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September 17, 2021

Opinion: The mathematics of delusion

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I slept with ash in my mouth last night, after our harsh words.

After all the seas we’ve crossed, holding hands capsized in a monstrous storm, speaking heart to heart about children, partners, fear and loss. I thought then, if I were to die, who better than with you?

We’ve fought on the same side of so many battles, intuitively trusting each other’s judgment, morals and perspective. And here we are, distant and sour over COVID-19.

Recently retired magistrate David Heilpern. Photo Jeff Dawson

This is the only letter I will write to you, I will not raise it again.

I guess we will not speak for a while. I hope we can meet over coffee and memory when this shit-storm passes. I fear the chasm is too deep.

Friend, at the bottom of every COVID-19 related rabbit hole you voice is a conspiracy so vast, it is highly improbable. When you combine them, the hypothesis is so impossible it beggars’ rational belief. You have, quite simply, gone mad.

Let’s deal with just four of many.

The first is that the death rates from vaccination are being underreported.

I was a coroner for 21 years, and I understand how comprehensive and resilient our death reporting processes are. Of course, they are not flawless (I once recorded a death as onanism, when it was actually aneurism), but to believe that there are thousands of deaths being covered up in Australia would involve tens of thousands of health professionals, public servants, police, independent contractors and even some judicial officers deliberately lying on a raft of reporting measures.

If caught, any one of these doctors and nurses and administrative staff would be sacked or prosecuted. And what is their incentive for putting their entire careers and incomes on the line? And why would they not put their patient’s wellbeing at the forefront like they do every day by diligently reporting any such drastic adverse reaction? And where is the evidence of some overarching international agency pressuring them to commit fraud?

And all this in an environment where deaths are being reported for blood clots, and vaccines are rejected – because they mask other diseases – despite the cost. So, the conspiracy somehow permits reporting of one cause, but not all the others? Beyond a reasonable doubt; improbable.

The second, is that deaths from COVID-19 are being over-reported. In other words, the rabbit hole says that many of those who are not dying with COVID-19 are being reported as dying from COVID-19. If this were true, then the argument goes, COVID-19 is pretty harmless – not as bad as the flu. So, in every country in the world, from Russia to Finland, United States to China, India to New Zealand, millions of times, doctors, when asked to place the cause of death on a certificate, are deliberately telling an untruth. And it is just coincidental that the death rate is pretty similar in all first world countries. Again, what’s in it for them to be lying? In my experience doctors genuinely and diligently report the cause of death even where there is great pressure to do otherwise – think suicides. And how do these doctors get communicated these messages to commit crime and lie every day? Again far-fetched improbable.

The third is that lockdowns and masks don’t work to suppress the virus, and that the government is lying to us about the effectiveness of these preventative measures. So, that’s the Libs, the Nats, Labor and the Greens, the entire mainstream media, and the AMA’s around the country are all part of a vast collective deliberate misinformation campaign in an effort to curtail the liberty of every citizen for no reason at all except the exercise of control. Thereby throwing the country into recession, forcing people out of work, closing businesses – all for nothing (except control). And this determination is being made by governments in every country in the world – and every one of them are part of this massive pile-on of deceit. What are the chances of that?

Finally, the rabbit hole says that these laws and rules are all illegal, that individuals don’t have to follow them because of sovereign rights. Which means that every single cantankerous obstinate defence lawyer I know, and all the judges and magistrates, and the Council for Civil Liberties, and Legal Aid and the Aboriginal Legal Service and the Community Legal Centres and the Law Society and Bar Association are all wrong, and they know they are wrong, and they are suppressing a legal perspective that immediately liberates us all from these rules. And with no internal dissent. Really, what are the chances of that?

But here is the thing – if you combine those four improbabilities above, like you do, then it equates to impossibility. It is utterly impossible that all those four scenarios are happening. And believing in impossibility is delusion. And maintaining those beliefs and speaking of them with such red-faced anger and capital letters is frankly scary. In a desperate effort to make something threatening be less so, you cannot resist or chose dishonesty and delusion to rule your greater guides. The only people in power who maintain these views are on the hard, extreme right. This is Craig Kelly and Pauline Hanson’s ultra-nationalist territory, and that is not where I live. It is not even where you used to visit. That is not who I spend my time with.

So, dear friend, to use my favourite sailing term and our hilarious in-joke, may you ‘scandalize the gaff’ and point true in good health and calmer seas.

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85 COMMENTS

  1. Argument from incredulity, also known as argument from personal incredulity, appeal to common sense, or the divine fallacy, is a fallacy in informal logic. It asserts that a proposition must be false because it contradicts one’s personal expectations or beliefs, or is difficult to imagine.

    • But this is how many, most of us make our decisions. We weigh stuff up against our experience and existing knowledge and guesstimate the likeliness of stuff. It generally tends to work for me. Just the bare bones of what Heilpern writes above has been enough for me as far as Covid conspiracy goes. Having worked in various government funded community sector jobs, I know all too well how much of the whole thing runs on wobbly wheels. That a vast conspiracy could be maintained to such an extent is so unlikely on that count – humans just aren’t smart and agreeable enough that they could actually pull it off!

    • Whereas your proposition John, (as per your recent article) which you assert to be true, is based on the mistrust of ‘the powers that be’ to a ridiculous extent (there is healthy mistrust, which all thinking people have, which you have far exceeded), paranoia and the blind belief in some extreme right wing gobbeldygook coming right out of the deep south of the USA. Congratulations.

    • Yes so right. The Echo has definitely lost its spirit by putting this guy on the front page. Have just seen an American news that CDC had retracted the death counts and found that many COVID-19 death counts ,where actually heart attacks, old age ,cancer and other diseases.
      So that they want to put a injection passport for us ,doesn’t make anyone suspicious ? Put an star symbol on the unvaccinated.

    • Ah, that sounds like the position conspiracy theorists work from, lol! How to convince these theorists of anything other than their expectations or beliefs? That means all of us, I think! Gawd, who do we believe? How do we separate what we perceive to be the “truth” & otherwise? Is it a feeling? Is it logic? This article pulls apart those uncertainties to a degree. I concur.

    • That’s not the argument here. It is that large numbers of professionals and public servants put aside their codes of conduct and illegally cover up some truth. It is as David says just too improbable to be credible.

    • John, you have only responded to half of David’s argument. The other half of his argument is: “Where is the evidence for the conspiracy?” To reject a view because (a) no evidence is presented in its support and (b) the view is wildly improbable is not to commit the logically fallacy of argument from incredulity. To commit that fallacy you also have to ignore the compelling evidence presented to counterweight the incredulous view. But the people who support the conspiracies that David mentions have not presented any such evidence. John, you have it all back to front. When you feel to make a wild claim the burden is on you to present compelling evidence. When you do not have any such evidence, then a person with integrity keeps their mouth shut, or only opens it with humility and trepidation.

    • You actually have to present arguments why your paranoid conclusions are true if you want to argue his points. You can’t just appeal to fallacies, that is in itself a fallacy fallacy… look it up

    • OMG, John. It turns out you haven’t even presented an argument. Your entire post is a direct lift from Wikipedia. Do you put in ANY effort to have ANY thoughts of your own? For shame.

    • Thank you John for your comment, I appreciate your thoughts. However, I think that Christopher Tricker has stolen my response – thank you Christopher. Also, on the fourth point in my column on sovereign citizenship, it is not my opinion that it is la la land. It has been thrown out of every court in Australia whenever it is raised. It is believing and promoting something as the law, when demonstrably and provably it is not. That is not appealing to common sense – it is evidence based.

  2. Well said, David. The idea that pretty much every government in the world, the UN, every scientist, doctor and nurse, “Big Pharma” and Bill Gates have somehow conspired simply to keep people from going out? Or to control us? How paranoid would you have to be to actually believe that?

  3. Well the mask assertion is simply false . It’s been pointed out time and again that prior to march 2020 there is absolutely zero epidemiological evidence anywhere of the efficacy of mask wearing a) in a genaralised setting and b) outside in a beach or anywhere. Moreover, 90% of the masks are not even medically compliant let alone cloth ones. That’s not my opinion it’s simply a fact of nature.

    • Thanks for your comment Bob. So, if you are right and masks are inefficient then every single government in the world is requiring masks because……they like the look? Or they have shares in mask companies? Why would they all do that. Unless, just maybe, they work.

  4. Thank you David. I have been astounded how seemingly rational long-time friends are able to quote improbabilités sourced from right-wing disrupters.

  5. John, if you’re so well versed in logical fallacies you probably know about the strawman fallacy. Seems to be what you are using here.
    I think you will find the actual argument is that there is an overwhelming amount of evidence to show the ideas are crazy – not “It can’t be true because I can’t imagine it”

  6. “JS” is not paying proper attention!
    All four and all happening at once?
    There’s something amiss with your perceptive capabilities JS if you’re prepared to accept and adopt the preposterous version of reality David describes as your version/truth!
    Read David’s letter again but this time don your critical thinking cap for all our sakes!

  7. Dear David, I respect you greatly for many great things you have done as a magistrate and liked many of your columns,but this one it beggars believe that an educated person like you could write this,that is scary if the brainwashing worked so well even on you,or maybe it’s just what happened to you after this hideous “vaccine “? Maybe time to go somewhere quietly and meditate on it,but the truth you may find might be too scary for you!Keep smiling despite it all!

  8. I usually shut these idiots up by pointing out that apart from a couple of broke dictatorships, the entire world is capitalist, so WHY KILL ALL YOUR CUSTOMERS?

  9. It has been widely reported in the US and in Australia that people that die with Covid are recorded as dying from Covid so the numbers aren’t reported accurately at all. If someone dies of a heart attack but is Covid positive at the time then cause of death is reported as Covid. I wish I could find the Australian press conference video to share here that admits that, maybe you can look it up. The CDC has said exactly the same.

    • It is the case in NSW that a death certificate will state all conditions that a person has died with. This is not something new since COVID. So if someone had heart disease and COVID both would be on the death certificate. I wonder when I hear such about death certificates apparently falsely stating COVID when someone had cancer is simply a misunderstanding of this fact.

      • The other part this particular conspiracy ignores, is that many of the “co-morbidities” mentioned are actually caused by Covid. Vivid patients dying of pneumonia, heart conditions, clotting, and a bunch of other complications are BECAUSE of covid.

        Also, the “underlying health issues” are often things many of us would qualify for, such as asthma, diabetes, being overweight, having smoked cigarettes (or other things) in our youth, having an auto-immune disease, having survived cancer or other major health conditions, etc, etc, the list goes on.

        These people deserve to live too, and the argument that “covid only kills the sick and frail”, while incorrect anyway, is extremely ableist and ignorant.

    • Hi Sophie, I have had a really careful look at this. The Bureau of Statistics have issued a directive early in the pandemic which still stands today. It requires the death certificate to record COVID as a cause of death only if it is a cause of death. COVID may be mentioned as an underlying condition, but only if it is an active cause of death is it recorded as such. If someone has COVID, but dies from COVID it is recorded as Cancer, and would not make the stats as a COVID death.

  10. Too clever by half John Scrivener. You’ve fallen down that proverbial rabbit hole. Mind you, ridiculous conspiracy theories that are completely divorced from any facts that can be independently verified are such fun aren’t they? Except of course when they harm the innocent and gullible.

  11. Thanks David for the unemotional, well thought through assessment. I’m sorry you lost a mate over it. But maybe they’d already lost themselves anyway. I saw a poignant quote recently: “don’t argue with someone whose TV is bigger than their bookshelf”.

  12. When what you’ve been told is absolute truth turns out to be exploitive garbage, like religion, politics, the legal system and the mainstream media are all vital for the public good, it presents all manner of possible alternatives. I’m not remotely taken in by the Qanon fantasies, I much prefer logic and reason and when we use that it becomes obvious that religion, politics, the legal system and the mainstream media are the finest social operating systems money can buy, therefore absolutely not what we’ve been told they are. Some alternatives being chosen are pretty far fetched but none are so flat out deceptive for profit as the one we’re living in.

  13. Beautifully, deftly argued.
    I would go just one step further and challenge anyone who does not accept David’s argument on these four points:
    Provide evidence that any or all of these conspiracy theories are true.
    Real evidence that is, not a Bitchute or Rumble video.
    And while we are on the subject, next time your go-to resource to back up your conspiracy or covid denial claim, is one of these videos, first investigate who is behind these sites. You may believe that your heart is in the right place and you are championing free choice. You may in reality be championing the agenda of some very clever Neo- Nazis.

  14. However, it is not arguing from personal incredulity if you first lay out all the reasons against a position, as David Heilpern does here, and then say you find it improbable or impossible.

  15. So everything that David disagrees with is a rabbit hole and every person he disagrees with is being angry, delusional or conspiratorial.
    Great place to start, David.
    These are the best facts that I can come up with. But lets begin by clarifying that I am not anti vax, but vax sceptic, that not all diseases and not all vaccinations are the same.
    1. The overall death rate, based on the total European experience is that under 65 years there was no change. So let’s conclude that covid is primarly dangerous for the over 65’s.
    2. That, according to an official study undertaken in Califórnia, 94% of covid deaths had co-morbidity factors involved. Again, we can conclude that covid is primarly dangerous for the unhealthy -more specifically for those who are obese (78% of cases in the US), diabetics, cancer and heart disease.
    3. It is now abundantly clear that vaccines do not stop spread, that vaccinated people can still get covid and that while vaccination appears to lessen the severity of covid for the first few months, it quickly loses it’s efficacy.
    On the contrary, naturally aquired immunity from having had covid is much stronger, longer lasting and redilient to variants.
    From this we can conclude that the idea of a vaccine passport is essentially useless and blatantly unfair.
    4. There is undoubtedly a serious risk factor with the vaccines. It is very low in the short term but an unknown over the long term. Even temporary heart inflammation may be the cause of long term heart disease according to some virologists and heart disease specialists. Deaths are happening, however most people will be fine in the short term.
    My overall conclusion is that it comes down to a personal risk v reward decision where those at high risk of bad covid should consider vaccinating while those of extremely low risk are better off using natural or repurposed prophelactics.
    We will only get through this with a multi pronged approach, with tolerance and understanding of each personal decision.
    Forced or coerced medication is where I draw the line. Shaming others, fills me with disgust.
    Where I live, we are a community of 70 or so friends. Some have chosen to vaccinate, most not. We mix freely, we are all good with each others decision. No-one has died. We range in age from 30 to 85.

    • Right on Mac, I wrote a similar piece a few days ago, but until now it didn’t get past the moderator. My piece quoted the actual facts in you narrative. I’ll have another go: In 2001 Al Jazeera did an hour long video interview with Osama bin Laden, but never aired it. Someone leaked this interview to the American broadcaster which had an agreement with Al Jazeera to re-broadcast their work. CNN: “Once that videotape was in our possession, we felt we had to report on it, and show it because it is EXTREMELY newsworthy,” said Eason Jordan, CNN’s chief news executive. “And we really were dumbfounded as to why Al-Jazeera would decide not to air or even acknowledge the existence of the videotape.”
      Thursday, Al-Jazeera said it was severing its relationship with CNN and taking “the necessary action to punish the organizations and individuals who stole this video and distributed it illegally.” “Al-Jazeera does not feel it is obligated to explain its position and its reasoning of why it chose not to air the interview,” it said in a statement.
      CNN issued a statement saying: “CNN did nothing illegal in obtaining this tape, and nothing illegal in airing it — our affiliate agreement with Al-Jazeera gives us the express right to use any and all footage owned or controlled by Al-Jazeera, without limitation.”
      So what was so controversial to be aired by CNN, a mainstream US TV network? Perhaps this prophetic statement by Osama bin Laden: “I tell you, freedom and human rights in America are doomed. The U.S. government will lead the American people in — and the West in general — into an unbearable hell and a choking life.”

      • Sorry, Theo but I thought this discussion was about Covid conspiracy theories. This is very confusing 🤔.

        But let me guess – because that fine upstanding citizen and champion of human rights, Osama Bin Laden said this, he must have had a heads up about and was referring to, the great Covid plot and warned Al Jazeera (very obliquely) all about it.

        For some reason Al Jazeera wanted to suppress the warning. Were they already part of the conspiracy. But wouldn’t CNN – being MSM and also presumably part of the great conspiracy – be concerned about alerting the American public in advance? Or was CNN converted at a later date?

        No doubt this is another example of the irrefutable “evidence” you have supplied us.

    • Thank you for sharing Mac. The coercion and threats for being unvaccinated are what troubles myself and my loved ones. While agree David makes some good points here, still something is not right. Transparency and an open public debate would be most welcome. I also wonder what David thinks of Ivermectin?

      • Anna, thanks for your thoughts. I too am deeply concerned about transparency and open public debate. But to answer your question, in a roundabout sort of way, I wish there was a much great emphasis on prevention and building resilience. I am watching the bigger studies on Ivermectin carefully, and I hope it works as well as the hype. But some of the other suggestions, vaxxed or not, like zinc and Vitamin D seem like they are a no brainer. But I’m no medico thats for sure.

    • Mac’s usual cut and paste, that has been dismantled effectively so often by others time after time. But it kinda proves the point. If Mac I were right, then the conspiracy is international and deliberately and determinedly and fraudulently reporting deaths, vaccine efficiently, vaccine side effects and the wonderful saving grace of natural immunity. And Mac knows this from his internet research and personal experience with his friends.

  16. Consipracy theorists are so far down rabbit holes that if they listen to reason, logic, science or any truth, they fear they will self implode.
    The new religion of the great unwashed, is what can I do to create diversion, because the current reality is so far at sea from the norm that that rabbit hole of bullshite is more comforting than actually accepting we are in a predicament so bad, and they have no reference, scapegoat, feasible answeres to let the shit stick to, so they have plunged their heads in the shit so the shit storm around them might make some sense.
    SARS-CoV-2 is real. Cliamtae Change is real. Mysogynists and abusers are all around us. QANON is being driven by suspicion, stupidity. And admitting the rabbit hole exists is tanatamout to addmitting you were conned.
    YES! YOU ARE BEING CONNED by idiots, antiVaxxers, Snakeoil Salesmen, Anarchists, religious bigots, bullies, racists, terrorists, malicious disruptors, and any other lowlife who is taking advantage of current world events.
    We need science and empiricale eveidence now. We nee community and care. We need to buldoze the rabbit holes and stop being brain washed by “celebrities” who know NOTHING!
    If you refuse to vaccinate other than medical grounds, while you have your head down that rabbit hole, it will bite you on the bum. If you refuse vaccination, you should refuse medical treatment on the grounds you have no appreciation of science, logic, truth. That antivaxxers are the new terrorists and making the COVID-19 situation worse.
    Antivaxxers and deniers are now allowing the creation of mutataions, and are spreading and propogating more disease not just SARS, but the disease of stupidity.

    • I agree let’s get rid of them all and I presume u must be meaning the government or opps the corporation because I have never seen so much confusion swirling around like now ..have u heard of free thinkers it is not about anti it is about what feels true to ..years ago on blockades it was Hippies now it is conspiracy theorists…come on wake up stop putting people down because they don’t agree with u and please let it be known I don’t want anyone to have the jab because of me …I can be responsible for my own health….stop with the guilt we are all adults I hope ..

  17. Yeah, except that’s not the “type” of argument he made.
    So you’ve made a simple category error: confused one thing for another.

  18. Fantastic article that clearly explains just how far fetched the conspiracy theorists arguments are. I’m sure psychiatrists have a “condition” term for this tiny minority of doubters who consider anything they can’t grasp a conspiracy and believe they have some superior intelligence and see things we all miss. Most of this mob are the first to lecture everyone on how to live but take great offence with the slightest suggestion directed their way. More often than not these “gurus” have never set foot in a university yet consider themselves experts in any topic being discussed.

    • Hi Liz ,
      I’ve replied to your posts many times in the Echo with supporting evidence, but rarely do refute or reply to the evidence. Regards, Theo

  19. Thanks David for a good analysis. I would also add that similar agencies in other OECD countries, like New Zealand which has an even stronger public sector governance and culture than ours, have come to similar conclusions. The conspiracies are simple too improbable to believe.

  20. Great article, and to sustain their delusions the cherry picking, lack of investigative rigor and mental gymnastics are insane.
    The egomania and paranoia is off the charts.

  21. David article well argued and very plausible, that is conspiracy theories are too much out there- these people probably believe the old one about the moon landings were a hoax and the earth is flat. Some of the comments are insane- yellow stars for unvaccinated- just insulting to the Holocaust survivors; revision of death figures – where did you get that tripe with sweeping statements about official numbers- Facebook ? ; masks don’t work lies in the face of clinical trials like the one done in, I think in Bangladesh, showing the positive impact of mask wearing.

  22. Thank you David for putting it all so succinctly and eloquently. One might add to you analysis about the control narrative, why is it that countries actually rush to lifting those controls as soon as they can ? Think Europe for instance.

  23. David you forgot to mention the crippling effect on the economy, and the outrageous home price rises which are a direct result of vax hesitancy/slow rollout….

  24. I can just imagine you in 1942, applying your mathematical logic to the ‘impossibility’ of believing that there could be trainloads of jews being taken off to be gassed in specially built facilities dotted around the German and Polish countryside.. Delusional indeed.

    • Saul, that such inhumanity, hatred and bigotry occurred does indeed defy credibility – but it’s not like it didn’t have precedents in history.

      Despite a very different landscape of communication technology, the rest of the world was fairly aware of what Hitler was up to. That’s why Australia joined Britain in a war against them. Many of the German people knew and formed a resistance, hiding Jewish people in their homes or elsewhere.

      I don’t know David, but from his writing and from what I know about him, I’d suggest he wouldn’t be denying the Holocaust but rather be part of an active resistance.

    • Hi Saul, as a member of a second generation holocaust survivor family, I’m not sure where to start with that! So many of my family were on the trains because they did not read the writing on the wall or when they did, it was too late. So, I guess we both believe in vigilance and monitoring of state power to ensure that never again can this happen. And certainly we must do that with the power of the state in these COVID times. But to me, the extensions of power in this case have been measured and necessary in the main. But then I grew up when those just a few years ahead of me were forced to fight in the Vietnam war or go to prison instead. This seems pretty moderate to me. Take care.

  25. Before you know it, the conspiracy whackos will be telling us that our precious leaders are trying to carry out some kind of “Great Reset.”

  26. this is just a personal opinion of some surface observations. lacks nuance, depth and facts. seems like a warm grandpa blanket for those too scared to actually hear the truth and look deeper. divisive and mischaracterising.

  27. The article talks about a ‘conspiracy so vast, it is highly improbable’. This has nothing to do with conspiracy. A conspiracy is “a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful”. The points I make below (4parts) are not based on conjecture or conspiracy but rather upon verifiable facts….
    so…. that is if your website doesn’t keep saying “duplicate detected… looks like you’ve already said that”
    Are you interested David?

  28. Hi Graig,
    Conspiracies only exist for those NOT in the know and who are to scared or lazy to do their own research. The plans of the WEF and their eugenics supporters in Big Pharma and Big Tech are all out there in the open for all the see. But if you aren’t looking this knowledge remains invisible!
    Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the American Declaration of Independence. Over 230 years ago, he warned:
    “Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution, the time will come when medicine will organize into an undercover dictatorship to restrict the art of healing to one class of Men and deny equal privileges to others; the Constitution of the Republic should make a Special privilege for medical freedoms as well as religious freedom.”
    “Who knew that medical tyranny and dictatorship were the roads to travel, in order to gain control of nations and bring in a new world order?” — David Rockefeller
    “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.” — Karl Rove
    “It is easier to fool people, than to convince them that they have been fooled.” — Mark Twain

    • Hi Theo and thanks for both your comments above. It takes a special kinda guts to quote Osama bin Laden and Karl Rove in the one breath. But a sure sign of delusion is quoting quotes that just don’t exist. Karl Rove never said that. Nor did Mark Twain or Benjamin Rush. But, hey, those of us who doubt are just lazy? I’m sure we both want happiness and good health for all our community. Take care.

      • Hi David,
        Karl Rove’s quote was published in the New York Times Magazine. So now you’re saying they published an untrue statement by him. It would be the first time the Old Media is lying to us. Think of weapons of mass destruction. I am aware Karl Rove denied saying it, but it fits in quite well with neoconservative thinking during the Bush regime. And we’re seeing it played out very nicely in these covid times. If you put all the statements by government spokespersons and their heatlth advisers in sequential order since this so-called covid crisis began, you can see the massaging of “reality” played out in full view for everyone to see who is not hypnotised by the story.
        As for the Doctor Benjamin Rush quote, where did did you find he didn’t say it? In a factchecker’s bible? As for Mark Twain, even if he did not say did remark I quoted, he did write in volume 2 of his autobiography: “The glory which is built upon a lie soon becomes a most unpleasant incumbrance. … How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and how hard it is to undo that work again!”

      • Hi David,
        As for the quote by Osama bin Laden, there is plenty of evidence that the USA as a nation is in severe decline with falling incomes and life expectancy rates for the majority of its citizens. There have numerous outbreaks of communal violence and riots since Martin Luther King came on the scene in the sixties. Up to 80,000 heavily armed police raids a year have been reported in the Old Media as well as the in the New Media. Many innocent people have been gunned down in front of their children as they opened their front doors to these goon squads. Just because an Islamic extremist, a communist, an atheist or a Christian speak a truth does not invalidate it.
        Osama bin Laden, a CIA “assett” met with Zbigniew Brzezinski in 1979 in Afghanistan. I have an article with a photograph of this meeting. Zbigniew Brzezinski who was a Polish-American diplomat and political scientist. He served as a counselor to President Lyndon B. Johnson from 1966 to 1968 and was President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor from 1977 to 1981. He is the author of The Grand Chessboard, a very interesting geo-political tract. He appeared many times times in our newspapers and was interviewed on our TV channels, notably the ABC during his long career.
        And then there is the story published in the Le Figaro, the largest French morning newspaper on October 31, 2001 — the one that has Osama bin Laden meeting with a CIA officer at The American Hospital in Dubai in July 2001, two months before 9/11. The story says that, “Throughout his stay in the hospital, Osama Bin Laden received visits from many family members and Saudi Arabian Emirate personalities of status. During this time the local representative of the CIA was seen by many people taking the elevator and going to bin Laden’s room. Several days later the CIA officer bragged to his friends about having visited the Saudi millionaire. From authoritative sources, this CIA agent visited CIA headquarters on July 15, the day after bin Laden’s departure for Quetta.” This story was later retracted by the newspaper, but not by the reporter. Interestingly this newspaper was owned at that time by Halliburton, military supply company of which former Vice President Dick Cheney was a director and shareholder for a time. This company made huge profits during the wars against Afghanistan and Iraq. As you can see, I also follow the money trail.

  29. I admire your calmness and your clarity David, and I particularly admire your gracious responses to people who disagree with you. It may or may not be enough to help people change their minds, but at least it won’t reinforce the divisions in society in the ways that shouting and ridicule do.

  30. Sorry, Rudra: who are these ‘people in power’ exactly? And when, where and how do reckon they meet without us knowing to hatch their dastardly plots?

    • Russ needs to ask David.
      My above comment refers to David’s ‘people in power’.

      “ The only people in power who maintain these views are on the hard, extreme right. ”
      David’s views are affixed to his ‘people in power’.

  31. A submission from the defence on appeal –

    As with all good rebuttals I will start with a personal attack. Heilpern is a retired magistrate, he thinks like a magistrate, he believes in the system he has served, his open letter is very much magistrate-think in applying a mathematical formula to determine proof. However he has made a fundamental legal error that would see his decision overturned on appeal, he has applied the civil standard of proof – the balance of probabilities from the evidence before the court, rather than the criminal standard of proof – beyond reasonable doubt, which I think should be the standard applied to any matter of public health. Science would be very weak if intuition was given greater weight than data, if knowledge was limited to the presumptions of scientists, or in this case a non-scientist. I humbly submit that an ex magistrate, a man who has lived a life of faithful service to the mainstream, cannot allow himself to even consider the possibility that corruption, deceit and incompetence could be at the core of the mainstream, there is an inherent confirmation bias in his judgements.

    So, on to the purported facts of the matter ……

    Heilpern’s first judgement is against his friend’s proposition that vaccine deaths are being underreported. He reduces the issue to the integrity of doctors to fill out forms correctly, which he proclaims his faith in. He is either ignorant of or deliberately avoiding the basis of the claim that vaccine deaths are underreported which is not medical corruption but rather all the official databases around the world recording adverse reactions to vaccines are showing thousands upon thousands of deaths immediately or soon after vaccination. Surely such basic evidence would be worthy of a comment in the good magistrate’s decision, but it was not before the court for consideration. I do think vaccine deaths are being underreported because it takes a long time to confirm a vaccine death, many are unconfirmable one way or the other and many corpses have not been autopsied to confirm the role of the vaccine. A study in Norway early on in the vaccine rollout indicated that the normal mild side effects of vaccines was itself enough to kill many terminally ill patients, who had been prioritized for vaccination because of their health status. However I disagree with the claim that the adverse reaction data indicates mass deaths from vaccines. I agree with the scientists who have said such conclusions cannot be drawn because the data does not distinguish between those who died “of” a vaccine and those who died “with” a vaccine. If the good magistrate had made even a cursory search for scientific rebuttals to his friend’s claim he would have had a more convincing argument to offer but this too was not evidence before the court. Why would he avoid such basic evidence? Whatever the reason, and I suspect this is the reason, a scientific rebuttal of the misconception that adverse reactions data indicates an underreporting of deaths would totally undermine his rebuttal of the claim that covid deaths are being overreported because data does not distinguish between those who die “of” or “with” covid. Once again he only relies on the integrity of doctors filling out form to rebut the claim. As for Masks and lockdowns, I won’t go into all the ins and outs but there is no science indicating masks or lockdowns work, but once again the magistrate does not refer to science but to the integrity of those who promote masks and lockdowns to dismiss his friends concerns.
    I sort of agree with Heilpern’s fourth judgement against his friend, if it is the case as it seems to be that his friend is a sovereign citizen. The magistrate is wicked in conflating sovereign citizen ideology with vaccine and lockdown skepticism, it is a cheap attempt to discredit a large popular movement in the same way Joh Bjelke Petersen used to demonise the anti uranium, environment, peace and civil liberties movements because there were communists amongst them. “If you fly with the crows you get shot with the crows” he said. Magistrate Heilpern is shooting more than just sovereign citizen crows in including this critique in his open letter to the world. I believe in Australian law, in the magistrate’s law. It has police and weapons and gaols and they are real, there is great power in them – I have seen them with my own eyes. That doesn’t make them right though.

    Heilpern has weighed up the balance of probabilities of very limited evidence before his court and makes an aggregate of them, a pooling of ignorance to determine truth – a process as flawed legally as it is logically. His statement – “if you combine those four improbabilities above, like you do, then it equates to impossibility” could perhaps be inverted to say that his four propositions are so inherently flawed that it is probable his friend is right.

  32. Hi John,
    Here I will explain on how the concept of “the balance of probabilities” came about. Galileo was instrumental in establishing observation as the absolute determinant of truth, rather than “logical” argument. That’s why the empirical method (or scientific method) is based on observation and measurement and repeated verification. The smallest entity that obeys Newton’s laws of motion and can still be called as having “physicality” is a molecule. A molecule of wood is still wood and obeys Newton’s laws. But he atoms within it do not obey these laws. The phenomena within atoms are energetic phenomena. One proof of the pudding is the energy contained within an atom or hydrogen bomb. When scientists applied the Newtonian laws of motion to the phenomena of motion within atoms, they came up short and they felt compelled to abandon the notion of “causation”. Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle within atomic phenomena led to the formation of the notion of “on the balance of probability” of an event happening. That’s why physicists now refer to the atom as a “probability cloud”. I agree with you that that beyond reasonable doubt is the standard that should be applied in determining criminality, rather than by the uncertainty contained within the notion of “the balance of probability”. Crimes are physical events in a physical world, rather atomic events in a world of energy events.

  33. A lot here John, but a couple of things:

    The “beyond reasonable doubt” criminal standard of proof is based on the principle of “innocent until proven guilty”. It’s a safeguard against people losing life or liberty without the proper establishment of the crime.

    I’ve never believed in the concept because I don’t think it is possible to prove something beyond reasonable doubt. In fact I don’t think it means in law what you have taken it to mean. I won’t add links – because my post may be rejected – but Google “what does beyond reasonable doubt mean in law” and you will find explanations like:

    “How do you prove beyond a reasonable doubt?
    Proof beyond a reasonable doubt must, therefore, be proof of such a convincing character that a reasonable person would not hesitate to rely and act upon it in the most important of his own affairs. The jury will remember that a defendant is never to be convicted on mere suspicion and conjecture.”

    “ What does beyond reasonable doubt mean in law?
    Beyond a reasonable doubt is the legal burden of proof required to affirm a conviction in a criminal case. … This means that the prosecution must convince the jury that there is no other reasonable explanation that can come from the evidence presented at trial.”

    I think the reasoning presented about the improbability of such a successfully coordinated secret conspiracy meets this standard.

    Conversely, those engaged in grandiose attempts to dismiss reason with sophistry have gone nowhere near offering any standard of proof that these wild conjectures have any basis. Certainly not “beyond reasonable doubt”

    Your conclusion: “ His statement – ‘if you combine those four improbabilities above, like you do, then it equates to impossibility’ could perhaps be inverted to say that his four propositions are so inherently flawed that it is probable his friend is right” is such an obvious non sequitor I’m really surprised you don’t see it.

    No – this, even if true, does not make it probable at all that his friend is right.

  34. Most of us who are not vaccinated are not “anti-vaccine”, we just don’t trust these mRNA vaccines for which research is not yet complete. Regardless of conspiracy theories we choose not to be vaccinated of our own free will. Moreover, we search for and read the statements of very competent scientists whose views are never included in the media. In other words, we do not make this decision out of our primitiveness, ignorance, stupidity.
    In the link I shared below, there are statements by the world’s most senior virologists and scientists (who are trying to stop them because of their statements).
    Please do not discriminate between “vaccinated” and “unvaccinated” in this world where everyone attacks and marginalizes each other. Or take a look at the world before you make that distinction and attack. In the face of new variants, you will see that the vaccine does not work, does not even alleviate the symptoms, on the contrary, it lowers the immunity and you will understand that the only remedy is to strengthen the immune system. (I recommend checking out Geert Vanden Bossche’s site)

  35. It is a pity to see John Tracy’s further comments here being blocked. A pity I have to follow this debate elsewhere, rather then The Echo, which I have enjoyed. I have also read John’s comments have been blocked on my friend, Maddy Nolan’s column. I know censorship is a big thing in Australia now, to block ‘Conspiracy Theorists’, but John is far from that, with his thoughtful writing I have seen over the years.

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