As a skeptic, I can’t help but taking an interest in conspiracy theories. The reason, of course, is because behind virtually every commonly accepted pseudoscientific and antiscience ideas there is conspiracy theory. For instance, in the case of the antivaccine movement, the conspiracy theory is that some combination of the CDC, big pharma, and the FDA is conspiring to hide the truth—excuse me, The Truth—that vaccines cause autism, brain damage, autimmune disease, diabetes, sudden infant death syndrome, shaken baby syndrome, and whatever other disease, injury, or condition that antivaxers like to attribute to vaccines. The same is true with alternative medicine in alternative cancer cures. Inevitably, if you get into discussions with believers, sooner or later (usually sooner) they’ll tell you that The Man (a.k.a. big pharma and/or the FDA) is keeping the cures from the people in order to protect profits from low cost “natural” cancer cures. The same goes for GMOs, in which the all-powerful Monsanto is “suppressing” evidence of all the alleged harm they do. Yes, be it 9/11 Truthers, Moon Hoaxers, or even Bigfoot hunters, behind every significant bit of pseudoscience is a conspiracy theory, or at least conspiracy theories inevitably crop up to “explain” why the pseudoscience isn’t accepted.
Sometimes, these conspiracy theories reach ridiculous levels, so much so that they can even become entangled with larger stories. In this case, antivax conspiracy theories have impinged on the tragic story of Justine Damond, the woman killed by a Minneapolis police officer less than two weeks ago. Before I get to how the tragedy of what happened to Justine Damond is getting more tragic, I need to review some background.
Perhaps the strangest conspiracy theory I’ve ever come across popped up around two years ago, when the body of antivaccine autism quack (but I repeat myself) Dr. Jeff Bradstreet was found in the Rocky Broad River in mountainous North Carolina with a bullet wound to the chest. The local law enforcement authorities determined that it was a suicide, and within a month it came out that the day before his death Bradstreet’s clinic had been raided by the FDA for selling a “wonder cure” in the form of a compound known as GcMAF, as I discussed at the time. Not surprisingly, Bradstreet’s family, as well as many antivaxers, didn’t believe that Bradstreet committed suicide. His family even raised $33,000 to hire private detectives to “find the truth.” Two years later, no convincing evidence has been found that Bradstreet died other than by suicide.
Not long after that, there emerged a conspiracy theory in which “holistic medicine” practitioners were supposedly being targeted for murder, starting with Dr. Bradstreet. It started when cancer quack Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez died suddenly of what, as far as I could gather from the news reports, sure sounded like a sudden heart attack, something all too unfortunately common in older men. Basically, Erin Elizabeth, who runs an alternative medicine website (Healthnutnews.com) and also happen to be über-quack Joe Mercola’s girlfriend, started looking for “holistic” doctors who died under mysterious circumstance. Not surprisingly, she was able to find some, and as a result spun a wild tale of a “conspiracy” by The Man to kill alternative medicine practitioners based on the thinnest of gruel. Basically, she spun a tale of filthy pharma lucre buying hit men to eliminate those pesky “holistic healers.”
To be honest, I hadn’t paid attention to this truly silly conspiracy theory since maybe early 2016, but the story of Dr. Justine Damond brought it back again. If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you know that Damond, an Australian, called 911 to report what to her sounded like a rape happening in the alleyway behind her home. What happened next is something that never should have happened. Here is the reported timeline:
11:27 p.m. — Justine Damond calls 911 to report hearing sounds of distress from a girl or woman behind her house. She says it may be a rape. A dispatcher says officers should arrive soon.
11:35 p.m. — Damond calls 911 again to ask why police haven’t arrived yet. She gives the dispatcher address again.
11:41 p.m. — Officers Matthew Harrity and Mohamed Noor arrive and drive south down the alley behind Damond’s house. Harrity, who is driving, is startled by a loud noise near his squad car. Damond approaches the driver’s side window immediately afterward, and Noor fires his gun past Harrity, striking Damond through that window of the vehicle, according to Harrity in an interview with state investigators.
11:42 p.m. — Radio report of one person down, starting CPR.
11:50 p.m. — Radio report of police doing CPR for “last four minutes.”
11:51 p.m. — Damond is pronounced dead in the alley at the south end of her block. A medical examiner later says Damond was shot once in the abdomen.
This case is yet another example of a police shooting of an unarmed civilian, with a twist: The victim was not black and not male. Not surprisingly, though, there has been a huge backlash over this, leading to the resignation of Minneapolis police chief Janeé Harteau.
You probably see where this is going. The unexpected twist? Damond was an Australian “holistic healer, cancer researcher and trained veterinarian surgeon.” To give you an idea, here’s a video she did:
I didn’t watch the whole thing, but there is a lot of stuff about “quantum fields,” information, and “universal intelligence.” And here’s her website, as found in late 2016 on Archive.org. As you can see, it’s fairly typical New Age woo. There’s no reason for me to dwell on it, other than as evidence of her bona fides as a “holistic healer.” That was enough to get Erin Elizabeth to do her ghoulish thing and take advantage of yet another tragedy to plant the seed of adding this unfortunate woman to her imagined hit list, noting that we’ve “lost so many holistic healers and doctors in just two short years.”
It wasn’t long before stories with titles like Holistic Doctor, Working Against Big Pharma, Shot Dead By Police:
Australian holistic healer and former veterinarian, Dr. Justine Damond, has been shot dead by Minneapolis police, as the community of physicians seeking to operate outside the confines of Big Pharma continues to be decimated.
Dr. Damond, 40, was killed while standing in her pajamas outside the Minneapolis house owned by her partner. She had previously called 911 to report an intruder in the alley outside the house, however when police arrived they shot several times at the holistic doctor and killed her.
According to reports, the police who arrived (including the one who shot her) had their body cameras turned off.
The well-known health and lifestyle coach, who was actively campaigning for people to take control of their lives and reject Big Pharma’s crippling products, joins the long list of holistic doctors and healers who have been killed in suspicious or unsolved circumstances during the past two years.
Of course, with Justine Damond, as with Jeff Bradstreet, as with Nicholas Gonzalez, as with the 60 other “holistic healers” in the list compiled by Erin Elizabeth, there is no evidence that any of the deaths are related or in many cases (like Dr. Gonzalez) that there was even any sort of foul play involved. Also, as was noted on Snopes.com, arguing against Damond’s death as being due to assassination was how rapidly the officers got out of the car to administer CPR and call EMS. Also, remember that the incident that started the chain of events leading to the tragedy of Damond’s death was her herself calling 911 because she heard what she thought was a woman being attacked in the alley behind the house she shared with her fiancé. No noise, no phone call, no police coming to investigate, no shooting. I’m surprised Elizabeth or someone else hasn’t insinuated that the noise of the attack was an intentional ploy to frighten Damond, to get her concerned enough to call 911, so that the pharma-controlled Minneapolis police could carry out their hit. The case of Justine Damond is truly sad, but whatever her death was evidence of, lack of adequate training of police or being too eager to shoot first, it wasn’t evidence of some sort of massive pharm conspiracy to murder holistic healers.
As I’ve said before, ever since the death of Jeff Bradstreet, it appears that anyone associated with any sort of “alternative” or “holistic” medicine who dies under any but the most obvious and easily verified circumstances will become a victim of the conspiracy. That’s the beauty of the conspiracy. Anyone can be part of it. Worse, the more publicized the death, the more likely it is that the person who died will be portrayed as yet another victim of the conspiracy. Damond is only just the most publicized death of all. The funny thing is, this conspiracy theory is so wacky, that even Mike Adams hasn’t thought to latch on to it since the shooting.
You know you’re really being a despicable conspiracy-monger when even Mike Adams won’t touch the story. Of course, by the time this article posts, I could be proven wrong by Adams doing just that and publishing one of his patented screeds. It’s how fake news works.