The following is a re-post by Dane Giraud, spokesperson for the the NZ Free Speech Union. We post it hear to raise awareness of the censorship of conservative viewpoints by not only our media but we would argue even bodies such as our judicial organisations. Please take a few minutes to read and digest this important post. Dane writes….
I’m a member of a liberal Jewish community. I grew up in South Auckland and have always sat on the Left – so my appreciation of Karl Marx is unlikely to be shared by National MP Simon O’Connor or Family First director Bob McCoskrie. But I am nevertheless seriously concerned about the censorship we have recently seen of their views.
When Christopher Luxon said, ‘One way or another, that post was coming down,’ in reference to the above post made by Simon O’Connor in the wake of the Roe v. Wade ruling, I got worried. Not because I agree with O’Connor. I don’t. But on account of the small but vocal minority of New Zealanders who refuse to tolerate any disagreement.
What’s so ironic is the people O’Connor was allegedly ‘distressing’ refer to themselves as pro-choice. And yet the backlash – including immense pressure on Luxon – suggests this choice doesn’t extend to the views people can hold on the topic.
It is worth remembering that plenty of New Zealanders would have shared O’Connor’s sentiments that day even though I (and maybe you) don’t. But they’ve now been told that their representatives will no longer be allowed to give voice to their concerns and that their own voices are considered beyond the pale. We often hear ‘thought leaders’ talk of a need to include more people in the democratic process. But the censorship we’re seeing risks alienating people from this very process which could have terrible consequences for us as a nation downstream. Obviously, Christopher Luxon can run his party any way he sees fit. I just hope his eyes are open to the potential costs to our ‘cohesion’, to use a popular term.
The silencing of O’Connor was almost a repeat of what we saw a few weeks ago when activists refused to accept that Bethlehem College could define marriage as being between a man and a woman. Solution? Shut down their speech. Even though thousands upon thousands of Kiwis have signed our public letter to support their right to speak, many still want to make it impossible for a more traditionalist perspective of marriage to be expressed.
I fully understand the offense archaic views can cause. But the contract we all enter into living together in a liberal and democratic society is that we will often disagree – profoundly – on moral and other issues. This shouldn’t be news to anybody. We still have to be able to live together peacefully. Free speech makes this possible.
If you are going to go after foundational Christian positions, why not just be done with it and call for the banning of the bible? I am not always a fan of the representations of Jews in Christian theology, but my solution is to explain why and offer a counterview. Why? Because I want to bring people along with me not to throw up walls and supercharge resentment and more polarisation by silencing others (In fact, we created interfaith groups expressly to foster better understanding). Put simply: I understand the concept of tolerance. I think you probably do too, but it’s a message many are missing in our country.
Advocacy considered unbalanced if they’re ideas we don’t like
This theme continues: I was also concerned about the Supreme Court’s ruling against conservative values advocacy group ‘Family First’ – which feels like a politically motivated decision. One of the opinions was that their research lacked the balance required to further an educative purpose”. Does the NZ Drug Foundation balance its views by promoting all the counterarguments? This strikes me as a ruling that demands closer attention.
The silencing of traditional perspectives points to an irony in contemporary censorship. Our government wants to include religion as a protected characteristic in their proposed new hate speech laws yet the censorship we’ve seen against religious MPs and schools has been unashamedly discriminatory. But of course, censorship itself is a form of discrimination. It quite literally is a process in which the powerful decide who can and can’t have full participatory rights in society.
Defending free speech has nothing to do with agreeing with the speech
Our haters will say that this email proves that I must surely sympathize with both O’Connor and McCoskrie. But that shows an embarrassing ignorance of the principle of free speech. And we all know if these same haters saw their views suppressed, they would be the first to cry crisis. We all have subtle differences on the Council as to what is the core motivation for our advocacy so let me share with you mine: It is in my interest as a member of a minority group that we have better cohesion. But we do not aid cohesion by silencing groups we disagree with. If anything, this is the recipe for polarisation, cynicism towards power and potential unrest. A degree of maturity is needed here by leaders and New Zealanders alike. We must return and hold fast to a culture of tolerance.
Remember that when you defend any voice – even the voices of those you may be bitterly opposed to – you are defending your own. We support free speech because any opinion that is silenced sets a precedent that may eventually endanger the expression of our views. Our values.
Censoring a symbol is not victory you think it is
Another example of counter-productive activism this week comes from a new outfit named Humanity Matters NZ which is running a petition to ban displaying swastikas in NZ. This petition is clearly inspired by a similar ban in the state of Victoria. And appears just as nonsensical.
As you’d probably imagine, my being a Jew and all, the image of the swastika hardly gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling. And you certainly don’t have to be Jewish to be made uncomfortable by the symbol. Many Kiwis have relatives who bravely died defeating the scourge of the Third Reich. But the idea that a ban on this symbol will benefit society in any material way is just dim-witted.
Define display? Is the intent here to dismantle our war memorials and museums or will we make an exception in that case? Will history books that feature the symbol now need to be purged? What about films with actors playing Nazis? Will Hindu’s be prevented from using it in their ancient practices? Shielding society from this symbol would be impossible without numerous carve-outs, which would in turn make a mockery of any ban. And we have seen how far-Right groups quickly adapt to censorious laws with the Quinelle, for example: playing whack-a-mole with symbolism does nothing to counter the underlying hate. It only gives publicity for the haters.
On the petition’s website Humanity Matters NZ write “By banning this symbol, we send a clear message that symbols like the swastika have no place in our society.” But it does have a place in our society – as a historic symbol that represented a very real existential threat to us. According to the Humanity Matters NZ website the groups mission is to “provide curriculum-based materials for educators and students on human rights and case studies on genocides around the world.” But this group is proving they are completely happy to bury history while potentially creating a new allure to the symbol for dissenting groups in the process.
This petition is so ill-conceived it’s almost laughable. Almost. Steps like this are actually very serious.
Free Speech Union
Thanks to Adam at the FSU for giving authorisation for this repost.
For more issues that the Free Speech Union addresses please visit their website
Right to Life reposts this article from Defend NZ (14th April 2022), which reports on information just released from the Ministry of Health’s ‘Assisted Dying Service Data and Reporting’ on Euthanasia in New Zealand since the End of Life Choice Act came into force on 7 November 2021. Reads…
The latest insights from the Ministry of Health ‘Assisted Dying Service Data and Reporting’ released this week tell of 66 people having been euthanised or assisted to commit suicide in New Zealand up to the 31 March, end of the first quarter of the year, with the ability of the End of Life Choice Act which came into force in on Sunday 7 November 2021.
A total of 206 people have requested to die using the legislation so far.
Applicant processing staff increases 300% due to demand
Registrar for the assisted suicide and euthanasia legislation, Dr Kristin Good, spoke to NZ Doctor magazine about demand to date.
When the law came into force in November 2021, one nurse was employed to answer phonecalls from members of the public enquiring about how to be euthanised or assisted to commit suicide under the End of Life Choice Act.
However, due to increased demand, Dr Good says, “we are now employing a third nurse [answering phone queries].”
Interest remains very high with an average of 46 enquiries each week.
Zero applicants referred for a psychiatric assessment
Of the 206 applicants so far, 168 people had a first assessment with a health practitioner, 126 people had a second, yet 0 people were referred for a psychiatric assessment. This is despite international data showing that 1-in-6 people using assisted suicide are clinically depressed – a condition which, if detected, can be treated.
This raises serious questions for us around the protection of vulnerable people.
#DefendNZ calls for increased public safety when it comes to the End of Life Choice Act.
“There are a number of significant concerns that have already been highlighted in the reporting made available by the Ministry of Health this week. Vulnerable New Zealanders are clearly already being put at risk due to the inferior legislation. We can, and must, do better” says #DefendNZ spokesperson, Henoch Kloosterboer.
Many more deaths possible due to applicants already waiting
Of the total 206 applications, 66 have been euthanised or assisted to commit suicide, 59 are still in process, 11 have withdrawn their application, 40 were denied their application due to not meeting criteria, and 30 had died naturally while their application was in process.
Of the 66 people whose lives have been ended so far, the 73 per cent died at home, 17 per cent in aged care facilities, 6 per cent in DHB facilities and 4 per cent in a hospice facility.
Complaints made – details hidden
So far, according to an interview conducted by NZ Doctor, three formal complaints have been laid.
When The Defender contacted the Ministry of Health for details around complaints last month, we were denied information – even with an Official Information Act request.
The Defender was told by an MOH spokesperson, “I have considered the countervailing public interest in release in making this decision and consider that it does not outweigh the need to withhold at this time.”
We were stonewalled.
Senior Pakeha women with cancer most highly represented
Statistics voluntarily provided by the Ministry of Health show that of the initial 206 applicants:
162 are NZ European/Pakeha? (78.6%)
12 are M?ori (5.8%)
55% are women compared with 45% male
9 are 18-44 years old (4.4%)
153 are aged 65 years or older (74.3%)
133 have a cancer diagnosis (64.6%)
21 have a neurological condition (10.2%)
38 are recorded as ‘diagnosis not known’ (18.4%)
New Zealand applicants younger than international average
More than 80% of people using euthanasia or assisted suicide internationally are over the age of 65. This means, applicants in New Zealand are already significantly younger than the international average at only 74.3% of those being aged 65 or over. This is concerning, coupled with the unknown and unreported specific ages of those nine people between 18 and 44 years old.
The #DefendNZ movement is calling for much more detailed reporting to remove the cloak of secrecy and increase accountability in its Six to Fix petition.
No required care or support to vulnerable declined applicants
Critics of the legislation have highlighted that the Act does not make any requirements of care towards those whose applications have been declined.
Of the 40 people whose applications have been denied, 16 were not experiencing unbearable suffering unable to be relieved in a tolerable manner, 17 were not in an advanced state of irreversible decline in physical capability, 26 did not suffer from a terminal illness likely to end their lives within six months, and 7 were not competent to make an informed decision.
Note: As a person may be found ineligible for more than one reason, the sums above by reason are greater than the total number of people assessed as ineligible.
These people clearly wanted to die.
Who is supporting them now that they have been declined?
Where is the duty of care to these very vulnerable New Zealanders?
So where to from here?
The next Ministry of Health report for the quarterly period from 1 April to 30 June 2022 is due to be released in July. Based on trajectories, death-on-demand will increase.
Yet we know that of those internationally requesting an assisted suicide or death-by-doctor end to their lives are prone to coercion.
New Zealand has the unenviable ranking of the worst country in the OECD for domestic violence. 1-in-10 elderly in New Zealand suffer abuse, of which the majority is perpetrated by family members, and mostly for financial gain.
We need to get better at supporting each other, and supporting those in our communities at risk of loneliness, elder abuse, depression, and those who feel they are a burden.
Who is in your circle or community that you can reach out to?
#DefendNZ is a movement dedicated to getting a better deal for vulnerable New Zealanders by lobbying to improve the risks created by the current End of Life Choice Act, support those in need, and inform our culture on what’s happening in this conversation.
If you’re also concerned about the very real risks the End of Life Choice Act has created, visit our Six to Fix petition, which highlights six amendments that can be made to the law to considerably improve public safety.
From LifeNews March 3rd 2022 If this man’s actions are not evil, what are?
Under the Biden administration, American taxpayers once again are being forced to fund scientific experiments using aborted baby body parts.
It is a major shift from the Trump administration, which cut off funding after undercover videos caught Planned Parenthood allegedly selling aborted baby body parts and conservative news outlets uncovered a study in which scientists implanted scalps from second-trimester aborted babies onto rodents.
The National Catholic Register reports the Biden administration allocated $88 million for human fetal tissue research in 2022 through the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Biden also disbanded an ethical review board to review funding requests, so now there is little oversight to ensure Americans’ tax dollars are being used ethically.
Father Tad Pacholczyk, the director of education and staff ethicist at the National Catholic Bioethics Center, told the Register that Biden quickly reversed course on fetal tissue research, and now is “returning us to the prior situation where fetal tissue research faced very few practical barriers or limitations.”
One particularly disturbing experiment that taxpayers funded through the University of Pittsburgh involved scalping second-trimester aborted babies and implanting their scalps onto rodents to study the human immune system. The information came from a study published in 2020 in the journal “Scientific Reports,” which included photos showing small tufts of baby hair growing on the rodents.
Last year, Judicial Watch and David Daleiden, founder of the Center for Medical Progress, which exposed Planned Parenthood’s involvement in aborted baby body parts harvesting, also uncovered evidence suggesting that some babies may be being born alive in abortions before their organs are harvested for scientific research at the University of Pittsburgh.
Speaking with the Register, Daleiden said American leaders need to be “loud and bold about these topics and keep talking about them and demanding answers from the government, Planned Parenthood and institutions like Pitt.”
A recent investigation commissioned by the University of Pittsburgh found no wrong-doing in the university scientists’ experiments with aborted baby body parts, but pro-life leaders criticized it for failing to examine important aspects of the research.
“The University of Pittsburgh lawyered up and tried to call it ‘transparency,’ yet refused to examine the actual abortion and organ-harvesting practices at its affiliated clinical locations like UPMC Magee and Planned Parenthood Western Pennsylvania,” Daleiden said.
“Planned Parenthood’s abortion providers are on staff at the University of Pittsburgh and perform abortions at UPMC to obtain the fetuses for the university’s experiments,” he explained to the Register. “Planned Parenthood Western Pennsylvania is a ‘contracted care site’ for the university, part of the university medical system. The so-called ‘regulatory assessment’ released by Pitt a few weeks ago in fact determined that Planned Parenthood abortion providers at UPMC routinely failed to document patient consent correctly — even to the point that some consent forms were not signed.”
Daleiden’s and others’ investigative work has raised very serious questions about the abortion industry, aborted baby body parts and scientific research, and as of yet, there are few answers. Yet, the Biden administration has charged ahead with re-instituting taxpayer funding for these unethical projects, many of them funded through Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Here’s more from the report:
A recent report from White Coat Waste, a group that opposes experimentation on animals, highlighted that the NIH plans to spend $88 million on human fetal-tissue research this year, with $27 million already approved for ongoing research. It detailed several experiments involving the transplanting of organs from aborted babies on to mice. In one such experiment at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, “mice were implanted with minced pieces of fetal bone marrow, liver and thymus to make their bodies mimic the human immune system — or, in the words of the experimenters, ‘BLT-humanized mice.’”
Another experiment involved “implanting two pieces of human fetal lung tissue (Advanced Bioscience Resources) subcutaneously into the back” of the mice.
The Trump administration began to crack down on this funding in response to pro-lifers’ concerns. It canceled several contracts, including one involving “humanized mice,” and took other steps to stop funding unethical research, including through the formation of the new advisory board.
Trump also established a bioethics advisory board that recommended that the government reject grants for 13 research projects that plan to use aborted baby body parts. Trump appointed a number of leading pro-life researchers and bioethicists to the board, but Biden later disbanded it.
The Trump administration also invested $20 million into promoting ethical alternatives to aborted baby parts in scientific research.
Within the first 100 days of taking office, however, President Joe Biden’s administration reversed these pro-life actions. Now, Americans’ tax dollars are being used again to fund gristly experiments, such as implanting aborted babies’ scalps and fingers onto mice for scientists to study.
We are posting the latest newsletter from Michelle Kaufman at Family Life International. This important post details the problems with The Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion (Safe Areas) Amendment Bill. This dangerous bill seems almost certain to pass given only 12 MP’s voted against it. This is truly shocking as the bill has huge implications for freedom in New Zealand and not just in regard to the right to protest the murder of unborn children. Michelle’s post also gives details about the coming 40 Days for Life Vigils which are going to be held in Auckland and Wellington. Unfortunately Christchurch will not be having the vigil this year but Right to Life hopes to run a shorter vigil.
Pregnant TV reporter Charlotte Bellis’ full, open letter on MIQ – ‘NZ said you’re not welcome’
Abudu is currently the strategic litigation director for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), infamous for its decades-long managerial corruption and notorious for unscrupulously designating its political opponents as “hate groups” or “extremists.” In the first conviction under the post-9/11 District of Columbia terrorism statute, the convicted terrorist, who targeted FRC’s headquarters, was shown to have been motivated by the SPLC’s “hate group” designation and related identifying information.
The letter stated in part:
“Ms. Abudu works for a disreputable organization that has no business being a feeder for positions to any judicial office — not even of a traffic court — let alone the second highest court system in the United States. She is a political activist not a jurist and is unfit to serve at the federal appellate level.”
“In March 2019 the leadership structure of the SPLC blew up spectacularly with all the senior leaders resigning within months of each other. Morris Dees, the founder of the SPLC, was fired on March 13, 2019, in response to persistent, long-term charges of racial discrimination and sex harassment. There was a mountain of evidence in the form of published articles attesting to the sleazy corporate culture at the SPLC long before the beginning of 2019 when Ms. Abudu arrived there.
“Nancy Abudu, the nominee under consideration by this committee, began working for the SPLC in February 2019 one month before Dees’s departure. The job application process for a senior position most certainly would have begun in 2018. Consequently, the articles just referenced could have been accessed with little effort had Abudu wanted to know why the SPLC possessed such a notorious reputation even in political circles on the left. She clearly did not look, or if she did learn about the toxic racial and sexual climate at the SPLC — she did not care about it. The committee should determine whether Ms. Abudu was interviewed by Morris Dees or any other senior leaders who were forced to resign.
“Abudu’s acceptance of a senior litigation management role inside America’s largest political defamation factory disqualifies her from any position in which she would be expected to serve as an impartial arbiter of facts and law. Furthermore, Abudu had no problem accepting a senior position at the SPLC when it was still being run by Morris Dees and Richard Cohen. She clearly lacks the temperament to hold a life-time appointment to be a federal judge.”
The following post is by Guy David Hatchard PhD and is from the Viewspot.co.nz website published on 1st December 2021.
We Didn’t See the Rocky Road Ahead
Yesterday morning I woke up to some unwelcome news. My best friend from university days has passed away. He was an active fit man looking forward to enjoying retirement. Early on he had a mild stroke, his heart became inflamed and the valves were damaged, unfortunately his immune system was too depleted to respond to treatment. His story is familiar in these Covid times and shared by millions, yet nevertheless a deeply personal tragedy for his family. He was doubly vaccinated.
Feeling very sad, I decided then and there to write a short history of the political and scientific decision-making that brought NZ to where we are today. I am fortunate in having some access to these. Firstly my training in physics, logic, statistics, and the scientific method enables me to understand the principles that must be used to uncover truth from a science perspective. Secondly I have enjoyed an email conversation with a few of the key players.
Everyone has an opinion about Covid, and they are rightly entitled to their views. It is probably the number one topic of conversation in every country in the world. It seemed clear from the start that this was an unusual illness that must be taken very seriously. The creation of an effective vaccine was a gold standard to be aimed at. Having worked at Genetic ID, a safety testing and certification company, I had a healthy suspicion of genetically engineered creations. So I wrote to a colleague who works in the field of gene therapy to ascertain his recommendations. I asked him whether the move to mRNA vaccines posed any unintended risks. He replied at length and discussed the technicalities but the essence was:
“I do not believe they are more invasive [than traditional vaccines][ because they introduce into the body a short-lived molecule.”
At the time it appeared there were good theoretical reasons to suppose that mRNA vaccines were relatively harmless. These reasons have since been destroyed by the inexorable march of science. As a result, my colleague has revised his opinions.
The Scientific Advisors Supporting Jacinda
In January 2021, I was invited to correspond with some government advisors. Possibly my knowledge of network theory and my advocacy for the safety of natural health products were seen as useful skill sets to help ‘persuade’ a reluctant cohort of the public to trust a new vaccine technology. I had an open mind and entered into the conversation with enthusiasm. I admired the caution and competence that Jacinda Ardern’s government had already shown in trace and tracking, and in controlling our borders. Faced with a lot of uncertainty, Jacinda’s cautious ‘wait and see’ response and her trust of ‘science’ was a smart and politically adroit move.
As a statistically aware and competent person, I was already alert to the main risk factors for severe covid—comorbidities and age. My first contribution to the debate in January was to suggest:
1. The NZ Government (including Jacinda’s star power) can take a lead in encouraging other countries to recognise the need for a global elimination strategy to be put in place quickly.
2. Given the non-uniformity in outcomes and symptoms, there is a need to step up research to locate which historical health, diet, behavioural, and lifestyle factors correlate with severity of symptoms.
It was clear that 99+% of people would recover from Covid. Somewhere around 75% of people would do so rapidly without any lasting symptoms. As a scientist I thought it was vital to understand what it was about these people that kept them so healthy. Neither of these thoughts greatly energised my correspondents who were naturally absorbed in the possibilities of the vaccination campaign that was just getting going. But by July, I was well aware from Israeli data that the Pfizer vaccine waned in effectiveness quite rapidly, as were my correspondents. There were obvious uncertainties in what approaches would work. I considered that vaccination could not be a stand alone solution, at the very least it had to be paired with early treatment options. Epidemiologist Michael Baker concurred and wrote to me on 2nd August:
“Thank you for that very lucid description of our current state of knowledge around Covid-19 and the uncertainties – which are large. I agree about the importance of trying to keep an open, evidence-informed debate about future options.” and “I agree with you about caution”.
At this point a member of the David Skegg committee—the Strategic Covid-19 Public Health Advisory Group— was drawn into the conversation. He too struck a cautious note writing:
“It is important to realise that the vaccines are only in their first iteration. Israel is effectively Pfizer’s real life laboratory”
“A protective immune signature is often elusive and vaccines are actually quite primitive in design”
“I think you are right that studies have also shown that high vaccine coverage will not alone contain outbreaks.”
“The recommendations in the Skegg report should be considered in the light of their recommendation for frequent review i.e. the possibility that what we know in November might lead to a significant change of timing or content of the response in 2022.”
The Skegg Committee has eight members. Four of the members are epidemiologists with a focus on public health measures such as vaccination. Three are statistical modellers and one is an immunologist—an expert on vaccines. One member has an interest in respiratory diseases. It goes without saying that given the make-up of the committee, it was designed to make recommendations about how to roll out and monitor vaccination. Distinguished and experienced though the membership was, it was not designed to evaluate questions and evidence about the physiological and genetic effects of mRNA vaccines. Nor did it have enough of a knowledge base to consider questions about covid treatment options. In essence a decision had been taken early on that vaccination was going to trump early treatment in designing NZ’s response to the pandemic. From my correspondence it was clear that in the beginning the committee were satisfied that the Pfizer vaccine was highly effective and that they expected improved, even more effective vaccines to become available with time. In hindsight this was a naive view, mediated by the rosy picture of 95% effectiveness that Pfizer was projecting. A cursory glance at the history of attempts to control influenza through vaccination should have alerted them and everyone to the fact that treatment protocols were going to play a major part in our efforts to control the pandemic and reduce mortality. The aura of invincibility surrounding the word ‘vaccine’ was leading everyone to underestimate the challenges ahead.
Covid is a Disease of the Unhealthy
I became convinced that, given the uncertainties around vaccine effectiveness and the overwhelming contribution of comorbidities to outcomes, rather than just dividing the population into vaccinated and unvaccinated, a useful division might be healthy versus unhealthy. I suggested that an effective preventive answer to the severity and longevity of the pandemic is not just a shot in the arm, but also a massive effort to improve the general health of our population naturally through education about improved diet, exercise, nutrition, reduced stress, and sufficient rest. Remove GST from fresh fruit and vegetables, improve education in schools a la Jaime Oliver, regulate known disease vectors like excess sugar, hard fats, and pollutants, inform the public more fully, investigate and promote verified approaches to health like organic food, meditation, and yoga. I knew that governments would be reluctant, but thought naively that the serious nature of the challenge, the uncertain vaccine effectiveness, and the overwhelming contribution of comorbidities would strengthen minds and seed political bravery.
My Skegg committee correspondent had an initially positive response to my suggestion that we needed to do more to educate the public about healthy habits saying:
“I think you may be right – in that opportunities should be taken to promote preventive health measures now and at all times.” But added a rider “the chances of other ‘interventions’ having anything like the protective effect [of vaccination] is remote in my view.”
This last sentence revealed the bias governing Skegg committee decisions. As a result the committee was going to miss key signals. These include a study published in June by the BMJ which found that severity of Covid symptoms is reduced by 73% in those following a plant based diet. There were other vital indicators like this one, missed early on. For example, a UK study found that shift workers are three times more likely to be hospitalised. 15% of people exposed to covid never even develop the illness, why is that? This is a vital question that got forgotten in the rush to push vaccination as a stand alone answer.
On August 7th the Delta variant escaped quarantine in Auckland and the long lockdown began.
The Risk of Vaccine Adverse Events
By late August I had become aware that a number of my friends and friends of friends had suffered illness at some point following vaccination. My best friend at university was one of these, he never did have Covid, but he was doubly vaccinated.
I exchanged a number of emails with my government advisor correspondents on this topic. I provided details of specific serious events including death proximate to vaccination, and quoted studies documenting vaccine adverse effects such as myocarditis. I was met with a vigorous defence of the safety of vaccination.
One of my correspondents wrote of social media reports (often the last resort of people injured by vaccination) .
“I have learnt the hard way, that the vast majority prove to be fictitious, and as such will have no bearing on my perspective.”
This was misguided prejudice, pure and simple. Another conceded:
“There is certainly well documented clotting association with the vector-based vaccines,”
but maintained this was not common enough to cause concern.
Did the Skegg Committee have the myopathy associated with narrow disciplines?
Michael Baker however shared my concerns and responded:
“I am hoping that the intense surveillance of adverse events following immunisation will give us a good steer about the risk of these events.”
I researched the NZ reporting procedures to which he referred (known as the CARM system) and found to my dismay that these were voluntary. Under normal circumstances a new vaccine arriving on our shores would have already undergone rigorous long term testing. As a consequence, adverse events following vaccination have never been significant and the relevance of the CARM system has been largely academic and of little concern to GPs, hospital staff, and Medsafe (the ultimate NZ authority). Vaccines are assumed to be safe. Such is the reassurance and power of the word ’vaccine’, mRNA covid vaccine adverse events have been grossly unreported. Many people suffering adverse reactions have been sent home with the advice that they may be overly anxious. Some reactions are readily dismissed as unrelated coincidences. Moreover hospitals and GPs are often at a loss to suggest treatment options.
On August 19 vaccination was made available to 12-15 year olds. This again resulted from a vaccination bias. People under thirty are at minuscule risk from covid, but they are at risk from vaccination. The point of vaccinating the young is not to protect them, they will be better served by the strong immunity gained after recovering from the illness rather than the very short term protection from vaccination. The point of vaccinating the young is to protect their parents in case they bring the illness back from school. There is an argument here that vaccination will expose children to a greater risk than covid. The research data is equivocal on this point and not in any way conclusive of benefit. Despite this, the government Covid messaging took a new turn. Young people were appearing in adverts to assure the public that they had received the vaccine and it was both safe and beneficial. No mention was made of the high risk of myocarditis (a serious illness) among especially vulnerable young men and boys.
In September 21st Jacinda Ardern emphatically claimed that those who refuse vaccination would face no penalties at all. Curiously Ardern added:
“anyone who doesn’t take up an effective and trusted and safe vaccine when it becomes available, that will come at a risk to them.”
Clearly at this point, since it was available, Ardern knew that the Pfizer vaccine did not fit all the criteria: effective, safe, and tested. In actuality we were to find out soon enough that it does not fit any of these criteria.
On October 3rd, realising that productive dialogue with my private correspondents was at an end, I wrote an open letter to Jacinda Ardern. This was very widely read and shared. In this, I discussed the uncertainties around vaccine outcomes and safety. I urged the government to adjust its message that vaccination would enable personal freedoms to be restored, and to broaden its message to include preventive approaches to improve health. I received no reply and my correspondents among government advisors ceased responding altogether. I had overstepped an unwritten rule – no doubts about covid vaccine safety were to be raised in public.
On October 11th Cabinet announced sweeping vaccination mandates for staff in the education and health sectors. From this point on, vaccine mandates were floated as the way ahead to the lifting of lockdowns and ‘freedom’.
Clearly between September 21st and October 11th something happened to radically change Ardern’s mind about mandates. She must have started to either believe that the Pfizer vaccine was both safe and effective or decided to ignore these criteria—her own pre conditions for mandates. From my earlier correspondence with government science advisors and their subsequent public comments, it seemed clear that they remained cautious about the wisdom of lifting lockdowns and should have been able to recognise the limitations of vaccine effectiveness. Business advisors less so, but even they were emphatic that they would defer to science advice.
Factors Influencing Government Policy
There was a fundamental mistake in Jacinda Ardern’s perception and use of ‘science’. Science was being treated as a monolithic body of knowledge. In fact scientific disciplines contain competing ideas, paradigms, and theories. Separate disciplines have overlapping expertise but often their practice is so seperated that experts in different fields are unaware of each other’s conclusions. Ardern had come to rely on the advice of epidemiologists whose profession was dominated by a fear of infectious agents and a deep belief in vaccination.
What other factors influenced the change in government policy? Perhaps during this time political decisions began to take precedence over science. Clearly the natives were getting restless in Auckland which had been under near total lockdown for two long months. During this period Israel, the other country exclusively using the Pfizer vaccine, was in the middle of a surging third wave of cases and deaths. Therefore Ardern should have known that the vaccine was not effective enough to support her aim of control and elimination.
There was also a mistaken statistical and methodological idea that rolled over from early calculations of herd immunity. If the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine remained at 95% as was believed early on, herd immunity could have been achieved with 60% to 70% of the population vaccinated. As it became known that the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine waned, this figure was revised up to 95% and even to 99% by some. This would have been a powerful motivation for vaccine mandates. But the calculation was in most respects inappropriate. Firstly the vaccine allowed transmission rather easily and secondly real world data showed that even countries with 100% vaccination like Gibraltar and Portugal were experiencing waves of covid infection. Also vaccine effectiveness drops to zero after 7 months, completely negating any possibility of herd immunity. This left the justification for mandates clinging on to one last hand hold—vaccines reduce hospital admissions. Our overstretched health service might just need this in order to cope. The significance of this pales in the face of a hard truth, covid mortality is still primarily related to comorbidities and age. Smokers, diabetics, immune compromised persons, the elderly and infirm, and the unhealthy are most at risk.
This is compounded by something disturbing hidden in real world data, figures published by UKSHA showed that for individuals over 19, the rate of transmission was almost twice as high among the vaccinated when compared to the unvaccinated. These calculations should have sounded alarm bells. They didn’t, they were rejected as obviously false, a rejection that had no basis in science. Some experts in genomics however have taken them very seriously and have begun to research biochemical pathways and mechanisms which would possibly allow vaccination to facilitate susceptibility. This underlines the as yet unknown and the ‘in progress’ research projects. Any government rigidly enforcing mandates and speaking in absolutely certain terms, as Ardern is, has lost the thread of the science.
Did the government take advice from Medsafe on safety? Did Medsafe’s reluctance to classify reported adverse effects and deaths as related to vaccination convince her that the Pfizer vaccine was safe? Medsafe is a member of the International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities (ICMRA). ICMRA is well connected to the commercial vaccine industry and was known to be writing pro vaccination covid policy statements which were distributed to its members via the data sharing channels ICMRA had established.
If Ardern had consulted with other governments, she may well have found they shared similar views about mandates just because the same policy papers of ICMRA had found their way to every government desk—a phenomenon well known in network theory. ICMRA had since its formation in 2015 cemented a central place in the medical regulatory network (known as a centrality effect). In effect it had created an unbalanced network, whereby all medicines regulatory bodies around the world were receiving the same information and advising their political decision makers in the government accordingly. Political decision makers however were unaware of the centrality of ICMRA policy briefings. If one Government head were to speak to their counterpart in another country they would be gratified and reinforced to find that they had similar ideas about mandates. If they spoke to several at an international meeting of heads of state, they would be reinforced many times over in an opinion that had actually been fed to all of them by a single vested interest. This phenomenon is known as double counting in network theory and systematically creates network bias.
The Need for Mandatory Reporting of Adverse Events
On October 28th I wrote to all MPs and urged the government to put in place mandatory reporting of adverse events, so that their extent could be properly assessed.
At the time, Michael Baker, my gene therapist colleague, myself, and almost everyone else were unaware of the inadequate protocols that had been used to test the novel covid vaccines. Of course the trials had to be almost impossibly short because of the sense of urgency, but their other shortcomings have only recently come to light. Being short trials there was always going to be uncertainty about the long term effects, but we presumed that any immediate dangers of vaccination were going to be detected and documented before approval for emergency use. Journal papers had already been published reporting that the vaccines were highly effective and very safe.
Early in November, the BMJ blew the whistle on shortcomings at one trial location for the Pfizer vaccine—some data had been falsified. Alarming though this sounded, we hoped the errors were minor and resulted from the logistics involved in the short time frames and from the sloppy quality control of one contractor. Last week this hope was dashed by an investigative journalist from Australia, Maryanne Demasi PhD. Ms Demasi found that the Pfizer and AstraZeneca trials used new digital apps to gather patient data on adverse effects. The reporting options on these apps had only limited predetermined choices and gave little or no opportunity to describe symptoms if they departed from the multi-choice scheme of mostly mild adverse events.
Brianne Dressen was a participant in the AstraZeneca (AZD1222) trial. She suffered a severe adverse reaction after the first injection and became disabled. She was ‘unblinded’ from the trial, her smartphone app was disabled, she was advised not to have the second injection, and crucially the reports of her adverse event were never recorded in the final publication of the trial in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). As participants suffering serious adverse events like Ms Dressen were withdrawn, it is no wonder that whilst the occurrences of mild adverse events were reported as significant, occurrence of serious events was reported as insignificant. Ms Dressen complained to the editor of the NEJM, but he refused to correct the inaccuracies, thereby blinding the public, governments, and scientists to the possibility that adverse events could be very serious indeed.
Ms Dressen’s experience was not an isolated event, there were others. The recent Pfizer trial results of 12-15 year olds states there were “no serious vaccine-related adverse events”. But Ms Demasi reports a serious adverse event excluded from this study also—a thirteen year old girl now confined to a wheelchair. Moreover the AstraZeneca protocol had excluded adverse events resulting in death for the five weeks immediately after the first inoculation—a fatal safety testing flaw.
What is the take home lesson from this? Drug side effects are known to be the third leading cause of death. In 2009 Pfizer paid out $2.3 billion in damages for criminally misbranding drugs. The Ministry of Health should have been more suspicious. Knowing that the safety trials were short, they should have alerted GPs and hospital staff to expect the unexpected, report all adverse events, and send accurate and complete reports to Medsafe promptly. This didn’t happen.
More importantly the number of adverse events and deaths that Medsafe did receive was large, many times greater (possibly around 50 times greater) than any previous vaccine programme. There should have been a vigorous effort on the part of Medsafe to find out what sort of people were at greatest risk. Ignoring this was not just an oversight, it is possibly criminal. It may have affected the health of a very large number of recipients. Some of these only consented to vaccination under threat of loss of employment. Moreover the Ministry of Health largely refused to issue vaccine exemptions to people who had already had an adverse reaction to the first covid dose or to a past vaccination. This was without doubt an imposition of personal medical risk by the government in contravention of the Bill of Rights.
Did Jacinda Ardern Ignore Red Flags?
The failure to alert the public that there was a measurable and significant risk to vaccination was compounded by false government assurances that there was no risk. Jacinda Ardern herself cannot have been unaware of potential risks, yet on occasions she dismissed questions at press conferences about adverse events, giving the impression that such concerns were without foundation. The 33,000 comments on her Facebook page, after she advised people to enquire of their vaccinated friends whether they were unharmed, should not have been ignored nor quickly deleted. Her rejection of safety concerns and possible long term risks can only be described as an inexcusable failure to inform herself, or could it possibly have been fuelled by a deliberate attempt on the part of Medsafe to hide or downplay the significance of adverse event data?
The safety reassurances Ardern, Bloomfield, and Hipkins gave repeatedly at press conferences and advertised to the public, also mitigated against adverse effect reporting. I know of a number of people who did not suspect that their cardiac events subsequent to vaccination could be related. The public perception of safety has become so entrenched that individuals posting about their adverse event symptoms on social media are often mercilessly trolled. Medsafe has maintained that the very high level of adverse events is not necessarily related to vaccination, because they knew of no proven mechanism which would cause them.
With the recent publication of a number of scientific papers suggestive of risk, this position cannot be realistically maintained, even if it ever could be. In the last month alone Circulation reports that the average risk of a cardiac event after vaccination rises from 11% to 25% as measured by biochemical markers of heart inflammation used in the standard PULS test. Viruses reports that the covid spike protein inhibits DNA repair in vitro. The New England Journal of Medicine reports that the spike protein may impair long term immune function. Cell Discovery reports that post vaccination symptoms mimic covid itself. Other research suggests that the spike protein can be long lived in the bloodstream and that the cell nucleus is not as well protected from mRNA vaccines as we thought.
Clearly the lack of clinical research expertise in the field of genomics, and specifically gene therapy risk assessment, on the Skegg Committee meant that such tentative concerns are not being factored into any discussion. The possible extent of adverse events is unknown and apparently being ignored. BUT, and it’s a big BUT, the main ignorance here concerns the possible long term effects of covid vaccination with an mRNA vaccine or a viral vector vaccine. It cannot be over emphasised enough that these risks are unquantified and in a completely new field of bio technology unknowable within a short time frame. Certainly there are some very highly qualified and respected leaders in the field who have struck a very cautious note when airing their views publicly. Did anyone ever have an honest conversation with Ardern about this? Should mandates be enforced when they are in essence a gamble with uncertain and unknowable odds?
What Lessons Can be Learned?
In summary, Ardern set the pre-conditions for vaccine mandates as “safe, effective, and tested”, we have seen that none of these are reasonably satisfied. Yet she went ahead and ‘bet the farm’ on vaccine mandates. The watch word of my early dialogue with advisors was ‘caution’. At the beginning they recognised the limitations of current knowledge. They ‘knew’ we had to explore all the options. This sensible approach has seemingly been replaced by a misplaced professional stamp of vaccine approval along with the exercise of political Jacinda power.
In the first world war, trench warfare was a failed strategy but its continued use was promoted by the establishment despite the horrendous loss of life. As we now face new variants, possibly impervious to vaccination, do we continue to maintain the fiction that universal mandated vaccination is a stand alone strategy? Are we going to meekly submit to regular booster shots at shorter and shorter intervals, and to embrace new genetic vaccine formulations? Or do we recognise that we are at a turning point in our civilization whereby our most successful strategy will be improvements in our habits, our lifestyle, our diet? Do we recognise that, as in so many fields of endeavour, we have brought ourselves to our knees, and need to think again about the fundamentals of personal health and the environment?
Do I think that the NZ public can handle a mature and honest discussion? Yes. The decision to not only keep the public in the dark, but promote an entirely exaggerated and in some aspects false narrative appears as a misguided crusade. The scapegoating of the unvaccinated, despite the fact that the vaccinated can and do transmit covid easily, appears as a Machiavellian political plot. The wilful suppression of the large scientific uncertainty surrounding many covid ‘facts’, through selective editing or blocking of information comes straight out of the playbook of tyrants. The lack of an early and dynamic effort to understand and evaluate early intervention treatments was an error that could lead to increased fatalities. The gap between evolving scientific knowledge and government fiction has become a gaping chasm.
A final word – why oh why hasn’t the media dug deeper? Where is well researched investigative reporting to be found? Why is there no balance? The media reporting of Covid in NZ is a lesson in itself and another story to be told at a future date by some brave and clear-minded investigator. The origins of one-sided reporting are not hard to discern when you recognise that the government has discouraged the cash strapped media from investigating or striking a critical note using a well-financed carrot and stick approach. Large grants have been made to media outlets. Independent vaccine lobby groups have also financed media outlets. Yesterday in Stuff, a long, rambling, and selective piece of reporting, entitled “Covid-19 NZ: Just how deadly is the virus?”, concluded with the comforting thought that the vaccine makes you younger. Miracle of miracles – the long lost elixir of eternal life has been discovered by the independent Stuff media group.
Guy Hatchard PhD has a background in statistical analysis and was an employee of Genetic ID, a global safety testing and certification company.
Right to Life is urgently requests supporters to make a submission on the government’s Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill.
This matter is urgent now with submissions closing in four days on Wed September 8th 2021. Why are we so concerned? You are no doubt aware that the current government has gone about making sweeping changes to the foundational laws that uphold that preserve a civil society. The speed of change has been rapid with major changes to our Abortion and Euthanasia laws, which directly concern our core mission values. However other changes are just as significant and the above very dangerous bill, if passed into law is going to result in changes such as parents being criminalised for bringing up children in the way they best see fit. We are increasingly seeing the State usurping the role of parents and frankly bullying them into surrendering time held rights. Unless people like you speak up loudly now……
In this regard we are here posting information from Family First to assist you in making this submission.
Thank you to the literally thousands of you that have already made a submission. If you haven’t yet, please consider speaking up.
And with the lockdown, you now have time ?
FOUR EASY STEPS
1. Take time to understand the issue. Spend some time reading the testimonies and the background info on our website freetolive.nz. Talk to friends and family. Pray.
2. Write what you want to say to the Select Committee considering this bill, clearly stating that you oppose the bill. Write as little or as much as you want, sharing your personal views.
3. Go to the online submission form here. Your personal information will not be published if you use the online process – just your name. If you upload a Word doc or PDF, don’t put any personal info on it.
4. Press the SUBMIT button. Done! That was easy.
SOME THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN PREPARING YOUR SUBMISSION
Unlike the supporters of this bill, we’re deliberately not providing a template for submissions. From previous experience on other bills, the Select Committee will simply lump those together. So it’s vital that you write your own words and views on this issue.
However, to get you started….
The key concerns around this bill are the potential criminalisation of:
• Parents who affirm the biology of their children and oppose gender ideology
• Consent and the right to self-determination, freedom of religious expression
• Counsellors, carers & teachers who offer support to those who request it
• Places of worship, prayer & pastoral support, and possibly faith-based schools who teach and explain their religion’s core values & beliefs
We would encourage you to say YES to doing an oral submission.