“The Bad Man Punted Baxter”
A couple of weeks back I received a private message on a forum I frequent that is completely unrelated to skepticism. The forum is westgamer, a discussion site for fellow West Australians who are fans of the nerdier side of life (table-top gaming especially). A friend of mine had recently started an off-topic thread on “conspiracy theories” and I’d challenged a few of the things he had to say. A couple of private messages were sent back and forth culminating in him sending a few consecutive challenges for me to investigate. First up was a real softball for debunkers:
“So been checking out more conspiracy type stuff, and came across a book called the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. Was wondering if you have done any research into this subject and what your thoughts are on it.”
To which I replied.
“I hadn’t heard out this book in particular before you brought it to my attention but I’m very familiar with the family of conspiracies it falls into (that being anti-jewish conspiracies).
Even a rudimentary search on non-conspiracy peddling websites quickly reveals the book to be a hoax for a whole host of reasons. It’s actually quite interesting that this book is viewed widely as the beginning of contemporary conspiracy literature. I admit that most of what I read about it is from the wiki article (and the references that lead from it). There just doesn’t seem to be enough in this one to deserve a closer look, it’s been thoroughly debunked since the 1920’s. It is summed up nicely as follows “It is also one of the best-known and most-discussed examples of literary forgery, with analysis and proof of its fraudulent origin going as far back as 1921.” It’s really just a hate-filled anti-jewish hoax for which the only arguments as to it’s validity are necessarily improbable, improvable and immature.
Awesome find though, it’s great to read about this sort of stuff. If you find anything else of stand-out interest throw them my way as well. I hope you don’t take personal offence at any criticisms I have though. I very little patience for conspiracies like the above though, ones that are bred purely from prejudice and bigotry against a people who have suffered horrific injustices.”
He followed that one up though with a much meatier, much more complex and challenging to debunk conspiracy theory. I’ll post his message followed by my reply in full. One massive regret is that I didn’t reference my reply to him (something which I endeavour to do in all similar instances). So in the meantime before I find time to go back and fully reference my reply if there are any particular points you’d like to challenge or see a reference for just leave a comment in the post notes. Bare with me there was a lot of mis-information to wade through :P
“One thing I would like to get your opinion on is the recent “pandemics” and Baxter Pharmacuticals. Im not sure if your aware but recently a shipment of the swine flu vaccine that was sent to Ukraine was tested and found to contain a live avian flu virus. Baxter Ph stated that it was a “mistake”, but it was 72kg worth of contaiminated vaccine, so I hardly think it was a mistake.
The important thing here to know is that one of the owners of Baxter Ph is David Rockefeller, who also part owns/runs the World Bank, IMF and the Federal Reserve Bank. One of his documented views is that the world needs to undergo a radical de-population, in order to bring the remaining people down to a controllable level. It appears that giving people a vaccine that contained a live virus would only help in these areas. Not to mention the fact that he and his company stand to make a serious amount of money from this, as they also make the vaccine to bird flu.
Heres a link: http://preventdisease.com/news/09/031109_baxter.shtml
It isnt the first time Baxter PH have done something like this. They were caught shipping a product that contained the live HIV virus in america, and when it was found out and subsequently banned, they sold it in japan and some european countries. Im not sure if its purely a money making exercise or something more sinister.
Have you looked into this sort of stuff?”
“Okay, here’s my attempt at tackling the last message you sent me. What I think I’ll do is break it down point by point and give a summary at the end. At least that’s what I want to do in theory, but let’s so how it goes.
Im not sure if your aware but recently a shipment of the swine flu vaccine that was sent to Ukraine was tested and found to contain a live avian flu virus.
While looking into the claims of vaccine deniers and big pharma critics is a hobby of mine I hadn’t read about this in particular. I’ve tried to chase up whatever I could on this and was disappointed that the vast, vast majority of articles covering it come from paranoid anti-medicine, anti-globalization sites with a clear and open ideological agenda and no real pretense of objective journalism. But yes, I will precede under the acknowledgment that part of a single shipment of single vaccine to a single country was contaminated.
Baxter Ph stated that it was a “mistake”, but it was 72kg worth of contaiminated vaccine, so I hardly think it was a mistake.
I’ll now bring up probably the biggest point that deflates this conspiracy. The vaccine shipment that was contaminated was an early test sample shipped to other countries as part of a European effort to produce a safe seasonal flu vaccine. The contaminated samples were very far from ever being used on humans and were instead used on ferrets as part of safety testing. If a giant evil corporation was masterminding their secret plan of racial purification could they not have paid off a few more shills to fake the ferret testing or simply just pay someone to fly to the Ukraine and start injecting the homeless or something? My point is that the contaminated vaccine was a very real mistake, but when you’re dealing with extremely hazardous materials on a global scale there is always a possibility. All the way from top to bottom we are dealing with humans, lazy, often incompetent, deeply flawed human machines. I would find it more surprising that if in all the years of vaccine research no samples were ever contaminated, that would be remarkable.
As far as it being too much for a mistake, that is simply yours (and others) argument based on what your personal understanding. Do you know in what quantities these samples were produced? If they were made in large batches then it follows that large amount would be contaminated. Even without that the fact that this stuff-up was a big stuff up does not provide any evidence for a conspiracy. Here is another main point of mine concerning conspiracies. Of the thousands of mistakes and interesting events that happen every day a few of them are bound to leave a few unanswered questions or seem beyond coincidence. This is simply the way the world works, strange things happen and there is not always sufficient evidence to explain them. This does not mean that conspiracy theorists are then allowed to fill in the blanks with “oh, it must have been intentional” and “this is part of a racial purification plan”. What they use as evidence for these claims is actually no such thing.
The important thing here to know is that one of the owners of Baxter Ph is David Rockefeller, who also part owns/runs the World Bank, IMF and the Federal Reserve Bank. One of his documented views is that the world needs to undergo a radical de-population, in order to bring the remaining people down to a controllable level.
I could find no evidence indicating that David Rockefeller runs or partly runs Baxter Ph. I did however see plenty of baseless accusations on conspiracy sites. He is not on the board of directors, not an executive officer and not even a corporate officer. As far as I could see (while I could be wrong) there is no evidence to indicate that David Rockefeller is in a decision making position with Baxter Ph.
With regards to his documented views, he is not alone in thinking that population control is vital for the continued success of the human species. While researching this I watched videos of David Rockefeller explaining his views. It is from these videos and official publications by David Rockefeller that evidence should be considered, not isolated quotes on ideologically biased websites. His views are based on solid evidence and are well reasoned. Nowhere did I see him suggest forced abortion/sterilization or the use of biological weapons. These are simply paranoid accusations from conspiracy enthusiasts. Population Economics is a complex field of science and David Rockefeller is simply one person voicing his rational concerns. One thing people seem to forget is that “de-population” does not necessarily entail murder, rather a decrease in births in closer line with existing deaths. I don’t think any experts seriously think that the population will ever decrease though, it’s simply to unwieldy to manage. Advances in science will continue to prevent death and extend life and it is to science that we must look for answers to the problems that will arise from this.
It appears that giving people a vaccine that contained a live virus would only help in these areas. Not to mention the fact that he and his company stand to make a serious amount of money from this, as they also make the vaccine to bird flu.
This is nothing but speculation and I will not spend time on it. Just because mass murder and global pandemics would kill people does not mean that anyone who acknowledges the very real problems presented by over-populations supports them as a method. Also, the fact that a company would make money from something is not evidence that they intentionally did something. As I wrote about above if they really did want to spread this virus then they chose one of the most ill-conceived and flawed plans possible. Send contaminated viruses to labs outside of your control in order for them to be safely testing on animals? Seriously? Like I said before, just stick a hobo and relax. Does every funeral home arrange murders? Do all builders demolish peoples homes? Do all rehab centers sell drugs? The answer is of course no, and if any evidence indicated that they did they would be held accountable for it.
Heres a link: http://preventdisease.com/news/09/031109_baxter.shtml
That website has a clear ideological agenda and is not a solid site to stand on for reasoned evidence. This is straight from their mission statement:
“So why are so many of us dying from preventable conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer? Email us with your response, proposal or solution.”
It isnt the first time Baxter PH have done something like this. They were caught shipping a product that contained the live HIV virus in america, and when it was found out and subsequently banned, they sold it in japan and some european countries.
I have found no reliable source linking Baxter PH to a product contaminated with HIV. From turning over stones I did read about other controversies though, including two elderly patients that died on dialysis machines from Baxter. The president apologized and shut down the factory resulting in a $189 million loss for that year. A blood thinning agent made by Baxter was found to be contaminated and lead to deaths. When this was discovered Baxter were the first company (unlike dozens of others) to recall the product. It was later discovered that a Chinese company that produces the raw materials for the product were responsible for the initial contamination. Only after this did over a dozen other companies recall the same product.
Im not sure if its purely a money making exercise or something more sinister.
Or perhaps something far more innocent….
So I’m too tired now to write a cogent summary but I hope you found that response interesting. Your right in that conspiracies are sometimes fun, but when it comes to very real things like vaccines I feel that everybody has a responsibility to get their facts straight. Very real harm is being caused by vaccine deniers at the moment which goes way beyond “an interesting idea”. I apologize if I offended you with anything I wrote, explaining away paranoid and unfounded conspiracies was my only goal. Unfortunately for me it is much easier and quicker for the conspiracy theorists to string together a few hasty paragraphs full of powerful accusations and claims than it is to properly research and debunk these claims. In future I may not have the patience to reply like this to other conspiracies you come across, unless they are of particular interest.
Thanks for your time X.
P.S. I apologize if there are punctuation or grammar errors, I was exhausted by the time I finished this…”
P.P.S. 10 bonus skepti-points for the first person to leave a comment who get’s the reference in the post title.