A shocking documentary that exposes
In 1992, I embarked upon a pursuit that eventually would compel me from the grandstand of passive-objective journalism into the dangerous realm of “non-objective” advocacy. It all began when I took an in-depth look at America’s war against AIDS.
Like any independent reporter, I wanted my shot at a groundbreaking story. Any shocking expose that would accolade my career with the likes of great muckraking writers like Upton Sinclair, Ida Tarbell, Bernstein and Woodward would do. What I found however, plunged me into long hours of despair, frustration and deep debt, accompanied by an inability to tear myself loose from the cause of millions of lives hanging in the balance. The story was even bigger than I suspected! But what I did not expect was that only a few discerning souls would want to hear it---and even fewer care enough to voice opposition.
It all began when I followed a lead from a story written by Tom Bethell in The American Spectator, about a “heretic” scientist named Dr. Peter Duesberg, Duesberg is a prominent retro-virologist from the University of California at Berkeley, which was a great setting for an antiestablishment fracas to germinate. Quirks and quacks are always common with any high-profile story like the “AIDS epidemic,” but Dr. Duesberg sparked my interest because he was different. He had been a pioneer and cornerstone in the field of virus biology and the first scientist to map the genetic structure of retroviruses like HIV. During his research, he discovered oncogenes (genes that cause cancer), a find that is proving to be one of the greatest medical breakthroughs in understanding cancer.
Yet, despite a brilliant career of scientific research and government grants, Dr. Duesberg risked everything when he stood up against the gods of science and public opinion and boldly stated, “HIV is NOT the cause of AIDS!” I had to know more -- could he be right?
In early 1992,Dr. Duesberg’s arguments were already five years old, having been published in his well-researched denunciation of HIV in Cancer Research back in 1987. By the time I interviewed him, other respected biomedical experts had joined their voices in dissent with HIV/AIDS: Nobel prize winners Dr. Walter Gilbert from Harvard and Dr. Kary Mullis (who ironically invented the polymearse chain reaction technology used to falsely determine what is called HIV “viral load”); Dr. Richard Strohman, Berkeley professor emeritus of cell biology; and Dr. Charles Thomas, a biomedical research scientist who headed labs at Scripps-Howard and Upjohn. As a former Harvard professor, Dr. Thomas used his administrative skills to formulate, “The Scientific Group for Reappraisal of the HIV/AIDS Hypothesis.” HIV has never been proven to cause AIDS and remains a hypothesis mired in a myriad of idiosyncrasies. The “Group” only numbered 40 members then, but would soon swell to over 600 members by 1996 (eventually thousands more by 2000).
I booked tickets, packed video equipment and flew to California to document their story. To present an “objective” point of view, we also interviewed Dr. Warren Winklestein, an HIV-supporting epidemiologist and Dr. Duesberg’s on-campus rival, along with Dr. Chip Schooley, the “AZT guru” from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. They added balance, but nothing more; unless you value scientific arrogance. Instead, they proved to be typical of an army of financially vested “experts” who only muddy the waters with useless and deceptive data in support of HIV as the “cause of AIDS.” It was apparent early on that Robert Gallo (who invented the AIDS fraud after pirating the HIV virus from the French Pasteur Institute), and the money behind this scientific disaster had swayed the best of minds. All other facts be damned!
It didn’t take long to see that Robert Gallo’s bug had never passed real scientific scrutiny. On April 23rd, 1984,without peer review or debate, Health and Human Services Secretary, Margaret Heckler, and Gallo were busy at the U.S. Patent Office securing the royalties to the HIV antibody blood test as they made the announcement that they had discovered “the probable cause of AIDS”. All of the CDC’s earlier assessments, that the AIDS crisis was primarily the result of recreational drug use among addicts and sexual stimulants called “poppers” among a small percentage of gay men, was brushed aside due to it’s non-lucrative value. HIV was clearly where the money was, and the only cause of AIDS anyone wanted now. The landslide of public funding that followed would blow away any common sense and dissent from “honest” scientists who stood in the way.
The simple but profound letter questioning HIV issued by the Group for Reappraisal was the first victim of censorship. Their four-sentence statement called for proof that HIV really was the culprit behind this crisis, and that the entire hypothesis of HIV/AIDS be re-evaluated by a “suitable independent group”. The letter didn’t receive a smattering of ink in the galleys of the pharmaceutical-funded publications Nature, Science, New England Journal of Medicine or Lancet. Evidently, something foul was underfoot. The AIDS machine had already corrupted these editors into becoming the gatekeepers of silence.
But what was proving far worse then the absurdity of the HIV hypothesis itself, was the industry of death it was spawning. The same year Peter Duesberg exposed HIV as a fraud (1987), Burroughs-Wellcome, (now Glaxo-Smith-Cline) finagled an old cancer chemotherapy called AZT through the FDA for approval to treat AIDS patients. This highly toxic nucleoside analogue, designed to destroy the DNA of white blood cells, was given to human patients for the first time (after it caused cancer and poisoned the rats they fed it to in studies).One could only wonder why this known carcinogenic toxin was being administered to patients who desperately needed the very cells it was designed to kill. Unless of course, the drug was needed to actually cause AIDS because HIV did not. Dr. Duesberg pointed out that even the manufacturer’s warnings claimed AZT could cause AIDS by prescription!
The whole thing loomed at me like some kind of medieval nightmare. A failed hypothesis about a phantom germ, that terrorized the victim into taking poisonous “medications” that caused the very disease they are supposed to prevent. It was a self-fulfilling formula for medical disaster: “HIV causes AIDS”
In his brilliant investigative work, Poison by Prescription, statistician turned journalist, John Lauritsen, exposed the crooked and fraudulent tests the Wellcome company used to get AZT through FDA approval. Yet his voice, along with others from both the scientific and gay communities questioning the AIDS establishment’s terror tactics, were shouted down in anger.
That is exactly what happened to my first attempt with the documentary. After about four months of hard work and time, a rough-cut of the project was circulated to numerous potential distributors. They were colder then gravestones…no one wanted anything to do with it! Steve Smukie of the prestigious Creative Artists agency in Hollywood told us that he “found the information very compelling, but we can’t use it.”
Within months, Tom Hanks and Philadelphia would sweep the Oscars. Stars, news anchors, politicians, talk-show hosts, educators and preachers were turning AIDS into some kind of pathetic party with every guest wearing a red ribbon. As Tom Bethell was later heard to say, “AIDS has become more of a social program than a disease.”
Now anyone who questions HIV and AIDS as a sexually transmitted threat to the entire world, is dangerous and politically incorrect. I have seen it so many times even among my friends. When these questions are raised, there is almost a programmed psychological reaction that shuts off all information intake and analysis. This reflex reaction disables all analytical thinking, and leaves the listener uncomfortable and despondent. Like a an icy talon twisting it’s way into the inner mind, the AIDS establishment’s 20-year fear and terror campaign has embedded itself deep into the American psyche.
Grudgingly, I admitted my documentary effort was a lost cause. Yet somehow I trudged on and continued to follow the issue. I joined the Scientific Group for Reappraisal, followed the news and talked to anyone who might be willing to think above the HIV/AIDS lemming mentality. As the months drifted by, our numbers were growing. 1993 was a pivotal year. Dr. Robert Root-Bernstein released his book Rethinking AIDS and it generated reports questioning HIV orthodoxy on CNN, CBN and slew of local newscasts. Nicholas Regush and John Hockenberry did a prime time expose interviewing Dr Root- Bernstein and Dr. Peter Duesberg on ABC’s DAY 1. Later, Root-Bernstien and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US Health Department’s AIDS “expert”, debated the issue on Nightline.
But this had little lasting effect. When I contacted John Hockenberry about the response he received concerning the DAY 1 segment, he responded that it “hit with a thud”. He was actually surprised that there was virtually no audience response to the issue. Here was the most deadly and expensive medical hoax of the 20th century being exposed on prime television and even this was not enough to awaken the public from the spell. Former London Sunday Times Science Editor, Neville Hodgekinson, who has experienced the same reaction in the UK, expressed his curiosity with this “extraordinary” power of the fear of phantom germs over rational thinking adults. In our brief phone conversation we both agreed that this is an issue for sociologists, not research scientists. There was never any science behind HIV and that is progressively evident. The only real question is how this campaign of fear and social engineering continues to manipulate our highly educated modern culture?
I must admit that I grew weary of the battle. I excused myself from the issue for a while, thinking that these adults who chose to believe the government’s virus lies did so by their own consent, and it was their option to inform themselves. It was then that Celia Farber’s articles in Spin magazine about pediatric AIDS and pregnancy torched my anger, and compelled me back into the fight. Farber had been the lone light in this tunnel of media darkness for several years with her “AIDS: Words from the front” series. Her outstanding and ongoing investigation was now focusing on the use of AZT in children and treating pregnant women with it. This enraged me to no extent! To this day there are no large clinical tests in the US to determine what effects a substance designed to destroy DNA could have on a developing baby. But reports from small foreign studies are shocking! Babies are born with extra fingers, odd bowling-ball shaped heads, nerve and brain damage, holes in the vital organs and---AIDS.
In 1993, a large cohort study released at the Berlin AIDS conference (Concorde study 93) revealed that AZT was ineffective in slowing the progression of AIDS. In fact, as Peter Duesberg and John Luritsen had warned, people were dying 25 % percent faster---AIDS by Prescription. And now they were giving this useless toxic drug to pregnant women?
Imagine the US Department of Health, which recommends that women refrain from a few ounces of alcohol during pregnancy, actually advocating that these same women take a substance designed to destroy their baby’s DNA! Even if one believes that HIV causes AIDS, this is utter madness! 80 percent of all babies born to HIV positive mothers will be HIV negative. Of the remaining 20 percent, about half will not test positive to the virus according to Glaxo-Wellcome’s claims. (The media reports a 50% reduction of HIV transmission but it is actually only 1 out of 10) So we are destroying the DNA in developing fetus and babies in nine out of ten cases (90%) for no reason at all!
I had to do everything I could to stop this. With the help of Dave Dodd, my wife Debbie and the encouragement of some potential distributors I set out to produce the documentary for the second time. Because of legal complications, virtually everything was lost from my first attempt. I had to call Dr. Peter Duesberg, Dr. Charles Thomas and Dr. Richard Strohman again and ask them for more of their valuable time. They were very gracious and granted it. With credit cards in hand and my wife Debbie as production assistant, we began the task again in 1996.
By now I was developing a strong bond with Dr. Charles Thomas and we enjoyed dinner and the hospitality he and his wife showed us. The Group then numbered over 600 members and was a constant source of new scientific data in dispute of HIV. When we arrived at Peter Duesberg’s lab in Berkeley, he asked us “so why are you still covering this?” Obviously he had seen many reporters come and go. My only answer was, “the kids”. I think we both pondered for a moment on the consequences of the HIV disaster now threatening a young defenseless generation. His wife had given birth to a son just days earlier and that brought to mind my son, less then 1 year old, back in Denver.
The interviews went well. In a few weeks I was ready to start editing. Shortly thereafter I met Dr. David Rasnick, now president of the Group, who explained the dangers of the new class of drugs called protease inhibitors. Dave Rasnick also provided data documenting why HIV mutation theories lack scientific support. Dave has been at the forefront of the battle ever since and has been fully involved in resolving African AIDS problems and myths with South African President, Thabo Mbeki.
My goal with this new documentary was to present the Group’s position on almost every aspect of the HIV debate. Unlike before, I intentionally didn’t interview HIV proponents, though I did discuss their views and arguments. They have had over 15 years and 60 billion dollars of government-funded support to make their claim. (At 2007 this amount is about 250 billion) I wanted a clear, unencumbered presentation of the Group’s position, without the useless, time-wasting nonsense they use to confuse the public. The program was to follow a logical progression. History first; how the AIDS crises started and how HIV was hoisted upon the public. Then 10 scientific reasons that explain in layman’s terms why HIV can NOT be the cause of AIDS. After this, we explain what the causes of AIDS really are and why drugs like AZT and the protease inhibitors are dangerous and can cause AIDS chemically.
It is only after you dispel the fears and myths about HIV that you can actually see the dark forces that are behind it. Based upon a solid scientific critique, I could expose the: 1.Political-economic reasons why the program is genocidal and self-serving . 2.Why we have been terrorized by lies about AIDS being sexually transmitted. 3. The invalidity of “HIV testing, viral load counts, CD4 counts and “treatment” benefits. 4. How these propaganda distortions have entwined themselves into the media, the medical industry, the gay community, Christian fundamentalists and political leaders.
I believe I succeeded in accomplishing my objective. In February of 1997 the tape premiered at several HEAL (Health, Education, AIDS, Liaison) chapters around the country. We got standing ovations and great reactions in Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, New York and San Diego. The tapes sold like hot cakes for about 3 months, mostly to people directly affected by HIV. I never attended any of the events, but I was encouraged by the reports.
We scheduled our own premier in Denver, June 17th 1997. Ironically, the theater we scheduled the event at was also presenting a play called “Angles in America” simultaneously, a play about AIDS that supports AZT as a “miracle AIDS treatment” We invited all the newspapers, television news outlets, radio stations and local politicians. None of them came or reviewed the tape even though we sent them copies. Angels in America (which by this time was a re-heat of an old play from several years back) was reviewed and promoted by almost all the media extensively. Sadly, only the best of our friends attended the premier. But there were a small group of young HIV positive men who came and paid admission. Since then, they have gone off their medications and are all healthy. They bought the tape and have made dozens of copies for their friends.
But my prospective distributor refused to handle it claiming it was too long. I knew the real reason. Then other promoters and agents failed to secure television distribution and tape orders. I was deep into thousands of dollars in debt and by now most of the people hungry for the truth about HIV were already pirating copies from their friends. I am actually happy that the tape has been ripped off by so many people, because it is the only way the information could get out. The tape is saving lives and is circulating all over the world. Copies exist in the UK, France, Russia, Mexico, Australia and South Africa. I have sent copies to senators, congressmen, mayors, consumer groups and public watch-dog organizations. They rarely write back to even acknowledge they received it. But every now and then I am surprised by someone who has seen the documentary---and in cases where they are HIV antibody positive, they are deeply grateful. With a bitter sweetness, I have no regrets.
We offered the documentary, free of charge, to various PBS affiliates and “free Speech TV” channels, all declined to air it. Most cited reasons that it “didn’t present a balanced counter argument from the AIDS establishment.” We argued that if they really wanted balance they would air this tape to counter the hundreds of hours they spend providing unscientific programming in support of HIV=AIDS, which incidentally is paid for by huge pharmaceutical grants. Tony Brown’s Journal, which presented several programs that featured Dr. Duesberg’s debate on PBS, has been moved back past midnight in almost every market and eventually cancelled.
When we contacted our local PBS affiliate KBDI, they were at first thinking of presenting part of the tape along with a debate over the issue with Dr. Peter Duesberg and our old chum, Dr.Chip Schooley, from the AZT school of medicine at Colorado University. But when Schooley and Health official Frank Judson got wind of it they refused to debate the issue in any way and pressured KBDI not to even discuss the topic. On the night the debate was to air, the time was occupied by more AIDS establishment propaganda. Immediately after the program when they opened “free lines” for discussion, the program producer, Barbara Jabailey, recognized our voices and would not let us into the discussion. She laughed when we told her the information we had was lifesaving to many of the people viewing this program. These are typical examples of the censorship going on all around the world.
As I write this, a storm is brewing in South Africa where the conflict continues. The AIDS establishment has exported their hideous exploits to the third world, after the decline of AIDS in the US, and are now pressuring South African President Thabo Mbeki to give AZT to millions pregnant women. But thanks to the free flow if information through the internet and work of dissidents like Dr. Charles Geshekter and Anthony Brink, Mbeki is aware of the AIDS fraud and is resisting international pressure. Millions of lives hang in the balance of this decision---as President Mbeki reassesses the risk of HIV among the real heath concerns of this troubled little nation. As the international AIDS conference scheduled for South Africa draws near in July of 2000, the AIDS establishment is in an utter panic after Mbeki requested the advice of hated dissidents Dr. Peter Duesberg and Dr. David Rasnick. This may be the beginning of the end for the HIV/AIDS death march.
I sent several copies of the tape to Dr. Geshekter back in 1997. He has duplicated and circulated them at my request, and I know that they are having a great impact on the situation there. We are all part of a huge team effort and it’s finally beginning to pay off.
HIV/AIDS has robbed the public coffers of billions of dollars, wasted valuable research and medical talent, terrorized society and poisoned hundreds of thousands of people. It is by every measure the most dangerous and deadly medical fraud of all time. It is estimated that as many as 400,000 Americans have died due directly to the effects of “miracle drugs” like AZT. That’s almost eight times the number of US servicemen killed in Vietnam. The genocide induced by Robert Gallo’s titanic duplicity will be remembered in infamy for centuries to come. Was it conspiracy, collusion, fame or just the love of money that created HIV, the golden idol of junk science? Historians will ultimately have to make that call, as a journalist I can only report the facts as they happen.
I am very thankful that Marty Freyer came to Denver shortly before the documentary’s premiere and has headed up our local chapter of HEAL. He has been a constant support and influential leader. Together, we have done several radio and newspaper interviews while we worked through our strategies. He has a talent for cultivating the grass-root support and has talked to thousands of people. There are lots of local people who owe their lives to Marty, along with Larry Schneider, Chris, Bobbie, Jim Olsen, Rodney Richards and finally Tim and Eric. My deepest gratitude is extended to every one. Also I must thank my family and very good friend, Mike Sumrall, for their help and assistance in this horrific ordeal. These are only a few of the growing number of the finest people who have stood up against this madness. In spite of countless encounters with ignorance and callused arrogance, we are, as John Lauritsen put it, “bloodied but not bowed!”