To Orwell Today,

Hi Jackie,

Hardly a day goes by without the FEAR factor just as ORWELL warned us in his famous book 1984.

Today as Xmas aproaches they've hit us again with that old bogey Bird Flu using pictures of Turkeys on the front pages of the Daily Mail just to warn us once again. Here in the UK the FEAR FACTOR has played a dominent role in the media and politics for decades. In 1996 a link between BSE, "mad cow disease", and what seemed to be a new form of the human brain disease, CJD was the big scare. BBC2 Newsnight's Jeremy Paxman egged on the government's chief scientific adviser on BSE, Dr John Pattison, to agree that, within a few years, the new form of CJD caught from eating beef could have killed half a million people. Professor Richard Lacey said that by 2016 half a million Britons would be dying from CJD every year. BSE continued to dominate the news for months. The EU's worldwide ban on British exports of any beef-related product, even including wine gums which contain gelatin, set off our worst-ever row with our European "partners". For years to come, we would continue to pay billions of pounds for more than eight million cattle to be sent up in smoke, even though such a drastic step had never been recommended by any scientist.Then, scarcely a year after that original Commons statement, Dr Pattison announced that he had revised his estimate of how many people CJD would kill. He was no longer predicting those 500,000 deaths. He now thought the figure would not exceed . . . 200.

Again and again we have seen supposed threats to our health and well-being which, in retrospect, can be seen to have been exaggerated out of all proportion - from Edwina Currie MP putting us all in a panic over Salmonella in eggs; to the Bird Flu which we were officially told in 2005 would soon kill "150 million people"; to the Millennium Bug which was going to cause half the world's computers to crash, reducing cities to chaos and causing airliners to fall out of the sky. A very important role is then played by those sections of the media - all too often led by the BBC - who eagerly talk up the scare without looking too carefully at the facts. Then the politicians are confronted by the apparent threat. They and their officials invariably come up with what turns out to be an absurdly over-the-top response - and it is this which causes the real damage, leaving us all with a colossal bill which may well run into many billions of pounds. Only four years later, after millions of chickens had been slaughtered and thousands of small egg producers put out of business, did the Government reverse its policy, tacitly acknowledging that eggs had not been the problem after all.

A similar scientific blunder lay at the heart of the BSE scare in the mid 1990s. Already the possibility that humans might catch "Mad Cow Disease" had attracted obsessive speculation in the media, and when government scientists thought they had discovered a new form of CJD, this panicked them into agreeing that it might after all be caused by eating beef. By the time it emerged that they had got it wrong, the damage was done, leaving Britain with a bill for 7 billion.

In the late 1990s, top industrialists and politicians, led by Tony Blair, predicted that "2YK", the Millennium Bug, was facing civilisation with a crisis which, according to learned academics, would cost 150 billion to fix. Yet minutes after midnight on January 1, 2000, it became clear that the threat had been grotesquely exaggerated and hardly anyone affected.

In human terms, one of the most chilling scares of all was the hysteria which swept through many of our social services departments in the late 1980s and early 1990s, centring on the belief that huge numbers of children were being subjected to "Satanic" or ritual abuse by groups of adults. The terrifying scar this left on hundreds of families persists to this day. Only recently has it been possible to reconstruct the full horror of those episodes in Nottingham, Rochdale, Orkney and elsewhere, as children snatched from their parents without reason are now old enough to talk about what really happened to them all those years ago.

Perhaps the most alarming scares, however, have been those based not just on misreading the scientific evidence but on its deliberate manipulation, as they have become politically driven by powerful pressure groups. Most people, for instance, probably assume that when the United States and the EU banned leaded petrol in the 1990s, at a cost of hundreds of billions of pounds, this decision was taken on the basis of sound science. They might be shocked to read of how the ban was introduced, after a determined campaign by environmentalists, following the findings of a single study by a U.S. academic, which other experts showed he had only arrived at by suppressing the 90 per cent of his evidence which contradicted his theory. Despite numerous other studies showing that the tiny quantities of lead added to petrol to improve engine efficiency posed no danger to health, the scare whipped up by campaigners had become so powerful that bogus science won the day. An even more blatant case of suppression of embarrassing evidence was the bizarre story behind the campaign to ban "passive smoking".

For years, despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars on trying to prove that smokers not only harmed themselves but also the health of those around them, the anti-smoking campaigners found the evidence they wanted frustratingly elusive. So when the two most comprehensive studies of passive smoking ever carried out each came up with findings that non-smokers living with smokers faced no significantly increased risk of cancer, their antismoking sponsors did all they could to get the reports suppressed. In a pattern familiar from other scares, the researchers were subjected to a torrent of personal vilification. By the time a wave of smoking bans swept through Europe and America in the early 21st century, the official statistics used to justify them had become not just exaggerated but wholly fictitious.

In cash terms, probably the single most damaging scare to date is that which has been that whipped up over asbestos, once one of our commonest building materials. So successful has this campaign been that most people probably now imagine that "killer" asbestos is one of the most dangerous materials known to man. What they don't realise is that the word "asbestos" is used to describe two quite different minerals. One is genuinely dangerous, its hard, sharp fibres causing cancer in the lungs. The other form, "white asbestos", usually mixed with cement and representing more than 90 per cent of all the asbestos there is, poses no measurable threat to health at all. Fifty years ago, when scientists first began to uncover the major health disaster which had befallen thousands of shipyard and factory workers exposed over many years to very high concentrations of asbestos, they failed to draw a sufficient distinction between one type of asbestos and the other. When this confusion was then deliberately perpetuated by those who stood to exploit it financially, it led to two of the most successful scams of modern times. Concerns: Leaded petrolIn America, 700,000 compensation claims brought by lawyers on behalf of anyone they could find who had ever been near any form of asbestos - the vast majority showing no signs of injury - led to what was dubbed the $200 Billion Miscarriage Of Justice. In the 1990s, this famously brought Lloyd's of London, the most prestigious insurance body in the world, to its knees, and has continued to inflate the insurance premiums paid by all of us ever since. But this has been accompanied by a second massive scam on both sides of the Atlantic, whereby laws perpetuating the confusion over the different types of asbestos have allowed a new army of "licensed asbestos removal contractors" to charge almost any sums they like to businesses and homeowners panicked by the scare, costing billions more.

Even this, however, is being dwarfed by what now threatens to become easily the greatest, and most costly, scare of all - the belief in man-made global warming, which is prompting an unprecedented avalanche of absurdly unrealistic measures proposed by our politicians in response. Far from there being a "consensus" over global warming, this supposedly laudable cause has for years been promoted with the aid of some of the most shameless distortion of evidence in the history of science. In fact, the latest evidence shows that, while CO2 levels are still rising, global temperatures are lower than they were ten years ago and may soon even fall. Even those not yet sceptical about the great crusade to "save the planet" from global warming should be disturbed to see just how many awkward parallels it presents to the pattern of other scares before it. All of these scares have a common link,someone is pulling the strings and someone is making big monies from the new technology there coming up with etc.

All the best,
Ray Wills

Greetings Ray,

Yes, the powers-that-be are running wild with their Orwellian reality control and diabolical ORDER OUT OF CHAOS plan which gives them unlimited power and money.

All the best,
Jackie Jura

Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~
website: & email: