On weaponizing ticks and my first book summary, Bitten by Kris Newby.
First Toby Roger’s wrote this in Sept 2022.
Having Lyme, ME/CFS, or an autoimmune disorder is like wearing an electric dog shock collar that you cannot take off. Every time you try to engage with the world the thing shocks you and you’re worse off than if you had not tried at all. Over years and years it creates learned helplessness. What’s troubling to me, especially given the history of Lyme (it’s likely an American made bioweapon), is that the ability to create learned helplessness in a population is highly desired by governments. The peasants cannot overthrow the feudal system if they are wearing biological shock collars that constrain their ability to dream, think, and act. We have got to find ways to cure these conditions. Healing is a revolutionary act.
Which put Lyme as a bioweapon on my radar.
So, I went and read Newby’s book, Bitten, late last year.
But it was this passage from Rancourt’s recent essay, that jolted me into finally writing this article.
I do not mean that the Department of Defence (DoD) does not fund gain-of-function and bioweapon research (abroad, in particular), I do not mean that there are not many US patents for genetically modified microbial organisms having potential military applications, and I do not mean that there have not previously been impactful escapes or releases of bioweapon vectors and pathogens. For example, the Lyme disease controversy in the USA may be an example of a bioweapon leak (see Kris Newby’s 2019 book “Bitten: The Secret History of Lyme Disease and Biological Weapons”). – Denis Rancourt
It’s about time I got some thoughts down.
Let’s see if I can get this whole story down into a few points. As the Arabs would say, the “useful summary”:
The US military weaponized ticks.
The US military used those weaponized ticks on foreign soil, both military personnel and civilians.
The US engaged in uncontrolled releases on US soil (see last page of the book summary below).
A strange new “mysterious” disease emerges.
Its connection to ticks is “discovered” by a scientist named Willy Burgdorfer. He is hailed as a hero.
Turns out Willy was one of the lead scientists who years earlier had weaponized the ticks (you can’t make this stuff up).
The US medical establishment denies the existence of a new disease and goes after doctors who diagnose or try to treat it.
The US medical establishment now profits from it.
I think that’s pretty much it.
For me at least, after “seeing” and understanding several other of their “theatrical productions” such as: Covid, Covid vaccines, AIDS, smallpox, DDT, polio, childhood vaccines, fluoride, glyphosate…
It wasn’t hard to understand what I was looking at regarding ticks and Lyme.
Ticks have a special place in my heart.
We live in the suburb of St Ives (Sydney, Australia), one of the tick capitals of Sydney. When we bought the house, I remember the real estate agent telling us all the amazing features of the suburb (and they were all true) but he left out the ticks…
So, for the last 20 years, we have accumulated a number of tick stories from our kids and cats regularly being bitten and treated for ticks, to our most serious story when my wife was bitten by a small army of ticks, ended up being unwell for several months, then “luckily” came down with a kidney stone, so the hospital flushed her with IV antibiotics and inadvertently killed whatever infection she had picked up from the ticks. Thank God for the kidney stone, I guess.
The daughter of a friend of ours came down with Lyme disease. Couldn’t get a doctor in Australia to diagnose it. Ended up travelling to the US to work with a doctor who helped her treat it over a long period of time.
So, we have more than our share of tick stories.
It never crossed my mind, not even for a second, that someone could have spent decades trying to figure out how to weaponize ticks with all manner of bacteria and viruses.
But there you have it, that’s exactly what they did.
I remember saying to my wife one day, that the design of ticks was simply so perfect. They would crawl up your leg without you knowing, and burrow into your skin to secrete their toxins and drink your blood. By the time you felt them, it was too late. Simply perfectly designed creatures for what they needed to do.
Turns out the US military came to that same conclusion in the 1940s.
One of the reasons I think the tick/Lyme story is so important is because it, via Newby’s book, gives you a window straight into who “they” are. The book names names.
It’s such a good book that I decided to make it my first book summary. Hopefully the book summary will help a larger number of people get the gist of the story, in one sitting, and if you enjoy the summary, I think you will enjoy the book even more.
Here it is.
The following is a list of some of the more interesting passages from the book:
Reported cases of Lyme disease have quadrupled in the United States since the 1990s.3 In 2017, there were 42,743 cases of Lyme disease reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).4 The scientists at the CDC who study the spread of diseases now say that the actual cases may be ten times higher than reported, or 427,430 cases.5 On average, this means there are about 1,000 new Lyme cases in the United States per day.
While all the pieces of this public-facing story are true, they don’t represent the whole truth. Shortly before his death, Willy was videotaped saying that he believed that the outbreak of tick-borne diseases that started around Lyme, Connecticut, had been caused by a bioweapons release.9 It was a stunning admission, but it could explain why the condition we call Lyme disease is so hard to diagnose and treat—and why the epidemic is spreading so far and so fast. If anyone else had said this, I might have walked away, but Willy was the person with the most to lose. When this information came to light, his legacy would be destroyed. And because of this horrible secret, the foundational science behind Lyme disease was compromised, and patients were being harmed.
What Willy soon learned was that this lab full of researchers-who-loved-bugs was being funded primarily because of the government’s need for disease vaccines. The U.S. Public Health Service, which would later be renamed the National Institutes of Health, paid for the lab by developing, manufacturing, and distributing vaccines for spotted fever, encephalomyelitis, relapsing fever, yellow fever, and other diseases transmitted from animal or arthropod vectors to man.
On the lab tour, Kohls told Willy the history of how the lab mass-produced ticks and Rickettsia rickettsii organisms to produce vaccines. In the 1920s, researchers there injected thousands of guinea pigs and rabbits with these live organisms and then placed ticks on the infected animals and allowed them to feed for a couple of days. They would then douse the bacteria-laden ticks with formalin, grind them up, and use the filtered, diluted “tick juice” as the vaccine. The vaccine fluid included tiny fragments of proteins that, when injected under a person’s skin, would stimulate a protective immune response.
In her 2005 book, Biological Weapons: From the Invention of State-Sponsored Programs to Contemporary Bioterrorism, medical anthropologist Jeanne Guillemin, now a senior fellow in the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, describes the political situation as Willy became one of the 13,538 civilian employees of the U.S. chemical and biological weapons program: “The atomic bomb and the Cold War signaled a momentous change in the U.S. biological weapons program. The vision of the scale of intentionally spreading disease expanded to strategic attacks on a par with the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and with the Soviet Union and its allies as potential targets.”
To staff this massive scientific effort, the army recruited young scientists such as Willy, often funding them through the U.S. Public Health Service (later the National Institutes of Health) and the National Academy of Sciences. The secrecy for these projects was modeled upon the strict guidelines developed for the Manhattan Project, whose scientists had had to sign confidentiality agreements or had not even been informed as to the ultimate purpose behind their experiments: weapons development.
There was a purpose behind this madness. In most cases, agents from one region wouldn’t thrive inside ticks from another region because it takes many generations for a microbe and a tick species to develop a mutually beneficial relationship where one species doesn’t kill the other. When Willy found a compatible pair, Fort Detrick would add that agent/tick combination to its list of potential biological weapons. The weapons designers were looking for a tick that wouldn’t arouse the suspicion of an enemy country, filled with an agent for which the target enemy population wouldn’t have natural immunity.
On a most discreet (strictly need-to-know) basis, defense is to submit a plan by 2 February on what it can do to put a majority of workers out of action, unable to work in the cane fields and sugar mills, for a significant period for the remainder of this harvest. It is suggested that such planning consider non-lethal BW, insect-borne. - Task 33, Cuba Project, in “Top Secret Memorandum,” Brigadier General Lansdale, January 19, 1962
Dr. A. N. Gorelick reviewed the characteristics of viral and rickettsial agents currently in the program . . . the use of multiple agents to achieve prolonged incapacitation was also being investigated. - Biological Subcommittee Munitions Advisory Group, October 27–28, 1966
Advances in microbial genetics had opened up the potential of manipulating viruses and rickettsias to create more powerful weapons, both lethal and incapacitating.5 The perfect incapacitating agent was one that made a large percentage of a population moderately ill for weeks to months. The illness it caused would have to be hard to diagnose and treat, and under the best circumstances, the target population shouldn’t even be aware they’d been dosed with a bioweapon. This would make it easier for invading, vaccinated soldiers to take over cities and industrial infrastructure without much of a fight or the destruction of property.
In the IDSA guidelines, chronic Lyme isn’t classified as an ongoing, persistent infection; it’s considered either an autoimmune syndrome (in which a body’s immune system attacks itself) or a psychological condition caused by “the aches and pains of daily living” or “prior traumatic psychological events.” These guidelines were often used by medical insurers to deny treatment, and many of its authors are paid consulting fees to testify as expert witnesses in these insurance cases. In some states, the guideline recommendations take on the force of law, so that Lyme physicians who practice outside them are at risk of losing their medical licenses.
Bottom line, the guidelines authors regularly convened in government-funded, closed-door meetings with hidden agendas that lined the pockets of academic researchers with significant commercial interests in Lyme disease tests and vaccines. A large percentage of government grants were awarded to the guideline authors and/or researchers in their labs.
Then Patrick described some “Large Area Coverage” vulnerability tests that the military conducted on an unsuspecting public over the years. In the 1950s, in Operation Sea-Spray, U.S. Navy boats sprayed a two-mile-long line of aerosolized “simulant” off the coast of San Francisco. He described how effective such an attack could be if the weather conditions were right.
I pondered why Lyme disease researchers were so much more paranoid than their rickettsial counterparts. Thinking back on my research for the Lyme documentary Under Our Skin, I concluded that there was much more money at stake with Lyme disease. It was the first major new disease discovered after the Bayh-Dole Act and the Diamond v. Chakrabarty Supreme Court decision made it possible for the NIH, the CDC, and universities to patent and profit from “ownership” of live organisms. When the causative organism behind Lyme disease was announced, something akin to the Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889 began, as scientists within these institutions began furiously filing patents on the surface proteins and DNA of the Lyme spirochete, hoping to profit from future vaccines and diagnostic tests that used these markers—for example, an NIH employee who patents a bacterial surface protein used in a commercial test kit or a vaccine could receive up to $150,000 in royalty payments a year, an amount that might double his or her annual salary. All of a sudden, the institutions that were supposed to be protectors of public health became business partners with Big Pharma. The university researchers who had previously shared information on dangerous emerging diseases were now delaying publishing their findings so they could become entrepreneurs and profit from patents through their university technology transfer groups. We essentially lost our system of scientific checks and balances. And this, in turn, has undermined patient trust in the institutions that are supposed to “do no harm.” With Lyme disease, there’s no profit incentive for proactively treating someone with a few weeks of inexpensive, off-patent antibiotics. It’s the patentable vaccines and mandatory tests-before-treatment that bring in the steady revenues year after year.
More than a decade after the tick bite that changed my life, I had a deeper understanding of the Lyme problem from a scientific, political, and policy point of view. I knew that the infectious disease departments at most major medical centers, including Stanford, were simply following the iron-fisted IDSA Lyme guidelines that state that chronic Lyme isn’t an infectious disease and that it can’t be treated with long-term antibiotics. If Dr. D had kept us on as patients, he might have been reprimanded or even fired. And to his credit, he was the first to test us for Lyme, and that ultimately put us on the path to wellness.
Lone star ticks carry several serious human diseases, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, Heartland virus disease, and two species of ehrlichia, a close bacterial relative of the rickettsias. And more recently, some people bitten by lone star ticks have suffered from a delayed-reaction, long-lasting meat allergy caused by immune system hypersensitivity to the alpha-gal sugar molecule found in lone star tick saliva.
This is an excellent book review by David Swanson.
Important and interesting passage:
In July of 1975 a new or very rare disease appeared in Old Lyme, Connecticut, just north of Plum Island. And what was on Plum Island? A germ warfare lab to which the U.S. government had brought former Nazi germ warfare scientists in the 1940s to work on the same evil work for a different employer. These included the head of the Nazi germ warfare program who had worked directly for Heinrich Himmler. On Plum Island was a germ warfare lab that frequently conducted its experiments out of doors. After all, it was on an island. What could go wrong? Documents record outdoor experiments with diseased ticks in the 1950s (when we know that the United States was using such weaponized life forms in North Korea). Even Plum Island’s indoors, where participants admit to experiments with ticks, was not sealed tight. And test animals mingled with wild deer, test birds with wild birds.
Summary and key takeaways:
In the book "Bitten: The Secret History of Lyme Disease and Biological Weapons" by Kris Newby, the author sheds light on the origins of Lyme disease and its potential connection to biological weapons. Newby suggests that the most likely source of the disease-carrying ticks is Plum Island, a U.S. government facility known for conducting experiments on biological weapons, including insects. The book complements Michael Christopher Carroll's work, "Lab 257: The Disturbing Story of the Government's Secret Germ Laboratory," which also points to Plum Island as a probable source. Newby reveals the research conducted by Willy Burgdorfer, a scientist credited with discovering the cause of Lyme disease, who may have intentionally infected ticks with diseases for military purposes. The book highlights the need for declassifying information about open-air bioweapons tests and emphasizes the role of profit interests and government corruption in hindering proper handling of Lyme disease.
Key takeaways from the article:
1. The book "Bitten" explores the origins of Lyme disease and its potential connection to Plum Island, a U.S. government facility known for biological weapons research.
2. Plum Island is believed to be the most likely source of disease-carrying ticks.
3. Willy Burgdorfer, a scientist credited with identifying the cause of Lyme disease, may have intentionally infected ticks with diseases for military purposes.
4. The book calls for the declassification of information about open-air bioweapons tests to address the damage caused by tick-borne diseases.
5. Profit interests and government corruption are suggested as factors contributing to the mishandling of Lyme disease.
6. The anthrax attacks in 2001, another product of U.S. bioweapons research, served to augment false narratives about the Iraq war.
7. The book highlights the importance of avoiding false blame of Lyme disease on other countries.
8. Public understanding of Lyme disease should be based on factual information and the need for proper prevention and treatment.
Excerpts from the article:
"Newby claims (in 2019) that if a scientist named Willy Burgdorfer had not made a confession in 2013, the secret that Lyme disease came from a biological weapons program would have died with him."
"The outbreak of unusual tick-borne disease around Long Island Sound actually started in 1968, and it involved three diseases: Lyme arthritis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and babesiosis."
And off course, Pfizer is developing a vaccine for Lyme disease.
Summary and key takeaways:
Pfizer has initiated the final phase of testing for an experimental vaccine aimed at preventing Lyme disease in individuals aged 5 and above. The company plans to develop a seasonal vaccine that can be administered during the months when ticks, the disease's vectors, are most active. This vaccine, called VLA15, targets the outer surface protein A (OspA) of the Borrelia bacteria responsible for Lyme disease and aims to protect against multiple strains prevalent in North America and Europe. The Phase 3 clinical trial will involve 6,000 participants and will assess the efficacy of three doses of VLA15 or a placebo, followed by a booster dose. Pending successful trials, Pfizer may seek regulatory approval for the vaccine in the US and Europe by 2025. Lyme disease affects a significant number of people each year, and the demand for a vaccine is higher than ever. If approved, this vaccine could be the first human Lyme disease vaccine available in over two decades.
Key takeaways from the article:
1. Pfizer has initiated the final phase of testing for a seasonal vaccine aimed at preventing Lyme disease.
2. The vaccine, VLA15, targets the outer surface protein A (OspA) of the Borrelia bacteria.
3. The clinical trial will involve 6,000 participants aged 5 and above and will assess the efficacy of three doses of VLA15.
4. The vaccine aims to protect against multiple strains of the bacteria prevalent in North America and Europe.
5. If successful, Pfizer may seek regulatory approval for the vaccine in the US and Europe by 2025.
6. Lyme disease affects a significant number of people each year, with about 476,000 people in the US receiving treatment.
7. The demand for a Lyme disease vaccine is higher than ever before.
8. Previous attempts to develop a Lyme disease vaccine have faced challenges in profitability, but the growing market may change that perspective.
Excerpts from the article:
"Pfizer on Monday said it launched the final phase of testing for an experimental vaccine to prevent Lyme disease."
"If approved, the vaccine could be the first human vaccine available for Lyme disease in the U.S. in more than two decades."
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