Sham miracle healer Belle Gibson is touting the remarkable diet regime similar to the one she said cured her of a brain tumour but also landed her a $1 million consumer misconduct fine.
VIDEOJudge urged to throw the book at the disgraced ‘wellness blogger’. Source: TMS
The Melbourne blogger has attached herself to the Master Fast System, which claims to help the body “heal itself” of its ills using a combination of fasting techniques and herbal remedies.
The notorious 25-year-old became rich and famous from selling her Whole Food app and a diet she said rid her body of cancer before her fraud was exposed in 2015.
Gibson pocketed $578,005 selling her snake oil before being called out for being a “pathological liar” who never even had cancer.
She is now facing a $1.1 million fine for her “unconscionable conduct” in a lawsuit brought by , with judgement to be decided in Melbourne’s Federal Court on Wednesday.
But the looming court case has not stopped Gibson claiming the new diet had helped her to lose four kilos, heal two tooth cavities and improve intestinal function, according to the posts on the closed group MFS Facebook page.
Under the name “Harry Gibson”, she also proclaimed she saw a change in her eye colour, and all within the first 11 days of embarking on the diet, the Daily Mail reports.
“I felt incredible all day. I hadn’t felt like this in my entire life,” one post stated.
“I’m not getting carried away with the ‘hype’ or lost in the moment, it truly was a day like none I have ever experienced.”
“Then in the same release of water was a HUGE ROPE WORM. I’m talking enormous. It ruined my day almost not to be able to get this on video. Baha.”
VIDEOBelle Gibson’s secret interview released
“It was coiled around itself like a spiral about 5 or more times and it took up with width of the tube, so based on this math, I’m guessing it was at least 60cm (at minimum!!).
“I felt such a HUGE relief and was floating all day afterwards,” the post read.
In another post she proclaimed the diet helped her teeth to heal cavities and would never need to visit a dentist for a filling again.
“This is all progress in just 11 days. Saved myself $400? More?”
Gibson also claimed her tonsils had shrunk by 30 per cent, she lost four kilograms and her “hazel eyes are starting to change to more green with what seems to be blue underneath. Woah!”
MFS was started by Canadian alternative health salesman Luigi Di Serio with the sales pitch that it can give hope to those given a “death sentence”.
“If you have been given a death sentence and without hope, let us teach you that EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE and your situation CAN be turned around no matter what ‘they’ named your dis-ease,” the company website states.
The system sells guides and special herbal teas and “specialist protocol support” with a price tag from $238 to $595 and “herbal tincture” packages that start at $333 to more than $1100.
While Gibson appears to be a true believer of the diet’s power, she does not appear to have any business or commercial links to MFS or Di Serio.
Gibson claimed to have healed terminal brain cancer by eating wholefoods, but later admitted in an interview with the Australian Women’s Weekly the diagnosis was a hoax.
Asked if she had ever had cancer, Ms Gibson told the magazine: “No. None of it’s true.”
Gibson peddled her miracle cure through the Whole Foods app, which cost $2.99 to download, and secured a book deal with Penguin Publishing for $263,947.
But the book was pulled from shelves after five months when Gibson’s lie unravelled and Penguin was accused of going to print despite the strong suspicion their high-profile author was charlatan.
Gibson was also accused of failing to make a promised $300,000 donation to charities.
Justice Debby Mortimer will hand down her verdict in the consumer affairs case brought against Gibson on Wednesday, with a CAV calling for a $1.1 million fine and a public apology to be printed in newspapers.
As with most conspiracy theories, the Rh Negative conspiracy theory has been interpreted and absorbed into Christian, Secular, and New Age conspiracy worldviews. This is a typical example of scientific ignorance turning into mystical pseudoscience, and of how any pseudoscientific claim can become proof of a “big conspiracy” when belief is met with facts. At the center of the crazed Rh Negative freakout are basic misinterpretations of simple science, a poorly chosen term that caught on, and, for many, simply the will to believe.
RH NEGATIVE BLOOD = BLOOD OF THE GODS”
–Will Rogers, MT33, PhD, B.S., AA., CPT, CLC*
*credentials could not be independently authenticated.
The belief in a divine blood type is simple enough, but first, you have to believe in a few specifics; namely, divinity and its literal physical transfer by blood. Seems simple enough, but not all religious tenets hold to this and even fewer scientific tenets (none, to be exact). Rather than being a subset of fringe or theoretical hematology, this is a byproduct of lay research without the aid of an actual expert or historian to correct those faulty assumptions any researcher can make without proper guidance and insight.
The Facts of the “factor.” The Rhesus or Rh factor, is an antigen that exists on the surface of red blood cells in most people. When discussing the four general blood types, A, B, O and AB, they are also labeled as being with or without the Rh antigen, positive or negative. This references the Rhesus factor of the blood, either with or without the Rhesus factor. 85% of people are Rh+ and the remaining are, thus, Rh-. Rh factor is most relevant medically with regard to blood transfusions and during pregnancy as an Rh factor mix-match between mother and child can cause Rhesus (or Rh) disease. The danger during childbirth is what gave Rh Factor its name. When the first serum to prevent this disease (which was at the time unnamed) was produced and tested it was done using blood from a rhesus macaque monkey, and the blood factor the serum was derived from retained the name rhesus (Rh). Though Rh disease can have severe consequences for infant mortality if untreated, this is where the known impacts of Rh negative disposition end.
It is not clear when the belief in a super extra-normal or metaphysical attribution was first given to Rh negative blood. The first mention I can find occurred in an October 1976 issue of UFO’s Ancient Astronaut Magazine, in an article titled Blood of the Gods. A concise synopsis of the article would be, ‘my family has rhesus negative (Rh-) in our genetics and very high IQs, we may have alien DNA.’ The author mistakenly claims the Rhesus Factor is so named due to the factor being present in rhesus monkeys, having not known the history that gave the antigen serum and, thus, the blood factor their names. The article continues to claim that the Basque region of Spain boasts a higher than average Rh- population and suggests this may have been an alien colony. Aside from some gentle boasting and subtle racializing, this article is the first known print example of claiming Rh negative’s spooky alien derivations.
To those who are Rh+ (or anyone who has no idea what their blood type and factor may be but just hear weird stuff about bloodlines and aliens), the various origin theories have led to peculiar fears and suspicions. Namely, the fear that Rh- people are human/alien hybrids. This proves to be a concern for some people with Rh negative blood who are being accused of being hybrids. This produces the potential for a real modern-day witchhunt that is already playing out online in chatrooms of conspiracy theory websites. Hopefully, education can stave off the potential for such violence, which is part of the reason for the Rh Negative Registry Website.
This is not a hypothetical threat, this is a real life problem that has already resulted in violence. Remember the movie They Live? Kyle Odom did. Kyle Odom also wrote a 21-page manifesto in which he explained why he needed to shoot Idaho pastor Tim Remington. A week after Pastor Tim conducted a very public prayer invocation at a campaign rally for then Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz, Tim was targeted and and shot multiple times by Odom. Odom, a former marine, later sent out a Facebook post explaining his motive, Pastor Tim was a Martian.
Odom’s thoughts on Rh factor are not immediately known, but his belief in Martian mind-control and manipulation were well documented in his manifesto. Odom was later arrested after a manhunt and Pastor Tim recovered and returned to his church in Idaho, but the threat of violence based on total nonsense still exists.
As an aside, folks that believe in alien origin often use this story as a way of describing racial and ethnic difference, sometimes in the same breath as misquoting Bible verse and Apocrypha.
There is a significant religious conspiracy theory that centers on Rh- as well, but it may be less dangerous and more nonsensical than the threat of folks like Kyle Odom. The quote from Dr. Will Rogers (again, his credentials could not be independently verified) appeared at the beginning of a long, rambling Facebook post, replete with loose-associations and various Bible verses taken out of context. Here is a bit more of his post (read if you dare or scroll past):
The Secret Book of John
IS THIS THE SOURCE OF RH NEGATIVE BLOOD???????????
IRON AND CLAY SHOULD NOT MIX…………but they did (Celestial / Fallen Angels and Terrestrial / Homo Sapiens )
“And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.” –Daniel 2:43(KJV)
Where did the Rh negatives come from? Why does the body of an Rh negative mother carrying an Rh positive child reject her own offspring?
If two Rh-Negative people try to have a baby it will usually die or be born a “BLUE Baby”, because it is not processing oxygen properly. That’s why they are called “Blue-Bloods” approximately 5% of the Earth’s population are currently Rh-Negatives.
From man’s primitive point of view, THESE creatures WERE gods! But that was early man’s point of view. Where they really gods? The ancient stories tell us, BUT, THESE STORIES WHERE TAKEN OUT OF THE BIBLE!
Rh-negative women and men have several”Unusual Traits” that Rh-positives don’t have. Some call these attributes…………….REPTILIAN!
Your blood type; A, B, AB, O / neg or pos is given to you so you can make an
ATONEMENT, TO COVER, TO PURGE, TO MAKE RECONCILIATION,TO PACIFY, ATONE OR PIT A TENT
OVER YOUR SOUL.
WHY?? What did your soul do that it needs make an atonement????????
That’s why the blood of Yahushuwah / Jesus was and is so important!
Rh-negative women and men have several “Unusual Traits” that Rh-positives don’t. Some call them “Reptilian Traits”.
WHERE DOES Rh Negative Blood come from? Most people with RH-negative blood have certain characteristics that seem to be common among the majority. Here is a brief list of the most common.
¨ Extra vertebra.
¨ Higher than average IQ
¨ More sensitive vision and other senses.
¨ Lower body temperature
¨ Higher blood pressure
¨ Increased occurrence of psychic/intuitive abilities
¨ Predominantly blue, green, or Hazel eyes
¨ Red or reddish hair
¨ Has increased sensitivity to heat and sunlight
¨ Cannot be cloned
¨ Alien Abduction and other unexplained phenomenon
A person with type O negative blood is considered to be a “Universal Donor”….ie….
UNIVERSAL BLOOD or original blood. It means YOUR BLOOD can be given to man, mankind (a kind of man) and human (hue=color or bent man),regardless of their blood type, without causing a transfusion reaction. “O” NEGATIVE BLOOD is………
OTHER WORLDLY ….IE …..NOT OF THIS WORLD!!!!!!!!
This collection of odd pseudo-science and pseudo-religious conjecture marks some of the more confusing claims about Rh- people and the Rh Negative blood factor. The belief that Rhesus Negative really means non-primate (which, again, was due to simple choice in nomenclature; read here and here) has led to several wild assumptions. The potential confusion that such a misnomer could cause, I am sure, they had not foreseen. Here’s hoping that the conflation of Rh Negative blood and extra-human origins ends or, at the very least, does not result in the harm of anyone, regardless of their blood type.
Full disclosure: I still have no idea of my blood type.
The US Green Party just officially nominated Jill Stein as its presidential candidate, and to mark the occasion, the internet dug up a YouTube video from earlier this year that has her casting some serious shade on basic technology when it comes to kids.
In the video below, Stein not only denounces the move towards giving every child access to a computer at school, but also says, “We should not be subjecting kids’ brains” to wi-fi.
As a Harvard-educated physician, Stein should know better than to freak people out with conspiracy theories that have no basis in science, especially when it comes to their kids.
As we discussed last year when a French woman made history by being the first person ever to be awarded compensation for being “allergic to wi-fi”, despite multiple peer-reviewed studies and reviews investigating claims of wi-fi allergy – known as electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) – there’s no evidence that the condition actually exists.
While people can actually experience symptoms such as persistent headaches, nausea, mental fog, and dizziness when exposed to electromagnetic fields (EMF), researchers have overwhelmingly put this down to something known as thepsychogenic phenomenon, or the ‘nocebo effect’.
Basically, the idea is that if people can convince themselves that something is making them sick, the anxiety that creates can actually make them feel physically ill. Think Chuck on Better Call Saul.
“The majority of studies indicate that EHS individuals cannot detect EMF exposure any more accurately than non-EHS individuals,” the World Health Organisation (WHO) has concluded. “Well controlled and conducted double-blind studies have shown that symptoms were not correlated with EMF exposure.”
“It’s a psychological phenomenon,” William Barr, a neuropsychologist from the New York University School of Medicine, told CBS news last year. “[Sufferers] essentially establish a belief that something has the potential to cause a symptom, and then when they come in contact with the cause they develop those symptoms.”
With Trump declaring this week that he wants to “save the coal industry”, the Greens can angle themselves as the option for the environmentally conscious, but you don’t get to cherry-pick when it comes to scientific evidence.
This was not the first time I had heard of EMR poisoning or similar imaginary illness, such as electro-magnetic hypersensitivity (or ‘Wi-Fi allergy’) which was briefly mentioned in the video. This was, the first time I saw a product advertisement that went along with it.
The product, a 24-karat gold plated ‘EMR Protection Device’ produced by VodeOX. The ‘patch’ as it is referred to in the video, sells for $49 and is purported to work for 1 year by placing the patch on a specific spot on the cellphone or laptop computer.
The video peaked my interest, mostly because it sounded like complete hokum from the beginning, but when I dug deeper, it got weirder.
The original video promoting the VodeOX patch was recorded by Rainbow Heart Freedom Eagle, a self-proclaimed healer and energy-worker, and appeared on her and her husband’s website BearandRainbow.com amid several videos promoting their various shamanic endeavors. The video lacked any evidence that EMR poses any danger but, instead spent much of the video listing vague anecdotal stories and insisting that EMR poisoning; makes people fat by increasing cortisol levels in the body, disrupts and counteracts the effects of chemotherapy, and causes cancer and/or leukemia.
With no evidence, I followed links provided and found a video on VodeOX’s website.
In the video, a VodeOX ‘chairman’ uses Electromagnetic Radiation Detector to demonstrate how his product prevents ‘harmful’ EMR. Since the video includes the use of both the VodeOX patch and its packaging, it may well be that the cardboard in the packaging and not the gold-plated sticker is blocking the electromagnetic frequency signal.
The point remains that EMF is harmless, but that is addressed further below.
A thought came to my mind, because I have seen EMR Detectors before.
Where have I seen that before?
I did an internet search for EMR Detectors and found that they are one of the key pieces of equipment used in Ghost Hunting.
So, I figured it out. Ghosts cause cancer.
Well, not really …
It does stand to reason though, however tongue-in-cheek that I put it, that the primary way in which ghost hunters claim to locate ghosts is the alleged ghost’s emission of electromagnetic radiation AND a growing community of believers in pseudoscience claim electromagnetic radiation causes all the worst possible illnesses including cancer AND the belief in ghosts and belief in pseudoscience are not mutually exclusive that somewhere, someone (or, perhaps, several someones) believe that prolonged exposure to ghosts can cause cancer.
But I digress…
As the EMR Detector video shows (or seems to show), electronic devices emit electromagnetic radiation. What it does not show is whether or not this EMR is harmful, even though the ‘chairman’ of VodeOX and Rainbow Heart Freedom Eagle both assert that it is.
They are not alone. People all over the world are becoming more fearful of Wi-Fi, cellphone electromagnetism, computer electromagnetism, etc. This is one part lack of knowledge and one part confirmation bias. Since none of the YouTube videos, New Age Health websites, or well-meaning cranks off the street could provide me with the clinical evidence, I sought it myself.
First off, ‘electromagnetic radiation‘ is all the radiant energy from any electromagnetic process. So, even though the term EMR includes X-ray and gamma radiation, it encompasses all radiation from all electromagnetic sources; including radio waves, visible light, ultraviolet light, and microwaves. X-ray and gamma radiation are both ionizing, meaning potentially harmful, high frequency radiation. On the other end of the spectrum, radio waves and microwaves are both lower frequency and non-ionizing …
Meaning not harmful …
Meaning, the guy who insists that microwaves cause cancer was just another well-meaning crank I met at a bus stop. I have to quit repeating what folks like that say at parties.
Here’s a reminder of what we are talking about.
Cellphone emits radio waves, a low-frequency and non-ionizing form of radiation. The fear of EMR from cellphones is unfounded, but reinforced by something that does develop as a result of non-ionizing radiation; namely, heat.
Cellphones due heat up due to the effects of non-ionizing radiation. This effect, however, is not enough to heat up the core body temperature to a harmful level and, furthermore, poses no long-term health issues. If one were so inclined, they may place their phone in speaker-phone mode to avoid a case of ‘warm ear’.
No need for a $49 sticker on your cellphone.
Similar to VodeOX, and the other three patches. The QuanThor cellphone patch takes the ‘New Agey’ feel to this pseudoscience product up a notch. $49 is the general price, it should seem but the QuanThor patch touts its use of “sacred geometry” alongside its claims of using 16 elements “uniquely balanced” for “optimal protection results”. QuanThor’s EMF/EMR Radiation Blocker is also apparently sold by a company named Healthy Self Esteem.
I was to led believe there be talk of Ghosts?
So you are one of the approximately 74% of the American population that believe in ghosts, and you are also among the growing number of people who believe that electromagnetism can cause myriad health risks; what do you do?
The answer; buy an electromagnetic radiation detector!
So, you are in the market for a Ghost detector / emr detector. Where do you go? If you are like me, you go straight to the internet. I sought an EMR detector device in the selection on that internet shopping website ‘that shall not be named’.
The DT-1130 is a pretty helpful device if you want to know when you are being ‘bombarded’ with radio waves, micro waves, or other non-harmful radiation. It is, however, a very haphazard digital reading that shows multiple values within a fraction of a second. When a telephone call is being made, the readout will go from 000 (0 Hz, or no input) to 11575 Hz and back to 000 without time to record or note the result. There is an alarm, if you want to know that you are receiving radio waves, but this is still just a novelty. If you want to know if you are receiving radio waves, you can use a radio (a weather radio would be ideal). The moral of the story; you are always surrounded by radio waves.
Still, purchasers of the DT-1130 find that this product does, generally, help them find those non-corporeal interlopers they believe lurk invisibly.
Ghost Hunters use electromagnetic radiation detectors such as the DT-1130 for seeking out the idle dead. The rationale being, ghosts can be detected by minor fluctuations of EMF where they are not expected to be. Of course, since radio waves are everywhere, ghosts couldn’t be detected with EMF or these so-called EMR detectors because the electromagnetism is always already around and the levels may spike due to an incoming telephone call, or the movement of the device into or out of a radio frequency dark spot (such as near a conductive copper pipe or behind a concrete wall).
Still, ghost hunters not only seek out EMR detectors as part of their hobby, but tend to see spikes in EMF as read on EMR detectors as confirmation of their belief that they are in the presence of ghosts.
If you want to focus on ghost hunting, then the Ghost Meter is obviously a better buy.
Solving the issue of erratic digital readings, The Ghost Meter uses an analog readout to measure milli-Gauss. Essentially, The Ghost Meter, along with the DT-1130 and all other EMR detectors are magnetometers and, thus, all magnetic or electromagnetic input can produce a reading. So, the analog readings aside, you are still only measuring ambient magnetism.
This, of course, is not how customer reviews of The Ghost Meter put it.
So the conclusion, if taken to its ultimate extreme is as follows: either ghosts cannot be detected by minor changes in electromagnetism or in magnetism in general and/or there is no reason to believe that non-ionizing radiation such as radio and microwaves is harmful (which, is the verdict of nearly 100 years of research on the subject) or, if you will, ghosts cause cancer, live in magnets and may well be hiding in your cellphone.
How Belief Becomes ‘Real’
Is it crazy to say ghosts cause cancer? Is it completely ludicrous to think that radio waves from your radio are harmless but can cause cancer in high doses when they come from your cellphone or computer? No, its not crazy, its just wrong.
Just because there is no scientific base for the fear of EMF, that does not stop people from believing that they are at risk. The correlations in Rainbow Heart Freedom Eagle’s video connecting anecdotes and assertions as to the dangers of electromagnetic waves are generally how many people come to believe in a given imaginary illness, such as Wi-Fi allergy, or danger, such as electromagnetic radiation.
If a person whom you respect asserts an opinion, you are more likely to consider that opinion (perhaps without vetting the assertions). If that person is your significant other, in Rainbow’s case it is her husband, then you are all the more likely to adopt that opinion or belief (and, to a much larger extent, you are likely to have significantly aligned worldviews with your significant other, such that make said opinions or beliefs compatible). If the belief is strong enough, psychosomatic responses may further confirm that belief. It is possible for a completely unfounded, non-rationally grounded belief to not only feel real and have the appearance of being supported by evidence, and for everyone in your friend-group and family to believe and for it to not only feel real but to also have the belief effect you physically.
This is the problem of paranormal and pseudo-scientific beliefs pose. The problem is not exactly a laughing matter, but faced with the shear impossibility of the situation as it constantly poses itself, it feels like humor is the only tool to maintain adequate mental health.
Chuck Norris, the actor and conservative activist, is very upset that no one is taking his warnings about chemtrails seriously.
The chemtrail conspiracy theory is centered around the bogus claim that the vapor trails behind airplanes are actually chemical agents used by the government or other actors to control the weather and the population.
In a column for the conspiracy theory warehouse WorldNetDaily titled “Sky Criminals,” Norris demands that more people join him in asking questions about the “covert chemtrailing” that “is taking place in the skies above us and unbeknownst to us.”
Country legend Merle Haggard, who died of a lung infection (double pneumonia) on April 6, sang in his song, “What I hate”: “What I hate is looking up and seeing chemtrails in a clear blue sky today.”
Several months ago, I wrote a column titled, “Why are geo-engineering researchers being stonewalled?” In it, I gave an array of evidence from scientists that geoengineering and, specifically, covert chemtrailing is taking place in the skies above us and unbeknownst to us.
Over the past 13 years since the study, does anyone think it’s possible that such mass vaccinations or immunizations have occurred by air in trial locations in the U.S.?
How many plane-dropping chemical cocktails have already been sprayed around the world in the name of securing public health?
When the heads of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention publicly sound the alarm that the Zika virus is “scarier than we initially thought” and the mosquito transmission ranges have increased from 12 states to 30 in just weeks, does anyone think there’s discussion of the NCBI 2003 study?
Whatever the intent or justification, and whether or not the purpose is for mass vaccinations or some other devious plot, if you don’t believe there’s some smoke-screening in the sky trails above you, I have a London Bridge to sell you in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
It’s time again to wake up, America. I’m not Shakespeare, but something is definitely rotten in the state of Denmark.
Or as another music legend, Prince, who just passed away this past week, sang in his song, “Dreamer”: “While the helicopter circles us, this theory’s getting’ deep, Think they’re spraying chemicals over the city while we sleep? From now on I’m staying’ awake, you can call me a dreamer too, wake up, wake up.”
Conspiracy theories are not unlike viruses. Mostly they circulate harmlessly on the fringes of society, but every now and then a mutation for increased transmissibility can lead to a mainstream outbreak with seriously damaging consequences in the real world.
It’s ironic then that a conspiracy theory about a real virus – the Zika epidemic currently affecting Brazil – is currently exhibiting just such break-out behaviour. The first outing I can find came via an obscure post on Reddit on 25 January. The location should have rung warning bells: it was in a sub-Reddit category titled “conspiracies”, sandwiched between 9/11 truther rants, and was written anonymously under the giveaway pseudonym “redditsucksatbanning”.
It alleged that the UK-based small company Oxitec, which began releasing genetically engineered male-sterile mosquitoes in 2011 in north-eastern Brazil in order to combat dengue disease, may have inadvertently caused the Zika outbreak. Oxitec’s approach involves releasing non-biting males – which have been genetically engineered to carry a gene that is lethal to their offspring – to mate with wild females.
A scientific paper about the trials, conducted in the Brazilian city of Juazeiro in late 2011, confirmed that the local population of disease-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquitoes crashed by more than 90% during the trial, making Oxitec’s approach a far more promising form of control than conventional insecticide spraying. Aedes mosquitoes carry both dengue and Zika, so the same strategy could help tackle both diseases.
The Reddit post claimed to spot a correlation between the site of the GM mosquito releases and the location of the first Zika outbreaks in Brazil. This allegation was repeated on the fringe news site AntiMedia on 28 January, three days later. It included a handy map with a big red arrow indicating the mosquito release site in an area suspiciously close to the main Zika-affected sites.
Oops. There are two cities called Juazeiro in Brazil, and AntiMedia’s big red arrow was pointing at the wrong one, as the myth-busting science blogger Christie Wilcox quickly spotted. The Juazeiro where the GM mosquito releases had actually taken place was 300km away. Both cities are in turn rather a long way from the main Zika outbreak areas, which are located on the coast.
The timing was wrong too. Zika was first reported in Brazil in 2015, while the Oxitec mosquito releases began four years earlier. Moreover, Zika is thought to have come to Brazil from a 2013 outbreak in French Polynesia, which in turn spread from a 2007 outbreak in Micronesia. So the GM mosquitoes were effectively being blamed for causing a disease many thousands of miles away and several years before they were even released.
Russia’s international channel RT – always keen to push anti-GMO memes in order to advance Putin’s war against the West – was next to push the story on 30 January, adding pseudo-expert quotes from anti-biotech campaigners next to a republication of the erroneous maps identifying the wrong Brazilian city as the site of the mosquito release. Next up was the Daily Mail, which picked up the story on 31 January. “Are scientists to blame for Zika virus?” it asked, in a typically suggestive rhetorical question.
By then social media was beginning to buzz – friends of mine reported seeing the story posted on their Facebook timelines. It was then republished in further mutated form on 1 February by the environmental journalist Oliver Tickell, editor of the Ecologist website, under a new headline: “Pandora’s box: how GM mosquitos [sic] could have caused Brazil’s microcephaly disaster”.
Tickell quoted an “expert”, Dr Mae Wan Ho, fresh with a new theory. Dr Ho proposed that the DNA sequence used in genetically engineering Oxitec’s mosquitoes might somehow have jumped into the Zika virus and caused it to mutate into a more pathogenic form. Sounds plausible? The article seems impressively technical, quoting Dr Ho waxing lyrical on “integrated transposon vectors” and other sciencey-sounding language.
Plus she made an elementary mistake: the mosquitoes couldn’t inadvertently insert additional DNA into the Zika virus genome, because Zika has no DNA – it’s an RNA virus. That’s a different type of molecule, Dr Ho. Moreover, the DNA sequence in question is 8400 bases long, almost as long as the entire Zika virus genome. Dr Ho’s purported mechanism is a biological impossibility and the Ecologist story is science fiction.
The real-world damage this kind of nonsense can cause is serious. Oxitec’s GM mosquito approach could potentially shield millions of Brazilians not just from Zika but from dengue too. It could even protect the Rio Olympics. But this won’t be allowed to happen if the conspiracy theory continues to snowball: already the Brazilian authorities are delaying approval for Oxitec to scale up deployment.
There are historical precedents too. Myths circulating in Nigeria severely hampered efforts to eradicate polio during the early 2000s. Worse, HIV/Aids denialism during the Mbeki government’s tenure in South Africa is estimated to have caused over 300,000 preventable deaths. Mbeki reportedly caught the Aids denial virus off the internet. I can only hope that no-one in the Brazilian government reads the Daily Mail or the Ecologist, or countless innocent lives may yet be lost.
The statue is ‘Grave Naiskos of an Enthroned Woman with an Attendant’
Conspiracy theorists say structure is too narrow to be a jewelry box
Says woman’s eyes are focused on center of the ‘lid’ like a laptop monitor
Sceptics claim it is a wax tablet used by ancient Greeks for writing
Legend has it that the Oracle of Delphi connected priests with super natural beings who passed along advanced technology and information.
And conspiracy theorists claim that is how a modern-day laptop ended up in a Greek sculpture from 100 BC.
But historians say the sculpture is just a deceased woman ‘touching the lid of a shallow chest’.
Legend has it that the Oracle of Delphi connected priests with super natural beings who passed along advanced technology. And conspiracy theorists claim that is how a modern-day laptop ended up in a Greek sculpture from 100 BC
‘I am not saying that this is depicting an ancient laptop computer,’ StillSpeakingOut, conspiracy theorists, said in a video he released on YouTube in 2014.
‘But when I look at the sculpture I can’t help but think about the Oracle of Delphi, which was supposed to allow the priests to connect with the gods to retrieve advanced information and various aspects.’
The statue, ‘Grave Naiskos of an Enthroned Woman with an Attendant’ is on display at The J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, California.
‘Lounging in a cushion armchair, a woman reaches out to touch the lid of a shallow chest held by a servant girl on this funerary,’ reads the historian’s description.
LEGEND OF THE ORACLE OF DELPHI
Delphi is perhaps best known for the oracle at the sanctuary that was dedicated to Apollo during the classical period
Delphi is perhaps best known for the oracle at the sanctuary that was dedicated to Apollo during the classical period.
Apollo spoke through his oracle: the sibyl or priestess of the oracle at Delphi was known as the Pythia, who sat on a seat over an opening in the earth.
When Apollo killed Python, its body fell into the opening, according to legend, and fumes arose from its decomposing body.
Apollo was intoxicated from the vapors and believed he possessed her spirit.
It has been speculated that a gas high in ethylene, known to produce violent trances, came out of this opening, though this theory remains debatable.
People consulted the Delphic oracle on everything from important matters of public policy to personal affairs.
The concept of this image has been a part of Greek funerary art for centuries and most likely pertains to the hope they that will still have the same earthly pleasures in the afterlife.
It depicts an object that closely resembles a modern laptop or handheld device with USB ports, explained StillSpeakingOut.
Another picture taken by a tourist, we see the object is wide but the structure is too narrow to be a jewelry box and it doesn’t match the depictions of the mythical Pandora Box either, he explained.
The concept of this image has been a part of Greek funerary art for centuries and is most likely pertains to the hope they that will still have the same earthly pleasures in the afterlife. It depicts an object that closely resembles a modern laptop or handheld device with USB ports, explained StillSpeakingOut
The myth says the Oracle of Delphi would allow priests to connect with the gods, aliens or time travelers who would share ‘advanced information and high-tech devices.
Those who don’t believe in aliens or time travel, say the object is a wax tablet that ancient Greeks used for writing with a stylus or pen, reported Inquisitr.
But paranormal investigators argue that the ‘wax tablet’ shown in the funerary relief sculpture does not resemble any other wax tablets seen in Greek art.
The statue, ‘Grave Naiskos of an Enthroned Woman with an Attendant’ is on display at The J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, California. Those who don’t believe in aliens or time travel, say the object is a wax tablet that ancient Greeks used for writing with a stylus or pen (pictured)
StillSpeakingOut says the object shown etched in the sculpture is much thinner than the wax tablets and that the woman isn’t holding stylus, also seen in Greek art with individuals using the wax tablet.
Believers do not see the box as a jewel box or a wax tablet, but a modern-day electronic laptop computer with USB ports on the side, which have never been seen in other examples of jewel boxes or wax tablets.
The woman’s eyes are focused on the inner lid of the object, the same location of a laptop monitor, conspiracy theorists claim.
But paranormal investigators argue that the ‘wax tablet’ shown in the funerary relief sculpture does not resemble any other wax tablets seen in Greek art. StillSpeakingOut says the object shown etched in the sculpture is much thinner than the wax tablets and that the woman isn’t holding stylus
And even go so far to argue that the way her fingers are touching the lid looks like she is using a touchscreen device.
‘I can’t help but think that Erich von Däniken had been right all this time and that most of these myths of magical artifacts given by the gods to a very restricted group of individuals in ancient civilizations were high-tech devices similar to what we have today,’ said StillSpeakingOut