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Thank You for Enduring a Year of Investigative Journalism

Dear Friend and Reader:

I want to thank you for enduring a year of investigative journalism from your astrology news service.

We genuinely appreciate the many positive comments and donations we have received to facilitate our efforts. Many have said you benefited in exactly the way I intended: you had a source of reliable, verified information and a place of sanity. I have received a number of letters from people who said they would have lost their minds otherwise. I count myself as part of that cohort.

As someone wrote to me today on Facebook, "I could not have made it through this insanity without your keen awareness and your drive to find out the truth."

Yet to those who either want only astrology or were made uncomfortable by our relentlessly leaving no stone unturned, we appreciate your forbearance and graciousness. The nature of true journalism is to question absolutely everything, and to take no statement on its face: and that is what we did.

When an international crisis struck, digging in no more seemed optional to me than a volunteer firefighter or EMT thinks about going to the scene of an emergency. I did what I am trained to do: get organized, build a team, track the news, amass documents, and get busy putting the issues together. This was less like doing a school report and more like assembling broken glass. In this nearly impossible task, I benefit from the tireless help and companionship of Cindy Tice Ragusa, a more gifted researcher than I ever imagined could exist on Earth.

My desk after writing an article that covered a diversity of homeopathic remedies classically used for respiratory situations. I have studied this specific issue (and stocked remedies) since the 2005 "Avian Influenza" scare. All of them have one thing in common: fear. Photo by Eric Francis.

Fear Did Not Guide My Research - Curiosity Did

We began our Covid coverage in February 2020 with an astrological assessment and analysis of my chart for the Spanish Flu. I discussed how we were at the second Chiron return of that event. Then we moved onto the most personal level — home and self care — with articles about how to manage your household during an emergency, a warning about the dangers of hand sanitizer, and an analysis of homeopathic remedies classically used to treat respiratory infections. I repeatedly urged my readers to seek out holistic prevention and remedies to the problem as it was presented.

My kitchen cabinet is still stocked with Agarikon by Host Defense, elderberry in many forms (including a quart of now year-old, homemade 1:1 tincture), and every homeopathic remedy associated with treating respiratory infections. (I keep an inventory of approximately 500 homeopathic remedies, many herbs and a medical library in my home.)
One of the reasons I never personally worried about a disease was because the first thing I did, in February, was connect with my clients and colleagues who are naturopaths, herbalists, homeopaths, chiropractors, medical doctors and a midwife (and master herbalist) to figure out prevention and cure. I never let fear take over my mind, or my life. By the time everyone was freaking out, I was prepared, and tracking news primarily from the homeopathic profession, and second, from herbalists.

I knew the history of the "Spanish Flu" from the standpoint of homeopaths: they had no trouble preventing or resolving the illness, as long as allopaths had not poisoned patients with an overdose of then new and novel aspirin. Since 2006, I have kept remedies on hand for just such an emergency. By March 2020, I had the protocols and medicines on hand to treat many people in case I was faced with a serious outbreak in my community.

Repeatedly, successful alternative approaches bubbled up and then were suppressed: the connection to vitamin C and D levels, zinc therapy (the first to emerge, way back in February 2020), melatonin, and many others. I discussed these consistently whenever I had the opportunity, and it seemed strange that there was such persistent silence about them in the commercial media.

There was a crack in the armor when Pres. Trump was treated at Walter Reed National Military Hospital for what was said to be Covid, and his protocol, according to his doctors, included — yes — vitamins C and D, zinc and melatonin. That received about 15 minutes of coverage. I'm wondering why those inexpensive, common and safe substances were not given out alongside hand sanitizer.

(Now, Dr. Joseph Mercola has removed all references to vitamins C and D, and all of his Covid coverage, from his website because he was receiving death threats.)

My desk in January 2021 during construction of the specialized genome and testing timeline for December 2019 and January 2020. I have not published this yet. The timeline, built from about 10 different sources, is shocking in what it reveals. Photo by Eric Francis.

Cultivating Sources: The Essence of Investigative Reporting

Then I got busy with gumshoe journalism. At the beginning, it was extremely difficult to get sources, but I started with what I had. This issue was supposedly about a virus associated with wildlife, so I contacted Dr. Ward B. Stone, the retired New York State Wildlife Pathologist, with whom I had worked for many years covering toxins. He is the scientist who first discovered West Nile virus in the United States.

I also knew a retired actuary for a major life insurance company, who is currently an actuarial consultant, age 83 or so. I had not talked to him for decades (I think around the time he wrote a recommendation to Princeton for me). Actuaries calculate death statistics, including probabilities. I managed to track him down with a little effort. We had several conversations wherein he explained the issues surrounding death statistics. (I first met him when I was about 14 and attended a conference with my mother Camille, who was then a life insurance salesman for The Equitable.)

I knew I needed to talk to an actual virologist. So I started at SUNY Buffalo, my alma mater. I went to the virology department's website, and picked someone who looked interesting (and older). That was Prof. Thomas Melendy, who answered my questions for two-and-a-half hours — till I had nothing I could possibly think of left to ask (I also learned a lot about SV-40, the carcinogenic viral contaminant of the polio vaccine). It was quite a conversation.

From here, I had a foothold. As my articles and broadcasts got better, I got better sources. When I told the legendary HIV/AIDS reporter Celia Farber that I had talked to Melendy, she opened up her contact network to me. It took me nearly six months to get that far.

My desk in Paris after finishing the Bridge to the Core annual edition, January 2005. Photo by Eric Francis.

Investigative Reporting is a Planet Waves Tradition

Occasionally I am told I should stick to being an astrologer. Many of you know that long before I knew what astrology was, by age 19 I was covering the chemical industry. My first story was about contamination of an entire community, the Love Canal neighborhood in Niagara Falls, NY. My angle was that the state wanted to move residents back in, after the feds declared the place a Superfund site and evacuated it a few years earlier.

I then developed my coverage of chemicals and mass poisoning incidents, and this became my life's work for a decade, going deep into the history of Monsanto and other chemical firms, and their danger to human health and the environment. I even did this as a front page feature for The Mountain Astrologer. More than once, I have received accolades from The New York Times.

Chart for Monsanto Corporation imposed as a crop circle over a farmer's field. A section of this was used on the cover of The Mountain Astrologer, to illustrate my investigative feather about the company. Illustration by Lizanne E. Webb.
Through the years as the author of the Planet Waves column, I have covered a vast diversity of topics, sometimes including astrological discussion and sometimes not. If there is a place for astrology, I include it. If there is not, I leave it out.

Over the past two decades, Planet Waves has covered the dangers of plutonium aboard the Cassini Space Probe, an artist in Germany who was charged with blasphemy, the early history of Burning Man, the contaminated vents in dorms on a university campus, real estate fraud by do-gooder land conservancies, Fukushima and the history of splitting the atom, and the potential demolition of World Trade Center 7 by explosives.

We have dug into issues with the Moon landing narrative, massive fraud by the EPA and FDA, countless mass shootings, the problem of gluten in food, an episode from modern feminism, my critique of the MeToo movement, whether polyamory really exists, the War of the Worlds broadcast, how to combat global warming with pot luck dinners, a visit from the Karmapa to Woodstock, New York, my personal search for my inner feminine, and how to find a therapist,

I admit, it is true: Covid reporting wins the prize for being the one issue that we have covered almost every week for an entire year. But then never was there a global shutdown and lockdown created in just three weeks, or ever before. This seemed necessary to look into, if anything ever was. By May, my colleague Spencer Stevens and I had identified about 18 distinct issues, which we called "The List" (affectionately named for the Rosanne Cash album).

The crisis we were all facing was supposedly about people getting sick — millions of them. Yet in 14 months of scrubbing the news, I have only ever seen one article about how to take care of a sick person: not about a nurse in a hospital, but rather at home, where you would expect most of them to be. There are basics of how to do this, which most people do not know. That the topic was being ignored seemed extremely strange.

In the process of not sleeping (and for me, barely leaving the house) for a year, we developed several portfolios. One is this collection of interviews with internationally-respected doctors and research scientists — people on all sides of the issue. These include lab releases versus no lab release; discussion of zoonotic emergence of viruses with a wildlife pathologist; those for and against vaccines; the psychological implications of the crisis; experts more or less trustful of the government's version of events; a discussion of environmental factors; and many other points of view. Check out the list!

You would think I had three senior producers at Planet Waves FM booking in guests, but it's just me and some friends.

My desk in St. Gilles, Brussels, Belgium in 2006. Photo by Eric Francis.

News Timeline and Investigative Portfolios

Another accomplishment is our news timeline, which has summarized and linked to 1,500 articles from all species of the press over the past 14 months. If it happened, you are likely to find it in this selection of articles, organized by month. This bonafide weblog is professionally edited and is fed by our all-volunteer, always at it research team called the XYZ List. It is a monument to citizen journalism, and I can only say that because I didn't do most of it — it was just my idea.

When Pres. Trump was said to be hospitalized with coronavirus, his doctors said his protocol included vitamins C and D, melatonin and zinc, known since the beginning to be effective for whatever this medical issue was.
I have two portfolios of my own writing: The Coronavirus Novel, and The Gritty Details. One is older, one is newer. The difference in tone and content between the two collections is striking.

As you read, you will notice the gradual progression of my point of view, as I learned more, obtained better sources, (to wit, Jon Rappoport and Celia Farber, who have covered viruses for the past 40 years).

But I think the very best thing I was able to do — thanks to much coaching and discussion from the McLuhan family — was to frame Covid as a digital phenomenon as much as any other. You will see this theme woven throughout our coverage.

Anyway — thank you not just for enduring all this feather-ruffling and unpleasant news. Thank you for supporting my career all these years, leaving me unfettered and free to do what I thought was the right thing as a journalist and editor, right when I felt called.

As for the present and the future: We continue to update Covid19 News several times daily. I continue to cover the issues on Planet Waves FM each week, sponsored by your generous support.

On my program, I am doing less original journalism and more presenting to you what I think is the most pressing issue, as documented by our research team and my close colleagues. Please check those content streams for the latest we are learning. And if there is urgent news that I discover, you can be sure I will tell you.

May the spirit of independent journalism prevail. Long Live the First Amendment, if we dare to use it wisely and well.

Faithfully yours,

My desk in New Paltz, New York, circa 1992, at the height of my career covering toxins. Behind me is Peter Shipley, a political and financial analyst, with whom I collaborated for many years covering higher education issues. The cards are from the Karma Cards deck; they are the Sun in Cancer in the 11th house. I couldn't read astrology at the time, so I asked my friend Arthur Jospeh Kushner what he thought the reading meant. He said, "It's about you taking care of the public." This was prior to my astrological career, when I was just getting familiar with the terminology of astrology using this most excellent tool. All photos by Eric Francis.

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