From the Dissident’s Desk: Overcoming Lies, Damn Lies, and the Tendency to Believe Them

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  • 09/21/2022

I subscribe to the New York Times as do so many others in the world of political commentary so that people I care about don’t have to waste their hard-earned money.  No decent American should be forced subject themselves to the outright propaganda that is promulgated on the pages of the nation’s “paper of record.”

One such piece appeared last week, and it came into my mailbox with the headingIvermectin failed as a COVID treatment, a large clinical trial found.  The drug surged in popularity despite no strong evidence that it worked.”  The story referenced a study conducted in Brazil with 1,300 subjects, half of whom were treated with ivermectin and half of whom received a placebo.  The study concluded there was effectively no difference in the outcomes for the two groups.

I opened the story with hesitancy because, since my entire household was treated for the Chinese coronavirus with ivermectin, and since everyone got better within approximately 14 hours after commencing, I thought I might learn that we never actually got better and were, in fact, still quite deathly ill.  The opening paragraph reinforced my fear:

The anti-parasitic drug ivermectin, which has surged in popularity as an alternative treatment for Covid-19 despite a lack of strong research to back it up, showed no sign of alleviating the disease, according to results of a large clinical trial published on Wednesday.

Well, that was just the reporting journalist.  I kept reading to see what a doctor might say about it if questioned.  I didn’t have to read much further:

There’s really no sign of any benefit,” said Dr. David Boulware, an infectious-disease expert at the University of Minnesota…Now that people can dive into the details and the data, hopefully that will steer the majority of doctors away from ivermectin towards other therapies,” Dr. Boulware said.

That settled it.  Nobody in my home got better and none of the people I know across the country who have been treated got better either.  The over 7,000 Chinese coronavirus patients for whom my dear friend Dr. Vladimir Zelenko has overseen treatment and who reportedly got better also must have not actually recovered.  Perhaps this was all like the Apollo 11 moon landing in the 60’s that didn’t actually take place, but was all really just filmed inside a Hollywood studio?

I decided that it might be worth it to read the actual study.  I only had to read as far as the Abstract to discover that what the Times reported was (wait for this) 100% accurate.  The study did show that ivermectin was ineffective and after I read the study, I had to admit that its findings were unassailable.  In fact, as soon as I read the parameters of the study, I knew the Times was telling the truth.

The problem wasn’t with the Times.  The problem was with the study.  It isn’t that the study was flawed, it’s that the study was deliberately designed to produce the result that was reported.  What’s worse, is that every single clinician and doctor who designed and participated in the study knew exactly what they were doing.  They produced this study for the purpose of helping big pharma, big medical groups, and big government.  

The net result of this study is that more people will die.  That’s bad enough, but that’s not the only problem.  This study, deliberately constructed to produce a desired outcome, highlights the problem that American dissidents face today in trying to fight back against disinformation and to demonstrate to our fellow citizens who are not attuned to the machinations of those in power that the people and institutions that they have been indoctrinated to believe in and trust are more interested in controlling them and harming them than they are in protecting them.

We are not being ruled by philosopher kings or benevolent dictators.  These are monsters.

What’s wrong with the study?

The study had been discussed in an online presentation through the National Institute of Health back in August (we will come back to the NIH) but has just now been published in the New England Journal of Medicine.  It was performed by a host of very wonderful sounding doctor-types, all happy to sign their names to the findings.  Here is an extensive, but redacted, excerpt from the Abstract.  I encourage you to read the actual study.  Unlike the physicians who signed their names to it, I have nothing to hide:

We conducted a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, adaptive platform trial involving symptomatic SARS-CoV-2–positive adults recruited from 12 public health clinics in Brazil. Patients who had had symptoms of Covid-19 for up to 7 days and had at least one risk factor for disease progression were randomly assigned to receive ivermectin…once daily for 3 days or placebo. 

A total of 3515 patients were randomly assigned to receive ivermectin (679 patients), placebo (679), or another intervention (2157).  Overall, 100 patients (14.7%) in the ivermectin group had a primary-outcome event, as compared with 111 (16.3%) in the placebo group (relative risk, 0.90; 95% Bayesian credible interval, 0.70 to 1.16).  Of the 211 primary-outcome events, 171 (81.0%) were hospital admissions…There were no significant effects of ivermectin use on secondary outcomes or adverse events.

That seems fairly straightforward. Said in words, not numbers the study says there is no material difference between giving patients ivermectin versus giving them a sugar tablet.  Case closed. Next case.

Not so fast.  The problem with this garbage study, and it is garbage, is that they are treating people with ivermectin up to seven days after the presentation of symptoms and they are only treating with ivermectin!  There is not a credible doctor in the country using ivermectin as a treatment who is recommending using it under that protocol.  

In a paper that can be found on the NIH website dated in May of 2020, ivermectin’s possible role is identified as being that of an ionophore.  Since I am not a scientist, and this is not a column about science, allow me to present a line from that paper and then explain:

However, ivermectin could prove to be a powerful antiviral, therefore also useful for a possible treatment of the new coronavirus associated syndrome, even from a new perspective. This could happen assuming its role as an ionophore agent, only hinted in the recent past but never fully described (Juarez et al. 2018). Ionophores are molecules that typically have a hydrophilic pocket which constitutes a specific binding site for one or more ions (usually cations), while its external surface is hydrophobic, allowing the complex thus formed to cross the cell membranes, affecting the hydro-electrolyte balance (Freedman 2012). 

What does that mean?  In layperson terms it means that ivermectin, like hydroxychloroquine, has the ability let something else attach to it and carry it along.  What might one attach to ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine?  The answer is simple:  Zinc.  Zinc is the natural enemy of all coronaviruses.  The problem zinc has when left on its own is that it can’t get to the target.  It needs help.  It needs an ionophore.  To borrow from Dr. Zelenko, Ivermectin is like a gun and zinc is a bullet.  If someone gave you an unloaded gun and it failed to fire, would you say that the gun was defective?

Responsible physicians who want their patients to live prescribe ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine along with zinc, azithromycin, vitamin D, and often a form of steroid depending upon the patient’s background.  They also prescribe it early, often before any sort of test result is available.  They know if the Chinese coronavirus is allowed to progress, the nature of what it is doing to the host changes and treatment is much less likely to be effective.  Seven days of symptoms is too long to wait.

In a study also published on the NIH site, the results were clear that using this “COVID cocktail” was effective, so effective, in fact, read this last line from the abstract:

Benefits from the combination of early COVID-19 detection and early pharmacological approaches were consistent and overwhelming when compared to untreated groups, which, together with the well-established safety profile of the drug combinations tested in the Pre-AndroCoV Trial, precluded our study from continuing employing full placebo in early COVID-19.

What does that mean?  Well, for those in Rio Linda it means that it is so clear that early treatment using this combination of pharmaceuticals is effective that it is essentially unethical to give people a placebo.  They should clearly just be treated.

The doctors who signed their name to the Brazil study know this.  They are all quite smart and wonderful.  Ask them.  There is no conclusion to draw except that they deliberately created a study that they knew would produce the strangest of all “scientific” findings:  A false and totally accurate study.

This isn’t actually a piece about science or the Chinese coronavirus, yet to this point that’s all that has been discussed.  Allow me to point to the bigger problem made apparent by this one egregious example of abusing the public’s trust.

Complicating factors for the American dissident:

In his 2019 book, Talking to Strangers, the greatest skeptic of the yet-young 21st Century, Malcolm Gladwell, refers to studies done by Professor Timothy Levine which led him to develop his “default to truth theory.”  Levine’s theory holds that humans, in part owing to a practical evolutionary need, have a tendency to take others at their word as a sort of starting point in engagement.  Gladwell points out that this might be necessary because if we were always inherently mistrusting of others, collaboration and progress would be impossible.  If we automatically don’t trust other people out of the box, how can we work with them?  Nothing could get done.

Take the notion of people “defaulting to truth” and combine it with our seemingly natural instinct, easily conditioned response, or a combination of both, to defer to authority. Most people are familiar with the famous 1963 study conducted by Stanley Milgram to determine how far people would go if given instructions by an authority figure.  Milgram ran an advertisement looking for volunteers.  Forty men between the ages of 20-50 were chosen to participate.

Milgram had a participant sitting in one room with a machine designed to give an electric shock to another apparent participant (a stooge) sitting in another room hooked up to what seemed to be electrodes.  A man in an official looking white lab coat stood with the volunteer instructed to “shock” the other participant each time they answered a question incorrectly.  The shocks, which were not real, gradually increased in intensity as more incorrect answers piled up.  Those doing the shocking could hear the (fake) screams of the other participant with each throw of the switch.  

Milgram performed his study in an attempt to understand how the guards and soldiers at Nazi death camps could possibly have followed the orders they were given.  The results were clear.  Despite the screams and despite the clear hesitation shown by some of the participants, in most cases the direction and approving nod of the man in the white lab coat was enough to get the volunteers, paid $4.50 to participate in the study, to continuously shock another human being at an increasing level of voltage.

People tend to default to truth, and they tend to defer to authority, even when such actions bring clear harm to others.  That is the problem we face as American dissidents in dealing with the sort of deliberately misleading research that was generated by those very smart doctors out of Brazil.  Our fellow citizens tend to believe, and they tend to assume that prominent people simply would not be leading them astray.

What this means for American dissidents:

In our efforts to reclaim our lost liberties and to restore the country to the ideals of our Founding Fathers, we are required to convince a critical mass of citizenry that the situation is serious and that their participation and action is required.  Right out of the box, that is no easy task when we are dealing with people living in the wealthiest country in history who enjoy more creature comforts than any past, and most present, inhabitants of planet earth could have ever imagined.

Our task gets multiplied a thousand-fold in complexity when you add to it the challenge that those same citizens we are trying to convince there is a problem are being lied to by those whom they are taught to trust the most.

They lie about the Chinese coronavirus.  They lie about January 6th being an insurrection.  They lie about climate change.  They lie about inflation.  They lie about “Russian collusion.”  They lie about everything.  These are people who could look you dead in the eye on a bright sunny day and tell you it is pouring rain.  They would expect you to believe.  Research suggests that many people would.

Our leaders lie to us.  Those in positions of political power, those in positions of public trust, like doctors and journalists, they all lie to us.  For those who are engaged, for those who are skeptical, for those who exercise critical thought, we are aware of this fact.  As Alexander Solzhenitsyn said decades ago, “We know.  They know we know.  We know that they know we know.”  Yet, they continue.  They continue to lie successfully because for the typical American citizen, they find themselves defaulting to assuming truth and trusting authority.

Those traits are less sins than they are reflexes.  In order to have a chance to reverse the course of the country we are going to have to fight not only the deliberate lies of those in power, but we are also going to have to fight against the nature of man to believe them. 

Nobody said this was going to be easy.

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