Volume 79, no. 5 May 2023
With enormous numbers of pixels, one can create images that look indistinguishable from reality. Virtual reality is now pervasive in entertainment. In Neal Stephenson’s 1992 science-fiction novel Snow Crash, the virtual entertainment was so immersive that people could essentially live within it. He named it the metaverse.
Dystopias often share a common feature, writes Megan Garber in The Atlantic. “Amusement, in their skewed worlds, becomes a means of captivity rather than escape” (tinyurl.com/4ukde37a).
The metaverse has leaped into our lives. Microsoft, Alibaba, and ByteDance have all made significant investments in virtual and augmented reality. The biggest bet was made by Mark Zuckerberg, who rebranded Facebook as Meta, with a new logo, a redesigned infinity symbol. Meta’s aim is to engineer a kind of endlessness. Why have mere users when you can have residents (ibid.)?
And what does virtual reality do to human beings and society?
The ‘Rules-Based International Order’
Virtual reality and artificial intelligence (AI) are based on algorithms (rules) and data. In 2013, David Brooks propounded the theory of Dataism. Data is held to be a transparent, reliable lens allowing us to filter our emotionalism and ideology. And everything that can be measured should be measured.
Hi-tech gurus and Silicon Valley prophets are creating a new universal narrative that legitimatizes the authority of algorithms and Big Data, writes World Economic Forum (WEF) advisor Yuval Noah Harari. In extreme form, proponents of Dataism perceive the entire universe as data flows and organisms as biochemical algorithms. Humanity’s cosmic vocation is to create an all-encompassing data-processing system—then merge into it. Dataists believe in the “invisible hand of the dataflow.”
Dataism has replaced humanism and has already empowered Big Brother. In his book The Evil Twins, Patrick Wood writes: “Dataism is already the organic expression of the twin evils of technocracy and transhumanism and may soon be acknowledged as the all-encompassing one-world religion.”
The technocratic elite is now boldly asserting itself and trying to micromanage everything on earth. The key to control of industry and agriculture is measuring carbon dioxide emissions.
Destroying the Center
Wood explains that the order of society rests on a three-legged stool: the political, economic, and moral order—all of which are under attack. Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984) wrote that abandoning the Christian consensus will create a vacuum to be filled by “an authoritarian technocratic elite that enforces an external form of constraint to control human and societal behavior.”
C.S. Lewis, Wood writes, called the moral structure of society the Tao—not the same concept as in Eastern religion. This system of natural law or traditional morality “is the sole source of all value judgments,” and “if it is rejected, all value is rejected.” He stated that “the rebellion of new ideologies against the Tao is the rebellion of the branch against the tree.”
In his address at the Heritage Foundation’s 50th anniversary celebration (https://tinyurl.com/mr27dnc2), Tucker Carlson also channeled C.S. Lewis. The objective, immutable principles of the Tao form the basis of both Western and Eastern morality. The war against the Tao is the war of evil against good. Good is characterized by order, calmness, peace, and cleanliness; evil by disorder, chaos, violence, and filth, Tucker said.
Without objective good or objective evil, Lewis posited a need for a cabal of “conditioners,” who manipulate education and national sentiment to produce a new generation willing to work for arbitrary goals benefitting or corresponding to the ideals of the conditioners rather than the ideals of the Tao.
Lewis said of the conditioners: “It is not that they are bad men. They are not men at all. Stepping outside the Tao, they have stepped into the void. Nor are their subjects necessarily unhappy men. They are not men at all: they are artefacts. Man’s final conquest has proved to be the abolition of Man.”
Barriers to Transhumanism
The U.S. Constitution would be an insuperable barrier, and that is being attacked and eroded within the U.S. Beyond that, national sovereignty itself is under attack by globalists.
“We are all under attack,” said Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán at the opening of the CPAC Hungary on Apr 5, 2023, by a “nation-devouring virus” bred in progressive liberal laboratories. “Migration, gender, and woke: these are all just variants—variants of the same virus” (tinyurl.com/5n8hvsc5).
Will AI triumph? In 2014, a Hong Kong venture capital firm appointed an investment algorithm called VITAL to its board. Like the five human board members, it gets a vote. The U.S. law firm BakerHostetler hired an AI attorney, IBM Watson’s “Ross,” to handle its bankruptcy cases (https://tinyurl.com/3ywcrchu).
But for all his apparent algorithmic fundamentalism, Harari is scathing about the inability of science to explain “how a congeries of biochemical reactions and electrical currents in the brain creates the subjective experience of pain, anger or love” (ibid.).
Controllers seem determined to obliterate love, writes Toby Roberts, “but control can never fill the receptors in our soul that are seeking love” (tinyurl.com/32yamxe2).
Take heart. The “Reconquista” has begun, said Orbán.
Magic vs. Applied Science
The serious magical endeavor and the serious scientific endeavor are twins: one was sickly and died, the other strong and throve. But they were twins,…born of the same impulse.… There is something which unites magic and applied science while separating both from the “wisdom” of earlier ages. For the wise men of old the cardinal problem had been how to conform the soul to reality, and the solution had been knowledge, self-discipline, and virtue. For magic and applied science alike the problem is how to subdue reality to the wishes of men: the solution is a technique; and both, in the practice of this technique, are ready to do things hitherto regarded as disgusting and impious —such as digging up and mutilating the dead.… The true object is to extend Man’s power to the performance of all things possible.
C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man, 1943
‘Top Surgery’ on the Rise
Between 2016 and 2019, the number of chest reconstruction surgeries increased 143% (27.3 to 66.4/100,000 encounters, P < 0.001), according to a study employing the Nationwide Ambulatory Surgery Sample (https://tinyurl.com/4upxptm2). Authors identified patients with an ICD-10 code of gender dysphoria. Most (82%) were masculinizing (mastectomy), and 28% feminizing (augmentation mammaplasty). Median total charges were about $30,000. In contrast to other forms of cosmetic surgery, which are almost always self-funded, only 5.5% of “gender-affirming top surgery” is self-pay. Almost 60% is covered by private insurance and 31% by public insurance. Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act increased access to such surgery. “Repeal of payment for gender-affirming surgeries would be expected to markedly reduce this disfiguring and unnecessary cost,” writes Peter McCullough, M.D. (tinyurl.com/5e96975e).
How Many Lives Were Saved by COVID Vaccine?
Politicians and public health officials glibly claim that COVID-19 vaccines saved “millions” of lives. An article in The Lancet estimated 14.4 million saved globally in 2021 (https://tinyurl.com/3b34yvvc). This is impossible. The article assumed that vaccines prevent both infection and transmission. Adverse vaccine events were disregarded. Funding sources included the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Gavi, and WHO. An earlier Lancet article estimated that COVID-19 caused 18.1 million excess deaths in 2020-2021 (tinyurl.com/2f5zwfye).
An analysis posted on the PANDAuncut Substack observes that for 32.4 million (14.4+18 million) to have died of COVID in the absence of vaccines, 8 billion persons would have needed to be infected, with an average IFR (infection fatality rate) at least 0.41%. But WHO estimated the IFR to be at most 0.23%. The PANDA analysis, based on many assumptions favoring the vaccine, estimates an upper limit of 73,384 COVID deaths prevented by the vaccines (https://tinyurl.com/29tmejyf).
“If you shut the truth up and bury it under the ground, it will but grow, and gather to itself such explosive power that the day it bursts through it will blow up everything in its way.”
Emile Zola (1840-1902)
AAPS Statement Calling for Moratorium on COVID-19 Shot Mandates and Genetic Injections
1. COVID 19 injections are under Emergency Use Authorization and must be considered experimental. Informed consent is a bedrock principle of medical ethics, yet millions of people have taken COVID-19 injections under duress.
2. The long-term effects of the novel mRNA or DNA technology and the lipid nanoparticles involved in their administration—including carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, autoimmune phenomena, and impairment of fertility—cannot possibly be known.
3. There are numerous safety signals, including excess sudden deaths, that would in the past have prompted immediate withdrawal of vaccines or drugs from the market.
4. The expected intensive, sophisticated investigations of reported adverse effects associated with COVID-19 vaccination, including myocarditis, pericarditis, paralysis, thromboembolism, menstrual abnormalities, and unusual cancers, have not been undertaken.
5. COVID-19 genetic injections have not been shown in randomized, controlled trials to be effective in preventing infection, transmission, hospitalization or death.
6. In children who have virtually zero likelihood of death from COVID, there is no evidence of benefit exceeding risks for these products.
7. Regulatory agencies are corrupted by conflicts of interest, lack of transparency, and lack of accountability.
8. Vaccine-injured patients have little if any expectation of compensation, and manufacturers are shielded from liability. This liability protection must be ended.
9. All mandates, including requirements for school attendance or work, should immediately be withdrawn.
10. COVID-19 genetic injections should be withdrawn from the market.
Leftist Push-Pull Strategy
The WHO has somewhat unexpectedly ended the COVID “emergency,” as has the Biden regime, though some masking and vaccine mandates remain. Many opponents have, however, had their careers destroyed permanently. We have seen such strategic retreats on other Current Things (e.g., “Islamophobia,” the George Floyd/Black Lives Matter cult, Defund the Police). LGBT/Transgenderism may be peaking—according to a Washington Post article “only” 30–40% support it (https://tinyurl.com/27tbexuw). The retreat resembles the Russian military strategy that is being used very effectively in Ukraine. Expect a new issue to trigger a Left-Right clash.
Jun 9. Pennsylvania Chapter. https://aaps.pub/pajune9.
Jul 15. Missouri Chapter. https://aaps.pub/mojuly15.
Oct 26-28. 80th Annual Meeting, Fort Worth, TX. https://aapsonline.org/2023am
ACTION OF THE MONTH
FDA Should Not Dictate Medical Policy, AAPS Educational Foundation States in Amicus Brief
The Biden Administration is implementing new rules to preserve access to medical abortions, write Rebecca Reingold, J.D., and Lawrence Gostin, J.D. (JAMA 3/21/23). These include allowing retail pharmacies to dispense mifepristone to third parties, and new widespread distribution by mail.
There are two conflicting court decisions in cases brought to challenge FDA’s 2000 approval of mifepristone. The AAPS Educational Foundation has filed an amicus brief in the high-profile case already before the Fifth Circuit on an expedited schedule, Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA (tinyurl.com/2c3uw2ru).
The decision being appealed was by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas Amarillo Division against the FDA, which is being decried by FDA supporters as the first-ever instance of a court reversing FDA approval of a drug.
“This first step is long overdue,” writes Andrew Schlafly in the brief. “Increased judicial scrutiny of the FDA is necessary as the Biden Administration unconstitutionally misuses federal agencies to transform our culture. Based on political pressure rather than good medicine, the FDA could next approve new transgender medications for minors, potentially inflicting life-long injuries.” He adds, “The FDA has a history of approving medications for which it took far too long to reverse itself, and judicial review is an appropriate check on FDA malfeasance.”
The approval of the drug, based on FDA’s false declaration that pregnancy is a “serious or life-threatening illness,” was illegal.
The unilateral promotion of mifepristone by the Biden Administration effectively overrides the will of the people in about half the states. “A handful of unelected bureaucrats at this partisan federal subagency should not be dictating abortion policy for our entire nation.” Such “major questions” must be decided by Congress and state legislatures.
The “major questions” label was newly adopted by the U.S. Supreme Court in West Virginia v. EPA; however, the underlying principles are not new. The issue is the recurring problem of “agencies asserting highly consequential power beyond what Congress could reasonably be understood to have granted.”
Another pending case, Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, concerning a financial burden imposed on fishermen without clear authority by Congress, might overturn a 40-year-old precedent, known as the Chevron doctrine, that says courts should defer to agencies’ reasonable interpretations of ambiguous statutes.
“In 2020 alone the pharmaceutical industry spent a breathtaking $317 million on lobbying activities, utilizing 1,634 lobbyists of whom more than two-thirds were former government employees,” Schlafly points out in the brief. Amid all that lobbying, some judicial scrutiny of FDA decisions is overdue.
Tip of the Month: Mask mandate tyranny is ending for some, but not for others. In Massachusetts, the COVID public health emergency did not end until May 11 at 11:59 p.m. Perhaps the delay in lifting this emergency declaration was due to a desire to continue the mask mandates, which have continued at two prominent Boston hospitals until May 12. Freedom now at last? Not for those who obtained a medical or religious exemption from vaccination at those hospitals. They must continue to wear masks like the scarlet letter required of adulterers in Puritan New England.
EUAs Still in Effect
Although the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) officially ended on May 11, the emergency use authorization for vaccines (EUA) is still in effect: There is still a “significant potential” for a PHE. If an FDA section 564 declaration is withdrawn, advance notice will permit transition of a product toward approval or withdrawal (NEJM 3/30/23).
The end of the PHE also results in changes in testing, insurance coverage, and reporting. Flexible rules for telehealth will be extended until November (USA Today, tinyurl.com/prkvu839).
For official updates, see CDC website (tinyurl.com/bdh3zjfz).
ChatGPT Terms of Service
ChatGPT can not only write a term paper or help with your research—it can answer patients’ questions and get better marks than a human physician for both content and empathy. AI is so good that IBM is freezing hiring for roles that AI might replace. Legal liability for physicians who use it is probably the same as with other information resources, but using AI to replace human judgment might subject the physician to liability. FDA might make software developers liable for false medical claims; this is uncharted legal territory (JAMA 4/25/23).
What if ChatGPT produces and you distribute defamatory statements about a person, and the person sues? If you are using ChatGPT, you need to read the terms and conditions. Attorney Steve Lehto explains (tinyurl.com/2p9xhdm3) the indemnification clause, which could be very oppressive. You agree to defend, indemnify, and hold ChatGPT/Open AI (openai.com) harmless in the event that it is sued as a result of something “arising from or relating to” your use of the services. They specifically disclaim an obligation to assure the accuracy of the information they provide. You could be obligated to pay their attorney fees, even if a frivolous case is dismissed.
Class-Action Vaccine-Injury Suit Filed
At least 500 Australians have joined the world’s first class-action lawsuit seeding redress for injuries or bereavement allegedly resulting from COVID-19 vaccines.
The suit accuses the Australian government, the country’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and Department of Health and Aged Care, and a number of senior public servants of negligence related to the approval and monitoring of COVID-19 vaccines, breach of statutory duty, and misfeasance in public office. The suit alleges the government “acted negligently in approving the vaccines and also by failing to withdraw them” based upon the “known evidence” of risk. Plaintiffs complain that persons claiming to have been injured by COVID-19 vaccines have been “ignored, denied, belittled and marginalized” (https://tinyurl.com/ymwjdxdv).
Billionaires Seek Immortality
Billionaire Peter Thiel plans to be cryogenically frozen when near death. Some have already had their bodies frozen by Alcor at -321°F in the hope of being revived when a cure for the cause of their death has been found (https://tinyurl.com/8zxrjz4h).
We Have Heard This Before. Gov. Kathy Hochul says: “If you like your gas stove, you can keep your gas stove.” (As with Obamacare and your doctor.) New York has become the first state to impose a ban on gas stoves, furnaces, and propane heating in new construction. It gets brutally cold in the winters here, and massive snowstorms often knock out the electric power, frequently for days. Some people have natural gas generators to keep from freezing to death. (Without electricity, thermostats don’t function.) The electric grid is fragile. Under the substantial increase in load caused by this woke policy, rolling blackouts would become the norm. Recall that natural gas used to be called the “clean burning alternative.”
Lawrence R. Huntoon, M.D., Ph.D., Lake View, NY
Can AI Do Evil? When I was in law school in the late 1970s, I had a great concept for scholars and people who needed to find solutions to problems: Use the speed and comprehensiveness of a digital access library to search for anything that’s been archived and ranked by authority. The software people I consulted were not interested. Now Google search is part of our lives. Of course, people can do evil with new technology. AI is essential to the surveillance and disinformation and psy-ops projects of evil people. For any political disagreement or scientific uncertainty, AI will sort it out depending on available information and a decision about which information is correct, based on a protocol set by an authority—which will have the same biases as the programmer.
John Dale Dunn, M.D., J.D., Brownwood, TX
The Censorship-Industrial Complex (CIC). In a 2017 hearing on hybrid warfare before the House Committee on Armed Services (tinyurl.com/453zcf7t), Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) stated that Americans are used to thinking of a binary state of either war or peace. He suggested that our constitutional principles of decentralized power might put us at a disadvantage compared with countries like Russia, China, and Iran, which use a wider array of centrally directed instruments of power.
The Trump-Russia collusion investigation birthed a vast new public-private bureaucracy with an “information warfare” mission—the Military-Industrial complex reborn for the “hybrid warfare” age. The CIC suggests we rethink our concept of “rights” and submit to “toxicity monitoring.” Its Unified Field Theory of neoliberal narrative can be perpetually tweaked and amplified online via algorithm and machine learning. Racket News has compiled the “Top 50 Organizations to Know.”
Robert Malone, M.D., https://tinyurl.com/3t55f555
The Transgender Phenomenon. Abigail Schrier, author of Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters, explains how it happened. Social hysteria ensnares vulnerable youth and even populations. Social hysteria is fomented and mobilized by “causes” and political agendas.
Schrier notes the parallel between gender dysphoria and eating disorders. Eating disorders—being “physical”—are more palatable than mental disorders Yet most successful treatment involves psychotherapy designed to empower suffering patients to take charge and quell social media group-think. Shrier aptly recommends a “remedy” for social hysterias: critical thinking.
Normative psychiatric diagnosis is politically based. We physicians are taught very early to differentiate between physical versus mental. In 2023 this dichotomy serves our economic interests. The dichotomy is also applied by employers who arrange benefits, insurance companies, and government bureaucracies. Organized medicine embraces transgenderism and recommends physical interventions—hormones and surgery. What can we expect if AI determines the standard of care!
Lee Beecher, M.D., Maple Grove, MN
New DEA Requirement. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 requires all physicians to complete a one-time, eight-hour course on the treatment and management of patients with opioid or other substance use disorders before they can renew their DEA license. I found one that is free, benign, and fairly interesting: https://tinyurl.com/2wa7shhc.
Renée Kohanski, M.D., Somerset, NJ
Transhumanism Seducing the Young. Transhumanism is a religion that is in direct competition with Biblical Christianity. Both promise immortality and omniscience. Transhumanists seek “perpetual progress.” The term “progressivism” was first used in 1848 and became the container of all so-called “higher criticism” of the Bible and the launch pad of many political, philosophical, and religious movements. For a transhumanist, the ultimate achievement of immortality and beyond that, expansion of man into the universe, involves the interplay of man with machine, rather than unity with God. Transhumanism is a religion that will eventually assert itself over competing religions.
Patrick Wood, https://tinyurl.com/2bakp4bh
Transgender to Transhuman. It’s worse than you thought. Normalizing “body dissociation” via the promotion and enforcement of transgenderism is the means through which Western culture is being conditioned to accept transhumanism.
Doug Mainwaring, https://tinyurl.com/2p972krt