Thursday, April 30, 2009

Jones Spreads Swine Flu Panic and Misinformation

Jones had the nerve to say this about Swine Flu panic earlier in the week: "Man, there's a lot of media fear-mongering going on." He's right, of course, but he's one of the media outlets spreading the fear.

When it comes to health issues that are worrying millions upon millions of people, the media should be disseminating timely, factual information in a calm and straightforward manner, without exploiting the issues for political or religious purposes. Some media outlets have been doing just that. Others, particularly in the tabloid and alternative media, have been capitalizing on the fear and confusion. And Jones is definitely one of those. Steve Quayle provided so much misinformation and such bizarre religious invective on Monday's show that I'll have to devote my entire next post to him. Thus far, Jones and his "expert" guests have told his listeners that:

- Baxter Industries intentionally contaminated its flu vaccine with active Avian Flu virus. This could not have occurred by accident. There is no indication that the contamination of Baxter's flu virus was anything but an accident, and such accidents are entirely possible. With the number of vaccine doses being manufactured and shipped all over the world today, it's actually remarkable that such contamination doesn't occur more often.
However, if you want to villainize Baxter industries and inculcate fear of the pharmaceutical industry like Jones clearly does, last year's heparin incident would be a better example. That contamination was probably not accidental.

- Baxter is bidding to develop the Swine Flu vaccine. They will use this vaccine to wipe out a sizable percentage of the population. Inoculation will be involuntary. In the history of inoculation, no vaccine has killed more people than it has protected. There is no reason to suspect that the Swine Flu vaccine will be the first exception. There is no reason to believe that the Swine Flu will usher in an involuntary vaccination program, due to public resistance and the low rate of infection.

- The flu must have been deliberately released at different locations simultaneously, as the spread of the disease does not follow natural patterns. This is false. Diseases can and do break out simultaneously in widely separated parts of the world, thanks to high-speed air travel.

- An Air Force study "proposed" an Avian Flu pandemic for 2009 back in 1996. The Air Force said this pandemic would kill 30 million people. It's true that a hypothetical pandemic is included in the Air Force study Air Force 2025, a wildly ambitious report full of possible scenarios. In the report, the pandemic is listed as one of several disasters that could occur. It doesn't prop up Jones' theory that They are carrying out a global depopulation program, because the report estimates the world population as 8 billion in 2025 - hardly a reduction in our numbers.

- The Swine Flu could be a race-specific bioweapon. Again, there is absolutely no indication of this. It's irresponsible speculation at best.

- No health organization can be trusted. They're all in on it. Whatever their flaws, the CDC, WHO, and other health organizations are staffed by scientists and health professionals who have devoted their lives to the study and prevention of infectious disease and the promotion of health. They want to do their jobs well, and they certainly don't stand to benefit from a pandemic.

- The Swine Flu cannot be natural because God would never allow such a thing. It could only come from Lucifer. (Steve Quayle) If Steve Quayle wants to blame diseases on the devil, fine. That's his right. But is it necessary to encourage millions of listeners to revert to pre-scientific beliefs, rather than encourage them to approach the problem calmly and rationally?

- This "execution by injection" is a form of "esoteric murder, ritual Satanic deliverance of the innocents to death", timed to occur with the occult day, Cinco de Mayo. (Steve Quayle) I'll deal with this in the next post.

By comparison with this stuff, Ron Paul's public service announcement is a masterpiece of restraint and common sense. However, despite the fact that Paul is a medical doctor, his information is also deeply flawed. Out of approximately 40 million people who received the swine flu vaccine in 1976, only two or three deaths were reported - and they couldn't be confirmed as having been caused by the vaccine.

Even paranormal radio show Coast to Coast AM hasn't given in to speculation and sensationalism. Guest Dr. Marc Siegel (a licensed, practicing internist) assured last night's listeners that health organizations are being honest about the Swine Flu; that it's not a significant health threat at this time because your odds of getting it are remote, and it's not that deadly; that Swine Flu is unlikely to be a bioengineered disease; and that media coverage is overly alarmist. Check out Dr. Siegel's "The Most Powerful Virus is Fear Not Flu".

So far, not one of the "doctors" on Jones' show have been credible, responsible professionals. Dr. Bill Deagle was stripped of his Colorado license two years ago for overprescribing lethal cocktails of pain medication, and his sole visible means of support are a health-related online business called Nutrimedical and a radio show called The Nutrimedical Report. Rebecca Carley was stripped of her license for violent, threatening behaviour stemming from mental health problems, and because of her insistence (despite a complete lack of evidence) that vaccines cause a vast array of diseases that can be reversed only with her proprietary detox program. Steve Quayle isn't a medical professional at all; he's a former anthropologist and sociologist who has devoted most of his life to the study of Biblical giants.

So as you can see, the alternative media is spreading misinformation and panic in the same manner as the mainstream media outlets they criticize for fear-mongering. You probably won't be getting the facts from Jones' guests, every one of whom has given wildly inaccurate information. Not to mention, each has a strong religious, business-related, or ideological agenda. The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from such manipulation?

1. Don't give in to panic. Panic can lead you to irrational decisions that might not be in your best interests.
2. Don't spread unverified, speculative factoids. This excellent article talks about the high costs of rumour-mongering, and offers some good tips on how to evaluate the credibility of sources. (thanks to TK)
3. Go ahead the take the advice of trusted health professionals. They're not out to get you; they want to prevent a pandemic just as much as you do.


TK said...

His hysteria over the flu beats anything I've seen elsewhere.

The most disturbing thing I've heard over the last few days was Dr Sherri Tenpenny telling a father living in Mexico not to vaccinate his brand new daughter. Oh, and to read her book on the subject.

The best thing was the spider-people, monkey-people, cow-people etc.

SME said...

Jones is obsessed with chimeric creatures, for some reason...

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