Worldwide COVID-19 Religious Restrictions
Shocking revelations about Gov control, harassment and of religious groups and peoples.
Sometimes an article is so well written, so on point - that there is little to be added. Such is the case with “It’s not too late to stop being a tool of oppression,” written by Professor Jem Bendell on November 21, 2022. There is also an audio version available on the link above.
So, lets begin this Substack by quoting the opening paragraphs:
Death rates are still above normal in many countries of the world. The medical experts don’t know why. It could be from the long-term complications from past Covid infections, or it could be from the impacts of novel vaccines, or it could be from the delayed treatments due to lockdowns. Or perhaps it is from a mixture of these causes, or even from some other factor altogether. Even writing those two sentences induced in me a feeling of trepidation. I find myself readying for the annoyance or even aggression from some people. Which is odd: people did not behave so stridently on public health issues before 2020. I think the decay in normal scientific dialogue and policy scrutiny is a significant lasting damage from the last few years. It is why I am not going to let it lie. Instead, I hope we can all learn more about why people became so badly informed and aggressive towards others who reached conclusions different to their own. Only then might we avoid making matters worse when future public health crises occur. And if the excess mortality does not return to normal, then we are already within an ongoing health crisis right now.
It is why in this essay I am returning to the scientific facts which prove the medical authoritarian orthodoxy on Covid has been scientifically wrong. Not just wrong in hindsight, but now more widely recognized as wrong by experts and scientists who ignored some of the earlier concerns. This recent science can’t be ignored unless someone is no longer interested in the science on public health.
The first thing to recognize is the Covid vaccinations offered neither significant transmission reductions nor an opportunity to speed the reaching of ‘herd immunity’ and thus the eradication of the disease. Therefore, the various means of persuasion and coercion of people to achieve mass vaccination were scientifically baseless. The science on that now seems irrefutable. On transmission, it was confirmed in the European Parliament that the manufacturers did not test for impact of vaccination on infection and/or transmission rates. Therefore, any public statements and policies on reduced infection and transmission were not informed by science. The public statements on the role of mass vaccination in helping eradicate the disease via achieving ‘herd immunity’ were also unscientific. Even one of the most senior medical bureaucrats in the world, Dr Anthony Fauci, concluded in a paper in the Journal of Infectious Diseases that herd immunity is not the aim with Covid vaccination, because: “the virus that causes COVID-19, is so different from polio and measles that classical herd immunity may not readily apply to it. Important differences include the phenotypic stability of polio and measles viruses, and their ability to elicit longterm protective immunity, compared to SARS-CoV-2. For these and other reasons, controlling COVID-19 by increasing herd immunity may be an elusive goal.” Due to the nature of coronaviruses, these limitations of Covid vaccinations were widely predicted by experts even in 2020, but they were ignored or vilified at the time.
The next key scientific issue to understand is that mass vaccination against Covid has likely caused a situation where those people who are more vulnerable to Covid are now less protected from their previous Covid vaccinations. That is because for some vaccinations and diseases, mass vaccinations can drive viral evolution so that the virus evades the existing vaccines. In the scientific literature this process is called “vaccination-induced evolutionary pressure” and leads to a phenomenon called “vaccine escape.” This has now been demonstrated to be occurring with Covid. Here is a quote from the paper in the Journal ACS Infectious Diseases: “…prevailing variants can be quantitatively explained by infectivity-strengthening and vaccine-escape (co-)mutations on the spike protein RBD due to natural selection and/or vaccination-induced evolutionary pressure. We illustrate that infectivity strengthening mutations were the main mechanism for viral evolution, while vaccine-escape mutations become a dominating viral evolutionary mechanism among highly vaccinated populations.”
As detrimental as the mass vaccination policies have been, the harms done by the synchronized, global campaigns to essentially lock-up (quarantine) whole populations are enormous.
As been documented in the scientific literature, lock-ups did little to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Based on FOIA’d documents, we now know that Dr. Cliff Lane of NIAID went to China. He came back advocating a policy to quarantine the entire world.
The United States then convinced the World Health Organization to also advocate for synchronized quarantines, even though there was no scientific evidence to suggest that this would be beneficial. In fact, it went against everything public policy experts had previously believed would work during a pandemic. The lack of scientific evidence that lock-ups would work was laid out nicely in the Great Barrington Declaration that has been discussed here and elsewhere extensively.
This set the stage for other countries to step in line with the policies of the USA and UN. These extended quarantines drove countless peoples into extreme poverty, stopped children from going to school - which impeded childhood learning and development, and made whole economies crash. On the individual level, quarantines caused massive depression, suicide, starvation, social deprivation and increased addictions.
There has never been an experiment carried out on humans across the world such as this. These lock-downs were done without a scientific evidence. In the end, the quarantining of the entire world population was an abject failure and may be the most massive human rights violation experienced globally ever.
We all watch in horror now regarding what is happening with massive quarantines STILL being conducted in China. This mirrors the experience in New Zealand. Viral infectious pressure is like a flood, a tsunami. It will eventually overwhelm any obstacle. Delaying the inevitable only makes things worse, and converts what might have been a gradual onset into a catastrophic peak which overwhelms infrastructure. To deny this fundamental truth is arrogant hubris.
Scientists and analysts can rationally assess damages done to other countries, including our own over the period of the lock-ups. Most now agree that this will go down in history as a massive collective failure of the World Health Organization, the United Nations, the WEF the United States Government and in fact most governments around the world.
As groups are finally beginning to study and publish the depth of the damage done, The PEW Research Center released its 13th annual report on restrictions on religion in 2020. This report includes an analysis of how public health measures related to the COVID-19 inflicted extreme damages to religious groups and people in 198 countries and territories in 2020, (the most recent year for which data is available).
The key findings from the report can be demonstrated in the following graphics and text (taken from the report):
In Comoros, Gabon and Nepal, police used tear gas to disperse religious gatherings that violated COVID-19 lockdown rules. In the United States, police in New Jersey arrested 15 people at a rabbi’s funeral that violated the state’s stay-at-home order. (The arrests came after some mourners became disorderly and argumentative when police tried to turn the crowd away, according to media reports.) In South Korea, authorities raided the headquarters of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, largely because it violated restrictions on public gatherings and its leader refused to share membership lists with authorities so they could track the spread of the virus. And in India, two Christians died after being beaten in police custody; they had been accused of violating COVID-19 curfews in the state of Tamil Nadu.
The report cites many, many cases where governments and organizations blamed religious groups for the spread of COVID-19. This was done without scientific data or evidence to back up these claims. These policies were based on “hope” and “scientism”, not science.
Authorities and social groups in several countries blamed religious groups for spreading the virus. In 18 countries, authorities linked religious groups or gatherings to the spread of COVID-19. And in 39 countries (20% of all studied) private individuals or groups attributed the spread of the virus to religious groups. In Pakistan, Shiite Muslims of Hazara ethnicity who returned from a pilgrimage to Iran were accused by officials in the country’s western province of spreading COVID-19, according to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. In Cambodia, which has a Buddhist majority, the Ministry of Health in March 2020 began drawing attention to Muslims by including a special category about them in infection rate data, after reports emerged that Cambodian Muslims had contracted COVID-19 at a religious gathering in Malaysia before returning to Cambodia. Afterward, some Muslims said they faced suspicion and discrimination. Some Cambodian merchants reportedly refused to sell goods to Muslims, while other non-Muslims wore masks only in the presence of Muslims.
Private groups or individuals also used conspiracy theories or other inflammatory speech to blame specific religious groups for the spread of the virus. In 23 countries, such comments targeted Jews. In France, social media users shared antisemitic tropes with caricatures of a former Jewish health minister that depicted her poisoning a well – an insinuation that Jews were responsible for the pandemic (and a reference to a trope that dates back to the 14th-century Black Plague).
Muslims were targeted by such inflammatory speech in 15 countries. In India, for example, Islamophobic hashtags like #CoronaJihad circulated widely on social media. Meanwhile, Christian groups were accused in nine countries of having spread COVID-19. In Turkey, an Armenian Orthodox church’s door was set on fire, and a man told police he did it because “they [Armenian Christians] brought the coronavirus” to Turkey, according to news reports.
In terms of government restrictions and harassment of religious groups, the trend was “high” in 2020, and I think it is safe to assume that when analyzed, 2021 will only see further increases of government restrictions on religion.
To conclude, key findings include:
Authorities in nearly a quarter of all the countries and territories studied (46 out of 198, or 23%) used physical means, such as arrests and prison sentences, to enforce coronavirus-related restrictions on worship services and other religious gatherings.
Religious groups filed lawsuits or spoke out against the public health measures in 54 of the 198 countries (27%). A common complaint was that some churches, mosques, synagogues and other houses of worship were treated unequally – either by comparison with secular gathering places, like shops and restaurants, or by comparison with other religious groups.
In 69 countries and territories (35%), one or more religious groups defied public health rules related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an even larger number of countries (94, or 47%), religious leaders or groups promoted public health measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus by encouraging followers to worship at home, observe social distancing or take other precautions, such as hand-washing and mask-wearing.
News articles and other information sources identified 55 countries (28%) where government officials and religious groups collaborated on efforts to stem the pandemic. In some countries, different religious groups both defied and promoted lockdowns or other public health restrictions.
This is another clarion call to all of us. Our freedoms are being threatened and will continue to be trampled unless we act to resist the globalist oligarchs and the Imperial Administrative State.
What the PEW report does not elaborate on, is that these restrictions on religious freedoms were in part the consequence of a globalized effort by the World Health Organization, the United Nations and national Governments such as our own. The battle ahead is how to ensure that the right to practice religion, to gathers in groups (including on the Internet) and ensure free speech and sovereignty. This will require a herculean effort by all of us.
To conclude this Substack, I return to quote from the essay “It’s not too late to stop being a tool of oppression.” What I enjoy about this passage, is the author’s attempt to speak to the middle. To call out the oppressors. To communicate clearly to the people who have hurt so many of us over the past three years.
The abuses towards people who did not conform to the orthodoxy about Covid vaccines were significant. That included people being barred from participation in society, losing their jobs, being labelled Nazis by the elites and those who slavishly followed their agendas (even if claiming to be progressives). I often heard people blame the unvaccinated for someone getting sick or not getting treatment. That was misinformed hate speech. It was heart-breaking for me that such views were even platformed in one organization I helped to set up.
Most of the arguments that the vaccine ‘hesitant’ were selfish and dangerous were actually corporate-profiteering memes implanted in the brains of people who didn’t think critically. The way this was done was through trusted media. Then some people repeated those memes with an added moral disdain and even anger directed at friends, family, colleagues, neighbours or fellow humans on social media. Others witnessed that and did nothing. Still others took up backchannels to try and persuade people with critical views that they were wrong, rather than argue with the people who were being aggressive against vaccine hesitancy. They were wrong on the science, wrong on the policies, and wrong in their attitudes towards others.
Am I describing people you know? Am I describing you?
If the latter, I realize you might be feeling a bit uncomfortable by now, and thinking about not reading any further. Please know that there is a point to my essay that is much more than ‘I told you so’. We will come to that. But first, I will summarize some hard truths. Because if you followed the orthodoxy, you were scientifically misinformed in a way that:
served profits and power
probably undermined health outcomes specifically and generally
harmed relationships of all kinds and other people’s emotional wellbeing
disrupted alliances and collaboration for meaningful social and political change
has sown the seeds of global authoritarianism
My own views on Covid were scientifically wrong until towards the end of 2020, when I began to realize the narratives kept changing and the scientific rationales sounded weak. It was at that point I began looking into what some of the top epidemiologists and vaccinologists were saying. But despite making the time to look into it, I was slow to be convinced that the orthodoxy was based on falsehoods. Luckily, I was well informed by the time the mass media tried to manipulate public attitudes towards the ‘vaccine hesitant’. In any case, all of us can all explore where we got our information from and why we reacted in the ways that we did:
First, let’s realize how fear can be used to manipulate us into a lack of critical thinking and a desire for conformity.
Second, let’s realize how moral framings in mass media can be used to get us to dislike or even hate ‘categories’ of people.
Third, let’s realize that the corporate and state media are both constantly trying to shape our attitudes whether the journalists are aware of that or not.
Fourth, let’s realize that our desire to be smart, correct and ethical is actually the way that we can be most manipulated by mass media and authorities.
This matters today as we still have health challenges to work together on. It also matters as the authoritarians are still working with corporates to impose restrictions on humanity based on false medical rationales (as an exhibit, see the communiques coming out of the G20 summit). If you went along with the orthodoxy, or didn’t seek to intervene in any way, then some introspection will help you avoid being dangerous to others in future. Yes, I say dangerous, because authoritarianism requires people to support its policies by being scared into becoming misinformed moral ‘police’ of their friends, family, neighbours and colleagues, or just scared into ‘sitting on the fence’.
One way to start doing something about it is through meaningful apologies that can then begin a dialogue about how to engage better in future. Here are some suggestions:
If you were aggressive to someone about Covid, you have an opportunity to apologize for being both aggressive and scientifically wrong.
If you pressured someone who was not vulnerable to be vaccinated, you have an opportunity to apologize for being scientifically wrong.
If you argued with someone on the finer points of science but didn’t listen to the science that already cast doubt on your view, you have an opportunity to apologize for being scientifically wrong.
If you had influence in relation to the conversations in your organisation or networks but did nothing about the hostility directed against people for their views on Covid, you have an opportunity to apologize for, in this instance, being rubbish in an emergency.
If you have shifted your view on the relevant science and the appropriate policies, but feel annoyed at people like me for bringing attention to this, you have an opportunity to see beyond your bruised ego for the sake of humanity and actually apologize for something to someone.
Read more of “It’s not too late to stop being a tool of oppression” here.
As most of you may know, there has been no invitation forwarded to me to return to Twitter at this point, but I do respect what Elon Musk is attempting to do. This has never been about me. Twitter could help my message gain a wider audience, but you can help do that by just reposing the substack essays onto Twitter.
Elon Musk has the receipts on the collusion between the US Government, WHO and Twitter, and he is in position to extract concessions in return for withholding those data.
Time will tell how committed he is to integrity and free speech, versus the business interests of his financial empire and those who have capitalized the purchase of Twitter.
Not by their words, but by their actions you will know them.