Welcome to the second instalment of Capitalising on Corona, the series in which I expose the parasitic profiteers who are using the ongoing pandemic to push their agenda and sell their snake-oil.
With a quarter of the world’s population currently in lockdown, time has never been better for these frauds, as they desperately try to shoehorn their particular flavour of conspiracy and quackery into the current crisis. Some, like Vandana Shiva (who I covered in my last instalment), are master manipulators who eloquently weave the ongoing pandemic into their narrative, to further radicalise their rabid fanbase and push their agenda. Others, however – like MIT senior research scientist and fruitcake Stephanie Seneff – are not so skilled.
Seneff, a woman who claims that one in two children will be autistic by 2025 by simply extrapolating back from current trends (and therefore presumably thinks that number will increase indefinitely), appears to remain on her never-ending quest to blame glyphosate – the active ingredient in Round-Up – for, well, everything. Despite not having any medical training, and previously aligning herself with a cult to help them promote bleach enemas to autistic children, this computer scientist not only believes she is more than qualified to comment on the current crisis, but also that she has found circumstantial evidence linking it to – you guessed it – glyphosate. Seneff disguises her findings in the blog post “Connecting the Dots: Glyphosate and COVID-19”, where, unlike Vandana, she has all the eloquence and panache of Alex Jones dressing up like a gay frog to warn us about the dangers of atrazine. Having said that, Seneff’s work seems worthy of publication in an esteemed journal when compared to the recent ramblings of English conspiracy theorist David Icke, because at least there is something tangible and quantifiable to her work, whereas with David’s content, he is Not Even Wrong.
David Icke is a former footballer, sports broadcaster, and spokesman for the Green Party, who attracted media attention in the early 90s due to his unusual views. In 1990 he visited a psychic, who he said had told him that he was placed on Earth for a purpose and that he would begin to receive messages from the spirit world. The following year he announced that he was a “Son of the Godhead” and would often be seen wearing turquoise shell suits because he believed the colour was a conduit for positive energy. This time in David’s life would come to be known as his “turquoise period” and he made several predictions that the world would soon be devastated by tidal waves and earthquakes; predictions he repeated on a now infamous episode of the BBC’s primetime show Wogan.
The Wogan interview turned David from a respected household name into a subject of widespread public ridicule. It separated him from his previous life, but gave him the courage to develop his ideas without caring what anyone thought. He became a professional conspiracy theorist and would go on to author over 20 books (some of which have got him in hot water, like when he questioned aspects of the Holocaust and endorsed the forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion). He also published numerous DVDs and lectured to packed-out shows in over 25 countries. In 2018 David came to my home town of Middlesbrough and for a solid four hours I watched this man talk without saying anything at all.
There was no substance to anything David said and I found myself struggling to talk about what I had seen in a video I recorded with fellow Nerd Buck the next day.
Recently there has been fresh controversy surrounding David after London Live TV published a 105-minute interview with the conspiracy theorist, in which he linked the coronavirus pandemic to 5G mobile phone networks.
The interview was an edited version of an interview David did with YouTube channel London Real, hosted by former Wall Street banker Brian Rose. Feeling empty with his life, Brian turned his back on the world of banking to become a professional YouTuber and podcaster and has published over 500 interviews. in what he describes as, “an antidote to the numbing effects of mainstream media”. He has amassed an impressive two million subscribers, half a billion views, and even had a brief cameo on my YouTube channel, when I used a clip of him drinking his own urine to stay healthy.
Apparently he can’t get enough of the stuff, as there are multiple videos of him drinking his own feculent in a bid to stay more youthful and healthy.
As I’ve previously said, David has a tendency to talk a lot without really saying anything. His lectures – which according to Brian can last over 10 hours – mostly consist of long tirades in which he discusses the same three or four points over and over again. While watching him you get the distinct impression that he’s stuck in a conspiracy feedback loop, unable to escape because there is no logical conclusion to his theories.
The full interview published to the London Real YouTube channel was over two and a half hours long, but could easily have been distilled down to 15 minutes. Essentially, David believes that a board of shadowy figures – whose members include Elon Musk and Bill Gates – have decided to propel humanity towards an Orwellian global fascist state, or New World Order, using the fifth generation of wireless communication technology. David claims that the radiation produced by 5G masts “poisons cells”, preventing them from absorbing oxygen, leading to death. To hide their dastardly scheme, the board of shadowy figures have fabricated the COVID-19 pandemic to cover up the ill effects of their fascist beam network. They have even gone as far as to create a fake test using PCR to detect this non-existent virus, something which its creator said it is incapable of doing. Another reason for faking a pandemic is to lock a large proportion of the world’s population down, preventing them from protesting the network’s construction and making them more accepting of a vaccine. This vaccine will contain nano-technology, which will be used to control the population and, thus, the board of shadowy figures will have complete control of the unwashed masses.
There’s a lot to unwrap here, but let’s start with the basics. Was David correct when he said in the interview, “There is no COVID-19. It doesn’t exist”. The answer is no!
The coronavirus has brought the world to its knees, and as a result, for probably the first time in human history, we are all united against a common enemy. Consequently, we have an army of scientists from different backgrounds using distinct tools all arriving at the same conclusion; that a potentially lethal novel coronavirus is running rampant through the population. However, if you were to listen to David, you would get the distinct impression that there is only one method to test for the virus and that method is flawed. This is a classic trope of the conspiracy theorist, who tends to dismiss all evidence that either contradicts their narrative or is beyond their grasp of understanding. Take for example the late prominent AIDS denier Christine Maggiore, who, with help from the Foo Fighters, promoted the idea that HIV tests are inaccurate, by lying about the timeline of her own results. For her, ELISA screening tests for HIV antibodies were the only method of HIV detection and for David, qPCR is the only method used to detect COVID-19 existence.
Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), also known as real-time polymerase chain reaction (real-time PCR), is a variant of PCR in which the amplification of a targeted oligo molecule is monitored during the reaction.
They then develop this test, or start using this test, to test for COVID-19. And its called a rtPCR test. And, wait for it, it doesn’t test for COVID-19. It tests for the genetic material which has loads of different content, caused by many ,many, many, different possible causes. And if you test positive for the genetic material, not COVID-19, you are diagnosed to have COVID-19 and if you die, to have died from it. – David Icke
So you test for this genetic material and you’ve got COVID-19, but there’s another part of this. What this test does is it amplifies the material. In other words it makes it larger, to keep it simple, and as it gets larger in the cycles of amplification, what you say is causing the disease gets bigger, and you can see it more. Or say you can, I’m gonna come to that in a second. But all the other content of the genetic material also gets amplified. And loads of this genetic material is already in the body of virtually everybody. And this is how the test works. You can fix the fights so easy like this. – David Icke
David also seems to be under the illusion the qPCR is not quantitative. Perhaps someone should point out to him that the “q” in “qPCR” stands for.
The COVID-19 genome is made up of nearly 30,000 nucleotide building blocks of which the PCR test targets 100 nucleotides, which is code for two genes that are specific to COVID-19. Depending on the type of PCR on hand, there is no reason why you would specifically use qPCR; healthcare workers might: swab the back of the throat; collect liquid sample from the lower respiratory tract, or secure a stool sample. If the sample contains the 100 nucleotides specific to the virus, the reaction will use this code as a template and begin to amplify this region to the point where it can be detected. Without this template nothing of use is amplified, so a PCR will only detect the virus if the person is currently sick, unlike an antibody test, which can detect the virus after the patient has recovered.
David later goes on to say that the inventor of PCR, Kary Mullis has gone on record to say, “this test should not be used to detect infectious diseases”.
Now let’s look at this rtPCR test. It was developed… invented, by a guy called Kary Mullis, a biochemist in America, in 1984. And it’s used to try and diagnose many things. The same test has been used to try to diagnose lung cancer. The same test of genetic material that they are saying, you test positive, you’ve got COVID-19.
Now what did this Kary Mullis say, the inventor of the test… “Oh we must get more people tested for COVID-19!” The inventor of the test, what did he say? This test should not be used to diagnose infectious disease. The inventor of it said that! What are they doing to tell us who has and who has not got this so called COVID-19? The test that he said shouldn’t be used for that very thing. – David Icke
Kary was an American biochemist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for his invention and a Japanese prize which is awarded to people whose “original and outstanding achievements in science and technology are recognised as having advanced the frontiers of knowledge and served the cause of peace and prosperity for mankind”. It’s difficult to overestimate the importance of PCR, which became a central technique in biochemistry.
After his success, Kary began suffering from the Nobel disease and went on to make unfounded – sometimes bizarre – statements, like claiming that he had encountered a glowing green space raccoon. He is also known for his controversial views disputing humans’ role in climate change, his promotion of astrology, and his belief that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS. He aligned himself with HIV sceptic and mass murderer by proxy Peter Duesberg and even wrote the foreword to Christine Maggiore’s book, “What If Everything You Knew About AIDS Was Wrong?”
Kary was convinced that HIV is not the cause of AIDS and believed that qPCR was unable to quantify the viral load in a sample, stating that “quantitative PCR is an oxymoron”, but also believed that PCR tests are badly designed. In an email he sent to the wife of former boxer Tommy Morrison, whose diagnosis forced his retirement in 1996, he said the following:
“PCR detects a very small segment of the nucleic acid which is part of a virus itself. The specific fragment detected is determined by the somewhat arbitrary choice of DNA primers used which become the ends of the amplified fragment.” – Kary Mullis
Contrary to what Kary said, the primers used in PCR diagnosis are not arbitrarily chosen; otherwise, what would be the point? Both forward and reverse primer sequences are specifically chosen to be long enough to bind easily to the template at the annealing temperature and long enough for adequate specificity. If by some quirk of nature the forward primer sequence is not specific to the pathogen investigated, then unless the reverse primer complement’s code is a specific number of base pairs down from where the forward primer bonds, it’s not an issue. The fact that Kary believed that his own invention was incapable of being used as a diagnostic test is irrelevant. He doesn’t get the final say on what PCR can and cannot do.
Approximately one hour into the interview David finally starts talking about 5G and says… nothing! He waffles on for the final 90 minutes, repeating the same handful of points without ever giving anything tangible to back his ludicrous claims. For example, we’re never given any evidence of how or why 5G is dangerous, we’re simply told that it will “poison cells”. We are never told how people who live in areas where the 5G network has not yet been installed, can still be affected by corona-like symptoms. David doesn’t even tell us what 5G is and how the board of shadowy figures are protected form their own death rays.
5G is the next generation of mobile broadband that will eventually replace or augment your current 4G connection. 5G aims to deliver data rates in the order of gigabits per second, much greater than the tens of megabits persons speeds of 4G. Due to congestion and the demand for more data, 5G works on a higher frequency than 4G, which causes a problem. Radio waves at this frequency are easily absorbed by foliage and buildings, and therefore will require many smaller, closely-spaced base stations, for the network to be effective. Although 5G operates at a higher frequency (30 to 300 gigahertz), this region is non-ionising, meaning it doesn’t have the required energy to knock electrons from their atoms, causing damage within a cell. Non-ionising radiation can cause burns and other thermal damage, however, these injuries only occur in an occupational setting near a high-powered radio frequency transmitter, or sometimes if a medical procedure has gone awry.
Many of the public outcries over the adoption of 5G echo concern over previous generations of cellular technology; that it may increase cancer risk, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negatively impact general well-being. Over the years there have been thousands of studies investigating the negative impacts of radio waves at this frequency, which have found limited evidence linking it to a specific type of brain tumour. This lead the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) international Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) to classify radio frequency radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”; the same category it puts coffee in, but states that the overall evidence is “limited”. It’s important to note that the vast majority of frequencies being used for 5G have been used in the past for other things, including TV broadcasts and other data transmissions. As we did not see an observed rise in cancer rates with their introduction, it’s more than likely that we won’t see it with the introduction of 5G.
There is ZERO evidence linking the introduction of 5G to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It’s therefore surprising that this is the only part of the interview where David provides evidence for his claims. He tells us that Wuhan was the first city on the planet to have a 5G network installed which, coincidentally, is the epicentre of the pandemic.
Where was the first Chinese city to introduce 5G, just before the ‘virus’ broke out? Wuhan. – David Icke
Wuhan was one of several Chinese cities including Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou where 5G was trialled. However, this was after 5G networks started rolling out in South Korea and parts of the US. The Chinese trial wasn’t even using high frequency radio waves for its 5G network yet, instead using the same range as its 4G network.
At first, like many people, I paid no attention to the 5G conspiracies, believing them to be reliably unpopular and low hanging fruit, not worthy of my attention. That was before people started burning down mobile phone masts around the UK, in which most did not yet have 5G technology installed. When asked about the selfish actions of a few deluded conspiracy theorists in the interview, David said the following:
Brian: 5G towers in Belfast, Liverpool, Birmingham in the last week, have been burned and, overnight, because people are responding, there’s all this stuff going on in the Facebook groups. What do you think of that? And I know towards the end of this you are going tell us about next steps for us, but what do you think about that action?
David: It’s not for me to tell anyone what to do, because that’s their right to choose.
If I thought for one second that the 5G network was causing corona-like symptoms and was part of a vast conspiracy to enslave the population, I would be instructing all those who would listen to help me burn down the mobile phone masts. I would be there front and centre, pitchfork in one hand and canister of petrol in the other, going from mast to mast destroying as much as I could, before I would be inevitably stopped. The fact that David is not promoting this course of action shows that he is ether a coward, or a liar! He either doesn’t believe the utter nonsense he is saying, or doesn’t have the balls to instruct people what has to be done.
As one final F-you to those trying to prevent the spread of COVID-19, David and Brian purposely shake hands while smirking at one another, as if to say, “Damn how super smart are we?”
I am going to shake your hand. And you dare give me COVID-19, that doesn’t exist! – David Icke
David’s conspiracy theory that 5G causes corona-like symptoms is a little on the silly side. But saying that COVID-19 doesn’t exist, whilst promoting disregard of social distancing in the middle of a global pandemic, is potentially deadly. As we’ve seen with the destruction of the mobile phone masts, a small minority do believe him and therefore David has been, in my eyes, promoted from an online loon to a real danger to public health.