My Interview for Nature Medicine

I received an interview request from Nature Medicine regarding the BBC’s capitulation to the pharma cabal at Aidstruth.org. (Background on that story Here )

I have been slimed by Nature Medicine in the past, without ever being asked for an interview, so this is a first. I respond in some detail to the request, with some questions of my own for the reporter.

The bottom line:

  • “What is borne out in reviewing 25 years of medical literature on the paradigm, is the failure of the surrogate markers to consistently, dependably, usefully predict illness, or to be the most useful or appropriate target for therapy. Aids, therefore, is a more important phenomenon than what we refer to as “Hiv”, because the surrogate markers by which we define and infer, or perhaps imply “Hiv”, fail to assist us in making patients better.”
  • “Leaving behind the failed surrogate markers, lifting the a priori death sentence enforced by the supposition of the utility of the surrogate markers, and finally, treating Aids, as in, Immune Deficiency, will be the next, and most successful step in the eradication of Aids globally.”

10/30/2007 – Received from Virginia Hughes of Nature Medicine:

Dear Mr. Scheff,

I’m a medical writer with Nature Medicine now working on a story about the recent apology released by the BBC for Jamie Doran’s documentary, “Guinea Pig Kids.”

Because you were the one who first reported about the children’s trials at Incarnation Children’s Center, I was hoping to interview you about your story and the documentary.

As my deadline is at the end of the week, do you have any time before then when I could call you for an interview? Let me know what day/time(s) would be best, and what number to call.

If you don’t wish to comment, please respond to this email and let me know.

Thanks for your time; hope to hear from you soon.
Virginia Hughes

10/31/2007 From Liam Scheff to Virginia Hughes/Nature Medicine

[Note: to facilitate research, I have added a number of imbedded links to the original letter.]

Hello Virginia,

You want to interview? Sure, let’s interview.

  • So, what do you know about ICC? What do you know about the clinical trials?
  • What do you know about Black-Box labeled drugs, like AZT and Nevirapine?
  • What do you know about HIV surrogate marker testing?
  • Why do the surrogate markers for the paradigm, EIA and PCR, have no gold reference standard that determines what is and is not definitively “positive?”

Are you going to do a story on that?

That would be a start.

Below find a a statement that you are free to use in full, if you’d like, in your journal. You can quote from it too, if you’d like.

If you have further questions, you can write me, and I’ll answer them in email. If you want to talk on the phone, I’ll do that too, but, in any case, I’ll be using the interview for publication myself. I feel it’s important that journalism be as transparent as possible.

That is, I was interviewed a couple years ago by Janny Scott and Leslie Kaufman of the NY Times, and spent an hour and a half walking Scott through the literature on surrogate marker testing (Hiv testing ), and sent her and Kaufman a dozen pages of notes.

I gave Scott and Kaufman phone numbers for my sources, which they used to contact two ICC mothers, Jackie Herger, and Mona N. These women had children taken away for not drugging them with the FDA black-box label drugs, even though the children were sick and dying (in the ICU) on the drugs at various times, and better off of them. Not a surprise, really, when you’re talking about drugs that cause organ failure and bloody, deadly rashes.

Mona had her kids remanded to the ICC over and over again, for not dispensing the AZT.

Her daughter, (adopted from her niece, a heavy drug abuser), is now over 18, and free of the place, and its drugs. The boy, called “Carlos” in the film in question (and Sean in The House that Aids Built ), is about 17, and last I heard from Mona, weighing about 70 pounds.

The drugs keep flowing, of course, because he is not yet 18. A girl I interviewed, Michelle, is 19, free of the place and its drugs, but with a thyroid condition to show for years of drugging. A boy I interviewed, Andre, is 19 or 20, and has cancer, and is fighting it, maybe doing alright, but still, cancer. But that’s not surprising, for being on AZT for years. (Look up AZT use and genetic damage in children, for a start).

I reported these interviews in the NY Press piece, Inside Incarnation, which featured interviews with ICC nurses and childcare workers. Most of these people are too bullied and frightened and poor to want to risk using their names, but a couple did.

You can listen to one of them Here

But I forgot, it was the NY Times I was talking about. Kaufman and Scott. Right, they interviewed the two mothers – not the childcare workers – and reported? Exactly none of it. None, zero, nil. They buried it.

They lied, or their paper did, or the editor did, and said that there was “no evidence offered” to support the idea that…

But that’s the question – the idea that what?

I mean, the story I broke was that the NIH was and is using orphans in clinical trials with incredibly toxic drugs (see Adverse Events/Toxicity from the study drugs for details, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 … for example: “One of the more serious adverse effects of ritonavir is potentially fatal pancreatitis.”).

Now, for the longest time, nobody would admit that was actually happening. Then, because it was written in the NIH database (at clinicaltrials.gov), and they couldn’t get away from it, they instead chose to color it as a wonderful, wonderful thing that we were all doing for these little abandoned crack babies.

So, they agreed with me. NYC likes to use its crack orphans in drug trials. Now, the problems with any and all of that can be found in a walk through the critical literature on the drugs, and there’s plenty of it in all the big-time, pharma-loving journals.

But the Times didn’t look at the journals. They didn’t cite one of the too many studies where patients died or suffered terribly on these drugs. They just bought and sold the company line – AZT is a wonderful drug! (Never mind the fatal anemia. Fatal anemia? Lactic acidosis? Organ failure? Death? Just look at the drug’s FDA mandated Black-box label. Or search pubMed. Look and see what you can find.)

So, ICC’s business became pumping four or five or six or seven or eight drugs into their wards at at time, at high doses – but again, not just any drug, but these Black-Box drugs, which like to take cells apart and suppress (destroy) bone marrow, and livers, and pancreases, and skin cells, and fat cells, and protein production, and all the other “wonderful”, “life-saving” things that they do.

I had been in a good email and phone dialog with the NY Times’ reporters, and sent them a couple dozen pages of journal citations, titles, references, on the drugs, on the surrogate markers, on all related materials. I was such a young, trusting pup that I really thought, and hoped, that maybe the old NY Times was really going to stick up for the rights of these kids, that I was interviewing, these kids who were dying, or being made permanently ill on these drugs, and who just wanted to get out from under the foot of NY’s ACS, and of the drug cabal that now passes for the medical authority.

But, I was wrong. They danced and shilled for the drug companies, and for the paradigm, uncritically, and more than that, they committed libel, and they lied. They created a story that was a lie, and everybody who was living the thing knew it. But, what kind of power do kids buried in poverty in Dominican New York have? (Trick question, they have none).

I mean, (and I can see this in some of your writing, at your website), the scorn that is visited upon anyone who steps outside the gelatin-coated lines of pharmaceutical patents is really, really something for the books. It’s amazing how quickly the business of synthetic, big-budget, totally-speculative, “side-effect” (major unwanted effect) -riddled pharmacology has become synonymous with the practice of health and of medicine. But hey, that’s work for an editorial on the power of belief and faith in public (and private) institutions.

Here’s a funny question. What major advance was the most useful and effective (and “safe”, to use that abused NIH descriptor) in eradicating illness from plague-ridden medieval Europe, to our modern age?

Penicillin? Nope, important, but no.

Hand-washing in surgery? No, important, yes, but no.

Give up?

Sewage reclamation. Water processing and purification. Garbage reclamation and burial. Filling the swamps and eliminating the mosquito population. And ensuring a sufficiently nutritious and abundant food supply for the general population. (Although many would wonder at the “nutritious” aspect of our American diet, we do have an abundance).

That would account for the majority of lives “saved” from the time of the Black Death in Europe, to the present. Not AZT, and not condoms.

So, when you’re talking about Africa being plagued by Aids, you might want to have a look at some of the factors that affect these people daily. [Flying toilets, ” | Sewage Reclamation | Pit Latrines and Floods ]

Or when you talk about crack orphans being born in poor health, maybe you should do a little research on the ‘pharmokinetics’ of crack on developing children. I’d be glad to help point you to the literature.

But, I imagine that Nature Medicine’s “concern” will be the rehabilitation of the Aids drug machine in the public mind. So, good luck in figuring out what “went wrong” in reporting on why some people were opposed to using crack orphans in these drug trials.

I guess some of us just don’t “get it.” Right? I mean, crack orphans, helpless wards of the state, infants and children and teenagers, locked in an orphanage, shoved into drug trials, with surgically enforced adherence, to the litany of Black-Box drugs that comprise the permitted, allowable, (sanctified) Aids regime:

What could be wrong with that? What could possibly go wrong?

All good questions, I’m sure, for your article.

So, yes, in answer to your question, I do have a few comments, but I have no idea if your editorial will let them through.

On the film and the current “controversy”:

The BBC was forced to its knees by a pharmaceutical cabal called Aidstruth.org, who threatened the BBC television executives with being called “denialists,” as in “holocaust denialists,” because they aired a documentary that correctly detailed the use of many FDA Black Box labeled drugs in an orphan population in New York City. A population that did not benefit from being exposed to bodily poisons like AZT and Nevirapine.

The claim that the drugs “save lives” is only measured against the current dogma in Aids research, that being that death is an inevitable consequence of being in what is designated as an “Aids risk group,” a CDC-directed label, which gives permission to Aids doctors to consider the many surrogate markers used in “high risk groups” to be accurate and useful.

These surrogate markers include the so-called Hiv antibody tests, which are reactive with proteins produced in “pregnant women, flu-vaccine recipients, hiv-vaccine recipients*, as well as a “host of other conditions and non-conditions.”: These surrogates fail to find a particular particle, and so the positive predictive value for these tests is officially deemed to be nil – nearly zero – in those not considered to be “at risk for Aids.”

The other major surrogate markers, TCell counts and the PCR RNA and DNA fragment cloning technology, fail equally and miserably at predicting health or illness in patients. Viral load does not predict TCell loss ( Rodriguez, et al, JAMA 2006 ); that is, putative “infection” with the “Hiv surrogate marker,” does not relate to Aids – Immune Deficiency.

Aids functions today as a brand name, an easily-dispensed medical brand for the many ailments that affect the poor in the world. It is also a designation easily given to almost any illness that occurs in the gay community, or Black community in America.

Aids is a separate phenomenon than the Hiv surrogate markers, and is treated as such in the surrogate marker literature, which allows that:

  • “At present there is no recognized standard for establishing the presence or absence of antibodies to HIV-1 and HIV-2 in human blood.” (Abbott labs Elisa test, 2006 );
  • That “The risk of an asymptomatic [not chronically ill] person with a repeatedly reactive [positive] serum sample developing AIDS or an AIDS-related condition is not known.” (ibid);
  • And that “AIDS and AIDS-related conditions are clinical syndromes and their diagnosis can only be established clinically. EIA testing cannot be used to diagnose AIDS, even if the recommended investigation of reactive specimens suggest [suggest?] that the antibodies to HIV are present.” (ibid).

Despite the fact the the “Hiv surrogate markers” fail to predict the presence of an infectious particle, or to predict health or illness, it is these surrogate markers that the current drug therapies are solely targeted toward altering, or eradicating.

The central dogma of Aids, that patients in “risk groups”, (those who are subject to the surrogate marker assays), that these patients “will die, no matter what, unless they take HAART,” (Highly toxic combinations of Aids drugs), is based on nothing but a projected and dangerous assumption, with no regard to actual epidemiology, toxicology or biology.

And yet, the assumption is made, and enforced, always, and as it was and is in the orphans at ICC.

See John Moore of the Aidstruth cabal’s “HAART or Death” comment at Aetiology:

  • “Alternative medicines are utterly useless, in all their manifestations, whereas HAART is proven to be effective. If side-effects concern you, there are more choices now than ever, even in SA, and a competent physician would help you find a personally tolerable regimen.” [Here ]

And here, as we witness some flexibility in the man’s thinking, not offered to the orphans who were used in experiments with Seven [FDA Black-box label] drugs at a time, some at higher than usual doses, in children as young as four, who had already “failed” these same drugs, in “normal” doses.

(What is an FDA Black Box label for? To warn that the drug has either permanently damaged or killed patients in regular use. What will “7 at once, some at higher than normal doses” do, in four year olds?).

  • John Moore: “So, no, HIV+ status is NOT an AUTOMATIC indicator of immune deficiency, but it’s an indicator that the average HIV+ person will, over time, probably develop immunodeficiency and AIDS, unless he or she takes HAART at the appropriate time. This is not a remotely controversial issue, at least not in serious scientific and medical circles.” [Here ]

Moore is either lying, or delusional here, as any standard Aids textbook will review the many debates and changes in drug policy and enforcement. See “hit early, hit hard,” from the 1990s, and see its retraction because of the massive loss of health and life associated with using these drugs “early and hard.”

Individuals who do not take the drugs, and who have lived for decades, are called Long Term non-Progressors. Their condition is claimed to be “mysterious” by the Aids establishment, but it is not mysterious.

Nor are those of the many non-drug abusing prostitutes, who do not develop “Aids” – for one example, see Nairobi.

What is borne out in reviewing 25 years of medical literature on the paradigm, is the failure of the surrogate markers to consistently, dependably, usefully predict illness, or to be the most useful or appropriate target for therapy.

Aids, therefore, is a more important phenomenon than what we refer to as “Hiv”, because the surrogate markers by which we define and infer, or perhaps imply “Hiv”, fail to assist us in making patients better.

Leaving behind the failed surrogate markers, lifting the a priori death sentence enforced by the supposition of the utility of the surrogate markers, and finally, treating Aids, as in, Immune Deficiency, will be the next, and most successful step in the eradication of Aids globally.

I hope your journal will have the flexibility of thinking to care about human life, more than it does about dogma.

Sincerely,

Liam Scheff
http://liamscheff.com

11-1-2007 From Liam Scheff to Virginia Hughes (cc’d to Nature editor Juan Lopez, and University of Illinois, Chicago researcher Dr. Andrew Maniotis)

Virginia,

You wrote me, asking for an interview for Nature Medicine, and I prepared a long detailed response, which I sent to you.

You have not responded with any further questions, though you told me your deadline was approaching fast.

If you would like any further information, or you have received my response, and need no further questions, please have the courtesy to let me know.

– Liam Scheff

http://liamscheff.com

liamscheff@yahoo.com

This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it


11-1-2007 From Virginia Hugues to Liam Scheff

Hello Mr. Scheff,

I did receive your response. Thank you. I’m still digesting it. I’ll be in touch if I have further questions.

Best,
Ginny Hughes

11-1-2007 From Liam Scheff to Virginia Hugues

Hello Ginny, (or Mrs. Hugues, [whichever] you prefer),

Okay, sure. Digest away. I will post my response with a series of links that may serve your (or other) research.

– Liam

11-2-2007 From Liam Scheff to Virginia Hughes (cc’d to Nature editor Juan Lopez, and University of Illinois, Chicago researcher Dr. Andrew Maniotis)

One further note for your research, Virginia.

Did you notice this?

John P. Moore, of the Aidstruth drug cabal, leads the way in destroying African lives:

“Trials of two vaginal microbicide gels to prevent HIV led to more infections among those using the products instead of placebos.” [Here ]

The failed, (and pointless) African vaginal “microbicide trial” is based on the work of one… ready?

“The Nature study was led by John P. Moore, Ph.D., of the Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York City.”

[Here ]

And of Aidstruth.org.
[Here ]Funny coincidence, isn’t it, that this is the guy railing at the BBC for exposing the toxicity and failure of the current policy in Aids?

Or not so funny. Criminal, I think, but not really funny. Not if you’re an African, or a Black orphan who falls under the purview of the Aids cabal.

[Clarification 11-19-2007: Moore is a “leader” in research in these fields, of “Hiv vaccines;” and of “microbicides,” that is, of putting gels, compounds, proteins, and drugs, into monkey vaginas and rectums (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) and then thinking that this is a good thing to do to Africans and gay men. Upon further examination, however, I cannot discern if he had any direct hand in the now “failed” Ushercell trial (7, 8) cited above. He is a paid researcher for, and one of the most vocal champion of this technology, to be sure, and many trials, using these same ideas, are now recruiting and ongoing. (HERE)]

Treat the immune deficiency, not the surrogate markers, and we’ll find our way out of this mess.

Regards,

Liam

So, we’ll have to wait and see what Virginia and Nature Medicine come up with. Stay tuned… – LS

3 thoughts on “My Interview for Nature Medicine

  1. She responded that she received the work.

    We’ll see what Nature Medicine does with it. They’re publishers of Moore, et al, so, they’ll give him the home team advantage, I do not doubt.

    But, she did respond, you can see that here.

  2. Liam, very nice the way you’re handling this. I think you put Nature Medicine in a they-can’t-just-use-SOP-to-wriggle-out-of-it situation.

    (Well of course they can, but I think there are more and more “disinterested observers” that are seeing thru the Moore/Bergmann standardized put-downs of “denialists”. Which may give them pause)

    BTW, it’s as easy as googling “LINE+exon shuffling” to find that human functioning (cellular) reverse transcriptase genes are as proven as anything in science. I noticed that “historian” you debated, with all the huffing and puffing, had no clue.

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