Big Pharma Mouthpieces Attempt "Credibility Assassination" of RFK Jr.
First off, someone really needs to have a talk with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Apparently no one told him that regardless of how much they may share some of your viewpoints Scientology is not a good ally. In case you didn't know, RFK Jr. has been, for years, a vocal opponent of Monsanto, Big Pharma companies and the vaccine industry. Unfortunately, Kennedy seems to have not gotten the memo that despite the old adage about "the enemy of my enemy" it's best not to ally yourself with the Church of Scientology.
I saw the RFK Jr. news at the Genetic Literacy Project. The further I made it through that article, the more incredulous I became. The desperation in trying to deny any possible dangers of glyphosphate was another tip off. What really got me though were claims that Kennedy was taking part in a rally with neo-Nazis in Berlin. As it turns out, there were some far right protesters who were gathered at another area who tried to storm the Reichstag, but conflating the two event is inaccurate and potentially libelous.
DowneastDem stated that Kennedy spoke at a protest in Berlin organized by right-wing extremists, including anti-Semitic conspiracy groups and the neo-Nazi NPD party.
“Tens of thousands of “corona-truthers’ descended on Berlin today,” the brief article states, “to protest the measures implemented by Angela Merkel and her government to prevent the coronavirus spread.”
In truth, Kennedy states in the petition, he spoke in Berlin on Aug. 29, decrying Nazism and totalitarianism of all kinds, at an event organized by a democratic organization that opposes fascism and extremism.
The Daily Kos article was based on a German newspaper report that “confirms the falsity” of DowneastDems’ account, according to the petition. Several coronavirus-related gatherings were held that day, for instance, and an individual interviewed by the German newspaper said she had not seen any neo-Nazis in the crowd.
In a FranceSoir exclusive interview with RFK Jr. he responds to questions about the virus and the neo-Nazi march claims. Kennedy says we just don't know if it was manmade or natural or intentionally or accidentally released... and that isn't that important. "Any crisis is an opportunity of convenience for authoritarianism. In the same way that 9/11 was. Every major trauma is used by elites, whether it's military or intelligence apparatus or telecom companies or, in this case ... Silicon Valley billionaires, Jeff Bezos, Zuckerberg, Gates [who are] continuing to make billions and billions while the middle class globally is obliterated." He also points out the potential dangers of the 5g rollout which include the "unprecedented capacity for surveillance and control of human behavior as well as an ability to harvest our data and turn us into consuming machines." That is "what's happening, it doesn't matter whether it was planned or not." One of the dangers also presented are the dark alliances forged by pharma, intel and the Silicon Valley and mass media oligarchs intent on censoring anything critical of vaccination or government control. Continuing down this sort of path will lead to the "advent of a very, very dark plutocracy."
Kennedy's legal team demanded on August 30th that Daily Kos remove the article to prevent "the need for legal action." They did not remove the article but have posted it alongside the letter and petition from RFK Jr. Meanwhile, Kennedy is hoping to subpoena Kos Media “to identify the proper parties to any potential future lawsuit for libel regarding the defamatory article.”
Meanwhile, RFK Jr. also took offense at the article painting him as "notorious" and the "Kennedy family black sheep." As hurtful as those claims may be personally, they are the only ones that seem to have any basis in reality.
Politico published an editorial co-written by Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (former chair of the Global Virus Network, former Lt. Gov. of Maryland), Joseph P. Kennedy II (chairman and president Citizen's Energy Corporation, former Congressman from Massachusetts) and Maeve Kennedy McKean (Georgetown University's Global Health Initiatives) where the authors explain they "love" their brother and uncle but "he's tragically wrong about vaccines."
The article blasts RFK Jr. for playing a part in "the growing fear and mistrust of vaccines - amplified by internet doomsayers." They decry how he "helped tos pread dangerous misinformation over social media and is complicit in sowing distrust of the science behind vaccines."
Ironically, the story here is more about the stories about RFK Jr. and vaccines and these topics. Journalism about science is notoriously bad. One example of a story that was picked up widely and spread carelessly is a study that suggested coconut oil was potentially unhealthy. Of course, it's a little convenient and coincidental that the study was funded by the Canola Oil Council and the California Walnut Commission. Observer pointed out another example where a report was published by the American heart Association in the journal Circulation. The article was funded by Pfizer, Glaxo-Smith Kline, AstraZeneca, Amgen and other pharma manufacturers who are pushing statins and other cholesterol-lowering drugs.
A similar situation can be found with the Genetic Literacy Project. GLP has a vested interest in painting RFK Jr. in a bad light. Desperate enough to glom onto a single, uncorroborated media report claiming that Robert Kennedy Jr. spoke at a neo-Nazi rally. Monsanto got hit hard by Robert Kennedy in the courtrooms and were forced to award a historic $289 million based on a claim related to cancer. I'm sure that still stings, so it's not surprising that a "non-profit" that acts as a PR mouthpiece for Monsanto would use spurious claims to attack the credibility of the environmental lawyer and activist.
The non-profit U.S. Right to Know conducted some Freedom of Information requests that showed some disturbing trends involving cozy connections between certain public institutions like the CDC, certain charities, policy makers and "collaborating scholars (including scientists and academics)."
Some info has also been gleaned thanks to court cases such as one in which lawyers involved showed documents proving Monsanto funneled money to the Genetic Literacy Project and American Council on Science and Health to "shame scientists and highlight information helpful to Monsanto and other chemical producers."
Right to Know (RTK) found in the course of this research that one International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) had been "deployed to influence the WHO Director General" on behalf of Neville Isdell of the Coca-Cola corporation. "We must find a way of some one such as a famous scientist arrange to pay her a visit. Jim Hill or some one of similar stature or a US Government scientist." The letter goes on to note how Alex Malaspina had just met with the former Director General of the WHO "at his private dining room in the WHO Geneva Headquarters" to talk about the charity organization and "how the two organisations could work with each other."
ILSI and GLP are just two of multiple examples listed in one single study on the danger of corporate advocacy posing as genuine scientific inquiry for the benefit of the public good. Currently Bayer, parent of Monsanto, claims that they are no longer affiliated with GLP but RTK's research shows that they have had repeat issues with financial transparency in the past. In addition to shilling for Monsanto and trying to claim that glyphosphate is safe despite studies showing it may increase likelihood of cancer by 41%, GLP's head, John Entine received nearly $200,000 from the Center for Media and Public Affairs/George Mason University which was paid by Phillip Morris in the 90s to attempt to deal with bad press about the potential dangers of tobacco.
The interaction between think tanks, policy institutes, non-profits donating big money to scientists, universities, journalism organizations and venues and elsewhere are perhaps one of many reasons for the current replicability crisis in science journals. A crisis wherein which "a new study" that comes out several times each week to much media fanfare can't be reproduced by other researchers. In other words, basically junk science which, in cases like that of the coconut oil bunk study backed by the canola oil and walnut councils, show clear signs of financial conflicts. In some cases these organizations even pose as news sites themselves. Tech Central Station is an example of a group operated by a public relations firm, DCI Group. DCI were acting on behalf of Exxon Mobil. They also had a connection to Gilead Science, who they also provided positive "news coverage" of. DCI, like CMPA, had been previously part of the tobacco lobby's personal arsenal.
A study of meta-analyses on anti-depressants showed evidence suggesting that meta-analyses sponsored by industry were 22 times less likely to report potential dangers than independent meta-analyses. That said, academic publications have similar issues that help lead to the replication crisis in medicine. 96% of studies in a random sample of 1,000 Medline abstracts reported significant p-values showing the prevalence of positive results being published in the journals.
Meanwhile, a former executive with GlaxoSmithKline recently joined Joe Biden's transition team to head the search for a vaccine. No conflicts of interest there, surely. Then again, taking on the pharma lobby can lead to suicide as in the case of Daniel Best who died shortly after being tasked with lowering medication costs for seniors. Snopes denies "far right conspiracist websites" claiming he didn't kill himself without providing any evidence to support their claim apart from pointing out, rightfully, there are ways self-inflicted head trauma can be cause of death. This applies in many circumstances, in a car or jumping from a great height, for instance, but in lieu of any details specific to this case it is still quite curious. Not only is blunt force trauma to the head in suicide rare according to the medical literature available, but according to the medical journal Forensic Science international, "no reports on suicide indicate blunt head trauma to be the singular cause of death in recent publications."
In other words, Best's death was a medical rarity that would have likely been published and should have at least inspired a criminal investigation, as generally blunt force trauma to the head, barring evidence of accidental causes or a fall from a great height, is an indication of homicide rather than suicide.
Ah, but I digress. Point being, even despite disagreeing in some areas and being displeased with Kennedy's, hopefully unknowing, deal with the devil by aligning himself with Scientology, I don't believe he should be written off entirely. His concerns about the deep connections between the intelligence community, Silicon Valley, powerful lobby groups like Big Pharma and the energy corporations are, sadly, valid.
“I transcribed your speech,” I wrote, “and I have to say, it’s a doozy.” He called me within a few minutes. At first it was the usual Bobby: Vaccines. Covid. Wuhan. Fauci. Science. He invoked his Uncle Jack. He invoked his father.
I told him that, as someone listening to his speech, it seemed clear that he was equating the Centers for Disease Control to Nazi Germany. “That’s not true,” he said. “That’s the problem. I use language really precisely, and I can’t help how people interpret it.” He talked more about threats to democracy, and more about his uncle, and more about his father. And finally I asked him, Is there something about martyrdom that’s attractive, or alluring, to him? Is having people write you off as crazy kind of like a form of assassination? “I don’t think I’m being self-destructive,” he said. “I’m also willing to take risk, which is a risk in the belief that if I keep telling the truth, it might make a difference.”
Food for thought, credibility assassination can be as effective as character or even physical assassination at squelching a gadfly. Here's hoping RFK Jr. will realize that with so many eyes on him determined to paint him in a bad light consideration of the optics of a team-up with a controversial anti-psychiatry cult might not be the best bet. Still, I'd say it's too early to throw Bobby Jr. out with the bathwater.