Following the Séance

20 December 2020

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

by Freddie Attenborough

10 Downing Street
London SW1A 2AA

24 December 2022

I am writing to you to update you on the steps we are taking to combat coronavirus. In just a few years, everyday life has changed dramatically. We all feel the profound impact of coronavirus not just on ourselves, but on our loved ones and our communities.

I understand completely the difficulties that lockdown has caused to your lives, businesses and jobs.
I also recognise that many of you will be concerned by the Tier 17 restrictions that my Government has today announced. Let me assure you that the actions we are taking are absolutely necessary, for one simple reason.

If too many people think at one time, the resources of the state will be distracted from the war on coronavirus. This will cost lives. We must slow the spread of information likely to generate cognition in order to save as many lives as possible.

That is why we are giving one simple instruction – from today you must distance yourself from thoughts.

You should not engage in intellectual discussion with either of the disease vectors you have been caged with since the Tier 14 mass urban evacuations. You may only think for very limited purposes such as articulating the words ‘Thank you NHS,’ completing compulsory liquidation forms for any insolvent businesses you may once have owned or confirming that you agree to the state being granted power of attorney over your upper respiratory tract.

If you do have to think, you should ensure, wherever possible, that your head is down a lavatory and that the chain is flushed at regular intervals. This will help us prevent the spread of thoughts.

These rules must be observed. So, if people break the rules, the police will issue on-the-spot injections of propofol. Portable electroencephalograms will also be used to identify disease vectors displaying unacceptable levels of brain activity.

The enclosed Q&A leaflet (below) sets out more detail about why we are taking this step. You can also find the latest advice at

From the start, we have sought to put in the right measures at the right time. We will not hesitate to introduce mass screenings to identify those whose inability to obey the rules suggests they might benefit from a lobotomy if that is what the séance tells us we must do.

Thousands of celebrities, senior managers and civil servants have already vowed to continue their longstanding efforts to lower the UK’s overall cognitive footprint. It is with this spirit that we will beat coronavirus and we will beat it together.

That is why, at this moment of national emergency, I urge all cerebellums in the UK, please, to stay at rest, protect the NHS and save lives.

Boris Johnson

Q. The government always makes the right decisions, of course. But how?

A. During a pandemic response, it is imperative that the public is confident the government has based its decisions on a representative range of the most up-to-date and contextually relevant advice. In relation to the Government’s decision to introduce a system of thought distancing, the Spiritualist Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has been providing ministers and officials with supernatural advice from beyond the grave.

This has been gathered either directly during the course of prolonged bouts of lucid dreaming, or indirectly via spirit mediums and the inscriptions created by the planchette on the SAGE committee’s Ouija board. Nonetheless, in fast moving situations, transparency needs to be at the heart of what the government does. If the Government decides, as it has indeed decided, that we need to introduce a system of thought distancing, it is important for the public to be able to recognise that we are simply following the séance.

Q. The Government has obviously been forced into making this decision – but by whom?

A. Thoughts emitted by lockdown sceptics are putting your lives at risk. They are putting the lives of your children and grandchildren at risk. Worse, they are harming the NHS. That is why the Government is introducing a cognitive ‘circuit breaker.’

Q. How long has the government known that sceptical thoughts posed significant risk to the public?

A. In early March 2020, a fixed gas detection alarm system was activated during CO2 emissions tests at the Vehicle Emissions Laboratories (VELA) in Italy. Data readouts indicated an accumulation of unknown gas(es) (+2,600ppm) and an alarming flash temperature rise of 123.3°C (± 0.4°C). On subsequent work-up of samples, Carr, Kobayashi and Burrows correlations suggested a gaseous mixture with low viscosity and high flow (or ‘diffusion’) rate, yet multi-column cryogenic distillation revealed only standard components of dry atmospheric air.

Gas chromatography tests with greater specificity were then undertaken, identifying an unknown analyte peak at low concentration. Mass spectroscopic intensity plots were performed, tracing isotopic signatures for oxygen (20%), nitrogen (76%) and carbon dioxide (1%). The remaining 3% comprised a gaseous mixture of subversive, anti-lockdown thoughts (1.4%) and libertarian ideas (1.6%). An internal investigation was launched. Under transcranial magnetic stimulation and recall-recovery functional MRI interrogation, a lab technician confessed to having emitted these thoughts. He was sacked.

Details of the incident caused alarm when reported to the World Health Organization’s Global Outbreak and Response Network. If thoughts emitted by lockdown sceptics were in some as yet unknown way causing extreme thermal radiation events, quick and decisive action would be needed to avert a public health crisis.

At a time when national lockdown measures had just been implemented in the UK and our healthcare systems were at breaking point, the possibility of lockdown critics spontaneously emitting sudden, intense bursts of volatile, high-temperature gases in crowded supermarkets or petrol forecourts, dominated discussions at COBRA meetings during the Spring and Summer of 2020. Research groups rushed to gather air samples from around the UK. Anti-lockdown sentiments, thoughts and ideas with isotopic masses in the range 12-14 on the 12C scale were present within 64.3% of samples (relative abundance of these isotopes in each sample = 1.2%-8.9%). Reverse Linguistase Assay techniques were then deployed to re-engineer the grammatical structure of these isotopes. Sadly, all irrational, socially maladjusted emissions recovered in this way are unprintable. Indeed, to reveal their specifics would be to risk inducing copycat cognition in other, at present perfectly sensible, citizens.

Q. Why are sceptical thoughts emitted at such high temperatures?

A. Conversion of subversive anti-lockdown literature into high energy cognitive emissions involves a relatively simple (albeit hitherto unknown) process of energy transfer. As the First Law of Thermodynamics makes clear, in our universe energy is neither created nor destroyed but only ever released from one state to another. It follows, therefore, that as dangerously sceptical literature is fed into the human brain it releases energy far in excess of that needed to stimulate neurotransmitters. Surplus energy is then emitted back into the environment in the form of overheated proto-ideas, possible thoughts and societally disruptive concepts.

Brain signal datasets from the field of neuroscience support this thesis. During a recent laboratory trial, for instance, lockdown sceptics had electrodes surgically implanted into their cortexes. Grid and strip electrodes (which recorded electrocorticographic signals from the cortical surface) and depth electrodes (which penetrate the cortex to record field potentials from deep brain structures), were activated as participants read anti-lockdown propaganda. Electrocorticographic recordings from those electrodes captured the process of electrochemical diffusion via which energy held within the propaganda surged into a participant’s body and then up into the cerebral cortex and cerebellum before partially suffusing the temporal and parietal lobes.

In 87% of participants, pre-determined biomarkers in cerebral spinal fluids also showed dramatic, instantaneous change. Increased rate and rhythm of neuronal oscillations (x4.3 above baseline) was recorded in 73% of participants, strongly indicating high energy transfer from propaganda to neurons. In 67% of participants, neurotransmitters were also captured firing chemical signals across synapses at an accelerated rate (x6.4 above baseline).

Q. Are sensible, pro-lockdown citizens inadvertently contributing to global cognitive warming?

A. Thankfully not. Covert mass screening was conducted during Autumn 2020 to determine the extent to which particulates released by sensible citizens might also be contributing to brain-to-society heat convection. Cognitive emissions captured during sampling were found to have experienced cranial release within a much lower temperature range (12-15°C). As a result, only minimal residual and localised heat transfer was observed. Reverse Linguistase assay techniques were again deployed to re-engineer the grammatical structured of these isotopes. Sensible, grown-up emissions of the type we would all like to see more of included:

Isn’t that Matt Hancock dishy? (Newcastle, 03.06.20. Peak recorded temperature = 11.5°C).

Why can’t the government just lock us all up and throw away the key – I won’t feel safe until they have, you know. (BBC Newsdesk, 15.05.20. Peak recorded temperature = 11.9°C).

I’d be killing people if I tried to get into the refuge during a pandemic. Selfish of me to even consider it. Besides, he’s only broken my nose this time. (Northampton, 28.08.20. Peak recorded temperature = 13.2°C).

No, I actually think the tumour’s gone down a bit today – in any case, I shouldn’t be bothering the NHS. They’re way too busy. Thank you, NHS! (Portsmouth, 09.07.20. Peak recorded temperature = 11.2°C).

Emissions produced by sensible, pro-lockdown citizens are structurally similar to the inert, stolid and extremely unreactive noble gases located in Group 18 of the Periodic Table. Indeed, it is precisely because they exhibit such properties that the government was so quickly able to develop a nationwide, fully integrated system for their sustainable, environmentally friendly recycling back into society.

A capillary like network of underground convective thought pipelines now transfers lukewarm thoughts leftover at the end of Momentum branch meetings straight into the air-conditioned studios used by the BBC’s Newsnight team; some of Meghan Markle’s most impressive Instagram posts contain up to 50% recycled residue from conversations left smeared onto playground equipment after lunchbreak at primary schools up and down the UK; and via a simple process of diffusion of ideas from areas of high to low concentration, you will often find that the route Sir Keir Starmer takes into the House of Commons every day is as free from cognitive clutter as anywhere in the country.

Q. Phew. I’m glad to know I’m doing my bit! But hang on… I still don’t understand. How come the emissions generated by sceptics are so hot?

A. Nuclear physicists studying the thermal radiation patterns of sceptical cognitive emissions have discovered that when Facts gathered by UK government scientific advisors are fed into a lockdown sceptic’s brain, a micro-form of nuclear fission occurs. In situations where the human cerebellum splits (or in everyday parlance, ‘pulls apart’), something which should never, ever, be split – such as, in this case, a governmentally endorsed scientific Fact – creates disproportionately large amounts of futile, ignorant, socially destructive excessive energy. It is via this process of cognitive fission that a human brain with a standing temperature of just 36.9 ± 0.4°C can propel anti-lockdown thoughts and ideas from the cranium at temperatures in the range 176.9 ± 0.4°C – 497.5 ± 0.7°C.

Q. How and why do these thoughts constitute a public health hazard?

A. There are three interrelated issues to consider here.

The first is the half-life (t1⁄2) of a sceptical thought. On average it takes 43.2 days for the temperature of such an emission to reduce by half from peak recorded temperature (i.e. immediate cranial expulsion temperature, or ICET). That means that a free-floating subversive thought with an ICET of 200°C will be capable of causing second-or third degree burns to unsuspecting members of the public six-weeks later (or ICET t+42).

The second issue is the resilience of a sceptical thought.Unlike safe, Noble emissions, dangerous anti-lockdown thoughts are capable of clinging to surfaces for long periods of time.Initial experiments with gas absorbent self-adhesive membranes stuck to furniture in the bedsits, hovels and hostels inhabited by sceptics (n=34) revealed 94-96% adsorption rates to old UKIP posters, Make America Great Again peaked caps, military paraphernalia and white-supremacist literature (e.g. Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom, Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, etc).Outside the home, and despite the presence of natural dispersal mechanisms (e.g. atmospheric pressure), subversive thoughts continued to exhibit high adherence levels (64-74%), creating a film of toxicity across most public surfaces (metals, plastics, grass, concrete, etc).

The third issue is that lockdown sceptics are known to act as ‘super-spreaders;’ selfishly disseminating their ideas across large distances, and, in the process, putting the health of all sensible members of their local community at risk. One recent study tracked a lockdown sceptic from the air for 48 hours via a drone equipped with thermal-heat imaging technology. Adsorption rates within a 0-300 metre radius of this mobile vector were in the 82-91% range, showing no distance decay effect even at the 250-300 metre range. Follow-up studies that tracked groups of lockdown sceptics across a similar time period found that their average Ro, or Radiation number, was 12.3 (where Ro equates to the expected number of heat-related injuries potentially generated by one sceptic in a population where all individuals may be susceptible).

Q. What are the public health implications of leaving these thoughts unchecked?

A. Mathematical modelling recently undertaken by researchers at Imperial College, London suggests that in a scenario where no action was taken to limit these extreme thermal radiation events, there would be a 100% chance that within three months the government would be faced with:

  • 4,000 deaths per day from spontaneous combustion.
  • 15,000 Intensive Care Unit and Critical Care Unit hospitalisations with severe heat stroke per day.
  • 8,000 regular hospitalisations from second- and third-degree burns per day.
  • 1,500 extra cases of minor-burns reporting to primary care facilities every hour of every day.

These figures would then double every seven days thereafter.

Q. How will I know which types of culture are safe to use?

A. The Government’s scientific advisors are currently calculating a ‘cognitive risk rating’ for every piece of culture produced in the UK since 1800. Libraries, archives, museums, coffee shops, and any other form of meeting point likely to stimulate general discussion and debate will remain closed until these tests have been completed.

Q. When will they open again?

A. We currently have no expected completion date for these tests.

Q. That’s great. Thanks for keeping us all so safe. Sorry, you were saying?

A. In order to calculate a cultural artefact’s ‘cognitive risk rating’ scientists place it inside a sealed container, surrounded by water, and then heat it until all cognitive content is completely burned off. Any rise in water temperature is then recorded to determine that particular artefact’s intellectual content. The higher the temperature, the higher the likely proportion of sceptical/subversive content it contains.

Where food scientists measure food energy in ‘calories,’ we propose the ‘Ferguson (Fg)’ as the UK’s new measure for cultural energy. For conversion purposes, 1 Ferguson is equivalent to 15 Celsius. To put this into perspective, the cognitive risk rating for a sensible TV show like Good Morning Britain, has recently been calculated at 0.8 Fgs p/hr watched. In the sphere of products purveying or likely to purvey subversive thoughts, cognitive risk ratings tend to exist within the range 30-50 Fgs p/1,000 words consumed.

Q. So does this mean you’re going to be banning sceptical literature, then?

A. We are not proposing to ban any cultural products. The UK is, after all, a liberal democracy. Sensible products that are shown to generate sensible thoughts at sensible temperatures (i.e., below 1.33Fgs (20°C)) will remain classified, for now, as cultural products. On the other hand, products that are found to generate thoughts at temperatures above 1.33Fgs (i.e. 20°C) will be reclassified as ‘combustible materials,’ as that term is defined within The Building (Amendment) Regulations Act of 2018. As such, their production, distribution and usage will be subject to the same terms and conditions as those imposed upon ‘combustible materials’ within The Building (Amendment) Regulations Act of 2018.

Q. And what are those terms and conditions?

A. The Building (Amendment) Regulations Act of 2018 states that the use of combustible materials in the UK is now prohibited.

Q. Isn’t this a bit rough on the publishing industry?

A. The government is committed to assisting the UK publishing industry as it transitions to new and exciting modes of socially responsible knowledge dissemination. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is soon to publish details of the Government’s new Towards a Risk-Assessed Culture recycling initiative. A key action-point therein is for all dangerously suggestive books, magazines, newspapers (etc.) currently held on publishers’ inventories to be purchased by the Government at full retail price and then stored in dry warehouses preparatory to their use during bonfire night celebrations up and down the country as and when we are able to lift lockdown restrictions.

Q. But this still affords us too much freedom and personal responsibility. Can’t you make it easier for us to do the right thing?

A. To help drive down cognitive emissions, micro doses of pentobarbital and thiopental are to be added to the nation’s water supply in order to reduce the metabolic rate of brain tissue and the cerebral blood flow. This will help us to keep each other safe. Remember: Careless thoughts cost lives.

The government has also made a clear commitment to invest in applied brain hyperthermia research. We know already that brain hyperthermia has a key therapeutic role in selected clinical conditions, including anoxic brain injury due to cardiac arrest, and hypoxic ischemic neonatal encephalopathy. Roll-out of experimental research programmes designed to assess its ability to extinguish sudden outbreaks of radicality in our communities will begin during Winter 2023. Discussions with our key stakeholder in this project, the National Grid, are currently ongoing.

Q. In the meantime, is there any way we can unthinkingly police the moral order on the government’s behalf?

A. All sensible citizens will be issued with portable electroencephalography machines designed to monitor neighbours suspected of breaking thought distancing guidelines. Remember: If your neighbours have nothing to think, then they will have nothing to hide.

Q. When will thought distancing no longer be required?

A. When we have won the war on coronavirus.

Q. When will you have won the war on coronavirus?

A. When thought distancing is no longer required.

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