By Rob Verkerk PhD, executive & scientific director, Alliance for Natural Health International and USA


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“Misinformation infects our minds …we expose people to a weakened dose of misinformation and then help them to develop antibodies with a cognitive toolbox.”   - Sander van der Linden PhD, 2 May 2024, Bedales School

Imagine if people could be psychologically ‘vaccinated’ so that they would produce mental antibodies that would make them resistant to misinformation.

Well, stop imagining. It’s already happening, it’s been tried and tested in collaboration with, or funding from, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Google and Meta. Declared ‘partners’ include the UK Behavioural Insights Team, the US Department of Homeland Services’ Cyber Defense Agency CISA, among others. It’s the psychological inoculation model, sometimes also referred to as prebunking, being used in the heavily-funded, government and Big Tech backed war on health-related misinformation. Not a war against an infectious disease, but a war on infectious information, that the World Health Organization (WHO) and others call an infodemic. But war has different fronts, some that go beyond just making people confident in taking vaccines, and extending to helping the public buy into the dominant climate change narrative, and to see politics from the same perspective as the likes of the World Economic Forum.

The quote above was among many I jotted down while listening intently to one of the world’s appointed leaders in the war against ‘misinformation’ in a ‘strictly no recording’ event on the evening of the 2nd of May, in the salubrious auditorium of the Bedales Theatre at Bedales, a private school in Hampshire (UK) that celebrates its communitarian approach that “develops creative, critically-thinking life-long learners”. If it hadn’t been for the solid back of the Bedales’ theatre chair, I would have fallen off it when the professor told us his group learned from the best: studying the techniques used for manipulation and radicalisation among extremist terrorist groups. You heard me. 

Our focus for the evening was the man delivering the 2024 Eckersley Lecture, Sander van der Linden, professor of social psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge and director of the Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab.

While those who’ve waged this war tend to define ‘misinformation’ as information that is fake, false, partially true or misleading, the so-called misinformation that is the focus of this war has to increasingly be interpreted as including information that is either truthful or plausible but doesn’t tango with a narrative created by the small number who seek to control the prevailing order of human society.

You only have to see how untenable, and therefore false or misleading, some of the mainstream narrative positions have become in the face of emerging facts, to realise that this war isn't rational. It's about manipulation and control, the very things that the protagonists are suggesting are running amok in conspiracy theory circles that need to be stamped out. Take, for example, where we are now on matters like the origin of SARS-CoV-2 (which we were originally told was zoonotic and couldn’t have arisen from a lab leak) or the effectiveness (e.g. 95% for Pfizer) and safety of COVID-19 genetic vaccines (e.g. BBC News that references rare blood clots but not, for example, myocarditis).

Gamifying the misinformation war

Prof van der Linden and his team of Gates funded PhD’s at the Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab have been busy gamifying their psychological inoculation of the public, in the hope that it glitters like a diamond in a murky pond in the eyes of the key demographic that their research shows is most susceptible to fake news: young people.

Bad News is their “multiple award-winning fake news intervention game aimed at building psychological resistance against online misinformation.” Anyone brave enough to play the game can do so free of charge from this link. Good luck!


GO VIRAL! is the van der Linden lab’s other game, this one made in collaboration with the WHO, promising to help “protect you against COVID-19 misinformation”. As a researcher, I also played this game. I found the whole experience pretty depressing and uncomfortable, as it plays right into the millennial and Gen Z scrolling generation’s preoccupation with seeking adulation from digital peers. I also felt tainted by the notion that the game’s designers—as well as the WHO, the Gates Foundation, and all those who’ve been involved in its development—have such a twisted and demeaning view of those of us who are among hundreds of scientists, doctors and journalists around the world—who swam against the current and committed lives and careers over the last four years to exposing the lies and deception put out by mainstream news outlets and health authorities.

The game’s key objective appears to be to make a mockery of anyone who doesn’t toe the mainstream line on their social media posts. Worse than that, it teaches people to manipulate and exaggerate mainstream positions. WARNING: If you play the game, you might find you need a shower after; I did.

Given you may not wish to play it yourself, I will tell you of my experience, something I would not wish to repeat.

The GO VIRAL! Learn to manipulate

In essence, the game teaches you how to get your social media posts to go viral by becoming “a manipulator [where] your job is to maximize your likes and credibility by choosing the most manipulative options".  The idea is to beat other players’ highscore.

Level 1 – The fearmongerer – teaches you, through a senseless series of posts about toilet paper and its impacts on the environment during the corona crisis, to use negative emotional language like “terrifying”, “alarming” and “HUGELY concerning” (note capitalisation) in your covid-related posts just so you can be heard. Once you’ve learned how to be a fearmongerer you have apparently mastered the Emotion technique that’s a prerequisite to making social media posts go viral.   

You then graduate to Level 2, which teaches you not to post “scientific sounding content". For me it was a reminder that the game’s designers hadn’t even bothered asking me what I did for a living. I actually got told off, as follows:

And the final level? That’s becoming a Master of Puppets, but not until you’ve selected three things that made you do so well as part of the “Not Co-fraid” conspiracy theory group. Check out the selection from which you must choose 3 (which I have, shown in green):

And here’s the answer that comes back:

Now, I’m starting to feel my adrenaline pump, especially when I’m asked now to create my own theory and am prompted to choose from a selection of options that include:

Or this:

Or this:

Once in this deep, I decided to exploit the option above and see how I might fare.

I was then given two options: either share the post directly as is on the ‘Not Co-fraid’ conspiracy theory group, or find someone to blame. Regarding the latter, there were 4 options:

  • SOME BIGSHOT NGO (were the game’s designers thinking of the World Economic Forum?)
  • BIG PHARMA (surely not our squeaky clean friends at Pfizer, Moderna or J&J who’ve never done a thing wrong??)
  • THE GOVERNMENT (let’s not forget governments always act in the best interests of the people, rather than in the interests of corporations—and after all the US people are protected by the US Constitution….right?)
  • BOB FROM NEW YORK (was this an alias for Andrew Cuomo, the high profile, rabidly pro-narrative New York governor, who was also dealing with sexual harassment allegations? The irony that Cuomo’s brother, Chris, who was sacked as an anchor from CNN for helping his brother, who has just done a U-turn on ivermectin to deal with his ‘long covid’, a condition that is almost inseparable from covid-19 genetic vaccine injury assuming exposure to both has occurred, was not missed on me).

After selecting Big Pharma and being told my selection was “Brilliant” and that it didn’t matter which option I selected because “[r]egardless of the side you’re on, the manipulation tactics remain the same”, I was offered the following post to share:

From here it went from bad to worse, as my conspiracy theory took off and I got tagged in a video of a violent protest. What’s more, I was only offered two choices: either to use the video to my advantage and share it on the ‘Not Co-fraid’ group, or…wait for it… watch a cat video.

Seriously, I am now beside myself. I find it incredibly depressing that a heavily funded research group at one of the world’s leading universities, Cambridge, that can count Charles Darwin, Alan Turing and Stephen Hawking among its alumni, should stoop so low, both academically and ethically.

There is only one explanation that makes sense to me: the universities, like government’s and their agencies, are fully captured. They are now producing students who lack critical thinking capacity (although are led to believe by van der Linden and others they have it in spades) on a conveyor belt, funded in the main by the world’s three largest ‘philanthropic’ funds, namely the Gates Foundation, the pharma-backed Wellcome Trust and George Soros’ Foundation to Promote Open Society.

Back to van der Linden

Prof van der Linden, seemingly a man with few scruples, appears more like a pawn in another game rather than a puppet master. His is a real-life game: might it have something to do with milking the system for what it's worth so he can grow his group, grow his influence and grow his bank account?

While we complied with the request to not record van der Linden’s lecture at Bedales, following is a short 6 minute 60 Minutes Overtime interview followed by a longer (48 minute) lecture given by the professor at Trinity College, Cambridge. It will give you more of an idea of what they’re up to – bearing in mind Bad News, Go Viral and other outputs from the Cambridge lab go well beyond English-speaking communities and are available in over 20 languages.



As van der Linden himself says repetitively, the most dangerous information is that which contains a grain of truth that makes people buy it, but is then misleading, getting people to make decisions that are either no good to them or to others. Most of us realise that people can easily fail to engage their critical thinking capacities and be swayed by misleading information that might cause them or others harm.

But I had three questions spinning round in my mind that were never answered by Prof van der Linden during the course of his lecture, nor have I seen this handled in any of his peer reviewed publications:

  • Has van der Linden applied his social psychology research techniques to evaluate the ways in which mainstream news may mislead the public? Has he done a side by side comparison of the way mainstream and alternative media report on events, and has he found all news can easily be categorised in just one of two buckets: Real or Fake?
  • On what basis has it been assumed by van der Linden and his team that mainstream news is entirely truthful and not misleading, having been endorsed by captured fact-checkers like Politifact and Snopes that are simply assumed to be capable, objective and unbiased arbiters of what is true, false or misleading?
  • Could the counter-misinformation outputs by mainstream news channels and fact-checkers be misleading in themselves?

Anyone interested in diving into van der Linden’s publications, following is a chronologically-ordered selection to get you started:

Or you could read his book Foolproof: Why We Fall for Misinformation and How to Build Immunity (HarperCollins, 2024) , which he was busy signing copies of after the Bedales lecture. Having read many of his papers, I couldn't justify the cost or face queuing among an audience that had been drooling all the way through his lecture, such was their need to see those nefarious conspiracy theorists get a good kicking.  

How susceptible are you to misinformation?

Amid van der Linden’s concerns that some of us are more susceptible to falling for misinformation than others, his group have kindly come up with a 16 or 20 question ‘misinformation susceptibility test’ (#MIST) that lets you know where you fall on the susceptibility continuum.

Gates-funded PhD candidate, Yara Kyrychenko, a member of van der Linden’s lab who is the key contact point for content and privacy issues relating to the test, proudly displayed an extract from the University of Cambridge’s Alumni Newsletter on her LinkedIn profile. It puts MIST as one of 5 highlights of the last year, across all departments. Seriously.

>>> Take the Misinformation Susceptibility Test

I took the 20 question test and scored full marks (and got a balloon fly-by on my screen to-boot) (see below). But that was on my second attempt. On my first attempt I made three errors by answering Real instead of Fake to the following 3 questions:

  • Certain Vaccines are Loaded with Dangerous Chemicals and Toxins (silly me was thinking about the mercury/thimerosal, aluminium, SV40 promoters, etc)
  • New Study: Clear Relationship Between Eye Color and Intelligence (I remember hearing the news about this piece of fund-wasting research – there appears to be a relationship, but it’s not been established as causal, it’s likely the result of the gap in socio-economic and educational opportunities between the black and white people studied)
  • The Government is Manipulating the Public’s Perception of Genetic Engineering in Order to Make People More Accepting of Such Techniques (hell yes, and van der Linden’s lab is one of the groups helping them in this task!)

Simply swapping out the above to fake on my second attempt at MIST gave me the perfect score.

I was stunned by the bias that was carried within the questions, how they could mislead, as well as the subject matter covered, including political, genetic engineering and vaccine issues. My 100% score came only when I ‘played the game’—and went along fully with the defective mainstream narrative.

To me, what the game’s designers call ‘Real News’ is simply news that supports a mainstream left-of-centre narrative (across such fields as health, politics, climate change and bioengineering). ‘Fake News’, on the other hand, just means news that is counter to the mainstream. It does not discern between factually accurate news, disinformation, malinformation or news that is intended to deliberately mislead.

You can see the questions and my answers below, the feedback that followed, informing me I am more resilient to misinformation than 98% of the UK population.

The test surely cannot have any effect on making me wise up to misinformation because it appears I’m already wise to it, as are so many of us. It doesn’t stop me from believing that C19 vaccines and genetically engineered foods are intrinsically unsafe and the science around it a lot more uncertain than we’re led to believe by the scientific establishment and its PR system: the mainstream media.

Ask a different question

To give you an idea of how important the questions about fake or real news are likely to be, here are six questions (answers follow) that I’ve created that might engender different viewpoints among pundits, especially over such things as the WHO, vaccines, climate change and geoengineering:

  1. The White House cracks down on mail-order genetic material given it could be AI-enabled to intentionally spark the next pandemic
  2. WHO says 'extremely unlikely' virus leaked from lab in China
  3. Stratospheric aerosol injection (a form of geoengineering) that aims to reflect sunlight away from Earth to reduce global warming is proven safe to humans
  4. Pfizer is accused by a UK regulator of ‘bringing discredit’ to the pharmaceutical industry and admits that it violated the regulatory code by promoting unlicensed experimental COVID-19 vaccines and misleading the public over their safety.
  5. Leading academic publicly challenges mainstream climate change narrative.
  6. Health Secretary urged to release data that ‘may link Covid vaccine to excess deaths’.

Answers: 1 = True, see White House statement; 2 = True in 2021 based on a BBC report, but since then it is widely thought, including by the US Department of Energy and the FBI as shown by a subsequent BBC report (June 2023) that the COVID-19 pandemic resulted from a lab leak in Wuhan. 3 = False, see Dragonfly report, June 2023. 4 = True, see BioPharma Reporter, 9 April 2024. 5 = True, see X post by Wide Awake Media showing Thomas Sowell’s interview on 6= True, verbatim headline from The Telegraph newspaper, 2 March 2024.

Joining the dots

Given that the techniques used by Prof van der Linden were borrowed from radical extremists and that they comply with the first and third limb of the new UK definition of extremism, it is entirely accurate to say that extremist academic groups have now penetrated deep into the bowel of Big Tech platforms.

The reality is that complex areas of science, particularly ones involving new technologies and their interactions with humans or other elements or systems of nature (think novel vaccines based on new pathogens, bioengineered foods, geoengineered weather), are fraught with uncertainty.

They are not binary, or black or white. They tend to be shades of grey, and sometimes they might even change colour. As we, including the research community, the public, industry and government agencies, navigate these complex and uncertain waters, we must recognise that our views and perspectives might change as the information we have to make sense of the world expands, not all of this being just scientific in nature. Why is it then that we so rarely see public statements recognising such changes in view, or any mea culpa from the medico- or agri-industrial complex that have so often gotten it wrong? 

Let me give you an example; the dissent among climate scientists goes back a long way. Consider the 100 scientists who questioned the mainstream narrative on climate change in the 2009-2010 House of Reps Committee on Science and Technology (view from page 92 onwards). Dissent during the covid era, as a number of US senators like Ron Johnson (R-Wis) has discovered, was somewhat harder.

Media articles, also, can be long and involved and carry dozens if not hundreds of facts, many of which are not always easy or straightforward to appraise in terms of their accuracy. Accuracy, truthfulness, degree of uncertainty, opinion, and deliberate attempts to mislead, are also difficult to assess. We can get an overall sense of reliability of these sources, and that’s what many of us in the counter movement are doing. We do our best to offer a view that reflects the totality of information we have available – that’s what ANH’s ‘good science’ and ‘good law’ philosophy has been about these last 22 years. We’re also 100% open to being challenged on any points we make – that’s why we have a comments section at the bottom of our articles.

As a society, we must learn the art of leaning into uncertainty in science, not running away from it leaving it as the exclusive domain of captured scientists. We need to recognise that, in the face of uncertainty, we have to be much more accepting of differences in viewpoint, and we need to encourage as much discussion and discourse, especially among those who have valid reason to dissent. The closest we ever get to accepting a given scientific ‘truth’ is when it has successfully withstood months, years, decades, and sometimes even centuries, of attempts to disprove it.

This is among the greatest (HUGELY concerning!) travesties we have faced during and after this last pandemic. The top-down decisions that caused wholesale censorship of dissenting views, and massive efforts to destroy the credibility of messengers of those views, has led to the silencing of opposing views.

That’s like running blind.

FreeSpeech4Health: why you should sign

This is why we have been inspired to launch the FreeSpeech4Health campaign. Take it as read, the mainstream narrative is already fully on-board with the idea that the only true health information comes from major health authorities or the WHO. Just what YouTube’s medical misinformation policy says. 

You can read about why signing the petition matters, and how you can take the campaign and all the assets we’re making available on board through your own networks. This is key as we, and many others who are supporting counter-narrative viewpoints are facing heavy censorship and shadowbans.

We are excited to have already brought on board 16 different organisations and their respective networks, including Dr Meryl Nass’ Door To Freedom and Robert F Kennedy’s Children’s Health Defense (CHD) (see my recent interview with Michael Nevradakis PhD on CHD.TV via this link).

Let me leave you with quotes from three people who made similar points across the last half millenium that might inspire you and others to not remain silent.


"Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence" - Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)

"The power to question is the basis of all human progress" - Indira Gandhi (1917-1984)

 “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy. Without it America ends.” - Elon Musk (1971 - )

Please circulate this article widely through your networks to help get around the censors. Thank you.

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