*The information in this article comes from Dr. Judy Mikovtis and Kent Heckenlively’s book, Plague: One Scientist’s Intrepid Search for the Truth about Human Retroviruses and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), Autism, and Other Diseases. For study sources and references, please refer to the book for more detailed information.*
On July 22, 2009, a special meeting was held with twenty-four leading scientists at the National Institutes of Health to discuss early findings that a newly discovered retrovirus was linked to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), prostate cancer, lymphoma, and eventually neurodevelopmental disorders in children.
Dr. Judy Mikovits, PhD, was one of the presenters at the meeting. For thirty years, Mikovits had built a name for herself in cancer and chronic disease research — she had extensive knowledge of immunology, natural products chemistry, epigenetics, virology, and drug development, she was a long-time member of the National Cancer Institute, collaborating with one of the founding fathers of human retrovirology, Dr. Frank Ruscetti, and she was Research Director at the Whittemore Peterson Institute (WPI), a chronic fatigue syndrome research organization and clinic in Reno, Nevada.
Mikovits’s passion for chronic disease research began early in life, after watching both her grandfather and stepfather succumb to the perils of cancer. This personal connection to chronic disease would later fuel her with a vigorous empathy to help others suffering from chronic disease.
She worked closely with patients suffering from the mysterious and debilitating symptoms of CFS, treating them like family in most cases and quickly earning herself a well-respected name within the chronic disease communities. She was their knight in shining armour, being one of the few scientists who cared enough to believe, contrary to what most doctors were saying, that their symptoms were not in fact psychosomatic.
Since its initial emergence in medical literature in the mid 20th century, CFS was for many years a conundrum, shrugged off as a “yuppie flu” or “hysterical type A women,” brought about by stress or other emotional factors. But the patients suffering from CFS did not agree with their diagnosis. They knew, from the extent of their excruciating pain and bedridden state, that something else was at play, a knowing that Mikovits was on to as well.
In her presentation at the 2009 meeting, Mikovits revealed her findings from an article published (and later retracted) in the journal Science, which showed that a recently discovered retrovirus, XMRV (xenotropic murine leukemia virus related virus), had been found in 67% of CFS patients and at 3.75% in healthy patients.
Mikovits and her research team claimed that 6% of Americans were harbouring this retrovirus, which was appearing in a very high percentage of people with diseases such as prostate cancer, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, autism, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, treatment resistant Lyme’s Disease, and Parkinson’s Disease.
If Mikovits’s findings held true, it would mean that a substantial portion of the population were harbouring a retrovirus that was secretly wrecking havoc on their bodies. It meant that the millions of people diagnosed with the “psychological” disease CFS were in fact suffering from a disease similar to HIV/AIDS. Even more troublesome, however, was the possibility that this widespread retrovirus was the culprit at the root of today’s most common chronic illnesses.
The next pressing question, then, was how did so many people become infected with this retrovirus? The answer, to Mikovtis’s dismay, would ignite a fire among the scientific community that would change the course of her career forever.
How Did XMRV Get Introduced To The Public?
In the early 20th century, many research labs were deep into cancer and HIV/AIDS research. Some of these facilities also seconded as vaccine manufacturing labs, using genetically engineered mice as their study subjects. The mice were engineered to have immune deficiencies, meaning that they were susceptible to certain diseases when exposed to specific pathogens and toxins.
When researchers injected the GE mice with human viruses in order to attenuate or weaken the virus strain, they did not know that mouse viruses posed a threat to humans.
Scientists didn’t realize that the way they managed their mouse colonies and managed the production of their human cell lines created conditions in laboratories where viruses could unexpectedly mutate and recombine with one another. Even more troublesome was the fact that these retroviruses could easily reproduce and travel through the air.
Retroviruses that were in mice were being released into the air and travelling through their facilities to other labs where human cell lines were being cultivated. Once there, they were able to infect human cultures. They became part of the cells and part of the products that were made from the activity of the cell lines, such as the antigens used in vaccines.
This meant that for decades, vaccines contaminated with mutated viruses were being injected into the greater population, causing a whack load of life threatening ailments.
Retroviruses In Humans – Russian Roulette For Disease
Retroviruses are stealthy creatures, and their presence in the body does not always cause disease. Sometimes they can stay dormant for a person’s entire lifetime.
Other times, though, they are activated through a perfect storm of events, such as when there are co-infections, when there is severe shock or trauma, when hormones are dysregulated, when there are genetically modified organisms and glyphosate in the diet, when there are pesticides and other toxic substances in food and the environment, and when there are genetic susceptibilities.
If some or all of these conditions occur together, then the immune system will be weakened to the point where the perfect storm occurs and chronic inflammation develops into chronic disease.
*See Dr. Mikovits’s personal powerpoint presentation on retroviruses and chronic disease HERE.*
Mikovits Drops Data Bombshells
At an international workshop on the XMRV retrovirus, held in September of 2010, Dr. Mikovits and a group of other scientists presented valuable research involving rhesus macaque monkeys that were exposed to XMRV. It showed that the XMRV retrovirus quickly disappeared from the bloodstream after exposure — presumably going into tissue.
The virus would reappear in the blood after the immune system was activated, showcasing how the XMRV virus mimicked the behaviour of HIV. The study Mikovits presented used bolus peptides that mimicked a vaccination, provoking the virus and causing it to replicate to detectable levels.
The next study Mikovits looked at involved analyzing the blood of 37 parents and 29 children across 11 different states. 17 children had autism, a pair of twins had Niemann-Pick Type C (a neurodegenerative disorder), and 10 children were healthy siblings. XMRV was detected in 55% of the people in the study. The age range of the infected children was 2 to 18 years. 17 of the children (including the twins) were positive for XMRV (58%) and 20 of the 37 parents (54%) were positive for XMRV. 14 of 17 autistic children were positive for XMRV (82%). They noted that autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), ME/CFS, and childhood neuroimmune disorders share common clinical features.
The study revealed how children harbouring an undetected retrovirus in their immune cells could have had the virus activated by vaccination or even by a simple fever, causing inflammation of the brain and leading to neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism.
Mikovits’s colleagues found that 6.8% of a healthy control population showed evidence of infection by a wider group of murine leukemia viruses, meaning that eleven to twenty-one million individuals in the United States were potentially infected by a group of related viruses that came from mice. America wasn’t alone either, as Dr. Francis Collins, head of the National Institutes of Health, indicated that 5% of control samples taken from the London Blood Bank were positive for XMRV.
Mikovits’s findings were both groundbreaking and urgent, and after so many years of hard work, she was excited to finally have some answers for her friends and patients. What Mikovits did not foresee coming, however, was a crusade by the science establishment to take her down.
Science Community Refutes Mikovits’s Work
Following Mikovits’s presentation at the international workshop, the National Institutes of Health mandated a multi-center study that would be directed by Dr. Ian Lipkin, known among the science community as the “World’s Most Celebrated Virus Hunter.”
But the study contained a few significant flaws — it left out the patient population most likely infected with the retroviruses — patients with evidence of infection with HIV, hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, Treponema pallidium (syphilis), B burgdorferi (the Lyme disease spirochete), medical or psychiatric illnesses associated with fatigue, abnormal serum characteristics, and thyroid disease.
Due to the latter, the study found no association with chronic disease, but the Lipkin center did confirm that 6% of the U.S. population is carrying retrovirus infections. The study confirmed the findings from more than two decades of research, which consistently presented evidence of retroviruses in 4-6% of the population, 20 million Americans alone.
Of course, the study did not want to find an association between the virus and disease, as that would mean admitting that the system designed to protect the population did the opposite, creating millions of sick patients, so they omitted the appropriate patient population. “It would be like trying to detect HIV in the 80s and omitting gay men and IV drug users,” Mikovits told CE.
Mikovits’s Career Destroyed
Amid the backlash from the science community about Mikovits’s work, 2011 would become hurricane for the rogue scientist.
During the Fall of 2011, when it was realized that these MLV related retroviruses aerosolized and easily spread through laboratories, the head of the WPI institute that housed Mikovits’s research asked her to approve fraudulent expenditures of federal research monies from her grant to the diagnostic company RED Labs/VIDx, co-owned by the Whittemores and Vincent Lombardi. Mikovits took pride in her professional integrity, and the request by the WPI came as a shock.
This all happened at the same time Mikovits discovered that a retrovirus test created by Lombardi was producing inaccurate results. When Mikovits spoke out about the WPI’s deception, she was immediately fired for insolence and insubordination. “Apparently it was rude to refuse to misappropriate federal funds,” Mikovits said.
Six weeks later, Mikovits was falsely arrested and jailed for five days following her refusal to give up her private email notes to the WPI or sign a confession stating that her data on gammaretroviruses was false. In fact, Mikovits said that her freedom was ransomed for samples in the Lipkin study, an offer which Lipkin refused. Mikovits’s email contained her most recent retrovirus research, along with the names and addresses of all her research subjects. Her email contained proof of the existence of gammaretroviruses and their connection with ME/CFS that no one could deny, so Mikovits felt it was her ethical duty to withhold her private emails and would never sign such a confession.
Following her false arrest and imprisonment as a fugitive from justice, a fabricated mugshot was publicized in the journal Science right before the editors of the journal formally retracted her study. On top of the public humiliation, Mikovits was held under fabricated criminal charges dismissed without prejudice, rendering her silent under threat of incarceration. Mikovits says that her notes are still being held under a permanent injunction that prevents even her lawyers from seeing evidence. In what seemed like an instant, Mikovits’s thirty-five year career was shattered.
Since then, Mikovits has been unable to gather grant money to pursue further research. But while the crusade against her might have damaged her both professionally and financially, her drive to get the word out about her research is unruffled. After her gag order was lifted, Mikovits went straight to paper to tell her story. In 2014, Mikovits and colleague Kent Heckenlively released the book Plague: One Scientist’s Intrepid Search for the Truth about Human Retroviruses and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), Autism, and Other Diseases, which would rightfully tell her story in detail from beginning to end.
The book gives readers an in-depth look into the inner politics of high-level science, exposing the often violated ethics of truth and the self-serving egos of the science community’s most well-respected names. Beyond all of that, though, the book is a story of one woman’s compassionate heart and her refusal to cower down to a long-established system built around fear and intimidation:
I won’t ever give up. There are a lot of doctors around the world who are trusting us. They have seen the same things themselves and who are energized by our book and by the revelations [that have happened] since. We will keep on addressing the science.
Today, Mikovits is continuing to help those in need, working along side the Institute of Pure and Applied knowledge, a public charity research institute dedicated to the reduction of human pain & suffering through non-bias knowledge. Mikovits says she is just one of many scientists and doctors who are starting to speak out about fraudulent science and deception within the scientific institutions, something Mikovits says is needed more than ever if we want to see change.
For anyone interested in learning more about the role of retroviruses and chronic disease, be sure to check out Dr. Judy Mikovits and Kent Heckenlively’s book, Plague.
Have you read Plague? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
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