March 17th, 2006


Oankali Exodus

ex·o·dus :: 1. A departure of a large number of people; 2. Exodus; a. The departure of the Israelites from Egypt; b. (Abbr. Ex or Exod.) A book of the Bible. [Late Latin, from Greek exodos : ex-, out; see exo– + hodos, way, journey.]

It's A Wonderful Life

"The movie [directed by Frank Capra, released 1947] begins with an apprentice angel named Clarence being given his final assignment before becoming a true angel: Help George Bailey (played by James Stewart), a man who sacrificed his dreams to help his hometown. Faced with a financial and legal crisis, he is contemplating suicide. The senior angels brief Clarence on George's life, and this series of sequences take up the majority of the film ... Clarence descends and gives George the opportunity to view how the world would be if George were never born."

"A parallel universe or alternate reality in science fiction and fantasy is a self-contained separate reality coexisting with our own. This separate reality can range in size from a small geographic region to an entire new universe, or several universes forming a multiverse ... In dark fantasy or horror the parallel world is often a hiding place for unpleasant things, and often the protagonist is forced to confront effects of this other world leaking into his own, as in most of the work of H. P. Lovecraft. In such stories, the nature of this other reality is often left mysterious, known only by its effect on our own world."

#4050-MEBAILEY (George Bailey; named for British astronomer Mark Edward Bailey) & #3315-CHANT (1984 CZ; Clarence the Angel; named for Canadian astronomer Clarence Augustus Chant).





asteroid #7854-LAOTSE named for Laozi, hyperstitional character in Chinese philosophy; "Some accounts claim he travelled west on his water buffalo through the state of Qin and from there disappeared into the vast desert. These accounts have a guard at the western-most gate of the Great Wall convincing Laozi to write down his wisdom before heading out into the desert. Until this time, Laozi had shared his philosophy in spoken words only, as was also the case with Jesus, the Buddha, and Confucius (whose Analects were most likely compiled by disciples). Laozi's response to the soldier's request was the Tao Te Ching". + represents EXODUS.

Viruses, Plagues, and History

"Individual viruses have evolved interesting and unique lifestyles. One consequence is that battles have been won or lost when a particular virus infected one army but not its adversaries. Viruses have depleted the native populations of several continents. Entire countries have been changed geographically, economically, and religiously as a result of sweeping virus infections that were impervious to known cures. Smallpox alone, in the twentieth century, has killed an estimated 300 million individuals, about threefold as many persons as all the wars of this century."

asteroid #5168-JENNER, named for English doctor Edward Jenner who introduced & studied the smallpox vaccine. Jenner's Initial Theory :: In fact he thought the initial source of infection was a disease of horses, called "the grease", and that this was transferred to cows by farmworkers, transformed, and then manifested as cowpox. From that point on he was correct, the complication probably arose from coincidence.

Neocolonialism & A Pest in the Land

"Neocolonialism is a term used to describe certain economic operations at the international level which have alleged similarities to the traditional colonialism of the 16th to the 19th centuries. The contention is that governments have aimed to control other nations through indirect means; that in lieu of direct military-political control, neocolonialist powers employ economic, financial and trade policies to dominate less powerful countries. Those who subscribe to the concept maintain this amounts to a de facto control over targeted nations (see Immanuel Wallerstein's Dependency theory)."

"The epidemics of disease among native peoples in the Americas following European contact, while devastating, were not exceptional, argues Alchon (history, U. of Delaware). What was exceptional, she contends, was the failure of the indigenous populations to recover. This failure was due to continuing war, slavery, and forced migrations, all of which combined to drastically increase mortality rates, leading to the loss of 75 to 90 percent of these populations." {A Pest in the Land: New World Epidemics in a Global Perspective}

Suzanne Alchon’s A Pest in the Land is an important work that pulls together key features of the literature on epidemics and their effects on native American population decline in the post-1492 New World. Taking a synthetic and analytic approach, Alchon wades into the long-standing historiographical debates over the demographics of, and explanations for, the horrific morbidity and mortality rates for native American peoples in the aftermath of European conquest. Alchon critiques the idea of ‘‘New World exceptionalism’’ regarding epidemic disease, the idea that smallpox, measles, and the bubonic plague had a more catastrophic effect on native American than OldWorld populations. The question that drives her analysis is why the outcome of the introduction of these diseaseswas so di.erent. To answer this question Alchon takes an interdisciplinary approach, placing post-1492 New World epidemics within the global history of epidemic disease. She argues that it was ‘‘the phenomenon of European colonialism as conceived and implemented by the four nations with the most extensive New World colonies, Spain, Portugal, France and England, that explains the delayed or failed recovery of indigenous American populations’’ {Ethnohistory Book Review Forum (pdf): Martha Few, University of Arizona}

In the context of the inquiry at hand, Alchon’s argument pertains to a need for measured consideration of Thomas Kuhn’s celebrated notion of ‘‘paradigm shift.’’ She states that ‘‘rather than European violence’’—the thesis of the infamous Black Legend—‘‘virgin soil epidemics of virulent diseases introduced from the Old World’’ have been singled out ‘‘during the past three decades’’ to account for ‘‘the rapid die-off of native Americans and the subsequent success of European colonialism’’ (5). Alchon contends that ‘‘because the role of epidemic disease was ignored for so long, during the past thirty years the pendulum has swung too far in that direction and scholars nowoveremphasize the long-term impact of disease and minimize the impact of other aspects of Europeans colonialism’’ (5). While some scholars may stress the disease factor to the near exclusion of other key elements, many do not. {Ethnohistory Book Review Forum (pdf): W. George Lovell, Queen’s University, Canada}

The potential innovation of Alchon’s argument—that the nature of colonialism in the Americas exacerbated the impact of epidemic disease—is undermined by the failure to link specific epidemic outbreaks to specific colonial practices so that demographic decline can be traced in juxtaposition to pathogenic and colonial process. She seeks to examine a fascinating relationship but fails to offer the close analysis that might convince the reader that something akin to the Black Legend merits reconsideration. For now, William McNeill’s Plagues and Peoples, Alfred Crosby’s The Columbian Exchange, and J. N. Hays’s The Burdens of Disease remain the preferred global perspectives on New World epidemics. {Ethnohistory Book Review Forum: David Sowell, Juniata College}

In his brilliant history of the conquest, The Destruction of the Indies (1552), Las Casas blamed the Spanish for millions of deaths—in effect, for genocide. Translated into several languages and widely circulated throughout Europe, Las Casas's book was used by other European powers to condemn Spain in an effort to cover up their own dismal colonial records. Later scholars, questioning the accuracy of Las Casas's estimates of huge population losses, condemned his work as contributing to a "Black Legend" of the Spanish conquest. But many of today's historians find Las Casas's figures more believable. Demographic studies suggest that the Tainos of Hispaniola numbered in the hundreds of thousands when Columbus arrived; fifty years later they were reduced to a few hundred, and soon they disappeared from the face of the earth. Over the sixteenth century, the approximately 25 million people thought to have inhabited the highlands of Mexico were reduced to only one million. Las Casas was incorrect, however, in attributing most of these losses to warfare. {Spanish Worlds}

Las Casas was a 16th century Spanish priest, and the first resident Bishop of Chiapas. As a settler in the New World, he was galvanized by witnessing the brutal torture and genocide of the Native Americans by the Spanish colonists. He became famous for his advocacy of the rights of Native Americans, whose cultures especially in the Caribbean he describes with care ... His published accounts are central documents in the "Black Legend" of Spanish colonial atrocities. {Bartolomé de Las Casas}

asteroid #13052-LAS_CASAS.

AIDS in Africa

"The HIV/AIDS epidemics spreading through the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa are highly varied. Although it is not correct to speak of a single African epidemic, Africa is without doubt the region most affected by the virus. Inhabited by just 10% of the world's population, Africa is estimated to have more than 60% of the AIDS-infected population."

"Sub-Saharan Africa, Africa south of the Sahara, is the term used to describe those countries of Africa that are not considered part of North Africa or some areas of West Africa. In 19th Century Europe and the Americas, sub-Saharan Africa commonly was known as Black Africa or as Dark Africa, partly due to the skin color of its indigenous inhabitants and partly because much of it had not been fully mapped or explored by Westerners (Africa as a whole was sometimes labeled "the dark continent")." Nations of sub-Saharan Africa :: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Príncipe, Réunion, Rwanda, São Tomé, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, The Gambia, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

asteroid #9615-HEMERIJCKX, named for Frans Hemerijckx, Belgian physician, known for his work with lepers in the Belgian Congo & India.

asteroid #1817-KATANGA, named for Katanga Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaïre).

"The incidence of acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or AIDS, in Zaire may be 10 to 20 times higher than it is in the United States, according to estimates by African, Belgian and American doctors. The doctors fear that an epidemic of the recently recognized syndrome is in progress in Zaire and neighboring Central African nations. Field estimates, the epidemiologists said, suggest that there may have been 3,500 to 7,000 cases of the disease in Zaire, which has a population about one-eighth as large as the United States. A total of 4,023 AIDS cases have been reported in the United States as of April 9." {AIDS in Africa: Disease Is Especially Alarming in Zaire (1984), 1984: Widening Views}

"Following the appearance in the West in the early 1980s of AIDS in gay men, many European and American researchers looked for AIDS in Africa. There were three reasons for this. One was Dr. Robert Gallo's hypothesis that AIDS is caused by a retrovirus HTLV-I, or a similar virus. (At the time it was known that Africans had a high prevalence of positive HTLV-I serology). The other reasons were the high prevalence of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) in Africa, and the diagnosis of "AIDS" in a small number of patients of African origin who were living in Europe. Yet, there were so many problems with the HTLV-I theory of AIDS that by 1984 it had been abandoned, even by Gallo himself, and although KS was practically non-existent in gay men before the AIDS era, KS has been present in Africa since antiquity. Its characteristic clinical appearances are described in the Ebers papyrus which dates from 1600 B.C. As for the AIDS cases described by Belgian doctors in the patients of African descent, the doctors who reported these cases did not exclude the possibility that AIDS has always been present in Africa (Clumeck et al., 1984). Despite these facts, the claim that the cause of AIDS everywhere, including Africa is HIV, has been overwhelmingly accepted. In fact, AIDS in Africa became of such pivotal significance to the HIV/AIDS theory that in 1990 nearly 600 "AIDS-related" studies were conducted in Africa." (continued in SEROLOGY section) {AIDS in Africa: distinguishing fact and fiction}

"Meanwhile, in parts of Zambia and Zaire, doctors had noted the emergence of a very aggressive form of Kaposi's sarcoma. This cancer was endemic in Central Africa, but previously it had progressed very slowly and responded well to treatment, whereas the new cases looked very different and were often fatal ... scientists set out to discover more about the occurrence of AIDS in Central Africa. These investigations resulted in 26 patients with AIDS being identified in Kigali, Rwanda, and 38 patients identified in Kinshasa, Zaire. The Rwandan study concluded that, 'an association of an urban environment, a relatively high income, and heterosexual promiscuity could be a risk factor for AIDS in Africa'. The Zairian study found there to be a 'strong indication of heterosexual transmission.' Shortly afterwards, the Zairian Department of Health created a national AIDS research programme ... In October, the first European World Health Organisation (WHO) meeting was held in Denmark. At the meeting it was reported that there had been 2,803 AIDS cases in the USA. That meeting was followed in November by the first meeting to assess the global AIDS situation. This was the start of global surveillance by the WHO and it was reported that AIDS was present in the U.S.A., Canada, fifteen European countries, Haiti, and Zaire as well as in seven Latin American countries. There were also cases reported from Australia and two suspected cases in Japan." {The History of AIDS 1981 -1986}

"The chapter began testing all blood donations for the HIV antibody in 1984 and AIDS education became a top priority in 1985." {American Red Cross Greater Carolinas Chapter}

"The endemic of a transmissible, debilitating disease characterized by wasting, frequent opportunistic infections, and early demise (later to be termed Acquired Immunodeficiency Diseases, AIDS, and be associated with the Human Immunosufficiency Virus, HIV, as the etiological agent), was first recognized twenty years ago in 1981 (Gottesman et al, 1981). The Central American Isthmus has been reached by the epidemic since 1984, and AIDS has been recorded in each of the six nations (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panamá). Twenty years into the endemic, attempts to rationalize clinical care of HIV patients are being developed and are running into the constraints of resources for patient care. Any adjunctive therapy of low cost that decreases the progression of the virus and/or the consequences of the infection would be a boon to the hard-pressed health-care structures of the region." {NIH-Central America and the Caribbean}

"United Republic of Congo: An African nation that was the first on Earth to successfully build an orbital tower. The Zaire Tower, as it was later named, paved the way for the URC to become a world economic superpower, whose influence helped shape the future of the planet." {The Omnicon}.


Serology is a medical blood test to detect the presence of antibodies against a microorganism; An antibody is a protein used by the immune system to identify and neutralize foreign objects like bacteria and viruses. Each antibody recognizes a specific antigen unique to its target. Production of antibodies is referred to as the humoral immune system; Seroreversion is the remission of symptoms seen through serological tests, when the tests cannot detect antibodies in a patient’s serum; Seroprevalence is the number of persons in a population who test positive for a specific disease based on serology (blood serum) specimens; often presented as a percent of the total specimens tested or as a rate per 100,000 persons tested. As positively identifying the occurrence of disease is usually based upon the presence of antibodies for that disease (especially with viral infections such as Herpes Simplex and HIV); Seroconversion is the development of detectable specific antibodies to microorganisms in the serum as a result of infection or immunization. Serology (the testing for antibodies) is used to determine antibody positivity. Prior to seroconversion, the blood tests seronegative (absent from the blood) for the antibody; after seroconversion, the blood tests seropositive for the antibody. The word is often used in reference to blood testing for anti-HIV antibodies. The immune system maintains an "immunological memory" against past pathogens to facilitate early detection and to confer protective immunity against a rechallenge. This explains why many childhood diseases never recur in adulthood (and when they do, it generally indicates immunosuppression).

(continued from AIDS section) Yet even up to 1994, "There have been few studies of the impact of HIV-1 infection on mortality in Africa, and none for a general rural population" (Mulder et al., 1994). In this widely publicized report, which appeared in the Lancet, Mulder and his colleagues tested blood samples from Ugandan rural subsistence farmers for "HIV-1 antibodies at the Uganda Virus Research Institute". Of 9389 individuals tested, 4.8% were found to be positive. "Deaths were ascertained over 2 years" and 198 were recorded. Of these 109 were in seronegative individuals and 89 in seropositive individuals. Of the latter, 73 were adults. In a commentary accompanying publication of this study, researchers from the CDC wrote: "An ironic feature of this work is that it does not require a belief that HIV is the cause of AIDS. Rather, the study shows that the simple finding of antibodies against HIV in an individual's serum predicts a likelihood of death within the next several years far above that for a seronegative individual. Although most reasonable observers do accept that HIV causes AIDS, even sceptics cannot fail to acknowledge the high prevalence of antibody to HIV in Africa. If there are any left who will not even accept that antibody to HIV indicates infection with the virus, their explanation of how HIV seropositivity leads to early death must be curious indeed" (Dondero & Curran, 1994). In the following we present just such an alternative explanation of this, and other published studies on the "epidemic" of AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. We leave it to the reader to judge exactly how curious it is. {AIDS in Africa: distinguishing fact and fiction}

If AIDS in Africa is the same condition with the same cause as anywhere else in the world then AIDS in Africa and AIDS in the West should be identical. This is not the case and what is called AIDS in Africa is almost unrecognizably different from AIDS in the West, so much so that if African patients suddenly switched continents, very few Africans would remain AIDS cases. This is due to the existence of multiple AIDS definitions, one for Africa (the same for adults and children), one for adults in North America, Europe and Australia, one for children in these countries and one for Latin America. Unlike the AIDS definition in the West, the WHO Bangui definition for Africa does not require immunological (T4 lymphocyte cell or antibody) tests or a specific disease diagnosis but consists largely of symptoms such as weight loss, diarrhoea, cough and fever. For example, an African with diarrhoea, fever and persistent cough for longer than one month is, by definition, an AIDS case. However, the symptoms listed in the Bangui definition (WHO, 1986) are common and non-specific manifestations of many diseases which are endemic in Africa and were so long before the AIDS era. {AIDS in Africa: distinguishing fact and fiction}

Both conspiracy and common sense—the ‘normal reality’ script—depend on the dialectical side of the double game, on reflective twins, belief and disbelief, because disbelief is merely the negative complement of belief: cancellation of the provocation, disintensification, neutralization of stimulus—providing a metabolic yawn-break in the double-game. Unbelief escapes all this by building a plane of potentiality, upon which the annihilation of judgment converges with real cosmic indeterminacy. {Have You Been Enjoying Yourself?}

Influenzavirus A & H5N1


1996 — Highly pathogenic H5N1 virus is isolated from a farmed goose in Guangdong Province, China (WHO Timeline, pdf).

The ability of H5N1 to spread in wild birds is cause for concern. The H5N1 is in long range migratory birds and can be transported over long distances. The H5N1 can also recombine with indigenous H5N1 in Asia or novel mammalian genomes in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. {H5N1 Wild Bird Flu Fatal Cluster in Hunan China}

The recent reports of H5N1 throughout Europe raise concerns of recombination between H5N1 migrating into the region and other sero-types indigenous to the region. In the fall, H5N1 migrated into the Middle East. The presence of those new H5N1 sequences offered the opportunity of recombining with H9N2 in domestic poultry. The presence of donor sequences in H9N2 in the Middle East led to a warning of more efficient transmission of H5N1 via the acquisition of S227N. {G228S Acquisition Via Avian H5N1 - Swine H1N1 Recombination}

The Marbled Duck, or Marbled Teal (Marmaronetta angustirostris), is a medium-sized diving duck (see: dabbling duck). This duck formerly bred in large numbers in the Mediterranean region, but is now restricted to a few sites in southern Spain and northwest Africa. In the east it survives in isolated pockets in Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Iraq. Its breeding habitat is lowland, shallow fresh waters. In some areas birds disperse from the breeding grounds, and have been encountered in the winter period in the Sahel zone, south of the Sahara.


asteroids #2185-GUANGDONG & #8593-ANGUSTIROSTRIS.


In Thailand where the H5N1 has virtually become indigenous over the past three years the poorest of the poor live cheek by jowl with the infected poultry and pigs. If the pundits of today are to be believed then pandemic avian influenza would have struck several years ago. According to literature put out by the Soil Association there is an already proven vaccine for H5N1, which has proved extremely effective in its 100% control of the infection in Hong Kong. At the moment Defra refuse to allow this vaccine into the UK for at least another 8 months. It is also true that the H5N1 identified in Hong Kong has not been identified as the same subtype found in Europe. But it is well worth the effort for everyone to send as much information to your MP's in the hope that some sense will prevail in Defra before it is too late. Human Influenza pandemics have occurred 1918-1919. / 1957 - 1958. and 1968 - 1969. From these dates it is understandable why the World Health Organisation and Governments the world over are becoming increasingly worried as to when the next pandemic will occur. Unfortunately to date, not only have they paid too little attention to this matter, they readily admit be keeping too few stocks. Our local GP has insufficient stock to even start a vaccination programme until November. A suitable drug has still not been perfected nor will they be able to develop a vaccine until that particular mutation occurs. It seems to me that it is extremely alarming and unhelpful to suggest that Avian Influenza Virus will be in any way responsible let alone capable of kick starting the next flu pandemic. When it comes to keeping chicken, please rest safely in you beds and continue to enjoy a very worthwhile and rewarding hobby. {Avian Influenza from 1878 to the present day}

#9860-ARCHAEOPTERYX (prehistoric bird), #13325-VALERIENATAF (Par les Chemins de l'Espace), #2934-ARISTOPHANES (The Birds), #700-AURAVICTRIX (Latin "victory against the wind"; named for the first Schütte-Lanz Zeppelin flights in 1911).

The Birds :: {(501-1000)} {(8501-9000)} {(14001-15000) : Gadabird} {(15001-16000) : John Bird}


Cosmology, from the Greek: κοσμολογία (cosmologia, κόσμος (cosmos) world + λογια (logia) discourse) is the study of the Universe in its totality, and by extension, man's place in it. Though the word cosmology is recent (first used in 1730 in Christian Wolff's Cosmologia Generalis), the study of the Universe has a long history involving science, philosophy, esotericism, and religion.

American astronomer Allan Rex Sandage (b. 18-June) published (1958) first good estimate for the Hubble parameter, namely 75 km/s/Mpc, which is quite close to today's accepted value. Later he became the chief advocate of an even lower value, around 50, corresponding to a Hubble time of around 20,000 million years. He performed spectral studies of globular clusters, and deduced that they had an age of at least 25,000 million years. This led him to speculate that the universe did not merely expand, but actually expanded and contracted with a period of 80 billion years. The current cosmological estimates of the age of the universe, in contrast, are typically of the order of 13 billion years. He is most noted for the discovery in the M-82 galaxy of jets erupting from the core. These must have been caused by massive explosions in the core, and the evidence indicated the eruptions had been occurring for at least 1.5 million years.

The Cigar Galaxy (aka M82 or NGC 3034) is a starburst galaxy about 12 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major. Forming a striking pair in small telescopes with nearby Bode's Galaxy, The Cigar Galaxy is being physically affected by its bigger neighbor. Tidal forces caused by gravity have deformed this galaxy, a process that started roughly 100 million years ago. This interaction has caused star formation to increase 10 fold compared to "normal" galaxies. At present the centers of Bode's Galaxy and the Cigar Galaxy are about 150,000 light-years apart. The Chandra X-ray Observatory detected fluctuating X-ray emissions from a sector, approximately 600 light-years away from the centre of the Cigar Galaxy — around 12 million light-years from Earth. Astronomers have postulated that M82 would contain the first known mid-mass black hole, of roughly 500 solar masses.

Right ascension :: 09h 55.8m 50.7s | Declination :: +69° 40' 43"
Longitude :: 29ø04'17"9 Can | Latitude :: 52ø08'40"7

on 827 List, conjunct SALTIS {28CN58}, PRAETORIUS {29CN18}, SEKHMET {29CN20} & ERYNIA {29CN40}; pandemon NUMKO (Old Nuk) : Keeper of Old Terrors ~ Net-Span 8::4 : Decadology {C/TP-#3 MN+ [3H]} Cyclic Chronodemon of Autochthony; Prowls Sink-Current; Necrospeleology (abysmal patience rewarded); Subduction (and carnivorous fish); Vulcanism (and bacterial intelligence).

Starburst Galaxy — Any galaxy in which star formation is taking place on an unusually large or rapid scale; specifically, a galaxy that is making stars so fast that it would convert all of its unconsolidated material into stars in a timescale, known as the exhaustion timescale, that is much less than the age of the universe. In some cases, starburst galaxies have star-forming rates of hundreds of solar masses per year, corresponding to an exhaustion timescale of the order of 100 million years (about 1% the age of the universe) ... These clusters, known as ultra-luminous clusters are the most dense and intense star-forming environments known, and may be analogues of typical objects in the early epochs of galaxy formation ... Observationally, the overwhelming signature of starburst galaxies is intense emission in the far-infrared, caused by the ultraviolet emitted by numerous hot, young stars being absorbed by dust and reemitted at longer wavelengths. At these wavelengths, and to a lesser degree in the radio region, starburst galaxies rank second only to active galactic nuclei (AGN). The two types can readily be told apart, however: a compact, flat-spectrum radio source indicates an AGN, while more diffuse radio emission suggests a star-forming nucleus. Furthermore, AGN are more radio-loud and show high-ionization species, whereas the lack of these species combined with the presence of diffuse interstellar bands, due to molecules that are destroyed by the intense hard radiation in AGN, point to a starburst. The nearest examples starburst galaxy are NGC 253 (the Silver Coin Galaxy) and M82 (the Cigar Galaxy).

The Supergalactic Wind from Starburst Galaxy M82

#1650-HECKMANN, #18242-PEEBLES, #9963-SANDAGE (see: Cigar Galaxy & starburst galaxy), #11755-PACZYNSKI, #5490-BURBIDGE (B2FH group), #11753-GEOFFBURBIDGE (B2FH group), #8077-HOYLE (B2FH group), #11438-ZEL'DOVICH (born in Belarus; Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect), #11759-SUNYAEV (Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect), #9997-COBE (Cosmic Background Explorer), #4587-REES, #6006-ANAXIMANDROS ("arche" - first principle; "apeiron" - endless, unlimited mass (primal chaos?)), #1778-ALFVÉN (science heretic), #2069-HUBBLE, #68448-SIDNEYWOLFF, #5674-WOLFF, #2021-POINCARÉ, #2709-SAGAN, #5100-PASACHOFF, #995-STERNBERGA (Nikolai Kardashev attended Sternberg Astronomical Institute; Kardashev scale classifies technologically advanced civilizations), #1766-SLIPHER, #8103-FERMI (existence of technologically advanced civilizations), #5471-TUNGUSKA (Musaeum Clausum), #5231-VERNE (Spelljammer & Steampunk).

Cosmobiology : #449-HAMBURGA & #30-URANIA.


slippery science

The Group-Fantasy Origins of AIDS

by Casper G. Schmidt

Since 1981 a noteworthy epidemic of an acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) has been described in the larger part of the First World, beginning with the United States of America, but now also found in Western Europe, South and Central Africa, Australia and a scattering of other pockets. It has been described mostly in a few select groups of people at greater risk: homosexual men, IV drug abusers, Haitians and Afticans, children of people in at-risk groups, and a small percentage of people who fit into none of these categories. At the time of the writing of this paper (July, 1984), the total number of US. cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta is in excess of 5,200, of whom approximately 45 per cent have died.

Though small in scope, this epidemic is intensely cathected, as are all group-fantasy rituals. (This is in contrast with Alzheimer's disease, for example, which is unconnected to group-fantasy and kills 120,000 people per year.)

The most popular scientific theory about the etiology of AIDS is a viral hypothesis. According to this theory - which has been taken over by the lay press - AIDS is caused by a novel or mutated virus spread through the exchange of body fluids or through infected needles. A suitable candidate for this viral agent was discovered by French researchers who published their findings in May of 1983. There was very little media attention paid to this since the information was at that time out of sync with the dominant group-fantasy in the US. By the spring of 1984 American researchers announced identification of a similar retrovirus (HTLV-111), with a formal press conference and a great deal of media attention. Immediately after this the consensus of mainstream America was that AIDS had been "solved", with a blood test soon to be available (however uncertain its significance and shaky its interpretation), and with optimistic predictions of a vaccine soon to emerge from the laboratory.

There are, however, not one but two main classes of contagious illness in man: infectious diseases (spread by germs) and contagious forms of psychological disturbances (spread by suggestion). It is often forgotten that the reigning theories of the origins of infectious illness before Pasteur came along were those of humoral causation ("bad humors") and the theory of putrefaction. It took Pasteur years to prove and convince people of the germ theory of infection. Once that explanation became accepted, it became unshakable due to the inertia of the mind. To this day, every single disease entity for which no adequate explanation has been found has been ascribed to a viral origin (from schizophrenia down through autoimmune disorders).

I propose an alternative hypothesis for the etiology of AIDS, based on the second of these two mechanisms of contagion in man. This will posit a psychosocial origin of epidemic AIDS, which will lie on the cusp between immunology, pathology and psychology (the latter including the psychology of both individuals and groups). I will do so in twin papers meant to be read in tandem: this one, which will deal mostly with the group psychology, and a second paper for the medical press. In the medical paper, which is entitled, "The Pathogenesis of Epidemic AIDS", I account for the "biological" end of the disorder. It will trace the physiological effects of the group-psychological factors outlined in this paper on the individual patient, with the resultant epidemic of severe, mostly masked, reactive depression in the at-risk groups, of which the immune deficiency is one facet. It will outline the pathway and the mechanism by which the cellmediated immunity may be suppressed, and will provide an animal model for AIDS, as I discuss below.


In this paper I would like to present the evidence available to me in support of the hypothesis:

(a) that AIDS is a typical example of epidemic hysteria;

(b) that the epidemic has at its core an unconscious group delusion, which can be called the group-fantasy of scapegoating, according to which the poison feelings of the entire group are injected into containers who are called scapegoats and whose destruction rids the group of these bad feelings and insures its purification of guilt and sinfulless;

(c) that the same fantasy complex underlies this scapegoating ritual as was found for leprosy during the Middle Ages and early Renaissance;

(d) that the proximal and distal causes of the tensions giving rise to the epidemic can be found in the group psychology of the United States and (to a lesser extent, inasmuch as they follow the cultural lead of America) the West since World War II;

(e) that among the more important distal causes are the effects of the following drastic changes in cultural ethos: the development of nuclear arsenals with a potential for obliterating the world, and the changes this has forced in the psychology of warfare; the introduction of birth control and the invention of "recreational sex"; positive changes in the mental health of American women over the last 35 to 40 years, culminating in the women's liberation movement and the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the US. Constitution; and the "liberation" of various disenfranchised groups such as blacks and homosexuals;

(f) that the proximal cause can be found in a vast, society-wide conservative swing (or neo-popuhst trend) in public opinion since 1977, cumininating in the Reagan years and the Central American conflict;

(g) that the combination of these unconscious group tensions brought about a subtle and sophisticated, but nevertheless sacrificial witch hunt, in which the participants were the Moral Majority and an assortment of other conservative groups (as hunters) and the nation's drug addicts and homosexuals (as hunted);

(h) that both of these subgroups are ardng-out group-sanctioned and group- delegated roles, which acting-out takes place mostly outside of awareness;

(i) that these attacks resulted in an epidemic of depression based mostly on shame;

(j) that the core sign of AIDS, the reclusion of cell-mediated immunity, is one of the typical vegetative signs of a severe depression (the mechanism of which will be the focus of the medical companion piece to this paper);

(k) that the epidemic represents, in the group's unconscious fantasies, an equivalent of war, during which the group keeps carefull count of the sacrifices;

(1) that most of the members of the group (the U.S.A.) are in a regression vis-a-vis this phenomenon, a trance state which is noticeable in a certain suspension of logic in the lay press and in the medical literature;

(m) that there are powerful forces at work to delay the solution of the puzzle posed by this epidemic and to obscure its group-fantasy origins, since the epidemic itself is a wished-for solution to pre-existing conflicts;

(n) and finally that, since the epidemic is psychogenic, the prediction can be made that the group will decide when it should be over (when they have "had enough"), a decision which will be broadcast to the group members through the media, so that after a suitable lag period (based on the time needed for the T-helper lymphocytes to be restored to previous levels of functioning) the epidemic will resolve and the incidence will descend from epidemic to endemic levels.

Links :: {AIDs dissident} {Serge Lang} {Robert Gallo} {David Baltimore} {Luc Montagnier} {HIV} {Retrovirus} {A Scientific Mystery, A Massive Cover-Up, and the Dark Legacy of Robert Gallo} {}