Viral video aggregator Upworthy has been in the news a lot lately, mostly for their meteoric rise in popularity and maddening-yet-effective headline writing style. One element of the site that didn’t get much press, however, was an announcement they made over Facebook on November 12. The post proclaimed:
One of the reasons we started on this social merry-go-round was to get important ideas out there that people rarely talk about. So we are getting in cahoots with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and launching a global health and poverty section.
This they did, kicking off an area of their site called “All 7 Billion” which spotlighted videos related to poverty, sustainability and health care in the developing world. What nobody at Upworthy seemed to take into account was the loathing for the Gates Foundation among various pro-woo, anti-science fringe movements. And the comments left by these people, which numbered almost a thousand in total, were scathing:
Need to find another partner if you want my support……..Gates Foundation owns 1,000,000 shares of Monsanto who looks not only control the world’s food supply and poison everyone as they do it, the do their best to ruin any competition from sustainable growth and organic farmers.
While you’re partnering with them maybe you could ask them why they support toxic GMO foods.
Bill accidentally (cough) sterilized thousands with his generous donation of vaccines (contaminated with sterility compounds), while giving a TED presentation that said “in order to cut greenhouse gases, we need to lower population, and thanks to vaccines, we should be able to lower the earth’s population by at least 10%”…
He’s busy vaccinating and euthanizing children in poor countries instead of caring for and feeding them … Sad day for Upworthy.
I do not agree what the Gates foundation is doing to public education. Specifically the Common Core crap. What does he actually know about education anyway?
The Nazi Eugenicist Gates Foundation , Bilderberg Billy Gates ???!! Pushing deadly vaccines instead of food Gates foundation ??? Jeez, you just lost all credibility there…
And on and on it goes. So is Bill Gates really a Monsanto-owning, eugenics-loving, anti-education monster who wants to cull the population through poisoned vaccines? Or is he a wealthy man trying to use his fortune do some good in the world in a way that angers people who see conspiracy around every corner?
CLAIM: Bill Gates owns part of/most of/all of Monsanto and won’t answer questions about it. As with anything related to Monsanto, it’s hard to separate fact from hysterics. The short version of the truth here is that in 2010, according to their legally-required public tax return, the Foundation Trust purchased 500,000 shares of Monsanto, worth $34 million. These shares were sold in 2011 and as of their 2012 filing, the Foundation doesn’t own a single share of Monsanto. As it was, the investment was a tiny portion of their holdings, never enough to make a significant impact in either organization.
As to why they bought the stock in 2010, why wouldn’t they? The Foundation has a massive portfolio of investments. Just their list of corporate stocks owned in 2011 runs for 19 pages. Given that the Foundation has an interest in both decreasing poverty and increasing their overall endowment, and Monsanto stock is a strong performer, their investment isn’t surprising at all. The Foundation has a policy of not commenting on individual investments, so the fact that they won’t discuss this particular one also isn’t surprising.
CLAIM: The Gates Foundation supports toxic GMO’s. It’s true that the Foundation has made a major commitment to agricultural development, particularly in poverty-stricken countries. One particular method they’re using to accomplish this is through the research and promotion of genetically modified crops. They’ve invested heavily in numerous different GMO initiatives, including basic science research, virus resistant cassava and “golden rice,” a vitamin-loaded crop that can reduce malnutrition and infant blindness.
And remember, when it comes to children dying, the fewer, the better. The harm of GMO crops has never been proven to exist, but the people being helped by the Foundation’s backing of this work certainly do – hundreds of millions around the world. The Foundation’s efforts could lift these people out hunger and into better lives. Of course, the vast majority of the objections to the Foundation’s investments in GMO’s come from activists who have never had to worry about where their next meal is going to come from. As I’ve said many times, it’s easier to March Against Monsanto when your belly is full.
CLAIM: The Gates Foundation supports deadly vaccines that kill people. Three for three on claims that induce hysteria among certain portions of the internet. First of all, let’s sweep away any speculation that supporting vaccination is a bad thing. Despite one’s personal opinion, vaccines save lives. Mommy instinct and Google University might not agree with that, but decades of scientific research does.
Vaccination in the developing world makes up a major platform of the Gates Foundation’s philanthropy. Populations that had no access to vaccines for a host of deadly, preventable illnesses now do. The Foundation’s efforts are working. In just one example, India, a country ravaged by polio not that long ago, reported one single case in 2011.
It’s the polio vaccine that makes up one of the most common claims against the Foundation, that Gates-sponsored vaccines caused 47,500 cases of paralysis in India. You’ll find this claim all over vaccine-doomsayer websites, and as you can guess, it’s not true. The polio vaccine does not cause polio. These cases turned out to be acute flaccid paralysis, caused by a non-polio enterovirus. Another oft-repeated and equally bogus claim is that Malawian children were forced at gunpoint to take Gates vaccines. The source of this is, of course, Natural News – which referenced an article from Malawi Voice that appears to have been taken down shortly after it went up.
Skeptical Raptor has a good write-up of these and other false vaccine-related accusations against the Gates Foundation. Read it, then beat your head against the nearest wall.
CLAIM: Bill Gates is a eugenics advocate who wants to cull the world’s population. Conspiracy theories about global depopulation are legion, with everyone from the UN to the Illuminati supposedly preparing a massive thinning of the herd through “soft kill” techniques. So naturally, a Bill Gates speech about how vaccines can reduce the population of the world would be a big deal and prove him to be a murderous monster.
Of course, Gates never said such a thing.
What Gates DID do was give a TED talk in 2010, called “Innovating to Zero.” The focus of the talk was reducing global carbon emissions to, as per the title, zero. Out of that speech came this quote, which conspiracy mongers have seized on as an admission that Gates is a eugenicist in programmer’s clothing:
The world today has 6.8 billion people. That’s headed up to about nine billion. Now, if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by, perhaps, 10 or 15 percent, but there we see an increase of about 1.3.
Devoid of context, it looks like he’s saying that vaccines and health care could kill a billion people. But a rational person doesn’t look at this and see the richest man in the world calmly (and publicly) outlining his plans for genocide. What Gates is talking about is reducing population growth, and reputable science bears out that a higher-standard of living equals lower birth rates. Included in this are things like good health care, better food and, yes, vaccines.
Like all the other depopulation plans, this one appears to be either not real or moving incredibly slowly.
CLAIM: Bill Gates is single-handedly destroying education in America. The Gates Foundation played a key role in the development, funding and promotion of Common Core, an education initiative dedicated to reforming standards in math and English. The benefits, drawbacks and myths surrounding Common Core are probably legion enough to warrant their own blog post, but it’s clear that the Gates Foundation is intertwined with this work. If you think Common Core is a bad idea, and many people do, you’re naturally going to hang this on the Gates Foundation.
CLAIM: Bill Gates is a member of various global elite bankster ruling cadres, including the Illuminati and the Bilderberg Group. Gates was a member of the 2010 Bilderberg Group conference, so that claim is factually correct. Though as with everything Bilderberg related, it’s slathered in misinformation and fear.
As for Gates being a member of the all-powerful Illuminati, if such a group existed, Gates’ status as one of the richest men on the planet would probably approve him for charter membership – along with virtually every other powerful, wealthy and important person around.
So is the Gates Foundation an arm of the apocalypse, or an instrument for good? That depends on whether you think vaccination and ending hunger are good things. Since I do, I’m pretty firmly on their side.