You may have seen some of the exchanges I’ve had on Social Media in the past few days with folks who are convinced that this entire COVID-19 thing is part of a vast global conspiracy to get us all vaccinated. I also know people who are absolutely certain that the Chinese are trying to infect us all because COVID-19 is actually spread through the millimetre wave spectrum used in Huwai's 5-G technology. (In France, this has led to numerous incidents where people are literally burning down cell towers.)
Underlying all the conspiracy theories around COVID is a belief in a globalist agenda that is about making the “elite” - people like Bill Gates - fabulously rich. Either that, or it’s all about “population control” both in terms of reducing the actual population numbers by killing as many people as possible through contaminated vaccines, and/or “controlling” the population by removing all personal freedoms.
Again, a germ of truth blown out of all reasonable proportion.
In any event, you can find the genesis of this discussion - the exchanges that precipitated this blog post - here. (You’ll have to scroll down a ways in the comments.)
All of this started when I posted a rebuttal from Dr. Kat Montgomery of the Vanderbilt University Medical Centre which called into question the credentials and conclusions of the woman behind the “Plandemic” video, medical researcher Judy Mikovitz. After reading that critique (and several others here and here), I have become totally convinced that Dr. Mikovits, if she’s not deliberately being malicious and untruthful, is at very least badly misguided.
But saying any of these things just ramps up the conspiracy theorists even more. One of them sent me a private message telling me I was basically a stooge who hadn’t done my research, because if I had, I would have known that the Bill Gates Foundation funds the Vanderbilt University Medical Centre, which is where the Dr. Montgomery works. So, her critique is obviously biased, because she’s been bought off by Bill Gates.
I did a little bit of research on that. And as you read these numbers, please remember that the new hospital we’re proposing for Cowichan has a proposed cost of at least $600 million dollars.
Got that number in your head? Good.
Now let’s look at the Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network. It’s comprised of 56 hospitals, more than 235 physician practices, and more than 35 urgent care, after-hours and walk-in clinics. Let’s conservatively say that there are 50 hospitals in the network. Never mind the clinics and all the other stuff. 50 hospitals at a conservative estimate of $500-million dollars each amounts to $2.5 billion dollars just to build them all. Operating costs? Equally significant.
In that context, I have found (on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation website,) a total of 3 funding announcements for Vanderbilt, totalling about $1.5 million dollars. That wouldn’t be enough to keep that gigantic organization running for even one day.
But that’s how it is with conspiracy theorists. They take a small factoid and somehow spin it up to make their case, without looking at any of the broader context.
And the very fact that it’s me – the mayor of a mid-sized community on Vancouver Island – that is writing about this topic instantly disqualifies anything I write. Because I’m a politician. And I’m part of “government.” You see, fundamentally, all good conspiracy theories are united in their belief that there is a worldwide cabal of evil people who want to take over society. This group controls everything, including the media, Hollywood, and of course, politicians.
I'm a politician. Hence, anything I write is suspect just because I made the questionable decision to run for office, and have thus subjected myself to bribes, blackmail, or whatever else is needed to make sure I don’t “step out of line.”
I’ve actually run into this before. I have a relative who subscribes to some of this conspiracy stuff, and shortly after I was first elected to Council in 2008, he asked a mutual friend when I had become a member of the the Freemasons. Because, as he put it, "everybody knows you can’t get elected to political office, especially not municipally, unless you’re a Freemason. Those guys control all municipal Councils.”
Again, I did a little research on where such a goofy idea could have come from. It has its origins in post-feudal England, where - when village Councils first started to form - the most-often-elected person to the position of Mayor was the head of the local Masonic Lodge, who was referred to in that Lodge as the “most worshipful one.” So that’s where the term “Your Worship” comes from when addressing a mayor. Again, a germ of truth blown out of all reasonable proportion.
I first ran into the conspiracy theorists during my radio journalism days in Alberta back in the 1970’s. And since then, I’ve become convinced that in most cases, if you scratch beneath the surface, you’ll find every single one of these conspiratorialists - either intentionally or otherwise - are anti-Semitic.
Some of you will remember Jim Keegstra, the high school history teacher from Eckville, Alberta, who taught his students for years that there was a worldwide Zionist conspiracy. The Holocaust - he argued - was a massive hoax with the express object of ensuring that Jews could never again be subjected to scrutiny because of their history of persecution. But that this "persecution" wasn't actually "history" at all, it was just a made-up claim. (There was even a book written about this; the title was something to the effect of "Did Six Million Really Die?" The author, I believe, testified on Keegstra's behalf at his hate crimes trial.)
I met some of Keegstra’s fellow-travellers in those days, and one of them gave me a book entitled “None Dare Call it Conspiracy”, which purported to highlight the worldwide domination of the United Nations, the Illuminati, the Council of Foreign Relations, the Rothschilds, the Rockefellers, and other assorted families and organizations - all, of course, with their roots in the great Zionist conspiracy.
And it was then that I decided I would never assent to their bullshit, or any of the stuff peddled by their ilk. You see, I have a personal family history that has given me some very strong feelings on that front. My folks got married in Holland, in 1940 – literally on the day that the Nazi’s invaded their home town. Their church wedding actually had to be postponed because of the invasion. But the first house they lived in after they got married is still standing.
You can find it on Google Maps, even today. It’s been modified somewhat, but back then, it was a duplex. My folks lived in the back half. And for the entire war, they hid two Jews in their attic. All of this while the front part of the house was occupied by the president of the local chapter of the Nationale Socialistische Bureau - the NSB - which was the Dutch equivalent of the German Nazi Party.
Of course, this put my parent’s lives at great risk. If you look at pictures of my folks before and after the war, you can clearly see the stressors; my father had aged about 30 years, lost about 100 pounds, and most of his hair. My mother – and this is pretty personal – was so badly affected by the stress that her monthly cycle simply stopped before she was 30 years of age. Premature menopause. Which is why they were so incredibly surprised when, 12 years after the war ended, she got pregnant. With me.
All of which to say, I won’t engage in any fulsome way with the conspiracy wingnuts. They're entitled to their opinions, but any comments they leave on my social media pages in defence of their "position" will be summarily deleted without comment or warning. (And that includes any disparaging comments on the post linking to this article.)
Life is simply too short for this stuff.
Al Siebring ... is a broadcast journalist by trade, with a career that spanned 40 years of reporting, including the “City Hall” and Legislative Bureaus in Victoria, Edmonton, and Regina.After spending all those years “watching” politicians in action, he decided he’d become one himself when he retired. Al was first elected to North Cowichan council in 2008, and won three consecutive elections for the position of Councillor… and then won a closely-fought mayoral campaign in October of 2018. Al is married to Anne, and has three children and 9 grandkids.