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One Health: Subverted, Corrupted, and Ruined


The idea of a holistic concept of health – that our environment (or ‘biosphere’) influences our well-being, is far older than written history. So is greed, abuse, lust for power, and a desire to own and enslave others. There is, regarding what really matters, nothing new under the sun.

‘One Health,’ a modern term for this holistic approach to health, is therefore old news, as is a willingness to corrupt and manipulate such a concept for personal gain. Ill health is a lever for fear, and death even more so, especially to those who believe that we are simply organic constructs that end in dust and decay. 

A cult feeding off these fears, holding that the entire biosphere is threatening us with diseases and death, would therefore have real potential for mass control. Convince followers that humans are the poison that made this world so destructive, and you will also have a means to stoke hate against non-believers whilst adding guilt to the tools for compliance.

A cult based on fear of the world and the people who poisoned it, dressed up in philanthropy and virtue, has risen amongst us. Co-opting One Health terminology, it is now funded by the spoils of Covid, and empowered by technology that can take this medieval witch-hunting sect global.

One Health as a Tool for Humanity

If bovine tuberculosis spreads through a herd, the herders will suffer through loss of income and food, and through risk of catching the infection themselves. Their poverty will compound, their kids go hungry, and grow to face the same. Improving the health of the herd can lift the family and their community to a better future. If they can ensure their drinking water is clean, and their cooking fire does not pollute their lungs, they will go even further. The environment, everywhere, should be managed and protected for human benefit– physical, mental, and social.

The One Health concept, centered in such common sense, was once no more than this. It is a rational way to express an age-old principle in a world obsessed with allopathic medicine and magical vaccines. Sanitation and improved nutrition will save more lives than the next round of profiteering brought to us by Pfizer.

However, humans are humans, and just as planes are hijacked for politics or profit, One Health has been hijacked by self-proclaimed philanthropists. We should fear both, in a sensible way, but still fly on planes and still support holistic medicine. To make flying more secure, we seek to identify the hijackers and understand their motives. So, we should do the same when concepts such as One Health are hijacked or co-opted with similar intent.

As a new catch-all for this modern public health cult, One Health is being corrupted in two ways, but for the same ends and by much the same people. Understanding one tells us about the people we are dealing with, the other reveals their motives.

One Health as an Ideology

The medical journal Lancet explained the ideology of those driving the One Health cult in January 2023: 

All life is equal, and of equal concern,” 

and further: 

“One Health will be delivered in countries (…) by taking a fundamentally different approach to the natural world, one in which we are as concerned about the welfare of non-human animals and the environment as we are about humans.

In its truest sense, One Health is a call for ecological, not merely health, equity.” 

The narrative, and its intent, are clear. Those pushing it envision a world in which any lifeform is considered intrinsically equal worth to others. If you must choose between your daughter and a rat, the choice should weigh the probability of survival of each, or may do the least harm to other lifeforms after being saved.

Within this ‘equitable’ worldview, humans become a pollutant. Ever-growing human populations have driven other species to extinction through environmental change, from the megafauna of ancient Australasia to the plummeting insect populations of modern Europe. Humans become a plague upon the earth, and their restriction, impoverishment, and death may therefore be justified for a greater good.

It is difficult for people to grasp that this is a guiding ideology of public figures, as it runs counter to most human moral systems or Natural Law. People therefore consider this a misrepresentation of what is intended. If this is you, go back and read those quotes, and read more widely. We must understand the ideology driving this movement, as they intend for us to follow their dictates, and they intend to indoctrinate our children. 

One Health as a Tool for Fear Manufacturing and Control

In the hijacked version of One Health designed to control the masses, humans are at constant risk of harm from their environment and must be corralled and protected for their own good. To convince them, people are bombarded constantly with reminders of the risk that a life on earth entails. Changing climates, vehicle exhaust, variants of viruses and the behavior of non-conforming others become existential threats.

Fear works to change human behavior and shape responses. Behavioral psychology units attached to governments used fear extensively during Covid-19 to lead people into compliance with dictates such as mask-wearing and stay-at-home orders. People will undertake actions, or accept restrictions, that they would likely refuse if allowed to think rationally and calmly. Expanding this approach from a single virus to any aspect of the biosphere impacting human well-being, such as climate, provides an opportunity to use this totalitarian tool of population control to reshape society to the model that the purveyors of fear desire.

Through amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR) and a new ‘pandemic treaty,’ the WHO is coupling this broad definition of One Health with a definition of ‘emergency’ that simply requires recognition of a threat rather than actual harm. When applied to the WHO’s broad definition of health, ‘physical, mental and social well-being,’ almost all aspects of normal life could be included in its scope. Addressed through a proscriptive public health paradigm that encompasses global mandates, restrictions and censorship, and those running this agenda have an opportunity for unprecedented power.

The Refocusing of the WHO

Public health does not have to be this way. Combining the WHO’s broad definition of health with a holistic view of its relationship with the environment could provide a readily defensible approach to true human well-being. A further concept, “social capital,” is intrinsically tied to this; that we are better off, have greater well-being, when we work through supportive social networks that value our participation in decision-making. This is the opposite of being told what to do or how to live; i.e. being a slave. People generally live longer, are happier, and report more fulfilled lives when they have greater social capital.

Combining a broad health definition and a holistic view of its dependencies with a requirement to ensure human agency (preserving social capital) helps us understand how the discipline of public health could effectively contribute. If it provides evidence and support for decision-making at a community and individual level, it should contribute to well-being. If it uses top-down coercion or mandates, it will support the well-being of those doing the mandating, but harm those whose social capital is being degraded. Slave-owners live longer than slaves. 

Recognizing these realities in 2019, the WHO stated in its recommendations for pandemic influenza that border closures, quarantine, and prolonged business closures should never be undertaken in response to a pandemic. These measures would drive inequality and disproportionately harm low-income people, destroying both economies and social capital. In 2020, refocusing priorities on a new constituency, the WHO promoted these same inequitable policies. 

The evidence did not change, but the constituency did. Wealthy people and corporations had become significant directive funders of WHO programs. Those who benefit from improved nutrition and sanitation cannot fund the WHO’s growing staff, but those profiting from the largesse of the Covid response can.

We tend to think such changes cannot happen in free and rational societies. To be convinced, we might need solid evidence of real totalitarian control. If we experienced mandated population-wide injections, people banned from visiting loved ones, or body-armored police shooting at crowds and beating up old ladies for not wearing masks, whilst those promoting such policies lived and traveled freely, then we might start to wonder whether our preconceptions regarding society were wrong. At that time, we might start to believe that some in authority don’t really have our best interests at heart.

Exposing a Cult

Evil is not defeated by hiding from it. It is fought by exposing the ideology that drives it, the greed, the lies, and the deceit. We should not be overwhelmed by the scale and depth of wrongdoing. It may now be global but the people running it are as empty as those in past times, seeing the subjugation of others as the only way to address their internal inadequacies. Many more go along for the ride, doing their bidding to secure careers and pensions. This is normal, and has been faced before.

In the end, mad ideologues collapse under the weight of their own deceit and the shallowness of their dogmas. The earth-mother religion of a corrupted One Health and the feudalist ambitions of its priests will be no different. We should not fear public health or a holistic view of the world. They are ours and can be a force for good. Rather, we should expose the hollowness of the people who would subvert them, driven by their own greed and barren ideologies.

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  • David Bell

    David Bell, Senior Scholar at Brownstone Institute, is a public health physician and biotech consultant in global health. He is a former medical officer and scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO), Programme Head for malaria and febrile diseases at the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) in Geneva, Switzerland, and Director of Global Health Technologies at Intellectual Ventures Global Good Fund in Bellevue, WA, USA.

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