From Vacillation to Vaccination
Why, despite uncertainty, I got the Johnson shot
Yippie activist Abbie Hoffman published the pamphlet, Fuck the System, in the mid-1960s. It was an instruction manual for radicals seeking to live without money in New York City. It taught how to squat in empty apartments, steal electricity, eat for free at hotel buffets, and many other useful skills.
Last week, I got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, despite my continued uncertainty and mistrust of what is happening, on many levels. This issue remains very divisive in my extended community. I found it a tough decision.
Among my more alternative friends (shamans, holistic health counselors, hypnotherapists, particularly ones living in alternative sanctuaries like Ibiza, Bali, and Tulum), getting vaccinated equals capitulation to the New World Order mind-control system. I admit that I sympathize with this view. Other friends — those who tend to be more attuned to mainstream media — thought I was risking my life at my age, crazy not to get it. I sympathize with this view as well. Above all, I started to find the never-ending discussions around the subject — on social media, IRL, and inside my own skull— close to unbearable.
In this essay, I will work through my process around my decision, as best I can. Perhaps it will be useful for other people still making their choice. In any event, it is one of those pieces I feel I need to write in order to stave off an internal pressure that might lead, without release, to some form of gibbering insanity.
Over the last year and a half, I have devoted a huge amount of time to absorbing a full spectrum of views on Covid, compiling endless browser bookmarks and folders compiling a variety of sometimes terrifying, sometimes weird news stories, research papers in medical journals, podcasts, and videos. On the more paranoid edge, I find myself fascinated by James Corbettand The Last American Vagabond, as well as the independent investigative journalist Whitney Webb and her website, Unlimited Hangout. I have also spent a good deal of time with Chris Martenson of Peak Prosperity. I track Brett Weinstein and Dark Horse, David Fuller and Rebel Wisdom, Robert F Kennedy Jr and Children’s Health Defense, and Russell Brand’s ongoing podcast, Peter McCullough and Alex Berenson. I follow mainstream Covid coverage in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and the like.
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I think most of us are aware, at this point, that we are in a societal crisis of authority, trust, and sense-making. It is difficult to trust the government, the World Health Organization, the CDC, the mainstream media, and so on. This crisis of trust has deep roots at this point. Perhaps the only way for the establishment institutions to regain people’s trust would be to admit past patterns of deception, and come clean about why these were orchestrated. But that is impossible to imagine. Those of us with any historical memory recall numerous past deceptions, back to the Vietnam and Cambodia Wars, or the media’s promotion of non-existent “Weapons of Mass Destruction” that provided cover for the Iraq War that killed one million Iraqi citizens and 4,500 US soldiers. And so on.
A few years back, I found it astonishing to witness the mainstream media’s blanket acceptance that Jeffrey Epstein’s death in prison was a suicide, despite the extreme fishiness around it. This seemed to reveal, yet again, how the establishment media (including progressive or ostensibly Left Wing outlets like The Nation) is tightly controlled by the intelligence community (as we learned through Congressional investigations of Operation Mockingbird, way back in the 1970s). With Covid, it seems the scientific establishment, in league with media and government, raced to control the spin around the origins of the Coronavirus, along with so much else about the pandemic.
I find this report by Chris Martenson compelling: He shows how Fauci worked with other virologists to cover up their knowledge that Covid was engineered in the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where gain of function research was partly funded by the US, approved by Fauci. After an emergency conference call, Fauci’s team of virologists fast-tracked — wrote and published in one week — a Nature Magazine article that proclaimed Covid must have come from a naturally occurring cross-species transmission. This article became the single point of authority, referenced across the mainstream media. It shut down open inquiry into this critically important subject for many months.
One reason many people stay away from the Covid vaccines is the lack of trust now endemic in our society. Many people no longer believe what the government or the mainstream media tells them. They don’t believe CDC or WHO data. Some don’t even believe there is an actual virus or, if there is one, that it has actually caused many excess deaths. They feel — they tend to believe — that the lockdowns and masking regimens are part of a plot to institute a totalitarian control system. They point to evidence like the Gates Foundation-organized Event-201, which ran a global scenario for a respiratory disease pandemic just a few months before Covid, or the World Economic Forum, where the financial and tech elite proclaim the pandemic a golden opportunity for the “Great Reset” — which means the transhumanist, anti-Democratic regime of control they have sought for quite a long time.
I can’t help but sympathize with the conspiratorial view. It does seem that our society is in the process of reorganizing around the unprecedented surveillance power of the tech companies, meshed with the government and the financial elite, and lastly, the encroaching field of bio-informatics as a means of overarching tracking and control. It is unclear if this is an intentionally orchestrated process (with a cabal of evil geniuses working it all out from some hidden bunker or secret society, in league, perhaps, with nefarious extraterrestrials), or if it is happening outside of any group’s conscious will or volition, as an inherent tendency of the technologies upon which we have become increasingly dependent and seem to be controlling us more than the other way around. Right now, I am tending toward the latter — that it is basically, in other words, a clusterfuck. People still seek to profit and to advance their particular agendas, even within a relatively chaotic meltdown.
A few years back, Fractal Brain author Wai Tsang introduced me to the idea of Schizotypal Personality Disorder or SPD. SPD covers a wide spectrum of character traits including: “Peculiar, eccentric or unusual thinking, beliefs or mannerisms”; “Belief in special powers, such as mental telepathy or superstitions”; “Suspicious or paranoid thoughts”; “Unusual perceptions, such as sensing an absent person's presence or having illusions”; and “Dressing in peculiar ways, such as appearing unkempt or wearing oddly matched clothes,” according to the Mayo Clinic. I am somewhere on the Schizotypal spectrum, as are many of the people I know and love.
Just as you can be paranoid and actually have enemies, you can be on the schizotypal spectrum and still be correct about many things. Perhaps far more correct than whatever the Mayo Clinic might consider “normal” or normative, at this strange point in time. In fact, saying someone is on the SPD spectrum may be little more than a somewhat pejorative way of saying they are sensitive, psychic, artistic, or receptive.
Having said that, I began to note in myself — and in many alternative-culture friends as well as the global Neo-shamanist healer community — SPD tendencies toward self-dramatization, histrionic paranoia, hyper-individualism, and knee-jerk rebellion in our resistance to the Covid vaccines. I became suspicious of this as well. Returning to New York City after more than a year, I noted, generally, in the streets, a new spirit of collectivism, sense of civic duty and responsibility for others that mandated receiving the vaccine. The feeling on the ground has become vaguely communist — a sense we are all in this together — in a way I find admirable. Not getting vaccinated began to feel a bit stingy, stodgy, and narcissistic.
I started to factor in perspectives like that of Claire Berlinski and Yuri Deigin. They published an article in Quilette, “Looking for COVID-19 ‘Miracle Drugs’? We Already Have Them. They’re Called Vaccines,” that effectively refutes Brett and Heather Weinstein’s promotion of alternative treatments, particularly the anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin (which I was taking as a prophylactic). They write: “The evidence that mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines are safe, and that they work, is about as solid as medical evidence gets. Sure, no one can prove that in 10 years’ time, you won’t suffer ill effects. But nor is there any reason to fear this.”
Then I was invited to a 120 person four-day event in Italy. Even though everyone was tested beforehand, about twenty people tested positive for Covid after our weekend together. Of these twenty, a few got very ill — high fever, lost of smell and taste — although nobody needed to be hospitalized. Some went to the brink. The ones who became the most sick were, indeed, unvaccinated. Right after the gathering, I visited a friend in Genoa, a city with a large proportion of old people. I spent an anxious day waiting for my test results, fearing I would have to quarantine for two weeks in a city of strangers, and also feeling pangs of guilt at the possibility that, while still asymptomatic, I might inadvertently give Covid to anyone else, particularly anyone elderly.
When I returned to New York, I watched another Martenson video on the Delta variant. Martenson has been very skeptical of the vaccination program, interviewing opposition figures like Geert Van Der Bosche, a former director at Gates’ vaccination program who believes mass Covid vaccinations will turn out to be a catastrophic error leading, eventually, to massive loss of life due to Antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE), something I also find worrisome (more on this later). In this video, however, Martenson presented information that made me realize how serious our current situation could become very quickly. Perhaps inadvertently, as Martenson promotes natural immunity as preferable, he tilted me toward vaccination.
I have learned that Delta is five times more contagious than previous variants, that vaccinated people can transmit it as easily as unvaccinated ones, and that it can build up a huge viral load very quickly. This means it can overwhelm natural immunity. Martenson believes that Delta is less deadly than previous variants — and that Covid is going through the natural evolutionary life cycle of a virus, becoming more endemic but less deadly over time. We are seeing explosive growth in Covid numbers right now, rapidly moving toward 200,000 recorded infections daily in the US. Deaths are also rising but not as quickly as of yet — we still don’t know whether this new wave of Covid will be as deadly. There are reasons to suspect it probably won’t be. This time, the infection rates are higher for younger, healthier people, more likely to survive the illness.
Another factor in my decision was the new mandates in New York City that bar the unvaccinated from entering restaurants, clubs, and the like. Ideologically, I feel opposed to these mandates. They seem an infringement on our Constitutionally protected rights and freedoms. I considered getting a fake vaccine certificate to, in Yippie radical Abbie Hoffman’s memorable phrase “fuck the system.” But the fact is, I am a terrible liar. I hate being put into any deceitful position, particularly when it comes to authority structures like the government or the police. However, I would have continued to resist if my core belief — that it was better to remain unvaccinated and not give into the technocratic NWO — hadn’t already been shaken by what I experienced in Italy, by articles like the Quilette one, and what I learned about the Delta variant.
The fact is, I was no longer convinced that my anti-vaccination stance was correct. Perhaps this was a caving into the social norms in New York City, where vaccination had become a kind of moral imperative as well as being supported by strict mandates. Charles Eisenstein makes some good — and some slightly exaggerated — points in Mob Morality and the Unvaxxed. “The campaign against the unvaccinated, garbed in the white lab coat of Science, munitioned with biased data, and waving the pennant of altruism, channels a brutal, ancient impulse,” he writes, comparing the contemporary campaign against the “unvaxxed” to the treatment of despised outsiders in the past, such as Jews in Nazi Germany. He notes that creating a separation between a decent in-group and a hated out-group has a ritualistic component.
Eisenstein also writes: “If the mainstream view on Covid vaccines is wrong, it will not be overthrown by science alone. The pro-vaccine camp has a powerful nonscientific ally in the collective id, expressed through various mechanisms of ostracism, shaming, and other social and economic pressure.” I hope this isn’t the case. The data around the vaccines is changing quickly. It may soon lead to a collective realization, as Eisenstein notes, that “the Covid vaccines are much more dangerous, less effective, and less necessary than we are told.”
We are learning that, while the vaccines temporarily reduce the risk of serious infection and hospitalization, these effects wear off over time. We are also starting to see indications that some of the vaccines, at least, may cause more insidious longterm problems, like blood clots and heart disease. I agree with Eisenstein here: “The science on the issue is so clouded by financial incentives and systemic bias that it is impossible to rely on it to light a way through the murk.”
I find it a bit ironic that I finally got vaccinated just as we discover that the vaccines may be more dangerous and of much less value than was originally touted. In fact, one of my main reasons to avoid the shot was concern over ADE, particularly when it comes to the experimental mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. That is why I chose the less popular Johnson & Johnson one, which relies on more traditional mechanisms, even though I had to spend a day asking in pharmacies around Manhattan to find it.
I worry we are starting to see signs that ADE is a real problem. Those critics who voiced the concern that mass vaccination, despite its immediate benefits, will be a longer term health catastrophe could still be proven right. In fact, Bill Gates himself, while touting the new vaccines, has also stated we won’t know their side effects or health consequences for up to two years. That is why, Gates says, it was necessary to release the companies making the vaccines from indemnity — a fact which has also been seized on by the conspiratorial-minded.
There is, of course, much to say about Gates. This New Republic article, “How Bill Gates Impeded Global Access to Covid Vaccines, is a humdinger, worth a close read. “The through-line for Gates has been his unwavering commitment to drug companies’ right to exclusive control over medical science and the markets for its products,” writes Alexander Zaitchik. Because of Gates’ commitment to patent protection or “monopoly medicine,” developing world countries like India were denied early access to generic versions of the vaccines, which may have led to millions of preventable deaths. According to some analyses, the public health failure in India produced the Delta variant, which is now ravaging the global health system. One can’t help draw the conclusion that Gates’ commitment to power and control is greater than his desire to protect human life.
One thought I have about Gates — an insight that may or not be accurate — is that he possesses a powerful subconscious shadow; an unrevealed aspect of his Psyche, despite his nerd demeanor and soft Cardigans, seeks global domination. Through Microsoft Windows, he gained monopoly control over the operating system of the Internet. Through his strategic investments into vaccines, plus his paid influence on the mainstream media and institutions like the World Health Organization, he has turned his focus on our immune system — humanity’s biological operating system — which provides an even more potent arena for total control. His close friendship with Jeffrey Epstein does not seem accidental. Their bromance indicates, at the very least, a sociopathic resonance.
I understand that earlier efforts to create mRNA vaccines failed animal tests due to ADE. As this dense, poorly written research paper published in Frontiers in Immunology notes:
“Development of vaccines to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and other coronavirus has been difficult to create due to vaccine induced enhanced disease responses in animal models… Antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) may be involved in the clinical observation of increased severity of symptoms associated with early high levels of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in patients… Given past data on multiple SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV vaccine efforts have failed due to ADE in animal models, it is reasonable to hypothesize a similar ADE risk for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and vaccines. ADE risks may be associated with antibody level (which can wane over time after vaccination) and also if the antibodies are derived from prior exposures to other coronaviruses.”
If I understand this properly, the problem in animal testing with previous mRNA vaccines was that, after the initial effect of the vaccine wore off, the animals became far more susceptible to reinfection, and reinfection was accompanied by more severe symptoms as well as a much higher fatality rate. The innate immune system gets boosted initially, but eventually negatively impacted by the mRNA vaccine.
Because of its aggressive early vaccination program using the Pfizer mRNA product, Israel offers a test-case for where the rest of the world will be heading in the next months. Some of the current data from Israel is alarming. In an August 17 article, “Israel, Once the Model for Beating Covid, Faces New Surge of Infections,” The New York Times finds that breakthrough infections are increasing among vaccinated people. But most concerning is the following, surprising quote: “The vaccine is still believed to help prevent severe illness in those who do become infected, though some Israeli data suggests the possibility of an increased risk of severe disease among those who received early vaccinations.” If this turns out to be the case, it corresponds with the ADE model seen in earlier animal studies.
One of my main areas of concern over the mass vaccination program is that it reinforces the tendency of Capitalist, post-industrial civilization to contort knowledge into an instrument supporting a particular model of reality or worldview.
On a philosophical level, as Heidegger explored in his essay The Question Concerning Technology, we are trapped in a technological “enframing” of the world, which conceives of all forms of nature — including human nature — as a “standing reserve” to be exploited for technological ends. With mRNA technology, we are now treating the innermost aspects of human biology as a “plug and play” operating system upon which engineers can experiment. One conspiratorial view on the vaccine campaign is that it conveniently advances the transhumanist agenda, based on biotechnology and genetic engineering. The multitude felt deeply suspicious of this agenda and resisted genetic modification. Now, due to a life-threatening emergency, they welcome it.
On a more practical level, the current model of Capitalism requires incessant, economic development, which is inherently unsustainable. I explored this in my book How Soon Is Now. Our economic system is debt-based: Central banks issue money into existence as debt. Debts accrue interest that must be paid back. This makes our economic system inherently precarious. The system requires constant growth to maintain the balance on all of those debts. Hence, the necessity, in the face of a global pandemic such as Covid, to find a shortcut, an immediate panacea such as a vaccine, to restore the artificial, ecologically destructive condition we have been conditioned to call “normality.”
There are signs that the global economic system, which ground to a halt for a year during Covid, may, in any case, soon break down in a more consequential way. Nobody can say for sure what will happen after that. Soon enough, certainly within the next decades, we will be confronting an ecological emergency that will dwarf all other issues, Covid included. At that point, we may see rapid changes in how our civilization operates. ‘Under lethal emergencies vast new magnitudes of wealth come mysteriously into effective operation,” noted Buckminster Fuller.
We will probably never know what a sane policy around the pandemic would have looked like. It is confusing that medical authorities never promoted ways to increase the strength of people’s innate immune systems, such as vitamins, sunlight, or exercise, and don’t highlight prophylactic or alternative treatments. The monological focus on vaccinations as the only answer seemed, for many of us, a mistake from the start. It was, of course, sensible to make the new vaccines available for the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, but not to mandate them universally, especially as young people were hardly suffering terrible effects from Covid in statistically significant numbers.
Now we are finding that the vaccines do not prevent asymptomatic cases or “breakthrough infections,” that protection wanes after 6 - 9 months, and that severe infections become increasingly common after that point. It is unclear where the authorities go next with this. Unsurprisingly, the first option is going to be booster shots, including ongoing boosters designed for new variants as they arise.
A good deal of my resistance to mass vaccination — in particular, with the mRNA vaccines — was based on a vague, ominous sense that we are being pulled into a technocratic, transhumanist control system (as Whitney Webb explores in this article) from which we can never escape. Perhaps one reason I finally acquiesced, sadly enough, is my sense that we have gone too far down this road at this point to be able to pull the brakes. Even though the vaccines are leaky and imperfect and I don’t trust the entire apparatus that creates them, I also desired to participate in society and do my little part. I didn’t want to be afraid that my failure to get a vaccine would cause my mother, or other elderly people, to get sick, or that I would get a more severe case of the Delta variant in the next months — considering its hyper-infectiousness, nearly everyone is going to get it at some point. Martenson, among others, think we will see a rapid spread over the next months and a quick upside-down U-shaped curve as the Delta variant moves through society. Then we reach herd immunity. I hope that is the case. But of course, other variants may follow.
Once again, when I imagine an endless series of variants accompanied by an endless series of boosters, I toggle back to the conspiratorial view. I find it infuriating that this meshes ideally with the profit model of the pharmaceutical companies. It would reward the bizarre, inappropriate smugness that Bill Gates expresses in interviews. I feel deeply suspicious of Moderna, for instance.
Stéphane Bancel, Moderna’s CEO, has a reputation for cut-throat corporate practices, as this article on the company’s history explores. On Clubhouse, I heard Bancel speak arrogantly about how they consider mRNA to be the “software of life” and see the vaccines as “platforms” for future drug developments. Moderna’s website states that they “set out to create an mRNA technology platform that functions very much like an operating system on a computer.” The boosters, then, will be like system upgrades.
If these vaccines turn out to compromise our natural immunity, people may feel forced to get these new shots every three to six months in order to remain healthy or even just survive. I find this horrific. It seems the height of hubris to treat our intricate biology as an input / output machine, like a computer. I suspect this will backfire on us eventually, as so many of our other technologies have, from plastics to GMOs to fossil fuels. But perhaps it won’t.
Problems with the Moderna vaccine seem to be revealing themselves already. The Washington Post just published a strangely worded article, “U.S. officials reviewing possibility Moderna vaccine is linked to higher risk of uncommon side effect than previously thought.” That side effect is inflammation of the heart, which is showing up in younger people. The article states: “Federal health officials are investigating emerging reports that the Moderna coronavirus vaccine may be associated with a higher risk of a heart condition called myocarditis in younger adults than previously believed, according to two people familiar with the review who emphasized the side effect still probably remains uncommon.”
I don’t think I have heard this unusual phrasing — “still probably remains uncommon” — in this kind of article before. Adding to the strangeness, later in the article, they write: ““We have not come to a conclusion on this,” one of the people familiar with the investigation said. “The data are not slam bang.”” Slam bang?! WTF?
One difficult in reaching clarity is the disturbing fact that the pharmaceutical companies are major sponsors of the mainstream media. Also, if the vaccines turn out to cause complex health issues down the line, these same companies will make the new drugs to treat them - a “win win” for them. A physically weakened, drug dependent population is also a more compliant population. Once again, a development in this direction doesn’t necessarily require conscious conspiracy, rather systemic complicity.
Capitalism / post-industrial society tends to take everything that was once intrinsic to our free existence as human beings, exploit and outsource it, then sell it back to us for profit. As examples, we once told stories and myths to each other around the fire. Now we watch our stories and legends on television. We once took care of our own children. Now we pay for day care. Water was fresh and plentiful. Now we pay for bottled water. Land was free and now we rent or pay taxes on it. Etcetera.
How can it be farfetched to propose that the pharmaceutical/biotech industry intends to do the same thing with our immune systems? As Covid splinters into an endless series of variants, will we be forced to outsource our immune systems to companies like Moderna and Pfizer, and then pay for the latest upgrades? If this becomes like a Netflix subscription service for our biological hardware, it is a wet dream for these private, profit-driven companies.
Is this all engineered or intentional? Is it a tendency built into the systemic logic of extractive Capitalism? Is it both-and? It hardly matters. I don’t see any way to interrupt this systemic logic, at this point, barring a popular uprising. At the very least, let’s try to understand this process in which we are enmeshed.
The new regime of bio-power, when combined with increasing Internet censorship, may turn out to be a tool of social control equivalent to China’s invasive social credit system. In fact, a recent essay from The Atlantic, “Internet Speech Will Never Go Back to Normal: In the debate over freedom versus control over the global network, China was largely correct and the US was wrong,” makes an evil argument that the West needs to double down on the new regime of censorship, in which a handful of private companies control the dissemination of information, in conjunction with political elites. Knowledge, after all, is power.
In situations where truth is unknown and what we know is ambiguous and murky, we must apply our own discernment and intuition as best we can. Getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine seemed, for me, the best choice I could make at this time, weighing many factors. I hope it was the right decision — that it protects my health and the health of the people around me over the next months, as we hopefully see the Delta variant crest and fade. All of my other concerns — my transhumanist dreads and technocratic shudders — remain in lurid effect.
Good luck making your own choices!
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If you want to go all the way down the rabbit hole of paranoid conspiracy, by the way, yet substantiated by many citations from cutting-edge medical and industry journals, I heartily recommend checking out segments such as this one from The Corbett Report. Corbett explores the question of magnetic nanoparticles, the possibility that the vaccines may shed spike proteins onto the unvaccinated, the prospect that future vaccines will unleash mind-control widgets, and so on. He offers an exciting, turbulent ride, exploring the farthest reaches and latent potential of the technocratic transhumanism we are currently rocketing toward.
Among many things I would still love to understand, I have often wondered about the initial, terrifying videos from Wuhan that showed people suddenly collapsing in the streets, as this Daily Mail article compiled. Since that time, we have not seen the etiology of the virus proceed in such a way that people all of a sudden crumple from it. It proceeds in slower phases. So were these videos staged in some way? And, if so, why?
Politifact has attempted to debunk this claim, but their debunking is fuzzy as it turns out Fauci publicly supported gain of function research, even though many virologists opposed it for creating “new non-natural risks” in the environment. He approved millions in funding for the NGO EcoHealth, which awarded $600,000 in grants to the Wuhan lab for its research on Coronaviruses on bats. Doctor Peter McCullough — an important critic of the vaccination program from within the medical establishment — calls Covid-19 an “engineered bioweapon.”