By John Lauritsen

The AIDS War [1] 1993

"Was ist das Schwerste von allem?
Was Dir das Leichteste dunkt:
mit den Augen zu sehen,
was vor den Augen Dir liegt."

- Goethe: Xenien [2]

It should be clear by now that "AIDS" is a phoney construct, which is why I persist in putting the acronym in quotation marks. People with "AIDS" (PWAs) are not suffering from a deadly new disease; they are people who have become very sick in different ways and for different reasons. Therefore, the first order of business in healing a PWA is to find out exactly how and why he is sick. Once this is determined, everything else follows.

There will never be a cure for "AIDS", because it is not one single thing to be cured. However, recovery from the various AIDS illnesses is possible, and has been happening without publicity since the early days of the epidemic.

More than anything else, recovery from "AIDS" requires a concept of health. Mens sana in corpore sano. [Greek quote here]. A sound mind in a sound body. Illness is usually multifactorial, and health always is. Many things are necessary for good health: good water, clean air, sunshine, good food, exercise, satisfying activity, rest, love and companionship.

Recovery from "AIDS" will consist of detoxifying both the body and the mind. In simple outline form, a PWA's program for recovery might look like this:

  • Take charge of your own recovery.
  • Question the diagnosis itself.
  • Be skeptical of doctors and medical advice.
  • Identify and reject voodoo (the prognosis of doom, the lie that "AIDS is invariably fatal").
  • Identify and eliminate all health risks:
    • Don't take recreational drugs of any kind.
    • Don't drink.
    • Don't smoke.
    • Don't get VD.
  • Don't take toxic medical drugs (especially the nucleoside analogs: AZT, ddI, ddC and d4T).
  • Observe good nutrition:
    • Avoid sugar.
  • Exercise.
  • Reduce stress and get enough rest.
  • Expect health.

Don't trust doctors!

Take charge of your own recovery. This is hard advice to give or to follow. It represents blasphemy against the "Church of Modern Medicine, to use the phrase of the late Robert Mendelsohn. Nevertheless, a PWA will not survive unless he maintains independence from doctors. The bitter reality is that almost all doctors treating "AIDS" patients are prescribing nucleoside analogs, thus ensuring a fatal outcome. Let me state that another way: virtually all AIDS-doctors are killing their patients.

If a PWA is lucky, he may find a doctor who has common sense, humanistic values, a grasp of the rudiments of good health—a doctor who on principle would not administer a life-destroying drug like AZT, ddI, or ddC. Once upon a time such doctors were not uncommon; they were typical family practitioners in small towns all across the country. Now the odds are greatly against finding one. This leaves only two options: one, avoiding doctors completely, a course of action which is by no means irrational; or two, consulting doctors, but maintaining control over them. The latter would mean insisting upon full explanations for every recommendation; retaining veto power over any recommendation; and being ready and willing to fire the doctor on the spot, without pay, if he should ever recommend a nucleoside analog. (There is certainly no ethical or legal obligation to pay someone for the service of attempting to kill you.)

The Church of Modern Medicine is like the Christian Church before the Reformation, when society was divided into the priestly class and the laity. Lay people were not supposed to think about theological matters for themselves; they were to accept on faith what they were told by the priests. "Every man his own priest!" was one of the battle slogans of the Reformation. Likewise, every man should have the right to be his own physician. Certainly he should have the right to be fully informed by the medical people he is employing. Robert Mendelsohn offers the following advice:

"If a doctor ever wants to do something to you that you're afraid of and you ask why? enough times until he says Just Trust Me, what you're to do is turn around and put as much distance between you and him as you can, as fast as your condition will allow." [4]

As of late 1992, over 160,000 people in the United States have died of "AIDS". Most of them actually died from medical incompetence. For the tens of thousands who were poisoned by nucleoside analogs, the term iatrogenic manslaughter" is justified. The AIDS fiasco represents a powerful indictment against modern medicine, supporting Robert Mendelsohn's terrifying vision:

"What resides at the core of every religion, the core from which hope radiates when all human attempts to deal with earthly conditions fail, is the Deity, the One Who Transcends it all. To get to the core of Modern Medicine you have to wade through an ocean of man-made drugs and fight your way through endless tons of machinery. If you then don't understand why the Church is savagely idolatrous and must be destroyed, you will when you stare its Deity in the face. The God of Modern Medicine is Death." [5]

Question the diagnosis itself.

Lethal diagnoses are currently being dispensed by the priests of Modern Medicine: AIDS, AIDS-Related Complex (ARC), HIV positive, asymptomatic HIV disease, symptomatic HIV disease, advanced HIV disease.... They are all false diagnoses, inasmuch as they are based on the assumption that HIV is pathogenic.

If someone is sick, he is sick. If he's not sick, then he's not sick. And HIV- antibody tests and T-cell counts have nothing to do with it. I have talked to a number of people, and have heard of many more, who looked healthy, felt healthy, and were leading active and productive lives—and were told by their doctors that they ought to be sick on the basis of their T-cell counts or their HIV status. It is appalling that those who ought to be healers are instead programming healthy people to get sick. A malign form of voodoo is being practiced in this country by the priests of Modern Medicine.

The HIV-antibody tests are not only highly inaccurate, but biased as well. A man in California went to a clinic, identified himself as gay, and took the HlV-antibody test; results: positive. Then he went to another clinic, identified himself as a heterosexual, and took the same test; results: negative.

A CDC worker told the New York Native that, when the HIV antibody test was being developed, he had seen blood being labeled positive or negative depending on whether the person was gay or straight. A gay man in New York reported seeing information on his sexual orientation being sent to a lab with his blood samples.

The various AIDS tests (ELISA, Western Blot, PCR, p-24 antigen, T-cell counts) are useless and harmful. They should be ignored. If someone looks healthy, and feels healthy, then he probably is healthy, and he should concentrate on enjoying life. If someone is sick, then the valid questions to ask are these: How? Why? What is to be done?

Recovery is possible.

In the early years of the epidemic, the statement popped up in the media: "AIDS is invariably fatal". Though repeated incessantly, there was never any factual basis for it. Some of the early PWAs are still alive now, a decade later. "AIDS" is not only a phoney construct, but a pernicious label as well, for it carries with it a prognosis of doom. Once someone has been diagnosed as having "AIDS", he is thereafter defined as a PWA; the implication is that he cannot recover, for he would then cease to be a PWA. By way of analogy: most of us as children had one or more of the usual diseases: chicken pox, mumps, measles, etc. We got sick and then we got well, and that was that. We would hardly refer to ourselves as PWCPs now, just because we had chicken pox many years ago. To emphasize this point, I'll put "PWA" in quotation marks for the rest of this chapter.

If, as I maintain, "PWAs" are people who are sick in specific ways and for specific reasons, it follows that most of them can recover if the right steps are taken. Many people have been sick to the point of death, and have then regained their health. If given a chance, the human body has an amazing ability to heal itself.

How exactly does one counter voodoo? If one were a savage being drummed to death, the best course of action might be to kill the voodoo priest, or at least bust the drums. But we are not savages, and there is no single voodoo priest—and even if there were, it might be illegal to kill him.' So what can be done? Destroy gullibility! A hundred times a day a PWA should tell himself that there's no such thing as AIDS", that everything said about it is lies, and that—to hell with anyone who suggests otherwise! - a day at a time he's getting better.

Make a fearless personal inventory of health risks.

This is a crucial step in recovery. The "PWA"—by himself or with help from friend or counselor—should write down everything that might conceivably have an adverse effect on his health. Nothing, however seemingly trivial, should be omitted. The next step is to think long and hard about those health risks. To the extent possible, they should all be eliminated. Every single one.

The purpose of this step is to determine why the "PWA" became sick in the first place, as well as to identify any health risks that might hinder a full recovery. Honesty is crucial. I personally have never encountered a single "PWA" who was not a substance abuser, and my experience is not unusual. In his book, Circle Of Hope, Perry Tilleraas quotes "AIDS" counselors who observed substance abuse among "PWAs":

"It's got to be at least 98 percent of people with AIDS who have a history of substance abuse. It's got to be. I mean, if you can find 2 percent in this population who don't have a history, would be surprised. " [8]

"In my experience, I have not seen an AIDS patient that did not have a history of problematic use of alcohol or drugs ever— not one. The flip side is that I have never seen an AIDS patient in long-term recovery [from AIDS] who is continuing to use alcohol and drugs." [9]

Stay clean and dry.

For virtually all "PWAs", who became sick from drug abuse, the appropriate course of action is obvious: abstinence from drugs! The substance abuser must make the decision to stay away from all drugs, especially including alcohol, 24 hours at a time, for the rest of his life. Giving up an addiction is difficult to do as an individual, but easier with support from groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). [10]

It is a harmful myth, that substance abusers need professional help in order to recover from their addictions. Public health officials have gone so far as to excuse their deadly clean-needle propaganda by claiming that there would be no point in telling addicts to stop taking drugs, because there aren't enough drug rehabilitation centers to treat them. This myth is demolished by the example of AA. Before AA was founded, half a century ago, the health-care professionals tried every approach imaginable; all were ignominious failures, and alcoholism was regarded as a hopeless and invariably fatal condition. With very rare exceptions, alcoholics were unable to stay sober, and sooner or later they all died from alcohol. Then the miracle happened: in the fellowship of AA, alcoholics them selves began to "share experience, strength and hope" with each other, and by the thousands, and the tens of thousands, they achieved lasting sobriety. The newer organization, NA, has enabled many thousands to stay away from drugs other than alcohol. Sometimes alcoholics or drug addicts go to a detoxification center before entering AA or NA; sometimes they don't. Sometimes they go to professional counselors in addition to AA or NA meetings; usually they don't. Either way, it is the meetings, not professionals, that keep them clean and dry.

One exception to the above is severe alcohol withdrawal, characterized by delirium tremens (DTs) and convulsions. This is a life-threatening medical emergency. The person should be rushed to a hospital emergency room. Actually, few alcoholics reach the point where they go into severe withdrawal, which usually occurs only in those with a history of at least ten years of heavy daily drinking; most who drink that heavily die of other causes first. Withdrawal from alcohol and barbiturates (sometimes regarded as "solid alcohol") is more severe than withdrawal from any other drug, including the narcotics; only with alcohol and barbiturates can death result from the withdrawal itself. This is not to deny that suffering is involved in withdrawal from heroin, cocaine, or for that matter, cigarettes. Each form of drug withdrawal is horrible in its own way, but the agony passes, usually within a few days. Hundreds of thousands of people are now leading happy and productive lives after giving up alcohol and other drugs. It can be done!

A recovering substance abuser cannot safely use any drugs at all. Nor can he safely drink—at all. It is not a matter of going down a list of drugs, and deciding which ones must be given up and which ones are okay. They must all be avoided. No exceptions. Recovery means staying away from the first drink and the first drug a day at a time.

AA members describe alcoholism as "a three-fold disease: mental, physical, and spiritual". The same description applies to many "PWAs", who are suffering as much from soul-sickness as from immune deficiency For them, recovery may very well require a transformation of attitudes and philosophy. Medical people don't like to hear talk like this, but it is true. All the medical technology in the world cannot help someone who has lost the desire to live. Nor is there any pharmaceutical quick fix for a person whose life is in shambles and whose behavior is self-destructive.

The recovering substance abuser has to change his life: his outlook as well as his behavior. At some point, as body and mind are healing, he will say to himself: "I see things differently now."

Don't smoke.

At almost every international AIDS conference, there will be at least one study which reports that cigarette smoking is a co-factor for the development of "AIDS". However, the main reason to break free from cigarettes is more basic: smoking is incompatible with good health. Since the goal of recovery is to return to health, there is no room for waffling on cigarettes.

From my own observations and those of people in groups like PWAC, about 50% of "PWAs" continue to smoke, usually quite heavily. It is considered bad form to criticize their habit. "PWAs" smoke at social gatherings. They smoke in organization headquarters. Pale and emaciated, they smoke in the hallway outside meetings of ACT UP's Treatment & Data Committee. They smoke before and after using the machine from which they breathe aerosolized pentamidine — as prophylaxis against pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP).

I remember visiting my friend Harold in St. Vincent's Hospital. There on a shelf by his bed, next to his Teddy bear, was an ash tray with a huge mountain of cigarette butts. Harold smoked one cigarette after another. My lungs began to burn just from breathing the air of the room. Doctors, nurses and interns came in and out. A plain-clothes nun dropped in and chatted awhile. No one said anything about cigarettes. When I told Harold that in his condition he had no business smoking, he cheerfully said I was the first person to tell him that. The first one! Harold died a few months later.

I last saw Wolf on Greenwich Avenue. He was leaning against a wall for support, gray in the face, red circles around his eyes. In the course of our brief conversation he went through half a dozen cigarettes, lighting each from the one before it. Wolf was amused when I made an anti-cigarette comment, and seemed to consider it another of my eccentricities, along with "criticisms" of poppers and the "belief" that HIV was not the cause of "AIDS" Wolf died a few months later.

When I brought up the cigarette issue in a talk with one of New York City's leading AIDS-doctors, he responded sanctimoniously: "If you knew that someone had only a few months to live, would you really deny him something that gives him pleasure? I realized then that dialogue was impossible. Modern Medicine and its priests are hostile to the concept of health.

Don't get VD.

If repeated bouts of venereal disease plus antibiotic treatment helped make a "PWA" sick, then obviously the VD-antibiotic cycle needs to be broken. A "PWA" in recovery should take whatever steps are necessary so he will no longer contract gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, etc. (HlV-status is, of course, irrelevant, since HIV is not pathogenic.)

The ethical and aesthetic question remains whether sick people should have sex at all, safe or otherwise. Should there not first be recovery, then sex? In my opinion, it would be a step forward in recovery, for many gay men with "AIDS", to learn how to experience affection and companionship without sex.

Don't take toxic medical drugs.

I have written a great deal about AZT and the other nucleoside analogs in this book and my previous one, Poison By Prescription. There cannot ever, under any circumstance, be a justification for prescribing or taking these drugs. They are highly toxic, they have no benefits of any kind, and they were approved on the basis of fraudulent research. To take a nucleoside analog, either singly or in combination with others, negates the possibility of recovery. Death within a few months or a few years is the inevitable out come.

However, entirely aside from the nucleoside analogs, most "PWAs" are taking medications whose side effects are sufficiently serious as to hinder a return to full health. This is an issue which must be addressed, but where it is difficult to give advice. Even if I were a physician, it would still be necessary to know someone's exact medical circumstances before making a recommendation about medication.

Since orthodox treatment of "PWAs" is based on a misunderstanding of why and how they are sick, most medications are inappropriate. In general, medication should be kept to a minimum. The body should be allowed to heal itself naturally—through detoxification, nutrition, exercise, and rest. Any drug that weakens the body is a step backwards in the long run.

Someone with a life-threatening opportunistic infection should probably receive treatment. Although Bactrim and Septra have toxicities, they may be necessary to pull a patient through a bout with PCP, giving him at least a chance to make a full recovery later.

The issue of prophylaxis is controversial. Since PCP is the leading cause of death in "PWAs", many doctors prescribe either aerosolized pentamidine or a low dose of oral Bactrim as prophylaxis. What none of the AIDS-doctors seem to comprehend is that there already is a prophylaxis against PCP and all other opportunistic infections (OIs)—a prophylaxis which is 100% effective and has no side effects whatever. That prophylaxis is Good Health.

Let me explain. The OIs by definition are infections which only happen in a very sick body—a body whose immune system is hardly functioning at all. The OIs are caused by micro-organisms which are ubiquitous, and which are harmless in any halfway healthy body. Every human being in the world has pneumocystis carinii in his lungs, and ordinarily it just sits there doing nothing." The real causes of PCP, and of all other OIs, are whatever makes the patient sufficiently sick enough in the first place, that normally harmless microbes become pathogenic. When the real causes of sickness are identified, and appropriate steps are taken to reverse the process of pathogenesis, there should be no need to fear PCP or any of the other OIs.

Bactrim and pentamidine have toxicities. Perhaps their use could be justified as a short-term, emergency measure, but they are not good to take indefinitely. The best course of action is to detoxify the body completely, and restore it to health. This is a simple message. Does anyone want to hear it?

The treatment of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) is a special case, since many "PWAs" with KS are still in fairly good health up to the point that they acquire a diagnosis and start receiving medical treatment. Almost all KS cases are found among gay men, rather than among the other "AIDS risk groups", and the connection to use of poppers and other "gay drugs" is blatantly obvious.

There should be no medical treatment of any kind—chemotherapy, radiation, or anything else—for KS itself. Nor should any drug be given for the hypothesized condition of "AIDS". No medical treatment for KS has ever proved more effective than no treatment at all, and since no treatment means no toxicities, it is clearly preferable. The best plan of attack is to eliminate health risks, detoxify the body, and let time do the healing.

Most of the early patients with KS were killed off by the lethal medications they were given. On the other hand, a growing number of people with KS, who rejected chemotherapy and radiation, are now alive and well years after their diagnosis. They gave up drugs and otherwise cleaned up their act, started living in as healthy a way as possible, and went on to lead productive lives.

Good nutrition

Good nutrition is necessary for health, and plays an especially important role in physical recovery from alcoholism and other forms of substance abuse. Unfortunately, most physicians have little interest in or knowledge about nutrition.

The establishment nutritionists are no better. For years they have urged us to eat margarine instead of butter! They have proclaimed the dangers of eggs, steak, olive oil, roast pork, cheese, and almost anything else that might be part of a good meal. [12] While issuing spurious warnings about food supplements, they have acted as public relations whores on behalf of the sugar industry (about which more below).

A recovering "PWA" will have to think for himself about nutrition. He should be skeptical of everything he hears, including what I say.

To put my own prejudices up front: I am in favor of real food, by which (with some exceptions) I do not mean stuff that comes out of a box, can, or jar. Real food does not have preservatives or other chemicals in it. Nor does real food have artificial flavorings, thickeners, or dyes. Real food is fresh, solid food that tastes good.

In groups that encourage alternative approaches to recovery from "AIDS", such as H.E.A.L. in New York City or Positively Healthy in London, many members follow macrobiotic or vegetarian diets. While these diets may provide good nutrition, I am not convinced that they are necessary, and suspect that their use may be dictated by a particular moral philosophy. For my part, I am not ashamed to be a carnivorous animal. Human beings have canine teeth in their jaws and hydrochloric acid in their stomachs, which means that evolution has fashioned our species to eat meat. Recovering "PWAs" need high quality, easily utilized protein, which is amply provided by meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and cheese. [13]

The establishment nutritionists are currently waging a Manichaean crusade against fats (evil) and in favor of carbohydrates (good), with a certain ambivalence towards protein (sinful but necessary). I think that time will prove they are wrong, as usual. Of course, balance is important. The Delphic proviso, "nothing in excess", very much applies to nutrition.

Contrary to current nutritionist orthodoxy, many "PWAs" may need a diet which is relatively high in protein and low in carbohydrate, and which totally eliminates sucrose (sugar). This diet is necessary to treat a condition known as candidiasis, or the "yeast syndrome", as well as to treat the hypoglycemia (chronic low blood sugar) that is prevalent among recovering alcoholics.

The yeast syndrome

As I explained in the previous chapter, fungal infections are an important component of the syndrome known as "AIDS". In particular, Candida albicans, a ubiquitous and normally non pathogenic fungus, or yeast, plays a major role in making "PWAs" sick. An extended discussion of candidiasis, or the yeast syndrome, would be out of place here, so I'll just give an overview of the condition. For further information the reader should consult two books: The Yeast Connection: A Medical Breakthrough and The Yeast Syndrome. [14]

Candidiasis, an overgrowth of the fungus, is mainly caused by two factors: antibiotics and nutritional imbalance—specifically, sugar and too much of the refined carbohydrates. In addition, yeast overgrowth is aggravated by other factors: a lowered immune system, stress, and various drugs, chemicals, and pollutants. In severe cases of candidiasis, the yeast assumes pathogenic and invasive forms, releases toxins, and causes illness throughout the body.

The most obvious symptom of candidiasis is thrush, a whitish coating that appears on the tongue and in the mouth. A large proportion of "PWAs" experience thrush at one time or another. Other symptoms of candidiasis are extremely heterogeneous, and range from the mild to the life-threatening. These symptoms include: mental confusion, chronic fatigue, depression, athlete's foot, vaginitis, bloating, headaches, ear infections, bronchitis, asthma, sinus infections, abdominal cramps, gastritis, constipation, diarrhea, allergies, and an increased vulnerability to viral, bacterial, and fungal infections. Some theorists, notably Brian Coyle in San Francisco, believe that candidiasis represents the fundamental pathogenesis in the syndrome of illnesses known as "AIDS".

The first line of attack in treating candidiasis is to remove the causes of the condition. This means avoiding antibiotics; avoiding drugs, chemicals and pollutants; and correcting the nutritional imbalance. In addition, treatment may include anti-fungal agents, such as Nystatin (a relatively non-toxic prescription drug), raw garlic, and caprylic acid and pau d'arco tea (products found in health food stores). Exercise is also beneficial.

The anti-candida diet is elaborated in the two books mentioned above. For the first few weeks, it consists of almost nothing except meat, fish, poultry, eggs, vegetables, and non-sweetened yoghurt. When the condition improves, other foods are gradually added: cheese, nuts, whole grains, and small helpings of some fruits. Sucrose (regular sugar) is strictly avoided at all times. A "PWA" has nothing to lose by going on the anti-candida diet; if the yeast syndrome has been making him ill, he will notice a dramatic improvement within a couple of weeks.

The anti-candida diet is virtually identical to diets used to treat the condition of hypoglycemia (chronic low blood-sugar), and is very similar to the popular and effective Atkins diet for treating obesity. [15] In all these diets, the general principles are the same: total avoidance of sugar and sharp reduction in the intake of refined carbohydrates. Since many "PWAs" also suffer from alcoholism, it is noteworthy that, according to the best general book on the topic, the great majority of alcoholics—both active and abstinent—have clinically significant hypoglycemia. [16]

Much disinformation about sugar has been directed at "PWAs" (and the American population in general). The following section will describe the dangers of this familiar and well-beloved anti nutrient.

Sugar: pure, white and deadly

In the ten years I've been writing about "AIDS", nothing I've said has caused more shock and outrage than a tentative suggestion I once made, that "PWAs" might try going without sugar for a few weeks. The vehemence of the reaction persuaded me that many "PWAs" are not just fond of sugar, but addicted to it. Indeed, sugar is a highly addictive substance. When a sugar addict kicks the habit, he experiences genuine withdrawal symptoms, which can include several days of very bad headaches.

The reading I have done since then has convinced me that sugar is dangerous for "PWAs", and to some extent harmful for everyone else. This will be only a capsule account of the case against sugar. For further information I strongly recommend two books: John Yudkin's Pure, White and Deadly and William Dufty's Sugar Blues. [17] Yudkin is Professor Emeritus of Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of London; his book is scholarly, comprehensive, and quietly devastating. [18] Dufty is a journalist who writes with great flair and enthusiasm; his book is deservedly a best seller, still in print nearly two decades after its first publication.

It is first necessary to define exactly what "sugar" is, as the sugar industry has successfully muddied the waters. Sucrose or ordinary table sugar is a chemical, a disaccharide, expressed by the formula: C12-H22-O11. In explaining the title of his book, William Dufty offers the following definitions:

Sugar Refined sucrose: CI2-H22-O11, produced by multiple chemical processing of the juice of the sugar cane or beet and removal of all fiber and protein, which amount to 90 percent of the natural plant.

Blues: A state of depression or melancholy overlaid with fear, physical discomfort, and anxiety (often expressed lyrically as an autobiographical chronicle of personal disaster).

Sugar Blues: Multiple physical and mental miseries caused by human consumption of refined sucrose — commonly called sugar.

Propaganda from the sugar industry has attempted to obliterate the differences between refined sucrose and the other sugars, which include:

  • Glucose, sometimes known as blood-sugar. Glucose is found in many fruits and vegetables, usually along with other sugars. It is manufactured in our bodies from other nutrients, and is necessary for life.
  • Fructose, or fruit sugar.
  • Lactose, or milk sugar.
  • Maltose, or malt sugar.

Whereas all other sugars are found in nature together with other nutrients, refined sucrose is pure. Sucrose has no nutritional properties whatever; it is correctly described as an anti-nutrient, because it greatly increases the body's need for B-vitamins, and because it interferes with the body's ability to utilize protein.

The sugar industry also attempts to obscure the difference between sugars and carbohydrates. While it is true that the sugars are classified as carbohydrates, there is a world of difference between the carbohydrates found in fruits and vegetables, on the one hand, and the pure, white powder known as sugar, on the other. Even potatoes and white flour, which are commonly thought of as "starch", contain many nutrients, whereas the nutritional value of sucrose is nil.

Sugar industry propagandists tout sugar as a source of quick energy and calories, which is deliberately misleading. As Yudkin points out: "All food contains 'energy', in that some of its components can provide the fuel for the body's workings. [19] A piece of bread with butter will supply energy within minutes, and at the same time provide nutrition.

In his first chapter, John Yudkin states that, while parts of his book may be controversial, he will make "two key statements that no one can refute":

"First, there is no physiological requirement for sugar; all human nutritional needs can be met in full without having to take a single spoon of white or brown or raw sugar, on its own or in any food or drink.

Secondly, if only a small fraction of what is already known about the effects of sugar were to be revealed in relation to any other material used as a food additive, that material would promptly be banned." [20]

Although human beings are omnivorous—capable of surviving on a diet of meat, vegetables and fruit—our bodies are ill-prepared by evolution to deal with refined sucrose. Yudkin writes:

"It appears that for at least two million years our ancestors were largely meat- eating.... In nutritional terms, the diet of prehistoric human beings and their ancestors during perhaps two million years or more was rich in protein, moderately rich in fat, and usually poor in carbohydrate." [20]

When the Neolithic revolution occurred, about 10,000 years ago, humans began to eat grains, and the proportion of carbohydrate in the diet increased sharply. Even so, sugars entered the diet to a very limited extent, and these mainly from wild fruits, which contained valuable nutrients. Perhaps only about 2500 years ago, possibly in India, people found they could make a crude sort of sugar by extracting and drying the sap of the sugar cane. The cultivation of sugar gradually spread around the world, but until the 18th century sugar was a rare luxury, consumed only in tiny quantities by the very rich In the mid-18th century, with slave plantations in the Caribbean and improved techniques of cultivating and refining the product, the modern sugar industry came into being.

The average person (man, woman and child) in the United States and England now eats two pounds of sugar per week, many dozens of times as much as someone would have eaten only a few centuries ago. In evolutionary time, it is only an eye-blink that humans have been eating cultivated grains, and much less than that, refined sucrose. Our bodies are not prepared to deal with such a massive intake of C12-H22-O11, and the consequences may very well be the degenerative illnesses that have proliferated in the last century.

Sugar consumption is strongly linked to heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, and tooth decay; it may be a factor in the etiology of cancer. Sugar has an adverse effect on the immune system, the adrenal glands, and blood-sugar levels. And, as I've already pointed out, sugar plays a leading role in causing the yeast syndrome. Despite these compelling reasons for telling "PWAs" to eliminate or at least cut down sugar consumption, the AlDS-nutritionists have been doing just the opposite.

When a client of Gay Men's Health Crisis requested that sugar free desserts be served, he was rebuffed by "Nutrition Coordinator" Robert Dostis, MS, RD (?), who urged "PWAs" to eat sugar:

"Sugar free desserts are difficult to prepare and generally non palatable... In avoiding sugar you may be depriving your body of a readily available and utilizable energy source. Weight loss is a chronic problem with PWAs. Desserts which are high in fat, sugar and thus, calories, can help maintain or aid in gaining weight." [22]

Dostis was planning to give "a talk explaining the role sugar plays in the body, including digestion, assimilation and metabolism" A pamphlet disseminated by the Rockland County Department of Health went even further:

"Go for the sugar. It has the calories you need right now. Remember, soft drinks, not diet. Add extra sugar if you wish, and a scoop of ice cream. Sugar is your friend. Don't be afraid to eat candy bars, cake, and cookies." [23]

After recovering from the nauseating suggestion of putting extra sugar in soft drinks, one can only wonder: What were the motivations of these sugar pushers? Considering that "PWAs" are threatened by a host of fungal infections, that they are under-nourished, that they have compromised immune systems, and that many of them have hypoglycemia—all of which will be aggravated by sugar consumption—the advice to eat a lot of sugar is deadly. It is the nutritional equivalent of AZT therapy.

The question of food supplements

The topic of food supplements inevitably dominates discussion of alternative approaches to treating "AIDS". I am certainly not any expert here, but for what they are worth, here are my opinions.

Basically, I think that recovering "PWAs" need good food—a diet which is relatively high in protein and low in carbohydrates, with as little sugar as possible. Such a diet could include meat, fish, poultry, eggs, plain yoghurt, plain kefir, cheese, nuts, lots of all kinds of vegetables, moderate amounts of whole grains, and small amounts of the less sweet varieties of fruit. (The very sweet kinds of fruit, to be avoided or eaten sparingly, would include dates and raisins.) This is not an unusually restrictive or exotic diet—meals might include steak, raw-fried potatoes and salad; or minestrone and grilled fish; or hamburgers on whole-grain bread with mixed salad; or roast duck with wild rice and sauerkraut; or sauerbraten with red cabbage and potatoes, or roast pork with apples, brussels sprouts and chestnuts. Real food.

Let me add that I myself do take food supplements, and would recommend them for recovering "PWAs". A daily regimen might include the following supplements: one multiple vitamin-mineral tablet, one or two grams of vitamin C, vitamin B complex (through tablets, Brewer's yeast, or liver), beta carotene (25,000 units), and vitamin E (400 units). These dosages are well above the minimums recommended by establishment nutritionists, but they are still perfectly safe. Vitamins C and A (from beta carotene) are important for the immune system. Vitamin E is beneficial as an anti-oxidant and a detoxifier. Vitamin B complex is especially important for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts.

Some alternate nutritionists have recommended that "PWAs" take enormous "megadoses" of some vitamins, in particular, vitamin C. They have recommended daily doses of 30, 40, or 50 grams of vitamin C per day. At such doses, vitamin C is no longer a food supplement, but a drug. I think this is not a good idea. For one thing, these recommendations reflect the erroneous notion that a virus is the cause of "AIDS", and that vitamin C will attack the virus. For another, such megadoses violate the most important principle of recovery for a "PWA", the principle of balance. Megadoses of one vitamin can deplete other vitamins, thus artificially creating malnutrition. The best guide is still: "Nothing in excess".

Yoghurt and kefir have much nutritional value, and contain friendly bacteria that act against the yeast syndrome. They are easy to make at home, using starter that can be purchased in a health food store.

Garlic has been believed, by many different peoples over many centuries, to have healing powers. To take garlic raw, peel the skin off a clove, cut into several pieces, and then gulp down with a lot of water. If it's a small clove, it may be possible to swallow whole. Don't chew, unless you're very brave.

On other supplements: I try all kinds of things once in awhile, but see no need to discuss them here. Any book store or health food store will have an abundance of literature on spirulina chlorella, aloe vera, psyllium seeds, lecithin, etc.

Exercise and rest

Not only is exercise essential to good health, it is the best way to counteract stress. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where there is no practical way to escape pressures and anxieties. Long-term, inescapable stress can cause serious illness, but there is one antidote: the feeling of serenity that follows hard exercise. An active body is somehow able to restore physical and psychological balance, even in difficult circumstances.

A New York Times article reported on a two-year study of 86 homosexual men, 33 of whom learned, five weeks after beginning the study, that they were "infected with H.l.V.". They were divided into three groups: the first practiced relaxation exercises, the second practiced aerobic exercises, and the third did neither. The researchers found that those in the two exercise groups were healthier in general, and had better immune systems according to T-cell counts. Also, among the HIV-positives, those in the two exercise groups dealt much better psychologically with the stress of the diagnosis. [24]

For health purposes, as opposed to body-building, aerobic exercises are best. These are exercises which involve the whole body and are vigorous enough to increase the breathing and heart rate for half an hour or so. Swimming, running, cycling, rowing, vigorous walking, vigorous calisthenics, and so on are aerobic exercises.

There is much to be said for calisthenics. I learned a good routine in college, and it is always with me. I can find myself in a hotel room in a city anywhere in the world—on a rainy day—and still go through my exercises, almost as well as in a gymnasium. Calisthenics have to be done carefully, with a slow and easy warm up. Form is important. In bends and stretching exercises, the muscles should never be forced to go where they don't want to go.

Even someone who is sick should try to do some exercise, if only a breathing exercise or walking. In many ways, walking is the perfect exercise, as it is almost impossible to overdo. One frequently hears of joggers dropping dead, but not walkers. For those able to escape from the metropolis, there is nothing like a long walk in the country to give a sense of well-being.

For thousands of years Scandinavians have known the benefits of heat therapy, believing that saunas cause the body to burn out infections and to sweat away toxins. Be that as it may, there is nothing like a sauna, ideally followed by a massage, to give a sense of well-being that can last for several days. Unlike extra-corporeal hyperthermia, saunas are quite safe, and in Scandinavia they are used even by the sick and the elderly.

The counterpart of exercise is rest, and the two go together. Human beings and other animals can live much longer without food than without sleep. Everyone should structure his life, and take whatever practical steps are necessary, so that he always enjoys a full night of deep and undisturbed sleep.

Alternative therapies

Since becoming an AIDS dissident, I have had much exposure to alternative or holistic medicine, including homeopathy, chiropractic, herbalism, acupuncture, herbology, meditation and relaxation techniques, and diets and food supplements of every kind. For this book it would be inappropriate for me to comment on any of these in detail, so I'll confine myself to a few general comments.

The alternative health world is quite heterogeneous. It includes fine, dedicated people, who have a real grasp of what it means to be healthy. It includes charlatans and opportunists. It includes eccentrics and outright lunatics.

On the positive side, the best of the holistic practitioners share a philosophy of treating the whole patient, rather than isolated symptoms. They understand the importance of nutrition and psychology in the healing process. They favor non-toxic therapies that help the body to heal itself, as opposed to the orthodox approach of using toxic drugs to attack putative microbial enemies. In passing, I believe that even the silliest treatments, including the wearing of crystals or amulets, are valuable if they keep a "PWA" away from nucleoside analogs.

On the negative side, many alternative therapies do not have a sound scientific basis.

On the whole, the alternative health people have provided some of the strongest support for critics of the AIDS orthodoxies. They are much more open-minded on most issues than ordinary physicians. Regrettably, some alternative approaches to treating "AIDS" simply latch onto the prevailing myths. Commodities are promoted as having efficacy against HIV. A line of goods is advanced without any clear understanding of exactly how and why "PWAs" are sick in the first place. At the worst, some alternative health counselors have touted a full array of vitamins, supplements, and so on, in addition to AZT. One book, which presumed to offer an alternative approach to treating "AIDS", recommended taking warm baths to offset the toxicity of AZT; the author had neither the intelligence nor the courage to warn against taking AZT in the first place.

If a "PWA" has earned his diagnosis primarily through drug abuse, then all the holistic remedies in the world will not help him if he continues to inject, inhale, smoke, and swallow drugs. Similarly, if a PWA's illness is due to VD plus antibiotics or to nutritional imbalance or to overwhelming stress, then he will no[ get better until these specific problems are addressed.

Expect health

The fear of "AIDS" is largely fear of the unknown. But once "AIDS" has been demystified, and the AIDS-illnesses seen for what they are, there are grounds for optimism. A "PWA" who has identified health risks and eliminated them from his life, and who has not added other health risks (like toxic drugs), will get better.

I have described above a program of recovery for those who have been given a diagnosis of "AIDS". Some will say I am only offering "Granny's advice". Indeed, a rumor has been going about that the "Lauritsen program" consists of "doing nothing". This is nonsense. It is not nothing for someone under a sentence of doom to discover hope. Nor is it nothing for a victim to rebel against the Church of Modern Medicine and take charge of his own recovery—or for an addict to give up drugs—or for a smoker to give up cigarettes— or for a malnourished person to graduate from candy bars to good food—or for a sedentary individual to begin exercising. Nor is it nothing for someone to avoid medical drugs that will kill him.

The path back to good health may not always be clearly marked. Sometimes it may be necessary to make decisions on the basis of scanty information. This will not matter, as long as the basic principles of health and common sense are followed. The guiding rule should be the Hippocratic saying: Above all do no harm! *


The above article has been published as Chapter XX in John Lauritsen's 'The AIDS War; Propaganda, profiteering and genocide from the medical-industrial complex' Asklepious Press USA 1993, ISBN 0-943742-08-0


1: This and the preceding chapter have not been published before. This is not a self-help book, I am happily not a physician, and I would prefer not to give medical advice. Nonetheless, in this chapter I will share my thoughts on recovery from "AIDS". I consider it my duty to speak out, rather than leaving an open field for the lethal advice of the orthodox AlDS-doctors.

2: What is the hardest of all? What you imagine the easiest: to use your eyes to see what's right in front of your eyes. —Goethe: Xenien (Peter Duesberg used this quote in his paper, the role of drugs in the origin of AIDS", Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, Paris 1992, 46. I've revised the translation slightly.)

3: Robert S. Mendelsohn, Confessions of a Medical Heretic, Chicago 1979. A 1984 symposium over which Mendelsohn presided produced a multifaceted critique of modern medicine, and was published as a book: The New Medical Foundation, Dissent in Medicine: Nine Doctors speak Out, Chicago 1985.

4: Confessions of a Medical Heretic, p. xiii.

5: Confessions of a-Medical Heretic, p. 113. Another influential critique of modern medicine is Ivan Illich's Medical Nemesis: The Expropriation of Health, New York 1976.

6: Charles Ortleb, (editorial) "Nazi Science- It's Not What You Have, It's Who You Are", New York Native, 8 March 1993

7: I have often wondered why doctors are allowed to kill their patients, but not vice versa.

8: Nada Cox, Clinical Supervisor at Our House, a Los Angeles residential treatment facility for people with AIDS, personal interview with Perry Tilleraas, Circle Of Hope: Our Stories of AIDS, Addiction, & Recovery, New York 1990

9: Larry Siegel, "Is AIDS Always Fatal? Siegel Says No", Alcoholism Addiction, May-June 1988.

10: If I seem to be putting a good deal of emphasis on alcoholism, this is because most, if not all, of the "PWAs" I have known are alcoholics. I vividly remember a conversation between two gay doctors, which took place in 1984. Comparing notes from their practices, they came to the startling realization that all of their "PWAs" also happened to be alcoholics This is even more amazing in light of alcoholic denial—the fact that many alcoholics successfully conceal the extent of their drinking from their physicians.

11: "Several years back pneumocystis carinii was believed to be a protozoon, a one-celled animal, and was classified as such in the standard AIDS books, like Confronting AIDS (see Chapter III). Now the consensus seems to be that it is a fungus, a one-celled plant. For example, a recent article on the death of former tennis star, Arthur Ashe, states: "Ashe, 49, died from a form of pneumonia known as PCP, for pneumocystis carinii, the fungus that causes it." (Lawrence K. Altman, "Ashe Was Stricken Suddenly After Years of AIDS", The New York Times, 8 February 1993) (Ashe had been taking AZT for some time, because he felt his health was declining, he began taking ddI in the summer of 1992.)

12: The nutritionists now concede they were partly wrong, that margarine is not very good for us, and that olive oil (mono-saturated fat) is better for us than cottonseed, soybean or flaxseed oils (poly-unsaturated fat). Needless to say, they never took taste into consideration.

13: Although I think that meat is good for us, the meat sold in supermarkets is far from ideal. It contains residues of pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, dyes, and various other adulterants. If you live in farm country and can obtain free range chicken or "organic" meat, this would be better.

14: I particularly recommend the book by William G. Gook, The Yeast Connection: A Medical Breakthrough, New York 1986. In addition there is useful information, especially with regard to nutrition, in the book by John Parks Trowbridge and Morton Walker, The Yeast Syndrome, New York 1986.

15: There are many books on hypoglycemia, which the medical establishment tried to dismiss as a "fad disease". One of the first and best is by Carlton Fredericks and Herman Goodman, Low Blood Sugar And You, New York l969. Robert Atkins' diet was attacked as "dangerous" by the establishment nutritionists, despite the fact that millions of people have used the diet without ill effects. In 1973 he was forced to defend it before the Senate Select Commit tee on Nutrition and Human Needs. The story is told and the diet described in his book, Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution, New York 1972.

16: ''James R. Milam and Katherine Ketcham, Under The Influence. A Guide to the Myths and Realities of Alcoholism, New York 1981. This book also gives dietary guidelines for hypoglycemia.

17: John Yudkin, Pure, White and Deadly, London 1972 and 1986; William Dufty, Sugar Blues, New York 1975.

18: Although Pure, White and Deadly sells very well in Britain, the Penguin Group does not allow it to be distributed in the United States, the only way to get a copy is from a British bookstore.

19: Pure, White and Deadly, p. 53.

20: Pure, White and Deadly, p. 2.

21: Pure, White and Deadly, p. 9.

22: Gay Men's Health Crisis, Recreation News, May 1991.

23: Peggy Wickwire, "Nutrition and HIV: Your Choices Make A Difference", Tennessee Department of Health and Environment, disseminated by the Rockland County (New York) Department of Health.

24: Daniel Goleman, "Relaxation and Exercise Plan May Slow Pace of AIDS Virus, The New York Times, 12 February 1992.