A quick blog entry, as one of my conspiracy-theory prone friend has sent me a movie clip and asked what I think about it. As usual, I decided to make a quick research, and it turned out pretty quickly, that I can say something about it. So since I wasted 15 minutes for it, let me write it up for you, so you don’t have to do it.
So what is the movie I am talking about? The movie is spreading on the internet as a proof that “Experts agree that there is no such as pandemics and are suing Dutch government about it”. We see a table in some obscure classroom. Behind it a row of people is sitting, with each of them displaying a tiny country flag in front of them. A lady introducing herself as Elke de Klerk speaks. On behalf of Dutch doctors she informs us, that COVID pandemics is a fake, and that they are going to sue Dutch government for harming people with their anti-pandemics activities, or something. Sorry, I haven’t been listening too carefully.
- no mainstream or even somehow reliable media outlet covered that as a story (unless we generously count a portal of Polish radical right). I found one article in Dutch in some strange source, which pretty much impartially relates the story. That confirms that Elke de Klerk might be real, as they say about her. They merely confirm that she is seeking other doctors who want to join her in suing the government.
- the clip firstly appeared at websites such as infowars. You know, the one spreading extreme right-wing propaganda, let’s agree that it is not the most reliable source. Other sources are of similar provienience.
- the movie is watermarked by Oracle Films. Very little is known of that company. They have a simple website where they write that they offer media services for krypto-currency industry. (It could mean that they themselves take Bitcoin payments. Handy if you don’t want to know who paid for it, right?)
- internet websearch for practicing doctors in the Netherlands does not know anyone called de Klerk. The web search does not show any researcher of that name either. There is Elke de Clerck at Gent University, but I found her photo and she looks nothing like the lady from the clip. Also, Gent is in Belgium, not in Holland. There is also Elke de Klerk in Belgium. She practices as a GP on the outskirts of Antwerp. In the Dutch article I mentioned above you can read that Elke de Klerk has no right to practice as a doctor in the Netherlands and that she has been trained in Belgium, so that can be her. It is suggested that she has no right to practice in the Netherlands, but it does not say if she hasn’t nostrified her diploma, or if she was stripped of it.
- when Elke de Klerk finishes, another lady takes the microphone (or, to be frank, an old model of Zoom voice recorder – I recognized it, as I have an identical one at home. Very professional, Oracle Films, good job!). This lady is really easy to find, it is indeed professor Dolores Cahill from Dublin. You might heard about her in July, when she was kicked out of her job for spreading anti-science nonsense in the interview with right wing Youtuber. Interestingly enough, Dolores Cahill is also a politician – she is one of the leaders of radical right, anti EU party in Ireland. The fringe party with no parliamentary representation, which comes not as a suprise when we remember that over 90% of Irish people are happy to be in the EU. She is also
anti-vaxxerpro-epidemic and she is a speaker on the Irish anti-mask wearing marches.
So much for facts. Now, let’s use pure logic and think: what is more probable:
– COVID is a sham, but someone managed to bribe practically every doctor on this planet and thousands of scientist, so they falsify data. Millions of people fell for it, and they believe it so much, that some even get sick or die of COVID-19
– someone found a few people related to medical science in this or that way and/or made them to record that clip, in which they tell COVID-19 is a sham, so people oppose the governments, that already struggle with tackling the pandemic, in hope to even more destablization of the politics in the EU, which makes a certain guy in Kremlin happy.
William of Ockham aks if you want to borrow his razor?
To sum it up: No, Ms de Klerk and her bunch of buddies are not experts. COVID pandemics is not a fake. And nobody sued Dutch government yet.
This is just a movie clip spreaded by radical right as a part of their disinformation campaign in hope to destablize European politics even further. Don’t fall for it: as conspiracy theorists will tell you: think for yourself. But be skeptical and critical: check sources of everything before you propagate it further on the internet!
Thank you for your attention. I would not link to right-wing/propaganda sources, so I don’t bring traffic to them. You can find them easily if you want.
It has been pointed out to me that I don’t really carried my message clearly. It’s true, this blognote was just quickly written during my break from more serious work. I since edited the text to make it clear. The edited bits are marked with italics.
By the way by the way of further research I found that most of Ms de Klerk associates are not real doctors: they are “naturopats” or “holistic dentists”. There are also activist of alt-right groups and anti-vaxxing movements. If google translation of the anti-vaxxers site in Dutch can be trusted, Ms de Klerk is also no longer practicing as a doctor, as she “is limited in the performance of her profession by all the rules and regulations, the scientific basis of which is not always solid”. Sounds like anti-vaxxer speak for “she can’t practice medicine, because to do so, she is expected to follow certain rules and scientific consensus”. But I might be wrong, and I can’t be arsed to waste any more of my time to dig around this. It’s just a blog note, so you don’t waste your time on that clip either.