Coronavirus Gives a Dangerous Boost to DARPA’s Darkest Agenda

In January, well before the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis would result in lockdowns, quarantines and economic devastation in the United States and beyond, the U.S. intelligence community and the Pentagon were working with the National Security Council to create still-classified plans to respond to an imminent pandemic. It has since been alleged that the intelligence and military intelligence communities knew about a likely pandemic in the United States as early as last November, and potentially even before then.

Given this foreknowledge and the numerous simulations conducted in the United States last year regarding global viral pandemic outbreaks, at least six of varying scope and size, it has often been asked – Why did the government not act or prepare if an imminent global pandemic and the shortcomings of any response to such an event were known? Though the answer to this question has frequently been written off as mere “incompetence” in mainstream media circles, it is worth entertaining the possibility that a crisis was allowed to unfold.

Why would the intelligence community or another faction of the U.S. government knowingly allow a crisis such as this to occur? The answer is clear if one looks at history, as times of crisis have often been used by the U.S. government to implement policies that would normally be rejected by the American public, ranging from censorship of the press to mass surveillance networks. Though the government response to the September 11 attacks, like the Patriot Act, may be the most accessible example to many Americans, U.S. government efforts to limit the flow of “dangerous” journalism and surveil the population go back to as early as the First World War. Many of these policies, whether the Patriot Act after 9/11 or WWI-era civilian “spy” networks, did little if anything to protect the homeland, but instead led to increased surveillance and control that persisted long after the crisis that spurred them had ended.

Using this history as a lens, it is possible to look at the current coronavirus crisis to see how the long-standing agendas of ever-expanding mass surveillance and media censorship are again getting a dramatic boost thanks to the chaos unleashed by the coronavirus pandemic. Yet, this crisis is unique because it also has given a boost to a newer yet complimentary agenda that — if fulfilled – would render most, if not all, other government efforts at controlling and subduing their populations obsolete.

DARPA Dystopia

For years, the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has remained largely out of sight and out of mind for most Americans, as their research projects are rarely covered by the mainstream media and, when they are, their projects are often praised as bringing science fiction movies to life.” However, there have been recent events that have marred DARPA’s often positive portrayal by media outlets, which paint the agency as a beacon of scientific “progress” that has “changed the world” for the better.

For instance, in 2018, a group of European scientists accused the DARPA’s “Insect Allies” program of actually being a dystopian bioweapons program that would see insects introduce genetically modified viruses into plants to attack and devastate a targeted nation’s food supply. DARPA, of course, maintained that its intent to use these insects to genetically modify plants was instead about “protecting” the food supply. Regardless of DARPA’s assertions that it is merely a “defensive” program, it should be clear to readers that such a technology could easily be used either way, depending on the wielder. 

Though DARPA’s futuristic weapons of war often get the most attention from media, the agency has longstanding interests in tinkering with, not just the biology of plants, but of humans. DARPA, which is funded to the tune of approximately $3 billion a year, has various avenues through which it pursues these ambitions, with many of those now under the purview of the agency’s “Biological Technologies Office” (BTO), created in 2014. As of late, some of DARPA’s human biology and biotech projects at its BTO have been getting a massive PR boost thanks to the current coronavirus crisis, with recent reports even claiming that the agency “might have created the best hopes for stopping Covid-19.” 

Most of these technologies garnering positive media coverage thanks to Covid-19 were developed several years ago. They include the DARPA-funded platforms used to produce DNA and RNA vaccines, classes of vaccine that has never been approved for human use in the U.S. and involve injecting foreign genetic material into the human body. Notably, it is this very class of vaccine, now being produced by DARPA-partnered companies, that billionaire and global health “philanthropist” Bill Gates recently asserted has him “most excited” relative to other Covid-19 vaccine candidates. Yet, key aspects regarding these vaccines and other DARPA “healthcare” initiatives have been left out of these recent positive reports, likely because they provide a window into what is arguably the agency’s darkest agenda.

“In Vivo Nanoplatforms”

In 2006, DARPA announced its Predicting Health and Disease (PHD) program, which sought to determine “whether an individual will develop an infectious disease prior to the onset of symptoms.” The PHD program planned to accomplish this by “identifying changes in the baseline state of human health through frequent surveillance” with a specific focus on “viral, upper respiratory pathogens.” 

Three years later, in 2010, DARPA-funded researchers at Duke University created the foundation for this tool, which would use the genetic analysis of blood samples to determine if someone is infected with a virus before they show symptoms. Reports at the time claimed that these “preemptive diagnoses” would be transmitted to “a national, web-based influenza map” available via smartphone. 

Following the creation of DARPA’s BTO in 2014, this particular program gave rise to the “In Vivo Nanoplatforms (IVN)” program. The diagnostics branch of that program, abbreviated as IVN:Dx, “investigates technologies that incorporate implantable nanoplatforms composed of bio-compatible, nontoxic materials; in vivo sensing of small and large molecules of biological interest; multiplexed detection of analytes at clinically relevant concentrations; and external interrogation of the nanoplatforms without using implanted electronics for communication.” Past reports on the program describe it as developing “classes of nanoparticles to sense and treat illness, disease, and infection on the inside. The tech involves implantable nanoparticles which sense specific molecules of biological interest.”

DARPA’s IVN program has since helped to finance and produce “soft, flexible hydrogels that are injected just beneath the skin to perform [health] monitoring and that sync to a smartphone app to give the use immediate health insights,” a product currently marketed and created by the DARPA-funded and National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded company Profusa. Profusa, which has received millions upon millions from DARPA in recent years, asserts that the information generated by their injectable biosensor would be “securely shared” and accessible to “individuals, physicians and public health practitioners.” However, the current push for a national “contact tracing” system based on citizens’ private health data is likely to expand that data sharing, conveniently fitting with DARPA’s years-old goal of creating a national, web-based database of preemptive diagnoses.

Profusa is also backed by Google, which is intimately involved in these new mass surveillance “contact tracing” initiatives, and counts former Senate majority leader William Frist among its board members. They are also partnered with the National Institutes of Health (NIH)The company also has considerable overlap with the diagnostic company Cepheid, which recently won FDA approval for its rapid coronavirus test and was previously awarded lucrative government contracts to detect anthrax in the U.S. postal system. As of this past March, Profusa again won DARPA funding to determine if their injectable biosensors can predict future pandemics, including the now widely predicted “second wave” of Covid-19, and detect those infected up to three weeks before they would otherwise show symptoms. The company expects to have its biosensors FDA licensed for this purpose by early next year, about the same time a coronavirus vaccine is expected to be available to the general public.

“Living Foundries”

Another long-standing DARPA program, now overseen by BTO, is known as “Living Foundries.” According to DARPA’s website, Living Foundries “aims to enable adaptable, scalable, and on-demand production of [synthetic] molecules by programming the fundamental metabolic processes of biological systems to generate a vast number of complex molecules that are not otherwise accessible. Through Living Foundries, DARPA is transforming synthetic biomanufacturing into a predictable engineering practice supportive of a broad range of national security objectives.”

The types of research this “Living Foundries” program supports involves the creation of “artificial life” including the creation of artificial genetic material, including artificial chromosomes, the creation of “entirely new organisms,” and using artificial genetic material to “add new capacities” to human beings (i.e. genetically modifying humans through the insertion of synthetically-created genetic material). 

The latter is of particular concern (though all are honestly concerning), as DARPA also has a project called “Advanced Tools for Mammalian Genome Engineering,” which – despite having “mammalian” in the name – is focused specifically on improving “the utility of Human Artificial Chromosomes (HACs),” which DARPA describes as a “fundamental tool in the development of advanced therapeutics, vaccines, and cellular diagnostics.” Though research papers often focus on HACs as a revolutionary medical advancement, they are also frequently promoted as a means of “enhancing” humans by imbuing them with non-natural characteristics, including halting aging or improving cognition. 

DARPA is known to be involved in researchwhere these methods are used to create “super soldiers” that no longer require sleep or regular meals, among other augmented “features,” and has another program about creating “metabolically dominant” fighters. Reports on these programs also discuss the other, very disconcerting use of these same technologies, “genetic weapons” that would “subvert DNA” and “undermine people’s minds and bodies.”

Another potential application being actively investigated by DARPA is its BioDesign program, which is examining the creation of synthetic organisms that are created to be immortal and programmed with a “kill switch” allowing a synthetic, yet organic organism to be “turned off” at any time. This has led some to speculate such research could open the doors to the creation of “human replicants” used for fighting wars and other tasks, such as those that appear in the science fiction film Bladerunner. 

However, these genetic “kill switches” could also be inserted into actual humans through artificial chromosomes, which – just as they have the potential to extend life – also have the potential to cut it short. Notably, it was revealed in 2017 that DARPA had invested $100 million in “gene drive” research, which is involves the use of genetic modification to wipe out entire populations, explaining why it it often referred to as a “genetic extinction” technology.

In addition, other DARPA experiments involve the use of genetically modified viruses that insert genetic material into human cells, specifically neurons in the brain, in order to “tweak” human brain chemistry. In one example, DARPA-funded research has altered human brain cells to produce two new proteins, the first allowing neural activity to be easily detected by external devices and the second allowing “magnetic nanoparticles” to “induce an image or sound in the patient’s mind.”

“Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology”

Changing human brain chemistry and functionality at the cellular level is only one of numerous DARPA initiatives aimed at changing how human beings think and perceive reality. Since 2002, DARPA has acknowledged its efforts to create a “Brain-Machine Interface (BMI).” Though first aimed at creating “a wireless brain modem for a freely moving rat,” which would allow the animal’s movements to be remotely controlled, DARPA wasn’t shy about the eventual goal of applying such brain “enhancement” to humans in order to enable soldiers to “communicate by thought alone” or remotely control human beings (on the enemy side only, so they say) for the purposes of war. 

The project, which has advanced greatly in recent years, has long raised major concerns among prominent defense scientists, some of whom warned in a 2008 report that “remote guidance or control of a human being” could quickly backfire were an adversary to gain access to the implanted technology (opening up the possibility of “hacking” a person’s brain), and they also raised concerns about the general ethical perils of such technologies. Work began in 2011 on developing “brain implants” for use in human soldiers, officially with the goal of treating neurological damage in veterans, and such implants have been tested on human volunteers in DARPA-funded experiments since at least 2015. 

Concerns, like those raised by those defense scientists in 2008, have been regularly dismissed by DARPA, which has consistently claimed that its controversial research projects are tempered by their in-house “ethical experts.” However, it worth noting how DARPA’s leadership views these ethical conundrums, since they ultimately have the last word. For example, in 2015, Michael Goldblatt, then-director of DARPA’s Defense Sciences Office (DSO), which oversees most aspects of the agency’s “super soldier” program, told journalist Annie Jacobsen that he saw no difference between “having a chip in your brain that could help control your thoughts” and “a cochlear implant that helps the deaf hear.” When pressed about the unintended consequences of such technology, Goldblatt stated that “there are unintended consequences for everything.”

Thus, it is worth pointing out that, while DARPA-developed technologies – from human genetic engineering to the brain-machine interfaces – are often first promoted as something that will revolutionize and improve human health, DARPA sees the use of these technologies for such ends as being on the same footing as other dystopian and frankly nightmarish applications, like thought control. BMIs are no exception, having first been promoted as a way to “boost bodily functions of veterans with neural damage or post-traumatic stress disorder” and to allow amputees to control advanced prosthetics. While these do indeed represent major medical advances, DARPA’s leadership has made it clear that they see no distinction between the medical use of BMIs and using them to exert near total control over a human being by “guiding” their thoughts and even their movements.

Such stark admission from DARPA’s leadership makes it worth exploring the state of these current “brain-machine” interface programs as well as their explicit goals. For instance, one of the goals of DARPA’s Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology (N3) program involves using “noninvasive or minimally invasive brain-computer interfaces” to “read and write” directly onto the brain.

According to one recent report on DARPA’s N3 program, one example of “minimally invasive” technologies would involve:

an injection of a virus carrying light-sensitive sensors, or other chemical, biotech, or self-assembled nanobotsthat can reach individual neurons and control their activity independentlywithout damaging sensitive tissue. The proposed use for these technologies isn’t yet well-specified, but as animal experiments have shown, controlling the activity of single neurons at multiple points is sufficient to program artificial memories of fear, desire, and experiences directly into the brain. 

Though the purported goal of N3 is related to creating “thought-controlled” weaponsthat react and fire based on a soldier’s thoughts, the fact that the technology is also bidirectional, opens up the disturbing possibility that efforts will be made to control and program a soldier’s thoughts and perceptions as opposed to the other way around. This may be more of the plan than DARPA has publicly let on, since official military documents have openly stated that the Pentagon’s ultimate goal is to essentially replace human fighters with “self-aware” interconnected robots “who” will both design and conduct operations against targets chosen by artificial-intelligence systems. This weapons system of the not-so-distant futureseems to have little room for human beings, even those capable of “controlling” weapons with their minds, suggesting that futurist military planners see soldiers with BMIs as a “weapon” that would also become connected to this same AI-driven system. It is also worth pointing out that DARPA has been attempting to create an “artificial human brain” since 2013.

In addition, reports on DARPA’s BMI efforts have suggested that this bidirectional technology will be used to “cloud the perception of soldiers” by “distancing them from the emotional guilt of warfare,” a move that would set a dangerous precedent and one that would surely result in a marked jump in war crimes.


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