The French Connection

Polio -- Then, Now, and Forever

 

Jenny Lake

Dr. Richard L. Bruno calls the poliovirus "the perfect human OFF switch" in his help-book, The Polio Paradox. He encourages his readers to learn the facts about "the awesome power of the poliovirus" calling it "in fact, a guided missile aimed directly at the brain." Survivors and sufferers of related neurological illness experience what he describes as "post-polio sequelae" , or PPS, that can begin years and decades after initial infection. For many victims, most even, they never knew that the flu-like fever they can recall having as children was connected to the debilitating spiral of weakness, fatigue, and "brain fog" that has come to limit and define their diminishing physical reality.(1). The more daunting facts of polio infection are found in relationship to emerging diseases today and the very large, unrecognized, and unacknowledged scope of damage that continues to be wrought by "polio" --as a virus, a chronic disease, a vaccine, and an instrument of government control. The story of polio is still unfolding, and for whatever ways in which it slipped our attention in the past, our future has been irrevocably altered by its path. Telling the story of polio is a trip back in time and place to find the way again to the crossroads. If we meet the devil there, be sure to say hell-o. He likes the attention.
 
The poliovirus is the world's most studied virus, "discovered" in 1908 by the scientists employed by the Rockefeller Institute, and said to be the first human virus discovery. The brain damage it caused, while still a mysterious agent, was noted by pioneer psychophysiologists in the 1870s who witnessed the neural destruction in the autopsied corpses of victims. The timing came at the the height of  Victorian era "scientism" when every perceived disturbance of the social order was thought to be founded in "materialism". Polio potential did not slip the notice of alert Victorians who were cataloguing the physical basis of mental illness. Their understanding of the foundations of polio infection as the result of chemical poisoning is fairly certain, though the microbial interactions of biology and chemistry were still in a gross state of observation, but they certainly did know its devastating effects. The British Dr. William Hirsch collected the known body of science investigations into polio and published them for the European research community in 1899. By 1903, the first medical articles on the phenomena of "late-onset" progressive paralysis appeared in America. That same year the Rockefeller Insitute for Medical Research installed its first permanent director, Dr. Simon Flexner, and settled into the direction of medical exploration that came to define the very roots of "western medicine". Polio was the emerging disease of the new century, and Simon Flexner staked a distinctively personal claim over its investigation.  
 
When John Shaw Billings took up a knight's errand to recruit faculty for the new Johns Hopkins medical school (opened in 1893) he walked straight into a scene from the book "Faust", the exact spot in a Bavarian tavern where Dr.. Faust was said to have made a bargain for his soul. Billings went to
Germany to meet William Welch and convince him to take a post on behalf of the yet-fledgling institute and its president Daniel Coit Gilman. "Billings and Welch talked passionately of science deep into the night, while the murals [of Faust and the Devil] endowed their words with conspiratorial irony. Billings spoke of the plans for the Hopkins : unheard of admission standards for students, labs that filled great buildings, the most modern hospital in the world, and of course a brilliant faculty. They also talked about life, about each other's goals." Warming to the glow of ambitious prospects, writer John Barry reveals that Welch "opened his soul". (2). It would be a number of years before the bargain struck on that day came to fruition. In the meantime, Welch would take a teaching post at the Bellevue Hospital College in New York, and lament his sorry lot, writing, "I sometimes feel rather blue when I look ahead and see that I am not going to be able to realize my aspirations in life...There is no opportunity in this country, and it seems unlikely there will ever be...I can teach....perhaps get some practice and make a living after a while, but that is all patchwork and the drudgery of life and what hundreds do." Son of wealthy Connecticut physicians and drugstore owners, Welch had a marked ennui for the work-a-day ritual and a downcast outlook through his younger years as if waiting for his "special genius" to be noticed and rewarded. That time came soon enough from the Hopkins and the Rockefeller Insitute founders, who saw in William Welch just the sort of man they were looking for. He had the qualities of an aloof maker of empire who could select and delegate to his juniors and then retreat from the fray to enjoy his high-society indulgences. Rockefeller chose Welch and Welch chose Flexner.
 
So begins a story of the greatest bioweapon "nerve agent" ever to be perpetrated upon humankind. Known to ancient Egyptians as a crippling illness of artisans in metal and stone, the poliovirus and its kindred poisons, the smallest of all bioactive substances revealed by the electron microscopes of the 1930s was set upon the world when the whole world was at it's most vulnerable --the 1950s and the Cold War age of nuclear weapons testing. In those days, in the youth of generations living today, the entire globe was wrapped in radioactive chemical fallout 40,000 times greater than the Bomb that exploded above Hiroshima Japan. (3). We were a "naive" population then, physiologically virginal to Bomb chemistry. But there is no getting used to radioactivity, unlike perhaps an acqiured tolerance to other substances. It is not a substance in that sense, but a quality of energy that is enormously powerful in comparison to living cells, capable of literally blowing them apart. Ionizing, electrically charged particle radiation is the great "X" factor in the equation of Life, and as the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) reports, a most efficient destroyer of the sensitive internal tissues of the small intestine and bone marrow. There, in the small intestine, is where the poliovirus thrives-- poliovirus and its family of enteroviruses, all 72 clan "types" with hundreds of members.
 
The disease of  "polio" has been removed from popular exposure like a badly-worded phrase cut from a commencement speech: the words changed but the intent remains. Looking back over the science journals through experiments with X-rays and chemicals is an exercise in sifting out that very "intent", for it is not until recently that the true causes of polio infection are casually discussed. It is common knowledge to the research communtity that "chemicals and radiation" cause disease. Seldom is it elaborated upon for the public's benefit of understanding. In his Congressional testimony on the medical nature of Gulf War Syndrome (Feb. 02, 2000), recognized expert Dr. Howard B. Urnovitz clearly and briefly describes his post-grad lab experience, "A quarter of a century ago I began my doctoral research in a lab that studied how to create polio in mice without any poliovirus: by manipulating the junk DNA with toxic chemicals or radiation. Gulf War Syndrome has convinced me that these same interactions of toxic exposures and chronic diseases occur in humans as well ". In a nutshell then, polio was the benchmark achievement of geneticists-in-training.. Dr. Urnovitz went on to found the Chronic Illness Research Foundation and the pharmaceutical house Chronix Biomedical. He added in his testimony that genes "reshuffle" as an adaptive response to toxic environments caused by "confounding events" which can turn the reshuffling mechanism from a normal to a disease process --again, from the testimony, the man said "chemicals OR radiation".
 
Vaccine development, which has always been a contentiously debated method of disease management, was possibly never more contentious than in the procurement of a polio vaccine. Dr. William McD. Hammon was a participant in the 1940s "typing" of poliovirus who realized that the multiplicity of polio forms made an "active immunity" vaccine unadvisable. Instead of the Salk-Sabin-Koprowski vaccines that came into use, Hammon worked on a gamma-globulin vaccine that protected through "passive immunity" though ironically inclined to believe in the 1940s that polio was an unimportant disease. (4). Hammon, who had trained as a missionary in the Belgian Congo, was assigned rank and privilege as a member of the medical "Commissions" system organized by the U..S. Army in preparation for WWII. The incentive for research scientists enlisted in the AFEB (5) was the auspicious endowment of government Defense contracts to their home insitutions and the personal potential of authoritative civilian positions in the coming post-war. Hardly an occasion to say No when the government wants you to make a vaccine. Salk and Sabin were members of the AFEB commissions and so was every appropriately aged  polio researcher who made a vital contribution, famous and not. Those not listed with the AFEB were indoctrinated Rockefellows, just as we've come to expect, for it becomes ever more clear to investigating eyes that the global medical establishment promoted by John D. Rockefeller Jr. and his allies has existed for the benefit of waging war.
 
Another irony in the vaccine campaign is significantly explained in The Polio Paradox. For the record, author Richard Bruno has built a practice for himself and others treating the late-onset distress of polio-like illnesses. Through the creation of the Post-Polio Institute and a number of organizations designed to support it, including the International Post-Polio Task Force, they carry their work forward with the motto "Every child vaccinated. Every polio survivor --and doctor-- educated". He's a true believer, we must know, in the effectiveness of the great polio vaccines. His certainty is confirmed in the fact that no data on the actual number of Polio cases after the vaccine (1955) is given in his book. We are treated to a graph that goes completely flat on the line of  "zero cases". Between historical information segments, however, a long stretch of self-help for the readers resolves in the real message of the book. He writes, "It may be that the vaccine that eliminated polio had an unintended consequence" because "something unexpected, frightening, and totally unrecognized happened after the polio vaccine was distributed," --here is the meat-- "the number of myalgic encephalomyelitis [ME] cases went through the roof... Despite the differences between polio and ME, an association with the poliovirus was suggested by the fact that of more than a dozen ME outbreaks before the introduction of the polio vaccine in 1954, nine occurred during or immediately after outbreaks of polio...between 1960 and 1980 the number of ME patients increased fifty-fold. Between 1980 and 1990, the number of patients with ME increased yet again by a factor of fifty! Throughout the world, thirty-two ME outbreaks were recorded after the polio vaccine was distributed....[and] while British ME cases skyrocketed unnoticed during the 1980s, a "new" disease [was] discovered in the United States... Residents of Nevada reported strange symptoms --fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and aching muscles-- that were called "chronic fatigue syndrome". Because we are assured that the new illnesses are "absolutely not" polio, the explanation is provided. "The elimination of the poliovirus left a vacuum that had to be filled...With poliovirus gone, the other enteroviruses were able to multiply, spill into the bloodstream, and enter the brain... It isn't just the polioviruses that enter and kill neurons... One Coxsackie virus, named A7, produces paralytic symptoms so similar to polio that it has been named poliovirus Type IV. Other nonpolio enteroviruses that cause damage and symptoms similar to the polioviruses include all the other Coxsackie viruses, the ECHO viruses (which in 1956 were the first viruses associated with an ME outbreak), enterovirus 71, and viruses that cause illnesses that evoke some faraway places...central European encephalomyelitis, Australian X, Japanese B, and St. Louis encephalitis". How a miscarriage of logic like Bruno's vaccine support remains standing is anybody's guess. He avoids taking any stabs at mutation theories. He says nothing about the quality of the polio vaccine of today or any controversies surrounding vaccine at all. In his way, he's got us on a technicality.
 
But there are many more examples of diseases and poisonings that are linked to the poliovirus and vaccine. Researchers like Janine Roberts have demonstrated the statistical manipulation of polio as it came onto the world stage, thereby giving the necessarily false impression of successful "heroic medicine" even in the face of myriad new disease. But, touching that forbidden Third Rail, the X-rail, if you'll pardon the oddness of punning, weaves together a much bigger story of polio than almost anyone is daring to tell. To believe it is to be set awash in circumstantial evidence. To comprehend it is to know the deeper meaning of  "malice aforethought".  
 
 
Notes and References
(1) book, The Polio Paradox, by Richard L. Bruno, H.D., PhD., 2002, Time Warner Books
(2) Welch "opened his soul", page 46 of The Great Influenza, by John M. Barry, 2004, Viking Penguin Books
(3) fallout equivalent to 40,000 Hiroshima bombs, from the book Deadly Deceit: Low-level Radiation, High-level Cover-Up, by Drs. Gould and Goldman, mentioned also in the TFC article "Fallout In Your Genes".
(4) William McDowell Hammon, formerly of UCBerkeley, at the University of Pittsburgh in 1951-53, conducting field trials of gamma globulin http://www.aiph.org/cgi/content/full/95/5/790 --the same location where Jonas Salk was developing his IPV polio vaccine
(5) AFEB, roster of the Commissions of the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board , including the Polio Hall of Famers; Jonas Salk, Albert Sabin, Thomas Rivers, John Enders, Howard Howe, Thomas Francis, Isabel Morgan, and John R. Paul
 and here is the beginning history of the AFEB, which started as the Commission on Influenza with a handful of members (directed by Salk's mentor, Thomas Francis) and expanded to eventually comprise a rotating membership of 608 (listed) scientists over its official 33 years, with near to an average 100 active members in any period.