Great Plague London
© Unknown
Artist's depiction of the plague.
As many of our readers are probably aware, we recently discovered a Spanish blog written by a person named 'Fernando' defaming Laura Knight-Jadczyk and her work. We suspect this person to be either a pseudonym for a lady named Diana Castillo or at the very least a close cohort of hers. In any case, this 'Fernando'/Castillo person demonstrated pathological persistence in pushing his/her opinions on tobacco and why it's so baaad - not an unusual trait among the anti-smoking crowd. Laura shared the details in her recent article, "Freedom of Association, Smoking and Psychopathy".

It's obvious from reading 'Fernando's' blog that he/she has no clue about the research that has led Laura and many others to the conclusion that the Powers That Be (PTB) are primarily motivated to stamp out smoking in order to keep people stressed out and dumb. This really isn't rocket science, folks. As Laura states in her article, "When did the PTB EVER do anything beneficial for the masses?"

This 'Fernando' character also ridiculed the notion of a pandemic caused by Comet Elenin. This particular scenario was broached in my last article "Elenin, Nibiru, Planet-X - Time for a Sanity Check". I had suggested this comet-borne pandemic scenario from an academic perspective, but it is just that, a possible scenario and not a certainty. So, I want to set the record straight and give a little more 'food for thought' on the nature of disease and pestilence as well. I find it interesting that 'Fernando' specifically chose to attack Laura and SOTT based on the topics of cometary catastrophes, tobacco and diet because, as we'll see, these topics are inextricably linked.

First, let's have a brief discussion about emotional reasoning and how it relates to smoking tobacco.

I realize that, given the extent of government propaganda, most people are probably either smokers or anti-smokers, there isn't much middle ground (a smoker with an anti-smoker attitude is just plain masochistic in my opinion, so we'll leave those folks out for the moment.) Tobacco smoking is pretty divisive when it comes to dealing with issues of personal opinion. It ranks right up there with views on diet (especially for vegetarians/vegans), religion, politics and even dogmatic scientific views. Obviously, these are all topics where emotions tend to dominate and any attempt at rational discussion is usually futile. In other words, emotional reasoning reigns supreme. But does this emotional reasoning, regardless of the topic, have any sort of 'hardening', or physiological effect on us? Or does this way of thinking affect us in some way at a deeper level? One of my all-time favorite excerpts on this topic comes from the book Evil Genes by Barbara Oakley:
A recent imaging study by psychologist Drew Westen and his colleagues at Emory University provides firm support for the existence of emotional reasoning. Just prior to the 2004 Bush-Kerry presidential elections, two groups of subjects were recruited - fifteen ardent Democrats and fifteen ardent Republicans. Each was presented with conflicting and seemingly damaging statements about their candidate, as well as about more neutral targets... Unsurprisingly, when the participants were asked to draw a logical conclusion about a candidate from the other - "wrong" - political party, the participants found a way to arrive at a conclusion that made the candidate look bad, even though logic should have mitigated the particular circumstances and allowed them to reach a different conclusion. Here's where it gets interesting.

When this "emote control" began to occur, parts of the brain normally involved in reasoning were not activated. Instead, a constellation of activations occurred in the same areas of the brain where punishment, pain, and negative emotions are experienced (that is, in the left insula, lateral frontal cortex, and ventromedial prefrontal cortex). Once a way was found to ignore information that could not be rationally discounted, the neural punishment areas turned off, and the participant received a blast of activation in the circuits involving rewards - akin to the high an addict receives when getting his fix.

[...]

Ultimately, Westen and his colleagues believe that "emotionally biased reasoning leads to the 'stamping in' or reinforcement of a defensive belief, associating the participant's 'revisionist' account of the data with positive emotion or relief and elimination of distress. 'The result is that partisan beliefs are calcified, and the person can learn very little from new data,'" Westen says. Westen's remarkable study showed that neural information processing related to what he terms "motivated reasoning" ... appears to be qualitatively different from reasoning when a person has no strong emotional stake in the conclusions to be reached.

The study is thus the first to describe the neural processes that underlie political judgment and decision making, as well as to describe processes involving emote control, psychological defense, confirmatory bias, and some forms of cognitive dissonance. The significance of these findings ranges beyond the study of politics...
So in a sense, one could make the argument that emotional reasoning is an addictive behavior and possibly has health consequences. This 'believing of lies' appears to result in a similar form of mental deterioration to drug addiction. Psychologists describe as 'cognitive dissonance' a situation where someone encounters evidence that runs contrary to their pre-established beliefs. When emotional reasoning is at work, self-imposed roadblocks created in the mind make it difficult to modify one's internal picture of reality based on the available evidence; the resulting cognitive dissonance is ignored rather than used as a catalyst for psychological growth. I suspect that for some new readers, the information I'm going to share below may trigger a strong reaction based on emotional reasoning, which is why I wanted to mention it before. This may be a futile effort on my part, but at least now you've been warned!

So with all of this in mind, I'm going to take you back in time to a world very different to our own. Some of the things about this world may seem shocking and disturbing, especially if you've been brought up to believe that all tobacco smokers are possessed by the devil or something. Keep the above quote from Evil Genes in mind as you read through this. For those proud smokers out there, you probably won't have any problem reading this. In fact, you may feel somewhat vindicated by the end!

The Great Plague of London 1665 - 1666

Great London Plague 2
© Unknown
It's been estimated that the Great Plague of London killed roughly 100,000 people within the span of about a year. There had been numerous smaller plagues raging throughout Europe in the preceding decades, but none compared with the Great Plague that centered on London during 1665-1666. As historians tell it, the Great Plague started in July of 1665 and persisted until September of 1666, right up until the Great Fire of London destroyed most of the city's center. After this time, the city was deemed tolerable and the nobility, who had scurried off to the countryside at the first hints of an outbreak, returned to London.

If you've ever heard the classic children's song and game 'Ring a ring of rosies', then you've basically heard a description of what this particular plague was like since the song originated during this time. The original lyrics to this song were:
Ring a ring of rosies
A pocketful of posies
Atishoo, atishoo
We all fall down!
One of the initial symptoms of the plague included a rose-colored rash in the shape of a ring. Pocket full of posies signified herbs that people would stuff in their pockets since many believed that the plague was carried by bad smells. "Atishoo" was the sound of the violent sneezing, another common symptom. "We all fall down!" Well, I think you can guess what that signifies.

In any event, with mortality rates reaching record numbers during the Great Plague, the citizens of London were forced to take desperate measures. To add insult to injury, many of the city's physicians, priests and others who were trained to handle the sick and dying simply up and left, not returning until after the worst was over. The poorest classes were left behind to suffer and deal with the sickness and dead bodies in whatever ways they could. With most of the trained physicians gone, people were forced to take their health into their own hands and find viable remedies to ward off the plague. You can imagine there must have been a strong 'selection pressure' with all those people dying, weeding out the useless remedies that offered no protection. So for the folks that did manage to weather the plague, did they have some common remedy that gave them protection?

The gravediggers probably had the worst time of all trying to stay healthy during this time. Having to handle the bodies of the dead, they were easily infected and many did not live long. In the book A Journal of the Plague Year, written by Daniel Defoe, he recounts the story of a gravedigger named John Hayward who managed to survive the Great Plague by his own special method. As it states:
He never used any preservative against the infection, other than holding garlic and rue in his mouth, and smoking tobacco. This I also had from his own mouth. And his wife's remedy was washing her head in vinegar and sprinkling her head-clothes so with vinegar as to keep them always moist, and if the smell of any of those she waited on was more than ordinary offensive, she snuffed vinegar up her nose and sprinkled vinegar upon her head-clothes, and held a handkerchief wetted with vinegar to her mouth.
Okay, now this is interesting. Apparently, tobacco was part of his secret. But could this just be a fluke? After all, he also employed garlic and rue, and his wife used vinegar to protect herself as well. The protection could have come from any of those substances. But as history shows, he wasn't the only one who believed that tobacco offered some protection from the plague. According to one website which summarizes the history of the Great Plague:
Those who stayed in London did all they could to protect themselves from the plague. As no one knew what caused the plague, most of these were based around superstition. In 1665 the College of Physicians issued a directive that brimstone 'burnt plentiful' was recommended for a cure for the bad air that caused the plague. Those employed in the collection of bodies frequently smoked tobacco to avoid catching the plague.

"For personal disinfections nothing enjoyed such favour as tobacco; the belief in it was widespread, and even children were made to light up a reaf in pipes. Thomas Hearnes remembers one Tom Rogers telling him that when he was a scholar at Eton in the year that the great plague raged, all the boys smoked in school by order, and that he was never whipped so much in his life as he was one morning for not smoking. It was long afterwards a tradition that none who kept a tobacconist shop in London had the plague." - A J Bell writing in about 1700.
Did I just read that right? Children forced to smoke tobacco; actually whipped for not smoking? Can you imagine a whole classroom of elementary school children lighting up a reef in class? Well, I can't. Not with all the anti-tobacco programming and disinformation we hear incessantly today. But there you have it! There seemed to be a widespread belief that tobacco protected people from whatever this plague was that was going around; enough of a belief anyways for people to force their children to smoke! It seems reasonable, given the environmental pressures at the time, that the belief in tobacco as a protective remedy against the plague was more than just a trite superstition.

I hope that wasn't too much of a shock to read, I know it was for me when I first came across it! I think this is probably enough to drive most people's emotional reasoning into overdrive. After all, the anti-smoking mafia has beaten it into our heads that smoking tobacco is so bad that allowing a child to smoke is equivalent to murder. But perhaps children should be exposed to tobacco smoke at an early age, or at least allowed the chance to get some second-hand smoke? It might have other beneficial effects as well. Keep in mind, I'm talking about the smoke of pure natural tobacco, not commercial cigarettes which are loaded with a lot of other chemical junk.

I realize this is a 'hot-button' topic as far as children and smoking goes, but perhaps it's high time we have this discussion in our culture. I mean, there's more than enough evidence to suggest that the worldwide campaign to stamp out tobacco is a bit suspicious to say the least. Consider for, example, the fact that the global rate of cancer (with lung cancer second on the list) has increased by 20% over the past 10 years, yet during the same period the number of smokers dropped (as a result of government propaganda) by large percentages in many countries around the world. Consider also the fact that the rate of lung cancer among non-smokers is on the rise. In places like Dehli in India, for example, one third of people with lung cancer are non-smokers. All of this data strongly suggests that the 'books have been cooked' on cancer and smoking and some seriously biased science is being promoted by governments. Why?

Given the above historical data on tobacco during the times of the Great Plague, we might speculate that tobacco's potentially life-saving properties during a plague are one of the main reasons why the PTB want to see tobacco banished in addition to everything else. So without tobacco, people are not only stressed out and unable to think straight, they might also be more prone to pandemic diseases as well. What a set-up!

Since we now suspect tobacco might actually have been an effective remedy against the plague, could there be any modern-day scientific evidence to support this conjecture? Part of the problem is that there is much debate over what exactly caused the plague. According to modern historians, the Great Plague of London was caused by the same bug responsible for the Black Death in Europe that started around 1347 AD. The claim in both cases is that bubonic plague, or the bacterium Yersinia pestis, passed onto people by fleas from rats, was responsible for the outbreak of disease in both instances (and many others too). However, as Gabriela Segura, M.D. states in her article "New Light on the Black Death: The Viral and Cosmic Connection", there is much evidence that rules out this theory:
[Susan Scott and Christopher Duncan in their book Return of the Black Death] explain how Yersinia pestis has never persisted in any European rodents because they are not resistant. In addition to that, the only species of rats in Europe came either some 60 years after the last European plague or could not survive without a warm climate, making it impossible to spread infection rapidly and wildly in winter. They argue that:
... it is known that the Black Death was carried across the sea to Iceland and that there were two severe and well-authenticated epidemics in the fifteenth century. [...] Yet it is known that no rats were present on the island during the three centuries of the Black Death. Infections continued through the winter when the average temperature was below -3 degrees Celsius, where transmission by fleas is impossible. It is also agreed that there is no mention in any of the accounts of rat mortality during the Black Death. A temperature of between 18 degrees and 27 degrees Celsius and relative humidity of 70% are ideal for flea egg-laying, whereas temperatures below 18 degrees inhibit it. Researchers had collected all the available climatological data for central England during the Black Death and at no time was the average July-August temperature above 18.5 degrees Celsius.
Scott and Duncan note certain factors that narrow the causative agent of the Black Death down to a virus. The infectious agent also appeared to have been remarkably stable; if there were mutations, these didn't change the course of the disease, at least not for 300 years. The plague was believed to have been passed by droplet infection; it was considered to be safe if one kept at least 4 meters (13 feet) away from an infected person out-of-doors. Most interesting of all, there exists a strong genetic selection among European populations in favor of the CCR5-Δ32 mutation. This mutation results in the genetic deletion of a portion of the CCR5 gene which codes for a protein that is an entry port used by some viruses. This mutation makes a homozygous carrier resistant to HIV-1 virus infections, and may have made them resistant to the Black Death.

No known virus existing today is responsible for the Black Death, although the symptoms resemble those of Ebola, Marburg and the viral hemorrhagic fevers - diseases caused by filoviruses. They have a high mortality rate and tend to occur in explosive epidemics driven by person-to-person transmission. Outbreaks occur unpredictably and, as of yet, no animal reservoir is known.
So apparently the maligned rats and fleas are off the hook, but there still seems to be some question over what particular bug caused the Black Death. A virus certainly fits the bill, but perhaps once infection sets in, certain forms of bacteria would take hold as well? Kind of like how the common flu can sometimes lead to pneumonia in a weakened patient. So is there any evidence that tobacco or any of its components have an antimicrobial or antiviral effect? Although scientific data on this subject is hard to come by given the skewed tunnel vision with which corrupted science views tobacco, there is nonetheless some research which points to tobacco being anti-microbial.

Antiviral Activity of Tobacco Smoke Condensate on Encephalomyocarditis Infection in Mice

This study shows that cigarette smoke had an inhibitory effect on the growth of "EMC virus, vesicular stomatitis virus, reovirus type 2, vaccinia virus, and poliovirus type 2, but not against adenovirus type 12, in KB cell cultures."

The effect of chronic exposure to tobacco smoke on the antibacterial defenses of the lung.

From the abstract:
... These studies indicate that chronic exposure to tobacco smoke does not impair, and in fact may stimulate, the host defenses of the lung...
And probably most intriguing of all:

Antimicrobial activity of nicotine against a spectrum of bacterial and fungal pathogens
... Nicotine caused a dose-dependent growth inhibition of a broad spectrum of the test organisms, some of which are known pathogens. Gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria were affected equally, along with the acid-fast Mycobacterium phlei and the opportunistic fungi Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans, thereby suggesting a common mechanism of action. Levels of inhibition >50% occurred when most of the affected organism were cultured with nicotine at 100-250 µg/ml. It is noteworthy that such concentrations of nicotine can be found in vivo [3], especially in the oral cavity of smokeless tobacco users, making these findings physiologically relevant. It should also be noted that the viridans steptococci used in these experiments - which were also highly susceptible to the effects of nicotine - are an almost universal inhabitant of the oropharynx. In contrast, Staphylococcus aureus and the spirochaete B. burgdorferi (the agent of Lyme disease), were only slightly inhibited or were completely unaffected following the exposure to nicotine.
So it appears that tobacco does have a broad anti-microbial effect that has so far has been only marginally explored. Could we be seeing hints from these studies as to why London residents took to tobacco as their remedy of choice against the plague - even to the point of forcing their children to smoke? Certainly, more research in this area would be good.

Now, keep in mind that we're not claiming that people can go smoke tobacco and then become impervious to pandemics, plagues, etc. At best, tobacco looks like a helpful tool to have in one's arsenal. With the current toxic state of our world, proper diet and detoxing are going to be essential to maintaining health during these trying times as well. This is already the case even without any real plague to contend with. The human immune system is quite capable of fighting off new diseases as long as it's not working against itself by attacking healthy tissue (autoimmune disease), or stressed from having to fight off too many invaders. Keep in mind also that the immune system treats many of the anti-nutrient chemicals in plant foods just as it does a virus. So the body needs an optimal form of fuel/food to function in an adequate way; anything less just leads to problems. Indeed, more and more medical studies are pointing the finger at the 'modern lifestyle' with its high-carb low-fat diet (among the massive amount of pollution floating around in our atmosphere) as the main culprit in the rise in cancer rates.

In the research we've gathered here at SOTT, we've discovered that saturated fat, particularly coming from animals, is one of the most essential forms of nourishment. A diet with a high percentage of saturated fat turns out to be a very healthy and protective diet. The membranes around our cell are made of fat and cholesterol and our brain is made of the same stuff. What should this tell us? A healthy cell membrane protects cells from viral invaders, just like a healthy brain makes it difficult to believe lies (i.e. thought viruses). And no, we're not suggesting that people go and load up on junk food, which provides the wrong kind of fat anyway; most of the fat used in processed foods is soy, corn or canola oil and is damaging to our bodies. For more on the story of fat, see the article Everything About Fat by Sott.net's Doug DiPasquale.

So are you feeling that emotional reasoning kick in yet? Don't worry, you're not alone. Many of us have had to get past the widely-held belief that animal fat is supposed to be bad for us. So please take this slow, read the links carefully and let the ideas percolate a bit before coming to any judgment on the matter. And don't take our word for it, do the research yourself and come to your own conclusions!

The Cosmic Origin of Disease

Journey Fred Hoyle
© Unknown
If the Black Death and the Great Plague of London were not caused by bubonic plague spread by rats and fleas as so many think, then how did these pandemics become so widespread in such a short period of time? For that matter, how has any outbreak of disease in the past actually occurred? This question was also touched upon in the aforementioned article by Gabriela Segura, M.D., 'New Light on the Black Death: The Viral and Cosmic Connection.' It turns out that these disease outbreaks might have more to do with changes in our cosmic environment than most scientists and physicians are aware of.

To understand how this could be the case, we have to take a look at the theory of Panspermia which attempts to explain the origins of life on earth. This theory posits that life did not begin on earth as a random chance event, but rather that life fell to the earth from the greater cosmos in the form of microbes and then slowly evolved into the multicellular organisms we find in the fossil record. For the interested reader, the book A Journey with Fred Hoyle, written by Chandra Wickramasinhe offers a good overview of this theory and the data behind it. Much of what I'll have to say below comes from this book. These two individuals, Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe have been the major scientific contributors to this theory over the past several decades.

Hoyle and Wickramasinghe didn't start out on a mission to challenge the Theory of Evolution, but during the course of their research they discovered that much remained unanswered about the origins of life. They reached conclusions that favored Panspermia - and its implications - by studying the extinction curves of light from distant stellar sources. To picture what I mean by an extinction curve, imagine that you have two light sources: a lamp from across an empty room, and another lamp sitting across a room filled with smoke. Now, the naked eye might have a hard time detecting a difference in the two light sources; perhaps the light coming from the smoke-filled room will appear dimmer. But by using certain sensitive light detectors we can see even more subtle differences. For instance, in the room filled with smoke the light might have a stronger glow in the red or lower visual frequency bands, while in the non-smoking room the light spectrum might be more balanced. In other words, the light from these sources does not shine with the same intensity in all bands of the visual and non-visual light spectrum; certain frequencies are diminished by whatever particles exist between the source and observer, and the nature of these frequency differences depends on the nature of the particles themselves. What Hoyle and Wickramasinghe were interested in trying to determine was what particles existed in the vast interstellar medium of space. They believed that these extinction curves from stars held the answers.

After a long period of experimentation, which mostly consisted of trial and error, they arrived at the surprising conclusion that a portion of the extinction curve in the lower visual band could only be explained if one assumed that dessicated (freeze-dried) bacteria persisted throughout the interstellar medium. They also discovered much evidence for the existence of organic molecules of all varieties in space as well. Space was essentially filled with "dirt" and also life. The graph below illustrates their "grains" model and how closely it correlates with the actual extinction curve. Although astronomers today accept the fact that organic molecules are to be found in space, few are willing to accept that bacteria (i.e. life) itself could persist in such a harsh environment, instead choosing to cling to their long-held belief that life is unique to earth (based on emotional reasoning, no doubt). Hoyle and Wickramasinghe argued that the evidence pointed to life in space and proposed a number of mechanisms for how it could survive, the details of which can be found in their books.

Extinction Curve
© panspermia.org
The slight bulge in the slope in the lower part of the spectrum is what confirmed for them that space likely harbored dried bacteria.
Hoyle and Wickramasinghe also argued that attempts to start new life must continue on the surface of comets and that 'new' comets, or comets that have long periods of revolution around the sun, were particularly active in this process. They suggested that as a comet makes its close passage near the sun, there is a quick melting and then refreezing which could lead to the process of assembling simple organic molecules into more complex structures. We also suspect that electrical forces may play a role in this process as suggested by James McCanney and Walter Thornhill in their respective research on comets. The possibility of life-generating comets was discussed in Hoyle and Wickramasinghe's book titled: Lifecloud: The Origin of Life in the Universe. It wasn't until some time later that organic molecules were confirmed to exist on the surface and in the tails of comets. This was confirmed during the approach of Haley's comet in 1986, which Hoyle and Wickramasinghe had predicted in advance.

So what does all of this suggest? It appears that instead of life being a unique event to earth itself, it is rather ubiquitous throughout the cosmos. Life, in the form of bacteria, viruses and other microbes, must be continuously falling onto the planets and only taking root on those planets with suitable conditions. So apparently, we need to modify the Theory of Evolution a little bit (feel that emotional reasoning kicking in?). It also stands to reason that during those times when the earth is passing through the dust trails of comets, new microbes, possibly of a pathogenic nature, may be introduced to terrestrial biology as well. In fact, it appears that many of the major plagues and pandemics of the past were associated with cometary activity. A good case study on this topic is Mike Bailie's book New Light on the Black Death, but there are other examples as well. As Chandra Wickramasinghe writes in A Journey with Fred Hoyle:
The rather sudden appearance in the literature of references to particular disease is significant in that it probably points to times of specific "invasions". Thus the first clear description of a disease resembling influenza is early in the 17th century AD. The common cold has no mention until about the 15th century AD. Descriptions of small pox and measles do not appear in a clearly recognizable form until about the 9th century AD. Furthermore, certain early plagues such as the plague of Athens of 429BC, which is vividly detailed by the Greek historian Thucydides, do not seem to have an easily recognizable modern counterpart.
This seems to suggest that certain diseases come into existence quickly, persist for some time and then taper off (perhaps due to resistance among the population); all consistent with the idea that these diseases originated from somewhere off-planet and subsequently fell to the earth.

Interestingly, this pattern of disease seems to support a common argument used by vaccine opponents. Vaccine opponents often argue that many of the major diseases of the 19th Century simply fizzled out without any intervention from vaccines, and those who did get vaccinated were already largely in decline beforehand. Perhaps the efficacy of vaccines is simply much lower than what the medical authorities and their government sycophants would have us believe? Vaccines may simply be a false hope when it comes to meeting the demands of any future pandemic, and might offer only marginal protection for existing diseases (along with a myriad of debilitating side-effects). There is already some evidence that certain 'vaccine preventative' diseases are making a 'comeback', despite the excessively high vaccination rates. The pattern of initial spikes in disease followed by a subsequent slow decline begins to make sense if we consider that such diseases are of cosmic origin.

Continuing, Wickramasinghe states:
We noticed that epidemics and pandemics of fresh diseases, both in historical times as well as more recently, have almost without exception appeared suddenly and spread with phenomenal swiftness. The influenza pandemics of 1889-1890 and 1918-1919 both swept over vast areas of the globe in a matter of weeks. Such swiftness of spread, particularly in days prior to air travel, is difficult to understand if infection can pass only from person to person. Rather it is strongly suggestive of an extraterrestrial invasion over a global scale. We argue now that it is primary cometary dust infection that is the most lethal, and that secondary person-to-person transmissions have a progressively reduced virulence, so resulting in a diminishing incidence of disease over a limited timescale.
He also quotes Dr. Louis Weinstein on the subject of the spread of the 1918 'Spanish' flu and how quickly it spread to areas thousands of miles apart, yet took days or weeks to spread to nearby areas:
"Although person-to-person spread occurred in local areas, the disease appeared on the same day in widely separated parts of the world on the one hand, but on the other hand, took days to weeks to spread relatively short distances. It was detected in Boston and Bombay on the same day, but took three weeks before it reached New York City, despite the fact that there was considerable travel between the two cities. It was present for the first time at Joliet in the State of Illinois four weeks after it was first detected in Chicago, the distance between those areas being only 38 miles..."
So we shouldn't dismiss the theory of person-to-person transmission entirely, but it should be noted that in certain cases the spread of disease by human contact is simply impossible. Perhaps many of the diseases we think of as having an infectious origin may simply have fallen on us from above? This certainly seems to be the case in the quoted text above from Dr. Gabriela Segura's article describing how the Black Death spread across Europe. There doesn't seem to be any way that rats or fleas could have been a vector for the plague during the Black Death. Cosmic factors seem to be the primary culprit in that case and perhaps in others such as the Great Plague of London as well. But besides major plagues and pandemics, perhaps even mundane diseases like the common cold may be of cosmic origin too. Wickramasinghe goes on to write about his experience with Fred Hoyle in exploring the topic of person-to-person infection for the common cold and the surprising discoveries they made speaking with experts in the field:
We... made several visits together to the Central Virus Reference Laboratory in Colindale, London, and one memorable visit to meet Sir Christopher Andrewes (a virologist who played a role in isolating cold-type viruses) at the Common Cold Research Centre in Salisbury Plain. Here we discovered that all attempts to infect volunteers with a common cold virus under controlled, epidemic-like conditions had been, up to that time, a failure.
Hoyle and Wickramasinghe also went on to examine boarding school absentee records around the South West region of England. What they discovered is that the attack rates from the flu (presumably) were patchy on the scale of a few kilometers or less. Often there was a notable effect connected with certain boarding houses, but not others that were nearby, even though the children were more or less mixed in the classrooms. The attack rates, as they say, were not conforming to a uniform trend as one would expect to see in a person-to-person transmission model of disease. The attack rates seemed to correspond with a certain infall pattern that was determined more by local meteorological factors, they argued.

Believing that one can get sick from going outside during rainy, misty, or foggy weather seems to be a common, almost instinctive understanding among most people. Although today the medical authorities claim that's all rubbish; one simply can't get sick from just going outside to play in the rain (unless of course the temperature is quite cold), how did this common understanding develop? Was there once a time when this fear of getting sick from the rain was considered factual? Perhaps at one point it was generally understood that disease and pestilence actually did fall from the sky with the rain? And although we may have forgotten this, mainstream science today acknowledges that biological particles make the best nuclei for raindrops to form.

In the scientific paper 'The Biological Origin of Snowflakes and Rainfall', taken from the US Suburban Emergency Management Project, we learn that:
For more than 200 years, investigators beginning with Ehrenberg (1795-1876) have postulated different types of particles that may serve as ice nuclei in the troposphere. (1) Three major categories are:
  1. Meteor dust particles, which serve as ice nucleators mostly at temperatures colder than -15 degrees Celsius (2-4);
  2. Inorganic soil particles (mainly clays), which also serve as ice nucleators mostly at temperatures colder than -15 degrees Celsius (5); and
  3. Biological particles, which serve as ice nucleators temperatures as warm as, or warmer than, -5 degrees Celsius. (6-10)
The Most Active Ice Nucleators are Biological!

The most active ice nucleators are biological in origin, declare Christner, et al. in their paper recently published in Science (February 29, 2008). (11) "This is important because the formation of ice in clouds is required for snow and most rainfall. Dust and soot particles can serve as ice nuclei, but biological ice nuclei are capable of catalyzing freezing at much warmer temperatures", the researchers explain. (14) In other words, a mechanism exists whereby snowflakes and other precipitation can form when cloud temperatures in the troposphere are relatively warm...
Of course, later on the author of this article seems to run in circles as he tries to explain the origin of these biological particles in the atmosphere, claiming that they must originate from the ground somehow. Although there may be some isolated situations where this is the case, I suspect that the vast majority of biological particulates in the atmosphere are of cosmic origin.

In fact, there seems to be a correlation between major rainfall and meteor showers, as elucidated in the paper titled 'The Relation Between Meteor Showers and Rainfall' by E.G. Bowen. Going over the historic data on rainfall in different locations around the globe, he discovered that there was indeed a relation between the times of greatest rainfall and meteor showers throughout the year in a given location. There seemed to be a 30-day delay, give or take, between meteor showers occurring and when the rainfall began. Wickramasinhe also discusses this 30-day delay between meteor showers and major rainfall and makes an important observation about how the particular type of rain makes a difference in transmitting disease:
It is commonly found that lingering mists in the winter season usher in a wave of flu-like disease. Since, as I have already said, bacteria and viruses can act as condensation nuclei around which water droplets form, this apparent coincidence is not entirely unexpected and may not be a coincidence at all. In situations where rain falls as large drops there is not much chance of direct inhalation of nucleating viruses, whereas misty weather provides the incoming virus with the best opportunity to become dispersed in aerosol form in a way that can easily be inhaled near ground level.
He also explains how the seasonal trends of influenza might be due to the winter downdrafts that occur roughly 6 months apart in the two hemispheres. These would be the most probable times when new or even old viral particles would be forced towards the ground from the upper atmosphere. Also, any large weather events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, or anything sufficient to mix atmospheric layers - even fireball and bolides - could potentially bring a sudden invasion of pathogens. This might explain certain cases of isolated disease outbreak. Interestingly, there was a cluster of small meteor impacts in Europe and around the world around the time of the German E.coli outbreak in May and early June this year. To this day, there has been no hard evidence showing that the German E.coli strain originated with any particular produce as the authorities have claimed. There was also mention of people coming down with severe fungal infections in Joplin, Missouri after the town was ripped apart by a large tornado. In both of these cases there is ample evidence to suggest mixing of the upper and lower atmospheric layers leading to an influx of new pathogens. Could some of the mass die-offs of birds, fish and other wildlife be due to this mechanism as well? Are these exposed animal species the proverbial (and maybe literal) canaries in the mineshaft for us?

If such ideas turn out to be correct, then we really need to rethink how we prepare for disease pandemics. There should be much greater emphasis placed on early detection, either from satellites or atmospheric probes. Such a global network of sensors could provide us with information related to the pathogenic nature of whatever particles make their way into earth's atmosphere and provide early warning and time to prepare. Before that, of course, we need more research into this area, something that is a major hurdle at the moment given the corrupted state of modern science. Not surprisingly, Wickramasinghe himself has suffered a fair share of setbacks in his attempts at researching these topics. The Cardiff Centre for Astrobiology which employed Wickramasinghe and his staff of researchers is now slated to be cut off from funding due to the UK financial crisis, despite the relatively low cost of the research program. I find this 'funding cut' to be a little too coincidental given the vested interest of government in keeping us in the dark about the true nature of disease and the origins of life.

Back to Elenin...

Getting back to 'Fernando's' defamatory rant that I mentioned in the introduction, we can now see that all the things that he/she/it says are outrageous are actually entirely within the range of possibility. Nothing that we've said about Elenin, comets, tobacco or diet comes from anything but scientific inquiry and factual history. This 'Fernando' character obviously has no research background in any of these topics and is making arguments based solely on appeals to readers' emotional reasoning and little else. Take this snippet, for example:
"But that is not all that Laura has to say: In her popular blog, she published a sort of interview with a character X, named Andromeda, in which she says that on its arrival, Elenin with hit us harshly with its tail, plagued by highly fatal viruses, which would lead to the death of millions of people, thus unleashing a frightening epidemic with consequences never experienced before in our history."

[...]

"Many of you will probably have already wondered, as I did, who, or rather, what could save us? Watch out! We still have hope. And what are we supposed to do? Well, we must smoke tobacco like addicts and ingest as much fat as possible (cigarettes and junk food, obviously)."
As we've already covered, there is only a probability that Elenin, or any 'new' comet for that matter, is carrying pathogenic microbes that could lead to a pandemic. For all we know, with all the fireball events we've observed recently, new pathogens might already be floating around in the upper atmosphere, waiting for the right conditions to drop to the ground. Again, there is nothing definite about this scenario; at the moment, it remains comfortably within the realm of academic speculation. But the fact that it is not on the radar screen for most people isn't due to the fact that this scenario is totally irrational. It seems to have more to do with the massive programming the PTB have instilled around the concepts of the origin of life, the nature of disease and the truth about comets. Sadly, bloggers like 'Fernando' form part of this mess of disinformation.

Comet Elenin
© NASA
Interestingly, as I write this, it appears that Comet Elenin is now on the verge of breaking up. While this is not uncommon for small comets to do, the breakup will certainly generate more comet dust which could potentially enter earth's atmosphere sometime later this fall as earth passes through the trail left behind by Elenin. And it remains within the realm of possibility that this dust could harbor pathogenic microbes. On the positive side, however, this should put to rest all the hype by Hoagland, et al. about Elenin being some sort of alien spacecraft beaming the earth with torsion rays.

But in addition to the health threat posed by Comet Elenin, the idea that smoking is healthy - at least in the context of protecting us from space-borne viruses - might also have more credence than most would like to consider. Certainly, 'Fernando' won't open his mind no matter how much data we present, and I'm sure a lot of emotionally-driven anti-smokers would have a hard time too. Despite all the lies that pass for truth when it comes to tobacco, it appears to me that there was once a time when tobacco was used extensively as a way to prevent the spread of disease. Perhaps some people will come to this realization again in the future?

I realize we've covered a lot of ground here. Chances are I may have lost some readers somewhere along the line due to that emotional reasoning kicking in, so let's recap some of the main points:
  • Tobacco, despite being the boogieman of the medical authorities, appears to have at one time been used as an effective therapeutic tool against bubonic plague for people of all ages. This is possibly due to tobacco acting as a broad anti-microbial agent, as supported by modern research.
  • A diet high in saturated fat, particularly animal fat, is healthy and protective despite being crucified in the media as the cause of heart disease and a myriad of other modern diseases.
  • The origin of disease and disease outbreaks may not come about by any known earthly process, but actually fall to us from space. Comets may be the primary vectors of new pathogenic microbes and when the earth passes through their dust streams there is potential for widespread infection. Common seasonal diseases may have a similar origin as well. Person-to-person infection, although real, is actually a far less efficient means for disease to spread.
  • You can get sick by going out in the rain, especially if it is a misty rain!
Again, if you're new to any of these ideas, I realize this could be a bit of a shock. The important thing is to take this information in slowly and verify the information with the links and sources provided. Here at SOTT we're big on advocating people doing their own research so they can discern truth for themselves (and maybe help us out as well). We're not in the business of telling people what they should or shouldn't think, but given our extensive background in researching many topics, it's hard not to have a strong opinion sometimes, especially when we can see that so many people are hurt by the lies spread by big government and corrupted science.

In the end, what readers should ask themselves is whether their thinking is based on emotional reasoning (i.e. blind belief), or is it based on rational evidence? Are your beliefs based on personal research, or what you heard on the news or read in the newspaper? We should all be on the lookout for this form of emotional thinking, whether it's coming from ourselves or from somebody else. Ultimately, it is this emotional reasoning that stands in the way of receiving knowledge that would protect us from the dangers we were previously unaware of. You might even say that this ability to set aside one's emotional reasoning and critically discern a situation isn't just an academically useful talent, it might actually be life-saving.
Warning: Tobacco products may have been consumed during the writing of this SOTT Focus. Side effects for readers may include increased levels of discernment, heightened levels of awareness, better health and a propensity to seek the truth.
Bill Hicks
© Unknown