As we’ve all been told (ad nauseum) since the pandemic began, Covid policies are informed by “the science” and the scientists who proffer those policies to governments, who then impose them on the population. A distinction should, however, always be made between science and scientists. The former is a process, the latter are ordinary people with their own biases, agendas and, sometimes, disturbing psychological profiles, as we shall see.
With its current total lockdown set to enter a fourth month, and no end in sight, Ireland stands out as the nation whose government has implemented the most draconian response on the planet to SARS-CoV-2 –certainly in Europe.
While the Irish government has its own scientific advisory group on this virus (‘NPHET’ – National Public Health Emergency Team), most public statements on SARS-CoV-2 and the need for lockdowns have been made by a group called ‘ISAG’ – Independent Scientific Advisory Group. Founded in June 2020 by Dr Anthony Staines, Professor of Health Systems at Dublin College University, Gerry Killeen of University College Cork, and Tomás Ryan, associate Professor at the School of Biochemistry and Immunology at Trinity College Dublin, ISAG claims to be “independent of government” while it actively and successfully lobbies government ministers to push ISAG’s policies. Other notable group members include Northern Irish public health physician Gabriel Scally, and Irish doctor Sam McConkey.
In recent months, ISAG group members have become known for their zealous advocacy of a ‘zero covid’ policy. A Zero Covid policy means that all social restrictions should remain in place until this particular virus has been ‘eliminated’ from Irish territory. The group has created a flashy ‘feel good’ website to promote their views with the slogan ‘Crush, Control, and Chase’.
In proposing Zero Covid, ISAG members cite New Zealand’s Covid response and success as a model for Ireland, apparently forgetting that Ireland, unlike NZ, is not a sparsely populated island in the South Pacific, 2,000kms from the nearest landmass (Australia – itself sparely populated), but a relatively densely populated (almost 4 times the population density of NZ) small island ‘off the coast’ of Western Europe, that shares a land ‘border’ with a part of the UK (Northern Ireland) and has an economy and culture that is intricately connected to mainland Europe’s 500 million people.
These facts, however, do not appear to have dissuaded ISAG members from lobbying Irish government officials to adopt a Zero Covid policy, along with the long-term continuation of punitive familial, social, economic and health restrictions on Irish citizens. We may wonder, therefore, what actually goes on in the minds of ISAG members. Luckily, a recent leak of private discussions between members of the group is very revealing.
The leaked communications that were published by Irish news site Gript.ie show that, on Feb. 8th 2021, Dr. Gabriel Scally forwarded a screenshot of a list of 13 rules from Saul Alinsky’s book Rules for Radicals to the group, that included the text “see attached”. The message was titled: “The Rules – courtesy of Saul Alinsky”. On the same day, Dr. Anthony Staines forwarded the same attachment in the body of his message, with the text: “review and internalize Saul Alinsky’s rules for activists“.
The list of rules that ISAG members were instructed to review and “internalize” includes advice to “look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety, and uncertainty,” and to “go after people and not institutions” because “people hurt faster than institutions.”
It’s worth noting that this suggestion to “increase anxiety” and to “go after people” because “people hurt faster than institutions” comes from two high profile medical doctors who see themselves as ‘protecting people from Covid-19’. Dr Gabriel Scally is also a member of the UK group Independent SAGE, an unofficial group of scientists that provides Covid-19 advice to the United Kingdom government, and which also advocates a Zero Covid policy.
The book they are citing, Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals, is a notorious and Machiavellian document outlining how to take power by subversive means – and there are grounds for believing that incumbent American Democratic establishment figures also viewed it as an instruction manual worth “reviewing and internalizing.”
A December 28th 2020 email sent to the group by a member reviews the previously agreed actions to be taken, which include Dr Anthony Staines contacting the Irish Prime Minister and to use the “hook [that the] new strain is the key driver at the moment.” This is followed in parenthesis by “may or not be true but offers government the chance to line up with our proposals,” which suggests that ISAG members had agreed to try to mislead the Irish Prime Minister into accepting a Zero Covid policy.
ISAG members also contacted leaders of other political parties and misled them on what Zero Covid actually meant. Aoife McLysaght wrote to the group telling them that her meeting with Social Democrats had gone well and that the party leadership would likely support an “elimination strategy,” but that she wanted to know what criteria should be used for lifting lockdowns. She proposed less than 10 cases per day in the country. ISAG founder and UCC professor, Gerard Killeen, responded by suggesting that 10 cases per day was not enough, that 5 was necessary, but that if they could get politicians to sign on for 10 per day, they could “renegotiate en route.”
ISAG’s internal correspondence (you can review more here) suggests that the group does not base its positions on strict science, but has been massaging the facts in order to entice politicians into adopting a Zero Covid strategy.
If You Can’t Beat Them, Beat Them
It’s obvious that ISAG members are convinced of their authority to carry out their ‘mission’ to save Ireland from Covid. This kind of messianic fervor tends to make such people rather intolerant of anyone who gets in their way. This tendency is on ample display in the emails between group members, with one professor, a specialist in infectious diseases who had publicly disagreed with ISAG, called “an old man shaking his fist in the wind” and who should be “decisively put to the sword.” The man is Dr Martin Feeley, who has advocated a herd immunity approach and accused the government and scientific ‘advisors’ of scaremongering. Shortly after ISAG opined that Dr Feeley should be “decisively put to the sword,” he was forced to step down from his position as clinical director of Dublin Midlands Hospital Board.
Many readers who have taken an active interest in the lockdown debate will know the biochemical engineer, commentator, and Youtuber Ivor Cummins. Cummins has spent most of the last year presenting a truly erudite analysis of the ‘pandemic’, and it is for this very reason that Cummins was noticed by the members of ISAG.
Late last year ISAG began internally discussing the possibility of a debate between one of their members and Cummins. Cummins was open to the idea, and emails were exchanged between Cummins, Professor Gerry Killeen of UCC, and a third party who was interested in hosting the debate.
Killeen told the other members of ISAG that he was in contact with “that muppett [sic] Ivor Cummins” about a debate and that Cummins, “like Ciara Kelly, Michael McNamara and [sic] whole string of other charlatans,” might have to be taken on so that ISAG could show the public that Cummins, like Kelly and McNamara, were “paper thin and nasty.” Whilst Killeen appears to have brought the idea of debating Cummins to ISAG, he also said that “Frankly, I’d prefer to sort this out with a good hurley and no witnesses.” (A hurley is an Irish hockey stick. The professor apparently preferred an opportunity to beat Cummins literally rather than figuratively.) Killeen is the man who, last June, told the Irish media that opening the country up for the summer could cause 60,000 deaths. Ireland has had a total of 4,500 ‘Covid deaths’ since last March.
Other members of ISAG were more hesitant to debate Cummins, saying that Cummins was a “snake oil salesman.” Killeen himself noted that Cummins was a “a particularly slippery snake” and that taking him on would be “a bit like taking on Carl Heneghan or Sunetra Gupta – won’t be easy, needs some thought and would need preparation in advance.”
Carl Heneghan is a clinical epidemiologist, a Professor of Evidence-based Medicine at Oxford, and the Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford. Sunetra Gupta is a Professor of Theoretical Epidemiology at Oxford. Both have argued against a Zero Covid approach.
ISAG decided it was best not to debate Cummins, with Killeen again making a reference to the use of a hurley. One has to wonder why, if ‘the science’ is on their side, members of ISAG would be so reluctant to an open debate with Ivor Cummins and prefer instead to physically beat him into submission.
While these revelations expose the disturbing psychogical profile of those pushing Covid policies in Ireland, there can be little doubt that similar types of people occupy similar positions in many countries around the world, and that they are pushing a very similar agenda in the name of ‘saving people from Covid’. As long as the majority of people in a country continue to outsource their thinking and responsibility for their health and lives to ‘experts’ who clearly do not have their best interests at heart, the people will continue to suffer the predictable results.
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.” C.S Lewis