Badpuppy Gay Today

Monday, 07 July, 1997

MONKEY BUSINESS
The Secret AIDS Genocide Plot
Fifth in a Series

By Alan Cantwell Jr., M.D.



 

When Robert Gallo's book, Virus Hunting: AIDS, Cancer and the Human Retrovirus, was published in 1991, I was curious to learn what made him suspect the African green monkey as the animal that brought us AIDS.

In a footnote on page 227 he explains: "Amazingly, in the early part of my research on AIDS (early 1983) I was visited by Ann Guidici Fettner, a freelance writer who told me emphatically that the origins and epicenter of the epidemic were in a river basin near Lake Victoria. She also stated she believed the virus came from African green monkeys, apparently due to her experiences and observations in central Africa."

I was surprised that Gallo was crediting the monkey story to Fettner, a journalist best known for her AIDS reports in the New York Native in the early years of the epidemic. I was familiar with her writings in the Native, but never once did I read that she had suggested the green monkey story to Gallo. In fact, some of her stories were highly critical of the scientist.

Fettner, along with microbiologist William Check, wrote The Truth About AIDS (1984), one of the first books published on the epidemic. According to the book jacket notes, Fettner had served as health advisor to the government of Kenya. The book was published shortly before Gallo's discovery of the AIDS virus in April 1984.

In The Truth About AIDS nothing is recorded about Fettner's experiences in Africa; green monkeys are never mentioned; and there is no suggestion that AIDS originated in Africa. On the contrary, Fettner and Check conclude that "AIDS started as an American disease."

In my view, Gallo had two good reasons to put the origin of AIDS in Africa, and to blame African green monkeys. First, the African origin conveniently covered up the link between the gay hepatitis B vaccine program and the outbreak of AIDS in American cities. Second, putting the blame on wild monkeys was an effective way to obscure the probable laboratory origin of HIV and its derivation from a laboratory animal cancer virus.

Not surprisingly, Max Essex, a Harvard veterinarian who had experimented with cat AIDS before the human AIDS outbreak, quickly joined Gallo in pointing the finger at Africa. Also joining the chorus was Donald Francis, who had worked with Essex in the cat experiments at Harvard. Francis had injected Africans in the WHO smallpox vaccine program, and also inoculated American gays in the hepatitis B experiment. Donald Francis is fond of saying: "I went into my profession because I like to find an epidemic, find a vaccine, vaccinate against it, and move on to the next epidemic."

The media immediately crowned Gallo, Essex, Francis, and their colleagues as the leading lights in AIDS research. Gallo's pronouncements and his monkey story became gospel. Scientists who dared oppose Gallo's "official" views found themselves in trouble. However, behind closed doors scientists grumbled that Gallo had stolen the AIDS virus from the French researchers at the Pasteur Institute.

Time (April 30, 1984) parroted Gallo's contention that the AIDS virus "may have been in the African bush for some time." Newsweek (May 7), pictured a world map showing arrows pointing to probable routes of the AIDS virus "on the move" out of Africa.

How did the disease begin in Africa? Norbert Rapoza, a senior virologist employed by the AMA, informed the physician readers of the American Medical News (An AIDS Expert's Grim Message, December 5, 1986) that "AIDS began in central Africa, probably as a monkey virus that jumped species. It may have been spread by mosquitoes that bit rural African tribesmen. Then, the virus may have mutated and when the tribesmen moved to the big cities, two things happened: they became involved with prostitutes and picked up sexually transmitted diseases, and they were treated for these diseases with dirty needles. Or the original virus may have come from a hooved animal a--cow or a pig--and may have been transmitted by some African's custom of cutting the neck and drinking the blood."

How did the AIDS virus end up infecting gays in Greenwich Village? Rapoza also had that answer: "One theory of how AIDS migrated from Africa is that some Haitians used to work in Zaire (in Central Africa) and had returned by 1977, when an international conference of gays was held in Haiti, where the virus could have been spread by sex or drugs or both and then could have been taken back to New York and California."

I had never read such an unscientific, racist and homophobic story in a medical publication. As a gay man I knew full well there was never an international gay conference in Haiti; and I never heard of West Coast gays going to Haiti for sex. It was pathetic how physicians were duped into believing the most ridiculous stories about AIDS.

Someday the "other" history of AIDS will be recorded in the science books. Historians will thoroughly investigate the professional careers of the most famous government AIDS researchers, and they will discover how they rapidly became the top guns in medical science. When the secret biowarfare research of government scientists and virologists comes to light, the true laboratory origin of AIDS will be uncovered.

Did HIV come out of a cancer virus laboratory? In 1971 after part of the Fort Detrick biological warfare unit was transferred over to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), military BW research was allowed to secretly continue under the guise of cancer research. The transformed facility is now known as the Frederick Cancer Research Center.

Richard Hatch writes that Robert Gallo was a project officer of "a massive virus inoculation program that began in 1962 and ran until at least 1976, and used more than 2,000 monkeys. The monkeys were injected with everything from human cancer tissues to rare viruses, and even sheep's blood, in an effort to find a transmissible cancer. Many of these monkeys succumbed to immunosuppression after infection with the Mason Pfizer monkey virus, the first known immunosuppressive retrovirus, a class of viruses that included the immunodeficiency AIDS virus."

Laboratory viruses were forced from one species of animal into another species, and by the mid 1970s new cancer viruses were created by the process of genetic engineering. In the process, the so-called "species barrier" was routinely breached. During the 1977-78 period, the Virus Cancer Program produced 60,000 liters of cancer-causing and immunosuppressive viruses.

This vast military research was made possible through the assistance of the NIH and the NCI. In his 1991 report, "Cancer Warfare," Hatch concludes: "While Nixon ordered a supposed end to BW offensive efforts in 1969, the CIA retained a secret BW and toxin weapon capability. Given this record of deception in the U.S. BW program, the Viral Cancer Program may well have used the search for a cure for cancer as a cover to continue its experiments on biological warfare."

As predicted by the biowarfare experts, new cancer-causing monster viruses were created that had a deadly effect on the immune system. In one experiment reported in 1974, newborn chimpanzees were taken away from their mothers at birth and weaned on milk obtained from virus-infected cows. Some of the chimps sickened and died with two diseases that had never been observed in chimpanzees. The first was Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (later known as the "gay pneumonia" of AIDS); the second was leukemia, a cancer of the blood.

A few scientists expressed concern regarding the safety of these laboratories which housed dangerous mutant viruses and supergerms. What would happen if one of these deadly, genetically engineered microbes escaped from the laboratory?

In November 1973 a high-level conference entitled "Biohazards in Biological Research" convened at Asilomar, near Pacific Grove in Northern California. The leading cancer virologists freely admitted there was no foolproof way to prevent the escape of these highly dangerous, cancer-causing viruses into the community. However, in the event of an "accident," plans were drawn up to insure that the introduction of such a virus into the human population could be detected and investigated.

At the conference, sophisticated epidemiologic programs were devised. Government agencies would oversee groups or "cohorts" of people who "might be exposed" to the escaped virus in the future. Other groups who "had been previously exposed" to the cancer-causing virus would also be put under surveillance. The researchers at Asilomar were well aware of the grave risks of their cancer virus research. However, they also understood their scientific mission was to prove, beyond all doubt, that animal cancer viruses could cause cancer in humans.

Scientists like Francis Black of Yale University Medical School were not adverse to taking risks. "If we do believe in our mission of trying to control cancer, it behooves us to accept some risk. Even if, as has been suggested, five or ten people might lose their lives, this might be a small price for the number of lives that would be saved."

Science and ethics had officially parted company.

Shortly after Gallo declared himself the discoverer of the AIDS virus in April 1984, Luc Montagnier insisted he had discovered the AIDS virus a year before Gallo. Montagnier, a researcher at the Pasteur Institute, had isolated his virus from the swollen lymph nodes of a gay Parisian who had sex in Manhattan in 1979. In January 1983 Montagnier sent his virus to Gallo's lab for identification.

Montagnier and the Pasteur Institute now accuse Gallo of stealing the French virus and presenting it to the scientific world as his discovery. The French demand that they be recognized as the true discoverers of the AIDS virus.

Gallo has denied the charge, insisting that Montagnier's virus was not the true AIDS virus.

The Centers for Disease Control sided with Gallo, emphasizing that the French virus and Gallo's AIDS virus were two completely different viruses. Eventually, the two "different" viruses were proven to be identical.

In 1985 the Pasteur Institute filed suit against the U.S. Federal Government. The French argue they are the true discoverers of the HIV virus, and they want their full share of the profits to be derived from the new AIDS industry. The French lawyers hint about scientific irregularities and alterations of scientific documents on the part of the Americans. The lawyers also know about previous serious errors Gallo made in virus identification. For example, Gallo's 1975 "discovery" of a "new" and "human" HL-23 virus eventually proved to be three contaminating ape viruses (gibbon-ape virus, simian sarcoma virus, and baboon endogenous virus). Gallo claims he has no idea how these viruses contaminated his research.

Other legal evidence was even more damaging. Gallo had repeatedly stated that Montagnier's virus was not the real virus. He also insisted Montagnier's virus had not contaminated his cultures. However, further investigation proved that the two AIDS viruses were as identical as any two viruses could be. The French lawyers could easily prove Gallo stole Montagnier's AIDS virus.

In early 1987 the French Premier and President Ronald Reagan intervened in the increasingly delicate matter. Behind closed doors it was decided that debating AIDS science in court would open a big can of worms. Particularly delicate was the biowarfare issue. And neither government wanted any hint of biowarfare aired in public.

A quick settlement was reached out of court for an undisclosed sum, and the public missed the scientific scandal of the century. The French were officially accepted as co-discoverers of the AIDS virus, and the following year Gallo and Montagnier both began collecting $100,000 annually from the patent rights of the blood test designed to detect HIV virus antibodies.

Gallo's monkey story remains the "official" AIDS story. Nevertheless, a few cracks in the monkey theory have appeared in print. On June 2, 1988, an article entitled "Research refutes the idea that human AIDS virus originated in monkey" appeared in the Los Angeles Times. In the process of decoding and comparing the genetic structure of the monkey virus with the human AIDS virus, Japanese molecular biologists discovered that the genetic sequences of the two viruses differed by more than 50%. On this basis the researchers concluded that there was no genetic relationship between the green monkey and the AIDS virus. The Japanese finding was completely at odds with the official view of Gallo and Essex.

The Japanese investigators specifically criticized Myron (Max) Essex and Phyllis Kanki of Harvard Medical School, who "discovered" a second AIDS virus in African green monkeys that was initially heralded in medical circles and in the media. But Essex and Kanki's "second" AIDS virus proved to be another "contaminant" virus. The origin of the contaminant monkey virus was traced to the Harvard researchers own laboratory.

If the human AIDS virus is not related to the African green monkey, what is its origin? According to the Los Angeles Times medical writer, Robert Steinbrook, "the new (Japanese) findings lend support to other explanations for the origins of human AIDS viruses. These include their beginnings in common ancestors of human and primates, their presence in isolated human populations for hundreds or thousands of years, or the existence of a yet-to-be-identified prototype AIDS-like virus that first infected humans in modern times." I tried to understand what the writer meant by all this, but it sounded like double-talk to cover-up fuzzy scientific thinking and the real origin of HIV.

Gallo's monkey business was indeed a strange brew of fact and fiction. What was obvious was that the world's leading virologist could not always distinguish between animal and human viruses, nor could he always distinguish contaminating laboratory viruses from the real thing. Although his HIV virus and the French virus were proven to be identical, he insisted they were completely different viruses. Yet he remained the King of AIDS, respected and honored and awarded and rewarded handsomely by the medical and scientific establishment.

Gallo's kingdom at the NCI showed, in 1993, signs of crumbling. Independent investigators at the NCI concluded that he falsified and misrepresented his scientific publications. Dr. Prem Sarin, his former deputy chief at his NCI lab, faced indictment by a grand jury on charges that he took illegal payments from a drug company and lied on financial disclosure forms. NIH officials accused Gallo of unethical behavior and recommended that his chief deputy, Mikulas Popovic, be barred permanently from medical research.

Concurrent with Gallo's scientific troubles in 1993 were other rumblings in the media suggesting that AIDS might have started from human experiments or contaminated vaccines.

Is AIDS a man-made epidemic? A few stories in print in 1991-1992 seem to point in that direction.

(To Be Continued)

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