Did the government create AIDS?
December 1, 2002 12:36 AM   Subscribe

According to the international agency UNAIDS, an estimated 42 million people are living with HIV today. Five million people were newly infected and 3.1 million people were killed by the disease in 2002. This civil rights lawyer has brought a case in federal court alleging that the US government created AIDS under the "US Special Virus" program between 1948 and 1978. Here is the flowchart upon which he is basing his case.
posted by dejah420 (16 comments total)
I can't sem to d/l a readable copy of this flowchart, but I hope it turns out to be a conspiracy that never happens, I truly do.
posted by dash_slot- at 12:51 AM on December 1, 2002

Why air this kind of nonsense? It's disrespectful in the extreme to those who live, and die, with HIV/AIDS.

Full disclosure: I was once a close friend and coworker of a woman named Celia Farber, who in her writings for SPIN Magazine and elsehwere maintained a strong belief that "HIV was not AIDS," until many years after anyone responsible could possibly hold this position. Her quest to prove that "AIDS" was actually multiple overlapping "environmental sicknesses" has a great deal in common with this lawsuit: it used the global epidemic as a Trojan horse with which to advance her own personal political beliefs. I found it distasteful when she did it, and just as distasteful now.
posted by adamgreenfield at 1:16 AM on December 1, 2002

BTW, such segments of that flowchart as are legible - there are not many - appear to do nothing to support his thesis.
posted by adamgreenfield at 1:23 AM on December 1, 2002

I got to download the full version, and you can download it from my mirror here. 4.25 Meg TIFF. Right click please.
posted by Keyser Soze at 1:33 AM on December 1, 2002

drop the last post, link is down
posted by Keyser Soze at 1:33 AM on December 1, 2002

This guy has a convincing story, but he misses the crucial role of those shape-shifting giant lizards. I'm sure they're at the root of this. It's just the sort of thing they'd do.

Send me $24.95 and I'll tell you all about it.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 2:02 AM on December 1, 2002

The raving flowchart man is convinced that AIDs originated in the program described below. It's sometimes hard to summarily dismiss hundreds of pages of conspiracy garbage, but I think this does a pretty good job.

"The Special Virus Cancer Program of the NCI was an initiative launched by Congress in 1963 to search for a causative link between a virus and leukemia... The program became part of the National Cancer Plan of 1971, which increased funds for all research activities relating to cancer. By the mid 1970s, no direct link between a virus and any malignancy had been shown, and the scientific community was questioning the way funds were allocated for the program. A committee of the National Academy of Sciences chaird by Norton D. Zinder issued a report critical of the size of the program and the use of contract funds for extension of work by intramural investigators. By 1980, funding was withdrawn and the program ended." - Dr. Victoria Harden, NIH [source]
posted by eddydamascene at 2:56 AM on December 1, 2002

I've spent the past seven years of my life in the field of retrovirus engineering. From a scientific perspective there is absolutely no possible way HIV is man-made.

Do people with JDs often refer to themselves as "Dr.?" What an idiot.

posted by shoos at 3:43 AM on December 1, 2002

I found it interesting that this "time line" lists many thing we "know" or that "happened", without providing much, if any, information showing that he is basing his claims on. I find it rather unconvincing to be told a number of supposeded "facts" but not be given any means to readily verify that there is something more than just the author's imagination behind it.
posted by thorswitch at 4:19 AM on December 1, 2002

shoos out of curiosity why couldn't it have been man-made?
posted by RobertLoch at 5:02 AM on December 1, 2002

RobertLoch: Even the most basic engineering of pre-existing viruses is extremely difficult.

An example: the "holy grail" of people doing retrovirus engineering in the past ten years has been to modify the surface proteins of viruses so that they enter only particular cell types (liver cells, for example). After ten or so years of work by a large number of very competent labs worlwide, nobody has come even close to succeeding doing that without in the process effectively killing the virus.

Now, modifying a single protein of a pre-existing virus in order to tweak the virus's behavior is one thing. It is another story entirely to create a completely novel protein that will do what you'd like it to do. It is furthermore many orders of magnitude more problematic to create a functional biological entity encoding (like HIV does) 17 novel proteins all of which functionally interact, encoded within in a little packet the size of a modest viral genome. And then to have this new biological entity do what you want it to? And in the late 60's to mid 70's? You might have to familiarize yourself with the field to realize just how ridiculous this is.
posted by shoos at 5:43 PM on December 1, 2002

You might be wondering why people are "engineering" viruses in the first place. They're used for delivering genes for experimental (ie, biological research) or therapeutic (gene therapy or vaccines) purposes. Nothing too diabolical as far as I know.
posted by shoos at 5:52 PM on December 1, 2002

shoos some of the worst variations of viruses in existance were developed during the 60's and 70's. That was when the Russians were at their peak. By distinction it couldn't have been fully man-made, but surely it is not an impossibility that AIDS is in fact the result of engineering of some sort. I suppose if you really wanted to go down this road, you'd probably point the figure of blame at the South Africans, who during the 50's, 60's and early 70's are reported to have attempted to develop race specific biological weapons.
posted by RobertLoch at 6:42 PM on December 1, 2002

Tell more about these "worst variation" viruses. I'll bet they involved nothing more than changing a few nucleotides of an existing virus. In one sense, such viruses are certainly "man-made" or "laboratory-made," but that is not what I think the distinguished Dr. Graves is suggesting.

Also in one sense, HIV-1 might be "man-made" by someone allowing themselves to get bit by a chimp infected with SIVcpz, a simian relative of HIV, and then spreading it by having sex with others.

Yes, "attempted" is the proper description for any previous efforts to develop race-specific biological weapons. I'm sure any such attempt met with about as much success as the Stargate remote viewing program.
posted by shoos at 7:58 PM on December 1, 2002

OK I found it. The guy say HIV is a "synthetic mycoplasma chimera." So not only is it a virus, it's part bacteria, too!
posted by shoos at 8:10 PM on December 1, 2002

Operation Paperclip will live in infamy as one of the darkest programs of a twisted parallel government fixated on genocide.

Does the Freedom of Information Act apply to the twisted parallel government? I demand answers.
posted by eddydamascene at 9:55 PM on December 1, 2002

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