A podcast by the author of The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Epidemic Cover-up (available at Amazon or CharlesOrtleb.com)
Interview with Charles Ortleb, the author of Truth to Power, Iatrogenocide, The Stonewall Massacre, and Pig: A Memoir.
Is it true that you were the first publisher to take AIDS seriously in 1981?
Yes. I recognized early on that it would be a huge story.
Is it true that Rolling Stone said you deserved a Pulitzer Prize for your AIDS coverage?
Yes, back in the 80s.
Where can one purchase these books?
They are all available in print, Kindle and Kindle Unlimited at Amazon. Truth to Power is here, Iatrogenocide is here, The Stonewall Massacre is here, and Pig: A Memoir is here.
Are these books available at Amazon in all countries?
How would you describe Truth to Power?
Truth to Power is the definitive history of what people call "the AIDS epidemic." But it is about a lot more than that. It is the history of a political and scientific disaster that revolves around the HHV-6 pandemic. The virus, originally found in AIDS patients, has now been linked to dozens of supposedly "mysterious" medical problems that include Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, cancer, multiple sclerosis and autism. Truth to Power is about an out-of-control epidemic that now threatens everybody. Anyone reading this interview could already be infected with HHV-6 or know someone who is. And it is transmissible. It doesn't matter if you are white or black, straight or gay. HHV-6 is now everyone's problem. It is the biggest story that the media is not covering. It should be on the fron page of The New York Times every single day.
Why do you call the AIDS epidemic Holocaust II?
Because anyone who studies AIDS as I have (for 35 years) must come to the conclusion that AIDS science is very much like Nazi science and AIDS medicine is very much like Nazi medicine. The Jewish people were the primary targets of Holocaust I, but gays are the primary victims of Holocaust II. But not the only ones. The whole population is endangered by the lies of Holocaust II.
Why doesn't the gay community realize that AIDS is Holocaust II?
They have been hoodwinked into thinking the Centers for Disease Control is telling them the truth about the epidemic. The CDC's AIDS paradigm is essential a Potemkin village. But is not just the gay community and the black community that is forced to live in that village. The whole world is. My book, Truth to Power details how that happened and how the fraud is being maintained.
What philosopher has had the biggest impact on your thinking about AIDS, or what you call Holocaust II?
Hannah Arendt. I think it would have taken her about two seconds to recognize that the science of AIDS was very political and very totalitarian. It would not have surprised her that it ultimately threatens the health of the whole population. You can learn more about her influence on my thinking here.
Did Hannah Arendt inspire your new book about the politics of science called Iatrogenocide?
Very much so.
How would you describe your book Iatrogenocide?
The subtitle of the book is "Notes for a Political Philosophy of Epidemiology and Science." It consists of ideas culled from notebooks I have kept over the last decade while I did a lot of reading and thinking about the political nature of science in order to try and understand how the gay and black communities were bamboozled into believing the scientific frauds that have trapped them in a biomedical gulag.
What other writers and thinkers have informed your thinking?
Thomas Kuhn, Isaiah Berlin, Orwell, Sartre, and Camus. And many others.
If I am infected with HHV-6, could it be compromising my immune system?
Absolutely. And that's just the beginning. It can also cause cancer and infect your brain. It also infects your circulatory system and can cause serious damage to your heart. HHV-6 is like a quiet epidemic of the Andromeda Strain that nobody wants to talk about.
What does HHV-6 look like?
Is there a video that conveys what is in your book?
Yes. I wrote the lyrics for a song called "Truth to Power" and here is the video. The song itself is on Spotify here.
A lot of powerful interests who are responsible for this mess are threatened by the real story of HHV-6, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, autism and AIDS. If enough people read my book, there will be calls for a congressional investigation into everything we've been told about AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome, HHV-6, and autism. Just for starters. All kinds of class action lawsuits could be launched against the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health.
Hillary Johnson is considered to be one of the world's most important reporters on the subject of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. What did she say about your book?
Hillary Johnson wrote this: “Charles Ortleb, as editor-in-chief and publisher of the New York Native, was and remains the Izzy Stone of science reporting. He was fearless in his pursuit of the origins of the AIDS epidemic and the government’s response in the 1980s. When his newspaper began to diverge from the dogmatic mainstream, however, he was ostracized by the very people he was seeking to inform. In addition, his laser-like focus in the Native on the simultaneous emergence of so-called “chronic fatigue syndrome”—a topic to which he assigned a full-time reporter, Neenyah Ostrom—was laudable. These disorders remain too much alike to arbitrarily submerge one in favor of the other, as the government has done without blinking for thirty years. Ortleb took considerable risks to profitability by pursuing every avenue of investigation on these matters. Yet, as much as Ortleb was
criticized, the Native was also a “must read” of its time. When I was reporting my own book on the latter disease, I frequently spied the Native on the desks of high level scientists at the National Institutes of Health. As much as he made them uncomfortable, everyone in the AIDS research establishment wanted to know what Ortleb was going to report next. Ortleb’s caustic humor and piercing analysis of what he has dubbed “political epidemiology,” and “homodemiology” by the Centers for Disease Control alone makes Truth to Power worth the read. But the history he recounts here is crucial reading for anyone who missed the Native in its heyday or who didn’t “get it” the first time around. Given the recent rise of infectious disease alarms around the world, Truth to Power is, additionally, remarkably timely for those who seek to understand what drives the American public health establishment in times of crises. A rollicking, fascinating and important memoir.”
Is it true that you have said that the relationship between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and AIDS is the biggest and darkest secret in American science?
Michael Denneny was the editor of the first history of AIDS, the bestseller by Randy Shilts, And the Band Played On. What did Denneny say about Truth to Power?
Denneny said this: “Charles Ortleb and the New York Native which he so brilliantly led was the absolutely indispensable source for all information—medical, political, personal—in the first five years of the AIDS epidemic when the major media in this country as well as the medical establishment tried so hard to avoid the topic. Not since I.F.Stone have we seen how important individual investigative journalism could be in breaking through society’s silence, when silence indeed equaled death. It is good to finally have the Native’s heroic work put on the historical record for all to see.”
Did you know Randy Shilts?
Actually, I published an article on Harvey Milk in my magazine Christopher Street and that grew into his book on Milk, The Mayor of Castro Street.
What did you think of the Shilts history of AIDS?
Randy got many of the important facts right, but he was kind of taken for a ride by people at the CDC. He wasn't skeptical like a good reporter is supposed to me. He got a lot of the trees right but he totally failed to see the forest. He was a trusting local reporter who was easily browbeaten by authority. He wasn't much of a thinker and his judgement was third-rate. The person he thought was a hero at the CDC, Don Francis, was actually quite arrogant and incompetent. Francis is responsible for a lot of the mess we call "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome." For starters.
How did you get the idea that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is part of the AIDS epidemic?
If you read my book and learn what I witnessed first-hand, it couldn't be more obvious. It's not rocket science.
Are all the people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in denial about the relationship between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and AIDS?
Not all of them, as you can see from the comments about Truth to Powerhere.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is supposedly transmissible. One would expect there to be a massive Chronic Fatigue Syndrome epidemic in the gay community. Where is it?
It's called AIDS. That's the dirty little game the CDC is playing. That's why they can't tell the public the truth about AIDS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or the dozens of illnesses that are the product of the cover-up involving HHV-6. When the public realizes what is really happening the class action lawsuits will be the biggest in history.
How can concerned citizens expose this massive scientific fraud?
One thing that would really blow this issue out of the water would be a conference on the relationship between AIDS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. That would open a lot of eyes.
Did you know Robert Gallo, the scientist who stole credit for discovering HHV-6?
I spoke with him several times. We reported in my newspaper that he referred to gays as" faggots" at a scientific conference. So he is not my biggest fan. The world still doesn't know the extent of Gallo's scientific fraud. It involves the cover-up of the HHV-6 pandemic which now threatens everyone on the planet. Gallo is the Richard Nixon of science. Actually, he is worse.
Why should everyone concerned about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and autism read Truth to Power?
Because my book recounts how my newspaper, New York Native, was a witness to the birth of the whole AIDS, HHV-6, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and autism cover-up. With my reporter, Neenyah Ostrom, I watched the whole thing unfold and we covered it like no other publication in the world. We nailed it. My book lets people relive everything we went through to get the story. It was a very intense experience for everyone at my newspaper.
Do you think all the people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome really want to know the truth about their illness?
Many of them are afraid that the truth will stigmatize them. They would rather run around in circles than face up to the fact that CFS is clearly transmissible and linked to HHV-6 and AIDS.
Do you think Chronic Fatigue Syndrome should be called myalgic encephalomyelitis?
No. God no! That's just another attempt to cover up the obvious fact that CFS is part of the AIDS epidemic. It is counterproductive to push that term. It makes the patients look goofy which must amuse the medical establishment to no end. The patients seem to think that if they say that name over and over they can make it stick. Good luck with that.
Isn't Chronic Fatigue Syndrome a brain disease?
CFS is an "everything disease." Focusing on that hides the rest of the disease. It is multisystemic, just like AIDS. We now know it affects every cell in the body. Calling it a brain disease is another way of distracting attention away from the connection to the AIDS epidemic and the virus they have in common, HHV-6.
What do you think about the state of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome research?
Most of it is what I call Denialist Research.
CFS research suffers from chronic HHV-6 and AIDS denialism. Most of it is structured and premised in such a way that nobody will see the obvious epidemiological overlapping of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and AIDS. Consider the recent so-called Lombardi breakthrough which seemed to develop a test for CFS that tested CFS patients against healthy controls but not AIDS patients. Imagine if they had used their so-called CFS test on AIDS patients and it showed that they really could not separate CFS patients from AIDS patients. The overlapping of CFS and AIDS is the big dirty secret that CFS research constantly tries to maintain.
When a team in Australia recently showed that CFS affected every cell in the body, they of course did not check to see if it was true in AIDS. It's taboo to even talk about that.
What do you think about most of the documentaries on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
They're all pathetic. Most of the filmmakers would not know investigative reporting if it bit them They are counterproductive and stupid for he most part.
What do you think of Ronald Davis, the scientist that the CFS community is celebrating?
He's an overrated pompous ass who doesn't see the obvious things about this epidemic. The way he dismisses previous research done on this disease is unethical. He's a real narcissist. The patients should can their awe.
Was your paper the first publication the report extensively on HHV-6?
Yes. And for over a decade I have been staying on top of the story by running HHV-6 University.
Why aren't the CFS patients paying close attention to the role of HHV-6 in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
A few are. But many are so terrified of admitting that CFS might be caused by a transmissible virus like HHV-6 that they would rather have endless conferences in which they talk about subsets, genetics, metabolomics, and the kitchen sink. You would think the Mary Schweitzer story would make them have CFS conferences devoted to the role of HHV-6 in CFS.
The Mary Schweitzer story?
Mary Schweitzer is a CFS sufferer who is also somewhat of an intellectual. She was treated with Ampligen and simultaneously the presence of HHV-6 in her blood went down and she got much better. When she went off Ampligen the HHV-6 came back and she got sick. For God's sake, how much more obvious can it get? To me that is one of the most revealing events in the history of CFS and people seem to want to pretend it didn't happen. Once again, they can't handle the truth.
Did your newspaper report on Ampligen?
Quite a bit. It's in my book, Truth to Power.
Has treatment for HHV-6 helped children who are autistic.
Yes. It's tragic that there is not more of a focus on the role of HHV-6 in autism. there should be an international conference on what HHV-6 does in autism. If people in the autism spectrum community want to know why the CDC is covering up HHV-6, they need to read my book.
Why hasn't MSNBC and people like Rachel Maddow covered all of this?
Unfortunately, the media has its head in the sand. They just don't know how political science is. Or they are afraid to investigate it because they can easily be browbeaten by scientific authorities like Anthony Fauci and the whole gang at the CDC. Government scientists know how to manipulate the media. It's the one thing they do well. I wrote a political satire about this called Pig: A Memoir. It's kind of a sequel to George Orwell's Animal Farm but it is focused on science and public health. The book has many layers and many issues, but the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and HHV-6 cover-up is at the very center of it. I'm hoping that the humor and satire in the book will help people think outside of the box about what is going on. We need a George Orwell approach to this disaster. People can take a look at the book here.
You've been quoted as saying that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has become too much of a social event. What do you mean by that?
Too many CFS patients have lost sight of the fact that CFS is a public health crisis. CFS activism should be a highly focused battle to expose the institutions and people that are covering up the true nature of the epidemic. Instead it has become a great big tiresome and gossipy coffee klatch. Too many people are stuck at home with no life except for the one they can eke out of commenting on comments on the internet. Their lives are evaporating tweet by tweet. It's very sad. And now a second generation is beginning to get this illness and they have the same kind of future to look forward to.
Why don't Chronic Fatigue Syndrome researchers see the relationship between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, HHV-6, and AIDS?
They either don't want to or they are afraid to.
Why are they afraid?
They are afraid of the AIDS mafia which would have a fit if CFS is shown to be an overlooked part of the AIDS epidemic. A great deal of power in public health science is held by Anthony Fauci and other people involved with AIDS. They have long arms. They want all scientists to think the way they think. They don't want their work on AIDS to have the rug pulled out from under it. Which is exactly what will happen when people realize that CFS is just another manifestation of AIDS.
What do you think the leaders of CFS activism like Carol Head should do?
They should stop beating around the bush. Carol Head should do what I told Marc Iverson to do decades ago. Hold a press conference in Washington and tell the public that the links between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and AIDS are overwhelming and must be investigated at ever level of science and government. I think the response from the public and the media would be breathtaking and immediate. Congress would make it a priority. Money would be no object. It's just that simple. But it demands great moral courage to say something that will upset a lot of vested interests, including many of the patients who can't handle the truth about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Why did the most powerful man in publishing, Sonny Mehta, the Editor-in-Chief of Knopf, publish a book attacking you and your newspaper? I detail the manner in which he was hoodwinked into publishing a book full of falsehoods by a disgruntled and egregiously dishonest employee of mine here.
What do you think Mehta should do about David France's book, How to Survive a Plague, which attacks your newspaper New York Native?
The France book is a pile of lies, so he should have Knopf refund money to anyone who was conned into buying the book. Insofar as the France book dishonestly trashes the New York Native, it does great harm to the HHV-6 issue, the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome issue and the CFS community. New York Native is the only place people could find out the unvarnished truth about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and HHV-6 for 8 years. If people want to know what New York Native uncovered, they need to read Truth to Power.
Your book shows how the CDC lied to the American public about the connection between HHV-6, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and AIDS. Why would a government organization tasked with protecting the public health do that?
The CDC's mistakes in judgment on those matters were made decades ago. Now their hard-earned reputation is at stake. It will be very hard for them to restore their brand if the public knows that have completely screwed up HHV-6, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and AIDS. They are more concerned now with protecting their reputation than anything else. The CDC likes to present a totally heroic image of itself, but where HHV-6, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and AIDS are concerned, the CDC is a villain. Usually in movies when someone says that the CDC has arrived on the scene everyone bows their head and lets out a dramatic sigh of relief. Anyone who reads my entire book will think that the CDC's presence in any health emergency is about as assuring as Bernie Madoff's.
You've called HHV-6, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and AIDS research the result of a corrupted hard drive created by the CDC. What do you mean by that?
Fundamental mistakes were made in the nosology of AIDS in terms of the definition of the illness. Everything that came after that--the epidemiology, the virology, the treatments--were based on a fundamental conceptual mistake. AIDS was defined politically and not scientifically. The decision to exclude Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and all the other immune disorders that are part of the real epidemic are the byproduct of the flaws in the original research. Once a scientific hard drive is corrupted, everything that is based on it is defective. The AIDS establishment is essentially engaged in trying to keep the public from seeing how corrupted that hard drive is. Who are responsible for the CDC's corrupted hard drive?
I name the names in my book. A lot of them were relatively young white heterosexual males. You could say that AIDS is a white male heterosexual paradigm that ultimately harmed not only gays and blacks, but the whole HHV-6 and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome community. And frankly, that's just the tip of the iceberg. Millions of heterosexuals suffering from all the HHV-6 diseases are now the victims of a white male heterosexual paradigm built from bigoted forms of epidemiology which I have coined as "homodemiology" and "Afrodemiology." They are forms of epidemiology and nosology hardwired with antipathy directed at minorities. They mask prejudice as epidemiology and science.
Why have you called Anthony Fauci "the Bernie Madoff of AIDS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome"?
He has created a virtual scientific Ponzi Scheme that has lasted for more than three decades.
Why has Fauci gotten away with what he's done for three decades?
He knows how to use power. He has created a world of what I call sociopathic science.
Fauci is in his mid 70s. Why doesn't he retire?
I think he is probably terrified that when he leaves the skeletons will come out of the closet and he will be seen for the scientific crook he is. Has Fauci made a lot of money while covering up the truth about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? I don't know what he makes but a journalist in Washington told me he is the third highest paid member of the Federal government. Did you ever talk to Fauci?
Yeah, I talked to him after I wrote a satirical editorial in the form of a poem which enraged him. He's a little man with very thin skin. One of my writers at New York Native was introduced to him at a conference and he refused to shake my writer's hand and just turned and walked away. A real creep. Somebody needs to do a hard-hitting documentary on Fauci and the damage he has done to science and medicine.
Among the people you blame for the CFS disaster is the CDC's Mary Guinan. What is her story?
Guinan played a curious role in both of the supposedly separate AIDS and chronic fatigue syndrome epidemics. Her surprising inability to see an obvious link between the two syndromes may be one of the important seeds of the whole HHV-6 disaster. She is mentioned in both the Shilts history of the early AIDS epidemic and Hillary Johnson’s journalistic account of the CDC’s bungling of the epidemic of facetiously-labeled chronic fatigue syndrome.