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Viral Video of Bill Gates’ plan to modify religious brains is a Hoax!

Image Credit: ZDNet 4 mins read

A social media user suggested that Bill Gates, in a 2005 Video, presented to the CIA an idea that would alter the brain functions of RELIGIOUS FANATICS.

Findings have singled out some pointers to debunk the claims of the video. For one, the video has been recycled several times between 2011 and  2020, and the publishers never mentioned Bill Gates’ name until the video of May 20, 2020, being fact-checked here.

Full Text

Last Wednesday, May 20, Olivia,  a user of a Christian Social Media App – RIG Nation App – posted an alleged leaked video of a white man, presenting a briefing to an audience (see the image below).

The video has been shared 123 times with 19 comments and 15 likes.

Verification

In the bid to verify this claim, Dubawa performed a keyword search which produced a series of other platforms that had published the same video and caption. Here is a May 24th post on Reddit that has the same video and caption. We found another on this Youtube Page, published 21st of May; while it has the same caption, it features an entirely unrelated video. Lastly, we spotted the same video and caption with additional details on this Facebook Page – Breitbart, uploaded May 21st.

Dubawa performed an image reverse search on a screenshot gotten from the video, limiting the search to periods before the present year, more specifically, from  2005 to 2019. The results from this search took us to a series of other results amongst which we found this 2015 check from Snopes.     

The claim at the time was that the government was going to vaccinate people against thoughts, ideas, and religion. There was no mention of Bill Gates’ name. 

Further, the publication revealed that the video has been in circulation since 2011 but was brought back to prominence by this article in 2015.  In August 2017 the video was even on a Memes website.

Same story, different timeline

In 2018, BITCHUTE posted the video, captioning it, “PENTAGON DOD BRIEFING – VACCINE FROM HELL…” In the same year, Facebook page, Depopulation Proliferation posted the video, saying it was leaked by Joey Lambardi who “was set up on charges and imprisoned.”

We also found other results in 2019 on Twitter; [email protected]_kupp  and [email protected] with both talking about a project called #ProjectFunVax. FunVax is an abbreviation for Fundamentalist Vaccine which is believed to be effective against religious fanatics by reducing religiosity and damaging the ‘God gene’ in individuals.

The God gene is an idea brought to consciousness by Dean Hamer’s, The God Gene: How Faith Is Hardwired into Our Genes.  The God gene hypothesis aims to scientifically explain why religious people behave in the manner they do; it suggests that spirituality is hereditary and it is aided by a gene called  “Vesicular monoamine transporter 2”  which is scientifically called VMAT2.

Making a 2020 comeback, featuring Bill

Similarly from April  2020, results show that this video and the idea it presents, have now resurfaced. This time, however, it bears the Gates’ name; a name that has become a bulls-eye target for peddlers of fake news. The speculation is that he is the scientist presenting the idea in the 4 minutes video to a small audience identified as the CIA. This claim like the others before is false. Reuters Fact-check noted how a clear version of the said video shows it isn’t Bill. Further, an email from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation refuted the connection. Reuters also surmised a connection of the claim to the book by Dr Dean Hamer, suggesting it to be a possible inspiration.

Snopes, which did a recent check on the video, making it a second, revealed that the video was not leaked as against the widely circulated caption. It stated that the video was released to promote a film project, FunVax, from director Ryan Harper that was never completed.

“This is a hoax video that was likely created for an uncompleted film project from director Ryan Harper called “FunVax.”

A picture is more than a thousand words

Another item for scrutiny is the brain scans displayed on the screen during the presentation. The scans have been identified as fake. Metabunk which found the video to be a ‘deliberate hoax’ said, “the most telling thing is that the graphic that supposedly shows “two different individuals” is actually two images of the same brain.” They identified the scans as that of a 43-year-old meth addict, taken from an article in Dec 2010 issue of Neurology. 

The actual image

The images displayed in the video

‘The filmmaker simply took the original scan, added some red and yellow colouring, and then claimed it showed the brain scan of a religious person.’ – Snopes

Conclusion

Findings have singled out some pointers to debunk the claims of the video. For one, the video has been recycled several times between 2011 and  2020, and the publishers never mentioned Bill Gates’ name until the video of May 20, 2020, being fact-checked here. Importantly, reputable sources have identified the video as a deliberate hoax; it was not leaked as we were led to believe, but was released to promote an uncompleted film project. And the final nail in the coffin is the fact that the scans, representing “religious brains” were doctored images taken from a 2010 issue of the American Academy of Neurology.  

Lateef Sanni is a graduate of mass communication from Lagos state university. Before joining Dubawa, he belonged to the association of campus journalists where he was trained on the basics of fact-checking, a tool for combating misinformation in Nigeria. He joined the Dubawa team as a researcher and content developer for Dubawa's social media platforms. He consistently works to improve the dissemination of fact-checks through pictures [fact cards] and videos.

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