For those keeping count of anti-vaccination activists, add another name to your list: conspiracy theorist David Icke. Now, the former soccer player and sports commentator doesn’t oppose vaccines because he believes they’re responsible for autism or because he’s afraid of the unidentified toxins they’re rumored to contain. His reason to deter people from getting the new H1N1 vaccine is to foil the evil plot created by hybrid alien lizards controlling our planet to cull our numbers and perform large scale biomedical experiments as he explains in a recently made video. Yes folks, we’re going really deep into tin foil hat territory here since as you may have guessed already, David Icke is absolutely, undeniably barking mad, even by conspiracy theorist standards.
We know that there really are conspiracies out there and groups of wealthy and powerful people do organize for the protection and advancement of their agendas. While most of their plots never really pan out or end up being little more than organized kickbacks to lawmakers to protect their profit margins, at least political plots that involve banks, defense contractors or politicians are somewhat plausible. An ancient bloodline of bizarre alien lizard people controlling the planet from the shadows? Not so much. Of all the schemes Icke could’ve cooked up, he choose the extraterrestrial route to hold together all the disparate conspiracies of which he’s a believer. And now, he’s opening a can of hysterical worms, littering his site with 30 pt. font headlines about how evil flu vaccines are the first step to a global police state.
Vehement Australian anti-vaxer Meryl Dorey who also seems to believe that vaccines are just a conspiracy to kill and poison kids for profit, posted an abbreviated version of Icke’s paranoid screeds on the blog of her official anti-vax group last month. Other conspiracy theorists have been abuzz with rumors of H1N1 being an attack carried out by the New World Order to reduce human headcount and raised panicked cries about a then non-existent vaccine. Of course all of their arguments require changes in biology, economics, politics and history to have any validity to them, but when did little things like facts stop die hard conspiracy theorists operating under absolute assurance that they were the lone visionaries among the masses of uneducated, ignorant sheeple? Being a conspiracy klaxon is a natural high, one that’s hard to give up.
When it comes to Icke, he seems to believe that vaccines are basically intended to undermine normal health, somehow giving the aforementioned alien lizards sway over us. Supposedly vaccines “upset the balance” of chemical and electrical signals in our bodies, leaving us more susceptible to disease and whatever the alien overlords can manufacture in their labs. Note that New Age concept of some undefined balance being at the root of our health. Haven’t we been using germ theory instead, with great success for the past century or so? And what about the fact that far from injecting defenseless infants with a mixture of toxic gunk, vaccines coach the immune system and elicit a more active response in fending off diseases? Has Icke or any of the anti-vax conspiracists ever bothered to sit through a health class?
Finally, here’s a thought that’s been bugging me after reading the breathless gasping about totalitarian police states forcing people to have vaccinations so they can fulfill their evil plans. If there really was such a powerful group at work in our world, why would there be any anti-vax sites or activists? Why would parents even have a choice whether to vaccinate their kids or not? Removing people’s freedoms and choices is what makes those totalitarian police states what they are. Tyranny doesn’t allow dissent. Rather than watch the game of rhetorical ping pong between anti-vaxers and skeptics, a police state would simply shut down all debate and silence all the Meryl Doreys and Jenny McCarthys and J.B. Handleys and David Ickes. We wouldn’t even know they exist, much less have to argue with them about basic medicine.
[ illustration by Sven Prim ]