“Endless loop - n. See loop, endless.
Loop, endless - n. See endless loop.” Isaac Asimov
23rd April 1984, and the National Academy of Sciences auditorium in Washington DC was packed with journalists and television crews abuzz with anticipation. US Health Secretary Margaret Heckler emerged and greeted the assembly, declaring: “Today we add another miracle to the long honour roll of American medicine and science. Today’s discovery represents the triumph of science over a dreaded disease.”
The miracle Heckler announced was that a team of virologists led by Dr Robert Gallo had isolated a virus that was apparently causing AIDS. This was a tremendous announcement and the enormity of Heckler’s words, coming at a time when the climate of AIDS-induced fear was at its pinnacle, could not be overestimated. Speaking of Gallo’s work as an all-American miracle discovery, Heckler reminded the public of the gratitude it owed to medicine for triumphing over this dreaded disease.
And then it was Dr Gallo’s turn: “Dr Gallo, Sir! Dr Gallo, this way! Sir, this way!” chorused the hordes, the whirring and flashing banks of cameras more befitting a royal arrival. The jostling photographers vied for that special Gallo victory pose to accompany the following day’s world editorials which would triumphantly announce: “The beginning of the end of the scourge of AIDS!”
With no demanding questions being asked of Dr Gallo, the likeable, but rather nervous-looking doctor produced what he described as photographic evidence of the cornered virus and briefly outlined the supporting science behind his discovery. And all the time, the flashing and the whirring. Gallo’s discovery was the news of the decade, the answer the world had been yearning for, the relatively unknown doctor now quite fittingly fêted as the saviour of the human race.
But there was a big problem, as AIDS critic David Rasnick stated:
“With that announcement, Gallo had publicly leapfrogged across the scientific process - across peer-review and analysis, across the very checks and balances of science.”
Gallo had committed the cardinal sin as far as transparency of scientific reasoning was concerned. At the time of his press announcement, he had allowed no independent body initially to verify his claims. How very different the future of AIDS and HIV might have been, had Margaret Heckler opened the press conference thus:
“Science and research must be studied in the context of all the interested parties involved. The questions centre on determining the relative weight of the various allies in the ‘fact-creating’ process - e.g. funding bodies, businesses, departments of state, professions and other scientists. In analysing scientific debates, one should always ask what social, institutional, political and philosophical interests lie behind often apparently ‘neutral’ and ‘technical’ knowledge claims.” 
An important piece of advice, ten years too late and in any case forgotten in the fanfaronade of the public canonisation of Dr Gallo. After all, for the good of mankind, science and scientists had been pulling out all the stops to bag possibly the biggest killer this planet had experienced since the bubonic plague of the 15th century. And of course, in this all-out mercy mission to save so many human lives, it goes without saying that nothing improper would have been taking place… doesn’t it?
To our very great cost, and hence the reason for this book, we shall see that such trust and benevolence extended towards the science supporting AIDS and HIV are misplaced and naïve in the extreme. A special panel of the National Academy of Sciences would, a few years after the Gallo announcement, be meeting to discuss:
“…a persistent pattern of behaviour on Dr Gallo’s part of repeated misrepresentation, suppression and distortion of data, and the misrepresentation of findings in such a manner that would enhance Dr Gallo’s claim to priority.” 
The above panel was by no means be the only one urgently convened over the years following the 1984 press conference to discuss the methodology of Dr Gallo, the founding father of the alleged HIV. What exactly was this man getting up to in the closeted, almost impenetrable world of beakers, bunsen burners and centrifugal separation? Before we visit the Gallo laboratories in Bethesda, Maryland, it might serve us firstly to examine the scientific and medical culture into which the AIDS phenomenon/crisis reared its head in the first place. Establishing what attitudes prevailed at the time concerning the theories on illness and contagious disease will highlight why the search for the cause of AIDS was so dominated by the virus hunters.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) in America began in 1887 as the Hygienic Laboratory. An insignificant organisation at the time, it was actually affiliated to the Public Health Service, which itself was affiliated to the US Navy. The NIH has since retained its military connections, the Surgeon General to this day wearing a white uniform. In the 1930s Congress created the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which became the first subdivision of the NIH to focus on any particular illness, and the parent organisation thus became known as the National Institutes of Health. James Shannon became the director of the NIH in 1955, taking up his position at a time when the US was experiencing the effects of polio.
James Shannon persuaded Congress to release considerable amounts of money to fund an all-out medical war against polio. But with the natural waning of polio in the early 1960s (now showing all the signs of being an environmental affliction), the many specialists trained exclusively in virology to combat the condition dropped their investigations and began to concentrate their efforts on the search for the cure for cancer. And of course, being virologists, all sought the virus that must surely lurk behind one of mankind’s biggest killers. Any notions cancer might be a toxic, metabolic, nutritional or environmentally-based disease were given short shrift. Twas a virus and a virus only they hunted, nothing else considered. Gallo himself later remarked: “Sometimes we virologists have a virus in search of a disease.” 
As we shall see, the narrow ambitions of the virus-hunting fraternity have produced some highly embarrassing and costly medical research failures. This is particularly true of the research commissioned by Congress for Richard Nixon’s 1971 War on Cancer, the NCI announcing that same year that a vaccine against cancer would be available by 1976. The dominant power the virus establishment wields and its disconcerting ability to get things badly wrong on occasions is highlighted most succinctly by South African barrister Anthony Brink:
“As we’ve all seen, when these oracles mumble and the press trumpets blare, the entire world eagerly gobbles up every word without demur. How many fake health crises have they delivered still-born into the popular consciousness? Take the idle herpes scare in the 70s, the phantom syphilis epidemic of the 30s and 40s, the great swine flu fiasco and that shining emblem of medical idiocy, the pellagra plague in the first four decades of this century, treating the people with arsenic and ruthless quarantine, which turned out to be plain malnutrition among the politically awkward droves of poor whites in [America’s] Deep South industrial towns.
We need contagious epidemics to fight. Even imagined ones. They’re tremendously psychologically useful. Germ theory so dominates contemporary medicine that it seeks germs everywhere, the more virulent the better, and especially if they can be linked to our culture’s great taboos - sex and death. Anything to avoid facing up to unappealing political realities like widespread chronic under-nourishment among a shameful number of our countrymen as the time-honoured and common-sense cause of broken health.” 
Regular intakes of nutritious food? Whoever heard of such a thing? A sensible prescription lost in our overall reverence for the pharmaceutically-driven medical model, itself intent on blaming viruses for most of man’s ills.
When a disease fails to perform to a given pattern, it is understandably important the medical establishment is seen by the general populace to be in control of the situation and fully understanding of the disease in all its complexities. It was virologist Carlton Guidachek who first put forward the notion of the slow virus - that an invader could gain entrance to the body, hide up and strike, even years later. Bryan Ellison comments:
“A few virologists in the early sixties simply invented the notion of the slow virus, [a concept] which was actually awarded the Nobel Prize in 1976. Of course, once the concept of slow viruses had come to be accepted, it was possible to blame conceivably any disease on a virus, no matter how uninfectious the disease was.….” 
Although sounding quite plausible to the laity and even to some medical experts, the idea of the slow virus was eventually consigned to the scrap-heap. Science has shown the chief causes of disease are not dominated by the virus, but by metabolic/nutritional imbalances and ongoing toxicities which affect a person’s immunity. Micro-organisms as disease pathogens are opportunistic. The weaker the immune system due to poor diet, lack of hydration and environmental toxicity, the greater the likelihood of ill-health from them.
Yet agencies around the world, such as the CDC and the EIS, daily shape our understanding of health and disease. In a discussion on ‘shaped’ awareness and preconceived ideas, Noam Chomsky, Professor of Linguistics and Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, stated that:
“Hundreds of billions of dollars are spent every year to control the public mind.” 
Subliminally or otherwise, vast sums of vested-interest money influence our attitudes towards illness today. Bryan Ellison reports:
“By the time AIDS came along, the virus hunters controlled all the reins of power in the biomedical research establishments, and so naturally they dominated the research on AIDS. The very first person to describe AIDS cases - Michael Gottlieb in Los Angeles describing five homosexual men with pneumocystis carinii pneumonia - himself was already suggesting that it was caused by the herpes-type virus, cytomegalovirus. [Such] was the result of the virus hunters being in a dominant position in the establishment.” 
There was no choice in the matter. Until proven otherwise, any new and emerging disease from the early sixties onwards was first and foremost considered viral in nature. And that was also true for some of the well-established diseases, especially cancer.
In the early 1970s, Robert Gallo was working out of laboratories in Bethesda, Maryland, under the wing of the National Cancer Institute, and reporting to the immensely powerful Litton Bionetics. Gallo, a fully trained virologist, had been set a specific brief. Steven S Hall, author of Commotion in the Blood, says this of Gallo’s early calling:
“Gallo set the research agenda, did the hiring and ran the lab meetings. Every lab has an overriding mission and Gallo’s was no exception. Like many virologists, Gallo had been looking for a human virus believed to cause several forms of human cancer…” 
Gallo was considering the possibility of a particularly nasty virus, a virus hidden deep perhaps, but a virus he believed existed and could be detected - the virus most likely responsible for the dreaded leukaemia.
Leukaemia is the umbrella term to denote the unrestricted growth of under-developed, ‘rogue’, immune-system white blood cells (leukocytes). In failing to mature properly, they create greater and greater numbers of themselves until they crowd out the healthy blood cells, bringing the immune system to a kind of leukaemic gridlock. In their attempt to validate the ‘leukaemia as virus’ hypothesis, Gallo’s lab technicians would obtain the cancerous leukaemia cells and concentrate primarily on trying to manufacture a ‘culture’ in which the cancerous cells might live. This would then allow the researchers time to study the cells, in order to try and identify any attacking virus.
As a point of interest, more prized than isolating any virus, the virologists’ Holy Grail was independently to create in these cultures the infamous killer T-cells. Just as the alchemist pursues the life force, the ‘fifth essence’ (quintessence), and the astrophysicist the single-line equation explaining the existence of universe, so the virologist dreams of creating test-tube T-cells – those unique and incredibly complex fighters in our immune system. (“Having such killers at our beck and call would surely then make it possible for us to manipulate them, train them even and then direct them to destroy any invading cancerous cells.”) Discovering the recipe for promoting the growth of the T-cell was an ongoing pursuit. And creating the ‘culture’ in which the cells might grow was, and still is, time-consuming and expensive. The laboratory beakers containing Gallo’s precious and painstakingly prepared cultures were all meticulously labelled and kept refrigerated at the necessary low temperature.
And then, in late 1974, after almost three years of experimentation, a leukaemic virus was apparently isolated, which Gallo named Human Leukaemia 23 (HL23V). Gallo immediately reported the discovery to the local scientific community, and submitted a paper on the isolated virus to Science which was published in January 1975. Newspapers were quick to report on Gallo’s remarkable achievement, but his peers were even quicker to question his claims, asking what culture he was using, how he had prepared it and how he had gone about his experiments. Gallo hedged and would not reveal the chemistry of his culture, nor would he share the exact manner in which his virus had been isolated - only that it had. Concerning the validation of scientific claims, Geoff Watts, author of Pleasing the Patient, reminds us of traditional scientific methodology:
“Researchers are required not only to publish their findings, but also to describe their method in sufficient detail to allow others to repeat the work. Indeed the repeatability of an experiment is one of the criteria by which scientists judge the claims of their peers.” 
Gallo’s habitual reluctance to conform to this sensible scientific methodology served only to anger his professional colleagues. Their questions became more forcefully posed: “Where’s the leukaemia virus, Dr Gallo? And how did you preserve the cells?”
With pressure mounting on Gallo to produce the necessary evidence to support his ‘discovery’, suddenly… a calamity! One morning lab workers arrived to find that the refrigerator containing the supposed leukaemia virus and the precious ‘cultures’ had been mysteriously unplugged. Any evidence of the HL23V, supposedly preserved in the secret ‘culture’, known only as WHE, had now been ruined. Says Gallo of this unfortunate but quite timely disaster:
“We were screwed. We were only able to say, ‘Honest, we had it!’ and prove it to nobody.” 
Popular medical literature of the day however makes no mention of these ‘minor’ irregularities along the way, and credits Gallo with all the ‘leukaemia breakthrough’ headlines. It was Robert Gallagher, a technician at Gallo’s lab during this period, who later stated that they hadn’t actually wrapped their hands around an actual virus; rather they had inferred its presence based on a number of intricate virological predictions. Exactly the same species of ‘virtual truth’ can be found propping up much of what we know as quantum physics. Anyone wishing for direct evidence that various, exotically named particles such as quarks, nuons and gluons, actually exist are quite breezily quoted Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. “One can estimate where the particle might be going and where it might have been, but not actually where it is.” That, in laymen’s terms, is the central tenet of particle physics. The virtual existence of the quark and the massive funding to track it down bears uncanny resemblance to the chemokines and cytokines rearing their virtual heads in the blood sciences of today - equally exotic and authoritative in name as the quark family, but equally elusive to the rational, enquiring eye and mind. Similarly, in the case of Gallo’s HL23V, the overriding question: “Was there ever really a virus in the first place?”
And what about that secret ‘culture’ known only as WHE? Gallo certainly exercised prudence in not expanding on its exact make-up. The initials stand for ‘whole human embryo’. Aborted whole foetuses, developed no further than the first trimester (3 months), had various cell extractions performed upon them, the extracted cells forming the base composite for the melted HL23V. Readers comforting themselves that foetuses not exceeding the first three months are probably just underdeveloped cell matter may be shocked to discover otherwise, as the following extract from “Love Your Unborn Neighbour” reveals:
“By the sixth week from fertilisation, tiny fingers appear, followed within days by toes. At the same time the eyes develop the lens and retina and the eyelids begin to appear. Brainwaves can also be detected. At seven weeks the child has its own fingerprints, the outer ear is present and the inner ear, with its hearing and balancing mechanisms, is well established. At twelve weeks the child’s features become more defined. The unborn baby can open or close the lips, wrinkle the forehead, raise the eyebrows and turn the head. The baby’s sex is easy to determine, the baby measures about 90 mm and weighs 45 g and she is also sensitive to touch.” 
Three years’ lucrative funding and thousands of man-hours later and finally, a virus existing only by the word of Dr Gallo, now melted. With his reputation severely dented, and Gallo still insistent that he had isolated said leukaemic micro-organism, the Maryland virologist immediately began scouring the labs for a cell specialist, someone with the necessary qualifications to resurrect his battered HL23V program. Steve Hall recounts:
“It would not be exaggerating to characterize the mood in the lab as scientifically based hysteria. And into this dark environment of desperation, suspicion and frantic scientific scrambling arrived Doris Ann Morgan…” 
With a PhD in Biochemical Genetics, Doris Morgan joined Gallo from Litton Bionetics where she had held the post of senior scientist in cell biology. Working alongside Frank Ruscetti, her brief from Gallo was “Get me that HL23!” Steven Hall again:
“Ruscetti’s tack was to test every known bone marrow cell line and as many embryos as possible to see if he could scare up the same factor that had disappeared in the great refrigerator meltdown, and he did a prodigious amount of work. Before he finally stopped looking he had tested close to 250 cell types, all failures.
Morgan took a different tack. She decided to stick with the existing system of growing leukaemic cells and see if she couldn’t tinker with the conditions enough to nudge the cells into expanded growth. While working in Houston she had managed to keep a number of white blood cells taken from mice, known as granulocytes, in test tubes for up to 3 weeks, which at the time, was considered a phenomenally long out-of-body experience for a blood cell. The leukaemic cells Gallo studied were also granulocytic, also of myeloid (bone marrow) origin. Perhaps Morgan could tweak the system a bit.” 
And in March 1975, after much tweaking, Morgan noticed the appearance of cells apparently not seen before. Could they be the hallowed T-cells, the Holy Grail of immuno-biology? Said Gallo at the time: “My God, this is important! But we’ve gotta be sure we’re right.”
Gallo soon began informing his peers that his lab had discovered the recipe for T-cell growth culture. His peers abruptly sat up. This was a massive step towards the elusive cure for leukaemia, and for the war against cancer in general. The administration of a strain of this factor in the patient could promote an absolute proliferation of killer T-cells, that would in turn make short shrift of any cancerous cells. This time Gallo did share his recipe for human T-cell growth factor with the scientific community, submitting his research for full publication in Science, March 1976. Gallo subsequently received hundreds of calls from immunologists, complaining that they couldn’t get the growth factor to work. Says Ruscetti, “They were saying we were crazy, but this was only because they didn’t really want to accept it.” 
Another dead end. But Gallo, impervious to the scepticism of his peers, sensed that Morgan’s discovery was going to be big, and he calculatedly made a phone call upstairs. Stephen Hall again:
“Given the personalities of Gallo and Ruscetti, it’s just one of those things in human dynamics. They saw the significance of it; this was Nobel Prize stuff. Those personalities never concerned themselves with personal aspects, just with the scientific problem, and Doris got left in the dust. Finally, on 23rd January 1978, Phillip Markham from Litton Bionetics informed Morgan in a letter that her job would be terminated.” 
Morgan was being moved on. Asked if Gallo ever treated her badly, Morgan’s only regret was that Gallo had taken all the credit for the discovery of the special factor, which, perhaps for Morgan, was a blessing in disguise. Gallo’s growth factor, instead of being rightfully discarded, was adopted by Steve Rosenberg, and its name changed in 1979 to Interleukin 2, IL2 for short. Rosenberg, who would later become Ronald Reagan’s cancer surgeon, took IL2 to new and dizzy heights. IL2 was fêted as a ‘cancer breakthrough’ on the front cover of Fortune magazine on 25th November 1985 and Rosenberg was awarded the $100,000 Armand Hammer cancer prize the same year for his work.
Anyone wishing to embark on a study of the long history of ‘cancer breakthroughs’ will find the exercise a very sobering one. The NCI cancer vaccine, promised for 1976, has, of course, failed to materialise. And when traced with any objectivity, the history of IL2’s ‘effectiveness’ in treating cancer is a horrendous litany of medical disaster. Almost every patient treated with IL2 suffered fever, malaise, nausea or vomiting, diarrhoea, sharp drops in blood pressure, skin rashes, breathing difficulties, liver abnormalities and irregularities in blood chemistry. Rosenberg himself details a number of horrifying case histories, and one in particular where the administration of IL2 had precipitated amongst other things, vomiting, swollen joints, lung fluid and ‘vascular leak syndrome’, where blood would ooze through the vessel walls and collect under the skin. Reading between the lines, it is evident that many a hapless patient died of his oncologist.
Charles G Moertel, a renowned and respected physician at that time, delivered the following opinion on the benefits of Interleukin 2 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), 12th December 1986.
“The treatment itself is an awesome experience, usually requiring weeks of hospitalisation, much of which must be spent in intensive care if the patient is to survive the devastating toxic reactions. In short, IL2 is associated with unacceptably severe toxicity and astronomical cost. This is not balanced by any persuasive evidence of true net therapeutic gain. IL2 would not seem to merit further application in the compassionate management of patients with cancer.”
And today, the Chiron Corporation, pharmaceutical manufacturers and suppliers of Interleukin 2, state on their web page that “…many people are leading normal lives because of IL2.” Credence has requested details from Chiron Corporation on the specific manner in which people have been helped by IL2. To date there has been no reply.
In reality, Doris Morgan’s much vaunted IL2, remembered only as Gallo‘s discovery, has proven to be yet another dead end in a history of dead ends for our senior virologist. And he never won the Nobel Prize either. And what of Gallo‘s credentials to date? Anthony Brink is brief and dismissive about the early days of ‘the Pope of AIDS’:
“Gallo’s disgraceful behaviour in relation to his AIDS research was no first. Had he not ascended to such power and influence within the federal health bureaucracy, it is likely his claims to have found a single infectious cause for the disparate diseases grouped together as AIDS in the early 1980s would have been laughed out of court.
After all, this was the bright spark who, with almost as much fanfare as that at his flash-bulb popping HIV press announcement, had loudly touted his discovery of what he claimed to be the first identified human retrovirus, HL23V, in the mid 1970s. After another look, this exciting find turned out to be nothing of the kind, just another accidental laboratory artefact. His laboratory hadn’t done the most basic controls. To his great embarrassment, Gallo had to retract his claims, and HL23V then modestly retired as a virus from the scientific lexicon.” 
And what of Gallo’s team? What of their credentials? A brief trawl through the records reveals that Syed Zaki Salahuddin, one of Gallo’s closest lab associates, was convicted of using Gallo’s laboratory credit card to purchase supplies from the NIH central stores; supplies which he then spirited out in order to set up his own research laboratory. Having established his own lab, Salahuddin then installed his wife as director. Running alongside this venture, Salahuddin also arranged for various ‘private interest’ items to be manufactured, all within Gallo’s own laboratory, which were then sold to outside competitors. Dr Dharam Ablashi, a fellow worker at Gallo’s laboratory, was recruited as a sales rep for this clandestine outfit. Salahuddin was ordered to repay $12,000 and complete 1,750 hours community service. Salahuddin was also one of the principal authors of the early papers announcing the discovery of an HIV. Gallo’s second-in-command at the lab, Prem Sarin, would later find himself on trial for directing $25,000 into his own account which should have been spent hiring a lab technician. Sarin was equally involved in the early papers on the ‘discovery’ of HIV. In his “Lab Rat” article, Seth Roberts summarises the early years thus:
“Gallo’s lab has been described by past and present employees as a ‘den of thieves’ and as being ‘full of mediocrities’. In its quantity of intrigue and capricious purges, it resembles a ‘medieval Italian town’, says one former employee. He adds, ‘I’m surprised somebody hasn’t killed someone there.’
Without AIDS, Gallo would have been simply another grasping, over-productive, under-scrupulous scientist. Dozens of awards, hundreds of papers, thousands of tantrums, a vast phone bill, a ringside seat at the discovery of IL2 and HTLV1, and a handful of derailed careers - that would have been the Gallo legacy. AIDS, however, gave him the chance to really make a difference.” 
And ‘make a difference’ he did. IL2 was becoming a fading memory for Gallo. It was now the early 1980s, and Gallo’s attention was becoming increasingly diverted towards Gottlieb’s up-and-coming, but as yet unnamed AIDS syndrome. But just prior to Gallo’s full pursuit of the virus that ‘must surely lie at the heart of AIDS’, another startling claim was made by some members of his team. In 1980, Frank Ruscetti and fellow biologist Bernard Poiesz apparently isolated the very first human cancer retrovirus, naming it Human T-cell Leukaemia Virus or HTLV1 for short. The ‘discovery’ of the cancer retrovirus (a generalised description of this interesting little entity being, “I can’t see it under the microscope, and you can’t see it either. But if Gallo’s lab tells us there’s one there, then what reason do we have to disbelieve them?”) has subsequently precipitated massive injections of cash into virus labs the world over. It will come as no surprise to the reader that yet again, HTLV1 has proven to be just another of those ‘Gallo lab discoveries’ that no-one has yet been able independently to verify. This fact does not stop Robin McKie, science editor for the Observer newspaper, from writing:
“Once a contender for the Nobel prize, for discovering the first human cancer-causing virus, Gallo….” etc, etc. 
But it was to be one artefact in particular, the elusive HIV, which would prove to be the most destructive ‘quark’ in the history of immunology.
1983 was the beginning of Robert Gallo’s public ascendancy into the AIDS debate. The following chronology traces the key events leading up to Gallo’s world-wide announcement of his ‘discovery’ of HIV and that ‘HIV was probably the sole cause of AIDS’.
In May 1983, fellow virus hunter Luc Montagnier from the Pasteur Institute, Paris, trustingly submits a paper to Robert Gallo, outlining what Montagnier believes to be a new type of virus. Gallo senses that Montagnier may be on to something and edits the paper in such a manner that the reader would concur that the Montagnier virus is a member of the same family as Gallo’s HTLV1 (leukaemia) virus. The ensuing paper conveniently bolsters Gallo’s ‘discovery’, regardless of the fact that HTLV1 had been completely discredited.
In July 1983, Gallo receives a shipment of factor for inspection, which Montagnier states contains his virus, named Lymphadenopathy-associated Virus or LAV. Montagnier believes that this is the virus which may lie at the heart of AIDS.
On 14th September 1983, unaware of the growing US interest in his findings, Montagnier lectures on the blood test he has developed, which can apparently detect certain antibodies in the blood - antibodies that might indicate the presence of his virus, and hence, the onset of AIDS.
On 15th September 1983, Montagnier files for a UK patent on his potentially lucrative AIDS blood test. Throughout all of these proceedings, Gallo has been in attendance at a number of meetings where the technicalities of Montagnier’s virus and its supporting science are intimately discussed. These and other factors would later add weight to accusations that Gallo was attempting to plagiarise and then ‘cash in’ on Montagnier’s work.
On 22nd November 1983, after close observation of Montagnier’s potentially momentous discovery, Gallo announces that his lab too has isolated certain particles, which might also be the AIDS virus. Not surprisingly though, an independent analysis of the samples submitted by Gallo for verification produced no trace of a virus. To counter these embarrassing findings, Gallo’s lab almost immediately announces the discovery of yet another virus, which is named HTLVIII. Gallo states that this is most definitely the much sought-after AIDS virus. A subsequent enquiry to establish the actual existence of Gallo’s HTLVIII (later renamed HIV) determines that yet again, Gallo had failed to isolate any virus. Roche Laboratories found no trace of HTLVIII in the ten samples submitted to them.
On 12th March 1984, despite the fact that Gallo’s HTLVIII does not apparently exist, James Curran from the CDC meets with Gallo, and tells him that the blood test procedure that Gallo has been working on confirms the presence of Gallo’s HTLVIII virus in blood samples of suspected AIDS patients. In other words, Gallo claims discovery of a virus, and then claims a method to detect the virus. This ‘full-circle’ scenario is then given the official stamp of approval by a close colleague in an influential position. More respectably translated, the Centers for Disease Control have just informed the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute that everything is satisfactory. Gallo’s two inventions will go on to ‘confirm’ to the waiting world that the epidemic known as AIDS is viral. Says Gallo later: “In Curran’s view, we had determined the cause of AIDS.”
In the same month, Gallo’s well-timed letter to the Lancet is published, telling of his ‘struggle’ to isolate Montagnier‘s LAV, the virus that Montagnier believed was responsible for AIDS. And indeed, several years later, Montagnier would confess that his own lab had never actually isolated the virus known as LAV, according to the standard rules for isolation.
On 23rd April 1984, Heckler introduces Gallo to the world. That same day, Gallo submits his blood test kit for a US patent. Anthony Brink dryly comments:
“In cravenly seeking the endorsement of Big American Science, Montagnier naively left his keys in the ignition, and the next thing it was gone. Gallo resprayed Montagnier‘s LAV as HTLVIII. It was later renamed HIV on the basis of Gallo‘s claims, without proof to warrant its fearsome title.” 
In short, at that Washington press conference which proclaimed the discovery of the vicious virus probably causing AIDS, there was no virus.
On 29th May 1985, Gallo’s patent on his own blood test is granted. Montagnier’s patent is still pending at this time. (Montagnier’s patent was never granted.)
In December 1992, Robert Gallo is indicted for scientific fraud by the Office of Research Integrity, a supervisory department of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), based on his declaration that he had discovered HIV. Anthony Brink comments:
“Having sneaked through a patent application on the blood test, thus guaranteeing him a fortune in royalties, Gallo went on to publish four papers in the prestigious if dowdy journal Science two weeks later. Then the trouble started: an exuberant international dispute over who stole the fake diamonds. For Gallo, this was the Paula trouble that led to Monica.” 
And fake diamonds they were too. For the habit of inferring the presence of a virus without actually being able to lay hands on one is a habit not solely confined to the Gallo labs. To loyal readers of The National Enquirer, Montagnier’s money-spinning LAV may well be alive and well (along with Elvis and assorted bullet-headed extra-terrestrials). To the rational enquirer however, Montagnier’s LAV remains elusive to this day. The scandalous use of ‘inferred’ photography in modern-day science and the blatantly false imagery produced is discussed in more detail later.
Montagnier was incensed when he learned of Gallo’s televised announcement. He believed that Gallo had quite simply stolen his virus and would now reap the rewards. Montagnier was not going to forego his cut. Branching away from the usual loose laboratory rules for verification, Montagnier pressed for definite proof that his share of the expected proceeds would be ‘isolated’, verified and then visibly transferred into his own bank account. He wasn’t going to rely on Gallo only inferring that this would soon take place. An indistinct photograph of Montagnier’s share of the proceedings would not suffice in this instance.
The subsequent wranglings between Gallo’s laboratory and the Pasteur Institute and between the French and US governments became increasingly acrimonious, with accusations of scientific plagiarism and ‘inexplicable’ cross-contamination of evidence. Presidents Reagan and Chirac persuaded Montagnier and Gallo to meet up to sort out their differences. They emerged from their meeting in a Frankfurt hotel, agreeing to share the royalties on the blood testing kits, which, by 1994, would amount to $35,000,000. Whether or not Montagnier has ever forgiven Robert Gallo for exhibiting a photograph of Montagnier’s unsubstantiated ‘virus’ at that Washington press conference, claiming it as his own, will probably never be known.
So where was Montagnier’s virus at that press conference? Where was Gallo’s virus? In truth, on that spring day in April 1984, there was actually no virus to show the world. This of course did not hinder proceedings. The show had gathered unstoppable momentum. Re-enforced with the full backing of the American medical, political and scientific establishments, a photograph of someone else’s virtual virus, no virus of his own, and a lucrative patent application at the back of his mind, Dr Robert Gallo braced himself to enter the world’s stage. Brushing down his suit, he entered the whirring, flashing arena of the National Academy of Sciences auditorium, announced a major breakthrough in the battle against AIDS, and quite unabashedly soaked up every last bit of the worship the world bestowed upon him.
The Truth About HIV by Steven Ransom and Phillip Day. Available from 5th February 2005
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 Rasnick, David, “Blinded By Science”, Spin Magazine, June 1997
 University of Manchester Institute of Science & Technology (UMIST) research methodology course handout, 1994
 For insight into the environmental factors behind the Great Plague, please see Ransom, Steven Wake Up To Health In The 21st Century, Credence Publications, 2004
 Chicago Tribune, “Scientific Panel Accuses Gallo of Recklessness,” 27th March 1992
 Ransom, Steven, Wake Up To Health… op. cit.
 Day, Phillip Cancer: Why We’re Still Dying to Know the Truth, Credence Publications, 2004 (available through credence.org)
 Maggiore, Christine What If Everything You Thought You Knew About AIDS Was Wrong? AFFA Publications, 1999
 In These Times, 8-15th August 1992
 Brink, Anthony, The Pope of AIDS, http://www.virusmyth.com/aids/data/abpope.htm
 Ellison, Bryan, “Rethinking AIDS” interview, March 1994, www.rethinkingaids.com
 Day, Phillip Health Wars, Credence Publications, 2002
 Ransom, Steven, Wake up to Health… op. cit.
Continuum Magazine, October 1996. Today the NIH annual expenditure is in excess of $10 billion (Rethinking AIDS interview).
 Ellison, Brian, op. cit.
 Hall, Stephen S A Commotion In The Blood, Little, Brown and Co. 1997
 Leukaemia viewed as a fungal infection provoking reactions from the immune system? So say a number of specialists: Meinolf Karthaus MD saw how different children with leukaemia went into remission after the administration of a triple antifungal cocktail for their ‘secondary’ fungal infections (Karthaus, M, Treatment of fungal infections led to leukaemia remissions. 28th September 1999). Mark Bielski recorded in 1997 that leukaemia, whether acute or chronic, was connected with the bowel yeast candida albicans (Bielski M, Boyd, W, Introduction to Medical Science, Lea & Febiger, Philadelphia, PA, 1997). Half a century ago, Dr J Walter Wilson stated: “It has been established that histoplasmosis [fungal infections] and leukaemia, Hodgkin’s disease, lymphosarcoma, and sarcoidosis are found to be coexistent much more frequently than is statistically justifiable by coincidence.” (Wilson, JW, Clinical and Immunological Aspects of Fungus Diseases, Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, IL, 1957). Milton White MD was fully convinced of the fungal/cancer connection after he had detected, using the proper isolation techniques, fungal spores in every sample of cancer tissue he studied.
 Watts, Geoff Pleasing the Patient, Faber and Faber, 1992
 Hall, Stephen S, op. cit.
 New Scientist, “Earliest Feelings Help to Develop the Senses,” 7th May 1987. Quoted in Love Your Unborn Neighbour, SPUC Publications, London, 1994
 Hall, Stephen S, op. cit.
 Rosenberg, Steven The Transformed Cell, Putnam, New York: 1992
 Brink, Anthony, op. cit.
 Oostram, Neenyah New York Native, 14th August 1989, issue #330
 Shenton, Joan, op. cit.
 Rethinking AIDS Homepage, December 1999
 McKie, Robin Observer Newspapers, “Resurrection of the AIDS Pioneer,” 22nd December 1996
 History of key events, 11th August 1986. Robert Gallo’s sworn declaration.
 Lancet, 5th March 1984
 Q. “Could it be anything else than a retrovirus?” A: “No, well… after all, yes. We did not purify.” Extract from an interview between Luc Montagnier and Djamel Tahi. “Did Montagnier Discover HIV?”, Continuum Vol 5, No 2, January 1998
 Brink, Anthony, op. cit.
 Shenton, Joan, op. cit.