history by Elena Cook
The world of
Lyme disease medicine is split into two camps â€“ the US government-backed
"Steere camp", which maintains the disease is hard-to-catch, easily cured,
and rarely causes chronic neurological damage, and the "ILADS camp", which
maintains the opposite. The Steere camp is intricately bound up with the
American biowarfare establishment, as well as with giant insurance and
other corporate interests with a stake in the issue. The ILADS doctors
lack such connections, but are supported instead by tens of thousands of
patients rallying behind them.
Steere camp has been massively funded and promoted by federal agencies,
its view has dominated Lyme medicine not just in the US, but across much
of the world. The result has been suffering on a grand scale. Below is
a concise history of the military aspects of this cover-up.
of biological weapons has never been confined to dictatorships or "rogue"
regimes. During the Second World War America, Britain and Canada collaborated
closely on developing offensive bioweapons, and offensive research continued
as an openly acknowledged activity of the US scientific establishment during
the Cold War. Only in 1972 was this work banned by international treaty.
Meanwhile the Maryland-based labs at Fort Detrick, for example, had produced
millions of mosquitoes, ticks and other vectors for the purpose of spreading
The island of
Gruinard, off the coast of Scotland, was only declared habitable again
in 1990, nearly fifty years after the British first contaminated it during
anthrax experiments. [ii] Ticks, which vector Lyme disease, have been studied
as biowarfare instruments for decades. Such well-known biowar agents as
tularaemia and Q-fever are tick-borne. The Borrelia genus of bacteria,
which encompasses the Borrelia burgdorferi species-group (to which Lyme
disease is attributed),was studied by the infamous WW2 Japanese biowar
Unit 731, who carried out horrific experiments on prisoners in Manchuria,
including dissection of live human beings. [iii] Unit 731 also worked on
a number of other tick-borne pathogens. After the war, the butchers of
Unit 731 were shielded from prosecution by the US authorities, who wanted
their expertise for the Cold War.
[iv] The US
government also protected and recruited German Nazi bioweaponeers under
the aegis of the top-secret Operation Paperclip. [v] Borreliosis, or infection
with microbes belonging to the borrelia genus, had been dreaded during
the Second World War as a cause of the often-fatal disease relapsing fever.
The new post-war era of penicillin meant that many bacterial infections
could now be easily cured. However, borrelia were known for their ability
to adopt different forms under conditions of stress (such as exposure to
antibiotics). Shedding their outer wall, (which is the target of penicillin
and related drugs), they could ward off attack and continue to exist in
is not usually fatal, and it is sometimes argued that, with rapidly lethal
agents like smallpox and plague available, an army would have no interest
in it. However, what is important to understand here is that incapacitating
or "non-lethal" bioweapons are a major part of biowarfare R&D[vi],
and have been for decades. For example, during the Second World War, brucellosis,
chronically disabling but not usually fatal, was a major preoccupation.
Military strategists understand that disabling an enemy's soldiers can
sometimes cause more damage than killing them, as large amount of resources
are then tied up in caring for the casualties. An efficient incapacitating
weapon dispersed over a civilian population could destroy a country's economy
and infrastructure without firing a shot. People would either be too sick
to work, or too busy looking after those who were.
The EIS and
the "Discovery" of Lyme
history begins in 1975 when a mother in the town of Old Lyme, Connecticut
reported the outbreak
of a strange,
multi-system disease. The town lies directly opposite the Plum Island biowarfare
research lab where, according to former Justice official John Loftus, Nazi
scientists brought to the US after WW2 may have test-dropped "poison ticks".
[vii] It should
be noted that Loftus' reputation for gathering accurate, hard-hitting information
is strong â€“ strong enough to bring down in disgrace the former
Chancellor of Austria and Secretary-General of the UN Kurt Waldheim, after
the latter's wartime SS record was revealed. While it's not yet known
if Plum Island experimented on Lyme-causing borrelia, the lab's directors
openly admitted to Michael Carroll, author of a recently-published book
which is endorsed by two formerState Governors, that they kept "tick colonies".
The "hard tick" Amblyomma americanum, a known carrier of Borrelia burgdorferi,
was one of the subjects of the Island's experiments.
is not the one most commonly associated with transmitting Borrelia burgdorferi,
but it is implicated in harbouring Borrelia lonestari, believed to be the
cause of a "Lyme-like illness" in the American south. [ix] Carroll's book
reveals a shocking disregard for safety, in this lab handling some of the
most dangerous germs on earth. Eyewitnesses described how infected
animals were kept in open-air pens. Birds swooping down into the pens could
have picked up and spread infected ticks worldwide. When Polly Murray
made her now-famous call to the Connecticut health department to report
the strange epidemic among children and adults in her town, her initial
reception was lukewarm. However, some weeks later, she got an unexpected
call from a Dr David Snydman, of the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS),
who was very interested. He arranged for fellow EIS officer Dr Allen Steere
to get involved. By the time Mrs. Murray turned up for her appointment
at Yale, the doctor she had expected to see had been relegated to the role
of an onlooker.
had taken charge â€“ and his views were to shape the course
of Lyme medicine for the next thirty years, up till today. [x] To understand
the significance of all this, we need a closer look at the Epidemic Intelligence
Service, the EIS.
The EIS is an
elite, quasi-military unit of Infectious Disease experts set up in the
1950's to develop an offensive biowarfare capability. Despite the banning
of offensive biowar in the 1970's, the crack troops of the EIS continue
to exist, ostensibly for on-offensive research into "emerging disease"
threats, a blanket phrase covering both bioweapon attacks and natural epidemics
at the same time. Graduates of the EIS training program are sent in to
occupy strategic positions in the US health infrastructure, taking leadership
at federal and state health agencies, in academia, industry and the media.
The organisation also extends its influence abroad, training officers for
public health agencies in Britain, France, the Netherlands etc.
[xi] [xii] In
fact a high proportion of Steere camp Lyme experts are involved with the
EIS. Given that the EIS is a small, elite force, (in 2001 the CDC revealed
there were less than 2500 EIS officers in existence since the unit was
first created in 1951 [xiii]), it seems incredible that so many of America's
top Infectious Disease experts would devote their careers to what they
themselves claim is a "hard-to-catch, easily-cured" disease. Within a few
years of Steere's "discovery" of Lyme disease (the unique Lyme rash, and
certain associated symptoms, had been recognised in Europe nearly a century
before), it was announced that its bacterial cause had been identified.
was accidentally found by biowarfare scientist Willy Burgdorfer and was
subsequently named for him. Burgdorfer has championed the Lyme patients'
movement and is not suspected of any wrongdoing. However it is not impossible
that he was unwittingly caught up in a chain of events that were not as
random as they might have seemed. Burgdorfer was a Swiss scientist who
had been recruited by the US Public Health Service in the 1950's. He was
highly experienced with both ticks and borrelia, but after being told that
the government were not interesting in funding work with the latter, he
switched to work with Rickettsia and other pathogens.
[xiv] In 1981,
Burgdorfer was sent a batch of deer ticks by a team studying Rocky Mountain
Spotted Fever on the East Coast. In charge of the team was one Dr Jorge
Benach. [xv] Benach subsequently spent much of his career as a Steere camp
Lyme researcher. In 2004 he was chosen as recipient for a $3 million biowarfare
research grant. [xvi] Cutting open some of Benach' ticks, Burgdorfer noticed
microfilaria (microscopic worm young). This was a subject he had been studying
recently, only these microfilaria were different. They were exceptionally
large,large enough to be seen with the naked eye.[xvii] His curiosity naturally
piqued, he opened up several more ticks. There he was surprised to
find the spiral-shaped germs of borrelia.
is necessary in order to isolate bacteria for study, so that diagnostic
tests, vaccines or cures can be developed. Borrelia are very difficult
to grow in culture. However, by "lucky coincidence", another scientist
had recently joined the lab where he worked, and had apparently been involved
in an amazing breakthrough in this area. So naturally Burgdorfer
handed the infected ticks over to him. [xviii] That scientist was Dr. Alan
Barbour, an officer, like Steere and Snydman, of the Epidemic Intelligence
Service, with a background in work on anthrax, one of the most terrifying
biowarfare agents known. [xix] EIS man Barbour therefore became the
first to isolate the prototype organism on which all subsequent Lyme disease
blood tests would be based.
[xx] This is
very significant, as a huge body of evidence [xxi] indicates the unreliability
of these tests, which are routinely used to rule out the disease.
Additionally, all DNA detection of the Lyme agent in ticks and animals
is ultimately based, directly or indirectly, on the genetic profile of
the strain first isolated by Barbour. Shortly after Barbour's discovery,
other species and strains of the Lyme-causing bacteria were isolated, especially
in Europe. They were all classified based on their resemblance to
Barbour's organism, and have been grouped into a category called Borrelia
burgdorferi sensu lato or "Bbsl" for short. However, a borrelia was subsequently
found in the southern US (referred to briefly above) which appears not
to be a member of Barbour's Bbsl group at all.
[xxii] The bacteria,
named Borrelia lonestari, often evades detection on Lyme blood tests, is
not found using DNA tests, and does not grow in Barbour's culture medium
which is used world-wide for lab study. [xxiii]And yet, it appears to cause
an illness identical to Lyme â€“ down to the "bullseye rash",
which, though not present in all patients, is considered unique to Lyme
disease. In 2005 Barbour, who spent much of his career studying the
"hard-to-catch, easy-to-cure" Lyme disease, was placed in charge of the
multi-million new biowarfare mega-complex based at University of California
at Irvine (UCI). [xxiv] Barbour is joined there by his close colleague
and fellow Steerite Jonas Bunikis, author of recent papers calling for
a restrictive approach to Lyme diagnosis. The Spread and the Spin
By the late 1980's it was realised that Lyme disease was rapidly spreading
out of control. Cases were reported across America, Europe and Asia.
Federal health agencies launched a major propaganda effort to
and so artificially "contain" the epidemic.
Institute of Health (NIH) appointed biowarfare expert Edward McSweegan
as Lyme Program officer. [xxv] Under his leadership the diagnostic criteria
was skewed to exclude most sufferers, especially those with chronic neurological
illness. McSweegan's successor at NIH, Dr Phil Baker, is an anthrax expert
[xxvi], and has continued his policies.
The Center for
Disease Control (CDC) is another federal body which has had a major impact
on how Lyme is diagnosed and treated. Its influence extends abroad, with
European public health departments drawing up policies based on CDC guidelines.
It should be remembered that it is the CDC which trains the Epidemic Intelligence
Service, and much of the leadership of CDC has traditionally been drawn
from EIS ranks. Therefore it comes as no surprise to learn that David Dennis,
the head of vector-borne diseases at CDC, with massive influence over Lyme
issues, was involved with the EIS. However, we could legitimately wonder
why, at lower levels of the CDC hierarchy, EIS officers - the nation's
heavyweight infectious disease experts - continue to play such a major
role in investigating the supposedly "hard-to-catch, easily cured" Lyme.
(For example, EIS officers Martin Schriefer and Captain Paul Mead.) [xxvii].
2001, responding to the protest of thousands of patients that standard
two or three-week antibiotic courses were not sufficient, the NIH commissioned
biowarfare scientist Mark Klempner to study persistence of Lyme infection.
ILADS doctors had found that patients left untreated in the early phase
often needed long courses of antibiotics, [xxix] sometimes for years.
Klempner, however, concluded that persistent Lyme infection did not exist.
In 2003 Klempner
was appointed head of the new $1.6 billion biowarfare top-security facility
being developed at Boston University. Shortly after, the news emerged that
there had been an escape of the deadly bug tularaemia which was not properly
reported to the authorities.
[xxx] In 2005
the author discovered a document on the NIH website listing Lyme as one
of the potential bioterrorism agents studied in BSL-4 (top security) labs.
After this was publicised, the NIH announced they had made a "mistake",
and removed the words "Lyme disease" from the page. (At the time of writing,
the original is still available in cached Internet archives. [xxxi]) However,
at around the same time, a CDC source leaked the identical information
to the Associated Press. [xxxii] Moreover, the Science Coalition,
comprising entities as prestigious as the American Medical Association,
Yale University, and the American Red Cross, maintain a website which,
at the time of
lists Lyme as a disease studied for its biowarfare potential. [xxxiii]
Could these three major organisations all have, co-incidentally, made the
In 2004 the
UK government denied that Lyme was a threat in Britain and told Parliament
that no Lyme research had been conducted since 1999. [xxxiv] Yet the report
of the official UK delegation to an international conference on the prevention
of bioterrorism revealed that Lyme was being studied at Porton Down, Britain's
top biowarfare facility. [xxxv] Britain, and many other European countries,
take their lead on Lyme from a body called EUCALB, rooted in Steere camp
methodology. NATO has also been directly involved in moves to "harmonise"
European Lyme diagnosis along Steerite lines
A Bug of
to evade detection on routine medical tests, its myriad presentations which
can baffle doctors by mimicking 100 different diseases, its amazing abilities
to evade the immune system and antibiotic treatment, would make it an attractive
choice to bioweaponeers looking for an incapacitating agent. Lyme's
abilities as "the great imitator" might mean that an attack could be misinterpreted
as simply a rise in the incidence of different, naturally-occurring diseases
such as autism, MS, lupus and chronic fatigue syndrome (M.E.). Borrelia's
inherent ability to swap outer surface proteins, which may also vary widely
from strain to strain, would make the production of an effective vaccine
extremely difficult. (A vaccine developed for the public by the Steere
camp in collaboration with
was pulled from the market a few years ago amid class action lawsuits [xxxvi].)
Finally, the delay before the appearance of the most incapacitating symptoms
would allow plenty of time for an attacker to move away from the scene,
as well as preventing people in a contaminated zone from realising they
had been infected and seeking treatment. Often in the early period
there is no rash, only vague flu-like or other non-specific symptoms which
might be dismissed by GP's, or ignored by the patient.
The 2003 proposal
for a rapid-detection method for biowarfare by Dr JJ Dunn of Brookhaven
National Lab seems to add further grounds for suspicion. It is based on
the use of two "sentinel" germs â€“ plague and Lyme.
1999 Lyme patient advocacy leader Pat Smith was amazed to find, on visiting
an Army base at an old biowar testing ground in Maryland, that the US Dept.
of Defence has developed a satellite-linked system that enables soldiers
to read, in real-time, off a display on their helmet's visor, information
about the rate of Lyme-infected ticks wherever they may be on earth.
Unit commanders could update the database using state-of-the-art portable
PCR machines, which test for Lyme DNA in soldiers bitten by ticks.
[xxxviii] The use of such cutting-edge technology for a supposedly hard-to-catch,
easy-to-cure" illness seems odd, to say the least!
Lyme is often
complicated by the presence of co-infecting diseases in the same tick,
e.g. those caused by the microbes of babesia, bartonella, mycoplasma (believed
by some researchers to be the cause of Gulf War illness), ehrlichia, microfilaria
and encephalitis viruses. Investigations into some of these, too,
have been led by American biowar experts. It could be argued that
some of these Lyme researchers have been awarded biowar-related grants
simply because they are Infectious Disease specialists, which is a natural
terrain from which to recruit. After all, research budgets for biowar have
ballooned massively since the anthrax attacks of 2001; there is a demand
for large numbers of personnel to work on such projects.
are two things that could be said here. First, researchers who have
spent much or most of their careers studying a "hard-to-catch, easily-cured"
disease would not appear to be the best choice as recipients of this type
of grant, unless the "easily-cured" disease had some relation to biowarfare.
Second, while some infectious disease specialists began to study biowarfare
organisms for the first time after 2001, this is not necessarily the case
with the Steerites. Klempner, for example, was studying ways to increase
the virulence of Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, over 20
years ago [xxxix]; Barbour researched anthrax for the Army in the 1970's.
[xl] The defeat of Saddam Hussein in the 1991 Gulf War was followed by
the drawing up, by the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) of a list of microbes
to be monitored in Iraq. Among them - the borrelia genus in general, and
Borrelia burgdorferi in particular. [xli] UNSCOM also included organisms
such as ehrlichia and babesia, which are often present in Lyme-infected
ticks, and are acquired as concurrent illnesses when a person is bitten.
There are other
organisms on the UN list not generally associated, in the public mind,
with biowarfare, and it could be argued that the UN was simply being extra
cautious by casting a wide net. However, whether Lyme bacteria were present
in Iraq at that time or not, they certainly are today, and US Army manuals
warn soldiers to protect themselves from the disease [xlii] If we are to
accept the traditional Steerite explanation for the rise of Lyme â€“
that it is a natural consequence of a recent population explosion of deer
due to reforestation, combined suburbanisation, bringing humans into contact
with forests â€“ then the presence of Lyme in the dusty sand
dunes of Iraq seems perverse. And what of the doctors of the opposing camp,
those associated with ILADS?
and researchers increasingly find themselves persecuted, victims of spurious
charges made against them to Medical Boards, and are hounded out of their
professions. At the time of writing, paediatrician Dr Charles Ray
Jones, credited by thousands of parents with restoring the health of their
disabled children, is under trial, accused of misconduct. A few years
ago, Dr Lida Mattman, a Nobel Prize nominee who worked on an alternative
culture medium for Lyme, was ordered to shut down operations by police
who arrived at her lab with handcuffs. Dozens of doctors who had
been treating Lyme successfully according to their clinical judgement,
rather than relying on insensitive blood tests or arbitrary limits on antibiotic
duration, have been forced to stop. The president of ILADS, Dr RaymondStricker,
has told the press he believes Lyme disease is a bioweapon.
is the subject of hot controversy, with the "Steere camp" claiming it is
an easily cured ailment, while the ILADS camp views it as a severely disabling,
multi-symptom neurological disease. The number of Steere camp Lyme
researchers with a background in the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS)
and/or biowarfare research is too numerous to be pure co-incidence.
Two scientists who have played a central role in the Lyme story, Barbour
and Klempner, have been placed in charge of new biowar super-labs set up
in the aftermath of 9-11, where they are aided by some of their Steerite
colleagues. Others, while not in charge of super-labs, are nevertheless
in receipt of substantial grants for biowarfare research.
The United States
and some of its NATO allies have a long and sordid history of experimentation
into biological weapons of mass destruction and mass incapacitation.
The Borrelia genus and ticks as biowar vectors have been studied for decades,
and recent revelations about the Plum Island disease lab, across the water
from old Lyme, Connecticut are worrying. The development of the so-called
"non-lethal weapons" has been a major part of biowar science for decades.Suspicion
is further fuelled by the declaration by America's National Institute of
Health that a document on their website listing Lyme as a microbe studied
for bioterrorism potential was a "mistake", just at the time that a CDC
source leaked the same "mistake" to the Associated Press.
at an international conference on the prevention of bioterrorism revealed
that intense work on Lyme and other tick-borne disease is conducted at
the UK's top biowar lab at Porton Down. Lyme has been chosen as a
"sentinel organism" in a method of rapidly detecting bioweapons, and the
whole genus, or category, of borrelia was included among those to be monitored
by the UN in Iraq after the first Gulf War. US soldiers in Iraq today
are warned by the military to protect themselves against the disease.
It's possible to see the modern history of Lyme as a string of events with
an EIS member at every crucial node. The discovery of new Lyme-causing
borrelia, genetically distinct from the Borrelia burgdorferi group first
cultured by EIS officer Alan Barbour, throws up the question as to whether
the Bbsl organisms he introduced to medicine was the only, (or even the
most) relevant borrelia. The testing and diagnostic regimens based
on the views of Barbour, Steere, etc and backed by federal health agencies
such as CDC and NIH currently condemn huge numbers of Lyme patients to
a medical limbo, without treatment or recognition for their disease. The
cost in human suffering may be unimaginable. What is written above
was taken directly from the website http://dailystrength.org/c/Lyme_Disease/forum/1196694-lyme-biowarfare-issue.
Pretty scary. What does it take to end the suffering and help the
thousands infected? Help with awareness, education and fund raising
events are a start.
Williams P, and Wallace
D, "Unit 731, the Japanese Army's Secret
of Secrets", Hodder
and Stoughton 1989, p284
[ii] BBC news website
[iii] Howard Cole, Chief
of Intelligence at America's Chemical Warfare
Service, reported in
"Unit 731" , p105
[iv] "Unit 731". Op
[v] Carroll, Michael
"Lab 257- The Disturbing Story of the Government's Secret Germ Laboratory",
Harper Collins 2004
[vi] Joint Non-Lethal
Weapons Directorate /www.jnlwd.usmc.mil
[vii] "Lab 257" op cit.
[ix] Bacon et al, "Glycerophosphodiester
phosphodiesterase gene (glpQ)
of Borrelia lonestari
identified as a target for differentiating
Borrelia species associated
with hard ticks", J Clin Microbiol 2004 May;42(5):2326-8.
[x] Murray, Polly, "The
Widening Circle", St Martin's Press 1996
[xii] Center for Disease
Control website www.cdc.gov/eis; www.cdc.gov/od/oc/media/p...010720.htm
[xiv] Barbour, Alan
"Lyme Disease: the Cause, the Cure, the
Controversy", The John
Hopkins University Press 1996, p 29.
[xv] "The Widening Circle",
op cit. p.174
[xvi] New York State
Office of Science, Technology and Academic
research, NYStar News
[xvii]Beaver, PC and
Burgdorfer, W "A microfilaria of exceptional size
from the ixodid tick,
Ixodes dammini, from Shelter Island, New York" J Parasitol 1984 Dec;70(6):963-6
[xviii] Barbour, Alan
"Lyme Disease: the Cause, the Cure, the
Controversy", The John
Hopkins University Press 1996 p30.
[xix] University of
California at Irvine website today.uci.edu/news/media_...asp?key=80
[xx] Barbour, Alan op
[xxi] See 17 pages of
citations from peer-reviewed medical literature
archived at www.lymeinfo.net/medical/...tivity.pdf
[xxii] Bacon et al,
[xxiii] Varela et al,
"First Culture Isolation of Borrelia lonestari,
Putative Agent of Southern
Tick-Associated Rash Illness ", J Clin Microbiol. 2004 March; 42(3): 1163â€“1169
[xxiv] UCI Medical Centre
[xxv] McSweegan biography
[xxvi] NIH News www.nih.gov/news/pr/apr2006/niaid-...
[xxvii] CDC www.cdc.gov/eis/conference/archive...
[xxviii] NY Academy
of Sciences www.nyas.org/biodef/speakers.asp
[xxix] ILADS Treatment
[xxxi] For example,
this one at: web.archive.org/web/20050...ick_qa.htm
[xxxii] See MSNBC article
featured on www.ctlymedisease.org/fea...icle02.htm
[xxxvii] Sherr, V comment
in the Lancet www.thehumansideoflyme.ne...51aface839
[xxxix] Pollack C, Straley
SC, Klempner MS, "Probing the
of human macrophages with a Ca2+-responsive
operon fusion in Yersinia
pestis" Nature. 1986 Aug 28-Sep
[xl] Rees et al, "Epidemiologic
and laboratory investigations of
bovine anthrax in two
Utah counties in 1975" Public Health Rep, 1977
[xli] "Note by the Executive
Chairman of the Special Commission
to paragraph 9 (b) (i) of Security Council
resolution 687 (1991)"
Document date: 17 March 1995 Ref- S/1995/208
[xlii] First Infantry
Division Soldier's Handbook to Iraq,
Posted on 11/03/07,