A 'Plandemic' Is Far More Satisfying Than A Pandemic, And That's The Problem
This week, Plandemic, a documentary promoting the conspiracy theory that the COVID-19 pandemic is actually a Deep State government conspiracy of some kind, went all kinds of viral. It's been trending for days. Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo had to play whack-a-mole trying to get it off their respective sites.
The 26-minute film — purportedly just an excerpt from an upcoming documentary — features a very professional-looking interview with Dr. Judy Mikovits, a woman who claims she knows the real story behind the COVID-19 "plandemic." Her interviewer is New Age documentary producer Mikki Willis, who once went viral for saying it was cool if his kid wanted to play with a Little Mermaid doll (nice!) and is also currently making a documentary about how a guy got leukemia from a cursed bone (stupid!).
Plandemic tells the story of how the scientific establishment has sought to keep Mikovits down — to the detriment, naturally, of all of humanity -- and how even now they are trying to censor all of the things she is saying about COVID-19, just because they aren't true. I watched it twice, and it doesn't get less stupid either time.
Mikovits claims the scientific establishment had her thrown in prison without any charges to keep her from revealing various important truths to the public. In reality, Mikovits was dismissed from her job researching Chronic Fatigue Syndrome after it was revealed that research she had published in the Science medical journal claiming that CFS was caused by mice could not be replicated. After she was fired, she had a co-worker steal research and notebooks from the lab, and that's what she was arrested for.
Since then, she's become an anti-vaccine activist, despite claiming not to be one in the film. She's also become a major critic of Dr. Anthony Fauci, whom she claims banned her from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases premises. Dr. Fauci has said for years that this is absolutely untrue.
Mikovits also claims the virus was created here in America in a lab, that it could not have occurred naturally, and that it was later sent to the lab in Wuhan — a lab our very government is in cahoots with and has funded. The reaction to the virus, she says, is just as erroneous as the idea that it came from nature. Instead of staying inside and wearing masks when we go outside and closing down beaches, we should actually be doing none of that. Wearing a mask, she claims, is more dangerous than not wearing one, because then you can give yourself COVID-19 and various other coronaviruses. That is not a thing either.
The claims Mikovits makes in the video are "bolstered" by clips of the Bakersfield doctors, Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi, who have made similar claims about masks and social distancing, but they have asked for those clips to be removed as Plandemic is too crazy even for them.
That Mitkovits is very obviously full of shit has not diminished her popularity. The book she just published about COVID-19, Plague of Corruption: Restoring Faith in the Promise of Science, is number one on Amazon, beating out even the presales for Stephanie Meyers's followup to the Twilight series. (No, we don't know if Amazon is telling customers the two are "frequently bought together.") The documentary, even as it's being pulled off of social media, is being promoted by various celebrities, including Kirstie Alley (who is just trying to ruin Drop Dead Gorgeous for us all at this point).
It's difficult to counter things like Plandemic without acknowledging that it's kind of understandable that people cling so hard to this bullshit. Just like everyone else, they're scared. People do not always behave rationally when they're scared. This kind of bullshit is a life raft — it offers a far more satisfying answer than information that isn't bullshit does. It also plays into certain "common sense" ideas like "You need to expose yourself to germs in order to build up your immune system." That's something people get, it sounds scientific, and that being the best way to handle this would mean that our lives could go back to normal.
Humans also very much like the way "They're saying this, sure, but I know what's really going on" feels.
Another reason it's understandable is that history gives us a whole lot of reason to not trust the medical and pharmaceutical industries. Bad shit has happened. The Tuskegee syphilis experiments, for one. Doctors giving prison inmates the Asian flu, giving them gonorrhea. Giving psychiatric patients hepatitis. Giving public service employees malaria. Sure, that stuff happened a long time ago, but it did happen. We also know pharmaceutical companies in America will do pretty much anything to turn a profit, including jacking up the prices of epipens and insulin. When the bullshit isn't actually that much crazier than things that have actually happened, it's not that hard of a sell.
As far as Dr. Judy Mikovits is concerned? The narrative she's telling everyone about her life — a false narrative — is not just compelling, it's immediately recognizable. It's a trope. The one ____ willing to search for/tell the truth about ______ has all kinds of bad things happen to them in order to keep them doing that.
Shit, it's the plot of "The X-Files." It's the plot of lots of things.
It is also true that whatever company comes up with the COVID-19 vaccine is going to make a boatload of money, and whenever there is money to be made, people get suspicious. Because they know people do some real fucked up shit to make money. "Scientists creating a virus in order to make money off the cure" and "People are being more scared of this than they have to be for some yet-to-be-determined nefarious reason" are easier things to understand than "deadly virus comes out of nowhere and now none of us can leave our houses except to get groceries."
The most successful conspiracy theories are based on a grain of truth and exploit areas where people are already distrustful and lack knowledge. They play on things people want to be true. People want to leave their houses and also not wear masks. Therefore, guess what? Those things must be actually good and the government (or whomever) must not want you to know it! For reasons! It's like creating a massive conspiracy theory about people not wanting you to eat ice cream for breakfast. Look at these bad, mean people who want to tell you eating ice cream for breakfast is bad, even though it's good!
This is not to justify the bullshit of Plandemic or any of the other conspiracy theories going around. They're not just wrong, they're dangerous. They will get people sick and they will result in people dying, and not just the people who believe them.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse