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During the great COVID-19 global pandemic of 2020, Judy Mikovits and Mikki Willis produced a slick interview video named Plandemic. It was full of lies. Mikovits says that years ago, she did original research that could have averted today’s COVID-19 pandemic, but powerful people who wanted to make money threw her in jail and threw away the key. But the truth is, nobody could reproduce her lab results and the journal that published her paper had to retract it. She went to jail because she stole equipment.

She says she helped teach Ebola how to kill people back in 1999. But Ebola first started killing people in the 1970s and it didn’t need a teacher.

She also claims flu vaccines from 2013 to 2015 helped create the COVID-19 pandemic. She doesn’t offer any evidence, but she does have a long history of campaigning against vaccinations. And now, she’s trying to save the world again, but powerful people are holding back a COVID-19 cure so they can patent their own stuff and make $zillions.

And so on and so forth. Take a look at this NPR article and this Daily Beast article for details. There are plenty of articles debunking plenty of her hogwash. They’re easy to find.

Just another crackpot video, right? Well, not so fast. There’s a reason so many went to so much trouble to challenge so many claims. But first, and maybe against good judgment, here is a link to her video. Do your own homework and decide for yourself if she’s credible. [Edited later – it looks like Mikovits and her group never renewed their domain name. Here is a link to an archived copy of her page. The video doesn’t play directly, but the page has a download link. Grab a copy from there if you want. The MP4 file is 282 MB.]

Her video went viral and the world exploded. Corruption in high places! Coronavirus crooks! Patent pollution pillaging patients for profit! Powerful politicians pirating the public! Millions of people bought into wild conspiracy theories and anyone who challenged her was obviously brainwashed by mainstream media. In the middle of the uproar, Youtube and Facebook removed the video, which provoked even more conspiracy theories. What is it they don’t want you to see, anyway?

There’s more. This is from the Amazon page for her new book, Plague of Corruption, pasted May 11, 2020.

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
        #1 in Scientist Biographies
        #1 in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & Fibromyalgia
        #1 in Science & Math (Books)

Number four on the Amazon best seller list?!? I heard it hit number one a couple days earlier. How does a crackpot fake researcher make a video filled with lies, persuade millions of people she’s telling the truth, and rocket to the top of the best seller list?

This article from The Verge concluded that social media and search algorithms helped. And this 2016 research found that lies really do travel faster and farther than truth.

Here’s more.

Remember the protests to open America back up for business during the COVID-19 crisis? Take a look at this great piece of reporting from Brian Krebs. When America woke up Friday morning, April 17, 2020, another batch of late night Donald Trump tweets left “LIBERATE VIRGINIA!,” “LIBERATE MINNESOTA!,” and “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” all over the news. Twitter went nuts with right-wing activists calling for violent protests, and somebody on the far-right apparently registered the domain name, and a few others.

According to Mother Jones Magazine, Michael Murphy in Florida noticed the domain name registrations starting with “reopen,” and so he registered any remaining “reopen” and “liberate” domain names for himself, to stop the far-right groups from scooping them up to coordinate mass protests.

Now it was the far left’s turn. On Saturday, April 18, 2020, a Reddit user tracked the domain names to Murphy – who went into debt to buy them and did not pay extra for privacy protection at first – and the frenzy was on. Thousands of hate Tweets, emails, cyberattacks, phone calls, calls to boycott his store, and death threats from left wing groups bombarded his family, all from people who thought Murphy was trying to organize right-wing protests.

No good deed goes unpunished.

Here are a couple more personal examples. In June, 2019, a social media mob attacked my then eleven-year-old grandson for playing in a park with a mask. The story went viral and made it to local TV station websites. Adult predator in the park! Masked creeper on the loose! Dakota County, Minnesota put my grandson on trial for Fifth Degree Assault, we fought it and won, and then I debunked every wild rumor from every social media thread I could find. But my rebuttals never went viral and no TV news stations bothered to follow up, which supports the research I mentioned above. The Minneapolis Star/Tribune published an article and opinion piece about it. You can bet I’ll campaign for a different County Prosecutor in the next election.

In spring, 2020, somebody launched an anonymous online attack against a fellow author by defacing her artwork. That stirred up a social media firestorm with lots of people siding with the attacker. To my friend’s credit, she met the attack head-on and turned a bullyfest into an anti-bullying campaign. This might be a lesson for all of us; even if it’s easier to spread lies than rebut them, rebuttal is still worth the trouble.

The only thing new about any of this is technology. Today, we can zip lies around the planet in a few seconds. But Hollywood recognized our dark side a generation ago. An early 1960s Twilight Zone episode predicted it. A small town suffers a power outage except for one home. The townspeople become suspicious of that family and mob mentality creeps in. Why do they have power when nobody else does? But then the lights come on in another home, and suspicion shifts. Pretty soon, power is coming on and off all over town, people become more and more paranoid, and before long everyone is fighting everyone else. At the end, the camera focuses on space aliens watching the bedlam from above. The final line is something like, “You see, why should we invade when can get them to kill each other?”

In the year 2020, we claim we’re pretty smart. But even with all the knowledge across the internet at our fingertips, a liar with a slick video can still manipulate us like puppets on a string. Fringe groups use lies to create worse havoc than before, and now social media mobs make our dark tendencies even darker.

When will we learn?

I try to educate the public about cybersecurity and I’ve written two novels and hundreds of posts and articles along the way. Maybe I need to change my marketing. Forget responsibility. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. It’s time for new tactics.

Ignored by the FBI, CIA, NSA, FDA, and NSF, my family harassed by the County Prosecutor, I prevailed against overwhelming apathy and published my books anyway. And now for only $99.99 – or six convenient $30 weekly installments – learn critical information they don’t want you to know. And if you buy my books in the next ten minutes, I’ll send you, free of charge, a PDF with Greg’s cybersecurity tips.

Whaddya think? Will it sell? Maybe I should make a video.