Has the apocalypse already happened? Are we hurdling toward a post-AI reality where it’s impossible to know what’s real and what’s fake? Podcast host Joe Rogan interviewed comedian and activist Russell Brand, delving into these questions and more, including the overarching agenda of control that’s accelerated since the pandemic.
Regarding the apocalypse, Brand likened it to homeless people living their lives in tents on the street, essentially “living a hunter-gatherer lifestyle in contemporary America, or living a post-apocalyptic lifestyle in contemporary America.”1
“You know, when you’re in comfortable … spaces, you feel like everything’s OK, the end of the world is impossible. And it just seems like entertainment when you hear about nuclear treaties being torn up, that it can’t actually happen. But, of course it can. It’s so temporal,” Brand says.2
The pandemic brought to light how quickly reality can move from that safe space where “everything’s OK” to one that’s Orwellian, with rampant censorship and smear campaigns against any and all dissent.
With Each New Reality, You Become More ‘Porous’
What most people see and hear online is a carefully orchestrated narrative — one that globalists weren’t expecting people like Rogan and Brand to disrupt. “What our obligation is, as people that participate in this conversation, is to ensure that there is a distinction made between the empirical facts that are discussed and … the sort of joy of speculation,” Brand says.3
But many ideas that sound far-fetched — like a social credit system — have already been implemented in other countries, like China. Rogan explains he was warned, “They’re going to try to implement a social credit score system, and your money is going to be tied to decentralized digital currency.”4
“And your money will be tied to your social credit score system and you step out of line, you won’t be able to buy things, you won’t be able to travel, you won’t be able to do anything. They’re going to try to keep you within a 15-minute radius of your home. And they’re starting to do that in places. Yeah, all of it’s real.”5
So, too, is the fact that “centralized systems of corruption that bypass democracy” exist, while the military-industrial complex “through their overt and covert connections to government” is able to “dictate … [or] at least influence, foreign policy.” But, Brand says, once you open your eyes to the truths of these matters, you become “porous” and ready to absorb even more of the truth:6
“They’ve obviously got an agenda. And it’s their agenda that is driving the discourse, not the facts of the matter. And I suppose, in a way, we should be grateful that they are unwilling to have these open conversations — that they’re not willing to get people on with various views, opposing views, to listen to people that they disagree with, to openly criticize the establishment.
Because what I’ve been able to learn in the last couple of years is if you start focusing on the relationship between Big Pharma and the media, or Big Pharma and the government, just by focusing on that, you can really create clear narratives of corruption, hypocrisy, dishonesty, those things are there.
But me, because my background is not a journalist, it’s not a conventional education, I’m sort of open to the more extraordinary, exciting, visceral ideas, which once in a while proved to be true … but then you become kind of porous.”
‘The Middle Is Where the Propaganda Operates’
Brand believes there’s power to be had when you’re open to having conversations with all sides, however, while censorship ultimately leads to a loss of trust and authority. During the pandemic, he describes the “ivermectin moment” as pivotal in revealing the need for open conversation.
When Rogan, who is unvaxxed, revealed he’d treated his bout of COVID-19 with ivermectin and other remedies — fully recovering within three days — he was openly attacked. But Rogan believes it ultimately made the mainstream press lose credibility:7
“When you had CNN and MSNBC and all these different Cable News Network shows calling it [ivermectin] horse dewormer, when it was a drug that won the Nobel Prize for the inventor of it, it’s a drug that has had billions — literally billions — of prescriptions filled. It’s a drug that saved lives of drug addicts.
It’s on the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines, and for them to have the gall and the sheer audacity to just out and out lie to people about what a medication is — and it’s used on humans far more than it’s used on horses.
And that they were calling that horse dewormer to try to mock me because they knew that I was unvaccinated, and I kicked COVID very quickly. And they did not want that narrative out there. And they were beholden to their handlers. They were beholden to the people that give them exorbitant amounts of money in advertising revenue. And they … followed in line, and they all piled on. And they lost … credibility.”
Many believed the media lies, regarding not only ivermectin but other pandemic measures, like face masks and lockdowns. But not everyone will — and this is where the chance for transformation lies. However, those in the middle are vulnerable to being influenced by the propaganda. Brand notes:8
“I heard this thing that that guy, Pavlov of the dogs, you know, he did other experimentation, the results of which were that 20% of people are highly susceptible to hypnosis, and similarly highly susceptible to placebos … It will be effective under … the right conditions … and the same with hypnosis, and 20% of people will not be hypnotized and will not respond to placebos.
The middle 60% is where propaganda operates. How many of that middle 60% can you persuade? And I was just astonished that authoritarianism could suddenly be repackaged in this manner, that authoritarianism could tell you that war is a good thing, that authoritarianism can tell you that Big Pharma is a good thing, that being locked in your home is good.”
Only Big Pharma Solutions Allowed
A key illustration of the corruption was the blatant vilification of any COVID-19 solution that wasn’t tied to Big Pharma. “Convenient that of all the remedies, that only the ones that are controlled by pharmaceutical companies are the ones that get highlighted,” Rogan says.9 “And one … of the best pieces of evidence for that is vitamin D.”
One recent study found giving vitamin D to people with COVID-19 cut risk of death from SARS-CoV-2 by 51% and reduced risk of admission to the intensive care unit by 72%.10 I also launched an information campaign to raise awareness about the use of vitamin D for COVID-19 back in June 2020. My own vitamin D review was published October 31, 2020, in the high-impact, peer-reviewed journal Nutrients.11
At the time, 14 observational studies suggested vitamin D levels are inversely linked with the incidence or severity of COVID-19, and my paper concluded, “The evidence seems strong enough that people and physicians can use or recommend vitamin D supplements to prevent or treat COVID-19.”12
Yet, I was widely vilified and discredited in the media for bringing attention to vitamin D’s potential for COVID-19. If this information had been allowed out, Rogan wonders, how many deaths could have been prevented?13
“There was a recent study that estimated somewhere in the range of 70% of all hospitalizations and deaths from COVID could have been prevented with vitamin D … I remember reading that article going, that is the most insane thing I’ve ever seen in my life. And when did they know that this was true?
Because if they just started handing out vitamin D — it’s readily available, so easy to get, so easy to make, so cheap — they just handed out vitamin D to everybody.
How many deaths could they have prevented? If that really is the case that high doses of vitamin D, along with you know, it’s great with magnesium and vitamin K, but if they educated people about nutrients, yes, about the value of nutrition, the value of supplementation? Yes. How many people could have been saved? And how cheaply could that have been done?”
Big Tech Gets Activists to Self-Censor
Both Rogan and Brand moved platforms online due to censorship. In May 2020, Rogan signed an exclusivity contract with Spotify for his “Joe Rogan Experience Podcast.”14 Rogan received $100 million for the deal; however, he said the move away from YouTube was intentional to fight back against its censorship — and particularly YouTube’s decision to block differing opinions on COVID-19, as he wanted to interview a variety of doctors and experts about it.
The tech giants use demonetization to get people to stop posting certain types of content, without it appearing as outright censorship. Instead, it appears as self-censorship. Rogan says:15
“Advertisements that are on YouTube, those people that are spending all that money, they can dictate what they want to be advertised on. And then they said, ‘Look, I don’t want to be on anything that talks about COVID or anything where they talk about Ukraine …
So OK. They just say, ‘Oh, well, we’ve got to stop people from doing that. What’s the best way?’ Well, the best way to self-censor? Or how do you get people to self-censor? You impact them economically. How do we do that and not make it look like we’re censoring them? We give strikes, giving strikes or demonetized.”
Brand experienced the same issues on YouTube and switched to Rumble as a result:16
“When YouTube was our primary platform, we would look at your [Rogan’s] content. All right, that’s the title of this Rogan video and this is the content. OK? Well, we can try that. And then we would get demonetized. And it becomes like a weird algebra.
You change this word, you change that word, you have to or you have, there’s certain things you just can’t say. This is what Rumble fundamentally offered. They gave me a good deal and the assurance that we’re not going to censor you.”
Take Action and Embrace the Uncomfortable
Even when the truth is heard by a sizeable minority, many don’t take action. But this is part of enacting positive change, whether it be for freedom and autonomy or your personal health.
“You have to take the action, and it usually involves suffering,” Brand says. “And yeah, that’s a hard thing to sell. People don’t want that. Now, they don’t want that information that you can tell people there’s a quick fix and an easy way. But whether it’s getting off drugs, becoming a standup comedian or accomplishing stuff in a martial art, normally it means you incrementally, day by day, hour by hour, session by session, you are going to experience a degree of suffering.”17
While you may feel powerless to fight back against globalist agendas and Big Tech censorship, by embracing changes you can control, you can make a difference in your own life and beyond. Rogan explains:18
“You don’t realize that in embracing discomfort and forcing yourself to do something very uncomfortable that you can control, like an ice bath, like a sauna, like a run, like a workout, you are eliminating another form of discomfort. You can do that. It’s one of the reasons why I’ve been able to mitigate all the stress and issues that come with success and with fame.
Your body is almost like a battery. And when you don’t use it, it’s almost like the juice runs over the side and it becomes unmanageable. But when you use it, you have a certain requirement that your body has to go through every day, because I think we evolved in a very specific way. I think we evolved running away from predators, protecting ourselves from invading tribes.
And this is just a natural part of being a human being, every human being. And I think that if you don’t give your body something to do it … [messes] with your brain, and I think that’s where a lot of people’s anxiety comes from, a lot of people’s insecurities.”