Psychiatrist Norman Doidge, MD, has recently published a long, four-part article entitled Needle Points, in which he examines vaccine skepticism in America. The author, who got vaccinated “early and voluntarily,” is solidly pro-vaccine, yet he displays what is in these divisive times an unusual willingness to see the issue from the perspective of those with whom he disagrees.
Thanks for writing this - I much appreciate your perspectives on this phenomenon and the mass psychology behind it.
For me, the question of covid vaccine safety is first and foremost an epistemological question. What can we know, and what can we not yet know? Is our science and data collection set up so as to know the truth, or to support the truth of a particular predetermined position?
Put another way, if we look at the history of vaccine development, what are the chances that a vaccine developed in less than a year, tested for six months, using a never-before-deployed technology and targeting a novel virus with a CFR of ~1%, will ultimately prove to have a positive risk-benefit ratio? My scientific mind, after examining the history of vaccine development, would put these odds at around 10%.
Whatever we believe these odds to be, is there any possible reason why a government or medical establishment truly interested in maximizing public health would not want to track very large control and treatment groups indefinitely to see whether some harm might appear that would justify changing treatment recommendations?
Like Charles, I started out ambivalent and in fact very nearly chose to get vaccinated, but as it became clear that governments and doctors were planning to become coercive and to prematurely declare complete vaccine safety - before such a statement could possibly be made given unknown long-term effects, despite some worrying signals of harms that were not detected in the trials, and despite the absence of any significant negative correlation between vaccination rates and infection rates - I decided that the odds were against this being a good idea. The more time passes, the more I am convinced that I made the right choice.
I really appreciate this thorough approach to the covid vaccine safety question, along with the extensive citations that are included for evidentiary reference. As always, the deep care taken to respect people with viewpoints across the spectrum is very welcome. The practice of choosing to see others through the lens that recognizes their highest self as their truest self is a much needed medicine.
There are some on this thread who have raised objections to the arguments made in this article in favor of vaccine skepticism. The most common objection seems to be that if the arguments are not completely dispositive on the issue, then they should be dismissed entirely.
This kind of objection misses the point. The purpose of presenting those arguments in this article is not to present the case that will convince the vaccine credulous into becoming vaccine skeptics. The point is to demonstrate that there is a strong rational basis for the vaccine skeptical viewpoint. It's not necessary to agree with this viewpoint in order to recognize the rational basis for it as a conclusion that many have arrived at.
The purpose in recognizing the grounds for this rational basis to to realize the need for more transparency and open public discourse on the issue - to remove the barriers of censorship, and the threats to the careers of doctors and scientists who present evidence that challenges the vaccine credulous narrative.
Thank you Charles for your ongoing contribution to this end!
Thank you for not hiding your truth behind lofty language and philosophical pondering. You manage to “come out” firmly against the totalitarian biosecurity state but yet also manage not to dehumanize another side. I am so glad you dare breaking taboos that cannot be mentioned, acknowledging and giving voice to the silent suffering of thousands, and helping us expose the cracks spreading fast through the constitutive narratives of our modernity.
The ignorance and/or cowardice of the scientific community in this time is not unexpected, but is still incredible to witness. Like a car stuck on a railroad track, you can see what is coming yet it is still jarring when the impact happens.
The data gerrymandering going on with the efficacy studies and nuking of controls can no doubt fool much of the public, but the scientific community can no doubt see right through it. Or, if they can’t, then maybe we have worse problems then we thought?
As always, thank you for sharing your wisdom Charles, there is much fertile ground these essays fall into as seeds of truth. My prayer is that they grow into powerful trees.
Thank you very much Mr. Eisenstein, I myself as a doctor reading this, respect and agree with every single word you mentioned here, and I will try to uphold its meaning, I will never obey my government to do harm, actually I am going to take the government to court over their absurd vaccine mandates and segregation among vaccinated and unvaccinated with a stupid QR code that has no meaning whatsoever but to coerce and enslave the population.
Charles - Of course, I welcome the reminder that the vast majority of people caught in the COVID narrative, and even the people promoting it, are honest, good-hearted people. Some of them are my dear friends and family.
But I'd also ask you to come to terms with evidence that a much smaller number of people engineered the COVID crisis. Whether their purpose was pure evil can be argued. Maybe they thought that taking control of the entire human population was the only way to save the planet from global warming, or some such arrogance. But we can regard them as "honest, good-hearted" people only if we shut our eyes to the evidence.
* There's Event 201, Oct 2019, in which a handful of people from the Gates Foundation, the WEF, and Hopkins University eerily anticipated a coronavirus pandemic, and planned that the response to it should not be to marshall medical resources for global distribution but rather to declare martial law, isolate people from one another, and censor their communications.
* There's the story that Ron Unz tells, based on ABC News at the time, that the US Defense Intelligence Agency knew in Nov 2019 about a highly contagious virus spreading through Wuhan, at a time when even the Chinese government was not yet aware of it. As he says, the person who knows first about the fire is the arsonist.
* There's Moderna's work on a COVID vaccine before the rest of us knew there was a COVID problem. Similarly, the COVID PCR test was being developed before the need for it was established.
* The reason the COVID vaccines are so toxic is that they induce (or deliver) the spike protein of the virus. The spike protein is the part of the virus that was engineered -- the rest of the virus is plausibly natural. And the spike protein was engineered to be toxic in a number of ways, causing blood clots, attacking the CNS and fertility, even suppressing DNA repair. Someone made a knowing decision to develop vaccines that deliver this toxic spike protein to the body, when they might have chosen any harmless epitope from other parts of the virus.
* And there's the broader context of a shutdown of freedoms initiaed with the Patriot Act and prosecuted relentlessly through the War on Terror during the ensuing years. Even though the official stories behind 9/11 and COVID look very different, the policies pursued in response are continuous, and the agenda behind these two manufactured crises look to be one agenda. I am not alone in suspecting that the Deep State that brought us 9/11 is the same Deep State that created SARS-CoV-2 as a bioweapon in service to this agenda.
In summary: I agree that there are a lot of social and political conditions that are no one's fault that made possible the COVID deception. But a balanced view of the deception must also account for a small number of people who have consciously played the role of deceivers.
'The truth will out.' It is courageous thinkers like Charles, willing to look at the many-faceted sides of any issue, that will shed light on what has been hidden. Those of us with lived experience of vx damage have learned by walking a difficult road to question assumptions we once took for granted. I am one of those appalled by the dumbing down of complex science to a one size fits all approach. Science allows for variables, hypotheses, discussion & exchange of ideas. Thank you, Charles, for shedding light.
Thank you for another brave and thoughtful piece. I have realized that most people who have willingly gotten vaccinated have been terrorized by fear of death from covid. I think a recent poll showed that they think an unvaccinated person who gets covid has a 40% chance of being hospitalized when it's actually leas than 1%. The pharma ad supported mainstream media has so severely censored that they have NO IDEA about the extent of injuries and deaths nor of the effectiveness of numerous early treatments. Look how few of your readers like your writing on this topic. It got politicized. They say I am "siding with the Trumpers." And shut me down. Because The Narrative of NPR, MSNBC and CNN is all they follow and believe. I agree that humility and mutual respect are what's needed. I am listening.
The author brought up the issue of paternalism and the tendency of "experts" to institute and administer policies intended for the good of others. Here is what C.S. Lewis had to say about that.
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.” -- from 'God in the Dock'
With this fragment, stitched within a wonderfully articulated tome to the increasingly gratefully, unvaxxed: “embedding all these forms of arrogance is the base-level mythology of modernity that views humanity as the sole possessor of full beingness in the world, superior to the rest of life, destined to impose order upon chaos. The ambition to tame the wild finds its most highly developed expression in science. Science first tames the world conceptually with its quantities and categories; then it controls the world materially through technology. This brings enormous power.”
Charles surfaces the through line of all his work and proves - not that he needs to - that if anyone thinks he has ‘changed’ - that it is in fact those observers who have been distracted or detracted from their path.
blessings to you dear brother
"It is a short step from this progressivist certitude to forced vaccination (for their own good), censorship (for their own good), and lying (for their own good)."
This is an important point. In Karl Popper's The Open Society and its Enemies, Popper spends a considerable number of pages criticizing Plato's Republic, and particularly Plato's support for the "noble lie." In Plato's view, the best society would be a rigid hierarchy led by an intellectual elite (with the philosopher king at the pinnacle) imposing its will on the masses, who are variously ruled by their appetites or spirit as opposed to rationality. Plato advocates for a system in which the elite compel, manipulate, censor, and lie for the "good" of the masses. Popper exposes how this embrace of the noble lie inevitably leads to totalitarian dystopias, and is in fact a primary cause of such dystopias. The noble lie is the enemy of open societies.
From the Popperian perspective, recent history illustrates how we got to where we are. After Trump got elected, there was a paradigm shift among the elites. Journalists and academics threw out the old objectivity or fair and balanced playbook (however tenuously they followed that playbook before) in favor of furthering the #resistance. In so doing, they openly embraced the noble lie. They could spin any tale they wanted so long as it advanced their cause because, in their view, Trump did not deserve a fair hearing. Hence all of the completely baseless Russiagate and related conspiracy theories.
Having embraced the idea of the noble lie, all bets were off. We went from a paradigm in which the media and academia "manufactured consent," as described by Chomsky, to one in which they manufactured reality. Once "safe and effective" became part of the official catechism, there was nothing short of videos of people dying on the spot with vaccine needles in their arms that was going to shake it. You can't reason people out of a belief they did not reason themselves into, and you can't fight a noble lie with facts because facts are beside the point in a manufactured reality. We are well on our way to the totalitarian dystopia Popper describes, and it all begins with the noble lie.
Outstanding writing and thinking on this topic. Thank you, Charles. I also appreciate the quote from Raelle Kaia about the "bungee hesitant." I was aware of this from the beginning, when the mainstream media starting using "anti-vaxxer" — just like "conspiracy theorist" — as a potent weapon to marginalize anyone challenging dominant narratives that happen to serve our technocracy and corporate power. Also how patronizing "hesitant" is: Everyone I know who hasn't gotten jabbed is militant about it; not hesitant. At the end of the day, the reasons to be cautious are myriad: The so-called "efficacy" of the vaccines plummet after a short period of time. So much so that people now need a "booster" after 6 months. The current vaccines and the boosters are not even oriented toward the current variants. Getting a "booster" is now like getting a flu shot for last year's flu. The there's antibody dependent enhancement, the fact that the spike protein goes systemic and is cardiotoxic and can even cross the blood-brain barrier. Add to this, the fact that the vaccines don't prevent getting SARS-CoV-2 or transmitting it. "Breakthrough cases" are the norm now, and people who are vaccinated are carrying higher viral loads. And then there's the scam of downplaying natural immunity. And then, as Charles writes, why would anyone trust Big Pharma, the captured regulatory agencies and corrupt politicians who are pushing this?? All for a virus with a 99.7 percent survival rate, especially if you're not old with preexisting conditions...
Medicine is both an art and a science. The doctor knows “more” but not necessarily “better.” Only the patient can truly know what is “best” for him/herself and any treatment should take this into consideration.
Given all the unknowns, I feel we should err on the side of choice, not mandates. The only reason I can see that something can work is if it is voluntary. I personally don't "believe" in the vaccine, for many reasons which I won't go into here. The only reason I could see to legitimately urge people to get vaccinated would be, if it does work, then it could free up crucial hospital beds. Otherwise, if those who are vaccinated can't get Covid, they should feel safe. It's those who aren't vaccinated who should feel at risk. Let them take that risk. However, from all the reading I've done, I can't say whether it's working or not. They talk about "breakthrough" cases. They say we need boosters. Nobody and nothing is convincing to me.
The reporting in the clinical trials of the vaccines was extremely flawed There are many people experiencing bad side effects, and although statistically it may not be a significant number, it is still significant. Given all the unknowns, it is incomprehensible to me how we have gotten to this place of mandating the Covid vaccine.
(Having been vaccine 'damaged' 20 years ago and living with it, I have been hiding my views on vaccines and unable to talk about it as the reaction is usually aggressive/dismissive/uncredulous. It's only now that I feel I can talk about it openly as this conversation is louder and giving me a voice. I have been ignored, repressed, silenced - a discriminated minority group and its a hard place to be.)
I am a physician and public health epidemiologist. I am vaccinated but have no intention of getting a booster shot. Over the past 4 months the data has becoming clear: there will be no herd immunity. We knew this last year. Coronaviruses are like the flu, you can only manage them not eliminate them. None of the vaccines prevent transmission, no matter how we spin the data. The viral load and shedding from Delta is the same in an infected vaccinated versus unvaccinated individual. And secondary infection rates, as per a UK study, are essentially the same as in the unvaccinated. The period of shedding may be shorter and symptoms may be milder but that poses a risk that a vaccinated individual may be more prone to spread the virus during that shortened shedding period especially if symptoms go unrecognized.
One bit of data that appears to be true based upon multiple studies is the vaccines do reduce the risk of severe disease requiring hospitalization or that results in death. They are not perfect, but they clearly do reduce that risk. So with this data becoming more clear its time for a paradigm shift: vaccinate and boost the vulnerable at risk population. As needed provide ring immunity around them. Teach people to identify their own risk factors so they adjust their choices accordingly. But wide spread mandatory vaccination of young healthy people should no longer be a requisite to achieving the unachievable herd immunity.
So as not to loose sight of the highly unethical nature of mandating vaccines or other medical treatments, the above linked article, titled “The Ethics of Vaccine Refusal,” is essential reading. Although at times technical, the author nevertheless lays out very cogent and, to me at least, surprisingly very strong ethical arguments against mandatory vaccination even when the intervention in question is a hypothetical perfectly safe and effective preparation. I hope you find it helpful...
Proponents of vaccine mandates typically claim that
everyone who can be vaccinated has a moral or ethical
obligation to do so for the sake of those who cannot be
vaccinated, or in the interest of public health. I evaluate
several previously undertheorised premises implicit to the
’obligation to vaccinate’ type of arguments and show
that the general conclusion is false: there is neither a
moral obligation to vaccinate nor a sound ethical basis to
mandate vaccination under any circumstances, even for
hypothetical vaccines that are medically risk-free. Agent
autonomy with respect to self-constitution has absolute
normative priority over reduction or elimination of the
associated risks to life. In practical terms, mandatory
vaccination amounts to discrimination against healthy,
innate biological characteristics, which goes against the
established ethical norms and is also defeasible a priori.