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Monday, July 16, 2018

The Secret Knowledge, Just Ignorance By Another Name

The Secret Knowledge, Just Ignorance By Another Name

I call it the Secret Knowledge.

Meaning that body of information not everyone has, that body known only to those few people who had the good sense to go off the beaten path and seek it. It is information you’ll never see in your “newspapers” or “network news” or any other place overly concerned with verifiable “facts” and reliable “sources.” It will not come to you through a university “study,” peer-reviewed “article,” renowned “expert,” government “agency” or any other such traditional bastion of authority.

No, the Secret Knowledge is the truth behind the truth, the real facts behind the facts “they” want you to believe. It unveils the conspiracies beneath the facade suckers mistake for real life. Not incidentally, the Secret Knowledge will always confirm your worst fears.

I don’t know when the mania for Secret Knowledge began. Maybe it was when King and the Kennedys were killed and some of us could not shake a gnawing suspicion that the stories we were told were not the whole truth. Maybe it was when a man walked on the moon and it was so amazing some of us refused to believe it had happened. Maybe it was when Watergate shattered public trust. Maybe it was when The X-Files fed a shivering unease that we inhabited a world of lies within lies.

But if we can’t say for certain when the mania began, the fact that it’s here is beyond dispute. Indeed, it has spread like, well … measles.

Ay, there’s the rub. Also the scratching.

As you have no doubt heard, that highly contagious and sometimes deadly disease, which this country declared eradicated 15 years ago, has returned. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were fewer than 50 cases in 2002, and there were 644 last year. Already this year, there have been over 100 cases.

Authorities say much of this resurgence is due to the refusal of a growing number of parents to vaccinate their kids. The parents think the shots are dangerous, citing a 1998 study by a British doctor who claimed to have found a link between vaccinations and autism. As it turns out, that study was debunked and retracted, and the doctor lost his license. But the alleged link lives on, fueled by Jenny McCarthy, who has become a frontwoman of sorts for the anti-vaccination movement.

Bad enough the Secret Knowledge drives our politics (Barack Obama is a Muslim from Kenya), our perception of controversy (Trayvon Martin was a 32-year-old tough with tattoos on his neck), our understanding of environmental crisis (there is no scientific consensus on global warming) and our comprehension of tragedy (9/11 was an inside job). Apparently, it now drives health care, too.

So a onetime Playboy model who says she was schooled at “the University of Google” holds more sway with some of us than, say, the CDC. It is an Internet Age paradox: We have more information than ever before and yet, seem to know less. Indeed, in the Internet Age, it can be fairly said that nothing is ever truly, finally knowable, authoritative testimony always subject to contradiction by some blogger grinding axes, some graduate of Google U, somebody who heard from somebody who heard from somebody who heard.

And let us pause here to cast shame on would-be presidents Chris Christie and Rand Paul, who both said last week that vaccinations should be a matter of parental choice, a particularly craven bit of pandering that ignores a simple principle you’d think we’d all support: your right to make irresponsible decisions about your child ends at my right to safeguard my child’s health. But in an era of designer facts and homemade truth, maybe there are no simple principles any more.

As a disease once thought over and done with comes back like some ’90s boy band, this much seems obvious:

The Secret Knowledge is just ignorance by another name.

Leonard Pitts is a columnist for The Miami Herald, 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, Fla., 33132. Readers may contact him via email at

Photo: Duncan Arsenault via Flickr

82 Responses to The Secret Knowledge, Just Ignorance By Another Name

  1. Get your kids vaccinated, then don’t concern yourself with what others do. Veteran’s like myself had a small book filled with them, for the most part, we lived (except for the last one for many of us). While large groups of anti-vaxxers are mostly located in Liberal California, somewhere near 90% of children are vaccinated. There will always be kids who CAN’T get vaccinated due to health reasons, but I doubt that’s 10% worth. Measles can be a nasty disease, but for the most part, not as nasty as polio. The current outbreak is small, compared to many years ago. What people like the Author fail to recognize, is that when this country has mostly an uncontrolled Southern border, these diseases will be coming across the border. Texas has it under control, California is much more liberal on the issue, which might explain why this measles out break began there. But, can’t talk about that because it requires common sense and if it don’t fit the agenda, it’s off limits.

    • I agree Gary, except for 1 item.
      If you look at the statistics for the “illegals” form Central American, they have vaccination rates in the 94 to 95% range, HIGHER then liberal Californians!
      Of course the illegals can rarely afford to go to Disneyland, so most likely the recent outbreak was caused by some unvaccinated crunchy granola parent who believes the rantings of a playboy bunny.

      • Well, the person who seems to have started all of this, walked into Disneyland infected, so it may have came from France for all we know. The media is seriously lacking in reporting the Immigration issue. Immigrants are not only coming from Mexico and Central America, but Africa and the Middle east as well. They are coming across sick, it’s just not being reported.
        I don’t trust the media, in any part, to tell us the truth anymore. It’s impossible to even debate many issues because of all the flawed, politically driven, “studies” put out. Heck, even the new college history books are different than those back in my younger days.

        • Hell yes Gary. There’s been a lot more history since the Wright Brothers flight. I feel sorry for you. It must be hell going through life trusting nothing or no one. Sure the media and politicians slant the truth to support what they believe in, but that’s why you were given a brain.
          The problem with these anti-vaccination people is as children they grew up in an era when the diseases were eradicated. Now they have children and since they have never experienced measles, they are willing to put everyone else’s children at risk because they believe some debunked study or Jenny McCarthy. Sadly most of these people are college educated white people which proves ignorance can occur at every socio-economic level.

          • The problem with these anti-vaccination people is as children they grew up in an era when the diseases were eradicated. Now they have children and since they have never experienced measles,
            Where may I ask do you get this ridiculous information? How do you know that the anti-vaxxers where not vaccinated as kids? How do you know they didn’t have the measles. Please, let’s at least present some truth to your comment. Just repeating propaganda from some left wing rag site just isn’t going to get it.

    • Gary, what “Secret Knowledge” do you possess that links the measles outbreak at Disneyland to “illegal” immigrants crossing our southern border?

      • None, but the virus didn’t start in Disneyland, it was carried into Disneyland. It could have came from anywhere, France, San Francisco, who’s to actually know.

        • If it could have come from anywhere why did you choose to specifically point the finger toward our southern border and the possibility of an “illegal immigrant” bringing the disease into the country from regions that have a higher vaccination rate than our own?

          • Because the immigration issue was ignored.

            possibility of an “illegal immigrant” bringing the disease into the country from regions that have a higher vaccination rate than our own?
            Really, and there is proof of this? Do you know where ALL of the immigrants are coming from? NO you don’t.
            If you read the article, it was concerning a very small group of people called anti-vaxxers, yet it ignored all other avenues of disease. That’s more propaganda bs that is typical with the NM.

          • I asked a friend who is a retired Army Colonel who works as a consultant for the State of Texas on the immigration issue. I asked what disease have been found after testing on immigrants who came over the border in Texas. This is his reply to my question:

            I can remember the diseases but not the actual number.

            1) chicken pox
            2) bacterial upper respiratory
            3) measles
            4) noro virus
            5) Polio ( Not many cases )
            6) TB ( Not many cases )
            7) scabies
            8) head lice

            those are the most common that I remember. Chicken Pox and respiratory and measles being he most prolific….and noro virus running pretty high.

            I have no idea where to look to verify this, but I trust the Colonel.

          • Gary Honey, anything is possible. Stay inside on the night of the full moon so the banshees don’t suck your brains out your ears.

          • Don’t be a dickhead and try looking at the facts. 97% of measles cases are imported. Read the links to the CDC reports I have provided and you can get out a calculator and figure it out for yourself. It’s all right there in black and white for people to see.

          • The CDC report that 96% or so are imported and 26% come from those have traveled. This is from the link from California from early 2014. With 26% proven to be from travelers, that leaves the other 74% of imported measles unaccounted for. Maybe it just flew in from another country on the wings of a bird? Maybe …………

          • It is very deceptive to use percentages rather than actual numbers.
            One could surmise that you are trying to make your case look better than it actually is.

          • From the CDC report: Of the 288 cases, 280 (97%) were associated with importations from at least 18 countries. The source of measles acquisition could not be identified for eight (3%) cases. Forty-five direct importations (40 U.S. residents returning from abroad and five foreign visitors) have been reported. Almost half (22 [49%]) of these importations were travelers returning from the Philippines, where a large outbreak has been occurring since October 2013.
            Do the math and ask yourself where the other 233 cases that were imported came from.

          • There is no agency under this Administration that will put anything in writing that will directly make Obama look bad. To pretend otherwise is firmly sticking you head in the sand.

          • There were 288 cases. Of those 288 cases 280 “were associated with importations from at least 18 countries That leaves 8 cases where the “.source of measles acquisition could not be identified “.
            I got the answer directly from the information you provided above.
            I don’t see any missing 233 cases.

          • Attention to details are hard to come by these days. Using the 97% model, The CDC reports the 40 work travelers and 6 were visitors, as known importers This leaves 233 importations that were neither travelers or visitors, but they are still considered importations. You really don’t expect this administration to be open and honest do you? They haven’t yet and they make sure no info that show’s their failures will get published. Just like the 30 million unemployed workers who are NOT counted in the unemployment numbers, because the administration told the DLS not to.

          • Gary I think that you are mixing reports because your numbers don’t add up and the link that you reference above does not show up.
            Where are you getting your information from?

          • It doesn’t matter what the philosophical reasons are.
            The question is do you want to risk your health, your family’s health or the health of the country at large against diseases that are preventable because some nut-job doesn’t believe in proven science?

          • If you are vaccinated and your family is vaccinated, why are you concerned? If it won’t affect you, why is it your business? Hint, it isn’t any of your business because you have taken the proper steps to protect yourself and your family, that is where your authority ends.

          • Whether or not I and my family are vaccinated is not the question.
            Since vaccines, as has been pointed out on numerous occasions, are not 100% effective it behooves me to be concerned about those who choose not to be vaccinated. That’s what makes it my business and extends my authority.

          • You have zero authority over others actions outside of actual self defense. To believe so is idiotic. But, for the sake of this discussion, what do you propose to happen to solve your severely overblown fears?

          • As a member of “society” you relinquish a degree of self autonomy as a requirement of that membership for the “good” of “society” as a whole.
            Think about it. You do it everyday.
            As to my “.severely overblown fears”, I have no idea of what you are talking about. I don’t recall making a comment expressing any fearfulness let alone “overblown”..

          • “Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage’s whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.”

            The precondition of a civilized society is the barring of physical force from social relationships—thus establishing the principle that if men wish to deal with one another, they may do so only by means of reason: by discussion, persuasion and voluntary, uncoerced agreement.

            The necessary consequence of man’s right to life is his right to self-defense. In a civilized society, force may be used only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use.

            I’ll ask you the question again, what do you want to occur in the future on this subject?

          • I do not accept or condone your Ayn Randian perspective of civilization or society.

            My vision for our civilization, society or culture to mature into is more Roddenberryian.

          • I noticed you didn’t answer my question.
            Do you want to risk your health, your family’s health or the health of the country at large against diseases that are preventable because some nut-job doesn’t believe in proven science?

          • Gary is not going to let such a fine opportunity to blame something on brown colored people go to waste.

          • If you did your homework instead of reading more left wing propaganda, you would know that after this event, the Church changed it’s position and now holds immunization clinics. Old news, glad to see you catching up.

          • If you paid more attention you would have seen that that was my point. The Mega Church came out against vaccinations until they were infected and that the infection was caused by someone that had traveled to Indonesia and not come across our southern border as you would have people believe was the case.

          • I think you may be mistaking me for an anti-vaxxer. I am no such thing. In fact, I recommend vaccinating children. I’m also skeptical of the industry as a whole. But parents have to make decisions on the matter. No matter the decision, it comes with the responsibility of that decision. Vaccines are not 100% safe and sometimes children get sick or die. However, that is fairly rare. It is what it is. But, I do recommend vaccinations.

          • Cool, glad that is settled. Seems last year, when we had that huge influx of illegal immigrants coming across in the Spring that we had over 600 cases of measles for 2014. I’m going to do some more research on the matter, which will not solve anything, except maybe make the author look foolish.

          • According to a CDC article more than half of the reported 644 case of measles that were reported in 2014 383 of them occurred in an Amish community in Ohio, primarily among the un-vaccinated.
            I think your research will dispel the miss-information more so than make the author look foolish

          • If you are wondering how the Amish community became infected it would have been in the same manner as anyone else. They do interact with people outside the Amish community pretty much the same as you and I.

          • “Rumspringa,” comes to mind as a possible source. Where a group of very sequestered, unvaccinated young men, charge out into the World for a brief period to, “sow their wild oats,” before marriage, and embarking upon a regimented life of strict social code. Contracting, and bringing back only measles would probably be a huge relief, for the entire community.

          • What if the infection came from our northern border? Who knows what plagues those Canadians have just waiting to infect us?

          • There are quite a few cases of measles in northern Michigan. Michigan is right next to Canada so….I think you must be right! It IS the Canadians! lol. You have the secret knowledge my friend!

          • It seems to me, Gary. The undocumented immigrant being plague carriers, kind of guided the lily, for their acolytes with the Ebola carrying, terrorist narrative. In fact, one Congressman going so far as to insist ICE had several Ebola carrying, ISSL terrorist already in it’s custody. The measles from Mexico story kind of loses it’s punch by comparison, don’t you think? Along with their being no record of outbreaks of either disease in the country of Mexico, or points South, other than this rather predictable claim. Sometimes the lies are pretty obvious.

      • and if you think some undocumented individuals with measles had enough money to get into Disneyland, I want what you are smoking.

          • the pray tell how did undocumented individuals cause the measles epidemic which started at Disneyland????

          • Nobody has said that. It is a fact that the person who was infected went into Disneyland “already” infected. The disease was not likely “caught” in Disneyland by the initial carrier. It is possible, that the carrier “could” have initially been infected by an illegal immigrant, but that is not provable. It is simply a possibility that was ignored in the article. .

          • Keep reaching Gary.There are a myriad of possibilities that were not discussed in the article simply because of their of their highly unlikeliness.

          • Are you saying it’s not possible? Are you also saying that Southern California is doesn’t have a fairly high concentration of illegals? I only suggested it’s a possibility because of what is being carried over the border. The issue was ignored by the author, who chose to place blame on the large number of anti-vaxxers in the Southern California area. So just how likely is it the anti vaxxers fault? I haven’t seen any actual fact stated where the initial carrier got infected.

          • Nope. Just highly unlikely.
            I don’t know what the concentration of illegal immigrants is in California but it would seem to me that it would be on par with other states that border Mexico.
            What is being carried over the border and what proof do you have of your assertions.
            I would say that the fault is directly proportional to those infected as opposed to those not infected.

          • It’s possible the Martians have it in for us and infected the children. Come to think of it, that’s probably more plausible than most of your bigoted ranting.

          • Since your allegation that the initial carrier “could” have caught the infection from an illegal immigrant is in your own words not provable, why are you spreading an unfounded rumor? What do you hope to gain?

          • To help put aside the undo fear from those who don’t vaccinate. From the CDC report: Of the 288 cases, 280 (97%) were associated with importations from at least 18 countries. The source of measles acquisition could not be identified for eight (3%) cases. Forty-five direct importations (40 U.S. residents returning from abroad and five foreign visitors) have been reported. Almost half (22 [49%]) of these importations were travelers returning from the Philippines, where a large outbreak has been occurring since October 2013.
            Do the math and ask yourself where the other 233 cases that were imported came from.

          • I think you need to be directing your questions to Gary Miles. He’s the one making the claims you question not me.

    • Your fist sentence conviniently ignores the fact that some can not be vaccinated due to various reasons like getting chemotherapy, too young still, etc. Those who are not vaccinated by choice can have an impact on those that cannot be vaccinated, so those people will rightly be concerned with “what others do.”

      Then you bring exactly that point up, but either fail to see the disconnect in your logic, or you are going for the “can’t afford health care, tough luck” route…saying that because it is a small population, those who can’t get vaccinated are out of luck because we shouldn’t “force” others to get a shot (the supreme court has disagreed with that outlook in the past –

      • Your fist sentence conviniently ignores the fact that some can not be vaccinated due to various reasons like getting chemotherapy, too young still, etc. Not all, I didn’t think stating the obvious as being important, I forget that I’m not dealing with people who are intellectually bankrupt, I will try harder in the future.

        I believe that public schools can demand vaccinations. Many employers should have the same requirement, like hospitals and retirement home employees. There are plenty of ways of dealing with the issue that doesn’t require government mandate. The Feds are already in a marriage with Big Pharma, having removed liability from them. You folks might as well ask for a full marriage of Big Pharma and the Feds. Maybe you should just come out of the closet and be honest, you want a Fascist State. That’s what the ACA is, you might as well keep going.

        • Speaking of the intellectually and morally bankrupt…
          Gary, I believe this article has actually stung you, but rather than gracefully admit it, you go back to the standard right-wing BS.

          • You are nothing but a parrotmonkey slug. Why don’t you go back to your burger flipping job and take out you failures in life on them.

    • So the willful ignorance and irresponsibility of a bunch of already here idiots has nothing to do with it. huh? You clowns are always claiming we blame everything on global warming. First of all we don’t, and for those things we do blame on it there is at least some scientific basis, as opposed to your xenophobic and nasty blaming of everything on immigrants on the basis of your own bigotry and speculation.

      • You are a intellectually bankrupt twat, showing your lack of brains, skip the debate and just go to name calling because you ain’t got nothing to say that even borders on intelligent. Your a waste of human life.

      • Uhh, PSSST, the person who carried it into Disneyland didn’t catch it there, he/she brought it in with them from the outside. Try applying some common sense.

        • Common sense, you mean as in your example of attributing causality with absolutely no evidence in support? Pssst, the odds against the person who brought it into Disneyland being an “illegal” are pretty strong. That was the point, but apparenetly logic isn’t your strong suit.

  2. Here’s something that Gary Miles, in his xenophobic rant against unguarded borders, fails to take into account. There is a far greater amount of stuff falling out of the skies, every day, all over the world, that comes in contact with human beings (vaccinated or otherwise) and is potentially contaminated with infectious pathogens than there are undocumented foreigners streaming across our borders. Hence, his fear that the “likelihood” or “possibility” for the source of the recent measles outbreak hasn’t been adequately explained and could just as easily be from “illegals” takes on a whole new perspective. Those aliens have a much higher likelihood or possibility of being REAL aliens rather than just migrant human beings. A DEEPER “secret knowledge” is needed. And no one has been able to prove that it’s not true …

  3. The thing about evolution is that those that don’t want to vaccinate their kids will, ultimately, loose there blood line when their kids die. So, it will be hard(er) to propagate stupidity. I wont call it ignorance because the ignorant can be educated. The stupid refuse to be educated

  4. The “Secret Knowledge” is much more malicious and lethal than mere ignorance.
    It is not what you do not know that gets you killed, it is what you know that isn’t so!!

  5. “The Secret Knowledge is just ignorance by another name.” True enough, but it is also true that we do “live within a world of lies within lies”. Some come from authorities and some come from hucksters. There is no substitute for critical thinking, something in exceedingly short supply in our country.

  6. Again, another article by Mr. Pitts I love. I cannot tell you how many friends I have, both liberal and conservative, who are keepers of the secret knowledge (sigh).

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