Recently, leading anti-rationalist Dominic Lawson had his COVID 19 vaccine promotion pamphlet published by the Daily Mail with the headline "To win the war on Covid-19 we must inoculate Britain against the crazy anti-vaxxers." Like many anti-rationalists Dominic seems to struggle with complex issues.

Certainly questioning anything they are told is unthinkable. Repeating information is where it's at for the anti-rationalists.

Anti-rationalists are incapable of independent thought and need to be told what to believe by someone, some body or organisation, they consider to be important. They call these carefully selected important people and groups "reliable sources."

It isn't entirely clear what constitutes a reliable source for the anti-rationalist but they appear to range from globalist think tanks and appointed world health authority officials, to mainstream media hacks, multinational corporation spokespersons, the right scientists, fact checkers and government representatives.

For many anti-rationalists Dominic is one of those reliable sources. However, there is a pecking order and Dominic probably has his own favourite go-to's for information, though presumably Richard Tomlinson and Boris Johnson aren't among them.

Given that virtually nothing he says in his article is plausible, let alone accurate, it is clear that veracity doesn't have much to do with reliability for the anti-rationalists. If they can't cherry pick the information they need to confirm their opinions, they just make it up.

Accept Everything And Question Nothing

Dominic get's off to a flyer:
There is only one sure way to deal with the coronavirus which has plunged the world's economy into recession and killed (so far) more than half a million people. A vaccine.
The specific novel strain of coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2 may cause the associated respiratory syndrome of COVID 19. While Dominic doesn't bother making this distinction, it is important to do so. Otherwise, he could be suggesting that half a million people have been killed by the common cold, which is what most coronavirus strains are.

I'm sure Dominic knows this isn't just semantics. Something which so called fact checkers, the kind of reliable sources anti-rationalists prefer, have been keen to highlight.

When a 2020 study by Pentagon scientists of flu vaccinated U.S. military personnel found that vaccine interference increased the subjects risk of contracting coronavirus by 36%, the inaccurately named FactCheck were quick to point out that this didn't specifically mean SARS-CoV-2. They said the vaccine study only showed an increased risk for coronavirus and that this is not the same as SARS-CoV-2. Despite Dominic's slapdash approach, on this occasion, precision was important for the anti-rationalists.

The study was of service men and women inoculated between 2017 - 2019. This was before SARS-CoV-2 was discovered. This also means the Pentagon team weren't testing for SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility. SARS-CoV-2 is a coronavirus, so FactCheck's categorical statement that there is "no evidence" that the flu vaccine increases the risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2 is false. There is inconclusive evidence that this could be the case. FactCheck have got their facts wrong.

fact checking not listening

Fact Checking: The diligent process of ignoring evidence.
Evidence of this potential risk was also found in the paper by scientists from the University of Hong Kong who discovered almost a five-fold increase in susceptibility to non influenza respiratory viruses, including coronavirus, among flu vaccinated children.

Anti-rationalists will be quick to deny the existence of this science because that's what they do whenever it doesn't "fit" with their articles of faith.

Given that we know that COVID 19 is only a significant threat to the older people with co-morbidities, and that this is the section of the population most extensively vaccinated with flu vaccines, the correlation and the existing scientific evidence would seem to warrant further investigation.

Something the anti-vaxxers at the British Medical Journal are willing to contemplate.

However, rather than call for urgent research to establish if vaccine interference from the flu shot could increase SARS-CoV-2 risks, Facebook's anti-rationalist fact checking partners preferred instead to deny everything and suggest that vaccine interference isn't a thing.

A quick search of Google Scholar reveals hundreds of papers and scientific articles discussing vaccine interference. Even the most cursory independent research is not something the anti-rationalists like to do.

A virus has very little to say about fiscal or monetary policy. However, government's do. Dominic's belief that a virus has caused global economic collapse is very silly. Of course it hasn't, the political response to claims about a virus has.

Thus far this virus has supposedly affected about 0.15% of the global population and allegedly killed 0.007%. Though it seems, in the UK at least, there is reasonable doubt about the figures. Oxford University Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (CEBM) reports that one of the main sources of mortality statistics in the UK, Public health England (PHE), have considerably overestimated deaths from COVID 19.

According to the World Health Organisation, if we accept the figures they report, COVID 19 is slightly less dangerous than a bad, though relatively common, seasonal influenza. Quite why COVID 19 necessitates plunging "the world's economy into recession," while flu doesn't, is difficult to say. Still, Dominic thinks this all makes perfect sense, so that should be more than enough for his anti-rationalist followers.

I say "allegedly killed" because there is very little evidence that these people died "of" COVID 19. The vast majority of people who sadly died "with" COVID 19 were older people approaching, or already receiving, end of life care.

No one, including Dominic, knows how many of the people who died with COVID 19 died of COVID 19. Nor do we have much hope of ever finding out because the death registration process for COVID 19 produces a new from of mortality statistic which is almost perfectly useless.

This makes no difference to the anti-rationalists and they are willing to report that the virus has killed "more than half a million people" because that is what they have been told to think by their reliable sources. It is almost certainly a wildly inaccurate claim, but that's no reason not to demand everyone else unquestioningly believe it in the myopic world of the anti-rationalists.

No Fault, No Liability, No Responsibility, No Problem

And so we come to the central theme of Dominic's fantastical rant. The undoubted wonder of the COVID 19 vaccine, that doesn't exist yet, and why anyone who has any reservations is a lunatic.

For anti-rationalists, any questioning of their faith is evidence of the "perversity of human psychology." The crazy anti-vaxxers, who, for example, urge use of the precautionary principle before we irrevocably alter the human genome, are all mad as far as Dominic and his anti-rationalist chums are concerned. Dominic enthuses:
The global race to develop one [a COVID 19 vaccine] has been extraordinary in its scale and speed. As a result, it is thought possible that a vaccine might be approved as safe for general use as early as this winter."
The oxymoron at the heart of this claim eludes anti-rationalists like Dominic. Vaccines usually take between 10 to 15 years to develop and trial.

Yet Oxford University, and their collaborators Astrazeneca, are among the numerous public private partnerships around the world to have already injected experimental COVID 19 vaccines into thousands of human beings.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) are the largest single contributor to the World Health Organisation (WHO). They funded nearly every aspect of both the COVID 19 pandemic preparedness exercises and the planned response. Recently Bill Gates spoke about the indemnity vaccine manufacturers will need in order to avoid being sued for the harm their COVID 19 vaccine will probably cause. He Said:
The efficacy of vaccines in older people is always a huge challenge. It turns out the flu vaccine isn't that effective in older people.......Here, we clearly need a vaccine that works in the upper age range.....If we have one in 10,000 side effects, that's way more, you know, 700,000 people who will suffer from that.......So that decisions of OK let's go ahead and give this vaccine to the entire world, governments will need to be involved because there will be some risk and indemnification needed.
This is standard procedure for vaccines and vaccine manufacturers. The various Vaccine Injury Compensation Programmes (VICP's) operating around the world, are overseen by the BMGF owned WHO via their Global Vaccine Safety initiative. The WHO are keen to stress the "no fault" element of the various VICP's.

Before anyone can receive compensation for the proven harm a vaccine caused them or their loved ones, they first have to agree that this is no ones fault. The vaccine manufacturers are not liable and the cost of the harm they cause is picked up by the tax payer.

As of November 2019 the U.S. NVICP alone had paid out $4.2 billion in compensation for people injured or killed by vaccines. In the UK the Vaccine Damage Fund (VDF), with a ceiling payout of just £120,000, has cost tax payers just over £74 million in compensation.

This no fault legal technicality allows the anti-rationalists to claim that there is no evidence, despite the proven deaths and disabilities caused, of any harm from vaccines. A ridiculous legalese argument which is difficult to counter due to the depth of the stupidity it is based upon.

This fear of liability begs the question why the world's most powerful health authority, the software salesman Bill Gates, wants to indemnify his minions against being sued. Could it be because his own estimate for the potential harm caused by the vaccine seemingly exceeds the risk from the disease he wants to vaccinate the world against?

Bill's vaccine hesitancy may be well founded. Previous attempts to create SARS related vaccines have been a total disaster. This explains why, despite decades of trying, science has failed to engineer a vaccine for SARS strain coronavirus.

Earlier efforts did stimulate the hoped for antibody and protein reactions but also increased the subjects immunopathological response to the disease, instigating cytokine storms which killed the tested ferrets and mice far more effectively than the virus alone. The researchers noted:
Caution in proceeding to application of a SARS-CoV vaccine in humans is indicated.
Thankfully, initial animal trials of Atrazeneca and Oxford University's ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (renamed AZD1222 SARS-CoV-2) didn't immediately kill the mice and 6 macaque monkeys they tested it on.

Following this extensive non peer reviewed study, which the researchers called "a rapid yet thorough investigation," the team decided to inject more than 10,000 people with their experimental vaccine.

People really volunteered for this. A tiny bit of independent research would put huge doubt in your mind before ever agreeing to be experimented upon with any alleged SARS vaccine. Anti-rationalism is a high risk faith because the first rule of anti-rationalism is do no research.

Meanwhile no one, anywhere, has reasonably explained how an R&D, trial and safety testing process, that usually takes decades, can suddenly be safely completed in a few months. Anti-rationalists, who probably correctly assume the experimental substance will be approved as safe no matter what, consider anyone who asks how this is possible to be an idiot.

It is safe because the people who want to make billions by selling it, say it is safe. They have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain so why wouldn't they? If you wonder if they actually constitute a reliable source you are clearly deluded. Or, as Dominic puts it, have fallen for "an increasingly popular form of conspiracy theory."

The Highest Scientific Standards

To hammer home just how far off the reservation the anti-rationalists have strayed, their leading light Dominic then completely destroys the whole purpose of his own diatribe. While meandering aimlessly through some strawman argument, weirdly alleging that to question any aspect of any vaccine is to unquestioningly believe in homeopathy, he writes:
This hits the anti-vax nail on the head. Its campaigning is all about the way people say they 'feel', far removed from the complex and even intimidating world of scientific and medical research. Furthermore, the advance of genuine medical knowledge is a painstaking process, involving exhaustive double-blind' clinical trials. It can be hard...for such conscientious empiricism to win out over raw emotional certainty masquerading as knowledge.
This hits the anti-rationalist nail on the head. They genuinely believe that the scientific method is the listing of scientific theories from official "reliable sources." They have completely lost sight, or simply don't understand, that the core tenet of all science is, and always has been, doubt.

Moreover they assume that the considerable volume of science that questions vaccine safety and efficacy doesn't exist. Therefore, in the goldfish bowl of anti-rationalism, to question the science funded by pharmaceutical corporations, often by citing science that isn't, is "crazy" and based upon nothing but feelings.

Of course anti-rationalists themselves often cite feelings to back up their arguments against the people they wrongly label anti-vaxxers. Dominic tells us about the "heart-breaking detail" of Roald Dahl's loss of his daughter Olivia. Anti-rationalist appeals to emotion are fine because they support their opinion.

The people anti-rationalists label as anti-vaxxers generally do not claim that all vaccines are either useless or dangerous. They acknowledge that vaccines can be, and have been, a useful component of effective public health policy. They point out that not all vaccines are equal, that some have caused harm and that this harm needs to be carefully considered.

Because anti-rationalism is based upon faith and belief, rather than empirical evidence, its acolytes are often forced fall back on the popular falsehoods they have been spoon fed. One such is the mythology surrounding the 1998 study which Andrew Wakefield participated in. Dominic's version goes like this:
The British (ex) doctor Andrew Wakefield, whose fraudulent 1998 study for the medical magazine The Lancet, claiming that autism in children was caused by the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine..."
The only thing Dominic has got right is Dr. Wakefield name and that he was struck off. If he read the study, which presumably he hasn't, he would know that this was the finding:
We did not prove an association between measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and the syndrome described [...] Published evidence is inadequate to show whether there is [...] a link with measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine."
That Dr. Walker-Smith's study did not say there was a proven link between MMR and autism; that no one questioned the scientific efficacy or conduct of the researchers for more than a decade; that an independent scientific review of Dr Wakefield's contribution found no reason even to suspect scientific fraud, nor any misconduct; that it was only a witch-hunt by a lone alleged investigative journalist which caused the furore; that he worked for a GlaxoSmithKline board member at the time and that the High Court then overturned the blatantly corrupt decision of the General Medical Council, who stripped Dr Wakefield and others of their licenses, matters not to the anti-rationalists.

I suspect Dominic knows that confidence in the MMR jab was already waning, prior to publication of the study in the Lancet. This was due to the 1992 withdrawal of the previous MMR vaccine Pluserix after it was found to cause aseptic meningitis. Though, like every other anti-rationalists, who bleats on about the stories they have made up about Dr. Andrew Wakefield, Dominic is careful not to report this fact.

So it comes as no surprise that, while venerating the "double-blind (placebo) clinical trial," anti-rationalists like Dominic neglect to mention that there are no Randomised Clinical Trials (RCT's) of the vaccine schedule. No one has any idea what the cumulative health benefit or costs are for injecting people with a combination of substances.

Anti-rationalists become incandescent with clueless rage whenever anyone raises this concern, because vaccines save lives and have eradicated disease. Blind placebo trials of vaccine schedules are impossible because not to offer vaccines to anyone is to condemn them to certain death. Therefore, this justifies not bothering to find out what the actual health benefits, or risks, of vaccine schedules are.

The anti-vaxxers, published in the Lancet, called this the 'vaccine paradigm'. The Lancet is usually a reliable source for anti-rationalists, but not in this case.

The vaccine paradigm is built upon RCT's which only measure the targeted immune response. Like all anti-vaxxers, the research scientist anti-vaxxers point out both that there are non-specific effects, associated with vaccines, and that not all vaccines are the same.

They report a number of positive, hitherto unrecognised benefits from vaccines which can be identified in the research literature. For example, a study found that Danish infants who received the MMR vaccine were not only protected against measles, mumps and rubella but all cause mortality from other non specific diseases also decreased for the vaccinated children.

However, they also found increased mortality among vaccinated groups compared to unvaccinated groups. For example studies showed that children who received the DTP vaccine were more than twice as likely to die from some other diseases than unvaccinated children; the H1N1 vaccine was found to increase all cause mortality among girls and the attenuated Malaria vaccine more than doubled female all cause child mortality in West Africa.

The research scientists noted the lack of research studying the combination and order of vaccine schedules. Finding numerous examples where the vaccine combinations have an impact upon associated all cause mortality, some positive, some not, they noted, for example:
In all studies exploring this, the incidence of all-cause mortality increases if the DTP vaccine is administered after the measles vaccine compared with inverse order. Likewise, administering the measles vaccine and DTP vaccine together is associated with higher incidence of all cause mortality than only receiving the measles vaccine.
On balance, they conclude:
Taking non-specific effects into account in the global vaccination programme could reduce global mortality by 1.1 million deaths per year.
According to the anti-rationalists none of this is real. To use the scientific method and seek to understand the relative health costs and benefits of constantly giving more and more vaccines to human beings, is all crazy anti-vaxxer gibberish.

Consequently, the anti-rationalists have formed a sort of vaccine cult, based upon the scientifically illiterate delusion that all vaccines always save lives. Convinced that only they understand "real science" they no longer need to apply any and can viciously attack all that do, because they are crazy anti-vaxxers.

Anti-rationalists think anyone who questions their tightly restricted, officially approved, science is just too dumb to understand it. Therefore, while refusing even to acknowledge, let alone discuss, the science they don't agree with, they propose we should instead listen to anti-rationalist celebrities. Dominic suggests:
I would prefer instead that the Government turns the celebrity' endorsement factor against the anti-vaccination lobby. So in the field of sport, it should hire, say, Andy Murray, to promote a campaign (a suitable antidote to anti-vaxxer' Novak Djokovic).
While, to be fair to Dominic, he isn't so keen on mandating vaccines, this kind of estrangement from sanity is leading us all in that direction. Something which government is all too eager to foster and exploit.

I have no idea if Andy Murray is an anti-rationalist, nor what Novak Djokavic believes about vaccines. Frankly, I couldn't care less what they think because they are both fantastic tennis players but not independent research scientists.

The Authoritarian Certainty of Anti-Rationalist Scientism

For the anti-rationalist a restricted, officially approved, tranche of medical science has transcended into the puritanical certainty of "scientism." All that is required is an announcement, from their priests and priestesses in white coats, for the anti-rationalist to obey without hesitation. This mindless obedience is damned useful if you are a government that wants to control the behaviour of your population.

All the government needs to do is say all their decisions are "led by the science" and the anti-rationalists will throw themselves on the bandwagon quicker than the State can say "for the general good." This technique is predicated upon the anti-rationalist aversion to ever reading any of the "wrong science." Or any of the right science for that matter.

The wrong science is the science that doesn't agree with the predetermined political, social or economic agenda. Providing the mainstream media only report the "right science," and tell the anti-rationalists that all the other science, which disproves or question their faith, is "crazy," the authoritarians are good to go. Safe in the knowledge that the devout anti-rationalist will never question anything told to them by one of the government's (or their multinational corporation partner's) pet scientific experts.

The fact that the COVID 19 vaccine doesn't exist yet is an irrelevance for the anti-rationalists. They have already decided that it will be perfectly safe. Dominic insists that injecting 7.8 billion people with an experimental genetic modifier (in all likelihood) is the only thing that can save the 99.99% of the global population for whom COVID 19 present absolutely no threat whatsoever.

The lack of something's existence is no reason not to vigorously promote it or, indeed, buy it. More importantly, anyone who questions their mythical, future ambrosia must be attacked for being a crazy anti-vaxxer.

In keeping with the faith over reason approach, the fact that anti-vaxxers don't really exist fits neatly with their deification of the fictional elixir they imagine to be their only hope. As they wage war on an enemy which is, of course, invisible.

Dogmatic adherence to questionable ideologies has always been one of the most lethal components of the human psyche. Especially when any dissent is considered to be dangerous. Dominic writes:
The necessity of a mass vaccine take-up is not to safeguard the lives of children but for the general good of us all, economically as much as medically.
The general good is precisely the principle advocated by all authoritarian regimes throughout history. For example, the National Socialist Program (25-Punkte-Programm) of the Nazi's contained the following:
The activity of the individual may not clash with the interests of the whole, but must proceed within the framework of the whole for the benefit for the general good.
Publications which are counter to the general good are to be forbidden.
As the COVID 19 crisis spread from the alleged epicentre of Wuhan the UK Law commissioner Penney Lewis warned that anyone posting, what the government call, online "anti-vaccine propaganda" could be prosecuted under new laws the government want to invent.

This is likely to come in the form of the Online Harms Act which will bring in wide sweeping censorship.

The UK government have persistently hinted that they will ignore inalienable human rights and mandate a compulsory COVID 19 vaccine. As the Coronavirus ACT 2020 suspended all democracy and, with the State warning of second waves (please watch the video below) and no return to abnormal before Christmas, initial government assurances that removal of rights was a temporary measure were utterly worthless.
If COVID 19 vaccines become compulsory then the legal precedent will be set to force you to have every other vaccine the pharmaceutical corporations dream up in the future. You will have no autonomy over your own body, which will be owned by the State, and you will "officially" be a slave.

If it is not permitted to openly discuss the scientific evidence, both for and against vaccines, then medical tyranny is assured and any eye rolling by anti-rationalists merely demonstrates that they are not only incapable of understanding science they have no appreciation of history either.

The anti-rationalists are certain that the COVID 19 vaccine is going to save all of us, but with some surveys suggesting that up to 40% of the population might refuse it, Dominic is among the many anti-rationalists who worries himself about achieving the herd effect. Let's forget that this unproven theoretical concept applies to natural and not artificially induced immunity, and just address the anti-rational witter. Dominic writes:
For a vaccine to create the herd immunity' required, it is necessary for between 70 and 90 per cent of us to receive such an inoculation.
If limited uptake of the wonder drug keeps the anti-rationalists awake at night, an obvious solution springs to mind. On that might go some way towards assuaging the concerns of the people who like to make their own minds up.

Once the vaccine is ready, a truly independent health body with absolutely no financial ties to any pharmaceutical corporation, no government backing nor government contracts, should undertake an independent scientific evaluation of the vaccine. They could be given temporary authority to select a random sample of the vaccine, from batches they select without warning, and test it's safety and efficacy in a large cohort, double blind, placebo randomised control trial.

That large cohort will be drawn from all members of parliament, the US congress and the EU commission, all policy makers and lobbyists who advocate "anti-vaxxer" censorship, all boards of pharmaceutical corporations, all BMGF members, all GAVI members, and all World Health Organisation bureaucrats. It will also include all members of the mainstream media, like Dominic, who think anyone who questions vaccines is an anti-vaxxer, and any other anti-rationalist who has argued for censorship of scientific opinion.

Any hint of any involvement or influence from anyone with either a commercial or policy interests in vaccines, will render the study null and void and the COVID 19 vaccine will be deemed to be unproven and unsafe. Once the vaccine injury rate has been independently assessed another, separate, independent panel, again with no links to any pharmaceutical corporations, government or policy makers, will then decide if the benefits outweigh the risks.

Only following approval via this process, will the vaccine be offered to the people. There will be no suggestion or demand for compulsory vaccination because that would contravene Article 6 of the United Nations Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights which states:
Any preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic medical intervention is only to be carried out with the prior, free and informed consent of the person concerned, based on adequate information. The consent should, where appropriate, be express and may be withdrawn by the person concerned at any time and for any reason without disadvantage or prejudice.
Given how enthusiastic Dominic and other anti-rationalists are about the COVID 19 vaccine, and how concerned they are about uptake, who among them could object to this?

However, if they mandate that we must take their vaccine, one developed, trialled and deemed safe by the people who profit from it; if they refuse to acknowledge the appalling conflict of interest in the scientism they worship; if they won't listen to legitimate scientific concerns and deny all opportunities for rational debate and independent research; if they censor scientific evidence, and persist with their strawman arguments and false appeals to faux authority; if they continue to deploy the meaningless labels, they have created, to marginalise anyone who dares criticise their vaccine cult, then we must inoculate ourselves against the crazy anti-rationalists.

It's easy, we just ignore these zealots. And, if millions of us refuse to comply, there is absolutely nothing they can do about it.

You can read more of Iain's work at his blog In This Together