Anti-vax: how bacteria and viruses get humans to advance their interests

Virus and infectious disease concept.

Since time out of mind human beings and microorganisms have been engaged in an accelerating arms race. Diseases have found novel ways to infect us and we have found novel ways to fight back. First we evolved genes that help us resist disease; much later we learned to use natural antibiotics produced by other living things and then to synthesize entirely new ones; ultimately we engineered vaccines to prevent diseases before they even happened.

Microorganisms have fought back. They evolved antibiotic resistance and they evolved to pass the genes that confer antibiotic resistance among themselves so they don’t have to wait for evolution to protect them. They might ultimately evolve to evade vaccination, but in the meantime they’ve found a short cut. By presenting a mild face, they’ve tricked some people into helping them propagate.

There’s a name for those who advance the interests of disease causing microorganisms; we call them anti-vaxxers.

There’s a name for those who advance the interests of disease causing microorganisms — like measles, pertussis and influenza — over the interests of human beings; we call them anti-vaxxers.

Can microorganisms control human behavior? Why not? Plants and animals already do it.

In the book The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan asked an intriguing question:

What existential difference is there between the human being’s role in [a] garden and the bumblebee’s?

Don’t both act to improve the wellbeing of plants?

He observes:

Gardeners like me tend to think such choices are our sovereign prerogative: in the space of this garden, I tell myself, I alone determine which species will thrive and which will disappear…

What if that grammar is all wrong? What if it’s really nothing more than a self-serving conceit? A bumblebee would probably also regard himself as a subject in the garden and the bloom he’s plundering for its drop of nectar as an object. But we know that this is just a failure of his imagination. The truth of the matter is that the flower has cleverly manipulated the bee into hauling its pollen from blossom to blossom…

And we’re being manipulated by plants, too.

The fact that one of us has evolved to become intermittently aware of its desires makes no difference whatsoever to the flower … All those plants care about is what every being cares about on the most basic genetic level: making more copies of itself. Through trial and error these plant species have found that the best way to do that is to induce animals — bees or people, it hardly matters — to spread their genes. How? By playing on the animals’ desires, conscious and otherwise…

The book tells the story of four plants — apples, tulips, marijuana, potatoes — and the traits they have evolved to trick human beings into propagating them by fulfilling human desires for sweetness, beauty and altered consciousness, etc.

Animals manipulate us in similar ways. The dog offers loyalty, the cow offers milk and the chicken offers meat and eggs. In return, we propagate them — in far greater numbers and to a much wider geographical extent — than they could ever have managed on their own.

Arguably, no plant or animal been more successful in manipulating us into promoting its own interests than the microorganism yeast. In exchange for the intoxication and leavening properties it offers, we propagate yeast in industrial quantities.

Yeasts can be considered man’s oldest industrial microorganism. It’s likely that man used yeast before the development of a written language. Hieroglyphics suggest that that ancient Egyptians were using yeast and the process of fermentation to produce alcoholic beverages and to leaven bread over 5,000 years ago…

It is believed that these early fermentation systems for alcohol production and bread making were formed by natural microbial contaminants of flour, other milled grains and from fruit or other juices containing sugar… Over the course of time, the use of these starter cultures helped to select for improved yeasts by saving a “good” batch of wine, beer or dough for inoculating the next batch…

Human beings commercially produce three million tons of baker’s yeast alone each year. That’s a pretty big accomplishment for a pretty small organism.

At no point is there any intentionality on the part of the yeast or any of these plants and animals. But by offering us something we want, these organisms have convinced us to do their bidding.

Anti-vaxxers are now doing the bidding of disease causing microorganisms such as those that cause measles, whooping cough and influenza. If dogs offer loyalty, apples offer sweetness and yeast offers intoxication, what do the vaccine preventable organisms offer human beings? In the case of anti-vaxxers, it is the the unmerited ego boost that anti-vax belief provides. Anti-vaxxers imagine themselves as smart enough to see the truth that others miss, cynical enough to recognize the corporate self-dealing that others ignore, and powerful enough to control their health in the face of government efforts to harm them.

How do vaccine preventable bacteria and viruses aid anti-vaxxers in their delusions? By presenting a mild appearance in a substantial proportion of cases.

Why don’t we ever see anyone holding Ebola parties, seeking to have their children acquire natural immunity? Ebola is obviously so debilitating and deadly that even the most delusional anti-vaxxer cannot imagine that prevention is worse than the disease. No one is rushing to bring back polio, either, for the same reason, although it is only a matter of time before it returns.

But diseases like measles, whooping cough and influenza often present a mild face, lulling anti-vaxxers into the complacent belief that they aren’t harmful at all. If the diseases aren’t harmful then the risks of vaccination (real or imagined) seem unjustified. Therefore, anti-vaxxers are doing everything in their power to allow the unrestrained propagation of these diseases. Measles, whooping cough and influenza don’t have many friends, but they have enough anti-vax friends to allow them to come roaring back.

It’s too late for smallpox. Even anti-vaxxers couldn’t convince people that the vaccine was worse than the disease because smallpox was rarely mild. As a result, the disease was wiped from the face of the earth. If measles, whooping cough and influenza were to become more virulent, anti-vaxxers would be relegated to the dustbin of history, quickly recognized as the foolish, ignorant conspiracy mongers that they are. Then we would be free to extirpate measles and whooping cough, too, (though probably not influenza because it mutates too quickly).

The bottom line is that anti-vaxxers are doing the bidding of deadly pathogens because those pathogens present a mild face often enough to fool them. Anti-vaxxers aren’t educated; they’re gullible … and bacteria and viruses are taking advantage of that fact.

  • Christopher Hickie

    Sure doesn’t help that there is now an anti-vax physician group (“Physicians for Informed Consent”, a misnomer) with fake VIS statements for MMR vaccine falsely claiming risk of injury from MMR vaccine is 4 times greater than risk of injury from measles.

    Physicians doing the bidding of deadly pathogens should equal instant loss of medical license, but medical board in the US have lost all spine.

    • rational thinker

      I agree they should have license revoked. I think some of these doctors have just realized how much money they can make off of these anti vaxers. For example I don’t believe for a moment that Andrew Wakefield actually believes the crap he puts out there.

      • mabelcruet

        Of course he doesn’t-he faked his research because he had a financial stake in pushing single vaccines (which at the time could only be done privately so parents had to pay for them, unlike the triple MMR vaccine which was available on-the NHS and not charged).

        Do you think he ever dwells on the number of children who died or were severely injured by vaccine preventable diseases because his fake research misled parents into not vaccinating? These are deaths that he caused-do you think he has a conscience about it? I don’t, I don’t think he gives a damn as long as the money keeps rolling in from his lecture tours, still spreading the same dangerous rubbish.

        • rational thinker

          Nope I don’t think he cares either. If he did he would stop spreading this bullshit. He just comforts himself with his large piles of money these days.

          • mabelcruet

            “He just comforts himself with his large piles of money these days”

            And Elle McPherson. Obviously being a child-killing lying fraud gets you a supermodel girlfriend.

          • rational thinker

            Yup I guess it does. He kind of reminds me of Ricki Lake, due to her documentary business of being born she has also killed a lot of babies, but she also ignores that fact. Andy Wakefield and Ricki Lake should start dating each other they would be perfectly compatible. They both have a death toll that is continuously rising and neither one of them seems to give a shit.

          • mabelcruet

            They should end up in a polyamarous three-way with Jenny McCarthy-the perfect anti-vaxx trifecta of deluded and dangerous idiots.

          • rational thinker

            They all may eventually get into an argument over who has killed the most people. Then they can invite Dr Jay Gordon oven to help them figure out who has the highest death toll. My guess is Wakefield.

  • Mel

    Personally, I vote for various forms of Poaceae for having taken over humans for the purpose of reproduction. After all, I’ve watched two of my neighbors lovingly tend their country acre-sized lawns with far more care than I give my veggie garden – and I get produce from mine.

  • MaineJen

    Typo; this sentence should read “By *presenting* a mild appearance in a substantial proportion of cases.”

  • mabelcruet

    It’s obvious: anti-vaxxers (although I prefer the term plague enthusiasts) are all infected with chronic Lyme disease or chronic Candida, maybe with a subset having Morgellon’s disease-and it’s the various micro-organisms working in concert, assembling their armies. The bacteria, viruses and parasites are in a vast world-wide conspiracy all united against us, and the anti-vaxxers are their chosen weapon…

    • MaineJen

      Don’t forget the lizard people. They must factor in somehow.

      • mabelcruet

        My theory is that the lizard people are suffering from Greyscale, it’s Game of Thrones leaking into this reality. I bet dragons are the final end stage of fullblown greyscale, but in this universe, we get 7 foot tall blue lizards instead. It’s definitely an infectious disease though because its transmitted by touch:

        https://www.vox.com/culture/2017/7/24/16019550/game-of-thrones-greyscale-jorah-mormont-diagnosed-explained

        • KQ Not Signed In

          That’s just what the Lizard Illuminati wants you to think. Hail Nimrod!

          • mabelcruet

            Well I, for one, welcome our scabrous reptilian overlords. Once they’ve taken over the world, they’ll mutate all fertile women and get them laying eggs-that’s bound to be easier on your pelvic floor.

          • Kq

            Eh, that didn’t go so well in Carnosaur…

            https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0106521/

          • mabelcruet

            She only died because she didn’t trust birth. If she’d had a doula supporting her, mama and baby dino would have rocked that birth!

          • KQ Not Signed In

            Lizard Illuminati doulas make the friggin frogs gay! – Alex Jones (probably)

          • demodocus

            Unless you get egg bound

        • demodocus

          Nonsense. We Lizards (though we prefer “Iguana People”) are alien shape shifters. Sadly, we lost our home planet, so decided to share yours. I have enough to do ruling the remnants of my People without ruling yours as well.
          ~The Empress of the Iguana People, in disguise

          • mabelcruet

            See, this is my theory proved! You were assimilated by the Borg, and they are using you to take over planet Earth.

          • Mel

            My husband and I have been rewatching Star Trek:TNG. My running theme is “Wow…they need women writers or men with kids” after the first episode with the Borg included the adorable Borg babies that made me want to work in the Borg nursery.

            Well, and the episode where a bunch of the kids (including Wesley Crusher) were kidnapped by an alien group. There are a bunch of understandably freaked out parents yelling at Picard and Dr. Crusher scolds them with “You knew that this was what you were signing up for when you joined the Enterprise!” at which point the parents go silent. I turned to my husband and said, “Boy, I really wanna see that consent document that listed ‘Your children might be kidnapped by aliens'” signed by non-Startfleet parents. Also, I know her kid is Wesley Crusher – but seriously – no parent should be that blase about their kid being kidnapped.

          • mabelcruet

            Dr Crusher’s judgement was always a bit suspect-remember the time she abandoned her child, her captain and her job just because she was getting seduced by a horny ghost?

            Dr Pulaski was far better. She would never have abandoned Jean-Luc for her grandmother’s boyfriend.

          • MaineJen

            We do not speak of the Candlestick Episode.

          • KQ Not Signed In

            Needs more monatomic gold.

      • Russell Jones

        The lizard people stuff is a false flag designed to soften us up for gun confiscation and mandatory vaccination checkpoints on all public roads.

        • MaineJen

          Extra points for use of “false flag” and for somehow bringing it around to gun confiscation 😉

          • Russell Jones

            It isn’t authentic unhinged wingnuttery without a heapin’ helpin’ of THAR GONNA TAK R GUNSZ.

        • Mel

          You use public roads? You’re a pinko commie!

          • Russell Jones

            Perish the thought! I am a mighty Galtian anarcho-capitalist, building my own roads with my own bare hands and making bank charging others to use them. Can’t get stuck at a mandatory vaccination checkpoint on a public road if you build your own roads, as the Invisible Hand intended

    • Russell Jones

      Did you know that the NASA logo is stamped onto Morgellon’s disease fibers? Gotta be true, because prominent anti-vaxx scientist Catherine J. Frompovich says so and they wouldn’t let it stay on the internet if it was false.

      Likewise, the Jewish Illuminati weaponized vaccines for use in a subtle war of extermination against the white race. Once again, internet = true.

      As always, be people and not sheeple; do your due diligence (where “due diligence” = finding anti-vaxx horseshit on the internet and accepting it without question because it’s anti-vaxx)!

      • MaineJen

        I heard the vaccines are all barcoded, so They can track you!!1!

        • mabelcruet

          You’re thinking of formula milk, the particles are tagged with nanoprobes and nanites that collect in your liver, specifically in your Kupffer cells. and when you then give a formula fed infant their vaccinations, the aluminium and mercury in the vaccine combine to form a supramolecular structure that then interacts with the fetal DNA in the vaccine forming a chimeric isomer. This isomer then aggregates with the nanoprobic metaparticles in your liver from the formula, and this becomes a semi-autonomous entity that releases toxins life long leading to formula fed and vaccinated children becoming fat, stupid, stunted and permanently runny-nosed.

          • MaineJen

            Nanoprobes? OMG it’s a Borg invasion!!

          • mabelcruet

            They’ve been living alongside us for many years-they assimilated the 7 foot blue lizard people (Borg species 367) and used them to piggyback onto our planet secretly. The Empress of the Iguana People is actually the Borg Queen in disguise. The Borg are using vaccines and formula feeding to take over the human race. NASA is fighting back obviously, that’s why the Morgellon’s people are finding NASA logos on their filaments and parasites-if these get assimilated into the Borg then it’ll trigger a system wide failure. And you thought Star Trek Next Generation was fiction! Our only hope is Captain Picard/Locutus of Borg.

          • MaineJen

            Magnificent.

          • KQ Not Signed In

            MY GOD IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW

          • Heidi

            Oh dear, some anti-vaxxer is going to copy and paste this.

      • mabelcruet

        I googled her-didn’t dare read very much though in case the stupid is contagious. That’s some serious conspiracy theory and delusional paranoia she’s got going on.

        • Russell Jones

          “That’s some serious conspiracy theory and delusional paranoia she’s got going on.”

          Oh yes, very much so. Frompovich isn’t just a garden variety Dunning-Kruger hipster incompetent who’s an anti-vaxxer because it’s trendy among the other Dunning-Kruger hipster incompetents. She’s the real deal. 🙂

          A certain subset of anti-vaxxers are anti-vaxxers because the belief seems to appeal to a certain sort of mind. A disconcerting high percentage of anti-vaxxers are also Obama birthers, Sandy Hook truthers, moon landing hoaxers and/or Holocaust deniers.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      “Plague enthusiasts.” I am stealing this.