A Plague From Harvard 

Practically speaking, government might do well to maintain a more vigorous countermisinformation establishment.

Cass Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule

In 2008, Harvard law professors Cass Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule published “Conspiracy Theories” with the Social Services Research Network, and a year later in The Journal of Political Philosophy under the title “Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures”. In time, the contents became known to a shocked public, because the authors, to summarize, recommended that citizen groups failing to believe official accounts of events should be covertly penetrated by governmental agents who would then work to bring opinion into line with that desired by the government. They called the strategy “cognitive infiltration” and wrote that “conspiracy theorists”, which they equated with “extremists”, suffer from “crippled epistemology”, “cognitive blunders”, even forms of mental illness. To make contact in order to rehabilitate disillusioned citizens, the authors suggested that “Government agents … might enter chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups and attempt to undermine percolating conspiracy theories.” Sunstein, ironically, lists an area of particular interest as “constitutional law”.

While the Harvard professors attempt to wax expert in the area of mass psychology (an odd place for legal scholars to dwell), their principle concern, rather than theories in general, were those surrounding 9/11, with readers assured: “Our focus throughout is on false conspiracy theories, not true ones.” This indicates that their article was an attempt to depict the government’s official explanations of events on 9/11 as beyond doubt, when , in fact, they have been, on many fronts, shown to be false. By the time the article was written, experts from myriad disciplines had already been spotlighting the many physical impossibilities throughout the official account, these including several books by theologian David Ray Griffin. It is not plausible that the authors could have been unaware of such a considerable body of investigation.

Because of their focus on 9/11, one must conclude that it was the single most important element prompting the article by Sunstein and Vermeule. To strengthen their rejection of claims of governmental complicity regarding 9/11, the authors wrote: “But when the press is free, and when checks and balances are in force, government cannot easily keep its conspiracies hidden for long.” Given the extensive history of governmental deceptions that come to light only years later (e.g. here, here, here), one cannot accept such a level of claimed naïveté’ as anything but fake. In addition, it is of more than passing interest that in 2009, following publication of “Conspiracy Theories”, President Obama, an alumnus of Harvard Law, chose Sunstein to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB.


Significant monitoring and speech control are inevitable components of a mature and flourishing internet, and governments must play a large role in these practices to ensure that the internet is compatible with a society’s norms and values.

—  Jack Goldsmith, 2020

For Jack Goldsmith, Henry L. Shattuck Professor of Law at Harvard, maintaining social order and its “norms” overrules unwanted dissenting voices that are inevitable when free speech is unqualified, and it is presupposed that citizens may “sift and winnow” freely for truth. Goldsmith also invokes “Russia’s interference in the 2016 election”, a claim disproven, revealed as nothing more than a pop-gun of social media insertions that, beside the long history of U.S. interventions and “regime changes” (de facto invasions) reveal either rank hypocrisy or too high a level of ignorance for a prominent legal figure.

Goldsmith writes “These constitutional limits [i.e., the 1st and 4th Amendments] help explain why, since the Russian electoral interference, digital platforms have taken the lead in combatting all manner of unwanted speech on their networks—and, if anything, have increased their surveillance of our lives.” Ah, yes, he maintains, the U.S. Constitution interferes with government’s potential desire to invade privacy and to control mass freedom of expression, so we’re fortunate that, for out own good, Silicon Valley giants identify and block “misinformation”. Furthermore, he adds, “[T]he government has been in the shadows of these developments, nudging them along and exploiting them when it can.” How true, and how convenient it is that Silicon Valley serves as an indirect means for evasion by government of the 1st and 4th Amendments.

While Facebook and Twitter censorship “policies” are subject to change, governmental-private sector “collaboration” is a constant. And as Goldsmith assures us, “Facebook relies on fact-checking organizations and ‘authorities’ (from the World Health Organization to the governments of U.S. states) to ascertain which content to downgrade or remove.” Governments to validate censorship? Really! Moreover, the WHO has lost trustworthiness, as its funding has shifted from nation states to private sources, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in particular, with its deep ties to the pharmaceutical industry.


Many children are taught to believe in God. I came to believe in the power of systems analysis.

Lawrence Summers

Currency should be becoming technologically obsolete.

Kenneth Rogoff

Harvard Professor then President of Harvard, Secretary of the U.S. Treasury in the Clinton Administration and later Director of Obama’s Economic Council, Lawrence Summers has been, and continues to be, a guiding light at the center of the economic system that has brought us to our present condition. If anyone would qualify as the face of the globalist’s deregulated “free market” pushing for the privatization of everything, of the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act that, since 1933, had protected depositors from high-risk investment/gambling practices of too-big-to-fail banks, of the protection from regulation of convoluted derivative “instruments”, it would be Summers.

More recently, Summers and fellow Harvard economics professor Kenneth Rogoff, have been promoting a reduction of “anonymous” (Rogoff’s usage) cash in society. In 2016 Summers authored a Washington Post article favoring “killing” the $100 bill, and in the same year, Rogoff published a book, The Curse of Cash. For both, the argument begins with the concept of phasing out large denomination bills on the basis that they are favored forms used in money laundering, tax-evasion and criminal activities such as drug running. Rogoff also complains that cash “handcuffs” central banks, and that without large bills bankers would be able take negative interest rates as low as 4 or 5% should they desire to force spending. As savings accounts are cropped, savers would be forced to spend. It would no longer be a matter of personal choice, but that’s OK with systems analysts.

But the ultimate goal was stated bluntly by, ironically, Steve Forbes:  “The real reason for this war on cash — start with the big bills and then work your way down — is an ugly power grab by Big Government.” And all signs point to exactly that. Summers was a chief economist of the World Bank, and Rogoff was a chief economist of the International Monetary Fund. That Rogoff’s above quote regarding the removal of physical money from society is indeed the ultimate goal was made clear by IMF Director Christine LaGarde in her 2018 “Winds of Change” speech, in which she presented the plan for a new digital currency, stating specifically that it would not be anonymous. Why not? “Doing so would be a bonanza for criminals.”

Well, it would also be a bonanza for government, however tyrannical it might become. It would create a dystopia in which all exchanges can be — and most certainly would be — made a part of one’s digital dossier. When physical money is no longer available (now it is being depicted as a spreader of germs), all exchange would be electronic, and that would render the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution null and void. Privacy would be a thing of the past. The inevitable result would be a self-editing citizenry, fearful of having access to life’s necessities cut off. Any individual that might become an irritant to government could simply have digital access to money snuffed. This is not wild speculation; it has happened.


The totalitarian legal and economic philosophy emanating from Harvard’s upper strata is based on a coldly analytic efficiency requiring a regimentation that is at odds with the autonomous (and anonymous!), even creative, democratic chaos of a free society. This is not a trivial matter, because Harvard students graduate into high positions that await them throughout government and media. Becoming aware of their abundance in the halls of power and communication is eye-opening, and when you start adding the graduates of Yale and other Ivy League schools, you have to conclude that the Ivys, socially and politically connected as they are, run the show. All members of the U.S. Supreme Court were associated with either Harvard or Yale — as student or faculty — as were all four Presidents from 1989 to 2016. And when you look at a rundown of principals at America’s “newspapers of record”, the New York Times and the Washington Post, it’s a clear picture of Ivy League dominance.

This, per individual, is not in itself a negative. But considered together, it reeks of intellectual incest. In 2014, Yale professor William Deresiewicz wrote “Excellent Sheep“, a searing indictment of Ivy education which he described as perpetuating the prestige and affluence of a privileged elite. Students, which he found generally to be intellectually incurious and conformist (“content to color within the lines that their education had marked out for them”), are educated to be leaders while actually becoming isolated from the very society they are supposed to lead. And because, with elite diplomas in hand, they actually do make their ways into positions of real influence, they carry with them the entrenched sclerotic values of an old guard that is an element of a globalist initiative dedicated to resisting opposing interests.

Bill Willers is an emeritus professor of biology, University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh. He is founder of the Superior Wilderness Action Network and editor of Learning to Listen to the Land, and Unmanaged Landscapes, both from Island Press. He can be contacted at willers@uwosh.edu. Read other articles by Bill.