Sunday, February 05, 2023
  Virus Mania    by Torsten Engelbrecht, Claus Köhnlein     Source
About this book

A daily scan through the newspapers and TV news gives the impression that the entire world is constantly invaded by new and horrible virus epidemics. The latest headlines feature the human papillomavirus (HPV) alleged to cause cervical cancer and the avian flu virus, H5N1. The public is also continually terrorized by reports about SARS, BSE, Hepatitis C, AIDS, Ebola, and Polio. However, this virus mayhem ignores very basic scientific facts: the existence, the pathogenicity and the deadly effects of these agents have never been proven. The medical establishment and its loyal media acolytes claim that this evidence has been produced. But these claims are highly suspect because modern medicine has pushed direct virus proof methods aside and uses dubious indirect tools to "prove" the existence of viruses such as antibody tests and the polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

The authors of Virus Mania, journalist Torsten Engelbrecht and doctor of internal medicine Claus Köhnlein, show that these alleged contagious viruses are, in fact, particles produced by the cells themselves as a consequence of certain stress factors such as drugs. These particles are then identified by antibody and PCR tests and interpreted as epidemic-causing viruses by doctors who have been inoculated for over 100 years by the theory that microbes are deadly and only modern medications and vaccines will protect us from virus pandemics.

The central aim of this book is to steer the discussion back to a real scientific debate and put medicine back on the path of an impartial analysis of the facts. It will put medical experiments, clinical trials, statistics and government policies under the microscope, revealing that the people charged with protecting our health and safety have deviated from this path. Along the way, Engelbrecht and Köhnlein will analyze all possible causes of illness such as pharmaceuticals, lifestyle drugs, pesticides, heavy metals, pollution, stress and processed (and sometimes genetically modified) foods. All of these can heavily damage the body of humans and animals and even kill them. And precisely these factors typically prevail where the victims of alleged viruses live and work. To substantiate these claims, the authors cite dozens of highly renowned scientists, among them the Nobel laureates Kary Mullis, Barbara McClintock, Walter Gilbert, Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet and microbiologist and Pulitzer Prize winner René Dubos. The book presents approximately 1,100 pertinent scientific references, the majority of which have been published recently.

The topic of this book is of pivotal significance. The pharmaceutical companies and top scientists rake in enormous sums of money by attacking germs and the media boosts its audience ratings and circulations with sensationalized reporting (the coverage of the New York Times and Der Spiegel are specifically analyzed). Individuals pay the highest price of all, without getting what they deserve and need most to maintain health: enlightenment about the real causes and true necessities for prevention and cure of their illnesses. "The first step is to give up the illusion that the primary purpose of modern medical research is to improve people's health most effectively and efficiently," advises John Abramson of Harvard Medical School. "The primary purpose of commercially-funded clinical research is to maximize financial return on investment, not health."

Virus Mania will inform you on how such an environment took root – and how to empower yourself for a healthy life.

About the Authors

Torsten Engelbrecht works as a freelance journalist in Hamburg. He has written articles for publications such as Medical Hypotheses, British Medical Journal (online), Siiddeutsche Zeitung, Neue Zurcher Zeitung, and The Ecologist. From 2000 to 2004, he worked as business editor of the Financial Times Deutschland.

Claus Köhnlein is a medical specialist of internal diseases. He completed his residency in the Oncology Department at the University of Kiel. Since 1993, he has worked in his own medical practice, treating Hepatitis C and AIDS patients who are skeptical of antiviral medications.

Posted on 15 Jun 2020
Table of Contents  
Foreword I
By Etienne de Harven, MD
Foreword II
By Joachim Mutter, MD
Society Under the Spell of a One-Dimensional Microbe Theory
Chapter 1
Medicine Presents a Distorted Picture of Microbes
   ■ Microbes: Branded as Scapegoats
   ■ Fungi: As in the Forest, So in the Human Body
   ■ Bacteria: At the Beginning of All Life
   ■ Viruses: Lethal Mini-Monsters?
Chapter 2
The Microbe Hunters Seize Power
   ■ Pasteur and Koch: Two of Many Scientific Cheats
   ■ Scurvy, Beriberi and Pellagra: The Microbe Hunters' Many Defeats
   ■ Hippocrates, von Pettenkofer, Bircher-Benner: The Wisdom of the Body
   ■ Clustering: How To Make an Epidemic Out of One Infected Patient
   ■ Polio: Pesticides Such as DDT and Heavy Metals Under Suspicion
   ■ Gajdusek's "Slow Virus": Infinite Leeway for Explanations
   ■ After World War II: Visible Proof of Viruses? We Don't Need That!
   ■ The Virus Disaster of the 1970s-and HIV as Salvation in the 1980s
Chapter 3
AIDS: From Spare Tire to Multibillion-Dollar Business
   ■ AIDS: What Exactly Is It?
   ■ Where Is the Proof of HIV?
   ■ HIV = AIDS?
   ■ HIV Antibody Tests, PCR Viral Load Tests, CD4 Counts: As Uninformative as a Toss of a Coin
   ■ Drugs, Medicines and Malnutrition Lead to AIDS
   ■ The Early 1980s: Poppers and AIDS Drugs
   ■ How the "Fast-Lane Lifestyle" Topic Got Out of Sight
   ■ New York, February 2005: From Super-Drug Consumers to "Super-AIDS-Virus" Patients
   ■ Gallo, 1994: Not HIV, But Sex Drugs Like Poppers Cause AIDS
   ■ Der Spiegel: On the Paths of Sensationalistic Journalism
   ■ AIDS Is Not a Sexually-Transmitted Disease
   ■ 23 April 1984: Gallo's TV Appearance Carves the Virus Dogma in Stone
   ■ New York Times: Chief Medical Reporter Altman's Cozy Relationship With Epidemic Authorities  
   ■ 1987: Top Experts Take the Stage as Critics of AIDS Orthodoxy
   ■ 1994: AIDS-Researcher David Ho-as Convincing as a Giraffe with Sunglasses
   ■ The Media Under the Spell of Celebrity Researchers
   ■ AIDS Medications: The Fable of Life- Prolonging Effects
   ■ People as Guinea Pigs
   ■ AZT Study 1987: A Gigantic Botch-Up
   ■ The AIDS Therapy Dilemma
   ■ All on AZT: The Deaths of Freddie Mercury, Rudolph Nureyev and Arthur Ashe
   ■ Basketball Star "Magic" Johnson: "There Is No Magic in AZT, and No AZT in 'Magic'"
   ■ Hemophiliacs and AIDS
   ■ Africa: How Well-Known Diseases are Redefined as AIDS
Chapter 4
Hepatitis C: Toxins Such as Alcohol, Heroin, and Prescription Drugs Suffice as Explanations
   ■ HIV Mania: Detonation for Antiviral Hepatitis C Therapy
   ■ How To Create a Hepatitis C Virus
   ■ Hepatitis C Can Also Be Explained Without a Virus
   ■ Pamela Anderson: The Virus Industry's Grand Marshall
Chapter 5
BSE: The Epidemic That Never Was
   ■ BSE: Prophecies of Horror and Wastes of Money
   ■ The Dogma of the Infectious Disease BSE
   ■ Activism Feigned for Safety
   ■ The Infection Hypothesis Is Founded on Dubious Experiments
   ■ BSE: A Genetic Defect Due To Inbreeding
   ■ BSE as an Effect of Chemical Poisoning
   ■ BSE Is Not an Infectious Disease
Chapter 6
SARS: Hysteria on the Heels of AIDS and BSE
   ■ First 9/11, Next the War in Iraq-and then SARS?
   ■ Critical Thoughts on SARS Epidemiology: How Did Carlo Urbani Really Die?
   ■ Antiviral Therapy: More Pain than Gain
   ■ SARS: Virus Enemy Not Found
   ■ Cortisone and Other Steroids: Questionable Effects
   ■ The Therapeutic Dilemma of Our Time
   ■ Guangdong: The High-Tech Revolution's Dirty Secret
Chapter 7
H5N1: Avian Flu and Not a Glimmer of Proof
   ■ The Media: Big Pharma's Megaphone
   ■ H5N1: No Evidence of Virus Existence and Pathogenic Effect
   ■ (Not Only) Factory Farming Makes Birds Sick
   ■ Guesswork on Rügen
   ■ The Dutch Bird Flu Panic, 2003: Caught in Virus Tunnel Vision
   ■ Rat Poisons Carry off Birds
   ■ On the Duty To Avoid Seeing What's Right Under Our Noses
   ■ More than 150 Dead People – What Really Caused Their Deaths?
   ■ No Reason for Pandemic Panic
   ■ Tamiflu: From Shelf-Warmer to Big Seller – to Death Bringer?
   ■ Tamiflu Studies and the Problem of Independence
   ■ Donald Rumsfeld Makes Giant Profits
   ■ Pandemic 1918: Result of a Virus or the First World War?
   ■ The Pandemic of 1918: Mysterious Spread
   ■ Failed Infection Attempts
   ■ Pandemic 1918: Overmedication and Mass Vaccination Campaigns
   ■ Doctors Respond to the Catastrophe With Overwhelming Silence
Chapter 8
Cervical Cancer and Other Vaccinations: Policy vs. Evidence
   ■ Flu Vaccines: Do They Make Sense?
   ■ Deadly Immunity, by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
   ■ Fraud, Waste, Bribery-Corruption in the Health Service
   ■ HPV Vaccination Against Cervical Cancer: Not Proven Safe and Effective
   ■ HPV Vaccine: A Possible Disaster for the Next Generation
Side Effect-Free Alternatives to Medications and Vaccinations
Literature 130
Foreword I – by Etienne de Harven, MD
The Content of This Book Has To Be Read, Quickly and Worldwide

The book Virus Mania by Torsten Engelbrecht and Claus Köhnlein presents a tragic message that will, hopefully, contribute to the re-insertion of ethical values in the conduct of virus research, public health policies, media communications, and activities of the pharmaceutical companies. Obviously, elementary ethical rules have been, to a very dangerous extent, neglected in many of these fields for an alarming number of years.

When American journalist Celia Farber courageously published, in Harper's Magazine (March 2006) the article "Out of control – AIDS and the corruption of medical science," some readers probably attempted to reassure themselves that this "corruption" was an isolated case. This is very far from the truth as documented so well in this book by Engelbrecht and Köhnlein. It is only the tip of the iceberg. Corruption of research is a widespread phenomenon currently found in many major, supposedly contagious health problems, ranging from AIDS to Hepatitis C, Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or "mad cow disease"), SARS, Avian flu and current vaccination practices (human papillomavirus or HPV vaccination).

In research on all of these six distinct public health concerns scientific research on viruses (or prions in the case of BSE) slipped onto the wrong track following basically the same systematic pathway. This pathway always includes several key steps: inventing the risk of a disastrous epidemic, incriminating an elusive pathogen, ignoring alternative toxic causes, manipulating epidemiology with non-verifiable numbers to maximize the false perception of an imminent catastrophe, and promising salvation with vaccines. This guarantees large financial returns. But how is it possible to achieve all of this? Simply by relying on the most powerful activator of human decision making process, i.e. FEAR!

We are not witnessing viral epidemics; we are witnessing epidemics of fear. And both the media and the pharmaceutical industry carry most of the responsibility for amplifying fears, fears that happen, incidentally, to always ignite fantastically profitable business. Research hypotheses covering these areas of virus research are practically never scientifically verified with appropriate controls. Instead, they are established by "consensus." This is then rapidly reshaped into a dogma, efficiently perpetuated in a quasi-religious manner by the media, including ensuring that research funding is restricted to projects supporting the dogma, excluding research into alternative hypotheses. An important tool to keep dissenting voices out of the debate is censorship at various levels ranging from the popular media to scientific publications.

We haven't learnt well from past experiences. There are still many unanswered questions on the causes of the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, and on the role of viruses in post-WWII polio (DDT neurotoxicity?). These modern epidemics should have opened our minds to more critical analyses. Pasteur and Koch had constructed an understanding of infection applicable to several bacterial diseases. But this was before the first viruses were actually discovered. Transposing the principles of bacterial infections to viruses was, of course, very tempting but should not have been done without giving parallel attention to the innumerable risk factors in our toxic environment; to the toxicity of many drugs, and to some nutritional deficiencies.

Cancer research had similar problems. The hypothesis that cancer might be caused by viruses was formulated in 1903, more than one century ago. Even today it has never been convincingly demonstrated. Most of the experimental laboratory studies by virus-hunters have been based on the use of inbred mice, inbred implying a totally unnatural genetic background. Were these mice appropriate models for the study of human cancer? (we are far from being inbred!) True, these mice made possible the isolation and purification of "RNA tumor viruses," later renamed "retroviruses" and well characterized by electron microscopy. But are these viral particles simply associated with the murine tumors, or are they truly the culprit of malignant transformation? Are these particles real exogenous infective particles, or endogenous defective viruses hidden in our chromosomes? The question is still debatable. What is certain is that viral particles similar to those readily recognized in cancerous and leukemic mice have never been seen nor isolated in human cancers. Of mice and men …

However, by the time this became clear, in the late 1960s, viral oncology had achieved a dogmatic, quasi-religious status. If viral particles cannot be seen by electron microscopy in human cancers, the problem was with electron microscopy, not with the dogma of viral oncology! This was the time molecular biology was taking a totally dominant posture in viral research. "Molecular markers" for retroviruses were therefore invented (reverse transcriptase for example) and substituted most conveniently for the absent viral particles, hopefully salvaging the central dogma of viral oncology. This permitted the viral hypothesis to survive for another ten years, until the late 1970s, with the help of increasingly generous support from funding agencies and from pharmaceutical companies. However by 1980 the failure of this line of research was becoming embarrassingly evident, and the closing of some viral oncology laboratories would have been inevitable, except that …

Except what? Virus cancer research would have crashed to a halt except that, in 1981, five cases of severe immune deficiencies were described by a Los Angeles physician, all among homosexual men who were also all sniffing amyl nitrite, were all abusing other drugs, abusing antibiotics, and probably suffering from malnutrition and STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). It would have been logical to hypothesize that these severe cases of immune deficiency had multiple toxic origins. This would have amounted to incrimination of these patients' life-style.

Unfortunately, such discrimination was, politically, totally unacceptable. Therefore, another hypothesis had to be found – these patients were suffering from a contagious disease caused by a new … retrovirus! Scientific data in support of this hypothesis was and, amazingly enough, still is totally missing. That did not matter, and instantaneous and passionate interest of cancer virus researchers and institutions erupted immediately. This was salvation for the viral laboratories where AIDS now became, almost overnight, the main focus of research. It generated huge financial support from Big Pharma, more budget for the CDC and NIH, and nobody had to worry about the life style of the patients who became at once the innocent victims of this horrible virus, soon labeled as HIV.

Twenty-five years later, the HIV/AIDS hypothesis has totally failed to achieve three major goals in spite of the huge research funding exclusively directed to projects based on it. No AIDS cure has ever been found; no verifiable epidemiological predictions have ever been made; and no HIV vaccine has ever been successfully prepared. Instead, highly toxic (but not curative) drugs have been most irresponsibly used, with frequent, lethal side effects. Yet not a single HIV particle has ever been observed by electron microscopy in the blood of patients supposedly having a high viral load! So what? All the most important newspapers and magazine have displayed attractive computerized, colorful images of HIV that all originate from laboratory cell cultures, but never from even a single AIDS patient. Despite this stunning omission the HIV/AIDS dogma is still solidly entrenched. Tens of thousands of researchers, and hundreds of major pharmaceutical companies continue to make huge profits based on the HIV hypothesis. And not one single AIDS patient has ever been cured …

Yes, HIV/AIDS is emblematic of the corruption of virus research that is remarkably and tragically documented in this book. Research programs on Hepatitis C, BSE, SARS, Avian flu and current vaccination policies all developed along the same logic, that of maximizing financial profits. Whenever we try to understand how some highly questionable therapeutic policies have been recommended at the highest levels of public health authorities (WHO, CDC, RKI etc.), we frequently discover either embarrassing conflicts of interests, or the lack of essential control experiments, and always the strict rejection of any open debate with authoritative scientists presenting dissident views of the pathological processes. Manipulations of statistics, falsifications of clinical trials, dodging of drug toxicity tests have all been repeatedly documented. All have been swiftly covered up, and none have been able to, so far, disturb the cynical logic of today's virus research business. The cover-up of the neurotoxicity of the mercury containing preservative thimerosal as a highly probable cause of autism among vaccinated children apparently reached the highest levels of the US govemement … (see article "Deadly Immunity" from Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in chapter 8)

Virus Mania is a social disease of our highly developed society. To cure it will require conquering fear, fear being the most deadly contagious virus, most efficiently transmitted by the media.

Errare humanum est sed diabolicum preservare - … (to err is human, but to preserve an error is diabolic).

Etienne de Harven, MD
Professor Emeritus of Pathology at the University of Toronto and
Member of the Sloan Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, New York (1956 - 1981)
Member of Thabo Mbeki's AIDS Advisory Panel of South Africa
President of Rethinking AIDS (

Foreword II – by Joachim Mutter, MD | This Book Will Instigate an Upheaval of Dogmas

The book Virus Mania shows in a simple comprehensible way the diversity of scientific data that proves most of the epidemics presented in the media as horror stories (flu, avian flu, AIDS, BSE, Hepatitis C, etc.) do not actually exist or are harmless. In contrast: Through this scaremongering and through the toxic materials contained in vaccines a vast number of diseases can emerge; diseases that have recently been increasing on a massive scale: allergies, cancer, autism, attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficite hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autoimmune diseases and disorders of the nervous systeme. The authors, the journalist Torsten Engelbrecht and doctor of internal medicine Claus Köhnlein, succeed in tracking down the real culprits, including the profiteers in this game. They also identify solutions that everybody can easily implement in their daily lives. This work is one of the most important and enlightening books of our times which will instigate an upheaval of the dogmas and delusions that have held for more than 150 years.

Joachim Mutter, MD
Institute of Environmental Medicine And Hospital Epidemiology
University Medical Center Freiburg, Germany
Freiburg, 19 December 2006

Society Under the Spell of a One-Dimensional Microbe Theory

"[Since the second half of the 19th century,] unquestionably the doctrine of specific etiology has been the most constructive force in the medical research. In reality, however, search for the cause may be a hopeless pursuit because most disease states are the indirect outcome of a constellation of circumstances."1 René Dubos Microbiologist and Pulitzer Prize winner
"All the data showed that mortality rates from infectious disease had been in steady decline since the middle of the 19th century, that is, before medicine had become scientific and interventionist. It was not medical research that had stamped out tuberculosis, diphtheria, pneumonia and puerperal sepsis. The main credit went to public health programs, sanitation and general improvements in the standard of living brought about by industrialization."2 Michael Tracey American media scientist
"Sapere aude!"3
(Have courage to use your own understanding) Kant's motto for the Enlightenment

The founding of The Royal Society in 1660 caused a tectonic shift in Western medicine. A group of British scientists decided that what counts is "the experimental proof" not speculative fantasy, superstition and blind faith.4 5 The Royal Society called this basic research principle "nullius in verba,"6 which essentially means "Don't just trust what someone says." In that era, it was still common to accuse women of witchcraft "in the name of God" and burn them at the stake, or to subjugate entire peoples such as the Aztecs or Mayans to Western ideologies. Setting a standard of scientific proof marked the end of the dark ages and had enormous long-term consequences.

Today, considering ourselves enlightened and in the safe hands of our high-tech scientific culture, we look back with misgivings and great discomfort at the abuses of power that occurred in such draconian times. Indeed, the dream that science promises with its principle of proof – namely to free people from ignorance, superstition, tyranny, and not least from physical and psychological suffering – has, in many cases, particularly in wealthy countries, become a reality.7 Airplanes, tractors, computers, bionic limbs – all these achievements are the product of scientific research. Like our modern legal system, bound by the principle of evidence, science recognizes only one guiding principle: provable fact.

Our enthusiasm for scientific achievements has risen immeasurably. We have granted a godlike status to researchers and doctors, who still had the status of slaves in ancient Rome and even until the early 20th century were mostly poor and powerless.8 Because of this status, we continue to perceive them as selfless truth-seekers.9 The English biologist Thomas Huxley, a powerful supporter of Charles Darwin and grandfather of the author Aldous Huxley (Brave New World, 1932), described this phenomenon as early as the late 19th century, when he compared science's growing authority to the Church's position of power. For this, he coined the term "Church Scientific."10 11

Today's enlightened civilized individual believes so firmly in the omnipotence of scientists that they no longer question the evidence for certain hypotheses or even whether they make sense. Instead, citizens rely on the latest sensationalized media coverage churned out in daily newspapers and TV newscasts about world-threatening viral epidemics (Avian Flu, SARS, AIDS, etc.). For many decades, the media (and scientific reporters above all) have intently cultivated friendly relationships with researchers in the drive to scoop their competitors for provocative headlines. "We scientific reporters all too often serve as living applause for our subject," New York Times reporter Natalie Angier says critically about her profession. "Sometimes we write manuscripts that sound like unedited press releases."12

Journalists usually assume that scientists engage in rigorous studies and disseminate only provable facts – and that rare instances of fraud will quickly be driven out of the hallowed halls of research. It's an ideal picture, but one that has nothing to do with reality.13 14 15 16 17 18 Uncountable billions of dollars are transformed into "scientific" hypotheses, which are ultimately packaged and hawked by pharmaceutical companies, researchers, health advocates and journalists alike as the ultimate conclusions of truth. In actuality, these theories are often mere speculation, proven false and years later, finally discarded.

"The more willing the people are, the more promises must be made," warned Erwin Chargaff as early as 1978. "A quick route to long life, freedom from all diseases, a cure for cancer – soon, perhaps the elimination of death – and what then?" asked the co-founder of biochemical research and gene-technology, and a repeatedly decorated professor at Columbia University's Biochemical Institute in New York. "But no singer would ever have to promise to make me a better person if I would just listen to her trills."19

Since the end of the 1970s, this situation has dramatically worsened.20 Just as in politics and economics, we in research are also "bombarded, saturated, harried by fraud," writes renowned science historian Horace Judson,21 whose analyses are corroborated by a number of relevant studies.22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 "From a global viewpoint, there is corruption at all levels of the public health service, from health ministries to patients – and there are almost no limits to criminal imagination," maintains Transparency International, an institution for protection against corruption, in its annual "Global Corruption Report 2006" (focus on health services).33

Table 1 - Examples for Methods for Pharmaceutical Companies
                to Get the Results from Clinical Trials They Want

Conduct a trial of your drug against a treatment known to be inferior

Trial your drugs against too low a dose of a competitor drug

Conduct a trial of your drug against too high a dose of a competitor drug (making your drug seem less toxic)

Use multiple endpoints (survival time, reduction of blood pressure, etc.) in the trial and select for publication those that give favorable results

Conduct trials that are too small to show differences from competitor drugs

Do multicenter trials and select for publication results from centers that are favorable

Source: Smith, Richard, Medical Journals Are an Extension of the Marketing Arm of Pharmaceutical Companies, Plos Medicine, May 2005, p. e138

A close look at this data reveals that our scientific culture is ruled by secretiveness, privilege-granting, lack of accountability, and suffers from a blatant lack of monitoring, as well as from the prospects that these companies and researchers will make exorbitant profits. All of these questionable factors contribute to the potential for researcher bias and fraud, jeopardizing the scientific proof principle introduced in the 17th century.34 "Judson paints a dark picture of [biomedical] science today, but we may see far darker days ahead as proof and profit become inextricably mixed," warns the medical publication Lancet.35

Even when one theoretically assumes ideal researchers and ideal studies, it must be emphasized that medicine remains (is still) a "science of uncertainties,"36 expressed William Osler (1849 - 1919), regarded as the father of modern medicine.37 Nothing has changed. Donald Miller, Professor of Surgery at the University of Washington, warns that with today's medical research, "scientific standards of proof are not uniform and well defined, in contrast to legal standards. Standards of measurement, ways of reporting and evaluating results, and particular types of experimental practices vary. Science prizes objective certainty. But science does not uniformly adhere to this standard. Subjective opinions and consensus among scientists often supersede the stricture of irrefutability."38

To effectively combat this systemic problem, much would be gained if it were compulsory to have certain studies replicated, thus reviewing them for their soundness.39 But, according to Judson, "replication, once an important element in science, is no longer an effective deterrent to fraud because the modern biomedical research system is structured to prevent replication – not to ensure it." Such verification is unattractive, because it doesn't promise gigantic profits, but might only produce similar results to the original research, which is unlikely to be published by a medical journal.40 From time to time, these reviews are carried out, with stunning results.

At the beginning of 2005, an investigation disclosed a severely flawed study leading to the approval of Viramune, a globally-touted AIDS medicine ranked among the top sellers of pharmaceutical giant Boehringer Ingelheim (the drug Viramune brings in approximately $300 million annually).41 The follow-up investigation found that records of severe side effects including deaths were simply swept under the carpet.

At the same time, chief investigator Jonathan Fishbein was greatly hindered, from the highest levels of the National Institutes of Health, in his bid for clarificaltion. The medical system, according to Fishbein, is shaped more by politics of interest, partisanship and intrigue than by sound science. Fishbein called the government's AIDS research agency "a troubled organization," referring to an internal review that found its managers have engaged in unnecessary feuding, sexually explicit language and other inappropriate conduct.42 43

How far this can go becomes apparent when research produced by individual scientists is placed under the microscope. The South Korean veterinarian Hwang Woo Suk, for example, published a paper in Science in May 2005 in which he described how he had extracted human stem cells from cloned embryos for the first time. The work was celebrated as a "global sensation" and Hwang as a "cloning pioneer." But at the end of 2005, it was discovered that Hwang had completely forged his experiments.44 45

The medical field is ultimately about illness, dying and death. Naturally, these experiences involve a complex and nuanced range of emotions for individuals, their loved ones and doctors. The process makes us extremely receptive to a belief in salvation through miracle treatments. In this, researchers and physicians take over the roles of priests; the white smock has merely replaced the black robes and black wigs physicians used to wear.46 These white knights proclaim their healing messages, and of course require "victims" to carry out their research with billions of dollars of government and taxpayer funded dollars. "Indeed, so profound is our belief in the cures of science" that it has become "the new secular theology of the 20th century,"47 according to American media scientist Michael Tracey. "This belief is so inherent within us that we construct any problem, grievance, pain, or fear in conceptual terms that not only allow us to seek the cure, but demand that we do so."48

At the heart of this web of feelings and wishes are the fantasies of almightiness that further prop up the medical-industrial complex, that ever more powerful part of the global economy consisting of pharmaceutical companies worth billions, their lobbyists and spin doctors, and an immense army of highly-paid researchers and doctors. In the process, we've turned our bodies into vehicles of consumerism, internalizing a highly-questionable promise inherent to this industry: Science can conquer terrible and puzzling diseases – just like we conquered the moon – if it is just given enough money.49

To avoid any misunderstandings: medicine has made tremendous achievements. This applies first and foremost to reparative medicine such as accident surgery, organ transplants or laser eye surgery. But, the various perils of modern medicine are all-too evident in the ever-expanding field of so-called preventive and curative treatments, particularly the growing arsenal of pharmaceutical drugs – in other words, medicine that purports to be able to heal.50

Take cancer, for example. In 1971, US President Richard Nixon at the behest of public health officials (and above all, virologists), declared a "War on Cancer." The medical establishment vowed there would be a cure at hand by 1975.51 But we are still waiting. And there is "no evidence of the way cancer comes into being," according to German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum).52 Mainstream cancer theories also show blatant contradictions.53 Despite this, hundreds of billions of dollars have already flowed into a completely one-sided cancer research focused on wonder-drug production. Above all, this set-up grants pharmaceutical companies, researchers and doctors gigantic profits.

In contrast, even plausible alternative theories (which may be less profitable, because they focus on lifestyle and environmental factors and not only on fatefully appearing genes and viruses as causes) remain almost completely disregarded.54 55 For instance, although official cancer theories assume that a third of cancer cases could be prevented through a change of diet (above all more fruit and vegetables and less meat),56 cancer expert Samuel Epstein points out that the American National Cancer Institute spent "just $ 1 million – that is 0.02 percent of its $4.7 billion budget in 2005 – on education, press work and public relations to encourage eating fruit and vegetables to prevent cancer."57

At the same time, the number of people who die from "non-smoking" cancers has noticeably increased since Nixon's call to battle (even, it is worth noting, when one takes into consideration that people on average have become older).58 Today in Germany alone, 220,000 people die from this terrible disease annually; in the USA there are almost 600,000 cancer deaths each year.59 60

The situation doesn't look any better for other widespread illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, or rheumatism. In spite of exorbitant research budgets, the development of a cure is unforeseeable. Cortisone, for instance, does help to alleviate acute rheumatic or allergic discomfort – but only during cortisone therapy. If treatment is discontinued, suffering returns. At the same time, cortisone, which also finds plenty of use in the treatment of viruses, is, like most reputed miracle cures (magic bullets), connected with severe side effects.61 Vera Sharav of the New York City-based Alliance for Human Research Protection (AHRP), an organization that fights for independent and ethically responsible medical science, warns that "often enough, the medications are so toxic that they produce precisely the diseases against which, as the pharmaceutical manufacturers' advertising messages aim to convince us, they are supposed to be so active. And then, new preparation after new preparation is given."62

As relevant studies reveal, drug toxicities are so severe that the American "health" industry's pill craze is responsible for about 800,000 deaths each year, more than any illness (including cancer and heart attack). And in Germany, tens of thousands of people are estimated to die each year due to improper treatment and prescription of incorrect medications (there are no exact figures because certain interest groups have successfully resisted the collection of the relevant information).63

The fact that a society calling itself enlightened is nevertheless dominated by the belief that there is a healing pill for every little ache and pain or serious complaint is substantially due to the persuasive craftiness of Big Pharma. Pharmaceutical companies operating in the US spend approximately a third of their expenses on marketing, which means that $50 billion per year is merely invested in advertising their preparations as miracle cures to doctors, journalists, consumers and politicians.64 With this, they have extended their sphere of influence in a most alarming way to include institutions like the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), the independence and integrity of which is particularly important.65 66 67 68

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in April 2006, showed that "conflicts of interest at the FDA are widespread." It was shown that in 73% of meetings, at least one member of the consulting team in question yielded conflicts of interest: being remunerated by Big Pharma, for instance, through consultation fees, research contracts or grants, or stock ownership or options. In nearly a quarter of contracts and grants, for example, sums of more than $100,000 changed hands. The study found that these conflicts of interest influenced voting behavior. When panel members with conflicts of interest were excluded from voting, the judgment of the product in question was much less favorable. And even though these conflicts of interest were so extensive, panel members with relevant conflicts of interest were disqualified in only 1% of cases.69 70

"Big Pharma money and advertising not only influence the perception of illness, the demand for drugs, and the practice of medicine, but government budgets, including health service and oversight agencies have become dependent on Big Pharma money," says Vera Sharav of the AHRP. "An out of the box analysis opened our eyes to a fundamental conflict of interest that has never been discussed. Public health policies are not merely influenced by Big Pharma; they are formulated so as to increase industry's profits because government budgets are tied to this industry's profits." In this context, a decisive event occurred in 1992 when the US Congress waved through the "Prescription Users Fees Act" (PDUFA), which established the "fast track drug approval service." According to Sharav, "the FDA has received $825 million in industry 'user fees'," and "other government agencies have similarly become financially dependent on Big Pharma."71

The issue stirred up so much controversy that the British Parliament also opened an extensive investigation. Their conclusions: The pharmaceutical industry's corrupt practices and its massive influence upon parliaments, authorities, universities, health professionals and the media were sharply criticized.72

In fact, "if prescription medicines are so good, why do they need to be pushed so hard?" asks Marcia Angell, former Editor in Chief of the well-known New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). "Good drugs don't have to be promoted."73 Her opinions are as simple as they are revealing, but unfortunately they don't register in the consciousness of the modem believer in science. Our society that considers itself particularly enlightened has become senselessly "overmedicated."74

This pill-mania exists because we have a distorted comprehension of what causes diseases – a comprehension that has been able to lodge itself firmly in our thought processes over a period of more than 100 years.75 To understand this, one must look back to the middle of the 19th century, when a true paradigm shift in the way we see disease occurred. There was an about-turn, away from a complex, holistic view concerning how diseases originate, to a monocausal and "one-dimensional" mindset, to use a term from philosopher Herbert Marcuse. Through this, a false awareness arose "which is immune to its falseness" because the dimensions of self-criticism and the ability to look in various alternative directions is missing.76

This paradigm shift is largely due to the fact that from approximately the 16th century, in the course of the Enlightenment, the natural sciences began to develop rapidly, and put the population under their spell with descriptions of very specific phenomena. One need only remember the tremendous achievements of the English physicist Isaac Newton, who described gravitation; or the invention of the steam locomotive or even the printing press. But in the euphoric exuberance of progress, particularly from the middle of the 19th century, this thought pattern of specificity – that very particular chemical or physical phenomena have very specific causes – was simply transferred to the medical sciences. Many researchers and interest groups didn't even consider if this actually made sense.77

The dogma of a single cause for diseases was decisively shaped by microbiology, which became predominant at the end of the 19th century, declaring specific microorganisms (viruses, bacteria, fungi) to be the causes of very definite diseases; including mass epidemics such as cholera and tuberculosis.78 The founders of microbe theory, researchers Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch, ascended in their lifetimes to the heights of medicine's Mount Olympus.

And so with the microbe theory, the "cornerstone was laid for modern biomedicine's basic formula with its monocausal-microbial starting-point and its search for magic bullets: one disease, one cause, one cure," writes American sociology professor, Steven Epstein.79 From the end of the 19th century, the hunt for microbes increasingly provided the thrill, and the same admiration that physicists and chemists had earlier garnered (as in Paris in 1783, when the brothers Montgolfier performed the "miracle" of launching a hot air balloon into the sky).80

But as fascinating as this conception of a single cause is, it has very little to do with the complex workings of the human body. A significant majority of diseases have far more than just one cause, so the search for the single cause of disease, and by extension for the one miracle-pill, will remain for them a hopeless undertaking.81 This is particularly true in microbiology, a "scientific No Man's Land,"82 as the American magazine The New Yorker fittingly described it. The field is becoming ever more complex and incomprehensible, as further research penetrates the seemingly infinite microcosmic mini-worlds of cellular components, molecules and microbes.

Bacteria, fungi and viruses are omnipresent – in the air, in our food, in our mucous membranes – but we aren't permanently sick.83 When a disease generally held to be contagious "breaks out," only some individuals become sick. This is clear evidence that microbes, whatever potential they may have to make you sick, cannot be the lone cause of disease.

Pasteur himself admitted on his deathbed: "The microbe is nothing, the terrain is everything."84 And indeed, even for mainstream medicine, it is becoming increasingly clear that the biological terrain of our intestines – the intestinal flora, teeming with bacteria – is accorded a decisive role, because it is by far the body's biggest and most important immune system.85 A whole range of factors (in particular nutrition, stress, lack of activity, drug use, etc.) influence intestinal flora, so it has a decisive influence on all sorts of severe or less serious illnesses.86 87 88 89

But it is not just this large oversimplification that calls for opposition to the microbe theory.90 Under closer examination, fundamental assumptions of microbe theory also emerge as pure myth. Edward Kass, professor of medicine at Harvard University, made this the subject of his opening address at a conference of the American Society for Infectious Diseases in 1970. US citizens were becoming increasingly critical of the Vietnam War and many people in the USA began to rebel against the establishment. Maybe this zeitgeist spurred Kass to address these issues openly, although they may have stood in glaring opposition to the views of most of his listeners.

Diagram 1 - Pertussis: Death Rates of Children Younger than 15
                    (England and Wales)

Diagram 1
Source: McKeown, Thomas, Die Bedeutung der Medizin, Suhrkamp, 1979, p. 149

Kass argued that medical scientists and microbe hunters were not the ones to be praised for stemming the flow of mass diseases like tuberculosis, diphtheria, measles, whooping cough or pulmonary infections. The data unquestionably shows that death rates for these so-called infectious diseases had noticeably decreased from the middle of the 19th century; long before microbe hunters and the medical establishment became active (see diagram 1). The monumental accomplishment of pushing back diseases and raising life expectancy is primarily due to an improvement in general standards of living (improved nutrition, construction of water purification plants, etc.), which gained momentum in industrialized countries precisely in the mid-19th century.91

This also explains why deaths from so-called infectious diseases have become a rarity in affluent societies (in wealthy countries, they make up less than 1% of all mortalities).92 Yet, in poor third-world regions like Africa, where every third person is malnourished,93 these same diseases (tuberculosis; leprosy, etc.) that wealthy countries fought during times of recession run rampant.94 The excessive panic-like fear, which so easily consumes members of affluent societies when the media stokes the flames of the viral-epidemic panic, can in this context, only be described as irrational.

Recently, headlines on avian flu and the SARS virus have dominated global reports, but the world is also exposed to horror scenarios about hepatitis C, AIDS, Ebola and BSE. These shocking media reports totally overlook the fact that the existence and pathogenic effects of all these allegedly contagious and even fatal viruses-avian flu, H5N1, HIV etc.) – have never been proven. A glaring paradox is that very few people actually die from these purported large new epidemics. Strictly speaking, these epidemics are not epidemics whatsoever.

No scientists have even seen the avian flu virus H5N1 in full (with its complete genetic material and virus shell); we don't even know if it could be dangerous to humans, or if it could trigger the already widely reported global pandemic; something that mainstream researchers also admit.95 And despite this Jack of proof, Reinhard Kurth, director of Germany's Robert Koch Institute, which is responsible for microbe epidemics, does not shy from warning that H5N1 "potentially threatens all of humanity."96 There is also discrepancy between speculation and existing facts in the BSE "epidemic," which has yet to present us in Germany with a single clinical case of the disease, only animals that have tested positive for the virus.97

With regard to hepatitis C, we are still waiting for the predicted epidemic of liver cirrhosis (serious liver damage).98 Since the 1980s, no more than a few hundred people die in Germany each year from so-called AIDS, according to official statistics. And what about the horrifying figures of x-million "infected with HIV" in Africa and other developing countries? This is primarily due to the redefinition of patients who suffer from conventional diseases like tuberculosis or leprosy as AIDS patients.99 The threat of SARS is similarly over hyped: In the first nine months (November 2002 - July 2003) after the alleged discovery of the SARS virus at the end of 2002, the World Health Organization found only 800 "probable SARS deaths."100

"Years from now, people looking back at us will find our acceptance of the HIV theory of AIDS as silly as we find the leaders who excommunicated Galileo, just because he insisted that the earth was not the center of the universe," predicts Kary Mullis, one of the most significant Nobel laureates of the 20th century. "It has been disappointing that so many scientists have absolutely refused to examine the available evidence in a neutral, dispassionate way, regarding whether HIV causes AIDS."101 This breaking of the fundamental principles in scientific research also applies to other new alleged epidemics like hepatitis C, SARS, avian flu, cervical cancer, Ebola, and BSE.

Mullis' words come from his article titled, "The Medical Establishment vs. the Truth." In it, he discusses how the entire virus-busting industry plies its dogmas, declaring them to be eternal truths, without the support of factual evidence. Of course, this helps to secure the gigantic research budgets and profits of pharmaceutical groups and top scientists.

Between 1981 and 2006, US taxpayers alone shelled out $190 billion for AIDS research focused almost exclusively on the deadly virus hypothesis and the development of treatment drugs.102 Yet the growing list of medications haven't demonstrably extended the life of a single patient, and a "cure" is nowhere in sight.103 The same strategy has been employed with Tamiflu flu medication, which has serious side effects, yet, thanks to skillful public relations work, support of the WHO and the media's avian flu fear mongering, this drug mutated in a short time from shelf warmer to cash cow.104

While pharmaceutical groups and top researchers cash in and the media drive their circulation ratings sky high with sensationalized headlines, citizens must foot a gigantic bill without getting what is necessary: enlightenment over the true causes and true solutions. "So what are dedicated clinicians to do?" asks John Abramson of Harvard Medical School. "The first step is to give up the illusion that the primary purpose of modern medical research is to improve Americans' health most effectively and efficiently. In our opinion, the primary purpose of commercially-funded clinical research is to maximize financial return on investment, not health."105

This book's central focus is to steer this discussion back to where, as a scientific debate, it belongs: on the path to prejudice-free analysis of facts. To clarify one more time, the point is not to show that diseases like cervical cancer, SARS, AIDS or hepatitis C do not exist. No serious critic of reigning virus theories has any doubt that people or animals (as with avian flu) are or could become sick (although many are not really sick at all, but are only defined as sick, and then are made sick or killed). Instead, the central question is: What really causes these diseases known as cervical cancer, avian flu, SARS, AIDS and hepatitis C? Is it a virus? Is it a virus in combination with other causes? Or is it not a virus at all, but rather something very different?

We will embark on a detailed examination of the hypotheses of science, politics and the media elite, looking at all of the available evidence. At the same time, alternative explanations or causes will be described: substances like drugs, medicines, pesticides, heavy metals or insufficient nutrition. All these factors can severely damage or even completely destroy the immune system – and their devastating effects can be encountered in the victims hastily branded with a diagnosis of cervical cancer, avian flu, SARS, AIDS or hepatitis C. Ultimately they are victims of complex, broad socio-economic and political forces and further marginalized and degraded by a profession that pledges to "do no harm."

Chapter 1 explains what microbes (bacteria, fungi, viruses) actually are, and what role they play in the complete cycle of life and the ways in which the medical establishment and the media have turned these microbes into our worst enemies. In Chapter 2, we'll travel from the middle of the 19th century until modern times, in order to separate myth from reality in microbe theory. Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch rose to become medicine's shining lights, but we cannot leave them out of this analysis since they were certainly not immune from lying and deception. Nor will we shy away from the question of whether polio is a viral disease or if poisons like pesticides have not made at least their contribution to the destruction of the spinal nerves that is so typical of this disease.

With this background knowledge, we dive into the past three decades: into the time of modem virus research. Chapter 3 thus begins with the history of HIV/AIDS, which arrived in the early 1980s, triggering an almost unprecedented mass panic that continues to this day. And now the whole world also seems to accept that Hepatitis C, BSE, SARS, avian flu and cervical cancer are also triggered by a causative agent (pathogen). In Chapters 4 through 8, we will see that these statements do not hold up and that other explanations make more sense.


First English Edition, 2007
Original German Tide: Virus-Wahn
Published by emu-Verlag, Lahnstcin
© Torsten Engelbrecht, Claus Kiihnlein
All rights reserved

Translation: Megan Chapelas, Danielle Egan
Editing: Danielle Egan, David Crowe
Layout: Kosel. Krugzell
Cover: Heike Muller
Photos (cover): Giirsoy Dogtas, Getty Images, medicalpicture

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ISBN: 978-1-4251-1467-1

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Chapter 1 - Medicine Presents a Distorted Picture of Microbes
Microbes: Branded as Scapegoats

"The gods are innocent of man's suffering. Our diseases and physical pains are the products of excess!" Pythagoras (570 - 510 B.C.)
"The microbe is nothing, the terrain is everything!"1 Louis Pasteur
"Where there is life, there are germs."2 Robinson Verner
"Diet clearly has a major influence on many diseases and modulates the complex internal community of microorganisms. These microorganisms, weighing up to 1 kg in a normal adult human, may total 100 trillion cells."3 Jeremy Nicholson Professor of Biochemistry

People are very susceptible to the idea that certain microbes act like predators, stalking our communities for victims and causing the most serious illnesses like SARS (pulmonary infection) or hepatitis C (liver damage). Such an idea is thoroughly simple, perhaps too simple. As psychology and social science have discovered, humans have a propensity for simplistic solutions, particularly in a world that seems to be growing increasingly complicated.4 It also allows for a concept of the "enemy at the gates" allowing individuals to shift responsibility for their illnesses to a fungus, a bacteria or a virus. "Man prefers to perish rather than change his habits!" the author Leo Tolstoy once said.

But this scapegoat thinking has often led humanity astray, be it in personal life, in science or in politics. Fishermen and politicians both earnestly assert that seals and dolphins contribute to the depletion of ocean fish stocks. So, each year in Canada, one hundred thousand seals – often just a few days old – are battered to death,5 while every autumn in Japan, thousands of dolphins are hacked apart while still alive.6

But in their blind hate for the animals, the slaughterers completely overlook the fact that it is their own species – Homo sapiens – is responsible for the state of our oceans and that through massive overexploitation and high-technology catch-methods, we have plundered the world's fish stocks. A German-Canadian study that appeared in Nature in 2003, found that industrialized fishing has dramatically reduced the stocks of predators like tuna and swordfishes, marlins, cod, halibut, ray and flounder in the world's oceans since the beginning of commercial fishing in the 1950s – by no less than 90%.7

Our modern concept of the lethal microbes similarly avoids the big picture issues. Some can be harmful; nevertheless, it is negligent to ignore the role individual behaviors (nutrition, drug consumption, etc.) play instead of simply pointing a finger at these microorganisms. "Whether the method of treatment affects the animal predators in the wilderness or the bacteria in the gut, it is always risky to tamper with the natural balance of forces in nature," writes microbiologist and Pulitzer Prize winner Rene Dubos.8

Medical and biological realities, like social ones, are just not that simple. Renowned immunology and biology professor Edward Golub's rule of thumb is that, "if you can fit the solution to a complex problem on a bumper sticker, it is wrong! I tried to condense my book The Limits of Medicine: How Science Shapes Our Hope for the Cure to fit onto a bumper sticker and couldn't."9

The complexities of the world – and above all, the living world – might seem too difficult for any one individual to grasp with even approximate comprehension. Informing ourselves on economics, culture, politics and medical science seems incredibly daunting. Man "is not an Aristotelian god that encompasses all existence; he is a creature with a development who can only comprehend a fraction of reality," writes social psychologist Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann.10 Supposed experts are no exception. Most doctors themselves, for instance, have hardly more than a lay understanding of the concepts that loom on the horizons of molecular biology, including research into microbes and their role in the onset of diseases.

Correspondingly, if you asked most doctors to define the unmistakable characteristics of retroviruses (HIV, for example, is claimed to be one), they'd most likely shrug their shoulders or throw out a bewildering cryptic response. Another challenge for many doctors would be a description of how the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) functions, even though it developed into a key technology in molecular biology in the 1990s, and is brought up again and again in connection with the alleged discovery of the so-called avian flu virus H5N1 (on PCR, see chapter 3, about the "miracle weapons" of the epidemic inventors).

Ignorance and the desire for oversimplification are root problems in medical science. As early as 1916, the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein remarked in his diary: "Humanity has always searched for a science in which simplex sigillum veriist," essentially meaning, "simplicity is a mark of truth."11 And microbe theory fits exactly into this scheme: one disease, one agent as cause – and ultimately, one miracle pill or vaccine as a solution.12

But this oversimplification belies the goings-on in the "invisible" micro-world of cells and molecules. The living world – on both a small and large scale – is just much more complicated than medical science and the media lets on. For this reason, as biochemist Erwin Chargaff points out, "The attempt to find symmetry and simplicity in the world's living tissue has often led to false conclusions."13 There are even a few people who believe that what is now called 'molecular biology' encompasses all life sciences. But that is not the case, except on a superficial level: everything we can see in our world is somehow made up of molecules. But is that all? Can we describe music by saying that all instruments are made of wood, brass, and so on, and that because of that they produce their sounds?"14

Biology – the science of life – isn't even capable of defining its own object of research: life. "We do not have a scientific definition of life," as Erwin Chargaff states. And "indeed, the most precise tests are carried out on dead cells and tissues."15 This phenomenon is particularly virulent in bacterial and viral research (and in the whole pharmaceutical development of medicines altogether) where laboratory experiments on tissue samples which are tormented with a variety of often highly reactive chemicals allow few conclusions about reality. And yet, conclusions are constantly drawn – and then passed straight on to the production of medications and vaccines.

Fungi: As in the Forest, So in the Human Body

It's ultimately impossible to find out exactly everything that microbes get up to on a cellular and molecular level in living people or animals. To do this, you would have to chase every single microbe around with mini-cameras. And even if it were possible, you'd merely have little pieces of a puzzle, not an intricate blueprint of the body in its entirety. By focusing on microbes and accusing them of being the primary and lone triggers of disease, we overlook how various factors are linked together, causing illness, such as environmental toxins, the side effects of medications, psychological issues like depression and anxiety and poor nutrition.

If over a longer period of time, for instance, you eat far too little fresh fruits and vegetables, and instead consume far too much fast food, sweets, coffee, soft drinks, or alcohol (and along with them, all sorts of toxins such as pesticides or preservatives), and maybe smoke a lot or even take drugs like cocaine or heroin, your health will eventually be ruined. Drug-addicted and malnourished junkies aren't the only members of society who make this point clear to us. It was also tangibly presented in the 2004 film Super Size Me, in which American Morgan Spurlock – the film's director and guinea pig rolled into one – consumed only fast food from McDonald's for 30 days. The result: Spurlock gained 12 kg, his liver fat values were equivalent to those of an alcoholic, his cholesterol increased, he became depressed, suffered from severe headaches and erectile dysfunction.

Despite its drastic effects, people still become addicted to this protein and fat-containing and simultaneously nutrient-deficient fooqstuff. Certainly that has something to do with the fact that fast-food corporations with an annual advertising budget of over $1.4 billion, purposefully and successfully target the smallest consumers (while the US government provides an advertising budget of merely $2 million for their campaign "Fruit and Vegetables – five times a day").16 As laboratory studies on rats and mice show, the contents of hamburgers and French fries can cause reactions in the body that are similar to that of heroin addiction,17 which has been proven to have a destructive effect upon the immune system.18 Significant components in the onset of addiction, according to researchers, are processed ingredients. "A diet containing salt, sugar and fats caused the animals to become addicted to these foodstuffs," says Ann Kelley, a neurologist at the Wisconsin Medical School who observed alterations in brain chemistry in long-term test series that were similar to long-term use of morphine or heroin.

Sugar "is in a position to be a 'gateway' to other drugs, legal or illegal," according to Thomas Kroiss, president of the Austrian Society for holistic medicine. Sugar robs vitamins from the body, which influences mood as well. Although it is popular in Western cultures it doesn't exist at all in nature, and causes an imbalance when regularly consumed.19

This prompted the journal New Scientist to write that fast foods, like cigarettes, should carry a health advisory warning.20 But instead of providing more information and carrying out more research (not least into the influence of animal proteins on health not just those found in burgers)21 22 23 on the many dangers of fast foods, McDonald's continues luring children with "Happy Meals" and even promotes the brand by sponsoring large sporting events.

One such event was the Football World Cup 2006 in Germany, which was supposed to be all about sport – and by extension health. To to push its image as a promoter of health, the fast food giant has founded a children's aid program, "McDonald's Kinderhilfe" – for sick children who, according to the fast food giant, "need one thing above all: love and security." Super-celebrities such as athletes Michael Ballack, Henry Maske, Miroslav Klose and Katarina Witt, as well as supermodel Heidi Klum and the world-famous vocal trio Destiny's Child functioned as brand-pushers.24 25

Corporate groups also receive political support. In late 2005, the EU commission announced that they wanted to loosen TV advertising regulations, making even more and more specifically targeted advertising possible, such as direct product placement during programs.26 If these measures had been carried out, European cultures would undoubtedly have found themselves closer to US standards – and the consumer would be even more heavily bombarded with advertising messages from the food, pharmaceutical and other multi-national industries. Such partisan politics certainly have nothing to do with targeted health precautions, although that kind of public service is so urgently needed.

Preventive health care is generally neglected by the very government-sponsored groups charged with protecting the health of citizens. A good and symbolically appropriate example of this is that these bloated bureaucracies pay little attention to intestinal function and health. Even organizations like the generally esteemed Stiftung Warentest, a German consumer protection organization still earnestly holds to the message that "poor nutrition or a lifestyle that leads to constipation generally has nothing to do with intestinal bacteria; candida fungi, for instance, can be found in every healthy intestine." And in general, "shifts in the composition of the intestine's microbes are merely symptoms [that is, consequences] of infections, inflammations or antibiotic treatments, but not their causes. Under normal patterns of life, the intestinal flora regulates itself on its own as soon as the cause of the disturbance has been eliminated," the researchers say.27 28

Stiftung Warentest cannot, however, furnish concrete studies that prove this. And there is also no reason to assume that their statements are well founded. Beyond the allegedly sole causes (infections, inflammations) of a shift in the intestinal flora, of course there are many factors to consider. A large proportion of the population suffers from intestinal problems like constipation or abnormally high candida fungus, so, it's absurd to assume that toxins and antibiotics should pass by the intestinal flora's composition without leaving a trace.

We don't even know precisely what a "normal intestinal flora" is. We've yet to become acquainted with all the microbes in the intestinal ecosystem, and it has also been observed that different people have very different intestinal flora.29 How, then, could we possibly know what "normal" intestinal flora looks like? Or how it constantly regulates itself toward a "normal" level? The individual microbe composition might be very stable, as studies suggest,30 but "stable" but doesn't automatically mean "normal" or even "healthy."

It is certain that "artificial sugar, for example, constitutes a terrain for the wrong fungi and bacteria," says physician Thomas Kroiss.31 Additionally, studies document that a diet with little to no fresh (raw) food is unsuitable for maintaining a properly functioning intestinal flora.32 Individual behavior (nutrition, activity, stress, etc.) also influences intestinal flora, and can also lead to pathogenic candida fungi.

In this context, it would also be interesting to discover what kind of effect an overly acidic diet has on the intestinal flora and on the health of an individual. After all, studies on animals in factory farms show that the acids ingested with food, which are said to speed up growth in pigs or poultry, affect intestinal flora negatively.33 But, how does it affect the human body?

The human body is like a forest with a buffer system of lungs, kidneys and sweat glands, by way of which superfluous acids can be released. The German Nutrition Society (DGE, Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Emahrung) claims that an "excessively basic diet brings no provable advantages to your health. Too much acid in the body is nothing to fear in a healthy individual, since buffer systems keep the acid-base level in blood and tissue constant."34 Still, the DGE cannot deliver any evidence for its claim, and it is difficult to imagine that a "normal" diet, that only consists of acid-generating foods like meat, fish, eggs, cheese, bread, butter, refined sugar and pills and few to no base-producing foods like fruit and vegetables can leave no trace in the body.

Even if the buffer systems in a so-called healthy person (whatever that means!) keeps the acid-base level in the blood constant, it cannot b e ruled out that tissue may be stressed or even damaged. Many experts, such as the American nutritionist Gary Tunsky are of the opinion that "the fight for health is decided by the pH values."35 It is worth noting that cancer tissue, for instance, is extremely acidic,36 and it would be easy to investigate how various basic or acidic diets affect the course of the cancer – but unfortunately this doesn't happen.37 The influence that nutrition has on the skeletal system, on the other hand, has been well investigated;38 39 even osteoporosis tablet manufacturers expressly indicate that one should try to avoid "phosphate and foods containing oxalic acids, in other words [calcium robbers like] meat, sausages, soft drinks, cocoa or chocolate."40

"The intestinal flora is among the numerous factors that could take part in the onset and triggering of an illness," states Wolfgang Kruis, intestinal expert and professor of medicine in Cologne.41 And his colleague, researcher Francisco Guamer, adds that "the intestinal flora is very significant to an individual's health, something that has been well documented."42 Among other things, it is essential in providing nutrients for the development of epithelial cells.43 And if the intestine is disturbed, this can affect the absorption and processing of important nutrients and vital substances, which in tum can trigger a chain reaction of problems, such as the contamination of body tissue, which then helps certain fungi and bacteria to move in.

An article in the German Arzte Zeitung (Doctor's Newspaper) described how a healthy intestinal flora improves overall health by reporting "four out of five patients had normal and pain free bowel movements again." According to the article, this resounding success could be traced back to a preparation containing Escherichia coli or E. coli bacteria. In contrast to classic laxatives, bothersome flatulence and intestinal rumbling, abdominal cramps and nausea seldom appeared after the 8-week-long bacterial cure.44 Admittedly, there are still very few solid studies to indicate that probiotics (tablets containing live bacterial cultures) and prebiotics (nutrients which are supposed to stimulate certain "good" bacteria already found in the intestines) are of some use to health.45

The primary objective should be to study exactly how certain foodstuffs, specific diets, drug consumption, toxins (pesticides, automobile exhaust, etc.) , and stress effect the composition of the intestinal flora – and how this in turn influences human health (researchers are practically unanimous in that the intestinal flora influences health, but they continue to puzzle over how this happens).46 But, evidently, this research work is neglected. Neither the EU47 (which financially facilitates studies of intestinal flora),48 nor the German Institute of Human Nutrition49 (Institut fiir Ernahrungsforschung) in Potsdam were willing to indicate to what extent they are active in this area. Instead the impression is given that here as well, the development of marketable products like "functional food ingredients," "specifically designed bacterial strains," or "probiotics and prebiotics" are the primary research targets.50

This shows, once again, that the medical industry has little interest in real preventive research.51 The sale and application of antifungal preparations (just like antibiotics, antiviral medicines, vaccines, probiotics, etc.) makes a lot of money; the advice to eliminate, avoid, or reduce coffee, refined sugar or drugs, on the other hand, does not make any at all.52 And who really wants (or is able) to give up beloved habits? Many people would rather hope for a magic potion that makes all the aches and pains go away fast. · Regretfully, this has led to the formation of a medical structure which ultimately only supports concepts that pass through the market's needle eye, and lets company profits and experts' salaries swell.53 The various hazards of this paradigm are shut out of the public conversation, and, so, we drift further and further from the possibilities of truly effective preventive health.

We must not ignore the fact that people are experiencing higher rates of fungal infections. It's certainly not because fu ngi have become more aggressive, since they have hardly changed in the past millions of years. But what has changed is our behavior and with it our physical environment as well. We only have to glance at other areas of nature, where fungi can't tell the difference between a human body and, for example, a forest. Everywhere, balance is at play: Excess substances are continuously generated , and must somehow be diminished again. If this were not the case, the earth would suffocate in the chaos of these excessively produced substances.54 This is where over 100,000 species of fungi come in and form their own kingdom next to animals and plants,55 acting like garbage collectors, eating up leaves, dead twigs, branches, tree stumps or pinecones in the forest, and bringing the nutrients back into the life cycle of the plants as re-utilizable humus.

Everything in nature – cells, our bodies, the land – occurs in a balance,56 which is why "fungal illnesses in compact, healthy plants do not have a chance," as stated in a botany textbook. Yet if "a plant is infested by a fungus, then something must be wrong with the plant's living conditions."57 This would be the case, for instance, if the plant's soil were overly acidic, something which causes fungi to thrive.

Bacteria: At the Beginning of All Life

For billions of years, nature has functioned as a whole with unsurpassed precision. Microbes, just like humans, are a part of this cosmological and ecological system. If humanity wants to live in harmony with technology and nature, we are bound to understand the supporting evolutionary principles ever better and to apply them properly to our own lives. Whenever we don't do this, we create many ostensibly insolvable environmental and health problems of our time. These are thoughts which Rudolf Virchow (1821 - 1902), a well-known doctor from Berlin, had when he required in 1875 that "the doctor should never forget to interpret the patient as a whole being."58 The doctor will hardly understand the patient, then, if he or she does not see that person in the context of a larger environment.

Without the appearance of bacteria, human life would be inconceivable, as bacteria were right at the beginning of the development towards human life:59

Progenotes (precursors to bacteria; ca. 3.5 billion years ago) →
Prokaryotes →
Anaerobic bacteria (anaerobe) →
Anaerobic photosynthetic bacteria →
Photosynthetic cyano-bacteria →
Oxygen-rich atmosphere →
Aerobic breathing →
Aerobic prokaryotes →
Eukaryotes (1.6 - 2.1 billion years ago) →
Many-celled plants and animals →
Mammals →

With the term progenotes, bacteriologists denote a "pre-preliminary stage," a life form from which prokaryotes (cells without nuclei) arise. Bacteria are known not to have cell nuclei, but they do have deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA) , the carriers of genetic material. Anaerobic bacteria, as the word "anaerobic" indicates, can get by without oxygen. Only after the earth was supplied with oxygen could aerobic bacteria live; bacteria that formed the foundation for the lives of plants, animals, and humans.60

Through this it becomes obvious that bacteria could very well exist without humans; humans, however, could not jive without bacteria! It also becomes unimaginable that these mini-creatures, whose life-purpose and task for almost infinite time has been to build up life, are supposed to be the great primary or singular causes of disease and death. Yet, the prevailing allopathic medical philosophy has convinced us of this since the late 19th century, when Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch became heroes. Just a few hours after birth, all of a newborn baby's mucous membrane has already been colonized by bacteria, which perform important protective functions.61 Without these colonies of billions of germs, the infant, just like the adult, could not survive. And, only an estimated one percent of our bacteria have even been discovered.62

"The majority of cells in the human body are anything but human: foreign bacteria have long had the upper hand," reported a research team from Imperial College in London under the leadership of Jeremy Nicholson in the journal Nature Biotechnology in 2004. In the human digestive tract alone, researchers came upon around 100 trillion microorganisms, which together have a weight of up to one kilogram. "This means that the 1,000-plus known species of symbionts probably contain more than 100 times as many genes as exist in the host," as Nicholson states. It makes you wonder how much of the human body is "human" and how much is "foreign"?

Nicholson calls us "human super-organisms" – as our own ecosystems are reigned by microorganisms. "It is widely accepted," writes the Professor of Biochemistry, "that most major disease classes have significant environmental and genetic components and that the incidence of disease in a population or individual is a complex product of the conditional probabilities of certain gene components interacting with a diverse range of environmental triggers." Above all, nutrition has a significant influence on many diseases, in that it modulates complex communication between the 100 trillion microorganisms in the intestines!63 "The microbes are part of our extended symbiotic genome and as such are in many ways just as important as our genes," says Nicholson.64

How easily this bacterial balance can be decisively influenced can be seen with babies: if they are nursed with mother's milk, their intestinal flora almost exclusively contains a certain bacterium (Lactobacillus bifidus), which is very different from the bacterium most prevalent when they are fed a diet including cow's milk. "The bacterium lactobacillus bifidus lends the breast-fed child a much stronger resistance to intestinal infections, for instance," writes microbiologist Dubos.65

This is just one of countless examples of the positive interaction between bacteria and humans. "But unfortunately, the knowledge that microorganisms can also do a lot of good for humans never enjoyed much popularity," Dubos points out. "Humanity has made it a rule to take better care of the dangers that threaten life than to take interest in the biological powers upon which human existence is so decisively dependent. The history of war has always fascinated people more than descriptions of peaceful coexistence. And so it comes that no one has ever created a successful story out of the useful role that bacteria play in stomach and intestines. Alone the production of a large part of the food that lands on our plates is dependent on bacterial activity."66

However, haven't antibiotics helped or even saved the lives of many people? Without a doubt. But, we must note that as recently as 12 February 1941, the first patient was treated with an antibiotic, specifically penicillin. So, antibiotics have nothing to do with the increase in life expectancy, which really took hold in the middle of the 19th century (in industrialized countries), almost a century before the development of antibiotics.67 And, plenty of substances, including innumerable bacteria essential to life are destroyed through the administration of antibiotics, which directly translated from the Greek, means, "against life."68 In the USA alone, millions of antibiotics are now unnecessarily administered.69 70 This has profound consequences, as antibiotics are held responsible for nearly a fifth of the more than 100,000 annual deaths that are traced back to side effects of medicines in the United States alone.71 72

The over-use of antibiotics is also causing more bacteria to become resistant. Today, 70% of microbes held responsible for lung illnesses no longer respond to medications.73 The increase in resistance prompts the pharmaceutical sector to conduct more intensive research for new antibiotics. But the discovery of such molecules is a long, difficult and costly process (about $600 million per molecule).74 For many years, no important new antibiotic has come onto the market. At the same time, increasingly stronger preparations are being introduced, which only leads to the bacteria becoming even more resistant and excreting even more toxins.

A key question, such as the causes of pulmonary or middle-ear infection, cannot be answered by simply branding the microbes as lethal enemies and wiping them out. And yet people stick to vilifying the microbes because they are caught in their concept of the enemy and their tunnel vision is directed only at germs.

This is a perception that actually began with Louis Pasteur, who as an acclaimed researcher spread the opinion that bacteria lingered everywhere in the air. And so the idea was born that bacteria (like fungi and viruses) would fatefully descend upon human and animal like swarms of locusts. For about ten years, doctors have speculated that even heart attacks are an infectious disease, triggered by the Chlamydia pneumoniae bacterium. Because of this some patients were treated with antibiotics – but recently a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine stated quite plainly that there is no benefit from this.75

Another issue when considering reports that E. coli bacteria have been detected in drinking water, is the false notion that somehow on their forays these germs discovered a stream and then contaminated it. In fact, E. coli gets into drinking water through human or animal excrement, which serves as food for the bacteria.

Bacteria do not live isolated in an open atmosphere. Rather, they always exist together with cells and tissue parts.76 Just like a fungal culture, a bacterial culture does not simply consist of bacteria or fungi; rather, a terrain always exists as well. And depending on the (toxicity of a) terrain, there are different (toxic) germs. Let's recall a well-known phrase from Claude Bernard (1813 - 1878), one of the best-known representatives of a holistic approach to health: "The microbe is nothing, the terrain is everything."

If we ask bacteriologists which comes first: the terrain or the bacteria, the answer is always that it is the environment (the terrain) that allows the microbes to thrive. The germs, then, do not directly produce the disease. So, it is evident that the crisis produced by the body causes the bacteria to multiply by creating the proper conditions for actually harmless bacteria to mutate into poisonous pus-producing microorganisms.

"Under close observation of disease progression, particularly in infective processes, damage to the organism occurs at the beginning of the disease – and only afterwards the bacterial activity begins," says general practitioner Johann Loibner. "Everyone can observe this in himself. If we put dirt into a fresh wound, other bacteria appear as well. After the penetration of a foreign body, very specific germs appear which, after removal or release, go away on their own and do not continue to populate us. If we damage our respiratory mucous membrane through hypothermia, then those bacteria accordingly appear which, depending on the hypothermia's acuteness and length, and the affected individual's condition, can break down the affected cells and lead to expulsion, catarrh."

This would also explain what the dominant medical thought pattern can't comprehend : why so many different microorganisms are in our bodies (among them such "highly dangerous" ones as the tuberculosis bacillus, the Streptococcus or the Staphylococcus bacterium) without bringing about any recognizable damage.77 They only become harmful when they have enough of the right kind of food. Depending on the type of bacterium this food could be toxins, metabolic end products, improperly digested food and much more.

Even surgery makes use of this principle, using little sacks of maggots to clean wounds that are particularly difficult to sanitize. The maggots eat only the dead or "broken" material. They do not touch healthy, living flesh. No surgeon in the world can cleanse such a wound so precisely and safely as these maggots. And when everything is clean, the feast is over; the maggots don't eat you up, because then they wouldn't have anything more to eat.78

Pasteur finally became aware of all of this, quoting Bernard's dictum – "the microbe is nothing, the terrain is everything" – on his deathbed.79 But Paul Ehrlich (1854 - 1915), known as the father of chemotherapy, adhered to the interpretation that Robert Koch (just like Pasteur in his "best days") preached: that microbes were the actual causes of disease. For this reason, Ehrlich, whom his competitors called "Dr. Fantasy,"80 dreamed of "chemically aiming" at bacteria, and decisively contributed to helping the "magic bullets" doctrine become accepted, by treating very specific illnesses successfully with very specific chemical-pharmaceutical preparations.81 This doctrine was a gold rush for the rising pharmaceutical industry with their wonder-pill production.82 "But the promise of the magic bullet has never been fulfilled," writes Allan Brandt, a medical historian at Harvard Medical School.83

Viruses: Lethal Mini-Monsters?

First electron microscope

First electron microscope
The photograph shows Dr. James Hiller (seated) and Vladimir Zworykin (standing) at the first commercially operated electron microscope (EM ), owned by the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), in 1940. RCA sold this model to American Cyanamid for $ 10,000. The EM, invented in 1931, first made it theoretically possible to see viruses, which are not recognizable with a normal light microscope, as the EM uses fast electrons, which have a much smaller wavelength than visible light, to depict a sample's surface. And since a microscope's resolution is limited by the wavelength, a much higher resolution can be achieved with an EM (currently approximately 0.1 Nanometer = billionth of a meter) than with a light microscope (approximately 0.2 micrometers millionth of a meter).

This distorted understanding of bacteria and fungi and their functions in abnormal processes shaped attitudes toward viruses. At the end of the 19th century, as microbe theory rose to become the definitive medical teaching, no one could actually detect viruses. Viruses measure only 20 - 450 nanometers (billionths of a meter) across and are thus very much smaller than bacteria or fungi – so tiny, that one can only see them under an electron microscope. And the first electron microscope was not built until 1931. Bacteria and fungi, in contrast, can be observed through a simple light microscope. The first of these was constructed as early as the 17th century by Dutch researcher Antoni van Leeuwenhoek (1632 - 1723).

"Pasteurians" were already using the expression "virus" in the 19th century, but this is ascribed to the Latin term "virus" (which just means poison) to describe organic structures that could not be classified as bacteria.84 It was a perfect fit with the concept of the enemy: if no bacteria can be found, then some other single cause must is responsible for the disease. In this case, a quote by Goethe's Mephistopheles comes to mind: "For just where no ideas are, the proper word is never far."85

The number of inconsistencies that arise from the theory of death-bringing viruses is illustrated by the smallpox epidemic, which even today people like to draw upon to stir up epidemic panic.86 But was smallpox really a viral epidemic that was successfully overpowered by vaccines? "Medical historians doubt this," writes journalist Neil Miller in his book Vaccines: Are They Really Safe & Effective? "Not only were there no vaccines for scarlet fever or the Black Plague, and these diseases disappeared all the same."87

For example, in England, prior to the introduction of mandatory vaccinations in 1953, there were two smallpox deaths per 10,000 inhabitants per year. But at the beginning of the 1870s, nearly 20 years after the introduction of mandatory vaccinations, which had led to a 98% vaccination rate,88 England suffered 10 smallpox deaths per 10,000 inhabitants annually; five times as many as before. "The smallpox epidemic reached its peak after vaccinations had been introduced," summarizes William Farr, who was responsible for compiling statistics in London.89

From an orthodox view, the picture on the Philippines was no less contradictory: the islands experienced their worst smallpox epidemic at the beginning of the 20th century, even though the vaccination rate was at almost 100%.90 And in 1928, a paper was finally published in the British Medical Journal that disclosed that the risk of dying from smallpox was five times higher for those who had been vaccinated than for those who had not.91

In Germany statistics of smallpox mortalities have been collected since 1816. There were around 6,000 smallpox deaths per year until the end of the 1860s. In the years 1870 - 71, the number of victims suddenly jumped 14-fold to nearly 85,000 deaths. What had happened? The Franco-Prussian War was raging, and French prisoners of war were held in German camp under the most miserable conditions with extremely bad nutrition. As a result, the number of smallpox cases in the camps increased exponentially, even though all French and German soldiers had been vaccinated against smallpox. Germans (themselves suffering from the war) were likewise affected by the smallpox, although some of them had also been vaccinated.

When the camps were dissolved directly after the war, the number of smallpox deaths also markedly declined. Three years later, in 1874, there were only 3,345 smallpox deaths in Germany per year. Prevailing medicine says that this reduction was due to the Reichsimpfgesetz, a law that among other things stipulated that a child had to be vaccinated "before the end of the calendar year following his year of birth." But in fact, this law first came into effect in 1875, when the smallpox scare was long past. "Improvements in hygiene, technology, and civilization much had occurred at that time, which led to the reduction in illnesses and deaths," says physician Gerhard Buchwald.92

Irrespective of this, mainstream viral research and medicine exclusively assumes that viruses are "infectious" pathogenic germs, which actively spread out in the cells in a parasitic way (with the assistance of enzymes and other cellular components) and multiply – ultimately attacking and sometimes killing cells. Or as a well-known German daily newspaper puts it, in the typical sensationalized manner: "Viruses are the earth's wiliest infectious agents: they attack animals and humans to enslave their cells."93

As thrilling as this may sound, no scientific backing is provided for this statement. To accept this, the existence of these so-called "killer viruses" must first be proven. And this is where the trouble begins. Consequential, scientifically-sound evidence has never been provided, even though it's as easy as taking a sample of patient blood and isolating one of these viruses, in a purified form with its complete genetic material (genome) and virus shell, directly from it, and then imaging it with an electron microscope. But these critical initial steps have never been done with H5N1 (avian flu),94 the so-called hepatitis C virus,95 HIV,96 97 and numerous other particles that are officially called viruses and depicted as attack-crazy beasts.

At this point, we encourage our readers to verify dominant virus theories independently – as many people have done, among them Nobel laureates, top microbiologists and researchers from other fields, serious journalists and lay people alike. We've asked for evidence from important institutions like World Health Organization (WHO), the American Centers for Disease Control (CDC), or its German counterpart, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Berlin. In the summer of 2005, for example, we contacted the RKI and requested the following information:98

  1. Please name the studies that indisputably show that the SARS, hepatitis C, Ebola, smallpox and polio viruses and the BSE causative agent have been proven to exist (complete purification, isolation and definition of biochemical properties plus electron micrographs).
  2. Please name studies that indisputably show that the viruses named above cause disease (and also that other factors like malnutrition, toxins, etc. do not at least co-determine the course of disease).
  3. Please name at least two studies that indisputably show that vaccinations are effective and active.

Unfortunately, to date we have not (despite repeated questioning) yet had a single study named to us.

Readers may wonder how it can be continually claimed that this or that virus exists and has potential to trigger diseases through contagion. An important aspect in this context is that some time ago, mainstream virus-science left the road of direct observation of nature, and decided instead to go with so-called indirect "proof" with procedures such as antibody and PCR tests.

In this book, we will often stray from the well-traveled road, but at this point we must point out that these methods lead to results which have little to no meaning. Antibody tests just prove the existence of antibodies – and not the virus or particle itself to which the antibody tests react. That means: as long as the virus or cell particle (antigen) has not been precisely defined, no one can say what these antibody tests are reacting to; they are thus "unspecific" in medical lingo.99

It is no different with PCR (polymerase chain reaction), which is used to track down genetic sequences, little genetic snippets, and then replicate them a million-fold. As with antibody tests, PCR probably has significance because it displays a sort of immune reaction (as it is called in technical terms) in the body; or, to put it more neutrally, some sort of disturbance or activity on a cellular level. But a virus with indeterminate characteristics cannot be proven by PCR any more than it can be determined by a little antibody test.100 Again, this is because the exact virus determination has not been carried out.

In terms of genetics, these short pieces that are found using the PCR are not complete and do not even satisfy the definition of a gene (of which humans are said to have 20,000 to 25,000).101 In spite of this, it is suggested that "pasted together" they would depict the whole genetic material of a given virus. But nobody has presented a paper that shows an electron micrograph of this so-called reproduced virus.

Even if scientists assume that the particles discovered in the laboratory (antigens and gene snippets) are the viruses mentioned, this is a long way from proving that the viruses are the causes of the diseases in question, particularly when the patients or animals who have been tested are not even sick, which, often enough is the case. Another important question must be raised: even when a supposed virus does kill cells in the test-tube (in vitro), or lets embryos in a chicken egg culture die, can we safely conclude that these findings can be carried over to a living organism (in vivo)? Many issues contradict this theory, such as that the particles termed viruses stem from cell cultures (in vitro) whose particles could be genetically degenerate because they have been bombarded with chemical additives like growth factors or strongly oxidizing substances.102

In 1995, the German news magazine Der Spiegel delved into this problem (something that is worth noting, when one considers that this news magazine usually runs only orthodox virus coverage), quoting researcher Martin Markowitz from the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center in New York: "The scientist [Markovitz] mauls his virus-infected cell cultures with these poisons in all conceivable combinations to test which of them kill the virus off most effectively. 'Of course, we don't know how far these cross-checks in a test-tube will bring us,' says Markowitz.

'What ultimately counts is the patient.' His clinical experience has taught him the difference between test-tube and sick bed. He is more aware than most AIDS researchers of how little the behavior of cultured virus stems in incubator cells has to do with those that grow naturally in a network of hormones, antibodies, scavenger and T-cells of the immune system of a living person."103 Andreas Meyerhans, from the Institut Pasteur in Paris uses the phrase: "To culture is to disturb," which basically means that the results obtained in vitro only confuse.104 105

"Unfortunately, the decade is characterized by climbing death rates, caused by lung cancer, heart disease, traffic accidents and the indirect consequences of alcoholism and drug addiction," wrote Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Medicine, in his 1971 book Genes Dreams, and Realities: "The real challenge of the present day is to find remedies for these diseases of civilization. But nothing that comes out of the labs seems to be significant in this context; laboratory research's contribution has practically come to an end. For someone who is well on the way to a career as a lab researcher in infectious disease and immunology, these are not comforting words."

To biomedical scientists and the readers of their papers, Burnet continued, it may be exciting to hold forth on "the detail of a chemical structure from a phage's [viruses from simple organisms; see below] RNA, or the production of antibody tests, which are typical of today's biological research. But modem fundamental research in medicine hardly has a direct significance to the prevention of disease or the improvement of medical precautions."106

But mainstream medicine avoids this theory like the devil does holy water. Instead, one tries to demonstrate the pathogenicity (ability to cause disease) of these particles through experiments that could hardly be more arcane. For instance, test substrates were injected directly into the brains of lab animals. This was the procedure with BSE and polio, for example; and even the famous Louis Pasteur had applied this method in his rabies experiments, in which he injected diseased brain tissue into the heads of dogs (Pasteur became famous through these experiments, and only years after his death were these studies found to be pure put-on).107 108 The industry now says that "direct injections into the brain" are unrealistic, and thus ultimately provide no evidence of pathogenic effects.109

Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet (ca. 1965)

Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet
Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet received the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1960; the photograph shows him in his laboratory in the microbiology department of the University of Melbourne (1965).

Why not suppose that a virus, or what we term a virus, is a symptom – i.e. a result – of a disease? Medical teaching is entrenched in Pasteur and Koch's picture of the enemy, and has neglected to pursue the thought that the body's cells could produce a virus on its own accord, for instance as a reaction to stress factors. The experts discovered this a long time ago, and speak of "endogenous viruses" – particles that form inside the body by the cells themselves.

In this context, the research work of geneticist Barbara McClintock is a milestone. In her Nobel Prize paper from 1983, she reports that the genetic material of living beings can constantly alter, by being hit by "shocks." These shocks can be toxins, but also other materials that produced stress in the test-tube.110 This in turn can lead to the formation of new genetic sequences, which were unverifiable (in vivo and in vitro) before.

Long ago, scientists observed that toxins in the body could produce physiological reactions, yet current medicine sees this only from the perspective of exogenous viruses. In 1954, the scientist Ralph Scobey reported in the journal Archives of Pediatrics, that herpes simplex had developed after the injection of vaccines, the drinking of milk or the ingestion of certain foodstuffs; while herpes zoster (shingles) arose after ingestion or injection of heavy metals like arsenic and bismuth or alcohol.111

It is also conceivable that toxic drugs like poppers, recreational drugs commonly used by homosexuals, or immunosuppressive medications like antibiotics and antivirals could trigger what is called oxidative stress. This means that the blood's ability to transport oxygen, so important for the life and survival of cells, is compromised. Simultaneously, nitric oxides are produced, which can severely damage cells. As a result, antibody production is "stirred up," which in turn causes the antibody tests to come out positive. Also, new genetic sequences are generated through this, which are then picked up by the PCR tests112 113 – all this, mind you, without a pathogenic virus that attacks from outside.

But prevailing medicine condemns such thoughts as heresy. Just as the orthodoxy fought against McClintock's concept of "jumping genes" for decades, because they did not want to let go of their own model of a completely stable genetic framework. Here, they had not merely ignored McClintock, but even became downright "hostile," according to McClintock.114 "Looking back, it is painful to see how extremely fixated many scientists are on the dominant assumptions, on which they have tacitly agreed," McClintock wrote in 1973, shortly after the medical establishment admitted, finally, that she had been right. "One simply has to wait for the right time for a change in conception."115 However, McClintock had no time to brace herself against the prevailing HIV = AIDS dogma. She did voice criticism that it has never been proven AIDS is triggered by a contagious virus.116 But the Nobel Prize winner died in 1992, shortly after increased numbers of critics of the HIV = AIDS dogma had come into the game.

Whether Nobel laureate or layperson, ask yourself this simple question: how is it actually imaginable that killer viruses stalk the world bumping off one human cell after another? Viruses – as opposed to bacteria and fungi – do not even have their own metabolisms. By definition, viruses have completely given their metabolisms to the cells. They are composed of only one nucleic acid strand (DNA or RNA genes) and one protein capsule, so are missing the decisive attributes of living beings. Strictly speaking, they do not count among "microbes," which comes from the Greek: "micro" = small, "bios" = life. How can viruses, like bacteria, be in a position to become active and aggressive of their own accord? Remember, it is said that viruses may have existed for three billion years.117 And exactly like bacteria and fungi, viruses are also said to be ubiquitous from the deep sea to the polar ice caps. A 2006 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences118 found that there are more than 20,000 species of bacteria in a liter of seawater – the researchers had expected to find only 1,000 to 3,000 species.

"Just as scientists have discovered through ever more powerful telescopes that stars number in the billions, we are learning that the number of marine organisms invisible to the eye exceeds all expectations and their diversity is much greater than we could have imagined," says lead author Mitchell Sogin, director of the Massachusetts-based Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) Center for Comparative and Molecular Biology and Evolution. "This study shows we have barely scratched the surface. The number of different kinds of bacteria in the oceans could eclipse five to 10 million."119 Furthermore, one liter of sea water is said to contain no less than 10 billion viruses of very simple organisms, like single-celled algae, called (bacterio)phages;120 umpteen times as many viruses (phages) as bacteria. Both of these discoveries – the long development time and their universal existence – argue clearly that nature, which constantly strives for balance, lives in symbiosis with these viruses.

Luckily, the phages' omnipresence has flown below the radar of prevailing medical viral research – otherwise there would probably be regulations against bathing in the sea without full-body condoms or epidemic-protection suits, and only under the condition that we first take prophylactic antiviral medications. Or, why not try to disinfect large surfaces of seawater. We are already well on the way to this kind of thinking, since phages are already being presented as super villains that "work using wily tricks."121 But there is no real proof here either.

We'd be wise to remember times in which the ruling dogma of viral killers was (freely and openly) sharply attacked and dismissed as pure "belief."122 Indeed, there were many prominent microbiologists who insisted that bacteriophages just aren't viruses, but rather products "endogenously" produced, i.e. by bacteria.123 Robert Doerr, editor of the Handbook of Virology, published by Springer in 1938, even held the idea that not only phages, but also other "viruses" were the product of cells.124

Let's look at one of their arguments: bacteriophages cannot be living entities that become active independently, since phages themselves cannot be destroyed by temperatures as high as 120 degrees.125 "And it would probably be of use to recall the history of this decade-long dispute," says Dutch microbiologist Ton van Helvoort, "for controversies and finding consensus are at the heart of scientific research."126

Chapter 2 - The Microbe Hunters Seize Power
Pasteur and Koch: Two of Many Scientific Cheats

"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease."1 Thomas Edison (1847 - 1931) One of the greatest inventors of history
"The conclusion is unavoidable: Pasteur deliberately deceived the public, including especially those scientists most familiar with his published work."2 Gerald Geison medical historian
"[Modern virus detection methods like PCR] tell little or nothing about how a virus multiplies, which animals carry it, [or] how it makes people sick. [It is] like trying to say whether somebody has bad breath by looking at his fingerprint."3 An appeal from 14 top virologists of the "old guard" to the new biomedical research generation Science, 6 July 2001 Robinson Verner

The elevated status Louis Pasteur enjoyed during his lifetime is made clear by a quotation from physician Auguste Lutaud in 1887 (eight years before Pasteur's death): "In France, one can be an anarchist, a communist or a nihilist, but not an anti-Pasteurian."4 In truth, however, Pasteur was no paragon with a divinely pure clean slate, but rather a researcher addicted to fame acting on false assumptions and "he misled the world and his fellow scientists about the research behind two of his most famous experiments," as the journal The Lancet stated in 2004.5

In his downright fanatical hate of microbes, Pasteur actually came from the ludicrous equation that healthy (tissue) equals a sterile (germ-free) environment.6 He believed in all earnestness that bacteria could not be found in a healthy body7 and that microbes flying through the air on dust particles were responsible for all possible diseases.8 At 45 years of age, he "was basking in his fame," as bacteriologist Paul de Kruif writes in his book Microbe Hunters, "and trumpeted his hopes out into the world: 'it must lie within human power to eliminate all diseases caused by parasites [microbes] from the face of the earth.'"9

Flaws in Pasteur's theories were shown long ago in the first half of the 20th century by experiments in which animals were kept completely germ-free. Their birth even took place by Cesarean section; after that, they were locked in microbe-free cages and given sterile food and water – after a few days, all the animals were dead. This made it apparent that "contamination" by exogenous bacteria is abolutely essential to their lives.10

In the early 1960s, scientists succeeded for the first time in keeping germ-free mice alive for more than a fews days, namely for several weeks. Seminal research on these germ-free rodents was performed by Morris Pollard in Notre-Dame, Indiana.11

However, this does not undermine the fact that germs are essential for life. Not only do mice under natural conditions have a life span of three years, which is much longer than the average life span of these germ-free lab animals12 The ability to keep germ-free animals such as mice or rats alive for a longer time requires highly artifical lab conditions in which the animals are synthetically fed with vitamin supplements and extra calories, conditions that have nothing to do with nature. These specially designed liquid diets are needed because under normal rearing conditions, animals harbor populations of microorganisms in the digestive tract.13

These microorganisms generate various organic constituents as products or by-products of metabolism, including various water-soluble vitamins and amino acids. In the rat and mouse, most of the microbial activity is in the colon, and many of the microbially produced nutrients are not available in germ-free animals. This alters microbial nutrient synthesis and, thereby, influence dietary requirements. Adjustments in nutrient concentrations, the kinds of ingredients, and methods of preparation must be considered when formulating diets for laboratory animals reared in germ-free environments or environments free of specific microbes.14 15

One important target by administering these artificial diets is to avoid the accumulation of metabolic pruducts in the large intestine. However, it has been observed that already after a short time the appendix or cecum of these germ-free reared rodents increased in weight and eventually became abnormally enlarged, filled with mucus which would normally have been broken down by microbes.16 Furthermore, in germ-free conditions rodents typically die of kidney failure17 – a sign that the kidneys are overworked in their function as an excretion organ if the large intestine has been artificially crippled. In any case, it shows that germ-free mice would not be able to survive and reproduce while staying healthy in realistic conditions, which can never be duplicated by researchers, not even approximately.

Apart from this, it is not clear that these germ-free animals have been truly 100% germ-free. Obviously not all tissues and certainly not every single cell could have been checked for germs. Nobody can know that these animals are absolutely germ-free, especially if one keeps in mind that germs such as the Chlamydia trachomatis may "hide" so deeply in the cells that they persist there even after treatment with penicillin.18

Furthermore, even if the specimens of so-called germ-free animals are maintained under optimum conditions – assumed to be perfectly sterile – their tissues do, nevertheless, decay after a time, forming "spontaneous" bacteria. But how do we explain these "spontaneous" bacteria? They cannot come from nothing, so logic allows only one conclusion: the bacteria must have already been present in the so-called "germ-free" mice (in any case, mice said to be bacteria-free are apparently not virus-free; this was demonstrated in 1964 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine by Etienne de Harven who observed, by electron microscopy, typical so-called retroviral particles in the thymus of germ-free Swiss and C3H mice;19 of course, these viruses may be endogenous retroviruses which sometimes are expressed as particles – but of endogenous origin).

If nature wanted us bacteria-free, nature would have created us bacteria-free. Germ-free animals, which apparently aren't really germ-free, can only exist under artificial lab conditions, not in nature. The ecosystems of animals living under natural conditions – be it rodents or be it human beings – depend heavily upon the activities of bacteria, and this arrangement must have a purpose.

But back to "Tricky Louis"20 who deliberately lied, even in his vaccination experiments, which provided him a seat on the Mount Olympus of research gods. In 1881, Pasteur asserted that he had successfully vaccinated sheep against anthrax. But not only does nobody know how Pasteur's open land tests outside the Paris gates really proceeded, but the national hero of la grande Nation, as he would later be called, had in fact clandestinely lifted the vaccine mixture from fellow researcher Jean-Joseph Toussaint,21 whose career he had earlier ruined through public verbal attacks.22 And what about Pasteur's purportedly highly successful experiments with a rabies vaccine in 1885? Only much later did the research community learn that they did not satisfy scientific standards at all, and were thus unfit to back up the chorus of praise for his vaccine-mixture. Pasteur's super-vaccine "might have caused rather than prevented rabies," writes scientific historian Horace Judson.23

These experiments weren't debated for decades largely due to the fastidious secretiveness of the famous Frenchman. During his lifetime, Pasteur permitted absohttely no one – not even his closest co-workers – to inspect his notes. And "Tricky Louis" arranged with his family that the books should also remain closed to all even after his death.24 In the late 20th century, Gerald Geison, medical historian at Princeton University, was first given the opportunity to go through Pasteur's records meticulously, and he made the fraud public in 1995.25 That it became so controversial shouldn't be particularly surprising, for sound science thrives in a transparent environment so that other researchers can verify the conclusions made.26

Secretiveness has an oppositional goal: shutting out independent monitoring and verification. When external inspection and verification by independent experts are shut out of the process, the floodgates are open to fraud.27 Of course, we observe this lack of transparency everywhere, be it in politics, in organizations like the international Football association FIFA, and also in "scientific communities [that] believe that public funding is their right, but so is freedom from public control," according to Judson.28 With this, mainstream research has actually managed to seal off their scientific buildings from public scrutiny.

This set-up lacks critical checks and balances, so no one is ultimately in the position to scrutinize the work of researchers and make sure research is conducted in an honest way. We are left to simply trust that they go about it truthfully.29 But, a survey taken by scientists and published in a 2005 issue of Nature showed that a third of researchers admitted they would not avoid deceptive activities, and would simply brush to the side, any data that did not suit their purposes.30 A crucial aspect of science has been lost; few researchers now trouble themselves to verify data and conclusions presented by fellow researchers.

Such quality checkups are equated with a waste of time and money and for that reason are also not financed. Instead medical researchers are completely occupied obsessed with chasing after the next big high-profit discovery. And many of today's experiments are constructed in such a complicated manner that they cannot be reconstructed and precisely verified at all.31 This makes it very easy for researchers to ask themselves, without having to fear any consequences: why shouldn't I cheat?

One would hope that the so-called peer review system largely eliminates fraud. It is still commonly considered a holy pillar of the temple of science, promising adherence to quality standards.32 But the decades-long practice of peer review is rotten to the core.33 34 It functions like this: experts ("peers") who remain anonymous examine (review) research proposals and journal articles submitted by their scientific competitors. These so-called experts then decide if the proposals should be approved or the articles printed in scientific publications. There are said to be around 50,000 such peer reviewed publications,35 and all the best known journals such as Nature, Science, New England Journal of Medicine, British Medical Journal and The Lancet, are peer reviewed.

There is, however, a fundamental problem: peer reviewing, in its current form, is dangerously flawed. If researchers in other fields conducted studies and published results using this process, what would happen? If their current methods were common in the car industry, for example, BMW's competitors could decide, through an anonymous process, whether or not BMW would be permitted to develop a new car model and bring it to the market. Clearly this would stifle innovation and invite conflicts of interest and fraud.

"Peer review is slow, expensive, a profligate of academic time, highly selective, prone to bias, easily abused, poor at detecting gross defects, and almost useless for detecting fraud," says Richard Smith, former Editor in Chief of the British Medical Journal.36 No wonder, then, that all the cases of fraud which scientific historian Judson outlines in his 2004 book The Great Betrayal: Fraud in Science were not uncovered by the peer review system, but rather by pure coincidence.37 And next to Pasteur in the pantheon of scientific fraudsters appear such illustrious names as Sigmund Freud and David Baltimore, one of the best-known recipients of the Nobel Prize for medicine38 (we'll discuss Baltimore in more detail later in this chapter).

The other shining light of modem medicine, German doctor Robert Koch (1843 - 1910) was also an enterprising swindler. At the "10th International Medical Congress" in Berlin in 1890, the microbe hunter "with the oversized ego"39 pronounced that he had developed a miracle substance against tuberculosis.40 And in the German Weekly Medical Journal (Deutsche Medizinische Wochenzeitschrift), Koch even claimed his tests on guinea pigs had proved that it was possible "to bring the disease completely to a halt without damaging the body in other ways."41

The reaction of the world-at-large to this alleged miracle drug "Tuberkulin" was at first so overwhelming that in Berlin, Koch's domain, sanatoria shot out of the ground like mushrooms.42 Sick people from all over the world turned the German capital into a son of pilgrimage site.43 But soon enough, Tuberkulin was found to be a catastrophic failure. Long-term cures did not emerge, and instead one hearse after another drove up to the sanatoria. And newspapers such as the New Year's edition of the satirical Der wahre Jakob (The Real McCoy) jeered: "Herr Professor Koch! Would you like to reveal a remedy for dizziness bacteria!"44

In the style of Pasteur, Koch had also kept the contents of his alleged miracle substance strictly confidential at first. But as death rates soared, a closer inspection of the drug's properties revealed that Tuberkulin was nothing more than a bacillus culture killed off by heat; even with the best of intentions, no one could have assumed that it would have helped tuberculosis patients suffering from severe illness. On the contrary, all individuals – be it the test patients or the ones who were given it later as an alleged cure – experienced dramatic adverse reactions: chills, high fever, or death.45

Finally, Koch's critics, including another medical authority of that time, Rudolf Virchow, succeeded in proving that Tuberkulin could not stop tuberculosis. Rather, it was feared, according to the later scathing criticisms, that it made the disease's progress even worse. Authorities demanded that Koch brings forth evidence for his famous guinea pig tests – but he could not.46

Experts such as historian Christoph Gradmann of Heidelberg say that Koch "cleverly staged" Tuberkulin's launch. Everything seemed to have been planned well in advance. In late October 1890, during the first wave of Tuberkulin euphoria, Koch had taken leave of his hygiene professorship. In confidential letters, he requested his own institute – modeled on the Institut Pasteur in Paris – from the Prussian state in order to be able to research his Tuberkulin extensively.

Professor Koch calculated the expected profit on the basis of a "daily production of 500 portions of Tuberkulin at 4.5 million marks annually." On the reliability of his prognosis, he dryly observed: "Out of a million people, one can reckon, on average, with 6,000 to 8,000 who suffer from pulmonary tuberculosis. In a country with a population of 30 million, then, there are at least 180,000 phthisics (tubercular people)." Koch's announcement in the German Weekly Medical Journal (Deutsche Medizinische Wochenzeitschrift) appeared simultaneously with excessively positive field reports by his confidantes, according to Gradmann, served "for the verification of Tuberkulin just as much as for its propaganda."47

Scurvy, Beriberi and Pellagra: The Microbe Hunters' Many Defeats

At the end of the 19th century, when Pasteur and Koch became celebrities, the general public had hardly a chance to brace itself against microbe propaganda. Medical authorities, who adhered to the microbes = lethal enemies theory, and the rising pharmaceutical industry already had the reins of power and public opinion firmly in their hands. With this, the course was set for the establishment of clinical studies using laboratory animals, with the goal of developing (alleged) miracle pills against very specific diseases.

The scheme was so effective that even a substance like Tuberkulin, which caused such a fatal disaster, was highly profitable. Koch never even admitted that his Tuberkulin had been a failure. And Hoechst, a dye factory looking for a cheap entry into pharmaceutical research, got into Tuberkulin manufacturing. Koch's student Arnold Libbertz was to supervise production, with close cooperation from Koch's institute, and the rising pharmaceutical industry were decisively spurred on.48

From this point on, scientists tried to squeeze virtually everything into the model "one disease-one cause (pathogen)-one miracle cure," something that prompted one failure after another. For example, for a long time, the prevailing medicine spiritedly asserted that diseases like scurvy (seamen's disease), pellagra (rough skin), or beriberi (miners' and prisoners' disease) were caused by germs. Until the orthodoxy ultimately, with gritted teeth, admitted that vitamin deficiency is the true cause.

With beriberi, for instance, it was decades before the dispute over what caused the degenerative neural disease took its decisive tum when vitamin B1 (thiamine) was isolated in 1911 – a vitamin that was absent in refined foods like white rice. Robert R. Williams, one of the discoverers of thiamine, noted that, through the work of Koch and Pasteur, "all young physicians were so imbued with the idea of infection as the cause of disease that it presently came to be accepted as almost axiomatic that disease could have no other cause [than microbes]. The preoccupation of physicians with infection as a cause of disease was doubtless responsible for many digressions from attention to food as the causal factor of beriberi."49

Hippocrates, von Pettenkofer, Bircher-Benner: The Wisdom of the Body

The idea that certain microbes – above all fungi, bacteria and viruses – are our great opponents in battle, causing certain diseases that must be fought with special chemical bombs, has buried itself deep into the collective conscience. But a dig through history reveals that the Western world has only been dominated by the medical dogma of "one disease, one cause, one miracle pill" since the end of the 19th century, with the emergence of the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to that, we had a very different mindset, and even today, there are still traces everywhere of this different consciousness.50

"Since the time of the ancient Greeks, people did not 'catch' a disease, they slipped into it. To catch something meant that there was something to catch, and until the germ theory of disease became accepted, there was nothing to catch," writes previously mentioned biology professor Edward Golub in his work, The Limits of Medicine: How Science Shapes Our Hope for the Cure.51 Hippocrates, who is said to have lived around 400 B.C., and Galen (one of the most significant physicians of his day; born in 130 A.D.), represented the view that an individual was, for the most part, in the driver's seat in terms of maintaining health with appropriate behavior and lifestyle choices.

"Most disease [according to ancient philosophy] was due to deviation from a good life," says Golub." [And when diseases occur] they could most often be set aright by changes in diet – [which] shows dramatically how 1,500 years after Hippocrates and 950 years after Galen, the concepts of health and disease, and the medicines of Europe, had not changed" far into the 19th century.52

Even into the 1850s, the idea that diseases are contagious found hardly any support in medical and scientific circles. One of the most significant medical authorities of the time was the German Max von Pettenkofer (1818 - 1901), who tried to comprehend things as wholes, and so incorporated various factors into his considerations about the onset of diseases, including individual behavior and social conditions. To von Pettenkofer, the microbe-theoreticians' oversimplified, monocausal hypothesis seemed naive, something that turned him into a proper "anticontagionist."53 In view of the then-emerging division of medicine into many separate specialized disciplines, the scientist, later appointed rector of the University of Munich, jeered: "Bacteriologists are people who don't look further than their steam boilers, incubators and microscopes."54

And so it was also von Pettenkofer who at this time directed the discussion on the treatment of cholera, a disease so typical to rising industrial nations in the 19th century. He held the same position that the famous doctor Francois Magendie (1783 - 1855) had adopted back in 1831, when he reported to the French Academy of Sciences that cholera was not imported, nor contagious, but rather it was caused by excessive dirt as a result of catastrophic living conditions.55 Correspondingly, the poorest quarters in centers like London were, as a rule, also the ones most afflicted by cholera.56

Von Pettenkofer identified drinking water as the main cause. There were no treatment plants in those days, so water was often so visibly and severely contaminated with industrial chemicals and human excrement that people regularly complained about its stink and discoloration. Studies also showed that households with access to clean water had few to no cholera cases at all.57 Although von Pettenkofer certainly didn't deny the presence of microbes in this cesspool, he argued that these organisms could contribute to the disease's course, but only when the biological terrain was primed so they could thrive.58

Unfortunately, von Pettenkofer's authority ultimately could not prevent adherents of the microbe theory from taking the matter into their own hands at the end of the 19th century, and they squeezed cholera into their narrow explanatory concept as well. So a microbe (in this case the bacterium Vibrio cholerae or its excretions) was branded as the sole culprit – and Pasteurian microbe theory was falsely decorated for having repelled cholera. Golub was left shouting into the void: "Why does Pasteur get the credit for that which the sanitation movement and public health were primarily responsible?"59

The 1500-year history of a holistic view of health and disease was much too connected with life and its monstrous complexities to disappear altogether at the spur of the moment. Yet, it virtually disappeared from the collective conscience.

Geneticist Barbara McClintock was of the opinion that the concepts that have since posed as sound science cannot sufficiently describe the enormous multi-layered complexities of all forms of natural life, and with that, their secrets. Organisms, according to the Nobel Prize winner for medicine, lead their own lives and comply with an order that can only be partially fathomed by science. No model that we conceive of can even rudimentarily do justice to these organisms' incredible capability to find ways and means of securing their own survival.60

By the beginning of the 1970s, Nobel laureate for medicine, Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet had also become very skeptical about "the 'usefulness' of molecular biology, [especially because of] the impossible complexity of living structure and particularly of the informational machinery of the cell. [Certainly, molecular biologists are] rightly proud of their achievements and equally rightly feel that they have won the right to go on with their research. But their money comes from politicians, bankers, foundations, who are not capable of recognizing the nature of a scientist's attitude to science and who still feel, as I felt myself 30 years ago, that medical research is concerned only in preventing or curing human disease. So our scientists say what is expected of them, their grants are renewed and both sides are uneasily aware that it has all been a dishonest piece of play-acting – but then most public functions are."61

Certainly not all doctors have clamored for roles on the medical industrial stage and some were key players in keeping the holistic health viewpoint alive. Swiss doctor Maximilian Bircher-Benner (1867 - 1939) directed his attention to the advantages of nutrition after treating his own jaundice with a raw foods diet, as well as a patient suffering from severe gastric problems. In 1891, long before the significance of vitamins and dietary fiber to the human body had been recognized, Bircher-Benner took over a small city practice in Zurich, where he developed his nutritional therapy based on a raw foods diet.

By 1897, only a few years later, the practice had grown into a small private clinic, where he also treated in patients. There was strong interest in his vegetarian raw food diet from all over the world, so, Bircher-Benner erected a four-story private sanatorium in 1904 called "Lebendige Kraft" (living force). And so besides a raw foods diet, Bircher-Benner (whose name has been immortalized in Bircher-Muesli) promoted natural healing factors like sun-baths, pure water, exercise and psychological health.62 With this, he supported treatments that had become increasingly neglected with the appearance of machines and, particularly, pharmaceuticals: attention to the natural healing powers of the body and the body's cells, which possess their own sort of sensitivity and intelligence.63

Walter Cannon, professor of physiology at Harvard, also made holistic health his central theme, in his 1932 work The Wisdom of the Body. Here, he describes the concept of homeostasis, and underlines that occurrences in the body are connected with each other and self-regulating in an extremely complex way.64 "'Wisdom of the Body' is an attribute of living organisms," wrote Israeli medical researcher Gershom Zajicek in a 1999 issue of the journal Medical Hypotheses. "It directs growing plants toward sunshine, guides amoebas away from noxious agents, and determines the behavior of higher animals. The main task of the wisdom of the body is to maintain health, and improve its quality. The wisdom of the body has its own language and should be considered when examining patients."65

The words of biologist Gregory Bateson from 1970 are certainly still valid today: "[Walter] Cannon wrote a book on the Wisdom of the Body; but nobody has written a book on the wisdom of medical science, because that is precisely the thing it lacks."66

Clustering: How to Make an Epidemic Out of One Infected Patient

After World War II, diseases such as tuberculosis, measles, diphtheria or pneumonia no longer triggered mass fatalities in industrialized nations such as affluent America. This became a huge problem for institutions like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the American epidemic authorities, as redundancy threatened.67 In 1949, a majority voted to eliminate the CDC completely.68 Instead of bowing out of a potentially very lucrative industry, the CDC went on an arduous search for viruses.69 But, how to find an epidemic where there isn't any? You do "clustering."

This involves a quick scan of your environment – hospitals, daycares, local bars, etc. – to locate one, two, or a few individuals with the same or similar symptoms. This is apparently completely sufficient for virus hunters to declare an impending epidemic. It doesn't matter if these individuals have never had contact with each other, or even that they've been ill at intervals of weeks or even months. So, clusters can deliver no key clues or provide actual proof of an existing or imminent microbial epidemic.

Even the fact that a few individuals present the same clinical picture does not necessarily mean that a virus is at work. It can mean all sorts of things including that afflicted individuals had the same unhealthy diet or that they had to fight against the same unhealthy environmental conditions (chemical toxins etc.). Even an assumption that an infectious germ is at work could indicate that certain groups of people are susceptible to a certain ailment, while many other people who are likewise exposed to the microbe remain healthy.70

For this reason, epidemics rarely occur in affluent societies, because these societies offer conditions (sufficient nutrition, clean drinking water, etc.) which allow many people to keep their immune systems so fit that microbes simply do not have a chance to multiply abnormally (although antibiotics are also massively deployed against bacteria; and people who overuse antibiotics and other drugs that affect the immune system are even at greater risk).

Just how ineffective clustering is in finding epidemics becomes evident, moreover, if we look more closely at cases where clustering has been used as a tool to sniff out (allegedly impending) epidemics. This happened with the search for the causes of scurvy, beriberi and pellagra at the beginning of the 20th century. But, as illustrated, it proved groundless to assume that these are infectious diseases with epidemic potential.

The best – known example in recent times is HIV/AIDS. At the beginning of the 1980s, a few doctors tried to construct a purely viral epidemic out of a few patients who had cultivated a drug-taking lifestyle that destroyed the immune system. We'll discuss how virus authorities manufactured this epidemic in Chapter 3. For now, we'll quote CDC officer Bruce Evatt, who admitted that, the CDC went to the public with statements for which there was "almost no evidence. We did not have proof it was a contagious agent."71

Unfortunately, the world ignored all kinds of statements like this. So talk of the "AIDS virus" has since kept the world in epidemic fear and virus hunters are now the masters of the medical arena. Every cold, every seasonal influenza, hepatitis disease, or whatever other syndrome has become an inexhaustible source for epidemic hunters armed with their clustering methods to declare ever new epidemics that pose threats to the world.

In 1995, allegedly, "the microbe from hell came to England," according to media scientist Michael Tracey, who was then active in Great Britain and collected media headlines like, "Killer Bug Ate My Face," "Flesh Bug Ate My Brother in 18 Hours," and "Flesh Eating Bug Killed My Mother in 20 Minutes." Tracey writes, "The Star was particularly subtle in its subsidiary headline, 'it starts with a sore throat but you can die within 24 hours.'" Yet the bacterium, known to the medical world as Streptococcus A, was anything but new. "Usually only a few people die from it each year," says Tracey. "In that year in England and Wales just 11 people. The chances of getting infected were infinitesimally small but that didn't bother the media ai: all. A classic example of bad journalism triggering a panic."72

In the same year, the US CDC sounded the alarm, warning insistently of an imminent Ebola virus pandemic. With the assistance of cluster methods, several fever cases in Kikwit, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, were separated out and declared as an outbreak of the Ebola epidemic. In their addiction to sensation the media reported worldwide that a deadly killer virus was about to leave its jungle lair and descend on Europe and the USA.73

Time magazine showed spectacular pictures of CDC "detectives" in spacesuits impermeable to germs and colorful photographs in which the dangerous pathogen could ostensibly be seen.74 The director of the UN AIDS program made the horror tangible by imagining: "It is theoretically possible that an infected person from Kikwit makes it to the capital, Kinshasa, climbs into a plane to New York, gets sick and then poses a risk to the USA." Within a month, however, Ebola was no longer a problem in Africa, and not one single case was ever reported in Europe or North America75 And a publication in which the ebola virus is characterized (with its genetic material and virus shell) and shown in an electron micrograph is still nowhere to be found.

Polio: Pesticides Such as DDT and Heavy Metals Under Suspicion

Diagram 2 - Polio death rates began to decline long before
                    major inoculation campaigns were started

Diagram 2 - Polio death rates
From 1923 to 1953, long before large-scale polio vaccinations began to be carried out in the mid-1950s, mortalities attributed to polio had already decreased substantially: in the USA by 47%; in Great Britain by 55%; in other European countries, the statistics are comparable. This diagram was reproduced with permission from the following book: Vaccines: Are They Really Safe and Effective? © by Neil Z. Miller, all rights reserved.

Practically all of the infectious illnesses that infected people in industrialized countries in the decades before World War II (tuberculosis etc.) ceased to cause problems after 1945. For a few years, the major exception was polio (infantile paralysis), which continues to be called an infectious disease. In the 1950s, the number of polio cases in developed countries fell drastically – and epidemic authorities attributed this success to their vaccination campaigns. But a look at the statistics reveals that the number of polio victims had already fallen drastically when vaccination activities started (see diagram 2).

Many pieces of evidence justify the suspicion that the cause of infantile paralysis (polio) is not a virus. Many experts, like American physician Benjamin Sandler, believe a decisive factor is a high consumption of refined foods such as granulated sugar.76 Others cite mass vaccinations. Indeed, since the beginning of the 20th century, it has been known that the paralysis so typical of polio have often appeared at the site where an injection has been given.77 Additionally, the number of polio cases increased drastically after mass vaccinations against diphtheria and whooping cough in the 1940s, as documented in the Lancet and other publications.78 79 80

Polio, like most diseases, may be conditional on various factors. It makes particular sense, however, to take poisoning by industrial and agricultural pollution into consideration, to explain why this nervous disease first appeared in the 19th century, in the course of industrialization. It spread like wildfire in the industrialized West in the first half of the 20th century, while in developing countries, in contrast, there was no outbreak.

In the 19th century, the disease was named poliomyelitis, referring to degeneration of spinal column nerves (myelitis is a disease of the spinal cord) typical of polio.81

Orthodox medical literature can offer no evidence that the poliovirus was anything other than benign until the first polio epidemic, which occurred in Sweden in 1887. This was 13 years after the invention of DDT in Germany (in 1874) and 14 years after the invention of the first mechanical crop sprayer, which was used to spray formulations of water, kerosene, soap and arsenic.

"The epidemic also occurred immediately following an unprecedented flurry of pesticide innovations," says Jim West of New York, who has extensively investigated the subject of polio and pesticides. "This is not to say that DDT was the actual cause of the first polio epidemic, as arsenic was then in widespread use and DDT is said to have been merely an academic exercise. However, DDT or any of several neurotoxic organochlorines already discovered could have caused the first polio epidemic if they had been used experimentally as a pesticide. DDT's absence from early literature is little assurance that it was not used."82

Nearly ten years before, in 1878, Alfred Vulpian, a neurologist, had provided experimental evidence for the poisoning thesis when he discovered that dogs poisoned by lead suffered from the same symptoms as human polio victims. In 1883, the Russian Miezeyeski Popow showed that the same paralysis could be produced with arsenic. These studies should have aroused the scientific community, considering tha