The Skeptical Teacher

Musings of a science teacher & skeptic in an age of woo.

Swine Flu Conspiracy Hogwash

Posted by mattusmaximus on April 28, 2009

Well, it’s all over the news, folks.  I’m speaking about the outbreak of swine flu around the world which has so many people concerned.  Now, for reasons outlined clearly with various medical authorities, there is legitimate cause for concern, but at the same time people need to think as rationally as possible to deal with the situation.  Here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control to help you do just that.

Unfortunately, in situations such as these there are a considerable number of kooks & crazies that come crawling out of the woodwork to muddy the issue and spout (sometimes dangerous) nonsense.  I’m specifically referring to conspiracy theorists who are convinced that the swine flu is part of grand, nefarious plot by someone or something… out there  **cue spooky music**

Allow me to illustrate a few examples of this stupidity…

Could H1N1 Swine Flu Virus Be Biological Warfare Attack?

With news of a dangerous strain of the Swine Flu virus which has already killed 68 people and infected more than 1,000 causing widespread panic, one wonders if this is the result of regular Human illness or another Terrorist attack? …

… One has to wonder where did this unfamiliar strain originate from and how did it spread so rapidly? Could this latest Health Scare give rise for concern regarding another possible Terrorist attack in the form of Biological Warfare?

What Is With This Swine Flu?

Occassionally, I do find myself reaching for my tinfoil hat and today is one of those days.  I featured the news today on my Freedom’s Wings Radio Show that some kind of new influenza dubbed the “swine flu” had broken out.  As I read the news story and said the words, “This virus is a mix of human, pig and bird strains…” I found myself wondering how in the world that was possible and commented to that effect.  Really…how do human, pig and bird flus combine genetically in a natural setting?  My common sense brain tells me that type of scenario is just not possible.  This has to be some kind of man-made virus.  A caller to my show shared the same belief and I am seeing similar beliefs popping up around the internet. …

And then there are some paragons of conspiracy-mongering woo – the David Icke and Godlike Productions web forums, where any damn thing you can think of is blamed for the swine flu… that is, any damn thing except that it was a naturally occurring phenomenon.

I’ve ventured over to the dark side and visited these forums to get an idea of some of the CT stuff being kicked around, and it is absolutely stunning to read.  I have seen claims that this is a virus purposefully released by Big Pharma, the government, or both to scare people into getting vaccinated (thank the morons at the anti-vaccination movement for this one); there are claims that this is all part of a plan by President Obama to declare martial law in the United States and strip us of our liberties; some nutters claim that this is part of the New World Order finally making its move against America; a few right-wingers are blaming immigration policies from Mexico for the problem; (this last one’s my favorite) while others are saying that this is, of course, the time to proselytize the truth of their religion…

So, what should we do as Christians?  What will we as the Church do if a major pandemic does occur?  Could this be a great opportunity for a healing revival like the ones that took place in the 40’s and 50’s when polio was having a hey day around the world?  I would say that as the Church we should pray.  We should fast and believe God for healing to take place around the world for His glory.  I think we as believers we should stand firm in the fact that our God still reigns in heaven.  He is still God no matter what flu is going around.

What the world needs right now is a Church full of faith and of the Holy Spirit.  The world needs the Church to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  The world needs the Church to be a light of hope when everyhing around them is going crazy.  This is a time for the Body of Christ to reach out into the darkness and bring light.  This is our time.  In the words of the great theologians the Newsboys…………SHINE!!!

Yes, all we need to do to get through this situation is… pray.  Pray and spread the word of Jesus.  Mmmm’kay.

Heaven forbid that we should actually try following the advice of scientists who deal with infectious diseases such as this!  We don’t need science: that evil, Western-oriented, dogmatic, exclusive science which is dominated by the godless pharmaceutical corporations & government.  What we need is to spread baseless rumors around the Internet that prop up our own personal biases and feed our conspiracy-minded worldview.  Yup, that’s what we need!  [sarcasm off]

All I can say is… wow.  More than anything, we need to trust the scientific process and our science-based medical institutions to handle this situation.  I have faith that in that direction lies our way out of this mess, as opposed to ranting about the New World Order or proposing a magical homeopathic “remedy” for the swine flu (I haven’t seen the latter yet, but give it time before some New Age nut makes the claim).

The behavior of these whackjobs, especially at a time such as this, points out exactly why it is so important for skeptically & scientifically minded people to stand up to their nonsense.  When such anti-scientific idiocy & misinformation can be so quickly and easily be spread via the Internet, putting such pseudoscience and conspiracy-mongering woo together is a dangerous mix.  By creating an environment of fear & paranoia in this manner, we are often led to pay attention to our darker, more base instincts as opposed to the light of rationality that critical thinking attempts to cultivate.

And that’s bad for all of us.

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6 Responses to “Swine Flu Conspiracy Hogwash”

  1. [...] Original post by mattusmaximus [...]

  2. shawnwilson said

    Thanks for linking to my blog however, I just don’t think that all we need to do is pray. I think prayer is a great thing but I also think that we should support those who are trying to figure out how to stop this virus with science. I think you jumped to the conclusion that since in one blog I said we (as the church) should pray that I am against science.
    Try not to jump to conclusions based on one blog dude. Asking people to pray is not going against science or being some kind of nut job. Of course matbe in your view it is, but maybe for millions of others it’s not.

  3. [...] Swine Flu Conspiracy Hogwash [...]

  4. [...] Swine Flu Conspiracy Hogwash [...]

  5. Pete said

    You want the facts: Swine flu has purposefully been released into the atmosphere by cartel sponsored pharmaceutical companies and by the support of governments in order to curb population growth. It is forecast that through this flu almost 1-2 billion people will die globally come next fall / winter which will reduce the huge need for food and resources and the strains thereby on the planet in order to get at these resources. The only way unfortunately to save the planet is to get rid of at least 2 billion of us and multinational of the corporatocracy of the USA are only too happy to promote such destruction as this will help them centralize their profits even more. Short of war and famine, releasing a virus into the air is the most effective way to achieve global power and dependence and to control population. Some are even speaking of the entire decimation of some countries, however many see this as an opportunity for the planert and animal life to rejuvenetae once more as less people means less environmental destruction and pollution and a rebirth of life.

    Wake up people – this is what is truly happening.

    • mattusmaximus said

      Ummm… what evidence do you have of your claims? If all you do is spin a convoluted conspiracy theory, which it appears you are doing, I wouldn’t expect many people to take you seriously. Evidence please.

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