Daily Archives: August 10, 2009

The Knights Templar, Knights of Malta and Blackwater’s Erik Prince

Rationalizing the Irrational | Aug 6, 2009

By Mitch Cumstein

In a declaration under the penalty of purjury, a former employee of Erik Prince’s Blackwater defense contracting firm said Prince “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe.”

The accuser, only known as John Doe #2 in court documents because he claims he has been threatened with “death and violence” by managers of Prince’s company, wrote that “Prince intentionally deployed to Iraq certain men who shared his vision of Chrisian supremacy, knowing and wanting these men to take every available opportunity to murder Iraqis. Many of these men used call signs based on the Knights of the Templar, the warriors who fought the Crusades.”

This mention of the Knights Templar is an interesting one because it shifts the focus of Iraq from a quest for oil to that of a holy war. Remember when Pres. Bush got laughs for referring to the “war on terror” as a “crusade.” And this isn’t the only time Prince and his company Blackwater have been linked, albeit tenuously, with these shadow elements of the Catholic church and Christian fundamentalists.

orderofmaltaThe European Parliament published a report by Giovanni Claudio Fava, a Socialist Group legislator, claiming that there are connections between Blackwater and Malta. Malta is where the Knights of Malta, another right-wing element of the Catholic Church similar to the Knights Templar, once lived and still maintain control of Fort St. Angelo.

The Nation’s Jeremy Scahill has also written about connections between Prince, Malta and Pres. Bush’s rendition program in which terrorist suspects were sent to other countries for the purpose of torture. The program, according to Scahill was run by Cofer Black, who is allegedly a Knight of Malta himself and used Malta in the rendition program.

Black is the current vice chairman for Blackwater. At the time of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, DC, Black was director of the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center.

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Blackwater mercenaries referred to themselves as Knights Templars on a “crusade to wipe out Muslims”

Eight Prescription Drugs with Truly Alarming Side Effects

Big Pharma wants to make you sick. Here’s why.

Minyanville | Aug 6, 2009

by Justin Rohrlich

The global pharmaceuticals market is expected to reach $967 billion by 2011 — which is why companies are always looking for that next must-have drug.

Staying profitable and pleasing shareholders means constant innovation, but the FDA approval process for a new drug can take over a decade to complete, and the cost can exceed $800 million. From there, on average, only 5 out of every 5,000 will make it to market. And there’s no guarantee any of those 5 will turn a profit.

That’s why Big Pharma’s latest innovations aren’t new drugs — they’re new syndromes and disorders. Or, more specifically, they’re initiatives to market existing drugs for these bizarre afflictions. It’s known colloquially as disease-mongering, and it’s the reason the pharmaceutical industry currently spends more on advertising than they do on research and development.

What we’ve got today are, essentially, drugs looking for illnesses.

In “The Art of Branding a Condition,” an article that appeared in Medical Marketing & Media, Vince Parry, a marketing executive, discussed how pharmaceutical companies are “fostering the creation of a condition and aligning it with a product.”

Like Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS). GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) Requip was a drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease — and the infinitesimal number of people who suffered from RLS, an extremely rare condition discovered in 1945 by Swedish doctor Karl Ekbom.

Since syndromes are defined by symptoms rather than pathological processes, the old “reverse-placebo effect” can stimulate sales almost immediately. Consumers hear a roll call of symptoms and become convinced they’ve got them, whatever they are. That’s why, these days, RLS “affects” nearly 12 million people in the United States alone.

So if your legs are restless, ask your doctor about Requip. And try not to pay too much attention to the excessive sexual urges, hallucinations, and compulsive gambling it’s been shown to cause.

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