Those who claim to care…

…usually don’t.

The antismokers don’t care about health. They make vicious attacks on smokers and vapers and are trying to ban vaping (so far, they’ve succeeded in Australia, land of the most gullible politicians on the planet). They only care about control and money.

The tax take from the remaining villified smokers is immense. Some of it pays the antismoker wages. Neither they, nor the politicians, want you to give up smoking or switch to vaping. They just enjoy punishing you for it and charging you for the privilege of being a hated pariah.

Really, they have tried to claim that breathing steam is even more harmful than breathing smoke. The claims made about smoking causing everything from death to dandruff passed the absurdity horizon long ago. The claims of harm from vaping started inside that horizon and are well on the way to the stupidity singularity. Don’t for a moment imagine that any of this is being done for your benefit. It’s being done for theirs. You don’t matter at all.

Climatologists know the climate changes all the time. They’ve been at that scam for many years. When the climate was cooling in the seventies, we were warned about a coming ice age unless we cut our carbon emissions. Now the climate is warming up a bit, the planet will turn into Venus unless we cut our carbon emissions. Oh, and of course, we have to give them lots of money for their pet projects in order to save the world. People fall for this shit in droves. It’s why religion does so well – people just love a good Armageddon story. Especially when they believe they will be saved and we horrible proles will all die.

Now we have ‘gender fluidity’, a step on the way to gender neutrality all round. The medics are cashing in, as usual, using terms like ‘assigned female/male at birth’ rather than sticking to biological facts. Eight-year-olds are being targeted for ‘gender reassignment’ and why? Because it’s good for them? Hahahaha!

Because it makes money for those pushing this nonsense and, deeper, it furthers the Marxist equality agenda which is, of course, a total control agenda. You don’t even get to decide whether you are male or female. The State decides for you.

Soon babies will be surgically neutered at birth and assigned a gender when the State decides they have reached adulthood – and the way things are going that’ll be when you are about 30. Until then you will be neuter. There can be no sex discrimination if you don’t have one. It’s for your own good and you will be amazed at how many people will believe that.

Currently we have Antifa and the KKK in open war on the streets of America. Personally I’d tell the police to stay out of the way and let them wipe each other out. Both claim to know the best way to run American society and both would create a police state – just with different targets. America has experienced McCarthyism and I bet most people don’t want it back.

None of these groups care about you. The people don’t matter at all. They just want to be in control and they want you to pay for it.

Governments do not serve the people any more. Anywhere. In some places, they never did but at least they were open about it. Now there is no government anywhere that exists for any other reason than to control their people and take money from them.

As for the medical profession, well, here’s a tale that puts that bunch of gourd-wavers into perspective. They claim to care about you, but you come second to their personal prejudices.

One day I will be diagnosed with something that will kill me. Or maybe not, maybe I’ll be flattened by a bus or a meteor or blown up by a peaceful religion or stabbed to death in the name of a god of love. But, hopefully, I’ll have a diagnosis telling me I have weeks or months to live.

You will not get me into a hospital. I will smoke everything I can find and drink so much I’d be dead three days before even I noticed. There’ll be no need to embalm me, my body will last longer than Babylonian pickles. I will try class A drugs if I can get hold of any. I never have yet.

If I am told I am in my last months I am going to try everything I can in those months. I will not be tied down in a hospital with my tobacco placed just out of reach because ‘it’s bad for me’. That is beyond cruel. That is actually evil.

It has reached the stage where if anyone says ‘it’s for your benefit’ I automatically look for how they will benefit.

Invariably, they benefit. I never do.

 

 

You’re not paranoid when they really are out to get you

According to some German scientists, smoking makes you anxious and paranoid. Here’s a quick summary of what they did to invent arrive at this conclusion.

They showed volunteers a series of images, just symbols, but some symbols gave them an electric shock when displayed. The volunteers soon learned to anticipate the shock when the symbol appeared. So far, so Pavlovian. Nothing contentious there.

So now they have a group with a ‘learned fear response’. This, they seem to believe, is a bad thing. It’s the response that stops you poking your finger into a flame a second time. The response that makes you steer well clear of tigers and other things that might eat you. Yet, to these scientists, being afraid of something that hurts is a bad thing.

They then showed the volunteers the same symbols but without the electric shocks and with reassurances that ‘all is well’, The smokers tended to flinch at the symbols anyway, despite the reassurances.

Now, from this they conclude that smoking is bad because smokers don’t just accept the reassurances. Smoking, they say, inhibits your ability to suppress a fear response.

Hypothetical stiuation – some bearded loony is running at you with a machete shouting ‘Allahu akbar but it’s okay, I’m from the religion of peace’. Is it better to suppress your fear response because of reassuring words, or is if better to run like buggery and let the idiot who believes the words get sliced into halal bacon?

I’m a smoker. I’ll hang on to my learned fear response, thank you very much.

The ‘fear response’ is not the same thing as PTSD. That’s where they are making their fundamental error. PTSD needs a cure. It’s debilitating. The fear response does not need a cure. It’s a normal and natural part of being a human. In fact, any animal. Suppressing the fear response means developing people who will stick their finger in the flame a second time and who will try to cuddle tigers.

I seem to recall reading about a condition – might be considered the opposite of PTSD – where people have no ability to feel fear and do not learn from being hurt. That’s a pretty dangerous condition to have. Should we all aspire to be so fearless that we will walk back into a burning house because we think we’ve left the gas on?

A big confounder in this whole experiment is that smokers have a ‘fear response’ to the entire medical profession that has been drummed into us over decades. We know they hate us – it’s not paranoia, they are in the news every day delighting in new ways to make our lives miserable. So when a doctor says ‘Now this time we won’t electrocute you’, the smoker is far less likely to believe it. Basically, medical profession, we don’t trust you, and you made that happen.

The nonsmoker has no such conditioned response. They don’t take their septic finger to the doctor knowing they will be nagged about how smoking causes septic fingers and be told a lot of lies about how they have to give up smoking or the antibiotics won’t work. The smoker forced to interact with the medical world now does so from an initial position of anxiety that is caused not by smoking, but by the incessant nagging.

The article goes on to bemoan how PTSD sufferers smoke much more than us laid back hippie layabout smokers, and calls for ‘interventions’ to stop them. Interventions to stop anyone in a job such as the military, fire service or police from smoking in case their smoking triggers PTSD.

Seriously.

They are claiming smoking causes PTSD. Not attending a crime scene where the walls are decorated with blood and three sets of intestines are tastefully arranged into a semblance of a Christmas tree. No, it’s smoking that gives you PTSD. Not combing through a burning building, knowing it might collapse at any moment just as you come face to face with a charred corpse. Not cowering under heavy shellfire and watching your best mate blown into a thousand pieces right in front of you. No, it’s the smoking we have to deal with.

Seriously. They want to stop soldiers smoking because that’s the biggest danger they face. They want to stop police officers smoking becasue being stabbed by a loony is not so bad, really. The best one is still the firemen. The ones who routinely venture into clouds of choking smoke and flame are not allowed to burn half a gram of leaves and inhale.

This piece of research clearly had the conclusion ‘smoking is bad’ prewritten. It does nothing to advance any kind of treatment for PTSD or anything else. The only thing it advances is the antismoking agenda. Soon you will not be allowed to join the police, military or fire brigade if you smoke.

As the experiment has shown, only those whose natural fear response can be easily overridden will be allowed into those professions. They are the ones who will take unnecessary risks that will put themselves and their colleagues in danger. The smoker who says ‘Whoa, hang on, if we do that we’ll probably die’ is to be banned from the professions altogether.

Military, fire service, police. Three professions where the alleged dangers of smoking are utterly trivial when set against the dangers they face every day. Yet here we have a piece of ‘research’ designed to eliminate smoking from those professions.

Why?

Puritanism. It’s the answer to everything now.

The Mark of the Beast

Revelation 13: 16-17: Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.

I’m not religious, still. I’m not convinced of the existence of any God and yet, the Bible was written by some very interesting people. And, as a writer of scary stories, I have had occasion to dip into the Bible (as well as some *cough* ‘rival publications’ for fact-checking and inspiration). The Mark of the Beast is a big story plotline which nobody seriously thought would become reality.

Well, here it is. (hat tip to on Twitter).

And also here (another hat tip, this time to ) The last line of this one contains a typo –

“I want to be part of the future,” she laughs.

Surely she meant ‘furniture’. They hold parties where unchipped workers get to be assimilated for free. It’s not yet compulsory to be chipped to work there but it’s going to be damn inconvenient to be unchipped when the card readers start breaking down. Who wants to pay maintenance costs on obsolete equipment? There’s no need to ‘force’ compliance. Just make non-compliance a hassle.

These are all volunteers. They’ll be delighted with their new Borg implant that lets them open doors and operate vending machines. How long before there are doors that can only be opened by the chip? You don’t have the chip, you can’t go in there. How long before it’s simply too inconvenient to be unchipped? How long before it’s mandatory? How long before you can’t open your door or ride a bus or start your car without one? How long before resistance is genuinely futile?

Oh, the technology has been around for some time. Implanted chips are years old. Implants in pets are actually compulsory in many countries now, and you can already pay for stuff by tapping your credit card on the machine rather than going to all that hassle of slotting it in and pressing four buttons. I’m still a Luddite and use cash most of the time, and absolutely refuse to get involved with contactless when I use the card.

I can keep the cards in a screened wallet so they don’t get scanned by passing crooks, but what if it’s in your hand? Will we have to wear chain mail gloves?

Yes, people welcomed contactless technology and as I suggested at the time, if pressing four buttons is such a hassle, wouldn’t it be so much more convenient if you didn’t have to bother with the card? Why not have that contactless chip embedded in your hand? You can’t forget it or lose it and it’s unlikely to be stolen. You’d certainly notice if it was. I said at the time that it wouldn’t have to be mandatory. People will welcome such convenience.

Remember, a few years back, the calls to have children microchipped like pets so they could be traced if they went missing? Oh that met with absolute outrage! It died out and went quiet. Well it’s back now, except now they will get adults to demand them rather than force them on us all.

They could replace passports. Yes, you can be scanned remotely as you pass without even knowing your credentials are being checked. Isn’t that convenient? Any government authority can know where you are and who you’re with at a moment’s notice. Does that make you feel safe? I bet many people will answer ‘yes’ to that.

The amount of calories in your shopping could soon be displayed on your till receipt and from there it’s just a small step to a siren and red light announcing ‘too many calories!’ at the checkout. Most people will be shamed into buying fewer calories. Personally I’d see it as a challenge to set off that red light every single time.

Buying too much booze? Buying too many chocolate bars? Buying another can of fizz when you bought one only last week? Does it really sound so unlikely when even now, you buy something on Amazon and get related ads popping up on Facebook and other sites. Use your store card and they send you vouchers for money off stuff you buy. Oh yes, it’s all great until you start thinking about how much data is really stored about your life.

Your medical records can be stored on another chip. How would you sell that to people? Well, suppose you were in an accident or passed out on the street. If an ambulance crew could just scan you and get your records, it would save vital minutes and ensure they know what to treat you with right away. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Link it to your home Wifi and the medics can tell if you’re suddenly taken ill. They can also tell when you’re smoking, drinking, overeating…

All this, and the total removal of even the concept of gender, is already in Panoptica. The story I wonder about finishing – and wonder whether I should have written it at all. It seems to come true as I write it.

Although I didn’t have calorie counts on till receipts. There are no till receipts and your shopping is assembled for you depending on your State-defined dietary needs. That hasn’t happened in real life.

Yet.

 

The ‘Devoid of Choice’ Generation.

It still makes me laugh to see companies with signs saying ‘This company operates a no smoking policy’. No, you don’t. No company operates such a policy because no company has any choice in the matter. Every company, every operator of every workplace and every place open to the public is obliged to prevent smoking on the premises. If they fail to comply they will be fined.

There is no choice. No amount of smug signs saying ‘we are making this rule’ changes that fact. You might as well put up signs saying ‘we obey’ because that is what you are really doing.

Hiding from that fact only emboldens the Health Nazis. They see such compliance as weakness and they know they have not reached any boundary yet. In fact there’s no sign of any such boundary. I suppose, denied the old fashioned persecution of anyone non-white, gay or otherwise different, the bigots out there have to have someone to hate and the Health Nazis have a target for them. Smokers.

They have more targets too. The overweight. Anyone putting salt on their food or swigging a can of chemical fizz. All lined up for when the last smoker has been dealt with.

Still, the war on smokers continues to its final solution

“We want to address this. Our vision is nothing less than to create a smoke-free generation.”

That’s a quote from Steve Brine, whose surname is going to get him into trouble with the Salties in the future. They want a salt-free world, Steve. No more brine.

But look closely at those words –

“…Our vision is nothing less than to create a smoke-free generation.”

Ah, the new Aryan race. Moulded along lines directed by those who consider themselves lords over all. And to think, they object to being called Nazis.

This ‘smoke-free’ generation are not going to be asked if they want to play along and be part of Briny Steve’s ashtray-free Utopia. Oh no. That generation will be created by the Salty Fuhrer and his coven of We Know Best.

You won’t have the choice, kids, and you’ll be so proud that you have no choice that you will crow about your non-smoking even though you will never get to try it. You will not be allowed to try it and you will obey.

Oh I know there are antismokers out there thinking ‘Excellent. No more smokers’. They don’t see it, do they? Once you are obedient there is no end to it. No salt. Obey. No meat. Obey. No milk. Obey. No booze. Obey. No socialising without State supervision. Obey.

Oh I know, you’re thinking ‘Well I don’t smoke but they won’t make me give up meat’. They won’t make me give up smoking either. It’s not for us. It’s for their Aryan generation of your kids and grandkids and then on forever. The obedient drones they want to create. You want that as your family legacy? We’ll all be reviled as the filthy ancestors who ate burgers, swilled beer and drooled over meat pies with salty chips. Our headstones will be smashed to rubble to pave the pure streets of Obedience Utopia.

Sure, we’ll be dead, why should we care? Why should we care that our descendants will be drones for the elite (who, incidentally, won’t be giving up anything)? Why should we care if the Earth turns into a planet of slaves to be worked and culled and occasionally harvested for the entertainment of a few utter arseholes? Why should we care that Mount Olympus will be staffed by human gods in the future? Why should we care that our children’s children will live their lives in terror of saying a word out of place and ending up ‘on the farm’?

As fertiliser, not driving a tractor.

Why should we care that our great-grandchildren will watch each other constantly, hoping for that buzz of reward when they hand in a wrongthink criminal and get a pat on the head for it?

Ah, maybe I’m exaggerating – but look around. How much of it is in place already? We have ‘bacon crime’ as a real imprisonable offence. Really, we don’t have far to go.

Smoker persecution was just the start. It soon moved on to other things. Smoker eradication is, likewise, just the start. This smoke free generation will be an obedient, choice free generation. They will not smoke. Not because they don’t want to, because they have been told not to and they will obey. Just like those businesses who pretend that being smoke free is their choice, that generation will pretend it’s their choice too. It won’t be. They will not smoke, or drink, or ever taste bacon or beef or chicken, because it will not be allowed. They will be conditioned to believe it was their choice. Just like those businesses with their no smoking policies.

It’s better to believe you chose that path than to accept you were forced onto it, for many people. Not for me. I will not accept force but then school wasn’t a conditioning factory when I was there. They taught us how to think, not what to think. We are no use to the Briny Steves of the world, they are waiting for us to die and, in the meantime, silencing us with political correctness and poofterphobia and dynamitewaistcoatophobia and racism and all the other bollocks. None of it is real for pretty much all of us but their upcoming proto-Aryans believe every word. Especially the made up words. Oh and the suckers who currently enjoy ‘protected status’? Oh you are going to have a really shitty time, very soon.

In the future your grandkids will not smoke and they will convince themselves it’s because they don’t want to. I am not promoting smoking here, I am promoting choice. The choice to not smoke is as valid as the choice to smoke. When you don’t have the choice then you are nothing more than an obedient drone.

Is that what you see for your family’s future?

The vapers will soon point out that the UK Health Nazis have now decided to allow vaping to help with cutting down on smokers. Yeah, don’t get too cheery about it guys. You have not had a reprieve, you have had a stay of execution.

When they finish us off, do you really think they’ll leave you alone?

If you do, you’re going to be very, very disappointed.

 

 

I don’t scare people

Really, I don’t. People are already scared. It’s a normal biological reaction to living in a world full of lunacy and danger. So, when I write a scary story and people complain they were scared by it (uh, that was kind of the point but yes, some people have complained) it’s not me who’s scaring you.

You were already scared. All I did was point out the monster behind the sofa.

People are scared all the time but that fear is unfocused. Their bodies are telling them they’re scared but there’s nothing tangible or immediate to focus that fear on. We’re set up to be scared of tigers and such, things we can see, but in the modern world there is no fixed point of reference. We just know it’s wrong and we’re scared but there’s no tiger.

All you need do as a horror story teller (and general prank playing bastard) is to give them a focus. The fear is already there for you to play with. It just needs you to give it a direction.

When I worked at Local Shop, Obelix the storeman (a veritable giant who was scared of everything) once mentioned his worry about something emerging from the toilet while he was sat on it.

I helpfully explained plumbing – the water in the toilet is only in the U-bend and the pipe after that is only wet during a flush. So a rat could easily get up to the back of the toilet and, since rats can swim, would have no difficulty popping under that bend for a quick nip of the danglies.

No evil smile, no cruel looks, just plain, calm, quiet speaking. I don’t think Obelix has shit since that day.

It does happen. Rats have appeared in toilet bowls – but it is exceedingly rare and the chances of one popping in while your tasty meaty arse is poised for a snack is very, very small indeed.

Actually it might not be that rare. Maybe rats pop into toilets all the time but finding them unoccupied and foodless, just pop back down again. Schrodinger’s rat, or maybe quantum rats. Who knows?

Probably best not to dwell on it though, eh?  😉

How about an anaconda or, more likely in America than here, a flushed alligator? Nah, the alligator won’t fit back up once it’s grown. The anaconda could do it. So could a cobra or an Australian brown snake. Maybe a funnel-web spider has moved into the bowl of the outside dunny…

You’d need a very, very good friend to suck the poison out.

Horror tales don’t need to be filled with violence and gore. Often, it’s the quiet explanation of plausible nonsense that works best.

I have told hand-waving antismokers that all the grey dust they see is 400 years of cigarette ash. They believe it. Why? Because the antismokers have told them that the residues of smoking never degrade and are in the environment forever. It’s rubbish of course but add up 400 years of smoking plus ASH propaganda and there you go. A plausible fabrication. Very scary bogeyman. It doesn’t exist but hey, they’re already terrified of smoking and that’s not my fault. I just nudge the fear a little further. The difference is, I don’t do it for money. I do it because it’s funny.

The plausible fabrication is the main technique of the antismoker. I see no issue with using their own weapons against them. All’s fair in smoking and war – and this is war. Okay, they don’t have snipers picking us off outside pubs so far, but many of them would like to. They even made a video game of exactly that. One Twatter user even said he wanted us taken out and shot in front of our families. Maybe ASH should become ISIS (International Smoker Inquisition of Spite), there’s not that much difference now.

So far, the war is mostly words and I’m fine with that. Words are the only weapon I’m very good at. I’m pretty good with a takedown recurve bow as long as you’re willing to take a seat and have a cup of tea while I put it together but otherwise, I fight with words.

Oh I have some big words. Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychyndrobwllllantisiliogogogoch. So there. That’s like Conan with a dictionary instead of a broadsword. Yes, I’ve been there and no, I didn’t look it up first.

The antismokers tried training children to snatch cigarettes from the mouths of smokers in the street. They really did. With no regard to how fast those children would subsequently cross the road among rush hour traffic. That went abruptly quiet. They tried having gullible idiots testing smokers for breath CO levels on busy streets (never on quiet streets). That went quiet too. Presumably the gullible idiots eventually tested themselves and found their CO levels were the same. Exhaust fumes *cough*.

It’s all been a lie. Right from the outset, it was all lies. So why not lie back? You will never beat these people with the truth, they have already denied the existence of truth. Atruthists. You cannot fight them with the weapon of truth, they do not believe in it.

So fight them with horror. Fight them with fiction, the same weapon they use on the rest of the drones. The drones are disturbingly easy to manipulate and honour and decency says we shouldn’t – but we are not fighting an honourable and decent enemy. We are up against ‘anything goes’ bastards. We can only fight on their terms, we won’t win on ours.

Push the drones to the absurdity horizon. Some will cross and carry on to the Stupidity Singularity, some will stop and say ‘Hang on a minute…’

They call us ‘witch’. Be one. They call us ‘demon’. Be one.

Use absurdity. Use horror. Use the calm explanation of the terrible imaginary lumpy death they must surely face now they have encountered your unholy existence. Use fiction. The other side does and they dismiss our statements of reality with more fiction. You cannot beat that with truth. Use their own weapons against them. Make use of the dopey drones they have created.

Yes it is cruel. Yes it is immoral. We will be lying to people. But the enemy has shown that this works and it’s down to this. Do you want to die a moral hero in a death camp?

Not me. I will torment the antis and their drones right up until that walk in the woods where I get an accidental deer hunter bullet ion the back of my head.

Until then I will scare the drones harder than ASH do. it’s the only weapon I can reliably use. The weapon of words.

My weapon of choice.

 

The media silence cracks

First of all, I finally got ‘Blackjack’ through every technical hitch CreateSpace could throw at me. The page isn’t fully built but it has begun. The Kindle and Smashwords eBook versions have been up for a while. The eBook is also through Smashwords’ filter now and will be appearing on Barnes and Noble, Kobo etc very soon. If you don’t want a Kindle format one, Smashwords has it in almost any format you could possibly want. That goes for all the previous books too.

Okay. So, have I calmed down a bit after last night’s rant? Not at all. I am more furious than ever. Not only have I remembered that it is in fact eleven years of exile for us here in Scotland, not a mere ten that the English are moaning about, but something Roobeedoo posted made me think.

We’re all banging on about pub closures. What about all that taxi income? Long after the buses have stopped running we often needed a taxi to get home after a night of drinking. If it’s a long way and after midnight that’s a big fare. More than eleven years ago it cost me about £30 to get home from a boozy night in Aberdeen (not quite, a mate of mine got dropped off halfway and paid his share) but that compares with about £3 back then if the buses ran that late. I wonder what it would cost now?

Of course I’ll never find out. I’m not going drinking in Aberdeen because half the pubs I liked are gone and the ones that are left have all banned smokers. There’s no justification for spending on a large taxi fare just to have a shitty evening standing around outside in the rain. I could do that at home. At home, I can smoke inside.

The taxis suffered from the loss of pubs caused by the smoking ban too. I expect those late night shops selling mysterious meat from the ‘kebab’ – a strange animal with no internal organs – suffered also. Now I come to think of it, there do seem to be fewer of those shops than there used to be. I wonder if there are any figures on those things? How many of the late night takeaways, of all kinds, now close at 10?

The media stayed silent on the ban or ran more propaganda from the Dreadful Arnott on how great it was. They kept that tone until now.

It’s changing. The media are starting to question the fake science behind it all. They are pointing out how it was done and how it is being extended to everything else.

In Australia, the automatic respect expected by dickheads like Simon Chapman is no more. That one is more about vaping, which is banned in Australia because it interferes with the tax funding that pays for dickheads like Simon Chapman.

It’s now being recognised that it was the smoking ban that killed pubs. Not the economic downturn, not the ‘temporary loss in sales ‘. The earlier bans in Scotland and Ireland showed the lie of the ‘economic downturn’ story.

It’s all been based on lies. Well over ten years of lies and it has taken until now for it to even start to come out. But once it starts, well, there’s likely to be no way to stop it.

There is a reason behind all the crap science that is published now. That reason lies in the ‘target driven culture’ so espoused by the socialists. You have to meet the target even if you reach  the required level by standing on a pile of elephant shit. So, that’s what people do.

When I left mainstream science and went solo, it was already more money-driven than knowledge-driven. Promotions went to those who had big grants even if the research quality was based on ‘give the funders the answer they want and they’ll fund more’. It wasn’t like that when I started. It’s never been like that for me. That’s why I’ll never be rich.

The cracks in the target-driven, money-oriented corruption of what used to be called ‘science’ are widening. Those cracks will swallow a lot of the utter nonsense out there now, including, eventually, the smoking ban and all its Puritan vile control freaks. It’s all going to fall down just like it has every time they’ve tried this in the past.

But don’t get complacent. They’ll be back.

Entertainment time – The Macbeth Trio

It has been some time since I last posted fiction (excluding all references to the Daily Mail). This one is a first draft. It might change, it might not, it depends whether I still like it tomorrow. One day though it will be in a collection.

It is fiction. Purely made up with no suggestion that it might be even remotely connected to reality. It was written in a few hours tonight and is not intended to be take seriously.

I have to say that part before I admit it was inspired by this, sent to me by   @Raven80504432 on Twitter.

I haven’t mentioned to Raven that I have had a large plastic raven flying in my house since last October. Synchronicity could raise its head here.

Anyway. To the story. Remember, it’s fiction. I just made it up. It’s probably not real.

Keep the tinfoil handy, just in case.

 

The Macbeth Trio

“Scrofula!” Doc Armitage banged the table. “That’s the next one.”

Doctor West pursed his lips. Turning to Doctor Smythe, he twirled his index finger beside his head.

“I’m serious.” Armitage rested his hands on the table and leaned forward. “It’s a not-so-deadly form of tuberculosis and we did that one a few years back. So we already have a vaccine that will probably work.” He straightened. “We can use the variant, Mycobacterium scrofulaceum, to claim we have to develop a new vaccine and even if we do have to, it’ll be a piece of piss.”

Smythe rubbed his finger alongside his nose. “I like it. We’re running out of diseases to make vaccines for. This one is rare but we can work with it.”

“Okay.” West steepled his fingers. “Let’s, for the moment, assume you both aren’t totally bonkers.” He held up his hand to forestall Armitage’s protests. “It’s a long shot, but let’s assume it anyway. How the hell do we get the population scared of a disease none of them have even heard of?”

“No problem.” Armitage folded his arms. “It’s related to tuberculosis, often caused by the same bacterium. We blame it on the immigrants, as usual, and show pictures of the few immunocompromised patients who have had it fairly recently.”

“Without, of course, mentioning the severely immunocompromised part.” Smythe winked at West.

“Of course.” West rubbed his temples. “It’s starting to sound good, or maybe I’m just going as crazy as you two.” He looked up. “Same procedure?”

“Yes indeed.” Armitage nodded. “We start up with stats showing this long forgotten disease has begun to make a resurgence. We use percentages so nobody catches on that our four cases became six to give us a 50% increase. Like we did with necrotising fasciitis. Then we start talking about the possibility of 100 new cases in the next century and as with mad cow disease, hardly anyone will notice that’s one case a year.”

“There’s one thing though.” West took a deep breath. “People don’t know scrofula. They’ll look it up. They’ll find out how rare it is. We don’t have the control we had with our own inventions – BSE and necrotising fasciitis and AIDS and so on. They’ll see through this one fast.”

“You’re right.” Smythe tapped his pen on his notepad. “We’ll need some ground work first. Edit Wikipedia and lock it with our version, get our own sites written and up to the top of every search. Get the official NHS and other medical sites on board too. We can afford it. We just need to get our versions in before we mention scrofula to the public. Then when they look it up, they’ll see what we want them to see.”

West shook his head. “We can’t edit every medical textbook.”

“Nobody reads the print ones any more anyway.” Armitage grinned. “And you’re wrong, you know. Most of those books are online or available as eBooks and we can edit them easily. They’ll even update the ones already downloaded onto every device out there. Let the print books carry the truth under a layer of dust. We can edit history and nobody will notice.”

West sat in silence for long minutes. He started to speak a few times but lapsed into thought again. The other two watched him, silent too. West was the one with the final say on this idea.

“It can work.” West said.

Smythe and Armitage high-fived each other.

“Okay.” West reached for the coffee pot and refilled his cup. “This one is going to take a lot of setting up. Smythe, get started on those disinformation sites right away. Armitage, start getting your lab ready for the volunteers. We say nothing about this outside this room until all mention of scrofula on the web is ours. Okay?”

Both nodded assent. Smythe scribbled notes on his pad.

“Then we claim scrofula is on the rise and as before, we blame it on immigrants.” West ducked his head to hide his smirk. “Poor buggers. The socialists invite them in and we capitalise on them. If only they knew.”

“The socialists have a narrow view of life.” Armitage raised his eyebrows. “They are easily manipulated, that’s why socialism uses them. Their leaders will never realise that all they’ve done is point out who can be manipulated.”

“Yeah, yeah, we’re not here for politics. This is far more important, it’s about money.” West waved his hand. “Next, Armitage, you call for volunteers as usual. You’re looking for carriers, of course, asymptomatic infectors, as always. The ones who get sick, cure them, send them home with a fat wad of cash. The ones who don’t but who are infectious, you ‘cure’ with a placebo and let them loose. The big payoff means you’ll get volunteers from all over the country so you get the best spread.”

“Works every time.” Smythe looked up from his notes. “It spreads, maybe a dozen or more get infected and then millions come looking for a vaccine.”

“All helped by the hysterical press. What would we do without them?” Armitage clasped his hands.

West laughed before speaking. “The tinfoil hat lot will be on about population reduction and saving the planet from humanity again. Every time. They can’t seem to grasp that we don’t give a shit about any of that. We just want the money.”

“It’s almost too easy. We use the same techniques over and over and nobody notices,” Armitage said. “But then antismokers, antibooze, anti salt, sugar, all of them use the same methods and nobody’s noticed that either.”

“People are dim.” West leaned back in his chair. “Most just want an easy life, no challenges, no hard parts. Offer to take the hard parts away and they’ll come running.” He stood. “Well, I think we have a new project. Let’s get moving and call this meeting closed.”

Smythe looked up from his notes. “When’s the next one?”

Armitage laughed aloud. “I think you mean, ‘when shall we three meet again?’ eh?”

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If you don’t get the reference in the last line, I have to say ‘Macbeth’ to you