Health, Education, and Learned Helplessness

Model of an influenza virus
One of the greatest revelations that has come out of my research for my book The Natural Enterprise is something that should have been obvious, and should be obvious to all of us: Our education systems prepare us for dependence on employment by large corporations and government organizations. Why? Because this is the most ‘manageable’ way to run the system, and conveniently keeps us in our place. If the system were to equip us to be independent entrepreneurs, there would be a number of unpleasant consequences for the established wealth and power hierarchy:

  • Large employers would have to offer a lot more to attract the top graduates: more money, more freedom, more flexibility.
  • The burgeoning ranks of informed and educated entrepreneurs would begin to realize how the economic system is stacked in favour of large corporations (the accommodation of price-fixing, uninnovative, choice-limiting oligopolies, the massive subsidies given almost exclusive to huge multinational corporations, the trade agreements favourable to multinationals over smaller businesses etc.) and would hence demand that that system be changed.
  • A vastly larger number of entrepreneurial businesses would network and collaborate to counter the artificially-maintained bargaining advantage of large corporations in their dealings with suppliers, and end the ‘Wal-Mart’ distortions of the economy.
  • More agile, innovative entrepreneurs would threaten the huge profit margins and market dominance of the large corporations, and possibly innovate them out of existence.
  • Customers, given a much broader choice of higher-quality, more innovative products from more socially and environmentally responsible entrepreneurs, at competitive prices, would desert the large corporations.

Why would the government be complicit in this? Because their campaign funds come substantially from these large corporations. Because corporate donations to universities (although these generally come with a steep ‘price’), and to other parts of the education system, allow governments to run education more cheaply.

I’m not saying there’s a conspiracy here. Education, like any other complex system, evolves and adapts. I don’t think anyone systematically ‘programmed’ education to be this way (there are many alternative education systems out there, but the ones that endure tend to exhibit many of the same characteristics as the ‘mainstream’ system) — despite the fact that some early education leaders were quite open about designing and using the system to suppress the population as a whole, and to meet the needs of the corporate sector.

Like any large centralized system, education has become unwieldy, inflexible, and ineffective. It will take any help it can get. It will even accommodate lots of progressive teachers, locking them inside the academic system where they can cause minimal disruption, shrugging off their criticisms of the system that feeds them as ‘academic’ (i.e. impractical, unrealistic) harangues, and conveniently blaming them for the failure of the system to do more than produce ‘consumers’ who (to quote Jerry Michalski) are “nothing more than gullets whose only purpose in life is to gulp products and crap cash.” Our entire economic system has evolved around certain accepted rules (maximize profit for shareholders at any cost, buy and sell favour, reduce competition and diversity, avoid risk, standardize everything, ignore ‘externalities’ like pollution and social costs, grow or die) and the education system, as a component of the economic system, inevitably follows those rules.

So we have people coming out of high school and university who must rely on finding menial corporate jobs or exploiting connections in high places to get plum jobs they don’t deserve, since they cannot provide for themselves. They do not know how to ‘make a living’. Entrepreneurship is painted as a high-risk, high-sweat, lonely alternative, whose end state is, at best, the development and sale of hard-fought innovations to corporate buyers and early retirement to something less exhausting, and, at worst, a life of never-ending stress and strife for subsistence survival. And since we don’t teach entrepreneurship, the students have no way of knowing whether this grim portrait is accurate or not. Hence — an endemic state of learned helplessness. Tow the line, kow-tow to the boss, do what you’re told and maybe, if you’re good and lucky, or well-connected, you may work your way ‘up’ to a middle management position and inflict learned helplessness on the next generation in your chosen ‘profession’. The perfect hierarchical system.

Don’t get me wrong — I don’t think the purpose of education should be to learn a trade and nothing more. It should teach all the critical life skills (most of which cannot effectively be learned in a classroom, but that’s another issue) — of which ‘making a living’ is just one. One that it fails spectacularly to do, by any measure except the inculcation of learned helplessness and the resignation to a life of dependence.

That dependence and helplessness is then further entrenched by the creation of artificial scarcities — shortage of houses near (ironically) good schools, shortage of quality health care (unless provided by your large corporate employer’s ‘largesse’), a shortage of (perceived) security. These shortages in turn produce the two-income trap, and addiction to consumption and to the debt that enables it. The cycle is complete.

This got me thinking about our health-care systems. Public and private, they, too, now have produced a cycle of learned helplessness. The first step in this process was probably the fault of (who else) the lawyers: Until about a century ago, in most affluent nations you had the right to self-administer health care. If you preferred heroin or leeches as a treatment over what the doctors of the day were prescribing, and if you could afford them, it was your right to treat your body with whatever medicines you thought appropriate. Then the lawyers and doctors decided we were too stupid to make such decisions, and the concept of ‘prescription’ medicine was born, the paternalistic system that says you have to convince (or bribe) a doctor to let you take the medicines you want. Since then the number of restricted substances has ballooned. At the same time, in a grim irony, the number of chemicals we are forced to ingest, as a result of the pollution of our air and water by large corporations, and the deliberate poisoning of our food with toxic antibiotic (“against life”) chemicals and hormonal stimulants, has also ballooned. All in the name of maximizing profit for shareholders at any cost (“we’re not doing anything illegal“).

Something clearly had to be done to protect the corporations and doctors from lawsuits for poisoning the citizens. What they came up with was a stroke of genius which entrenched learned helplessness irrevocably: They told us that illness isn’t the result of environmental poisoning — it’s all caused by tiny invisible microbes that ‘medical science’ hasn’t got around to finding ways to kill yet. The elimination of some horrific diseases — notably smallpox and polio — led credence to this claim. All that was needed was for the new pharmaceutical industry to get trillions of dollars of taxpayer money — some of which they would generously kick back to the university and hospital systems — and the right to charge whatever it cost to find each killer drug, and (if we could afford it) we would live healthy forever. So we needn’t worry about our own health anymore, or that mercury in the water or that lead in the air or those hormones in our hamburgers — the panaceas will all be forthcoming soon with good ol’ Western know-how.

A colleague of mine, Greg Turko, pointed me to an article yesterday in this month’s (March) Harper’s Magazine called “Out of Control — AIDS and the Corruption of Medical Science” by Celia Farber, which made me realize how much I’ve fallen victim to this beguiling myth myself. Farber has been arguing for a dozen years, and has been much ridiculed, but mostly ignored, for doing so, that not only is there no compelling evidence that AIDS is ’caused’ by the HIV virus, but that it is not caused by any virus or microbe whatsoever.

I have heard these claims before, but they seemed preposterous to me, the stuff of conspiracy theory. But then I read an article by a virologist Peter Duesberg, who says the reason we (the medical profession included) were so willing to believe that AIDS was caused by a virus is that:

  • It simplifies a horrifically complex, intractable, wicked problem
  • It removes all the ‘fear of the unknown’ that surrounds all new diseases (consider how we responded to SARS, Mad Cow and now the Poultry Flu), and
  • It removes from us (individuals and corporations alike) all the moral responsibility that would attach to an illness if it were caused by lifestyle and/or environmental poisoning.

No conspiracy. We just wanted to believe. Just some nasty virus spread by some lunatic in Africa fucking monkeys. Just give Big Pharma a few billion and they’ll find something that will kill it. The appealing thing about Learned Helplessness is we’re not responsible for fixing the problem.

Duesberg’s arguments (which Farber also makes in the Harper’s article) are very compelling. Just as Steven Levitt dissected the phony correlations between gun control, or stiffer prison sentences, and reduced crime in US cities, Duesberg dissects the equally flimsy correlations between the occurrence of a certain type of retrovirus (christened HIV) and the onset of a suite of cascading, often-fatal diseases (only some of which are immune deficiency diseases) that have come to be called AIDS. What is most distressing is:

  • Because the occurrence of AIDS symptoms and deaths in the absence of HIV can no longer be called AIDS (it must be reported instead as “idiopathic CD4+ lymphocytopenia”) the connection between HIV and AIDS is now tautological — so all evidence counterindicating a connection between the two is automatically ignored.
  • Pressure to come up with a ‘killer’ drug to ‘cure’ HIV was so immense that the toxic drug AZT was rushed to market despite evidence that it increases, rather than decreases, mortality.

If you’re not persuaded by Duesberg’s arguments, or Farber’s, here’s another down-to-earth report by a Canadian feminist group. It’s not saying what the cause of AIDS is, it just asks a lot of penetrating and unanswered questions that cast serious doubt that HIV is the culprit.

You can see this learned helplessness — “it’s not my/our/anybody’s responsibility, it’s just a disease that strikes victims and must be killed” — in our response to all health crises, both chronic (cancer, autism) and epidemic (SARS, Mad Cow, poultry flu). There must be a drug that will kill the virus (and, when it rapidly mutates, another drug that will kill that virus) or that will kill the ‘defective’ gene that is the ’cause’ of the disease. Until then we are helpless to do anything but throw money at it, and shun or kill any group/species that seems to ‘carry’ it. We conveniently ignore the powerful correlations between the prevalence of AIDS and poverty, poor sanitation, toxic environments, and the use of dangerous drugs, because if we acknowledged them we would have to accept a responsibility to deal with these complex and intractable problems.

Suppose we got past this, and accepted that what triggers many diseases (which collectively kill a rapidly-growing percentage of humans) is a combination of the lifestyles we live (which are largely unhealthy), and the environmental toxins we consume when we eat, drink and breathe (which are also largely unhealthy)? Our entire economy depends on the very activities that produce these triggers. How would we offset the incalculable health costs of industry, resource extraction, transportation, and mechanized, chemical-based agriculture, against the economic costs of shutting down all these toxic activities and replacing them with healthy, natural, non-polluting, chemical-free, zero-waste activities?

Isn’t it just easier to go on believing, against all evidence, that science will come up with a microbe or a genetic marker to blame for all our health woes, and then a drug to kill it?

Just as it’s easier to believe our economy is the only workable one, and that, as a consequence, we have no choice but to graduate from an education system that teaches us nothing of use, and then beg for work from large corporations or big government organizations, doing, miserably, exactly as we’re told for most of our waking hours for most of our pathetic lives, living for weekends of unhealthy consumption, until some damned microbe (that research willsoon have a cure for) puts us out of our misery.

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22 Responses to Health, Education, and Learned Helplessness

  1. Andre Darveau says:

    Interesting ideas, however misleading to some extent. True, our environment can have a strong impact on our health. “Tiny microbes” are not at the origin of every disease. Nevertheless, in the last century, important progress in the field of ‘infectious diseases’ allowed to dramatically increase human lifespan. I was also surprised to see that the Duesberg hypothesis is re-emerging, since the last time I heard about it was at the end of the ’80s. Research summarized in thousand of scientific papers has clearly established that there is a direct link between HIV and AIDS. Once again, it does not mean that additional factors do not have a role in the evolution of the disease… but HIV is undoubtedly involved and plays a central role in the devlopment of AIDS. It is true that AZT and other anti-HIV drugs have toxic effects. However, their usage has allowed to control progression of AIDS in individuals. Of course, additional factors, such as education programs, have been also extremely powerful in helping to control the evolution of AIDS in the population.

  2. lugon says:

    Koch’s postulates suggest microbes are a necessary cause, but not sufficient. A number of scientists believe it’s more of a “causality network”. I don’t see how saying AIDS is caused by HIV takes away the fact that the virus finds its way around because of how we live – and exactly the same with flu: our huge numbers and close contacts make it easier for viruses to emerge. We could say we are “corresponsible”, together with the rest of Nature, about some of the things that happen. Personally I tend to focus on the handles I can apply movement to.

  3. Gideon says:

    Question: Which would a city government prefer (a) 1 large corporation which would employ 5000 low-skilled workers and 5000 unemployed or (b) 10000 small entrepreneurs running their own pico-business and no unemployment?Most politicians would find it inconceivable to try to work together with 10000 entrepreneurs: It would be too complex and much to hard. They would feel useless and redundant.Whereas politician would have a near naturally understand of the much simpler problems that corporation have and the low-skilled workers would be much easier to please (and get votes from).There are two main drives in society:(1) The iron fist of centralisation, concentration and conformation. These are simple hierarchical structures, often totalitarian in nature. Control is easy, and only limited interaction is needed.(2) The clay-like flexibility of decentralisation and diversification. Often dynamic, networking complex processes without much structure. Often liberal in nature. Imposible to control: You can only interact with it or join and become part of it.

  4. etbnc says:

    It intrigues me that this essay (or is it a rough draft?) follows the one titled “That’s Not What I Meant”. Would my interpretation and my reaction to this one be different if there were emoticons sprinkled throughout?I’m a bit puzzled by an apparent need to blame somebody, to create villains. Is deliberately dehumanizing and demonizing lawyers and doctors really the most effective way to inspire readers to unlearn helplessness? In a screed, er, essay that seems to strive (at times) to demonstrate systems thinking, labeling a few people as Bad Guys undermines the attempt at demonstration.Suppose for a moment that one of this blog’s readers is a doctor who has devoted her career to bringing systems thinking into public health. How should she respond to this?

  5. theresa says:

    I think this post speaks more to the limits of medical research than the irrelevence of it. I enjoy reading this blog because the author is willing to risk putting forward ideas for comment even before they are fully developed. He manages to provoke a reaction from readers and anyway proves that the really important questions don’t have any fully developed answers. ETBNC, I clicked on your link to systems thinking and it seemed very progressive I am not sure how you get people to see the big picture but it looked interesting:-) This whole discussion reminded me of an essay I read in a creative writing class maybe 20 years ago: Of Dragons and Garden Peas. It was written around 1981 and was also taught to students in medical school. There is a summary of it here if you are not familiar with it or have forgotten. It describes the author’s experience with cancer, her experiences with the medical establishment and her thoughts on the whole idea that we can ever find a final cure for the ever recurring dragons of disease. I think it may be a more developed version of some of the points Dave may have been trying to make here although I suspect that it took the author several more weeks to compose. (sorry Dave, no smiley for you. Lol)

  6. medaille says:

    I really liked this article because it broadened learned helplessness into its full magnitude. That which we call specialization/industrialization, etc. Not very many people know how deep it permeates into our society. I think etbnc and andre both offered nice points but are missing the important parts of your post (or at least didn’t comment on it). This post has nothing to do with lawyers, doctors, HIV/AIDS, etc. They are just examples of learned helplessness at work. If you focus on them without “getting” the underlying principles as related to learned helplessness that are mentioned you are missing the point.Schools in modern day society are designed solely to produce employees that are suitable for our society. I was listening to our local NPR station yesterday, and they were discussing how our state’s minority students aren’t going to college enough compared to white people and how it needs to be rectified in order to help them rise out of poverty. There solution was to try to change programs to promote minority students to get college degrees. This makes it clear how our schools are being influenced by our society’s general misunderstanding of schools role in helping us acquire happiness or spiritual development (Which is what we are really striving for).I think Dave’s main point for the readers that may have misunderstood what the post was about was that we need to change our schooling system to help our children learn how to better create happiness for themselves rather than the current method of teaching them how to get money from the system thats already in place. Dave has posted in the past that Happiness with our work comes from “doing what we love”, “doing whats needed”, and “doing what we’re good at.” Many philosophers have argued that enduring happiness is the result of self-growth. Both of these are better achieved by an education system that promotes entrepeneurship rather than “how to get a good paying job.”Mass entrepeneurship creates a more even playing field for everyone and better distributes wealth to non-entrepeneurs as well.Etbnc, I don’t think this essay is really limited to just applying blaim. It offers the “bad guys” as a method to show how learned helplessness spreads and how it weakens us. At the beginning of the post he talks a lot about natural enterprise and he mentions it because its a model of where he thinks we should be heading. Its true that he doesn’t offer a step-by-step path on how to get there, but he does try to clarify a better model than what we currently have, even if he leaves the whole idea about how to get from point a to point b up in the air.

  7. medaille says:

    Suppose for a moment that one of this blog’s readers is a doctor who has devoted her career to bringing systems thinking into public health. How should she respond to this?This strikes me as eerily familiar. It sounds an awful lot like when people were protesting the war and saying that the USofAmerica’s government was in an unjust war. There were a lot of people who misunderstood their protest as being anti-american or disrespectful to the deceased soldiers as if their sacrifices have been devalued. What it really meant is that more people don’t need to die and that it needs to be said to prevent future pain and misery from happening to the same lack of understanding.In the case of this doctor, she should realise that she plays a part in the system. Its not her fault because she didn’t determine how the system worked or interacted. She should realise that the current system is uncapable of providing affordable health care and is often in an effort to gather money and while hindered by ego able to blind itself as a whole to certain issues. She upon awareness is presented a choice. She can either choose to continue to play the role that was handed to her by society or she can choose to try to change the system so that it produces better results, because she knows that the amount of influence she can exert for good will be limited if she stays in the role she’s in. As they say, “If you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve been getting.”

  8. Ren says:

    “Schools in modern day society are designed solely to produce employees that are suitable for our society.”Exactly. And I don’t believe that you can reform a system in which government control and money are central to it’s existence.Schooling is what you do to the masses.Learning is a completely individual process.

  9. Mariella says:

    If we are reading this blog, is because we have “an intention” related to find out the way to improve the coming world for our descendants… some kind of commitment with humans future… or so………. The more clearly we can define that the massive information that is given to us through the media… (including the teaching programs released by the educational áreas of our goverments) leads us to fit in the needs of survival of the system………. Learning to be constructively critical will allow us to recognize excelency and honestity in doctors… and in any kind of activity…… It will help us to improve our posibilities to choose….. options…… helplessness reduces options…. and if you have super powerful paternal goverments (and subsidiaries) to aid you to disolve this feeling…. you are choiceless.

  10. etbnc says:

    As new blog posts accumulate, it seems to me these comment threads become easy for readers to overlook. That’s exactly why I feel it’s so important to get the crucial ideas into the blog itself.Medaille commented: “In the case of this doctor, she should realise that she plays a part in the system. Its not her fault because she didn’t determine how the system worked or interacted….”I think that’s a wonderful assessment. That’s exactly what I wanted to see in the original blog post. How many readers will see it here, in these comments? My concern is that many subsequent readers will be influencedonly by the mixed bag of assertions on the blog’s main page.The blog entry’s first section, about schooling, reflects systems thinking similar to our commentary. Itcarefully states: “I don’t think anyone systematically ‘programmed’ education to be this way”. Teachers are not singled outfor blame. In fact, they are described as participants who are themselves “locked” in a system.The second section of the blog, however, doesn’t practice what the first section has just preached. It specifically blames two participants: “The first step in this process was probably the fault of (who else) the lawyers…Then the lawyers and doctors decided we were too stupid to make such decisions…” We read that the public education system, “like any other complex system, evolves and adapts.” Butthe public health system apparently is not complex, evolved, or adapted. Apparently it exists only because “they”, the Bad Guy Lawyers, decided that “we”, the rest of us, are “too stupid”.To me that looks a lot like an example of learned helplessness thinking–ironically, in the guise of decrying it.I read Friday’s blog entry immediately after rereading Peter Senge’s remarkable book about systems thinking, The Fifth Discipline. The systems approach was fresh in my mind when I read the blog’sfirst portion about education, and I was pleased to see that it began by demonstratinga systems approach. The contrast of that second section was especially glaring, and especially dismaying.I know that Dave has read The Fifth Discipline. In fact, I thought he planned to add it to his excellent list of recommended reading. Since I edit manuscripts occasionally (including medical research reports), my reaction to a piece of writing that exhibits great care followed by…um, somewhat less care…is to characterize it as a rough draft. This blog entry contains several interesting and importantideas that all merit careful exploration and careful presentation. I’m confident readers will seethese ideas again, with the benefit of further consideration.Dave’s blog has an established readership and an established reputation for influencing its readers. I want this blog to succeed. I want this blog to be effective at influencing its readers to create beneficial change in our culture. When the writing demonstrates and reinforces beneficial behaviors, I cheer. If the writing inadvertently reinforces the very behaviors it strives to eliminate, I say, “Stop! Try again, please.” :)

  11. medaille says:

    Etbnc, I like the serenity in your words. While I’m not fully learned in systems theory, I think that Dave is being fair and similar in his analyses of both the education and the medical industries. It is undoubtable that causality is in play in these examples. Someone had to make the choices that led for us to be in the situation that we are in now, or in other words, if no one made any changes to the system, we’d all be living in the very first version of civilization. Even if people (such as doctors, lawyers, or teachers) are born into a system they should still be aware of the choices that were made before them that have led to the results that we have today. Life is a learning process, and in a perfect world we would all learn from our mistakes and life would get continually better for all of us as we refined this technology known as civilization. I think the vast majority of people on the planet do an absolutely horrible job at learning from the experiences of those who came before us, and while some of that is due to human nature, a lot of people just don’t realize the importance in learning from our past mistakes.I think the big thing that Dave is getting at with the whole medical portion of the post is the idea that we don’t have to be responsible for our actions. Part of becoming an adult is that you grow up to accept responsibility for your own actions, ie “you reap what you sow.” I think most people learn this when they play the role of individual or parent, but as a society each person is treated as a child and thus they never learn to fulfill that role towards their community. In essence, most people aren’t completely mature yet, because your responsibility to other people’s well being includes not only the direct results of your actions, but also everything downstream of your causality chain. We obviously don’t know everything yet (or we’d be perfect), but there is a lot that we are capable of knowing that we are ignoring or not acting on. In the past stories were used to pass down important ideas that people were supposed to learn that would help the people learn their responsibility towards their community. In today’s society, the story teller is our media (and the 6 companies that own it). We teach students history in school, but we don’t teach them the important things to glean from them, we expect them to just figure it out on their own.At this point in our society, we clearly know that school is fundamentally flawed in that it inevitably teaches the majority to be weak and thus they easily give up their portion of the power they hold in government towards ends that aren’t the best for them or their children. It is also clear that the medical industry is becomng increasingly disfunctional as far as the average person is benefitted. Ivan Illich is a wonderful read as far as why industrialized processes first appear to offer miraculous benefits, but as time grows on become increasingly disfunctional and he mentions the medial industry specificly.We read that the public education system, “like any other complex system, evolves and adapts.” But the public health system apparently is not complex, evolved, or adapted. Apparently it exists only because “they”, the Bad Guy Lawyers, decided that “we”, the rest of us, are “too stupid”.Its obvious that the health system is complex, and evolved and adapted, but any evolution/adaptation is done in a very limited range of freedom due to the constraints set on the people that work in that field by the institutions they are working in and more horrendously by the laws that reinforce a specific failing type of institution. What we as a society need is the freedom to allow the maximum diversity in institutional hierarchy and preferably smaller sized institutions. As a person in the medical field, do you ever feel frustrated by your inability to help someone due to the “red tape” thats involved. Or have you ever noticed that the medical society promotes a certain type of help over another? One obvious example is that we are often recommended to consume pharmaceutical drugs, but very rarely are recommended to pursue “alternative” remedies such as acupuncture, herbs, etc. Often the reason is that there has been limited research done on the alternatives. Its fairly clear that the medical industry as a whole is fairly selective in what it chooses to research. This is due to the limits of living in a profit/debt-based society and in the laws that are currently in place but seen to be too unwieldy to just up and change.

  12. medaille says:

    Here I found this article that relates well. is the relevant part.The future is not written in stone, but neither is it unbounded. Our actions, our choices shape the options we’ll have in the days and years to come. We can, with all too little difficulty, make decisions that call into being an inescapable chain of events. But if we try, we can also make decisions that expand our opportunities, and push out the boundaries of tomorrow.If there is a common theme across our work at WorldChanging, it is that we are far better served as a global civilization by actions and ideas that increase our ability to respond effectively, knowledgably, and sustainably to challenges that arise. In particular, I’ve focused on the value of openness as a means of worldchanging transformation: open as in free, transparent and diverse; open as in participatory and collaborative; open as in broadly accessible; and open as in choice and flexibility, as with the kind of future worth building — the open future.Creating an open future requires foresight, to be sure, but it also requires that we embrace a way of looking at the world that emphasizes responsibility, caution and (perhaps paradoxically) a willingness to experiment. It requires that we recognize that the status quo is contingent, and that we can never be in full control of our environment. Even the most powerful among us live at the sufferance of the universe.The tools that we depend upon to enable effective, knowledgable and sustainable responses are neither surprising nor obscure: information about the planet, its people and its systems; collaboration and cooperation among the world’s citizens; access to the means by which we expand our knowledge, feed our people, and cure our illnesses. Actions taken to restrict information, hinder collaboration, and centralize power in the hands of the few will, almost invariably, cut off our options. Actions we take that expand what we know, how well we work together, and how readily the people of the world can build their future, conversely, almost invariably increase the options we have for a better tomorrow.

  13. But, if HIV is not the cause of AIDS? Then, what is?? Because HIV-Negative AIDS patients are not prescribed any toxic antiretroviral medications. Nobody even knows about us or what is causing our idiopathic illnesses, never mind to care about us enough to want to drug us (questionably, to death)…I believe that to systemically diagnosis me (and millions of ailing, med-free, immunosuppressed CFS patients) will be to answer the next-most, logically-sequential question: What is the cause of CFS?Orthodoxy: HIV/AIDSAIDS Myth: HIV?AIDSProposal: CFS->AIDSPersonally, I think where most AIDS dissidents continue to miss the mark is that they are so busy saying HIV is not the cause of AIDS that they fail to see that there is a blazing heterosexual CFS epidemic sweeping across the developed world. In 3rd world countries, where HIV diagnostic tests do not exist (and/or are too expensive to conduct) CFS patients are labeled AIDS patients by sheer symptomatology alone. It is only in first and second world countries, where we over-complicate everything with questionably defective diagnostic tests and shoddy intellectual definitional platforms, where achieving the elite status of an AIDS diagnosis must be coupled with (or predestinated by) an HIV+ diagnostic test result. That’s right people…if I lived in Africa right now I would have an AIDS diagnosis in hand. Rather, because of geography, capitalism, and politics, I am both a CFS and an HIV-Negative AIDS patient

  14. David Crowe says:

    For more information on dissenting or ‘rethinking’ the HIV=AIDS=Death dogma, please check out a website I have put together: Much of this website includes quotes from hundreds of scientific papers indicating that all is not well with this theory, especially concerning the accuracy of HIV tests, the safety and effectiveness of AIDS drugs, the reality of sexual transmission and even the existence of the virus.- David Crowe, Alberta Reappraising AIDS Society, Calgary

  15. Jeff Harbert says:

    We’re definitely on the same page when it comes to education. We give up so much of our lives to our employers. Vastly increased entrepreneurship would do so much to bring us back to being in touch with our lives and each other. It’s a plunge I’m going to be taking myself pretty soon.

  16. I think that many of the ideas you expressed are quite on the mark. According to Dr. John Austgen, DDS (retired) the HIV causation of AIDS is extremely shaky–almost laughable. Dr. Austgen publishes in the magazine, Culture Wars, out of South Bend, Indiana. The Perth Medical group has done some wonderful analysis also. Dr. E. Michael Jones publisher of Culture Wars has analyzed how this virus paradigm and the pressure for condom use is a tool of US foreign policy in Africa to introduce population control on the Africans so we will have easier access to the mineral wealth of that continent.I wish that the HIV-AIDS clique would really look at the problem with clear eyes. However the billions of dollars at stake could cloud the vision of the most virtuous practitioner. It is very interesting how your logical analysis on the proper organization of society agrees with the ideas of the Catholic Church. Have you been studying some of the papal social encyclicals in secret?

  17. Christine says:

    Or for the other side of the story, check out: decide for yourself.

  18. Henry Bauer says:

    20 years of HIV-test data in the US clearly show that HIV is not sexually transmitted. All attempts to observe transmission have found efficacy of <1%, typically <1 per 1000. All the pertinent official reports and peer-reviewed articles are cited in 3 preprints at

  19. Terry says:

    When they were killing off gay men with AZT nobody really cared. Those drug trials were also fraudulent and corupt. Now that they are going after women and their children maybe more will care about the dangers of AIDS drugs.

  20. Dave Pollard says:

    Christine: Thanks for this link. I was hoping that someone would come up with a point-by-point refutation of the arguments that AIDS is not caused by HIV. Unfortunately, this is not it. The high correlation stated between HIV presence and AIDS diagnosis, for example, is a tautology — clinicians cannot diagnose a patient with AIDS unless there is evidence of HIV. And their short, two-sentence argument refuting the critical ‘myth’ that many people with AIDS symptoms have no HIV is utterly inadequate. Damn this is frustrating — but the jury is still out and the victims of ‘non-HIV AIDS’ are still dying.

  21. a volunteer says:

    …what about helping out to understand and give a chance to others?

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