Censors remove Control Group report from preprint server
By Rob Verkerk PhD, Executive Drector, ANH-Intl | June 17, 2002
Last week we announced we’d analysed a sample of the survey data from over 300,000 people in 175 countries who had elected to not receive covid-19 vaccines as part of an initiative of the Control Group Cooperative.
We uploaded the 41-page, entirely transparent report to the preprint site ResearchGate. The report included 21 pages of survey findings, a description of the Methods used, annexes that included all the questions that were presented to cooperative members, an introduction and a discussion, the latter including an outline of five limitations of the survey. The report made clear that the survey design and data collection was conducted entirely independently of the analysis and reporting, which was also entirely unpaid. Together that amounts to saying the work was both independent and transparent, something we’ve seen far too little of in vaccine research.
Today at around midday UK time, I received a letter from ResearchGate letting me know the survey report had been removed from its website. It seems there is a different course of action when science that does not support the mainstream narrative is heard outside the echo chamber of those who’ve exercised their right to refuse covid-19 ‘vaccines’. Yet another reminder of how censorship works in the post-covid world when research findings challenge the narrative.
Why did ResearchGate pull the preprint?
ResearchGate said that the Control Group article breached its Terms and Conditions.
Its message was sent by an individual identified as “Sam” and the key sentiments are shown in the following extract:
“In connection with using or accessing the Service, you shall not … Act unprofessionally or inappropriately, including by posting broad, vague, irrelevant, untargeted, off-topic, or non-scientific content, potentially harmful or potentially dangerous content, or by misusing the Service and its features
As stated in our Terms of Service, ResearchGate reserves the right to remove any content posted by you when we deem it to be necessary or appropriate, including if we determine that the content may expose us to harm, potential legal liability, or is in breach of our Terms.”
An extract of my response is as follows:
“Thank you for your email, Sam.
We had looked at your Terms & Conditions and hadn’t considered that the survey findings were in breach of them. We are clearly disappointed in your decision. We were very clear in our report that the survey findings were self-selected and self-reported, we outlined 5 limitations in our Discussion, and the work was both transparent and independent of the Control Group Cooperative that designed the survey and collected the data.
However, I do understand that you must have been under considerable pressure to remove the report once the findings were discussed by the mainstream media.
It’s yet another sad day for efforts to prevent open scientific discourse.
I have long respected the contribution ResearchGate makes to open and transparent discourse within the scientific community and I hope this doesn’t represent part of a general narrowing of your approach to openness in science. We have been invited to submit the findings to a peer reviewed journal in a more consolidated form so will continue on this path.”
No doubt, the fact that the ResearchGate article was getting considerable airplay in a wide range of media, including the UK’s Daily Mail and MSN (the latter had already pulled its article) was among the reasons for the article being pulled.
Another likely factor triggering censorship was that ResearchGate would have become aware of a large spike in views. I had around 4,500 reads of my work on ResearchGate when I uploaded the preprint a week ago. Yesterday, I was recognised by ResearchGate for my “nice work” when they sent me an email letting me know I’d achieved 20,000 reads (see below).
What were the summary findings?
So what are they not wanting you to know?
The report (see below) includes data summaries from self-reported data independently collected between September 2021 and February 2022 inclusive from an international, self-selected, COVID-19 unvaccinated population via a UK-based cooperative, namely the Control Group Cooperative. The summaries were derived from a cohort of 18,497 participants who provided data each consecutive month, the largest proportions coming from Europe, North America and Australasia.
- The cohort was 60% female with an age-structure skewed towards the 40-69y age band.
- Primary reasons given for avoiding COVID-19 vaccines were reported as preference for natural medicine interventions, distrust of pharmaceutical interventions, distrust of government information, poor/limited trial study data and fear of long-term adverse reactions.
- Respondents between the ages of 20-49y reported the greatest incidence of COVID-19 disease (10-12%), peaking in January 2022. Those >70y reported the lowest incidence (4.0% females, 3.7% males).
- Just 0.4% of the cohort reported hospitalisation (as in- or out-patients).
- Some 64% of the cohort reported taking vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc or quercetin, or any combination, routinely for prevention, with 71% self-administering vitamin D, C and zinc for treatment of COVID-19 disease, although self-administration reduced dramatically among those hospitalised.
- Fatigue, cough, muscle/body aches and fever were the four most common COVID-19 symptoms reported, the 50 to 69y age band reporting the most symptomatic disease.
- Approximately 40% of the cohort reported mild to moderate mental health issues. Menstrual abnormalities in the form of irregular periods were reported by 36% of women in the 20-49y age band.
- Reported job losses were greatest in Australia and New Zealand at 29% of participants, followed by 13% in North America. Between 20% and 50% of respondents, depending on region, reported being personal targets of hate owing to their COVID-19 vaccination status.
- Between 57% and 61% of respondents in Southern Europe and Western Europe, Australia/New Zealand and South America, reported being targets of state/country victimisation.
Being based on self-reported data from a self-selected sample of health conscious people, the findings have limitations in terms of their application to wider populations and should be interpreted with caution.
The findings do however suggest the urgent need for prospective observational studies, including unvaccinated, partially vaccinated and fully vaccinated, subjects, investigating long-term outcomes, behaviours, choices, and attitudinal or discriminatory responses to vaccination status.
What were the limitations of the survey?
These are detailed in the Discussion, as follows:
- the respondents are self-selected and therefore not randomly selected;
- the data are self-reported and therefore have not been verified independently;
- the ~18,500 participant cohort may have been biased towards the most diligent, health-conscious participants given they all completed monthly surveys (although a number of cross-checks with the main ~300,000 cohort suggests this bias is likely low)
- there is no available comparative ‘control’ population that includes individuals who have consented to one or more COVID-19 vaccines of different types; and;
- the questionnaire design is limited and does not account for multiple variables that affect health status, such as socioeconomic status, urban, peri-urban or rural residence, diet, or lifestyle.
Following the removal of the preprint from ResearchGate, it will soon be available on another preprint server. We will insert the link here as soon as it is available.
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