Stress is a problem for many, likely most people in modern society. We’re constantly told that it’s a killer. Does that mean we should have a vaccine to stop it? That’s the goal of one scientist, and when the implications of such a vaccine are considered, it’s hard to believe that any tyrannical government would be able to resist it.
Just imagine—a society of happy slaves. It’s every dictator’s dream come true!
It’s not just science fiction. It’s a coming reality.
Stress Vaccine’s Beginning
Robert Sapolsky is a neuroscientist at Stanford University in California. He started his career in the study of baboons, whose lives are controlled by a hideously restrictive hierarchy. While in Africa, he noted that the baboons at the bottom of the social order suffered great stress and lived shorter, less healthy lives.
Eventually, his research arena in Africa became polluted with too many people and all that entailed, including garbage dumps and pollution, which literally polluted his research. So, he took it up at Stanford, where he redirected his efforts into finding a way to ease stress in the belief that he’d be improving people’s health.
In a Wired article, Sapolsky states:
“You can give a guy a drug-coated stent, but if you don’t fix the stress problem, it won’t really matter. For so many conditions, stress is the major long-term risk factor. Everything else is a short-term fix.”
So, rather than trying to find ways to alleviate stress, he and his team of researchers set out to find a way to stop the physical effects of stress. Glucosteroids are the hormones that create the stress response, so he focused on finding ways to circumvent them. Sapolsky and his team used genetic engineering to create a herpes virus that carries “neuroprotective” genes, but has the genes that are harmful to humans engineered out.
These so-called “neuroprotective” genes are designed to produce growth factors, antioxidants, and estrogen mimickers.
In other words, they’re planning to remake a major portion of the endocrine system and produce artificial antioxidants that have not been mediated through the digestive system, and add growth factors that can stimulate cellular growth and proliferation, which sounds suspiciously like cancer.
Implications of a Stress Vaccine
Anything that forcibly modifies the endocrine system is playing with fire. Our hormones are in a constant state of balance. When one is changed, it has a cascading effect on other hormones and body functions. There’s a reason for increased glucocortisoids in stress. Yes, it’s true that their function is to help the body respond to immediate danger, and these hormones are out of place in modern society. But what’s really wrong? Our bodies or society?
As Sapolsky has noted, the stress that people feel comes primarily from society’s inequalities and insecurities. The things that have brought us peace in prehistorical times—having a degree of surety that we won’t starve, that if we don’t eat today then we’ll eat tomorrow; having the support of our society when we’re in need; having adequate leisure time—are no longer routine for most of us.
Worse, we’ve created a society of severe inequality, which leads to insecurity for nearly everyone—and it’s getting worse. If we lose our jobs, will be lose our homes? Will be be able to feed our families? If we get sick, how will we pay for care? Will anyone care for us when we get old? Who’s watching the kids? Children past the toddler years spend more time with their parents than ever before, resulting in more stress for both. We don’t get enough sleep. We don’t get enough time off. And for most people, work isn’t satisfying.
The fact is that most of us are stressed most of the time. Some manage it better than others, but it’s a factor in our lives.
But why would we want to change our basic nature—to force ourselves into a kind of placidity in the face of all these pressures—instead of finding a way to change our society to make it better serve us?
According to The Daily Mail, a colleague of Sapolsky stated:
“In humans this engineered virus would short-circuit the neural feedback caused by stress, that lingering feeling of tension after a crisis has passed.
It would leave you fresher and ready to deal with another threat, so you can maintain your drive, but with more focused calm rather than bad temper and digestion.
This could change society.”
No doubt it could change society—by creating a mass of people who aren’t really bothered by anything, people who are calm and content in the face of unacceptable treatment. People who would make excellent slaves in a society that exists primarily to support the wealth of a very few.
The Endocrine System
Then, there is the question of how the body would react to forced changes in how it deals with stress. We feel stress because it’s of value to us. It tells us that we need to do something to change our current circumstances. What better clue do we need to tell us that our society has gone mad?
Is Sapolsky’s colleague right that the vaccine would result in people feeling “fresher and ready to deal with another threat” or is it wishful thinking? It strikes me that he’s mixing his concepts. He’s referring to threats in the same manner that hunter-gatherers would, as things that come along and then pass. But he’s applying that concept in a world of constant stress. The problem isn’t merely lingering tension from individual incidents, it’s that the primary causes of stress are ongoing.
Even if the stress vaccine works as he’s described, it would have completely unanticipated results. The problem isn’t that our stress comes and goes; it’s that it builds and builds. It can’t go away because most of the inciting causes are constant.
What would happen? In this specific case, we don’t know—but we do know that any attempts to artificially change the hormone balance in the body has knock-on and often devastating effects:
Notice that the injected virus carries the ability to create artificial estrogens. We know that messing with the estrogen balance in the body is an exceptionally risky thing to do. It’s associated with breast cancer. Giving artificial estrogen to women in hormone replacement therapy (HRT) resulted in exactly the opposite of what was intended: HRT increases the very conditions it supposedly prevented, including cancer and heart disease.
The injected virus contains growth factors. Just what would be induced to greater growth? More cancer? Faster growing cancer? Faster cell death? We don’t really know.
We simply don’t know the full range of effects that a stress vaccine would induce. It would probably take years for all them to become apparent. And when they do, will we have become a society of zombies who’ve lost the ability to respond to new dangers after our hormones have been so modified that we’re beyond any hope of achieving health?
Inherent Vaccine Risks
Vaccines carry inherent risks. All of them include adjuvants, substances that create a stronger autoimmune response. These work by causing irritations that make the immune system respond more strongly to the injected vaccine material. They can also cause autoimmune disorders, both directly from toxicity and indirectly through antibodies to substances that are normally found in the body.
Many autoimmune diseases are associated with vaccines, including rheumatoid arthritis, and at least one new disease, macrofagic myofasciitis, is known to be directly caused by vaccines. The very idea that injected squalene, which is an oil produced by the liver, is safe is ludicrous on the surface. The act of injection turns it into an invader, to which an active immune system may respond by creating antibodies against it, thus creating an autoimmune disorder.
Aluminum and formaldehyde, common vaccine ingredients, are also highly toxic. And these are only some of the additives that pose serious danger.
Although the naysayers continue to state that autism isn’t caused by vaccines, the fact is that the studies purportedly proving it have been fatally flawed, and much good research does demonstrate a strong link. There is also the fact that, as new vaccines are added to the schedule, the rate of autism and associated neurological and gastrointestinal disorders rises.
Any suggestion that people should add yet another vaccine to an already intolerably large schedule takes us beyond madness.
A Zombie Effect?
Last, but certainly not least, is the potential of an anti-stress vaccine zombifying the populace. Stress is not, by definition, bad. Stress is nature’s way of telling us that we need to make changes.
The potential of an anti-stress vaccine to create a populace that can’t be aroused because the stress function has been destroyed is a terrifying specter.
If everybody is always stress-free, they’d always be mellow. They wouldn’t be particularly troubled by problems in their lives, so they wouldn’t be easily motivated to do anything about them. What tyrannical government wouldn’t want to make its citizens so malleable? What corporation wouldn’t want such complacent people to consume their products?
At its base, an anti-stress vaccine is an anti-human vaccine. It has the potential to turn the masses of people into virtual automatons, natural slaves to support an insatiable corporate appetite, lacking the ability to rebel against tyranny.
The Best Intentions …
To play with a Scottish phrase, the best intentions gang oft awry. As his photo shows, Sapolsky is an iconoclast. It’s too bad that his inclinations in that direction don’t extend to seeing either the full implications of his idea or to a recognition that one cannot force health onto people. The more we’ve use drugs and the more vaccines we’ve gotten, the worse our health has become. Chronic diseases are now the norm, rather than the rare exception.
Rather than trying to find ways to resolve the causes of chronic stress, he’s focused on a technical approach. At some point, the insanity needs to stop. If stress is a health problem, then it’s because we live in a society that creates abnormal stress. The only real fix is to resolve the cause, not the symptoms.
The question of what would become of people who’ve lost the ability to respond to stress is never addressed—and that may be the most disturbing question of all with regard to an anti-stress vaccine. Could such a vaccine lead to a society filled with people who’ve lost the spark that makes them strive to form a better world? Do we want to take the risk of finding out?
Sadly, Sapolsky seems to have swallowed the poison of science as a fix for everything. He appears to be well-intentioned and genuinely desirous of helping people. But that doesn’t make him right about an anti-stress vaccine.