PLAGUE – The Best Science Book You Haven’t Read!

What’s REALLY going On In The Autism/Vaccine World…


By Kent Heckenlively, JD

People make choices – what they will see and what will remain invisible to them.  Like the character, Neo, played by Keeanu Reeves in The Matrix, we are often given the choice to take the blue pill or the red pill.  The blue pill allows you to remain in your safe little world.  Taking the red pill, well, that opens a Pandora’s Box.

For me, that moment came when my normally developing eighteen-month-old son, Ben, went mute after his vaccinations.   His sister, Jacqueline already had autism and seizures, which we later linked to her six-month round of shots.  With her, we didn’t know.  With Ben, it was absolutely clear what had happened.  Ben was my red pill.  After putting him on the gluten/casein free diet he came back to us.  My daughter is still very severely impaired.  Because of my children, I became a warrior.

In 2009 I stumbled across an interview Dr. Judy Mikovits had given in a television show in Nevada called Nevada Newsmakers.  Mikovits was talking about the publication of her article in the journal Science which showed that a recently discovered retrovirus, XMRV (xenotropic murine leukemia virus related virus) had been found in 67% of chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) patients and at 3.75% in healthy patients.

Then she started talking about a potential link to autism, as they had done some early research into the question.

And the door was being opened…

Here is what she said on that television show:  There’s always the hypothesis that my child was fine, then they got sick, and then they got autism.  Interestingly, on that note, if I might speculate a little bit.  This might explain why vaccines lead to autism in some children because these viruses live and divide in the lymphocytes, the immune response cells, the B and T cells.  So when you give a vaccine you send your B and T cells into overdrive.  That’s its job.

Well, if you’re harboring one virus, and you replicate it a whole bunch, you’ve now broken the balance between the immune response and the virus.  So you could have had the underlying virus and them amplified it with the vaccine and then set off the disease, such that your immune system could no longer control the infection and create an immune deficiency.

I put in a call to the Pediatric AIDS Unit at the University of San Francisco.  I got their press person, and brought up the idea of a retrovirus in autism and whether there might be tests available, and what thoughts were on an anti-retroviral regimen if a retrovirus could be found.

He immediately said something like, “Well, that might explain why a vaccine could lead to autism.”

I stayed calm and asked, “Could you explain that?”

He said it was similar to what they knew and practiced in HIV/AIDS treatment.  If a child is born to an HIV-infected mother, the child is put on anti-retrovirals prior to immunization.  He told me I could find the information on their web-site.

A whole new way of looking at the problem…

This is what I found on the University of California at San Francisco web page on HIV and immunization: Activation of the cellular immune system is important in the pathogenesis of HIV disease, and that fact has given rise to concerns that the activation of the immune system through vaccinations might accelerate the progression of HIV disease . . . These observations suggest that activation of the immune system through vaccinations could accelerate the progression of HIV disease through enhanced replication . . . If feasible, it is preferable to have patients on antiretroviral therapy (ART) prior to receipt of vaccination . . .

This was an explanation for the explosion of not just autism, but also chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).  Mikovits was a scientist with a first-rate reputation, having studied HIV/AIDS when it was the deadliest plague on our planet, and spending more than twenty years as a scientist at the National Cancer Institute, collaborating with Dr. Frank Ruscetti, one of the founding fathers of human retrovirology.

I called up Dr. Mikovits and asked if she would talk to me for an interview.  She did and we struck up a friendship.  I would come to know her over many years, finding in her a scientist with a fierce dedication to helping patients, and a rock-solid integrity.

But I immediately realized that when you are suggesting a reasonable explanation for the illness of millions, and those explanations involved common medical practices, both in vaccinations, and as I would later find, recombinant viral research, you were likely to make some very powerful enemies.

And she did.

Powerful enemies…

Mikovits endured years of torment.  Some groups found the retrovirus, as well as a larger family of retroviruses in patient populations, and others did not.  One of these groups that found a retrovirus in high numbers in patients with this disease was headed by Dr. Harvey Alter of the FDA, a winner of the Lasker Award (often referred to as the American Nobel Prize for medical research) for his discovery of the hepatitis C virus.  Their sequences showed greater diversity than the Mikovits group, but they also found a higher rate of infection in the healthy population, about 6.6%, or around 20 million Americans.

Eventually, a group headed by Ian Lipkin of Columbia University came to the conclusion in 2012 that there was no association between XMRV and patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).  But there were problems with the patient group selected by the Lipkin study.  They excluded patients with the following conditions: 1. HIV virus, 2. Hepatits B or C virus, 3. Treponema pallidium (tapeworm), 4. B. burgdorfieri (Lyme disease spirochete), 5. Medical or psychiatric illness that might be associated with fatigue, 6. Abnormal serum characteristics, and 7. Abnormal thyroid functions.

A couple of these exclusions were puzzling to one of the early researchers into this condition, Dr. Paul Cheney.  Cheney told me that somewhere around 85% of the patients had abnormal thyroid readings.  The exclusion of the borellia spirochete was puzzling as it was likely to be found in these patients, especially as they were immune-suppressed.  And a “medical or psychiatric condition that might be associated with fatigue?”  Cheney said, “Well, this is a medical condition associated with fatigue, so they’re trying to exclude the very disease they’re supposed to be looking for.”

Data manipulation?

Patient advocate Gerwyn Morris, a micro-biologist, was much more blunt.  Morris said it was like “Looking for HIV, but excluding homosexual males, IV drug users, and those who’d received a blood transfusion.”

So the Ian Lipkin of 2012 was saying there was no correlation between the XMRV retrovirus and patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).  This also meant that there would be no follow-up on the findings by the Mikovits team of the retrovirus in children with autism and whether, like with HIV, a vaccine could stimulate replication of the retrovirus leading to autism.

But the Ian Lipkin of 2013 would sing a much different tune.  Using a patient group collected by Dr. Jose Montoya of Stanford University (a researcher who Mikovits told me did an excellent job of selecting patients likely to have the disease), the findings were remarkably different.

After first reporting an abnormal pattern of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines (the very clue Mikovits had found that put her on the hunt for a retrovirus), Lipkin said in a public conference call with CDC on September 10, 2013: We found retroviruses in 85 percent of the sample pools.  Again, it is very difficult at this point to know whether or not this is clinically significant or not, and given the previous experience with retroviruses in chronic fatigue, I am going to be very clear in telling you, although I am reporting this at present in Professor Montoya’s samples, neither he, nor we have concluded that there is a relationship to disease.

The intrigue grows…

I happened to be at Stanford University a few months after that and heard Dr. Lipkin say that even with such findings he didn’t want to go down the retroviral road again.

Like me, you may be a little confused.  The Ian Lipkin of 2012 says that he cannot replicate the Mikovits’ team finding of a retrovirus in 67% chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) patients.  The Ian Lipkin of 2013 says he finds evidence of a retrovirus in 85% of a different group of chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) patients, but can’t even begin to comment as to whether this might be what even a graduate student would commonly refer to as a “clue.”

Pejman Naraghi-Arani with his team members, including kent heckenlively, working on the NanoString nCounter platform.
Pejman Naraghi-Arani with his team members, including Kent Heckenlively, working on the NanoString nCounter platform.

I am a science teacher and to the very marrow of my bones I believe in the scientific process.  I teach my students to be methodical, to check their data, and to draw conclusions based on their evidence.  I teach them about the courage of scientists like Galileo and Darwin who fought the prejudices of their time with facts.  Most of all, I teach them not to be afraid.  Let the truth be told, though the heavens fall.

And yet in my investigation of this story I found that fear was the predominant motivator rather than truth.  I recall interviewing one prominent Ivy League scientist who reported positive results, only to later retract them.  I asked her why she had retracted them.  She told me her samples had been contaminated.  I asked how.  She said the reagents had been contaminated.  I asked if she had identified the reagent which had been contaminated.  She said no.  I then asked, if she didn’t know which reagent had been contaminated, how could she claim her original results had been the result of contamination?

Her response was that others had said it was due to contamination, and so she was saying the same thing.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  I would not let one of my sixth grade students get away with using such faulty logic and here it was being asserted by an Ivy League professor.  I almost wanted to ask if all her fellow scientists jumped off a bridge, would she follow them?

Let’s use some common sense here…

Now with all due respect to Darwin and Galileo, the lives of millions of people did not immediately depend on the answer to their questions.  Yes, the field of genetics would show our close affinity to the rest of the animal kingdom, and Galileo’s work would allow us to venture out into our own solar system, but it didn’t have the potential to restore millions of people to good health.

If a retrovirus lies at the heart of diseases like chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) or autism, scientists bear a heavy duty of responsibility to their fellow man to tell the truth and share that information as rapidly as possible to ease the suffering of millions.  I consider anything less to be a crime against humanity.

plagueheckiMine is an ancient lament.  Quis custodiet ipsos custodies? the Roman poet Juvenal asked more than fifteen hundred years ago.  Who guards the guardians? I’m not really sure these people are being watched.  They seem to have become a law unto themselves, which is why I wrote this book with Dr. Judy Mikovits.  I invite you to read the story and listen to these people, often in their own words, or in government documents.  Decide for yourself if you think the guardians are doing their job.

Read PLAGUE: One Scientist’s Intrepid Search for the Truth About Human Retroviruses, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), Autism, and Other Diseases, and decide for yourself whether scientists today are living up to the standards set by Galileo and Darwin.

By Kent Heckenlively, JD

9 thoughts on “PLAGUE – The Best Science Book You Haven’t Read!”

  1. I just wonder how many so called autoimmune diseases might be linked to the retrovirus hypothesis?

    Crohn’s disease which I own personally. Ulcerative colitis, celiac sprue, Hashimoto’s, and the list goes on.

  2. So how did the retrovirus get into these children with autism? I get it that the vaccine could have triggered it, but where did it come from, and why does the rise of autism and the increase over the years track the beginning of vaccines and the ever increasing number that are recommended/required?

  3. Thank you for an excellent article, and for explaining what happened with Dr. Mikovits’ work on retroviruses in chronic fatigue.

    One small correction: treponema pallidum is a spirochete bacterium, not a tapeworm.

  4. This is all very good and undoubtedly very clever but is based upon two of the prime fallacies of medical “religion”; a religion being defined as a group of people who agree to believe a particular doctrine, a doctrine which it is a criminal offence to question.

    1) Invading microorganisms cause disease

    2) Viruses are real

    When Pasteur and Koch used their political influence to impose the belief in infectious disease in order to gain great wealth and fame both knew, at the time, that it wasn’t true. Pasteur’s professor, Luis Bechamp showed him that the postulate is nonsense and that something much more elegant was actually happening although it had to wait for Gaston Naessans to prove Bechamp’s hypothesis.

    Dr. Stefan Lanka, one of Germany’s leading virologists was led by his work to question whether viruses actually exist. They are postulated to exist but, to date, no-one has been able to prove it. For some time, a large cash prize has been offered in Germany to anyone giving proof that viruses actually exist: So far, no takers.

    As these two form the very foundation of pharmaceutical medicine, any guess you might make as to how much money is being spent to suppress this knowledge is likely to be several millions short of the mark.

    So, to say that this or that virus causes this or that problem is, in two ways, insupportable.
    Firstly, the existence of a particular virus is postulated not seen!
    Secondly, as Bechamp suggested and Naessans proved, these microorganisms are not the cause of the illness but part of a natural solution. Attacking the solutions can only ever make the problem worse. This may well be why pharmaceutical medicine is the leading cause of death (almost as many as heart attacks and cancer combined) throughout the Western World.

    Based upon this we must ask not “How do we get rid of this (postulated) virus?” but rather, “What is the true problem which this microorganism is trying to resolve?” Let me make a suggestion:
    Autism – mercury
    Chronic Fatigue – electro smog

    One of the other many fallacies of pharmaceutical medicine is the required belief that all humans must react in the same way to a given stimulus. Even the most superficial of observations shows this postulate to be nonsense but, nonetheless, when someone in the pharmaceutical hierarchy has declared this or that to be the case, exceptions to this are rigorously swept under the carpet.

    Because each human being is totally unique, there can be no standard reaction to any given stimulus. So, to say that mercury cannot be the cause of autism because not everyone who receives the mercury becomes autistic is, scientifically speaking, arrant nonsense ignoring the truth of human existence.

    Herewith a third nail in the coffin of pharmaceutical medicine R.I.P.

    Blessed be

    Karma Singh

  5. Wow, a breath of fresh air, Karma Singh. We have been preaching what you have written for some time now. There are so many factors in what creates all the various diseases that it is truly ridiculous to blame a micro-organism or virus as a causal agent. The germ theory of disease has been shown to be false multiple times and yet this simple truth – that germs or microbes in and of themselves are not the cause of disease – is difficult for most people in our movement to grasp due to repeated programming through media, schools, and reinforced throughout society.
    We posted Jeanne Ohm’s excellent article in Pathways to Family Wellness, “Shifting the Paradigm” here
    It was from her excellent article that I discovered the New York Times article of June 2012 summarizing the results of NIH’s Human Microbiome Project that I saved out and have made multiple copies of to get people clear on the fact that our entire world is full of microbes and they are not the enemy. Poisoning our air, food and water is the ultimate culprit, along with mercury amalgams and other toxic medical/drug interventions…

  6. This is a reply to Mark’s question (6th June 6.21p.m.

    Gaston Naessans explains this in great details.
    Quickly, however, the human body actually creates these microorganisms by modifying inherited blueprints.
    They don’t come from outside but are part of a very elegant internal correction system.

    Blessed be


  7. This is a reply to D Bergy says: June 5, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    The answer, D, is “none whatsoever”.

    Chron’s disease is created by extrme feelings of helplessness engendered in the childhood home environment combined with exrmeley yin nutrition.

    The fabulous “Hashimoto” – a disease which could never exist, hence “fabulous” (a fable).
    The pancreas will unburden itself via the thyroids. Clearing and strngtheneng the pancreas both nutritionally and emotionally always dissolves the fable.

    There are no “auto-immune” diseases! The very concept is, scientifically speaking, ridiculous.

    Aks me more on the radio tomorrow evening on the Supernatural Girlz show on Inception Radio Network.

    Blessed be


  8. THE ATLANTIS PLAGUE delivers the same kind of little-known science and history readers applauded in THE ATLANTIS GENE and deepens the core mystery many can’t stop talking about.

  9. I’ve been wondering if it’s possible for a child to adopt characteristics of the opposite sex when inoculated with ‘generic’ human embryo gunk? Same as Mercury can cause Autism!

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