The Many Enterprises of Dolores Cahill

“Asymptomatic people do not exist. They are healthy people […] if everybody just stopped wearing masks, this would be over […] The reason that globalists support masks is that oxygen-deprived people are easy to manipulate” — Prof Dolores Cahill speaking on St Patrick’s Day 2021 in Dublin.

“Dolores is an Inventor, Founder and Shareholder of Companies” — Introduction to Dolores Cahill website.

Professor Dolores Cahill is something of a celebrity on the Covid-denialist circuit. In addition to downplaying the seriousness of the virus, she has claimed that a Covid-19 vaccine would make people sick, has advised against wearing masks and has opposed lockdowns, insinuating that the pandemic and ensuing public health measures are part of some ‘globalist’ conspiracy. As well as being chair of the far-right Irish Freedom Party, Prof Cahill appears associated with Health Freedom Ireland the group which last year partnered with Yellow Vest Ireland in organising ‘anti-lockdown’ events in 2020. Health Freedom Ireland is, according to a report on the Irish Times is ‘led by Maeve Murran, a “kinesiologist” and anti-vaccination campaigner, and Kelly Johnson, a homeopath who has claimed vaccines can cause autism.’

Cahill was one of the main speakers at a joint Health Freedom Ireland/Yellow Vest anti mask event at the Customs House in Dublin on August 22nd which saw masked men armed with weapons attack a small anti-racist counter demonstration.

Cahill’s status as a professor at UCD and a former researcher with the respected Max Planck Institute in Germany has given her a veneer of credibility, not only in Ireland but also in Germany, the UK and the US. Such is her reach that German public service broadcaster ARD has subjected her claims to a dedicated ‘fact-check’.

During the past year, in addition to a hectic schedule of speeches and interviews, Cahill has founded or co-founded a range of organisations, including The World Doctors’ Alliance and allied World Freedom Alliance, the ‘Freedom Airway and Freedom Travel Alliance’ and the Custodean Project.

Claims by the World Doctors Alliance have been regularly shown to false, including the claims that COVID19 was ‘no worse that the flu’

Both Freedom Airways — which goes by the acronym FAFTA, and appears to be based in the US — and the Custodean Project are membership-based, with individual annual membership for each coming in at $100 (FAFTA) or €100 (Custodean Project). FAFTA also has enhanced membership schemes at $200 and $500 per annum.

Membership of FAFTA will bring “you into the effort to assure that your family’s natural health rights while traveling are protected from injurious regulation and discriminatory policy”. At the time of writing, FAFTA was also “looking for 5 ANGEL SHARE Investors to partner with and support our 5 founders in 3 countries on 2 continents”, and was planning to issue ‘Faftacoins’ to members which, presumably, would be redeemable against flights. The organisation apparently works (or will work) with external providers to service its members. In March, the FAFTA website advertised a Spring trip to Ireland with the words “Ready to celebrate Freedom & Saint Patrick’s Day in Ireland? Nothing is more Irish than this trip hosting by our very own Freedom Fighter, Dr. Dolores Cahill!”. It is unclear whether the trip took place, and if so whether those travelling attended the St Patrick’s Day event at Cahill’s castle currently being investigated by Gardai.

Membership of Custodean, billed as an independent cultural project dedicated to promoting heritage, starts at €100 per annum., and there is also a ‘family/business membership’ (cost unknown) programme.

Both Custodean and FAFTA come under the heading of political entrepreneurship: enterprises which are intended to be self-funding (and possibly profitable?) and are also focused on driving a far-right political agenda.

Dolores Cahill is no stranger to entrepreneurship, although her previous ventures have been more conventional.

Cahill and Big Pharma

Cahill has been interviewed by American anti-vaxxer and conspiracy theorist Del Bigtree, who claims that governments are engaged in vast conspiracy to hide the truth about vaccines and in 2019 produced a widely shared video entitled Vaccines: Big Pharma’s Cash Cow. In June, in a video interview with Breitbart’s London editor James Delingpole which has since been removed by Youtube and Vimeo, Cahill is reported to have said with regard to Covid, that “Evidence is being cherry-picked in order to reach a predetermined goal: a money-making vaccine. The existing prevention and treatment methods don’t make money for Big Pharma”

Bigtree, Delingpole and her other followers around the world might be surprised to learn that Professor Cahill is not only well-connected with the pharmaceutical establishment — but would also appear to have derived considerable profits from it.

· In 1996, Prof Cahill co-founded Protagen AG in Dortmund as a spin-out from the Max Planck Institute to — in her own words — “commercialise her diagnostic, companion diagnostic and personalised medicine applications of her discoveries”. On her website, Prof Cahill goes on to note that Protagen has screened and profiled the autoantibody repertoire of over 20,000 patients. She continued to be a shareholder in the company prior to its sale in 2019. At the time of the sale, Protagen had generated revenue of £1.7 million in the previous three years (2016–2018).

· In 2012, Protagen sold its protein analytical business unit to one of Germany’s largest family-owned venture capital funds, ZFHN Heilbronn.

· In 2014, Protagen Protein Services (PPS) GmbH, in which Prof Cahill was also a shareholder and which she describes as “providing contract services to healthcare sector & pharmaceutical industry”, announced that it had merged with PANATecs GmbH. In their company blurb, Protagen notes that, in 2008, “Panatecs GmbH rescued a Big Pharma block buster market authorization by its innovative protein analytical approach”.

· In 2016, Protagen announced a collaboration with Novartis AG, a major Swiss-based multinational pharmaceuticals company which also has operations in Dublin and Cork. In June 2020, Novartis signed a strategic partnership agreement with the Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Massachusetts General Hospitals to produce a Covid-19 Vaccine candidate.

· In 2019, Protagen was sold to Oncimmune (a leading pharmaceutical in the field of cancer detection) for £4.1 million paid by way of shares in Oncimmune. Anyone who held a stake in Protagen at the time of the sale would have received shares (proportionate to their stakeholding) at a 71 percent premium (that is, 71 percent above the value of shares that Oncimmune was trading at the time of the sale).

Thus, Prof Cahill not only co-founded a company that earned money by servicing pharmaceuticals. She then sold the company to a pharmaceutical company and became a shareholder in that company, proportionate to her original holding in Protagen AG.

As a political actor, availing of her academic credentials, Prof Cahill is making a name for herself as a Covid-denialist and anti-vaxxer, with an implicit agenda against the pharmaceutical establishment. As an academic, she has — as she says herself — commercialised her expertise to reap significant financial benefit from the same pharmaceutical establishment.

Investing her profits: A castle for Custodeans

In January 2020, White Castle in Athy was sold for €435,000 to Dolores Cahill and a partner. As part of the July Jobs Stimulus Package, a conservation grant of €14,883 was subsequently announced in respect of the castle.

Festival of the Butterfly event

In August, Cahill used White Castle to host a ‘Festival of the Butterfly’ which also served as the launch of the Custodean project, billed as an independent cultural project dedicated to promoting Irish heritage. Cahill subsequently outlined the thinking behind the project in a speech in Berlin on 10 October, stating that “In Ireland and across the world, we are setting up a new Custodean Movement, custodians of our health, our heritage and our freedom” — a statement which encapsulates the intersections between Covid-denialism and elements of far-right ideology.

Custodean Food and Health Event Oct 3rd 2020 in White Castle

The first meeting of the Custodean project was held in White Castle on 3 October and focused on ‘Food and Health’. The event was held in an apparently unrestored part of the castle, and videos capture an alternative, esoteric vibe. By the end of 2020, however, the project appeared to have run into the sand: the Custodean website had been taken down and Custodean documents, such as templates relating to mask wearing and the like, were hosted on an otherwise inactive Gab account.

Custodean profile picture on Gab platform

Gab, a Twitter-like platform favored by the far right, made news earlier this year following a series of online hacks. In a report by The Guardian earlier this month the alt-tech platform was described by researcher and journalist Jason Wilson as ‘a forum of last resort for extremists and conspiracy theorists who have been banned on other online platforms. It attained worldwide notoriety in 2018 when a user, Robert Bowers, wrote on the site that he was “going in”, shortly before allegedly entering the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and killing 11 people.’

As of March 2021, the Custodean website is live again — but the alternative feel of Custodean events in the summer and autumn of 2020, with their focus on wellness and ‘back to nature’, has been jettisoned in favour of a slick presentation explicitly targeted at the (small) business community. At the same time, the focus is no longer solely on Irish heritage, but on “sharing resources to protect the heritage, health and future of all nations”.

Membership of Custodean starts at €100 p.a., and there is also a ‘family/business membership’ programme which, among other benefits, offers an “advert in the Membership Directory: delivering you new business connections with the Freedom loving Custodean Members”.

Continuing with the business theme, on April 1st a Custodean event is scheduled to “provide the knowledge Irish Business Families need to prosper in the face of Globalist enforced tyranny”; the event will include a section on ‘deprogramming’ and catering will be provided by an ‘Irish Michelin-starred chef’.

It is unclear whether Cahill’s pharmaceutical profits are being used to fund projects such as FAFTA and Custodian, or whether they will themselves prove to be money-making ventures for the enterprising professor.

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