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Internal CDC Documents Reveal They Manipulated Data To Conceal A Link Between Autism & Vaccines

A Foolish Faith In Authority Is The Worst Enemy Of The Truth”– Albert Einstein

By Vera Sharav

Note from the World Mercury Project Team:  Following is Part Six in Vera Sharav’s seven-part exposé of the complex and widespread corruption that exists in the vaccination program, the deceptive practices by officials of “authoritative” international public health institutions and further evidence of the callous disregard for the plight of thousands of children and young adults who suffer irreversible harm. Sharav’s research is a must-read by those in our community.

You can read the previous parts here

This recourse to authority is an attitude reminiscent of the American eugenics movement, when public health officials and academics at elite universities, embraced the pseudo-scientific tenets of eugenics, which were the basis for abhorrent discriminatory policies, including forced sterilization policies that were launched in the USA.[60]

The internal CDC documents reveal that in addition to major methodological flaws and inconsistencies, CDC scientists and Danish scientists collaborated in outright fraud. Thorsen and his co-authors manipulated the results by excluding the largest outpatient clinic in Copenhagen – comprising 20% of autism cases in Denmark – from the pre-1992 cohort – thereby artificially inflating the autism incidence in Denmark after 1992 when thimerosal had been eliminated from children’s vaccines.

Furthermore, the authors of the Pediatrics (2003) article falsified their findings by omitting the 2001 data from their published report. The published report claims an astoundingly high (implausible) increase in the autism prevalence rate in Denmark after the phase-out and removal of thimerosal between 1990 and 1999.

This case reveals much about the corrupted vaccine literature. Indeed, the research community has not only failed to examine Thorsen / CDC research fraud, journal editors are knowingly facilitating fraudulent research articles to influence vaccination policies that put thousands of children at risk, depriving them of living normal lives.

The publicly accessible, internal CDC correspondence[1] allows anyone to trace the underhanded route that led to the publication of the Madsen/Thorsen/ et al report in the journal Pediatrics – after it was rejected by the Lancet and by JAMA. A written communication between Dr. Thorsen and high ranking CDC official, Coleen Boyle (2003) reveals that when the paper was first submitted to Pediatrics with the 2001 data included; it was criticized by one peer-reviewer:

“The drop of incidence shown for the most recent years is perhaps the most dramatic feature of the figure, and is seen in the oldest age group as well as the youngest.” The reviewer questions the authors’ failure to discuss “the possibility that this decrease might have come about through elimination of [T]himerosal.”

The internal CDC documents further show that CDC brought pressure to bear on journal editors to publish the Danish studies. Dr. Cordero, Assistant Surgeon General, National Center on Birth Defects & Developmental Disabilities used his influence to persuade Dr. Lucey to publish the Madsen / Thorsen study, “Thimerosal and the Occurrence of Autism”

“I am writing in support of an expedited review and consideration of the enclosed manuscript… Specific aspects of vaccinations have been subject to inquiry includ[ing] the MMR vaccine and thimerosal…For thimerosal there are limited data…The Danish study is a powerful epidemiologic study …a key strength of the study is the ability to examine rates of autism prior to and after the discontinuation of vaccines containing thimerosal in Denmark in 1992. Contrary to what would be expected if thimerosal was linked to autism, the authors did not observe a decline in the rate of autism with the removal of thimerosal…

Its findings provide one strong piece of evidence that thimerosal is not causally linked to autism.” [Exhibit V: Cordero letter to Lucey]

How is it that even as thousands of journal papers are retracted from the scientific record – Retraction Watch counted more than 14,000 retractions– some are retracted for spurious reasons, others provide no  explanation – yet, deliberately manipulated, fraudulent reports that were crafted to conceal vaccine safety hazards, have never been removed from the scientific literature. In fact, they continue to influence public health policy inasmuch as they were published in “authoritative”  “high impact” journals.

  • In the case of Pediatrics, a fraudulent study was published despite the fact that its editors knew that the 2001 data was omitted from the final version.
  •  US public health officials not only failed to disavow the fugitive’s research, federal officials have continued to collaborate and to co-author papers with him.
  • Dr. Thorsen continues to collaborate with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network.
  • Federal dollars continued to flow to studies in which he was or is involved.
  • Thorsen is the named author of at least 19 reports following his fugitive status – “after his “disappearance”. The journals include: Pediatric Neurology (2016), PLoS One (2015), Pediatric Research (2014), Journal of Autism Development (2013), PLoS One (2013) (NCBI search)
  • Both the HHS and DOJ continue to use his research as grounds to reject vaccine injury claims in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation.
  • No retraction of the articles he was associated with during and subsequent to his 2004 to 2010 alleged criminal activities has occurred.
  • The entire US public health machine acts as if the indictment never occurred.

Public health officials and the news media are using fear and exaggeration about the risks of infectious disease in the U.S., as well as the risks posed by un-vaccinated children, which is pitting neighbor against neighbor and parent against parent. They use the classic divide and conquer strategy.

Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), responded to Thorsen’s indictment stating:

“even if the allegation against Thorsen is true, it does not mean his science is bad… Let’s assume it is true that he embezzled money, the notion that it casts the science into question is false.For these big epidemiological studies, it is hard to believe that one person could effectively change the data.” (Philadelphia Inquirer, March 2010)

Dr. Offit is considered to be a leading authority, an ardent and outspoken vaccine defender/ promoter. This statement encapsulates the low regard that vaccinologists have for the integrity of vaccine science. Of course, like most vaccine promoters, Dr. Offit’s blatant conflicts of interest have enabled him to “vote himself rich”. [61]He is quoted in Newsweek (2008) stating that the millions he made from the rotavirus vaccine patent: “was like winning the lottery.

I believe that even if the allegations of embezzlement are not true, the evidence is indisputable that the studies produced by Poul Thorsen, and published in premier medical journals, are fatally flawed. By altering the inclusion criteria, excluding data that contradicted the authors’ claimed conclusion relegated the study to the ash heap of fraudulent junk science.

Furthermore, the following two studies “were conducted and results published without legally–required ethics clearances.”

CDC officials knew that the psychiatric registry records were reviewed without required permissions and they covered it up. In what are completely unethical acts by all involved, the team members went into damage control mode and decided that they likely could obtain permission for ongoing and future studies.

They concluded that it would probably be impossible to get permission for research that was already finalized (and published). It is absurd that experienced federal grants management officials even discussed the idea of seeking a human subject safety review retroactively. These are serious ethical violations. [sic] they shed light on the pervasive culture of corruption at the CDC.[62]

In January 2013, a Congressional hearing on autism[63] convened by the Government Oversight Committee.

Dr. Coleen Boyle (had by then been promoted to) Director of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, and Dr. Alan Guttmacher, Director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Institute of the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD) defended their agencies but provided no substantive information.

Boyle and Guttmacher evaded pertinent questions. When asked about why the number of children with autism has surged, they testified that autism has no known cause or cure; their focus was statistical tracking and detection tools.

  • When asked if CDC had sought constituent input?
  • Are there studies looking at the very aggressive way that we’re over-vaccinating our children”?
  • Are you looking at the impacts of combinations of vaccines”?
  • Boyle responded, “We know that vaccines save lives.”
  • No response was given to the following questions:
  • What steps were taken to ensure the integrity of the studies in which Thorsen was involved?
  • Why did the FDA and HHS take thimerosal out of all children’s vaccines except just the one or two or three, if there was no problem?
    Both Republicans and Democrats were exasperated by the evasive responses.
  • Dr. Boyle finally acknowledged: “We have not studied vaccinated versus unvaccinated [children]”.

Dr. Guttmacher tried to impress the committee with non-specific claims of accomplishments: the NIH $169 million budget allocation for autism in 2011; he claimed “effective interventions…recent advances in networks” but could not give an example of an effective autism treatment resulting from the last 10 yrs in which the NIH had spent $500 million dollars on autism research, Dr. Guttmacher responded that progress had been “elusive” due to lack of funding. He did not wish to respond to the question, why thimerosal was still used in multi-vial vaccinations?

“I’m just sitting here, and I’m listening to all this. There’s something wrong with this picture. There’s something wrong… When you’ve got this combination of shots, and you go from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 88, it seems to me somebody would say, wait a minute, let’s put the brakes on this, and at least let’s try to figure out whether the multiple-shot situation is causing this —

If I’m giving a baby nine shots in a day whether that—I mean, how much impact that’s having… you said there’s a body of evidence with regard to vaccines…

Mr. Chairman, I don’t know where we go from here… if we’re going to err, let’s err on the side of keeping children safe even if we have to [sic] do a pause and give one shot a day.”

Mark Blaxill, the author of The Age of Autism (2010), which documents that autism did not exist before the introduction of vaccines in the 1930s. Blaxill presented testimony on behalf of Safe Minds:

Autism is a public health crisis of historic proportions. Autism is a public health crisis of historic proportions. Worse than poliomyelitis. It’s devastating a generation of children and their families. We need to face up to the reality Autism is a national emergency. Autism rates didn’t just rise, they multiplied.The old surveys didn’t just miss 99% of children with autism.

It’s horrible but true; reported rates of autism have risen simply because there are more cases of autism. In the midst of this crisis, the federal agencies responsible for the health of our nation’s children have failed in their duty. CDC’s negligence has led the way. Many believe CDC has actively covered up the evidence surrounding autism’s environmental causes.

 NIH has received the lion’s share of Congressional funding, money they have wasted on status quo research and gene studies. It’s absurd to focus on genetic research in this crisis, there’s no such thing as a genetic epidemic. In the financial world, the result of the pressure to manipulate numbers to provide the answers bosses want has a name – securities fraud…what CDC has given us is the medical equivalent of securities fraud. All to avoid the inconvenient reality of the autism epidemic.

In 2006, Congress gave the NIH a mission to “combat autism.” You authorized $850 million for that mission… NIH spent most of that money on the great autism gene hunt while blackballing environmental researchers and defying parent concerns. It’s been a colossal waste of money and time. Not a single case of autism has been prevented. Not a single child received improved treatments. We need to conduct independent research into the great unmentionables, mercury, and vaccines, connections that we’ve documented in the earliest cases.

 We need accountable new leadership. Please root out the failures, the waste, the fraud, the negligence and the abuse of these agencies that aren’t doing their jobs.”  Blaxill’s latest book, co-authored by Dan Olmsted is DENIAL: How Refusing to Face the Facts about Our Autism Epidemic Hurts Children, Families, and Our Future (2017)  

Cong. Bill Posey made an announcement, and submitted new information for the Congressional Record: “I have information that the fugitive doctor had been involved in [sic] 21 of the 24 studies with CDC”.

Another Major Episode of CDC Fraud & Scientific Malfeasance Came to Light

In 2014, Dr. William Thompson, the senior CDC epidemiologist who co-authored the 2004 study published in Pediatrics blew the whistle and revealed that fraud had been committed by CDC authors (himself included) to conceal the higher risk of autism for African American baby boys who were vaccinated prior to 36 months and prior to 24 months of age. Beginning in 2013, in taped conversations with Dr. Brian Hooker, Dr. Thompson revealed how CDC destroyed evidence of the risk for autism. He provided primary documented evidence – a copy of data that had been deleted from the published article in Pediatrics (2004) the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.[64]

“We hypothesized that if we found statistically significant effects at either the 18-month or 36-month threshold, we would conclude that vaccinating children early with the MMR vaccine could lead to autism-like characteristics or features.”

When CDC scientists did find a statistically significant causal relationship between MMR and autism in African American boys, according to Dr. Thompson’s eyewitness account, CDC removed 260 black baby boys from the dataset and destroyed the data. The analysis in the published report in Pediatrics misrepresents the risk of having eliminated data from the dataset. That constitutes fraud.

Dr. Thompson stated that he wrote a letter alerting Dr. Julie Gerberding to the findings and suggested that the Institute of Medicine safety review committee should be informed of the risk, prior to its consequential February 2004 meeting. Dr. Thompson was reprimanded for contacting Dr. Gerberding and was put on administrative leave. He was threatened with being fired.  In his taped conversation with Dr. Hooker – which was central in the film Vaxxed – he expressed shock by his own action:[65]

“Oh my God. I cannot believe we did what we did. But we did.” “It’s the lowest point of my career, when I went along with that paper. I went along with this, and we didn’t report significant findings.”

“I am completely ashamed of what I did. I have great shame now. I was complicit, and I went along with that paper. I have great shame now, when I meet families with kids with autism, because I have been part of the problem.”

Dr. Hooker re-analyzed the complete CDC dataset in 2014, including the data that had been omitted from the published study in Pediatrics (2004). It showed statistically significant adverse effects at both 24 months and 36 months (RR 3.36, 95% CI 1.50-7.51, p = 0.0019).  The higher relative risk of autism for African American infant boys, vaccinated with MMR prior to 36 months, was (330%) compared to other babies. His re-analysis was published online by Translational Neurodegeneration on August 8, 2014:[65]

“The present study provides new epidemiologic evidence showing that African American males receiving the MMR vaccine prior to 24 months of age or 36 months of age are more likely to receive an autism diagnosis.

The results show a strong relationship between child age at the administration of the first MMR and autism incidence exclusively for African American boys which could indicate a role of the vaccine in the etiology of autism within this population group. The particular analysis was not completed in the original Destefano et al (CDC) study… the CDC study limited the total African American cohort to include only those individuals who possessed a valid State of Georgia birth certificate which decreased the statistical power of their analysis.”

However, Dr. Hooker’s article came under attack; pressure from the shadowy cyber enforcement squads,[66] that act as a police force to suppress every independent vaccine study that challenges the mantra: “there is no link to autism… vaccines are safe and effective”.

On August 27, the journal removed Hooker’s article with the statement: “This article has been removed from the public domain because of serious concerns about the validity of its conclusions. The journal and publisher believe that its continued availability may not be in the public interest”. There was no specific fault or mistake cited.[68]

On the same day that Dr. Hooker’s article was removed from the journal’s website, Dr. Thompson acknowledged the following in a statement issued by his lawyer (August 27, 2014):

“I regret that my co-authors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding which findings to report after the data were collected, and I believe that the final study protocol was not followed.”

“My concern has been the decision to omit relevant findings in a particular study for a particular subgroup for a particular vaccine. There have always been recognized risks for vaccination and I believe itis the responsibility of the CDC to properly convey the risks associated with receipt of those vaccines.

I have had many discussions with Dr. Brian Hooker over the last 10 months regarding studies the CDC has carried out regarding vaccines and neurodevelopmental outcomes, including autism spectrum disorders. I share his belief that CDC decision-making and analyses should be transparent.”

Dr. Thompson then forwarded the documents to a U.S. Congressman William Posey who has repeatedly requested a congressional investigation.[69]

“Mr. Speaker, I believe it is our duty to insure that the documents that Dr. Thompson are not ignored. Therefore I will provide them to members of Congress and the House Committees upon request. Considering the nature of the whistleblower’s documents as well as the involvement of the CDC, a hearing and a thorough investigation is warranted.“So I ask, Mr. Speaker, I beg, I implore my colleagues on the appropriations committees to please, please take such action.”

On August 26, 2014, Sharyl Attkisson, an investigative journalist who earned numerous awards as CBS science correspondent (1993-2014), conducted taped telephone interviews with Dr. Frank DeStefano,[70] Director of CDC Immunization Safety, who co-authored the Pediatrics (2004) study.

He confirmed the verity of the confessions of CDC whistleblower, Dr. William Thompson about the omission from the published Pediatrics report, of children in the dataset, for whom there were no birth certificates here.

In a telephone interview, DeStefano defended the study and reiterated the commonly accepted position that there’s no “causal” link between vaccines and autism. But he acknowledged the prospect that vaccines might rarely trigger autism.

“Wouldn’t say it’s a myth, I’d say[sic] all the evidence, thus far, points to that there’s not a causal association between vaccines and autism…It’s a theoretical possibility…It’s hard to predict who those children might be, but certainly, individual cases can be studied to look at those possibilities.”

Attkisson writes, “They’re not even trying. A CDC spokesman told me that:

“the agency is not currently investigating the relation between vaccines and autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Further, CDC does not have any planned research addressing vaccines and autism. CDC believes that this topic has been thoroughly studied and no causal links have been found. Current CDC ASD related research focuses on determining how many people have ASD and understanding [other, not vaccine-related] risk factors and causes for ASD”.[71]

When Dr. Thompson attempted to leave, CDC gave him a $24,000 bonus – a retention fee. Apparently, CDC continues to employ Dr. Thompson, because they feel more secure with him as an agency employee, enabling them to scrutinize his activities.  Clearly, they feared his being outside the agency, which would risk that he might disclose additional CDC secrets.

CDC Continues to Conceal the Authentic 1999 Verstraeten VSD Study Findings.

When a request was filed with CDC to provide Dr. Verstraeten’s original dataset for independent analysis, CDC officials claimed the data were “lost.”  Even after approval was granted, Dr. Mark Geier was blocked from gaining access to CDC’s Vaccine Safety Dataset which is the data CDC relied upon its study published Pediatrics.  CDC continues to disseminate false reassurances in its “Science Summary Fact Sheet” claiming: “The evidence is clear: thimerosal is not a toxin in vaccines… there is no relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism in children.” As its “evidence,” CDC cites the Danish studies.

In January 2017, the President and Executive Vice President of the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a press release in opposition to a federal vaccine commission on immunizations.

Fernando Stein, MD, FAAP and Karen Remkey, MD, MBA, MPH, FAAP stated: since we already know that: “vaccines are safe. Vaccines are effective. Vaccines save lives.” AAP declared that there is no need for further examination pf vaccine safety:

  • Vaccines prevent forms of cancer.
  • Claims that vaccines are linked to autism have been disproven by a robust body of medical literature.
  • Claims that vaccines are unsafe when administered according to the [CDC’s] recommended schedule have likewise been disproven by a robust body of medical literature”.

However, when asked to provide citations to any peer-reviewed study that supports AAP’s claim that “vaccines prevent forms of cancer” or to cite the “robust body of medical literature” that supports its claims, the AAP declined, with a “no comment” response. (Immunization News, 2017)

WMP NOTE:  This concludes Part Six. The final segment of this series will be entitled:  Multiple Industry-Saturated Collaborating Partners Set the Agenda for Vaccination Policies.

Previously published articles: Sharav’s Introduction to the full article,  L’affaire Wakefield: Shades of Dreyfus & BMJ’s Descent into Tabloid Science, outlines her well-researched and documented belief that, “Public health officials and the medical profession have abrogated their professional, public, and human responsibility, by failing to honestly examine the iatrogenic harm caused by expansive, indiscriminate, and increasingly aggressive vaccination policies.” Part One focuses on how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the vaccine industry control vaccine safety assessments, control the science of vaccines and control the scientific and mass channels of information about vaccines. In Part Two Ms. Sharav interprets the complex web of internal CDC documents, revealing how key CDC studies and CDC-commissioned studies were shaped by use of illegitimate methods. Part Three takes a closer look at the Brighton Collaboration and the extraordinary influence these stakeholders have in the business of vaccines and their power to control the science and research and manipulate reports to further their own interests. Focusing on the HPV vaccine, in Part FourMs. Sharav explores how a global network of government/academic and industry stakeholders can suppress information about genuine scientific findings and, when needed, engage in corrupt practices to thwart the airing of information about vaccine safety issues. CDC’s childhood vaccination policy rests on the denial of safety hazards posed by vaccines and CDC officials are intent on shielding the policy and vaccination schedule at any cost. Part Fiveexamines documentation and internal correspondence that reveals how CDC used its influence and subsequently rejected scientific studies that contradicted the sacrosanct vaccine safety mantra.

More about the author: Vera Sharav is a Holocaust survivor and a fierce critic of the medical establishment. This article was originally published at www.ahrp.org. Stat news recently published an article about her and her work. 

 

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All 34 bishops in Chile suddenly resign

… over “absolutely deplorable” pedophile priest scandal

All 34 bishops in Chile have tendered their resignations in the wake of yet another pedophile priest scandal in which high level officials covered up the institutionalized sexual abuse of minors – even threatening officials tasked with investigating sex crimes and the destruction of evidence.

Thirty-one active bishops and three who are retired signed a document with their offers to resign following an emergency meeting this week with Pope Francis. Francis can accept the resignations one by one, reject them outright or delay a decision.


Calls had mounted for the resignations after details emerged of the contents of a 2,300-page Vatican report into the Chilean scandal leaked early Friday.

Francis had accused the bishops of destroying evidence of sex crimespressuring investigators to minimize abuse accusations and showing ‘grave negligence’ in protecting children from paedophile priests.

In one of the most damning documents from the Vatican on the issue, Francis said the entire Chilean church hierarchy was collectively responsible for ‘grave defects’ in handling cases and the resulting loss of credibility that the Catholic Church has suffered. –Daily Mail


“No one can exempt himself and place the problem on the shoulders of the others,” Francis wrote in the document published by Chile’s T13 television and confirmed as accurate Friday by the Vatican.

Responding to the 2,300-page report, Chilean bishops called the contents of the document “absolutely deplorable,” and showed an “unacceptable abuse of power and conscience,” along with sexual abuse.

The bishops asked for forgiveness from the victims, the Pope and all Catholics worldwide.


Pope Francis summoned the entire bishops conference to Rome after he said he made “grave errors in judgement” in the case of Chilean priest Juan Barros – who stands accused of victims of pedophile Rev. Fernando Karadima of witnessing and ignoring their abuse.

But the scandal grew beyond the Barros case after Francis received the report written by two Vatican sex crimes experts sent to Chile to get a handle on the scope of the problem.

Their report hasn’t been made public, but Francis cited its core findings in the footnotes of the document that he handed over to the bishops at the start of their summit this week.

And those findings are damning. –Daily Mail

While some of the pedophile priests and brothers were expelled from their congregations following the discovery of “immoral conduct,” many had their cases “minimized of the absolute gravity of their criminal acts, attributing them to mere weakness or moral lapses,” wrote Francis.


Those same offenders “were then welcomed into other dioceses, in an obviously imprudent way, and given dicoesan or parish jobs that gave them daily contact with minors,” wrote the pope.

The harsh assessment of the quality of seminaries suggests that a possible next step might be a full-on Vatican investigation of Chilean schools of priestly training.

Pope Benedict XVI ordered such an investigation into Irish seminaries after he convened the entire Irish bishops’ conference for a similar dressing-down in 2010 over their dismal handling of abuse cases. –Daily Mail

“The problems inside the church community can’t be solved just by dealing with individual cases and reducing them to the removal of people, though this – and I say so clearly – has to be done,” Francis wrote.

“But it’s not enough, we have to go beyond that. It would be irresponsible on our part to not look deeply into the roots and the structures that allowed these concrete events to occur and perpetuate.”

Francis Knew

For all of the “holier-than-thou” admonishments in his letter, Pope Francis is not without blame. The Associated Press reported earlier this year that Francis drew scorn over his appointment of Barros bishop of Osnoro, Chile, in 2015.

The Associated Press reported earlier this year that Francis did so over the objections of other Chilean bishops who knew Barros’ past was problematic and had recommended he and other Karadima-trained bishops resign and take a sabbatical.

The AP subsequently reported that Francis had received a letter in 2015 from one of Karadima’s most vocal accusers, Juan Carlos Cruz, detailing Barros’ misdeeds. That letter undercut Francis’ claim to have never heard from victims about Barros.

Francis further enraged Chileans and drew sharp rebuke from his top abuse adviser when, during a January trip to Chile, he said the accusations against Barros were ‘calumny’ and said he was ‘certain’ he was innocent.

Not so certain now, are we Pope?

Source: zerohedge.com, dailymail.co.uk

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These 5 Organizations are the Reason Cannabis is Still a Crime

It’s often half-jokingly said that if there was one thing that could bring Americans together, it would be cannabis. That might seem a little farfetched at first, but once you discover how many people want cannabis legalized, it will make sense.

As of 2018, nine states allow recreation use in some form, while 30 allow medicinal use and 16 allow only CBD, an active component of the cannabis plant which aids in pain relief and sleep.

According to a poll from the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, 52% of American adults have tried marijuana at some point in their lives, while 44% of those adults who have tried it are also current users.

To bring it all together, a Gallup poll from 2016 sums up the situation by showing that roughly 60% of Americans support legal use of marijuana. However, these numbers are likely to only rise as people better understand the safety and medicinal benefits of the cannabis plant.

So, if for years most people have agreed on legal cannabis, why does it remain a federal crime? As you may have guessed, several powerful interests are playing gatekeeper over our rights as citizens to use cannabis. Here are the top five offenders.

Big Alcohol

As it turns out, alcohol companies are deadly afraid of competition from cannabis, which is a much safer and therapeutic drug than alcohol. From the National Beer Wholesalers Association to the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America, these organizations have spent more money on political candidates as the demand for legal cannabis goes up.

So far in 2018, the Beer, Wine & Liquor industry spent a total of roughly $7.7 million on lobbying efforts and super PAC’s, with the biggest offenders being Anheuser-Busch InBev and Distilled Spirits Council. Ironically, that number is down greatly from a peak of over $30 million in 2017.

Big Police

In order to meet the proper quotas, police need to arrest a certain number of people each week. Without proving their necessity with these numbers, police departments don’t have the same ability to gain funding than they otherwise would. Because a significant number of arrests come from cannabis, this makes them afraid of legalization.

In 2012, the National Fraternal Order of Police spent a peak $110.2k on lobbying and super PAC spending, while the National Association of Police Organizations have spent a consistent $160k from 2008-2017.

When you take into account statistics from the ACLU such as the fact that 52% of all 2010 drug arrests were from cannabis while making a pot bust every 37 seconds on average, the situation looks more like a government subjugation of the people than “protect and serve”.

Big Prison

As prisons gain prisoners, they also gain profit and the prison-industrial complex is no stranger to this controversy. These are the corporations and state facilities which are most likely to lobby for stricter enforcement, longer sentences, and overall greater criminalization of innocuous activities such as smoking cannabis because it means higher profits for them.

Although cannabis is not proven to be heavily addictive and much of the violent drug-related crime problem in America is due to prohibition, prisons still lobby for the criminalization of cannabis under false pretenses of addiction and violence. Not to mention the fact the illegality of marijuana has created a massive black market and has never been proven to reduce its use.

In the face of all this, organization such as the GEO Group (a “Florida-based company specializing in privatized corrections, detention, and mental health treatment,”) the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, and the Association of Administrative Law Judges have all spent large sums lobbying for greater criminalization.

Big Pharma

Perhaps the most unsurprising is Big Pharma. Due to a growing awareness of the medicinal benefits of cannabis oils and cannabis-derived CBD, pharmaceutical companies are having a frenzy trying to suppress its use.

For the full fiscal year of 2017, Pharmaceutical Health Product companies spent a combined $280 million on annual lobbying. More specifically in the realm of pharmaceuticals, Pfitzer Inc spent $10.5 million, Eli Lilly & Co spent $7.4 million, Express Scripts spent $2.8 million, Merck & Co spent $6.3 million, and AstraZeneca PLC spent $2.8 million.

Big Government

Last but not least comes big government. According to the Economist, prohibition has essentially become a $20 billion federal jobs project. In 2010, Jeffrey Miron, a senior lecturer at Harvard University studies the impact that drug legalization would have on the American economy. What he found was that roughly $8.7 billion could be saved on law enforcement spending, while another $8.7 billion would be obtained through taxes on cannabis alone. After inflation, that number would add up to more than $20 million today.

However, the current bloated government does not take this situation lightly. As government overreach is often fueled by drug war policies, government bureaucrats are spending a lot of money to keep cannabis illegal. These include the American Federation of Government Employees who in 2016 spent $1.6 million on lobbying and the National Active & Retired Federal Employees Association who spent $1.2 million.

Cannabis Liberty Could Bring America Back Together

As both big government and big business are behind the trampling of a right which most people agree we should have, if the answer to America’s division problem lies in any one issue, it is most likely cannabis.

About the Author

Phillip Schneider is a student and a staff writer for Waking Times.

This article (These 5 Organizations are the Reason Cannabis is Still a Crime) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Phillip Schneider and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.

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War On Cash Goes into Full Effect — Purchases Over $10,000 ILLEGAL in Australia

(Jay SyrmopoulosAs government attempts to track every purchase to increase their power, Australia is spearheading this war on cash by outlawing any purchases in cash over $10,000.

Canberra, Australia – The Australian government announced that it will soon be illegal to use more than $10,000 cash to purchase anything, forcing individuals that wish to buy more expensive items to use a cashier’s check or electronic transfer, ostensibly in the name of fighting organized crime and money laundering.

The move reportedly comes in response to the government’s Black Economy Standing Taskforce. In addition to the cash purchase ban, the government has allocated a $319 million package to the Tax Office to develop new strategies to target the black economy.

Treasurer Scott Morrison said the Black Economy Standing Taskforce will include a rigorous identification system and “mobile strike teams,” in an effort to detect people making suspicious cash transactions, as well as a black economy hotline for citizens to report anyone suspected of engaging in illegal transactions.

“Cash provides an easy, anonymous and largely untraceable mechanism for conducting black economy activity,” the response said. “Cash payments make it easier to under-report income and avoid tax obligations. This allows businesses transacting in cash to undercut competitors and gain a competitive advantage.

It said the task force had identified examples of “large undocumented cash payments being made for houses, cars, yachts, agricultural crops and commodities”, which contribute to the $50 billion black economy and “hurt honest businesses.”

Revenue Minister Kelly O’Dwyer said the ban on cash purchases of more than $10,000 would begin on July 1 of next year.

“This cash payment limit will capture high-value transactions and help stamp out opportunities for criminals to launder the proceeds of crime into goods and services, or for businesses to hide transactions to reduce their tax liabilities,” she said.

This of course is not a phenomenon unique to Australia, as there is an ongoing international “war on cash.” In the United States, Larry Summers, a former U.S. Treasury Secretary and Harvard president, pushed and effort during the Obama administration to abolish $50 and $100 bills. There has also been talk within the EU of doing away with the €500 note. India has already made such moves. 

While the publicly stated reason for these policies is to fight criminals, terrorists, money launderers, drug dealer, etc., by making it more difficult for them to move cash, the actual reason for the international “war on cash” is to give government more control and power.

report in The Atlantic explains that while some believe that a cashless system would be “simple and elegant,” there are ominous implications about further centralization of power that must be considered:

Federal, state, and local law enforcement, as well as tax authorities, want to bring as much of the economy under their direct supervision as possible. … Forget folks who like cash. Never mind worries about forcing us all to run all spending through a corrupt corporate-banking system. Never mind the resilience of having a medium of exchange in the non-digital world that works when the power grid is down, when one’s smart phone is dropped in water, when one’s identity is stolen by hackers, or one’s account frozen by Visa or Bank of America because a purchase on vacation was deemed suspicious.

Friedersdorf goes on to clarify how the elimination of cash could dramatically erode financial privacy; pointing to Supreme Court case U.S. v. Miller:

There is no legitimate “expectation of privacy” in the contents of the original checks and deposit slips, since the checks are not confidential communications, but negotiable instruments to be used in commercial transactions, and all the documents obtained contain only information voluntarily conveyed to the banks and exposed to their employees in the ordinary course of business.

In a report for Forbes magazie, founder Steve Forbes elaborates on this line of thinking:

The real reason for this war on cash–start with the big bills and then work your way down–is an ugly power grab by Big Government. People will have less privacy: Electronic commerce makes it easier for Big Brother to see what we’re doing, thereby making it simpler to bar activities it doesn’t like, such as purchasing salt, sugar, big bottles of soda and Big Macs.

The movement against cash is clearly about centralized control of the economy, as international bureaucrats believe they can control the global economy better than the free market.

Forbes goes on to explain:

The move to destroy cash feeds into the economic commissars’ fantasy that they can better control the economy. Policymakers in Washington, Tokyo and the EU think the reason that their economies are stagnant is that ornery people aren’t spending and investing the way they should. How to make these benighted, recalcitrant beings do what they’re supposed to do? The latest nostrum from our overlords is negative interest rates. If people have to pay fees to store their money, as they do to put their stuff in storage facilities, then, by golly, they might be more inclined to spend it. To inhibit cash hoarding—when Japan announced it was imposing negative interest rates, the sale of safes soared—the authorities will want to do away with large notes.

Of course, one of the primary purposes of the Australian government’s movement against black markets and large cash purchases comes down to lost revenue for the state. In fact, the government reported that the package against black markets could potentially net the state billions of dollars more in revenue.

So, while governments like to use fear mongering about terrorism and drugs as a means of eliciting support for policies restricting the use of cash, the real motive behind these laws is clearly to give government more power. The ability to track every transaction provides an invaluable asset to a global spying apparatus (Five Eyes) that aims to sweep up all available information with no regard for the existence of individual privacy.

About the Author

Jay Syrmopoulos  is a geopolitical analyst, freethinker, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at the University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs and holds a BA in International Relations. Jay’s writing has been featured on both mainstream and independent media – and has been viewed tens of millions of times. You can follow him on Twitter @SirMetropolis and on Facebook at SirMetropolis.

Source:

https://thefreethoughtproject.com/war-on-cash-goes-into-full-effect-as-purchases-of-10000-are-now-illegal-in-australia/

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