The AIDS Cult:
Essays on the Gay Health Crisis

John Lauritsen & Ian Young, Editors
Published by Asklepios (Pagan Press)
ISBN O-943742-10-2 paperback. US$15

Reviewed by Alex Russell

Continuum Magazine, Vol. 4 No. 5

    The AIDS Cult offers essays that examine the psycho-social origins of  the ‘HIV/AIDS’ belief system. The opening essay, ‘The fantasy group  origins of AIDS’ by the late Casper Schmidt, a psychoanalyst with a  practice in New York, written in 1984, was astonishingly prophetic of  our current rethinking of the ‘AIDS’ construct.

    Ian Young, in the preface, states that ‘HIV believers’ and ‘AIDS  critics’ have ignored the psycho-social factors that have arguably  contributed to the unnecessary deaths of thousands. Schmidt nominates  ‘AIDS’ as a “bio-psycho-social disorder” and contends that AIDS is  psychologically contagious, being ‘spread’ through mass-hypnosis rather  than microbes. He proposes that chronic and inescapable fear can elicit  a biochemical reaction in the body, which in time causes  “psychogenically-reduced cell-mediated immunity”. For Schmidt, ‘AIDS’  can be explained through the concept of group fantasy — people are  collectively in a trance: “I would like to present the evidence  available to me in support of the hypothesis: a) that AIDS is a typical  example of epidemic hysteria, b) that the epidemic has at its core an  unconscious group delusion, which can be called the group-fantasy of  scapegoating, c) that the combination of these unconscious group  tensions brought about a subtle and sophisticated, but nevertheless  sacrificial witch hunt, in which the participants were the Moral  Majority, d) that these attacks resulted in an epidemic of depression  based mostly on shame; e) that the core sign of AIDS, the reduction of  cell-mediated response, is one of the typical vegetative signs of severe  depression; f) that the epidemic represents, in the group's unconscious  fantasies, an equivalent war, during which the group keeps careful count  of the sacrifices; g) and finally that, since the epidemic is  psychogenic, the prediction can be made that the group will decide when  it should be over (when they have ‘had enough’), a decision which will  be broadcast to the group members through the media, so that after a  suitable lag period the epidemic will resolve and the incidence will  descend from epidemic to endemic levels.”

    The epidemic of group hysteria is specific to certain groups, therefore  ‘AIDS’ cannot be an epidemic of pathogenic origin. Schmidt lists  numerous examples of workplace group hysteria where the sufferers  imagine that they have been poisoned: “This shared fantasy of a poison  threat is found in all cases of epidemic hysteria... these fantasies are  culture-specific in contents, based on the theory of disease for each  culture... From mediaeval Spain through to Nazi Germany, Jews were  believed to poison wells, or were blood poisoners of the group. In  southern Italy people were bitten by tarantulas, thus poisoning their  blood for life...” The ‘poison threat’ is registered psychically as an  external assault analogous to outside ‘invasion’ of the imaginary ‘HIV’.  An ‘HIV positive’ test result or an ‘AIDS’ diagnosis may trigger  psychosomatic symptoms which are then misinterpreted as ‘HIV’-driven  dementia.

    Co-editor Lauritsen expands the argument that psychosis and  psychosomatic conditions are induced by the psychological terrorism of  ‘HIV/AIDS’ propagandists: “Highly sophisticated psychological techniques  are being used to make gay men perceive themselves as sick, and become  sick, in order to qualify as consumers of AZT. The ‘Living With HIV’  campaign is, quite literally, a form of voodoo” — or government approved  euthanasia. Schmidt observed that his ‘AIDS’ patients suffered syndromes  of long-standing stress connected with guilt feelings about their  sexuality and suffered from intense, socially induced shame resulting in  histories of psychosomatic complaints and a ‘suicide syndrome’.  Psychosomatic symptoms are solutions for anxieties of psychotic  intensity, which is why so many gay men needed the demon icon ‘HIV’. Thus  the group fantasy of ‘HIV/AIDS’ unified a fragmented gay community with  the solidarity of pseudo-disease-identity: ‘I'm HIV’.

    ‘HIV/AIDS’ diagnosis initiates psychosomatic conditions as well as  psychotic fantasies; belief in an early death will result in an early  death. Michael Ellner's and Andrew Cort's chapter, ‘Programmed To Die:  Cultural Hypnosis & AIDS’ focuses on the psychic powers of bone-pointing  (voodoo death) as a contributory factor in causing the premature deaths  of the ‘true HIV/AIDS believers’. It is ‘intrinsic’ that one ‘believes’ in  ‘HIV/AIDS’ for the hex to work; as the authors state: “The hex is  harmless to a non-believer, but to a believer it is deadly. After having  a bone pointed at them, healthy people go home and obediently die.”  Voodoo death, or bone-pointing are cultural practices originating in  Haiti, Africa and Australia and are now practiced at the Terrence  Higgins Trust and Project Inform; instead of the bone, they point a  Living Will form at you.

    George N. Hazlehurst's chapter, ‘AIDS as Information Disease’, examines  how the AIDS establishment — through ignorant doctors, counselors and  journalists — has programmed thousands to die a premature death via its  disinformation and propaganda. Hazlehurst states: “These people need to  be deprogrammed if they are to recover ... the probability that such a  plan could succeed is far from certain, especially in the presence of  continuing negative propaganda by the establishment and the continuing  attraction of the cult-like mass of HIV+ true believers in a certain  death.” The acronym ‘HIV’ has penetrated the unconscious of millions to  such a profound extent that the announcement that ‘HIV’ never existed  will inevitably cause massive trauma in the ‘loss’ of such an  identity-totem.

    Freud's thesis on the Death Instinct as auto-destructiveness fits the  psychological profile of many ‘HIV’ believers. We need to reprogramme  ‘AIDS’ counselors away from their Kubler-Ross style bone pointing  strategies. Cass Mann, in ‘Deadly Counsels’, chillingly asks: “How many  of the deaths, especially suicides, of people with ‘AIDS’ have been  caused by the deadly psycho-pathology underlying most ‘AIDS’ counseling?”

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