Comets, plagues, tobacco and the origin of life on earth

There is hard scientific evidence that life on earth was, at least partly, the result of organisms deposited by comets. There is also plausible scientific evidence that many of the great disasters and plagues (including the relatively recent ones) inflicted upon our planet and its denizens  were the result of disease-carrying comets that passed close to, and/or impacted, the earth.  The so-called ‘Black Death’ (660 years ago) is very likely one such plague. but only one of many over the course of human history. Indeed, the ‘Black Death’ was the starting point of a 400 year-long pandemic of intermittent plagues that swept Europe and only  ended in 1750, right when the industrial revolution began.

Over the past few years, my attention has been caught by the large number of movies that have been made (mainly by Hollywood) with disease outbreak’ as their theme. I’m not going to give you some elaborate conspiracy theory about how Hollywood disease outbreak movies and comet-borne plagues are linked, because I don’t think they are, except to the extent that Hollywood movies may or may not sometimes reflect (or be informed by) the theorised predictive abilities of mass human consciousness.

Also interesting is the fact that NASA and the ESA seem to have become very interested (of late) in comets and asteroids, the potential threat they pose, and the chances of ‘shooting,’ painting or retooling them to either destroy them or change their direction. Near Earth Asteroid ’2012 DA14′  is a case in point. This 44 meter chunk of rock that was discovered in 2012 is projected to pass by the earth at a mere 16,800 miles on February 15th 2013. NASA have suggested that the asteroid could be ‘painted’ in an effort to affect its ability to reflect sunlight, thereby changing its temperature and altering its spin and, theoretically, moving it off course. The problem however, is that it would take 2 years to build a spacecraft to carry out the job. Oh well.

During the ‘Great Plague of London’, which was part of the same Eurasian pandemic that began with the ‘Black Death’ 400 years earlier, 100,000 people or 20% of the population of London died. Strangely, authorities are said to have kept fires burning night and day, in the hopes that the air would be cleansed. This usual tactic may have been inspired by a very common belief among the ordinary folk at the time. According to one A J Bell writing in about 1700:

 “For personal disinfections nothing enjoyed such favour as tobacco; the belief in it was widespread, and even children were made to light up a reaf in pipes. Thomas Hearnes remembers one Tom Rogers telling him that when he was a scholar at Eton in the year that the great plague raged, all the boys smoked in school by order, and that he was never whipped so much in his life as he was one morning for not smoking. It was long afterwards a tradition that none who kept a tobacconist shop in London had the plague.”

This doesn’t seem to be such a crazy idea, given that a protective plague vaccine has recently been discovered in tobacco.Indeed, tobacco has been known and used for centuries for a wide range of medical problems.

In the year 1500, for example, a Portuguese explorer in Brazil, Pedro Alvarez Cabral, reported the use of the herb betum [tobacco] for treating ulcerated abscesses, fistulas, sores, inveterate polyps and many other ailments1. In 1529, a Spanish missionary priest, Bernadino de Sahagun, collected information from four Mexican physicians about use of tobacco for medicinal purposes. He recorded that breathing the odour of fresh green leaves of the plant relieved persistent headaches. For colds and catarrh, green or powdered leaves should be rubbed around inside the mouth. Diseases of glands in the neck could be cured by cutting out the root of the lesion and placing on it crushed tobacco plant hot and mixed with salt, on the same spot.2

In 1934 Fernando Ocaranza summed up the medicinal uses of tobacco in Mexico before 1519 as antidiarrhoeal, narcotic and emollient; he said that tobacco leaves were applied for the relief of pain, used in powdered form for the relief of catarrh and applied locally to heal wounds and burns.

The fact that tobacco, including the inhalation of tobacco leaf smoke, has been known and used for centuries as a cure for many diseases, including the plague, leaves us wondering how we ever got to the point today where smoking is so thoroughly demonised, in particular by governments. With NASA et al seemingly deeply concerned about ‘near earth’ comets and asteroids, the evidence for plague-bearing comets and asteroids having devastated humanity in the past, and the possibility that tobacco contains a vaccine for the plague,  it seems a little disingenuous (not to mention suspicious) that smoking cigarettes is being touted as the fastest way to an early grave, despite the evidence to the contrary.

1. Dickson SA. Panacea or Precious Bane. Tobacco in 16th Century Literature. New York: New York Public Library, 1954.
2. Brookes JE. The Mighty Leaf: Tobacco Through the Centuries. Boston: Little, Brown, 1952.

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12 Comments

  • By Erykah, October 9, 2012 @ 23:24

    Awesome article thanks Joe going outside now to plant more tobacco!

  • By Joe Quinn, October 9, 2012 @ 23:25

    Glad you liked it Erykah!

  • By Kate, October 10, 2012 @ 10:07

    Any suggestions which tobacco brands are especially worth trying to get smoothly through the potential plague or it doesn't matter, Joe?

  • By Joe Quinn, October 10, 2012 @ 20:21

    Hi Kate, I hope that's a sincere question, because I'm gonna answer it as if it is. Basically, I don't recommend that anyone smoke regular pre-rolled cigarettes. They contain many chemicals and additives that have nothing to do with tobacco and are harmful. What I can recommend to anyone who is thinking about starting smoking is to get some additive-free tobacco like 'American spirit' or "Pueblo' (there are others) and roll your own cigarettes. Natural unbleached rolling papers are a good idea too.

  • By Kate, October 11, 2012 @ 10:59

    Sincere, indeed! However, looking at my question from the perspective of any person being hypnotized by mainstream media it really could be perceived as a feedback written for fun on the peculiar article :)
    As far as I know, here where I live the only available natural tobacco brand is "Pueblo", unfortunately in pre-rolled form. I'm gonna try it, anyway. Thanks for tips, Joe.

  • By Joe Quinn, October 11, 2012 @ 12:27

    No problem. Maybe check online for the loose tobacco pouches?

  • By Kate, October 11, 2012 @ 16:09

    I can theoretically bring it from abroad for my own use, but it is not so easy and above all costs pretty much, while bringing it from abroad personally in a near future is rather impossible…For now I have to enjoy that what is available…

  • By Tony_Opmoc, October 13, 2012 @ 21:49

    I am not going to comment on the health aspects of tobacco, except that the statistics I have seen from actual causes of death indicate, that tobacco is not, and never has been as major cause of death as the Government propaganda tells everyone. I may however be wrong about this.

    I am an occasional smoker of tobacco. I really like a cigarette if I am drinking vast quantities of alcohol, which I sometimes do. Or if I am doing something that requires enormous concentration to solve a problem. A cigarette and a cup of coffee really does work in my experience. Otherwise I can easily go for a few days without even thinking about a cigarette.

    I was extremely annoyed when the UK Border control stole 2000 cigarettes from me last year. I had bough them completely legally, and they were entirely for my own use – and sure I would give a cigarette to anyone who asked, but I would not accept any payment…

    So I thought about this, and I thought well it can't be that diificult, so I tried it. I did a search on Google and bought a packet of Golden Virginia Tobacco seeds. It took ages for them to germinate, and get going, and it took about 6 months, before I actually tried my first English grown tobacco leaf…

    I didn't believe all the bollocks about it taking another 6 months to dry and cure it..I just stuck the leaf under a gentle grill, such that it started to go slightly brown – and just left it – for a couple of days…Then I put it in my cigarette rolling machine – and made my first cigarette. I was expecting it to taste extremely rough and I was expecting it to stink to hell – but it just seemed like a normal commercially bought cigarette, except it was somewhat milder and more satisfying. I thought my response, might because I was appreciating my own work, but when my friends have cadged cigarettes from me, I gave them one of mine. I asked if they noticed the difference – and they said which brand is this – its really nice. In theory if you grow your own you are supposed to weigh it and send the appropriate amount of tax to the Government. If you do this it is completely legal. If they ever come knocking on my door, I will ask them if they want one of mine. I have no intention whatsoever of selling my tobacco to anyone.

    I think Joe Quinn is one of the best journalists in the world, bit I do not do this Ouija shit. I prefer Cass the Girl. She's human and has my pint ready the moment I walk in the pub door.

    Tony

  • By Joe Quinn, October 13, 2012 @ 22:04

    Thanks for the story Tony, and I agree that home grown tobacco is very good. Just for the record, I don't do 'ouija shit' either :-). And thanks for the compliment!

  • By Tony_0pmoc, October 15, 2012 @ 02:26

    "I don't do 'ouija shit' either" – oh come on – for a man who does the kind of stuff you do – like perfectly researched, and detailed written report of for example – the underpants bomber….You must have tried an ouija board at least once….

    I did, and I was 100% convinced that no one was consciously cheating – and she had also taken me to this spiritualist church thing – and I went along with it…but I really don't think anyone was communicating with the dead – they were simply reading my mind – how, I don't have a clue how – but they weren't cheating either…maybe telepathy actually works a bit in some circumstances, but you can't test for it. Its an aura thing. I can't explain. I have no plans to ask the Cassiopaeans.

    Tony

  • By Joe Quinn, October 15, 2012 @ 13:07

    Yeah, the ouija board thing was pretty popular about 100 years ago. In most cases though, people just end up 'channeling' their own subconscious thoughts, which may have a 'psycho-kinetic' quality to it that moves the planchette thingy. In other cases, I suppose it is possible that people could in some way contact dead people, who then say stuff, but as someone once said, "a dead Presbyterian is just that, a dead Presbyterian". The point being that just because someone is dead doesn't mean they have anything interesting to say!

  • By temujin1234, October 16, 2012 @ 13:20

    The tobacco question is worth further review, I think.

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