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    Media Coverage > Poison by Prescription: ... > Book Review


'Poison by Prescription; The AZT Story'
John Lauritsen
Asklepios Press USA 1990, ISBN 0-943742-06-4.


An almost incredible story is detailed in this new book by John Lauritsen, which is compiled from articles and other material already published plus the latest updates all for the first time in one volume. That a society which calls itself literate would allow these events to occur without opposition and almost unnoticed by the great majority of scientists, doctors, government agents and even people who suffer from AIDS themselves defies reason, calls black white and cries to the skies for exposure.

Through repetitive and precise documentation of the flaws in studies leading to the early and hasty approval of AZT, of the feeble and inaccurate "arguments" that were said to "prove" or to demonstrate" the alleged benefits of AZT, and the outright fraud in public and "official" announcements, Mr. Lauritsen shows exactly what is wrong and names the players involved as well as their acts.

It can be assumed that his documentation is accurate if only because he has not been sued for either libel or slander. Using words that are in the dictionary, the author calls these high-placed and all-mighty officials by the names their actions imply. In the past, movie stars have sued writers for far less than these accusations, and the lack of suits against Mr. Lauritsen indicates that there is, under close scrutiny, no defense against his charges.

Most people do not choose to scrutinise medical texts that closely. Most people find medical terms difficult, and the terms used by researchers are largely unknown outside the field where academic jargon rules and ordinary people fall asleep in the midst of either reading or discussion. Probably it is that same unfamiliarity combined with fear of the unknown and uncertain areas behind these terms that keeps people in a state of mind such to agree with these liars and charlatans.

As someone who was dying of cancer said, "I had to go to the doctors, because they have the pain relievers and my pain was more than I could bear." That particular person did die -- of a deliberate overdose of morphine administered by a nurse.

The collusion of patients with those doctors -- not all doctors but those who seem to be the main directing force in medicine -- in the killing of patients by medications is a true fact that is so shocking that people seem to refuse to believe it. The patients seem actually to welcome it, especially when it is described as "giving more life" or "buying time" or just "hopeful" even though it is, for any patient who continues taking it, fatal. I mean death.

The book says this, over and over, and shows the linkage between fraud, corruption, permission and finally the statistics that prove it is fatal. "Irrelevant" or "contradictory" material, Mr. Lauritsen shows, has been weeded out of these deathly facts that were gathered by FDA analysts and secretly published. Recommendation that AZT should not be permitted has been changed to permission, first for compassionate reasons for those most ill, then for others not so ill, and finally is now recommended for those who are not ill at all. Thus is poison now being heartily suggested to prevent illness.

Fictional plots could not be any more bizarre than the truth of this story. We simply do not need any scripts of how government is trying to poison us. The fact is that patients and a supposed "patient risk population" is demanding a remedy that can only result in damage that, if continued, will lead to death from iatrogenic (medicine-induced) causes.

People who should be reading the facts appear to be most conscious of each other and of each other's opinions, as if life and safety were a popularity contest. Reason is abandoned, hope is twisted into a hangman's noose for the unwary, and advantage is being taken of the very real misery, suffering and fear of those who, themselves not medical experts, stand to bear the pain and end in the ugly death that has been visited on so many by AIDS.

The surprise of this book is not what is written. Most of these arguments have been put forward before (check the dates in the footnotes -- most are previous to 1990). The surprise is that there is almost nothing in the press at large that even comes close to matching what is printed here and in the few publications that have dared to print these "medical heresies" about AIDS.

It is from pain and suffering that people with AIDS speak when they condemn the challenge that HIV does not cause AIDS. It is from pain and exasperation that people with AIDS speak when they say that without AZT they would already be dead. (One said exactly that to me this very day.) To people with AIDS, it appears that AZT is "buying time" for them. So it was to Mark Pearson, who wrote the bulletin board program you are now using in reading this review. And Mark died after 14 months of AZT, as surely as fate could have it. He was one of the first round, he paid the premium price and got the full doses. Every four hours. "For the rest of my life," he would say with a grim smile. Finally, they put a pipe in his chest, which he said "I now see is for the rest of my life." He put a stop to it, ordered them to remove all life supports, Sep. 13, 1988, and died a few hours later.

In the past two years I, as editor and also as an individual, have been repeatedly subjected to severe criticism, which I can accept for what it is, coming as it does out of pain and frustration, for speaking up about what is obviously wrong in the AIDS picture. I shall continue to do so, despite such criticism as may come my way.

John Lauritsen has done so in detail and at considerable risk before the public. His book deserves a serious reading, it deserves open discussion, and it ranks high for both clarity and courage.

There are already strong indications of the beginnings of support for the accurate criticisms articulated by Mr. Lauritsen, whose credentials as a reporter and as a research analyst were already clearly established long before AIDS became news. He knows the field of research analysis, he thinks in logical patterns, and he speaks up and writes using carefully chosen words without resort to the sort of gutter language often employed by the advocates of AZT.

No reputable scientist can win an argument by substituting schoolboy peer pressure, mudslinging rhetoric and lies for facts, reason and sensible conclusions. The truth today is that these nether tactics are indeed being used by high government officials, and that there are no real responses to the challenges put forth against the use of AZT (a poison). To quote a statement (March 1990) about why AZT is recommended:

"Yes -- that is simply incomprehensible to me. I cannot come up with a rational explanation. I haven't heard one. In fact, they always avoid one -- they keep saying it has been shown empirically to prolong life. That is very difficult for me to accept. I'm trying to take the data for what they are, and to criticize them on the basis of intrinsic inconsistencies, but this one I simply cannot accept." Peter Duesberg, March 25 1990.

Over and over and over in this book are transcripts of angry and slanderous remarks made at public "discussions" by officials and doctors and both. It boggles the mind that these largely unreported ugly details are overlooked by people who were present.

The VI International Conference on AIDS was no exception. Speech after speech, poster after poster, corridor conversation after corridor conversation, dinnertable talk, everywhere, AZT and HIV were referred to in glowing prose as "the saving drug" and "the wicked virus" despite facts, as Mr. Lauritsen documents, which indicate nearly the opposite.

Nowhere, as Lauritsen says, is there any published hard data to prove that AZT is of any benefit at all to anyone other than its promoters. In this sense, hope is not a factor, and even the "hope" surrounding AZT could be better applied in other and more traditional directions.

If you're thinking of taking AZT, try "blowing" $12 for this informative volume before you plunge into that trip to nowhere.

Reviewed by Ben Gardiner.
Source: Ben Gardiner's BBS.
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