Who’s Behind COVID-19?

The other day I watched an interesting video on YouTube that connected COVID-19, government officials, pharmaceutical companies, and others into one big conspiring ring of evil. It was sensational, but I wasn’t convinced. No verifiable evidence was offered for any key arguments or claims. Since I’m a big proponent of reading source documents (particularly when it comes to history and theology), I found the lack of verifiable sources disappointing from a journalistic standpoint. Perhaps some of the things they were saying were true, or at least partially true. But without verifiable evidence, an argument is nothing more than an opinion.

Later, I read this article by Joe Forrest that lists several reasons why Christians seem to frequently fall for various conspiracy theories. I recommend reading it. In the following text, I want to reiterate some of his points, add a few of my own, and provide a call to action – especially since many of the people I see sharing this video are good, intelligent Christians.

Why We Find This Video Appealing

Christians generally do not trust the government. There are many good reasons for that. We see that politicians are corrupt, have sold out to the lobbyists and corporations, and they hardly represent our interests anymore. Because of our largely justifiable bias against the government, we are more likely to be duped by someone who affirms our ideas with an intriguing narrative. Confirmation bias is a powerful thing.

We seek patterns. As Forrest points out, we naturally seek patterns in the world around us. When something happens unexpectedly, we want an explanation that helps us make sense of reality. Humans are extremely uncomfortable with uncertainty. We would rather believe a half-truth that makes sense then allow ourselves to linger in suspenseful uncertainty. I once heard a psychologist say, “An inability to be comfortable with ambiguity is a mark of intellectual immaturity.” In other words, we need to be ok with not knowing, with suspending our judgment, and allowing months or years for research to occur. But we want answers, and we want them now!

We want a bad guy. Part of finding intellectual satisfaction revolves around finding a villain. Because we don’t burn witches anymore, we must find someone else to burn with our outrage. After 9/11, America invaded Iraq even though Hussein wasn’t directly involved with the attacks. Likewise, after the Democrats botched the 2016 election, they invented a conspiracy about Trump and Russia dismantling the American democratic process so they wouldn’t have to admit to their own shortcomings. In the big and little things in life, we want someone other than ourselves to blame. Presently, our situation is no different. A virus “invaded” from the other side of the world, killed people, indirectly destroyed our economy, and has caused many of us to live like we’re under house arrest. We’re growing restless and we want someone to rage against.

A distrust of science and experts. We Christians are taught not to trust science from our youth because of things like evolution. When atheists attack Christianity, they almost always use a philosophical interpretation of scientific findings to promote their godless ideology. So, it’s bad philosophy and not science that is to blame; it’s a misreading or misapplication of the data and not the facts themselves. Additionally, we are increasingly having a difficult time trusting experts.

Egoism. I’ve written in the past about the desire for secret knowledge. I would hope most Christians don’t fall for conspiracy theories because of this elitist desire. But I think egoism plays a role in our refusal to let go. For example, when I’ve posted something on social media and it is attacked, I find myself becoming defensive because I feel my ability to reason is what’s being attacked. That’s a downside to social media: theories that we might hold lightly in a face-to-face conversation become publicly debated; now we’re entrenched in the idea because attacking it is attacking me.

Why We Need to Stop

Gossip is a sin. Sharing the faults of others on social media is gossip. We Christians, especially Orthodox Christians, are called by the Church Fathers to be like the sons of Noah (Shem and Japheth) who walked backward to cover their father’s nakedness (Gen. 9:23). That doesn’t mean we flee from accountability, but that our default position is to overlook the faults of our brethren until sufficient evidence is collected. Then a calm, rational case against the guilty party can be made with those who can do something about it. Gossip is the total opposite of that; it flaunts the faults of others (real and imagined) to find self-righteous satisfaction. This is a sin.

Lying is a sin (Ex. 20:16). If we have not investigated the claims being made – and we cannot verify that the theory is true with solid evidence – then we need to refrain from sharing it. Sharing something that might be true is gossiping and probably lying. I know for certain from watching the video that is making its rounds that hardly any evidence was given for the theories being proposed and that real human beings are targeted. If any claims in the video are true, we won’t know that until people take a considerable amount of time to collect evidence and provide it in a detailed way. The results will probably be much more moderate and may not even be particularly interesting.

Christians are called to be the light of the world. We’re not called to be woke, to be accusers, nor are we to “enlighten” people to the plots of wicked men. We’re called to be sources of hope and edification. Perhaps when we’re tempted to share something we should stop and ask, “How is this bringing the light of Christ into the world and spreading the hope of salvation?” If it’s not, then we need to stop.

Judgment Day is coming. We will all be judged by God regarding whether we lived in faith by His commandments. He will not ask us where COVID-19 originated, who might have spread it, who was profiteering from it, how well we defended our constitutional rights, and if we agreed to be vaccinated. Doubtless, many individuals and corporations are living out the motto, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” They are expanding their profits and power by exploiting people, and our constitutional rights are disintegrating. But they will have to answer for that on Judgment Day, not me. My constitutional rights don’t matter in the Kingdom of Heaven anyway, only my faith and obedience to God.

Satan is the bad guy. Regardless of what is happening in this world, we do know that Satan works – without sleeping – to oppose Christ. Any evil, powerful people in this world are merely pawns of Satan – whether they be politicians, CEOs, or the Illuminati. If we have anger and outrage, it should be against the devil and the way he deceives us. We’re wasting our time by attacking our fellow humans. They are not the enemy.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
-Ephesians 6:12-13

That armor includes the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, walking in the Gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit. If we keep our eyes on the Kingdom of God and develop these things within us, we will not be distracted by the evil in this world.

Who’s behind COVID-19? Ultimately, it is the sin of humanity that brought death and disease into the world and Satan who continually tempts us towards evil. So let us “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 4:17).

Update: An investigative journalist reached out to the maker of Plandemic and asked some very direct questions about sources and motives. The result was even more revealing than I thought it would be (basically, the maker of Plandemic is saying he doesn’t know what point he’s trying to make and he isn’t actually sure there’s a conspiracy). Read more here.

12 thoughts on “Who’s Behind COVID-19?

  1. I agree with you, but I think as citizens we must also in a respectful, and Orthodox manner, exercise our rights and Christian obligations to contribute in a meaningful way. Voting is the most passive way to act. Sometimes we need to act more forthrightingly. I’m not so much for protest as for very meaningful doable actions that target those entities that are destroying the Constitutional rights of Christians. St George the Great Martyr, and others like him, were illustrious defenders of the state, but when the state turned against Christians, they preserved their souls and save many around them.

    Also when I talk to other African Americans about what will they say when they meet God, I tell them he is not going to be interested in what others did to you or what you thought they did to you.

    I’m always surprised how they dislike that point of view..it’s worrisome.

    But my main point is that there are many ways to be the light to the world, martyrdom is one of them. the state exist for a reason.

    1. Xenia, I agree that we as Americans have certain opportunities to make improvements in our government and society around us. I certainly don’t want to promote complete inaction. I simply hope to reorient our focus as Christians toward the heavenly Kingdom and not on flaunting the sins of others (real or imagined).

  2. Thank you, Jeremiah. It is very beneficial to hear this message as opposed to all the fear mongering and conspiracy theories.

    1. Thank God. I’m glad it was beneficial.

  3. Jeremiah,

    Christ is risen!!!

    I agree with many points of your write up though I must say if we look into our church history and look at how the faithful lived in those days (early AD pre Christianity legalization, Christian oppression by Ottomans, Christian oppression of Soviet Russia) we can see that they did not start rumors or gossip though they did their best to spread the truth spiritually speaking and in terms of government corruption/propaganda.

    Lastly mis information is a big problem and usually the mainstream news outlets are more click bait hungry rather than factual journalism… One source I recommend which has independent information is armstrongeconomics.com/blog/

    Thanks as always

    [Edited by Admin to remove hyperlink]

    1. Indeed He is risen!

      Thanks for your comment. Perhaps you could point out some specific source documents from the early Church that would show they actively tried to increase awareness of the Roman Empire’s corrupt schemes and government propaganda? As you probably know, by “source documents” I mean writings from that time and not later historians or modern bloggers.

      I don’t recall reading anything like that in my historical studies, which doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, I just don’t remember it. I don’t doubt that they taught against the evils of paganism and a government that frequently murdered Christians. But that’s different than waging a propaganda war or drawing up elaborate conspiracy theories. Thanks!

      1. God have mercy on me as I am not formally theologically educated such as your self though I have spoken to many devout Orthodox believers and will identify some historical events of Orthodoxy and under non Orthodox or atheist states of rule;
        -Ottoman rule and fall of Byzantium (search for many corruptions of EP for highest bidder and so forth) the amount of EPs during the Ottoman rule is disturbing. Also the direct oppression of all in the ministry or anyone trying to teach spirituality that is not Islamic.
        -Soviet rule of the now Russia as many forms of propaganda and oppression not to mention the more modern Sergianism though this is not widely accepted through all reformed world Orthodoxy though very endorsed traditionally as is well noted in “The Rudder”.
        Which takes us to many current issues where legally mandated steps maybe pushed on citizens in the interest of health which directly are anti Christian without even scientific consensus at this time…
        Please reach out to me offline if you want direct resources as I cannot post URLs here

        1. I am pretty familiar with all of the items you listed here. Those were difficult and dark days for the Church, indeed! However, none of these examples displays Christians waging propaganda wars with the government nor spreading rumors to try to tarnish the reputation of rulers or businessmen.

          The closest would be during the Soviet era in which many Orthodox did not trust the Russian Church’s hierarchy and clergy because of KGB infiltrating those ranks or clergy giving up information while being tortured. In those days, the default position of many Orthodox was that the government was certainly corrupt and probably the clergy, too.

          As I mentioned in my blog, I would agree with those who think our government and corporations, in general, are corrupt. No need to argue there. What I am arguing against is spreading rumors about specific people who are (loosely) connected with one another, and slandering those people while attempting to create connections (conspiracies) where there is nothing more than circumstantial evidence to support it. Even the maker of the Plandemic trailer backed away from his claims when asked directly since he didn’t have any evidence to support his ideas (see the update at the bottom of my blog for a link).

  4. First off, thank you for your blog it has been instrumental in my conversion to Orthodoxy. This is definitely an interesting topic that is worth our attention. Information and news on the covid pandemic has been chaotic and confusing at best. Any attempt to make sense of it is met with great frustration as media and experts contradict themselves daily. No one knows what to think. In the midst of this confusion we are largely cut off from the Sacraments and unable to attend Divine services. This makes fertile ground for the passions.
    Our Salvation is in God and his Church and not in men. “Trust ye not in princes, in the sons of men, in whom there is no salvation.” I am being separated from the church and it is indeed separation we have a physical faith that requires we be physically present.
    “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
    It is not our place to rebel against our authorities. However, this does not preclude skepticism after all what else does it mean to not place our trust in presidents and experts (princes and sons of men). I think it is wise not to be too hard on any one view of this crisis. Calling someones viewpoint “conspiracy” is divisive and is often used to shut down conversation. Please recognize that fear is being propagated from all sides and fear is not of God but of Satan. I am attempting to agree with everyone in this situation and see all points as valid but i admit Im falling short.

    1. Anthony, thank you for your comment. It has been a confusing and trying time. There are many contradictions, indeed, as researchers have only been working on this for a few months. The problem is that every time research comes out that backs a certain opinion or mindset, people cling to that and proclaim it to be the answer. Our lack of patience amplifies the varying results of the beginning stages of our research as we read partial research on various websites shared in the news and social media. This is the cause of much of our confusion. It’s like having 10 pieces of a 1,000 piece puzzle and assuming we can know what the whole thing looks like.

      We are largely cut off from the sacraments, but not from the Church. For those who are stuck at home, we can celebrate at least one part of the daily cycle of services (Matins or Typika in the morning, one of the Hours during the day, or Vespers in the evening). Even if it is not the most liturgically correct celebration, we stay tied to the daily cycle of services and, thereby, the life of the Church. A Pentecostarion can be freely accessed online here: http://www.st-sergius.org/services/services10.html

      I agree with your assessment that we can be skeptical of our governing authorities without rebelling against them – that’s definitely where I am. I feel I expressed some of my skepticism in this particular article. The term “conspiracy theory” can be derogatory but it’s a fairly useful term to describe theories that attempt to explain how evil people are scheming. Is there something more polite? It’s more than simply a “point of view” since it involves proclaimed secret knowledge of elaborate evil schemes, usually incriminating and demonizing particular people. It’s like an upsidedown Neo-Gnosticism that, instead of proclaiming secrets to heaven, it proclaims to know the secrets of hell on earth.

      If there is a secret scheme going on, I don’t have a problem with Christians being aware of it. But the saints teach us we should always assume people’s innocence and try to think of ways that they are perhaps misunderstood. These “conspiracy theories” begin with the assumption that certain people must be evil and then they build a sloppy case to demonize those people. It gives some people a sense of control and relief during confusing times.

      But there’s nothing Christian about that. It’s the opposite of what the saints teach. We are called to be “wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” I think part of that wisdom is being cautious and skeptical of the government, but part of the innocence is assuming the innocence of others until insurmountable evidence proves otherwise.

      I appreciate your comment because I can see you are actively trying to work through this with much love and caution. I think that is a good place to be. I apologize for my long comment. These are all things I’ve been pondering lately.

  5. I think a lack of humility is also at play. Or at best, a case of not knowing what one doesn’t know. Most people wouldn’t be able to pass an undergrad intro level science exam, and don’t even know what a real research paper looks like, having never read – let alone understood – one in their lives. How then could one expect to understand any intellectually rigorous (not youtube videos) examination of a question like “what is the origin of COVID?”

    1. A lack of humility at times, and often just plain ignorance. Like you said, most of us couldn’t pass a science exam nor properly understand a scientific research paper. Nor are we learned enough to understand how one scientific paper is excellent in quality, but another is junk. We don’t know that we don’t know. Ideas are explained to us in simplistic ways, so we think the truth must be easy to understand.

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