The alarm has
been sounded. Politicians, pharmaceutical executives and media conglomerates
would have us believe that a 1918-style pandemic is a real threat.
The 1918 pandemic, however, evolved out of conditions unique to
World War I, for four specific reasons.
Is Not 1918
War I was characterized by millions of troops living in waterlogged
trenches along the Western Front. This war zone became fertile ground
for an opportunistic virus, as medical literature reveals:
that was contaminated with respiratory irritants such as chlorine
and phosgene, and characterized by stress and overcrowding, the
partial starvation in civilians, and the opportunity for rapid u2018passage'
of influenza in young soldiers would have provided the opportunity
for multiple but small mutational charges throughout the viral genome."1
war witnessed the growth of industrial-scale military camps and
embarkation ports, such as Etaples in France, enabling the flu virus
to enter into another phase of accelerated mutation. On any given
day, Etaples was a makeshift city of 100,000 troops from around
the British Empire and its former dominions. These soldiers concentrated
into unsanitary barracks, tents and mess halls.
cities and nations have dense concentrations of people; none of
these, however, are geographically isolated under the conditions
of trench warfare and World War I-style deployments. Of course,
there are smaller, sub-populations of people in prisons (prone to
multi-drug resistant tuberculosis), in military barracks (prone
to respiratory pathogens and meningococcal infections) and on cruise
ships (prone to the Norovirus) — all proof of the connection between
human confinement on the one hand and infectious disease on the
the war, ships such as the USS Alaskan became floating Petri dishes.
Thousands of soldiers were packed like sardines for the long voyage
home, allowing the virus to reverberate within hermetically-sealed
troops were stuffed into boxcars for the train trip back to military
bases, where they infected new recruits. Later, it was documented
that Army regiments whose barracks allowed only 45 square feet per
soldier had a flu incidence up to ten times that of regiments afforded
78 square feet per man.2
The 1918 flu
virus became pandemic because, during World War I, the normal host-pathogen
relationship was abandoned when millions of young men crowded into
geographical confinement. In World War I, a flu virus was presented
with a seemingly limitless number of hosts — almost all young, male,
and with compromised immune systems. Unconstrained and unchecked
by the usual habits of human behavior, the virus went rogue.
are smart, but they are not suicidal: if the host becomes extinct
the virus will become extinct too. The evolutionary strategy, from
the virus's perspective, is to stay one step ahead of the immune
systems of both humans and animals — but not two steps ahead. The
flu virus aims to infect and reproduce without killing a critical
mass of the hosts, of the herd, so the virus's virulence is ameliorated
after it becomes fatal for people on the margins of the host population
— the weak and the elderly. World War I disrupted this synchronized,
co-evolutionary relationship between flu viruses and human populations.
No flu since
1918 has been strong enough to produce, in millions of people, a
"cytokine storm," which is an immunological over-reaction
leading to pulmonary edema (the lungs filling with fluid) – the
curse of those with the strongest immune systems, normally between
20 and 40 years of age.
In normal flu
pandemics, even in severe ones, the flu virus kills a portion of
the weak and elderly. This appears to be the case in 1837 for Germany
and in 1890 for Russia, though reliable medical evidence is scarce.
It was certainly true for the Asian flu of 1957 and the Hong Kong
flu of 1968, neither of which were significantly fatal for young
adults. The flu 1976–1977 has been exposed as a boondoggle, a fraud,
with far more people dying of the vaccine than from the flu itself.
was an aberration. Since then, no flu has scythed away so many people:
some 500,000 Americans and anywhere between 25–50 million people
worldwide in three waves: first in March, then in August (the deadliest
wave), and in then again in November of 1918, lasting into the spring
of the 1918 pandemic can be traced back to the trenches of the Western
Front in 1915, 1916, and 1917 — to the world's first large-scale
industrial and international war. There was no other cause: If WWI
had not been fought, it is inconceivable that the 1918 flu pandemic
would have been so severe. Today, in 2009, absent the conditions
of WWI, it is preposterous for political and medical authorities
to claim that the swine flu is a menace to society.
Origins of the H1N1 "Swine Flu" Virus
If the current
H1N1 swine flu virus does become abnormally lethal, there would
be three leading explanations: first, that the virus was accidentally
released, or escaped, from a laboratory; second, that a disgruntled
lab employee unleashed the virus (as happened, according to the
official version of events, with the 2001 anthrax attack); or third,
that a group, corporation or government agency intentionally released
the virus in the interests of profit and power.
Each of the
three scenarios represents a plausible explanation should the swine
virus become lethal. After all, the 1918 flu virus was dead and
buried — until, that is, scientists unearthed a lead coffin to obtain
a biopsy of the corpse it contained. Later, researchers similarly
disturbed an Inuit woman buried under permafrost.3
The US Armed
Forces Institute of Pathology, with a scientist from the Mount Sinai
School of Medicine, then began to reconstruct the 1918 Spanish flu.
Had Iran or North Korea engaged in Frankenstein experiments (complete
with ransacking graves) to reverse engineer the 1918 virus the US
and the UK would have gone ballistic at the UN Security Council.
numerous doctors and scientists suspect that the swine flu virus
was cultured in a laboratory. A mainstream Australian virologist,
Adrian Gibbs – who was one of the first to analyze the genetic
properties of the 2009 swine flu — believes that scientists accidentally
created the H1N1 virus while producing vaccines. And Dr. John Carlo,
Dallas Co. Medical Director, "This strain of swine influenza
that's been cultured in a laboratory is something that's not been
seen anywhere actually in the United States and the world, so this
is actually a new strain of influenza that's been identified."4
Because of this, the 2009 swine flu virus — which has
yet to be detected in any animals — has a rather suspicious pedigree.
mainstream media, reports announce one swine flu death after another
(even though ordinary flu kills about 35,000 Americans each year).
Upon closer scrutiny of what passes for journalism, the victims
have "underlying health problems," or "a common underlying
health condition," or "significant medical conditions."
One news headline
even blared: "Swine flu mother dies after giving birth, leaving
her premature baby fighting for life," and only later, buried
deep in the story underneath, did it explain that she had "other
medical problems" which included being confined to a wheelchair
because of a serious car accident.
world over are increasingly skeptical of hyped headlines followed
by smaller-print caveats. They are uneasy with the effort to create
"doublethink" — a term coined by George Orwell in 1984
and a reference to holding two contradictory ideas in one's mind
simultaneously, paralyzing critical thought.
The media has
never been in the habit of reporting the cases of people who, for
no known reason, die of the flu. Out of the 35,000 Americans who
die each year from flu-related illnesses, some are bound to be relatively
young and healthy. It happens. This year, however, their stories
are front-page news.
news reports now claim that the H1N1 swine flu can affect people
in the lungs and lead to pneumonia. This, however, is what separates
the flu from the common cold in the first place; and this is why
tens of thousands of elderly people die of flu-related symptoms
each year. Fox News even claimed that "this one morphs and
mutates and comes back in different ways…," (like all flu viruses).
In short, the media now uses the flu's own ordinary symptoms to
a growing wave of online media challenges the propaganda. Back in
1976, there were no rival voices, and the Center for Disease Control's
manipulative television commercials dominated the airwaves. Fortunately,
as a testament to official shamelessness, these videos are now archived
and searchable on the Internet under the title of "1976 Swine
Now, like then,
the US government's pandemic policy alternates between the ridiculous
and the repugnant. The government's flu website is revealing. First,
the historical section on the 1918 virus is intellectually dishonest,
making absolutely no link between the unique conditions of World
War I and the flu pandemic; instead, the site propagates the erroneous
notion that this virus came out of the blue.5
site announces an absurd American Idol-style video contest: "Create
a Video About Preventing or Dealing With the Flu & Be Eligible
to Win $2500 Cash!" (Congress has earmarked 8 billion dollars
for swine flu prevention and can only offer $2,500 to the proles
— or, rather, to the one prole who, rising above mediocrity, best
parrots the Party Line.)
the site encourages the use of Twitter to "stay informed…"
There is something mildly disturbing about the US federal government
promoting Twitter as a form of resistance to foreign authoritarianism,
while, simultaneously, using social networking to further federalize
and protect the abuse of power at home.
1976 + 1984
In sum, it
appears that the 2009 swine flu pandemic will not be 1918. It might
be a 1976-style hoax, however, serving profit and power — with a
bit of Orwell's 1984 thrown in for good measure.
- JS Oxford,
A Sefton, R Jackson, W Innes, RS Daniels, and NPAS Johnson, "World
War I may have allowed the emergence of u2018Spanish' influenza,"
The Lancet/ Infectious Diseases Vol. 2 February 2002.
CR. 2005. Fever
of War: The Influenza Epidemic in the U.S. Army During World War
I. New York, NY: New York University Press.
- Ann H.
Reid, Thomas G. Fanning, Johan V. Hultin, and Jeffery K. Taubenberger,
"Origin and Evolution of the 1918 Spanish Influenza Virus
Hemagglutinin Gene, PNAS Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences of the United States of America. Division of Molecular
Pathology, Department of Cellular Pathology, Armed Forces Institute
of Pathology, Washington, DC. Communicated by Edwin D. Kilbourne,
- Paul Joseph
Watson, "Medical Director: Swine Flu Was u2018Cultured In A Laboratory,"
This strain of swine influenza that's been cultured in a laboratory
is something that's not been seen anywhere actually in the United
States and the world, so this is actually a new strain of influenza
that's been identified, April 26, 2009.