Debunked claim of conspiracy to depopulate Africa resurfaces

Claims by a discredited American on a conspiracy theorist panel continue to circulate in WhatsApp spaces in 2023

In early February 2023, Namibia Fact Check was forwarded a Tik-Tok video clip via WhatsApp titled “Shocking! Listen to What this Man is Saying”. 

It is an old two-minute video clip from 2019 of an American “Dr” making claims about the existence of a conspiracy to depopulate the world, starting with the African continent, that has US software billionaire Bill Gates as the mastermind. 

The speaker in the video clip is identified as Dr Robert O. Young and the panel or platform on which he made the claims was called the “ITNJ Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Weaponisation of the Biosphere”. The ITNJ stands for ‘International Tribunal for Natural Justice’, which was established in 2015 “by a treaty signed by thousands of living souls across the globe”. It further claims to be “a law court and jurisdiction founded on the principles of Natural Justice, committed to the restoration of the rule of law”.

However, the ITNJ is considered a gathering of conspiracy theorists, that during the Covid-19 pandemic promoted the conspiracy theory that 5G telecommunications technology rollout played a role in the Covid-19 pandemic.   

Screenshot of the ITNJ video clip that has been forwarded in Namibian WhatsApp spaces in early 2023.

Regarding Bill Gates and the conspiracy to depopulate Africa, in the video clip Robert O. Young clearly states:

“For the purpose of sterilisation and population control, there are too many people on the planet we need to get rid of. In the words of Bill Gates, three billion people need to die. So we’ll just start off in Africa. We’ll start doing our research there and we’ll eliminate most of the Africans because they are deplorable, they are worthless.” 

The event at which Robert O. Young’s comments were recorded, the “ITNJ Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Weaponisation of the Biosphere”, was held on the Indonesian island of Bali in June 2019. 

Even though these claims and events preceded the Covid-19 pandemic, they were virally shared and amplified on social media in early 2021, around the time of the global roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccines. The video clip became popular within anti-vaccine and Covid-19 conspiracy theory circles and groups on various social media platforms.

The same video clip was also being forwarded and shared around in Namibian social media spaces during the first half of 2021, as the country was emerging from consecutive devastating Covid-19 waves and as the Covid-19 vaccine rollout got underway in the country.   

According to online reports, Robert O. Young is a natural health practitioner who was convicted and sentenced to prison in 2016 for practicing without a medical license in the US. 

For some of the numerous debunks of the video clip from early 2021, go here, here or here.  

In order to verify the statements and credentials of individuals, social media users are encouraged to do an online search or to approach someone who can assist them with such a search. Do not share or forward content that you are not certain about.