Old theories in new clothing

Besides causing the disease, SARS-CoV-2 gave a possibility of spreading different conspiracy theories. At the same time, those who support them were at spotlight of alternative groups and pages. That is why it is not surprising that several months old appearance on a regional TV is becoming increasingly popular at the moment and has been shared many times on social media.

Dejan Lucic, a publicist and a conspiracy theorist, and Vojislav Rodic, an IT consultant appeared on September 24, 2019, on the “Jutro” TV show of TV Prva, where they talked about 5G network.

Contrary to Rodic, who provided scientifically proven and verified claims, Lucic brought the conspiracy theories to the fore and spread untruths, concerning primarily 5G networks and vaccines.

Additionally, Lucic appears frequently on alternative TV shows and web sites, where he talks about different conspiracy theories and unverified facts. On the famous YouTube channel “BalkanInfo” he is a frequent guest, where he reveals “secret plans and arrangements of the governments, intelligence services, and rulers from the shadow”.

What is disputable this time?

His appearance on TV Prva last year, Lucic started with the following claim:

5G network will kill birds, bees, and people too. This was told to me by people who know this stuff but are not to reveal it publicly.

First, when it comes to immense bird deaths (in the Netherlands), which many conspiracy theorists refer to, it is important to emphasize that this is not true. As we have already written in one of our analysis, in the period when the bird deaths occurred (November 2018), no 5G testing was performed on that location, and the last testing was carried out on July 28, 2018, or a few months before the incident. The theories were denied even by local societies for the protection of birds. One of the societies posted on Facebook that “5G testing did not occur during those days, and if it were, the question is why such radiation would have had an impact on birds of just one kind that fly in flocks of a thousand birds?”

Second, like other generations of wireless technologies (4G, 3G, and 2G), 5G cellular data are transmitted through radio waves. Radio waves constitute a small part of a broader electromagnetic spectrum of waves and they emit the energy called electromagnetic radiation. Radio waves can be found at the low end of the electromagnetic spectrum – and they produce only non-ionizing radiation (a type of electromagnetic radiation that does not have enough energy to ionize atoms or molecules, i.e. to remove electrons from atoms). That means that those waves cannot damage DNA inside cells, compared to waves with higher frequency (such as gamma rays, X-rays and ultraviolet light) which may cause alteration in the DNA inside any cell.

Lucic claims further that microwaves are forbidden in Russia, but despite this, Russians have started the implementation of 5G infrastructure. However, this claim is not correct either. It was analyzed and debunked by Snopes, a fact-check portal, given the fact that the forbidden microwave myth in the country has been popular for years now at a global level.

Besides, Lucic promotes different conspiracy theories that 5G network is controlled by rulers from the shadow, a deep state, “whose goal is to make us more stupid and eventually to kill us”, while not providing concrete proofs and arguments to support the claims. Moreover, he talks about halls and factories where people will be heated by microwaves, and instead of heating the premises, they will heat the water inside people. Therefore, he makes many claims, presenting them as facts and determining causal connections between them, while not providing any credible proofs.

Furthermore, he states that Atlanta is the first city with 5G network installed, adding that there is a monument erected to “the idea of reducing humanity’s population to 500 million “.

What monument is it about?

Georgia Guidestones is a big granite monument erected in the U.S. state of Georgia, with Atlanta as its capital city. Besides the fact that the monument was built in 1979, little is known about it. It is made from huge granite slabs, with 10 messages engraved on it, i.e. principles to help reboot the civilization after an apocalypse. They are written in eight different languages, one language on each face of the four large upright stones that constitute the monument. Moving clockwise around the structure from due north, these languages are English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Traditional Chinese, and Russian.

The messages engraved are the following:

  1. Maintain humanity under 500 million in perpetual balance with nature.
  2. Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity.
  3. Unite humanity with a living new language.
  4. Rule passion — faith — tradition — and all things with tempered reason.
  5. Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
  6. Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
  7. Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
  8. Balance personal rights with social duties.
  9. Prize truth — beauty — love — seeking harmony with the infinite.
  10. Be not a cancer on the earth — Leave room for nature — Leave room for nature.

It is evident that Lucic thought of the first principle when talking about the reduction of the population number. However, he made it simpler and did not provide a broader context, presenting the monument as a symbol of reduction of the humanity’s population, which cannot be considered correct.

Finally, an anti-vaxxer narrative comes to the stage, i.e. a story of side effects of vaccines that represent, as he put it, a biological weapon, which was even defined by NATO. Fake news again, which we analyzed at the beginning of 2019.

This thesis was developed by a Serbian organization “Pravo na izbor” (Right to choice), which posted on its Facebook page that NATO, in its book entitled “Immunological Adjuvants and Vaccines”, called vaccines a biological weapon.

The FB page claims that on page 37 of the book the following is stated: “Vaccines cause autoimmune diseases. As an adjuvant, aluminum increases the production of certain antibodies, causing allergies and anaphylactic shock.”

The analysis of the whole book and the extracted page 37 showed that there is nowhere a similar phrase formulation to this one. Even a syntagmatic unit “biological weapon” is not mentioned in this study.

The opinion of other institutions and organizations regarding 5G network

Let’s remind that last week in several cities in Great Britain, mobile phone masts were set on fire due to an unfounded theory that there is a link between coronavirus and the 5G network, which was reported by the British mobile operators. After photos of burning masts had been posted on social media, the British Department of Digital, Media, Culture, and Sport highlighted that the spread of such rumors raised concern.

Full Fact, a fact-check organization from Great Britain, researched the claims on links between coronavirus and 5G after the topic had been widespread in the British tabloids. 5G has a higher frequency of radio waves than 4G or 3G, but the levels of the 5G electromagnetic radiation are significantly below international standards. The maximum level of electromagnetic radiation that the British Ofcom measured was about 66 times below the safety margin set by international standards.

Even the Public Health of England and the World Health Organization stated that the 5G network does not have consequences for health. As WHO stated, after much research performed, no adverse health effect has been causally linked with exposure to wireless technologies. The tissue heating is the main mechanism of interaction between radiofrequency fields and the human body. Radiofrequency exposure levels from current technologies (about 3.5 GHz) result in negligible temperature rise in the human body. Provided that the overall exposure remains below international guidelines, no consequences for public health are anticipated.