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How Effective Is The Covid-19 Vaccine?

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How Effective is The Covid-19 Vaccine?
Photo Credit: Collective Evolution

Madhava Setty, MD, Contributing Writer

Are you going to decline the Covid-19 vaccine if it is offered to you? Why or why not? No matter how certain you are in your reasoning there will no doubt be someone else who feels exactly the opposite to you and will be just as certain of their position. We trust different sources of information, we have had different experiences with vaccines and we have different impressions of the threat of SARS-COV2 to us and our species.

I would suggest that those in the “vaccine cautionary” community would decline the vaccine based on their ideas around its potential risks. On the other hand, supporters of the vaccine are more likely to focus on its potential benefits. The debate has largely been centred around the disagreement people have about the risks. In this essay I will consider the uncertainty I and others have about its benefits.

Is the Medical Community biased about the Vaccine?

As a contributor to Collective Spark I am well aware of the “cautionary” perspective on vaccinations and CDC directives. As a physician, I have a reasonable understanding of how those in the medical community regard the “best of what modern science has to offer”. I am part of a Physician group on social media where doctors can seek advice from each other around all matters Covid-19, from interesting cases to rare side effects to how to address special concerns raised by patients. It has been alarming to realize how unilateral the support of vaccination is in this community. 

I mean no disrespect to my medical colleagues. Many of those in this community have seen their patients die from this very real virus. They have had to struggle with the divergent directives coming from the CDC. They have had to work through many weeks where Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was in short supply as their hospital wards rapidly reached capacity and overflowed. Now that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have met minimum requirements for efficacy under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), they are faced with yet another impediment to getting themselves and their patients through this pandemic: growing scepticism around the vaccine coming from the very same people they are endeavouring to help. Their frustration around the situation is understandable, but is it biasing them?

Before consenting to any intervention it is important to understand its relative risks and benefits. As I mentioned earlier, there has been much concern in the “vaccine cautionary” sphere about side-effects and deaths. Here I will take a closer look at what we know about the benefits of the vaccine based on Pfizer-Biontech’s  briefing document to the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee. How confident can we be in the efficacy of the vaccine? Has the manufacturer done its due diligence in its analysis and in being transparent? These are the central questions that need to be answered.

Understanding False Positives and Negatives

There has been a lot of discussion about the rate of “false-positives” with regard to the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test for confirming infection with SARS-COV2. The PCR test can return a positive result even if only trace fragments of the virus are present. Fragments of the virus on a nasal swab is not necessarily representative of an active infection or transmissibility. Moreover the sensitivity of this test is dependent on the number of amplification cycles, or the cycle threshold (Ct), used. The Ct is not standardized. It is not unreasonable to say that there will be a percentage of people who test positive that do not have the disease. Nevertheless, without a better test we as the public must treat all positive PCR tests as an indication of an infection. We must assume the test is right. The rate of false positives, whatever it is, is directly proportional to the overestimation of the prevalence of the disease. 

Here I would like to discuss the significance of “false-negatives”. These are people who get a negative PCR result but may still be infected. The rate of false negatives is directly proportional to the underestimation of disease prevalence. This aspect of the inaccuracy of our primary diagnostic test gets relatively little attention for practical reasons. If you are suffering symptoms consistent with Covid-19 but have a negative PCR test we assume that you have Covid-19 anyway. In other words, if someone is symptomatic we assume that the test is wrong, i.e. that it is a false-negative, and necessary measures are taken. We quarantine and isolate until we feel healthy again whether we have Covid-19 or not. 

Because we are in the midst of a pandemic we have no choice but to make these assumptions. We are responding appropriately given the limitations of the test. Because of the assumptions we are forced to make, we are exaggerating the prevalence of the disease and our response to it to some extent. It is the nature of the situation we are in.

How do we know that the Vaccine is 95% effective?

With this in mind I would like to discuss a post in the opinion blog of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) that appeared earlier this month. The author, Peter Doshi (PhD and Associate Editor at the BMJ), takes a rigorous look at the results reported by Pfizer regarding the efficacy of their mRNA vaccine. The success of their vaccine has been widely publicized to be 95%. Where exactly does this figure come from?

During the four weeks of observation (three weeks between 1st and 2nd dose followed by 7 days), 162 participants who received the placebo expressed symptoms of Covid-19 and tested positive by PCR. Compare that with only 8 in the group that received their experimental vaccine. The chance of getting Covid 19 after receiving the vaccine was about 20 times lower than if you got the placebo. This is the basis of the claim that their vaccine was 95% effective, well over the 50% threshold required for Emergency Use Authorization that allows their product to be deployed despite the fact that the two-year Phase III trial is still 20 months from completion.

How did Pfizer handle study participants in the “Suspected Covid-19” group?

It is less commonly known that of the nearly 38,000 participants in the Pfizer study, 3,410 fell into a group labelled “suspected Covid-19”. These are people who developed symptoms consistent with disease but tested negative by PCR. 1,594 of those in this group received the vaccine and 1,816 received the placebo. It should be quite clear that how we regard this much bigger group of symptomatic participants will have an enormous impact on the true efficacy of the vaccine. In other words, if we assume that the PCR test was accurate in all of these people and that they didn’t have Covid-19 and developed symptoms from another virus, the flu for example, then the vaccine would in fact be 95% effective as reported. On the other hand, if the PCR test was wrong every time and they all in fact had Covid-19, the efficacy of the vaccine would be much different: 1602 (1594 + 8) in the vaccine wing vs. 1978 (1816 + 162) in the placebo wing results in a vaccine efficacy of only 19%. 

The PCR test (like any test) can be wrong some of the time and right some of the time. The true efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine can only be calculated if we know how many symptomatic people in each wing had Covid-19 despite testing negative. It is likely that the percentage of false negatives are different in each arm. As the FDA briefing document on the Pfizer study and the BMJ piece correctly note, there should be fewer false negatives in the vaccine group. Why? It is because there is a greater chance of developing Covid-19 symptoms after receiving the vaccine compared to getting a placebo. Reactogenicity, or the acute response of the body to the vaccine, is common. Most of the acute inflammatory reaction to the vaccine occurs in the first seven days after receiving the vaccine. Looking more closely at the data, 409 patients in the vaccine group developed symptoms in the first seven days after inoculation. Compare this to 287 in the placebo group. If we assume that any participant who expressed symptoms in the first seven days must be suffering from the side effects of the vaccine or the placebo and not a new Covid-19 infection, the efficacy of the vaccine is still only 29%.

How important is this matter of the 3,412 “suspected Covid-19” participants? Let us say hypothetically that we as a nation decide to vaccinate our entire population with the Pfizer vaccine assuming that it has a 95% efficacy in preventing the disease. We can predict that within a month about 6.3% people will develop Covid-like symptoms from something other than vaccine reactogenicity or the disease itself. This is based on the number of participants who became symptomatic (from something other than reactogenicity) despite getting the vaccine and tested negative (1,185) divided by the total number who got the vaccine (18,801) = 0.063. With a population of 300 million we would expect roughly 19 million people to develop symptoms of Covid from something other than SARS-COV2 within a month. We can agree that we must be extremely confident in our assumptions about whether these 19 million people have the disease or not. Why would we assume they all don’t have Covid-19 when the vaccine trial itself considered them to be “suspected” of having it?

There is another extreme possibility. If all of the vaccinated participants who were suspected of Covid-19 truly did not have the disease and all of the unvaccinated (placebo) participants who were suspect did have the disease we would have a true miracle vaccine. Why? It would mean that only 8 people got the disease in the vaccinated group compared to 1978 in the placebo group. This would mean that the vaccine was approximately 99.6% effective.

Pfizer either did not do or report additional testing that would have helped

The real issue here is that we shouldn’t be guessing about such important numbers. What do you suppose Pfizer did, knowing that this larger pool of symptomatic participants could have an enormous impact on the estimation of their vaccine’s efficacy? In my opinion, they should have tested everyone who developed symptoms for antibody titers to help quantify the percentage of false negative PCR tests. If a participant felt like they were coming down with Covid-19 but had a negative PCR test, it seems clear that performing an antibody test would have offered a great deal of clarity. This was either not done or not reported.

We must be careful when interpreting the power of a vaccine safety and efficacy study. Although tens of thousands of people were enrolled in the study, the only meaningful numbers have to do with those that contracted the disease during the period of observation. This is the only way to assess the efficacy of the vaccine. When Pfizer only considers participants that became symptomatic and tested positive we only have a group of 170 cases to cross compare.

The 3,410 people who became symptomatic but tested negative during the four weeks of observation would represent a much larger set of cohorts and would amplify the power of the study 20 fold if infection could be confirmed or ruled out through additional testing. In other words, the 3,410 symptomatic people should be the ones that Pfizer were hoping would emerge when they enrolled 37,000+ individuals in their study. I find this lapse in diligence suspicious and at the very least inexplicable, especially in light of the latitude they are granted under the EUA. The fact of the matter is that we do not know if this was done. Pfizer, per their own protocol, will not make this data available until the trial is completed 20 months from now. 

Why didn’t Pfizer look harder?

This forces us to ask some sobering questions. If Pfizer is required (or has agreed) to make all data available in two years, would they have conducted antibody tests on the “suspected Covid” group? If those results told a different story it would be quite damning, if not now, eventually. Their product would not be permitted for use under the EUA if a 50% efficacy requirement could not be met. On the other hand, if antibody tests were conducted and the results confirmed the impressive efficacy of the vaccine, why wouldn’t they have made the data available right now?

It should be clear that if Pfizer’s primary goal was to obtain approval under the EUA they would have had little incentive to do further testing to confirm their product’s efficacy. Why would they take the risk of seeking more information on 3,400 participants that could potentially overturn their results that were based on only 170 outcomes? This is where we must be very careful in our assessment of the situation. If you believe Pfizer and vaccine manufacturers are only out for profits it would be easy to conclude that they are being manipulative. If you believe that these corporations are seeking to improve public health and safety you may grant them a lot of latitude here. To be truly objective we must ask if they have been scientific in their approach.

At the very least I feel that they have not been diligent, and their position hints at disingenuousness: Pfizer didn’t mention this group of participants in their 92 page report or in their publication in the New England Journal of Medicine. This group was only mentioned in two paragraphs of a 53 page briefing to the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) of the FDA submitted December 10, 2020. The FDA, an agency of the department of Health and Human Services that ostensibly serves to protect the public by ensuring the safety of drugs, biological products and medical devices, continues to remain silent around this issue.

The Takeaway

The 95% efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine is widely touted by the media and the medical establishment. Why didn’t Pfizer test or report the testing of an enormously important group of participants in their trial? We can predict that without these additional tests deploying the vaccine will not change our behavior nor our attitude to this pandemic.

About the Author

Although I am an Electrical Engineer and a practicing Anesthesiologist, I consider myself to be primarily an Epistemologist. In other words, I am most interested in how we, as individuals, know what we know. It doesn’t require much inquiry to see that most of us adopt narratives largely from what we have been told. Conscious Media, or the dissemination of information devoid of bias so that it may be considered openly and objectively is therefore vitally important to any society that is interested in the compassionate pursuit of truth. I offer my perspective as a physician and engineer in the hope that it potentiates Collective Spark’s mission to responsibly explore relevant topics and events in a manner that encourages curiosity and engagement.

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Israel Mandates “Vaccine Passes” For Gyms, Malls, Hotels & More – Some Using Facial Recognition

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Photo Credit: Collective Evolution

What Happened: Israel has recently implemented a new measure that requires citizens who would like to enter into gyms, shopping malls, theatres, swimming pools and hotels to be vaccinated. Once they are vaccinated they receive a “vaccine pass.” You get a “green pass” if you have had two doses of the vaccine or if you’ve had COVID-19 and are presumed to be immune. Some of these places are also using facial recognition technology to confirm the identity of people.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted, “We are the first country in the world that is reviving itself thanks to the millions of vaccines we brought in….Vaccinated? Get the Green Pass and get back to life.”

Social-distancing and mask wearing mandates are still in place even for those who have been vaccinated. Israel has administered at least one dose of the vaccine to nearly 50% of their population. That’s almost 4.5 million people, and they are claiming that the risk of illness from COVID-19 has dropped 95.8% among people who have received both shots.

According to Reuters:

Israel has logged more than 740,000 cases and 5,500 deaths from COVID-19, drawing criticism of Netanyahu’s sometimes patchy enforcement of three national lockdowns. The government has pledged that there will not be a fourth. But Nachman Ash, a physician in charge of the country’s pandemic response, told Army Radio that another lockdown “is still possible … Half of the population is still not immune.”

It’s unclear whether or not controversy has surrounded the death count in Israel. For example Ontario (Canada) public health clearly states that deaths will be marked as COVID deaths whether or not it’s clear if COVID was the cause or contributed to the death. This means that those who did not die as a result of COVID are included in the death count. You can find the source for that and read more about it here.

Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health stated the following during the first wave of the pandemic,

If you were in hospice and had already been given a few weeks to live and then you were also found to have COVID, that would be counted as a COVID death, despite if you died of a clear alternative cause it’s still listed as a COVID death. So, everyone who is listed as a COVID death that doesn’t mean that was the cause of the death, but they had COVID at the time of death.

These are a few of many examples.

Why This Is Important: Many mainstream media sources, as expected, have picked up on this story. There are quotes from citizens who have been interviewed who support these mandatory vaccine measures, with many expressing that it makes them feel safe and protected. This is obviously understandable, a large portion of people do feel this way, and do feel that vaccines help to protect people and stop the spread of COVID-19. But these are the people that seem to be given a voice within mainstream media. All other opinions, especially if they call into question the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine seem to be instantaneously shut down. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for example, have been quite open about the fact that they do and will ban any accounts who bring to light information that paint vaccines in a negative light.

https://gbdeclaration.org/

Despite no attention from mainstream media, many in the “alternative” media community are well aware of the growing vaccine hesitancy that exists within multiple countries. 

Riverside County, California has a population of approximately 2.4 million, and about 50% of healthcare workers in the county are refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine despite the fact that they have top priority and access to it. At Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, one in five frontline nurses and doctors have declined the shot. Roughly 20% to 40% of L.A. County’s frontline workers who were offered the vaccine did the same, according to county public health officials. According to the L.A. Times, “The vaccine doubts swirling among healthcare workers across the country come as a surprise to researchers, who assumed hospital staff would be among those most in tune with the scientific data backing the vaccines”

The “scientific data” as the L.A. Times puts it has also come into question by academicians, scientists and doctors. For example, Dr. Peter Doshi, an associate editor at the British Medical Journal (BMJ) published a piece in the journal issuing a word of caution about the supposed 95% Effective” COVID vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna.” In it he outlines how there is no proof showing that the vaccine can and will prevent infection and/or transmission of the virus.

 A study recently published in Global Advances In Health & Medicine titled “Ascorbate as Prophylaxis and Therapy for COVID-19 – Update From Shanghai and U.S points out,

A recent consensus statement from a group of renowned infectious disease clinicians observed that vaccine programs have proven ill-suited to the fast-changing viruses underlying these illnesses, with efficacy ranging from 19% to 54% in the past few years.

But according to Facebook fact-checker Health Feedback,

In the case of both COVID-19 vaccines, the FDA concluded that they met the necessary criteria for safety and efficacy. Preliminary data from clinical trials indicate that both vaccines have more than 94% efficacy in protecting vaccinated individuals from the disease. Clinical trials are still underway, so estimates of each vaccine’s efficacy may change.

A few other papers have raised concerns as well, for example. A study published in October of 2020 in the International Journal of Clinical Practice states:

 COVID-19 vaccines designed to elicit neutralising antibodies may sensitise vaccine recipients to more severe disease than if they were not vaccinated. Vaccines for SARS, MERS and RSV have never been approved, and the data generated in the development and testing of these vaccines suggest a serious mechanistic concern: that vaccines designed empirically using the traditional approach (consisting of the unmodified or minimally modified coronavirus viral spike to elicit neutralising antibodies), be they composed of protein, viral vector, DNA or RNA and irrespective of delivery method, may worsen COVID-19 disease via antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). This risk is sufficiently obscured in clinical trial protocols and consent forms for ongoing COVID-19 vaccine trials that adequate patient comprehension of this risk is unlikely to occur, obviating truly informed consent by subjects in these trials.

In a new research article published in Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, veteran immunologist J. Bart Classen expresses similar concerns and writes that “RNA-based COVID vaccines have the potential to cause more disease than the epidemic of COVID-19.”

I’m not going to go into detail here. If you want to read more about growing vaccine hesitancy among, not only people, but doctors and scientists as well and  the reasons as to why so many people are hesitant, you can do so in articles I’ve previously published that go more in depth herehere, and here.

The reason why Israel has implemented these measures, and why many other places in many other countries will most likely follow is based on the theory that if you are vaccinated, you are ultimately protecting others. This is referred to as “herd immunity.” In a 2014 analysis in the Oregon Law Review by New York University (NYU) legal scholars Mary Holland and Chase E. Zachary (who also has a Princeton-conferred doctorate in chemistry), the authors claim that 60 years of compulsory vaccine policies “have not attained herd immunity for any childhood disease.” This is one of multiple reasons why so many suggest voluntary choice as opposed to vaccine mandates.

It’s obviously quite a controversial issue these days.

The point I am making is that freedom of choice, in my opinion, should always remain and if not I feel that is quite immoral and unethical. At the end of the day, mandatory measures are being done in a clever way, because you still do have the freedom of choice in Israel, you just can’t enter certain places of business.

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, what seems to be happening is that the mainstream does not do a proper job at addressing controversial issues? When it comes to vaccines specifically, it’s not uncommon to hear terms like “anti-vax conspiracy theorist” being used without actually addressing the concerns that are being raised.

I often point to a conference held at the end of 2019 put on by the World Health Organization (WHO). At the conference, Dr. Heidi Larson a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project Emphasized this point, that this kind of terminology does not help and needs to be done away with. She also stated,

The other thing that’s a trend, and an issue, is not just confidence in providers but confidence of health care providers. We have a very wobbly health professional frontline that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines. That’s a huge problem, because to this day any study I’ve seen…still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider.

When it comes to vaccines specifically, a quote from a paper published in the International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy by professor Paddy Rawlinson, from Western Sydney University, provides some good insight into what I am referring to.

Critical criminology repeatedly has drawn attention to the state-corporate nexus as a site of corruption and other forms of criminality, a scenario exacerbated by the intensification of neoliberalism in areas such as health. The state-big pharma relationship, which increasingly influences health policy, is no exception. That is especially so when big pharma products such as vaccines, a burgeoning sector of the industry, are mandated in direct violation of the principle of informed consent. Such policies have provoked suspicion and dissent as critics question the integrity of the state-pharma alliance and its impact on vaccine safety. However, rather than encouraging open debate, draconian modes of governance have been implemented to repress and silence any form of criticism, thereby protecting the activities of the state and big pharma industry from independent scrutiny. The article examines this relationship in the context of recent legislation in Australia to intensify its mandatory regime around vaccines. It argues that attempts to undermine freedom of speech, and to systematically excoriate those who criticise or dissent from mandatory vaccine programs, function as a corrupting process and, by extension, serve to provoke the notion that corruption does indeed exist within the state-pharma alliance.

Censorship does not solve any problems. If there’s misinformation out there the solution to that, in my opinion, is more discussion and more free speech. Conversations and healthy debates should be occurring more in these times, instead what we are seeing is the shutdown of any opinion, information and evidence that seems to go against the grain.

Many of us are feeling the loss of freedoms, and even with new measures like that which is presented in this article, we are now seeing how our reality may become limited should we choose not to participate in certain measures we don’t agree with. The trouble we seem to be having is determining how to communicate about COVID, the fears we have around it, and how to come together as a community to ‘draw a line’ as to where we may be taking things too far.

Have we given ‘authority’ figures too much power to the point where they can limit our rights and freedoms if we do not comply? The issue of vaccines is not a black and white one. There are many concerns and issues and as a result of this, freedom of choice, I believe, should always remain. Many people see mandatory vaccine measures as completely unethical, others see them as necessary and justified. At the end of the day, if we keep listening and obeying we continue to place more power in the hands of people and institutions that may not have the best interests of humanity at heart and are more focused on profit, power and control. If there’s one thing that’s constant throughout history, it’s that global issues like COVID, climate change, and terrorism, for example, have all been used for powerful people to capitalize off of in more ways than one.

Do you truly believe that when the first wave, this second wave, the 16th wave of the coronavirus is a long-forgotten memory, that these capabilities will not be kept? That these datasets will not be kept? – Edward Snowden

It’s fine if you believe this vaccine is safe, effective and that everybody should take it. It’s also fine if you believe the opposite, why can’t we all just get along without one side forcing the other in order to access certain rights and freedoms?

This article (Israel Mandates “Vaccine Passes” For Gyms, Malls, Hotels & More – Some Using Facial Recognition) was originally created for Collective Evolution and is published here under Creative Commons.

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University Of Alaska Study ‘Definitively’ Concludes Fire Did Not Cause Building 7 Collapse On 9/11

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9/11,
Photo Credit: Mint Press News

Phillip SchneiderGuest Writer

On September 3rd, the University of Alaska Fairbanks released a study on their analysis of the infamous Twin Towers collapse. In it, they found that the third tower’s collapse was, “caused not by fire but rather by the near-simultaneous failure of every column in the building.”

On September 11th, 2001, World Trade Center Building 7 collapsed in on itself at free fall speed, falling over 100 feet in less than 10 seconds. After the event, the New York City government cleaned up the debris before a full forensic investigation could be done.

This information and more has prompted many family members of victims, architects, engineers, and everyday people to be sceptical of the official narrative surrounding 9/11, that three buildings fell that day based solely on the impact of Al-Qaeda’s hijacked planes.

The report, led by Dr. J. Leroy Hulsey and funded by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, is currently in draft form until its public comment period ends. The final report is expected to be released before the end of the year.

“The principal conclusion of our study is that fire did not cause the collapse of WTC 7 on 9/11, contrary to the conclusions of NIST and private engineering firms that studied the collapse.” – Dr. J. Leroy Hulsey

University Study Concludes: Fire Did Not Bring Down Building 7 on 9/11

The conclusions of this four-year study, funded by the not-for-profit group Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, runs in complete contrast to the findings of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the government-funded agency responsible for the official conclusion that fire caused by jet fuel was responsible for the collapse of each World Trade Center building, including Building 7, which was not hit by a plane.

In the recent study, computer models were created to simulate each collapse scenario, including both the conclusions of Dr. J. Leroy Hulsey, as well as those of the NIST.

After analysing each scenario, the study authors concluded that, “the collapse of WTC 7 was a global failure involving the near-simultaneous failure of all columns in the building and not a progressive collapse involving the sequential failure of columns throughout the building.”

“We discovered that NIST over-estimated the rigidity of the outside frame by not modelling its connections… overall thermal movements at the A2001 base plate support near Column 79 were not sufficient to displace girder A2001.” – Dr. J. Leroy Hulsey

Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth is an organization which represents over 3,000 certified architects and engineers who question the official story put out by NIST and the White House. The nonprofit has produced other studies as well, including “15 Years Later: One the Physics of High-Rise Building Collapses”, published in the European Scientific Journal in 2016.

Footage of Building 7 collapsing on 9/11
Compiled Footage of Building 7’s Collapse

As time moves on, people seem to be more open-minded about the idea that the World Trade Center may not have fallen due to fire, as the official story suggests. Even Donald Trump suggested at one point that the buildings had probably been destroyed by explosives.

“How could a plane, even a 767 or a 747 or whatever it might have been, how could it possibly go through the steel? I happen to think they had not only a plane, but they had bombs that exploded almost simultaneously because I just can’t imagine anything being able to go through that wall…. I just think that there was a plane with more than just fuel.” – Donald Trump, 2001

The tragic events that occurred on 9/11 have led to many global changes including the war on terror, the TSA, the Patriot Act, and more, which were all introduced after the attacks. No matter what the cause of the collapse, people deserve to know the truth about this event that killed thousands and changed our government forever.

According to this analysis, the question is still very much up in the air.

“Despite simulating a number of hypothetical scenarios, we were unable to identify any progressive sequence of failures that could have taken place on September 11, 2001, and caused a total collapse of the building, let alone the observed straight-down collapse with approximately 2.5 seconds of free fall and minimal differential movement of the exterior.” – Dr. J. Leroy Hulsey

About the Author

Phillip Schneider is a student as well as a staff writer and assistant editor for Waking Times. If you would like to see more of his work, you can visit his website, or follow him on the free speech social network Minds.

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Germany Starts Universal Basic Income Trial Giving Some Citizens $1400 A Month For 3 Years

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Germany Starts Universal Basic Income
Photo Credit: Collective Evolution

What Happened: Germany is starting a universal basic income trial where volunteers will get a $1400 dollar payment every single month as part of a study that will compare the experiences of 120 volunteers who receive it to 1,380 people who won’t. A total of 140,000 people have come together to help fund the study after the idea of a universal basic income continues to gain popularity. Germany is not the only country who has begun such initiatives, Finland also did something similar a few years ago, and proponents of the initiative believe it would improve peoples’ lives and reduce inequality, among other things. Opposition arguments to this type of initiative suggest that it would simply be unaffordable, too expensive and also discourage work.

Jürgen Schupp, who is leading the study, told the German newspaper Der Spiegel that it would improve the debate about universal basic income by producing new scientific evidence.

“The debate about the basic income has so far been like a philosophical salon in good moments and a war of faith in bad times,” he told the newspaper.

Universal basic income is not really supported by any of the major political parties across the globe, especially in Germany.

Why This Is Important: A quote often attributed to Henry Ford reads as follows, “It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.” Isn’t it odd that the financial elite can simply print money at will? How come when we do it it’s called counter-fitting, but when they do it it’s called increasing the money supply? These people can literally create money out of thin air, and the more I understand the concept of fractional reserve banking, the more I realize that money is simply a tool to in-slave and control the human race while benefiting a select few. This becomes easier to see when you follow the money.

Do we not have the potential to create something better on our planet? Is money really needed, or could we all come together, cooperate and find a better way? If we are going to use this creation of ours, could it not be used in a better and more efficient way?

“As I followed the money I’ve learned that everything I once believed about money is simply not true.” – Foster Gamble

If you want to learn more about the system, you can refer to this article that goes into more detail: The Real Purpose of the Federal Reserve Banking System.

I believe these questions are important, as many of us have been made to believe that our financial system is for the greater good, and that it’s efficient and the only possible way to operate here on our planet. When it comes to the world of finance, our minds are stuck inside of a box.

When it comes to universal basic income, is it really too expensive? For those who believe it is not feasible, did you know that Mark Skidmore, a Michigan State University economist teamed up with multiple researchers, including Catherine Austin Fitts, former assistant secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and  found trillions of unaccounted for dollars missing from housing & D.O.D?  Did you know that trillions of dollars are going into “black budget” programs that the president, for example, has no idea about? Did you know that there is no branch or agency of government that can overrule actions that the Federal Reserve takes? It’s simple, if you control the money supply, if you are the printer and the maker of money, you control the population and can create the experience you want humans to live inside.

The researchers found documents indicating a total of $20 trillion of undocumented adjustments had been made, from 1998 to 2015. The original government documents and a report describing the issue can be found here where updates are continually provided.

Imagine if this $21 trillion was allocated to a universal income package? Big financial institutions seem to have no issue with constantly printing money when they need it, but when it comes to concepts of universal income, there are always excuses. Ask yourself, is it really too expensive when this type of misallocation of money is happening?

The problem doesn’t really seem that we don’t have enough money, the issue is that the monetary system is used for control and money is allocated, both legally and illegally, to projects that don’t have the best interests of humanity at hand. The system would work better of the world of finance was not dominated by global elitist agendas seeking control and power. Perhaps it would work better if these people were actually making decisions based on what’s best for humanity.

It’s a complicated topic, a deep one that I would have to go in depth into the fraud, corruption and intentions behind our modern day banking system.

I believe humanity is more than capable of creating a human experience that doesn’t require money. We are extremely advanced, and we already have the means to create an experience where everybody’s basic needs can be met without the requirement for work. This can come as a result of various technological advancements, cooperation not competition, and more.

This is why shifting human consciousness is so paramount.

I believe that solutions exist, yet any type of solution that threatens to uproot our economy and how it currently operates never sees the light of day, and some of these developments are kept from public eye due to ‘national security’ concerns. Today, national security has become an umbrella term to classify technology and information that threatens corporate interests. This is why Julian Assange is in jail.

For example, most countries have an Invention Secrecy Act. Are certain technologies that threaten our current economic system that’s based on the idea that resources are scarce, a threat to scarcity? Is technology that could provide abundance to all hidden from the public simply because they threaten those with large amounts of power? What type of technology is under restriction under the Invention Secrecy Act? We don’t really know, but a previous list from 1971 was obtained by researcher Michael Ravnitzky. Most of the technology listed seems to be related to various military applications. You can view that list HERE.

As Steven Aftergood from the Federation of American Scientists reports:

“The 1971 list indicates that patents for solar photovoltaic generators were subject to review and possible restriction if the photovoltaics were more than 20% efficient. Energy conversion systems were likewise subject to review and possible restriction if they offered conversion efficiencies in “excess of 70-80%.” (source)

You can read more about the Invention Secrecy Act here.

There have been even more efficient developments.

There is significant evidence that scientists since Tesla have known about this energy, but that its existence and potential use has been discouraged and indeed suppressed over the past half century or more.  – Dr. Theodor C. Loder, III (source)

What if I told you all of our homes could be powered by nature, without the need to be reliant on the corporation, without the need for gas, coal, oil, fossil fuels etc…These are a few of many examples that would be included in a world that would operate without the need to pay for your life, or services that should be everybody’s birth right.

“Much to my surprise, these concepts have been proven in hundreds of laboratories throughout world and yet they have not really seen the light of day.” – Former NASA astronaut and Princeton physics professor. (source)

There are many examples of this, Paramahamsa Tewari, a physicist and inventor, who won early commendation by Nobel Laureates in physics for his revolutionary Space Vortex Theory, published a paper in Physics Essays (2018) explaining his theory, from which he built an electrical generator capable of achieving over-unity efficiency. You can watch a video of him and his machine here. Why isn’t humanity exploring these concepts that could lift our dependence on big energy corporations and eliminate scarcity of resources, openly, freely and transparently? 

Again, energy generation is one of many examples, there are many solutions to all of our issues from food, to environmental degradation and more.

It seems that when it comes to solutions that can help ‘free’ the human race, even just a little bit with the idea of universal basic income, it is sharply opposed by all major political parties, just like it is in Germany.

Any type of bartering system, or monetary system that is controlled by the citizenry, like Bitcoin for example, also always faces harsh opposition, or an attempt to gain control over it ensues. There are people out there who desire power and control above anything else, and the money supply represents the center of that control.

The truth is, a thriving society will be one that’s devoid of any reliance on governments/federal regulatory agencies. Our various systems are put in place and structured in a way to make it easy for us to be controlled, and for the “1%” to thrive. Right now, we are their worker bees and we choose to uphold the system and are taught, through education, to justify it and see it as necessary without ever using our imagination to ponder how it could be different.

We have so much potential, and we can do much better than we are currently doing.

Bitcoin image
5D Shift: Essential Evidence Of A Widespread Awakening Underway. Click here to read the article.
The Takeaway

I often think about how absurd it is to live on a planet where you can die if you are unable to pay for your life. Having worked in this field for a number of years now, and as stated above, solutions exist to change our world and kick our dependence on corrupt governments and organizations. We could be in the stars by now. Life doesn’t have to be this way, if we continue operating from our current level of consciousness our planet will continue to be destroyed. There are better ways to do things here, and providing all citizens with a basic income, whether they are currently earning or not, is a fantastic place to start as it is clearly possible given all of the money that’s spend on measures that don’t really make sense.

This article (Germany Starts Universal Basic Income Trial Giving Some Citizens $1400 A Month For 3 Years) was originally created for Collective Evolution and is published here under Creative Commons.

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Alternative News

Catholic Church Ignores Pedophilia, But Bishop Warns Reiki & Energy Healing Are Satanic

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Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan
Photo Credit: Collective Evolution

 Richard Enos, Guest Writer

It is wisely said that, ‘you should clean up your own backyard first before you come running over to fix mine.’ Obviously, this wisdom continues to be lost on the clergy of the Catholic Church.

According to this Irish News article, Catholic Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan has said he is establishing a “delivery ministry” of people who will attempt to rid others of the devil and warned that using reiki or other new-age healing methods could open one up to the possibility of encountering malevolent spirits. He said he had received “several requests” from people to help deal with evil forces.

On the strength of what spellbinding evidence and research does the bishop rest his indictment against reiki healing treatments on? He said he was told by the brother of a reiki master that the man was “working on somebody one day when he actually says he saw a vision of Satan” and was “scared out of his wits, dropped the reiki and went back to the Church”.

Gosh. Did Bishop Cullinan even go so far as to interview the reiki master himself, to verify the authenticity of the report, and perhaps inform himself just a touch more about the philosophy and practice of reiki, before giving it such firm identification with the dark side?

“This is something that has to be done in secret because you don’t let these people’s names out, and they are going to houses where people maybe have been involved in some kind of new-age thing or some kind of séance or that kind of thing, and unfortunately, they’ve opened up a door to an evil force, Satan.” – Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan

Absolving Personal Responsibility

Let’s be clear on what the good bishop is saying here: he is worried about people getting influenced by Satan while engaging in ‘new-age’ healing practices. (In fact, he misidentifies reiki as a ‘new age’ practice when in fact it was developed in the early 1900’s in Japan by Mikao Usui, who realized that healing energy can be transmitted between human beings via the hands and directed intention and visualization.) Does he say what the consequences might be if people fall deeply enough under Satan’s spell under these conditions? Will they suddenly be tempted to steal an apple from the grocery store? Say a crossword to a neighbour? He doesn’t know. And doesn’t say. And probably hasn’t even thought that far.

No, what it really looks like is that the good bishop would like to stop people who are taking personal responsibility for their own healing, and play the devil card to encourage such people to run back to the Catholic Church where members don’t actually have to take responsibility for their own actions–they can simply believe the devil made them do it. This is a scenario in which the good bishop can feel useful in an advisory capacity because he has the God-given power to absolve participants of their sins with the recitation of a few ‘Hail Mary’s.

Why Not Address In-House Pedophilia?

You would think, if indeed you believe Cullinan is being sincere, that he would not be sticking his nose into something he knows little about, and instead bring his Satan-fighting attention to the actions of his Catholic brethren who are already known to be torturing children. You would think it would be of the highest order to turn his exorcising powers to work on these contemporaries of his, if for nothing else than to try to resurrect the reputation of the Catholic Church which has fallen to unprecedented depths.

But you get the feeling that his attitude falls in line with the Church on the matter of pedophilia in the church. Their inaction seems to indicate that they feel not much can be done about it. It is not a question of personal responsibility; it is a question of demonic possession. In the past, Cullinan said he “absolutely” agreed with Pope Francis’s view that child abuse is caused by Satan. This means offenders themselves are not to be ‘blamed’ for their actions. The church’s propensity to take offenders of these violent crimes and simply move them away from one outraged community to continue their criminal activity in another one is a clear sign of this.

Popes audience hall
Multiple Catholic Priests Expose the Practice of “Satanism” within the Vatican. Click here to read the article.
The Takeaway

This bishop certainly has gall to act concerned about potential demonic influence coming from modern energy healing practices he knows nothing about. The good news is, the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church continues to reveal itself in these feeble attempts to retain power over people, and they could serve as a catalyst for more people who still give themselves over to these institutions to take their power back.

The views in this article may not reflect editorial policy of Collective Spark.

About the Author

My Master’s thesis on “The Anatomy of Self-Overcoming in Nietzsche” was only the beginning of my journey of exploration into consciousness. I have since lived and taught in Korea, studied yoga in India, written a book entitled “Parables for the New Conversation”, built a film and theatre production company (pandorasboxoffice.ca), and started a family.

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