Monthly Archives: June 2021

“An overdose of freedom is lethal to a state.”

An interesting interview caught my eye in the Financial Times of 19/20th June. It was with Vladislav Surkov, who is the architect of the corrupt democracy that has kept Vladimir Putin in power for 21 years. Surkov is a consummate Kremlin backroom operator who became Putin’s chief ideologist and closest political confidant, carrying out a similar role for Putin as Dominic Cummings did for Boris Johnson or Steve Bannon for Donald Trump. In the same way that Cummings and Bannon were eventually thrown overboard by their political masters, so Surkov has just been ‘let go’ by Putin.

Surkov was a founding father of Putinism and helped to create Russia’s ‘sovereign democracy’, an ostensibly open system with a closed outcome. Elections are called, candidates campaign, votes are cast, ballots are counted and the same man wins, every single time. Its core idea is that the stability of the state is much more important than the freedom of the individual. This leads to the creation of fake opposition parties, rigid control of the media and impossible barriers to entry for political figures not approved of by Putin.

Surkov claims that Putin has not abolished democracy but has married it with the monarchical archetype of Russian governance. “This archetype is working. It is not going anywhere…it has enough freedom and enough order. An overdose of freedom is lethal to a state. Anything that is medicine can be poison. It is all about the dosage.”

This stands of course in complete opposition to ideas of societal freedoms that up until recently were espoused by most governments in the west. Whether these ideas can still hold in the current climate of pandemic-induced fear and panic is now debatable. One can imagine that governments in the west and the kind of people who meet at Davos are questioning whether our ideas of individual freedom and liberty can be sustained during a time of climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly when autocratic regimes such as the governments in China and Russia are claiming that their cultures are superior to ours when dealing with current world crises. 

Could it be that our governing elites have in effect seized the opportunity of the pandemic to introduce an experiment to see how far they can go in imposing Chinese or Russian-style social controls on their populations? Have they reached Surkov’s conclusion that “an overdose of freedom is lethal to a state”?

I wonder whether the battle for our freedoms has already been lost. The extraordinary passivity displayed by my fellow citizens in the face of lockdown restrictions and curtailments of liberty, which have been aided by a covert culture of censorship and self-censorship from the media and professional institutions, has been quite unprecedented in my adult experience, which spans the last half-century. 

One can only hope that the recent exposure of Matt Hancock as not only a “totally f………  hopeless” secretary of state for health (Boris Johnson’s verdict on Hancock, as quoted by Dominic Cummings in a statement to MPs) but also a nauseating hypocrite, who was filmed groping an aide in his private office while telling everyone else that they can’t even hug their dying relatives, will by his actions have done enough to make even the most passive Brits rise up in revolt against our political masters, who preach one thing for the little people (and set the police on us or threaten us with prosecution for supposed infringements of their rules), while doing quite other things themselves. It would seem so, as Hancock has now been forced to resign, despite Boris Johnson saying that “the matter was closed.” 

One of the most powerful comments I have seen on this came from Rachel Taylor, a hospital doctor in Oxford, who tweeted: “It’s not the infidelity, it’s the sacrifices every decent person made because Matt Hancock told them to do so. You do realise we had to tell distraught family members they couldn’t see their dying loved ones in hospital? Over and over again. I can never forgive his hypocrisy.”

Sajid Javid has now been appointed as Hancock’s successor so we shall soon see whether he intends to continue with the government’s Covid restrictions. At present the government’s public case for continuing these restrictions does not stand up to any logical or evidential test. Nor does it take into account the full extent of the negative impact on people’s lives in order (it is claimed) to save the lives of a tiny number of people, many of whom might die anyway from pre-existing conditions and complicating factors, for which Covid might be the final catalyst. In other words, although Covid appears on the death certificate, it may not have been the actual cause of death. This is not a justifiable reason for removing the civil liberties of the entire population, and never could be. There must be a more moderate, middle way of dealing with this situation. 

Here are two personal examples of how our freedoms are being eroded: my wife, who is a French national, needed urgently to go to France to see her 89-year-old recently widowed mother. After having to pay £60 for a PCR test taken two days in advance of her flight, she was able to help her mother for a week before returning and being put under quarantine (not unlike house arrest) and then was subjected to three more tests during the 10 days, at a further cost of £299, and being phoned each day to check that she had not absconded. The profiteering by these private testing companies (and how did they get their contracts?) adds injury to insult, especially as the PCR test in France, taken two days before departure, was completely free.

My own experience is potentially more serious: I am now being threatened by the government with the loss of my job unless I have two Covid vaccinations within 16 weeks of new legislation to be introduced in October. I should explain that, at the farm where I work, we have a small residential care home for three adults with learning disabilities. The care home is regulated by the Care Quality Commission, and I am its registered manager. The CQC has rated our care home as ‘Good’ in all five of its inspection categories and I believe that our model of care, which provides a family-style setting on a working farm, is recognised as offering an exceptional quality of life for our residents. 

In accord with their families’ wishes, our three residents have each had both jabs of the Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine, and so can be considered safe. They also have one PCR test each week. Our staff have three tests a week (1 PCR test and 2 lateral flow device tests), so we know that we, too, are free from infection and that our residents are safe. My strong personal conviction is that I do not wish to have the experimental Covid jabs on offer (from Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford Astra Zeneca) until there is more data and all four phases of the vaccine trials have been completed (we are currently in Phase 3). This conviction of mine is only reinforced by the hitherto-suppressed stories that are beginning to emerge of unexplained deaths and serious illnesses following the Covid-19 vaccinations (examples here and here).

I also believe that to insist I have the vaccine or lose my job is to go against the principle of ‘informed consent’ prior to vaccination which is enshrined in UK law and international human rights law. These vaccines were introduced under emergency conditions to deal with the pandemic. It would normally take 10 to 15 years to develop a vaccine from inception to licencing, yet the Covid-19 vaccines data was collected over two months. I cannot be informed properly about possible adverse consequences of these vaccines until all 4 phases of these trials have been completed. To threaten me with the loss of my job before all the trial data is available is fundamentally unjust, and unworthy of a free country. 

For any government minister to change my terms and conditions of employment and thus require me to have the vaccination or face the sack is not to get my informed consent but to obtain consent by coercion. And this from the government which decided to send elderly NHS patients back to the care homes without testing them for Covid-19 “so as not to overwhelm the NHS” and thus condemned many tens of thousands of other care home residents to death. 

Although most political leaders and those powerful people who consider themselves ‘masters of the universe’ haven’t yet got the true message of our times, I wish to finish on a more uplifting note and quote instead the ‘masters of wisdom’, as channelled by a dear friend, Annie Davison. I commend these thoughts to any politician who is tempted to tell the rest of us to “Do as I say, not as I do.”

“The most important thing for us right now is to know and recognise that all humanity is spiritual in origin. Therefore, all humanity is equal in the eyes of universal understanding. Throughout its history, humanity has been unable to perceive equality. Until now, life has been about fight and flight, about dominance and servility. About reaching for the stars no matter whom you tread on along the way.”

“But over these last years, more and more people have recognised that there is more to their inner world than this mighty, greedy, trampling attitude that has evolved to its zenith. Slowly but surely, they have understood, worked hard, and moved through the history mankind has created – life after life, death after death.”

“They have reached the knowledge that life itself can be spiritualised and that if you treat your life gently, with intention, with respect, then you can treat others gently with respect. Life itself, on earth, is where life can be lived within a spiritualised worldview.” (…)

“It is as simple as that. All beings are equal.”

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Suffer the little children

When I have asked anthroposophical doctors about vaccinations and Covid-19, I find there is an extreme reluctance to make any public statements. No doubt this is because the whole subject of vaccination and some of what Rudolf Steiner had to say about it is so controversial that these doctors have a great fear of what may be heaped upon their heads by the orthodox medical bodies, were they to be so unwise as to put these heads above the parapet. And yet, the cautious, almost anodyne statements put out by the Medical Section at the Goetheanum hardly reflect the gravity of the Covid-19 crisis, surely the major public health issue of our time. In these worthy and rather bland responses, one misses the emphasis that Rudolf Steiner gave to “the courage to heal.”

I, of course, am not a medical doctor and have no reputation to lose. Nor am I an epidemiologist, virologist or immunologist so I am completely without relevant knowledge or expertise. I am, however, a human being who tries to pay attention to what is going on in the world and who is disturbed by many aspects of what I see. Right now, I am very concerned by proposals that younger and younger children should be vaccinated against Covid-19. 

The UK regulator has just approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in children aged 12-15, saying it is safe and effective in this age group and the benefits outweigh any risks. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulations Agency (MHRA) said it had carried out a “rigorous review” of the vaccine in adolescents. The UK’s vaccines committee will now decide whether children should get the jab.

China has just approved Covid-19 vaccinations for children as young as three years old.

And in the USA they are now giving Covid-19 vaccines to children as young as 6 months’ old…

Am I the only one who thinks that this is completely mad? Does it make any sense whatsoever to give children a brand-new vaccine with no long-term safety data for a disease that barely affects them?  The people doing this do not even have the pretence that it is for children’s own safety. It is because adults caught up in our safety-at-all costs culture think it is morally acceptable to give children a medicine, which may cause them harm – so as to protect other adults, most of whom have been vaccinated already. 

Actually, I know I am not the only one who thinks that this is both mad and ethically very dubious. A long and distinguished list of doctors, professors of medicine, paediatricians etc has recently signed an open letter to the chief executive of the MHRA, which begins as follows:

“We wish to notify you of our grave concerns regarding all proposals to administer COVID-19 vaccines to children. Recently leaked Government documents suggested that a COVID-19 vaccine rollout in children over 12 years old is already planned for September 2021, and the possibility of children as young as 5 years old being vaccinated in the summer in a worst-case scenario.”

“We have been deeply disturbed to hear several Government and SAGE representatives calling in the media for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout to be “turning to children as fast as we can”. Teaching materials circulated to London schools contain emotionally loaded questions and inaccuracies. In addition, there has been disturbing language used by teaching union leaders, implying that coercion of children to accept the COVID-19 vaccines through peer pressure in schools was to be encouraged, despite the fact that coercion to accept a medical treatment is against UK and International Laws and Declarations. Rhetoric such as this is irresponsible and unethical, and encourages the public to demand the vaccination of minors with a product still at the research stage and about which no medium- or long-term effects are known, against a disease which presents no material risk to them.”

I urge you to read the whole of this very important and significant letter.

As I’ve said before, I am not an anti-vaxxer but I am against stupidity and tyrannical group-think. On a related matter, just take a look at the NHS schedule of vaccinations and when to have them – it really is quite extraordinary. Babies up to the age of 16 weeks are recommended to have no less than 8 vaccinations; and children aged between 1 year and 15 years old should have a further 10 vaccinations. Who really thinks this is a good idea, to overload young immune systems with so many vaccinations and re-vaccinations? 

Which brings me to what Rudolf Steiner had to say in his lecture on October 7th 1917. He might have been talking about our situation today.

“Let us not be deceived: we are facing a movement which has very definite aims. Just as at the Council of Constantinople the Spirit was abolished, that is to say, the dogma was established that man consists of body and soul only and to speak of spirit is heretical, attempts of a different character will be made to abolish the soul, man’s life of soul. And the time will come, perhaps in a future by no means far distant, (…) when it will be said: if a man thinks at all of spirit and soul, that is a pathological symptom: those individuals who speak only of the body, they alone are healthy. It will be regarded as a symptom of illness if a human being develops in such a way that he can conceive of the existence of a spirit or a soul. Such people will be considered to be ill. And – of this you may be sure – the corresponding medicament will be discovered and used. On that past occasion the spirit was abolished. The soul will be abolished by means of a medicament yet to be discovered. A “healthy outlook” will lead to the discovery of a vaccine which will be injected into the human organism in earliest infancy, if possible immediately after birth, to ensure that this human body never has the idea that a soul and a spirit exist.”

“This indicates the sheer contradiction between two conceptions of life. The adherents of one will have to reflect how to develop concepts and ideas able to keep pace with reality, with the reality of spirit and soul. The others, the followers of the modern materialists, will seek for the vaccine said to make the body “healthy”, that is to say, affects its constitution in such a way that man no longer speaks of such twaddle as soul and spirit but speaks, from a sound attitude, of forces working in machines and in chemistry and producing planets and suns in the cosmic nebula. This attitude of mind will be induced by bodily procedures. Materialistic doctors will be entrusted with the task of driving souls out of human beings.”

(Rudolf Steiner, “The Crumbling of the Earth and the Souls and Bodies of Man” given in Dornach October 7, 1917.) 

There are three accounts in the Gospels of Christ Jesus’s attitude when his disciples tried to prevent parents bringing their little children to him. Here is the one from Luke, 18:15-17, in the King James version:

“And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.” 

“Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.” But if the faculty of receiving the kingdom of God has been taken away from you by umpteen vaccines – what then?

If I were a doctor injecting experimental vaccines into very young children, not for reasons to do with their own medical needs but to try to reduce upward medical transmission from schools to older adults, then I would be wary of another of Christ’s sayings, this time from Matthew 18:6

“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

Steiner indicated what is really behind this, and all the other dark phenomena of our time:

“All these methods (…) have finally one single purpose — to lead people away from the Christ who has passed through the Mystery of Golgotha, and to assign to another being dominion over the earth. This is a very real battle, not an affair of abstract concepts; a real battle which is concerned with setting another being in place of the Christ-Being for the rest of the fifth post-Atlantean epoch, for the sixth epoch and for the seventh. (…) And it will be essential for people to learn to distinguish between the true Christ, who will not this time appear in the flesh, and this other being who is marked off by the fact that he has never been embodied on the earth.”

If that is too extraordinary a notion for anyone but anthroposophists to take on board, let us finish with another quotation from the letter sent by doctors and scientists to the head of the MHRA. After setting out a detailed list of both short-term and long-term safety concerns, they say this:

“There is important wisdom in the Hippocratic Oath which states, “First do no harm”. All medical interventions carry a risk of harm, so we have a duty to act with caution and proportionality. This is particularly the case when considering mass intervention in a healthy population, in which situation there must be firm evidence of benefits far greater than harms. The current, available evidence clearly shows that the risk versus benefit calculation does NOT support administering rushed and experimental COVID-19 vaccines to children, who have virtually no risk from COVID-19, yet face known and unknown risks from the vaccines. The Declaration of the Rights of the Child states that, ‘the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care,
including appropriate legal protection’. As adults we have a duty of care to protect children from unnecessary and foreseeable harm.” 

“We conclude that it is irresponsible, unethical and indeed, unnecessary, to include children under 18 years in the national COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Clinical trials in children also pose huge ethical dilemmas, in light of the lack of potential benefit to trial participants and the unknown risks. The end of the current Phase 3 trials should be awaited as well as several years of safety data in adults, to rule out, or quantify, all potential adverse effects.”

“We call upon our governments and the regulators not to repeat mistakes from history, and to reject the calls to vaccinate children against COVID-19. Extreme caution has been exercised over many aspects of the pandemic, but surely now is the most important time to exercise true caution – we must not be the generation of adults that, through unnecessary haste and fear, risks the health of children.” 

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