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A selection of our writings from 2009 to the present. If you'd like to keep up to date with our latest posts, please subscribe below.

Artist as Family’s Book of Neopeasantry (third excerpt)

 

October 25
Patrick

While weeding the food forest on the street with Victoria, a SWAP from Argentina, Meg yells out to us, ‘Swarm at Melliodora!’ I quickly load up the bike trailer with a Warré box, bee jacket and hood, a whitish bedsheet, a cardboard box and ride down to Hepburn. In my rush I can’t find my bee gloves so when I arrive I fossick around in Dave and Su’s workshop and find a solitary garden glove. It’ll have to do. I also spot a ladder in the workshop. I’m going to need that too.

Swarming bees are so laden with honey that it’s difficult for them to sting. Their main focus is on protecting their queen, transporting food stores, and awaiting the several hundred scout bees to return from seeking out a place to build a new hive.

The combination of bee-offending perspiration from my rapid 5 km bicycle ride, a humid spring day, lack of adequate gloves, and my general impatience to catch the swarm before it takes off is not ideal. Rushing bees is idiotic at any time, but especially rushing bees swarming high up on a tall, flexible oak sapling only reached by a ladder.

My plan is to make multiple trips up the sapling, gently sweep honey-laden bees into my cardboard box with my gloved hand, descend the ladder and tap the bees out of the cardboard into the timber Warré box, which I’ve set up on a flat knoll on the slopey ground with the whitish sheet used as an illuminating runway for the bees to navigate their way inside and join their sisters.

As I begin my labour, my uncovered hand is stung. It instantly becomes inflamed with stings, then my stomach, which is now exposed as I reach up to sweep the first thick pad of bees into the box. Stings then make their way to where the glove isn’t covering. I come down the ladder, angry bees following me. I tap the first lot into the Warré and take off to find Su or Dave to ask to borrow their bee gloves.

I return to the tree, suitably gloved up now and immediately bees start flying at me. I climb the ladder and reach up to sweep another pad of bees into the box. My exposed stomach is set upon again. What an absolute debacle this is. I have rushed my first swarm of the season. It’s obvious I haven’t as yet stepped into my bee care mind and I have come to do this work with all the stupidity a human can muster. All my knowledges about catching a swarm have eluded me. I’ve forgotten what I’ve learned in previous years. I am too cocky and too eager and these bees are aggressive, a trait I don’t ordinarily mind because it means the colony is generally robust to predators. It certainly is.

I pedal home with my tail between my legs, kicking myself for being such a fool. You cannot rush bees, and tonight I have a hundred swellings over my body as appropriate feedback for my foolishness.

 

 

October 27
Meg

I work from home today and sit near the fire with my laptop and a bottomless cup of tea: wild fennel, mugwort and stinging nettle.

It rains all day so Victoria, our lovely SWAP, is doing inside jobs. I am not sure how I’m going to go working from home while overseeing Victoria but it’s easy. I explain things once and she’s away.

Blackwood is supposed to have a friend over but his friend is unwell so he works with Victoria, telling her stories, asking her questions about her native home of Argentina, bringing her ingredients and utensils she needs.

They measure the seeds; sesame, linseed, chia, sunflower, then add almond meal, and the psyllium husks we collected from plantain seed heads, mix them with water, salt and herbs, roll them out, score them and bake them as crackers.

They harvest, peel and chop the last of our onions, blitz them with salt in the old food processor I inherited from my grandparents and make an onion kraut.

Next they make hummus, bland, the way Blackwood likes it. And then they scoop the yoghurt I strained last night into a jar and add greens from the pots on the deck to make a creamy herbed labne.

‘I like being a volunteer in my own house,’ Blackwood says, when we sit down for lunch.

~

Artist as Family’s Book of Neopeasantry (second excerpt)

 

October 18
Meg

I’ve been meaning to check on them for ages and after work today I finally do. I take the tea towel off the bucket that’s been sitting under the fermenting table and realise I’ve left it too late. A 20-litre bucket of Jerusalem artichokes with a plate on top to keep them submerged under the brine. There is a thick crust of mould, and all of the pickles have gone soft. I’m so disappointed, and I curse myself for not putting a reminder in the calendar to check it earlier, as I usually do.

I scoop the mould off the top and feel around with my hand all through the bucket and find one big one that may be salvageable. It smells fine, so I give it a quick rinse and take a bite but it’s not as firm as I hope. I put it back in the bucket and carry the soft gloopy mess down off the deck, through the muddy swales and into the chicken coop to the very back corner and dump the whole lot there among 15 years of rotten down mouldy ferments.

When I come back up to the house Patrick asks me where I tipped them and I tell him.

‘Onto my midden of failures.’

 

 

October 23
Patrick

A plunge in the cold water tank, nude tea drinking by the fire, loft steps lovemaking, followed by more tea, reading out to each other the missives from thoughtsmiths and journos we subscribe to on Substack.

Blackwood wakes around nine and we ride our bikes up to the Sunday market. A sign catches my eye as we pass through town, ‘Relaxation Massage – $40 for 30 minutes.’ I’d seen the sign before but never given it a thought. Our usual cohort of body healers are not currently available, and I don’t see Kris for a massage in exchange for gardening, until Friday.

We continue onto the market and I buy a banana passionfruit vine from Florian, one of the organic growers there. Banana passionfruit are the only fruit ripe at this time of year and I’m determined to keep this one frost protected until it grows hardy.

I chat with Florian and later with Edward, another grower who grows without chemicals. Meg and Blackwood wander around the market, yarning with people, looking for old tools and useful things like containers filled with an assortment of nails and screws.

On the way home riding in convoy I notice the massage sign again, and feeling the pain rising in my back I call out to Meg and Blackwood, ‘See you at home, I’ll see if I can get a treatment.’

I cross the road and roll my bike down a little lane and walk into the reception area. The lady says she is available and takes my card and charges me $49. I feel as though I missed something in the exchange. English isn’t her first language and Mandarin isn’t mine. She shows me into the room, and leaves me there to undress. She returns as I’m laying on my stomach with a towel across my body. She asks whether I want my legs and buttocks done. ‘My back is what’s really hurting me,’ I reply.

Before I know it she has removed my underpants. Well, that’s pretty weird. I have the feeling again as though I have missed something. She uses her hands, elbows and forearms to work my tight back muscles. I begin to relax and breathe deeply in and out through my nose.

After about twenty minutes she asks me to turn over and places the towel back over my body. She speaks again, something about a ‘special’ and taps me on my groin. Oh, I realise, it’s this kind of massage parlour. ‘No thanks,’ I say, ‘but thanks for asking.’

She works my legs and arms and I lay there thinking about how unattached and pragmatic she is. My thought drifts to all the lonely men in the district starved of intimacy, starved of touch, where this service would at least be some kind of connection. I feel pangs of grief for all people who don’t have intimacy in their lives, which leads on to a wave of gratitude for the diversity of love and touch I receive each day.

After 30 minutes she thanks me and leaves the room. I put my farming clothes back on my farming body. No one is in the reception. There’s a ghostly feeling as I leave. It’s not exactly what I went in for, but there’s a little relief in my back.

I gently ride home and share my adventure with Meg. ‘Wow,’ she says. ‘I didn’t know such a thing existed in Daylesford.’ We laugh at how naive we are. Blackwood is in the workshop cleaning up rusted steel blades from old hedge trimmers he bought at the market.

‘Were you tempted?’ Meg asks me, grinning.

~

Artist as Family’s Book of Neopeasantry (first excerpt)

For the past year we’ve been journalling every day with the intention of collecting stories for a book focussed on the relationships and processes of how we live, make culture and practice economy. Today we share with you a first excerpt as we slowly transform our two journals into one manuscript, which we’re calling Artist as Family’s Book of Neopeasantry.

This is not a how to or guide book on neopeasantry but rather, like our first collaborative effort The Art of Free Travel, it’s a memoir. In Artist as Family’s Book of Neopeasantry both we adults share our days, sometimes with overlapping stories and themes, sometimes not.

We hope you enjoy this forthcoming series of excerpts. We’d love to hear from you in the comments about how you are building the parallel society in your neck of the woods, step-by-step composting your household’s reliance on neoliberal corporatism while strengthening your local forms of economy. If you’re moved to and have the capacity, please consider supporting our work in one of four ways and help keep the gifts flowing.

Now, without further ado, a first insight into Artist as Family’s Book of Neopeasantry.

October 16
Patrick

Nikki is a dear friend and elder of ours. She is one of those rare spirits who works to make the world sing. She with others in the community started the local Repair Café where people volunteer their time to fix things for others.

Fixers include those good with electrical devices, repairing bicycles, darning socks, mending jumpers, and sharpening knives. Blackwood takes his repair kit to fix loose soles on peoples shoes. Meg takes along her hand-fashioned sign, which announces she is MENDING BROKEN HEARTS, offering a listening and reflecting table for matters of the heart. For this month’s gathering, Nikki has asked me to run a chainsaw sharpening workshop. I also bring equipment to teach secateur maintenance.

A small cohort of people has gathered around my table at the club room at Victoria Park. I begin with demonstrating the filing of the teeth of a chain. How to maintain the correct angle and tension as you push the file through each tooth. I demonstrate the cleaning and sharpening of secateurs, first by disassembling all parts, then ragging away any remnant grease, sanding the crud or dried sap from the blades with wet and dry sandpaper, then reapplying a film of new grease and reassembling.

The grease I use is tallow from Bruce the bull. Veronika has often gifted us tallow and meat cuts from her family’s farm. We mostly cook with tallow, or ghee that Meg makes. Veronika used to come to Meg’s monthly free-to-learn fermentation workshops and she continues to shower us with gifts from her family’s subsistence productions.

All around us the gifts flow. We send them out into the world and others flow back. This is why we call our main economic form a flow of gifts economy. It grows with trust and love. It is not clunky like barter, and it’s not ruthless like money. As at the Repair Café, gifts aggregate and true eldership leads the way to start them flowing, leading by love and gentle encouragement.

Meg

I ride up to the Sunday market just with Zero as Blackwood is mowing our neighbour’s lawns and Patrick is working on a long blog post about the Free Julian Assange rally. 

Jono from Brooklands gifts me a bag of bones for Zero, then Ruby from Two Fold gifts me a loaf of bread, and I pedal home to find Dallas dropping off an unwanted rooster at our door. Another gift. The apple and quince blossoms are out in full glory, and the garden is humming with life and activity, and I am feeling inside the rich current of the generosity of the season.

We put the rooster in the cellar then pedal up to the Repair Café at Victoria Park. Patrick is running a chainsaw and tool sharpening workshop, Blackwood has taken his shoe repair kit, and I sit at my regular table and listen to people’s heart breaking stories. Mending is not fixing, it’s just listening and sometimes reflecting. It is a big and bustling afternoon and everyone is in good spirits because the sun is shining after so many days of rain.

The last person to sit at my table is John, who’s been sharpening knives at the table next to mine all afternoon. He is there to chat, not have his heart mended, he tells me. When it’s nearly time to pack up, I tell him I am heading home to kill and cook for dinner the rooster Dallas has dropped over and he tells me about the time many years ago he was on a tram in Melbourne. A woman gets on and the conductor tells her she isn’t allowed on the tram with a live duck tucked under her arm. They have a brief conversation then the woman casually wrings the duck’s neck, then puts it back under her arm and sits down.

~

An argument for left libertarian ‘community sufficiency’ (land-bonded, neopeasant, anarchist mobilisation)

By Patrick. 15 minute read.

Possibly the earliest recorded approach to workplace safety begins in ancient Mesopotamia, found in The Code of Hammurabi (c. 1750 BC). This document was a set of regulatory laws that applied broadly to Mesopotamian society including workers’ rights and responsibilities. The history of workplace (and other forms of) safety is not a single progressive line. The road to this current era of safety laws, where say, picking up a useful tool or material to repurpose from a council waste transfer station is prohibited on the grounds that this action is potentially unsafe, has been circuitous. Inarguably, we have entered an era of safetyism, and here I argue this ideology is now politically motivated.

Safetyism has morphed from an ideology to a tactic of immobilising, steering people into a permanent risk-adverse and fearful state. On the surface it appears wholesome and well-meaning, attempting to create a non-suffering world where accidents or harmful events are no longer part of life. Such a pursuit of safety, which has no real place in the living and dying, decomposing and renewing of life itself, is safety that’s gone wrong story. Governments are increasingly utilising fear tactics to immobilise populations, and notably they are labelling dissenting and critical voices of these tactics as dangerous or harmful.

While liberal threads have existed since Enlightenment Europe, the political movement of liberalism was defined in 1948 by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which outlined basic freedoms and rights that should apply to all people. The etymological root of the words liberal, libertine, libertarian and liberty is from the Latin liber, which means free. Today, liberalism is barely recognisable, liberals have become champions for curtailing free-speech and applauding safetyism as a core strategy for controlling those they believe to be inferior. In other words, the meritorious approach to workplace safety (led by both leftist and liberal politics since industrialisation) has grown into another significant neoliberal growth industry, setting up a hyper-paternalistic culture around safety, which in turn has led to broad societal immobilisation and even, as some critics are reading it, a slide into fascism.

A permanent state of fear

Fear, and encouraging its centre place in people’s lives, is a well worn strategy for controlling populations. Influencers of left and liberal politics who embrace safetyism are likewise helping to march us all into a society where thought, action and diverse ways of being are curtailed and controlled. Increasingly, any critique of such immobilising is quickly labelled libertarian, ableist, white supremacist, and even neo-nazist despite the broad ethnicities of resistance. Such reductive shame labels play well into governments’ strategies to deter people from looking at the diversity of independent voices raising red flags about how safety is being misused and how it has become an instrument of control.

In The Five Eyes (FVEY) countries of Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Britain and the US, these nation-states have an agreement to spy on each other’s citizens and pass on this information across borders, in order to not breach constitutional laws that prohibit countries spying on their own citizens. These colonial-constituted countries are using the next generation of technologies to advance global development, a term that really should be treated as next generation colonialism.

An effective strategy for liberal governments throughout the world now is to spruik the message that they are in the business of protecting vulnerable peoples while in reality they are deliberately creating vulnerability – economic and social – in a range of minority groups who are actively resisting the paternalism of this new brand of liberalism.

Governments and corporations have different interests, but both use data and behavioural insights teams to help manipulate and control populations. There is a neatly crafted relationship between governments and corporations, serving each other’s interests. While financial power drives corporate interest, it’s the control of people that drives the government’s, where immobilisation and compliance is achieved by fabricating materialist ideas of social good that favour city- or human-centric modes of life-making. In the city life is controlled more than anywhere else by people, and it is this monospeciesist world view that derives from urbane monocultures that feeds such disconnected paternalism.

An example of this is how liberals continue to use masks, even if only as a form of identity, despite little evidence that hospital grade masks provide any meaningful benefits in stopping acute respiratory infections (ARIs). Liberals and leftists using handmade cloth masks refuse to educate themselves on how these masks provide no benefits and really should be considered as nothing more than virtue signalling or as a signifying textile of compliance to the order of safetyism.

Don’t climb that tree kid, take this screen and go sit inside!

While the nexus of state and corporate power is not a new thing, with new surveillance technologies the possibilities for control and manipulation have never been so sophisticated, posing new threats to peoples’ liberties and to democracy. If we continue along this path I can see a time in the near future, where blog posts such as this (on independent websites) will be barred from being transmitted, and critical voices who challenge the state-corporate nexus will be removed from sight, and even from their communities. Smear campaigns and more subtle forms of censorship are now common place. Liberal elites have made the cost of dissent too high for the expert class.

The city and indeed civilisation itself is a mirror to what I call fallen or lopsided patriarchy. The past 5000 years of city building has accompanied the past 5000 years of debt as a tactic of economic incarceration, where a civilisational kinship between banking, militarism and go-it-alone patriarchy has dominated power struggles. Patriarchy is only healthy when common lore derives from the logic and culture directives of Mother Country (Gaia) and people are earth-honouring in all their organisation and activity. Our species’ severance from the divinity of Mother Country by ‘patriarchy’s project’ (Vandana Shiva) – colonialism, materialist science, debt and permanent war – is the meta story behind this next phase of authoritarianism brought into play via a supposedly well-meaning desire for increased levels of safety.

The transition from a meritorious emphasis on safety in a dynamic relationship with risk, to overreaching governmental paternalism regarding anything or anyone perceived to be dangerous, to a new unfolding era of control and censorship is rarely critiqued by leftist and liberal commentators currently. Strangely it’s the commentators on the right who have taken up this vacuum of discourse, which is why the term libertarianism has become so derided by liberal academia. In recent years the neoliberal academy (the university as a branch of neoliberal corporatism) has been in a process of radically cleansing itself of heterodox thinkers and deleting from its memory the important history of left libertarianism, otherwise known as anarchy. There are many reasons for this, including the buy up of liberal media by elites increasingly behaving as the puppeteers of a new world order. This order aims to immobilise and keep people in a state of fear and deference to power. The promise of Zuckerberg’s Metaverse is the most striking example of this tactic of hyper immobilisation and control, packaged as our utopian future, where you’ll live a better life.

Regulatory capture fans pharmacolonisation

A recent article by former ABC science journalist, Maryanne Demasi, exposes how billionaires like Bill Gates are bypassing democratic processes in order to manipulate the narrative alongside government agencies. She writes that “[t]en of the past 11 FDA commissioners left the agency and secured roles with pharmaceutical companies they once regulated,” and how Gates is instrumental in the capture of the FDA. And yet it appears that any mention of Bill Gates in the pejorative, at least inside liberal and leftist circles, immediately earns you the reputation of a conspiracy theorist.

This slide from left and liberal critiques of power that I grew up with as a young thinker, to the capitulation to the state-corporate nexus of left and liberal scholarship and journalism, is a travesty for democracy. Yet, it is quite understandable in the context of how universities have been captured by big money and how behavioural insights and indeed pysops teams work in tandem to first game the expert class (by position and handsome wages) and then game a large remainder of society willing to put their trust in these experts, governments and corporates.

An example that immediately comes to mind is the Green tech mining bonanza taking place where saving the world from certain destruction with lithium and other minerals becomes, in actuality, just the continuation of fallen patriarchy’s violation of Mother Country, albeit by a new, hip, liberal mining industry. This example is akin to degrowth activists who on the one hand call for decentralisation and economic degrowing while on the other put their faith in the hyper-growth medicalisation of the world, and deriding those who resist it.

Emergency porn

Resistance to aggregating authoritarianism requires leaving behind the emergency porn and fear campaigns that media outlets like the Australian government-controlled ABC have crafted so well through the immobilising art of keeping people glued to their screens or radios. As we go into this next fire season in Australia, the ABC will again want to hold our attention and shape our thinking by amplifying certain voices while disappearing others.

In my years as a volunteer consultant in my community’s bushfire mitigation group, I have seen firsthand how governments use community groups such ours to tick boxes and appear like they are doing something, while wasting millions of dollars, setting up well-meaning local people to fail in their collaboration with government. It is by being in local and state government-initiated community groups for decades where I have developed a deep-seated distrust of any level of government in Australia. Appearance is everything in political and bureaucratic worlds.

As Bill Gates, the WHO, the US government, pharmaceutical giants, their captured regulators and many organisations such as the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) ‘prepare’ us for the next pandemic (as they ‘prepared’ us for Covid-19), we will need to ask ourselves again, should we trust the narrative? Should we trust the ‘experts’?

Colonialism’s camouflage

Western civilisation is inseparable from western colonialism, which continues to hone its strategy of divide and conquer. What liberal governments and their corporate bully mates are deliberately doing now is dividing populations into two camps – acceptable vulnerable peoples and unacceptable vulnerable peoples, the latter of who are the classes of deplorables, contagions, conspiracists and other resisters that will be increasingly targeted in the liberal media.

Instead of listening to the differences of neighbours and community others around us, and respecting and honouring our differences, society is standing at a threshold where reductive shame labels applied to certain groups by academia, the political class and the liberal media automatically give people the permission to be discriminatory. This podcast episode featuring academic Tyson Yunkaporta using doctoral student Tammi Jonas as a prompt to head kick heterodox thinkers like David Holmgren and myself, while lamenting how certain ‘friends’ have fallen victim to “conspiracies” and “radicalism,” is a timely example of this. Yunkaporta’s slide in recent years from important Indigenous thoughtsmith to promoter of correct-think neoliberalism is just one of the many cultural losses sustained throughout the Covid safetyism moment. Yunkaporta’s muzzling of me in this episode of his podcast is another such example of refusing to listen to the other, ironic because his podcast series is called The Other Others and he claims his emphasis is on yarning – generative conversing through threads – not positioning and posturing.

Governments, corporations, academies and behavioural insights units will continue to make sure that such honouring and respect for diverse approaches is decimated, and that mob morality rules, encouraging those who wish to keep their jobs, get promoted, and be part of the in-crowd to distance themselves from ratbags and deplorables. In this cultural milieu we wholeheartedly embrace being outside such a wrong story tent.

As we saw with Covid, the construction of a contagion class was essential for the rolling out of novel medical treatments. This strategy will be deployed again, probably with a more deadly pathogen next time, and again ‘accidentally’ escaped a gain-of-function lab. There are only 100 or so of them around the world, what could possibly go wrong?

We all heard governments confidently state that Covid was of ‘natural origin’ and the novel Covid jabs were both safe and effective, and anyone who disagreed with these proclamations was a danger to society. We saw the introduction of medical passports, the decimation of small businesses, the freezing of bank accounts of those who supported protesters, the biggest wealth transfer to elites in history, and now the rollout of misinformation and disinformation bills, affectively, giving governments, corporates and their institutional ‘fact-checkers” an unprecedented right to call what is truth and what isn’t.

Claiming the ‘correct’ narrative

Above: data showing excess deaths in Australia trending upwards since the Covid response. Health officials have not sufficiently accounted for this huge rise in deaths, many heart-related, and refuse to look into whether mass vaccination of novel GMO vaccines have contributed.

Any government or institution that claims to hold the truth, when so many have lied so egregiously throughout the Covid response, are of course the real threat to democracy. That this position is unpopular with my fellow left and liberal colleagues is deeply concerning, especially given papers like this just published in Japan where scientists show widespread (as yet) asymptomatic myocardial inflammation in people who took these so-called safe and effective jabs as opposed to the unvaccinated cohort who didn’t. There is now a deluge of sudden cardiac deaths in the most vaccinated countries, who are experiencing ‘unexplainable’ excess mortality figures, yet health officials, governments and left and liberal commentators remain tight lipped that there could be a link to the these novel vaccines, that many in the science community are now admitting are GMOs.

The doubling down on ‘natural origin’ and ‘safe and effective’ propaganda is understandable when you’ve gone down those rabbit holes so unequivocally.

Limited hangout – the well oiled tactic massaging the message

In an Age newspaper article (pictured) from a few days ago, the journalist gives a limited hangout regarding the Covid response. At the beginning of her article she states when Covid occurred health officials completely ignored the long founded response for a respiratory virus pandemic, which essentially is focused protection where immunocompromised and other vulnerable people are offered the majority of resources while herd immunity via infection is quickly established by healthy normals. But instead of critiquing the completely novel and human-rights violating Covid response and the throwing out of the prior gold standard approach, the journalist proceeds to amplify the architects of the diabolical Covid response, finishing with a statement from Brett Sutton, the senior Victorian health official responsible for one of the worlds most brutal Covid responses, seeing Victorians locked up for longer periods than most and riot squads and liberal media raining rubber bullets on those who protested. There is zero reflection in the article on what Sutton orchestrated, rather an elevation of his opinion, which expectedly is focussed not on health but more ideological attacks on those dissenting and critiquing his damaging and militaristic response.

This Age article is yet another piece of propaganda preparing its readers for an inevitable “next pandemic”, and holding its readers in a place of ‘trust the captured science’ or forever be cast into the contagion or deplorable classes.

Responding is a dance; reacting is war

In the lead up to the pandemic Brett Sutton was a public health registrar at Burnet Institute in Melbourne, which has received over a million dollars from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation since 2009. This trickle feeding of monies to universities, research centres and media institutions is Bill Gate’s ingenius way of subtly, slowly controlling which narratives are heard while disappearing those that don’t conspire to grow his fortunes via the invisible threat of such funding running out. Gates’ role in pharmacolonisation is central, and puppets like Sutton are his well-paid foot soldiers who keep getting promoted up the rungs of the global health-fascism network.

Understanding what is going on is critically vital for individuals, households and communities in continuing to respond to and prepare our networks and economic lifeways to be increasingly independent of corporates, governments and neoliberal academia. Removing ourselves from dependency on corporate-government education, food, medicine, energy, and basic essentials for life making may grant us greater freedoms. Right libertarian approaches of hyper individualism are limited because of their isolationism. However, left libertarianism invites communities to be self organising and interdependent, and is by nature communitarian, compassionate and sensitive to tyranny. As I have argued before, real communitarianism is never top down, it is never meted out by power.

It is those of us who devise creative, subversive and generative lifeways to either slip away from or dance with the growing fundamentalism of the state-corporate nexus, will be those who thrive in this coming period. By building ever more relationships with life, with Mother Country – not in an ideological but in a sacred sense – and mobilising ourselves into what Artist as Family calls a flow of gifts or belonging economies, we can transition to diverse communities that will trade paternalistic urbane ‘services’ for neopeasant community sufficiency – a term we devised many years ago to signal mobilisation of both household and community economies.

As always, we welcome your comments, corrections, critique and questions. We are now on Substack, so please follow us on this censorship-free platform.

I am frightened by the culture I was born into (a list poem)

This week we examine our fear, Patrick writes a poem on the subject, and we listen to an elder from the past on the nature of fear, which we offer as critical listening for this present moment and immanent future.

Here’s the audio of Patrick’s poem, I am frightened by the culture I was born into (5 min listen). The text of which (with links) is below:

 

I am frightened by the culture I was born into

Yeah well my phone’s fucked and they won’t give me a new sim until I get vaxxed so I gave in, just got the first shot. I need the phone to log onto my computer for work. Work also breathing down my neck with a deadline of the 17th for declaring my ‘status’. So whatever. I hope the bastard thing kills me. (Melbourne academic, email to Patrick Jones, 1 December 2021)

I am frightened by the culture I was born into. I am scared of scientific reductionism. I fear the aggregation of poisons from industry and the increasing intransigence to heterodox thinkers by governments and universities. I am worried by what the expert class brings to Country. It distresses me few read global development as an extension of colonialism, and in its currency colonialism is again unseen by mob morality.

I feel ill the educated are uncritical of the State-Pharma nexus. I fear the results when doctors and researchers who raise red flags are demoted, disappeared and censored. I’m terrified by the many who don’t question and who in their shame attack the other others. I’m sickened by the profits of patriarchal medicine and how this profit blooms in biomes and inflames bodies. It distresses me medical journals have become “information laundering operations for the pharmaceutical industry.” My gut turns with the lack of consent. Communitarian is bottom up, grassroots consensus not powering over the other from above. I’m dismayed by friends who, having been coerced – having to feed their families – now turn on me parroting, ‘White-supremacist! Conspiracy theorist! Anti-vaxxer!’

Even if I refuse directly what industry brings to Country, the rush now on gene engineering and editing means my family and community are likely not free from the spillovers, mutations and contaminants. Antidepressants are awash in the riparians of Country. Nanoplastics in every cell, every biota, and thus in our food, our bodies. Body and food sovereignty is dying, and how I’m reading it, the single greatest threat to life is the romanticisation of progress leading us all into digital prisons cheered on by the movement I’ve served my whole adult life – the Green-Left – until now. Diversity at all costs, except for Them, the deplorable contagions!

I’m scared that people like us, who will again refuse the coming assault of biotechs, will be further discriminated against. I’m alarmed and shocked at how few want to examine the coercion, intolerance and abuse of the past few years. I’m predicting a future of incarceration for those who resist Pharmacolonisation, and I feel no hope for a society that’s constructed “man-made mass death” as its modus operandi, and this fear is traumatising to me.

I will continue to serve the worlds of the world, and serve the communities of life who stand for life, and in doing so stand against the cult of Scientism, against “patriarchy’s project”. In this continuum of service I will name my fears alongside my shame and grief, and cry out my sacred, old briney waters into the rich, life-bringing humus of Mother Country, for anyone or anything connected to hear. I won’t wield my sword in war-like reaction, even in chains I will dance with it like my old people before me.


 

We’d like to add to this post a little zooming out. Here is the wisdom of Krishnamurti on the subject of fear, and the possibility of ending it (25 mins):

Your thoughts and feelings at this time are precious to us. What are your current fears? What processes do you employ to face them? And anything related, or not, is most welcome.

Sending spring renewal and warmth to you, or autumnal abundance (if you’re north), Dear Reader.

Artists and the Practice of Agriculture: Politics and Aesthetics of Food Sovereignty in Art Since 1960

Hello Dear Reader,

Our offering today is a reading from our contribution to the newly released, Artists and the Practice of Agriculture: Politics and Aesthetics of Food Sovereignty in Art Since 1960 (Routledge 2023). Authored by Silvia Bottinelli, the book surveys artists working with the materiality, politics and aesthetics of food sovereignty over the past 60 years.

 

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Does the truth about GMOs in food and pharmaceuticals lie in the funding behind the messaging?

Dr Patrick Jones examines the current messaging promoting GMOs and reveals that decades of careful legal work concerning GMO use has been undermined over the past three years, green-lighting a potential surfeit of novel GMOs in both food and pharmaceutical products.

This research is dedicated to those who journey beyond the safety of their algorithmic and social niches.

Opening without closing

The world’s populations were informed by authorities, media and experts that Covid is a zoonotic or ‘natural’ virus and the vaccines designed to combat it would never be engineered to be biologically active in the body. It appears that at least one of these stories was untrue, possibly both. What follows is my research, which has scoured the virtual halls of medical journals, philanthropic, media, scientific and academic institutions, and independent websites over the past three years, to find out.

If I’m reading any of the following inaccurately I’d appreciate your considered feedback in the comments. Only I ask you first read through the post carefully, checking the links and what I’m referring to, and adding to this research positively. Please consider this a working document, a collection of useful links and, more broadly, an information ecology, which I hope will be of some use.

I’m not interested in culture war reductionism. I believe the integrity of the human genome and more-than-human genes are too important to bother with ideological warfare. In relation to Covid there has never been ‘scientific consensus’, as this research attests. There has just been voices elevated, voices disappeared, and loads of ‘conspiracies theories,’ some of which have become or are becoming conspiracy facts. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who is taking this subject seriously, regardless of how differently we might be reading the current moment, and I offer this research in this spirit.

For those not familiar with what a GMO is, here’s my short definition: Artificially manipulated in laboratories by processes of genetic engineering, GMOs are ostensibly live organisms whose genetic material has been altered to create fusions of plant, animal, bacteria or virus genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional selection techniques.

Before I get going, here’s a screen grab I’d like you to read from the Australian Government’s Office of the Gene Technology Regulator. I will speak to this later in the piece.

 

The GMO movement’s great leap forward?

In late 2020, GMO food and drug proponent Mark Lynas wrote a piece in Alliance for Science, titled Yes, some COVID vaccines use genetic engineering. Get over it.

“We’ve all heard the conspiracy theories about COVID-19,” writes Lynas, “[n]ow a whole new set is emerging around COVID vaccines — and spreading as virulently as the pandemic they are meant to control.”

One of the prior conspiracies Lynas was referring to is the lab origin hypothesis. That is, Covid occurred via a genetically altered bat virus that had been engineered to become more pathogenic in people, and it therefore didn’t come from a wet market. The claim goes that this research, called gain-of-function, was carried out in the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). “This one at least has the benefit of being plausible,” says Lynas.

In Australia in mid 2020, Professor Clive Hamilton first spoke to this hypothesis in The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) in his piece, It would be unwise to dismiss Donald Trump’s Wuhan lab leak theory.

Of course, it wasn’t Trump’s theory at all, it was the theory of a group of independent researchers who called themselves DRASTIC – Decentralised Radical Autonomous Search Team Investigating COVID-19. In 2020 DRASTIC triggered a global conspiracy theory which continues to gain traction, evidence and distain.

Perhaps it was expedient of certain factions of the media to paint the lab origin hypothesis as a far right wing conspiracy and associate it with Trump, whereas in actual fact those who first proposed it were anarchists from various fields including mycology, information science and neuroscience. Nonetheless, the lab origin theory was quickly labelled a right-wing conspiracy.

Understandably, from the view of governments and industries involved in such research, there would be a lot of pressure to make the lab origin hypothesis disappear, especially given the claim that US funding dollars was spent at WIV in order to carry it out. While few now deny this research was taking place in 2019 and in the years prior, the case for the WIV being the place of origin for Covid has been hotly contested.

Here’s an example of the firm ‘no’ camp: “The Venn-diagram circles are really starting to overlap between the anti-vaccine movement and the so-called lab-leak movement. I don’t think that’s a coincidence,” said Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization at the University of Saskatchewan. “Conspiracies beget conspiracies.”

Many scientists like Rasmussen were quick to attack the lab-made pathogen theory, including Peter Daszak who seemingly had skin in the game at the WIV. Three years on, however, more evidence is mounting and the lab-enhanced coronavirus theory is looking increasingly like a conspiracy fact.

Australia’s CSIRO in Geelong was also linked to the coronavirus ‘bat laboratory’ theory in April 2020, and Danielle Anderson, an Australian virologist who conducted research at the WIV told Science, “Our [Lancet investigation into the origins] paper recognizes that there are different possible origins, but the evidence towards zoonosis is overwhelming.”

Ryan Grim from The Intercept uncovered last month what other journalists have also found, confirming Professor Hamilton’s suspicions three years earlier. Back in May 2021 Hamilton strengthened his argument with a second SMH piece stating the case for a leak of a virus engineered in a Wuhan lab where the research occurring, “ostensibly, was to develop vaccines.”

From the view inside the pharmaceutical industry, vaccine research and development had to be the saviour, not the cause of the pandemic. That wouldn’t look good for an industry with an already long track record of fraudulence and harm.

Grim reports how, Key Scientist in Covid Origin Controversy Misled Congress on Status of $8.9 Million NIH Grant. He writes, “[t]he debate over the origin of the novel coronavirus has also evolved into a meta-debate over how the narrative supporting a natural emergence was initially crafted in the winter and spring of 2020.”

The man who lead the attack on the lab engineered virus origin theory and pushed the zoonotic (natural) one is Peter Daszak, who leads EcoHealth Alliance, and was oddly enough a chief WHO investigator of the lab leak theory. Daszak and his team reported they found nothing at the WIV relating to engineering bat coronaviruses, yet in a 2016 New York Academy of Medicine conference on Pandemics Daszak boasted (1:16:50 – 1:17:30) of the genetic sequencing his “colleagues in China” were doing with bat coronaviruses, aimed at getting them to be “more pathogenic in people.” He was referring to his colleagues at the WIV.

It turns out that Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance had been providing money to the WIV via NIH grant money for genetically altering bat coronaviruses in the lead up to the outbreak. When the funding was cancelled EcoHealth Alliance put out a statement on their website, which included this:

“The research that the National Institutes of Health [NIH] terminated aimed to analyze the risk of coronavirus emergence and help in designing vaccines and drugs to protect us from COVID-19 and other coronavirus threats. In fact, genetic sequences of two bat coronaviruses that we discovered with this grant have been used as lab tools to test the breakthrough antiviral drug Remdesivir.” Bold type mine.

Remdesivir was slammed in Science for causing harm in Covid patients. The authors of the Science piece, Jon Cohen and Kai Kupferschmidt, wrote in late 2020, that “[q]uestions have also arisen about the potential of Remdesivir to do harm. WHO has a regular overview of possible adverse drug events related to COVID-19 treatments. In late August it noted a disproportionately high number of reports of liver and kidney problems in patients receiving Remdesivir compared with patients receiving other [repurposed] drugs for COVID-19.”

The link to the WHO webpage referring to the “disproportionately high number of reports of liver and kidney problems” is, at the time of writing, broken. The link now states: “This page cannot be found.” This might mean nothing or it may mean something, especially given Bill Gates is the second largest donor of the WHO (after the US government) and a major investor in Covid pharmaceuticals. The US government also invests in and subsidises (through US taxpayer money) the pharmaceutical industry.

It now seems evident that the WIV, helped by US funding, was conducting risky gain-of-function research to engineer the genes of bat viruses to help design vaccines. Whether the WIV is the place of origin for Covid or not, freedom of information requests have shown that GMO viruses and GMO vaccines to combat them were being developed by scientists working on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry.

For more on this read: Scientists who authored article denying lab engineering of SARS-CoV-2 privately acknowledged possible lab origin, emails show. Remarkably, the Biden Administration reinstated Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance funding for the controversial research at WIV in May 2023.

“In some ways, [the lab origin theory is] quite similar to the Hunter Biden laptop situation,” said Alina Chan, scientific adviser to the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. “Because the central or liberal media refused to cover it properly, it gave free rein to all of the right-wing media to report in the most polarizing, exaggerated way possible and inflame tensions.” Chan, rightly to my mind, calls out the liberal media’s role in the construction of a team sports approach to information.

In my conversations with Tyson Yunkaporta about this, both privately and publicly, I argued that fringe conspiracist groups have no real power by comparison to establishment media, which today acts as a propaganda wing for the state-corporate nexus.

In June this year, a month before Grim’s Intercept article, SMH journalist, Liam Mannix, declared the lab origin theory to be dead and buried in his, COVID-19 lab leak theory ends with a whimper, not a bang. In his piece, Mannix did not find relevant to detail and share the links to US funding for genetic engineering of viruses at the WIV.

Gain-of-function research had been off-shored in 2014 when President Obama banned it on US soil, in another case of ‘yes, but not in our backyard.’

Media and political capture?

It is important to note that behind Mannix’s payslip stands Peter Costello, former treasurer in the Howard government and now the Chairman of the Board at Nine Entertainment, the company that owns the SMH who Mannix is employed by. All of Nine’s extensive media from newsprint like the SMH and The Age, to radio and television stations has been uncritical of the pharmaceutical industry or the public health response throughout Covid. There may be good reason for this.

When Costello was Treasurer in John Howard’s right wing government in Australia, the chief pharmaceuticals advisor was former Pfizer Australia lobbyist, David Miles. Miles established Willard Public Affairs in 2011 after more than six years as Pfizer’s in-house political strategist. His bio on his website states:

“David has an extensive and influential network of political and media contacts including senior politicians and staff from all political parties at federal and state level.”

As of June 30, 2020 Costello, alongside his Nine Entertainment position, also presided over AU$188,438,725 in Pfizer shares in his role as Chair of Australia’s Future Fund. As of June 30, 2021 those Pfizer shares were valued at AU$211,719,381. By June 30, 2022, they were worth AU$318,381,814.

Why would the Chair of the board of Future Fund – Australia’s Sovereign Wealth Fund – who also presides over media outlets like the SMH and invests billions of dollars in big pharmaceutical corporations, permit negative press about those companies? Wouldn’t that potentially sabotage the investment portfolios he oversees?

The examples of Costello and Miles are what activists mean by ‘revolving doors’ between industry and government. These are not exceptional examples, rather today merely the way of doing business and government. Pharma lobbyists like Miles were typically on the right of politics before Obama’s presidency in the US. Since this time both sides of politics now receive pharmaceutical industry monies as ‘political donations’ in both Australia and in the US. Few have tracked this ethical slide in left-leaning parties.

Mark Lynas’ inflammatory attacks on heterodox thinkers and scientists who are questioning GMOs is an example of how some in the scientific media community work to create an impression of confidence for novel biotechnologies, irregardless of whether the confidence is warranted. However, probably more revealing than his pro GMO agenda is who is funding him.

If you scroll to the bottom of Lynas’ article you can find the institution that pays for his opinion, the institution which is also his publisher. “Alliance for Science, Operating Globally, Boyce Thompson Institute.”

Boyce Thompson Institute based at Cornell University received nearly US$10M in August 2020 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, just a few months before Lynas’ article appeared.

Notably, two main areas of Bill Gates’ financial investments are GMO pharmaceuticals and GMO agriculture, especially targeted at the Global South. Gates-funded Lynas writes:

“As we have reported before at the Alliance for Science, the anti-GMO and anti-vaccine movements substantially overlap. These groups tend to share an ideology that is suspicious of modern science and fetishsize ‘natural’ approaches instead. Whatever ‘natural’ means.”

Perhaps “natural” simply means in this context not synthetic and much-more-than-human in intelligence? Gates is now the largest landholder in the US, and one of the most aggressive proponents against Indigenous lifeways and for the colonisation of land, biology and technologies, as Indigenous food sovereignty activist Vandana Shiva attests. Shiva rightly states a case for being suspicious calling modern science “patriarchy’s project.”

Shiva stated in a late 2022 podcast that “Jeffrey Sachs [the Lancet commission chair on the origins of Covid]… has come out so clearly, saying ‘it was a lab escape,’ … and you’re getting very conservative groups recognising this was genetically engineered and it’s an escape.” Shiva then broadens her argument stating, “it’s a tool of biological warfare to try to actually design viruses that harm… You don’t do it in a society where you don’t want to cause harm…” This is consistent with her views on GMOs for decades and has criticised Bill Gates for being reckless with genetics, continuing the work of Monsanto.

Claire Robinson from GM Watch and Mariam Mayet from the African Centre for Biodiversity write about Lynas that he, “is the product of an industry-led drive to influence agricultural policy in Africa, as part of a well-resourced public relations machinery supported in particular by the Gates Foundation, which funds the Alliance for Science to the tune of USD 12 million. The philanthropic capitalist model adopted by Gates is no more than a new form of imperialism, disguising extractivist approaches behind the argument that Africans are unable to find their own solutions to the agricultural challenges facing the continent.”

In a strategy to capture narratives, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been funding major media outlets around the world for the past decade, especially targeting left and liberal medias.

The Guardian received their first instalment of Gates’ money in 2011. It was for US$5.6M. Intriguingly, in early 2013, The Guardian’s Will Storr wrote a flattering piece on the former anti-GMO activist Mark Lynas, who had just flipped sides to support GM agriculture.

I discovered that in September 2020 The Guardian received almost US$3.5M from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one month after Alliance for Science received nearly US$10M from Gates. The Guardian received the funding specifically for “Global Health and Development Public Awareness and Analysis.” Over the past decade the Gates Foundation has given Guardian News & Media Ltd US$12,229,391 in total, according to the Gates Foundation website.

This is what activists mean when they use the term ‘captured media’. But these media outlets are only two of hundreds of media institutions and universities who have received Gates’ money. Documents show Bill Gates has given $319 million to media outlets to promote his global agenda, most of these are liberal or left leaning.

“Recipients of this cash include many of America’s most important news outlets,” writes Alan Macleod in late 2021 in the left-leaning, The Grayzone, which hasn’t receive funding from Gates. “[I]ncluding,” Macleod continues, “CNN, NBC, NPR, PBS and The Atlantic. Gates also sponsors a myriad of influential foreign organizations, including the BBC, The Guardian, The Financial Times and The Daily Telegraph in the United Kingdom; prominent European newspapers such as Le Monde (France), Der Spiegel (Germany) and El País (Spain); as well as big global broadcasters like Al-Jazeera.”

This goes some way to explain why those whose politics have generally critiqued state and industry collusion, especially the corruption in the state-Pharma nexus, were so fundamentally captured by the messaging reach of Gates, and now seemingly remain silent on these issues. This, for example, is how The Guardian presented the acceptance of Gates’ money for their Global Development site:

“This website is funded by support provided, in part, by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The journalism and other content is editorially independent and its purpose is to focus on global development.” Personally, when I read the term ‘global development’ I see global imperialism. Pharmacolonisation – the overprescription of pharmaceuticals rolled out by the state-Pharma nexus – is just one chapter of it.

While it’s permissible today to say such considerable money is neutral or not loaded, is it actually possible to reach journalistic neutrality given this circumstance?

Having witnessed The Guardian throughout the pandemic I would attest that their claiming editorial independence is not accurate. Bias exists. To my mind The Guardian today, on the subjects of public health and global development, is little more than a sophisticated promotions agency for Bill Gates‘s business interests, even referring to him as a philanthropist rather than an aggressive business tycoon who strategically uses philanthropy as both a tax screen and a propaganda tool for his capture of whatever narrative he might be pushing, such as saving the world’s poor.

A legal challenge in Australia

GMO technologies have been controversial for decades, and the Covid vaccines appear to be the next chapter in such controversy. An Australian vaccinating doctor, Dr Julian Fidge, is currently suing Pfizer and Moderna for not being transparent about their Covid products being GMOs, which, he argues, should have required the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator to approve them.

“I’ve been vaccinated with these mRNA Covid-19 vaccines, and I’ve vaccinated thousands of patients, including my own children,” says Dr Fidge, who currently practices as a GP in Wangaratta. “But I have since become very concerned about the unregulated GMOs in these products, especially in the form of synthetic DNA contamination.”

It was reported that, “[t]he products relevant to the case include both the monovalent and the bivalent Covid-19 vaccines, COMIRNATY (Pfizer) and SPIKEVAX (Moderna). With reference to the legal definition of GMOs per the Gene Technology Act 2000, it is alleged the GMO components of these products are: 1. The LNP-modRNA complexes; and, 2. Synthetic DNA (modDNA) contamination, also in the form of LNP-modDNA complexes.”

The Guardian, The Age, the SMH or any other liberal media has notably not touched this story.

Lawyer Julian Gillespie writes in the International Journal of Vaccine Theory, Practice, and Research, that, “[d]ecades of sophisticated and detailed legislation created to safeguard humanity from exposure to genetically modified organisms was ignored or legislated away in an instant when SARS-CoV-2 arrived.”

Gillespie’s legal work reveals why the legal codes and details for operating novel synthetic sciences are important for the protection of human and ecological health.

“[My] article retraces the steps,” writes Gillespie in his The Canaries in the Human DNA Mine, “in what appears to be a sophisticated deception played out in legal language, technical scientific jargon, and by medical regulatory bodies acting as if they were serving public health.”

A new dawn of GMOs?

In his 2004 book, The Dawn of McScience, Richard Horton, current editor of the Lancet wrote, “Journals have devolved into information laundering operations for the pharmaceutical industry.” But today things appear to be much worse.

In early 2021, academics Justus Wesseler and Kai Purnhagen signalled enthusiastically that Covid would be an opportunity for GMO restrictions to be radically weakened in their paper, Is the Covid-19 Pandemic a Game Changer in GMO Regulation? In it they write that, “[t]he Covid‐19 pandemic has the potential to act as a much‐needed trigger for change. The European Parliament and Council agreed in Recital 17 of Regulation 2020/1043 that the approval procedure for GMOs (which aims at health and environmental protection) is ill‐suited to improving public health in the case of vaccination approval in the context of the Covid‐19 pandemic (Recital 17).” Wesseler and Purnhagen’s paper did not include a conflict of interest statement.

In mid 2021, GMO proponent Professor William Reville writing in The Irish Times Science supplement stated that, “[t]he final nail in the anti-GMO coffin is likely to be the spectacular success of the genetic technology that has just developed several highly effective vaccines against Covid-19 within the miraculously short time frame of one year.”

Two years on, given none of the GMO (mRNA) vaccines stopped transmission and offered only fleeting personal protection with a questionable risk/benefit, Reville’s confidence in GMOs seems misplaced. Or perhaps well placed. Reville is a retired emeritus professor at the School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology at University College Cork, which is funded by a range of institutions including the Wellcome Trust.

An article in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in 2021 questioned the role of financially invested organisations such as the Wellcome Trust and the Gates Foundation in Covid, and exposed their rarely examined conflicts of interest.

“What the pandemic is doing is buffing the reputation of organisations like Gates and Wellcome and the drug companies, when I don’t think they really deserve that buffing up,” says Joel Lexchin, professor emeritus of York University’s School of Health Policy and Management in Toronto. “I think they’re acting the way they always have, which is, from the drug companies’ point of view, looking after their own financial interests, and from the point of view of the foundations is pursuing their own privately developed objectives without being responsible to anybody but their own boards of directors.”

In early 2022, Lynas coauthored a paper in Taylor and Francis online journal, GM Crops and Food called, The state of the ‘GMO’ debate – toward an increasingly favorable and less polarized media conversation on ag-biotech? In the Disclosure Statement at the bottom of their paper, the authors stated there was, “No potential conflict of interest.” Yet in the funding statement they disclosed that The Cornell based Alliance for Science (where their research was conducted) was “funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.” Favourable media conversations are today massaged by big money. It is the greatest conspiracy in plain sight.

Former ABC science journalist, Maryanne Demasi, whose job was effectively rendered void after she reported negatively on Pfizer’s biggest drug revenue at the time, Lipitor, wrote this year a review of the evidence of harm caused by Pfizer’s Covid vaccine, called Serious adverse events from Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine are not “rare.” Regarding the often touted call that adverse events are rare, Demasi found, “there has been very little scrutiny of that claim by the media, and I could not find an instance where international agencies actually quantified what they meant by the term ‘rare’ or provided a scientific source.”

In her piece, Demasi cites a study in the journal Vaccine called Serious adverse events of special interest following mRNA COVID-19 vaccination in randomized trials in adults. The authors found that, “[t]he Pfizer trial exhibited a 36% higher risk of serious adverse events in vaccinated participants in comparison to placebo [unvaccinated] recipients.” Demasi recently published an article on two Pfizer executives’ intransigence to questions asked in the Australian parliament concerning vaccine transmission. They effectively ridiculed the democratic process, as well they might.

Gene therapy?

On the National Gene Technology Scheme webpage, the Australian government says Covid jabs, Moderna & Pfizer, are GMOs and they are gene therapies (accessed 16 August 2023). See image below. Yet, in a Guardian piece on podcaster Joe Rogan in early 2022, the global news outlet insinuated he was spreading misinformation about these jabs in August 2021 when he said, ‘mRNA vaccines are gene therapy.’ Actually, it looks clear 18 months later that The Guardian was spreading misinformation by creating an article that set out to smear Rogan from the headline – Joe Rogan’s Covid claims: what does the science actually say? Podcaster has made numerous disputed claims about virus, vaccines and lockdowns. It is little wonder why trust in podcasters like Rogan is surging and trust in legacy media like The Guardian is plummeting.

On their National Gene Technology Scheme webpage, the Australian government says Covid vaccines (Moderna & Pfizer) are GMOs and they are gene therapies. (Accessed 16 August 2023)

Independent Australian journalist, Rebekah Barnett, reported in her subscriber-funded Substack that, “[I]t is a serious criminal offence under the Gene Technology Act 2000 to sell or distribute GMO products in Australia without approval from the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR). However, Pfizer and Moderna only sought approvals for their Covid vaccine products from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), which is not authorised to approve GMO products in Australia.”

In her piece Barnett goes on to state that the Secretary of the Department of Health in Australia, Professor Brendan Murphy, denies Covid vaccines are gene therapies, yet the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator in the Department of Health and Aged Care states on its website that, “Several of the COVID-19 vaccines are either GMOs or made from GMOs.”

In Barnett’s article Professor Murphy addresses a letter from the Australian Medical Professionals Society (AMPS), “You have… incorrectly stated that mRNA vaccines are gene therapies – they are not under the legislative framework which governs the TGA and OGTR. mRNA vaccines do not enter the cell nucleus or interact with DNA and it is misleading to characterise them in this way.”

Well, this is confusing because on the Australian Government’s National Gene Technology Scheme’s (NGTS) website they write “[a]n example of GMOs as medicines is gene therapy, and they list as examples Pfizer’s and Moderna’s Covid products (see above image). Though, on the other hand, the Genomics Education Programme (GEP) in the UK, contradict the Australian Government’s OGTR and NGTS, arguing in 2021, when people were making up their minds about whether to take the Covid shots, published “Why mRNA vaccines aren’t gene therapies.” So, what’s the truth?

Contrary to Professor Murphy’s unsupported claim that mRNA vaccines do not enter the cell nucleus, a Swiss study, with no reported conflicts of interest, found that Pfizer’s vaccines indeed cross the cell line barrier. The authors state, “[o]ur study is the first in vitro study on the effect of [Pfizer’s] COVID-19 mRNA vaccine BNT162b2 on human liver cell line. We present evidence on fast entry of BNT162b2 into the cells and subsequent intracellular reverse transcription of BNT162b2 mRNA into DNA.” Bold type mine.

Discussing the claim that mRNA-based vaccines cannot alter genomes, Tomislav Domazet-Lošo from the Laboratory of Evolutionary Genetics, Division of Molecular Biology at the Ruđer Bošković Institute in Croatia, finds that the vaccine mRNA genome integration risk studies are “brief and surprisingly incomplete,” and “does not consider the accumulated knowledge on the biology of retroposition.” He states that this is “even more puzzling if one considers previous work on the molecular and evolutionary aspects of retroposition in murine and human populations that clearly documents the frequent integration of mRNA molecules into genomes, including clinical contexts.”

Most tellingly, in a speech by Bayer’s head of Pharmaceuticals at the World Health Summit in October 2021, Stefan Oelrich says, “…the mRNA vaccines are an example for… cell & gene therapy… If we had surveyed [populations and asked:] ‘would you be willing to take gene or cell therapy and inject it into your body?’ we would probably have had a 95% refusal rate.”

In a recent American Society of Gene + Cell Therapy report, the authors boast that, “[i]n the first quarter of 2023, an mRNA vaccine was approved for Covid-19 prophylaxis in China, bringing the number of RNA therapy approvals to 22.” From inside the gene and cell therapy industry in the US, it doesn’t appear anyone has a problem naming Covid mRNA vaccines as gene therapies. So why the contradictions? Is it related to Oelrich’s prediction that few would line up for them?

If you conduct an internet search for “why are people still suspicious of GMOs” the first several pages that appear are all those medias mentioned above that Bill Gates funds all apparently ‘debunking’ the concerns. This is not an accident, this is how Big Tech interacts with Big Ag and Big Pharma to massage the message.

In June this year, Hélène Banoun from the French Institute of Health and Medical Research, wrote in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, “[t]he mode of action of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines should classify them as gene therapy products (GTPs), but they have been excluded by regulatory agencies. Some of the tests they have undergone as vaccines have produced non-compliant results in terms of purity, quality and batch homogeneity. The wide and persistent biodistribution of mRNAs and their protein products, incompletely studied due to their classification as vaccines, raises safety issues.”

Stephanie Seneff, a Senior Research Scientist at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory – who Lynas has attacked as an anti-GMO/anti-vaxxer in one of his Gates-funded articles – draws on Pfizer’s own study to point out that their Covid injections, which don’t stop transmission, are in fact potentially biologically capable to spread transmission. She writes in the International Journal of Vaccine Theory, Practice, and Research:

“A Phase 1/2/3 study undertaken by BioNTech on the Pfizer mRNA vaccine implied in their study protocol that they anticipated the possibility of secondary exposure to the vaccine (BioNTech, 2020). The protocol included the requirement that ‘exposure during pregnancy’ should be reported by the study participants. They then gave examples of ‘environmental exposure during pregnancy’ which included exposure ‘to the study intervention [the vaccine] by inhalation or skin contact.’ They even suggested two levels of indirect exposure: ‘A male family member or healthcare provider who has been exposed to the study intervention [the vaccine] by inhalation or skin contact then exposes his [unvaccinated] female partner prior to or around the time of conception.’”

So who do we trust here? Lynas, who is writing from the perspective of big industries and funded by one of the biggest investors of vaccines in the world, Bill Gates? Or do we trust the interpretation of Pfizer’s own trial reports examined by a skeptic academic who has so much to loose by remaining a heterodox thinker? The weaponised term ‘anti-vaxxer’ is akin today to how the Howard-Blair-Bush Jr moment turned every Muslim on the planet into a terrorist. The media amplified it. People bought it. The US war industry flourished, again.

In a climate where heterodox thinking is being systemically eliminated, shunned, or demoted, and where even a vaccinologist – Flinders University Medical Centre director of endocrinology Nikolai Petrovsky – was sacked for refusing mRNA Covid vaccines, despite being vaccinated with his own protein-based jab he was developing for market.

An uncritical compliance to the pro Vax and pro GMO camps will lead to more suffering, othering and segregation.

Transmission and human rights

In November 2020 Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, speaking on Gates-funded PBS in the US, said that (at 12:55mins) “If you don’t vaccinate, you’re becoming the weak link that will help this deadly virus replicate.”

This comment and other misleading comments like it spawned the most horrendous hate speech against unvaccinated and vaccine-questioning people in 2021-2022 especially, but it continues today. It gave unbridled permission, said a human rights lawyer friend of mine, for people to become discriminatory.

Philosopher Noam Chomsky in October 2021, speaking on the left-leaning Primo Radical YouTube channel, equated people not stopping at a red traffic light as the same selfish people who refuse the novel Covid injections. He said, (at 4:29mins) “If you want to feel free to kill others, go somewhere else.” The journalist then stated that Covid could still be spread by vaccinated people, to which Chomsky confidently stated, (at 4:46mins) “sorry, the probability is extremely low.” He went on to say the unvaccinated, (at 9:00mins) “should have the decency to remove themselves from the community, if they refuse to do that then measures have to be taken…”

Here in the corporate state of Victoria the unvaccinated were removed from the community. In the Hepburn shire, where I live, unvaccinated people were prohibited from entering municipal places (libraries, town halls and swimming pools) and barred from cafés and restaurants, and many other places and events.

In late 2022, a Reuters fact-check concerning the question of transmission of Pfizer’s GMO Covid injection, confirmed that “the Pfizer executive [Janine Small, President of Developed Markets, Pfizer] accurately states that studies of the vaccine’s effect on virus transmission from person to person were not performed during the original clinical trials of the company’s vaccine.” The Fact-check continues:

“A Pfizer spokesperson confirmed to Reuters Fact Check that the company was not asked by regulators to assess the transmission question in the original trials of the vaccine (known as BNT162b2 while in development and later marketed as Comirnaty).” This raises questions about government’s regulatory offices and their influencers insistent on mandates and promoting discriminatory behaviours.

So, with what authority was Chomsky speaking? The human rights that were subjugated for a vaccine that may have provided some fleeting personal but little community benefit, is now important to understand to prevent these kinds of violations occurring again.

So, what now?

Did Bill Gates let the cat out of the bag at The Munich Security Conference in February 2022, when he said (at 7:07mins), “[t]he virus itself… is a type of vaccine, that is it creates both B-cell and T-cell immunity, and it’s done a better job getting out to the world’s population than we have with vaccines.”? Isn’t that just what people call natural immunity, Bill?

Before Covid the accepted response to pandemics had been, more or less, allow healthy normals to build herd immunity naturally while focus the protection on vulnerable populations. Senior scientists who stood by this were ridiculed, labelled and shouted down by those pushing for mass vaccination, and scientific attacks on natural immunity fired up just as the rollouts began, amplifying public fear ostensibly to push mandates and thus sell more shots.

Our family contracted Covid once in the past three years. We are fully unvaccinated, yet all around us people who have received three or more shots have contracted the virus many times. In the ABC article, Ten positive tests and counting: The mystery of why some people just keep catching COVID, the Australian government reporter, without irony, sets out to give comfort to those who are still investing in the government’s public relations exercise. As one meme recently said, if after three years you are not suspicious...

For many people across the political spectrum, trust in large pharmaceutical corporations, public health institutions and establishment medias has been severely broken. People did not give their consent to GMO Covid vaccines, which led the CDC to change its definition of what a vaccine is. No longer does a vaccine have to offer ‘immunity’ but merely stimulate an ‘immune response,’ which could be read as either positive or negative, supposedly. Most did not give their consent to receive a gene therapy treatment or, going further back, did not give their consent for GMO crops to infiltrate their environments, contaminate their food and produce super weeds and mutant crops.

We don’t know what the effects of GMO pharmaceuticals will do in the body, across bodies or in the environment over time, and I’m not confident there’s an independent scientific environment resourced enough to find out. Such is the reality of the corporatised state. The precautionary principle has been in erosion for decades, but Covid took it to another level.

In an era where many once reputable media outlets have been manipulated by outside funding operatives tethered to industry and/or questionable ‘philanthropic’ organisations, confidence in new scientific tools is increasingly less about real world research and more about appearances, data manipulation and spin doctoring. This is not a new thing but rather an old thing on super steroids. As a result the world’s populations, human and much more so, are facing a likely oversupply and overprescription of GMOs in many forms.

Leftists and liberal progressives, who before 2011 were generally those leading the critique against GMOs and Pharma intransigence, would be well advised to return their criticality to the subject of GMOs in both food and pharmaceuticals, and address the real world threats of them by first examining what really took place over the past three years, and examine who is behind the media they are supposedly being informed by.

The pressing question is ‘do we trust big money in science?’ The evidence for doing so doesn’t seem very strong. And given the Australian Government has drafted a misinformation and disinformation bill without first addressing its own contradictory, incorrect and at times totalitarian messaging over the last three years, this likely signals more draconian and discriminatory measures are on their way. Now, more than ever, we need to be vigilant about the corporate state that won’t regulate itself.

Over to you, Dear Readers.

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Dr Patrick Jones’ critical work spans the ecological humanities. His poetry has been widely anthologised, recently in Groundswell, The Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize for New and Emerging Poets 2007-2020, and his critical-collaborative work with Artist as Family was featured as a chapter in the newly published Artists and the Practice of Agriculture (Routledge 2023). He continues to argue that the arts is where broad-ranging societal critique is at its strongest, integrating cosmological, psychosocial, scientific, ethic, cultural and human complexes. He also argues that the deliberate erosion of the arts in the neoliberal universities is a strategy to silence dissent and kill off the heterodoxy in the culture.

Mother cake, love and relationship (with Brigitte Kupfer)

Patrick had the great pleasure of speaking with Brigitte Kupfer on the day after our local winter solstice celebration, which Brigitte attended with her family. Meg says after listening to this podcast, “I feel like I’ve been in a warm bath.” We hope you’ll make some space for this beautiful yarn with mother-elder, post-academic sage, Brigitte Kupfer.

Listen here (1hr:5mins)

 

Below: a photo by Catie Payne of the winter solstice celebration, mentioned in the podcast.

References

Leonard Shlain’s ‘The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: the conflict between word and image‘.

Patrick’s last chapter in his doctorate, ‘Literary stiles and symbolic culture: Returning to the Problem of Writing.’

Gail Thomas’ ‘Healing Pandora: the restoration of hope and abundance‘.

Dieter Duhm’s website and the Tamera Peace Research and Education Centre.

Dieter Duhm’s ‘Angst im Kapitalismus‘ (Fear and Capitalism). Not published in English.

J Krishnamurti’s ‘The Impossible Question‘.

And this video offering from Krishnamurti is also related to this post.

As always your comments and reflections are most welcome. All power to those working towards reinstating and reorientating the world back into the bosom of Mother Country.

 

Composting Moloch, returning to the cob, clay & bramble of Pandora, Mother Country (with Joel Gray)

In our latest video, Patrick shares a rich, long-form yarn with English artist, Joel Gray. Together they traverse the sticky, dominating, Promethean go-it-alone world of the machine, of the all-consuming Moloch. They arrive at a composting, cob-building place, restoring Pandora’s fermenting vessel, her Gaia place, her Mother Country – the entanglements and gossipy liveliness of tending the village seeds beyond transhumanism.

Links to Joel’s collaborative work are embedded in the video, plus other material from both his and our worlds. And, here’s a link to Joel’s initial comment that lead to this abundant connection.

We hope you enjoy this yarn as much as we did making it. Love and power to the brothers and sisters who are learning to dance with gut (Pandora), heart (Epimetheus) and mind (Prometheus) integration.

Here’s the audio-only version (1:34 mins):

 

And here’s the video:

As always, your comments and pitchforkings are more than welcome. But before we sign off we’d like to share a moment of Hephaestian crafting from Blackwood and his friend Django this week.