I live in a sweet town with nice coffee shops. Amherst, Massachusetts. The people are laid back, the traffic really light. We have these pear scones with just the right texture, you won’t forget them. I don’t have anything to complain about. However, the town is named after a pretty unsavory character. Jeffrey Amherst was a commander in the British Army in 1758. He is remembered for this quote from a letter to Colonel Henry Bouquet: “Could it not be contrived to send the small pox among those disaffected tribes of Indians? We must on this occasion use every stratagem in our power to reduce them.” It’s not the only quote. He has several letters advocating biological warfare against Indigenous peoples. British Marines did the same thing in Australia.
What a nefarious group, those who use diseases to attack people. I would add those who weaponize bad medicine, too. Poison and medicine are different degrees of the same quality, just as degrees on a thermometer are measuring levels of the same thing. Where is the degree that is warm? 55? 65? These things are rarely clear. When does too much medicine become poison? Bad medicine is peddled all the time, and the opioid epidemic is one example of mainstream healthcare selling us poison. The motive is always profiteering. I would include the Martin Shkreli’s of the world in this group; he’s the guy who raised the price of an HIV med from $13.50 to $750 per pill overnight. If you can’t outright poison people, maybe you can get rich controlling the medicine, right?
For some reason, men have spent long hours contriving ways to advance their interests by using the nastiest tactics they can possibly come up with. This is a story about such people, though we aren’t sure of the perpetrators. One of the largest FBI investigations ever, it was a crime that is considered the most consequential in U.S. history: the 2001 anthrax attacks.
In 1941, the British experimented with this bacteria on an island off the coast of Scotland, killing lots of sheep in the process. It drifted through the air to the mainland and it was a big mess, of course. The island was finally hospitable again in 1990, only 49 years later. Talk about old tricks; who still thinks this behavior is a good idea? I’m so tired of these old white guys, why am I writing about them?
On September 18, 2001 someone mailed envelopes of anthrax powder to two senators and to some offices of the major press. Five people died, seventeen were injured. Many more were in a state of panic (the twin tower attacks were only a couple of weeks prior). Because the letters said “Death to America” with a reference to Allah, a lot of blame was directed at people from the Middle East with no other evidence at all. Interestingly, this period was during a Saturn Pluto opposition, so issues similar to the current panic of 2020 were certainly in the air at the time (or in the heavens and mirrored on the Earth). Profound changes, control, constriction, corridors of power, etc.
However, the FBI announced in February of 2010 that a man named Bruce Ivins was responsible. He was the lead scientist in charge of producing an anthrax vaccine, and he had worked daily with the substance for over twenty years. He was truly a person who would benefit from a panic over an outbreak. The strain from the mailed envelopes had been traced to his lab. He had a documented history of aggression, stalking, instability and paranoid behavior. He had strange obsessions with women. He seemed to involve himself repeatedly in anonymous vendettas. This, however, doesn’t automatically make him guilty of the anthrax attacks, but after years of public blame and relentless federal investigation, he took his own life.
Later, an outside study by the National Academy of Sciences determined that the FBI’s science was faulty and the strain could have come from elsewhere. Science seemed wrong yet again. It was not genetically one of a kind as the FBI maintained. The “smoking gun” of that flask in Ivins’ office may not have even been the murder weapon.
I don’t recommend using astrology to solve crimes, but it sure is tempting! I requested a copy of Ivins’ birth certificate and it came in the mail, but alas it showed no time of birth. I took a look at his chart even without the birth time and in an hour I was astounded. So many concerning qualities are present.
To begin, his Mars is placed in the sign of Cancer. Not terrible, but this brings reckless endangerment at certain times in the life, and it is not to be ignored. In keeping with the mystery of the investigation, though, I noticed that by 2:32 pm that day Mars had moved into Leo. So already we have one important question mark. It was now about a fifty/fifty chance for that placement. It could be recklessness or it could be more in the style of a protecting warrior Mars if he had been born later in the day. In the Vedic chart, though, Mars is firmly in Cancer all day, joined with nearby Pluto. Ouch. Already I was seeing aggressive control in a style that is overly nurturing, perhaps even medicinal. Like a mad doctor. And a signification of a guy who just can’t let go. Next, Mars and Pluto are both about 90º from his Sun. This is a recipe for abuse; getting abused as well as violating other people. Okay, not good so far.
But his Venus is in Taurus which is highly auspicious; this is the playground of great cooks and foodies of all kinds, and people who love the arts and they can be highly charismatic. It could also be interpreted as the blessings of creative sciences. This could be the trait of a real healing personality.
Then I looked at the fixed stars. Without going into numerous paragraphs I will simply list a few of the indications I found. Stella Mira, Sheratan, Wasat, Al Na’ir al Zaurak. This didn’t look good. His Pluto and Mars are both in a nebulous cluster called the Aselli, a place known for violent catastrophe. These descriptions for the fixed stars go back many centuries. For key locations in Ivins’ chart (with very tight orbital conjunctions) we find: calamity, fiascos, melancholia, chemicals, danger, bodily injury, disgrace, treachery, ruin, ruthlessness, mental disturbance, great change in society, imprisonment, poisons, destruction, and prominent public affairs. I was a bit stunned.
I have to say though, this still does not make him guilty. It can mean that these things might be visited on the person as well as emanating from the person. And it’s true. He had found out as a young man that his own mother tried to abort her pregnancy with him by throwing herself down the stairs multiple times. She and the father had a notoriously abusive relationship and the mother was especially violent toward all three kids according to Ivins’ own brother. Bruce would clearly grow up with the difficulties of having seen himself as an unwanted child. And whether he was guilty or not, he was hounded to death by the abuse of a relentless FBI investigation and overt public suspicion. This chart could also indicate he might become a patsy; a convenient scapegoat that was tricked, then used to distract us all from the real criminals. So we’re deep into mystery again, without a lot of conclusions.
By getting a Phd in microbiology, Ivins was on the right track karma-wise. He was learning to focus his fated association with poisons and toxic energy into something positive by researching antidotes to illness, but we all know this is a path fraught with deception and opportunism. Tuskegee, opioids, and Vioxx are just a few of our famous pharma quagmires; criminal acts done by wealthy companies and by people like the Shkrelis and the Amhersts of the world.
Ivins’ corporate ties, combined with a history of aggressive attacks often done with an anonymous quality, make him appear guilty. Some things never change. Pharmaceutical companies now control our major news outlets through their advertising dollars and they have a bigger influence in Washington than even the NRA. They advertise drugs without ceasing, to convince us we cannot be healthy without a pharmaceutical solution. If the two flu shots you got last year didn’t work, they will suggest you try three next time.
Ivins’ co-workers and his family maintained his innocence through it all, and I might agree. He threatened to poison a woman who left his lab to go to medical school, but he didn’t do it. He told his therapist he wanted to go out in a blaze of gunfire and shoot up his workplace, but he didn’t do that either. If he was a real killer I think he would have carried that all to fruition.
But my questions became more like this one: why was he not even a suspect until 5 years after the attack? The lead scientist on a vaccine that was losing support, and suddenly with the anthrax attacks his project is green-lighted to the tune of 877 million dollars (the first contract for something called BioShield). He owned two patents on the vaccine. In what world would this not be seen as a possible motive?
Another question: what were the two senators under attack doing at the time? Tom Daschle was vocally opposed to war with Iraq, and Patrick Leahy was the chairman of the Judiciary Committee and he was famously asking everyone to slow down on the Patriot Act. He wanted to give lawmakers time to actually read the 356-page document before committing to a vote. The smell of sulfur is all over that part of the story. But again, to make things even more complex, Tom Daschle had openly questioned the effectiveness of the anthrax vaccine and had objected to punishing US troops who refused to get the vaccination. I don’t have an answer to this riddle, but maybe we will know more someday. My gut says Ivins was involved in the attacks (which had more than one aim), and that he didn’t act alone.
As I looked over the chart of Bruce Ivins one last time I checked the sky on the day the letters were actually mailed, Sept. 18, 2001. An exalted Mars joined with Ketu, in Capricorn, is already an indication for poison and in his chart they were 90º to both his Mercury and his Neptune. Saturn was in the exact location of his natal Uranus within 3 minutes. Uranus itself was 90º his natal Venus by 1 minute. Wow. I have to say, a time of trial and aggression, combining with possible nervous breakdown as Uranus moved in to overdose his Venus, the marker of one of his few blessings in life. All that was left of Bruce at that point may have been the mad doctor.
This is a lot for anyone to think about, and an astrologer can never get enough of over-thinking, am I right? So I went back to a sweet coffee shop to continue mulling it over. This topic took me one and a half scones to come to some conclusions. Can we ever know what happened? Maybe. It might take a courageous soul to step forward and suffer the onslaught of derision, to run the gauntlet of today’s emotion-motivated press. It reminds us that in times of great change, when people are afraid, and we see infections flaring and medicines being pushed through at warp speed, you really have to take a pause and think about what’s happening. Real risk and perceived risk are two different things. The virus is real and now it is a race to see who makes the profit. Will the coronavirus be weaponized or will a so-called cure be weaponized to control the masses? Will we be marched in line to a forced injection that serves the wish for a magic remedy? I’m not saying the virus was created on purpose. But we do have to look hard at things on the horizon like gene-editing therapy for humans and other highly dubious ideas. I suggest it’s the same lineage up to their old tricks. The Mongols used to toss plague ridden corpses over the walls into the cities they were invading and ancient Romans used to dip the tips of their arrows into feces to spread tetanus. Not so long ago, really. Same old, same old. Have a nice day, everybody!