Boris Johnson’s ‘Roadmap’ and Covid 19 Psychological Warfare

22nd February was the day that everybody in the UK was waiting for. It was the date of the long-awaited Boris Johnson announcement that is supposed to be the ‘Roadmap out of Lockdown’. This announcement, however, is just the next step in the psychological warfare that has been conducted against the British public since the beginning of the ‘Covid 19 Pandemic’.

The Covid Cult and Parasite Stress Theory

One of the best articles written about the Covid 19 Narrative is ‘The Covidian Cult’ by C.J. Hopkins. The article begins by saying that:

One of the hallmarks of totalitarianism is mass conformity to a psychotic official narrative. Not a regular official narrative, like the “Cold War” or the “War on Terror” narratives. A totally delusional official narrative that has little or no connection to reality and that is contradicted by a preponderance of facts.

The Covid-19 Narrative, as outlined in Hopkins’ article, fits this description perfectly. The narrative is subject to both massive internal contradictions and contradicts reality. It also has that ‘We have always been at war with Eastasia’ quality, where adherents must change what they believe along with the whiplash in the official narrative.

A few examples:

Internal contradictions: a notable example involves the vaccine. On the one hand, narrative adherents believe that the vaccine is safe and effective. On the other hand, they believe we need to remain under lockdown despite the fact that vulnerable people have had the vaccine. This of course, implies that the vaccine does not work since if it did work and hospitalisations are reduced why the need for continued lockdown?

Contradicted by evidence: The effectiveness of masks is contradicted by a multitude of peer reviewed studies that show they do not stop the spread of viruses, and the idea that masks are safe is contradicted by the evidence that they cause headaches and reduce oxygen level, as well as causing bacterial pneumonia. The effectiveness of lockdowns is contradicted by the evidence from countries that didn’t lock down being no worse off than other countries.

Narrative Whiplash: Endless. One significant example is the government changing its position from doing lockdown to ‘flatten the curve’ for 3 weeks (i.e. not to actually prevent severe cases but just stagger them out over a longer period of time) to lockdowns being used to allegedly actually prevent death. This was so long ago that people have forgotten the narrative shift.

People’s minds have been completely debased by this official narrative, and they have short circuited. They believe in the narrative with a fanatical passion, arguing in nonsensical contortions to maintain their belief. This is because the Official Covid Narrative is more akin to a cult narrative than a political disagreement – it is designed to control its adherents.

A ‘pandemic’ narrative is an extremely effective way to control a population. This is known as ‘Parasite Stress Theory’ which has been outlined in this article by Derrick Broze:

What they discovered was that when the threat of infectious disease was prominent the population expressed “greater liking for people with conformist traits and exhibited higher levels of behavioral conformity.” However, there was no comparable increase in conformist attitudes as a result of a temporary threats that were not related to disease.

Disturbingly, the study found that an individual’s perception of vulnerability to infection does not necessarily need to be rooted in reality to produce a profound psychological effect. If an individual perceives they are vulnerable to infection they tend to prefer conformity and accept authoritarian measures, even if they are not actually under threat. “Our experimental manipulation focused on perception, not reality,” the researchers note.

Johnson’s War on The Public

These two concepts – the cult narrative and parasite stress theory – explain very well why people have been duped by the government’s relentless propaganda. The parasite stress theory explains why populations are particularly vulnerable to a ‘deadly disease’ narrative, whereas perceiving the narrative as that of a cult explains why believers are impervious to reason or evidence.

How has Boris Johnson employed this manipulation in practice? James Lindsay, in an article for New Discourses, talks about the creation of parareality, or an alternative matrix of ideas that is not based in reality that initiates its adherents into an alternative world that can only sustain itself through avoiding contact with reality due to the inherent contradictions and the nonsensical nature of the ideology. Johnson and the mainstream media have constructed a Covid 19 parareality and ensnared their victims.

In order to successfully maintain the parareality – and this is a parareality inflicted on an entire society, not just in a small cult setting – the creators of the reality (Johnson, Hancock, mainstream media pundits like Piers Morgan, ‘scientists’ like Neil Ferguson) must successfully get around 35% of the population to uncritically believe the cult narrative. This – combined with compliance from those who do not want to rock the boat or who sit between cult adherents and dissidents from the official narrative – will give the impression of complete submission to those islands of people who reject the cult reality.

The first step is to initiate as many people into the cult as possible.

The media was used to whip up a massive amount of fear. The idea of a new deadly disease that we were all going to die from, of course, had a profound effect on the public. Our leaders are aware of the studies on things like parasite stress theory, meaning that they knew a virus narrative would be particularly likely to inculcate submissive behaviour. The idea of the virus being from China – a foreign country with a very different culture to Britain and an ‘enemy’ country – likely enhanced the effect, due to the historic associations between foreigners and disease that have often been used by opportunistic leaders.

Having defined the ‘enemy’ – the invisible virus that has come to kill us all – the cult must then define the ‘saviour’. Of course, in charismatic cults, this is generally the leader of the cult who is often considered a spokesperson for the divine. Boris Johnson, however, was intelligent enough to realise that he could not set up the Covid Cult by appealing to himself due to the fact that he is a polarising leader. Many liberals and left leaning people despise Boris Johnson because they are passionate EU supporters and disagree with Johnson’s Brexit deal. The left generally thinks Johnson is a homophobic and racist buffoon. (Johnson played the fool and pretended not to want a lockdown in order to get these people to support lockdowns.)

Instead, Boris Johnson turned the NHS from a healthcare institution designed to treat sick people into ‘Our NHS’, a quasi-divine institution that must be ‘protected’ from having to provide healthcare to non-Covid patients. Doctors and nurses have been turned into the saints of the new Covid Cult, and constant stories of their self-sacrifice were put forward in the media. And then of course there was ‘Clap for the NHS’. The NHS is a convenient prop for a cult due to many people appreciating the NHS from all sides of the political spectrum. This allows the widest possible group of people to be initiated into the cult.

Having initiated a certain part of the population into the cult, the government must now give the impression to dissenters that they are completely and utterly outnumbered. This is why the mandatory mask is so important. Even if people are only wearing the mask out of avoidance of getting fined or confronted, it creates an impression of cult conformism. Members of a cult often have certain dress codes and the mask serves this role perfectly. Of course, covering one’s face has other aspects which induce herd mentality. Covering someone’s mouth generally means they have been silenced (hence, for example, the Free Assange movement using imagery that shows Assange with his mouth covered by a US flag indicating his gagging by US authorities). Masks make everyone look similar and also single out those who refuse to genuflect to the cult demands. It would have been much more difficult for the government to maintain the fear without the mask as it invokes the idea of disease and hospital wards by its very nature.

Those that do not believe in the invented parareality of Johnson and Hancock are psychologically demotivated by mass compliance to the narrative. But Johnson also seeks to psychologically destroy dissenters through his demonstrations of control – and that is where the ‘Roadmap out of Lockdown’ comes in.

The point of announcements like the ‘Roadmap out of Lockdown’ is to inspire hope in the public that soon things will be ‘back to normal’. This is aimed to reduce expressions of direct dissent (we are ‘going back to normal’ soon so why kick up a fuss?) but also to psychologically damage the population through inculcating hope and then deliberately taking it away, through refusing to lift restrictions or through announcing another lockdown. They have done this already with the Christmas manipulation – when they claimed we needed a November lockdown to ‘save Christmas’ and then cancelled Christmas anyway.

Every single person in Britain is now aware that the government can destroy their life at any time. They only have to utter a few magic words. “New Variant” or “R Number” or “Imperial College Model” for example. This inculcates a constant sense of anxiety in the public, and helps to blackmail compliance (‘if you don’t wear your mask we will do another lockdown’). Of course, this very same compliance leads to more restrictions because the government knows that they can get away with it.

Conclusion

Boris Johnson’s ‘Roadmap out of Lockdown’ is merely another manipulation tactic in the psychological warfare that he is inflicting on the British public. The aim of this psychological warfare is the creation of a biosecurity state, with mandatory vaccinations and vaccine passports. Reject the false hope dangled by Johnson, and ignore everything he says. Compliance with a biosecurity state agenda will never set you free. Instead, tell Johnson he can stick his vaccine passport where the sun doesn’t shine.

The Modern Left is Out Of Touch With Reality: Part 1 – The Covid Narrative

The modern left is completely out of touch with reality. I say that as someone who has always been sympathetic to left wing politics.

What is the modern left?

In my opinion, the modern left consists of people with certain political beliefs, but it also includes a particular aesthetic. Both these factors separate the modern left from traditional left wing ideologies such as Marxism and soft left ideologies such as social democracy. Of course, there are differentiations even within this group and there is not a complete unity of views across all individuals.

I shall begin with the aesthetic aspect. In order for someone to qualify as a member of the modern left, they must first present themselves in a particular way. The first indication of a modern left proponent is that they set themselves up as an ‘alternative’ view that is different from the mainstream media – and in fact often criticise the mainstream media as being largely propaganda. This sets them apart from mainstream liberals, who generally only focus criticism on right-wing media while uncritically imbibing The Guardian. The individuals concerned can work for the mainstream media or for independent media, the key is that they present themselves in this manner.

The beliefs of this particular group include support for various left wing positions on the economy and generally support for Palestine and criticism of establishment warmongering. They are also often supporters of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and other similar MPs such as Rebecca Long-Bailey, Zarah Sultana, and Diane Abbott. What sets the modern left apart from other left wing ideologies, however, is not economics, nor positions on foreign policy, but the heavy focus on identity politics that often in their work (implicitly or explicitly) overrides class analysis, or in general, analysis rooted in material reality.

Identity politics in itself is a tricky term to define, and is not just advocated by the modern left. Liberals often advocate a form of identity politics that basically believes that a woman or a black man is power is good regardless of policy. Modern left identity politics is a bit more complicated because they are not quite this simplistic in their analysis. I think the important thing to bear in mind is that they (even if implicitly) override class and the material to focus on identity. The best example of the modern left carrying out this kind of analysis relates to gender identity: a man who says he is a woman (identity) is more oppressed than a woman (material reality). Identity politics also generally involves, implicitly or explicitly, putting the site of oppression on people’s opinions rather than structural factors. This explains ‘cancel culture’, where people are vilified for expressing a slightly different view as if some random person on Twitter is the source of all that is bad in the world.

The focus on identity politics draws a clear distinction between Marxists (focused on material reality) and the modern left. My examples of the modern left would include: independent media outlets Novara Media (edited by Ash Sarkar) and the Canary (edited by Kerry Anne Mendoza), Guardian writers Owen Jones, Paul Mason, and to a lesser extent George Monbiot. There are also multiple random Twitter accounts that fall into this bracket. Left wingers who would not qualify as the modern left would include Paul Embery, George Galloway and Gordon Dimmack, as they lack the identity politics focus.

My point is not to say that the Modern Left is always wrong. Of course not. Nor am I saying that people like Paul Embery are always right. On the issue of Israeli apartheid for example, I agree with the Modern Left while I feel Embery is too dismissive of the harms inflicted on the Palestinian people. But what I am saying is that I believe that the Modern Left has serious – indeed fatal – problems.

In order to analyse this problem, I will start with the most recent problem first and try to work backwards. My aim with this series is not to call anybody ‘controlled opposition’, not because that does not exist, but because it is a counter productive way to analyse the problem. Even if the individuals involved are controlled opposition (possibly true of some of them), many people who are genuine and well intentioned read the works of the people involved. They believe in these individuals as representatives of them that are doing good work. This is why it is important to criticise them from the standpoint of ideology and narrative construction; an accusation of controlled opposition can be much more easily dismissed than an evidence based rational critique.

The year is 2021. The Modern Left has succeeded in destroying itself. The last, fatal blow to this group is their uncritical and fanatical belief in the Official Covid Narrative.

What is the Official Covid Narrative?

The Official Covid Narrative can be defined as the idea that Covid-19 is an extraordinarily dangerous disease that originated in China near the end of 2019, and that the only way to save lives from this disease is to do lockdowns, mandate masks and practise social distancing. If these things were not done then there will be mass death from the virus. Implicitly, this narrative believes that Covid-19 is the most important thing in the world, and everything else needs to be ‘sacrificed’ in order to stop the spread.

On this paradigm, the answer to any problems with the spread of Covid-19 is more lockdowns, harder lockdowns and longer lockdowns. No other method is considered, and any harms caused by lockdowns are dismissed as unimportant and irrelevant, even if implicitly. Covid is more important.

Another important part of the narrative is that anyone who disagrees with it is a terrible human being who doesn’t care about other people and mass death. There is zero tolerance for different opinions, even for people who take a middle ground position on lockdowns or believe that other things need to be taken into account. People who do not wear masks are vilified and hated, even people with genuine medical exemptions. People who genuinely believe that lockdowns and masks do not work are ‘granny killing monsters’. No rational arguments, including peer reviewed studies (there are several showing that masks do not work for instance), penetrate the bubble of the fanatical lockdown supporter.

I was sceptical of the Official Covid Narrative from the start. When the media started their fearmongering about the virus at the beginning of 2020, I thought that ‘The media said we were all going to die of Swine Flu, and it never happened’. When the idea of lockdowns started to be mentioned, I immediately saw that as a power grab, particularly when I examined the contents of the Coronavirus Act 2020. This virus narrative was clearly being used to increase the power of the state and to shut down protests as well as massively increasing police powers. I expected at least some people on the left would have sympathy with my position. Instead, in March 2020 when the government announced the first lockdown, I found myself in almost complete isolation with my view except for a few anonymous Twitter accounts and some individuals on the Right. Basically no leftists were criticising the government decision to lock down.

The Left and the Covid Narrative

So how did we get to this point? How did we get to the point where the Left is fanatically cheering on the authoritarianism of a Tory government, despite their insistence in 2019 that Boris Johnson was a ‘fascist’?

In fact, the left now thinks that the authoritarian Tory government isn’t authoritarian enough.

Kerry Anne Mendoza, the editor of the Canary, is typical in her obsession with worse and worse lockdowns. She tweeted out on Jan 8: “We’re still not in a proper lockdown. Too many kids forced into school because they’re too poor for home schooling, or their parents have been forced to work. Ports & airports are still open without screening/quarantine.”

So, in other words, they want to give the government (a Tory government they purport to hate) more control over people’s lives and more draconian police powers (as that is the only way that this could possibly be enforced).

As a left winger I look at this and see complete and utter ridiculousness. They openly believe that the Tory government is racist and hates the poor. But they want the government they believe that of to have more power to pursue racist policies and impoverish people.

The first key to understanding this nonsense position is given by one of the best writers on the ‘pandemic’, Neil Clark, in his article ‘Covid-19 reverse psychology: Did Johnson play the left by ‘pretending’ he didn’t want a lockdown so it could get public support?’:

The dominant narrative is that Bojo, the hapless ‘clown’ and his Keystone Cops Cabinet were pushed into lockdown. Pushed by public opinion. Pushed by the ‘experts’. Pushed by the Premier League. Pushed by the ‘Left’. Pushed by Piers Morgan. Pushed by ‘Professor Doom’ Neil Ferguson and his ludicrous ‘modelling’.

But if they had already arranged a £119m lockdown advertising campaign [3 weeks before lockdown was announced], which referenced emergency economic measures in its communication strategy, it would mean the decision to lockdown had already been taken many weeks earlier. At the same time, the government was giving every impression that they weren’t going to lockdown.

Why did they do this? Well, put yourself in the shoes of Johnson and his top aide Dominic Cummings. If a Conservative government, and one which has already been denounced as by the liberal-left for being pro-Brexit, and anti-free movement, had said openly in February that they were planning to lock Britain down there would have been an outcry. The big question for the government was: how can we lock the country down, without stirring the liberal-left still further and provoking mass public opposition. What if the answer then was: pretend that we don’t want a lockdown? Then the binary, groupthink ‘culture warriors’ would be sure to press for one!

As we can see, the left were taken in hook, line and sinker by this strategy. However, there are two further questions that we can ask about this: 1) Why was the Left so vulnerable to manipulation on this issue by Johnson? 2) why has the left continued to support lockdowns given the obvious harms to groups that they claim to support (e.g. working class people and disabled people?) And why do they refuse to listen to e.g. disabled people talking about the harms of mandatory mask wearing despite the fact one of their key narratives is ‘listen to people from X oppressed group’?

Why was the Left so Vulnerable to Johnson’s Manipulation?

When considering this question, I have come up with a few factors that I believe have relevance. Clark has already hinted at the first of these: that those who dislike Johnson will have a visceral reaction to him implying that he would pursue herd immunity and knee jerk take the opposite position because they hate Johnson so much. I agree with this point, it is absolutely true. I think we can go into more depth on the question, however.

Clark states that the liberal left types generally hate Johnson because of Brexit. It is true that that correlation seems to exist – pro-EU with pro-lockdown (but obviously, not always). However, the generally middle class Remainer types who support lockdowns are a different group from the modern left because these middle class types are much less likely to have been Corbyn supporters and care about issues such as Israeli apartheid.

So aside from Johnson Derangement Syndrome, what else has affected the left’s vulnerability to manipulation by Boris Johnson?

a) The Conceit of Compassion

The Left generally likes to think of itself as a compassionate group of people, caring about the rights of minorities and the working class, as compared to conservatives, who are apparently racist and homophobic. The idea that ‘lockdown is the compassionate position to save lives’ made the left buy into it, especially as Johnson made it appear as if he was ‘uncompassionate’ (for example, stating that some people would lose loved ones to the virus – assuming the virus exists, a simple statement of fact) which made the left get up in arms about how he wanted to ‘kill people’. Of course, the paradox here is that both the Tory government and the modern left support the idea that if you oppose lockdowns you support killing grandma.

b) Loss of contact with material reality

This is an even more fundamental issue with the modern left. Traditional Marxism was based upon materialist analysis, focusing on the working class and their relationship to the means of production. I would not necessarily agree with traditional Marxism in all its particulars, but because it was a materialist theory it had an objective relationship to reality.

Modern leftism has lost touch with this relationship with reality. This is of course in part because the people in this modern left group are not generally working class. The clearest example of this break with reality is again transgender ideology, where if a male says he is female, he is, despite the fact that female is a biological sex objectively grounded in developmental, hormonal, etc. reality.

Although it is less obvious this issue also applies to lockdowns. When the modern left screech for more harder and longer lockdowns, they implicitly act as if lockdowns are consequence-free. They themselves are sheltered from any bad consequences of lockdowns – they aren’t going to be missing a meal or be at risk of losing their homes. It is bizarre that many of these people claim that austerity kills but if you suggest that lockdowns that crash the economy kill people you are a covidiot conspiracy theorist.

These left wingers are out of touch with how an economy actually works – acting like you can just put it ‘on hold’ when in fact that will lead to the destruction of many jobs. They also act like there is infinite amounts of free money for furlough, probably because they have bought into the problematic theory of MMT, which says governments can print money indefinitely. The modern left also don’t acknowledge the fact that the Tories now have the mechanism for the biggest austerity plan of all time and that they are enabling it: the Tories will say “Well we have to do austerity because we spent all that money on furlough and Covid measures”. Strong opposition to lockdowns hypothetically could have prevented all that money being wasted on furlough.

The comfortable middle class nature of these individuals also prevents them from questioning the fact that we are in lockdown, despite the fact that ‘the wealthy want us all back at work’ (according to their narrative). This of course, completely ignores the evidence that the billionaires are making a fortune out of lockdowns. It also ignores that fact that the Conservative Party is a party designed to represent the rich capitalists and their interests. The idea that this party would do something as large as lockdowns against the interests of the billionaire and millionaire capitalists is inherently extremely implausible, but the modern Left swallows this contradiction without blinking.

Why Does the Left Refuse to Question?

You would think that, after nearly a year, maybe some of the left wing lockdown fanatics would start questioning the narrative that they have been pushing. The thing is, I could understand someone initially getting caught up in the fear and supporting a lockdown because they are scared. But you’d think that might wear off after a bit and that reason would be allowed back into the room.

Apparently not. The left wing lockdown fanatics simply cannot see through the maze they have created: the idea that Tories ‘don’t want a lockdown’ (even though they’ve done three of them) and that the left needs to fanatically advocate for more and harsher lockdowns. Lockdown leftists are stuck in a loop where they have to say that the Tory government doing lockdowns and mandatory masks magically don’t want the things that they are doing.

People generally don’t like admitting that they are wrong, and this is relevant here. If they admitted that the ruinous policy position that they have been promoting for a year is wrong – well,that’s going to make them lose a lot of credibility. It goes beyond that though. In order to concede that the lockdown policies were wrong, they would have to concede that the groups that they care about (or say they do) – the working class, children, disabled people – have been devastated by lockdowns and that would cause them psychological injury. The idea that they are a compassionate and caring person who defends the weak – a key part of their psychological self conception – would be wrecked if they conceded the lockdown damaged and destroyed the weak.

The modern left like to use the slogan: ‘listen to people from X minority group’ (which is in itself reasonable – we should listen to people from different backgrounds). But the modern left must block out the voices of the disabled people who get discriminated against because of masks, block out the voices of the working class people who have lost their jobs, block out the voices of women who have been locked in with a violent abuser, block out the screams of children who have been told they are banned from social interaction. Or else concede – at the risk of their integrity and self image – that they have enabled the absolute worst of Tory monsters to destroy the weak.

Mandatory Masks are Disability Discrimination

Mandatory masks have been introduced in indoor spaces and public transport in the UK for the alleged reason of ‘fighting the Covid-19 pandemic’. Many people have been critical of the mask mandates on various grounds, including civil liberties and the poor evidence base that they stop the transmission of viruses. This article will discuss an underacknowledged aspect of the mask mandate: that it amounts to discrimination against those who cannot wear masks because of disabilities.

The obvious objection to this position is that the law does state that there are exemptions on disability grounds. The ‘Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings on Public Transport) (England) Regulations 2020‘ states that:

For the purposes of regulation 3(1), the circumstances in which a person (“P”) has a reasonable excuse include those where—
(a)P cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering—
(i)because of any physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability (within the meaning of section 6 of the Equality Act 2010(1)), or
(ii)without severe distress;
(b)P is travelling with, or providing assistance to, another person (“B”) and B relies on lip reading to communicate with P.

The argument would follow, that because the law recognises exemptions, it is not discrimination. However, in practice this is not the case. In reality the law forces disabled people to make unfair choices, all of which can be plausibly argued to amount to discrimination. As a disabled person (autism) I have tried all of these choices and all of them make me feel like a second class citizen.

Choice 1: Don’t wear a mask

The media and the government have worked up the public into a lather about the alleged ‘pandemic’, all but claiming that if you walk past someone not wearing a mask in a supermarket that you are going to drop dead. The government has also done everything in its power to promote the idea that mask wearers are virtuous and good people and that by implication people who don’t wear masks are horrible and selfish. The British police chief, Cressida Dick, even stated that people who aren’t wearing masks in shops should be shamed:

My hope is that the vast majority of people will comply, and that people who are not complying will be shamed into complying or shamed to leave the store by the store keepers or by other members of the public.

All of this opens up disabled people for abuse and police harrassment. There have been cases where this has happened. Even if abuse does not take place, disabled people are forced to worry about the possibility every time they do in a shop.

Choice 2: Wear a Sunflower Lanyard

The next suggestion would be to wear a ‘Sunflower Lanyard’, which is a card designed for people with hidden disabilities to signal that they have a disability. There are versions that can be bought which say ‘Face Covering Exempt’.

Putting disabled people in a position where they feel pressured to reveal a hidden disability to everyone through the use of a lanyard or else risk abuse cannot be considered a solution. Most people don’t want to go around declaring they have health conditions to random members of the public and that also applies to people with hidden disabilities. It makes many people feel embarrassed, ashamed, awkward and self-conscious. That’s because health data is generally considered to be private information that we only feel comfortable revealing to a doctor (and sometimes not even then!).

Choice 3: Avoid Public Spaces

The mandating of masks can become a barrier to the participation of disabled people in society. I have heard many individuals say something along the lines of ‘If you can’t wear a mask in a shop, you should stay at home’. This is arguing for the exclusion of disabled people from society.

Many disabled people are already avoiding shops over masks. I have avoided going into shops when I otherwise would have because of the mask mandates and not wanting to deal with questions, dirty looks or abuse.

Choice 4: Wear a mask

The option of trying to wear a mask anyway in order to avoid the three scenarios outlined above is also discriminatory. Someone with asthma for example, may struggle to breathe through a mask and put themselves at a higher risk of an attack. Sensory issues can mean people with autism suffer from significant anxiety from wearing a mask. Masks can have a negative effect on a number of different medical conditions so pressure on disabled people to wear them regardless – putting people in a position where they are forced to possibly harm their health to avoid confrontation – is discriminatory.

Whichever option you want to choose, then, you are faced with discrimination.

But maybe you want to object that we are ‘in the middle of a deadly pandemic’ and disabled people should just suck it up. If you want to do make this argument, at least be honest about what you are arguing for.

Trans Rights Activists Vs. Branch Covidians

The thesis of this article is that there are significant similarities in beliefs between Trans Rights Activists (TRAs) and what have been jokingly called Branch Covidians (BCs).

What is a TRA?

A Trans Rights Activist (TRA) is someone that has specific certain beliefs. The core belief among TRAs is that every human being has an innate ‘gender identity’. This gender identity is considered to define whether one is a man or a woman (or non-binary or any other possible ‘identity’) rather than biological sex. This leads to the assertions that ‘Trans Women are Women, Trans Men are Men, Non-Binary people are Non-Binary’. It follows from this that laws should be changed to get rid of biological sex and replace it with gender identity and that all women’s toilets, changing rooms etc. should be open to ‘trans women’ under all circumstances. Any evidence raised by women that this policy harms them is dismissed, and the women are called ‘transphobic’ ‘TERF’ etc.

What is a BC?

A Branch Covidian (BC) is someone who fully and uncritically supports the Official Covid Narrative. This narrative states that Covid 19 is an extraordinarily deadly virus and the only way to deal with it is endless lockdowns, masks, and social distancing. The efficacy of lockdowns, masks, and social distancing is assumed as a matter of fact, and anyone who raises evidence, even from official sources, that these measures do not work is dismissed as a ‘crank’, ‘conspiracy theorist’, and ‘granny killer’. As a note, I did not coin the term ‘Branch Covidian’ I simply stole it from someone on Twitter.

1. Science Denial – While Claiming Science Supports Them

Both TRAs and BCs endlessly invoke ‘scientific evidence’ for their position.
The TRA generally tries to undermine the concept and relevance of human sexual dimorphism i.e. the blatantly obvious statement that there are two biological sexes in the human species, male and female. They do this by attempting to invoke flawed biological arguments relating to intersex conditions. A small number of people have medical conditions which mean that their biological sex is not obvious at birth. TRAs use this point in order to try to argue that therefore biological sex is a spectrum and not binary. In reality this is not the case and intersex people are either male or female.

BCs are also fond of faux scientific arguments for their position. This applies to lockdowns but it’s most obvious in the realm of mask wearing. In terms of lockdowns, they argue that lockdowns ‘control the virus’ and thus prevent deaths. In reality this is not the case. As I argued at Off Guardian, Belarus had fewer excess deaths than England and Wales during Apr-Jun 2020, despite the fact that Belarus did not have a lockdown. This is hardly the only evidence against lockdowns: The American Institute for Economic Research compiled a list of studies about lockdowns showing that they do not work.

Masks deserve their own separate analysis. The BCs like to post memes about how masks work, claiming that masks significantly reduce the risk of infection. In reality, pretty much every study prior to 2020, when the issue became politicised, showed the ineffectiveness of masks. Independent journalist Ryan Cristian has complied a list of mask studies – many from bodies such as the American National Institute of Health – showing the lack of efficacy of masks in preventing viral infection and the harmful effects of wearing them. Going through these studies (I have looked at some of them) it is clear that the evidence for masks is extremely weak at best. I can only cite a couple of examples for length. This study on pregnant healthcare workers states:

Breathing through N95 mask materials have been shown to impede gaseous exchange and impose an additional workload on the metabolic system of pregnant healthcare workers, and this needs to be taken into consideration in guidelines for respirator use.

This is from a study that looked at another 14 studies, from the available abstract:

Compared to no masks there was no reduction of influenza-like illness (ILI) cases (Risk Ratio 0.93, 95%CI 0.83 to 1.05) or influenza (Risk Ratio 0.84, 95%CI 0.61-1.17) for masks in the general population, nor in healthcare workers (Risk Ratio 0.37, 95%CI 0.05 to 2.50). There was no difference between surgical masks and N95 respirators: for ILI (Risk Ratio 0.83, 95%CI 0.63 to 1.08), for influenza (Risk Ratio 1.02, 95%CI 0.73 to 1.43).

This scientific evidence is ignored.

2. Endless Mantras and Virtue Signalling

Both these groups have mantras that one is supposed to repeat and intone endlessly. For the TRAs, the main mantra is ‘Trans Women are Women’. ‘Trans Men are Men’ and ‘Non Binary people are who they say they are’ also score as important mantras, but not as highly as TWAW does (because trans activism is about the feelings of men). This is stated by politicians, journalists, and trans activist lobby groups endlessly. The main mantra used by the BCs is ‘Stay Safe’, duly placed at the end of every email and tweet. There are of course endless government approved mantras, which the likes of Johnson and Hancock promote and that appear on every piece of government advertising.

Both of these groups are also very fond of virtue signalling. Virtue Signalling can be defined as when one states a position purely because of the pats on the back one gets on social media. This is generally done instead of actually doing something to help people. This is rampant among both TRAs and BCs. A significant virtue signal is the ‘pronouns in bio’, where a ‘cisgender’ person puts ‘their pronouns’ (i.e. how anyone looking at them would probably refer to them) in their bio in order to ‘be inclusive of trans and non binary people’. The BC equivalent is the ‘mask selfie’: using a profile picture of oneself wearing a mask. There is absolutely no rational need to use a profile picture with a mask on. The only reason is to pat oneself on the back for how great one is for wearing a mask.

3. Male Entitlement Vs. Furlough Entitlement

One of the key similarities between these two groups is that they both ignore the harms inflicted by their ideological belief because they do not belong to the groups that are harmed. Obviously, this section involves generalisation.

Women are the group that are most harmed by gender identity ideology, due to men ‘identifying’ as women invading women’s spaces, such as changing rooms and sports. Women in prison are physically put at risk by males who claim to be women in their prisons (in some cases these males commit rape.) Lesbians are particularly harmed due to the pressure on them to include trans-identified males in their sex life. Girls, who are often lesbian and/or autistic, are the primary target for puberty blockers, cross sex hormones and surgery at a young age. Gay men are also harmed due to being pressured to sexually include trans-identified females in their sex life and also at gender clinics as many effeminate boys grow up to be gay if left unmedicalised.

Women who object to this do not get a voice or opinion and are shouted down as bigots and TERFs. The shouting down of women (and it is generally women – men who disagree with gender identity ideology generally get less hassle) is an example of male entitlement. In transgender ideology, males can demand that they belong in women’s spaces, women’s sports, rape crisis & domestic violence shelters and if they are excluded the women in question are bigots. The people calling for the laws to be changed to admit males are not the ones being harmed by the ideology.

The working class are the group that are most harmed by lockdowns. Workers in industries like hospitality, who were generally already on low wages, have seen their livelihoods decimated. Job losses caused by lockdowns will affect these people the most. For the working class it is also a major problem that they may be stuck in small council flats/houses with children who are not allowed to go to school. Self-employed people and small business owners are also heavily affected by lockdowns, due to the closing of businesses and loss of work. Children are also harmed by lockdowns by having their education destroyed and this affects working class children and disabled children the most as specialist services have been cancelled. NHS care being cancelled also mostly affects the working class because private care is unaffordable. Disabled people are harmed by mask mandates and worrying every time they go in a shop they will be subject to abuse for being exempt.

Working class people and disabled people who have been harmed by lockdowns do not get an opinion. They are shouted down by BCs. Anyone who even raises any questions whatsoever about lockdowns is called a ‘Covid denier’ (even if they believe the virus exists, which the majority of lockdown sceptics do in my experience). Disabled people and rape survivors who cannot wear a mask due to trauma are told endlessly they shouldn’t be allowed in shops without a mask, even by people who claim to be horrified by discrimination.

I have called this endless call for more and harsher lockdowns ‘Furlough Entitlement’. Middle class people on furlough seem to be the demographic group most supportive of lockdowns, presumably because they do not have to work but the 80% they get from the government is still enough to be comfortable. We can add the professional class in our media to that list, the likes of Piers Morgan, who isn’t going to miss a meal because of lockdown. Though I’ve called it Furlough Entitlement it also applies to those who are in no danger of losing their jobs because of lockdowns. Expecting working class people to lose their jobs and have their finances decimated because you are afraid of a virus is extremely entitled.

Both of these groups also promote the idea that they are not the establishment, despite the fact that this claim is fraudulent. One of the most interesting cases of this is Stonewall, gender identity ideologues extraordinaire, claiming that the likes of Keira Bell and Maya Forstater are ‘bullying’ trans people by scraping together money for legal cases. Of course Stonewall has far more money and influence than any gender critical or radical feminist organisation but that part gets left out of the narrative.

The same applies to BCs. They claim that ‘Boris Johnson didn’t want lockdowns, the establishment want us all back at work, Johnson wants to murder us with herd immunity’. The claim that Johnson never wanted lockdowns has been expertly demolished by Neil Clark. Quoting Clark:

The ‘liberal-left’ narrative that the UK Tory government wanted to pursue Covid-19 ‘herd immunity’ instead of a lockdown has been shattered by official filings which appears to show the opposite was the case.

The phrase ‘smoking gun’ is oft-overused, but it is surely appropriate in relation to the report in the Daily Telegraph newspaper that the UK government struck a deal worth £119m with an American advertising company, OMD Group, urging people to ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ a full three weeks before Boris Johnson ordered a lockdown.

Think about what this means. It’s safe to assume that if this big money deal was struck on 2nd March, the preparations began a lot earlier – in February, or more likely, even earlier than that. You don’t just set up an advertising campaign with a major US agency in a couple of hours.

Another point worthy of note is that the wealth of billionaires has soared during the ‘pandemic’. This contradicts the narrative that the billionaires want us working but again, this point gets ignored by BCs.

4. Disembodiment Vs Death Denial

Both of these groups (implicitly or explicitly) are engaged in reality denial. The TRAs deny the second most fundamental fact of human existence, which is that you can’t change sex, while the BCs deny the most fundamental fact of human existence, which is that all human beings die.

Both of them perversely obsess over the body while denying it. TRAs reject the human sexed body while obsessing over looking like the other sex, constantly trying to achieve ‘passing’ (at least, for those TRAs that ‘transition’). BCs obsess over ‘health’ (redefined as ‘avoiding Covid’) and death statistics while implicitly denying death: as if a genuinely vulnerable 90 year old in weak health magically would not die if we just locked down hard enough.

Both these groups also glorify big pharma. TRAs call taking the wrong hormones for your body empowerment, while BCs implicitly dismiss natural based solutions to increasing immunity (such as Vit D) and glorify vaccines as the only answer. The worship of doctors and nurses by BCs is also prominent. ‘The NHS’ (the same NHS that refuses to do cancer screenings and treatment) is practically deified as a glorious institution that we should all ‘protect’ by sacrificing our mental wellbeing by staying at home.

5. ‘Literally Killing People’ & Wanting to Censor All Disagreement, No Moderation

Another key similarity is that both TRAs and BCs think that you should not ever express an opinion different from theirs, and not only that, if you do so you are ‘literally killing people’.

TRAs state that ‘trans people will kill themselves’ if they encounter any criticism of gender identity ideology and call disagreement ‘bullying’. This applies double to ‘trans kids’: gender identity ideologues insist that if ‘trans kids’ aren’t immediately given the puberty blockers they will kill themselves. BCs, on the other hand, claim that any ‘breaking of lockdown rules’ will kill people. A good example is ‘wear a mask in a shop or you are going to kill people!’

Both of these claims of course are false. The ‘puberty blockers or death’ narrative promoted by the likes of Mermaids has been debunked by studies on puberty blockers (including from the UK Gender Identity clinic Tavistock) that show the puberty blockers do not reduce mental distress. The ‘affirmation or suicide’ narrative more generally has been shown to be false by the reliance on flawed studies and even Tavistock has stated that ‘trans kids’ are at no more risk than any other child with mental health issues. The BC narrative only requires a touch of common sense to be applied to it to fall apart. Walking past an unmasked face in a shop – a 1 second ‘interaction’ – has a zero percent chance of killing you. That’s without taking account the rarity to non existence of asymptomatic transmission (someone in a supermarket is unlikely to have symptoms because most people would apply common sense and stay at home if they actually had such symptoms if at all possible).

Both TRAs and BCs want to censor everyone who disagrees with their opinion. TRAs claim women who disagree with them are ‘TERFs’ and should be banned from social media. Lockdown supporters argue for the view that ‘careless talk costs lives’ – literally stated by George Monbiot as a reason why anyone who questions the Covid narrative should be censored.

Another quality both these groups share is the way they see anyone who opposes their position in the same light, regardless of their actual views. Anyone who thinks that, for example, transition is a positive thing for some people but that we need to be careful when applying this to children, is called a TERF in exactly the same way as someone who thinks transition has no benefit and isn’t evidence based. In the same way, someone who believes that we need to balance different health interests more and pay more attention to cancer, like Prof. Karol Sikora, is dismissed in the same way as someone who believes that there is no virus at all as a ‘granny killing murderer’. The lack of understanding and willingness to separate out views and engage critically dependent on the individual perspective means that they are incapable of debate [as a note, I do not mean to imply that the ‘more extreme’ position listed is necessarily invalid. FWIW I tend to support the position that transition is not proven science and my anti-lockdown views are ‘more extreme’ than Sikora’s].

What’s different?

The main difference between the two groups is that TRAs are genuinely more aggressive and are more likely to issue death threats and the like. BCs generally don’t, although occassionally they might say that they hope you die of Covid. Otherwise though, arguing with either of them is an exercise in utter ridiculous frustration.

Douma Primer Part 3: Establishment Denial

The mainstream media, which promoted the narrative of ‘Assad gassing his own people’ early on, has refused to acknowledge the facts and evidence which point to a false flag at Douma. Instead, they either ignore the evidence or double down on the false ‘gas attack’ narrative.

As far as I am aware, the only reporters in the UK mainstream media to raise any questions about the OPCW scandal are the late Robert Fisk in the Independent and Peter Hitchens in the Mail on Sunday. In the US, the only reporter I am aware of who has questioned the narrative is Fox News host Tucker Carlson. This is despite the fact that political corruption at the OPCW should be a massive scandal.

The Douma case is a clear example of the fact that our media serves the establishment and not the people, and that they are complicit in covering up for establishment crimes.

In this article I am going to tackle the case of George Monbiot, an alleged anti-establishment journalist who follows the establishment line on Douma.

The Case of George Monbiot

Before I get into Monbiot’s opinion on Douma, I’d like to examine an article Monbiot wrote several years ago called ‘Choose Life‘.

I used to be rather a fan of Monbiot around 12 or so years ago. I even own a few of his books and used to regularly read the Guardian. That’s how I originally found that article. I want to talk about it because it gives an interesting insight into how Monbiot sees himself.

The article is about giving careers advice to young people looking to get into journalism. In it, Monbiot is very keen to promote anti-establishment ideas, and prioritise speaking the truth over money. He encourages young people to get out there and cover what they actually want to talk about rather than using conventional means to work their way up the journalism ladder. He talks about holding on to your dreams and learning to live off the smallest amount of money that you possibly can in order to become less reliant on the system. He ends the article by saying that the editor of the Times may have more wealth than you do, but that he is just a cog in the system who has far less freedom than yourself (if you follow Monbiot’s sage advice).

Now you might think, well how does he reconcile that with working for The Guardian? After all, The Guardian is part of the British establishment. Well, he says that there might be niches in the corporate world for you to fulfill your dreams so long as you are careful and always make sure these opportunities aren’t leading you away from where you want to be.

Of course, what I find interesting is that he proves his own argument in the strongest possible terms: if you work for the establishment then you will end up being bent to what the establishment wants you to say. They may allow dissent on minor issues in some cases or the occasional decent article to make them look more credible (though even the space for this seems to be decreasing). But on the big issues – war and imperialism being one of those – dissent is very rare.

Monbiot has been promoting the establishment line on Syria for several years now. Monbiot will claim – when he is called out for repeating deep state talking points – that he opposes Western intervention in Syria and thus he is not supporting the establishment position. This argument ignores the fact that by repeating the deep state lies about Syria, he is manufacturing consent for war regardless. A weak ‘but I don’t support war’ tacked on at the end does nothing to change that.

Not only that, Monbiot seems to have a lot of time to argue with people online about Syria. If you search ‘Syria’ from tweets from his account, you end up with quite a few of them. There is a whole list of tweets attacking the ‘Assad apologists’ who criticise his position. Some of them are ridiculous strawmen such as claiming that sceptics of official narratives on Syria are “keen to believe that Bashar al-Assad’s government is purer than the driven snow”, a claim no one has made. Narrative sceptics are “Russian bots, outright fascists and leftist tankies” rather than people who think the evidence just doesn’t stack up. People who question the White Helmets are, of course, “conspiracy theorists”.

One of his arguments is to smear those who focus on Douma as, you guessed it, ‘Assad apologists’.

“Say, for the sake of argument, there wasn’t a CW attack at Douma (unlikely to be true, in view of the evidence). It would be one great crime Assad had not committed, against tens of thousands he has. Yet this is the issue you obsess about. Why? Because you’re apologists.”

Of course, this argument is completely wrong. Monbiot (deliberately in my opinion) fails to make the connection between the Douma narrative and the push for war by the West. The Douma narrative was directly used to justify bombing Syria. This means that it is crucially important whether or not the claim is a lie. If the US & UK were using some other claim as an excuse to bomb Syria, then that claim would be the one coming under the most scrutiny. (Of course if we examined some other imperialist argument, Monbiot would be sitting here making the same case about that claim instead.) This arguments is the equivalent of saying ‘Why are you all obsessing over WMDs in Iraq, even if Hussein doesn’t have them, he did all these other crimes!’. There are other important aspects to this issue as well, notably whether or not the OPCW is politically compromised. This is vitally important as if the institution is compromised then we have to re-examine all chemical weapons claims in the light of this political bias. None of it is about ‘obsessing’ over Douma because we are ‘apologists’.

Why talk about Douma now?

The final point I would like to make in this series is that it is still important that people know the truth about Douma. The British, French and American governments bombed Syria on the basis of a fraudulent claim that Assad did a gas attack in Douma. Accountability for government lies is important.

The Douma case is also a good example of how the media covers up for those lies by refusing to report upon the claims of credible whistleblowers such as Ian Henderson. Alleged left wingers such as Monbiot are further recruited in order to put forward the ‘left wing’ case for establishment lies.

Julian Assange Activism: What Now?

Baraitser cartoon

A post discussing Baraitser’s decisions in a little more detail as well as the message that I believe is most important to convey to the public at this moment.

Hosted at Shaziety.

Assange Extradition Ruling: What Does It Mean?

Yesterday District Judge Vanessa Baraitser announced the ruling in the Julian Assange US extradition hearing. Shockingly, she ruled against the extradition to the United States of WikiLeaks founder Assange, citing health reasons and a high chance that Mr. Assange would kill himself in prison should he be extradited. Despite the overall ruling she agreed with every other point raised by the US prosecution, including that Assange would get a fair trial in the US, that the UC Global scandal (where the CIA was spying on Assange in the embassy including privileged communications with his lawyers) was irrelevant, that Assange endangered lives by releasing the information provided by former US Army Intelligence officer Chelsea Manning, and that the US-UK Extradition Treaty 2007 banning extradition for political offenses is irrelevant because the Extradition Act 2003 does not ban extradition on political grounds.

Is this a victory? The answer to this question is ‘Yes, but.’

The sense in which this qualifies as a victory is this. Without scrutiny on this decision by ordinary citizens, the few journalists that bothered to their jobs, and individuals such as the UN Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer, I fully believe that Baraitser would have rubber stamped US extradition. In fact, I was shocked that she announced she would not be sending Assange to the US even with these factors. I think this decision does show that putting scrutiny on the establishment can work, and what’s more, its the only thing that does work.

Here’s the ‘but’. Many people, including Jonathan Cook and Rebecca Vincent, have pointed out that the fact that Baraitser agrees with everything the US prosecution said aside from the argument about prison conditions and suicide risk means that the ruling still sets a horrible precedent and does not protect journalism. This is of course a perfectly reasonable point.

Focusing simply on the implications for Assange however, there are two points which limit this victory. The first is that for now (pending a bail appeal tomorrow, 6th January) Assange remains incarcerated in Belmarsh prison. Due to his weak health and the effects of psychological torture, Assange will remain at risk of death in Belmarsh if he does not receive bail. If he has to remain in Belmarsh throughout the course of any appeal that will limit the victory in this case.

The second point to make is that we need to be aware of the possibility of establishment mind games. Having realised that they may not have been able to get away with having Baraitser rule against Assange, they may hope to induce complacency among supporters by giving them a victory and then overturn the decision on appeal. They may hope to get the idea across to the more uninformed public that “Assange has won so there is no need to pay any attention” while they plot a plane to the US.

Assange supporters must not let that happen. By all means, celebrate an unexpected gain yesterday. But as for today, it’s back to work.

ETA: Julian Assange was denied bail, meaning that he has to remain in prison throughout any US appeal. It is now looking as though the decision on Monday – though gained by public scrutiny on the case – was a ploy by the establishment. The establishment obviously thinks that rejecting the extradition and denying bail and hoping Assange dies in Belmarsh is a better option than granting extradition. If he dies in Belmarsh from the effects of psychological torture that serves their purposes just as much as if he was extradited to the US. Of course they may also have a plan to ensure that Assange is extradited on appeal, perhaps by hoping to inculcate complacency and hoping the public gets the misleading impression that ‘Assange has won’. Either way Assange loses more years of his life to horrific torture even if he does not die in Belmarsh and the appeal does not succeed.

It’s important that we don’t fall for the establishment’s lies and maneuvers and that we never give upon Julian Assange despite everything that they will try.

The Douma Primer Part 2: The Avalanche of Evidence the ‘Attack’ was Staged

This is the second part on my series on the Douma false flag ‘chemical attack’. Please read Part 1 if you have not already for an outline of the Syria conflict and the establishment and OPCW narrative about this ‘chemical attack’. Part 2 will consider 6 main points of evidence and argument showing why the Douma attack was staged. As a cumulative case they form a very strong argument for this position.

1. The Logic of the ‘Attack’: Nonexistent

The first problem with the claim that Assad carried out a chemical attack in Douma is basic logic.

At this point in the Syrian conflict, the jihadists were clearly losing the war. Syrian and Russian forces had successfully defeated the jihadists in many areas of the country; one of the most significant of these was the Syrian Army’s victory in Aleppo. Conventional weapons were doing a perfectly good job at defeating the jihadists. It follows that there was simply no rational purpose for a gas attack at this point of the conflict, nor any significant motivation for Assad to randomly attack civilians. Furthermore, Assad is keenly aware of the fact that the West is looking to demonise his government and that any chemical attack will be used as a motivation to intervene further in Syria.

On the other hand, the failing rebels had a strong motive to fake a chemical weapons attack. They could attempt to use the international outrage in order to try and get the West further involved in the conflict and save their weak position. The West would also have a further incentive to promote this faked gas attack as real to justify the vilification of Assad as an ‘animal’ who needs to be overthrown.

Logic alone thus suggests that we should be sceptical of the official narrative, unless one wants to make the baseless claim that Assad is an irrational maniac. Now of course, if there was strong evidence for the position that Assad really did gas his own people, we would just have to accept that he is in fact an irrational leader who doesn’t understand military strategy or a maniac who enjoys killing for the sake of it. But there is no evidence for this as we shall see.

2. The Syrian Witnesses State: No Chemical Attack

At the OPCW in the Hague not long after the alleged attack (26 April 2018), Syrian witnesses stated that there was no chemical attack and that the hospital scene was staged.

Hassan Diab, an 11-year old boy who appeared in the White Helmets video filmed at the hospital, stated that: “We were at the basement and we heard people shouting that we needed to go to a hospital. We went through a tunnel. At the hospital they started pouring cold water on me.”

Several others also testified. Ahmad Kashoi said: “There were people unknown to us who were filming the emergency care, they were filming the chaos taking place inside, and were filming people being doused with water. The instruments they used to douse them with water were originally used to clean the floors actually. That happened for about an hour, we provided help to them and sent them home. No one has died. No one suffered from chemical exposure.”

The counter argument to this point is to claim that the testimony of the witnesses at the Hague was a ‘Russian stunt’. Of course, the Russian government is not any more trustworthy than any other government. The idea that the Russian government somehow got ordinary Syrians to give false testimony to the OPCW was, of course, possible. There is no evidence for that position, though, and the argument that the attack was staged has only increased with the passage of time.

3. BBC Reporter Admits White Helmets Video was Staged

In Feb 2019, BBC Producer Riam Dalati stated that he believed the Douma hospital scene (described in Part 1) was staged.

“After almost 6 months of investigations, I can prove without a doubt that the Douma Hospital scene was staged. No fatalities occurred in the hospital.” Dalati wrote on his Twitter account. He later made the account private. For clarity, Dalati did believe that there was some sort of attack in Douma but that there was no evidence of the chemical agent Sarin (throughout the discussion of the Douma ‘attack’ there was a significant ambiguity over whether the chemical agent was Sarin or chlorine. Dalati’s position stated that no Sarin was used and whether chlorine was used would have to wait for the OPCW report which had not yet been released).

The reason that this is particularly notable is that this is a producer working at the BBC, an establishment media outlet that has promotied the official narrative on the Syria conflict and Douma. Many people dismiss evidence on the question that is raised by someone who works for RT, for example, because they say that they are promoting the Russian government’s opinion. A BBC producer stating things against the official narrative is harder for them to dismiss, though of course, the British MSM ignored this story.

4. The Henderson Report

This leaked report, written by a member of the OPCW Douma Fact Finding Mission, is beyond damning. If the first three points of evidence mentioned so far are suggestive of a staged attack, the Henderson report tears the Assad gas attack narrative to shreds.

This report was first leaked in May 2019 to the website Syria Propaganda and Media, a site run by academics sceptical of the official Syria narrative.

The Henderson report analyses the cylinders said to have possibly been the source of chlorine in the offical report. It proceeds to put forward two possible hypotheses about the cylinders at the two locations: that the cylinders were dropped from a helicopter and contained chlorine (i.e. the establishment narrative that an Assad gas attack took place), and the hypothesis that the cylinders were manually placed in their locations (i.e. the staged hypothesis).

The report looks at factors such as whether the cylinders being dropped from height can account for the damage observed at the scenes that the two cylinders were found (locations 2 and 4). The study does this through the usage of simulations.

The analysis of the cylinder at Location 2 found that the damage to the cylinder was not consistent with what would have been expected to have been observed had the cylinder been dropped from height. It also concluded that the crater in which the cylinder was placed was more likely caused by a mortar or similar explosion. Location 4 also showed similar inconsistencies, such as the cylinder showing an implausibly high amount of corrosion, and that the damage to the cylinder was unlikely on the aircraft hypothesis.

Henderson concludes: “Observations at the scene of the two locations, together with subsequent analysis, suggest that there is a higher probability that both cylinders were manually placed at those two locations rather than being delivered from aircraft.”

Or, to summarise this in another way, the ‘staged’ hypothesis is more plausible than the ‘Assad gas attack’ hypothesis according to the ballistic evidence.

5. The Wikileaks Documents

That, however, was not the end of the leaked documents relating to this scandal. In November 2019 an internal OPCW email was leaked to WikiLeaks.

This email was addressed to Robert Fairweather, Chief of Cabinet, and was written by a member of the FFM team on the ground in Douma. It compared the initial drafted report to the final (redacted) report that was released to the public and expressed multiple concerns about how the evidence was presented in the final report. It argues that the final report’s conclusion that it is ‘likely’ that chlorine was released from cylinders is grossly overstated.
The email says that while it was possible that chlorine was released from cylinders at loacations 2 and 4, there “was insufficient evidence to confirm this.” The final report also overstates the level of chlorine found in the atmosphere at the scene, claiming that ‘high’ levels were detected when in reality only trace quantities were found.

The draft report also contained evidence regarding observed symptoms which was redacted from the final report. The observed symptoms were not consistent with chlorine exposure. The email also notes how Henderson’s evidence regarding the ballistics of the cylinders was excluded from the final report.

Another document was leaked on the 14th December. This is a memo addressed to the Director General at the OPCW. It states that the “FFM report does not reflect the views of all the team members that deployed to Douma. Only one FFM team member (a paramedic) of the so-called ‘FFM core team’ was in Douma.”

It states that “The consensus within the FFM team was that there were serious incionsistencies in findings. After the exclusion of all team members other than a small cadre of members that who had deployed (and deployed again in October 2018) to Country X, the conclusion appears to have turned completely in the opposite direction.”

There were also other documents released by Wikileaks but this covers the main points: that evidence against the ‘Assad gas attack’ narrative was suppressed.

6. Ian Henderson is a Credible Source

At this stage, it is looking very bad for those who want to maintain the ‘Assad gas attack’ narrative. One way they attempt to get out of this problem and maintain their narrative is to suggest that individuals like Ian Henderson are simply ‘disgruntled employees’ who shouldn’t be listened to. The Director General of the OPCW stated that the Douma whistleblowers were “individuals who could not accept that their views were not backed by evidence.”

The OPCW claimed that Henderson “was not a member of the FFM” and had a “minor supportive role”. In fact this is a complete lie, and more leaks, this time to Aaron Mate of the Grayzone demonstrate this fact.

Firstly, documents show that Henderson was listed as a member of the team. Even worse for the OPCW, another leaked document shows that the organisation was happy for Henderson to lead visits to the locations of the cylinders if that became necessary. Documents from within the OPCW also show that Henderson was considered to be an excellent inspector who “can expect to be selected to lead the most demanding and sensitive assignments.”

Conclusion

This cascade of evidence is looking extremely bad for those who want to maintain the fiction that Assad gassed his own people at Douma and that this imperialist narrative is supported by evidence. Part 3 will discuss the logical contortions of those who want to maintain this false narrative.

The Reality of Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria: A Personal essay

Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD) is a controversial concept introduced into the discussion around transgenderism by Lisa Littman in a 2018 study. This phenomenon has been observed among teenagers, generally but not always female, who announce that they are transgender without any history of discomfort with their biological sex. This is often connected to use of social media platforms and can involve multiple people in the same friend group coming out as ‘transgender’ at the same time.

When I recently came across the idea of ROGD, I realised that it applied to my own experiences. When I was 18, I began to consider whether I might be a ‘man in a woman’s body’ despite no previous experiences of gender dysphoria. This was about 15 years ago, however, and so I never underwent any social or medical transition. Unlike the gender identity ideologues’ claims that suffering from gender dysphoria means that you should ‘transition’, I turned out perfectly fine as a woman.

This piece discusses my reasons for experiencing gender dysphoria, my experiences with the concept of transgenderism online, what my experiences actually entailed, and the reasons why I did not undergo social or medical transition. Obviously, my own experiences are my own and I don’t claim them to be universal, but if experience is a valid barometer than mine are as well.

I was always a bit naive growing up and I ended up being behind everyone else when I was going through puberty. I don’t remember experiencing much real sexual attraction until I was 15 or so. I went to a girls’ school and became attracted to some of my classmates around this age. I initially came out as bisexual to several different people and I fortunately did not experience pushback in the form of ostracism or bullying. Obviously the idea of being same sex attracted had not been a positive thought for me when I was younger: I remember being upset by ending up in a lesbian relationship on my friend’s The Sims game. We were also taught nothing positive or even neutral about homosexuality and bisexuality at school because it was the last few years of Section 28 [see note]. Nevertheless I didn’t struggle too much with the idea of being same sex attracted compared to many others who have gone through coming out, though I did fear coming out to my father and didn’t do so until I was in my early 20s. I think being mentally behind other people growing up was also linked to having autism. (I mention same sex attraction and autism because both seem to increase the risk of gender dysphoria and presenting at child gender clinics, even though they were not the direct cause of my ROGD).

When I was 17 or so I was introduced to the forum Gaia Online. For those not familiar with this it is a discussion forum but contains games and the like which you can use to earn ‘money’ to buy items for a customised avatar, kind of like a more grown up version of Neopets. I bring this up because this was where I distinctly remember first encountering the idea of transgenderism. In particular, there was a ‘transgender man’ very active on the parts of the site that I gravitated to the most. I had come to have a nascent interest in politics and issues relating to feminism and women’s oppression and was also a passionate atheist and so ended up on the atheist parts of the site.

This individual – I cannot remember names or handles at this point – discussed (how they saw it) the problems that they faced as a transgender man. The most distinctive thing I remember is that this person argued transgender people are very likely to end up dead by suicide before age 30. This alleged fact stuck with me. I was the kind of person who wanted to be inclusive – unlike those religious bigots who hated anyone different from them! – so I thought it must be terrible what they were going through. I mention this online forum because I do believe that it may have influenced me to see my subsequent feelings of dislike of my body through a transgender lens.

Growing up I wouldn’t say I ‘liked’ having a female body or developing breasts though also would not call my feelings about the issue ‘gender dysphoria’, I would just call it typical teenage discomfort with a changing body that basically all girls experience. I only started upon a phase of privately identifying as a man at the age of 18. The incident that led to my ROGD was a bad sexual experience I had with a man which was traumatising. Shortly after that I began to have experiences of gender dysphoria.

At the time, I did not understand that the incident was the trigger for these feelings. I believe that my gender dysphoria originated subconsciously from this experience because I no longer felt safe as a woman. I wanted to protect myself and I saw being big and strong like a man as the way to do that. I wished I would grow taller and not be stuck at 5′ 5″. I imagined myself being 6′. I created a male identity known as ‘Kirk’ (and a new identity on Gaia Online, this time with a male avatar). And of course I thought about taking male hormones.

This is what I wrote a few months after I first experienced dysphoria. “Lately I have felt so confused. Of course all the normal [self] hatred is still there. […] But there is something else. I don’t know what to do or even if it is my own paranoia…I want to be a man. And I don’t know why. I know I’ve always had ‘male’ traits but I don’t know whether I want to change because they have it better. Or whether it is some deep rooted problem. […] I don’t want to be a pretend man if I know that I’m not. But I never know what I’m supposed to be. Was I supposed to be that way?”

I was very aware of not fitting into gender roles (I always had been) but I was now linking that to the idea of being a man. These excerpts are from a piece I wrote (and rewrote) simply called ‘Testosterone’, essentially a plea to be given the stuff. “People judge me by the shape my body makes/they think they know what I want out of this life.” I also expressed disgust at the idea of sexual penetration and expressed the idea that “I should be the one with the weapon.” I referred to the female body as an “oestrogen prison” and drew it as such: curved prison bars. In another work I wrote I referred to being a woman as “lying to the world”.

In general I didn’t talk about these feelings to anyone, except for one time where I tried to ‘come out as trans’ to one friend in my life (incidentally, the first person I cameout to as bisexual). This was around 6 months after I first started experiencing dysphoria. I remember mumbling the words ‘I’m not really female’. My friend was actually quite dismissive of the idea, and I never mentioned it to anyone else again.

It wasn’t that long after this that I slowly began to move away from transgender identification. My gender dysphoria became less severe and less of a significant factor in my life as I moved further in time from the triggering incident. I did not really do anything specific to overcome it, though I did (eventually) go to the doctors with other issues relating to mental distress. I just gradually stopped using the male persona and name. I also went through a phase of not identifying as either gender, instead calling myself ‘androgynous’ (the 2007 ‘non-binary’). Then, by 2008, I was calling myself lesbian. In reality, I just grew out of it (although I appreciate that not everyone has the same experience on this point). At this stage the trauma wasn’t all gone: this wouldn’t happen for several more years. Occasionally I would get bouts of body hatred from trauma response which only resolved with processing the trauma itself.

Essentially, I dealt with this problem on my own, without any form of affirmation or acceptance from society, nor any kind of understanding what I was going through. In this case, though, muddling through on my own was a far better option than medicalisation.

Here are what I consider to be the main differences between the social climate of today and the one I experienced 15 years ago in terms of the attitudes towards transgenderism – and thus why I ended up making the choices I did rather than making different ones. This is my personal experience, and so it may not be exactly the same for everyone else, but I do think that generally these observations hold.

Gender identity ideology – that is, the idea that all human beings have an innate gender identity – was not accepted and promoted as fact. In all honesty, when I look back on the expressions of gender dysphoria I made a large number of them were about not fitting into gender stereotypes, not about a mythical identity. (Of course, this is what gender amounts to – stereotypes – but understanding of that fact is obscured for many young people today with the promotion of the concept of ‘gender identity’).

It follows then that the idea of uncritical affirmation of ‘all gender identities’ did not saturate the culture 15 years ago. In fact, transgenderism was a rare topic of discussion. I knew no one in real life that even mentioned the idea, let alone identified as ‘trans’. In contrast, nowadays teenagers and even children are encouraged to ‘question their gender identity’. I certainly do not remember the phenomenon of ‘trans role models’, such as Munroe Bergdorf or Caitlyn Jenner, being promoted in the media. Nor was there constant affirmation from virtue signalling politicians and celebrities repeating the mantra ‘Trans Men Are Men’.

The echo chambers of affirmation online, such as certain spaces within the platform Tumblr, did not exist. My friends were all in real life and not online. I believe online forums did influence me and my transgender identification, but those are different in make up to Tumblr or Twitter, as they do not allow for ‘following’ accounts and thus developing attachments to specific individuals. These spaces also make it harder to desist from transgender identification as there is a fear of ostracism and a high level of investment in that identity.

I also had some doubts about being transgender, though I privately referred to myself as such in my diaries. The understanding I had was that trans people were aware from an early age of their feelings of wanting to be the opposite sex, and I did not have any gender issues as a child. Had I been in the modern environment, that repeated the mantra ‘anyone who says they are trans is trans’, perhaps these inner doubts would have been subsumed by affirmation.

I am very glad that I never took hormones or had surgery because I know it would have been a terrible mistake. In truth I was just lucky to be 32 and thus a teenager a bit before the trend for promoting gender identity ideology really took off. Of course, I cannot say for sure that had I had similar experiences 10 years later, I would have ‘transitioned’. But I do believe that outcome would have been significantly more likely based on the evidence I have outlined.

I could just forget the whole episode as embarrassing and not write about it at all. The reason I don’t is because I am concerned about the medicalisation of young people who may have similar transient feelings. These young people have no way of understanding the ramifications of taking something like testosterone (I certainly did not!) and often see ‘transition’ as a silver bullet for their problems – yet medical professionals promote the idea of ‘affirming their identity’ and starting them on hormones rather than an exploratory approach.

The uncritical affirmation narrative does not give any time or space for people to uncover the reasons behind having dysphoria. Transgender ideology claims to represent space for adolescents to be themselves without societal expectations being forced on them. In reality it does the opposite, by fixing a specific identity and ideology in the teenager’s head.  In my case the idea of being a man was not fixed in my mind by affirmation or having started a medical process so I just abandoned it fairly easily when it no longer served a purpose – the way young people generally do with identities.

I might hear the transgender ideologists object that ‘I was never really transgender anyway, what do I know?’ Which is true, I’m not transgender. But the transgender ideologists want to have it both ways on this one. During the period of time I was dysphoric and identified as ‘Kirk’ would or could the transgender ideologists draw any distinction between me and another ‘trans’ individual? On their own ideology – no, because I called myself a transgender man so therefore I was one. Even if you take the definition of trans as meaning someone who has gender dysphoria – then I would also qualify as ‘trans’ by that definition. Yet here I am – as very clearly not a transgender man! Not ‘hiding my trans identity’ like some activists say of those who stop identifying as transgender, but embracing myself as a lesbian. This is where the whole concept of ‘trans’ as some kind of immutable characteristic like sexual orientation falls apart.

I believe that if you hate your body – which many girls and young women do – testosterone isn’t going to ease that pain. Only accepting yourself as a woman and working through any trauma you may have from male violence and homophobic/misogynistic ideology will help you come to terms with your body. It isn’t a magic bullet. But unlike surgery and hormones, it isn’t a false promise.

Note: It occurs to me that non UK readers may not be familiar with Section 28. Section 28 was a law passed under the Thatcher government that banned positive discussion of homosexual relationships in schools. I attended school between 1999-2004 and the legislation was repealed by the Blair government in late 2003.

The Douma Primer Part 1: The Official Narrative

The Douma false flag is one of the most important stories over the past few years that has been (almost) completely ignored by the mainstream media. To summarise the scandal, Britain, the US and France bombed Syria based on the claim that Assad had carried out a chemical attack against civilians in Douma in April 2018. This argument was dubious from the start, but a drip feed of evidence has shown that the claim that Assad ‘gassed his own people’ at Douma to be a complete fraud.

This series of three articles will outline the key information regarding this scandal.

Part 1, below, will cover in brief what the Syrian conflict is about and why the West is involved, the basic narrative about Douma promoted by the US/UK governments and mainstream media, and the OPCW Report which was released in March 2019 and implied Assad was responsible for a chemical attack using chlorine.

Part 2 will cover the main points of evidence disproving the Western claims: 1) the nonexistent logic behind an Assad gas attack, 2) the Syrian witnesses who testified at the OPCW, 3) BBC producer Riam Dalati stating he could prove the attack was staged, 4) The Henderson Report, a ballistics analysis that contradicted the final OPCW report, 5) Internal OPCW documents leaked to Wikileaks, 6) Evidence showing that Henderson was a legitimate authority within the OPCW.

Part 3 will discuss the mainstream media response to this evidence. It will focus on the case of George Monbiot, an alleged outsider who in fact proves his establishment credentials by lying about Syria.

What is Syria About?

The war in Syria is a struggle for control over the country between different factions, that can be divided between pro- and anti-government forces.

The government of Syria, led by Bashar Al-Assad, seeks to maintain control over the country and protect Syria’s territorial integrity. His government is working with their ally, the Russian government led by Vladimir Putin (who has had a military presence in Syria since 2015). Some of Putin’s motives are likely to be protection of a valuable ally and concerns over Islamic terrorists from a jihadist-run Syria destabilising the North Caucasus.

On the other side of the conflict are those who seek to overthrow the Assad government. There are several different armed jihadist groups, such as Islamic State and al-Nusra, operating in Syria. There is also a Kurdish faction in the North of Syria that oppose Assad, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces. The United States also has a sizable troop presence in Syria.

The Syrians and Russians are fighting the jihadi terrorists, whereas the West is using both the jihadists and the Kurds to undermine the Syrian government and the territorial integrity of the country. The US has funded and armed jihadists for this purpose, as well as using the Kurds (along with their own troops) to prevent the Syrian government’s access to oil fields. The West wants to remove Assad from power or at least plunge the country into such complete destabilisation that it cannot function.

Why is the West even concerned with Syria? What’s in it for them? There are a number of factors.

Economic motivations are always a strong reason for any war. The military industrial complex in the US always wants more war in order to increase the profits of military contractors, and politicians are generally funded by these contractors and so support the conflicts. Economic exploitation is also a motivating factor. Having a US vassal state in Syria would make this easier. In the case of Iraq, US firms such as Halliburton made a fortune out of the conflict. Even if they fail (very likely) at creating a vassal state there the destruction wreaked on Syria operates as a threat to any other leader thinking of pursuing an approach at odds with Washington’s interest.

Geostrategic motivations are also relevant, in particular, trying to weaken the Russian position in the face of her resurgence as a player on the international stage (at least to an extent). In the 1990s, Russia was a completely impotent country consumed with economic crisis as well as internal secessionist challenges in the Caucasus. In the 2000s under Putin, Russia began to recover economically because of a significant rise in oil prices, and Putin strengthened the Russian military which had become under-resourced in the 1990s. Slowly Russia recovered and with the Syria conflict was able to begin to become a significant regional player. Control over Syria would weaken Russia by taking out one of Putin’s key allies. Syria has been allied to Russia (previously USSR) for a long time.

A related motive for the West’s involvement is the possibility of putting a gas pipeline through Syria to Europe. Qatar proposed such a pipeline but Assad did not accept the Qatari plan. A pipeline through Syria would weaken Russia economically by reducing the reliance of Europe on Russian gas.

It goes without saying, of course, that none of the motives of the US have anything to do with freedom, democracy, or any other lie that they come up with to justify imperialism.

Douma: The Basic Narrative

The Douma ‘incident’ happened in April, 2018. The basic claim was that the Syrian Army had carried out a chemical attack, killing dozens of civilians in Douma.

The first piece of evidence presented for this was a video that was filmed by the White Helmets (purportedly a civil defense organisation but in reality strongly tied to the jihadists). This video claimed to show children at a hospital who had been attacked by a chemical weapon. It shows panic and children being doused in water. There is another White Helmets video which shows dead people at the scene. These videos were largely presented in an uncritical light by the mainstream media. Obviously they wanted to try to create an emotional response in the viewer, in order that critical questions were not asked.

The second piece of evidence that the mainstream media presented was photographs of cylinders taken at the scene. On the 15 April 2018, the Scottish Sun published an article with the headline “Damning new pics of gas cylinders at Syrian gassing scene as ‘toxin’ dossier emerges” showing these cylinders. They were presented as the source of the chemical attack.

The framing of mainstream media articles tended to assume the guilt of the Syrian army, while dismissing any Syrian or Russian claims that the attack was faked. The US, British and French responded to this ‘attack’ a few days later by an airstrike in Syria.

What the OPCW Claimed Happened

The OPCW released its report into the alleged Douma attack in March 2019. They summarised its findings as such:

Regarding the alleged use of toxic chemicals as a weapon in Douma, the evaluation and analysis of all the above-referenced information gathered by the FFM provide reasonable grounds that the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon has taken place on 7 April 2018. This toxic chemical contained reactive chlorine. The toxic chemical was likely molecular chlorine.

The report itself states that:

Based on the levels of chlorinated organic derivatives, detected in several environmental samples gathered at the sites of alleged use of toxic chemicals (Locations 2 and 4), which are not naturally present in the environment, the FFM concludes that the objects from which the samples were taken at both locations had been in contact with one or more substances containing reactive chlorine.

So important point number 1 is that the OPCW report concluded that the chlorine levels as the scene indicated that chlorine was used as a chemical weapon. They report no evidence of any other chemical weapons.

Important point number 2 is the cylinder analysis:

The analyses indicated that the structural damage to the rebar-reinforced concrete terrace at Location 2 was caused by an impacting object with a geometrically symmetric shape and sufficient kinetic energy to cause the observed damage. The analyses indicate that the damage observed on the cylinder found on the roof-top terrace, the aperture, the balcony, the surrounding rooms, the rooms underneath and the structure above, is consistent with the creation of the aperture observed in the terrace by the cylinder found in that location.

and

At Location 4, the results of the studies indicated that the shape of the aperture produced in the modulation matched the shape and damage observed by the team. The studies further indicated that, after passing through the ceiling and impacting the floor at lower speed, the cylinder continued an altered trajectory, until reaching the position in which it was found.

The OPCW stated in their summary that the Fact Finding Mission [FFM] did not assign blame for the gas attack. However, the analysis of the cylinders assigns implicit blame to the Syrian Arab Army. This is because the argument is that these cylinders were dropped from height, and only Assad’s forces would have had the air power capacity to carry this out.