Lauren A. Colby
Chapter 00, Foreword
"In Defence of Smokers", by Lauren A. Colby
|© 1996, Lauren A. Colby. Version 2.0
HTML-version by Kees van der Griendt
This book had its genesis in some reading and research that I did, a couple of years ago, relating to the causes of the disease, AIDS. Most people think that AIDS is caused by a virus, the HIV virus. There are, however, a substantial number of dissident scientists, who question whether the HIV virus is the true cause of AIDS. Some even question whether the virus, itself, has been isolated. An excellent book, dealing with this controversy is Re-Thinking AIDS, by Robert Root-Bernstein, ISBN 0-02-926905-9, The Free Press, 1993.
Now, I never did decide whether the so-called "HIV virus" causes AIDS, or not. There are excellent arguments on both sides. Some, like Professor Duesberg, argue that the virus exists, but is harmless. He points out that AIDS, supposedly, does not develop until many years after exposure to the virus. That requires the hypothesis that there is something like a "lenticular" (delayed reaction) virus at work. But no such "lenticular virus" has been found to cause any other disease, in humans. According to Duesberg and others in his camp, the HIV virus is just a pussycat; infection might bring on some mild flu-like symptoms, but there should be no long term effects. The tests for the AIDS virus don't really test for the presence of the virus at all. Rather, they test whether a person has developed antibodies against the virus. But with other viruses, the development of antibodies generally means that the individual has developed successful defenses against the disease. Why, Duesberg argues, should the AIDS virus be different?
Robert Gallo, the government scientist who claims to have discovered the HIV virus, obviously takes a different point of view. He asserts that the virus and nothing but the virus is the cause of AIDS. So, indeed, does every scientist and researcher employed by the government or any private organization receiving research money from the government. Dissenting views are not permitted and, indeed, Duesberg has been unable to obtain funds for his own research, and learned scientific journals have refused to publish his papers, lest they incur the ire of the "health establishment".
While I never did decide whether AIDS is caused by a virus or by something else, I began to see, rather clearly, that there is a "health establishment", composed of officials in such agencies as the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health, etc., and researchers and scientists in the private center who depend upon government funds for research grants. It also became very evident to me that the health establishment is very powerful; and that it enforces conventional and rigid dogma and brooks no dissent.
Moreover, it soon became apparent that the health establishment regularly "cooks the books"; that statistics and other data are regularly folded, stapled and mutilated to "prove" that the official dogma is true. The CDC, for example, has changed the definition of AIDS three times. Moreover, there is a trend to the changes. Each time the definition was changed, it included more and more women (under the latest definition, any woman with cervical cancer who tests positive under the official HIV tests is considered to have AIDS). Furthermore, each change in the definition broadened the number of people considered to have AIDS so that, while using the original definition, the AIDS epidemic appeared to be winding down, the new definitions made it appear that the epidemic was exploding.
I recalled that Matilda Krim, a private AIDS researcher who receives government funds, had appeared on television some 7 or 8 years ago, to state that there were 2,000,000 HIV infected people in the U.S., and that, supposedly, we'd soon see 2,000,000 cases of AIDS (it didn't happen).
I asked myself, why were these people cooking the books? The answer came through, loud and clear: MONEY. The government folks wanted to expand and enlarge their agencies and promote their careers; and the folks outside government wanted more and more money for their private research projects.
Up to that time, I'd pretty much accepted the establishment view of smoking, i.e., that it's bad for you and may lead to lung cancer. But when I saw what the health establishment was doing in the field of AIDS, I began ask myself some questions. Could it be that the government figures on smoking, like those on AIDS, were cooked to produce a desired result? I began a two year research project, which resulted in this book.
As a result of that project, I learned many things. Most important, I'm afraid, I learned that government statistics on smoking, like those on AIDS, cannot be trusted. Important figures, like the 400,000 "smoking related deaths every year", are made up out of whole cloth. Studies which appear to refute the "dangers" of smoking, e.g., animal studies or some of the second hand smoke studies, are either ignored or subjected to manipulation and distortion to make them fit the official line.
I wrote this book to refute the wild, irresponsible and untruthful anti-smoking propaganda which obscures the truth. I do not expect it will ever make any money, nor do I want it to make any money. Copies of the book were sent to numerous publishers, but even the subsidy publishers, who print and promote books for money, were unwilling to take it. All of which proves that in this country, "If you want a free press, you'd better own a press".
Numerous people assisted me in the project. My wife, Kristine, while a non-smoker, never-the-less encouraged me in the effort and I dedicate this book to her. Peter Petrakis, a former Washington, D.C., health writer now living in Washington State, provided much of the early material, including the Mark Twain quotes and the autopsy studies. I drew ideas from writings posted on the Internet alt.smokers newsgroup by such persons as Joe Dawson, Robert Wagner, and Ed Dambik. Jennifer Kraljevich did the cover design.
A disclaimer should not be necessary, but I furnish one, anyway. I am not an employee of any tobacco company. I own no tobacco stocks. I have never worked for any tobacco company as a lawyer or in other capacity. Neither am I a tobacco grower, nor do I participate in any business of any kind in which I profit from the growing, sale, or distribution of any tobacco product.
First Chapter: The Hysteria