New normal

Are the Lockdown Zealots and Pro-Vaxx Fanatics Part of a Jim Jones-Style Cult?

We’re publishing a guest post by two Registered Nurses – Professor Roger Watson and Dr. Niall McCrae – about the extremism of some supporters of the official Covid narrative, particularly when it comes to the treatment of the unvaccinated. Could Zero Covid zealotry and pro-vaxx fanaticism be symptoms of a cult-like mindset, they wonder? Here is an extract:

Millions have been brought round to unquestioning faith in heroic medicine and herald vaccines as ‘miracles of science’, with slavish adherence to rules and restrictions. Indeed, in their blind obedience to the cause, many appear to have been ‘drinking the Kool-Aid’, a reference to the notorious cult led by Jim Jones. We are not suggesting that vaccine enthusiasts are at the same level of delusion as those of doomsday cults, but some parallels may be drawn. If we consider Jim Jones’s community in the Guyanan jungle as a Platonic pure form of cult behaviour, we can use such an extreme manifestation for comparative purpose.

An idealistic, charismatic figure, Jones was a civil rights activist in the 1960s. He gave his son the middle name of Ghandhi. Decrying social injustice, he recruited hundreds of black Americans, as well as numerous graduates versed in radical ideology. On November 18th 1978 the cult culminated in the murder-suicide of 918 followers, most having drunk cyanide-laced Kool-Aid on Jones’s order. How was such a massacre possible?

Theodore Millon, Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard, described a personality disorder featuring puritanical compulsion, whereby the world is divided into good and evil with no middle ground. With fanatical zeal, the self-declared good cannot bear to be in the company of the bad, which is why extreme cults take refuge outside normal society. Common to cults is a belief that humanity is in grave danger, and we can see this thinking in the more devout believers in climate change and Covid crises.

Research shows that that contrary evidence strengthens rather than undermines the beliefs of cult followers. The more compelling the facts, the shriller the reaction to the messenger. Cultists struggle to relax, which partly explains why they depend on meditative practices. Indeed, Covid culture has shown a difference in outlooks like that between progressives and conservatives. Converts to the conservative cause from the Left, such as educationalist Katharine Birbalsingh, were initially surprised to find that their erstwhile political opponents were not the ogres that they were portrayed to be. Tammy Bruce, a gay feminist broadcaster in the USA, remarked: “Something had to explain why my left elite allies were generally miserable, angry and paranoid, while the enemy was secure, comfortable, generally happy people.” Bruce came to realise the difference between idealistic engineering and conservative realism.

Covid vaccine absolutism allows no exemptions. Refuseniks will get no sympathy, and it is troubling to see the lack of lines drawn by punitive zealots. If the Government ordered vaccination of newborn babies, if unvaccinated relatives and neighbours were sent into quarantine camps, if hospital treatment were denied to the unvaccinated, would supporters of the regime call for caution? Unlikely, because that is not how cultists behave.

Worth reading in full.

Life Returns to Normal… At a Funeral

A reader has sent us an account of a funeral he attended today. Sounds wonderful.

Just back from a village funeral today.

130-150 mourners packed into the medieval church. Age profile 20-90, average age 60s. White British almost without exception, dominated by the nominally high risk age groups.

Masks? I counted four, including the vicar. Social distancing? Are you joking? We were packed in like Japanese commuters. No-one gave a damn except someone who seemed to have a crisis mid-service for unknown reasons and fled into the graveyard.

Singing? En masse. Laughing too.

Piled into the local pub for the wake, packed to the rafters too. Covid a popular topic but the line was if we’re vaccinated that’s all we can do, time to get on with it and stop farting about.

The Government can fool itself anyway it wants, Neil Ferguson can say anything he likes, and Gabriel Scally can talk as much **** as he likes. But the fact is that it’s over. I can’t see anyone rowing back from this – the mere fact of mass vaccination has entirely changed perception of the lockdown rules, or acceptance of them.

You know what? For a couple of hours it was like the Good Old Days.

Boris Warns of Third Wave – as He Finally Gets Round to Looking at Treatments for Covid

Boris told the country yesterday that, despite the vaccines, there is going be “another wave of Covid” at some point this year. Speaking at a Downing Street press briefing, he said:

As we look at what is happening in other countries with cases now at record numbers around the world, we cannot delude ourselves that Covid has gone away. I see nothing in the data now that makes me think we are going to have to deviate in any way from the roadmap, cautious but irreversible, that we have set out. But the majority of scientific opinion in this country is still firmly of the view that there will be another wave of Covid at some stage this year and so we must – as far as possible – learn to live with this disease, as we live with other diseases.

The warning came as he announced a task force to find new ways of treating COVID-19 before winter, with the aim of developing a tablet that can be taken at home to provide crucial early treatment. He said:

This means for example that if you test positive for the virus that there might be a tablet you could take at home to stop the virus in its tracks and significantly reduce the chance of infection turning into more serious disease.

The task force is welcome, of course, but the question is why is it only just being set up, when we first knew of this virus in January of 2020? Why wasn’t finding effective treatments a priority from the start? Why did none of the journalists at the press conference ask this question? Treatment should always be the first solution reached for when faced with a disease, as unlike lockdowns and vaccines they provide a way of making sick people better.

While the idea of learning to live with the disease, including through the use of treatments, should be reassuring, what the politicians mean by the phrase in the past year has typically turned out to be quite different to what most of us mean by it. We mean getting back to normal. They mean setting up a new “normal” of vaccine coercion, biometric ID passes, permanent screening programmes, face masks, closed borders, and restrictions on social contact and basic freedoms that loosen and tighten depending on the questionable results of mass testing. No thanks.

So why now? Is the Government only turning to treatments at this point because its fears are growing about variants that can escape the vaccines (for which there is some evidence)? Is this a further sign that the Government and its scientists are losing confidence in the vaccines?

In fact, as Professor Philip Thomas argues, there is unlikely to be a “third wave” now that we have the vaccines to top up our acquired and pre-existing immunity (and I doubt there would be a “third wave” without the vaccines). The remarkably low Covid hospitalisation rate for people who’ve been vaccinated that was reported yesterday adds to that hope. However, there is always going to be a winter flu season, and Covid and its potentially immunity-stretching variants are always going to be around. Who knows what the future will bring? Certainly not SAGE and its discredited modelling teams, whose alarmist predictions have consistently fallen flat. (Even in winter they predicted a much bigger surge and failed to anticipate that it would peak before lockdown.)

The question that has never been answered in this crisis is how safe do we need to be from Covid before we can go back to normal? Actually, it was answered once. In the Government’s original Pandemic Preparedness Strategy we know that a death toll of up to 315,000 within a few months from a pandemic virus was envisaged as being acceptable – still far more than we have seen with the (PCR-inflated) Covid death toll of the past year. That scale of mortality was not deemed to warrant any of the unprecedented measures we have experienced since March 2020 (which in any case were, correctly, judged not to be effective).

But since that sensible, science-based plan was ditched, the key question of when we can return to normal – the old normal, not the new normal – has never been answered. Is it because to do so would mean the politicians and scientists would have to grow a spine and endorse an acceptable level of risk and bring the emergency – and their status in it – to an end?