David Gorski on June 14, 2021
COVID-19 and antivaccine conspiracy theorists like Joe Mercola, Michael Yeadon, and Peter McCullough are spreading the conspiracy theory that COVID-19 vaccines are intended as a tool for “global depopulation”. This is nothing more than an old antivaccine conspiracy theory repurposed for the pandemic. As ridiculous as it might seem, it is nonetheless very appealing to antivaxxers.
As I’ve long been saying, when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, everything old is new again, at least with respect to the antivaccine movement. I listed a number of the tropes repurposed by antivaxxers for COVID-19 last week, including (but not limited to) misinformation claiming that COVID-19 vaccines are loaded with “toxins” (the lipid nanoparticles in the mRNA-based vaccines, given that they can’t contain aluminum, don’t you know?); blaming every death reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database on vaccines, when VAERS is not designed to determine causation and we would expect a large baseline number of deaths in the time periods covered by random chance alone; claiming that vaccines cause Alzheimer’s and prion disease; blaming the vaccines for cancer; resurrecting the favorite old trope of “shedding” from the vaccinated in the most risible manner possible; invoking evolution to predict the selection of more deadly coronavirus variants that could wipe out humanity; warning that the vaccines can “permanently alter your DNA“; and that they make females infertile, the topic of last week’s post.
Last week, I saw another such trope, one I’ve seen many times before, dating back at least to the H1N1 pandemic in 2009. It comes to us courtesy of über-quack Dr. Joe Mercola, “Was the Whole Pandemic About the Vaccine?” It even featured someone we’ve met before, Peter McCullough, who’s known for pushing a narrative of a COVID-19 “vaccine holocaust.” The central message, of course, is that the pandemic is all about getting people to accept the vaccine, with Mercola asking, “Could it be that the whole COVID-19 pandemic was about the vaccine and getting a global mass vaccination campaign underway for population control purposes?” After touting Dr. McCullough as “one of the most courageous well credentialed academic physicians out there” who, “despite his impeccable credentials, he has been vilified for stating during the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.” As you might recall, the main reason why Dr. McCullough has been “vilified” is because he’s been abusing his credentials to spread COVID-19 misinformation and conspiracy theories.
Conspiracy theories like this:
“All roads lead to the vaccine,” McCullough said in a recent interview (video above1,2), with stakeholders banking on countries mandating the vaccine worldwide. The first video above is a 16-minute outtake from a much longer interview, which is the second video.3
McCullough points out that a number of countries are already talking about making the as-yet unlicensed COVID-19 vaccine compulsory, meaning anyone and everyone can be forced to take it against their will. “That’s how bad stakeholders want vaccination,” McCullough says. “They do want a needle in every arm. But why?” That’s the million-dollar question right there.
Here’s the video, if you’re interested:
Does anyone remember Welcome Back, Kotter? (That’s how old I am.) I feel like going all Arnold Horshack right here:
That’s because I know the answer to McCullough’s question. Maybe—just maybe—”they” want to vaccinate everyone in order to bring about the end of a deadly pandemic that’s sickened 176 million and killed nearly 4 million worldwide, with 600,000 deaths in the US alone (which is likely an undercount). Just a random thought. After all, as long as the vaccination rate remains too low, there will be areas where the virus can spread again, causing localized outbreaks, in much the way measles showed up in areas of low MMR uptake pre-pandemic.
Of course, to people like Mercola and McCullough, it’s a conspiracy. Because of course it is.
Over the last several weeks, the pace of vaccination in the US has slowed, increasingly governments and private companies have been offering incentives for vaccination. It is, of course, not surprising that the pace of vaccination would start to slow down after a fast start. After all, those who most want to be vaccinated were the ones who sought out the vaccine, even when it was not yet widely available and getting vaccinated still took some effort. Now that the vaccine supply has caught up with (and surpassed) demand, the task has become more difficult, and it’s not just antivaccine misinformation that’s the cause. The people remaining to receive the vaccine include the young (who might not think they need it), those without easy access to the vaccine such as the poor and those who have difficulty taking time off from work to get vaccinated and feel that they can’t afford to be sidelined by side effects, and, yes, the vaccine hesitant.
As a result, some states and businesses are offering incentives, which Mercola, being Mercola, sees as a conspiracy:
Recent weeks have seen a significant rise in all sorts of vaccination incentives in the U.S., from free doughnuts, cake,4 french fries, hot dogs and pizza,5 to arcade tokens,6 10-cent beer,7 free state park season passes,8 free Uber and Lyft rides,9 free marijuana10 and Cincinnati Reds baseball tickets,11 a chance to win a full scholarship12 and even $1 million13 and $5 million14 giveaways.
Below is a more complete list of incentives, posted on vaccines.gov.15 As you might expect, the million-dollar lotteries have proven to be a resounding success, credited with enticing millions of people to get their shots.16
As noted by Ohio’s first “Vax-a-Million” lottery winner,” the chance of a windfall was too great to resist. “I kept hemming and hawing about it, and I work all the time, and when the Vax-a-Million thing started I immediately went down there and got it. It pushed me over the edge,” he told a local paper.17
To say the vaccine push has an air of desperation about it would be a profoundly serious understatement.
I will admit to some…uneasiness…about some of the incentive programs, such as the million-plus dollar lottery. That being said, it does appear that the incentives are working to some extent, as recently the vaccination rate has started to recover after cratering a month ago, and it looks as though incentives are here to stay, at least until the vaccination rate hits a high enough point to forestall large outbreaks and renewed surges.
Unsurprisingly, Mercola repeats the gambit invoking the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) database to claim that COVID-19 vaccines are deadly. I’ve already written about that particular deceptive ploy, most recently the last time I discussed McCullough, but also in January and in February. I even alluded to it as far back as December. So, uncharacteristically, I won’t go into that gambit (much) here, other than to mention that Mercola also trots out the lie that the vaccines are “experimental gene therapy“.
So what, according to Mercola and McCullough, is the real reason why authorities want high levels of vaccination against COVID-19? They want to “depopulate” the world. No, I’m not kidding:
Why is the vaccine pushed in this way? McCollough believes it’s a global goal to “mark” people, to get you into their vaccine database, which will eventually be turned into a tool for population control, courtesy of vaccine passports.
When we’re talking about population control, there are two distinct forms, and both may apply in this case. One form of population control is about controlling people through the ideology of utilitarianism, vaccine passports and a social credit system, all of which are tied together. Another form is actual depopulation.
Of course, this, too, is an old antivaccine conspiracy theory repurposed for COVID-19 vaccines. Indeed, I was writing about this nine years ago, at least, when antivaccine conspiracy theorist Jon Rappaport wrote essentially the same thing about the H1N1 vaccine, namely that it was a plot to depopulate the world. I’ll be referring back to Rappaport’s article after I look at Mercola and McCullough’s claims.
The “depopulation agendas”
Mercola argues that there is a “depopulation agenda” being promoted by—who else?—the global “elites.” Mercola first distinguishes between two forms of the “depopulation agenda.” The first is utilitarian and—of course!—includes Nazi comparisons:
Utilitarianism is based on a mathematical equation that some individuals can be sacrificed for the greater good of the majority. In other words, if some people are harmed by vaccines, it’s an acceptable loss because society as a whole may or will reap gains.
This discredited pseudo-ethic has repeatedly been used to justify horrific human rights abuses. The Third Reich, for example, employed the utilitarian rationale as an excuse to demonize and eliminate minorities judged to be a threat to the health, security and well-being of the State.35 Now, utilitarianism is being called upon yet again, under the false narrative that mankind as a whole is in peril unless everyone rolls the dice and gets vaccinated.
In the end, the idea is that vaccine refusers won’t be allowed to freely participate in society any longer. This is the disincentive or negative incentive, which is added on top of the positive incentives previously mentioned.
In particular, Mercola does not like so-called “vaccine passports”, which, I admit, is a term that I don’t like so much in that it refers not just to vaccination requirements to travel internationally but to all requirements for vaccination, including requirements that one show proof of COVID-19 vaccination before one can be hired for certain jobs, go to concerts, fly on an airplane, and more. There are legitimate concerns about “vaccine passports,” such as how they would impact minorities and the poor more because they have less access to the vaccine and how they would impact poor countries, where the vaccines are barely available yet.
That’s not what Mercola is about, however:
The point is, once you’re in this system, you’re under someone else’s control. If they say you have to get a booster shot, you have to comply — again and again — or risk losing basic human rights, such as the ability to buy and sell, travel or get an education.
Notably, Mercola doesn’t really explain how such “vaccine passport” systems result in “depopulation,” other than to engage in conspiracy mongering about how such a system might end up being like that of the Chinese government’s system, and China’s government is an authoritarian one. It’s the logical fallacy of the slippery slope argument, in which he invokes a “slippery slope” (without using the actual term), in which vaccine passports lead to something like the Chinese social credit system, in which people with low social credit scores “can’t travel on certain kinds of public transportation, can’t travel overseas, hold certain jobs, go to school or even get a loan.” How one leads to the other in democracies, Mercola doesn’t explain. That’s the point.
It’s also why he quickly pivots to an “active depopulation agenda”:
The other form of population control refers to actual depopulation. A primary problem the global elite have been trying to solve for a long time is that there are too many people consuming too much of the world’s perceived limited resources and polluting everything in the process. The answer, in their mind, is to reduce the global population.
While birth control and abortions are promoted to help with this, these strategies aren’t effective, or rapid, enough. They need a less fertile population and they need people to die sooner.
While many may not want to believe this could possibly be true, you have to remember that the intention is not to cause suffering per se. It’s a form of self-preservation, as their end goal is to concentrate all the world’s wealth into their own hands. Ultimately, that’s what the Great Reset is all about.
Mercola has invoked the “Great Reset” on several occasions. I’ve even mentioned these occasions a few times on this very blog, such as when he falsely claimed that COVID-19 is a “casedemic” created by overly-sensitive PCR tests for the virus producing many false positives, when he featured Michael Yeadon claiming that COVID-19 vaccines sterilize women, and when he falsely claimed that COVID-19 vaccines are “experimental gene therapy” that can “permanently alter your DNA“. Basically, the “Great Reset” is a conspiracy theory based on a poor choice of words by the World Economic Forum for a proposal that explored how countries might recover from the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The conspiracy theory posits, in brief, that COVID-19 pandemic is being used as a pretext whose purpose is to “usher in a tech-driven dystopia free of democratic controls” and create a “new ‘social contract’ that ties you to it through an electronic ID linked to your bank account and health records, and a ‘social credit’ ID that will dictate every facet of your life”. Regardless of the merits of or problems with the World Economics Forum’s proposal itself, “Great Reset” is a horrible name for it. It’s almost as though the World Economic Forum wanted to provide the perfect fodder for conspiracy theorists!
In any event, I’ve written about Michael Yeadon before. He appears to be one of the originators (if not the originator) of the lie that COVID-19 vaccines cause miscarriages and female infertility that has since mutated and metastasized in various forms. Apparently, Yeadon was at one time a fairly high-ranking manager for Pfizer, although I’ve never been able to get a clear picture of what his actual job at Pfizer was. Whatever it was, Yeadon has used his previous affiliation with Pfizer to produce clickbait headlines like “Head of Pfizer Research: Covid Vaccine is Female Sterilization“.
This time around, Yeadon is claiming that booster shots for COVID-19 will be our “death knell”:
Of all the lies we’ve been told over the past year, the ones that worry and frighten Yeadon the most are the lies about virus variants and booster shots. In fact, he believes not buying into these lies may be key to your very survival.
“When your government scientists tell you that a variant that’s 0.3% different from SARS-CoV-2 could masquerade as a new virus and be a threat to your health, you should know, and I’m telling you, they are lying,” Yeadon says.
“If they’re lying — and they are — why is the pharmaceutical industry making top-up [booster] vaccines? … There’s absolutely no possible justification for their manufacture. And the world’s medicines regulators have said, ‘Because they are quite similar to the original vaccines … we won’t be asking them to do any clinical safety studies’ …
There’s no possible benign interpretation of this. I believe they’re going to be used to damage your health and possibly kill you. Seriously. I can see no sensible interpretation other than a serious attempt at mass depopulation.
This will provide the tools to do it, and plausible deniability. They’ll create another story about some sort of biological threat and you’ll line up and get your top-up vaccines [booster shots], and a few months or a year or so later, you’ll die of some peculiar inexplicable syndrome. And they won’t be able to associate it with the vaccines …
Given that this virus represents, at worst, a slightly bigger risk to the old and ill than influenza, and a smaller risk [than influenza] to almost everyone else … we didn’t need to do anything. [We didn’t need] lockdowns, masks, mass testing, vaccines.
“I can see no sensible interpretation other than a serious attempt at mass depopulation”? Seriously? I’m half tempted to post another copy of that Horshack clip, because I can see a very sensible reason for boosters. Given how widely the virus has circulated, natural mutation has produced a number of variants of concern that are more transmissible and possibly more deadly. It is known that the antibodies stimulated by current vaccines do not neutralize some of these variants as well as they do the original SARS-CoV-2, although fortunately they still neutralize them well enough to produce strong immunity. For now. The concern, of course, is that eventually there will arise COVID-19 variants that can escape the immunity due to the vaccines, coupled with the concern that vaccine-induced immunity might wane to the point where “booster shots” will be required. Nothing nefarious there. As for that bit about the variants “only” being 0.3% different from the original? It makes me want to ask Yeadon, “Seriously? Where did you get your PhD? Do you not know that small changes in nucleic acid sequence can be all that is necessary to produce significant alterations in protein function?”
There is only one response to a statement that ignorant:
Naturally, Yeadon also thinks that the “suppression” of “cures” for COVID-19 is based on the desire to push vaccines in order to depopulate the world:
Like Yeadon, McCullough has raised serious questions about the need for a vaccine. Evidence clearly shows there are highly effective treatments,37,38 yet they’ve been near-universally suppressed in favor of these experimental shots. Why? If it’s about protecting public health and saving lives, why would effective treatments be vilified?
As noted by McCullough during a roundtable discussion in the first of several U.S.-based tribunals on COVID-19,39 something very unusual happened in 2020. For the first time, doctors around the world were actively discouraged and prevented from saving their patients. There was “an enormous, complete, pervasive, steadfast suppression of any attempts to help patients with COVID-19,” he said, adding:
“We seem to somehow have developed a uniform game plan … to passively allow as much suffering hospitalization and death as possible, create enormous amounts of fear in our society, and then be prepared for mass vaccination.”
Unsurprisingly, Mercola and Yeadon are referencing McCullough’s “treatment protocol” for COVID-19 that involves basically throwing everything but the kitchen sink at patients. His protocol includes one FDA-accepted drug, Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody cocktail that was issued an EUA, followed by vitamins (of course!), steroids (another drug that works) and—also of course!—hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, zinc, and azithromycin, none of which have been shown to work, and McCullough claims that he “could have saved 50-85% of the lives lost to COVID-19”.
So, to tie it all together, according to Mercola, citing cranks, COVID-19 vaccination is a depopulation program designed to reduce the world population both through causing the institution of authoritarian control of the population and by the vaccines themselves plus booster shots directly causing female infertility, death, and chronic health problems. Quite the conspiracy! And they’re doing this because they need to reduce fertility and cause people to die sooner, the better to reduce the global population and leave the resources for the global elite.
H1N1 vaccines and “global depopulation”
This brings me back to Jon Rappaport and his article from 2012, “Germ theory and depopulation“. Personally, as a scientist, I could never understand what anyone would get out of depopulating the world, and any sort of infectious agent seems to be a very blunt, unreliable, dangerous, and likely ineffective method to achieve such an end, but let’s go back in time and see what Rappaport claimed. He believed that the H1N1 pandemic from three years before had been a “complete dud.” Personally, I was very thankful that the pandemic didn’t turn out to be nearly as severe as had been feared, but even at its level of severity it did cause a fair amount of havoc. Be that as it may, Rappoport claimed he knew what was really going on:
Swine flu was a PROPAGANDA OPERATION, plain and simple, aimed at scaring populations and driving them to get vaccines. That was the op. And it failed. In fact, the op was exposed (by yours truly and others) as a sham and a con. Millions of people online caught on. It was a devastating defeat for WHO, the CDC, and the medical cartel.
According to Rappoport, the H1N1 pandemic was a big cover, but a cover for what? Here’s where the germ theory denialism came in. Basically, his thought process (if you can call it “thought”) went along these lines: Germs don’t cause disease; so vaccines are unnecessary. But if vaccines are unnecessary, what, then, was their purpose during H1N1? Rappoport was happy to answer:
Let’s go deeper. In general, so-called contagious diseases are caused, not by germs, but by IMMUNE SYSTEMS THAT ARE TOO WEAK TO FIGHT OFF THOSE GERMS.
When we put the cart and the horse in proper alignment, things become clear. I fully realize this isn’t as sexy as talking about bio-engineered gene sequences in viruses, but the cart and horse must be understood.
GERMS ARE A COVER STORY.
What do they cover up?
The fact that immune systems are the more basic target for depopulation and debilitation of populations.
The reason I’m quoting Rappaport is simple. I just want to emphasize how Mercola’s claims that COVID-19 vaccination programs are in actuality a mass depopulation program are nothing new, just old wine in the new skin of COVID-19. This idea goes way, way back. Indeed, you might be familiar with how antivaxxers invoke Bill Gates as having said that vaccines were for “depopulation”, based on his remarks years ago about how vaccines can contribute to healthier societies and healthier societies tend to have slower population growth. Long before COVID-19, antivaxxers used that statement as “evidence” that Gates somehow wanted to use vaccines to depopulate the world. Since COVID-19 hit, they’ve quite predictably tarted up the same conspiracy theory for the pandemic. They’ve even misinterpreted concerns about low vaccine uptake among minorities and the targeting of such populations for more intensive outreach to increase their vaccination rates as evidence that not only is the agenda depopulation, but it’s eugenicist, the depopulation of “those people.”
In fact, sometimes the antivax claim that vaccines are intended for a “global depopulation agenda” get incredibly ridiculous, which is why I will conclude with what is the most ludicrous example I’ve ever found. I first encountered it a year ago. Unsurprisingly, it comes from Mike Adams and dates back to before the pandemic. It even has aliens (because any conspiracy theory can be made better if you add aliens).
In Adams’ “vaccine holocaust”, vaccines will have long latency, such that the vaccinated will spread a “bioengineered virus” around to all their family, friends, and coworkers. (Sound familiar? “Shedding”, anyone?) Months later, he envisioned people dropping dead in the streets of the virus like a scene out of the early 1970s post-apocalypse movie The Omega Man, at which point there will be calls for a second round of vaccinations, which will kill more people after an even shorter period of time, days to weeks.
But why? Why would “globalists” want to kill 90% of the population off? According to Adams, it would be to save the world. (Sound familiar?) In the meantime, the global elite will have developed AI and robots to do the work of all those billions of people dying off from their vaccine holocaust due to their vaccine bioweapon. Adams’ contempt for those who accept the science showing that vaccines are safe and effective came through, too. Multiple times, he stated that the “globalists” think that anyone who’s “stupid enough” to “line up to be injected with unknown substances” is “too stupid to be a part of the future of humanity”. He even called them “sheeple” at least once!
Here’s where the aliens come in. Adams claimed that the “globalists” have actually interacted with extraterrestrials more advanced than our civilization and have come to realize that earth must compete and expand with a cosmic economy. Thus the “globalists” needed to redirect resources into science, colonization technologies, and defense. Instead of spending to keep “useless eaters” alive, the “globalists” believe, according to Adams, that these resources need to be redirected to survive contact with advanced extraterrestrial civilizations, compete with extraterrestrials, and ultimately be part of a “cosmic ecosystem of intelligent beings”. I kid you not.
Adams even updated this alien conspiracy theory for COVID-19, calling it the “Oblivion Agenda” in which SARS-CoV-2 is that “bioweapon,” with a callback to The Day the Earth Stood Still, in which the aliens are telling the global elites that they have to do something, to prevent the earth from becoming hopelessly contaminated:
In the following 4-part lecture, I reveal why Earth has cosmic real estate value that’s recognized by all intelligent civilizations, and why Faster-Than-Light (FTL) travel technology is ubiquitous across the cosmos. Earth’s location in the Milky Way galaxy puts it right in the thick of traffic from other civilizations, who have obviously watched the rise of Homo Sapiens and have no doubt sounded alarm bells over the nuclear weapons testing that humans have been carrying out since 1945.
Setting off nukes on your own planet, by the way, is sort of a cosmic-scale way to announce to the universe, “We are here, and we are infinitely stupid. Someone please stop us before we destroy everything within reach.”
Even aliens, you see, can’t change the laws of physics. Radioisotopic half-lives are the same, everywhere in the cosmos, and they can’t be altered when anything short of nuclear fusion or fission reactors. Once you contaminate a planet with radiation, that planet is a biohazard for millennia, if not longer, and this holds true no matter what life form you might have in mind for occupying that planet.
You might well wonder why I concluded with Mike Adams’ version of the “vaccine depopulation” conspiracy theory, having already shown that such conspiracy theories are nothing new for the pandemic. The reason is simple. His version of the “vaccine depopulation” conspiracy theory might be the most “out there,” but it’s only marginally more ridiculous than the version being promoted by Joe Mercola, Michael Yeadon, and Peter McCullough because Mike Adams’ version includes aliens.
In reality, it is the antivaxxers’ whose agenda is far more likely to result in global depopulation. Vaccines are arguably the most effective medical intervention to prevent death and suffering ever devised by the human mind, having prevented billions of cases of disease and death over the history of their existence. Anyone who tries to frighten people out of taking advantage of vaccines, for both themselves and their children, is the true advocate of “depopulation.”