Public Relations has created the current state of medicine
Anyone remember Freedom Fries?
An Abridged Version of this Article Discussing Will Smith’s “Slap” at the Oscars can be found here.
I do not want to make this substack focus on political issues as I believe they are almost always divisive, and distract everyone from coming together and focusing on the bigger picture. We have so much more in common with each other than where we differ, and the sooner we can recognize that and become united, the sooner our species can evolve.
Nonetheless, medical propaganda and propaganda in general is so central to what we are experiencing now that it must be understood to move forward. As a society, we need to stop falling for PR campaigns. This is a bit long as I am effectively condensing numerous books together, but I am certain you will find this entertaining and it will change your view of the world for the better. That said, I’m quite new to all of this and I’m doing this project for you not me. I would like your feedback on if you feel this is an appropriate area to examine and respectful of your time.
A few months ago, a friend called me up and said: “I just realized, COVID is the Democrat’s War on Iraq. Everyone is in on a bunch of lies so their backers can get away with as much war profiteering as possible.”
A common question asked in history class is: “Why do we study history?”
The most common answer is: “So we can learn from our past mistakes and not repeat them.”
Given that this never happens, my answer instead has been: “So we have the context to understand what is happening before us.”
The one thing that never seems to change is the human condition, so as a result, when the same societal variables are put into place, the same things tend to happen. Some repeat every few years, some take decades, some take centuries, but in many different ways history is always cyclical. In turn when I realized we were replaying the smallpox debacle from 135 years ago, I knew this message had to get out, and the chance we can finally end this cycle has been the central purpose of this substack and I am profoundly grateful to each person who has helped with that.
When we look at the systemic issues in medicine COVID has brought to the surface, there are numerous potential root causes such as the following:
-The education prior to medical school
-Medical practice guidelines
-The pervasive commercializing and corruption of scientific research and publication
-The pervasive regulatory capture of government
-The rigid expectation and legal penalties for physicians that do not confirm the expected standards of medicine
-The engineered susceptibility of medicine to be easily controlled through the targeted application of money
-The sociological context medicine exists within
As I have time, I hope to try and illustrate each of these problems and highlight potential solutions them. In this article I hope to illustrate some of the sociological context.
Medicine supports many mythologies and beliefs our society revolves around, some of which I feel greatly benefit our society, and some of which I can only label as toxic. Two of my favorite authors from the previous generation that best described much of this context were Ivan Illich in Medical Nemesis and Robert S. Mendelsohn in Confessions of a Medical Heretic. Each of them predicted almost 100 years ago exactly what we are seeing now. Mendelson amongst other things noted that doctors have assumed the role of priests in our society, and vaccines represent the holy water of the faith everyone must be baptized with, a very poignant metaphor.
In numerous (well referenced) books I have read, a central theme espoused by the planners and think tanks of society, is that the ideal governance of society is in a state of perpetual war, as the populace can then be unified and steered in whatever direction is needed. In addition to overt wars (which are often too damaging to handle), abstract wars are often suggested as suitable wars. Commonly cited options include:
A war on an abstract human enemy that can never be defeated (terrorists, drug traffickers)
A war on an environmental catastrophe that will always be in the future (before climate change we had global warming, and before global warming we had global cooling)
A war on some type of disease, typically an infectious one, although others like cancer have also been tried.
In a brief, frequently quoted interview, Assange notes his discovery that “Nearly every war that has started in the past 50 years has been a result of media lies.”
From my own investigation, I believe this is true. The earliest reference I have found to Assange’s thesis within the 50 year timeline was during the cold war. At this time, the early neoconservatives, working under Reagan produced fraudulent research suggesting there was an imminent danger of the Soviets annihilating us in a nuclear winter, when in reality the Soviets were terrified of nuclear war and were trying to avoid it at any cost. Because of this message, there were able to get the USA to spend an absolutely massive amount of money on completely unnecessary and ineffective military expenditures such as 30 billion (82 billlion in today’s dollars) for the Strategic Defense Initiative (commonly known as the Star Wars program).
As best as I can tell, the primary purpose of each war the USA has fought has been for defense contractors to steal from the taxpayers and make money by selling military equipment (war profiteering). One of the best documentaries I’ve seen explaining this was Why We Fight, but there are many others too.
My stepfather spent his early adulthood in war zones and repeatedly found himself in places where private military contractors, once investor money arrived, were paid off to kill the local inhabitants (often to take their land). Similarly, I have multiple close friends who went through a lot of really messed up stuff in Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam. Most of my family were executed by the Nazis, and I along with relative have also spent time with survivors of China’s genocides (the Cultural revolution and of the Tibetans), the Cambodian Genocide, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide and more recently Russians who had to flee for their lives from Ukraine in 2014.
I believe this topic is best summarized by George Orwell’s quote: “All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.”
While I’ve never been directly in a war zone, I have been repeatedly peripherally exposed to them, and I feel it’s a difficult part of life Americans need to know about but most will never even try to understand. While it’s nowhere near as bad as a war coming to the country, I’ve felt a relatable devastation from seeing what COVID and the vaccines has done to a lot of people within the USA.
One of the lessons I grew up with from my stepfather was to never invest in death, as he had seen so many times when those investments directly translated in carnage. Similarly I was also taught to never invest in food commodities, as creating price increases through those investments directly leads to death by starvation for the poor (something, that as many predicted at the start of COVID appears to be right around the corner). Once Biden nominated Lloyd Austin as his secretary of defense, I told everyone who asked me that I was positive he would be nominated without question (ultimately only 2 senators voted against him). More importantly, I stated Raytheon would be an excellent investment (and it has been), but for the above reasons, I refused to invest in a defense contractor.
Austin for reference was a board member of Raytheon that had previously been one of main commanders of the US military. Pause for a second. How is it acceptable that one of the leaders of US military could immediately get a cushy private sector job selling the US military weapons that need people to be dropped on? How after he was done with that gig, did he get promoted to leading the entire military with complete support of the senate? When Biden assumed office, I feared the Military Industrial Complex would spend the next 4 years trying to catch up for lost income (as Trump was an anomaly that had ended rather that start wars during his presidency).
Similarly, with the medical field, many of the people we nominate to high positions filter in and out of the pharmaceutical industry (the list of senior officers in the department of Health and Human Services who had previously been or became pharmaceutical executives and board members is too long to even begin to list). Not surprisingly, they also consistently choose to enable pharmaceutical profiteering at the expense of public health. Many of the points in this article such as the revolving door between big pharma and HSS are also referenced and detailed within the Real Anthony Fauci.
The media is central in this process, as in most cases the public vehemently rejects profiteering, especially as the consequences begin to add up. In turn a well-oiled propaganda machine to facilitate these wars has been developed and it is used again and again in the same repetitive pattern. I suspect over a trillion dollars have been spent to develop it, and it is remarkably effective, but simultaneously remarkably predictable and repetitive. Similarly, the same infrastructure has been piggybacked on to promote other corporate interests such as the entire pandemic.
Recently Robert Malone published an excellent piece on “Advocacy Journalism” which is aptly summarized by George Orwell’s prescient quote: “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is Public Relations.”
I believe advocacy journalism represents the current evolution of this machine and may represent us finally moving into an era where it is unstable and untenable. It also echoes many of the points of renowned journalist Sharyl Attkisson, who noted that she noticed the biggest shift in journalism occurred at the same time she became prohibited from reporting on vaccine injuries (which coincidentally are the largest funders of the mainstream media). However, while I found Malone’s piece immensely valuable, I disagree with one of its central premises; that advocacy journalism represented the decline of the media. Rather, I believe Public Relations poisoned journalism long before, and advocacy journalism is simply its current evolution.
One of the books which most influenced my perception of the world was “Trust Us, We’re Experts.” I discovered the book twenty years ago after reading Tim O’Shea’s article “The doors of perception, why Americans will believe almost anything,” which detailed the nature of the industry and how many beliefs Americans hold with certainty in this society were simply products of corporate PR campaigns (as a vegetarian, my favorite example bacon being rebranded as having always been a part of a traditional healthy breakfast to boost sales, but there are also far more consequential examples such as the widespread adoption of fluoride to “protect” teeth). An abridged version of the Trust Us We’re Experts can be found in the brief documentary Toxic Sludge is Good for You. It is very illuminating.
Virtually every revolution in history has harmed rather help the common people, and the American Revolution represents one of the only cases the common people benefited. While America has had many terrible flaws since its inception, prior to Democracy appearing here, almost all societies were slave societies exploited by a small ruling class.
As the ruling elite engaged with the democratic model, they collectively adopted the belief the masses were primitive and self-destructive and could not be relied upon to govern society. Sigmund Freud’s nephew Edward Bernays, seeking a way to distinguish himself from his famous uncle, proposed a solution: use the new science of social manipulation (propaganda). Through doing this, the “wise” hand of ruling elite from behind the shadows could steer the masses in the direction society needed to follow for stability. Much of the social changes he created is detailed within The Century of Self series, which can be freely viewed online.
Some of Bernays’s initial exploits are well known. For example, at the time of woman’s suffrage movement, smoking was considered to be a dirty habit women were too clean and pure for. After being requested by the tobacco industry to break this societal taboo and double their market, Bernays concocted a scheme.
At the next large women’s suffrage march, he hired actresses to join the protestors and smoke cigarettes, calling them liberation torches. His photographers placed at the protest were able to fill the newspapers of the time with iconic images of these liberation torches, which were immediately adopted by the movement as a sign of liberation and within a blink of the eye smoking was normalized in the female population.
One of Bernays’s crowning achievements was the discovery citizens tended to be persuaded by expert figures and his subsequent creation of “expert sources.” Specific mediums and organizations that were known to be controllable with money (ie. the BBC) were chosen for this role they have faithfully fulfilled ever since. In studying the patterns and currents of society, I in turn have noticed the same rules are always followed. A hierarchy is established, the top of the hierarchy (which can be analogized to the tip of a pyramid) is bought out and everything within society is mobilized to rigidly enforce subservience to the hierarchy. You see this everywhere once you look for it.
There have been many evolutions and iterations of propaganda. As the industry evolved, it became slicker and better designed, soon being known as Public Relations. Today, despite being a massive, rapidly growing industry (per one source $88.13 billion spent globally in 2020 and $97.13 in 2021), few people who didn’t major in communications are aware it even exists, yet it shapes almost every aspect of our culture. Public relations will be the focus of this piece, but first let’s take a peek at some history.
Ridiculous lies are always produced to sell wars to the public. The first gulf war occurred because Saddam Hussein (previously an American ally we had armed to fight Iran after we lost our dictator to an Islamic revolution) invaded Kuwait and the war was fought to liberate Kuwait. Few people know Iraq to some degree was given permission by the USA to do so.
The American public in turn did not want a war, so the public relations industry was mobilized to sell the war. A congressional hearing on Saddam Hussein’s atrocities to the Kuwaitis was conducted and one testimony from young Nayirah of Iraqis soldiers rampaging through hospitals and “taking babies out of incubators and leaving them on the cold floors” captured the heart of the nation once it was repeated by an endless number of elected officials (a longer summary can be found within Toxic Sludge is Good for You).
The problem was that none of it ever happened, and this was not known until a few journalists decided to investigate long after the war ended. Nayirah it turned out was the daughter of Kuwaiti ambassador and had been coached for the testimony by a Public Relations firm.
The war ended in a flash as Saddam and Iraq was in no position to fight the US forces (we massacred the Iraq army). However, the war is remembered because of the consequences we were left with. In addition to an unfinished war Bush’s son dragged us into after Clinton bombed and starved the country, biomedical profiteering was in full swing. Many of the soldiers who served in the Gulf War were forced to receive a variety of experimental pharmaceuticals (and had numerous environmental toxin exposures), and after the war developed a permanently debilitating condition known as Gulf War Syndrome (which overlaps with numerous aspects of COVID vaccine injuries).
There were many potential causes of this syndrome (for example I had a patient who lived in Kuwait at the time and got quite ill from breathing in the oil wells as they were being burned). Many of the experimental drugs given to soldiers have been suggested by researchers as culprits, but I and many others believe the best case can be made for the Anthrax vaccine. There were numerous problems with this vaccine (some of which have also occurred with the COVID-19 vaccines) and as detailed in my previous article, the anthrax vaccine was produced by the same corporation contracted by J&J to produce their COVID vaccine.
In each generation, public relation campaigns are produced which is taken seriously by that generation but viewed as absurd by the next generation and mocked in each history textbook. Going with my previous remarks about history, it has always made me sad so few people fail to see their current propaganda won’t be viewed that way in the future.
The original business plan of the American Medical Association was to use their brand to promote corporate sponsors. Dozens of similar advertisements can be found.
While many of you have been appalled by the way many aspects of COVID have been handled especially by the general public, it must be recognized that many generations end up becoming gripped by a mass hysteria. Some are very sad like the Salem Witch Trials where many innocent women were burned to death for arbitrary superstitious reasons. Others are comical, such as Tulip Mania where tulip flowers ballooned in price to the point people sold their houses for flowers. The mass psychosis from COVID and a fanatical obsession with numerous pointless and harmful rituals has overtaken many in our society many times before.
In war this hysteria or mass psychosis worsens and propaganda is crafted to steer it towards supporting the war effort (or profiteering). One of the best examples occurred at the start of George W. Bush’s Iraq war. Members of the Bush administration after fact stated that Bush made it clear from day 1 he wanted to invade Iraq. However, there was no justification for the invasion of Iraq, so two reasons were fabricated. Non-existent weapons of mass destruction, and Saddam Hussein’s alleged involvement in 9/11. The conventional media, as designed, marched in lockstep to amplify these messages until enough of the public believed them.
In order to sell the war to the world, Bush sought to create a coalition of the willing so it would not look like the US was choosing to violate international law. However, a problem emerged. France was unwilling to cooperate because they could not bring themselves to go along with such an unjustified and costly military action.
In response, a propaganda campaign took off to disparage the French and at the time. I can remember hearing years of the French being mocked for being childish cowards (many people would snicker about this) who could never win wars and should be on their hands and knees in gratitude to the United States for saving them during World War 2.
In 2003, a partisan republican who ran a fast-food restaurant in North Carolina had the epiphany to stop calling his fries French fries and rename them Freedom Fries, likely not remembering in WW1 following anti-German sentiment sauerkraut was briefly renamed liberty cabbage. A month later, the Republican Chairman of the Committee on House Administration (who for some reason is given complete control over the menu in congress’s cafeteria) and another Republican on the committee decided to change the three congressional cafe’s menu to say Freedom Fries (and say Freedom Toast), bringing the meme to national attention.
As best as I remember, most of the Democrats I knew at the time thought it was the stupidest thing imaginable, while most of the Republicans I knew were all for it. However as time moved on, the Iraq war lost popular support as it became clear it was a mistake, and support for Freedom Fries waned (in 2005 66% of the population did not support it). In 2006 when the Republican chair of the committee resigned after a scandal, his replacement silently reversed the change and French fries reclaimed their place on the menu. When interviewed later about their decision to mandate Freedom Fries, the other responsible congressional Republican said: “I wish it had never happened.” I suspect many of the politicians who zealously supported the COVID hysteria will say something similar in the near future.
Mass hysterias can also form against certain segments of society. While there were compelling arguments for these hysterias at the time (mass internment of the Japanese during world war 2 to fight “saboteurs,” McCarthyism to fight “communism”) they tended to be looked on with disgust in the future. This past precedent often leads me to wonder how the current hysteria against parts of the Repubican party to fight “Fascism” and the hatred against “anti-vaxxers” to fight COVID will be looked at in the future.
I feel one of the major mistakes the “anti-racism” movement has made throughout my lifetime is that you fundamentally cannot “hate hate” so if tolerance is taught by directing hatred only towards specific “approved groups” (rather than learning acceptance of groups who differ from you) that only breeds more hatred. Many people who have survived genocides like the ones I mentioned above have highlighted state sponsored hatred towards specific vulnerable groups always precedes fascist authoritarianism and the best antidote to fascism taking root in a society is prioritize tolerating a wide range of viewpoints and cultural identities.
While it contains many flaws, when looked at historically the Judeochristian value system has been one of the strongest forces for positive change in the world. This is because basic aspects of morality and creating positive impacts in the world around you are interwoven into each of these faiths.
Culturally, religiously and ethnically, the United States and Russia are two of the most similar countries in the world, and for ages, many have felt these two nations were destined to come together as allies to positively reshape the world. Yet, over and over and over, outside forces have tried to bring these countries and their people at each other’s throats, something clearly evident in our current era.
As I hope I have made clear, I am deeply opposed to all war. I believe what Russia is doing to Ukraine is horrific, but it is also important to recognize the situation is anything but black and white. Russia has numerous compelling reasons to invade Ukraine, and to a large extent, US actions in Ukraine under Obama and Biden forced an avoidable situation to happen.
Nonetheless, once the invasion of Ukraine began, a wide range of absurd war propaganda emerged, which Glen Greenwald produced an excellent article documenting. However, for the first time in my life, it seemed much of the public recognized as false or photoshopped. In the recent past, after getting COVID Joe Rogan took the “forbidden drug” Ivermectin (and others). After recovering and posting a video of it, the media responded by photoshopping his recovery video to make him appear ill.
This was also recognized by much of the public as a scam, once again arguing we are entering the era of propaganda no longer working, meaning the current world order is headed for a massive shift no one can predict which could be very positive (this is why I am writing this substack).
At the same time the war propaganda emerged, a mass hysteria formed against Russians and before long it appeared COVID was getting sidelined and Freedom Fries had come back on the menu. Initially it was ridiculous things like banning the sale of and dumping all Russian Vodka or this:
Overtime it has grown to a general hate and discrimination directed towards all Russians around the world with real consequences for each of them (remember many do not support the war or Putin). I can’t help but notice this bears a resemblance to the start of many of the more horrendous actions the United States and European nations have committed against a domestic “enemy” in the past.
One of the lesser appreciated aspects of the COVID-19 response were the billions that were earmarked in the pandemic legislation for the promotion of vaccination. Knowing the structures that were already in place and the government’s frequent use of the PR industry, it was very easy to see where this would go. The significant growth of the PR industry from 2020 to 2021 (10% or 9 billion dollars) was likely partly due to government investments in promoting COVID vaccination. This is especially concerning because once industries expand like that, they typically resist shrinking back to their original size, and will find ways to maintain their increased market presence.
I mention this as stories have recently begun emerging that in addition to the liberal mainstream platforms taking COVID money, traditionally conservative outlets such as Newsmax and Fox also took large amounts of funding in return from refraining from criticism of the vaccines. I will note that during the mass media campaign prior to their rollout, Tucker Carlson did do a segment highlighting something fishy with the PR was occurring, and a few other Fox news anchors have also been willing to criticize the current vaccine program.
Throughout the COVID vaccine rollout, I’ve repeatedly seen obscene pieces of propaganda posted. While I did not save most of them (feel free to contribute some), I kept enough to make the point.
Overall, I felt this is one of the most likely to go down in the history books.
Another favorite, this attempt by Colorado’s Department of Health to counter vaccine hesitancy reminded many of us of a cult favorite movie, Idiocracy:
This is Chicago’s Mayor
The public relations industry is alive and well (ironically, one of the people who was severely injured in my previous piece was hired to help create the initial PR push to vaccinate the nation and still greatly believes in what they were doing). Since the start of their website, I’ve made it an almost daily hobby to compare the exact composition of CNN’s front page to events occurring at the time (as disclosed on alternative media) and tracking what actually happened later on. In the same way much of effective medicine is recognizing subtle clinical changes from an established baseline, honing this skill through CNN’s website has proved invaluable in help me navigate life.
One of the major red flags to me with the vaccines was the degree to which the aggressive PR campaigns pulled out every possible stop to promote the vaccines (I had never seen anything similar before). Every single marketing approach I knew of that had been trialed in the past was fully mobilized to push the vaccines along. Glowing coverage in the press heralded their arrival, and our heroes the health care workers were put first in line to receive the vaccine (this was done solely to sell it to the public, as the population that actually had the greatest need for a vaccine were the elderly). Even the sleaziest ones imaginable were fully mobilized to push the vaccines along (for example news articles and academic journals on how to deal with your vaccine envy). By the time the vaccine lotteries came, I knew mandates were around the corner.
These two predatory vaccine promotions above for example highlight the collusion between vast swaths of previously “trusted” media and the vaccination campaign.
No area was off limit for this campaign, and before long numerous social norms were attacked to feed this fanatical campaign.
Numerous online dating platforms in turn provided incentives for vaccination.
As I watched the full throttle promotion of vaccination, I soon noticed it wasn’t just in the United States. It was being done everywhere, which meant the next stage of the vaccination campaign would also be done in lockstep by every branch of government (governments spend billions on PR and PR often precedes already planned government policy).
By this point in time, I was absolutely certain there would be significant side effects from the vaccinations that in the broader social context had the potential to permanently break the trust in the medical industry. This was a trust trillions had been invested in creating over the last century.
This then raised the ominous question, what could possibly be worth that? Certainly not the much smaller amount of money that was to be made from selling these vaccinations. My initial hypothesis was either that opening mRNA market was so valuable it justified doing this (it was clear from the start mRNA vaccination options were prioritized), or something much more world changing and hard to even imagine was being planned. Keep in mind there were many easily correctable design flaws in the vaccines that many predicted would cause significant problems downstream.
Trust Us We’re Experts and Toxic Sludge is Good for You do an excellent job at breaking down the parent of our current PR industry. The reason I was able to recognize both that a PR campaign was occurring and how remarkably aggressive it was, came from me having learned the common aspects of PR campaigns from this book and had become able to immediately recognized campaigns when they emerged. Some of the key characteristics include:
Emotionally influencing phrases that can accomplish a stated goal are drawn up by a team of consultants. These messages are then tested on focus groups to see which has the greatest emotional sway for creating the desired message. A surprisingly large portion of the language you hear nowadays was the result of it this manufacturing process. This is particularly obnoxious when you hear politicians give speeches that are largely pre-tested messages.
Toxic Sludge Is Good for You came about because the authors discovered sewage was being repurposed as fertilizer (there are a lot of health risks for this, which is still happening) and renamed “Biosolids” after the PR industry sponsored a contest to choose an optimal name. They began to get an inkling over the scale of the industry after they were contacted by a PR firm with concerns of the effects the author’s decision to refer to it as toxic sludge could cause.
Repeating those Key Messages:
As our media, like many other areas in our society has been set up as a pyramidal hierarchy (a very small number of companies own all conventional media within the United States), it is very easy to control media messages on a large number of stations.
Once the phrases have been decided upon, the message is blasted through as many media channels as possible and then repeated by as many public figures as possible (for example “build back better”). This is why you commonly see news anchors on completely unrelated news station repeat the exact odd phrases:
While this frequently happens, one of the most interesting examples of this phenomena occurred during Trump’s initial campaign where the term “Fake News” was concocted by a PR firm to torpedo Trump’s candidacy. It was then gradually seeded until the term was pervasive in the society. At that point, Trump suddenly began relentlessly calling CNN fake news each time he was given a window to do so. The end result was that the term was abandoned and replaced with the label “misinformation” or “dangerous misinformation” which has since become pervasive in the current media and culture.
While Fake News failed, typically these campaigns are successful, and the targeted message flows into the collective consciousness of the society (this is a large part of why many cultural beliefs we have arise from PR campaigns). That said, I do feel much of the language sculpted by the industry is falling on deaf ears now, which once again argues we are moving towards the end of legacy media propaganda.
Canned News Releases:
This approach (which was also mentioned in Malone’s summary of advocacy journalism) has existed for a long time. Producing news content (especially of decent quality) is costly and time consuming. PR firms will frequently produce professional looking news content (to promote their client’s message or product) and provide it to local news stations, who in turn air it to save money. It’s sad, but this comprises a lot of the local news you see.
A similar issue exists in science, termed ghost writing, where Pharmaceutical companies will hire writers to produce news articles and scientific publications which they then pay “industry friendly” experts (ie. well-credentialed doctors) to sign authorship of. This results in the necessary messages or “science” to become widely distributed for industry. Every now and then, an expert gets busted, but in general this practice is very common and nothing has abated it.
In reference to the pyramid approach discussed earlier a strong focus has been placed upon creating the mythology of experts (never debate facts when you can defer to the opinion of a corrupt “expert”). Similarly much effort has been placed on deeming sources (that can be bought out) to be credible, be it academic institutions, scientific journals, the peer-review process or news agencies. In a speech 15 years ago, John Pilger described how “professional journalism” was constructed a century ago to support this paradigm and has spread severely harmful fake news ever since.
Coined in 1986, Greenwashing was used to describe how egregious polluters would create a token environmental initiative (many horrific polluters do this today with token initiatives to combat climate change) to distract the general public from the great harm they were doing to the environment. The sad thing is that it is remarkably effective, and many vile corporations and authoritarian governments over the years have realized it is much cheaper to pay a PR firm to create a positive image for the company than it is to correct whatever egregious practice is creating their negative image.
A more recent phenomena I have come across I’ve named “social justice washing.” Here, groups that regularly commit egregious abuses of vulnerable communities (such as Nike’s third world sweat shops or Apple’s equally questionable oversees manufacturing practices) organize PR campaigns (which are nothing more than token initiatives) that successfully create the impression these are socially responsible companies dedicated to fighting for social justice.
Third Party Endorsements:
Another major discovery of Bernays was that while the public would never listen to someone with a clear conflict of interest discuss a topic, they would listen to a respectable sounding group that seemed unbiased. As a result, in addition to compromised experts, large numbers of foundations are created by corporate interests with names suggesting they fight the effects of the corporation rather than support it. As there are so many of these groups, it’s beyond the length of this article to read them. However, in general, any time an organization gives a statement on a controversial issue, it is always important to see who sponsors them because that is normally the primary determinant of what they will say.
The pharmaceutical industry has taken particular advantage of the third party approach. One common approach, “disease branding” involves the creation of new diseases (from something people previously did not care about) to sell treatments for that disease. When I grew up, our American history textbook cited the creation of Halitosis (approximately a century ago) as a classic example of disease branding.
In modern times, this has occurred in many areas, but it has been particularly insidious within the psychiatric field. Here, a large range of normal emotional experiences that respond to basic counseling have been reclassified as significant diseases requiring lifelong management with harmful pharmaceutical drugs. John Virapen, for example, was a pharmaceutical executive for Eli Lilly (which George W. Bush coincidently was a board member of). Virapen was largely responsible for getting SSRI’s like Prozac onto the market. In his memoir, he detailed the disgusting set of circumstances that led to the widespread adoption of these harmful and ineffective medications and the guilt he felt over his complicity in this.
The anti-depressant push began once it was realized how large a market could be created by pathologizing depression and using their drug Prozac, originally intended for weight loss, to treat depression. As the initial drug, Prozac was unsafe and didn’t work, a lot of shenanigans had to be pulled, such as bribing government experts and blackmailing physicians by taking pictures of them with sex workers Virapen had paid for. Of note, Viagra (and related medications) are amongst the most effective heart disease treatments that have been developed, but once it was realized a much larger market existed if they were used for treating erectile dysfunction, their originally intended use was scrapped.
A large part of disease branding involves creating industry funded third party advocacy groups who seek to “bring awareness to a disease” and then lobby for their sponsor’s pharmaceutical treatment of the disease. One thing that’s really sad is how common and corrupt this process is.
One of the more comical examples involves the breast cancer group everyone has heard of and possibly supported, Komen for the Cure. On one hand they have made numerous infamous PR partnerships (pink drills for “Fracking for the Cure” despite the fact fracking put carcinogens into drinking water, and Pink “Buckets for the Cure” after KFC has a PR nightmare following investigative journalism exposing the conditions of their chickens). On the other hand, despite taking in a lot of money, I don’t feel Komen has really done anything to help reduce breast cancer or improve the experience of breast cancer survivors. One of the biggest issues with Komen is that they have sued numerous other cancer charities that were doing good work to improve cancer, presumably so that Komen could maintain their monopoly on never finding a cure.
Typically however, patient groups are established in a fairly consistent manner and all take industry money to promote the pharmaceutical business model of the disease. As noted in my previous article, challenging migraines appear to be one of the most common side effects of the COVID vaccines. At some point I decided to read the migraine reddit to see what that community’s opinions were and saw a post placed at the top by the moderators saying they were thankful trustable experts had finally weighed in on the situation and could provide a clear answer.
I clicked that link and noted that without evidence, the trusted American Migraine Foundation had claimed:
-It was critically important to receive the COVID vaccine.
-There was no evidence the vaccine caused or exacerbated migraines
-If it did cause migraines, they could easily be managed with medications.
-There were no interactions between the vaccine and any migraine treatment
-COVID would cause migraines
and, once again, in case you missed it:
-It was critically important to receive the COVID vaccine.
I then double checked, and the organization, was as expected, entirely founded by pharmaceutical companies (most of whom manufacture expensive migraine medications).
So hopefully that all provides some context to the ridiculous situation the Public Relations apparatus has created for us and how we can move forward. My greatest hopes moving forward are that we are moving towards an era where the end of social control through propaganda is near, and that the vaccine saga which started with the egregious abuses of the smallpox vaccine can finally come to an end and we can move to a brighter future. I sincerely thank all of you for your help in helping me to spread this message.
Thank you for reading The Forgotten Side of Medicine! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.