By Joachim Hagopian
Here in the early stages of the twenty-first century, a ruling elite has manipulated our planet of seven billion people into a global economic system of feudalism. Through pillaging and plundering the earth, setting up a cleverly deceptive financial system that controls the production and flow of fiat paper money using the US dollar as the standard international currency, they have turned the world’s citizens and nations into indentured servants, hopelessly in debt due to their grand theft planet. With Russia and China spearheading a shift away from the US dollar and petrodollar, and many smaller nations following their lead, a major shift in the balance of power is underway between Western and Eastern oligarchs. Thus, by design escalating calamity and crises are in overdrive at the start of 2015.
By examining one aspect of this grand theft planet through the story of Big Pharma, one can accurately recognize and assess Big Pharma’s success in its momentum-gathering power grab. Its story serves as a microcosm perfectly illustrating and paralleling the macrocosm that is today’s oligarch engineered, highly successful New World Order nightmare coming true right before our eyes that we’re all now up against. By understanding how this came to manifest, we will be better able to confront, challenge and oppose it.
Every year a handful of the biggest pharmaceutical corporations are a well-represented fixture amongst the most powerful Fortune 500 companies of the world. The twelve largest drug manufacturers and the eight largest drug delivery companies (or otherwise known as the drug channels companies) that include drug wholesalers, chain pharmacies and pharmacy benefit managers (so called PBM’s) consist in total only 20 of the top 500 global corporations in the world. Thus, despite making up only 4% of the total Fortune 500 companies in 2014, both Big Pharma’s highly profitable revenues and absolute economic and political power in the United States and world are unprecedented.
The median revenue of the drug channels companies that made 2014’s Fortune 500 from the most recent available 2013 figures was $95.1 billion with a median profit as percentage of assets of 2.9% over the year before. The top 12 drug manufacturing companies held a median revenue of only $17.5 billion but a median profit of assets level of 10.6% over 2012. Though the channels companies like CVS (the top channels company and #12 on Fortune 500), Walgreen (#37) and Rite-Aid (#118) overall maintain higher revenues and positions in the Fortune 500 list, their profit margins are not nearly as immense as the pharmaceutical manufacturers that are almost four times more profitable.
Big Pharma’s top eleven corporations generated net profits in just one decade from 2003 to 2012 of nearly three quarters of a trillion dollars – that’s just net profit alone. The net profit for 2012 amongst those top eleven amounted to $85 billion in just that one year. The majority of these largest pharmaceuticals are headquartered in the US – including the top four, Johnson & Johnson (#39 on Fortune 500 list), Pfizer (#51), Merck (#65) and Eli Lilly (#129) along with Abbott (#152) and Bristol Myers Squibb (#176). The healthcare research company IMS Health projects worldwide sales of Pharma drugs to exceed one trillion dollars by 2014. With that kind of obscenely powerful money to throw around, what Big Pharma wants, Big Pharma nearly always gets.
Just as the oligarchs buy, own and control national governments to do their sleazy bidding, Big Pharma as an extension of those same oligarchs does too. Perhaps what makes Big Pharma unique in the US is that the industry outspends all others in laying down cold hard cash into its lobbying efforts – another word for bribing governments that includes not only US Congress (and parliaments) but its US federal regulator, the bought and sold Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It poured $2.7 billion into its lobbying interests from 1998 to 2013, 42% more than the second most “Gov. Corp.” bribe which happens to be its sister industry insurance.
And it’s this unholy trinity of the medical establishment (personified by the American Medical Association), embedded insurance industry that wrote Obamacare into law and Big Pharma that makes the United States the most costly, broken, corrupt, destructive healthcare system in the entire world. The structured system is designed and layered with built in incentives at every tier to make and keep people sick, chronically dependent on their drugs for survival that merely mask and smother symptoms rather than cure or eradicate the root cause of disease.
Plenty of empirical evidence exists that confirm concerted diabolical efforts have been made to ruin the lives of pioneering heroes who have come up with possible cures for cancer, AIDS and other terminal illnesses. Obviously their work poses a serious threat to medical status quo. Hence, their treatments have all been effectively suppressed by conventional medicine. Bottom line, if humans are healthy, the healthcare industry does not survive. Thus, it’s in its own inherently self-serving interest to promote illness in the name of wellness.
Also because natural healing substances cannot be patented, Big Pharma has done its sinister best to squelch any and all knowledge and information that come from the far more affordable means of alternative health sources that explore ancient traditional cultures’ medicinal use of hemp along with thousands of other plants and roots that could threaten drug profits and power of Big Pharma and modern medicine as they’re currently practiced and monopolized.
Another cold hard reality is pharmaceutical drugs especially when consumed to manage chronic disease and symptoms cause severe side effects that also damage, harm and kill. The most prescribed drugs of all are painkillers that typically are highly addictive. Big Pharma with the help of their global army of doctors have purposely and calculatingly turned a large percentage of us especially in the United States into hardcore drug addicts, both physically and psychologically addicted to artificial synthetic substances that are detrimental to our health and well-being. More than three quarters of US citizens over 50 are currently taking prescribed medication. One in four women in their 40’s and 50’s is taking antidepressants. Though the US contains just 5% of the world population, it consumes over half of all prescribed medication and a phenomenal 80% of the world’s supply of painkillers. Those who admit to taking prescription drugs on average take four different prescription drugs daily. Taking massive amounts of prescription drugs has caused an epidemic that’s part of a sinister plan to squeeze yet more profit out of a system designed to keep humans chronically unhealthy.
Even more alarming is the fact that death by medical error at near a quarter million people annually has become the third largest killer of US citizens behind heart disease and cancer. Other more recent studies have estimated upwards of up to 440,000 have died yearly from preventable mistakes at hospitals. Blind obedience to Big Pharma and a conventional medical system too dependent on surgery and technology has inflicted more harm than good on the U.S. population.
Because doctors now are forced to rely so heavily on drug companies for information about what they prescribe, they’re ill equipped and ill-informed in their lack of adequate knowledge and training to understand what all the interactive drugs are doing to toxically harm their human guinea pigs they call patients. We are finding out that the cumulative and synergistic effects of poly-prescription drug use is frequently a lethal cocktail to millions of human beings on this planet. Combine that with the negative effects of our air, water, food and alcohol/illicit drugs, and the health dangers increase dramatically.
Look at the current damage done by over-prescribing antibiotics. Studies have learned that too much antibiotics cause trans-generational permanent DNA damage. The 20,000 times a year in the US alone that antibiotics are prescribed are highly toxic and damaging to the nervous system. On top of that, they simply don’t work anymore. The epidemic of trans-mutated bacterial infection and parasites that invade and infest the digestive tract in particular killing good bacteria and spread to other internal organs have become highly resistive to overuse of antibiotics. Big Pharma and doctors know all this yet they are responsible for antibiotic over-consumption by uninformed Americans.
Then look at what we are now learning about Big Pharma vaccines and the wanton reckless endangerment of children and pregnant mothers with toxic levels of mercury causing increased rates of autism, brain damage and even death. The criminal cover-up by Big Gov. and Big Pharma is egregious. Flu vaccines have recently been exposed that are totally ineffective along with the horrific damage being done to humans worldwide. Instead of preventing and decreasing illness, vaccines too often have had the opposite effect, exponentially increasing illness, causing irreversible damage and even death to thousands of unsuspecting victims mostly living in Third World nations. India’s Supreme Court is currently looking into charging Bill Gates with criminal harm to many of its citizens especially children injured or killed by his global vaccine program.
A growing number of critics believe Gates’ true aim is to eugenically reduce the world population from seven billion down to a “more manageable” size of half to one billion people. With the precedent of a well-documented history of horrifying eugenics practiced on the poor and most vulnerable in the US up till the 1980’s, oligarchs have been scheming to kill most of us on the planet for a long time now. With last year’s West African outbreak of the most deadly Ebola virus ever, and it being patented as bio-warfare, and mounting evidence that it was purposely started by a joint US military-university research team in Sierra Leone causing its global spread, more people than ever have perished and a growing segment of the population suspect that it is being used as a weapon of mass destruction to effectively depopulate the earth. We can largely thank the demonic partnership between Big Pharma and US Empire for that.
To further control the global health system, Big Pharma has largely dictated what’s been taught in medical schools throughout North America, heavily subsidizing them as a means of dictating the conventional dogma that’s standard curriculum down to even the textbooks. Several years ago a revolt at Harvard amongst med students and faculty went public. For a long time now doctors have been educated primarily to treat their patients with drugs, in effect becoming drug pushing, pharmaceutical whores, mere foot soldiers in Big Pharma’s war on health. Starting in the final year of med school, Big Pharma insidiously hones in on young med students, seductively wining and dining prospective physicians, showering them with money in the form of educational handouts, gifts, trips and perks galore to recruit its legions of loyal, thoroughly indoctrinated drug peddlers around the world. Thousands of doctors in the US are on Big Pharma payrolls. Typically early on in their careers physicians are unwittingly co-opted into this corrupt malaise of an irreparable system that’s owned and operated by Big Pharma.
And here’s why the drug companies control the global healthcare empire. Since 1990 Big Pharma has been pumping at least $150 million that we know about (and no doubt lots more we don’t know about) buying off politicians who no longer represent the interests of their voting public. Thanks to Big Law via last spring’s Supreme Court decision, current campaign financing laws permit unlimited, carte blanche bribery power for America’s most wealthy and powerful to fill the pockets of corrupt politicians with absolutely no oversight. Though the corporate buy-off of other nations around the globe may not appear quite so extreme and blatantly criminal as in the United States, international drug companies make certain that every national government allows full access and flow of their prescription drugs into each nation, including rubber stamped approval by each nation’s regulatory body to ensure global maximization of record setting profit. But because far more money is spent on the healthcare industry in the US, twice as much as the next nation Canada and equal to the next ten combined, it’s no surprise that hapless Americans end up having to pay far higher exorbitant costs for their made-in-the-USA drugs than anyone else on the planet. The average US citizen spends about $1000 on pharmaceutical drugs each year, 40% higher than Canadians.
Big Pharma also invests more dollars into advertising than any other industry in America, transmitting its seductively deceptive message direct to its consumers, explicitly giving them marching orders to request specific drugs from their doctors. In 2012 alone, pharmaceutical corporations paid nearly $3.5 billion to market their drugs on television, radio, internet, magazines, saturating every media outlet. Their message – pleasure, relief, peace of mind, joy, love and happiness are all just a pill away. No problem or pain in life can’t be conquered by a quick fix – compliments of Big Pharma.
Much of Big Pharma’s success over the last couple decades has been the result of specifically targeting special new populations to con and win over, resorting to creating new diseases and maladies to entice troubled, stressed out, gullible individuals into believing there’s something abnormally wrong with them, that they are among always a growing segment of our population who quietly suffer from whatever discomforting symptoms, deficits, dysfunctions, ailments, syndromes and disorders that enterprising Big Pharma connives to slyly invent, promote, package and sell. This unethical practice has been called “disease mongering.” Drug companies today operate no different from the snake oil salesmen of yesteryear. Saturating the market with their alluring, promising ads, check out any half hour of national network news on television targeting the baby boomer and geriatric crowd and you’ll notice 95% of the commercials are all brought to you by none other than Big Pharma. Of course they pay big bucks for slick ad marketing campaigns that shrewdly target the oldsters most apt to suffer health problems in addition to being virtually the only Americans left still watching the nightly network news. Three out of four people under 65 in the US today recognize that mainstream news media is nothing less than pure Gov. Corp. propaganda.
Also in recent years Big Pharma has become deceitfully masterful at repackaging and rebranding old meds at higher prices ever in search of expanded consumers. It’s a lot easier and far less money to engage in this unethical industry-wide practice of recycling an old pill than to manufacture a new one. Prozac became the biggest drug sold until it was learned that it caused so many people to kill themselves or others, especially adolescents. Then Eli Lilly deceptively repackaged and relabelled it under the less threatening name Sarafem at a much higher price tailored to target unsuspecting women seeking relief from menstrual pain. Like Prozac as another Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor antidepressant, Paxil was suddenly repackaged as the cure-all for shyness under the guise of treating social anxiety. Taking full advantage of knowing that millions of humans feel unsure of themselves dealing with strangers and groups, Big Pharma to the rescue exploiting people’s nervousness by clinically labelling it as social anxiety and reintroducing the antidepressant pink pill as their panacea to personal happiness, lifelong self-confidence and success in life. This most prevalent industry pattern of reusing the same old drugs all dressed up with new custom designed names for new purposes on new custom designed populations for yet more price gouging is nothing less than resorting to a predatory practice of criminal false advertising.
Perhaps as sinister as any aspect of the drug business is how Big Pharma has completely taken over the FDA. A recent Harvard study slammed the FDA making the accusation that it simply “cannot be trusted” because it’s owned and operated by Big Pharma. With complete autonomy and control, now pharmaceutical companies knowingly market drugs that carry high risk dangers for consumers. But because they so tightly control its supposed regulatory gatekeeper, drugs are commonly mass marketed and before the evidence of potential harm becomes overwhelming, by design when the slow bureaucratic wheels turn issuing a drug recall, billions in profit have already been unscrupulously reaped at the deadly expense of its victims. Additionally, doctors, pharmacists and patients rarely even hear about important recalls due to dangerous side effects or contamination. Yet hundreds of Big Pharma drugs are recalled every year. Many FDA approved drugs like FenPhen, Vioxx, Zohydro and Celebrex kill hundreds before they’re finally removed from the shelf. This withholding the truth from the professionals and public consumers is yet more evidence that Big Pharma protects its profits more than people.
This evil practice that keeps repeating itself is proof that Big Pharma is a criminal racket. It no longer needs outside independent research demonstrating a drug’s efficacy to be FDA approved. Currently research is conducted and compiled by the pharmaceutical industry itself to fraudulently show positive results from methodologically flawed drug trials when in reality a drug proves either ill effective at doing what it’s purported to do or downright harmful. Research outcomes only need to show that the drug outperforms a placebo, not other older drugs already available on the market that have proven to be effective at lower cost.
Similar to shady personnel moving seamlessly in and out of governmental public service to think tanks to universities to private law to corporations to lobbyists, the same applies to heads of the FDA moving to and from Big Pharma. Unfortunately this is how our government has been taken over by special interests. Yet this rampant conflict of interest goes unchecked.
Because Big Pharma sometimes outright owns and largely controls today’s most prominent medical journals, spreading false propaganda, disinformation and lies about the so called miracle effects of a given drug is yet another common practice that is malevolent to the core. 98% of the advertising revenue of medical journals is paid for by the pharmaceutical industry. Shoddy and false claims based on shoddy and false research all controlled by Big Pharma often get published in so called reputable journals giving the green light to questionable drugs that are either ineffective or worse yet even harmful. Yet they regularly pass peer and FDA muster with rave reviews.
But because Big Pharma’s never held accountable for its evildoing, it continues to literally get away with murder, not unlike the militant police, the CIA, Monsanto and the US Empire that wilfully and methodically commit mass murder on a global scale or through false flag terrorism having its mercenary Moslem allies kill innocent people as on 9/11 and France’s recent “9/11.” Since all serve the interests of their oligarch puppet masters toward grand theft planet and New World Order with total impunity, the world continues to suffer and be victimized.
Nearly five years ago the Justice Department filed and won a huge criminal lawsuit against Pfizer, one of the largest pharmaceutical corporations in the world employing 116,000 employees and boasting an annual revenue of more than $50 billion ($53.8 in 2013). Fined $2.3 billion to pay off civil and criminal charges for illegally promoting the use of four of its drugs, the unprecedented settlement became the largest case of healthcare fraud in history. The crux of the case centered on Pfizer’s illegal practice of marketing drugs for purposes other than what the FDA originally approved. While the law permits a wide leeway for physicians to prescribe drugs for multiple purposes, Pharma manufacturers are restricted to selling their drugs only for the expressed purposes given them by FDA approval.
The 2003 lawsuit would never even have been filed had it not been for whistle-blowing sales rep John Kopchinski who forced authorities to investigate what’s been a common Big Pharma practice, selling drugs for off-label uses. While back in 2001 the FDA had approved a 10 mg dosage of Bextra for arthritis patients and for menstrual cramps, Pfizer sent Kopchinski out with instructions to give complimentary 20 mg samples of Bextra to doctors, thus wilfully and illegally endangering patient lives, particularly because in 2005 Bextra was taken off the market due to increased risk of heart attacks and stroke. The truth is Big Pharma will do anything to boost its money making big profits, including killing innocent people.
But the story doesn’t end here. This legal case potently illustrates how the US federal government has been co-opted and conspires with Big Pharma to knowingly do harm to American citizens. When the story broke in the fall of 2009 of this record fine levied against Pfizer, assistant director Kevin Perkins of the FBI’s Criminal Investigation Division touted how the feds mean business going after lawbreakers within the pharmaceutical industry, boasting that “it sends a clear message.” But it turns out that that false bravado was an all-for-show facade.
The truth is the US government will knuckle under to Big Pharma, Wall Street and Big Banks every single time, even when it knows these “too big to fail” criminals repeatedly violate laws intended to protect the public. And constantly bailing them out at overburdened taxpayer expense only causes them to become more brazenly criminal, knowing they will always be protected by their co-conspirators the feds.
Back in November 2001 the FDA had stated that Bextra was unsafe for patients at risk of heart disease and stroke, rejecting its use especially at higher than 10mg doses on patients suffering from post-surgery pain. Yet Pfizer went ahead anyway marketing its product for any doctor who “used a scalpel for a living” as one district manager testified. It was learned that Pfizer deployed multi-millions of dollars to its well-paid army of hundreds of doctors to go around “educating” other MD’s on the miracle benefits of Bextra. Again, misusing doctors as pitchmen to sell inflated false claims is employing the medical profession as Big Pharma’s industry whores.
By the time Bextra was finally taken off the market in April 2005, after killing a number of at risk patients that never should have been prescribed the painkiller, Pfizer had already made its cool $1.7 billion off the drug being illegally sold for purposes the FDA had expressly forbidden. Here’s where Big Pharma rules over Big Gov. Because by law any company that’s found guilty of fraud is prohibited from continuing as a Medicare and Medicaid contractor, which of course Pfizer is and was, the feds under the morally bankrupt excuse that Big Pharma’s also “too big to fail” made a dirty little secret deal with Pfizer in the backroom law offices of the federal government.
Just like US Empire uses the “national security” card, so do the banksters, Wall Street and Big Pharma use their “too big to fail” trump card to get away with their own crimes against humanity. It’s a rigged world where an elitist cabal of cheats and thugs mistreat fellow humans as owned commodities and indentured expendables. Money and power mean everything while human life means nothing to them. So the secret deal was cut where on paper only the fake Pfizer subsidiary Pharmacia and Upjohn that never sold a single drug would be found criminally guilty so the conveniently contrived loophole would spare Big Pharma Pfizer’s from its alleged death. Records show that on the very same day in 2007 that the feds worked out this sweetheart deal with Pfizer, this hollowed out shell company as Pfizer’s backdoor nonentity was born. How convenient as Big Gov. and Big Pharma got to live happily ever after together in criminal conspiracy against their own people they’re supposed to serve and protect, kind of like the way police forces across this nation are “serving and protecting” citizens.
Then with drug profits so obscenely high, even with a slap on the hand penalty fee of $2.3 billion, Big Pharma’s net profit for just one quarter easily can pay it off. Three years later in July 2012 the Justice Department handed down yet an even bigger fine of $3 billion to UK’s global healthcare giant GlaxoSmithKline for the same exact crimes. As long as Big Pharma continues raking in such enormous profits, fines into the billions mean nothing since they’re paid off in a few months’ time. Not until CEO’s and top executives of Big Banks, Big Wall Street and Big Pharma start going to jail to serve long term sentences for their crimes, it’ll conveniently remain business as usual. And as long as Big Pharma owns Big Gov. Corp., just like the oligarchs own everything there is to earthly own, nothing will ever change for the better unless we as citizens of the world demand accountability and justice that punishment rightly fit the corporate crime.
Joachim Hagopian is a West Point graduate and former US Army officer. He has written a manuscript based on his unique military experience entitled “Don’t Let The Bastards Getcha Down.” It examines and focuses on US international relations, leadership and national security issues. After the military, Joachim earned a masters degree in Clinical Psychology and worked as a licensed therapist in the mental health field for more than a quarter century. He now concentrates on his writing.
The original source of this article is Global Research
VERSION FRANCAISE: Hitoire du cartel pharmaceutique, CLIQUEZ ICI.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE USA, ON A BEAUTIFUL SPRING DAY OF 1911. THE AIR WAS PURE AND THE BIRDS SANG MERRILY. MEADOWS FLOURISHED, NOURISHED BY FRESH SPRING WATER AND MEN COULD DRINK IT STRAIGHT OFF THE FREE-FLOWING RIVER . THE GRASS TICKLED OUR NOSTRILS WITH A BEWITCHING FRAGRANCE; THE ANIMALS, FROLICKING OVER THE FERTILE FIELDS WERE CAREFREE, AND CANNABIS WAS STILL THE CURE FOR ILLS AND SOLUTION FOR EVERYDAY WORRIES.
The history of the Pharma Cartel:
by Dr Rath. Visit his website here.
1911, May 15
The Supreme Court of the U.S. finds John Rockefeller and his Trust guilty of corruption, illegal business practices and racketeering. As a result of this decision, the entire Rockefeller Standard Oil-Trust, the world’s largest corporation of its time, was sentenced to be dismantled. But Rockefeller was already above the Supreme Court and did not care about this decision.
In order to disperse public and political pressure on him and other robber-barons, Rockefeller uses a trick called “philanthropy”, whereby the illegal gains from his robber-practices in the oil business are used to launch the Rockefeller Foundation. This tax haven was used to strategically take over the health care sector in the U.S..
The Rockefeller Foundation was the front organization for a new global business venture of Rockefeller and his accomplices. This new venture was called the pharmaceutical investment business. Donations from the Rockefeller Foundation went only to medical schools and hospitals. These institutions had become missionaries of a new breed of companies: the manufacturers of patented, synthetic drugs.
This was also the time when the first vitamins were discovered. It soon became clear however that these natural molecules had live-saving health benefits and that they were able to prevent many chronic health conditions. The first books appeared with research, subsequently abandoned, about the health benefits of vitamins. These newly discovered molecules had only one disadvantage: they were non-patentable.
Thus, in its first years of existence, the pharmaceutical investment business already faced a mortal thread: vitamins and other micronutrients promoted as public health programs would prohibit the development of any sizable investment business based on patented drugs. The elimination of this unwanted competition from natural micronutrients therefore became a question of life and death for the pharmaceutical business.
John Davison Rockefeller (July 8, 1839 – May 23, 1937)
The Rockefeller Foundation uses the Spanish flu epidemic – and the media (that it already controlled by this time) – to start a witch-hunt on all forms of medicine that were not covered by its patents.
Within the next 15 years, all medical schools in the U.S., most hospitals and the American Medical Association all essentially became pawns on the chessboard of Rockefeller’s strategy to subjugate the entire health care sector under the monopoly of his pharmaceutical investment business.
Disguised as a “Mother Theresa”, the Rockefeller Foundation was also used to conquer foreign countries and entire continents for the pharmaceutical investment business – just as Rockefeller himself had done a few decades previously with his petrochemical investment business.
On the other side of the Atlantic, in Germany, the first chemical / pharmaceutical cartel is founded in order to compete with Rockefeller’s quest for control of the global drug market. Lead by the German multinationals Bayer, BASF and Hoechst, the I.G. Farben cartel was founded with a total number of employees surpassing 80,000. The race for global control was on.
IG Farben (short for Interessen-Gemeinschaft Farbenindustrie AG) (“syndicate of dyestuff corporations”) (and also called I.G. Farbenfabriken) was a German conglomerate of companies formed in 1925 and even earlier during World War I. The founding of IG Farben was a reaction to Germany’s defeat in World War I. IG Farben held a near total monopoly on chemical production, later during the National Socialist (Nazi) regime, including manufacturing Zyklon B poison for the gas chambers. Before the war the dyestuff companies had a near monopoly in the world market which they lost during the conflict. One solution for regaining this position was a large merger. IG Farben consisted of the following major companies and several smaller ones. *AGFA (Actien-Gesellschaft für Anilin-Fabrikation), Berlin *Cassella, Frankfurt *BASF (Badische Anilin und Soda Fabrik), Ludwigshafen *Bayer, Leverkusen *Farbwerke Hoechst (now Sanofi-Aventis), Höchst *Chemische Werke Hüls, Marl (founded in 1938) *Chemische Fabrik Kalle, Biebrich. Source: http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ sociopolitica/ sociopol_igfarben08.htm
The Rockefeller cartel (U.S.A.) and the I.G. Farben cartel (Germany) decided to divide the entire globe into interest spheres – the very same crime Rockefeller had been sentenced for 18 years earlier, when his trust had divided up the U.S. into “interest zones”.
1932 / 33
The I.G. Farben cartel, equally insatiable, decides no longer to be bound by the 1929 constraints. They support an uprising German politician, who promises I.G. Farben to militarily conquer the world for them. With millions of dollars in election campaign donations, this politician seized power in Germany, turned the German democracy into a dictatorship and kept his promise to launch his conquest war, a war that soon became known as WWII.
In each and every country Hitler’s wehrmacht invaded, the first act was to rob the chemical, petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries and assign them – free of charge – to the I.G. Farben empire.
1942 – 45
In order to cement its global leadership with patented drugs, the I.G. Farben cartel tests its patented pharmaceutical substances on concentration camp inmates in Auschwitz, Dachau and many other sites. The fees for conducting these inhumane studies were transferred directly from the bank accounts of Bayer, Hoechst and BASF to the bank accounts of the SS, who operated the concentration camps.
I.G. Farben’s plan to take control of the global oil and drug markets has failed. The U.S. and the other allied forces won WWII. Nevertheless, many U.S. and allied soldiers had lost their lives during the conflict, and the allies’ reward was little compared to the rewards of others. The corporate shares of the losers, I.G. Farben, went to the Rockefeller trust (U.S.A.) and Rothschild / J.P. Morgan (U.K.).
Clockwise: Baron Rothschild, JP Morgan, JD Rockefeller, P Warburg
In the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal, 24 managers from Bayer, BASF, Hoechst and other executives of the I.G. Farben cartel were tried for crimes against humanity. These crimes included: leading wars of aggression, instituting slavery and committing mass murder. In his final pleading, U.S.-Chief Prosecutor Telford Taylor summarized the crimes committed by these corporate criminals with the following words: “Without I.G. Farben, the second World War would not have been possible”.
Amazingly, the real culprits for the death of 60 Million people in World War II – the I.G. Farben executives – received the mildest verdicts. Even those executives directly responsible for the crimes in I.G. Auschwitz only received a maximum of twelve years in jail. Surprised? You shouldn’t be.
By 1944 Nelson Rockefeller had already entered the executive branch of the U.S. government. He started off as Under-Secretary of State and ended up a few years later as Special Adviser of President Truman for Special Affairs. In other words, at critical junctures of the 20th century, the Rockefeller interests took direct charge. They decided the post war shape of the world and the distribution of its wealth.
As such, under the influence of the U.S. State Department, the verdicts in Nuremberg against the I.G. Farben managers can easily be explained. In return for taking over the corporate shares of I.G. Farben, and thereby global control of the oil and drug business, Nelson Rockefeller made sure that the real culprits of World War II were not hanged. In fact, and as we shall see, they were needed.
Membres clés du conseil de bord I.G Farben, en procès à Nuremberg pour crime contre l’humanité, 1947
The Federal Republic of Germany was founded. This was the first time in history that the constitution and society of an industrialized nation could be planned and modeled as a fortress of the pharmaceutical investment business – a transatlantic outpost of the Rockefeller interests.
Within only a few years, the I.G. Farben managers sentenced in Nuremberg were released from jail and put back into their previous positions as stakeholders of the Rockefeller interests. Fritz Ter Meer, for example, sentenced to twelve years in jail for his crimes in Auschwitz, was back as chairman of the board of Germany’s largest pharmaceutical multinational, Bayer, by 1963!
BAYER’s H.Q in Germany
The role of the Rockefeller brothers was not limited to their taking over the global monopolies of the oil and drug businesses. They also needed to create the political framework for these businesses to thrive. Under their influence, therefore, the United Nations was founded in 1945, in San Francisco. To seize political control of the post war world, three countries – leading drug export nations – had all the say, and 200 other nations were rendered mere spectators.
Nelson Rockefeller, Under Secretary of Health, Education and Social Affairs, made a presentation on a public project / program of private health reinsurance, 1954. Rockefeller was a member of the U.S. delegation at the United Nations Conference on International Organization at San Francisco in 1945.
On behalf of the Rockefeller interests, the government of the pharmaceutical banana republic Germany spearheaded one of the most infamous efforts ever made within the United Nations. Under the pretense of consumer protection, it launched a four-decade-long crusade to outlaw vitamin therapies and other natural, non-patentable health approaches in all member countries of the United Nations. The goal was to simply ban any and all competition for the multi-billion dollar business with patented drugs. The plan was simple: copy for the entire world what had already been accomplished in America in the 1920s – a monopoly on health care for the investment business with patented drugs.
Since the marketplace for the pharmaceutical investment business depends upon the continued existence of diseases, the drugs it developed were not intended to prevent, cure or eradicate disease. Thus, the goal of the global strategy was to monopolize health for billions of people, with pills that nearly cover symptoms but hardly ever address the root cause of disease. The deprivation of billions of people from having access to life saving information about the health benefits of natural health approaches, whilst at the same time establishing a monopoly with largely ineffective and frequently toxic patented drugs, caused disease and death in genocidal proportions.
This epidemic of unnecessary disability and death by the pharmaceutical business with disease is unparalleled in history.
Linus Pauling and other eminent scientists deserve credit for having kept open the door of knowledge about the health benefits of vitamins and other effective natural health approaches. If it were not for them we would already be living in a health prison today, guarded by the gatekeepers of the pharmaceutical business with disease in medicine, politics and the media.
Linus Pauling should also be credited for having identified the significance of Dr. Rath’s early research in vitamins and cardiovascular disease, and for having invited Dr. Rath to join him during his last years to continue his life’s work.
1990 – 92
These years will go down in history as the beginning of the end of the pharmaceutical business with disease. In a series of scientific publications, in some of which Dr. Rath invited Linus Pauling to join him as co-author, Dr. Rath identified micronutrient deficiency as the primary cause of diseases. These diseases include heart attacks, high blood pressure, diabetic circulatory problems, cancer and even immune deficiency diseases, including AIDS.
Like a Sherlock Holmes of science, Dr. Rath traced the real cause of these diseases, and found that they had been deliberately nebulized or even hidden away from millions of people for one purpose only: to feed the insatiable greed of the pharmaceutical business with disease.
Anti-tobacco laws in 193 countries, thanks to the WHO.
OGM laws across Europe.
Codex Alimentarius is enforced
For all intents and purposes, Codex Alimentarius unites over 150 accredited industry and other interest groups with an even larger number of national health authorities to make the rules for a globalized society where corporations have free reign and what they like to call a “level playing field”. But the playing field they construct is so restricted by red tape and the level parts are so completely occupied by corporate interedsts that anything smaller than a multinational falls off the edges into commercial insignificance.
IN CONCLUSION: THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY DEPENDS ON THE CONTINUED EXISTENCE OF DISEASES. SYNTHETIC PRODUCTS ARE NOT INTENDED TO PREVENT, CURE OR ERADICATE DISEASES. THE OBJECTIVE OF THIS OVERALL STRATEGY IS TO TRANSFORM THE HEALTH OF BILLIONS OF PEOPLE IN A TRADE MONOPOLY WITH PILLS THAT COVER THE SYMPTOMS WITHOUT AFFECTING THE REAL CAUSES OF DISEASE. PHARMACEUTICAL CARTELS PREVENT BILLIONS OF PEOPLE THE ACCESS TO VITAL INFORMATION ON HEALTH BENEFITS, ON NATURAL METHODS, AND SIMULTANEOUSLY DEVELOP MONOPOLY-BASED SYNTHETIC PRODUCTS STILL LARGELY INEFFECTIVE AT LOW OR HIGH TOXIC LEVELS, IATROGENIC (= CAUSE DISEASES) AND EVEN FATAL TO A CONSIDERABLE EXTENT.
Immunization is a global health and development success story, saving millions of lives every year. We now have vaccines to prevent more than 20 life-threatening diseases, helping people of all ages live longer, healthier lives. Immunization is the foundation of the primary health care system and an indisputable human right. It’s also one of the best health investments money can buy. Yet despite tremendous progress, far too many people around the world – including nearly 20 million infants each year – have insufficient access to vaccines. In some countries, progress has stalled or even reversed, and there is a real risk that complacency will undermine past achievements.
With the support of countries and partners, WHO is leading the co-creation of a new global vision and strategy to address these challenges over the next decade, to be endorsed by the World Health Assembly. IA 2030 envisions a world where everyone, everywhere, at every age, fully benefits from vaccines to improve health and well-being.
IA2030 goals are designed to inspire action for implementation. For countries, this could mean setting country-specific targets and milestones for the decade toward those goals. For regions, this could mean contextualising global goals and setting specific targets and milestones in Regional Vaccination Action Plans. For partner organisations, this could mean aligning organisational strategies and indicators to support the attainment of IA2030 goals.
Strategic Priority Goals
Immunization is playing a critical role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Immunization reaches more people than any other health and social service, making it the foundation of primary health care systems and a key driver toward universal health coverage. This makes immunization critical to SDG3 – to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. Because health is so fundamental to development, IA2030 will also contribute—either directly or indirectly—to 13 of the other SDGs.
Immunization is an investment for the future, creating a healthier, safer and more prosperous world for all. ( who really believes that ? … Admin.)
Infants are Uniquely Vulnerable to Aluminium in Vaccines
The Rockefellers, of course, are one of the most rich and powerful families of the elite black nobility. Behind their spurious facade of philanthropy, they are power-hungry tyrants intent on owning the entire world, and depopulating it through eugenics-based programs like forced sterilization, water fluoridation, abortions and vaccinations.
They have either majorly or fully created (and still dominate) the United Nations, the World Health Organization, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, Planned Parenthood and many, many other organizations that either rule the world or influence culture to a large extent.
Despite the dominance of western medicine nowadays, even just 100 years ago the situation was very different, so it’s worthwhile casting our minds back to how the we got to this place. How did western medicine and the giant conglomerate of multinational pharmaceutical corporations (“Big Pharma”) become the mainstream medical system in the US and other first world nations? And what alternatives are there?
Let’s go back in time to the late 1800s. John D. Rockefeller, a man quoted to have said “competition is sin”, is the head of the Rockefeller family and has just become very rich through extracting oil from the ground. Now he is looking for ways to capitalize even further with his oil, and he comes across the idea of using coal tar – a petroleum derivative – to make substances that affect the human mind, body and nervous system. These are called drugs, and they are excellent at masking or stopping symptoms, but overall do not cure the underlying cause of a disease.
Like other elite leaders of the New World Order who fit the description of an “evil genius” – those high on intellect and low on compassion – Rockefeller used his oil money to buy out part of the massive German pharmaceutical cartel, I.G. Farben. This was the very same cartel that would later assist Hitler to implement his eugenics-based vision of a New World Order founded on racial supremacy, by manufacturing chemicals and poisons for war. With the control of drug manufacturing under his wings, Rockefeller then embarked on a decidedly wicked plan – wicked from the point of view of a free and healthy humanity, but brilliant from a business perspective.
This article omits any reference to the American/Jewish eugenics efforts....
DESTROYING ANY COMPETITION TO WESTERN MEDICINE
Rockefeller saw that there were many types of doctors and healing modalities in existence at that time, from chiropractic to naturopathy to homeopathy to holistic medicine to herbal medicine and more. He wanted to eliminate the competitors of western medicine (the only modality which would propose drugs and radiation as treatment, thus enriching Rockefeller who owned the means to produce these treatments), so he hired a man called Abraham Flexner to submit a report to Congress in 1910.
This report “concluded” that there were too many doctors and medical schools in America, and that all the natural healing modalities which had existed for hundreds or thousands of years were unscientific quackery. It called for the standardization of medical education, whereby only the allopathic-based AMA be allowed to grant medical school licenses in the US.
Sadly, Congress acted upon the conclusions and made them law. Incredibly, allopathy became the standard mainstream modality, even though its 3 main methods of treatment in the 1800s had been blood-letting, surgery and the injection of toxic heavy metals like lead and mercury to supposedly displace disease! It should be noted that hemp was also demonized and criminalized not long after this, not because there is anything dangerous about it, but because it was a huge threat (as both medicine and fuel) to the Rockefeller drug and oil industries, respectively.
Western medicine relies on Big Pharma’s petroleum drugs, which the body can never ultimately assimilate. Meanwhile, it engages in biopiracy to steal Nature’s best compounds and patent them.
The story doesn’t stop there. Rockefeller and another elite leader Carnegie used their tax-exempt Foundations, from 1913 on, to offer huge grants to the best medical schools all over America – on the proviso that only an allopathic-based curriculum be taught, and that some of their agents be allowed to sit on the Board of Directors. They called this “efficient” philanthropy, which, when through the Orwellian translation unit, means they wanted a return on their investment.
They systematically dismantled the curricula of these schools by removing any mention of the natural healing power of herbs and plants, or of the importance of diet to health. The result is a system which to this day churns out doctors who are, almost always, utterly clueless about nutrition and disregard the idea that what you eat can actually heal or hurt you.
A couple of decades after this, another law was passed that further entrenched western medicine in America. The Hill-Burton Act of 1946 gave hospitals grants for construction and modernization, on the condition they provide free healthcare to anyone in need, without discrimination of any kind. Although there were good sides to this, the downside was that once people had become dependent on this system for their healthcare needs – especially those on pharmaceutical pills which need to be taken day after day without end – the system switched into a paid system, and the Rockefellers found themselves with new lifelong customers.
The bitter truth is that, in general, when you go to your Western doctor, you are seen as a potential market for the medical factory’s products. For Big Pharma, there is no financial incentive to heal you, because a patient cured is a customer lost. Even if you are not sick, Big Pharma is still targeting you, trying to convince you that you are ill (e.g. with psychiatry’s ridiculous list of fictitious diseases, many of them fake) so that you will try its latest pill. Pregnant women who go to the doctor are treated like this, and peddled intravenous fluid bags, fetal monitors, ultrasound (radiation for a vulnerable baby), a host of drugs, the totally unnecessary episiotomy, and – to top it all off – the Caesarean delivery!
BIO-PIRACY: THE BUSINESS MODEL OF WESTERN MEDICINE’S BIG PHARMA CARTEL
Remember, all these synthetic drugs are isolates. Many are derived from plant compounds, but because Nature cannot be patented and sold, Big Pharma has no interest in natural cures. What they do instead is engage in bio-piracy – research natural compounds, copy them (or modify them slightly) in a lab, then try to steal and patent them.
If they get a patent, they then market their pill as a wonder drug while simultaneously (through fake scientific research) suppress and criticize the original plant as being worthless, so you won’t go to the source of the cure. Ironically, guess what type of medicine John D. Rockefeller used and the British Royal Family still uses? Homeopathy!
Modern western medicine seems to have lost the supposed point of its existence: healing people. In his revealing book “Confessions of a Medical Heretic“, Dr. Robert Mendolsohn quotes an article entitled “Cleveland’s Marvelous Medical Factory” which boasted of the Cleveland Clinic’s “accomplishments last year: 2,980 open-heart operations, 1.3 million laboratory tests, 73,320 electrocardiograms, 7,770 full-body x-ray scans, 24,368 surgical procedures.”
Seems fancy, yet none of these procedures has been proven to have anything to do with maintaining or restoring health. When people get screened for a disease, they are being subjected to dangerous radiation (more money for the Rockefellers) which harms tissue and can end up causing the exact disease it is supposed to be protecting against – as happens daily with the mammogram scam, designed to drum up new breast cancer clients.
John D. Rockefeller, the oil tycoon who helped create Big Pharma.
The Rockefellers and other elites use philanthropy as a tool for control. It’s social engineering with a nice PR sheen. A free lunch is not really free, whether private (Rockefeller-style western medicine) or public/governmental (Obama-style socialized medicine), because even if you get something at no cost, you are required to give up your data and your privacy. They want you dependent on their system – then they’ll raise the rates once you’re trapped.
This is big business – and it’s also a big killer. Dr. Barbara Starfield published a study in the year 2000 that found that there were 225,000 iatrogenic (allopathic doctor caused) deaths in the US every year. However, this was only counting direct deaths; when you factor in all indirect deaths, as Dr. Gary Null did in 2011 in his report Death by Medicine, the figure is closer to 784,000 per year! That’s 7.8 million people dead from western medicine every 10 years!
Null concluded: “It is evident that the American medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the United States …”
Whenever a lot of people die in a staged false flag attack (like 3000 people on 9/11) or in a staged mind control shooting (like 50 or so people) we hear all about it on the media. Yet between 616 and 2147 Americans are dying every day from Rockefeller Western medicine, and we don’t hear a thing!
NATURAL SOLUTIONS THAT SURPASS ROCKEFELLER-CREATED WESTERN MEDICINE
At this point let us turn from the problem to the solutions – and fortunately there are many. The famous ancient Greek physician Hippocrates wrote:
“Nature heals. The doctor’s task consists in strengthening the natural healing powers, to direct them, and especially not to interfere with them.”
The immune system is your number one defense against any disease – not a vaccine. Most natural medicine is designed to treat the body holistically, not to “cure” one disease only to have it transform and mutate into another ailment. When you take plants and herbs as medicine, you normally take the whole food, not an isolate, because it is based on a holistic understanding.
Likewise, Traditional Chinese Medicine defines all disease as stagnation and treats sickness as an imbalance to be brought back into balance. What is the point of transferring an imbalance in one area into an imbalance in another area? None, unless you are trying to profit off disease like Big Pharma. It is not real healing.
There are so many natural cures and remedies out there, if you take the time to look. Two examples among thousands are turmeric which will do more for your blood pressure and diabetes than any drug can, and apricot kernels (rich in laetrile which selectively kills cancer cells and leaves healthy ones intact) which will handle cancer better than chemotherapy. The Gerson Therapy has also healed thousands of “terminal” cancer patients who were told by doctors of western medicine, “there’s nothing more we can do for you.”
Western medicine has its time and place, and its strengths and weaknesses. Western medicine may be a good system in a critical emergency and for complicated surgical procedures, but for general conditions, there are so many better alternatives. Time to start exploring them.
How India's Patent Office Destroyed Gilead's Global Game Plan - Businessweek
In 2006, members of the Indian Network for People Living with HIV/AIDS demonstrated in New Dehli against a patent applied for by Gilead Sciences.
Gilead Sciences charges a lot for the hepatitis treatment Sovaldi, which sells for as much as $84,000 to U.S. patients. The innovative medication has become one of theworld's best-selling drugs despite its price tag, fueling huge growth at Gilead. The company had revenue of $24.2 billion in 2014, according to analysts' estimates, more than double its sales in 2013. Earnings for last year are projected to reached $12.8 billion, more than four times higher.
But the high price of Sovaldi threatens to make the drug too expensive for many patients with hepatitis C in developing countries such as India, where protesters last year lobbed accusations of gouging and carried signs renaming the company "Killead." In September the U.S. pharmaceutical company announced a licensing deal with seven Indian drugmakers to produce generic versions of Sovaldi that could be sold in 91 countries. That, according to Gilead, would help take care of the problem. "Our view is that the competition and the capabilities of these partnerswill bring down the price," Gregg Alton, executive vice president, told reporters in New Delhi at the time of the announcement.
Unfortunately for Gilead, this week government officials stepped in the way: India's patent office on Tuesday sided with critics who had challenged the company's patent. By rejecting the claim, the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks has opened the door for more Indian pharmaceutical companies to produce sofosbuvir, the generic version of Sovaldi. And unlike the seven companies that agreed to the deal with Gilead in September, the newcomers won't have any restrictions on where they can sell their generics.
"Getting sofosbuvir out of the stronghold of Gilead's monopoly will be crucial to expanding treatment for people with hepatitis C globally," Dr. Manica Balasegaram, executive director of the Action Campaign of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières, one of the groups behind the Indian patent office challenge, said in a statement.
The news is a victory for MSF partner Tahir Amin, the New York-based lawyer in charge of intellectual property at the Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge.Amin is an English-trained solicitor who once worked as a corporate lawyer for Levi Strauss and now oversees a small team of attorneys challenging big pharma patents in India and other countries. While Gilead had pointed out to the Indian patent office that 17 countries, including China, Indonesia, and Israel, had already granted patents for similar claims, India makes challenges easier thanks to its policy of requiring would-be patent holders to demonstrate that their compounds are new and not obvious—and also better than existing compounds.
"India believes that the patent standards are so low that companies can get patents for inventions very easily," Amin said in an interview. The patent office's examiner ruled Gilead's patent claim "lacks novelty and inventive step," as Bloomberg News noted, and also doesn't demonstrate it's significantly more effective than already known compounds. Amin explains that the controller general's decision holds that "there are a number of earlier compound structures that are very close to what Gilead is trying to get a patent for."
But Sovaldi is a breakthrough drug. Shouldn't that be worth something? "It's important to recognize that what the patent office deals with is whether something is new in science," Amin said. "The decision says there are a number of earlier compound structures that are very close to what Gilead is trying to get a patent for. It's a scientific decision and has nothing to do with the utility of the drug." Gilead didn't offer comment on Wednesday.
The company can appeal, a process that could take years. For now, Amin is hopeful the patent office decision will allow 49 million people—or 74 percent of the total number of hepatitis C patients globally—access to the drug in countries that had been off-limits to generics under the September agreement between Gilead and the seven Indian drugmakers. "Gilead's licensing deal is what we call managed competition," he says. "What this case can achieve is open competition, a real free market."
HuffingtonPost ... BEWARE...SOURCE IS PROGRESSIVE LEFTISTS
In late August 2014, Tom Frieden, then director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, traveled to West Africa to assess the raging Ebola crisis.
In the five months before Frieden’s visit, Ebola had spread from a village in Guinea, across borders and into cities in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Médecins Sans Frontières, the first international responder on the scene, had run out of staff to treat the rising numbers of sick people and had deemed the outbreak “out of control” back in June.
But when Frieden arrived in West Africa, the World Health Organization, the United Nations agency charged with coordinating the global response to disease outbreaks, had only just declared Ebola to be an international public health emergency.
Although WHO had announced a $100 million Ebola action plan the week prior to that declaration, many major donors were still sitting on the sidelines.
Frieden returned to the United States desperate to find more help. On Aug. 30, one day before a scheduled call with President Barack Obama, he emailed his point person for one of the key organizations in global public health.
That person wasn’t at a U.N. affiliate or any other public agency — he was Chris Elias, president of the global development program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
We do not have a specific strategy or budget for emerging infections, but these are extraordinary times and I’d be willing to make the case internally if it makes sense,” Elias wrote back hours later.
Situation is incredibly dire,” Frieden replied very late that night. “I should brief you, Bill, and others next week. All of Africa is at risk. Support now is worth many times what support in a few weeks would be worth. Literally every day counts.”
Frieden emailed again on Sept. 1. “I think Bill should hear directly and soon,” he wrote. “The situation is catastrophic.”
Elias wrote back on Sept. 3 to say he had spoken with Bill Gates and foundation CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann, who asked him to talk to Frieden, WHO and UNICEF about “what, if any, role the Foundation could/should play in supporting” the Ebola response. Frieden and Elias would later speak over the phone, although the CDC director did not talk to Gates himself about Ebola. Gates was “not in the office this week,” Elias wrote. (These and other emails sent during the Ebola crisis were obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests.)
Frieden’s frantic emails point to the current reality in global health: No single non-governmental institution or individual wields more influence, and no one’s support is more powerful, than the Gates Foundation and its namesake founders, Bill and Melinda Gates. The foundation has $39.6 billion in assets. It spent $2.9 billion on developmental assistance for global health in 2015 alone ― more than every country in the world except the U.S. and the U.K.
In the first half of the 20th century, it was the Rockefeller Foundation that pioneered and directed efforts to control diseases worldwide, coordinating the work of doctors, researchers and public health specialists from multiple countries to focus on international health issues for the first time.
It wasn’t until the United Nations formed WHO in 1948 that a publicly funded global health body, accountable to the nations of the world, took the lead. “Governments have a responsibility,” the preamble to WHO’s constitution says, “for the health of their peoples which can be fulfilled only by the provision of adequate health and social measures.” The goal, it continues, is to “promote and protect the health of all peoples.”
WHO has frequently fallen short of that goal. It absorbed much of the blame for the Ebola outbreak that began in 2014 and eventually killed more than 11,300 people. Its disease surveillance failed early on to detect the spike in cases of the hemorrhagic fever, and in a tweet that didn’t age particularly well, a WHO official initially downplayed the threat.
Those failures, and others, have led some to question the decision to trust international bodies like WHO with global health — and even propose returning to a more philanthropy-focused model. Stephen Moore, an economist who advised President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, recently called for ending all non-emergency U.S. foreign aid, much of which goes to international organizations such as WHO. Trump’s budget blueprint proposes cuts in payments to the entire U.N. system.
That means private charities such as the Gates Foundation might play an even larger role in protecting public health, which calls for scrutiny of the role that philanthropy has played in recent years. Nobody would be better off if Bill Gates pulled his money. But governments and private foundations are not interchangeable — in how they set their goals, in how they work with others, in how they are held accountable.
When the Gates Foundation takes aim at a disease, it can elicit billions of dollars from governments and reshape the world’s agenda for scientific research. Take polio: The foundation has spent nearly $3 billion since 2003 on eradicating the disease. It is the largest global funder of the effort and has rallied other private foundations and national governments behind the cause. The foundation’s influence also runs deep within WHO. At the time of the Ebola outbreak, it was the organization’s second-largest donor, following only the U.S. government.
Yet when a disease does not have the Gates Foundation’s attention, the global health community can struggle to do much at all. The Ebola crisis demonstrated that the foundation is disinclined to take on certain crucial work that governments and intergovernmental organizations are generally expected to handle. By the time of Frieden’s desperate email — five months after the first cases in Guinea were reported — the foundation had announced just $1 million to fight Ebola.
Less than 15 years ago, the Gates Foundation was a minor player on the global health scene, and WHO was far more prominent and capable.
In February 2003, a severe flu-like disease appeared in China’s Guangdong province. The disease spread quickly, but the governments of China and other affected nations refused to acknowledge the problem. It was the 21st century’s first big outbreak: severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS.
Under the vigorous leadership of then Director-General Gro Harlem Brundtland, WHO moved rapidly. The organization signaled an emergency when the outbreak was still small, with less than 200 reported cases and only four deaths. Working with the CDC and other health officials from around the world, WHO dispatched more than 60 medical teams to assess conditions on the ground. Four months after declaring an emergency, WHO announced it had successfully contained the disease.
At the time, the Gates Foundation was only a few years old and led by the Microsoft billionaire’s father, William Gates Sr.
“Brundtland wasn’t very concerned with Bill Gates,” Jon Lidén, one of the director-general’s senior staff, recalled in a 2013 interview. WHO leadership saw the foundation as “a very small operation,” Lidén said, “run from a garage and a bit odd.”
But with judicious application of the world’s largest private fortune, the Gates Foundation rapidly expanded its influence. The first target was immunization. In 1999, the foundation put forward $750 million to form a public-private partnership called the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, or Gavi, with the goal of reinvigorating stalled efforts to vaccinate the world’s children — a job that had previously been the responsibility of WHO and UNICEF. On paper, WHO and UNICEF were the foundation’s equals at Gavi, with each entity holding a position on the board. But the Gates Foundation didn’t just provide unrestricted funding, opting instead to lodge its money in a separate entity, the Vaccine Fund, which Gavi had to petition to access.
In 2008, Gavi and the Vaccine Fund merged. The rearranged board drastically reduced WHO’s and UNICEF’s strength — they were now just two of 28 voting members. The U.N. agencies effectively became subcontractors on a Gates-led project.
Also starting in 1999, the Gates Foundation applied its generous grant-making to malaria research, almost single-handedly reviving the field. Bill Gates mused during a speech in San Jose, California, that with a $50 million grant, he’d been told he’d “just doubled the amount of private money that goes to malaria.”
But the foundation didn’t want to just fund more research; it wanted to transform the way the world fought malaria. At a Gates-organized forum in Seattle in October 2007, Melinda Gates challenged the world’s top malaria researchers to shift their strategy from control to eradication. The foundation’s call set the malaria world “abuzz,” Science magazine reported. At the time, many researchers believed malaria eradication efforts were likely to end in failure. U.S.-backed DDT spraying in the 1950s and ‘60s had provided a temporary respite from the disease. But many people lost the immunity acquired when malaria maintains a constant presence, and as mosquitoes developed resistance to the pesticide, the disease resurged and the eradication effort collapsed.
By 2007, however, the Gates Foundation had already handed out $1 billion in malaria research grants. The freshly funded scientists were loath to speak out.
WHO Director-General Margaret Chan endorsed Gates’ call to action immediately — without consulting her top advisers, according to Science’s report.
There were a few dissenters. Later that year, WHO malaria head Arata Kochi circulated a memo describing a “cartel” of leading malaria researchers funded by the Gates Foundation.
His memo later leaked to The New York Times, and he was relieved of his role soon after.
At WHO, there hasn’t been any outward opposition to or criticism of the Gates Foundation’s role in malaria funding in the nine years since Kochi was removed.
Anthony Fauci, the head of infectious disease research at the National Institutes of Health, had once been a skeptic about eradicating malaria, but wrote in a 2009 CNN column that Gates’ advocacy had changed his mind: “As the idea began to sink in and we assessed the research landscape, a new sense of optimism emerged.”
Malaria eradication eventually won support from the highest levels of government. In a last-minute addition to his January 2016 State of the Union address, Obama said the world was “on track” to end HIV/AIDS. “We have the chance to accomplish the same thing with malaria,” he said, promising to push Congress to fund eradication.
After changing the global establishment’s views on malaria, the Gates Foundation took aim at what is now its biggest health priority: eradicating polio. WHO had launched its effort to eliminate the disease in 1988. Although the number of cases was dramatically reduced, the campaign missed its 2000 deadline and was well over budget. Bill Gates saw an opportunity not just to revive the polio effort, but to advance the whole idea of eradication. “The credibility, the energy from that will allow us to take the new tools we’ll have then and go after a malaria plan,” he explained in a 2014 interview.
The Gates Foundation became the world’s largest underwriter of polio eradication in 2008 and the unofficial leader of the project, which includes the CDC, WHO, UNICEF and Rotary International. The foundation’s money has helped bring polio to the brink of extinction.
The massive exertion required to eradicate every last vestige of the disease has also arguably drawn WHO staff and attention away from other priorities. 4
WHO relies on voluntary contributions from countries and private donors, including the Gates Foundation, for around 80 percent of its budget. That makes the organization vulnerable to outside pressure, global health experts Devi Sridhar and Lawrence Gostin wrote in a 2011 study. Such contributions are often tied to the donors’ pet programs, which “skews global health priorities,” Gostin and Sridhar said.
The 20 percent of WHO’s budget that comes from U.N. member states’ mandatory contributions can be used as the agency sees fit. But those contributions are based roughly on the size of the countries’ economies. Following the 2008 financial crisis, WHO was forced to make budget cuts. Before the Ebola outbreak, it had slashed its outbreak and crisis department by 51 percent and reduced its African regional office’s epidemic staff from 12 to four, according to a 2014 Reuters report.
As the Ebola crisis began to unfold, WHO resources were disproportionately committed to fighting polio. A 2014 WHO study found that 38 percent of the organization’s 2,201 staffers in Africa were funded through polio funds the prior year. Polio was easily WHO’s best-funded program worldwide, with a budget of more than $700 million for 2014-15, over three times larger than the budget for outbreak and crisis response.
Money follows money. The Gates Foundation had not only spent enormous sums of its own to underwrite polio eradication; it has also attracted others to the campaign. A Gates-orchestrated donor conference in Abu Dhabi in April 2013 garnered commitments of $4 billion from wealthy governments and private philanthropies, after the foundation primed the pump with $1.8 billion.
With ample funding, polio’s place on the list of global health priorities rose — to the detriment of other efforts, such as childhood immunization for other potentially fatal but vaccine-preventable diseases like measles. A 2014 report from the polio program’s independent monitoring board warned that the program treated routine immunization “as a poor cousin” to its eradication efforts.
The Gates Foundation’s role in elevating polio on WHO’s to-do list was “pretty significant,” Nils Daulaire, the former U.S. representative to the WHO executive board, said in a 2014 interview. “They have enormous influence in terms of pushing their priorities. So certainly the fact that Bill Gates took polio eradication as a personal priority and a personal challenge had a very meaningful impact on the global community and WHO’s decision to take this on as a major priority.”
WHO leaders “have to make priority decisions all the time,” Daulaire added. “And those decisions are not autonomous. … A variety of key donors have a lot of influence in terms of what WHO does, [including] the U.S., the Gates Foundation, the European Union, the U.K., other major industrial economies.”
Daulaire should know. In January 2014, he asked Director-General Chan to declare polio a public health emergency.
Five months later, Chan did. WHO justified the declaration by citing “the international spread of polio to date in 2014.” At that point in the year, there had been just 65 polio cases in countries where the disease is endemic and just nine elsewhere. In the same period, nearly 250 people in two countries had already been diagnosed with Ebola — and 166 of them had died.
WHO was notably slower in its response to Ebola. When SARS hit China in 2003, the organization had swiftly declared an emergency, sparking international efforts before the epidemic slipped beyond control. But not until Aug. 8, 2014 — three months after the polio declaration and more than four months after the first cases of Ebola were detected in West Africa — did WHO label the Ebola outbreak an emergency.
Other issues also slowed the world’s reaction to Ebola, including a lack of trained medical teams able to deploy to the countries most in need. As that undersized response chased a growing outbreak, the cost ballooned.
On July 27, news had broken that two American health care workers had contracted the virus in Liberia. Four days later, WHO announced the $100 million plan to “take the response to a new level,” Chan said. Over 700 people had died by then. “This will require increased resources,” she added. Frieden said the CDC was “surging” its response, noting that while “it will not be quick and it will not be easy, we do know how to stop Ebola.”
The Gates Foundation hadn’t taken much action against Ebola at that juncture. Steve Landry, director of multilateral partnerships at the foundation, explained in a statement to HuffPost that emergency response “is not a core capacity of the Gates Foundation.”
“We focus our global health investments on building long-term, sustainable access to health through the development of new products and by strengthening the delivery of proven, high-impact health interventions,” Landry said. The foundation designates approximately $20 million annually for emergency response grants, compared to total foundation disbursements of about $4 billion a year. Still, as a private entity, it can authorize and disburse funds faster than national governments or international organizations ― which is perhaps why one of Frieden’s first missives after touring Ebola-ravaged West Africa would go to the Gates Foundation.
Initially, the foundation had lifted restrictions on an existing grant, allowing WHO to use those funds for Ebola. “[O]n the WHO front we had a request for funding and have given them latitude to tap into the strategic fund we have with them ― to be deployed as need[ed] so they should have enough funding for now,” wrote Trevor Mundel, the foundation’s president of global health, in a July 30 email to the directors of the U.K. philanthropy Wellcome Trust and the NIH. Mundel added that the foundation had also made “a smaller grant to Unicef for activities on the ground” of $1 million.
Then on Aug. 4, health authorities in Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa, announced the first case transmitted within that country’s borders. Soon, there were 18 more cases in two Nigerian cities, Lagos and Port Harcourt, which have a combined population about as large as that of the three previously affected countries together.
It was “the moment at which the world is at the edge of an abyss,” Frieden later told HuffPost. 5
Nigeria rapidly quashed its local outbreak by identifying every person the infected traveler had met and isolating and testing those with symptoms. In written responses to HuffPost questions and in public statements, both WHO and the Gates Foundation attributed the success of Nigeria’s response to the vast system of disease surveillance it had created to eradicate polio.
But this infrastructure was unique in the region. The current $5.5 billion polio eradication plan directs $1.5 billion to Nigeria as one of three major-focus countries in the world and the only one in Africa. Fortune magazine called the presence of the disease surveillance program there “one of the most important and lucky breaks in the fight against Ebola.”
There were other measures that might have prevented the spread of Ebola into Nigeria in the first place. When WHO declares a public health emergency, it can compel member states to implement travel restrictions. The emergency declaration on polio, for instance, required travelers from Pakistan to show proof of polio vaccination. But absent a WHO-declared emergency, there had been no such requirement for Ebola screening in West Africa. On July 31, the CDC raised its travel warning for the region to the highest level and said it was “assisting with active screening and education efforts on the ground in West Africa to prevent sick travelers from getting on planes.” It turned out that by then, Ebola had already been in Nigeria for 11 days.
On Aug. 6, the Gates Foundation publicly announced the $1 million it had already released to UNICEF to “help address the immediate need on the ground.” The grant would “provide critical medical and hygiene supplies, coordinate response efforts, and reach affected and at-risk communities with life-saving information,” Sue Desmond-Hellmann wrote in a blog post.
But another post on the Gates website the following day downplayed the crisis. A Nigerian-born doctor warned that cerebro-spinal meningitis “could end up being far more destructive than the current Ebola epidemic” without the massive vaccination program the foundation was accustomed to sponsoring. “Unlike Ebola,” the author wrote, meningitis “can be easily prevented.”
WHO’s Aug. 8 emergency declaration did little to change the funding shortage.
“What you would expect is the whole world wakes up and goes, ‘Oh my gosh, this is a terrible problem, we have to deploy additional people and send money,’” WHO’s leading official for Ebola, Bruce Aylward, said in a 2015 Associated Press interview. Aylward had previously served as assistant director-general for polio and emergencies, but took the helm of the Ebola effort after the emergency declaration. Instead of pouring in resources, Aylward said, the world responded by imposing overly broad travel bans and isolating the affected region. 6-1
By Aug. 15, the estimated human toll in the three most-affected countries had climbed past 2,000 cases and 1,000 deaths. Liberia, where the outbreak was accelerating the fastest, stepped up to commit $20 million to fight Ebola within its own borders — an incredible sum in a country where the entire health budget for that year was $11 million.
Ebola had become a regular topic at White House press conferences and saturated international news. But WHO and the CDC, lacking both money and personnel, were still struggling to handle the crisis and to obtain more funds. Over email, Chan and Frieden agreed they would scale back their request for medical personnel on the ground — and even then, they didn’t expect to get what they asked for.
“Our team in the field in Liberia thinks this estimate of need is very far below what the actual need is,” Frieden wrote Chan on Aug. 20. “This may be a moot point, however, since even getting the lower level of need met will be very difficult.”
“You are exactly right, we feel this estimate falls short of the actual need,” Chan replied.
That same day, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ordered the military to quarantine an entire slum in the capital city of Monrovia in a desperate attempt to gain the upper hand on the outbreak. Some new estimates doubled the number of infected people in the city.
“All agree numbers are much larger than reported,” Keiji Fukuda, WHO’s assistant director-general for health security, wrote to Frieden and Chan on Aug. 21. By that point, WHO was arranging for palliative care “under controlled conditions” — that is, planning for contained deaths to try to reduce the spread of the disease. (Fukuda did not respond to a request for comment for this story.)
Frieden arrived in Liberia on Aug. 24. Just before returning to the U.S. a week later, he emailed the Gates Foundation’s Elias on Aug. 30, asking for an audience with Bill Gates. Less than an hour after arriving back in Atlanta on Sept. 1, he briefed President Obama by phone.
Frieden and Elias exchanged emails over the next several days to set up a time to talk on the phone. Elias also offered to reroute a trip through Washington, D.C., to meet in person. Frieden declined, preferring to speak on the phone sooner.
The two talked by phone on Sept. 6. (Asked later why he didn’t contact Bill Gates directly, Frieden said, “My route to connect to him is Chris.”) Money to insulate other countries from the Ebola threat topped Frieden’s list of needs. “Ideally there would be public sector dollars for this,” he wrote Elias the next day. “Foundation support to jumpstart it would be extraordinarily important.”
At that time, the CDC had received no additional federal funds to battle the outbreak, making it difficult even to fly staff to West Africa, Frieden told HuffPost.
Elias quickly moved new funds into the CDC Foundation, a nonprofit entity that allows private sector partners to support the CDC’s work. The money was “for you to use at your discretion without seeking prior permission,” he wrote Frieden on Sept. 7. But just as with UNICEF and WHO, the sums were not large. “I was thinking to start with $2 million,” Elias wrote.
On Sept. 9, Frieden sent Elias a request on CDC Foundation letterhead seeking “at least $25 million” in outside support from foundations to fund emergency operations centers and border checkpoints in 57 countries in order to “harden” them against outbreaks. “Had these capabilities been in place in West Africa a year ago,” the proposal reads, “the outbreak would now be under control.” Foundation support could “jump-start progress while the remaining resources are identified.”
Elias’ team responded to Frieden’s latest requests with impressive alacrity, pledging $50 million to the Ebola cause on Sept. 10. There was $5 million for WHO, $5 million for UNICEF and $2 million for the CDC. The rest went to various non-governmental entities operating in the region — such as Oxfam America, the Red Cross and the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative — and to biomedical research.
On Sept. 16, Scott Dowell, the foundation’s Ebola coordinator, wrote to Frieden that the foundation “would like to push hard for Ebola solutions, including a near term focus on hyper immune globulin production.” Frieden replied the same day clarifying the CDC’s top priorities for funding. “Actually, our top ask of [the foundation] is to ‘harden’ or help make more ‘fire-resistant’ the countries to which this might spread,” he wrote.
If treatment with hyperimmune globulin — essentially, blood transfusions from Ebola survivors — had worked, it would have been a huge victory. At that point, however, hyperimmune globulin wasn’t known to be effective, and scientists would eventually determine that it didn’t work. According to information provided to HuffPost by the Gates Foundation, its largest single grant for Ebola, $11.2 million, funded a clinical trial testing the blood of Ebola survivors as a treatment.
The Gates Foundation made another pledge in October, upping the total it directed toward the Ebola crisis to $75 million. 7-7
A massive initiative to stop Ebola was finally launched in September — nearly half a year after the first reported cases. On Nov. 5, Obama requested $6 billion for the U.S. response, which, in an unprecedented move, would be headed by the Defense Department. Congress appropriated $5.4 billion in emergency funding the following month.
That it took six months and more than 4,000 bodies to commit serious resources to Ebola struck many as a sign of major problems in the world health infrastructure. But Bill Gates sidestepped questions about the slow global response in a late September 2014 interview with Politico, calling the Ebola epidemic “very unique.” In an Oct. 6 blog post, he praised the effort made: “Although you can never move too fast at a time like this, it’s easy to forget just how much has been done.” And he defended the U.S. performance in an interview with news site Ozy later that month. “It’s amazing how the United States has responded to this,” he said.
The next year, Gates reflected on those early difficulties in addressing the Ebola crisis. He wrote in a March 2015 New York Times op-ed that he hoped the experience would spur investment in public health systems, while also blaming the existing public health organizations.
“[O]nce it became clear that a serious emergency was underway, trained personnel should have flooded the affected countries within days. Instead it took months,” he wrote. “Doctors Without Borders [Médecins Sans Frontières] deserves a lot of credit for mobilizing volunteers faster than any government did. But we should not count on nonprofit groups to mount a global response.”
Gates did acknowledge in an April 2015 New England Journal of Medicine essay that WHO’s outbreak alert and response system “is severely understaffed and underfunded.”
In the years since the epidemic, the Gates Foundation has committed more money and attention to emerging infectious diseases like Ebola. But its preference for ambitious eradication plans, technological solutions and working outside the U.N. system has endured.
In 2015, the foundation committed $75 million to the Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance network, or CHAMPS, which will help gather the data necessary to rapidly identify future outbreaks in poor countries. The CDC will act as a partner on that effort. More recently, the foundation committed $100 million to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, or CEPI, a new public-private organization to develop vaccines for emerging threats. The World Economic Forum and the governments of India and Norway are founding co-partners, while WHO holds only “observer” status.
Guinea’s president, Alpha Condé, gave a qualified welcome to CEPI, speaking on a World Economic Forum panel with Bill Gates this past January. “Yes, we want vaccinations, but we believe with a better performing system, we will not need people to send us international experts,” he said. “We could do it ourselves.”
Other health experts have echoed Condé. Earlier emphasis on the more mundane work of building up local health care systems “might have helped trigger more attention by other donors to ensuring countries build their core capacities in line with the International Health Regulations,” said Devi Sridhar, who co-authored a blue-ribbon panel report on the lessons of Ebola, in an email to HuffPost.
The Gates Foundation is clear that it doesn’t want all the responsibilities of WHO’s job.
“The Gates Foundation strongly believes that global health needs far outweigh available resources, and governments must play a leading role in providing affordable healthcare for their citizens and investing in [research and development] for new tools to fight disease,” said the foundation’s Landry in an email. “As a philanthropy, we concentrate our funding in areas where existing funds are insufficient, our support could have catalytic impact, and we can assume risks that others can’t.”
“In response to Ebola, we had the capacity to provide fast, flexible funding to UNICEF, WHO, CDC and other first responders in August and September 2014,” said Landry. “Major donor governments like the United States and the United Kingdom then stepped in with the large-scale funding required to sustain the effort and bring the outbreak under control.”
When the next health crisis hits, officials may again find themselves looking to the Gates Foundation and other private charities for similar help. Three years after Guinea first reported the Ebola outbreak, “the world remains grossly underprepared for outbreaks of infectious disease, which are likely to become more frequent in the coming decades,” according to a meta-analysis of post-Ebola studies published in January 2017. And President Trump and other Republicans are pushing to cut U.S. funding to international health efforts ― all but ensuring that private players will be expected to fill the void.
Public funding remains critical to protecting public health, as Bill Gates has noted. “The key actor is the United States,” he said during a September 2014 panel on the Ebola outbreak and other global health challenges, “and the investments in a bipartisan way this country has stood behind for decades.” But private philanthropy, Gates added, is “on the rise” and “kind of a world of its own.”
Philanthropists can wield influence without the pressure of elections. Under the Obama administration, Gates often visited the White House, meeting not only with the president but with the director of the Office of Management and Budget in the course of budget preparation. This March, Gates traveled again to Washington, where he talked with Trump and spoke out against reducing foreign aid. As on past visits, he also met with members of Congress, emphasizing the potential impact of budget cuts on programs that his foundation has backed, according to The Hill.
Long before Trump’s election, Gates was asked if he might consider running for president. “No,” Gates answered. “I don’t think I’d be good at campaigning or even the kind of constraints you run into.” He preferred partnering with the people who get elected, he said, and having “the ability to learn every year” without the restriction of “a four-year limited term.”
Source: The Huffington Post
09/08/2020 Jason Morgan ... Mises
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has a fearsome reputation. The author and executor of countless coups and political assassinations, the CIA is notorious for waterboarding, “extraordinary rendition,” regime change, kidnapping, narcotics smuggling, financing of guerrilla wars, and many other unsavory activities around the world, including against Americans, even inside the United States.
But “fearsome” does not mean “flawless.” The CIA has failed at least as often as it has succeeded, and sometimes the failures are so flagrant—such as sending thousands of anticommunist guerrilla fighters behind enemy lines in Korea, Eastern Europe, China, and Southeast Asia during the Cold War, where nearly all of them died—that CIA insiders wryly refer to their organization as “Clowns In Action.”
Which is it? Is the CIA a dastardly menace or a hotbed of horrible mistakes? If Stephen Kinzer’s new book, Poisoner in Chief, is any indication, the answer is both.
A veteran reporter on foreign conflicts such as those in Rwanda, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Iran, Kinzer is a former New York Times correspondent and, most famously, the author of the 2006 bestseller Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq. In his latest effort he brings his analytical skills to bear on perhaps the most disturbing CIA project of them all: MKULTRA, the top-secret, long-running effort to find a method for controlling the human mind.
“History’s most systematic search for techniques of mind control,” Kinzer writes, was a by-product of World War II. At the end of 1942, a University of Wisconsin bacteriologist named Ira Baldwin—“America’s first bio-warrior” and a part-time Quaker preacher—was loaned to Washington (with the blessing of the University of Wisconsin president) in order to set up and run a bioweapons program for the United States military (p. 16). Based out of Camp Detrick in Maryland, the Baldwin lab cranked out bioweapons for possible use against Allied enemies. In one of Baldwin’s bigger projects, shipment of tons of anthrax spores, ordered by Winston Churchill for potential use against the Nazis, was approved by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and almost ready for delivery when the Germans surrendered on May 7, 1945 (p. 19).
For many, even for Quaker preachers, World War II cleared away the last of the psychological hurdles against unleashing bioweapons against an enemy. Kinzer’s book tells the tale of how the targeting of unsuspecting populations was later justified by the bigger war, the Cold War, which followed the demise of the Third Reich.
The ruined Third Reich provided much of the original brainpower for MKULTRA. Immediately after World War II, the CIA—formed out of the Office of War Information in 1945—was faced with a choice. The Germans and the Japanese had been conducting advanced experiments on germ warfare and other forms of biological weaponry. Should the Allies prosecute as war criminals the scientists involved with such projects, or hire them as expert advisors? With the Cold War starting and the Soviets looming as an unpredictable enemy, the CIA, with the tacit approval of the few members of the United States Congress who were allowed to know even the existence of the Central Intelligence Agency, decided to make use of the bioweapon expertise of erstwhile foes in order to counter the new adversary in Moscow.
For example, Kurt Blome, the Nazis’ director of biowarfare research and development whose work had been championed by Heinrich Himmler, was acquitted, by American political fiat, at the Doctors’ Trial in Nuremberg in 1947 and sent to work—as part of Operation Paperclip designed mainly to bring German rocket scientists to the US—at Camp Detrick (pp. 20–24).
It was at Camp Detrick that Blome encountered a rising star in the CIA, Sidney Gottlieb. Gottlieb, a bacteriological specialist who had been a star student of Ira Baldwin’s at Wisconsin, is the main figure in Kinzer’s book. His career is virtually synonymous with MKULTRA. Under the direction of Gottlieb, the CIA’s laboratories at Camp Detrick transitioned from R&D on bioweapons—often using unwitting American subjects, such as in 1950 when a US Navy minesweeper “specially equipped with large aerosol hoses” spent six days spraying the Serratia marcescens bacterium into the San Francisco fog, infecting some eight hundred thousand people (pp. 37–38)—to drugs which could be used for mind control. (MKNAOMI, MKULTRA’s sister CIA project, was also tasked with finding poisons and biotoxins which the CIA and the US government could use in various operations.) Gottlieb provided the big ideas into which to fit Blome’s nefarious knowledge of mass murder by bacillus. Gottlieb became, virtually overnight and with the help of former Nazi doctors, America’s “poisoner in chief.”
The CIA’s mind control program, which was assuming a bigger and bigger importance as fears of Soviet brainwashing grew in the US, was originally called Operation Bluebird and was personally overseen by CIA higher-up Allen Dulles. (47) At first, the Bluebird team experimented with “hypnosis, electroshock, and sensory deprivation,” along with drugs like sodium amytal, at CIA sites in “secret prisons in Germany and Japan,” looking for a way to extract information out of POWs and captured spies (pp. 44, 48–49). But Dulles was unsatisfied with the results and decided to give the young CIA recruit Sidney Gottlieb control of Bluebird’s updated iteration: Operation Artichoke (pp. 51–52). The goal of Artichoke was to do whatever it took to get prisoners to divulge military and state secrets to the CIA. The Cold War would brook nothing short of full-scale war against the human mind.
Dulles became deputy director of central intelligence three days after launching Artichoke in 1951, and Gottlieb, invisible to the outside world, was given virtually unlimited rein to carry out any experiments thought necessary to achieve mind control (p. 51). This drive to achieve total operational control over the human psyche eclipsed all reality and tactical limitation. If the US didn’t win the race to the mind control method, many in the CIA thought, the entire American population lay vulnerable to mental enslavement by the Soviets. Dulles, Kinzer writes, despite a disastrously unsuccessful three-year “Artichoke” attack on a Bulgarian political prisoner named Dmitri Dimitrov, “had convinced himself not only that mind control techniques exist but that Communists had discovered them, and that this posed a mortal threat to the rest of the world” (pp. 52–53).
Mind control was the pressing need, but nothing brought it within reach. Technique after technique, drug after drug, was tried on prisoners, but to no avail. In frustration, Artichoke agents under Gottlieb upped the ante, turning to marijuana, cocaine, and then heroin as possible catalysts of CIA-directed, anti-Soviet brainwashing. As part of Artichoke, a University of Rochester psychology professor was given a grant by the US Navy to test heroin on his students. The control of the mind remained as elusive as ever, despite the massive dosing of the Rochester student population with opiates. Nothing seemed to have the potential to crack open the mind for the CIA (p. 59).
Someone in Artichoke suggested using mescaline after the other narcotics failed, and this gave Sidney Gottlieb an idea. He remembered hearing about a drug called LSD which Dr. Albert Hofmann had discovered during an experiment at Sandoz laboratories in Basel, Switzerland, in 1943. Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), an ergot enzyme, produced extraordinary and disturbing psychological effects, Dr. Hofmann found when he ingested some and recorded the drug’s effects. Washington learned of Hofmann’s discovery in 1949, and one of the chemical specialists in the US military complex told Gottlieb of the new substance (pp. 34–35) In 1951, Gottlieb asked Harold Abramson, who had been a physician in the Chemical Warfare Service during World War II, to administer LSD to him. Gottlieb experienced the same psychedelic state as Dr. Hofmann had described. Other subjects were tested, as well, not all of them wittingly, and all seemed to exhibit similar reactions. LSD most definitely altered the mind (pp. 60–61). Gottlieb was convinced that he had found the magical drug which would allow the CIA to control the psyche, and therefore to beat the Soviets at (what Allen Dulles, Gottlieb, and many others at CIA thought, at least, was) the Soviets’ own game.
The experiments on human subjects followed rapidly after Gottlieb’s conversion to belief in the powers of LSD. These experiments often ended in death, often by murder. One study quoted by Kinzer reports that
in 1951 a team of CIA scientists led by Dr. Gottlieb flew to Tokyo….Four Japanese suspected of working for the Russians were secretly brought to a location where the CIA doctors injected them with a variety of depressants and stimulants….Under relentless questioning, they confessed to working for the Russians. They were taken out into Tokyo Bay, shot and dumped overboard. (p. 64)
The CIA carried out similar experimentation and executions in Korea and Germany (p. 64). Gottlieb was usually personally involved.
Throughout the 1950s the experimentation continued. An American artist named Stanley Glickman was lured to a bar near his studio in Paris by CIA agents in 1951 and a chemical was slipped into his drink. Glickman began to hallucinate wildly. He fled in a state of panic and remained in his Paris apartment for the next ten months in paranoid hiding until his family came to take him home, and then he spent the rest of his life as a near invalid. The chemical which the CIA had slipped into Glickman’s drink was almost certainly LSD, and Glickman, Kinzer suggests, had been chosen by the CIA because he had just recovered from hepatitis and the Artichoke team was conducting an experiment on the effects of hepatic infection on the efficacy of LSD (pp. 66–67)
Things got worse from there. In 1952, the CIA commissioned underworld denizen and former vice cop George Hunter White to run a human-subjects experiment site at 81 Bedford Street in Greenwich Village, New York (pp. 74–75). White’s job was to bring to the CIA’s apartment “expendables” on whom Gottlieb and his team could test LSD. White “knew the whores, the pimps, the people who brought in the drugs,” as one of Gottlieb’s MKULTRA colleagues later explained, and this made him invaluable for procuring the “drug users, petty criminals, and others who could be relied upon not to complain about what had happened to them” when the CIA’s experiments were finished (pp. 76–77). Many of these “expendables” suffered nervous breakdowns, and some died.
In order to keep the supply of LSD flowing, CIA agents went to Basel, where LSD had been discovered, and tried to buy all the LSD in stock. Allen Dulles authorized a $240,000 outlay to pay for it (p. 86). Sandoz held the patent for Hofmann’s 1943 discovery, but Sandoz wanted nothing to do with the troublesome substance and so Gottlieb, freed of any need to scruple over IP infringement, tasked US pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly with making LSD in the States (pp. 85–86) With their mind control serum in production, MKULTRA agents could focus on how to dose experimental subjects. The CIA even hired a professional magician, John Mulholland, to teach Gottlieb and his agents how to deliver LSD into unsuspecting subjects’ drinks and food without being detected (pp. 89–94)
Gottlieb recruited a Kentucky addiction specialist, Dr. Harry Isbell, to test LSD and new mind-altering drugs on prisoners and patients. More lives were destroyed (pp. 94–96). Among the victims of another of Gottlieb’s agent-doctors was none other than James “Whitey” Bulger, the mafioso who, along with “nineteen other inmates” at the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary, beginning in 1957 “was given LSD nearly every day for fifteen months, without being told what it was” (pp. 98–99). Bulger was plagued for the rest of his life with nightmares, suicidal thoughts, and “deep depression” (p. 98). Bulger, who had been told that he was taking part in experiments designed to find a cure for schizophrenia, did not learn the truth about what had happened until 1979 (pp. 263–64).
The human toll of Gottlieb’s MKULTRA experiments continued to mount. One of Gottlieb’s closest associates in the project, Frank Olson—a bacteriologist trained at the University of Wisconsin who had also been recruited for the CIA by Gottlieb’s mentor Ira Baldwin—began to express doubts about what the MKULTRA team was doing. He told his wife that he had made a “terrible mistake” in his work (p. 114). He shared his misgivings with his CIA colleagues as well. Olson’s conscience appeared to be getting the better of him, and he became a liability to the team.
In late 1953, Gottlieb surreptitiously dosed Olson with LSD at a backwoods MKULTRA gathering, “Deep Creek Rendezvous,” outside Camp Detrick (p. 113). Olson spiraled into a frightening disorientation, and early in the morning on November 28, 1953—a few days after Thanksgiving—Olson “fell or jumped” from a window of the Statler Hotel in Manhattan, dying few moments after hitting the concrete below. Another MKULTRA agent, Gottlieb’s lieutenant Robert Lashbrook, was the only other person in the room when Olson “fell or jumped” (pp. 120–21). Lashbrook told the New York City police that Olson had jumped out of the window and Olson’s death was originally designated a suicide, but the Olson family eventually grew suspicious and an investigation was carried out, including a new autopsy on Olson’s body. The forensic pathologist, after a month’s examination of the corpse, declared: “I think Frank Olson was intentionally, deliberately, with malice aforethought, thrown out of that window” (p. 250). Wounds on Olson’s body were consistent with methods taught in CIA manuals for incapacitating people and then killing them in order to make their deaths look self-inflicted.
Gottlieb and MKULTRA were shaken by Olson’s demise, but they carried on with their work. They spent the next few years looking for magic mushrooms in Mexico (157); arranging suicide capsules for American agents, including U-2 pilot Gary Powers (who chose not to use his when he was shot down over the Soviet Union) (pp. 172–75); attempting, at the order of then attorney general Robert Kennedy, to assassinate Cuban dictator Fidel Castro (after exploding cigars and exploding conch shells were ruled out, Gottlieb tried with a wetsuit laced with fungi and bacteria) (p. 184); and hooking Allen Ginsberg and other radicals on LSD (pp. 188–90). Gottlieb personally delivered to the American embassy in Leopoldville in the Congo poisons that Gottlieb had developed to assassinate Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, but the Belgians and the Africans beat the CIA to it (pp. 176–80).
Gottlieb’s career brought ruin and suffering to untold numbers of people, many of them innocent. He retired from the CIA in 1973 after receiving the Distinguished Intelligence Medal (p. 211). Lifelong devotees of folk dance, Gottlieb and his wife, Margaret, moved to the countryside in rural Virginia and attempted to blend in with the small community there, volunteering, dancing, and experimenting with radical ecology. However, “investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, who had won a Pulitzer Prize for exposing the My Lai massacre in Vietnam,” learned of the MH-CHAOS program targeting Americans, and the Congress was forced to act. Gottlieb’s career, long a well-kept secret, was being brought into the open, and his retirement would therefore be far from peaceful.
But there were still many who tried to cover up what Gottlieb and the other MKULTRA agents had done. In 1975, after the outcry caused by the Hersh reporting, President Gerald Ford deputized Vice President Nelson Rockefeller to chair a commission on the CIA. The new CIA director, William Colby, was remarkably frank. Colby informed the Rockefeller Commission that “the CIA had conducted LSD experiments that resulted in deaths. Later he referred to assassination plots” (p. 216). Nelson Rockefeller, attempting to prevent the CIA director from revealing too much, buttonholed Colby later: “Bill, do you really have to present all this material to us?” (p. 216).
In 1977, in the wake of the Church Report on further American intelligence excesses, Senator Edward Kennedy, Robert’s brother, spurred on by some documents which had been discovered as the result of a FOIA request (Gottlieb had ordered all MKULTRA files burned, but some undetected copies remained), called Admiral Stansfield Turner to testify before Congress on MKULTRA. The walls were closing in. Gottlieb himself was eventually forced to testify—albeit in a closed-room setting his lawyer had helped arrange—but Gottlieb essentially pleaded amnesia (nearly all of his answers to questions about MKULTRA were some version of “I do not recall”) and the matter seemed to end there.
Still, the skeletons in Gottlieb’s closet would not go away. In 1984 Gottlieb agreed to meet with the family of Frank Olson, the former MKULTRA colleague who had “fallen or jumped” from his Manhattan hotel room in 1953. Eric Olson, Frank Olson’s son, was unconvinced by Gottlieb’s explanation for the “accident,” and, after Frank Olson’s widow and Eric’s mother passed away, ordered Frank’s body exhumed in 1994. As information about MKULTRA built in the public’s awareness, other cases were reopened, including that of Stanley Glickman. (257) The courts were now involved and Gottlieb could not count on the CIA to get him out of his legal trouble. Gottlieb pushed back the trial for Glickman’s murder as long as he could, and then, in early March, 1999, Sidney Gottlieb died.
Like Frank Olson, it was not officially revealed whether or not the death had been a suicide (p. 259).
Stephen Kinzer’s Poisoner in Chief is a highly readable, thoroughly researched introduction to the life and work of one of America’s most unknown, and yet infamous, government agents. Kinzer is to be thanked for his plainspoken, courageous book. Even those who have studied the CIA and the various schemes and crimes which “the Agency” has committed over the past seventy-five years will be surprised by some of the information Kinzer relates. To see in one volume a rendering of just some of the lives ruined by just one CIA program, MKULTRA, is a sobering revelation.
Sidney Gottlieb, the person directly responsible for much, if not most, of the MKULTRA devastation over more than twenty years, remains as mysterious at the end of Kinzer’s volume as at the beginning, however. By all accounts Gottlieb was a good student from a stable family. Kinzer speculates that perhaps Gottlieb’s having been rejected for military service in World War II—Gottlieb stuttered and had a clubfoot—left him unsatisfied and impatient to prove his patriotism, an urgent task for the son of immigrant Jews (p. 50). Gottlieb was heavily involved in New Age mysticism and meditation and appears to have expended considerable energy psychologically compartmentalizing his “work,” so there are indications that he was aware that the experiments he and his MKULTRA team were carrying out were, at best, unethical, and objectively speaking often outright crimes.
But Gottlieb was hardly alone in his endeavors, and the explanation that Gottlieb, Allen Dulles, and many others in the CIA gave—to themselves and to each other, and to the world around when pressed—makes the most sense. They had a country to defend, they faced an enemy of unprecedented cruelty in the Soviet Union, and they were willing to do whatever it took, even sacrificing innocent people, to keep Americans as a whole from falling under the spell of communist mind control.
SPENCER SUNSHINE, 2019
A Jewish woman holding a candle, with a "We Will Outlive Them" banner in the background, at a New York vigil for the victims of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh. (Gili Getz)
Especially in the United States, the mainstream Jewish community reviles left-wing Jews who embrace anti-Zionism.
Meanwhile, the Jewish Left itself is split. On one side are the “Left Zionists” who support a two-state solution and back Israeli democratic-socialist parties like Meretz. On the other side are the anti-Zionists, who are opposed to a Jewish state existing, regardless of its borders, and tend to support a one-state solution.
The larger Left, for whom rejecting Zionism has become mandatory in most circles, doesn’t like the Left Zionists. Many in the larger Left consider Zionism toxic, and alternately label it as racist, fascist, apartheid, colonialist and/or white supremacist. Over and over on the Left, Zionism gets raised as a litmus test even in domestic politics that have nothing to do with the Middle East. A prominent example occurred in 2017 when Women’s March leader Linda Sarsour suggested that Zionism and feminism were incompatible.
The Left Zionists in turn don’t like the Jewish anti-Zionists. But many in the mainstream Jewish community also lump Left Zionists, or anyone who strongly criticizes Israel, in with anti-Zionists. The treatment of the “pro-Israel, pro-peace” group J Street – dismissed as radical by much of the Jewish mainstream but also so moderate that they are often shunned by the Jewish Left – is a good example.
Still with me?
But emerging from the anti-Zionist camp is a new wave of Jewish leftists who are taking a different approach. And it is this group – young, politically active and proud of their Judaism – that has the potential to bridge some of the divisions within the Jewish community.
Participants in this new wave are largely the same type of person that can be found in many radical political movements – young, passionate, idealistic and seeking to transform their beliefs into action.
From teenagers to those in their thirties, anarchists to social democrats, members of this new Jewish Left can be found at political demonstrations and drunken parties – not just talking political theory, but building an openly Jewish movement that organizes around both fighting anti-Semitism and supporting more general social justice politics.
This new wave is largely indistinguishable from their non-Jewish contemporaries on the activist Left in their core political philosophies and demographics. But these are not just Jews on the Left who happen to be Jewish; rather, they are proudly Jewish in their activism.
A previous wave of Jewish radical groups emerged in the wake of the Second Intifada, including Jews Against the Occupation and the Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, as well as the turn to anti-Zionism by the older group Jewish Voice for Peace. These groups centered directly on Palestinian solidarity.
This new wave on the Jewish Left, in contrast, has a broader focus and embraces Judaism more proudly. Some incorporate religious traditions into their political work, while others remain secular. They work both on popular left-wing issues, like Black Lives Matter, and on issues that directly affect Jews, including anti-Semitism.
Centered mostly in New York City, this new wave of Jewish radical leftists includes a number of different groups. The Jewish Solidarity Caucus is an unofficial grouping within the Democratic Socialists of America, which is the largest U.S. socialist group. The Muslim-Jewish Antifascist Front, frequently referred to as MuJew, often attends demonstrations against the far right, as well as against anti-Semites in left-wing spaces. The venerable Jewish Currents magazine recently handed control over to a new, younger staff, who cover a spectrum of left-wing topics from an explicitly Jewish perspective.
One of the more religion-oriented groups in the new wave is RAYJ, Rebellious, Anarchist, Young Jews. Their Facebook page asks for supporters to send them “graphics, articles, debate topics, Jewish rituals and traditions (music, art, prayer)” to post online. They created a “Shabbat Ritual guide full of writing, reflection activities, song, and blessings” for the Gregorian New Year.
But the Outlive Them network best symbolizes this new wave. Formed just before the deadly 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, its aim is to build “a World without Pogroms, for a Future without Fascism.” Its members host everything “from street demos to Shabbat gatherings, memorials, workshops, [and] educational panels” in over 18 cities around the world. The New York City group, Outlive Them NYC, includes both secular and religious Jews of differing levels of observance.
“We got all kinds of Jews in the mix,” member Moishe Ben Marx, 33, told me.
Outlive Them NYC member Sharona Farber, 28, has been active in left-wing politics since she was a young teenager, but only became involved in specifically Jewish groups in June 2018. Now she is involved in several. Farber sees this new wave as driven by a general rise in anti-Semitism. She sees the October 2018 Pittsburgh massacre in particular as the moment when activists in these groups started to think of what they were doing as something new and different.
According to Farber, participation in groups like Outlive Them is also leading younger Jews to “explore the role of Judaism in their own life.” This includes taking Jewish classes about subjects that were not taught in Hebrew school or synagogue, forming reading groups to connect Judaism to leftist politics and going on communal outings to museums and on synagogue tours.
They have also participated in protests against anti-Semitism. MuJew has taken part in demonstrations against anti-Semitism on both the Left and Right. This includes protesting when a former editor at a Holocaust denial periodical spoke at a Brooklyn left-wing space in 2016, as well as attending the August 2017 antifascist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia. More recently, Outlive Them NYC called a counter-demonstration against a rally that denounced Polish Holocaust reparations. For some of the activists involved in these new groups, this is the first time they have joined a Jewish group or have been involved in organized Jewish life.
Admittedly, this new Jewish radical Left is out of step both with large Jewish organizations and with the older generation of Left Zionists because they are overwhelmingly anti-Zionist. Anti-Zionism is the default setting for this new wave – it is essentially the water they swim in.
However, none of these groups or projects are centrally focused on Israel/Palestine for their activism, though they may endorse BDS or engage in some level of political work around this issue.
And because the new wave is also predominately anti-Zionist, it can function openly on the anti-Zionist Left – unlike Zionists.
But perhaps this new wave can help bridge the Jewish community’s glaring generational and political gap – especially between the older Zionists who overwhelmingly comprise its leaders and attendees in its institutions, and the younger anti-Zionists who steer clear.
For years, mainstream Jewish institutions have openly struggled over how to reach the younger generation in order to get them to engage in communal Jewish life, as well as to promote a positive Jewish identity.
But as these institutions are wringing their hands, younger Jews are being integrated into a Jewish community – one that happens to be anti-Zionist. And while it’s true that anti-Zionism only holds sway in a numerically small part of the Jewish community, it has taken hold in an engaged core group of younger people, including many of their generation’s best and brightest, who will remain influential beyond their numbers for many years to come.
Some on the new Jewish Left focus on bridge-building with the larger radical and anarchist communities. For example, after the Pittsburgh massacre, RAYJ made a poster emphasizing the need for community solidarity
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