HIV = REALITY or ARTEFACT ? – Controversy
By Stefan Lanka (virologo) – Continuum April/May 1995 (English)
HIV = REALITY or ARTEFACT ?
Controversy (English) – Bibliografia + False le foto del virus HIV – Continua in: AIDS controversia
An error can never become true however many times you repeat it. The truth can never be wrong, even if no one ever hears about it.
By Mahatma Gandhi
For the past 10 years or so it has been the accepted wisdom that the human immuno-deficiency virus, HIV, causes AIDS.
It supposedly occurs in many body fluids, and its transmission especially in semen and blood to a new host, triggers a slow but inexorable progression to AIDS and ultimately death. To infect another cell, HIV must at some stage in its life cycle exist as a separate and identifiable entity.
What has been ignored and kept from public awareness is, that there has never been a workable HIV test and that the definition of ‘positive’ has always changed according to the views of different organisations dealing with it, changed also according to the kind of tests used and changed from laboratory to laboratory performing the tests:
“.. Its techniques have not been standardised, and the magnitude and consequences of interlaboratory variations have not been measured. Its results require interpretation, and the criteria for this interpretation vary not only from laboratory to laboratory but also from month to month ..”(1)
The dispute over who discovered HIV (2), was a distraction from the question of whether the virus actually exists at all.
The public was impressed that if a President and a Prime Minister (3) had to meet to resolve attribution, then the thing they were negotiating about must be real.
In 1993 a research group from Perth, Australia succeeded in publishing a paper on the HIV test.(4) Since then anybody could have read for him or herself that no AIDS test could ever work, because HIV has never been isolated nor even shown to exist. Since AIDS research and the media have largely ignored any critique of HIV=AIDS, especially the essential question of whether HIV really does exist, it is time to call again for a reappraisal of the whole HIV/AIDS hypothesis. In going back to the origins of HIV virology and telling the HIV story, a view will be presented which will make clear that HIV itself, the very object of this Manhattan Project of modern medicine, AIDS research, does not exist.(5)
vedi: HIV e’ uno pseudovirus + L’Aids e’ realmente causato da un virus ? + HIV Virus inventato ? + Bibliografia su Aids + La dott.essa Papadopoulos e l’aids + l’aids e’ stato inventato in USA ? + I Postulati di Koch + L’altra storia dell’Aids + PDF di Luc Montagnier su AIDS ed HIV… + PDF di Gallo e lo HIV… + Hiv virus inventato
A little virology
Viruses are essentially just packages of genetic information enclosed in a coat which consists of proteins. They can reproduce themselves only by infecting a suitable host cell and appropriating the chemical machinery they find there. The proteins making up the viruses are characteristic for each species of virus. Apart from enveloping and transporting the genetic information intact, the composition of proteins for a given virus results in a specific shape for the virus particle.
This much is generally known. Less well-known is the existence of other particles which look like viruses but aren’t, and are nonchalantly referred to as “virus-like” particles. Such particles are far from rare, found, for example, always in placentas, and very frequently in the artificial environment of laboratory cell cultures. They have served to muddy the waters considerably as far as AIDS research is concerned, because particles just like these have been called HIV. To date, none of these has been characterised and shown to exist as an entity which one may justifiably call a virus.
One root of the belief in the AIDS virus
In classical theory DNA encodes the genetic material of heredity, which is then transcribed into messenger RNA which in turn specifies the assembly of amino-acids to construct the proteins of all living beings. In 1970 an enzyme (biological catalyst) was discovered in extracts of certain cells which was capable of converting a molecule of RNA into DNA. This was a revolutionary discovery, because it overturned a fundamental tenet of molecular genetics, namely, that the flow of information was strictly one-way and never reversed. It had hitherto always been thought that DNA was transcribed (converted) into messenger RNA and that the reverse process from RNA to DNA was impossible. The enzyme responsible became known as reverse transcriptase (6) and a lot of new myths arose.
An error of the past: cancer caused by viruses.
It was believed that the new enzyme was a marker for a virus, because the cells in which it was detected, and which were used to study cancer (7), were thought to have become cancerous through being infected by a virus. New to the idea of cancer viruses (8) was that nucleic acid, when in the form of RNA could be converted into DNA by the enzyme, thus providing a mechanism for viral nucleic acid to be inserted anywhere in the chromosome of the cells.(9) These “new” viruses became known as retroviruses.(10)
The insertion of certain retroviral genes was thought to trigger cancer.
The idea that these postulated viruses caused cancer quickly became “hot news” the world over, but did not survive investigation (11) and other explanations were sought.(12) The theory did not predict or explain the dramatic increase in cancer cases, cancer could not be shown to be transmissible, nor could it suggest any remedy in the form of a vaccine.(13) Interestingly, the spread of cancer viruses was blamed on homosexuals, prostitutes and black people, just as AIDS came to be 13 years later.(14)
Whenever and wherever reverse transcriptase activity was detected it was rashly assumed that retroviruses were at work.
This turned out to be a grave error, because it was later found that the enzyme occurred in all living matter, proving that reverse transcriptase activity had nothing to do with retroviruses per se.(15)
Further research showed that at least 10% of mammalian DNA was composed of repetitive sequences which were referred to as “nonsense genes”, parts of which, nonetheless, were described as “retroviral genes”. They exist in their hundreds if not thousands. Some of them can even replicate independently and jump within and between chromosomes, and for this reason became known as retrotransposons.
In the laboratory they can be made to migrate, and when this happens reverse transcriptase is invariably detected, which underlines the fact that reverse transcriptase activity has nothing to do with retroviruses as such.(16)
LAV, HTLV-III, HIV and all that
Because all this was already well known in 1983 it is incomprehensible that Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, a member of Montagnier’s group, as well as Gallo’s group itself in 1984, claimed to have discovered a new virus, when all they did was to demonstrate reverse transcriptase activity, and to publish photographs of cellular particles without proof that they were viruses. They could neither isolate them nor show that they were responsible for creating the observed reverse transcriptase activity nor the tissue abnormalities from which they were obtained.(17) They concluded: “the role of the virus in the aetiology of AIDS remains to be determined”.(18)
What makes a virus new?
The isolation and purification of a real virus is a straightforward matter, because unlike cells, viruses of one species are always of the same size and shape, and can be readily separated from other cell components by standard techniques. A control experiment is to try an isolation with putative non-infected material in exactly the same way as the supposedly infected material. Nothing should be isolated in this case.
To identify a virus definitively, a first and simple step is to photograph isolated particles of it in an electron microscope, and they must look like the viral particles observed in cells, body fluids or cell cultures to distinguish them from other cellular particles which look like viruses, but are not. Proteins making up the viral coat must then be separated from each other and photographed.
This produces a pattern which is characteristic of the species of virus. A similar separation and identification procedure must be gone through for the DNA or RNA of the virus. Only after the viral proteins and nucleic acid components have been properly identified, is it legitimate to speak of a new virus.
No evidence for the existence of HIV
Such evidence has up till now never been produced for HIV. No photograph of an isolated HIV particle has ever been published nor of any of its proteins or nucleic acids. No control experiments as mentioned above have been published to date. What has been shown are photographs of virus-like particles in cell cultures, but none of isolated viruses, let alone of a structure within the human body having the shape ascribed to HIV. What the whole world has seen are models representing HIV with dish aerials, said to be receptors with which the virus attaches itself to cells.
The existence of HIV is inferred from an antibody test, but how this is supposed to work, when the virus has never been shown to exist and obtained free of contaminants, remains a mystery.
The AIDS Test
Let us recall that the AIDS test is supposed to detect antibodies produced by the immune system in response to infection by the virus. This is routinely done by layering proteins ostensibly from the virus in the wells of a plastic rack and adding blood serum to be tested to each. If antibodies are present, they bind to the proteins, and when this happens sophisticated staining procedures can make this visible. But, because no proteins which are viral and free from contaminants, have ever been obtained, one cannot be sure what the antibodies are that bind to the proteins.
This is the crux of the problem facing all HIV (AIDS) tests. The inability to isolate a viral entity, and to characterise its constituent proteins unambiguously means that the evidence for the existence of HIV using antibodies is just arguing in a circle. Antibodies that are detected, are due to other causes.
Why no HIV test is ever able to work
It is consequently quite illogical to claim that a positive test results from prior contact with the virus.(19)
Because various ill-characterised proteins are involved, every test kit manufacturer applies his own arbitrary criteria, and no two kits ever give the same result. It makes no difference that learned committees set standards to decide which tests should be regarded as “positive” and which not, because this merely skirts round the problem, namely, to what are antibodies actually being detected in the AIDS test ?
It is of no help that nowadays “second” and “third” generation tests exist using synthetic proteins which give greater consistency and comparability, because only by an unscientific stretch of the imagination are they viral proteins!
Neither fudging the true identity of the proteins, nor advocating two kinds of test – reassuringly but mistakenly described as “search” and “confirmatory” tests – resolves this difficulty.
The ELISA test is used to screen for antibodies, which is “confirmed” by the more specific Western Blot. The dilemma cannot be stated more poignantly than by quoting from the leaflet accompanying one such test kit:
“The test for the existence of antibodies against AIDS-associated virus is not diagnostic for AIDS and AIDS-like diseases. Negative test results do not exclude the possibility of contact or infection with the AIDS-associated virus. Positive test results do not prove that someone has an AIDS or pre-AIDS disease status nor that he will acquire it”.(20) Quite.
The direct proof of HIV
Some HIV researchers have tried to circumvent the problem by pointing to something called “direct” evidence for the virus.
All that this meant, though, was arbitrarily selecting a protein of a certain size which happened to coincide with that shown in HIV models. The delusion of such “evidence” was illustrated when the protein later turned out to be of human origin! (21)
How the genetic information of HIV was manufactured through …
Despite this deplorable state of affairs the majority of AIDS researchers still cling to the authenticity of HIV, because a genetic sequence for it has been published. Moreover, genetic procedures now exist, which, unlike antibody tests, attempt to identify the presence of HIV more or less immediately, instead of only weeks later when antibodies are formed. The fact that the genetic tests (PCR)(22) do not give the same results as the antibody tests is simply ignored.
Since no virus has been isolated, it follows that no nucleic acid has been isolated from it either. Complicated procedures are even so described in the literature, at the end of which something is produced which is called the nucleic acid of HIV.(23)
…a test tube
HIV and its DNA can allegedly be made by the “bucketful” (24), but under very surprising conditions which, inter alia, entail the use of extracts from plants and other oxidising chemicals, which could not possibly exist in vivo. Immortalised cell lines devised (and later patented) by the Montagnier and Gallo groups are co-cultured with extracts from human cells or the cells themselves.
At the end of it all HIV itself is not actually obtained – only reverse transcriptase activity is shown to occur – which is taken to imply that the DNA that is found, must have been viral in origin.
The real explanation of what happens is as follows. In the mixture of cell cultures and stressed human cells, RNA and reverse transcriptase come to be produced in large amounts, because the cells have been specially selected and treated to do this.
The RNA is transcribed into DNA by reverse transcriptase, and long pieces of DNA are produced which are said to be viral DNA.
In fact they are composed of unrelated pieces of expressed cellular RNA, transcribed into DNA and linked together by a process of “template switching” (a well-characterised property of reverse transcriptase).(25) This misleads ordinary researchers into believing that they have actually produced viral DNA.
It is said that this linear DNA is the free or the non-integrated form of HIV, which furthermore is said to be a unique feature of HIV, because a lot of detectable free linear DNA has not been suggested in any other models of retroviruses.
…and a selecting process
The resulting pieces of DNA too, are necessarily both shorter and longer than the “correct” length of HIV. Pieces corresponding to the “correct” length of HIV must be selected for size, because otherwise the purported DNA preparation would be a mixture of various lengths, which would violate a cardinal rule of virology that all nucleic acid of a particular virus be identical in size.
…and a detecting process
Having artificially prepared DNA pieces of uniform length, they are still not ready for presentation, because they consist of a mixture of all kinds of RNA fragments transcribed into DNA and thus cannot be shown to represent unique viral DNA. Accordingly, the mixture is subjected to a kind of lock-and-key detection process called hybridisation, whereby pieces of DNA are detected which complement more or less a probe of that which it is desired to be shown to have been prepared.
…and choosing a desired probe
Since no DNA from HIV existed to hybridise with the prepared DNA, Gallo and Montagnier simply used stretches of DNA from what they said was specific to HTLV-I, a retrovirus Gallo had earlier claimed to have discovered, and which they deemed suitable for this purpose. The DNA detected in this way was replicated and certain stretches of it cloned and declared to be the DNA of HTLV-III (later to be called HIV).
To summarise, the purpose of the exercise is to grow HIV, but it actually produces a mixture of different lengths of DNA, contrary to theory which says they should all be identical, and no virus at all. It is then claimed that the “correct” DNA has been prepared by finding certain strands in this heterogeneous mix by hybridising them with an HTLV-I DNA probe whose sequence is known and defined to be similar to HIV. However, non-hybridising strands of DNA should not be there at all, and the fact that they are, proves that a complete rag-bag of DNA has been prepared, without any indication of what it is made up of.
It follows that “HIV” DNA must just be a laboratory artefact constructed to a preconceived idea of what retroviral DNA should be, and this assessment does not even raise the question why no virus can be obtained, whatever the experimental conditions.
Gallo and Montagnier’s cloned HIV DNA
One cannot help asking why no-one had not long ago spotted the flaw in the techniques employed by the Gallo and Montagnier groups. After defining some segments of DNA to be “HIV”-specific, every researcher in the field worked exclusively with short, cloned sequences (never the whole strand) on the reasonable assumption that the original characterisation had been correctly performed. From the isolation and identification procedure described above, it follows that the resultant sequences vary widely from one preparation to the next, which sequence analysts misinterpreted as the legendary capacity of HIV to mutate. A computer simulated phylogenetic tree was constructed, which established precisely what its designer sought to prove.(26)
(I) Perhaps one reason for this calamitous state of affairs is that HTLV-III was presented to the world as the cause of AIDS at a historic press conference on April 23, 1984 (a patent for an antibody test was applied for on the same day!), instead of making the evidence for it available beforehand, as correct science demands. The undue haste may be explained by the fact that both the National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) had actually one day earlier in a lengthy front page article in The New York Times on April 22 come out in favour of the French claim for priority.(27)
(II) Even so, one must admire Gallo’s audacity, because using the same technique he claimed in 1975 to have discovered the first human retrovirus (HL23), but which turned out to be nothing more than pieces of DNA from three different sources of contamination.(28) Nowadays, even an undergraduate would know that if you added DNA to a cell culture, part of the DNA would be incorporated into the cells without any virus being involved.
What does the AIDS test actually test for?
Since “HIV” has been shown to be a laboratory artefact it must be assumed that, when not just cross-reacting with other known antibodies, the “AIDS” test detects antibodies against proteins produced in the procedure itself. They must be of human origin because the cells used originated from leukaemic patients. Test positivity, logically, results from immunological contact with them. However, since positivity actually correlates with otherwise unrelated factors such as rheumatism and sun bathing, no specificity can be ascribed to the test.(29) Whether antibody positivity really correlates with disease as is commonly supposed, remains to be determined by a critical re-evaluation of the data. Condoms, therefore, serve only to protect against venereal diseases and as contraceptives, and worse lull the user into a false sense of security by ignoring real dangers he may be exposing himself to.
Re-direction of AIDS research
AIDS research is therefore back at square one and not at Basic Science as suggested elsewhere.(30) The main players have since 1993 begun to slink off, arguing that the virus having mutated so much is now no longer detectable. AIDS has therefore to be explained “in the absence of further whole virus”.(31) Apart from the shortcomings of the antibody test, other misconceptions such as T-cell counting exist, which mean that the whole concept of AIDS needs to be completely revised.(32) It must be shown that there is any point in renaming a collection of known diseases as AIDS, just because someone is positive in the antibody or genetic (PCR) tests. Leaving HIV out of the picture explains why the epidemiological projections, which years ago had forecast a world-wide epidemic, have been a complete failure. Africa in 1986 was held up as a dire warning of what would befall the Western world.
There, AIDS was diagnosed by a combination of clinical conditions (33) such as chronic fevers, diarrhoeas, coughs and weight loss, all symptoms of the diseases of poverty, without testing for HIV antibodies.(34) It should hardly come as a surprise that an entirely different definition produced a different outcome.
Finally, the effect of a positive test result on mental and physical health needs to be considered and investigated.(35)
Whatever happens, the use of AZT and other “anti-virals” which are supposed to target HIV replication, but actually kill cells indiscriminately (and ultimately the whole body), must be stopped immediately. It is especially distressing to note that AZT and its analogues preferentially attack those cells which divide most rapidly, namely, cells in the intestines causing diarrhoea and malabsorption of food, and in bone marrow, ironically, the primary production site for cells of the immune system.(36)
The people who need enlightenment
The most important and delicate task is to convince HIV positives that their test result is not a death sentence, to be generally supportive of them, to assuage their anxiety, and to help them understand that with appropriate treatment of any specific disease, they have a good chance to retain or regain their health. The large number of long-term positives, whose condition cannot be explained by conventional AIDS theory, as well as the phenomenon of sero-reversion (return to negative test status), provide eloquent testimony to this. HIV/AIDS researchers and health officials are herewith called upon to debate the whole subject of HIV/AIDS openly and humanely, and to recognise the mistake that immune deficiency was acquired by an infectious agent.
To be able to live a fuller life we have first to regain and then retain autonomy over our bodies and health from self-appointed experts, who have dispossessed us of it.(37)
If we refuse to learn from what has happened in AIDS research and related medical policies, then worse is on the way, some of it is, indeed, here already.(38) The genetics agenda begun in the 1860’s (39) and a primitive genetic determinism have become established through the availability of genetic sequences and the ability to manipulate them easily, which are, in fact, pure fantasy.(40) Furthermore, all models of genetics and associated technologies, e.g. genome therapy, are based on a one-dimensional, static model of genetics which is a crass oversimplification, not defensible even when Mendel first proposed it.(41) *
Health as a Virtue (Ivan Illich):
Health designates a process of adaptation. It is not the result of instinct, but of an autonomous yet culturally shaped reaction to socially created reality. It designates the ability to adapt to changing environments, to growing up and to ageing, to healing when damaged, to suffering, and to the peaceful expectation of death. Health embraces the future as well, and therefore includes anguish and the inner resources to live with it.
Health designates a process by which each person is responsible, but only in part responsible to others. To be responsible may mean two things. A man is responsible for what he has done, and responsible to another person or group. Only when he feels subjectively responsible or answerable to another person will the consequences of his failure be not criticism, censure, or punishment but regret, remorse, and true repentance. The consequent states of grief and distress are marks of recovery and healing, and are phenomenologically something entirely different from guilt feelings. Health is a task, and as such is not comparable to the physiological balance of beasts. Success in this personal task is in large part the result of the self-awareness, self-discipline, and inner resources by which each person regulates his own daily rhythm and actions, his diet, and his sexual activity.
Knowledge encompassing desirable activities, competent performance, the commitment to enhance health in others – these are all learned from the example of peers or elders. These personal activities are shaped and conditioned by the culture in which the individual grows up: patterns of work and leisure, of celebration and sleep, of production and preparation of food and drink, of family relations and politics. Long-tested health patterns that fit a geographic area and a certain technical situation depend to a large extent on long-lasting political autonomy. They depend on the spread of responsibility for health habits and for the socio-biological environment. That is, they depend on the dynamic stability of a culture. The level of public health corresponds to the degree to which the means andresponsibility for coping with illness are distributed among the total population. This ability to cope can be enhanced but never replaced by medical intervention or by the hygienic characterisitcs of the environment. That society which can reduce professional intervention to the minimum will provide the best conditions for health. The greater the potential for autonomous adaptation to self, to others, and to the environment, the less management of adaptation will be needed or tolerated.
A world of optimal and widespread health is obviously a world of minimal and only occasional medical intervention. Healthy people are those who live in healthy homes on a healthy diet in an environment equally fit for birth, growth, work, healing, and dying; they are sustained by a culture that enhances the conscious acceptance of limits to population, of ageing, of incomplete recovery and ever-imminent death. Healthy people need minimal bureaucratic interference to mate, give birth, share the human condition, and die. Man’s consciously lived fragility, individuality, and relatedness make the experience of pain, of sickness, and of death an integral part of his life. The ability to cope with this trio autonomously is fundamental to his health. As he becomes dependent on the management of his intimacy, he renounces his autonomy and his health must decline. The true miracle of modern medicine is diabolical.
It consists in making not only individuals but whole populations survive on inhumanly low levels of personal health.
Medical nemesis is the negative feedback of a social organization that set out to improve and equalize the opportunity for each man to cope in autonomy and ended by destroying it.
This article is dedicated to Ivan Illich and Thomas McKeown: had their writings been taken more seriously the world would have been spared the AIDS panic as well as other perversions. I would also like to thank Volker Gildemeister (Meditel, London) for translation and constructive criticism, and of course, my family, Hans-Walter Wiegand and other friends too numerous to list, for all their support.
1 Klemens B. Meyer and Stephen G. Pauker. 1987. Screening for HIV: Can we afford the false positive rate? NEJM 317: 238-241. See also: Marsha F. Goldsmith. 1985. HTLV-III testing of donor blood imminent; complex issues remain. JAMA 253: 81-86, 173-175, 179-181.
2 John Crewdson. The Great AIDS Quest. Special report. Nov. 19. 1989. Chicago Tribune.
3 Frankel, Mark; Mary Hager, Theodore Stanger. July 25 1994. The End of a Scientific Feud. Newsweek.
4 Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos, Valendar F. Turner, John M. Papadimitriou. 1993. Is a positive Western Blot proof of HIV infection? Bio/Technology 11: 696-707.
5 A similar article was published in a German monthly: Stefan Lanka. 1994. Fehldiagnose AIDS? Wechselwirkung, Aachen, December, 48-53.
6 Temin H.M. and Mizutani. 1970. Viral RNA-dependent DNA-polymerase. Nature 226: 1211-1213. Temin H.M. and Baltimore D. 1972. RNA-directed DNA synthesis and RNA tumor viruses. Adv Vir Res 17: 129-186.
7 Gerald B. Dermer. 1994. The Immortal Cell: Why Cancer Research Fails. Avery Publishing Group, Garden City Park, NY. Gerald B. Dermer. 1994. Another Anniversary for the war on Cancer. Bio/Technology 12: 320.
8 Gye W.E. and W.J. Purdy. 1931. The cause of Cancer. Cassell, London.
9 Weiss R. et al. 1982. RNA Tumor Viruses. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Cold Spring Harbor, New York.
10 Bishop J.M. 1978. Retroviruses. Ann. Rev. Biochem. 47: 35-88. Bishop J.M. 1983. Cellular oncogenes and retroviruses. Ann. Rev. Biochem. 52: 301-354. Doolittle R.F. et al. 1989. Origins and evolutionary relationships of retroviruses. The Quarterly Review of Biology 64: 1-30. Varmus H. and Brown P. 1989. Retroviruses. In: Mobile DNA: 53-108, eds.: Berg E. and Howe M.M. American Society for Microbiology. Washington D.C. Coffin J.M. 1990. Retroviridae and their replication. In: Virology. Fields B.N. ed., New York. Doolittle D.F. et al. 1990. Retrovirus Phylogeny and Evolution. Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology 157: 1-18.
11 Why we will never win the war on AIDS. Ellison B.J. & Duesberg P.H. 1994 Inside Story Communications, El Cerrito CA
12 John Higginson, Calum S. Muir, Nubia Munoz. Human cancer: epidemiology and environmental causes. Cambridge University Press. Samuel S. Epstein. 1992. Profiting from Cancer. Vested Interests and the Cancer Epidemic. The Ecologist 22: 233-240. Samuel S. Epstein. 1993. Evaluation of the National Cancer Program and proposed reforms. International J. Health Services 23: 15-44.
13 Tim Beardsley. 1/1994. A war not won. Scientific American 70: 118.
14 see ref 11
15 Malcolm A. Martin et al. 1981. Identification and cloning of endogenous retroviral sequences present in human DNA. PNAS 78: 4892-4896. T.I. Bonner et al. 1982. Cloned endogenous retroviral sequences from human DNA PNAS 79: 4709-4713. Callahan R. et al. 1982. Detection and cloning of human DNA sequences related to the mouse mammary tumor virus genome. PNAS 79: 5503-5507. Temin H.M. 1985. Review: Reverse Transcription in the Eukaryotic Genome: Retroviruses, Pararetroviruses, Retrotransposons, and Retrotranscripts. Mol. Biol. Evol. 2: 455-468. Harold Varmus. 9/1993. Reverse Transcription. Scientific American 257:48
16 Dixie L. Mager and Paula S. Henthorn. 1984. Identification of a retrovirus-like repetitive element in human DNA. PNAS 81: 7510-7514. Catherine O’Connell et al. 1984. ERV3, a full-length human endogenous provirus: chromosomal localization and evolutionary relationships. Virology 138: 225-235. Baltimore D. 1985. Retroviruses and Retrotransposons:
The Role of Reverse Transcription in Shaping the Eukaryotic Genome. Cell 40: 481-482. Paulson K.E. et al. 1985. A transposon-like element in human DNA. Nature 316: 359-361. Callahan R. et al. 1985. A new class of endogenous human retroviral genomes. Science 228: 1208-1211. Weiner A.M. et al. 1986. Nonviral retrotransposons: Genes, pseudogenes, and transposable elements generated by the reverse flow of genetic information. Ann. Rev. Biochem. 55: 631-61. Dixie L. Mager and Douglas Freeman. 1987. Human endogenous retroviruslike genome with Type C pol sequences and gag sequences related to human T-Cell Lymphotropic viruses. J Virol. 61: 4060-4066. Shih A. et al. 1989. Detection of multiple, novel reverse transcriptase coding sequences in human nucleic acids: relation to primate retroviruses. J Virol. 63: 64-75. Krause H. et al. 1989. Molecular Cloning of a Type D Retrovirus from Human Cells (PMFV) and its Homology to Simian Acquired Immunodeficiency Type D Retroviruses. Virology 173: 214-222.
Wilkinson D.A. et al. 1990. Autonomous expression of RTVL-H endogenous retroviruslike elements in human cells. J Virol. 64: 2157-2167. Banki K. et al. 1992. Human T-cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV)-related endogenous sequence, HRES-1, encodes a 28-kDa protein: A possible autoantigen for HTLV-I gag-reactive autoantibodies. PNAS 89: 1939-1943. Horwitz M.S. et al. 1992. Novel Human Endogenous Sequences Related to Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1. J Virol. 66: 2170-2179. Maizels N. and Weiner A.M. 1993. The Genomic Tag Hypothesis: Modern Viruses as Molecular Fossils of Ancient Strategies for Genomic Replication. In:
The RNA World. Gesteland F. and Atkins J.F. eds. Cold Spring Harbor.
17 Robert C. Gallo et al. 1984. Frequent detection and isolation of cytopathic retroviruses (HTLV-III) from patients with AIDS and at risk for AIDS. Science 224: 500-503
18 Francoise Barre-Sinoussi et al. (including. L. Montagnier). 1983. Isolation of a T-lymphotropic retrovirus from a patient at risk for Aquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Science 220: 868-871. Robert C. Gallo et al. 1983. Isolation of Human T-Cell Leukemia Virus in Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Science 220: 865-867.
19 see ref 4
20 Bio-Rad, 1989.
21 see ref 4
22 Just how little confidence is placed in the validity of such tests is revealed by the caveats in the leaflet accompanying one of them: “The Amplicor HIV-1 PCR test has been tested using whole blood specimens only. Performance with other specimens has not been evaluated and may result in false negative or false positive results… Detection of HIV-1 may be dependent on the amount of proviral DNA in the specimen. This may be affected by specimen collection methods and patient factors such as age, disease status and risk factors etc. As in any diagnostic test, results from Amplicor HIV-1 test should be interpreted with consideration of clinical and laboratory findings.” It will become clear later why whole blood rather than serum is used for this test, all the more so as the purpose of the test is to detect transmissible virus particles which should not have anything to do with the presence or absence of blood cells. This all the more significant, since a major form of HIV transmission is supposed to be via Factor 8 given to haemophiliacs, where blood cells are absent. The implication is that without blood cells no “viral” DNA would be detected!
23 Beatrice H. Hahn et al. (incl. Robert C. Gallo). 1984. Molecular cloning and characterization of the HTLV-III virus associated with AIDS. Nature 312: 166-169. Shaw G.M. et al. (incl. Robert C. Gallo). 1984. Molecular Characterization of Human T-Cell Leukemia (Lymphotropic) Virus Type III in Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. Science 226: 1165-1171. Marc Alizon et al. (including. Luc Montagnier). 1984. Molecular cloning of lymphadenopathy-associated virus. Nature 312: 757-760. Wain-Hobson S. et al. 1985. Nucleotide Sequence of the AIDS Virus, LAV. Cell 40: 9-17. Ratner L. et al. 1985. Complete nucleotide sequence of the AIDS virus, HTLV-III. Nature 313: 277-284.
24 Tedder R.S. UCL Medical School London, 1994 personal communication
25 Guangxiang Luo and John Taylor. 1990. Template Switching by Reverse Transcriptase during DNA Synthesis. J Virol 64, 4321-4328. Goodrich D.W. and Duesberg P.H. 1990. Retroviral recombination during reverse transcription. PNAS 87: 2052-2056.
26 Hahn B.H. et al. 1986. Genetic Variation in HTLV-III/LAV Over Time in Patients with AIDS or at Risk for AIDS. Science 232: 1548-1553. Alizon M. et al. 1986. Genetic Variability of the AIDS Virus: Nucleotide Sequence Analysis of Two Isolates from African Patients. Cell 46: 63-74. Yasuo Ina and Takashi Gojobori. 1990. Molecular Evolution of Human T-Cell Leukemia Virus. J Mol Evol 31: 493-499. Balfe P. et al. 1990. Concurrent Evolution of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 in Patients Infected from the Same Source: Rate of Sequence Change and Low Frequency of Inactivating Mutations. J Virol 64: 6221-6233.
27 Barbara J. Culliton. 1990. I: Inside the Gallo Probe. Science 248: 1494-1498. Ellis Rubinstein. 1990. II: The Untold Story of HUT78. Science 248: 1499-1507. Barbara J. Culliton. 1992. NIH report vindicates Gallo on conduct of AIDS research. Nature 357: 3-4. John Maddox. 1992. More on Gallo and Popovic. Nature 357: 107-109. Jon Cohen. 1993. HHS: Gallo Guilty of Misconduct. Science 259: 168-170.
28 Steve Connor. 1987. AIDS: Science stands on trial. New Scientist 12.2., 49-58.
29 see ref 4
30 Fields B.N. 1994. AIDS: Back to Basic Science. Nature 369: 95.
31 Laurie Garrett. 1993. Seeing the Light; AIDS scientists shift their focus. Newsday, September 6. Charles A. Thomas, Jr., Kary B. Mullis, Bryan J. Ellison, and Phillip E. Johnson.Why there is still an HIV controversy . October 20, 1993. Cited as reference 72 in Richard Strohman (37). Nature, submitted in November 1993; rejected December 1993, manuscript available upon request (RS).
32 J.S. Goodwin, 1981. A Piece of My Mind: OKT3, OKT4, and All That. This article is a diatribe against the measurement of T-cell subsets in human diseases. JAMA 246: 947-948. Caspar G. Schmidt, 1984. The group fantasy origins of AIDS. J. Psychohistory 12: 37-78. Peter H. Duesberg, 1987. Retroviruses as Carcinogens and Pathogens: Expectations and Reality. Cancer Research 47: 1199-1220. AIDS – A different View. Abstracts. International Symposium 14.-16. May (Amsterdam). Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos, Valendar F. Turner and John M. Papadimitriou, 1992. Kaposi’s sarcoma and HIV. Med. Hypotheses 39: 22-29. Peter H. Duesberg and Jody R. Schwarz, 1992. Latent viruses and mutated oncogenes: no evidence for pathogenicity. Prog. Nucleic Acid Res. Molec. Biol. 43: 135-204. Peter H. Duesberg, 1992. AIDS acquired by drug consumption and other noncontagious risk factors. Pharmac. Ther. 55: 201-277. Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos, Valendar F. Turner and John M. Papadimitriou, 1992. Oxidative stress, HIV and AIDS. Res. Immunol. 143: 145-148. John Lauritsen, 1993. The AIDS War. Propaganda, Profiteering and Genocide from the Medical-Industrial Complex. Asklepios, New York. Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos, Valendar F. Turner and John M. Papadimitriou, 1993.
Has Gallo proven the role of HIV in AIDS? Emergency Medicine 5: 113-123. Serge Lang, 1994. HIV and AIDS: Have we been misled? Questions of Scientific and Journalistic Responsibility. Yale Scientific, New Haven. Neville Hodgkinson, 1994. Paradigms Lost. Continuum 2/5&6, London. Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos, Valendar F. Turner, John M. Papadimitriou and David Causer, 1995. Factor VIII, HIV and AIDS in haemophiliacs: an analysis of their relationship. Genetica. Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos, Valendar F. Turner, John M. Papadimitriou, David Causer, Bruce Hedland-Thomas and Barry A.P. Page, 1995. A critical analysis of the HIV-T4-cell-AIDS hypothesis. Genetica.
33 Chirimuuta R.C and Rosalind J. Chirimuuta 1989. AIDS, Africa and Racism. Free Association Books, London.
34 Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos, Valendar F. Turner, John M. Papadimitriou and Harvey Bialy, 1995. AIDS in Africa. Distinguishing fact and fiction. World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology 11.
35 Hassig A. Research paper, 1993. Study Group on Nutrition and Immunity. Neuroendocrine causation of CD4/CD8 shift 3066 Stettlen, Switzerland.
36 John Lauritsen. 1990. Poison by Prescription. The AZT Story. Asklepios, New York. John Lauritsen, 1993. The AIDS War. Propaganda, Profiteering and Genocide from the Medical-Industrial Complex. Asklepios, New York.
37 Ivan Illich. 1990. Limits to Medicine. Medical Nemesis: The expropriation of health. Penguin. Thomas McKeown The Role of Medicine – Dream, Mirage, Nemesis 1979 Princeton University Press. Robert S. Mendelsohn. 1979. Confessions of a Medical Heretic. Chicago.
38 Ruth Hubbard and Elijah Wald with Nicholas Hildyard. 1993. The Eugenics of Normalcy.
The Politics of Gene Research. The Ecologist 23: 185-191. Ruth Hubbard and Elijah Wald. 1994. Exploding the Gene Myth: How Genetic Information is Produced and Manipulated by Scientists, Physicians; Employers; Insurance Companies, Educators, and Law Enforcers. Beacon. R.C. Lewontin. 1994. Women Versus the Biologists. The New York Review of Books, April 7. Steven Rose. 1995. The rise of neurogenetic determinism. Nature 373: 380-382.
39 D.J. Weatherall. 1991. Ethical issues and related problems arising from the application of the new genetics to clinical practice. In: The New Genetics and Clinical Practice. D.J. Weatherall (ed.). Oxford University Press.
40 Theodore Friedmann. 1994. The promise and overpromise of human gene therapy. Gene Therapy 1: 217-218.
41 John Rennie. 3/1993.DNA’s New Twists. Scientific American 260: 88. and most important: Richard Strohmann. 1994. Epigenesis: The Missing Beat in Biotechnology? Bio/Technology 12: 156-164.
CONTROVERSY from Dr. Mullis was awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
This article is excerpted from his forthcoming book, Dancing Naked in the Mind Field, to be published by Pantheon.
When I first heard in 1984 that Luc Montagnier of France’s Pasteur Institute and Robert Gallo of America’s National Institutes of Health had independently discovered that the retrovirus H.I.V. — human
immunodeficiency virus — caused AIDS, I accepted it as just another scientific fact. It was a little out of my field of biochemistry, and these men were specialists in retroviruses.
Four years later I was working as a consultant at Specialty Labs in Santa Monica. Specialty was trying to develop a means of using P.C.R. [polymerase chain reaction, a D.N.A.-amplification method conceived by
Mullis] to detect retroviruses in the thousands of blood donations received per day by the Red Cross. I was writing a report on our progress for the project sponsor, and I began by stating, “H.I.V. is the probable cause of AIDS.”
I asked a virologist at Specialty where I could find the reference for H.I.V. being the cause of AIDS.
“You don’t need a reference,” he told me. “Everybody knows it.”
“I’d like to quote a reference.” I felt a little funny about not knowing the source of such an important discovery. Everyone else seemed to.
“Why don’t you cite the C.D.C. report ?” he suggested, giving me a copy of the Centers for Disease Control’s periodic report on morbidity and mortality. I read it. It wasn’t a scientific article. It simply said that an organism had been identified — it did not say how. It requested that doctors report any patients showing certain symptoms and test them for antibodies to this organism.
The report did not identify the original scientific work, but that didn’t surprise me. It was intended for physicians, who didn’t need to know the source of the information. Physicians assumed that if the C.D.C. was convinced, there must exist real proof somewhere that H.I.V. was the cause of AIDS.
A proper scientific reference is usually a published article in a reliable scientific magazine.
These days the magazines are on slick glossy paper with pictures on the front and lots of advertisements, a lot of editorial material by people who are professional journalists, and a few pictures of girls selling you things you might want to buy for your lab.
The advertisers are the companies that make things for scientists to buy and the companies that make drugs for doctors to sell. Therefore there are no major journals without corporate connections.
Scientists submit the articles in order to report their work.
Preparing articles describing their work and having them published is crucial to a scientist’s career, and without articles in major journals they will lose their rank. The articles may not be submitted until experiments supporting the conclusions drawn are finished and analyzed. In primary journals every single experimental detail has to be there either directly or by reference, so that somebody else can repeat exactly what was done and find out whether it comes out the same way in their hands. If it doesn’t, somebody will report that, and the conflict eventually has to be resolved so that when we go on from here we know where “here” is. The most reliable primary journals are refereed. After you send in your article, the editors send copies of it to several of your colleagues for review.
They become the referees.
The editors are paid for their work on the journal; the colleagues are not. But what they do gives them power, which most of them like.
I did computer searches. Neither Montagnier, Gallo, nor anyone else had published papers describing experiments which led to the conclusion that H.I.V. probably caused AIDS. I read the papers in Science for which they had become well known as AIDS doctors, but all they had said there was that they had found evidence of a past infection by something which was probably H.I.V. in some AIDS patients.
They found antibodies. Antibodies to viruses had always been considered evidence of past disease, not present disease.
Antibodies signaled that the virus had been defeated. The patient had saved himself. There was no indication in these papers that this virus caused a disease. They didn’t show that everybody with the antibodies had the disease. In fact they found some healthy people with antibodies.
If Montagnier and Gallo hadn’t really found this evidence, why was their work published, and why had they been fighting so hard to get credit for the discovery ? There had been an international incident wherein Robert Gallo of the N.I.H. had claimed that his own lab had not been able to grow the virus from the sample sent to him by Luc Montagnier in Paris. The virus he was able to grow, he said, came from samples collected at his end from putatuive AIDS patients. Gallo had patented the AIDS test based on these samples, and the Pasteur Institute had sued. The Pasteur eventually won, but back in 1989 it was a standoff, and they were sharing the profits.
I was hesitant to write “H.I.V. is the probable cause of AIDS” until I found published evidence that would support it.
Mine was the most minimal statement possible. In my progress report I wasn’t trying to say that it absolutely did cause AIDS, I was just trying to say that it was likely to cause it for some known reasons. Tens of thousands of scientists and researchers were spending billions of dollars a year doing research based on this idea. The reason had to be there somewhere; otherwise these people would not have allowed their research to settle into one narrow channel of investigation.
I lectured about P.C.R. at innumerable meetings. Always there were people there talking about H.I.V.
I asked them how it was that we knew H.I.V. was the cause of AIDS. Everyone said something. Everyone had the answer at home, in the office, in some drawer. They all knew, and they would send me the papers as soon as they got back. But I never got any papers. Nobody ever sent me the news about how AIDS was caused by H.I.V.
I finally had the opportunity to ask Dr. Montagnier about the reference when he lectured in San Diego at the grand opening of the U.C.S.D. AIDS Research Center, which is still run by Bob Gallo’s former consort, Dr. Flossie Wong-Staal. This would be the last time I would ask my question without showing anger. In response Dr. Montagnier suggested, “Why don’t you reference the C.D.C. report ?”
“I read it,” I said. “That doesn’t really address the issue of whether or not H.I.V. is the probable cause of AIDS, does it ?”
He agreed with me. It was damned irritating. If Montagnier didn’t know the answer, who the hell did ?
One night I was driving from Berkeley to La Jolla and I heard an interview on National Public Radio with Peter Duesberg, a prominent virologist at Berkeley. I finally understood why I was having so much trouble finding the references that linked H.I.V. to AIDS.
There weren’t any, Duesberg said. No one had ever proved that H.I.V. causes AIDS. The interview lasted about an hour. I pulled over so as not to miss any of it.
I had known of Peter when I was a graduate student at Berkeley. He had been described as a truly brilliant scientist who had mapped a particular mutation to a single nucleotide in what was to become known eventually as an oncogene. In the 1960s that was a real feat. Peter went on to develop the theory that oncogenes might be introduced by viruses into humans and cause cancer.
The idea caught on and became a serious theoretical driving force behind the research that was funded under the unfortunate name “War on Cancer.” Peter was named California Scientist of the Year.
Not satisfied resting on his laurels, Peter torched them. He found flaws in his own theory and announced to his surprised colleagues who were working on demonstrating it that it was highly unlikely. If they wanted to cure cancer, their research should be directed elsewhere.
Whether it was because they were more interested in curing their own poverty than cancer or that they just couldn’t come to grips with their mistake, they continued to work fruitlessly on the
viral-oncogene hypothesis for ten years. And they didn’t seem to notice the irony: The more frustrated they got, the more they chastised Peter Duesberg for questioning his own theory and their folly. Most of them had been trained to obtain grants from the government, hire people to do research, and write papers that usually ended with the notion that further research should be done along these same lines — preferably by them and paid for by someone else. One of them was Bob Gallo.
Gallo had been a friend of Peter’s. They had worked in the same department at the National Cancer Institute. Of the thousands of scientists who had worked fruitlessly to assign a causal role in cancer to a virus, Bob was the only one who had been overzealous enough to announce that he had. No one paid any attention because all he had demonstrated was an anecdotal and very weak correlation between antibodies to a harmless retrovirus, which he called H.T.L.V. I, and an unusual type of cancer found mainly on two of the southern islands of Japan.
In spite of his lack of luster as a scientist, Gallo worked his way up in the power structure. Peter Duesberg, despite his brilliance, worked his way down. By the time AIDS came along, it was Bob Gallo whom Margaret Heckler approached when President Reagan decided that enough homosexuals picketing the White House was enough. Margaret was the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, and thereby the top dog
at the N.I.H. Bob Gallo had a sample of a virus that Luc Montagnier had found in the lymph node of a gay decorator in Paris with AIDS.
Montagnier had sent it to Gallo for evaluation, and Bob had appropriated it in the pursuit of his own career.
Margaret called a press conference and introduced Dr. Robert Gallo, who suavely pulled off his wraparound sunglasses and announced to the world press, “Gentlemen, we have found the cause of AIDS!” And that was it. Gallo and Heckler predicted that a vaccine and a cure would be available within a couple of years. That was 1984.
All the old virus hunters from the National Cancer Institute put new signs on their doors and became AIDS researchers. Reagan sent up about a billion dollars just for starters, and suddenly everybody who could claim to be any kind of medical scientist and who hadn’t had anything much to do lately was fully employed. They still are.
It was named human immunodeficiency virus by an international committee in an attempt to settle the ownership dispute between Gallo and Montagnier, who had given it different names. To call it H.I.V. was a shortsighted mistake that preempted any thought of investigation into the causal relationship between acquired-immune-deficiency syndrome and the human immunodeficiency virus.
Duesberg pointed out wisely from the sidelines in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that there was no good evidence implicating the new virus. He was ignored. Editors rejected his manuscripts, and committees of his colleagues began to question his need for having his research funds continued. Finally, in what must rank as one of the great acts of arrogant disregard for scientific propriety, a committee including Flossie Wong-Staal, who was feuding openly with Duesberg, voted not to renew Peter’s Distinguished Investigator Award. He was cut off from research funds. Thus disarmed, he was less of a threat to the growing AIDS establishment. He would not be invited back to speak at meetings of his former colleagues.
We live with an uncountable number of retroviruses. They’re everywhere — and they probably have been here as long as the human race. We have them in our genome. We get some of them from our mothers in the form of new viruses — infectious viral particles that can move from mother to fetus. We get others from both parents along with our genes. We have resident sequences in our genome that are retroviral. That means that we can and do make our own retroviral particles some of the time.
Some of them may look like H.I.V. No one has shown that they’ve ever killed anyone before.
There’s got to be a purpose for them; a sizable fraction of our genome is comprised of human endogenous retroviral sequences.
There are those who claim that we carry useless D.N.A., but they’re wrong. If there is something in our genes, there’s a reason for it. We don’t let things grow on us. I have tried to put irrelevant gene sequences into things as simple as bacteria. If it doesn’t serve some purpose, the bacteria get rid of it right away. I assume that my body is at least as smart as bacteria when it comes to things like D.N.A.
H.I.V. didn’t suddenly pop out of the rain forest or Haiti. It just popped into Bob Gallo’s hands at a time when he needed a new career. It has been here all along. Once you stop looking for it only on the streets of big cities, you notice that it is thinly distributed everywhere.
If H.I.V. has been here all along and it can be passed from mother to child, wouldn’t it make sense to test for the antibodies in the mothers of anyone who is positive for H.I.V., especially if that individual is not showing any signs of disease ?
Picture a kid in the heartland of America. His lifelong goal has been to join the Air Force when he graduates and become a jet pilot. He’s never used drugs and he’s had the same sweet girlfriend, whom he plans to marry, all through high school.
Unbeknownst to him, or anyone else, he also has antibodies to H.I.V., which he inherited from his mother, who is still alive, when he was in her womb. He’s a healthy kid, it doesn’t bother him in any way, but when he is routinely tested for H.I.V. by the Air Force, his hopes and dreams are destroyed. Not only is he barred from the Air Force, but he has a death sentence over his head.
The C.D.C. has defined AIDS as one of more than 30 diseases accompanied by a positive result on a test that detects antibodies to H.I.V. But those same diseases are not defined as AIDS cases when the antibodies are not detected. If an H.I.V.-positive woman develops uterine cancer, for example, she is considered to have AIDS. If she is not H.I.V.-positive, she simply has uterine cancer.
An H.I.V.-positive man with tuberculosis has AIDS; if he tests negative he simply has tuberculosis. If he lives in Kenya or Colombia, where the test for H.I.V. antibodies is too expensive, he is simply presumed to have the antibodies and therefore AIDS, and therefore he can be treated in the World Health Organization’s clinic. It’s the only medical help available in some places. And it’s free, because the countries that support WHO are worried about AIDS. From the point of view of spreading medical facilities into areas where poor people live, AIDS has been a boon. We don’t poison them with A.Z.T. like we do our own people because it’s too expensive. We supply dressing for the machete cut on their left knee and call it AIDS.
The C.D.C. continues to add new diseases to the grand AIDS definition.
The C.D.C. has virtually doctored the books to make it appear as if the disease continues to spread. In 1993, for example, the C.D.C. enormously broadened its AIDS definition. This was happily accepted by county health authorities, who receive $2,500 from the feds per year under the Ryan White Act for every reported AIDS case.
In 1634 Galileo was sentenced to house arrest for the last eight years of his life for writing that the Earth is not the center of the universe but rather moves around the sun. Because he insisted that scientific statements should not be a matter of religious faith, he was accused of heresy. Years from now, people looking back at us will find our acceptance of the H.I.V. theory of AIDS as silly as we find the leaders who excommunicated Galileo. Science as it is practiced today is largely not science at all. What people call science is probably very similar to what was called science in 1634. Galileo was told to recant his beliefs or be excommunicated. People who refuse to accept the commandments of the AIDS establishment are basically told the same thing: “If you don’t accept what we say, you’re out.”
It has been disappointing that so many scientists have absolutely refused to examine the available evidence in a neutral, dispassionate way. Several respected scientific journals have refused to print a statement issued by the Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the H.I.V./AIDS Hypothesis simply requesting “a thorough reappraisal of the existing evidence for and against this hypothesis.”
I spoke publicly about this issue for the first time at a meeting of the American Association for Clinical Chemists in San Diego.
I knew I would be among friends there. It was a small part of a much longer speech-at most I spoke for 15 minutes about AIDS. I told the audience how my inability to find a simple reference had sparked my curiosity.
The more I learned, the more outspoken I became. As a responsible scientist convinced that people were being killed by useless drugs, I could not remain silent.
The responses I received from my colleagues ranged from moderate acceptance to outright venom. When I was invited to speak about P.C.R. at the European Federation of Clinical Investigation in Toledo, Spain,
I told them that I would like to speak about H.I.V. and AIDS instead.
I don’t think they understood exactly what they were getting into when they agreed. Halfway through my speech, the president of the society cut me off. He suggested I answer some questions from the audience.
I thought it was incredibly rude and totally out of line that he cut me off, but what the hell, I would answer questions. He opened the floor to questions, and then decided that he would ask the first one.
Did I understand that I was being irresponsible ? That people who listened to me might stop using condoms ? I replied that fairly reliable statistics from the C.D.C. showed that in the United States, at least, the number of reported cases of every known venereal disease was increasing, meaning people were not using condoms, while using the initial definition of AIDS, the number of reported cases of AIDS was decreasing. So, no, I didn’t understand that I was being irresponsible. He decided that that was enough questions and ended the meeting abruptly.
Whenever I speak on this issue the question always comes up, “If H.I.V. isn’t the cause of AIDS, then what is ?” The answer to that is that I don’t know the answer to that, any more than Gallo or Montagnier knows. Knowing that there is no evidence that H.I.V. causes AIDS does not make me an authority on what does. It is indisputable that if an individual has extremely close contacts with a lot of people, the number of infectious organisms that this individual’s immune system is going to have to deal with will be high. If a person having 300 contacts a year – that’s 90,000 times more opportunity for infections than a person involved in an exclusive relationship.
Think of the immune system as a camel. If the camel is overloaded, it collapses. In the 1970s we had a significant number of highly mobile, promiscuous men sharing bodily fluids and fast lifestyles and drugs.
It was probable that a metropolitan homosexual would be exposed to damn near every infectious organism that has lived on humans. In fact if you had to devise a strategy to collect every infectious agent on the planet, you would build bathhouses and encourage very gregarious people to populate them. The immune system will fight, but the numbers will wear it down.
The scientific issue gets tangled up with morality. What I’m describing has nothing at all to do with morality. This is not “God’s wrath” or any other absurdity. A segment of our society was experimenting with a lifestyle, and it didn’t work. They got sick.
Another segment of our pluralistic society, call them doctor/scientist refugees from the failed War on Cancer, or just call them professional jackals, discovered that it did work. It worked for them. They are still making payments on their new BMWs out of your pocket.
I was invited by the Glaxo Pharmaceutical Company to speak at a conference. They sent me a letter in December of 1993 asking me to be the November 1994 symposium banquet speaker. If that time was not convenient for me, they wanted me to speak at the November 1995 banquet. Dr. John Partridge, who was the director of the Chemical Development Division, had not met me personally but had heard about a lecture I had given in 1991 at the Gordon Research Conference that, in his words, was “the most highly praised lecture that I have ever heard about from my academic and industrial colleagues.”
He was looking for “particularly articulate scientists who bridge the biochemical and medical disciplines and routinely engage in ‘out of the box’ thinking.”
Well, that certainly was me.
Dr. Partridge wrote that he would be pleased to pay all my travel and accommodations, as well as an honorarium of $1,500.
I thought this sounded all right, but I figured Glaxo could pay me a little more. What made this invitation particularly interesting to me was the fact that Glaxo was the largest drug company in the world, and one of their profitable drugs was the cellular poison being used against AIDS, A.Z.T. It kills cells like a cancer chemotherapeutic does. It keeps them from reproducing by preventing them from making new D.N.A. It also kills. In cancer, there is a rationale at least for using them, although I personally would never use chemotherapeutics on myself, cancer or not. But here’s the way the explanation goes.
I think it stinks of an old therapy they used to use against syphilis: arsenic. The syphilis was surely going to kill you, the arsenic might kill you, but maybe it would kill the syphilis first and you would live to fraternize again. The use of poisonous chemotherapeutics in cancer follows the same line. The cancer is surely going to kill you.
The chemotherapeutic surely will also, but maybe it will kill the cancer cells before it kills you. It’s a gamble. We will give you almost enough to kill you and hope it’s sufficient to kill the cancer.
I wouldn’t go for it myself. I don’t need to take drugs that make my hair fall out. But what the hell, if somebody wants to take this kind of gamble, it does have a sort of logic to it. Nothing fun. Nothing you would do for a headache. But it’s a chance somebody might want to take when the alternative is to die too young to watch their kids grow up. And some people do recover from cancer even after they have taken chemotherapeutics.
In the case of AIDS, the same strategy took a diabolic trurn. AIDS might kill you, A.Z.T. might also. It will surely make you sick. It will prevent the proliferation of any rapidly growing cells in your body, including the CD-4 immune cells that your doctor thinks you need now more that anything. It may kill the H.I.V. It kills it in petri dishes. But that may not cure you. The damage to you may have already been done, whatever it is. The complete absence of all H.I.V. from your body, even if it is accomplished, may not cure you of AIDS. No one has ever recovered from AIDS, even though they have recovered from H.I.V. And we are not going to give it to you in a limited dose as we do in the case of cancer chemotherapy, where we are gambling that although we are hurting you, we are hurting the cancer more and maybe you will survive longer. Here we are not gambling. No one has ever recovered from AIDS.
We cannot expect that you might recover. We are going to ask you to swallow this poison until you die.
About half a million people went for it. No one has been cured. Most of them are dead. The ones who are not are also taking another drug now, a protease inhibitor. Who knows what it will do? The manufacturers didn’t know when they started selling it.
The FD.A. didn’t require them to show that it would cure AIDS and not kill the patient, any more than they required them to show that about A.Z.T.
They only required that a surrogate goal be met. A surrogate goal means that something that we think may be related to the disease in question may be improved by the drug, like the level of CD-4 cells, whatever the fuck they are. It’s a way to get around the notion that a drug ought to be effective in curing the disease that it is sold for before it can be sold. The surrogate-goal bullshit is an indication that our F.D.A. no longer serves our needs. Or at least it does not serve our needs unless we own stock in the pharmaceutical industry and don’t give a shit about health care.
I was interested in giving a seminar about things like this to the scientists assembled in North Carolina by Glaxo, formerly Burroughs Wellcome, and by the University of North Carolina in the name of Frontiers in Chemistry and Medicine. I was thinking that this technique of killing people with a drug that was going to kill them in a way hardly distinguishable from the disease they were already dying from, just faster, was really out there on the edge of the frontiers of medicine. In previous interviews and seminars I had said that I thought A.Z.T. was not only useless against AIDS, but in fact it was poisoning people. There were large-scale medical studies done in Europe, called the Concorde Study, that indicated just this. A.Z.T was
worthless against AIDS and harmful even to healthy people. This conclusion was reached despite the fact that the study was heavily funded by Glaxo.
I wondered if these people knew how I felt about their product when they issued the invitation. I notified Dr. Partridge that I was pleased to accept if they would raise the ante a little. On January 26, 1994, I received a letter from M. Ross Johnson, the vice president of the division of chemistry They were very happy that I had accepted, and wrote that they would send me firstclass airfare for two, accommodation expenses, and an honorarium of $3,000. In closing, he asked me for the title of my banquet presentation.
So far, so good. I responded as requested, explaining that I intended to speak to this audience about a subject that should be of tremendous concern to the entire scientific community. I would speak about the fact that there is no scientific evidence that H.I.V. is the probable cause of AIDS and that I believed people taking A.Z.T. were being poisoned.
On October 14, 1994, a month before the meeting, I received another letter from Glaxo-this time from Gardiner F. H. Smith. No title. He was sincerely regretting having to inform me that they could no longer accommodate my presentation. He said that they would send me a check for $1,000 to compensate me for any inconvenience.
I responded with the following letter:
Dear Mr. Johnson:
Enclosed please find a copy of a fairly uninformative letter from a Mr Gardiner Smith, with whom I have not been in contact or correspondence previously.
As you know, my overall schedule is compact and very difficult to rearrange on short notice. I have declined, as a result of my commitment to Glaxo, income from other potential engagements. With Mr. Smith, I sincerely regret that your company had been forced into the “changing of the structuring,” whatever that means to Mr. Smith, of “the above referenced event.”
Unfortunately, I have made arrangements to attend several nonprofit institutional functions in the Southeast in connection with this trip, appearances which I will not cancel. Therefore, your company’s reluctance, as related perfunctorily by Mr. Smith, to abide by the terms of your (previous) correspondence represents a considerable loss of income as well as an unanticipated expense to me personally.
Mr. Smith’s unexplained offer of $1,000 compensation for my “time and trouble” adds a bit of mystery here as to who Mr. Smith is and what he must misconceive to be the value of my time and trouble.
I do not understand what Mr. Smith is exactly apologizing for in his letter, but I will be kindly expecting immediately, with or without an explanation from some more cordial and informed representative of Glaxo, a check for $6,048.00.
For Mr. Smith’s information, round-trip airfare between San Diego and RaleighDurham first class for two is $3,048.
Addition of our agreed-on honorarium of $3,000 results in the above figure.
One more thing you might consider, Dr. Johnson. A number of attendees at your meeting will likely have something to say to me about my failure to appear. You should be careful to explain there publicly precisely why Mr. Smith felt the need to inform me that your company has taken the liberty of “restructuring” in such a way as to be unable to “accommodate” my presentation.
I am not in the habit of canceling public appearances at such short notice, and would not care to gain such a reputation on your account. I hope you understand that this is not’ for me or for Glaxo, a trivial matter.
Dr. Kary B. Mullis
On November 30, 1994, I received another letter from Mr. Smith. It was quite brief, saying that he had received a copy of my letter to Dr. Johnson. Enclosed was a check from Glaxo in the amount of $6,048.
This was the most money I had ever made specifically for not doing something. And it occurred to me that, with my growing reputation for creating controversy, there might be many groups or individuals who did not want to hear me speak. Certainly that was their right, but if people did not want to hear ideas that would make them uncomfortable, they ought to be willing to pay not to hear them. With that thought in mind, I drafted the following offer:
HAVE SLIDES, WILL STAY HOME
Dr. Kary B. Mullis wants to talk to you and your associates, your friends, your sons and daughters. Is there anything you can do about it?
YES … BUT YOU MUST ACT NOW … SPECIAL OFFER
Dr Mullis won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1993 and promptly launched a worldwide lecture tour Universities, research institutes, conventions, high schools, businesses, community groups, he even addressed “Connect”-a joint project of U.C.S.D. and the San Diego biotech industry-right on the beach in front of his very own apartment, which has been described in the national press as “rented rooms filled with his tools of seduction. “
He is usually invited to lecture on the Polymerase Chain Reaction, but when the lights go down and the slides come on, well…
John Martin, President of the European Society for Clinical Investigation, said in Nature, “His [Dr. Mullis’s] only slides (or what he has called his art) were photographs he had taken of naked women with colored lights projected upon their bodies. He accused science of being universally corrupt with widespread falsification of data to obtain grants. Finally he impugned the personal honesty of several named scientists working in the H.I.V field…. The council of the European Society for Clinical Investigation will not be inviting Dr Mullis to further meetings. “
Really do you need this in your community? Of course not.
And now, for a limited time only you can be assured that Dr. Mullis will not ever lecture at your society, school, research lab, etc.
You personally … and confidentially … can assure it.
Call now at (my phone number) and ask for (my beautiful assistant). Have your Visa or MasterCard ready. Prevention rates begin at $500 per year guaranteed, and are progressive with the size and sensitivity of your organization. You may request personal anonymity or for $79.95 plus shipping we will send you a Special Service Award embossed with your name and a special inscription commending your judgment, foresight, and unselfish devotion to your community. Custom inscriptions are a little extra but can be especially commemorative.
Think about honoring your boss or one of your associates by taking advantage of our special “Help a Friend Stop Mullis” offer Call for details. Don’t delay Only one offer of complete protection per year can be extended to any single organization. Be first Be smart.
Recently, Glaxo Pharmaceuticals found it necessary to send Dr Mullis a check for $6,048.00 simply to prevent him from speaking at their annual Chemistry and Medicine at the Frontiers Conference in Chapel Hill, MC. No one at Glaxo had seen fit to acquire protection from a Mullis seminar, and, haplessly Dr. Ross Johnson, now no longer with Glaxo, had invited him.
I must report that the response to this offer has been underwhelming. Neiman Marcus has not chosen to include it in their famed Christmas catalog. So I have continued to speak out to any forum when I have been given the opportunity.
It is not too late, however If you would like to give the gift of my silence to an individual or an organization, all reasonable offers will be accepted.
NOTE: This offer is not open to family members or employees of Kary Mullis, who are doomed to have to listen to what I say.
“Hiv” e la farsa mondiale del 1 dicembre di ogni anno: Giornata mondiale del virus inesistente
Gallo US, uno dei 2 “scopritori del virus HIV, l’altro e’ il francese Luc Montagier, smentisce se stesso in tribunale in Australia…confermando tutte le affermazioni di altri eminenti ricercatori che affermano che il virus non crea-produce l’aids, anche perche’ non e’ stato mai fotografato….vedi qui i documenti: http://www.vacciniinforma.it/?p=3686
“Il paziente malato di Aids NON muore a causa del virus dell’HIV ma per alterazioni dell’assorbimento intestinale e quindi per ipoalimentazione (malNutrizione), dovuta a una grave micosi.” (By Dott. Gerhard Orth, Leuthkirch) + L’altra storia dell’Aids
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