The fact that the folks from the San Joaquin County Health Department were administering free H1N1 vaccine after Tuesday’s Tracy Rotary Club meeting made getting the shot that much easier.
But my decision certainly went against a warning issued by Ventura, the former Minnesota governor and professional wrestler. He sure doesn’t believe use of the vaccine is a good idea, and he says so on his new TV series, “Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura.”
In his new series, Jesse explores the seemingly endless array of conspiracy theories that are passed around the world, especially on the Internet. The show I watched featured unchallenged testimony from several conspiracy devotees who said the swine flu pandemic is a hoax and the vaccine is part of a vast worldwide effort to kill off most of the Earth’s population. The vaccine won’t kill people immediately but will take its toll in the years to come, they said.
Geez, and I thought the vaccine was to protect folks from the swine flu, which, although widespread throughout the world, has not proved to be anywhere close to as lethal for those contracting it as first feared. In fact, the pandemic has so far proved tame, indeed.
But those interviewed on Jesse’s show on TruTV (formerly Court TV) had a far different take on the vaccine. It is part of a devilish program cooked up by the United Nations, World Health Organization, governments around the globe, pharmaceutical firms, “the media” and, most importantly, “The Bilderberg Group.”
It seems, at least from the TV interviews, that the shadowy Bilderberg Group and other members of “the ruling elite” are out to winnow the Earth’s population from the present 6.5 billion down to something close to a half billion — and the swine flu vaccine is one of the ways to do that.
Why is this mysterious group trying to do this? Well, the Bilderbergs are out to control the world, and reducing the Earth’s population down to a fraction of what it is now will permit easier dictatorial control of the population.
And, apparently, some people really believe this stuff.
The program did prompt me to check the Internet to find out more about the Bilderberg Group, which I had heard of before but had only passing knowledge of. If you want to know more about the Bilderberg Group, there’s all kinds of material on the Internet.
The group’s name comes from the Bilderberg Hotel near Arnhem in The Netherlands, where the first conference was in 1954. A group of Western European political and business leaders concerned about anti-American sentiment in their countries organized a meeting with their U.S. counterparts to promote cross-Atlantic cooperation and understanding.
The first conference was so successful that those present agreed to have a similar gathering annually, expanding participation to leaders from around the world. The by-invitation-only sessions explore global political, economic, military and environmental issues and ways that international cooperation can address them.
The international-cooperation tone of the group provides fuel to the charge that the group secretly promotes globalization and one-world government.
And, too, the fact that the first conference, and all those following, have been held in absolute secrecy without any outside observers and no reports of discussions provides grist for the conspiracy mill. The secrecy leads to more open and honest discussion of issues among those taking part, the Bilderbergs claim.
I’d say some transparency would go a long way to dispel the group’s supposed world-domination agenda for many people, but I doubt diehard conspiracy addicts would be convinced. They see the Bilderberg Goup as the modern-day equivalent to the old world-domination bogeyman, the Tri-Lateral Commission.
The swine flu vaccine element to the conspiracy can, at least in part, be traced back three decades ago, when there was concern about the safety of the original swine flu vaccine. And, too, people are naturally nervous when anything, even a proven vaccine, is injected into their bodies. Since the present vaccine was first used earlier this year, no problems have surfaced, but the fear has persisted, gaining renewed interest.
Use of the vaccine is being closely monitored and has not resulted in any reported problems, said Ginger Wick of the county health department. The principal concern has been with a shortage of vaccine in the fall. Now, there is plenty on hand.
Too late? Not so, she said. So far, the swine flu season has been a mild one, but the winter flu season is not yet over, and the level of H1N1 cases could increase, she stressed.
Tracyites can get swine flu shots at their doctors’ offices or go to the county health clinic at 205 E. Ninth St. on Tuesdays (except the third Tuesday of the month) for free doses. An evening session is planned at the health clinic from 3 to 7 p.m. Jan. 26.
Just don’t tell Jesse Ventura, or he may count you as a Bilderberg Group fellow-traveler.
• Sam Matthews, Tracy Press publisher emeritus, can be reached at 830-4234 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.