Doctors Dan Stock and Ryan Cole Share Their Expert Opinion on the Dangers of the “Vaccine” [Full Transcripts]

“This is NOT a vaccine.” / “This is a poisonous attack on our population.”

Numerous doctors and healthcare workers have been speaking out against the egregious vaccine narrative that has overrun our planet.

However, there has been a huge censorship and banning of these alternative opinions/accounts that are trying to prevent these important voices from being heard on the social media platforms or on mainstream media. Facebook, twitter, youtube, instagram… known for silencing this crucial information because it creates a form of “vaccine hesitancy”, using the pretense of a “deadly virus” as their excuse, has initiated a totalitarian stance in their push to mandate these vaccines to the whole population, and has largely banned many dissenting opinions, facts, or even basic discussion regarding the vaccines and its efficacy.

Meanwhile, the efforts to hire influencers and celebrities to endorse these vaccines have reached an outrageous precedent, and the continued effort to FUND THESE INDIVIDUALS, who are NOT EXPERTS, to speak so highly of an experimental vaccine, while DISMISSING ACTUAL SCIENTISTS AND DOCTORS, should tell you everything you need to know about the safety of these vaccines.

I honestly wish I didn’t have to spell it out, but the dishonest tactics and malfeasance that has gone on within the government, health industries, and media/big tech collusions has reached a terrifying height, and their oppressive attempts at restricting not just rational/irrational conversations, but individuals’ OWN PERSONAL TESTIMONIES, has overstepped a dangerous boundary that looms ever closer to a dystopian society in which any form of dissenting opinion is attacked, criticized, and silenced.

Thankfully though, we continue to have several ACTUAL EXPERTS and HONEST CITIZENS coming to the forefront and offering their knowledge and experience with what they’ve seen during the COVID pandemic.

This post will cover two gentlemen: Dr. Ryan Cole and Dr. Dan Stock. As I have done in the past, I provide transcriptions of videos in order for people to have the ability to read the text in case that is a preferred method for them. It is also helpful in order to search for specific key words that the reader may be looking for.

Dr. Dan Stock at the Mt. Vernon School Board in Indiana

[All quotes by Dan Stock, with some embellishment added to highlight pertinent information.]

“Dr. Dan Stock, 5777 West 700 North, Mccordsville, Indiana.

To address your comment, geez, it’s hard to believe we’re 18 months into this and still having a problem, and I would suggest the reason we still have a problem is because we’re doing things that are not useful and we’re getting our sources of information from the Indiana State Board of Health and the CDC, who actually don’t bother to read science before they do this.

I’m actually a functional family medicine physician. And that means that I am specially trained in immunology and inflammation regulation, and everything being recommended by the CDC and the State Board of Health is actually contrary to all the rules of science.

So things you should know about coronavirus and all other respiratory viruses. They are spread by aerosol particles which are small enough to go through every mask, by the way. The literature that supports all of that is in a flash drive that we’ve presented to you has been given to the secretary.

As a matter of fact, it quotes at least 3 studies sponsored by the NIH to that exact fact, even though the CDC and the NIH have chosen to ignore the very science that they paid to have done.

That is why you keep struggling with this, is because you cannot make these viruses go away. The natural history of all respiratory viruses is that they circulate all year long waiting for the immune system to get sick through the winter, or become deranged, as has happened recently with these vaccines, and then they cause symptomatic disease. Because they cannot be filtered out and they have animal reservoirs.

And this is a very important point. No one can make this virus go away. The CDC has managed to convince everybody that we can handle this like we did small pox, where we could make a virus go away. Smallpox had no animal reservoirs. The only thing it learned to infect was humans. That’s why we’re able to make that virus go away. That will not happen with this anymore than it will with influenza, the common cold, respiratory syncitial virus, adenoviral respiratory syndromes or anything else that has animal reservoirs. So the reason you can’t do this is because you’re trying to do something which has already been tried and can’t be done.

Equally important is that vaccination changes none of this, especially with this vaccine. And I would hope this board would start asking itself, before it considers taking the advice of the CDC, the NIH, and the State Board of Health, ‘why were you doing things about this that we didn’t do for the common cold, influenza, or respiratory syncitial virus?’

And then ask yourself, why is a vaccine that is supposedly so effective, having a breakout in the middle of the summer when respiratory viral syndromes don’t do that? And to help you understand that, you need to know the condition that is called ‘antibody mediated viral enhancement’. That is a condition done when vaccines work wrong, as they did in EVERY coronavirus study done in animals, on coronaviruses after the SARS outbreak, and done in respiratory syncitial virus where a vaccine used in a vulnerable individual, done the wrong way, which by – cannot be done right for respiratory virus, which has a very low pathogenicity rate, causes the immune system to actually fight the virus wrong and let the virus become WORSE than it would with native infection.

And that is why you’re seeing an outbreak right now. In fact, in that flash drive you’re going to have coming to you and in the emails with 6 extra, there’ll be a study showing that 75% of people who had COVID-19 positive symptom cases in Barnstable, Massachusetts outbreak, were FULLY vaccinated. [audience applauds]

Therefore, there is no reason for treating any person vaccinated any differently than any person unvaccinated. You should also know that NO vaccine, even the ones that I support and would give to myself and my children, EVER stops infection.

In 2014, there was outbreaks of mumps in the National Hockey League. The only people who came down with symptoms were the people who are unvaccinated or unknown vaccine status. Boy, that sounds like a great argument for vaccines. But a question that you should ask yourself, knowing that half of the people who came down with symptomatic disease had NO contact with an unvaccinated or unknown vaccine status individual: ‘where did they get the disease?’ And the answer was, from the VACCINATED individuals.

No vaccine prevents you from getting infection. You get infected. You shed pathogen. This is especially true of viral respiratory pathogens. You just don’t get symptomatic from it. So you cannot stop spread. You cannot make these numbers that you’ve planned on get better by doing any of the things you’re doing. Because that is the nature of viral respiratory pathogens. And you can’t prevent it with a vaccine because they don’t do they very thing you’re wanting them to do.

And you will be chasing this the remainder of your life until you recognize that the Center for Disease Control and the Indiana State Board of Health are giving you very bad scientific guidance, and instead read the articles that are going to come in the email and on this flash drive and listen to the people in this audience here tonight who actually have recognized the advice they are getting from the CDC and the NIH is counter factual. And that’s why you’re still fighting this with this vaccine that is supposedly was gonna make all of this go away, but it suddenly managed to make an outbreak of COVID-19 develop in the middle of the summer when vitamin D levels are at their highest.

By the way, the other thing that would be necessary any vaccine and restriction to be considered is if there were no other treatment available. And I can tell you, having treated over fifteen COVID-19 patients, that between active loading with vitamin D, Ivermectin, and zinc, that there is not a single person who has come anywhere near the hospital. And we already have studies that show that if you achieve a 25 hydroxy vitamin D level greater than 55, your risk of COVID-19 death will drop down to one quarter of the population average for the United States. And there are active treatment trials included on that flash drive that show the same is true.

So if you were going to discriminate based upon vaccine, you should also discriminate based upon 25 hydroxy vitamin D level, zinc taste test response, and probably previous infections since there are also studies on that flash drive that show that people who have recovered from COVID-19 infection actually get no benefit from vaccination AT ALL. No reduction in symptoms, no reduction in hospitalization, and suffer 2-4 times the rate of side effects if they are subsequently vaccinated.

Therefore the policies that you are basing on are totally counter factual. I don’t blame this board for that, ’cause I know you aren’t scientists and you’ve thought it was reasonable to listen to the CDC, NIH and the Indiana State Board of Health, but I would encourage that instead you listen to the people out here in this audience and read what’s on that data drive.

And if anybody here in this board has any questions about anything on that, I will happily come back and sit with you individually if you would like to explain the science behind this, and if you’re worried about being sued by somebody because you don’t follow the guidance of the CDC and the NIH, I will tell you, you have a free pro-bono expert testimony at your disposal. [audience applauds] I will testify in defense of this board turning down all these recommendations for free, at any time, in any court. Thank you.”

Dr. Ryan Cole, Speaking at the White Coat Summit

Source: odysee | Divide et Impera | Dr Ryan Cole Exposes Safety Dangers, Red Flags & Unknowns

[All quotes by Ryan Cole, with some embellishment added to highlight pertinent information.]

“Howdy howdy. I’m Dr. Cole. It’s an honor to be here with my colleagues. Some brilliant minds as you’ve already seen. So I’m humbled to be on this stage with them. I’m excited to be here with attorneys that fight for freedom as well. And it’s fantastic to be in a room with smiling faces not covered with unnecessary cloth that does nothing. [audience applauds] So…

So who is this random doctor on stage?

I’m Dr. Ryan Cole, I’m a male clinic trained, board-certified, anatomic pathologist, clinical pathologist, dermatopathologist, way too many years at school. Also did some phD research in immunology. So immunology/virology is right up my alley. So, if you want mechanisms of action and how things work and what not, go ahead and pick my brain.

Anyway, so what about the vaccine and what about deaths? You know, Dr. Urso had alluded to that, that we have some concerns about these high numbers. What’s going on?

You know, we see the headlines, like Dr. Merritt mentioned: 13 year old, 3 days after a shot, dies. 15 year old dies of a heart attack, you know, 10 children so far in the VAERS reports, probably more now. Death after heart attacks. 39 year old mom of 3, death after the shot, etc., etc., etc. So we see the headlines.

So here’s the question. One would think in this era of a new virus and a new experimental… – I don’t even like calling it a vaccine – an investigational vaccine [audience member: “A fake vaccine!”] A fake vaccine. Okay. I can… a “clot shot”, a “needle rape”, whatever you want to call it [audience members laugh] – um, okay. So, going to the VAERS data, um… 11,000 deaths. 12,000 deaths. 45,000 deaths.

In the literature so far, about a month ago, “First Post Vaccine Autopsy”. Out of 11,000 deaths?! Are you KIDDING me? Is this science anymore? No! No, “medical technocracy”. “Fear, suffering, shot. Fear, suffering, shot. That’s all you’re supposed to have. Listen to us and that’s all you get.”


So how can we do science, if we’re not looking? One cannot find that, for which they do not look. Where is the funding?

And the independent pathologists – pathology, you know, I do a lot of biopsies, cancer diagnostics, what not, we never complain about getting too much tissue. Well, when you get the autopsy you get all the tissue. But guess what? You find all the answers, too. But if we’re not looking, we’re not going to find it. And if they’re saying, “Well, don’t autopsy that. It wasn’t the vaccine. These are not the droids you’re looking for. Don’t look here.” [audience laughs]


So, how, how on God’s green Earth are we going to know? Where is the funding? Autopsies are expensive, yes. But if we have billions to advertise a clot shot to children that don’t need it… Dr. Fauci, where’s the funding for science? [loud applause]

Okay. When an unapproved new drug therapy vaccine is put onto the market, well you need to use the French legal system. Guilty until proven innocent. So, IF there’s an adverse reaction, IF there’s a death, it happened from that therapy, until you prove that it didn’t. And we’re doing the “Look the other way, look the other way. Follow the money.”

Who’s behind this? I don’t know. I’m not going to conspiracy theory anything. I’m not going to be political, but I’m saying if you want the data, then you need to use that French legal system, say, “This is guilty until we prove it didn’t happen from something else.” And we’re doing just the opposite right now.

Okay, what about the spike protein? We’re giving a sequence, a gene sequence, into the bodies of human beings. And the sequence goes into our deltoid and we’re informed that it has a little anchoring protein and once that is translated and makes a little protein and it’s on the surface of your cell it stays there. Well, guess what? It doesn’t. And there are studies, and of course, the “fact-checkers” are “Oh, this isn’t true. This isn’t true.” – I’m a scientist. Don’t ask the journalists, ask the scientist. Okay?

So this spike protein doesn’t stay just in the deltoid, the spike circulates in your blood, it lands in multiple organs in the body. And you know what happens? That spike protein, without the body of the virus present, we did studies in lab animals; in the lab animals, just in injecting the spike, with no body of the virus, the spike induced the same disease as COVID-19 induced. The same lung disease. The same vascular disease. The same heart disease. The same brain disease. The spike is the toxin. So again, why are we injecting something into the human body that IS the toxin? It IS the toxin. It CAUSES the disease. This isn’t a vaccine! [audience applauds]

@5:25 : Okay, so we know that the virus who everybody’s heard about, this ACE2 receptor, here’s an example. So on the left hand side, this is a – one of the cells that lines your blood vessels – I’ll show you a chart in a minute, where we have ACE2 receptors. So on the left hand side you see a kind of in the corner of that upper grid and that bottom grid, these nice smooth lines. On the right hand side, this is what the spike protein – just the spike alone, from the vaccine, is doing to the mitochondria, your cells, that’s the engine of your cells. That’s what gives you energy, the power of your cells.

Compare the left: the smooth, nice, put together; compare the right: blown apart, fragmented. That’s from the VACCINE. Not from the virus. From the vaccine.

@6:08 : Okay, so here’s the human body. You can see the plethora of sites where we have ACE2 receptors. Now think about it. I mentioned, they tell us, “Oh gosh, the spike stays in your deltoid.” It doesn’t. It circulates. In the Harvard study in 13 nurses, they showed it circulating for at least 2 weeks. A lot of people lacked something called mRNAs, an enzyme that breaks down the RNA, so it may be circulating for even longer.

Now you hear, well gosh, they died, you know, just so long after the shot. So, you know, it was 2 weeks, 3 weeks, Hank Aaron, whoever. You know what? That spike’s circulating. They tried to pull the wool over our eyes and say, “Well, it couldn’t have been the shot. We’re too far out.” Not if the toxin’s still circulating! Not if the toxin’s still circulating. The spike is the toxin. Damage to the lungs, like I mentioned.

@6:57 : On the left hand side, healthy lung tissue; nice, spaced out. See, this is what pathologists do. We look at all these cells all day long. That’s kind of fun. We’re nerds this way.

On the right hand side, see how much more purple and blue that is? That’s all inflammation. Why? ACE2 receptors in that lung. Spike binding to it, inflammatory response, immune system attacking your own body. Disease FROM the spike. Disease FROM your own “clot shot” / “investigational vaccine”. They keep lying to the American public by calling it a vaccine. They keep taking the word “investigational” off, it’s what they call it in the emergency authorization. They keep not calling it what it is. “Investigational”. An experiment on humanity. And that’s what they’re doing. And I’m showing you why. Spike is a toxin. It crosses the blood-brain barrier. Kind of like my brain cells to be where they are, and not be blown apart, right? [audience applauds]

So why in the world would we put a toxin into the human body that’s going to disrupt the blood vessels in your brain, allow the spike in there and cause inflammation? The brain fog you hear about the COVID patients? Guess what. You hear about it in the post-vaccinated damaged individuals as well.


“But no. Nobody’s hurt by the shot. There’s not been one death. There’s not been one injury.” That’s what they tell you. It’s a lie. And this is science.

@8:15 [slides presented]: Okay, here we go. That’s – all the blue on top, those are brain cells, all the blue doesn’t belong there. That’s inflammation from the spike.

What about the kiddos? Heart inflammation. Guess what? Blots of ACE2 receptors in the heart. And here you can see, on the left hand side, see those blue arrows around the white? That’s inflammation in the heart. That’s not normal. That’s after a shot. That’s a spike protein landing there. That’s your immune system attacking your own tissues.

See on the right, that’s the red arrows, that’s the pericardium. The sac that surrounds your heart. That’s inflammation. That doesn’t belong there.

Once you have heart damage, the heart does not heal itself.

@8:54 : Okay, left hand side, all the blue dots: inflammation. See that gray in the middle? That’s early scarring. Guess what? Once a heart cell is damaged, it’s damaged forever. It doesn’t replace itself with another heart cell. It replaces itself with a scar. So you tell me you want to give a 12 year old, a 5 year old, a 13 year old, an 18 year old, a shot? And we see about a 200 times increase in myocarditis in our society right now? “That’s a good idea, let’s give a kid a tox and ruin his heart for life.”

Stop and think about what we’re doing. Insanity. We need to stop the insanity IMMEDIATELY.

This is OVER. Game over. This is no longer good science. This is a poisonous attack on our population. And it needs to stop NOW. [audience cheers]

@9:51 [slides presented]: Kidney, same thing. Kidney’s are kind of important. Three things in life. Blood goes round and round, gotta breathe, gotta make pee. You don’t do those three things, you die. Kidney, you want to damage your kidney with a clot shot? Not a good idea either.

Liver? Kind of need your liver to detoxify everything in your life. Same thing. Damage to the liver. See all that blue? That’s inflammation. Doesn’t belong there.

Testes. Kind of important for the next generation, right? As much as that looks like a lovely heart, see all the blue in it? Inflammation.

Same thing in the ovaries. Here’s the problem. Essentially absent from the literature. What are they hiding from us?


Japanese bio-distribution study, took some doing to find this study. Dr. Bridle up in Canada, of course he was attacked for telling the truth. The lipid nanoparticle that surrounds the little mRNA they’re injecting into people’s bodies; yes, a lot of it stays in the deltoid, but it circulates as well. Guess where it likes to concentrate? A really biologically active organ. The ovary.

And, in the Pfizer paperwork and application, it clearly states that in the rats there was a 16% decrease in fertility. One of the most fertile little critter mammals on the planet. And they – “These are not the droids you’re looking for. Nevermind.”

So what’s it doing to humanity? Guess what? The answer is, we don’t know. Because we don’t have long-term safety data yet. That’s the tragedy and the crime in all of this. They’re pushing it. It’s an experiment! It’s emergency authorized. It’s not approved. We don’t – humanity is the phase 3 trial.

COVID’s a clotting disease as some of my colleagues have mentioned. After a shot, we as physicians, especially if patients complaining of post-vaccine symptoms, a d-dimer will go up when we have clots. We can’t see these clots on x-ray or scan. These are micro-clots. All these inflammatory patterns that I’m showing you, are from micro-clots as well. If we look at this in the patients, we know that they’re micro-clotting.

So this is something – Dr. Noorchashm, just like Dr. Urso mentioned – patient who has already had COVID, COVID recovered, broad beautiful immunity, they’re LYING to you to say that it’s not equal to a vaccine immunity. I love the blue pan rainbow analogy Dr. Urso gave. Screen before vaccine, there’s a multiple-fold increase risk of adverse reactions if you’ve had COVID and have recovered. You get a shot, you hyper-rev that immune system – you may be screwed. And/or dead.

All right. I’m going to reiterate, one cannot find that for which they do not look. Billions of dollars spent on advertising of, again, a toxin into the human body. Investigational vaccines, again, I will say to our agencies and our federal government, where’s the funding for real science? They don’t want you to see, what we’re seeing.

In the laboratory, I have the tissues of a dead man on the back of my desk. I have two more coming next week. Guess what? Just couple days after a shot: 50 year old, healthy triathlete. One of my favorite surgeons in town that I worked with? Second shot: mountain biking, gone.

All right. The other concern I already brought up, we have no long-term safety data. This is what we need to emphasize to society, and ask the authoritative agencies: what’s the risk for cancer after the shot? We don’t know. What’s the risk for autoimmune disease? We don’t know. What’s the risk for impairing fertility for a life-time? We don’t know. So why in the world would we willy-nilly push forward at the pace and the rate that we’re going, without knowing these things? Complete anti-science. And a complete attack on us.

No more mandatory forcing of employees – how in the world are these hospitals and these employers saying, “You can’t work for me if you don’t sign up to be a subject in an experiment on humanity.” Go back to the 1947 Nuremberg Code. We’re absolutely violating this as a nation and a people.

Where are the billions to do the autopsies? Where are the billions to prove the science? Where are the autopsies? I will go back – crickets. They’re not there.

Dismissal by the collusive media, of any adverse events or death. That’s a problem. And what happened to the concept of the “#metoo movement”? Believe everybody? What happened to “believe her”? Believe the story. What happened to “believe anyone”? Why won’t they believe the science? They won’t believe the science, they dismiss the science. What happened to this movement of “believe it until you can disprove it”? Gone. Gone.

All right. Couple side by side notes, really critically, and I’m almost out of time, what we’re seeing in the laboratory is the shots dysregulate your immune response. We have very important cells that keep other viruses in check. They keep cancers in check. There’s a type of cell called a CD8 killer t-cell. Well there’s a study out of Germany and the Netherlands that showed a shifted immune profile. And at the end, their conclusion was, we see a concerning pattern of the cells we normally need, to fight off these other things.

But the answer is, we don’t know for how long that shifted pattern lasts. It’s like having 8 blockers on the frontline – this is Texas, we talk football – having 8 blockers on the frontline and paralyzing 3 or 4 of them. But the answer is, we don’t know if they’re paralyzed for the rest of the game or the rest of their career.

And then what we see from this, in the laboratory is an uptick of herpes family viruses. Molluscum, human papillomavirus, all sorts of viruses. Mononucleosis, etc., reactivating. Reactivating at levels, and I’m a pathologist, so we see this in the laboratory and I’m seeing the early signal. Well guess what else that CD8 cell does? And some receptors on some of these t-cells called toll-like receptors, and there’s a certain pattern of them. They keep cancer in check. I have seen a 10 to 20 fold increase of uterine cancer in the last 6 months in my laboratory. And I keep data, year to year to year. In the last 6 months, when did we start the shots? January.

How much solid tumor cancer increase are we going to see over the next several years? Probably a lot. What’s the real answer? We don’t know, and sometimes that’s the most honest answer in medicine, is we don’t know.

A doctor that tells you he or she knows everything, don’t believe them. Find a new doctor.

Increase in latent viruses, etc., etc…

So anyway, I know I’m out of time for questions, thank you so much, and God bless.”

A huge thank you to these doctors and everyone else who has been speaking out against these affronts to our health, rights and freedom. These concerned, caring individuals are pointing out the corruption of the COVID/vaccine narrative, and we as a whole NEED TO LISTEN and REFUSE these unnecessary vaccines and lockdown/passport measures.

It is not about our health – as HONEST doctors/scientists/virologists/nurses, etc. around the world are exposing. If it were about our health, then proper studies and research grounded on facts would be offered, and transparency that people are suffering from an unparalleled amount of tragic side effects and death and the acknowledgement that these vaccine efforts should be STOPPED.

Instead, what we are getting are straight up LIES and COVERUPS, and an incessant push to get everyone vaccinated while disregarding the science and the dangers that these injections are imposing on the world. We are always told to “trust the science” – but “not THAT science”. Not the science that contradicts the official narrative. “Trust the scientists.” – “But not THOSE scientists.”

We need to be able to discern who has our best interest at heart – and one thing is certain: it is NOT the CDC, NIH, WHO, UN, NIAID, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, WEF, paid off institutions/influencers/celebrities/politicians or anyone else who continues to endorse these vaccines.

Please stay informed, and stay safe.

Featured image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

The Other Virus: Learned Helplessness

Compliance leading to our downfall.

Reblogged from

What is a culture of compliance, and ever-shifting rules, doing to us?

MAY 17, 2021|12:01 AM


Why would any American allow the government to deny him a final goodbye to the person who raised him? Why would anyone allow grandma to die untouched in a hospital room without fighting back? In the post-vaccination era, why don’t people remove their masks? Learned helplessness, employed as a control tool.

Learned helplessness is well documented. It takes place when an individual believes he continuously faces a negative, uncontrollable situation and stops trying to improve his circumstances, even when he has the ability to do so. Discovering the loss of control elicits a passive reaction to a harmful situation. Psychologists call this a maladaptive response, characterized by avoidance of challenges and the collapse of problem-solving when obstacles arise. You give up trying to fight back

An example may help: You must keep up with ever-changing mask and other hygiene theater rules, many of which make no sense (mask in the gym, but not the pool; mask when going to the restaurant toilet but not at your table; NYC hotels are closed while Vegas casinos are open; Disney California closed while Disney Florida was open) and comply.

You could push back, but you have been made afraid at a core level (forget about yourself rascal, you’re going to kill grandma if you don’t do what we say) and so you just give in. Once upon a time we were told a vaccine would end it all, yet the restrictions remain largely in place. You’re left believing nothing will fix this. Helpless to resist, you comply, “out of an abundance of caution.”

American psychologists Martin Seligman and Steven Maier created the term “learned helplessness” in 1967. They were studying animal behavior by delivering electric shocks to dogs (it was a simpler time). Dogs who learned they couldn’t escape the shock simply stopped trying, even after the scientists removed a barrier and the dog could have jumped away.

Learned helplessness has three main features: a passive response to trauma, disbelief that trauma can be controlled, and stress.

Example: You are being stalked by a killer disease which often has no outward symptoms. There is nothing you can do but hide inside and buy things from Amazon. The government failed to stop the virus initially, failed to warn you, failed to supply ventilators and PPE gear, and failed to produce a vaccine quickly enough. You may die. You may kill your family members along the way. You have lost your job by government decree and are forced to survive on unemployment and the odd stimulus check—manufactured dependence. It is all very real: WebMD saw a 251 percent increase in searches for anxiety this April.

Americans, with their cult-like devotion to victimhood, are primed for learned helplessness. Your problems are because you’re a POC, or fat, or on some spectrum. You are not responsible, can’t fix something so systemic, and best do what you are told.

The way out is to allow people to make decisions and choices on their own. This therapy is used with victims of learned helplessness such as hostages. During their confinement all the important decisions of their life, and most of the minor ones, were made by their captors. Upon release, many hostages fear things as simple as a meal choice and need to be coaxed out of helplessness one micro-choice at a time.

Example: You cannot choose where to stand, so follow the marks on the floor. Ignore the research saying three feet apart is as useful or useless as six feet apart. Don’t think about why the rules are the same inside a narrow hallway and outsidein the fresh air but don’t apply at all on airplanes.

Kin to learned helplessness are enforcers. Suddenly your waitress transitions from someone serving you into someone ordering you to wear a mask, sit alone, eat outside, etc. Flight attendants morph from delivering drinks to holding the power to have security haul you to jail for unmasking when not actively eating. Companies once run by entrepreneurs are today controlled by the harassment-stalking undead from HR. We’ve become a republic of hall monitors. And there it is. The wrong people are in charge.

One of the better examples of learned helplessness is One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, a great book made into an impressive movie starring a lean Jack Nicholson. Nurse Ratched cows a group of mentally ill men into complete learned helplessness, encouraging them to rat each other out for small offenses, and to follow her every order no matter how absurd. The kicker comes near the end when we learn all of the men (except Nicholson) are free to leave the hospital at any time. They just…can’t.

It is amazing how fast people stepped into the Nurse Ratched role. Within moments of COVID’s arrival in the national conscience, officials like California’s Gavin Newsom, and New York’s Andrew Cuomo and Bill De Blasio raced to assume fat emergency powers. They spent not one moment assessing the impact of their decisions to lock down against the effects of the lock down. They ignored information questioning the value of lock down. 

They turned topsy-turvy the idea that in a free society the burden of proof is on those who would restrict freedom and not on those who resist such restrictions.

They were aided in manufacturing learned helplessness by the most sophisticated propaganda operation ever created. Already engorged with the coin of three years of fake news, the legacy media saw the value of a new crisis in working toward their two real goals: making as much money as possible garnering clicks, and defeating Donald Trump. Previous shows—Russiagate, with a hat tip to 9/11 when Americans demanded fewer freedoms to feel safer—illustrated the way. On a 24/7 basis Americans were injected with the message: You are helpless and Donald “COVID” Trump will kill you; your only hope is to comply fully with the people at CNN who are administering the electric shocks.

Truth is useless to propagandists, actually a threat. 

Look at what turned out to be false (in addition to Russiagate): We never ran out of ventilators or PPE or nurses or ICU beds or morgues. Masks are not needed outdoors. We did in fact develop a vaccine, several for that matter, in less than a year. Almost everyone who died was elderly or had serious comorbidities (a distinct class) but we salivated over “new case numbers” as the primary metric anyway because they went up so much faster. When people questioned the real-world view against the media portrayal, they were told about “asymptomatic COVID” or shunned as hoaxers. Everyone makes mistakes. But just as with Russiagate, all the media mistakes swung one way.

It worked. Condo boards boarded up their gyms. Restaurants forced diners to eat outside in the rain. Entire industries, such as tourism and hospitality, disappeared overnight. New groups were shoved into poverty and unemployment. Children were denied education, criminals released from jails. People were told not to hug their loved ones or celebrate birthdays or attend church. We were told to fear our neighbors as potential carriers.

Every time dissenting information popped up—Florida opening its beaches for Spring Break, for example—the media rushed in to declare everyone was going to die. Texas was declared dead, South Dakota was declared dead, and Americans believed it all even when reports of survivors started drifting out of Disney World.

Americans are not comfortable accepting that their lives being manipulated at this level, the way for example many Russians assume it to be so. We tend to dismiss such things as conspiracy theories and make an Oliver Stone joke. 

But ask yourself how many of the temporary security and surveillance measures enacted after 9/11 are still controlling our lives almost 20 years later. Is the terror threat still so real the FBI needs to monitor our social media in bulk? Was it ever?

Nothing here is to say vaccines don’t work, or are themselves dangerous. That’s another debate. 

This is about the politics of mass control. Add up the “doesn’t really make sense but we do it anyway” COVID rules and try to make sense of them. Why would otherwise smart leaders implement such rules, for example in New York’s case, purposely impoverishing a city or seeking to defund the police in the midst of triple digit rises in crime? Every time your answer is, “it just doesn’t make sense,” consider a scenario beyond coincidence where it would make sense, however out there that might be. It might be the most important thing you can do.

Then look out the window. Remember “15 days to flatten the curve?” With no voting or debate, a system based on a medical procedure capable of controlling our travel, which businesses we can visit, which hotels we can stay in, what jobswe can hold, what education we can access, at which point it is no more “voluntary” than breathing, was put into place. We no longer need to ask what is going to happen. 

Remember the real question is always why.

Peter Van Buren is the author of We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi PeopleHooper’s War: A Novel of WWII Japan, and Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the 99 Perc

Featured image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay