Mystery surrounds foiled ‘plot’ to liberate Venezuela

This is very interesting.

Source: FT
It started with a routine police search on a road in northern Colombia. Within days the government of Venezuela was claiming it was proof of a foiled plot to “liberate” the country from its socialist rule, with echoes of past failed efforts to overthrow Latin American regimes.

The details of the alleged plot are murky. Officials in Washington deny it even existed. But it comes at a time of heightened tensions between the US and Venezuela, as the Trump administration steps up efforts to force President Nicolás Maduro to relinquish power.

The story began in Colombia on March 23, when police stopped a van on the Caribbean coast heading in the direction of Venezuela. In the back, according to the Colombian public prosecutors’ office, were 26 US-made semi-automatic rifles, helmets, night-vision goggles and flak jackets.

Three days later, a former Venezuelan general, Cliver Alcalá, said he was responsible for the cache. In a rambling and contradictory radio interview he said he and his supporters, “all committed to the liberation of Venezuela”, had planned “a military operation against the Maduro dictatorship”.

Read more: FT

Trump: US to Deploy Anti-Drug Navy Ships Near Venezuela

Source: NYT/AP

President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that Navy ships are being moved toward Venezuela as his administration beefs up counter-narcotics operations in the Caribbean following a U.S. drug indictment against Nicolás Maduro…

The deployment is one of the largest U.S. military operations in the region since the 1989 invasion of Panama to remove Gen. Manuel Noriega from power and bring him to the U.S. to face drug charges. It involves assets like Navy warships, AWACS surveillance aircraft and on-ground special forces seldom seen before in the region.

Read More: NYT/AP

A draft of the coronavirus stimulus bill written by House Democrats would create a ‘digital dollar’

For all of those who are hoarding cash in your house safe because of the CoronaVirus and/or you have finally realized you are “royally” getting screwed by the oligarchs running the United States. The president will impose an Executive Order to confiscate your hard earned cash in exchange for the new digital currency. It happened before and will happen again. Executive Order 6102 is a United States presidential executive order signed on April 5, 1933, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt “forbidding the hoarding of gold coin, gold bullion, and goldcertificates within the continental United States”

Source: The Block Crypto

A draft stimulus bill penned by House Democrats and circulating ahead of a formal published version includes a provision that would, if instituted, create a “digital dollar.”

Digital dollar details

As proposed, the digital dollars would exist in a “digital dollar wallet” which is further defined as “a digital wallet or account, maintained by a Federal [R]eserve bank on behalf of any person, that represents holdings in an electronic device or service that is used to store digital dollars that may be tied to a digital or physical identity.”

The text also refers to a “pass-through digital dollar wallet” that “means a digital wallet or account, maintained by a member bank on behalf of a qualified individual, where such qualified individual is entitled to a pro rata share of a pooled reserve balance that the member bank maintains at any Federal [R]eserve bank.”

Pass-through digital dollar wallets appear to be the vehicle by which Americans would access the funds deposited by the government. The wallets would be held by Federal Reserve member banks via separate legal entities.

As for the timing of this, the bill only states:

“Not later than January 1, 2021, all Federal Reserve banks shall make digital dollar wallets available to all citizens and legal permanent residents of the United States and business entities for which the principal place of business is located in the United States.”

Read More: The Block Crypto

Secret airstrike destroys Iran’s Albukamal base

Source :JP

On the morning of March 12, the wreckage was clear. At least 26 fighters from Iranian-backed units in Syria were dead. The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights pointed a finger at the US and Western countries. The coalition said it wasn’t them. The mystery was left to percolate for a week.

Now we know that the airstrikes that night badly damaged or destroyed 15 structures according to images from ImageSat International (ISI). The images, distributed on Wednesday, March 18 include an assessment about the “massive attack” which was designed to get Iran to “abandon this base and to send a clear message that the US will not tolerate the presence of IRGC Quds Force and its allies in this area.”
However, the claim that the US ripped apart the Imam Ali base is complicated by the fact the US officially says it retaliated on March 13, hitting warehouses related to pro-Iranian groups in Iraq. Days later the US withdrew from a post near Qaim in Iraq.

Predictive Programming: Tom Clancy’s The Division and the Corona Virus Connection

There have been many articles, videos and forums discussing the many movies, commercials and cartoons that have predicted many future events that have significantly devastated economies, dismantled civil liberties and engaged the world into perpetual war with “East Asia” (1984 Reference) and currently the new invisible enemy, the Corona Virus.

I have found interesting similarities between Tom Clancy’s The Division and the Corona Virus Pandemic

Tom Clancy’s The Division – On Black Friday 2015, a viral epidemic, transmitted by a virus planted on banknote sweeps through New York City.

1st known case of corona virus was traced back to November in China. Corona is Synonym of Crown- A crown is a unit of currency. New York City is currently the corona virus hot spot in America.

Examples of Corona Currency

  • Czech: koruna
  • Norwegian and Danish: krone
  • Icelandic and Faroese: króna
  • Swedish: krona
  • Greenlandic: koruuni
  • Northern Sami: ruvdna
  • Estonian: kroon
  • German: Krone (capital letter k)
  • Hungarian: korona
  • Slovak: koruna

Both occurred in the month of November, both are spread by “currency” and New York City is the hot zone.

 

 

Tom Clancy’s The Division: The disease, known as “The Dollar Flu”, causes widespread chaos, and major cities are placed under quarantine.

As More States Clamp Down, 1 in 4 Americans ( 85 Million) Now Under ‘Shelter in Place’ Orders Due to Coronavirus

What is the Stafford Act? Trump says he’s using it to declare ‘major disaster’ in response to coronavirus crisis

 

Tom Clancy’s The Division- The U.S. Government activates sleeper agents in the population who operate for the Strategic Homeland Division, or simply “the Division”, to assist emergency responders and National Guardsmen, Nathaniel the division agent who is a real person and prior ghost soldier and the Joint Task Force

 

Trump triggers Defense Production Act in coronavirus fight.  

Trump activates National Guard in California, New York and Washington state: ‘This is a war

EXCLUSIVE: INSIDE THE MILITARY’S TOP SECRET PLANS IF CORONAVIRUS CRIPPLES THE GOVERNMENT

 

I am anticipating that New York City in the coming days will classify certain areas as the “Dark Zone”.

Tom Clancy’s The Division-They also find a message from Keener, showing he has the technology to manufacture a new strain of Green Poison and intends to do so, and mysteriously tells the agent to explore the center of Manhattan, called the “Dark Zone.

 

Tom Clancy’s The Division- the Rioters, common street thugs in New York who generally want to take advantage of the quarantine, the Rikers, escapees from Rikers Island

Trump is considering releasing elderly, ‘totally nonviolent’ offenders from federal prisons amid coronavirus outbreak

US jails begin releasing prisoners to stem Covid-19 infections

 

Very strange cryptic similarities between Tom Clancy’s fictional world and the current situation with the Corona virus and New York City.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The U.S. Space Force’s New Mission? Protecting 5G

Related:

5G technology will be a key part of the US Space Force mission, officials say

Source: popular mechanics

5G communications technology is crucial to the U.S. Space Force and will be part of the new organization’s mission. The tech, which will deliver the internet at previously unseen speeds worldwide, will in many cases be delivered via a constellation of relay satellites in low-Earth orbit, many of which will be the property of U.S. companies. Like previous generations, so-called “fifth generation/5G” technology will likely reach into the lives of billions of people on Earth, making it imperative that the Space Force secures the data stream from foreign espionage.

In addition to keeping Chinese equipment out of the U.S’s 5G network, the constellations of satellites many companies are building to support worldwide networks will be of interest to the Space Force. SpaceX plans to deploy up to 12,000 Starlink relay satellites, with other companies such as Amazon following suit.

Defender Europe: U.S. military preparing for ‘worst-case scenario’ in Europe as coronavirus spreads among the ranks

 
Source: Washington Times

 

U.S. troops in Europe are preparing for the “worst-case scenario” as the coronavirus spreads across the continent, military leaders said Friday.

Gen. Tod D. Wolters, commander of U.S. European Command, said there are about 35 reported cases among American military personnel stationed in Europe.

But with the virus spreading quickly across the region and with countries such as Italy, France, Spain and others facing grave situations, the outlook for U.S. forces could deteriorate rapidly.

Still, Gen. Wolters stressed that U.S. forces in Europe remain fully prepared and that so far the virus has not impacted military readiness.

“As we currently sit, based off the trajectory of the virus spreading across Europe, we’re in a position … to be able to sustain the current readiness posture we have,” he said.

Blue wavelength from sunlight improves the immune system

Researchers from Georgetown University Medical Center found blue light—light with a short wavelength that comes from both the sun and, for example, the lit-up screens of devices like smartphones—helps circulate a type of immune cells in our skin. When these cells, called T-cells, flow around the body more effectively, they’re able to reach new infections more quickly, and stop them before they actually cause harm. The Georgetown work was published in Scientific Reports on Dec. 20.

Skin is the body’s largest organ. It’s primary role is to safeguard all of our organs by acting as a physical barrier. Most obviously, it keeps microbes that may cause infections out of our bloodstream and protects us from exposure to the elements. And it’s also responsive to the external environment: When exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun, for example, the skin cells that make melanin, produce more of the pigment to protect us from damaging radiation. UV light also triggers the production of vitamin D, which helps us absorb nutrients like calcium and iron and can signal to certain immune cells that it’s time to get to work to fight off an infection.

It turns out another blue light produced by the sun can set off a different immune response. Blue light is on the shorter end of the wavelength of light we can see (not as short as UV rays, which are invisible to us). Because its wavelengths are so small, blue light can make it deeper into our skin, where T-cells are. To test the impact of blue light, the research team took samples of mouse and human T-cells and exposed them to blue light.

In low levels like the kind we’d get outside, it turns out the blue light triggered T-cells produce hydrogen peroxide, which gives them a chemical kick in the pants, forcing them to circulate more effectively. These swirling T-cells are like guards patrolling the perimeter of a secure area: The more they circulate around, the more chances they have to spot any potential microbial threats, and eliminate them before they do any damage.

The research team so far has only used cell models, rather than seeing the system work in a living subject. But they know human skin has an abundance of T-cells, and expect that on a larger scale, blue light from the sun does help these cells circulate throughout the body.

Source: Quartz

A STUDY OF ANCIENT AND MODERN SECRET MEDICAL FRATERNITIES

A STUDY OF ANCIENT AND MODERN SECRET 
MEDICAL FRATERNITIES. 

Roland G. Curtin, M. D. 
1907 
History informs us that the study of the ancient history 
of medicine and surgery commences with the Deluge, when 
the first recorded surgical operation was performed, that of 
the rite of circumcision. As time wore oi^the records be- 
came more frequent, explicit, and authoritative. With the 
beginning of Medicine the secrecy enjoined upon those prac- 
tising the healing art was such as to prevent a free dissem- 
ination of information to the public, and the absence of later 
facilities also prevented its being spread among the masses. 
At first there was a coalescence of the functions of priest and 
physician : so that among the ancients, religion played an 
important part in the rise of medicine, astronomy, chemistry, 
and other sciences. 

The priests were the sole possessors of all knowledge, 
medicinal lore among the rest. Through fraternal rules, 
they concealed among themselves all information by throw- 
ing a cloud of superstition and mystery over their practices. 
In the Old Testament we are informed that one of the chief 
employments of the priests, except to attending sacrifices 
and the services of the temple, was to distinguish the sev- 
eral sorts of leprosy, and uncleanness, which they con- 
trolled in several ways. First came cures by imagination, 
invocation, exorcism, astrology, amulets, charms, and talis- 
mans, and later, cures with remedies, drugs, surgery, exter- 
nal applications, etc., and later, cures with remedies. 

Almost every one is inclined to the belief that secret 
medical fraternities are of very recent origin; but I think 
that when one studies the subjecfthey will acknowledge that 
such is not the case. I, too, was of the opinion that secret 
medical societies were a new fad until I began to study the 
subject carefully. I give you the result of my researches, 


( 


V 


* 


4 

which carry these organizations far back into the most an- 
cient civilized times, far beyond the Christian Era. They 
seem to be as old as medicine itself, dating back to the 
earliest ages. The modern “Greek-letter medical fraterni- 
ties” are only a few years old, being an outgrowth of the 
educational movements in the medical schools at the pres- 
ent time. They are based upon the general plan of the old 
Greek-letter societies of the ordinary collegians. They all 
are essentially % American institution^ 

Medical fraternities have truly an ancestral right to 
claim a Grecian origin; as in that country medicine was 
developed as a separate cult, and largely through medical 
fraternities. As before stated, the beginning of medicine 
was associated with witchcraft, mystery, ancKsorcery. The 
knowledge that the practitioner of medicintjn ancient times 
ImmI was held by a small body of men, who were oath-bound 
to keep their knowledge among their brethren and appren- 
ticed novitiates. The initiate was obliged to take a solemn 
vow not to reveal to an outsider anything taught him by 
his masters, thereby making the body a secret medical fra- 
ternity. 

We can truly say that secret fraternal medical organiza- 
tions have been in existence since the earliest times. These 
men were priestfcin the dual role of ministers of religion 
and ministers of science, the latter including medicine, chem- 
istry, astronomy, and all allied branches, as well as the 
worship of the Deity and the moral elevation of the people. 
These scientific men were banded together for the purpose 
of keeping information secret, and for affording assistance 
and protection to one another. These orders might be said 
to be the earlier secret medical fraternities ; for we can safely 
say that up to that time of Pythagoras all secret organiza- 
tions that included priestcraft, mysticism, science, and 
brotherhood were, to some extent, oathbound medical or- 
ganizations. 

These fraternal societies of a secret character have been 


5 


a part of the history of the world, and their study is a 
part of ancient medical history ; as alchemy led up to chem- 
istry, and morality was a hygienic study. Organized bodies 
have aided civilization, and in early times their advent was 
coincident with the nation’s progress. The arts and sciences 
represent morality and general education, and have all been 
improved ; and their triumphs have been extoled by orators, 
poets, historians and statesmen. We can say that history 
shows that medicine has always kept pace with civilization 
and refinement; and we find that when one was at a stand- 
still, so were the others. 

The Hindoos, so far as history indicates, seem to have 
been the first people to be advanced in medicine; and from 
them the Arabs disseminated it to other countries. 

The Assyrians were very learned, and the Egyptians 
received from them much information that was never prop- 
erly accredited to them. 

Moses was initiated into the “mysteries” and secrets 
of this priestly order in Egypt. In his writings, about three 
thousand years before Christ, we find many allusions to 
medicine as practiced by the Jews, the priests being the 
practitioners. They were very particular as to cleanliness, 
as a preventive of contagions diseases, and directed the 
first use of earth for the disinfection of excrement. Their 
rules were simple and hygienic in character, interspersed 
with and assisted by ceremonies. The Biblical chronology 
assures us that the Egyptian emigrants carried the arts to 
Greece, two or three centuries before the time of Moses. 

The early medical institutions of Greece were copied 
from those in Egypt; and, further, the older Greeks, in 
search of knowledge of all kinds, theoretical and practical, 
visited Egypt and Phoenicia as the fountain-heads of all 
culture and science. These seekers after information were 
obliged to submit to the initiation ceremonies before they 
were allowed to pry into the secrets of the Egyptians. These 
ceremonies consisted largely of magic and incantation. The 


6 


scientific medicine of the early wise men of Egypt con- 
sisted almost entirely of a knowledge of anatomy; the use 
of drugs and remedies, applied externally; and hygienic 
teaching. Pythagoras, the Asclepiads, Hippocrates, and, in 
fact, all Greek medicine, were indebted to Egypt for the 
foundation principles. 

Solomon reigned from 1015 to 975 B. C. He intro- 
duced masonry to the Hebrews through the agency of the 
Tyrian architects. This fraternity built Solomon’s Temple. 
We are informed that these masons always saluted one 
another in a courteous manner, calling each other brothers ; 
and that they were kind and charitable to those that were 
masons. 

The ancients were great travelers, especially the crafts- 
men. They went from country to country, building tem- 
ples and other structures, or engaging in commerce. Mem- 
bership in a secret body was very important, giving them 
an introduction to strangers, and constituting a bond of 
union that inspired confidence and insured fair treatment. 

From the time of Solomon, all the great architectural 
work of civilized countries was done by these traveling 
members of the “fraternities,” as they were called. They 
made all the great architectural wonders of the whole civil- 
ized world, especially in the Sardinian States and Spain. 
They built Herculaneum, and Pompeii ; the Parthenon ; the 
temples in Paris; and the historic buildings in Rome, Co- 
logne, Milan. Rouen, and Amiens. These were all con- 
structed by the “fraternities,” or colleges of priestly archi- 
tects. This body of brothers were not in any sense medical 
men. but were an outgrowth of a medical fraternity. 

Mysteries. — Previously to the advent of the Christian 
Church the work of all morality and advancement of the 
civilized nations was carried on by organizations called the 
“Mysteries,” under the veil of mystery and secrecy. The 
arts and sciences were nurtured by the initiated, as well as 
the truths of religion, morality, and virtue. The object 


7 


was to improve those already members of the sect, uniting 
them by additional bonds to inculcate religious teachings, 
such as humanity and morality. They had the Eleusinian 
Mysteries, Mysteries of Mithra. These bodies were called 
Indian, Egyptian, Orphic, Cabirian, Phrygian Eleusinian, 
Dionysian, Pythagorean, and Esculapian Mysteries. Civil- 
ization advanced under these organizations. The neophytes 
were impressed with wholesome truths, viz. : that there is 
one God, a resurrection, the dignity of the soul, the brevity 
and vanity of life, and, finally, that retributive justice 
awaited the unfaithful and the erring. 

In the ancient “Mysteries,” the opening ceremonies 
were solemn and impressive. The sacred herald commenced 
the ceremonies with the solemn formula, “Depart hence, ye 
profane,” to which was added a proclamation forbidding the 
use of any language that might be deemed of an unfavor- 
able character to the approaching rites. 

They then carried the neophyte through gloom and sor- 
row to light and joy, from ignorance to science, from bar- 
barism to civilization, from weakness to strength; reaching 
forward toward perfection; putting virtue in place of vice, 
and truths where errors were enthroned. Their idea was 
that true repose is after toil and sacrifice. The whole theme 
was intended to stimulate moral energy and elevate the in- 
dividual. The ancients claimed that they originated in and 
were guided by a divinity. Arrien stated that the “Myster- 
ies” were established by the ancients to perfect education, 
and to reform manners. A study of the subject induces the 
belief that thev fostered science and the arts, and advanced 
civilization. Plence, we cannot otherwise conclude, that 
medicine, a collateral branch of science, was advanced under 
the wing of these secret bodies. Therefore, they were, to 
some extent, medical fraternities. 

The “Oprhic Mysteries” was an Egyptian rite. It 
was an organization before the Trojan War, instituted by 


8 


Eumolpuis in 1356 B. C., and afterwards united with the 
Pythagoreans. The Oprhic Mysteries became the founda- 
tion of Greek civilization, and through their influence, the 
uncouth tribes of Greece were trained in the habits of civil- 
ized life, united in towns, and instructed in useful arts. 
These rites were the foundation of the '“Eleusinian Myster- 
ies.” 

The Mysteries of Eleusis, are said to have taught 
the immorality of the soul and the sublime truths of natural 
religion. 

Heckethorn classifies secret societies under the following 
heads: (i) Religious (Egyptian Eleusinian Mysteries); 
(2) military; (3) judiciary; (4) scientific (alchemists); 
(5) civil; and (6) political. As medical fraternalists, we 
would, I think, come under the scientific, or No. 4. 

The Asclepiads. — Before the Pythagorean fraternity, 
the Asclepiads flourished, receiving their initial medical 
knowledge from the Egyptian. The followers of Pythag- 
oras were the first to break away from the field of general 
science and stand forth as physicians, visiting the sick in 
their houses. The followers of Aesculapius posed as priests ; 
but the religious part of their labors seemed to be for 
the purpose of influencing the minds of their patients, 
so that they could better control them by the power of super- 
stition, They were eminently physicians. Aesculapius was 
the “God of Medicine,” and they were his followers; and 
were supposed to be his descendants, always calling him 
“father.” That they formed a secret medical fraternity is 
proved by their oath. In this they swore by Apollo the Phy- 
sician, Aesculapius, Hygiea, Panacea, and all the gods and 
goddesses, according to their ability and judgment, to keep 
their oath and their stipulation. They swore to honor and 
love their medical teacher; to relieve his necessities, if re- 
quired; to treat his offspring as brothers, and teach them 
medicine without reward ; also to teach his own children, and 


9 


no others. Second, to follow a prescribed regimen. Third, to 
consider the benefit of the patient. Fourth, not to use deadly 
medicines. Fifth, to avoid producing abortions. Sixth, to 
live in purity and holiness. Seventh, to abstain from mak- 
ing mischief in houses of patients; and not to seduce fe- 
males in the family, slave or free. Eighth, to keep secrecy 
regarding family affairs. Ninth, to pray that while they 
continued to keep this oath inviolate, that they might be 
granted to enjoy life and the product of the art, respected 
by all men, in all times; but that should they trespass and 
violate the oath, that the reverse might be their lot. The 
part of the oath requiring the initiates to be descendants 
of those already priests was relaxed, so that others not of 
the old priestly families could be initiated. The Asclepiads 
considered all cures in these temples were miracles wrought 
by the gfods. 

Pythagoras. — In our study of fraternities that fost- 
ered early medicine, Pythagoras and his followers come as 
an important factor, in its early development. The date of 
the birth of this remarkable man is variously given by 
different writers as 569 and 580 B. C. ; and so with his death 
(489 and 471 B. C.). A study of his life is of marked 
historical interest. He was justly celebrated as an astron- 
omer, philosopher, and physician. He was born on the 
Island of SajJ^, which is in the Aegean Sea. As a young 
man, he was an athlete; but, hearing Perecydes lecture 
on the immortality of the soul, he became interested in the 
subject, and ever afterward devoted his attention to philo- 
sophy. This subject, later on, led him into medicine. Being 
of an important family and under a tyrant who looked with 
suspicion on those of that station in life that left home, he 
fled from home at night to prevent the foiling of his plans. 
He reached the shores of Lesbos, and traveled many years 
for educational purposes, learning the customs, manners, 
traditions, symbols, and mysteries in Asia Minor, Phoenicia, 


lO 


Chaldea, Egypt and other countries. He first learned from 
the Brahmin and Magi, and was instructed in the secrets of 
their worship, laws and doctrines. In Egypt, he gained 
physiological information and borrowed from the Egyptians 
the knowledge of the use of medicine, together with their 
rigid rules for the preservation of health, which were later 
made a part of the duties of his disciples. Pythagoras was 
the last celebrated sage to travel in distant lands for knowl- 
edge. 

On returning to his own country, he found unfavorable 
conditions existing, which so unsettled him, that he 
journeyed to the Peloponnesus, where he was royally re- 
ceived. He there assisted in the Olympian games. From 
the Peloponnesus, he went to Crotona, in Asia Minor, to 
study still further in medicine. 

Up to the time of Pythagoras, medicine, or the healing 
art, was closely identified with and subservient to the wor- 
ship of the gods. Pythagoras had been largely educated in 
Egypt, when medicine was mixed up with the superstition 
of the time, such as magic, dream-interpretation, assistance 
from the gods; but he educated his disciples so that when 
this sect was broken up, some of his followers finally became 
the first persons to become unadulterated physicians. Some 
of these became celebrated in history. Alcmaeon was the 
first anatomist, and wrote of the diseases of the age. 
Empedocles, another of the Pythagoreans, Was not only a 
successful physician, but also a divine poet, and a legislator. 
These men were not surgeons, but used internal remedies, 
ointments and fomentations. It was Pythagoras that intro- 
duced reforms that added vigor to the Crotonians. We are 
informed that his venerable figure, engaging manners and 
irresistible eloquence gained all hearts ; and that his hearers 
believed him to be a messenger from the gods. It is said 
that he encouraged them in this belief and used it as a power 
in his work. 


II 


At Crotona, Pythagoras surrounded himself with dis- 
ciples, who flocked to him, after having sold all their be- 
longings, the proceeds of which they placed in the common 
fund for the use of the sect. This seems to have been the 
first oath-bound fraternity having for its object the sole 
study of science and medicine, these subjects having for- 
merly been associated with religion, and the priesthood. It 
is said that this sect put the priests in the shade as regards 
poetry and knowledge. Pythagoras required his followers, 
now called Pythagoreans, to go through a severe initiation 
lasting five or six years. In the preliminary trial, they were 
required to abstain from conversation. If we had such a 
preliminary training for physicians to-day, probably we 
should be saved much mortification. (See the testimony 
from the courts). The heads of the Phythagoreans taught 
that body to be silent, in order that they might keep the 
valuable secrets that had been imparted to them from the 
outside world. Secrecy was regarded by them as the most 
sublime, as well as the rarest virtue. Aristotle was asked 
what was the most difficult thing in life, and he answered : 
“To be secret and silent.” St. Ambrose, in his Offices, 
placed the gift of silence as the foundation of virtue. 

They partook in common of a frugal diet; helped the 
“Master” ; executed orders ; and led a pure, simple, temper- 
ate life. They wore a simple costume and they used a sym- 
bolic language among themselves, and were silent in public. 
They were so secret that Pythagoras transmitted the doc- 
trines of his sect in hieroglyphic writing only. 

After his preparation, the novitiate was initiated into 
the mysteries of the order. Pythagoras expected his dis- 
ciples to watch over their own health and that of others, 
and to attend to the adoration of the gods. 

Historians tell us that their symbolic language was the 
same as the sacred dialect of the Egyptians. His people lived 
in a brotherly manner, obeying orders as a unit. They al- 


12 


ways kept busy, each with his prescribed duty. They de- 
voted themselves to the preservation of harmony between 
soul and body, and lived in a common habitation, and 
dressed uniformly. They were cleanly, bathing often. They 
kept the hair short and shaved frequently. Regular exercise 
was taken, and sobriety was imposed. Their food was 
simple, and no over-indulgence was allowed. Pythagoras 
warned them not to search for homes, as it tended to wean 
them from the order. 

■After a time, the populace began to sneer at them, later 
to oppress them, and then to mob and persecute them. Fi- 
nally they fled to places of hiding, in order to save their 
lives. After a time, the Pythagoreans dissolved ; and a large 
number took up the practice of medicine. On account of 
their visiting the patients at their homes, which they were 
the first to do, they were called “Periodic,” or “ambulant” 
physicians ; in contradistinction to the Asclepiads. who at- 
tended patients in the temples only. These physicians, rem- 
nants of the Pythagorean school, appear to be the first to 
limit themselves to the practice of medicine. The little we 
know about their secrets was revealed by the fragments left 
after the breaking up of the order, which relieved the mem- 
bers from secrecy. These fragments show that they were not 
ignorant, but quite scientific, as their later history indicates. 
The age of tables and papyri, which preceded printing, was 
not favorable to the general dissemination of information ; 
as only a restricted few had access to them. This fraternity, 
having been the exponents of medicine and philosophy, 
makes them of interest to us in this connection. That they 
were learned is evidenced by the fact that some of their 
medical theories are still discussed; and, further by the 
wise sage who taught them science and the healing art. It 
was he who first demonstrated the forty-seventh proposition 
of the first book of Euclid. He taught the doctrine of celestial 
motion. His demise occurred about 487 B. C, and his 


3 


Iioiisc after his death became a sacred temple. He was the 
real founder of the healing art in Greece, and the surround- 
ing countries. It was Hippocrates that liberated medicine 
from priestcraft, the grossest superstition, and philosophy. 
One writer tells us that medicine was only finally severed 
from theology when physicians were allowed to marry. 

Hippocrates was a medical-fraternity man, born '460 
B. C, about twenty-nine years after the death of Pythagoras. 
He died 370 B. C., having reached his ninetieth year. He 
like Pythagoras and many others studied in Greece, and 
finished their medical education in Egypt. After which he 
returned to Greece and began teaching medicine at Cos. 
He was an Asclepiad, and the most eminent member of this 
medical aggregation, being entitled by birth to membership, 
as his father and grandfather had both been Asclepiads. He 
later devoted considerable time to a study of the votive- 
tablets at Cos, making use of the medical information thus 
gained in his writings. He seems to have been the first 
Asclepiad to break his oath, so far as spreading his medical 
knowledge to the outside world. 

Soranus tells us that Hippocrates was initiated into the 
Mysteries of Ceres (an oath-bound order of distinction) 
for havinsf delivered Athens and other Greek cities from 
a devastating plague. 

Paper was rare and expensive in Greece, during his 
time, so the Greeks learned to use papyrus from the Egypt- 
ians. Hippocrates, we are informed, largely used in his 
writings, tablets covered with a film of wax and the skins 
of animals. He was called “the divine old man,” and 
“the Father of Physic.” He was the first medical man to 
fight the superstition so prevalent at that time, as well as 
the trammels of false theories. 

Herodotus was the first physician to demand a fee ; be- 
fore this time, physicians were presented with a fee. 

The Essenes (150 B. C.). — The Essenes, or Thera- 


*4 


peutae, were a mysterious sect of the Jews in Judea and 
Syria, of which little was known to the outside world. They 
apparently formed a secret organization, and were some- 
times called Thereapeutists, or healers. They were one of 
three sects, the others being the Pharisees and the Sad- 
ducees. The Essenes are not mentioned in the Bible; 
Josephus tells all we know about them. They were in ex- 
istence 150 years before Christ and continued after his ad- 
vent. 

The word Essene (pleural, Essenes) is from the Greek 
csaya physician, or Chaldean to heal ; Hebrew, asa. Roset 
says that the word comes from essen, the breast-plate of the 
Jewish high-priest, a name probably to disarm suspicion. 
The Therap)eutae were men, contemplative, or speculative, 
the Essenes working but little. They were renowned for 
their strictness and abstinence (morality and virtue). Jose- 
phus tells us that they studied the ancient writers success- 
fully with regard to those things useful to the body and the 
soul, and that they thus acquired knowledge of 
remedies for diseases, and learned the virtues of 
plants, stones, and metals. From this and their names, 
it would seem that this body of men was engaged in the im- 
provement of medicine. Like other oath-bound mysterious 
organizations, they had a novitiate of three or more years. 
They dressed and appeared like monks. De Quincey finds 
in Essenism a saintly scheme of ethics, a Christianity be- 
fore Christ and, consequently, without Christ. 

Many think that this order of the Essen, or Essenes, 
grew out of the Cabirian rites. The Cabirian, or Phrygian, 
rite was mentioned by Herodotus and Strabo, and is sup- 
posed to be the original of all “mysteries.” Hiram, King 
of Tyre, was a high-priest in this order; and it is said that 
through him the initiation was incorporated into Masonry. 
Their ceremonies were performed in their sacred grottoes 
at night. 


15 


The Essenes seem to have been an outgrowth of this 
rite which possessed the principles of Zoroaster, They cul- 
tivated, it is said, the physical sciences, and especially medi- 
cine. This organization was opposed to the Jewish priest- 
hood; hence, the necessity of secrecy. They were distin- 
guished for their silence; for they went about peaceably, 
noiselessly, without ostentation or any attempt to add to 
their number. Hence, they were less known than the more 
numerous sects. They were faithful to their rulers, orderly, 
truthful, sober, just, and humane; and they were bound by 
a solemn oath to humility and secrecy. They had to be 
mature in age, and to go through three years of probation, 
during which they were obliged to be temperate, chaste, 
moral, and virtuous, and led a severely self-mortified life. 
This sect is of interest to us in our study of medical frater- 
nities. 

The Druidic and Odinic Mysteries were quite similar; 
the latter were named after Odin, the Supreme. God of the 
Scandinavians, (Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Iceland.). 
The rite was of oriental orign, and druidical in character. 

The Druids. History tells us that the druidical 
fraternity of Great Britain probably had its origin from the 
Pythagoreans or the Patriarchs or Brahmins. It is gen- 
erally thought that they came from India. Like the Egyp- 
tian, Cabiric, Scandinavian, Eleusinian, and Primal Ameri- 
can, they were fire-worshippers. They also worshipped the 
forests particularly the oak tree. The name “Druid” is 
derived from the Celtic word deru, which meant the oak. 
The Druids were learned Celts, organized into a mystic so- 
ciety. They seem to have come from France to Wales, and 
then to England and Ireland, at a period unknown to his- 
torians. They communed with the gods, claimed magical 
arts, cured diseases and wounds, and arrogated to them- 
selves other supernatural powers. They had great reverence 
for the mistletoe, a parasitis plant usually found on the 


l6 


oak, using it for their great curative agent, and they con- 
sidered it a panacea. At a certain period of the year, the 
Arch-Druid, ascended the oak, and with a golden knife, 
cut off the plant. If any other implement was used, the 
plant was not worthy of reverence, and was not effective 
as a curative agent. 

The Druids claimed the exclusive right to practice 
medicine. Their wonderful knowledge was apparently 
largely mythical. The echo of the mountain was the voice 
of a spirit; the roaring of the tempest was worshipped as 
a manifestation of the spirit of the hill. The forest was the 
Druids’ temple, and its shade was solemn and sacred; and 
they were forbidden to cut down the trees. They adored 
the Supreme Being in silence and with veneration. The 
ceremony of their initiation was as follows: 

The initiate was first embraced by the old Druids. This 
seemed to be proper, as only males were admitted to the 
body. The initiate was then invested with a coat that 
reached nearly to his heels. This garment was the distinc- 
tion of the rank of priesthood. 

This interesting body was all-powerful, not only with 
the people, but also among the national rulers. They pre- 
sided over the councils that decided for war or peace, set- 
tled property-claims, appointed officers for the public at 
large, and fulfilled many other important functions. Their 
doctrines were, (i) to adore the gods, (2) to do injury to 
no one, and (3) to be brave. 

They were succeeded by the Rosy Cross Brothers, or 
Rosicrucians, a body of f raters founded in the sixteenth 
century, with the object of reforming the church, as well 
as the state and individuals. They advanced all the sciences, 
especially medicine, and claimed to be Masters of the 
“Philosophers stone,” and to have a secret remedy by which 
they could cure all diseases. In this body, medicine was 
associated with religion and astronomy. 


7 


The alchemists were a secret organization. Alchymy 
was the art of changing base metals into gold. The most 
desired things in this world are comforts and luxuries, at- 
tainable by means of gold, and freedom from disease and 
long life. The key to these two wished for things was 
sought after by the Alchemists, who hoped to discover the 
art of making gold and the magic liquor that would secure 
perpetual youth, the “Elixir of Life”, and these efforts gave 
birth to the so-called science of alchemy. They used sym- 
bols and mystical images to conceal their knowledge from 
the uninitiated. They were not, per se, imposters, but earn- 
est searchers after truth; and were brought into disrepute 
by persons who swindled the public under the guise of being 
seekers after truth. 

Christians. — Upon the advent of our Lord, there was 
much antipathy shown toward His followers; and, for pro- 
tection, they formed a secret brotherhood. For the condi- 
tions were such, the enmity of the people was aroused. Feel- 
ing ran high, through ignorance, jealousy, intolerance, and 
suspicion. They had a secret ritual, used for their religious 
rites and for guarding themselves from enemies. This 
secret Christian body was called the Disciplina Arcana. 

Before the era of Christianity in Greece, all moral and 
religious teaching was administered by the Mysterious 
sects; hence, they were antagonistic, and the rulers objected 
to the Christian holding sway. 

The twelve Apostles was a brotherhood having for its 
object the advancement of the Christian religion. They 
went about in the Master’s service, healing the sick ; so that 
they were, in a sense, secondarily a medical fraternity. 

By the foregoing study, we find that almost all of the 
prominent ancient brotherhoods or sects were in some de- 
gree secret medical fraternities, but not wholly so. There 
have been since the beginning of history oath-bound bodies 
called brethren that have fostered the sciences, including 


i8 

medicine; religion, including morality. Their initiations 
seem to have been somewhat similar in character, and plan 
only varying with the ideas of the sages or governing body. 
Masonary of to-day has been traced back to the time of the 
building of the Pyramids, and King Solomen’s Temple, to 
Pythagoras and the Druids. Whether this is true or not 
cannot be positively proved, nor can it be denied; but I am 
sure that the same ideas and forms can be traced all down 
the preceding centuries, so that if they are not the same 
body, they are certainly an embodiment of the ideas of the 
ancient brotherhoods. These have been handed down to 
us, the same as the sciences, art, morality, and civilization, 
which we all possess by inheritance. The most of those 
who, doubtless, are sceptical, on account of their sparse 
information on the subject, would be convinced upon study- 
ing the subject. 

The rites of almost all had degrees, and a period of 
probation or preparatory stage followed by an initiation 
with signs and symbols by which they recognized one 
another. The neophyte in the “Mysteries” was instructed 
in morality and religion, and was subjected to startling im- 
pressions, sometimes even of a terrifying character which 
was intended to excite the fear of the initiate who was about 
to take the oath binding him to secrecy and allegiance. 
The teaching was largely religious, moral and scientific, such 
as passing from darkness and gloom to light and joy — all 
of which was to instruct him, and at the same time, to de- 
velop his character. 

Fraternity in Philadelphia (1819). — Coming 
down to modern times, we are reminded of a medical 
fraternity in Philadelphia, in 1819-20. At the University of 
Pennsylvania Chapter Banquet, in 1899, Brother H. C. 
Wood detailed to us in his post-prandial address the history 
of a secret medical fraternity that existed in Philadelphia, 
the facts concerning which were given to him by Professor 
George B. Wood, M. D. 


19 


In 1819-20, some of the most prominent members of 
the medical profession became embroiled in a bitter fight. 
They vented their spleen by writing scurrilous letters, pub- 
lished broad-sides, and reviled one another in articles pub- < 
lished in the newspapers. Finally a noted professor caned 
a fellow-practitioner in the public streets. A challenge fol- 
lowed the caning, and a duel was averted only by the prompt 
arrest of the two parties by an officer of the law. 

At this juncture, some of the peaceable, dignified, self- 
respecting, and thoughtful physicians, tired of the undigni- 
fied proceedings, resolved to put a stop to the wrangling of 
these belligerants, feeling that it was detrimental to the good 
name and influence of the profession at large. A secret 
medical fraternity was organized, and a plan was formed 
which soon put a stop to all the trouble. This oath-bound 
body made the offending physicians feel that the profession 
was against them, and that they were in the minority and 
very unpopular. Soon the atmosphere was cleared, and 
good feeling was restored; and, as the result, the medical 
profession in Philadelphia since that time probably has been 
more harmonious than in any large city in the world. 

This was the first secret medical fraternity in Phila- 
delphia, and perhaps the first in America. When its object 
had been attained, it was disbanded. 

This small, but respectable body illustrates the value 
of quiet, earnest, united action, and the great good that 
can be attained by an efficient body, working intelligently. 
No one knew of the existence of this organization, outside 
of the membership. This combined action was absolutely 
necessary; as the standing of the participants was such that 
independent action would have, in all probability, only added 
to the number of the contestants, and increased the bitter- 
ness of the belligerant doctors, who would have considered 
individual action meddlesome. When, however, they found 
so many determined men expostulating with them and de- 


20 


nouncing them, they desisted. We arc now enjoying the 
heritage left by these fraters ; for it is probably the influence 
of such a state of feeling that has made a success of the 
medical fraternities and other medical organizations in 
Philadelphia. 

Medical Societies allied to Secret Fraternities 
IN Philadelphia. — For the last forty or fifty years, we 
have had in Philadelphia, many medical clubs. While not 
secret, they are social and fraternal. They have been formed 
for various purposes, but their two main objects have been 
medical education and sociabilty. 

We have had the Monday, Tuesday, Friday, and 
J. Aitkin Meigs Medical Clubs; the West Philadelphia Medi- 
cal Book Qub and Library; the Medical Gub of Philadel- 
phia, with over eight hundred members. All these organi- 
zations meet at stated periods, and have professional inter- 
course, with dining and social features added. These bodies 
have brought the doctors of the neighborhood together, 
making them better acquainted, more ethical, and possessed 
of more good feeling. 

Such clubs are a benefit to the members, as well as to 
the general public; for questions of public sanitation are 
often discussed, and any prevailing disease is talked of ; and 
other medical information is disseminated by means of 
papers, addresses, etc. 

These bodies are quite particular in the selection of 
their members, which insures gfood work. They certainly 
bring about harmony, where ill feeling often previously 
had prevailed. 

Let us inquire into the uses and attraction of secret 
organizations in the past : 

1. Practical fraternity, or brotherhood. 

2. Mutual protection, as well as assistance at home and 
abroad. 

3. A new home-circle, even when in foreign lands. 


21 


4- To keep secret their private methods among the few, 
educating and teaching novices and initiates only. 

5. To have a permanent place for their valuable 
archives, which were on tablets, papyri, etc. 

6. To have a directing head to govern their actions and 
to punish the wayward, idle and wicked. 

They were the mainsprings of progress in the world. 
Has any great work at any time ever been accomplished 
without organization? 

These medical fraternities, as now fashioned, are not 
for political purposes ; they are not organized to extort 
money from the public, nor to impose upon the patients, 
or to build up a medical oligarchy ; they are not for the pur- 
pKDse of interfering with the right of anyone to practise, poor 
or rich, male or female, black or white. In other words, they 
are not a medical monarchy, to meddle with the rights of 
others in any way. They are professional schools whereby 
the general public are benefitted, for when able doctors as- 
semble, they talk of medicine, public sanitation and set 
their associates to thinking ; when doctors talk about dicease 
and its treatment, those who hear them are stimulated to 
thought and observation which prevent stagnation in their 
work. Physicians should be always students; in order to 
be such it is necessary to associate with their equals or su- 
periors. They are improved by a medical atmosphere, and 
when out of it they cease to be students. 

These societies mean “getting together” of those in the 
same path of study, and rousing friendly rivalry ; encourage- 
ing honorable ambition to excel; and extending a helping 
and guiding hand to the younger neophyte, who perhaps 
has just left his fireside for the first time. 

They are intended to gather together a body of selected 
men, and to teach studiousness, morality and gentility. 
They were organized by congenial spirits, for social and 
fraternal purposes, improving the minds and raising the 


22 


Standard of excellence in the meniliers ; to promote hannony 
and maintain respectability, and by precept and example, to 
instruct the members, graduates and under-graduates, in 
ethics and humanity. In other words, to elevate the profes- 
sion by protecting it from its enemies, from without and 
within its ranks. It affords a place where reforms in the 
profession which can be planned, free from the presence 
of the unethical, immoral and unclean, towards which per- 
haps the shafts are to be directed. 

From the foregoing, I feel that we can say that Moses, 
lemhotep, Solomon, Pythagoras, Hippocrates, and the 
Asclepiads were fellow-fraters of ours, having belonged to 
secret medical fraternities. One writer of note, in his work 
on secret societies, has said that in ancient times secret so- 
cieties were useful and important, but that now they are use- 
less and on the wane ; but their presence in all ages, in their 
various forms and combinations, seems to prove their im- 
portance to the profession. Let us investigate the statistics 
in regard to the principal secret organizations in the United 
States and Canada in 1906, and we shall find that seventeen 
of the largest secret organizations outside of the labor-so- 
cieties, which are the largest in this region, have a member- 
ship of nearly seven millions, or about one-twelfth of the 
whole population of the United States. They certainly are 
not diminishing. 

Modem Greek-letter societies are essentially of Ameri- 
can College origin. The collegians needed a closer alliance 
with their fellow-students, and they formed these societies. 
The old ones still flourish ; new ones are formed. Medical 
students had their clubs, but no national society, until the 
courses were prolonged from two years of four months 
each to three years of seven or eight months each. Almost 
every large medical school began a fraternity, so that at 
this time their members are found all over the United 
States and Canada. 


i 


C' 


23 


At the end of the nineteenth century, came the Greek 
medical fraternities of the medical colleges, composed of the 
medical students. The extension of the courses to four 
years first made them a need. The influence of the college 
fraternities did not follow the students into the medical at- 
mosphere. The prolongation of the courses called for 
friendly fraternal communion among the students, which 
the two short terms of five months each did not warrant. 
The students also wished to be associated with the older 
graduates, and they were added; so that now most of the 
professors are members of some medical fraternity. The 
modern irruption of Greek-letter medical fraternities seems 
appropriate, for Greece was the place where the science of 
medicine was liberated from superstition and developed into 
a separate vocation. 

Some persons object to secrect societies. This might 
be answered by saying that each family has its secrets, and 
so have bank-officers and individuals. They do not tell all 
their private affairs. In fact, we all have secrets ; and some 
of us require to be sworn to secrecy. To show the good 
work that may be accomplished by a secret organization, 
I might cite the history of a religious society called the 
Order of the Grain of Mustard Seed, which was organized 
by Count Zinzindorf, and a half of a dozen of his students, 
in 1739. It was the foundation of the Moravians, a de- 
nomination which has probably accomplished more mission- 
ary work for its numbers, than any other body of Cluia- 
tians. Its work spreads over the whole civilized world. Its 
motto was engraved in a ring. “No one lives to himself.” 
Can the enemy of fratemalism say that the secret society had 
the effect of making its members narrow minded 
and selfish? Nature has its secrets, or mysteries, 
too, illustrated by the development of the ovum 
and the seed,' and the chemistry of the silent 
laboratory of the cell. Secrecy has its attractions to human 


24 


iJ33 


beings; and some that are weak are ready to obey the de- 
mand of a society that keeps them alive to their duty, the 
oath of the society acting in the s^e way as the vow of the 
church. It brings about unity, an j unity demands organiza- 
tion ; and organization developes strength. 

A good initiation should be a moral show, attractive, 
and, at the same time, instructive, and elevating; a theatrical 
performance for those that could not pay for a worthy 
theatrical show. They become wedded to the parts played : 
First, because they have to take the parts of the play; sec- 
ondly, because they have been through the “ordeals,” and 
like to observe their effects upon others; thirdly, they are 
familiar with the play, and know when it is well done, — 
the amateur actor is watched in his development ; fourthly, 
the evening diversion is attractive after a hard day’s work ; 
and fifthly, they receive a cordial welcome from their 
brethren, who would, perhaps, be less cordial if the meeting 
were outside the chapter, or lodge room, owing to social and 
business relations. They must meet on a level. They have 
the benificent influence of fraternal good-feeling, which is 
engendered by close, friendly intercourse. 

General medical societies do much good, but fraternities 
go further; and when men have real or supposed wrongs, 
the best way is to come together, and have an understand- 
ing. In this way, prejudice is often banished, and ethical 
breaches closed and prevented. 

A good medical organization has a stimulating effect 
upon the scientific activities of the mass as well as upon the 
individual. The public is also benefitted when a body of 
competent medical men are looking after the health of the 
community, combatting the spread of disease by examining 
into the causes and demanding the aid of the public in pass- 
ing proper laws for the purpose of protecting the health 
of the people.

40,000 year old ancient mantis-man petroglyph discovered in Iran

 

Source: Phys Org

A unique rock carving found in the Teymareh rock art site (Khomein county) in Central Iran with six limbs has been described as part man, part mantis. Rock carvings, or petroglyphs, of invertebrate animals are rare, so entomologists teamed up with archaeologists to try and identify the motif. They compared the carving with others around the world and with the local six-legged creatures which its prehistoric artists could have encountered.

The 14-centimetre carving was first spotted during surveys between 2017 and 2018, but could not be identified due to its unusual shape. The six limbs suggest an insect, while the triangular head with big eyes and the grasping forearms are unmistakably those of a praying mantid, a predatory insect that hunts and captures prey like flies, bees and even small birds. An extension on its head even helps narrow the identification to a particular genus of mantids in this region: Empusa.

Even more mysterious are the middle limbs, which end in loops or circles. The closest parallel to this in archaeology is the ‘Squatter Man,’ a petroglyph figure found around the world depicting a person flanked by circles. While they could represent a person holding circular objects, an alternative hypothesis is that the circles represent auroras caused by atmospheric plasma discharges.

It is presently impossible to tell exactly how old the petroglyphs are, because sanctions on Iran prohibit the use of radioactive materials needed for radiocarbon dating. However, experts Jan Brouwer and Gus van Veen examined the Teymareh site and estimated the carvings were made 40,000-4,000 years ago.

Read More: Phys Org

 

U.S. Space Force declares ‘offensive’ communications jammer ready for deployment

Source: Space News

The Counter Communications System Block 10.2 was declared operational by the Space and Missile Systems Center’s special programs directorate.

WASHINGTON — A new version of a ground-based communications jammer used to block adversaries’ satellite transmissions is ready to be used in combat operations, the U.S. Space Force announced March 13.

The Counter Communications System Block 10.2 was declared operational by the Space and Missile Systems Center’s special programs directorate. After testing the system over the past year, SMC on March 12 turned it over to the 4th Space Control Squadron based at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.

The CCS is a transportable electronic warfare system that temporarily denies adversary satellite communications. The U.S. Air Force first deployed the CCS in 2004 in response to electronic warfare systems that other countries were fielding to disrupt American satellites. An upgraded CCS Block 10.1 was developed in 2014.

 

Read More: Space News

Five Millennia of Wound Care Products

Source: Wound Management and Prevention

The first wound and wound treatments were described five millennia ago. Since then, various principles of wound care have been passed on from generation to generation. In contrast to large numbers of general technological inventions over the last 100 years, progress beyond ancient wound care practices is a recent phenomenon.

It is essential to know the historical aspects of wound treatment (both successes and failures) in order to continue this progress and provide future direction. A survey of the literature shows that concepts such as “laudable pus” persisted for hundreds of years and that lasting discoveries and meaningful progress did not occur until grand-scale manufacturing and marketing started. Landmarks such as understanding the principles of asepsis/antisepsis, fundamental cellular research findings, knowledge about antibiotics/antimicrobials, moist wound healing, and the chemical and physical processes of wound healing have provided the foundation to guide major developments in wound management, including available evidence-based guidelines. Although research regarding interaction of basic wound management principles remains limited, the combined efforts of global research and clinical groups predict a bright future for improved wound management.

An Ancient Background

Knowledge of the biology of wounds and wound healing, together with inventions and innovations of new wound care products, has proliferated throughout time. The earliest civilizations of Mesopotamia, Arabia, Egypt, and Greece left fascinating records of their medical practice — ie, the clay tablets, Sanskrit documents (2000 BC), Smith papyrus (1650 BC), Eber’s papyrus (1550 BC) and Homer’s writings (800 BC) (see Figure 1). Medical practices of those eras were founded predominantly on empirical beliefs and magic; physicians made decisions based on observation, judgment, and experience. However, wound management during the early Egyptian civilization resembles current approaches. Treatments consisted primarily of wound closure through suturing or open wound therapy in diseased wounds with debridement followed by (though probably not intentionally) antibacterial therapies.1 Ulcerating lesions were bound with figs containing papain.2 Only recently have these agents been found to remove the fibrous slough present on wounds. Wine, vinegar, and hot water were used to cleanse the wounds. After cleansing, dry powders consisting of a mixture of metals (mercury, zinc, silver, and copper) were used to prevent inflammation1 (see Table 1). Copper was found on the island of Cyprus in great amounts and because of its bright blue color, it was used to “paint” ugly wounds.1,3 Interestingly, the reaction of copper with wine and vinegar results in the formation of a strong antibacterial compound (copper acetate).4 Silver was used as an ingredient in plasters to cover open wounds, as well as to purify the drinking water of monarchs of ancient dynasties.5Strips of linen soaked in grease, honey, oil, and lint were used to cover the wound surface.1 A literature review by Aldini et al6 notes that it is now known that using lint to pack and fill the wound space might create an oxygen-poor environment that could stimulate angiogenesis; combining the aforementioned products not only prevented the linen from sticking to the wound base (ie, creating a nonadherent dressing), but also was a potential practical solution to diluting the strong osmolytic honey. The Egyptians may have been the first — unknowingly — to employ the “moist wound healing” principle.7 Additionally, treatments included application of natural products such as plants and vegetables (eg, Pistacia terebinthus — antiseptic; Alchemilla vulgaris — tannine, anti-stringent; Symphytum officinale — allantoine, antibacterial)8,9 (see Table 1). Seaweed, which contains iodine, was used for sunburns10 (see Table 1).

Greek medical practice greatly resembled the Egyptian approach with a few key exceptions. An important change was the shift toward promoting pus instead of preventing inflammation. Another change in wound management was introduced by Hippocrates (460 BC–377 BC) who advocated the concept of dry wound therapy11 to promote healing by first intention and emphasized careful observation of the patient, the recuperative powers of nature, and a high standard of ethical conduct as incorporated into the Hippocratic Oath. Although questioned by many great inventors, dry wound therapy and stimulating the formation of “laudable pus” (pus bonum et laudable) remained the therapy of choice far into the 19th century.12

The Roman era produced the first science-based medical manuscript (De Medicina), written by Celsus13 (25 BC–50 AC). He described the four fundamental signs of infection — rubor, calor, dolor, tumor — which are still used today. Furthermore, Celsus addressed the importance of thorough wound cleansing: “Clean the wound of old blood because this can cause infection and change into pus, which inhibits wound healing”. Despite these astute observations, the “laudable pus” and “dry wound” strategy did not change during the following millennium

Middle Ages until 18th century

Wound debridement (remove a bridle, originally meaning wound incision) was reintroduced around the 16th century.14 After debridement, wounds were treated with red-hot iron pokes, cleaned with boiling oil, and covered with suppuration-provoking substances. Paré (1509–1590) condemned the treatment of wounds with hot oil after serendipitously experiencing the positive effect of a mixture of egg yolk, oil of roses, and turpentine on wound healing.4 Paré also reinvented ligation of vessels and in the battle of St. Quentin (1557) he observed and recorded that maggots frequently infested suppurating wounds; unfortunately, this observation did not result in a new treatment modality. Many of Paré’s published works provide cutting-edge insights regarding nutrition, pain, and debridement, as well as psychological counsel for wounded persons — advanced thoughts, considering the time.15 Silver nitrate was invented and used in the treatment of skin ulcers, compound fractures, and suppurating wounds (draining pus).16 From the 17th and 18th centuries forward, anatomists and scientists offered a number of good ideas; however, they were chastised by their colleagues.

18th Century toward the Present

Cells. The invention of the microscope in the 17th century and the findings of Leeuwenhoek (1632–1723) (protozoa and animalcules) and Malpighi (1628–1694) (epidermal structure) did not facilitate progress in wound healing treatments until a century later when scientists began to focus on the more fundamental cellular level. In 1839, Schleiden and Schwann formulated the so-called “Cell Theory” based on their microscope findings. In 1858, Virchow (1821–1902) discussed his ideas on the formation, proliferation, and regeneration of cells. Understanding of tissue and cell culturing leaped forward when Carrel (among others including Harrison, Jolly, and Burrows), introduced in vitro technology, cultivating adult tissue and organs outside the body.17 Reverdin (1842–1929) achieved a clinical breakthrough when small graft islets were placed onto wounds, a process he called “epidermal grafting”.18 Skin grafts became the first widely used form of tissue engineering, progressing from autografts in animal and human subjects to allografting tissue from one person to another.19,20

At the end of the 19th century, the first tissues were cultured using skin placed in a culture medium derived from ascites and preserved at room temperature until re-transplanted several days to months later.21 Interestingly, the researcher thought it represented the beginning of over-the-counter products for wound therapy. However, another 100 years elapsed before these ideas were developed further.

Antisepsis/asepsis. In the same period, another group of researchers focused more on the interaction of cells and the animalcules. Semmelweis (1818–1865), Pasteur (1822–1895), and Koch (1843–1910) provided evidence about the relationship between germs and disease. Pasteur’s studies on contamination of wine and beer by airborne yeast clearly stimulated certain investigators to recognize that these “diseases” were due to the invasion of foreign micro-organisms. In England, Lister (1827–1912), impressed by Pasteur’s work, began to systematically sterilize his instruments and bandages and sprayed phenol solutions in his operative field22 (see Table 1). He came upon this idea when a chemist friend explained how he had solved the problem of putrefaction odors of the public water system in Carlisle, Scotland for that city’s local council.23 Mortality rates associated with surgical procedures decreased significantly from 45% to 15% after using carbolic acid as a spray in operating theaters.1,23 However, Lister encountered great resistance and hesitance because a clear connection between micro-organisms and disease had not yet been established.

The demands of war. During wartime, surgeons, once-hesitant to institute the practice, returned to using full-strength phenol to address complications in patients developing gangrene due to invasive infections.12 Use of hydrogen peroxide, another popular antiseptic, declined after reports of air emboli formation; Carrel (1873–1944) introduced a method that required extensive opening of the wound followed by bathing the wounded area with Dakin’s solution (sodium hypochlorite combined with boric acid).24 One month before the introduction of Dakin’s solution, Smith introduced Edinburgh University Solution of Lime (EUSOL), which Dakin criticized as being toxic at any dilution. Iodine, first described by Davis in 1839, was used during the American Civil War (1863) and World War I to treat wounds and scrub hands before surgery.25 Interestingly, iodine had been used during Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign (1798–1801) — soldiers were treated with high concentrations of iodine as found in extracts of seaweed and other marine plants10(see Table 1).

At the turn of the century, Halsted (1852–1922) advocated the use of silver foil dressings as an antiseptic for infected wounds.26 These dressings were used extensively until just after World War II.16,27 Chlorhexidine was discovered in 1946 and introduced into clinical practice in 1954, predominately as an antiseptic for washing hands and as a surgical scrub.28 However, its application in wounds has been limited largely to irrigation. Acetic acid was used in wounds infected with Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria (eg, Pseudomonas aeruginosa),24 a remnant of the ancient wine-and-vinegar cleansing strategy. Additional antiseptics used included boric acid, alcohol, hexachlorophene, thimerosal, gentian violet, and permanganate (see Table 1). Concern regarding the possible side effects was tempered by the sheer number of wounded soldiers. After the war, medical personnel heeded the in vitro research that indicated these agents were cytotoxic to human cells and many appeared to have an adverse effect on wound healing — thus, clinicians were increasingly reluctant to use many of these antiseptics.29-31 The discussion on the toxicity of these agents, started in 1914 by Fleming, still continues today, almost 100 years later.

Antibiotics/antimicrobials. Fleming’s discovery of penicillin (1928) and the development of oral antibiotics (1940) that provided potent and pathogen-specific antimicrobial agents revolutionized clinical therapy and marked the demise of many former remedies. Topical application of antibiotic ointments increased, especially in burn care. However, after the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains of pathogens, alternative treatments became imperative.32 In 1949, iodophores (povidone iodine and cadexomer iodine, also known as slow-release antiseptics) were developed and proved to be safer and less painful to use than the early iodine products that caused irritation and skin discoloration, as well as pain.10,24,33 In 1968, Fox34introduced another slow-release antiseptic, silver sulfadiazine (SSD), which combines the antiseptic properties of silver and sulfonamide to provide a broader-spectrum and safer antibiotic. Initially, silver nitrate was used. Although complications such as discoloration and irritation of the skin and possible toxicity reduced silver’s popularity, SSD and silver-releasing dressings remained in use.4 Various and emerging silver-coated dressings use metallic silver, inorganic silver compounds, or organic complexes as their source of silver combined with dressing components such as polyurethane, alginates, carboxymethyl cellulose, knitted fabrics, and activated charcoal5 (see Table 1).

The age-old use of honey, sugar, and maggots was re-introduced. All were popular throughout the centuries but remained in the background after the introduction of antibiotics. Several studies reported the three-fold benefits of honey on wounds: antibacterial (and deodorizing), debriding, and promotion of wound healing. The enzymatic action of glucose-oxidase on glucose and molecular oxygen leads to the production of hydrogen peroxide and gluconolacton, which have an antibacterial effect35-42 (see Table 1). The effectiveness of honey as an antimicrobial agent varies according to factors such as floral origin, viscosity, and geographic location. Currently, various wound treatments are commercially available in tubes, impregnated dressings, or as components in innovative dressings (honey and alginate). Sugar in powder form is used in traditional medicine in Brazil where sugar production is high43; several case studies describe the use of sugar in modern medicine.44 However, until today, sugar has not received a place in the standard wound management.

In 1829, Napoleon’s surgeon-in-chief, Baron Larrey, reported that when maggots were found in battle injuries, they prevented the development of infection and accelerated healing.45 Zacharias, a confederate medical officer (surgeon) during the American civil war (1861–1865) was the first Western physician to intentionally introduce maggots into wounds.46 The benefits of maggot therapy on wounds have been found to be three-fold: debridement (elimination) of necrotic tissue, microbial killing, and stimulation of granulation tissue46-50 (see Table 1). Today, the bio-industry is flourishing and produces sterile larvae, primarily of the common green bottle fly Lucilia sericata.

Moist wound healing. Understanding of asepsis and antisepsis was an important step in wound healing. However, the paradigm of dry wound healing or exposing the wound to air remained part of many treatments. One exception was reported in the early 19th century, when good healing results in burns were achieved by immersing the wound in water. However, this concept was not accepted as a standard of care. Little progress was made in this area (with the exception of the invention of tulle gras and paraffin-impregnated gauze in 1914) until the 1960s when studies compared dry and moist wound healing. Winter’s historical study51 (1962) demonstrated that partial-thickness wounds in domestic pigs re-epithelialized more rapidly under occlusive dressings; the same result was reported in vivo in humans 1 year later.52 The basic concept behind moist wound healing is that the presence of exudate (ex + sudare, to sweat) in a wound will provide an environment that stimulates healing through the delivery to the wound of a range of cells and cytokines necessary for wound repair. These findings eventually led to the development of three generations of occlusive dressings.51 The first generation comprised impermeable foils without adhesive layer, described in a study by Garb53 in 1960; such dressings allow exudate to accumulate beneath the dressing, causing the foil to swim off the wound. The second generation of foils, semi-permeable polyurethane films with an adhesive layer, were introduced in the 1970s (see Table 1). The third-generation foils (hydrophilic polyurethane films, polyether urethane) had an even higher permeability so the adhesive layer, which could destroy the newly formed epithelium, became redundant.54

Hydrocolloids, initially manufactured for the preservation of fruits (reducing moisture loss and surface wounding), were introduced into clinical practice in the 1980s.55 According to product descriptions and the experience of wound care providers, hydrocolloids are designed for use in partial- and full-thickness wounds with or without necrotic tissue and have been found to be especially useful on areas such as heels and sacral ulcers that require contouring (see Table 1).

Foam dressings were developed during the 1980s as an alternative to hydrocolloids and are designed to protect and to absorb fluid without product breakdown but they require fixation. Foam dressings may be impregnated or layered in combination with other materials and are indicated for partial- and full-thickness wounds (see Table 1). Around the same period, hydrogels (amorphous formulations of water, polymers and other ingredients) were introduced. They are designed to provide moisture to a dry wound and are indicated for partial- and full-thickness wounds, wounds with necrosis, minor burns, and radiation tissue damage. The high moisture content serves to re-hydrate wound tissue (see Table 1).

Alginates, the next innovation in the treatment of exuding wounds, were designed to absorb exudate and provide calcium to the wound area. When alginates come in contact with wound exudate, they form a biocompatible gel that provides a moist healing environment (see Table 1). Although the products may be relatively new, the idea and basics behind alginates have a long history. In 1881, Stanford, a chemist working on brown algae, discovered alginic acid, a new group of seaweed-derived chemicals.56 After World War II, Blaine, an army major, investigated tissue reactions to alginates. He discovered that alginates had the above-mentioned properties. More recently (2007), a review57 of the literature on the efficacy of modern dressings in healing chronic and acute wounds by secondary intention was conducted. The review included 99 studies — 89 randomized controlled trials (RCTs), three meta-analyses (one came from one of the selected systematic reviews), seven systematic reviews, and one cost-effectiveness study. The authors concluded that hydrocolloid dressings are superior to saline gauze or paraffin gauze dressings for the complete healing of chronic wounds and that alginates were better than other modern dressings for debriding necrotic wounds. Hydrofiber and foam dressings, when compared with other traditional dressings or a silver-coated dressing respectively, reduced time to healing in acute wounds.57,58

Present and Future

Recently, more than a century after the first description of the fundamental cellular world, tremendous progress has been made in exploring the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for wound healing. Research on chronic wounds emphasized that not one but numerous factors (ie, deficiencies in local and systemic growth factors, changes in extracellular matrix [ECM], diminished fibroblast function, decreased antimicrobial activity of leukocytes, biofilms, and disturbance of macro- and microcirculation) are responsible for slowing down healing in chronic wounds.59,60 These findings triggered the pharmaceutical industry to develop products that tackle specific aspects of these processes; thereby, narrowing their therapeutic spectrum.

Growth factors. Topical gels containing growth factors were introduced in the early 1980s after clinical studies demonstrated a possible beneficial effect of autologous platelet-derived growth factors (PDGF).61 Further development of these gels resulted in the first commercially available product containing recombinant human PDGF (rhPDGF) in 1997.62 US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval was based on several RCTs63-65 in which rhPGDF healed more wounds by week 20 of care than the placebo gel/standard care. Currently, the FDA notes evidence of an increased risk of death from cancer in patients who had repeated treatments but because of known risks associated with diabetic foot and leg ulcers that do not heal, potential risk should be weighed against benefit for each individual patient.66

Gene therapy using adenoviral vectors that transiently express PDGF also were tested as a therapeutic modality for treating difficult-to-heal wounds.67 Because high doses of growth factors were necessary to achieve minor healing effect, it was assumed that endogenous proteolytic enzymes probably degrade exogenously applied growth factors.

This led to the development of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-modulating products that reduce proteolytic enzymes by physically entrapping and mechanically inhibiting their activity. Although these modern categories cannot be seen as a panacea, positive results with rhPDGF were reported in neuropathic diabetic ulcers68 and in venous leg ulcers with an ECM-modulating product.69 However, it must be noted that efficacy of these treatments was measured by specialized wound care personnel under tightly controlled conditions. The conditions for their use are often not ideal when these therapies are used in routine practice.

Tissue engineering/skin substitutes. The term tissue engineering was coined at a National Science Foundation meeting in 1987.70 It had taken a long route from the late 19th century. Skin substitutes can be categorized into three groups: temporary, semipermanent, and permanent. Temporary skin substitutes are placed on either a partial- or full-thickness wound and remain until the wound is healed. Semipermanent material remains attached to an excised wound and is eventually replaced by autologous skin grafts. Permanent skin substitutes incorporate an epidermal or dermal component, are designed to replace autologous skin grafts, and can be categorized as acellular/synthetic bilaminates, collagen-based composites, and culture-derived tissue. In 1998, the first tissue-engineered skin consisting of a bilayered construct of neonatal foreskin fibroblasts, keratinocytes, and bovine collagen gained FDA approval70,71 and was shown to improve healing of venous stasis, diabetic, 72 and arterial insufficiency wounds73 in studies comparing its use with local wound care consisting of gauze with saline solution. No comparison has been made between the use of tissue-engineered and autologous skin graft treatment. Recent research74 has examined genetically modified epidermal cells that can be used to engineer three-dimensional skin substitutes, which when transplanted, can act as in vivo “bioreactors” for local or systemic delivery of therapeutical proteins.

Stem cells. Research also is investigating the differential capacities of stem cells and how to influence and enhance their capabilities. This is facilitating development of scaffolds and stem cell markers.75

Wound bed preparation. In 2000, renewed interest in wound debridement led to introduction of wound bed preparation, a term coined at a meeting of the European Tissue Repair Society.76Wound bed preparation infers a more prolonged maintenance debridement phase along with the correction of the biological micro-environment77 — the focus shifting from application of sophisticated dressings. Many agents can be used to facilitate debridement — from saline soaks to maggots and dressings that enhance wound autolysis (see Table 1). However, surgical debridement should be performed first if possible.78 Unfortunately, the lack of suitable equipment and fear of removing healthy tissue are common reasons for abandoning this technique and turning to alternative methods. Also, sharp debridement can be performed only by physicians or specially trained registered nurses (of whom there are few). The initial debridement of a chronic wound often temporarily speeds up wound healing but may be followed by a healing arrest, eventually returning the wound to its poor pre-therapy state.79 Explanations for this negative spiral address the phenotypically abnormal fibroblasts that seem to exist in chronic wounds,80the degenerative wound fluid that blocks or slows down the proliferation of cells, and biofilms of organized bacterial communities that thwart successful healing if not eliminated. In order to heal the wound, repeated removal of detrimental factors (after addressing and correcting underlying pathology) should precede implementation of improved wound care products and/or devices. To date, terms such as wound bed preparation and their affiliated meanings remain untested concepts/theories.

Biophysical stimulation. Other newer technologies thought to support biological pathways involved in tissue repair comprise biophysical stimulation such as vacuum-assisted wound closure, hyperbaric oxygen (HBO), and pulsed electromagnetic fields81-83 (see Table 1).

Negative pressure. Draining wounds after surgery is a long-established surgical practice made more feasible with the introduction of suction drainage and later the evacuation glass bottle.84 A series of five articles, the “Kremlin papers,”85 was published in the Russian literature in the 1980s. Negative pressure (-75 mm Hg to -80 mm Hg) was used in combination with aggressive debridement to significantly reduce bacterial counts in purulent wounds.86 In 1989, Chariker et al87 discussed their experience utilizing topical negative pressure (TNP) in seven patients with incisional or cutaneous fistulae. A moist gauze was placed over the wound surface and a flat drain placed over the gauze and covered with a bio-occlusive dressing. The drain was connected to an existing vacuum line such as a standard hospital wall suction source with continuous pressure set at approximately -60 mm Hg to -80 mm Hg. This method became known as the Chariker-Jeter technique. In the early 1990s, suction drainage using Redon-drainage tubes combined with foam dressings as the interface was proposed as a new therapeutic concept to achieve wound healing.88-90 In 1993, a commercially available vacuum-assisted closure device (the V.A.C.® Therapy System, KCI, San Antonio, TX) was introduced by Argenta and Morykwas; its efficacy was validated through several animal models using -125 mm Hg pressure.82,83 Additional medical manufacturers/suppliers provided TNP systems, including the patented Versatile 1™ Wound Vacuum System using the Chariker-Jeter® approach (Blue Sky Medical Group Inc, Carlsbad, CA). The most important difference between the two negative pressure systems is in the interface used (polyurethane/-and polyvinylalcohol foam versus gauze, respectively).

Topical negative pressure therapy removes wound exudate by active suction, changes the bacterial environment,81 and indirectly manages the micro- and macro environment of the wound by increasing circulation/oxygenation. Experimental studies, clinical experience, and the latest RCTs have shown enhanced granulation tissue formation91 and wound bed preparation92; increased wound area reduction81,91; increased cell division, possibly induced by increased tension93; decreased local and interstitial tissue edema and increased perfusion of the (peri-) wound area94; and a significant modulation of bacterial species. 81 At the recent Third World Union of Wound Healing Societies’95 (WUWHS) meeting, a consensus document of best practice was presented for use of vacuum-assisted wound closure. This document, prepared by a working group of experts, included recommendations based on several large retrospective and cohort studies and seven RCTs, as well as several smaller studies.

Positive pressure. Wound environment also may be changed by positive pressure (HBO). Generally, wounds with increased oxygen tension at the wound site following HBO may benefit from this therapy; however, it is still debated if evidence is sufficient to support HBO use in larger populations.96,97 Further research is needed to clarify the exact mechanism of this treatment98,99(see Table 1).

Other adjunctive therapies. Findings of transcutaneous voltage differences between skin surface and deeper skin layers100 have resulted in the development and use of several devices that manipulate current to stimulate wound healing. Direct current, low-frequency pulsed current, high-voltage pulsed current, bio-electrical stimulation,101 and pulsed electromagnetic fields102have been used with varying degree of success. Other adjunctive devices still under evaluation include infrared heat lamps, noncontact radiant therapy, radiant therapy, laser photostimulation, light therapy, ultrasound,103 and intermittent pneumatic compression.

Summary. Despite recent advances in wound care, the challenge of managing chronic wounds remains compounded by a lack of consensus on clearly defined wound care principles. Many organizations have developed guidelines for the assessment and treatment of wounds (see Table 2). These groups often examine the available literature and compile the findings into a set of guidelines. Because few guidelines have been validated, not every hospital follows the same protocol. Each patient must be comprehensively assessed and treatment plans must be individualized.

Conclusion

In the last two decades, enhanced understanding of the biology of wound healing and technological improvements have led to numerous improvements in wound care. Although clinicians have outgrown the ancient way of decision-making that was based on empirical and magical beliefs, old habits never die — they just fade away. Many healthcare professionals continue to treat and dress wounds according to age-old practices, despite the fact that new research shows this may not be the best treatment modality for the patient. The choice of therapy still depends largely on high-quality marketing, expert opinion, and gut feeling rather than on scientific evidence.

Because evidence-based medicine has become the new paradigm, the number of international guidelines for the assessment and treatment of wounds has slowly increased. Some of the components of these guidelines are somewhat limited by lack of Level A support but this situation should improve as more rigorous studies are conducted to address existing research gaps. Evidence-based medicine represents the integration of best research results with clinical expertise and patient values. In other words, without diminishing the importance of the opinion of experts in the field, more solid and large RCTs comparing old to new standards of care are needed. In addition, healthcare workers must be aware of the persuasive power of their industrial partners and products. More training on product specifications, proper use, and the need for a broad biopsychosocial patient approach is warranted. The medical doctor and his companion in battle — the qualified, registered wound nurse — should be alert to withstand the Siren’s song of industry and address the patient’s interest first.

Acknowledgment

The authors thank Professor Dr. Eddy Houwaert, Department of Medical History, Free University of Amsterdam, for his kindness in critically reading and commenting on this paper. The chair at this University Centre was first occupied by the late Professor Dr. Gerrit Arie Lindeboom, medical encyclopedist (1905–1986). The authors also thank Mr. Bob Tank for checking the English text.

Dr. Mouës is a resident, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Dr. Heule is a senior staff member, Department of Dermatology, Erasmus University Medical Centre. Mr. Legerstee is the Professional Education Manager, Systagenix Wound Management, The Netherlands. Dr. Hovius is Head, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Erasmus University Medical Centre. Roman Medicine

“Granite Shadow” – The Pentagon’s playbook to counter the Corona Virus

“Granite Shadow” is a Pentagon playbook directive for dealing with WMD threats. It’s the 1st quarter and the Pentagon’s Granite Shadow playbook to counter the spread and threat of the corona virus is in play. The President grants special authorities” to the military that  allows domestic military operations with no civilian oversight, including intelligence collection and surveillance, unique set of engagement rules regarding the use of lethal force, the use of experimental non-lethal weapons and so on…..

the various plans – codenamed Octagon, Freejack and Zodiac

 

TODAY IN DC: COMMANDOS IN THE STREETS?

9/22/05 – Early Warning

by William M. Arkin

On National and Homeland Security

Today, somewhere in the DC metropolitan area, the military is conducting a highly classified Granite Shadow “demonstration.”

Granite Shadow is yet another new Top Secret and compartmented operation related to the military’s extra-legal powers regarding weapons of mass
destruction. It allows for emergency military operations in the United States without civilian supervision or control.

A spokesman at the Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region (JFHQ-NCR) confirmed the existence of Granite Shadow to me yesterday, but all he would say is that Granite Shadow is the unclassified name for a
classified plan.

That classified plan, I believe, after extensive research and after making a couple of assumptions, is CONPLAN 0400, formally titled Counter-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Concept Plan (CONPLAN) 0400 is a long-standing contingency plan of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) that serves as the umbrella for military efforts to counter the spread of weapons of mass destruction. It has extensively been updated and revised since 9/11.

The CJCS plan lays out national policy and priorities for dealing with WMD threats in peacetime and crisis — from far away offensive strikes and special operations against foreign WMD infrastructure and capabilities, to
missile defenses and “consequence management” at home if offensive efforts fail.

All of the military planning incorporates the technical capabilities of the intelligence agencies and non-military organizations such as the national laboratories of the Department of Energy. And finally, CONPLAN 0400 directs regional combatant commanders to customize counter-proliferation plans for each of their own areas of operations.

When that “area of operations” is the United States, things become particularly sensitive.

That’s where Granite Shadow comes in. U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM), the military’s new homeland security command, is preparing its draft version of
CONPLAN 0400 for military operations in the United States, and the resulting Granite Shadow plan has been classified above Top Secret by adding a Special
Category (SPECAT) compartment restricting access.

The sensitivities, according to military sources, include deployment of “special mission units” (the so-called Delta Force, SEAL teams, Rangers, and other special units of Joint Special Operations Command) in Washington, DC and other domestic hot spots. NORTHCOM has worked closely with U.S. Special
Operations Command (SOCOM), as well as the secret branches of non-military agencies and departments to enforce “unity of command” over any post 9/11 efforts.

Further, Granite Shadow posits domestic military operations, including intelligence collection and surveillance, unique rules of engagement regarding the use of lethal force, the use of experimental non-lethal
weapons, and federal and military control of incident locations that are highly controversial and might border on the illegal.

Granite Shadow is the twin to Power Geyser, a program I first revealed to The New York Times in January. The JFHQ spokesman confirms that Granite Shadow and Power Geyser are two different unclassified names for two different classified plans.

In the case of Power Geyser, the classified plan is CJCS CONPLAN 0300, whose entire title is classified. According the military documents, the unclassified title is “Counter-Terrorism Special Operations Support to Civil Agencies in the event of a domestic incident.” It is another Top Secret/SPECAT plan directing the same special mission units to provide weapons of mass destruction recovery and “render safe” in either a terrorist incident or in the case of a stolen (or lost) nuclear weapon. Render safe refers to the ability of explosive ordnance disposal experts to isolate and
disarm any type of biological, chemical, nuclear or radiological weapon.

The obvious question is why there is a need for two plans. My guess is that Power Geyser and CONPLAN 0300 refers to operations in support of a civil agency “lead” (most likely the Attorney General for a WMD attack) while Granite Shadow and CONPLAN 0400 lays out contingencies where the military is in the lead. I’ll wait to be corrected by someone in the know.

Both plans seem to live behind a veil of extraordinary secrecy because military forces operating under them have already been given a series of ”special authorities” by the President and the secretary of defense. These special authorities include, presumably, military roles in civilian law enforcement and abrogation of State’s powers in a declared or perceived emergency.

In January, when The New York Times reported on the Power Geyser name from my Code Names website, the Pentagon argued that “It would be irresponsible … to comment on any classified program that may or may not exist.”

I can’t see how the Defense Department can continue this line of argument post-Katrina. We see the human cost of a system of contingency planning done in complete secret, with a lack of any debate as to what should be the federal government’s priorities, emphasis, and rules.

As the Granite Shadow commandos and their federal brethren go through their paces today, some inside the system will lament that I have “compromised” their work. But the very fact that nothing in my writing damages the Granite Shadow effort should demonstrate that we can have a discussion of contingency planning priorities in the United States, and debate extraordinary special authorities granted to those in uniform, without compromising the details of the plans themselves.

There’s still time. The full-scale exercise of Granite Shadow’s capabilities and procedures doesn’t start until April 2006.

This post originally appeared at the URL on the blog “Early Warning,” for washingtonpost.com, but has since been deleted off that site. We have posted it here in it’s entirety.

The original URL for the piece was: http://blogs.washingtonpost.com/earlywarning/2005/09/today_in_dc_com.html.

Surveillance Company Says It’s Deploying ‘Coronavirus-Detecting’ Cameras in US

Source: Vice

An Austin, Texas based technology company is launching “artificially intelligent thermal cameras” that it claims will be able to detect fevers in people, and in turn send an alert that they may be carrying the coronavirus.

Athena Security is pitching the product to be used in grocery stores, hospitals, and voting locations. It claims to be deploying the product at several customer locations over the coming weeks, including government agencies, airports, and large Fortune 500 companies.

“Our Fever Detection COVID19 Screening System is now a part of our platform along with our gun detection system which connects directly to your current security camera system to deliver fast, accurate threat detection,” Athena’s website reads.

Athena previously sold software that it claims can detect guns and knives in video feeds and then send alerts to an app or security system.

Read More: Vice

National Center for Medical Intelligence spies enlisted to track coronavirus

Source: NBC NEWS

WASHINGTON — Last month, well before the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, a little-known unit within the Defense Intelligence Agency had already predicted that the outbreak would reach pandemic proportions.

The warning came from the National Center for Medical Intelligence, a senior defense official told NBC News. The NCMI, as it is known, is an obscure patch of the U.S. spying community that is now in the midst of one of the most important missions in its history. The warning was first reported by Newsweek.

The NCMI is the intelligence community’s eyes and ears when it comes to global disease outbreaks. While the CIA also has a medical intelligence unit, current and former officials said, the NCMI, headquartered at Fort Detrick, Maryland, is the clearing ground for classified information and analysis related to the coronavirus outbreak.

Read More: NBC NEWS

Shin Bet uses counterterrorist technology to track coronavirus patients

Intrusive cybermonitoring technology =Unit 8200 

Source: NBC News

Israel’s security forces have begun tracking coronavirus patients and people in self-isolation using intrusive cybermonitoring technology typically used to locate terrorists, officials confirmed Tuesday.

The government authorized Shin Bet, its internal security agency, to track patients using cellular data to make sure they stay isolated, the head of agency Nadav Argaman said in a statement Tuesday.

The agency would also use the data to track people who were in proximity to the coronavirus patients and notify them of the need to self-isolate themselves.

Read More: NBC News

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Mnuchin reportedly warns of 20% unemployment if $1 trillion stimulus package fails

If you contracted the MORONAVIRUS, then of course you drank the Kool-aid and they will push you off the cliff with the rest of the morons.

Source: Bloomberg

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin raised the possibility with Republican senators that U.S. unemployment could rise to 20% without government intervention because of the impact of the coronavirus, according to people familiar with the matter.

Mnuchin discussed the scenario with the lawmakers on Tuesday as he proposed an economic stimulus of $1 trillion or more.

He told the senators that he believes the economic fallout from the coronavirus is potentially worse than the 2008 financial crisis.

Read More: Bloomberg

U.S. government, tech industry discussing ways to harness location data to combat coronavirus

Here we go again. I stepped away from this bat S***T crazy world back in late 2018.  33 years ago the stock market crashed in the year 1987. Once again for those paying any attention will know 33 is a reoccurring number. This current corona virus situation did not occur out of thin air, this was a planned “Pearl Harbor” like scenario created as a cover for the economic downturn, shelter in place policies, and again bailing out the damn banking system and Wall Street. Even read gambling corporations are going to receive some form of a bailout payment. My hypothesis is the “Shelter in Place”, businesses closing down, schools and universities shuttering their doors and social distancing  policies are keeping people from protesting the bailouts by using deception and fear of a pandemic that at this time seems to be a low level health threat.  Guaranteed their will be more government legislation in the coming weeks that will strip constitutional rights from individuals.  Will Trump be the “Last President”  or will we witness a Biden/Hillary ticket in the fall? Anything is possible when the world is your stage and the men and women are merely actors.

“Source: Seattle Times

WASHINGTON – The U.S. government is in active talks with Facebook, Google and a wide array of tech companies and health experts about how they can use data gleaned from Americans’ phones to combat the novel coronavirus, including tracking whether people are keeping one another at safe distances to stem the outbreak.

Public-health experts are interested in the possibility that private-sector companies could compile the data in anonymous, aggregated form, which they could then use to map the spread of the infection, according to three people familiar with the effort, who requested anonymity because the project is in its early stages.

Analyzing trends in smartphone owners’ whereabouts could prove to be a powerful tool for health authorities looking to track coronavirus, which has infected more than 180,000 people globally. But it’s also an approach that could leave some Americans uncomfortable, depending on how it’s implemented, given the sensitivity when it comes to details about their daily whereabouts.

In recent interviews, Facebook executives said the U.S. government is particularly interested in understanding patterns of people’s movements, which can be derived through data the company collects from users who allow it. The tech giant in the past has provided this information to researchers in the form of statistics, which in the case of coronavirus, could help officials predict the next hotspot or decide where to allocate overstretched health resources.

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Israel, Greece, Cyprus to ink natural gas pipeline deal

Source: ABC News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday said that Israel, Greece and Cyprus will sign an agreement early next year to build a pipeline to carry natural gas from the eastern Mediterranean to Europe, while the United States pledged its support for the ambitious project.

The $7 billion project, expected to take six or seven years to complete, promises to reshape the region as an energy provider and dent Russia‘s dominance over the European energy market. It also could curtail Iranian ambitions to use Syria as a gateway to the eastern Mediterranean.

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Israel has used Lebanese airspace to avoid Russian S-300 on yesterday’s attack in Syria

Source: Bulgarian Military

The Israeli air force (IAF) attack on Iranian targets in Syria was performed by standoff weapon systems, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

According the Middle Eastern sources, the Israeli fighter aircraft released their weapons while flying over Lebanon. This to avoid entering the foot print of the Russian S-300 air defense systems deployed recently in Syria

In satellite images taken Wednesday, a day after the attack Syria, a building that was reportedly used as an Iranian ammunition depot was completely destroyed. According to the satellite company ImageSat International, the building, 60 meters by 15 meters, is located at the base of the Syrian 4th Brigade west of Damascus, where Iranian Fajr rockets were stored.

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The Battle For Syria’s Oil Region

Source: Oilprice

The Syrian Civil War has gone through several phases over the course of seven years and it now appears to be entering another one. Government forces have regained control over much of Syria with Russian air support and Iranian ground forces. Only Idlib and the territories east of the Euphrates river remain out of the hands of President Assad’s regime. With the U.S. planning an imminent withdrawal from Syria, things could soon shift again.

Control over Eastern Syria is important for the government in Damascus for political and economic reasons. President Assad has on numerous occasions stated his desire to establish control over the entire Syrian territory in order to strengthen the image of a strong and stable regime. Before the war, Syria produced 387,000 barrels per day of which 140,000 bpd were exported. Most of this oil came from Eastern Syria, which is now under the control of the U.S.-backed SDF. Currently, the Syrian oil industry is a shadow of its former self due to the civil war.

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Turkey shipping weapons to Libya

Source: Channel News Asia

TRIPOLI: Libya and Turkey agreed on Saturday to open an urgent joint investigation into a consignment of arms which arrived from Turkey and was seized at a port near Tripoli this week, the UN-backed Libyan government said.

The government released the statement following talks in Tripoli between Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

The statement quoted Cavusoglu as saying Ankara rejected such actions “which do not represent the policy or approach of the Turkish state”.

The weapons were seized by customs on Tuesday in Khoms port, just over 100 km (62 miles) east of Tripoli.

The consignment sent from Turkey contained 3,000 Turkish-made pistols, as well as some other pistols, hunting rifles and ammunition, Benghazi’s Benina airport customs services said on their official Facebook account.

A day earlier a cargo of 2.5 million Turkish-made bullets was seized at the same port, the same source said.

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Russia-Germany gas pipeline raises intelligence concerns: U.S. official

Source: Reuters

The planned Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany raises U.S. intelligence and military concerns since it would allow Moscow to place new listening and monitoring technology in the Baltic Sea, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday.

MILITARY THREAT

She said the Baltic was a congested, sensitive military area. “When we look at the ability of governments and companies to use infrastructure deployments as a means to convey devices and technologies that can listen and follow and monitor, that is a concern with regard to this particular undersea pipeline project in the Baltic Sea,” she added.

“The new project would permit new technologies to be placed along the pipeline route and that is a threat.”

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Editor’s Note: My aggregator is locating articles that I was not even aware of and have not read else where. Even though this Article is more than 6 months old , the Geopolitics surrounding the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is very relevant and will continue to be so.

Why India’s expanding military ties with the United States and Russia could put the squeeze on China

Source: Yahoo News

China’s military can expect far less latitude as regional rival India diversifies its military partnerships, analysts said.

India, which has conducted military exercises with powers including the United States and Russia this year, joined China on Tuesday for Hand-in-Hand 2018, which aims to strengthen the nations’ anti-terrorist operations.

The joint drill in Chengdu, Sichuan province, will last 14 days. The exercises with India began in 2013 but were called off last year because of the dispute over Chinese road-building on the Doklam Plateau region of the Himalayas.

The sides, which fought a war in 1962, stood down after eight weeks later as diplomacy prevailed.

Besides its ties with China, India is holding exercises with Russian air and naval forces. The first leg of the biennial Exercise Avia Indra took place in the skies over Lipetsk, Russia in September, and a second started in Jodhpur on December 10 and ends on Friday.

India has also reached out to the United States, and their air forces took part in the Cope 18 exercise, an 11-day drill over West Bengal, which ended on Friday.

Russian war games prepared Chinese troops for battle, PLA says

New Delhi’s expanding military relationships muddied the waters for Beijing and its regional ambitions, Collin Koh, a research fellow from S Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, said.

“These Indian defence and security engagements with foreign powers are likely to bring Indian forces greater ability to work closely with foreign counterparts … complicating China’s strategic and operational military freedom to manoeuvre, in peacetime especially,” he said.

India’s military-political relations and arms trade with the US have been on a rapid rise in recent years. The US, as part of its foreign policy to counter China’s growing influence in Asia, has notched up arms sales to India worth US$15 billion over the past decade, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Those deals have brought closer strategic ties – India joined the US, Japan and Australia in discussions on freedom of navigation, terrorism and maritime security in Asia at November’s Asean summit in Singapore.

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IDF chief: Iran wants to deploy 100,000 fighters in Syria; we’re preventing it

Source: Times of Israel

Outgoing IDF chief Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot on Sunday defended the military against recent criticism of insufficient action against Palestinian terrorism in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, saying the army’s primary goal in recent years has been thwarting Iran’s efforts to establish a permanent military presence in Syria. Tehran is seeking to establish a force of 100,000 fighters in Syria, he said, and the IDF is preventing it from doing so.

Eisenkot, who is due to end his four-year tenure as army chief next month, acknowledged that the Israel Defense Forces had failed to give Israelis, especially those living near Gaza, a “feeling of security,” but indicated this was in part due to the fact that the civilian population is unaware of the majority of the military’s activities.

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