This article was previously published February 16, 2021, and has been updated with new information.
Any strategy that successfully manipulates public opinion is bound to be repeated, and we can now clearly see how the tobacco industry’s playbook is being used to shape the public narrative about COVID-19 and the projected post-COVID era.
In 2011, after many years of raising awareness regarding genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and industrial agriculture, we decided we needed a new game plan. Educating people through our newsletter was great, but we realized the best way to expose Monsanto — a leading GMO advocate and patented seed owner at the time — was to get them to engage directly and ensure national attention.
To that end, Mercola.com funded the signature gathering in California that initiated Proposition 37, the right to know what’s in your food by ensuring proper GMO labeling. We spent more than $1 million for the Prop 37 initiative, plus several million dollars more for GMO labeling initiatives in other U.S. states in the following years.
This initiative forced Monsanto to engage with the public directly to defend their toxic products and dangerous business practices, all while receiving national coverage in the process.
The Monsanto Case
Monsanto spent tens of millions of dollars attacking anyone in their way, but they did so indirectly, just like the tobacco industry did before them. This is the core take-home of what I’m about to describe next.
They used a public relations team to do most of their dirty work — paying scientists and academics to voice their “independent opinions,” influencing scientific journals, and getting journalists and editorial boards to write favorable and influential pieces to help them maintain their lies and influence minds.
Still, while the spending of tens of millions of dollars to influence voters resulted in a narrow defeat of Prop 37, the new, widespread awareness of GMOs, pesticides and industrial agriculture eventually led to Monsanto’s demise.
In 2013, in a last-ditch effort to salvage its tarnished image, Monsanto hired the PR firm Ketchum. As noted in a HuffPost article by Paul Thacker,1 “Monsanto hit reboot with Ketchum,” which “created a campaign called GMO Answers — a group2 of 200 experts charged with doing a better job at answering your questions about GMOs — and used social media and third-party scientists to offer a counter narrative to allay concern about Monsanto’s products.”
The GMO Answers’ website3 is set up to allow professors at public universities to answer GMO questions from the public — supposedly without remuneration from the industry. But over the years, evidence emerged showing that these academics are far from independent, and often end up getting paid for their contributions via hidden means, such as unrestricted grants.
University of Florida professor Kevin Folta is one prominent example of an academic who misled the public by promoting GMOs while not disclosing he accepted money from Monsanto to the tune of $25,000.4 I’ve written about this before, but so has The New York Times,5 in 2015, when they detailed Folta’s activities with Monsanto.
Folta sued the Times for defamation, claiming he had “never received” the unrestricted funds they talked about, but subsequent documentation showed that Monsanto had indeed given the money to Folta. The suit was dismissed in 2019 in a Florida U.S. District Court.6
In another breach of transparency, GMO Answers co-sponsored a panel discussion with the media and partnerships division of Scientific American in March 2016 to discuss whether science was being fairly represented by the media.7
At the time, Jeremy Abatte, vice president and publisher of Scientific American, insisted the event was not a Ketchum event, but a Scientific American event, even though GMO Answers is a Ketchum-sponsored project.8 Few bought his reasoning, though, and many ended up filing Scientific American into the chemical biotech shill category.
Having purchased Monsanto at the end of 2016, Bayer continued the strategy to rely on PR firms for public acceptance. In the article9 “Bayer’s Shady PR Firms: Fleishmanhillard, Ketchum, FTI Consulting,” U.S. Right to Know reviews the many deception scandals involving these firms. A key discovery was evidence showing “there are objective strategies to silence strong voices.”
After investigating the strategies used by Monsanto and Bayer, we can now see that the same playbook is being used by Big Tech and Big Pharma to shape the public narratives about COVID-19 and The Great Reset. Again, a central facet of these campaigns is to silence critics, in particular those with large online followings, including yours truly.
I have been publicly labeled a “national security threat”10 to the U.K. by Imran Ahmed, a member of the Steering Committee on Countering Extremism Pilot Task Force under the British government’s Commission for Countering Extremism and the chief executive of the Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH).
According to Ahmed, I and others who question the safety and necessity of a COVID-19 vaccine may be prone to violent extremism. This defamatory statement clearly has no basis in reality whatsoever. Rather, it’s part of the propaganda aimed at destroying the opposition — in this case the opposition to the technocrats driving The Great Reset agenda,11 which spans across social, economic and health related sectors.
As reported by the National Vaccine Information Center, which was also on the CCDH list of national security threats:12
“The anonymously funded CCDH also has an office in Washington, D.C. and the defamatory publicity campaign created in December 2020 was designed to not only discredit NVIC’s four-decade public record of working within the U.S. democratic system to secure vaccine safety and informed consent protections in public health policies and laws, but to destroy our small charity.”
Publicis Is an Organizing Force in The Great Reset Deception
Public deception is now being carried out at a mass scale, and the whole thing appears to be led and organized by another major PR firm, this time the Publicis Groupe, self-described as “one of the world’s largest communications groups,”13 which represents major companies within the technology, pharmaceutical and banking industries.
These companies, in turn, have various partnerships with the U.S. government and global nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Publicis itself is also a partner of the World Economic Forum,15 which is leading the call for a “reset” of the global economy and a complete overhaul of our way of life.16 As you will see, Publicis’ fingerprints can be found throughout the net of censorship and misdirection that is now being cast across the digital landscape.
The Publicis Groupe has manipulated what people think about commercial products for nearly a century. Over that century, they have bought or partnered with targeted advertising avenues, beginning with newspapers, followed by radio, TV, cinema and the internet. More recently, they’ve branched into Big Data acquisitions and artificial intelligence platforms.
To understand the power PR companies such as Publicis have today, you need to understand the role of the free press. While pro-industry advertising worked well for decades, there was still the irksome problem of the Fourth Estate, a term that refers to the press.
The problem for industry was that professional investigative journalists working for magazines, newspapers and broadcast outlets would write in-depth exposés, outing the truth behind deceptive advertising and countering industry propaganda with science, statistics and other documented facts — and when a free press with honest reporting based on verifiable facts actually does its job, ineffective or toxic products are driven off the market.
The answer that industry came up with in the late 20th century to combat truth in journalism was, pure and simple, to control the Fourth Estate with advertising dollars. Many news organizations will simply not run reports that might harm the bottom line of its advertisers.
By further partnering with the “big guns” of media — such as the Paley Center for Media — Publicis and its industry clients have been able to influence and control the press to restrict, indeed virtually eliminate, your ability to get the truth on many important issues.
Publicis, Big Pharma and NewsGuard
To start off this sprawling web of industry connections surrounding Publicis, let’s look at its connections to the self-appointed internet watchdog NewsGuard. NewsGuard rates websites on criteria of “credibility” and “transparency,” ostensibly to guide viewers to the most reliable sources of news and information.
In reality, however, NewsGuard ends up acting as a gate keeper with a mission to barricade unpopular truth and differences of opinion behind closed gates. Its clearly biased ranking system easily dissuades people from perusing information from low-rated sites, mine included.
NewsGuard received a large chunk of its startup capital from Publicis.17 NewsGuard also has ties to The Paley Center for Media, mentioned earlier. For clarification, The Paley Center is composed of every major media in the world, including Microsoft, AOL, CBS, Fox and Tribune Media. One of its activities is to sponsor an annual global forum for industry leaders.18
NewsGuard is housed in The Paley Center in New York City. In November 2015, Publicis’ chairman of North America, Susan Gianinno, joined The Paley Center’s board of trustees.19
Leo Hindery,20,21 a former business partner of the co-CEOs of NewsGuard, Steven Brill and Gordon Crovitz, is also a former trustee and director of The Paley Center. Taken together, NewsGuard has fairly influential connections to The Paley Center besides being a tenant in their building.
As mentioned, Publicis represents most of the major pharmaceutical companies in the world, and since so much of its revenue comes from the drug industry, it’s not far-fetched to assume Publicis might influence NewsGuard’s ratings of drug industry competitors, such as alternative health sites.
Publicis, Big Pharma, NewsGuard and Big Tech
Next, let’s add a layer of Big Tech into the mix. Publicis, which represents Big Pharma, not only has the ability to influence the public through NewsGuard, but it’s also a Google partner,22,23 which allows it even greater ability to bury undesirable views that might hurt its clientele.
NewsGuard is also partnered with Microsoft, initially through Microsoft’s Defending Democracy Program.24 Through an expanded partnership announced in 2020, Microsoft Edge users gained access to NewsGuard for free, and Microsoft Bing gained access to NewsGuard’s data.25
Publicis, Pharma, NewsGuard, Big Tech, Government and NGOs
Expanding the web further onto government and NGO territory, we find that NewsGuard is also connected to the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Department of Defense and the World Health Organization. All three are listed as NewsGuard partners.26 NewsGuard is also partnered with:27
Trend Micro and many others
To summarize, the web around Publicis now includes international drug companies, NewsGuard, Google, Microsoft, the U.S. State Department and DOD, the WHO and the World Economic Forum. Mind you, this is not a comprehensive review of links. It’s merely a sampling of entities to give you an idea of the breadth of these connections, which when taken together explain how certain views can be so effectively erased.
Add in ‘Anti-Hate’ Group and Google-Trusted Health Sites
But we’re not done yet. NewsGuard’s health-related service called HealthGuard28 is also partnered with WebMD, Medscape and the CCDH — the progressive cancel-culture leader29 with extensive ties to government and global think tanks that recently labeled people questioning the COVID-19 vaccine as national security threats.
In 2017, WebMD was acquired by Internet Brands,30 a company under the global investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts’ (KKR) umbrella. KKR also owns several other health-related internet brands. Since WebMD owned Medscape, it too now belongs to the KKR Internet Brands as well.
Together, HealthGuard, CCDH, WebMD and Medscape have launched a public service campaign called VaxFacts. The goal of the campaign is to “provide facts and tools to help consumers make informed decisions about vaccines,” WebMD reports.31
In tandem with that campaign, Google is funding fact-checking organizations to the tune of $3 million, with the aim of countering “vaccine misinformation,” and NewsGuard maintains a “Coronavirus Misinformation Tracking Center” that includes a “Top COVID-19 Vaccine Myths Tracker.”32
WebMD dominates health searches done through Google and shares user information with Google’s advertising arm and other third-party firms — a practice that is illegal in Europe.
What this means is DoubleClick, Google’s ad service, knows which prescriptions you’ve searched for on the site, thus providing you with personalized drug ads, and Facebook knows what you’ve searched for in WebMD’s symptom checker, as well as any medical diagnoses you received.33
Since most of its revenue comes from advertising — especially from industry34 — WebMD is far from an independent source of well-researched health news. For example, it has been caught shilling for Monsanto, publishing industry-friendly “articles” that are really paid advertisements known in the media world as advertorials.
While WebMD now has a disclaimer page35 explaining the difference between articles from their “sponsors” and original WebMD articles, the point is that ads written like regular news articles are deceptive to the public.
WebMD was also caught publishing a fake online depression screening test.36 In actuality, it was an advertising trick for the antidepressant Cymbalta, and there was no way for test takers to get a clean bill of mental health. When U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley found out about the quiz, he sent a letter to WebMD questioning the independence between WebMD and industry.37
So, to recap, we find connections between the drug industry, NewsGuard/HealthGuard, educational institutions, Big Tech companies like Google, Microsoft and Bing, the U.S. State Department and DOD, global technocratic institutions like the WHO, national and global NGOs like the CCDH and the World Economic Forum, and dominating health websites like WebMD and Medscape.
Again, this is far from an exhaustive investigation of these kinds of connections. It’s merely a small sampling of readily obvious relationships. Toward the center of this web is the Publicis Groupe, the clients of which include major drug companies, Big Tech companies and financial institutions in more than 100 countries.38
By the way, Publicis also began investing in artificial intelligence technology in 201739 and partnered with Microsoft in 2018 to develop a global AI platform.40 It also purchased the data firm Epsilon in 2019,41 thereby establishing ownership of first-party data — a crucially valuable resource when it comes to the use of AI.
As detailed on its website, the firm’s expertise is concentrated within four main activities: communication, media, data and technology (including AI services), and all clients have access to its expertise in all of these areas.
While it’s easy to dismiss Publicis as just another ad agency, I believe it would be foolish to underestimate its power to organize the kind of coordination required to shut down vaccine concerns, anti-lockdown proponents and people trying to educate their fellow man about the dangers of The Great Reset, which is being brought forth as a “necessary” post-COVID step.
While these things may seem unrelated, they’re really not. As mentioned, The Great Reset involves everything — including health, education, government, economics, redistribution of wealth, business practices, environmental “protections” and much more.
What Can You Do?
Everything we know is set to change, and those who disagree with the mainstream narrative are troublemakers that must be silenced, lest the plan gets pushed off-track by an unwilling public.
The answer to this dilemma is transparency. We must expose the machinations that allow this agenda to be pushed forward. Part of that exposure is looking at the role of big PR companies like Publicis, which helps influence the public mind so that the technocrats can maintain their lies until it’s too late to do anything about it.
Remember we DEFEATED Monsanto and we will defeat this threat to our freedom too. With Monsanto, we simply allowed the public to learn the real truth about the issues, and that triggered Monsanto’s collapse. We can do the same with this threat.
I am currently working with some of the brightest minds in the tech space — cybersecurity experts and billionaire philanthropists who are very well-networked. These individuals are committed to preserving your personal freedoms and liberties. We are seeking to involve a massive redo of the entire internet that will not allow tech monopolies the ability to censor the truth because it happens to conflict with their advertisers.
There has been an increasing call for the decentralization of the internet as expressed in this article in Coin Telegraph.42 This would mean that rather than websites being hosted on centralized servers in one location, their content would be stored and served from thousands, if not millions, of computers all over the world, making it virtually impossible to censor or shut down.
We are seeking to implement a strategy that Tim Berners-Lee is proposing. For those of you who don’t know, Berners-Lee is the person who gave us the world wide web graphical interface of the internet, and he didn’t take a penny for it. Had he licensed this technology, he surely would be the richest person in the world today.
You can read more about Berners-Lee’s plan in this February 5, 2021, article in The Conversation,43 but essentially it involves data sovereignty, giving you control over your data and privacy. So, what can you do?
Please understand you play a VERY important, if not critical role in this process. The first part of the strategy is to repeat what we did with Monsanto and expose their plans. So, if you have any interest in preserving your freedoms, I strongly encourage you to share this article and my video with everyone you know so people can start to understand how they are being manipulated. This will effectively “immunize” them against the propaganda.
Secondly, encourage your friends and family to subscribe to the newsletter so you can be updated on the next steps that will be necessary to defeat these tech monopolies’ tyrannical attempts at control.