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Monday, May 16, 2016

2016 Immune Dysfunction (ME/CFS) Awareness Panel

May 16, 2016: An editorial on dating with contagious Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

HHV-6 University Editorial

Dating while Disabled (Uhhhh, with a Contagious Disease)???? 

Litsa Dremousis has written a an op-ed piece in The Washington Post that raises questions she seems to not even be aware of. The title of the piece, "Dating while disabled: From Day One with someone new, I feel vulnerable" immediately caught our attention.

Ms. Dremousis writes about breaking up with an man who had been her fiance "until two weeks ago." She notes, "when you’re disabled, you feel indebted every day, making dating that much harder than it is for the average person." As we read that sentence we thought, well, yes, especially since you have a contagious illness, Ms. Dremousis. She outlines some of the challenges: "And no matter how fiercely autonomous and intelligent you are, you’re starting each relationship as the one who needs help doing otherwise simple tasks, such as walking downstairs or driving. Even with healthy self-esteem, it’s hard not to feel intensively vulnerable."

We of course wondered about the challenges of the uninfected person without CFS who might end up dating her, someone who might be exposed to a contagious illness that seems to effect every system in the body. Oh, but that's their problem.

Ms. Desmousis is not slacker when it comes to describing CFS. She's not from the "too tired to get out of bed school" of CFS self-description. She writes, " . . . struggling with chronic fatigue syndrome makes me often feel as if I have a powerful flu. I deal with constant temperature fluctuations; extreme sensitivity to light and sound; dangerously low blood pressure; and fatigue so powerful it feels like a Buick is sitting on my chest." And she adds, "I’m unable to stay upright more than a few hours on a good day; for the past several years, I have needed to be wheeled through airports (if you think air travel is a nightmare, try doing it in a wheelchair). And when I’m on a plane or bus, I have to wear a surgical mask because my immune system is so compromised. Twice in recent years, someone else’s cold became my pneumonia."

She writes, "For 24 years I’ve had ME/CFS (formerly known as “chronic fatigue syndrome”), a disabling neuro-immune illness similar in many ways to multiple sclerosis" Imagine if she had written, "For 24 years I’ve had ME/CFS (formerly known as “chronic fatigue syndrome”), a contagious disabling neuro-immune illness similar in many ways to multiple sclerosis and AIDS. "If she had she would have been exiled from the CFS community and The Washington Post would probably not have published the piece in the first place.

But the real bombshell in the piece was what she wrote about Trent, her fiance: "Five days after Trent asked me to marry him, a routine check-up unearthed a brain tumor behind his left ear. A longtime professor, Trent is deeply intelligent and tenacious. We were in love and determined to remain upbeat about his prospects. I took care of him over six months, as we assembled his surgical team, spent a week in the hospital as he underwent and recovered from the successful but complicated brain surgery, and then as he went through months of physical therapy. I was his main source of emotional support, but it took a huge toll on my health."

While we sympathize with Ms Dremousis and Trent, what really turned our head was the possibility that the two of them might have shared something more than their love, namely a virus called . . . drum roll . . . HHV-6. For any newbies visiting HHV-6 University, we have done numerous items on the relationship between HHV-6 and cancer. HHV-6 is very oncogenic. Did we say very?

Did it never dawn on Ms. Dremousis that Trent's brain cancer and her CFS could be virologically  related? Is she unread on the subject of CFS. No book in her library by Hillary Johnson or Neenyah Ostrom? No awareness of the New York Native? Really? Ms. Dremousis seems to be some kind of intellectual. She writes, "I give literary readings several times a year and am diligently working on the manuscript for my second book." We suspect she has a library card or access to Amazon.com. What gives?

It is uncanny that Ms. Dremousis notes, "Our relationship became a constant cycle of doctor appointments and medical tests — and the stress eroded the joy we once found in each other. And because everyone asks: Yes, of course we had sex. All the time. Even at my sickest, I’ve been sexually active. I’m disabled, not dead." For anyone familiar to HHV-6, that could be called "sex in an HHV-6 cluster." Otherwise known as the new normal in sex these days, thanks to our NIH and CDC.

The irony burns like Hiroshima when she write, "I remain optimistic. Each relationship I’m in is affected by my health. For instance: Am I strong enough to go to the movies tonight, or should we stay in and watch Netflix? Can we eat breakfast with the curtains open, or are my eyes too light-sensitive this morning? For a relationship to be successful, the person I’m with has to be empathetic and understand that some things are beyond my physical control. Yet so many of these relationships have profoundly enriched my life. I’d be foolish to waste the rest of my life convinced that I won’t find love."

Oh yes, the person she finds had better be empathetic and even downright forgiving because the big unspoken and unmentionable problem is that when she finds love, the person she gets involved with may have found a woman who is infected with a contagious virus that not only can cause Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and cancer but so many other illnesses that this website, which is devoted to reporting on them, now has over 1725 posts (as of this day).








The scientists who turned AIDS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome into a world of sociopathic science.

The Pulitzer Prize Winner and Robert Gallo's 
Little Lab of Horrors

What the world didn't know, of course, is how much Gallo had done to create the image of an obsessed [Chicago Tribune reporter—and chronicler of Robert Gallo's misdeeds—John] Crewdson. Only Crewdson, who recorded the defamation of his character with the same diligence and care that he recorded everything else, knew. He knew it from having to answer when his sons asked why the police were coming to the door at dinner time [after Gallo suggested to police that Crewdson might have broken into his house]. And he knew it from the rumors he kept catalogued in a file at home. Only one of those, he says, truly bothered him, because it reflected on his family. It was that Crewdson had divorced his wife to join a gay commune in San Francisco, and had then "set up housekeeping with his boyfriends" in Bethesda. Though it was unclear if this tale, like the others, had originated with Gallo, Gallo had often tried to label his critics in AIDS as being gay; the story seemed to bear his stamp.
      "I've caused problems for other people in my career," says Crewdson, understating the damage he helped unleash upon the Nixon White House, the FBI and the CIA, all of which were known to retaliate against journalists for less. "But I don't ever remember a government official engaging in a sustained personal attack on me or any other reporter." That Gallo is a physician, sworn to compassion, seems to make the situation all the more unusual. —Barry Werth, “By AIDS Obsessed,” GQ, August, 1991

     "Gallo was certainly committing open and blatant scientific fraud," Sonnabend says. "But the point is not to focus on Gallo. It's us—all of us in the scientific community, we let him get away with it. None of this was hidden. It was all out in the open but nobody would say a word against Gallo. It had a lot to do with patriotism—the idea that this great discovery was made by an American." —Celia Farber, “Fatal Distraction,” Spin, June 1992

     Robert Gallo was a sine qua non of what should be called "Holocaust II." It is unimaginable without him at the very core of its deadly insanity. He wasn’t just a run-of-the-mill scientific villain. He was larger than life, someone you would expect to see in a Batman movie. One where Batman dies. The world owes a great debt of gratitude to John Crewdson, the Pulitzer Prize winning Chicago Tribune journalist who mastered the irritating minutiae of retrovirology (and pseudoretrovirology) in order to capture Gallo in all of his exasperating and pathological glory.
     In Science Fictions, the under-appreciated book of microscopic reporting, John Crewdson piles up detail after detail of Gallo’s career like a skilled novelist, determined to sear Gallo’s essence into our consciousness and to leave us in a state of shock about what actually took place behind trusted laboratory doors while people were dying horrific AIDS deaths all over the world. When Crewdson is done with his awesome dissection of Gallo, and we have seen the innards of the world’s most amazing pathological liar laid out on the autopsy table, no reasonable observer should take anything Gallo said about AIDS seriously. Yet Crewdson himself seems to have ultimately had no qualms about leaving Gallo’s theory of HIV-causes-AIDS standing totally hegemonic and unchallenged amid all the shocking evidence of Gallo’s chronic perfidiousness. It’s a real puzzlement.
     According to Crewdson, the early career of Robert C. Gallo, the world’s most famous AIDS researcher at the National Cancer Institute, got off to a precocious start as a lab chief at the age of twenty-seven. But it was subsequently unsuccessful and frustrated until Gallo accomplished what appeared to some scientists at the time to have been his first viral theft. That may have involved stealing credit from the Japanese who discovered a virus named ATLV by renaming the same virus HTLV. Regardless of whether Gallo did steal credit for that virus, the questionable fog of its discovery certainly fit the funky pattern of what occurred in his lab during the 1980s when Gallo sank his teeth into the search for the cause of AIDS. And even beyond that. Crewdson establishes early in his lengthy book that Gallo is a man of great manipulative schtick. Gallo’s mythological song and dance about himself and his origins is a somewhat revealing Dickensian story about the source of his professional drive and his great destiny: Crewdson writes, “In newspaper and magazine articles, Gallo’s single-mindedness was frequently attributed to the death of his five-year old sister, Judith from childhood leukemia, an event Gallo recalled as the most traumatic of his young life, and which had transformed the Gallo household into a grim and joyless place without music or laughter where Thanksgiving and Christmas was no longer observed.” (SF p.15) How could anyone question a man of such noble motives? (Actually, how could anyone not?)
     In Science Fictions, Crewdson presents a Gallo who is a loud, crass braggart who people either loved in a toadying manner or, if they were streetwise, considered him to be what one scientist once described as a “black hole” that destroyed everything in its vicinity. Crewdson describes a period of early disgrace at the NCI during which Gallo had supposedly discovered the first evidence of reverse transcriptase “in human leukemia cells” which subsequently turned out to be irreproducible when another scientist tried to replicate the finding. (SF p.14) Bad luck struck again when Gallo was celebrated on the front page of The Washington Post only to have his discovery, a virus called HL23, undermined by one of his enemies who proved that what Gallo had was not a human retrovirus “but a melange of three animal viruses—a woolly monkey virus, a gibbon ape virus and a baboon virus—jumbled together in a retroviral cocktail.” (SF p. 19) A humiliating retraction was made subsequently in Nature. Unfortunately, this kind of failure in the life of a character like Gallo only made the man more determined to vindicate himself at all costs as a great scientist. The whole world would pay a terrible price for his extraordinary determination.
     There is something about Robert Gallo—if you’ve ever met him in person or seen him on television or talked to him on the phone—that makes you wonder what planet or species he is from. Crewdson captures his uncanny strangeness when he notes that, “Gallo’s conversations often sounded as though a tape recording were being played back at faster than normal speed, and his syntax frequently lent the impression of someone whose first language was not English.” (SF p.19) By the time Crewdson is done with him 600 pages later, one is convinced that Gallo’s first language is falsehood.
     Crewdson presents Gallo’s lab in its early days as a place where things were always mysteriously going wrong. It wasn’t just that the scientific findings the lab produced couldn’t be replicated, but there were also odd break-ins and very peculiar acts of sabotage. But the best was yet to come.
     Unfortunately, as Gallo’s desperation for a big discovery grew, so had the budget of the National Cancer Institute as the nation committed itself to the desperate hunt for the viral origins of cancer. Richard Nixon cancer initiative was the wind beneath Gallo‘s wings. However, things got off to a disappointing start for many years and, in a moment of political bad timing, Gallo’s HL23 scientific embarrassment happened shortly after there had already been numerous viral dead ends at NCI and the whole program was losing its luster and in real jeopardy of being cut back.
     That the HL23 virus turned out to be a laboratory contaminant rather than a new virus after it had been touted in the press, even before its publication in a scientific journal became a familiar pattern in Gallo’s scientific lifestyle (and may have been adopted by some of his underlings). Also to be repeated throughout his career was his inability to admit he was wrong about this HL23 until it couldn’t seriously be denied. (SF p.19) The fact that the contaminant looked like it had to have been a deliberate act of sabotage by somebody suggested that even darker things were going on at the National Cancer Institute around Gallo, things that even super sleuth John Crewdson may have been unable to nail down. This dark possibility of an even bigger missed story is a cloud that hovers over all the events in the Crewdson’s narrative.
     According to Crewdson, the only reason that Gallo’s career didn’t go down the tubes over the HL23 debacle was because he had a protector at NCI, his boss Vincent DeVita, someone who would come to Gallo’s rescue more than once during his troubled tenure at the Institute. (SF p.20) According to Crewdson, DeVita was one of a number of people who held the opinion that Gallo was basically a genius who was also a handful. This was a tragic flaw in DeVita’s judgment that would have terrible consequences for the legacy of American biomedical science and the health of every person on this planet.
     Crewdson portrays Gallo as a man obsessed with winning a Nobel Prize (SF p.20) He was ready to do whatever needed to be done and to elbow out everyone who got in his way. He had no qualms about cheating his subordinates out of appropriate credit for their (sometimes questionable) discoveries. He was also happy to reward achievement of subordinates by unceremoniously getting rid of them when they threatened to outshine him. (SF p.23) Gallo’s bizarre, paranoid laboratory was the object of suspicion from other scientific quarters. When his lab supposedly discovered HTLV, Gallo refused to let samples of that virus leave his lab and Crewdson quotes a colleague of Gallo’s as saying there was “a feeling around the N.I.H. that there was something, ah, wrong with HTLV.” (SF p.31) Gallo may have realized early in his career that if you didn’t want people to find anything wrong with your work the best thing to do is to not share your viruses—or anything else—with them.
     The funny thing about Gallo, surely one of the most paranoid people to ever call himself a scientist, is that he was always accusing others of paranoia and baseless suspicion—toward him and his eminently questionable motives. When it seemed to some scientists that Gallo’s lab had switched the Japanese virus, ATLV, with the Gallo lab’s supposed version of the same virus (the soon-to-be celebrated HTLV), he argued that it was paranoid for anyone to even dare to think that way. (SF p.32) For Gallo, there was always something structurally wrong with the brains of the people who witnessed his crimes. They were always crazy, and he was always sane. You could say that Gallo was from the blame the victim school of scientific fraud.
     Adding insult to injury, after what looked like a viral theft of ATLV from the Japanese, he barely gave them any credit at all for their research into the very virus his lab seems to have taken advantage of. And he mocked the work of the Japanese on ATLV several times (SF p.36) The Crewdson picture of Gallo throughout the book is of a man with absolutely no shame.
     Two of Gallo’s subordinates, the so-called hands-on discoverers of the suspiciously discovered HTLV, Bernard Poiesz and Francis Ruscetti, got the usual treatment that putatively successful people (or co-virus-lifters) got in Gallo’s lab. Ruscetti went on “the endangered list” and was never cited in the award Gallo was given for the discovery of HTLV. Poiesz was betrayed by Gallo in the form of receiving a lukewarm endorsement from Gallo when he applied for a grant. Crewdson quotes Poiesz as saying about Gallo’s credit-grab for the discovery of HTLV that it was “like saying that Queen Isabella discovered America after Columbus came home told her about it.” (SF p.37)
      Unfortunately, in terms of the world’s biomedical safety, Gallo was in the wrong place at the wrong time when AIDS occurred and initially he had the wrong virus at the ready: HTLV, of course, because that’s what he was working on. Just the adoption of the idea that HTLV might be the cause of AIDS (an idea supposedly given to Gallo by others) was patently absurd and raises questions about Gallo’s scientific judgment. It may have been purely driven by the prurient fact that the Japanese, according to Crewdson, “had shown that HTLV was transmitted by sexual intercourse.” (SF p.39) The fact that the CDC had given him a gay-obsessed and sexual epidemiological paradigm to work with didn’t help matters. One feels a sense of dread at the prospect of Gallo getting involved in anything with a sexual angle when Crewdson quotes the CDC’s Cy Cabradillo talking about Gallo: “He [Gallo] didn’t seem that interested. . . . I don’t think he wanted to get involved with a gay disease. What turned him around was Max [Essex].” (SF p. 41) One almost wishes that Gallo’s homophobia or gay-antipathy had been even more pronounced and that Essex had weaker powers of persuasion and that Gallo had blown off requests to get involved in AIDS. It would have saved the gay community and the rest of the world from decades of grief. (And one in fifty or so kids right now might not be on the HHV-6/autism spectrum.)
     What was so intellectually challenged about Gallo’s notion that HTLV could even remotely be the cause of AIDS was the fact that, as most retrovirologists knew, “quite apart from killing T-cells,” HTLV “transformed them into leukemic cells.” (SF p.44) But that didn’t stop Gallo once it became his idée fixe. Gallo was always light-years ahead of his data—imaginary and real.
     While Gallo was promoting the silly notion that HTLV was the cause of AIDS, French researchers at the Pasteur Institute in Paris discovered a retrovirus they called “LAV” in the lymph nodes of AIDS patients. Gallo pulled off one of his many fast ones when he offered to submit Pasteur’s LAV paper on the discovery to Science. When they took him up on the offer, he noticed the Pasteur scientists had failed to write an abstract, in a moment of fake generosity he called Luc Montagnier and said he would be willing to write the abstract (SF p.56) One should always beware of Gallos bearing gifts. According to Crewdson, “To his everlasting regret, Montagnier agreed.” (SF p.56) What Crewdson described at this early point in his account of Gallo is so egregiously crooked that it boggles the mind that anyone subsequently ever took at face value any of the science that came out of that NCI den of biomedical iniquity. Gallo completely distorted the meaning of the Pasteur paper in the abstract he concocted, an intellectual act of dishonesty so in-your-face that it takes one’s breath away. In the true spirit of the opposite world of abnormal science, Gallo twisted the whole meaning of the Pasteur paper to point towards his own birdbrained notion that their AIDS related virus was actually HTLV. According to Crewdson, “As summarized by Gallo . . . the French manuscript appeared to be reporting, if not the isolation of HTLV itself, then a very closely related virus.” (SF p.56) And to add humor to injury, Gallo ran the abstract by the French on the phone, reading it so quickly that, according to Crewdson, they didn’t even understand it. It didn’t stop there. Robert Gallo also altered some of the text of the French paper, again in the direction of making it sound like the French retrovirus was from the same viral family as his own misguided HTLV. Montagnier had deliberately called it a “lymphotrophic virus” to make sure it was not confused with the members of the HTLV family. Montagnier criticized Gallo’s obsession with HTLV, insisting “Gallo didn’t believe there could be more than one kind of human retrovirus. He was fully convinced that HTLV was the right one, that there was only one human retrovirus involved in AIDS.” (SF p.57) As was typical in the self-dealing abnormal, totalitarian science of AIDS, the reviewer for the paper turned out to be the paper’s re-writer himself, Robert Gallo. Not surprisingly, he gave the French paper that he himself altered “his enthusiastic endorsement.” (SF p.57) And for good measure he basically misled again in his letter to Science with the paper, telling the editor that Montagnier agreed with it all. (SF p.57)
     Curiously, in terms of the underlying HHV-6 truth about AIDS, Crewdson notes the fact that at that point Gallo’s boss, Vince DeVita, thought that HTLV, the virus Gallo was pushing, was actually a passenger virus.
     Gallo’s HTLV baloney gained credibility when his Harvard pal, Myron Essex, published a very questionable report that “between a quarter and a third of the AIDS patients he tested had antibodies to HTLV.” (SF p.58) The publication made Essex an instant millionaire the day after its publication because Essex owned stock in a company that manufactured tests for HTLV, the virus that ultimately would turn out to have nothing to do with AIDS. (SF p.58) He wasn’t the only one to get rich peddling bogus science during Holocaust II.
     What could have been a cautionary note about the herd-of-sheep psyche of the abnormal, totalitarian world of AIDS research in general can be found in Crewdson’s amusing passage about other scientists’ ostrich-like inattention to the total lack of logic in blaming a leukemia causing virus for a disease that involved the killing of t-cells. Instead of questioning Gallo and Essex’s bizarre HTLV logic, according to Crewdson, potential critics and people who should have known better doubted themselves. He quotes one of the deferential self-doubters: “ ‘I didn’t consider myself capable of questioning Max Essex,’ one researcher recalled. ‘Max Essex was a person at Harvard. That meant that Max Essex would probably be right. The likelihood that he needed me to re-evaluate his data was zero.’ ” (SF p.59) This was Myron “FOCMA” Essex he was talking about. In the abnormal scientific community of AIDS research your data wasn’t the issue. The school you were associated with was all that mattered. (If historians ever wake up and there is any justice in the world, one day, thanks to Essex, the word "Harvard" will be a metaphor for scientific fraud. Maybe one day it will be even used as a verb, as in "to Harvard the data" or "to Harvard the books.")
     Much like Gallo, Essex always had a reason why he was always right and others were always wrong. According to Crewdson, “asked why if [HTLV] was the cause of AIDS, he had only found antibodies in fewer than half the AIDS patients he tested, Essex replied that his test probably wasn’t sensitive enough.” (SF p.59) When Gallo was asked the same question about his own study that found HTLV in only four of three dozen AIDS patients Crewdson notes that “Gallo suggested that the virus was difficult to find when the number of remaining T-cells was small.” (SF p.59) And Crewdson reports that Gallo even had a Galloesque answer for why there was virtually no AIDS in Japan where there was a great deal of HTLV: “Gallo replied that AIDS simply hadn’t been noticed in Japan or maybe the Japanese responded differently to HTLV than Africans or Americans.” (SF p.59) Anyone who lived through the early days of what was called “AIDS” knows that it was kind of hard not to notice.
     Gallo’s prestidigitations were very successful at making the media and the public think the French researchers were barking up the same HTLV retroviral tree he was. He highhandedly went so far as to suggest the French should actually stop working on their virus if it wasn’t the same as HTLV. And Gallo did everything he could do to encourage other scientists not to take the French discovery seriously. Crewdson artfully captures Gallo constantly talking out of both sides of mouth about the relationship—or lack of one—between the French virus and his beloved HTLV. Crewdson reports that Gallo’s own staff had in fact done the necessary research to determine that they were different viruses and according to Crewdson, “Whatever Gallo was saying in public, in private he agreed with his staff.” (SF p.63) One could always count on there being two sets of books in the abnormal science of AIDS, especially in Gallo’s laboratory.
     The French were in a vulnerable position where Gallo was concerned because, according to Crewdson, they were afraid that he might cut off their access to scientific publication. (SF p.71) Gallo was a serious power broker in the world of science and that certainly should have been more of a warning sign to the scientific community that the very essence of AIDS science was mired in hardball politics. Gallo even had enough power to be able to threaten the Centers for Disease Control. When the CDC dared to complain that Gallo was not sharing his HTLV probes, according to Crewdson, Gallo sniffily threatened to not cooperate with the organization. (SF p.74) “There was a fight,” one scientist told Crewdson, “between the CDC and Gallo over who was supposed to be gathering data from research. Gallo felt they should be gathering data, and he should be doing the science.” (SF p.74) Whatever that means. Gallo didn’t realize what a perfect match his kind of virology actually made for the CDC’s kind of epidemiology. Scientifically speaking, it was like the mafia families of two major cities joining forces.
     One crossed Gallo at one’s great peril. According to Crewdson, when a scientist named David Purtillo began to finds serious evidence that not a single AIDS patient in his study was positive for HTLV, he found that Science magazine “wasn’t interested in undercutting its high-visibility articles.” (SF p.75) When Joseph Sonnabend, a New York AIDS doctor who was the first editor of AIDS Research, a small journal, dared to publish the Gallo-challenging Purtillo findings, according to Crewdson, “the publisher of AIDS Research replaced Sonnabend with [Gallo crony] Dani Bolognesi, who promptly installed Gallo on the journal’s editorial board.” (SF p.75) That’s how scientific publishing worked during "Holocaust II." You scratch my back and I’ll destroy your enemies.
     As evidence piled up showing that the French had found the so-called AIDS retrovirus, Gallo imperiously dug in his heels for his HTLV. So did his Harvard pal Myron Essex who had spent his formative years with his buddy Gallo just trying to convince the scientific community that retroviruses do really cause cancer. Together they did their best to dampen the world’s enthusiasm for the French virus as the probable cause of AIDS. It was one of the great examples of teamwork in science.
     Gallo saw his HTLV dream start to fade when Montagnier showed up at a scientific meeting that was focused on Gallo’s own candidate for AIDS virus. Montagnier presented evidence that patients who were positive for the French retrovirus were not positive for Gallo’s HTLV. (SF p.81) And even worse, according to Crewdson, he “pointed out the similarities between LAV and the Equine Infectious Anemia Virus rather than HTLV.” (SF p.81) And most threatening of all to Gallo’s dreams of a Nobel Prize was the fact that Montagnier had found LAV in “63 percent of pre-AIDS patients and 20 percent of those with AIDS but less than 2 percent of the general population.” (SF p.81) At the meeting at which Montagnier made his dramatic presentation, Crewdson wrote that Gallo did his best to cast aspersions on the research, bizarrely “questioning the reality of the reverse transcriptase activity.” (SF p.81) According to one scientist at the meeting who is quoted by Crewdson, “[Gallo] insulted Montagnier. It was a disgusting display, absolutely disgusting. He told him it was terrible science, that there was no way it could be true. He ranted and raved for eight or ten minutes.” (SF p.81) And of course, while Gallo was publicly humiliating Montagnier, privately he was asking for more samples of the French virus. (SF p.81)
     The French discovery made it clear that Gallo had led the whole scientific community into a retroviral cul-de-sac, but at a later conference in Paris, he was at it again, playing the same tiresome duplicitous game, pushing bogus HTLV while evidence was clearly accumulating against it. Gallo could feign and bully like nobody else in the history of science. One scientist described to Crewdson a fight Gallo had with Montagnier: “ . . . during that fight one had the impression Montagnier was a little boy and Gallo was a genius. Because Montagnier didn’t argue well.” (SF p.87) Gallo wore his opposition down with over-the-top verbal displays.
     Gallo changed gears from the deadender HTLV to a virus that he could get away with calling the cause of AIDS the old fashioned way: he stole it. The complicated manner in which that was obfuscated and outrageously covered up makes up the main investigative feast in Crewdson’s book. Gallo’s decade of gymnastic AIDS mendacities might have been lost to history without the laser vision and crystal clear exposition of  John Crewdson. If not for New York Native and John "Javert" Crewdson, Gallo would have gotten away with murder. Make that "genocide."
     Even when Gallo’s lab was pursuing a new virus like the one the French had, Gallo kept up the public pretense that HTLV was the very best candidate for the cause of AIDS. His laboratory was secretly and frantically playing a game of catch-up with the French. They had received samples of the French virus and were not honest about what they were doing with them. Gallo’s subordinates privately confirmed that the French virus could be found in AIDS patients, but it would never be admitted publicly. Adding insult to deception, because Gallo had so polluted the scientific community with his stubborn, delusional notion that HTLV had to be the only possible cause, the French had trouble getting their growing body of research on LAV published. Science turned down an important paper that made it clear once and for all that the French LAV was not the Gallo HTLV. (SF p. 98) Gallo was dismissing their discovery with one hand and appropriating it with the other.
     At a conference in Park City, Utah in late 1983, Gallo played his familiar game of asking disingenuous and disparaging questions publicly after a Pasteur presentation on LAV. Meanwhile, Gallo ignored doubts about his own HTLV by scientists like Jay Levy, “who wanted to know why, if HTLV caused AIDS, AIDS patients didn’t have T-cell leukemia.” (SF p.99) According to Crewdson, the obdurate Dr.Gallo insisted to Levy that “HTLV itself . . . could still cause AIDS.” (SF p.99)
     Luckily for the French, scientists at the CDC, home of the "impeccable" original AIDS nosology and epidemiology, had growing doubts themselves about HTLV, and even Myron Essex’s old protege, AIDS researcher and retrovirus aficionado, Donald Francis, was ready to jump ship. Crewdson captures one of many ironic moments in Holocaust II when he quotes Francis as saying, “It had become clear . . . that we had made a very big mistake.” (SF p.100) Unfortunately, Francis didn’t have a clue that he and his associates at the CDC and NIH were about to make an exponentially even bigger virological mistake that would threaten the whole world’s health.
     Thanks to the fact that his staff was working with the retrovirus foolishly supplied by the gullible French scientists, Gallo was finally seeing some interesting numbers of AIDS patients testing positive—and given what he was working with why wouldn’t he? After he developed his own blood test for his purloined retrovirus, the CDC tried to determine if the French or Gallo had the best test for detecting an AIDS case. The Pasteur test did slightly better in a competition between the two country’s tests and lest things be done on the up and up, according to Crewdson, Gallo wanted the CDC to alter the results so as to reflect a better score for Gallo’s version of the test—another typical moment in the abnormal science of Holocaust II. To his eternal discredit, Jim Curran, the top AIDS researcher at the CDC, actually agreed to Gallo’s ridiculous request to alter the results. To do otherwise would have been to commit normal science. Giving Gallo that unholy advantage was just one more enabling act that helped Gallo become the top spokesman for the infernal HIV/AIDS paradigm throughout "Holocaust II."
     The minute that the CDC gave Gallo the word that his test for the so-called AIDS retrovirus was as good as the Pasteur one (or sort of as good), Gallo went into extreme Gallo mode, crowing to the world about his supposed achievement, and even more charmingly, according to Crewdson, he began “denigrating the work in Paris.” (SF p.109) He told people he was “far ahead of the French.” (SF p.109)
     Gallo subsequently submitted data on his retroviral “discovery” in four papers to Science. The papers never said where the virus actually came from because they didn’t dare. Mika Popovic, the unlucky scientist in Gallo’s lab who did most of the bench work on the virus Gallo stole, watched as his manuscripts about the so-called discovery of the AIDS virus were methodically altered by Gallo. According to Crewdson, “entire sentences, even whole paragraphs had been excised, replaced with Gallo‘s scrawled additions. Crossed out altogether was the paragraph in which Popovic acknowledged the Pasteur’s discovery of LAV and explained here that the French virus was ‘described here’ as HTLV-3.” (SF p.111) From the scientific documents that would change the world forever, Gallo had taken out any acknowledgement of the Pasteur discovery. (SF p.111) In one of the most notorious notations of Gallo’s whole wackadoodle career, next to a passage in which Popovic wrote something about LAV, Gallo scribbled, “Mika, are you crazy?” (SF p.111) (Screamed the pot to the kettle.)
     One of the most important of the four seminal Science papers contained the egregious falsehood that Gallo’s virus, which he called HTLV-3, had been isolated from 48 patients. Gallo also made sure, according to Crewdson, that the only reference to the French virus in the paper “sounded as though the French had the wrong virus.” (SF p.111) Even though Gallo had basically used LAV to “discover” HTLV-3, he kept disingenuously insisting that LAV and HTLV-3 were different viruses. And even though the French had provided Gallo with LAV, and Gallo’s staff knew all too well that they were not different in the least, Gallo lied to the French when they asked why he had not compared HTLV-3 to LAV and reported on it in the seminal science papers. One of Gallo’s biggest lies to the French was “that Popovic hadn’t been able to grow enough LAV to make comparisons.” (SF p.118)
     As Gallo was preparing to present the world premiere of the so-called virus that causes AIDS he at first offered to include the French in the announcement to the world about the “discovery” of the virus and to cut the CDC—which had also played a role in the process—out of the deal. He then turned around and offered to make the announcement with the CDC and cut the French out of the deal. (SF p.119) Polyamory in the Gallo universe consisted of everyone having a chance to screw other people with Gallo before they themselves got screwed.
     A sign of Gallo’s enormous power in the intellectually challenged world of abnormal, totalitarian AIDS science was the fact that his “manuscripts were accepted by Science nineteen days after their submission.” (SF p.123) A suggestion from Science that four papers were too many got the Gallo threat that he could easily take his papers elsewhere. (SF p.123) The original papers had needed pictures of the virus that Gallo had supposedly discovered, and Gallo had them: they were pictures of the French virus relabeled as Gallo’s HTLV-3. At least Gallo was consistent.
     Crewdson’s book doesn’t just focus on the fact that Gallo’s historic AIDS papers in Science were full of purloined credit he didn’t deserve. In terms of the thesis that much of AIDS science was the work of pseudoscientific sloppiness, it is important to point out that Crewdson also wrote that “An astute reader might have noticed that Gallo’s condition for labeling a virus HTLV-3 were so ambiguous that nearly any retrovirus, animal, or human, would have qualified.” (SF p.124) In the opposite world of abnormal science here are no rules to keep science from becoming a big Alice-in-Wonderland mess. About the original papers Crewdson said something that only increased the irony and tragedy of Crewdson ultimately himself accepting the HIV/AIDS paradigm: “. . . a perceptive reviewer might even have questioned Gallo’s claim to have found the presumptive cause of AIDS.” (SF p.124) (If only Crewdson had jumped in for the sake of the whole world and done with his acute journalistic skills what a perceptive reviewer should have done. Two frauds were passing in the night.)
     A strange incident that occurred just prior to the publication of the big four papers in Science, one that captures Gallo in all his zany treacherousness. Gallo had voluntarily given a European reporter copies of his forthcoming Science papers, and when the reporter published a story about them—under the reasonable impression that he wasn’t breaking any embargo—Gallo accused the reporter “of having stolen the four Science manuscripts from his office while Gallo’s back was turned.” (SF p.126)
     The theft of the French virus was not just a theft of credit from the French. It was also a theft of money in the form of lost royalties for the tests that would be developed from the purloined virus thought to be the cause of AIDS. Gallo’s lab had essentially pulled off an unarmed scientific robbery; the French were destined by Gallo’s shenanigans to lose millions of dollars. The matter was made even ethically worse (if one believed the virus actually was the true cause of AIDS) by the fact that the test Gallo’s people developed using the stolen virus was inferior to the test developed by the Pasteur Institute. (SF p.128)
     As previously noted, some in the American government knew from the start that Gallo was pulling off a scientific heist. On the eve of the announcement by HHS Secretary Margaret Heckler, NIH Director Ed Brant received a phone call from James Curran and Donald Francis of the CDC warning him “that Heckler was about to make a huge mistake: the French, not Gallo, had been the first to find the cause of AIDS.” (SF p.130) Unfortunately, the duplicitous train had left the station and the American government’s scientific establishment was about to apply several layers of egg to its face. (And that didn’t even involve the fact that the stolen, supposedly exogenous, retrovirus wasn’t even the cause of AIDS.) During the April 23, 1984 announcement debacle Gallo even went out of his way to make sure that absolutely no credit was given to the French for their role in the discovery. As if it wasn’t absurd enough that the Secretary of HHS was celebrating a stolen discovery, she also confidently announced “We hope to have . . . a vaccine ready for testing in about two years.” (SF p. 135) She seems to have been off by, well, like forever.
     The credulous media fell for the Gallo scam, generally downplaying the French contribution and the Pasteur scientists were appropriately apoplectic. Predictably, Gallo, according to Crewdson, “set about expunging the evidence that he had spent two years chasing the wrong virus. (SF p.144). Not only could Gallo do viral theft, but he was also one of science’s greatest expungers and time travelers. He rewrote the remarks he had given at past scientific conferences to make it look like he was on the trail of the AIDS virus (which he called HTLV-3) all along when in actuality he had aggressively been pushing the lost cause, HTLV. In abnormal, totalitarian science the past is carved in sand.
     After Gallo’s big splash in Science, he often bragged about things that were not even in the papers, findings that had actually never even been accomplished in his lab. He also violated one of the collegial rules of science by refusing to share his viruses or cell lines with other scientists unless they agreed to certain bizarre and highly suspect preconditions. (SF p.149) According to Crewdson, for some scientists “Gallo tried to impose conditions on which experiments they could perform and which they could not.” (SF p.149) Gallo forced one scientist to sign an agreement not to compare Gallo’s virus to other viruses. (SF p.150) One either played by the rules of abnormal, totalitarian science or one did not play at all. Gallo wanted to control what people said about his virus and who they shared it with. He knew what was at stake if the truth ever came out.
     Even the powerful Centers for Disease Control could not get Gallo to cooperate by sharing his cell lines. When noises started to be made in Paris and down in Atlanta at the CDC that Gallo had not really discovered the “AIDS retrovirus,” Gallo went grandiosely ballistic, saying strange things like “We started the field. We predicted AIDS.” (SF p.153) He accused anyone who tried to tell the truth about the matter of spreading “plot and innuendo.” (SF p.156) The husband of Flossie Wong-Stahl, a woman who worked closely (actually, more than closely) with Gallo in his lab astutely described Gallo and his milieu to Crewdson: “The whole business has the ethics of a used-car lot. It’s what you can get away with. The older-style scientists are falling by the wayside. To be a success in science these days, you need a big operation. . . . It’s become an entrepreneurial business and Gallo’s good at that . . . He was one of the first big-time laboratory operators.” (SF p.158) One could say that "Holocaust II" was partly born in a used-car lot.
     The world fell easily for Robert Gallo and his stolen virus and his questionable science. According to Crewdson, Gallo received a major honor from “the Italian-American Foundation . . . that compared Gallo to Galileo.” (SF p.158) If that wasn’t enough, both his boss and the future Director of the NIH would compare him to Mozart. To the rest of the world he would be the great man who had discovered the cause of AIDS.
     When his luck did start to change and people spoke more openly and brazenly about the virus-lifting, Gallo predictably tried to turn the tables and actually suggested that the French had made the mistake as a result of a contamination by his virus, which was patently ridiculous, as Crewdson shows in his book with detailed chronology of the actual events. All the evidence pointed to a contamination in Gallo’s lab—at best. (SF p.162)
     Unfortunately for the future scientific credibility of the American government, Crewdson points out that “The National Cancer Institute preferred Gallo’s version of events.” (SF p.162) It’s interesting that the NIH uncharacteristically tried to silence Gallo when he actually may have been inadvertently tried to tell the truth about the nature of the real epidemic. Crewdson writes that the Director of NIH “tried to muzzle [Gallo]” when he “speculated publicly on the risk of transmitting AIDS to women via heterosexual contact.” (SF p.163) But, Crewdson writes, “Gallo wouldn’t stay quiet. After Jerry Groopman and Zaki Salahuddin reported detecting the AIDS virus in the saliva of nearly half of pre-AIDS patients, Gallo warned the American people that direct contact with saliva ‘should be avoided,’ setting off alarms about the safety of oral sex, water fountains, restaurant cutlery, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.” (SF p.163) That wasn’t exactly how the government wanted to frame the epidemiological image of the AIDS epidemic. Very interesting, in retrospect.
     Even after it was clear that HTLV-3 (as Gallo renamed LAV) was not a member of the HTLV family of retroviruses, Gallo stubbornly and perversely continued to promote the bogus notion. He even published data trying to fudge the issue. (SF p.163) And as could be expected, according to Crewdson, he continued his two-faced act: “Whatever Gallo was saying in print, in private he was far from certain that the AIDS virus had anything in common with the HTLVs.” (SF p.163)
     One of the more bizarre things about the so-called discovery of the AIDS virus in Gallo’s lab was the fact that early on, according to Crewdson, “Gallo hadn’t said a word about the patient in whom Popovic had found it.” (SF p.164) It turned out that it hadn’t even been found in an individual patient but it had “been isolated from the T-cells of several AIDS patients, whose cultured cells Popovic had pooled together.” (SF p.164) As was typical of the kind of science and reporting that underlay the HIV/AIDS paradigm, this Frankenstein of a “patient pool” was not mentioned in the seminal, history-changing paper published in Science, the cornerstone of the HIV/AIDS paradigm. According to Crewdson, Donald Francis of the CDC “thought it odd still that Popovic had pooled patient material in the first place, something Francis viewed as a certain way not to know which patient was the source.” (SF p.164) Not really knowing where a virus had come from was the characteristic way science was done in the opposite world of AIDS research.
     Like many of Gallo’s lies, the LAV lie was not without its dark humor. Not only was the virus Gallo worked with the same virus that the French had discovered, but most damning, it even turned out originally to be from the exact same patient. ( SF p.165) A scientist named Murray Gardner confronted Gallo about this malarkey and according to Crewdson, Gardner said, “Bob browbeat me, in his way, for about an hour. . . . He questioned my patriotism, He asked me, ‘Are you French or are you American? Aren’t you an American?’” (SF p.167) If nothing else, the pseudoscience was patriotic.
     At a time when Gallo should have been bathing in the glow of being the discoverer of the so-called AIDS virus, according to Crewdson, “Most of his energy was being devoted to fending off suspicions that his discovery was really somebody else’s discovery.” (SF p.177) It was becoming clearer to the world that “the virus discovered in Paris in 1983 was the same virus Gallo claimed to have discovered in 1984.” (SF p.178)
     Even after the discovery issue was on its way to being resolved in the favor of the French scientists, Gallo, without one single qualm, bizarrely insisted in retaining his HTLV-3 name for the virus. It mattered not to Gallo that the virus was obviously not a member of the HTLV family. And just as absurdly, he performed all kinds of silly mental acrobatics to try and explain why his virus was exactly like the French virus, suggesting that his virus came from someone who must have gotten infected at the same place and the same time as the French AIDS victim from whom the French had isolated their virus. According to Crewdson, “The French dismissed Gallo’s explanation as balderdash. (SF p. 180)
     What was it like to be a part of the Gallo team during those heady days when the French virus was stolen and the pseudoscientific foundation of "Holocaust II" was laid down? Omar Sattaur, a journalist who covered Gallo for the publication New Scientist, recounted to Crewdson that one of Gallo’s subordinates told him “that everybody in Gallo’s lab felt paranoid in some way and that it was quite an awful place to work. Because it was very high-pressure and he ran it like an autocrat. They were his minions.” (SF p.183) Nobody messed with Captain Hook.
     The New Scientist reporter was one of the first people to nail the details of the Gallo theft in print. The piece resulted in one of Gallo’s biggest critics, Oxford scientist Abraham Karpas referring to the affair as “Gallogate.” (SF p.184) Karpas was on the money in more ways than he realized. But the real “Gallogate” went way beyond the stealing of a retrovirus. Unbeknownst to Karpas and Sattaur, it was ultimately about something that would cause a potential consequences for every member of the human race. Gallo’s world class narcissism manifest itself in the fact that he told Sattaur that he was of a mind to have the government start a libel action against him. What is even more absurd is that given the government’s bizarre (and not fully-fathomed in Crewdson’s book) relationship with Gallo, one could almost imagine that actually happening. Sattaur astutely captured the Gallo psyche when he said to Crewdson, “Gallo has this ability to just absorb everything . . . He’s wonderful at it. He’s so good at manipulating things that I’m pretty sure that unconsciously he’s doing it most of the time. If you talk to him about other people’s work, he’ll say, ‘Well, he worked in my lab for six weeks. I taught him everything he knew.’ He’s a real megalomaniac.” (SF p.185) There was something uncanny about Gallo that, unfortunately, seemed to bemuse people at the same time that it disturbed them, so that even some of the most sober minds that came into his outrageous orbit somehow missed that fact that they were in the presence of a very unique kind of monster, a human whose actions and statements, from his victim’s and history’s point of view, heralded from a psychic netherworld located somewhere in the vortex of clownishness, sociopathy and downright evil. Once can’t help but speculate that because the marginalized people whose lives hung in the balance were “gay,”—or “very gay,” as the CDC's James Curran would say—that extreme moral outrage on the part of most heterosexual scientists (and some gay ones too, unfortunately) often took a vacation in Gallo’s presence. Gallo wasn’t playing his infernal games with breast cancer, prostate cancer, or heart disease. No matter what lip service people gave to broaden the perceived social spectrum of this particular disease, from the extant scientific community’s perspective (and the public’s) it was gay through and through.
     As previously pointed out, Gallo’s crime against the French was not just the intangible one of falsely claiming primacy of discovery. The theft was also a major financial crime in that he was also stealing the Pasteur’s rightful royalties from the test for the so-called AIDS retrovirus. The American government’s patents had all been hurriedly filed under the false pretenses that Gallo had created them with a virus that he had actually discovered. And to make matters even crazier, in terms of testing for the retrovirus virus that was now considered to be the cause of AIDS, his fraud-based test didn’t even work as well as the French test. (SF. p.188) Gallo’s rushed filing for the AIDS test patent, according to Crewdson, “had been approved in near-record time,” (SF p.191) another indication that the government was in bed with Gallo. Crewdson reported that “The French application had fallen between the cracks, and nobody at the patent office seemed to have noticed.” (SF p.192)
     One of the zanier details of the Gallo biography is the fact that he had a baby with one of the married scientists who worked with him, Flossie-Wong Stahl, which was awkward for the rest of his staff—and for Wong-Stahl’s husband. According to Crewdson, the messy affair resulted in Gallo “being put in the hands of a psychiatrist for a while.” (SF p.194) In terms of Gallo’s impact on the world, it may be a shame that it was only for “a while.” (The catastrophic HHV-6 pandemic might have been nipped in the bud if the whole Gallo lab had been put in the hands of a psychiatrist.)
     When journalists all over the world started to wake up to the fact that Gallo had stolen credit for discovering the AIDS virus, Gallo became a Whirling Dervish. One science reporter told Crewdson that “Bob Gallo would write to every journalist in the world who would publish an article that wouldn’t be completely in favor with his point of view. He would explode. He would immediately conclude that the journalist who had written the article that was not in favor of his genius was prejudiced, was poorly informed, was a friend of Pasteur or something like that.” (SF p.196)
     Ever proactive, Gallo went to Paris and got Jean Claude Chermann, (one of the members of the Pasteur’s LAV team) drunk and had him sign a phony, Gallo-friendly re-write of the history of the discovery of the so-called AIDS virus. (SF p.198) According to Crewdson, “Gallo promised the document would never see the light of the day. Back in the United States, however, Gallo sent a copy to Jim Weingarten [the Director of NIH].” (SF p.198) And when the incorrigible Gallo sent documents to a French journalist in order to bolster his claims that he had not stolen the virus from the French, he included an old letter from Chermann which had been doctored in classic Gallo style. Chermann happened to see the doctored letter and according to Crewdson, “When Chermann compared the letter sent by Gallo to the original in his files, he saw that someone had cut out his signature and posted it at the end of the third paragraph, transforming what had been a scathing two-page critique of Gallo’s behavior into a one-page testimonial. (SF p.199) This is not exactly what Thomas Kuhn would call "normal science."
     It will forever be a dark blemish on the integrity of the top people in the American government’s scientific establishment that the Health and Human Services elite went to bat for this scientific shyster. The Pasteur Institute could not believe the institutional support that the Gallo was getting, but now they were not about to be intimidated. They were ready to sue their way to the truth about the discovery in the American courts and to secure their just rewards from the AIDS test patent. What is really disturbing in the Crewdson account of the affair is that the government gradually did start to realize that Gallo’s discovery claim was bogus, but the authorities shamefully continued to push on with Gallo‘s defense. And, in keeping with the Gallo habit of leaving no supportive deed unpunished, he turned around and blamed the American government itself for filing the patent that had enriched him and had enhanced his reputation. Even more outrageous was the fact that he was telling people that he made no money from the patent, about which one government official said to Crewdson, “Well I didn’t see him turn his checks down when they came to him.” (SF p.204) According to Crewdson, “ . . . with the AIDS test earning millions—both Gallo and Popovic qualified for the maximum payment—$100,000 a year during the lifetime of the patent, a total of $1.5 million a piece over fifteen years. The AIDS test had made them millionaires.”(SF p.278)
     One of the most stunning revelations in Crewdson’s book, as we have already pointed out, is that Gallo’s lab wasn’t just mendacious, but at the same time it also seems to have been surprisingly sloppy and disorganized which is just what one wants to hear about the place that helped lay down the foundation of the AIDS paradigm. The Pasteur Institute, on the other hand, (at least on the surface) seems to have been a model of fastidiousness. Crewdson describes their record keeping: “Pasteur scientists kept the records of their experiments in the European style, in sequential hardbound volumes that made it impossible to insert or remove pages of what had transpired in their labs.” (SF p.206) In the opposite world of Gallo’s lab, Mika Popovic, who did much of the work on the discovery or rediscovery of the AIDS virus “didn’t have any notebooks.” (SF p.206) Gallo is quoted as saying, about Popovic’s record keeping, “We were finding stuff in drawers, pieces of paper . . . I mean we pulled out stuff that Mika didn’t even know he had. And there it was. You know, old stuff, old archaic papers with scribbles on them.” (SF p.206) Crewdson reported that “the scraps proved to be the only records Popovic could produce of what the government now counted a landmark achievement.” (SF p.206) Given what the landmark “achievement” would actually turn out to be, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that it was arrived at in such a ramshackle “scientific” style. Popovic was quite generous with his scraps of paper once under investigation. According to Crewdson, when investigators came to look at his records he said “Take whatever I have. I don’t want to go to jail.” (SF p.207)
     It was convenient for Popovic’s records to be that sloppy because the Humpty-Dumpty pieces of evidence almost made it impossible to reconstruct a credible narrative of exactly how Gallo had succeeded in using the French virus to pretend he had discovered his own. (Lesson to fraudlent scientists everywhere: sloppiness creates plausible deniability.) But Crewdson, the master detective, worked his way patiently though the devious trails of disorganized paper to make Gallo’s theft of credit for the discovery painfully obvious. In the process, Crewdson found evidence that Gallo altered memos to reflect fraudulent dates for when important experiments were done. (SF p.208)
     Gallo stonewalled when Health and Human Services tried to find out what happened in his laboratory in order to put together a defense for Gallo’s claims in court. As Gallo tried to rewrite the past, Crewdson reports that all kinds of discrepancies emerged. There was a clear record that he had been pursuing HTLV-1 as the cause in the period that he now was disingenuously trying to convince the world that he was actually pursuing HTLV-3, which of course turned out to be the LAV which the French had provided his lab with.
     The smoking gun moment that destroyed Gallo’s credibility for all eternity came when it was discovered that the so-called AIDS virus was incredibly changeable and every isolate was dramatically different from every other isolate. When it was discovered that there was virtually no difference between Gallo’s isolate of HTLV-3 and the French isolate of LAV, it was obvious that Gallo had indeed been working with the Pasteur’s isolate, not an isolate that he had discovered.
     As Gallo’s luck would have it, his test for the AIDS virus, which was based on the stolen French virus, was not very reliable. The French test was supposedly much better but the Gallo test had won the licensing race politically and was often failing to detect blood that was supposedly infected. Gallo’s test not only had a high rate of false negatives, but it also had false positives. Gallo’s incompetent test ended up ruining a number of people’s lives. (SF p. 228) (Of course the real problem with the testing for the retrovirus by either the French or American test was that it begged the larger theoretical question of whether either test was really the test for the true cause of so-called AIDS.)
     Gallo exceeded his usual standard for craziness in the fight over the name of the virus he had stolen from the French. How dare the French want to name the virus they discovered! According to Crewdson, “When Gallo discovered the French were using the term LAV alone, he sent Montagnier a peevish letter.” (SF p. 235) In the end the French were only half-screwed when the Gallo name of HTLV-3 did not prevail and the virus was labeled “Human immunodeficiency virus or HIV.” (SF p.236) The fact that the new name was a kind of Orwellian way of disingenuously establishing that the virus was the cause of AIDS without the inconvenience of further debate was lost on most people. The lesson of this episode of abnormal, totalitaran science is that if you want to prove that a virus is the cause of a disease, just give it a name that implies that it is the cause. With “Human immunodeficiency virus or HIV” that mission was brilliantly accomplished. A fun bit of trivia about the voting on the name change is that the only person to support Gallo’s preference of HTLV-3 was—guess who?—Myron Essex. (SF. p.236) (The name of the virus was "Harvarded" into history.)
     One of the most embarrassing moments in the Gallo affair was the point at which it was discovered that the photographs that Gallo’s lab had submitted to Science as being photos of their virus turned out to actually be photos of the French virus. According to Crewdson, “the revelation dealt a major blow to the [National Cancer Institute’s] credibility. (SF p.240) Gallo himself had a copy of the photo of the purloined virus in a framed collage on his office wall and Crewdson reports that “When Gallo found out the virus in the collage was LAV, Salahuddin [his subordinate] recalled ‘he took it down from the wall and threw it on the floor, smashing glass everywhere.’” (SF p.241) One can only assume that like every other Gallo mess, someone else in his lab cleaned it up. The fake photo caper was one of the things that according to Crewdson, helped turn Gallo’s boss, Vince DeVita, against him. Crewdson wrote that “DeVita was determined that Gallo would correct the record.” (SF p.241)
     What is mind-boggling about Gallo is that even while under investigation for the LAV fraud, he and his staff still continued to churn out more fraud. A letter from the Gallo folks published in Nature in May of 1986, meant to exonerate Gallo, contained brand new fibs. Gallo claimed to have isolated HTLV-3 from a patient he hadn’t even been looking for the virus in at the time that was clearly impossible because it was the same period in which all the evidence showed he was still obsessed with HTLV-1. Gallo reconstructed a fictional past in the letter and included a picture that had just happened to have both HTLV-1 and LAV/HTLV-3 in it. According to Crewdson, he pretended to have discovered HTLV-3 earlier than he really did just by the happenstance of it being in the same photo. (SF p.244) One could call it a classic Gallo scientific discovery. Once again it was as if Gallo had a time machine that allowed him to go back into the past and fashion history more to his liking. Crewdson describes NCI scientist Berge Hampar’s reaction to the new photo caper that appeared in Nature: “ ‘When we saw Nature, we laughed,’ Hampar said. ‘We said, “Is this the only photograph they got? They’re staking all their claims on one photograph with two particles in it.” That’s when I said to myself, ‘These people are crazy.’”(SF p.245) It’s too bad that the NCI scientist didn’t do more than just say truthful things to himself because these crazy people helped give us "Holocaust II."
     Gallo still wouldn’t back down in the spring of 1986 when, at an AIDS conference, according to Crewdson, he referred to “the Pasteur’s contribution to the search for the cause of AIDS as inconsequential.” (SF p.246) The Pasteur scientists gave as good as the got. One of their lawyers, Jim Swire, according to Crewdson, “upped the ante by accusing someone in Gallo’s lab of having stolen LAV. ‘They simply studied it,’ Swire said ‘concluded we were correct, renamed it, and claimed it as their own.’” (SF p.247) Otherwise known as the classic Gallo Hokey Pokey.
     The person in Gallo’s lab who would ultimately get hung out to dry for the handling of the fake discovery of HTLV-3, Mika Popovic, was eager to give investigators the impression that if anything untoward had happened, it was just an innocent mix-up. But according to Crewdson, the French were just not having any of that. (SF p.248) The bottom line for the French was that they wanted their “share of the patent royalties.”(SF p.249) After all, Gallo had used their supposedly exogenous retrrovirus to make his lousy test.
     Things got even more sinister in this story when the lawyer for the Pasteur Institute used the Freedom of Information Act to try and obtain documents from Gallo’s lab that would support the French case against Gallo’s claims. According to Crewdson, “the memos that would have been most helpful to the Pasteur’s case—and most detrimental to the government’s—were withheld, in some cases without any indication that they even existed.” (SF p.259) One of the withheld documents which Crewdson ultimately obtained, made it clear that Gallo had lied about when he had isolates of his so-called AIDS virus. (SF p.260) According to Crewdson, the most damning document that was withheld was a memo from Gallo about growing the French virus at a time that he later insisted he had not been growing it. (SF p.260) The only documents that seem to have been withheld were ones that supported the unavoidable conclusion, that Gallo was one of science’s greatest pathological liars.
     Joanne Belk, the government’s person in charge of providing the documents requested under the Freedom of Information Act, described her interaction with Gallo to Crewdson: “I didn’t know how rude he was . . . . This man called me and started blasting me on the phone. ‘Who the hell do you think you are?’ He was terribly profane. Nobody ever talked to me like that. That was my introduction to this so-called eminent scientist.” (SF p.260) Gallo was totally uncooperative. Interestingly, in terms of the basic quality of Gallo’s science, Belk’s overall impression of his lab from a visit was that it was “impressively messy.” (SF p.261) When Gallo finally did comply with the F.O.I.A. request, Belk got a call that she could pick them up at “Biotech Research laboratories in Rockville which Beck thought surpassingly odd.” (SF p.262) One wonders, like so many other parts of this sometimes mysterious story, what was that about?
     The documents that were turned over to Belk were very much in the Gallo lab’s signature style. According to Crewdson, “. . . none of Popovic’s pages was signed. Neither were any of the pages evidently kept by others in Gallo’s lab.’ (SF p.262) Most shockingly considering his pivotal role in creating the scientific paradigm at the heart of "Holocaust II," “Popovic’s notes, written in an unmistakable middle-European hand, resembled a diary or a journal, filled with retrospective observations and abbreviated descriptions of each day’s work, but scarcely any experimental protocols or new data.” (SF p.262) The lawyer for the Pasteur Institute is quoted by Crewdson as saying that the notes looked like they had been “shuffled like a deck of cards,” and when he “tried to assemble the notes in chronological order, he found that the follow-up results for one experiment were dated three weeks before the experiment.” (SF p.262) This was the orderliness of the abnormal, totalitarian science of HIV/AIDS at its very best. According to Crewdson, one Popovic page “dated Jan 19, 1984 was continued on a page Nov 7, 1983.” (SF p.262) The Mad Hatter would have been at home in a white coat at a workbench in this laboratory. Best of all, according to Crewdson, “Several of Popovic’s pages weren’t dated at all.” (SF p.262) As was typical for a laboratory skilled at rewriting the past, Crewdson reports that several of the Popovic pages “were whited out.” and “In a sequential log of laboratory specimens, the year ‘84’ had been crossed out and replaced by ‘83.’” (SF p.262) That describes what they found, but according to Crewdson, once again the scarier thing was what the lawyers did not find: “In the notes that did exist, Swire and Weinberg could find no support for many of the experiments described in Popovic’s Science article.” (SF p.262) Swire could find no evidence of the isolation of the so-called virus from patients that Gallo had written about in his letter to Nature which was meant to exculpate him. (SF p.262) Most importantly, in terms of the French lawsuit, important documents reflecting the Gallo lab’s work with the French retrovirus were missing, and one of Gallo’s subordinates told Crewdson that the staff had been told to leave them out. Crewdson wrote that “to Swire, it looked as if somebody had systematically tried to replace the evidence of Popovic’s work with LAV [the French virus] with something that would appear innocuous to the Pasteur’s lawyers.” (SF p.265) There was also evidence that the French virus had gone through a process of renaming in the documents in order to obscure the origin of the virus the Gallo lab worked with. (SF p.265)
     None of this came as a surprise to Gallo’s close observer and arch enemy in England, scientist Abraham Karpas, who watched all of this unfold in an “I told you so” mode. He told Crewdson, “Dr. Gallo still believes that in this age of communication and science he can get away with not only saying, but even writing, that black is white and vice versa.” (SF p.269) If only people like Karpas, who seemed to astutely recognize that Gallo lived psychologically in some kind of scientific opposite world, had gone a step or two further and realized that when Gallo said that HIV was the indisputable cause of AIDS that “killed like a truck,” he was also saying something akin to “black is white and vice versa.”
     As the noose tightened, Gallo went into advanced paranoia, suggesting that the lawyer for the French was “hiring people to come to restaurants to sit where I go to eat, to try and hear what I say.” (SF p.271) Crewdson quotes one rant that makes Gallo sound like he had completely lost it: “I look at the French capitalizing on their food industry from some places where my ancestors came from . . . I think they do great in getting credit for nothing half the time, more than any people I’ve ever seen. That’s the bias I would have against France . . . They helped us get into Vietnam.” (SF p.273)
     One of the more revealing Freudian moments in Crewdson’s portrait occurs when he quotes Gallo telling the editors of Nature in an unpublished interview that Montagnier “hasn’t a single collaborator left, because no one trusts him. I find him extremely political, always not sure what he believes. People who are full of distrust and see the world scheming to screw them. That’s the way I look at the guy . . . Montagnier’s an example of a small guy who stumbled into shit. And he got famous. More than he deserves. He can’t handle it, sees everybody as plotting against him.” (SF p.273) This from the most paranoid man in science, the man who was always accusing everyone of being out to get him. The real tragedy of "Holocaust II" was that the world was not and is not out to get him. At least not yet.
     In the unpublished Nature interview, Gallo contradicted things that had been published in that very publication. According to Crewdson, “Nature had previously assured its readers that Gallo had grown LAV for one week only and in small quantity. Now Gallo admitted that LAV had grown for at least three months and there had been plenty of virus.” (SF p.275) The fact that this vital information was never published is consistent with what we have said about the manner in which information is managed in the world of abnormal, totalitarian science. Crewdson writes, “Had the Gallo interview been reported, it would have dramatically changed the face of the dispute with Pasteur. But Nature never published a word of what Gallo had said—or anything else about its investigation.” (SF p.275) Gallo could even count on international protection for his kind of science.
     As the Gallo dispute with the Pasteur Institute got more cantankerous, the scientific community began to fear the collateral damage it was doing to the image of science itself. Legendary scientist Jonas Salk sought to lower the temperature of the conflict and according to Crewdson, he “spent the end of 1986 and the beginning of 1987 shuttling between Robert Gallo and Luc Montagnier in search of a shared version of history.” (SF p.293) These scientists seem to have had a very abnormal idea of what history actually is. It is not the difference you split between two warring scientists, especially when one of the scientists is a pathological liar. Eventually, according to Crewdson, “Jonas Salk had nearly given up hope of working out a history acceptable to both Gallo and Montagnier. ‘Insanity afloat,’ was the way Salk described the process to Don Francis.” (SF p.295) “Insanity afloat,” unbeknownst to Jonas Salk, was the best way to describe the all of the science and epidemiology of "Holocaust II."
     Eventually, worn down, Montagnier stupidly agreed to a publication of a joint chronology of the discovery of the so-called AIDS virus with Gallo in Nature. As is typical of abnormal, totalitarian science, it was published without any peer review which, according to Crewdson, “may explain why it contains a number of factual mistakes, why several names were misspelled and why portions of the text read as if they had been translated from Chinese.” (SF p.296) And Crewdson notes that the chronology’s preamble began with a real mutually-agreed-upon whopper: “Both sides wish it known that from the beginning there has been a spirit of scientific cooperation and a free exchange of ideas, biological materials and personnel between Dr. Gallo’s and Dr. Montagnier’s laboratories. The spirit has never ceased despite the legal problems and will be the basis of a renewed mutual cooperation in the future.” (SF p.296) Beyond enjoying the hilarious “WTF” absurdity of this big lie one also starts wondering about the integrity of the French discoverers of the so-called AIDS virus. Note to future historians: Gallo apparently wasn’t the only one willing to cut corners.
     Crewdson reports that despite whatever peace Gallo got from the pile of revisionist lies published in Nature, he was soon disturbed by a new investigative piece in New Scientist written by Steve Conner. The article began, “In the war against AIDS scientific truth was among the first casualties. No one listened when Luc Montagnier at the Pasteur Institute in Paris said that he had found the virus that causes AIDS. Scientific journals and scientists preferred to hear what Gallo was saying from The National Cancer Institute in the U.S.” (SF p.298) The article included Gallo’s photos which had been misrepresented as HTLV-3 as well as the accusation that Gallo’s outrageously dishonest behavior had cost many lives. Gallo’s protectors didn’t waste time coming to his rescue. Crewdson reported that one of Gallo’s cronies, Dani Bolognesi, wrote a letter to his colleagues urging them to respond to the article. (SF p.299) And even the Reagan administration got involved in trying to get the French AIDS officials to join Health and Human Services in condemning the article, even though, as Crewdson points out, “no one could say what inaccuracies Connor’s article contained.” (SF p.299) Such awesome power can only make one wonder what Gallo had on the government that made the authorities so ready and willing to always come to his rescue.
     When a settlement agreement was finally signed by the French—so that they could at least get their royalties for the AIDS test—they had to agree to renounce “any statements, press releases, charges, allegations or other published or unpublished utterances that overtly or by influence indicated any improper, illegal, unethical or other such conduct or practice by any scientists employed by HHS, NIH, or NCI.” (SF p.299) The royalties the French would receive had officially become hush money. Crewdson notes that, “With the stroke of a pen, the accusations and contentions of the past two years had been erased.” (SF p.299) More importantly for the larger issue and the real history of Holocaust II, the French agreed not to tell the whole truth about the history of AIDS, again making them in some ways not all that different from their American counterpart.
     In the Gallo tradition of biting the hand that had saved him, Gallo, according to Crewdson, threatened the White House if they dared to try and take any credit for the mendacious agreement. (SF p.300) Who the hell did the American government think it was? After the bizarre, egregiously dishonest agreement with the French was signed, in a statement that should have made everyone who died of AIDS roll over in their graves, Gallo said, according to Crewdson, “Now, instead of being distracted by all the legal business, I’ll be able to return full time to trying to do something about this disease.” (SF p.301) In other words, the bad luck of the gay community (and the black community) was about to get much worse.
     The agreement rankled the Pasteur team who felt that French politicians like President Chirac who had put pressure on Pasteur to sign the agreement had betrayed them. According to Crewdson, “Jean-Claude Chermann couldn’t comprehend why someone who had chased the wrong virus for so many months was now being anointed in the press as the co-discoverer of the right virus.” (SF p.302) Of course the whole situation was even wackier than Monsieur Chermann realized.
     One of the absolute worst things that happened to the world as a result of the Gallo crime was that Gallo became the go-to spokesperson for AIDS science. According to Crewdson, “The settlement not withstanding, the newspapers and magazines continued to laud Gallo as the discoverer of the AIDS virus while rarely mentioning Montagnier” and “whatever Gallo said was likely to make news.” (SF p.310) He had become the spokes-scientist for AIDS based on false pretenses. Even David Remnick, The Washington Post reporter who would years later become the editor of The New Yorker, had a warm shoulder for Gallo to whine on: Gallo complained to him that the settlement with the French had failed to end the “accusations” and “hatred” from some of his scientific colleagues. (SF p.310) In a hyper-ironic candid confession, Gallo said to Remnick, “I’m telling you, there are days when I wake up in the morning and feel like the Archangel Gabriel. By the time I go to bed at night, I feel like Lucifer. What’s going on? Please tell me why they do this to me. Why do they say these terrible things about me? Do you know? Do you?” (SF p.310) Is it possible that deep down Gallo may have known himself that the questionable science of the HIV/AIDS paradigm was crafted in part by a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?
     Gallo’s propensity for boiler plate homophobia kicked in a bit when Randy Shilts’s book, And the Band Played On came out. Crewdson quotes Gallo as saying, “It never ceases to me to be a source of great wonder . . . How people such as a gay young man on the West Coast think they know more when they’re stimulated [sic] by the same two people over and over again. Namely Don Francis and what I would regard as a psychotic who lives in Cambridge.” (SF p.311) In the heterosexist world of abnormal, totalitarian, "homodemiological" science that characterized AIDS, there was nothing more threatening than a "stimulated" gay reporter, especially one who had been "stimulated" by a psychotic. As for Gallo’s ludicrous charge of psychosis clearly directed at his critic Abraham Karpas who was at Oxford, well, let's just say that science's largest glass house had rocks flying in every direction.
     Gallo was so angry at the things that Randy Shilts quoted the CDC’s Donald Francis saying about him that he penned a letter of retraction and he demanded Francis sign it. He told Francis that if he didn’t (according to Crewdson), he had a “plan of action against Don Francis, which included evidence like letters and tape recordings, that would show financial impropriety in Francis’s relationship with Randy Shilts.” (SF p.313) One wonders: What, no gay sex? But wait. According to Crewdson, he also threatened to expose things from Don Francis’s personal life. (SF p.313) Gallo was the J.Edgar Hoover of science with a real or imagined dossier on everyone. The long arms of this vindictive scientist are reflected in the fact that, according to Crewdson, “When it became clear Francis had no intention of signing Gallo’s letter, word reached Berkeley [where he was happily working] that he was being transferred back to CDC headquarters in Atlanta—to work not on AIDS, but on tuberculosis.” (SF p.313) It was the career equivalent of sleeping with the fishes.
     Eventually, even Gallo’s boss, Vince DeVita, tired of his antics. He told Crewdson, “there was always some crisis with Bob Gallo . . . He has an arrogance about him, that he felt he could talk to you and persuade you to his way of thinking. And he almost always failed.” (SF p.314) Crewdson reports that Gallo, as per usual, refused to share his “AIDS” viruses and his cell lines which prompted people like Nobel Laureate David Baltimore to join another scientist, Howard Temin, “in worrying that Bob’s way of handling himself does significant harm to both himself and to the national AIDS effort.” (SF p.310) Baltimore and Temin were only aware of the tip of the iceberg. (Of course Baltimore himself wasn’t exactly the Mother Teresa of science.)
     Gallo exhibited the censorious style typical of abnormal, totalitarian science when a book which was critical of him by Michael Koch was published in Europe. Koch’s book contained entertaining sentences about Gallo like, “He was so fond of his own ideas that he saw evidence where there was no evidence.” (SF p.320) Koch in due course got the Gallo treatment. According to Crewdson, when Koch ran into Gallo at a scientific conference, Gallo told him, “Here is a five-step program to destroy you. You, your job, your position, your damned Carnegie Institute in Stockholm.” (SF p.320) One thing you could say about Gallo is that even his rants had power points. (SF 320) One thing Gallo said about Koch underlines the danger of ceding absolute power to scientific elites. According to Crewdson, Gallo insisted “I do not feel he was qualified to write such a book. Moreover, Koch has no experience in retrovirology . . .” (SF p.321) Perhaps the only person qualified to write about Robert Gallo was Myron Essex or Gallo himself.
     After Gallo’s administrative assistant, Howard Streicher, wrote a threatening letter to Cambridge University Press, the firm that was going to publish the English language edition of the Koch book which had been first published in Germany, the book was cancelled. Streicher wrote in his letter that the book was “both maliciously damaging and likely to be scientifically, historically and medically unsound.” (SF p.322) Translation: the book told the truth.
     On the heels of the settlement with the French, a new Gallo scandal emerged. It turned out that the cell line Gallo’s lab had supposedly created to grow the stolen French AIDS virus was also basically, well, stolen. Gallo had used his familiar modus operandi; he just changed the name of the cell line which had actually been created by a scientist named Adi Gardner and—Presto! Chango!—it was Gallo’s. According to Crewdson, “When Gazdar told a Public Health Service lawyer he thought Gallo and Popovic had appropriated his discovery, he was advised not to pursue the matter. (SF p.333) Some scientists are said to have green thumbs because they are so good at growing things like viruses and creating cell lines. Gallo didn’t need a green thumb. He had sticky fingers.
     The idea that this character seriously thought he would win a Nobel Prize by operating in the manner he did challenges all definitions of sanity. Scientist Sam Waksal (who went to jail for the insider trading financial scandal that involved Martha Stewart) described a special night with Gallo in which “Gallo was drunk, and he had a tear in his eye, and he said, ‘You know, I would do anything—anything—to win the Nobel Prize.’ I always thought it was the most telling thing about him. Because in the world of science the goal is the pleasantry of the discovery and he could never find as much satisfaction in the discovery as he could in the limelight.” (SF p.336)
     There was still more public humiliation in store for Gallo when sophisticated genetic analysis of Gallo’s so-called HTLV-3 made it painfully, embarrassingly clear that it was LAV and that whatever happened in terms of contamination or theft, it had definitely all happened in Gallo’s lab. (SF p.341) And then the darkest moment of Gallo’s travails happened on November 19, 1989 when John Crewdson’s 55,000 word piece with all the details of his pseudo-discovery of the AIDS virus was published in The Chicago Tribune. The piece’s conclusion was that “What happened in Robert Gallo’s lab during the winter of 1983-84 is a mystery that may never be solved. But the evidence is compelling that it was either an accident or a theft.” (SF p.343) The Chicago Tribune piece aired all of Gallo’s dirty laundry, exposing him making bogus claim after bogus claim; it showed him perpetually rewriting history, and the article displayed his stealing-and-renaming habit as well as his penchant for deliberately altering scientific documents. As was typical of this master double-talker, according to Crewdson, in an interview about The Chicago Tribune piece, “Though [Gallo] claimed not to have read the Tribune, Gallo nonetheless took umbrage at a number of the quotes it contained.” (SF p.344) What Crewdson had done in his amazing Tribune piece (and subsequently in his book) was to show the dark side of science: “The reality that scientists often engaged in the same kind of back stabbing and throat-cutting as politicians and businessmen had remained behind laboratory doors.”(SF p.347)
     As Congress began to wake up to the general issue of fraud in science, the NIH had been guilt-tripped into creating “a new agency, the Office of Scientific Integrity” which was responsible for “investigating and deciding cases of suspected plagiarism, falsification, or other scientific misconduct.” (SF p.349) In other words, all the dishes that could be found in the Gallo buffet. After reading the Crewdson article on Gallo, the acting director of the new Office of Scientific Integrity decided that the Gallo affair deserved to be investigated.” (SF p.351)
     Even as the Gallo investigation was getting underway, he was out in the public serving up more scientific baloney. According to Crewdson, he “was at Fordham University in the Bronx where he announced a breakthrough discovery—a cure for Kaposi’s sarcoma, the malignant lesions that account for about one in five deaths among AIDS patients.” (SF p.354) The only problem, according to Crewdson, was that “Gallo hadn’t published any such results, and he hadn’t presented any data at Fordham to back up his claims.” (SF p.354) In other words, for Gallo it was business as usual. When a desperate AIDS patient contacted one of the scientists in Gallo’s lab he was treated badly. The man subsequently wrote a letter to the scientist and Crewdson quotes it: “You have probably forgotten our conversation . . . But I have not and I will not forget it in a long time. I have never in my life been talked to in such a demeaning, condescending, rude and abrupt manner by anyone let alone an alleged health care professional on the public payroll. I am dying from AIDS and in particular Kaposi’s sarcoma . . . Which is what motivated me to call Dr. Gallo’s office in the first place . . . How cruel it is to publicly talk about a cure and then refuse the information to the public.” (SF p.354) Demeaning? Condescending? Rude? Cruel? What the man with AIDS tragically didn’t realize was that the very epidemiological paradigm he was trapped in (and probably died in) was all of that and more. When Gallo’s boss heard about the exchange, he ordered Gallo to apologize to the man, and, according to Crewdson, “to explain that he didn’t have a cure for Kaposi’s sarcoma after all.” (SF p.354) It was one of the few times that being Robert Gallo didn’t mean never having to say you’re sorry.
     As the full-scale investigation of the Gallo affair by the Office of Science Integrity got under way, Gallo was fully cooperative. Not. Crewdson reports that “It had been early January of 1990 when Suzanne Hadley requested the originals of the Gallo lab’s notebooks, but by mid-March she still didn’t have them.” (SF p.355)
     Because of both Crewdson’s Tribune piece and the OSI investigation, Monagnier felt emboldened to ignore the agreement to “ferme la bouche” and he admitted to Le Monde that there was a real possibility that Gallo had stolen LAV. (SF p.356) Gallo was furious and once again ran to the sympathetic Washington Post with his bogus version of the story. (SF p.357) (This was clearly not the same paper it had been during the Woodward and Bernstein era.) Gallo also hired a P.R. firm and a lawyer but, according to Crewdson, told his staff that “It should not be obvious that we are using a P.R. firm or a lawyer.” (SF p.358) Abnormal science can not be conducted without a P.R. firm and a lawyer that agree to keep a low profile.
     The list of property crimes committed by Gallo’s gang expanded while he was under investigation by OSI when it was discovered that Zaki Salahuddin, the Gallo subordinate who was supposedly the co-discoverer of HBLV (eventually called HHV-6) had set up a company called PanData in order to funnel money into his own bank account by selling medical supplies to the National Cancer Institute—supplies which he himself ordered. (SF p.322) (At least he wasn’t out stealing viruses, although, when the whole story of HHV-6 is told, that might not exactly be the case.) According to Crewdson, Congress got wind of the scam and John Dingel eventually called it “‘a gross conflict of interest . . . on the part of a prominent AIDS researcher at the National Institutes of Health’ who had hidden his ‘improper financial interest in a biomedical firm doing substantial business with his own laboratory at NIH.’” (SF p.362) According to Crewdson, Gallo told the General Accounting Office that he knew about the Salahuddin company only three months before the investigation, but he told The Washington Post he had known about it for a year. (SF p.362) Crewdson reports that Salahuddin was also selling viruses and cell lines derived from Gallo’s lab. One could say that abnormal science and abnormal commerce are bosom buddies.
     Salahuddin was ultimately investigated by a Grand Jury. During his tribulations, Salahuddin said an all too true and disturbing thing about Gallo, “Here’s Gallo, they provide him double coverage, internal investigation and so forth, all this moral turpitude he is accused for such a long period of time. No one ever talks of suspending him. In my case they go immediately for the knife and throw me to the wolves.” (SF p.363) Salahuddin was eventually “formally accused of violating conflict-of-interest statues and accepting illegal gratuities in the PanData case.” (SF p.375) As part of his punishment the was supposed to perform community service by researching HHV-6, the virus he purportedly discovered, which was a little like sentencing Bernie Madoff to selling stocks.
     During the OSI investigation more mindblowing information surfaced. Mika Popovic provided a shocking description of his period in Gallo’s lab: “When I came here nobody gave me whatsoever any instructions how we should write out notes or anything else. And when the litigation started, suddenly I was asked for notes.” (SF p.364) (That anyone in any way trusted the basic science that came out of this scientific pig pen is unbelievable.) The OSI investigation identified new misrepresentations that Popovic had made in the Science papers that had supposedly nailed HIV down as the cause of AIDS. According to Crewdson, Popovic didn’t have data to back up statements in the signature AIDS papers about patients he had described as showing evidence of reverse transcriptase. (SF p.364)
     According to Crewdson, in the course of the OSI investigation, Gallo’s testimony  basically revealed that he had misrepresented the truth during the period in which the government was aggressively and groundlessly defending him against the French lawsuit. (SF p.371) He admitted he had no AIDS virus before his lab got its hands on the French virus. (SF p.371) He also confessed he didn’t have the isolates of the AIDS virus that he had bragged about at the time of his Science paper appeared. (SF p.371) It had all been just the usual Gallo malarkey. According to Crewdson, Gallo told the OSI that he had made the false claim about the isolates because “to be quite frank, I was nervous.” (SF p.371) Crewdson points out that if Gallo had been as honest during the French lawsuit, Pasteur would have walked away with complete ownership of the patent of the so-called AIDS blood test. (SF p.372) And reporters might not have been calling up Gallo and hanging on to his every word of wisdom about AIDS.
     A panel drawn from the Academy of Science that was called in to oversee the OSI investigation voted to move the OSI investigation from an inquiry to “a formal misconduct investigation of Gallo and Mika Popovic.” (SF p.373) They were shocked by “the apparent lack of supporting data for Popovic’s key experiments.” (SF p.373) The Academy of Science panel didn’t realize that they were conducting an investigation in the opposite world of abnormal, totalitarian science. One of the panelists noted—about the basic work on the AIDS virus done in Gallo’s lab—that “It may not be that you will be able to find a written record of all the data that are in print.” (SF p.374) One could say that the data that helped build the HIV/AIDS paradigm of "Holocaust II" wasn’t worth the paper it was not written on.
     Gallo kicked and screamed when OSI went so far as to requisition materials that had been used in the original AIDS experiments. When Suzanne Hadley arrived to collect those materials, according to Crewdson, she “felt like the vampire surrounded by angry villagers.” (SF p.375) She told Crewdson, “His whole lab, they just worship Gallo and will not challenge him. Anybody who gets a bunch of people around him who gets a mindset that he can do no wrong and that everybody else is wrong and wants to get him, you know that’s a prescription for disaster. Because nobody is asking the tough questions on the inside.” (SF p.375) Gallo’s own description of his gang in Crewdson’s book is quite revealing: “About seventy-five percent of the people with me are from foreign countries, their salaries are twenty to thirty thousand dollars, they’re M.D.-PH.D.s, they work day and night, they work seven days a week.” (SF p.385) It would appear that the virological fraud that helped created "Holocaust II" may have been crafted in what could be deemed a scientific sweatshop. What Zaki Salahuddin said about Gallo’s rosy prospects during the investigation deserves close scrutiny by anyone trying to understand the nature of Gallo’s political power: “Nothing will come out of it. No one wants America to go down. They just rally around the flag. NIH and Gallo are inseparable right now. If he goes down, NIH goes down.” (SF p.376)
     One of the more amusing moments in the Crewdson book concerns an NPR radio show on which Business Week reporter and author Bruce Nussbaum was being interviewed during the promotion for his book on AIDS, according to Crewdson, which purported “to show that Wall Street and NIH had conspired to slow the approval of potential AIDS drugs.” (SF p.384) One of the people calling into the radio show attacked Gallo by name, saying that he had “‘done a disservice to research in general.’”(SF p.384) Gallo just happened to be listening to the radio and he angrily called the show. When Gallo started going on and on about how he and his associates had risked their lives doing AIDS research and basically suggested that Nussbaum didn’t have “a depth of understanding of science,” (SF p.385) Nussbaum responded, “I think you’re expressing the type of attitude which is part of the problem. . . . You simply dismiss anyone who is criticizing NIH in any way.” (SF p.385) He also said, “Your attitude is one of incredible arrogance . . . . I think you’re really expressing the type of attitude that is really at the core of the problem of the NIH . . . . And you’re not open to criticism . . . . Even if that criticism is valid. You simply dismiss all criticism as invalid.” (SF p.386)
     Popovic’s defense of himself during the OSI investigation continued to provide evidence that Gallo’s lab had the rigorous organization of a town dump. According to Crewdson, he told investigators that he had been “working under a great deal of pressure, under very difficult conditions, and without technical support,” and he complained that the equipment was of “poor quality.” (SF p.387) Unfortunately, we now know that the science that came out of that equipment was of the same quality. He complained that the seminal AIDS virus articles in Science had been written in his bad English very quickly because of intense pressure from Gallo. (SF p.387) And the world would live with the tragic effects of that bad English and that rush job for many decades.
     The Office of Scientific Integrity wasn’t buying anything Popovic was selling. The committee was especially concerned about a key falsehood in the original Science papers which was that the French virus LAV hadn’t been growing in the Gallo lab at the time the so-called Gallo virus, HTLV-3 had been discovered. Popovic betrayed the boss by saying that he wasn’t the one who wrote the offending sentence in the Science paper and according to Crewdson, that basically left Gallo as the chief suspect. (SF p.389) Popovic had dared to be honest about the matter. He is quoted by Crewdson as telling OSI, “I am sure that originally I had referenced the LAV in my very rough draft. Even I think I insisted on it. I thought that we should include the LAV data in the paper . . . . Then it was changed in the editing . . . LAV was put to the end of the manuscript, in the end, and I think it was Dr. Gallo’s decision not to include LAV.” (SF p.389)
     While this investigation was underway, another scandal broke out in the Gallo lab. Gallo’s deputy lab chief, Prem Sarin, had taken money under false pretenses from a company that wanted Gallo’s lab to test a potential AIDS drug called AL-721. (SF p.390) Sarin, according to Crewdson, was convicted “of embezzlement and making false statements to the NIH” and he “got two months in a halfway house in Baltimore.” (SF p.391) While he had been under investigation, his fellow financial felon in the Gallo lab, Zaki Salahuddin, had urged Sarin to avoid going to jail by spilling some beans on Gallo, but given Gallo’s psychological and professional iron grip on his staff that would never happen. (SF p.391) It will fall to future historians to determine the nature of the beans that were never spilled and what bearing they might have on the true and complete narrative of the AIDS era.
     Peter Stockton, an aide to Congressman John Dingell, was amazed to see Gallo get off while his subordinate was nailed. (SF p.399) When Dingell’s committee staff interviewed Gallo about his responsibility for all the financial misbehavior in his lab, Stockton, according to Crewdson, said that Gallo excused himself by saying, “‘Hey, come on, it’s not my job to be doing that kind of thing. I’m a scientist and I’m trying to cure AIDS, and I can’t be bothered with this kind of crap.’” (SF p.392) And Stockton’s committee basically said back to Gallo, according Crewdson, “Somebody’s got to be concerned about this. You just don’t turn laboratories over to felons to run wild. You’ve got to keep some control over what’s going on.” (SF p.392) What Stockton didn’t realize was that AIDS research in general had been turned “over to felons to run wild.” Gallo was an iconic role model for everyone in that field. He was their Fagin.
     The Pasteur Institute eventually published a paper in Science that settled the matter genetically and established conclusively that LAV and Gallo’s supposed discovery were the same virus and that everything Gallo had said about the matter was a crock. It was the beginning of the end of Gallo at N.C.I. He had embarrassed the whole NIH. (SF p.402-403) But with Gallo there was always time for one more scandal and the next one may have been his ugliest one yet because it involved the deaths of human guinea pigs. Gallo had gotten involved with French researcher named Daniel Zagury in a research project that involved testing experimental vaccines on Africans. And not just any Africans—the test subjects were children. In the course on testing the vaccine, there were three deaths. Gallo and “Zagury had failed to mention that in the report on the vaccine.” (SF p.406)
     One of the most fascinating revelations in Crewdson’s book is the fact that while using LAV in his experiments, Popovic was so afraid that Gallo might screw the French that he had given his sister in Czechoslovakia “the early drafts of the Science article for safe keeping” because, according to Popovic, “I believed that sometimes in the future I might need them as evidence to prove that I gave fair credit to Dr. Montagnier’s group.” (SF p.411) According to Crewdson, “the hidden manuscripts suggests that Gallo was guilty for his rewriting of Popovic’s paper.” (SF p.411) Popovic clearly knew all too well what Gallo was capable of.
     The OSI report which was drafted by Suzanne Hadley stated that both Gallo and Popovic were guilty of scientific misconduct. (SF p.414) But when the higher ups saw it, they balked and wanted the guilty verdict against Gallo erased. (SF p.414) Gallo once again ducked the bullet thanks to what looks like just an old fashioned act of looking the other way by the government. But Gallo didn’t go completely unscathed. According to Crewdson, the OSI report “said that Gallo’s behavior ‘had fallen well short of the conduct required by a responsible senior scientist and laboratory chief.’ Gallo had ‘acquiesced in Dr. Popovic’s wrong doing.’ He ‘may even have tacitly encouraged, and at a minimum, he did not discourage, the conditions that fostered the misconduct.’” (SF p.418) What was actually fostered in those conditions was far worse than anyone could have imagined.
     Suzanne Hadley, according to Crewdson, felt that the conclusions of OSI supported the perception that Gallo had lied under oath during the dispute with the French over the AIDS virus patent. (SF p.419) She was upset when her superior, NIH Director Bernadine Healy, wanted her to rewrite her report. (SF p.420) She asked Healy to make the request for a change in writing and warned that it would compromise “the OSI independence from NIH.” (SF p.420) Healy then backed down. But Hadley would pay a price for standing up to her boss. She was told she was being “reined in” and would make no more “decisions in the Gallo case.” (SF p.421) Crewdson notes that previous to her involvement with the Gallo case, Hadley “had been one of the NIH’s rising stars.” (SF p.420) But given her perception of Healy’s power and temperament, Hadley completely withdrew from OSI’s Gallo case, saying, according to Crewdson, “The hell with it, I just want to get rid of it. I don’t need this shit anymore. . . . I never wanted anything out of this . . . except to do it right. But I certainly never wanted to get just absolutely destroyed. I would have been demolished by Bernadine. She absolutely would have destroyed me.” (SF p.422) That’s what happens in abnormal, totalitarian science in general when one tries to tell the truth or do the right thing.
     When the OSI report was released, Gallo got the kind of cover he often received from an uncritical press. According to Crewdson, “The Associated Press declared Gallo’s vindication,” and said nothing about the Popovic misconduct verdict. (SF p.422) Crewdson reports that all that Healy did to Gallo was issue a directive ordering him to “‘familiarize himself with all HHS and NIH regulations relevant to his job, including standards of conduct for federal employees and the rules governing medical experiments on human subjects.’”(SF p.423) Gallo was also, according to Crewdson, ordered “to review ‘all primary data’ produced by any scientist under his supervision before the data was submitted for publication, and to ensure that his assistants maintained ‘written laboratory notebooks and records sufficient to permit scientific peers and supervisors to adequately interpret and duplicate the work.’” (SF p.424) If such rules had been in place for Gallo—and followed—before he got his mitts on AIDS research, HIV may never have become the central fraud of "Holocaust II."
     Gallo decided to set the record “straight” in his inimitable style by writing a book called Virus Hunting, which was as flattering to himself as one would expect, and according to Crewdson, was a project in which he didn’t even get Montagnier’s first name correct. (SF p.429) According to Crewdson, “Buttressed by scant documentation, Gallo’s book was drawn mainly from his own recollections and those of his staff. Perhaps for that reason, it frequently left the impression that some insight or discovery occurred sooner than it did.” (SF p.429) It was interesting that according to Crewdson’s account at least one member of the French team seemed to also be capable of playing the kind of games that Gallo played. Crewdson writes that “a preface by Jean-Claude Chermann recounting the discovery of LAV . . . read as though Chermann had done it single-handedly.” (SF p.430) One begins to wonder if any leading scientist during the AIDS era got enough love and attention as a child.
     According to Crewdson, when the OSI report came out, the “publicity in Paris” inspired the Pasteur Institute to consider “the possibility that the 1987 agreement [with Gallo] would have to be renegotiated.” (SF p.430)
     Looking back on her work on the Gallo OSI investigation, Suzanne Hadley, according to Crewdson, was most “dismayed” by her failure “to get an early handle on the full compass of the case—to see how some of the entries in Mika Popovic’s notes, or some of the phrases in his Science article, while seemingly disconnected might have implications in a larger context for the patent, the blood test, the veracity of the Reagan administration, and the settlement with the French.” (SF p.434) Crewdson reports that she said, “It was so much bigger than we imagined. Once I began to get my wits together, it was too late.” (SF p.434) Crewdson summed up the dilemma: “So broad was the scope of the Gallo case that it seemed ludicrous in retrospect, to have attempted to fit it into the narrow framework of a scientific investigation, which typically focused on the misreporting of an experiment in a published article. Even more than whatever had happened in Gallo’s lab, Hadley was appalled by the government’s behavior, in and out of court.” (SF p.434) Hadley told Crewdson, “Whatever one thinks about Gallo . . . he had support all the way up the line. They had data back in 1984 showing they were the same virus . . . There never was an iota of a chance that HHS would do an honest thing. Before anything had even happened the die was cast, the decision was made. After that it was simply a matter of crafting a litigation strategy.” (SF p.434) Hadley deserves great honor for doing the right thing but even her intense epiphany about Gallo and the realization about what she was actually staring at was just scratching the surface of the main event. Beneath the mendacities by Gallo and the Reagan administration concerning who discovered the so-called AIDS retrovirus lay far more catastrophic secrets and lies that would ultimately blossom into a world of HHV-6 related immune dysfunction.
     When the scientific community saw the watered down OSI report—which Crewdson described as almost completely changed from the Suzanne Hadley version (SF p.436)—with its main misconduct charge focused on Popovic, and Gallo once again ducking the main bullet, many were horrified. But The Washington Post, once again played the role of Gallo enabler and declared Gallo vindicated. (SF p.436) One scientist, Gene Myers, when he heard Gallo was still not willing to admit that his discovery was actually the French retrovirus, is quoted by Crewdson as comparing Gallo to Dostoyevsky’s Karamazov. (SF p.436)
     When Bernadine Healy met with the panel that was overseeing the final watered-down OSI report, one of the members described what she said to them and it was chilling and ironic. Crewdson quotes Alfred Gillman’s account of Healy’s remarks: “What she wanted to know . . . is does Gallo have no redeeming qualities at all? Is this guy the scum of the earth? Or is there a spark of genius there that ought to be nourished? Or is he mentally ill?” (SF p.438) One can reasonably guess that the victims of "Holocaust II," voting from their graves, would probably vote “no” on redeeming qualities, “yes” on scum of the earth, “not so much” on spark of genius and “absolutely yes” on mentally ill.
     While The Washington Post bent over backwards to help Gallo, ABC’s Sam Donaldson went in the other direction when he took up the story. Donaldson’s TV report began, “It may be the greatest scientific fraud of the twentieth century.” He also warned that “important elements of the United States government seem reluctant to have all the facts revealed.” (SF p.442) If he only knew. Donaldson was just one more reporter who didn’t see the even more important issue lurking beneath the surface of the LAV story.
     One of the most disturbing moments in the government’s peculiar protection of Gallo, and one that should be pondered and investigated by historians of "Holocaust II" for many decades to come happened when Congressman John Dingell’s office began their investigation of the Gallo affair. Dingell brought the beleaguered Suzanne Hadley into his congressional investigation of Gallo because she knew where all the Gallo bodies were buried. But when the committee requested the files from the preceding OSI investigation she herself had conducted, it turned out that notebooks from the investigation had been shredded by Hadley’s replacement at OSI. (SF p.461) Gallo was a cat with more than nine lives. Abnrmal and totalitarian science had abnormal and totalitarian oversight.
     For anyone who believes that some kind of bizarre group psychosis characterized the whole enterprise of AIDS research, it is of interest that when Peter Stockton talked to famous Nobel Prize winning scientist James Watson during this period about Gallo, according to his account in Crewdson’s book, Watson’s “big point was that Gallo is a manic depressive. He thinks the subcommittee should back down because Gallo’s crazy. He thinks we should talk to Gallo’s shrink.” (SF p.473) One could say that to comprehend all the pseudoscientific underpinnings of  AIDS or "Holocaust II" one must talk to Gallo’s shrink.
     As could be expected in the arbitrary and opposite world of AIDS science, OSI itself was changed into the Office of Research Integrity and the rules were changed even while the Gallo investigation was ongoing—just like the rules of science were altered by bogus AIDS research. Instead of simply finding scientists guilty of publishing fabricated scientific results, under the new rules the committee had to show that the scientists who was charged had intended to do so. (SF p.466-475) That ridiculous new standard made it nearly impossible to find any scientist guilty because, according to Crewdson, the scientist “could simply claim he hadn’t intended to deceive anybody.” (SF p.454) Gallo’s most powerful Guardian Angel had arrived on the scene in the form of this crazy new rule. Another dark legacy of AIDS and "Holocaust II" would be that the government’s process of trying to defend Gallo would make it easier for all American scientists to commit fraud and get away with it. Gallo was truly an historic figure in that he paved the way for many more years of plausibly deniable scientific fraud. It is a breathtaking legacy.
     Even with the rules of evidence loosened in Gallo’s favor, he continued to behave like a cornered Mafioso as he told scientists who were expected to testify before the new committee that if they testified it might not turn out too well for them. (SF p.499) He told one scientists that he might “spill the beans on him.” (SF p.480) Gallo was a virtual Boston of spillable beans.
     The final OSI report on the Gallo affair was basically a whitewash, a true blue cover-up. Suzanne Hadley described it as a “version of history” that “parroted the government’s arguments years before in defense of the blood-test patent.” (SF p.503) She told Crewdson, “There’s too much pseudoscience in the opinion. They got it from somewhere.” (SF p.503) Again, what Hadley didn’t grasp was how catastrophically deep the pseudoscience laid out before her actually was.
     When an appeals board reversed the verdict of the ORI, Gallo was elated. According to Crewdson, Gallo said, “I will now be able to redouble efforts in the fight against AIDS and cancers. There are several hopeful new avenues of AIDS research that my laboratory is pursuing.” (SF p.505) The business of Holocaust II could continue in earnest. The New York Times reporter, Nicholas Wade, one of the AIDS paradigm’s truest believers, wrote that Gallo was “the one scientific hero who has yet emerged in the fight against AIDS.” (SF p.505) With heroes like that, gays, blacks and anyone suffering on the HHV-6 spectrum illnesses didn’t need enemies.
     But John Dingell wasn’t done with Gallo. His staff attempted to get prosecutors to charge Gallo and Popovic with making false statements under oath, but between complications involving the statute of limitations for the crime and problems of involving the jurisdiction the crimes took place in, that never happened. (SF p.510) Bullet ducked again.
     All of this mishegas took its toll on Gallo’s new boss, Sam Broder, who had succeeded Vincent DeVita. According to Crewdson, “Since replacing Vince DeVita, Sam Broder had defended and protected Gallo. Now there were indications Broder, like DeVita before him, was growing disillusioned. Reportedly, horrified by Daniel Zagury’s use of Zairian children in his AIDS vaccine research, Broder had ordered Gallo’s name removed from the pending HHS patent on Zagury’s vaccine. When Suzanne Hadley showed Broder Gallo’s outrageous statement that the patent had been initiated by Broder himself, Broder exploded, ‘He said, “That’s bullshit!” Hadley recalled.” As if that wasn’t enough, according to Crewdson, Hadley used the same meeting with Broder to tell him that her investigation “had turned up evidence that several of Gallo’s subsequent articles also contained false statements.” (SF p.514) Hadley told Broder about a paper Gallo published in 1985 which contained false statements about the AIDS virus isolates he had in 1982. According to Crewdson, “The paper was a political exercise, a pollution of the scientific literature intended to help lay the groundwork for a defense against the French.” (SF p.515) Crewdson reports that Sam Broder told Gallo that if he didn’t retire he would order a new NCI investigation of him. (SF p.515) Suzanne Hadley is quoted by Crewdson as remembering that Broder said to her, “I told Bob, ‘You’ve degraded the institute, you’ve degraded the public and you’ve degraded reporters by lying to them . . . . We owe things to the people of another time. They need to know what things were really like during the era of AIDS research.’ One of Bob’s biggest sins is his overdriven compulsion to claim all the credit and to trace it all to his great intellect.” (SF p.515) As true as Broder’s words were, he was still missing the sin beneath the sin, not the sin of stealing credit, but the sin of egotistically leading the world down a deadly misbegotten path, manipulating science and the public into thinking he had delivered the truth about AIDS to the world. And as far as that sin was concerned, Broder himself was joined at the hip with Gallo.
     As quoted by Crewdson, something else Hadley remembered Broder saying sizzles with irony: “He was confused out of his mind. Bob was so thoroughly wrong. The AIDS virus had to fit the retroviruses as he knew them, and he was wrong. He needed to listen to his data, and he did not want to do that . . . Bob writes all these historical things that have no relationship to the way it really was. I told Bob, ‘I have not forgiven you for this. People are dying of real diseases, and this is not a game.’ . . . Frankly Suzanne, it was a Nobel Prize run. You guys don’t talk about that, but I was there, and I know. And frankly he almost got it. And if he had gotten it, he would have been truly invincible.” (SF p.516) Where to begin? Well, first of all Gallo’s word of choice for the people this science involved, at least on occasion (as reported by New York Native), was “fag” which may have had a little something to do with the level of moral seriousness with which Gallo dealt with the AIDS issue. Second of all, who is Broder to talk? He was the scientific genius behind the aggressive pushing of AZT into the bodies of AIDS patients, something akin to pouring gasoline on a fire.
     In 1994 there was a revised settlement with the French which Crewdson described as “a clear victory for the French.” (SF p.585) Suzanne Hadley, working for the Dingell Committee, wrote a 267-page account of the whole matter that according to Crewdson “spared no one” in assigning culpability “starting with the Department of Health and Human Services.” (SF p.526) Crewdson writes that the report said that “HHS did its best to cover up the wrongdoing” and “meanwhile the failure of the entire scientific establishment to take any meaningful action left the disposition of scientific truth to bureaucrats and lawyers, with neither the expertise nor the will essential to the task. Because of the continuing HHS cover-up it was not until the Subcommittee investigation that the true facts were known, and the breadth and depth of the cover-up was revealed. . . . One of the most remarkable and regrettable aspects of the institutional response to the defense of Gallo et. al. is how readily public service and science apparently were subverted into defending the indefensible.” (SF p.527) As profound and disturbing as the report was, it was naively focused on the tail of a far bigger unseen monster, namely the HIV-is-the-cause-of-AIDS mistake itself and the entrenched world of abnormal, totalitarian science that it represented. The report was clueless about the psychotic and deeply biased paradigm at the very center of Holocaust II. It was commendable for Dingell, Hadley and Stockton to nail Gallo on the viral theft from the French, but relatively speaking, it was in essence a successful prosecution of a misdemeanor that missed the exponentially more important underlying medical and scientific crime against mankind.
     To say that Gallo landed on his feet after this disgrace is an understatement. When he left NCI he had to rough it at the brand new, built-just-for-him, multi-million dollar research Institute of Human Virology in Baltimore financed by the state of Maryland. And as one could expect in the opposite world of Robert Gallo, one of the people he invited to come work for him at the spiffy new institute was the paragon of great science, Mika Popovic, a man who will probably take some of Gallo’s juiciest secrets to the grave with him. Gallo’s ability to either discover things or steal them, depending upon how you looked at his career, seems to have diminished in Baltimore. According to Crewdson, “During its first five years of life the Institute for Human Virology hadn’t come up with any marketable discoveries.” (SF p.537) AIDS patients were clearly safer with Gallo out of NCI and eating crab cakes in Baltimore.
     Near the end of his account of the Gallo affair, Crewdson writes his most chilling sentence: “The Popovic-Gallo Science paper, among the most-cited scientific articles of all time, is laden with untruths that have never been retracted or corrected.” (SF p.539) In other words, the very foundation of "Holocaust II" is laden with untruths that “have never been retracted or corrected.” Every living scientist and doctor should hand their head in shame. They are the apathetic, compliant “ordinary Germans” of this period in history. And anyone who describes Science as a prestigious publication worthy of any kind of reverence at all should put on a pair of clown shoes.
     Crewdson closes his awesome dissection of Gallo’s deeds and character on a philosophical note: “Being wrong in science is hardly a sin. Scientists are wrong every day, and their mistakes are what pushes science forward. What set Gallo apart, was his profound disinclination to acknowledge his mistakes, preferring instead to ignore them, insist they hadn’t occurred, blame someone else, or propagate outlandish explanations and outright fictions that only confused science further and slowed its forward march . . . . In the end, the most compelling question was one only Gallo could answer: Had he somehow convinced himself that all the lies were true? Or had he known better all along?” (SF p.540) Actually, a more fundamental and philosophical questions would be whether Gallo was capable of honestly answering that question or even understanding it. Was Gallo a true sociopath? And that leads to the larger historical question about the degree to which a kind of enabling group psychosis went way beyond Gallo and underwrote all of "Holocaust II." It may have taken a whole psychotic village to empower a Gallo.
     While the world owes journalistic genius John Crewdson a debt of gratitude for laying bare the mind-numbing complexities of Gallo’s scientific fraud regarding the discovery of the so-called AIDS virus, the larger story that Crewdson missed, the one he failed to see beneath all the masks that he did rip off, was the game-changing story that the so-called stolen AIDS virus wasn’t even the cause of AIDS. While Crewdson was writing his masterpiece, which was ultimately published in 2002, evidence was accumulating that the other virus that Gallo claimed to have discovered, HHV-6, actually did play a major role in AIDS. In fact, the major role. The virus was not an unimportant pathogen as portrayed by Crewdson in Science Fictions.
     The New York Native, the little gay newspaper that pioneered the Gallo story even before Crewdson got to it, followed the HHV-6 trail that led to a far bigger and more disturbing story about AIDS than just Gallo’s appropriation of LAV. While covering HHV-6 the New York Native broke one of the biggest AIDS stories of all, the breakout of acquired immune deficiency in the general population which the CDC and the NIH hid behind the ridiculous euphemism of “chronic fatigue syndrome.” The New York Native’s reporter, Neenyah Ostrom covered chronic fatigue syndrome, AIDS and their relationship to HHV-6 from 1988 until the paper went out of business at the end of 1996.
     The parent company of New York Native published three books on Ostrom’s reporting about the relationship between HHV-6, AIDS and chronic fatigue syndrome. The first book, What Really Killed GildaRadner? Frontline Reports on the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Epidemic, was published in 1991. In the book’s introduction, Ostrom wrote “For whatever reasons—like reluctance to admit the presence of another AIDS-like epidemic sweeping the nation in the shadow of (and linked to) the official AIDS epidemic, simple incompetence, or more sinister reasons—health authorities have tried to deny the very existence of the chronic fatigue syndrome epidemic in the U.S., have tried to prove that the illness of immune dysfunction is caused by ‘psychoneurosis,’ [and] have delayed for years determining how many cases actually exist in the country . . . .” (WRKGR p. 10) The next Ostrom book, 50 Things You Should Know About the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Epidemic was published in 1992. In its introduction, she wrote, “America is facing a health crisis of unprecedented proportions, a crisis that has been misleadingly labeled chronic fatigue syndrome. This health crisis has been bungled by government health officials from the very beginning: It has been ignored, misrepresented, and investigated ineptly until, as I write this in January, 1992, untold millions of Americans already have contracted this potentially disabling, AIDS-like illness. . . . CFS is clearly an AIDS-related illness that puts the entire population at risk.” (P.13-14) The final Ostrom book, America’sBiggest Cover-up, which was published in 1994 was even more uncompromising in its conclusions. Ostrom attempted to explain why officials refused to admit a link between AIDS and chronic fatigue syndrome: “AIDS patients, and people who test HIV-positive (whatever that actually turns out to mean), have been so badly treated, so discriminated against, so scapegoated and demonized that it is not surprising that there is an almost reflexive recoiling from the possibility that AIDS is not the narrowly-defined illness that it has been portrayed as being.” (ABC xvi) She asserted that “Until the denial among medical professionals about the relationship between the AIDS and chronic fatigue syndrome epidemics is overcome, however, it is difficult to imagine how either epidemic can be ended.” (ABC xvi) Had John Crewdson not just taken the lead on Gallos’s theft of HIV from New York Native, but also followed the trail of Ostrom’s reporting on chronic fatigue syndrome and HHV-6, he might have broken a bigger and far more important story.
     Two years before Crewdson’s book on Gallo hit the bookstores, Nicholas Regush’s book on HHV-6, The Virus Within: AComing Epidemic was published. Regush had been a reporter for the Montreal Gazette as well as an award-winning and Emmy-nominated medical and science journalist at ABC News, where he produced segments for World News Tonight with Peter Jennings. Regush’s book covers the history of HHV-6 from its discovery through a succession of shocking discoveries made by two researchers at the University of Wisconsin, Konnie Knox and Donald Carrigan. Regush’s picture of HHV-6 bears little resemblance to the failed Gallo co-factor of Crewdson’s book.
     The HHV-6 that emerges from Regush’s book should have made the scientific community’s collective head spin. In a series of experiments on a variety of patients, the two relatively young Wisconsin researchers showed, without even fully admitting it or shouting it out to the world, that HHV-6 was the real villain in AIDS. They showed that HHV-6 is capable of wreaking havoc in both the central nervous system (TVW p.9) and the immune system itself. Prior research by R.G. Downing had shown that HHV-6 was capable of destroying T-cells (curiously, the only so-called herpes virus to do so) which was something that the AIDS establishment insisted on blaming HIV alone for doing indirectly even though HHV-6 destroyed the cells dramatically, directly and unambiguously. As Regush pointed out, “Here was a herpes virus that could destroy T-4 lymphocytes at least in the test tube more powerfully than HIV.” (TVW p.54) Had Crewdson dug deeper on the HHV-6 story, he would have learned that there are supposedly two strains of HHV-6, an A and a B strain. And he would have found out that HHV-6A was indeed starting to look more and more like the significant co-factor in AIDS or even more surprisingly, like the chief viral culprit itself. Gallo wasn’t lying about the power of HHV-6. According to Regush, “In November 1993, Robert Gallo’s lab published data gleaned from autopsies of five people who had died of AIDS, demonstrating an abundance of HHV-6 infection. Footprints of the virus were found in areas such as the cerebral cortex, brain stem, cerebellum, spinal cord, tonsil, lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, salivary glands, esophagus, bronchial tree, lung, skeletal muscle, myocardium, aorta, liver, kidney, adrenal glands, pancreas and thyroid.” (TVW p.84) If anything, Gallo was underestimating the power of HHV-6 in order to keep his beloved stolen virus HIV alive. Ironically, one of the reasons Gallo didn’t do more work on HHV-6 during the 80s was because he was busy fending off investigations from Congress and journalists like Crewdson (and pesky newspapers like New York Native.)
     One of the early HHV-6 research projects conducted by the Wisconsin researchers showed that HHV-6 is a major lung pathogen in AIDS, a fact that tragically had been largely ignored in the treatment of AIDS. And one of the most important findings on HHV-6 that could have an impact on everyone’s health was Carrigan and Knox’s determination that “Direct infection of the [bone] marrow by HHV-6” was possible (TVW p.62) According to Regush, their research showed “that HHV-6 could infect—and suppress—bone-marrow cells.” (TVW p.64)
     While Konnie Knox was focusing on HHV-6’s relationship to HIV, her research actually began the shocking process of pulling the rug out from under HIV itself. Her work with Carrigan showed that HHV-6 could also seriously dysregulate monocytes and macrophages, making it a very creative and dangerous pathogen. (TVW p.68) She made HHV-6 the subject of her doctoral thesis and Regush reports that she wondered if she was “throwing herself into the hurly burly of Big Science politics.” (TVW p.69) Actually, she was throwing herself into the hurly burly of Big Abnormal Science politics.
     Knox started sealing the deal for HHV-6’s role in AIDS when she studied tissue samples of a group of people who had died of AIDS. According to Regush, “The results of her experiments gave her a jolt: all 34 tissue samples of lung, lymph node, liver kidney and spleen revealed that at the time of death there was active HHV-6 infection as opposed to merely a biological sign that the virus was ‘latent’ (embedded in tissue).” (TVW p.83) Her experiment also showed that one of the big AIDS showstoppers, CMV, wasn’t even as important because she found it active in only nine of the 34 tissue samples. (TVW p.84) Most alarmingly in terms of the way lung issues had been treated in AIDS was the fact that she found evidence in some of the patients that HHV-6 as probably responsible for the destruction of the lungs. (TVW p.84)
     Knox, not knowing the real nature of AIDS politics, told Regush that she was “amazed that so little HHV-6 research had actually been done on AIDS patients . . . . It didn’t make much sense.” (TVW p.85) She was another scientist who had found her way into HIV/AIDS Wonderland. She didn’t have the right compass for the science of opposite world or the nasty retroviral and heterosexist politics that had laid its foundation.
     The profile of HHV-6 as a virus capable of destroying the immune system was dramatically increased when, according to Regush, “various labs exposed HHV-6 as” capable of targeting T-8 cells and when scientists at the National Cancer Institute showed that “HHV-6 infects and kills natural-killer cells. These are the immune cells that destroy abnormal cells in the body, particularly those that are infected by viruses. HHV-6 is the first virus known to be capable of targeting and seriously damaging such a vital element of the immune system’s antiviral defenses.” (TVW p. 87) (The fact HHV-6 was capable of killing natural-killer cells should have alerted the whole scientific community to the link between AIDS and chronic fatigue syndrome which are both low natural-killer cell syndromes.)
     Knox found that HHV-6 “could cause major damage during the early development of AIDS,” (TVW p.89) and didn’t need HIV to do it. According to Regush, “Her autopsy-tissue study had already shown that macrophages were often depleted in the lungs of HIV-infected AIDS patients,” and she was determined “to know how HHV-6 was capable of knocking out those cells . . . . Her tests showed that, besides destroying macrophages, HHV-6 interfered with the normal functioning of the scavenger cells by blocking the release of a type of oxidant, a substance that cells normally generate to attack microbes. Knox noted that HIV was not known to be capable of this specific type of action.” (TVW p.95) She concluded that HHV-6 had the potential to destroy the macrophages in the lungs without HIV, a totally sacrilegious idea in the abnormal science of AIDS. According to Regush, she dared to wonder heretically if HIV was “doing any killing in the body, or was HHV-6 the lone assassin?” (TVW p.96)
     Knox also found that HHV-6 was capable of causing brain infection or encephalitis without any signs that HIV was involved. (TVW p.97) And the same no-show behavior on the part of HIV occurred in the case of the bone marrow in AIDS: “Knox’s lab studies demonstrated that HHV-6-infected marrow cells—not the HIV infected ones—blocked the ability of the marrow to produce mature, differentiated cells.” (TVW p.97) The same scenario was manifest when she looked at the brain damage in AIDS patients. Regush writes that “When Knox studied the brains of six people who died of AIDS and found extensive damage in four to their nerve fiber sheathe she also detected active HHV-6 infection. The infected cells were only in areas where the damage had occurred and never unhealthy tissue. The damaged tissue tested negative for signs of HIV, CMV, and other microbes. Again, their was only HHV-6.” (TVW p.101) Again, according to Regush, all of this inspired the very dangerous doubt in Carrigan and Knox about whether “HIV was even necessary for AIDS to occur.” (TVW p.101)
     The pièce de résistance of the Knox and Carrigan research involved the lymph nodes of AIDS patients. According to Regush, “the development of AIDS has largely been viewed as a progressive destruction of the networks of lymphocytes and fibers known as the lymphoid tissue. AIDS scientists, however, have been unable to associate the presence of HIV in the lymph nodes with any damage to the tissue.” (TVW p.98) While the conventional wisdom was that HIV was hiding in the lymph nodes and destroying them, what Knox and Carrigan found turned the conventional wisdom upside down. In perhaps their most important study they found that “16 lymph-node biopsies from HIV-positive patients all contained cells actively infected with HHV-6A. Twelve of 16 patients who had been diagnosed with progressive disease had more dense infection that the four patients who had been diagnosed as having a stable condition. Knox and Carrigan also found more dense infection in areas where the lymph nodes were losing lymphocytes than in areas free of destructive change or where normal tissue in the nodes was already being replaced by the formation of scar tissue. HHV-6 was the apparent cause of the destruction of lymphoid tissue that occurred in these HIV positive people.” (TVW p.114) Regush didn’t mince words about the implications: “HHV-6 was not only at the scene of the crime, but it appears to have committed the crime as well.” (TVW p.114) Regush describes Knox and Carrigan as wondering if they had found a “smoking gun” because “there were no convincing studies demonstrating that HIV could cause similar pathology.”(TVW p.114) They submitted their research to The Lancet, but as could be expected, it was not accepted. It was ever thus during "Holocaust II."
     In the world of Kuhnian normal science Carrigan and Knox would have had their Nobels by now for showing that HHV-6 was the real AIDS virus and was even more important than just that as other research began to connect it to many other diseases that would turn out to be part of an HHV-6 spectrum of disorders. But not in the opposite world of abnormal, totalitarian science that was dominated by the heterosexist HIV/AIDS paradigm. HHV-6 threatened the whole epidemiological house of cards the CDC and the NIH had presented to the world. Good luck to future HHV-6 scientists all over the world when they try to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.
     In an interview with Robert Gallo, Regush asked him about Knox and Carrigan. Regush reported that “Gallo spoke very generously about what Knox and Carrigan had accomplished, but he also emphasized that they work in too much obscurity to obtain any funding. ‘They have clearly shown that HHV-6 is a powerful pathogen,”’ Gallo said. ‘If they were headliners at a major university, it would make a huge difference.’” (TVW p.223) How two scientists who were essentially doing a controlled demolition on the HIV/AIDS paradigm would ever even hope to be allowed positions of prominence in a scientific world dominated by people like Gallo requires a huge stretch of the imagination. As Regush concluded, their research “suggests that HIV may not always be necessary as a companion to HHV-6 when the herpes virus is destroying tissue. But even suggesting that in writing would raise the hackles of HIV researchers. In fact, some AIDS scientists compare any questioning of the HIV hypothesis as it currently stands, to denial of the Holocaust. With such emotions running strong in AIDS science, why take a chance of boldly presenting alternative hypotheses?” (TVW p.224) Unfortunately for the world, Regush reported that Knox and Carrigan didn’t have the stomach to go more public with their story or to join forces with the AIDS critics and dissidents: “Knox and Carrigan, while aware of the issues, want no active part of this often hostile debate.” (TVW p.224)
     It was very unfortunate that the brilliant, tireless John Crewdson never found his way into this shocking HHV-6 part of the AIDS story. His expose of Gallo and the purloined retrovirus had caught the eye of the NIH’s investigative body and Congress itself. Had Crewdson found his way to the Knox and Carrigan laboratory at the University of Wisconsin and done the same kind of Pit Bull due diligence on the primary role of HHV-6 in AIDS, he might have helped bring "Holocaust II" to an early end and everything would have been different for people on the HHV-6 spectrum. And knowing how Gallo had stolen HIV, Crewdson might have eventually looked into the allegations that he also stole credit for discovering HHV-6, which is another story. And just as creepy.

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