What is the Truth About COVID-19?

22 December 2021


How do we find the facts in a world full of biased media and government propaganda? Let us apply the scientific method to media reports on the coronavirus pandemic, sifting through conflicting narratives to get at the truth.

Questioning Jesus at his trial,
Pilate said, “What is truth?”
Then he went back out to the Jews and told them,
“I find nothing wrong in this man.”
~ John 18:38 (MSG)

The scene is a court of law; the accused was being tried, and if found guilty, sentenced to death — death on the cross. But the defence attorney is desperately asking, ‘What is truth?’ He wanted to get to the heart of the accusations levelled at Jesus; he saw ‘truth’ as concrete, unbiased, unemotional, evidenced-based fact.

It seems to me that the first casualty in our society today with this virus has been ‘truth’. Apparently, most scientists, medics, politicians, media and the populace can no longer recognise truth and differentiate it from dogma, opinion, desire or even lies.

“If you would be a real seeker after truth,
it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt,
as far as possible, all things.”
~ René Descartes (1596–1650)

I love this quote. For me, it describes the truly curious, the passion for objective research. So, Descartes is encouraging us to be really curious, to develop an attitude that instinctively questions rather than naïvely accepts what we are being told. Let me take you on a journey to discover ‘the truth’. First, let’s examine the scientific method, because we are always being told ‘they are following the science’.

The Scientific Method

scientific method - truthIt is generally accepted that the Italian physicist Galileo Galilee (1564–1642) was the first to describe the scientific method. My early life at school and university was dominated by the scientific method, it was drilled into my brain! This list is my simplification, but the cartoon is totally brilliant too!

  1. Ask a Question:
    usually a problem you are seeking to solve.
  2. Background Research:
    gather as much information as possible about the problem.
  3. Hypothesis: form an educated guess, the possible solution, the potential answer to your problem.
  4. Design and Run an Experiment: apply your hypothesis, being careful to ensure you can collect measurable, valid data.
  5. Analyse Data and Make Conclusions: dispassionately review the results, particularly in the light of 1 and 2. Have you proven or disproved your hypothesis?
  6. Communicate: make a video, write a report, or give a presentation to educate others about the experiment. There is no shame in disproving your hypothesis — in fact, this is the most frequent result of our experiments. If this occurred, you now have more information to craft a better hypothesis for next time, one that is more likely to succeed.

To take this a step further, you might have ‘proven’ your hypothesis, but how confident are you that if you ran the experiment again an infinite number of times, you would still get the same result? If the answer is yes, you would be able to demonstrate that it will be the same, time and time again, without fail. In that case, you would have discovered ‘a truth’.

However, more often than not, you may only be right, say, 75% of the time. In this case, you may have discovered an unproven ‘theory’.  Yes, this is stronger than a hypothesis, but it is not yet a fact. It’s simply a theory; you can’t call it ‘a law’, such as the law of gravity.

Returning to Pilate’s discussion with Jesus — Pilate did not appear to discover the truth; neither did the religious leaders or the people. They were not interested. They simply wanted to do away with Jesus: that was front and centre of their collective mind, so to them, the truth did not matter. The truth was the first casualty in Jesus’ trial. We could say, ‘They did not want to let the truth get in the way of their story.’ Sound familiar?

What has happened to our world?

These last few years — these last few months, in particular, have turned my world upside-down — what about yours? What I used to rely on and instinctively simply take for granted, I no longer can. It feels as if the reality under my feet has been taken away. It’s now so hard to find the truth in so many aspects of life.

Perhaps, you must think I have lost my mind, I am surely exaggerating! You must think I have fallen for misinformation, deception or fake news. Well, let me explain what I think has happened to our world. I don’t expect — or necessarily want — you to accept every step in my argument, but please stick with me to the end and then see if you can be confident about finding the truth about C-19.

Newspapers in 1990s Australia

When I emigrated here from England in 1995, I remember being puzzled, as people kept asking me what I thought about journalism here. They asked if I knew who owned the various media outlets. I had no idea about ownership. I had grown up championing the persistence and impartiality of the journalists.

For example, I remember an Australian journalist, John Pilger, exposing the horrors of the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979. I believe it’s fair to say John singlehandedly brought the genocide of between 1.5 and 2 million to the world’s attention.

I believed the news was always the tried and tested truth. I thought that journalists were all like John and that the highest prize for a journalist was to expose the truth. But even back in the 1990s, that was not necessarily the case.

The ABC: Global Warming and now Climate Change

In the past, I listened to the ABC whenever I was in the car. Saturday mornings with Geraldine Doogue became a ritual for me until about three years ago. For me, the tipping point was their coverage of global warming and more recently, their new ‘crisis’, climate change. What started to concern me was that it seemed that the ABC would take every opportunity to pick up on the latest catastrophic weather event and describe it as further evidence of climate change.

I have been a Physical Geography teacher for nearly thirty years and studied Geology, Meteorology and Quaternary Studies before that. I do know something about the world’s weather and climatic systems. One of the key criteria for defining a climatic type is ‘the average weather at a place over at least 25 years’.

So, for the ABC to be telling Australians that a bushfire season is an example of climate change is not the truth, but their own narrative. I could not handle this! To make matters worse, they began to mock and ridicule anyone who suggested an alternative narrative. They would often say they were ‘denying the science’, a key phrase to silence debate.

Looking at the science, let me take you through a few steps. Man has burnt fossil fuels in a big way since the Industrial Revolution, that’s true. Burning generates carbon dioxide, a heat-retaining gas in the atmosphere when concentration increases, commonly called the ‘greenhouse effect’, that’s true.

But there are two other relevant facts the ABC rarely mention. Namely, sunspot activity, which usually has an 11-year cycle where the sun gets hotter and then cooler. Then there are the El Niño and La Niña climate patterns in the Pacific Ocean that affect weather worldwide, typically with a cycle of three to seven years. Eastern Australia is currently experiencing the effects of La Niña, cooler and much wetter-than-normal conditions. El Niño brings much dryer and hotter weather, which in turn brings the greater likelihood of bushfires — not caused by the greenhouse effect at all!

These two facts are usually left out of the discussion surrounding a season of devastating floods or bushfires, as the ABC seems to be fixated on spreading one single narrative alone. The complex interplay of sunspots, increased carbon dioxide due to burning fossil fuels and the temperature of the Pacific Ocean’s currents are highly problematic to model.

It’s a fact the ‘majority’ of scientists believe there is a ‘high probability’ that the tipping point is excess carbon dioxide resulting from the burning of fossil fuels. But the ABC simply claim climate change is the result of excess carbon dioxide, as the truth.  They have forgotten that it’s simply a ‘consensus’ of opinion. Even if that consensus has a high probability, it’s still only a theory.

While we are at Stage 2 of the scientific method, Formulating Hypotheses, there is still a long way to go to find the truth of the matter. Alternative views can’t be — must not be — silenced, or we will never arrive at the truth.

Volunteering in a Kibbutz in Israel, 1971

During that long hot northern hemisphere summer, I spent a wonderful time working on a farm and touring in Israel. The Israelites had set up these collective farms (kibbutzim) in order to develop their country following the Six-Day War with the Arabs in 1967. They invited young people from all over the world to come and work for them in return for full board; it was a brilliant opportunity — I had the time of my life!

One of the conditions of our stay was that we would learn about the Israeli state, their government system and in particular their history leading up to and including the Six-Day War. We were given lectures and some beautiful literature. It was ‘propaganda’. This was the first time I was knowingly exposed to propaganda.

The Israelites completely believed everything they told us, but their pro-Israeli bias and their negativity towards the Arabs was palpable. Were the Israelis spreading untruths? I would say no. Instead, they were simply telling the truth from their perspective, and leaving out alternative views and facts that would get in the way of their story. Sound familiar?

What are the Covid-19 facts?

I think that most people acknowledge that they have questions about Covid-19. From my perspective, if we hold up the scientific method to the virus itself and the way that authorities have managed it, I think that much of what we are being told falls short of what can be called good science, fact and truth.

Stage 1 of the scientific method: Observation

Let’s work from the known to the unknown. I admit this is not easy, but let’s try to find a few undisputed observations.

  • The virus is only deadly for a very small part of the population and usually for those with comorbidities.
  • The number of deaths is much higher in western nations than in Africa, where the inoculation rate is the lowest in the world.
  • Some people who have had the inoculation have died of adverse reactions and some still catch the virus.
  • Schoolchildren and infants are the least-affected age group, yet governments around the world, simultaneously, are encouraging them to be inoculated.
  • Last autumn, the mainstream media reported wall-to-wall adverse reactions to the inoculations and blasted the government for perceived incompetence in purchasing the vaccines.
  • Now we never hear about adverse reactions or deaths from the mainstream media; instead, we have wall-to-wall coverage of the government’s narrative to boost inoculation rates.
  • Western governments have banned the use of some widely available medications in favour of pushing their single narrative of mass inoculation.

I don’t think anyone can dispute these observations as facts, the truth. Of course, there are many more facts I could list, but just for a moment hold these up to full view, like the hand you might hold in a game of cards. Then look at your opponent and listen to their narrative — what does your hand of hard facts say about the narrative you are hearing?

Stages 2 through 6 of the scientific method, forming a Hypothesis through to Inviting Others

We are aware of these observations and more, but we don’t sit down and formulate hypotheses ourselves, do we? We are much more likely to leave this to the ‘experts’. But these experts have ‘authority’ over us — this is so important to understand, they are not unbiased scientists. I think this is where it has all gone wrong.

This authority over us has been evidenced by the restrictions of our civil liberties, particularly our mobility in 2020 and additionally in 2021, the ‘requirements’ for the injection of experimental biological agents. The authorities have had near complete compliance with their rules but only because we have not questioned the evidence for their rules. We have abdicated all responsibility for our health and safety to the government. We have justified this on the basis that, the threat is so great, we must all be in this together and sacrifice our individual freedoms for the sake of the common good. But is the threat really so great? Are there alternative strategies that responsible adults can work out for themselves, or discuss with their doctor one-on-one?

I believe we have all heard and seen aspects of the corona virus narrative that don’t add up, that don’t have the ring of truth. I think most of us have pushed those thoughts aside as the grand narrative we have heard every day now for nearly two years has simply crowed out our doubts.  But come with me to my concluding arguments.

Mass Formation or Group Hypnosis

M argument here might suggest that most people have allowed themselves to be deceived. I don’t think this is the case. Rather, I think that most people have come under a hypnotic trance that they could not resist. So, no, I am not suggesting that people have knowingly allowed themselves to accept the prevalent narrative, rather it has been an intentionally designed plan to manipulate us.

Nudge Unites

The British government received a report in 2016, called Nudging by government: Progress, input and lessons learnt by Halpern and Sanders.  At the start of their paper, they say:

The U.K. government’s Behavioral Insights Team (BIT) is delivering monetary benefits in the region of hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions. To replicate this success, other governments must first work to successfully embed behavioral interventions in the policy mix.

So, yes, governments all around the world have been manipulating or nudging their people to make the decisions that meet their desired policy objectives. Very neat, as long as you agree with the policies! But what does this say about the truth?

At the end of the report, Halpern and Sanders conclude:

Applying lessons from science to policy without rigorous testing is not desirable—nor is it easy to get away with. With the right combination of skills and infrastructure, the future is bright for policymakers or academics looking to apply behavioral science to policy.

Note my underlining! Yes, back in 2016 the designers of Nudge Theory already knew the dangers of rushing and skipping the science would be hard to get away with. But have they?

Behavioural Change

I would go further; the impact of the behavioural change has often gone so far as changing our character and adjusting our values. Are we happy about this? I am sure that deep down we don’t want to become different people, but we have. Let me unpack some of the features of Mass Formation or Group Hypnosis, thanks to the work of Dr Mattias Desmet from Ghent University in Belgium.

Desmet argued that there are four pre-conditions in society that need to be there for Mass Formation to take off.

  1. A lack of social connection. Despite the widespread uptake of social media, people are not forming as strong relationships as they used to. Think of the prevalence of youth depression and family breakdown.
  2. A lack of meaning. The place of spiritual faith in our societies has declined, largely helped by the media’s incessant marginalisation of faith and their championing of materialism.
  3. A prevalence of free-floating anxiety. The result of the first two attributes has contributed to an inner sense of anxiety that people can’t articulate.
  4. A prevalence of free-floating aggression. We see this with domestic violence, the decline in discipline in schools and the rise in abuse of retail staff.

Early in 2020, the mass media started to talk about the potential dangers of the virus, so the people were able to unite against a common ‘external’ threat. This was brilliant for them; they had a captive audience that has hung on their every word of nearly two years as they have become the government’s voice. They have alternated the ‘fear button’ with the ‘solution button’ to achieve their policy objective — the Nudge Unite has been in full swing!

Desmet went on to explain that in this state of group hypnosis, the people become insensitive to pain as they are focused on the solution. They are willing to sacrifice individual freedom for the cause and they become intolerant of dissenting voices because of the fear of ‘waking up’.

In studies of mass formation, psychologists have identified three groups in society:

  1. 30% who are deeply hypnotised
  2. 40% who disagree with the narrative but are simply following along with the majority, for fear of missing out
  3. 30% who are trying to question and speak out. Very diverse in nature but unified against the mainstream narrative

Desmet argues that being in either 1 or 2, people are living in a totalitarian state where collectivism overshadows individualism, where the individual’s dreams and desires are crushed for the sake of the ‘common good’.

This is the complete antithesis of democracy and spells the end of creativity, self-determination and personal responsibility, all of which I believe are our God-given inheritance as His children. I count myself in group 3 and as long as I have breath, I will speak out against this tyranny and denial of the truth.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago (1918-1956)

I am presently reading this horrific book about murder and concentration camps in Russia. I believe there are some very concerning parallels with what is happening in our world today with regards to mass formation and our behaviours towards the virus, losing sight of the scientific method and of truth.

I also think that there are some parallels with what is happening in China today with the imprisonment, forced abortion, forced sterilisation, forced birth control, rape (including gang rape), forced labour, torture, beatings, internment and brainwashing of over a million of their own people, the Uyghurs. Sadly, it appears that conflicts of interest have muffled the voices of many in their condemnation of these atrocities.

Solzhenitsyn discussed the use of hunger strikes by some of the inmates. He explained that as time went by, those in authority took less and less notice, until all it achieved was the prisoner’s own death. Summing up these attitudes to hunger strikes, he wrote:

From the authorities’ perspective, the ideal picture is one of prisoners who have no will of their own, nor the capacity to make their own decisions and a prison administration that did their thinking and deciding for them. These are the only prisoners who can exist in their new society.

The revolutionary authorities in Russia, who had ousted the Tzars, systematically rounded up anyone who was known to or had been associated with someone who had dared to question their authority. The majority of prisoners were not criminals at all. During the Reign of Terror from 1918-1956, it is estimated that between 1.2 and 1.7 million lost their lives in the Gulag, but some estimates say the number could have been up to 6 million.

The authorities built up a remarkable portfolio of techniques to ‘control their prisoners’, particularly at the interrogation stages. They certainly had schools for hypnosis for their interrogators. They used incessant radio broadcasts repeating their own propaganda so that the prisoners could never ‘hear’ an alternative view.

The same thing happened out in civilian society. They managed to instil into the population complete distrust of one another, so people stopped talking to each other as they feared their words might get someone arrested, or they might be arrested themselves. This was the most powerful weapon against their own people and arguably was the key to the tyrant’s survival.

One thing is absolutely definite; not everything that enters our ears penetrates our consciousness. Anything too far out of tune with our attitude is lost, either in the ears themselves or somewhere beyond, but it is lost.

So, if we have been so brainwashed, hypnotised, by the continual repetition of the single narrative, we can’t hear any opposing perspectives. I believe that the bias of the media and the increasing censorship of opposing views is all part of the dissemination of the single government-sponsored narrative. Have you noticed that in every state and in federal politics, both major parties, left and right and the Greens have been in unison for nearly two years — this is remarkable!

Let me encourage you to question everything. Understand that our leaders are using Nudge Unites to control and us and change our character, values and behaviours.  Our leaders have not been seen to apply the scientific method. Further, they have not come clean with their policy agenda. Have you wondered why their policy has the full endorsement of nearly every government in the world, all at the same time, with the only opposition coming from the people?

I think it is nearly impossible to wake ourselves up from a hypnotic trance, but we can open a new window to hear a fresh perspective. Perhaps one thing in this essay will act like a grain of sand in your oyster and grow into a pearl of great price before it is too late. Please pass this essay on to anyone who might be encouraged to open a new window themselves.


  • Halpern, D. and Sanders, M. (2016) Nudging by government: Progress, input and lessons learnt.
  • Solzhenitsyn, A. (1973) The Gulag Archipelago, Vintage, Penguin Random House.


Photo by cottonbro from Pexels.

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  1. David Findlay 24 December 2021 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    So denying medical evidence, denying medical research, denying climate change, denying epidemiologist, the science of climate change and vaccinologists, denying evidence based research gives you the right to talk about “Truth” You have really taking right-wing extreme Christianity to the extreme of propaganda. Truth seems to be very distant from your lips and brain.

  2. Jim Twelves 24 December 2021 at 8:12 pm - Reply

    David, thank you for reading my essay, and thank you for your feedback. It is interesting that you paint me as a ‘denier’. Yes I do deny a number of current commonly held beliefs, but I would say in my own defense that I am a believer, but a believer in a minority view. does my minority view mean that I am wrong and the majority are right? That was what I was trying to show in my essay. It seems that we are only allowed to hear, see and experience the majority held dogma. I find its so much more stimulating and expanding of my thinking to be in a community that that can agree to disagree with each other and still be friends. One of my closest friends back in the UK is a passionate Climate Change activist. We can have great discussions. Right-wing Christianity, yes i am happy to be labeled as such! Thank you and Happy Christmas!

  3. RVella 24 December 2021 at 9:00 pm - Reply

    Riiant Dr Twelves!

  4. RVella 24 December 2021 at 9:01 pm - Reply

    Brilliant Dr Twelves!

    • Jim Twelves 25 December 2021 at 11:26 am - Reply

      Dear RVella, Thank you so much. Its a really hard line to be sure of the truth. I guess it all boils down to faith, which is so ironic if you think about it. For me I need to make a conscious decision to run a ‘claimed truth’ past the ‘witness of the spirit’ test. I think its so important that folks keep ‘practicing’ their ‘witness of the spirit test’. My concern is that if we don’t, when we really need the test, we will find it no longer works for us. Happy Christmas! Shalom, Jim

      • Stan Beattie 26 December 2021 at 2:31 pm - Reply

        Yes I agree Jim. We must keep looking for the witness of the spirit because He will lead into all truth.
        Thank you for the essay. We must keep talking, thinking, praying , perhaps not in that order.

        • Jim Twelves 29 December 2021 at 2:05 pm - Reply

          Stan, thanks for this. I have been thinking about the moment that someone says, ‘lets stop talking about this’. What are they saying? They are saying they can’t bare to admit a ‘new idea’ into their head. But what is that new idea, happens to be the truth. I for one believe there that there is objective truth, truth can never be personal, that is simply perspective. Shalom, Jim

  5. Tatiana 26 December 2021 at 5:16 pm - Reply

    I would have said “bravo” if you did not use arguments I know something about… You have 2 sources to support your views, and Solzenitsin is one of the. Solzenitsin is not a trustworthy source… I grew up in a Gulag era and in a Gulag area. I tried to read his book when it was still illegal in Russia. I dropped it after a few pages because it was completely unprofessional ( as a Russian speaking writer he is nothing) and dishonest. Later I learned about Solzenitsin – and as person he is also nothing to be respected… Building your essay on a doubtful platform discredits your writing…
    I don’t deny atrocities of Stalin’s era, but 6 million people killed in Gulag?… How about reading plain statistics instead of bias writers with their narrow agendas?

    • Jim Twelves 29 December 2021 at 2:09 pm - Reply

      Tatiana, OK, I never knew that Solzenitsin had been discredited by his own people today. I will take that perspective seriously and seek more information about the man. Can you quote me some resources that back up your claim of his bias? I would be keen to read up on them. Shalom, Jim

  6. Ann Chow 27 December 2021 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    Thank you Dr Twleves. I agree with you as I am beginning to question what is happening in our country too. People are unable to see family to cross borders, unless they an experimental drug still in clinical trial stage with safety data not released till another 75 years. Some have taken it and now have heart issues, people like my uncle has leg paralysis. Yet they are mandating in many sectors of work. Suicide has increased due to lockdown. Business have gone bankrupt.

  7. Jim Twelves 29 December 2021 at 2:12 pm - Reply

    Ann, thank you for your support, my prayer is that we keep our eyes, ears and hearts open and do what we can for others as much as we can along the journey. Shalom, Jim

  8. Leonie Robson 4 January 2022 at 6:34 pm - Reply

    Jim, you’re a legend.
    Thanks for your wisdom and effective communication. Blessings.

  9. Warwick Marsh 6 January 2022 at 10:06 am - Reply

    Very powerful article. Yes i too grew up on the Scientific Method. Yes it was drilled into all of us. But i think it is wisdom and yes it is biblical. It is wonderful that you have brought Galileo into the argument for the primacy of truth. He certainly paid the price.
    Galileo Galilei, though famous for his scientific achievements in astronomy, mathematics, and physics, and infamous for his controversy with the church was, in fact, a devout Christian who saw not a divorce of religion and science but only a healthy marriage: “God is known by nature in his works, and by doctrine in his revealed word.”

  10. Jim Twelves 14 January 2022 at 4:32 pm - Reply

    Warwick, many thanks. Yes I suspect most will know of Galileo but I suspect fewer will know of him for his faith. Growing up it was always ‘science or religion’. Such a mistaken perspective. There were precious few who could claim ‘science and religion’, but when I met them they were most compelling. I think we have the same danger today. People putting their faith in science and leaning their faith outside in the street. I long to see the church ‘engage in this debate’ more; and demonstrate, today, you can have ‘science and religion’.

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