An open letter to anybody concerned about the pandemic narrative and the vaccine roll-out.
In today’s modern, connected world one of the biggest issues we face is not that we can’t access information, but that we are swamped by it.
Whatever point of view you have, you can go online and find information, resources, data and opinions that support your belief.
You can very easily find your online community. It is easy to connect with thousands of other like-minded people who agree with you.
Online spaces like Twitter, or groups within Facebook, become echo chambers of opinion, confirming your beliefs, convincing you that you are all discussing “facts”... that you, as a group, know “the truth”.
You rarely see any opinions that contradict your “truth”, but there are other groups and online echo chambers where other communities have a completely different version of “the truth”... beliefs they hold with the same fervent passion you have for your ideas.
Deepening the divide
Whenever two sides of a divide meet in discussion, the result is disagreement, argument, criticism, and disbelief that others can’t see what you see. It is easy to write off those people with a different viewpoint as idiots, blind to what you perceive to be patently obvious.
Such discussions often devolve to the point of name-calling, or worse, and the divide is merely deepened.
It is vital to realize that most of the information presented by either side of any divide as “the truth” is merely opinion, based upon sources used to inform and shape a set of beliefs.
To come back to the initial problem outlined, there is too much information available, much of it conflicting. With so many resources available to anyone at the click of a mouse, it is clear that it is possible to find material to back up any opinion.
We find ourselves at probably the most important junction in our current generation’s history, facing divided opinion over many issues: the pandemic, vaccine roll-outs, lockdowns, masks, vaccine passports, and loss of freedoms.
If we consider a spectrum of opinion on any of these topics, it is easy to imagine most people are at either one end of the spectrum or the other, with very few in the middle. Let’s just take the topic of vaccines as an example.
As I write this (22nd March 2021), we are told that in the UK over 50% of the adult population has been vaccinated, and daily records are being set for new vaccinations. This would suggest that a percentage significantly in excess of 50% are on firmly on one far end of the spectrum. They accept that vaccines are “safe and effective”, and are the only option which will allow us to “get back to normal”.
Demonstrations all around the world just two days ago, on Saturday 20th March, suggest there is also a significant part of the population who don’t believe vaccines are the answer, or have major issues with other restrictions imposed upon us.
For the sake of simplicity, and for this example looking just at vaccinations, I’ll refer to these two polar opposites as pro-vaccine, and anti-vaccine. Any of the other topics could be similarly divided, into pro-lockdown and anti-lockdown. Pro-mask and anti-mask. Pro-vaccine passports and anti-vaccine passports.
Of course being pro-vaccine doesn’t necessarily mean someone has to be all-in for vaccine passports, or mandatory vaccination. Someone who has very strong anti-lockdown beliefs may still feel it is in their personal best interest to be vaccinated.
There are endless permutations of what people believe is best for them, and opinions on what is best for society as a whole. So I appreciate I am presenting a fairly simple black/white, yes/no discussion about what is a much more complex and dynamic situation.
However, generally, when looking at any single divisive topic, there is usually a deep ravine between two polar opposites. If either group hope to have any chance of spreading their message to others on the opposite side of the divide, they need to help people to bridge this chasm, without alienating them.
Somewhere high above the middle of huge gaping canyon is where I believe the fight for the future we hope for must be focused.
Crossing the divide
My name is Ian Usher, and I crossed this divide gradually between November 2020 and January 2021. I used to believe the pandemic narrative. In early 2020 I thought, based on what I read and heard, that we were facing an on-coming tidal wave of disease and death. I believed the news reports, I understood how exponential growth hides the numbers until they explode off the chart. I saw the haggard faces of the doctors in Italy. I saw the reasoning which led to the first lockdown in the UK, because it was necessary to “flatten the curve”. I was an early adopter of mask use. I believed.
My journey to “the other side” began in November 2020 with the surprise announcement of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, followed within weeks by two more “good news” announcements. Needles were going into arms before the ink had even dried on the Phase 3 trial reports, and despite Emergency Use Authorization only, the whole world was being encouraged to line up and roll up their sleeves.
The questions I asked myself, and the information I found, convinced me that the narrative we were being fed didn’t ring true. My research slowly led me step-by-step to leading anti-vaccine and pro-freedom-of-choice advocates, people like Judy Mikovits, Del Bigtree, Robert Kennedy Jr, Sherri Tenpenny, Dr. Joseph Mercola, Dr. Simone Gold, and many more.
I started taking notes, writing about what I found and how my view of the world was changing. I started to consider some of the more outlandish claims I came across, ideas often branded as “conspiracy theories”, and was troubled by the fact that I could see the logical reasoning behind many of these ideas.
But the problem I kept coming up against, the problem I am still grappling with, is that I can never really claim to know what “the truth” is. I can ask questions, think critically, read widely and watch videos from a wide range of sources. I can form my own opinion of what is going on, but it is my belief that I can never present my opinion as “the truth”.
In fact, I would suggest that to try to do so only serves to alienate those I am trying to engage with.
So here is my key point. Anyone trying to encourage others to consider a different viewpoint needs to take a softly-softly approach. I’ll use a crude analogy here, and apologise for doing so, but I can’t think of a more direct way to phrase it:
Generally speaking, you can’t expect to fuck on first date.
The problem as I see it, is that there is a lot of passion on both sides of the vaccine divide, which is understandable. However, if someone who is staunchly anti-vaccine immediately jumps in to a passionate presentation about global elite, totalitarian control, Agenda-21, de-population and Bill Gates, then 99 times out of 100 the conversation will go no further.
To understand this, if you are on the anti-vaccine side of the divide, observe how you react when a friend or family member tells you that the government is doing their best, the pharma companies have our health as their top priority, the vaccines have been proven safe, and accepting your jab is the only way we’ll ever get our freedoms back. You’ve probably stopped listening before they have completed their first sentence.
If they go further, suggesting that the un-vaccinated are the main problem, hindering release from the pandemic, possibly even endangering the lives of others, then you’ll possibly react angrily. It is difficult for all of us when deeply held beliefs are challenged by the opinions of others.
This is exactly the response we can expect when we try to reveal our deepest concerns in a 280 character Twitter message. You’re just preaching to the choir, who will agree wholeheartedly with you, but you have little hope of reaching anyone else, let alone convincing them.
So to go back to the “first date” analogy, we usually invite a potential partner to dinner, or to a movie. We try to be witty, charming and polite. We show interest in their opinions, and share some of our thoughts and interests.
A precarious bridge across the gap
The way to encourage people to consider ideas presented by the other side of a divide is to offer a bridge, and extend a friendly helping hand in invitation.
The first step of my journey across this precarious bridge was prompted by the doubts I had, and the questions I started to ask myself. These doubts grew over time, and the more I read and researched the more I wanted to explore.
And by taking one hesitant step after another, I made my way out onto the bridge, my mind now open enough to consider alternatives to the narrative I had initially believed.
The view from the other side
Having started my personal journey out on to the bridge, I ultimately crossed over to the “complete disbelief of the narrative” side. I now feel the same passion as others over here. I have formed my own opinions about what might be going on around us, but am still aware that I don’t know “the truth”.
As I considered my own journey, I wondered how I could best help others to take their own first step out onto the bridge across the divide.
I believe that an invitation to take just a small peek behind the curtain, to ask a few questions, to consider some of the information available to all of us, is the best first step we can suggest people take.
I think ultimately everybody should be free to make a choice for themselves, without pressure or coercion from anybody. But equally I believe before making what could prove to be momentous, life-altering decisions, we all need to ask some questions, do some thinking, and listen to arguments from all sides.
I eventually compiled my notes and writings into a book, which I subtitled “Questioning the narrative: An exercise in critical thinking”.
When my book was rejected by Amazon Kindle earlier this month, it was merely confirmation that I’m probably on to something here. Because you can find as many conspiracy theory books as you want on Amazon. They are easy to write off as the ravings of the lunatic fringe.
You can also find a wealth of books claiming to reveal “the truth” behind the pandemic. These too are easy to dismiss, as it is possible to debunk such claims by pointing to other “facts”.
But someone calmly and quietly suggesting that people should ask themselves some important questions, and do some deep critical thinking... well, why would that kind of idea need to be silenced?
Apparently “critical thinking” is not to be encouraged.
The full title of the book is: “Vaccine Roundup: Should I Have One of the COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccinations? Questioning the Narrative: An Exercise in Critical Thought”
I’ve managed to get a print version of the book published, and amazingly that has appeared on Amazon. I have also succeeded in getting a digital version listed, and this is now available through Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Scribd, etc.
I have the digital version of the book listed on Smashwords, where I have allowed a “choose your own price” option, which means people can download the book for free.
It can be found here. Just click the “Buy” button and change the price to $0.00:
Questioning the narrative
When I ultimately reached the “conspiracy theory” side of the bridge, I had to ask myself a simple question: “How can I help in the fight for our freedoms?” Because it was obvious that I could no longer sit back and do or say nothing.
The book I wrote is my own personal answer to this question. I think the book stands in the middle of the debate, not claiming to offer any sort of “truth”, not presenting any conspiracy theories, merely offering a framework of questions for those beginning to doubt the narrative.
Because if I started to talk about what I really think might be going on, and presented it as “the truth”, I think the only readers I would reach were those who already believe something similar. I would immediately alienate everyone else. Presenting opinion as “truth” will not help.
Instead, I simply want to encourage everyone to take that first step out on to the bridge, to question the narrative before making their decision. I think once someone is prepared to examine all sides of the issue, we then have to respect the decision they ultimately make.
If you’ll allow me a small indulgence, I’d like to finish with my concluding paragraphs from the book:
We need to share information outside of the control of those who would wish to censor anything that goes against their narrative. How do we do this? The best way is to share in the old fashioned way, person to person, by word-of-mouth recommendation.
If you are concerned about what is going on, and about the effort to silence those who simply want to ask questions, then by sharing your thoughts with your loved ones you are helping to put more people in a position of strength, able to do their own critical thinking, and make their own informed decisions.
If most of the population ask no questions, and simply go along with the “all must be vaccinated” narrative, then as we reach ever greater percentages of the population who have been vaccinated, it isn't hard to imagine that those wielding authority will see this as implied approval to mandate that the stragglers to be rounded up and inoculated against their will, as they are selfishly “endangering lives”.
Even if this eventual outcome doesn't come via government mandate, it is easy to see how encouraging private businesses to require a vaccine certificate before someone can access their services will force most people to comply anyway. Want to go take a flight? Already, according to Qantas in Australia, you'll need your “vaccine passport”. Once restaurants, bars, gyms, cinemas and supermarkets follow like sheep, vaccination will be necessary just to take part in day-to-day life.
Do nothing, and it’s possible you’ll find yourself on the pointed end of a needle regardless of your preferences. If you care about remaining a free, sovereign individual, with the right to decide what gets put into your body and what doesn't, then please share.
If we all just sit back and do nothing, then we all lose, as those with a hidden agenda will be able to push it through with minimal resistance. When that leads to more loss of freedoms, more vaccine mandates, and more economic misery, then we'll have nobody to blame but ourselves.
22nd March 2021
Please share this letter far and wide.
I’d love to get it into the hands of those spearheading this debate.
pdf download of this article:
Download the book here (free if you wish):
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