According to data Updated August 17, in Spain there are 389,839 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and infections are increasing in several autonomous communities. But there are also many people who believe that sanitary measures, safety distances and masks are not necessary.
From Miguel Bosé to 5G: there is no de-escalation for conspiracy theories
This is the case of the multitude of people who demonstrated against the use of the mandatory mask last Sunday afternoon 16 in the Plaza de Colón in Madrid. People who understood that this was a “ridiculous” measure and a “cut” of freedoms that had as an excuse the coronavirus crisis, a pandemic that was described as “farce” and “lie” by several of the attendees.
The same day singer Miguel Bosé made a call to participate in the anti-mask rally to which he, personally, did not go. His has become one of the most relevant denialist voices on the cultural scene, but his case is not the only one.
From Bunbury to Ouka Leele: Culture and Viral Denialism
For some time now, the musician, singer and actor Miguel Bosé is on everyone’s lips but not as a musician, nor as a singer, nor as an actor. The artist has publicly defended in recent weeks that the coronavirus is “the great lie of governments” and has described the development of a vaccine as a “macabre and supremacist plan”.
At the beginning of June, Bosé focused his criticism on the American tycoon Bill Gates, whom he referred to as “the eugenicist.” In a thread widely spread on Twitter, the singer criticized the government of Pedro Sánchez for supporting the GAVI project, a public-private association with the aim of guaranteeing access to vaccines for minors without resources. An entity that he described as “specialists in failed vaccines” that had caused havoc around the world. Not without first denouncing the incorporation in their vaccines of “microchips or nanobots” to obtain “all kinds of information from the world population with the sole purpose of controlling it.”
“I say no to the vaccine, no to 5G, no to the Spain / Bill Gates alliance,” he tweeted while referring to President Sánchez as an “accomplice” in this project of supposed world domination. He is not the only Spanish artist who has been involved in a controversy of this anti-scientific aspect.
Another musician, Enrique Bunbury, supported a campaign against Bill Gates for the same reasons: I participated through a tweet in a global campaign called #ExposeBillGates that defends the thesis of control through vaccines that Miguel Bosé maintained. “Spread the truth about Bill Gates’ agenda,” read the poster. After the criticism received, the one who was the leader of Héroes del Silencio posted an open letter in which he affirmed that “the theoretical term of conspiracy is used very happily these days, to dismiss an opinion that does not square with the generalist”.
About the doubts about the effectiveness of vaccines in the midst of a global pandemic, rapper Kase.O was also involved in an unfortunate controversy, after sustaining in an Instagram live that “autism is an allergic reaction to vaccines”. It did not take long to publish a statement in which he apologized “for having screwed up on such a sensitive issue that affects thousands of people.” And he added that his comment “was nothing more than a comment on a skewed documentary and out of context “.
More recently, artist Ouka Leele participated in an anti-mask rally organized by journalist Rafael Palacios. The same call in which later the science popularizer was violently harassed and youtuber Rocío Vidal, better known as Schrödinger’s Cat.
At the protest, Leele defended that “no law can be above natural law” and that “love is the best mask.” And he gave a biblical example to support his thesis: “I have an image that is that of Jesus Christ going to see the lepers with rubber gloves and masks, and it seems so ridiculous! They were people who were isolated from society, as we want to isolate those who do not want to swallow. But he would approach them, hug them and tell them ‘I don’t believe in your illness’. It is that it is very easy, it is not a miracle ”.
Old hoaxes, new fears
“Almost all the exposed stories reuse pre-existing narratives. In the manner of the kaleidoscope, they combine loose fragments of stories stored in the collective memory to configure colorful remixes. Hence, an effective way to determine if an extravagant explanation is conspiratorial is to study its similarity with others previously disseminated ”, explained the sociologist, professor and researcher Pablo Francescutti at the SINC Agency (Scientific News and Information Service).
Francescutti quoted Shawn Smallman when talking about the H1N1 flu in 2009. “People in rich and less developed countries alike distrusted those they described as transnational elites, who could make decisions about the bodies and health of the citizens of Europe. poor nations based on their financial interests, “ in an article this globalization expert from the University of Portland.
“Behind this type of attitudes and positions is the central idea that science and its knowledge are not to be trusted”, said the Mexican writer Mauricio-José Schwarz in his brilliant book The feng-shui left: When science and reason stopped being progressive (Ariel, 2017). “That the results obtained through the use of the scientific method are, in reality, the product of the dominant ideology or the whim of men and women who, in secret laboratories, act as servants of power to attend to the needs and desires of the evil ones who control the world within a vast and sinister conspiracy. Exactly the same as the anti-science right ”.
According to Schwarz, the tradition of anti-vaccines and conspiracy theories is long and goes back to the spread of esotericism and new-age religions inherited from the convulsed 20th century. Historically “the scheme is repeated” when a “reasonable cause” is faced with a “simple cartoon”. And he gives as an example “the concern for the ethics of research and the commercialization of medicines in the face of a paranoia that rejects the entire medical-pharmaceutical industry to the point of refusing to enjoy its benefits and despising the methods used to achieve their knowledge ”. In other words, “a responsible social concern placed before a fair mirror that deforms everything, in some cases in a comical way, in others even causing terror.”
Although the unscientific claims referred to in this article respond to cultural personalities and artists, conspiracy theories do not understand IAE headings. Giving credibility to what confirms our beliefs is not a phenomenon exclusive to one profession or another. “They are, according to psychologists, features of human nature, the way we arrive at certain quick judgments and, very often, wrong. This is the case with the confirmation bias,” he writes.
“There are no difficult questions if one can invent the answers,” recalls the Mexican writer. And “responses based on facts, data and evidence are unfair competition for those who sell fabricated claims.”
The statements of all the personalities in the field of culture that have appeared in this article have been widely refuted by scientists and experts. There is no scientific evidence that 5G technology harms health, much less than its link to the coronavirus, nor that Bill Gates finance vaccines that carry microchips or nanobots to “control the world population”, as the articles linked here via Damn Science demonstrate.