The AIDS War: Propaganda, Profiteering and Genocide from the   Medical-Industrial Complex by  John Lauritsen,  New York: ASKLEPIOS, 1993.

Reviewed by Henry H. Bauer, Editor
Virginia Scholar (Issue Number 8, April 1996)

    [SYNOPSIS OF REVIEWS IN V.S. #7:  For various unsavory reasons, among them the prevailing societal attitude of political correctness, it is not widely realized how strong is the evidence that the virus, HIV, is not the cause of AIDS. Many people have died with AIDS-type symptoms without having been exposed to HIV. but since the 1984 announcement of the discovery of HIV, the official definition of “AIDS” has been changed several times and it now makes HIV-exposure a necessary criterion. Yet the actual predicament of Acquired Immune-Deficiency can be brought on by many things: prescription drugs, illegal drugs, the trauma of surgery, human cells of foreign origin (as in blood transfusion), and more.
        “Epidemics” in restricted areas or within restricted groups of people are not necessarily caused by infectious agents; they have been wrongly attributed to viruses or bacteria in a number of instances where the culprit later turned out to be malnutrition or drugs. Much of the data cited in support of the notion that HIV=AIDS and  AIDS=HIV, might be equally or better explained in other ways. However, epidemiological surveys of AIDS usually fail to gather such crucial information — for testing other hypotheses of AIDS causation — as medical history, other infections experienced, or current treatment for AIDS.
        HIV is transmitted with much more difficulty than typical STDs are. The incidence of AIDS continues to be restricted largely to the same groups in which it was first identified, namely drug users and fast-lane homosexuals. Re-examination of the HIV=AIDS hypothesis is being urged by Nobel Prize winners and other eminent scientists. One reason why the matter is urgent is that AZT is almost routinely prescribed for people who are HIV-positive but have no other symptoms; and AZT kills, typically within a few years.]

    If you're going to read only one book about AIDS, it should be The AIDS War, a collection of essays, some new for this book and others originally published in newspapers or magazines between 1985 and 1993. The author “began researching ‘AIDS’ in early 1983. Initially I was shocked by the incompetence with which the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) conducted survey research, my own profession since 1966. Later I would be shocked by the dishonesty, venality, and ruthlessness of the AIDS Establishment.” (10)

    Strong stuff. Lauritsen, himself gay, describes as “genocide” the prescribing of AZT for HIV-infected people. That may be unwarranted: “Never attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence; the latter is so much more common.”  “Genocide” connotes an awareness and deliberate intention for which the evidence is not in; but the evidence is in that the consequences of current practice have the same result as deliberate genocide would. It is another instance of the banality of evil: incompetents seeking advancement, honest scientists keeping quiet, bureaucrats covering up, misunderstanding of what medicine and science are capable of, Establishment-cowed media, companies seeking profits — all those common human and social characteristics seem to be responsible here that so often tritely conspire to produce evil. As Lauritsen also points out, “It is a comment on our age: Nobody is responsible for anything” (435).

    Anyone concerned about AIDS — everyone, in other words — ought to read  this book. Discount Lauritsen's stronger accusations and language if you will and as you like; discount Lauritsen's pedantry (which I happen to share) as to syntax and grammar (thus Lauritsen correctly places periods and commas outside quote marks unless the punctuation belongs to the quote — the proper [and British] usage albeit not the standard American one); allow him his tendency to health-faddism (226 ff.) — still he gives chapter and verse, authoritative evidence and clear logic, that go far to make these salient points:

    • HIV is not the cause of AIDS;
    • drug abuse is likely a primary cause;
    • AZT treatment is iatrogenic homicide. 

    Along the way, readers benefit in several respects from a viewpoint that is not readily available elsewhere. For example, on using the presence of antibodies to HIV as a diagnosis of AIDS and inevitable death, Lauritsen reminds us that the induction of antibodies used to be called “vaccination” and immunity against the disease (50). Reading that I remembered the test for tuberculosis that I'd been given in Australia: a positive showing of antibodies was taken — among those born in Australia where TB is rare — as a warning of possibly active infection with tuberculosis; but among migrants from Europe where TB was endemic, the showing of antibodies was taken as a sign of having become immune.

    Already in 1985 (Chapter I) Lauritsen had shown how the CDC's manner of presenting the data misrepresented the place of drugs among risk factors; and he had suggested that AIDS stems from multiple insults to the immune system, as Root-Bernstein argued in 1993 in Rethinking AIDS. Lauritsen was also the first (in 1987) to challenge the dire official predictions of an exploding epidemic (119), which predictions can by now be seen to have been unsound.  HIV is currently implicated in AIDS by definition. Any of 29 disparate diseases, when encountered in the presence of HIV antibodies, is now defined as constituting “AIDS”; and those 29 are truly an odd, miscellaneous collection — bacterial, fungal, viral, and even of unknown etiology. Those same 29 diseases also occur in absence of HIV. Where is the proof that it was the HIV that caused the immune-deficiency that allowed one (or more) of those diseases to become active?  After all, as articles in Science and similar journals do periodically illustrate, we are still trying to discover how HIV could destroy the immune system as it is presumed to do. Lauritsen's concluding Chapter XXXV indicates indeed that the dissident or unorthodox view, that HIV is not the cause of AIDS, is beginning to prevail. (Rethinking AIDS [Reviewed in V.S. #7] is devoted almost in its entirety to demonstrating that HIV has not been proven the cause of AIDS.)

    Here are some of the points that particularly caught my attention:

    • There has never been a substantive reply from the AIDS Establishment to Peter Duesberg's comprehensive, professional argument that HIV is not the cause of AIDS (68, 135, 136).

    • Robert Gallo's earlier claim of a “leukemia” virus (HTLV-I) has  also been challenged (50 ff.).

    • Luc Montagnier, the actual discoverer of HIV, agrees with Duesberg that retroviruses are characteristically benign rather than disease-inducing (169).

    • Of 8871 health-care workers who developed AIDS by September 1992, only 7 did not have such risks as IV-drug use, hemophilia, transfusion, homosexuality, etc. Occupational exposure to HIV is not very risky!

    • Hysteria that HIV causes AIDS and inevitably a gruesome death may itself be deadly when someone tests positive for HIV antibodies: we know that people who are convinced that they will soon die, often do (266 ff.). Such contagious hysteria has affected people even recently in Britain (461).

    • Though 2/3 of all AIDS cases may be gays, just a small percentage of gays have AIDS (188-9). It is only “the commercial gay milieu”, the “fast-lane” homosexual scene, that has the deadly combination of “recreational” drugs, unrealistic or unhealthy attitudes, and much venereal disease with consequent over-use of antibiotics. Lauritsen has made this point to “hundreds of PWAs [People With AIDS]” without being contradicted (191).

    • The evidence is quite clear, from the FDA's own Establishment Inspection Report, that the AZT trials that led to its approval as a treatment for AIDS were invalid (chapter XXIX & pp. 452-3). No one has lived more than three years on AZT treatment (263, 302).

    • “In the last couple of years, gay men in San Francisco and New York City, two epicenters of the ‘AIDS epidemic’, have gone back to the levels of drug abuse and promiscuity that obtained in the 70s and early 80s.” (424-5).

    • Is it needle-sharing or the drugs themselves that are dangerous?  Who says IV-drug-abusers typically share needles? (185-6) “Clean needles” campaigning among drug-users amounts to saying that using drugs is not a risk to health!

    • An excellent reason for unorthodoxy: “Only dead fish swim with the stream.” (263).

    • Our contemporary tendency to jump to the conclusion that illness results from viruses is illustrated by the usage “computer virus” — not “sabotage”, “parasite”, “fungus”, “pollutant”, “bacterium”, “poison”, or any of the other possible terms that might have been used (463). (“Virus” may be particularly apt, though, because it does no harm and does not reproduce until a program is executed: biological viruses, too, need a host cell's machinery running in order to reproduce.)

    Opponents of PC, deconstructionism, post-modernism and the like will also be interested to learn that at meetings of the Gay Academic Union, on “a number of occasions ... presentations were canceled or speakers were shouted down, because they were considered to be ‘politically incorrect’.... a distinguished gay scholar was heckled and silenced when he attempted to present a brief critique of ‘Social Construction Theory’, an ill-defined set of beliefs that was then in vogue among the younger and less knowledgeable gay scholars” (260). (Would that it were no longer in vogue among professors of English, Sociology, and Science & Technology Studies!)

    Scholars will also be inclined to agree with Lauritsen's conclusion on what needs to be done: “Somehow we must return to older and better standards. This means a return to the authority of intellect and ethics, as opposed to the authority of money and power.” (458).

                                                                    #    #    #

Return to Booklist.