By Rob Verkerk PhD, founder, executive & scientific director

If there’s one thing we can all agree on it, it’s the fact that covid-19 has become one of the most divisive issues in living memory. It’s not that there haven’t been others; two examples being the invasion of Iraq on the grounds of what turned out to be non-existent weapons of mass destruction, or – right up to the minute – the manner of Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan

Why division?

But covid-19 has become even more divisive than these and other recent issues for a number of reasons. These include:

  • the disease itself or, even more so, the effects of policies relating to the disease, affect so many of us directly. These policies have interfered dramatically with basic human rights that many took for granted, such as freedom of speech, freedom of movement, and a right to a private life
  • the policies that have been implemented over the course of the last 18 months seem neither to be the most rational nor do they always appear to be in the public’s best interest, which has led to increasing levels of distrust in governments and authorities responsible for the policies, and
  • the fear generated by a paid-up media machine around a new viral disease, that almost certainly was a product of gain-of-function research, has driven a coach and horses through citizens’ ability to make their own healthcare choices, replacing it with a form of authoritarian, societal control that masquerades as public health.

The emergence of multiple co-existing camps

This division has caused the emergence of a plethora of different camps – among them the following 17 comprised of those who consider:

  1. SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it can cause in some people, namely covid-19, to be one of the greatest public health threats to emerge and hence lockdowns, social isolation and mass injection with experimental vaccines indemnified by governments has been full justifiable *
  2. The threat posed by the SARS-COV-2 is not sufficient to justify the extreme measures taken that have resulted in unnecessary and serious collateral damage
  3. SARS-CoV-2 has a natural (zoonotic) origin but the intermediary species has yet to be identified*
  4. SARS-CoV-2 is a patented virus that was made in a lab through gain-of-function research
  5. the deliberate or accidental release of SARS-CoV-2 into the human population has provided a unique opportunity to instigate a new system of global governance on our planet (the ‘Great Reset’, as envisioned by the World Economic Forum)*
  6. the virus SARS-CoV-2 does not exist in the wild as evidenced by the fact it has not been isolated, and it is not the causal agent of covid-19
  7. the extreme censorship of what is described as medical or scientific misinformation has been necessary to ensure a maximum number of people follow guidance and measures instigated by governments and health authorities*
  8. the extreme censorship of information that challenges or threatens those that control and profit from the pandemic amounts to a severe limitation of free speech, prevents scientific discourse and the emergence of consensus science, and is designed to protect the status quo
  9. vaccination is the only intervention that can help us emerge from the current state of pandemic*
  10. non-‘vaccine’ based interventions, such as addressing vitamin D deficiency, the use of vitamin C, zinc, NAC, quercetin and other nutrients, along with the use of repurposed drugs such as ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine, are central to our adaptation to the virus which will inevitably become endemic
  11. injection of children with mRNA ‘vaccines’ is necessary to protect those who are most susceptible to serious covid-19 disease*  
  12. there are insufficient data that justify a favourable benefit/risk ratio for the mass injection of children with mRNA ‘vaccines’
  13. the current crop of so-called vaccines should more properly be referred to as forms of gene therapy
  14. covid passports are a ‘necessary evil’ that will significantly reduce transmission of the virus between countries and continents and save many lives*
  15. covid passports are an assault on personal freedoms that will in effect instigate a system of medical apartheid that will destroy businesses, livelihoods and contribute to mental and emotional ill-health
  16. the era of mRNA technology, the platform used in the Pfizer and Moderna covid-19 ‘vaccines’ has arrived, and represents one of the most important breakthroughs in medicine since the advent of antibiotics*
  17. mRNA technology represents a slippery slope that will subsequently be used as a mechanism for population control or the generation of partly natural, partly synthetic human beings (transhumans or posthumans).  

Note: those ‘camps’ notated with an asterisk are aligned with the ‘mainstream narrative’ as communicated by governments, most national or international health authorities and the mainstream media.

The reason these 17 camps (and there are many more) are able to coexist is because none are easy to kick into the long grass with unassailable evidence. In fact, reliable evidence is especially hard to acquire from public sources. However, they can be subdivided into in-groups and outgroups, the ingroups being the camps that align with the mainstream narrative (i.e. those 8 marked with an asterisk), the outgroups being represented by views that are discredited or censored as misinformation or marginalised as conspiracy theory despite an often compelling amount of substantive evidence.

Our efforts over these last months have revealed there is an ongoing effort by authorities to change the way metrics around covid-19 are reported in the public domain, making it very difficult to draw firm conclusions about the effects of different policies on disease prevention, progression or collateral impacts.

These different camps are from far from fixed, with people often moving from one camp to another depending on where they are on the unfolding timeline, what information they’ve been exposed to, and their current position on their own journeys of understanding of current phenomena. An eminent scientist friend of mine was supportive of the mass covid vaccination program until her grandson passed within 2 weeks of being injected. Her view changed after she saw how adamant the coroners and medics involved were to deny any possible role of the ‘vaccine’, as well as the willingness to dismiss an unexplained sudden death of a previously healthy 35-year-old and dispose of the body before a detailed pathological examination could be conducted. The devastating experience and knowledge gained from that experience changed her view.

Cognitive dissonance

The result of living in a world in which so many things don’t make sense to so many people is that a very widespread sense of cognitive dissonance has developed that results from the conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviours people feel forced to endure. People in this state are less and less able to make decisions that they feel are the right actions based on rational, objective thought, information or common sense.

They are then liable to feeling trapped and the survival instinct gets drawn into finding a way out. To resolve the dissonance, many resort to just going with the flow, that flow often comprising people who have largely bought into the mainstream narrative, that covid-19 is a massive existential threat and demands extreme, authoritarian-style public health policy.

They may recognise that something appears wrong with the narrative, in part because there is little in the way of robust evidence that the policies are working well for any significant duration.

Equally, they also often feel they have no option but to block out the information that doesn’t resonate with them. They become desperate to move on and regain the lives they feel they’ve lost. It’s the only way they know of to reduce the uncomfortable dissonance that would otherwise exist within them and drive them crazy.

Emerging from dissonance

Ultimately, we will find that bending in the face of coercion or simply following others in the hope that you will be able to live as normal a life as possible is not a long-term solution. That’s being a passive bystander and history tells us that that’s one of several factors that leads to the kind of disruption to healthy societal function that leads to atrocities and crimes against humanity.

Remember how lockdowns were meant to be about preventing health services from being overrun? Or how vaccines issued to 60% of a given country would be sufficient to achieve herd immunity so that citizens’ lives could return to normal? Or when we were told that vaccine passports would never become a thing?

Eighteen months or so on – people are so worn out, they’re becoming more compliant. A very large number of people are willing to become passive, compliant bystanders – in the knowledge that there is extensive government overreach, cronyism, corruption and probably even the commitment of crimes against humanity by those controlling the handling of the pandemic. More and more are willing to accept what’s on offer even if it doesn’t really make sense to them. Anything else would mean aligning with the outgroup and that would make life impossible to bear. These are treacherous conditions and many are simply unaware of what could happen if we don’t rebalance societal function soon.

This is when it’s worth thinking about the conditions that have led human beings in the recent past to commit crimes against humanity, including genocide, such as during the Stalin era, or in Nazi Germany’s Holocaust, or in Rwanda, Cambodia, Darfur, Bosnia and other places.

Learning from previous crimes against humanity 

In trying to understand better why humans beings sometimes engage in horrendous acts of cruelty or violence against their fellow species, I was drawn to one of the most eminent researchers in this field. His name is Dr Ervin Staub, now an 83-year-old Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachussets Amherst.

He was himself a Holocaust survivor, growing up in a Jewish family in occupied Germany during WW2. It was a heroic bystander who saved his life as a 6-year-old child, catapulting him into a lifelong study of the drivers of genocide, torture and terrorism. He’s translated the fruits of research to real world settings, including helping the victims of torture in Rwanda and training police in the aftermath of the Rodney King and, more recently, George Floyd killings.

I was particularly drawn to one of Dr Staub’s key works that summarises key conclusions drawn from a number of talks and lectures given by himself and other international experts in the field back in 1981-2. The paper was published in 1985 in the journal Political Psychology and entitled The Psychology of Perpetrators and Bystanders’.

 The paper attempts to answer the question of why governments and powerful groups engage in crimes against humanity, in particular trying to understand the conditions that contribute to these atrocious behaviours.

A read the full paper (such as on Sci-Hub, disturbingly, reveals that many of the conditions described by Staub are developing during the current conditions of pandemic.

Among the key prerequisites are:

  • Difficult societal (life) conditions that act as sources of aggression and cruelty
  • Division of populations into ingroups and outgroups, or into groups of us and them, usually with the devaluation of them
  • The use of derogatory labels for the outgroup "to create antagonism and prepare people for action against those so labeled"
  • Scapegoating i.e. targeting or blaming identified or imaginary groups, often with no valid evidence, for the bad situation facing society
  • Ideology – creating a vision for a future, even if it might seem untenable, that gets people to fight or demonise others, and take risks and overrule pre-existing moral codes to achieve it
  • Repression of freedoms
  • Discrimination against outgroups
  • Propaganda

You don’t need me to relate any of the current circumstances we face against the above as the relationships are so obvious. But it will serve us to recognise that despite us being 18 months into the pandemic, we are now in a much more dangerous place than we were given how human beings are increasingly relating to one another.

This stopped being about a virus a long time back.

Finally, Dr Staub draws the reader back to his lifelong passion, that saved his own life. The bystander. When bystanders remain passive or silent – that’s when the atrocities occur – in plain sight, appearing acceptable to the ingroups.

It is only when active, or even heroic, bystanders jump in and interrupt the process that the perpetrators – both direct and indirect – can be held accountable, so stopping the spiral into social disaster.  

Let’s understand why some are working so hard to divide us – using the oldest trick in the book, the cover of which reads ‘Instruction Manual for Crimes Against Humanity’.

Let’s turn ourselves into an army of what Staub describes as active or heroic bystanders, and turn this thing around. It’s our best chance for a future of true, not imagined, hope.

Watch the video

Note: You will see an advertising banner beneath our videos that play off the Brighteon platform (when they are not maximised). This advertising helps support the Brighteon platform that doesn't charge subscribers for their content, is committed to free speech, yet is also respectful of copyright-related law. We'd like to clarify that no advertising revenue from Brighteon is received by the Alliance for Natural Health Intl.


>>> If you prefer to read rather than watch please click here for the video transcript

>>> Become a Pathfinder Member of ANH-Intl

>>> Review our repository of covid commentary at

>>> Return to homepage