We are all victims of AIDS.

Note: The article above first appeared in Gazette #36, May 1991. The accuracy of its predictions will be obvious.


(With the Deft Stroke of a Bureaucrat’s Pen)

by Gene Franks

Is it not living in a continual mistake to look upon diseases, as we do now, as separate entities, which must exist, like dogs and cats, instead of looking upon them as conditions, like a dirty and clean condition, and just as much under our control . . . ?Florence Nightingale.

I would rather die and have done with it than spend life in defending myself against a phantasmal siege of microbes. If that is to he barbarous, unenlightened, I embrace gladly my Cimmerian darkness. Sri Aurobindo.

With the advent of electronic technology it is now possible to inform/misinform more people than at any time in history. Walene James(Immunization: The Reality behind the Myth).

About ten Gazettes ago, I wrote a piece called “Truth, Turkeys & Trihalomethanes,” which was all about how advertisers and politicians go about molding our opinions. The article was built around a statement made to a New York Times reporter by Cooper Evans, special agricultural assistant to President Bush. Evans said that the government’s strategy for persuading Americans that our food supply is safe from pesticides is simple: “Say it over and over for a number of years.”

Later in the article I used the selling of AIDS as an example:

One fairly certain tip-off that you are being hammered with propaganda is endless repetition of the same information. Think of what Cooper Evans said about ‘saying it over and over for a number of years’ the next time you read an AIDS story. I’ll bet you can’t find one, in fact, that doesn’t tell you for the 4,000th time that AIDS is caused by HIV. It is very important to government health officials that we believe that.

Mark Twain said, “Ignorance is not not knowing but knowing what isn’t so.” An interesting thing about information management in our free society is that it is usually not even necessary to suppress contradictory opinion since it is so easy to shout it down with a simplistic version of “what isn’t so.” “HIV causes AIDS” is a slogan, not a fact. Its almost universal acceptance among the TV-indoctrinated public results from its having been said “over and over for a number of years” and occasionally enhanced by a dab of “educational” slight of hand. For example, the TV pictures of little video game viruses attacking the immune system are inventions, outright cartoons, although most people believe them to be photos or at least dot-by-dot computer simulations of activities that have actually been observed within our bodies. In truth, there is no proof at all that the “AIDS virus” does anything of the sort to our cells.

Statistics, the old standby of purveyors of shady information, plays a major role in the selling of AIDS. If you believe that AIDS is a separate entity, like a dog or a cat, to borrow good old Florence Nightingale’s phrase, take a look at the AP article below, which I clipped front a June 8. 1991 newspaper.

AIDS definition under review

Washington — Federal health experts who track the AIDS epidemic are seriously considering changing the definition of the disease to include many more people infected with the virus, an official said Friday.

Dr. Gary Noble, a deputy director of the federal Centers for Disease Control, said the change might double the number of people considered to have AIDS.

Since the government began counting 10 years ago, 174,893 people in the United States had been diagnosed with AIDS and 110,530 of those have died.

Experts say between 1 million and 1.5 million others in the United States are infected, some with no symptoms and others have varying degrees of illness.

Many who would be newly classified as having AIDS under the plan being considered are now diagnosed only as being infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

What the article says, in addition to “HIV causes AIDS” for the 4,976th time, is that some night next year we will hear on the Channel 8 News the alarming announcement that AIDS cases have doubled and Senator Jones is demanding $33 million more for research. The commentator won’t mention that, aside from those AIDS cases driven to an early grave by the again totally unfounded slogan “AIDS is inevitably fatal,” not a single person will have died who would not have died anyway. AIDS deaths will have doubled only in the sense that many fatalities that would have been listed in the Centers for Disease Contol’s ledger of death under various other headings will now be in the AIDS column.

Heterosexualizing AIDS: A Stroke of Fundraising Genius

We are a fear-driven nation–the capitalists frighten us with the bogey of communism; the militarists frighten us with the threat of atomic war; the theologians frighten us with imaginary hells, purgatories, devils and demons; the medical gangsters frighten us with cancer, germs and viruses–and all of them for their own purposes, namely picking our pockets in one way or another.–Dr. Herbert Shelton.

This will be only one of a number of Centers for Disease Control (CDC) changes in the definiton of AIDS that have served to pump up the totals and change the public’s view of the “epidemic.” Here’s how a Sept./Oct. 1988 Utne Reader article (Joseph Hooper, “Sex & circulation: Why media hypes hetero risk”) explains the government’s promotion of the myth that the AIDS risk to heterosexuals is rapidly increasing:

In 1986 government researchers provided the media with all the ammunition they needed to launch an all-out heterosexual scare. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) decided to change its bookkeeping procedures, lumping in native-born African and Haitian AIDS victims with the rest of the heterosexual cases (this despite evidence that many of them had acquired the disease homosexually). Most subsequent AIDS stories would report the alarming statistic that the incidence of hetero cases had doubled in the past year, from 2 percent to 4 percent.

In June the Public Health Service . . . hastily produced a report that projected hetero AIDS cases at 9 percent of all cases by 1991. The figure was high because the researchers had factored in cases where the source of infection could not be determined, previously a separate category. The new figures sounded dramatic, and they persuaded government officials such as Surgeon General Everett Koop and Secretary of Health and Human Services Otis Bowen to issue severe warnings on the heterosexual threat.

Why is CDC so intent on “heterosexualizing” AIDS? According to Hooper, “Seven years ago, CDC researchers were horrified to discover that funds to fight the disease would not be forthcoming until the heterosexual majority felt itself to be at some risk.” Panic has always been a formidable weapon in the fund-raiser’s arsenal. The late Dr. Herbert Shelton put it bluntly: “We are a fear-driven nation–the capitalists frighten us with the bogey of communism; the militarists frighten us with the threat of atomic war; the theologians frighten us with imaginary hells, purgatories, devils and demons; the medical gangsters frighten us with cancer, germs and viruses–and all of them for their own purposes, namely picking our pockets in one way or another.”

The redefining of AIDS to inflate it to panic-producing proportions in the public mind has been exceptionally successful. The last previous major redefinition [Editor’s note: there have been more since this article was published],. CDC’s 1987 Revision of Case Definition for AIDS for Surveillance Purposes, produced an immediate surge in AIDS cases and provided for steady growth. The 1987 Revision is so extensive and complicated that few people, few doctors, are really familiar with it.

Most people, most doctors, define AIDS in accord with the simplistic explanations offered by television, the schools, and other slogan mills. They believe that AIDS is a disease that you “catch” by being infected with a specific virus called HIV which slowly destroys the immune system until you finally succumb to some “opportunistic” disease like Kaposi’s sarcoma or Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. Unfortunately, the popular definition of AIDS bears no more resemblance to the definition used by CDC to count AIDS victims than a bat used to hit a baseball to a bat that flies from the belfry. The names are the same, and there the similarity ends.

It’s interesting that if the popular definition of AIDS were strictly applied to counting the victims, the total of AIDS victims to date would be a resounding zero. This is because no one has proven, not even remotely, that HIV ever harmed anyone. We are expected to accept HlV’s virulence on faith, though no one has been able to verify it. Since antibody to HIV is found in many (but not nearly all) immuno-suppresed people, it is assumed that HIV is immuno-suppressive. This is no more logical than concluding that maggots kill dogs because maggots are sometimes found on dead dogs.

In contrast to the popular version, CDC’s 1987 AIDS definition is so broad that it allows almost anything short of a gunshot to be totaled in as AIDS. Here are a few discrepancies that you may not be aware of:

1. Most people believe that to “have AIDS” one must test “HIV positive.” Not so. There are three categories: Positive, Negative, Unknown or Inconclusive. You can “have AIDS” if you’re in any of the three. In the broad sense, HIV doesn’t have anything to do with it.

Here is a rather amazing bit of information that comes from the Journal of the American Medical Association (Sept. 4, 1987, p. 1149). For three years of AIDS cases (1985-87) reported to CDC, one third were from New York and San Francisco. Of this third, 93% were in the Unknown or Inconclusive category as regards HlV-test status. The Positive to Negative ratio of the remaining 7% is not given, but one must conclude that while the TV sets were blaring “HIV causes AIDS” less than 7% of those registered as AIDS victims in San Francisco and New York were known HIV carriers.

2. Countless conditions and factors are known to contribute to immune failure. To mention a few: radiation, herbicides, pesticides, water pollution (including intentional fluoridation), yeast, viral, parasitic and bacterial infections (hepatitis-B, herpes zoster, syphilis, gonorrhea, Candida albicans, Epstein Barr), poor nutrition and sanitation, iatrogenetic (doctor-created) factors such as antibiotics and blood and blood products (even uncontaminated blood is immuno-suppressive, since a transfusion is an organ transplant), vaccines, psychological stress, certain sex practices [female infibulation (a form of vaginal mutilation practiced in central Africa) and anal sex], and drug use, legal or illegal.

Though these factors, and most usually combinations of them, can lead to immune failure indistinguishable from AIDS, CDC staunchly insists that HIV is the one and only cause of AIDS. For example, severe pesticide poisoning leads to a condition which environmental medicine specialists call CAIDS (Chemically Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). CAIDS patients have the same blood symptoms (low T cell count, too many “suppressors” as compared to “helpers”) as AIDS patients. According to CAIDS expert Dr. Alan Levin, M. D., even low levels of pesticides which produce no noticeable sign of damage weaken the immune system by upsetting the “intricate balance of immune system components” and leave us vulnerable to conditions ranging from mild allergies to full-blown immune failure (see William Legro, “Under Siege,” Organic Gardening, April 1988). CDC, however, insists that there is no connection between AIDS and the 1.35 million tons of pesticides we Americans use each year.

Similarly. CDC refuses to recognize a connection between drug abuse and AIDS, although one survey showed that 79% of the AIDS patients studied were heavy drug users. The first 50 certified AIDS cases were, without exception, isobutl nitrite (poppers) sniffers, but CDC denies there is a connection. The original five AIDS patients were variously hospitalized before diagnosis for AIDS with liver ailments, prolonged fevers, CMV infection, leukopenia, Hodgkins, and other ailments; they had received radiation, corticosteroids TMP, SMX, and a wide range of antibiotics–all immune system destroyers. However, by CDC’s description, all were “previously healthy individuals.”

AIDS researcher Jon Rappoport (AIDS, Inc.) says that “previously healthy” is a CDC “technical term” which means “not previously dead.”

3. By the AIDS definition of 1987, “previously healthy individuals” who contract candidiasis of the esophagus, cytomegalovirus retinitis with loss of vision, Kaposi’s sarcoma, lymphoid interstitial pneumonia and/or pulmonary lymphoid hyperplasia (children under 13 only), disseminate mycobacterial disease, Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, or toxoplasmosis of the brain (over one month of age only) are diagnosed as AIDS cases even if their HIV status is inconclusive or unknown. This is patently absurd. Kaposi’s sarcoma, for example, the second most prevalent “symptom” of AIDS, exists in many forms and varieties and has been observed in areas of Africa as long as records exist. Did all those people have AIDS? In the U.S., medical literature has recorded cases of Kaposi’s brought on by immunosuppresive drug therapy, the steroid prednisone, and long-term use of sulfamide drugs, yet by CDC logic anyone who has Kaposi’s, even though no evidence of HIV infection can be demonstrated, has AIDS. And HIV causes AIDS.

The disease that by far has been most effective in swelling the AIDS totals is, however, pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. “The myth of pneumocystis,” Jon Rappoport writes, “is that it was extremely rare before AIDS, that it was almost unknown, in fact. The other myth is that if two people have pneumocystis, they both developed it from the same cause. That is preposterous.”

By CDC’s 1987 AIDS definition, all “not previously dead” people who are diagnosed with pneumocystis are “presumptively diagnosed” as AIDS cases even if HIV tests are negative. This makes almost anyone with severely suppressed immune function an AIDS case. According to Rappoport, the pneumocystis protozoa is found in 70-85 percent of healthy people. You and I are, most likely, walking around with pneumocyctis in our lungs. “It causes no harm. It is one of those germs which establishes an easy relationship with the host. However, when immunosuppression becomes severe enough, it can come to the fore, center in the lungs, and cause virulent disease.”

When the Mayo Clinic did a study of 53 pneumocyctis cases recorded between 1976 and 1983, the largest number, 16 cases, were determined to have resulted from corticosterioid drugs used to treat infammatory diseases. Fifteen resulted from leukemia, 9 from lymphoma, 5 from malignancies, and only 2 from what they termed AIDS. By the 1987 CDC definition of AIDS, all 53 would likely go in the AIDS column.

The promotion of pneumocytis as AIDS is a complicated and fascinating story that needs more space than I have. It involves the development of tests capable of diagnosing this ancient form of pneumonia where none had existed in the pre-AIDS era (formerly, diagnosis was by autopsy), totally disregarding thousands of pre-AIDS cases that were documented among malourished people in post-World War II Europe, and the stubborn effort by medical authorities to classify anyone who could breath as “previously healthy.” Rappoport summarizes: “The rush to call hospitalized 1980 gay pneumocystis patients ‘previously healthy,’ and to undertake a viral quest for the cause of their immunosuppression, leaving obvious background drug and other factors in the dust, has to rank as one of he most bizarre moves in the history of medicine.”

Bizarre, yes, but certainly not without precedent. Those familiar with the history of vaccinations will know that the “disease by definition” strategy has been used effectively to create and “conquer” epidemics in he past. The stories of polio and smallpox, for example, provide superb examples of statistical manipulation. In both cases, number games and altered definitions were skillfully used, first, to inflate the magnitude of the epidemic and then to credit vaccines for the conquest of a disease condition that had simply run its course and died of natural causes. The Salk vaccine was so potent, it appears, that medical authorities now proudly point to charts that show that it wiped out the killer disease in some areas before it was even available!

The introduction of the polio vaccine was accompanied by a strict new definition of the disease that required 60 days of paralytic symptoms for a polio diagnosis. Prior to the vaccine, only 24 hours of paralysis was required. With the vaccine also came strict new methods for separating meningitis and Cocksackie virus from polio. Before Salk, most meningitis cases were reported as polio. Los Angeles County reported 50 cases of meningitis and 273 of polio in July 1955; the county’s official health index showed 256 cases of meningitis and 5 cases of polio for September 1966, and a footnote for the meningitis explained, “most cases reported prior to July 1, 1958 as non-paralytic poliomyelitis are now reported as viral or aseptic meningitis.” The truly amazing thing is that although polio is as dead as a rock, with most Americans since the 1950s having natural immunity and the few reported cases now being attributable to the vaccine, the legal drug industry continues to push millions of doses of polio vaccine each year by pressing the same old panic button that worked so well in the 1950s.

Prescription for AIDS: The Gazette’s Opinion

Since the creation of AIDS, I have been a nonbeliever. Although we are witnessing an increase in deaths and disabilities related to immune-system failure, this is occurring as a natural and predictable consequence of our abuse of chemicals, malnourishment, over population, the ever-increasing use of vaccines, and other lifestyle problems that are identifiable and correctable. The belief that we are experiencing an attack from a mysterious viral invader, a veritable Saddam Hussein of the micro world, and that our only hope is to get out our checkbooks and our yellow ribbons in support of the technologically adept medical-pharmaceutical-research army is, for want of a nicer way to say it, unmitigated horse shit.

Dr. John Seale, a noted British researcher who reviewed the frantic scramble of scientists to be first on the market with an AIDS virus, wrote: “If a science-fiction writer had invented AIDS and the scientists in the book were behaving as these scientists are, the writer wouldn’t find a publisher, because no one would find the behavior credible. Nobody in science fiction would get away with this crap.” As usual, truth proves stranger than fiction.

Since questioning the War on AIDS, or the War on Anything for that matter, puts one in the company of some pretty nutty people, I want to stress that I do not believe that AIDS is a communist plot or a CIA scheme to rid the world of homosexuals. Nor do I believe that your family doctor is a knowing participant in a sinister scheme to bilk us of billions. (Contrary to the popular image, doctors are essentially the grunts of the medical-pharmaceutical industry, the privates of the medical army, the retailers, as it were, who do most of the dirty work and have nothing to do with the planning. Their information about AIDS comes from the same slogan mills as ours. Their slogans are the same as the school’s or the TV’s; they just repeat them with greater authority.)

What I do believe about AIDS is that it is a very successful promotion that has managed to lump together in the public mind many preexisting conditions and thus to create the impression that an “epidemic” is taking place. HIV is a metaphor, as Michael Callen, an articulate AIDS patient and researcher, explained: “One advantage of believing that HlV is the cause of AIDS is that it’s such a simple explanation. All you have to say is that a killer virus is on the loose which, like some PAC MAN video game, eats T-4 cells. Such a simplistic explanation seems tailor made for the TV age since it fits so beautifully into the 8-second sound bit mentality of most Americans” (quoted in Jon Rappoport’s AIDS, Inc.).

Dr. Peter Duesberg, the University of California molecular biologist who has been an outspoken nonbeliever in HIV, has seen his arguments ignored and shouted down with slogans. The media have trivialized the AIDS discussion to the point where one would think that the War on AIDS hinges on whether or not we put rubber machines in public buildings. The progressives are for it and the reactionaries are against it. Locally, crusading college students are risking expulsion to fight AIDS by passing out free condoms on campus. My own crotchety view is that they would do better to learn something about AIDS. Condoms are the yellow ribbons of the War on AIDS.

The Gazette’s advice for survival in the age of AIDS is simply, “Don’t worry; be healthy.” Dr. Raymond K. Brown, with broad experience in both cancer and AIDS treatment, points out that “. . . singular emphasis on the virus itself has obscured the fact that AIDS occurs only in already immunosuppressed individuals…. Healthy people do not get AIDS.” Therefore, partake of sensible amounts of nourishing food and pure water, air, sunshine, exercise. Respect your body’s exceptional ability to live at peace with the micro world. Avoid suppressors of the immune system: chemicals, drugs, vaccines, transfusions, anal sex, etc. (The warning against anal sex is not a moral pronouncement but a very real physical concern. In addition to being a frequent cause of infections that lead to immunosuppressive antibiotics, anal sex is like transfusions and vaccinations in that it bypasses the body’s normal immune defenses and introduces large amounts of foreign proteins into intimate tissues of the body unprepared to receive them.)

On the whole “safe sex” issue, the Gazette has no advice. Everyone must decide that for him- or herself. As for me, having gotten along so well and so happily all these years on unsafe sex, I have no plans for change. Like Sri Aurobindo, quoted above, “I would rather die and have done with it than spend life in defending myself against a phantasmal siege of microbes.” The other side of the coin is that if AIDS, sure death, could really be “caught” by a healthy individual in a single, unlucky random act of sex, then no form of sex would be safe enough. Like smoking filter cigarettes or “cutting down on red meat,” condoms are our typical halfway solution. I’ll end with an expansion on that idea by AIDS patient Michael Callen. Pay attention, because he is speaking with conviction of one who may well give his life on the altars of a religion he doesn’t believe in:

I have never understood how those who have proposed that a single unlucky contact with HIV can lead to AIDS and death can recommend safer sex. I for one don’t believe sex is worth dying for. If I thought a single sexual encounter could kill, I’d advise everyone to stop absolutely and completely until we have a cure or a vaccine. If sex is truly Russian Roulette as the proponents of HIV imply, then the only ethical advice would be to throw the gun away–not merely play less often. I know it offends some, but I think AIDS is a pretty hard disease to contract; you almost have to work at it to get it. This is strong evidence in favor of the multifactor model.

Good news and bad, Jones. Your community’s environment checks out OK–there’s no reasonable cause for alarm. However, now we’ve redefined AIDS and because of your unclean moral character, it looks like you’ve got it. Expect to die within the next 13 years, unless it takes longer, and in the meantime we count on your continued financial and political support to insure the safety of future generations. Too bad you didn’t use rubbers like we told you.

Note: The article above first appeared in Gazette #36, May 1991 and is, therefore, a little dated. Nevertheless, the principles it expresses are as true today as in 1991. Subsequent redefinitions of AIDS have expanded the scope of the “disease” to such absurd lengths as the inclusion of cervical cancer as an AIDS marker with the obvious purpose of “feminizing” and heterosexualizing what has been basically a male homosexual phenomenon.