On the Other Hand...

by Jim Davies

The Wrong Haystack?


The greatest medical mystery of our time may be the search for a cure for AIDS, and it's certainly like hunting for a needle in a haystack. However, though this has seen virtually no coverage by the mainstream media, it seems more than possible that almost all current hunting is in the wrong haystack.

During all those dark centuries when the only medicine available came from witch doctors, there was really no way for ordinary people living in grass huts to question their authority. The only experts were the witch doctors; and they swore up and down not only that their diagnoses were just fine but that any who dared question them might suffer a dreadful fate under the next Full Moon.

The hunt for an AIDS cure is so complex that we ordinary layfolk are in a rather similar position; to question the premises on which the research is being done requires expertese possessed only by AIDS researchers, and so we face a closed loop as inpenetrable as that of old-time Darkest Africa; or almost so. Fortunately, one or two of them are blowing the whistle.

The Cause

No cure for anything can ever be found without first correctly identifying the cause; that's a basic part of the scientific method. And ever since research started a dozen years ago, the cause of AIDS has been said to be the HIV virus, which destroys our immune system so that we cannot overcome other, known diseases such as TB and pneumonia when they happen to strike.

That's the theory on which all government-funded AIDS research is being done. In fact, government funding is expressly denied to any would-be AIDS researcher who questions that basic theory; it's become a litmus test. So, since researchers too have to eat, they go along to get along. The HIV theory is the haystack in which they all agree to hunt; and so far, we notice that the needle has not been found. All the King's horses, and men, have so far failed.

The HIV theory was formed in 1984 by one Robert Gallo, who had found a modest correlation between presence of the virus and the disease symptoms.

According to a June 1994 "Reason" magazine article by Drs Thomas, Mullis and Johnson, however, evidence has grown that that correlation is, at best, highly imperfect. That is, there are plenty of people who have the HIV virus but who have not in over a decade suffered full-blown AIDS, while on the other hand there are many people who have died with symptoms that would have been described as AIDS except for the fact that no HIV was present.

Further, they write "after spending billions of [taxpayer] dollars, HIV researchers are still unable to explain how HIV... damages the immune system" - that is, the mechanism remains totally obscure. And thirdly, predictions based on the theory (another vital ingredient of the scientific method) have "failed spectacularly", for AIDS has NOT spread throughout the population as predicted, but has remained almost entirely confined to its original risk groups.  

Blown Open

The significance of that is enormous. Once it gains wide public recognition, it threatens to blow wide open the entire government-funded AIDS-research establishment. It says that your money and mine has been used to steer hunters into the wrong haystack - and, for the last few years at least, that that has been done deliberately and knowingly by concealing this criticism.

The loss of our money is quite bad enough. But the loss (of life itself) by those actually suffering from this disease is infinitely greater. It's not hard to understand why the culprits want to delay the day of reckoning, and suppress the kind of alarm signal you are now reading.

Unfortunately, this "wrong haystack" possibility is not the sum of the bad news. If it's true that HIV is not the cause of AIDS, then researchers have to go right back to the drawing-board and identify all over again precisely what AIDS is. Presently AIDS is said to be "that which is caused by HIV" and HIV is said to be "that which causes AIDS", and - believe it or not, folks - there are intelligent and talented people making good livings today, all at your expense and mine, by spouting such circular nonsense with straight faces.

And if the plug is pulled on it, the question is open: what is AIDS? - does it, in fact, even exist at all, as a separately identifiable disease?

It's not correct to say that the jury is still out on that one, because the jury (in the sense of a team of unbiased, impartial skilled researchers) has not even yet been formed, let alone had the question presented to it. But right now, it's a real possibility that the answer is no, AIDS in that sense does not exist; that the whole of its lucrative research establishment is a bubble. That, at least, is the opinion of Dr Phillippe Krynen, who for five years has led a medical team treating "AIDS" in Tanzania, one of its alleged hot spots.

That's not to say that there is no medical problem. Certainly, the evidence seems strong that male homosexual promiscuity and mainline drug addiction, as lifestyles, correlate well with damage to the immune system. Precisely why that is so may remain a mystery, but it's not necessarily by means of a virus. Quite possibly, those lifestyles go along with low self-esteem and malnutrition, which on their own may account for susceptibility to killer diseases.

If that is so, I'm one of the last people to draw any "moral" lesson from it. I just hope that those who choose to live in those ways are allowed to understand the risks so that they can weigh the costs before choosing to pay them. It is most certainly NOT the business of government to interfere to prevent them, any more than it should steal our money to bale them out when they get sick; and most particularly, it is outrageous that government should outlaw the sale of a clean needle to anyone with a few cents to buy one. Such AIDS as there truly is, may be caused in large part by the goverment's hysterical War on Drugs.

Back to Subject Index