The virus of false news: teacher feeds the conspiracy

Le virus des fausses nouvelles: un prof alimente les complots

A professor of McGill University, convinced that the majority of political bodies and public health agencies are “infiltrated” by the lobby of the telecommunications, fueling the conspiracy theories surrounding the arrival of the wireless network 5G.

“There are industrial interests are considerable in it. And what happens is that the industry is infiltration of the committees of the WHO [world health Organization], ” said Paul Héroux, during a meeting with the QMI Agency, where he multiplied the alarming statements.

Mr. Héroux in an interview with the QMI Agency.

Openly anti-5G, the professor at the faculty of medicine of McGill University is dedicated to the study of the effects on health of electromagnetic waves. His research convinced him that the waves that cell phones, including the new wireless network 5G, cause serious health problems. The health agencies know this and hide it from the population, according to him.

While the deployment of the network 5G in Canada started in January and will continue throughout the course of the year, Paul Héroux stated that” there will be a continuation of the rise of cancer. There will be an increase of sterility in the populations. There will be an increase of diabetes and there will be an increase in the number of neurological diseases “.

Popular among extremists

Since the beginning of the confinement, the words of the physicist are increasingly being taken up by bloggers and each other activists of the far right (see text bellow). They are, however, strongly refuted by many scientists.

In the heart of the pandemic, in may, the professor Héroux has spent nearly two-hour interview on the YouTube channel of Studio. The facilitators of this platform quebec hammer that the mass media does not peddle lies and are in the pay of the government, which is corrupt.

Paul Héroux (right), may 5, on the chain web Studio, with host Gilbert Thibodeau (left).

Mr. Héroux has affirmed that ” all the committees of the government are infiltrated by the telecommunications industry, and that the 5G will allow the implementation of a system where the citizens will always be supervised.”

The cherry picking

The QMI Agency has consulted a number of experts in electromagnetism here and elsewhere. They consider that the statements of Paul Héroux on the health risks related to the waves, just as the american studies and Italian, whom he quotes to support his words, contains too many inconsistencies and weaknesses in methodology. They, therefore, have not been taken into account by public health agencies.

“When we go out a few isolated studies to support a statement, we call this the cherry picking, that is to say that we do not take into account the totality of the scientific literature “, argues Anne Perrin, biologist and co-author of the book electromagnetic Fields, environment and health, published at the end of 2018.

Based in Grenoble, Ms. Perrin explained that, in science, to assess a risk, it is necessary to take into account the collective expertise.

“Currently, there are 4000 studies, in various disciplines, which relate to the biological effects and health frequencies [which include the waves cellular]. To date, no health effect has never been shown to be below the exposure limits regulations, ” says Ms. Perrin.

A conspiracy impossible

According to Paul Héroux, all the scientists who argue that there are no adverse effects of the waves are cellular, such as health agencies, “infiltrated and influenced” by the telecommunications industry.

This statement infuriates the sociologist of science Yves Gingras.

“It is not reasonable to believe that the thousands of researchers around the world working on this topic are all sold. Such a plot is impossible, ” replies the professor in the department of history at UQAM.

It also points out that the attitude of Paul Héroux is typical of the scientists marginal that, by dint of being rejected by their peers, to sink into conspiracy theories.

These scientists, in search of credibility and reputation, find a new audience on the web and feed the concerns of their ” disciples “, according to him.

McGill does not

Asked about the statements controversial of his professor, McGill University took nearly a month to respond to us, after many calls and over a dozen e-mails.

An officer in media relations has stated in writing that professors have “academic freedom” which allows them to express themselves publicly, ” and to present their personal opinions or expert “.

The sociologist Yves Gingras explains that universities, as democratic institutions, should ensure freedom of expression for teachers, ” even if they are about disturbing.

The course of Paul Héroux

Prior to 1985, Phd in physics and various courses in biology and medicine

1977 to 1987 Researcher at the Institute of research of Hydro-Quebec, where he focuses on the high-voltage power lines

1987-present Professor, department of epidemiology, biostatistics and occupational health at McGill University, where he teaches the health effects of electromagnetism

Adored by several conspiracy

Several online forums bringing together citizens convinced that the 5G is part of a grand worldwide conspiracy cite the words of professor Paul Héroux.

“The 5G, it is a thousand times more dangerous than the COVID-19 “, “scientists such as Paul Héroux are ignored for profit” : the following are examples of what can be read on the group on Facebook ” Call to freedom “. The latter brings together citizens who oppose the containment, including some anti-5G and anti-vaccination.

The members of this group created at the beginning of the containment believe that the government is controlled by powerful criminals and hinder the rights and freedoms of citizens.

“I am convinced that there are people who work in the shadows for their own interests,” explains a director of Call to freedom, Frédéric Pitre.

This electromechanical organized, in recent weeks, a series of protests to denounce, inter alia, the sanitary measures.

False news

Several other forums where internet users share a plethora of conspiracy theories and false news have seen the light of day during the health crisis in Quebec.

The groups Not to the 5G, Quebec, and the Movement against vaccination that forced Quebecers and Stop containment Canada-Quebec, in particular, cite all Paul Héroux.

The members will go so far as to make links between the statements of Héroux on the 5G and conspiracy theories promoted by a leader of the extreme right notorious, Alexis Cossette-Trudel.

On its platforms, it goes so far as to allege that the pandemic is a pure invention of the” deep State “, a group of elite and powerful control the population and that the 5G will be used for the establishment of a vast system of surveillance of citizens.

Héroux defends

Asked about how his statements on the 5G may be exploited by trend-setters radicals, the professor Héroux is in washing the hands.

“I have to say that I don’t know how I’m quoted […] once the information is released, people can use it as they want,” says Paul Héroux.

“I think it is very positive that we can use my research to promote a moratorium on the 5G “, loose-t-he in the same breath.

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