**AS SEEN ON TUCKER CARLSON TODAY AND THE JOE ROGAN EXPERIENCE**
A guide for the times—breaking down the lies about COVID-19 and shedding light on why we came to believe them.
When he invented the original mRNA vaccine technology as a medical and graduate student in the late 1980s, Robert Malone could not have imagined that he would become a leader in a movement to expose the dangers of mRNA vaccines that billions of people have received—too often without being informed of the risks.
For voicing opposition to the “mainstream” narrative, Dr. Robert Malone was censored by Big Tech and vilified by the media. But he continues to speak out and alert the world to the web of lies that we have all experienced. From vaccine safety and effectiveness to early treatments like ivermectin, to lockdowns, masks, and more, Dr. Malone is the signature dissident voice telling the other side of the story about COVID, the role of corporate media, censorship, propaganda, and the brave new world of transhumanism promoted by the World Economic Forum and its acolytes.
What effect did the COVID policies have on lives, livelihoods, and democracies? How is it possible that the lies spread by governments would persist, and that our institutions would fail to correct them? Lies My Gov’t Told Me takes a hard look at these questions and illustrates how data, information, and psychology have been distorted during the pandemic.
Governments intentionally weaponized fear to mold behavior. The media smeared anyone who objected to the narrative. And Big Pharma—aligned with larger globalist interests exemplified by the likes of Bill Gates and the World Economic Forum—had captured the agencies that are supposed to regulate it long before the pandemic began. Dr. Malone explores these perverse connections between Pharma, government, and media, and tells us what can be done about it.
With contributed chapters from other leading thinkers, such as Dr. Paul Marik and Professor Mattias Desmet, and drawing upon history, psychology, and economics, Lies My Gov’t Told Me looks at COVID from numerous angles. Never satisfied with a simple answer or easy solution, Dr. Malone proposes multiple action plans for a better future.
Dr. Malone calls on each of us to find our own solutions, our own ways to resist the control of fascist, corporatist, and totalitarian overlords. If we are to step out of the darkness—toward a world that defends the principles of the Constitution, upholds individual rights, and honors free speech—we all must play a part in the transition.
“One of the most important things about [Malone] reading out [his] history like that is he is one of the most qualified people in the world to talk about vaccines … I’m very grateful that there’s courageous people like [Malone] that do put [their] reputations and [their] careers on the line by speaking out against the stuff when it is very difficult and when [they] do get de-platformed for doing that they know that by censoring [him] they’re not just censoring [him]; they’re also making others like [him] self-censor.”
—JOE ROGAN, The Joe Rogan Experience
“A courageous streak of idealism and stubborn integrity pitched Dr. Robert Malone off the giddy heights of the Medical Cartel. Stranded in the wilderness, he has emerged as the most important prophet for medical freedom, public health, and civil rights. If we manage to save democracy, and humanity, Robert Malone will get much of the credit.”
—ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR.
“Few people are in a better position than Robert Malone to know what lies the government told us about COVID. And very few are brave enough to expose those lies. Whatever they’re saying about him now, history will record Malone as a hero.”
“Dr. Robert Malone is among the few courageous doctors and medical researchers who offered us, in his calm and professional way, a science-based second opinion regarding COVID. With contributions from other heroes of the pandemic, this book offers truth that federal health agencies and the media unfortunately failed to provide.”
—US SENATOR RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin
“When our confused and frightened planet was buckling under monolithic government declarations and orders, we needed someone with first-hand expertise and knowledge, someone with integrity and profound courage, to give us clarity and truth. Robert Malone stood up and did that, and these pages tell his story.”
—GAVIN DE BECKER, bestselling author of The Gift of Fear
“The Administrative State destroyed lives, families, businesses with shutdowns, lockdowns, and mandates related to the CCP/COVID-19 pandemic. When ‘The Vaxx’ and the ‘science’ surrounding it engulfed the Nation and the World, one man, Dr. Robert Malone, came to the forefront in the fight for truth. The Government, Corporate Media and Big Pharma tried to destroy him. This book is the first-person account of a modern day American Hero and Patriot.”
“Dr. Malone’s experiences working in basic science and biodefense, along with his incisive analysis, perceptivity, and clarity of thought, make his book a fascinating read that will leave you in wonder and admiration of the breadth and depth of his insights. The forces he understands so well will continue flexing their influence unless deterred by trustworthy leadership and a resistant public.”
—JOSEPH LADAPO, MD, PhD, Florida Surgeon General and author of Transcend Fear: A Blueprint for Mindful Leadership in Public Health
“Reading this book is a bit like having a surrealistic nightmare, but one you don’t wake up from. Although factual, informative, and not sentimental, the story is blood-curdling—with a magnitude of scandal that defies any imagination. Robert’s deep insights into ‘the system’ leave us with profound disappointment and disdain for all those involved in this crime against humanity, while offering a realistic perspective to our children and grandchildren for a better way forward.”
—GEERT VANDEN BOSSCHE, PhD, virologist and vaccine expert, formerly employed at the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI)
“As the world increasingly wakes up to the realization that great harm has been visited upon humanity, people will be scrambling to understand how this could have ever been possible. I can think of no better guide than Robert Malone. His book offers clear answers and does so with an eloquence and compassion that is Robert’s hallmark. I recommend it to all.”
—TESS LAWRIE, MBBCh, PhD, research consultant and director of The Evidence-Based Medicine Consultancy.
“Essential reading for anyone willing to comprehend the madness we have endured during the past few years.”
—PAUL MARIK, MD, former professor of medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School
“Dr. Robert Malone’s expertise and knowledge in the fields of vaccinology and infectious disease countermeasure technology is unparalleled. Despite this, he was systemically banned and censored by big tech and the US government for merely sharing his views. His book provides a road map for our nation to reform our crony capitalist society before even more harm results.”
—ANDREW G. HUFF, PhD, MS, author of The Truth About Wuhan: How I Uncovered the Biggest Lie in History
“Dr. Malone has deep expertise in the biological sub-disciplines most relevant to COVID-19 science. He also has extensive experience in regulatory affairs and bioethics. He knows how to follow the science to see where it is leading. So, there is no more qualified person on earth to provide insights into what has happened to our world over the past three years than this inventor of mRNA vaccine technology.”
—BYRAM W. BRIDLE, PhD, associate professor of viral immunology at the University of Guelph
“Dr. Malone’s critical thinking skills were honed while working with US military intelligence. His precise analysis of the COVID ‘science’ was not only accurate, but presciently predicted what is now widely accepted. He exposed the lies and fraud of the COVID narrative early on, including during a Joe Rogan podcast that is among the most watched of all time. This book goes further into the truth that attracted those 50 million views.”
—DR. MERCOLA, founder of Mercola.com, the most visited natural health site on the internet for the last twenty years
“Melding brainpower with compassion and solid values, Robert and Jill Malone stand out among the COVID truth-tellers. They have stayed grounded; they have continued to act with integrity and grace as they led the rest of us toward truth. Now they have the generosity to produce a work like this: a book that tells us exactly where we are, how we got here, and how we can create the world we must now bring into being.”
—MERYL NASS, MD
“Robert Malone might have been the most influential critical thinker and voice during the corona crisis. He continued to speak out, no matter how much resistance he met.”
—MATTIAS DESMET, professor of clinical psychology at Ghent University
“Lies My Gov’t Told Me is the Silent Spring of our time—a clarion call from a courageous scientist with impeccable credentials. Dr. Malone demands we confront the very real dangers of a faux vaccine pimped to the American public by unscrupulous Big Pharma companies in collusion with a Fauci-led health care bureaucracy. The new Republican House majority must use its investigatory powers to lay bare these lies and hold those responsible accountable.”
—PETER NAVARRO, author, Taking Back Trump’s America
“Dr. Robert Malone gives us an essential, captivating, and comprehensive guide to our historical moment, from lockdowns and mRNA vaccines to the administrative state and the game plan to control people via propaganda and groupthink. A scientist who also has deep knowledge of government, history, politics, and psychology, as well as great personal courage, Dr. Malone gives us this page-turning overview of where we are and how to move forward with our humanity intact.”
—NAOMI WOLF, bestselling author of The Beauty Myth
“In a time when censorship is rank, you should read everything you are told not to read. In particular, there are six words (that you will find in this book) that the stakeholder capitalists do not want you to hear: ‘Defend your sovereignty. Think for yourself.’ I predict that the demagogic designs of the World Economic Forum will fail and that it will be the principles repeated by Malone—’integrity, dignity and community’—that carry the day.”
—JESSICA ROSE, PhD, molecular biologist, biochemist, and immunologist
“This is the most thorough, truthful, and meaningful book written on the COVID-19 pandemic and all its manifestations. I was fortunate to graduate with honors from Harvard Medical School, which means I met many great and inspirational physicians and teachers. My contact with Robert Malone during the pandemic, and now having read this book, inclines me to place him among those I have most revered in my life and work.”
—GEORGE FAREED, MD
“As one of the top vaccinology experts, and the inventor of mRNA technology, Dr. Malone was naturally tapped by the government to help in the early stages of the COVID pandemic. When he began to ask hard questions, the fury of censorship and coordinated personal attacks led him on a journey of self-discovery and awakening. This book reveals the truth of the last two-plus years and exposes how our public health institutions really make the sausage.”
—ED DOWD, former Black Rock managing director, author of Cause Unknown
“An extraordinary and deeply researched tour through the engineered global brainwashing experiment known as the COVID-19 pandemic. Through hard-hitting, data-driven critiques authored by the brightest medical science thinkers of our time, this book bears witness to the true COVID conspiracy unleashed upon the world. If Western medicine is to be salvaged in the aftermath of this worldwide pandemic fraud, it will require an honest reading of this groundbreaking book that, if properly considered, can change the course of the history of medicine. Dr. Robert Malone and all his co-authors are to be applauded for their courage, determination, and passion, telling the unpopular truth in an age of convenient lies.”
—MIKE ADAMS, founder, NaturalNews.com and Brighteon.com
“Soon after the madness started, I stumbled across Robert Malone in the forest of the online world. His presence, his voice, what he had to say and why, were balm for my troubled soul. Here in this book is the story that explains why this softly spoken man did what he did. He has been true north for so many who felt utterly lost. I have nothing to offer but gratitude.”
—NEIL OLIVER, author and GB News host
“Major crises have an uncanny effect of causing heroes to miraculously emerge, and such is the case of Dr. Robert Malone. COVID has been the biggest avoidable catastrophe in human history, and society owes Dr. Malone huge admiration for dissecting the key issues so succinctly in this book. Over the last three years, he has steadfastly adhered to the scientific facts and translated them into an actionable counter-narrative for use by activists globally—and all despite relentless and utterly unjustified ad hominem attacks. Bravo, Dr. Malone!”
—ROGER HODKINSON, MBBCh, pathologist
“Robert Malone has courageously lifted his head to help us better understand the corruption within our federal systems. So many myths are being dispelled, thanks to people like Malone and his wife, and the other contributors in this book. They are among the clearest voices saying NO to the fear-mongering, greed, and arrogance of government power.”
—SEAN STONE, filmmaker and author
“ ‘What went wrong?’ In this multidisciplinary tour de force, biomedical industry insider and Renaissance man Dr. Robert Malone challenges his prior worldview to forge a comprehensive, accessible picture of the sheer scale and ubiquity of institutional failure exposed by the pandemic. Building on his own analysis by incorporating essays by key pandemic thinkers (and doers), he ultimately offers a grounded vision for healing and recovery, both societal and personal. Don’t miss this book!”
—JAN JEKIELEK, senior editor at Epoch Times and host of American Thought Leaders
“This book is a must-read for those who want to understand how difficult it was for Dr. Malone and other rare voices to reveal the truth amid a chaos of lies. Personally, I thank him for helping expose those who tried hard to take healthcare choices away from our citizens.”
—JEFF LANDY, Attorney General of Louisiana
“If courageously speaking truth to power is a cornerstone of our heritage, then the wisdom and insights in this book should be lauded by us all.”
—TAD COFFIN, Olympic gold medalist
“To understand the devastation of our times, to comprehend the scale and depth of the emergency that we face, Robert Malone is the leading person in the world you want as your guide. His scintillating book, filled with candid truths only he would know, is a gift to the world—to you, me, and everyone who seeks to understand. For decades, he has been at the center of the arena, as a scientist, intellectual, and moral force. His credentials are impeccable, even legendary—but just as remarkable is his willingness to speak. He could have been like so many others in his echelon of knowledge; he could have joined the junta of control, played along, or just stayed quiet. Something inside this man said, ‘No.’ And his moral compass guided him, same as so many other dissidents today. People who care owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Malone for this literary achievement.”
—JEFFREY TUCKER, author, founder of the Brownstone Institute
“Bristling with timely content and filled with the personal accounts of fellow warriors for truth and medical freedom, Dr. Malone’s in-depth exploration of deceit at a national level exposes the conscious and systematic betrayal of trust that led to an incalculable loss of life and, for many, a loss of faith in the current American system. I share Malone’s passion for educating Americans on the necessity to think for oneself, the power of fear to paralyze a society, and the freedom that comes from living in truth and courage.”
—MARK MCDONALD, psychiatrist, author of United States of Fear: How America Fell Victim to a Mass Delusional Psychosis
“Robert Malone has compiled an indispensable compendium of truth, exposing the lies and obfuscation behind our failed and destructive pandemic response. He has been among the most courageous, ethical, and scientifically sound public voices throughout the pandemic. When so many others doctors and scientists stayed silent or ‘went along’ to protect their interests, in the face of enormous pressure to conform and despite malicious opposition, Dr. Malone spoke out. This book should be read by all who want to understand the public health travesty we suffered during COVID, so that we can build a future where humans can once again flourish.”
—AARON KHERIATY, psychiatrist, author of The New Abnormal: The Rise of the Biomedical Security State
“A man with a great mind, a deep scientific knowledge and an open heart. Dr. Robert Malone is the inventor of the nine original mRNA vaccine patents, which were originally filed in 1989, including both the idea of mRNA vaccines and the original proof of principle experience and RNA transfaction. Dr. Malone has close to a hundred peer reviewed publications, which have been cited over 12,000 times. Since January 2020, Dr. Malone has been leading a large team focused on clinical research, design, drug development, computer modeling, and mechanisms of action for repurpose drugs of the treatment of COVID-19.”
—CHRISTOF PLOTHE, World Council for Health, osteopath and researcher
“Dr. Robert Malone is a force of nature. His technical expertise and extraordinary experience as a medical doctor, inventor, bureaucratic insider, and public health advocate inform every page of this remarkable book. Robert’s exemplary courage makes his story required reading for those who love our country and detest the lies its government has told all of us.”
—FRANK GAFFNEY, executive chairman of the Center for Security Policy and host of Securing America on Real America’s Voice
“Not everyone has the intellectual capacity and the intestinal fortitude to recognize the errors in the government’s narrative, and to do the research, and then speak up about his findings. Thankfully, Dr. Robert Malone does. We should all be grateful he refused to stay silent when he saw the government’s mishandling of its COVID response. He is graced with the ability to take complex subject matter and break it down into language the average person can understand. This book is a must-read!”
—JENNY BETH MARTIN, cofounder of the Tea Party Patriots
“This book—a must-read—is an essential guide to processing and comprehending the incomprehensible human tragedy and horror of what has occurred during this ‘pandemic,’ and to find some path forward that could lead to a better future for all of us.”
—BILL WALTON, host of The Bill Walton Show
About the Author
Robert W. Malone, MD, MS, is an internationally recognized virologist and immunologist, and the original inventor of mRNA vaccination as a technology, DNA vaccination, and multiple non-viral DNA and RNA/mRNA platform delivery technologies. Scientifically trained at UC Davis, UC San Diego, and at the Salk Institute Molecular Biology and Virology laboratories, Dr. Malone received his medical training at Northwestern University (MD) and Harvard University Medical School (clinical research postgraduate), and in pathology at UC Davis, He has almost one hundred peer-reviewed publications, and has been an invited speaker at about fifty conferences.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Plato and The Big Picture
Logic, structure, and rationale underpinning my upcoming book.
For the vast majority of us, COVID-19 has been experienced as a river formed by the confluence of mass media and government-promoted stories, infectious disease threat alerts, and economic disruptions (at times disasters) which has flowed by and through our daily lives since the early months of 2020. Only a small minority have been carefully, perhaps obsessively following every twist and turn of the ebb and flow of subsequent events, and among these are a few that have been able (for whatever reason) to perceive the mis- dis- and mal-information that has been propagated globally. The majority have willingly consumed and believed the story line of the “Great Reset” and “Great Narrative” (titles of two books authored by Klaus Schwab and Thierry Malleret) which has been so aggressively promoted since the start. Almost all, whether or not they have accepted an inoculation labeled as a vaccine, have been infected by SARS-CoV-2 at some point. Each has their own story and experience, and each of these stories are facets of individual and collective truth that transcend all attempts by media, governments, non-governmental organizations, pharmaceutical companies, and other stakeholders to manage and manipulate the “Great Narrative” to advance a wide range of agendas. For some, the tide of events has cost their lives or those of friends and loved ones. For others they have destroyed their businesses or livelihoods. And for a small subset, particularly those dissidents that have raised alarms about the many breaches of fundamental medical ethics, human rights, freedom of speech, clinical research, and regulatory norms and guidances, it has cost them reputations and careers as they have been bombarded by withering and highly coordinated attacks in their places of employment, by their medical licensing boards, on social media, and in a bewilderingly coordinated array of legacy mass media outlets.
How to begin to capture and then start to make sense out of the breadth and depth of the global human tragedy known as COVID-19? History is being actively drafted and manipulated in real time, in some cases even before the fact (for example the “Event 201” wargaming which took place during late 2019 as the virus was just entering the global human population) and then aggressively distributed by a highly coordinated global media ecosystem which is owned and managed by a very small number of corporate stakeholders. When confronting such globally coordinated and harmonized efforts to manipulate memory, thought and perceptions of individuals while actively deleting events and suppressing inconvenient data, it is somewhat overwhelming to imagine how written words can be used to help others make sense of their own experiences and their own tragedies. How can written words, a single book, a daily stream of essays published on the internet, help to heal the damage done to all of us? This is the real question that lies at the heart of all of the current work which Jill and I have undertaken since the beginning of this outbreak. In the face of this global tragedy, what can the two of us do to help lift people’s burden and stop this from happening again? Again and again, I have written that I do not seek to tell people what to think, but rather to help them get access to information and become better able to think for themselves. But the sheer volume flowing through the river of information (and all of its tributaries) regarding the Coronacrisis is overwhelming at times.
Humans perceive and interpret the world by comparing the information which they receive through their senses to internal models of reality. Our conscious mind does not directly perceive reality. It holds a model of what it believes to be true, and then compares incoming information to this model. Our minds will discard information that is inconsistent with our own personal internalized model. It can be demonstrated in psychological experiments involving individual hypnosis that, if our internal models are controlled and shaped to deny the possibility of something existing, we will actually not be able to “see” objects which are demonstrably present in the photons which our eyes detect or the audio waves which our ears hear while either directly looking at or listening to the object which our minds “know” cannot exist. In other words, we can only see that which we believe exists, that which is consistent with our own personal model of reality. This is an essential truth of human consciousness, one which enables the hypnosis (of individuals or whole societies) which Dr. Mattias Desmet describes in detail in his seminal work The Psychology of Totalitarianism. If you start by acknowledging this fundamental truth, then it follows that the challenge which any person who seeks to make sense out of the confusing and often mesmerizing flow of information bombarding us during the Coronacrisis requires development of an extended internal model of the world that can help their own mind process all of this.
The easy solution, and I argue the intellectually lazy solution, is to just accept the model that is being so actively promoted and inserted into our minds via every information channel that can be controlled and manipulated by the media, governments, non-governmental organizations, pharmaceutical companies, and other stakeholders. That is to say, to just accept the product of the active and globally coordinated psychological operations and marketing campaigns which have been developed, coordinated, and implemented by an overwhelming array of institutes, think tanks, governments, non-governmental organizations, intelligence community operatives, and financial stakeholders. Much harder is to build your own model, brick by brick, by examining data, traveling, listening to others, reading, and doing your own investigation, and above all thinking for yourself. To that end, this book is designed to help you to recognize that the “Great Narrative” that has been so actively promoted is not the only model for understanding the present and predicting the future, but rather one of many alternative models, one promoted by people and organizations who have an angle. A conflict of interest one way or another. Furthermore, this book is intended to not only serve as a first draft of history, a recitation of the lies and harms that have been inflicted on all of us, and a means to help you make sense out of the bewildering array of lived events, but also to help us all process our collective experience and derive lessons and identify actions that we might take to move toward a better future that is informed by this global experience which we have all shared.
As Jill and I have worked through the daily stream of Coronacrisis-related events over the last two-plus years, processing them through our own internal models of reality, we have had to shift our own perceptions and to constantly and actively modify our models of the current political, scientific, and public health world to fit the incoming data. To update and transform the array of multiple working hypotheses that we use to try to detect the elusive underlying truths. We have tried to be fearless, but some of our hypotheses, associations, and inferences can make many (including ourselves) quite uncomfortable. They often seem to trigger considerable cognitive dissonance within our own minds, those of our readers, and certainly our detractors. I believe that this sense of cognitive dissonance, of psychological pain, that often occurs when encountering facts or ideas that are different from the ones which we have relied upon in the past (and have previously employed to make sense of the stream of the present) can be a signpost pointing towards an opportunity for personal growth. However, one thing that we have become acutely and very personally aware of is that there seems to be a movement in modern society to avoid information, theories, or opinions that trigger cognitive dissonance and the associated psychological pain. Often associated with terms such as “cancel culture,” “virtue signaling,” and “woke-ism,” this movement appears to have manifested as a belief system which holds that the individuals as well as the collective body politic have a fundamental right to intellectual protection, to not encounter unpleasant thoughts, information, or ideas that are inconsistent with their internal model of reality. These are the intellectual roots that nurture censorship, denialism, and the weaponized gaslighting, defamation, and slander, as well as the idea that anything which causes individuals to lose faith in their government constitutes domestic terrorism and should be treated as such. There is a long and rich human history of punishment by death for such dissident thoughtcrimes. I suggest that these behaviors and actions are among the ugliest manifestations of the tribal human tendency to reject those who are willing to speak inconvenient truths, and that this tendency has always been a dark reactionary aspect of the processes by which scientific and medical knowledge advance. Awareness of this phenomenon is not something just recently discovered. It extends back even before Galileo Galilei and the Roman Catholic Inquisition to at least the fourth century BC, and probably further beyond that into the mists of time.
About 2,400 years ago, the Athenian philosopher Plato (student of Socrates, mentor of Aristotle) described the Allegory of the Cave, writing while using the voice of his martyred mentor Socrates. Socrates is most famous for his powerful logical approach for avoiding hubris, beginning all philosophical and logical quests for truth with the position that “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”
In his political masterwork The Republic, Plato uses the Allegory of the Cave to justify his core political thesis that the ideal ruler is the “Philosopher King,” essentially a wise philosopher-dictator who accepts the power thrust upon him by the people who are collectively wise enough to choose a good master. Modern readers can immediately detect the conflict of interest that lies at the heart of this Platonic ideal, that being that Plato (and by inference Socrates) are basically nominating themselves as authoritarian rulers over Athens. Personally, I find the logic that the Cave allegory justifies the philosopher-dictator as the ideal leader both a bit contrived and circular. However, I suggest that the Allegory of the Cave is a profound and immortal insight into a fundamental aspect of human society that is at the center of the observations of both 20th century political philosopher, author, and Holocaust survivor Hannah Arendt, as well as her 21st century intellectual successor Dr. Mattias Desmet. The Cave is essentially a metaphorical thought experiment that uses a literary device similar to those employed in Aesop’s Fables, in which stories of talking animals are used to bypass the human mental defense mechanisms that can make it so hard for each of us to accept observations and critiques concerning human behaviors. The Cave relates a fundamental, prototypic human myth. It tells the story of the inevitable coupling of human discovery with the tribal rejection that all true innovative pioneers, all dissenters, all paradigm shifters know far too well.
The setting for the Allegory of the Cave is a hypothetical dark cavern inhabited by a group of prisoners who are all bound hand and foot facing the same wall. The prisoners have been there since birth; they have grown up together, and this is the only reality that they know. Behind them is a burning fire maintained by the rulers of the cave. The rulers have different objects and puppets which they hold up so that the prisoners can see the shadows cast by the objects as they interrupt the light of the fire, and the rulers make sounds and generate echoes for the prisoners to hear. These rulers of the cave are the puppet masters, able to control the reality which the prisoners are able to experience. As these shadows and sounds are all that the prisoners have experienced since birth, they do not question and do not know anything different from this shadow reality. They think that this is what life is, a reality of shadow, sound, and echo.
The prisoners compose and share names for the shadows, develop competitions to determine who is best able to guess which shadow will turn up next, and give each other awards and praise for the ones with the most accurate predictions. From their standpoint, this is life.
One day, one of the prisoners gets loose. His chains break, and in a confused state he stands for the first time, looks around, and sees the fire. Lying on the ground next to the fire he sees the puppets and objects which correspond to the shadows on the wall. In a great leap of insight, he concludes that the shadows came from these objects, and that the puppets and fire represent a greater reality than that which he had previously known.
Feeling empowered and energized like never before, he begins to explore the cave, finds his way to the entrance, and leaves the shadowy fire-lit confines. The bright sun burns his eyes causing great pain, so he shields them with his hands. Gradually his eyes adjust to this new environment. He drops his hands and opens his eyes fully, seeing for the first time the greater world outside the cave. He sees color, sun, trees, animals, grass, mountains, and has yet another epiphany that he has become able to see the true nature of the world for the first time. The shadows had been mere surrogates of this greater truth. There was much more to life than he had ever imagined. Filled with joy over this new experience, he feels a wave of gratitude and awe as awareness dawns that he has become able to directly perceive the true nature of the real world.
Then he remembers his fellow prisoners, the people he had shared his entire life with. He pities them for being trapped in their limited understanding of reality, for their ignorance of the larger real truth which they are neither able to experience nor perceive. Overwhelmed with waves of pity, empathy, and anger at the puppet masters who have imprisoned and manipulated the reality of those that he has grown up and spent his entire life with, he returns to the cave determined to share what he has learned and help the prisoners see the larger reality, and to help free them from their bondage by the puppet masters.
The freed prisoner returns to the cave and his friends, hoping to enlighten and free them from their chains. But they cannot understand what he is saying and trying to do. He tries to explain the greater reality that he has seen and experienced, but they cannot even begin to understand what he is trying to describe. Imprisonment in the cave is the only reality they have ever known, and they cannot understand anything else. They notice that the eyes of the freed prisoner have changed due to exposure to the sun, and that he now has trouble seeing, naming, and interpreting the shadows. The laugh at him, and all concerned agree that leaving the cave is a waste of time. They then threaten to kill both the escaped prisoner as well as anyone else who dares to break their bonds and leave the cave.
This story provides a simplified allegory that illustrates the paradox at the center of this book. It is easy to communicate a separate reality that differs from the approved and promoted narrative to those who are already convinced that their experiences differ from that narrative and have begun to question what they are being told by the puppet masters. The challenge is how to communicate to those who have just been casually aware of the river flowing by and have accepted that the promoted reality provides an adequate explanation and model of how the river will flow in the future.
Physicians and other medical practitioners are constantly encountering things that do not make sense. The good ones become a kind of beat detectives, specialists in interpreting the shadows on the walls of the cave that they know best. Most of the rest become masters of naming the shadows. A very few are occasionally able to see outside the cave, for instance to recognize that there is a particular pathogen with a spiral shape that causes stomach ulcers, and that can be treated and prevented by killing the pathogen. But almost inevitably these few are initially rejected, defamed, and ridiculed by the others with whom they were raised. Still they persist, armed with conviction that they have seen the greater reality, and the knowledge of how other dissenters who have come before have helped advance the common cause. But it is neither easy nor pleasant to convert their fellow prisoners, and many will never accept that there is something more than the shadows that they have grown up with.
This book follows the basic process that physicians are taught to use when encountering a patient. A well-trained and experienced physician begins by trying to make sense out of what has brought the patient to seek care, a process that begins by getting the patient to speak about why they have presented to the physician (the chief complaint), gathering information both as a history in the patient’s own words as well as results from a physical examination and laboratory tests. This information is then compared to the many models of disease that the physician holds in their head (and sometimes in books or computers), and a hypothesis is developed that seeks to answer the question “what are the causes of this particular patients’ complaints and symptoms?” This hypothesis may be challenged and supported by performing additional examination or tests. A treatment plan is then developed based on the working model (hypothesis) for what is causing the patient to have a complaint or develop what appears to be a disease. The treatment plan is implemented, and after a period of time the physician and patient come back together to see if the treatment has been effective or the hypothesis needs to be modified.
In the case of the current work, a number of personal stories have been assembled in the hope that they will help illuminate the underlying problems. These chapters are essentially personal histories that describe the chief complaints of different people from all over the world who have been impacted by the Coronacrisis. Then there are essays developed during the course of these events that strive to comprehend and make sense of the events and forces which have caused these various complaints and symptoms. Finally, there are the chapters that have been most difficult to write; the treatment plans. The collected thoughts and ideas which, if implemented, offer hope for recovery and prevention of future global calamities akin to that which we are now (hopefully) emerging from.
As discussed above, I have no illusions that these mere words can cure the damage done by the Coronacrisis and the treatments which others have imposed upon us. I also know that the case histories illuminate only a small subset of the tragic collective human experience that we have all shared. Likewise, the treatment plans discussed are only a starting point for a broader discussion. I do not pretend to have the answers, nor to comprehensively understand the “truth” of what we all have experienced, but rather seek to try to help each to broaden their own models of reality, to open each of our “Overton” windows just a bit more, and to not tell you what to think but to help you to discover and think for yourself. But you may want to partially cover your eyes or at least wear mental sunglasses at first. Cognitive dissonance can hurt when you come out of the cave and first encounter bright sunlight.