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TCW New Year Reads: Bill Gates, the quintessential false prophet


The Bill Gates Problem: Reckoning with the Myth of the Good Billionaire by Tim Schwab; Penguin Business, November 16, 2023

BILL Gates is not the Messiah. He’s a dangerous, sinister man with a God complex. Beatification after death will not suffice. His life’s work, to which he has dedicated the bulk of his ill-gotten fortune, is campaigning for the immediate gratification of veneration as a living saint (or alternatively a Nobel Peace Prize), selling the ‘miracle’ of vaccines while piously and immodestly claiming to be saving lives.

Tim Schwab, the author of a new and unauthorised biography, The Bill Gates Problem: Reckoning with the Myth of the Good Billionaire, has the measure of the man. The book is exhaustively researched and, should Gates ever read it, likely to induce one of his famous purple tantrums. 

Schwab uses Gates and his foundation to explore his central thesis that America needs to reform the rules governing the philanthropic foundations which America’s oligarchs, the likes of Gates and the original generation of robber barons, the Carnegies and the Rockefellers, use to exert unaccountable political influence while sheltering their fortunes from tax. Philanthropy is meant to be about brotherly love. Charity is the salve to their souls, the means by which they lubricate their way into heaven, but as Schwab ably documents, their favourite charities are themselves. By Schwab’s reckoning they generate tax benefits of about 74 per cent, enabling them to promote their pet agendas while growing richer as they claim to give it all away. The rules were last reformed 50 years ago and they are in need of urgent attention.

Schwab makes a well-argued case that the principal purpose of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is reputation management. Gates wants you to believe he’s the Forrest Gump of oligarchs, just a well-intentioned, socially awkward geek trying to do good in the world. The Gates Foundation’s schtick is that it saves lives – 122million, it claims – and it spends a lot of time and money bragging about it. In reality it was set up when Gates’s reputation was in need of rehabilitation due to his penchant for predatory and illegal business practices. The US government dropped an anti-trust case against his company Microsoft the week before 9/11 helpfully blew all other news off the agenda.

Using his Foundation, Gates brings his brand of evil business genius to the pharmaceutical industry, where he focuses on vaccines. His foundation operates as if it were a venture capital fund, and to all intents and purposes he’s a racketeer posing as a patron. If anything, as Schwab details, Gates and his foundation are more predatory than he was in business. The fourth estate is bribed into silence, while grant recipients self-censor (it’s known as the Bill Chill) out of fear of reprisal.

The book has one serious flaw: Schwab never questions vaccine dogma. Instead he uncritically accepts the received wisdom that they are a life-saving public good. His central criticism is that Gates hasn’t been successful enough in achieving his goal of saving lives and could do more. He explores the Gates Foundation’s interests in population control in the developing world (a Rockefeller agenda which remains a national security objective of the US government) in isolation, failing to make the link between it and vaccines.

Gates’s foray into the world of vaccines began as a water carrier for the Rockefellers. They foisted universal vaccination on to the world in 1984 (oh, the irony) through Unicef when it was controlled by a Rockefeller Foundation trustee, James P Grant. A decade earlier the Australian physician Dr Archie Kalokerinos warned publicly that vaccination was a danger to sick and malnourished children, killing and injuring them in large numbers. Despite travelling to the US in 1976 to promote his book Every Second Child and attempting to warn the US Centers for Disease Control personally, Kalokerinos was ignored. In 1988, Unicef doubled down, introducing the Expanded Program on Immunizations (EPI). A 1989 paper by Daniel Levy-Bruhl, a Unicef consultant who worked on the EPI programme, reeks of malice, targeting fertile age women, malnourished children and premature babies in low-income countries. Kalokerinos called vaccination ‘genocidal’.

Bill Gates profits from vaccines. He says they’re his best investment – he’s turned a $20billion speculation into $200billion. Anyone who questions vaccines, he says, is ‘evil’. Schwab is right: Gates is a problem. He has much to atone for and lacks the self-awareness or humility to do it. What Schwab fails to realise is that Gates has blood on his hands because of the vaccine programmes he promotes, not despite them. Bill Gates is the quintessential false prophet.

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Paula Jardine
Paula Jardine
Paula Jardine is a writer/researcher who has just completed the graduate diploma in law at ULaw. She has a history degree from the University of Toronto and a journalism degree from the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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