The Power to Imprison — Life in Pandemicland
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola
- As of midnight November 15, 2021, Austria began another nationwide lockdown, but it only applies to residents aged 12 and older who have declined the experimental COVID jab. An exception is made for unvaccinated individuals who have recently recovered from COVID-19. The lockdown will reportedly affect an estimated 2 million of the 8.9 million residents
- Germany is preparing legislation to make people work from home again unless they have a “compelling professional reason” to be in the office, in which case they must prove they’ve gotten the COVID jab or show a negative PCR test
- In 2017, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was granted authority to restrict interstate travel during a health crisis and to quarantine Americans without a clear and direct path to challenge the quarantine order in federal court
- Will the CDC use these powers? At the end of October 2021, CDC director Rochelle Walensky said “there’s a plan” to provide unvaccinated workers with “education and counseling,” which sounds like a plan to put people in reeducation camps
- The plan to quarantine people in their homes and shutter private businesses as a form of pandemic response was invented by Dr. Rajeev Venkayya, president of the Global Vaccine Business Unit at Takeda Pharmaceuticals and a former head of pandemic policy for the Gates Foundation
As of midnight November 15, 2021, Austria began yet another nationwide lockdown, ostensibly to rein in rising COVID cases.1 What makes this lockdown unique is that it only applies to residents aged 12 and older who have declined the experimental COVID jab. An exception is made for unvaccinated individuals who have “recently recovered from COVID-19.”
They’re only permitted to exit their front door for “essential” work, “essential” shopping (such as food), quick exercise and getting vaccinated. All other outdoor leisure activities are forbidden. The lockdown will reportedly affect an estimated 2 million of the 8.9 million residents.
Random spot-checks are prescribed to make sure no healthy unvaccinated people are roaming the streets, and fines for breaking the lockdown order can run as high as €1,450 (approximately $1,640).
Just two days earlier, it had been suggested the lockdown would only affect the northern portion of Austria and Salzburg,2 but that quickly changed to include the whole country. It’s hard to see this action as anything but punishment for refusal to be a medical guinea pig, considering Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg referred to the country’s 65% COVID jab rate as “shamefully low.”3
How Do Austrians Feel About It?
On the first day of Austria’s quarantine of the unvaxxed, Freddie Sayers of Unherd.com took to the streets to find out how Austrians feel about it. He writes:4
“What strikes me most is the class inflection to the whole thing. We started this morning on one of the fancier shopping streets in the old town, full of Rolex and Karl Lagerfeld stores in which well-heeled locals lined up to express their support for the lockdown. There is very little sympathy for a truculent minority that is seen as ‘stupid’ and ‘having brought it on themselves.’
On the same street, however, if you approach the people wearing fluorescent vests, guarding the stores and making deliveries, you tend to get a different response. They are more reluctant to speak to us, but decidedly less supportive. ‘It is bullshit,’ was one man’s pithy response.
Questions about the practical efficacy of such a measure don’t seem to be of much interest. When I ask people if they know that vaccinated people can also contract and transmit COVID, they tend to brush it aside as a minor detail.
Not a single person we have spoken of so far referred to the likely practical outcome of this new policy — it is simply a hardening of the vaccine passport policy that so far has evidently failed to contain the latest wave of infections …
I can’t escape the sense that the motivation is at least partly punitive. They don’t understand people who are not taking the vaccine, they don’t like them, and they are slightly afraid of them — so the simplest thing is to remove them from society altogether.”
Totalitarians Are Ignoring the Will of the People
It’s interesting to note that this latest round of lockdowns comes despite persistent, ongoing public protests. In fact, some areas of Europe have regularly held mass protests for well over a year, yet government leaders are flatly ignoring the will of the people and mainstream media refuse to report on these gatherings.
And, as the failures of the COVID shots are becoming increasingly evident, public demonstrations against mandates and lockdowns are gaining speed. As reported by The Vaccine Reaction,5 Vienna, Amsterdam, The Hague, Rome, Brussels, Rotterdam and other European cities all held mass protests the weekend of November 19 and 20, 2021. Some of these cities are among the most highly vaccinated in Europe. The Vaccine Reaction reports:6
“Nov. 19, 2021, the Austrian government announced a new 10-20 day nationwide lockdown … The government also became the first E.U. country to institute mandatory vaccination, giving citizens a Feb. 1, 2022 deadline to get vaccinated.
The next day, tens of thousands of Austrians took to the streets whistling, blowing horns and banging drums in Vienna. Waving Austrian flags, chanting ‘Resistance’ and holding signs that proclaimed ‘no to vaccination’ and ‘enough is enough’ and ‘down with the fascist dictatorship,’ they marched to Heroes’ Square in front of the former Hofburg Palace in central Vienna.
There was another big rally on Nov. 27 in Graz, Sankt Poelten and Klagenfurt. This time they chanted ‘Peace, freedom, no dictatorship’ …
[T]he leader of Austria’s populist FPO party Herbert Kickl branded the government’s mandatory vaccination announcement as ‘unconstitutional’ and said ‘Austria is now a dictatorship.’ He called on the nation’s high court to intervene and block ‘totalitarian’ measures by a government ‘that believes it should think and decide for us.’ He said:
‘… In almost two years, the government has not been able to develop effective strategies to protect the people. Instead it has set up new harassment week after week to curtail healthy people in their basic rights bit by bit. And now we have reached a level with compulsory vaccination that nobody actually thought was possible. We cannot and must not put up with that.’”
Europeans Demand Freedom
Several other European countries are also in turmoil, as their governments ignore the people’s demand for freedom. Germany, which is also reporting a new spike in cases, is reportedly preparing a law to make people work from home again unless they have a “compelling professional reason” to be in the office, in which case they must prove they’ve gotten the COVID jab or show a negative PCR test.7
In Belgium, which has a 76% COVID jab rate, government officials have reinforced its COVID restrictions, triggering a protest of at least 35,000 people in central Brussels. People were shouting “Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!” and singing “Bella Ciao,” an anti-fascist song.8
The rally remained peaceful until the very end, when a small number of people clashed with police, who brought out tear gas and water cannons. Forty-two protestors were detained; two were arrested.
Violence also erupted in the Netherlands during an anti-lockdown protest. November 12, 2021, government placed limits on the number of people allowed in each home. Bars, restaurants, cafes and supermarkets all faced a mandatory 8 p.m. closure and “nonessential” shops had to close at 6 p.m. They also canceled a number of public events. According to The Vaccine Reaction:9
“Nov. 19, seven people were injured when Dutch police used water cannons and fired on anti-lockdown protesters throwing rocks and fireworks, wounding two and arresting 20 people during a demonstration in one of Rotterdam’s main shopping areas.
Riot police carrying shields and batons and officers on horseback and in police vans patrolled the streets after the confrontation that left at least one police car burned out and dozens of bicycles destroyed.”
People are also fighting for freedom in Italy, where thousands gathered in the Circus Maximus in Rome, November 20, 2021, to protest the Green Pass requirement. One demonstrator carried a banner that said, “People like us never give up.”
Australia, where some of the most mind-boggling overreaches have occurred in recent weeks, is also fighting back. November 27, 2021, Millions March against Mandatory Vaccination organized protests in 30 cities, including Sydney and Melbourne, where thousands gathered. Here, protesters bore signs saying “Never lock down again,” and “Less government, more freedom.”
CDC’s Unconstitutional Quarantine Powers
Around the world, we’re seeing ever-more tyrannical infringement on basic human rights and freedoms, and while the Supreme Court recently paused president Biden’s vaccine mandate for businesses with 100 employees or more, pending judicial review,10,11 Americans are not out of the woods yet.
As reported in a New York Times op-ed back in January 2017,12 there’s reason to be concerned about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s authority to quarantine Americans at will. At that time, we didn’t know how that power might be used. Today, you don’t need a very vivid imagination to see how that 2017 regulation might be pulled out as a fail-safe if the mandates fall through. As reported by the NYT at the time:13
“The rules outline for the first time how the federal government can restrict interstate travel during a health crisis, and they establish in-house oversight of whether someone should be detained, without providing a clear and direct path to challenge a quarantine order in federal court.
State and local authorities had previously been the ones to usually deal with issues like this during epidemics … It’s imperative that whenever the next outbreak hits, emergency health measures are grounded in scientific evidence and guided by clear, fair rules to protect people from wrongful deprivation of their liberties …
Prompt judicial review has always been important during epidemic scares. People can usually challenge a state’s order of quarantine immediately. Indeed, in several states, the government has to get a judge’s approval before quarantining someone.
Unfortunately, the new rules give the C.D.C. significant in-house oversight of the decision to quarantine, with up to three layers of internal agency review. This internal review has no explicit time limit and could easily stretch on for weeks while a healthy person languishes in quarantine.
And since federal courts often wait until an agency has completed its internal process before it will consider hearing an appeal, we won’t know until the next crisis hits whether a federal judge will agree to hear a petition from someone detained before the C.D.C. review is completed. In addition, the C.D.C. now has clear legal authority to take over the quarantine role from states in many cases, and to restrict interstate travel.”
Fast-forward to the end of October 2021, and CDC director Rochelle Walensky is now on record saying “there’s a plan” to provide unvaccinated workers with “education and counseling,”14 which sounds an awful lot like sticking people in FEMA reeducation camps. So, the CDC’s quarantine powers may be used yet.
The Founding Father of Lockdowns
In a mid-November 2021 article for Brownstone,15 Jeffrey Tucker reviews how the idea of nationwide lockdowns in response to an infectious pandemic was born, and whose mind it came from.
The plan to quarantine people in their homes and shutter private businesses as a form of pandemic response was invented by a Dr. Rajeev Venkayya, president of the Global Vaccine Business Unit at Takeda Pharmaceuticals and a former head of pandemic policy for the Gates Foundation.
As with almost every revolution in history, a small minority of crazy people with a cause prevailed over the humane rationality of multitudes … The task now is to rebuild a civilized life that is no longer so fragile as to allow insane people to lay waste to all that humanity has worked so hard to build. ~ Jeffrey Tucker
In his book, “The Premonition,” Michael Lewis identifies Venkayya as the proverbial “father of lockdowns.” In 2005, Venkayya led a bioterrorism study group under then-president George W. Bush, who reportedly demanded a “whole-of-society plan” for dealing with pandemic threats.
Bush wanted something that would encompass borders, travel and commerce, not just the conventional threat assessment, distribution of therapeutics and vaccine development. Venkayya’s answer was wholesale lockdowns. But the basis for this idea is questionable at best.
An Idea Devoid of Science
“Dr. Venkayya began to fish around for people who could come up with the domestic equivalent of Operation Desert Storm to deal with a new virus. He found no serious epidemiologists to help. They were too smart to buy into it.
He eventually bumped into the real lockdown innovator working at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico. His name was Robert Glass, a computer scientist with no medical training, much less knowledge, about viruses. Glass, in turn, was inspired by a science fair project that his 14-year-old daughter was working on.
She theorized (like the cooties game from grade school) that if school kids could space themselves out more or even not be at school at all, they would stop making each other sick.
Glass ran with the idea and banged out a model of disease control based on stay-at-home orders, travel restrictions, business closures, and forced human separation. Crazy, right? No one in public health agreed with him but like any classic crank, this convinced Glass even more …
Glass imagined himself to be smarter than 100 years of experience in public health. One guy with a fancy computer would solve everything! Well, he managed to convince some people, including another person hanging around the White House named Carter Mecher, who became Glass’s apostle.
Please consider the following quotation from Dr. Mecher in Lewis’s book: ‘If you got everyone and locked each of them in their own room and didn’t let them talk to anyone, you would not have any disease.’
At last, an intellectual has a plan to abolish disease — and human life as we know it too! As preposterous and terrifying as this is — a whole society not only in jail but solitary confinement — it sums up the whole of Mecher’s view of disease.
It’s also completely wrong. Pathogens are part of our world; they are not generated by human contact. We pass them onto each other as the price for civilization, but we also evolved immune systems to deal with them. That’s 9th-grade biology, but Mecher didn’t have a clue.”
March 12, 2020, Venkayya’s now 15-year-old plan was put into practice and schools across the U.S. were shut down even though there wasn’t a shred of evidence to suggest educational facilities were hotbeds of viral spread. Indeed, actual science suggested the opposite, that children were not good carriers of infection and didn’t pose a serious threat to adults.
None of that mattered though. The models of Glass and Mecher suggested school closures would cut transmission rates by 80%. As noted by Tucker, what we’re seeing “is not science but ideological fanaticism in play.” He continues:17
“As with almost every revolution in history, a small minority of crazy people with a cause prevailed over the humane rationality of multitudes. When people catch on, the fires of vengeance will burn very hot. The task now is to rebuild a civilized life that is no longer so fragile as to allow insane people to lay waste to all that humanity has worked so hard to build.”
I couldn’t agree more. At the same time, we must also recognize the prevailing psychological underpinnings of society at large that empowered this minority to step in and attempt to crush us.
Psychological Conditions That Allow for Totalitarianism
As explained by psychology professor Mattias Desmet in the interview above, the reason so many have bought into what are clearly illogical pandemic measures is because enough of us were psychologically weakened to begin with.
This in turn allowed for a psychological condition known as “mass formation” to occur. It can be likened to a form of mass hypnosis, as it eliminates people’s critical thinking ability en masse. This also just so happens to be a prerequisite for totalitarianism. Four base conditions must be met by a large portion of society in order for mass formation to occur:
1. Lack of social bonding — Social isolation was a widespread problem long before the pandemic. In one survey, 25% of respondents said they didn’t have a single close friend.
2. Seeing life as meaningless and purposeless — Desmet cites research showing that half of all adults feel their jobs are completely meaningless, providing no value to either themselves or others.
In another poll, done in 2012, 63% of respondents said they were “sleepwalking” through their workdays, putting no passion into their work whatsoever. So, condition No. 2 for mass formation hypnosis was also fulfilled, even before the pandemic hit.
3. Widespread free-floating anxiety and free-floating discontent — Free-floating anxiety refers to anxiety that has no apparent or distinct cause. Judging by the popularity of antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs, condition No. 3 was also fulfilled long before the pandemic.
4. Widespread free-floating frustration and aggression — This tends to naturally follow the previous three. Here, again, the frustration and aggression have no discernible cause.
Mass Formation Gives Rise to Totalitarianism
When these four conditions are fulfilled by a large enough portion of society, they are ripe for mass formation hypnosis — and the rise of totalitarianism. All that’s needed is a story in which the cause of the anxiety is identified, while simultaneously providing a strategy for neutralizing that cause.
By accepting and participating in whatever that strategy is, people with free-floating anxiety feel equipped with the means to control their anxiety and avoid panic. They also suddenly feel reconnected with others, because they’ve all identified the same nemesis.
They’re joined together in a heroic struggle against the mental representation of their anxiety, and this new-found solidarity gives their lives the meaning and purpose they lacked before. This explains why so many have bought into a clearly illogical narrative, and why they are willing to participate in the prescribed strategy — “even if it’s utterly absurd,” Desmet says.
Mass formation is a very dangerous condition, especially for those under its spell, but also for everyone who isn’t. The “mental intoxication” that results makes people willing to do things that are clearly wrong and utterly immoral, up to and including voluntarily killing their own families and themselves, if told it’s for the greater good. In short, masses of people become profoundly gullible and self-destructive, which is not a good combination.
Since self-destructiveness is built into the totalitarian system from the ground up, totalitarian regimes cannot be sustained forever. They fall apart as they’re destroyed from within. But it can be hell while it lasts, as totalitarianism built on mass formation almost always leads to heinous atrocities being committed in the name of doing good.
The good news is that understanding the psychology that led us here also gives us the answer for getting out of it. The key strategy, Desmet insists, is to dissent, and to do so loudly. Not violently, but persistently and frequently. We must join together and speak against totalitarianism for two reasons:
1. To give the cowardly majority a sound alternative — Typically, only 30% of people in a totalitarian society are actually under the hypnotic spell of mass formation. Another 40% simply go along because they fear sticking out or going against the grain.
The remaining 30% are not hypnotized and want to wake the others up. By grouping together, the dissenters give the 40% majority an alternative to simply going along for fear of being ostracized.
Once the vocal dissenters and the acquiescing majority are joined together, the mass formation falls apart and the totalitarian state is finished, because it’s those who go along with what they know to be wrong that allow mass formation to take root and grow. Once they’re no longer participating in and feeding that process, the totalitarian takeover cannot succeed.
2. Speaking out limits the atrocities a totalitarian regime commits — In a traditional dictatorship, the dictator usually softens his grip once dissenters are silenced, but in a totalitarian system, the opposite occurs. Once dissenting voices are silenced, that’s when the real atrocities are rolled out, against friend and foe alike.
We can see signs of this already. The more people comply, the worse it gets. “Get the shot and you won’t need to wear a mask” became “you have to wear a mask even if vaccinated, and, by the way, you’re not fully vaccinated unless you get all the boosters, oh, and even if everyone’s vaccinated, we may still need to lock down if the caseload goes up, oh, and you can’t work unless you’re fully jabbed or access medical care” — it has just gone from bad to worse.
In what ungodly universe do people condemn other people to die from treatable medical conditions or bar them from buying food “in order to save lives”? I can think of only one right now, and we’re in it.
If for no other reason than to limit the devaluation and destruction of life that is guaranteed to occur in any totalitarian system, we must never, ever, become silent. What they’re doing is wrong, and it must be stopped.
Once we’re free and clear of the totalitarian threat, we need to address the four base conditions for mass formation, to prevent this condition from appearing again. But for now, we need to focus on uniting and speaking out against tyranny and the stripping away of our God-given rights and freedoms.