Readers of TCW will be familiar with Neville Hodgkinson’s critical reporting of the ‘Covid crisis’ since December 2020, notably his expert, science-based informed alarm about the mass ‘vaccine’ rollout, so absent from mainstream coverage. What they may be less aware of is the international storm this former Sunday Times medical and science correspondent created in the 1990s by reporting a scientific challenge to the ‘HIV’ theory of Aids, presaging the hostile response to science critics of Covid today. In this series, written exclusively for TCW, he details findings that form the substance of his newly updated and expanded book, How HIV/Aids Set the Stage for the Covid Crisis, on the controversy. It is available here. You can read the first part of this series here.
WHEN an idea is fervently adopted by most of the world’s doctors, scientists and politicians and supported by millions of people, it is a tall order to make the case for a rethink. Such was the experience of biophysicist Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos, who 40 years ago developed a detailed theory about Aids that contradicts the generally accepted belief that a deadly virus, HIV, is the cause. Decades of unremitting censorship and rejection preceded her death from heart failure in March 2022, aged 85.
Her story has important, and disturbing, implications for our understanding of what has been happening with the Covid crisis.
Born in Greek Macedonia, she and her brother Dmitris were part of a kinder diaspora sent to Eastern Europe to escape the Greek civil war of 1946-49. She was cared for well, and graduated with a Masters degree in nuclear physics from the University of Bucharest, Romania.
In 1965, at the age of 29, she was reunited with her family in Perth, Western Australia, where they had emigrated. She learned English and joined the staff of the medical physics department at the Royal Perth Hospital, remaining on the books there for more than half a century.
In September 1976 she married Kosta Eleopulos, also a child sent to Romania who eventually found his way to Australia. She blamed herself for his death, five years later, from gastric cancer, believing she should have been able to save him with the knowledge she had acquired.
Her job was to research and improve radiation treatments for cancer patients. The work led her into a deep examination of some fundamentals in biology, in particular how the body’s cells maintain healthy function, and the mechanisms involved when their activity and growth become disordered.
In 1982 the high-prestige Journal of Theoretical Biology published a 21-page paper in which she explored how oxidation causes cell activation and expenditure of energy, while a counterpart process known as reduction enables the cell to absorb and store energy. The processes have a cyclic nature, controlled by a periodic exchange of electrical charge between two proteins, actin and myosin.
Changes in the factors regulating these cycles beyond the point where homoeostatic safety mechanisms are breached can lead to a variety of disorders, including cancer.
When Aids was first reported in 1981, ‘it wasn’t too big a jump to see that oxidative mechanisms had the power to explain much about Aids and perhaps even “HIV” itself,’ says Valendar Turner, an emergency physician at the Royal Perth, one of a small band of doctors and scientists who tried to help Papadopulos’s work become more widely known.
In explaining the seemingly disparate groups of people at risk of Aids, her theory implicated a variety of toxins, all known to be powerful oxidants. These included injected and ingested drugs; nitrite inhalants used for sexual enhancement; repeated infections and many of the agents used to treat them; blood-clotting agents given to haemophiliacs, which in the early days of Aids were made from concentrated extracts of blood from thousands of donors; and anally deposited sperm. Semen in the rectum is separated from blood vessels and the lymph system by a single, easily penetrated layer of cells, whereas the vagina has a thick protective lining.
In this multifactorial theory of Aids, the various contributory factors were unified by their shared ability to put the body’s tissues under a chronic, progressively destructive oxidative assault. This affects all cells in the body, not just immune cells, injuring them to the point of their becoming susceptible to the microbial infections and cancers that underlie the Aids diseases.
Papadopulos also described how this process gave rise to biochemical phenomena which, she maintained, had been misinterpreted as meaning a new virus was present.
She was an immensely dedicated scientist who built up a huge body of work on these lines, citing thousands of studies from the fields of virology, immunology and epidemiology in support of her case. Yet of six papers she wrote from these perspectives during the 1980s, only one was published, and even then only after protracted correspondence countering criticism from referees.
Entitled Reappraisal of Aids – is the Oxidation Induced by the Risk Factors the Primary Cause? it was written mostly in 1985 and twice rejected by Nature during 1986. It finally saw the light of day in 1988 in the journal Medical Hypotheses, which although a serious scientific publication does not carry the same weight as the mainstream journals.
A breakthrough appeared imminent when in 2010 Medical Hypotheses accepted two more papers. One reviewed evidence that Aids is not an STI – a sexually transmitted infection – although it can be sexually acquired through the mechanisms described above. The other questioned whether HIV had ever been proven to exist. Both papers, with their every assertion supported by detailed references, entered the pipeline for publication.
A prolonged silence followed, in the wake of which Professor Bruce Charlton, the journal’s editor, explained that the journal’s owner Elsevier, a giant Netherlands-based publisher specialising in scientific and medical content, had ‘intercepted’ the papers. When he insisted on keeping them in press, he was fired. His successor pulled them both.
One of the aims of this series is to appeal to the global scientific community to re-examine the HIV theory, not just because of the harm I believe it to be causing, but because of the clues it gives us as to how and why the Covid pandemic also became so badly mishandled. In both instances, misinformation by powerful agencies played a big part. This robbed the public and most media outlets of the ability to judge the situations accurately.
With Covid, once it was realised that SARS-CoV-2 was on the loose, organised efforts were made to hide the laboratory origin of the virus. If the truth were known, future funds would be at risk. The prestige of biomedical science itself was at stake.
Funding agencies, and journals such as Science, Nature and The Lancet which depend heavily on advertisements related to biomedical research, put their weight behind attempts to persuade us that the virus had a natural origin. Anyone who suggested otherwise was labelled a ‘conspiracy theorist’. At the same time, exaggerated fears about the risks involved among those ‘in the know’ about the virus’s genetically engineered status led to the betrayal of long-established principles for pandemic management as well as vaccine safety.
Anthony Fauci, who stood down at the end of 2022 as head of the US Government’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), was central to this cover-up in early 2020, and in the subsequent drive for mass vaccination. He showed a frightening degree of certainty in his leadership abilities (attributed by some to his Jesuit education) declaring in a 2021 interview: ‘Attacks on me, quite frankly, are attacks on science.’ He condemned as ‘ridiculous’ the Great Barrington Declaration, signed by 60,000 doctors and scientists, opposing lockdowns and urging that protection should be focused on the most vulnerable. He likened it to ‘Aids denialism’, an insult long used by the Aids industry to stifle questioning of the HIV theory.
The US ended up with one of the highest Covid death rates in the world.
Money plays a big part in maintaining the illusions. The drug companies that won the race with the mRNA vaccines earned a $100billion jackpot. Vast sums were spent on advertising and on grants for scientific, medical, consumer and civil rights groups who helped to promote the jab. Largesse of this kind readily distorts judgment. Beneficiaries find it all too easy to close their minds to arguments that might jeopardise the flow of cash.
Most mainstream media went along with the obfuscations, and the many damaging policies that came in their wake, including false predictions of spread, extended lockdowns, neglect of treatment protocols, and an experimental, poorly tested vaccine promoted globally as safe and effective, in the hope of gaining some kind of redemption for science. According to a recent reanalysis of trial data reported in the journal Cell, the mRNA vaccines had no effect on overall mortality.
Fauci set a similar lead on Aids. When the syndrome was first recognised, he was the newly appointed head of NIAID. He supported the ‘deadly virus’ theory of Aids to the hilt, telling the New York Times in 1987, just three years after HIV’s purported discovery, that the evidence it causes Aids ‘is so overwhelming that it almost doesn’t deserve discussion any more’. As with Covid, dissenting voices were not tolerated.
Yet the virus theory reeked of bad science from the start. Callous disregard of the first Aids victims because of their ‘fast-track’ urban gay lifestyle gave way to an urgent search for a less discriminatory explanation for the syndrome, and a front-runner proposal was that a virus might be involved. US Government researcher Robert Gallo, in what he called his ‘passionate’ phase, was determined that if that was the case, his team should be the first to identify it.
When the French scientist Luc Montagnier tentatively suggested that genetic material he had drawn from Aids patients’ lymph nodes could mean a virus was present, British and American experts, including Gallo, dismissed the idea. But after finding a way to amplify the material sent to him by Montagnier, Gallo announced at a government-backed press conference that the ‘probable’ cause of Aids had been found. A blood test for what would soon be called the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) was in the pipeline, and a vaccine would be available within two years. Gallo did not acknowledge that he had worked with material sent to him by Montagnier.
Decades later, the search for a vaccine continues, with Africans usually the main test subjects. There have been more than 250 failed trials, costing billions of dollars.
As we shall see, the ‘HIV’ test rushed out on the basis of Gallo’s work did not demonstrate the presence of a specific virus. It had value as a broad screen for blood safety, but was never validated for diagnostic purposes. Nevertheless, it was nodded through for wider use at a World Health Organization meeting in Geneva in April, 1986, after regulators were told it was ‘simply not practical’ to stop this.
As the idea grew that all sexually active people were at risk, the test kits became big earners, and an international row broke out over who should get the credit. Eventually a profit-sharing agreement was brokered by the French and American governments, but in the meantime the high-profile dispute helped to consolidate the theory in most people’s minds. The idea that both Montagnier and Gallo were mistaken in equating an ‘HIV-positive’ test result with risk of Aids became as unthinkable as a religious heresy.
There was one prominent challenger, who met the same fate as scientists questioning Covid orthodoxies. In 1987 US molecular biologist Professor Peter Duesberg, a world expert on retroviruses, of which HIV was supposed to be one, published a long scholarly article in the journal Cancer Research arguing that HIV was a harmless passenger among the many infections picked up by Aids patients, and by those at risk for Aids. Everything he knew about retroviruses told him this could not possibly be the cause of such a devastating illness as Aids.
The alarm this caused was revealed in an internal memo about the paper from the office of the Secretary of Health and Human Services to recipients including the Surgeon General and the White House. Headed MEDIA ALERT, it warned:
‘This obviously has the potential to raise a lot of controversy (If this isn’t the virus, how do we know the blood supply is safe? How do we know anything about transmission? How could you all be so stupid and why should we ever believe you again?) and we need to be prepared to respond.’
The journal’s editor was astonished that he did not receive a single letter in response, though Duesberg learned privately from a number of colleagues that they had been shaken by his analysis.
Like a person hiding some guilty secret, the scientific world was refusing to admit publicly that such a huge mistake could have been made. We are witnessing a similar state of denial today regarding deaths and injuries caused by the Covid vaccines.
On November 17, 1988, the late John Maddox, then editor of Nature, who rejected numerous submissions from Duesberg on HIV and Aids, wrote to him: ‘I am glad you correctly infer from my letter that I am in many ways sympathetic to what you say. I did not ask you to revise the manuscript, however. The danger, as it seems to me, is that the dispute between you and what you call the HIV community will mislead and distress the public in the following way. You point to a number of ways in which the HIV hypothesis may be deficient. It would be a rash person who said that you are wrong, but . . . if we were to publish your paper, we would find ourselves asking people to believe that what has been said so far about the cause of Aids is a pack of lies.’
Well . . . yes! But isn’t error-correction supposed to be science’s great strength?
Duesberg, previously a shining star in the virological world with a $350,000 ‘outstanding investigator’ award from the National Institutes of Health, became persona non grata in the mainstream scientific community. His subsequent research grant applications were rejected. Graduate students were advised to steer clear of him. Fauci and others refused to attend conferences or broadcast debates if he was to contribute. Publication of papers became difficult. His university could not fire him, but while other faculty members dealt with weighty matters such as teaching policies and speaker invitations, he was placed in charge of the annual picnic committee.
In contrast, today Gallo tops a list of National Institutes of Health scientists who shared an estimated $350million in royalties between 2010 and 2020, according to a recent report by Open the Books, a nonprofit government watchdog.
Incomprehension and intolerance of any criticism of ‘HIV’ have continued through the decades. When President Mbeki of South Africa set up a panel in 2000 to look into Aids science,he became the subject of an international campaign of ridicule to bring him down.
When Celia Farber, a brilliant American journalist covering the controversy since the mid-1980s, wrote a major piece about it for Harper’s in 2006, the Columbia Journalism Review condemned her for espousing a ‘crackpot theory’, ‘widely refuted for years’.
When the journal Frontiers in Public Health published a peer-reviewed article in 2014 by Dr Patricia Goodson, a highly respected professor of health education, entitled ‘Questioning the HIV/Aids hypothesis: 30 years of dissent’, there were immediate protests. The article was allowed to stand, but with several invited critical commentaries to go alongside it ‘to ensure that all readers understand that the causal link between HIV and Aids cannot be called into question’.
Five years later, following the appointment of a new editor, Dr Paolo Vineis of Imperial College London, the article was retracted. This was not because of any errors, but because it was reaching too many people. It had received more than 91,800 views, while the commentaries had fewer than 19,000 between them. Announcing the retraction, the Frontiers editorial office said it had been decided that the article ‘presents a public health risk by lending credibility to refuted claims that place doubt on the HIV causation of Aids’.
The claims have not been refuted: they have been suppressed. Leaders of the scientific world have stubbornly refused to discuss them, just as they are refusing now to face the evidence of extensive harm from the mRNA Covid injections.
In both instances, with such extreme sensitivity to any criticism, the question arises: What are they trying to hide?
I have dedicated How HIV/Aids Set the Stage for the Covid Crisis to Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos in the hope that her endeavours will not have been in vain and that finally her work and genius will get the attention and recognition it deserves.
Next: Where ‘HIV’ pioneers first went wrong