America’s Sacrificial Altar for Google, Wikipedia and the Pharmaceutical Empire
Richard Gale and Gary Null PhD
Progressive Radio Network, December 3, 2020
Weekly, millions of people do Google searches for advice about their personal health, a large variety of illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia, etc., drug and vaccine safety, and scores of other topics affecting physical and mental health. They depend upon speed and accuracy to find the current scientifically based and clinically proven information. For the large majority of people, a personal medical condition or health crisis begins by turning exclusively to established medical, drug-based protocols. However, these treatments do not always relieve symptoms and very rarely reverse disease. Certainly they have not shown success to prevent them.
Consequently, increasingly people are seeking second and third opinions. More often than not Google will take a person immediately to Wikipedia. Wikipedia’s co-founder Jimmy Wales acknowledges that “60 to 70 percent of Wikipedia’s traffic originates from Google. There is an assumption and a reasonable expectation that the information we find on Wikipedia is 1) accurate, 2) soundly researched and referenced from high quality and reliable resources, 3) written by credentialed writers and editors with expertise in the subject, 4) unbiased, and finally 5) objective and neutral. At a minimum it is assumed that content is scientifically validated and on matters of health and disease from the National Institutes of Health PubMed database. Whether it regards a pharmaceutical, surgical or radiological approach, or perhaps a more natural medical modality such as lifestyle change, nutrition, medical botanicals, Chiropractic and Chinese Medicine, information is expected to be accurately described. Then using our freedom of choice and informed consent, we can select the medical route that we believe would be most safe and effective.
Unfortunately, our four-year investigation into Wikipedia’s treatment of health issues reveals exactly the opposite. Many individuals with outstanding credentials are terrified of having their biographies appear on the open-source encyclopedia. Once a person’s biography is added she or he will no longer have control over its content. Often they will be faced with character assassination and denigration about their careers and life’s work. Their biographies are frozen as if confined in a Russian gulag for a political crime. They may seek redress by reaching out to the media; but the media also is fully compromised. They may seek open hearings on Wikipedia’s backside to expose unfair behavior and misinformation but will be met either by deafening silence, ridicule or censorship. They may even seek redress from the IRS or state’s attorney generals for Wikipedia’s gross serial violations of its non-profit status. You enter a highly politicized ideological war and the encyclopedia’s parent organization, the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), will do essentially nothing to correct errors or reprimand belligerent senior administrators and editors.
Much of Wikipedia’s chaos over unreliable health information is due to a relatively small group of non-credentialed, hate-filled individuals, popularly known as Skeptics. With Wikipedia’s co-founder Jimmy Wales’ full support, Skeptics have hijacked the site and converted it into their personal social media platform to condemn all non-conventional and alternative medical therapies and its practitionersand voices who are critical of the dominant drug and vaccine based medical paradigm.
Since its founding certain editors realized that Wikipedia was prime game for writing entries and reshaping content as a means to proselytize their personal ideological agendas. This is due to the encyclopedia’s systemic vulnerabilities and its naïve belief that truth can emerge by reaching a faux democratic consensus. In 2006 Wikipedia editor Paul Lee, a physical therapist in California’s Central Valley and an avowed Skeptic, started to reach out to internet Skeptic groups to recruit editors to advance the Skeptic mission to ridicule and discredit all forms of complementary and alternative medicine, marginalize those who question vaccination safety and efficacy, and attack critics of corporate commercial interests adversely impacting the nation’s health such as genetically modified crops, fluoridation, sugar and junk food, etc.
That year Lee posted on the International Skeptic Forum:
“I would like to invite webmasters and site owners to begin editing Wikipedia and SkepticWiki. There are many subjects for skeptics to get involved with, and we really need help. There are plenty of loons out there doing the editing right now, and far too few skeptics to keep them at bay. Any coordination of efforts should be done by private email, since Wikipedia keeps a very public history and “every” little edit, and you can’t get them removed. We don’t need any accusations of a conspiracy… I hope to see more skeptics in action!”
Lee also lists the subjects Skeptics should focus on, which include the National Vaccine Information Center, vaccine critics Barbara Loe Fisher and Viera Scheibner, Chiropractic, and complementary and alternative medicine. Lee happens to be the former list master for the pro-pharmaceutical and junk food friendly Quackwatch, a personal blog founded by a psychiatrist Dr. Stephen Barrett. Over time, Quackwatch and its Skeptic allies such as the Center for Inquiry and the Science Based Medicine blog have exponentially increased their presence on Wikipedia to become the single most cited references in the Skeptics’ arsenal to attack alternative medical therapies and the critics of conventional medicine’s power base. The consequence is that personal bias has trumped Wikipedia’s rules of objectivity and neutrality.
New York Times best-selling human rights author Edwin Black described the dangers Wikipedia poses for social progress in his article “Wikipedia: The Dumbing Down of World Knowledge” published on the History News Network:
“…. Wikipedia, the constantly changing knowledge base created a global free-for-all of anonymous users, now stands as the leading force for dumbing down the world of knowledge. If Wikipedia’s almost unstoppable momentum continues, critics say, it threatens to quickly reverse centuries of progress… In its place would be a constant cacophony of fact and falsity that Wikipedia critics call a “law of the jungle.”
Writing for the Huffington Post, journalist Sam Slovick posed a question we might ask ourselves every time we click into Wikipedia. “Has Jimmy Wales’ marauding encyclopedic beast finally corrupted the Internet? Has Wikipedia lost all credibility, its purported neutral system compromised by toxic editors?” The most toxic Wikipedia editors now terrorizing the encyclopedia’s pages more often than not are the anonymous non-experts and computer hacks who identify themselves with this extreme militant form of scientific materialism. They also fiercely protect their own Skeptic pages from any citable truths that may cast them in a poor light.
Indeed commercial science is constantly attempting to develop new technological solutions through genetic engineering of crops, vaccines and novel patentable drugs, artificial intelligence, 5G wireless technology, etc. These are held up in the public’s eyes as great achievements. On the other hand, you will rarely find Wikipedia or the mainstream media ever highlighting these technologies’ flaws and greater risks that undermine their commercial benefits; and certainly private corporations will never leak evidence about these risks and dangers.
For example, we accessed Wikipedia pages for each of the vaccines recommended on the CDC’s childhood immunization schedule. In every case, adverse effects were undermined and the vaccines’ benefits were inflated. Not a single entry had a complete list of adverse effects as printed on the vaccine maker’s manufacturing package insert – literature that is easily accessible on the CDC’s website. Nor was there to be found a list of vaccine ingredients, many of which are scientifically shown to be toxic. Consequently a visitor to any given Wikipedia vaccine page accesses a very incomplete and twisted understanding of the vaccines’ actual safety and efficacy profile.
We are also led to believe that if a scientific invention or a study for a new drug or vaccine appears in the peer-reviewed literature, it represents a gold standard. Consequently it is assumed that any controversy has been settled. A peer-reviewed paper becomes a scientific law unto itself if it favors tendentious interests. However, repeatedly the peer-reviewed journal system has proven to be unreliable. No decisive effort has been made to reform it. It is simply too profitable to disrupt.
But the Skeptics’ distorted and biased narratives about medicine and health are only one reason to be deeply worried about the WMF’s long-term mission to bring all medical knowledge to the inhabitable world. By and large, Wikipedia Skeptics are not motivated by financial gain nor is there strong evidence of conflicts of interest with either the pharmaceutical industry or our federal health agencies. Rather the Skeptic movement is more likely motivated by a cult-like ideology that is fanatically embraced by its followers with religious zeal. Yet on the backside, WMF also has deep ties with the pharmaceutical industry and this takes us to its close relationship with Google for over a decade.
The Google-WMF association is no secret. There is plenty of evidence confirming Google’s preferential treatment of Wikipedia aside from the millions of daily Google searches that bring users directly to the encyclopedia.
Although Wikipedia editors take full advantage of flawed medical literature if the conclusions serve their purpose and agenda, Google, through its algorithmic modeling to censor voices challenging the medical regime’s status-quo, ignores efforts to determine whether the medical literature is bogus or not. Google’s mission is to protect the global medical regime — not just private drug companies but also government health bodies and international organizations such as the World Health Organization.
No longer should Google be perceived solely as a technological platform to promote the pharmaceutical industry’s agenda. It is also a drug company itself. During the past seven years, Google’s parent company Alphabet has launched two pharmaceutical companies. In 2013, it founded Calico, headed by Genentech’s former CEO Arthur Levinson. Calico operates an R&D facility in the San Francisco Bay Area for the discovery of treatments associated with age-related diseases. Two years later, Alphabet founded Verily Life Sciences (previously Google Life Sciences). Both companies partner with other drug firms, including Johnson and Johnson, Novartis, and vaccine giants Pfizer and Sanofi. In October Verily launched an aggressive multimillion dollar campaign to expand Covid-19 testing in California’s most distressed communities in 28 counties. However, some counties are starting to sever their ties with the company. In order to qualify for the program’s Covid test people are required to have a Gmail account and provide highly sensitive personal information. Alphabet’s drug companies therefore are intricately linked to Google’s ambition to gather, control and own everyone’s personal information.
In 2016, Verily collaborated with the European pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline to form a third company, Galvani Bioelectronics, for the development of “bioelectronic medicines.” Among its initiatives are nanotechnology for drug delivery and the development of “miniaturized, implantable devices that can monitor nerve signals in the body.” Galvani’s Chairman is Moncef Siaoui, Glaxo’s former chairman of its global vaccines business who now serves as Trump’s appointed chief science adviser for Operation Warp Speed.
Nor should it be forgotten that Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin’s former wife Anne Wojcicki also co-founded the biotech company 23andMe to develop personal DNA testing kits. In 2018 it entered a partnership with Glaxo to expand into drug development.
In January 2019, Google’s president of Customer Solutions Mary Ellen Coe joined Merck’s Board of Directors. Formerly working at the corporate consulting firm McKinsey and Company, her role at Google includes overseeing the firm’s global advertising for contracted companies. Merck’s chairman Kenneth Frazier remarked in a press release that Coe “will be a significant asset to Merck.”
To better appreciate the enormity of the global pharmaceutical regime now unfolding, we need to fully acknowledge this nightmarish marriage between the tech and information-based companies, such as Google and the WMF, and Big Pharma. As the world’s most advanced search engine, Google has gained control over the internet’s most technically sophisticated surveillance systems and algorithms. Therefore the company has positioned itself to perhaps be the greatest potential threat to human health via the flow of information and data viewed on our laptops and mobile phones.
During the past five years, the pharmaceutical industry has shown a growing interest in the concept of virtual pharmacies, whereby drug companies can leverage their influence over consumers. Social media, notably Wikipedia, has become the consumer’s most utilized resource for gaining knowledge about disease, drugs and health. In a University of Sydney survey, Wikipedia was the first source of choice for gaining information about unfamiliar health topics, even among medical professionals. According to a 2013 joint analysis of this emerging trend, conducted by the University of Zurich and Johnson and Johnson, drug companies can use these virtual platforms to tackle the challenges they face in the financial market and even within medical communities. However, the analysis also recommended that the best strategy would be for Big Pharma to invest heavily in virtual companies and secure partnerships. This strategy is gaining steam whereby tech and social media companies such as Google and WMF are being absorbed into the pharmaceutical machinery and vice versa. The dire results from this marriage are already being felt as we now witness Wikipedia morphing into another mouthpiece for Big Pharma.
If Google’s transformation into a drug company is not alone disturbing, the world’s largest open source knowledge site is acutely entangled with the Silicon Valley giant and its pharmaceutical agenda. In early 2019, Google dumped $3.1 million into WMF’s coffers, which brings total contributions from Google and Sergey Brin to over $7.5 million. Curiously, the announcement of Google’s endowment was made at the World Economic Forum at Davos. The donation also includes Google’s intention to provide Wikipedia editors with its high tech learning tools. Wired Magazine published an article that further defines the Google-WMF relationship over the years. With respect to Google’s generous contribution, journalist Louise Matsakis writes, “but the decision isn’t altruistic… Google already uses Wikipedia content in a number of its own products…. The company also has used Wikipedia articles to train machine learning algorithms, as well as fight misinformation on YouTube.” Now with Jimmy Wales’ intention to take on the cause of fighting “fake news” – a cause also aligned to his personal Skeptic ideology as the ultimate arbitrator that determines what is real or fake — Skeptic editors have free access to advanced algorithmic apps to proceed with their agenda to scrub Wikipedia of content favorable towards alternative medicine or content critical of the pharmaceutical empire.
Yet Google’s and Jimmy Wales’ mutual interests go beyond the construction of a pharmaceutical ruled society. Brin and Wales first sealed a close relationship during their early efforts to counter the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Together both executives, among others, signed a joint Open Letter to the federal government opposing SOPA, which was coincidently around the same time as Brin’s half-million dollar donation. In 2014, in a reaction against legal issues over privacy matters, Google created an “Advisory Council.” Wales was one of its founding members.
In 2012, Google’s charitable arm, Google.org, initiated a collaboration with WMF’s WikiProject Medicine “to further improve the quality of articles” by recruiting and hiring “professional medical editors.” Dr. James Heilman, a Canadian emergency room physician and a seasoned senior Wikipedia administrator who frequently comes to the defense of Skeptic Wikipedians, sits on the WMF’s Board of Trustees. Heilman is one of the founders of the Wiki Project Med Foundation (WPMF) to advance its mission to give “every single person free access to the sum of all medical knowledge.” WPMF now has collaborative relationships with the National Institutes of Health, Cancer Research UK, Cochrane Collaboration, the University of California at San Francisco, the Wellcome Trust and several open-access medical journals.
Recently during the Covid-19 pandemic, WMF has strengthened its ties with the global medical establishment. Last October it entered a collaboration with the World Health Organization to assure that public health information and data about Covid-19 is regulated in accordance with the latest pronouncements made by the anointed authorities in the institutional medical establishment. Wikipedia already contains over 5,200 Covid-related entries in 175 languages and these are largely based upon WHO sources. It is estimated that this content is accessed at least a million times a day. Part of the WMF’s commitment is to monitor and censor “the spread of misinformation” according to the WHO’s criteria. In a New York Times article reporting on the new partnership, if this initial pilot Covid-19 project succeeds, it will be expanded to launch additional efforts “to counter misinformation regarding AIDS, Ebola, influenza, polio and dozens of other diseases.”
So where exactly in the cesspool of modern medicine and the toxic food, vaccine and the agro-chemical industries are we to discover truth. Few in the scientific and federal health agencies can be trusted anymore. Most are compromised and this distortion of truth for global leverage clearly extends throughout Google and Wikipedia. Rarely is a mainstream journalist trustworthy, and no one can be certain whether a paper appearing in a peer-reviewed science journal or an medical entry on Wikipedia is reliable or not. Even clinical physicians on the front lines of healthcare work in the dark. It is only after large numbers of injuries and deaths due to Agent Orange, DDT, life-threatening vaccine adverse reactions, a Vioxx scandal, or an epidemic of corporate liable opiate drug overdoses that a light bulb eventually goes on. But only for a limited time before it is quickly forgotten and goes dark again.
The reason for American medicine turning into the nation’s largest and deadliest battlefield is because scientific corruption is legally protected to proceed with impunity. The Surgeon General, the heads of federal health agencies, drug makers, the insurance industry, medical schools and professional associations, Google and WMF, and the media operate as a single voice that the American health system is the best in the world when it is surely not. Corporate interests and massive profiteering control everything. Modern medicine has morphed into a religious cult that is incapable of self-reflection about its own vulnerabilities and failures. This hubris of power and domination plagues Google and the WMF equally. And numerous patients are being played for fools.
The fact is that all players in the architecture of our medical system are vulnerable to corruption. Private industry and government know this perfectly. The checks and balances between private and public interests have collapsed. Today, the medical regime is a single entity. All of its parts are consolidated and entwined into a monolithic behemoth to protect its bottom line. In our opinion Google and WMF have been co-opted to serve as the guardians of this culture of corruption. Therefore they both are equally culpable in the widespread destruction of the nation’s public health.
Yet we mustn’t expect that the trajectory of an emerging global pharmaceutical hegemony will experience a collapse anytime soon. Rather, with the aid of Google and WMF, it will increasingly monopolize the medical discourse and define the national policies shaping public health. And this requires greater efforts to censor and silence the medical critics and honest investigative journalists bringing light to the medical and scientific flaws upon which health policies and laws are based through the virtual technological apparatus and information control Google and WMF provides. In short, tech companies now control and dictate orders to the morally-deficient incompetents in Washington.
Yet the emergence of a pharmaceutical regime as a natural consequence of humanity being in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is unfolding to the delight of Jimmy Wales and his Skeptic denizens who worship his messianic mission to make all knowledge free to the world’s population. But the question has always been “whose knowledge?” Skepticm’s “pseudo-knowledge,” of course. It is not uncommon to find Skeptics acknowledging Wales as one of their own. Wales has provided plenty of assistance to Skeptics and on occasion has come to their defense in discussion groups. Replying to comments Wales wrote on Quora to offer his assistance to rid the world of homeopathy, the co-founder of Guerrilla Skeptics on Wikipedia Susan Gerbic replied:
“Jimmy you have already done more than anyone could possibly dream that can be done. You created the most amazing resource in the world. I mean that, not only in English but in every language possible…. Thank you. Allowing us editors to ‘do our job’ and keep these articles honest and correctly cited is enough. I can’t imagine what else you can do, my brain is teeny tiny compared to your mighty brain, if you come up with something please oh please let us in on it, we want to help.”
The pharmaceutical industry has no need to attack the competition of non-conventional and natural medicine on Wikipedia. Nor is there a need to hire or pay off Wikipedians to do this dirty work for them since Skeptics are already doing so freely or involuntarily, and Skeptic administrators receive the perks of being provided with Google’s algorithmic tools and apps to protect their message. It is a completely rigged game and Wales and the WMF seem to have every intention to keep it that way.
America’s 21st century technological god with a silicon-crafted body demands the sacrifice of the world’s children and elderly and persons for profit in its furnace of drugs and vaccines. John Milton and Beat poet Allen Ginsberg would surely agree. If alive we might hear Ginsberg howling against this devouring techno-Pharma empire on YouTube. From its humble beginnings, and with the technological resources and generous funding received from Google, Wikipedia has morphed into a chaotic war between truth and falsehoods amusingly ruled over by this postmodern Moloch. The dangerous fallout is that objectivity and ethics are being increasingly sacrificed on a cold virtual altar devoted to a perverted metaphysical realism disguised as medical science and fact.