An amazing speech by Brandon Zollino at the May 15 2021 802 Freedom Picnic
What does it mean to say that we know something? Why do we believe what we believe and how do we know what we know?
Although seemingly straightforward, upon further examination these questions prove to be deceptively complex and difficult to answer.
Where, exactly, is the wellspring of knowledge?
Questions like this are the focus of the branch of Western philosophy known as epistemology. There are many competing schools of thought on the subject; there are the rationalists, the empiricists, the skeptics, the pragmatists, and so on. They each have their fans and critics. We don’t all need study esoteric philosophy, but I believe that it benefits everyone to ask basic epistemological questions of themselves, at least from time to time, to reorient us in the world as we go about our lives. Our beliefs guide our actions, and our actions build the world in which we live. Is it possible that our beliefs are built on shifting sand rather than solid bedrock? Can our worldview be a distortion of how reality truly is? Could this distortion be engineered on a grand scale? And if so, to what end? Critical self-examination is necessary if we wish to avoid exploitation by deceivers, repeating the follies of our ancestors, and recreating the worst atrocities in history.
One way that we come to understand our place in space and time is through storytelling. Through narrative. History is exactly that; a narrative that describes and analyzes past events. Depending on the historian, the same events can be interpreted innumerable ways. There is an old adage that history is written by the victors. George Orwell draws from this idea in his dystopic novel 1984 in which the protagonist, performing his job in the Ministry of Truth, rewrites events of the past to fit the preferred narrative of the ruling party and strengthen its grip on the people.
The historian is inextricably immersed in their own culture and views history through this lens. The same can be said for the journalists and commentators analyzing current events. And what is culture but a set of value laden presuppositions that are shared by a group, acted out by its members, and which serve to orient those members in their world? These value laden presuppositions affect all of us when we go about the world interpreting the myriad narratives with which we’re presented. Often these narratives frame our understanding of the world and how we ought to proceed living in it. The narratives we encounter through news, media, entertainment, and socializing form a feedback loop reaffirming and evolving our cultural presuppositions. Art imitates life and life imitates art in an infinite regress. But this begs the question, from where do the presuppositions originally derive? Who is creating the values? And where does power come in?
Beginning in Antiquity, mythology served as the explanatory meta-narrative for natural phenomena, values, and man’s place in the world. Shamans, priests, and oracles functioned as the gatekeepers of that sacred knowledge and mediated the experience of the divine for the laity. Beginning with Alexander the Great who lived from 356 to 323 BC, divine right to rule became a commonly practiced doctrine of political legitimacy, merging the fountainhead of knowledge (religion) with power itself. Soon, a new meta-narrative took hold in the world as Christianity spread throughout the Mediterranean. Eventually Christianity transitioned into the dominant religion of the Roman Empire under Emperor Constantine the Great who converted in 312 AD. This paradigm continued through the middle ages. Charlemagne, who reunited Western Europe by 800 AD was crowned Emperor of the Romans by Pope Leo III and sought to expand both his empire and the influence of the church on his subjects. Religion and political power went hand in hand in the ordering of civilization. But by the time of Napoleon, Western Europe had changed. The West had undergone an enlightenment and revolutions. Science became a new tool for understanding and explaining natural phenomena. Empiricism, the epistemological school of thought that places primacy on evidence of the senses, rose to prominence. On the 2nd of December 1804, Napoleon snatched the crown from the hands of Pope Pius VII, coronating himself and signifying a rejection of the Pope’s authority over his right to rule.
This brings us to the modern era, where nobility began to be replaced by a wealthy merchant class, and later industrialists, who no longer enjoyed the justification of divine right to rule as church and state became separate. The social contract emerged as a mechanism for establishing sovereignty. The ideals of the enlightenment undermined the authority of both monarchies and the church. Enlightenment thinkers embraced the new scientific method of discovery that was based on empiricism. To recap, empiricism places primacy on sensory experience and observable evidence, as opposed to rationalism which positions reason and intellectual deduction as the foundation of knowledge.
David Hume made note of a serious shortcoming with empiricism and this is referred to as the Is-Ought problem. Hume raised concern that it is challenging, if not impossible to move from DE-scriptive statements about what is- the type of assertions that can be verified empirically- to PRE-scriptive statements of value about what ought to be. Science, as an empirical system, cannot tell us what should be, only what is. Despite this, science has been used to justify a litany of heinous barbarities since the mid 19th century that within the cultural norms of the time seemed reasonable and rational to many. Science is practiced by a new priestly class of gatekeepers who, besides being susceptible to corruption and politicization, also approach their work from within inescapable cultural presuppositions.
In his influential work, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, physicist and philosopher Thomas Kuhn observes that scientists typically function within a dominant paradigm characterized by a set of theories and ideas that define what is possible and how research can be done. When scientists working within a paradigm begin to encounter anomalies to the paradigm, extraordinary research that escapes the limitations of the existing paradigm becomes required. Eventually a new paradigm emerges, but there is resistance to the new by those invested in the old. What happens when financial or political players have a vested interest in the established scientific paradigm? Does science continue to be a method for the advancement of human knowledge, or does it become a tool for the financial benefactors of the scientific orthodoxy?
Widely panned by the muckraking journalists of the time as robber barons, the wealthy industrialists of the gilded age built their vast fortunes by monopolizing their respective industries, with John D. Rockefeller having monopolized the oil industry in the United States under the banner of Standard Oil. Famously, John D. was reputed to have stated “competition is a sin” and it is with this dogma that he comported his affairs both in business and philanthropy. The power that these industrialists centralized and amassed in relation to the population was at odds with the social contract model of sovereignty established earlier in the enlightenment. Rockefeller and his ilk had a serious public relations problem at the turn of the 20th century and they directed their vast wealth to rectifying this. They formed philanthropic foundations that under the guise of giving, allowed them to further influence and monopolize other critical pillars of society while shielding themselves from taxation. In 1901 Rockefeller established the eponymous Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research and employed University of Pennsylvania professor Simon Flexner as director. The Carnegie Foundation employed Simon’s brother Abraham to conduct a study and write a report on the state of the American medical system. The Flexner Report, propped up by the wealth and influence of Flexner’s backers, radically transformed medical education with an emphasis on science and empirical models. This manifested in a medical system that favored patentable drug-based allopathic medicine over naturopathic and homeopathic natural cures, and also established dominance of Germ Theory over the Terrain Theory model of disease. Between 1910 and 1935 half of American medical schools closed or merged with Universities. Recently established state medical boards, influenced by the Flexner Report, codified the report’s recommendations and thus science began to merge with the power of the state. Science’s financial backers could begin to guide the action of the state by purposefully directing and molding the scientific paradigms upon which the state acted.
In 1883, the word “eugenics” was coined by English scientist and cousin to Charles Darwin, Francis Galton. Galton believed in perfecting the human race by getting rid of undesirables while multiplying desirables. The science of eugenics rose to prominence leading up to the 1920’s and attracted scores of progressive social scientists as well as support from wealthy industrialists who found a scientific justification for their dominance over society, supplanting the divine right to rule of a bygone era. Both the Rockefeller Foundation and the Carnegie Foundation embraced the theory as they simultaneously molded what would become Western medicine as we know it today.
Far from a fringe theory, eugenics enjoyed wide reaching acceptance. Precedent set by the Supreme Court case of Jacobson V Massachusetts in support of mandatory vaccination was used to rule in the 1927 case of Buck V Bell in which eugenics and collectivism triumphed over liberty and bodily autonomy in ruling the state could forcibly sterilize Buck. The US Supreme Court upheld a Virginia law that authorized the involuntary sterilization of “feeble minded” persons in state institutions. In a chilling opinion, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes concluded:
“Society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes. Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”
32 U.S states passed laws that resulted in the forced sterilization of 64,000 Americans. 253 Sterilizations were performed in Vermont between 1931 and 1957. Ironically, Vermont’s state legislators now formally apologize for the states’ role in this past injustice while they continue to support policy that erodes individual rights to bodily autonomy in the name of the public good.
Across the Atlantic, the American eugenics movement found a bedfellow in the ideology of National Socialism and became the science of racial cleansing. Starting in the early 1920s the Rockefeller foundation began funding grants and fellowships for German scientists. Money was fed to the Kaiser Wilhem Institutes that included an Institute for Psychiatry and an Institute for Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics. Ernst Rüdin, a head researcher at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Psychiatry, was a key architect of the Nazi eugenics program. Rüdin co-edited the official rules and commentary on the Law for the Prevention of Defective Progeny, which was passed on July 14, 1933. German sterilization efforts resulted in more than 400,000 people sterilized against their will and 300,000 murdered in Action T4, in addition to the systematic murder of 6 million Jews across German-occupied Europe. Again, this was in line with establishment science of the time, codified in law, and was rationalized under the pretense that the collective interests of society outweighed any individual rights to bodily autonomy or self-determination.
In 1934, John D. Rockefeller III, at the age of 28 penned a letter to his father, John D. Jr. about how he wished to direct The Rockefeller Foundation’s research spending. He wrote about “birth control and related questions” saying “I have come pretty definitely to the conclusion that it is the field in which I will be interested, for the present at least, to concentrate my own giving.” He organized a Population Council with co-founder Frederick Osborne who was also president of the American Eugenics Society. Osborne became the Council’s president after Rockefeller stepped down in 1957
Now in the 21st century, a new ultra-wealthy philanthro-capitalist has positioned himself at the hub of an empire influencing scientific research, medicine, and public health policy. This is none other than Bill Gates who like John D. Rockefeller, exhibited monopolistic ambitions in the growth of his company and rebranded himself as a philanthropist to both save his public image and expand his power and wealth under the tax shelter of charity. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation assets have expanded year after year from 50 to 100 Billion dollars. In March of 2020, the foundation granted The Imperial College of London an eye popping sum of 79 million dollars for malaria research. Later that month the now demonstrably inaccurate and poorly coded modeling of Neil Ferguson of the same Imperial College of London was employed by Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci to justify locking down the country for two weeks to flatten the curve of a projected tsunami of Covid19 fatalities. Is this damning, direct evidence of a quid pro quo? No, but it’s a noteworthy detail to take into consideration when one begins to examine the myriad ways in which Gates benefits from and guides the Covid1984 narrative. This was critical information informing critical public policy. At best it was inept. At worst, the Ferguson model was meant to manufacture the perception of a crisis that would evoke a fear response for which a predetermined solution was waiting in the wings.
Like John D. Rockefeller III, Gates is preoccupied with what he characterizes as the “problem” of population. Also like JDR3, Gates associates with known eugenicists. Gates’ close associate, Jeffrey Epstein, was reported to have hopes of seeding the human race with his own DNA by impregnating women at his New Mexico Ranch. Epstein revered the ideology of transhumanism, essentially eugenics refreshed for the 21st century, and sought to finance scientific research for its advancement. Epstein associated with a host of scientific intelligentsia who he wooed at dinner parties in his Manhattan mansion and on his private island. Klaus Schwab, son of a Nazi Party member, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum as well as former member of the steering committee for the Bilderberg Group, shares Epstein’s infatuation with transhumanism. Schwab has literally written the book on a globalist agenda known as The Great Reset. Microsoft, GAVI (another Bill Gates Foundation), and The Rockefeller Foundation are three of five founding members of the ID2020 initiative to create a global, digital ID, which turns out to be central to The Great Reset agenda. And we are seeing this foisted upon us in the form of vaccine passports.
It becomes clear when one works backward from identifying which entities gain the most from the fear-driven narrative of the past year that Covid1984 isn’t about a virus. It’s about global population control and consolidation of power in the hands of a global ruling class. This transcends local, regional, and even national politics. Through fear, through narrative control and repetitive propaganda, through psychological cues in our daily life, humanity is being socially engineered toward an agenda. The objective is a cashless, technocratic, totalitarian global police state in which vaccination is mandatory, our immunization and medical records are linked to our social credit, our financial records, and our ability to make transactions and freely move about the world. It’s about total surveillance. It’s about the ability to “turn off” a dissident. It is about the dissolution of our rights to freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of assembly, and bodily autonomy while simultaneously creating dependence on a slave system by destroying small business, the hopes and dreams of a generation of young adults, and irrevocably altering the childhood development of millions who are being taught to fear other human beings and themselves as if we are walking bags of disease and death. Humanity is being molded to conform to a new paradigm and science has been gamed to convince the world this is necessary.
So how do we know what’s true? Most of us are not scientists, ourselves. We’re not experts. Who are we, to question the experts? We are thinking human beings. And we can examine the evidence with which we’re being presented. Who is making the claim? A politician? Is there a conflict of interest? Are propaganda techniques being employed? Learn them. Logical fallacies? Learn them. We can hold the feet of science to the flames of scrutiny. We can challenge scientific claims empirically by exploring what is being measured and how it is being measured. Are there proper controls? We can investigate if the data is inaccurate due to a faulty tool or improper methodology. We can infer what presuppositions are framing the experiment and guiding the interpretation of the data. What motivations may be molding the design of the experiment? Who benefits from the returned result? Is true discourse taking place, or is dissent being suppressed?
We are capable of determining for ourselves what is true, so it’s no wonder that we are compelled by the powers who shouldn’t be to defer in unquestioning faith to the ordained ministers of science about how we ought to order society. This is not science, it is scientism. If free thought were permitted in an open forum, the inadequacies of the establishment position would be readily apparent. But now those presenting evidence that contradicts the establishment narrative are censored and suppressed as policy on social media and ignored by corporate-owned mainstream media. We are only permitted to heed the words of Pope Fauci and his acolytes. For the true believers, the masks serve not only as talismans protecting them against the forces of evil but as a prescribed article of clothing that indicates ones initiation to the faith. This was a preparatory step leading up to the vaccines, a holy sacrament that signifies complete acceptance and devotion to the new abnormal. Those who question that we ought to wear masks, or submit to lockdowns, or take experimental injections are labeled heretics and blasphemers. We are enemies to the Orthodox Church of Corporate Owned Science. And yet, as David Hume made so clear nearly three hundred years ago, it is not the place of science to inform us of what we ought to do. To know what we ought to do, we need to turn to our first principles. We need to start from our values, and if we’re not sure what those are, that’s the first thing we need to decide.
Our founding fathers did this. They wrote: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
And they were right.