Unlimited Hangout

20 Years After Anthrax with Robbie Martin

Robbie Martin joined Whitney for an important discussion about the 20th anniversary of the 2001 anthrax attacks.

This is the audio only version of a video originally broadcast on 10/15/21. Video can be found on Rokfin, Odysee, Super U, and Vimeo.

Links to information discussed:

Episode page for 20 Years After Anthrax with Robbie Martin.

translate | Sat, 16 Oct 2021 20:12:20 +0000

Wall Street’s Takeover of Nature Advances with Launch of New Asset Class

Last month, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) announced it had developed a new asset class and accompanying listing vehicle meant "to preserve and restore the natural assets that ultimately underpin the ability for there to be life on Earth." Called a natural asset company, or NAC, the vehicle will allow for the formation of specialized corporations "that hold the rights to the ecosystem services produced on a given chunk of land, services like carbon sequestration or clean water." These NACs will then maintain, manage and grow the natural assets they commodify, with the end of goal of maximizing the aspects of that natural asset that are deemed by the company to be profitable.

Though described as acting like "any other entity" on the NYSE, it is alleged that NACs "will use the funds to help preserve a rain forest or undertake other conservation efforts, like changing a farm's conventional agricultural production practices." Yet, as explained towards the end of this article, even the creators of NACs admit that the ultimate goal is to extract near-infinite profits from the natural processes they seek to quantify and then monetize.

NYSE COO Michael Blaugrund alluded to this when he said the following regarding the launch of NACs: "Our hope is that owning a natural asset company is going to be a way that an increasingly broad range of investors have the ability to invest in something that's intrinsically valuable, but, up to this point, was really excluded from the financial markets."

Framed with the lofty talk of "sustainability" and "conservation", media reports on the move in outlets like Fortune couldn't avoid noting that NACs open the doors to "a new form of sustainable investment" which "has enthralled the likes of BlackRock CEO Larry Fink over the past several years even though there remain big, unanswered questions about it." Fink, one of the world's most powerful financial oligarchs, is and has long been a corporate raider, not an environmentalist, and his excitement about NACs should give even its most enthusiastic proponents pause if this endeavor was really about advancing conservation, as is being claimed.

How to Create a NAC

The creation and launch of NACs has been two years in the making and saw the NYSE team up with the Intrinsic Exchange Group (IEG), in which the NYSE itself holds a minority stake. IEG's three investors are the Inter-American Development Bank, the Latin America-focused branch of the multilateral development banking system that imposes neoliberal and neo-colonalist agendas through debt entrapment; the Rockefeller Foundation, the foundation of the American oligarch dynasty whose activities have long been tightly enmeshed with Wall Street; and Aberdare Ventures, a venture capital firm chiefly focused on the digital healthcare space. Notably, the IADB and the Rockefeller Foundation are closely tied to the related pushes for Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) and biometric Digital IDs.

The IEG's mission focuses on "pioneering a new asset class based on natural assets and the mechanism to convert them to financial capital." "These assets," IEG states, make "life on Earth possible and enjoyable…They include biological systems that provide clean air, water, foods, medicines, a stable climate, human health and societal potential."

Put differently, NACs will not only allow ecosystems to become financial assets, but the rights to "ecosystem services", or the benefits people receive from nature as well. These include food production, tourism, clean water, biodiversity, pollination, carbon sequestration and much more. IEG is currently partnering with Costa Rica's government to pilot its NAC efforts within that country. Costa Rica's Minister of Environment and Energy, Andrea Meza Murillo, has claimed that the pilot project with IEG "will deepen the economic analysis of giving nature its economic value, as well as to continue mobilizing financial flows to conservation."

With NACs, the NYSE and IEG are now putting the totality of nature up for sale. While they assert that doing so will "transform our economy to one that is more equitable, resilient and sustainable", it's clear that the coming "owners" of nature and natural processes will be the only real beneficiaries.

Per the IEG, NACs first begin with the identification of a natural asset, such as a forest or lake, which is then quantified using specific protocols. Such protocols have already been developed by related groups like the Capitals Coalition, which is partnered with several of IEG's partners as well as the World Economic Forum and various coalitions of multinational corporations. Then, a NAC is created and the structure of the company decides who has the rights to that natural asset's productivity as well as the rights to decide how that natural asset is managed and governed. Lastly, a NAC is "converted" into financial capital by launching an initial public offering on a stock exchange, like the NYSE. This last stage "generates capital to manage the natural asset" and the fluctuation of its price on the stock exchange "signals the value of its natural capital."

Source: IEG

However, the NAC and its employees, directors and owners are not necessarily the owners of the natural asset itself following this final step. Instead, as IEG notes, the NAC is merely the issuer while the potential buyers of the natural asset the NAC represents can include: institutional investors, private investors, individuals and institutions, corporations, sovereign wealth funds and multilateral development banks. Thus, asset management firms that essentially already own much of the world, like Blackrock, could thus become owners of soon-to-be monetized natural processes, natural resources and the very foundations of natural life itself.

Both the NYSE and IEG have marketed this new investment vehicle as being aimed at generating funds that will go back to conservation or sustainability efforts. However, on the IEG's website, it notes that the goal is really endless profit from natural processes and ecosystems that were previously deemed to be part of "the commons", i.e. the cultural and natural resources accessible to all members of a society, including natural materials such as air, water, and a habitable earth. Per the IEG, "as the natural asset prospers, providing a steady or increasing flow of ecosystem services, the company's equity should appreciate accordingly providing investment returns. Shareholders and investors in the company through secondary offers, can take profit by selling shares. These sales can be gauged to reflect the increase in capital value of the stock, roughly in-line with its profitability, creating cashflow based on the health of the company and its assets."

Researcher and journalist Cory Morningstar has strongly disagreed with the approach being taken by NYSE/IEG and views NACs as a system that will only exacerbate the corporate predation of nature, despite claims to the contrary. Morningstar has described NACs as "Rockefeller et al. letting the markets dictate what in nature has value – and what does not. Yet, it's not for capitalist institutions and global finance to decide what life has value. Ecosystems are not 'assets.' Biological communities exist for their own purposes, not ours."

A New Way to Loot

The ultimate goal of NACs is not sustainability or conservation – it is the financialization of nature, i.e. turning nature into a commodity that can be used to keep the current, corrupt Wall Street economy booming under the guise of protecting the environment and preventing its further degradation. Indeed, IEG makes this clear when they note that "the opportunity" of NACs lies not in their potential to improve environmental well-being or sustainability, but in the size of this new asset class, which they term "Nature's Economy."

Source: IEG

Indeed, while the asset classes of the current economy are value at approximately $512 trillion, the asset classes unlocked by NACs are significantly larger at $4,000 trillion (i.e. $4 quadrillion). Thus, NACs open up a new feeding ground for predatory Wall Street banks and financial institutions that will allow them to not just dominate the human economy, but the entire natural world. In the world currently being constructed by these and related entities, where even freedom is being re-framed not as a right but "a service," the natural processes on which life depends are similarly being re-framed as assets, which will have owners. Those "owners" will ultimately have the right, in this system, to dictate who gets access to clean water, to clean air, to nature itself and at what cost.

According to Cory Morningstar, one of the other aims of creating "Nature's Economy" and neatly packaging it for Wall Street via NACs is to drastically advance massive land grab efforts made by Wall Street and the oligarch class in recent years. This includes the recent land grabs made by Wall Street firms as well as billionaire "philanthropists" like Bill Gates during the COVID crisis. However, the land grabs facilitated through the development of NACs will largely target indigenous communities in the developing world.

As Morningstar notes:

"The public launch of NACs strategically preceded the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the biggest biodiversity conference in a decade. Under the pretext of turning 30% of the globe into "protected areas", the largest global land grab in history is underway. Built on a foundation of white supremacy, this proposal will displace hundreds of millions, furthering the ongoing genocide of Indigenous peoples. The tragic irony is this: while Indigenous peoples represent less than 5% of the global population, they support approximately 80% of all biodiversity."

IEG, in discussing NACs, tellingly notes that proceeds from a NAC's IPO can be used for the acquisition of more land by its controlling entities or used to boost the budgets or funds of those who receive the capital from the IPO. This is a far cry from the NYSE/IEG sales pitch that NACs are "different" because their IPOs will be used to "preserve and protect" natural areas.

The climate change panic that is now rising to the take the place of COVID-19 panic will surely be used to savvily market NACs and similar tactics as necessary to save the planet, but – rest assured – NACs are not a move to save the planet, but a move to enable the same interests responsible for the current environmental crises to usher in a new era where their predatory exploitation reaches new heights that were previously unimaginable.

Episode page for Wall Street's Takeover of Nature Advances with Launch of New Asset Class.

translate | Wed, 13 Oct 2021 01:54:54 +0000

Below the Surface: An Interview with Whitney Webb

Interview with Chris Martenson recorded July 2021.


Episode page for Below the Surface: An Interview with Whitney Webb.

translate | Tue, 12 Oct 2021 14:10:46 +0000

TLAV- Facebook “Whistleblower”, Ending Anonymity & Moderna’s Hail Mary

Whitney joined TLAV to discuss her recent article on Moderna, as well as our previous discussion around your anonymity and privacy, and how these concepts are on the way out in lieu of a "reimagining" of our world where these concepts are a burden on the system; a system in which "you own nothing and you have never been happier" – or so we are aggressively told – known as The Great Reset. 

The Last American Vagabond



Episode page for TLAV- Facebook "Whistleblower", Ending Anonymity & Moderna's Hail Mary.

translate | Fri, 08 Oct 2021 23:00:44 +0000

School World Order with John Klyczek

Whitney is joined by professor, author and Unlimited Hangout contributor John Klyczek to discuss how teachers unions and the US education system are selling out to Big Tech as well as the oligarch class and their long-standing plans to exploit students to advance the 4th Industrial Revolution. Originally published on 10/05/21.

Episode page for School World Order with John Klyczek.

translate | Fri, 08 Oct 2021 11:00:34 +0000

Moderna: A Company “In Need Of A Hail Mary”

Those analyzing the COVID-19 crisis and its effects have mostly focused on how its disruptive nature has led to major shifts and recalibrations throughout society and the economy. Such disruption has also lent itself to a variety of agendas that had required an event of "reset" potential in order to be realized. In the case of the vaccine industry, COVID-19 has led to dramatic changes in how federal agencies manage the approval of medical countermeasures during a declared crisis, how trials for vaccine candidates are conducted, how the public perceives vaccination, and even how the term "vaccine" is defined.

Such shifts, though obvious, have provoked praise from some and sharp criticism from others, with the latter category being largely censored from public discourse on television, in print, and online. However, in objectively analyzing such seismic changes, it's clear that most of these shifts in vaccine development and vaccine policy dramatically favor speed and the implementation of new and experimental technology at the expense of safety and thorough study. In the case of vaccines, it can be argued that no one benefitted more from these changes than the developers of the COVID-19 vaccines themselves, particularly the pharmaceutical and biotechnology company Moderna.

Not only did the COVID-19 crisis obliterate hurdles that had previously prevented Moderna from taking a single product to market, it also dramatically reversed the company's fortunes. Indeed, from 2016 right up until the emergence of COVID-19, Moderna could barely hold it together, as it was shedding key executives, top talent, and major investors at an alarming rate. Essentially, Moderna's promise of "revolutionizing" medicine and the remarkable salesmanship and fund-raising capabilities of the company's top executive, Stéphane Bancel, were the main forces keeping it afloat. In the years leading up to the COVID-19 crisis, Moderna's promises—despite Bancel's efforts—rang increasingly hollow, as the company's long-standing penchant for extreme secrecy meant that—despite nearly a decade in business—it had never been able to definitively prove that it could deliver the "revolution" it had continually assured investors was right around the corner.

This was compounded by major issues with patents held by a hostile competitor that threatened Moderna's ability to turn a profit on anything it might manage to take to market, as well as major issues with its mRNA delivery system that led them to abandon any treatment that would require more than one dose because of toxicity concerns. The latter issue, though largely forgotten and/or ignored by media today, should be a major topic in the COVID-19 booster debate, given that there is still no evidence that Moderna ever resolved the toxicity issue that arose in multi-dose products.

In this first installment of a two-part series, the dire situation in which Moderna found itself immediately prior to the emergence of COVID-19 is discussed in detail, revealing that Moderna—very much like the now disgraced company Theranos—had long been a house of cards with sky-high valuations completely disconnected from reality. Part 2 will explore how that reality would have come crashing down sometime in 2020 or 2021 were it not for the advent of the COVID-19 crisis and Moderna's subsequent partnership with the US government and the highly unusual processes involving its vaccine's development and approval. Despite the emergence of real-world data challenging the claims that Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective, Moderna's booster is being rushed through by some governments, while others have recently banned the vaccine's use in young adults and teens due to safety concerns.

As this two-part series will show, safety concerns about Moderna were known well before the COVID crisis, yet they have been ignored by health authorities and the media during the crisis itself. In addition, in order to stave off collapse, Moderna must keep selling its COVID-19 vaccine for years to come. In other words, without the approval of its booster, which has caused great controversy even among the country's top vaccine officials, Moderna faces a massive financial reckoning. While the COVID-19 crisis threw the company a lifeboat, the administration of its COVID-19 vaccine, in which the US government has now invested nearly $6 billion, must continue into the foreseeable future for the bailout to be truly successful. Otherwise, a company now worth $126.7 billion, with major investments from the US government, US military, and ties to the world's wealthiest individuals, will crumble in short order.

A New Theranos?

In September 2016, Damian Garde, the national biotech reporter for the medical media company STAT, wrote a lengthy exposé of the "ego, ambition, and turmoil" plaguing "one of biotech's most secretive startups." The article focused on the company Moderna, which had been founded in 2010 to commercialize the research of Boston Children's Hospital cell biologist Derrick Rossi. The effort to turn a profit by creating Moderna, which intimately involved controversial scientist and close Bill Gates associate Bob Langer as well as Cambridge, Massachusetts–based Flagship Ventures (now Flagship Pioneering), began soon after Rossi published a report on the ability of modified RNA to turn skin cells into different types of tissue.

Between the time of Moderna's founding and Garde's 2016 investigation, the buzz around Rossi's research and its potential to create medical breakthroughs had waned, as had the buzz around its potential to make its investors very wealthy. Despite teaming up with pharmaceutical giants like AstraZeneca and raising record amounts of funding, Moderna still had no product on the market six years after its founding, and, as STAT revealed, the "company's caustic work environment" had led to a persistent hemorrhaging of top talent, though little of its internal conflicts was publicly known due to "its obsession with secrecy." Most troubling for the company that year, however, was that Moderna appeared to have "run into roadblocks with its most ambitious projects."

Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel

Aside from the scientific obstacles that Moderna had encountered, one major "roadblock" for the company, per Garde, was none other than Stéphane Bancel, Moderna's top executive, who still heads the company. According to Garde, Bancel was squarely at the center of many of the company's controversies due, in part, to his "unwavering belief that Moderna's science will work—and that employees who don't 'live the mission' have no place in the company." Between 2012 and 2016, Bancel was allegedly a key factor in the resignation of at least a dozen "highly placed executives," including those who directed Moderna's product pipeline as well as its vaccine projects.

Bancel, prior to joining Moderna, had spent much of his career in sales and operations, not science, making a name for himself at pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly before heading a French diagnostics firm called bioMérieux. His performance there, as well as his ambition, caught the attention of Flagship Ventures, a Moderna cofounder and top investor, which then connected him with the company he would go on to lead.

Although lacking a background in mRNA and the science behind its use as a therapeutic, Bancel has made up for it by becoming Moderna's salesman par excellence. Under his leadership, Moderna became "loath to publish its work in Science or Nature, but enthusiastic to herald its potential on CNBC and CNN." In other words, under Bancel, the company came to promote its science through media publicity and public relations rather than by publishing actual data or scientific evidence. When two of its vaccine candidates entered phase 1 human trials in 2016 (trials that ultimately went nowhere), the company declined to list them on the public federal registry ClinicalTrials.gov. The decision not to list, which deviates from common practice by Moderna's competitors and other more traditional vaccine companies, meant that the information on the safety of these vaccine candidates would likely never be publicly available after the trial's conclusion. Moderna also refused to publicly comment on what diseases these vaccines were meant to target.

Such secrecy became commonplace at Moderna after Bancel took the helm, with the company having published no data "supporting its vaunted technology" by the time STAT's 2016 exposé was published. Insiders as well as investors that had committed millions to the company were only granted "a peek" at the company's data. According to former Moderna scientists who spoke to STAT, the company was "a case of the emperor's new clothes." Former employees further charged that Bancel was actually "running an investment firm" and "then hop[ing] it also develops a drug that's successful."

Perhaps this is why Bancel was deemed the best executive to steer Moderna. As an ambitious salesman running a highly overvalued company, he would prioritize the company's image and its finances regardless of any issues with the science underpinning it all. Perhaps it was for that reason that Bancel, per former employees, "made it clear [from the beginning] that Moderna's science simply had to work. And that anyone who couldn't make it work didn't belong."

As STAT noted in 2016, the people who were tasked with making "the science work" were those who most frequently resigned, which led to Moderna losing two heads of chemistry within a single year, followed shortly by losing its chief scientific officer and its head of manufacturing. Many top executives, including the heads of its cancer research and rare disease research branches, ended up lasting fewer than eighteen months in their respective positions. The abrupt resignations weren't exclusive to Moderna's science-focused executive positions either, as the chief information officer and top financial executive role were also affected. Bancel ultimately sought advice from the human resources departments of Facebook, Google, and Netflix on employee retention.

Particularly telling was the abrupt and mysterious resignation of Moderna's head of research and development, Joseph Bolen, after about two years at the company. A company insider at the time told STAT that the only reason Bolen would have resigned was if "there was something wrong with the science or the personnel." In other words, Bolen either left because the science underpinning Moderna's massive valuation did not live up to the hype or Bancel had forced him out, with the additional possibility that both were key in Bolen's resignation.

Speculation at the time pointed the finger at Bancel, though it's not clear why the rift between the two men emerged. Bancel asserted that he tried to convince Bolen to stay, though there were contrasting assertions from anonymous employees, and that Bolen had "voted himself off the island."

Whatever the exact cause of the resignation of the head of R & D, it only added to the mystique around Moderna's inner workings and its ability to deliver on its promise to "revolutionize" medicine. It also reveals more than a few similarities between Moderna and the now-disgraced company Theranos. Theranos, whose former top executive, Elizabeth Holmes, is now on trial for fraud, was known for its extreme culture of secrecy that kept investors and business partners in the dark, forced nondisclosure agreements on everyone who came in contact with the company, and kept employees "siloed" through an extremely strict need-to-know policy. Like Moderna, Theranos had been praised as revolutionary and poised to "change the medical industry forever." Similarly, its top executive had no professional health-care or science experience, yet both fired or forced the resignations of employees who disagreed with their perspective or were unable to provide "positive" results. Both companies also failed to publish any evidence in peer-reviewed journals that the science behind their multibillion-dollar valued companies was more than just fantasy and a well-devised sales pitch.

Arguably, the most critical difference between Moderna and Theranos is that Moderna, whose numerous issues and challenges only came to light after the collapse of Theranos had begun, has never faced the same degree of scrutiny from the US government or mainstream investigative journalists. There are many possible reasons for this, including Moderna's close relationship with the US Department of Defense through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), or concern that its exposure post-Theranos would bring scrutiny to any company existing at the intersection of Silicon Valley and the health-care industry. However, such a reckoning would likely have been inevitable for Moderna had it not been for the COVID-19 crisis, which could not have come at a more convenient time for the company.

Moderna's "Software" Encounters Bugs

Many of the problems with Moderna that Garde identified in 2016 continued to plague the company right up until the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. Chief among these was Moderna's struggle to prove that its technology worked and that it was safe. Concerns about the safety and efficacy of the company's products, which were publicly reported beginning in 2017, evaporated in the wave of panic surrounding COVID-19 and the simultaneous "Warp Speed" race for a vaccine that would "end the pandemic." Yet, there is little, if any, evidence that these once-well-recognized concerns were addressed prior to the US government's emergency use authorization of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine and its now widespread use in many countries around the world. To the contrary, there is evidence that these concerns were covered up both prior to and during the development of its vaccine.

Moderna's office in Cambridge, Massachusetts

The reports that emerged in January 2017 noted that Moderna had "run into troubling safety problems with its most ambitious therapy" and that the company was "now banking on a mysterious new technology to keep afloat." The "ambitious therapy" in question was meant to treat Crigler-Najjar syndrome and "was to be the first therapy using audacious new technology that Bancel promised would yield dozens of drugs in the coming decade." Bancel had specifically used the Crigler-Najjar therapy as a major selling point to investors, particularly in 2016 when he touted it at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference.

Yet, employees of Alexion, the company co-developing the drug with Moderna, blew the whistle on the project in 2017, revealing that it "never proved safe enough to test in humans" and that the failure of this therapy and the technology platform it sought to use had been responsible for prompting Moderna to abandon the class of drug therapies that, for years, had justified its sky-high valuation and attracted hundreds of millions in investor cash.

As a result of the problem with the Crigler-Najjar drug, media outlets asserted that Moderna was now "in need of a Hail Mary" that would keep its valuation from imploding and its investors from fleeing. The persistence of problems first noted in the 2016 STAT investigation, such as Moderna's failure to publish meaningful data supporting its mRNA technology, were only exacerbating the company's increasingly precarious position. Indeed, not long before the indefinite delay of the Crigler-Najjar therapy, Bancel had dismissed questions about Moderna's promise by painting mRNA as an easy way to quickly develop novel treatments for a variety of diseases. He stated that "mRNA is like software: You can just turn the crank and get a lot of products going into development." If that were the case, why did the company have no products on the market after nearly seven years, and why had its most touted project experienced such obstacles? Clearly, in keeping with Bancel's "software" metaphor, Moderna's technology had encountered bugs, bugs that were potentially ineradicable.

It turns out that the Crigler-Najjar drug therapy that Moderna had bet on so heavily had failed because of the lipid nanoparticle delivery system it used to transport mRNA into cells. Crigler-Najjar had been chosen as a target condition because Moderna scientists deemed it to be "the lowest-hanging fruit." First, the syndrome is caused by one specific genetic defect; second, the affected organ, the liver, is among the easiest to target with nanoparticles; and third and most important for the company, treating the disease with mRNA would require frequent doses, ensuring a steady stream of income for the company. Thus, given the first two motives behind the company's focus on Crigler-Najjar, if Moderna couldn't develop a therapy for that condition, it meant they wouldn't be able to develop a therapy for other conditions that, for example, were caused by multiple genetic defects or affected multiple organs or those more resistant to nanoparticle-based treatments. In other words, that "Moderna could not make its therapy [for Crigler-Najjar] work" meant that it was unlikely to make therapies of that entire class work either.

Indeed, media reports on the indefinite delay of this particular therapy noted that "the indefinite delay on the [Moderna] Crigler-Najjar project signals persistent and troubling safety concerns for any mRNA treatment that needs to be delivered in multiple doses." This issue would soon lead Moderna to only pursue treatments that could be delivered as a single dose—that is, until the emergence of COVID-19 and the advent of the COVID-19 vaccine booster debate. It is also worth mentioning that, due to the extreme rarity of Crigler-Najjar syndrome, even if the therapy had been successfully taken to market by Moderna, it would have been unlikely to bring in enough money to sustain the company.

The specific problem Moderna encountered with the Crigler-Najjar treatment was related to the lipid nanoparticle delivery system it was using. According to former Moderna employees and their collaborators at Alexion, "The safe dose was too weak, and repeat injections of a dose strong enough to be effective had troubling effects on the liver [the target organ of this particular therapy] in animal studies." This was an issue Moderna had apparently run into with its nanoparticle delivery system in other cases too, according to reports published at the time. Per STAT, the delivery system employed by Moderna had consistently "created a daunting challenge: Dose too little, and you don't get enough enzyme to affect the disease; dose too much, and the drug is too toxic for patients."

Moderna attempted to offset the bad press over having to delay the Crigler-Najjar drug with claims that they had developed a new nanoparticle delivery system called V1GL that "will more safely deliver mRNA." The claims came a month after Bancel had touted another delivery system called N1GL to Forbes. In that interview, Bancel told Forbes that the delivery system they had been using, licensed to them by Acuitas, "was not very good" and that Moderna had "stopped using Acuitas tech for new drugs." However, as will be explored in detail in this report as well as Part II of this series, it appears that Moderna continued to rely on the Acuitas-licensed technology in subsequent vaccines and other projects, including its COVID-19 vaccine.

Former Moderna employees and those close to their product development were doubtful at the time that these new and supposedly safer nanoparticle delivery systems were of any consequence. According to three former employees and collaborators close to the process who spoke anonymously to STAT, Moderna had long been "toiling away on new delivery technologies in hopes of hitting on something safer than what it had." All of those interviewed believed that "N1GL and V1GL are either very recent discoveries, just in the earliest stages of testing—or else new names slapped on technologies Moderna has owned for years." All spoke anonymously due to having signed nondisclosure agreements with the company, agreements that are aggressively enforced.

One former employee, commenting on the alleged promise of N1GL and V1GL, stated that these platforms "would have to be a miraculous, Hail Mary sort of save for them to get to where they need to be on their timelines. . . . Either [Bancel] is extremely confident that it's going to work, or he's getting kind of jittery that, with a lack of progress, he needs to put something out there."

Stephen Hoge, Moderna's president, and Melissa Moore, Moderna's CSO for Platform Research Source: Moderna

It seems that those former employees who believed that N1GL and V1GL were new names put on existing technology and that Bancel was overselling their promise were correct, as Moderna appears to have returned to the troubled lipid nanoparticle delivery system it had licensed from Acuitas for subsequent therapies, including its COVID-19 vaccine. As will be explored in this report and Part II of this series, there is no evidence that Moderna ever got their "Hail Mary" save when it came to acquiring the rights for or developing a safe mRNA delivery system.

On top of the much-touted promises of N1GL and V1GL as safer treatments, Moderna additionally vowed to create "new and better formulations" for the Crigler-Najjar therapy that could potentially make it to human trials at a later time. This helped to stave off more bad press, but only for a few weeks. One month after the troubles with the Crigler-Najjar therapy were publicly reported, the head of Moderna's oncology division, Stephen Kesley, left the company. This was just as Moderna was moving toward its first human trials for its cancer treatment, which forced "a senior leadership team with little experience in developing drugs to sort out the company's future in the field." Just weeks before Kesley's departure, Bancel had boldly claimed in a bid to woo new investors at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference, held in January 2017 in San Francisco, that oncology was Moderna's "next big opportunity after vaccines."

The same month as Kesley's departure, Moderna was able to draw media attention elsewhere, as for the very first time they published data in a peer-reviewed journal. In Cell, its scientists published data on an animal trial for its Zika vaccine candidate that positively demonstrated both efficacy and safety in mice. While animal trial results do not necessarily translate into equivalent results in humans, the results were deemed to "bode well" for Moderna's planned clinical trial of that vaccine candidate in humans. In addition, the results were like the animal trial results published by Moderna competitor BioNTech for their mRNA vaccine candidate for Zika a month earlier.

However, for Moderna, the positive news was muted by a negative ruling on a legal dispute that threatened Moderna's ability to ever turn a profit on the Zika vaccine or any other mRNA vaccine it developed, a threat that Moderna's competitors, such as BioNTech, didn't have to contend with. That ruling, discussed in greater detail later in this report, greatly restricted Moderna's use of the lipid nanoparticle delivery system licensed to it through Acuitas and directly threatened the company's ability to create a for-profit product using intellectual property tied to the relevant patents. It would also kick off a years-long legal dispute that has suggested at various times that the promises of V1GL and N1GL were either completely invented or greatly exaggerated, as former Moderna employees and collaborators had stated.

Not long afterward, in July 2017, Moderna was hit with yet another wave of bad press as their partner in the Crigler-Najjar venture, Alexion, cut ties with the company completely. Moderna downplayed Alexion's decision and claimed it had acquired "extensive knowledge" that would allow it to continue to develop the troubled therapy on its own. Nonetheless, Alexion's decision came at an inopportune time for the company, as one of Moderna's top investors had just two weeks earlier slashed its valuation of the company by almost $2 billion, allegedly because Moderna had "struggled to live up to its own hype." Reports began to circulate claiming that "Moderna's investors might be losing faith in the company's future."

Indeed, the Crigler-Najjar syndrome drug was not the only one that, at that point, had proven "too weak or too dangerous to test in clinical trials," according to former employees and partners. The persistent issue, which again lay with the nanoparticle delivery system Moderna had licensed from Acuitas, had forced the company, beginning with the delay of the Crigler-Najjar therapy, to "prioritize vaccines, which can be dosed just once and thus avoid the safety problems that have plagued more ambitious projects."

Yet, these single-dose "vaccines" or therapies were considered not as lucrative as the drug therapies Moderna had long promised and that underpinned its multibillion-dollar valuation, thereby forcing the company to "bet big on a loss-leader." Also problematic was that Moderna lagged behind its mRNA vaccine competitors and that the supposed promise of its technology to produce viable vaccines was only "proven" at that point by a single, small trial. That trial, as noted by the Boston Business Journal, was an "early-stage human trial that was primarily meant to assess the safety of an avian flu vaccine." Moderna had claimed, despite the trial being designed to assess safety, that it had "provided evidence that the vaccine is effective, with no major side effects" as well. Furthermore, as will be discussed in a later section of this report, the legal dispute over the Acuitas-licensed lipid nanoparticle system threatened Moderna's ability to ever turn on a profit on any mRNA vaccine it managed to get through trials and the federal approval process, making the company's future appear quite grim.

Despite Positive Press, Lingering Questions Remained

In September 2017, at a closed-door investor event meant to prevent more major investors from devaluing the company or jumping ship, Moderna provided more insight into a recently published press release on the trial results of a therapy meant to regrow heart tissue by boosting production of a protein known as VEGF. The press release, which generated positive media headlines, noted that the therapy had been proven safe in a study with a sample size of 44 patients. However, neither the press release nor the data Moderna disclosed to investors at the closed-door meeting revealed how much protein the therapy caused patients to produce, leaving its efficacy a mystery. Indeed, media reports on the investor meeting noted that "since Moderna did not release that crucial data point, outsiders can't judge how much therapeutic potential there may be."

The results, though they seemed to mitigate the concerns over the safety of Moderna's technology, failed to inspire confidence in many attendees. Several attendees later told reporters that they "were not overly impressed" with Moderna's presentation, which only "underlined lingering questions about whether it can live up to its own hype."

One of the issues here, yet again, is that Moderna's valuation was and is underpinned by its promise to produce products for rare diseases that require repeated injections over a patient's lifetime. The VEGF therapy promoted by Moderna at this meeting was meant to be a one-time-only injection, and, thus, evidence of its safety did not resolve the problem of none of Moderna's multi-dose products having proven safe enough to test on humans. The closed-door investor event made it clear that Moderna was aiming to avoid that persistent problem by prioritizing single-dose vaccines.

As STAT noted at the time:

The presentation to investors also made clear that Moderna is prioritizing vaccines. They are easier to develop from mRNA because patients need just one dose, which eliminates some of the safety issues that have plagued more ambitious projects such as therapies for rare diseases.

The pivot to vaccines remained a sore point with many investors, however, as vaccines are viewed as "low-margin product[s] that can't generate anywhere near the profits seen in more lucrative fields like rare diseases and oncology." These, as previously mentioned, are the very fields on which Moderna's massive valuation had been based but for which it had been unable to produce safe and effective therapies. Moderna was clearly aware of these concerns among its current and potential investor base and attempted to speak promisingly of its oncology-related efforts at this same event. However, it was silent on trial timing and other key data points, maintaining the company's long-standing reputation for secrecy towards both insiders and the general public. It is certainly telling that Moderna remained so secretive about key data at an event not only closed to the public and the press, but meant to reassure existing investors and to entice new ones. If Moderna declined to show important data to investors at a time when it was desperately seeking to keep them onboard, it implies that the company either had something to hide or nothing to show.

Moderna's increasingly troubled internal situation, despite its consistently rosy PR, escalated a month later when reports emerged of the abrupt resignations of its head of chemistry, the leader of its cardiovascular division, and the head of its rare diseases division. These resignations, which occurred toward the end of 2017, followed the high-profile resignations the company suffered that were mentioned in the 2016 STAT exposé by Damian Garde.

A few months later, in March 2018, the chief scientific officer of Moderna's vaccine business, Giuseppe Ciaramella, also left. This resignation signaled further internal troubles at the company, even more because Moderna had recently and very publicly pivoted to vaccines; and Ciaramella, in addition to leading vaccine development at this critical juncture, had been the first Moderna executive to suggest that the company's technology could be useful in developing vaccines, a suggestion that the company was now betting everything on. One can't help but wonder if Bancel's tendency to force out employees and executives who "couldn't make the science work" was a factor in any of these high-profile resignations, including that of Ciaramella.

A Years-Long Legal Snafu

Thus far, this report has largely focused on how Moderna's extreme secrecy appears to have been used to obfuscate and mitigate major issues with its technology and product pipeline and how those issues were reaching a climax following the company's IPO and immediately prior to the COVID crisis. However, the challenge of creating products that work and can be proven to work in clinical settings is but one of at least two major issues facing Moderna as a company. Indeed, during the same timetable explored above, Moderna was embroiled in aggressive disputes related to intellectual property and patents. Notably, these same legal issues deal with the lipid nanoparticle system that was also reportedly at the root of Moderna's safety and product-pipeline issues.

As mentioned earlier, the lipid nanoparticle delivery system used in many Moderna therapies was licensed to them by Acuitas. Acuitas, however, had licensed that system from a separate company, Arbutus, which sued in 2016 claiming that Acuitas's sublicense to Moderna was illegal. Arbutus won the case, which lead to a temporary injunction in 2017 that stopped Acuitas from further sublicensing the lipid nanoparticle technology. A settlement reached between Acuitas and Arbutus in 2018 terminated Acuitas's license and restricted Moderna's use of the technology to four vaccine candidates that targeted already identified viruses.

Moderna's Bancel told Forbes in 2017 that the Acuitas/Arbutus system was barely mediocre and that Moderna was developing its own improved delivery system that would not infringe on Arbutus's intellectual property (the aforementioned N1GL and V1GL systems). However, soon after Bancel made those claims, Arbutus's leadership challenged them, stating that the company had reviewed all of Moderna's patents, publications, and presentations regarding these "new" delivery systems and had found nothing that didn't involve their own intellectual property. Even former Moderna employees, as mentioned previously, were very doubtful that N1GL and V1GL were any different than the Acuitas/Arbutus system, meaning that—despite Bancel's claims—Moderna had unresolved legal woes related to these nanoparticles that, along with the toxicity issues, was stalling Moderna product candidates.

It is important to note at this point that, while only Moderna has been locked in a legal battle with Acuitas/Arbutus for years over LNP intellectual property, the other main producers of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, Pfizer/BioNTech and CureVac, also use major aspects of the same Arbutus-derived technology. However, BioNTech licensed the LNPs in such a way as to avoid the issues that have entangled Moderna for years.

Moderna's legal dispute, in addition to the already discussed safety issues, greatly threatened Moderna's ability to survive as a company. Having already been forced to settle on the vaccines market and reject the more lucrative and "revolutionary" mRNA therapies it had long promised, Moderna was steadily moving toward a position where it had "no right to sell" vaccine products that depended on the Arbutus-patented and Acuitas-sublicensed technology. This situation has placed pressure on Moderna to negotiate a new license with Arbutus directly, negotiations in which the company would have very little leverage.

Since the first legal case in 2016, Moderna and Arbutus have remained locked in disputes about the nanoparticles and who owns them. Moderna challenged three Arbutus patents with the US Patent and Trademark Office, with mixed results. Yet, simultaneously, Moderna also claimed that its tech was "not covered by the Arbutus patents," which prompted numerous observers and reporters to ask questions such as—"In that case, why did [Moderna] initiate the legal action against Arbutus to begin with?"

Moderna answered that query by claiming that it targeted Arbutus only because of Arbutus's past "aggression" against them. However, despite such claims, the effort and cost inherent in the legal challenge reveals that, at the very least, Moderna takes the threat of Arbutus's intellectual property claims very seriously. The actual answer seems to lie in Moderna being willing to publicly claim that their LNP technology is different enough from the Arbutus-derived system covered by the patents but unwilling to release any proof—whether in court, to its own investors, or to the public—that it is in fact different. The more recent twists and turns of this protracted legal battle, including a pivotal 2020 decision that was very unfavorable for Moderna, are discussed in Part II of this series.

Anything to Aid a Slumping Stock Price
Nasdaq building on the day of Moderna's 2018 IPO. Source: Nasdaq

Just previous to Ciaramella's resignation, Moderna had claimed to have "solved the scientific issues that made its earlier mRNA treatments too toxic for clinical trials," according to media reports. Those reports also claimed that, as a result, "Moderna believes it has steered back on course," though the company did not provide evidence to support that claim. Nevertheless, the promise allowed the company to complete a new round of financing, during which it raised an additional $500 million from "an investor syndicate uncommon in biotech" that included the governments of Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. Some observers were puzzled as to how Moderna had managed to raise so much money despite the outstanding questions about the science underpinning its high valuation.

The answer came with the publication of Moderna's confidential investor slide deck by STAT's Damian Garde, which showed that the company had predicted that drugs that they had only been tested in mice would soon be worth billions and that its vaccine revenue would amount to $15 billion annually. The slide deck, deemed "pretty absurd" and "geared at hopeful generalists that can dream big" per one skeptical investor, made it clear why the company's last funding round had appealed to "unconventional" biotech investors rather than veteran investors focused on the industry. A veteran biotech investor, who spoke anonymously due to the slide deck's confidentiality, stated that "it's a deck designed to tell the 'we're going to be huge' story to a group of rather unsophisticated investors—and it does that beautifully. . . . Just enough science and platform stuff to convey the 'We know what we're doing' sentiment, but not enough to engender technical questions."

Moderna slide deckDownload

Per those who sat through Moderna's pitch, the company was "very generous on the market-size assumptions for their programs," with one former Moderna collaborator placing the real-world value of a treatment the company had claimed was worth billions annually at closer to "$100 million to 250 million." Of course, that revenue estimate comes with the caveat that the treatment, tested thus far only in mice, would someday prove to work in humans. A former Moderna employee in its rare diseases division stated at the time that Moderna "continue[s] to rush forward and over-promise the potential for broad use of mRNA prior to any evidence beyond vaccines or very early experiments in mice."

Despite Moderna's ability to convince "unsophisticated" and/or "unconventional" investors to back its early 2018 funding round, it appears that one of its most important promises used to attract investors—that it had solved the nanolipid particle toxicity issue—was not true.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission dated November 2018, months after Moderna had claimed to have fixed the issues with its lipid nanoparticle delivery system, the company made several claims that appear to contradict its purported development of a new, safer nanoparticle technology.

For example, the filing states on page 33:

Most of our investigational medicines are formulated and administered in an LNP [lipid nanoparticle] which may lead to systemic side effects related to the components of the LNP which may not have ever been tested in humans. While we have continued to optimize our LNPs, there can be no assurance that our LNPs will not have undesired effects. Our LNPs could contribute, in whole or in part, to one or more of the following: immune reactions, infusion reactions, complement reactions, opsonation [sic] reactions, antibody reactions including IgA, IgM, IgE or IgG or some combination thereof, or reactions to the PEG from some lipids or PEG otherwise associated with the LNP.

Certain aspects of our investigational medicines may induce immune reactions from either the mRNA or the lipid as well as adverse reactions within liver pathways or degradation of the mRNA or the LNP, any of which could lead to significant adverse events in one or more of our clinical trials. Many of these types of side effects have been seen for legacy LNPs. There may be resulting uncertainty as to the underlying cause of any such adverse event, which would make it difficult to accurately predict side effects in future clinical trials and would result in significant delays in our programs. (emphasis added)

Based on these statements, Moderna appeared to be uncertain as to whether its current lipid nanoparticle delivery system was any safer than that which led to the indefinite delay of its Crigler-Najjar therapy. In addition, the reference to "adverse reactions within liver pathways," one of the main issues that triggered the specific delay of the Crigler-Najjar therapy, suggests a continued reliance on technology sublicensed from Acuitas. As will be noted in Part II, the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine also appears to use the controversial Acuitas technology that had prompted significant safety, legal, and financial concerns for Moderna for years.

The November 2018 SEC filing makes other statements regarding its supposedly fixed lipid nanoparticle delivery system that are worth noting:

If significant adverse events or other side effects are observed in any of our current or future clinical trials, we may have difficulty recruiting trial participants to any of our clinical trials, trial participants may withdraw from trials, or we may be required to abandon the trials or our development efforts of one or more development candidates or investigational medicines altogether. . . .

Even if the side effects do not preclude the drug from obtaining or maintaining marketing approval, unfavorable benefit risk ratio may inhibit market acceptance of the approved product due to its tolerability versus other therapies. Any of these developments could materially harm our business, financial condition, and prospects.

These statements are significant in that they openly suggest at least one reason for Moderna's long-standing tendency toward secrecy in publishing data about its treatments, as public knowledge of its technology's persistent challenges would threaten its ability to attract trial participants, investors, and, later, consumers.

About a month after these troubling admissions were made in fine print, Moderna succeeded in pulling off a record-setting initial public offering (IPO) in December 2018. For that IPO, Moderna had retained the services of eleven investment banks, which is reportedly around "twice the number normally seen in biotech offerings." However, its stock value tumbled just hours afterward, "a sign the company and its underwriters might have over-estimated demand for the richly valued company." A month after the IPO, Moderna's stock continued its downward slide, "doing exactly the opposite of what private investors look for in an IPO." Those who had predicted this post-IPO outcome before Moderna went public had also warned that this downward trend would likely continue through early 2020 if not longer. Skeptics such as STAT's Damian Garde had warned right before Moderna's IPO that that the company's sliding stock value would likely continue throughout 2019 due to "a seeming lack of impending news," given that "momentum in biotech, positive or negative, is driven by catalysts" and "Moderna is in for a fairly quiet 2019."

Meanwhile, media reports warned, as they had for years, that Moderna "is still in the early days of proving [their] technology's potential," despite being a nine-year-old company. Such reports also noted that Moderna's inability to prove its technology's worth after nearly a decade in business was hampered by its "struggl[e] in its initial efforts to turn mRNA into drugs that can be repeatedly dosed, leading it to pivot to vaccines, which can be administered just once or twice." Investors at the 2019 JP Morgan health-care conference spoke of concerns that "Moderna [has] yet to rule out the lingering risks tied to mRNA, and, even at its depressed valuation, the company is simply too expensive." Others confided in reporters that they would be "sitting on the sidelines until Moderna either changes the narrative with promising human data or gets substantially cheaper."

A few weeks later, Moderna's Bancel attended the World Economic Forum's 2019 annual meeting alongside Johnson & Johnson executive Paul Stoffels and other pharmaceutical and biotech leaders in order to "rub elbows with world leaders and one-percenters—and talk about the future of healthcare." Other health-care figures in attendance included head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and "global health philanthropist" Bill Gates, whose foundation entered into "a global health project framework" with Moderna in 2016 to "advance mRNA-based development projects for various infectious diseases." The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the only foundation listed as a "strategic collaborator" on the Moderna website. Other "strategic collaborators" include the US government's Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), the US military's DARPA, and pharmaceutical giants AstraZeneca and Merck.

Moderna first teamed up with the WEF just a few years after its founding back in 2013, when it was named to the Forum's community of Global Growth Companies (GGC). That year, Moderna was one of just three North American health companies to receive the honor and was additionally recognized by the Forum as "an industry leader in innovative mRNA therapeutics." "We are honored to be recognized for our efforts to advance our platform and ensure its potential is realized on a global scale, and we look forward to being a member of the World Economic Forum community," Bancel said at the time.

Stéphane Bancel at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, January 2020. Source: WEF

As a WEF Global Growth Company, Moderna has closely and regularly engaged with the Forum since 2013 at both the Chinese-hosted Annual Meeting of the New Champions and the WEF's regional meetings, while also having access to the WEF's exclusive networking platform that provides the company privileged access to the world's most powerful business and government leaders. Additionally, such carefully selected companies are given opportunities by the Forum "to shape global, regional and industry agendas and engage in meaningful exchanges about ways to continue on a sustainable and responsible path of growth." Essentially, the roster of such companies constitutes a consortium of corporations that are promoted and guided by the Forum because of their commitment to "improving the state of the world," that is, their commitment to supporting the Forum's long-term agendas for the global economy and for global governance.

In April 2019, Moderna published some information on modifications to its lipid nanoparticles (discussed in more detail in Part II). A month later, in May 2019, Moderna published positive results in the journal Vaccine for phase 1 data on mRNA vaccine candidates for "two potential pandemic influenza strains" administered as two doses three weeks apart. The company's press release on the study stated that "future development of Moderna's pandemic influenza program is contingent on government or other grant funding," suggesting that it would use the trial results to lobby the government for funds for a continuation of this particular program.

Notably, at the same time as these results were published, the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, then filled by Robert Kadlec, was in the midst of conducting Crimson Contagion, a multimonth simulation of a global pandemic involving an influenza strain that originates in China and spreads globally through air travel. The strain at the center of the simulation, called H7N9, is one of the very strains used in the Moderna study. Moderna published those results on May 10, just four days before the Crimson Contagion simulation hosted its federal interagency seminar. BARDA, which the ASPR office oversees, is a major strategic ally of Moderna and was co-developing these "potential pandemic influenza" vaccines that are mentioned in this timely press release, that is, for H10N8 and H7N9 influenza infections.

Crimson Contagion is notable for several reasons, most significantly for Kadlec's own history with the Dark Winter simulations that preceded and eerily predicted the 2001 anthrax attacks. As has been discussed in detail in a previous TLAVUnlimited Hangout investigation, the 2001 anthrax attacks conveniently rescued anthrax vaccine manufacturer BioPort, now Emergent Biosolutions, from certain ruin, much like the way the COVID crisis did for Moderna.

A month later, in June 2019, Moderna again managed to generate positive headlines on making its debut at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting, where it sought to promote its ability to produce the personalized cancer treatments that had been key to wooing investors both before and after its record-setting IPO. It was the first time the company had publicly presented data on a cancer treatment, and this particular treatment was being co-developed with Merck. The data showed positive results in preventing relapses in cancer patients whose solid tumors had been removed via surgery, but the trial failed to show any definitive effect in cancer patients whose tumors had not been removed. Thus, the early data seemed to indicate that Moderna's treatment would only help cancer patients stay in remission after other medical interventions had been performed. Though the news allowed Moderna to bask in some much-needed positive press and to promote its oncology products in development, some reports rightly noted that it was "still too early for any definitive judgment" on the cancer treatment's clinical benefit.

Despite this apparent advance, by September 2019, Moderna's stock price continued to decline, leading to a loss of about $2 billion in market value from the company's $7.5 billion valuation at the time of its record-setting IPO. The main factors for this were the same persistent problems the company had been facing for years—lack of progress, including lack of products on the market; persistent safety problems with its mRNA technology; and the lack of data showing that advances were being made to make that technology commercially feasible.

In mid-September 2019, Moderna gathered investors together to showcase scientific evidence it claimed would finally prove that its mRNA technology could "turn the body's own cells into medicine-making factories" and hopefully "turn skeptical investors into believers." This data, which was derived from a very preliminary study that involved only four healthy participants, had complications. Three of the four participants had side effects that prompted Moderna to state at the meeting that they would need to reformulate the mRNA treatment to include steroids, while one of the participants suffered heart-related side effects, including a rapid heart rate and an irregular heartbeat. Moderna, which asserted that none of the heart-related side effects was serious, could not "definitively pinpoint the cause of the heart symptoms." Yet, as previously mentioned, it was likely related to the safety issues that had been plaguing its experimental products for years.

The company's preliminary data, which was promoted in yet another bid to keep investors from leaving, also included the caveat that Moderna had decided to pause trials for this particular product, which was a single-injection mRNA treatment for the chikungunya virus. That treatment was being developed in partnership with the Pentagon's DARPA. Other more positive data from a preliminary trial were also released at this meeting. That trial, however, was for an mRNA treatment for cytomegalovirus, "a common virus that is usually kept in check by the body's immune system and rarely causes problems in healthy people," meaning its mRNA vaccine for that condition was unlikely to ever be lucrative.

Not long after this lackluster investors meeting, on September 26, 2019, the once highly secretive Moderna announced it would collaborate with researchers at Harvard University "in hopes that the research will spur new drugs," as its product pipeline appeared to have stalled. Moderna president Stephen Hoge described the collaboration as select Harvard researchers receiving "a package of stuff that we put our blood, sweat, and tears in, and then someone's going to do something with it. We'll find out afterward how that went." For a company long known for its extreme secrecy in an already secretive industry, Moderna's arrangement with Harvard, which it admitted was "unusual," came across as somewhat desperate.

A month later, at the 2019 Milken Institute Future of Health Summit, there was a panel discussion on universal flu vaccines and how a "disruptive" event would be needed to upset the long-existing bureaucratic vaccine-approval process to facilitate wider adoption of "nontraditional" vaccines, such as those produced by Moderna. Panel speakers including former FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg, a veteran of the 2001 Dark Winter exercise and scientific advisor to the Gates foundation, as well as Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and Rick Bright of BARDA, who previously worked for the Gates-funded PATH. The panel discussion notably took place shortly after the controversial coronavirus pandemic simulation called Event 201, whose moderators and sponsors had been intimately involved in 2001's Dark Winter.

Screengrab from the 2019 Milken Institute Universal Flu Vaccine panel. Full video available here.

During the panel, the moderator—Michael Specter of the New Yorker—asked the question: "Why don't we blow the system up? Obviously, we just can't turn off the spigot on the system we have and then say 'Hey! everyone in the world should get this new vaccine we haven't given to anyone yet,' but there must be some way." Specter then mentioned how vaccine production is antiquated and asked how sufficient "disruption" could occur to prompt the modernization of the existing vaccination development and approval process. Hamburg responded first, saying that as a society we are behind where we need to be when it comes to moving toward a new, more technological approach and that it is now "time to act" to make that a reality.

Several minutes later, Anthony Fauci stated that the superior method of vaccine production involves "not growing the virus at all, but getting sequences, getting the appropriate protein and it sticking in on self-assembling nanoparticles," essentially referring to mRNA vaccines. Fauci then stated: "The critical challenge . . . is that in order to make the transition from getting out of the tried and true egg-growing [method] . . . to something that has to be much better, you have to prove that this works and then you have got to go through all of the critical trials—phase 1, phase 2, phase 3—and show that this particular product is going to be good over a period of years. That alone, if it works perfectly, is going to take a decade." Fauci later stated that there is a need to alter the public's perception that the flu is not a serious disease in order to increase urgency and that it would be "difficult" to alter that perception along with the existing vaccine development and approval process unless the existing system takes the posture that "I don't care what your perception is, we're going to address the problem in a disruptive way and an iterative way."

During the panel, Bright stated that "we need to move as quickly as possible and urgently as possible to get these technologies that address speed and effectiveness of the vaccine" before discussing how the White House Council of Economic Advisers had just issued a report emphasizing that prioritizing "fast" vaccines was paramount. Bright then added that a "mediocre and fast" vaccine was better than a "mediocre and slow" vaccine. He then said that we can make "better vaccines and make them faster" and that urgency and disruption were necessary to produce the targeted and accelerated development of one such vaccine. Later in the panel, Bright said the best way to "disrupt" the vaccine field in favor of "faster" vaccines would be the emergence of "an entity of excitement out there that's completely disruptive, that's not beholden to bureaucratic strings and processes." He later very directly said that by "faster" vaccines he meant mRNA vaccines.

The Bright-led BARDA and the Fauci-led NIAID in just a few months' time became the biggest backers of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, investing billions and co-developing the vaccine with the company, respectively. As will be explained in Part II of this series, the partnership between Moderna and the NIH to co-develop what would soon become Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine was being forged as early as January 7, 2020, long before the official declaration of the COVID-19 crisis as a pandemic and before a vaccine was proclaimed as necessary by officials and other individuals. Not only did the COVID-19 vaccine quickly become the answer to nearly all Moderna's woes but it also provided the disruptive scenario necessary to alter the public's perceptions of what a vaccine is and eliminate existing safeguards and bureaucracy in vaccine approval. (Watch the 2019 Universal Flu Vaccine event here.)

As Part II of this series will show, it was an alleged mix of "serendipity and foresight" from Moderna's Stéphane Bancel and the NIH's Barney Graham that propelled Moderna to the front of the "Warp Speed" race for a COVID-19 vaccine. That partnership, along with the disruptive effect of the COVID-19 crisis, created the very "Hail Mary" for which Moderna had been desperately waiting since at least 2017 while also turning most of Moderna's executive team into billionaires and multi-millionaires in a matter of months.

However, Moderna's "Hail Mary" won't last – that is, unless the mass administration of its COVID-19 vaccine becomes an annual affair for millions of people worldwide. Even though real-world data since its administration began challenges the need for as well as the safety and efficacy of its vaccine, Moderna – and its stakeholders – cannot afford to let this opportunity slip through fingers. To do so would mean the end of Moderna's carefully constructed house of cards.

Author's Note: Dr. Michael Palmer, Dr. Meryl Nass and Catherine Austin Fitts contributed much-appreciated feedback and guidance on this article. Special thanks to Katy M. for copy-editing help.

Episode page for Moderna: A Company "In Need Of A Hail Mary".

translate | Thu, 07 Oct 2021 17:52:05 +0000

China, Wall Street and the New Global Economy with James Corbett

Whitney is joined by James Corbett of the Corbett Report to discuss the overlap between the oligarchs of China and the United States and how the rise of China is intimately tied to Wall Street and Globalism. Published on 09/28/21.

This is the audio only version of the video interview available here.

Links from James Corbett

Episode 297 – China and the New World Order

American Financier Stephen A. Schwarzman Endows International Scholarship Program in China

The Secret (Insurance) Agent Men

Heirs of Mao's Comrades Rise as New Capitalist Nobility

Mapping China's Red Nobility

Bloomberg News Killed Investigation, Fired Reporter, Then Sought To Silence His Wife

How to Play 3D Chess

'Decoupling' the U.S. from China would backfire

China's Suspiciously American Arsenal: A Closer Look

Guess who Israel's second largest trading partner is — China

2013 Report: Israel Passes U.S. Military Technology to China

2004: US 'anger' at Israel weapons sale

ATimes: US up in arms over Sino-Israel ties

1996: U.S. Military Technology Sold by Israel To China Upsets Asian Power Balance

Episode page for China, Wall Street and the New Global Economy with James Corbett.

translate | Sun, 03 Oct 2021 17:39:13 +0000

NEA World Order

For more than five years, I have been writing reports that document the dangers of the encroaching corporatization of public education through ed-tech privatization. Now, under the duress of COVID panic, public schools are rolling over to the globalist Tech Barons of the e-learning industry, just as these technocratic oligarchs of the ed-tech empire ramp up their corporate takeover of education systems. This takeover is largely occurring through public-private "distance learning" contracts that are substituting human teachers with data-mining artificial intelligence (AI) while also replacing brick-and-mortar schoolhouses with virtual classrooms online.

If you thought that teachers' unions would fight to protect their dues-paying public educators from this techno-fascist power grab, think again. Collectively, the two largest teachers' unions in the United States have been selling out to ed-technocracy for over a century. Without skipping a beat, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the National Education Association (NEA) are now taking their ed-tech capitulation to the next level as they effectively lobby for edu-corporations. These corporations are making record profits by selling schools distance-learning technologies that are engineered to digitally track students' psychometrics and then commercialize them via "geospatial intelligence" markets that are at the core of the Big Data-mining economy of the budding "Fourth Industrial Revolution" (4IR).

In my last article, I documented how the AFT lobbied the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to extend COVID restrictions that perpetuate public education's reliance on privatization from Big Tech companies, but provide questionable, if any, public health benefits. I also highlighted conflicts of interest between the AFT and the global ed-tech industry through the American Federation of Teachers' alliances with the IBM corporation, Rockefeller philanthropies, the Trilateral Commission, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

In this article, I will detail how the NEA cooperated with the lobbying efforts of the AFT as the two teachers' unions tag-teamed the CDC with petitions to prolong COVID mitigation protocols that perpetuate schools' dependence on commercial ed-tech products from multinational technology companies which have been exploiting lockdowns in order to corporatize the American education system through public-private e-learning contracts.

This article will also examine similar conflicts of interest between the National Education Association and the international ed-tech industry through the NEA's liaisons with IBM, UNESCO, and Project BEST (Basic Education Skills through Technology), which was America's domestic version of UNESCO's "Study 11: New Technologies in Education," which set up the global "information technology" (IT) infrastructure for the emerging Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Moreover, this article will also document how the NEA has been promoting a one-world education system through UNESCO's Education for All initiative and UNESCO's Global Education Coalition, which brings together an all-star team of Big Tech corporations that have partnered with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to usher in a techno-fascist Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Trust the Political Science

When Americans for Public Trust leaked CDC emails on May 1st, 2021, the mainstream media brought much attention to the Center for Disease Control's correspondences with the AFT. What didn't get much attention, however, was the CDC's email exchanges with the NEA.

Obtained through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, these emails reveal how the NEA, along with the AFT, petitioned the CDC to roll back its school reopening guidelines. Pumping the brakes on the return to in-person learning, the NEA emails pressed the CDC to revise its school reopening provisions by issuing "clear directives" for the physical "distancing of students." Just one month after these emails were sent, in a "Press Release" on March 19th, 2021, NEA President Becky Pringle publicly challenged the CDC's decision to reduce "physical distancing" from "six feet" to "three feet."

Americans for Public Trust | CDC Responsive Records

By insisting upon six-foot "distancing" between students, which would cap face-to-face classroom attendance below full capacity, the lobbying efforts of the NEA have basically pressured the CDC into relegating schools to "hybrid" curriculums that shuffle in-person classroom learning with virtual-online "distance learning," the latter of which is outsourced to private ed-tech corporations. Apropos, shortly after petitioning the CDC to double "social distancing" requirements from three feet to six feet, the NEA teamed up with the AFT to co-author Learning Beyond COVID-19: A Vision for Thriving in Public Education, which calls for increased "access" to "devices needed for online learning" along with increased "access" to "virtual" tutoring.

Learning_Beyond_COVID_web.pdf (nea.org)

The NEA states that health and safety priorities are the motivating factors for doubling down on COVID mitigation policies that effectively necessitate hybrid and remote online schooling. But ever since COVID lockdowns began, the NEA has been repeating the mantra of "follow the science," encouraging students and teachers to trust the health and safety recommendations of CDC "experts." So why didn't the NEA follow the CDC science by trusting the CDC's three-feet "social distancing" protocol? What motivated the NEA to contradict its fealty to the public health experts at the CDC by petitioning them to tighten the screws on COVID restrictions, forcing schools to rely on the for-profit ed-tech industry to provide the digital infrastructure necessary for hybrid, or "blended," learning?

These NEA policy contradictions are even more curious when considering that, according to the Lancet, school-age youth are at low risk for COVID mortality, yet they are at high risk for cognitive, social, and emotional damages from COVID security crackdowns while mounting evidence shows that in-person schooling does not result in rising community transmission rates of SARS-CoV-2. Curiouser still, it is well known there is copious data showing that face-to-face classroom education has far more benefits for student learning than virtual distance instruction through computer screens.

So the question remains, with all these reasons for students to go back to brick-and-mortar classrooms, why didn't the NEA "follow the science" by going along with the CDC's school reopening recommendations? What motivated NEA bureaucrats to stump for corporate-technocratic distance learning by petitioning the CDC to clamp down on its COVID mitigation protocols for schools?

For answers to these questions, it is worth taking a closer look at the NEA's long historical track record, which parallels the AFT's crony capitalist history, of selling out its dues-paying teachers to the global ed-tech industrial complex by cutting side deals with Big Tech companies, such as IBM, while partnering with Education International to advance the global governance directives of UNESCO and the World Economic Forum in pursuit of the technocratic Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Source: World Economic Forum

In light of these past dealings with communitarian corporatists and globalist technocrats, it appears that the NEA may have ulterior motives to stall the full return to in-person learning in order to wedge schools into contracting with the union's ed-tech cronies, such as IBM, which are driving "Reimagine Education" campaigns along with UNESCO and Education International in order to spur the World Economic Forum's Great Reset for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. By pressing the CDC to drag out COVID constraints that relegate education systems to hybrid, or blended, combinations of virtual instruction, the NEA has essentially been lobbying to permanently hitch schools to multinational ed-tech cartels that aim to data-mine cognitive-behavioral algorithms in order to psychologically condition students for "command and control" compliance in the global "Social Credit" economy of the "surveillance capitalist" Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The NEA Has Been Pushing Behaviorist Ed-Tech for Nearly a Century

For almost one hundred years, the NEA has been instrumental in driving the evolution of ed-tech from "audio-visual" (AV) technologies, such as radio and "motion picture" technologies; to "information technologies" (IT), such as computerized "teaching machines" programmed with "courseware"; to satellite technologies that link school computers together through internet telecommunications; to the current product lines of "virtual classroom" technologies, such as Google Classroom and Microsoft Teams, which teachers are being forced to use under COVID lockdown. In a nutshell, the NEA has consistently played a key historical role in transforming the one-way audio-visual transmission of instructional movies into interactive AV computer consoles linked together through satellite internet IT that facilitates distance learning through virtual classrooms which integrate behaviorist "adaptive-learning" courseware programmed to data-mine students' psychometrics for predictive "learning analytics."

The NEA's love affair with ed-tech goes back as far as 1923, when the national teachers' union set up its Division of Visual Instruction (DVI) in order "to liberate instruction from the bonds of 'verbalism'" through mass-production of slide projectors and "motion picture" instructional technologies hyped by Thomas Edison. At the end of World War II, in 1945, the NEA's DVI evolved into the Department of Audio-Visual Instructional Services (DAVIS), which was later renamed the Department of Audio-Visual Instruction (DAVI) in 1947, with the goal of "building better citizens of the nation and of the world by instilling desirable attitudes and appreciations thru [sic] the use of dramatic, emotionally derived learning . . . thru [sic] the use of audio-visual materials." Stated differently, DAVI aimed to leverage movie-production technologies for the purposes of reshaping students' "attitudes and appreciations" into new psychological states that would be compatible with world "citizenship" in a global economy.

Not long after the 1946-1953 Macy's Cybernetics Conferences, which brought together pioneers in artificial intelligence, including John von Neumann and Norbert Weiner, the National Education Association started to shift its focus away from the one-way transmission of audio-visual ed-tech, such as radio and TV, as the NEA began to focus more on automated teaching machines that transmit interactive programmed instruction through stimulus-response algorithms. In 1960, the NEA launched a project titled "Educational Implications of Automation," which was financed "with an unrestricted grant from IBM." That same year, the NEA's DAVI published a "Source Book" on "educational automation" entitled Teaching Machines and Programmed Learning, which was edited by Arthur A. Lumsdaine and Robert Glaser, who were rockstars in military psychometric testing and behaviorist ed-psych conditioning respectively:

Teaching Machines and Programmed Learning: A Source Book
  • A. A. Lumsdaine was an army psychologist who co-authored Volume II of Studies in Social Psychology in World War II, which was prepared for a Special Committee of the Social Science Research Council of the Information and Education Division of the US Army where "cross-section studies of the entire army organization in all parts of the world" were "tested for attitudes of local and worldwide importance," according to a 1949 issue of Social Service Review. In the "Preface" to DAVI's Teaching Machines and Programmed Learning, Lumsdaine reports that the DAVI "Source Book" was shaped by "sponsor[ship]" from the Office of Naval Research, the Air Research and Development Command of the US Airforce, and the Human Resources Research Organization of the US Army, which specializes in "human capital management and analysis." "Part IV" of the "Source Book" includes 125 pages of "Contributions from Military and Other Sources."
Teaching Machines and Programmed Learning: A Source Book
  • Robert Glaser was a prominent educational psychologist who won awards for his contributions to cognitive ed-psych, including application of the stimulus-response method of behaviorist conditioning through instructional technologies. These awards include the American Psychological Society's James McKeen Cattell Award, which is named in honor of the Rockefeller-funded Columbia University psychology professor who combined the eugenics theories of Francis Galton with the stimulus-response method of psychological conditioning that he learned while earning his PhD from the founding father of laboratory psychology, Wilhelm Wundt. Glaser also won the E. L. Thorndike Award for Distinguished Psychological Contributions to Education, which is named after Cattell's Rockefeller-funded protégé, whose "puzzle box" animal-training experiments served as the precursors to B. F. Skinner's operant-conditioning methodology for programmed instruction through "Skinner box" teaching machines. "Part III" of DAVI's Teaching Machines and Programmed Learning contains a 153-page anthology of sources expounding "Skinner's Teaching Machines and Programming Concepts," including three articles from Skinner himself.
Teaching Machines and Programmed Learning: A Source Book

It should be noted that "Part II" of the DAVI "Source Book" compiles a 57-page collection of articles examining the research of Skinner's programmed instruction predecessor, Sydney L. Pressey, who is the founding father of teaching machines. Entitled "Pressey's Self-Instructional Test-Scoring," this selection of sources contains four articles from Pressey himself, including "A Third and Fourth Contribution Toward the Coming 'Industrial Revolution' in Education." It should also be noted that DAVI's Teaching Machines and Programmed Learning was shaped by "support" from the Ford Foundation along with contributions from Bell Telephone Laboratories Inc., which was part and parcel to the AT&T conglomerate.

The next year after this DAVI "Source Book" was published, DAVI produced an "AVCR supplement" titled The Role of the Computer in Future Instructional Systems, which was developed as a result of DAVI's "Technological Development Project" (TDP) through a contract with the US Office of Education under the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW). The TDP was "staffed with DAVI people," but was managed by Donald P. Ely "under the aegis of the National Education Association." Later, Ely would transform DAVI into the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) where he would work as a liaison with the US Department of Ed's Project BEST, which collaborated with UNESCO "Study 11" to set up public-private partnerships between school districts and computer corporations in order to build the ed-tech IT infrastructure for the Fourth Industrial Revolution's global system of Skinnerian programmed instruction.

During the years leading up to the debut of Project BEST's coalition with UNESCO Study 11, the NEA advocated for the advancement of satellite technologies which would build the internet telecommunications infrastructure necessary to link together computerized teaching machines that automate operant psychological conditioning through courseware algorithms advocated by Skinner, Glaser, Lumsdaine, IBM, AT&T Bell, and the US military:

Publications and Audiovisual Materials Catalog, NEA, 1979.
  • In 1979, the NEA printed a Publications and Audiovisual Materials Catalog that includes "Educational Technology" materials, such as a book titled Computers in the Classroom and a cassette tape titled Satellite Communication: Potentials for Education, which records the "history of NEA's involvement in satellite communications, begun in 1971." According to the NEA Special Committee on Instructional Technology, this historical involvement can be traced back to the National Education Association's "pioneer work" with NASA "to explore educational applications of satellite communication."
NEA Telephone Directory, NEA, 1981.

To sum up, the NEA worked with NASA to set up satellite internet while collaborating with technology companies investing in online computer startups that would lay the groundwork for the worldwide web in order to facilitate the Fourth Industrial Revolution's globalization of Skinner-box edu-conditioning through virtual distance learning platforms, which are currently being forced upon teachers under the pretenses of combatting COVID-19.

Presently, although the National Education Association has paid lip service to critique the "limitations" of "remote learning," the teachers' union has nonetheless been milking COVID lockdowns to bargain for ubiquitous school integration of the online computer-learning networks, networks which the NEA has been helping to cobble together for more than sixty years:

  • On October 12th, 2020, a few months before the CDC emails, the NEA published its "Resolution Ensuring Safe and Just Schools for All Students," which decrees that, "education technology is a tool to enhance and enrich instruction for students and access to working technology and WiFi is a necessity for students to complete assignments and access needed resources—even when not facing full-time virtual learning environments."
  • Then, on March 5th, 2021, less than a month after the CDC emails, NEA Today published an article titled "Technology Isn't the Hero, Educators Are," which relays a statement from the Manager of NEA Teacher Quality, Ann Coffman, who declared how,

"[d]espite the obvious deficits a year of remote learning highlighted — the decline in learning, the widening homework gap, the social isolation, the limitations of many digital tools — in many ways, there will be no going back. . . . 'I don't think it's realistic that educators return to exactly what they were doing prior to the pandemic and they probably shouldn't. . . . Some hybrid learning models can be effective.'"

  • A month later, on April 15th, 2021, an NEA Today article, which is titled "How the Pandemic Will Change the Future of Schools," forecasted how "many districts have now invested millions of dollars in distance learning infrastructure, and that means technology is likely to play a more prominent role in education, even when everyone returns to the classroom."

Simply put, the NEA is doubling down on its long-term IT investments in the Fourth Industrial Revolution by committing to the perpetuation of the COVID ed-tech takeover, even after lockdowns are overturned and students return to in-person classroom learning where virtual e-learning is not a necessity.

Of course, the longer that the NEA can prolong emergency COVID restrictions by lobbying the CDC, the longer that schools will be forced to rely upon online virtual classrooms and digital behaviorist courseware beamed onto computer screens linked together through satellite internet IT. In any event, it is key to note here that, even if schools resume some semblance of in-person learning, the NEA is dedicated to a "new normal" in which brick-and-mortar classes are "hybridized" through "blended learning" curriculums that alternate face-to-face learning in a schoolhouse juxtaposed with digitalized remote learning on computers hooked up to the internet. To put it another way, if COVID-19 and all its variants were somehow eradicated overnight, the NEA would still insist upon the permanent adoption of 4IR ed-tech "upgrades." Indeed, the NEA's "Policy Statement on Digital Equity" states that "[t]he optimal learning environment should neither be totally technology free, nor should it be totally online and devoid of educator and peer interaction. The Association believes that an environment that maximizes student learning will use a 'blended' and/or 'hybrid' model situated somewhere along a continuum between these two extremes."

In the final equation, one way or another, the National Education Association is complicit in capitalizing on COVID shutdowns in order to secure the institutionalization of blended, or hybrid, systems of virtual e-learning that will produce returns on the NEA's investments in satellite-based ed-tech infrastructure, which the national teachers' union has been building up for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

NEA, AECT, Project BEST, and UNESCO Set the Stage for the 4IR

While the US Department of Education coordinated Project BEST with UNESCO Study 11 to pioneer the technocratic globalization of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the NEA was effectively cooperating by buoying the "computer-assisted instruction" outcomes of Project BEST. In particular, the NEA reached out to US Assistant Secretary of Education, Donald Senese, to request an invitation to Secretary of Ed T. H. Bell's National Conference on Technology and Education, which was convened to bolster the launching of Project BEST. At the same time, there is evidence that the NEA was also closely tied to Project BEST through the Association for Educational Communications and Technology, which was the main ed-tech contractor with Project BEST, which was coordinated with UNESCO Study 11 to build the e-learning IT infrastructure for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Department of Health and Human Services, "List of Contractors for FY 81 in Contractor's Name Sequence," US HHS, February 12, 1982.

Upon receiving this NEA contract record, which was filed under the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) "List of Contractors for FY 81 in Contractor's Name Sequence," Susan Phillips of The Conservative Caucus Foundation (TCCF) submitted to HHS another FOIA request "for copies of the [NEA] contract application, related correspondence and reviews." Unable to locate the NEA contract, HHS forwarded the FOIA request to the Department of Education where Marie Beale, according to Phillips, reported that there was "no record of a grant with the National Education Association," but that the Project BEST contract listed with the NEA was actually "a contract with the Association for Educational Communications and Technology whose address was listed as 1126 16th Street, Washington, D.C." In a memorandum to the president of TCCF, Phillips relayed that "[n]o explanation was offered by Mrs. Beale as to why the contract awarded to AECT was listed on their printouts as having been with the National Education Association."

US Department of Education, 1982.

So what exactly was the relationship between the AECT and the NEA at the time when the AECT signed the initial $855,282 contract to carry out the ed-tech provisions of Project BEST? According to the contract, which is dated October 1, 1981, the US Department of Education clearly identified that the AECT was operating out of its new headquarters at 1126 16th Street, which is the address listed in the Project BEST contract. So, if it was a computer glitch that caused the HHS to erroneously record the NEA headquarters at 1201 16th Street as the contractor with Project BEST, then why didn't that glitch show up on the contract itself as well? If the Department of Ed recorded the AECT's 1126 address on the Project BEST contract in October of 1981, then why did Nibeck reportedly state that the AECT was still "leas[ing] office space and office support staff" through the end of December, 1981?

United States Department of Education, September 30, 1981.

To be sure, in 1981, only two years had passed since the Department of Education, Health, and Welfare (HEW) was restructured into two separate departments: the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services. Therefore, it is possible AECT contracts were misfiled at HHS under old NEA files that were catalogued before HEW was restructured in 1979. However, recall that the AECT website states that it left the NEA offices in 1977. So, why would HEW keep the NEA and its 1201 address in the same file as the AECT for approximately two years after it was no longer located at the NEA headquarters?

No matter how you slice it, there are inconsistencies between the accounts from the AECT website, the Nibeck memorandum, the Department of Education's Project BEST contract, and HHS's "List of Contractors for FY 81." Considering all of these conflicting accounts, it appears that, even after the AECT moved its headquarters just around the corner from the NEA, the two educational associations had continued close cooperation from 1977 until at least the signing of the Project BEST contract in 1981 and perhaps afterwards as well. Indeed, as the Nibeck memo reports, in 1982, the "AECT [was] still act[ing] as consultants to the NEA and serv[ing] them on committees," which would mean that the NEA was consulting with the AECT regarding the ed-tech contracts with Project BEST.

To be sure, in 1980, the NEA produced a Teacher and Public Policy Color Filmstrip with Sound: Leader's Guide, which lists Michael Jones of "NEA Audio-Visuals" under the "Sound Production" credits, indicating that the NEA maintained an "Audio-Visual" department at least until 1980. Furthermore, it should be noted that Donald P. Ely, who was a member the NEA, a President of DAVI, and a founder of the AECT, was also an AECT liaison with Project BEST after playing a key role in dropping DAVI's "audiovisual label and explicitly embracing the [AECT's] educational technology label."

United States Department of Education, December, 1981.

Regardless of any liaison between the National Education Association and the Association for Educational Communications and Technology, the NEA pursued its own efforts to push the regional globalization of ed-tech through Project BEST after the AECT moved its headquarters down the street. In 1981, the same year that the AECT signed the contract with Project BEST, the NEA Representative Assembly passed new "Resolutions," which "recommend that professional educators enter into active collaboration with research and development specialists, both in regional laboratories and in industry, to promote technology's potential contribution to education by guiding the development of technology in the most educationally sound directions." In my recent article, "From UNESCO Study 11 to UNESCO 2050," I document how the Department of Ed's regional laboratories partnered with the ed-tech industry to roll out Project BEST in coordination with UNESCO Study 11's stratagem to globalize educational IT for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

National Education Association, NEA Reporter, NEA, 1981.

In addition to passing "Resolutions" that facilitated the regional ed-tech planning of Project BEST, the NEA also made efforts to steer the direction of Project BEST by lobbying Assistant Secretary Senese, who oversaw the regional and international planning of BEST in coordination with UNESCO Study 11 under the aegis of Secretary Bell. On March 8, 1982, NEA Professional Development Specialist, Robert C. Snider, wrote a letter to Senese, requesting that he invite the NEA's Director of Instruction and Professional Development, Sharon P. Robinson, to speak at the Department of Ed's National Conference on Technology and Education, which Secretary Bell set up to jumpstart the Project BEST "Technology Initiative."

Attached to this memorandum was the NEA Special Committee on Instructional Technology's 1981 "Report: Presented to the 60th Representative Assembly of the National Education Association," which recommended "[t]hat NEA establish advisory mechanisms with industry that will ensure better communications between teachers and vendors, and at the same time develop procedures to ensure a high, uniform quality of the new kinds of hardware and software that are replacing more traditional instructional materials." This "Report" also recommended "[t]hat the NEA continue its enlightened and progressive approach to emerging relationships between new technology and human behavior."

NEA Special Committee on Instructional Technology, Report: July 7, 1981.

To be sure, this NEA Committee on Instructional Technology, which consisted of a panel of teachers led by Robinson, expressed teachers' concerns about "problems of freedom and control," including "the human use of human beings," which would render teachers into "becoming subhuman cogs in a mechanistic system of instruction" that "treat[s] students like so many Pavlovian dogs, to be conditioned and programmed." Additionally, this "Report," which highlighted teachers' "privacy" concerns resulting from "a system of shared information and instruction," also declared that "[s]chool children and their teachers must not serve American industry as guinea pigs." Nonetheless, this "Report" still entertained the possibility of a "factory-production model" of ed-tech schooling that "assign[s] cost-effectiveness to learning gains."

Even though this "Report" from the NEA Instructional Technology Committee acknowledged teachers' cautions against the behaviorist ed-tech industry, Robinson sang a different tune in her speech at the 1981 Banquet of the Annual Conference of the Association for the Development of Computer-Based Instructional Systems (ADCIS). In a transcript of this speech, which was attached to the NEA's letter requesting that Senese invite Robinson to Bell's Project BEST Teleconference, Robinson expressed her dissension from certain critics on the NEA Instructional Technology Committee as she defended

"the current resurrection—after nearly 25 years—of programmed instruction and teaching machines, which today are described—in much less threatening terms—as software, courseware, and hardware. During a recent meeting of the NEA Technology Committee, a top official of a major computer-software company dismissed the work of B. F. Skinner (and the entire operant conditioning movement of the 1950's and 60's) as 'nothing more than rote learning.' . . . This [is a] know-nothing attitude toward the past—which I'm sure is not typical of your industry's leadership. . . . [Y]ou ain't seen anything yet!'"

In her opening remarks to this speech, Robinson resolved that, "I hope this occasion will mark the beginning of a closer relationship between our two organizations [the NEA and the ADCIS]."

In brief, notwithstanding the National Education Association's nod to teachers' resistance against behaviorist ed-tech corporations, the NEA continued to carry the banner for the Skinnerian programmed-instruction industry as the national union collaborated with the ADCIS while endeavoring to cooperate with the Department of Education's Project BEST in order to propel the NEA's long-term investments in automated teaching machines and satellite technologies that link together e-learning computers through internet IT.

These connections between the NEA, the AECT, and Project BEST are important to highlight because Project BEST was America's domestic version of UNESCO, which was commissioned to partner with multinational technology corporations, such as Microsoft, Apple, and IBM, in order to propagate global IT infrastructure through public-private ed-tech partnerships that would pave the way for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Considering that the National Education Association, while maintaining close ties to the AECT, continued to stump for the education technology industry by lobbying Project BEST, which was coordinated with UNESCO Study 11, it follows that the NEA would have a stake in leveraging COVID restrictions to mandate ed-tech corporatization geared for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. By petitioning the CDC to clamp down on COVID regulations requiring schools to facilitate hybrid systems of virtual distance learning, the NEA is effectively hedging schools into public-private partnerships with Big Tech companies, including Study 11 participants such as Microsoft, Apple, and IBM, all of which are members of the World Economic Forum, which is spearheading the Great Reset for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Source: World Economic Forum

Staying the course toward a techno-fascist Fourth Industrial Revolution, a couple months after the National Education Association exchanged emails with the CDC, the NEA's "Demands for Safe and Just In-Person Learning" insisted upon "[h]ybrid delivery of instruction" through "split scheduling for schools to ensure smaller class sizes and social distancing" by shuffling students back and forth between in-person classroom learning at schoolhouses and virtual online learning at home. In addition, the NEA demanded that schools "[c]lose the technological gap by providing as many devices as possible to all students" while "[p]rovid[ing] expanded access to broadband and technology to close the 'digital divide.'"

Committed to these demands, the NEA is jockeying to keep the lane open for Big Tech corporations, such as Microsoft, Apple, and IBM, to put the finishing touches on UNESCO Study 11's groundwork for the burgeoning Fourth Industrial Revolution in education.

UNESCO, EI, and the NEA's Global Cardinal Principles: Building a One-World Schoolhouse

In addition to collaborating with IBM, AT&T, and NASA to construct the ed-tech infrastructure for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the NEA has likewise driven the multinational dissemination of 4IR education technologies through alliances with UNESCO and other world governance institutions, such as the Education International (EI) union, along with globalist oligarchs, such as David Rockefeller and members of the Order of Skull and Bones.

While the international objectives of UNESCO Study 11 were being deployed regionally across the United States through Project BEST, the President of the NEA was Mary H. Futrell, who would go on to sit on the Board of Directors of K12 Inc.: the international virtual charter school corporation that was set up by US Secretary of Education, William Bennett, after he took over Project BEST from Secretary of Ed, Terrel H. Bell. After stepping down from the NEA presidency, Futrell would become a Member of the US National Commission for UNESCO, and she would also be appointed as the President of Americans for UNESCO.

Similarly, after her reign as the President of the World Confederation of Organizations of the Teaching Professions (WCOTP), Futrell would become the founding President of Education International, which dissolved and assimilated the WCOTP and the International Federation of Free Teachers' Unions to form the world's largest international teachers' union as it combines "some 240 national educator unions and associations," including the NEA and the AFT. In addition, Futrell has served as the Co-Director of the Center for Curriculum, Standards, and Technology, and she has also sat on the Board of Directors of the International Council on Education for Teaching; the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; and the Kettering Foundation; the latter of which teamed up with the Rockefeller Foundation and the US Office of Education to fund the John Goodlad Study, which produced a pivotal series of "community schooling" handbooks, including Schooling for a Global Age.

Goodlad's community-schooling protocols, which include stipulations for computerized ed-tech innovations, were implemented by Theodore R. Sizer, who was a member of the 1976 Cardinal Principles Preplanning Committee of the NEA's Bicentennial Committee. Sizer set up the Coalition for Essential Schools where Linda Darling-Hammond became a member of the Executive Board. Darling-Hammond, who has been an advisor to both President Obama and President Biden, is the President and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute, which is campaigning to "Strengthen Distance and Blended Learning" with the help of funding from the Hewlett Foundation: the tax-exempt arm of the Hewlett Packard computer corporation, which is a member of the World Economic Forum.

"The Seven Cardinal Principles Revisited," Today's Education, NEA, September-October 1976.

Also on the NEA's Cardinal Principles Preplanning Committee was Secretary of Education, T. H. Bell, who oversaw Project BEST. This Bicentennial Committee was commissioned by the NEA to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence by ironically developing a "global curriculum" of "[n]eoacademic skills," including "use of computer languages," that would redesign "the next 100 years of education in an interdependent global community." To help establish this international education system for a technocratic world order, the NEA's Cardinal Principles Panel appointed corporate-globalist, David Rockefeller: a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) member who helped to co-found the world governance bodies of the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg Group, and the Club of Rome. It is worth noting here that the former Executive Director of the NEA, Corina Cortez, is now the Senior Vice President of Strategic Opportunities at the Rockefeller Foundation.

"The Seven Cardinal Principles Revisited," Today's Education, NEA, September-October 1976.

Another member of the NEA's Cardinal Principles Panel was Skull-and-Bonesman McGeorge Bundy, who was the Dean of the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University where he funded B. F. Skinner's "teaching machine" research, which was published in Skinner's book, The Technology of Teaching. At the time of Bundy's appointment to the NEA Panel, he was the President of the Ford Foundation where he worked with another Bonesman, Harold Howe II, who was the Vice President of the Ford Foundation and a former Commissioner of Education under US President Lyndon Baines Johnson. It is worth noting here that David Rockefeller's uncle, Percy Rockefeller, was also a member of the Order of Skull and Bones: the infamous Yale University secret society which has been steering the evolution of laboratory ed-psych into corporate ed-tech for more than a century. It is also worth noting that Bonesman Archibald MacLeish sat on the Governing Board of UNESCO where he wrote the Preamble to the UNESCO Constitution.

"The Seven Cardinal Principles Revisited," Today's Education, NEA, September-October 1976.

Building on the NEA's Cardinal Principles for an "interdependent global community" of schools in a one-world education system, the National Education Association took up the mantle of UNESCO's 1990 World Conference on Education for All, which was convened in collaboration with the World Bank. Through a 1991 follow-up conference hosted by the United State Coalition for Education for All (USCEFA), the NEA teamed up with IBM, Apple, the US Department of Education, and USAID to sponsor UNESCO's Education for All initiative by participating in the USCEFA Conference, which issued a "Report" titled Learning for All: Bridging Domestic and International Education.

In sum, despite the National Education Association paying lip service to the local concerns of its dues-paying teachers in the United States, the NEA's actions demonstrate a long track record of the union's bureaucratic commitment to building the technocratic "School World Order" blueprinted by corporate foundations and ed-tech companies in bed with world governance institutions, such as UNESCO and the WEF. From NEA President Futrell's leadership at UNESCO, K12 Inc., the Kettering Foundation, and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; to the NEA's Cardinal Principles partnerships with David Rockefeller at Chase Bank, Bonesman McGeorge Bundy at the Ford Foundation, and Reagan's Secretary of Ed, T. H. Bell, who helmed Project BEST; all the way to the NEA's endorsement of UNESCO's Education for All; it appears that the NEA's real constituents are not the dues-paying teachers whom the union purportedly represents. Rather, based on the National Education Association's long history of alliances with world governance bodies, multinational ed-tech companies, and international corporate foundations, it is evident that the NEA's real constituents are the globalist oligarchs and technocrats who have been steering humanity into a one-world "Singularity" driven by a post-human Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The NEA Brings UNESCO's Global Education Coalition to a Computer Near You

Fast-forward to the present COVID era, and the NEA is endorsing UNESCO's Global Education Coalition. On the National Education Association's online "Resource Library," the NEA's International Relations division posted a "Toolkit" link to the UNESCO Global Education Coalition's "wealthy information on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on schools," including resources for "continuing to learn during the lockdown." By posting a portal to the Global Education Coalition's "distance learning" resources, the NEA is funneling students and teachers into UNESCO's international network of public-private partnerships between Big Tech companies, tax-exempt corporate foundations, world governance institutions, and globalist non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Partner Search – Global Education Coalition (unesco.org)

At the top of the list, members of UNESCO's Global Education Coalition include Big Tech corporations, such as IBM, Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, Huawei, Verizon, Facebook, Zoom, and Qualcomm, all of which are also members of the World Economic Forum. At the same time, UNESCO's Global Education Coalition also includes globalist NGOs and world governance institutions, such as the OECD, the International Society for Technology in Education, the International Council for Open and Distance Education, Videogames without Borders, the International Labour Organization, and the International Education Funders Group. Simultaneously, the UNESCO Global Education Coalition also includes the following ed-tech companies:

Supporters | Khan Academy

Khan Academy: A virtual online-learning platform that provides "adaptive learning" courseware, which is the modern digital version of Skinner's analogue teaching machines. Khan Academy, which also promotes "virtual reality" ed-tech, is funded by tens of millions of dollars from telecommunications companies, including AT&T and Comcast, and Big Media corporations, such as the Walt Disney Company. Khan Academy is also bankrolled by Netflix Founder and CEO, Reed Hastings, who is a proponent of replacing elected public school boards with the "self-perpetuating governance" of public-private charter school corporations. Additionally, Khan Academy is financed by Big Data companies, such as Oracle and Google. At the same time, Khan Academy is bankrolled by Jack Dorsey, who is the Founder and CEO of Twitter, and Bilderberger Eric Schmidt, who is a former Google CEO and a current Technical Advisor at Alphabet, which is Google's parent company. Other Khan Academy funders include Bank of America; the Carnegie Corporation of New York; the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; the Elon Musk Foundation; the Silicon Valley Community Foundation; the Walton Family Foundation; the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; and the Heinz Family Foundation.

Supporters | Khan Academy

Blackboard Inc.: A "learning management system" (LMS) that aggregates students' learning analytics from various dashboard modules and applications, including McGraw Hill's adaptive-learning "Connect" app. Blackboard partners with Amazon Web Services, Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Sharp, Adobe, Dropbox, Pearson, Cengage Learning, Macmillan Learning, Hawkes Learning, ALEKS, and Biometric Signature ID.

McGraw Hill: An educational publishing and technology corporation that supports innovations in "virtual reality" (VR), "augmented reality" (AR), and "extended reality" (XR) ed-tech, such as Facebook's Oculus and Google's "Cardboard." In addition, McGraw Hill facilitates adaptive-learning apps, including Connect and ALEKS (Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces). McGraw Hill also partners with Clever, which is another adaptive-learning software company that has been funded by Bilderberger Peter Thiel.

  • Technovation: A "global tech education nonprofit" that seeks to "Demystify AI in the Classroom" in order to integrate "AI, Machine Learning, and Data Science" into "curriculum[s] at the K-12 level." Technovation's Board of Directors includes members of Salesforce; Google; Reddit; the UK Government Office for Artificial Intelligence; the World Bank Group; and the Roblox videogame company. Additionally, Technovation's AI Education Committee seats affiliates from IBM; Google; the University of Michigan AI Laboratory; the Center for AI in Society; the Royal Institute of Technology's Department of Robotics, Perception and Learning; and the Broad Institute of Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Team | Technovation
  • Virtual Educa: A "multilateral cooperation initiative" that is "committed to the . . . development of . . . contemporary educational technology." In pursuit of ed-tech innovation, "Virtual Educa operates through an alliance of international institutions, multilateral agencies and public and private entities, bringing together the public, business, academic and civil society sectors." These alliances include "linkages" and "partnerships" with the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Microsoft, Intel, Hewlett Packard, Pearson, Desire2Learn, Blackboard, Qualcomm, Lego Education, and Britannica Digital Learning.
Team | Technovation

  • EdTech Hub: A "global non-profit research partnership" that hosts a database of "EdTechTools" in order to guide "policymakers" and "governments" in their "decisions about technology in education." EdTech Hub's suite of EdTechTools "was designed to help decision makers at all levels in the global education and training community find resources that facilitate and support remote learning." This directory of EdTechTools lists ClassDojo, Coursera, Edmodo, Facebook Get Digital, FutureLearn, Google Classroom, Khan Academy, LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn, Moodle, IBM's Open P-TECH, and Schoology, which is a subsidiary of Power Schools, which platforms educational data-mining companies that track biometric student ID and "precrime" analytics. EdTech Hub partners with the World Bank and the Gates Foundation.
Home – EdTech Hub
  • Sesame Workshop: The "non-profit media and educational organization behind [the] Sesame Street . . . television show." Sesame Workshop partners with IBM's Watson Education AI, which conditions students with cognitive-behavioral adaptive-learning algorithms and other "predictive learning" analytics. Project BEST documents cite Sesame Street's audio-visual educational materials as the technological precursors to the "microcomputer" ed-tech that was globally deployed through UNESCO Study 11.
Sesame Street | IBM

The website for UNESCO's Global Education Coalition also includes an online hub for "[d]istance learning solutions and recommendations," which link to several of these bulleted ed-tech platforms and products. In addition, this UNESCO directory for distance-learning ed-tech provides links to Nearpod and KitKit School. Nearpod ed-tech, which is bankrolled by Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, who is a CFR member and a WEF Trustee, caters "personalized" lessons through "adaptive learning" software and "virtual reality" programs that capitalize on "[u]p and coming trends in BYOD (bring your own device [to class])," according to the Nearpod Blog. KitKit School, financed by Elon Musk in partnership with UNESCO, engineers "independent-learning" technology that digitalizes lessons through "a game-based core and flexible learning architecture," which can adapt to students' competency levels "irrespective of their knowledge, skill, and environment."

Chainlink – Twitter

To put the cherry on top, the UNESCO Global Education Coalition also partners with Chainlink, which provides "middleware" technology engineered to funnel "off-chain" data, such as students' learning analytics, onto blockchain and other "distributed ledger technologies" (DLTs) through the internet-of-things (IoT) and the internet-of-bodies (IoB). In a December 2020 article for the Activist Post, I documented how Chainlink will be instrumental in building the internet-of-everything infrastructure necessary for a "Social Credit" surveillance panopticon that digitally dictates citizens' access to public and private services, including education, employment, healthcare, housing, transportation, due process, and even food, based on a person's biopsychosocial algorithms, such as psychometric data from adaptive-learning courseware. More recently, in my last Unlimited Hangout article, I documented how Chainlink is partnering with UNESCO to facilitate "social impact" investments for "IoT-based projects that leverage Chainlink External Adapters to connect smart contracts to real-world sensors and automate outdated, paper-based processes" by digitizing compliance records, such as "[e]ducational certificates," so that they can be electronically "recorded on-chain and in universal passports."

To put it all together, the NEA's endorsement of the UNESCO Global Education Coalition illustrates how the National Education Association is on board with the Fourth Industrial Ed-Tech Revolution, which is being steered by a cartel of Big Tech corporations that are in bed with the United Nations and the World Economic Forum and colluding to install a one-world Social Credit system that data-mines students' biometrics and psychometrics. This data, harvested from children and youths, is destined for use in "human capital management" as an integral part of a public-private "surveillance capitalist" economy. To be sure, by lobbying the CDC to reduce COVID physical distancing from six feet to three feet, the NEA effectively pressed for policies that would force the American education system to continue privatizing public schools with adaptive-learning AI that has been engineered to data-mine students' psychometrics for "predictive analytics" as well as programmed to technocratically manage the Social Credit economy of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The NEA Cannot Serve Two Masters

In closing, the history of the NEA has been shaped, time after time, by behaviorist technocrats, such B. F. Skinner; telecom corporations, including AT&T; government agencies, like NASA; Big Tech corporations, such as IBM; and world governance institutions, including UNESCO. From the seminal research and development of stimulus-response teaching machines; to the rollout of international satellite IT that connects adaptive-learning courseware through internet telecommunications; to the establishment of global curriculums for a one-world education system governed by UNESCO; all the way to the multinational proliferation of public-private ed-tech markets streamlined by UNESCO Study 11 and the UNESCO Global Education Coalition—the NEA has been steadily marching in lockstep with the United Nations' and the World Economic Forum's mission to usher in a techno-fascist Fourth Industrial Revolution.

If you were perplexed by the fact that the NEA lobbied the CDC to encumber its back-to-school guidelines with tighter COVID restrictions, which perpetuate distance learning curriculums facilitated through public-private contracts with Big Tech corporations, it might make more sense now. It seems more than just plausible that the National Education Association has ulterior motives rooted in their long history of collusion with Skinnerian technocrats, IBM corporatists, US government bureaucrats, and UNESCO globalists in order to bring about what is now most often referred to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution.


To read the entirety of Project BEST and UNESCO Study 11 along with other related documents from the NEA, the AECT, and the US Department of Education, subscribe to my web-brain database at my website: schoolworldorder.info

Episode page for NEA World Order.

translate | Mon, 27 Sep 2021 13:40:13 +0000

9/11 and Anthrax 20 Years On with Graeme MacQueen

The book mentioned that published the findings of the 9/11 Consensus Panel is 9/11 Unmasked: An International Review Panel Investigation by David Ray Griffin and Elizabeth Woodworth.

Episode page for 9/11 and Anthrax 20 Years On with Graeme MacQueen.

translate | Fri, 24 Sep 2021 15:00:25 +0000

Whitney Webb on TLAV- 9/11 Gas-lighters & The Rise Of The Biosecurity State

Also available on SuperU, Odysee, and BitChute.
Show notes on TLAV episode page.

Episode page for Whitney Webb on TLAV- 9/11 Gas-lighters & The Rise Of The Biosecurity State.

translate | Thu, 16 Sep 2021 17:51:00 +0000
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