Don’t Believe It

For more than 2,000 years pilgrims have worshiped at the tomb of the prophet, Joshua, in Baghdad, Iraq, but there’s no proof that he is buried there or that he even existed. For all anyone knows, it may be the burial site of Joe, the man who cleaned the streets of ancient Baghdad, but believers, and that goes for all religions, will claim blasphemy and heresy and will fight to the death for their beliefs, as they have all around the world since time immemorial.

Humanity has always needed something or someone to believe in, whether it’s real or not and the QAnon conspiracy world is just feeding into that most basic of human needs. As always, one man’s delusion is another man’s belief.

Christianity is rife with symbols and relics from Jesus Christ and churches, without scientific proof, claim to have many of them, including the Holy Sponge, which was brought up to Christ’s lips so he could drink while on the cross; Nails of the True Cross, which were driven through Christ’s hands and feet upon crucifixion; and the Holy Lance, which pierced the side of Jesus in the Gospel of John.

At various times in history, a number of churches in Europe have claimed to have the The Holy Prepuce, or Holy Foreskin, removed when Jesus was circumcised as a baby. Various miraculous powers have been ascribed to it.

The Shroud of Turin is perhaps the most famous purported relic and believers say the shroud contains an “acheiropoieta” image or an image not made by hand, of the face of Jesus impressed on cloth. Several churches claim to have pieces of the actual cross used in the crucifixion.

The Cámara Santa of the Cathedral of San Salvador, Oviedo, Spain, claims it has the “Sudarium of Oviedo,” the bloodstained cloth, that was purportedly wrapped around the head of Jesus Christ after he died.

The alleged Veil of Veronica, used to wipe the sweat from Jesus’ brow as he carried the cross, is kept in Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Wooden pieces claimed to be remnants of the manger of the baby Jesus are kept in the Holy Crib reliquary at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. Dubrovnik’s Cathedral, Croatia, claims to have the swaddling clothes the baby Jesus wore during the presentation at the Temple.

The Basilica of the Holy Blood in Bruges, Belgium, claims a specimen of Christ’s blood on a cloth in a phial, given by Thierry of Alsace after the 12th century.

And of course, the search continues through the centuries for the Holy Chalice, or the Holy Grail, that was the cup that Jesus drank from at the Last Supper and that Joseph of Arimathea used to collect Jesus’s blood when he was crucified and that promises eternal life for all who drink from the chalice.

Historical figures have played important cultural roles and may be just as mythological as the Shroud of Turin. The brave King Arthur who repelled a Saxon attack on Britain in the 5th or 6th century, is believed to nothing more than legend.

John Henry, the powerful former slave who famously beat a steam drill in a race to construct a railroad tunnel, is just a story that has been embellished through the years.

Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor but he was more likely a medieval myth that arose as popular fables about resistance to oppression.

And now we get to the myths as put out by the QAnon followers. A warning: Anyone seeking to follow the rabbit hole of QAnon to get a better understanding of the many conspiracy theories, should flip the adage that the more information the better. In fact, in the case of rabbit holes and conspiracy theories, less information is better; if you look at the source of claims and search for what others say about the claims then you can quickly avoid exploring the hole.

The one rabbit hole you really don’t want to enter is anything with the words COVID 19. There are plenty of legitimate sources of information on this life and death issue. Many people have fallen into the hole and can’t get out after they innocently and honestly thought they could find the Holy Grail of information. One big problem with information in the rabbit hole is that posts are rarely attributed and if they are attributed, it stands a good chance of being phony and even if the source is reliable, the post may have been cherry picked to death with information taken totally out of context just to support one conspiracy theory or another.

One of the most damaging conspiratorial claims is being pressed by an amalgam of right wing anti-government types and left wing anti vaxxers and involves the COVID19 vaccine, specifically, that people should not get vaccinated. The proof of why the vaccine should be avoided is just as fact-based as the belief in Joshua’s tomb.

A recent post on Facebook typically offered no attribution and ran down a long list of concerns that non-critical thinkers might believe as proof not to take the vaccine. I’ll repeat the post only to warn people that it is about as legitimate as the theory that the Democrats steal, kill and eat babies. There are millions who believe that the COVID 19 vaccine should be avoided at all costs. Here’s the post and note that it pretends to offer the “government” response to a series of questions and concerns although what “government” source is completely vague. As they say, caveat emptor, if you choose to believe this stuff, than you do at your own peril:

“If I get vaccinated can I stop wearing a mask(s)?”

Government: “NO”

●”If I get vaccinated will the restaurants, bars, schools, fitness clubs, hair salons, etc. reopen and will people be able to get back to work like normal?”

Government: “NO”

●”If I get vaccinated will I be resistant to Covid?”

Government: “Maybe. We don’t know exactly, but probably not.”

●”If I get vaccinated, at least I won’t be contagious to others — right?”

Government: “NO. the vaccine doesn’t stop transmission.”

●”If I get vaccinated, how long will the vaccine last?”

Government: “No one knows. All Covid “vaccines” are still in the experimental stage.”

● “If I get vaccinated, can I stop social distancing?”

Government: “NO”

● “If my parents, grandparents and myself all get vaccinated can we hug each other again?”

Government: “NO”

● “So what’s the benefit of getting vaccinated?”

Government: “Hoping that the virus won’t kill you.”

●”Are you sure the vaccine won’t injure or kill me?”

Government: “NO”

●”If statistically the virus won’t kill me (99.7 percent survival rate), why should I get vaccinated?”

Government: “To protect others.”

●”So if I get vaccinated, I can protect 100% of people I come in contact with?”

Government: “NO”

● “If I experience a severe adverse reaction, long term effects (still unknown) or die from the vaccine will I (or my family) be compensated from the vaccine manufacture or the Government?”

Government: “NO — the government and vaccine manufactures have 100 percent zero liability regarding this experimental drug”

So to summarize, the Covid19 “vaccine”…

Does not provide immunity.

Does not eliminate the virus.

Does not prevent death.

Does not guarantee you won’t get it.

Does not stop you from passing it on to others.

Does not eliminate the need for travel bans.

Does not eliminate the need for business closures.

Does not eliminate the need for lockdowns.

Does not eliminate the need for masking.

Your choice, my choice.

Feel free to copy, paste and share…”

Those calling for a boycott of the vaccine populate the QAnon world, which coincidentally, is also a breeding ground for Trump supporters and all that entails.

One of the worst is a “newswoman” named Emerald Robinson, who is the White House “correspondent” for the pro-Trump television network Newsmax. She has tweeted that people don’t need vaccines, but “the politicians want it for control.”

Another pro-Trump “news” organization, The Gateway Pundit, called the prospect of widespread immunizations “creepy.” Senate Republicans allowed a COVID-19 vaccine skeptic to testify and Fox News host Tucker Carlson called the possibility of mandatory COVID-19 vaccination “a legitimate crisis,” even though no such plan has been suggested by the Biden administration.

By definition, myths don’t claim to be based on fact but rather serve an important purpose to explain life. Many subscribe to the QAnon world as if it was a religious, mythical fount of factual information when it is anything but.

Journalist for 40 years and now a creative writer