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Is SARS-CoV-2 a real virus? Are any viruses real? These may seem like odd questions to some, but there is a growing number of people out there who are rather convinced, and convincing, that viruses don't exist; or at the very least, aren't viruses as we generally conceive of them and are not infectious. Some versions of the theory claim that viruses are actually misidentified exosomes, something produced by the body's cells for transport and cleansing. Some say these exosomes are actually the product of the disease, not the cause, and that Covid-19 is actually caused by 5G, air pollution or various other toxic assaults on our bodies.

Whatever the minutiae it seems that, like "no-planes theory", "actors theory", and "flat earth theory" that all came before it, virus denial, or "no-virus theory" is latest meme to scoop up slightly unbalanced minds to be occupied by untenable conspiracy theories and highly unlikely scenarios.

Join us on this episode of Objective:Health as we look into viruses - how do we know what we know about them and how do we know that they're real? We'll be discussing some of the different no-virus theories circulating and talking about why they're unlikely to be true.

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Running Time: 01:06:01

Download: MP3 — 60.4 MB

Here is the transcript:

Doug: Hello, welcome to Objective Health. I am your host, Doug and my co-hosts today are Erica and James. In the background, as usual, on the ones and twos, keeping it real, is Damian.


Doug: Today, we decided that we would take the no-virus theory head-on. I don't know how many people are familiar with this out there, but particularly around the Coronavirus pandemic, lockdown thing that's happening right now there has been a resurgence of this no-virus idea.

Now, the idea that there aren't actually any viruses has been around for quite a while. There's different flavors of it, obviously. Some people say that there's no pathogens at all, and some people say that there's bacteria and things like that but there's no viruses. There's a lot of different players in the game, but we thought that we would sit down and really take a look at the evidence that we have for viruses. Also, I should say that there's people out there that say that the Coronavirus isn't real, even though they don't necessarily subscribe to the no-virus theory overall. They think viruses exist but not the Coronavirus.

To start things off, there was an article in The Conversation. I study viruses: How our team isolated the new coronavirus to fight the global pandemic. It's written by a researcher named Karen Mossman who is a professor of pathology and molecular medicine and acting vice president of research at McMaster University. She is Canadian and is basically telling the story of how Canadians managed to isolate the Coronavirus.

I was going to go through where it says "ideal viral conditions". The first paragraph there says,
"Isolating a virus requires collecting specimens from patients and culturing, or growing, any viruses that occur in the samples. These viruses are obligate intracellular parasites, which means that they can only replicate and multiply in cells."
Now, that was one thing that I think we will probably get into more later on. A lot of the people who were denying the existence were saying that the way that the virus has been isolated has not fulfilled Koch's postulates. Koch was a researcher around the turn of the century and he came up with these postulates that were basically the way to determine whether a pathogen is causing the disease that it seems to be causing.

The problem is that this predated the discovery of viruses by a long shot and it doesn't quite fit with modern medicine and our conception of disease as it is now because of this. She is saying that these viruses have to survive in a cell because viruses don't have the machinery themselves to just replicate and survive on their own. They need to hijack the cell and its machinery to be able to reproduce.

I thought that was interesting because it gives a reason behind why people are saying "Koch's postulates haven't been fulfilled for the Coronavirus." They can't really be fulfilled as they were stated back in the 1800's because they didn't know about viruses and viruses can't be held to the same standard that bacteria are.
"To isolate a particular virus, researchers need to provide it with an opportunity to infect live mammalian cells, in tiny flasks or on tissue culture plates. Viruses adapt to their hosts and evolve to survive and replicate efficiently within their particular environment. When a new virus such as SARS-CoV-2 emerges, it isn't obvious what particular environment that virus has adapted to, so it can be hard to grow it successfully in the lab."
This is another place where you see a lot of people, Thomas Cowan in particular brought up a study where they tried culturing these viruses in multiple different types of cells. I think there were monkey kidney cells and other mammalian cells. They were trying to figure out "how can we culture this?" They were trying it in different cell types, and most of them failed. Thomas Cowan was like "Ah ha! See? Most of them have failed so the virus isn't even real."

Really, this is a very simple study in order to find out how they can grow that virus. It's a necessary thing. There are lots of studies out there that are trying it on all kinds of different cells, but he took this one and was saying "There you go. The only one that it actually worked on were diseased monkey kidney cells" or whatever it was. Really, this is just a process of elimination.

Continuing on here:
"We can use tricks to draw out a virus. Sometimes the tricks work and sometimes they don't. In this case, the researchers tried a method Banerjee and the team had previously used while working on the Coronavirus that caused Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome: culturing the virus on immunodeficient cells that would allow the virus to multiply unchecked. It worked."
So, they did find a cell that it actually worked in. They had to disable its immune system though to be able to get it to propagate.
"Since specimens from the patients are also likely to contain other viruses, it is critical to determine if a virus growing in the culture is really the target coronavirus. Researchers confirmed the source of infection by extracting genetic material from the virus in culture and sequencing its genome."
This is another complaint that you hear a lot. That they haven't isolated the virus to the extent that there's nothing else around it. It's kind of a sticky point. I don't think it's an open and closed thing. I was talking over email with a guy who we had on the program before, Professor Denis Rancourt, and he considers this to be a sticking point with the whole thing, that the virus hasn't been isolated to the extent that other viruses have been and he thinks that it should be. I don't want to speak for him here, necessarily so, understand that this is my impression of what his objection was. He is saying that the virus has not gone through a rigorous enough isolation process. I just thought I would mention that there.

Then, "They compare the sequence to known Coronavirus sequences to identify it precisely. Once a culture is confirmed, researchers can make copies to share with colleagues." They are basically taking a culture that has all kinds of different things in it and what they are doing is they are comparing the different stuff in there to known Coronaviruses. That could be the common cold or something like that.

They know that they are looking for a Coronavirus, so they find the thing that's close to it and they match it up and say "Ah ha! This is our culprit right here." Keep in mind that this is being done all over the world by different labs most of which probably aren't in communication with each other. All of them are coming to more or less the same conclusion, they are finding the same genetic code for the virus.

I thought that I would just go through that first part there to give an idea of what the process has been for them to identify this Coronavirus. What do you guys think?

Erica: Definitely not my wheelhouse of expertise, but it is interesting because there is so much information out there that seems to be one of those things that people pick up on and run away with, right? Instead of really looking at the result of it all. We are living the result of a virus.

I'm fascinated by it all. As I said when we were speaking off-air, I am not really sure because it is so hard to keep up and I feel like it could be one of those things that people go "Oh my God! The sky is falling! It's not real!" But, here we are with a lot of us still in lockdown almost a year later. I'm always solution-oriented, so what's the solution? It's not a virus? Then what? How does that move us forward in space and time? That's just me.

James: That reminds me of what one of my mentors told me, he used to say it all the time, that the body doesn't care what you call it. At the end of the day, I think we can agree that there is some sort of illness going around. It seems like there are a few issues. It's easy to see that there seem to be elements of society, government elements, and corporate elements etc. who are taking advantage of the situation.

That doesn't necessarily mean that the virus itself doesn't exist or that the illness that the virus causes doesn't exist. Going back to what I said originally about the body not caring what you call it, that doesn't necessarily mean that there is not a virus, it just means that the disease is what it is and there are different levels of reality.

As far as I can tell from the reading that I have done, it seems that there is an actual virus that's been isolated from samples and you can argue about the lab protocols that have been followed and whether or not the virus has been sequenced or isolated appropriately but it does seem that there has been a virus isolated and it would have to be a massive conspiracy on a global level encompassing thousands of researchers...

Doug: Billions, maybe.

James: ...all agreeing to falsify their lab results and cover up the fact that there's no virus and put their reputations on the line and fabricate these results. There's probably some of that going on. In last week's show with Dr. Merritt we talked about the issue of mask wearing and she said that she had dug into some of the papers that had been published around mask wearing and she doubted that they were done appropriately and that some of the authors maybe weren't even scientists who were trained appropriately to write on those issues.

When it comes to the existence or non-existence of the virus, certainly there are plenty of qualified researchers in labs who have sequenced the virus in multiple countries. That's my take at this point. It's a little convoluted, I'm sorry.

Doug: No, I agree with you. For me, in a lot of the cases these conspiracy theories - I hate to call them that because that's really broad strokes - tend to fall apart when they require that there are millions of people who are in on it, millions of people whom you might even know some of them. "I know that that guy is not involved in some major conspiracy." Some of what they are saying doesn't necessarily have to involve that sort of thing. Sometimes it might just be that a number of people are ignorant or are being led in the wrong direction.

Erica: One thing that I was reading about was from Dr. Bush, I believe. He is a microbiome advocate and does research in farming so I follow his work. Several months ago he was saying not that there wasn't a virus necessarily, but that what people were suffering from respiratory-wise could be due to pollution, which for someone like me seems very reasonable because it started in Wuhan and then it was in Lombardi, and he was talking about Wuhan being one of the most polluted places in the world. Maybe it was something pollution-oriented and we are not really looking at that. So I could go down that rabbit hole, for sure. It's like the autism debate, is it just vaccines? Well, it could be a confounding factor. I just wanted to put that out there. That I can see.

I know that No More Fake News reporter, Jon Rappaport, was on that same line of thinking. This could just be massive environmental toxicity and people are having respiratory issues as a problem. Of course, it feeds into my narrative. We are not really doing anything about the massive amount of pollution that's in the world. We haven't seen anything change in the last year about remedying water toxicity. I could see how this idea could really ensnare people and lead you astray.

Then, take your energy in the process and move you out of objective thinking into subjective thinking. I wanted to put that out there because I do think that there is something to be said for the immune system being suppressed massively because of environmental toxins and then subsequently people getting sick.

James: Absolutely, that would make people potentially more susceptible to infection whether it's a virus or a bacteria. If you are exposed, environmental toxins and pollution could certainly weaken the immune system. I think the way that the narrative has been driven, a lot of people are very afraid and that drives people to black and white thinking, then people start thinking it's EITHER pollution OR a virus, or the virus doesn't exist and there's a huge conspiracy. Certain elements of society are taking advantage of the situation.

Doug: We did a show a while back where we were talking about whether it was the germ or the terrain. Our point on that show was that it was both. If your terrain is damaged by these environmental things or even emotional type things or electromagnetic type things then that is a breeding ground for the virus or bacteria to be able to take hold. If you are run down and your immune system is not in good shape then you are more susceptible.

We came to a similar conclusion when we were interviewing Scottie from Scottie'sTech.info about 5G.

Erica: "5G caused it."

Doug: It's not completely out of the question for that very reason. We know that electromagnetic stuff can definitely hinder the immune system, so sure it can make you more susceptible. It's that black and white thinking, "It is definitely caused by 5G, there is no virus, it's just that people are having this sickness because of 5G." But it doesn't play out, that's the problem.

When you are looking at all these other kinds of things, what we are seeing is that this is spreading in the way that a pandemic spreads. They only look at one node and say "Wuhan had just introduced 5G and that's where it broke out." Well, where it broke out in South Korea didn't have 5G, or where it broke out in Lombardi didn't have 5G.

That's just on the simplest level, even looking at other levels and other things that people are blaming this on, you have to look at it on a spectrum and say "Why is it spreading the way a pandemic spreads if it's not a pandemic?" If you can't answer that question then I think you really have to step back and say "Maybe I'm jumping to conclusions here."

Erica: Agreed.

Doug: David Icke is one of the guys who's really been pushing the "it's all 5G" thing. He says a lot of stuff. There was one video in particular that was floating around when he was interviewed by London Reel. He has been a big player in this whole "it's 5G that's doing it" and it's kind of led to people burning down 5G masts.

We should say, as we said in our show with Scottie, we are certainly not comfortable with 5G as it's being rolled out. There are a lot of questions around it, so we are certainly not defending the whole 5G network. I think that there are a lot of things that need to be researched and dug into more on that, but that doesn't mean that the Coronavirus doesn't exist and that it's actually all 5G. One of the other guys is Dr. Andrew Kaufman who is a psychiatrist, he is not a virus researcher or anything like that.

Erica: I thought you said he's not a virus!

Doug: No, no! He is not a virologist, is what I should have said. He is also not a virus, although his video apparently is, a mind virus. I'm actually surprised at the number of things that spread because of things that are said by these people, things that I had picked up on and held in the back of my mind as possibly being true.

There was one thing in particular that was mentioned which was promoted by both David Icke and Andrew Kaufman which was with the PCR tests. That one of the strings that they were picking up is actually a genetic code that's found in humans. This is then leading to all kinds of false positives across the board because it's a genetic code that you find on humans.

It came from an obscure blog post where a guy had found a string of code which was found in chromosome 8 of the human genome. The thing is, it just shows that these people don't really know what they are talking about. They have got a theory and they are jumping on to anything that confirms that theory.

Once you had some researchers weighing in on that they were like "No, that's not true. The code that is found in the Coronavirus that they are searching for is reversed." It was very complicated and I admit that I didn't totally understand it but basically what they were saying was it was the reverse. The code that you are finding in the human genome versus what you are finding in the Coronavirus was essentially reversed.

The PCR tests are not picking up any human genetic code, but I had heard that somewhere and put it in the back of my mind. "Oh yeah! Those PCR tests are total bullshit. They are just finding human genetic code in them." But, that's not true. One thing from going into this deep dive on this stuff is that the amount of stuff that has been floating around that actually came from people who are not exactly qualified to be making these kinds of statements.

James: I think that's a sticky issue because some people might be qualified to discuss it even if they don't have a degree in epidemiology or virology. Just because somebody doesn't have a degree or a certificate doesn't mean that they're not necessarily qualified.

Then, on the other hand you have other people who suffer from Dunning-Kruger syndrome who think because they have a medical degree that they're qualified to talk as an expert in any domain of medicine. Then, you might have somebody who is a psychiatrist who might say "I'm a doctor, I am a psychiatrist therefore I'm an expert in all domains of medicine." I think that you're right, Doug. You have to look at what they say and do your own digging and come to your own conclusions for sure.

The PCR tests are really confusing. It's not a simple positive or negative test because of the cycles that have to be run to amplify the signal from the viral RNA in this case. First, they have to take the viral RNA which has to be isolated and then it's transcribed into DNA, because it's an RNA virus and the PCR test uses DNA as a base. Then, the DNA is amplified and each cycle multiplies the amount of DNA in the sample until there's enough to give you a positive test.

Obviously, the fewer cycles you do the more genetic material was present in the original sample. There are a lot of numbers thrown out around that, that if it's closer to 25 cycles then it's more reliable. Other people say if it's less than 35 cycles then it's reliable. I think that's a matter of debate.

Doug: It definitely is. It is very confusing too, because I know a lot of people are saying that PCR tests aren't accurate and that they're terrible. The more digging I have done on this, the more I realize that actually PCR tests are pretty incredible at what they do. The problem seems to be what they are using it for.

They can detect if there is genetic material there and they're very accurate, but the problem is that just because you have found genetic material doesn't mean that you are sick. It might be a viral fragment, it might have some of the virus there but your immune system is doing a good job and has almost cleaned it all up. It seems to me as a layman that it isn't that the PCR tests are bad because they've been using those since the 80's.

Any time they've been talking about identifying DNA somewhere in a crime scene or while doing a paternity test, those are all PCR tests they are using for that. Those things are generally well respected, they are accepted in courts of law. Those things are accurate at what they do. The other thing about the cycles, like you mentioned, James, I was reading one blog where there was a guy saying that he's upset at the number of people who are dissing PCR tests. He was talking about a study that he pulled up where there was a contagious virus that wasn't detected until over 35 cycles. It was still a contagious virus.

So for people who are putting these limits on it and saying "It can't be over 35," it's really not that cut and dry. There is also the issue that multiple labs use the PCR tests in a slightly different way. I think the way that the PCR tests are being used is probably irresponsible. Again, I am a layman so I don't know. But the PCR tests themselves, I think we shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

James: One of the articles that I read said - and I didn't back up the information myself, it was second hand information - their sources suggested that the PCR tests were 90% effective at detecting positives. If you got a positive result you could be 90% sure that it was accurate. There were 10% false positives.

But on the other hand, they found that there were actually a lot of false negatives. It's interesting because if that's the case then we could theorise that there are more Coronavirus cases than are showing up as positive tests. That would lower the case fatality rate even more, because there are more cases, right? Then, you get into the issue of calling a positive PCR test a "case", like what you were saying just now.

Doug: Exactly.

James That's really a change from the way that we normally practice medicine. You don't send people for a strep throat test unless they have a sore throat, normally. No one's sending everyone to get tested for the flu unless they have symptoms. Traditionally, you would only label it a case if a person has the symptoms of the disease and tests positive. The lab tests were used to confirm what you saw through physical diagnosis, what you were able to observe in the patient.

That's open to abuse because of this whole issue over asymptomatic transmission and being able to say that everyone has a moral responsibility to social distance and wear a mask. You could be an asymptomatic carrier walking around and spreading the disease. That certainly seems up for debate, at least as far as I can tell from the research that I have done.

Doug: Definitely. Maybe we should move on to Koch's postulates. I briefly described Koch's postulates at the beginning, but a lot of people have been talking about this online and citing it as evidence that the virus doesn't exist. Koch was a guy who came up with postulates to be able to determine that the pathogen that they found was responsible for the specific disease that they found in a person.

It was four postulates which have been written in different ways but essentially one is that "the organism must be regularly associated with the disease and its characteristic lesions", fair enough. "The organism must be isolated from the diseased host and grown in a culture", okay. "The disease must be reproduced when pure culture of the organism is introduced into a healthy, susceptible host".

These all make sense. You take it from a person who has these symptoms and you are able to grow it in a culture and then when you introduce it to a new organism they get the disease. Then, you have to do that again. The same organism has to be re-isolated from the experimental infected host. Again, you have to be able to draw it out.

The thing about Koch's postulates is that they are a good guideline. It was certainly good for him to do at the time because he was laying out a systematic method for determining that "this bacterium that we found is responsible for this disease". He used it to identify tuberculosis and I forget the other one. What they don't tend to point out is that even within his lifetime he actually became less rigid on these because what he found was that there was such a thing as an asymptomatic infection.

Erica: The other disease they were talking about was anthrax in cattle.

Doug: Anthrax in cattle, right. The idea that the microorganism is found in a diseased animal but not found in healthy animals. Sorry, the version that I read out first didn't say that, but the first postulate was that "the microorganism must be found in the diseased animal and not found in healthy animals". At that time, he already figured out that that wasn't the case because he found out about asymptomatic infection. He knew that the putative agent in cholera, for example, could be isolated from both sick and healthy people. He already got rid of that first postulate at that time.

Then, with the second one "the microorganism must be extracted and isolated from the diseased animal and subsequently grown in a culture", as I explained at the top that can't be done at all with viruses. Viruses won't replicate outside of a cell, so you need to use some kind of host cell to be able to replicate that. A lot of people are complaining that there are no pure samples out there. I think that this is the reason; that you have to have it in cells to be able to replicate. Already, that's two of the postulates that are not used. Mind you, scientists still do the same equivalent of that, and they have done it. with Covid as far as I understand it.

They have done it in monkeys and hamsters where they have taken the virus, cultured it and managed to infect another organism with it. It seems to me that there are a lot of sticking points on this stuff that people are getting a little bit hung up on.

Erica: On a lighter note, I recently heard that Covid-19 is a virus previously known as the cold or flu.

Doug: It certainly does seem that way. There is a lot of nuance to this because it seems like things have divided into sides. The people who think the reaction to the virus is bullshit are falling in one camp, and then you have got the mainstream guys on the other side who are falling into another camp and all the nuance seems to be lost.

For instance, I don't know how many people out there are like us who think the lockdowns and the measures are bullshit, but that doesn't mean that the virus doesn't exist. I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who are like that, but it seems like that is a smaller segment of overall people. I guess it falls in with all that Q-Anon stuff as well, people who just take things too far in their rejection of the system, the rejecting of the scheme that we are confronted with.

Erica: I agree, and again it comes back to the question: how does that help everyone move forward? If the virus doesn't exist, does that mean that all these emergency orders that are in the US are going to be lifted tomorrow as if there is some magic bullet that comes out? I feel like it feeds into wishful thinking. If we could just be right about it not really being a virus then everything will go back to normal. I think we've crossed the threshold of us not going back. That's my thoughts on it. Reading about it is fascinating and I'm not a medical person. With a lot of the stuff you will find yourself falling asleep at the computer because you can't follow along the train of thought. It does seem like a way to co-opt people's energy into a direction that maybe isn't even that beneficial or positive.

Doug: It certainly makes it divisive. I think it gives people something to fight against. There is very little doubt in my mind that we are all being played here. It's the extent to which we are being played that is a bit up in the air, and there is a lot of confusion about that. I think that you're right in the sense that even if the whole thing is blown wide open and we know precisely what is going on, what is the way forward? Does that mean that the lockdown ends and everybody goes back to normal? It's unlikely. I don't think we have ever in history seen people giving up....

Erica: Liberty for safety?

Doug: Well, even once liberties have been taken away I don't think there has ever been an instance where the powers-that-be have said "Let's just give them back. We found out that we were overreacting so we better roll things back and give everybody back the freedom that they had." There might be some examples, but I think it's certainly not the usual way things go. Once somebody has achieved some level of power they seem unlikely to give that up.

Erica: Most definitely. It might be another way to pigeonhole people into what I like to call "conspiracy queries". If you are interested in it and you want to research it, in everyday life talk about it with co-workers or people who are acquaintances and you start to question things, and they say "Oh you are one of those conspiracy theorists who denies the virus exists, right?" then that will end the conversation instead of the conversation being more broad, for example, "Look at what it's done to the reality that we are living in, whether it's just a cold that's been renamed or the flu, or environmental toxins, as I said before. It has upended the entire world. We are all falling down the rabbit hole trying to reorient ourselves on how to make it through the day.

Back to my theory, if it's man-made or if it's lab-made there are so many ways that they could upend the conversation and get away from the true implications that every single one of us is living with every single day.

Doug: It seems like a common tactic to amplify the extremists in order to smear the reasonable people. Anybody who has any questions is labelled as a virus denier. They're all lumped in with the people who are burning down cellphone towers. "You don't believe in the virus? You're one of those."

We saw the same thing happen with the whole anti-vaxxer thing too. Anybody who has questions about vaccines is smeared as an anti-vaxxer. They amplify the signal of the craziest people out there, the people who are saying the wackiest stuff and that ends up smearing the people who have legitimate questions. It's like a strawman argument, essentially. It's a way to polarize the debate and smear one side with kookiness.

Erica: I agree.

James: Just for the sake of discussion, could you imagine a more deadly virus like a smallpox or a black death or something like that, which would justify having the types of lockdowns and restrictions of movement and things like that?

Erica: I think what Lee Merritt said about smallpox in the interview that we did with her was a really good point. She painted a pretty dire picture. After living in Hawaii, which was a state which was decimated by smallpox at the turn of the century, I could see that, yes. I could see that if it was as virulent as smallpox and could spread through the air like that then you wouldn't want to leave your house and you would want to hunker down. I'm realistic in that way.

Doug: That's the key though, you wouldn't want to want to. I think that if this was actually a serious pandemic where people didn't have to get a test to know whether or not they had it, and people were dropping dead in the streets, and people were having very severe symptoms then you wouldn't have to be enforcing lockdowns I wouldn't think.

Everybody would be like "I'm not going outside. I'm not going to come into contact with this thing." You wouldn't need police-state measures because I think that common sense would take over at that point. Maybe I give people too much credit, but honestly I think if bodies are piling up then I don't think anybody's going to say "I've got to go to work" or "I've got to go and visit my grandma."

There would probably be government advice, but I don't know that it would necessarily need the same level of enforcement. Governments would just be like "Okay, everybody should wear a mask so you don't catch it" and you would have enough incentive from what you were seeing out there to wear that mask and to lockdown in your house and not within two meters of somebody. That's the way I see it anyway.

James: I agree. It seems like when the pandemic first broke about a year ago and most Western countries started locking down because of the way that the situation was painted in Lombardi and the relationship of SARS-CoV-2 with 2003 SARs which had a higher mortality rate but which was less infectious.

A lot of people got really scared that we were looking at something with a 30% mortality rate like SARS but very transmissible. It has been interesting to see that the more data that comes out, it's clear that that is not the case. The mortality rate is actually very low, but because we are committed to these strict draconian measures, we have to keep following them until who knows what.

Doug: Until when?

James: They're already talking about new variants like the South African variant or the UK variant which the vaccine may not be effective against. Does that mean that as those variants become more widespread that everyone who has already been vaccinated will have to get vaccinated again? That's what I wonder about.

Erica: Maybe it's priming for what may eventually be a black death type of scenario. Maybe there's something that they know that we don't. It seems like the narrative is that they know that they can do this and lock the entire planet down and that people are going to comply. In the United States, as states start to open up and they are not requiring masks as much, people are still wearing them. I do think there is a lot of psychological warfare going on. I think this virus/no virus/man-made this-that-and-the-other-thing are all just ways to distract and convolute the discussion. I don't have a solution for the way out of that other than to always be very critical.

I did spend two hours and 30 minutes watching David Icky {sic} on that video {Laughter}. I will say that he had some very compelling information, especially his information about super-psychopaths, which I thought was very interesting. A lot of things that he said could be right on, but then there is some other stuff in there that could really throw anyone for a loop if you were solely looking to him for your information.

Doug: I think that's true, and I think that it really takes a critical eye to sort through all this stuff. I do think it's a worthwhile exercise though. I think there is a real temptation to throw up your hands and say "Well, whatever happens, happens. I can't sort through this mess." I do think that it's worthwhile to try and stay on top of it and to try to figure out what is actually going on. If somebody makes a claim, to really look into it and see because like I said before, the number of things that I have found in doing the research for this for which there was no basis but it was in my head - not that I had necessarily bought it and completely believed it, but it was in there as a possibility - it has been a worthwhile exercise for me to go through this and sort things out and see where everything lies. How much of this stuff is coming from people who have an agenda?

I think that guy, Andrew Kaufman, has some agenda going on and I can't say what it is. He seems to be deliberately misleading people by saying that viruses don't exist. Maybe we should go into it a little bit. He was talking about it and Thomas Cowan says the same thing, that viruses are actually exosomes. Exosomes are particles that are in the cells and that are ejected from the cells to serve a number of different functions. They don't know what all of them are.

They've only been deeply researching these things for the last 20-years or so. One of the things they do is get rid of cellular debris, another thing that they do is pass messages between other cells. I think part of the confusion comes in because viruses have been found to hijack the exosomes from cells. They can travel from one cell to another by getting themselves inside these exosomes.

One thing that Andrew Kaufman said, he quoted a researcher who is a virologist named James Hildreth. He was quoted as saying "The virus is fully an exosome in every sense of the word." Kaufman basically jumped off by saying "See, even this virologist agrees" and he exaggerated it by pluralising it and saying "some virologists actually agree". The fact of the matter is that that was taken completely out of context. It was taken out of a paper where Hildreth was talking about this process where the viruses will hijack exosome pathways in cells and NOT that viruses and exosomes are the same thing.

Kaufman shows a picture of an exosome and a picture of a virus and says "See it looks like the same thing!" That's a layman looking at it. No, they don't. To a virologist they can look at those two things and see that they are different. It doesn't really matter anyway because they are not only identifying these things visually. The biggest difference between exosomes and viruses is that exosomes don't replicate on their own. Viruses do.

If you took exosomes and if you had made a mistake and thought that these exosomes were actually viruses and you put them into a culture with cells and tried to get them to replicate they wouldn't do that, not in the same way that viruses would. The cells will make exosomes, but they don't replicate. They are not replicating in the same way that viruses are.

So they have lots of different ways of determining that these things aren't the same things. As a layman looking in on it, a lot of people can't tell that. They hear a convincing argument from Kaufman or from Cowan or from other people "These aren't viruses, viruses don't exist. These are just exosomes that they are finding."

There is a tweet from James Hildreth showing how he feels about it. He says,
"The virus is real, the pandemic is real and is caused by the virus, period."
He was alerted to the fact that there are people out there quoting him as evidence for the idea that viruses don't exist. He is a virologist so he is like "No, that's not the case. That is not what I'm saying, I don't agree with you people." and he was putting an end to it there. Kaufman made what can only be deliberate blunders in his video as well. I don't think I'll go into it too much, but I think he is deliberately misleading people. I don't know exactly what his agenda is, but maybe it's just to be a superstar.

James: It could be. In one of the things that we read for this show they were talking about the semantics involved. If you define an exosome as a packet of genetic material that's expelled from a cell wrapped in a protein then viruses are exosomes because they're genetic material and they are ejected from the cell.

Not all exosomes are viruses though. You could say that there are endogenous exosomes that are produced by the cells for their own purposes and then viruses are like a parasitic organism that by definition is an exosome if you define exosomes that way. All squares are rectangles but not all rectangles are squares.

So if you have an agenda and you take somebody's quotes out of context then of course you can make it fit your agenda. They might be doing it on purpose or maybe not. There is a little bit of that selection and substitution of data and trying to make the facts fit the narrative. Do if you are looking for evidence that it's all about the terrain and there's no physical material pathogens, then bacterias and viruses are not causative - they are present, but they are just part of the disease process, they are not causing the disease - and you are then going to look for data to support that and take things out of context.

Doug: Essentially that is what they are saying, that Covid-19 is not contagious and the virus isn't real and these people are suffering from some kind of toxicity, 5G or pollution or whatever the case may be. We've covered that.

James: It seems that Tom Cowan's agenda is to promote the terrain theory and that it's all about the terrain and not the pathogen and that people get sick because of environmental toxins and malnutrition and that sort of thing. I don't know about Kaufman, I didn't look into his material quite as closely.

Doug: It's a similar kind of thing, they seem to both be arguing the same idea. Cowan as well has been accused of misquoting Steiner and misrepresenting a lot of the stuff that Rudolf Steiner had said. There is a link to the Flower Society.org that I sent to you? This was a guy who was a researcher on Steiner and he wrote a really good piece pointing out all the places where he felt that Cowan was misrepresenting the things that Steiner had said.

His contention was that Steiner never denied the existence of viruses or the existence of bacteria or pathogens or anything like that. He had a more holistic view of things and it was the meeting of the pathogen with the terrain which is what we have been saying as well. He brought in other things like the spiritual level, the emotional level and the environment, like I said, a much more holistic view of things which I'd certainly agree with.

I think that Cowan, to an extent, is like that too. I think that he goes way too far and has to be very black and white about it. It's not that it's 'it's the germ and the terrain', but he's like 'no, there are no germs. It's all the terrain.' It's that polarized, black and white way of looking at it that I think really trips people up a lot.

James: You can also look at different levels of reality too. On one level, you could be talking about it as energy medicine. We were talking about Chinese medicine, and the Chinese medical theory is a very naturalistic model and discusses environmental factors and how they affect the body. You could look at it as an energetic medicine, talking about wind, heat, cold and dampness, but all of those symptoms are describing symptoms in the physical body. It's a theory, a conceptual framework that was developed for understanding those symptoms when it's really describing the physical body, the biology, the functional physiology. It's almost like Newtonian physics versus quantum mechanics.

Quantum mechanics are more true than Newtonian physics, but with Newtonian physics when you are inside the solar system you are not on the vast scale of the universe then Newtonian physics works fine to describe how gravity works on Earth on a smaller scale. It's not necessarily untrue, it's just not as true as quantum mechanics, and it's still useful.

So the idea of the body as an environment and symptoms as being caused by environmental factors may not be scientifically true, maybe it's not true by the tenets of microbiology, but that doesn't mean it's not useful. I guess I'm going into the "terrain or the disease" mechanic and saying it doesn't have to be one or the other.

Erica: The devil is in the details.

Doug: Do you guys have anything more to add to our discussion here? I don't think we really presented a smoking gun or anything like that today, but how does the saying go? Great claims require great evidence? I think if somebody is going to make a claim that the virus doesn't exist they need some pretty strong evidence to back that up, pretty strong evidence that what virologists are seeing and what they are reporting on is actually false. The bottom line is, I don't think we are seeing that. I don't think we are seeing that at all. I think that what we are seeing is the opposite. What I'm saying is I don't have a reason to doubt virus theory.

Erica: That's the whole purpose of this show, right? Objective Health. To try and needle out those details and provide some background for people who are interested and who want to go down those paths to find out more. I think this is really about encouraging individual learning and knowledge. If that is something that fascinates you then look into it, but be willing to hold two opposing viewpoints at the same time without coming to a conclusion right off the bat.

I feel like we are in this age of laziness. "He said it so it's not true." Then it gets tweeted around. People just run with it and it gets away from itself. I want to encourage people to do your due diligence. It's hard with how much misinformation is out there. It's really hard, but Doug you are an excellent example of somebody who spent the greater part of their last week going through hundreds of pieces of information to just try and understand it. You have to ask "Is there any sort of support for such an idea?"

Then too, you have to walk away from it for a moment and say "Okay,I'm going to smell the flowers today" and not get caught up because it could make you go crazy like you see in all these movies of the conspiracy theorists with all the yarn tied. People are like "See? They lost the plot!" I know a lot of people don't have time to do that but everyone has got something that interests them and fascinates them. Be willing to be wrong.

Doug: I think that's a big part of it. I think that a lot of people do get caught up in some of these ideas because they're not willing to be wrong. There is the whole thing where once you dig into something you get more and more invested in it. I think that being able to question your own assumptions is important.

Erica: In a respectful manner. Obviously, don't go on social media and try and do that because it just seems like a flinging of faeces. {laughter}

Doug: You don't even necessarily have to call anybody else on it, but just do it for yourself when you're digging into something. There is something to be said for being open to different things. I'll leave it at that. I think you need to question your own thinking ion a lot of stuff and test what you think is true for yourself every once in a while.

Erica: I think that these are times where we are not seeing that. As you were saying earlier, it's not the great divide. This side is {lost audio 1.04.59} and we shall meet in the middle, but I think that's what we all have a responsibility to try and do, listen to people and be objective and let the conversations happen without getting emotionally worked up and angry and frustrated.

Doug: I think we can call it there for today. Thanks everybody for joining us, we hope it was informative for you. We will be back next week with another interesting topic. Thanks to my co-hosts, thanks to Damian, and we will see you all on the next one.

James: Thanks Doug. See you next week everybody.