preach with confidence because they understood Divine Providence. That providence, according to St. Catherine of Siena, has been active from the beginning of time until the present hour in providing man with everything he needs.[62] Self-love, however, obscures the intelligence of those who hope only in themselves and deprives them of the light of faith, ensuring that man proceeds not according to the light of reason rendering him blind to providence. Everyone is a beneficiary of providence, but there are those who do not comprehend because they don’t recognize it, and they don’t recognize it because they lack love. They see nothing but disorder like the blind man although everything is in order.
God, however, regulates what is appropriate for each thing at every moment. God’s providence determines everything down to the smallest detail, in particular, life, death, and the manner in which they arrive. He permits everything that happens to man, including hunger, thirst and the losses of fortune, nakedness, cold, heat, injuries, humiliations and affronts, without being the cause of the perverse will which does evil or inflicts injuries. God grants to man both being and time, not to offend me but to serve me faithfully because he serves God faithfully who serves his neighbor in charity. God permits evil to instill patience in the soul which suffers, so that the soul gets to know itself in humility.
Following the lead of the two saints from Siena, De Mattei concludes: “God is the author of nature with its forces and its laws, and he has the power to arrange the mechanism of the forces and laws of nature in such a way as to produce a phenomenon according to the needs of his justice or his mercy.”[63]
What looks like the end of the world as we know it is in reality the dawning of the world as God wants it. Logos is Rising. The wicked oligarchs who orchestrated the crash which the coronavirus conveniently disguised were rewarded with the money they sought so avidly, only to pass, sooner or later, from the scene leaving only wreckage behind. But the course of Logos in human history cannot be thwarted by the designs of the wicked. The moment of its apparent death in any age is in reality the moment of its eventual rebirth. Logos is always rising, no matter how it seems at any particular moment in time. History is an ascending spiral of rationality. God tolerates evil and error to bring about a greater understanding of the good and the true. With each historical cycle, the distinction between Logos and its opposite becomes more apparent. Because the distinction between Logos and anti-Logos in our day has never been more obvious, its victory has never been more certain.
[1] The owl of Minerva only begins to fly when twilight arrives.
[32] This message has been recorded by the Wayback machine at and was present on the PornHub website in 2012. Checking this fact will put you at risk of being exposed to pornography. You may alternatively find a screen shot of this at
[38] Enzo Siciliano, Pasolini: A Biography (New York: Random House, 1982), p. 345.
[39] Siciliano, p. 374-5.
[40] Siciliano, p. 374-5.
[41] Siciliano, p. 385.
[42] Siciliano, p. 3.
[62] De La Providence by St. Catherine of Siena. My translation from the French.