This is the 3rd of 3 articles written by me which I'm posting here because my website has been hacked by Lyme Denialists, which may deter people from visiting it. I hope you enjoy reading them and that they provoke food for thought. I'd be interested in members' comments either on the forum here or, if you prefer, you may write to me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding
the Lyme Disease - Biowarfare Connection
first published 6 May 2013
Q. Is Lyme Disease the result of a Leak from a Biological Warfare lab at Plum Island?
A. The Plum Island Animal Disease Centre (PIADC), located a short distance across the water from the town of Lyme, Connecticut, was operational when the Lyme Disease epidemic first erupted there during the Vietnam War period.
PIADC was created in the early 1950s as a military lab, dedicated to studying both defensive and offensive biowarfare. (The latter was fully legal at the time.)
In 1954 Plum Island ostensibly became a "civilian" lab under the US Dept of Agriculture (USDA), charged with studying diseases of farm animals. However, as author Michael Carroll has pointed out in his well-researched book "Lab 257", the lab never stopped working with biowarfare agents (1)
We now know for a fact that many of the microbes studied there were zoonotic (capable of being passed from animals to man), and that the lab maintained a tick colony.
Carroll has amassed a very large amount of circumstantial evidence indicating that the epidemic in Lyme, Ct. may have been the result of a leak from Plum Island.
In addition he has documented the appalling disregard for public safety at Plum island, including the following:
holes in the roof of a lab housing some of the most dangerous pathogens on earth;couriers, arriving too late to deliver biowarfare agents to their destination, took them home and put them in the kitchen fridge (!);basic safety measures dispensed with in order to save money.
Plum Island lies in a well-known hurricane corridor (think Hurricane Sandy). In 1991, during a power outage caused by Hurricane Bob, engineers were left desperately scrambling around in the darkness as contaminated sewage welled around them.
The pumping system had ground to halt; this was soon followed by the failure of the electrically-controlled airlock doors which seal in airborne organisms. Next the engineers noticed liquid flowing from the freezers containing lethal pathogens - they were defrosting. The men were unable to turn on the back-up generator because it was faulty.
The PIADC directorship had been aware of it, but had delayed repair in order to cut costs;
workers employed to manage the incineration of infected animals regularly plucked pieces of roasted carcasses out of the fire and ate them;
open-air tick trials took place on the island (!) It is impossible to contain a tick-borne agent in the
open air. Eyewitnesses told Carroll how birds would swoop down to share food from the feeding troughs with infected animals. Migratory birds are capable of transmitting tick-borne diseases worldwide.
Q. Even if Lyme Disease did spread as a result of a biowarfare leak a long time ago, what does it matter now? Surely the priority is to campaign for improved diagnosis and treatment of Lyme Disease. And we can do that without prying into areas which our military considers too sensitive.
A. Sadly, we cannot.
The Lyme-biowarfare issue is not just a question of whether or not a leak or leaks occurred in the past, a long time ago.
Borrelia microbes are of ongoing interest to biowarfare scientists around the world. Thus a patent by Dr J.J. Dunn describes an early-warning system to detect a bioweapons attack, based on two "sentinel" organisms - plague and Lyme. (2)
A number of information leaks over the years have revealed that some strains of Lyme borrelia, at least, are studied in Biosafety Level - 4 labs such as Fort Detrick, Maryland and San Antonio, Texas. BSL-4 is reserved only for the most dangerous germs which can be spread by the airborne route.
Because borreliosis is of ongoing interest to bioweapons researchers, we cannot expect transparency from our governments on the key issues of how widespread the infection may be, how it can be detected, what is the correct treatment, etc.. Many of these questions will be shrouded in military secrecy.
The goals of the biowarfare establishment are very different, at times, to the goals of public health. Yet the latter is always subservient to the former. Military demands for secrecy have been allowed to take precedence over the lives and health of millions of adults and children worldwide infected with borrelia.
Q. Even if the Lyme-biowarfare link is true, surely by talking about
it, we will harm our cause, as the public will think we are crazy?
A. When Michael Carroll published Lab 257 (see q1) alleging that Lyme Disease was an accidental release from Plum Island, (along with West Nile Fever and other diseases), the public did not accuse him of being mentally ill. On the contrary, his book, endorsed by two ex-Governors and Hilary Clinton, became a best-seller.
The furore raised by his evidence undoubtedly had a bearing on the US government's subsequent decision to close PIADC. Unfortunately, they plan to move it to another
location which is still close to highly populated areas.(3)
Certainly, some of the prominent Denialists will rush to call us crazy. But then they do anyway. They have managed to ensure that nearly every Lyme patient who presents with a fluctuating, multi-symptom picture, in whom diagnosis is lacking and insensitive Lyme antibody tests are negative, is automatically labelled with one or other mental illness (hypochondria, depression, somatoform disorder, "functional" syndromes etc, or, in the case of a child, the parents may be accused of "Munchausens - by-Proxy"...)
This thinking is actually written into medical textbooks and Continuing Medical Education material for physicians. So many of us are already labelled "crazy", regardless of what we do or don't do.
As long as we present the issue in a factual, provable manner, steering clear of wild speculations or references to secret conspiracies of giant lizards/Jews/Martians/zombies etc. clandestinely controlling our armies, we have no reason to fear being labelled insane by the public. (Some of these stories have been circulated by agents of the US Dept. of Homeland Security in order to marginalise and discredit anyone raising the issue of Lyme and biowarfare.)
The public does not consider the veterans complaining of Gulf War Syndrome as crazy (though psychiatrists funded by the military, such as the recently-knighted Simon Wessely, have tried to depict them as such). Neither does it consider the victims of CDC's infamous untreated syphilis study at Tuskegee, or those maimed by Agent Orange in Vietnam, as madmen.
In Britain the families of victims of the so-called "Common Cold Unit" near Porton Down, where unwitting volunteers were clandestinely exposed to nerve gas instead of the cold virus, campaigned for decades, finally achieving an admission of guilt from the Ministry of Defence (see 4) No one views the family of victim Ronald Maddison, for example, as crazy, and their eventual victory in court inspired others to fight for justice.
Thanks to the efforts of people who fought, governments have been forced to shut down unethical and dangerous military research programmes.
Q. It's crucial that we get Lyme awareness into the Press. Surely, if we add biowarfare into the mix, this will only scare the media away?
A. The media are never "scared away" by talk of government cover-ups. On the contrary - they love them! Even Andy Abrahams Wilson, producer of the excellent documentary film "Under Our Skin", said in an interview that one of the things which most intrigued him and helped to influence him to make a film about
Lyme Disease, was hearing the allegations of a biowarfare cover-up.
Perhaps the best answer to this question is the following quote from the website of Michael Carroll:
" Mr. Carroll has appeared on many television shows discussing his book, including NBC's Today Show (where his book is a Today Show Book Club selection), MS-NBC, and FOX News Channel. Lab 257 hit the New York Times non-fiction bestseller list soon after publication."(5)
Biowarfare scientists use killer diseases like anthrax and plague. Why would they be interested in a disease which sickens but does not kill, like Lyme?
First of all, I take issue with the assertion that Lyme does not kill. More and more data is accumulating indicating the involvement of Borrelia in a long list of diseases which usually or always have a fatal outcome. These include many cancers (6), miscarriage and stillbirths (7), Alzheimer's (8), Multiple Sclerosis(9), ALS (Motor Neurone disease in UK)(10),encephalitis (11), and some episodes of stroke and heart disease.
No one is suggesting that every case of all these conditions is due to Lyme. But the evidence suggests that Borrelia may be involved in some cases of all these conditions. And in some of them, the proportion may be very significant indeed - yet the cover-up of the involvement of Borrelia bacteria prevents any medical progress in eradicating them.
Relapsing Fever Borreliosis is well-known as a killer disease which exacts a horrifying death toll in Africa today, especially amongst children. What we are learning now is that the distinction between Relapsing Fever borreliosis and Lyme Borreliosis may be somewhat artificial. Some Lyme-causing Borrelia are genetically closer to the relapsing fever borreliae than to the Borrelia Burgdorferi sensu lato (Bb sl) group, normally associated with Lyme.(11)
The most recent data on Borrelia miyamotoi species suggests we may have to revamp our entire view of Lyme as only ever being caused by bacteria from the Bbsl group.. Borrelia miyamotoi is undetectable on all tests based on the genome of Borrelia burgdorferi.
A second issue relates to those who experience chronic Lyme as a crippling long-term, rather than fatal disease. Military biowarfare scientists have for decades been intensely interested in developing "Non-lethal" weapons. This is because the incapacitation of large numbers of soldiers is a tremendous drain on the resources of an enemy. A dead soldier needs only a burial, or in an emergency may be abandoned; a live but ill soldier needs first aid, transport, skilled medical care, costly technological tests etc... An attack with an incapacitating agent could rapidly overwhelm army medical resources. On a civilian population, a mass-scale attack could cause such severe damage to the economy that a country could collapse without need for a direct military victory.
Moreover, a victor army possessing a cure could rapidly reverse the damage, allowing the population to continue running the infrastructure, albeit under new rulers. Such a tactic could even be carried out clandestinely to effect "regime change" ie an epidemic of a non-lethal agent could be blamed on the incompetence of an existing government. The perpetrating army could then have a new leadership of their choosing offer to rescue the population with a "new-found" cure, in return for loyalty.
The effect of incapacitating agents can, for some, be as frightening as lethal ones. The prospect of being disabled and in pain for the rest of your life has a psychological impact. Thus disabling bacteria such as Brucellosis and Q Fever have been a cherished part of bioweaponeers' arsenals for decades.
Leading Lyme physician Dr. Joseph Burrascano has stated that Lyme could not possibly be a bioweapon, as it has recently been found in the corpse of Oetzi the Iceman, thousands of years old. Surely that settles the matter?
Not at all. Dr. Burrascano is a highly respected clinician who has helped countless Lyme Disease sufferers. He is not, however, an expert on biowarfare. The reported finding of Borrelial DNA in the mummified tissues of the Iceman does not in the least prove that Lyme Borreliae have not been weaponised. In the same way, the fact that Bubonic plague terrified populations at least as long ago as the 6th century AD, in no way negates its status as one of the most terrifying modern bioweapons.
Q. You yourself were arrested and an attempt made to permanently commit you to a mental asylum for stating publicly that Lyme Disease is a biowarfare issue. Surely it is too dangerous to speak out about
all this, even if it is true?
I was accused of having "delusional disorder" for stating that Lyme disease is a biowarfare issue. I was even told, by the psychiatrist placed in charge of me, that my refusal to accept that present two-tier Lyme blood tests are accurate was a sign of mental illness (!) I have written in detail about
what happened to me here. In most of the countries in which we live, there are laws protecting against abuse of human rights, which is what occurred in my case. Because I received the support of others in the Lyme and related chronic illness movement internationally, the authorities were forced to grant me my legal rights to a a second opinion and to appeal to a Mental Health Tribunal. As a result, I was able to prove my sanity and was released.
We all have to make a personal decision about
how much risk we are prepared to take. The authorities in a democratic country cannot easily lock up hundreds of people simply for expressing the view that Lyme disease and biowarfare are related. They cannot even do that to ten - if those ten are supported by others in the Lyme community who campaign on their behalf. The whole exercise then becomes highly counter-productive for the government, as it only shines the spotlight of publicity on the very issue they are seeking to cover up.
I understand that people are frightened by my story. But there is no need to take a glass-half-empty approach. The glass is also half full. The moral of my story is not that we should all keep quiet in case we end up locked up as I was. Rather, the moral is that if we stand together, and support anyone who does end up persecuted as a result of speaking out, then we can win in the end. But solidarity is very important.
The influence of mighty insurance corporations and others with financial motives to deny chronic Lyme would, just of itself, pose a Goliath of an enemy. Understanding that in trying to fight for proper diagnosis and effective treatment, we are also up against something even bigger - ie NATO, the most powerful military alliance in the world - there is a temptation to throw up our hands and just give in. But my release from detention shows that even the mighty military-biowarfare establishment is not invincible in situations like this. We can win.
The episode that occurred when the "Under our Skin" film crew arrived at Willy Burgdorfer's house is instructive. A Lyme scientist employed by NIH was sent to prevent them speaking freely with Dr. Burgdorfer. He stated that he would have to accompany them during the interview, and that the order had come from "the highest levels". They were not allowed to discuss persistence (ie the ability of Lyme to maintain a chronic infection).
But the scientist did not want to be there, in that role, and clearly said so! Even while he was stating the purpose for his sudden appearance outside Dr. Burgdorfer's house, he was also expressing regret and explaining that he did not want to be doing the job he had been ordered to do!
Because his heart was not in it, the crew were easily able to elbow him out of the way. They then went into the house to conduct their interview, and in fact persistence was discussed, which as Willy Burgdorfer freely admitted, absolutely does exist.
What is the moral of that story? The biowarfaremen do not have huge battalions of people out there ready to do their every bidding. Certainly, via networks such as the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) and its European offshoot they are able to exert huge influence over medical awareness of chronic Lyme internationally. But they cannot do everything they want to! The fact that they had to call upon a scientist who was not in agreement with their objective to carry out this attempt to conceal medical truth about
Lyme from the public, is a sign of great weakness. They are not invincible. Of course they want us to be afraid. But we do not need to hand them that victory.
Apart from the information in the book "Lab 257", where is the evidence that Lyme Disease is a biowarfare issue?
All over this website (www.elenacook.org)! But particularly at the following URLs:
This page will be regularly updated. Last updated 7 May 2013.
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