There aren’t a whole lot of stories these days that churn my stomach, as the combined violence, sickness, destruction, evil and general misery of human existence has numbed me out overall.
Oh but this… this one gets me. A recent CBC story revealed that the B.C. government granted $428,500 to a Vancouver-based anti-vaccination group over the course of a decade… while the group “screened anti-vaccination movies, shared content from anti-vaccination websites and complained about censorship from a social media company that blocked anti-vaccination propaganda.”
Yeah. Think about that. These individuals were actually paid to spread this utter nonsense.
When I first heard about “anti-vaxxers” a few years ago, I laughed out loud, because the very notion of a group of people advocating NOT to get themselves or anybody else vaccinated is so stupid, so arrogant, and so absurd, that I put them in the same raft as the tinfoil-hat group, the flat earth group and others who believe hundreds of years of human evolution in science, physics and general understanding of the universe, does not apply to them.
But I’m not laughing, because it stopped being funny years ago; in fact, it’s a deeply upsetting and growing public health issue. These cultists have now given way to the spread of measles and polio in schools and public places, as well as caused countless unnecessary and totally preventable deaths, all because they themselves have become brainwashed by a forged threat of “the system” that is supposedly out to kill their children. I mean, MEASLES! We beat these treatable, small-fry bugs decades ago, yet, here they are, back again to actually kill our children.
How, you wonder, did these specimens pick up so much thrust in their demented crusade to prove vaccinations are wrong? Well, for one, you have the internet. And they’ve evolved at that too. Gone are the trashy, black-on-green-font websites, featuring low resolution images and terrible grammar; gone too are the sketchy figures dressed in rags and magic crystals that often came with the package. Now they look just like us; normally-dressed, no crystals or tin foil hats, well-spoken and professional, their websites beautiful, modern and easy to navigate.
It all looks, well, believable. They mimic an adviser, a councilor, perhaps even a medical professional, in ways that the general public can’t really tell the difference. I’m getting flashbacks of the 1982 sci-fi horror classic, The Thing, where an alien infiltrates an Arctic outpost by assimilating human bodies and mimicking the former host’s appearance and personality… at least until it can attack and feed on the next victim, at which point the creature reveals itself. Great movie. Watch it.
Reality however, is that the anti-vaxxer movement is more complicated and far more sinister. Just like flat earthers, they will imitate scientific terminology to appear legitimate; similar to how everything Star Trek’s Geordi LaForge says sounds believable. Groups like the one found in British Columbia even go as far as saying they “advocate” for “vaccine safety” and that they are not, in fact, anti-vaxxers… despite that their existence aggressively revolves around their core agenda: vaccines are evil, you are being lied to by everyone, change your ways or you or your child will die or become autistic. Like a turd, no matter how much you try to dress it up, to shine it, it’s still a lump of excrement.
This is where it gets really funny though. As of recently, social media outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, have pulled and outright banned posts, ads or any other kind of media that promotes or supports anti-vaccination. The result? A wave of anti-vaxxers crying censorship and a foul against their “hard-earned” freedom of speech. And you’d think they’d get the message, but they just go back to their sick congregation in their sick little buildings and think of other little ways to get around the system and creep back into public consciousness.
One thing still remains to be answered though: how did this happen? How did a group of parasites (I’m talking about the humans, not the bacteria) become part of the mainstream voices on human health? Here’s my educated guess: we live in an age of divine distrust and hatred for empirical evidence and institutions that have stood for generations. Suddenly, everything is fake. The government, the system, the media, hell, even the earth and sky. We have a man in a position of great power openly denying everything and telling his people that everything is a lie and always has been a lie.
This rampant denial of the establishment has given way to voices that were at one point just whispers in the dark, and maybe the occasional small demonstration on the side of the road. Now, the anti-vaxxer movement spreads like a silent cancer, eating its way into the public subconscious; and not through off-the-street lunatics, no, no, from teachers, parents, politicians, y’know, people with jobs and (supposedly) a post-secondary education.
Whoever anti-vaxxers are, one thing remains certain. Their entire movement deserves a rightful seat right back in the Middle Ages, along with the Black Plague and flat earth mentalists.
Oh, and you can read the full CBC story here.