In a previous essay, I discussed the term audience capture, which is defined as “a self-reinforcing feedback loop that involves telling one’s audience what they want to hear and getting rewarded for it”. I specifically discussed how pre-pandemic, anti-vaccine doctors were forced to follow their followers, leading them to take more extreme positions to maintain their relevance. I wrote:
Over the ensuing decade, I observed something interesting about the anti-vaccine movement. When I first encountered it, anti-vaccine influencers could gain attention by claiming vaccines caused autism. That was once cool and edgy. After a few years, however, this bogus claim was merely the price of entry into Anti-Vaxx World. Since there was nothing to be gained by merely saying vaccines caused autism, in order to gain attention, anti-vaccine influencers like Dr. Kelly Brogan were forced to blame vaccines for all manners of maladies, such as the “epidemic” of SIDS (even though SIDS rates have decreased markedly). Other anti-vaccine doctors compared vaccines to rape, and RFK Jr. compared vaccinations to the Holocaust. Attacking pediatricians became commonplace….
Simply saying vaccines cause autism just doesn’t cut it for anti-vaccine influencer in 2022 the way it did in 2000. In order to get continue to get clicks and customers, anti-vaccine doctors had to continually escalate their rhetoric and above all, never stop being controversial.
With this in mind, I decided to check in my old friend Dr. Kelly Brogan, a pre-pandemic, anti-vaccine celebrity and American Loon #1422. Events have forced her to take a rather dramatic turn in her unending quest to never stop being “controversial”. Not long ago, she posted the following:
I sat with Dr. Amandha Vollmer to discuss connected cosmology. We get into why waking up is hard to do and why the shape of the earth even matters
In the interview, Dr. Brogan denied germ theory and Dr. Amandha Vollmer, a naturopath, said:
The ball earth hoax is important. It means you can better understand this place, and stay away from the liars and hoaxers and conmen.
How nice of Dr. Vollmer, a self-described “alchemist” at YumNaturals Emporium, and Dr. Brogan, who sells her Vital Mind Reset course for $3,000 amongst other products, to warn us about liars and hoaxers and conmen.
So why is Dr. Brogan “waking up” to “the ball earth hoax” today? To answer this question, it is important to remember what used to qualified as “controversial”, what previously got her clicks and customers. Prior to the pandemic, she wrote an essay titled Vaccination: Your Body. Your Baby. Their Flu in which she said:
This better way embraces periodic sickness as part of comprehensive wellness. The only way to truly protect ourselves and our infants is through natural immunity bolstered by wild-type exposure in the community. Once you have a particular flu strain, when it comes around again, you will be uniquely protected, and you will pass on this protection to your newborn. There is no replacement for this.
Once upon a time, this was “controversial” and responsible doctors recognized that doctors who said such nonsense were “quacks.”
Things have changed.
Dr. Brogan wouldn’t be the least bit “controversial” writing that paragraph now. It’s utterly mundane and conventional. Today, that sentiment is expressed by prominent professors from prominent medical schools in the mainstream media. For example, during the pandemic, a UCSF professor wrote an article titled Should We Let Children Catch Omicron?, which hit many Broganesque notes. It said:
When it comes to infectious disease, normality means a world where they are routinely exposed to, and overcome, viral illness. For children, getting sick and recovering is part of a natural and healthy life…Parents must consider that exposures are how we best protect our children against the variants of the future. In fact, it is reckless to let children age into a more serious encounter with a disease best dealt with while younger… Immunity is built through illness.
This pro-virus advocacy even appeared in prominent medical journals. In 2021, doctors from Emory and Pennsylvania State University wrote in the BMJ:
Once most adults are vaccinated, circulation of SARS-CoV-2 may in fact be desirable, as it is likely to lead to primary infection early in life when disease is mild, followed by booster re-exposures throughout adulthood… This would keep reinfections mild and immunity up to date.
More examples of such mimicry abound.
- The article The Flimsy Evidence Behind the CDC’s Push to Vaccinate Children, which was written during the pandemic by a professor at Johns Hopkins, sounded many of the same themes as Dr. Brogan’s pre-pandemic article, CDC: You’re Fired. Autism Coverup Exposed.
- The article The Triumph of Natural Immunity, which was written during the pandemic by a professor at Harvard, sounded many of the same themes as Dr. Brogan’s pre-pandemic article, HPV Vaccine Maker’s Study Proves Natural HPV Infection Beneficial, Not Deadly.
- The article Vaccine-Induced Myocarditis Concerns Demand Respect, Not Absolutism, which was written during the pandemic by a cardiologist at Medscape, sounded many of the same themes as Dr. Brogan’s pre-pandemic article, Could This be Driving the Epidemic of Sudden Infant Death (SIDS)?.
- The article The Ill-Advised Push to Vaccinate the Young, which was written during the pandemic by professors at Stanford and Harvard, sounded many of the same themes as Dr. Brogan’s pre-pandemic article, The New Gardasil: Is It Right For Your Daughter?
This is what I meant when I said on the Conspirituality Podcast that Dr. Brogan “won the pandemic.”
Had there been no pandemic, I am confident Dr. Brogan could have remained “controversial” spreading her familiar rubbish about the flu, measles, and HPV vaccines. I doubt she would feel compelled to wake up to “the ball earth hoax” today. However, there was a pandemic, doctors co-opted her message, and there’s nothing to be gained for someone like her to occupy the same space as prominent professors from prominent medical schools.
All this is worth thinking about, not because of what it reveals about Dr. Brogan, but rather because of what it reveals about prominent professors from prominent medical schools.