COVID and the Noble Lie

“Unethical”… “dystopian”… “totalitarian”…

These are the words of the British government’s primary scientific advisory bunch — the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviour, by title.

These scientific advisors presently droop their heads in shame. For these are the very words they employ to describe their own conduct.

They concede: Last March their wicked counsel encouraged government officials to wildly inflate the true viral threat.

Only a pitiless torturing of facts — argued these men and women of science — could terrify the public into locking themselves in, locking themselves up, locking themselves down.

The London Telegraph:

In March [2020] the Government was very worried about compliance and they thought people wouldn’t want to be locked down. There were discussions about fear being needed to encourage compliance, and decisions were made about how to ramp up the fear.

Fear came ladling out by the ton.

Millions and millions would perish in agonies scarcely describable, they howled. The hospitals would overflow into the streets, they screeched.

Only the near-cessation of all public life could cage the menace.

The halfway men, the men counseling a measured response… were drummed out of court.

“Using Fear Smacks of Totalitarianism”

Group psychologist Gavin Morgan, confessing his atrocities:

Clearly, using fear as a means of control is not ethical. Using fear smacks of totalitarianism. It’s not an ethical stance for any modern government. By nature I am an optimistic person, but all this has given me a more pessimistic view of people.

A pity, it is, that this fellow is not a Daily Reckoning reader.

We would have squeezed the optimism from him long ago… and pumped in an implacable pessimism.

It would have spared him an awful letting-down, a massacre of his innocent delusions.

Here another (unnamed) scientific advisor enters the confession booth:

The way we have used fear is dystopian. The use of fear has definitely been ethically questionable. It’s been like a weird experiment. Ultimately, it backfired because people became too scared.

Another member was “stunned by the weaponisation of behavioural psychology.”

Yet another head-shrinker likens his witchcraft to mind control:

“You could call psychology ‘mind control.’ That’s what we do…”

Might we suggest another term for what they do? Might that term be… ‘propaganda?’


Let us consult Mr. Webster and his famous thesaurus. He defines propaganda this way:

Information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view… ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause.

We will assume the Telegraph’s reporting in this instance is authentic. If true… has not the British government… purposefully broadcast propaganda?

We are compelled to conclude it has.

And since the United States government let out similar shrieks, can we conclude it too has broadcast propaganda — and for identical reasons?

‘Maybe it did,’ you argue. ‘But the government needed to exaggerate the threat, else too few people would take it seriously. More people would have died. They did what they needed to do.’

That is, you give a wink and nod towards what Plato labeled “the noble lie.”

It may be a lie, you allow. But it is a lie conscripted in the service of a higher good.

Perhaps your argument has juice in it. But is not a noble lie… nonetheless a lie?

And should democratic governments lie to We the People, however nobly?

As well heave the civics books into the hell box.

Noble Lies

The men gathered at Philadelphia in 1787 lacked authorization to draft a Constitution.

Their mandate was to sand down the rougher edges of the Articles of Confederation, to rub on some polish, to give a slight renovation.

They instead dynamited the thing to bits and pieces. The public was denied all knowledge of their mischiefs, denied all voice in the outcome.

It represented — in essence — a coup, a treason against the United States.

Yet it glows in history as the Miracle at Philadelphia. We label the plotters “Founding Fathers.”

And they mounted Olympus rather than the gallows.

The Good Guys Don’t Always Sport White Hats

Mr. Lincoln was no more determined to banish slavery than a bought policeman is determined to banish the narcotics trade.

He would look away from Southern evil so long as he could count his tariffs at the ports of Charleston, Savannah and New Orleans.

What does the noble lie mistell us?

That Old Abe was monomaniacal against the scourge of chattel slavery… and that “every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword.”

Here is another noble lie:

The Kaiser’s soldaten bayoneted Belgian babies during the First World War.

In August 1914, the British scissored the undersea German communications cables running west to American shores.

All trans-Atlantic flows would therefore issue from the British Foreign Office… the same British Foreign Office that sweated mightily to enlist the United States in its cause.

Hence the dreaded Hun’s skewering of poor Belgian infants and similar atrocities.

Come now to Dec. 8, 1941…

Dastardly, Yes. But Unprovoked?

Roosevelt — Franklin Delano — raged against Japan’s dastardly and unprovoked attack the morning prior.

Yet was it entirely unprovoked?

In July 1941, the United States government froze all Japanese assets in its possession.

In August 1941,  the United States government embargoed oil and gasoline exports to Japan.

Over 80% of Japan’s supply shipped in from the United States.

Officials knew well that Japan might take a desperate armed lunge in response.

These men believed war was all but assured. But it was critical that Japan deliver the initial blow… to incense the American public.

United States War Secretary Henry Stimson, on the wrecks of Pearl Harbor:

“My first feeling was of relief … that a crisis had come in a way which would unite all our people.”

Picking Fights With Germans

Prior to Pearl Harbor, the United States Navy had also been initiating jousts against German U-boats along the Atlantic convoy routes.

Was the United States a neutral power prior to December 1941? And did razzing German U-boats constitute a breach of this neutrality?

Many historians will tell you Mr. Roosevelt was attempting to lure the Germans into another Lusitania trap.

But Herr Hitler saw the worm wriggling upon Roosevelt’s hook.

He ordered his men to avoid all tangles with vessels flying the neutral flag of the United States.

He laced into any U-boat man who gobbled the American bait — even in strictest defense.

Not Defending Japan or Germany

Let it go immediately into the record:

We do not throw in with the Japanese Empire… or with the Austrian corporal’s National Socialist German Workers’ Party.

In our residence, Victory in Europe Day and Victory Over Japan Day are events of high revelry. They are third only to Independence Day and Flag Day.

Once, under the heavy instigation of liquor, we even hung Herr Hitler in effigy — and set his mannequin aflame.

We additionally made a voodoo doll of Tojo… and gave his ghost a frightful jabbing.

We merely wish to illustrate that truth is war’s first battlefield fatality.

The lie may or may not be noble. But a lie it often is.

Examples multiply and multiply.

The Noble Lie of Climate Alarmism

The noble lie lives yet… as the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviour demonstrates.

In recent years, the noble lie has also covered the planet itself — climate change.

Alarmists insist we perch perilously upon the devil’s shovel.

If man continues coughing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, Earth will catch a raging fever.

Thus the world no longer confronts “climate change.” It confronts a “climate crisis.”

The noble lie writes the warrant for the mass merchandising of alarm. Stanford climate scientist Stephen Schneider:

On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method… On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. To do that we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, means getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.

There, in a walnut shell, you have the noble lie.

Crying Wolf

The noble liars have yelled wolf so often, so loudly, they have cashed in their credibility. Here is the danger:

One day the wolf may truly snarl at the door. An authentic plague or environmental cataclysm may menace us.

But they have already squandered their credit.

They will shout wolf and shout wolf and shout wolf again… telling a noble truth…

Only this time… no one will heed them.


Brian Maher

Brian Maher
Managing Editor, The Daily Reckoning

The Daily Reckoning