The Ebola Conspiracies: Warnings from ‘The Hot Zone’

I first learned about the Ebola virus from the 1994 thriller The Hot Zone. The disease has been around for a while and was contained successfully for over 20 years to the African continent. For reasons that seem to be pulled straight off the pages of that best-selling book, the level of stupidity regarding the containment of the disease over the last couple of months have only fueled the conspiracy theories that a massive desire to depopulate the world with a deadly virus are true. The failure to contain travelers from the hot zone of Africa is the first give-away. Then the failures to stop contact with infected victims in the United States has been the other indicator. There seems to be more to the story than just lackadaisical stupidity on behalf of the government workers at play. Conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones and musical artist Chris Brown have justifiable concerns to their active imaginations. It doesn’t take much to draw conclusions that something is array.


The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story is a best-selling[1] 1994 non-fiction thriller by Richard Preston about the origins and incidents involving viral hemorrhagic fevers, particularly ebola viruses and marburgviruses. The basis of the book was Preston’s 1992 New Yorker article “Crisis in the Hot Zone“.[2]


The filoviruses Ebola virus (EBOV), Sudan virus (SUDV), Marburg virus (MARV), and Ravn virus (RAVV) are Biosafety Level 4 agents. Biosafety Level 4 agents are extremely dangerous to humans because they are very infectious, have a high case-fatality rate, and there are no known prophylactics, treatments, or cures. Along with describing the history of the diseases caused by these two Central African diseases, Ebola virus disease (EVD) and Marburg virus disease (MVD), Preston describes a 1989 incident in which a relative of Ebola virus named Reston virus (RESTV), was discovered at a primate quarantine facility in Reston, Virginia, less than fifteen miles (24 km) away from Washington, DC. The virus found at the facility was a mutated form of the original Ebola virus, and was initially mistaken for Simian Hemorrhagic Fever (SHV). The original Reston facility involved in the incident, located at 1946 Isaac Newton Square, was subsequently torn down sometime between 1995 and 1998.[3]

With the sudden rash of cases dominating the news cycle—eclipsing all other stories including the ISIS debacles, IRS crises, the continued failures of the Obama administration at virtually everything—a bit of panic has ensued into the mainstream leaving MTV to actually discuss the issue. Below is a small article from MTV actually castigating a black artist for reckless comments about an Ebola conspiracy theory. Ironically, this is one of the few times a major progressive network has come out against the type of rhetoric that is coming out from people in the African-American communities like Louis Farrakhan.


“When it comes to updates on his new music, videos or graffiti, Chris Brown is a great source of information. But … if you’re looking for reliable, timely news on the Ebola epidemic, Breezy is not really your guy. See, on Monday (October 13), amid news that a second person in the U.S. had tested positive for the deadly virus after coming into contact with the nation’s first patient, who is now deceased, CB took to Twitter to spout his conspiracy theory on the spread of the disease that has killed thousands in Africa.”

If Chris Brown had sent out a Tweet about the Ferguson riots, MTV would have been all over themselves in support of the celebrity—but on this case, they are oddly critical. This of course points to the kind of conspiracy that is a product of Alex Jones who is often bombastic in his predilections, but often makes some interesting observations that deserve investigation. His belief reflected on the Info Wars website seen below is that this recent outbreak of Ebola is part of a Globalist process conspiracy—meaning that the disease is being deliberately spread through bureaucratic means to depopulate the earth before medicine can possibly react to the danger—as shown in the quotes below.

“The specific object of the Globalist Ebola process conspiracy is here theorized to involve diminishing the linkage, in public consciousness, of Ebola with nationality status. Globalists have huge immigration plans for the U.S., and they do not want Ebola (or any other infectious disease, for that matter) getting in the way of those plans. That is why their Ebola policy protocols—as absurd as they are (discussed shortly)— read the way they do, that is why we have been exposed to a cloud of lies emanating from Dallas and dispersed through the MSM, and that is why Duncan was discharged with antibiotics soon after his first visit to the Emergency Room of Texas Presbyterian.

Because the theory is a process conspiracy theory and therefore rooted in subverted policy, it has application not just to Duncan, but to future Duncan’s as well. The argument proceeds as follows. First, a brief observation concerning risk is offered which, even though obvious, is necessary because without it the argument will make little sense. Second, the CDC’s Ebola Screening and Isolation polices are examined, and, on the basis of the risk observation, shown to be not only wholly inadequate to the task they were allegedly crafted to meet, but quite likely to make the Ebola contagion problem even worse. Third, evidence is provided in support of the idea that the Ebola process conspiracy theory offers a simple, and very plausible explanation, of certain important assertions of fact, and inconsistencies, emanating from Dallas that are otherwise rather difficult to explain. Throughout, the connection to the issue of nationality status will be obvious.”


There are aspects to both conspiracy theories, whether it is a fear that there are forces who want to kill black people with the disease, or a global conspiracy by the elite banks to depopulate the earth so to save it from the thriving masses leaving mankind to begin again under the care and guidance of a rich elite—the stupidity in controlling the disease has supported those fears. But what is not a conspiracy is the reaction that Americans have had toward the disease, a shallow cowering fear that has emitted short of panic as the news coverage has intensified over the last couple of weeks. Any Jihadist terrorist who might desire to kill themselves and many others for Allah is likely already thinking of ways that they can contract the disease and catch a flight to the resort towns of Mexico where incoming customs are lax that detainment is nearly impossible. Mexican tourist towns think of only one primary objective, vacation dollars spent on their economy. They are too short-sighted in those cities to think of the implication of a world-wide Ebola outbreak. From there it is easy to walk across the American border to attend a college party or dance club at a nearby city. Two weeks infected and dripping with a feverish sweat, the terrorist could contaminant thousands of people in a single evening that would then infect many thousands more in the ensuing weeks. If someone wanted to create terror against the most successful capitalist country in the world, Ebola would be the way to do it, especially given the reaction to the few incidents already popping up in North America. Given the ease for which it was spread and the incompetence of the government to contain it the only logical conclusion would be conspiracy.

The reason that the 1994 book The Hot Zone was such a terrifying best seller is due to the theoretical proximity it has to reality through either incompetence or conspiracy. Either way, we are vulnerable to the grim realities of a devastating disease and must take caution. Part of that caution is in knowing how to avoid it. The second part is in taking action to replace the type of people who have shown such gross incompetence at their government positions to allow for Ebola to migrate from Africa to America either by purposeful design or sheer stupidity. Those responsible need to be removed from positions of decision-making so that proper managers can take their place with a level of competence that necessitates the performance expectations that Americans have in living free of such deadly diseases as those spawned in West Africa.


The conspiracies spawned off of this latest Ebola scare are rooted in incompetency—they are born when people suspect that they aren’t being given all the facts of the matter leaving their imaginations to fill the gaps. It is not they who are at fault—it is not Chris Brown or Alex Jones who are the nut cases in advocating conspiracies when it comes to Ebola. It is the idiots who let it leave West Africa for destinations on the continent of North America. The warnings were there from the start, but obviously those in charge had forgotten the warnings given in The Hot Zone. Now—it’s too late. Ebola has gone from a scare to a grim reality that is now non-fiction and beyond speculation.

Rich Hoffman