4 January 2004
This article has been hard to write. I've taken a break from "AIDS" for several years, and returning to the topic now, I've been in shock over what has been done to us. My opinions have not changed: I still regard "AIDS" as the greatest blunder and the greatest hoax in medical history -- an epidemic of incompetence and an epidemic of lies.
As long as there has been "AIDS" there have been critics of the orthodox AIDS model: "AIDS dissidents". For the most part our voices were silenced. As AIDS became a religion, a death cult -- with sacred commodities, dogmas, rituals, and sacrifices - any expression of skepticism was tantamount to blasphemy.
For this article I don't intend to cover the waterfront, or go into the usual technobabble. Instead, I'll go back to the very earliest AIDS assumptions, and show the kind of skepticism that ought to have been applied to them. I'll try to analyze the basic "AIDS" concept in plain English, its contradictions and absurdities.
In 1981 five young men, all "active homosexuals" who were "previously healthy", were diagnosed as having Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP), which was then believed to be a rare disease caused by a protozoan. Shortly after this a couple of dozen men, also active homosexuals, were diagnosed as having Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), which was then believed to be a rare form of cancer. Public health workers and physicians *assumed* that there must be a connection, and strained mightily to find one. One term bandied about was "Gay Related Immune Deficiency", or GRID.
After gay leaders objected to GRID, it was changed to "Auto-Immune Deficiency Syndrome" (AIDS); some people believed that the body might somehow be destroying its own immune system. When the folks at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) realized that the "auto-immune" bit was untenable, but the acronym had caught on, they changed it to "*Acquired* Immune Deficiency Syndrome", even though nobody was sure what was meant by "acquired".
Even at this early stage there was a deficiency of skepticism. The PCP organism is now thought to be a fungus, rather than a protozoan, and it is ubiquitous -- present in the lungs of every human being in the world. Normally it co-exists peacefully with human hosts, causing illness only in those in desperately poor health. How, therefore, could PCP be *rare*, since poor health has always been part of the human condition? The alleged rareness of PCP is merely an artifact of the difficulty in diagnosing it. If someone in the past stopped breathing -- an old man at the end of his life or a heroin addict starving in an cold room -- the diagnosis would simply be "pneumonia", without reference to a micro-organism that had yet to be identified.
Kaposi's sarcoma was then considered to be a cancer. Most of the gay men with KS received cancer chemotherapy, and they quickly died. It is now known, and has been publicly admitted by top public health officials, that KS is not a cancer, but a rather benign affliction of the blood vessels; KS is not caused by HIV, and is not in any way related to "immune deficiency". The deaths of tens of thousands of gay men with KS were caused by toxic anti-cancer and anti-HIV drugs, not by KS itself. (See my poppers articles in the VirusMyth web site for the case that nitrite inhalants are causing KS in gay men.)
The basic AIDS-concept, prior to 1984, was that something caused a condition of "immune deficiency", which in turn caused PCP, KS, and various other "AIDS-indicator diseases". But here "immune deficiency" was defined in a way that was new and unprecedented: by counting CD4+ T lymphocytes, by computing T4/T8 ratios. By a miraculous coincidence, the technology for counting T-cells had been perfected just before the emergence of "AIDS", which the world had allegedly never seen before. Later on, CD4 counts, rather than the health of the patient, would be the basis for evaluating the efficacy of AIDS drugs. It has been known since at least 1993 (when the results of the Concorde AZT study were published), and has been publicly admitted by public health officials, that the CD4 test is worthless; nevertheless, this worthless test is still being used to evaluate the alleged efficacy of toxic and worthless AIDS drugs.
The very earliest attempts by the CDC to formulate a surveillance definition for "AIDS" involved a process of elimination. If a "previously healthy" patient developed an AIDS-defining illness, as well as low CD4 counts, and there was no known cause of the "immune deficiency", then he had AIDS. There are multiple fallacies involved here. For one thing, the early AIDS cases were by no means "previously healthy" -- they had, in fact, been quite sick for a long time. Secondly, all of the early cases had multiple and severe health risks in their lives. Thirdly, there are innumerable ways to become seriously sick (or "immune deficient"), and it is impossible to eliminate all of these.
In the early years various hypotheses were advanced as to the nature and causes of AIDS. All this changed in 1984, when the U.S. Secretary of Health announced at a press conference that the "probable cause of AIDS" had been found: HTLV-III ("Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type III", later re-named as "Human immunodeficiency virus" or HIV). Though there was no evidence for the AIDS-virus hypothesis then, and there is none now, it became instant dogma. From 1984 on, AIDS could only be discussed in an "AIDS virus" context.
I witnessed this shift first hand as a member of the New York Safer Sex Committee, which met in 1983-1984 to formulate the first comprehensive set of risk-reduction guidelines. I fought hard, and succeeded, in getting the guidelines to address drug abuse. Our brochure, with cartoons by Harold Cruse, came right out and said: "Avoid drugs. Shooting up kills... Poppers are also dangerous." In 1984 Gay Men's Health Crisis, the first and largest AIDS organization, ordered our brochure suppressed and supplanted by its own, which treated risk-reduction entirely in terms of avoiding a putative virus.
If HIV were the cause of "AIDS", or any other form of illness, then there would be HIV infection in every case of the disease. This is the logic of Koch's First Postulate, a standard test of whether an infectious agent causes a disease. Not only does HIV flunk Koch's First Postulate, it has never been properly isolated. Although we all have seen pictures of HIV, these are merely artist renditions of what HIV is *assumed* to look like. In reality, it has never been seen through the electron microscope, and may not even exist in a cell-free, infectious form.
Amazingly, no one has ever demonstrated HIV infection, even in a single case, using "infection" in the ordinary sense of the word. "Infection" implies a large amount of virus or microbe, and a high level of biochemical activity; there would be what's known as "viremia": the blood would be teeming with whole, cell-free, infectious viruses, hundreds of thousands to millions of them in every milliliter of blood. In fact, viremia has never been demonstrated.
Many people believe that the so-called "viral load" tests actually count whole viruses in the blood. This is not true, and the tests have been denounced by Kary Mullis, who ought to know, as he received the Nobel Prize in Science for inventing the technology on which they are based. According to Mullis: "Quantitative PCR is an oxymoron."
Neither of the "HIV-antibody" tests -- the Elisa or the Western Blot -- has ever been properly validated, which means that no one knows what their results mean. The tests are chemical reactions to antigens, which are substances that provoke an immune response. Many dozens of conditions can produce a positive result on these tests, including drug abuse, flu vaccinations, past infection with malaria, pregnancy, and liver disease. Nevertheless, physicians still use these worthless tests, assume that positive results mean HIV infection, and give their patients doom-diagnoses of "HIV-positive" or "AIDS".
"AIDS" is not a coherent disease entity, which has ever been rationally defined, but rather a dubious and contradictory construct, which has changed radically several times. Originally, those with an "AIDS" diagnosis were close to death; now one can obtain the diagnosis without even being sick. When "AIDS" is deconstructed, one is left with 29 (at last count) extremely heterogeneous "AIDS-indicator diseases", and can only say that different people are getting sick in different ways and for different reasons. For gay men, those reasons involve drugs (both "recreational" and pharmaceutical), alcoholism, venereal diseases, and powerful psychological factors.
The various AIDS drugs are, without exception, toxic and worthless. It is not true that the protease inhibitor "cocktails" have caused AIDS deaths to drop; on the contrary, they are causing death and deformity in people who would otherwise be healthy. These drugs were approved on the basis of invalid and even fraudulent research; their alleged benefits are concocted by behind-the-scenes public relations firms, who feed their stories into popular media and medical journals.
I'm afraid that I have barely scratched the surface of the AIDS-dissident arguments, but this is not intended to be a long article. For those of you who would like to learn more, a good place to begin is the Internet. The largest AIDS-dissident web site is based in Amsterdam: www.virusmyth.net/aids/ . The HEAL Toronto web site is especially valuable for its emphasis on the psycho-social aspects of the AIDS Cult: www.healtoronto.com .
The book I co-edited with Ian Young, *The AIDS Cult: Essays on the Gay Health Crisis*, explores the irrationalism and psychological horror of the epidemic -- medical voodoo - sadistic death threats met with masochistic death wishes. My earlier book, *The AIDS War*, contains my "dispatches from the front", 1985 to 1993. Books by Peter Duesberg, Joan Shenton, Ian Young and Neville Hodgkinson are also recommended. (See descriptions in the VirusMyth web site.)
It's time for gay men to wake up, look at "AIDS" rationally, and put an end to the sacrificial ritual. We didn't deserve this, and we should no longer go along with it.
John Lauritsen, Harvard College AB 1963. A retired survey research
analyst, he is now a full-time writer and publisher, who lives in Dorchester,
Massachusetts. John Lauritsen has been active in gay liberation since the summer
of 1969 - a member of New York Gay Liberation Front, Gay Activists Alliance,
Gay Academic Union, and Columbia University Seminar on Homosexualities. He's
written for many publications, including : New York Native, Christopher Street,
Gay News (London), The Freethinker (London), SPIN, The Lancet, and Journal of
His first book (co-authored) was The Early Homosexual Rights Movement (1864-1935) (New York 1974; 2nd Edition, Ojai, California 1995). His seventh and most recent book is A Freethinker's Primer of Male Love (Provincetown 1998).
Groundbreaking books about AIDS include "AZT : Poison by prescription" and "The AIDS Wars".
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